This fanfiction is brought to you by...Fluff: It serves for no practical purpose, but it's COMFY!
Luithia: I swear, my titles are getting lamer and lamer...But enough about my complaints! First Colloyd fanfiction. Yay! Let's hope I didn't screw it up!
Presea: That's a rather pessimistic viewpoint.
Luithia: Look who's talking...Anyway, disclaimer please!
Presea: Luithia Clen does not own Tales of Symphonia or any related concepts.
Luithia: If I did, somehow, someway, you'd be able to have NINE people in the party at once.
By the way, Normal text is present time, Italics is a flashback.
Lloyd collapsed on the ground, then stretched and turned over so he was lying face up. The grass, cooled by the evening air, felt great on his aching neck. He sighed contentedly.
"Oh, come on, Lloyd! We haven't even started a fire yet!"
"I believe it's your turn to make the fire, Zelos," came the Professor's authoritative voice.
"Who decided that?"
"And Sheena's in charge of cooking tonight."
"Looks like we're working together, Hunny! 3"
"Hold on, why are we paired up?!" Sheena's objection sounded across the hilltop. Lloyd chuckled softly to himself as he listened to his friends bicker. He then heard the sound of approaching footsteps and a body resting itself on the grass next to him. He turned his head to see Colette sitting beside him, her legs tucked up to her chest.
"Hey, Colette," he greeted, grinning at her.
She smiled back. It was a wonderful sight. She had only recently gotten her senses back after what had happened at the Tower of Salvation, and Lloyd couldn't help but remember how she'd been before. Cold, silent, and lifeless.
"You seem to be in a good mood," she said, resting her head on her knees.
"I guess so," he sighed, "things just seem to be going better for us lately."
"Yep," she responded cheerfully.
"Hey," Sheena called across the campsite, "Could someone go fetch some water?"
"Oh!" exclaimed Colette, literally jumping up from her seat, "Lloyd and I can get it!"
"Huh?" Lloyd sat up and stared at her questioningly as she grabbed the pot they were going to use. He waited until they were both down by a nearby stream before bringing it up.
"Um…Colette?" he began, rubbing the back of his neck. She was still filling up the pot when she looked up.
"Hm? Oh, right, sorry," she apologized with a smile, as she always seemed to, "It's just that we haven't had a chance to talk in a while. Privately, I mean."
Lloyd thought about it for a moment. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Everything's been pretty hectic ever since we came to Tethe'alla."
Colette nodded and sat down by the bank, tucking her dress neatly around her legs. She motioned for Lloyd to join her.
For a while, the both of them just stared at the stream, saying nothing. It gurgled softly as it ran across the millions of multicolored small pebbles lining it. The silver reflection of the waxing moon, high in the sky, danced upon the water's surface.
"It's so pretty."
"Hm?" Lloyd looked at her.
"The flourishing world," she explained, still staring at the stream, "It's so different from Sylvarant. Even the air seems clearer." The young angel had a sad, distant look in her eye. "You think I'd be used to it after all the strange places we've been to."
"So…you're starting to feel homesick."
"Yeah, I guess so." She looked at him with a shy smile. "What about you?"
"A little," replied Lloyd, rubbing his boot on the rough gravel, "I've been wanting to see Dad lately." He looked back up at her, grinning. "Don't worry, we'll find a way back soon. I promise."
"You don't have to promise about something like that!" replied Colette with a giggle. The two of them soon fell into a comfortable silence.
"Hey, Dad!" a young Lloyd shouted, his voice ringing through their small, two-roomed cottage (honestly, does anyone know where Dirk sleeps?), "Colette and Genis are coming over! Is that okay?"
"Sure, sure," replied the dwarf, currently working on one of his custom orders, "When'll they be here?"
"Uhm," the boy began, leaning on the railing of the stairs, "Pro'lly in a few minutes."
"Hah! And what were ya goin' ta do if I'd said no?"
"…Ask you until you said yes," he said confidently. Dirk laughed loudly, then paused.
"Wait, who was Genis, again?"
"Da~d," moaned Lloyd, "Remember? The new kid. He just moved here a few months ago."
"Ah, yes. The elf, right? Fine, but give me a warnin' the next time ya set up visits, alright?"
"'Kay!," said Lloyd, grinning as he ran back upstairs. Not ten seconds later, the patter of footsteps could be heard outside, followed by a light knock at the door.
"Come in!" said the dwarf. The front door creaked open to reveal a familiar-looking blonde girl who then stepped inside.
"Hi, Dirk," said Colette politely.
"Hallo, Colette," he returned the greeting, then glanced down at the small boy peeking out from behind her.
"And this here must be Genis." The boy started at his name, but walked stiffly forward into the room.
"H-hello," he mumbled, suddenly finding the wooden floorboards near his feet to be very interesting. Dirk walked over and bent to meet him eye-to-eye. He gave him a wide, warm smile, mostly covered up by his beard.
"Hallo, yerself. It's a pleasure ta meet ya."
"S-same here," replied Genis, this time offering a shy smile.
"Um, Dirk?" Colette interrupted hesitantly.
"Oh, right. Lloyd's upstairs in his room."
"Thanks!" chirped Colette, "Come on, Genis." She took his arm and led him up the staircase to their friend's room. Lloyd was, at the moment, digging though a trunk he had pulled out from under his bed.
"Oh! Are we playing that today?" exclaimed Colette, dashing over.
"Yep! It'll work even better now that we have a wizard", said Lloyd cheerfully.
"What do you mean? What are we playing?" asked Genis, feeling a little out of the loop.
"Heroes of Legend!" announced Colette, eager to explain, "See, the country is being terrorized by monsters and we, as the Heroes of Legend, have to go and stop them."
"How do we do that?"
