Spectrum

. o .

Her mother's eyes were purple, her grandfather tells her, when her own spark with violet in anger or curiosity. Now in girlhood, she's taken up the traditional haori that her mother used to wear, and carefully cut off the arms, intending to sew them back on when they will no longer catch on an enemy's barbs and hinder her body in combat. Memories and regrets already tease at her mind, and she almost cried as she cut into the soft lavender fabric, but she can't afford to be caught physically; her body is the last thing she has that is still innocent, still hers.

Indigo is the colour of the sky she loves to watch; the sky she is told she must tear through to save her world and redeem herself. For all that she tries, she fears this journey, and steals out of the village as the sky turns that true midnight-blue to wonder if the other world is as confusing as this one, and if the girl whose life-line she must sever is anything like the Chosen she already knows. She doesn't want to kill anyone, but thinks that if this girl is like him at all, the job won't be as hard as it could be.

His eyes are a sparkling, fathomless, marvelous, deceitful cerulean, and she thought herself in love with him once. Twice, if she is to be honest with herself, though she'd never admit it. Not now, when she'd changed so much from the marvelously naïve sixteen-year-old she'd been then, traveling from her secret, tiny village to the grand Imperial City and dazzled by it all – not least, by him. Not now, when at least on the outside, he hasn't changed at all…

But he has, she realizes, smiling despite herself. He still flirted with every woman he met, and he still couldn't cook curry to save his life… He still saved her once. And he saves her now, catching her as she is pulled into the abyss. As warm (hatedloved) arms jolt at the reception of her weight, she didn't know if she wanted to laugh at the irony, cry over the starburst wings that wisped from his back like they belonged there, or pummel him into oblivion. She leant towards the last, remembering his betrayal too clearly, and the eyes he made at the emerald-haired sorceress, but as they hovered yet in the green belly of the tree, she bit her lip and clenched her fists instead. Olive-hued leaves tangled in her hair, and her breath caught as he swept one out almost regretfully. But she blinked, and his expression had lost its wistfulness; she dismissed it quickly as a mere trick of the light. Too tired to do more than cling to him; more the damsel than she'd thought herself and blushing in shame at her weakness. His hold on her was gentle and solid, though,so different from the whistling air and emptiness of her freefall, that she whispered don't you dare try anything and slumped in his arms. She'd have to trust him again; in midair and without wings of her own, she'd been left no other choice. Sneaky Chosen… she murmurs, just catching his lively baritone laugh.

Grand entrances were always his specialty, and they arrived in time to send the tarnished-gold angel into a gibbering fury. She likes shadows but in the bright chamber, she compromised, leaping down from the dais to back up the swordsman glowing with pride as he wields his fathers' swords. Grinning sunnily at him, she pulls her own cards, feeling faint pity for the dual existence of the angel, one part deluded maniac, one part lost little boy. But although goldenrod hair swirls around white-cloaked shoulders and through luminous wings, she steels herself; appearances are deceiving, and not all angels wear white. Not all those who wear white are angels either, she knew, missing in that moment the girl who she'd been sent to kill; the Old World's Chosen, who wore white and was an angel in every sense but gracefulness. If there was something the sweet little blonde hadn't stumbled over or broken yet, it was news to her…

Orange was graceful, as befit his feline heritage; her first friend, who was a blend of magic, science, and a heart too big for his little body. Her first summon spirit, he'd guarded her back and tolerated her fiercely desperate hugs, as long as she combed his ginger fur afterwards and didn't tweak his ears too much in public. Running her fingers over a tiny bell, her expression turned bittersweet; she lived, thanks to his sacrifice. Months later, she'd found him again, but he was changed, no longer able to dive into her arms and nuzzle her ear in his way of saying it's going to be all right. She still visited him sometimes, after helping her people into the Old World. And she'd come to him with questions, wondering how to convince her elders that even though she'd helped to save the world, she wasn't settling down any time soon.

She couldn't. Red was for love – first and frail and foolish – and it had never lasted long around her. She'd lost one to ambition and grief, lured successfully by promises of power and retribution; he'd been sobered by his exile, but even now was a world away. The scarlet ninja brother would remain a child in her memory; reckless, but the first to accept her, the first to clumsily offer her a brilliantly crimson wildflower in the first days of summer. A handful of years later, she fell – literally, willingly, and more than once – for a cherry-clad swordsman. She'd respected his strength from the start, and grew to love his mind, but always knew that she'd never be his. Funny that she'd managed not to lose the last of them… for more than anything, pure red was the colour of his hair as it streamed over his shoulders. A smile quirked her lips as she watched the wind play with it as he dozed, leaning on the tree they had laughed and dashed their way under, taking shelter from the summer storm. Not love, not yet… too imperfect and too loud… but even she can't deny that she likes this. Him.

She looks, now, to the violet haori whose sleeves she has painstakingly repaired, and slips it around her shoulders. The skies have cleared, and her smile grows as she settles beside him to watch multicolored light catch and arch in the evening sky.

. o .

In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.

Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

- At A Window, Carl Sandberg

. o .

…finis…

. o .


Disclaimer: The characters and events of "Tales of Symphonia" belong to Namco and appropriate affiliates; "At A Window" is (the estate of?) Carl Sandberg's.

Sabriel's Scribbles: It's likely I'll have to talk to Zelos; he was only supposed to be in one part of this piece, but he winds up as a (semi) romantic lead. Figures, really... Heavy on the symbolism this time, but the idea was one that struck me at two on a cold Tuesday morning, and didn't let me sleep until I'd written a partial draft… In any case, thank you for reading, and if the muse moves you, please leave a note with your thoughts; it's always appreciated.

Regardless, Cheers, and Starry Nights!