Bonus Chapter - Four Shades of Pink

Bonus Chapter - Four Shades of Pink

A Chapter by Jobyn

Bonus chapter for the Love Pearl

Author's Note: Hey guys! I know I said I'd have these up by the weekend, but as hard as I tried I was unable to :( not that I didn't get to work on them! It's just I'm actually putting quite a bit of effort into each chapter. Admittedly, romance isn't my biggest forte. ; o ;

Please keep checking back to this page for updates! 

Rather than force you to wait until I finished all four (which all have a considerable amount of progress as of now), I'm going to release each one as they are finished. I hope you enjoy the first one, as it's the one that gave me the most trouble, haha. I kept writing part of it, then deleting it and changing the story until I ended up with something that I liked...

Taly x Draven

"It's as I feared," Taly said to herself as she walked out of the forest's edge, looking around at the vast amount of nothing. "They... left without me!" 

After the arduous encounter with General Grau and his men, the team had all gone back to base camp, where they had landed the airships. On the way, Taly stuck to the back of the group in deep thought as usual, putting together all the events that had happened in her head in the hopes that it led to some sort of epiphany. 

An idea had hit her! But before she could utter a single word, an incoming, hefty lampa fruit-- a fruit shaped like a lamp, dive bombed her directly over the head after falling from a tree! 

POW! And Taly's down for an extensive count. Besides the distant "thwock," nobody had heard a darn thing. 

So here she is, an hour later, abandoned by the friends oblivious to her absence who were now well on their way back home... way across the sea. 

"Crap," she sighed, looking at her comm pearl. "What are my options? I can't seem to contact them-- I have no reception. It's well into the afternoon, and I've read that this area teems with predacious wild life come nightfall." 

She sighs again, putting away her useless comm pearl. "I'll have to spend the afternoon hiking back to Libertine Harbor. It's only ten miles away from the forest, to the west." 

Sure, that was an idea. However, it didn't help that she was on the eastern edge of the forest which was a few miles wide itself. 

Reluctantly, Taly decided that she would indeed hike back to Libertine Harbor and contact her friends there. Even if they couldn't get to her anytime soon, at least she'd have a place to stay. She quickly found herself talking to... herself, while making her way into the forest.

"This is ridiculous," she said to herself. "I feel like a child who has been left at the store. Why does this always happen to me?" 

"Rook, you of all people--" 

She stopped dead in her tracks as she bumped into someone's back while pushing away a low set of branches. 

The young man quickly spun on his heel, jumping back and gripping the hilt of his black great sword. He narrows his eyes at her, remembering her face. 

"You..." He said. 

"Drebin the Umbral...!" Taly exclaimed, putting herself in a combat stance and activating her frigicite. 

What am I doing, she thought. I should be running for dear life. 

His eyes shift ever so slightly as he unsheathes his sword and hurls it straight towards her. 

She wouldn't have gotten the chance to dodge, even if he had been trying to hit her. Looking up at the large sword sticking out of the tree she was pressed up against, she saw a strange fluid running along its edge. 

Backing up and getting a good look, she saw that he had struck a lampa fruit that had been going straight for her head, again! 

"Those things are out to get me," she thought out loud, nearly forgetting who stood behind her. Turning quickly, she looked up at him and felt her cheeks go pink. "You saved me... from a falling fruit. Why?" 

He makes his way over to the tree and pulls out his sword, re-sheathing it on his back. 

"No reason," he replied. "Even if I did want to kill you... I wouldn't have let a lampa fruit do it for me."

"Oh," she muttered. "I see... This is a little awkward, Drebin the Umbral." 

He began walking away. "Tell me about it." 

Weird, Taly thought as he went out of sight in that speedy manner of his, like when she first encountered him. What business did he have out here? 

She found another opportunity to find out an hour later, being surrounded by a small pack of feral beasts that had begun an early prowl of the forest. One of them almost got her, when the familiar sound of Drebin the Umbral's sword zipping past tore through the air and pinned the wild beast to a tree. 

Yikes. It was no lampa fruit, that's for sure.

The remaining beasts she hadn't already fought off immediately retreated. 

"Drebin the Umbral, a-again," she blinked. 

He sighed, feeling just as odd as she did. "Whatever." 

"Are you lost or something?" She asked. "With your speed, I figured you left the forest a long time ago." 

He remained silent, looking away. 

"You're lost," she affirmed, pursing her lips. 

"Shut up," he mumbled. "What do you care?" 

"I can ask you the same about my safety," she retorted. "This is the second time you've helped me." 

"It's not like that. We just happened to come across each other, that's all," he frowned. "Whatever, I'll just ignore it next time." 

She shook her head, waving her hand in front of her face. "Let's stop. Look, I know it's against us to help each other out, but since it's happened twice already, why don't we just work together?" 

"I don't think so," he said, starting to walk away once more. 

"Stop acting like a kid!" She exclaimed, louder than she meant to. Being around the others really was getting to her. "From what I can tell, we were both left behind in this place. You're clearly lost, and I can clearly use your help." 

He stops, rolling his eyes."What, you want my help? You're in the mighty Brigade, aren't you?" 

"Not exactly," she replied. "I'm just a friend." 

Taly was the Brigade's source when it came to research and investigations, but she was obviously not going to tell him that. Sure she had her frigicite to aid her in combat, but she didn't have quite the arsenal and experience that Rook did. 

"Yeah, well. It makes no difference to me," he said. 

Taly was about to protest once more until she heard the distant rumbling of thunder in the clouds. That's not good, she thought. If there was one thing she feared in this world, it was thunder. The way it tears through the sky... 

She bit her bottom lip and looked up sincerely at him. 

