Hello Readers, This is story between Raven and Micah from RF3. It does contain spoilers, if your one of the people who don't know Raven's secret. RF3 are where the characters, and setting are located. Other than that I hope you enjoy my work.

The Edge of a Cliff

Life is not rose colored and beautiful. This is a reality I have come to realize after all that has transpired over the past couple of weeks. There was a time that I believe that the world was a place of warmth and kindness. Those feelings, have all but died.

My only grasp of hope for the future, is holding onto my hand as we run for dear life. Her crimson hair flowed recklessly, as she struggled to keep pace with me. Sweat flung off both of our faces, as the intense desert heat pushed our fatigue to it's absolute limits.

In the midst of our escape my mind wandered back to when everything began. When our world was an entirely different place.

It had been almost a year since my arrival into Sharance and I had finally gotten into the flow of things. I would begin a daily ritual of waking up, watering my plants, caring for my monsters and then checking either my mailbox or the board for requests that would fill up most of my day. I spend my nights in the dungeons or fishing outside of town before calling it a day.

Despite my introverted nature, I managed to become close to most of the townspeople. It must have been their unique personalities and tender openness that made it easier for me to open up to them.

However, there was one person in town who made a significant impact on my existence. Without her, everything that happened later, would have surely plunged me into the depths of despair.

It is here that my flashback begins, with the opening of the door to her shop.

As always, the moment my feet stepped onto the wooden floors, familiar sensations welcomed me. I felt the heat of the oven nearby give my cheeks a warm hue, accompanied by the scent of coal, and smoke that brought forth a cough from my lungs.

The sound expelled from my lungs drew attention to my presence. Gaius was the first to notice me from his place before the anvil. He stopped hammering for a moment to wave at me with his smithing arm. He gave a slight glance toward the woman at the counter, along with a knowing smile, before returning to his work.

I stepped over to the counter and smiled slightly as I made eye contact with her.

"Hey Raven" I smiled, resting my hands on the counter.

She paused a moment before speaking, deciding where to direct her vision, finally deciding to gaze at the tools on the wall.

"Hey..." she replied simply, without any node of emotion behind it.

"Are you ready to go?" I asked, admiring the features on her face as I waited for her response.

She must have sensed my gaze upon her, because she made eye contact with me for a fleeting moment before turning away again. But not before I managed to catch a glimpse of a rosy glow that matched her hair's scarlet color.

"...Yes" she paused a moment after speaking, signaling she had more to say.

"Gaius said the store would be fine today" she added, a hint of delight in her tone.

Although both us knew, Gaius would most likely just close up shop early while Raven was gone.

Raven and Gaius casted each other a glance, understanding each other completely without a sound.

There was a gentle autumn breeze as we walked slowly under the early evening sky. Leaves from the Sharance tree blew softly around us, and decorated the ground. A slight crunch could be heard after every few steps. Because of the absence of villagers, the sound of the leaves rang out amiss our silence.

However, this silence between us was peaceful. We enjoyed our freedom to be able to walk next to each other and not feel the need to talk about anything. This was a trait not found in others around here, and something I greatly admired in her.

I slowly reached out and took her hand into mine as we walked. She did nothing to reject me, her response was clear by the way her hand tenderly coiled into mine.

I turned to her and smiled gently, showing my appreciation. Seeing my smile, her body visibly relaxed as she moved her body to rest against mine as we walked, resting her head slightly on my shoulder for support.

"Thank you..." she whispered into the air silently. Breaking the silence between us as we approached the crossroads outside of town.

I glanced over at the two directions before turning to Raven.

"Did you want to go to the usual place at Sol Terrano again?" I asked, remembering she had enjoyed our date there previously.

She shook her head slightly.

"I'd like to see the Ice Flowers..." she trailed off glancing toward the northern path.

I was a little surprised she wanted to go there at this time of year, but went along with it regardless.

As we entered the Ice Valley we were meant by a sinister snap of cold wind that instantly sent shivers between the both of us. Our vision in front of us was nothing but a thick blanket of wind and ice that tore against our bare skin. Having second thoughts about the location I turned to Raven.

"It's too rough out here, don't you think we should turn back?" I asked, having to yell over the wind in attempts for her to hear me.

She kept her sights forward, which made me think for a moment that she hadn't heard me. But she turned her head to me and shook her head and pointed forward, still wanting to continue forward.

I knew that she could be awfully stubborn at times like this. But, I still couldn't understand why it was she was so determined about going there now. Despite that, I wasn't about to leave her side for an instant as she pushed forward alone.

