Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever own Pumpkin Scissors or anything affiliated with said show.

"Speaking"

'Thoughts'


Alice L. Malvin, third daughter of one of the Thirteen Appointed Families and 2nd Lieutenant in Section III's Pumpkin Scissors, had never been more confused about her feelings in her life. It all began with that ball her sisters had convinced her to attend.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, her fiancé would be there and it would be the perfect opportunity to explain that their marriage was no longer a necessity as her younger brother would soon become the family heir in her stead, and it would get her sisters off her back since they'd been trying to get her to attend one of the nobles functions forever. Alice figured she could kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes.

So she'd dressed up all fancy, not by choice of course, those clothes are so uncomfortable and restricting, and accompanied Solice and Elis to the ball. Shortly after arriving she'd been swept onto the dance floor by Lionel, her soon to be ex-fiancé, and she bumbled through the steps as best she could. Truthfully she was a decent dancer, but she'd been unable to get the look on Corporal Oland's face when Hans was killed out of her head and she'd been rather distracted. When asked who she was thinking of, she'd been staring over Lionel's head for some time apparently, Alice had blurted out her thoughts, only to cover her mouth embarrassedly once she realized who she was talking to.

The slight frown on Lionel's face lasted for only a moment and afraid that she'd angered him, Alice quickly changed the subject to what she'd planned on telling him about all along, her brother. After explaining the situation and how she was no longer going to be the heir to the family anymore, she'd expected Lionel to release her from the marriage. For some reason she couldn't fathom though, he'd simply laughed the idea off and admitted he wanted to marry her even more now. Needless to say she'd been quite surprised.

There hadn't been time to talk after that since a group of commoners had burst into the room threatening the nobles, bringing the rest of Section III with them. A bunch of men wielding weapons Alice could handle, but when Corporal Oland commented on how good she looked when she'd asked them what they were doing there, she nearly fled the room in embarrassment.

Those three little words were what had her sitting at her desk staring off into space well after everyone else had gone home. You'd think that the fight would've been at the front of her mind, but no matter what she did, she just couldn't seem to forget the way Corporal Oland had smiled so sweetly as he told her that she looked amazing.

Once the threat had been neutralized and everyone had left the mansion, Alice had returned home long enough to change before heading into the office to write her report. She'd managed to push all other thoughts out of her head for the better part of the night, but as soon as her papers were filed, her mind drifted back once more to the gentle giant who'd been sitting quietly at his desk since she'd arrived.

Every time she looked at him her stomach would start to flutter and her heart would beat faster causing her to look away quickly. The feelings were new and somewhat frightening since she was unsure as to the cause of them.

Warrant Officer's Oreldo and Machs left around three, at which point Corporal Oland offered to walk Alice home, but she'd politely refused stating she had more work to finish. A lie, yes, but she wasn't sure how to act around the man anymore. He made her feel…different.

Breathing a sigh of relief when the tall man finally left, Alice plopped back into the seat at her desk and stared absently out the window. She wasn't sure how long she sat there, one hour, two, but eventually her eyes began to close and her head slipped onto her desk as she drifted off to sleep.

That was the scene Randel came upon when he slipped back into the office sometime after six in the morning. He'd been unable to sleep and decided to head into work early to finish up some of the paperwork that Oreldo never seemed to get done. Or at least that had been the plan until he'd spotted Alice sleeping soundly, one arm tucked under her head and soft snores coming from her partially open mouth.

Seeing her like that, so peaceful and vulnerable, made his heart clench and without thinking he gently brushed a strand of hair out of her face, his fingers lingering longer than necessary on her cheek. "So beautiful." He whispered as a finger followed the curve of her jaw and ghosted over her bottom lip.

He'd been in love with the petite, blonde haired Lieutenant since the first time he met her. There was just something about the headstrong woman that made him want to grab her and never let her go. Hearing she was to be wed had crushed him, but the way she'd looked at him while they were working a few hours ago, glancing over nervously and then looking away with a blush, gave him the slightest bit of hope that just maybe she felt the same way about him. Removing his finger from her lip, Randel ran that same hand through his hair with a groan. "You have no idea what you do to me woman." He mumbled with the barest hint of a smile.

Alice's tongue came out and Randel watched in slow motion as it traced the path his finger had just made. Feeling his pants tighten, he winced knowing it would be quite some time before he'd be able to do anything about it. Closing his eyes, he was about to turn around when a soft voice reached his ears.

"Stay with me…" Alice whispered sleepily. "…don't leave me…Randel."

