Disclaimer - I don't own Tales of Symphonia. This includes the game, the OVA, the characters, the plot, the Colloyd, the Sheelos, the Kraana, the. . . Well, if I think of anymore, I'll add it later.
Author - Chibi / Warlordess
Notes - Hahah, I have no idea where I'd be going with this. I was in Wal-Mart the other day and saw this title sticking up from their five-dollar-DVD bin. I have no idea what the movie is about but when I read the title (seriously, I was just looking around and it immediately caught my eye) I thought it suited Tales of Symphonia really well, and of course, me being me, I had to throw in some Colloyd perspective. Anyway, it's a one-shot and as far as the idea has been assumed, not a confession fic. . . But I like it anyway. Plus I was able to try and write an ancient scripture from the series. And since the only reference I had in terms of the game was the intro Kratos recites at the beginning (also found in the game guidebook), I'm not sure how it turned out but. . . I think I did okay. Let's hope so.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, this takes place during some random time earlier on when the player first travels to the world of Tethe`alla. All that's necessary as far as I can tell is to make sure that Zelos is in the group. You'll see why almost as soon as you read on.
Title - "The Thing about Angels"
Summary - Taking some advice from the Professor, Lloyd and Genis research the ancient scriptures, hoping to learn more about Cruxis. Some Colloyd if perceived that way.
". . . And what was once a distant messenger from the heavens became a pure bloodline. The world bore the First who would be able to save the world and the First quested to release the seal of the Goddess Martel, who would wake and fend off the war, famine, and festering evils of the world.
"Thus the First would ascend the heavens upon wings of light and the pure bloodline born to the imperfect world would cleanse itself and become the new messenger. The perfect soul would join the Goddess, and furthermore purge the stained world throughout coming times."
Zelos stopped reciting some of the same words that had been drilled into him for as long as he could remember and looked up at Lloyd and Genis who, despite their droll expressions, seemed to have been listening intently.
"So what does it mean then? The messengers were probably angels - er, agents of Cruxis - right? So, what? They came from Derris-Kharlan and somehow brought about the first Chosen of Regeneration? How's that possible?" Lloyd asked, creasing an eyebrow in confusion, "Because the pure bloodline means the Chosen, doesn't it?"
"That sounds right. But they referred to it as something different, too. The First and the perfect soul that would join Martel. . . That must have been talking about the time when Colette would've sacrificed herself, huh?" Genis continued, sounding a lot more sure of this information than Lloyd had, "It's the only way it would make sense. I mean, nobody else has the kind of power needed to release the seal on Martel."
"Yeah, that's what I was told all this time. The Cruxis Crystal is really the only thing that makes us special though in comparison to normal people," Zelos shrugged as though it didn't bother him much. It shouldn't after all; he already considered himself special enough to begin with. "It's given to us at birth by the Angels and permits us special treatment and special titles. And then it's locked away in a holy place until we would have to go on our journey to regenerate the world. That's why Seles held mine all that time at the Abbey on the Southeastern continent. It's the one place that hasn't been touched by Tethe`alla's prosperity. Even the other Houses of Guidance have been tainted by privilege." And then his expression changed into a smirk and he gave a sharp laugh, turning to face Lloyd in particular, "And what do you mean? Don't tell me you don't know how people are born! Didn't you ever take a sex-ed class?"
Genis turned red, either because of the word 'sex' or because he knew exactly where Zelos was going with his statement.
"You can't be serious though! You're saying as much as the Angels loathed and looked down on humans that they'd come down to Sylvarant and Tethe`alla and bear children with them?" He asked before Lloyd had the chance to respond (which was probably a good idea).
"No, not necessarily. All the scripture says is that the world bore the First, and there's no guarantee that the translation from the Angel language is completely genuine."
"Then why have we been listening to you all this time if there's no telling if what you're saying is true or not?" Lloyd asked, irritated.
"Because I know more than the rest of you put together, maybe minus our bewitching Professor and my sweet Colette," he took a moment to sigh at the mention of two of his favorite hunnies, "And I'm the only one around you can ask. That's why you were sent to me, right?"
