Golden Gates

Summary: A young Zelos waits outside the city gates for a dear friend, naturally, stirring up quite a bit of trouble in the process.

Spoils: Fairly safe…

A/N: I think this is one of the few stories I've ever written where Seles exists and hasn't been shoved in a closet or pantry somewhere. XD True story.

A young Zelos stood impatiently outside the large, ever grand city entrance, unaware of the giggles and various cooing of he received from the women that passed by. He didn't hear a word of it as he bounced back and forth, from one foot to the other; eyes wide and lips pursed in anticipation.

Dressed in an utterly adorable, miniature premonition of what would later become his everyday wear, the four year old tightly gripped the elegant gold bars of the city gates. The guards next to him occasionally broke their gaze over the peaceful city to assure that the young Chosen wasn't harming himself—or more importantly, his reputation—by committing any other unnecessary acts of impish children's play, as it was seen as especially unbecoming for the youthful royalty.

Already he had made quite the fuss today as he turned down a play date with Princess Hilda, even though she was one year his junior. Coincidentally, the nearby aristocrats complained of a high pitched buzz earlier in the afternoon just around the time the boy had delivered his words—or screams, more accurately—of protest in the most uncivil manner possible.

To put it bluntly, Zelos threw a wild tantrum.

Poor Sebastian, with in truth little to no authority over his young master's desires, found himself forced to acquiesce to the demands of Zelos and allow him to stand, unattended, by the city gates. Naturally, he was under constant surveillance by the knights employed to keep watch over him from a distance, but he didn't know that.

And even if he did, at the moment, he appeared too preoccupied to care, really.

His fiery red locks tumbled down past his shoulders in magnificent curls, even as a small child. However, he was without the headband to hold back his mess of bangs that repeatedly hung over his curious azure eyes, and so constantly withdrew a hand from the bars he clung to steadfast to push the stray strands from his face. Gazing longingly down the winding roads, he squinted into the distance as a hefty figure appeared a ways down.

Zelos' gaze heightened with interest, and he again had to push his naughty bangs out of his face, as the figure grew ever nearer. He quickly discerned there were, in fact, two people. One big person, and one… not-so-big person.

A tiny smile curled upon his lips as he tried pressing his head between the golden bars to get a better look. He growled when he was pulled backward by one of his red locks; the knight towering over him shook his head in disapproval. Zelos 'hmph'ed and continued his watch.

Finally, he became quite certain as to the identity of the duo approaching the city and bounced up and down with glee as they approached the gate. He tried climbing the gates as the guard turned to face the traveler from behind the gateway.

"Please state your name and your business!" he ordered.

"I… I'm…" the older of the two stuttered, stumbling over their words.

"Seles! Seles!" Zelos called out to the young child in the arms of the traveler as he stuck his arms through the gaps to wave at the shy girl.

"Please state your name and business!" He guard repeated unflinchingly. "If you cannot provide that information, then we cannot allow you entrance into the city!"

The young Chosen suddenly halted in his gleeful greetings and turned his head to a side, letting his bangs fall over his eyes as he faced the knight. "Guard!" he bellowed in his childish voice, commanding the guard's attention as authority laced his tone. He stood tall, utilizing every one of his thirty-six inches of height as he puffed out his chest in unbeknownst exaggeration and placed his hands on his hips with his tiny face scrunched in a scowl. "I command you to let these people in!"

The guard released an unheard sigh. "Chosen," he began before Zelos rudely cut him off with an embellished wave of his hand.

"Guard! In the power and auffouritee invested in me as the Great Zelos Wilder, Chosen of Mana of Tethe'alla, I now pronounce you husband a—!"

The knights opened the gates before the young master could ensnare himself in his speech. They had to follow the orders from the Chosen, no matter his age.

Immediately, Zelos ran up to the older one as they set their shy girl down to the ground, her pale blue eyes hidden behind the shade from her bonnet as she weakly stood with her knobby knees aquiver. He embraced her in a great hug. "Seles! You're here!" he cheered before releasing her and taking her by the hand. "Come on, let's go play!"

"Okay, big brother." She whispered as he followed in his tracks, a tiny smile gracing her gaunt features. She timidly tucked a bright red strand of hair back behind her ear.

The other traveler walked, as if in a daze into the bustling, busy city, paying no heed to the unwarranted, appalled stares they received from the other civilians. Dressed in rags, they headed towards the noble's district as the large, golden gates slammed shut behind them.

As the two children ran off, Zelos looked back at his sister with an excited beam.

"Hey, Seles! Did you hear? They say it's gonna snow tomorrow!"