Mag Launcher walks into the rather large living room of his home, looking around at it. He was just fixing to head out into the ruins for another hunt, this one promised to be particularly rewarding if he managed to make it through. It promised to be more difficult than a normal ruin however, and he'd probably need help with it. He'd normally ask Chain but...

Chain sits on the couch in his living room, staring at the TV, her cyframe nowhere in sight. It'd been about a week since it had been destroyed after a crash landing went horribly wrong, and Chain had been devastated by it. Her back had already healed almost fully, but he knew she'd much rather be with him in the ruins than sitting around in his home doing nothing. He'd often suggested other things she could do, but she always turned him down, claiming he couldn't buy her good will so easily.

He sighs a bit and walks further into the room, calling her attention to him. "Leaving so early?" She asks, looking over at him.

"It's going to be a long day." He says. "I wanted to get a move on so we could be back before dark."

"Gre told me about this ruin, are you sure you won't need any help?" She asks, looking more like she's demanding to go than asking him if he needs it.

"Pepper's going with me." He says, looking away quickly. He knew Chain had never liked Pepper for some reason, probably because she was more... Flirtatious with him than anyone. He usually pretended not to notice, but it was layed on so thick he could have spotted it without her saying anything at all.

Chain's face hardens as she stares at him. "Well go ahead Mag, see if she can keep your back as well as I can." She crosses her arms across her not very well endowed chest and turns away from him. Mag had never looked at her that way before, and he now saw he hadn't been missing much. She was almost totally flat in the chest area.

"Look Chain... I'd like you to go with me, but we both know you can't." He says, walking over to the couch. "I'll be back before tonight okay?"

Chain just sighs and doesn't look at him. "Okay..."

Mag sighs with her and kisses her cheek before getting up and heading for the door. He wanted to help her get over her depression over her cyframe, but he could never think of anything that could help her. He could never imagine not having his own cyframe, it was always there when he needed it, it was a part of him. Losing it would be like losing a limb...

He had to concentrate on the ruins now, he would worry about Chain tonight when he got home. Hopefully he will have thought of some way to help her by the time he got back. Probably wishful thinking, but he wanted it so badly he knew it had to be possible...

Chain looks out the window and watches as Mag and Pepper leave the estate, heading for the town entrance. She wished she could wipe that little smirk off of Pepper's face with a good hard frying pan, and she would have too if she didn't know Mag would get upset with her

So instead she just sighs and watches them go, leaning her elbows against the windowsill. She'd thought she could live like this, but it was turning out to be harder than she'd ever thought. Watching him run off and sitting around town doing absolutely nothing was slowly but surely driving her mad.

She takes time to wonder about Mag... Lately he hadn't even been allowing Linear to go with him into the ruins. Gre had told her one time she'd asked that he felt guilty about Chain's own situation, and didn't want anyone else getting hurt because of his own blundering. This had only served to increase her guilt over giving him such a hard time that day about getting lost, they had both gotten lost, but she'd blamed Mag.

Chain jumps a bit at a light delicate touch on her shoulder. She turns and sees Linear beside her, watching out the window where Mag and Pepper were already out of sight. "What do you want?" Chain asks.

"You're lonely." Linear says, her voice sounding more like a flute giving the impression of words than a real voice. Her excruciatingly beautiful face, baby blue eyes and golden blonde hair in stark contrast with Chains own firey red hair and rather dwarfish face and figure.

"Big surprise." Chain says, smirking both at her blunt comment and her insatiably good looks that any sane boy would die to see, and any girl would die to have. "Mag's already left if you're looking for him."

"No." Linear says, standing beside her. She hardly ever talked at all, and when she did it was usually only a few short sentences to Mag. Which made this sudden approach all the more surprising to Chain. "Mag's a wonderful friend."

Chain smirks again. "Yeah, I guess so." She says, staring curiously at her.

Linear reaches into her white robe and pulls out her ocarina. "He taught me to play when I was lonely." She says, smiling that beautiful smile of hers. "Do you want to play?"

