Disclaimer: I do NOT own Mana-Khemia. Gust does. The only thing I added in here that wasn't in game is the locket you'll read little about.


Taking a walk on campus wasn't really one of his favorite things to do in the middle of Winter but it did pose some time for him to clear his head of recent events, especially with the most hectic of events being the most recent. Between putting up with Lily and her daydreaming and Ulrika and her constant bad mouthing him along with that nutcase of a teacher, his school life just wasn't exactly calm. Adding this blasted ring on his finger and you've got a frozen hell. Well, he supposed it wasn't all that bad.

He could admit, not out loud of course, that despite the stress and lack of sense in the academy he was having a little fun here and there. He never showed it, in fact he looked constantly annoyed about it, but he was a little glad Lily dragged him here for those nutty combat classes. Mr. Flay wasn't, er, that bad. He was bad but, it wasn't too much. Okay, it was horrible but, Raze guessed that's how he'd always been. He sometimes wondered how nutty the guy was when he was younger and it always brought a slight smirk to his face imagining Mr. Flay swinging around that mechsword he had in his office shouting about this and that, probably with Mr. Tony chasing after him with a furious look.

Raze chuckled at the thought and then looked up to the graying sky. Pretty horrible weather for taking a walk but it was dimmer and it was peaceful without the bustling of students and the chatter of daily banter that he wasn't really interested in. He really was never interested in the affairs or the conversations of others. He just wasn't that kind of guy. He preferred being by himself and that's how he'd technically been for some time, or, wished he had been for some time.

A chilling wind blew past and Raze heard a small sound coming from the western end of the Campus Grounds. It sounded female, and sounded like a sneeze. Who the heck was out here at this time, besides him of course. Raze started walking toward the sound and noticed a familiar lump of red and yellow, with a sort of familiar floating lump of white. He sighed quietly. Curse his luck, she and her Mana were the last people he wanted to see.

"Uhhh..." the white Mana said looking at his master's shivering form. He looked a little confused, then again, his master was shivering in the cold while he was nice and warm in his own fur.

"I know, I know I should get inside Uyru but, I gotta find that thing!" the blonde said rubbing her arms looking for something on the ground and failing. She sneezed again and stood up and groaned. "Man…Where did it go? I had it this mornin' and I had it when I came here earlier." She heard Uyru make that cute sound he always made when someone was near and footsteps coming closer. She gulped and turned to see, er, what was his name again? She gasped.

"Jerktown! What're you doin' out here?" She saw Raze twitch slightly at the nickname. And she wonders why he's not nice to her at all.

"I really should ask the same of you in this weather. And stop calling me that!"

"Why? You are a big jerk and you know it." Okay, he wasn't in the mood to argue with her. He'll just change the subject, hopefully, and get this over with. He wasn't really fond of small talk. He noticed Uyru kinda glaring at him. You really couldn't call it a glare, could you?

"So, what are you doing out here dressed like that anyway?" Ulrika looked at him dumbfounded. What the heck was he gettin' at?

"Huh?"

"I asked what are you doing out here in this weather."

"I'm looking for something. Why do you care?"

"I don't. I was just asking."

Well, that was taken care of. Thinking about his words, he realized why she always called him 'Jerktown'. He really wasn't a nice guy. He couldn't help it. He didn't like getting close to people or anything anymore. Raze grimaced at the thought and sighed deeply.

"Sorry. Do you need any help?" He asked turning his head, not looking anywhere near her, his cheeks tinted a very light shade of red.

"Did you…did you just offer to help me? That's different coming from you, but I don't need your help. I can find it on my own." Her words stung but, Raze knew why and it didn't bother him…that much. It bothered him a lot. Uryu was still glaring at him and Ulrika was already back down to the gravel looking for…whatever it was she was searching for. Raze moved a bit south of Ulrika's position and started searching the ground.

"What're you doing!? I said I could find it by myself!"

"If there's more people looking, you'll find it easier. Just shut up and let me help you, okay?"

Ulrika was speechless. His voice tone was strong, that she kinda expected from the swordsman. But, it also held a bit of something else she couldn't quite put her finger on. She just returned to her search.
"I'm lookin' for a gold locket, just so you know. An' I appreciate the help, even if it's from you."

Raze chose to ignore the tone in her voice and just nodded. A gold locket huh? The usual keepsake of a forgotten memory or something stupid like that. In stories he read as a kid, the main character always had a locket they couldn't open. And through some strange incident or when the character realized something within themselves, the locket usually mysteriously opened. He tried not to laugh thinking of Ulrika in this situation. It'd only cause confusion and problems.

"Uhh!" Uryu exclaimed happily as the two continued to search.

Neither seemed to realize the time. Seconds turned to minutes and then the minutes turned into an hour and soon, almost 2 hours, and still not one shimmer of gold.

"Oh man! I'm never gonna find it!" Ulrika yelled, circling the same spot for the 3rd time. Her knees and hands were covered in temporary dimples from the ground and goose bumps formed when another chilling wind blew by. "You have any luck?"

"Not really. Are you sure you lost it around here?"

"Yeah! I'm 100% sure I lost it here."

