Her hands are cold, but if he holds them for long enough, he can pretend the warmth he gives them is her own.
"ARE YOU ALRIGHT, KIRITO?"
The question is just as frigid as her skin. It's pre-programmed, something she says when he hasn't spoken for a while. His grip tightens and he inhales before responding, "I am. Don't worry about me."
It's what he says every time she asks, and her reply is always exactly the same. "I CAN'T HELP IT."
She was always fretting over him. He remembers it so clearly.
"Are you eating enough? You need to eat! And I don't mean those microwave meals! I'm going to cook you a dinner so big, you won't even be able to finish it!"
Thinking back on it, he chuckles, quiet and somber. "I'll finish it next time, just you watch."
To this day, he hasn't done it once. Not yet. He hasn't stopped slouching, or drinking so much soda, or any of the other dozen bad habits he has. There's always the future, though. He reminds himself of this whenever these memories