Oh look, it's another "Bliss" one shot, what a surprise :) Not romance this time, however, but a brother and sister moment between Raine and Genis :)
Spoiler warning: if you don't know the truth about Presea's age and background or Kratos's past and don't want to don't read, they're mentioned here :)
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Tales of Symphonia, Namco own it I believe. I just have a lot of ideas and the urge to write :)
Raine sat away from the group of friends quietly sipping a mug of tea. She didn't want to be unsociable, but felt the need for a quiet moment by the fire.
Not that the room was particularly quiet. The group, who'd all gotten together for a little reunion, had somehow ended up having a karaoke session. Sheena and Colette were taking their turn, singing a happy, clap-along-able to song in the Mizuho language. Sheena had taught Colette some of her village's language and Hope was quickly picking it up as well.
The two women were stood side-by-side, an arm around the other's shoulder, swaying along in time to the beat of the song. Lloyd was parked on a footstool, a well-loved guitar in his arms providing accompaniment to the two singing voices. Hope and Kero were settled on the large piano stool together, also using musical talent if the song called for it. Still being quite young neither of them could play amazingly well, but they knew enough to join in the popular songs the group always sang at times like this.
Raine smiled at them, they'd already developed a strong friendship and disliked being apart, which was resulting in one of them staying over with the other a lot of the time. Not that their parents seemed to mind looking after an extra child when the other one came to stay, and the two families liked to visit each other often anyway.
The two women finished their song, took an overly theatrical, exaggerated bow and, giggling, sat back in their places again. Colette sat on the piano stool with Hope and Kero in case her talent with the instrument was needed and Sheena plopped herself into Zelos's lap, sitting on the floor beside the piano stool.
Raine smiled as, while the rest of the group worked out whose turn it was, Sheena found a small piece of ribbon in her pocket and tied it in Colette's hair. The half-elf wondered how big Sheena and Colette's pockets were, they always seemed to have random stuff like that in them.
As if to prove this point Colette produced a scrap of fabric from her pocket and made the dark haired girl a bandana. Zelos looked worried that they might find some accessory for him, but Colette tipped her pockets out to prove she now only had child-related items within them, mostly things for Miles. The red haired ex-Chosen breathed a sigh of relief and turned his attention to his young daughter who was now in her mother's arms instead of his, where she had been a short time ago.
The group had decided it was Kratos's turn to sing and Lloyd and Genis were trying to drag him up from his seat to the centre of the semi-circle around which the friends were seated. Eventually he gave in and the group started chanting for him to sing a funny nonsense song. He moved to the piano to give Miles, who he'd been holding, to Colette, but she indicated she wouldn't have an arm free, she'd be needed to play the piano. Lloyd's arms were full of the guitar, so that was no good either. Sheena piped up and, after a nod from both of his parents, Miles was settled with his auntie Sheena, uncle Zelos and Suzuka.
Raine smiled. It was good that the two families trusted each other to look after each other's children and that the two mothers supported one another, young children could be difficult to manage as she knew from first-hand experience.
The song began and it looked as though Kratos was actually enjoying himself. Raine grinned, guessing he must have protested in a vain attempt to keep up an image. She blushed, enjoying hearing his voice.
"Alright?" a voice next to her asked. She looked up to see Genis pulling a chair up beside hers.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just fancied a quiet cup of tea," his sister nodded. Genis spotted the blush on his sister's face and followed her gaze to see what the cause of it was.
"Can I ask you something?" he said quietly."Ask away," Raine said before taking a sip of her tea.
"Isn't it kinda weird, you know, being with him, when he's already had a wife and kid?" Genis nodded towards Kratos. The healer wondered where that question had come from, but answered anyways.
"I guess a little, but not really. I mean we both want the same thing, just a special friend to be with, a companion to share moments with. Neither of us wants the whole married with kids deal. I don't think he'd want another, and after looking after you from when you were practically a baby I'm in no hurry to have one.
"But it's just nice to have someone to cuddle. He doesn't love Anna any less, he still loves her very much and I know that, it's just he needs a special friend to keep him company at the moment, and I'm honoured to be that to him, it makes me happy," she smiled."Thanks," the smaller mage smiled.
"What for?" Raine was puzzled.
"For doing what you did for me, for looking after me. All the sacrifices you made, that must have been hard. And now I kinda feel guilty, I mean I put you off having a child," the younger Sage mumbled.
"Ah, don't be. I didn't say it for that, I was just explaining. You're a good brother and, even if you were a brat sometimes, on the whole you were great to look after."Besides, with those rabbits over there does it look like we need any more kids around here right now?" Raine said light-heartedly, smiling at the two youngish couples and their children. A thought struck her.
"You, you're not uncomfortable with my relationship with Kratos are you?" she asked her brother.
"Ah, not a bit, I mean, Martel's sake Raine, you deserve to be happy, and I'm glad to hear you are. I was just curious was all," he smiled at her.
"Good, because your happiness is important to me as well. I wouldn't want to do anything to make you uncomfortable," Raine smiled.
"Don't worry, I'm happy alright, Presea's lovely," Genis blushed.
"Good," his sister nodded. "Although I guess you guys have an unusual relationship as well, what with her being older than you."
"Ah, that," Genis waved his hand dismissively. "The years when she had the crystal on her, she wasn't herself, it was as if she was in a coma really, she didn't register anything, and obviously her body didn't age. And since when have I ever acted typical for my age anyways?"
"Oh, you're capable of acting less than your age, never mind what you actually are or older, but then I guess we all are really. And, yeah, I guess neither of you is a really typical, average person for your ages. You suit each other I think," Raine said quietly, a warm, friendly expression on her face.
"Good, I'm glad you approve, I wouldn't want you to be unhappy or uncomfortable either, sis," the young mage smiled. Then Lloyd caught his attention. Kratos had finished his turn and, apparently, they'd decided Regal, Zelos, Lloyd and Genis should sing a song together now. Raine giggled as she guessed which one it would be, another nonsense, fun, happy song."Thanks," Genis nodded and, in a rare display of affection for his sister, hugged Raine before jumping up to join the others.
Raine also got out of her chair. She took her almost empty mug and sat next to Kratos on the sofa.
"Everything alright?" he asked as he made a fuss of Miles who was now back in his arms.
"Just fine, thanks," Raine beamed a happy smile at him. Then she blushed and added "Hey, Kratos, it's good to have you around, I'm glad you're here for me."
"Good, because you're special to me Raine," Kratos returned the happy smile and, shifting Miles slightly, hugged the half-elf. She sighed happily, looking around the warm, cozy room. Her attention was caught by Presea, who was smiling at Genis. Raine was glad her brother had someone special. And even better, she had someone special as well. She sighed softly, snuggling against the angel's chest, and wondered if anyone would notice she'd successfully managed to avoid singing so far.
No such luck, when the blokes' song had ended Colette and Sheena pointed out that it must be about time for her turn now. She protested, as Kratos had done, but gave in in the end, agreeing to sing a duet with the brown-haired angel.
As she and he sang a fun little light-hearted song she smiled. As long as she could sing with him it wasn't too bad really.