Forever Strong

Summary: Sheena doesn't want to fall in love. She believes that those who desire love are too weak-hearted to live on their own. But will she be able to keep that mentality with coy-as-ever Zelos in tow?

A/N: I guess you could say I'm getting back to the 'Good Ol' Days', where I had a couple unfinished stories waiting to be written each with more cliché than you could shake a stick at. Accompanied with out-dated sayings (well, only one so far), humorous moments, and romance whether needed or not. The summer does that to one or to me at least.

As well as the task of taking on a new story, I will have each chapter in a format where anything in italics is Sheena's reflection, unless otherwise specified, an easy mix of narrative to start and first-person to end. Well, here goes nothing!

"...and so, the Chosen insisted that you be the Emissary if Peace to the people of Iselia. Due to the fact that the Church of Martel is still in tact, the rights of the Chosen continue to apply, so we had no choice but to call upon you for this vital task." The Tethe'allan King chuckled. "Though it is basically pointless to ask, you accept this job?"

Sheena nodded, "Do I have much of a choice?" she replied sarcastically, but all in good spirits.

"Not really." Zelos butted in from his position against the front wall, nearest the door. "By the way, you wouldn't mind a traveling companion, would ya? I've got some business in Iselia, too, and friends hafta stick together!" he grinned.

She weighed the pros and cons and a rigged scale, for she couldn't very well refuse accompaniment by the Chosen in front of the King. After all, she represented the entire clan of Mizuho and she wasn't going to let them down after all this. "Sure, the more the merrier."

Zelos beamed, which oddly looked as if some force had stuck Lloyd's 'excited face' onto his body. She reached an irrelevant decision that it looked good on both men she knew. "Then let us be off on our merry way."

She couldn't help but laugh to herself when he shot one of Lloyd's trademark poses, no pun intended. She momentarily paused to receive the document to present to the Mayor of Iselia and a wish of good luck, and then caught up with Zelos as they exited the castle.

"I see you've learned something from this journey, if anything." She teased him as they made their way past children and adults' alike working leisurely to complete their daily chores or desires.

He smiled and rolled his eyes. "What have you picked up on?"

"This first one may only be me, but it seems as if when you grinned a while back, you were mimicking Lloyd's 'excited face'. Not to mention, you struck his, practically trademark, pose."

"Oh, so now you have names for everyone's expressions? Then do tell me, what's the name for my expression now?"

"You don't wanna know..." she focused on the tiles passing beneath her.

"Try me."

She sighed, but looked him in the eye. "You're not one to make things easy, now are you?" She took a brief moment to read his features, but before she could announce his nickname, so to speak, he intervened.

"Let me put my psychic skill to the test... You're thinking: 'Sexy, charming, and well-built'." Needless to say, he didn't have the sixth sense.

"Idiot Chosen." She punctuated with a mock punch to his arm. "It was more along the lines of 'Who are you and why am I here'."

Zelos shrugged and placed his hands behind his head. "Ehh... same thing."

"Hardly." Sheena muttered quite icily.

They took their leave of the city in silence. Neither side minded though, it gave Sheena time to sort out her strangled thoughts about the recent regeneration of the world and what all she wanted to do with the rest of her life. As for Zelos, his thoughts dwelled in the same region, but with one major modification. He wanted to spend it with her. He had reached that decision directly after his betrayal of his family...

...his family. Yeah, that's what they are. Family.

But with that decision, he knew consequences would follow, and he was willing to accept that. Even if it meant being loyal to only one person, something he often was quite hesitant about previously. However, his experience with his family taught him a valuable and obvious lesson. Quality over quantity. "Hmm... I wonder now that the two worlds are one, which way is Iselia?" he thought aloud.

"Well, the people of Mizuho had been thinking something like this may have happened, so we made a guess based on the two worlds conjoining at a strait. Again, it's just a guess, but Iselia should be to the east." Sheena explained, but her logic faltered as she went on. "So basically, the worlds' cartography is the same, but this time the... uuh..." she lost her place, finding herself lost in her own words.

Accordingly, Zelos stepped in. "So, we can just use the Rheairds and find out for ourselves!"

"I wish it was that easy..." she sighed, while pulling out a compass from her pocket and locating the eastern direction.

He blinked as the reality of their mission finally clicked in his head. "...Lloyd has the Rheairds, doesn't he?"

"Yup." She seemed unaffected by the fact that they could be walking for months before reaching their destination. "Well, we've got a long journey ahead of us, let's not linger any longer."

Dear Corrine...

Traveling with Zelos is like... traveling with a foster dog or something. You want to be friendly, but don't want to get too attached. It's not that I don't like Zelos, but I have a slight suspicion—

...okay, I know he wants to have me as more than a friend. He's constantly flirting, it seems, and I don't want to give him the wrong impression, but I also don't want to give him hell. What do you think I should do? Lead him on a fruitless path, or stop this before it starts?

Hmm, but who's to say? Maybe I'll change my opinion: Those who desire love are weak-hearted for they cannot feel secure with their life without someone beside them. Though they feel empowered with that lover at their side, they actually are getting weaker, and if their lover leaves, they feel as if they are left with nothing. When really, the sky's the limit!

The previous statement made me sound like some chauvinistic guy, didn't it? It's not that I want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I want to get stronger! I don't want to weaken any bit after all this! I don't want to be a coward any more either...

I know what I want, to leave my mark on the world! It's what everybody wants, but you can't do that on thought alone (contrary to popular belief). Perhaps I'm just being greedy, I mean, I was part of the group, or family more like, that saved both worlds! Maybe a thousand years from now, children will have to recite the names of those famous heroes... and heroines (haha, wouldn't my name just give them hell?).

I've reached my decision after long last. I won't drop him just yet. I've learned to keep all doors open, and that's just what I'll do. Again, who knows? Maybe I'll turn the other cheek!

...When speaking about Zelos, that just sounded wrong.

Take two: Again, who knows? Maybe I'll change courses!

...That wasn't any better.