A fifty sentences challenge; Sheena and Zelos take one step forward, two steps back.
She’ll hit him if he says it, but Zelos always thought she was the most beautiful when she was truly, truly angry, and the summon ring lit her up in power and light.
Zelos never wanted to be a hero, and Sheena didn’t think she wanted him to want to be a hero, but here they both were at the end of it all, hero and heroine and everything that went with it.
It was a bitter memory; Sheena didn’t think about the day she left him for the first time, not ever, not even when he tried so hard to pretend nothing had ever happened.
“You aren’t putting me in any kind of – of protective box, Zelos,” Sheena crossed her arms over her very pregnant middle and scowled at him with all her feminine fury, and he at least had enough brains to back down.
She kept up with him, in everything, in fighting and in love and especially when she was angry, no matter how fast he ran to get away from whatever idiotic remark he had made.
Zelos saw her as a kind of emotional hurricane, all fury and ill-contained violence, and he wouldn’t have her any other way.
The first time Sheena saw his wings it was like a physical blow to the heart, a knife in the gut, and she could have screamed if half of her wasn’t expecting it already.
Their relationship had turned cold, after her failed pact with Volt and his recruitment by Cruxis, but it never got colder than that night she found him with another girl.
Sheena had always liked how his passion for life showed even in his coloring, in his flaming-red hair; his outside suited his inside.
Sheena didn’t drink, ever, so it wasn’t very surprising that when she woke up next to Zelos with no clothes on and an aching head, she knew exactly what – and who – were to blame.
She had never quite gotten over the need to be constantly watchful, but the only time it was really a problem was when Zelos got an urge for a midnight snack, and on the way back to bed Sheena nearly killed him, thinking he was an intruder.
It would be wrong to say that he couldn’t help himself, Zelos reflected as he watched the girl bounce – her breasts bounced at least – by, and would be more accurate to say he had a difficult time resisting temptation.
She lay spread over the sheets, her hair down, her skin flushed, and Zelos took a brief moment to pause and enjoy the view.
Sheena’s music had always been incredibly important to her, and on the rare occasions they did return to Mizuho, nothing short of calamity could make her move away from the girl playing the shakuhachi, not even Zelos’s kisses.
The wedding gown was pure white silk, yards of it, and Sheena had never felt more uncomfortable in a garment in her entire life.
People were supposed to discover unflattering things about each other in marriage, they had told her, but nobody had told Sheena that some things she discovered about Zelos would be downright annoying, like his tendency to be a cover hog.
“I made a promise, baby, and I’m not breaking a promise to you again,” Zelos grabbed for her hand desperately, clinking their rings together almost on purpose.
Sheena’s first kiss hadn’t been anything like she had dreamed – it hadn’t been romantic, or sweet, or because of love, it had been because Zelos got dared, and he couldn’t resist a dare or a pretty woman.
Zelos’s hair burned red in the light of the candle, as they moved together in hushed whispers and gentle strokes, belying both of their hidden ferocity.
He had a talent for trouble, he always had, and Sheena supposed she shouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t grow out of it – just into it, in more creative ways.
Sheena’s silence was the worst part; Zelos could deal with anger, with her screaming, even crying, but this silence following the Volt incident was like she had shut down and stopped caring.
Sometimes, in the dead of night when she thought back to the time before, and thought ahead to the maybe-possibility of an after, Sheena thought she might cry at the thought of how much more had to be done before the Journey was over.
Zelos felt the pause in the battle like an intake of breath, and looked over in time to catch the first of Efreet’s flames licking out from under Sheena’s feet, bathing her in hellfire and red glow, before the spirit himself erupted from her.
Her strength was a match for his, even though she didn’t look it, and Sheena thought that was the only reason she put up with the way he treated her like blown glass sometimes.
It was very, very easy to tell that the constant smile-and-flirt was a mask; at least it was for Sheena, who had known Zelos long before popularity had made him cultivate it.
When she did look at him, when she didn’t avoid his eyes, it was the brittle ice in her gaze that made Zelos feel guilty more than anything else.
Sheena saw his sword fall from his hand and clatter to the cold stone of the temple floor, and she didn’t realize until she was next to him that it had been her screaming, “No!”
Zelos had almost forgotten the feel of her wiry muscles under her skin, and the sensation of her skin rippling as he drew his hand across her back.
Sheena didn’t dance, not the way Zelos did; she danced when she fought, an elaborate weave of steps and flips and spins – grace and danger.
His body fit against hers perfectly, and Sheena leaned against his chest and felt her heart beat a little faster at the way her head tucked under his chin.
Sheena could feel Zelos’s eyes on the back of her neck as she watched the thread of incense float to the ceiling of the temple, and could sense the way he was repelled by the sanctity, the same way it repelled him.
It was like the other girl wasn’t even there anymore, and Zelos’s whole world narrowed to the blazing cold anger on Sheena’s face, and the haughty farewell in her eyes.
The other world made Zelos’s skin crawl with the sense of what could have been, if Tethe’alla had declined, and he almost held Sheena’s hand for the comfort of something that belonged to his world.
Sheena was rarely more uncomfortable than at the rare formal occasions that required Zelos to bring a guest, where the clothes fit badly on her heritage and the people whispered about how different she was.
Zelos could feel the flush of fever under her skin as his hands glided over it, and the heat made his blood quicken in response.
Even Sheena’s laugh was unladylike by the standards of the world Zelos had grown up in: it was loud, throaty and uncaring of who was listening, and he loved the reminder that he didn’t answer to that society anymore.
She thought she had learned to see right through his many, many lies, but this was one that had caught her by surprise, and she felt the last of her trust in him snap like brittle bones.
Zelos had vowed, at their wedding, to stay with her forever, and when she began to doubt him again, she pressed the cool gold of her wedding ring to her lips and hoped.
Sheena dashed the tears out of her eyes quickly, but he had seen them; his eyes wrinkled in worry and he leaned forward to kiss them away, not understanding that it only overwhelmed her when he was gentle.
It was his hot breath against her ear as he whispered exactly what he wanted to do to her that made her shiver and gasp.
Her hands fell to the top of his head, and a small smile curved her lips at the look of wonder when he felt the baby move, when he confessed that he couldn’t wait to be a father.
She just needed to talk to him more often, Zelos concluded as she baffled him yet again with a sudden fit of mood and stormed away.
“I really, really didn’t mean to, I just took it off for a moment-” Zelos’s excuses continued to fall into her ears as she crawled around the floor of the house, searching for a small band of gold.
Sheena clung stubbornly to the hope the ring provided, and was never more rewarded than when he slipped into the house with a bouquet of flowers that had to have come from across the continent, because flowers didn’t bloom in winter.
It was like staring into an eclipse, watching her summon – the fierce beauty drew his eyes and his wonder, but the bright fire of magic hurt them and forced his gaze away.
In that bare moment when she shrieked completion with him and her fingers tightened as her body did, it was like gravity reversed itself, and he floated with her in passion and love.
It had been a very, very long and crowded walk down the highway to his city, but she had to know before she took what had been offered – and seeing him in the chapel with the Cruxis Crystal around his neck like a collar made her burn with purpose.
Her hands trembled around the bouquet as she walked in time with the music down the aisle, and a sudden urge to turn and run from their unknown future together nearly overtook her.
He turned the lock in the door of their shared room, crossing to her, and she shivered as his lips met hers with a sigh of relief and longing.
When she came through the door of the chapel in that white dress with the spray of flowers in her hands and her hair, the look of love and hope and vague fear in her eyes, Lloyd had to elbow him in the side to make him remember to breathe.