Disclaimer: Xenogears name and characters are owned by Squaresoft. No infringement of any of the rights of the creators or distributors is intended.

Note: This is post-game, so there most assuredly will be spoilers.

Shades of Light
by Hoshikage

...I used to be blind.

Not entirely. Just enough that everything around me was dulled and dim, shades of gray with no color or life to them. And I didn't even know it, because after all, for me it had always been that way... for the three years that was all I could remember.

It's all because I never really felt anything.

I smiled like any person, and sometimes laughed... I even cried, once. But I never knew how intense other people's emotions were for them. Whatever I felt was faint, hardly there, like the light of a new moon or the touch of a bubble bursting against your skin.

But for three years, I didn't have to feel anything. I was comfortable. I even thought I was happy, since I didn't really know what happiness was.

It took me a long time to regain my sight.

I didn't realize what was happening, at first. There were flickers of fire, things I didn't understand, couldn't control. The blazing light when I destroyed Lahan wasn't bright enough to chase the dimness away. When it was over I felt what I had always thought of as guilt and shame... but it was somehow easy to cast it off, ignore it and go on. At the time... I thought it was because of you.


For so long, you were the only thing I could really see. I had my friendships, but they were insubstantial things, like fireflies in a dark night. I didn't know why at the time, of course, but even before I figured it out, you were a sun compared to those fireflies. I didn't understand what I was feeling about you... it frightened me, more than once. Such a feeling went beyond all the limits of what I knew... something so intense it got through all the layers of my deadened heart.

If you were anyone else, I think I would have run away, but instead I kept following you, drawn by your light; even when you clung to your Solarian position, even when you tried to push me away, probably just as scared as I was by this unreasoning obsession we had with each other without knowing why. Without you, I couldn't see. My eyes weren't used to the darkness anymore.

But the world's so filled with color now.

I'm still getting used to it. It seems so easy, to say that my personalities were integrated. Even the Doc didn't give it much of a second thought, though he was there when it happened. The truth is that I didn't give it much thought either. After all, we didn't have a lot of time, and we had to save the world.

I had to save you.

I didn't want anything to be different about me, afterwards. I pretended to myself that nothing had changed, except that I remembered more. But when I saw Deus for the first time I felt horror. Real horror, not any pale imitation I'd felt before. I had to fight with myself not to faint, or scream. I don't know how I managed to get a grip on myself, but it probably had something to do with Id learning to cope with much worse.

Through all of that, I sustained myself on my memory of you. It was the one thing I felt that was familiar, that I knew was real and not magnified out of proportion. That bright fire of your smile kept me going.

But I'm still getting used to seeing your light against a world that's no longer soft and gray.

When you're here, usually it all seems so easy. I feel like I can do anything, if you're there to support me. But even though that's the case, I've had a hard time explaining all this to you. I almost felt I didn't need to, but I know you wonder, when sometimes I just need to go out and practice until I fall over from exhaustion, or when I wake up in the night crying the tears of a four-year-old who's forgotten how to scream, or when I go out and perch on Xenogears' shoulder for hours on end, staring off at the sea beyond its phantom wings. It's not that cold metal and wind is somehow more comforting than your warm touch. It could never be that I don't trust you.

I just don't know how to see in color. And I don't know how to ask you to help me try.

You'd think, after all this time, all our lives, we'd know what to say. But maybe I was always bad at it. I remember having arguments with you long before I was Fei, long before I was even Lacan. It's easier, somehow, to write than talk. Maybe it's because it's closer to painting. You were always a singer or a speaker. I need paper or canvas to get my feelings out.

I have it all now, inside me; the joy and innocence of that child playing with his mother before it all fell apart, the hate and rage and pain that Id knew as his entire existence. And behind that, underneath it, all the echoes of hundreds of different men, softer, fainter, but no less insistent, imprinting themselves on me like shadows and iron. Compared to this, my previous mind was an empty, dry wasteland. The sheer intensity of it all seems more than I can bear, sometimes... that's when and why I run. I feel overwhelmed, and I always try to return to a soft quiet place I know...

But trying to return to the memory of Lahan is useless. I don't want a false resolution, a quick easy way to make myself feel better. I'm a whole person now. I can't shove everything off onto another part of myself like Id, or onto you. I want to stand on my own two feet, and resolve my own problems. Am I being too stubborn? Are you angry with me for not asking you for help sooner, or at least telling you what I was thinking?

Maybe I was a fool for trying to deal with all this by myself. If nothing else, all these thousands of years with you should have taught me that I don't have to go through anything alone. And there's no one else I'd rather have with me to help. So I suppose it's time I stopped being a fool.


Will you teach me how to see all the colors, all the light?

So I can say "I love you" without fear?

The letter was placed carefully in the middle of the table, all painting supplies (for once) removed from the dark wooden surface. Splatters of old, dried paint surrounded the little pile of sheets of slightly rumpled paper, as if they'd been gripped in all possible positions by a somewhat unsteady hand. The finished paintings on the wall blazed shining color at her, more vibrant and intense than any of his old work, and the unfinished canvas on the easel leaned at an angle, baring its raw, imperfect face to her and the room.

The writing was uneven, sentences frequently interrupted by blotches of ink or crossed out parts where the words had not come smoothly. In her mind they tripped over themselves, haltingly, a flowing narrative becoming the hesitant tones of a soft, slightly bittersweet chocolate voice. She read, and she listened, and finally she took the papers and folded them carefully, hiding them away in her favorite book.

She walked to the door and stepped out into the brightness of the day, moving toward the cobalt-pearl Gear and the man who sat in its shade, elbows propped on his knees as he stared at the joining of the emerald grass and the pale aquamarine sky.

--The End--