"We weren't sent." Genis scoffed, crossing his arms, "We, uh. . . just requested information and Raine said that you might know best, and be the easiest one to pry information from."
"I'll ignore that line, you brat," The Tethe`alla Chosen sneered down at the half-elf before letting the topic drop. "Anyway, like I was saying. All that's mentioned is the world. That means that two Angelic beings could have descended together and," he smirked again, "gotten busy. It would be enough if two came to each world and started the family line leading to Colette and I because that's how the scriptures have ensured the Chosen be born again and again. The blood has to stay pure. For instance, my mother and father were actually related - second cousins or something like that. There can't be too much distance in relation or else the blood risks being tainted by foreign blood, human blood. The Cruxis Crystal, which is supposedly connected to our family line, wouldn't be able to appear to us when we're born if our blood is impure."
"Ooh," Lloyd said, pretending to understand completely. "So that would mean that Colette's dad had probably married into his own family as well, huh? That's a little weird. . . I mean, how do you learn to love someone a completely different way? From family love to, uh, different love?"
Genis looked slightly impressed that Lloyd would question it on that level.
"There might not have been a choice. If the family had known all that time that another Chosen was to be born then they would have betrothed Frank to a cousin or niece or something from the beginning. After all, once the Desians started to reappear in Sylvarant, it would be obvious that the next Chosen was coming soon, wouldn't it?"
"Frank?" Zelos asked with a raised eyebrow. He looked as though he were holding back a laugh, probably at such an ordinary sounding name.
"Colette's father." Genis and Lloyd said unanimously, and then the half-elf alone continued on. "But what about the Chosen having to die to regenerate the world? From what Raine said back at the Tower of Salvation in Sylvarant, Colette had known she would do that from the beginning. Is this the only scripture that indicates the Chosen's death at the final seal? Because it seems like if it were translated with even the smallest error then nobody would have ever known what was coming."
"No, no; of course not, Bumpkin. The ancient scriptures are almost all about the Regeneration Ritual after all, so the Chosen's journey and their sacrifice leading to Martel's rebirth are practically everywhere." Genis still looked skeptical, maybe because he wondered if all of the sacred writings were this obscure. "Look, look; that one is practically an introduction to the mission the Chosen would have to complete. There are some more specific ones.
"The First became the One. The One would be the soul reborn to the lineage of the heavens. The reborn would continue to fend evil in the name of the Goddess and sacrifice all self-gratification to preserve the tainted world's virtue. And thus, when the One should cleanse their soul, the world will also be cleansed. This is the Art of Regeneration."
Lloyd and Genis turned to look at each other. It was true that it sounded much more somber and clear the way it was stated there.
"Haven't you two ever wondered why Colette was asked to pray at the altar of each Seal?"
"Hey, how did you know about that?" Lloyd interrupted, though his curiosity was peaking. He'd never really thought about it after all. It was just something that Remiel had requested Colette do, and she usually gained something from it, some sort of experience or power. Maybe, somewhere in the back of his mind, he'd figured that those two things were connected.
"It's in the scriptures too; duh. Cleansing the soul is just a fancy term for praying to the Goddess for forgiveness and ridding the human body of sin. Even if the Chosen is of Angelic blood they've still been living in a world that has lead to materialistic fantasy, not to mention the ordinary citizens that would prey on them for their power. No matter how strong their will is, every Chosen has been sucked into that livelihood if only a little bit."
"Doesn't mean much for you," Genis muttered to himself. He didn't think any amount of prayer would save Zelos's Chosen hide from the tainted fantasies presented throughout Tethe`alla.
Zelos gritted his teeth but overlooked what he'd heard. Lloyd could feel his lips stretching wide with a smile. He couldn't help finding the situation funny. But then the smile melted away and he felt another question come to him.
"Hm; I wonder what Colette had to pray about?"
"What do you mean?" Genis and Zelos asked at the same time now. They turned a swift glare at one another (apparently upset that they were thinking so alike) but looked away just as soon.
