A/N—Apologies for the rather lengthy silence from me, I know it's been quite some time since I've posted something new. Due to some developments in my life, I haven't been able to devote as much time to writing as I would like. I'm hoping this little piece will jump-start my writing mind again and awaken some ideas ;) . This small story actually works as an epilogue to what I like to call my "Broken Mementos" trilogy ("A Mangled Reminder", "Not a Present", and "Place of Honor"). Though it certainly isn't necessary to have read these fics to understand this one, I think it will definitely mean something more to those who've read them. So please enjoy!

Transmutation—A change or alteration in form or appearance, especially to a higher state.

It's a particularly rainy day in mid-October when the chase begins. Unbeknownst to the fleeing suspect, a valuable bounty has been placed upon his head, silent bets made ahead of time by the trio pursuing him: Would he run or give up? Such was the topic of conversation between the woman and two men during the car ride to this especially busy corner of Washington D.C. And of course, the speculation led to bets.

Much to the glee of the older of the two men, he DID run. Now he aims to win the secondary bet: Which of the three of them will catch him first? He can't afford to lose this one; a whole stack of incomplete paperwork depends on it. Still, the woman and the younger man have the same at stake, so they try their damnedest to be the victor.

The suspect skids on the wet pavement as he takes an abrupt detour down an empty alleyway. Unfortunately for him, it all but ends in a brick wall. The three have victory in their sights as they each give that final burst of speed. Sadly, it seems the older man is destined to do paperwork as he slips in a particularly grimy puddle populated with who-knows what. And it also seems destined that the woman will join him in his paper duties as she falters in her chase-to-apprehend in order to determine whether or not he is alright.

Inevitably, it's the younger man who becomes the victor in this race. As he brings the suspect to the ground and cuffs him, he flashes a smile to the two at the top of the alley. Passing by them with the resigned culprit in tow, he offers a wink and sentiments along the lines of, "Better luck next time." The older man sits slightly dejected in his slimy little puddle. He mumbles something about "slippery ground" and "piles of work".

The woman looks down at the puddle-bound man with a smile. He looks up at her and requests a hand. She feigns uncaring for his predicament as she pretends to think it over with a thoughtful expression on her face, a slight "Hmmmm" escaping her closed lips. She eventually bends down and whispers something in his ear as she wears a mischievous smile. A grin cracks the man's own face when he hears her proposition.

As she is about to straighten herself back up, he grabs her by the hand and pulls her right down into that puddle with him. But she isn't furious as one might think. On the contrary, she laughs with such amusement that one would think it was her dearest wish to be pulled into a filthy pool of water. Despite the chill of the rain that continues to fall, the pair can't bring themselves to care as they continue to laugh, drawing bewildered stares from those that pass by.

Eventually, with a puffed sigh, the man heaves himself up from the ground and offers the woman his hand. She accepts it with no intention of pulling him back in as he did to her. To the new wave of people that walk past their puddle, only a few take brief notice of the man and the woman, the sun that suddenly peaks through the clouds stealing their attention as they peer eagerly around their umbrellas. The only thing that lingers to the most astute is a curious glint of light from where the pair stands in the alley. However, they forget it almost instantly as the orb in the sky disappears behind its cloud, disappointment greeting the passerby once again.

But to the younger man who parks next to the curb to pick up his soaked friends, the almost-unnoticeable flash brings a small smile to his face. Of all the people on this street, he is the only one that recognizes the bands on each of their fingers, strange amalgamations of gold and steel, broken mementos of lives long past, transmuted into something more cohesive and defined. Or, maybe, just something "More".

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."—Hermann Hesse

A/N—Thank you very much for reading! Feel free to review, comment, or criticize. I have no idea when I'll be able to write something new, but I hope the wait won't be too long. Until next time, happy reading!