I do not own Magical X Miracle or any of its characters.

Merleawe sat with her hands rested lightly on her crossed legs. She sighed, staring at the cold grey stone before her. There were far too many headstones around, far too many deaths. She stood and brushed her hand along the monument built in Sylthfarn's honour. He had protected the people of Viegald, and now this task fell to her.

A month had passed since Merleawe had made the decision to offer her services as Master Wizard, but she seemed to be losing confidence rather than gaining it. She truly wanted to protect everyone; she loved not only the people in Viegald, but the city itself as well. But as time passed, she realized the enormity of her task. Everywhere she went, people swarmed her, wanting to hold her hand or kiss her cheek. Some people she had considered friends now saw her as somebody too important to associate with them.

Even in the palace, she often became lonely. Yue spent all of his free time with general Lenolora, who was here with Princess Fia Luka to negotiate fine details in the alliance between Caldia and Viegald. These negotiations also took up all of Princess — no, it was Queen, now — Seraphia's time. Merleawe saw them only when she took part in the negotiations, but she longed to talk casually with them.

She had repeatedly knocked on Glenn's door, thinking that they could sit down, have tea, and he could sooth Merleawe's feelings of insecurity. But Glenn was traveling through the countryside, bringing medicine to places without it. Merleawe missed her friend dearly. Without any idea of when he might return, she was forced simply to wait.

She chided herself for being so selfish. Her friends were trying to help others. She should only think about doing the same. At least she had Fern with her. She didn't dare to talk about her troubles with him, as she didn't want to burden him with them. But he did provide company while she signed papers, practiced magic, and walked around town. He patted her shoulder when people in town openly gaped at her. She even saw Lecto around from time to time, and he always had a friendly greeting for her.

A tear fought to escape her eye, and she blinked rapidly to try to quell to urge to cry. Who was she kidding? She could tell herself that she was fine with her friends doing their work, but it was a lie. She wanted them to spend time together like in the past. And Vaith…..

No, she couldn't think of Vaith. She refused to. She stood quickly and turned towards the palace. Fern would be looking for her if she didn't return soon. Crying over Vaith wouldn't help. She was sure it was his duties as captain of the Black Knights that was keeping him from talking to her. Merleawe hadn't even met eyes with him since the night she had decided to become the Master Wizard. She refused to admit to herself that it was his absence that hurt the most.

Merleawe turned the corner and almost jumped from shock. Some Black Knights were walking towards her, still in their uniforms! She couldn't turn around now, it was too late.

And there he was. The sight of Vaith confirmed what she had tried to deny. She wanted to reach out and touch him; wanted to hold his hand and laugh with him. She wanted to touch her lips to his and….

She froze, and he looked up. Then his eyes widened.

"Good morning, Master Wizard," his companions said with a smile and a slight bow. And then Vaith spoke.

"Good morning, Merleawe," he said, also bowing slightly. And then he continued walking. What? That was it? Merleawe felt like she could collapse into a fit of tears where she stood. But that was sure to raise questions about the health of the new master wizard. No, she had gone without seeing him when she was traveling, this could be like those times. Except….

"Vaith, wait!" she burst out suddenly. She held her breath, afraid he would keep walking. But no, he stopped at the first sound of her voice. He slowly turned. The smile on his face looked fake. It was this that finally set her off, "You JERK! What did I do to you; why can't you kook at me?" she screamed at him.

"Merleawe," he no longer had a fake smile plastered to his face. He seemed to think for a second. Then he said something to the Black Knights with him, and walked back towards her. His companions walked the other way.

A tear slid down Merleawe's cheek. "I'm so mad at you!" she yelled, and another tear chased the first. Vaith looked like he might cry, too. That was silly, she thought. She had done nothing to him.

"Merleawe, I can't…" he paused. He looked like he might stop, might turn and walk away from her. She grabbed his jacket, "Surely you know why I've been avoiding you," he whispered.

"Are you JOKING?" Merleawe was furious now," I'm crying, wondering why you haven't been speaking to me, and you expect me to just KNOW?"

He looked at her like she was being silly, "Merleawe, surely you know that part of the discussions between Her Highness Seraphia and Princess Fia Luka have included the fiancée of the Master Wizard. Tying someone to you with an engagement would be a great political move!" he exclaimed.

Merleawe was furious, "I haven't heard anything of the like," she fumed, "and I really don't think that Seraphia would do anything like that without asking me; I trust her! Even if something like that did come up, I would refuse!" she blushed. "I want to marry someone for love, not some political agenda! Besides, why should that make you stay away anyway?"

Vaith stared at her. His eyes burned with an emotion Merleawe couldn't place. "I –" he began. But he couldn't seem to find a reason to say. Merleawe stared back at him. And then a crazy thought came to her.

"You aren't… In love with me or something, are you?" She asked. Vaith looked down at his feet, his mouth in a firm line. He didn't seem to want to respond. "You idiot," Merleawe almost laughed, "do you know how long I've had a crush on you?"

Vaith looked up at her, seeming to check if she was telling the truth. She took a step towards him, but he moved much faster than her. He scooped her up in his arms and held her close to his chest.

"Still flat-chested?" He said, and finally smiled a true smile at her. Merleawe swung at him, but he dodged. Her face was very close to his. She leaned in, putting her face even closer, but.. "Not here," he whispered in her ear, "the Master Wizard can't start gossip like that." And he put her down.