Disclaimer: I don't own Baccano, or any of the characters used in this fic. They all belong to Ryohgo Narita and Katsumi Enami. I only own any of my original characters that I choose to include, as well as any of my own original plot ideas.


A/N: Post-anime.

She'd never really lamented her decision, that which had taken sound, a form of expression, away from her. It had been a sacrifice she'd been willing to make, as she'd loved him, her father, more than anything she could have imagined at the time. She'd wanted to make him happy, to ensure that the secret he'd shared with her would remain just that. Secret.

When he'd relieved her of that burden, there had been those who had opposed him, saying he was mad for destroying a child in such a manner. They didn't care that she'd been born of his blood. Some of them had said that it had been a shame; that she'd had a beautiful voice, lovely and smooth as that of the lark in spring. Others had mourned for her, saying that hers had held the sweetness of a nightingale's song, bringing the worst of men to soften their hearts with little more than a whisper from her child's mouth.

Chane hadn't seen it this way. She'd seen her so-called loss as a great feat; an accomplishment that had been worthy of her father's undying praise and recognition.

The only thing he hadn't done was say that he loved her for it.

It was funny, the idea that a complete stranger, an unadulterated murderer, would be the one to say those words to her. After she'd tried killing him, to boot. She hadn't asked him to, hadn't needed his help, but he'd easily removed from her path the man in the white suit, sending him spiraling off into the dark.

She hadn't owed him, the Rail Tracer, anything. But the fact that he'd confessed his love to her, the likes of which only existed in children's tales, had given her a bit of hope.

The way he'd looked at her, he couldn't have cared less that she was plain and mute, that she had nothing to offer him, not even sweet words. He'd taken a liking to her immediately on board the Flying Pussyfoot, and had even found out where she was staying in Manhattan so as to dote upon her with a dress much like the ones her father had bought for her as a girl.

But, somehow, his gift had meant infinitely more to her than any of those from her father. Huey Laforet had expressed his affection for her, assuming he had any, with material objects and praise. This man who claimed to love her, this Claire Stanfield, had actually been strong enough to speak those words, and to a complete stranger such as she.

They could start out as friends, he'd said. He wouldn't force her into marriage, wouldn't ask, until she was as prepared as he.

"Love at first sight," as the saying went, required each person to be on par with the other. And she supposed that, in time, maybe she could acknowledge that line as being something to be factored into her life.

In the meantime, Claire seemed quite content with waiting.