Note To Reader: Let's see… I wrote three one-shots on Sheelos, a single one-shot for Colloyd and another for Regalicia. And yet, I have none for Gesea. Well, that will change since here it is! My first Gesea one-shot ever. The hardest part was to think of something for this amazingly hard couple to capture, but at last, I found something. Hopefully, this will turn out as successful as any other one-shot I wrote so far. Like always, it takes place after the game and another angst one for you all. Thank you, and enjoy.
Summary: All Presea wants is to see everything she misses out during her youth. But at the same time, she forgets what she already has and needs. Why not value the only time you have now? Sometimes, you need that helping hand to get back up. (Gesea, angst, one-shot)
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love time is eternity.
-Henry Van Dyke
Lost Serenade Age
The two worlds of Tethe'alla and Sylvarant were neutral with one another and the time passed ever so slowly because of the peace that overcome both worlds after the seed was planted in between them. Life was precious to many individuals now, knowing that they could set sail into the deep blue seas with warm hearts and without a single worry about sea monsters.
Many individuals were united and many problems had died like meeting in a city with smiles to share. The weather could have never been better and the land could have never been healthier with Mana. The trees are now greener and the skies are now clearer, and to add, without the purple icky color. The word tranquility never had a deeper meaning for the people who lived their lives without knowing about the other world until the frequent earthquakes here and there and the sky growing purple suddenly.
Then, there was that word called time.
Time was unpredictable in so many different ways and sometimes our lives revolved around this single word. Some take their time seriously while others do not. Lots of people gone through their life without knowing why they wasted all that time and what accomplishments they received from it. Time come and go so fast. Some never even noticed it was there.
Some people spend their lives trying to use their time wisely for one particular activity or more. Some people spend their time doing something they enjoy or something they wanted accomplished. A child might spend his or her time eating and sleeping. Older kids might spend most of their time playing without a care in the world.
There would be so much one could accomplish if they used their time wisely. But how could you use your time wisely? Do you spend the hours of your time just playing or working? How do you truly bring it to a moderate? And most of all, how fast do time flies?
To those who value their lives and the moments they spend are those who are truly happy. Maybe a student from Sybak who used his or her extra time from his studies to do something he truly feels the need to use time for. Maybe a priest from churches who use his or her extra time to get closer to Martel, which they believed to be their Goddess. Maybe a moving mercenary who use his or her time to protect the one they were paid to do so or fighting for what they feel they should.
Then, there are those who spend their lives thinking of the phrase of "what if". What if the world came to an end? What if the land truly did lose Mana? What if there was no Hero Mithos? Questions after questions of what could have happen instead of the present questions of "what would life bring tomorrow?" Some say live life to the fullest and stop dwelling in the past all the time. Many individuals had doomed their lives by living through the past and thinking of "what if".
But then, what do you do if someone took your time away? Don't you have the right to argue? Don't you have the right to complain? When it wasn't of your own free will, almost half your life had been taken away and left you in a world with no clues. Then, what do you do? Your life was never more miserable, and all the world could do was to leave you confuse… and alone.
When you woke up from a long dream and knew nobody at all, something was bound to happen on your personality. When you woke up and found your father dead, your reputation ruined, what else more to do but to keep your emotions inside? Then, all the events in your life lost by that single moment lost turned in your mind and the question of "what if" come up again. All those times when you could have become something more, make more changes in your life and the world, and become a more important person was lost and nothing could bring them back.
Your heart would grow emotionless and all you wanted is to be by yourself. But really, who really wants to be by themselves? All alone... Then, you started wondering if there will ever be friends that willingly to help you through this time. Everyone hated you for how different you are from them. No one ever got to know you better. You don't know what to do or feel anymore. You feel like nothing but a doll that lost most of her past.
What do you really want out of life now? Do you want friends? Do you want to be normal? But that would be hard to accomplish when you haven't aged for years. Being in this body for so long just doesn't feel right anymore. As time goes by, your body grows and develops. You couldn't see this happen, but changes are obvious. Now, you don't change. You don't develop. You don't grow. You haven't changed for so many years!
Then, out of nowhere, are people who wanted to help you from your pain and suffering. People who truly care for who you are, not the way you are. People who want to be your friends and stopped you from suffering alone in the dark. You've been running in that dark room for so long now that the light that had spread upon you from these people had almost blinded you. What if they are like everyone else? How will they react if they know you're older than you look? Questions after questions come to your mind. You want to love those questions and find the answers to them, but what if they could not be answer?
Could you live your life in the past? Could you try to know them better? Most of all, are they really your friends? Friends are like a sun to a tree. They help you develop and become a more open person.
Now what, you have friends. But no one really knows your real age from behind that small figure you processed. What future might you have if you were different? Would you have met them? Your heart had been in pain for so long and heart had been stopped for some time that things are new to you. You feel friendship. You feel desire and trust. There is so much they had brought into your life and you had accepted them all. You had learned to live your life to help, and to believe in what you should do. But one thing you haven't accepted since it was the most difficult. Something you haven't learn enough of or had enough of and you wouldn't accept it. You still considered yourself too different. That one thing is love.
The innocent leaves flew by with a helping hand of the winter breeze in the tourist resort of Altimara where the petite pink-haired lass lived at and worked at. Even when it was winter, the sunlight shone brightly on her snowy skin and rosy colored lips. The blossoms were scattered all over the ground, making the place filled with a lovely shade of red and pink. The sky was clear and everything seemed perfect. The resort was growing more popular than ever since some people in Sylvarant found out about its beautiful beaches and tropical fruits. But something even in this perfect day was wrong, and only one individual knew about it.