"Well, you said cleansing the soul is just fancy-talk for praying for forgiveness, ridding the body of sin. I've known Colette forever and. . . I don't know. . . I just don't see her having so much to pray about."
"The Chosen is far more susceptible to attracting sin, though. Whereas someone like you could buy yourself a new weapon or toy or treat yourself to a special meal and call it a human being's lack of will-power, the Chosen should have been raised in an environment where those temptations aren't so much a problem. If Colette wished for something selfishly or thought of herself or someone else first before the world, even if only for a moment, then that would be equal to sin. The Chosen needs to be one hundred percent selfless and not care at all for themselves or their human family or friends above anyone else. They were born to save the world and, according to the ancient texts, die to save it. That's just how it's always been."
"But. . ." Lloyd could think back on it and find himself unable to count the number of times Colette had put herself at risk to save the people. She had asked for help, sure, but could that be a sin as well? He remembered the inhabitants of Palmacosta, of Luin, how she had wanted to befriend Sheena in the beginning - even knowing that the shinobi warrior had been out for her blood. Even at the very start of their journey, she hadn't wanted to fight the monsters they battled while moving forward because she wondered of some of them had been human before.
To put it bluntly, she had reeked of selflessness.
"But Colette - I mean, I get what you're saying I guess, but there doesn't seem to be anything that she would have to ask forgiveness for - at least not that much, even if she is the Chosen."
Surprisingly, both Genis and Zelos looked at him with the same expression, and neither one seemed aggravated at the fact that the other one was copying them either.
"Really?" They asked overly-curiously. They seemed to know the answer but didn't want to tell, either hoping Lloyd would figure it out on his own or knowing it wasn't their place to say anything. Unfortunately for them, however, Lloyd wasn't so great at playing that game.
"Okay, I'll bite. What are you guys thinking that I don't know anything about?" He asked while heaving a heavy sigh.
"Dude, it's you obviously!" Even more unfortunately, Zelos was just as bad at keeping secrets that he truly wanted to tell. "I guess it could not only be you, but all of you in general from that Sylvarant. I won't go so far as to say you're that special to her, though she does seem to look at you a lot. . ."
"Yeah, and she always wanted Lloyd's support more than anyone else's." Genis began too, "Really, I know you don't catch on all that often but it was pretty obvious from the time she left you behind in Iselia."
"You mean that time she left us both behind?" Lloyd asked, pointing out a fact that the half-elf seemed to have mysteriously forgotten.
"You were the one who really expressed the want to go, though, weren't you? At least to her. And she lied point-blank because she wanted to keep you safe, right? And ensure that you would live to see the regenerated world. She was worried the journey might be too dangerous for you and didn't want to risk you getting hurt."
"She never said anything like that to me. True, she didn't really get a chance because Raine stopped me from even asking. . . I tagged along with you because I knew it was harder for everyone to say no to you."
"What the heck does that mean?" Lloyd shouted back incredulously and he marched up to Genis as though wanting to hit him.
"Wah! I mean of course I did it because you were my friend and I wanted to stay with you and make sure you were okay, but I also knew that there was no way they'd send me back to a village that had exiled you, and sort of exiled me since I was loyal to you. Especially if it meant I had to go alone, right? Raine had tried to tell me I couldn't go for a whole bunch of reasons; I was too young, too inexperienced, she didn't want me to have to meet fellow half-elves who would choose to live a lifestyle that included hurting other people. . . But she couldn't say no to you as easily because underneath Colette's want to protect you and keep you far away from any battlefield, she wanted you to be there with her. It was easy to tell when I met up with her in the Triet Desert after you'd been kidnapped by the Renegades. You were the first and only thing she could think of to ask about; Kratos and Raine were the ones who came up with all the other questions. And remember what Raine said a couple times, and how Kratos behaved when Colette expressed certain hopes? It was the Journey of Regeneration and only the Chosen had the right to make decisions on it."
"So. . . ? I don't get what you're trying to say."
