By – Chibi / Warlordess
Tales of Symphonia Colloyd fic
Summary – Martel had told Lloyd and Colette that, for the Great Kharlan Tree to survive, they would have to shower it with love and adoration. However, somehow, no one thinks a Lloyd and Kharlan hugging ceremony was what the Reincarnation of Mana had in mind. . . Colloyd.
Rating – PG / K+.
Genre(s) – Romance, humor, drama.
Title - "Prime Example"
Chapter – One-shot.
They couldn't help but stare. Raine was wondering if he'd lost it; if one of her healing arts might bring him back. Genis wasn't too far behind, although, for his part, he'd much rather have taken the violent route to success (Fireball to the butt). Sheena's mouth was just slightly open, her left eye twitching, and Zelos, who was standing quite close beside her, had that wry grin on his face, as if he knew more than most of the others about what was going on, but didn't feel like telling. Last, and possibly least, Presea and Regal stood in the deepest onset of the background, one wearing her expression of. . . well. . . nothingness, possibly mixed with wonder, and his of mild concern, again, like the Professor, most likely for the boy's mental health.
"Colette, what's going on?" Raine asked, edging close to the ex-Chosen, hoping against hope that the younger woman might be able to shed some light on the situation before the healer had to resort to something more final, such as her rod. . . making contact with his head.
"Uhm, yea. . ." Colette turned to face all of her companions, anxious and excited and so much more. By the time everyone else had joined her and Lloyd, Martel had vanished, or, rather, she'd inhaled, begun to fade, and then fallen backwards into a wave of mana which had then seeped into the Great Kharlan Tree. But something so great, so grand, so. . . just between her and Lloyd and the incarnation of mana. . . was it really okay to talk about like this? ". . . Well, you see, Martel was here. She helped us to revive the tree, name it; she gave the guidelines on how to keep it well-nourished. . . But I think that maybe Lloyd. . . misunderstood?" Young Colette finished in a breath with a nervous giggle.
"Martel? The Goddess, or, you mean, Mithos' sister? She was revived after all, alongside the Great Tree. . . Thus the power of mana returns to our world full-fledged. We see what it's capable of. . ." Raine murmured in thought.
". . . Ah, no. . . ! Martel. . . she. . . she told us that she wasn't Mithos' sister; that that Martel is just one of the many reincarnations she's taken the form of in the past. She said she was. . ." And, as if it were forbidden or a great secret, Colette dropped her voice to a whisper, ". . . She told us that she was Mana."
Raine looked for just a moment as if this were the last thing she'd ever expected. But then her eyes lit up in generated interest as they always did at the thought of something new, something amazingly invigorating.
"Oh, my. . ." She started in a murmur again, ". . . If this Tree weren't needed in order for the entire planet's survival, I'd dissect it limb from limb right now!" This statement caused everyone originating from the Tetheálla lands to take at least one step back, some of them more frantically than others.
"Uh, heh. . . Yea, but, about Lloyd. . ." Colette began to turn back to her best friend, who had gone from rubbing up against the tree in a whole to rubbing his face up on it and seemingly whispering sweet things towards it, perhaps thinking Martel would hear.
"Okay, that's it, I'm going in. . ." Sheena sighed openly, having stopped her eye from twitching. After all, when the guy you maybe sorta possibly liked a little, kind of, but not too much and not too obviously, started whispering sweet nothings to a tree, someone had to make something give.
"Hey, Sheena?" The successor to the Mizuho village turned to the ex-Chosen who had just signaled her, "Do you mind if I do it?" The older woman blinked, stared – not accusingly, but just as if she was slightly confused, "It's nothing personal, it's just. . . I really know what's going on, and so I think I'll have the easiest time getting Lloyd to stop hugging that tree without resorting to violence." And Colette gave a reassuring smile, almost instantly convincing everyone.
"Yeah, okay, you go ahead. But if it doesn't work. . . I'm exorcising him." She finished in a monotone of finality. There was a grim nod in unison on everyone's part at this resolution.
"C'mon, you lovely, lovely tree, you! Bloom for me, baby! Because you're special and important and every being loves you, and your impartial life-giving abilities. . . !" Lloyd was half-muttering as Colette approached from behind and she was suddenly very relieved that no one had insisted in helping her on this.
I didn't know he even knew the definition to the word, 'impartial.' The ex-Chosen considered thoughtfully, shaking her head with the slightest of giggles. But then she turned serious. She could do this; she had nothing to lose from preventing Lloyd from further foolery. . . except possibly his complete faith and comfort in her.
"Ah, look at that mana-flow. . . !" Lloyd took a moment to glance up towards the highest areas of the branches of the tree.
"Uhm; hey, Lloyd. . . ?" Colette introduced herself to him just as he was bending his head back down against the bark of the trunk.
"Hey, Colette! You came to show your respect for Martel's gift for us. . . ?" He gave her a suddenly bright smile and patted aforementioned gift with his hand.
