Copyright 2004

The first to respond, several minutes later, was Bonnie.

"I don't really know Joshua. I guess it would depend on what happened to you."

Heather and David nodded in agreement. The conversation ended with their nods, and the party walked on, too caught up in thought to talk now. By the evening, the group had moved on to the next planet. This time, the group fell from the rift in the midst of a riot. An informant told them that the riot was between the peace bureau and a group of politicians. The politicians had apparently been caught in a scandal, and were using their money to influence people to fight for them. Once they finally escaped the battlefield, the group found an inn for the evening. Two rooms, and four beds, were prepared; however, the beds were never touched. ~~David~~ "That makes thirteen people who blew me off. Damn, this is not a good way to start off my career as an expeditionary. I suppose that's enough for the night. I might as well see what this town has for entertainment."

David had been the first to leave the inn. He did not go to sleep early, and originally thought it would be a good Idea to try and talk with people about the Ganí. He quickly found this to be harder than expected. People in this town were not like the people of the monastery, and often pushed right on past him as he talked. He walked on through the crowded streets for several minutes before finding a place he could go in and sit down. Even though it was a bar, he didn't care as long as there was a quiet place to sit. Walking in through the door, a plume of stale smoke hit him and cause David to cough repeatedly. He found a booth near the back of the room, and happily sat down to get under the layer of smoke floating about the room. The room was dark and dank, although it seemed rather lively. Just as he was about to go to the bar and get something to drink, two ladies came along. They looked at each other and then at David, before sliding on either side of him in the booth. The first girl ran a finger under his chin before smirking.

"We don't get many guys like you here. Where did you come from?"

David laughed and shook his head. In an honest, and somewhat naïve, voice he replied.

"I'm just an out-of-towner. I've got a job, and I'm just trying to do it."

The second girl giggled as she played with his hair.

"And what, prey tell, is your job?"

"Not really important right now. I'm on a break."

David's fingers motioned quotes around the work break, and the girls laughed. The two girls ran their hands around his neck simultaneously as the girl to the right spoke into his ear.

"Why don't we leave and go somewhere private? Just the three of us?"

David turned a rather heavy shade of red. He was just about to reply when a body flew toward them, slamming into the wall just behind David, and slid down to the floor. David has a bit confused to say the least. The two girls clutched at him slightly and were pointing toward a group of men off to the other end of the bar. The large circle of men opened up, most of them staring wide-eyed as the body slid to the floor. In the middle of the circle was a very cocky girl that looked all too familiar. The dark purple was quite an accent to her dark auburn hair. Her eyes looked toward all of the men in the circle around her. She faked a lunge toward some of them.

"Anyone else want to talk about my figure, hm? Personally, I'm not a fan of drunks so I'd say that counts you all out anyways."

David looked over at her with confusion before she turned a waved. ~~Heather~~ Heather was surprised to see David of all people in a bar. More than that, she was confused seeing two girls holding him as they were. Confused as she was, she found her self too preoccupied with the group of rather drunken men around her. She cursed as herself for thinking she should walk into a bar to get a drink. Even sending the first guy across the room hadn't shaken their lustful feelings and that really began to make her angry. The man directly in front of her lunged, only to be cut short of ramming into her by her foot. Heather turned and kicked the second attacker, sending him crashing down atop the table to her right. Turning around, she slugged two men hard with a right, followed by a hard upper cut. While most wouldn't have wanted to be in a fight in the first place, Heather enjoyed a good brawl now and again. Even someone who has taken the to the straight and narrow route has to blow off some steam now and again. Memories of her street fights from the past came back. She was always the underdog, as well as the smaller fighter. Being a smaller build always made others think you were weak, and ticked her off as a child. Up until her mid teens, Heather found herself in fistfights daily. She threw a roundhouse kick to stop two men who decided to rush her. The first man found her heel buried in his cheek, while the second gained a cut across his nose as the toe of her boot shot across his face. The final man who came forward was much taller than her, almost a foot. She looked up at him while he stared back down, cracking the knuckles of his mammoth fists. He reeled back, ready to take a swing at Heather. She put up her best block and waited for him to attack. As his fist rockets toward her, she could only watch as the mountain of muscles came crashing down. Standing with complete confusion, she looked to her left to see David. His arm was extended; holding the end of a long staff that was currently wrapped about the large mans legs. He laughed and walked toward the man, who angrily shook his head to clear his thoughts.

"Now, now. Normally, I'm not apposed to violence. But I do know it's wrong to hit a lady."

David looked down to the man's fist and shook his head.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. What kind of man are you? No only do you attempt to hurt the lady, but you fight her with a weapon when she is unarmed?"

