Thanks to Droplets of blue rain, Seafoam Green under Twilight, and cutetyhil for reviewing the previous chapter.

Also, thanks to ILoveMySweetIndia for reviewing chapters one and two, and MasKaiHilFantatic for reviewing the first.

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Chapter Five: MystelxMariah

Mystel knew it was a bad idea, but he couldn't stay away from the White Tiger Hills. There was something – no, someone – that kept bringing him back. He was like a firefly drawn to the light. So here he was again standing on the ledge, overlooking the quiet village. That's when he saw her. A smile graced his lips. Mariah. The shining beacon of the village, and really the only reason he kept returning.

"You're getting tactless, Mystel," a voice said from behind.

Mystel turned around and found Rei before him. "Seems I must be as I didn't hear you approaching."

Rei approached the ledge and glanced down. "You like her."

"Mariah? I'm not going to deny it." As blunt as always. He didn't see the point in pretending he wasn't. "But you like her, don't you? Childhood friends and all. Seems like a fairytale romance. Destiny," Mystel added, trying hard to conceal the edge in his tone.

Rei shook his head. "Once there was a time that I thought I loved Mariah, but she's like a sister to me. But if you ever hurt her, you'll never be welcome here again. Lee doesn't trust you – and frankly, I shouldn't either – but I want her to be happy, and I won't interfere with that."

"Is that your approval, then?" He kept his expression neutral, though it was hard not to grin.

Rei nodded. "If you see it that way. Watch your step on the way down – no one is going to catch you this time should you fall."

Mystel rolled his eyes then headed down the mountainside path towards the village.

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Mystel/Mariah – my OTP really. I adore them. I know a lot of people are fixated on Rei/Mariah, but as far as I'm concerned, the mangaverse doesn't apply to the animeverse being separate universes and all (BEGA doesn't even exist in manga).

Anyways. Upcoming next based on requests – Kane/Salima, Max/Mariah, and Max/Mariam. I'm also going to throw in a few other surprises in between.

Reviews much appreciated, as always