[X] “Are you alright?”
You don't want to seem like some sort of creepy guy who stalks little kids in the middle of the night, but on the other side, little kids shouldn't be running around on the edge of the frigging Autobahn either, especially not in a snowstorm. Now that you think about it, it has considerably strengthened after your departure from Reutlingen. No matter, there are more important things at hand here, like the girl who still didn't answer the question you asked her. She just shrunk back a bit, as if she expected you to... attack her or something.
“Uh... didn't you hear me? I asked you if you, um, were alright?” you repeat yourself.
She just shrinks back again, her eyes locked onto yours, wide open. You are pretty sure that that is what a “I am scared to my death but holding myself together”-face looks like. Maybe you look too imposing? Size-wise, you've taken after your father, and are just a bit shorter than he is. This kid barely goes up to the lower end of your chest, probably a bit shorter.
Sadly, this does not change the fact that you have no impromptu-shrinking-powers. Would be cool though. Might as well try more talking. Try something simpler.
“...are you cold?” you ask her.
At least she doesn't flinch away. Instead, she looks to the side, trying to avoid your gaze. A complete 180 in a matter of seconds. Shit's be trippin, yo. You guess that's just what kids in her age are like. A car drives by, the noise filling your ears.
“...no.” she says, while trembling like a leaf. You think you can hear her teeth clatter. Riiight, fine. Two can play that game, little miss.
“Oh. Good. Because I wouldn't want to annoy you with the offer to drive along in my car.” She looks up to you. You nod over to the Iron Chariot a few meters ahead of you. A doubtful look settles on her face. You look to the side and talk into the wind.
“You know, my dry car. My dry, warm car. Where you can sit while you move. With no wind and snow.” It disturbs you how much fun this is. You glance over to her. There is this spark in her eyes now. You cannot place it, predatory? A hopeful gleam?
“Where I have a warm blanket and soft pillows...” you say while leaning in to her. She looks like she is just about to pounce you and let herself be carried off. Time for the finishing blow.
“But I guess that is nothing for such a big girl like yourself. You're warm already, after all.” says you, and turn away, walking down the road towards your car like the massive bell end you just painted yourself as. Shut up, conscience. In the end, it's for her own good.
You suppress the urge to grin as you feel a tug on your arm. Turning around, you see the little girl holding onto your sleeve with one hand, the other balled up into a little tiny fist at her side. Her eyes are fixed downward. She mumbles something, but you don't hear her over the din of the traffic.
“What was that? I didn't get you.” A moment later, she lifts her head and looks at you with those big, sad, teary eyes, and mumbles something again, though this time you can gleam some meaning off it.
“...se mister, would you.....de along?”
You get the meaning alright. You also feel no need to choke a full confession out of this kid, like bastards in comedy shows sometimes do. You just pat her on her head, mussing up her hair even worse than before, if that was possible, and tell her:
“Alright kid, just a sec.”
You walk over to the trunk of your car and open it. It's time to check out what dad gave you along. Just as you suspected, in a corner of the trunk lays one of those mottled gray blankets you and your father used to spread out over the floor when working with greasy motor parts. Luckily, this one seems to be brand new and devoid of any oil stains. You take it out, shut the tailgate with a thud and approach her again. She gives you a questioning look. You can almost not believe it.
“Uh, you're dripping wet. If you don't dry up, you won't get warm.” An understanding 'aah' from her later, you've wrapped her up and are leading her to your car, holding one arm around her little form. She just trudges along. As you peek a look at her, you notice... a faint blush? Oh come on. Nothing to be embarrassed about.
Even you would feel cold in such a getup!
After opening the back door for her and nudging her inside, you move back to the front of the car. Plopping down into the drivers' seat, you slam the door shut. Finally some silence. You shut your eyes, take a deep breath, and release it. Then you turn around. She just sits there, looking as if she had never been in a car before, goggling at the seats, the doors, the roof. At least she seems to make herself somewhat comfortable, sinking into the cushions. Her skin is fair, a bit whiter than you. Her hair is still wet, but a little dryer thanks to the blanket all over her now. Strangely dry, actually. You didn't expect this to work so fast. As she notices the look you're giving her and turns to look at you, you speak up.
“So, little one, first things first: what's your name?”
She blinks. It seems as if she expected you to say something different.
“Daiyousei.” she says.
“Aah, Dey Jose, eh? You're Spanish? Or Mexican?” you misunderstand.
