"Yeah Holly, what is it?" Pixie said, looking up.
"Nothing." She sighed quietly. "Just wondering if you were still awake." She lied.
"You still depressed about your father?" Pixie said, leaning back.
"I shouldnít be." Holly said, tilting her head in a way that implied yes, I am.
"How come you never told anyone until now? I mean, Iíd have thought?"
"I donít know." Holly said quietly, "I didnít want to trouble the others."
"I doubt it. Whatís it like having a Monster for a father Holly?" Pixie said, sudden anger in her voice.
"Whatís your problem Pixie!"
"Itís nothing...back where I grew up..."
Holly was quiet. "Come over by the fire Pixie, you donít have to be alone."
She did. "I guess your father was the only family you ever had."
"I had my mother when I was younger, but yeah."
Sheís so much stronger than I am. Holly thought as she passed out the bowls of soup. Look at me, Iím crying because Mooís my father. She served under Moo for years, was abused by humans, probably in ways I donít even want to think about.
I mean, just look at where she grew up compared to my village. I donít have the right to judge her.
"Huh?! Oh, Iím sorry."
"No biggie. Um, is there any left? Mocchi and I want seconds."
"Yeah, Mocchi hungry chi!"
She spooned out the soup quietly, giving a tiny smile.
"Iím cold, Iím hungry, my tail hurts..."
"Stop complaining, Suezo." Genki said, Mocchi riding on his back.
"Of course, youíre human. You get shoes! My tail is getting all frostbitten."
"Tiger and Hare arenít complaining."
"THEY HAVE FUR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!"
"How come you donít get cold, Pixie?" Holly said, trying to screen out Suezoís complaints.
"Donít know. I think the ancients never wanted to give us an excuse to cover up."
"Master?" He asked when they had fallen behind the group a bit. "are you trying to push her away..."
"or is it a mistake on your part?"
"Itís not a mistake." She said, folding her arms across her chest.
He let out a rumbling sigh, but didnít say anything else.
"Genki has an excuse for being such an idiot, he grew up in a different world. Holly, sheís..." Pixie shrugged. "Either blind or stupid."
Or maybe she sees something I donít.
"Did you hear that?"
"Here comes trouble."
After a short fiasco involving snow hoppers and more than one cliff, they managed to stop for a second.
"Is it just me, or are the baddies getting smarter?" Hare asked, nursing a wound on his leg.
"Probably just some of Nagaís leftover troops. They knew the terrain, the had the advantage. Thatís all it was, furball."
"Well youíre not in such good shape yourself, Tiger."
"Holly, I think we need to start cooking dinner before bloodshed results." Genki said, sweatdopping.
"Ah dinner. One of the great diversionary strategies. Please tell me its something apart from soup" Suezo said , looking very eager.
"Mocchi hungry chi."
"Gali used to use that one a lot." Pixie said.
"Yeah. We know. Hey Holly, Pixie, why donít you go and get us some wood."
Holly followed Pixie, putting down the wood she was carrying, she sucked in all her courage.
"I love you."
Pixie dropped her wood, eyes wide. "Heh. Fool."
"What? Thatís all youíre going to say?" Holly said, looking completely devastated. Fool-sheís not attracted to women. Fool-sheíd never enter into a relationship with a human. Fool-she thinks youíre the worlds biggest idiot...Fool what?.
"I donít think you know enough to say that. You ever wonder why there were no women or children working as slaves in Northtown?"
"Some of them were driven away. I killed most of them, or had my troops kill them. If youíd have been there, Iíd have killed you as an example. I did it because I had watched any monster that got too weak murdered, and I was ANGRY. Iím not a good match for someone so good they didnít want to see Naga fall."
"You were under Mooís control."
"As far as this concerns us, it was me." Pixie got up and started to walk away. She stopped and turned around.
"I donít expect you to understand, Holly. I didnít have the strength of will to refuse. When Moo captured you...he didnít get your soul."
"Pixie." Holly said. "I donít care if youíve killed a thousand people who were just like me. Youíre an incredible person now anyway. I couldnít survive what you went through. And you said it when you rescued Eve. Thereís no reason Monsters and Humans canít live in peace." She paused, smiling slightly in the moonlight. "Isnít it strange. We both think the other one is stronger. You survived the mines, everything the humans there did to you, a rebellion, Moo, us..."
"You somehow stay good in this world...Heh. Letís just say weíre both fucked up. And youíve spent too much time with Genki." Pixie said. She sat down next to Holly. "Go ahead. Weíll give it a shot. Fighting Moo, thereís not much chance that we have a long term anyway."
Holly leaned toward Pixie, uncertain.
Pixie looked nervous as well. "Why not?"
Holly closed the remaining inches and kissed Pixie. She pulled away quickly, nervous.
"Come on foolish human, you can do better than that." She said, pulling Holly in for a deeper kiss. "I love you, you know that."
"I love you too."
"Where I grew up, theyíd kill you for that."
"Where I grew up, they wouldnít care." Holly said, kissing her again.
Hare walked back into the group, clutching his face.
"Pass me a handkerchief, will you, Genki."
"Howíd you get a nosebleed, Hare? You didnít get into a fight with some baddies, did you? Where are Pixie and Holly?"
"You wouldnít believe me if I told you, Genki-my-boy."