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.)

OoOoO

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 Ten - "To Find My Happy Ending"

OoOoO

"I love you, Lloyd." The words had finally left her, despite every and all attempts made to keep them inside for so long. A strange sensation swept over her as she recovered from them. Despite all of the fear and dread, she also felt. . . relieved. She hadn't thought it possible all this time. For so long, she had assumed that if she didn't tell him, she would die. And if she did tell him, she would still die. The only difference between the two situations was that Lloyd's belief in her would depend on if she elaborated or not.

Unfortunately, now that it had started speaking, her heart would not stop until it was completely done.

"I love you, but inside, I don't know what to do about it!" Lloyd gave her a questioning glance, perhaps to ask what she meant, but she couldn't let him keep her from going on, "I mean, it's changed me. . . I'm fighting so hard so that it won't - so that I can undo it all, but it's impossible! It hurts so much when I think I might lose you, and sometimes I have violent urges to keep you to myself - to tear you away from everyone else. . . !" She heaved a sigh, then another. She had said everything in one gulp after all. "But I can't, I won't, I'm constantly holding myself back. I don't - I didn't ever want you to figure it out. . . because, in loving you, I somehow ended up neglecting everyone else. . . and so they suffer without my thoughts and prayers."

Lloyd blinked; that speech had been rather long-winded and contained a lot of information, and he didn't know what to say. Part of him wondered if she'd strayed purposefully from his questions, but another part of him thought that maybe he understood. May she'd answered him the best - the only - way she knew how. Although that didn't mean that he had no new questions because of it.

"But. . ." And, as if he hadn't heard the first thing she said - the most important thing - he continued, "But why does it matter so much? I mean," he hadn't meant to say it like that, like he didn't care! He just. . . it was just that he wasn't sure, and she was the only one who could help to connect all of the pieces, "I mean, you. . . Colette, change isn't necessarily bad, you know? What you feel, who you are--"

"No! No, no. . . It's not about that! Well, it is, but it's worse than what you think!" She tried to collect herself and drew in a deep breath, stilling her trembling hands, "It's because of those changes that I'm not who I used to be, who I should be! I used to be able to pray for everyone's safety, everyone's hopes and lives, but I can only do that now if I force myself to. All I can think about is you! That's how it's been for so long. . . ! I'm sorry!" She exclaimed, and probably would have bowed in shame and forgiveness had she been standing at the time. Instead she felt her lungs quake and her head spin, so she quieted down for a moment and drew breath, afraid to collapse in front of him. Or, rather, she was afraid that, in losing consciousness, she would also lose sight of him, and maybe wake up again alone. She didn't want him to abandon her; she wouldn't be able to handle it, she knew.

"You're. . . sorry? But what are you apologizing for?" He asked, slightly frustrated and with a creased brow.

"B - because. . . you worked so hard to save me, your friend, and now. . . I can't even be that person anymore. Because of these feelings, this love, and how I've changed because of it. I'm sorry. . . but," she bit at her lip, remembering that time awhile ago now when she'd come to terms with it all. No, not the time when she had been trying to go back to who she'd originally been, but the time before even that, when she had decided on what she would like to do for herself, "but. . . I've felt like this for so long now. Behind the fear, underneath my frustration, clouded by my worry that you would never accept me the way I am, I embraced this new strength. I wanted to keep it forever, and hold it so close. . . I love the idea of being in love. . . even if it's impossible for me."

Lloyd seemed baffled by what she was saying. She couldn't help but wonder if he'd even wrapped his mind around her confession and accepted the knowledge yet. Despite everything - and she couldn't help but laugh at the hilarity of it - she felt herself go a little red, was slightly anxious. It wasn't about all of the great, if terrible, things she had considered (not to mention expected) now. This came from the innocent teenage girl inside her who had just plucked up the courage to confess her love for a boy for the very first time. It did not outweigh her other fears, or alleviate them in the slightest, but for a moment - one instant - she felt the clear consideration that that was her only concern.

"Why would it be impossible for you? And why would I never accept you. . . ? Colette. . . you are my best friend. How many times do I have to tell you? No matter what happens, no matter how much time passes, or how much either of us might change. . . you'll still be you. Does that still mean anything to you at all? Don't take what I say so lightly, okay?" He dared to laugh towards the end of his statement, assuming that would be all she'd need to hear. But, alas, his final words did indeed only make it worse.

