Refrain takes time when Riki has already solved everyone's problem/route and once again back to the time cycle of the first semester after he failed to save Rin in his last time cycle, resetting everything in his and Rin's mind. The beginning of Refrain starts with Riki having a nightmare in which he sees a bus crash accident in the middle of the forest, twisted metal, broken trees, torn earth. Corpses, blood, smoke, fire. When he wakes up, his roommate Masato is eager to start a battle. Riki follows Masato and then finds him having a fight with Kengo in the cafeteria. Riki goes in to stop them by interposing his body. He tries to establish an uncannily similar set of rules for Masato and Kengo to follow but does not have the clout to get their agreement. Ultimately he is pushed aside and forced to look for Kyousuke, the leader of their little gang, but he does not find him. At the end Riki can't do anything to stop their fight.
After the fight Riki goes to find Rin and escorts her to an elementary school. For some unknown reason Rin is mentally traumatized and cannot interact with anyone but children and Riki. Even childhood friends like Kengo and Masato scare her. When asked, she says something about the effect of big men being scary, since they seem liable to seize her. This reference Riki asks if that has happened before. She denies it, but is still not able to shake the fear. She regains some kind of childlike innocence when playing with, and talking about her friends in elementary school, so Riki hopes it will act as a kind of therapy, to help her come back to her normal school.
After sending her to school, he confronts Kyousuke in his classroom in an attempt to find out what exactly caused Rin's trauma. Kyousuke reveals nothing and pretends to be absorbed in a manga. The next day at school Riki goes to the cafeteria to find that Kengo has one of his arms in a sling. Apparently he was injured during his bout with Masato. Now unable to participate in his Kendo Club activities, particularly an upcoming tournament, Kengo urges that the three of them find something fun to do together. Thus for the next few days the boys goof around doing random activities.
Meanwhile Riki is still taking care of Rin. She used to play with many cats, but now the only cat who will follow her is Lennon. One day they find a stray baseball and Rin begins playing fetch with Lennon. Riki notices her having uncharacteristic fun and thus starts playing catch ball with her as well. They have a fun time together, and from this small seed of comfort Riki starts bringing Rin back to school. The next day Riki meets Kengo and Masato and proposes that all four of them play catch ball together. Masato agrees, and Kengo skeptically agrees after some persuasion. Rin is still uncomfortable around Masato and Kengo but happily plays catch ball with everyone that afternoon.
The next day he goes to the former baseball club's equipment room and picks up a bat, considering advancing this catch ball to the next stage: Baseball. Kengo finds him there and asks him what he plans to do. Riki blithely speaks of his baseball hopes, and Kengo responds grimly that if that's the case, he is quitting here. Confused, Riki goes to meet Masato and Rin on the grounds after school. He asks Masato about what happened with Kengo. Masato tells Riki that he has come far enough, then quits as well. Riki is left alone with Rin. He asks Rin now if she remembers anything that may be connected to this. She uncertainly remembers something, but tells him it is a secret. Thoroughly deflected, he adjusts his line of questioning to the origins of the Little Busters. Rin explains that at first it was just her and Kyousuke. Masato was the first one they recruited. He used to be a wild troublemaker who was always in fistfights. Kyousuke somehow defeated him and from there they became friends. Riki does not gain much from this. but he does not give up. That night he asks Masato to help them form the Little Busters again. Still Masato refuses and leaves Riki with an ominous warning: "From now on I will aim to be the strongest. Riki, don't get close unless you want to get hurt."
The next day Riki and Rin find Masato in the classroom with a sickly air; his head cast down and hair shrouding his eyes. Rin tries to touch him to get his attention but Masato slaps away her hand. At the lunch time cafeteria, Riki and Rin find that a random third year boy has been knocked out, supposedly by Masato. The incidents pile up throughout the day. They hear that Masato is on a rampage, knocking out other male students all around the school, seemingly at random. Riki resolves to stop him. Rin suggests that they fight Masato, but Riki tries to think of some other way. He tells the teachers that he volunteers to stop Masato, then proceeds to build an elaborate trap in the courtyard. The contraption is disguised as the sort of punching strength machine one might find at an arcade. Riki and Rin wait until the evening to confront Masato.
