Summary: Final chapter here, reader. If you ever bothered to read through all of this - let alone just click on the story to skim through it - I thank you. This last part is pretty much entirely dedicated to AshxNitro and I apologize if anyone acted out of character thus far (my experience in romantic fanfics is rather limited) and if things that they do don't make much sense. But then what fun would games be if everything made perfect sense?

Chapter 12 - Pursuit of Desires

"I can't believe I'm doing this..." Nitro thought to herself as she walked through the cold, empty corridors of the refinery, the sound of her heels against the metal floor. "This is so unlike me."

The Last Galerian couldn't sleep, she merely sat up in her bed thinking about the events that happened before. Thinking about all the new things Ash made her feel. Sitting there, Nitro wrapped herself in her own arms and closed her eyes; enjoying this warmth. "This feels so...mmm..." She couldn't find a reason, not yet. Nitro found this experience pleasurable but wasn't sure if it was right to continue feeling this way. Afterall, who's to say if this was real or if it was even worth pursuing? The moonlight shines upon her, the only light in the dark chamber that was her room. Just like her personality, it was dark and lifeless. Almost everything was of the color black, the prefered color of her hair and wardrobe. It was even the color of her eyes.

Nitro opens her eyes and brushes raven locks from her sights; she stares at her legs and then to her feet. Her stockings covered them by her shoes were absent. It was her relaxing time afterall, it was no good to be on your feet all day; even though such minor pain unphased the hardened warrior. Her sights then turn to the inside of her room absently. Her mind was focused on Ash and the feeling she decided to cling on to, instead of abandon as she usually did. Before, it had just came and gone; never giving much thought to it. All of her thoughts were to him and she began to think of the man. His eyes, his voice, the way he smites all those boring humans. "Ahh...beautiful." She says out loud, putting her hands to her lips. Even his hair, Nitro loved how his silverish-white hair contrasted with hers. "Black and white...how fitting." Nitro thinks to herself. "Well, actually black and silver but close enough..."

All this thinking about this steel-clad person caused her to eventually slip her heels back on and go through with something the humans were quite fond of. The entire concept of it was ridiculous and it was something she often mocked. As she stands in front of the door that lead's to Ash's room, she readies her hand. "Well I've come this far..."

Ash was in his living quarters, their celebratory meal was over and it was rather late. He wasn't completely used to sleeping in a bed, much less moving about in a flesh and blood human body. The Last Galerians and him had often used human vessels to get around outside cyberspace, where their true forms lied. Their bodies were true to the AIs' appearances and psychic abilities. It was very convenient as it essentially gave them immortality in the human world, for if their bodies were destroyed a new one could simply be made it their place. For so long, he had pined for a real body, one that can breath oxygen and feel the touch of H2O. It did feel good to experience all those things, but nothing could compare to the eternity of the virtual world.

He stood there in front of his desk, playing with his pistol that he didn't get a chance to use today. It was made to rip data straight from virtual targets and pierce through the weak flesh of real ones. Looking at it with admiration, it was a true work of art and made in a way that was impossible for humans to use because it only responded to the natural psychic energy that Galerians possessed. Then out of nowhere, there were two knocks at his door. "Huh?" Ash gets up from his chair with his weapon still in hand, not that he expected any one to ambush him. He opened the door to see a black haired woman with her locks covering a good part of her face. "Nitro?" "Hey, Ash...what are you up to?" It was late and he wondered what Nitro could possibly want. "Nothing really. I was just adjusting my weapon." He brought the gun up between the two, switching his eyes from the metal contraption to Nitro's dark eyes. "Nice gun." she says.

"So, what do you need?" Ash asks her. "Nothing really...I was just bored, as always." She enters Ash's room in a casual walk, completely ignoring the fact that she didn't have permission. Not that Ash had too much of a problem with that, it's not like it was Parano or something. Arms crossed she looks over his room, organized very nicely and kind of sterile, not having much decorations and mostly having only what is necessary. The bed was kept tidy, the shelves weren't cramped, desk never cluttered. Everything was either silver or white. "I wasn't tired yet and I decided to see what you were up too." Nitro turns to the man with her hair moving from one half of her face to the other. Ash inspects her face and notices that she has an odd expression, like she was hiding something or there was more to her visit. The leader grows inquisitive but says nothing.

"Ash...I wanted to say thank you helping me out earlier." Nitro was not used to such a long admission of gratitude, the most she usually gave was 'thanks'. She wasn't seriously rude on purpose, at least not to anyone who deserved it, but it was out of sheer inexperience in sincerity; her general lack of enthusiasm for most things was to blame. "You don't have to say thank you, Nitro. We're partners, we look out for each other." Ash says to the woman. "Yeah...right." Nitro nods slightly and flashes a small smile in return. His comrade looks down to the metal surface and begins talking again. "Actually...there's another reason I'm here." Nitro says. "Why?"