"I just want to get out of this place, Drebin the Umbral," she pleaded. "I won't tell a soul about our encounter." 

"Tch," he quipped. 

Truth be told, he wanted to get out of here just as much as she did. The solitariness of this place was nice, but it didn't exactly house the most relaxing conditions, what with the predatory beasts and fruits. 

"Fine," he finally agreed. "We'll get to the western end of the forest, and then we'll go our separate ways. Understood?" 

"Understood," she nodded as the two began walking together. 

He moved quickly through, keeping himself ahead of her as she pointed him in the right direction, cutting down large thickets and monsters alike. Along the way, there was a bit more of that distant rumbling in the sky that nearly prompted Taly to run up beside him. She was so used to tucking herself under Sekai's arm as a child during thunder storms, practically making it the only time she showed a need for him in any way. 

But, of course she wasn't going to do that to Drebin the Umbral! She just had to pray that the storm clouds went away soon. 

An hour into the hike, now nearing the western end of the forest, Drebin's stomach was driving her nuts. It kept grumbling every minute, clearly starved. He was ignoring it completely. 

"Okay," she said, breaking the silence. "Have you not eaten anything? I can't tell if it's the sky or your stomach rumbling anymore." 

"Not important," he replied. 

"Yes, it is," she protested. "It's driving me crazy. Do you not eat?" 

It was also making her realize how hungry she was too, though she didn't seem starved like he did. 

"You're complaining about my stomach now?" He asked in disbelief. "What are you, my mother? I could care less about eating." 

"Well, the last thing I want, is you collapsing from hunger before we get out of the forest," she retorted, putting it on him. "But if it comes to that, I guess I can always carry you." 

"That's not going to happen," he sneered. 

"Wait!" She exclaimed. 

"What is it now?" He sighed, rotating on his heel to look at her. 

Looking up at the tree tops, she spotted a small cluster of lampa fruits that looked nice and ripe, and just about ready to fall. 

Getting a head start, she ran towards the base of the tree and kicked it hard, causing it to shake and the fruit to fall. Catching two in her arms, she walks over to Drebin and hands him one. 

"Here," she said firmly. 

He remained silent, shifting his eyes from her to the lampa fruit as if she was crazy.

"Take it!" She said, pressing it against his chest. "Or I won't move an inch." 

He frowned in irritation, taking the damn fruit and turning away. "Alright, calm down." 

"Thank you," she relaxed. 

With his back to her, he held the fruit before him and stared at it... then glanced at her from the corner of his eyes. 

"What is it?" She asked. 

"... Don't watch me eat," was all he said, walking behind a tree where he proceeded to consume the fruit. 

How immature, Taly thought to herself as she bit into the sweet lampa fruit. For such a dangerous thing that causes serious injuries every year to those trekking the forest or islands in this continent, they were delicious. 

So upon feeling re-energized with the consumption of their fruits, the two proceeded to make their way through the forest. It didn't take too long to reach the end, and then came some more awkwardness. 

"Um," Taly began as the two looked towards the vast hills. The sky had already started to darken. "I guess, goodbye?" 

"Hmph," was all he muttered in response as he began to walk ahead.

Taly exhaled as she looked up at the dark clouds in the sky and started on her way. But she gasped in surprise as she saw a very distant lightning bolt. 

This brought Drebin to stop and glance at how tense she had become. He couldn't help but snicker. 

"Where are you headed, anyway," he found himself asking after noticing she was walking in the same direction he was. 

"To Libertine Harbor," she replied, clearing her throat and fixing her posture. 

"Seriously?" He asked. 

He sighed, cursing at his thoughts for making him feel obliged to help her. After all, he was going to the same place. 

It was clearly going to start thundering soon, and he couldn't imagine her in that situation out in the open like this. 

"Why do you ask?" She tilted her head. 

"Shut up and take my hand," he said, not waiting for her to agree to such a demand. 

Taly froze in surprise as she felt his strong hand take hers, taken aback by the sudden blurring of the area around her. But she soon realized that things hadn't become blurry, she was simply traveling very fast, yet felt as though she was walking normally. 

Of course, she thought. Drebin the Umbral was walking in a similar manner when I first encountered him. 

"How am I...?" She stuttered. "This is unreal..."

"Think nothing of it," he mumbled. 

Taly recalled being told of how Steffan the Immaculate was able to channel a portion of his power to Rook during an event that took place in Eden's Windward Coliseum. Must be something to do with their Catalyst powers, she thought. 

Those ten miles remaining from here to Libertine Harbor were practically brought down to one. But that was an entire mile she spent holding Drebin's hand. Her face had grown hot the whole way, though she couldn't understand why. 

One could argue that they should have done this to begin with, but holding hands and walking through the forest together was the last thing on their minds at the time. 

When they finally arrived at their destination, he let go of her hand and walked forward. 

"Remember, we never met," he repeated. 

"...Okay," she nodded slowly. "Thank you, Drebin the Umbral. For your help." 

He shook his head as he began to walk away. "It's Draven." 

There was a strange thumping in her chest that made her feel strange. She couldn't put a finger on what it was, but she compared the feeling to being in a bit of a panic. 


The evening had just began to close, and so she made her way over to an inn to see if she could contact headquarters. She had to rent a room in order to use their communication services, but she planned on doing so anyway. No way was she going to stay outside when it was about to storm soon. 

When she did contact them, she gave them a piece of her mind. Normally she was calm, but it was just difficult for her to perceive how they could outright leave her behind. 

Neither of them had realized she was gone, but that was partially her fault. She always found a quiet corner, whether inside headquarters or in town, so that she could lose herself in thought or find obscure interests. So, naturally they thought she had been off somewhere doing something like that. 

