When Yuuichi and Ayu visit this hospital, Sayuri explains that she heard everything from Mai. Yuuichi tells her that the damage to the school building is thought by everyone to be a prank by some ill-natured group. Since Sayuri is talking about thinking of the future instead of the past, Mai reveals that she’ll get out in the spring, but she probably won’t be able to make graduation. When she thanks Yuuichi, he tells her that she was the one who accepted all the painful things without turning away from them. Mai, however, feels that the person who is turning away from the painful things is someone beside Yuuichi, someone who needs his help. Afterwards, Yuuichi apologizes to Ayu for bringing her along, and although she’s ok with it, she does mention that she doesn’t like it here. By chance, the pair run into Shiori and she and Ayu get a chance to formally introduce themselves to each other. A doctor interrupts them to take Shiori to her mother, and she seems to recognize Ayu, but apologizes and dismisses it as nothing.
The next morning, Kaori wakes up and goes down to breakfast, but when her mother notices that she’s not looking too well, Kaori excuses herself from the table. Her mother tries to ask her to talk to Shiori a bit more, but Kaori ignores the suggestion. Over at the Minase household, Akiko is still sleeping, so Ayu prepares a burnt breakfast for Yuuichi. He ends up going to school without eating, but he doesn’t get very far before Ayu comes running in a panic. She claims that Akiko is becoming like her own mother, but when Yuuichi goes back home, he finds Akiko with just a fever. Since Ayu wants to take care of Akiko today, Yuuichi leaves her there and goes to school. Both Nayuki and Yuuichi are worried, so they call back home during a break between classes. Ayu has realized that there’s no medicine and is looking for a place to buy some, so Nayuki tells her where. After they hang up the phone, Yuuichi explains that Ayu is over-reacting a bit because she doesn’t have a mother. Nayuki realizes this means that when Ayu was talking about her parents being away on travel, she was just talking about her father.
The two of them call home again later and find out that Ayu got the medicine, but since it requires you eat something first, Nayuki instructs Ayu on how to make zousui. When Nayuki calls home a third time, Yuuichi feels that he can’t do much, so he goes out for a walk with Shiori and fills her in on what’s going on. Since tomorrow is Sunday, he asks her out just like he had mentioned previously. When he returns home, Yuuichi is greeted at the door by Piro and finds the kitchen a mess. A tired Ayu is actually sleeping on Akiko’s lap upstairs in her room, and it’s in that comfort that she’s calling out to her mother in her dreams. The next day, Yuuichi takes Shiori to a game center to play whack-a-mole
, though she manages somehow to score no points. They then go to the place where he and Ayu first met her, which Shiori explains is a precious memory to her. Yuuichi feels that it wasn’t long ago enough to call a memory, but Shiori thinks that memories have nothing to do with time; what matters is how important that memory was to the person.
The two then get into a snowball fight and have a lot of fun throwing them and building snowmen. Shiori also draws a sketch of Yuuichi, but after seeing it, he comments that she isn’t suited to draw portraits. Nevertheless, Yuuichi wants to keep it, and that makes Shiori very happy. Since he says that he’ll stay with her today as long as he can, she asks him to take her to school. There, they head to her classroom and she shows him her old seat. Shiori then reveals that she collapsed on the first day of the first semester, but Yuuichi already knew that from her classmate. Shiori is surprised to hear this, but continues on, explaining that the doctor didn’t want her to go, but she was determined to fulfill her dream of going to the same school as her sister. With Yuuichi confirming that it wasn’t just a cold, Shiori explains that she’s had a weak body since she was born, so she can’t come to daily lessons. For lying to him about that, she apologizes. Later that night, Yuuichi returns home and finds Nayuki cooking. Before he can do anything else, he answers the ringing phone. The voice on the other end belongs to Kaori, and she asks to meet him at school.
With snow gently falling down all around, Yuuichi finds Kaori standing in a patch of darkness by the school building. He’s figured out that this is about Shiori, and Kaori eventually admits that Shiori is her younger sister who’s been weak ever since she was born. She remembers that Shiori was looking forward to attending the same school, eating lunch with her, and going home together – for a long time, it’s been Shiori’s dream to do those things that everyone else does. Kaori then reveals that Shiori’s birthday is in one week, but this next birthday is the one she’s not supposed to be able to live until because she’s going to die soon. Kaori tried not to look at Shiori getting weaker because she knew that soon Shiori would be gone. That’s why she avoided Shiori and said that she had no sister. In fact, if it meant this much pain, she wishes that she never had a sister from the very beginning. Bawling by this point, Kaori runs to Yuuichi and asks him what Shiori was born for.
I thought this would be a transitional episode, but it felt like it died right into Shiori’s story. Maybe it was because Kaori was already crying by the end of it. It makes me again wonder how long this arc will last and how much time will be given to Ayu and Nayuki. Speaking of Ayu, they seemed to drop more hints about her past with the hospital, the doctor, and the talk of her mother.
I did find it amusing that Yuuichi is becoming wary of the supernatural stuff, as shown by his kitsune comment when Shiori wanted to go to the arcade. Shiori seems to be the most normal of the girls so far, but I suspect that could change at any moment. Incidentally, the song played during the date scene was Last regrets – X’mas Floor Style.