Mashu: "Back to Golden Sun after a long vacation. Cynic and I had a long discussion, and we're certain we can make this a habit given enough time and stories like these. For once, this isn't exactly a romance, it's more of a kinship thing. See, we can avoid that sort of thing. Probably."

Lord Cynic: "You're just saying that because you don't wanna get killed later."

Mashu: "Eh… Come to think of it, I started this in November, 2005. I left it alone for a while, and I just now finished it off. Eh, sorry?

Oh, oh! Before we start, there's this GS website I go to. Golden Sun Realm. And yeah, Cynic's a fanfiction administrator. Who da thought... anyways, I love the 4-Koma manga strips posted there. There's not many currently, but they're awesomeness. Really."

Mashu: "I don't own Golden Sun."

Warnings: Behaviour of characters may be considered OOC, but don't pester us about it. The game gives people not much to work with, and backgrounds and relationships are only skimmed over. So, we take the initiative. Oh, and don't comment on the borrowed lines, we knew what we were doing. You'll know what we mean when they come.

Yearning for what one cannot have

Heavy rain pelted down Mia's window like one of her many Mercury-based attacks. It would've caused a problem if she were attempting to sleep, since it was very loud, and the accompanying thunder and lightning wasn't of any assistance. Indeed, it was considered a sort of semi-miracle for anyone to sleep through the ruckus and flashing lights. On the other hand, a certain wild-haired Mars Adept could and would fall asleep amidst almost anything if he were kept still for too long.

However, Mia was wide-awake, and had been for hours. One reason could've been because the storm was of her element, so she felt replenished and energised by its aura and power. Another, more haunting reason, could've been that yet again, she was thinking of someone. Someone, who had betrayed her faith and descended her into a deep, emotional stupor of depression and remorse because of his selfish ambitions. Someone, who, despite all the trauma he had put her through because of his abandonment, she could not rid from her conscience and private thoughts, no matter how desperately she tried.

She unconsciously sank further into her bed, ignoring the weak creaks of the timber and slightly protruding springs prodding her gently. Garet had once commented on the abysmal quality of the beds in most of the inns they'd rested in, and if she weren't currently mourning, she would've readily concurred. However, that was the furthest thing on her mind now as she sat up in bed and focused squarely on the filthy stains on the ceiling.

Yet, even the splotches reminded her of the cool, calm, emotionless former apprentice. It was as if everything around her was taunting her, prodding at her heartstrings, her most precious thoughts. No matter how she tried to suppress her thoughts and feelings, they kept resurfacing every night before she slept, ensuring that even her dreams could torment her. It was sickening, but something she could not avoid until her conscience could convince her to forget about her fellow Mercury Adept and fellow (former) clan protector.

Mia sprawled out delicately on the mattress, her hands behind her head as she continued to gaze absent-mindedly on the blemishes on the cracked ceiling. The rain continued to stampede down her window like angry beasts, and the thunder complimented their rampage with well-timed thumps from nature's drums. However, despite the usually soothing displays of her elements, Mia was already emotionally depleted. Her eyelids drooped slowly as she began to reminisce over pained memories.

Mia sat alongside Alex under a tree in the frosty town of Imil. She watched the seemingly endless snow descend on and around them, her eyes wide with fascination. She was about ten, he eleven, and the young girl was enraptured by the constant white phenomenon. However, one thing gnawed at the back of her naïve and carefree mind.

"Brother Alex," she piped up (he wasn't literally a relative, but he was the closest she had to one), "why doesn't it rain? We get this pretty snow, but no rain. How come?"

"It's the climate," Alex explained shortly. "The climate in this place freezes the rain before it reaches us."

It sounded like a perfectly reasonable answer, so Mia accepted it. However, she missed the biting tone in her fellow clan member's voice. Instead, she thought of something else that puzzled her.

"What about Mercury Lighthouse?" she asked curiously. "I've never been there, but I've heard the water is really, really beautiful. Do you think there's a God that makes it like that?"

Mia waited eagerly for a response, but it never came. Confused, she looked over at the older boy. To her surprise, his gaze on the snow was almost like a resentful glare. His mouth was straightened in an eerie horizontal line, and Mia unconsciously shivered.

