One-shot bit of fluff set a fairly long time after the game ends. Plotless, pointless fluffy stuff. Apologies for the fact that I'm putting it online at the wrong time of year, I've had the plot bunny for this fic for ages but it took me a while to write a version of it that I'm happy with. ("Bliss" timeline one-shot).

Spoiler warning: spoilers about Kratos' past.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia, Namco own it I believe. I don't own the television programme that the characters all watch either.


Despite the fact that he'd lived an awfully long time there were still some things that puzzled Kratos. Right now he was contemplating why it was that, no matter how much technology improved, the box that it came in seemed to provide more entertainment on winter festival afternoons.

He wasn't that surprised by the younger children deciding to play with one of the larger boxes that had been sitting around in the living room. The older two picking out a box and drawing on it didn't seem that unusual either. It was when Lloyd started to wrestle a box away from Noishe that he'd raised an eyebrow. His expression had become even more surprised and puzzled when Sheena claimed a box for herself.

The summoner, along with his son and Colette, was playing some sort of hide-and-seek game using the boxes as cover. The sight of boxes slowly shuffling around the living room, pausing when another box turned to look in its direction, was both slightly strange and rather amusing. He assumed there must be some goal involved so that someone would win the game but as far as he could see at that moment the game simply involved shuffling around the living room trying to look like the boxes that didn't have people hidden inside of them.

He looked around the room in which piles of presents were strewn across the floor. A fairly large number of toys and games were mixed in with other items that had been unwrapped that afternoon. The only one that had been opened had been a fairly childish board game which involved setting up an interesting construction of plastic pieces. For some reason that was keeping Raine very amused.

The ending theme of a special episode of some programme or another started playing on the television and the announcer started talking about the programme that would be on next. Kratos laughed as a large number of the room's occupants made excited squeak-like noises and, suddenly, boxes and other forms of amusement were abandoned as everyone found a spot by the television.

He moved so that he could see the television better and smiled as the room remained in complete silence as an advert for another programme started. The people in the living room weren't deeply interested in the advert, they were all waiting attentively for the second when the room would suddenly become noisy as everyone in it hummed and clapped along with the theme tune.

The advert finished. The announcer informed everyone that the programme was about to start. And then it began, excited and enthusiastic cheering, clapping and singing filled the room as the theme tune played. He shook his head as he caught himself humming along to the tune, it was rather catchy.

The theme tune ended and all noise ceased. It amused him that one programme could firmly grab the attention of everyone in the room. People with different tastes all united watching a rather cheesy and naff programme.

Everyone remained quiet until Lloyd and Colette both yelled out "TEA!" to finish a character's sentence, laughing after they had done so. They received noises that could only be described as snort-giggles in reply.

The appearance of the villain was greeted by much hissing and booing and someone found a piece of wrapping paper, rolled it up then threw it at the screen playfully.

"What is this, a pantomime?" Kratos asked, receiving several mock-glares.

Attentive silence remained until it was revealed that tea was, indeed, what the character had been going to say earlier. This caused much amusement as the couple who had shouted it out had only done so as a flippant joke based on the usual Iselian response to situations like that.

Eventually the programme ended and the room's occupants went back to what they had been doing before it started. Kratos tried, and failed, to work out the rules of the hide-and-seek-with-cardboard-boxes game then turned his attention to his youngest grandchild who was asking for a story.

He began to tell one and soon the other children in the room had stopped what they were doing to move to sit beside his chair and listen.

About ten minutes into telling the story he allowed a soft smile to appear on his face as he noticed that all of the adults in the room had also paused to listen to him. He had to suppress a chuckle when he noticed that Lloyd would have to wrestle Noishe again for the cardboard box he had been playing with earlier, once the swordsman had stopped paying attention to it the arshis had put a couple of pillows into it and had curled up inside it, his tail wagging happily.

He felt honoured that he had as attentive an audience as the television programme had received. He smiled, it was nice that even with new forms of entertainment such as the television and some of the toys in the room older forms of entertainment such as being told stories still seemed to be appreciated.

And, he thought with a warm smile, it was better than nice that despite all that he had done in the past he was accepted as an important part of the large, caring, close family settled comfortably around the room.