Compare and Contrast
by Jargonelle

Summary: Colette and Zelos. On boundaries, weapons, fathers, family, each other and on Lloyd. Since everything always comes back to him.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales Of Symphonia.

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Colette was never tempted to venture outside of Iselia unsupervised.

It had been drilled into her that her presence there was the only reason why the Desians honoured the non-aggression Treaty. Her grandmother told her that if she left then she couldn't be protected. The Mayor told her that if she left then people would be killed.

Genis and Lloyd would try to hide it from her, but she knew that they played and explored beyond the borders of her realm. Of course they did: Lloyd lived out there, and so she tried not to be jealous, used the time instead to learn the angelic language and the scriptures and anything she could find that might possibly, one day, help her on her quest.

She was glad Lloyd finally had a friend who could share his world.

She did wish though, that she could see it, just once, before she died.


The gates of Meltokio were closed at sundown.

It was a ridiculous holdover from a more dangerous time, Zelos thought, since the place wasn't going to be attacked anytime soon. He'd brought it up once, testing the reach of his authority, but he'd found that for whatever reason, the Pope was in favour of the custom and so it continued.

Not that there weren't some advantages; the girls liked it when he was a little bit rebellious.

He'd pick one, take her out for the afternoon, show her a couple of his favourite spots outside the city, have themselves some fun and then sneak back after dark. Of course he had to take her back through the sewers, which wasn't the most attractive of propositions, but they were more than willing to brave it for him.

Some things were worth taking risks for, but this was just a way to pass the time.

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They fought with practice swords on the grass beside her house, fumbled blows and made-up stances, shaky grips and bruises. Genis would watch sometimes, when he wasn't studying, and would commentate, cheering for Colette in order to wind up Lloyd.

It was exhilarating and it made her happy, finally part of something that had no connection to her being the Chosen. Until she realised that it did, that as the Chosen she would have to learn to defend herself, probably to kill as well, and then she started to take their bouts more seriously.

Lloyd noticed, but didn't say anything, though he started fighting with two swords against her, instead of just one.

She tried it a few times, but her arms weren't really strong enough, she needed both of them to wield a sword properly.

It was a shame, she certainly preferred fighting with something in each hand.

She liked the balance.


Fighting with a sword and shield was sort of a tradition amongst the Tethe'allan nobility, echoing back to the knights of the Ancient War.

They were the weapons of the brave, of the gallant, of the heroic, of the glorious.

More than that, it was a symbol of humanity, something that the elves had never mastered and that the humans could call their own. Using a sword and shield was a privilege, not a right. Half-elves and the poor were not worthy, but that didn't stop them from trying. Nothing ever stopped them.

Zelos accepted the weapons, as was his due, and trained with an intensity quite unexpected from the normally indolent, indulgent Chosen.

If asked about it, he would laugh and say it kept it him fit, you know, for the ladies.

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When she was thirteen, her father gave her several chakrams.

It was an oversight, he had said, that no one in Iselia had taught her to fight proficiently and so he had arranged to have the chakrams forged, since they were the weapons with which he was most familiar. He knew little about combat, but he could teach her dynamics and help her practise targeting inanimate objects.

Colette appreciated it.

That was something she could use. It allowed her a more versatile approach: she could use them for both close and ranged attacks, with either or both hands. She was not very good, granted, and if she was concentrating on what her hands were doing, all too often she forgot about her feet and ended up on the ground. She would get better though.

If she died making some stupid mistake then Sylvarant would not be saved.

She had to get better.


Zelos' father, having done his duty and produced an heir for the Chosen bloodline, considered it his right to finally have a life of his own choosing, and moved to Altamira shortly after Zelos was born. He went for the bars, the casino and the beaches and took with him a pretty young half-elf woman who had served as a maid in his household.

The Pope and the King were relieved to hear the news: hopefully the stupidly popular Chosen would then stay out of their way.

Mylene Wilder, after having been forced to take her husband's surname, fought for his mansion in Meltokio and won it. She immediately started redesigning the house to her satisfaction, keeping only the most valuable of the Wilder family treasures.

When Seles was four, their father moved on again.

He went to Flanoir, since he had always loved the snow.

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When babies were born in Iselia, the parents would want her to bless them.

She would not do much, just hold them for a few minutes and pray for Martel to watch over them. They would often fall asleep in her arms and then she would give them back, smiling and concentrating very, very hard on not dropping them.

All of the children were hers, in a sense, even though she would die before having any of her own. Colette had a large family, scattered all over Sylvarant. The Mana Lineage would continue on without her.

She played with the younger children, but she especially liked playing with Lloyd.

He was too busy treating her as a person rather than as a saviour to notice just how much she loved him.


Zelos did not want children.

Other than Seles, he had always hated the brats who pulled his hair and cried whilst he was trying to flirt, the ones who threw up at important parties and those who had made their parents' lives a living hell.

Himself included.

He knew he would have at least one kid eventually though, unless he could foist off his title on Seles, and wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth to the nobles who claimed that their daughters would be the ones ordained to marry the Chosen?

He would despise himself for it, but he just was not strong enough to cheat the system.

He would do his duty.

Then he would probably turn out just like his father.


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Colette did not really remember the first time she met Zelos.

The memories, as with most from that part of her life, were dim and muted, which seemed odd when reconciled with his usually vibrant personality.

She liked it, secretly, when he called her cute, since no one had ever really looked at her and seen a girl before.

Until she realised that he looked at all the girls that way.

Lloyd was like that sometimes, but she thought, she hoped, that with him it was different. That maybe he thought she was special, and not just because everyone else was too.


He had thought she would be someone with whom he could relate.

Instead she turned out to be beautiful, caring and willing to sacrifice herself to save complete strangers. She thought that being the Chosen was some kind of destiny, as opposed to being the unlucky victim of a madman's lottery.

She wasn't his usual type. She and Lloyd deserved each other.

They saw the good in everyone; that was the problem.

Colette and Lloyd routinely made friends with people who were trying to kill them, so when Lloyd called him a 'friend', did it really mean anything?

Zelos didn't necessarily think so.

Yet Lloyd was Zelos' best friend. The best he would ever have.

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It was cold in Flanoir and there was no real reason to be wandering around.

Except… it was time to talk to Lloyd. To find out whether the relationship between the two of them was as one sided as it sometimes felt, duty and heroics aside.

The Chosen knocked on Lloyd's bedroom door and waited for an answer.

"Who is it? Come on in."

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