He stared out onto the ocean, trying to remember what had really been said that day. The more he thought about it, the more he came to realize, no one had ever said, "stop them from lighting the lighthouses." In fact the words that echoed over in his mind were the ones the elder had said.
"Felix has to unlock it."
Which is what was bothering him. If all along this was all about Felix why were they sent out at all? Did all that they'd done, and all the suffering they'd endured mean nothing? Was it all pointless? Yes, he and Garet had responsibilities for whatever happened to the Elemental stars, they had helped remove them from Sol Sanctum, but if not the world would die. He had, had the proof of that shoved in his face. So why were they sent out in the first place? To top it all off they had disrupted two other lives for all time. Mia and Ivan were never going to be the same. They had come too far with them and seen too much.
So why had the Wise One done this to all of them, if Felix and the others could have handled it?
"Dammit." He said into the night, softly and with feeling.
Ivan watched the older boy look out at sea, his eyes matching the dark and restless ocean in front of them. Taking both boats had seemed like a good idea when they had all finally decided to work together and light the lighthouses, but, for once he wished someone else was here with him and Issac. Garet and Mia had gone over to help take care of the injured on the other boat. Mia always seemed to know what to do, maybe something to do with the fact that she was a healer. He'd never seen Issac look so depressed, not once in all their travels. He thought the older boy would be happy, he didn't have to worry about Jenna or his teacher anymore, and he didn't have to fight his childhood friend. What was he going to do? Whom could he ask for advice, and how?
Mia! He thought.
He closed his eyes and concentrated and the wind blowing past his face and heading toward the front ship.
"Mia." He whispered into the wind.
"Yes Felix, Picard will be fine. He is just a little sick from having used so much psyenergy without a chance to renew it." Mia said to the dark-haired boy in front of her, worry written plain on his face. It puzzled her. His emotions were right there in his eye but none came out in his voice. It was always so neutral, devoid of the emotions you could see if you looked.
"Mia!" Sheba called. Coming out of the girls room.
"Yes, Sheba is something wrong?" Mia said turning to look at the blonde girl.
"Not here, but Ivan is trying to call to you."
"I thought Ivan was on the other ship?"
"His is. Close your eyes and concentrate. He's calling you on the wind. Something about Issac. I can't make it all out though, it not being sent to me."
Mia closed her eyes and listened, letting the sound and movement of the ocean center her.
She jumped. It sounded like he was standing right beside her!
"Sheba? Will you tell him I'm listening?"
"Yup, sure give me a second."
She watched as the wind reversed and headed toward the other boat. She quickly centered herself again, so she could hear what Ivan was so upset about.
"Mia, Issac is not looking so well. He keeps staring out at the ocean and sighing. I didn't know what to do so I contacted you. What should I do?"
Mia smiled, thinking about how obvious those two were to everyone but each other. It was so cute! Mia herself had plans for a certain blonde haired wind user. Not that Sheba had noticed yet, but she would when Mia was finished.
"Sheba? Could you tell Ivan that I said just to try and cheer him up? Try to find out what's wrong and to get over his fear?"
Sheba nodded and concentrated on sending the message back to her counter part.
"MIA! You promised not to mention it!" Ivan yelled back.
She broke out laughing, turning her back to the people who were now standing around her holding their ears.
"Is he always that loud?" Felix asked.
"No. For the most part he's very quiet, as far as that goes you should just tell Picard how you feel too."
"Wha . . . ? When did you?"
"Does it matter?
"I'd like to know where I screwed up." He said softly. Worry creeping into his voice.
"Feeling something is not a mistake, Felix. I wouldn't worry about it though, he hasn't seemed to notice. I have no clue how he missed it though."
Just like that his face went back to reflecting his element, going calm, and still.
"Good night Mia." He said turning and heading for the bottom of the ship and Picard's room.
"Mia?" Sheba said in a smug voice.
"When were you planning to take your own advice? When were you planning to tell me about your feelings?"
"I let you look in my mind. I never tired to hide them. I did want to wait till after we had finished our quest. In case you found your parents on the way."
"I've realized that it's not important anymore. The people who raised me are my parents." She paused and turned to take in the blue haired girl out lined by her element. "Would you like to try and tell me now?"
"No. I'd rather show you." Mia said leaning down to meet the shorter girls lips. "Think we can toss Jenna out of that room?"
"Give me a sec." Sheba said going to the door. "JENNA! I need the room to myself tonight, so can you get out?"
"What? Of course not. I'm trying to sleep here."
"Too bad." Sheba said concentrating on the wind, giving it more force then it should have had, enough to blow Jenna out of the room and into Garet who was coming down the hallway. With that she reached out and pulled Mia into the room. As soon as it shut, a wind barrier went up to repel all Psyenergies, and the door froze into a solid block of ice preventing anyone from forcing it open.
"Dammit!" Jenna said softly and with feeling.
"Ouch." The pillow beneath her groaned. "Jenna? Are you okay?"
"Yea, just left without a place to sleep."
