Author's Note: Another one! I know! This one is an old song, so I'm including a link to Youtube for all those who haven't heard it. It's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and, of course, with my favorite pairing…I get another song-fic story.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Storm Hawks. "Rhythm of the Rain" was written by the Cascades.

Link: .com/watch?v=4K3PlFr_fGY

Other Note: This song was sang by a boy, but to fit the story better, I changed "girl" to "boy" and "she" to "he." Just so you know…

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A small, female figure stood alone on a rocky, abandoned Terra, hugging herself against the cold. She had just flown until her skimmer had run out of fuel, and almost crashed. Skinny arms covered a skinny body as she tried to ward off the chill in the air and the pain in her heart.

Krbbbboommm.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, then slowly, rain pattered down, first softly, then harder. Yet the rain on her cheeks was warm, and salty.

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain,

Telling me just what a fool I've been,

She had thought that power was important. She had thought that the number of Terras she conquered was important. She had pushed her need for friends aside; Piper was a testament to that.

Love was a thought that she had also pushed out of her mind. She never gave a thought to how much he meant to her.

I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain,

And let me be alone again.

She had come here to escape the stifling confines of the Cyclonian palace, where Talons watched her every move, and she had to be invulnerable, untouchable. She had left it all behind when she flew away, choosing a direction at random. Now, the plunking rain seemed to be taunting her.

At the same time, she was grateful for it. It wet her with its cold kisses, washing away her sins, her hurt. Not that she could ever be truly forgiven, but it made her feel more pure, more human.

It hid her tears.

The only boy I care about has gone away,

Looking for a brand-new start.

She could remember as if it were yesterday: the sound of his boots on her clean marble floor as he came to give his latest report. She didn't even turn to greet him.

As the silence stretched, she wondered what was wrong. "Dark Ace?" she prompted.

"I'm leaving."

She froze. She knew that her body temperature was still 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Celsius, like it always was, but she could feel ice in her veins and in her chest. She couldn't believe her ears.

"I'm tired of this war, of all this fighting, of all these lies. I need a break. I'm taking my skimmer, and my sword. Don't follow me. Don't go looking for me. I need time to think."

He couldn't go! He was her chosen champion, her greatest commander, the one who shared all her victories. He was her best friend, her mentor, her advisor. She depended on him for her life. He couldn't leave!

His footsteps echoed emptily on the dark marble floor. He left. She couldn't even turn to see him go.

But little did he know that when he left that day,

Along with him he took my heart.

She wasn't quite sure if she had a heart, not until he left her. That was when it started throbbing in her chest every time she saw anything that reminded her of him: a lone skimmer, a Talon's uniform, the red sky, which was the exact color of his eyes. She was constantly in pain.

It was funny—she had never thought of him as anything more than a servant. He was a loyal servant, a trustworthy servant, but nothing more. Now she longed for the feel of his arms around her, and dare she think it, his lips on hers.

She didn't tell him. How could she, when she didn't know herself? But she didn't tell him nonetheless, and now he was gone. Now she could never tell him. The three words used so often yet that never lost their meaning rolled off her lips.

"I love you."

The only answer was the empty patter of the rain.

Rain, please tell me now does that seem fair?

For him to steal my heart away when he don't care?

I can't love another with my heart somewhere far away.

What did she know about love? She was fourteen, he was twenty-six. She was the evil empress who wished to take over the world, and he was her sworn servant. It didn't seem to make a difference, though: logic had no effect on the pain, and the longing that throbbed in her chest.

Why did he leave her? How could he do something like that to her? He left without a second thought, without wondering what his absence would do to Cyclonia. What it would do to her.

She felt a hardening in her chest. She would never let anyone else hurt her like this again.

The tears poured down her cheeks.

The only boy I care about has gone away,

Looking for a brand-new start.

But little did he know that when he left that day,

Along with him he took my heart.

She had given him the respect of thousands, power, luxury, glory. He had men at his command, skimmers, weapons, everything one could wish for in life. Why had he walked away?

How could he be tired of fighting? They lived to fight. What was there besides fighting?

If none of this was important, then why fight? Without him fighting beside her, she had lost the will to struggle, so she ran away.

So she stood, in the rain, alone.

Rain, won't you tell him that I love him so,

Please ask the sun to set his heart aglow,

Rain in his heart and let the love we knew start to grow.

He was the only one she ever let get close to her. He was the one she had always trusted, he was the one whose opinion mattered the most to her. He was the one she ran to when she had created her first crystal, her little five-year-old eyes sparkling. He was the one who comforted her last year, when her parents had died, and she ascended the throne. Somehow, since she had become Master, their friendship had become strained.

He had been her best friend, but circumstance had crushed their growing relationship before companionship could become something more.

She wondered if he had ever cared about her. Or had it all been a lie? Had the friendship merely been to gain favor with her parents?

What was real?

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain,

Telling me just what a fool I've been,

I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain,

And let me be alone again.

She wanted to cry, alone, until the unfeeling blackness of eternal sleep came upon her. So she stood there in the sheets of rain, letting the tears fall.

She had been so stupid. A wayward comment, something angry yelled after a defeat, she wasn't even sure what it was—all she knew was it was her fault. He wouldn't have left if she had acted better. She had been so stupid not to treasure him more!

She cried alone. All around her was the sad patter of the rain.

Oh, Listen to the falling rain,

Pitter, Patter, Pitter, Patter,

Oh, Listen, listen to the falling rain…

Alone on the rocky terra, just a small figure in the raging storm, she stood. Why had he left her? Why? Why wasn't she enough to keep him there? Why hadn't she been good enough?

The hum of a skimmer engine startled her from her mourning. It was a familiar looking Talon Switchblade Elite, painted red. How could he have…?

The Dark Ace rushed over to her, giving her a hug. He didn't say anything. For a few minutes, they just stood there in their tight embrace, then finally, they pulled apart. Cyclonis stared at him, unspoken questions in her wide violet eyes.

"I couldn't leave, not really," he explained in a low voice. "Oh, I flew for a couple days, but I missed seeing all the Talons, and the red sky. I missed seeing Snipe squash his sandwiches and get mustard all over himself. Hell, I even missed Ravess's music!

"But most of all, I missed you. I couldn't help but wonder how you were getting along, or who you could send on all your most dangerous, important missions, or who would keep you from getting yourself killed. So I turned around and flew back. By the time I returned, you had left." He paused for breath.

"You had Locator Crystals installed in all the skimmers in your last upgrade, and yours wasn't an exception. It wasn't that hard to track you. I came as fast as I could."

She smiled weakly. "Dark Ace, I'm so sorry."

Now it was his turn to be shocked. "What is there to be sorry about? I'm the one who was going to throw away everything good that I had. I'm the one who left." She leaned in closed, and their faces were nearly touching. Dangerously close.

"Don't you ever leave me again," she whispered, and the pain, the utter despair she felt made its way into her voice. He hugged her more tightly, trying to comfort her, pulling her closer to him. Bringing their lips together.

Piper, Patter, Pitter, Patter.

The rain watched, emotionlessly. It fell neither harder nor softer in the face of her pain, and it did not change its rhythm for her joy, either.

When they finally broke apart, she put her head on his chest, listening to the steady throb of his heartbeat. It pulsed, in rhythm with the rain.

For the longest time, they just stood there together, savoring the other's presence, not trusting themselves to break the silence. She closed her eyes, exhausted and cold from her run and this storm. He was so warm, such a comfort. She fell asleep, to the lullaby of his beating heart, to the rhythm of the rain.

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*sniff, sniff* Yes, I'm crying. This song always makes me cry.

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