Signs to the effect of "The strongest one must prove themselves here" lead Masato to the trap. He unleashes a fierce punch only to be deflected backward towards a nearby giant bronze statue, lathered in an absurdly powerful adhesive. His entire right side is stuck. Riki tries to approach him to tell him he's defeated but Masato's left arm is still mobile. Riki backs off and asks Masato what is wrong with him. Masato answers in a booming howl, that the one who is twisted is this world.
At an impasse, Riki regroups with Rin to think of his next move. He returns to the trap to find that the statue is no longer there, leaving only marks of having been ripped right out of the ground. With his flashlight, Riki finds skid marks where Masato must have been dragging the statue along. He stalks the trail only to be ambushed by a high velocity ball. Riki and Rin flee the barrage then extinguish their lights to prevent being traced. A long game of cat and mouse follows, with Masato sometimes lifting the statue entirely off the ground to move around without leaving a trail. After a number of close encounters Masato grows ever angrier that Riki keeps running. Finally Riki formulates another plan. He sends Rin to the school's second floor hallway with a net, then baits Masato over with promises that he won't run anymore. The net tangles Masato, but in an epic feat of strength he tears himself apart from the statue and rends through the net.
Riki is left with no choice but to lock fists with Masato. Despite his superhuman strength and constitution, Masato is drained from hours of wandering around the courtyard with hundreds of pounds of bronze and stone attached to him. Still, he still has plenty of fight left in him and is close to knocking out Riki a number of times.
Suddenly Rin appears and flies down from the second story with an Inazuma Kick. Masato, reeling from the blow, takes a flurry of clean hits from Riki. Still he refuses to fall. Even with arms too heavy to swing, Masato stands stalwart like the statue he carried. Riki realizes that Masato is already losing consciousness, but simply won't allow himself to fall.
The scenario continues with Masato narrating from the night he refused to reform the Little Busters with Riki. Warning Riki that he'll aim for the top, he leaves the room to find someplace to stay for the night. He settles for a gym storage room, not minding the cold. While falling asleep, Masato recalls his childhood without the Little Busters. Even when very young, Masato was considered an idiot. He was bullied and abused constantly for this, and though it was not any fun at all, he did not know what to do about it. Until one day he fought some kids for talking nonsense. That stopped the torment. Impressed with the connection, Masato decided to become stronger until no one would tease him anymore. In a vicious of cycle of training and fighting, eventually Masato forgot why exactly he needed strength. He became stronger to fight, and fought to prove that he was the strongest. He forgot why but knew there was some need for him to be the strongest. Such was Masato's life before the Little Busters.
- When Masato leaves the shed the next morning he finds his surroundings populated with students that look exactly like him. He is sure that he is the only true Masato Inohara, so he is greatly confused by the students who look exactly like himself. Masato tries to bear it but is mentally overwhelmed by the hordes of Masatos he sees when he goes to the cafeteria for breakfast. In order to not see these ridiculous imposters, Masato decides to cast his eyes down and let his hair curtain them. At class someone tries to talk to him, but Masato beholds only another imposter. Slowly doubt grips him, as he starts to wonder if he is really the real Masato.
- Masato then realizes a simple solution to this quandary, one that always kept him standing through dark times. Masato is the strongest. Therefore anyone weaker than him cannot be Masato. As long as he is the strongest, he is Masato. With this conviction, he begins wandering the school. Confident in his strength, Masato does not seek opponents, but imposters keep confronting him. Curiously enough, they are all remarkably weak. Finally a sign beckoning for the strongest leads him to an imposter that manages to adhere half his body to a giant bronze statue. The subsequent battle shows the man to be nothing like the straightforward, fist-to-fist Masato Inohara. Still, he is the greatest challenge to Masato's identity so far. And there is something nostalgic about the way he fights. On the verge of defeat, Masato remembers.