David rapped his rod against the man's colossal hand, and a piece of rubber, with three nails fell from his hand. Heather stood in shock. Had he completed the punch, those nails would have gone right through her leather armor and into her arm. By now, the seven other men had picked themselves up off the floor and were back to take her down. She looked at the seven angry men and then to David.

"Seven on one's fine with me, you can have the big stupid one."

"Agreed." ~~Joshua~~ Joshua had fought a mental battle with himself all day, too caught up in thought to do much else. With so many victories, and so many good memories, he wanted to keep going. The only thing stopping him was time. Considering how long it he had been on this quest, he should have acquired much more knowledge of the universe by now. He began to fight with himself as to whether he should even bother continuing. At one point he stepped out to the balcony for some fresh air. He sat in the cold night sky, the snow falling. The snow pooled up and trailed down his skin, it soaked into his pants, slid off his armor, and dampened his hair; however, Joshua never felt the snow, or felt the cold bite of the wind. He wasn't all too sure what to do anymore, so he just watched the people that walked the streets. Children tromped through the white ripples that layered the ground, while old people simply shoveled it out of their way. In the middle of the cobblestone street was a red figure, looking lost in a field of white. She shivered in the cold wind, holding her cape close and watching the children's fun. Joshua suddenly felt a need to spend time with her. He walked down the hard oak stairs and out the door, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. He crept up behind Bonnie and knelt down, taking a big scoop of snow in his hands. He took care in rolling it softly before pelting the flawless red cape. He chuckled as the snowball hit the Bonnie's red cape with a slosh, and left a large damp spot. He watched Bonnie turn around; she had a look that told him she'd get even. She knelt down with to grasp a handful of snow and looked at him with a smirk. Joshua began to run while forming another snowball, and Bonnie gave chase. Up and down the streets they went, using anything and everything as a shield. Before long, many of the kids joined in the game, and it became two teams. Joshua and Bonnie slipped from the ranks of the snowball fight, leaving team leaders and watching the fun as they walked off hand in hand. ~~Bonnie~~ "Aside from rendering my cape unable to keep me warm, why the sudden change in pace?"

"Well, I have no clue what the future holds, tomorrow I could die for all I know. While it isn't pleasant to think that, it's true of anyone. I just realized that all the time I've spent sulking could have been used to make more happy memories of us. I spend so much time worrying about the unimportant events in my life that I missed the one vital event. When you walked into my life, everything changed for the better, and yet all I could see was all of the things that still looked so bleak. I've grown weary of feeling miserable, and I'll change that starting tonight. I just figure the best way to make things better, is to give you plenty of happy memories."

Joshua watched as she smiled and threw her arms around his neck. He gently hugged her back before realizing how bad she was trembling. While cradling her shivering form in one arm, he removed his cape the draped it over her shoulders. Bonnie's face rose up to see his, with a wide smile. It was at that point that she realized he had taken his armor off and was wearing casual clothing for once. They walked through the streets, taking almost every turn in the town, and still not getting anywhere somehow. Before long they came to a large open area that was, without a doubt, a large part. It was well kempt and inviting. Joshua walked down a cobblestone path, with Bonnie holding his arm close for warmth. They walk through the ever-increasing snowdrifts, and laughed at the children in the park. Many of them would turn and wave, and some would throw snowballs in an attempt to lure them into the game. They continued to walk the path until they came upon a little bench at a bend in the path. Joshua pushed the snow of the bench before sitting down, followed by Bonnie, laid out with her head in Joshua's lap. When he looked down, he knew something troubled her, but didn't want to ruin the evening by asking. With that in mind, he simple sat and smiled down at his love, taking a finger and snaring a stray bang before pushing it behind her ear. Each time she looked at him his smile grew larger, until she finally couldn't stand it.

"Alright you, what are you smiling about?"

A wily smile crossed his face.

"I've just very happy."

"And why's that?"

Bonnie turned and looked at him inquisitively, just as he cupper her warm cheek in his hand.

"Because I see my ideal future, and she's right here in my hand. She's laying here with me on this bench, and I'm just happy because I've never felt so warm inside."

Bonnie blushed as she buried her face in Joshua's shirt. She peeked an eye out from the shirt's cover and shook her head.

"I don't think you're talking about me."

Joshua laughed before getting up and gently setting Bonnie down. He turned and began to walk slowly away.

"That's a shame then. Cause that girl was more beautiful than anyone I'd ever laid eyes on."

Almost instantly, Bonnie was as his side again. She smiled with a faint blush.

"Alright, you caught me."

He suddenly took hold of Bonnie is warm embrace, and leaned in to kiss her. Just before, he murmured something slowly under his breath that elicited a bright smile from her.

"That's good, cause I don't plan on letting go of her."

Toward the end of the soft kiss, a fiery yellow orb peeked over the city horizon. In the time it they took to watch the sunrise, ad travel back to the inn, he never let go of her once.