Tales of Memory

A Self Insert

Chapter One: Lloyd and Dirk

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia.

A/N: This is the SEQUAL to Crystal Cerberus, my earlier self insert, so unless you don't know what Final Fantasy VII is, it would be best to…you know, not read this, but if you're curious, go ahead and read.

Welcome, everyone, to the second part of my Self Insert series!! I hope you enjoy this first chapter.

Oh, and I hope I made it clear, but Tory WILL be returning to FF7 after this. =)

I was off the ground, in someone's arms. They were walking in a fast, hurried pace that caused…him? To unknowingly jostle me. I grumbled, trying to open my eyes, but I only caught a glimpse of a young man before a piercing feeling shot through my eyes and I had to close them.

"Hey," he called quietly, "Are you okay?" His voice, so distant, sounded familiar, so I felt safe as his pace began to quicken.

"My head…" I said, gritting my teeth.

"We're almost there," he stated, and I opened my eyes again to see gentle brown eyes that reflected a strong will, though I had to close my eyes again.

"Okay," I mumbled, tilting my head to rest it on his upper arm (something I would be mildly embarrassed about later on).

"Just hang on," the boy—or young man—said, "Just a little further." Hang on to what, my sanity?

I hope he doesn't want me to stay awake, I thought, because I'm…really sleepy. A moment or so later, and I fell back asleep.

Where am I?

I was barely awake, and barely aware of the fact that I was under a sheet with a cold, wet cloth on my forehead. My hands were out of the sheet and resting on my stomach, and I reached up with one to keep the cloth on while I looked around. It was a nice room, made of wood, with plants all around and vines in the window, and there was a table with some knickknacks on it…pieces of beads and some string, and other crap like that. My glasses were set down next to what looked like a really old photo, which I squinted at, not wanting to take the risk of falling by reaching for it.

The headache was still there, but had dulled slightly, enough for me to make out three people in the picture—a young man with hair that stuck almost completely up, a boyishly cute grin on his face as he had an arm around the youngest one's neck, who had pale hair that was styled strangely, and the girl that was standing close to them had long hair. But I was too far away to make out much other than that.

I stared up at the ceiling letting my hand fall back to my stomach and allowing my eyes to fall shut.

A door downstairs slammed, and I felt the vibrations through the bed frame. "I got the rest of her stuff…how is she?"

It was the voice of the boy from before, and he sounded almost frantic…yay, he was worried…or there was an angry mob after me and he wanted to know if I could get away fast enough. I frowned at my own stupid though, sighing as I clutched the sheets. If I had been feeling better I would have called down to tell him and the person he was talking to that I was fine, or maybe I'd have gotten down the stairs already.

"She hasn't woken up, yet," a man with a VERY thick Scottish accent replied. I thought of a cat…a cat with a crown? But immediately knew that it wasn't that cat. Wait…

What?

Cait Sith…? That was…wait, wait, think, Tory—yeah, I'm Tory. I'm going into worlds for a company named Gemini, and Cait Sith was a robo-cat from Gaia. With a Scottish accent. I know these people…

"I'm gonna go check on her, okay?" Heavy footsteps followed up the stairs, and the man below called for him to be quiet.

"Don't ya wake that poor lass up!" It was hushed, but definitely louder than the footsteps.

"Dad," the boy responded, in almost a scolding tone, "I'll be quiet." He was quiet the rest of the way up, and I kept my eyes closed and my breathing steady as I heard his footfalls—he was definitely wearing some sort of heavy pair of boots—coming around and stopping by the bed. "Are you asleep?" He asked quietly.

Lloyd.

Lloyd Irving, age seventeen, main character of Tales of Symphonia.

I'd gone through the game over 20 times, and decided that I was a freaking idiot for not realizing it sooner.

I twitched my head a little, but relaxed a little when fingers pushed down on the cloth.

"Crap…" he muttered, disappearing down the stairs. He came up a minute later, considerably slower, carrying something that made a sloshing sound. It was set on the floor, something was set on the table, and I heard the sound of fabric moving over skin—gloves being removed, for those of you who aren't mature enough to take that in a clean way.

I almost instinctively turned my head as the cloth was being pulled off, and a second later there was another splashing sound. And then the sound of cloth stretching is it was wrung out, water droplets returning to its main source.

