I thought this was going to be a one-shot, but apparently the chibi-muses thought otherwise LOL :)
Before anyone says anything, no, I am not trying to imply a romantic relationship between the two girls in this fic. As they've had similar experiences I believe it would be possible for Colette and Sheena to become close friends, and in this fic I see the relationship as something like sisters or best friends. Colette, while she is in many ways very mature, can be wonderfully child like and innocent at times. Hopefully I've been able to convey both sides of her personality here. I think Sheena would, being the older one who has had more time to mull over her experiences, find herself taking a sort of motherly role, trying to look after Colette. I think the two of them respect and like each other as friends. They understand each other and can help each other deal with the traumatic things they've had to go through I think. Just my opinion but I wanted to make it clear :)
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Tales of Symphonia. I love it, but I don't own it.
He was more awake than she was, his head lifted at the sound of the door opening and light footsteps entering the room.
"Sheena?" Lloyd asked, a hand raised to his face, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"Yeah, I thought I'd come and check on you two, and I brought this with me," the summoner lifted a tray containing a jug of water and some glasses. She put it down on the bedside table, sat on the edge of the bed then poured a glass of water which she offered to Lloyd. He accepted it gratefully and gulped the liquid down.
"How is she?" Sheena asked softly, nodding at the blonde who Lloyd was cuddling protectively.
"I, I think she'll be OK," he said quietly. "She's promised me she'll not do it again, and I trust her to keep her promises, she always does."
"Why did she do it?" Sheena asked.
"I think you'd better ask her yourself, it wouldn't be right for me to say, and I don't know if I fully understand myself yet," the brown haired boy said, running his hand gently through Colette's hair. The sleeping girl mumbled something softly in her sleep and snuggled closer to him. She sighed a contented sigh and mumbled "love you" before settling once again.
Sheena frowned, if the little angel loved Lloyd why had she nearly thrown her life away.
"I really need a shower, but I don't want to leave her on her own," Lloyd said.
"I'll stay with her if you like," Sheena offered quietly.
"OK, thank you," Lloyd nodded.
"Funny to think, when I first met you guys I'd been instructed to assassinate her, but now I'd do my best to protect her from harm. No one should be allowed to even try to hurt her, she's done nothing wrong. I really don't understand why she did what she did," Sheena looked at the blonde with a concerned expression.
"I know I can trust you to look after her, we talked about you having kind eyes once, and it's right. You're not a cold-blooded killer, you were only doing what you thought was best for your village," Lloyd said. Sheena felt an awful, heavy pain in her chest. Lloyd didn't know it, but he'd just opened up a horrid old wound.
"Colette, I'm just going to take a shower. I'll be real quick, OK, and Sheena's gonna stay to look after you," the swordsman was speaking to the angel in a reassuring tone. Even though she was sleeping he wanted her to know she'd be OK. Sheena sighed, that pair had a special, close bond.
Lloyd gestured to her and as he slowly slipped away from Colette Sheena snuggled in beside her. Colette sniffled and wiggled around a bit but soon settled. Happy Colette was OK Lloyd exited the room, leaving Sheena to brood over some not entirely pleasant thoughts.
As soon as Colette woke up she knew it wasn't Lloyd beside her. Whoever it was didn't feel like Lloyd and didn't smell like him either. She'd learnt to recognise his scent when she was younger, and had found it very reassuring and comforting when she'd been curled up beside him these past few, well, whatever it wases, she had no idea how much time had passed.
She snuggled nearer the person holding her, knowing Lloyd would have left her with someone who could be trusted. Ah, she knew who it was.
"Sheena?" Colette said. She began to cough, a horrid, raspy cough. Her throat was so very dry and scratchy.
"Shh, hey, shh," the summoner said as she grabbed the jug from the beside table and poured a glass of water for the little angel. Colette sniffed at the glass, enjoying the smell of fresh water for a second, then gulped the contents of the glass down as fast as she could."Hey, hey, slow down, you'll give yourself hiccups!" the dark haired girl said.
"Sorry," Colette breathed. "I was just so thirsty!"
"I bet you were, looks like you've dehydrated yourself crying so much," Sheena brushed her hand against Colette's tearstained cheek as the little blonde snuggled back under the covers.
"Are you OK?" Sheena asked.
"I will be, I, I have Lloyd now," Colette said softly.
"Have? Now? You always had his affections," Sheena gave Colette a concerned and puzzled look. The blonde looked away, uncomfortable
"Why'd you do it?" the dark haired girl asked softly.
"Oh Sheena," Colette flung herself into the older girls' arms and started crying."Oh, Colette, shhhhh, please don't cry any more, not again, shhhh, you've cried too much already I think," Sheena tried to soothe the sobbing angel.
"I felt like such a failure, I couldn't do anything right. I was such a burden to you all and I didn't want to be any more. I wanted to get out of your way, so you could all get on with reuniting the worlds without me getting into trouble and hindering you every five minutes. I didn't want to be the cause of the failure of Lloyd's dream," Colette explained tearfully.
"You daft twit, you almost were. You should have seen him when Zelos and Raine brought you indoors. He looked like he'd been shot with some almost lethal magic spell. We couldn't get him away from you he was hugging you so tightly, willing you to get warmer and wake up.