Raze sighed again. This is was impossible. And it was getting late. It was probably nearing 4-o-clock and Lily would probably send Yun out here to find the blue haired swordsman when he didn't return by the time they left the workshop. Something caught Raze's eye just ahead of where he was kneeling. Ignoring Ulrika's curses and Uryu's attempts at calming her down, he picked up a gold chain with a small heart shaped pendant losing its gold colored paint.

"Hey, this it?" he called over. He would have called her by name if he had remembered it. And if he wasn't so hell bent on messing with her head for the uncalled for nickname.
Ulrika rushed over as Raze held the chain out and Ulrika almost squealed with joy.

"Oh my god! Thank you!" she snatched the locket out of Raze's hand and then sneezed again. "Oh man. I think I'm catching somethin'."

"That's no surprise. It's the middle of winter and you're dressed for summer."

"Well, excuse me for not being used to the cold." She whined. Raze groaned inwardly and stood up, removing his coat and placing it over Ulrika's shoulders. She blinked and looked at him with yet another stupid look. He turned slightly red again, it wasn't the chill this time, and looked away.

"I expect it back tomorrow. I don't have another one." He said walking over to one of the nearby benches and sitting down with his arms crossed. Ulrika wore the same look and walked over to the same bench and sat down on the opposite side as far away as possible. This didn't feel comfortable. Wait, was this what Goto was talking about!? No, this didn't seem like it but it could have been.

"Th-thanks. I guess even you can be nice sometimes Jerkt-" she stopped before she finished her sentence.

"It's Raze."

"Huh?"

"My name. It's Raze."

"Oh, r-right. I knew that. Mine's Ulrika."

"Ulrika, huh?" she nodded. "Better than Liliane." Ulrika didn't comment. Liliane must've been Ms. Fancypants. Not that she cared. She was never nice to her in the first place so she had no obligation to refer to her by name. Ulrika brought Raze's coat over her arms a bit more for the warmth and Uryu sat in Ulrika's lap, hoping to make her a bit warmer. It worked easily. She looked up and frowned at the gray sky. Why'd it have to be so dreary today?

"If I may ask, why's that locket so important to you?" Raze asked, hoping to spark some sort of conversation. He was kinda bored and the silence was killing him.

"Huh? Oh, it's the last thing I have of my parents. I never knew 'em but, at least I got somethin' to know I had 'em right?" Same story he'd read a hundred times but, it was always interesting. Something to hold onto about someone you don't know. He bet next she'd say it never opened.
A thought ran through Ulrika's head. What was wrong with Jerkt- Raze? He was being nice. He helped her find the locket. And he lent her his coat. Maybe it was the weather. Though, she could use his good mood to her advantage.

"Why're you out here?"

"Just taking a walk. I needed to clear my head."

"Oh. Things really that bad for you?"

"A little." He shrugged. "But it's not really that bad." Off to a good start Ulrika. What else did she want to know? Hmm…this one might be a tad bit mean but, it has to be asked!

"Why're you such a jerk all the time? No one, well besides me, has done anything to you yet."

Raze gave her a look. It wasn't a harsh look, it was a hurt look it was, melancholic. No emotion behind it. She felt her heart skip a beat.

"Because, I don't want anyone close to me."

"Huh?" She didn't get it. There was constantly people around him. "There's lots of people around you! Puniyo, Ms. Fancypants, that maid, Yun and Et too."

"Not that kind of close. I mean, on an emotional level."

"Oh." She understood a little more now but… "Why? Isn't better to have people close to you?"

"Yeah, I suppose but, if you've been hurt in the past like I have, getting close to someone will just lead to pain and misery." Ulrika's eyes stung at his words. He was hurt? By what? When she was about to ask, she noticed white specks falling all over the place from the sky. She looked at it with amazement. "It's snowing."

"Wow. I never realized how pretty it looked." She watched the snow fall. She hadn't really seen it back home, but she had seen it in picture books. It was a lot prettier in person than in a book. While she looked on with childish wonder, Raze looked with deep sadness. Ulrika's expression changed to a pitiful one and moved closer.
"I know you said you didn't want anyone close but, you already became close to me when you opened up, Raze." He looked at her in the corner of his eye and then to the falling snow around them.

"I guess I did." He felt Ulrika lay her head on his shoulder. They weren't that close before. They still aren't now. No matter what she says, he'll never let anyone get close to him again. He didn't want to feel that pain again, the pain of losing someone dear to you that you considered a friend.
No, they weren't close. They were on better terms with each other at least. Maybe someday, they could be closer. But not now. It would be impossible.

Raze found it ironic that began to snow after he poured a little of his heart out like that. He also found it annoying that Ulrika's locket reminded him of his own heart. Secrets locked away with his own emotions tearing away the color that remained.

The snow continued to fall on that winter day, covering the two as they enjoyed the other's company, only slightly. He'd never admit, but Raze was glad he took that walk that day.


A.N: I live! How long has it been since I had a good update? A while? Yeah. Probably. I got Mana-Khemia and Mana-Khemia 2 and would not out either down. I love 'em. I swear they are THE best games I've played alongside Golden Sun. I'm tired so this story probably doesn't make too much sense but, it wouldn't let me sleep. I wanted to be written and it wanted to be written NOW. Well, I hope you enjoyed it. There isn't very many Mana-Khemia 2 fics so, I'm glad I'm adding another~