The Lloyd and Colette chibis attacked me with a plot bunny a short while after I'd finished making Colette's PS2 version of Symphonia exclusive outfit for a cosplay costume. This is the result. A bit of advice: hand sewing thirty four buttons and a piece of felt that's meant to look like a large button to a hand-made red shirt may cause you to be attacked by plot bunnies :) LOL "Bliss" timeline oneshot and fluff as usual.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I just have an obsession with it (and now a cosplay costume which has a silly number of buttons on it) :)

"One, two, three, four…" a small voice woke Colette up from her light doze beside the fire. She and Lloyd were staying in the comfort of an inn for the night and had decided to take a nap beside the fire in the lounge before dinner. The weather had been cold and miserable and the thought of warming up by the fire after being almost frozen outside was a comforting one.

Slowly she rubbed sleep from her eyes and yawned a little then she looked around, trying to locate the source of the noise. She smiled as she spotted a small boy pointing at Lloyd's shirt, counting the buttons on it then frowning as he lost count and had to begin again.

"Thirty five," she said quietly. The child looked up at her with a surprised expression on his face, he'd been so wrapped up in counting the buttons he'd not noticed her waking up.

"Really? Thirty five? Why so many?" he asked, a puzzled expression on his face.

"Because he likes buttons," Colette shrugged, smiling.

"Have you really sat and counted them all?" the boy asked.

"I've done more than that, I've had to sew most of them back on for him at some time or another," the angel laughed softly.

"What's the ribbon on his collar for?" the child was full of questions about the unusual outfit. Colette didn't seem to mind though.

"This," Colette spoke really softly, as if sharing a secret, then put a finger to her lips, indicating that the child should be quiet. Then slowly, carefully, she untucked a ribbon from behind Lloyd's back and tugged on it gently. Lloyd stirred, his voice muzzy with sleep.

"Hmmm, wha?" he mumbled as he blinked. Colette just smiled at him and rubbed her nose against his before placing a light kiss on his lips.

"Eugh, kissing, yuck!" the small boy pulled a disgusted face. Feeling playful Colette responded by sticking her tongue out in a raspberry-like gesture.

"So, where you guys from?" yet another question.

"Iselia," Lloyd yawned, stretching his arms above his head.

"Wow, isn't that where some of the people who reunited the two worlds were from?" the boy shuffled around, practically jumping up and down with excitement.

"Yes, a few of them," Colette nodded, not giving any other information away.

"Did you know any of them? Did you know the Chosen herself?" the child asked with an excited glint in his eyes.

"You could say that," Colette smiled, continuing to be a little secretive.

"WOW! What was she like?" the boy clapped his hands, excited at the thought of a good story.

"Well," Lloyd said thoughtfully. "She was blonde, about five foot two, blue eyes, travelled around with a friend of hers who had a fondness for buttons…"

The child's eyes were becoming wider by the second as he pointed at them.

"You, you're!" he gasped, beginning to hop up and down. Colette simply nodded in reply.

"I've GOT to go and tell my friends about this, wait here, don't go anywhere!" the boy practically yelled as he jumped to his feet and zoomed out of the lounge door. He paused before leaving the building, yelling over the counter at the innkeeper.

"Dad, dad, you'll never guess who's staying here!"

"A three headed dragon and his fairy friends?" the man made a wild guess, knowing perfectly well who was sitting in the lounge. He'd been there when they'd signed the guest book.

"Nooooooo! Better than that!" the boy flapped his arms around in an exasperated manner.

"Ummmm, the guy who invented the wheel?" the innkeeper guessed again, trying not to grin too widely and give away the fact that he already knew.

"Daaaaaaaaaaad!" the child drew the word out into several syllables. "Honestly, look, I've gotta go get the others, I don't have time for this, go see for yourself!"

The front door slammed. A short time later the innkeeper appeared in the lounge doorway.

"My son's not bothering you too much is he? I can tell him to go to his room if you want," he said.

"Nah, he's no bother. Apparently only capable of talking in questions but no bother," Colette smiled as the innkeeper sat down in a chair standing opposite to the one she and Lloyd were curled up in.

"I assure you he is capable of having a proper conversation when he puts his mind to it," the innkeeper smiled. He opened his mouth to say something else but shut it again as a great amount of noise came from the hallway. The innkeeper's son had returned, bringing several other children with him. He walked into the room and sat down beside the fire, appearing calm now, although that was to impress his friends, inside he was still bubbling with excitement. The other children, however, skidded to a halt at the doorway, a little nervous.

"It's alright, you can come in. We don't bite," Colette smiled a warm smile at them. Slowly they filed into the room, settling by the fire and looking towards the two strangers.

"Let me guess, you want a story, right?" Colette asked when they'd all sat down comfortably. She received an answer of several very enthusiastic nods.

"Where do you want us to start?" Lloyd asked, snuggling a little closer to Colette and settling himself more comfortably in the chair. He had a feeling he'd be sitting there for quite a while.

"From the very beginning, when the journey started," a small child blurted out excitedly before blushing and quietly adding "please."

Lloyd and Colette had talked for a bit but, somehow, persuaded the children to let them stop for dinner, protesting that even if the children weren't hungry they were. Once they'd settled at a table, however, they were soon joined by all of the boys and girls who'd been listening to them in the living room. Each of them had plates of their own which were rapidly cleared. Then they all started looking hopefully at the two young adults at the table. The little crowd had drawn some odd looks from the few other guests that were dining at the inn but none of them seemed bothered. Colette and Lloyd had survived worse than odd looks before and the children seemed too excited about hearing the rest of the story of how the worlds were reunited from people who'd actually been on the quest to reunite them to care about the other people in the dining room.

Lloyd finished first but then wound them up by opening his mouth as if to begin telling the story again, only to state that he fancied dessert. Once that had been finished, however, the two young adults allowed themselves to be dragged back into the lounge where they continued talking to their captivated audience.

Eventually the innkeeper noticed that it was getting late and told the children it was time they went home. At first they protested but once Colette and Lloyd had promised to stay in that town for another day and to tell the rest of the story tomorrow night they left. The innkeeper told his son to go and brush his teeth then, once the boy had left the room, turned once again to the couple who'd settled themselves in the large chair closest to the fire.

"Thank you, you've really made his day," he smiled warmly at them.

"That's alright," Colette replied happily. Lloyd nodded his agreement.

"He and his friends'll be talking about this for weeks you know, it's not often we get celebrities staying here," the innkeeper chuckled.

"We're not celebrities," Lloyd frowned.

"I think you'll find that you and your friends have become rather famous and what you all achieved will certainly be put into the history books. Whether you like it or not I think you'll find that you are," the innkeeper replied softly.

His son reappeared in the doorway, now dressed in pyjamas.

"Goodnight then," he said to the couple as his father got out of his chair and walked over to him.

"Goodnight," they replied as the older man started to lead his child towards the stairs so he could tuck him into bed. The boy paused, however, as something hit his shoulder when he was on one of the lower stairs. He looked down at the floor and spotted a familiar looking button. He picked it up, grinning, then looked over to the lounge room door as he began to climb the staircase once again. His grin got wider as he heard Colette's voice calling out two words.

"Thirty four!"