Fandom: Ib
Idea: Ib and Garry after the events of the museum. I recently saw Ib (er, saw it played by Markiplier on the tooob of u) and fell in love with the adorableness that is big-brother Garry and Ib. I'm thinking I'll do a few ficlets of these two just being adorbs but we'll see!

~.~.~.~.~

“Garry!”

Standing upright from where he had been leaning against the gate to the school Garry turned, a hand half-raised in greeting. Ib was running towards him, either unaware or uncaring of the looks the other students gave as she rushed to his side. “Hey, no need to run and hurt yourself.”

The brown-haired girl stopped once she was in front of him, pausing to catch her breath before looking up with a beaming smile. “I just didn't except you to actually come!”

Garry laughed. “Well, your parents said it was okay, so, why not?” Ib reached out and his hand grasped hers without thinking, the pair turning away from the building. “How were classes?”

“Oh, well, okay I guess.” Ib was in the school's uniform, the same red skirt and white blouse with the matching tie as when he'd first met her at the museum. It was accompanied by a matching blazer, her hair pulled out from underneath it, the long strands blown lightly with the breeze. “It just gets boring. The work is too easy.”

“Well, that's because you're smart. That doesn't mean you should slack off.”

“Hey, didn't you drop out of college?”

I got lucky,” Garry said, giving her a stern look. He couldn't keep it up when she met it with wide, serious eyes, his own silver-blue orbs turning back to the street. “I happened to be good enough at what I do to get snatched up right away and I love my work. Not everyone gets a chance like that.”

“Oh...”

The pair walked in silence, Ib holding his hand calmly. She was unlike any other children that Garry had come into contact with. His second-cousins were all either rough and tumble or bounding energy and exhausted him just being around. Ib just walked, not swinging their joined hands or bounding, seemingly content just to be near.

The cafe, when they arrived, hadn't yet filled up with the afternoon crowd so Garry let Ib pick a seat, the girl going with a two-seater more in the middle of the cafe by the window. It wasn't long before their orders were made and then brought out for them; a mug of white coffee and piece of pound cake for Garry and milk and a slice of strawberries and cream cake for Ib.

Shifting against his coat draped over the back of his chair Garry sipped at his coffee, eyes drifting to the window. There were people walking here and there, early spring breeze musing hair and spreading the scent of early blooming flowers. The older male felt himself relaxing, setting his coffee down with a quiet sigh.”It's sort of like looking at a picture through a frame,” he said quietly, almost unable to help himself.

“Garry?”

Pale gaze flickering across the table he found Ib taking a bite of cake, her own amber eyes turned to the window. “Hm?”

She waited until the bite was chewed and swallowed, not taking her gaze away from the glass until she set her fork down. Even then it was to look down at her plate, teeth worrying at her lower lip for a moment before speaking. “Do you ever think about it? That day?”

Garry sighed, this time without the relaxed air. “It'd be hard not to, once I remembered,” he murmured, fingers tapping against the table top. That day when he had gone to the museum on a whim for inspiration, Garry hadn't expected to not only to be transported to two nightmareish world, nor to create a bond with a girl he would have never looked at twice in the making. “It's – something like that is life-changing, you know? You can't just shrug it off.”

Ib nodded, eyes especially wide. “I think about it, too,” she said, voice quiet, almost whispered like a secret. “I tried to tell my parents but they think I made it up and so would my teachers and the other kids in my class won't understand but I have these nightmares and-” Her voice caught, auburn eyes suddenly blinking and welling with dampness. “I keep thinking about if I lost you, or if Mary came through, or if w-we didn't re-re-re-”

He was up and crouching at her side in an instant, drawing out her own hankerchif from where he knew she kept it in her blazer. “Ib, no.” His voice was quiet, firm. “I'm here. You're here. We made it out together and are stronger than ever for it.” She's so young. I always forget with how serious she is that she's just a kid. “You'll never have to go through something like that again.”

Ib's breath hitched, hicupping as her shoulders trembled. “But-”

“Ib.” Bringing the cloth up to her face Garry dabbed at the corner of her eyes, giving her his warmest, softest smile. “It's okay to be scared and to worry. But not about this. I'll be here to protect you.”

The girl sniffed, those wide, trusting eyes on him. “Promise?”

Holding up the hand that wasn't wiping her tears Garry held the side of his fist towards her, pinky out. “I pinky promise.”

For a moment Ib stared at the digit, sniffing. Then her hand came up just as a slow, watery smile touched her lips, curling her pinky around his own and shaking before leaping out of her seat to throw small arms around Garry's neck. Garry wobbled, nearly falling backwards at the sudden move, croaking in surprise. “Ib-?”

“Thank you.” The words were quiet, muffled somewhere in his shirt where her face was pressed. “For being there for me. Thank you.

Garry swallowed around a lump in his own throat, hands slowly coming around to hold her in a light embrace. “Always,” he said quietly. “You'll always be able to count on me.”

The two drew back, stared and laughed, Garry's quiet and sheepish and Ib's a light giggle, her eyes closing as a hand scrubbed at her damp cheeks. Handing back her handkerchief they both took their seats, eating and chatting and drinking as the cafe filled up. When the finished Garry paid the bill and the two were off again, hand in hand, making their way towards a brighter future.