"There ya go," he mumbled, pressing the still-damp cloth to my forehead. I wondered if I should open my eyes. Already my mind was working to create a story…or an excuse not to have a story.

Ah, the oh-so-cliché amnesia plot. Yes, that would have to do. Well, it would certainly work on Lloyd…I knew that nothing would be the same if I looked at him now, and he seemed to be lingering…

Is my face really that obvious?

I blinked my eyes open, breathing out heavily through my nose, and fixed my gaze immediately on Lloyd, not moving my head.

"Hey, you are awake!" he shouted, beaming in a way that forced me to return it with a small smile, without thinking. I flinched, and lowering his voice he said, "Sorry…how are you feeling?"

Furrowing my brows together, I shook my head and grimaced, resisting the urge to facepalm as the cloth slipped off, and Lloyd's reflexes proved amazing. It was back on just as I was twitching my hand upward. I smiled weakly at him as he took a step back. My throat felt dry, so I didn't trust it, to say the least. My shyness caused me to look down, and I froze.

There was something on the back of my hand. It was blue, and there was a heart-shaped…thing around it, as I realized as I brought it up in confusion.

"That's an exsphere…" Lloyd said quietly, "That was on your hand when I found you." I looked back up to him, nodding just enough to let him know I was doing so. "Do you remember what happened before you passed out?"

"Mm-mm…"

"Phew…you're not mute!" he laughed smiling. "So, uh…how much do you remember?"

"My name," I croaked, inwardly sighing and wanting to kill myself for how weak I sounded. "Noth…ing e-else…" It hurt like hell to talk, too. It also hurt to lie, but that's another story.

"Here," he said, grabbing a large mug that sloshed a bit as he lifted it off the table. I shifted, struggling to sit up—my muscles felt like lead, and my vision blurred further with the movement. I took the cloth and tossed it, making it somehow land on the edge of the wooden bucket on the floor that was filled with water.

"Th-thank you," I whispered, feeling all the more pathetic as I took the mug and lifted it to my lips. I didn't know water could taste so good… I got it down halfway before lowering it to take a breath, and scoot over on the bed while patting the empty space let with my hand. Seeming to take the hint, Lloyd sat down carefully.

"So, what's your name?" he asked, his voice rising without him trying to.

"T-Tory," I muttered, my throat still a bit sore. "With…with a Y at the end…" My mom gave it the Y instead of the I at the end because it was completely me.

"I'm Lloyd Irving," he introduced himself, smiling at me. I could see him a bit better now that he was closer. He had a baby face, but could still be called handsome. I drank more water as he explained the situation. "I found you on my way home, and you were unconscious. So, I brought you back and then I had to make another run to get your bag and weapons."

"Weapons," I repeated dully, raising an eyebrow. He laughed lightly, but then it died away when I failed to smile.

"Umm…everything's downstairs…you really don't remember anything at all?"

"I'm sorry…" I said quietly, biting my lip and looking down. "I should just be grateful you carried me here…"

"Don't apologize!" Lloyd blurted quickly, "It's no big deal, and you're not that heavy." I didn't jump and take offense about that, because I was heavy because I was taller and not really skinny—I was tall and SLENDER, not SKINNY, so…yeah, I was kind of heavy. For a thirteen-year old.

I glanced down at the exsphere, and sighed. "I feel stupid," I stated with a pout.

"Why?"

"…I don't remember anything," I giggled softly. "And my head hurts…but it doesn't feel like I got hit by anything." I felt stupid because it had taken so long for everything to register, actually, not another reason.

"Maybe it just comes with whatever you have," he guessed with a shrug as I took another sip of the water. "Maybe you'll remember as you rest up."

"Is that my cue to finish the water and go to sleep?" I yawned.

"Yeah." Lloyd laughed, and I felt all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I swallowed down the last of the water, and he held his hand out to take it. I let myself fall back, turning onto my side so I'd be more comfortable.

"Thank you, Lloyd," I said, drifting off almost immediately.

So.

To summarize the evening, Lloyd woke me up for dinner after a few hours, I met Dirk, and I was reminded that having to go to the bathroom OUTSIDE, in the woods, really sucks. But I would survive, even if it was kind of embarrassing despite the fact that no one was around.