Eyes widening, Randel looked at her still serene face in shock. That was the first time she'd ever said his first name and it was doing some very interesting things to his body. Before he could stop it, his traitorous hand moved out to cup her cheek and he froze when he realized she'd most likely be woken up. Surprisingly though, all she did was burrow into the hand with a contented sigh.

He stood that way for several minutes, relishing the contact he'd likely never get when she was awake, when a genius idea struck him. There were cots in the medical wing a few doors down; she couldn't possibly fault him for trying to make her comfortable, right? Nodding at his decision, Randel gently picked the tiny woman up and tucked her into his arms before making his way out of the office and down the hall.

"Cozy." Alice mumbled as she snuggled into the warm chest that was pressed against her side which caused Randel to stumble slightly and nearly drop his precious cargo.

Straightening himself up, Randel made it the rest of the way without incident. Spying a cot in the far corner of the room, it looked large and sturdy enough for him in case she refused to let go, which he really hoped she did, he slowly headed towards it.

The moment he laid her down, Alice curled into a ball and tucked her arms around herself for warmth. Disappointed, he'd been looking forward to having an excuse to cuddle with her for a few hours, Randel removed his uniform jacket and placed it over her. When she pulled it tighter around her body and released the softest of moans, he fled the room as quickly as his legs would take him.

o o o o o

Alice awoke two hours later surrounded by a very familiar scent. Breathing deeply, she burrowed her nose into the fabric she held next to her face and had every intention of falling back to sleep, that is until she realized that she was most definitely not at home. Jumping up, she looked around the room as her hand immediately went for the dagger she kept at her side.

It took her a moment to figure out where she was, but when she did her body relaxed and her hand moved to run through her hair instead. "I guess I must've fallen asleep." She muttered out loud. "But I wonder how I got here." Feeling material between her fingers, she glanced down at the jacket that was still partially covering her. "Rand-…I mean Corporal Oland must have brought me here. I'll have to thank him."

Ignoring the little butterflies that had formed in her stomach at the mention of the Corporal, she stood up and straightened her uniform the best she could before folding up the jacket she'd been using as a blanket and heading back towards her office.

Stepping inside, Alice wasn't all that surprised to see that the Corporal was the only one there. It had been a very late night for everyone after all. Taking a deep breath, and pushing down all the odd feelings that seemed to pop up whenever she was around her large subordinate, she held out the jacket. "Thank you Corporal for letting me borrow your jacket." She said in a business-like tone. "And for moving me…to the…c-cot." A dark blush covered her face as the realization that she'd been carried in his arms sunk in and Alice turned away quickly. Without another word she took a seat at her desk and buried herself in the stacks of papers that had been delivered with the morning mail.

Randel hadn't missed the blush and couldn't help the smile that formed on his face at her reaction. She was just too cute sometimes. Pulling his jacket on, he breathed in the lingering scent Alice had left on it. Not the best idea he'd ever had. He was hard in an instant and his eyes widened in fear, certain she'd turn around and attack him for getting excited during work hours. Thankfully Alice remained ignorant to his little problem and continued to read through whatever it was she was working on.

Releasing the breath he'd been holding Randel pulled out the Pumpkin Scissors manual, which he still hadn't finished reading, and tried to immerse himself in that until the others arrived and he could sneak away long enough to deal with his issue.

Ten minutes and two paragraphs later, he realized it was futile. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't focus on anything other than the Lieutenant, and the way she'd tug her hair and bite her lip when she was frustrated over something she'd read, or how she'd tap her foot when she was bored, or how her cheeks would turn the color of strawberries whenever she looked…at…him.

Realizing that she'd caught him staring, Randel winced as he waited for something to come flying at his head. It never came. In fact, they simply continued to sit there staring at each other, neither one making a move at all.

When Alice began to chew on her lip, Randel's body moved on auto pilot and he soon found himself standing over her.

"C-Corporal?" Alice questioned, leaning back ever so slightly so she could look into his eyes. "I-is there something I can help you with?" If she'd been expecting an answer, she didn't get one. Instead she found herself pulled out of her seat and into his arms before she even had time to blink. "Wh-what ar-."

Randel cut her off by placing his lips on hers in the gentlest of kisses. She froze, and knowing he didn't have long before she came to her senses and tried to take his head off, he slid his tongue out and ran it over her bottom lip, hoping she'd respond on instinct and he could at least have a taste of her before he died.

