Disclaimer: All characters are copyright Artix Entertainment. I would like to thank my new found friend Dark-Angel-874 for the idea. "A Changing Age", thusly, is dedicated to her. Here's looking at you, kid. To find out how they met, read "Of Rogues and Wanna-Be Playboys" by Dark-Angel-874.

A Changing Age

They had told one another that, no matter how right they told each other it was, it was wrong. In fact, it was so wrong, they had agreed only to meet in the dead of night, on the outskirts of Darkovia. They had been meeting under these circumstances for around a month now. Battleon was dangerous at night, and thusly, no one in their right mind would go outside, let alone to look for anyone. They would wait until morning, and by then, they'd be back, and no one would care.

Well, one had their excuse. Being on the Nighttime Perimeter Patrol, she had reasons to be outside at night. They came from different worlds, different walks of life. One, a Ranger. Solitary, confined hunters. Her motto, steal from the rich and give to the animals. The other was a Rogue. Stealing from others just to satiate her own pockets. One, a giver, the other, a taker.

The moment the sun disappeared under the dark canopy of Darkovia, plunging Lore into the long, unforgiving night. The moment she heard her partner, a green-haired Guardian she had just met, mutter 'and so the night begins...' she inhaled deeply and crept quietly out of her partner's earshot, stood up and ran full-spread towards the west, towards Darkovia.

"Ah, crap... Lost my freakin... Damnit! Why the hell do I always drop things! Hey, Robina.. mind helping me find my necklace? It's kinda small, has a picture of Sa...ister... yea, sister? Robina? Hey, Robina?" Maria, Robina's watch partner called into the night. "Where did she go?!"

The moment she reached the designated meeting point, she volted over a shrub and crouched down, staring through a small opening into the clearing she had just come from, making sure she wasn't being followed. Using her free right hand, she moved her dark-purple hair out of her eyes. No one following her... What was she saying? Of course no one was following her! What would happen to her reputation as a swift, silent thief if she got caught sneaking out at night? The night was her friend. More then anyone else could say about it.

On the horizen, just in the fading light, she could see an outline of someone. She couldn't tell who, so, just to be sure, she cupped her hands around her mouth and gave a high-pitched moan, a challenge warning of a Natator. The figure stopped, and in the distance, she could hear the call echoed back. Smiling, Valencia jumped over the shrub once more and ran towards the figure.

Every night, it was like the day they met. Well... not exactly 'met' as in first meeting, but when they first met, and first realized their feelings towards one another. When they were some ten feet away, Robina pounced the rest of the distance, knocking the Rogue over. It was exactly like their first meeting, except this time, it was intentional. There they lay, Valencia no the bottom, her arms wrapped around the Ranger's waist, while Robina had her arms around the Rogue's neck.

"Missed you. Miss me?" Valencia smirked, her purple hair spread out on the ground lackadaisically. Robina tightened her grip around Valencia's neck.

"Terribly. Let me show you how sorry I am..." She shut her eyes and lightly placed her lip to Valencia's. Even though only twenty-four hours had passed since they last saw one another, it seemed like an eternity. An eternity both of them have been walking through a desert, no food, no water... no company. These night... these short, ten hours they had together, was a refreshing glass of wine, running down their throats, revitalizing them. The Ranger laid down properly on her lover, giving her knees a rest. The Rogue chuckled.

"No matter how many times I look at you... no matter how many times I get lost in your eyes... you face... your smile... I never get bored. I just can't bring myself to say enough... we can't see each other anymore... I wonder. Is that what love... true love, is? Never growing tired of seeing someone? Never wanting to say enough... or let go?"

"Oh, god. You are one sexy beast when you get philosophical. Have I ever told you that?" The Rogue laughed, turned her head to Robina, and muttered:

"Shut up and kiss my, you idiot." A request Robina was more then happy to fill. The grass was cold and wet, the wind blew lightly across the field tugging at the two lover's hair.

More time then I care to take the trouble in writing had passed by this time, somewhere around two hours, and they never budged. They both were content in holding each other, and tasting each other's lips. Robina felt something touch her inner thigh, and tickle her. "Hey, stop that you tease!" She laughed. Valencia grinned, and responded with a firm:

"Who's gonna stop me? Besides, admit it, you love it."

"Oh, you wanna play dirty, huh?" Robina replied, licking the Rogue's neck slowly.

"Oh, god!" She burst out, a surge of unexplainable pleasure coursing through her body. "Oh! Uh..." He moaned, soaking in the sensation. "You dirty, horny little bitch..."

"Oh," She started between licks. "And you're not?"

