Disclaimer: All characters in this story belongs to Ed Naha except for one.

I would like to express my gratitude to dear Tiakisu, who've been such a supportive, kind and understanding friend. Thank you so much! This one-shot is dedicated to you. :D

...

SILENT PONDERINGS

She stands at the edge of the rocky beach, staring out into the horizon where the sky seems to meet the sea. Somewhere between the canvas of sky and sea, a familiar ship sails at full mast and like a bubble that floats on a boiling surface, it moves violently bobbing up and down. She continues to glance at it, her beautiful features curiously tense.

...

His sabre clashes furiously against a machete swung in his direction. He clenches his teeth savagely as his opponent brings the machete down to face level and their eyes meet angrily. With a loud yell and a great heave, he pushes his opponent backward and pries the machete out of the ruffian's grasp. His pointed sabre glints victoriously at the fallen man's throat, his own chest straining against his dark blue vest from his laboured breathing, droplets of sweat dripping. He grins.

...

A slight calming breeze begins blowing. Still, she stands at the edge of the lapping water, this time breathing a little easier, feeling the warmth from the sun spreading to her fingertips. Still, the ship hovers on the horizon but this time, the sea is gentle. Her posture relaxes and her face brightens. The wind tugs playfully at her fiery hair and she smiles. Relieved.

...

He smirks devilishly at the tall and pretty woman in front of him. She smiles suggestively back at him and closes in on him, her long nails twirling about his mangy hair. She whispers something in his ear, hands sliding down his strong back like snakes as she presses herself against him. He comments something witty in response and catches her lips expertly. His fingers move on their own accord as they unbutton the flimsy blouse.

...

Rain drizzles down upon the rocky beach, hardly registering on the ground. Before the raindrops can hit the sand, they disappear, leaving the ground strangely dry. The figure is standing still again. Around her, the silent, unreal rain continues to fall.

...

He stares out into the sea. A thousand thoughts playing on his mind, each no better than the last. This is why he didn't want to think. Didn't want to remember. Until now. And he still does not want to. The only way to cope is to pretend. A thousand times he has asked why... But the answer eludes him. Her whereabouts... Her silence... Doesn't she care about him? Just one sentence. A phrase. A word. He just needs one word. From her. Just one. Is that too much to ask?

...

"Why don't you convey my message to him this time?" the old sorcerer asks the girl gently but like always she does not reply. "Perhaps he needs to hear from you." He looks at her concentrating on the spell at hand, understanding her frustration, her insecurity, her uncertainty.. Her determination to focus is a facade- a mask to hide the jumble of emotions held together by a flimsy thread, knowing full well that if the thread is unravelled... She may not be able to cope with the emotions. She is afraid. Afraid of giving him and herself hopes. Afraid of those hopes amounting to nothing… especially if they cannot escape the realm. "Love is like a plant, Maeve. It needs nourishment." He sighs at her obstinate lack of response. Finally, he turns away to deal with the task himself.

...

"Dim Dim always says to talk about things." his own voice from long ago swirls about in his head. He picks up another mug of rum, laughing a little drunkenly as a vision of her lovely distraught face comes into picture. "oh no, you don't." he downs the drink and wipes his mouth and throws the mug at the wall where it smashes into pieces. Her image bites her lips unhappily, trying to contain her tears. He squints and shakes his head. She isn't real. She isn't here. The time they spent together… soothing her when she was so upset in the Vorgon crisis was ages ago... But she seems so real... At his side, two buxom women simper and giggle madly.

...

"In my opinion, you'd do better to forget about going back there. What do u see in him anyway?"

She does not reply. A mixture of emotions rise in her. To forget him and give up.. Does not seem like an option. It is not an option.. Even if he is forgetting about her... Or just drowning his sorrows in drink.. She is unable to tell which.

"More like he's forgetting you. And look what he's becoming! A drunk! A womaniser!"

She turns and glares at the young man, a fireball ready in her hands.

He sits down, unaffected by her scalding gaze and nibbles the end of a grass stalk. He glances up at her with humour-filled green eyes, "if you want a piece of my advice, just forget about him and that world back there. You're no good for each other. "

...

Her presence is like a calming balm. Somehow when he is with her, the rage and impulsiveness seem to go away a little. Like now, as they're standing on the deck, gazing at the night sky, the twinkling stars. She is saying something. He listens. He responds. And there is no anger, regret or unhappiness. If only his life is as simple as hers. How does she make everything so simple? Does it help if one doesn't have memories of the past?

