Alice cleaned and scrubbed and dusted until the guild was completely clean. She sighed as she placed the duster down on one of the tables. Everyone was gone for the night, or asleep at home, everyone that is, except for her. Alice wrung her hands together, and her stomach churned. She felt anxious and awful ever since Igneel yelled at her. She couldn't follow them, too many people were already going and besides, she didn't think that Igneel wanted her along anyway.

Well no use in staying here by myself, she thought to herself.

She left soon after collecting all of her belongings and locking up the guild hall, not that anyone would dare attack the number one guild in Fiore. Her walk was short and uneventful, although the anixey she felt caused her to constantly look over her shoulder.

She unlocked her front door and dropped her keys on the table next to the door. She paused for a second and remember how Igneel had helped her pick it out when a flea market had come to town. She sighed and countinued on her way up the stairs to her second story bedroom.

Her bed was a comfortable queen with a fairy like canopy, the sheets a dusted gold color and a matching dust ruffle. The bed was one of her gulity pleasures, along with the goose down pillows that rested against the intricate cast iron head board.

Alice walked over to her closet and stepped out of her shoes; she was beginning to undress when she noticed and enevlope on the fluffy pillows. She pulled her shirt back down and picked it up.

The front had very familiar block lettering that could only be attributed to one person she knew. She carefully opened it and took out the folded piece of paper nestled within it.

It read:

Dear Alice,

I know that I yelled at you and I also know you won't hold it against me becaus ethat is the kind of person you are and I really do love that about you. When I get back, we are going on the date that I never had the balls to ask you on, and you had better not go out on another date until I get back, ok? I'd make the letter long but Adrian is yelling for me to wrap this up so we can go.
See you soon,

Alice felt a blush crawl into her cheeks. "It's about time he asked me out." she whispered to herself. She wiped at a stray tear away and sighed. Maybe her day wasn't so bad after all, she laughed to herself in such higher spirits than the hour before. Maybe he wasn't as dense as his father. She finished getting undressed and got into her pajamas. She put the letter underneath her pillow and climbed into bed with a smile on her face; soon she was fast asleep.

Igneel woke up before anyone else, and after making sure the coast was clear and everyone was still asleep, he pulled out a portrait of Alice when she was laughing from his pocket. He smiled softly and put it back in his pocket.

"I saw that." Adrian smirked, leaning against a tree.

"When did you get there?!" Igneel shouted, jumping up from where he was sitting and pointed at Adrian with an accusing finger.

"I've been here long enough to see you pull out that picture." Adrian stood up, "So you think that she'll wait for you?"

Igneel stayed silent for a moment, pulling out the picture again before speaking, "I'm sure she will."

"How can you be sure?" Adrian asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I just am. Wouldn't you have faith in someone you love?" Igneel asked back, slipping the photo back into his pocket as the rest of the group began to waken.

"It's not that I don't trust Alice, I just wouldn't trust guys around her." Adrian said off handedly, "Some guys just don't take no for an answer."

Igneel thought this over for a moment before answering, "I have faith in her. That's all that matters." He climbed to his feet, and relit the camp fire snd shouting, "So who is going to making breakfast?"

Adrian watched as his best friend conned Marki into making food for the whole group, he did by charming her, a skill Adrian knew came from his mother. He knew that his friend was going to be alright, and since the first time since that horribly wonderful girl came into his life he felt as if everything was going to be all right.

But of course things are never that simple.

They made good time, reaching the part of the forest within their week of allotted time. Everyone was on edge, reacting to the slightest noise. Rion was forging ahead, blazing the trail that everyone else had to follow. Marki close behind, not wanting to be the last. She had to be there, right up front, whenever they found them.

Her life's mission would be complete.

For years she spent everyday searching, grasping any shred of information that she got a hold of looking for her little sister. All those times she felt like she had let her grandmother down, her parents, and her older brother. He did everything under the sun for them, protected them from those monsters that had her sister now. When she was forced into his position, she couldn't even keep themselves fed most of the time. Now is not the time for tears. she thought to herself as she felt her eyes begin to water. Now is the time I redeem myself and save Cascey.

Igneel kept an eye out for any scouts and was rewarded for his effort because soon they almost ran by two hiding in nearby trees. He swiftly dislodged them form their makeshift posts and had them on their knees before the rest of group.

"These two are a sign," Igneel said to everyone with a solemn face, his heartbeat quickening at the anticipation of the fight that laid before them, "We're almost there."

A/N: And so after two years of being a member on fanfiction I finally learn how to use line breaks. Man do I feel stupid. -.-

Right, so after some consideration, and encouragement, I've decided to start writing this story again.

Thank you for having faith in me, when I didn't.

TTFN~ Ta Ta For Now~


Marina Rose