The president of Lezareno was hard at work in his office and his assistant was not present. And this assistant was not George either, but that pink-haired lass sitting outside her hotel and thinking. Today, she had taken the day off for she had to make a small trip to Sybak. This was her own secret and business that Regal didn't bring up any more questions about it. Regal Bryant knew what his duty was and he knew what Presea must do. It's her time and responsibility.
Presea, on the other hand, was still sitting there even if she was already ready to go to Sybak. Problems after problems had come to her these last few days ever since she left her exsphere with Lloyd, the swordsman friend she knew so well. Lloyd always thought she was younger than him, but he would never expect that she was much more older than him. She could even be his elderly sister!
The frown on her face already gave away the thoughts she had on her mind. She must meet the doctors and other people there to explain all these changes she was getting. When she took off her exsphere, her body felt weaker, more than she could ever imagine. True, that an average person without an exsphere is weak but according to her calculation, not this weak. Now, her arm was so feeble that she could not even lift her lightest axe to help out anymore. She started to consume less food than usual and she got tired very easily. Something was wrong. There must be a scientific explanation for this.
This pained her more than she imagined. How inadequate she would be without her axe! How could something caused this? She bit her lip and hoped that her situation was not too serious because already, her body already felt very fragile and she slowly lost her conscience. All she wanted was to rest and go to sleep forever. This was so unlike her! She wanted to work and make use of her life.
Then again, she had lost so much of her life already. That experiment she was under caused her to lose all those years of life that was rightfully hers to keep and use. She could have accomplished so much and her body wouldn't be this petite. Presea would have seen how her sister was doing and wouldn't let a man like Vharley touch a single strand of her sister's hair! But then again, there wouldn't have been a fight with Mithos. She wouldn't even have met Lloyd and his other friends! This must be destiny...
But Presea still couldn't help but wonder what she is missing during all those times she had blacked out from the world around her. What would she be like now? How different she would be? Presea shook her head and dismissed these thoughts from her head, knowing that asking questions would not help her present problem. With this left on her mind, her feet lifted up to her standing position and she walked off to the entrance. Her ponytails swung behind her playfully and she mentally told herself to lose them since this was how she wanted her hair to be at the age of six or something. She was now twenty-nine, way over that age already.
The taste of ramen was still so fresh in her mouth and she thought how pleasant lunch was. Lunch was great like always in the hands of the professional cooks of the hotel, and she would not have asked for anything more. But the thought of food made her stomach twisted to think of a young cook she used to know. He wasn't just a young thirteen-year-old cook; he was her half-elf friend who used extremely powerful magic. Sure, he wasn't very reflexive but he was absolutely dependable. He would never let her down with his remarkable meals.
The first smile all day appeared on her lips and she wished to taste his cooking once more, but she knew he was as busy as she was. He told her that he was going with his sister, Raine, to help people accept half elves. Both Genis and Presea knew it would take a long time, but it wasn't impossible. Presea felt guilty now to decline Genis's proposal for her to come along and help them. She had thought over all night and knew she was not the right person to do this, but Genis and Raine.
The disappointment on his small, young, and brilliant face was quite noticeable and her mind was in a pickle. The way he would go, "I know... I shouldn't have asked" made her feel awful about it. Genis had always been by her side through thick and thin. He used his calming words to help her through times when she thought she was a nonentity. How much he proved her incorrect! He told her so many times that she was worthy of living and that she always had friends. She was never alone.
To her, Genis was her best friend like Regal but in a different way. Regal was a little older than her, and she didn't mind. But Genis was way younger than her, and she always felt so uncomfortable around him. He was nice, yes, but the age difference was too great and she would just bring him more hurt than he could imagine. He didn't even know she was twenty-eight back then!
Now, he still didn't know. She never told him and maybe she never will. It wasn't as if she would see him one of these days or something. Presea walked pass the last stands of fruits, and closer to the entrance. The road she walked on was clean and nice as usual. The grass on the sides was green and lovely that she half wanted to walk on that instead. She sighed. Presea... Presea... why do you always noticed the slight details all the time? Lighten up.
When she had left Altimara, she took to the skies on her Rheaird and flew north. She was used to traveling like this and by another three years or so, everyone might be traveling using this amazing vehicle. Even for someone like her who had no idea how to use anything mechanical, this vehicle was very easy to use. She could already imagine everyone using this sort of transportation... there would be a way then to keep everyone moving in order.
Presea titled her head to the side and thought. No... maybe only the nobles would afford something like this, then it wouldn't be as confusing. But Presea knew that this subject of flying on this vehicle was just a way to try to take her mind off the results she would hear from the doctors. Her conscience was telling her that something bad was going to happen to her. She probably already could tell from the way her body was behaving. Her mind was unfocused too. She was not young anymore... she reminded herself.
Her young days were so long ago, she couldn't even remember much of them. But there were some memories she could live all her life and never forget. Actually, one in particular would be-
Presea swiftly descended her Rheaird before she completely passed Sybak. She should have been paying more attention! What would happen if she hit into something? Presea's inner side laughed. Yes, she could hit a mountain... but the chances were into another Rheaird like Genis's...
Presea shook her head for a second time today and knew she should stop thinking about her friend. It was not a good idea right now when she should be thinking about her health. Besides, what would Genis say if he knew she was a sickly old person? She wasn't that old, but she felt as if she had reached her sixties already! Determination on her face showed that she didn't want to already acted or breathed like a sixty year old. She must find out the problem, in which the pink-haired female still reminded herself that her conscience was never wrong.
