I actually finished this a few days ago, but am just now posting it here. This was my third and final fic for LiveJournal's yuri_challenge community. This time I did another Rodoreamon/Mamiina fic, and I daresay it's been awhile since I focused on these two within canon. As before, this also had a proverb prompt and that was "Money talks, but not much." It was very well suited to these two, though I wish the fic had been so easy to write. I think I started with this story 3 or 4 times before I came up with what is here. Enjoy!

The pen clattered lightly as it was placed back inside her desk drawer. Her final signature of the day completed, she closed her eyes and rested her hands against her forehead. She felt it throbbing lightly, and knew that she wouldn't have an easy evening if it kept up. Numbers swam in her mind, even though she could no longer see the forms in front of her. Budgets were always tough to look through, especially since each passing year seemed to give less and less to her special projects.

She already gave some of her own money to the funds, hoping that it would be enough to bring things to a balance, but the numbers still dwindled. She could not hope to assist Simulacrum's future with lower funds, but the delegates seemed to think she could. Oh she knew they would have a field day the first time a woman messed up in office. Money talks, but not much. A female holding any type of governmental position that wasn't guardian of the Spring was unheard of. Those who kept a careful watch on her decisions would be sure to have a field day. Yet, she continued to persevere day after day. She knew she had to be doing something right. She sighed as she rose from her seat, deciding that she would retire for the evening.

All she ever seemed to think about these days was money. Money for the budget. Money for her projects. Money for the orphanage. She had never worried with money so much before this position. Growing up, her family was one of the wealthiest families on Simulacrum. She had never wanted for anything as a child, for everything she desired could have been easily given to her. This was not to say that she was a spoiled brat. After all, it was money that helped her to explore the world around her in books and family outings to the Great Temple. It was money that provided her the tutors and assistants her family required her to have so that she might—no, would—become a Sibylla, following the family tradition. Only the finest was considered for the little ladyship.

The corners of her mouth turned up in a smile as she recalled that particular nickname for her. It started first with the smirk of the girl who often used her nickname and expanded into her face. Her vision changed, and she saw in her mind the girl, hand on her hip, smirk on her face. "I won't pair with you. I'll pair with the Sibylla Aurea." The determined attitude shown brightly on her face.

Rodoreamon would never forget the day that Mamiina was killed. It was too gentle to say "passed away" and watered down the events that had really happened. Mamiina was a hero in her own right, sacrificing her life for another's, though she would never have deemed herself to be such. In the eyes of others, especially the government and the civilians, it was just the death of yet another Sibylla, another nameless face that was revered and loved by the citizens of Simulacrum. She had protected those who lived and could not face the enemy, paying the highest price to do so. To Rodoreamon, the death was of the girl she had loved dearly, and she had realized just how much after it was too late to say another word.

Her mind traveled back to the night before that fated flight as she unwove the braids of her hair in the dim light of her bedroom. On that night years ago, she had visited Mamiina because she was scared of what was to come, and not just because of the storm, though that had played a role in motivating her to move from her bed. She had never felt as brave as Aaeru looked, nor could she keep it hidden behind a mask as she knew Neviril had done.

Though Mamiina had always teased her, Rodoreamon had looked beyond it, always believing that something more could come of their relationship. Having met up with her childhood friend once more, she had wanted things to change and for them to be as close as they were when they were mere children. Sitting on the edge of Mamiina's bed that night was no different than the nights that they'd have a sleepover as young children and it'd be storming. Thunder would crash as brilliant white light would light up the room. Mamiina would always tease her and call her a sissy before letting her curl up beside her. Seeing Mamiina again years later had brought back all of those memories, and she had wanted that friendship back. If only she would have been able to get it as easily as she could have bought a book that she wanted. Money talks, but not much. However, she had always felt that Mamiina would never have allowed herself to show anything beyond friendship. As a young girl, she found herself to be naïve when it came to this, but now she could look back and see that it had been so. The young Rodoreamon may never have admitted that it had truly been love that she had felt for her lost friend, but the older, wiser Rodoreamon knew better.

The song she had sung had been her way of sharing her love. Mamiina, tough on the outside, was just a scared girl on the inside. It was true that the next day would provide her a chance to prove herself and work at pushing the class barrier that seemed to hold her back. In retrospect, Rodoreamon knew that it would never had been the case. Where the Sibyllae had been concerned, only those of noble birth were purest. Those of a lower status like Mamiina and Aaeru would have had no chance in peaceful times. Although, the latter wouldn't have wanted to take the post, and the former may not have been too much better. She had sung to her heart's content, and even though Mamiina would not look at her at the time, Rodoreamon knew that she had enjoyed the lullaby. It had been a simple, familiar tune.

Brushing her chestnut hair, Rodoreamon looked into the mirror, beyond the surface reflection. The very next day had seemed unreal. It had started off as a typical day, but the moment she saw Mamiina lying cold on the surface of the ship, she felt as though she couldn't breathe. Had it only been a little bit ago that she had braided that hair? Had it only been a little bit ago that she had laughed with the one person in her Chor that she was the closest too?

A lone tear trickled down Rodoreamon's cheek as she set the brush back on the table. Though war raged around her and more children were orphaned each day, she had the money to provide for their needs when the budget failed to come through. She could have anything she wanted, and yet, she could not buy more time in the world of the living for the one person she held closest to her heart. Money talks, but not much. What little good it did her to be so rich if she could not have that which she desired more than any materialistic good. No amount of money could ever return the love and friendship of a poor maiden that she had cherished so dearly in the short time they had spent together.