". . . That's the problem. I can't take what you say so lightly. Every conversation I've ever had with you holds a special place in my heart because everything you say to me has such great value. I'm sorry, Lloyd. . . you're the only one I think of like that, all of the time.

"And it's what I've been afraid of for so long. Could you accept me when I'm so selfish?"

"Me? Could I. . . ?" Maybe something had finally breached his immature mind or maybe it was just luck, but his cheeks seemed to be tinting more and more red, as if he was suddenly too uncomfortably hot to bear. "Hm. . . before that, I can't help wondering if the real problem is that you can't accept yourself. I get that these feelings are new, they're probably something you're not used to. . . but. . ."

An expression of dawning comprehension came to his features. Without realizing it, without paying any of the attention he should have been, he'd found his answer. At least, he thought he had. For so long she had fought this, abhorred it, denied it. . . but it had happened anyway. She'd attempted to alter it but to no avail. She was doomed to the perception of the Chosen versus humanity. He'd always known she was raised differently than him, had faced different challenges growing up. . . and it was keeping her from understanding that - despite how she'd grown up, how she'd studied to be the Chosen and accepted those duties, how she'd gone on her Journey of Regeneration and been embraced as the pinnacle of coming peace and salvation by the people of Sylvarant - she was still human. And as such, she was just as susceptible to those sometimes irrational fears, emotions, actions. . . just like the rest of them.

But she couldn't see it, couldn't see beyond the role Cruxis had given her at the very start of her life. Even though he had fought so hard to save her from that tragic end, had reinforced his ideals that all lives be given purpose, she still doubted him, and why was that? Was she that afraid of changing so much, or seeing the value in her own life, and all aspects, as much as everyone else's?

If he kept reassuring her, kept saving her, and they'd still ended up at the here and now, what did that mean? Furthermore, what could he do or say to convince her once and for all. . . ?

"I'm sorry, Lloyd. . ." Colette bowed her head in shame at the sight of what she thought was her friend's suffering. And she was right. Lloyd struggled amidst his own concern, his concern for her, and of course those questions that came to him swiftly without any sort of answers that followed. But through all of that, he felt a sense of frustration shake him at her words.

"Stop apologizing, you dork! I've told you already, again and again, that you shouldn't say sorry for thngs you can't. . ." He stopped suddenly and blinked. He'd just been reminded of the countless number of apologies she'd given him. . . including those recited in their current conversation, ". . . control. . . Colette. . . ?" He looked at her but his newest inquiry wouldn't leave his lips. More than anything, he prayed that it wouldn't be true though he was also very sure that it was.

She stared silently back at him, not sure if she should offer anything to say on her own.

"Colette. . . that's killing you, isn't it?" He seemed to be thinking it over for a moment. He knew what he wanted to say, what he had to say; and luckily they were the same thing, weren't they?

"Colette, I would always accept you, whatever you might be or change into!" Her hand was close enough for him to reach across and grab it without her pulling away. He had to grill this truth into her head. It might save her! "All this time we've been fighting and finding the answers about why the worlds are the way they are, why Mithos is so desperate to bring his sister back to life, what the purpose is of the Chosen of Regeneration! We've gotten help from every source we could so that we could put it all right! But you're the one who pushed me to that! I didn't want you to die like that, for such a useless lack of purpose! You're my best friend, aren't you? Didn't you want to experience that for a little while longer? You know, a life with friends and family who care for you like you do them? A life where you can get away with being ruled by your feelings for an instant or two, sort of. . . like you're doing now?" He wondered if he'd said something wrong. Colette felt alone now, wallowing in despair over these new urges and strengths - or weaknesses. He was sure that he wouldn't be making it better by forcing her to recall all of that, plus the weight of his own knowledge. But still, he hoped she would begin to see things the way he did. After all, if he couldn't. . . then. . .

"But. . . I - I'm not. . . I can't, I'm not supposed to! I'm not allowed! That's what I automatically tell myself when - it - happens! But it. . . doesn't get any easier, not for me. . . I shouldn't be able to get away with it, being the Chosen and forsaking that fate for all of those great things. . ."

"Being. . . the Chosen. . . ?" Lloyd blinked again bemusedly, wondering if he would finally be able to fit all of the puzzle pieces together with those words, "The Chosen? No! No, no! All this time, all of these fights and lies and discoveries! No! Colette, don't you see that it's because I - we - didn't want you to become like that?"

