Summary: In a last ditch effort, Zelos decides to kill himself; he's finally decided that he doesn't want to live anymore. Lloyd catches him in his move of desperation and goes to get help. But...it's too late. And there's no turning back from death...

Warnings: Blood, cursing, some violence. A little shounen-ai, nothing major.

Disclaimers: I don't own Tales of Symphonia, Namco does.

Ray of Desperation

Tears streamed down my face as I lowered my head into my pillow, muffling my constant whimpering. It hurt so damn much, but I couldn't stop. So I just shut my eyes tightly, grimaced and continued.

After a few seconds, I reopened them and looked down at my wrist, watching with slight satisfaction as the blood poured freely onto the inn bed I was sleeping on.

I was weak, and I just couldn't take it anymore.

My life was worthless and I needed to end it.

Bitting my lip, I sat upright in the bed and held my left arm, dropping the knife I had taken from the kitchen. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing–something that would stop me from feeling the pain.

I wonder...if anyone would care. I would have laughed at myself if I could; they didn't care about me.

Why would they?

I curled myself up in a ball and slowly reached for the knife again; my fingers trailing over the blood-stained sheets.

Man, did it hurt (I couldn't even pull my hand into a fist, and when I tried, a shooting pain ran up my arm). Tch, this was what I wanted in the first place–I didn't want to live anymore.

In my opinion, I'd suffered way too much. Then again...someone as worthless as me–someone who shouldn't have even been born–deserved it all.

Mother would surely agree with that...

My right hand clutched around the knife and I grimaced again. This...was going too slow.

I brought it up carefully, and began to wonder where it should go next, when I heard a knock at my door.

...! I could feel my heart beating faster in my chest.

Damn.

"Hey, Zelos, you in there? Can I come in?"

I immediately recognized the owner of the voice–Lloyd–and quickly tossed the knife under my pillow before pulling the covers over myself.

All hell (heh, funny) would break loose if he saw me like this. He'd surely go and get help...something I didn't want.

"Yeah, come in, man!" I let out, though it sounded strained.

Lloyd walked in and laid back on the brown window sill, across from my bed. Before I could ask him what was up, he started to make loud sniffing sounds. My heart nearly stopped.

"What's that smell?" My only answer was a shrug, which proved to be a mistake. I gasped a little, feeling another sharp pain through my arm.

"You alright?" Lloyd moved forward, giving me that serious, yet caring look. I quickly nodded my head, which made some of my hair fall over my eyes.

I was trying not to cry.

The pain was unbearable.

"...I just wanted to see if you were okay. Regal told me you haven't eaten in a while."

I only hissed in response, my eyes drooping as my vision began to blur.

Lloyd stepped closer to my bed, a look of suspicion printed all over his face. He was going to find out soon enough...

Though...for some reason, the thought brought a small grin to my face. Even if he told anyone, they wouldn't be able to heal me. Not Raine, not Kratos, not even both of them combined.

Although I didn't know where he would find that traitorous bastard (he always appeared at the worst times possible, anyway).

"Zelos, you don't look so good."

No shit, dumbass. He was right beside me now and I turned to my side, my back facing him instead.

"Damn it..." I muttered under my breath, squeezing my eyes shut as I felt more pain.

"Zelos...? What's this red stuff on your bed sheet," He asked, but I didn't answer. "Is this blood?"

...Idiot.

Lloyd reached for my covers, but I used my good arm to hold onto them.

"Would you let go." Lloyd said (it was more of a demand than a question), yanking my hand away. He then preceded to pull off the covers.

I rolled off my bed straightaway and dragged myself to the corner of the room, looking over at him. The corner of my lips turned upward in a cruel smirk; his expression was priceless.

"Zelos! Wha...what did you do to yourself?" He rushed over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and knelt down on one leg. "Let me see. Now. I'm serious."

I let out a short laugh, "I could care less if you're serious. Just leave me alone."

Lloyd stayed silent for a moment before getting to his feet, "All right."

I rested the side of my head on my legs and watched him leave for the door, "I knew...I was right all along."

Lloyd turned around and tapped his red boots on the floor boards, as if he was trying to hold something in, "Knew what?"

I shut my eyes and took a deep breath, "I knew none of you guys cared about me...you made me the butt of all your damn jokes. You always ignored me...whenever I had something worthwhile to say. And you always insulted me. You think I liked that?" I took another breath...

...only a few minutes longer...

"...Kratos was a traitor, but yet you guys still trust him. Me, on the other hand...heh. You guys would never forgive me."

