I have no idea what this is. xDDD Except, obviously, a fanfic. Tell me if it was OOC, please. :3 I'm working on remaining in-character.

A young woman, not extraordinary in appearance or confidence, slipped into the crowded room and looked around, slipping into the background easily. Unnoticed by most, she made her way to a small snack table and reached for something to eat—

"And you are?"

She jumped, accidentally smacking down the entire plate. "Sorry," she yelped. Blushing darkly, she turned to the man to see him eyeing her ears cautiously. Of course. Human ears. He was probably wondering how she got there. Sheepishly, she ducked down and began to clean up the mess she had made. "I'm Midorikawa, Lettuce. And you?"

He seemed to size her up some more, dark eyes not giving an inkling at what he was thinking. Then he nodded. "Kiisano, Waka is my name. I serve as a guard here." She blinked and then her eyes widened in surprise.

She finally absorbed his appearance. Pale like most of the aliens, tall, light brown hair that contrasted with his dark red eyes. They almost looked like blood. Unnerved but resisting judgment, she curtsied politely, "It is a pleasure to meet you."

A wry smile made its way on his face. "Yes, well, enough formalities. How did a human get here?"

Of course. She had known it was coming.

"I… Well, Shirogane-san and Pai-san kept in contact—"

"You know Pai-sama?"

She blinked. And nodded.

The man chuckled, "I can't really tell if you're lying or not. But he's my captain… so I think I'll take you to him and confirm that you aren't making this up. Running will make you seem suspicious."

She frowned, already knowing that. "Of course I'll go with you." She wouldn't mind seeing the purple alien once more—after all, it was one of the reasons she was here. She wanted to check on the three and she had a message for Tart that Pudding expected her to give to him before she landed.

Lettuce followed the other man for quite some time down stone hallways. It was rather aesthetically pleasing—the whole design of the building. Arches supported the structure elegantly and there was plenty of open space without it seeming cold. From what she had seen on the tape from before, this was much better.

Finally, Waka stopped and turned, motioning for her to stay where she was. She obeyed and continued to look at the architecture, deciding it was both alien and familiar. Some of the twisting designs on the walls seemed so strange and yet it was still just a wall—

Again, her musing was interrupted by a deep voice. This one familiar. "Lettuce-san." She looked over at Pai and smiled warmly, "I apologize for my subo—"

She shook her head, "We'd all be sent out to check if one of your kind appeared back on Earth. It's okay and probably better that he's so alert."

He nodded.

And fell silent.

Waka was grimacing, seemingly upset by… Well, it seems he might've gotten in trouble. Not by much but he looked a bit older than Pai and probably didn't enjoy the humiliation of… She blinked and eyed the other alien again, curious. She was no longer the mouse she had been before becoming a mew so she voiced her question. "What's your weapon?"

He blinked, "Mine?" She nodded. He held out his hand and a lance, long and more jagged than those she was used to, materialized in his hand. "How do you know Pai-sama?"

She met her ex-enemy's eyes and then turned back to Waka. "I was a mew."

"Was? Aren't you still?" Pai questioned.

She shook her head, "Only when Earth's in trouble." She paused and grimaced, "Well, when Tokyo is."

"Strange. So if I were to attack you now you would have no way to defend yourself?"

For a moment the old fear returned, sending adrenaline pumping through her body and causes her heart to beat much faster. He wouldn't attack her, would he? After the truce—after dying —surely he hadn't been waiting—

"It's just a question," he explained, "I didn't mean to frighten you." She relaxed and gave him a guilty smile, opening her mouth to apologize. "Don't." He warned, "I know you wouldn't want a fight anyhow." She almost blushed at how he stressed 'you'. The others wouldn't want to fight either!

Waka shifted uncomfortably, eyeing the two of them. She turned to him, "But I fought Pai quite often, actually, towards the end of it. I almost wished I had my abilities to see if I could still block him."

