During-game one-shot featuring Genis, Lloyd and Colette. Genis' thoughts when the group is settled around a campfire fairly late in the game. A bit angsty but with a fluffy ending.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia, Namco own it I believe.


Genis frowned slightly as he looked over at the familiar sight of Lloyd and Colette curled up together beside the campfire. Those two could usually be found snuggled together in the evenings so it wasn't something he hadn't expected to see but tonight seeing them together caused him to put down his book and ponder over when and how they'd become so close.

When they were younger they had hugged each other but now he could see something more than just friendship in the gesture. The way Lloyd was holding Colette was protective, not just in the way that he'd been in the past when he'd done his best to look out for her and look after her, there was something deeper there now too.

They were very much a couple, that was obvious even to anyone who watched them together for a few minutes. The way in which their relationship had changed had been so gradual and had seemed so natural, however, that he had to admit that he'd not really noticed it that much until he actually thought about it.

How had they moved from just being friends to, well, he didn't know exactly what stage their relationship was at at the moment but it was obvious it was now deeper than it once had been, he'd seen them kiss, had noticed the way that they looked at each other, he wasn't sure.

They seemed so much more adult-like now, something that he noticed when he saw their eyes. Yes, they would still play games like a couple of children, tumbling around, tickling one other and enjoying simple childish activities such as making chains of flowers when they found enough to collect together to do so. They were, however, capable of being so grown up at other times that it surprised him. There was something in their eyes that hadn't been there before the journey, knowledge, wisdom, pain, that they had gained while travelling and battling. Some things in Iselia had been tough but none of them had imagined anything even close to the some of the horrors they'd seen on the journey. There had been positive things too though, they had learnt and experienced lots of good things as well.

Colette yawned, nuzzled Lloyd's chest and then opened her eyes and looked up into his as he looked down at her. She entwined her fingers more tightly around his and the look in their eyes was so deep and full of emotion that Genis found himself feeling as though he was watching an intensely private and special moment. He looked away, letting his gaze move around the campfire. He studied each member of the group. Tired, no, exhausted people, scarred people, people who knew the pain of battle, who understood things that it was only possible to understand by experiencing the things they'd been through. The campsite was peaceful but the atmosphere around it was weary, everyone was exhausted. Suddenly he missed the quiet, tranquil nights he'd spent with his friends back in Iselia. Admittedly they'd not all been peaceful, Lloyd could become quite loud when excited about a game of cards, but they'd been pleasant, they had not known then what it felt like to be in a life-or-death battle.

He looked over to his two friends. Lloyd was stroking Colette's hair as she purred contentedly. Noticing that she was being watched the blonde looked over to Genis and tipped her head to one side, studying the expression on his face. Smiling softly she patted her lap and held her arms out in an inviting gesture. The little mage shuffled shyly over to her and she pulled him into a warm, friendly embrace. He wrapped his arms around her as Lloyd moved the blanket so it was wrapped snugly around all of them and relaxed. The feeling of his friends' warm bodies beside him, the sound of their breathing and their own unique smells were comforting, familiar from so many nights spent together before they left the small village in which they'd grown up. It wasn't quite the same of course, it couldn't be after what they'd been through, they'd each changed a bit, but it was still soothing none the less. After the day they'd had the familiar comfort was very welcome and he was grateful that, although his friends had grown up a bit, had changed a little, since starting this journey, they still had time for him.