During-game fic set at the inn in Heliord after the Blastia incident. As I've not totally finished the game I apologise if there's any inaccuracies or OOCness but as it's written from Rita's point of view in this point in the game I hope it's OK.

No major spoilers except for Rita's background up until this point in the game.

Dedication: For my hubby.

Disclaimer: Tales of Vesperia doesn't belong to me, Namco own it as far as I'm aware.

As Rita propped herself up on her pillow and looked over at Estelle she found herself wondering if this was what it felt like to have friends.

Back in Aspio she'd not really had anyone she could call a friend. Most people outright avoided her and the few who did occasionally communicate with her about research talked about her behind her back.

Estelle would never talk about anyone behind their back. Even when she encountered unpleasant people she would find an eloquent and well-mannered way to talk to or about them, seeming so polite while still managing to make what she thought about their uncouth behaviour clear.

Rita got the impression that she herself was a bit abrupt when talking to people. Lack of practice she supposed. For a long time she'd simply buried herself in her research which had allowed her to be good at something. No one really took any notice of her but at least making breakthroughs with research gave her a personal sense of achievement.

Blastia was familiar, ordered and predictable. She knew how it would react and it didn't judge people. Although she found herself admitting that it didn't offer any friendly warmth either.

She was so unused to physical contact that when Estelle had given her a, a high-five she thought it was called, she'd been genuinely shocked. Now, however, she was slowly getting used to it and was even beginning to enjoy it, not that she'd ever admit that though.

She reached over to Estelle who was dozing, exhausted, no doubt, from trying to heal her, and gently brushed away a stray lock of hair that had fallen by her eyes.

If this was what it was like to have friends, Rita decided, it felt good.