Sybak was much colder than Altimara during the winter, that's for sure. The windows were fogged up and the people were wearing heavier clothes than usual. Presea knew she had forgotten something! She was still wearing her navy skirt that would not help at all at the cold weather here. At Altimara, it was a different story, but here, it was freezing! Presea knew her health was not what it used to be as she immediately brought her tiny hands up and rubbed them together for body heat.
The abundant geniuses walking through the streets in their laboratory coats of white and with an exception with students in blue jackets. Presea took a glance at the entrance she walked in and the closest building was the expected hotel. The hotel was still as small as Presea could remember it since not many tourists come to Sybak. Altimara, on the other hand...
The city had this intelligent scent all around it especially with all the smart ones running around. Presea felt some nice presence around this town however. She went straight to the Sybak University. On the way there, the person she used to be with in Ozette or the person who she used to baby-sit was standing there with his pet dog. Janet's brother it would seem. He nodded to see her once again and she did the same to him. There was so much she knew about him, but he knew nothing about her. He recognized her all right, but he denied the fact that she was the same person he knew back then. Of course, he didn't know about her loss of time.
Presea entered the building without another comment. Her head observed the room with the stairs and hallways. She watched the other people running around all busy until one person finally noticed her still self planted to the floor. He walked over to her. "Presea? What are you doing here?" The axe girl turned her head and observed the man.
It was the same person who helped them before with the exsphere with Colette. Even if she couldn't remember the events at that time, she still remembered the time she recovered and met him at last. Presea hesitated and knew she should trust the people. Sometimes, she should not be so uptight. People could be trusted even Kate, who had went through with the experiment on her.
"There is something wrong with my body." Presea stated.
The man raised an eyebrow. "Anything different about you? Any changes?"
Presea nodded to his question. She had taken off the object in which had helped her strengthen her abilities. "My exsphere." That's all she could manage to say before she followed the researcher into a room, one she was not familiar with. He stated her to sit down and he would run some tests to find out what seemed to be the problem.
Emerald eyes wondered the ceiling and her body relaxed just to know that the person who was running this test was someone she knew. After a while, he went to find Kate. The next thing Presea knew, Kate walked in and surprised to see the axe girl there. Kate didn't look happy at all. Her frown was obvious and her eyes saddened. No, there was no hope left. Presea's own face soon fell.
"Just tell me, please." Presea asked politely, while she got back up to sitting position. She already predicted the answer in her mind. There was no way out of it now.
Kate knew with the expression on Presea's face that she wanted the answer real bad and there was no excuse not to tell her. There were so many cons for telling Presea, but there would be even more cons if she didn't tell Presea now and let her find out later. It would be too late. There was one single pro in telling Presea everything right now, and she must do it no matter what the consequences were.
"Presea... you see your health is slowly declining as time goes on. The exsphere had been like a barrier to this problem before." Kate took a short breath there, and Presea's face was still straight through out the sentence. "The problem, itself, is because of your body and your age. It has been a miracle that your body works normally despite your age. But it was because of the exsphere all this time, the exsphere maximizes your body to keep up with this effect." Presea was puzzled now.
The other man tried to smile. "What Kate is trying to say is- your age does not function with your body. At this age, you consume more nutrients than your body can handle. It does not match. So now, your life is slowly drifting away from you." Presea dropped her attention downwards. She would not allow the other two to see her sad face right now. She had to be strong.
"Or in other words, I'm dying." Presea told them directly. Both exchanged glances without another word. Presea just nodded in understanding. She knew it. Keeping the tears in her eyes still, she pulled her head up and smiled grimly. "Thank you for your help." Presea told them this last line before leaving the room. Her life had shortened even further for her. She knew her life was not going to be easy before, but it's not any better now. Everything was against her.
Wasn't it enough that she already lost her years of aging? Now she had a shortened future as well?
Presea knew she had no one to blame. Her life was unfortunate and this was the way she had to go. She walked solemnly out the hallway as if every step was toward death itself. She had lots of pressure build up in her body and there was nothing that could change this. She didn't even know how long she would last. She had lasted for almost a year without her exsphere, and she could already feel changes throughout her body.
Before Presea left herself into a deeper pit in her soul, she could hear fast footsteps trying to catch up with her. Presea turned around to face the person who happened to be Kate. She was panting while Presea waited for her sudden news. "Presea, but we could research and find a cure." Kate added.
Presea didn't change her expression. "That would take a while..."
"Yes it would, but..."
Presea's green eyes glanced sideways and her voice was breaking down already. "I won't last long enough..." Kate shook her head.
"There's still time..."
Presea smiled, a real smile. She really felt like smiling. They cared for her so much that she felt most grateful to Kate right now. Presea knew they really want to help but there were other things they needed to do instead of trying to cure her and only her. There were other things needed to research on. "I'm alright. Please, just forget about it." Kate was about to argue when the two eyes matched each other deeply. Kate finally nodded in defeat to Presea's words.
Leaving Sybak, Presea went into her Rheaird and headed southwest instead of south. No, she wasn't going back to Altimara yet. She didn't want to tell Regal the news yet until she had some time alone. There was one thing she longed to do but never had the chance to do it. She was wishing to find out about all the time she had lost her conscience. Presea immediately headed to Meltokio.
In Meltokio, Presea already noticed the two guards in front of the entrance to this great city where the King and Princess lived. Also, where the Chosen stayed as well. The place was not as cold as Sybak at least. Presea was glad at the weather here and there was no sign of snow. The pink-haired girl in her usual outfit really stood out in the crowd since her clothes were so different. Most people were busy doing their work or talking among themselves.