Sekai offered to drop everything he was doing in order to fly over there in one of his lightning-fast airships, but the term shook her up and made her realize she'd be flying back home in thunderstorm weather. 

She insisted he come pick her up in the morning, especially since she had already paid for the room. He agreed, and vowed instead to give everyone hell for abandoning her. Especially Rook. 

When she shut off the telepearl, she sighed and rubbed her forehead, suddenly feeling a bit woozy. She felt her face begin to grow hot yet again, and that feeling of "panic" that hadn't left her since she parted ways with Draven. 

In order to appease this hot feeling, she decided to go down the hall and purchase a water bottle from one of the machines there. 

Catching her entirely by surprise as she exited her room, she nearly ran right into Draven. 

She looked up at his flustered face in surprise, noticing that he, too looked a little out of it. 

"You've got to be kidding me," he said in disbelief. 

"Draven?" Taly blinked, feeling the panic in her chest leaving her. "Are you... following me?" 

"As if," Draven mumbled, rubbing his forehead. "You rented the room next to mine..." 

"But I didn't even know you were... going to be here," she said, trying to shake the wooziness. 

What's wrong with me, she thought. 

"Forget it," Draven said, almost wobbling back into his room. "This was just some stupid coincidence." 

"That wasn't weird," Taly said to herself in sarcasm as she continued down the hall, having to hold onto the walls. "But why do I feel so strange? And is it just me, or does this hallway have a pink hue to it...?" 

Purchasing the water bottle, Taly managed to finish it all in one go on the spot. She had just been so thirsty all of a sudden, or maybe it was just because her face and body felt so hot. 

She went back to her room as quickly as she could for fear of passing out in the hallway, and threw herself onto her bed. It didn't take long for her to close her eyes and nap. 

However, she had only slept for about two hours until she was rudely awakened by the crashing sound of thunder, and it was bad.

She yelped and pushed herself up against the wall, hugging her knees. She half expected the scary thunder to tear a rift through the sky, what with its bright, razor lightning bolts. 

Curse this natural fear of mine, she thought! 

She couldn't stand it. She just needed someone there to comfort her. It never thundered like this back in Eden, so she kept her fear of it well-hidden. 

Then, the thought hit her. 


"I doubt he's going to comfort me, but maybe I can talk to him so that I could get my mind off of this scary thunderstorm," she whispered to herself. 

It had 'bad idea' written all over it, but she was willing to take the risk. Getting up off her bed, she dizzily made her way out into the hallway and exhaled, preparing herself. 

Normally, she wouldn't even think of doing this. But something appeared to be messing with her judgement-- something other than her natural fear of thunderstorms. Could it be this hot, woozy feeling from before? 

She knocked twice on his door, but heard no answer. Another two times, but again, no answer. This was when she realized that his door was just ever so slightly opened. 

"Draven, are you there? I'm... I'm coming in," she said softly. "I need to talk to you." 

Upon walking inside the room lit dimly by the light's weaker setting, she spotted Draven with his hand on the wall, leaning against it while keeping his head lowered, back turned towards Taly. He looked troubled. 

"Um... Draven?" She called his name once more, closing the door. 

"What are you doing in here...?" He asked, though in an alarmingly calm voice. 

He pushed his hand off the wall and then leaned his back against it instead, crossing his arms in front of him. He looked into Taly's eyes from across the room, face flustered like before. 

"Haven't you bothered me enough?" He asked, continuously shifting around dizzily. 

"I-Its just... I'm, um," she stuttered as he began to move towards her. 

She backed up against the closed door and hugged her hands to her chest, watching him as he closed in on her. 

"What is it you want?" He asked, once again in that calm yet firm tone of his. It was as if he wasn't recognizing his own actions. 

Her face was hotter than ever before as his hand met the wall beside her. They were eye to eye now. 

"Just who are you...?" He asked. 

"My name is Taly," she whispered, unable to draw out her voice in full. Both of their eyes were following each other so closely, yet she couldn't look away. 

There was something so intoxicating about this to both of them. It felt like they were drunk or something. 

She found herself taking in his scent, just as he took in hers. And just as she found herself admiring the fine features of his face, he too found himself admiring her beauty. 

It was impossible to ask themselves what they were doing. To them, that question, and all questions in regard to it were non-existent. 

"I'm... I'm," she began to stutter once more. "With the... thunder, and the... lightning--"

"Taly, shut up," he mumbled softly, leaning his head forward, past her shoulder until his forehead met the wall behind her. He felt like he was fighting off a very strong urge. 

Taly's eyelids were flickering as she felt him so close, his breath just barely brushing her shoulder. 

"What have you done to me...?" He whispered quietly into her ear. "I feel so..."

She whispered back, "I... didn't do anything." 

"Taly," he continued. "I can't... For some reason, I can't stop..." 

"I know..." she replied, bringing her hand up to his chin and tugging it slowly so that he may face her again. "... I can't stop either." 

Their lips finally met, and the hotness the two were experiencing made it feel as though both of their bodies had simply melt into one another. This was especially true as they began to lower themselves down onto the floor while they kissed, breathing heavily. 

Everything else surely melted away. As for the thunderstorm? Well, Taly could ask, "What thunderstorm?" 

Taly could not remember for the life of her when she must have fallen asleep that night. She awoke the next morning on the floor, huddled into a blanket in the same spot that the two had fallen against each other while their lips locked. 

However, Draven wasn't there, nor was he in his inn room. That night had been so surreal, she actually had to question whether it happened or not. 

But she knew it did. She could still smell his scent on her, and she could still taste his lips.

