Disclaimer: I do not own the Tales series.

"Hey, 'Bastian! Tell me a story!"

"Why of course, Young Master. Once upon a time…"

A soft breeze entered the room from the opened window, the red silk curtains wavering in the gale's stead. An elderly man who had been dutifully going about his daily chores carefully straightened the curtains out and untangled the golden tassel trimming. After a quick inspection of his handiwork, the man picked up a nearby feather duster and returned to dusting—despite the lack of dust throughout the mansion. This was his work though, and he went about it with the utmost pride; anything to make his Young Master happy.

Ding Dooong.

The man straightened his back at the sound of the doorbell and swiftly put away the feather duster. After readjusting his suit and neatly placing the white cloth along his arm, the butler hurried to the door in a graceful, dignified manner only achieved with age. A pristine white gloved hand grasped the handle and pulled the door open in one fluid motion. Before him stood a brown haired, red clothed teen with wide auburn eyes.

"Sir Bud, welcome. How may I serve you?"

The teen's brow furrowed and his lips puckered the slightest bit in indignation, "My name's not Bud—Agh, forget it," the boy scratched his head, "Is Zelos in?"

Sebastian nodded, "Yes. I'll retrieve the Young Master. Please come inside and make yourself comfortable." He stepped aside and gestured to the room behind him in a sweeping bow.

"Er… thanks." The traveling swordsman awkwardly entered the house and tried to amuse himself by examining the immaculate furnishings.

Within moments Sebastian located Zelos lounging on the pink cushioned window seat in the library. "Master Zelos, Sir Bud wishes to see you, he is currently in the sitting room."

Smiling, sky blue eyes turned to Sebastian, "Alright!" Zelos flashed his charismatic grin as he jumped to his feet, "Took him long enough! If he was any slower we would've missed sunbathing hour!" With an almost childlike enthusiasm, Zelos speed down the halls and to the sitting room.

"Oh, hey Zelos!" Lloyd greeted with a mirroring fervor, "Sorry I was so late! I kind of took a little detour and uh…"

"—got lost."

Lloyd scratched the back of his head and laughed, "Well, I suppose you could say that… Anyway, you ready?"

"Whenever you are, Bud!"

"Off we go then!" Lloyd pumped his arm in the air and the two took off towards the door, haphazardly waving goodbye to the aged man standing in front of the stairs.

Said man approached the window with a soft smile on his face as he watched the two males run through the streets like children; shouting with joy and racing one another. Sebastian allowed himself to linger at the window and engrain into his memory the genuine expression of happiness on his Young Master's face before returning to his duties.

Growing up, Zelos had no friends. The young boy was set to a strict schedule of schooling, and whenever he got near another child, they treated him as a superior being rather than a playmate. Then after his mother's death, Zelos suddenly became happy-go-lucky. Sebastian could see through the Chosen's pseudo-happiness though, and worried for the boy. Following the incident, Sebastian became very close to Zelos; he took care of him, he comforted him, he went to lengths to make him smile—he raised him. Through all of this, Sebastian had but one wish: to see Zelos truly happy. However, as Zelos grew older he became worse.

The change in the Chosen began not long after the ragtag bunch from Sylvarant arrived in Tethe'alla, most notably the Wandering Swordsman, Lloyd. It seemed as if the presence of the authentically happy person had an impact on Zelos, the teen's determination and morals rubbing off on him. After the two worlds were reunited and Zelos returned home, Sebastian knew that the boy had finally found his way. After all, he finally had a friend—a friend who believed in him as a person, and not an object.

Sebastian bent over and straightened the rug that the boys had kicked about when making their abrupt departure. Once he was satisfied with his work, Sebastian stood and glanced once more out the window.

"Thank you, Lloyd, for taking care of Zelos, my dear boy."