Note: From the fic_promptly prompt "Fatal Frame, Rei/Miku/Mio, understanding each others' pain."

Comfort in Arms
by Estirose
c 2012

As Rei washed the dishes, she couldn't help but stop and watch Miku and Mio sit together, reading some old book that Kei had left when he'd visited his niece the day before. She had to admit that she liked the arrangement, even though she never thought she'd be clearing out Yuu's room for a new occupant. Miku had tried to help, but it had been Rei that had done most of it, because Yuu had been the love of her life, and it was her responsibility to take care of his things.

She invited Kei to live there with them, but he'd insisted it was Mio that needed the support more than he. Rei wasn't sure why, because he'd gone through the trauma of the Manor of Sleep just as much as she and Miku had, but it was his choice. Rei had to admit that she didn't mind; Mio was pleasant if quiet company, reminding her of Miku a little bit after Yuu picked her up, after her brother had disappeared.

Of the three, she was the only one who had lost someone other than a sibling. She couldn't imagine how it was for Mio, who'd lost her twin sister, and Miku, who'd lost the only person who could really understand her powers, her brother.

All of them were healing from those losses. If there was anything positive about the Manor of Sleep, it had helped all of them start to move on. Yuu had asked her to live, in those shallows between their world and the afterlife. She'd passed the advice on to the two younger women, though it was apparent that they had learned it too, without her prompting.

But sometimes it was still hard on all three of them, and she had spent more than one evening holding Miku on one side and Mio on the other. And they linked their hands behind her back, completing a waving circle of comfort as one or all three grieved what they'd lost.

Still, it wasn't as terrible as it had been, because they were all there for each other. When one of them had nightmares about the Manor, or the Village, or the Mansion, at least one of the others was by their side, willing to talk in the middle of the night about ghosts, or hellgates, or siblings and fiances. There were conversations about creepy dolls and just as creepy children, about helpful ghosts that were still scary, and ghosts that they had wished hadn't attacked them. About how they sometimes wanted to go back even as they knew they couldn't and shouldn't.

Miku had tried to go back once, in her early days. Rei had been out on assignment when Yuu had found the note in Miku's room, saying that she was going back to join Kirie and Mafuyu for eternity. He'd been the one to venture out to Himuro Mansion, where he'd found Miku asleep in the entryway, and ended up carrying her back to the car. She hadn't woken up until they were almost home.

Rei regretted missing that. But now she could follow Yuu's legacy, be gentle, be there for this strange family of loss. Eventually the three of them would drift their own ways, but in the meantime they were together, growing and healing.

Fatal Frame fics