"Well . . . you could barrow Felix's bed. He said he was going to keep watch on both Picard and the controller-ball thing. Kraden's in the room with us, so nothing can happen to you."
"Why would you say something like that? Unlike my brother I know nothing will happen to me when your around Garet." She paused and listened to the sounds that were faintly coming from her room, which she was sure her brother and Picard would try to match at some point during the night.
Garet reached down and helped her to her feet.
"I just didn't want you to worry about it." He shrugged, trying to make it look like he didn't care. Jenna knew that he did. She knew that every time her brother mentioned not trusting Garet where she was involved hurt him.
"Garet?" she said softly.
"Yes, Jenna?" he said turning to look at her with a half smile on his face.
"What if I want something to happen?"
"Jenna!" he gasped. Voice soft and choked.
"Well?" she asked again, trying to make it look like she had all night to wait on his answer.
"Then I would have to say no."
"No?" she raised startled ruby eyes to his matching ones.
"No. At least not tonight. It would be very bad, if Kraden were to wake up, for Kraden anyway. Not too sure what you would do, for his interruption, but I'd roast him on reflex."
"What about tomorrow? There's an empty room on the other ship."
"The answer is still no, until I get an answer out of you."
"What's the question?" Jenna asked. She was afraid of what kind of question Garet would come up with.
"I just want to know if this, us, is forever. I don't want you for just a night Jenna. I want you for all time. Now and always. I won't let myself be a one night stand to you." He said voice calm, serious, very un-Garet like.
"Yes Garet. I would like us to be forever. Garet? Will you marry me in the next town?"
His smile rivaled the stars that were shining down on them.
"Yes, Jenna to both of your questions. Just keep your brother from killing me."
"You're mine now. He'd better not hurt you, I know how to make him regret it."
Felix growled low in his throat, Damn Picard for needing a glass of water. He really didn't need to know any of that. To top all off what he had just heard, by tomorrow everyone thought he'd be Picard's lover. He stomped into the kitchen and threw on the tap, slamming it off before it could get to full. The worst part was, Garet was a nice guy. One that he knew treated Jenna well, and made her happy. Still, it was his sister! He had to think of something to do to let the other boy know that breaking his sister's heart would not be tolerated.
Picard watched as Felix stormed into the room.
"Fe? Is something wrong?"
Felix's usually rock craved face was set in an angry scowl, and, something Picard said obviously had made it worse, because Felix's face went a deep red.
"Don't call me that. Ever again."
"Why? What's wrong F-, Felix?"
"What's wrong? Dear gods what isn't wrong! First Mia, tells Ivan to fess up to Issac, then she turns around and tells me to tell you exactly how wonderful I think you are! After that you send me upstairs and I accidently hear my sister propose to that Barbarian! And I don't even want to think about what's going on in the Girls room. The worst part is everyone thinks I'm down here, blowing your brains out. Probably literately. So I'm fine, thank you very much!"
Felix finished out of breath and stood there glaring down and the Lumerian. Who, to his surprise smiled.
"What could you be smiling about? Did you hear me? They think we're a couple!"
"Yes, I heard you. Did you hear you? You just told me how you feel about me yet, your standing there mad, because someone else might know how you feel."
"I did not fess up to anything. I told what Mia thinks I think of you."
"I'm sure Mia said, Felix if you think he's wonderful go and tell him." Picard whispered, sarcasm plain in his voice.
"I never said wonderful."
"Yes Felix. You did." He smiled again. "Do you really think wonderful in your head when you think about me?"
"Not all the time! Right now what I'm thinking is decidedly unpleasant."
"Not all the time? How many times a day do you think about me?"
"I-" Felix realized his mistake too late and blushed. "All right so I do think you're wonderful, along with half a dozen other things that you would probably think were silly. I'll . . . I'll go now." Felix said, heading for the door. Which froze solid before he could get there, Picard, liking Mia's style, borrowed it.
"Oh no. Your not going any where till we've worked this out Felix."
"What's there to work out? You think . . . I don't even want to know what kinds of awful things your thinking about me right now, but I'm sure that I don't want to hear it."
Felix paused and took a deep breath.
"Let me out, Picard."
"No." He answered with equal calm
"Dammit Picard! You can't keep me here."
"I'm going to try to till you sit down and listen to what I have to say."
"I don't want to hear what you have to say Picard. I can guess, so please just let me out of this room."
"I will not." Picard said. He was having to put more concentration into it then was good for him. He still hadn't recovered, and just using his powers was causing his head and stomach to rebel.
"Fine. Then tell me what is so important for you to say, before you hurt yourself." Felix said not moving from the door.
"Please come a little closer so that I can see your face. It's rude not to look at someone speaking to you."
Felix took two steps into the room till the window highlighted the tears on his face, which, Picard noticed was set into its firm lines.
"Would it be so bad if I was your lover? Is there something about me that you think you should be ashamed of Felix? For the record, I think you're wonderful too, and that you one of the most beautiful things I have ever laid eyes on in my whole long lifetime. I love you Felix." Picard managed to get out before he passed out.
