A.N. The inspiration for this one-shot came in the form of a dialogue between Carlos and Micah, and is similar to author katzsoa's one-shot 'Love From a Bottle' in the fact that it describes an event which supposedly happened in the past. Not that I expect this story to be nearly as entertaining as that one given the source material, but I still thought it'd make for a humorous tale nonetheless.

Disclaimer: I own naught, for even the idea was derived from the game's dialogue.

Sharance: Flower Way, Fall 2nd, 11:45 a.m., Carlos' P.O.V.

Droplets of water fell through the air around me, refreshingly cool as they shattered upon impact with my exposed pecs, bathing them in glorious beads of glistening liquid. The crisp autumn air, tinted with the smell of cooked salmon, beckoned me to abandon my current excursion; tempting me with the lure of a solid rod in my hands and a fish on my line. But I ignored its calls. I had a mission; a task of the upmost importance for both myself and my dearest sister, so that our trip to Sol Terrano may prove safe and enjoyable.

As I walked briskly towards the blacksmith's, intent upon returning to my fishing rod with haste, I caught sight of Evelyn, who herself held a skip in her step as she ungainly shifted her gate in response to several murky puddles. A feeling of exuberance arose within my chest, alleviating itself through the use of a bellowing laugh, which nearly caused Evelyn to stagger into a particularly large pool of brown liquid; "Howdy, bro! What a time to be out, huh?"

"Good afternoon, Carlos," Evelyn said, her graceful smile returning to its natural position after a sudden displacement. "I'm just on my way to pick up some rice. Inspiration always strikes at the worst times."

Another chortle rose in my throat, attempting to append itself to the brief conversation, but I suppressed it as we passed, instead remarking, "I know what you mean. I have to pick up a weapon from Gaius, but all I can think about is fishing."

Evelyn's head tilted downwards in a polite fashion, attempting to look intrigued, but a sense of urgency in her movements conflicted with her actions. "Sorry about that. Well, I must be going. I don't want this inspiration to go to waste."

"Okay. Be sure to stop by if your outfits are ever feeling a bit fishy. I hear mackerels are in season!" As soon as Evelyn was past, I conceded to the temptation and let out a chuckle at my own joke.

Having reached the door to the blacksmith's, I quickly whisked away the rain that had collected upon my tan skin before entering inside, a burst of heat engulfing my body as I did so. Raven stood at a far desk, eyes averted and body inclined defensively upon the counter; her hot crimson hair blending into the light radiating from the forge's furnace. Gaius himself was posed before the aforementioned furnace, body bent over an anvil as his hammer drummed rhythmically upon a soft piece of metal.

I strolled across the hard wooden floor towards Gaius, my boisterous laugh drawing the ire of Raven's gaze, who was obviously jealous of my elation.

"How's the… uh…" I paused upon reaching Gaius, attempting to remember an occupational verb not related to fishing, "hammering going?"

Gaius neglected to respond, his complexion unchanged as his mallet continued to create a melody upon the anvil it struck.

"Uh, bro?"

I felt my gaze turn to Raven, whose visage betrayed a hint of humor as she remained silent, her crystal blue eyes playfully analyzing my current predicament with unprecedented mirth. Was this an action of approval; impish in nature, or were there more subtle undertones? My beloved sister tells me that affection is often guised behind an insincere bluff; could her statement apply to this very situation? Although my sister also says that life involves more than fishing, but we all know that couldn't be further from the truth.

Seeing no alternative, I found myself at the desk before Raven, her detached inclination reemerging as a silent sigh escape from between her lips. "… What?"

"Hey, how's it going? I ordered a defender from Gaius the other day, but he seems a little busy right now. I saw you looked bored, so…," I gave a little wink, emphasizing the pause as a grin flashed across my face, "I was hoping you could help."

Eyes narrowed and lips tilted downward, Raven turned away from me, bent forward at the waist as she searched through the drawers behind the counter. I struggled to remain attentive as she did so, thoughts of my sister and my fishing rod flooding my consciousness, until I suddenly noticed a previously concealed area of Raven's body. The beautiful view presented before me helped alleviate the pains of my impatience, and I felt my field of vision focused itself upon the beautiful curved region normally so distastefully hidden from sight.

Returning to an upright position, Raven turned to face me, a rather large package harbored in her grasp. "Here."

Grasping the bundle, I carefully unwrapped its contents, the weight of the sword inside already denoting the weapon's high quality. Assuredly enough, the defender was nearly immaculate. The blade, stained a luscious caramel tone akin to that of my skin, sat perfectly balanced upon the handle; honed in such a manner so as to leave the blade sharp yet durable. The handle itself was of high quality as well, comfortable enough for prolonged use, yet still solid enough to wield the blade accompanying it. Its beauty was almost overwhelming, and I caught myself staring at the bright light reflected off the flat side of the blade.

