Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of the Abyss

Tales of the Abyss: Trade-Off

Warnings: Spoilers and some people will be very out of character. The ending can be humerous or tragic, it's up to you to decide.

"Remind me why we're here again, will you," Luke whined, "and what are they doing here?"

The party, plus Ion and Mieu, were gathered at the coliseum along with Van and the God Generals. Apparently all of them had received a summons there, although none were sure why.

"I told you already, you dreck, we don't know anymore than you do!" growled Asch. "And if you don't shut up within the next minute, there's a future for you as a training dummy!"

"I'll be good," said Luke quickly.

Just then, the announcer walked out and came to greet the guests. You know, that hyper lady that looks like a pirate. (Not Noir…I know she looks like a pirate, but she's not that hyper.)

"I'm so glad all of you could make it here," she said.

"Why have you summoned us?" questioned Ion.

"I've summoned you all here because we've received some complaints from people watching your battles," the announcer said. "Apparently, they think if you and the God Generals were to fight one on one, the outcomes would be quite different. Specifically, all of the God Generals would easily defeat all of you, with exceptions for Jade and Dist, of course."

"What?" shrieked Anise. "There's no way we would lose to them!"

"We were being watched!" gasped Luke, finding it impossible that he never noticed any spectators.

"I thought I already told you to shut up, you dreck!" growled Asch.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," squeaked Luke as he moved to stand behind Tear.

"I'm not going to fight your battles for you," Tear cautioned.

"Yeah, I know," Luke said.

A death glare from Asch silenced anything else Luke was going to say.

At the time this was going on, Dist and Jade were having an argument of their own.

"There's no way I would lose to you, Jade!" claimed Dist, shaking his fist at him.

"Calm down now, you know how your nose runs when you're angry," Jade replied.

"Grrrrrr!" screeched Dist. "Just you wait! I'm putting this down in my revenge journal!"

Jade was about to make a sarcastic reply when the announcer cut in. "Attention please," she said speaking into her microphone. Most of them turned to look, but a few were still watching Dist's rampage. "ATTENTION PLEASE!" she screamed into the microphone. That worked.

"What do you want?" spat Dist, still angry about having his monologue interrupted.

"To settle the dispute mentioned earlier, we are going to pair each of you off with your corresponding God General," the announcer said to the group. "Then, one at a time, you will fight a one on one battle."

"What's in it for us if we win?" asked Sync, wanting to know if it was worth wasting his time.

"You won't receive anything for winning your individual battle," the announcer said, "but there is a reward for the team with the most victories."

"Such as?" rumbled Largo, bored with this already.

"You'll just have to wait and see," said the announcer.

"Wait a minute," said Guy, "there are six of us, but the god generals have Van. It's uneven numbers."

"Yes, that does make things unfair," stated Natalia.

"You have Ion," said the announcer calmly.

"Ion is not fighting Van!" shrieked Arietta from on top of her liger.

"Actually, we had Ion paired with Sync," said the announcer, looking at her notes.

"Ion is not fighting Sync either!" screamed Anise, causing the God General to roll his eyes at her. Of course, with the mask on, no one could see it.

"Besides, Ion hasn't had to fight before and his body can't tolerate casting multiple artes," said Tear, worried for her friend. "It's unreasonable."

"That's why we've decided to let him use Mieu," the announcer said.

"Yeah, because Mieu is just terrific in battle," said Luke sarcastically.

"Master praised me! Master praised me!" said the cheagle, dancing back and forth. Apparently, he had not noticed Luke's sarcasm.

"I was being sarcastic Thi-" Luke started, before he was forced to run from a thunder blade attack. He missed the initial attack, but the second wave still hit him.

"Master, are you okay?" asked the cheagle, giving Luke a worried puppy dog look.

"Just shut up Thing!" Luke screamed, angry that Mieu had made him talk, provoking Asch to attack him. On top of that, he had managed to take a hit, while the attack missed the cheagle completely.

"No, you shut up, dreck!" screamed Asch, angry that Luke had partly dodged and was still complaining. "Why cant you ever just-," he said as he started to draw his sword, but Van's hand stopped him.

