Chapter II:

"A Misguided Goal"

A/N: Blah Blah Blah… people and place, ect. do not belong to me. They belong to the very creative people who created Star Ocean and Star Ocean EX. (Gotta Love Em') Enjoy!

(Oh, and I likie the bit of lemon I put in here… You can't make lemonade without it! Oh wait, that's later on…)


Shut up, Shut up, and Shut up!

It felt like Celine's head was going to cave in. She couldn't stand it anymore; Ashton's complaining was killing her.

"I wanna go home…" Ashton said in his whiny high pitched voice.

"Ashton Hun, if you keep this up, as much as I love you, I might hurt you." She cracked her knuckles through her white gloves and proceeded to walk into Linga …Of all the places for Ashton to start complaining in, but then again…

"OH! I know where we are!" Heart-shaped pink covered his eyes. That took him awhile. His beloved blue and red dragons, Gyoro and Ururun, sighed.

…then again, Ashton's an idiot.

With a swift movement Celine smacked him on the head, making him teeter into the nearest wall. She walked away tall and proud, towards Bowman's pharmacy.

The bell rang a light "Ding, Ding," and Ashton scratched his lump on his head while walking in. "Mr. Bowman, sir…" His voice radiated through his pain, cause it to grow hoarse. "Do you have any medicine to make bad women go away?"

"Hey… Ashton." Bowman rolled his eyes, and raised a brow. "So, Celine's with you?"

"Don't laugh at me, I'm serious!" Ashton fought back his tears, knowing that they were making fun of him. Fear overcame his embarrassment as Celine walked in. "Oh no!" Ashton hid behind the shelf.

"Hello Celine. Huh… where are the rest of you?"

"Well… I am only one person…" Celine laughed teasingly, and rested her elbow on Ashton's shaking head.

"I MEAN the rest of the gang? Where's Rena, or Claude?"

Celine gave an observant look before turning away and mumbling to herself. "Can you really call that a domestic dispute? Wait, they aren't married."

"Ahem?" Bowman made Celine turn laughing.

"S-Sorry. Well, you see, Claude had to go home…"

Ashton tilted his head, thwarted. "I don't get why he left… Wasn't he happy here?"

"Well…" Jean cut in. "He probably had his reasons for leaving. I'm sure… Rena understood."

"Awe man…" Ashton kicked the table a bit. "I'm sure she's all sad and whatnot."

Celine giggled. It was nice of them to worry about Rena. She didn't even have to mention her, and everyone was thinking about it. I'm sure Rena would appreciate it… but…

"She's strong. She'll find her way somehow." Celine began to walk out of the store. "I'll see you two later; I have to go find Precis."

"W-W-Wait! I want to go too!" Ashton ran out of the store like the floor was made of hot coals. Bowman smiled, watching the two leave. Like always, he knew exactly what was going on before those two ever wandered into town. It was obvious that, like Opera, he would want to return home. In fact, it was only a matter of time. The professor sighed a bit, leaning his head into the counter. The least they could do was BUY something.


Warm… there was so much warmth on her head… it was beginning to irritate Rena. What was she, in the Bahamas? Rena groaned a bit, moving as if she wanted to pull the covers off of her, instead she felt flesh. Flinging her eyes open, the sun rays hit her from the window across the room, making her wince. She peeked down and saw an arm lying across her waist. Who?

She pushed it back, sitting up and looking over.

"AAAAAAAAAAHH!"

Rena's mom pulled out toasted bun from the oven, the size of two subs stacked on one another. Inside rested warm cheese and beans, with meats from their animals on Expel. (Kind of like pig… Yum)

"I thought someone had slaughtered you, the way you screamed." Her mother patted her on the shoulder softly, handing her the breakfast plate.

"Oh, Quiet! It's not my fault, alright?" Rena scrunched up her face and looked at the mildly pleased swordsman. "…Why didn't you just budge me..!?"

"Budge…? You're the one who took my bed. I required sleep, and I wasn't about to fight you over it." A hushed laugh escaped his smile, and he pulled off a piece of bread. "Why did you fall asleep on my bed?"

"It's NOT YOUR bed. It's a bed, and I didn't mean to! Leave me alone!" She crossed her arms furiously.

"Your hospitality is un-ranged, Rena." He bit into the bread, looking away from her.

Oh, don't get cocky with me! Rena thought. You're here on a secret mission to make my life miserable aren't you! That's it…

There's no other reason to explain it. The rest of the day proved it just as well. As soon as Rena hopped in the bath, he took the towel and forgot to replace it, making Rena have to run to her room naked. Then, he ate the rest of lunch, unknowing that she hadn't eaten yet. After that, he went about the town, giving people the wrong idea that they were together! Just because they lived in the same house! Rena was fed up with Dias' manner, and she wanted him to know it. She spent the remainder of the day conjuring a plan on getting back at the arrogant man.


