Steel. Are you here, Steel?

Sapphire stepped through the long grass into a mown lawn that was surrounded by wildflowers and white skinned birch trees. It seemed incongruous to find such a setting as this, as though it had been painted onto a canvas without care for what is true.

She was trying to gain his attention. Steel seemed to be sleeping, but normally it was a simple thing for Sapphire to rouse him from whatever thoughts held him in check.

As an element, Steel conformed perfectly, and as an agent he was meticulous and unerring.

Here, in this setting, the man was evident, and Sapphire felt a twinge of regret that they were not able to act on the subtleties of their relationship within the realm they inhabited as humans. She wondered if all things were subject to change.

When had she begun to think of him as more than her partner? Perhaps it was the first time she noted the streak of blond that shimmered against the darker hair beneath, the result of time spent in sunnier climes.

Or, perhaps it was the reflection of blue in Steel's eyes as she looked into them. Was it his true color beneath the steel exterior of his element source?

Sometimes she watched him speak, noting the fullness of his bottom lip, the twitch of a smile if he was pleased in some way. Sapphire had discovered, almost regretfully, that she desired to please him.

Now, watching him from this distance, she felt him speak to her.

Sapphire, come sit beside me.

She strolled casually to the spot, changed her clothing from the luminescent blue jumpsuit she was wearing into a paler blue cotton dress; imminently more suitable for sitting in meadows, she reckoned.

Steel, what are you doing here resting in a meadow?.

Steel knew without looking that she had a smile on her face, the humor seeping through into her words.

I decided to experiment with Time. My time, as it were.

Sapphire thought she understood what he was attempting. Steel had difficulties with the human course, and no experience with idleness. He was attempting to experience inactivity. It must have been a success, according to his posture and the look of contentment on his face.

How do you think the experiment is going then, Steel?

He smiled at that. She thought it was the most handsome he had ever looked, lying there with blond hair splayed out around his head. He was wearing it longer these days, perhaps a pique of ego seeping into his seemingly hard personality. No, not ego; pleasure.

Steel was learning to have pleasure in his human form. For something as hard as Steel, both in elemental and intellectual form, the inroads being made by human contact and assumption was a marvelous spectacle.

I think it is not quite as distasteful as I once believed it to be. Do you think I am getting soft?

Sapphire brushed back a bit of stray hair from his forehead. The gesture both pleased and excited him. When did her touch begin to move him like this?

Perhaps I shall lie down here and join you, Steel. That is, if you don't mind the company.

A breeze rustled through the trees, and a fragrance borne on that drift of air settled in around them. Their senses were full of their surroundings, aware of the nearness of the other person.

I should like that very much, Sapphire.

She smiled at him, inviting him to add something new to his experiment on being human.