By: Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), JJ (email@example.com)
Some time was gone by the end of the war with the Outriders. And the Sheriffs were never expecting to have to fight on the same side of the Outriders and to have to cooperate with the younger Commander of the Outridersto save the universe from a group of fools of both the races who ally together for destroying it, mixing the two races' knowledge to built a bomb powerful enough to destroy three galaxies, and using it to blackmail the two populations. But, even if at the moment the relations weren't the best ones, things were going well. So April wasn't particularly worried to be the only person awake with Jesse in the place they were lurked.
"Can I know for what reason you are so damn happy?" the Commander of the Outriders started, disturbed by her evident good mood.
"None of your business" the girl answered returning serious for a moment. Then her gaze fell on Fireball, asleep on the ground, and she giggled again.
"So he is the reason. What do you find in a so stupid, childish type?" he commented in a vaguely bitter tone.
"Fireball isn't stupid or childish!" April defended him, forgetting that, in that same day, she too accused him of both things with Jesse present. Jesse instead didn't forget it and smirked maliciously.
"You missed to say he isn't interested in you." the Commander adds.
"This is none of your business!" the girl snapped "And if you really want to know he will ask me to marry him very soon! It's just a matter of time!"
"I doubt Fireball knows how to do such a thing. Probably he doesn't know what 'marriage' means too. After all he is only a car pilot."
"If you really want to know he already bought me the ring! It's a very expensive ring and he bought it with all the money he had saved."
"Ah. And how do you know?" the Commander asked and in his voice there was an interest which should make suspect there was more than simple curiosity.
"I saw him while he bought it."
"Did you spy him?" Jesse's voice sounded quite amused.
"I didn't spy him! It was a casualty!" April protested.
"But in that way you don't know if the ring he bought is for you. Maybe it's for another girl." Jesse suggested, amused from the whole situation.
"It can't be for another girl." April declared, her face darkening while tons of suspects came to her mind.
"Sure?" Jesse tormented her.
"Very sure!" she declared a bit to quick to sound really in that way.
"So when do you think he will ask you that?"
"This day, this week, this month, this year, this century..."
"He surely will do it in the next week! Just when this whole thing will be ended!"
"Interesting. So you will not have problems in doing a little bet."
"What sort of bet?" April asked suspiciously.
"If he asks you to marry him, say... in the next two weeks I will give up on you forever. In the contrary case you will marry me."
"What? Forget it!"
"You seemed so sure about his love before! But if you don't thrust him..."
"You will surely do something to stop him!"
Jesse stood up and came near to her. His expression was serious now. And vaguely hurt.
"I will not do him anything. I will not give him anything. I will not say him anything that could move him in one direction or in the other. My relations with Fireball will be, from the moment you accept our bet, only and exclusively inherent to this mission."
She gazed up at him. His worlds seemed sincere and he was very serious.
"Is that true?"
"I swear on the most important thing I have."
April nodded. She didn't know why but she knew he said the truth.
"It's your turn April. Will you respect the bet?"
Her wonderful deep, blue eyes fixed on his clear, blue ones.
"I swear it. On the most important thing I have."
"So we have a deal. Go to sleep Sheriff. Tomorrow will be an hard day."
She nodded. And she left him. The Commander remained alone with his many, confused emotions.
"This play was too easy." he murmured, placing his hands in the pockets of his jacket. Something was in one of them. Oh yes, he will respect the deal he had with April. Literally. And April understood that. She knew that. What April didn't know was that Fireball lost, during that day, a small pack, and Jesse found it. He placed it in his pocket, thinking to return it to the sheriff later cause it didn't seem to him nor useful or important and after he forgot it there. And the discussion with April made this little fact came back to his mind. And now April didn't know that the request she did to Jesse to not obstacle Fireball declaration was now the main obstacle to it.
A fierce thunderstorm was hauling outside the area. Rain clashed with occasional lighening and thunder, ruling the darkness while people inside were sleeping and resting away the night. In some dark corner, Fireball was sleeping soundly until the roar of loud thunder woke him up.
"What?" he bolted straight up, panting frantically.
He blinked his sleepy a few times before they could adjust to the dark. He glanced around the area, groaning inwardly as he tired to figure out what woke him up. Lighting soon struck again, followed by a very loud roar of thunder while the rain was pounding furiously against the windows. He sighed in relief when he laid back down, running his hand hrough his hair. He was still breathing hard when he stared off into empty space.
Lately, he had been on the edge if not jumpy all the time. Being around Outriders was already bad enough, but sharing the same roof with this certain young Commander of theirs made him grow wary. He simply could not shake this feeling of his that he was up to something.
"Maybe I'm imagine things."
"NO. The way he has been looking at me..." he said thinking out loud.
Just having mere thoughts of him made him shudder all over his body, sending chilled goosebumbs down his spine.
"No. I can't let my guard down. Not now or ever." he told himself.
Since the day they had agreed on helping one another out, he had not left her side for one minute. He would have simply follow her everywhere. Surprisingly, she never complained about it, and so, he carried on tagging along her casually.
"April!!!" he bolted up again when he suddenly remembered her, his eyes growing wide in horror.
Fireball frantically looked around with his tired eyes in search for her. Soft mumbling coming from below then caught his attention. Looking down, he saw her laying right next close to him, sleeping soundly through the storm. Breathing a deep sigh of relief, he laid himself back down, exhausted while his tired face turned to her.