"Save it for the battle, Asch," Van commanded, watching as Asch reluctantly sheathed his sword. "And you Luke," Van said turning to him, "you should be happy they're allowing Ion assistance."

"Yes Master," said Luke, casting his gaze elsewhere.

"Are you ready to start now?" asked the announcer.

"I believe so," Legretta answered.

"It looks like everyone's ready," replied Guy.

"THEN LET THE BATTLES BEGIN!" shouted the announcer into her microphone. "First up is…Natalia vs. Largo."

"Let's get this over with," said Largo, making his way to the stadium.

"I won't lose to you!" declared Natalia, as she also entered the arena.

"Ready?" screamed the announcer into her microphone. They nodded. "Then let the battle begin!"

Natalia struck first, but her arrows bounced uselessly off Largo's armor. "You'll have to do better than that, Princess," he said.

"That was mere practice," said Natalia reaching for more arrows. Largo swung before she could grab them, and she was forced to jump back. Unfortunately, she was nicked in the stomach.

"Do you wish to forfeit, Princess?" Largo asked.

"Never," said Natalia. Largo swung again, but she ran out of range. Realizing that his heavy armor would slow him down, Natalia ran for the edge of the arena. Largo ran after her, but Natalia had plenty of time to load and shoot another round. Most of her arrows missed him, but one became lodged in his shoulder.

"Is that the best you can do?" he asked her.

"Do not think you can escape me," said Natalia, preparing to fire more arrows. "Pour forth oh starlight, Astral Rain!" A shower of arrows rained down from the sky. Many of these became lodged in Largo's neck and shoulders.

"Ugh!" he grunted sinking to his knees,

"Stop this," begged Natalia, "there is no reason to continue."

"I'm not finished yet," stated Largo as he jumped to his knees and charged Natalia. She tried to jump out of range, but his scythe caught her, pinning her to the ground. "Don't move, Princess," he warned, moving the blade to her neck. "It's over."

"Badaq," said Natalia through her tears.

"The winner is Largo!" cried the announcer.

"Go back to your castle, Princess," said Largo as he exited the arena. Natalia did not move from her position.

"Natalia are you injured?" asked Asch, about to run over to her.

"I'm fine," she said standing up. "Please don't worry about me." She gave him a small smile before walking back to her friends.

"Why are you so concerned?" Largo asked Asch, as he returned to the stands.

"No reason," Asch said before asking quickly, "Why did she call you Badaq?"

"No reason," said Largo. They glared at each other until Largo sat down.

"Next up is Tear vs. Legretta!" said the announcer.

"Very well," said Legretta as she stepped onto the battlefield.

"Major…" said Tear as she entered the arena.

"Are-You-Ready?" shouted the announcer.

"Of course," said Legretta, drawing her waepons.

"Let's begin," said Tear, regaining her soldier's demeanor.

"Then let the battle begin!" cried the announcer.

Legretta started by firing a round of bullets that Tear was able to avoid. They kept this up for a few minutes, with Tear throwing in periodic attacks that Legretta easily dodged.

"You're to slow Tear," Legretta said as she fired a bullet which hit Tear in the leg.

"Agh!" Tear cried, falling to the ground.

"Tear!" Luke screamed. He tried to run to her from where he was sitting in the stands, but Jade was making it difficult. "Let me go, Jade!" Luke shouted once again, struggling to break free.

"Watch," said Jade, not releasing his hold. Luke turned to the battle.

"Now you're mine!" Legretta shouted, running in for the final blow. She was unaware of the glyph tear was sitting in.

"That's enough," said Tear, unleashing her mystic arte. "Innocent Shine!"

"Tear…" said Legretta watching the attack come striking down. She attempted to dodge but she was unable to avoid all of it. "Ugh!" said Legretta, falling to the ground.

"It's over, Major," said Tear as she struggled to stand on her injured leg, unaware of the arte that Legretta was casting.

"For you perhaps," said Legretta, finishing her arte, "Éclair de Larmes!"

