Thanks for clicking the link that went to this little one shot (although not as little as that other one shot I did...). ANYWAY! I wanted to write about Lloyd and Zelos talking. I didn't put any pairings on the outside, because I wanted people to read this disclaimer here before choosing whether to hit the back button because their favorite pairing isn't in here. The story revolves pretty much completely around Zelos and Lloyd talking about married life, and how hard it can be. It's really a thought provoking story, not just a fluff filled kissfest. So even if it's LloydxColette and ZelosxSheena but you like any other pairings, please don't hit the back button just because of that. I don't do that for LloydxSheena, and you shouldn't do it for LloydxColette.
If you didn't hit the back button, you are now officially a better person. Give yourself a pat on the back!
Now, without further ado:
Conversations of a Pair of Nimrods
"Hey, Bud, you really aught to calm down," Zelos Wilder said quietly, waving his hand nonchalantly, "It's not like you to pace like this."
Lloyd Irving stopped in his tracks, and turned to his friend. With a sigh, he started his pacing again, "I can't help it, Zelos," He replied, "How can I stay calm? I want to see her."
Zelos shrugged and looked away, remembering that scene beforehand…
"It's been a while since we've seen each other, Zelos," Lloyd said, grasping the former Chosen's forearm in friendship within the famous ambassador's mansion. Zelos squeezed his hand hard around Lloyd's arm, which he did as a firm reminder of his masculinity.
As the two men talked, Sheena Fujibayashi laughed happily at Colette Irving as the woman firmly held her back to keep her upright, and the kunoichi asked her good friend how she was doing.
"As good as I can," Colette replied, giving Sheena a smile that wasn't strained, even now, so far in her pregnancy, "How have you been doing?"
"With Mei?" Sheena asked; she cooed at the bundle in her arms before returning to the conversation at hand, "You're really close to your delivery. Are you sure you should be walking around by now?"
"I have to," Colette answered, looking even more precious as her smile widened, "Lloyd keeps traveling, just like Genis and Raine. I can't just let him go on his own. I want him to be here when…" She sighed, "I can't be like you. You're so strong, Sheena…"
"What, about Zelos' and my separation?" Sheena asked, looking down at Mei and whispering sweet words at her daughter, "It's nothing. The two of us are just too different. We can't live together when there's so much we need to do where we live."
"Which is why you're so strong! I'd never be able to do that!" Colette said with vigor. She suddenly stopped speaking, and Sheena gave her friend a heartfelt look. The former angel simply smiled, "No… No, it's not now… but it's just that… ever since I was little, I would always want to be with Lloyd… even when I was doing the World Regeneration… the only thing I knew I would miss about being Human… was being with Lloyd. I could never be away from him."
"I don't know…" Sheena giggled, placing her only free hand on her friend's shoulder, "You seem more like the stronger one, from the two of us…" The woman blinked at her friend as Colette reached up to grab the kunoichi's arm. Sheena's eyes widened as Colette squeezed hard, enough that if she had long fingernails like the Meltokian nobles, they'd be drawing blood, "Colette… Colette…"
"I… didn't think…"
"Holy… Guys! Sebastian! Contact the nearest midwife! Colette, come with me, Lloyd, get some hot water! Zelos, where are your linens?"
Lloyd was immediately by Colette's side, but Zelos was already shoving the man off, "Not now, Lloyd! Sheena gave us a job!" Lloyd tried to speak, but Zelos was already dragging him off. He looked resentful as he left Colette with Sheena, just as she led the pregnant woman off to one of Zelos' bedrooms.
Lloyd wasn't sure how he was supposed to heat the water in Zelos' kitchen, so Zelos picked up the linens as he started the water on his range. Lloyd waited patiently near the bucket of water, waiting for it to boil, as per his host's instructions. He heard the excited cry of the Meltokian midwife as she burst into the house, proclaiming joyous shouts about the miracle of life. Deciding that the water was hot enough, he looked at the dial on the range, found "Off", and turned the dial until the arrow pointed at said section. He then took the pot and started up to the room that Sheena had taken Colette to. The moment he arrived at the door, Sheena opened the door, grabbed Zelos' linens and Lloyd's pot, and glared fiercely at them like a mother lioness, "Don't you DARE enter this room," She said, slamming the door to create a physical boundary as well as a mental one. With her glare engraved in their mind, the men were not going to touch the doorknob…
Zelos sighed as Lloyd looked up from the slightest sound, looking spooked, "Jeez, Lloyd, you're going to get ulcers if you worry like that, get over here and sit," He then pat the chair next to him, offering his friend a place to relax. Lloyd looked at Zelos as if he were nuts, but then he saw the chair, and walked slowly towards it, as if it were about to bite him. Then, he dropped into the furniture and rubbed his temples, "I… can't take this…"
"Don't worry about it," Zelos replied, kicking back, "Colette's strong. She can handle it."