- The time when Masato's aimless quest for strength gained a purpose - The time when Kyousuke came to defeat him. Young Kyousuke was a scrawny lad, at least in Masato's eyes, so Masato was sure he would be no challenge. But Kyousuke was always a strong person, and gave Masato a fight that put the current one to shame. When Masato tried to maneuver he was peppered by fireworks buried in the ground like land mines. When he tried to track Kyousuke he was befuddled by smoke bombs. When he finally thought he landed a clean hit, he ended up trapping his fist in a great wooden post. Still, Masato wasn't the strongest for nothing, and eventually brought it to a fist fight. Kyousuke's advantage was decisive, though, and eventually Masato couldn't fight any longer. Yet he remained standing. Kyousuke asked his name. Masato gave his; so did Kyousuke. Then, with a compassion born only from the friendship of fists, Kyousuke told him that they would now be friends and he would never have to fight again, so he could rest now. Something resonated deep inside Masato. He smiled, then sat down, satisfied.
- Now he faces not an imposter, but Naoe Riki and Natsume Rin. The same Riki who Masato watched over for so long now speaks of friendship.
- Riki and Rin managed to bring Masato back to the Little Busters. Their objective now is to bring back Kengo. For that Riki asks Rin and Masato how Kyousuke managed to recruit Kengo back when they were kids. They answer that they challenged Kengo's doujo. After many times they managed to defeat the doujo's master.
- With that piece of info the group visit Kengo's mother and finds out the master of the doujo is Kengo's father, who is not present at the moment. The mother does not know anything about the incident, so next they decide to visit Kyousuke. When they reach his room they find out from dorm neighbors that Kyousuke has been living like a hikkikomori. They enter to find a room wreathed in a haunting, black air. Kyousuke is nowhere to be seen, until he announces his presence from seemingly out of nowhere. His voice is weak and his face ghostlike, but he appears sane enough to recognize Riki and Masato. With no leads, the Little Busters are ejected by Kyousuke's pleas to let him rest.
- On the way out they run into Kengo in the hallway. Wondering if Kengo is afflicted similarly to how Masato was, the Little Busters surround and examine him, searching for anything wrong. Kengo, confused and annoyed, releases a fearsome kiai that interrupts their investigations. The encounter reset to an actual conversation and Riki asks Kengo why the first three Little Busters defeated his father. Kengo, however, dodges the question. When Riki persists in trying to learn about that time, Kengo tells him that he should discard that goal. While he continues with that goal he would not rejoin the Little Busters.
- The Little Busters regroup in Riki's room, where he zones out and wracks his brain, trying to figure out what is going on. Rin stirs him from his reverie, to remind him that his friends are right there. Riki comes back to his senses and asks Rin and Masato for help. All Masato suggests is to let friendship blossom in the hot passion of fists colliding.
- Later that night Riki visits Kyousuke again, alone. Kyousuke materializes out of the darkness, asking if something is wrong. Riki simply replies that too much is going wrong. In that moment, Riki is engulfed with a desire to give up, to run to Kyousuke's reliable arms and have him reassure Riki that everything is alright. But Riki knows that there are wrongs in the world, that there is further to go, that he cannot stop until everything is right again. He reminds Kyousuke to eat well and turns to go, when Kyousuke mentions that Kengo tells a lie.
- The next morning at breakfast the Little Busters dissect this advice and brainstorm. Rin is certain that Kengo stole Lennon, or even all the cats, and is planning to build a cat kingdom with himself as king. With that allegation, they visit Kengo and investigate his room. With no cat kingdom, Kengo appears innocent, and quickly learns from the guileless Rin what Kyousuke told them. Kengo tells them that Kyousuke may instead be fooling them. With still no leads, they go to class, where Riki notices that Kengo appears to have full use of both his arms, though one is still in a sling from the fight with Masato. Thus Riki concocts a preposterous plan to confirm his suspicions. They set it into motion later that day.
- As Kengo is making his way down the hallway, he notices Rin scream, "The wall! Lawrence!" She is pointing to some sort of amorphous bundle on the floor. Nearby what appears to be a wall is slowly closing in on the shape, presumably Lawrence, a cat Rin used to own. Kengo dashes in and secures this Lawrence, but the wall rushes forward, forcing him to unleash his other arm to halt it.
- With evidence in hand, Riki reveals himself and asks Kengo why he was pretending to be injured. Kengo finally offers to tell him, if he stops the wish to rebuild the Little Busters. Riki does not understand, so Kengo spells it out for him, stating that the end he is searching for would be total darkness and does not want it to happen and end there. Still Riki asks what he means. Kengo finally replies that Riki does not need to know, but how to protect the here and now. Therefore he would need to disband the Little Busters.