"Uh, sure; always. After all, it's thanks to her that everything is going to be alright for everyone; and you." She returned his friendly gesture and then clasped her hands gracefully together.
"I'm praying, thanking Martel for all she's given, even if she's not a Goddess, she's still deserving of this. And what can I say? Old habits die hard." Again, she giggled, and this time he heard her, but he was still unsure.
"But. . . what about the Great Tree? You pray to Martel, and I'm sure she's appreciative, I am, too; but she said we had to show love and adoration for the Great Tree. . ." And so he decided, that if she was going to spend her time praying, he'd spend his adoring.
". . . I don't think you got it right; I think you misunderstood what she was saying, Lloyd." Colette spoke quite suddenly, and when he glanced her way, it was to see her eyes were still closed, her expression overall euphoric. Was she still praying?
. . . Perhaps, for him?
"You mean Martel. Do you know for sure? Are you still. . . connected to her?" He replied almost casually.
"No; I think that when she dissipated into the physical form of mana and became one with the Tree, all last recesses of human, elven, or Goddess-like attributes faded away completely, too."
"Then what makes you think I'm doing this wrong. . . ?"
"Because," and she knew her first line of justification could've been considered a complete crock, "you looked and sounded so ridiculous to everyone just a moment ago. Sheena has considered that you're posessed; the Professor, wants to cleanse your body; and Genis. . . well. . . he thought about shooting magic at you but I'm not sure if he was actually trying to help or if he was just curious of what you'd do afterwards. . ." And Colette actually seemed to consider the possibilities for a moment before Lloyd attempted to continue the conversation.
"So . . they all think that I'm mentally unstable?"
"Well, isn't that something you should ask them; not me?" She tried desperately to raise the spotlight from her front.
"But, then, what do you think? About this in general, I mean. How should I consider what Martel said to us?"
"You. . . want my opinion? But the others. . ."
". . . have excellent ideas on this, I'm sure. But they weren't there with me when it happened."
"Oh." She decided that maybe, on some level, she liked this. She liked her thoughts being considered. But she wasn't sure about how Lloyd would feel, how possibly pressured he might feel to accept her ideals, "Okay. Uhm, I think that Martel wanted us to focus more on. . . us."
"I don't understand."
Of course not. She knew he wouldn't. Lloyd was Lloyd, even after all of this. It was almost gratifying to know, and yet. . . she had hoped it would be a little easier to explain.
"The Great Tree, while admirable, is still. . . a tree. It's not accurate to assume that you're meant to wake up everyday and walk over here for a hug. When Martel mentioned love and adoration to us before, her eyes grew soft and her aura warm. I noticed a flickering memory there of a powerful love she felt when she was walking the land."
"Who for?" Lloyd seemed interested in this news.
"I. . . can't say." Given, even if she knew for sure, she still wouldn't. It wasn't her secret to divulge.
"Still, what's it got to do with the here and now?" He asked, allowing the topic to drop.
"She allowed herself to remember that feeling as she told us what to do to keep the Great Tree alive. I think, perhaps, that it was a set example of what we're meant to do. We're meant to show the opposite of what we saw so much of on our pilgrimage, to show we care for each other, and then. . . the Tree is supposed to thrive from that."
Lloyd gave himself a moment to consider this. True, it was a hell of a lot less embarrassing (at least, when it came down to tree hugging), but still. . . What did Colette mean. . . ? What was she getting at? He didn't want to assume, or, rather, he didn't want to be left assuming wrong. He figured that if Martel considered "love and adoration" between herself and another person during her speech with him and Colette, then it might have been safe to assume that she was – as Colette had previously forewarned – justifying what she expected of them.
It made sense.
But still. . . he wasn't sure what Colette was expecting, then.
"Okay, I think I've got it." And the previous Chosen's expression, formerly one half-filled to the peak with worry and apprehension and wonder as to what he could've been thinking, lit up in delight, ". . . almost."
And the light from her eyes faded nearly instantly again.
"I just. . . I want to be sure. . . What do you propose we do now that we have a better idea? The world is at peace now and there are no more sacrifices to fear for. The word might already be spreading on its own. Good tidings for all, right?" He grinned brightly.
"Uhm, yeah." She replied, returning his gesture. "but isn't it a good idea to give them a common-day example? Who knows what could happen if we don't; people might not react in the exact way that's needed."
"But. . . I don't. . . What should we do, then? Who should we send to try and show everyone that this is how we need them to help the Great Tree?" His voice seemed to grow slightly softer at the continuation of the conversation.
"Well," her voice lowered itself too, but in the sense that she still had a means to properly assist him in finding a solution, "you were the one who saved us all, Lloyd. And more times than not, we've all entrusted you with our lives. So I would say that makes you the prime candidate."
