Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia and this is the shortest author's note I've ever written. I think it is

preeeetty easy to figure out what the pairing is. Tiny ending spoilers, if you're sensitive.

Foolish Games

Well in case you failed to notice,
In case you failed to see,
This is my heart bleeding before you,
This is me down on my knees, and...
These foolish games are tearing me apart,
And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart.
You're breaking my heart. ("Foolish Games" Jewel)

It happened in a split second. Well, if a split second could last an eternity and still be practically no time at all, that is. One moment he was reading the King's letter, the next his hand had somehow found its way too…

"You stupid Chosen!"

She was getting tired of this, even though it wasn't supposed to be a big deal. Just a harmless pass, he was always making those; it came from his insatiable love of women. Yet she hated it. Every time he did this, the pervert, it always made her feel so low. Like she was a groupie. Unimportant. Insignificant.

He only laughed it off, which only made her more angry, and hurt, "Touchy today, are we?" She just glared at him, "I should have known better than to even visit Meltokio." He was smiling, the bastard, like he thought he could read and understand her thoughts perfectly, "Now, now, my beloved hunny-from-beyond-the-gates-of-hell, don't get yourself all riled up. We wouldn't want you to ruin your hair right before coming for dinner at my mansion, would we?"

She smacked him. He had called her one of his hunnies, and she had to; it was a pattern now. A path, once chosen, that could not be altered. She couldn't tell what he was thinking whenever they played this game, and now it seemed like these games they played never really ended. Somewhere in the pit of her heart she desperately wanted to believe that he had arranged this dinner for her, and that he cared, but she could never tell if he cared!

"Owww…" he whimpered, but she walked on ahead of him. They were in the noble's quarter now, but that didn't mean she was planning to stay, it was just where they had ended up. However, he had other plans. Typical him, how very characteristically arrogant… He grabbed her wrist and began pulling her towards the row of mansions, chunnering happily away to her as they went. Her eyes were only for the sunset…for the moment, at least.

Then it was through the doors, and into the dining room, and…but oh! It was wonderful! The rich smells wafting in from the kitchen, the elegantly laid table, the light music in the background… For a moment, she really thought that maybe he had done it all for her, that maybe he did care, but the little nagging voice in the back of her mind scolded her, "No, he would never do anything like that just for you."

He led her to a seat next to the one at the head of the table and told her to wait while he went in search of a few more things he needed, and she proceeded to battle with herself. Though the nagging voice in the back of her head wouldn't show up, a bubble of hope was rising in her chest. She fidgeted nervously with her napkin, anxiously waiting for his return, almost looking forward to it… She was starting to smile down at the tablecloth when the doorbell rang and he came running downstairs.

The door opened, and she was momentarily curious as to who would come a knocking at this point and time when most people would be eating dinner, when the sound of high pitched voices flooded into the room. "Oh, Chosen! I heard you were having a dinner party and I came running as soon as I can!" "If you had only told us sooner, we could have gotten properly dressed up." "I could have done the cooking, Chosen, really, you need to plan farther in advance!"

The bubble popped, no, more like snapped. A force of emotion hit her like a wave, threatening to push her over. Hurt, betrayal, tears, anguish…feelings she couldn't even find words for, and that little voice screaming, "I told you so! You're just another one of his hunnies! He doesn't care about you!" Her ears were ringing, her vision was blurred…everything was falling apart at the seems…

She stumbled out towards the door, vaguely aware of him breaking from the group with an almost genuine look of concern on his face, and grabbing hold of her arm, calling to her, but she was past listening. Jerking away, she screamed something, she didn't even know what she screamed, but his was momentarily stunned, standing there in the doorway…

But she was past caring. She was running, wherever her legs would take her; it didn't matter, the tears were flooding like waterfalls now, and she no longer bothered to try and stop them. Turning into an alley, her body shaking with sobs, with not enough energy to keep going until she was out of the city, she collapsed and sat, defenseless, her pain seeping into the cracks in the pavement and pooling all around her, threatening to overwhelm her. A voice came through the fog of her mind, and she tried to push it away but she couldn't, because it was him, and she was trying to run from him, but she couldn't, and she was trying to hide from him, and he wouldn't let her. And here she was, lying unprotected, her soul bared, and he was right there, absorbing every moment of her weakness.


No! He could not think to win her back just by saying her name! It wasn't that simple! It wasn't like after all that tormenting; all the jabs that he had made at her pride that at the drop of one word she would fall into his arms. "Why don't you grow up for once, Zelos!" Was that what she said? Not that it mattered. Every curse that came his way, every insult, every jibe, he deserved it all. But he was standing over her now, with a look that could almost melt her heart away, but it wouldn't because she hated him for everything that he'd done, because she'd loved him and he'd hurt her.