- Once again fatigue washes over Riki. He wants to give in, to be protected by the reliable, invincible Kengo. But Riki refuses. Kengo replies sadly that this is where they part then. With all his cards played, Riki consults Masato and Rin once more. They both feel that all that is left to do is defeat Kengo in baseball.
- Kengo's session begins in Rin's second playthrough, at his conversation with Riki, the night before their match with Kyousuke. Riki tells him that they are out of time, that Rin will leave tomorrow. Kengo reassures him that they have all the time in the world. Events proceed to the homerun contest in the rain. Kengo encourages Riki, who launches the perfect pitch. Kengo's concentration is peaked, and in his hyper awareness he notices someone out of the corner of his eye: Miyuki Koshiki, her beautiful eye-patched visage and sweeping black hair unmistakable. In that moment the baseball plunges into the fence behind him.
- But he's helpless in the face of Kyousuke's ruthless plan. After the event, Riki and Rin escaped and eventually time has restarted once again and the game returns to the beginning of Refrain. He fights Masato like always in the first day. He is impressed that Masato never got tired doing all of this over and over. Suddenly, Riki steps in and try to stop the fight and causes Kengo's shinai to hit him. Kengo is impressed by his improved guts to stop him and Masato although he ends up looking for Kyousuke to back him up. After pretending to be defeated by Masato, Kengo visits Kyousuke, condemning him for his heartless, mistaken ways. He tells Kyousuke that he will do whatever he wants, in order to turn things back to what they used to be. Doing what he wants manifests in asking Riki and Masato to come up with something fun to do, producing the first activity: climbing across the school wall via window ledges. The idiotic pursuit results in Masato falling from a ledge, but he ends up fine. That evening Kengo listens to Riki's thoughts. Riki wants to do something to help the withdrawn Kyousuke and traumatized Rin. He wants to reunite the Little Busters. Kengo just wants to have fun, but can't help seeing the shadow of Kyousuke in Riki.
- Later he plays catch ball with Riki, Rin, and Masato. Watching Riki, he knows what this will gravitate towards. He follows Riki to the baseball room, confirms his suspicions, and tells Riki that he is quitting here. Then, fervent for answers, Kengo rushes to Kyousuke's room and asks Kyousuke what he started. Kyousuke states that everything that happened did through Riki's own will. Kengo does not believe him, saying that Riki and Rin will just drown in darkness again. In response he gets that they have grown significantly. Kengo tries to argue but he can't deny that Riki is no longer the meek, dependant crybaby he once was. He watches from the school hallway at night as Riki and Rin engage in an epic struggle with Masato, finally defeating him. He deflects their advances, warning them of where they are headed. He is cornered by their silly play and forced to reveal his hand, but he still can't reveal the truth. Finally Riki challenges him to a one on one baseball duel.
- Still disturbed by how closely Riki is mimicking Kyousuke, Kengo visits Kyousuke and delivers one last ultimatum - If he defeats Riki in this game, Kyousuke has to come back outside and stop his plan.
- Leaving those words behind, Kengo takes to the diamond. The contest is simple: First to three home runs wins. Masato is the catcher. Kengo and Riki will take turns batting and pitching. Kengo easily hits a homerun from Riki's first pitch. Then, to Kengo's surprise, Riki hits his first pitch clean out the park. Soon the match is tied two to two. It's Riki's turn to pitch. Suddenly, Rin announces that it's time to switch pitchers. Somehow Rin manages to persuade Riki who manages to persuade Kengo.
- With Rin on the mound, Kengo faces a graver challenge at the bat. His next two swings hit foul balls. Agitated by Rin's entrance and her ace pitching, Kengo calls time to reform his thoughts. It comes to no avail though, as Rin's third pitch blazes past him. Strike. Batter out.
- Kengo is overwhelmed with memories. Before he joined the Little Busters all he knew was kendou. As the heir to the doujou and a genius to boot, his family demanded that he spend any and all free time with shinai in hand. No matter how skilled he was, such a one dimensional life was all too colorless. Until the Little Busters defeated his father. Afterwards Kyousuke introduced himself and told Kengo that, as they have defeated his father, there is no one to stop him anymore.
