My fiftieth Tales of Symphonia fic. I wanted to do something special for it, but I've not really had much time to write recently (I've lots of ideas for fics I want to write but no time to write them). Hopefully you guys will like this anyways. It's not exactly fluff (I know, it's unusual for me not to write fluff). It's about Colette and her thoughts during the later part of the journey. A bit angsty, but I've put in some nice stuff too :) Not quite as angsty as the last one ("It hurts").

I've never done songfics, I'm not very good at them, but if I was going to pick a song to go with this I think the Ace of Base song "Never Gonna Say I'm Sorry" might fit. (I don't own the song). It's a song that's always meant a lot to me, and somehow I think it might fit Colette too.

SPOILER WARNINGS: spoilers in this fic include stuff that happens to Colette later on in the game and the truth about the world regeneration journey. If you don't want to know please don't read :)

Dedication: to the people who leave reviews for my work. While I write because I enjoy writing it's really nice to know people are enjoying reading what I enjoyed writing. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and comments.

Thank you especially to Urby, Minnie, Ilvinaeda and BBQ Bert who put up with my rambling e-mails. And thank you to the people in my life who remind me that there are some great people in the world and that it's not such a bad place really.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. I believe Namco own it. I'm just an obsessed fan of the game who's written a silly amount of fanfiction about it. I don't own the Ace of Base song I mentioned in the author's notes either.


Colette felt, well, fed up didn't even begin to describe the emotions and thoughts running through her mind.

She'd lost track of exactly how long it had been since she'd left Iselia but it felt as though it was a long time ago. So much had happened to the group of friends and not all of it was pleasant. A lot of it, in fact, hadn't been.

It was an odd feeling though, because although it seemed that the day she'd been in the small classroom when the oracle had appeared had been such a long time ago it felt that all the time that had passed since then seemed to have gone by so quickly. Perhaps it was because so much of it could become a blur in her memory, fight with monsters after fight with monsters after fight with monsters.

Even now it was still a lot of the same thing. Different settings but the same task. Be attacked, fight, win. Doing that all the time was stressful and yet somehow also some kind of boring. It wasn't nice though, that was certain.

The time that hadn't seemed to pass quickly, when she had had the terrifying experience of having her soul locked away from her body, hadn't been nice either. She'd felt so cold, lonely and full of despair. Feeling so trapped, so powerless.

Feeling powerless was something she was familiar with. Ever since she was little she'd been picked on. The other kids at school didn't like the fact that, as the Chosen, she got treated differently, so she'd been bullied. She was an easy target, had never been particularly tall or physically strong. If she told the teachers about it they'd not do a lot. Most of the time they just told the bully off, perhaps gave them a detention or two. They'd not really given the bullies a punishment which had put them off doing it again and so the bullying had continued.

Even now, on the quest, it happened. People thought that she had failed as a Chosen and so she encountered muttered taunts, looks that spoke volumes, mumblings that were intentionally just loud enough for her to hear and even the odd 'accidentally' thrown object.

It felt awful to be subjected to that, and there was some truth in it, she HAD failed as a Chosen. She hadn't been able to perform the task expected of her, that had been planned for her to do since birth.

But then she and the others had achieved so much, and they still wanted to save Sylvarant, they just wanted to save Tethe'alla and stop the unfair Chosen ritual at the same time.

Surely she was more useful as a member of the party than as a dead body, floating with the bodies of other dead Chosens in an endless dance that showed how much death and pain the lies concerning Martel had caused?

Or perhaps not. She was weak, clumsy and had needed to be rescued because she couldn't escape from situations by herself.

She was a burden to the others wasn't she? Someone who had done nothing to prove she was worthy of being part of the group, despite all the hard work, pain and effort she had been through?

She sighed a weary, heavy sigh. Although it, along with her heart, felt heavy, she lifted her head to gaze around the campsite.

No, she hadn't really failed. What she'd been through had made her more determined to learn more and become a stronger person so she could do her part to help make the world, well, worlds really, a better place.

Her gaze moved to Sheena. The summoner must have seen that determination because she was using some of her time on the journey to teach Colette, spending a part of most nights gradually adding to the angel's knowledge. Not just basic school stuff either, but a wide range of topics including some details of Mizuho traditions and even the language of the village. Colette was trying to be a good student and learn quickly.

She smiled as Sheena waved at her and she waved back. One of the words she'd learnt meant a lot to Colette, especially so because Sheena allowed to use it when referring to her. It'd been nice to have an oneechan, a big sister, but the further into the quest they got the more Colette appreciated Sheena's friendship and support. Being able to talk to the summoner meant a lot to the little angel.

"Ogenki desu ka" she asked Sheena how she was and received a bright smile for getting the phrase right as well as the reply that Sheena was OK.

The older girl got up to get a drink and Colette's gaze turned to Lloyd.

Lloyd.

The person who'd always stuck by her. The person she loved and cherished. He'd always supported her, done his best to protect her and made her feel like she was a person who was worth something, who had the right to live the life she'd been given. He made her want to live her life, gave her a reason for doing so.

She scooted over to where he was sitting by the fire and settled beside him.

"Alright?" she asked softly.

"I'm OK thanks. You?" he asked, his eyes moving from the flames to her face. She thought for a moment.

"I'm OK," she nodded.

"Here," he offered, patting his lap. She moved again and snuggled up to him, resting her head against his chest.

Both of them sighed soft, content sighs. Then, when no one was looking, he dropped a light, tender kiss onto the top of her head and whispered words that meant so much to her.

"I love you," he breathed.

"I love you too," she replied quietly, nuzzling him affectionately.

Yes, she thought, as he began stroking her hair and back, she was OK. She had him and, somehow, he made everything seem alright.