"Bliss" timeline oneshot. This time featuring an underappreciated character, Noishe :) The Noishe chibi wanted to be written about bless him. (Passes Noishe chibi a biscuit).

Spoiler warning: this fic contains spoilers for pretty much right up until the end of the game. If you've not finished the game and don't want to read any spoilers please don't read this until you've finished the game, thanks :)

Dedication: Urby wanted angst. I'm not sure if Noishe angst was quite what she had in mind but the dedication's hers if she wants it :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. I love it, think it's a fantastic game, but Namco are the ones who own it I believe. I'm just a rather obsessed fan who likes writing about it :)

Noishe yawned and flicked his ears as he relaxed in the afternoon sunshine. He smiled at the two humans curled up beside him, dozing after a picnic lunch.

His friends. He thought of them as his pack he'd become so attached to them. He'd known them since they were little, the male since birth, and had enjoyed many days playing with them. Running about on spring afternoons, splashing water playfully to cool down on hot summer days when school was something they didn't think about, something a long way off. They had pounced into piles of leaves when autumn came and they returned to school and in the winter he liked to curl up beside the fire with them.

Even when they were older, becoming adults, they still played silly games with him. But then one day something had happened that had made his world, and theirs, turn upside down.

That bright light, signalling the start of the journey the female had been preparing for since she was tiny. Despite the fact that her status as Chosen had affected her life almost every day the actual journey all her training was leading towards had seemed like a far off thing, almost abstract.

The oracle was unmissable though and it changed so much. Carefree children, even the young half-elf mage, had had to take the burden of saving the world they lived in onto their shoulders.

It had affected them, how could it not, and they changed. They became more serious. The cheerful playmates he'd once shared so much fun with were replaced by tired-looking people just trying to survive the challenges constantly thrown at them.

He'd done his best to be as supportive as he could, helped carry equipment and people, but it wasn't the same. He missed the boy who'd playfully tease him, who knew all his favourite spots to be scratched. He missed the cheerful girl who was always armed with a smile and a biscuit. Her eyes, once so happy and bright, became dull and empty as the cruel process of taking on the full role of Chosen took place.

That had made things even worse. At least until the point where Colette had lost her soul there'd been some cheer in the party, laughter and smiles often caused by the blonde herself. She and Lloyd had still found time to make a fuss of him, groom his coat and let him know that he was just as valued as any of the human and half-elf members of the party.

After Colette lost her soul, however, Lloyd had become distant. He'd still make a fuss of Noishe but there had been something half-hearted and absentminded about those scratches behind his ears. It had made him sad, too, when his normally cheerful companion was, when no one else was listening, reduced to tears, gripping onto Noishe's coat like his life depended on it and sobbing as though someone had ripped out a vital part of him.

Noishe supposed that, really, a part of the boy had been taken away. Those two always seemed so happy together, matched each other like a pair of comfortable, worn shoes and somehow just, well, completed each other.

That had been a hard time, although none of the quest could be described as easy. That they'd all survived showed what a dedicated, hard-working, committed bunch of people the team was. An odd mix but they had all worked together, done their best and contributed what they could. Noishe was proud to have been a part of that group, even if his part in it had been a fairly unremarkable one. Carrying and watching, ensuring they were safe and could transport vital items.

It'd become even harder for Noishe when Kratos, another human he knew well, turned out to have a fairly ambiguous agenda. On one hand he had been an enemy, something Noishe had found hard to accept, but yet he'd helped the party too. It had been confusing for the poor dog-like creature who'd known that, deep down in his heart, the seraphim was a good person who wanted to do what was right.

The members of the team who'd thought of Kratos as an ally had been shocked too. Noishe had done his best to try and keep spirits high in his own way but it had been hard. Laughter was difficult to come by in such serious situations.

It wasn't as though they'd paid much attention to him then anyways. They'd been too busy trying to save worlds and lives. He had occasionally provided a respite from that but so often he was only noticed when they'd needed ground-based transport.

That time in his life had been so different to what he had known when the adults beside him had been small infants, and so different to how it was now. Despite having grown up so much from going through all those hardships now that life was calmer, the world peaceful, the couple beside him once again joined in with the games he enjoyed.

He smiled, gently nuzzling Colette's rounded belly. Soon there'd be another person to join in with playtime too. A new life.

He looked around at the plants and trees surrounding the one particular tree they were resting in the shade of. Life all around and one special symbol of it beside them. He could see why this was one of the couple's favourite places to have a picnic.

He grinned and wagged his tail as a familiar person appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. He was about to bark a greeting but closed his great jaws when the green haired woman giggled lightly and shushed him, a finger on her lips.

"Don't wake them, they look so peaceful," she smiled softly at the couple before kneeling down beside him.

"You all seem happy. I'm glad," she beamed, stroking him and causing a sensation like a gentle breeze to flow over his fur, different to when anyone else made a fuss of him.

"Are you taking good care of them still?" she asked. He smiled and curled his tail around the couple protectively.

"Good," she nodded. "Not long now eh? Bet you're all excited."

She focused on the prominent bump of Colette's stomach as he nodded. She pulled an expression that was happy but at the same time somewhat poignantly sad as she ran her hand over the angel's belly.

"I, I never got to have one of my own," she spoke softly, so quiet he could hardly hear her. She was talking to herself more than him. "But, I guess, in a way, so many lives are in my care it's sort of like I'm a mother anyway."

She sighed and got to her feet.

"I'd best be off now. Remember you're welcome here any time, and make sure they bring the child to see me when it arrives. The tree thanks you for your visit, they make a big difference you know," she waved, her expression soft, caring and loving in a motherly sort of way as she disappeared as noiselessly as she'd arrived.

Beside him his friends began to stir, the evening noises of birds gently rousing them from their nap and telling them it was time they should be going home.

He barked happily and wagged his tail. He'd be happy to carry them there, just like he'd done all those years before and just as he'd always continue to do.