...

She counts the stars. The position. The quantity. They are unchanging. In this realm,they will never change. A wave of depression, hopelessness and longing hits her suddenly. She bites her lips hard. Don't think. Please don't. Don't look at him. Don't. But she cannot stop herself. He is standing.. With her. And he looks so… Calm… So peaceful… So…

She watches his face agonizingly.

I love you. Her heart whispers desperately.

"You know he can't hear you unless you do it through a spell."

She turns away from the sea and advances on him furiously.

"What have I said about invading my privacy?!"

"Relax!" He says with a slight smile, his eyes laughing at her again.

"Get lost before I scorch you into a lump of charred meat!"

"Alright." He throws his hands up in surrender. "But Maeve, you should just let it be."

...

She looks at him with worried eyes. Her feelings are plain in her eyes. She cares about him. Loves him. And quite suddenly. He doesn't give a damn. He grabs her and kisses her. He smirks, looking into her eyes as he says..

...

The world has gone silent. She watches and does not watch as he descends down the ant holes.

It is difficult to breathe.

A sharp pain slices her heart every time she breathes.

The image replays itself countless of times.

"now I feel lucky"

"now I feel lucky"

"now I feel lucky"

Someone touches her shoulder. She does not turn around, unable to tear her eyes away from his image running away from the ants. The image blurs and she blinks rapidly. Beside her, the person grasps her fingers reassuringly. She does not look back at him but he feels her shaking with suppressed emotions. His usual mirth-filled eyes grow solemn as they take in her deathly pale features. With an angry wave of his hand, the image disappears but he knows that the damage has been done.

...

He walks back with that girl hanging at his arm. What's her name again? He does not remember. They're all so insignificant. He sees the brunette walking with his brother. She is probably hurt by his behaviour. He feels a twinge of regret at what he had done. He doesn't know why he did that. No matter. She knows him well enough not to take him seriously. She should be able to put it out of her mind. His thought goes to another girl. What if? Just what if she had watched too? It's so difficult now to say her name. No, she wouldn't watch. She doesn't even talk to him. If Dim Dim could, why can't she? It's plausible that she doesn't love him after all. Focus. Focus on happy things. The girl next to him caresses his cheek lightly and he forces himself to smile in response.

...

She drinks a mug of warm cocoa, her trembling fingers holding the cup as tightly as she can to prevent it from shaking. She is a mess of emotions right now. And if she doesn't control it, it will eat her up... She wants so much to scream and throw things.. But somehow, somewhere, her heart is doing what it does best when she is hurt. It's closing up.

He glances at Maeve sipping her drink, the brows above his green eyes drawn in a frown. Those at the other side of the realm are never kind. Never loyal. She should have done what he had advised her months ago. "Tomorrow-" he starts to say but lets his sentence trails off.

...

"You alright?" He touches her cheek. Mala had taught him well.. I'll be just fine. Yes, he will be just fine. He mustn't dwell on the past anymore. He just mustn't. He walks to the end of the boat. A slight breeze is blowing. Let the wind takes me.. Takes us.. To where ever.. He couldn't help but adds in a little prayer...

...

A layer of cold ice topped with white snow coats the ground. She walks to the rocky beach. The wind though strangely sharp, does not sting her face. She stands, staring at the horizon, towards the projection of the Nomad. It is headed for a new voyage. She knows. She has seen him touching her cheek. Somehow, it still hurts. But enough. She will no longer stop by the beach. No longer stare at the horizon. No longer watch him.

Perhaps he has never loved her... Or maybe it is her own fault. Love is like a plant, Maeve. If she had been brave enough to nourish that plant by telling him of her feelings... would things have been different? Would he have waited for her? Face reality, Maeve. Which man will wait forever for you to leave this God forsaken place? That is if you can leave-

The ship has sailed, Maeve. It cannot return. It is too late to mend things... She glances at the rocks, willing herself to be strong.

Goodbye captain... The words trembled at her lips. It's hard to say his name. She hesitates for a while but forces herself to shut the viewing portal. A definite zap of lightning stuck the Realm. A clear distinct line now separates the gloomy sky and the sea. The vessel that was the Nomad vanishes from the horizon and she turns away.

...

A freezing wind blew into the sails of the Nomad, past Sinbad's long lost log book. The pages turned and on a blank page, left faintly by the wind were the whispered words, 'I love you'.