"But. . . it's who I am, all you know me to be. . ."

"But - well. . . !" She had a point, and he gave her some credit for it. From the very beginning of their friendship he'd known there was something special about her. How could he not, considering the way she was treated by all of the other villagers, the adults, the ones who knew what awaited her in the future? But children like him could only gather together and speculate based on the half-formed conversations they eavesdropped on once in awhile until that day that their Professor would deem them old enough to hear the scriptures of Cruxis, the words of the Goddess, and the history of the special ones who had been born before Colette.

He, like all of the other children, could only stare after the blond girl who always smiled despite herself and the obvious faults of everyone around her. They could only wonder about her special treatment, about why she ate different foods, why she got to skip out on lessons at least once a week, why the mayor and the priests from the Church of Martel would often visit her and her family at her home.

Innocent and curious, Lloyd had befriended her, the mysterious girl who was so important to everyone. He'd gotten to know her - the oblivious attitude, the ever-hopeful disposition, the clumsy affect. And then she wasn't so mysterious anymore - she was the Chosen, savior of their declining world who would defeat the Desians and monsters without even having to necessarily fight them in hand-to-hand combat. But even after learning all of that about her, Lloyd had felt like he was in on a special secret. After all, even though the whole world would be looking to the Chosen to save the land, he would be looking to Colette - his best friend - as she became an angel and brought peace to everyone the Desians were tormenting.

But then, that had begun to change slowly after he'd joined her on her journey. Here, Colette was supposed to be growing stronger, doing wonderful things only she could do, becoming an angel and bringing forth the right justice of the Goddess Martel and yet. . . yet she suffered the further she got, the more seals and holy power she released. It wasn't supposed to be like this, was it? The question began to cross his mind - could what they were doing be wrong? Should they have continued to push forward through Colette's illness and, as later revealed, her permanent loss of humanity?

But he hated questioning that. They were saving the world; of course it was right! And now Colette was releasing the seals and doing everything possible to wake the Goddess from her slumber! Could he really afford to have these doubts when his best friend needed him to have all of his faith in her? So he put the questions aside. . . but they didn't vanish completely, did they? They just stored themselves in the back of his mind until he couldn't avoid their existence anymore.

"But. . ." He tried again, the words barely existent and unintelligible, "But, Colette. . . that's not all you are. If it was, if that was the case, you would be gone, wouldn't you? But I knew you deserved more, and the rest of our friends, they wanted that for you, too. The Professor was the one who said we should go to Tethe`alla, Sheena was the one who wrote a letter to the king in Meltokio even knowing what it might do to the delicate position Mizuho was in. And Genis and I. . . we fought everything in our way to make sure you wouldn't be taken from us. We had to save you. We had to make sure you lived. Because all people saw in you was the sacrifice for Martel's vessel, and I think that was even all you saw in yourself. But you're so much more than that. . ." He coughed, looking embarrassed as he finished, ". . . to me anyway.

"Nothing you say or feel will change that fact. You're not the Chosen of Regeneration anymore, are you? Mithos decided that you were so long ago but we're going to end that. You shouldn't tie yourself down to the past. Who you were and who you are - neither makes you a bad person. . . You can embrace these new things you couldn't experience freely before. Nobody can hold it against you. I definitely won't.

"After all, the person I've always known is a good one. She's helpful and caring, sometimes clumsy, but she always tries her hardest no matter what. And she'll befriend anybody, hear anybody out, even if they've tried to hurt her once, because she believes in everyone she's ever met. If those qualities are from the Chosen, then I guess I never knew Colette. But if they came from my best friend, then I think I should know Colette pretty well by now, right?"

A breath of fresh air enveloped her from her fingers to the back of her neck, from the soles of her feet to her heart; her soul. It was the kind of peace that did not come from succumbing to the worst. This came from the perception of universal acceptance. She didn't know it would feel like this, didn't know what it would feel like in fact, because she had never expected it would happen to her.

She had been "the Chosen" for so long that it had in fact been her name, her nature, her identity. She had never thought it possible to separate herself from that. She didn't know she had it in her.

"So now, don't worry about being the Chosen, about being a sacrifice. Just be Colette Brunel. I've always liked her more than anybody else anyway." Lloyd shrugged and laughed happily. He had thought he'd gotten through to her. . . Was he right?

