The air sang as the blade slashed through the night air, the soft patter of bare feet against tile as the only accompanying harmony.

Anya narrowed her eyes in concentrating, taking a step back before lunging forward, the rapier in her hand whipping through the moonlight, flashing white-hot silver as she danced across the rooftop of the government building.

Despite her slim frame, Anya was extraordinarily fit and, like most Knights, had taken a kind of swordplay in order to keep herself in shape- in this case, fencing, since Gino already knew it and insisted on teaching her. She practiced irregularly, but tonight she had felt compelled to hone her skills once more.

Or perhaps she just needed a distraction.

If she was another girl, Anya would have sighed. Whatever happened when Mordred came into contact with that enemy Knightmare only reinforced her deepest, darkest fears- that there was something truly wrong with her memory, that what the raw data stated and what her mind said was true were two different things.

Shaking her head, Anya narrowed her eyes and lunged forward yet again, using her sword to try and fight away all the shadows that were pressing down on her, hungrily, like wolves.

"Can't sleep?"

Her sword stilled in mid-air, but she otherwise showed no sign of surprise. "I suppose," she answered vaguely, shifting her gaze to glance at him out of the corner of her eye.

Gino ambled out of the shadows, smiling sunnily, a rapier of his own sheathed loosely through his belt. "Care for a sparring partner?" he asked, placing his hand on his hip, smile turning into the barest of smirks, a challenging glint in his eye.

Anya gave him a once over impassively, before nodding, ever so slightly.

"I suppose."

"The usual rules?" Gino offered. "First one to disarm the other?"

She nodded again, and he smirked fully. "Yosh."


Gino, as was his custom, moved first, using his superior reach and strength to his advantage right off the bat, his rapier flashing through the air, lighting quick, intent on pushing the blade against the hilt of her sword and knocking it away.

However, what Anya lacked in strength and reach, she compensated for with agility, sidestepping the attack and into Gino's guard, using the same move he would have tried against her.

Fluidly, the Knight of Three swung his arm sideways, changing the thrust into a slash seemingly without effort, parrying her attack.

Undeterred, Anya pressed on, coming at him with a nimble series of slashes, knowing that his lankier frame gave him a clear advantage if she backed off. For his part, Gino managed to hold her off fairly well, using the least amount of movement possible, his long arms becoming more of a hindrance than a help.

Then, Gino stepped too far back, and his foot caught on uneven ground.

Seeing an opening, the Knight of Six went forward with a powerful slash, intent on gaining the upper hand.

"Not yet!" he called out, parrying her blow with the same momentum he used to push forward, regaining his equilibrium and putting her back on the defensive.

Now, it was Anya who was forced to retreat as Gino kept her at a distance, making good use of his superior height and not allowing her to dictate the flow of battle, keeping her completely on the defensive.

"Hey Anya!" he said, laughing loudly. "Do you remember the first time we dueled like this? You kept throwing the sword at me to try and hit me!"

And at the mention of memories, Anya's grip slackened, just for an instant, and Gino's incoming thrust knocked her sword away. However, because of the rapid pace of their earlier exchanges, he had put a great deal of strength behind the blow, and it continued on, neatly grazing her ashen cheek, leaving a thin trail of red.

"Anya!" Gino's sword fell from his hand and he rushed to her side as the Knight of Six raised a gloved hand to touch the shallow cut, wincing ever so slightly.

"Oh God I'm sorry," he apologized quickly, almost panicked, moving her hand away as his bright cerulean eyes checked the wound over, brow furrowed deeply. "I shouldn't have put so much force into that attack, what the heck was I thinking, I should have been more careful, it's just a practice match-"

"You're babbling," Anya murmured tonelessly, though her eyes were soft.

"Because I cut you!" Gino sputtered, shaking his head, his larger hand enveloping her slender wrist. "Come on, let's go find a bandage!"

"It's just a small cut," she pointed out, even as he dragged her back inside.

However, as always, Gino simply refused to listen to reason, and did not hear a word of her protests as he dragged her into the supply room and began digging through the shelves for a bandage, haphazardly tossing any box that wasn't useful onto the floor in his frantic search.

"Suzaku's going to be mad at you if you don't clean this up," Anya muttered, punching in a new entry in her blog and taking a snapshot of Gino rustling through another box, angrily muttering "Where are those bandages".

"Aha! Bandages!" Gino exclaimed finally, rushing back over to her side, a smile finally back on his face as he held up the small package, tearing it open, and then, gingerly, placing on her cheek.

"You didn't need to do this," Anya said quietly, glancing up at him over the screen of her journal.

"I wanted to," he replied easily, softly, before bowing his head slightly, fingertips ghosting across the bandage, sending the slightest of shivers down her spine. "I'm sorry I hurt you. Forgive me."

"It's nothing," the Knight of Six answered passively, turning her head away, and for a while, there was silence, as he continued to trace his fingers across the bandaged cut.

"But, at least I won this time!" Gino suddenly interjected, pulling away, grinning widely again. "That's one more win for me!"

Anya said nothing, and one had to know her very well to notice the subtle changes in her stance that indicated she was annoyed; the tiny curl of her lip, the change in glint of her eyes, the barest raising of her brow.

"You got distracted, didn't you?" he added, almost as an afterthought, with a knowing look in his eye that would have surprised most to see in the affable but somewhat flighty Knight of Three.

When she said nothing in reply, he pressed on, leaning in until his face was only inches from her own, ocean blue capturing dusky red, "Was it because of what happened in the last battle?"

Anya continued to remain silent, and Gino ruffled his hand through her hair, letting it rest at the crown of her head. "Well, don't pay it any mind. What's past is past, right?"

At long last, she turned back towards Gino, with his sunny, carefree smile, and, finally, dipped her head slightly, a semblance of warmth returning to her eyes as she took a careful photo of his face at that moment, to preserve it forever, even if her own memory forgot it.

And then she smiled.