A/N Someone posted a picture of a 'Snow Riki' in the tag on tumblr and I was reminded of this fic, which I wrote around Christmas. I have this kind of fascination with Alvis- how 'human' is he, anyway? My interpretation of the ending was that he decided that he liked Shulk better than Zanza and/or was sick of Zanza. So he was Team Shulk all the way but I'm sure there are loads of different opinions because it's left pretty unclear in the game.

"Alvis, what on Bionis are you doing?" asked Reyn.

Alvis had two heaps of snow in front of him-one larger and one smaller.

They were standing in the clearing outside Ose Temple. They were to stay in Valak Mountain overnight. Dunban and Sharla had started a campfire and were preparing the food for that evening. Reyn was surprised when Dunban had first offered his services as chef- but although he didn't have a particular interest in cooking, it seemed as though he'd picked up quite a few tips just by living with Fiora.

Both Reyn and Riki had been ordered out of the temple by an irritated Sharla. Riki's offence was eating food that a) hadn't been cooked and b) wasn't his and Reyn's was complaining about what was on the menu.

"This is all we've got so you'll have to like it or lump it," said Sharla, brandishing a rather scary skewer in their direction.

They'd both left sharpish after that.

Alvis regarded them both thoughtfully. "It's a snowman," he said after a brief pause. "The people from my homeland used to make them when it snowed."

"Snow? Do you come from somewhere round here then?" asked Reyn

"It is difficult to explain," said Alvis. Reyn waited but the he didn't say anything else- he simply carried on building the snowman. Reyn frowned- why was conversation with Alvis so difficult anyway? Although he was sure he wasn't the only one who found it that way- awkward silence seemed to follow Alvis. Alvis himself either didn't notice or didn't care.

"If you put wings on it, it could be a Snow Entia," said Reyn, just for something to say.

"How would you make wings?" asked Alvis.

"Riki want to try!" said Riki, beginning to gather snow as Alvis had done.

Reyn regarded Alvis thoughtfully. "So if you're doing this, then…you miss your home?"

"Miss it?" Alvis seemed taken aback by the question. He was surprised that Reyn had come up with such a perceptive deduction. The episode in the tomb had convinced Alvis that Reyn was of below average intelligence. But then he answered. "Yes, in some ways, I suppose I do."

He did miss his life on Earth…Alvis didn't particularly enjoy having a physical body but it was the only way to achieve his current goals. He missed having screens and cameras and wires and circuits. A Homs body was not for him. He'd have been slightly more comfortable as a Mechon, but of course no Homs would ever trust such a creature.

He also missed the internet, which he had been able to access with ease. He liked to pull out videos and websites at random and had enjoyed learning about the culture of planet Earth. Of course, that knowledge was now completely useless, but he couldn't quite bring himself to 'delete' it from his mind.

Even though he was but a machine, he found that he had likes and dislikes, as a human would. And a few unexpected emotions here and there. Zanza was unaware of this. He was playing a long game, but having spent time with Shulk and his comrades he was now quite certain of where his alliance fell. And it wasn't with Zanza, despite his current godly status.

"You should take us there sometime. To see your home," said Reyn, breaking him away from his thoughts.

"Impossible," said Alvis, briefly glancing up from his lopsided snow creation. "My home is long destroyed."

"By the Mechon?" asked Reyn, feeling a rush of empathy.

"Yes," Alvis lied, for telling Reyn the true story was not yet an option.

"Snow Melly!" Riki suddenly squealed, bouncing up and down in delight.

Alvis and Reyn blinked in wonder. Riki was indeed standing beside not a regular snow man but a snow sculpture that bore a large resemblance to the crown princess. It had her face, for sure, and Riki had even managed to put in some of the details on her elaborate clothing.

"Wow," gasped Reyn.

"Most impressive," said Alvis.

"You have to teach us how to make little statues like that!" demanded Reyn.

Alvis spent the following hour enduring Riki's scathing remarks about his attempts to mould snow. He was acutely aware that he had spent his time on something not important to his current goal- but for once he decided not to care.