"So I'm not the only one curious?" There was almost a warmth in his voice, hidden under his normal detachment. She smiled again at him, wondering why she was getting along with him so well. She felt as if he were an old friend instead of enemy—no wonder Ryou and him got along so well. He was surprisingly friendly once one got past… Well, obviously, him trying to take over the planet for his dying people.

She snapped her fingers and asked, "Are Tart and Kish here? Are they doing well?"

She worried a little for the brunet. He had been so young when he had joined the war—"My brothers are in the ballroom."

She didn't hold back her shock, "Brothers?"

He stared at her for a moment and, while it seemed completely impassive, she got the feeling he was surprised, "Yes. You didn't know?"

She shook her head vigorously, "I had no idea!" She thought back on when Pai had killed Tart and winced. His brother. He had killed his brother. Little brother. She wondered how much it had hurt them—both of them.

She could never do that to Uri. Not even for the human race.

He moved closer, placing a hand on her back. "Come on, I'll take you to them."

She nodded absently, still trying to fight back the horror at her realization, and let him lead her away and back down all the hallways to the ballroom.

This time, when she entered, everyone fell silent and looked over.

She fought the blush mercilessly creeping along her cheeks at the stares and Pai surprised her by reaching over and squeezing her shoulder in comfort. However, when she looked up at his face, he was still completely stoic and watching those around him.

Kish was the first one to show up. "Hey fishie~ How's my kitten faring?"

The party resumed as if everything was normal, although now some of the aliens still looked over at her curiously. "She's doing well."

He became more serious, "She happy?"

She nodded.

"Mkay. I won't steal her from that stupid—" He stopped and looked over at Pai. "Hey, you never get over your first love. I don't expect you to understand." He paused and then gave her a wolfish grin, "Unless fishie here—"

She thanked whatever god there was when a brown-haired boy sauntered over, "How's Pudding?"

She stared for the longest time, not recognizing the voice nor looks of the newcomer. Then she met his eyes and realized it was Tart.

He had grown.

She didn't think Ichigo could call him a midget any longer.

Also, instead of his kiddish pigtails, he now had one, short ponytail and seemed more angular. In fact, she could pick up a little of the family resemblance between him and the purple-haired alien beside her. It was strange since she had still, for whatever reason, had expected to see the little bratty alien kid that had sacrificed himself for her friend however many years ago.

"Pudding… well, she misses you. But her dad has come back and—" She paused and then smiled, "Do you miss her?"

He blushed, "Of course not!"

It was still Tart. No matter how much he had grown.

She stayed with the three a while longer, answering questions, passing on Pudding's message, and asking questions of her own. However, she soon floated away, back to the food table. She realized the tray she had spilled had been completely cleaned up and frowned, a bit worried for forever had to deal with it.

Then, there was a tap on her shoulder and she turned to see dark red eyes. He gave her a polite nod, "May I have this dance?"

She blushed, not at all expecting that. But then nodded and let him lead her. She didn't know the alien dance but she followed Waka's steps as he quietly coached her under his breath. On the last note of the enchanting music, he spun her and then lead her back to the food.

"Thank you." He said.

She beamed, "No, thank you. And sorry if I got you into trouble."

He waved his hand nonchalantly, "It was nothing. I should've believed you." He looked over towards Pai, who was busy talking to a couple of men wearing outfits similar to Waka. Other guards? "Did you two… start a relationship?"

It was simple curiosity.

And she almost knocked the table over in her floundering and explanation.

It consisted of multiple no's and explanations on why Pai would never think of her that way as well as how she had never thought of it and so on.

But... she had never thought of it. Friendship, yes. She would love to be friends with the tall alien. In fact, she'd wished for a friendship before the war had ended. But never romance. She didn't really know what to make of that thought.

Waka laughed, lightening up. "He seems fond of you. That's all."

She stared. "Pai-san is fond of me?" She shook her head, "No. It's probably because I was the most vocal about wanting peace." She nodded, convinced, "That's it. And he's quite kind to Shirogane-san."

