SPOILER WARNING: If you don't know about what happens to Colette on the journey of regeneration, don't know the truth about it, and don't want to know LOOK AWAY NOW! Big spoilers in this fic.

This is NOT the usual fluff that I write. It's angst, no fluff this time. No warm fuzzies here I'm afraid. Set during the game, it's a one-shot about Lloyd's emotions and thoughts while Colette isn't herself. Not nice, not happy. It also contains a swearword, one that Lloyd uses in the game if I remember correctly.

A thought before I begin: this covers Lloyd's thoughts and emotions. Urby has written some fics that deal with Colette's during this sort of time in the game. If you want something to read after this about the same sort of time in the game go take a look at her fics :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco do I believe. I just write stupid amounts of fanfiction about it, cosplay as characters from it and do scary Colette impressions. I have a slight obsession actually (sweatdrops). But yes, Tales of Symphonia isn't mine. I just write about it. A lot. Because they make me (points to the chibis) and I like writing. And I like Tales of Symphona. I also don't own the expression "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me", I have no idea where it's from or who owns it. I don't own it.


Lloyd woke with a jolt. He blearily looked round to check where he was then felt his heart sink when he saw her. It wasn't just a dream he thought as he woke up properly.

He sighed and pounded his fists against his pillow. It wasn't fair, it wasn't right. Why were things the way they were now? Why was she…

He got up, feeling the need to go for a walk, and heard Sheena's voice.

"Are you alright?" the summoner asked, sitting awake by the fire on night watch.

"I, just, I," he gaze wandered to the shell that had once been a person that was truly special to him. How he wished, ached, for her to return to them, to hear that soft, warm voice, to see life in those caring blue orbs.

"I'm going for a walk," he mumbled.

"Don't go far, there's monsters about. And take Noishe with you," Sheena said.

"I can take care of myself," he muttered, pulling on extra layers of clothing and strapping his swords to his hips.

"Please?" the dark haired girl asked. "And, Lloyd…"

"Mmm?" he prompted as her voice trailed off.

"We'll, we'll bring her back," she nodded, her gaze moving to the distance, her expression sad but determined.

"Come on then Noishe," the swordsman called to the dog-like creature. He rose quickly to his paws, he'd been awake helping with the night watch as he often did. He followed Lloyd, keeping a few paces behind the boy, sensing they he wanted to be alone, but at the same time wanting to protect him. He'd been asked to, and he took his job seriously.

As Lloyd walked he let his thoughts wander. He felt a kind of empty loneliness without Colette around. He refused to accept that the body beside the campfire was Colette. Her essence, her Coletteness, was missing. Even her eyes had changed.

And why was she in that state now? Because of a lie. Because she'd been sacrificed for a cause that had been drummed into her since birth but that was just a sham.

And even if it had been true the people she'd have 'saved' wouldn't have been grateful. They wouldn't appreciate Colette giving herself up for their lives, or the pain it caused the people closest to her for her to be ripped away from them.

His fists balled angrily at his sides as he thought of how selfish those people were. They just accepted that a Chosen would be sacrificed so they could live. They didn't even stop to consider the fact that the Chosen was a human being, someone with thoughts and emotions and a right to live the life they'd been given.

He should have protected her, found out sooner what was happening instead of just accepting what he'd been taught about the journey and Martel. He should have seen what the journey was doing to her instead of thinking about how so very beautiful her wings were, like the rest of her, both her body and her soul, and how they sparkled like her eyes.

Eyes that were now dull and lifeless.

"IDIOT!" he screamed as he slammed a sword into the ground in front of him.

"USELESS!" as the other broke into the soil. The screamed insults continued as he mentally beat himself up whilst physically shredding the ground.

He should have done more to protect her. He'd promised he'd be there for her. Ever since that time when they were little and she'd tripped up and hurt herself one day when they'd been playing together.

And it wasn't fair that people were being so uncaring about it, seeing only a title, a body to be sacrificed, and not seeing the caring loving person that was Colette. The person who'd give her jacket to a dog on a rainy day because she didn't want the creature to be cold. The person who was always picked on at school because she was small and different. The other kids didn't understand her and, rather than trying to get to know her or just leaving her alone, they'd thrown things at her. Insults, dirt, punches.

It made him so angry. He'd protected her as best as he could but he knew that the bullying scarred her. The expression 'sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me' was rubbish. The words DID hurt her. He could see that though she often tried to hide it. Her self-esteem had been shot to bits.

No one had stopped the bullies though. Teachers thought it was good. If the Chosen felt she was worthless she'd give herself up without a fight when the time came to sacrifice herself. As long as they weren't involved, that their lives would be saved without them having to sacrifice anything themselves, they didn't care.

"SELFISH BASTARDS!" he screamed, attacking the ground even more fiercely. He wanted to tell them, show them, how much it hurt him to have Colette ripped from him, and all for a lie.

If they wouldn't listen he'd MAKE them listen, he'd, he'd…

He stopped suddenly, staring at the blades in his hands. They'd already caused pain, suffering, death. He didn't want to be responsible for any more suffering, he didn't want…didn't…

He collapsed, sobbing. He felt sick at the thoughts that had been running through his mind. He didn't want to be that kind of person who pursued violence without a thought for the consequences. When people did that they did so much damage, made innocent people suffer, made nice people feel inclined to be a little less nice.

He heard a low whine and blinked, making out the blur that was Noishe standing over him, concerned, through the tears.

"Noishe, I," he grabbed the animal as though his life depended on it, his hands clutching clumps of fur. "I miss her so much!"

Noishe whined again and tried to nuzzle Lloyd in a comforting way as the boy's body shook with sobs.

"She's always been there, such an important part of my life, and now she's just, just, gone. It hurts so much," the swordsman howled as Noishe placed a paw on him.

Eventually he became so exhausted that he had to give in to sleep. Noishe shifted the boy onto his back, his eyes sad, and padded back to the campsite.

He gave a low whine when he neared the fire, letting Sheena know he'd returned. She got up and helped him put Lloyd into his sleeping bag.

"Don't worry, we'll get her back," the summoner murmured softly, her expression matching Noishe's, as she patted Lloyd's hand reassuringly. Then she resumed her night watch post and stared out into the dark nothingness as the large creature sat protectively beside Lloyd and the blonde also watched over them all.