The RelationRaft

A/N: Hi everyone, and welcome to my very first slash story! I hope you enjoy. Good reviews are appreciated muchly. Flamers go down to join the dead ones and light little candles of their own! Ke ke ke ke…On with the story!

Ivan watched him walk by. He knew he couldn't say anything; it wasn't right. It wasn't supposed to be this way. It wasn't… natural. But then why did this feel as natural to him as breathing? Every day he tried to come up with some logical explanation, some rationale that would make it okay, but each time he failed.

It was a year and six months since the power of Alchemy had been restored to the land of Weyard. With help from Vault and Kalay, the men and women of central Angara had founded the village of New Vale, built around what was left of Mt. Aleph. Since no lives had been lost when Mt. Aleph sunk into the earth, there was no real grieving that had to be done, so it was simple to get back into a normal lifestyle once the town had been built.

The eight friends that had saved the world all dwelled in this village together, relaxing and sharing stories of their travels, and just taking it easy in general. Felix and Sheba had become a couple, and Isaac seemed to draw feelings from both Mia and Jenna (the latter much to the dismay of Garet), but Isaac never really made it clear who he wanted to date. So the two girls resorted to bear-hugging him and attempting to seduce him playfully whenever they got the chance.

Ivan walked glumly to the edge of the pond, sat down and pulled off his shoes. Sighing, he dipped his feet in the water and stared at his reflection.. He picked up a nearby stone and attempted to skip it across the water, but it sank to the bottom with only the smallest of splashes. Ivan watched it disappear into the depths and sighed again.

"Excuse me, sir?" said a voice, snapping Ivan out of his thoughts. On the surface of the pond he saw the reflection of a tall, blue-haired youth clad in white robes. "I'm looking for a warrior named Isaac."

The very mention of that boy's name caused Ivan's heart rate to quicken. He attempted to regain his composure and pointed to where Isaac had just walked away. "He just left," Ivan said. "He's down that hill there. Why, what's wrong?"

"I am only to deliver that information to Sir Isaac!" said the youth quite officially, and he turned on his heel and walked towards where Ivan had pointed. Ivan got to his feet and trailed behind him.

Shortly, they found Isaac outside the general store, talking with Garet, a tall, brash young man with tall, spiky red hair and wearing a black-outlined vest over a gold tunic and pants.

"Master Isaac, sir?" stated the blue-haired boy.

"Uh, that'd be me," said the boy next to Garet, who wasn't as tall as his friend and had blonde hair that was combed into spikes, wearing a blue outfit and a small yellow cape.

"Master Isaac, sir, my name is Randolph, and I bring to you a message from the village of Imil."

"What's going on?" Isaac inquired.

"Sir Isaac, we've been having a problem with the Mercury Lighthouse. The strength of the beacon has become erratic," Randolph explained. "It gains and loses power seemingly for no reason. We're worried that if things continue this way, it may throw off the balance of the elements."

"So what do you want me to do?" Isaac asked, cocking his head to the side.

"Well, sir, we've heard that you climbed all four of the elemental lighthouses, thus we figure you must know something about how they work. Basically we just want you to take a look and see if you can figure out what's wrong."

"That sounds pretty bad, man," Garet said to Isaac. "We should get everyone together and go take a look right away."

"Uh, I'd have to advise against that," said Randolph in his usual official voice. "We haven't told the citizens about the lighthouse yet, we don't want them to get into a huge panic. If a whole group of Adepts from the outside suddenly showed up it'd cause quite a stir."

"So I'd be going alone?" Isaac asked.

Randolph shrugged. "Well, you can bring one of your mates along if you'd like, but that's all. Don't want to draw too much attention now, do we?"

Isaac shrugged. "That sounds okay, I guess."

"So you're coming for sure then, Sir Isaac? I need to bring word back to the elders as soon as can be."

"Yeah, I'll be there," Isaac said.

"Excellent news, then," said Randolph. "I'll see you then." And turning quite officially on his heel again, Randolph marched towards the town gates, down the hill and out of sight.

"So!" Garet said, standing up to his full height and smiling proudly. "Who do you plan to take with you, Isaac?"

Ivan lowered his head, for it was almost certain that Isaac wouldn't choose him.

"I'm not sure," Isaac said. "Let's get everyone together and talk about this."

As Isaac walked towards the interior of the town and motioned for Ivan to follow, Garet grabbed Isaac by the shoulder gently and said, "You…ARE taking me, right?"

"I said I don't know," Isaac said firmly. "Now, come on."

Ivan watched Isaac and Garet walk towards the town square, sighed deeply, and followed behind them.