Loving You, Hating You: Missing You

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Summary: Mia's determined not to lose a bet against Isaac, but in the end, they both lose... and win? Mudshipping fluff, of course.

Spoilers: Ermm... This pretty much spoils the entire ending, and other things as well, not sure what, but they're somewhere in there.

A/N: ...It's been too long since I've written for Golden Sun.

Post A/N: After going over this, it kinda, well, it's a bit spontaneous. It may make sense, it may not. I added a lot of changes, and being the lazy me I be, I may not have corrected it throughout the entirety. Whatever; enjoy!

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It's been a long year. For that, I am glad.

Perhaps by now, I've been forgotten, or at least enough so that they'll forget where I live. It's not that I don't like them, for I do, I really miss them, but seeing them would mean I would have to see him. And to see him...

...would mean losing for sure.

But ah, speak of the devil... "Mail, for me?" I reply to Justin's call in a faux innocent voice. I darn well knew it was coming—for quite some time, too. Here's to vain hope, cheers. "Thanks." I say mirthlessly as a take the envelope from Justin, who then moves on to Megan and finally to sit to read his own mail. Odd that the two even get mail, I think.

In great contrast to my normal delicacy, I open the envelope sloppily, tossing the smaller part into the open fire to my left. I pull out the letter, unfolding it with a quick flick of the wrist. It reads:

Mia,

We hope you've been doing well over these last two years. We wrote to you, and the others as well, because obviously a year can be quite a long time, a lot can happen, a lot can change. As silly as it sounds, we don't want to lose our friends all together, but it's the truth. Over the winter holidays, we were hoping you could come and visit with us, and with some luck, Ivan, Piers, and Sheba, too.

The winter holidays are for family and friends to come together, and of course cheesy little begging lines. We hope to see you soon!

The rest of your family, in Vale,

Jenna, Garet, Felix and Isaac

And in the lower right hand corner, was a little scribble saying 'Don't forget Aaron!', no doubt written by Aaron himself. It's still hard not to smile when I think of all the good times we had, even though now I look back at a few of them and scoff at my naivety.

I look over the letter one time more, then pocket it, and rise to gather my things. Megan looks up from her letter, somehow she's very sensitive to other's feelings, mine included. "Mia, are you feeling alright?"

I shrug, "Yes, I'm fine. Thanks for the concern though."

She doesn't seem convinced, I'm not surprised. Nonetheless, I continue to my quarters. She follows, speaking only when we're out of earshot of anyone else, softly still. "Something's pestering you. Spill."

I sit down on the bed; a mirthless chuckle laces my words. "Alright, alright. There's no use trying to hide it from you." Before I could even begin, she sits next to me, "You love him, don't you? You're just in denial." She blurts.

"Please." I spat venomously, "I do not, and you know that."

I don't think she understood what I said, "You miss him."

"I don't recall asking you to be my shrink."

"Sorry."

There was a gaping silence between us. Oddly, I felt the need to just spill my feelings here and now, the problem however; I don't know what my feelings are! Various emotions have seemed to manifest themselves into little dictators each trying to conquer my mind; love and longing, being a mere few ironically. What I should know for sure though, an edge. I constantly remind myself that I have a very competitive bet against him. One that I can't lose...

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It had been another long day at sea, during the time in which we were slowly making our way through the ice cluttered water, auguring the snowy wasteland known as Prox. Is it weird many memories seem to have occurred on the ship? That's certainly how they've been portrayed more than often. ...Well, never mind.

As I was saying, nightfall was approaching, tailing fast the orange glow given as the sun's farewell. At current, Felix had taken the tiller, Garet was trying his hand at cartography along with Piers, Jenna and Sheba had taken the shift of guarding the deck, Isaac appeared to be trying to master water psynergy at the stern and Ivan was probably napping in the crow's nest. Me, I wasn't doing much of anything, really.

Without his noticing, I stood in the shadow of the earth adept at the stern. He seemed to be commanding the ice ahead to part, though in vain. Behind him, I focused my psynergy on the looming ice and moved my hands in a separating motion; needless to say, the hoarfrost split without further ado.

Startled, he turned. He rolled his eyes, albeit smiling, at my antic. "Gee, thanks. For a moment there, I thought I actually got it to work."

"You're not even trying properly. You have to chant really loud, and wave your arms around."

"Ah, yes, of course." He says.

After a while, I can't help but inquire about something that's been gnawing at me for almost weeks now. "Hey, is it true that you and Jenna are an item?" Now I feel like a little school girl again, I'm actually concerned about who's-with-who and the such things. ...I hear laughing somewhere, perhaps it's my conscience...

He looks at me like I'm queer. "No, she's a good friend, like you. Where'd you hear that?"

"Oh, I hear things..."

