Midnight Chats
by Meimi


Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Namco or anyone who hold rights to Tales of the Abyss. It isn't mine, I'm just playing with it.

Spoiler Warning: Near full game spoilers.


There were many, many things that Vandesdelca Musto Fende regretted in his somewhat short life: being so driven that he had missed out on some important moments with Mystearica (Granted, he had been there, but it hadn't been enough. Never enough.), not trying harder to convince Gailardia to come with him, Hod, and far too many other things to truly list in a timely manner. However, he had never even contemplated that he would one day come to regret the nigh culmination of his dream of ending the Score's stranglehold on the world. And it wasn't really anything drastic, it was just one little inescapable thing.


He hadn't quite imagined that the means to accomplish his goals would fall so easily into his hands. Not that the experience had been a very easy one to go through and not that it had been very easy to deal with ever since. He kept it asleep. Most of the time. Unfortunately, there were moments when he just couldn't quite manage to keep it within its enforced slumber. And in those moments he regretted a great many things. How could he not? It was one thing to deal with Asch from day to day, it was something else entirely to have a being who -by some gods be damned twist of fate- eerily resembled the boy in temperament stuck in his head.

Van shakily ran his right hand through his hair as he stared at himself in the mirror. He had been woken -again- from a deep slumber by an intense sense of pure and utter distaste, a sense that was not born from him. Oh no, twasn't him at all. Breathing in a hard, heavy breath, he grit his teeth and testily asked his reflection, "What is it now?"

His reflection arched an eyebrow at him but only deigned to answer with, "Nothing."

Ah yes, Asch's favorite tactic of avoiding the subject, not that he wasn't going to pry. Oh hell yes, he was going to pry. It was his damned head after all. The being was only a temporary guest at best and should learn its place. Why did this simple fact escape its notice? Or was it just willfully ignoring reality in lieu of nothing better to do? Actually, now that he thought about it, that was probably it. It was certainly an Asch thing to do. "Oh no, do please share with me the cause of your discontent this time," Van said silkily as he resisted the urge to throttle himself. Time, he just needed time. Then he could get rid of this little nuisance along with everything else.

His reflection blinked at him and shrugged indifferently. "I am simply finding myself to be rather disappointed in myself is all," it said blandly.

Disappointed in itself? What in the- Oh. Asch. Of course. It always ended up being something about Asch. The creature was unsettlingly obsessed with the boy. If it wasn't Asch this, it was Asch that, or even the occasional bizarre tangent that dealt with the replica Luke. It had an oddly high opinion of that failure, and he wasn't quite sure of just why that was. Odd that.

Mentally groaning at this entire situation, and loathing the fact that it knew without a doubt that it was irritating the hell out of him, Van resisted the overwhelming urge to twitch as he spoke again, "Oh really, and why is that?"

His reflection gave him a thoroughly disturbing look, innocent and guileless and so very out of place upon his very own face. Cursed creature, could it not find some other way to communicate its disgust with him? Did it have to use his face? "It is just..." It trailed off for a moment as it looked him up and down, his- its- whatever's lips curling into a decidedly sour expression. "He still respect you for some strange reason, and I cannot for the life of me understand why. There's hardly anything about you that is deserving of such high regard."

Van snorted in disbelief. "Far be it for me to ruin your opinion of yourself," he grumbled as he whirled around and stumped back across his room to his bed, "but Asch is not the brightest bulb in the lamp." He stopped for a moment to ponder upon his words as he gracelessly plopped back into bed. He wasn't quite being fair in that assessment. The boy did have a few favorable things going for him. "No, I take that back. He's a bit of a genius in certain areas, but as far as dealing with other people is concerned he's about as smart as that failure."

His reflection, which remained glimmering upon the mirror, a faint golden sheen maintaining its presence, frowned at that. "Well, I suppose," it said finally and shrugged once more, "Being human was most likely damaging enough, adding a lunatic such as yourself into the mix was probably more than he could handle."

Van grunted inelegantly as he flopped the cover back over himself, closed his eyes and bent himself to the task of putting it back to sleep. The sooner that welcome task was accomplished, the sooner he, himself, could rest. "I wouldn't overly concern yourself with his wellbeing, because very soon neither of you will have anything to worry about at all."

His reflection smiled slyly in response, regardless of whether he could see it or not. "Of course not," it said faintly as it began to shimmer and fade, much like a mirage that had foolishly been approached in the desert, "Our unfortunate separation aside, I can always heal whatever damage may have been incurred from this unpleasant interval."

The only barrier that remains is time.