Completely totally and utterly pointless soppy fluff featuring Lloyd and Colette. Set during the game, close to the end of it. A random night by the campfire (rather predictably :) ).

Spoiler warning: contains a few minor spoilers.

Dedication: for my "Lloyd", who makes me very happy.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I'm just obsessed with it and my chibis (/muses), who seem to have an entire hutch of plot bunnies, keep attacking me with ideas. :)

Colette yawned and snuggled into the blanket that had been wrapped around her. She didn't remember laying down on her sleeping mat, someone must have moved her. As she shifted around trying to get more comfortable she noticed a warm body beside her. She opened her eyes, blinking, and rolled over a little, smiling softly as she recognised Sheena's sleeping face. It was probably the summoner who'd tucked her into her makeshift bed, the last thing she remembered before she'd fallen asleep was being settled beside the fire, talking quietly with Sheena while drinking a mug of hot chocolate. Lloyd had made her that drink, he knew just how she liked it and put little marshmallows in it for her that melted into deliciously gooey lumps.

She sighed peacefully. She liked it when Lloyd did things like that for her, little kindnesses that meant a lot to her, that she appreciated.

She yawned again and snuggled up to the summoner. It was a cold night and the older girl was nice and warm. Without waking Sheena moved to put an arm protectively around the little angel. Colette smiled, Sheena was also very kind to her. She'd spent some of her time on the quest teaching the blonde about things the blonde felt that she ought to know about but had never been taught. There were so many gaps in Colette's knowledge because she'd only been taught what was necessary for her to know to complete her quest as Chosen that it left her feeling frustrated and ignorant sometimes. Sheena was helping to fill in the gaps, however, and was a patient, friendly teacher. She'd taught her lots of fun stuff too, not just serious stuff. The little angel had particularly enjoyed learning how to fold bits of paper to make pretty animal shapes.

Sheena was also a good listener. Colette didn't feel comfortable talking about such things as fears and nightmares with most of the group, why should she bother them with what they would most likely consider petty concerns? But Sheena understood and the angel had become comfortable with sharing her thoughts with the summoner.

There was only one other person she felt comfortable totally opening up to. She smiled as she opened her eyes to look at him, sitting by the fire with Noishe on night watch. Lloyd had always been there for her, always did his best to protect her and ensure she was happy and comfortable. It had been torture when, when her soul had been locked away, she'd been ripped away from him. The sense of despair and being totally lost that she'd felt then, when she'd been unable to see, hear or touch him…

She shuddered, giving a slight whimper. The thought of the constant danger they were in on this quest causing him harm, taking him away from her, was something that was so horrible she couldn't bear to think about the possibility. But the thought crept into her mind sometimes anyways, especially now they were on the last leg of their quest and were soon going to face the most difficult and powerful enemy yet.

She shuddered again, another whimper escaping from her throat. She was scared and wanted to be with him, to hold him. Carefully, slowly, not wanting to disturb Sheena, she moved out of her bed and tucked the older girl's blanket closer around her to try and make up for the fact that the summoner wouldn't have her body heat near to keep her warm now. Then the blonde picked up her own blanket and shuffled shyly over to the swordsman sitting by the fire.

"Lloyd, may I," she started to ask, her voice quiet and shy. He simply smiled at her and opened his arms in a welcoming gesture. She smiled and settled herself in his lap, wrapping her blanket around them both. Then she wrapped her arms around him, he did the same to her, and she rested her head against his chest. She sighed softly, closing her eyes happily as she basked in the wonderful feeling of being held by him. Hearing his strong heartbeat and steady breathing was soothing, making thoughts of those sounds ceasing to exist float away.

He smelt nice, like the fire he was sitting next to now, like the ones they'd sat beside on many occasions before. The smell of the fabric of his shirt was distinctive enough for her to notice it although it mingled with the scents of his sweat and slight traces of blood where he'd received wounds in battle. And there was, of course, his own particular smell which she always found comforting.

