AN: I love Tales of the Abyss. Although some of my ficts say differently, I really do. It's because I love it so much, and it's because Tear is my favorite character that I destroy her life so much. The more I like them, the more likely the character is to being killed off for some reason.

Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of the Abyss (though if I did, we would have already had a sequel.) Namco does.

It was strange really, the types of patterns one fell into when they longed for something hard enough.

Take them, for instance. Although they had rarely seen each other after he returned, for the look the other held in their eyes was far too much for each of them to bear, it was not uncommon for her to receive a secret note from him when they both knew the other was in the same town, be it for pleasure or work. He was always the one to initiate contact, and although she had sworn to herself that she would leave him alone, every time he summoned her, she would go, following his ridiculous directions to some remote point where they couldn't be found, lest news of their meeting reach the correct ears in the wrong way. Once she was there, staring at him with that fierce longing in her chest that his hair was a few shades lighter or that his tight smile was a bit softer, it would only take one look into his eyes, one glance at that familiar gleam that stated He was awake, and she knew she would do whatever he asked of her, if only to see that look once more.

His request was always the same. A single demand that she always, if not happily, complied with.


And she would. For hours she would cycle through the seven songs she knew he wanted, their eyes locked as the unnerving yet comforting sparkle that had taken over him grew with each word she sang, becoming clearer and clearer until the man she saw was the one she had waited so long for, not the one that had truly come home. The first couple of times, for a mere instant, her heart had lurched as the idea that maybe, Lorelei willing, maybe, he had finally come back, had broken through the barrier that had kept them apart for so long. It was his body, she knew that well, so the thought had only served to falsely heighten her hopes.

For just like every time she had sung for him before, as her voice began to falter, the words dying away to whispered rasps as pain warned her to stop, lest she lose this gift all together, so too would the shine in his eyes fade to their previous dullness, the love and longing that had been reflected within them just moments before gone.

A couple of time, just before the spark had completely died, he had kissed her, allowing the other being that lived within him control for just long enough to heal and re-break her heart all over again. Whenever that happened, for just that single moment, she could pretend, could let herself believe that he had kept his promise to her and had come back alive. It was a sick, pathetic dream, one the others would have disapproved of if they had known, especially since there was no way it could come true now, but it was one she cherished all the while, because for that one moment, she felt whole.

It would be then that the dream would end, for just as quickly as he had kissed her, so too would Asch pull back, his body once more his to own. In a much more verbal and polite way, just like every time before, he would thank her for indulging his Luke-born desire to hear her sing, one of the few ways his sleeping replica still had a hand in controlling their semi-joined lives. In a just as verbal and polite way, Tear would return his thanks with welcome, passing off the songs as nothing more then a favor from one friend to another, though her lips would still be burning from the kiss he, controlled by another, had given her. Without saying another word, the two would leave, he to return to his waiting Queen, she to complete whatever duty she had been sent to do.

However, it went without saying that, the moment Asch felt that small voice in the back of his mind once more begin to stir, she would be the first one to know, for within that voice was the phantom he feared the most and the one she longed to sing for.