"Me?" Chain says, pushing herself away from the windowsill, a bit surprised.

"Maybe it'll help." Linear says, calmly putting the instrument to her mouth. She plays a slow, haunting melody. The note seeming to reverberate through the entire house. Chain watches and listens transfixed until the song ends and Linear lowers the ocarina, smiling at Chain again.

"Th... That was... Beautiful Linear." Chain says, awestruck.

"Will you try?" Linear asks, holding the instrument out to Chain.

"Um..." Chain takes it confusedly, not having the slightest idea how to play. Linear gets behind her and takes Chains hands in her own, putting them on the ocarina.

"This is how Mag taught me." She says, raising the instrument to Chains lips. Chain hesitantly blows into the mouthpiece, Linear helping her move her fingers along the holes in the side. At first it sounds slow and cluttered, but it speeds up slightly as Chain loosens her fingers up and they move more freely at Linears direction.

Finally they stop and Linear silently takes the ocarina back, smiling at Chain. "That was good."

"Thanks." Chain says, finding herself smiling back. "That was kind of fun. Might have to look into it more later or something."

"Mag will show you." Linear says, gently placing the instrument back in her robe. She smiles at Chain again and turns, heading toward the back again.

"Catch you later Linear." Chain says, getting no response. She really was feeling better after that, maybe it was just the idea of being Linear for a little while. To be so beautiful. A dream she had often, but she knew it could never be true.

Mag walks along the winding hallways of the ruins at what he thought was a steady pace, but Pepper beside him looked bored with it, having much longer legs than Mag. It had been a fruitful adventure thus far, both of them finding a good amount of treasures that might go for quite a lot of money. The day wasn't over yet however, and they planned to go just a bit deeper before heading back home.

"How are things with Chain?" Pepper asks offhandedly, obviously just making conversation to pass the time than actually caring about it.

"Well enough. She's been depressed as anything lately. Understandable though, I would be too if I lost my cyframe." Mag says, not looking over at her.

"Well maybe you just haven't been showing her a good time."

"Good time?" Mag asks, now looking at her curiously. "Like how?"

"Well I don't know, take her out or something, do something for her..." She looks down at him and sees his confused look. "Do I really have to spell it out for you? Do something for her that you think might cheer her up."

"I've done everything I can think of."

"Well have you taken her out or anything?"

"... No..."

"There you go." She says simply. "Take her out for a night on the town or something. Anything to get her mind off of her loss."

"Hey yeah... I've been sitting and watching her think about what she lost instead of showing her what she still has..." Mag says, turning away from her again, deep in thought. "How do you know so much about this Pepper?

"Eh... Call it womans intuition." Pepper says, winking at Mag.

Mag smiles slightly and just walks on ahead, intent on thinking about what he would do when he got back home. He didn't know QUITE what he should do, but at least he knew to do SOMETHING. "Umm Pepper?"


"Do you have any idea where I should take her?"

"Well how about the bar? As far as I know neither of you have ever really been there. Never had any drinks."

"You want me to take her to a BAR?" Mag says, looking almost repulsed.

"Hey, hey, hey you asked little boy. It was just a suggestion." She says, smirking. "Give her a taste of when she has to live for... Look forward to when you're older."

"Huh..." Mag thinks about that for a little while. "Well if you think it'd help..."

"I'm sure it would... Just don't tell your butler I told you to do that, he'd skin me alive." She says, smiling good naturedly.

Mag smiles back at her before turning ahead again. This was sounding better all the time, a night on the town with Chain, show her what they both had to look forward to even without her cyframe... Admittedly he didn't know what Pepper meant by the "Look forward to" part but he guessed it would help Chain.

Chain looks out the window at the rapidly darkening sky, sighing a bit. By the time Mag got home it'd be time to turn in. Aw well... It wasn't like there was any reason to stay awake for him. She might as well go ahead and head home. She turns away from the window just as Mag walks in the room, looking the worse for wear, but no more so than after any venture into a ruins.

"How'd it go?" Chain asks, smirking slightly.

"Excellent. Got a lot more than I planned on." Mag says, walking over to her by the window.

