Hey there. For those of you that don't know me from the Fire Emblem section, hi! I'm TheOneAndOnlyT, male romance writer extraordinaire :D. For those of you that do, I really should be working on my other fic, shouldn't I? I'll get around to it eventually...
I decided to write some Lloyd/Colette fluff because there really isn't enough of it in this section. That, and I was randomly hit with some inspiration for it. I'm not sure how I came up with the idea for this story, but I like the way it turned out, so read on and enjoy!
thump thump thump
He's barely slept all night, but the noise and voice from outside the inn room's door makes his eyes snap open. Kicking off the sheets covering his body, he hurriedly almost jumps into his clothes and as quietly as he can, he dashes past a snoring Zelos and out of the room, intent on making sure if his childhood friend is all right.
The sun has yet to peek over the horizon, but the sky is brightening quickly, and the inn is just illuminated enough for him to see the crumpled heap of white nightdress, limbs, and golden hair lying at the bottom of the stairs. His breath catches in his throat for a moment before the heap stirs slowly and he relaxes with small relief.
She sits up, facing away from him as he quietly steps down the staircase. She doesn't seem to be seriously hurt, but he needs to be sure. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he softly calls, "Colette?"
He hears a very sharp intake of breath as Colette whirls around, apparently not having realized he was there. When she realizes who she's looking at, though, her hand goes to her heart, and she lets out a sigh of relief. "Oh, Lloyd," she whispers breathlessly, "you scared me!"
A small chuckle escapes the brown-haired swordsman at the priceless expression barely visible on his friend's face. "Sorry," he mutters, before his sleep-deprived brain remembers why he rushed out of his room in the first place. "Are you okay?" he asks softly, making sure not to wake anyone else in the inn. "It sounded like you fell."
She smiles sheepishly, looking away from him. The light in the inn is too dim for Lloyd to see her face very clearly, but he's certain she now has that unbearably pretty blush of hers on her cheeks. "Yeah, I, um...tripped," she whispers back slowly. "Um...I'm okay though. I'm sorry for worrying you."
He sighs, an exasperated smile making its way onto his lips. "You dork," he chides jokingly. "You don't have to apologize; we're best friends. I'm supposed to worry about you." It's not the first time he's told her this, but she never seems to listen. It's rather touching, he thinks, how Colette always puts his feelings before herself, but sometimes she can take it a bit too far.
Her face falls slightly, and he wonders if perhaps that was the best thing to say. "Still..." she whispers, standing up slowly. Before she can get any further, though, she lets out a small whimper of pain and holds her stomach gingerly with one hand. Lloyd's mind is instantly besieged with worry, knowing exactly why she's hurting.
"Your...stomach doesn't still hurt, does it?" he asks slowly, tentatively. He was about to say "wound," but he knows there isn't much of a wound there anymore, despite the utterly horrific gash she suffered from the talons of a monster two days ago. She might have been killed by a second attack from the monster if Lloyd didn't hear her cry of pain and immediately strike down the monster with a terrifying blow. Raine was able to heal Colette nicely after that, but he knows from experience that even magically healed injuries can still sting for several days.
"Only a little," she replies, but she's still hanging her head. "I must've woken you up...I'm really sorry."
Lloyd's exasperated smile returns, but he chooses to let this apology pass without comment. "Nah, it's okay," he responds instead, "I wasn't really asleep anyway. I could barely sleep at all last night."
The light in the inn is brightening, and it's now easier for him to make out the mixture of curiosity and concern in her expression. "Oh, really?" she asks. "How come?"
"Bad dreams," he answers, shrugging the question off. What he's saying to her is true, as he would never lie to her, but he's purposely leaving out the fact that his "bad dreams" involve her getting killed, as well as the other thing that's left him lying awake in bed, too nervous and excited to even think of closing his eyes.
Throughout their journey, Lloyd's never disillusioned himself with the fact that Colette is constantly in danger, but until two days ago he never believed that she would ever be as seriously injured as she was that day. She almost died...and the reality of the situation, the fact that any day, at any moment, she could be killed...it's come crashing down upon him, and he's absolutely terrified by it.
He loves Colette; it's something he's known for a long time, since before he even left Iselia. But until two days ago, it was also something he had decided to keep secret during their journey; their group had enough to worry about as it was and he didn't want to complicate matters further by telling her. He decided a long time ago that he would wait until their quest to stop Mithos was completed, and then, after their lives had gotten back to normal...that was when he would tell her how he really felt about her.
