For my reviewers: Agura's memory was technically not lost; her survival instincts have taken over as a result of being stranded. Think of it as a "relapse," or similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Vert's eyes blinked open as dawn began stretching fingers of pinkish light across the sky. He instinctively peered down to check on Agura, but the cocoon of leaves was empty. Panic gripped the leader's chest as he snapped his head up to check the clearing, but found no sign of her. Vert immediately dismounted the tree, sprinting around the edges of the clearing and trying to find signs of her, but the huntress knew how to avoid being hunted, and had covered her tracks flawlessly. His racing heart was again startled at the crackle of firewood behind him, and he whipped around to find Agura crouching in front of a growing flame. Vert shook his head, bewildered at her ability to move soundlessly, as he took in the two large, egg-shaped items beside her. No way. He thought. Those couldn't be-His questions were answered when she took one of the objects, cracking it over a flat stone to reveal a yolk. She did the same with the other egg, and then placed the makeshift skillet directly on the coals. The frying eggs were nearly the size of a basketball, and Vert wondered how she could possibly eat both, when it dawned on him that the second egg wasn't for her. Agura was taking care of him. Why, he didn't know, but it was almost as satisfactory as her recovering her memory.


Vert resolved to return the favor. He didn't want her pity; he wanted her approval, her acceptance. He wanted her. In his arms, where she would never have to worry about hunting or nocturnal beasts ever again. Vert sighed, when movement caught his eye and he glanced up along with Agura, who had seen it too. A creature of some sort was creeping through the boughs, its eyes on their frying breakfast. Vert tensed, and saw Agura's fear behind the calm façade; the animal being almost as large as she. He had wanted to prove himself. Vert sprang at the beast, snatching a flaming branch from the fire and waving it in the air, scaring the creature into dodging to the side. Vert again jabbed, yelling and waving his arms to intimidate it into retreating out of the clearing and back into the thick jungle. Agura stared at him, and Vert couldn't quite place the emotion that didn't seem made to fit her personality. He returned the makeshift weapon to its place in the fire, panting slightly and sitting next to her, but she jolted, scrambling away. It was then Vert realized that he had unintentionally frightened her. The leader let out a groan, when her head perked up. Seconds later, he heard it too. Vehicles.

"You said the Clawhound went this way!" They heard Krocomodo growl. Vert tried to pull Agura with him to hide in the bushes, but she jumped away from him, still untrusting. Vert made a second attempt, but it was too late. Krocomodo and Sever burst into the clearing, holding spears and daggers.

"Desert?" Sever rasped.

"No, unwanted prisoners!" Krocomodo shouted. "Get them!" Vert instinctively pushed Agura out of danger as both humanoids came charging toward them.

"Kalus will pay heavily for your capture, sub-specie…" Sever taunted, stabbing at Vert. He dodged to the side, only to be tripped by Krocomodo. Vert hit the ground hard, looking up to Sever's leering face.

"You're mine…" He growled, drawing back a knife and bringing it down. The dagger, aimed for Vert's heart, was sabotaged, driving into his left shoulder instead. Agura rolled off of Sever's back, where she had directed his arm from, and took a defensive stance.

"Agura! No!" Vert screamed, his shoulder pulsing. Leaving him for dead, Krocomodo turned to Agura as well. Vert struggled to push himself up, but was defeated by excruciating pain. Pushing through it, he managed onto his knees, watching the red liquid flow from the wound and seep into the ground. Through half-closed eyes, he watched as his first lieutenant threw kicks and punches at the beasts, dodging attacks again and again. Vert almost cried out when he saw Krocomodo maneuver around to her unguarded back, lifting up a brutally sharp knife and preparing for the final blow. Somehow gathering his strength, Vert gave one last desperate cry.

"Behind you!" He screamed, and saw her turn in time to twist away from the reptilian creature, just before all went black.


Vert blinked as something cool and moist touched his torn skin.

"Aah…" He let out a soft cry as water ran through the strips of flesh, and decided to take in his surroundings. Vert was lying horizontally on a slab of rock. He could hear running water nearby as the cool liquid bathed his wound consistently, and looked up to see Agura's warm brown eyes focused intently on his shoulder. It was then Vert became aware of a pressure on his waist. With some difficulty, Vert pushed his torso up to find…Agura.

Straddling his hips.

She gently pushed him back down to rest, and as she leaned forward he was very aware of her hips rubbing against his crotch. She resumed pouring handfuls of water on his shoulder, cleaning it out and each time leaning forward, pushing her waist on his. Vert bit his lip to hold in a heated moan, not sure if he should pray for her to stop or continue. When the wound was finally clean, Vert let out a long sigh as she sat still, tearing a long strip of her Shocksuit sleeve to wrap the wound with. Agura leaned forward once more, pushing her delicious body onto his, and Vert just couldn't take it. He took his uninjured arm and pulled her down onto him, pressing his desiring lips onto hers. Vert felt her body jolt, but couldn't force himself to let go. She was too fascinating. Vert let out a long moan; releasing all the pain and need he had felt ever since she had driven through that portal, what felt like years ago. He felt her lips grow softer, welcoming his, and Vert felt full again; no longer a shell. Agura pulled away, gasping, staring intensely into his eyes.

"Vert?" She spoke, barely above a whisper.

"Agura." He responded, just as soft. "Oh, God, Agura!" Vert sobbed, drawing her into his chest and never wanting to let go. Vert took her gorgeous face in his hands, kissing her lips, her nose, her neck. "I love you…" He choked out, finally finding relief after so many weeks of misery. "So much. Agura, I need you." He managed, and she gave him a long, passionate kiss.

"I love you too." They lay on that rock for what could have been blissful eternity to Vert; kissing and holding each other and never separating. At that moment, both felt complete. Vert leaned his head back, taking in the wonderful, natural feeling of her on him and letting out a moan.

"What?" Agura asked, lifting her head from where it had rested on his uninjured shoulder curious. Vert laughed aloud.

"I love you."