"That's good... Well goodnight." She says, starting to walk past him.

He surprises her by grabbing her hand gently as she passes. "Um... I was actually wondering if you wanted to go out tonight or something." He looks down at the floor, blushing a bit nervously.

"Out?" She asks curiously, turning toward him.

"Yeah... Out... I just thought you might like to... Go out... With me tonight..."

"Like on a date?"

"Kind of..."

"Um... Sure... Why not? I have nothing to do but eat and sleep any more." Chain says, turning toward him fully now.

"Great!" Mag exclaims before forcing himself to calm down. "Come on." He takes her hand and leads her out of the house.

Chain looks around at the bar a bit disappointed. She'd been expecting a nice restaurant or something, but she guessed this was probably all he could afford with his adventuring skills. She smirks to herself a bit as they sit down at the nice and clean bar. She knew this place and actually came here often, not that anybody ever knew. There were very few people here this night, only a few littered around the spacious room.

"So um..." Mag says nervously, looking up at the barkeeper. "Two... Uh... Wines." Chain looks over at him in surprise.

"What? Mag... Wine?"

The barkeeper looks him over for a while. "You Mag Launcher?"

"Uh... Yes." Mag says confusedly.

"Two beers coming up." He says, slipping Mag a small sheet of paper before heading into the back.

"Wait! I didn't order..." He stops, the barkeeper already gone.

"What's that?" Chain says, looking at the letter.

"I don't know..." Mag says, unfolding the paper and reading it quickly. He blushes a bit and quickly stuffs it into a jacket pocket.

"What is it?"

"Nothing." Mag says quickly, refusing to say more on the subject.

Chain smirks, a bit put off by the whole night so far. She knew Mag had wanted to get her out of the house, but this was all getting ridiculous. Wine, a mysterious note, and two free beers. If she didn't know better she'd almost think Mag was trying to get her drunk or something.

The barkeeper returns with their drinks, setting them in front of the two. The pungent aroma almost made Chain gag. She'd been here a lot before, but she'd never ordered beer or even whine, she preferred milk or water.

Mag looks similarly put off by the not so appetizing stuff in front of them. "Well..." He takes the mug in one hand and hefts it, looking at it. "Cheers." He says, lifting it in a toast.

"To confusing nights." Chain says, smirking as she clinks her glass to Mags. They both take swift drinks, promptly spitting the stuff out again all over the countertop. "Ugh... that's FOUL!" Chain yells, wiping her mouth.

"Geeze..." Mag says, staring into his drink disgustedly. "Wonder why Pepper swears by the stuff so much if it tastes so awful."

"Pepper?" Chain says, staring at him surprised. "What about Pepper?"

"Nothing!" He exclaims, staring down at his glass and not looking at her.

"This was all her idea wasn't it?" Chain exclaims, glaring at him.

"Um..." He doesn't answer for a while, just looking down guiltily. "I thought it'd help you forget about... I just wanted to get you out of the house... This place was her idea though..." He says, looking around and smirking. "Right now I would've rather picked the park or something."

"Good." She says, causing him to turn toward her surprised. "For a minute there I thought you were trying to get me drunk or something."

"What!? NO! Of course not!" He yells, horrified.

"Good." She says again, getting up off the stool. "Come on, let's get out of here."

"Okay..." Mag says, following her out of the bar. They walk side by side along the sidewalk, the moon shining full overhead. "So... you're not mad that Pepper chose that place?"

"Well I can't say I like that you told her about me and stuff, but I would've liked it less if you'd chosen that place yourself." She says, glaring at him. He looks down at the street a bit, almost looking ashamed.

"I'm really sorry Chain, I thought it'd do you some good..." Chain stays silent until they reach Mag's house. "Want to come in? Get a REAL drink?"

Chain smirks at him a bit. "Sure, you owe me one anyway." She follows him inside. The living room is naturally quite clean, and Gre is asleep on the couch.