"But what if…"
"No 'what if's," Zelos muttered, "you're just tired. Relax. Everything will be all right."
The two were interrupted from their conversation when they both heard Colette scream, "Martel, it HURTS!" And Lloyd leapt up to pace again. Zelos sighed. So close…
"Ohhh, this is so nerve wracking…" Lloyd began, trying not to twiddle his thumbs in anticipation. Zelos grumbled, and the ambassador's friend turned with a look, "Didn't YOU feel this way when Mei was born, Zelos?"
"I wasn't there…" Zelos replied, looking away as if ashamed of the fact. Lloyd stopped his pacing and stared. Zelos' eyelids drooped as he recalled that moment when, "I was at home, and suddenly, Sheena arrived at my doorstep, with Mei in her arms. She asked me why I wasn't there." He closed his eyes, "I never knew that she was pregnant."
Lloyd was suddenly in the chair next to Zelos, urging him on, "You… never knew? How could you not?"
"Sheena and I are separated, you know that," Zelos replied, "I'm a Wilder, and she's a Fujibayashi. We… aren't together anymore. How else was I supposed to know that she was pregnant when we signed the papers that we weren't to be together anymore? I don't even think she knew about it when we went through with it…"
"You're separated?" Lloyd cried, and Zelos grabbed his friend's mouth to shut him up, or at least lower his voice. After Lloyd batted Zelos' hand away, he stared directly at the man, "You can't be… you loved her so much."
"I told you, we can't be together. I have to work here in Meltokio, and she has to work in Mizuho. It never would have worked," Zelos replied, trying not to look phased by this information, but Lloyd could see the pain in his eyes.
"But…" Lloyd looked away in thought, "Why…? I mean, did Sheena want to do it? I thought you guys were doing well towards the first year or two…"
"It was just too hard," Zelos answered nonchalantly, waving his hand as if swatting away Lloyd's words, "Zelos isn't a one woman man, and you know that, Lloyd."
"You didn't cheat…!"
"It was innocent," Zelos interrupted, staring at Lloyd's horrified expression, "I'm not a saint like you, Mr. 'I-Only-Have-Eyes-For-My-Sweetie'! It was all innocent at the beginning, the girls would flirt, and I'd flirt back. I got a present… I didn't burn it right away…" He sighed, leaning on his legs with his arms, "and before I knew it, I was asking Sheena to separate from me. She was so mad… Martel be blessed, she tore into me that day… but… we went through with it. She realized as well as I we weren't cut out for this…"
"I… never thought…" Lloyd murmured, "But you didn't visit her, even if you were married?"
"Too busy," Zelos replied, that hand popping up again, as if Lloyd's questions were pestering him. Really, they were. He didn't want to think of this at the moment. He secretly hoped (just a bit) that Colette would scream again and tear Lloyd away from this interrogation, "I can't just LEAVE for a few weeks to go see her. I was busy!"
"And yet she visited you," Lloyd pressed, "Even after your separation, just to show you your daughter."
"I don't see YOU marrying a woman you couldn't handle!" Zelos nearly shouted, sounding infuriated, "Colette clings to you with heartfelt love, and she even sits in your kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, and LIKES it! Dammit, I should have married her."
"You take that back!" Lloyd roared in response, and pretty soon, the two began to bicker on the two chairs like schoolchildren, "It's hard to take care of a woman who trips and scrapes every part of her body! Do you know how easily she gets infections? And, just so you know, she is NEVER barefoot when she's in the kitchen!"
"At least she stays with you! All the time, she's with you, no matter what!" Zelos came back with anger, "Sheena was always talking about Mizuho this, and Mizuho that! She never cared about being with me!"
"I didn't WANT Colette to come with me!" The retort was loud enough for Sebastian, who was downstairs, to ask the two to please, quiet down, or else the rest of the nobles would call the guards for disturbing the peace, "I wanted her to be safe at home with her father while she was pregnant! Honestly, I'm not THAT irresponsible!"
"Waitaminute…" Zelos blinked at Lloyd, pointing directly at him, "You mean… Colette didn't listen to you…? She came here on her own will? At nine months? When you told her not to…?" Lloyd was understandably suspicious of Zelos' questions, but he wouldn't lie about something like this, so he nodded slowly. It was then that Zelos burst into laughter, "I should have known!"
