A small, private rebel plane was flying low over the fierce ocean, and Mai took this chance to look out and gaze upon the cold wintry sea. The waves rocked back a form, calling up foam and ice in poetic iridescence. Occasionally she caught sight of a seagull squawking and trying to escape the harsh weather. Waves the size of small tugboats were frothing and smashing against the shore, which they weren't far from. She gave out a small, airy smile. She loved the sea, had loved it ever since she was a little child. It had always felt like it had called to her, somehow. Now, she found herself struggling to remember the last time she had ever enjoyed the ocean's cool breeze against her hot forehead.

It had been three years, Mai realized suddenly, a random notion that whimsically floated into her mind like an autumn leaf billowing in the wind. She could remember it: Kanzo was buying them hot dogs, she was teasing him as always, resulting in him chasing her all over the beach. Of course he couldn't ever really catch up to her, so she had sort of let him win – and he had celebrated by tickling her to near exhaustion.

A smile played upon Mai's lips, a sad one echoing of the haunting melodies of the past. A song ran through her mind, the Anti-Persona ballad. How did it go again? Oh, yes. I will create people, the color of darkness. That was all Mai could remember. But s0he gave a grim smile to the world anyway.

It's been awhile since I've had that much fun, Mai realized, thinking back to the beach incident again. Then again, it's been awhile since I've really felt anything... now I always feel so cold. Frigid, even. Nnumb, like I'm locked in a cocoon... S'been three years, hasn't it? Wow, three...

Mai pressed her fingertips against the cool glass windowpane, her hitched breath steaming it up with a light fog as she remembered. It was three years since Celia had left, on the terrorist airplane. Three years since her would-be love, Tatsuya, died all because of his grudge against Persona. It was also.... Mai gulped. Not that, she thought. I'd wanted to forget...

Three years had passed since she had last seen Darkside.

% --------

I will create people,

the color of darkness

-------- %

She was mad about him. Mai sighed with resignation, knowing she sounded hopeless inside her own mind. She was stricken with love for a stranger she knew nothing about. Then again, it was probably his shrewd nebulousness that attracted her to him in the first place.

"Damn," she admonished herself quickly, slightly tightening her fist so that she could see the veins pop out of it. "Why me? Why did I have to..." She stopped and bit her lip so hard she tasted her own metallic blood. It was to keep her sorrows from overpowering her.

"Whoa, Mai, what's wrong?" That stupid and ugly lug she called her boyfriend set down his beer and waltzed drunkenly over to her. He stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, looking over her shoulder at her fist, his eyes glazed. "What are you doing?"

"Kanzo..." Mai try to get away, "just shove off."

"Whaa?" Kanzo took a step back, looking at her as if she was crazy. "Hey, Mai, what did I do?"

"Nothing." Mai was trembling now, the tears unable to remain hidden away. She tried to crush these cumbersome tears, to supress her sobs, but nothing resulted from her efforts. Nothing but darkness.

"Just-- just... oh..." Mai wailed morosely, not sure what exactly it was she wanted.

% --------

Beyond the wintry ocean,

I'll gather the colors of vengeance...

-------- %

She then rushed over and hugged Kanzo tightly, an attentment to her moment of vulnerability -- of weakness. Such weakness would be deadly to her in the face of Persona Century, especially seeing as she was a rebel -- from a dirty, filthy street gang, but a rebel no less. She was the head of the Messiah, and she had to be the proud, stubborn, and sassy young woman that everyone expected her to be, no matter how many secret doubts plagued her mind. But even she occasionally needed to be near something warm and breathing to remind her what she was fighting for.

Humanity.

Kanzo chuckled. "Gee, Mai, if you wanted a hug, you should've just said so." Kanzo hugged her back ardently -- after all, they were engaged, and being engaged called for a little PDA now and then -- but Mai felt bitterly empty inside. How was she to tell him that she didn't love him back? That all their hugs, all their kisses, all their passions shared were just to provide Mai with warmth, and along with warmth, a purpose? Nobody knew what an angry, bitter young woman the inner Mai had really become. So nobody would understand. Except -- except maybe him. Him.

The one Mai loved was Darkside. The Untouchable. The essence of darkness itself spawning up from that great, huge black hole they had seen him come out of, when the first pangs of love blossomed in her heart. How was she to tell Kanzo that? That she was in love with a stranger she knew nothing about?

Kanzo peered through the glass at the frigid winter's ocean below. "Looks like it's gonna be cold tonight," he commented. Then, after a brief pause, he added: "Again."

You have no idea how cold it is inside my stone heart, Mai thought sadly to herself. Searching for something to lighten her wettened spirits, even just a little, she decided to sing, but found that no words came readily to mind. She was trapped; trapped within her own facade. When she wanted to cry, her tough outer shell forbid her from doing so. And yet, it had broken, just moments before. Was she getting weak? The thought made Mai cringe. No, she couldn't get getting weak now; not when they were about to go to Person Century's office and murder Lucifer. The big guy. The head honcho himself. Mai closed her eyes, lifting her nose in the air and imagining the demon, all huddled over his desk, trying to set everything in the world straight. They had created mass chaos when they had blown up a huge chunk of the office -- half of it, in fact -- starting bloody wars and wreckless rebellions and lynch mobs that had probably killed more people than they had saved. And for that, they had to be proud. Their demands would be met. The world would be saved. Earth would have it's freedom.

But would it be worth it? To save the world, and then live within the empty hole of her heart, leading a life with a man she didn't love -- as a ghost of her former self, trapped in her hard outer shell?

Would it be worth it?

% --------

I will create people,

the colors of darkness...

Now watch as I make a,

woman the color of darkness...

-------- %

Mai stiffenned. Yes, she told herself. Anything's worth it -- for the freedom of the world. No, for the freedom of Darkside... whom I love.

& XOXOXO

I picked it to be the "third" year because this is the "THIRD" Darkside Blues fanfiction, get it? No? Fine. Be that way. But, anyways, yeah... enjoy. And please review, for those very few of you that are reading this. Oh, and this is a second draft of the original; therefore, it's been updated and all.