A during game, pointless fluffy one-shot featuring Lloyd, Colette, Sheena and Noishe. The usual sort of pointless, plotless fluff that I write. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I just have some persistent little chibis/muses/whatever you want to call them and a large bunch of plot bunnies. :)

There was, Lloyd thought, something very nice about music. It had a magical quality somehow, the ability to blend with the mood you were in and help you express it or to make you feel better when you were feeling down. Right now the music he could hear was relaxing, a soothing song that made him feel sleepy.

The group had set up tents for the night as the sky had been gloomy earlier but now the clouds had cleared and it was a fairly pleasant night to be out under the stars. Deciding on a compromise between the warmth of the tent and the view of the stars he'd stuck his head out of the tent but left the rest of his body inside it. As well as allowing him to see the starlit sky that position also gave him the advantage of being able to hear the singing from beside the campfire better.

Colette and Sheena were on night watch, snuggled up under a blanket beside the fire, and had decided to pass some of the time by singing. Others might have complained that the noise may have attracted the attention of monsters but Lloyd would have argued against that. Though neither young woman possessed the voice of a professionally trained singer the sound of their singing was still a hauntingly beautiful noise and he just couldn't imagine anything attacking while the sounds of their voices floated around the campfire. It was almost as if they were casting some sort of magical spell around the campsite, perhaps they were in their own way.

He smiled as they started a song he recognised as one Sheena had taught Colette recently. A song in the Mizuho language which he didn't understand the words of but one that was full of feeling. A slow, soulful song with a haunting melody that had him swaying slightly and tapping his fingers in time to the song. He chuckled gently as he noticed Noishe's tail swishing in time beside him.

He ought to be sleeping really he thought. But there was something about the songs the summoner and the angel were singing that seemed so peaceful that he felt relaxed and content, a feeling he wanted to hold onto. Tomorrow they'd be rushing about, battling no doubt, tonight he wanted to enjoy that wonderful feeling of tranquillity that was surrounding the campsite.

He began humming along to the tune of the song, finding himself pining for his guitar that was propped up against a wall all the way back at Dirk's house. That melody was just crying out for acoustic accompaniment, even if he didn't understand what it was about. Plus he knew Colette liked it when he played that guitar. Even if he didn't play full songs, if he just strummed along to whatever tune he felt like playing a few bars of before swapping to another, she would sit and listen contentedly for as long as he played. It was, he thought, such a shame he'd had to leave the instrument behind.

He smiled as the two young women switched languages and moods to sing a bouncy, light-hearted song about a mouse and his family. Colette had sung that song a few days ago and had managed to make the mood of the party cheerier as they slogged on on their trek to another town. He wasn't sure if she'd done so deliberately or not but the cheerful song had been most welcome. Well, welcomed by everyone except Raine and Zelos. He knew why Raine didn't like it, the slight repetitiveness of it seemed to irritate her, but why Zelos had muttered something about mice under his breath he didn't know.

He'd gotten to join in with the singing that time. Colette had started singing the first part of the song after telling Lloyd about the mouse that had visited the room she and Sheena had been staying in at an inn the night before. Once she got to the chorus he'd joined in then Sheena, who'd learnt the song from Colette, had joined in on the second chorus. Part of him wondered whether she'd sung along so enthusiastically because the song seemed to irritate Raine, someone who didn't get on with Sheena that well. Perhaps she'd simply become caught up in Colette's good mood.

The summoner and the angel finished singing about the mouse family and Colette yawned and stretched.

"Hey, Colette," Lloyd said softly.

"Hmm, wha? Oh, Lloyd, you're awake, we didn't disturb you did we? Sorry!" Colette clasped her hands together, happy to see the swordsman, but obviously feeling bad about waking him up.

"Nah, you didn't wake me up you dork," he smiled as he moved to sit beside her, ruffling her hair a little. Colette smiled at him as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Have you taught her the song about the wolf in the forest?" he asked, nodding at Sheena.

"Oh, no, I've not taught you that one have I Sheena?" the younger girl asked, clapping her hands excitedly at the prospect of sharing another song with her friend. They'd been teaching each other songs for quite a while now, it was a good way to pass time and forget about the danger and seriousness of the quest they were on.

"You've not taught her the wolf song?" Lloyd asked, pretending to be shocked as if she'd done something terrible. Colette giggled.

"No, not yet. Will you help me teach it to her?" the angel asked, her expression happy and hopeful.

"Ohhh, I don't know if I can do that," he replied, pretending to carefully consider whether he should do so or not.

"What about if I tickle you into submission?" the blonde laughed as she pounced on him, tackling him to the ground, tickling him and giggling.

"OK, OK, I'll help," Lloyd laughed, moving to sit back up. He smiled as Colette began singing, the song was perfect for singing around a campfire on a night like this. He added his voice to hers, singing the accompanying backing lyrics of the song. He felt his spirits lift, almost as if he could fly up to the stars.

The part he was singing was quite repetitive and Sheena picked it up quickly. After they'd sung the song a couple of times she'd learnt the words well and was happily singing along.

On their fifth repetition of the song they were suddenly joined by another voice. The three of them paused as Noishe padded over to the campfire and sat down beside Lloyd, howling along to the accompanying lyric part. He gave them a look that asked why they'd stopped singing and they began again, their arms around each others shoulders, swaying in time with the tune. Lloyd smiled, somehow Noishe's howling seemed appropriate, it fitted well with the song.

Not everyone held that view though apparently. When they came to the end of the song a voice cranky from lack of sleep called out from one of the tents.

"Will you lot please stop that awful racket! Some of us are trying to sleep!"

"It's not a racket, it's music," Lloyd called out as he ducked, chuckling, to avoid an eraser that had flown in his direction. Some people, he thought, just really didn't seem to appreciate music.