Getting up off the floor, she returned to her room and prepared her things for when Sekai arrived. While walking out of the inn, she checked to see if Draven had checked out of his room. He did. 

She spent her time waiting out on the airship docks, reading up on a certain native fruit which she has now learned, holds special nutrients that resonate between two or more people who have consumed them, causing intoxicating side-effects. 

In other words, a love-inducing fruit. 

For some reason, she felt a sudden surge of disappointment, though did not know why. Had she truly housed feelings for Draven? Or were those nutrients still in effect? No, the description said that the effect lasted only four to five hours. 

Looking up at a sudden blaring in the skies, Taly saw her father's incoming custom airship. But before she could approach the end of the docks, she heard a familiar voice call to her from behind. 

"Taly," the voice said. 

She already knew that it was Draven. 

"Draven. You're still here?" She asked without turning around. 

"I'm waiting on my flight," he replied, rubbing the back of his neck. "But, well, I..." 

"You...?" She blinked, still not turning around, heart racing. 

"I guess I wanted to see you off, or something," he mumbled. "It's nothing." 

She finally turns around and looks up at him, leaning forward to give him a small quick peck on the cheek. "Understood. I'll see you around, Draven." 

His cheeks went red as she made her way down the docks. "Yeah... See you around." 

Claire x Neko
Coming soon

I can't work like this, Claire thought to herself. 

The blaring loud speaker systems that were set up in conjunction with this year's annual event by the EPC were absolutely terrorizing her work space. It was taking place in the streets of Juno, where the Brigade Headquarters were stationed. 

She couldn't really blame them, however. It was a holiday after all. Claire just preferred working on her days off simply because she was able to get more paper work done on these days, what without everybody causing a ruckus at headquarters-- BEAR.

That's right, she doesn't just sit there looking pretty and commanding everyone to do her bidding. When she isn't running the Brigade recruit programs, she's filing their paperwork and responding to each unfitting sop who doesn't make the cut. 

And when she isn't doing that, she's flying to places for meetings with the smaller branches of the Brigade stationed in other locations.

And when she isn't doing that, she's doing what everyone else fails to do-- BEAR. 

She sighs and lets her pen drop, shoving herself away from her desk and standing up to stretch. 

"What's the use," she mumbles to herself. "I might as well take it easy. I've been working hard. I believe I've earned myself a hot cup of tea."  

There was one other reason why she chose to work on this specific day. 

It was because of today's certain event, ridiculously titled 'The Battle for Light.'

It revolved around two particular Catalysts in a particular battle which brought this particular location to be. All characters in this event were played by normal actors. 

She sighs once more as she hears the audience outside cheering at the event's introduction. After getting her tea going, she decides to walk out to the balcony of her office and watch. 

They had large pearl projectors that brought a sort of holographic screen into the air for those who were too far out in the audience to see, which were also good enough for Claire to watch from her position.

The instrumental music begins, and in an instant a teenage male playing the part of Young Steffan emerges, hurling a pair of daggers upward and somersaulting himself onto the stage, where he caught the falling weapons. 

Upon his landing, an emulated gust of wind conjured up by some mages backstage sweeps the audience, making the people cheer as the video pearl zooms in on his face. 

"With dual blades in hand, and the plea of our land, I will defeat darkness under the Goddess' command!" He boomed in a heroic-- yet pubescent voice. 

"Wow," Claire mumbled, rubbing the bridge of her nose as Young Drebin made an appearance in a similarly exaggerated manner. 

Yes, it was severely inaccurate, as was every other historical event that was glorified by younger journalists and then brought about in such an image by the EPC.  

As such, people like Stiff were made into these luminary figures in Eden-- celebrities. 

As the "battle" began, the backstage mages used their stage-magic in order to give the audience the feeling that they were in the thick of it all, surrounded by these effects. Of course, the crowd loved it. 

Turning away from the drivel, Claire crossed her arms and leaned against the railing. 

"When's that damn tea going to be ready?" She asked herself anxiously as she waited for the whistling of the teakettle, unable to go about her day normally without at least one cup of tea. Elfan people like her were quite fond of their tea. 

Just then, she saw the balcony door to her office fly open. 

Neko had burst out into the balcony, speeding on all fours as he was being chased by Claire's assistant, who was breathing hard as she tried to keep up with him. 

The assistant dove and threw her arms around Neko's waist, causing him to fall forward onto the floor, struggling. 

"Stop it, Neko! Nobody's allowed in here! I'm so sorry, Lady Claire!" She apologized frantically as Neko rolled around with her, trying to break free. 

"Nengo! Nengo!" Neko pulled at her arms, trying desperately to reach the balcony railing. 

"What is the meaning of this?" Claire demanded. 

"Ah-- I'm sorry!" Her assistant apologized once more. "I was walking down the hall to your room in order to deliver some papers, and then I saw Neko running down the other end of the hall towards the same door! But he was too fast and--"

"Nen... GO!" Neko hissed, bearing his fangs at the girl.

"EEK!" The assistant squeaked, letting go of him and quickly sitting up as he made his way over to the railing, where he suddenly relaxed and spectated the event below. 

"It appears he wanted to watch the Battle of Light," Claire said. 

"I'm sorry!" The assistant apologized yet again. "I'll get him out right away! If I could just find a stun gun or something--" 

"It's fine," Claire interrupted her. "That won't be necessary."

"E-Eh?" The assistant stopped and blinked. 

"I said it's fine," Claire repeated. "Just leave the paperwork on my desk. You may go after that." 

"Oh... Okay!" The assistant nodded slowly. "You mean, like 'go' as in, go home?" 

"Mhm," Claire nodded. "It's a holiday, so I don't care." 

