Author's note: Just thought I'd try something different this time. Enjoy! =D
AW 1286, Paseo on Motavia
I am the wind.
I can feel it embracing me as I stand here in my sanctum sanctorum. Nights like these help me truly relax... Nights with the full moon shining down (even though Zelan's not technically a moon), accompanied by the sound of waves crashing upon Paseo's beaches, carried on by that wonderful breeze. Nights like these are perfect for standing on the roof, wearing nothing but a tank top and slit skirt; the perfect clothes for a windy spring night like this one. A breeze that caresses my bare midriff, brushes through my hair and past my shoulders, just like an old lover.
Just like Rolf.
If I close my eyes and stop thinking about it, I can scarcely tell the difference. Every kiss he ever gave me, every time we hugged, feels just like the wind around me. He was, and continues to be, the very best of friends. We had a thing for each other, years ago, when we were awkward teenagers just trying to figure out just what the hell we were doing in our lives; me, the perfectly graceful elegant daughter of Paseo's wealthiest family, him, the quiet, gentle giant with a nascent sense of justice starting to shine through. It was a night like this one, four years ago, where he told me he was going to join the Motavian Security Administration. The wind blows around me, helping jog my memories of that day: a big breakfast, spending the day together at the beach in Oputa, then the sudden smell of rain as we returned to Paseo.
When we returned to Rolf's orphanage that night, he kissed me, embracing me just like the warm summer's breeze. I'll never forget that day together, nor that night, where we made love under the Motavian palm trees, for the first time in either of our lives. He disappeared for two years, studying with the MSA's training programs, while I engaged in the greatest crime capers the Motavian mainland has ever seen. The theft of Opa-Opa, Eli Ossale's masterwork, from the Kaiser Hotel four years ago? Yours truly, of course. The mass distribution of Sonic the Hedgehog 5 over every file-sharing network in Paseo? Who do you think got the master DVD for the leakers?
A couple cans of creamed corn and baked beans from the local supermarket? Hey, a girl's gotta eat.
What can I say, my thoughts are like a spring zephyr. They go as they please, and are bidden to nobody. Anyway, Rolf and I reunited, I met the rest of his team, and together we saved Algo from the triple threat of Dark Force, Mother Brain, and the children of a long-dead planet called Earth. We all made promises to reunite and try to keep in touch, and we did so. I feel like I was in one of those stupid roleplaying games Kain likes so much, only we actually stayed friends after the Big Bad takes 9999*32 damage.
They are truly great friends, one and all. Kain, the self-proclaimed master of technology and machinery, who's done things like take the chainsaw out of Rolf's garage and turn it into a chainsword, among other technocerous miracles (It's "technology" plus "sorcery"... technocery! I think I just invented a word.) when he isn't blowing parts of Rolf's house or himself to bits with his random junk piles. Last I heard, he and some others from Roron and his hometown were making trips to Noah to salvage some techy bits and info from their computers. His girlfriend doesn't really approve, but it helps her with her business, he always says.
Anna, who once went praying mantis on a couple of Earthmen with her slicers, and acted as something between unofficial second-in-command and elegant lady of war. She killed just as many monsters with her slicers as the rest of us had, but she looked damn good doing it. I heard she and Rudo are business partners working on some kind of Hunter's Guild. Sometimes I joke about how she and Kain are the perfect couple, but she keeps putting me in figure-four leglocks. Yeah, she's dating Kain. Funny world, huh? Those two spent most of our fight against Mother Brain sniping and snarking at each other, and now their snarks are more humorous towards each other.
Ah, Rudo, at times our sniper, sometimes utter meatshield, sometimes terrible late-70s action movie hero firing his big guns. He's a big softy under that gruff exterior. Once he told me I was just like his daughter, Louise, "only you've got a decade or so on her," to use his words. I wish those biomonsters hadn't killed her. Maybe Rudo wouldn't be holding back so much pain. Like I said, he's hanging around Anna, helping her broaden the Hunter's Guild. Hopefully someday they'll make it a planetwide thing. He's currently unattached, but he maintains this wonderfully Zen attitude about it. "When the right one comes along, I'll know it," he says.
Now that I think about Rudo's daughter, I can't help but think about Nei. She had so much to live for, and lived such a short time. Rolf always said she liked breezy days like this, but her favorites were rainy days. Sometimes she would look at the storm clouds, trying to see shapes, and sometimes she would try to count how many times she heard rain bouncing off the roof. Nei always gave up after realizing the raindrops would overlap each other, the sounds bleeding and running into each other. If she had not died with Nei First, would she have loved Dezolis? Would she be seeing a handsome young man, living in a world free of Mother Brain?
I asked Hugh about this a couple of months ago. He's not really too sure about how Nei's life would have gone, considering her rapid aging. He also went on some technobiobabble after that. It was kinda cute, then it got boring. Hugh's always been like that—at times truly useless information dump, at times awesome at other things. He's been trying to find someone of like mind. We dated for a while, but it was one of those things that just didn't quite work out. Ah, well. Right now he's dating that librarian from Paseo's Central Tower. I think her name was Karen. They talk books and research all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. The boring ones, too.
Now someone who, surprisingly, doesn't like boring books is Amy. She and Rolf started dating a few months ago, I think right about Valentine's Day or so. Amy knows I live with Rolf, taking up one of his guest rooms just like old times, but she knows we're just good friends now. I like it that way. I'm with two of my best friends, in one of my favorite places in the world. And apparently, Amy feels the same way, too. She and Rolf were talking the other day about moving in together one day. I hope they do. I really hope the best for them. I hope they get married, I hope they have a baby. I could always use another nickname—something like "Wicked Awesome Aunt Shilka."
Now that I think about it, my mind's like the wind I love so much- it is everywhere. It touches everything on Motavia. I love it. It is as close to me as my friends are, and for that I am eternally grateful.
And that's something I would never give away, not for all the Meseta and all the laconia in Algo. Without my eternal partner, I am nothing.
Shir's eyes opened, and she leaned over the edge of the roof, looking down at a young blue-haired man who was peeking out the window. "I thought you were fixing the satellite receiver?" he asked.
The green-haired thief sweatdropped. "Oh, uh, yeah! Sorry about that!" she replied, twisting the small dish into place. A series of blue lights blinked on, flashing in sequence. "Okay, Rolf! Amy! We're ready to rock-and-roll! Good thing too: I think that movie's gonna be on in ten minutes!"
"All right. Rudo's gonna be here in five, right?" Amy asked, leaning in next to Rolf. "Perhaps we should make another bowl of popcorn? I know Rudo's a big eater..."
"See, Shir? Looks like your new boyfriend's gonna eat you out of house and home. Sound familiar?" Rolf teased.
"Rolf, Rudo's not my boyfriend! I mean, we're going to have dinner after the movie, but that doesn't make us a couple! >_<"
"No, I'm sure it's the long glances that do," Amy told her. "Oh! I think the microwave just finished!"
Amy ducked back into the house, leaving Rolf's head along with Shir. "Coming, Shir?" he asked.
"Yeah. Just gimme a second."
We talk. We tease. We snark. We poke fun, but we're all great friends.
I guess that makes them all... Rolf and Amy, and Anna and Kain, and Hugh, and Rudo... I guess they are the wind.
And I wouldn't want it any other way.