"Well..."Nitro begins to slowly walk up to Ash, her face away to the ground as before. She stops in front of Ash and lifts her head to meet piercing, amber irises with dead, obsidian ones. Nitro admired his eyes for a second. They radiated power and intellect. Just as their hairs were of both bright and dark colors respectively, so were their eyes. "I was wondering what you're doing tomorrow."

"What I was doing tomorrow?" Ash thought. She already knew there were no missions planned for them so why would she ask such a silly question. "Nothing, of course. You already know that." She giggles to herself, amused by his naivety. "I know that Ash." "Then why would you ask?" He eyes her with suspicion as Nitro covers her mouth with her gloved hand. "Because I thought we could...do something tomorrow, together."

"Do something? You want to help me manage the refinery?" Giggles again, he still hasn't caught on. Although she expected that, Ash had studied humans but hasn't lived as one. But then again, neither had she. "No, not that. I was thinking something we could do...alone. In private."

"In private?" Nitro's questions were growing more and more strange, he had wished she had just told him what she wanted. "Right. Just the two the us." Nitro's voice is obvious to what she was thinking but Ash couldn't catch it .

He stood there with no expression, still in the dark. She giggles for a third time. "You still haven't caught on?" She walks up even closer to the man, any closer and her silver lips would meet with his. "How about a date?" Ash is caught by surprise. "A date? Are you serious? Why?" "Well, why not? We don't really have enough time off, you most especially. Besides, it'll be fun." After hearing his reasons, he speaks again. "Nitro...is this really the time? We ARE in a war, afterall." Nitro merely rolls her eyes. "Please...you call this a war? You're giving them too much credit..."

All of Ash's studies on the human race had mostly been for his inevitable conflict with them. His studies told him that a date was a form of outing between two humans in the hopes of a romantic relationship. He had never thought Nitro would've desired something like that with him. "I haven't been with anyone. Ever. Not that I wanted too, humans disgust me." "Well, I'm not human Ash. I'm a Galerian. We're both Galerians." Ash looked down and pondered her offer, he had never looked at her in that way. Nor did he have any form of need or interest in romance. It wasn't that he found her unappealing, she was obviously attractive - physically and mentally. "Hmm...I never expected something like this from you, Nitro. I thought you didn't care about anything." Nitro unfolds her arms with one arm to the side. "Well, not everything. I don't really mind you. Spider's okay I suppose...kinda weak though. But Parano..." Ash stares off to the side, thinking of all the problems Parano causes the group. "Tell me about it..."

"So how about it, Ash?" He took his hand to his chin and thought about it one last time. He did wanted to taste the air, and touch water. Perhaps he could try his hand at this human ritual? "Alright. I'll do it." Her mouth widens slightly into a smile. "Good, then. I'll see you in the morning." Ash ends it with a nod and Nitro leaves the room to retreat to her own. As he watches her leave and the door close, he realizes something. "Where would we go? When should I pick her up. Should I bring her something? Flowers? Would Nitro even care for that? An even greater question is that why would she even want to go out on a date? Was this one of her games?" She was a tricky person but he was sure she wouldn't lead him on like this. "No, she wouldn't do that." Ash says to himself out loud. Was this how she truly felt, what she hid from everyone else? Of all the Galerians, Ash knew the least about Nitro. Spider's kindness and weakness was obvious, Parano's rage and intense dislike of Ash was very obvious, but Nitro was near unreadable. Or maybe it was him. She was constantly bored and was apathetic. An apathetic person wouldn't be interested in others, would they? Or maybe there is more to her than he thought. So many questions swirled in his head and the long battle in the base had made him tried. "I'll deal with this in the morning."

He presses his fingers against his weary eyes and moves to the bed. He reaches for a canister of depleted waste uranium on the nightstand and brings a handful to his mouth, a midnight snack to keep hunger at bay during the night. Putting it back near the lamp where it belonged, Ash lays right in the bed, complete with no sheets at all. The night air had no effect on the temperature resistant Galerian body. With his head on the pillow, Ash closes his eyes and thinks to himself. He didn't even bother to undo his fusion suit, the armor that was like a second skin. Almost all the time in the virtual world was spent with it on, and now in the real world he still walked around with it on. The man hadn't even bothered to think of it as uncomfortable. "Heh." Ash finds humor in the thought and then slowly drifts into sleep. This date was for tomorrow, but for now - rest.

The End