But now...he's realized just how much danger she's really in, just how easily he could lose her. And it scares him, not just because it would mean he wasn't able to protect her, not just because he doesn't know how he would be able to go on without her...but because if she died now, she would die never knowing how much he really loved her. And if that happened, he knows he wouldn't be able to live with himself.
It's not going to happen, however...he's resolved not to let it happen. He's resolved that he's going to tell her today, for better or for worse. It's what's been keeping him up for the past two nights, wondering how he should tell her, wondering whether or not she loves him back. He dearly, dearly hopes that she feels the same way about him as he does about her, but the most important thing is that she knows.
He pushes those thoughts out of his mind for now, though. He's not going to tell her right now, not this early in the morning when he knows she's probably half-asleep. Instead, he asks, "What're you doing up so early, anyway?"
He loves it when she blushes. Smiling sheepishly and looking away once again, this time at the inn's front door, she explains, "Well...I couldn't really sleep, so I thought I'd watch the sunrise." Her gaze returns to his eyes, and her smile widens. "I watched it every morning when I didn't have to sleep...it's so beautiful," she adds. "Here in Hima is the best place to see it; the view is amazing."
"Oh," is the only thing he can think of saying. Knowing she probably wants to watch the sunrise alone, he half-turns back up the stairs. "Well," he says, but before he can go any further, Colette's voice interrupts him.
"Lloyd?" she asks so quietly her voice is almost inaudible. He turns back to her only to find her gazing steadfastly at her feet, her hands clasped in front of her nervously. Her face is reddening by the second. "D'you, um..." she begins, before she breaks off and has to start again. "D'you...want to watch the sunrise?" She looks up, a hopeful glint in her eyes. "With...w-with me?" she adds, stammering.
"Uh...sure," he replies, smiling warmly to ease her fears. Part of his mind sees her embarrassment and instantly decides it must mean she loves him...another part still insists that now is not the time to tell her. Ignoring the turmoil in his brain, he looks outside and adds, "We should go outside quick if we want to see it."
The short sleeves of Colette's nightdress force her to feel the cooler mountain air of Hima on her bare arms as she and Lloyd head outside, but she hardly minds. In any case, it hardly matters; the rush of blood throughout her entire body at the thought of being alone with Lloyd is more than strong enough to make her to forget all other feelings.
She loves Lloyd; it's something she's known for a long time, since before she even left Iselia. But it's also something she doesn't want to tell him, not unless she knows he feels the same way. Lloyd is the best friend she's ever had; the special bond they share is something she never wants to lose. She thinks he might love her back, but she's not certain, and she doesn't want to risk their friendship and her happiness on feelings that he might not return. Their journey is perilous for her—she learned that firsthand two days ago—and she knows she needs his kindness and support if she is to have any chance of surviving.
She might keep her feelings secret, but she still, however, jumps at any opportunity to be alone with the brown-haired boy she loves. A small part of her believes that she can coax Lloyd into admitting whatever feelings he has for her by being alone with him, but a much larger part simply revels in the moment. The warmth that floods her body when she's with him is one of the greatest sensations she's ever felt, and even now, as they stand at the eastern ridge of the mountain town, she can feel herself positively brimming with happiness. She's blushing fiercely as well and she knows it, but she's too elated to care.
She sneaks a glance at him, and sees him with an eager glint in his eyes as he gazes out at the horizon, as well as that small, warm half-smile of his that she finds so irresistibly cute. As his brown orbs flicker about for any sign of the sun, he catches her gaze, and before she can look away, he's turned to her, his smile widening slightly. Her face is burning now, but she can't bring herself to move her eyes.
"So is the sunrise really that pretty?" she hears him ask, even though he obviously knows what the answer will be.
Her brain, however, seems to have been paralyzed. It takes her a few moments to register that he's asked a question, but she finally answers, "Y-yeah," finding to her horror that she's still stammering despite her attempts to fight it. She hardly minds the fact that her face is as red as a tomato, but stuttering is something she could do without.
His gaze returns to the horizon, his smile fading a tiny bit, and her brain finally seems to clunk into place, realizing that he was trying to start a conversation and she stupidly killed it. Her eyes slowly, shyly turn toward the ground, and she clasps her hands together, her heart hammering, her mind racing to think of something else to say.