Instantaneously, she felt the nausea and the numbness, the fear and the pain, all disappear. It was as if she'd been drenched in water just to have it all washed away. She was left with the lethargy but also the relief. It was the rejuvenating sense of freedom, the same that had suddenly been aware to her when she'd gotten her soul back on the Fooji Mountains. But all of the trials she'd faced leading up to this point left her exhausted and, luckily, she was already laying on a mattress.

To just be Colette Brunel, a normal girl from the village of Iselia, who was kind and giving and forthright, who cared for everyone. . . but who also would fall in love with a boy and live a long life. . . It sounded like a nice story, an even better reality. And to think, it could've been her story, her reality.

It left her content enough to sleep to its lullaby. . . except for the gnawing at the back of her mind. She felt like there were still questions, still things needing cleared up. She didn't know the answer to - that - question yet. . . and, beyond even that, she couldn't help thinking of those few times awhile ago when. . .

As if in response to the obvious expression on her face, the hand encircled around hers even now tightened its grip, just enough to remind her it was there.

"What's wrong?" The voice was just as soothing to her, and it eased her guilt. How could she still doubt him, even if she really didn't doubt him? Why should she still have questions to ask and past situations to verify? She was surely pressing her luck.

"But Lloyd. . ." It was very hard to bring up with somebody you wanted to believe in that you were scared of believing in them. Please don't let him hold it against her! Please don't! ". . . I. . ." And she bit her lip, clamped her mouth shut. She definitely couldn't ask about that! She had just remembered that doing so would grant him knowledge to something she had done that she never wanted him to know about.

But which did she wish for now? Answers that would enable her to keep going or silence that would nibble at her soul for the rest of eternity? Just as strongly as her resolve was to sit back and accept her grim fate of death, was her new acceptance that she could live long and happy. This was the start of that new journey for her then. She would have to fess up.

"Do you remember that time when Presea killed Vharley? We found out about the Pope working with him, and about the King being poisoned, and. . ." This was a lot harder than she'd hoped it would be.

"Yeah, I remember that. You couldn't hear him then, could you?" Lloyd asked cautiously. He didn't want to distract her too much from where she was going with this, just wanted to ease her forward by letting her know that he was definitely still listening.

She slowly shook her head before continuing.

"But that night you asked me when I went upstairs to my room at Zelos' house if I was fine and I told you I was and - oh, I'm sorry for lying. . ."

"Geez, you dork, we're past that now right? What are you trying to say?"

". . . Um, well, you let me go to bed and said you'd check on me for dinner. . . But later on I woke up hungry and went downstairs to eat. You - you were talking with Presea. . . about what she'd done."

"Oh, yeah." He seemed to remember that, too.

"I'm sorry; I listened to your conversation with her even though it was none of my business. . . I just couldn't ignore it, especially when y - you lied to her."

". . . I did?"

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry but I know you too well. You rarely ever sleep the whole night so I know you had to have been up most of that night, too, but you told her you'd only gotten up to get a drink and would be going back to bed. You were lying, weren't you? You had been waiting for her to come downstairs. You wanted to talk to her, to spend time. . . with her. . ."

"Colette. . ." He fell silent for a moment, and she almost jumped at the sound of his muffled laugh a second later. "Heh, you were jealous or something? I don't get how you can be so passive about something like that! But. . ." He grew serious here, for which she was grateful because she knew that her face simply couldn't get any redder than it was currently. "But you have it wrong. I wasn't waiting for her.

"That night, I did as I told you I would. I went upstairs a few hours after our talk to see if you wanted dinner, but you were sleeping soundly and I didn't want to wake you. I'm sorry; I probably should have. You were hungry, right? But right then you just looked so tired, peaceful too; and you were cold, so I pulled up your covers and let you keep sleeping."

Colette blinked. Now that she thought about it, she remembered wondering how they'd gotten on her. She hadn't pulled them over herself, had she?

"You're right, though. I hate to admit to it, but I did lie to Presea. I didn't want her to feel obligated to hold in her thoughts if I told her the truth. That night, I was wide awake and waiting. . . for you. I was hoping you'd wake up finally and come downstairs so we could keep talking. I like our time together. I like talking alone with you. . . but more than that, I wanted you to tell me the truth." He blinked too, sounding as if he hadn't realized it until now. Maybe he hadn't. For awhile he had wondered why he kept letting her go, let her get away with keeping her secrets about how she was getting sick again.