“I'm a fai-” she interrupts herself. Looks at you, then away. “...um, yes, I'm not from around here.” she tells you. “But I'm not... any of those. And my name is Daiyousei! What's yours, anyway?” Her voice is really high.
Of course you noticed her little slip there. But you decide not to press. The drive, wherever it will go, will be long. More than enough time.
You give her a laugh and a smile, followed by your name. “OK, Daijosey. Where are you from then?”
“I'm from... the east. Japan, actually.” Huh. Weird, she has no accent at all. I guess she grew up here and her parents are Japanese.
“Alright, Dai. ...is it OK if I call you Dai?” you ask. She nods. “Alright, lets just get down to business.” Almost instantly, she looks very tense again. You decide to calm her a little “I seriously do not want to put pressure on you but... what is a little girl like you doing out here, all alone in the middle of a snowstorm?” She shies away.
“I am... going somewhere.”
Not getting away like that, little one. “Uh-huh. And where?”
“...you know. That place up the road.” she tells you, still not looking at you.
“Hmm. Mind telling me the name? You can't go to a place you don't know after all”
“The... human... village?” she stammers out.
You sigh. Your eyebrows lower. “Look, forget it. Just forget it, OK? Tell me where your parents are, I'll take you back to them.”
Completely nonchalantly, she tells you “I don't have any.”
Mentally reeling from the rather hard mistake you just made, you try to formulate the next thing to say. She doesn't seem bothered at all though. What did she go through to make her like this?
“...uh, I'm sorry.” you force out.
“Its alright.” she says. She gives you a slight smile.
You gulp. What to do, what to do?
“Well, whe-where do you live, anyway? Where's your home?”
“I live in the forest.” she tells you, like the most natural thing in the world.
“WHAT? You mean, that forest there?” You point outside.
“No, a different one.”
“Where is it?” Maybe she's living in a cottage or something.
“In Japan, of course.”
… right. You know that little kids are bad at lying, and this kid doesn't seem to make any effort right now. On the other side, what she is saying is so completely insane that you cannot help but doubt it. You decide that even if she has lost her parents, there still has to be someone she is living with. Otherwise... she probably wouldn't have survived December, or November for that matter. Time to ask.
“Well, Dai, do you have any... other... relatives around here?” Gotta start somewhere.
She just cocks her head to the side. Right, use smaller words.
“You know, an aunt, an uncle, a brother, a sister?”
On this she pipes up. “Oh yes, I have Cirno!”
Now it's your time to cock your head. You can't place the name into a nationality at all. “...Cirno. Cirno? Hmm... well, fine, I guess. Who's she to you?”
“She's... um... my big sister, you could say.” She smiles a little bit wider at you. You choose to ignore the rather blatant vagueness.
“Good. Where does she live?”
“Together with me in the forest.” Dude, use your brain, would you? She most certainly doesn't do it much, so you have to make up for it.
“I mean, where is she right now? What direction?” As if she just remembered something bad, her smile wavers, then drops from her face. Daiyousei hangs her head, almost propping it up on her chest, and you think you can hear faint sobbing. This does not bode well at all. She seemed so cheerful just a second ago.
“She...” Dai sobs. “She said... 'don't worry, I'll go ahead and get help! I can deal with the cold, after all!'... andthenshejust LEFT ME!” She sobs more and more. Jesus, girl, whats going on? Mood swings much?
“She just walked on! She didn't wait for me! I yelled at her to stop, but she just gave me that stupid grin and kept going! I couldn't keep up! She's bigger than me! She's faster than me! The snow doesn't hurt her! I was all alone and no one was there! I- I- I--...” the rest is broken up by sobs and sniffing.
This can't go on like this. You cannot drive with a weeping girl on the backseat after all. Also, this Cirno girl must be found... and fixed. She's going in the same direction as you? Well fine, then you can probably pick her up along the roadside just like this one. She must be taught what it means to be a proper big sister. But first, Daiyousei. She's crying more and more by the second, and you think she just used your blanket as a blowrag.
What to do, what to do indeed.
-[ ] Wait until she stops by herself. Say little, or nothing.
-[ ] Talk to her; try to calm her down.
-[ ] Put a hand on her shoulder.
-[ ] Hug her.
-[ ] Write-in.
Multiple choice possible.
If you talk, specify the direction.
-[ ] Cirno is bad, I'll fix that.
-[ ] I bet she only tried to help.
-[ ] Write-in.
Also, choose a piece of music to put on the sound system before continuing the drive.
WRITE-INS FOR EVERYTHING ARGH I HAVE NO BRAIN AND I MUST THINK