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Seeing Stars

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Akari's pretty sure that she's never seen stars like this before. In Tokyo, there's enough light everywhere that the stars don't really show up in the sky. They're visible just a little out in the tiny neighborhoods where there's a little more room to breathe and a few less streetlights, but she never looks because there are other things going on there. Still, Nase had asked her here and she couldn't come up with a reason to say no. So they're taking turns looking through the lens of the giant telescope on some campus in Mitaka.

It's amazing just to look up and see the constellations and trace out the patterns in the clear sky around the tower that houses the telescope, but even more so is looking through the lens up at the moon where she can see detail in the craters, or over at Venus where it's so much more than just a dot in the sky. But most amazing of all is afterward when Nase holds her hand as they trek back to the station and they pause in one of those few truly dark spots along the way and Nase kisses her sweetly, softly, soundly and Akari is certain now, after having seen the real things as up-close as she can manage, that a kiss from Nase doesn't leave her seeing stars. But whatever it is that she does see instead makes the stars fade away.