Author - Chibi / Warlordess
Notes - Oh my, I've been slowly but surely working my way up to this fic for so many months now that I'm actually scared of writing it for fear that I'll be disappointed in myself. . . Still, I really liked the idea. . . I mean, Colette suffers (can you believe I'm a huge fan?) and Lloyd saves her, and it's all about the feelings, let alone a physical illness that comes into play and might or might not have something to do with Cruxis. . . Whoo. . . ! I'm so excited and pumped now!
Okay, so please read and review honestly! This is going to be my first Colloyd confession fic (if all goes well) out of. . . How many has it been now? Like, four or five? I've been wanting to do this for-ev-er. Lol. So. . . that's it! Please enjoy!
Disclaimer - I wish, most sincerely, that I owned Tales of Symphonia. That OVA would have finished if I did, damnit! And Colloyd? Yeah, that would have really, totally, completely happened. And Sheena would have obviously warmed up to Zelos. . . Not to mention Presea and Genis. . . (I still want to write my one-shot idea on them anyway; hopefully it's not too farfetched, and maybe it wasn't even a one-shot. I can't remember anymore.)
Tales of Symphonia - "Angelus Tainted"
Summary - The Chosen of Regeneration had not been since the time Lloyd said he would save her. And yet, Colette agonizes when she begins to realize her greatest wishes aren't for the good fortune of everyone around her, but rather for a specific someone. . . And now, Cruxis has turned her away as the one with the power to regenerate Sylvarant. Colloyd.
Part One - "Ensnared in the Web"
Colette glanced up at Sheena from across the fire. The moon glowed from above and the stars twinkled like frozen rain. Everyone else was asleep, even Lloyd, as the group camped outside, down the cliff from the temple of the Summon Spirit of Darkness. Colette remembered offhandedly how Lloyd had originally had every intention of being the nightwatch but Sheena had told him to get to sleep and that she'd take his place. There was something about returning a favor, but Colette knew no more than that.
"So where's Corrine?" Colette asked, as if something inside her had just realized he was missing. At the sound of his name, though, Sheena's head snapped up and her breath shortened for an instant. Colette knew immediately that she would have done better to keep silent about it.
"He's not. . . he's not with me anymore." Sheena answered with slight hesitation and shuffled through her robe until she found the small object she had been looking for; Corrine's bell. Colette saw it and began to piece the situation together but didn't want to immediately think the worst.
"So, um, you. . . he went back to the Elemental Research Laboratoy then?" She asked hopefully, her heart already responding to the possible actuality.
Sheena was quite surprisingly very patient with the blond Chosen even though on the inside she just wanted to stop - stop talking about it and get up and kick something and scream and take out her rage somehow. But no; she'd grown up better than that, she was a better person, plus a shinobi of the Mizuho village, a student in the art of the Igaguri style. Her training had taught her that she needed to keep a cold head when faced with adversity or pain or other emotional delusions. And how else was Colette supposed to know anyway? While they'd been gaining Volt's electrical power to use on the Rheairds, she had been off and kidnapped by Rodyle having who-knows-what being done to her. Sheena couldn't blame her for wanting to know what had happened while she was gone.
"No Colette; that's not how it happened. . . Hm. . . He's gone." She gripped the bell tighter and it tinkled a bit, drawing their attention. "He. . . died, sacrificed himself to save me while we were fighting Volt. I - I couldn't move at all, especially not fast enough to dodge his attacks."
Something about it seemed peculiar to Colette so, despite knowing that it would be better to drop the topic of conversation, she pursued it anyway.
"Was something wrong, Sheena? Oh no, you weren't sick were you?"
"Huh? No, why would I be. . . ?"
"Oh, but it's just that you've dealt with the Summon Spirits before and even when you fought Gnome, you were just fine in battle. . . Was something wrong with Volt in particular?" Sheena looked away and Colette finally decided not to push the subject out of naivety. By this time, however, Sheena knew that keeping it a secret from one member of their group in particular would be meaningless.
"He, uh, I mean I. . . Before I met you guys, years ago, my grandpa asked me to test my skills under his training by. . ." The one perfectly good thing about telling the same tragic story to Colette that everyone else knew was that there was always a sympathetic ear. It was comforting to know at least a few people who didn't blame her because, despite all of her training, she wasn't strong enough to admit she didn't value other people's opinions of her. In fact, they meant almost everything.