She shifted a little to bury her head in the comfortable pillow between his neck and shoulder, fumbling slightly with the button on his collar then flattening the fabric so more of his skin touched her own. His scent was strong here. She purred softly, eyes still closed, and wrapped an arm around his back. Her free hand absentmindedly played with one of the ribbons on his collar. She liked those ribbons, thought they were cute in a way that suited him.

They remained still for some time, his arms around her while he, along with the dog-like creature sitting close to them, looked out for any sign of danger approaching the campsite. Usually the fire was enough to discourage monsters from attacking but it was better to be cautious about them than to wake up in the middle of the night being attacked.

He knew, without either of them having to say a word, that she was feeling a little scared and apprehensive. The way he held her was protective and reassuring. She knew, too, that the thought of failure had crossed his mind. Neither of them would have admitted it to the others but they could tell one another about it and were so close they didn't need to speak to do so.

She nuzzled him, gaining strength and reassurance from simply being able to hold him. She knew he was doing the same.

Her hand moved from his ribbon to his chest and she traced her fingers over the buttons on his shirt. He had something of a fondness for buttons, so much so that him needing to have one mended or replaced has been, and still was, a common occurrence. Secretly she liked it when that happened because she could stitch the buttons back on for him, a small kindness in return for the many things he did for her. She wished she could do more.

She frowned, opening her eyes as she fingered a button.

"This one's loose," she told him softly. "Want me to…"

"Please," he smiled and nodded, removing the shirt as she reluctantly moved away from him to fetch a small sewing kit from her bag. She returned quickly though, and he wrapped his arms and the blanket back around her as she worked. She could feel the warmth of his naked upper body pressed against her back, seeping through the light material of the nightshirt she was wearing. She blushed, enjoying the feeling of being so close to him as she mended his shirt.

"There, done," she held the garment up and offered it to him. He seemed reluctant to let go of her though, even for the short time it would take to put his shirt back on, so she folded it and put it carefully to one side.

She shifted around a little to get under the blanket better and he changed to way he was hugging her to a gesture that made her feel as though he was cradling her like she was the most precious thing in the whole wide worlds. She closed her eyes once again, content to simply be in his presence. She noticed that her breathing now matched his. Slow, steady, perfectly in time with one another.

"Love you," she whispered softly.

"Love you too," he replied quietly, his voice full of conviction and affection.

The pair of them were deeply sure of their feelings for each other, a truth they held within their hearts. They had always been close but the things they'd been through on this quest had allowed them to realise just how deep their feelings for each other were.

He started to play with her hair and, smiling, she thought back to a time when they'd been playing in his garden when they were little. Knowing she liked flowers, although not quite understanding why at the time, he'd picked some from around the garden then arranged them in her hair. She'd enjoyed that.

As Chosen she was supposed to maintain a mature, responsible image and tended to wear demure and unremarkable outfits. It didn't bother her though, she didn't want to dress like some of the girls at school did, trying to make themselves look older in outfits that drew attention to them but, in Colette's opinion, simply achieving a rather unflattering, ugly look. However she thought that the flowers added an attractiveness to her appearance that suited her. Lloyd had said that she looked cute anyways, and if he thought so then that was good enough for her.

As if he'd read her thoughts Lloyd plucked a delicate purple flower from the ground. He held it under her nose which twitched as she opened her eyes to look at the flower. Then he carefully tucked it behind her ear and placed a light, tender kiss on her forehead.

She looked into his eyes for a while, knowing it was safe to distract him because Noishe would be keeping watch over the campsite. Lloyd's eyes were deep and beautiful, they told her so many things. She knew, too, that he could read hers easier than he could read the words on a page of a book, but that was OK, in fact it was nice. She had always felt comfortable around him and could confide in him when she could with no others. He cared for her and she knew that, no matter how insignificant she might think them to be, she could always share her thoughts with him.

Right now though there was only one thing on her mind and she could share it without saying anything.

A little shyly, slowly and tenderly, she placed her lips on his and became lost in indulging in a kiss with him. They stayed like that, peaceful and content, for a long time. It was something they would do often in their future together, a future that was certain because their love for each other, as well as for life, was so strong.