Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I'm just a bit of an obsessed fan who likes to write about it. :)
Zelos paused in the kitchen doorway, greeted by an unusual sight. When he'd decided to meander into the inn's kitchen to investigate the possibility of a late night snack he hadn't expected to be greeted by the sight of two of the female members of the party doing what appeared to be a traditional style Mizuho dance.
He assumed that Sheena must have taught the dance to Colette at some point during their quest. He smiled as he watched them move, eyes closed in concentration, to the tune they were humming. Their dressing gowns were no-where near as elegant as the traditional garments that would probably be worn by dancers performing the dance professionally but somehow suited the setting well.
At first he was a little surprised by the sight and then the thought occurred to him that, while on the journey to reunite the two worlds, the group had encountered lots of scenes that were odder than this. He wondered why they'd chosen this particular location to start dancing in then spotted the kettle sitting on the stove. It was something to do while they waited for it to boil.
He heard Lloyd's voice behind him, protesting about the fact that he was blocking the doorway. He turned round, gestured to indicate that the younger swordsman should be quiet, then moved slightly so that Lloyd could look into the kitchen as well.
Suddenly the kettle whistled, breaking the two females out of their trance-like state. Zelos smiled and clapped. Sheena, realising that he'd been watching them, dashed after him, intending to reprimand him for doing so. Colette and Lloyd stayed still for a moment, light blushes on both of their faces. Then the blonde moved to the stove and, with a simple, familiar gesture that had been repeated between them so many times it didn't need words, offered Lloyd a mug of hot chocolate. The swordsman nodded, smiled and sat down at the table in the kitchen, happily accepting the mug that the little angel passed him as she, too, sat down a short time later. The warm smile stayed on his lips as he watched her delicately sip at her own mug, the thought occurring to him that, in his opinion, she was just as beautiful to watch while she was doing everyday things as she was when dancing.
It was funny, Sheena thought, how something as simple as the taste of a familiar food could bring back thoughts and memories of home. Colette seemed to have a knack for picking up on when the summoner was feeling homesick and cooking Mizuho style dishes as best as she could for dinner to cheer the older girl up.
Tonight Raine was trying to claim a cooking pot and the campfire, insisting that she should have a turn to cook. Colette had thought this was the perfect excuse to cook a Mizuho dish for Sheena and had quietly set up another small campfire which she had cooked over while the others paid their attention to trying to stop Raine from cooking. Now the two young women and Lloyd were settled away from the action, watching it amusedly while eating dinner.
It was only a simple recipe, a type of noodle dish, hardly a fancy, special meal, but, Sheena noticed, the young couple sitting beside her seemed to think it was rather fantastic. She smiled, those two were often easy to please. When given the chance to cook them the pair seemed to enjoy small pieces of fish covered in breadcrumbs, sometimes in a sandwich, sometimes served with potato. That particular food item seemed almost childish in its simplicity, certainly not the sort of thing Colette's grandmother would have encouraged the small Chosen to have eaten, yet she loved them. Whenever she cooked them Lloyd couldn't seem to get enough of them either, although he'd always insist that she kept the tomato sauce, something she seemed to like adding to sandwiches containing the bread-crumbed fish, well away from him.
"Hey, Colette?" the summoner said, trying to catch the little angel's attention.
"Mmm?" Colette replied.
"What's your favourite food?" Sheena asked. Colette thought for a moment then listed a few items, mainly simple things, and Lloyd joined the conversation by adding a few of his favourite dishes to the list. Sheena was unsurprised when the sandwiches containing the breadcrumb covered fish pieces came up. It was amusing though, they'd travelled all over two worlds, had the chances to sample many exotic, fancy dishes, and what did they like best? One of the simplest dishes they knew how to cook.
Lloyd smiled and thought that whoever had said that laughter was infectious was absolutely right. He'd been walking along the hallway in the inn, heading towards his room, when he'd heard familiar laughter coming from behind one of the doorways. He'd recognise Colette's laugh anywhere. The particular giggle she was emitting now, along with Sheena's laugh, meant that she had probably been amused by something girlie, or perhaps even a little cheeky, but knowing Colette whatever it was that had made her laugh hadn't been overly so.
He began to walk again, not wanting to intrude or eavesdrop, simply happy to have heard Colette's laugh.
"You know something?" Sheena said quietly.
"I don't know a lot, no," Colette replied sleepily, giggling.
"You have very nice hair, I'm jealous," the summoner said, ignoring the angel's comment. She received the noise that Colette made when she didn't think what someone was saying was right in reply.
"Don't make that noise, you do," Sheena smiled, reaching around to poke Colette's nose before returning to brushing the blonde's hair. "It's all soft, how'd you get it like that?"
"I have a wonderful oneechan who brushes it very nicely for me," the younger girl giggled.
"Flattery will get you, hmmm, five more minutes brushing," Sheena laughed. Colette purred, clearly enjoying having her hair brushed.
It was, Sheena thought, rather fitting that Colette should have such soft, beautiful hair considering that she was an angel. It somehow fitted the image, even if her wings weren't like the large, feathered ones that came to mind when people thought of angels. Her wings suited her though, they were delicate like she was. The feathers that she could make fall from them were soft too. Corrine had once had hours of fun playing with the feathers that Colette had shed one by one from her wings for him during an evening spent relaxing around the campfire. She had even let him knock some loose right from her wings themselves. That was, the summoner thought, an example of how trusting Colette was, letting the little summon spirit who answered to the young woman who had once been trying to assassinate her leap up at her wings and bat feathers from them.
It made Sheena feel very touched that Colette trusted her so deeply. She could not imagine trying to harm the young woman and, indeed, would fight against anyone who tried to do so. It was nice that she had been forgiven for the mission she had been assigned in the past and accepted by the little angel who could well have remained suspicious and distant from the summoner after learning what she had been trying to do.
Sheena put the hairbrush down and wrapped her arms around the younger girl, unable to find words to express how deep her gratitude was but knowing that Colette would understand and appreciate a hug. She smiled softly when the little angel returned the gesture.
There were a lot of smells that Colette liked. The smell of flowers in spring time, the smell of a nice warm pot of soup or stew cooking in winter and the smell of a new book with crisp, untouched pages for example. Her favourite smell, however, was Lloyd. She wasn't sure quite how to describe it. Some of the scents that it consisted of she could identify, he often had the gentle, comforting smell she associated with warm, bright campfires about him for example. There were some elements that were uniquely his, however, that she couldn't name. The ones that she could distinguish as particular scents blended so well with ones that she couldn't, making a concoction that was unique that she loved. It was a comforting smell, a reassuring smell, a cozy smell. She treasured it because it was his.