Presea stopped in her steps and watched two little kids around the age of nine playing tag with each other. How peaceful and carefree they look! This brought heavy emotions to Presea's heart and eyes. She never played tag in her life, and more the less, with a friend her age. She was either too old or too young. Days went on when she would just work and work without rest. How much she wanted to go back and play!
Presea bit the top of her bottom lip and went up the steps to the nobility part of town. Presea sat down at one of the available benches. She sat down with her back to the bench and rested her head there. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw some older kids around teenage age playing Romeo and Juliet. The boy started to take the girl's hand and started reciting words.
The green-eyed individual really didn't want to stare at this show being played out, but she couldn't help but keep her eyes on the two younger ones. Friendship was an essential to one's life and yet, she had hers so late in her life. Not only that, she never had the moment of being held close by a mother or father or any friend at all. Sitting there made her felt lonelier than before.
Right now, anyone could have mistaken her as a teenager around their age, just sitting there speechless and admiring them with all her heart. But inside, it was true. She did admire them. But she didn't want to do that anymore, she was older now. Much too old for little games. It was as if in that very moment, she wanted to just let go of anything she know and be free in her childhood once more. All the pain was coming back too fast and she wanted to just let go. Her eyes drew over to a mother holding her daughter's hand as they walked down the garden. The garden was filled with dead plants, waiting to be grown the following spring again.
"I want to go back... I really do, but I can't." Presea told herself.
The mother leaned down and kissed her daughter on the forehead and left Presea bewildered. Was your parents supposed to do stuff like that? The female just continued to stare as the mother fixed her daughter's lovely golden hair and patted on her head in a friendly matter. Presea could feel her fingers curled in a fist for she knew she had never experienced anything like this. There was feeling of love between those two. Something Presea never experienced first hand.
Was it the same when Lloyd would risk his life for Colette? Was it the same when Zelos would protect Sheena with his shield whenever she's in trouble? Was it the same when Regal handcuffed his hands because he killed Alicia? Was it the same when Yuan would search all over Sylvarant and Tethe'alla to recover his and Martel's engagement ring? Or was it the type of love she saw Genis shared with Raine?
Presea knew she had never had this feeling before. Yes, she loved Alicia. But wasn't there someone else in the world where she could portrayed these feelings? Someone not in her family?
There must be someone, but she hadn't discovered that person yet. Her footsteps took her to another building. Yes, the music building. She stared inside from the windows and saw Janet playing her harp. How much she wished she could hear that song once more. She had heard it once before, but never again. The song itself was lost inside Presea, and she wanted to figure it out. Like a jigsaw puzzle, someone just have to solve it.
Something lost... she had lost so much precious moments, items, and people in her life. Alicia had left her as well as her parents. She never got the feeling of being a kid completely and then one day, become a full grown up. There was so much she missed out. And so much she wanted back. But she was dying. She didn't have time left to see everything. Maybe, there was still time to see some of it.
The last thing Presea wanted was to be rude, so since she was in Meltokio, she might as well visit her good friend Zelos. To tell the truth, he wasn't that close to her but nevertheless, she wanted to meet someone. Should she tell him about her news though? This she hasn't decided.
The home of the Chosen of Tethe'alla was still as big as usual. Presea knocked on the door and wondered if he was even at home, it was possible that he would be somewhere else. Working? Or playing? Presea already knew the exact percentage in her mind, but kept it to herself. The door opened and her other Mizuho friend peeked out. No, it wasn't Zelos of course. It was Sheena.
"Presea, it's been a while since we've met again." Sheena stated the obvious.
Presea cocked her head around the house to find something really strange about this place. What happen to all that red drapes hanging around? They seemed to all been replaced with solid violet. The table was of different design too. Someone was really different about this place. What happened to all those presents always on the piano table? Sheena seemed to notice Presea's surprise.
"I've decorated the whole house the way I wanted." Sheena told Presea. The older girl nodded in understanding. Must have been obvious by now what Sheena was doing here.
Presea gave one last observation around the house before turning her head back to the summoner. "Sheena, I know this seemed a bit off topic." Presea said. "But how was your teenage years like?" The summoner was a bit surprised at this question. Actually, it was way off topic.
Sheena shrugged. "I was always studying Summon Spirits and training to be a better ninja." Presea knew she would not have been doing that during that time, and thought that maybe there was not really anything special during those years. Maybe. Sheena smiled. "But that was also when I met Zelos. I used to be even more stubborn back then and even more energetic. I would always run around the plentiful gardens of Mizuho."
"That seemed fun."
"Yes, it is." Sheena agreed.
Presea thought of Genis once more. He had always had affections for her. Probably he had stopped by now, but maybe he still did. She still didn't know what to do. She could not tell her feelings about him either. How does he know that he likes her? Sheena probably could tell her but how should she say it?
"Do you think Genis... still likes me?" Presea decided to leave the question at that.
Sheena thought for a moment. "Probably yes. When I met Zelos, it was when we were really young. We probably didn't know it back then. Or at least, I didn't. But when we grew older, he still hasn't forgotten me and the time we spend together just brought us together. You and Genis had spend lots of great memories together, how could you ever forget something like that?" Presea frowned, not so much that it seemed sad.
"I guess so." Presea answered politely even if she knew she had no idea. Yes, she and Genis had been good friends for the whole time they traveled together. But it was friendship, wasn't it? She looked at it like that.
After an hour or so with different conversations and tea, Presea decided it was better for her if she left for Ozette already. Today was the day that her father had died so long ago. She must meet him once at least. Also, she missed her old home at Ozette. It was always so calm there even if the people didn't like her much. Her isolation there had recovered most of her dignity left. The place was in ruins, but no matter what, it was still her home. Nothing could replace that.
