" Hey, are you alright?"

A hand extended to him, after he had fallen.

He stood, dusting off his knees, without her help.

" ... I'm fine."

These were the first words he had spoken to someone at that place.

His mind raced to formulate a winning strategy; this girl seemed extremely soft and off guard, so he could do as he usually did against other humans. Knock down, throat slash, "You won.", a bath, then a bed.

... But that wasn't how things were, anymore.

No one around him was fighting and it put him on edge. He had a razor blade in his pocket, but had seen no cause to raise it. The whole day had just been unfamiliar things thrust in front of his face and people saying unfamiliar words. He had been quiet, trying to observe it all, but it was too alien to process properly. Perhaps they didn't have fights every day; there were times when it was like that. The food had been good, somehow fresher than what he was used to.

It was all too... noncombative.

He didn't know any words for that.

She made a weird face at him. Lips upturned.

" Are you suuuure? You fell down the hill," she said, with a weird tone of voice that he didn't understand. It was vaguely panicky, set him on edge even more.

But he wasn't supposed to fight unless told to fight, but then, that one man had told him not to fight anymore, but then...

" I just tripped," he said. " Over these... things."

He pointed down at his shoes.

" Oh! Your laces came untied? Let me fix them!"

She bent down and he watched her tie them into funny looking knots. Oh. So that was what he was supposed to do with those.

" Dad says to always help people who look like they're in trouble!" she said, making that funny face again. Her expression fell into a more recognizable dismay after a moment.

" What is it?" he asked.

" I just realized... You don't seem happy at all," she said.

" ... What's that?"

Her expression changed again.

She put her hands up to her face, with the upturn of her lips.

" You haven't smiled at all! You gotta smile! And be happy!"

He stared at her.

" ... I don't understand."

She took his hands in hers.

" I'll make you understand, then!" she said, with a great deal of force. It took him aback. Would that constitute a fight?

" What's your name! Mine is! Kirie Honda!"

... Oh, a name. He knew that. The lady in the office had read it off to him a bunch of times, and showed him how it looked on paper.

" ... William Masterson."