I've not written anything for a while but I couldn't keep the plot bunnies in their hutch forever :) I wouldn't want to though, I enjoy writing plotless fluffy nonsense too much to want to stop :) A short piece of during-game fluff featuring Colette and Sheena this time. The usual sort of fluffy pointless stuff that I write :)

Spoiler warning: this fic is set near the end of the game and so contains spoilers.

Dedication: for the person who'll know it's for him when he reads it because he needs fluff and a hug. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. I think it's fantastic and enjoy writing fanfiction about it but Namco are the ones who actually own it I believe.

To say that Sheena was having a bad day was an understatement. First thing in the morning her stuff, which had all fitted into her travel bag the night before, had refused to all fit back in again forcing her to tip everything out of the bag completely and repack the whole thing. Then the group had had a day of hard training and battle after battle had exhausted her. Despite having been healed her muscles still ached and she badly felt the need for a warm bath in which she could soak away the pain and freshen herself up. No such luck, however, as the group were spending the night under the stars instead of the comfort of an inn. She'd been bitten several times by some small insect and now the bug bites were itching in an irritatingly niggling way. And now, the final straw, it was her turn to cook dinner and the pile of wood for the campfire she intended to cook over wasn't lighting properly, the flames within the pile were acting very lethargically.

Beyond annoyed she pulled a card from her pocket and angrily sent a burst of flame at the pile of twigs and small bits of log. This time it ignited with a satisfying suddenness. Better.

She muttered curses under her breath as she set up the cooking equipment then sat back and waited for a pan of water to heat up. Randomly a small bubble floated past. Then another and another followed it. She turned her head in the direction the bubbles were coming from and was unsurprised to see Colette sitting peacefully with a pot of bubble-making liquid and the little plastic accessory for using with it. Colette seemed to have packed rather a lot of unnecessary things like that in her travel bag, so many things that Sheena vaguely wondered how she fitted in essentials like clothes and camping equipment. Realising she'd been noticed the blonde offered the bubble stuff to Sheena. The summoner shook her head and returned her attention to dinner.

"Sure you don't want a go? It's fun," Sheena looked up as Colette sat down beside her.

"No, I've got dinner to cook," the dark haired girl replied, beginning to throw ingredients into the pot.

"I'll make more bubbles for you then?" the blonde offered.

"If you want," Sheena replied, not really bothered, too annoyed to be in the mood for games.

As she continued to cook, however, her attention was caught by Colette mumbling something. She looked up to see the small angel popping a bubble for each muttered word.

"What are you doing?" she asked, curious, as she gave into the urge to scratch at one of the insect bites.

"Nothing much," Colette replied, uncharacteristically cryptic. She resumed muttering and popping bubbles but this time spoke just loud enough for Sheena to hear. Slowly the dark haired girl realised that the muttered words were describing the bad things that had happened to the group recently and she understood.

She looked up again as the muttering stopped. Colette continued to blow a few more bubbles then stood up, moving to fetch something from her bag. Just before she turned away, however, she blew a generous batch of bubbles in Sheena's direction, a small smile on her face.

Thinking this was a game she could get into after all the ninja violently stabbed each bubble with a finger, accompanying each stab with a word uttered in a low, growling tone. Shortly after she'd finished doing so Colette returned, gently took hold of the summoner's arm and began to rub an ointment into the insect bites, relieving the itching sensation.

"Thanks," the older girl said softly. The angel nodded, washed her hands then settled beside Sheena and, after checking what had been put into the pot already, began to work with and add some of the ingredients needed for the dish. Sheena gave her a small smile, she nodded again, and the pair sat side by side quietly preparing dinner.

Once everything had been added and was simmering gently the two girls sat back and looked up at the darkening sky.

"It's kinda weird isn't it? All day it was rush rush rush, fight fight fight, and now camp's set up it's, well," Colette nodded at Lloyd who was taking a before dinner nap and giggled.

"Even so there's still stuff to be done though, people to feed then dishes to wash, and the night watch of course," Sheena replied.

"Just think, when this is all over, what'll it be like? Not having to constantly watch out for monsters or eat the same things over and over because there's only so many things you can cook over a campfire. And knowing where you'll sleep every night, luxury!" Colette said wistfully.

"Luxury indeed, if we ever get that far," the summoner nodded.

"We will, and even if after the worlds are reunited there's still stuff to do then after that I think by then we'll deserve a nice long rest," the angel said, her tone of voice showing that she was sure of this.

"I don't think the worlds work in the way where if you deserve something it means you'll get it. I mean you didn't deserve to go through all you've been through so far but that hasn't stopped it happening," Sheena sighed.

"But the world'll be a better place to live in afterwards, so it's worth it," Colette nodded.

"I hope so, I really do hope so," the older girl said quietly.

"With people like you in the team how can we fail? You're a really amazing summoner and you can do cool attacks with cards and you've got super ninja skills. You're all 'you're in for a world of hurt' pow, card attack, bam, summon spirit attack, crash, finishing blow" Colette waved her arms around enthusiastically as she talked to emphasise her point, grinning. Clearly she was still impressed with Sheena's battle techniques.

"OK, who gave you coffee with lots of sugar?" Sheena laughed.

"Eh? I haven't had any coffee today," the angel replied, puzzled.

"Never mind," the summoner smiled. Then she moved to check on the food over the fire.

"Oh, I've just thought," Colette said suddenly.

"Mmm?" Sheena prompted her to continue.

"There will be one monster to look out for when all of this is over. Raine if she sees any ruins!" the younger girl giggled. Sheena laughed.

"Ruins! Marvellous! I must study them AT ONCE!" Colette imitated Raine's 'ruin mode' while waving a stick she'd found around like a staff. Sheena snort-giggled.

"Why these ruins are ancient, so much dust and rubble, I'm sure some interesting finds can be found in them which I can teach my students about, filling up hours of teaching time with fascinating information. MARVELLOUS!" Colette got into the role, standing up and waving her stick around enthusiastically. Unfortunately in her enthusiasm she'd forgotten to keep her voice low and her teacher had heard her. Her impression was brought to an abrupt end as an eraser hit the side of her head. She sat down, staring suspiciously at the object.

"I don't even want to know why she has one of those with her," the angel said.

"Says she who's packed everything including the kitchen sink in her bag," Sheena laughed, earning herself a mock-glare and a raspberry gesture from the blonde.

"It's all useful stuff though, isn't it?" she asked.

"Yes, I suppose it is. Even the bubble stuff," Sheena admitted, her expression now a happy one as she moved to dish dinner up.