Her home wasn't isolated as usual since there seemed to be company there. She was lost in depth to see. The two males in front of her home was Ralph, her father's friend, and him. Presea felt something stuck in her throat. What was Genis doing here? He had grown two inches or so, must be his growing age. Presea wanted to turn around and flew back to Altimara but she could not. She was not going to run away.
Ralph told her his greetings and left soon after. Now, she was left with Genis. She could not meet his eyes and continued to ignore his presence. He didn't seemed to mind however while she sat in front of her father's grave. Emotions came back to her. Her father was everything to her at the moment and yet, she couldn't help but noticed the presence of someone else right next to her. He had that friendly and young face on as usual. Tears were cried inside her soul. Why was he here?
She waited there as Genis walked toward her. Standing by her side, he looked down at her familiar figure sitting on the earth. "Presea, am I disturbing you?" Genis suddenly questioned.
"Why do you say that?" Presea returned the question in her usual low voice. She wanted to be as calm as possible.
"Oh, you don't look too well." Genis told her truthfully. Presea sweat at the thought. No, he couldn't have known about her illness already. He had no proof! Presea felt more nervous than ever. She stood up and turned around to meet his face.
Presea made a straight line in the dirt with her feet to keep her voice from shaking. "Genis, I'm alright. I get pale very easily at this age of twenty-nine." Genis stared at her with those happy eyes. His eyes changed its tone to bitterness when he finally comprehended what she's trying to say. He was smart. He would figure it out.
Genis laughed it off. He knew he must be hearing things. "Presea, you're just as old as I am. We don't need to joke around about our ages." Presea made a deeper line with her foot.
"Genis... I never lie in my life... I wouldn't joke around now." Presea looked away and into the corners of her eyes to hide her emotions. Why was she being so harsh on him? How could she be so cold on him? He was her friend, yes, but she did not want to meet him ever since they left at Iselia after the journey. Why was she always avoiding him at all cost? Did it have to do with her age?
Genis's face never had been this white even when we were walking in the snow for two hours. His eyes widened in amazement or surprise, which Presea could not tell. His usual happy smile was now not so gleeful anymore. Genis now gazed at Presea without any expression on his young face and he continued to show nothing of what he was feeling at the moment. It made Presea even more depressed. Genis took a chance and said softly. "My feelings for you will never change." The listener just stood there. Genis lifted his eyes up. "I don't care about things like that! I really don't!"
The girl, or women, closed her eyes for a few seconds. She couldn't bare to open them when speaking to Genis like this. "But I do. The age gap is too great, we would never achieve anything more than just friends. I am twice your age. One of us will get hurt sooner or later." Genis shook his head with deep determination now.
"No! I won't let you get hurt anymore, Presea! I promise!" Genis's sudden outburst took Presea by surprise. "Your life had been so hard... I want to make it up to you... I want you to have a brighter future, Presea. I want to protect you with my life!" Presea had tears in her eyes but she would not let them fall willingly without a fight. Why doesn't Genis understand?
"Genis, I don't need your protection. Please, your life shouldn't be wasted on me. I have no future, just the past in which I want back..." Presea stopped there and knew Genis would not give up in making her feel better about herself. But this is her fight, not his. She didn't want to drag him with her. She needed to do something so he could go away. Never to see her again. "Genis, I don't want to see you again." Her last words were cold and shaky. No... she wanted him to stay. But if he stayed, both would just be in more pain than now. She had to cut off this conversation.
Genis couldn't believe his ears. Was this Presea? True, she was cold before she regained herself again. But ever since then, she had been the Presea he adored. He didn't know what to do. Did she want him to leave her that badly? If it was her wish... "Presea, I'm sorry. I didn't know you felt that way. I'm sorry, again."
Genis left her alone. Presea collapsed on the ground and cried in her hands. Are these tears? Are these emotions she was feeling? She had never cried in her life! Well, not any she could remember after the experiment. She did not even cry when she found out her sister was dead or when she heard that beautiful song from Janet. But now, she was crying. She, who was like a doll, was actually having tears fallen from her eyes because she couldn't bare the thought of letting Genis know about her illness.
"I'm sorry, Genis..." Presea began as if he could hear her now. "I couldn't let you know the truth. I couldn't let you know that I was going to die soon. I couldn't let you share this pain. This pain I am feeling right now. I don't want anyone to suffer because of me." Presea wiped her tears but more sparkling droplets took its place.
"Presea, how could you say that? No one is suffering because of you!" Presea's heart felt like it had stopped completely and shivers went down her spine. She turned around as fast as she could to see Genis still standing there, and looking down at her with sorrow in his eyes. She felt herself weak in his presence.
"Genis, I thought..."
He read her mind once again. "No, I was still here. I knew there must be a reason why you're avoiding me so much all of a sudden!" Genis exclaimed as a redness arose from his cheeks. He knew this sort of sentence was rude to Presea right now, but she needed to open up. She was acting too much like Colette without the smile on her face. "Can you tell me what's going on?" Presea knew it was no use hiding it now as she poured her heart out and told him everything. He listened without speaking another word. How much she appreciated that.
At the end, Presea finished up what Kate told her. "That's all."
"They have to find a cure in time! They just have to!" Genis's immediate reaction came. Presea could already feeling her body growing weaker by the minute. Genis had faith, but what about herself? What could she do to think the way he does? Genis was standing there and waiting for a response from her.
"Genis, I don't want to bother them anymore. They had done so much for me. They need to do other research instead of my own problems. It's really okay..." Genis shook his head and wouldn't accept this willingly.