It was as I was staring, entranced, upon the blade that I caught sight of the most beautiful visage I had ever laid my eyes upon. Immersive aquamarine eyes latched onto mine, captivating my gaze as they scrutinized my very being. Velvet skin, graphed onto a thin frame, composed the face, upon which sat delicately windblown hair, slightly damp with a translucent glossy exterior. To say it was an enrapturing sight would be a gross understatement, and in that moment I felt a sensation of pride arise in the pit of my stomach at being blessed with such a beautiful sight.

Glad to see I still had such a gorgeous bust.

As I lowered the blade to the desk before me, however, I found my eyes feasting upon the sight of a very different kind of bust. Rather than filling my stomach with pride, I felt my veins turn to pyre as they were lit ablaze with an almost overwhelming intensity, my rod suddenly taking a very prominent position in my consciousness. A cardiac muscle having nearly missed a beat, my hand snapped back from the sword, leaving it to collide with the counter before me with an ominous clang.

Raven's head tilted forward, an inquisitive gleam in her alluring eyes as the movement broke the trance that had overcome me. I meant to formulate a reply; an explanation for my actions, or at the very least disregard the occurrence with a bellowing holler, but my mouth refused to do little more than gape as I attempted to break my fixation upon her luscious lips. A voice mentally chastised my conscience for its actions, for I could never think such thoughts about my beloved sister, but oddly I continued to embrace the sudden passions that had arisen within me.

"Hurry up and pay," Raven muttered, her dulcet voice enthralling my ears.

I attempted to flash Raven my prettiest grin as I scrutinized my brain for a sufficient compliment, in the meanwhile flexing my pectoral muscles to lure her attention. "Has anyone ever told you that… that you're, uh, pretty, bro-ette?"

If Raven had indeed received my compliment, her composure displayed no signs of it.

"… I don't want to talk to you. Just pay and leave," Raven murmured, her tongue sharp as she stepped backward, arms crossed upon her torso.

While I'm by no means adept in the matters of romance, I was fairly certain she was playing what my sister calls 'hard to get'. Much like a fish resistant to capture, Raven was dwelling just outside my reach, knowing the challenge would pluck upon my heartstrings. Despite the voice in my head reprimanding me for my intentions, I was determined to make an advance. It was obvious that she shared my ardor, but was merely too apprehensive to act upon it.

"You must be really strong to deal with all these weapons, Raven. You know, I'm pretty strong too. It helps that I pump so much iron," I said with a sly smirk, anticipating her response. "My iron fishing rod, that is. I could show you sometime, if you wanted."

A dark red flush spread across Raven's face at my poetic statement, her eyes ablaze with an intensity to match my own affections. Had my words finally shattered the defensive barrier withholding Raven's true feelings? I wanted to revel in the moment of euphoria, knowing that my lover indeed reciprocated my feelings, but the nagging voice continued to persist through the temporary glee, beseeching me to return to my sister and fishing rod.

"… Go. Now," said my lover, her tone tinged with regret—or was that acrimony?—as she diverted her gaze onto Gaius. "Take the sword. Go."

Did she fear the disapproval of Gaius? Were the emotions contained within her too overwhelming for her to endure? I felt a surge of adoration for my lover and her struggles overtake me.

"It's okay if you don't want to show your feelings right now. I understand. But, before I go, could I… I kiss you, bro-ette?"

A heavy blunt object collided suddenly with my cranium, casting me into a world of darkness.

I awoke with a throbbing sensation ravaging my head. My clothes soaked and body chilled, I felt a violent shudder travel up my spine as I gradually rose to my feet, balance shifting slightly as the world around me spun. I was outside the blacksmith's, although how I had arrived at my present location I did not know. All I could remember were the few fleeting moments I had shared with my true love before we were so violently torn apart.

Picking up the defender on the ground beside me, the voice in my head suddenly reminded me that skipjacks were in season, and that my sister was, in all probability, fervently awaiting my arrival so that we may go fishing once again. The thought of a fishing rod in my hands overwhelming all previous resolutions, I gave a silent apology to my one true love before I started to run towards our fishing resort.

A.N. That turned out differently than I first anticipated, not to mention quite a bit longer. I suppose one could call Carlos a bit eccentric with his descriptions—and his interpretations of said descriptions—but hopefully you found the drudgery at least partially entertaining. I know I quite enjoyed writing it.

Anyway, reviews are appreciated but by no means mandatory, and I thank you for reading.

-[Sir Gigous]-