Whether it was from the chilly temperature, or Alex, she never knew.

The next time Mia watched the snow, it was six years later, and alone. She had just been told of Alex's departure, and consequent resignation as a protector of Mercury Lighthouse. However, she couldn't understand why. Sure, she and Alex had been growing gradually distant over the years (she'd stopped calling him "Brother" four years prior at his blunt request), but leaving one's duties as part of the Mercury Clan was unheard of. He'd never even told her himself that he was leaving – he just upped and vanished without a trace.

And it hurt. The one person she thought she had a connection with left without saying a word. Nothing, but a note, not anything, to explain himself. It was as if he didn't care, as if he only had his best interests at heart. Was that it? Did he really not care about their duty, about her?

Mia curled up under the same tree she sat under a time ago. When the bitter feeling of abandonment finally overwhelmed her, she cried freely and helplessly. The tears, upon falling from her face, froze into miniscule ice shards and shattered on the ground underneath her.

"Ah, well… I can't stay the same Alex you knew forever…"

Mia's eyes welled up with angry tears when she recalled those arrogant words from the traitor. What exactly had he done since leaving, and was he even of the Mercury Clan to begin with? What happened in the year since he abandoned her? Had he obtained some forbidden power, or was he seeking that power for his own purposes?

She wiped the budding tears from her eyes, forcing herself to focus on the task at hand. She turned to the downcast and despondent boys that had helped her find out what Alex had been up to since his departure. Her resolution was clear.

"We won't let Alex get away with this… Let's go after them now!" She was caught off guard by the shocked faces of the boys, especially that of the taller of the two blondes, Isaac. "What's the matter? We should hurry!"

"We?" Garet, the boy with the tall red hair blurted incredulously. "Mia, are you coming with us?"

Mia nodded determinedly, her mind made up. She noticed Isaac glance at her suspiciously, but dismissed it. She understood if he was cautious, since it seemed that the kidnapped 'Jenna' and 'Kraden' were his friends.

"But the people of Imil need you, Mia," the shorter blonde boy, Ivan, interrupted, causing Mia to turn her attentions from the more silent member of the group.

"It's okay. "The fountain shall be filled as long as light fills the house." That's an old saying. The fountain will run over with healing waters now." She shook her head, to clear her mind of her troubles. "I have mixed feelings about leaving, but Imil will be fine as long as the fountain continues to flow with the Water of Hermes." She turned back around to face her new companions. "We should hurry if we're going to follow them."

However, as she followed the boys into the elevator, she thought, "And one day, I'll find out just who you are, Alex. Even though it hurts, I'll have to accept that you're no longer who you used to be."

Mia didn't realise it, but tears had started to form in her eyes. However, when she heard a gentle knocking on her door, the sound brought them to her attention. She wiped the droplets away hurriedly and uttered, "Who… who is it?" as she stood up.

She was surprised when the door opened to reveal Isaac standing outside her room. In contrast to her grief-stricken features, his face was a well-toned mask of patience and constraint. She wondered briefly what he was doing, not realising that her lip had begun to tremble and her body to shake.

Suddenly she turned away, not wanting to let the young blonde, or anyone for that matter, see her exposed. She didn't want him to see her break down like a lost child, she didn't want him to see her show a weakness she thought she'd overcome at last. It was too much.

Due to her inner turmoil, she didn't hear the quick but quiet footsteps of Isaac. She gasped, however, when she felt his lean but strong arms wrap around her delicate shoulders. That was her breaking point, and she spun herself around, burying her head in his chest as she cried loudly.

Through her crying, she felt his grip tighten around her fragile, quaking frame. She'd never visibly shown the stress of Alex's traitorous actions throughout the journey, but now she couldn't stop herself. She let herself self-destruct, knowing that Isaac wouldn't tell anyone. He would keep it a secret, he was that kind of person.

Finally, he whispered two important words, "I know," and Mia felt the weight be lifted off her shoulders and her heart.

They both knew pain, and she knew that when the time came, she'd do the same thing for him.

The End