A Leaf

A/N: Zelos and Sheena share a laugh on a rooftop late one night. This is a short oneshot about light, fluffy topics, and a mischievous leaf. It's set in a nonspecific visit to Heimdall, but there should be no plot spoilers.

points at rating If you don't want to listen to Zelos being suggestive, or Sheena's mild language, you don't have to read this fic. In fact, you probably shouldn't.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia, or it's characters, and I make no profit off this story aside from the personal satisfaction for writing it.

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Sheena was pulled from her slumber by a poke in the back. "Sheena!" A voice whispered, a voice she recognized in a moment of shock. Sheena sat bolt upright in her bed to face the apparition crouched next to her.

"What the hell, Zelos, what are you doing in my room in the middle of the night?" Sheena exclaimed in a whisper, trying not to wake Colette who was sound asleep in the bed across the room.

The swordsman tugged on her sleeve impatiently. "Come on Sheena! You really should see this!" He had an eager expression on his face, and... Was that a leaf in his hair? Sheena narrowed her eyes, the usually meticulous philanderer was missing his pink overcoat and gloves, and he had some dirt on his white pants. He looked like he fell out of a tree or something.

"Go back to bed." Sheena said, jerking her arm away from him. She rolled over so her back was to him, and pulled the covers back up to her shoulders. She immediately heard a thump, and turned back to see Zelos sitting on the floor staring at her.

"Zelos! I can't go back to sleep with you sitting there staring at me!" Sheena exclaimed as loud as she dared. "Stop being creepy and go back to your own room! You need sleep just like the rest of us!"

"Lloyd snores like a wild boar with a stuffy nose." Zelos said.

"What does that have to do with anything?" Sheena rolled over again and proceeded to ignore him, hoping he would get bored and wander elsewhere. A few minutes of silence and she turned back towards him, but her glare was met by a bright grin. How anyone could be so happy this late at night was beyond her. "Fine. Just show me what you want me to see, and be quick about it."

She swung her legs out of bed as he stood up enthusiastically, and she gave him a hard shove for good measure. She followed him out of the inn and around the side, muttering as he left the path and started making his way through the brush that grew right up to the side of the building. "Zelos, where are you g-"

"Shh." He interrupted her, as he left the edge of the building and stopped next to a huge oak tree. At this time of year she could see acorns beginning to grow among the distinctly patterned leaves. Zelos jumped up to catch one of the lower branches, and hauled himself up so he was sitting on the sturdy limb. "You need a hand?" He asked.


"What? You afraid of heights or something, hunny?"

"No! And I'm not one of your hunnies!" she fumed at him. He had just boxed her into a corner, and the only way to protect her ninja reputation was to play his game and climb up there. "Just get out of the way so I can climb up." She muttered, before scrambling up into the tree in the same way he had.

Sheena followed reluctantly as he climbed upwards, until he reached a particularly sturdy branch that grew close to the edge of the inn's gently sloping roof. He edged along that branch until he was able to jump and land on the wood-tiled surface. He motioned for her to follow, which was fortunately an easy task for a ninja.

In a moment of overestimation, she stumbled slightly and found herself caught up in his arms. He chuckled, and Sheena took advantage of their close proximity and smacked him on the arm a couple times. "You wanted to drag me out in the middle of the night, just to go climbing trees and playing on rooftops? Some of us need our sleep and can't afford to play around all..."

He had looked her in the eye with a small smile on his face, glanced upwards, and then looked back to her, as though he were hinting at something. When she looked up to see what he had been looking at, she had completely forgotten what she was saying.

On the roof of the inn, the break in the trees revealed an entire sky if glittering sparks, vying for brilliance with a silver moon. As she stared openmouthed at the vast space, a falling star flew across the sky, followed by another. She had seen bright stars every now and again, but she had never seen them fall from the sky. It was almost magical.


"It's nice, isn't it?" He asked, looking at her.

She nodded, watching the stars flicker and fall.

"You can see it better lying down," Zelos said, sitting down and pulling her down with him. He lay back against the slope of the roof and put his hands behind his head.

"Did you take me up here to seduce me?" She asked suspiciously as she lay back next to him.

"Nah..." Zelos replied, and Sheena was somewhat surprised. "If you were someone else, maybe, but you... I brought you up here because I thought you'd like it." He turned his head to look at her with a smile, and then back to the sky. His smile turned mischievous. "You ask because you think I'm so naturally sexy you're having a hard time keeping your hands off me?"

"Yeah, that's it." Sheena replied, her voice practically dripping sarcasm. "What made you think to come up here in the first place?" She asked quickly, before the swordsman could remark on her previous comment. She had momentarily forgotten that he didn't handle sarcasm well, and she definitely did not need to listen to his perverted response.