He had given up his one chance early on to talk to her alone about all of it so that he could help another friend in need. Just like the Lloyd she loved so much.

"Not only that," he went on again, one brow creased as though he knew he was unveiling some huge secret of his own, "but there are times when I feel the same as you. Like, when we were traveling back to Meltokio with Princess Hilda. Zelos put his arm around your shoulder and. . . I wanted to beat him up!" He laughed it off here, bashful because of his confession. "I felt bad about that, and I'wouldn't actually do it because I know he's never serious about those things but I felt like he was trying to egg me on and I fell for it and got angry. I guess I get jealous sometimes too, huh?"

Colette gulped, hardly daring to believe it. She had noticed Lloyd wanting to end the moment going on with the rest of the group that time, but had written it off like everyone else, had assumed that he was just restless and looking for a fight. And maybe he had been, now that she thought about it, but it must not have been with any of the monsters in the neighboring area. . .

Jealous. Lloyd had been jealous of another man touching her.

He was staring at her seriously again and she knew she had to pay attention to what he said next.

But he didn't say anything. His tongue was tied.

". . . D - do you hear that?" She asked suddenly before she could stop himself. Curious, he looked around thinking that it was coming from out the window or in the hallway or something. She tightened her grip on him now, out of fear. It was a strange thumping sound, sort of hollow but thick and heavy, repeating over and over. "It's pounding in my ears. . . It's so loud that I can barely block it out. But I don't see where it could be coming from." She explained, hoping that if she did, he would be able to assure her that everything would still be okay.

"O - oh," he croaked, "that's it, huh? Hm. . ." He creased a brow again and seemed embarrassed, bringing his free hand up to his face and hoping she wouldn't notice it, but it was a little too obvious for that, "I - I'm pretty sure. . . I mean, I think I might know. . . hm. . . what you're talking about." He smiled despite himself and the next thing she knew, Colette was being drawn slightly towards him thanks to their interlocked fingers.

She wanted to ask what he was doing but her voice caught in her throat too. No, it wasn't because of the pain. . . This time it was simply because she was equally as nervous as him. But at the same time, she was still curious as he bashfully pulled that hand of hers towards his torso and loosened her fingers so that her palm sat flat and open against his chest, directly over his heart.

It was shallow enough so that she could barely feel it, but she did. The pounding that she somehow heard so clearly. . . it was coming from Lloyd, from his heart. She blinked, realizing it but unable to tell what it meant. Could she really afford to get her hopes up. . . ?

"It looks like you got your angel hearing back. . ." He said, almost stuttering, but he remained strong even throughout his feeble joke. At the same time, he felt he owed her an explanation, even if only to serve as an excuse to keep talking. "I can't seem to make it stop. I guess it's because I'm sort of like you. I'm nervous when you're not there because I don't know where you are or if you're okay, but I'm. . . also nervous when you're close by. What if I can't protect you? What if I fail? I - I can't do that. . . but I need to have you around. . .

"I love you. I mean, of course I love you. Everything I've done, I've done for you, with your best interests in my heart. My thoughts are always full of you and how I can keep you here with me. I'm sorry, Colette; I'm so possessive and I try not to be but. . . if I'm not then I might not be able to see you everyday. I need you here to keep myself going, don't you see? If you can keep being that person for me then I. . . I can love you freely for the rest of our lives. Is that okay?"

Colette gulped after hearing all of this, hardly daring to believe it. But he had offered the fact to her - a fact; it was a fact that Lloyd loved her like she loved him. Her head was swimming, suffocating from the news. But just as strong as all of that was the thought that coursed through her head. Sheena. . . had been right. She had not lied for Colette's benefit, but had told the girl her honest opinion. And she was right.

Suddenly Colette felt guilty all over again, understanding the summoner's point of view. Somehow, maybe because she'd gone so long feeling as though she wasn't worth Lloyd loving her forever and ever, the kind of love only teenagers believed existed, the kind that transcended realities. . . she knew she would owe the older woman an apology. And a word or two of gratitude, because she had been trying to help after all, though Colette refused to see it at the time.

But for now, she just wanted to bask in this feeling, this happiness. She wasn't sure how long it would last, and didn't want to give it up just yet. She wanted to hug Lloyd, because she knew she could. She wanted to kiss Lloyd, because she knew he would let her now.

Everything was right with her world, she decided. Now she could confess to him freely everyday exactly how she felt about him.

