Title: Before The Snow Melts

Rating: T

Pairing: Emil x Marta / hints of Ratatosk x Richter (and maybe some Aster x Richter, but that may be another story…)

Author's Notes: I'm very undecided when it comes to pairings for the second ToS game. For the first one, I'm a Lloyd x Colette, Lloyd x Zelos, Lloyd x Genis, Yuan x Martel, and Genis x Presea (and Regal x Raine) fan…okay, so I'm pretty undecided when it comes to both games. I don't like Lloyd x Sheena though…or Alice x Emil (although Alice x Decus is pretty cool). Richter x Emil and Aster x Richter is good…but, I was so committed to Emil x Marta…it's a matter of principles. I'll just have to write more stories for Tales of Symphonia…

I'm pretty okay with that…

Hope you enjoy! (It was hard coming up with a time this fanfic could happen, so if I'm bending the plot a little, don't hurt me…it's hard. And I wanted other characters in the plot so, that's why I didn't choose Asgard or somewhere like Luin or Hima or even Palmacoasta (Palmacosta…whatever they call it)…anyway, enjoy! :D

Like last time, foreshadowing and spoilers.


Before the snow melts…what does that mean?

"You should know not to listen to Tenebrae sometimes. He can be a little…spiteful." Emil blushed and turned to Lualdi, the girl he would soon be sharing a room with, and watched her smile at him adorably. "Sheena and Regal should be buying gels right about now. Let's go see how they're doing!"

Emil opened the do r for Marta and, as she trotted ahead, stayed behind and watched her prance happily along. Although she was a little much sometimes, she was still cute and sweet enough to fill his stomach with butterflies. He suddenly remembered the story Marta had told him about her flower barrettes and, when he felt he wouldn't be missed, slipped into an accessory shop. "Her mom gave her those, and her mom wore them on the first date she had with Commander Brute, or Marta's father…"

She stared at the female accessories with wide emerald eyes and felt his cheeks start to burn. Wait, what am I doing?! This is a vacation for prepare us for battle and gather information…not a romantic getaway. I can't spend all that money on all this!

"Relax," Tenebrae said, materializing right next to Emil on the floor in a stealthy, crouched position. Emil yelped and jumped back, hoping the shopkeeper wouldn't hear him and turn around. "What are you doing?" he hissed at the Centurion of Darkness. "I was bored and decided to check up on my sweet little Emil…"

"That…that's not funny!"

"What in the world are you doing here?"

"I…" he slumped his shoulders pathetically and muttered, "I'm here buying a present for Marta…I thought that maybe I should take the chance, considering we're always moving around from place to place. But…I don't want to spend the Gald if we need it for fighting…"

"That's not a worry," Tenebrae chuckled, floating over the counter and grabbing two barrettes in the shape on shiny silver butterflies from the case and dropping them into the surprised boy's hand. He barely caught them and, as Tenebrae floated back on the ground, kneeled to the floor and stared him straight in the eye. "Why…?"

"Sheena and Regal took the Gald they need for weapons and supplies. Everything in your possession is yours to sell and whatever money you have is yours. And, being a Centurion with magnificent tastes, I say those would be the perfect gift for Lady Marta." His signature chuckle was unheard by the pondering Emil as he grasped the jewelry in his hand, fists shaking intensely. "This'll mean something to her…right?"

"Yes, it will."

Emil hesitated before speaking again, staring at the jewelry with a somewhat cloudy gaze, and finally stood and looked upon his gregarious friend his a confident stare that suited him rather nicely. "I'll buy it! You're right, they'll suit her well."

As Emil and the floating black doggie exited the store, careful to look out for Marta, Tenebrae transformed himself into a boy that was about Emil's age. "I'll walk around like this so it'll be easier for us to talk. How do I look?" He swayed his body off to the side and threw an arm over his shoulder and used his frail hand to muss up his black hair. And to be honest…he looked like a younger and cuter version of Richter. His hair was in the same choppy style and was a little shorter (it reached about the length of his shoulder) and his skin was a pale gray color. "You look nice…"

"Don't worry, you still look rather adorable, even when you stand next to such a ravishing boy like me."

"Tenebrae!" Emil shrieked in a abnormally high octave. Suddenly, a shriek that sounded almost similar to Emil's echoed around the city. To the surprise of the blonde teen and his accomplice, it wasn't enough to create one of those infamous earthquakes. They both turned to see Marta a few yards away with the rest of the crew looking in admiration upon their blue haired duke.