"But. . . but, uh. . ." He wanted to tell her that he was an idiot, the same blithering idiot who had forgotten all about her birthday, who had worked all night to craft a present for her but then had allowed that present to be broken to pieces. He was the same idiot who had allowed Colette's soul to be whisked away by Cruxis. Then, and she didn't know this (for which he was eternally grateful), he was the idiot who had been convinced by Genis that the only way to get Colette back might very well have been to bear his own soul, and thus he'd stated oh-so aggressively that he'd loved her. He'd hoped beyond anything that it would make her return. . . as if it was her choice. But, anyway, Lloyd knew himself relatively well, and he knew himself to be no romantic genius. "But maybe you could, Colette. . .
"I mean, you were the Chosen, the international figure of peace and salvation, everyone knows you – or of you. You have so many lights that could flow through the minds of all of the people. You should probably have the easiest time convincing them with the words you speak."
"Well. . . I think. . . so would you."
"So we're back to where we started? I mean, I think you're good for it; you think I'm good for it. . ."
"But let's remember that this is a two-person job, especially, Lloyd; you have so many stabilized relationships with everyone, and not just our friends. If you were to go, it would be easy to find someone qualified to help you out. I mean, Sheena; she cares so much for you and she wouldn't mind another adventure, especially one between just the two of you." Colette finished quite mysteriously, as though hinting at something but giving just enough leave-way to hope her best friend would figure it out for himself.
"Sheena. . . and me? Going on a pilgrimage. . . ? One like that?" Lloyd asked blankly, then he glanced at the Mizuho shinobi for a moment and, even from this distance, he could see her jump back just slightly, her hands held up as though they were a defense mechanism. She was wondering how the topic could suddenly have switched over to her. "I. . . dunno. . . It's a bit. . . too far, isn't it? I mean, she and I – we're only friends – and to run around trying to fake thoughts like that. I mean, it would be a bit awkward for her, too, wouldn't it. . . ?"
Colette giggled anxiously, "But, the way you talk, who can we ask. . . ?"
Now it was commonly known that Lloyd was no genius, and when he came up with a valuable idea (the few times that it actually happened), it was also known that he should be praised for it. So Colette stood there before him, being the person he trusted most in the world, her thoughts troubled by pity for Sheena, worry for the life of the Great Tree, anticipation for the great, wonderful, spectacular idea that Lloyd would soon relay to her because, well, she simply believed in him so much that she knew to have faith in this.
". . . Maybe us."
"Uhm. . . huh. . . ?" But, in all of her outstanding faith, she had not been expecting that.
She had hoped, of course, but that was it. She loved her best friend more than anyone; he had been her savior, which was something when you considered who she was to the entire world. And Colette knew that she loved him beyond his being her best friend, too. She was not the brightest, but it was impossible for her to stake her life for the people of Sylvarant and to realize at some point that there was something she was regretting. . . only she wouldn't have known what that thing was. It made sense when she thought about how much she relied on him, whether it was the words he spoke or the actions he took.
"Travelling with me under those circumstances isn't uncomfortable for you, though?"
Lloyd shrugged, and Colette wasn't sure whether she should be upset by the gesture or take it all in stride.
"With you, I don't really have to think about it. I mean, going with Sheena would be weird, and the Professor would probably be worse." He took a moment to laugh bashfully, a hand floating through his scalp. "Presea doesn't exactly scream 'love and peace and happiness' so I think that it's unlikely that I could take her. And don't even ask me to consider Genis and Zelos." He coughed, even more red in the face, "Honestly, Colette, if I had to be the prime example of how to love and trust in another person. . . I could only imagine that the best one for that opposing job would be you.
"I don't know why, really, but you make the most sense. You're the easiest one to think of without wondering how it will effect us in the long run."
"Because we're so close, right?" She asked, finally coming to her decision to let things run at their own speed.
"Well, yeah, I guess that could be it."
"Because we're best friends, and we've adapted to each other's emotions and ideals more than the others."
"Because we love each other?"
Lloyd blinked. Maybe he should think about that one before answering so automatically, like he had her other inquiries. After all, maybe this was where Colette had been wanting to lead the conversation all along, and she had hoped for the most honest of replies to it.
Surprisingly, though, he knew what to say even now. And he knew that he meant it.
". . . Yeah, because we love each other."
Notes - Hahah! I thought this would take longer, or that it would go on longer, but I think this was the perfect way for it to end. Open-minded, so that shippers can't really complain. There was enough closure on the Colloyd-factor for all of my agreement-shippers to be satisfied, and the acceptence of Shelloyd, so that anti-shippers can't bash me for acting irrationally about what they think is real. Lol. I think I'm expecting more than what I'll be getting. Still, I really liked this idea, and it made me laugh to think that Lloyd might not take what Martel said the right way. Plus, Colette was the SMART one! YAY!
Reviews make me giggle. Who doesn't like a giddy writer? :D