Disclaimer: I still don't own it. Sigh.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes.
I couldn't sleep. Maybe it was the bed I was in. I mean, I usually slept outside, on the ground, but my companions and I had stopped off here at Hima sometime that evening since we were in desperate need of supplies anyway. And Zelos had insisted that we stay the night.
Damn Zelos, I thought. He probably jus wanted to have a soft bed to sleep in.
Damn Zelos and his desire for luxuries.
Feeling extremely irate, I dragged my blankets off my bed and curled up in them on the floor.
Twenty-five minutes later, I gave a sigh of defeat.
Ugh, I thought. My head is gonna hurt so much tomorrow. Why can't I fall asleep?
I squeezed my eyes shut as hard as I could in another attempt to slip away, but I only succeeded in making myself see spots. Frustrated, I got up and walked to the window of my room. For whatever reason, sleep wasn't coming to me tonight.
Outside, I could see the night sky filled with millions of brilliant stars. A small smile of wonder tugged at my lips. Stars were so beautiful.
I pressed my forehead against the cool glass and closed my eyes. My body was exhausted, and it was screaming at me to lie down, but my mind blatantly refused to relax.
I opened my eyes again as an idea came to me. My grandpa had always said, If you can't go to sleep, made sleep come to you. So basically, I had to make myself more exhausted somehow in order to bring on the needed sleep.
So, as quietly as I could, I shoved my body weight up into the window, forcing it to slide open. And with one glimpse back at the room to make sure I hadn't woken my companions, I climbed out of the window and up the side of the inn.
In less than a moment's time, I had reached the roof, and I heaved myself up over the edge.
With a shriek of shock, I almost toppled off the roof, but, luckily, two strong hands grabbed me before I could fall to my demise.
"Sorry, my voluptuous hunny, didn't mean to scare you."
I looked up angrily into the eyes of a certain red-haired Chosen.
"Zelos, I am not your voluptuous hunny, for the thousandth time, and I wasn't scared, I was just surprised," I sniffed.
"Well, either way," he said as I tried unsuccessfully to squirm out of his grasp. "You got to be rescued by the one and only Zelos Wilder, my lovely damsel."
He flashed mea bright smile, and a shaft of moonlight shone down on him, making his light skin appear pearl-like and his blue eyes sparkle. My breath caught in my chest, and to my utter horror, a blush crept up my cheeks. I prayed he wouldn't be able to tell in the darkness.
Why did he have to be so damned sexy?
"You're even more attractive when you're speechless, my Mizuho hunny," he said.
With a quick shake of my head, I wrenched myself out of his hold and sat next to him.
"You're impossible!" I exclaimed in frustration. "And I'm not your Mizuho hunny. I'm not any type of hunny for you!"
"Not yet," he said slyly, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and pulling me to him.
"Zelos, let go of me!" I shouted, but he only grinned mischievously and pulled me closer.
His fun was quickly ended, however, when my fist made contact with his stomach.
"Oof!" he grunted, clutching his stomach.
"Sheena," he whined. "I was just kidding."
"Can't you keep your hands to yourself for two minutes, Zelos?" I said, glaring. "Now don't touch me again, ever, if you want to live."
I lay down next to him, afraid I would fall over from exhaustion if I stayed sitting up, but I wasn't too worried about his wandering hands; Zelos liked to push me far beyond my limits, but he never went so far as to make me seriously injure him.
I glanced over for a second when I heard Zelos lay down as well by my side, but he was silent for once.
Looking up at the sky, I smiled, taking in all the majesty of it. The night sky- something I could never have, something I would always love.
"It's amazing, isn't it?" asked Zelos suddenly.
I turned my face toward him and smiled.
"Yeah," I said softly. "When I was little, me and my gr-"
I faltered but then continued.
"My grandfather and I would watch the stars together often. He used to tell me, 'You can always look to the stars for peace, Sheena. They remind us why we are here.' And I do- watch the stars to clear my head, I mean, and they always make me feel better."
"Your grandfather was a wise man," commented Zelos.
"I know," I said with a sad smile. "I miss him all the time."
I closed my eyes, feeling guilt and shame well up inside me, still fresh after all those years. A tear slid down my cheek, and I hurriedly wiped it away and struggled to pull myself together, hoping Zelos wouldn't really notice.
"Sheena, it's okay."
Oh, who was I kidding anyway? I couldn't hide anything from Zelos; he could read me like an open book. It was just humiliating, being so weak in front of him, especially him.
"No, Zelos, it's not okay," I insisted. "I half-killed my own grandfather, and I as good as killed all the other people too, and every day I wonder why I'm still here, alive, when I did such horrible things. I don't deserve to live, but for some reason, I'm still here."