"Thank you so much, Lady Claire!" The assistant smiled wide. "I'll be going now, then!" 

When her assistant left, Claire glanced at Neko as his furry cat-like ears twitched to the various sounds of the event. His eyes would widen every time a really bright stage effect appeared, prompting him to back up a bit. 

It was as if he couldn't perceive what was going on, and saw it all as a real battle. 

He turned to look at Claire, giving her a shocked expression. She could just tell by his eyes that he was wondering why in the world no one was doing anything. 

"It's all fake, Neko," she found herself trying to explain. "None of it is real. The EPC uses a special kind of stage magic for their effects." 

"Nen?" He blinked, raising one ear. 

"Er, nevermind," she sighed. 

Neko flinched once as a bigger set of effects began, quickly looking over the railing again. It seemed he was realizing it himself that they were fake, the more he watched, and was soon grinning at the spectacle. 

He eventually pushed himself away from the railing and smiled at her. 

"Huh?" She rose her brows, turning away shyly. "What is it?" 

He went over to her and brushed his shoulder against hers, his tail furling out and somewhat hugging her waist. He began to circle her slowly, keeping his side pressed up against her.

Claire felt her cheeks go pink for a second, wondering what in the world he was doing. And when she heard him purr, she quickly shuffled away. 

"S-Stop that at once, Neko," she cleared her throat. "What was that?" 

It made her think of how cats like to rub up against you to put their scent on you in order to tell other cats that... you are their... Oh! 

"Oh, no," Claire said. "That's not happening again." 

Neko tilted his head curiously, but soon jumped back a few feet in surprise as the teakettle began to whistle in her office. 

"Nyen!?" He exclaimed in confusion, hurrying into the door and searching frantically until he saw what was making the noise.

"Hey, get back here," Claire ordered as she walked after him. 

He hissed at the whistling pot and approached it cautiously, bearing his feline fangs at it. 

"Don't touch it," Claire ordered him as she watched him raise his hand to swipe it. 

He swung at it regardless, yelping and leaping onto her desk as some of the water burned his hand. 

"Fool!" Claire exclaimed, quickly picking up the kettle and attempting to save a bundle of papers that had fallen on the now-wet floor which Neko had knocked over after jumping on the floor. 

"Bah," she grunted. "Now it's ruined. Both my tea and this paperwork." 

Neko's ears drooped as he slid off the desk and onto her chair, giving her an apologetic look. 

She put a hand to her hip and sighed, looking at the mess and then at Neko. 

"Look, it's fine. My assistant makes two copies of all my papers anyway," she assured him for whatever reason. "But that spill isn't going to fix itself... And I doubt you know how." 

She grabbed a few rags and ran them under a bit of water from the nearby sink, walking over to the spilled tea but being intercepted by Neko, who took the rags from her and began to clean the mess for her. 

"Eh?" She blinked. "So you know how to clean now?" 

He finished wiping it up like a pro and smiled up at her, pushing himself off the floor. "Nen!" 

She pursed her lips and brushed some of her hair behind her shoulder. "Well now, maybe we can put you to work in the kitchen-- granted you know how to wash dishes. On second thought, never mind." 

He rose a brow and gave her a confused look, then proceeded to throw the rags away. He went over to her desk afterwards and sat on the edge, smiling at her.

"Now what am I going to do?" She thought aloud. "I should have told that assistant of mine to watch over you instead of sending her home." 

He slumps his shoulders and sneers at her. 

"What?" She asked. 

"Neeeen..." He grumbled. 

"Strange," she said, wondering if he could partially understand her. "You're an interesting fellow, you know that? I can't tell if you understand me or not. The others told me you were practically as smart as a house cat." 

Neko frowns and waves his hand at her, sliding off the desk and making his way out the door. He definitely appeared irritated. 

"Well, that's that," Claire rubbed one of her temples. "Back to work for me." 

She did just that, for a few hours. When she finally grew satisfied with the amount of work she had done, she decided to step out of her office in hopes that she could find something else to do. There had to be something. These kinds of cool downs are unhealthy for someone as productive as her. 

When she made her way onto the first floor lobby, she saw Neko laying across an upper ledge, bothering a security guard who was trying to look busy. Neko would smirk and paw at the poor man's helmet, making it tilt over his face. 

"Stop!" The security exclaimed, turning around and glaring at Neko while fixing his helmet. "What's your problem?" 

Neko only chuckled in response and snatched the guard's rifle.  Bringing the scope to his eye, he began to look around the lobby with it.

"Give that back!" The security guard demanded as he reached up for it. "It ain't safe!" 

People ducked and took cover when they'd notice Neko pointing the gun straight at them, but he stopped and perked his ears up as he noticed Claire. Handing the gun back to the man, he jumped off the ledge and hopped onto a nearby lobby couch, watching her with a smile. 

"What's going on in here?" Claire asked. 

"Ma'am, Neko's been causing a bit of trouble in the building," the victimized security guard told her. "He's really disturbing the peace around here, and on top of that, he's been pickin' on me for the last two hours!"

"I know what's wrong with him," Mel said as she emerged from the lobby elevator. "He's grown restless."

"What?" The guard asked. 

"He's bored," Mel said. "Guy's been stuck in here all day. Plus, I don't blame him! You're an easy target to pick on." 

"Oh, screw you cats and your restlessness," the guard grumbled. 

Neko rests his elbow on the arm of the couch and lays his chin against his palm, tapping his cheek with his fingers while watching Claire. 

"Jeez, he really seems to like you," Mel blinked. "He's been either really mean or really cautious towards everyone." 

"That's great," Claire muttered. 