"I wouldn't forgive myself if something ever happen to you."
A smile soon spread accross his face when he continued to watch her in silence.
"She's so beautiful... Even if she's asleep." he sighed dreamy.
He could feel his heart literally melt away when he was lost in his own gaze on her. Even in the dark, her beautiful face was still radiating brightly, shining through the dim light giving off by the lightening.
Fireball smiled widely when he brushed off carefully some of her golden hair away from her face. He then lingered his fingers near her face, tracing it against her warm, rose cheek. Soft giggling soon came from her sleepy mouth while waving her free hand to brush it off. Fireball quickly pulled his hand away from her, snickering quietly in delight.
"So, she's ticklish." he thought amused.
Feeling that the tickling had finally stopped, April settled back to her sleep, nuzzling her head further into her hand in comfort, mumbling soft sleepy sounds.
Fireball waited for a few minutes for her to go back to her slumber. Once she was snoozing again, he reached out his hand again to run his fingers against her rose tender cheek.
Minutes later, April giggled again. Fireball was grinning widely at himself when he continued to tease her. Tracing his fingers gently around her face, they traveled from cheek to nose, circling once in a while. April was waving her hand in the air now as she tried her best to get rid of the annoying thing that kept bugging her.
Snickering, Fireball quickly pulled his hand back. Seconds later, her hand fell back down as she carried on sleeping soundly. Seeing that she was back to her slumber, he propped himself up and leaned forward to her face. He was only inches away from her face, his warm breath drifting down to her when he gave her soft but yet gentle kiss on her warm, rose cheek.
"I love you..." he then whispered softly into her ears.
"I love you, too... Fireball..." a mumbled sleeping noise replied him minutes later.
Fireball smiled when he looked back down at her sleeping face. Laying back down, he then carefully pulled her close to him without wakening her up. Feeling something warm near her, April snuggled closer into him before she fell back to her deep slumber. He glanced back down to her one last time, kissing her forehead tenderly as he wrapped both his arms around her protectively. He was playing with her hair for a little while before he dirfted back to sleep again.
From afar, a pair of intriguing eyes had been watching them for some time now. His face then darkened when he saw him kissing her.
"This is going to be interesting, my friend... Quite interesting..." he smirked to himself when he laid back down before falling asleep.
It holds a gun.
In the same moment, the Commander of the Outriders woken up from that horrible nightmare and found himself sit on the floor, panting. A glance around himself and he knew again who he was and what was going on. He got used at his nightmares long ago. Very long ago. The others were still asleep. If existed one thing he hated more than to be awaked in the middle of the night without a good reason it was having people around him still asleep like nothing was happen. Well not all were asleep. It was Saber Rider's turn of guard. And Saber noticed he was awake and was looking at him suspiciously.
Great! Like if things weren't going enough well! What did I do to deserve to be awake with him? Bah... Better Saber Rider than the cowboy... Or Fireball.
He got up, since he already knew he would not manage to return back to sleep again, and sit near to the Sheriff. And with the tone of a person used to give orders and to be obeyed he said to him:
"Go to sleep. I do the sentinel."
Saber Rider glanced at him and answered quietly, with the tone of a person used to not let himself be submitted:
"It's my turn. You already did it before."
"Do you really want to start to argue for a stupid guard turn?" the Commander asked, clearly irritated. For a moment Saber Rider was temptate to answer 'yes'. Then he remembered that, if Jesse was the Commander of the Outriders, he was the Commander of the Star Sheriffs and answered as diplomatically as it was possible.
"No. Simply I don't want to have problems cause you'll be too tired tomorrow."
Bad choice of explanation. Especially cause this never happened to Jesse.
"For your information I know perfectly how to take care of myself!"
Saber Rider realized that, maybe, they really would end up arguing for a stupid guard turn when, luckily, April murmured something into her sleep and distracted them both. The two boys found themselves staring at her while she turned in her sleep and came nearer to Fireball.
"She is really beautiful."
The two of them returned to stare at each other, realizing that at least on one topic they were surprisingly of the same opinion.
"Don't dare to have strange ideas about her." Saber Rider declared serious.
"It could be possible you are the one who is having strange thoughts about her, couldn't it? After all she could be YOUR girlfriend." Jesse smirked, noticing Saber Rider blushing. They both returned their gaze on April.
"She loves Fireball."
Jesse gave him a sceptic gaze.
"If you would be less busy in doing the hero this would not have happened. What does she find in Fireball after all?"
"Well Fireball is... after all he is..." trapped by the thought of April, he didn't manage to end the sentence. None of the two of them had still managed to remove his gaze from her.
"I figure he didn't ask her to marry him yet."
"I think he'll do it. Sooner or later."
"If he knows how to do it."
"Exaggerate! Everyone knows how to do it: you go to the girl, you put yourself on your knee, you ask her the famous question, you show her the ring..."
"The ring is important, isn't it?"
"Sure. April deserves a beautiful one." Saber Rider declared.
"Does Fireball know that? Or will he give her one he found in the chips as surprise?"
"I'll take care to inform him about this. Personally. And to make him understand this veeeery well." Saber Rider answered serious, his gaze stilled on the girl who could have been his girlfriend. If he would have turned his head for a moment he could have notice the Commander of the Outrider who, while was staring at April, was smirking satisfied.
Definitely too easy. April why should I do something to Fireball? He and his friends are so good in creating problems by themselves!