One shot set after the game ("Bliss" timeline) featuring Noishe, Lloyd, Colette, Hope and Miles. Set when Miles is fairly young. Fluffy with a bit of Noishe contemplative thoughts.

SPOILER WARNING: Contains spoilers for right up until the end of the game.

Thank you to the people who inspired this. A part of Kasan Soulblade's fic "Alien Dreams" (story four in "Archive: Before the Angels came") inspired some of Noishe's thoughts. I hope Kasan doesn't mind me borrowing the idea.

Dedication: thank you to Sasami, Presea and Skuld for being such lovely pets.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia. As far as I'm aware Namco own it.

Noishe sighed and rolled his eyes good-naturedly as Miles began to snore gently. It was crowded in Lloyd and Colettes' bed but somehow the couple along with their children and the arshis had all managed to fit into it. Hope's pet mice had had to stay in their cage but even that had been placed on a bedside table.

Outside the thunderstorm that had woken the children up continued to crash loudly. He'd known that there would be a storm tonight, had felt it approach, but he had still jumped a little when the loud crashes had reached his sensitive ears and woken him up.

At first only one other member of the household had been woken by the storm. He'd heard one of the adults sit up then get out of bed and move to the window, opening the curtains to watch the storm for a few minutes then return to bed. He knew that would have been Colette, Lloyd usually continued to sleep like a log through thunderstorms. The arshis had remained where he had been curled up at the end of Mile's bed, knowing that Colette wouldn't need reassurance about the weather that she found fascinating rather than scary.

A short while later he had heard Miles wake up and had crawled his way up to the top of the bed, allowing the young boy to hug him tightly. He'd chosen to settle in Mile's room for the night as he had thought the boy, who seemed to dislike thunderstorms, might appreciate his presence if he woke up to the bad weather. It had seemed that he had been right.

When the storm had come closer Miles had begun to whimper. Noishe had gently picked up the boy's favourite blanket in his teeth and had padded to Hope's room, Miles clutching a clump of his fur tightly in one hand, the paw of his teddy bear grasped in his other.

The storm had also woken Hope who had been sitting by her window when Noishe had entered the room.

"Loud storm tonight isn't it?" she had remarked. Her brother had nodded and she had recognised the unease he had felt that he had been trying, unsuccessfully, to keep from his face.

"Bit scary isn't it?" Hope had said in reply to her brother's nod. Noishe knew that the girl didn't find them scary herself and had said that to make her brother feel better about feeling disturbed by the weather.

"I don't think they like it either," she had nodded in the direction of the mouse cage where the two small rodents had been contentedly going about their business, seemingly unaffected by the storm. "Lets all go to mum and dads' room for the night shall we?"

After saying that she had picked up the mouse cage and had walked down the hall to her parents' room, Miles and Noishe following her.

The couple hadn't been annoyed at being woken up, Lloyd, in fact, had barely seemed to have woken up properly at all before falling back asleep it had seemed. Being snuggled up with his family had reassured Miles and he had soon fallen asleep along with the rest of the room's occupants except for the two mice and the arshis.

Noishe sighed and shifted slightly to move out of the way of someone's foot that was beginning to dig uncomfortably into his side. Although it was crowded he liked being curled up with the others like this. It was nice, once in a while, for the pack to all nestle up together for the night. Something about it felt right to him, as though it was something he'd do if he was a member of a pack of his own kind. He was not though, although he was proud of the pack that he was a member of.

Lloyd had, automatically, become a member of his pack when he'd been born as Noishe had been very loyal to Anna and Kratos. Later, when Colette had become friends with Lloyd, Noishe had been happy to accept her also. She had treated him with respect, regularly brought him treats such as dog biscuits and always made a fuss of him.

He was happy to include their children in his pack too. Hope was a friendly child who loved to play silly games with him, knew all his favourite spots to be scritched and spoilt him almost as much as her mother did. Miles, too, was happy to join in with games and he enjoyed going for rides on Noishe's back. The expression the boy pulled when he sat on top of the arshis' back, amazed at seeing the world from up so high compared to his normal height along with sheer elation at travelling at such fast speeds when Noishe ran always amused the dog-like creature.

He had, however, been a little surprised at first when the couple had decided to start a family. Neither of them had really aged since the journey of regeneration had ended and, being angels, it was unlikely that they would. It was possible that their lifespans could be very long due to the transformation, longer than any offspring they might have unless those children, too, underwent the transformation into angels. That was something, Noishe thought, that their parents wouldn't want them to do as they knew the extreme pain and discomfort it caused.

That had been something they had discussed together when they had talked about having children. Noishe got the impression, however, that they were not planning to live for an abnormally long period of time. Although they loved life and were extremely happy and content they did not strike him as the sort of people who would want to live forever.

They were aware, he thought, that living for a long time would likely change their outlooks and attitudes towards life and they wouldn't want to become cynical and depressed. When they felt that they'd had their time then, well...

He didn't like to think about that. His life would be extremely, unimaginably long and it would hurt to lose such close companions. He understood that death was a natural thing, an unavoidable thing, but it seemed so unfair that some of his companions lived, what seemed to him, to be such short lives. But then life wasn't fair, that was something he was very aware of, having lived to see more death and destruction than he liked to even think about.

It was, he thought, nice to have such close friends though, even if it did hurt when they passed away. He knew that, long after they had gone, he would treasure his memories of the couple he was curled up by. Those memories, he thought, would be the ones that stood out rather than ones that faded away into the dim parts of his memory that contained vague impressions that he couldn't really recall properly.

There was also the fact, of course, that their children would still be around, perhaps they'd even have children of their own themselves some day. As long as the family continued to exist he'd consider them a part of his pack.

He wriggled around a little and smiled as Miles giggled as his fur brushed against the boy's foot. He grinned his own particular grin as Lloyd grumbled in his sleep as the dog-like creature's tail thudded gently against him as it wagged slowly from side to side contentedly.

Trying not to snigger too loudly Noishe moved again so that he could reach Lloyd's hair then he began to groom it very gently. They were a good pack overall but there were some things that they just weren't as good as arshis at, grooming for instance. It was a good thing he was around to help them with that. Now if only he could get them to appreciate that the styles he put their hair in really were so much better than the ones they usually put their hair in themselves.