(A "This Is Our Time" Side-Story)

A/N: Sometimes I wonder if I couldn't just kiss you without consequence.

I guess not.


"Doesn't everything have a consequence?" It was a timeless question, asked by a youth. Ren flashed a wide, white grin in the silence that followed.

"I don't know – I guess so. I mean, no matter what you do, things are affected as a consequence. For example – you step on my toe, and the consequence is that I punch your nose." Noelle cracked a small, innocent smile. "All things have negative impacts. And anyway, I thought you were smarter than that, Nicholson."

"Smarter than what?" Ren laughed lightly, and acted offended. (As if Noelle could ever offend her.)

"Smarter than asking questions that you already know the answers to, of course." The platinum blonde girl tossed her hair back, letting the breeze wreak havoc with the long locks. Ren couldn't help but stare.

"Well. Not all consequences are bad, you know," Ren smirked smugly, feeling that she had finally outsmarted the Ice Queen.

"Like what?" A brief, challenging flash of pearly white teeth.

"I don't know; let's see… if I told you that I adore you, what consequences would there be?" Ren leaned closer, not caring that they were in public, not caring that people were staring. She eyed Noelle's parted lips hungrily.

"Oh, I'm sure I could think of one." Noelle leaned in; the breeze blew her hair into Ren's face, and neither of them noticed.

"Like what?" Ren licked her lips apprehensively.

"This." Noelle's lips inched closer, closer… Smack. A small, smooth hand connected with Ren's cheek gently. Noelle smiled haughtily, and pulled back. "Naughty, naughty, Nicholson, trying to harass me." She stood, dusted invisible specks of dust off her skirt, and began walking.

"Harass?" Ren leapt up, and followed her, shocked. "You bloody well wanted that!"

Noelle just laughed. "How can you be sure I wasn't just doling out negative consequences? Remember? Everything has a consequence."

She left Ren wanting more.