Note: Um…hello world of ToS. I'm a little apprehensive about posting a oneshot in this fandom, but maybe someone will enjoy this. It takes place a few hours before whatever scene you get in Flanoir, in the afternoon. Ha, I know that it's an odd choice for this to take place, but…it fit. I think so, anyway.
Disclaimer: I don't own ToS. Dang it.
Because It's Fun
That was the first word to register in Presea's mind upon stepping out the Flanoir Inn. Snow flurried about her, coating her delicate lashes and falling in a steady sheet of white onto the ground. Yes…the snow was blindingly white, in fact. Presea blinked under the glare of the reflecting sunlight and averted her eyes from the bright expanse of snow.
She hated the color white.
White for innocence, white for purity. White for everything that she was not and could never be. White for all that she had lost and would never regain.
White was chilling. White was cold. White was cruel.
The spoken name seemed to be interrupted by the shivers crawling up and down Genis's spine as he called to the girl, trembling from both nervousness and cold. She cast him a quick glance, thought silently to herself, and continued walking forward.
"P-Presea, wait!" His hand reached for her arm, and Presea froze. The contact lasted for a brief moment, but even as Presea shrugged him away, warmth was already creeping its way into her body from where his hand had grazed her skin.
"Yes, Genis?" she asked matter-of-factly, facing him with ice-blue eyes. They locked onto him systematically, and he both feared and cherished the look in those eyes.
"Well, Lloyd and Colette and I…we were going to, uh…make a snowman," he admitted, his face turning pink. He felt the stare from those ice-blue eyes steadily grow more intense, and being unable to gaze into them any longer, stared instead at the snow-blanketed ground.
"I don't understand," Presea replied, her expression blank. "How does this pertain to me?"
He licked his dry lips and tried to muster the courage to stare directly at her once again; he glanced upward and was unsuccessful.
"Do you…d-do you want to help us?" Genis stammered, holding his hands behind his back in embarrassment. "You don't have to, but…um…"
She blinked at him in surprise; Genis enjoyed a moment's reprieve from her unyielding stare. "Help you?" she repeated, her mouth curling into a frown. "What is the purpose of making this snowman?"
"W-well, because it's fun," he admitted, staring directly at her now. Her blue orbs widened—still registering the word "fun"—and Genis noted the emotions locked within the facets of those eyes.
The glare had not been superior, nor egotistic, nor smirking. Its intensity was created from a swirling mass of confusion, coupled with skepticism and curiosity. She cocked her head at him, her pink pig-tails bouncing, and said merely, "Fun? It's…fun?"
"Come on, Presea! I'll race you home, just for fun!"
"Y-yeah, it's fun," Genis insisted, a little puzzled at the way she was considering his simple request. "Just fun."
Presea shook her head; of all things to do before taking on Mithos, Genis wanted her to build a snowman. A snowman. "Because it's fun."
The word tasted foreign in her mouth: fun. How many years had it been since her lips had shaped that word? Fifteen? Sixteen? During a happier time…a time that was beginning to become harder and harder for her to recall. A time when she had a father to tuck her in at night. A time when she had a sister to race home with. A time when she had a home to race to.
A time that now only existed in memory.
"…Where are the others?" Presea inquired, looking upward at the cloud-strewn sky.
"Raine is studying…to make sure her spells are strong enough for tomorrow's fight," he replied, scratching his head in thought. "And Regal and Sheena are sparring together. I'm not sure, but I think I saw Zelos going somewhere with some women…"
She nodded; such efforts were practical--Zelos aside, of course, but that went without saying. The thought of her axe laying uselessly in the hotel room pained her, especially when knowing how her teammates were so seriously preparing for their final battle.
A snowman. Now, of all times, Genis wanted her to build a snowman. "Because it's fun."
Fun…what did that word really mean, anyway? To be entertained and amused? If so, then what Zelos was doing right now could be termed "fun." And yet, what he was doing seemed infinitely different than building a snowman.
"This snowman would be a waste of our time," she began slowly. "We should prepare for tomorrow. Tomorrow, everything will change."
"But, Presea…" Genis cleared his throat. "D-don't you think that's why we're doing this?"
Presea blinked, and Genis continued. "You're right, tomorrow everything will change. B-but whatever happens tomorrow—if we lose someone, or if we win—we'll have this memory. And no matter what happens we can look back on it. We can remember…j-just how much fun it was to be together. Just how much we all meant to one another."
The half-elf took her hands in his own, and Presea shivered at his touch. Her fingers were chilled and numbed by the cold, but the heat from his small pale hands spread through her own like wildfire. She debated on whether she should push him away for making such a bold move—her instinct told her to, but for some reason her actions didn't comply.
"P-Presea, I want…to make a memory with you. I want to make a snowman with you. I want to see if maybe for once, I can…see you smile. Because tomorrow, everything will change. And I might not get to see that. I-I might…lose you."
Concern sparkled in his eyes, and Presea broke away from him anxiously. He was a child. Genis was a child, nothing but a young, foolish child. He couldn't know what he was saying, he couldn't comprehend the weight of those words. And what was this emotion surging through her, this unrecognizable sensation—something she was so close to identifying, but yet still unable to define.
He was a child, a child, a child! That was all he was to her, all he would ever be! Why did this frustrate her so much, why was everything so hard to understand? And why her…why was he saving his concern for her? Why not his sister, his best friend, the Chosens? Why her, an orphan with nothing but her strength to give her value?
"Presea?" he repeated again, his face wrought with distress. The startled look in her eyes gave Presea the look of a hunted animal, cornered and unable to escape. In the same way, her emotions had trapped her, and Presea tried to shake them away.
She didn't know why…but what he had said struck something deep within her, something so profound that she wasn't sure how a mere child's words had reached it.
She, who had lost so much, could hear the uncertainties and doubt expressed in his voice—could sense the fear caging his heart. But the uncertainty and doubt had sprouted because of her; his fear was for her safety. And the least she could do was to stop one more person from experiencing her pain, from losing someone they held dear.
Even if that someone happened to be her.
"…A snowman," she murmured, closing her eyes. "I suppose…that it could be…fun. Just this once."
The half-elf was struck speechless by joy and shock; nodding dumbly, he gestured over to a small park.
"Over there," he explained. "Colette and Lloyd should be waiting."
She watched as he ran ahead, leaving a trail of footprints behind in his wake. The Chosen and Lloyd came into view as she walked slowly forward, and she could see Genis already eagerly picking up a handful of snow and packing it onto the foundation of the snowman.
And tomorrow, she just might regret wasting her afternoon making a crude attempt of a snowman. And tomorrow, she could very well fight for her life and lose. Tomorrow, everything would change.
But for now, Presea was content to remember, if only for a moment, what it was like to simply do something "because it's fun."
Because sometimes, that's reason enough.
End Note: Well, I hope you enjoyed! And I'm sorry about the awkward time-placement; I highly doubt Lloyd would spend the few hours before the Flanoir scene making a snowman. Thanks for reading!