Oh my gosh. I know, I know. STOP STARTING NEW FICS! But I couldn't help it this time! I had totally awesome inspiration! n.n

Raine: Another one!? -Facepalm-

...Yeah...Another one... And I can guarantee you won't like this one any more than any of my others.

Raine: Won-derful.

Teehee. Okay. Some of this will be quite similar to an episode of Star Trek: Voyager(of which I am a devout fan) called "Coda." But It was such a fun idea, I couldn't pass it up! Enjoy! Give me reviews! Eat pie! (Yeah... It's late...)

Special Thankingness:

God, for my loved talent

Namco, for the kick-butt game

Paramount, for the original inspiration

I.K.A. Valian, for all of those really thought-provoking reviews. It was really special for me to get to read all of that, because it showed how very interested you were in my fic!

And, all my other readers. You're all loved, because you've supported me for so long, in so many things. Thank you all.


She shifted the staff on her shoulder as they walked, and flexed the other one a bit. With her free hand, she hid a yawn, and proceeded then to brush oplaine-white hair away from her face. They had spent a good portion of the day walking, making their way from the Ozette area, back toward Sybak. Yes, they probably could have used the Rheairds, but... Colette was infatuated with the idea of walking, now that her Rune Crest was finished and Altessa recooperating sufficiently. In fact, they'd all just paid him a visit to make sure.

Now, they were heading off to prepare - the coming battle might prove to be the last. The final fight with Mithos Yggdrassil for the fate of the world. A quiet sigh passed her lips. Raine Sage was glad when they cleared the Gaoracchia Forest and ended up on the anything-but-level grounds stretching between it and the University Town. The darkness was a little depressing in light of what was looming up before them. But now, in the sunlight, they walked along the edge of a high cliff overlooking a shore below.

It was quiet for a while, until Colette started singing something. Evidently Sheena knew it, too, because she joined in. Raine herself was familiar with the song - but she didn't sing. She stayed silent as she trod next to her brother, who looked a little solemn as well. The Sage siblings were similar in many ways - full understanding of and mulling over dire situations was one of them. But when the song turned to something close to a bouncey, upbeat song a bunch of drunks might sing around a campfire, most everybody was singing along.

Still, though she was smiling despite herself at the antics of her brother and their companions, she refrained from joining the loud and carefree caterwalling. The only other two smiling in silence were Regal and Presea - somehow, she couldn't see the man or child singing, particularly to something like this. However, Lloyd and Colette were bouncing along, Genis tripping all over himself and laughing himself breathless while trying to keep the song going. Zelos was belting it out - amusing in itself - and Sheena was laughing too hard to really sing. Soon, Raine, Presea, and Regal joined in quiet laughter. It was too amusing not to, even for the two sedate adults.

Ahh, it was good to have fun. To just let loose and not care who saw or what was going to happen. It helped to dissole the heavy tension in the air. Zelos was dancing with all the girls, now. It was something between a clumsy waltz and an odd fox trot as he went from one to another. Colette paired off with Lloyd, and they both ended up on the ground, practically dying of laughter. Genis and Sheena tried it, too, making the healer's smile edge a little more toward a grin.

Raine did manage to stop the red-head before he reached her, and Zelos settled for swinging a good-natured Presea around instead. She stepped backward to avoid a collision with Lloyd and Colette, who had gotten up to resume their frolicing, and the smile dropped quickly.

The majority of her foot landed on nothing but thin air, and thus caused her to lose balance. She fell with a yelp over the side of the cliff, and tried wildly to catch something. Falling from this high up would not be a pleasant experience. When at last her hand caught a rough ledge sticking out of the rockface, she clung. Raine brought her other hand up to latch onto it, too. Above her, she heard the festivities abruptly cease with Genis' horrified call of, "Raine!"

Trying to calm her breathing - though it wasn't easy when one was dangling many feet above the ground - she squeezed her eyes shut. Level head... Sedate thoughts. There was a solution to this... Right? "I'm alright," she replied, though her call was weak. She could feel herself trembling, and attempted to stop it. That wouldn't help. "I'm...alright..."

"Is there anything you can use to climb?" asked Sheena. They were all kneeling on the edge, watching her tensely.

Raine chanced a look around to scout out her surroundings. But nothing was close enough for her to use. Strong as her arms were for her staff - which had fallen down and broken in half on the way to the sand below - she couldn't possibly support herself well enough to reach for something, without a foothold. Of which there were none. Her booted feet searched for anything she could push herself up with. But all they did was scrape against the rock and send pebbles tumbling down the same path her rod had. "...No...Nothing close enough," she gasped. The ledge was hurting her hands, and she knew her arms would get tired soon.

"Hang on, Professor!" called Lloyd. "We'll find a way to get you back up!"

"Trust me, Lloyd... I have no intention...of letting go..." Her eyes closed again, her knuckles whitening and her palms starting to bleed just a little under the strain. I don't have any intention... But this ledge may say otherwise...

"Raine, can--" Regal was cut off as the half-elf he'd been addressing gave a gasp and more crumbling reached the ears of the helpless onlookers.

A chorus of her name and her title sounded from above as the rock gave way under a deal made between fate and gravity. She called out, though she wasn't entirely certain if it had been a word or not. She hit against the cliffside several times on the way down, and by the time her battered body reached the sand, the terrified soul had left it.


-Insanely maniacal laughter- How about that? Starting off with a cliffy chapter like that. Tsk, tsk. Bad author. And lookie there... Making it all happy and bouncey, only to... Well, do that.

Raine: O.O

... -Wave- Raine? Oh, geesh. Anyway. -.- Read and review! Keep watching. This one might actually go faster than others...