I also got a good look at my outfit—a blue sort of vest with black strings going back and forth across the opening, and a buckle that went loosely over my chest. On the shoulders, it had some sort of tough material that stuck out kind of like Colette's, and the coloring went with the blue of the vest. I was wearing a black body suit, and then a pair of black and blue shorts, and a pair of dark brown boots that went halfway up my calves.

I looked pretty good in my own opinion, but I was also aware that this was a good material to fight in. My weapons consisted of a pretty plain double-edged longsword, which, in all honesty, I was clumsy with, and a long wooden staff.

Gosh, that sounds awful.

Lloyd slept on the floor that night, and I almost cried because I felt so terrible about it. He had insisted that it was fine (I think Dirk had something to do with it too) but I hadn't gone to sleep in the bed without protest.

The next day, while Lloyd was at school, I woke up and had to go digging through my bag. I was reminded that Adam was indeed amazing, though…Emily probably helped with some things.

But anyways, I found a hairbrush and a hair tie, and took my time going through my hair. I had it all tied to one side, with the bangs of the opposite side hanging in my eye. It was…kind of weird, but it worked.

I went out, partially into the woods, to practice with my sword. Yes, I was clumsy, and my battle stance was pretty bad, but then again, I was used to a gun…

I missed the Crystal Cerberus…

Well, anyways, even as I got mad, I had gone into the clearing at the edge of the forest to practice.

I can't believe I've gotta fight Kratos eventually. Ah, I suck at this…but I don't wanna just stick behind, and I'm not sure I wanna bow…I'm better at a bow than I am with a sword, but shooters usually get taken out first…that's my strategy anyways, and it got me through this whole thing twenty times…

I realized I had stopped swinging, and looked down at the sword. It was lightweight, but still heavier than the wooden practice swords I'd fought with as a kid. I'd gotten violent when I had needed to, and that itself had kept me relatively safe from getting hurt by my sparring partner. I'm sure that if I was in danger, I could kick ass with a sword.

But at that point, I stabbed the thing into the ground and collapsed onto my butt, panting heavily as I tried to regain the breath I had lost. My strength had yet to return, and under the sun, my headache had resumed, and I was getting dizzy.

"Hey, Tory!!"

I jumped, sluggishly twisting to look at Lloyd, who was approaching at a quick pace. "Lloyd," I returned, raising a hand to wave at him.

"What the heck are you doing?" he questioned, seeing my sword. "You don't look too hot."

"Really? I'm pretty sure I could melt an iceberg right about now," I panted, grinning up at him. He looked like he would facepalm any minute, and I laughed a bit. "It's fine, Lloyd…just help me up, will you?" He held out his red-gloved hand, and I briefly thought of all the red Genesis wore, but took it and pulled myself up so I was standing. I drew my sword from the ground and sheathed it, looking down to Lloyd's wooden swords. When I looked back up to him, he looked pretty concerned.

"Were you practicing?" I nodded. "C'mon, let's head back." I nodded again, and we started toward the log bridge that went across the stream.

When we got inside, Dirk looked at me, holding onto Lloyd's shoulder for support as I walked.

"What's wrong?" he asked immediately.

"Tory worked herself too hard," Lloyd sighed, responding for me.

"I'm sorry," I mumbled, looking down and blushing. "I was…trying…to…" Well, I had been swinging a sword. Trying to get better. "My sword skills suck…I-I wanted to see if I was any good with it, but…"

"Don't ya worry about it," Dirk said, smiling a bit. "You go on upstairs, and Lloyd'll bring your dinner up."

Lloyd and I both groaned. He didn't want to wait on me, and I didn't want him to wait on me.

Two or three days passed like that, and I finally got the guts to whine to Dirk that I COULD walk, and I WAS capable of taking care of myself. It wasn't easy, but Lloyd and I finally convinced him.

So yes, I apologize for the bleakness of my descriptions so far, but I find daily life difficult to write about. But the next chapter will be more interesting.

That, and despite the fact that this technically ISN'T the beginning…It's the beginning of a new journey, therefore the first chapter or two may suck.

I hope you can forgive me.