Tales Of Symphonia Fan Fiction ❯ Tales of Symphonia: The People v. Zelos Wilder ❯ Part One: Pre-trial, Chapter 8 ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

NAMCO Tales Studio, Ltd. holds the exclusive rights to all characters and story elements appearing in the video game Tales of Symphonia. The following story has been created for entertainment purposes only, and no profit has been made by the author.
The People v. Zelos Wilder
Part One - Pre-trial
Summation:Lloyd and Sheena
"How do I get this..?" Lloyd asked in frustration, fumbling with the pink sash around Sheena's waist.
"No, Lloyd, start with the front. Untie the obi-jime first, the little cord."
"Hey, this is suspiciously like learning."
"Don't you want to learn about me?" she pouted.
He smiled, enfolding her in his arms. "I want to know everything." He kissed her then, and pulled back. "Are you sure about this? I don't want to pressure you."
"What conversation have you been listening to? If anything, I'm pressuring you."
A trainer of hers once told Sheena to rid herself of superfluous emotions before every challenge. So, she now allowed the tears to flow freely. Neither choking sobs, nor any whimpering came. Instead a steady stream of salty liquid rolled down her face and soaked her collar. She knew she loved Lloyd, but had been unaware of just how much his opinion meant to her. She would tell him tonight, and, if he let her, she would show him.
She changed into her familiar ninja garb, taking a little extra time for hair and the barest hint of make-up. She stashed her Covert Op costume into her bag and set about finding Lloyd's cell. Getting into the prison had been just as hard as she'd assumed. The guards were few, but strategically located at the only entrance. After an hour of waiting for a shift change that never came, she'd scouted the building's perimeter, and soon found what she sought, a small opening in one of the stone walls that, with a little digging, became just wide enough to shimmy through. Descending to the proper floor took another hour of slow deliberative sidling along ledges, desperately clinging to handholds, and finally, when she found a secure enough purchase, rappelling down with her climbing equipment. It was less exhausting than annoying, but she took a gel to replenish her energy for good measure.
Lloyd's cell, she discovered, was far enough from the entrance that she wouldn't have to worry about the guards hearing them. And since he was the only prisoner in this half-completed facility, they would be for all intents and purposes alone. Good.
Approaching the cell, she demanded, "What the hell did you think you were doing?"
"Sheena, what are you doing here?"
"I'm asking the questions, thank you."
Lloyd said, "Zelos and I had a disagreement."
"A disagreement...was it important enough to destroy half the city over?"
Grinning a lopsided grin, he said, "You're exaggerating...but yes, it was."
Sheena's heart beat a little faster. "I've already seen Zelos tonight. He told me what you 'discussed.'"
"So, I repeat, what did you think you were doing?"
"Defending your honor?" Lloyd shrugged. "Not that what you did was dishonorable. It's just that Zelos shouldn't go around talking about it like that. It isn't right."
"What," she asked, "do you think about it?"
"It's none of my business. Listen, Sheena, nothing's changed between us. You're still my best friend, and the most honorable person I know. That could never change." Noticing her glistening eyes, he said, "Sheena, you're crying," and reached out to wipe the tears away. Her eyes were puffy already. "You've been crying."
She caught his hand, and held the palm to her face for a while, closed her eyes, and continued to cry, releasing the sobs that wouldn't come earlier.
Lloyd pulled her close and they shared an embrace through the prison bars. After a time, Sheena pulled away.
She said, "You're an amazing man, Lloyd Irving."
"Why were you crying?"
She paused. Words were difficult. Once she got going, though, they came rushing out. "I was so scared you wouldn't talk to me, that you wouldn't let me explain, that the idiot Chosen had ruined our relationship. You're really not upset?"
Lloyd said, "I'll be honest. It bothers me, a lot actually. But I refuse to lose you over it."
She smiled. "You were right, earlier. It's not your business..."
He looked away
She guided his face back toward hers. "...unless I choose to make it your business. And I choose." She took a breath. "Zelos lied to you."
"Everything, dummy."
"So you never?"
"Not with him!" She quickly added, "Or with anyone else." She grinned, "Scared ya, huh?"
"You're cruel," he said, smiling.
"Zelos and I went on a date when I officially joined the Elemental Research Lab. I didn't want to, but figured since I was there on behalf of Mizuho it was as much a diplomatic as a social thing. So I went."
"How was it?"
"It was the most humiliating night of my life. He made me wear this trashy red dress. Remember that picture we saw on the big screen?"
Lloyd nodded.
"That's the one."
"Ah," he said. "Not your best look."
