"Stand" is the ninety seventh chapter in Ahiru no Sora.
After Yuka’s sudden passing, Sora arrives at Kawasaki city. Upon exiting the subway station, he cheerfully looks at all the locals in Kawasaki and states that he is glad to be back. Tomohisa phone calls Yone to inform her about Sora’s arrival. Yone speaks with him while cutting the hair of her client. The customer is an extremely kind individual, and he holds the phone for Yone while she has a conversation with her son-in-law. Yone informs Tomohisa about Sora’s arrival, and she is a bit surprised and startled that Sora doesn’t seem depressed. Tomohisa replies it looks like there is something important in Kawasaki that Sora decided to return, and then graciously thanks her mother-in-law for taking care of his son. Yone furiously responds that she doesn’t need his appreciation and questions. Do you think that taking care of my grandchild is troublesome? Tomohisa replies that she misunderstood him and further informs her that Sora left his old basketball sneakers at Nagano.
A tired Sora opens the door of his room and exhaustedly lies on his bed, comments that he wanted to stop by his school and meet his fellow teammates. It's 7 o’clock, and he will meet them later. While trying to sleep, Sora senses a unique fragrance scent on his bed and praises the unique aroma. Sora then goes to deep sleep and dreams about meeting Madoka. He notices the woman of her dreams is trying to hug him, and as soon as Madoka is about to kiss him, Sora suddenly wakes up. Sora sees it is morning already and notices some of his hair falling from his forehead. He shockingly screams and questions as to who cut his hair while he was asleep? Sora is confident that person must be his grandmother. Sora furiously heads downstairs and questions Yone that did she cut his hair while he was sleeping? Yone stares at Sora awkwardly. Sora requests her to place his fallen hair back? Yone responds if, as a barber, she can do that, she would be a billionaire. Sora, then questions did anyone sleep in his bed while he was away. Yone responds no one and the only one in the household who would use it will be her. Yone then prepares breakfast for Sora. Upon seeing the variety of dishes, Sora questions did something good happened? Yone responds that he is cheerful this morning and then urges her grandson to finish his breakfast quickly and head to school. Sora replies that it is Sunday.
Afterwards, Sora heads to downtown Kawasaki to visit some stores. Sora is happy to see all his local citizens and cheerfully eats one of the dry fruits’ grapes. The shopkeeper notices him and requests Sora to pay for it. Sora continues to stroll across the city's streets happily, and while en route to school, he stops by the Kanagawa Hospital and stares at one of the room's balcony where his mother was once receiving treatment. Sora becomes a bit depressed and heads to school. Upon arrival, Sora notices the front door of the locker room has been fixed. Sora is amazed and is confident Satsuki-sensei must have managed to arrange the funds for the repairs. Sora excitingly opens the door and notices Kuzuryu High female cheerleading club is using it. Due to his unannounced arrival, the members of the club beat up Sora. Nao sees a bruised-up Sora lying on the ground outside the locker room door. Nao asks for his well-being. Sora questions what is going on. Nao informs Sora about the terrible news of their locker room burning down. Sora becomes stunned to hear the news, and requests her to explain the incident. Nao, Chiaki, Kaname and Sora gather outside their basketball gym’s entrance. They inform Sora that Momoharu and others were involved in the fire incident at the locker room, and currently, they’re suspended.
Nao further explains she, Kaname and Chiaki renovated the locker room. After completion, they tried to convince the school’s staff to reconsider reforming their basketball club. The school teachers refused their offer, and now the locker room is currently being used by the cheerleading club. Sora sighs and responds that it's not an indefinite suspension. Nao and others are shocked by Sora’s response, and she replies that disbanding means that we no longer have a club. Sora replies they’re not banned from playing basketball. A confused Nao tries to explain the situation further. Kaname intervenes and comments there might be some merit to what Sora stated. Nao then tries to call her friends at the music club. Rin, one of the members, answers the phone. Nao tries to confirm that their school didn’t have a music club last year and how they establish it. Rin responded that they went and got an application form from their homeroom teacher. As long as there are at least five members, that particular club will be recognized. Nao questions what about the funds? Did the school provide any? Rin responds upon formation; they had to arrange for their expenses. Nao hangs up the phone and looks at her teammates and comments; we’re only four members. Sora responds, what about Kenji? Chiaki informs him that amongst all of them, Kenji is the one extremely furious about this incident.
While passing by, Kenji overhears their conversation and willingly announces his enrollment. Nao tries to confirm if he is okay. Kenji responds that he has nothing else to do; it’s the only available choice and requests them to promise they’ll reach the next Inter-High Tournament. Sora and the rest of them assure Kenji they will try their best. They all head inside the court to practice. A determined Kenji recalls the dreadful moment of the 1-on-1 showdown against Fuwa and states that he will return the favor of his defeat to Fuwa once their teams meet each other in the upcoming Kanagawa Prefecture tournament. A cheerful Sora unzips his backpack and takes out his new basketball sneakers. A happy Nao looks at him and comments that she is glad Sora seems normal. Sora wears his new sneakers, remembers his mother, and comments from here on out that he will stand on the court by his willpower.
- Hyou Fuwa
- Yone Kurumatani
- Tomohisa Kurumatani
- Sora Kurumatani
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Masayoshi Satsuki
- Nao Nanao
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Kaname Shigeyoshi
- Kenji Natsume
- Yuka Kurumatani (flashback)