Hermes was in an uncomfortable position for a motorrad, and not just because he was on his side with his wheels barely on the ground. Hermes was in an awkward position because, as sometimes happens with sentient creatures in prolonged company of another, he had fallen in love. This is a naturally problematic situation for a being who is not exactly... organic, but to make it even more complicated, Hermes had it bad for his rider, a girl called Kino.

As far as he could tell, she had no idea, and certainly didn't feel the same about him.

Hermes, however, felt her legs down his sides nearly every day. He only had her to talk to, to listen to, and they would talk about anything at all. They talked about the places they had been to, about the places they might go. They shared stories and jokes, and sometimes even ventured into the realms of philosophy. Actually, those philosophical discussions were becoming more frequent since Kino's visit to the melancholy country. Kino had even bought a copy of that sad old poem.

Right now though, they were lying down in a field of red flowers, and as Hermes listened to Kino sigh and hum quietly in pleasure, and as he thought about how much he wished he could hold her the way humans did – and lately he'd caught her watching couples with a wistful glimmer in her lovely grey eyes – he felt a tingling in his wheels and saddle.

"Kino, something feels strange," he said, calling her attention to him once more. He didn't want ants in his engine, and that was the only thing he could think of that would account for the tingling feeling that was now spreading through the rest of his metal body. When the tingling feeling reached his headlight, he finally got a look at the cause.

It wasn't ants.

"Well I don't think I've ever seen ladybugs doing that before," Kino said when she sat up and looked over at her motorrad, or where her motorrad had been. There were so many ladybugs there now that she couldn't see any of Hermes, and they were making a strange sound, similar to the thump of a heartbeat.

They wouldn't budge when she tried to shoo them away, and they stayed covering Hermes for half an hour before they stopped making that thumping sound and all took off at once.

Kino stared. She had to be looking at Hermes, but it sure wasn't the Hermes she was used to seeing.

"Kino? Why are you looking at me like that?" Hermes asked, not moving from where he lay. "What happened? I feel different."

The girl swallowed hard and wondered that same thing herself. "Uh..." she really had no idea how to tell her motorrad that he was a human now, and she had about the same amount of comprehension of how to convey that he looked exactly as he did when she dreamed about him being a human and being held by him.