Claude…

Rena paced herself at the bridge, catching her breath.

I wonder what he's doing…

Rena knocked at her head a couple of times, trying to get those thoughts out of her head. They were creating murkiness… and it was only hurting her. After a while, the thoughts returned in full force. Does he have a girlfriend now? Rena! Stop it. She wobbled, leaning her back on the bridges damp bricks. Ahead of her lied the Shingo Forest, where they had first met. More reminiscences filled her head. It was like there was a battle going on, as she punched herself in the temple. Rena couldn't hold back from herself. The long bridge of fog that covered her mind only revealed one thing: That if she was ever to get over her blonde hero, she'd need a new route.

Maybe this was Dias' plan, making her overlook about her worries. Well, it only proved to make her remember such awful things. There was nothing that Flac could do to ease this twinge she felt in her throbbing heart.

"Claude…" Rena couldn't contain it; she wanted to view her favorite setting, her favorite place. She wandered a bit aimless into the forest.

The tree's shadows swiftly paved back and forth over the verdant ground. The sun hit the trees glimmering left over mist from the night, and it looked like stars were falling onto the ground, sparkling. The sound of birds lightly covers the clatter of the swaying trees. It was beautiful… Rena couldn't set her eyes off the treetops. Spinning herself in circles, she finally lost balance and fell on her back, still mystified by its splendor.

Was it like this the last time she was here?

It's so… pretty…

Rena knew she had to get up soon to put her plan in motion, but her body wouldn't budge. She felt her head lifting into a memorized state where she stayed transfixed on the past. Claude continuously saved her in the time loop, and she imagined herself with the audacity to say she loved him.

Running away isn't any good. It just made her think more about him.

Claude's body, his features and his smile, oh heaven, how she loved it all. There wasn't a moment in their adventure together where she hadn't thought about him. Whether it was when she worried while he fought, or when she laid in her inn room, thinking about her lustful need for him. She wondered what a night with Claude would have been like.

She'd plunge herself into him, clinging and scraping at him, like he would be lost forever. Wrapped in his affectionate and sensitive arms… pressed near his lips… holding on to her undying love for him, while he took her. Claude wasn't built, she knew that, but he wasn't skinny. He had the muscular fit in all the right places… and she knew it accompanied more…

Rena sighed, enjoying her thoughts for the time being.

Just a bit longer…

After that, she'd go to Dias' room and hog all the blankets, hiding them.

Mahwah… payback


"Oh, this isn't right." Celine watched as the young girl paced back and forth around the room, bouncing when she got an idea, and cursing when it didn't work. "There's no way that I can get this to work!"

"Are you sure, Precis? It's an old communicator… if we can get it to work, we could call Claude."

"OH!" Ashton finally understood what was going on. Precis and Celine sighed, 'Idiot…'

"Anyway… there's a missing part I need." Precis put down the metal block, opening it once more and peering inside.

"What is it?" Celine asked eagerly. "Whatever it is, I'm sure we could hunt it down."

"It's a battery."

There was silence. The anger mark on Celine's head grew outside of the lines, and knocked the wind out of Ashton.

"THAT'S IT?! YOU COULD EASILY MAKE ONE OF THOSE!" She smacked the young girl. "…Why can't you just do that...?"

"I can't! It's a weird battery. It needs something… hmmm." She tapped her temple, thinking. It must have been strenuous because after a while she had to sit down. "You know what… Leon."

Ashton sneered. Celine laughed, patting him on the back. "…so why Leon..?"

"Leon has some of this chemical… I'm pretty sure he'd help us out."

"Why can't we just get our own?" Ashton grumbled.

Precis rolled her eyes, Ashton like always, was getting on her nerves. "Cause' it'd be a hell of a trip. You want to do it dragon-boy, be my guest. But by the time you get back here half eaten alive, we'll already have our main component."

"A-alright" Celine cut in, the tension had grasped the room of all its fresh air. "Let's head over to the Lacour Castle laboratory."

Oh, even going that small way toward the next town sounded like a whole new journey to Celine.

-Especially with these two.


"What are you, a dolt?!"

Rena scratched her head, the starlight now appearing through the trees. What time was it? Had she fallen asleep?

"Do you sleep everywhere?! Am I going to have to watch you everywhere you go?" Dias voice sounded hoarse, as if he had been panting. Rena leaned up, her eyes still unyielding to open.

"W-where am I?" She rested her hand on the grassy floor, and everything came back to her in no time. She had fallen asleep in Shingo Forest. Of all the places…Although the sphere was gone, creatures still lurked around, and it was pretty reckless of her to leave herself unguarded like that.

Oh… but she had the best dream…

Her simple smile suddenly turned into a scowl as Dias grabbed her arm forcefully making her rise. He's being such a bully.

He smacked her across the forehead lightly with his two fingers. "Don't be a dolt."