Waka nodded, eyes glittering. "Of course, Lettuce-san." He was silent for another moment, long enough for her to begin to eat. "So… are you fond of him, too?"

She choked as she swallowed and floundered about some more.

And then he helped her calm down and swallow correctly.

"Fond of him… how?"

"Oh, you know, as a possible mate."

Mate was such a strange word.

She bit her lip, "I'd never thought about it before you brought it up." She watched him frown. "He's not unattractive or anything!" She defended, "It's just… Well, I haven't seen him in years. And before I had been thirteen and I'm not sure how old he is even now. And I had once had a crush on Shirogane-san and—Oh dear. I even kissed Shirogane-san in front of him. And—"

He patted her head and she feel silent. "Even if you're unsure, it'd be nice for him to get attention from a woman not after his status. Or that hero-worship him and have this delusion that he's some divine savior. All three of them get that treatment."

She wondered if Waka was very wise or if he was just being mischievous. "Well, Pudding-chan likes Tart. And I'm pretty sure, even now, he has feelings for her—"

Speak of the devil.

"Onee-chan~" She was glomped from behind by the hyperactive teen. The blonde had grown as well and her braids were much longer, swirling around her in her own quirky way. Waka stared in a mix of guarded shock and amused curiosity as Pudding climbed all about her in joy. "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here~" She paused and, happily, shouted, "NA NO DA!"

After she got the excited (and childish) teen off of her, Tart tried to nonchalantly make his way over.

And then:

"Tar-Tar! I missed you! I brought candy!"

And Pudding tackled him. It was a bit of a blur where he pretended to complain about being called 'Tar-Tar' and Pudding was oddly silent for a second.

And then she kissed him. Right then and there.

Pudding jumped back and gave a wolfish grin, "Like the candy?"

Pudding hadn't—

Tart pulled out a piece of red candy, cheeks bright red. "You just?"

"Yep, na no da~"

"You still say that?"

She nodded and bounced back to glomp him as, to Lettuce's surprise, one alien girl turned and walked away in what seemed like dismay. Waka sighed, "That was my sister. I'll be back."

He teleported off just as Pai walked over.

He frowned, "I needed to ask him to—"

"Pai! Save me! She's going to drag me back to Earth and cook me and serve me to her siblings or something!"

"Awe, Tar-Tar, I'd never do that to you."

Pai gave a very subtle smile towards the two, it was mostly in his eyes. He turned to her and asked, "Think I need to intervene?"

She smiled back, "Not at all. She doesn't have her powers, Tart-san can take her."

"No! I can't! I'll diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie."

Pudding dragged him over to the dance floor, grinning like a maniac. "Let's boogie!"

Pai and her shared a content silence before she turned back to the food, slightly worrying about what Pai would think. Oh great, now she was starting to think like a teenager with a crush. Why had Waka made that comment? It was killing her mood.

However, Pai was attractive. In a strong, silent way.

Which, of course, made her think of Batman. Which caused her to chuckle to herself.

"Something funny?"

She bit her lip, "I'm not sure you'd get it… It's a bit of an Earth thing." She winced as soon as it came out of her mouth.

However, Pai's eyes remained warm as he said, "Entertain me. What kind of Earth thing?"

And so, she explained to him American cartoons. Not the best plotwise, but Batman was one of the better ones as far as she was concerned. After a while, she forgot about Waka's comment and simply enjoyed talking to the purple-haired alien.

Then he asked, "Do you still have affections for Ryou?"

She blushed, thinking back (again) to the 'he's fond of you' comment. "As a friend, yes. Though I don't have a crush on him any longer if that's what you're asking."

He nodded. And then stated, "I enjoy your company."

It was almost a confession. "I… enjoy yours, too." She muttered, cheeks darkening by the second.

He held out his hand, "Dance?"

"You dance?"

He actually smirked, "About as often as you. But I'm curious."

And she was pulled into being his dance partner for the rest of the night.

Something changed then.

Though she couldn't quite say what.