Title: Gone Awry
Series: Rune Factory 3
Character/pairing: Micah/Marian, Aquaticus
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Aquaticus's plan was meticulous and almost perfect. Except for one little hitch involving one little witch. Micah/Marian, spoilers.
Author's note: otherwise known as "how the plot would've gone if Marian was the main girl." More notes at the end.

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Aquaticus had mapped out this plan over many years as he sensed the Sharance tree begin to wither. He had picked just the right hero, lured him to read the book which would eat his memories and encapsulated his memories into four orbs. Enough to tantalize and keep him going, but not enough to sway him with nostalgia of a past which was no longer his to claim.

Unfortunately, there was a hitch in the plan. Micah hadn't chosen the mayor's daughter, the monster girl, or the Univir elder, or anyone else, for that matter. He could've even chosen the innkeeper or the blacksmith, for all Aquaticus cared. He could've dated the mayor himself, Aquaticus didn't judge these things. But, no. Micah had somehow cast all logic, common sense and safety to the wind and chosen the witchling girl. The girl who had spent their courtship cheerfully turning him into her drugged slave, the girl who thanked his gifts of vegetables with a shot to the arm, or whatever other body part was handy. Maybe love potions and drugs were involved in Micah's choice.

That had to be it. The girl was even craftier than he thought.

And that was why Aquaticus was huddled in a corner, as the witchling girl came closer with that horrible syringe. She had eventually resisted his mind-control powers. Separating her from her syringe was a mistake, he realized now. He had thought it enhanced her power, only to find out it Icontrolled/I it. The minute she was without her syringe, she was able to break free of his control. And once that happened, that was the beginning of the end for Aquaticius's perfect plan.

"Wow! So many dragon scales, horns, and fins! This will make a really good medicine!"

She laughed, and it sounded so innocuous. Hardly the laugh of an evil genius, which Aquaticus was growing ever more convinced that she was. She was so terrifying and yet in such an unassuming, cute package.

Somewhere, Terrable and Fiersome were laughing their collective dragon asses off at him. Oh, screw them, Aquaticus thought, for once abandoning all formality. Let them try being alone with this witchling determined to slowly cut them up for spare parts. Let them try.

She'd already paralyzed him, poisoned him, exploded him twice and made him faint no less than...what was it, five times now? Aquaticus was suddenly regretting setting up those puzzles with crops in the ruins. Yes, it had seemed fitting at the time, even ironic, but now he realized that he'd likely be spending the next two weeks trapped with the witchling.

Terrable and Fiersome had been taken down by Earthmate heroes. Aquaticus would be the first dragon in history to be medicined to death.

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Micah charged in, sword at ready. In his mind, Aquaticus had seen himself in control at this moment. It would be ominous, he would play the part of the villain, and then Micah would prove himself. Then the Sharance flowers would finally bloom. Love would prevail, everything would be set to rights.

What actually happened was that Aquaticus was a paralyzed mess. The witchling had figured out that his body healed very fast when he was in his element, and thus had cheerfully harvested quite a few horns and fins off of him. She had made him drink buckets worth of medicine, each one leaving him weaker than the last. She'd even managed a way to keep him from healing toofast, so that he would be alive, yet unable to break free from her spell.

And all the while, she was cutely smiling at him. Somehow, her cuteness only made her more terrifying.

"Let her—what?"

Aquaticus looked up blearily from where he was on the ground. He could barely lift his head up, the witchling had just given him an extra-strong paralyzing agent. It was pathetic, to see a great dragon such as himself made utterly the slave of a tiny witch girl.

"Hi, Micah!" Marian said. She waved, lifting the accused syringe up as she did.

"Marian, you're okay?" Micah said. "But, you were kidnapped, and—"

"Yep! I was lucky, I found this nice snake, and I have so many new ingredients for my medicine."

Aquaticus moaned. Snake? This was intolerable. There was nothing more to be done, he couldn't take anymore of this. The world would just have to save itself.

He used the last of his power to lift himself up.

"Watch out, Marian!"

Aquaticus floated up, drawing out the power of the water around him to bolster his strength. The drugs still made him slow and sluggish, but he was healing.

I bid you farewell, hero.

"But, wait, that's it? What about my memories? The Sharance tree?" Micah said above the rising storm of water.

Deal with it, Aquaticus said.

And he disappeared into the ether, leaving a very confused Micah and disappointed Marian in his wake.

"Aww, I was hoping to get at least one more horn," Marian said.

Micah laughed nervously. "So you're really okay?"

"Never been better! I am going to make a killer potion with all these ingredients."

Knowing Marian, that would be a very literal description.

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Micah carried her supplies home. There was quite a lot of them, Marian was positively humming as she came home, filled with new ingredients for spells and medicine to last her the next few years.

The tree still hadn't bloomed. Micah shook his head. It seemed so unfinished, somehow. To reach the end, only to have no conclusion. They stood out in front of the tree, fully grown but never to bloom. It all felt so empty, somehow. A hollow victory.

"It still hasn't bloomed, huh?" Marian looked sad for a moment, but then she lifted up her syringe and brightened considerably.

"I know, I'll just give it some of my medicine! This one's a new blend, I bet it'll work," Marian said.

Marian lifted up a bottle of particularly foul looking medicine. A droplet fell to the ground where a small patch of grass was in the path. The grass instantly burnt into ashes.

Micah had not thought it was possible for a tree to sweatdrop. He was wrong. Suddenly, the tree burst into bloom in a terrified manner. And Micah hadn't even realized that plants could bloom in a terrified manner, but there really was no other word for it.

It was gorgeous. The scent was sweet, lifting his spirits.

Marian's eyes were shining in a way that usually signified that someone was going to get a shot, drugged, or otherwise tested with toxic medicine. He took her hand, and she held tight. For once, she didn't shove a needle under his skin.

For a moment, it was blissful and beautiful. Then, Marian moved up towards the stairs of their home.

"This is such a wonderful moment, I bet those flowers will make a great ingredient, now just to figure out how to harvest them..." Marian said.

The tree sweatdropped again. Micah joined in with it, considering that he knew very well who would be doing the harvesting.

"Oh, Micah, would you like some tea?" Marian said.

He hadn't even seen her brew it, but he never turned down free tea. It was his greatest weakness.

"Yes, thank you," Micah said. He sipped at the tea. In a second his body felt hot, like he'd fallen into lava.

"Oh no, not again!" Micah said.

"Yes, again, forever and ever, my little guinea pig," Marian said with a giggle. "Now carry this new potion, I've got an idea to get lots and lots of test subjects without any struggle."

"Yes, mistress!"

As the sun started to set, Marian and Micah walked towards the town's water supply together.

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Someone on Gamefaqs has the lovely headcanon that RF3 has such an eccentric cast because Marian is drugging everyone. This has become my headcanon as well, because it explains so much. I really love Marian in all her mad scientist glory, but I just had to write a fic where you pity her kidnappers, because it amused me so.

The fun part is that after I wrote this, I played with a Marian ending to jog my memory and found that 1) she canonly admits to using a love potion on you, possibly more than once 2) she thought it'd be nice to "experiment on that snake" (Aquaticus) 3) she wants to turn the Sharance flowers into medicine.

So this turned out to be even more canon based than I meant it to.