Lloyd made his way over to me. "What do you mean? Are...no, were you betraying us?"

I let out another laugh, only this one was more like a scoff.

Time was short.

"And that time when we went to get Volt, you started saying you would understand if I were a useless Chosen, but not Colette. I just don't get you people. If she made a mistake, a big one, you guys would forgive her like that. I wonder...would you do the same for me?"

I stared up at Lloyd as he looked down at me...he was studying something. I only tsk'd when he grabbed my left arm and studied it.

"What the-? Zelos! Did you...you slashed your wrist!"

"Nothing gets by you, huh?" My words oozed with obvious sarcasm.

"It's not funny."

I tried to pull my arm away, but it was pointless. I was too weak. "Shut it. Don't tell me what's not funny. When you guys made fun of me, when I always get slapped, you would always laugh. That wasn't funny.." I cringed when Lloyd let go of my arm.

"I'm going to go get Raine. Where's the knife?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"So you won't go and hurt yourself again."

I closed my eyes and looked away obstinately, "Like hell I'm gonna tell you."

Lloyd let out a cry of frustration and started yelling for Raine. He glanced back one last time, his eyes filled with...what looked like tears...and then ran out of my room.

I stayed hunched up in the corner, groaning loudly. I didn't want to be helped; I didn't need to be helped. I deserved this...

My eyelids slowly began to close...

And I heard voices...around me. Lots of them...

I could hear someone's footfalls on the wooden floor, someone pulled me up and carried me somewhere, but I couldn't open my eyes.

Just die, damn it...

So many countless attempts, I'm so useless...

------------------------------

When I next opened my eyes, I saw everyone was in the same room (which was probably Lloyd's) with me. My arm had white bandages tied around it to cover the wound. ...Sheena was by the window; was she crying...?

Lloyd...I could see he was talking quietly to Colette and Genis, while Regal and Presea were by the door and Raine was sitting at the side of my bed.

I squinted to see who the last person was...

Oh great, it was that arrogant son of a bitch, Kratos. What great timing.

"The Chosen has awaken." He said, accenting my title with a smug look on his bastard face.

(Gods, I hated his voice...he always had that know-it-all tone).

"You're lucky I came just in time. You would have died, even a Resurrection Spell could not have brought you back."

"Shut-up, Kratos."

"Don't tell him to shut-up, Zelos!" Sheena yelled back, walking over to my bed.

"Don't tell me what to do."

Lloyd pulled Sheena back and sat at the foot of my mattress. "I still don't get it..." I only rolled my eyes.

"Yo, Professor, what are my chances? Good?" She nodded slowly, her face as solemn as ever. I groaned loudly and fell back into my bed, "No one asked you guys to help." I heard Kratos mumble something about me being 'ungrateful' and 'wanting to strangle' me.

"Thanks, Lloyd. They always said the third time's the charm–guess I don't have that luck, eh?"

Lloyd's mouth dropped, "Three?"

"Yes, you dumb ass, didn't you hear me?" I clamped my mouth shut as Kratos came up to me and put his finger in my face.

The nerve of this guy...

"You should be happy that someone actually cared enough to save you."

Lloyd crossed his arms, "That's enough, Kratos."

"There's no way..." I muttered, but I stopped when someone ran out of the room, crying (huh?).

"We should leave the Chosen alone for a while..." Kratos suggested, everyone mumbled their agreements, leaving with him.

I opened my eyes, "I wonder who that was that ran off before..." I got to my feet and shuffled out of my bed. But once my feet touched the floor, I immediately stumbled and fell (much like Colette, but less graceful).

I got to my hands and knees; could've sworn I heard someone saying my name.

Creeping over to the door of the bedroom, I leaned on it to listen.

"Professor! Are you sure there's no way we can save him?"

"No, Colette, I am sorry ...he has lost too much blood when he cut his vein. And I know no spells to help him recover."

"But you saved Pietro in Hima..."

"That...situation was different, dear. It pains me to say this, but there is no way for me to save him..."

"But I don't want him to die!"

I sneered sinisterly, finally...

"I...can't believe he's actually...dying"

My sneer turned into a smirk. Sheena actually cared?

"Yeah, even though I said he was annoying...I still liked him...And all those things I said, now I'll never be able to make it up to him."

Huh? Now Genis?

"Yes, even though Presea and I only knew him for a short while...it still pains us to see him go..."

Presea? Regal? Now this was getting pathetic...

"...hn. You guys really care."

"Of course we are, Kratos! He's our friend! And he's...dying..."

