Hello fellow citizens of fanfiction . net! I'm back! I know it's been ages, but isn't that how it always seems to happen? Anyways, I just wanted to thank all my readers for waiting so patiently (a special thanks to the awesome people who sent reviews ^.^)!

Fai stood, looking relaxed and statuesque, amid the morning snow flurry. Emora narrowed her eyes in concentration as she crouched into a fighting stance. I have a feeling he's not going to go easy on me...She thought as she tightened her grip on the long wooden rod that was to be her new weapon. Suddenly, Fai nodded and closed his eyes. Emora immediately sprang forward, aiming the end of the rod at his right shoulder. For a moment, she thought she might hit him, but then he was behind her. Emora gasped, and spun around to block his attack. She scowled and pushed his rod away.

"Well done, but how far will that get you in a real fight?" Fai asked teasingly as he spun away. Emora took the bait.

SWISH! Fai laughed lightly as he dodged her attack again.


"You're trying entirely too hard, you know." He informed as Emora missed once again. "Relax and think clearly!" Emora was just about to lunge at him once more, but Fai was quicker. He swung the back end of his rod around, and drove it into her left arm. Emora fell to the ground, stunned.

"Are you alright?" Fai asked. He reached out a pitying hand to help her up.

Hmmmm...relax and think, huh?

Letting out the breath she had been holding, Emora lashed out with her left leg. She was more than a little surprised, when her foot caught one of Fai's ankles, and successfully swiped him off his feet. He fell backward, sending a cloud of snow into the air around him. Emora stood, and, with a smug grin appearing on her face, held out her hand to him. Fai gazed up at her for a moment, with a bewildered expression on his face. Then he blinked and shook his head, his own smile returning.

"Maybe I shouldn't have given you such good advice..." Fai said, standing up on his own. Emora was not quite sure how to respond. "...I can't have you going around upstaging me!" Emora understood, and laughed lightheartedly.

"Well, now that I know your secret...I suppose, the only way to keep your dignity is...to beat me." She challenged, with laughter still dancing in her eyes.

"I agree." Fai replied. He nodded his head once again, and the two lunged, almost simultaneously, at each other. They're rods clashed once, twice, three times...and they were off. Emora had never felt so confident! It was as if something clicked in her mind; calming her, and helping her think ahead. She felt herself grinning, and possibly even enjoying herself. Fai's, now genuine, smile told her that he felt the same.

After nearly fifteen minutes of ceaseless sparring, the two began to tire. Emora seemed to sense their little battle was coming to an end. So she decided to try a move that her father had taught her. I used to spar like this with father...but I can't recall ever feeling this free... With that thought, Emora evaded another of Fai's attacks, and ran right past him. He whirled around to find her sprinting in the direction of a large tree. I hope I can still do this... Emora thought as she launched herself at it. Fai's expression was one of concern, as Emora's foot made contact with the bark of the tree. His eyes widened, though, as she kicked off of it, and came spinning at him. Emora let her rod fly out of her hands, so she wouldn't accidentally injure Fai with it...that might have been better. For, when she brought her arms out in front of her, with the intent of tackling him, she felt that familiar sensation in her finger tips. No... she thought with instant regret.

"L-look-" was all she could manage. She was cut off by the blast of magic that burst from the tips of her fingers. Luckily, they were all pointing in different directions; none of them aimed directly at Fai. Emora crashed into him, though, and the two dropped to the ground. After a moment of lying there, with Emora tightly clinging to his shirt, Fai groaned in pain.

"Fai! Oh, I'm so...are you...?" Emora began, clumsily scrambling off of him and settling on her knees at his side. Her voice trailed off, though, when she saw the look in his eyes. It was as if he was searching for something in the depths of her soul. Emora felt oddly peaceful.

"And you said you were weak." Fai stated as he sat up, a smile quickly hiding his blue orbs. At his words, a familiar lightness lifted Emora's heart, and she could hold back her feelings no longer. She gently placed her hands on the sides of Fai's face. He opened his eyes and gazed at her with a mixture of understanding and concern. Emora ignored this and brought her lips to his. When Fai didn't return her kiss, she let go of his face to wrap her arms around his neck, but he caught her hands in his. Emora slowly broke the kiss, and looked up at him dejectedly. Fai's eyes melted once more. "I'm sorry...but...we both know that I'm not-"

"Him." Emora finished.

Ok, so the song that accompanies this chapter is called "The Mummer's Dance" by Loreena Mckennitt. I know it talks about springtime, but the woodsy mood to it seemed to fit. I didn't really pick a time where it ends in the chapter, but it starts right from the very beginning. Anyways, I hope you enjoy and review!