"What about you? Who do you have your eyes on, hmm?" he asks, teasingly.

I laugh, "Oh, please. I really don't care about that right now."

"I think you're lying..." he counters; I shrug. "What's it matter?"

He shakes his head in disbelief, "Only someone who is truly smitten says something like that."

"You wanna bet?" My question is, for the most part, rhetorical. He doesn't catch that bit though. "Actually, yes. I would."

I play along. "Alright. What'll it be?"

He pauses to think before answering: "If you're not visibly in love with someone in—I dunno, a year-ish?—then I'll answer you any question, anything, something like that. But the same goes for you, too."

"Anything?"

"Anything. The answer has to be honest, and factual."

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Childish still, but I've always wondered something about him that I dare not ask in any other situation. Besides, knowing him, he'll come up with some crazy question, in public too, insisting that I answer. I certainly wouldn't put it past him.

"Mia," she speaks up softly, "It's really probably not my place to speak, but I think, if you want to find peace, you'll have to quit being so secretive and open up a little. But again, that's only me." she finishes quieter than she had started, leaving the room.

Alas, I've been left to contemplate what she said. Maybe she's right, maybe I should open up... then again, maybe I shouldn't.

I grab my pack, the same one I used for our journey, and a heavy coat, tossing it over my shoulders as I head for the door. "I'm leaving for Vale, I'll be back in a couple weeks."

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I hold my hand, enclosed in a fist, but inches away from the door. I take my hand down, laughing at my stupidity. Again, I raise it to the door, my knuckles grazing the slightly ragged wood without a sound. "This is ridiculous." I scoff at myself under my breath, successfully knocking on the door. I can hear distant, muffled voices from behind the door, four of them. Four, painfully familiar voices.

"Five hundred coins says it's Ivan." That voice, the low pitch, the unmistakable competitive edge; without a doubt Garet.

"No way, it has to be Sheba." This one, low pitch, slightly suave; Felix.

There was a bang on the door from the other side, pretty startling actually. "Well, whoever it is, are you just going to let them freeze out there?" A distinctly, feminine voice; Jenna.

I took a small step back as the door opened. Jenna stood at the edge of the door, she smiled warmly at me before looking to her side, presumably where Felix and Garet were, shooting them both an 'I-told-you-so' glare.

"Mia! It's been soo long!" she squealed as she captured me in a friendly hug, then ushered me in, "You've got to be freezing! Get inside before I have to use my fire psynergy to defrost your fingers."

Once inside, I set my belongings along with everyone else's and proceeded to the living room where a hearty fire illuminated the room with both light and warmth.

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The door closed with a soft click, this I knew was real.

I opened my eyes groggily to see the dying embers of a once roaring flame, as if they too, had been sleeping. I had decided to take the couch tonight, a choice I think I may regret.

Footsteps are coming nearer and nearer, I poke my head over the backside of the couch, squinting to make out shapes in the dark. The figure freezes, "Who's there?" I ask out into the darkness, my words still slurring by sleep.

The figure slowly came forward, "Mia? You're here, already?"

The scarf was all I needed to see, "Isaac." I sighed, falling back down on the couch and pulling the covers over my head. "What were you doing out so late?" I heard myself say.

He removed his coats, sitting on the couch opposite me. "There was a small incident with a couple crazy vermin outside the village that needed to be taken care of." He answered simply, hanging his sopping shirts over the embers.

Now he's only in an undershirt, damn, Wise One, just kill me now.

"Sorry to keep bothering you, but do you know if there are any... well, never mind." He says, stretching and lying down on the couch adjacent to mine. There's a slight silence, he's plotting something, I just know it.

"Soo, you smitten with anyone yet?"

I smirk, he can't see it though. "You just wasted your 'anything question' on something like that?"

"Wait—what? That wasn't—you are?" he sputters.

"Unfortunately."

"With who?" he blurts.

At the time, I don't feel like making his life any easier. I'll answer him, but in riddles. I hope I'm making sense, I'm too tired to tell diagonal from diagonal.

...Wait, aren't they the same things?

At any rate, I reply simply: "It doesn't matter, I hate him anyway."

Now he's really confused. "You... hate him... but you love him?"

"I hate him because he made me lose this bet, but I love him because, well, I do. I kinda to miss him, too."

I could tell he's now beyond befuddled, exasperated too. "But who? Who is he?"

"For one, he's denser than an anvil," He hasn't given me a response of any sort, so I freely blurt, "You!"

His mouth drops. "M-Me?" I hide my ashamed snickers behind my hand. Once he recovers though, he adds stupidly: "Well then, I guess we both lost."

I still love him and his impractical quirks, I still hate him and his impractical quirks, too. Buut,at least I don't miss him anymore.