BEFORE YOU READ: This story contains spoilers for the first two Golden Sun games, since it is set in that timeline, precisely seven years after the Golden Sun event. If you do not wish to be spoiled, don't read this please! Thanks! :)
A/N: I'm pretty sure I went OOC at least a touch during this. But get used to it, because I love having dark Felix and naive/stupid/adorable Mia and charming/pimp Piers. I also never noticed how tsundere Felix was, at least how I write him anyway, lol.
But yeah. Eventual Mia/Felix. Probably won't be longer than ~15 chapters if I can help it. First chapter is always the shortest, sorry. I'll work on length later, try to get chapters at least 4-7k words each.
[Edit 2/3/14: Did some rather large editing to this! It's getting ready for its new chapter soon :O I hope this can be as popular as it used to be. Thank you so much to all my old reviewers, followers, and favoriters! Especially TrippyToasterAndABagOfChips, jeez that's a mouthful (handful). I read his review and it truly inspired me to keep going with this. And really, after rereading it, it's actually kinda good, so let's see if I can keep it up.]
Full Summary: Due to Imil's sudden exponential increase in population, its Lighthouse's Hermes Water supply has run dry. Mia has just returned from a year-long journey in search of more, but to no avail. She does know a place she would be certain to find it - Lemuria - but she has no way of getting there. So when Piers and Felix suddenly show up out of the blue, she is hopeful, but Felix won't sail her there without a favor - more like a demand - in return. Along the way, they uncover secrets about Weyard and its past and why the two Adepts have been away for so long without as much as a letter.
(Also, in other news, for those of you that knew me when I was just a wee lass, a sprout of the writer I am today (or at least what I hope I am), this is my attempt at a rewrite of A Love That Never Was, where MiaxPiers was the main couple. Just less angst and crap/py writing, and I obviously changed the main pairing.)
"Almost there," he mused once more as he turned the tiller of his ship to the left. The white, icy mountains in the distance began to emerge and he knew he was getting even closer by the second.
"Did you say something, Felix?" a particular Mercury Adept asked from behind him, a curious expression widening. He stood with his back to the side of the boat, arms crossed. He figured he would be here a while if he was expecting an answer from the brunet.
Felix grunted, gripping the tiller a little more tightly. "We're almost there."
Piers nodded, not really expecting an answer so quickly. "All right, then." The Lemurian sighed as well, now, uncrossing his arms. "Would you like some company? We won't come to the shore before dusk settles in, really." He glanced out at the distant mountains to reaffirm his point.
The brunet huffed a little. He'd much rather prefer to be alone, but maybe there were some things that the two grown men could talk about in the meantime - other than what they'd already talked about for the past ten years. After all, it could very well be said that the two needed each other, that they were best friends. Even stubborn old Felix could agree to that.
Ever since Piers had been exiled from Lemuria, he'd had to take refuge elsewhere and make do with what he already had, which was little more than the clothes on his back. He hadn't really gained much on the adventures throughout the years of adventuring with Felix and the group, either.
However, Felix practically had everything handed to him on a silver platter when he was taken in by Saturos and Menardi, the two Proxian Mars Adepts, all those years ago. Well, once he knew how to get what he wanted, anyway.
So he decided to pass that knowledge on to Piers. When Piers asked Felix if he could travel the world with him, Felix recognized the innocence in the Lemurian. It just wouldn't do to have somebody who couldn't take care of himself on his voyage, especially when he was dirt-poor himself, having given most of his money and his best wishes to a certain relative, one with red hair. Piers was very much set on joining the Earth Adept, though, so naturally preparations needed to be made.
Felix taught him how to steal.
It wasn't just the borrowing kind of stealing - it was the actual "you're never getting this back" kind of stealing. At first the Lemurian thought it to be a horrible and terrible thing, and to think that his best friend would stoop that low - to steal from innocent people - was sickening. But eventually he saw Felix's side to the story. He never stole from poor citizens not unlike himself. He only stole from middle-class and the wealthy. It was never anything they couldn't live without, anyway.
And besides, people do what they have to in order to survive. So each time they visited a wealthy city, such as Tolbi, at night the two would sneak into a house, sleep bombs in hand, and just take what was necessary: usually just an outfit or two stuffed with a couple hundred coins.
