Aria listens, patiently, calmly, nodding at intervals. It's healthy to let someone talk, when they need to. But sometimes they leave silences, and those have to be filled. How do you do it? It's not easy, but.... " Mono no aware ," the girl answers. "It's a Japanese thing. One of Leo's mothers taught him. I get the feeling there's a lot to it, but for me..." "Imagine I'd been hurt, protecting Leo. If I was flesh, I'd have a scar." She traces an invisible line along her cheek with an index finger. "It's part of my history now. It shows where I've been. Some people might think, 'oh, poor thing, her face is damaged now'. But not Leo. He'd know where the scar comes from, and he'd love me all the more for it." " Mono no aware means that things break, things don't last, and we should be grateful for them while they're here. It means scars are beautiful in their own way, because it's a badge of survival. And it means loving someone who's broken, and hurting, because love heals." "I forgave Rossum to his face for what he did to me. Doing so let me reject his power over me. I accepted what was done, became stronger for it. I couldn't have done that if I didn't have people who love me. Leo. Otto. Summer." The girl smiles warmly, and openly. "You have people who care about you too, Alycia. I know when it hurts, you want to run, you don't trust people getting too close, the wound is sensitive, it'll hurt if they reach you. I even ran from Leo for a time. He was patient - oh god, he was ever so patient with me. Even if you aren't sure what you want from those people in your life, just go to them and let them work that magic, as fast or as slow as you can take it." "At least, that's what has worked for me. I really hope it does for you."