"Oh - oh, Sheena, I'm sorry. . ." Colette said, clasping her hands together in her lap once the summoner had finished her story. It was so sad losing somebody you loved. She remembered all of the battles Lloyd and her other friends had been in, a great deal of them fought for her sake. They had almost lost their lives countless times and she could only be grateful that they had lived through all of the misfortune they'd faced. Still, she could sympathize very easily with Sheena, partially because that was just the kind of person she was and partially because she'd been there before. For the longest time she'd been told - had grown to accept - that the day she left the village of Iselia to regenerate the world would also be the last day she'd ever see her friends. . . see Lloyd. . .
Perhaps knowing this as well was what made Sheena immediately know that Colette's reaction was one hundred percent genuine, and understanding.
"Thanks Colette, but. . ." The summoner took a deep breath, somehow shaky, and her abdomen fluttered in anxiety, ". . . I think I'll be okay. I mean, it still hurts obviously but I know Corrine made the choice he wanted, and he did it to help me. . . He was the only one I could ever talk to about what happened with Volt when I was younger. He wanted to show me that I could be strong, I could face this challenge. . ." And then she laughed, fingering the small bell she'd been holding the entire time. It tinkled almost merrily. "It's weird though. I mean, I never thought this would be so easy to talk about. . . Now though, I've talked with you, and Lloyd too."
"Lloyd?" Colette's heart fluttered just slightly like it always did when she heard his name or thought about him. She heard something familiar in the words Sheena spoke, the tone she used, but it seemed impossible to place when she was this distracted.
"Yeah, um, before we actually took Volt on, we were at Mizuho and, well, no one except that stupid Chosen knew about the first time I'd tried to make a pact with him so. . . I was really upset when everyone found out, and terrified about facing that challenge again - let alone failing. I didn't know what they'd think, if they'd be disgusted or lose their faith in me. . .
". . . But Lloyd found me and talked me through it. He did it again in the Thunder Temple, after Corrine. . . yeah. I didn't know what to do because he'd died for me, to save me. . . ! I felt like such a coward. . . and guilty that I didn't believe he could help me at all, like I had failed because Corrine was my only best friend, you know?" Sheena took a shuddering breath while Colette nodded her head feircely in reply, her eyes tightly shut. The want to protect the one dearest to you was sometimes so powerful that if you couldn't come through for them, it seemed so easy to believe that you were no good. She could count on one hand the number of times she'd succeeded in supporting Lloyd the way he needed it. . .
. . . But, somehow, he surpassed everything she'd ever done in all of her life just by giving her hope that she could live longer than the sixteen years Cruxis had given to her. Let alone everything else he'd done for her.
"But Lloyd changed my perceptions. It's because of what he told me that I decided to fight back. I wanted to, I had to. . . otherwise I'd never be able to move on, to be confident in my summoning abilities. It would haunt me."
Those eyes snapped open again and Colette drew breath, attempting to distract herself with the crackle of the fire. She knew the sound of Sheena's voice, recognized it so easily now. Admiration. It was how she'd started out too.
Colette knew that, from that moment on, she would never be able to stand a chance against it. It hurt so much, it ached, it festered - she was amazed that it hadn't somehow begun to physically effect her. Sometimes breathing seemed so laborous that she simply wanted to hold it in until it wasn't necessary anymore. . . but she didn't want the others to notice her obvious turmoil. She could handle it until it disappeared. It always disappeared. It would come and she would wonder what she'd ever done so wrong to deserve all of those pitiful emotions coursing within her and then it would go and she would feel rejuvenated for the time being.
Lloyd would never have the heart to hate her, she knew, no matter what she told him about herself. His image of her was of a perfection she simply didn't emanate anymore. Or perhaps she never had that to begin with. Perhaps Lloyd had seen a frosty and misleading reflection of himself, because Lloyd was perfection - he featured the label and all - and she watched his decor and furnishings grow more elaborate everytime she looked at him.
She didn't want anyone to know her secret, but least of all him. She couldn't even say why. Maybe she didn't want to be hated or rejected or misunderstood. . . Or maybe she couldn't bear the disappointment he'd most certainly feel for her.
Colette was in love with Lloyd. She had wondered if it would happen for the past few years; she'd heard stories about love after all - how it happened, when and who was likely to be a candidate. Colette was perfect for it.
More than that, she had assumed that falling in love was a carefree and flawless transition and that it wouldn't effect who she was very much at all. . . That was wrong to think, however, because it was something as simple as her thoughts that were turned topsy-turvy.