"Well, you know," Mel shrugged. "Maybe you can get him out of here for a bit? I mean you like staying busy, right?" 

"I don't babysit," Claire rolled her eyes. 

Neko furrows his brows at Claire after that notion and looks away, clawing at the couch. 

"Hey!" The security guard yelled at him. "Stop that!" 

"Huh," Claire crossed her arms. 

"What's up?" Mel asked. 

"He gets mad when I talk about him like a child, or a pet," she said. 

"And you're surprised?" Mel snickered. "He's not stupid, Claire."

"Right," Claire sighed. "I must have missed something when Rook and Taly told me he had nothing but his feline instincts intact." 

"Well, you'd be surprised how smart a feline could be!" Mel scoffed, walking off. 

"What was that all about...?" Claire frowned. "Oh, well."

She made her way over to Neko and put a hand on her hip. "I apologize for what I said, Neko."

He promptly stopped clawing the couch and relaxed back into it, cocking his lips at her.

She couldn't help but give a light smile. There was just a certain quality to his facial expressions that made it easier for one to perceive what he was feeling. 

Wiping the little smile from her face, she turned and started heading towards the door. 

"I'm stepping out of the building for a while," she said. "You may join me if you wish, Neko." 

Without giving it a second thought, he jumped off the couch and followed her. 

While making their way out into the calm streets of Juno, he noticed a couple walking in front of them. 

Watching them closely, Neko took big notice of how the young woman had her arms wrapped around the young man, laying her head on his shoulder as they walked together. 

He then glanced from the walking couple to Claire's arm repeatedly before walking up closer beside her and taking hold of her arm in a similar fashion, burying his face into Claire's shoulder. 

"Wha--Neko, what are you doing!?" Claire's face turned red, shaking his arms off her. "You can't-- That's inappropriate! And that's not even how that works..."

Neko pouted, looking down at his hands and then back at the couple. This time, he walked up to the young man's other side and wrapped his own arms around the man's.

"Whoa!" The young man exclaimed in surprise. "What the hell?" 

Neko smiles at him and buries his face into his shoulder. 

"Let go!" The man shook his arm, bumping Neko on the nose with his shoulder. 

This brought Neko to back up and wheeze out his nose once, narrowing his eyes at the man and hissing. 

"Wah!" The young man jumped behind his girlfriend for protection. "This guy's crazy!" 

"Apologies! Ignore him, he's-- Ignore him," Claire quickly intervened, apologizing to the couple and clutching Neko's arm to move him forward and away from them. "You've got a lot to learn about affection between people, Neko. Until then, don't touch anyone, is that clear?" 

"Nen..." Neko sighed in defeat. But he smirked as he noticed Claire holding onto his arm. 

"Don't-- I know what you're thinking, Neko," she muttered. "But I'm doing this to keep you away from everyone else." 

She was kept busy like this, forced to oversee Neko and make sure he didn't mess with anyone. Every time he saw somebody doing something interesting, he would either join them or hover over their shoulders curiously, making them uncomfortable. 

There was one old lady who didn't seem to mind it though. She would scratch his ears, and even gave him a treat. Claire figured she must be old and delusional, making her think Neko was an actual cat. Okay, that was mean. 

At one point he ran off with a ball that some kids were playing with in front of their home. Their dad tried to get it back, but Neko pounced the man continuously until he was forced back into his home for protection. However, Claire eventually got the kids their ball back.

And for some reason, whenever there was a high ledge, Neko would climb on up to it and puff his chest out while overlooking the area with a stern face. The most recent ledge he stood on was from a large overhanging rock structure set at a crosswalk leading into the different sections of Eden. 

"Get down, Neko!" Claire demanded as she made her way up the large rock after him. 

He just stood there, overlooking the area on the ledge with that stern and dominating face, chest puffed. 

"Er," Claire began looking for something to distract him with, then had an idea. Out of nowhere, she pulled out a little angry looking plush doll from the Battle of Light's merchandise stand. "Look! It's a Draven plushie!" 

She held it out behind him, but he ignored it. 

An old, white-bearded man walking along the cross walk noticed the proud feline figure standing on the edge of the large rock, and the young woman holding out what looked like a baby to his bad eyes from the ground. 

He pointed excitedly at them and yelled, "Naaaaants ingonyaaaa ma bagithii baba!"

"Oh, grow up!" Claire shouted at the crazy old geezer. "It's a plush doll, you fool! I don't even know why I have it..."

She quickly got Neko down from that ledge and made sure to steer clear of any future ledges. Gosh, it was always the old people who were okay with his behavior. 

Claire had to admit, oddly enough, she found some of the stuff Neko did to be sort of... cute. She found herself about to break into giggles in numerous occasions, but quickly stopped herself before she could. 

The head of the Brigade wasn't a giggling little schoolgirl!!! 

And why is a schoolgirl always referenced when it comes to something cute and girly? 

When the afternoon grew late, Claire finally decided she had worked enough and started heading back to headquarters with Neko. 

"I don't think I've ever worked that hard before in my life," she told herself, not admitting to the fact that she hadn't smiled that much before in her life either. 

"Nyeah!" Neko nodded, wiping his forehead as if he was exhausted. 

"And what's this?" Claire blinked as the two came upon a large sign strewn across the entrance to headquarters. It read: 

"Bear's Holiday blow out!!1!1!
Admittance: One pack of beer"

"I should have known that idiot would throw another one of his chaotic parties on a day like this," Claire grumbled. "We really need to have a planning committee for this kind of stuff... Neko?"

Neko was already through the doors, speeding after wherever the bumping sound of the party was coming from. It was taking place on the third floor of headquarters, with all the food and drinks placed on the long counter of Okina & Lillian's Café Salon. 