Lloyd fumed at his friend's sudden mood change, and stared at Zelos, "Should have known what…?"
"That neither of us could keep our wives tied down!" The ambassador was slapping his knee, he was laughing so hard. Lloyd blinked at Zelos, and suddenly, he chuckled as well. The two then burst into laughter, having to lean on each other to keep from falling off their chairs. Once they got over their fits of laughter, they up righted themselves, and looked back at each other. Zelos was hyperventilating, and Lloyd was wiping tears from his eyes, "I've got to say, Lloyd, no matter how different we are, we're alike in so many ways…"
"I know…" He replied, chuckling despite himself, "I… just… man, sometimes… I think it's not worth it… you know, being married…" He looked rather shameful at speaking those words, "I must be a terrible husband because of it."
"What are you talking about?" Zelos asked, cocking his head to the side, "Everyone's thought that at least once in their lives. Believe me; I bet the women think that more often than we do."
"Really…?" Lloyd asked, turning to Zelos, his smile growing, "Yeah, I guess you're right. But I wonder if…"
There was another scream from Colette, and Lloyd leapt up from his seated position. Zelos sighed a bit as Lloyd fidgeted unnervingly. He stood up and wrapped his arm around his friend's shoulder, dragging Lloyd close to him so he could give the swordsman a noogie, "Come on, Bud, calm down, it's okay! I'm sure she's…"
Now Zelos was interrupted by a high pitched wail, and Sheena's exuberant cries made both of the men look up expectantly. Lloyd tore himself from Zelos' grip and approached the door, just as it opened and the midwife proclaimed excitedly, "Congratulations, Mr. Irving! It's a boy!"
"A boy! Congratulations, Lloyd!" Zelos cried. Lloyd could hardly believe the words were true. Was it true? Could it be?
"Can I see him? Please?" Lloyd asked, attempting to look over the woman and into the room, listening for the cries of his newborn son.
"Come on in, Lloyd," Sheena's voice said, and the man brushed past the midwife with a small "excuse me" to see his son; Colette was hugging him close to her breast, and Lloyd could see that she looked beautiful, even though she was frazzled, as if she were glowing from some magical entity within her. Perhaps Sheena looked just like this when she had Mei…? Colette smiled up at Lloyd as he pulled up a chair to look into the boy's giant brown eyes. He had just stopped crying, and was now staring at everything around him.
"What shall we call him?" Lloyd asked. Colette blinked at her husband, and he smiled, "I know you had a name for quite some time. What is it?"
Colette smiled, and she looked at her son, "Well… I've always been partial to…"
Zelos sat in his chair, thinking back to Lloyd and Colette's departure, only a day or two after she had given birth. She said she wanted Phaidra and Frank to see him, and Lloyd, with a small smirk towards the ambassador, said that it was a perfect plan.
"Master Zelos…" Zelos looked up at Sebastian, who was motioning towards Sheena as she approached the two, Mei in her arms, and the butler continued, "Lady Sheena is preparing herself for her return trip home. Perhaps you should see her off?"
Zelos nodded, "I got you," He said, "Go get her supplies packed, Sebastian. The butler nodded, and with a bow, excused himself. Zelos then stood up, and Sheena was about to speak, but the ambassador silenced her with a wagging finger, "I think it's about time I give you a visit as well."
"Oh, well I haven't heard that one in… wait, what?" Sheena blinked at Zelos, and was instantly suspicious. She raised an eyebrow and stared into his eyes; his soul, "What are you… talking about…?"
"Well, I was thinking," Zelos muttered, rubbing the back of his head in thought, "You know… you've been visiting me, even after our separation… and… I thought, I should visit you, too. Like maybe, once every two months or something…?"
Sheena continued to stare at Zelos, and he felt a little worried that she would refuse his request, but that fear dissolved when the kunnoichi suddenly smiled, "You know, Zelos…? I… I'd like that, and I bet Mei would as well."
Zelos celebrated inside, maybe being a goodie-two-shoes like Lloyd had its perks every once in a while, "Hey! Sebastian! Pack my bags as well! I'm heading to Mizuho for a week to visit with…" he wrapped his arm around Sheena's shoulder and cooed at his daughter, "my wife!"
Hope you enjoyed it! A nice little thing... hopefully not too fluffy and stuff. I really wanted it to resemble real life, you know, with divorces, sexism, and stuff. If you really wanna get all bent out of shape about it, I'm sorry. Anyway, a review might be nice, if anyone wants to say something about it...