Full title: "When Raine tried to cook pancakes and other things we try to forget".

Post game one shot featuring Genis, Presea, Lloyd, Colette and Sheena.

Dedication: for my "Lloyd", who suggested the title for this and thus gave me the plot tribble for this story.

Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Symphonia.


The night was quiet and peaceful as Genis sat around the campfire with his friends, enjoying the warmth and light of the fire. He'd been taking a short holiday with Presea when, by chance, they'd met up with Colette, Lloyd and Sheena who were travelling together for a while. On a nostalgic whim Colette had suggested camping out for the night rather than staying in an inn and the others had agreed.

"This reminds me of the evenings when we used to camp out in our back gardens in Iselia" Genis thought out loud.

"Ah playing card games, toasting marshmallows. Mmm, I wouldn't mind a few of those right now actually," Lloyd said.

"Typical Lloyd, thinking of food again," Genis teased, shaking his head as Colette fished a packet of marshmallows out of her bag. The fact that she often seemed to be able to pull whatever someone in the group wanted out of her bag, as though it was magic, never ceased to amuse Genis.

"Did you used to tell ghost stories around the campfire?" Sheena asked as Colette skewered a marshmallow on a stick and began to toast it.

"Nope, we didn't want to give Colette nightmares," Genis said, laughing with Lloyd as the blonde frowned, gave a 'hey' of protest then stuck her tongue out in a childish gesture and began laughing with them.

"Oh, remember the evil cricket monster of noisy jumping doom?" Lloyd asked, causing the three of them to laugh some more and puzzled looks to appear on Sheena and Preseas' faces.

"Long story, I'll explain another time," Colette said, noticing their confused expressions. Then she took the marshmallow away from the fire and offered it to Lloyd who accepted it happily.

"I've got a horror story we'll all remember, the one and only time Raine tried to cook pancakes over the campfire," Lloyd chuckled, causing the others to emit a mixture of laughs and groans.

"First of all who in their right mind puts spicy caramelised locusts in a pancake, or anything else for that matter, and secondly do you remember what happened when she tried to flip them?" Lloyd continued.

"At least they ended up in the fire and not in our stomachs, I hate to think what would have happened if we'd tried to eat those, no offence Genis," Sheena said.

"None taken, I wouldn't have wanted to eat those pancakes either," the mage shook his head, smiling at the memory.

"Speaking of food horror stories, do you remember that time when Zelos was cooking curry, he walked away to find another ingredient or something and the pot went KABOOM?" Colette asked.

"Don't remind me, even though I washed them loads of times my clothes smelt like curry for weeks!" Sheena groaned.

"Thinking about bad smells, the time when Noishe somehow managed to snatch several portions of chilli, now that was a bad smell!" Lloyd laughed.

Noishe whined as the group erupted into laughter again. Colette leant over to pat his head consolingly, cooing softly at him to reassure him that it was OK, he was still a valued member of the group even though he'd made that awful stink. Then she looked up and noticed that, even though Presea hadn't said much, she was smiling and had been laughing with the others. It was nice to see the pink haired girl becoming more herself again she thought.

"It's not just food we have horror stories about from that journey though, what about the time when that sudden gust of wind blew all that washing we'd put up in the tree branches to dry down all over the campsite," Genis laughed.

"Remember Noishe running around trying to get one of Sheena's bras off of his face? The straps all tangled up over his ears?" Colette giggled.

"At least he was polite enough to try to get it off and give it back. I think Zelos was a little too pleased that some of my washing landed near him if you ask me," Sheena said, the smile on her face showing that she wasn't really that cross about the incident.

"I think you got your revenge for that when you hid all of his clothes and he had to borrow some of Regal's, they really didn't suit him," Presea chipped in.

"That was great," Lloyd laughed. "So much funnier than if you'd just asked Efreet to burn a hole in his clothes or something."

"Less sewing repairs for me to do too," Colette nodded happily.

"Remember all of those nights when you'd sit sewing buttons back on to Lloyd's shirt? I'm not sure which took more time, Lloyd buttoning and unbuttoning that shirt or you fixing it," Sheena chuckled.

"Talking about mending clothes, how about the time when that monster ripped the back of Lloyd's trousers? I bet you enjoyed the view that day Colette," Genis laughed, causing both of his friends to blush. Lloyd made a gesture to indicate that he was threatening to give Genis a noogie but that didn't quell the mage's laughter.

"The pattern on your underwear that day too, blue with pink polka dots, that was priceless," Genis snorted as he remembered that.

Lloyd leapt up from his spot by the fire and grabbed his friend, messing up his hair as he gave him a gentle but exaggerated noogie.

"Not so funny now is it?" Lloyd said triumphantly.

"Yes, yes it still is," Genis chortled.

"Right then, that's it, you've left me no choice," Lloyd said, pinning his friend to the ground and tickling him.

"Noishe, he's still laughing, come over here and help me," the swordsman called across to the dog-like creature when Genis, unsurprisingly, didn't stop laughing.

Noishe, obligingly, meandered around to the side of the campfire where the two friends were and, very slowly and deliberately, licked Genis' cheek, getting as much slobber on it as possible. Genis made a disgusted noise while still giggling which caused the others to start laughing again.

As she stood up to move over to Noishe, planning to distract him with a biscuit because she didn't want to see Genis get his face completely covered in Noishe slobber, Colette found herself thinking that she was glad that she had suggested camping out for the evening with her friends, it was so nice to hear them all laugh.