"You all and your parties," Claire grumbled as she walked in. "The only reason you can hold so many of them is because you all pitch that assignment money of yours together! Are we ever actually going to make use of the personal shops in this floor?"

"HEY!" Bear exclaimed, wobbling over to Claire, already drunk. "M'lady has arrived, yo! Eyyy, you brought THIS guy!" 

He grinned wide, throwing his arm over Neko's shoulder and hugging him tight. "What's good little buddy!? Here, drink up! All the bears-- all the beers are on me!" 

He rammed a bottle of hard liquor down Neko's throat, making the cat boy fall flat on his back as the liquid poured down his gullet. 

"Stop that!" Claire protested, quickly pulling the near-emptied bottle of liquor away from Neko. "I don't think he of all people should be drinking." 

Neko sat up dizzily, rubbing his head and blinking each of his eyelids in delayed succession. His eyes widened and his pupils dilated, and then he grinned happily. "Nyehehen...!" 

"What's the big deal, yo?" Bear laughed, helping Neko up. "The kid likes it! I say we all have a buncha' rounds in rapid motha fokkin' succession!" 

"...Okay, what the hell. It's a holiday right?" Claire agreed and joined in on the fun. 

"Alright!" Flint shouted in a drunken haze as multiple people, including Claire and Neko, took up a chair for consecutive shots. "Currently, my man Stiff holds the record of 60 shots in two minutes." 

"What!?" Annie exclaimed in disbelief. "How are we supposed to beat that!?" 

"Yeah, what the freaking hell!" Rook growled ferociously, clearly an angry drunk. "He's got those @#$%ing Catalyst powers of his not making him prone to the dangers of that much alchohol intake!!

"Lemme explain!" Flint cut them off. "If we can all beat that together, he's going to forfeit his record! You got that? We can totally take him, dudes!" 

"Yeah!" Okina exclaimed, slamming her hand on the table. "Let's show that punk a*s little dragon knight what we Brigadiers got!" 

Stiff stood at the far end of the table spectating, raising his brows and giving Okina a long, non-entertained stare. "Really?"

"Oops, hehe," Okina waved her fingers at him nervously. "Hiya Stiffy. Didn't see you there..."

"Don't forget, your complimentary barf bags are hanging over the left arm rests of your chairs!" Lillian shouted. "Please don't barf on our floor!"

"You barf it you clean it!" Okina added.

"Okay!" Bear began. "We're starting our shots on three! Taly, don't lose count cuz we're beating that record tonight!"

"I won't lose count," Taly assured. "Numbers are my specialty. And Meks. And Draven." 

"Wait, what?" Stiff blinked. 

"THREE!" Bear shouted. 

They went off on a promising start, but eventually began to slip off their high horses when they neared the mere fifteenth shot. At this point, only Bear, Okina, and Rook remained. 

Twenty! Okina backs down for the count, letting her head hit the table. 

Twenty five! Rook reaches for the complimentary barf bag and runs out. 

Bear holds a steady ground for the next four shots, but quickly joins the defeated halfway through the thirtieth shot. 

"And that's a wrap," Taly announced. "The game is over with twenty-nine and a half shots. You guys suck."

Stiff makes his way over to Okina and gulps down a glass for himself. 

"Wut! Punk a*s Brigadier!" He exclaims, shoving his forehead against hers. "WUT!" 

"HMPH!" Okina grunts in defeat. 

The party went on like so, with everyone's intelligence and sense of space fading away into the night.

Before Claire could drop to that level of drunkenness however, she decided she would call it quits and made her way up into the roof tops of the building to relax and to get some much needed fresh air. Strong drinks like those always made her body feel so hot. 

Neko wobbled through the crowd of dancing people, drunk off his tail. He stopped abruptly when he came up to a couple who were really getting into the music, grinding against one another and kissing. 

He stood there and watched curiously, his cheeks becoming pink. 

The girl noticed him and pulled away from her man's lips, winking at Neko. "You like what you see...?"

The young man turned to Neko and smirked. "Hey, I remember this guy. He's the one that was all up on my shoulder earlier." 

"Nyen...?" Neko blinked, slowly remember their faces. "Nyehehen!" 

"Want to finish where you left off, tiger?" The girl asked playfully. 

"Heh, I wouldn't mind that," the young man asked. "I'm drunk as s**t. Right now, everyone looks doable." 

"Coming through!" Taly interjected, shoving Neko away from the crowd. "Will you stop talking to that freaky couple and go after Claire already!?" 

"Nyen!" Neko exclaimed in surprise as she shoved him towards the stairs leading up to the roof top. 

"You'll thank me later," Taly said, waving at him and walking away.

And so Neko wobbled on up the stairs, having to hold onto the railing so that he wouldn't fall down. His drunken state made it feel as though he was on an endless escalator that was doing a loop, like in roller coasters. 

By the time he reached the roof top, he began to realize how hot his body felt. His face was starting to glisten with sweat. 

He spotted Claire relaxing on a ledge belonging to a planter in the roof top gardens, so he made his way over and joined her. 

"Nyeeen..." He mumbled, wiping his forehead with one hand and fanning his face with the other while sticking his tongue out. 

"Er, Neko?" Claire blinked, sitting up. "What are you doing here?" 

He just looked at her with a woozy, reddened face, continuing to fan himself. "Nen..." 

She shook her head and sighed. "I think you had a little too much to drink. That Bear... He sure doesn't go easy on the newbies." 

"Mnngh!" Neko grunted, running his hands down his ears repeatedly. 

"Huh?" Claire leaned back in surprise. 

Neko grumpily removed his shirt and threw it aside, his upper body now also starting to glisten with sweat. 