Even if it was just harmless taking, Felix still felt immensely responsible for the corruption of his blue-haired friend. Mainly because, well, he actually was.
The voice startled him out of this thoughts. He really had to stop getting lost in himself. The sea made everything else seem nonexistent at times.
"Sorry," he offered meekly. Somehow he thought this apology would make up for all the ridiculous things Piers was forced to do.
The Lemurian just smiled. "Would you like some company?" he reiterated.
Felix didn't take nearly as long this time to reply. "Yeah, I think I would."
And with that, Piers walked up to where his friend was and sat down, hands on his knees, watching Felix steer. He peeked his head up just above the side of the ship and, as the snowy mountains in the distance grew ever-so-slightly closer to them, retreated it to rest his eyes for just a minute or two. Maybe he'd get to hear some more Felix grumble today.
Her eyes never left the man but she did move them just a tad so that she could see whether or not she was healing him right. Of course she was, though, otherwise she wouldn't be accepted as the city's healer for as many years as she had been; she just had to be absolutely certain lest something were to happen. It was already unusual enough to have a Mercury Adept on the continent of Angara, let alone in Imil, so the city made sure it held onto the gift from the gods that it had been given.
After she left to journey with her friends and to put a stop to Alex, the snowy village grew in size slightly, mainly due to the Mercury Lighthouse and the Hermes Water that flowed there. There was virtually no need for a healer like Mia.
But that changed when the elderly's children started having children of their own, thus giving a chance for Imil to prosper and grow even more. Friends and relatives began moving up there because the weather started to change to beautiful spring instead of harsh winter all the time. Soon, Imil was the size of the early Tolbi.
Naturally, it wouldn't have been so bad if the seasonal flu didn't still come around. Sure, they had the Lighthouse's water, but with so many people depending on it, it began to deplete. Very slowly, of course, at first, but now it was the present day, during the middle of winter when the flu was most abundant and contagious, and Mia was needed.
She had left the town in the hands of her two most trusted students (and younger friends), Justin and Megan, but some things she had to do herself. Besides, the townspeople were her responsibility and, seeing as how she'd been away for a year already, she had to make it up to them - prove that she was still their angel.
"Thank you, Angel," came the old man's gratitude, reassuring her instantly. He lay in bed, staring up at her, with one hand over his stomach, the other holding his wife's at his bedside.
Mia smiled sweetly down at him. "It's the least I can do." Her expression went a bit somber as she remembered what they went through, though. "I shouldn't have left when I did," she admitted, feeling guilty for abandoning her city for a whole year.
"Please, Mia, do not blame yourself," the wife replied. Her gray hair fell below her shoulders, and despite how beautiful she looked even in her old age, the healer could tell that she didn't have much time left before she, too, fell ill.
She sighed as she stood up from near the man's bed and headed for the door. "Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you," she said, ready to leave and enter other houses whose inhabitants were ill as well. The old couple nodded their heads as she closed the door behind her.
She pushed her back against the door. It had been just ten years since that last adventure, but it felt like so many more, almost a whole lifetime. She had to admit, though, it was amazing how young she still looked in her twenty-seven-year-old body. She actually still had that of a seventeen-year-old.
Mia shook her head. Maybe twenty. After all, she was twenty when she absorbed the power from the Golden Sun. Not that she was complaining or anything.
And that was another thing. She couldn't help but wonder what became of all of her friends. Isaac and Jenna and Sheba and Ivan and Garet...Piers, Felix. She'd met so many great people on her journey, even if they didn't all get along at first. She remembered quite a few fights between herself and Ivan, and a year or two later between Felix and Garet, or even more often Felix and Isaac. Venus was the dominant element after all, though, no matter what they say. She had seen enough fights between those two to last a lifetime - certainly enough to know that Venus held dominance in its power.
