"Beat!" she protested, knowing full well who it was, that only her brother could be this huge, this ox-like, and this loving all at once. "Put me down!"
"Never!" Beat laughed, spinning her around. "I ain't letting you go again, not ever!"
He did set her down, though, after performing a full spin with her in his arms. He stepped back a little to give her some breathing room, but didn't actually release her, as if afraid that if he let her go, she would vanish once again.
"You big silly," Rhyme said, smiling up at him. "What happened? I just remember a shark...and I pushed you out of the way...and..."
"'s not important," Beat said. "All that really matters is that you're back, Rhyme!'
He picked her up again and impulsively gave her a sloppy kiss on the cheek. It was casual, not a big deal, something he'd done a hundred times, but this time, Rhyme's face lit up red like a christmas tree, and her breath caught.
"Hey, hey, you alright?" he asked as he noticed her reaction. "You ain't sick or nothing, are you?"
"I'm fine, Beat," Rhyme said, pushing him away lightly. She loved her brother, but he always clung on a little longer than he should.
"You sure? Your face is all red, it could be--"
"I'm fine," she insisted. Then she hopped up on her tip-toes quickly and gave him a peck on the cheek as well. "But thank you for worrying."
Of course, she wasn't perfectly fine. There was something a bit wrong with her still. But she couldn't very well go telling her brother, of all people, that when she couldn't remember who he was, she'd thought he had a cute butt.