"By beating up the boss monster, of course," cut in Lloyd.
"Oh…Who's the boss monster?"
"Um…" Colette paused, "Well, he's kind of different every time. Lloyd, who's the boss monster?"
The brunette shrugged. "Dunno. Hey, Genis," he addressed the elven boy, "Was it okay for you to come? I thought you said your sister might not let you."
"Yeah, about that," began Genis, rubbing his neck, "She was kind of adversarial about it at first, but I finally managed to convince her to let me come."
Lloyd stared at him blankly. "…What's a 'versarol'?"
Genis sweatdropped. "Lloyd, that doesn't even have the same number of syllables-"
"It kind of sounds like a monster," commented Colette softly.
"Hey! That's it!" shouted Lloyd, jumping up, "That'll be the boss! The dreaded 'Versarol'!"
Genis sighed in defeat as his friends began to eagerly plan their adventure. He had to admit though, after they finally started the game, it was pretty fun. Being the only one who could, potentially, use magic, he was the wizard. Lloyd had given him a long stick with a knot on the end of it, his "staff" supposedly, and a long blue cloth to use as a cloak. Lloyd himself wielded a wooden stick as a sword and a shield made from the top of a barrel. Colette, being the prior owner of the staff, said she'd come up with a weapon along the way, and also wore a small cap with a cross on it. Genis asked her about it on their way outside.
"Well, I'm the healer. I use holy magic to heal everyone."
The trio's little "adventure" would take place in the wood surrounding Dirk's house. Nearby, of course. Lloyd would battle their invisible enemies in close quarters, while Colette and Genis supported him from behind. They soon came upon a small clearing formed by a circle of thorny bushes (the "beast's lair" Lloyd called it).
"We've found you at last, vile Versarol!" Lloyd shouted dramatically, pointing his sword in the air, "Prepare to die!"
"Hey," Genis interrupted, "What's the Versarol look like?"
Lloyd stopped in the middle of his speech to think. "Um…he's really tall and, um, he has a lot of thick, black fur and, um, he breaths fire!"
"And he has sharp claws and lots of horns," added Colette, "Let's keep going!"
"Colette, what's that weird motion you keep doing?" asked Genis as Lloyd began to battle the Versarol.
"I'm using a bow to help," she said as she notched another invisible arrow.
"Yep. Llody, look out for its spiked tail!"
"What? AUGH!" Lloyd fell to the ground, feigning injury. "Oh, I'm gravely wounded! The pain, the pain! ...Anytime now, Colette."
"Oh! Sorry!" apologized the girl, dashing over.
"This is getting annoying," muttered Genis, "Infinite powers, grant me thy strength. METEOR STORM!" His two friends looked at his curiously.
"What's that?" asked Lloyd.
"It's where I call on a bunch of giant meteors to rain down on the monsters."
"Really? Cool. He's probably dead after that, huh."
"Probably." The trio held a quick celebration and then headed back to Dirk's house.
"Don't you think it's kind of inconvenient using a bow? I mean, you couldn't do much if the monsters got too close, right?" Genis pointed out.
Colette considered this, fingering her bangs uncertainly. "Well…"
"That's what I'm here for!" announced Lloyd, "I'm the hero, so I'll protect you!"
"Yeah, right," snickered Genis, "You'd be more of a hazard to us than to the monsters."
The elven boy laughed and dodged Lloyd's fist, running towards the house. Lloyd grumbled something like "making fun of me" and crossed his arms.
"Lloyd," Colette said timidly, bringing him out of his pouting state, "If…it, say, someday we really were attacked by monsters, would you protect me then, too?"
He gave her a look of slight surprise, then grinned confidently. "Of course!"
"Yep! Dwarven Vow # 2: Never abandon someone in need."
"Okay!" she said with a giggle, "I'll hold you to that, though."
He laughed, too. "Okay! …Hey, Colette? Since I'll be protecting two people now, should I start using two swords?"
"What?" Lloyd was immediately snapped out of his thoughts by the slight quiver in the Chosen's voice.
"We've been through so much already, but things are only going to get more dangerous, aren't they?"
"But that's okay," she continued, looking up at him with another angelic smile, "Because I have you and everyone else with me. And… because I want to live. I know that now."
"Colette," he began, looking at her seriously, "You don't have to worry. I swear, I'll protect you from anything…"
"Lloyd," she breathed.
"Even a deadly versarol."
For a minute, all that could be heard was the gurgling of the creek. Colette blinked. Then her eyes lit up in recognition, and she laughed. It wasn't a shy giggle, but a full, carefree laugh. Lloyd grinned and then began laughing along with her. The two were so overcome with mirth, they didn't notice the young half-elf boy approaching them.
"What are you two joking around for?" demanded Genis, "You were supposed to be up with the water fifteen minutes ago!"
"Sorry!" said the pair simultaneously, which of course only caused them to laugh more.
"Sorry, sorry. We're coming," gasped Lloyd in-between breaths. He courteously picked up the now full kettle and helped Colette to her feet. As they made their way up the hill, Colette dropped back. Lloyd was about to look back to check on her when he felt two small arms wrap themselves around his middle. The angel hugged him tightly, whispering "thankyou".
Lloyd smiled softly, and was unbelievably grateful that Genis was too busy working his way up the hill to see this.
Luithia: I swear, when I first wrote this, that flashback did not take up more than half the story. That, and the ending was more...normal. I wonder why I keep writing Tales fanfics with the main characters as kids. My friend tells me I like series with cute little kids. (Don't ask me what age they're supposed to be, by the way. I don't have any idea.)
Presea: Then why have you not written anything with Genis and myself in it?
Luithia: Umm....ah, LOOK! It's Tenebrae! With pokable paws!
Luithia: Reviews are always much appreciated!