"Wow, Regal," Marta screamed as Regal stood in the richly paved streets of Meltokio with his elegant black suit neatly pressed and clean with his hair combed and pulled back. "You look so mature and elegant! Isn't that the same suit we saw you in in Flanoir before you gave it away?"

"Yes. The company heard about my loss from the city and sent me a new one. The material is heavier, so it holds up better against the cold. If you want, I could have the company send clothes for you guys."

"Really? That's so great?!"

Tenebrae pulled Emil behind the corner of a building and hushed him. "Ssshhh! Don't let them see you. We must surprise Lady Marta with the gifts to enhance the reaction. Keep it suspenseful, just like a good soap opera!" Emil sighed and had no choice but so bob his head and pretend he was agreeing 100% with the Centurion. "As for her next gift, let's head to the clothes store."

"Clothes? But Regal said he would be ordering new ones…"

Tenebrae laughed at the blonde's idiocy and shook a pale finger in his face. "O-ho! But they won't arrive by tonight." Emil had missed the point and stared at the human imposter with a bored, blank stare. "Hm-mm, and your point is?"

"Well, your date with Lady Marta is tonight, and we have to do our best to make sure you win her heart in the most explosive moment of undoubtedly beautiful passion." Emil tilted his head to the side, laughing in a cutesy manner. "I think you lost…WAIT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN DATE?!"

"We're going to buy her a beautiful dress," the Centurion of Darkness yelled stridently, glaring at the boy as if he had just cheated him in a game of poker. "Obviously, she needs a new dress to go with her butterfly barrettes, so I'm thinking something lacy and blue."

"I never agreed to…this date thing…"

"Of course you didn't! I needed to get the ball rolling somehow!"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

Lualdi, after a long day of sightseeing and learning the rather entertaining quick jump sewer trick, finally was too tired to walk around anymore. She returned to the room that belonged to both her and Emil and slipped out of her cream and dark red colored dress. As she pulled up her hair and wrapped a towel around her slender body in order to take a long, steamy bath, she found a messily wrapped present resting on a crisp white pillow in her room on her side of the double-bed. Perplexed, she picked it up and fondled he gift between her hands, looking for a tag. A folded up piece of paper fell to the floor and Marta picked it up. "What's this?"

She opened it up and read the letter.

Dear Marta,

I know this might seem a little forward for a person like myself, but I honestly believe that you and I have an inevitable attraction and I have a desire to meet you at the rose gardens by the castle. By the time you come home and receive my offering, it should be around 6:00, and I would love the opportunity to meet you as the last glimmer of sun vanishes into the horizon and the beautiful city of Meltokio becomes enveloped in a warm ebony blanket. I'll be waiting, my one and only love…



"What in the world…?"

-------------------------------------ROSE GARDEN--------------------------------------------------

"You wrote the letter for me!?" the cowardly blonde screamed at the Centurion who floated in the air tauntingly, almost dropping from the air and rolling on the ground. "Emil, you're making my sides hurt…"

"Tenebrae! How could you? I bet you made me sound like a…like you." Tenebrae blinked at Emil's almost silent response and nearly turned into a weapon he would repeatedly hit Emil with. "You sounded like a true gentleman, if I do say so myself."

Emil had no time to argue with him anymore. The barrettes were not included in the present Tenebrae had laid on her bedside, so currently, they were in a small gift bag in the blonde teen's hand. Tenebrae smiled at the cute Knight and patted him on the head with his tail. "You'll be fine, Emil. Lady Marta loves you, so there's no way things can go bad. Cheer up and put on a smile."

"I'll try. Thanks Tenebrae," Emil said half-heartedly, slumped over and wondering if it was too late to turn back. There were so many things on his mind right now that, well, it was hard to focus on the current task at hand. "Thanks for helping me pick out Marta's dress…" The Centurion was about to reply when tiny little footsteps echoed towards Emil and a sweet girl's voice started calling him. "Emil? Emil!"

"Good luck Romeo," Tenebrae stated playfully before leaping up into the sky and vanished in a mist of inky blackness. Emil turned scarlet again and screamed at the sky again. "TENEBRAE?!"


He veered his head sharply in the direction of the cute little voice and, with a face the color of Spanish raisins, tried to hold himself together as he looked upon Lualdi, perfectly dressed and bathed in glimmering starlight. She was wearing her usual hair accessories, but her brown hair up pulled back into a more adult looking style and had long sections hanging out and making it look adorably messy. The dress they had picked out for her looked a little small around the waist, but the blue color of the shot dress brought out the blue in her eyes and the white lace trimming around the V-neckline flared out and covered the little cleavage she might show. The trimming went around the bottom hemline and was sewn on the skin tight sleeves white ended at the elbow. The neckline was embellished with fake looking crystals, but they caught the light rather nicely, and illuminated her face in the darkness. Emil couldn't help himself from running towards her and staring at her.