"Shut up, Dias! You're the one who's started all this!"

"What's 'all this'?" He asked.

"You have been so rude lately; I needed to get away from it all."

"So you ran away… from me?"

"I didn't run away…"

He laughed. "You didn't tell your mother either. So, you've basically ran away. Everyone in the village has been searching for you. You're mothers worried sick. You've just gotten home and you're already creating chaos? You…"

"-Look who's talking! You're acting like a stupid big brother! I don't need one!"

Oops… bad idea…

Dias looked at her, a bit on the confused side. Still, he kept a fierce gaze, and refused to look away from her eyes. She couldn't help but get nervous. There was no doubt in her mind that he was planning a row of accusations and lectures for her. She started to fondle with things, playing with her skirt, unready for his unleashing anger.

But it never came. He stood there, still and quietly.

She closed her eyes awaiting the worst. "I-I'm sorry…"

Dias' Misguided Goal


Dias wasn't too sure what he was doing. Allowing himself to get frustrated over her mistake, but once his hand landed over her cheek, he knew where his anger had risen from. Rena held her eyes tight, and for a while he wondered why. Was she scared of him? Is it possible that she thought that he would strike her? He traced his thumb over her cheek, astounded that she had yet to unfasten her eyes. She was scared… she was utterly frightened of him. They had been childhood friends for years… and even then, she was the only being who had ever stood up against him. Well, aside from Claude.

Is this what it's all regarding? That man… Claude? So, it was true, she had feelings for him.

Dias wondered where her loyalty now lied. Was it that they were lovers, her and Claude? So, no other man can lay a hand on her now? Even though her boyfriend had ran off into space, parting her by herself? He kept thinking: how could a gentleman do that, to Rena?

Dias himself had only considered to stay a day or two, to see if she would be alright. Now, he wondered… what it would be like to stay with her forever. Would she ever permit him to do such a thing?

"Don't fear me, Rena."

She opened her eyes, and was a bit surprised to see him leering over her, closer than usual. Dias usually kept quite a distance between them. "D-Dias?"

"Are you feeling better now?" His hand left her face, and returned to its post near his swords handle. Rena nodded, and Dias began to turn towards Arlia. "Let's retire for tonight."

"A-alright…" It was embarrassing for her to know she was relieved that he wouldn't be angry, after all those thoughts of sabotage.

- Home

The lights were all on at home, and as soon as the entered the door, her mother wrapped herself graciously around her daughter. "Oh, Rena, I was so worried!"

I didn't mean to…

Dias past the two and Rena could call out while her mother was clinging to her tightly. He walked up the stairs and she heard the door shut loudly. Only violent images came to mind, as she wondered if he was angry at her. She patted her mother to calm her down once more, and headed to the bathroom. After all this time, she smelled like dead plants, and wanted a nice warm bath.

She couldn't suppress her light moan as her feet dipped all the way into the water. Oh, this is just what she needed. It was a gorgeous night, and the stars fell perfectly aligned to shimmer atop her body. She let her chin rest over the water. Maybe she had made it too hot?

Uh-oh

Steam rose high above the tub. She felt a wave of sweat hit her, and decided to lay back and enjoy whilst she could. These were one of the few times she had to beg her mother to allow her to take in a glass of Expellian wine. She sipped it a couple of times, before chugging down the whole glass.

Another bad idea…

When the water continued to heat, she fought the urge to stay in. This could get pretty ugly if she had. She burnt her toes while trying to get out, and slipped on the tiles, before grabbing the door, and flying out of the bathroom. Luckily she wrapped the towel around herself, before hitting the wall dizzily. That must have alerted Dias because in a second flat; he reared his head out of the door.

"Rena?"

"I… don't feel so good." It felt like she was blushing, but it was a burning blush that covered even her forehead. "I need… bed…"

"Let me escort you to your room, Rena." Dias touched her arm, but she pulled away, wobbling a bit.

"NO!" She pushed him aside, walking into the guest room and falling on his bed. "See… l-look, I made it all the way… here…" She couldn't even raise her arm as she pointed her relaxed finger around his room. She heard Dias sit down on the chair next to the bed. He rested his hand over her hair, entangling his fingers in the blue deep. Sure, they had the same hair color, a bit, but hers was a lot more detailed. "Dias…" She groaned.

It felt like she was getting pampered, though it was just a light rub. Rena had been so tense, so angry the past few days that she didn't even care what happened next. She lazily placed her hand over his and mumbled.

"Have you been drinking?" Dias grabbed her hand in his. Maybe it was the wine, but finally he had some feeling in his voice, he sounded… concerned.

"Ha-ha…" She laughed into his pillow. "You love… me…don't'cha…" Rena couldn't stop laughing.

"…" He dropped her hand gently onto the pillow. "Yes, I do."