I sniffed, and I closed my eyes as a few more tears escaped and ran down my cheeks. And when I opened them, Zelos was hovering over me, his face worried.
"Sheena, don't ever say that," he said firmly, locking his intense gaze on mine. It was impossible for me to look away. "You have so much to live for, and you deserve it all. Do you really think all those people, especially your grandfather, would want you to waste away feeling guilty for an accident?"
I bristled at his emphasis on the word accident, but when I opened my mouth to speak, he pressed a finger to my lips and held it there.
"I'm not done," he said, ignoring my glare. "I honestly don't think your death would make up for anything. It would only hurt everyone around you, your friends, and what would that solve? Nothing.
"And don't you think a much better way to make amends is by spending your life helping others or something? Make everyone proud, and prove that you're sorry- I'm not done."
I glared even harder when he put his whole hand over my mouth.
"Yes, I know you're sorry, but I was going to say- prove it through actions, good actions, like you have been doing. Your face is going to get stuck like that.
"But don't just throw your life away like that, because the fact is, you have people who care about you right here, who will stand by you forever, and we all know how sorry you are for what you did, and if you were in our place, would you let one of us die because we made a mistake?"
Zelos removed his hand from my mouth, and I blinked away tears, my lip trembling slightly.
"No, Sheena, you wouldn't, so stop kicking yourself over it. Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn't mean they should all die. Don't think like that."
Silence hung in the air when he finished, and I looked away, still slightly teary-eyed, and thought for a second.
Dammit, what he said made sense.
"I didn't know you could be so smart," I said, sniffling and looking back up at him, and he smiled, all traces of anxiousness leaving his face.
"I have a thing or two up here," he said, tapping his head with his fist.
I returned his smile, and he lay back down next to me and put his hands behind his head.
And then, hesitantly, I moved over a little and rested my head on his chest. I could his heart beating steadily.
"Thanks, Zelos," I said, and he put an arm around my shoulders.
"Of course, my banshee."
I elbowed him playfully and looked at the sky again. The last thing I remembered seeing was the stars shining brightly overhead.
Grandpa was right, I thought, and I closed my eyes.
(Zelos' POV): "So, my voluptuous hunny, when everyone asks where you were last night, I'll just tell them we were-"
I froze mid-sentence when Sheena turned on her side and put her arm around my torso, but when I looked at her face, I relaxed: She was just sleeping.
A smile formed on my lips, and I reached up with my free hand to caress her cheek. She was so beautiful, inside and out, and she didn't even know it.
Earlier, she had looked so lost and hopeless when she had confessed her belief that she didn't deserve life.
Hell, Sheena, I thought. If anyone deserves to live, it's you. You deserve all the happiness in the world, and I know I act like an ass in front of you most of the time, but I don't mean it. Sometimes I just get carried away, but if you knew how I really felt about you…
With a small sigh, I sat up carefully and lifted Sheena up into my arms. Her head lolled against my shoulder, and I rested my cheek on it, wishing I could stay like that forever. However, I knew she needed to get to bed, and so did I.
So I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, calling upon my wings. They appeared with a flutter, and after checking the desertion level of the area, I floated down to the ground. Then I put my wings away, eager to lose them again. If anyone saw them, I would have some explaining to do since my angel-gifts were currently a secret from my companions.
I stopped walking when the girl in my arms stirred. She opened her eyes and looked at me in confusion.
"WhasgoinonZelos?" she mumbled.
A warm feeling hugged my heart at the sound of my name on her lips. Something about the way she said it always seemed special.
"Nothing, Sheena," I said. "Go back to sleep, okay?"
"'Kay," she said, sighing softly and laying her head against my neck. The feel of her hot breath on my skin drove me crazy, and I wanted to have her and hold her and never let go…
I smiled sadly and entered the girls' room. I almost laughed when I saw the pile of blankets on the floor by Sheena's bed, and I could imagine her dragging them onto the floor, swearing, probably at me because I had been the one who suggest we stay here.
The truth was, I was also much more comfortable outside, but the twerp and his secret crush had looked so exhausted I thought they might fall off the mountain if we walked anymore.
I smiled. The little brat was growing on me, as were all the members of my group. I felt a twinge in my stomach, and I tried to shove it away.
Dammit, what was I supposed to do?
With a sigh, I lowered Sheena onto her bed and then retrieved her blankets from the floor. Quickly I covered her, not wanting to stay too long and get caught for something I wasn't doing.
Tucking Sheena in, I smoothed her hair back out of her eyes, and I left a small kiss on her forehead.
"Goodnight, my violent banshee."