But she pushed forward to the next house, no doubt knowing what was in store already. And once she stepped in the door, her suspicions were confirmed. Just another old couple, the man on the bed with his wife's hand in his. She healed him as well and sent her best wishes and continued on her way to heal the next fifty or so people. Within the day she had already healed one hundred or more - it felt like more, anyway - and it was already nightfall. Soon she would have to get Wes, the local Mars Adept, to light the lanterns on the city's pathways just so she could see where she was heading. After all, she hadn't been here in a while. Already, there were several houses she hadn't seen before, and she presumed they had been built shortly after she left.
Still, she felt a compelling debt towards the townsfolk for being gone for so long. It actually wasn't her fault, though, that she was away. Once she had learned that the Hermes Water was being depleted faster than it could be replenished, she set out in search of more. Of course, she knew she wouldn't find Hermes Water just anywhere. She started looking in caves where fresh water ran, around Imil itself but not quite around the Lighthouse, and even tested the water around the city to see if it was any different than normal water, all to no avail.
She knew one place where she would definitely find Hermes Water, but she had no way of getting there.
That place just had to have that special water. It was probably mixed with all other chemicals to make the famous Lemurian draught, which granted immortality to an individual for a time. Hermes Water had exquisite healing properties - much better than any healer could ever hope for - so what better thing to use for healing wrinkles and aches caused by old age than the very liquid itself?
She had no way of getting there, though, she reminded herself again. She would just be stuck here for another ten years, healing all the citizens with no breaks until her Psynergy reserves were exhausted, as was she. It was definitely a tiring job.
But that didn't stop her from doing it. Until the Hermes Water was replenished, she would have to deal with the pain. It wasn't like everyday the people got sick, anyway. She was almost positive she could handle it. In fact, healing all of her friends in battle at once was far worse than this, but that never tired her out, and healing Adepts is even more challenging than healing regular people, since the former figuratively sucked her energy from her body. It was very frightening, not to mention painful, when she learned for the first time how to heal an Adept.
As she started to make her way to the next house to do its bidding, she heard a crash come from over by the dock, along with the sound of two men grunting. She gasped and turned around, running straight towards the dock. She knew she had more people to heal, but if what she just heard was a potential threat, there wouldn't be any people left to heal.
Once she was at the dock, she checked around her for the guards. One was already on the wooden platform investigating the disaster. It was just a crashed ship that damaged the dock a bit, but it didn't look like anything the local carpenters couldn't repair.
Mia readied her Psynergy just in case she was needed to attack the assailants, but the two men who stepped out of the boat surprised her.
There was a man with blue hair not entirely unlike her own with a muscular build and golden eyes. The man next to him was almost equal in stature and size, but he had brown hair that flowed down his back in a ponytail. The brunet wore a green cape wrapped around his neck and she had to admit they looked awfully familiar, though they looked...awfully filthy.
They both stepped towards her, the brunet first, and the guard stood in front of Mia as if protecting her.
"Not another step, heathens!" he threatened, unsheathing his sword and pointing it at the two.
"Wait!" Mia cried, stepping in front of the guard. "I...I feel like I know you from somewhere," she confessed, her eyes searching the brunet's brown eyes for answers. She found none, but then the blue-haired man behind him spoke.
"Lady Mia?" His voice was sort of soothing, she thought. She knew she had heard it before...
And then it clicked.
All those times on the ship when they would talk about what it was like being the only Mercury Adept where they both resided (and in their respective parties), about how it felt to manipulate the water, about how good it felt knowing you had just helped somebody regain his strength by healing him, about how nerve-wracking it felt knowing that you are the one responsible for so many people and their lives in an instant.
And then all those times they stayed awake keeping guard (it only made sense because primarily he was a warrior and she was a healer, and if one got hurt the other could heal), chatting about nothing but the nonsense that made their lives theirs. They'd ask each other questions about what they would do in the future after all their questing was over.
They'd only known each other for a very short while during their journey to the last Lighthouse together with the other six Adepts, but it was safe to say that he had been her best friend. Especially with all his formalities, like calling her Lady Mia, he was the sweetest person she'd ever known.
"Piers." The name no more than slipped off of her tongue as a mere whisper, but hearing it come out of her mouth eased a smile onto his face and he nodded.
"Yes. And can you guess who this is?" He gestured toward the brown-haired man who still kept his distance from Mia. After seeing that the city's healer was safe and sound, the guard made way back to his post, leaving the old friends alone.
