A/N: Little drabble I wrote for Naegiri Week, based off the prompt "Dream". ...Which was almost seven days ago. Oops. Consider this a non-Christmas themed Christmas present instead of a late submission.


Ultimate Hope he may be, but Naegi Makoto is still human. He still gets tired sometimes, worn down by all the fighting and bloodshed and war. He is not a pessimist, no, he genuinely believes things will turn out alright in the end, but it's tiring sometimes, waiting for that good end to come. Sometimes he just needs a reminder of what he's fighting for and why it's worth a seemingly endless wait.

It's at those times that he goes and seeks out Kirigiri-san. And she always knows, somehow, just by looking at him, that he needs to break. Usually she can't talk, too busy with work, but she tells him to make himself at home in her office. He sits in the comfy chair in the corner, shoulders slumped and tie loosened. She takes a minute to make him a cup of tea, and sometimes his fingers brush hers as she passes it over, and electricity crawls over them despite the leather covering her hands. Then she gives him a small smile, a lingering touch to the shoulder, and returns to her desk. The minutes go by in silence, her working, him sipping the beverage and letting her presence soothe him. It's at those times that Makoto looks at Kirigiri-san and lets himself dream.

He dreams of a world that is whole again, a world where he doesn't have to fear for the lives of his friends and sister and co-workers every day. A world where people can walk down the streets without being afraid of terrorist attacks. A world where he can work up the nerve to confess to Kirigiri-san and have it accepted. A world where they earn the honor of each other's first names and he can give her all the love she deserves.

A world with a little boy with spiky brown hair and lavender eyes, and a little girl, the spitting image of her mother save for an ahoge. He contemplates giving her his eyes, but decides against it—Kirigiri-san's eyes are so beautiful, he can't imagine them not being passed down. Genetics don't have a hold in his imagination, after all. It's that dream that spurs him the most, even as it makes his cheeks tint.

And so, once he's done dreaming, he puts the cup of tea down and thanks Kirigiri-san with a broad smile. She nods back tightly, but her eyes sparkle with a bit of warmth at seeing him return to his usual self. They part ways and he returns to his work, the dying fire in his eyes reignited, and they never speak of his moment of weakness because the Ultimate Hope must always appear confident, must always appear strong and true. But he holds those moments close in his heart, and he falls a little more in love with her every single time.

(It takes years before those dreams become reality. But even when they do, the ritual maintains, only now she brings her own tea over and joins him as they watch a little boy and little girl play in the clean, safe streets outside.)