Bit of fluff about love and friendship. Set in the "Bliss" timeline before the first chapter of "Bliss", while Lloyd and Colette are still on their exsphere collecting journey after the game's end.

For my 'Lloyd' and 'Sheena' who are constant sources of support and inspiration. My 'Sheena' is actually a bloke, so he's more like a brother than a sister, but what matters is he's a wonderful friend, and helped inspire this :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia, I believe Namco have the pleasure. I just get a lot of ideas to write about :)

Lloyd had been glad to find that Sheena was in Mizuho when they arrived in the small village. There was no way of knowing for sure where the summoner would be, but as he and Colette were passing by anyway they'd decided to pay a visit on the off chance that the dark haired woman was home.

She was, and the second she had opened her door she'd been enveloped in such an enthusiastic hug from the little angel that the summoner had almost been knocked over backwards.

Lloyd knew the two were close and seeing Sheena trying, and failing, to get Colette to let go of her had made him smile. He knew really that the summoner didn't mind the enthusiastic greeting, her tone had been too light-hearted to be serious. She just had an image, as the future chief of Mizuho, to keep up.

Eventually they'd managed to pry Colette away so that Lloyd could give Sheena a less violent hug, then they'd all gone inside, a babble of noise filling the house as they caught up with what had been happening since they'd seen each other last.

Lloyd had left for a walk after dinner, wanting to give the two women some time alone, sensing they might want some girlie time. Not that either of them was particularly girlie, but that seemed the best term for it.

The last thing he'd seen of them before he'd shut the door had been amusing. The softness of Sheena brushing Colette's hair before she did it up with ribbon mixing with the violence of the summoner's description of her latest attempts to teach Zelos to be less of a pervert.

He smiled to himself. Colette insisted that, despite the fact that they often had what could best be described as play fights, Sheena and Zelos cared deeply for one another. He thought the angel was probably right, it seemed like that was the case anyways.

He shivered a little as a night time breeze nipped at his arms. He stood up, crossed the bridge he had been sitting on and made his way back to Sheena's house.

Remembering the correct Mizuhoan greeting that Sheena had taught Colette who had then passed it on to him, Lloyd called out as he opened the door. He smiled at the sight he was greeted with, Colette had fallen asleep cuddled up next to Sheena, both of them wrapped in a warm blanket.

The summoner hadn't quite drifted off to sleep herself, her head turned sleepily to face him and she smiled in greeting.

He closed the door then moved to sit next to them, lifting a hand to gently play with Colette's hair and to stroke her cheek.

"Thank you," he said quietly, his eyes now on the summoner.

"What for?" the dark haired woman yawned sleepily.

"For looking after her, keeping her company, talking to her," Lloyd said, smiling, as his gaze returned to Colette's peaceful sleeping face.

"Hey, s'alright, she keeps me company too you know," the summoner smiled.

Lloyd thought for a moment.

"You two are really close aren't you?" he said it more as a statement than a question.

"Yeah," Sheena said quietly and thoughtfully, nodding.

"I really feel like, well, it's hard to explain really, just, she really understands me, I don't have to explain myself to her, she just understands, you know? I mean I guess in some ways we're similar and that kinda helps us understand each other, but, I don't know, it feels like more than that really, like," she paused, trying to find the right words.

"Kindred spirits?" Lloyd offered. Sheena nodded.

"That's the one," she smiled.

"You really care about her don't you?" the swordsman smiled.

"Hey, I care about you too," Sheena gently ruffled Lloyd's hair. "But yes, I guess the best way to describe it is, well, I've never had a sister, but I'm close to her like I imagine I would be to a nice sister. She's the closest friend I've ever had."

"I'm glad you two are friends," Lloyd smiled. "She was so excited about seeing you today, she would have been so disappointed if you hadn't been here. I think she needed a good gossip. So, what did you two talk about anyway?"

"I can't tell you that, it'd be breaking the unwritten code of the girlie chat," the dark haired woman laughed. "Nah, seriously, nothing much, but she did help me sort out something that's been on my mind a lot lately. And, of course, she talked about you. She really does love you, very deeply."

Lloyd blushed, grinned then nuzzled Colette before kissing her gently on the cheek.

