A/N: A smaller skit just to show that I can write fics that hint of romance without one of the main characters getting all upset over something, hehe ;p
Lloyd approached the edge of the dusty mountain path he and the others were walking along, and looked wearily down at the lush, rolling countryside far below.
"I can see the Rheairds," he said, sounding exhausted, but also relieved by the fact. "We've made it at last!"
He was joined at the edge by Raine, who merely shook her head in exasperation at the young man's words. "I should point out that we would have made it back a long time ago if you hadn't lost the map," she scolded. "It is now late afternoon. I mean, honestly Lloyd…"
Lloyd hung his head at the tone of disapproval in his companion's voice. "It wasn't my fault…" he began, but his sulky protests were cut short by Genis, who had arrived to glance hesitantly over the cliff edge.
"It kinda was your fault Lloyd," he reasoned, and cast an admiring glance back up the path they had been travelling down. "I mean, if it wasn't for Presea then we might not ever have found the way back."
At the mention of Presea's name, Colette looked back past the others at the small girl, who was walking slowly at the back of the group with a strange frown on her face. The young Chosen slowed her pace to drop back beside her friend, wondering if something was on her mind.
"It was really great how you managed to get us back on track," she said warmly; flashing an appreciative smile while reinstating Genis's earlier words.
Presea's frown faded a little at the compliment, and was replaced by the rosy beginnings of a slight blush. Colette smiled at the small girl's expression, noticing that she kept her eyes fixed firmly on the floor, as if embarrassed.
"Ah…Misguided comment," she objected softly, her hands fiddling with the shaft of the axe strapped across her back. "I…did not do much."
"You did too!" Colette protested, genuinely awe-struck by her friend's skills and modesty. "Using the path of the sun like a compass to find the path back – it was so cool!"
Presea squinted in the bright afternoon light as she looked up. "Cool? I…is it not just simply utilising learnt knowledge?" The small girl looked confused for a second before casting a glance around the dusty path. "Like those flowers…" she said, nodding towards a small cluster of white flowers near to where the ground fell away. "Minerva Pearls. They only grow on thin ground where their roots can pierce through to the other side. Their presence thus indicates that the ground is unsuitable for something of our weight, so we should not get too close to the edge."
Colette squeaked with delight as she looked across at the flowers – stunned again by her friend's vast knowledge. "Wow, that's so clever! You're really amazing Presea!"
The small girl blushed again, and looked down at her feet. "Ah, thank you for the compliment," she mumbled hastily. A few seconds passed before she glanced back up at Colette, and her eyes shimmered in the light as she fixed them on the young Chosen. "Colette…I have been meaning to ask you something. You…compliment me often…why is that?"
Colette flushed at the comment, and looked away at the horizon; surprised to find herself suddenly feeling shy. "Heh…I do?" She hadn't noticed it before, but thinking about it she realised that Presea was right. Colette did frequently compliment her – a lot more than the others at any rate.
"Affirmative." Presea stiffened, and Colette looked back to find an alarmed expression on her friend's face. "Oh…I-I did not mean to sound ungrateful," she mumbled. "It is just…you have a different way of complimenting me than other people, and you do so over…unusual things."
Colette thought about her friend's words, but before she could reply to the question Presea tentatively reached out to take her hand, and the young Chosen had to fight to prevent a pleasant shudder from rippling out across her body.
"It is…nice though," the small girl added, and gazed up at Colette with a wonderfully warm smile on her face.
Colette swallowed, feeling a strange eruption of butterflies in her stomach as she closed her hand around Presea's. She had found the smile truly adorable and decided to herself that she would praise her friend as much as possible just to keep on seeing it.
"Hehe, well, then I guess I'll just have to compliment you more," she laughed in reply, before pulling Presea into a gentle run down the path. "Come on," she added happily to the giggling girl, "You have to show me more cool things first though!"