One-shot piece of fluff featuring Lloyd and Colette. Set during the game on a peaceful night around the campfire.

Spoiler warnings: slight spoilers about what's supposed to happen to Colette on the journey of regeneration.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I've just got an obsession with it and like writing fanfiction about it. :)

Colette looked across the campfire and smiled at Lloyd who was gazing thoughtfully into the flames. She blushed slightly as his gaze lifted to meet hers, his intense chocolate brown eyes looking deep into her own.

It was silly, she thought, that she couldn't say three short words to the person who she felt so very comfortable around and who she had thought she could tell anything to.

It had all started back in Iselia, a long time ago when they were young. Because of her title the other children in school chose to bully and shun her and so she had tried to shut herself off from them, from other people. She wasn't destined to live a normal life so even if there had been someone nice around it wouldn't have been fair to get close to them, she would have to leave one day and would never return to the small village, would never see any friends she'd made again. That was before Lloyd showed up however.

There was something about him, his smile, his attitude, that made it impossible for her to put up a barrier, a wall, like she did with other people. As she spent more time with him and became closer to him he started to teach her to spend time doing things just for herself instead of simply doing activities she was required to do because of her title. He would spend their playtimes and lunch hours and sometimes time after school playing with her, letting her be the child that she was for just a little while before she returned to the rituals and prayers and such. Why shouldn't she spend a little time drawing if she felt she wanted to just relax and let her imagination take her away for a bit he'd asked. She couldn't come up with a good reason and so she had, filling page after page with works of art with him.

Despite the fact that she didn't seek out friends and kept herself to herself he'd given her his time and friendship. He could have tried to become friends with someone who was more open but he'd chosen her, something she was both puzzled by and grateful for.

As time had passed they'd become closer. Despite the fact that she knew, because of what would happen in the future, that she shouldn't get close to people she'd formed a strong bond with him. The nature of it had changed, though, and instead of a friend she began to find herself feeling that she wanted him to be something more, something closer. She'd not expressed these thoughts though, knowing it would be hard enough for him having to deal with a close friend leaving forever. She didn't want to make it even worse for him by changing their relationship.

Now though things were different. He was doing everything he could to make sure she lived. Thoughts of telling him of how she felt cropped up in her mind often but she'd never plucked up the courage to speak those words aloud to him. Although, she thought, those short little words really didn't seem to express just how deeply she felt for him. How she felt was something that mere words couldn't describe.

It was funny, she thought, that she had such strong feelings now. When she was younger, before she'd met him, she'd thought that she wouldn't need anyone to share a special bond with. He'd kept her going though, through all the tough challenges she'd had to face both before and now during this journey. He gave her strength when she had none left and made her feel as though she was special and really did deserve to live the life she'd been given how she wanted to live it, that she didn't need to become a pawn in someone's game that did not take seriously the value and significance of each and every single life.

He had won her heart, she loved him and was absolutely sure of that fact. She hoped that he felt the same way and knew, inside her heart, that he did. He was not flamboyant like Zelos was towards his hunnies but, in his own way, Lloyd expressed his feelings for her every day in some way or another. Simple warm hugs that made her feel so safe and wanted, little presents that she treasured, a shoulder to rest her head on when she was tired. He was always there for her and always knew just what to do and say.

Her love for him was deep and pure and, now she allowed herself to think about a future in which she would live instead of having to be a sacrifice, she often imagined what it would be like to spend the rest of her life by his side. Such thoughts made her happy, a future in which she could be so very content.

Perhaps the reason why she found it difficult to tell him about her feelings was because her love was so strong. Emotions so pure and powerful were not to be taken lightly and she wanted the moment when she told him that she loved him to be perfect. She knew life wasn't perfect but still, she couldn't help waiting for the right moment which she was sure would be soon.

He made her experience feelings she'd never felt before and, sometimes, when he held her she was glad she was sitting down because he made her feel all squishy and gooey in the nicest of ways but in ways which left her feeling as though she'd melted and just wanted to slump against him, let him take all her weight and let her body mould to the shape of his.

He made her feel as though she was, really, a person, no, a young woman, and not just a body there to fill a title. At the same time though she didn't feel complete without him, it was as though he was a part of her. With him she felt a sense of complete and utter peacefulness, perfectness, and he made her feel whole. When he looked into her eyes and held her in his strong arms she felt as though she would burst because her love was so strong. Yet, still, she found it so difficult to speak out loud the thoughts that filled her body, that warmed her soul.

Wanting to be close to him she stood up and moved over to where he was settled by the fire.

"Lloyd," she spoke softly, shyly. He looked up at her, smiling, and she felt herself melt. She plopped herself down beside him and blushed happily as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Hey," he murmured, nuzzling the top of her head, drinking in her scent. He placed a soft, tender kiss on her forehead and she shivered, a pleasant warmth flowing through her.

She nuzzled him, her arms wrapped tightly around him, and looked up into his eyes. The thoughts of being unable to tell him how she felt drifted away, she knew from the look in his eyes that he knew, he understood. He had for a long time, he had most likely had thoughts running through his head that were just like the ones that had been running through hers.

Blushing she moved her head away from where it had been resting on his chest to check that no one around the campsite was watching them. Satisfied they weren't being observed she moved to place a quick kiss on his cheeks, a blush matching hers appearing on his face. He paused, a big smile spreading across his face, then his eyes darted around the campsite like hers had and he swooped to give her a kiss, his lips brushing as lightly as a feather against hers. The kiss was a little slower and longer than the one she'd given him but it was a shy, short one still.

They broke apart and she grinned, the grin spreading to her eyes. In that moment she knew that she'd said what she needed to say. She hadn't needed words to express her feelings, they were so deep and true that those mere, short words, formed on a breath, wouldn't have even begun to describe them.

She purred and nuzzled up to him as he stroked her hair, his other hand resting gently on her back. She sighed, her eyes closing peacefully, happy in the knowledge that he knew how she felt. But then their love was so deep and strong, her bond with him so great, that she suspected he always had. It was something they could say without words.

"I love you," she whispered.

Just because they didn't need words, she thought, it didn't mean that they weren't nice to say.