"Sheena, please, listen to me, I didn't invite them to dinner!"

It didn't matter what he said now, he had hurt her so many times, and she couldn't handle any more of the pain she inflicted. She was strong, but she was weak. She talked big, but she felt small. On the outside she was fierce, but on the inside she was scared. She could act like she could hold her own, but she really craved human companionship as much as anyone else. Someone who cared for her…wait, what had he said?

"Sheena, I wanted to have dinner together, just the two of us! You're a dear friend and I wanted to get some time to talk with you, maybe reminisce about old times. Those girls probably just overheard me planning and decided to invite themselves over. I never meant for it to be like this!"

The tears were flooding again, as she wobbly stood to face him. He was trying to help her up, but she swatted him away angrily, trembling with the effort. "I don't believe you!" her voice cried out through the night, choked, pained, "You always have to do that to me! Poke at my pride! Make stupid comments! Trample over my emotions like they're not even important! Well, I can't take it any more! I'm not your puppet!"

He was looking at her with those beautiful eyes of his that she hated and loved, with pain mirrored there, as if he actually cared, but she wasn't fooled, even when he said her name once more, "Sheena…" She found that while she had been crying, it had started to sprinkle lightly, and that her fists were clenched so tightly that her nails were cutting into her skin, and there was water, and there was blood and…She threw one hand up in his face, her shouts echoing loudly in the close quarters.

"Look! See, this is me bleeding! My heart is bleeding! My heart is breaking! You can't just keep treating me like this, so just go!"

But he wouldn't go. After wrestling with his better judgment, he had moved forwards, and suddenly his arms were around her, and she found herself buried in his soft red hair that was like a handkerchief that was absorbing all her tears, and she was still fighting, but he was standing firm, and when her ears became unblocked, she could finally hear him…

"Sheena, why?" She just punched him violently in the chest, making him flinch, but not back down. She wanted so badly to collapse; to relax and be safe and warm in his arms, but she was just another groupie to him and it didn't matter, he didn't care.

"Why didn't you tell me before?" he repeated, bringing her face up so that he could look her straight in the eye, but she didn't have enough strength left to look straight back at him. "Why do you think?" came her angry response. Her eyes were stinging; her whole body felt like it would simply fall over, but she had to keep this up, just for a little while longer…"You are such a bastard! I hate you because I love you, but you never cared!"

His face was too close to look away now. She thought she might die of pain and exhaustion right there, but it didn't matter anymore. Nothing mattered. "Sheena, I care! Hell, I've always cared! I've never met anyone like you, and so I never know how to act around you! But, you've always made it so difficult! You're so aggressive, so quick to accuse me! You've never opened your heart, in fact sometimes I feel like I'm locked out!"

She had stopped struggling midway, looking surprised, "Ha! You…you never let up once! I tried to lock you out so that you wouldn't hurt me, because you have the power to hurt me! Problem, was, I couldn't!" She could have sworn that there were tears on his face too, but it was raining, and maybe she was beginning to become delusional. "Sheena, stop pushing people away! Stop pushing me away! Can't you comprehend that I love you too?"

She couldn't find her voice. It had run off somewhere, with the blood and the tears and the rain. She wasn't even aware of them now, though she supposed they still must be there. He was looking frustrated, sad, lonely, as he tried to make her understand, "I've loved you longer than you could know, but you always shunted me away. How was I supposed to act? I'm sorry that I hurt you, I'm sorry that you hurt me, I'm sorry that we keep playing these foolish games that lead to nowhere! I want to stand here forever with you, without complications or obstacles. Just us. I want to be in love with you."

Sheena let out a strangled, half laugh, half sob, and collapsed, knees slamming into the pavement. But then he was lifting her up, holding her to him, and she buried her head in the same spot she had punched him. He held her up now, her pillar of strength in her stormy heart. "If you're lying…" she managed to murmur, but then he had leaned down and kissed her lightly, and she relaxed.

All her fears didn't matter in that moment…she was on the verge of consciousness, and the only thought in her mind was him. She kissed him before he pulled away, as she slipped in towards slumber…smiling with her remaining strength, "You're such an idiotic Chosen, but I love you. I love you…"

Long after she had fallen asleep, he stood there with her in his arms, holding her to his heart, with an expression of utmost tenderness and care, willing her to be happy once more, "I swear, Sheena, I'll mend your heart and I won't ever let you get hurt again…ever…"

The End

Eh? That was a bit angsty…I've never written angst. Actually, I have never EVER written in this style before. I

really hope that I got Zelos's 'other side' right. I am totally Sheena/Zelos supportive, but I don't like fics with that

pairing unless Zelos actually gets a clue, or is a little more mature, otherwise the relationship would not have as

strong a bond. Anyway, if you like, please review. I love reviews!