Disclaimer: I don't own tales of symphonia…that…is the sad truth.
Snowflakes keep falling down
The snow continued to fall, piling up and engulfing the icy grounds of Flanoir as bundled up civilians rushed back and forth gathering supplies. The residents here could always tell when a snowstorm was about to hit their quaint little city. Yet of late the storms seemed a lot less violent, but for people who lived elsewhere it was no summer's breeze. Possibly, this was because the influence of the summon spirit of ice no longer resided in the nearby ice caves.
Also, there was a bit of commotion down stairs. Tourists, which were far and few these days were busy squabbling with the manager. Apparently he wanted to close up the Inn, mumbling something about bad weather.
Lloyd and the others had already retired to their rooms; they find it easy to sleep in the cold surround by layers of thick blankets. But Sheena Fujibayashi found it difficult to close her eyes for even a moment. She couldn't stand the horrible winters of this place. And despite the burning fire in the corner she still shivered from the cold.
She noticed her legs ached when she sat still so the clear answer was to get up and relieve them from their cramps. Sheena paced back and forth in front of her bed and only stopped when Colette rolled over.
The Chosen of Sylvarant stirred in her sleep, obviously disturbed to some degree.
Sheena bit her lip, she didn't want to wake the girl, Colette fought her best today, she probably needs all the sleep she can get.
She decided to take her pacing elsewhere. Sheena quickly grabbed a blanket and shut the room door behind her, proceeding down the dimly lit hallway. To her dismay she realized it was a couple degrees below freezing out here.
Maybe I should have just stayed inside, she cursed and wrapped the blanket tightly around her stiff body, making her way over to the window.
In the entire building, this one had the best view. It gave a decent view of the balcony which was now covered in a thick layer of settled snow.
Sheena sat on the sill, resting her head on the glass. She sat there until she began to feel drowsy. But the uncomfortable feeling in her legs wouldn't leave her yet. She nearly dosed of again if it wasn't for an oddly familiar figure that caught her eye.
She blinked back the upcoming sleep, who'd be crazy enough to stand out there in the cold?
She opened the door and gasped at the sudden blast of cold air, "Is that…hey Zelos?"
He failed to notice her; he merely continued to stare at the softly falling snow before him.
Sheena tried again, "Um…Zelos?"
…Perhaps she wasn't loud enough, what's he up to? It's freezing out here!
Uncertainly, she stepped forward until she was standing beside him, "Do you honestly plan to sleep out here tonight?"
Zelos blinked before turning towards his companion, his old smile returning, "Why's that hunny? Are you offering me a bed?"
The summoner sighed deeply, "Zelos, it's terrible out here. I heard it's going to be one hell of a snowstorm…don't blame me if you get frostbites." every act of compassion had to be covered with a small dose of cruelty.
"Hmmm…does my favorite hunny care about my well being?"
"N-no!" she said firmly, "I just don't get you sometimes. It's so cold…how long have you been out here?"
He pretended to reflect on that, "I think I came out before everyone had fallen asleep but I'm not too sure. I do know that about twenty minutes ago or something like that, I stopped feeling my arms…"
"You stupid Chosen--"
Zelos cut her off, laughing lightly, "Don't you worry your pretty little head about me, my beautiful banshee. The cold doesn't bother me 'ya know."
Sheena could only remember the part where he used another one of her infamous nicknames, "Don't call me that!"
"Only when you stop living up to it." he teased, "But then I'd just have to think up something else."
She sighed again, this time in exasperation, some things never change…
Zelos was once again looking out at the falling snow, almost glaring at the ones that dared land on his nose. It reminded him how much he hated the snow, how much he hated the city of Flanoir and how he hated watching those innocent children below. Making snowmen and scowling and giggling when it fell apart as their mothers begged them to come back in. He hated it all.
He despised living …no, the very thought of it made him sick. He hated everything that revolved around it; love, anger, pain and sorrow. He could not think of one precise moment when life seemed to be perfect, when his very life actually meant something…after all, his own mother regarded his life as meaningless.
It was Sheena…who knew she was still standing there?
"Yes precious?" He answered with a wide grin… halfhearted to say the least.
She looked upset, "Is something wrong?"
Zelos stretched, brushing stray locks from his face, "I swear, you grow more and more in love with me everyday!"
She flushed, but he couldn't tell if it was from the cold or not, "I-It's not that I care or anything! It's just not like you to be brooding…it looked like you were really thinking…"
"Of course." he stated simply, "I was thinking about all the hunnies I left behind in Meltokio."
"You used that last time." she reminded him.
He gave her a wry smile, "Hmm…but it's the truth."
"Are you going to tell me while I'm still out here?" She was starting to lose her temper. Hot-headed indeed.
"Lemme think about it for a sec." He only said to test her patience.
Seems like it's wearing thin already, "Hold on…still thinking."
"Forget it, I shouldn't be freezing my butt off, for no reason! I'm going in!"