"Presea, there is no way I am going to let anything happens to you! I promise!" Presea nodded and happiness filled her cold self once more. For a few moments, it felt like spring and summer again.
The pink-haired female smiled. A small smile of appreciation toward her younger friend and she could already felt his presence helping her through this pain. "Genis, I'll be alright." Presea confirmed herself.
Genis knew Presea too well now. Whenever she said, "alright", it wasn't so. "Presea, isn't there anything you want? Anything you want right now? I want to help you any way I can before anything bad happens. Please, let me help you." The girl knew Genis would go on forever about helping her if she didn't think of something. There was one thing she wanted in the whole wide world right now. It was impossible to find this item however since of unwanted conditions.
Presea took a smile breath and knew that Genis didn't know what that meant. "The flower I was named after. It only grows in the mountains near Ozette but ever since the attack from the Cruxis angels, the mountains were damaged of life and the winter would not help." The speaker paused for a few seconds to recall what to say next while Genis's eyes were glued on her. "I don't think I will ever see it again. It was Alicia's favorite flower, and I'm just afraid... really afraid that I would never have the chance to touch its petals and to smell its scent." Nothing could stop Genis now. He knew what he must do.
The mountains were not in the best conditions to go hiking late that winter and never was it in the best conditions for a fourteen year old half-elf boy in shorts to carry a twenty-nine year old girl his size up that slope. The endless pale sky was against them and not a single touch of sunlight was left. Of all the days, Genis questioned himself why he had wait until the last minute to help Presea out. He had to wait... until she wasn't even able to walk anymore! He knew that late winters were the worst times to go hiking in the mountains. But Presea couldn't sustain any longer. She couldn't walk, eat, or look at him any longer.
But he must. He must find that Presea flower for her even if she couldn't see it anymore. It was her last wish, he wasn't going to let it go unfulfilled. Out of all the lack of green in the mountains, even on the roads, Genis thought if he was going to find a small pink flower, he might as well look for something really obtrusive. Yes, it was true he had been in situations where the weather was much colder and he had passed through these trials. No matter how cold he is, he could make it for Presea. She was on his back and counting for his support. He must succeed at all cost for her.
One thing that Genis noticed was Presea's breathing was highly abnormal. She must be going through a lot right now for she was the one with this condition and not he. He noticed that she was so light on his back that it was as if he wasn't carrying anyone at all. She must be getting weaker and thinner. This thought sparked up his motivation to try harder and find that Presea.
The young boy continued to struggle up the steep slope and kept his eyes open for any sign of pink at all. There was no life left and it was as if this mountain was isolated from the world and had no soil left to grow anything at all. Presea told him that the Cruxis had burned this place as well! Why didn't he listen? But now that he had made it so far, he was not going back empty handed. Something made him do this. Presea was his biggest motivation of all. She wanted to see that flower once more. Then, she will.
His knees were practically shaking at the touch of the chilling gust but he continued to go uphill despite this condition. He must be strong. Presea could not talk to him, but he knew she was there and maybe she knew everything that was going on. What would she say if she saw him retreating? The shadows of the weather were taking over and this had made a big impact on everything he was for. Presea meant everything to him right now. Never did he felt this way before.
The road seemed more steep than usual and Genis felt nervous. If he failed, he was not only losing to Presea but to himself. With these thoughts running through his mind, he could not think straight and soon, his foot slipped off the road and he went tumbling down the steep hill with Presea safely on his back. When he almost reached the foot of the cliff, he completely lost his grip on Presea. So the girl on his back fell on the grass on the bottom of the cliff before he did, and he landed with a big thump. Blackness consumed his vision and soon, he fell unconscious.
Sleep... or was it? The cold breeze blew by the two unconscious figures on the bottom of the hill, but neither of them knew of the hours that gone by since they had opened their eyes. Presea haven't opened her eyes for days already and Genis had been knocked out by the fall.
Finally, the young warlock opened his eyes and found his body freezing. How long had he'd been out? He tried to get up with all his strength but found none. He wasn't the type to have a lot of strength or speed to help him out. Regal could have got out of this situation or maybe Lloyd. But not weak magicians like him. Genis felt like crying.
But he didn't. Not when he saw Presea's whitish face just a few feet away from him and her slow breathing. He crawled with the energy he still had left to be by her side. His trembling fingers reached closer and closer, but without any luck. The more he reached, the farther she was from him. The closer he came, the more energy he lost and for a few seconds in his mind, he wanted to give up. Then, however, he thought of Presea and how much she wished to see that pink flower again, energy came rushing back to his arms and knees. "Presea... needs... me..." Genis told himself. With one last push, he grabbed a hold of Presea's hand. His hand was as cold as hers, so there was no warmth he could provide her.
"Presea, I'm sorry." Genis told her with a shaky voice. He could hardly speak anymore. His body was so cold. He wasn't even this cold in Flanoir. Maybe it was the hours he had spend in the chilling breeze all this time. If he was this freezing, Presea must be ten times worst. What was he thinking? How could he let her be like this? He shouldn't have been this careless.
Tears were filling the gaps in his eyes. He could no longer keep all his emotions inside no longer. Not when her days were ending and when his time was short with her, he must tell her now when she couldn't hear him. He must tell her to keep himself from reality that her life was coming to an end and he was so helpless in finding a little flower.
"Presea, why am I so useless? Why couldn't I find your last wish? Instead, I couldn't even move from the place I am. What are brains for when I couldn't even complete your last request? Why couldn't I be strong like Regal or have courage like Lloyd?" Genis wiped some tears from his eyes. "When something bad happens, I could only cower in fear like a useless little puppy." He watched the still figure close to him. For some reason, snow started falling on top of his head. He didn't care less. Even nature was against him. Everything wanted him to freeze to death.
