During-game one-shot featuring, once again, Lloyd and Colette. I like writing about them and they're great to write fluff about :) Hoorah for plotless fluff, pretty much the only thing I can write :) This one has a little bit of angst in it but there's a happy ending because I like happy endings and it's good when Colette and Lloyd are happy.
Dedication: Urby wanted some angst and wings and this is what the chibis came up with. I hope she likes it :)
SPOILER WARNING: Set fairly late on in the game so there's spoilers about what happens to Colette, and about the regeneration journey, in this fic. If you don't know about that stuff, and don't want to know, please don't read this until you know about these things. Thanks :)
Disclaimer: I'm obsessed with Tales of Symphonia but I don't own it. Namco own it I believe. I just have a bunch of chibis in my imagination who ought to stop eating so much sugar :)
Lloyd stifled a bored yawn as he pondered over a maths problem Raine had given him. As the nights of their quest went on he began to suspect the teacher was giving the younger members of the party homework simply as something to keep their minds off of the danger that they seemed to almost constantly be in and the increasing difficultly of their quest.
He looked up and was puzzled to see only Sheena curled up dozing on the inn's living room sofa. Earlier there had been two occupants settled on it.
"You OK bud?" Zelos, who'd been helping Lloyd with his homework, noticed the puzzled expression on the younger swordsman's face.
"Colette," Lloyd mumbled, looking around the room and seeing no sign of the small angel.
"That's odd, she must have gone to her room without saying goodnight," the red head said.
"Can I…" Lloyd started.
"You'd better go and check she's OK, yeah," Zelos smiled at him, closing the exercise book and indicating that Lloyd should leave the few remaining unsolved problems unfinished.
The younger swordsman smiled at him then quickly dashed up the stairs to the room Colette was staying in. He paused outside the door, hearing quiet sobbing on the other side.
"Colette?" he called out as he opened the door, not waiting for an answer.
"Lloyd!" the angel jumped, her tone startled and a little panicked.
"Are you alright?" he asked, his gaze moving from her tearstained face to the wings on her back then to the feathers on the bed. Her feathers.
"What's wrong?" he asked quietly, moving to sit beside her on the bed.
"I hate these, these, these THINGS!" Colette sobbed and started yanking another feather from her wings. Lloyd grabbed her hands in his own to stop her then looked into her eyes, his expression telling her he was wondering why she was doing this to herself.
"They're not, I," she sighed a heavy sigh, her gaze falling to the blanket. "I'm not a real angel, well, what an angel's supposed to be, I'm not."
Lloyd remained quiet, waiting for her to continue, conveying that he didn't understand and prompting her to explain with a confused expression.
"I, well, angels were supposed to be special and beautiful and help people. These," she stopped speaking and moved to attack her wings once more but again Lloyd stopped her.
"These just say I was supposed to become an empty body for a spirit to move into. I'm not an angel," she said, her voice becoming quieter as her tone went from one of anger to one of sadness and her tears began to flow again.
Upset at seeing her so unhappy Lloyd did his best to comfort her, pulling her into an embrace and holding her close to him as she quietly sobbed on his shoulder. When her crying slowed down he kissed her gently and tenderly on the top of her head, marvelling at how perfect it felt to hold her. Then he spoke, so quietly and softly she could only just hear his words. Words that meant a lot to her.
"I'm glad you're not the Cruxis sort of angel. They're cold and lifeless and seem so sad. You're so warm and full of life, you make me so happy. You are an angel, but the very best, most wonderful and pure kind. To me you're beautiful, you're very special and you help me just by being you and being there. You've helped lots of other people along the way too don't forget," he smiled.
He picked a feather up from the bed and tucked it behind her ear. It would fade soon, like all the feathers taken from her wings did, but that wasn't important, it was the gesture that mattered. He loved her for who she was, and loved everything about her, wings and all.
She sighed and blushed, comforted by his words and gestures, the feel of his arms around her.
"Love you," she mumbled quietly as she buried her head in the convenient cozy spot between his shoulder and neck.
"Love you too," he replied softly, beginning to stroke her hair tenderly.
They remained quiet, holding each other for some time before he spoke again.
"I hate to see you upset, I want you to be happy," he murmured softly.
"I, I'm sorry," she replied.
"Ah, you dork," he smiled, rubbing his nose against hers affectionately as she moved to face him. "How many times have I told you to stop apologising for stuff that's not your fault?"
"But it is my fault," she said, puzzled.
"No it's not. It's the people who've made you go through so much pain, so many difficulties, who've been so unreasonable to you that have made you unhappy. It's them I want an apology from, although it would never ever make up for the horrible things they did to you, the lies they told and the pain they made you go through," he growled, holding her close to his body tightly, protectively.
"Seems like no matter how hard we try there's new challenges always cropping up," the angel sighed softly, glancing wearily at her now healed left shoulder.
"I don't know why we've, well, you've had to go through so much, so much," his tone was angry as he searched for the right word, likely a swear one to show the seriousness and strength of what he was talking about. She indicated that the word wasn't necessary, that she knew what he meant, by softly placing a finger on his lips. She let it linger there briefly before moving it aside, waiting patiently for him to continue. He did so and this time his tone was much softer.
"But whatever we have to go through I'll always be by your side and do my very best to protect you," he promised.
She tightened her grip around him, nuzzling him lovingly, before letting a little yawn escape from her lips.
"You tired now?" he asked softly, understanding that she might well be. They'd had a tough day and what she'd just been through would have been emotionally and physically tiring too.
"Mmm," she let him know she was with a positive sounding noise.
"Want me to tuck you in to bed?" he offered.
"Don't go!" she pleaded, gripping his arm then blushing and loosening her hold on him a little as she realised how her request must sound, like a child afraid of a nightmare, of the dark.
"Alright, if you want me to I'll sleep beside you tonight. You get changed while I go and get my stuff," he smiled softly at her.
He gave her a light kiss then let go of her and left the room.
He returned after changing into his night time clothes and leaving a note to tell Zelos, who he was supposed to be sharing a room with that night, where he was. He didn't want to go downstairs and tell him in case Raine overheard and got ratty about it, forbidding him from sleeping beside Colette. He had no intentions of misbehaving, he just wanted to curl up beside the little angel to keep her warm and safe but he knew that their teacher would disapprove anyway for some reason he just couldn't figure out.
Carefully checking no one, especially not Raine, was in the hallway he went from his room to Colette's, shutting the door carefully behind him and dropping his bag beside the blonde's.
"You sure Sheena won't mind me being in here?" he asked, knowing that the summoner was supposed to be sharing the two bed room with the angel.
"Well if you snore she might throw a pillow at you but otherwise I think you'll be alright," Colette giggled.
Lloyd made a happy, triumphant noise as he found what he'd been searching for in his overstuffed bag then moved to Colette, wrapping the large flannel shirt he'd slept in last night around her.
He chuckled as she purred and snuggled into the shirt. He wasn't sure why she liked borrowing his clothes so much but it seemed to make her happy and he liked it when she was happy. It amused him when she contentedly burrowed into his clothes which were too big for her and thought it was a cute thing for her to do.
He smiled as she lifted the blanket up and snuggled under it, inviting him to do the same. He did so, snuggling up to her and curling around her protectively. He sighed contentedly then grinned as the few remaining feathers that had been on the blanket which had been thrown up into the air when Colette had lifted it up settled around them.
'Mine' he thought drowsily as he held the little angel in a warm embrace. 'My special, beautiful Colette.'