- Back in the batter's box, Kengo is kneeling. Tears are trickling from his eyes. Riki asks him if he wants to continue. Kengo nods, asking for a short moment to rest. With Rin, Masato, and Kengo by Riki's side, all that's left is to rescue Kyousuke. They head to his room.
- We follow Kyousuke from the beginning of Common route. Kyousuke finds a stray baseball in the outdoor hallway, then proceeds to make a grand speech in the cafeteria connecting self-identity with baseball. In it he laments the normal state of affairs, describing people as merely being tossed by the flow of life, void of self, hollow like dolls.
- More scenes from Common route: Masato thinks they need more members so much he says it twice, so Kyousuke deploys Rin on recruitment missions where she invariably ends up fighting Sasasegawa Sasami instead of recruiting. Kyousuke uses Lennon, an extension of himself in this world, to covertly send Rin on missions to encourage her growth. The Little Busters go to the grounds for the first time, where Kyousuke declares Riki and Rin as the team's aces. After the game, Kyousuke answers approvingly when Riki announces that he's started dating Rin. Kyousuke begins his plan to send Rin away. Riki confronts him but is far from the truth. They see Rin off. Kyousuke desperately wants Rin to smile, but she's silent and expressionless. Kyousuke bars Riki's way as he attempts to rescue Rin. Then Kengo and Riki challenge him to a match. In the thunderstorm he shows Kengo a hallucination of Miyuki Koshiki, the girl he failed to save. No matter how artless his methods, Kyousuke thought they would be justified if only Riki and Rin grew in the process.
- Now in Refrain he sees the product of his unrefined hand in Rin's trauma and is consumed with regret. Loath to wound her further, he withdraws into his room where he finds a loophole out of this world. Kyousuke slips through the borders and finds total darkness. Shades of trees canopy him, and light has difficulty reaching his eyes. His enfeebled body can only crawl on a ground oozing death. He returns to find Riki with Rin and Masato, seeing if there's anything wrong. Impressed, he nevertheless sends Riki away, knowing the last thing he can do is not in this world but that of darkness. Returning to that world, he continues crawling, searching for the source, the origin of disaster.
- Riki visits him alone. He looks visibly distraught, and Kyousuke wants only to comfort him. But Riki is stronger now, and after a moment tells him only to eat well. Kyousuke sees him off with the clue that Kengo is lying. Back in the world of calamity, he begins to doubt that his impotent body can ever reach his goal. Still he presses on, tormenting his body until he finds the origin. Only here can he cast but the slightest light in the dark. Finally Kengo visits, announcing that he will defeat Riki in the coming baseball match. Kyousuke returns to the other world and tries to plug the pipe. With every ounce of strength left, Kyousuke rips off his shirt to stuff into the pipe, but it falls with nothing to secure it against the flow. He desperately searches for something to affix it. Finally Kyousuke, growing weaker, presses his own body into the pipe, damming the flow with his shirt and back.
- Back in his dorm, Kyousuke awakens to find Riki there, with Rin, Masato, and Kengo behind him. Riki offers a hand and asks Kyousuke to join them. Kyousuke is overjoyed. Riki really has grown stronger. Kyousuke thinks: "We're doing the right thing, right? Riki... you'll be okay. Even in a world where we're gone." He grabs Riki's hand.
- Kyousuke continues narrating after the original five Little Busters reunite. Ambling happily down the school hallways, for a moment they are at a loss for what to do. The answer readily returns to all of them. Baseball. As they return to the field, Kyousuke reminisces, impressed at the friends with him. He marvels at Kengo's innocence and at Masato's steadfast, lovable idiocy. He beholds the miraculous growth of a Riki who somehow managed to mend the wound in Rin's heart and decides to entrust Rin to him.
- The field is a picture of a batting practice: Rin pitching, Riki batting, and the rest of the Little Busters on the field. Catching a dizzying ball, Masato returns to Riki. Suddenly, Masato says he is happy that Riki lived with an idiot like him. After the good bye he vanishes. Riki is thoroughly spooked and anxiously tries to enlist the others to solve this mystery. This time Kyousuke addresses him.
