By Tenshi no Ai

(C) Intelligent Systems and Nintendo


When it comes down to it, I care too much.

I think you'd believe that if I told you. You'd laugh and agree, I hope. If you didn't, then maybe you never understood me in the first place. That'd be a shame, don't you think? All these years by your side, pining away like a lovelorn child, making sure you noticed me over her, and you didn't even understand me to begin with. Ah, what a pity that would be.

Well, all that's a bit of exaggeration. Pining away seems a bit...submissive for my tastes. Then again, it is true that I could've done more to attract your attention. I might have, if it wasn't for her. But, you know, it didn't seem right somehow. Certainly I have had a few...indiscretions in my youth. But you...hah. You're different. You open yourself wide and give and protect and act so differently than a self-respecting mercenary really should that I'm charmed by you. I'm always impressed by how you do all the things I would've never thought of doing but they seem so right once I fall into step with you.

Maybe you're my conscience. Maybe you both are.

If it wasn't for her, I wonder if I might not have seen your kindness as it really is. I'll admit that, when I first met you, I thought of you as, well, a possible playmate. Love isn't something I care to dwell on as more than just a fleeting thought. Sand on the breeze, if you will. Romanticism is made for starry-eyed princesses and girls with no more than the faintest thought alit in their minds. It isn't for women who've worked day after day with no end in sight for a loved one's sake. For survival. That's who I am, a woman who fought to survive, and I don't regret it. How can I when Ewan smiles at me?

You were kind to him. That was nice. You didn't have any reason to treat him as if he were...a wanted younger brother or nephew, but you did it anyway. But then, you were also nice to the girl with the aloof expression. I have to admit to being curious at that point in time. Was she a sibling? A niece? Someone you were interested in? I wondered. How I wondered. But nope, she was just one of your mercenaries. Apparently, that was the only excuse you needed to be kind. No, actually, I don't think you needed any excuse at all. You still don't.

How do I feel towards darling Marisa? She's my friend, and I'm hers. Just because you lecture her on improving her people skills doesn't mean she actually tries, but I still like her anyway. She's so easy to read that it's cute. Really, that can I not be fair when she's my rival? Anyone else and I would've tipped the playing field a long time ago. Back before I realized that what I felt for you was far more complicated than I could've ever imagined, I'll admit that I would've teased you and seduced you until we were both utterly demolished!

Let's face it. If I had tried, you would've never had a chance to resist.

But there's no reason to do that. Not now, not anymore. I can wait because I've seen how her look softens when she stares after you. I can wait because I know mine does, too. I know better. There's a fragile string holding everything up, and it's yours to pull. There's a building of pressure between the three of us, set to collapse everything no matter the decision you make. You probably don't know that. Personally, I hope not. It's bad enough I do. At least she's too busy puzzling out her own feelings to know the delicate balance that hangs between us.

It's hard to realize that I have no power here. The anticipation's enough to paralyze even my feet.

What would happen if I broke the unspoken rules and told you how I felt? would end badly. You'd be kind to me and I'd never know if that was the kindness you truly felt or the one you felt you should express. Actually, I think I might know, and that would be even worse. Bad things and then worse things, remember?

So...there's nothing to be done unless it's you who's doing it. There isn't a better person who I would entrust my life to, and the same goes for my heart. I won't be the cruel whore who would settle for your body, and I won't play with your mind either. I'll simply be Tethys, company dancer, the one you always ask to be at your side--except when we're surrounded on all sides, and I still resent that you asked me to surrender myself, by the way--and your friend. And I'll be her friend too, because I want her to be my friend. I need her to be my friend. We've been through too much for it to be otherwise.

Someday soon, I hope I'll be able to tell you back that I--no. I won't even think it. I'm not a romantic and faith is a dangerous thing to wield in anyone's hands. I'll wait until you tell me first, and if you don't it might be easier to move on.

It's up to you, Chief.


Not sure where this came from. Tethys strikes me as being one of the deepest characters in the game, what with her absolute confidence in herself and realistic outlook while still retaining a compassionate elder sister perception and interest. That, and the fact that she doesn't take herself too seriously, is a total win in my books.