"Ah... He must have tried to wait up for me." Mag whispers to her, looking at the sleeping butler and smirking. "Go wait in my room, I'll be there with the drinks in a minute." Chain nods a bit and heads up the stairs and into Mag's bedroom.

It's fairly clean, only a few stray things scattered about the floor. The bed is a bit roughly made and there is a small stack of things on the desk. Overall it was a lot bigger than Chains own room, which meant she immediately liked it.

She wanders into it slowly, looking around curiously at a few things until she spots something amid the clutter on the desk. An ocarina is sitting amid a small pile of clothing. It was the one Mag had bought to replace the one he'd given Linear. She knew, she'd been there when he'd bought it.

She gently picks it up, running her fingers along the fragile wood. It reminded her of earlier that day when Linear had helped her to play. She could still remember some of the noted they'd used. She gently puts it to her mouth, moving her fingers along it as well as she remembered. It sounded horrible, but she kept at it, trying to remember.

A pair of hands reaching around her from behind startles her until she realizes it's only Mag. "That song goes like this..." He says, putting his hands over hers. She blows again, letting him guide her fingers. It sounds better, but a far cry from the pure notes she always heard Linear get out of the thing. Still they continue playing, Mag's arms wrapped gently around Chain, holding her close to him, even if unintentionally.

Chain can feel Mag's warm breath on her neck as he guides her fingers, his gloved hands moving quickly and surely along the ocarina, guiding hers along with them. Chain finally stops blowing into the instrument, but doesn't try to pull away from him at all. She just closes her eyes, enjoying this moment of contact.

She's a bit startled when she feels his lips pressing against the back of her neck, but again, she doesn't shy away. His arms move up to her shoulders, holding them firmly but gently as he continues to kiss the side of her neck, her arching her neck a bit to give him better access.

Gently he spins her around to face him, his bright adventurous eyes shining brightly as he looks into hers. A feeling engulfs Chain that she's never felt before, making her feel almost a bit queasy and excited all at once. "Mag..." She gasps out, staring into his eyes hopelessly.

Without another word he leans in and kisses her on the lips, his arms going around her again, hugging her to him tightly. She hugs him back warmly, kissing him back, The feeling spreading throughout her entire body now.

She feels him push her onto the bed gently. She panics a bit at first at what this might mean, but she's soon overcome with feelings she's never felt before.

Chain lies in the bed silently, lying on her stomach and staring at Mag, who's sleeping peacefully beside her. It'd definitely been a learning experience for her, one she would treasure for a long time to come.

Idly she reaches up and runs a hand through her hair, freed from the little crown she always wore. Both of their normal clothing was scattered about the room pretty much randomly. She reaches over and runs one finger along his chest softly, the skin soft beneath her touch.

Out of the corner of her eye she sees Mag's jacket lying in a corner of the room, the note he'd received at the bar sticking out of one pocket. Now out of her mind with curiosity, she carefully get out of the bed, careful not to wake Mag, and creeps over to the jacket, kneeling down beside it. She takes out the note and unfurls it as silently as she can, reading it.

"Dear Mag; Enjoy the drinks hun, had the barkeep make them special for you and Chain. Love: Pepper."

Chain frowns, shivering a bit from the cold, as she's still naked. If Pepper'd had a hand in making those drinks she was glad they hadn't drunk them. Who knew what she'd done to them? Silently Chain sticks the letter back in its pocket and climbs back into bed, settling down again beside Mag. Right now, she didn't really care if Pepper had planned for her and Mag to be together like this. It'd happened without her help, it was meant to be.

Pepper walks into the bar, adjusting her glasses and walking up to the counter. "Did they come?" She asks.

"Yep." The bartender answer, smiling a bit slyly. "And just as you thought, they each only got a single sip."

Pepper grins, lowering her shades and winking as him. "More than enough." She laughs to herself. Both drinks had been laced with something much more powerful than simple beer, since she knew they'd never really drink one. If all had gone as planned they'd both gotten a bit loosened up just from that one sip. Oh she loved having a happy ending. Now all she needed was a guy to have her own happy ending with and she'd be set, but she guessed that that was a different story.