HI! First fanfic!

DISCLAIMER: I really don't own this. If I did, Nate wouldn't exist at all. (Creepy smile) Te-he.

A Place In the Sun

A Song in the Key of Ariel and Bertie

A place in the sun warmed our heroine. She smiled gratefully for the warmth it gave her skin, and the fact that it allowed that same skin to be kissed by the wind. She knew whose wind it was that graced her.

"I love it here, you know," she said without turning to face her new-found company. "The wind on my face, the light in my hair-it's all like a scene to me."

"Bertie," the air spirit said, before commenting on what all she said. "Must you always enchant the world with your use of craftily chosen words?"

"Who am I if I did not," she said calmly, slowly turning to face Ariel. His long, silver hair flowed in his winds, and his beauty made her catch her breath. She never got used to it.

"True, true." Ariel got down on one knee to be nearer level to Bertie. "Where would we be without your words?"

"Where I would say nowhere," she began, "I'm sure you would say otherwise."

The air spirit nodded thoughtfully, then said, "In certain cases I'd agree with you, but for others I would disagree."

"Really? I find that a bit shocking, to tell the truth."

"I don't know why." Ariel smiled slyly. "After all, that beautiful wedding scene we shared wouldn't have been possible without your words in the first place."

Bertie gave him a funny look. "It would do you good, sir, if you made sure to remember the hell that came before the scene of which you speak so fondly."

"My dear, dear Beatrice. Do not take me for a fool." He chuckled. "I am simply trying to look at it in a positive light."

She snorted. "First time I've ever heard of you trying to be optimistic."

"Stranger things have happened," was all he said. She looked up at him, into his silver eyes. Their heads leaned closer-closer still, until-

"Lass!"

Ariel swore-elegantly, of course; after all, Ariel is Ariel. He stood. "Your swashbuckling pirate calls, milady." He bowed to her gracefully, and walked away from her grassy hill, his winds rustling her hair in their attempt to follow him.

"Wait! Ariel!" she cried out, but he didn't turn around. She watched his figure retreat, taking with him the wind that kissed her skin.

"Lass!"

Bertie slowly got up and followed the voice that called to her, leading her to the pirate she went through hell and back to save from the Sea Goddess's lair. He smelled like the sea—a rich, salty smell. But part of her missed Ariel's fresh, breezy scent.

"Nate," she murmured, smiling at him.

"Lass, we ought t' be leavin' soon," he said, gesturing ahead at Waschbär.

"B-but…" Bertie's voice failed her. She wanted to stay in that meadow just a little bit longer, but agreed they probably ought to be on their way. However, she really did want to stay just one more day, but, for once, was having difficulty voicing out her thoughts.

"Do you think we could stay just one more day?" came Ariel's voice from behind her. She turned partway to look at him in surprise, shocked that he had read her desire so easily without having been there.

"'Tis not up t' me, though I don't like stayin' here longer than necessary," Nate replied, glaring at the air spirit.

Ariel shrugged and laid a hand on Bertie's arm. "I only asked because that is what milady wishes to do," he said smoothly.

The pirate snorted. "And how would ye know what th' lady wants?" he argued.

"It may startle you to know, but I understand Beatrice very well—quite possibly more than you do."

Nate snorted again. Bertie leaned back against Ariel without thought and said, "Ariel's right, Nate. I do want to stay. And really, it isn't up to you. I'll go ask Waschbär and see what he thinks." Bertie pushed away from the air spirit and headed towards the sneak-thief who was standing by their caravan. "Oh Waschbär!" she called out, smiling and waving at the man.

The sneak-thief raised his eyebrows and her approach. "Bertie," he said.

"I was wondering—do you think we could stay just a day longer?"

"I don't see how it could hurt," the man said.

Bertie grinned and nodded, then flashed an okay symbol at the two men glaring at each other. Then she headed back to her spot in the warm sun amongst the flowers that reminded her of her mother. She missed Ophelia—and Mrs. Edith, as well as many others from the Theatre Illuminata. But she had a job to do, and she couldn't go running home just yet.

She turned back for a moment to see what Nate and Ariel were doing. Nate was walking away in the distance—most likely to go rest by the sea for a little while—and the air spirit was not in sight.

"Milady."

She jumped. "Ariel!" she snapped.

"What? Not expecting me?" he asked with a smirk.

"Not in the least," she murmured, taking a seat on the warm grass. His warm winds blew across her body in a sensual manner. She found it utterly delicious. She spoke up after a moment of silence. "Thank you for speaking up."

"Anything for you, milady." He bowed as he always seemed to, and took a seat near her but not beside her. She wanted him closer.

"You know how I feel about being called that," she said, just to fill up the silence.

"That's not going to stop me, Bertie."

"You think I haven't realized that yet?" She sighed. Ariel sat something beside her. She picked up, and her face bloomed with a giant grin.

"I thought you'd like some, so I got some while you were with Waschbär."

"That was all of a minute!" she exclaimed. "How'd you manage that?"

"Oh, you know me and my winds." He shrugged as though the gesture was nothing. But it wasn't.

Bertie took a sip of the coffee, and found it utterly perfect. She gulped more down—ignoring the scalding sensation it gave her throat—then sat the cup down beside her on the grass. She scooted over closer to Ariel. "Thank you," she told him softly.

"You're very welcome." He smiled, and it took her breath away.

It felt like they were in their own little world of earth and air. She slid closer to him, their legs touching. His winds tugged at her hair; those very same winds blew his own long silver locks towards her. He leaned down and close to her face, placing his lips very near hers.

"Bertie, I have a feeling you're in want of something," he said softly, smoothly.

"Ariel, I think you know what I'm in want for," she replied, every bit as smooth. "And unlike the fairies, it isn't pie."

He laughed and pressed his soft lips against hers. She kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his lap, never stopping his kissing. She smiled against his lips, and pulled back.

"Now how did you know I wasn't in want for more coffee?" she asked slyly.

He gave her a smoldering look. "Because I know how to read you, Bertie," he murmured.

She blinked. He took her silence as a sign to kiss her some more, and that made her very happy. They stayed in their own little world, kissing and whispering, until he pulled away. "Maybe we should stop so your pirate lad won't get mad with you?" he suggested.

"He's nowhere near here," she said back.

"And what about the thief?"

"Don't have a clue where he is and personally I don't care. Now come here," she ordered, dragging his face back down to hers.

He complied with very little argument. And in that place in the sun that warmed her soul with help from his winds, Bertie kept herself close to Ariel, until the sun went down and night beckoned them back to the caravan. But that was a happy day, and they both hummed the same song as they slowly fell asleep, knowing they would do the same the next day in that very same spot.