Author's Note: I was watching Titanic because I badly wanted to cry (don't ask me why) and it reminded me a bit of my favorite pairing…so I guess I'm writing another MC/DA fic. I'm not really sure where I'll be going with this one, but if it seems to follow the Titanic plotline a bit…well, you know where I got my inspiration. At least the first chapter follows a Titanic scene pretty well.

Again, I'm not sure when I'll have time to update. It all depends on if you like it or not. So please, review!

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She leaned over the edge of the balcony. Below, the Wastelands beaconed, harsh red and orange light washing over her face.

She was done. Done with pretending, done with all the cages, done with this life. It had been one week since her mother died. One week since she was anointed ruler of Cyclonia. One week since she was left alone in the world.

Not as though she hadn't been alone before.

Alone, alone, alone. No one ever cared for her. Her mother only saw her promise as an heir, and the future of the empire. Just how far did that ever get her? She had been pushed to the side, forced to study and learn nonstop as much as she could about everything, forced to hide her emotions.

She was just a fourteen-year-old girl. She had never liked this life, this heartless destruction of good and freedom. She had never seen the Cyclonian dream as clearly as her fanatic ancestors.

She was tired of this cage. Tired enough to look for the easy way out.

Carefully, oh-so-carefully, she stepped over the edge, holding up her long purple robes as not to snare or tangle them, using the railing to stabilize herself. If she were going to jump, she might as well do it right.

She took a deep breath, gazing at the blood-red sky. She had heard that the sky was blue, but here in Cyclonia, the smog was so thick that you couldn't see the stars. Or could you? She thought she saw a twinkle above her.

The wind blue her purple-black hair back, and suddenly, she felt very, very small and very, very cold. Her whole body was chilled to the bone. She had never felt so alone before, or so numb.

She looked at the sky again, but she had lost sight of the maybe-star. Her eyes scanned the horizon frantically. It wasn't as if the star was anything special, it was just something, anything to keep that violet gaze away from the huge drop below.

Her eyes fluttered closed. Her grip on the railing tightened, her knuckles appearing even whiter than they usually were. A single tear streaked down her cheek. She tightened her hands even more, tensing her whole body up as she prepared to—

"You don't have to do it, you know."

"Stay back," she shouted, her voice cracking. "Stay back, or I will do it!"

A familiar voice. She wracked her memory—was it that young Sky Knight that her mother thought showed promise? What was his name? Ace? Despite what she was trying to do, she was suddenly quite curious. She glanced over her shoulder.

It was the boy from her memory. The young Talon who had been quickly rising through the ranks. Rumors went that he had been a Sky Knight, a Storm Hawk, in fact, and betrayed them. She had been too young at the time to remember it all clearly.

What caught her attention was his eyes. They were so much like the sky—not that they were red, but that sparkle in the upper corner. It disappeared as soon as she thought she had seen it, taunting her. Had it ever really been there? Or was it just her imagination?

The young man, Ace, took a step forward, his arms outstretched. "You don't have to jump."

"Stay where you are," she hissed. "I'll do it! I'll jump!"

The man smiled, a grin that twisted her heart. It was the superior smile of victory. "No you won't."

Anger flashed through her. "You don't know me! How can you claim to know what I will or won't do?"

"Because if you were going to jump, you would have already."

She glanced back down at the Wastelands below. Suddenly, they seemed a lot more menacing. The red light wasn't comforting, it wasn't warm; it was creepily reminiscent of the "Hell" that preachers warned about.

The night was young, and the air was fresh with just a hint of a chill. The star glinted above the horizon again.

Suddenly, she was very scared. This world was beautiful, and she was young, and she had seen so little of it, and what if it hurt to die? Would she feel antagonizing pain as her very last memory? Would she feel complete and utter fear as she plummeted and burned? Would the fall kill her, or would it be a slow death, her broken body strewn across the ground, unable to be saved but unable to give up?

What was after death? Not heaven, certainly not for her. She was on the wrong side of the war for that, even if it wasn't her war. Anyway, suicide is still killing, and didn't God say not to kill?

If there even was a God.

Even worse than Hell—what if there was only endless blackness? Only complete non-being? Only a void?

But although she had no idea what was waiting on the other side of Death, wasn't it easier than what she faced behind her? The endless cages, the plans within plans, the stupid responsibilities that she didn't want but couldn't dodge. At least after Death she had a hope that things might be better.

"Please just go away," she whispered.

"Oh, I can't," he explained smugly. "I'm involved now. If you go over, I'd have to jump after you."

She looked at him in surprise. One thing that she had yet to learn was the complete and utter loyalty that every Talon had for her.

"Don't be absurd," she sputtered. "You'll be killed!"

"Glider wings, darling."

