A/N: For once, all here is owned by me. (No disclaimer! Whee!) Please do not take it.

The breeze gently stoked his cheek, ruffling his short, burnt-blond hair. Instead of succumbing to its soft promise of cool relief from the sweltering summer air, he stubbornly buried his chin in his tee shirt, which smelled vaguely of detergent but easily masked the cleanness with sweat. He should have worn something lighter. He glowered in an inward battle with the pleasant wind, determined to keep the foul mood he had worked so hard to build up, but decided he was losing and abandoned the small, grassy park area in favor of the library across the busy street. He trudged to its doors, ignoring the honks and curses making their way to him from the various automobiles he passed, and pulled open the large metal door with a grunt of effort. He was hit with the odor of decades-old book paper, and he inhaled sharply. He hated the library, truly, but it was the only place he could feel completely alone. There was a reason; the only regular attendee was the withered and gray-haired librarian, who only came because she was paid. He acknowledged her presence with a sharp nod and proceeded to ignore her. She repaid him the favor, as she always had. Once he had gotten to the 700s aisle—he was working his way through the library, one shelf at a time—he paused, pulling off his shirt and letting it fall to the ground, knowing no one would care. He ran his finger along the book spines, skimming the titles, until he came to one he was willing to read: The Philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli. He pulled it from its place, certain that it hadn't been removed since the day it was first shelved, and sat cross-legged as he pried the covers apart and read.