- Kyousuke tells him about a bus accident that happened in a forest. Riki remembers said bus accident when he saw it on the news but to his horror Kyousuke told him that the ones that were in the bus accident were them. Kengo and Masato protected Riki and Rin with their life. Kyousuke knew that Riki and Rin were too weak for witness the accident. Kyousuke and the other students on the bus accident created a near-death world in which Riki and Rin would live the entire semester many times to become stronger to overcome reality. Although Riki and Rin took many time cycle to become stronger, Kyousuke and the other members never get tired of doing everything over and over again creating event that strengthen Riki and Rin.
- Kyousuke admits he failed but thanksfully Riki managed to save Rin after the trauma her brother caused on her. Kyousuke tells Riki that now he is stronger so he must be able to live and also protect Rin in the real world. He should live. And above all, he shouldn't cry.
- After the explanation Kengo started crying. Some minutes later he stopped crying and gave Riki his hand as a farewell. Riki takes his hand and shakes it firmly. Kengo disappears too.
- By now Rin is beginning to wonder where the two idiots went. With Kyousuke's will alone supporting this entire world, it begins shuddering and groaning ominously. Riki urges Rin to continue. She pitches. Riki hits the ball clean out of the park, so far that it can't be traced.
- Riki tries to ask Kyosuke if there is something he can do for keep that world but Kyosuke, in tears, urges him to take Rin and get out of that world.
- Riki takes Rin's hand and they sprint through the collapsing world, hurtling through the main gate, plunging through the borders of worlds. They are met with the real world, where their battered bodies lie aching at the bottom of the cliff amid the dead and unconscious. The wrecked bus lies overturned. A burning smell bleeds through the air. Fuel slowly trickles out, washing through the grounds. Riki heaves his body up and leads Rin away from the scene. Minutes later the searing howl of conflagration erupts through the forest. Overwhelmed with the relief of safety and the regret of mourning, Riki succumbs to unconsciousness. Rin cannot rouse him, and is left seeing flashbacks to the world of fantasy.
- Memories of all the girls she befriended in the world of fantasy return to her. In the baseball room she reads Komari's half-finished picture book. In the courtyard she reads tanka with Mio. In the classroom Haruka is being noisy. In the broadcast room Yuiko guides her through an announcement. In the tea room Kudshows her calligraphy. She remembers all of that, but when she revisits these places, none of the girls are there. Rin climbs the stairs towards the rooftop. One time Komari told her there that secrets were part of friendship. Thinking of the many friends she made, Rin reaches the rooftop to see the fandango sky of evening.
- Komari is waiting there, smiling. Rin remembers the time when Komari explained the secrets of her star hair bands. Each grants a single wish, and Komari gave Rin one. Rin cries in distress, knowing this is farewell.
- Komari unravels a star hair band, lifts it in her palm, and makes a wish, "My wish is one: that Rin will be able to smile."
- We next see Riki waking up on a hospital bed, bandaged but alive. Rin is sitting in the corner nearby. She's rambling on about the other Little Busters, about their fate. All Riki can do now is to remind her that he will protect her forever.
- Some time later a disembodied voice asks: "This is okay, right?" No. This is not okay. Everyone's dead. The voice, Kyousuke's voice, consoles him. Riki and Rin are strong enough for the real world now. The world of fantasy is no more. Still Riki doesn't give up. Even with that world gone, he and Rin will create a new one. The bells on Rin's hair ring, and like those waves of sound, a ripple of thought resonates through the void.
- Rin returns to the empty school where she searched for the other girls. She runs through the memories, visits the places, still finds nothing. Again Komari is there on the rooftop. This time Rin takes the hair band Komari promised her and, joining hands with Riki, makes a wish.
- Riki's soul joins with some shapeless abstraction of the universe itself. Plunging his raw self into the soup of existence, he almost dissolves into nothingness. Somehow, through sheer force of will, he forges through, harnessing the cosmos to return to the scene of calamity.
