His eyes were intense, burning with a fire I had never seen there before. And for some reason there was something else filled them. And all he said was, "Next time try not to let me scare you." He didn't even turn back as he walked away from me. His words were spoken in a hush, baby-talk way. Hiead could always read me. No matter if I tried to hide what I was feeling or if I didn't bother. He could, always read me.

It took walking away from the area for my nerves to calm. It always surprised me how fast he could get me riled up. But as much as I hated leaving the situation hat it was doing for our relationship was nearly unbelievable. Hiead almost didn't have to work to beat the other pilots now that Zero was gone. The top of the top was what we had become. It was a wonderful feeling.

But no that Zero was gone, so was Kizna, so was Saki, there was no one to talk to so I built up a wall around myself to keep from bursting. He was the only one that knew where the door to that wall was. And when he kisses me, it unlocks and all my emotions pour out onto him.

Walking into the training room though, that door was covered in so many shadows that a bat wouldn't have been able to find it. I walk over to the console, not touching it, not moving, just looking at it. Tukasa gives me a weird look and then jumps as the door slides open and Hiead walks in, most likely having taken a slightly longer route to where we were both going. I glance up not moving my head, as he walks up behind me and looks out over the training course. "Are we ready," he asks and my hands jump to the console, fingers flashing over the keys.

"We're in the second round."


"Yamagi," I speak back in the same hushed voice. Hiead looks over to where Tukasa was standing, still looking at us and she jumps and quickly returns to work. Yamagi walks into the room a moment later and over to Tukasa. Within minutes he notices her nervousness.

"What's wrong," He asks. She shakes her head and her fingers fly over the keys slightly slower than mine were at that moment.

"You're going against Hiead," she says throwing us a glance, Hiead looking up at the screen where I was typing procedure. Yamagi swallows and looks at us too, Tukasa returning to what she had been doing.

"Oh," He says and looks back at Tukasa and then the floor, swallowing again.

"Don't go overboard." Hiead looks at me from the screen, "If they loose two points they're out. Just knock him out and fall back to win. They're gone." I continue typing as I spoke slowly, concentrating more on what I was doing on the computer than what I was saying, there was a fifty-fifty chance he would even take my advice anymore, more than it had been. He huffs and with an indifferent grunt heads out of the room to the loading deck. Yamagi following close behind him, looking at the floor, they both knew that he was going back to level two soon. Yamagi was only part of the top five because of his sniping abilities, which were lacking slowly.

The battle commences soon after Azuma enters the room and calls the four of us to attention. It was even less time after that that Hiead was back at my side after having hit Yamagi once and his loosing two store point and loosing the ability to even battle Hiead, the battle was called a drawl and no point deducted from Hiead's log. I lean away from the console shortly after every one had left the hanger and look up at the pro-ing.

"You're working late," Hiead says from the door as it slides shut. I hadn't heard it open. I shake my head and look at my watch.

"I usually am taking a break around now, that's all…" I say as he walks toward me and I close the console, folding the screen over the top of the keyboard and lifting myself up on top of it, sitting there. He stops a little ways in front of me. "Why? Have you been keeping tabs on me?" Hiead smiles and brushes my hair out of my face.

"What If I said I had?" I shake my head.

"Wouldn't think you'd take the time is all." He smirks. Leaning forward I take a deep breath as his lip touch mine for a moment and then a longer moment. His lips always felt like kissing cotton. All too soon he pulls away, smiling. Not something he did too much, even now.

I wrap my arms around him and hold him against me. Not really wanting to think about the things I always did. Knowing, or wondering if he wanted me for anything other than a pro-ing partner. I had known for a long time that I had feelings that I couldn't contain for him, locked behind my door. But I could never ask him what he thought of it… I would never be able to do that.

His head slides into the crook of my neck like a puzzle piece and he buries his face there. I place my hand on the back of his neck and close my eyes. He had listened to me this afternoon. Yamagi was the third pilot we had knocked from the top five. Things had changed so much from the first one. So much. He pulls away a moment later and looks at me, then up to the pro-ing. He pulls out of my grasp and I smile as he walks over the cat walk and touches the cockpit door. "Soon, this will be zeta skin." My smile disappears.

"What will you do then?" He looks back at he and I look up at him. I didn't want to think about loosing him to the Goddess pilots, not to another partner that he could fall in love with. He walks back to me and touches my cheek. There was a look in those eyes that I didn't know. Something I had never seen before. It was cloudy and… happy. He presses his forehead to mine and smiles.

"Come on," he whispers and with his other hand takes mine and pulls me from my perch and to the door, releasing my hand as we walked though and in to the hall. He never did answer me.

It was the next day, in the weight room. I was sitting on a pile of mats with the other girl of the top five as they talked. It was recreation time, time to relax. So why Hiead chose this time to do weight lifting, as did the other top four pilots, I didn't know. It was nearly time for lunch when Azuma walked through the doors. He stops looks around and that was when I noticed him. "Carry," I say to one of the other top four pilots and she looks at me, "What is Azuma doing here?" She shakes her head and looks at him to, the other girls stop talking and gawk to.

Azuma seemed to find what he was looking for and began toward it, I follow his eyes and end where Hiead sits on the weight bench patting a towel to his wet forehead. When he sees Azuma he stands up at attention. The others around him do the same. The other girls were standing at this point, but I didn't have the strength. Carry looks at me for a second.

"Ikhny," she whispers, touching my shoulder, "Are you alright? You're really pale." The other girls look at me and agree. But I hardly hear them. I was watching Azuma. Watching as he walks up to Hiead. As he looks at his watch, quotes the times and as salutes Hiead. Hiead stares at him for a second and then still holding his towel in his hand, his eyes, those eyes seem to find mine in an instant. There was a long look between us. And then Azuma ends the salute and looks around. He finds me, my eyes still locked with Hiead's.

And then, I barely noticed as Azuma walked over to me and looking at his watch again says, "Ikhny," I look at him, breaking eyes with Hiead, "As of eleven hundred forty nine hours, you have been promoted to Goddess Repairer zero-five." I look back at Hiead and had to second glance the smirk on his face. Azuma salutes and I stand, saluting him back.

"Thank you, sir." Azuma winks.

"Prepare your bags, both of you," he look back at Hiead, then me, "You have a lot of work to do in the next few days."