Hey y'all! Kitty29 here with a short Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World drabble. Random, I know but I've recently replayed the game and was rather surprised by the lack of fics about Emil's abuse which is heavily hinted at, if not outright said, in the game. One of the reasons I love that little annoying bugger so much was because he's such a lovely topic for angst! :heart:
Anyways, here's a short drabble written at 2 o'clock in the morning and then heavily edited the next day. Though it is unbeta'd so I apologize for any mistakes; grammatical or spelling wise. Please enjoy and leave a few words telling me what you think!
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World, Emil Castagnier, Marta Luladi, or Tenebrae. If I did I wouldn't be writing fanfiction. I would be writing fiction, so there you go.
Marta wished Emil didn't talk in his sleep.
When she had first discovered this fact about her companion she thought it was cute, even saw it as an opportunity. For really, when were you the most truthful and vulnerable then when you were sleeping? Oh how wonderful it would be to know all about her dear companion's self conscience! About all the things that must be brewing while he himself slumbered away in the land of nod. Maybe if she listened hard enough she would finally find out just what he thought about her or maybe, just maybe, if she whispered a little in his ear she could get him to dream about her! However, even she had to admit that that may have been a bit too much.
Though within the first few weeks of listening in on his dreams she had learned that it wasn't the fun discovery she had originally thought it would be.
Emil wasn't often treated with dreams. Rather, he was very much plagued by terrible nightmares. Nightmares about dying in battle, friends abandoning him or turning into enemies or, regrettably, past living experiences with his aunt and uncle. Those were the worst for not only did they cause Emil to pled and beg in his sleep but also made him trash around as if he was in physical pain. Marta wished she would unhear some of the things that her friend moaned in his sleep. She didn't want to hear the verbal abuse he accrued on a daily basis. She didn't want to hear about the many times he had been denied the basic necessaries of life. She didn't want to hear him re-enact some of his numerous beatings nor about the twisted justifications he made to try and make sense of it all.
Emil didn't know she heard those things and it was probably for the best. Marta knew that he didn't want her to know. On the rare occasion when his nightmare would dolt him awake, covered in cold sweat and tremors, the first thing he always did was look over at her and make sure she was asleep. For his sake Marta would always pretend to be so and Emil would always let out a sigh of relief, whether because she was still asleep or because he was finally awaken it was hard to tell. Either way he would then always do one of two things. Most of the time he could lay back down, turn his back to her and try to quiet his inevitable sobs, all the while berating himself for being so worked up from a simple dream. The second thing that happened was Emil could sit up, draw his knees to his chest and simply sit there, quiet. It was the latter action that troubled Marta more, for while the crying certainly showed his state of mind, there was no way to tell what he was thinking when he just sat there and stared.
It truly and surely broke Marta's poor heart. On more then one occasion she would find herself crying uncontrollably as Emil recalled a practically vivid memory. She wished she could wake him up and remind him that she was there and that as long as she was there he would never have to go though anything as horrid as that again. She wished she could hold him until all his nightmares disappeared but she knew she couldn't. She wanted to; oh how much she longed to comfort him but Tenebrae's wise words always stopped her. Forcing herself on him while he was in such an emotionally state would only make him ashamed and embarrassed and close himself away from the world. Forcing herself on him would only make him even more emotionally distant and truly that was the last thing she wanted to do. So all Marta could do was wait, wait until Emil trusted her enough to let in. Though that didn't mean she couldn't help in the meantime.
Each day after one of his night terrors she made sure she let him know his fears would never come true. She would always cheer for him when he successfully defeated or tamed a monster, reassure him with smiles or small touches and, of course, let him know just how much he meant to her. Emil may still be a little awkward at receiving her praise and may even deny the kind words at times but she knew better than to give up. One day he would realize that he was worthy of her words and one day he would trust her enough to let her in on his past but until that day (and long after it) Marta would continue to love him. She had to, for not only did she have to love him enough to satisfy herself but also enough to cover for the love he should have received from his caretakers, the people of his town and the friends that he never made.
It was a tall order but Marta was more than ready for the challenge. As strong as Emil was, she knew he couldn't deal with the terrors of his dreams on his own and he shouldn't have to. When the day comes, she will help him overcome his own self conscience and the terrible things that manifest from it.
She would help him whether he wanted her to or not.