Author's Note: Yes, this is my second Photon's Crossing story. Very short. It's something that's been bouncing in my head for a while actually, but it finally formed itself to the point that I could put it in words. Long story. I asked Gaeriel why she didn't write something along these lines--so she threw it back at me and told me to write it myself. ~laughs~ I humbly accepted the challenge. (Note from Tsaraat: This will teach Anne to be nicer to me...I've got more dirt on this place than she guessed!) ~sigh~ Now may I get back to writing Not Human, oh selfish shadowmage? :)

Enjoy!

Shadow in the Corner Pocket

Aaahhh…Photon's Crossing. Where everyone knows your name.

Well, they know my name, they just don't remember it.

It was one of those melancholy nights for me, where I was happy to be among friends who didn't know they were my friends.

Not that I was complaining! They remembered me as soon as I talked to them again--but for most people that was the only time I existed in their minds.

It wouldn't stay like that forever as the regulars became immune to my innate shadow presence, but I'm getting ahead of myself. No one had that level of immunity yet, though Tallamyn was getting close with long magical association and practice.

In fact, Tallamyn had just left when I felt the pull of depression cast a "shadow" over my emotions. It wasn't the full depression that had drained me of magical will, but it was enough that I just wanted to curl up alone and have a good sulk. The why isn't important anymore--in fact, I can't remember it.

It's what happened afterward that matters.

I had picked a random room upstairs to curl up in, not wanting to face a strange new reality by leaving. I settled down in a corner, pulling layer upon layer upon layer of shadow over myself like a comforting blanket. Small, whispery tears began to slide down my cheeks--

Someone barged in.

Actually, two someones barged in.

I almost didn't recognize them because they were giggling at each other, and I had never seen either of them act like this.

I idly recalled the last few days though, realizing that they were part of my depression. They were obviously falling in love. They had been exchanging glances and smiles with startling frequency. It wasn't like them. Either of them.

And I was trapped while they explored their new feeling.

Great.

He held her in his arms, looking down into her wide eyes and he looked as if he would drown in her. Her eyes sparkled in response, glowing with passionate fire. Her smile curved slowly, teasing him.

I buried my face in my hands. For a moment.

My eyes like to torture me though, so they refused to leave the sight for long.

They inched closer to each other. "I love you," he whispered.

"I-I love you too," she stammered, trembling like a leaf.

From the outside it looked like a perfect kiss. He held her close. She melted in closer. Their mouths met. Their eyes closed and they had not problem agreeing which way to tilt their heads for each other. No nose bumpage. No drool.

But a moment later they pulled away, laughing.

"You felt that too, huh?"

"What do you mean?"

"I don't know...it felt like I was kissing my uncle or something."

He groaned. "I am a lot cuter than your uncle."

"That's not what I meant and you know it!"

"Yes. You're right. To me it felt like I was kissing my little sister. I wanted to challenge myself to a duel for daring to lay a hand on you."

They laughed long at that one.

"So, we don't tell a soul?"

"Not a whisper."

"Good."

They left, acting more like their old selves. What a relief. Soon after that I heard music starting up again, so I decided to join the merriment.

And that, dear friends, is how Anne and Scarlet Louis found out that romance just wasn't in the stars between them. Thank the gods!