With wide eyes, Alice tried to wrap her head around what had just happened, but it wasn't working. Corporal Oland still had his lips on hers and she was quite certain there was a tongue being added as well. Giving the giant man a shove, she opened her mouth to ask him what the hell he'd been thinking, she was still engaged to be married after all, but she forgot to think her plan through. The Corporal didn't budge in the slightest, not exactly a surprise when she thought about it later, and she found her mouth full of his warm, wet tongue instead.

It was a strange feeling, having someone else's tongue in her mouth, but when Randel entwined it with hers and tilted his head just slightly, Alice wondered why she'd never tried kissing someone before. It was amazing and she couldn't help but respond to the larger man's coaxing.

Certain he'd died and gone to heaven, Randel lifted Alice up onto her desk and brought her even closer. Stepping between her thighs, which he was certain she hadn't even realized he'd done, he used the hand that he'd placed on the back of her head to mesh her mouth against his.

They stayed like that for some time, getting lost in each other's arms, and Randel would've been content to remain that way forever if Alice hadn't accidentally brushed herself against him. He knew she wasn't aware of what she'd done, she'd simply been trying to get closer to him, but that didn't stop the moan from coming out of his mouth or his hands from moving to her waist in an attempt to cause more of that wonderful friction.

Felling his hands move, Alice pulled herself back and shook her head to clear it of the lust filled haze it had fallen into. "Stop, we can't." She murmured when Randel tried to coax her lips back to his. "I'm still engaged, this isn't right."

"To hell with him." Randel breathed into her ear before nipping the cartilage gently. "I know you want this as much as I do." Refusing to give her the chance to respond he crushed his mouth to hers, and using his size to his advantage, pressed her back against the desk so she was half laying beneath him. His hand made its way to the buttons of her dark orange uniform and ever so slowly he released them.

It was suddenly very hard to breath and Alice found herself gasping for air as her jacket was shoved open and a hand many times the size of her own slid up her side and stopped just beneath her breast. "I-I'm serious." She said, but her body denied the words the moment they left her mouth as her hands made their way up Randel's arms to link behind his neck.

Smiling against her neck, Randel pressed himself down against her lithe body, delighting in the way she squirmed beneath him. His hand inched its way higher, brushing the underside of her breast, and he was about to bring it into his hand when voices appeared from down the hall.

They were separated in seconds, both tidying up their uniforms and hair as quickly as they could before the door to the office opened and Oreldo and Machs walked in dressed in their standard issue green uniforms.

Dropping into her seat, Alice tucked her head in her hands and willed herself not to scream in either anger or frustration. She still wasn't sure how she felt about the whole situation. Ignoring Oreldo and Machs, they were looking at her like she'd lost her mind which wasn't too far from the truth, she resumed what she'd been doing before the Corporal had…interrupted her.

"What's up with the Lieutenant?" Oreldo asked Randel as he took his seat and kicked his feet up on his desk. "She seems a bit out of it this morning."

"Yeah, is she not feeling well?" Machs added, adjusting the glasses he was wearing.

Shrugging, Randel pretended he had no clue and his fellow officers thankfully let the subject drop when their balding commander Captain Hunks walked in and began handing out their latest assignment. Glancing over at Alice he winked, and then smiled when she ducked her head down with a blush. Now that he knew she liked him, at least a little, there was no way he was going to let her get away from him. Fiancé be damned.

"Alright you guys, you're new assignment is to transport some relief supplies to the outer region of Cevile" Captain Hunks said once he took his seat. "The layout of the village, as well as a list of supplies and the name of the man who requested the aid, are in the packets I've just handed out. Familiarize yourself with the information quickly as you'll be departing shortly."

There were nods all around the room as the members of Pumpkin Scissors scanned through the small stack of papers. Moments after silence settled over the room, the door was pushed open and a wealthily dressed blonde man walked in with a large bouquet of flowers in his hand. Without acknowledging the others in the room, Lionel made his way to Alice's desk, deliberately stopping so he was standing between the Corporal and his fiancé. "Alice my dear, these are for you." He said with a smile as he handed over the sweet smelling roses.

Glancing up from the papers, Alice looked from Lionel to the flowers and then back again. "Um…thank you?" She said, slowly grasping the bouquet and placing it on the desk next to her. "Can I ask what you're doing here?"

"You rushed out of there so quickly last night I didn't have time to ask you to lunch today." Lionel said, absently brushing invisible dust off his white shirt sleeve. "I was hoping to spend more time getting to know you before our wedding."

Flinching, Alice refused to look over at Randel, afraid someone would realize what had happened between them if she did. "Can we take this outside please?" Without waiting for an answer, Alice stood up and left the room stiffly.

Sending the large man who obviously had a thing for his fiancé a smirk, Lionel followed after Alice.

