AN: Another Tales of the Abyss story. I haven't played it in a while, but I'm planning on replaying it soon. It's my favorite, and I want to play it before I go to college and I'm cut off from video games for the year. Hopefully, you all will like it!

Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of the Abyss. Namco does.

"I thought you would have gone home by now."

A startled gasp tore itself from Tear's lips as her heart lept into her throat, a throwing knife already clenched between her fingers as she twirled to meet her opponent. Watching as the blade tore itself fro her hand to embed itself in the trunk of a tree, a relieved sigh accompanied the sight of her prey swiftly dodging out of the way of harm, the orange blur of his vest a comforting sight. Shifting from her fighting stance into a less offensive position, an apologetic smile crossed her face as the man that stood before her shot her an incredulous look, one hand rubbing the back of his neck while the other was held in a gesture of submission.

"A little tense there?"

"I apologize," Tear said softly as she refexivly took a step forward, her hand reaching out to brush the slight cut in his arm her knife had left behind. Pausing as his body stiffened as his phobia kicked in, she continued with her hands folded against her chest, fighting away the urge to tend to the small trickled of blood she had caused. "You caught me off guard and I overreacted. I'm sorry."

"Don't apoloize," Guy said with a shrug and a small laugh, barely giving the small slice a second glance as he leaned back against his tree, his arms folding across his own chest to form the more masculin mirror to her position. "I shouldn't have snuck up on you like that. But my question still stands: why haven't you gone home yet?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Tear shot back, her eyebrow raised as she turned so she was once more facing Tataroo Valley, the glowing flowers just starting to bloom as the sun slowly sank into the ocean. She could see the crumbling remains of Eldrant in the distance, the forboding structure am unrouched momument to all those who had fallen because of her brother. Breathing in deeply in an attempt to calm her still overactive nerves, she slowly lowered herself back amongst the partially open buds, her eyes fixed upon the horizon.

"You could, but I have a feeling that our answers are the both the same." Although his footsteps were silent, Tear could sense Guy's presence as he settled himself besides her, close enough to be considered a companion, yet not so close as to activate his fear. For a long moment the two of them continued to watch the setting sun as it sank below the surface of the world, taking an uneasy comfort from the fact that neither was alone. Finally, it was with a quick glance towards her that he continued. "You're waiting for him, aren't you?"

Although it was formed as a question, Tear could hear the statement in his voice, the matter of fact way that he took all of her hopes and fears and laid them out before her like a stack of cards. He had always been good at doing thing like that during their time together with the others, always the one to interperate Jade's seemingly invalid ramblings and point out exactly what their next course of action should be, despite the many protests it often brought. The two of them had often worked together as the voices of reason for their group, helping to hold back those who otherwise would have jumped the railing over the cliff before looking to see if there was a ledge below to catch them. There was something about him that attracted people to him, forcing them without lifting a finger to listen to the advice he had to give, taking it seriously into consideration despite having just met.

If Tear had learned anything about Guy during the year they had lived and fought together, becoming close friends in the process, it was that he was her conscious just a much as she was his.

"Yes. But then, so are you."

"Of course," Guy said, leaning back so his weight was supported on his elbows. "Luke promised that he'd be back, and if there's one thing I know about Luke, it's that he'll keep his promise. Difference is that I've been waiting for him to return for the past two weeks in Grand Chokmah, living the life of a hero, while you've been camping out here in the middle of the valley. Tear, we've heard nothing from you since we split up, and everyone's been getting worried about you. So why haven't you gone home yet?"

There were many things in her relativly short life that Tear, for some reason or another, had always known but had never understood. From the moment her brother had dissapeared from Yulia City when he should have been home on leave, she had just known that he was up to something, that he was part of some series of events that she had to put an end to. It had been this feeling that had led her to research information about the upper world and, in turn, decide to put an end to Van's plans. It had been the same feeling that had forced her to remain by Luke's side after everything that had happened at Akzeriuth, a piece of intuition that she had covered with round about half truths and almost lies about her remaing home, though in truth Yulia City had felt less and less like home ever since she had first visited the upper world. It was this same feeling that had kept her glued to this one spot in Tataroo Valley for the past two weeks, watching the skyline with whispered prayers to Lorelei as the knowledge that, one of these days, Luke would appear right here, where everything first began, grew within her.

It was with a shake of her head that Tear told Guy the half truth that could have easily passed for a lie.

"When I was younger, Van use to tell me stories to help me sleep, fairy tales about heros and the monsters they fought to keep the world safe. There was always some reason for the hero to fight, always some loved one in distress or their home being threatened. They were mostly nonense," Tear said embaressed as she turned away to hid the slight flush that had taken over her cheeks as she reminensed, missing the fond smile Guy had sent her way. "But they were also a comfort. No matter how the story went, Van would always end it by saying that the heros returned home to live out their days in peace, undisturbed by the remaining handful of petty troubles that remained. When he told them to me, I took them as a promise that I would never lose the last of my family that I had left, but now..."

Tear allowed her voice to trail off as the first of the selenias completely unfolded their blooms, lighting up the surrounding area with a soft moon-colored glow that had always taken her breath away. Smiling a small smile, Tear forced away the last lingering unease she had felt with revealing something so personal and spoke what was upon her mind.

"But now, I need to believe that what my brother said was true, that the hero always comes back to those waiting for them, because whether he believed it or not, Luke is a hero who deserves his happy ending."

The two friends fell into a companionable silence as they sorted through their thoughts, twisting their heads to watch as the moon rose over the treetops behind them to continue on its celestial path. It wasn't until the moon had reached the height of its arch that Guy saw fit to speek once more, his voice firm as he spoke.

"Three more days," Guy declaired suddenly, the sound of his voice shaking her awake from the slight doze she had slipped into. "We'll wait three more days for him, but then we have to get back to the city. Luke knows," Guy said with a raised voice as Tear started to object, the look on his face forcing her to listen, "where to find us if he does come back, and we know where to look whenever we're traveling near here. However, neither of us can just sit around waiting for him to return, and I don't think Natalia or Anise would be very happy with either of us if we tried too. They're the reason I was sent out here in the first place you know, a pre-runner to them sending in a batallion, or worse, Jade, to forcably drag you to one of the capitals." Seeing the look on her face, Guy's tone somewhat softened as he continued to talk, his words drilling themselves into her as they forced her to agree. "We're not giving up Tear," Guy assured her quietly, his eyes drifting off to look out over the flowers before them. "We're not. We're just trusting that he'll be able to find us after he gets back instead of the other way around, that's all. I can promise you this: even if we're the last two people who do, the two of us will always keep watching out for him."

Listening to Guy's words, an almost sob caught in Tear's throat as his implications fully hit her, the total reality of their situation finally making itself clear to her. Here, in this place, it was so easy to pretend that nothing was wrong, that everything was more then fine with the outside world she had so come to care about. In truth, leaving the valley scared her, for it would force her to once more become the emotionless soilder her duty required her to be, a person her had come to dispise over the past year. Here in Tataroo Valley, she could still pretend that Luke and Van were still alive and well, unburdened by the weight of the world that, in different ways, had pressed against them.

Here is the valley, everything could be perfect.

"Alright," Tear agreed, her voice low as she contined her watch. Although she loathed the idea of having to leave the one place that had become her sacuntary over the past few weeks, already her sense of duty and need to help was pulling at her, whispering the ways she was needed that otherwise she would have tried to deny. Leaning back so she was copying Guy, Tear gave one final nod. "Alright. Three more days."

With that, the two fell into a comfortable silence as they continued their watch, determined to spend the next three days waiting for their hero to come home.