Disclaimer: I don't own Ace Combat, just this story.

Thomas Chamers was in love.

He was only twelve years old and he was pretty sure that his older brothers would scoff, but he knew for certain he was head over heels in love with a certain blond girl in his class. She was pretty and petite and she had a fire in her that was attractive to say the least, with her little catchphrase, "Go dance with the angels!"

Thomas was not, in his opinion, an ideal specimen of the male species to pursue this vision of loveliness. His legs were long and gangly, his short brown hair and eyes were unexceptional and his nose was far too long in his opinion.

Matilda Herman was her name and he frankly didn't think he stood a chance.

Her parents were rich enough to live next to in Riverside and although his parents weren't poor but they were certainly not rich enough to live Riverside.

Matilda's dad was in the Air Force and Thomas got airsick on a calm flight.

Matilda was spunky and charismatic and everyone seemed to love her, while he was generally average. Even the nerds got more attention than he did, he was just another face in the crowd. And she always had a group of friends with her and Thomas had no intention of asking her out in front of an audience.

But on the day of the school trip to the Palace of Versailles, the Palace of the Golden King, he was able to find her alone for once. She was staring up at the statue of the Golden King with reverence, a look which made her look even more beautiful and he decided to take his chance.

"Hey Matilda," he said and she gave him a smile.

"Hey Thomas," she replied, the reflection of the Golden King's statue making her pretty face light up even more.

"You really like the Golden King?" he asked and she nodded with a smile.

"Yeah, my mom used to read me bedtime stories about him when I was little," she said with a smile.

"My older brother used to tell me that the Golden King would swallow me up if I trod on his lego," Thomas told her with a smile and she laughed. "I used to be terrified."

Thomas swallowed and prepared to ask the question he'd been meaning to ask her for the past few days.

"Matilda…I-" he suddenly lost the ability to speak and she looked at him with a puzzled expression. He inwardly cursed. He was AFRAID. Afraid of asking a girl out.

"What is it?" she asked curiously and Thomas tried to start speaking once more, only to have the words die in his mouth.

Damn, now she's going to think I'm a freak! He thought to himself as he cursed inwardly, but before he could think of anything else, he leaned forward and kissed her and there was a huge explosion, knocking them both off their feet.

For a moment, there was a stunned silence before the sounds of screams filled the air and people began running around in a panic. The teachers fled, leaving the children alone in the Palace, but the only thing that registered in Thomas's mind was one simple fact.

He had kissed Matilda Herman.

It was just a shame that the hostile planes flying overhead interrupted it.