She's silent for a few moments, and several thoughts pass through her mind frantically during that time, but one stands out clearly from the rest, one that she's especially wanted to share with him since the incident two days ago. Still looking at the ground, she asks softly, "L-Lloyd?"
"Yeah?" he responds as she finally musters up the courage to look back at his face. His brown eyes are bright, curious, and that half-smile of his on his face almost makes her want to look away again. She's so nervous and embarrassed that she nearly feels like bolting back into the inn.
Still, she perseveres; she's not sure when she'll have another chance to speak alone with him. "Well..." she begins, "I-I, um...I..." But it seems as though she simply cannot find the words to voice what she wants to tell him. Ashamedly, her gaze drops to the ground once again.
"What is it, Colette?" he helps her, causing her eyes to snap back up to his. His expression is oddly hopeful, something her mind instantly notices. Could he be thinking she wants to tell him she loves him? Could he want her to tell him that? She pushes those thoughts away; they're just wild speculations, and she's not about to reveal her feelings for him, anyway, not now.
She takes a deep breath, intensely aware of her heart pounding in her chest. She loves Lloyd, but why does he have to make her so nervous...?
Still staring directly into his eyes, she tries again. "I-I...w-wanted to thank you..." A weak smile forms on her face; it would be wider if she wasn't so embarrassed. "F-for...the other day. Y-...You really...You saved m-my life."
For an instant, his expression is blank, as though he had been expecting her to say something else entirely—the wild speculations start forming again—but as he realizes what she's referring to, an embarrassed grin appears on his face, and his eyes drop to the ground as he rubs the back of his neck and chuckles nervously. "Heh, well...I didn't really do anything... It was Raine who really saved you after that attack; she healed you after all..."
"No, Lloyd..." Her smile fades; he doesn't have to be so modest... "You...y-you really saved me." He looks up at the exact moment she looks again at her feet. "I-If you hadn't defeated that m-monster...after it attacked me..." She leaves the rest unsaid, but the mere thought of what might have occurred causes her hand to stray to her stomach unconsciously, where the memory of what happened that day still stings. Unsure, she looks back up at his face, wondering how he will react.
He's smiling still, but he no longer looks embarrassed; he's instead smiling at her with all the warmth and kindness that made her fall in love with him. More than anything, she wishes she could just jump into his arms, wishes she could just kiss him and forget about their journey, about Mithos, about everything. But she knows she can't, and she has to settle for simply smiling back at him nervously.
"Well..." he says, "you're welcome, Colette." His smile widens. "And I promise that from now on, I'm gonna fight even harder to make sure you never get hurt like that again."
Her heart swells with pride, with gratitude, with utter elation. Again the desire fills her; she feels like she might burst if she keeps her feelings for him a secret any longer. But before she can do anything, Lloyd looks at the horizon and remarks, "Hey, I think the sun's coming up."
She looks out over the ridge as well, but the sunrise is now the last thing on her mind.
The sky glows golden as the yellow sliver of the sun peeks out over the horizon. Lloyd's eyes are on the beautiful sight before him, but his mind is still occupied by the thanks Colette just gave him, pondering over why she's so embarrassed.
He didn't want to tell her he loved her earlier, when he thought she was half-asleep, but she's clearly fully awake, and now he's rethinking his decision. Furtively, he attempts to sneak a glance at her, but when he sees her, he finds his eyes remaining on her for much longer than he originally intended.
Her face is still burning red, and she seems troubled, as though it's taking her all her will to keep her gaze on the sight before her. At the same time, though, the light of the rising sun causes her golden hair to shine radiantly, and Lloyd is left with a rather confusing mix of emotions. Even when she's blushing madly, Colette looks utterly beautiful.
A thought pops into his head, something he could say to her. It seems completely absurd at first, but as he thinks about it, it seems more and more like something he should tell her. Perhaps, just perhaps, he could tell her his feelings now...but of course he can't just suddenly blurt out "I love you," so...maybe he should say this first...
"Lloyd?" He jumps; he didn't realize he was staring at her for so long! She's gazing at him curiously with her sapphire eyes, though she still has a fierce blush on her face. Slowly, as though unsure of whether it's the right thing to say, she asks, "H-how come...you're not watching the sunrise?"
