Disclaimer: Tales of Symphonia and all related characters are property of their respective owners. Fanfiction doesn't pay very well (read: at all), so I'm not making a profit off this. In fact, I'm probably losing money in the long run, once you think about it.
Summary: All decisions lead to a choice, and all choices lead to consequences. What happens if a different choice is made, and what are the consequences of that choice? Angst, AU, and a creepy kind of shounen-ai.
A/N: This is really weird shounen-ai. Creepy weird shounen-ai. I don't know what possessed me to write it. Well, actually I do, but I won't get into that. The important part is that it's angsty, it's creepy, and it's very AU. You'll probably be able to guess who the two subjects are by the second or third paragraph, but it just works better if the names aren't brought up 'til the end.
The boy in a man's body walked the cold, spotless corridors of the angels' city, running his pale hands over the lifeless metal. It was so different from how he remembered the world below; nothing here was green or full of life. Even the angels that inhabited the place were automatons drifting through the sterilized air like feathers on the breeze. Only, there wasn't any breeze in Welgaia. There wasn't anything there at all.
He chose to walk down the hallways of the angels' city rather than fly on his ethereal wings. To him, it didn't seem like the shining wisps of blue and green could support his grown body. It was hard enough getting used to this newly grown body, with feelings and urges he couldn't comprehend and aches that didn't have a cause. They said it was a by-product of the angel transformation, that eventually he would get used to it and learn to love his handsome new form, but he still spent nights awake, staring at his long-fingered hands in the sterile light of his room and running them through his long platinum hair.
He didn't understand the process, and he wanted to, very badly - his sister always said he had an inquisitive mind, for better or for worse. He could feel his brain working furiously to catch up to his body, to better understand this crystal on his chest that allowed him to fly and speak without moving his lips and understand the thoughts of those things that lived with him. He touched it carefully, wincing; it hurt, this crystal. But they said it was the only way. He said it was the only way.
He made his way up one of the green glowing walkways scrawled with glowing runes that pulsed with some unknown rhythm, watching as blank-faced angels glided out of the way before him. He was the lord's special pet, and no one dared to stand in his way. To stand in his way was tantamount to a death wish, and death for the angels was the end of all things; their bodies disintegrated and their Exspheres crushed, they were utterly destroyed by the sheer will of their leader. It was a horrible punishment, and so no one stopped him as he made his way past the Derris Emblem and through the warp platform to the lord's private stronghold.
Up the winding stone stairs lit with glowing bulbs lay the private quarters of the angels' leader, staring out the wide windows of his room at the black, star-spangled space surrounding the comet called Derris-Kharlan. He glanced over his shoulder as the door opened slowly. "I told you not to disturb me," he said irritably, blue eyes flashing in anger. His long hair, yellow like faded parchment or an old bruise, shone in the dim light as he turned completely, his long coat swishing around his ankles smoothly. "What is it?"
The boy peeked slowly around the doorjamb, his expression of mingled fear and apprehension strange on such a handsome face. "I…I'm sorry, I just…"
"My beautiful one," the angel said, his expression changing to one of delight as he walked toward him with outstretched arms. "I didn't know it was you. Come to me, beloved."
The boy went gladly to the handsome creature, letting his arms hold him close. The angel stroked his newly grown hair, much longer than how he'd worn it as a child, but just as beautiful and fine. The man-boy closed his eyes and thought of his sister, and how she would hold him like that when he had been very small, telling him stories and singing him lullabies to help him sleep. Those were good memories, but with them came the bad - the endless search for a home, the exile from it when they finally found one, the endless battles as they fought to regain what they'd lost. The other angels told him all the memories would fade with time, like theirs had, but he wondered sometimes when he looked out of the tall windows of Derris-Kharlan if he really wanted that. Turning his face upward, he looked into the eyes of the angel.
"What's wrong, my precious?" the angel asked, his brows creasing as he looked down at him. "Has something troubled you?"
"I…" The young angel extracted himself from the other angel's arms and walked a few steps away. "I've been thinking…"
The angel frowned suddenly. "I told you not to think too much," he said, rather sharply. "Haven't I?"
"Yes, but…" The young angel looked down at his hands, twisting nervously over his fine tunic. The embroidery was silver, the same color as his hair, and the black pants he wore complimented his coloring nicely. At least, that's what his angel companion told him. He never really bothered to concern himself with vanity. "I just got worried, about the Cruxis crystal and why it hurts so much, and about the people that I knew and why I can't really remember them very well, and why I'm suddenly grown up even though I don't feel like it, and…" He trailed off, taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly. "I hate this feeling I'm getting. It makes me…it makes me hurt inside."
"My poor, poor boy," the angel clucked, moving closer to embrace him tightly. The boy pressed his face against the angel's white coat, holding tightly to the lapels. His eyes stung, as though they wanted to make tears, but his new body wouldn't let them come. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly and willed the tears to come, but he couldn't even remember what they felt like. The realization made his whole body shake.