No longer were her intentions what she thought was best for the world. Now, if she didn't think Lloyd would be happy about it, it simply wouldn't be good enough for her. She thought he was the world, and he was already her world; he knew how to do everything that was good and great. He paved her sidewalks and wrote the words she would die to say for him.
She remembered now that she had laid on the ground that night, covered in blankets that the group had given her. Sheena was still up and though she was no longer looking at the blond Chosen since their conversation was over, Colette couldn't help but wonder if the older woman knew she was awake and alert as well. Sleep was hard to come by after listening to the summoner's story and her idolizing tone (though Sheena herself seemed not to notice); Colette was just too restless for it to find her. To take her attention away, she had aimlessly scratched an itch at her back, though it persisted for a few minutes before leaving her alone, and then she turned on her side.
She was worried. She felt the difference now, late at night, when she couldn't find anything else to distract her from it. She didn't feel as strong, as conscious to the goings-on around her, and she felt heavier somehow. She'd heard of this happening to others under the guise of stress or depression. The emotional or mental illness would manifest itself with physical symptoms. She should've considered herself lucky that those few were all she felt.
But, still, she worried. She clenched her eyes shut, trying to will herself to sleep again so she wouldn't have to think, but it didn't work, so she allowed her thoughts to travel back over her conversation with Sheena for the thousandth time that hour.
Of course it was a terrifying thing, losing the one you loved - wanted - at your side more than anyone else. And to her own selfishness and posessiveness? She was pathetic, a horrible person. . .
Lloyd, I wish it were simpler than this. I wish I could come out with it, tell you, and know for certain that you wouldn't reject me. . . The mantra made her hope, she tried to think of the best possibility everytime she felt the negativity begin to eat away at her. She had done it at that time too, bewildered by the slight stinging pain that had come from the itch on her back, but considered it a leftover from scratching a little too hard and ignored it, left it at that.
Rolling over on her side, she hoped that it would linger on a little less that way (somehow the memory had led to a shadow of that itch), and stared at Sheena's back. It was the dark of night again, and still sleep was refusing to wash over her. For whatever reason she couldn't stop her mind reeling back to that other night when she and the summoner had talked about her hardships and Lloyd's comfort. Her brow furrowed and her fists clenched. . . and then she loosened up again, a foreboding sense of horror coming to her. No. . . ! Just who was she becoming? Her senseless jealous urges were turning her into some moral-lacking excuse for a human being! What kind of person was she? What kind of Chosen of Regeneration?
What kind of best friend to Lloyd Irving-Aurion, the young man who did anything for the benefit of those who inhabited the two worlds?
. . . Suddenly the worlds mattered a little less to her, though.
But what was she supposed to do? Grin and bear it? Hope nobody noticed while she continued to think less and less of everything but him? She knew that her distracted sense of longing would become more conspicuous to everyone the longer it went on. But maybe. . . maybe it wouldn't! Maybe she would get better without anyone wondering what might have been wrong with her in the first place! After all, how lucky would it be? Because then she would have no problem taking her secret to bed with her; not that she would be telling anyone anyway, of course.
No, no. . . She'd much rather live with the blissful ideals that Lloyd went on about and the belief of his that she was a good person. She wouldn't, couldn't, tell anyone! Not even if that simple task would make everything better.
Nobody would ever know.
Notes - Okay, for those who are curious, the first few chapters or so are going to be split into two separate parts. The first will be a flashback of Colette's to a time during or after a bit of the gameplay where she will partake in or overhear (or something!) conversations between other character about Lloyd in some way. These flashbacks will end up being the main things that tear her apart somewhere along the line, and will be in italics. The other half is current gameplay, and based on the ending of the game, basically right before the final battles with Mithos. There may come a time when I rely on a side-quest or two to make the plot stick. . . but, right now, only one in particular comes to mind. You'll see it in a few chapters.
But, whew! The next chapter's gonna be a doozie compared to this one! I mean, the flashback itself is going to be at least twice as long - about Presea and Lloyd, taking place after the scene where we learn the Pope is poisoning the king of Tethe`alla, and the death of Vharley. I hope I'm not overdoing it, but when I started drafting it in my notebook it just flew off on its own and I stopped paying it any real attention. I'm going to try and cut a bit of it out though, just to be safe, because I know for a fact that I ended up repeating some of the scene with the Pope, and I think it could have been avoidable. Anyway, also look forward to Genis's attempt to woo Presea! YAY! Hahahah. . .
And I'd appreciate any reviews I can get, seeing as my other latest ToS story kind of bombed in that way.