"No…" said Tear as she attempted to run, but her injured leg kept her from moving. "Ah!" she cried as the attack hit her, and she fell to the ground once more.

"Tear!" screamed Luke, still being held back by Jade.

"It's over Tear," said Legretta, pointing her gun dangerously close to Tear's head. Tear crumpled in defeat.

"Legretta is the winner!" shouted the announcer into her microphone.

"Let me go!" cried Luke. He ran towards the arena after Jade finally released him.

"I taught you better Tear," said Legretta as she exited the field, wiping something out of her eye.

"Major," said Tear, as salt water ran down her cheeks.

"Tear are you okay?" asked Luke as he got there, looking at her worriedly.

"I'm fine," said Tear, but Luke could tell she was lying.

"Would everyone please clear the area so we can start the next battle?" said the announcer.

"Come on, well have Natalia heal you," Luke said to Tear.

"It's nothing," said Tear, but when she put weight on her injured leg it burned with pain, and she fell on the ground again. "Ugh!" she said, before she felt Lukes arms wrap around her. "Luke what are you-"

"You shouldn't be putting weight on it if it's that injured," said Luke, lifting Tear off the ground.

"Luke, it's fine, it's just-"

"No buts," said Luke as he carried a blushing Tear bridal style back to the stands.

"Next up is Jade vs. Dist!" the announcer said.

"Well this should be over quick," said Sync under his breath.

"Jade calmly walked down to the arena, while Dist floated down on his chair. "Finally a chance to show everyone how superior I am!" the God General exclaimed.

"I suppose we'll find out, won't we?" said Jade, shrugging his shoulders.

"Are both combatants ready?" asked the announcer.

"Do your worst, Jade," said Dist.

"Oh, very well," the necromancer said.

"Begin!" cried the announcer.

"Just wait until you see what I've got, Jade," said Dist, pressing a button on a remote control. A large robot with a chainsaw for a hand descended from the sky.

"Oh, is this your new friend?" asked the necromancer. "I must say he isn't the most charming fellow."

"Quiet you!" screeched Dist as the robot began to attack. It swung its chainsaw where Jade was standing, but he easily sidestepped.

"Oh dear, is that all it can do?" Jade asked in mock disappointment.

"Not even close," said Dist. "Watch this." The robot made a fist a smashed the ground where Jade had been seconds earlier. The shockwave from the punch caused a mini earthquake in the surrounding area, and Jade was forced to duck into a roll.

"How do you like that, Jade!" the God General asked.

"Was that your best?" said Jade, standing as if nothing had happened.

"Why you-" screeched Dist.

"Prepare yourself," Jade called as he casted his mystic arte. "Indignation!" The robot was unable to handle that much power and it exploded, sending Dist flying back into the stands." "My is it over already?" Jade asked, though he was smiling.

"He sure got that fon slot seal off early," said Luke.

"Luke, we're trying to watch the battle, can you keep it down?" asked Guy.

"It's over anyway," mumbled Luke, but he remained quiet after that.

"The winner is Jade!" said the announcer and Jade returned to his seat. "Next is Guy vs. Van!"

"Shall we?" said Van, entering the arena.

"Let's do this," said Guy, jumping onto the battlefield.

"Guy-" Luke started, but was interrupted by Tear.

"Don't worry, Guy will be fine," she said.

"What about you Tear?" he asked but she interrupted him again.

"I can handle it," she said. "It's you I'm worried about." Luke gave a small smile and turned his eyes toward the battlefield.

"Are you ready?" asked the announcer. They nodded. "Then begin!"

Guy ran up to Van to try to get in a quick hit, but Van easily parried. "Eager to start, are you?" Van asked.

"You've got no idea," replied Guy. The traded blows back and forth, each blocking the other's attacks. If it kept on like this, it could take hours.

"Is that the best you can do, Gailardia?" asked Van.

"You want to see how strong I really am?" said Guy, not really waiting for an answer. "Incinerate all, Razing Phoenix!" The blazing attack hit Van, but there was no major damage.