"I love you, Lloyd!" She was excited to be able to shout it as loud as her sore throat would let her.

And so they remained sitting there. Just two kids in love.

OoOoO

Notes - Hahah! It's over, it's finally over! I've worked so hard to finish this right, though I'm sorry that I broke my sort-of promise about it only being nine chapters long. But can you blame me? Sheesh, that last one was over fourteen thousand words! Who would read that, really? Gods, I hope I remembered everything I wanted to put in the finale. I mean, geez, there was a lot of ground to cover. Well, if you think I missed anything, I'm sure you'll let me know, right? Please do; I'll edit it and give you the appropriate credit. Just to let you know, though, that the other couples mentioned were only supposed to have snippets together anyway, so saying that I forgot to include their confessions too doesn't count. Lol.

Also, as this is the final chapter, I had thought about putting a little thing together at the end, a list of all quotes and things that inspired this fic, whether by words or situations. I hope that's alright. I just feel like some of these things are so easily ignored unless you pay them close attention, but the messages in the story become more clear and mean something more based on the understanding of these lines. At least, that's how I feel, and that's why I used them for different chapters of the story, or the plot in a whole.

Oh, wait, one last note. I couldn't find a place in the chapter to add the statement or narration. I mean, if you really paid attention then maybe you figured it out for yourself, but just in case. . . The scars mentioned in chapter nine were what Colette saw on her back when she was dressing herself in Heimdall in chapter six. She screamed and, when everyone came looking, said she'd seen a spider. But that was a lie, obviously. I'm sorry; I just couldn't seem to find a place to fit that idea, but I wanted to place it somewhere because the greatest thing about this fic for me is that I kept all details in check. Like, I made references in chapter nine to things that happened in chapter four. And stuff. And it was all planned, not some really lucky coincidence. Lol.

Anyway, back to my original notes.

OoO

The following are quotes and things that inspired this fic and the situations involved. If you don't care to read, please scroll down to the end of the page or press the back button to return to the submenu page you were on before. Those without references were either made by me or by an unknown person.

But, just to let you know, all reviews would be much appreciated. :D

1.) This first thing is the different English titles of each chapter, plus some that I chose not to use partially because the fic simply wasn't long enough to cope for them all and partially because others fit that chapter better. This is an original piece I wrote created specifically for this story.

"Ensnared in the web

A puncture to the flesh

And I'm slowly fading

My back faces the dark land

Where I hear them calling

My friends trying to find me

But I don't deserve the light

And my head is far too low

Below the surface,

I'm drowning

It's no longer worth gasping for air

Forgive me while I give in to silent slumber

A place you'll have to find me

And then, my happy ending."

2.) The second things are random quotes (mostly taken from Arina Tanemura's manga, since she's my favorite shoujo artist ever and her work always leads to the characters discovering themselves on a psychological level) that I felt literally made Colette's point of view throughout different parts of the fic. Please enjoy and take them to heart.

(a) "It all starts from the tips of your fingers. . . From the moment we met. . . romance bloomed." - This Love is Non-Fiction by Arina Tanemura.

(b) "Please let me be the one who moves you. I want to shake your ground and clear your skies."

(c) "There is one wish that I want to come true. . . God, I'm a girl with a cursed fate. I've fallen in love with a boy. . . and I want to be happy." - Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne by Arina Tanemura.

(d) - "What kind of thing is love anyway. . . ?"

- "You unwittingly keep following that person with your eyes. . . and when you're with that person, you feel pleased. And happy. And you feel your heart throbbing or feel irritated. . . at every word you hear from that person. And even though you've just parted, you want to see that person again. A feeling as if your whole world revolves around that person, I guess." - Tail of the Moon by Rinko Ueda.

(e) "It's important to remember when you're drowning to try and keep your head above water." - Scrubs TV show.

(f) "There's never, ever been - nor will there ever be - a love quite like your first. There is so much dedication, so much pure energy, put into it that nothing following could ever compare."

(g) "When it's important, you have to rush at things head-on like a spoiled kid." - Nosatsu Junkie by Ryoko Fukuyama.

(h) "This is the kind of love that only happens now, when we're [young]!" - Evangelion:Angelic Days by Fumino Hayashi. The original word was [fourteen], but obviously that doesn't work one hundred percent. Nevertheless, even editing got the main message across. Young love is so earnest, isn't it?

(i) "Haven't you realized? That you're the one who's moving me?" - Kimi ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina.