Final Hikari: -runs into room, out of breath, and locks door- Phew!
Faize: …Dare I ask what's wrong?
Final Hikari: XD I'm hiding from my editor. If she sees I have a tenth consecutive project going, I'm dead.
Final Hikari: …Please don't look at me like that. It's just a short story I wrote in my notebook! XD Ten chapters, tops! So… -turns to readers- This is a humor genre short story I got the idea for about to embark of Aeos. Just to ensure nothing strange went on with getting Faize's epilogue, since I'm replaying TLH, I intended to slip an Aroma of Love into their room. My endeavor has yet to be successful, since I'm missing an ingredient. T.T I settled for dosing them both up with lots of Love Potion No. 256 instead. XD
Lymle: …Get to the point, 'kay?
Final Hikari: Oh. Right. XD Ahem! I had an idea for a humor story that involved Faize and Lymle as roommates that I dropped when I started Utopia, then this idea came to me. This short story is a humorous sort of Faize/Lymle fic (friendship, really) that I decided to write when I had writer's block with Utopia. The timeline is after the group departs from Roak to when they arrive on Aeos. It's mainly spoiler free! Now, Faize, the disclaimer.
Faize: The Final Hikari doesn't own anything from Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
Final Hikari: And my dear editor who shall be pestered with yet another story once you're out of school, don't kill me! XD It's already complete, after all.
Aroma of Love
Captain Edge Maverick of the SRF-003 Calnus strolled up the staircase from the Recreation Room into the crew's quarters. The warp was going smoothly and everyone was peaceful; at least as peaceful as the ship could be on long journeys. A more apt adjective would probably be "hectic."
He climbed the final step, passed by Reimi's two named potted plants, and inhaled something sweet. It was a pleasant, relaxing aroma that permeated down the hall. As soon as he inhaled it a second time, his mind began to wonder.
I wonder if Reimi already took a shower today…she sometimes does when we first get underway. That's a sight I wouldn't mind stealing a glance at… He then caught sight of Reimi, fully clothed, peeking into a slight opening between the doors to Cabin Three with a steaming potion in her hand. The smoke it gave off was a pale pink in color. She was hunched over a little, obviously ready to move if someone came. That's Faize and Lymle's room…
Unable pass by and let such a peculiar event go uninvestigated, he spoke up.
"Reimi?" he questioned, causing her to jump.
She whipped around, hiding the suspicious object behind her back and smiling nervously. "Good afternoon, Edge! What brings you to this neck of the ship?"
"It's evening… Just what are you up to?" he asked dryly, crossing his arms.
"What do you mean?"
She squirmed for a moment under his piercing, expectant gaze and sighed. She'd always come clean with a mere authoritative look; just like when she was five and he was six and she ate the last serving of ice cream.
"Is Faize coming?" she asked, glancing down the hall over Edge's shoulder.
"…No?" he said, though he hadn't been paying much attention to the workaholic Eldarian's whereabouts. Explaining the setup and various functions of the Calnus to Sarah, for her personal safety and the safety of the ship, had been consuming a great deal of his time since they departed from Roak.
"Good," she replied, holding the smoking pink concoction up for him to see. "Myuria and Welch helped me make this before we lifted off. Myuria's really good at making items of this nature, so she has all the recipes memorized."
Edge eyed it warily. "Okay…but what is it?"
"Oh, it's called an Aroma of Love. You put it in a room and it causes the occupants to like each other more, then fall madly in love. Or so the label says…it doesn't work on roommates of the same gender."
Edge blanched at the name. "Aroma of what?"
Reimi blushed slightly and glared at him. "Not like that, you pervert! It's just a mild love potion that emits a scent that helps bring people together. Simple and innocent."
"I find that hard to believe," he retorted, recovering instantly. "You mean it manipulates their minds so people care more for each other," he rephrased disapprovingly.
The sweet scent made it hard for him to focus completely. Actually, that's not a half bad idea. Maybe I can get Myuria to make me some to use on Reimi…
Reimi sighed tiredly. "Look, it's a really mild version. It'll just speed up the natural process! And frankly, I think they need it; Welch agrees, too. Faize has been acting strangely and Lymle's really worried about him."
"He's been acting odd?" he questioned thoughtlessly.
Reimi shook her head. "Yes, Captain Obvious, and Lymle's too stubborn to admit she's concerned about him. Something must've happened that we don't know about, and-"
"Wait!" Edge interjected, his better judgment returning suddenly. "You can't use a love potion on them! Lymle's only six!"
"She's actually fifteen," Reimi corrected, "And I just told you it's a very mild version. Myuria and Welch altered the recipe a bit to ensure that."
"It seemed pretty potent to me!" Edge objected.
Reimi cast him a dark, suspicious look. "And exactly what do you mean by that?"
"Uh…well, it sent my mind into the gutter after inhaling the smell when I was walking up the stairs…"
She glared at him, clearly exasperated. "That's not very hard to do. And that's your problem, any halfway moral person wouldn't easily succumb to such perversion. It says so on the label."
Edge stared at her blankly, momentarily distracted. "It says that on the label? How could they possibly draw any conclusions like that up?"
"Yeah…that, and it says it's for ages thirteen or older," she lifted the potion to just below eye level and studied the label, reciting the rest. "Individual effects vary, though the final result is a boost in affinity between two people who spend extended periods of time together in one small area. Recommended for use in a room less than seventy by sixty feet. Available in both heterosexual and homosexual formats at no extra cost, unless otherwise stated by the reseller. The original company to invent the recipe is not responsible for the effects of replicated attempts. The name 'Aroma of Love' is copyrighted to Tri-Ace's F&R Division."