"Not bad," said Van, "but not good enough. Imperial Slaughter!"

"Ugh!" said Guy, dropping to one knee. Van attacked while Guy was down. Guy tried to defend himself, but Van's repeated combos left no room for an opening, and finally Guy slumped to the ground, too exhausted to continue.

"It's over Guy," said Van.

"It looks like I screwed up," Guy said in defeat.

"The winner is Van!" said the announcer.

"Until next time," said Van returning to his seat.

"Guy," said Luke, running up beside him.

"It's all right, I'm fine," said Guy, smiling as he stood up. "Let's go back to the others." They returned to their seats.

"Next up is Anise vs. Arietta!" said the announcer.

"Oh man, not this again," Sync moaned, burying his face in his arms. "They're going to be at it for hours!"

"Just do your best to ignore them," said Van, knowing why he was actually upset.

"I won't loose to you, Gloomietta!" shouted Anise.

"I'll kill you and get back Ion!" shouted Arietta, as she and her liger jumped onto the field.

"Bring it!" screamed Anise, jumping down on Tokunaga.

"Please don't fight, you two," said Ion, but apparently, no one was listening to him.

"Are you ready?" the announcer asked them.

"Yeah!" they screamed at the same time.

"Then begin!" cried the announcer.

Both girls lunged toward each other and Anise tried to move Tokunaga to the side. She was unable to move completely out of the way, and Arietta's liger left a slash mark on Tokunaga's arm. "You'll pay for that Gloomietta!" cried Anise, aiming a punch at her.

"No, you'll pay Anise!" said Arietta as her liger recovered from the blow. "You and your friends killed Mommy!"

"I wasn't even there when she was killed," cried Anise, "and neither were Guy and Natalia!

"You killed Mommy, and your stealing Ion from me, too!" Arietta sobbed.

"That's not true!" Anise yelled going in for another hit. The reason you were replaced as a Fon Master Guardian was-"

"I won't let you take Ion away from me!" shrieked Arietta at the top of her lungs. "I'll kill you and avenge Mommy!" she cried sobbing.

"Go ahead and try, Gloomietta!" roared the furious Anise. "If you don't want to listen to me that's your problem.

"I'll kill you for Mommy!" screamed the hysterical Arietta.

By this time, Arietta's liger had suffered a number of hits, and Tokunaga was badly torn. It was only a matter of time until one of them went down.

"Let's finish this!" said the beat up Anise.

"This is for Mommy!" an exhausted Arietta cried.

Both of them began to cast. Their glyphs drew in darkness fonons, shrouding the place in an eerie glow. "Here it comes," Largo murmured.

"Bloody Howling!" both girls shouted at once. Their attacks unleashed at the same time, and neither of them were able to escape. "Ahh!" they cried, before falling unconscious.

"Anise!" cried Ion, watching as she fell to the ground.

"It appears we have a tie," said the announcer, watching both girls for signs of stirring.

"How can you be so calm about this!" Natalia demanded of the announcer. "Look at them…" she trailed off as she saw Jade run after Anise.

Largo was picking up Arietta and her liger when Jade got there. Both girls were still unconscious, but neither appeared to be seriously injured. "They fought with the best of their abilities," Largo said to the necromancer before heading back to the stands.

"Indeed," muttered Jade to himself, picking up Anise and Tokunaga (which had shrunk back to its normal size) before heading back to the stands.

"Next up is Ion and Mieu vs. Sync!" said the announcer.

"Well it's about time," muttered Sync, throwing himself into the arena. "I've been waiting for this all day."

"You sure you want to do this Ion?" asked Luke.

"Yes," said Ion. "It's best to get it over with."

"Don't worry, Master, I'll protect him," said Mieu.

"Let's hope so," said Luke, sounding resigned.

Ion and Mieu had barely reached the arena when Sync growled, "Let's go already! What takes you so long?"

"I'm sorry," replied Ion.

"Are you ready?" the announcer asked.

"I was born ready!" Sync replied.

"We're ready, we're ready!" the cheagle replied. Ion nodded.