Felix watched as the other man fell forwards and rushed to catch him, his own healing energy filling his hands and the rest of the room with a warm yellow light.
He fed the other man energy till he felt a hand reach up and touch his face.
"Picard? I'm sorry. That was a really childish thing I did, and I'm sorry. I love you too and I see nothing shameful in you. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me, and I'm glad you were accused of being a pirate, otherwise we would have missed each other."
"Fe." Felix corrected.
The Lumerian smiled up at him and breathed his name out as he pulled him down for a kiss.
Ivan was still looking at the older boy. He had no clue how to cheer him up. Garet had the knowledge from being his friend so long, Mia had the ability, and he was just short and useless. Issac sighed again and to Ivan it seemed like some of his Psyenergy slipped away from him. He gathered his courage and walked closer to the older boy, he was not going to let Issac be weakened by whatever he was thinking about.
"Issac? Are you okay?" Ivan decided to try a direct approach. If that didn't work out, he could try another way.
Issac turned around to take in the small boy standing in front of him. The wind and moonlight made him glow and shift looking like he was from another world. Issac felt the pang of guilt hit him again, who was he to taint such perfection? So, he pulled a smile from somewhere and hoped the younger boy would go away.
"Yes, Ivan. I'm fine. Are you okay? I thought you were asleep?"
"No. I was meditating. I want my powers to be as useful to you as Sheba's are." Fine, Ivan thought, I'll try this a different way.
"Ivan . . . that's silly you're just as important as Sheba is. You have some of the strongest energy on the team, so, don't over work yourself all right?"
"Like you are right now? I really can tell that some things wrong with you. Are you going to tell me what it is or are you going to make me take it from your mind?"
"Even after you promised not too?"
"Yes!" Ivan shouted this time watching the energy drain from the blonde. "Your psyenergy is slipping from you! What are you thinking that's bothering you this much?"
"It wouldn't matter if it was gone Ivan, Felix is the leader now. He does a much better job of it then I did. He always knew what was going on. We were just kind of stumbling along when I lead, not knowing what was going on."
"That's not true! Your still our leader! Mia, Garet and I wouldn't listen to Felix if you didn't think he was worthy of it. We did not stumble around. We followed a trail. We got to where we needed to be, didn't we? You got us to where we needed to be."
Ivan watched as his words seem to break the calm front Issac was trying to hold on to.
"No! I did nothing! You know what I was just thinking about? That day in Vale no one said to stop them from lighting the light houses. We decided if that was what they were doing then we should stop it. What was said was that it was Felix's job to unlock it! We dragged you and Mia far from your homes and screwed up your lives for no reason! We did all of that for no reason. We're not important. All of the things we went through were all for nothing. Does that still make me a good leader? Good leaders mess lives up for a reason! It seems that I really didn't have one."
"Nothing? I know some people who would tell you that's not true. The people of Kolima for starters. After that let's go with Atlin, Tolbi, hell I'm glad you came and screwed up my life. If not the man who raised me would still be a captive and the woman who loves us would still be heartbroken. Mia's village would still be dying from that strange disease! Do you think, she thinks that you messed her life up? Do you think any of those people think that? NO! We're glad you came. Maybe the Wise One sent you to help those people, because he knew that Felix wouldn't have time to. Did you ever think of that!"
At this point Ivan took a deep breath, and remembered Mia's words.
"No, you didn't think about that did you? You chose to ignore all the great things that we did do and wallow in self pity. Just my luck that the man I'm in love with would rather give up then try again, even if only for the people around him who believed in him."
He stopped to take in the growing wonder on Issac's face.
"Good night Issac." Ivan said turning and heading for bed. He managed to take one step before he felt two strong arms wrap around him. They were trembling, but they were there, strong and warm.
"I'm sorry Ivan, your right. We did do great things. I was being petty. Garet and I were told we were going to save the world and maybe I was put out by the thought that it wasn't true. Which your right is petty and cheapens the good things that we did do. Thank you."
Ivan felt tears gather in his eyes. Issac hadn't returned his feelings.
"You're welcome." He made the wind whisper, not trusting his voice. He felt Issac stop the trembling and take a deep breath.
"So if it's not too much to ask, do you think you could give this fallen leader your trust and love again? Because I'm tired of just staring at you from afar." Issac smiled into the smaller boys hair as his body went stiff.
"Really Issac? Me and not Mia?"
"Of course you, silly. The girls we travel with are scary and only Garet is silly enough to pick one for all time. Besides Sheba might have an objection to me taking what belongs to her. I've seen spark plasma. I have no desire to experience it. Besides you're too perfect to give up to somebody else, and I hate to share what's mine."
"Am I really yours?" Ivan asked wanting to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
"Only if I can belong to you."
"Yes. For as long as air blows and the ocean meets the beach."
"Sounds perfect, but I want you after that too."
Ivan had to agree that sounded better has Issac lowed his mouth and captured his.