The chibi-muses were telling me off for not writing anything for a while, so I wrote :) I've got a few ideas for some other stories I'd like to write, so hopefully I shall write some more things soon. Here's a little one-shot, a bit of fluff set before the pact with Volt has been made, just a random night beneath the stars.

I'm aware Noishe communicates with whines and barks in the game, but I'm working on the assumption that he would be able to talk to the summon spirits.

For someone who needed a bit of cheering up, I hope it makes her smile. And for Corrine and Sheena too I guess, those who've gotten past a certain point in the game will know why.

Disclaimer: No, I don't own Tales of Symphonia. I absolutely love writing about it, but I believe Namco are the ones who actually own it.


Noishe smiled at the smaller creature sitting beside him as it yawned.

"Tired?" he asked.

"No, just comfortable," Corrine smiled, rolling over onto his back and stretching, his paws above his body in a playful but still dignified way. "I don't get tired."

"Must be funny being a summon spirit, what's it like?" Noishe asked, curious about the creature that seemed like him in many ways and was, still, unlike him.

"I don't think it's funny, we summon spirits are to be respected," Corrine nodded, an air of sophistication in the gesture. "As for what it's like, well, what's it like for you being the type of being you are?"

"I, uh," Noishe pulled a puzzled expression, unsure of how to answer the question.

"Can't answer, huh? Same for me. It's not something I can explain as I've nothing to compare it to," Corrine smiled. He looked thoughtful. "Something you will be able to answer I think, why do you stay with the humans, look out for them and let them ride on your back?"

Noishe tipped his head to one side and thought for a second, knowing the answer in his heart but needing time to find the right words to express the thoughts and feelings.

"Because I like them. They're special and they want to make the world a nice place for everyone. I'd like the world to be a nice place, seems like there's lot of trouble in it now, people being frightened of losing loved ones, people who are losing loved ones," Noishe sighed.

"Plus I've grown attached to some of them. I mean Lloyd, he's like a pack member, a, a," Noishe searched his memory for the word the humans would use, what was it the healer referred to the small mage as? Ah, he had it. "Brother, like a brother. I've known him since he was little and he's a good person. But he does like getting himself into little scrapes, it's good that I'm around to look after him. Kratos asked me to. His mate too, she sometimes has misfortune and needs someone to look out for her. He always does, but he's still young, he's not always strong enough to fight on his own."

Noishe looked over to where the brown haired boy was playing a silly sort of game involving pouncing and tickling with the little blonde girl. It looked fun, the sort of pouncing and tumbling game he'd enjoyed when he was younger, but he didn't want to interrupt them, it was important for them to have time to themselves sometimes.

"She's his mate? Are you sure? I don't recall them ever saying anything to each other about it that I've heard, or to the others," Corrine asked.

"Yes, even if he's not asked her formally I think she is, and that he will ask her one day. They always seem such good company for one-another, they understand each other well, and make each other happy," Noishe smiled and wagged his tail, happy to see Lloyd happy.

Corrine, however, sighed for Sheena. He knew she'd be alright, that she would find a mate, but she had seemed to have rather taken a shine to the brown-haired boy. But better she knew sooner rather than later he supposed. He made a mental note to talk about it with her in the morning.

"Why did you ask?" Noishe asked in a friendly tone.

"Just curious. You and I are alike in some ways I think. I know the feeling you mean about your bond with Lloyd I believe, I think I have the same sort of bond with Sheena. I've known her ever since I existed. I've grown used to being with her, enjoying happy times, comforting her when she's sad," Corrine sighed a little sigh.

"She's often sad, because of something that happened in the past that wasn't her fault. Seems as though lots of these people have something to be sad about though, all of them has suffered some kind of pain or hardship in the past. Perhaps that's why they're so determined on their quest to make a peaceful world? So that others don't have to suffer," Corrine had rolled back onto his front and was looking at the group thoughtfully.

"Could be," Noishe considered this. "Could be they're just good people at heart and are following a path they feel is right."

"Or perhaps a bit of both," Corrine smiled and nodded. "Humans are funny creatures aren't they, living such short lives and feeling emotions so very strongly."

This time it was Noishe's turn to correct Corrine.

"I think it's wonderful that they feel emotions the way they do. Admittedly it's very sad when they feel upset, I think they feel sadness as an almost physical pain sometimes. Lloyd seemed to when Colette wasn't herself, he talked to me about it sometimes, told me he ached, physically felt real pain, in his chest when she was like that. And their hearts are in their chests, in humans, aren't they? I guess their emotional centres as well as the thing that keeps them alive.

"But when they're happy, oh, smiles and gestures they give make you feel happy and glad to be alive as well," Noishe smiled and wagged his tail enthusiastically. He gave a small, joyous bark and Lloyd looked over at him. He waved and smiled at the dog-like creature, Colette turned to do the same, then the pair resumed to their game and Noishe turned back to Corrine.

"Is that another reason why you think he and she are mates, because of his emotions, his pain?" Corrine asked, curious.

"I think it would upset him to lose any of his friends, but yes, she seems very special to him. I'm glad, I like her," Noishe smiled and rolled around on his back in a puppy-like gesture. Corrine sighed, such an undignified air and manner for one of such a noble species. Then again it did look like Noishe was happy. He leapt up onto the larger creature's chest and turned to face him.

"You're soppy," Corrine said, in a friendly tone.

"I might be, but I'm happy. Are you happy Corrine?" Noishe asked, his tone turning serious.

"You know, I think I am. I think Sheena is happier in this group than when she was alone, and I am glad she's happy," Corrine nodded thoughtfully. He leapt from Noishe's chest to the ground and the dog-like creature rolled back onto his front once again.

"I hope one day everyone can be happy," Noishe said quietly.

"Now you really are being soppy, and that sounds just like something Lloyd would say," Corrine rolled his eyes.

"Good, Lloyd has some very good ideas," Noishe said proudly.

"I suppose he does," Corrine conceded. "Although sometimes I think he must be the densest human I know."

"Don't insult a pack member," Noishe scolded, rubbing a large forepaw on the top of Corrine's head, performing a move he thought he'd heard the others refer to as a 'noogie'.

"Hey," Corrine batted Noishe's paw away with one of his own. "I wasn't insulting him."

"Well, I don't think it's a very nice thing to say. Besides, he has a good heart, you must have seen that during the time you've spent with us," Noishe said.

"Yes, I think he has. You know Noishe, your desire for everyone to be happy, I don't think it's possible for every single person to be happy all the time, but I think a peaceful world in which one can find happiness, that may be possible, if people like these fight for it," Corrine gestured to the people gathered around the campfire with a forepaw.

"Good," Noishe smiled. "I'd like that very much."