"I never said that." Was the response, followed by another kiss. However, as the night progressed, it became obvious that something was plaguing Robina. Valencia tried to ignore it, but seeing her love frown like that... it broke her heart. "Robina... you're not yourself tonight. What's wrong?"

"Nothing... nothing's wrong. How can anything be wrong when I'm with you?" Was the response. However, despite the sure-founded response, she was not satisfied.

"That's not true... some thing's bothering you... tell me."

"Well... It's just that... I'm paired up with Maria for nightly patrol... and everytime I run off to be with you... I leave her to take anything that goes wrong... I feel guilty leaving her like that. She's just so... fragile..."

"Maria's a big girl. She can hold out by herself. Besides, what is she doing sticking up for you?"

"I don't know... and frankly I don't care. Where were we?"

"You were about to take your clothes off. Remember?" Valencia smirked.

-

The sun began to creep over the horizen, light flooding the field. The moment some of the rays fell over Robina's eyelid, they sprung open. It took her some time to realize what had happened. Usually she was well back to Battleon by this time, but they had fallen asleep, loosing all track of time.

"Oh, shit! Oh, shit!" She shouted, scrambling to her feet, jarring Valencia out of her sleep. The Rogue took a bit of time to wake up before she saw the sun. "Oh, fuck!"

"Wha're you so worried about..." The purple-haired Rogue muttered, still affected by the powers of sleep.

"I have to be back by eight! Oh, fuck, Artix'll have my head!" Was the response. Valencia stood, dusted her bare legs off, and pulled the panicked Ranger into an embrace, they're naked forms pressing against one another.

"I'm tired of this, Robina. Tired of having to hide our feelings from the rest of Battleon. Tired of having to part at the first light of day. Having to... make the best of what little time we have together... tired of having to be a secret... having this be a secret. Why can't we tell anyone? Why can't we both just walk right up to Artix and say: 'We're in love.' Why is that so wrong?" Robina thought about this for a while, before finally responding in a firm, confident voice.

"You're right. God dammit, you're right! I'll be damned if I have to run from the truth any longer. Let's get dressed and go... before I again become sane." That is what Valencia wanted to hear. She smiled, kissed the Ranger, and gathered her clothes.

-

"Maria... where'd Robina go? I thought she was on patrol with you." Artix, Captain of the Guardians asked the green-haired Guardian.

"Uh... she was sir... I, uh... let her go. She was starting to doze off, I said she could go home. Take the night off. Crystal Lion covered for a while, till just before sunrise. I took over afterwards." She responded. Artix looked at her with a confused disbelief.

"You're giving her a lot of leeway recently. Any reason?" He asked, looking at her from the corner of his eye.

"No, not really. I like looking out for people... and watching them get kicked in the shin." She grinned.

"Stop reminding me. I'm still feeling that a week later... ow..." Artix limped off, holding his shin.

"Sorry again, Maria..." Robina spoke behind the Guardian. Maria spun around to face the Rogue and Ranger behind her.

"Where the hell were you!? And don't say chasing a big spider! I know that's a lie. And... Are you two holding hands?" Maria looked at their hands. "That's hot."

"Yea... we are. Long story... Do you want the real reason I've been running off?" Robina responded. Maria nodded. "Well, a week or so ago, I was watching Artix trying his 'Big Pimping' act, and I got the pleasure of seeing Elizabeth give him a good whack in the shin."

"Yea, I saw Lizzie do that. Freakin' hilarious." Maria chuckled.

"Well, I kinda walked off... thinking about someone..."

"Valencia?" Maria interrupted. Robina gave a nod. "Ah, I knew it. You're a lesbian, aren't ya?" Another nod. "That's so hot. At least I know I've been covering for you for a good reason."

"I still think they make a great couple." A voice whispered from behind a building.

"You're not very quiet, Mrs. Miura. Come on out." Maria told her.

"Ah... CRAP!" She shouted, walking in view.

"You too, Rayne."

"Oh, mother..." A second voice cursed. Maria smiled. Another younger woman walked out and stood next to Elizabeth Miura, her arms crossed. Maria smiled at the two girl's attempts to over hear their conversation.

"Was it really that obvious?" Valencia muttered. Maria smiled, shook her head and waved.

"Well, ideally, no. But the fact that the two of you are wearing each other's clothes was kind of a dead give away." Maria responded, bursting into laughter.

End.

The Speaking of the Muses:

Xenolord: So, what did everyone think?

Maria: Thumbs up.

Natalya: Same.

Serras: (Waking up) Huhwhowha?

Xenolord: Nevermind...