Genis gave Presea one dumb smile before closing his eyes slowly. He was dozing off. He had no more strength left to go on any longer. He used his last bit of strength to ask her those questions. He went to sleep before, but now, he could not control himself. And this time, he might not woke up. He must tell her one last thing."I love you, Presea..." His last words left his mouth as his hand rested on top of hers. Her fingers started to twitch at his touch while he continued to went to his own little world.
"Are you okay, Genis?" A voice ringed through his mind. This feminine voice he knew so well and throughout his life. He turned around to see his older sister, Raine, standing there with her staff in her hands and a stern look on her face. She was always like that for as long as Genis could remember. Actually, she looked younger.
"Wait... what am I doing here? Wasn't I in the mountains near Ozette for Presea?" Genis wondered out loud when he got a big smack upright his head from his older sister. He rubbed his head and almost glared at his sister for doing that. "Sis?" He decided to question her instead.
"Genis, I think you have slept for so long you have lost your mind! We're at our home in Iselia! Who is Presea and what are you talking about?" Raine questioned him directly. Now, it was Genis's turn to be puzzled. Wait... didn't Raine knew who Presea is? Where was he? And what was going on? And what was he doing in Iselia? Genis turned around to see he was indeed in his old home in Iselia where he had spend some good years at. Wait a second... wasn't this house burned already?
"Sis? Where's Lloyd?" Genis asked.
Raine thought for a few second. "Lloyd? Who's Lloyd again?" Genis felt like fainting. Now, this was getting awfully weird. Raine saw that Genis was freaked out at her answers when she suddenly tried to talk to him calmly. "Today is my first day of being a professor at the school here, remember? You slept for twelve hours already! You must have been tired! Get up and get ready for class already." Raine brushed his hair with her hand until she gave up in trying to fix his messy hair.
Genis tried to think for a moment. No... all of the time he had been with Lloyd and fighting wasn't a dream! Was it? If this was reality, he never even met Presea! That wasn't possible. The snow falling on his head was so real. The fight with Mithos was so real. This is the dream! Genis grabbed his sister's hand fiercely, almost wanting it badly. She turned around to face him. "Presea is real! Everything we've gone through is real! This is a dream!" Raine sighed.
"You've been sleeping for a little too long..." Genis wouldn't accept this any longer. He putted his hands in his pockets, and his eyes opened wide to find something was there. He pulled out a pink flower from his pocket. Was this the flower Presea wanted? He had a feeling that this was the one and only. This really was a dream, he needed to wake up!
"Presea needed me! I must wake up for her!" Genis declared. The image of Raine slowly disappeared, and this time, someone or something else took her place. The setting was swirling around him again. This time, he saw Lloyd instead. Now, what?
"Genis, working on your magic again?" Lloyd asked as he swung his wooden sword around. Genis almost felt like laughing to see Lloyd swinging like a maniac. It felt as if Lloyd barely started using his sword. The boy looked down at his own hand to see his own weapon. His first weapon actually.
"Y-yes." Genis stuttered.
"Well, you're good at that. All I have is a sword. Sometimes, I wish I could use magic like you." Lloyd said thoughtfully. Genis knew he had this conversation before. He remembered how he started playing around with Lloyd and at the end, Lloyd was mad at him for a week. He didn't want to do the same mistake.
"But you have courage. Not everyone has that." Genis told him. Lloyd grinned to hear this answer.
"Wow, thanks Genis. That means a lot to me. But courage might make you do foolish things as well, sometimes a little common sense always help. And Genis, you always have common sense. You are the most intelligent person I know." The other boy grinned as well to hear his friend complimented him. He always enjoyed being Lloyd's friend. Lloyd was the best friend anyone can have. Colette walked over to the boy's side.
"Hey Lloyd! Hey Genis!" She greeted happily. Then, she turned over to Genis. "Genis, you care about her don't you? Then, you better wake up and help her!" Colette was overexcited again with her fists in front of her chest. Genis frowned. What was Colette talking about all of a sudden? Out of nowhere, he remembered about Presea.
"Thanks Colette!" Genis told the future Chosen of Sylvarant.
The magician finally woke up from that weird dream, but inspiring nevertheless. He glanced over at the pink-haired female next to him. Her eyes were opened as well but they were sad with tears. "Genis, I thought I lost you..." She told him softly. Her voice was worst than ever too. Genis felt in his pocket and found no Presea this time. His heart fell at this thought.
Suddenly, some words ran through his mind. Nobody gets anywhere by quitting. Genis tightened his grip on Presea's hand. "Presea, our friends will help us. Everyone will help and you could get through this time. You must not give up hope! Look at you now! For a few seconds, you didn't have enough strength to wake up but now, you could talk to me." The girl nodded slowly before she rested her eyes for a few seconds. She opened them once more.
"Genis, you have done so much for me... and I had been nothing but a burden." Presea said dully. Genis didn't want to see Presea give up hope again.
"You're sounding like the old Colette a long time ago! You are not a burden!" Genis exclaimed which almost made Presea jumped. Presea felt her heart warmed up to hear these words. "You're going to recover real soon. I will find you that Presea, okay?" That was when Presea knew she could not make Genis go on like this. Why was she torturing him so much for her? Something was suddenly in her eyes. She could not stop the liquid falling from her eyes now. The boy in front of her eyes did not look like a little kid anymore… he did not look like a friend anymore… then what was this she is sensing?