He can feel his heart pounding in his chest as he glances about nervously. "Well, I...uh..." The thought in his head suddenly doesn't seem as attractive anymore.
"Lloyd?" she asks again. She's cocking her head a tiny bit, frowning. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," he replies hastily, looking directly at her. The thought is still bouncing around in his head; should he say it...? Finally, smiling embarrassedly, feeling his face grow rather warm, he decides...he might as well. He knows he's going to look like a total fool, saying this, but...he thinks she'll probably like it.
"Colette, you're, uh..." He finds himself unconsciously rubbing the back of his neck again, and he suddenly notices just how fast is heart is beating. Still, he presses on. Forcing himself to look directly into her eyes, he tries again, smiling nervously. "You're...you're really pretty, you know."
Her immediate response is for her eyes to widen considerably. She looks utterly taken aback, as though she never expected him to ever say anything like this, and his smile vanishes; he realizes he shouldn't have said that. How could he have been so stupid?
But after a few moments, her amazement fades, and a small smile appears on her face, one that quickly grows ecstatically. Her face turns a shade redder, and positively beaming at him, she stammers out, "L-Lloyd, I..." Her voice is soft, nearly inaudible as she absently runs a hand through her long blonde hair. "Thank you..."
The sun is still rising, but he's long stopped caring about that. Still, it gives him something to look at besides her face; despite the surge of confidence she's just given him, he's still too nervous to look at her directly. "You...you know, um..." His gaze drops for a moment to the ground, and then, without even realizing it, his eyes refocus on hers. "There's...there's something...I've been meaning to tell you, Colette."
"Yes?" she replies quickly, breathlessly, still positively beaming.
His heart feels like it's about to jump out of his chest, he can feel the heat radiating off his face, he feels like he's about to faint, and yet he can't bring himself to stop speaking. His eyes, however, almost seem to be moving randomly as they fall to the ground for what feels like the thousandth time. "Colette, I...I wanted...I-I wanted to tell you..."
That's as far as he gets, and then the words suddenly come to a complete stop. His mind is screaming at him to keep going, to say those three magical words he desperately wants to tell her, but his mouth simply will not move. His heart is hammering; he has to tell her!
"Lloyd?" He hears her voice, and his eyes snap back up. "W-what...do you want to tell me?" He gazes at her face, into her crystal blue eyes for a long moment. And then, finally, the words burst out of him.
"I-I love you...Colette."
The moment Lloyd said there was something he'd been meaning to tell her, Colette knew without a doubt what he was going to say. And yet somehow, even though she knew it was coming, hearing him say those three little words leaves her paralyzed with shock. A tingling sensation is spreading throughout her body, leaving her unable to move or think. She's elated, happier than she's ever been in her entire life, but she can't respond, can't say the words she knows he wants to hear in return...
Her eyes are fixed upon his face. He's smiling, but looks as though he's feeling several different emotions at once: nervousness, hope, relief. The desire fills her once again; she wants nothing more than to jump into his arms. Now, however, there's no need for her to restrain her feelings. Her mouth does not want to move, but she doesn't care; instead, the paralysis breaks, and nearly leaping, she flings her arms around him. She's so happy she feels like she's about to cry. She restrains her tears, though; Martel only knows how Lloyd would react if she were to start crying after what he just said.
Lloyd, however, does not return her embrace just yet. She can't see his face, but she's certain he's just as happy as she is right now.
"C-...Colette?" his voice finally comes, sounding surprised but utterly happy. "You...do you...?"
Her mouth is suddenly moving as though on its own.
"I...I love you too, Lloyd..." she whispers.
He doesn't reply, but the feeling of his arms around her is all the response she needs.
They're like that for some time, resting peacefully in the arms of the one they love. Neither of them wants to ruin the moment, to break the sense of pure happiness pervading through the air around them. Eventually, Colette knows, they'll have to break apart...Raine will probably come rushing out of the inn, yelling at them for acting so inappropriately...but she doesn't care. For now, all that matters is that she loves Lloyd, and that Lloyd loves her.
"You were right," she hears him mutter through their tight embrace. "Watching the sunrise really is great."
She only smiles.
And...there you have it. I'm a bit unsure about the ending, but overall I really like what I wrote for this story. What do you guys think? Please don't hesitate to point out any problems you see in my work, as I'm always trying to improve.