(A/N): I've decided. This is going to be in the future and transition back and forth from past to present...err, future. I will probably include random snippets of Kaiser, Baroona, Mickey, Douglas, Ariadine, Clara, Kiron, Icarus, and of course, our titular Ares. I was mapping out the characters and at least half the cast is dead 0_0...

"Mickey! Douglas!"

Ares ran up and bear hugged them simultaneously. Douglas spluttered, choking on his drink while Mickey exchanged looks with him and sighed. Mickey hugged him back, and Ares let them go.

"It's great to see you, too, hyung!"

"How've you been Mickey? I heard you been busy with a lady?", Ares mooned, his nostrils.

Douglas gave a great burst of laughter, grabbing Ares around the shoulders. "AREES", he yelled.


Before long, the trio could be found strolling through the town. They frolicked about with all the vigor of little children. Ares, especially, constantly shoved Douglas over or messed up Mickey's hat as they ambled about aimlessly. They passed into the town plaza, stopping at the grand centerpiece; a water fountain. The day was fading.

"Douglas, it's not healthy to drink! But you're fun when you drink. Your face looks real funny," he guffawed.

Ares grabbed Douglas' ever present bottle and held it away from him.

"I!", Douglas proclaimed with a stab of the air, "am drinkin'! B'cause I am feelin' RESSLESS!" He finished with a kick.


"Hey, Emergency Food's back! Let's see if he got any money."

Mickey sighed as he watched Douglas run after Ares who in turn, ran after the cute crow, burdened with the spoils of panhandling.

Kicking a rock aside, his lips split into a grin as he ran after them as well.

"Heh-Baroona, that bastard had a daughter hidden away."

Baroona's "daughter" sulked as she kicked some nearby dust.

"Clara?...Clara! Clara, where are you?"

The girl in question looked up from behind a bush. Clara patted her hands off and calmly made her way out of the greenhouse. Outside, Helena rushed frantically, searching for her self-imposed charge.

Clara snuck up behind her, an impressive feat for Helena's trained instincts. Helena took one look at Clara and gave a shriek.

"Your clothes are all torn! It's nice to be out, but try to maintain yourself! I feel we might have to move a second seamstress onto the grounds. I'm not sure how much more patience the cleaning staff has."

"Calm down, Helena. I'll just sew the clothes up myself. I did live off of housework, before, you know."

Before. That damned house... that damned Baroona...

"Well, yes, but before, you were alone. Now, you have servants and people working under you!"

Clara gave Helena an incisive stare. "You know, lately, you've been really hyped about being a little princess. You aren't the type to coddle someone like me. What's going on?"

"What? Clara, you're being silly. Come on, we're getting you washed up", Helena turned dismissively, but Clara decided that she didn't like it at all.

She grabbed her surrogate aunt's legs and sat down, refusing to budge an inch from her roost.

She remained passive as Helena fumbled through her words, chattering uncharacteristically about the tailor and how pretty the recent fashions were. The whole time, she maintained her gaze on the back of Helena's unrepentant head.

She could feel it. Helena would crack soon. Just stare a bit more...unnerve her...she's being too obvious...


Once Helena stilled, there was no distraction to push this new information off on. Clara blinked. Helena palmed her face and began to lead her little girl inside.

"You understand that Ariadine's always had a position of importance. She has passed her transitional period for quite some time now, and Ares has already claimed her, but, now it is your turn to be introduced to high society. Word of you somehow spread. It seems that some nobleman's son has taken interest in you. It's a good opportunity. You could find a partner in a mutually beneficial relationship and have a concrete tie to someone, you could have a family of your own an-"

Clara mutely followed Helena limply, having filtered out her voice. Her mind wandered as her feet moved.

...a suitor?

A silver-haired old man rambled and raved at the tavern. The sympathetic, but tired barkeep nodded his head along, grunting at all the wrong times. The elder took no notice and continued to talk over the counter, finishing up the remains of his booze and dinner.

The door jingled as a newcomer entered the cozy establishment.

A dark-haired young man slumped against a seat. His face was shadowed in the light of dusk. Taking a deep drag of his cigarette, he sank further into the bar.

"Baroona! I...I killed Mikael! I avenged our mercenary corps, but I'm not happy at all!", Ares broke off into sobs. "That bastard said wanted to die by my hands. He had no intention of killing me from the start. *sob* I shouldn't cry...only women cry, so why aren't my tears stopping."

He blew out a thin strem of smoke.

"It's not your fault, it's just that you had only bad luck!...Only bad luck..."

A/N: I love Kaiser too much to keep him dead. I wish I could bring back Mikael, but that wouldn't work. I think. T_T Mikaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel. I'm gonna stick with Temple. Tample makes me thing of tampons and snapple.