"You want to hold her now?" Sheena offered, beginning to unwrap her arm from around the angel.

"That's OK, you keep hold of her for a minute. I'm just gonna go make us some hot chocolate if that's alright?" the swordsman smiled.

"Help yourself," the summoner nodded.

Lloyd got to his feet and went to the kitchen.

A short time later he returned with a tray laden with three mugs and some plates piled with toast. He smiled as he noticed Sheena making a fuss of the still sleeping angel.

"She's all warm isn't she?" he said as he placed the tray on the table.

"Yeah, I guess she is, is she always warm when she sleeps?" the summoner asked.

"Usually, I don't know why. It's nice though, she keeps me warm," Lloyd chuckled gently. Then Sheena noticed there were three mugs on the tray.

"You're not gonna wake her up are you?" she asked.

"No no, she'll wake up by herself, you watch," Lloyd grinned. He passed Sheena her mug of hot chocolate then grabbed a slice of toast for himself. As he began to nibble at it Colette's nose started to twitch.

"There you go, see," Lloyd whispered to Sheena as he held the toast near Colette's nose. The angel made a few little sleepy noises then blinked. She yawned, untangled herself from the blanket then slowly and sleepily crawled over to Lloyd's lap and settled herself in it.

"You want?" the swordsman offered the blonde the slice of toast. She made a happy but still sleepy noise and held out a hand for the toast. Lloyd gave her the slice he'd taken a small bite out of then grabbed another from the plate for himself.

"Why not give her a fresh slice?" Sheena asked.

"Apparently my food tastes better than her own," Lloyd chuckled and shrugged. Colette made a happy noise around her mouthful of toast, a blissful expression on her face.

"Silly," Sheena smiled affectionately at the little angel.

Soon Colette had finished a few slices of toast and her mug of hot chocolate and was beginning to fall asleep again.

"Lets get you to bed shall we?" Lloyd smiled as the blonde yawned.

Sheena got up to lead them to the guestroom as Lloyd struggled to get to his feet, moving a little awkwardly as he was trying to keep Colette settled comfortably in his arms so he could carry her to bed. He managed, however, and soon arrived at the open door that led to a comfy looking room.

"Put me down a minute," Colette mumbled sleepily.

"You sure?" Lloyd asked, an eyebrow raised uncertainly.

"Yeah, something really important to do," she replied.

The swordsman gently set the angel down on her feet. She then promptly stumbled forward and wrapped her arms around Sheena.

"Night night, and don't you worry, I bet everything'll work out just right for you," she mumbled sleepily before wishing the summoner goodnight in Mizuhoan.

"Sleep well you daft moo," Sheena smiled, returning the hug. Then she passed the sleepy angel back to Lloyd who guided her into the bedroom, pausing to turn his head to wish Sheena goodnight in her native language.

The summoner wished him the same and began to walk away. She suddenly paused, turned back, and asked the swordsman to take good care of Colette.

"I will, always, I promise," he smiled. Then he chuckled as the angel yawned and staggered on her feet slightly. Sheena smiled, nodded, then slid the door shut for them before making her way to her own bedroom, leaving the plates and mugs in the living room for the morning.

"You have a nice evening?" Lloyd asked as he helped Colette down onto the futon and passed her her nightclothes.

"Yeah," Colette smiled sleepily as she changed. "Good chat, with Sheena, talked lots."

"Good," Lloyd smiled, finding the slow way the angel talked when she was sleepy, her sentences full of little pauses, cute. Having changed into his nightclothes also he settled beside her, pulling the warm quilt over them both before pulling her as close to him as he could.

Colette purred and nuzzled his chest lovingly.

"You smell good," she mumbled.

"Thank you," he chuckled. Then his tone became serious.

"I meant what I said you know, I will always do my best to look after you, keep you happy and safe," he said.

"I know, I love you," the angel mumbled sleepily, so tired she was almost unable to reply.

"Sleep well," Lloyd said softly. Then he kissed the top of her head then her cheek and watched her adoringly as she slipped into slumber. Her sleep was deep and peaceful. She was sure she was safe and that he'd be there, holding her, in the morning as he would be always.