"…F&R?" he asked hesitantly, unsure if he really wanted to know the answer.
She turned the bottle around to see if it elaborated. "Fluff and Romance Division."
"…Oh…," Edge paused, before returning to his lack of approval. "You can't give that to them!"
"Relax! It's meant to be put on display so it can permeate easier, but I'll have to hide it in their room, so it'll be even weaker. As I said before, Myuria changed the recipe to make safe," she reassured, "It'll just put them both in better moods and should lessen their bickering."
"I don't know if I'd place so much faith in Myuria. We just met her, and if you recall, she still wants to kill Crowe. Did you ever think she might be trying to cause trouble?"
"Welch helped though, and I doubt she'd trick me."
Edge sighed heavily, defeated. "Well, they'll still both be livid if they found out about this. I may not be able to convince you otherwise, but I don't agree and I'm not taking any responsibility for what'll happened when they do find out."
Reimi put her free hand on her hip and glared at him stubbornly. "You're not going anywhere. Now that you know, that makes you an accomplice, at best. You're helping! Now go find and distract Faize while I find a place to hide this."
"What about Lymle?"
"I baked some cookies for her and told her Faize couldn't have any so she'd eat in the kitchen. If Lymle finds me in there, I can pull the wool over her eyes, but Faize wouldn't believe any bad excuse I came up with. Now go!"
"But, wait! I'm the captain, not the distraction. What am I supposed to tell him?"
"I don't know," Reimi retorted impatiently, "It was hard enough figuring out what to do with Lymle. He's probably at the bridge working right now. Just give him some tedious task to ensure he doesn't leave for a few minutes."
"But I wanted to take a nap…"
"Bark some orders around like a real captain then take a nap!"
"Is it really right to make up some random job for you to sneak around?"
Reimi rolled her eyes exasperatedly. "He's partially a workaholic, especially when in a bad mood. He'll find random, tedious tasks himself if you don't assign any. Now go!" she repeated hastily.
Edge shook his head, grumbling an affirmative as he turned around and trudged back down the stairs. I wonder if he's still doing flight trajectory crap in the bridge… But why on Earth does she want to play matchmaker all of a sudden?
Reimi Saionji double checked both staircases before hurrying into Faize and Lymle's shared room. She stepped inside and scanned the room for a good hiding place for the potion, but was momentarily distracted by the abrupt contrast of the two halves of the room.
The right side with the computer desk, was very obviously Faize's. The white sheets on the bed were neatly made and the numerous Eldarian gadgets beside the computer were all in symmetrical lines, organized by whatever function each had.
Lymle's side was, in essence, the exact opposite. The sheets on her bed were bright pink in color and unmade. There were few stuffed animals around the pillow and a haphazard pile of paint tubes, brushes, and ribbons sat on the desk. The drawers beneath the bed were ajar and some had the corners of the garments within sticking out. A box of treats for Cerberus sat on the floor at the foot of the bed, carelessly left open. To top it off, there were doodles all over the floor and wall.
…I wonder how Faize managed to keep her from scribbling all over his side of the room. She thought randomly, reflecting on the frequent struggles to keep the Calnus' walls presentable for the ship's next inspection.
She looked to the drawers under each bed and determined the potion was just short enough to fit in one. Faize is pretty observant…he'd notice if something was amiss or rooted though. She thought as she knelt down and pulled one of the drawers open, unsurprised to find it full of neatly folded uniforms. She pushed it closed and hurried over the Lymle's bed.
She opened the drawer quickly, equally unsurprised to find her various dresses randomly tossed in or poorly folded. She moved the disorderly pile of clothes toward the front and pulled the drawer out as far as it went. In the back, she found a few of the unworn, perfectly folded outfits she'd given her over the trip. She suppressed a disappointed sigh as she tucked the Aroma of Love behind one and pushed the mess back in place.
She stood up and pushed the drawer closed, careful to leave it slight ajar, as she had found it. She surveyed the room briefly and her frown returned when she went to count the amount of scribbles on the wall and floor. She sighed heavily, not bothering to suppress it that time. She noticed one slip in Faize's apparent determination to at least keep half the room free of paint, for the sign of an unsuccessful removal attempt remained on the chair in front of Faize's computer.
She looked down at the floor as she stopped in front of the door and noticed a sloppy, uneven line of symbol paint in the middle of the room. It seemed to be off to the side a little, giving more space on Lymle's side.
Oh… She thought flatly, mildly disturbed. She's divided the room. How…disheartening. She shook her head a final time and hurried out of the room and back toward the item creation room, where, if she was lucky, Lymle would still be eating cookies.
Final Hikari: I think it's a very bad thing that my iPod kept playing Namie Amuro songs when on shuffle. XD I change a lot around and add things when I type chapters up off paper, and what I'm listening to often has an effect…-sweat drop-
Myuria: People are going to start thinking you're a die hard supporter of this pairing.
Final Hikari: -sweat drop- Well, I wuv Faize, but I really like tormenting my characters, which brings Lymle as an element in any story in which is written at Faize's expense.
Faize: … -.-
Final Hikari: Also, after the epilogue, one kinda has to submit that they are, as my aforementioned editor would put it, a package deal.
Myuria: Does this editor work for a shipping company?
Final Hikari: XD No. But the mail comes three times a day where she lives. -faints- Oh, what I wouldn't give to have mail come three times! Now that's what I call utopian! -brick'd-