Stopping a few feet down the hall, Alice took a deep breath before turning around to face Lionel. "First of all, I don't appreciate you coming and interrupting my work, kindly refrain from doing so in the future. And second, I thought I made it clear last night that there was no longer any reason for the two of us to be married. You should find yourself a more suitable woman, one who knows how to be a proper noblewoman."

Lionel simply smiled as he stepped closer. "That may be, but as I recall I told you I had no intention of letting you get away from me. Heir or no heir, I intend to make you my wife." He said, running the back of his hand along Alice's cheek. "Now, about lunch today?"

"I…you…" Alice trailed off, unsure of where to start. Finally she sighed. "I really have to go; we can finish this conversation later when I get back." When Lionel looked like he was going to speak, she raised her hand to cut him off. "If I get back in time for lunch, we can continue our talk over soup down in the mess hall." And with that Alice brushed passed him and headed back to her office.

Watching her walk away, a sinister grin formed on Lionel's face. "You can run, but you'll never escape me." He muttered darkly.

When Alice walked back into the room everyone scattered from their spots near the door and grabbed random items to make it appear as if they weren't just eavesdropping on her conversation. Pretending she hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary, and refusing to look anywhere near Randel, she grabbed the papers off her desk and cleared her throat. "Let's get going, those supplies aren't going to deliver themselves."

Captain Hunks waved his hand and held up a signed order for the release of the supplies. "Make sure you give this to the Major when you leave, you know how annoyed he gets when he doesn't get the proper paperwork."

Oreldo grabbed the document from the Captain's hand with a roll of his eyes. "Screw Mr. Stick-up-the-ass." He said with a snort. "That guy's had it out for us since our section was formed. He thinks we're a waste of time and should be disbanded."

"Be careful what you say Oreldo, that man can get you put on K.P. for the remainder of your career." Machs warned as he stood up and pushed in his chair.

Shaking his head, Corporal Oland snuck a peak at Alice as he prepared to leave. She had just fixed her coat and a strand of hair was knocked loose that his hand was itching to tuck back into place, but he knew it wasn't the time or place so he resisted the urge and followed after his commanding officers as they began the short trek to the vehicle garage.

Fifteen minutes and two arguments about what they could and could not take from the supply depot later, Machs pulled the car out onto the street and they began the hour drive to the village of Cevile.

The ride went by surprisingly fast. Oreldo started a singing competition and somehow managed to convince everyone to join in, though some were more willing than others, and by the fourth round they were all laughing so hard tears were forming in their eyes.

"I had no idea you had such a lovely voice Lieutenant." Oreldo complimented when the game came to an end.

"Same here, I've never heard you sing before." Machs added as he pulled the vehicle off onto a well beaten dirt road that would lead then to the outskirts of the village.

Alice shrugged. "I had mandatory singing lessons when I was a child, part of a noble upbringing." She explained.

Just then a deer jumped out into the road and Machs swerved to avoid it, sending Alice tumbling over the side of the vehicle.

"Lieutenant!" Oreldo cried, reaching back over his seat to try and catch her.

Randel watched Alice fall and jumped after her without hesitation, wrapping himself around her small form and taking the brunt of the damage as they rolled down the side of the cliff together. Tucking her head under his chin, he winced as a sharp rock nailed him in the side as they finally came to a stop at the bottom of the hill.

Groaning, Alice sat up and shook her head only to regret it when everything began spinning. "What the hell just happened?" She asked in confusion.

"Deer jump… you fall…ouch." Randel said through clenched teeth.

Looking down at the man beneath her, Alice's eyes widened and she jumped up. "I'm so sorry; I didn't realize I was squishing you." She apologized.

Waving her apology off, Randel sat up and got a good look at the size of the hill they'd just fallen down. "I don't think we'll be joining the guys that way." He said, pointing up towards the road that was at least seven hundred feet above them. "We're going to have to find another way up."

Following his hand, Alice rubbed her forehead in annoyance. "I can't believe I lost my balance like that." She muttered. "And then to drag you with me, I'll never live this down."

Randel smiled as he watched her shake her head back and forth. "I really don't mind being stuck out here with you, in fact, I rather like the idea." He said softly, stepping up to Alice's side and leaning close to her ear. "I think this is fate, don't you?"

"W-we should g-get going." Alice stuttered, darting away from the larger man. "It'll likely take us awhile to meet back up with Martis and Oreldo so we'd better get started." Without waiting to hear his response, she picked a direction and headed off into the woods.

Shaking his head, Randel followed after her in silence.