Disclaim: I don't own the Atelier series, or in any way shape or form claim too. If I did, there would most definitely be the option of playing as a male alchemist. Because that would be just epic. Yaoi anyone? CX

We walked around what felt like the entire town without finding Beaux. It was beginning to feel pointless. He obviously wasn't here. I began to feel increasingly worried, especially when dusk fell.

"Hans…What should we do? Will he be alright?"

Hans stopped a minute to rub his temples. He didn't like how this was turning out, I could tell. I stopped a few feet ahead of him and looked back, waiting for him to follow. I heard him sigh as he caught up with me.

"I'm sure he found shelter somewhere…He'll probably turn up in the morning." Hans told me. I told myself Hans was right and to not worry. Beaux would be fine.

We were just walking past the Weapon shop when Hans suggested we just call it a night. As much as I didn't want to stop, I was tired. I nodded as a small yawn escaped my lips.

"If he doesn't show up in the morning, I'll see if I can gather the Knights to help me search."

"Oh! I could see if the Adventurer Guild will help too."

Hans didn't say anything. He probably didn't think I could do it. I had confidence that I could, even if the Adventurer's weren't very fond of Beaux, for reasons unknown to me. I shivered slightly as the night wind seemed to tear right through me. Alchemist clothes were too thin. I looked up at the starry sky above and smiled. It was so pretty…the sky here. Back on the mainland, I never stayed up late enough to see the stars. I didn't have a desire to. Lately, since I was forcibly moved here, I haven't slept nearly as much as I used to. In fact, I hadn't taken a nap at all today. Maybe that's why I've been left feeling so tired today…

The wind whipped through me again.

And cold. I grimaced and crossed my arms, trying to conserve what warmth I could muster.

"I'll walk you back to your workshop, then be on my way," Hans murmured. "If Pepe gives you a hard time, just tell me and I'll vouch for you. I also recommend starting on your next assignment. If you want to stay ahead of your rival, preparation is crucial." He just kept lecturing, so I just stopped listening. I was more concentrated on keeping warm than anything.

"Your shivering." He pointed out, breaking my train of thought.

"Well, I'm cold. It's natural." I joked. I could see Hans smile slightly. He began to shed his coat.

"Don't tell me you're not cold." I gasped. Was he just rubbing it in by taking off his jacket? What a jerk…

"Here, take it."

I stopped and stared at him. He was holding his coat out, waiting for me to take it. I looked up ahead, my workshop in view.

"Thanks but, no thanks. I'll be okay. You'll need it more than I will." I smiled. Okay, maybe he wasn't a jerk and more of a gentleman. Needless to say, I was pleased by his offer. I felt that warm bubbly feeling grow in my chest, and I couldn't stop smiling. It was kind of creepy, actually. I never felt like this before, and I wasn't sure I liked it.

"Please, I insist." He persisted, holding it out again.

"Nope. Don't want it." I retorted stubbornly and turned away from him, arms still crossed. I knew he was frowning at me right now. I could just feel it.

"Annie." He said more sternly. "I'm…I'm trying to be considerate here. The least you could do was cooperate."

It turned on my heels and smiled a genuine smile. He sighed, but in the dark, I could see the sides of his mouth pull up into a smile.

"Here we are, bickering again. I swear you bring the child out in me."

I laughed and started walking again. He followed and began to put his coat back on again. I wouldn't admit it, but I liked to think he made me more mature than I really was. If anything, he made me feel more mature.

I definitely lacked maturity. I knew this. But, I don't think I'd be me if I didn't. I think even Hans knew this. However, when I was around him, something changed. I grew more childish on the outside, but on the inside, I felt…different. I'm not quite sure how to put it into words… I don't even think I make any sense. I resisted the urge to verbally sigh at all these stupid emotions and thoughts swirling around in my overwhelmed brain. I was so deep in thought, I probably would've tried to walk through the workshop's front door if Han's hadn't announced,

"We're here."

I jumped slightly, coming back into reality. He opened the door for me, and allowed me to walk in first.

"After you," He signaled. I smiled at his gentleman –like attitude again and strolled in the door.


Something heavy came down on my head and knocked me to the floor.

"I got-…oh…it was you Annie. I thought you were a monster or something. HEY WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!"

I rubbed my head and looked up at an angry Pepe who was rambling on and on. Hans walked in and smirked. I picked myself off the ground and rubbed my head.

"You knew this whole time didn't you?" I growled, feeling a knot start to form on my sensitive head. He merely grinned.

"Sorry we were out so late Pepe. I think Annie took enough punishment for the both of us. I'll be on my way then."

Before I could say anything, Hans exited the room, leaving me to face an angry Pepe. I made a mental note to get back at Han's for this later.

And to think I thought him a gentleman! Don't make me laugh.

A/N: just a quickie update thing that wasn't so quick. I really need to go back and play this game so i can have inspiration again. -sigh-