"Begin!" shouted the announcer.

"I'll crush you!" said Sync, charging straight for Ion.

"Mieu, mieu!" cried the cheagle shooting a burst of fire. Sync jumped over it and attacked Ion from behind. "Ahh!" Ion gasped as his legs were kicked out from under him.

"They should have made me the Fon Master!" said Sync, continuing to attack Ion. "I'm strong, not weak like you!" he said, dodging another attack from Mieu. "The only reason you were picked is because you can open those stupid Yulian seals," Sync said as he sent the cheagle smashing to the ground. "Otherwise I'm superior in every way!" he screamed, finally knocking Ion unconscious.

"Sync is the winner!" said the announcer, but Sync wasn't finished. He continued to beat up Ion and tell him how useless he was.

"Ion!" cried Luke, charging down to fend off Sync.

"I'll heal him," said Tear, running after him on her now healed leg.

Therefore, Tear was healing Ion and Luke was holding of Sync, when Van walked up. "Sync that's enough," Van said grabbing the boy roughly by the shoulder. "You'll do as I say, or suffer the consequences."

Sync really wanted to continue wailing on Ion, but he knew a threat when he heard one, so he shut up and followed Van off the battlefield.

"Tear, is Ion okay?" asked Luke, walking up to them. "I think he's waking up," Tear replied, finishing her healing arte.

"Tear…Luke?" said Ion softly. He looked around a bit. "Where's Mieu?"

"Oh man, I forgot about him," said Luke scanning the area. Tear had already found him though, and was applying her healing artes.

"Are you okay Mieu?" asked Tear as the cheagle blinked at her. "So many stars…"answered the cheagle. She sighed and prepared to cast another healing arte.

"I think he'll be okay with some rest," said Luke. "Why don't you two head back to the stands while I carry Ion?"

"Yes, I think that would be best," said Tear. "Natalia can help me finish healing them."

"Thank you," said Ion.

As they were walking back to the stands, Anise regained consciousness. "Are you all right?" asked Natalia, who had been healing her.

"Ow, my head," said Anise, trying to remember what happened. "Wait a minute! Don't tell me I lost to Gloomietta!"

"You tied with her actually," said Luke sitting down with Ion.

"Ion, what happened to you?" asked Anise.

"He lost to Sync," said Tear, sitting down with the cheagle.

"How could I let this happen?" Anise asked herself. "I'm a horrible Fon Master Guardian."

"It's not your fault Anise," Ion said, reaching for her hand.

"Oh, Ion," she said smiling at him.

"Finally, Luke vs. Asch!" the announcer cut in, ruining the moment.

"Can you watch Ion for me Guy?" asked Luke, getting up from his seat.

"Sure thing, Luke" said Guy, helping to support the Fon Master. "Don't do anything stupid out there." Luke smiled at Guy before heading down to the arena.

"Let's go already!" said Asch, who had been waiting there longer than he liked.

"All right, hold your horses," said Luke before being met with one of Asch's death glares.

"Are you ready?" asked the announcer.

"Yep," said Asch.

"Go!" said the announcer.

"Hey I didn't say I was-" Luke tried to say but Asch was already swinging at him. "Asch what are you doing?"

"What does it look like, dreck?" Asch said attempting to break Luke's block.

"Your team already won so we don't need to be fighting. And besides-"

"Who cares!" yelled Asch, finally succeding at breaking Luke's block. "I'm still going to crush you!" He then proceeded to form the longest combo known in Fabre history, with Luke taking the full impact from every hit. He only stopped long enough to unleash his mystic arte 'Rending saber'.

In the half-second gap Luke had between the mystic arte and Asch's next attack, he screamed, "I forfeit!" as loud as he could, and curled up into the tinniest ball possible in preparation for Asch's next attack, which, of course, came quickly.

"There is no forfeiting, you dreck!" screamed Asch, as he proceeded with infinite combo number two.

"Asch, stop this," begged Natalia as she ran to the edge of the stands. "You've already won, so just leave him alone."

