Author's Note:

It has been more than ten years since I started writing "Equation." In this time, I've grown a lot as a person and a writer. Looking back on this story, I realize there is tons of room for improvement. And, just having rediscovered my love for Lunar after playing the PSP remake, I have decided to rewrite it. While some scenes may survive the rewrite and restructure, most will be fresh because I believe I can do a much better job that I did all those years ago. I intend to do a major clean up on dialogue, descriptions, characterizations, plot, pacing and all the other issues I have with "Equation." The title also needs a change and "Rise from Ashes" seems appropriate for so many reasons, my own decision to rewrite this thing after such a long time only one of them.

The prologue and first chapter are nearly ready for publication. I hope to have them up soon. In the meantime, have some Equation-universe drabbles (15 minute fics) written for specific requests during Livejournal writing challenges.

Thank you for reading all these years and I hope "Equation v2.0" is to your liking.

See you soon, in Vane...


For Aoshi: Mia and Nash, A Night in the Illusion Forest

No matter how many nights they camped, Nash never complained. Mia would often wish for her bed in the guild manor, but not him. He seemed strangely content with sleeping outdoors but when she asked about it, he shrugged it off.

The night they slept in the forest near Pao, she found herself looking up at the sky. Beyond the tops of the trees, beyond the glow of the Blue Star, something caught her eye. She followed it as it wandered slowly across the sky, amazed at whatever it was.

"Couldn't sleep?" Nash asked from behind her.

"No, and neither could you, I see."

He smiled at her.

"I like this forest," she said. "It doesn't feel dangerous."

"It's not," he replied with a strange degree of assurance. "Everything here is an illusion."

She brushed her hand against his. "You know a lot about it."

"I read about it," he stammered, his eyes widening as she touched him.

"We should get some sleep," she said, standing up. "Goodnight, Nash."

"Goodnight, Mia."

For Barrelgoddess: Jess and Kyle, Lover's Quarrell

"Jess..." Kyle started to say before dodging a glass headed for his head.

"Don't 'Jess' me, you dumb bastard!" she shouted back. "I saw her with you!"

"But we were just talking," he protested, and was too slow to avoid being hit with a wooden dish.

"Talking? You can't talk with your tongue down her throat!"


"Well?" Jess seethed, glancing up over the rough bar in Nanza's hideout. "Well is all you can say about it?"

"I'm sorry, Jess."

"You're always sorry! This is it, Kyle."


She smacked him with the back of her hand. "I'm leaving, Kyle."


He watched her leave, and then reached for another glass of ale.

Inspired by the song, "Take Another Road" for Yoshimars

"Kyle!" Jessica called. "Where the hell are we?"

"North of Meribia!" he replied.

"I know that you dumb bastard," she snorted. "But where?"

He shrugged. "Does it really matter?"

"Yes, it does because if I'm not home for supper my father will throw me in jail and with my dad that's not an idle threat!"

"Jail isn't so bad," Kyle teased. "You might learn a thing or two."

"Like how to be a drunken thief like you?"

"I'm NOT a thief," he said, crossing his arms over his chest and pretending to be offended. "I'm a wealth redistrubition specialist."

She shook her head. "Whatever. Just...try and make an honest living when we get back-IF we get back."

"Anything for you, Sweetcheeks. By the way...the sign there says we go left to go to Meribia."

"Thank goodness."

Gregory and Relina, with the song "Hello" for Yoshimars

He knew it was forbidden by the Goddess, by the very canons he was raised by and even by the laws of Vane, but at that very moment, he didn't care. Moments before, her kiss had grown deeper and her hands had found the buttons on his robe, pulling it off. She smiled coyly, waiting for him to do the same, and he did, casting away with it any chance of turning back.

His fingers ambled along her breasts, causing her to sigh contentedly. He smiled, kissing her neck as he let his hands wander further along her body. She responded, clumsily reaching towards his belt as she whispered his name.

He drew a ragged breath as she pulled him towards her bed, the back of his mind praying that Althena never found out and the rest of him not giving a damn if she did.

Mia and Nash, with the song "Southern Cross" for Iandianajones

The boat heaved right and left all night, making the trip a dizzying experience for all on board. Mia, particularly, did not do well with this sort of travel. She spent most of the night up on deck, clutching the rail and trying to keep herself from vomiting.

Nash had gone to check on her three or four times, but each time she had sent him away. The last time he'd been up there, she insisted she was fine, but he knew better. But, he also knew better than to bother her when she wanted to be left alone. Resigned to remain in their cabin, he busied himself with reading a book, hoping that her sickness would pass and she would return to bed.

Nash, with the color silver for el_regrs

(I couldn't get past the "silver = unit of currency"...sorry xP )

Nash counted the silver in the palm of his hand and sighed. He was still short. Looking at the annoyed merchant, he said, "Come on, I need this as a birthday present for Majesty Mia!"