"Glider wings are meant to support one person. The fall would still kill us." Sometimes, being a know-it-all came in handy.

"One fully grown person. I'm light, and I bet you're even lighter. Oh, we'll probably be extremely uncomfortable, break a few bones in the landing. To be honest, it's the 'waiting for a rescue party' part that I'm worried about. There are monsters everywhere down there, and the ash is so thick that you can only really breathe it for an hour before you start to black out."

Lark glanced down again at the boiling rock below her. The full implications of what she was doing was starting to set in. Yes, she was upset, but was she really ready to die? If she jumped, she'd have no control over what would happen. At least in Life, she could try to make things better. No one could cage her unless she let them.

"You know this, and you'd still jump after me?" she said, stalling for time. "You're crazy."

"With all due respect, Master," he smirked, "I'm not the one standing on the edge of the balcony. Now please, take my hand, and come back inside where it's safe."

She was on the edge, and not just literally. She was ready to be persuaded. It was his voice that finally did it—it was so low, and comforting, yet humorous, too. It calmed her down, and helped her see reason. Slowly, she extended her hand.

Quickly, he grasped it, his rough, calloused hand covering hers. She felt a lot more stable. She turned around, still clutching the railing, to fully face him.

He was quite cute. He had jet black hair, which was gelled up to spikes, held back by a metal helmet-like thing. He had strong, chiseled features, and, of course, his steady crimson eyes. She felt like she could get lost in them.

She gave him a small smile, then grabbed his hand more tightly, suddenly quite afraid about being so high up. The night was thoroughly chilly now, and there was a strong breeze that was making her shiver, putting her off-balance.

She lifted a foot to climb back over the railing, her silk dress forgotten. That was her mistake. Her foot got caught in the long, purple trailings, and she slipped.

She screamed, all thoughts of wanting to die forgotten. Complete and utter terror filled her, paralyzing her. Tears streamed down her face and she twisted in panic. She was only fourteen! She was too young to die!

His strong arm was her last link to life. He leaned over, refusing to let go. "Come on now," he growled. "Grad the rails with one hand, and I'm going to pull you up. Come on!"

She was more scared than she ever had been before, but she tried to obey his orders. Fumbling with one hand, she found a metal bar, and grabbed it. He hauled, amazingly strong for just one person, and she was coming up. Suddenly, she was above the railing, back on the safe side.

She collapsed onto him, and they both fell to the ground, panting from the exertion. She was laughing, and she was crying. With all her adrenaline gone, she was quite tired. For a moment, they just laid there together.

"I don't even know your name," she admitted. "Was it Ace?"

"The Dark Ace, Master," he replied.

"Oh, all formal now," she giggled. She wasn't quite feeling herself, but then again, she didn't know what being herself meant. She had been raised to be a tyrant, but somehow, that wasn't what she felt she was truly inside. So who was she?

He made as if to get up, and she stopped him, yanking him closer. "Stay with me," she pleaded. "I'm cold." He looked as though he was about to argue, but he didn't. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer to his warmth.

"The Dark Ace, hmm," she mused. "Well, I think I'll just make you commander over all the Talons."

If Ace seemed surprised, he didn't show it. "Thank you, Master."

"Really, call me Lark, this 'Master' stuff is starting to annoy me," the girl stated.

He knew he shouldn't. He knew that feelings for his Master would only lead to pain for everyone, but he couldn't help it. She held such a dark allure.

It wasn't like she was perfect. She was far from it. She was spoiled, and bratty, and used to getting what she wanted. She was also so talented, and so beautiful.

He shook his head to clear his mind, then jumped to his feet before she could react. Reaching down, he pulled her up next to him. "Come on, Lark. Let's get you inside. It's getting cold, and we wouldn't want you to be sick."

She smiled again, a smile that set his heart fluttering, and then leaned into his side. Gingerly, he wrapped one arm around her shoulder, then walked her to her chambers. "Goodnight, my new commander and champion," she yawned.

"Goodnight, Lark," he replied. He turned to leave. There was no more he needed to say, and to stay with her would be presumptuous of him.

She watched him leaving, just feeling confused. He had saved her, but did she want to be saved? And he had offered to die for her, but was that really the truth? She couldn't just let him walk away, not without saying something. "Ace?" she called. He turned. "Thank you."

He didn't say anything, but he didn't need to. He just flashed her a cute smile, and she knew it was his way of saying "You're welcome."

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Yay! That's my first chapter done! I think it came out kind of sweet…

Um, I'm not really sure where I want to go at all with this one. I mean, I'm definitely not going to follow the plot of Titanic (that would make me way to sad) unless everyone really, really wants me to. Any questions, comments, opinions, or criticism are greatly appreciated!