"Natalia-" said Asch, trying to calm her down.

"Just stop it!" she screamed, bursting into tears. "I've always thought you were a good person, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe-"

"I'll stop, I'm sorry," cried Asch throwing his sword to the other end of the arena, and pleading with Natalia on his knees. "I never meant to hurt you, Natalia, you know that. I love you I-"

"The winner is Asch," cut in the announcer, "and that concludes the battles."

"Did we win?" asked Arietta, waking up at last. Her liger, which had also recovered, moved to her side.

"As expected, the God Generals are the champions," said the announcer. "Here is your prize." A huge jet-black Albiore landed in the middle of the arena. It was equipped with two hot tubs, a training room, and the most advanced fontech weapons, to name a few things.

"What an incredible piece of fontech," said Dist, finally making a reappearance. "I can't wait to-"

"Not so fast, Dist," said Van. "You're fired."

"I'm what!" cried Dist, not believing what he was hearing. Surely, they would never fire someone as intelligent as him.

"You're fired," Van repeated. "You're the only one who couldn't defeat your opponent."

"But I was up against Jade," said Dist, trying to explain. "He clearly-"

"Yes, that reminds me," said Van, walking over to the necromancer. "How would you like to become a God General?" he asked.

"Actually, I'd like that very much," the necromancer replied.

"What!" gasped Dist. "Jade you can't my job. I swear-"

"Colonel, your not serious, are you?" asked Anise, becoming the tinniest bit afraid.

"Actually, I am," the colonel replied. "After watching your poor performances today, I'm surprised I stuck around this long."

"Excellent," said Van. "I appoint you God General Jade the Necromancer."

"Didn't see that one coming," said Sync.

"You can't be serious," said Luke, starting to fear for his life. "What are we supposed to do?"

"You can have Dist," said Jade.

"You can't," said Dist, pleading with Van. "You need me!"

"You've already provided us with everything we need to complete the replication process," said Van. "You're of no further use."

"Dist is leaving?" said Asch, getting up off the ground. "He's really leaving?" he asked, in a happy voice no one had heard in years. Finally seeming to grasp that it was true, he ran over and started shaking Luke by the shoulders. "I'm free, I'm free! You get to listen to him go on about Jade and Nebilim, but not me! I'm free!" He abandoned Luke and made a beeline for the Albiore. "Let's hurry up and leave him behind!" he shouted to the other God Generals.

They all seemed to think this was a good idea and piled in after Asch. "Farewell," said Jade as the door shut and the Albiore began to takeoff.

"Colonel, you can't do this!" cried Anise chasing after it, but it had already flown into the sky. "Colonel…"

"I'm sorry Anise," said Ion, trying to comfort her. She cried on his shoulder.

"What do we do now?" asked Tear, looking to see if anyone had any ideas.

"We do exactly what we have been doing," declared Natalia. "We stop Van and save Auldrant!"

"How do we do that without Jade?" Luke asked. He felt like his world had turned into a snow globe that someone shook up, turned upside-down, and smashed into a billion pieces.

"I'll help you, Master," said Mieu, but everyone ignored him.

"Please, take me with you!" begged Dist. "I want to stop them as much as you do! They never liked me. And I need to get my revenge on Jade!"

"What do you think?" asked Ion.

"I guess we take him with us," said Guy, feeling as if their journey had just grown ten times longer.

"You can not be serious!" said Natalia.

"I think bringing him is a good idea," said Ion.

"Unless anyone can think of someone else to replace Jade?" Guy asked. He was met with silence.

"Then he stays!" said Ion happily.

Their lives continued with the heroes being minus one colonel and plus one former God General, and the God Generals being minus one fontech geek and plus one necromancer.

The End

Author's notes: Thank you for reading my first fanfiction and I hope you enjoyed it. I apologize for any mistakes in this story, as I know spellcheck doesn't catch everything. I would appreciate feedback of any sort, including pointing out errors I missed, telling me how to improve my stories, what you liked and disliked about my story, and anything else that comes to mind. I hope you'll read my other stories.