"Then tell me before I force it out of you!"
"Alright, alright." Zelos waved his hand in front of her, "I've arrived at my answer."
Sheena tapped her foot impatiently.
"What!" She almost spat it out.
"Well…" He pondered on what to say, "You wouldn't understand."
She was nearly seething with barely controlled rage, "And why not!"
"Cause you're a woman."
"What does that have to do with anything!"
"You see…" Zelos had to be careful, he was dealing with a very violent specimen here, "Women are good for one thing-"
Sheena interrupted him before he had a change to finish, "Don't even think of finishing that!"
He turned back to facing the front, "Good, so you already know."
"Listen Zelos." she became serious, "I have a pretty good idea of the majority of the women you've been with…and I can assure you that I'm not like any of them."
"Definitely not." Zelos grinned again, "You're my one and only exotic Mizuho beauty and not to mention my violent demonic banshee and my voluptuous hunny."
"That's not what I meant!" She snapped before sighing, "If…you want to talk…I'll listen…"
He studied her for a moment, she refused to make eye contact with him, guess she's not used to saying stuff like that, "Do you like snow?"
"What?" Sheena looked up, her cheeks tinged with pink, "I…don't like the cold at all."
"That makes two of us."
"I thought you said that the cold doesn't bother you?"
"It doesn't." he replied shrugging.
Sheena looked up at him, confusion evident in her big brown eyes, "But you said you don't like it."
"No, I don't."
She felt frustrated, she couldn't tell if Zelos was being serious or just toying with her, "Is that what you were thinking about earlier?...about this cold weather…?"
"Maybe." Zelos answered in a monotone, she was approaching a very sensitive subject.
"Every time we come to Flanoir you're always not yourself."
Zelos became aware of where she was headed and tried to brush it of, "I haven't changed a bit…still the same old me."
Yet the Mizuho native remained oblivious to his change in tone, "You don't flirt as much, you spend your time all alone and you're rarely ever in a good enough mood. Is it that you just don't like this city?"
Zelos snorted as if it was the most obvious answer in all of Tethe'alla, "Of course I don't. The hunnies here are so bundled up I can't even get a good look at their pretty faces. They're always too busy for me or trying to get somewhere. And those thick coats completely cover their bodies. I can't even get a decent look at how nice their figures might be. I mean, I bet this place is the very ground that evil Lord Nebilim hid his secret base!"
The shivering ninja bit back the surprise, "W-what?"
Zelos sighed impatiently, he expected her to get mad and leave the subject alone, "Oh come on, don't make me repeat all of that."
Sheena decided to come back to their original topic, "Regal once mentioned that when it snows in Meltokio you go on a pilgrimage to a city in the south."
Zelos folded his arms, "Mmmhmm…and he's killed a girl before."
She made a face, "…Zelos…"
"What? Don't try and deny the truth."
Sheena ignored him, "Did something happen in Meltokio to make you hate snow?"
Zelos was growing more and more uncomfortable and the minutes slowly ticked by, "Maybe, maybe not."
She was now positive that Zelos was hiding something, "Listen, if something happ--"
"It doesn't matter it happened over fifteen years ago."
Sheena hid her fingers so she could count them, "…that's when you were seven? If you don't mind…would want to tell me what happened. S-sometimes it's better to get things of your chest…you know, and talk about it."
"I just don't like it here…it…reminds of—nothing." he winced remembering that cold winters night so many years ago.
"Mommy! Mommy, look it's snowmimg!" the young boy giggled at his newfound interest.
"Snowing, not snowmimg honey."
"But Bestion said it snowm!"
"Yes but Sebastian was sick those days…remember?" the woman patted her son on the head.
"Oh…yes." he sighed, "Can we go outside! Can we, can we!"
"Zelos…it's cold out there." Yet the woman prepared him for the weather.
"I just want to build me a friend like Bestion said."
She smiled and a few minutes later they were in the midst of building a snowman.
"Mommy he needs a hat!" the little boy shrieked suddenly, "The snowman's gonna freeze!"
"Sweetie, but he's made of snow."
"But…he looks so cold. I bet he wants a scarf too. He can't catch pneumomina!"
"Pneumonia dear." She smiled down at the child, who was gazing at her with bright blue orbs.
"Do you think we can leave food out for him tonight?...maybe some cookies?"
"Food? Darling, I'm not sure snow people get very hungry."
"But he has a big belly…" Zelos patted the snow, "What if it starts rumbling at night?"
"Yay!" the boy grinned widely, "Now mister snowman, what shall I name you?...what's that? Oh! Okay, jelly belly it is!"
There, first chapter done. Sheena will continue to probe Zelos with questions, each time getting a bit closer to the truth.
Um…will you be so kind as to give little old me at least seven reviews? It's not too much to ask of my dear reviewers, now is it? More is always appreciated but I can't be too greedy :D
If you review I'll give you all an inflatable Zelos toy! Weee…O.o