The surly shopkeep sneered at him. "And you think by giving her some piece of jewelry she'll take a liking to you?"

Nash blushed. "Well..."

"You're an apprentice. Mia has more mature men on her mind."

"Like who?" Nash asked, more harshly than intended.

"I heard from a very reliable source that she has a serious interested in one of her teachers."

Nash paled. "No way."

"It's true. But, since you're such a desperate specimen, I'll sell you the gem."

"Thank you!" Nash said, trying to contain his excitement. Now Mia had to notice him.

As he walked back to the Guild Manor he spotted her sitting on a bench reading a book. Trying not to grin too wide, he walked towards her and offered the gift.

"Oh, Nash, its lovely."

He smiled broadly. His plan had worked. All those hours doing extra chores for Ghaleon to earn some money had paid off!

"...but Master Gregory gave me this last year."

"I'll take it back," he said, defeated.

She gave him a small smile. "No, I like this one better."

Nash and Mia, with tea, for Yoshimars

Mia had spent most of the day pouring over the backlog of documents on her desk. She must have lost track of the time, because before she knew it one of the apprentices was in front of her asking if she would like tea that afternoon. With a smile she accepted the offer and as the girl left to prepare the tray, turned back to her work.

Twenty minutes or so later there was a knock on her office door. "Come in," she called as she signed yet another purchase agreement.

The door creaked open and she glanced up to see Nash, carrying the tea service. "Time for a break, wouldn't you say?" he asked with slight grin.

She stretched and stood, then walked over and gave him a tight embrace. "Long day, but I've missed you."

He hugged her as best he could, still balancing the tray. "Seems that the paperwork demons are bothering you again," he teased, moving some scattered papers to set the tea service down on the desk.

She laughed. "Its impossible. I can stay up all night to finish the pile but it will just be back in the morning."

"I stand corrected," he said with a wink. "Regenerating paperwork demons."

She seized his hands before they could make work of pouring the tea and drew him towards her. Resting her head on his chest she closed her eyes and relaxed for the first time all day.

Ghaleon and the line "he did it" for Iandianajones

Lemia Ausa was furious. After traveling all over the world with men, she thought she'd figured them out. Unfortunately, Lemia was quite wrong.

She was in a tavern watching as Dyne and Mel took part in a contest to see who could consume the most alcohol. Rolling her eyes at their immaturity she turned back to her tea and propped her chin up on her hand.

Ghaleon slid into the chair opposite her. "Their behavior is as I expected."

"You were right. We shouldn't have come here."

"Shall we leave then?"

Lemia sighed. "We can't leave them and I'm afraid to interrupt them. No telling what they'll do when they're drunk."

"Not to worry, Lemia. I'll get them. Go wait outside."

With a nod to her trusted friend, she did as he had asked.

Standing outside the tavern, she waited. Suddenly, Dyne came flying out the door, followed by Mel. As they hit the ground, they both groaned.

Ghaleon appeared next to her and she said, "I see you enlisted the help of the tavernkeeper."

The strange man said nothing.

Mel lifted his head-barely. "Are you daft, girl? HE did it!"

Lemia glanced sideways at Ghaleon. "Magic? But I didn't sense it."

"Let's just go," was the only reply he offered.

For yoshimars: Nash, Kyle and Alex with the line "that exciting hand-holding phase"

"So, Nash, are you out of that exciting hand-holding phase yet?" Kyle snickered as he raised his glass.

The magician just sighed. "We're moving slow."

"If you went any slower, it'd be backwards," Kyle said.

"Shut up."

Alex decided to change the subject. "How is the rebuilding of Vane coming?"

"Rather well, all things considered."

"All things considered?"

Kyle snorted, "Meaning, he's not getting laid."

"SHUT UP!" Nash shouted.

Alex had had enough of Kyle's incessant boasting about his sex-life and the derision of others for the lack of theirs. In an even voice he said, "You know Kyle, those that talk about it the most get it the least."

For mithrigil, prompt of "Tango"

Jealousy was not a feeling Mia was wholly familiar with and certainly not one she liked. Still, as her eyes followed the couple on the dance floor she could help but feel her ire rising. It had been her own idea, she reminded herself, her jaw clenching slightly, to invite the Festival visitors to play music from their homelands. With a glance to night sky she wished for a sudden downpour to chase the merrymakers away-or at least just two of them.

The redhead that had been keeping Nash's attention for the past week had once again managed to capture it. The two of them followed the beats of the Tribal music with such precision she wondered if they had rehearsed it. Mia narrowed her eyes as the dance finished and a round of applause sounded from the onlookers. With a sigh, she took another sip of her wine and turned her attention to the other guests seated at her table.