"Well, to the Chosen who needs to think of the world and only the world, the selfish want to be with their friends and have fun and live long with those people would be a sin, wouldn't it?" Zelos asked with a raised eyebrow. He didn't know that the guy who's current goal was to reunite the two worlds that had been torn apart so long ago - a great feat to try and accomplish if ever there was one - could ever be so slow. . .
"Hey, wait a minute. . . Are you calling me a sin?" And Lloyd sounded like he took offense to that.
"Sure, Bumpkin. You're a sin. Look, she wanted you to tag along really bad, and whether it was because she simply liked having you around or because she knew you would try and stop her turning into an angel at the end," Zelos broke off here at the very doubtful expressions on the other two boy's faces, "or - or maybe it was the whole liked having you around so much-thing - which, honestly, I don't see why but--"
"--Just cut out the part where you insult me and get to what you were trying to say. . ." Lloyd grumbled indignantly.
"--But those kinds of feelings and things would tether the Chosen to the world they were born in, which would make it easier for them to stray away from their mission to save the world. If they felt that safe and sound with any person then they might want to keep it that way, they might want to live and be happy and human and screw over those Angelic beings that had proposed the Chosen was meant for something better. Hadn't you mentioned that that was probably why that Kratos guy was tailing you? He was an agent of Cruxis, right? And you all thought he was probably placed with the Chosen's group intentionally to keep her on the path to the Tower of Salvation. I'm probably right in assuming he didn't like the thought of Lloyd tagging along from the beginning because he could already see Colette's attachment to you."
The way Lloyd and Genis turned a wary eye on each other was enough for Zelos to know he was right. As early as the Martel Temple outside of Iselia, when they had been battling who they learned later were the Renegades and not the Desians. . . Kratos had already told Lloyd to back off and let him protect the Chosen, had admonished him for being one who could only get in the way. It was only at Colette's request that he was able to enter that temple and help them fight their way to the Sorcerers Ring and the Cruxis Crystal that had been placed there after Colette's birth.
"Cruxis is the type of organization that would probably take every precaution when it came to something like that. Even if Colette didn't stray from being the Chosen and completing the World Regeneration, her heart would be in it less and less the more she thought of you guys. And her Guardian Angel," supposedly he was talking about Remiel here, "the one who descended from that organization to tell her how to start her journey, could sense that she was having troubles. Even if it wasn't written on her face, the Chosen is tied to Cruxis, so they could tell from the beginning if they had come to terms with dying, with sacrificing themselves for the world."
"Hey, are you saying that Colette had doubts? That she would have turned her back on Sylvarant?" Genis and Lloyd were upset at the possible accusation. They knew more than anything that Colette had been faithful to her mission while on it, going so far as to keep the secret of her death until the end so that they wouldn't try and stop her either. . . But then, couldn't that have meant that she knew she would be easily swayed by their words if they'd said them? After all, if her mind couldn't be changed then why bother keeping it a secret? They wouldn't have been able to do a thing right?
But no. She had said many times that she considered the journey to be a fun experience for them all. Perhaps it wasn't about that at all. Maybe she just didn't want that journey to be torn by their guilt or anger, or whatever their reactions would have been to her dying to save the world. And more than that, there had been a short time towards the end, while in the Tower, when they had known and confronted her about it. . . Lloyd had been desperate about making her change her mind, about finding another way, because losing her was. . . was unfair above everything else.
"I'm not saying anything like that. From what I can tell, Colette sounded like she was a good little girl for Cruxis. She did what she was told and that was that. But here we are now, trying to change it even though she made her choice. Why are you going through with this when she said to you already that regenerating Sylvarant was what she wanted to do with her life?" Zelos seemed really curious about their answer, which was strange, because it was something that had nothing to do with him, and he had seemed very self-centered when they'd first met him a little while ago in Meltokio.
"Because. . ." Genis seemed at a loss for words, of course a rare occurrence for him. He looked to Lloyd, who always seemed to have a right answer when it really counted. This was a time to depend on him, right? He could do that now, couldn't he?