Against the threat of the approaching blizzard, I caught up to her and gripped her hand tightly so we wouldn't lose each other. Her hand in mine was like a Ignis when compared to the icy storm around us.

Through the blinding snow, and shards of ice, we somehow managed to ascend the hill and reach the Icy Rosebush.

Luckily, we were high enough that the wind had died down considerably, and the vengeful snow now fell like petals into the winter night. I doubled over for a moment to catch my breath, my stamina wore down slightly from the climb.

The Rosebush always fascinated me at the splendor of nature whenever I glanced at it. It towered above me, reaching for the night sky like an outstretched hand. I marveled at the dichotomy between the razor sharp icicle thorns and the vibrant beauty of the crystallized roses.

Raven stood next to me, her breathing also a little ragged, the climb having worn her down as well. She too appeared to be in awe of the beauty before her. A small smile escaped her lips, proud of having made it despite the weather.

She placed herself closer to the roses, reaching out and gently cupping one in her palm. I marveled at her, as one year ago she was so standoffish, and now people in town began to take notice of how much gentler she had become. I was so focused on her it me surprised when she spoke.

"...Sorry" she apologized turning her head slightly to make eye contact.

I smiled at her and shook my head.

"Don't worry about it" I brushed off. "It was worth it" I added, walking to stand next to her.

As I stood closer to her, I noticed that her body shivered slightly against the cold.

"You can transform, if you'd like" I informed her, telling her gently.

She turned to me, looking a bit flustered.

"But...it can't be pleasant...since I'm not cute...like you" she scattered her words, feeling a uncomfortable just talking about it.

Her soft way of speaking and modest personality made it hard for me not to tease her.

"Your right, it's not very cute..." I responded, earning a disheartened frown from Raven for a moment before I spoke again.

"It's beautiful" I complimented, earning a smile and a pair of rosy cheeks.

"..." was all she replied with before stepping away for a moment and changing her form.

A flash of light enveloped her body, drowning out the world with light. The girl I knew disappeared and in her place a large bird stood instead.

A radiant blend of colors dressed the phoenix that now stood before me. Her wings were a transcendent mix of pink. blue, orange and purple. Sky blue streamlined across her face and through her hair, illuminating the same blue eyes of the woman who once stood there just moments ago.

And she had the gull to tell me she wasn't cute in her monster form.

Raven, noticing me admiring her, turned her head.

"Don't...stare...It's embarrassing" she blushed.

I chuckled sightly at her reaction.

"I'm sorry, I just can't get over how cute you look like that" I commented in earnest.

"...Idiot" she shot back, turning her head away even more.

"You too..." she added, looking back at me now.

I nodded and did the same, transforming myself into my wooly form. I felt considerably warmer with my golden fleece coating my body nicely.

Raven's eyes wandered into thought for a moment before asking a question that I didn't expect.

"So...does this mean I'm normally not cute?" she asked, turning her head slightly with a worried expression.

Was she teasing me? I wasn't sure since the question was so unexpected, so I responded quickly to assure her.

"N-no it's not like that!" I quickly stuttered out. "Y-Your always cute, very cute!" I trampled over my words in response.

She was silent for a moment. I feared she didn't believe me, worried she would grown distance from me again.

But just than I saw the corners of her mouth move into a smile followed by the sound of...giggling? It was a quiet and soft sound, that could be mistaken for breathing. But than it grew in volume and it was clear by the large smile on her face, and the slight shine of tears on her face that she was laughing at me.

It was an incredibly warm and earnest laugh. I stood there dumbfounded for a moment at this side of her I had never seen before.

Her laughing was so infectious that I couldn't help but join her.

After a few moments we calmed down.

"Sorry..." Raven apologized, realizing how out of character that was for her.

I pulled her into an embrace, although she was larger than me in monster form, so I was absorbed into her down as I hugged her.

"I'm glad that I was able to see a new side of you" I spoke, my voice slightly muffed in her feathers.

She stood there for a moment, before wrapping her wings around me.

"...I'm only like this...because of you" she replied. " ...If it wasn't for you...I probably would still be alone..." her body tightened around me as she spoke. "So...thanks" her voice full of gratitude.

We spent an hour or so more huddled together before the rosebush. After which, we walked back into town, the snowstorm had ended and we were granted a peaceful nighttime stroll back home.

End of Chapter 1. It's mainly to establish the kind of relationship the two share, except more drama in later chapters. Feel free to review, helpful advice is always desired.