He laid back against the planter's grass for a bit, resting his arm over his eyes. 

Claire took one glance at his body and then immediately looked away, blushing. 

Something about all of this was just making her heart race. It was most likely the alcohol, but still. She couldn't deny that he was a handsome guy underneath all of that feline mischief of his. 

And with his naked upper body glistening in the dim lights of the garden like that, on the soft grass, it was just so oddly enchanting. 

But of course, she wasn't going to stare. It wouldn't be right, would it? 

She heard him shuffle some more, able to feel him stand up and watching his shadow to her left. 

When she saw his shadow reaching for the waist line of his pants, she quickly turned and stopped him. 

"Don't!" She exclaimed. "Look, I know you're feeling really hot right now, but those pants are not coming off, understand?" 

Her face was completely pink as she looked up at him, her hand clutching the waistline of his pants. 

"Nenko..." He seemingly agreed in defeat, slumping back down onto the planter. 

"Thank goodness," Claire sighed in relief. 

The two remained there for a few minutes in silence. Part of Claire wanted to just get up and leave, but the other half actually wanted to stay with Neko-- not only because he might do something drastic while alone up here, but because she... enjoyed his company. 

He eventually turned to her and smiled, though not in that usual manner of his. This time, his smile was warm and entrancing. His eyes looked deeply into hers, and his feline ears dropped as the blush on his face grew. 

"Er, um," Claire cleared her throat, having a hard time keeping her gaze on his without her heart beating heavily. "What..." 

"Nen," he said softly, resting a hand on her shoulder as he scooted closer. 

"N-Neko?" Claire blinked. 

He wrapped his arm around her waist and began to lean his face forward, closing his eyes. 

"W-Wait...!" Claire lightly protested, leaning back. "This isn't right, Neko. We're both drunk and-- and you're not in your right mind for this and-- kissing is just, well..." 

He smiled at her and took hold of her hand, guiding it up along his body until it was resting against his beating chest. It was beating at the same rate as hers. 

He then gave her one of those descriptive looks of his, as if to say, "It's okay, Claire. I feel this way, too... Nen!"

Claire remained silent, simply gazing back into his eyes. 

This time, the both of them leaned forward, pressing their lips together and locking themselves into a kiss. 

Neko melted into her lips, wrapping his tail around her waist as the two lowered themselves down onto the grass. 

His warm, moist body was just so exhilarating to Claire... and there was a strange, somewhat fruity quality to the light alcoholic taste in their lips.  

Stiff and Okina had just stumbled out onto the roof top, getting frisky with one another. But their eyes went wide as they soon noticed what was already going on up here. 

"Oh-" Okina began, but was soon met with Stiff's palm to her mouth. 

"Shh, this spot is taken..." He whispered. "Let's just go to your room." 

"Yeah, good idea," Okina agreed. 

The two quickly sneaked away before they could be seen. 

Meanwhile, back at the party...

"DAMN, this mix is great, Bear!" A young man said as he clutched his girlfriend's waist. "What the hell did you put in it to make it so tasty? I've never had so much fun being buzzed before!" 

"I know right, motha fokka!?" Bear gave a high-pitched laugh. "It was the typical fruit mix, but with an added ingredient that Taly brought in the other day! She said it was going to perfect my recipe." 

"NOICE!" The young man gave a thumbs up. "It made a huge difference." 

Taly smiled to herself as she sneaked away from the party. "Huhuhu...evil smile onion head"

The next day, Claire woke up next to Neko, who was still sleeping peacefully on the grass beside her. After checking the time, she realized she only had five minutes before she had to get started on the paperwork in her office. 

But she smiled and decided she wouldn't mind laying here for another ten minutes at least.

She stroked Neko's furry ears gently as he snoozed. "You're an interesting fellow, you know that...?"

Vero x Jakky
Coming Soon

Flint x Lion
Coming Soon

© 2013 Jobyn

Author's Note

Please keep checking back to this page for updates!

My Review

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The one that gave you most trouble, eh? Good, "working as intended". XD

Damn, this caught me off guard. I was expecting a funny and light romance thingy where the effects of whatever item you chose to use run off and they go back to being their normal selves. BUT THEY DIDN'T! GOOD! haha When I read the room scene my eyes were as big as plates, really didn't expect them to get so hot and heavy.
In the beginning I kept asking myself "Did he change Draven's name?" So glad you didn't XD And that lampa fruit.. "holds special nutrients that resonate between two or more people". Orgy fruit?

I really liked how it went from funny (that pink hued hallway lmao) to .. what's the word.. hot? Man, now I want them together so bad! Like, if-you-don't-get-them-together-I-might-strangle-you bad! Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend" comes to mind. (not to mention you put all the traits I like to see in a guy in that Draven , that shyness is so adorable haha)

Btw, I think romance actually is one of your strong points! That's why Badda is so awesome!

I can hardly wait for the other chapters!

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago


Yeah, I wanted to make these chapters good! :C I been trying hard so I'm glad yo.. read more

10 Years Ago

Are you sure posting them all on this page is a good idea, btw? If a new reader looks at your latest.. read more
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
AAAH I ship those two so hard!! omg i need them to be together forever now. The love -inducing fruit was pretty clever! I didn't even suspect it had any influence on them xD I am eagerly awaiting more chapters

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Aww thanks babe haha I'm so glad ya liked it :)) I was worried that people would find it boring!

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3 Reviews
Added on January 8, 2013
Last Updated on January 13, 2013
Tags: Adventure, Excitement, Interactive, Anime, Manga, Fantasy, Romance, War, Comedy, Humor, Mature, Brotherly, Friendship, Love, Book

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