Author's Note: So when I realized how few fics there are out there for Sands of Destruction, I couldn't help but have the overwhelming need to contribute to this amazing anime. I know that it is also a game and a manga, but I've only seen the anime up to episode 9, so be aware of that when reading. I dont quite know how things will change in the next four episodes. For the sake of my fic, I hope nothing much changes in the character dynamics, but for the sake of my inner fan-girl, I hope the exact opposite. That being said, I don't own Sands of Destruction, and ENJOY, keeping in mind that I wrote this in like, 20 minutes without any forethought or pre-writing, so it is quite possibly horrible. Possibly not. Reviews are love (positive and negative both loved and embraced!)

Title: Two Types of Relationships

Author: pelori

Toppy couldn't figure it out. Maybe it was because he'd never had a real steady girlfriend. Maybe it was because humans and beast-men were different in this one way. It certainly was strange, to say the least, the relationship between Kyrie and Morte. They were complete opposites, but where the man was generally the protector, the leader, and the fighter, Morte took those roles. Where the woman was generally the nurturer, the compassionate one, and the home-maker, Kyrie was there.

Morte love fighting. She was violent by nature, and one of the strongest women Toppy had ever met. She had his respect, and he considered her a sister in arms. Kyrie hated violence. He was the most pacifist man Toppy had ever come across. Toppy acted more as a mentor to the young human than anything else.

They were yin and yang. And yet, two halves are needed to form a whole. In a way, they were closer than Toppy could ever be to either one of them. And yet, both of them refused to acknowledge the bond they shared! Kyrie came close to admitting feelings of some sort for the girl, when she tried to leave them at the charity clinic on the summer continent. But even then, relations between the two remained platonic.

They certainly cared about one another. There was no doubt about that. It was clear whenever Toppy was Morte fighting, she was not simply protecting Kyrie because of the secrets he could reveal within the Destruct Code. No, she enjoyed protecting him. That was her role, and when they were separated on that sub, Morte came about as close to a panic as Toppy had ever seen her, when she realized they had been cut off from Kyrie and that Salvation Committee girl. She cared for Kyrie. As much as she tried to hide it, she was always happier when he was nearby. She fought harder and fiercer when she was protecting their weaker friend. And yet she refused to tell Kyrie any of this. The boy was still probably convinced that she still considered him a nuisance. Slowly, bit by bit, Kyrie was breaking through her hard shell, but Toppy just hoped he could do so before something drastic happened; before Morte found what she was looking for, across their world of sand.

Toppy was also quite certain of Kyrie's feelings for Morte. He was certainly devoted to the strong girl. He followed her across three continents, when he could have easily stayed somewhere safer, where the Salvation Committee would forget his name, and he could once again blend into beast-man society. But he followed her. He followed her into fights he could never win, and trusted that she would protect him. He stayed with her, knowing she held in her bag the device that she hoped he would one day use to destroy the world, even though such a thing could not be less desirable for him. He seemed to easily accept his submissive role with Morte, giving her the spotlight in all confrontations, standing back just far enough to comfort her when she needs it, and give her support in times of emotion distress. The boy certainly wasn't as much of a pushover as he first seemed. Kyrie showed more of a backbone at that charity clinic than Toppy had though he possessed, when the human charged in to save a beast-man responsible for the slaughter of hundreds. Kyrie has his morals, something for which Toppy greatly respects him. If only he could teach some of those morals to Morte during their travels. The boy was certainly trying to do so.

The fact remained that neither had opened their heart completely to the other. Morte was becoming more and more emotionally attached to Kyrie; Toppy feared the day that the two ever separated, for surely Morte would lose what little composure and internal strength she had the moment she lost Kyrie. And yet she still had not revealed, willingly, her past to him. She refused to open her heart to him, and allow him to heal what was broken inside, for she was surely a broken human being. The insane hatred and self-loathing Toppy saw in the eyes of that sixteen year old at times convinced the kuma even more that she was not quite sane. But she still did not open up to Kyrie. He was almost like a pet to her. She kept him around for comfort; she protected him when he could not protect himself; she rewarded him when he did well, but she did not always treat him as an equal.

Kyrie, however, was sometimes more mysterious than Morte. For a human who constantly wore his emotions on his sleeves, Toppy knew less about the boy than he did about the guarded and battle-hardened Morte. While Kyrie clearly cared for, and possibly even loved Morte, Toppy for the life of him could not figure out whether or not Kyrie had romantic feelings towards Morte. He certainly never voiced any feelings, nor made them evident. Even when Morte's already very short skirt was ripped up to her hip, Kyrie showed no emotion except for fear of what she would do to him when he found out. It was as though he did not even see her as a woman. He respected her, trusted her, and would follow her to the ends of the earth, but was he in love with her? Sometimes, the human boy was more enigmatic than the human girl.

Toppy sighed. They three members of the World Destruction Committee were seated around a fire on the Autumn continent. Remarkably, Kyrie still had a can of sand whale they had attempted to split three ways. Across the fire, Kyrie was lounged out on his side, yawning and muttering something about wanting a mattress again. To his side, Morte was sitting up straight, just staring into the fire, running her hands distractedly across the Destruct Code in her hands.

Toppy just didn't understand. The two humans would obviously do well for one another in a relationship that was more than platonic. Did they refuse to admit feelings, or the possibly of growing feelings because of the reversal of gender roles? The two were certainly the most interesting humans Toppy had ever met in that regard. Or were they simply unaware of the fact that one of them, however passive, was very much male, while the other, despite her hardened exterior, was very much a female? They were both quite young, after all; Morte a mere sixteen, and Kyrie…Toppy realized he didn't even know the boy's age. Certainly somewhere close to Morte's.

"Toppyyyy…" the little bear heard Kyrie drawl across the fire, "You'll get wrinkles if you keep concentrating that hard."

Morte glanced his way, slipping the small black orb back into her pocket.

"What're you thinking about so hard, anyway?" Kyrie asked.

Toppy saw Morte look at him inquisitively, indicating that she was also listening to the conversation.

The beast-man longed to answer with the truth, 'I'm thinking about the reasons why you two aren't all over each other by now, or at least making eyes at one another.' He didn't know how well that would go over.

He sighed. "I'm thinking about how long it's been since the three of us joined up together. You two met only a day before you ran into me, right?"

The two humans glanced at one another, before turning back to their older companion.

"Somethin' like that, yeah," Kyrie shrugged.

"Kyrie," Toppy began, "we've been traveling together for over a month now, and I still haven't asked, how old are you?"

At Kyrie's surprised look, Toppy gave an internal sigh. He should probably just let these things take their course. All he could do now was to make bets with himself on which of them would make a move first, and when.

At Morte's quiet laugh, Toppy turned his attention back to his two friends, and the new topic of conversation, realizing that he had completely missed Kyrie's age…

Author's Note: Hopefully that wasn't too horrible. Now I'm off to attempt to find the last four episodes somewhere on the internet. Wish me luck, and write me a review!