Xiba sat quietly in the grass, the air heavy with the colliding sickly sweet scents of Natsu and Tira's blood, he tried to ignore the scent and began processing everything that Maxi had just told him.

" So that means that Lexia is in danger now, right?" He asked, in his usual childish demeanor.

But inside, he was as angry as a moutain Wolf when baring his fangs against an attacker in protection of his pack!

Xiba would not let anyone near Lexia, or Natsu!

They were his pack,

His Family,

And he would protect them both!

Xiba then heard in the distance Lexia's sobs in the distance.

I figured that'd be her reaction to this, but still, its good that Kilik's comforting her. Xiba thought, also detecting Kilik's scent drifting beside hers, though a part of him wanted to be the one comforting her, he knew that Kilik wanted to be there for her, for his Daughter, and he wasn't about to take that chance from his Friend.

" Yeah, not sure why though." Maxi confirmed, leaning against a tree by where Xiba was sitting.

" I can't imagine anyone wanting to hurt Lexia, she's so kind, and helpful, and-" The young man paused.

" Beautiful?" Maxi asked, clearly picking on his young student.

Red flared on Xiba's cheeks!

" No! I-I mean, yes, she is, but, that wasn't what I was gonna say, I-" The wild boy stammered, completely taken off guard by that!

Maxi simply chuckled and said," I'm just messin with ya, Xiba."

Xiba pouted angerly, not at all amused.

"But seriously, you need to tell her how you feel." Maxi said after he stopped laughing.

Xiba's face went solemn," I would, theres nothing in the world that I want more then to tell her, but, she's a girl from a Noble Family, what would she want from an peasant Orphen raised in the wilds?" He asked sadly, realizing for the first time just how wide, and steep the gap was between their social standings.

And the futility of his feelings.

Maxi frowned at Xiba's negativity," Come on, Xiba, you know that Lexia's not like that, he cares about you." He said.

" I know, but that doesn't mean she feels the same way that I do." Xiba replied.

" That's why you need to tell her, to find out." Maxi stated.

A part of Xiba, a voice, much like a gentle imaginary 'bird' on his shoulder said that Maxi was right, and that he should trust the kindness in Lexia's innocent heart, and confess his feelings to her, knowing she'll accept.

But another part of Xiba, a darker side of Xiba,

His angry, distrustful, more Feral Animal-like side of himself,

His eyes wild and sparp,

His teeth bared,

He was like an enraged Tiger,

A lonely, isolated, wrathful Tiger.

A reflection of what he used to be,

That is, before he met his friends.

Then, he no longer had a reason to be like that of a beast,

He felt for the first time the freedom to be what he truly was.

A Boy.

But that other side that he had produced as a means of survival remained still, as a part of his subconscious.

It was a side that he rarely tapped into,

A side he wished he no longer possessed,

Said that he should not allow himself to let his guard down, not again,

Not after last time.

And that though Lexia acted nice, she, in reality was just like everyone else, every normal person,

A liar.

But Xiba tried to ignore that side of himself, and try to see the brighter side of everything.

" Maybe your right, Maxi." Xiba finally replied, his smile returning.

" Of course I'm right." Maxi stated proudly, to which Xiba smiled once more, admiring his Teacher's confidence.

" Besides," Maxi began once more, only more seriously.

" Was your childhood really so strange, do you really think that it would actually scare Lexia away?" Maxi asked.

Though he tried not to pry into anyone's business, he found himself unable to shake off his curiousity on this one.

Everything about Xiba, wild appearence and inhuman Acrobatics aside,

From the way he spoke,

To the way fought,

Even how he carried himself,

Screamed out the existence of someone who was more then just a playful, unaware, naive child, much more.

It screamed out the hidden cries of a boy that was forced to survive a harsh terrain all alone far to early in his life,

Force to become an Adult well before he was ready, simply to survive long enough to see the light of the next day,

The light of dawn the only thing to save him, to provide him protection.

Inspite how well he hid the truth, it could not be shaken entirely.

The past is a part of who everyone is, and it can't be escaped,

Not ever.

And even though Xiba had never told him, or anyone else for that matter,

Maxi was well aware of his Animal level senses,

And they were as sharp as Natsu's Swords!

Able to hear the smallest raindrop before the storm,

Or detect the faintest odor of blood traveling through the dense air,

And could see far beyond what any human eye can see.

He tried to hide it, but you can't really hide the fact that you can already smell someone's killing intent well before any threat comes into view,

Or warn of rain when there not a cloud in the sky,

You just can't hide something like that.

Xiba tensed up at Maxi question.

" Well, its kinda a long story." He nervously replied, scratching the back of his head nervously.

" Well, no bettewr time to start, right?" Maxi asked, then noticed the reluctance in Xiba's eyes,

He probably never shared that part of his story with anyone before, and was understandably nervous about telling it to someone.

Maxi knew, probably better then most people,

Growing up in Asia with a Father who's Eyes, hair, and skin were not like everyone elses, you learn quickly that people are dishonest, judgemental, close-minded, and above all ignorent!

That cruelty was what ultimately led to his Father's demise.

That was probably why he became a Pirate in the first place,

On that ship, there were people from all walks of life,

Skin all shades of color,

You weren't not judged by your Heritage, but by your loyalty to the crew.

Aside from his father, the crew was like the Family he always wanted.

" You can trust me, Xiba, I promise you that." Maxi swore to his young Student, now sitting beside him, with a smile.

Xiba returned the smile," Thanks, Maxi." He replied.

" I know that."

Sorry its so short, but I'm having some writer's block right now, so bare with me, kay?