"Then maybe you should go see him before he passes..."

An odd feeling began to overwhelm me. They cared? I stumbled over to my bed, thoughts racing through my mind.

I shook my head, laying it in the Flanoir inn pillow, "Come on, you idiot Chosen. You've been wanting to do this, ever since your mother died. You can't start second guessing yourself now."

But before, I had no one to console me. And now...but there was nothing I could do now. I was already gone, no one could save me.

I looked up wearily as someone entered my room.

"Lloyd...?" I let out, struggling to sit back up.

He looked down to his feet, "Zelos, you're probably happy to hear this, but we can't save you." He crossed his arms, and brought one of his hands to cover his face. "Um...the professor said you have around a few...um some things left. I don't even know how she knows..."

I frowned as something jerked at my heart, "Lloyd, I heard what you all said...that all true?"

Lloyd nodded slowly, moving closer and wrapping his arms around my waist. He rested his head on my chest, "Zelos. Why do...you want to die?"

I could feel tears forming; Lloyd let go of me and gazed into my eyes.

My breathing quickened, "My life was pathetic..."

"Zelos, you always say that. Tell me why. Tell me...were you really betraying us?"

"It doesn't matter now..."

"But that doesn't..." Oh for Martel's sake, he's crying.

My own eyes narrowed and I put one hand up, "Hey, man don't cry. I'm not worth it."

"But...you're..."

The door opened and everyone walked in silence. Even that SOB...

Sheena took a shaky step forward, "Zelos, I just want to say that I'm really sorry about how I acted. It was only because...I hated how you flirted with other girls. I wanted you to..." Her voice trailed off, her gaze went straight to the floor.

"Me too, Zelos," Genis sighed. "I was really mean to you when we first met. At first, I didn't care about how you felt. But now since we've been through so much..."

I stared at them lamely, through half closed eyes, "Why now of all times, do you guys choose to tell me this?"

They didn't answer back, in fact it was actually silent. Save for Lloyd's exhalation. "We all just want to say that were sorry about how we acted. Well, besides Kratos, he never really talked to you."

I laid back on the mattress, averting my eyes elsewhere. "...if you guys had told me sooner, maybe..." My fingers felt around behind me, clutching the pillow I was looking for and placed it over my face. This was embarrassing.

Lloyd removed it right away, though I could barely see him now.

"...I would've known that at least somebody cared about me...but now.." My vision had already begun to fade. "Professor, are you sure there is no way?" My voice began to crack and my head felt so damn light.

"Death is a one way street. There's no turning back.." Kratos said in a matter-of-fact voice.

"...but sometimes there are exceptions..."

"No...There's no way now..."

My eyes closed and I snickered sadly. "Not you too, Lloyd..." I could hardly hear myself.

"We are really sorry Zelos...We just wanted to let you know...so you can have fond memories of us, wherever you go..." Colette whimpered.

"We should leave. Most of you are getting teary; you're going to make me feel bad soon." Kratos sarcastically stated.

Did...everyone leave?

"Lloy..d? Guys...?"

Someone walked up to me, "Do not waste your breath, you should have waited. But of course, you thought only of yourself..." The person patted my cheek.

"No...Kratos...T–" I couldn't even finish my sentence.

"And now you will leave someone broken hearted...no, not one. Two..."

What?

"Who...?"

I could see the blurry outline of that angel-bastard as he moved his face closer to mine, "He loved you, she loved you. You are a fool Zelos..."

What...was he talking about? Who was he talking about?

"I hope you have a nice time in hell. There you can muse over your so-called 'pathetic existence' for all of eternity." He placed his lips on mine, giving me a light kiss, before he pulled away.

'I hope you have a nice time in hell?' I'm going to hell? But that wasn't what I needed to know. "Lloyd...?"

"Don't waste your breath, it's not him not him. But do not worry, I will meet you there soon..."

"But...I don't want to die! They care for...me! He cared for me!" I gasped out, squeezing my eyes shut. Damn, I'm such a fool. If only I'd known that...

Running his fingers through my long hair, Kratos answered back, "So did I; he will be furious when I tell him. But, as you know, not everything works out."

But I don't want to die...anymore

...now that I know that they–especially him–cared for me...


The edited version isn't all that different, huh? Well, besides the kiss part grins And who are the other two people who liked Zelos? Well, Sheena, of course, but who was the other?

This is my first (not anymore) ToS fanfic and only my third anguish fic. Please be nice and no mean flames. You saw the warnings. Flames will be dealt with accordingly.