She playfully slapped at him. Then she got serious. "Lloyd, I've dated other men. Philip from the Research Lab, and even Orochi once when he was in Meltokio on business. But I've never gone past holding hands, hugging, or a kiss on the cheek. The idea of sex, of giving myself that completely to someone, scares me. And I never met anyone I trusted enough to risk it...until I met you. Oh, this is so hard. I love you, Lloyd. I want to be with you."
"I love you, Sheena, and I want to be with you."
She took his hand. "I don't mean journey with you. I mean I want to be with you."
Lloyd heard a click and a pop, and his cell door sprang open.
Sheena stuffed her lock-pick back into her pocket. "Do you want to come out of there?" she asked.
But Lloyd shook his head. "No, if you help me escape, we'll be fugitives. I don't want that for you."
"We've been fugitives before, Lloyd. It's a big world. As long as we're together..."
"No. I'll fight this the right way."
She saw the determination in his eyes, and knew she wouldn't win this battle. She brightened as another idea struck her. "All right," she said, "If you're not coming out, I'm coming in." Before Lloyd could stop her, she rushed into the cell, slammed the door shut, and threw her arms around him.
"Sheena, this isn't funny. Pick the lock again and get out of here."
"Using these?" she asked, holding up her lock picks. She tossed them through the cell bars, where they clattered onto the ground far out of reach. "Oops. I guess we're stuck now." She sat on his bunk, and patted the spot beside her. "Can you think of a way to pass the time?"
Lloyd quickly understood her point. "Isn't this a little fast?"
She shook her head. "We've been together two years. I love you, and I want to prove it to you."
Lloyd sat beside her, took her hand. "Your saying it is proof enough."
"We don't have to go all the way tonight," she said. "We can, we might. Let's just see where the night takes us." She wrapped her arms around his head, and pulled him into a tentative, testing-the-waters kiss. "My first kiss," she said. "Wonderful."
Lloyd nodded, his mouth dry. "Yeah, wonderful."
"I've been saving it for you. I've been saving all my firsts for you."
"All right," Lloyd said. He took her mouth in a second kiss, this one less tentative, and then trailed kisses across her cheek. The moan she made when he nibbled her neck had to be the most satisfying and alluring sound he'd ever heard her make. "Let's see where the night takes us."
Morning came, and Lloyd awoke feeling more contented than he ever remembered. Excitement, rather than the sun, awoke him. The absence of windows in the cells meant its two occupants wouldn't be disturbed by the morning rays.
When he moved, he moved slowly, not wanting to disturb his bunkmate, the woman who had given of herself so fully to him last night, this big-hearted, beautiful woman.
"Kohana," she said, stirring.
"Kohana. It means 'little flower.' It's my true name."
"It's beautiful. Why'd you tell me?"
"I want to share everything with you. Mizuhoan tradition holds that when a woman gives herself to a man," she blushed, "that way, she tells him her name. True, I'm only supposed to tell my husband, but then, technically I'm only supposed to do what we did last night with my husband."
He lay silently beside her, digesting everything,
"I'm not saying we should rush out and get married or anything. If we never get married, I won't regret a thing. I just wanted to tell you."
Lloyd's mind was on a dusty Meltokio street, trading blows with a battered Chosen of Mana. His taunt echoed in Lloyd's head. "What's the matter? Can't take it that your little flower's missing a few petals?" Little flower. Lloyd's heart beat madly, and he saw an image of Sheena sharing Zelos's bed as she now shared Lloyd's. "My name's Kohana," she told the Chosen. "It means 'little flower.'" Was that how Zelos knew her name? Did he know? Or was it a coincidence? Lloyd remembered seeing a flower cart on the street where they fought. Could that be where Zelos had gotten the reference? Or was Lloyd remembering a flower cart that wasn't there, his mind's desperate attempt to justify Zelos's words?
Lloyd looked at her, and the expectation in her eyes. He knew this girl, no, this woman. She would not lie to him.
"Thank you for telling me, Kohana. I want to spend my life with you."
He would have said more, but at that moment there came a tapping on the cell bars. "All right, Irving, you're free to—"
In front of the cell stood two armored guards. Lloyd didn't care to know what expressions were beneath their faceplates.
"Free to go," the guard continued. "The, uh...the..."
Sheena pulled her sheet tighter around her body. "Please say what you have to," she said.
"Sorry. The Chosen has taken responsibility for your actions, and agreed to pay for the damages. All charges have been dropped, and you're free to go. I'll just unlock the cell, and you two can leave at your convenience."
The guards left, one sniggering, the other whispering harshly, "Shut up. Don't you know what that guy's capable of?"
"Zelos?" Lloyd questioned. "Why?"
Sheena looked into his eyes. "He did it for me."
Thank you.
"Let's go," Lloyd said.
"To find evidence, of course. We came here to prove Zelos's innocence, and that's what we're going to do."
End Part One
Part Two - Trial Phase
Coming June 2006