"Calm yourself," the angel said soothingly, stroking his hair gently. "There's no reason to be upset. Everything is all right."
The boy shook his head, wincing as the older angel's hands became tangled in his long hair. "It's not all right," he said softly. "It isn't, but I don't know why it isn't."
His companion was silent, his cold arms like iron bars surrounding the boy's body. "Haven't I given you everything?" the angel finally said to him, pulling his long fingers away from his hair. The boy in a man's body only nodded against his chest. "Haven't I made you happy?"
The boy's voice was muffled. "I don't remember what happy is," he whispered. The angel laughed softly.
"All that matters is that you don't feel sad," he said, kissing his forehead gently. His lips felt cold and hard. The young angel shivered.
"I don't feel anything anymore," he said. "I want to cry, but I can't."
"You shouldn't want to cry," the older one chided gently. "That's why I brought you here, and made you what you are. I did it for you. I did it so we could always be together, and always be friends, and never be lonely or sad. Like you promised. You remember that, don't you?"
The boy thought for a moment. Already certain memories were fading, but this one was clear as the water on the world he'd left behind. "I did tell you we'd always be friends," he said, and looked up at the angel. "But why does it hurt so much?"
"Sometimes things need to hurt before they better," the angel said, and frowned. "Now, don't talk about it any more. I won't stand for you bringing up things that upset either of us."
"But…" The boy angel pressed on, incessant curiosity getting the better of him. "But, I need to know if I made the right choice!"
The angel's face twisted into a grimace of anger. "Enough!" he thundered, seeming to grow huge and menacing. The boy took a step back, shivering in fear. He'd always been a coward, though he hid it well. Now, he was finding it hard to hide what he was inside. "Enough! I won't hear of this any longer!"
"I-I'm sorry!" the boy angel said, covering his head with his arms and sinking to the ground. "I'm sorry! Please, don't be angry!"
The older angel glared down at him, but the aura of menace surrounding him disappeared slowly, and soon he was back to his beautiful form, kneeling down to touch the boy gently. "You understand, don't you?" he crooned, running a hand through the boy's silky white hair. "You understand why I get angry with you, don't you?"
"Yes," the boy replied in a small voice, lifting his head to look up at the angel. "I question too much."
"Yes, you do," the angel said, his blue eyes flashing with a shadow of the anger he'd just shown. "No more questions, or I'll get angry with you." He smiled, but it was a mockery of the gesture. "I've been good to you, haven't I?"
"Yes." The reply was small and quiet.
"And I only get angry with you because you force me to, sweet one?"
"You know you're my friend, right? My best friend."
"I'm…I'm your friend."
The answer was automatic, and the angel smiled and leaned down to press his lips gently to the man-boy's perfect mouth. His lips were still warm with the life the angel rejected millennia ago; he hoped they'd become like his own soon. He hated being reminded of his loss in such an obvious way. "I love you, Genis," he whispered, smiling. The boy looked up at him, his once brilliant blue eyes dull, like a broken Exsphere. He smiled.
"I love you, Mithos."
"You're mine forever," the angel said, lifting the boy's grown body like it was nothing but a feather. "I'll never let the others have you."
Artificial night fell over the city of the angels, and within the stronghold of their lord a boy that wasn't yet a man lay huddled beside the man that was still something of a boy, their hair mingled across the silk pillows of the bed. His eyes were closed in a mimicry of sleep, and he dreamt of a beautiful woman with hair like his coming to wipe away the tears that wouldn't come. He couldn't remember her name, no more than he could remember the names of the smiling faces that lived in the scraps of his memory. His hands curled tightly around the sheets, until his bedmate stretched an arm over him to pull him close, whispering soothing words in his ear.
Don't cry, Genis.
I'm here, always. I'll protect you from that world that hates you. You are mine forever, Genis.
I'm here, always.
I'll protect you from that world that hates you.
You are mine forever, Genis.
The boy's hands relaxed, and he sighed as the faces in his memories slowly faded into nothing.
You are mine.
So, that was probably the creepiest shounen-ai I've ever written. I'll leave it at that.
Mithos Yggdrasill fascinated me since I first played Tales, and I always wondered about he and Genis's friendship. Genis and Mithos are very much alike; both are half-elves familiar with persecution, both have older sisters who raised them, and both are powerful magic users (though Genis isn't a summoner, and Mithos doesn't appear to be quite the coward that Genis can be). Therefore, it isn't a surprise to me that they become close friends while Mithos is posing as a child. Then, you throw in the fact that Genis is genuinely flawed and has doubts about which side he should choose, and you're left with an interesting AU in which Genis chooses to stay with Mithos rather than to go with Lloyd. And, of course, Mithos would make Genis an angel so they could always be together. I'm not sure if anyone else will find it as interesting as I do, but that's just the way my brain looks as this stuff.
I hope you enjoyed it, and please tell me what you think. I love feedback and reviews :)
edit: re-added the horizontal rules and fixed a minor spelling error I missed the first time through.