Their last Halloween on earth, Akira and Aya dressed in the long dark robes of witches or academics, and handed out chocolates in the shape of stars. Aya took her son to the roof that night and they watched what stars they could.
"I'm scared," Akira murmured, so softly Aya was not sure she had heard. "The station's so small. I don't think I'm claustrophobic. I don't want to start being."
Aya ran her hands down his hair. Long brown hair, and a face so sharp and unlike hers, people did not realize they were mother and son. She had asked for that. She did not want to smother him. "You won't be. You've never been."
"It's different, with no outside to escape to."
Three years ago, when Akira was seven, they had visited the Moon. He slept beside her then, his childish fears smothered in her blanket. "You got your suit license," she reminded him. "You can go outside."
The towers of Tokyo glittered before them, brighter than the sky. Akira spread his arms, his robe fluttering like the wings of a bird or a hero's cape. "I know." His secret smile lit up. "I've always wanted to fly."