- He returns to reality waking up amid the bus crash. His heart beats explosively; adrenaline surges through his body. Riki focuses, concentrates, clears his mind. First, he assesses the situation. Only he and Rin are mobile, but some others are definitely still alive. Something is burning. Fuel is seeping onto the scene. At this rate the premises will immolate. He needs to remove everyone from the scene before the real conflagration erupts. He tells Rin to make calls to the authorities. Proper paramedics will be needed to treat people. Then he scans the area for supplies. Taking nearby branches and clothing from himself and the scene, he builds a makeshift stretcher. Steadily Riki and Rin begin the grueling work of carrying survivors to a safe clearing.
- Part way through, he finds Kyousuke, unconscious, gravely wounded, and propped up against a pipe that's leaking fuel. Without his body the fuel will gush out undammed and soon ignite. Riki is loath to leave him, but settles for bandaging his bleeding head. He can only return to Kyousuke when every other survivor is safe. Next he has Rin investigate the area for any supplies. Rin finds some first aid materials, so Riki has her begin treating the survivors. Riki returns to the scene and drags out Kengo and Masato without the stretcher.
- Finally he returns to Kyousuke. He tries to think of a safe way to remove Kyousuke, but before he can find one, he hears ominous crackling. The stench of smoke intensifies. Propelling his bruised and exhausted body at a feverish pace, Riki picks up Kyousuke and slowly trudges away from the bus. He leaves behind a deadly inferno. His job done and his body succumbing to fatigue, Riki takes a well-earned nap.
- Riki wakes up in a sunny after school classroom. Rin is sitting on his desk happily singing a song about cats. The rest of the girls are all safe and well, though that afternoon they apparently left Riki to his peaceful nap with Rin watching over. The next day finds Riki, Masato, and all the girls joking around and having a fun school life. Their spirits lift even more with news that Kengo has recovered and is ready to come back to school. Though there's still no news of Kyousuke, who suffered the most serious injuries.
- Later when Kengo returns, he and Masato face off in the hallway, this time not to fight, but to play baseball. Before the hallway is demolished Riki steps in and convinces them not to baseball. They decide to fight instead. Back in the classroom, Riki talks to the girls about their hospital experiences. Mio enjoyed her time because it was mostly sitting and reading. So did Haruka because it was mostly lazing about. It is said that in reality Haruka managed to make up with Kanata, Kud hometown was saved and Mio smiles more. They were able to overcome their real life problem because they still vaguely remember what has Riki done for them to reach resolution in the artificial world. It is uncertain whether if they all remember clearly all the romantic experience with Riki or not, because they show no feelings of affection towards Riki and neither does him. All of the feelings in the artificial world might be resetted except for Rin, because she indeed likes Riki in reality. Besides Haruka, Mio and Kud, Riki does not remember anything about Kurugaya and said that Kurugaya often avoid talking about it. Kurugaya might remember clearly what happens, but it is not said. After school in the baseball room Rin shoots Riki a direct question, "So, who do you like after all?"
- Riki tries to divert this conversation but Rin steamrolls on, describing the charms of the other girls, though she gets a bit stuck on Haruka. Haruka enters with said girls at that moment, and Rin considers them all, finally approving all of them for Riki.
- In contrast, during a second playthrough of Refrain, if the player choose to propose to Rin, when Riki wakes up to Rin watching over his sleeping body they are in a relationship. Rin informs Riki that he has been drooling in his sleep and then proceeds to wipe it off and put in in her mouth. She tells Riki she was told that male saliva tastes different from females and wanted to check for herself. She can't tell the difference but is proud that she tried it which Riki just goes along with. Rin then tells Riki that she was wondering if she should do a "sneak attack" and kisses him on the lips. Once they separate, she asks Riki what he thinks about when they do this and he responds that he thinks about Rin's hair, her bell and so on. Rin claims her mind goes blank when they kiss which surprised Riki. They then decide to kiss a bit more thinking about how precious they are to each other.
- The next day after school Kengo and Masato decide that now is the time to battle. Riki reminds them that one element is missing. So instead everyone tries to come up with something fun to do together, but all they can brainstorm are activities Kyousuke already led in the past: a courage test, kick the can, a puppet show. They are locked in this impasse when Kyousuke climbs in through the second story window. Grinning like a kid, Kyousuke proposes that they go on a real school trip, this time to the beach. Thus all the Little Busters, finally reunited, stuff into the white van he rented and drive off to the sea.