Author's Note: I started off writing this as a detailed depiction of the Aifread side-quest after he gives you the letter to Lyla. Except it didn't work out quite like that. As a side note, this takes place a year or so after the end of the game. I imagined it as if Lloyd was staying at Zelos' mansion for some sort of festival week and brought all his costumes and stuff with him.
Summary: He was warned about it being too small; of course, he didn't listen. (ZelosxSheena)
Disclaimer: If Tales were mine, well…it'd probably be pretty much the same as it is except I'd be rich. Therefore, I don't own it because I'm not rich and not likely to become so anytime soon.
"Chick's dig pirates, Lloyd!" Zelos whined. "Please, you've got to lend me your pirate costume! Just so I can get myself a cute hunny at the party tonight!"
Lloyd eyed Zelos suspiciously. "What about your amazing girl-catching skills? Have they finally failed you?"
Zelos looked offended at the suggestion of his usual tactics not working. "No, no, no Lloyd! You don't seem to understand; girls dig pirates. No girl can resist them. Just think about how well my usual tactics will work combined with my sexiness in a pirate costume!"
Lloyd eyed Zelos doubtfully. "I don't think it will fit you, Zelos."
Zelos snorted. "Are you implying that I am fat?" Lloyd's eyes widened and he shook his head vigorously. Satisfied, Zelos flipped back a strand of stray hair.
"No, no, that's not it at all. It's just that…you have a bigger bone structure than me meaning your muscles and stuff are bigger…and uh…I don't think it will fit you…" Lloyd finished lamely.
"Nonsense. So what if it's a little tight? Please, Lloyd! Be a sport and lend it to me for a little while."
Lloyd remained silent for a few moments and then relented. He dug the costume in question out of the bottom of a drawer and handed it over reluctantly to an exuberant Zelos. The crimson haired ex-Chosen snatched it out of Lloyd's hands and caressed the material. "Ooh, the hunnies are gonna love this! Thanks, Lloyd!"
"No problem," Lloyd muttered as Zelos dashed out of his room without waiting for a response. The ex-Chosen was just as crazy as ever, it seemed.
The party was as grand as Zelos had expected it to be. Costume parties were events everyone looked forward too; they were fun, relaxing, and a great place to gossip. Plus, people loved to show off their figures wearing the most daring outfits they could come up with. It was, in Zelos' humble opinion, any sane man's paradise. Because of these factors, costume parties were well attended and no one ever lacked for someone to dance with.
Zelos felt a little crushed in Lloyd's pirate costume; as the swordsman had informed him the costume was indeed too small for Zelos. Nevertheless, the ex-Chosen forced himself into the too-small breeches and tugged the vest on with great ferocity. Everything was a very tight fit and Zelos found it quite a challenge to actually move in it; the Great Zelos Wilder, however, never backed down from a challenge.
Surrounded by a group of seven hunnies (two Bunnygirls, three maids, one scandalous priestess, and Presea in her Klonoa costume) Zelos felt perfectly comfortable. One of the Bunnygirls daringly reached out to feel his muscular arm with delicate fingers and another was running her fingers over his vest. Only Presea did not take part in the frivolous conservation (or fondling of Zelos) and instead watched the goings-on with an interested gaze. No doubt she knew exactly whose costume it really was; she had been there when Aifread had granted it to Lloyd after all.
"Now, now ladies, settle down. There's plenty of me to go around." The women giggled shamelessly at that.
"Oh Zelos, where did you ever find such a lovely costume?" one of the maids simpered. "It's so authentic, so very sexy!"
"Why thank you, my beauteous hunny," Zelos said gracefully. "I'm so glad you approve of it. It's just something I had lying around my house. Honest!" he added when the ladies laughed disbelievingly at that.
He blinked. Presea was staring at him flatly. "Yes, Presea?"
"You're horrible, wahoo."
Presea's voice was cool, and Zelos suddenly felt uncomfortable under her scrutinizing gaze. The other six girls vaguely chorused comments of "How dare you insult Lord Zelos, wench!" and "What's wrong with you, girl? This is Lord Zelos you're speaking to!" Zelos only smiled awkwardly.
"Don't worry, my hunnies," he said, "She means nothing by it. Presea and I go way back so there's no need to worry. She's always teasing me like this."
If it was possible, Presea's stance grew colder toward him. He made a teasing bow toward the Little Madame, but she did not smile and she did not relax her pose. A great tearing noise rent their air just then, however, and ruined the mood completely. The six ladies winced and Zelos' face darkened slightly. "What was that?" the scandalous priestess asked shrilly.
"Uh…" for once in his life, Zelos was at a loss for words. "I uh…it was that guy!" he pointed to a red-faced nobleman a few paces away. The man was fiddling with his jacket cuffs. All six pairs of eyes turned to where Zelos indicated as he took the opportunity to sit down on a nearby chair. "Oh, I'm so tired. I'll just sit here."