OKAY, SHE WAS DRUNK. There was no way on Expel that he'd ever say such a thing. She was probably dreaming, and it was freaking her out. Imagine a man, as humble…

"…as honorable… as Dias F-Flac… mmm… never… he'd…. never say it." She finished her thoughts with words aloud.

"Is that so?" He traced her face once again. "Only Claude, right...?"

Dias removed his hand quickly as a stream of tears over took her rosy cheeks. He hadn't anticipated her emotions, but he knew full well they were there. Who would have known, even drunk, she'd think about him. Dias hadn't experienced something such as dramatic, although close as his family's death was.

His plan was taking a wrong turn. He wanted to know why she was so infatuated with the blond.

"You really like him?" Dias asked, hoping she'd understand him.

"Mmm….Mmhm…" Rena felt it was hard for her to stay awake.

"Why?"

"Mmm…. He's…perfect…"

Dias frowned. "Perfect? How so…? Any man is worthy of another love, as well as a woman. Why is he better… than me?" He awaited an answer, and when minutes began to past he became antsy. "How come, you won't … love me?"

"Hmm?"

"I… I want to know." He pulled her hand off the pillow, turning her to face him fully. She clamped her eyes, feeling like she had been dragged around the village. "Tell me, Rena!"

"Claude…" She tried to open her eyes, once more. "Is that you?"

If Dias wasn't Dias… he'd tell her yes, and take advantage of her.

Dias wasn't feeling like Dias.

"Yes..." She held her hand over his neck, caressing it. "It's me…"

Rena smiled, still dazed, and tears still flowing from her eye ducts. "Oh… I… I'm so happy." She raised her arms around his head, and firmly hugged Dias. "Mmm… you smell good."

So she's never smelled Claude, is that why she doesn't recognize the difference? He thought.

She held him tightly; her head leaned against his shoulder, breathing lightly on his skin. Dias was unsteady with his hands, as her rolled his finger tips over her back. Rena's legs spanned over the edge of the bed, and she suddenly fell over, putting all her weight onto Dias. His head hit the floor hard, and he groaned in agony. "R-Rena?"

She laid over him, her legs moving slowly over and in-between his. He couldn't feel the towel over his bare chest, it only felt like skin, and that's when he noticed her towel had fallen off her front. Moving herself closer to his face, her nipples touched his, and he felt a wave of regret his at his brain. Am I really such a jerk?

How had he gotten to this point? He had eternally told himself to only think of her as a little sister, and now she lay on top of him, arousing his senses, and ceasing to amaze his body. He found it hard to fight back from touching her. But he realized she had fallen asleep again. He allowed himself the pleasure of holding her tightly towards him, and smelling her, before putting her to bed. He rather have her wide awake if he were to commit his body to the bonding.

She looked as if she was finally resting peacefully, as Dias, pulled his sword out enjoying its shine. He wished Claude was still around. He had found an opponent worthy of his skills. Nevertheless, now, Rena would be his, tomorrow, he'd make sure of it.


"Rena…" Claude turned over on the top bunk. Sweat glazed his skin, and he found that the snoring now consisted of every fleet officer in his room.

What a dream.

How come he was still thinking about her? Claude slapped his head, Duh. You really fell for her didn't you? He wished she had said "Please stay"… He would have, in a heartbeat. But she didn't need him, or so she pointed out. Nothing was the same on the starship. Now, his father held a relentless disappointment for his son, instead of the usual kind. Where as all the fleet looked at him differently, like he was from another planet!

Claude chuckled, thinking about what Ashton and Precis would say. Of course, Ashton would start a fight, that Claude always won, and Precis would glorify him, all the while looking down at Rena. It's because he loved her. Claude loved Rena. More than anyone could imagine. Claude turned over again, gripping his sheets.

"I'll find you again…" with that whisper, he felt a light doze come on, and could only keep that image of her in his mind.

Once they find each other again…


How can I live with out you?

Can I survive if you continue on, leaving me behind?

Is it cold, where you are?

If so, why aren't you calling for me? Why aren't you?

You know I'm waiting…

Chapter II End.

Chapter II: "Looking for an Excuse." Preview:

"Y-You… what..!?" The words slipped helplessly from Celine's mouth. "You slept with him!?"

The young girl rolled her eyes, sitting back down. "I didn't… I just…"

"You might have…"


Kyoko: Mwahahahah, Did you enjoy it?! Are you reading it!?

Rei: Give the reader a break… Kyoko… (Sweat drop)

Kyoko: I WILL AFTER THEY COMMENT. DO IT… DO IT NOW.

- ::GAME SHOW::

Is Dias another Legolas?

Dias: He totally took it from me. I am the official long haired grump!

Claude: Legolas isn't grumpy though…

(Piercing gaze) - > O...O;; (Claude)

Claude: OKAY, OKAY, He took it from you! (Womanly scream.)