Hiromi and Jun are riding along a snow-lined road on Jun’s motorcycle when a rabbit suddenly darts across the road. Swerving to avoid it, Jun ends up crashing into the snow bank. Both he and Hiromi are thrown into the snow and are relatively unhurt, but the motorcycle catches on fire, and Jun comments on how he’s still paying the loan for it. After he tells Hiromi that the gasoline won’t explode like it does in the movies, he asks her if she has fare for a taxi, and although she does, they both know that it’ll be hard to find a taxi. Coincidentally, a taxi arrives on the scene moments later, and Shinichirou and Noe emerge from it. Unlike Noe who rushes to her brother’s side, Shinichirou approaches Hiromi a lot more slowly, and after she tells him that she’s not hurt, he shocks everyone by hugging her. He is just glad that she’s okay, and all of this causes Hiromi to apologize and to start crying. When the taxi brings them back home, they find that the police are already there, and Shinichirou’s father runs out to meet them.
Shinichirou’s mother immediately grabs Hiromi and pulls her inside, and though Shinichirou’s instinct is to protect Hiromi, his father stops him because he thinks that it’s better for women to deal with other women. Shinichirou objects because he knows his mother has been acting weird, but when he raises the topic of Hiromi being his sister, his father slaps him to calm him down and asserts that that’s not possible. Inside Hiromi’s room, Shinichirou’s mother insists on helping her change clothes, and as she does so, she also tells Hiromi that it’s impossible, though she’s not clear about what she’s referring to. Hiromi doesn’t get to ask her about it because Shinichirou comes looking for her and his mother. By claiming that she’s tired and by starting to take off her clothes, Hiromi gets him to leave, but afterwards, she doesn’t continue to speak with Shinichirou’s mother and instead just momentarily makes eye contact with her before continuing to change clothes. Shinichirou meanwhile thinks about the rest of Raigomaru’s story and feels that he personally isn’t able to fly after all.
At school the next day, rumors swirl about what happened, and the faculty decides to suspend Hiromi. The teachers won’t let Hiromi practice basketball today even though the suspension doesn’t start till tomorrow, so Tomoyo decides to take time off too, but Hiromi is already gone by the time Tomoyo tries looking for her. Nobuse meanwhile asks Shinichirou about what happened and starts to say something, but decides against it. When two other boys also come to ask Shinichirou about what happened, Nobuse scares them off because he sees Shinichirou as his best friend. Later that afternoon, a still dazed Noe goes out to where Shinichirou spelled out with rocks that he liked her, but the snow has long since covered that, and she cuts her finger while trying to dig through it. The following day, when Shinichirou leaves for school, Hiromi stays in bed and cries to herself. Shinichirou ends up getting into a fight at school with one of the guys from yesterday, and it’s only after Noe shows up and stands over both of them disapprovingly that they stop.
After getting a band-aid for his scrapes, Shinichirou finds Noe at the chicken coop and learns that Jun’s been suspended for an entire week. On the topic of the fight that Shinichirou was just in, Noe asks if it was for Hiromi’s sake, and Shinichirou admits that it was. Meanwhile, Shinichirou’s parents bring Hiromi to school to talk with the principal, and Shinichirou’s mother declares that Hiromi is their child and that she’s raising her responsibly. Meanwhile, Shinichirou shows Noe the rest of his picture book, and the two talk about Raigomaru having hard time flying. Shinichirou thinks that Raigomaru was afraid of realizing that he was just a chicken and had known that he couldn’t fly from the very beginning. Noe suggests that this applies to Shinichirou as well, and she proceeds to touch him on the nose where his band-aid is. He grimaces in pain the first time, but upon seeing her face, he lets her do it again. After holding her finger there for a moment, Noe tells Shinichirou that he can fly – he just doesn’t know it. However, she also feels that the place where he flies is not here. Noe then runs off by herself, and Shinichirou doesn’t chase after her.
When Shinichirou returns home, he finds Hiromi working at the computer, and she tells him about coming back from school with his parents. He’s surprised to hear that she bought ice cream with his mother and that she calls herself foolish. As it turns out, Shinichirou’s mother had earlier revealed to Hiromi that what she said about Hiromi being her husband’s child was a lie. She had apologized and conceded that she had treated Hiromi harshly, and she knew that it was wishful thinking to ask Hiromi to forget everything that had happened up to that point. The two had then made a connection via the music CDs on Hiromi’s desk, and Hiromi now feels better about her relationship with Shinichirou’s mother and is listening to music as she works. Unbeknownst to them, Noe is meanwhile buried under the sheets on her bed while feeling down.
So it turns out that Hiromi taking off her clothes in the preview from last week was indeed a red herring, and what Shinichirou’s mother said was indeed a lie after all. Thus, neither of those came as huge surprises, though the siblings thing got debunked a little earlier than I expected. Because of that, I see two possible paths right now: the first one being that Shinichirou ends up with Hiromi but succeeds in helping Noe get her tears back. The other one is that Hiromi and Shinichirou might get a little closer, but the series will ultimately have enough time to swing back to him and Noe. It could go either way, however the more I think about it, the more I feel that Noe has a slight edge (mainly because she started the series off feeling like the “destined” girl to me). With four more episodes left, a lot can still happen – especially in a plot twist heavy series like this. The only one I’m really counting out at this point is Aiko who I still think will end up with Nobuse. The preview shows her meeting with him, so maybe something will finally get going there.
On a semi-unrelated note, I found this true tears/300 parody really funny.