"Hey, Colette, do me a favour. I care about you and him an awful lot. Don't upset my best friends or me by pulling anything like that again, OK?" Sheena said.
"No, no, I, I, oh Sheena, I want to live. Lloyd loves me and I love him so much, and, just, just the thought that he loves me makes me want to stay alive with every ounce of will in my being," Colette nodded.
"I don't get something," Sheena said."What's that?" Colette sniffed and accepted a tissue the summoner girl passed her.
"He always loved you. Why did you try and throw your life away if he loved you and you felt the same way?" Sheena asked. Colette blushed uncomfortably.
"I thought he, you," she mumbled.
"You thought he liked me? Whatever gave you that idea?" Sheena raised her eyebrow in a questioning expression.
"Well," Colette blushed again and her gaze moved to Sheena's chest. Sheena looked puzzled for a moment but then she twigged.
"Oh Colette, you are completely daft!" Sheena said. "He's not Zelos! Honestly, he loves you for who you are, not what you look like! It was obvious he liked you, everyone could see that, except you apparently. You're a silly moo for not seeing it yourself," Sheena scolded lightly.
"I'm a silly moo!" Colette giggled, amused at Sheenas' choice of phrase. She glomped Sheena whilst mooing between giggles.
"That's right, mooooo!" Sheena mooed back at the little angel and giggled with her.
Eventually Colette stopped her giggling and bovine impressions. She tipped her head at Sheena.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"What?" Sheena blinked.
"Your eyes, they're not happy," Colette said, staring into the summoners' dark eyes with her own deep blue ones. Sheena sighed a weary sigh.
"It's just, what you were saying about failure, I understand that feeling. When I was seven I failed to make a pact with Volt because I couldn't understand what he was saying. And because of that so many people from my village were killed or hurt. Plus now, you know, I kinda feel a bit responsible for you feeling the way you did, another person hurt because of me," Sheena said quietly.
"Sheena, don't blame yourself, look, see, I'm OK," Colette took Sheena's hand and put it on her wrist so she could feel her pulse. "Besides, now I know Lloyd loves me, and that's given me the best feeling in the whole wide world!
"As for Volt, well, I don't know much about that, but it doesn't seem fair that they tried to make you do something so difficult and complicated as forming a pact with a summon spirit when you were seven years old. I couldn't have done anything even remotely as difficult at seven, heck, I don't think, no, I know I couldn't now. I think you're amazing for being able to do it now. It wasn't fair you had so much pressure put on you when you were so young," Colette said firmly. She knew well herself the feeling of being pressured to be responsible at a young age, she'd been taught to be the Chosen since birth practically.
"But it was still my failure, it's still my fault all those people died!" Sheena sobbed. Colette wrapped her in a hug and let the older girl cry on her shoulder. She knew from very recent experience how cathartic a good cry could be. She held Sheena tightly and nuzzled her gently, letting her know she wasn't alone.
Eventually Sheena stopped crying.
"Thank you, I needed that," she said softly as Colette passed her a tissue.
"That's alright," the smaller girl said. "You can always talk to me if you need to. And Lloyd too, he's a good listener," Colette nodded.
"Thank you," Sheena smiled a small, grateful smile.
Both girls turned to the door as they heard footsteps coming up the stairs. They grinned when they saw who it was.
"Why, if it isn't the very bloke we were just talking about," Sheena smiled.
"Are your ears burning?" Colette giggled and pulled an equally, if not more so, happy expression.
"I heard you two talking earlier and I didn't want to disturb you so I went and cooked," Lloyd came into the room with a tray laden with three steaming bowls of soup and another jug of water. He put the tray on the floor, moved Sheena's tray from the bedside table then put his onto the table. The girls had moved over to make room for him so he snuggled in to sit beside them. He'd changed into a different set of night clothes after his shower and was glad of the warmth of the blanket Colette had grabbed which she draped around herself and Lloyds' shoulders.
He passed Sheena a bowl of soup which she tucked into ravenously then turned to Colette.
"I don't want you to force yourself to eat because I know you're probably feeling a bit queasy still after all you've been through and all that crying, but I think it'd be good if you tried to eat something," he said to the small angel as he picked another bowl up from the table. He put some of the soup into a spoon and offered it to her. She smiled and accepted.
Lloyd was pleased when he fed the last spoonful of soup to Colette, she'd managed to eat it all. He put the empty bowl on the tray then picked up the full one. He raised his eyebrow when he saw Colette gesture at it.
"You want this one too?" he asked."No," the blonde shook her had then gestured to the spoon. He passed it to her, puzzled, and didn't argue when she took the bowl from him as well.
He understood when she offered him a spoonful of soup, she wanted to return the favour and feed him. He shrugged, smiled and accepted the soup.
Sheena smiled at them, and got the feeling everything would be alright. She put her empty soup bowl on the floor and leaned back, closing her eyes peacefully.
She opened them again when she felt something pulling at her gently. Colette had shrugged the blanket from her shoulders and had extended her wings. She'd wrapped one around Lloyd and the other around Sheena and was now smiling happily, finding the novel way to hug amusing.
Yes, Sheena thought, everything would be alright.