"Emil…thanks so much…The dress is a little tight in the waist, but that means you thought my waist was really tiny, right? Thanks so much!"

She can be so odd sometimes…

"That letter you wrote…"

"I…I didn't w…write it…Tenebrae did." Emil looked away, but when Marta put a cool hand to his burning cheek, she playfully forced him to look at her. She mustered a tiny smile and whispered, "I know. That was way too creepy to sound like you Emil!" He laughed nervously as she back away, leaning forward and closing her hands behind her back. "Thank you so much."

"Well…I actually have something else to give you…" Her eyes lit up like the Fourth of July when he swung the gift bag from his side and in front of Marta, his gaze facing her and not the ground. As shy as he was, he wanted to see the look on Marta's face when she opened his gift. She looked at the package, hesitating, then gently took it in her hands and opened it up. When she tore away the orange tissue paper to see two, long butterfly barrettes with the wings embellished with large diamond-like crystals and smaller gems o every color dotted along the sides of the wings. For the first time since he had met Marta, she turned crimson and stuttered. "E-Emil…you didn't…"

"Uh…do you like them?"

"Yes! Here, can you help me put them in." Lualdi turned around and handed Emil the fancy pin. He nodded and placed them in as best he could. He didn't have much experience with hair, considering he was a boy. Not only that, but he was always so busy worrying about Ratatosk and fighting, or worse, surviving days with his aunt and uncle. He never learned much about girls and the like. "Do they feel uncomfortable?"

"No," she said, turning on her heels and placing a kiss on Emil's cheek swiftly. "I love them." She took Emil's slender hand before he had a chance to react and dragged him into the rose gardens near the Meltokio castle. "You picked a perfect night," she said sweetly as she modestly stared into his emerald colored eyes. "It's a starry night."

"Y…yeah…it's really pretty."

"Did you ever see skies like this in Luin?"

"No…well actually, I had to stay inside most of the time." Marta glanced at Emil out of the corner of her eyes, still facing the moon. "…What about in Palmacosta?" He lowered his head and plucked a wilting rose from the bush, pulling on it dry and cracked petals and letting them spin to the ground like dancers. "I don't remember that either…"

"Really? Well, now you'll have memories of looking at it with me!" She tightened the grip on Emil's hand and pulled him further into the garden, the barrettes sparkling under the stars. "Emil…do you love me?"

"W-What?" He knew that question would come up, but it still shocked him to hear it. He had never peaked the interest of any girl, and to see this epitome of loveliness say such romantic things just stole the breath from his lungs. "I…"

"I love you so much…but I don't know what's going to happen when this journey is over. I want to tell you now…I can't wait any longer."

"Marta, I--"

"Emil, please love me!" And with those words, she rushed forward and flung herself on top of him, pressing their lips together passionately. Holding back her tears, she pulled away and looked upon the blushing teen, stroking his smooth blonde hair. "I love you, Emil."

He wanted to say the same, but no words came out.

"I…I…" He swallowed and tried again, hoping for a better result. "I…I…love you too, Marta."

There. There it was, out in the open. There was no more pushing or shoving. No more awkwardness…only the sweet truth the two teens shared with one another. The giant weight on Emil's shoulders disintegrated and his stomach became fluttery. She smiled and kissed him again. "Thank you…so much Emil…thank you…." She put a hand into the pocket of her dress and pulled out a tiny gift as well, blushing as she reached out and put it in his hand. "Take this..." He nodded, still dazed from their kiss, and opened the little package to see a circle shaped locket with a gold chain. He opened it and saw pictures of him and Marta inside. She giggled and rubbed his head. "That way, no matter what happens, I'll always be with you."

Now I get it...before the snow melts and everything return to normal. The weather with change, and the snow will stop falling from the sky. So, before then, before the end of our journey, this was what I wanted to do...

Tenebrae...you know I might not come back from this...but thanks. Sometimes, you just amaze me.


I wanted Emarta (my new nickname for Emil x Marta) lemon later…but after thinking about it, I thought…HOW THE HELL COULD THAT HAPPEN? XDDDD

I'll need more practice before then, but no matter what X-Play or anyone else says, this is a great game and it has wonderful characters, therefore I will write more. (Hopefully I'm not flamed)

There will be another chapter perhaps, as a bonus story, but it will have to end with the fighting of Alice. I was hoping to make that the lemon, but we'll see where this goes. Thanks!