"I couldn't sleep while Lloyd was snoring, so I decided to go for a walk." Zelos explained. "It was dark though, under the trees, and I wondered if the moon was out, so I climbed up here and decided I liked the view."

He might not handle sarcasm, Sheena thought, but he was real good with an abrupt change of topic. She looked over at him, and her eyes narrowed. There was that leaf in his hair, the one she had first noticed while staring at him sleepy-eyed back in her room. It was very much an oak leaf.

She sat up abruptly. "Zelos, did you fall out of that tree?"

His eyes went wide and he stuttered a bit as tried to assure her that he most certainly did not, but Sheena had her answer. "You shouldn't go climbing around in the dark! Did you hurt yourself?"

Zelos sat up, recovering some of his composure. "Heheh... No, I'm okay. My back hit something on the way down, but it's not that bad."

Sheena frowned at him, concerned about her teammate. "Here, let me see," she said, reaching over to untuck his black shirt and help him pull it off. Crawling behind him, she pushed his long hair off his back to reveal a rather large bruise appearing just below his left shoulderblade. With the hand that wasn't holding his shirt, Sheena poked and prodded to convince herself that nothing was broken.

Once satisfied, she crawled back to sit next to him. "Luckily it wasn't your other shoulder, that might have hurt your fighting ability. Do you think you can block with a heavy shield on that arm? Maybe Raine can do something about it in the morning. What?" Sheena asked the last question with some annoyance. Zelos had been wearing a smirk on his face that meant he had a fun little secret...

"Sheena, you realize you just took off my shirt?" Was the question he replied with, now grinning openly.

It was Sheena's turn to gape and stutter, forcefully throwing the shirt back at him. "I- I didn't! Don't you get any ideas!" She yelped at him, poking a finger at his bare chest right below his key crest.

He grinned more. "And now you're making excuses to touch me."

"I am not!" She jerked her hand away as fast as her ninja reflexes would allow. Now that he had put those kinds of mental images into her head, she was fighting a loosing battle to keep her eyes from wandering along his lean body.

He chuckled and mercifully pulled on his shirt, before lying back down to look at the stars. Although this was easier for Sheena to handle with dignity, she still had to force herself to look at something else.

And that was when her eyes fell on his hair, and damn. That leaf.

Her hands twitched in her lap.

She bit her lip.

Finally she reached over and plucked the oak leaf from his hair, muttering under her breath, "If you so much as open your mouth, I will throw you off this roof right now." Making excuses for touching him, indeed.

He said nothing, and Sheena lay back with a huff. She glanced back at him, and noticed he had the strangest expression on his face. Was he trying to hold back laughter?

"Is it really that funny?" She asked, sitting up again and smacking him hard on the shoulder. Apparently this was just too much for him. Fits of uncontrollable laughter wracked his body, and he gasped for breath.

"Y... yes, a... actually." He said between fits of giggling. "I just didn't... didn't want to be th... thrown off the roof!"

His laugh was rather infectious, and he sounded sincerely amused instead of just laughing to keep up his reputation as an insensitive idiot. Sheena found it difficult to avoid smiling, just a bit. "Yeah, you laugh at me." She verbally poked at him. Then as he began to get a handle on the cackling, and wipe the tears of mirth from his eyes, she added, "Jerk."

That got him started all over again, and Sheena found herself laughing along with him. If only he could be like this all the time, she thought, and show everyone that there was a real person behind the Chosen title. If only...

After their laughter subsided they watched the stars for a bit, wrapped up in their own thoughts, until Zelos broke the silence. "We should probably head back to our rooms, get some sleep before tomorrow."

Sheena nodded, and the two of them stood up and made their way back to the edge of the roof. Climbing back into the tree, Zelos helped her past the spot that had literally been his downfall the first time he attempted a descent. Once they were safely on the ground, they crept back into the inn and up to her room where Colette was still sleeping peacefully.

"'Night, Zelos." Sheena said softly, as to not wake the other girl.

Zelos leaned forward and gently kissed her on the cheek, before she could pull away. "Goodnight."

Sheena smiled slightly, and stepped into her room, closing the door behind her. One had reached up to touch the cheek that had been brushed by his lips, and her smile grew just a bit.

She walked over to where her pack lay beside her bed, and carefully rummaged around until she found a small book. A light novel to read on the journey, but of no real significance. She pulled the oak leaf out from where she had tucked it in her robes, and placed it between the last page of the novel and the back cover before shoving the book back in her bag.

She wasn't entirely sure why she had thought of stashing away the leaf in the first place. She didn't really need a leaf... But it would make a nice bookmark.

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A/N: My original plotline ended up with Sheena actually trying to drag Zelos off the roof. Good for a laugh, yes, but the horribly lewd comments from him afterwards completely skewed the mood of the piece. And skewed the ratings along with it. If I can finish it without completely butchering the relationship, I might post that sometime.