She thought long and hard about this man. Normally she would never forget a face, but having been away from her hometown for an entire year and coming back to find it nearly twice the size of when she left it - and it wasn't just the tiny village it had been in her teenage years, either - caused her to see on a daily basis so many more people. And if this was who she thought it was, his face had definitely changed, and it wasn't just because of the dirt build-up.
But if this was Piers in front of her, who was he? Brown hair with matching eyes, and that cape - didn't Felix have one just like it? But Felix disappeared even before she did. It didn't make sense - everybody assumed he was dead!
She took a shot in the dark, though. "Felix?"
The brunet chuckled, stepping up to her at last. "It's nice to see you again, Mia," he said, outstretching his arm to her, expecting her to shake his hand. She reached hers out as well but before hers could touch his, another hand entered the air around them and took Mia's hand, bringing it up to Piers's mouth and kissing it.
"It has been far too long, Lady Mia," he supplied, looking up at her face after he was done with her hand.
She blushed a little and smiled sweetly. "Yes it has. Seven years, I believe."
Felix rolled his eyes at the two, his whole demeanor suddenly changed. "Look, I actually have something I would like to do here, so if you two are quite finished..." He glanced between the pair like they were a young couple who had just been caught by their parents.
After a few seconds, Mia cleared her throat and Piers pulled his hand away and let go of hers.
"Of course. Sorry, Felix." He straightened his posture. Mia smiled a bit awkwardly.
Then she remembered her confusion concerning him. "Felix, where have you been?" It just seemed too bizarre, his showing up on the continent without warning or anything. And with Piers, too. This was weird. What was going on?
"That's...confidential," he replied, averting his eyes. He supposed it wasn't like nobody would notice his seven-year absence, though. At least the other Adepts, excluding Piers, made an attempt to meet up every so often. It was as if the two of them had simply dropped off the edge of Gaia Falls.
And that actually brought up another question about the other man in front of her. "And why did you leave for so long, as well?" She pointed an accusing finger at the Lemurian.
Piers coughed into his hand. "Ah... Just listen to Felix."
Felix shook his head. "All right. You asked me a question, now I get to ask you one."
Mia nodded, even though it was obviously unfair because he didn't give a real answer.
"You can heal pain, right?"
"Wh-what? Of course I can, as long as it's physical - "
"That's good enough for me," he interrupted, grabbing her wrist and dragging her away. "Come on. I need you to get packed so we can set sail already."
Set sail? Where would they set sail?
"Felix has some...unfinished business which he would like to take care of as soon as possible," Piers provided, trailing just behind her and making sure that Felix's grip wasn't too tight.
"Please wait," said Mia. She stopped in her tracks, wincing slightly when Felix kept yanking on her wrist to keep her going. He let it go then, sighing, and waited for her to speak. "I need to heal the rest of these people. The seasonal flu has made its way here again." She glanced between the two men, her old friends, and begged for sympathy. As long as her duty here was done, she could go on her own way and help more people, namely her friends here. It was extremely rare for the flu to come back after it was cured, anyway - but it had happened before.
"I will take care of the rest of the healing, Lady Mia," the Lemurian offered. "Just point me in the correct direction."
Mia nodded and thanked him, sending him towards the rest of the houses whose inhabitants still needed curing and bed rest, though she verily hoped the townspeople wouldn't think bad of Piers for suddenly barging in. Then another thought hit her.
"Would we be going to Lemuria?" she pondered to Felix.
He looked down at her with his arms crossed. "Why?"
She looked down at the ground, hiding from his evil stare. "Hermes Water...that is supposed to be there."
He huffed. "All right. We'll make a flying trip there."
She smiled and looked back up at him. "Thank you, Felix."
He brushed it off. "Just go get packed."
The healer realized something else, as well, and it was something she couldn't exactly ignore with a clean conscience. "You two look as if you haven't bathed or even eaten a proper meal in quite some time." She shifted, unsure if it was right for her to ask. "If you don't mind, would you like to dine with me and wash up before we set sail?"
Felix grunted, ready to refuse, but his stomach didn't agree, almost comically growling directly afterwards.
"...I guess it wouldn't be such a bad idea."