"B - because. . ." Lloyd was having some trouble too, but the gears in his head were turning as much as possible - he wanted to come up with an answer, ". . . because the Colette I knew suffered a lot so that the people of the Sylvarant could be happy when it was regenerated. But Cruxis lied about all of it; I don't think it's fair for her to die to give the rest of us a fake peace, let alone at all. She made her choice to die because she thought it was right and I can't ever hold it against her but. . . it wasn't - right, that is. And I'm going to make her better, to help find the right way so that she doesn't have to die without knowing. She deserves to make her choice while knowing all of the facts. . . and I think that, when that time comes, she'll agree with me. She won't want to die."
Zelos blinked while Genis beamed up at him. Lloyd didn't seem to know what he'd said to get those reactions; he was just being honest, like he always had. But then Zelos smirked a little too, as if he were impressed for once.
"Changing the make-up of Cruxis and the scriptures so that you can unravel the truth about everything is going to be hard. Saving the Chosen from being the sacrifice to regenerate the world won't be as easy as you seem to think. Not all Chosen want to die to do the right thing; some of us have tried and failed to find other ways." There was something about the way he said it that made both of the others curious, but they knew it wasn't their place to ask questions about it. "Do you think you can do that, even without knowing half as much as we knew all this time, thanks to it being our mission?"
"I don't know." It was such a simple statement that it was almost disappointing, along with the shrug of Lloyd's shoulders, but he wasn't finished speaking yet. "But I found some answers here I think. . . and I'm going to keep searching for information until I do know everything I can. Then I can confront Cruxis and Yggdrasil and. . . give Colette a chance to make a better choice. I want her to be around longer because. . ." The words were lost to him, stranded in his throat. This wasn't the place to admit to it, not here, not in front of Genis - his best friend - and Zelos - a stranger he barely knew. There must have been some sort of man's code to it because Zelos didn't make any more snide comments and Genis didn't ask questions.
"Well. . . I guess I can tell you everything I know, though it'll take a long time. These things go on forever, and I was taught all of the scriptures in my youth. I only finished learning them a few years ago." The Tethe`alla Chosen seemed resigned to Lloyd's perseverance. Maybe he was still impressed, or maybe he thought it would be an interesting experience to watch.
"Thanks Zelos!" Genis said, not admitting to being more than a little bit grateful.
"Yeah, and don't worry. . . This is important, so we have all the time in the world." Lloyd glanced behind him, a few feet away from their half of the group, and a few feet in front of the others who were trying to cook a substantial supper for them all.
There stood the Colette they had now, lacking a soul, gazing at him emptily and obediently. As he considered it, he really missed her voice, didn't he? And her laugh, and the way she walked. . .
So he vowed to get it all back for her.
Notes - Wow, that ending was a little sudden but. . . I had started writing this a month or two ago and then left it alone because I began some massive work on my other Tales fic, "Angelus Tainted." But I really did want to post this, so I reread a little bit and smashed together an ending. It's not so bad, really. I think I may have strayed from the meaning of the title a bit, but it can mean a lot of things, and a lot of those things I crossed over here if you squint a little bit with one eye and completely close the other. . . then play some loud music you can't stand so that you aren't focusing on this at all. . . Hm, lol, but that's it.
There was a line of Lloyd's towards the end that could be perceived in a few different ways. He says he wants Colette to stick around longer because. . . and then it ends. You can think what you want there, but I'll tell you now that I wasn't thinking of having him say he loves Colette or whatever. But when I cut it off I realized it could be that way if the reader saw fit, so I gave you all that bit of justice. Lol. As for what I'd actually been planning to put there. . . Hm, well, I'll just keep that to myself.
And yay! This is my vengeance for Zelos, who I made a lot of fun of in my other fic (referred to above) though I love him so much and he doesn't deserve it! He was a very serious and important character in this one-shot, wasn't he? That's what I was going for anyway. . .
So, well, that's it. I hope I get a couple reviews for this - I just worked so hard, you know? - but it's back to my other fic now. . . and then the tens of hundreds of thousands of other ideas I have to Tales fics. . . Ugh. . .