Presea was not fooled like the other women. "Serves you right," she hissed. "You were a jerk to pretend that that costume is yours when Lloyd only lent it to you out of the goodness of his heart! Now look at what happened! That's what happens when you colour the facts instead of being honest." What remained unspoken was that the women wouldn't have cared if it wasn't really his; they only cares about what it revealed on him anyway.
"Goodness, what is she saying now?" one of the maids piped up as the ladies turned their attention back to Zelos. Presea eyed her coolly. "Why do you associate with such people?" Zelos did not answer her so she continued to babble on but he was no longer aware of it; instead he was painfully aware of the large rip on his backside.
"What's going on here?"
The conversation ended abruptly. Each woman eyed the newcomer with distaste and an outright jealousy. Zelos could tell by the woman's voice that it was Sheena but she looked nothing like her usual self. She was wearing a very elaborate costume (which Zelos remembered was called a "kimono"---it was a traditional dress worn by women in Mizuho) and her face was painted completely white. Sheena's lips were emphasized with red paint and that made them look more luscious than ever.
Zelos knew that staring was rude but he (and the other women) couldn't stop. Under the white makeup Sheena blushed with the all the attention on her. "What, cat-got-your-tongue?" she said sharply.
"We were just leaving. See you later Zelos." Each woman (save for Presea) stalked away as was their habit when Sheena appeared.
"What's their problem?" Sheena turned her eyes back to Zelos. "Close your mouth. It's undignified."
Obediently, Zelos shut his mouth. "You're gorgeous Sheena! Even more so than usual!"
"And you're no different from your ordinary self."
"What are you dressed as, wahoo?" Presea asked.
"I'm a geisha," Sheena explained. "I suppose you could say they're women devoted to the arts in Mizuho. Normally, a regular woman would never dress like this but for tonight I was given permission to and even had a real geisha help prepare me." She paused. "Do you like it?"
"Are all geisha as beautiful as you?" Zelos inquired by way of response.
"That's the general idea," Sheena replied dryly, "Of course, who am I to judge? I'm not a real geisha so I don't really know how to act like one. They teased me and said I'm much too scruffy to be one of them." Presea chuckled at that and Zelos laughed right out loud. Sheena blushed again. "So what's with you anyway? You seem uncomfortable."
"Uncomfortable? Me? No, no Sheena, you've got it all wrong. I'm perfectly comfortable. I'm right as rain. I'm---"
"Zelos ripped Lloyd's pants," Presea interrupted. "He cannot get up now without exposing his undergarments to the world, wahoo."
Zelos' face coloured. "It's one thing to show off in a woman's room," he muttered, "It's quite another to show off to the world."
Sheena absently fanned herself with an ornate fan she had brought with her. "So it would seem. What will you tell Lloyd?"
"Nothing! I'll have the seamstress fix them like new. He'll never know. And besides, what he doesn't know can't hurt me. Or him."
"That is assuming you can leave this party hall without him---and everyone else---finding out," Sheena observed.
He nodded gravely. "Please, help me out Sheena!"
She considered. "I suppose I could. It's not like I've got anything better to do anyway. Get up then, I'll walk close behind you so no one notices."
"Why not just lend me your sash?"
It was Sheena's turn to go red. "I would rather not unclothe myself in a room full of more than a hundred people. Now get up."
It was slow going to get out of the party hall. Too many people (mostly women) wanted to speak at length with Zelos so Sheena was forced to shoo them away since Zelos did not seem inclined to do so himself despite his predicament. Out in the street there were fewer people but Zelos insisted that Sheena remain close behind him just in case someone appeared out of nowhere. He didn't like having split pants and he had no intention of taking a chance that someone may see him (in a dark street) with such a wardrobe malfunction. He was unusually vain.
"You should have known they'd be too small," Sheena said later when Zelos had reappeared in his pajamas.
"You're not going back?"
Zelos shook his head. "That's enough excitement for one night."
"Well then, if you'll excuse me," Sheena said, "I ought to return. I might as well enjoy my night since I didn't dress up like this for no reason."
"What? You're leaving? Stay a while!"
Zelos just looked at her. "It's more fun with me…?" he said uncertainly. Sheena rolled her eyes and snapped her fan open again. She almost laughed, Zelos noticed, and that made him smile.
"No, Zelos. I want to see everyone else so I'm going back."
With a sigh, Zelos walked over to her and opened the door. "Goodnight then, Sheena. And thanks for helping me out." He took her hand and lifted it to his lips; her eyes went very wide and her face went red again. The feel of his lips against her skin made Zelos feel rather hot inside so he let her hand drop after a moment.
"No…no problem. Goodnight, Zelos."
"Zelos, what happened to my pants?!" Lloyd demanded the next afternoon.
"What do you mean?"
"Your seamstress just returned them to me. What happened to them?"
"They ripped, didn't they?"
"Who told you that?!"
"You did. Just now," he added, "Didn't I say they'd be too small?"
"Yeah, yeah, you were right. Sorry Lloyd. But now they're fixed good as new, right?" Zelos grinned.
Lloyd shrugged. "And one more thing: tell your servants that my name's not 'Bud'!"