"No… Genis. I don't want you to keep on going like this. I had been so selfish. Instead of trying to see the bright side of things and valued what I already have, I only wanted to obtain my past. I wanted my childhood days so badly that I never realized how valuable everything I have is." Presea held her hand close over her heart and closed her eyes to release more tears. Genis slowly got up to his feet and continued to listen in silence. Helplessness had been released from his small body, but regret was still stuck inside. Regret would not release itself from him. "See, Genis, I couldn't even walk."
Genis bend down and looked down upon her with his sorrow eyes. He could not imagine how painful it was to lose a love one. He never lost someone he loved so deeply. He was determined that Presea would not be his first. He could not endure the pain. Sheena might have done it, but the mark the impact will stay there forever. "Presea, please stop talking like this." Genis nearly begged her. The pink-haired smile as one last tear fell down her pale cheeks. Her usual rosy cheeks and lips were no longer there.
"Now, I don't want to continue to wish anything I could never have. All I want now is to walk once more, to feel the freedom given to me by enjoying those long walks in Altimara or anywhere else. I want to have the dependency to walk on my two legs." Genis stared down at his own two legs with butterflies in his stomach. How could he help her? How could he do this? "I want to lift my heavy axe and continued my work. I want to be able to smile and know everything is all right. I want to be able to see my friend once more with my own eyes before I completely lost in darkness."
Genis's own droplets fell onto the hand he was holding onto so tight to. He thought for a few seconds that nothing was content anymore. There was only sadness in the world. How could they take Presea from him? How could they torment Presea more than she already had? She had lost her childhood, and now she had to lose her future too? How cruel could life be?
Genis lifted his eyes up to dare glimpse at her sweet face once more. Even if her face was as pale as snow around them, he would always see it as beautiful as an angel's. Because that is what she is- an angel. A real angel unlike Cruxis. "I'll be here for you. You will walk again."
"You won't regret being with someone like me?"
The half-elf shook his head and attempted to sneak a little smile. That question almost sounded foolish. "Your life had been hard. Your past had been dark. I want you to have a bright future. You have the right to get something you deserved. You deserved better than this." Presea opened her eyes once more while snow piled around them. A few snowflakes were on her cheeks now but she had no energy to brush them away. The only thing alive in her was her luminous emerald eyes. Genis was thankful that she was still alive.
"Thank you, Genis." Presea coughed a few times and closed her eyes once more.
"Love and friendship will live forever. Time might have let you go without a warning, but love and friendship will hold you back. There is nothing more valuable." The snowflakes started picking up its pace and the snow had covered most of Presea's body, leaving her head into view. The fourteen year old started brushing the snowflakes off, but the more he brushed off, the more it fell. Water continued pouring out of his eyes and over her body.
The music danced in the wind while the time flew by. Presea could still hear the harp playing in deepest part of her mind. If only she had enough strength to sing that tune again, then she would feel like her young self once more. The harp continued to play on and on. The pink-haired girl felt like dancing and she was surprised to see herself dancing with the melody it played. How free she was! How happy she was! The faster the melody went, the faster her feet moved.
Suddenly, she fell down while the song went on without her. One minute, she was smiling but now, all she could do was frown. A small hand reached down and held tight to her own slender fingers. The person helped her up to her feet and she recognized the little boy standing in front of her. No, he wasn't a little boy. To her, he was as big as his heart. No one could compare to that. He smiled at her. A friendly smile that she would remember forever, no matter where she is. Using her free hand, she felt her smooth pink-hair. Getting rid of the ponytail was definitely a good idea.
"I want you to have a bright future. You have the right to get something you deserved. You deserved better than this." Presea repeated the words she memorized so deeply within her heart. Her eyes were on no other but his. He was the only one she wanted to see and believe in. He was the one who gave her hope before and always.
"Thank you, Genis." Genis continued her little game.
Presea's face turned pink for the first time. She noticed he was always like this around her, but never realized what it really meant. She had missed out so much , and he was the one who gave everything to her. "Love and friendship will live forever. Time might have let you go without a warning, but love and friendship will hold you back." She spoke softly.
"There is nothing more valuable." Both said in unison. The happiness sparked in Presea's eyes and there was nothing to hold back her feelings.
Genis felt around in his pocket for something, and brought out a pink flower. The Presea she always wanted, but she no longer felt the longing for it. She didn't need it to be blissful. She no longer dependent on her past. For being able to stand on her two legs was well enough for her. "But time is not my enemy any longer, not when I have you. There are no impossibilities. Love is eternity no matter to who or from who."
The Presea blew away with the wind that never ends and the time that never stops. She already knew now who her love was for. That person didn't need to be mentioned out loud as long as it was kept deep inside. Her childhood was lost, but now, she had learned that it was better to be kept inside. There are just some things that needed not to be mention but to feel.
Because of one person, she was not lost.
Was this a dream or was this real? Was she dead or alive? There were always questions that should be left unanswered. Her last questions were one of those.
Ending Notes: Wow, I accomplished a double ending! Well, sort of because of the ending part where she saw herself in an older form. You can see it as a happy ending or a sad ending. Your choice. Since I am cruel hearted, I prefer the more angst one. Speaking of angst, what has got into me? My one-shots lately had been angst and romance, and the two I'm planning in the future will be angst as well. There is one particular pairing I haven't written about yet either- Kraine or Kratos/Raine. I'm planning to write it in the future. This one-shot was motivated by four Presea lovers I know: SweetMisery430, The Story Master 125, Kitsune Asakura, and Saiyuri. All your fics/one-shots on Gesea are great, so keep writing. I beat my last record and reached the 10,000 words! I'm so happy. Hopefully, I stopped crying soon and you guys enjoyed this one-shot as much I wrote it. Love you all, and R & R.