A bit of Gesea fluff for a change. :) Set after the first game. It's a little festive in tone because that was what was requested. Again I'm assuming that they wouldn't celebrate Christmas but would have some sort of winter festival.
Dedication: to Zefie Kirasagi, thanks for all the reviews. Sorry this is so crazily late. I hope that you enjoy it though and that it fits the prompts you suggested.
Disclaimer: Tales of Symphonia isn't mine. I believe that it belongs to Namco.
It felt right, Genis thought, to spend winter festival with his friends like this. They were a family now really and had almost instinctively slotted into roles for preparation for the festival. All of them, that was, except for Presea.
Still shy around her he paused for a moment to gather his courage before moving over to her and asking if she was OK.
"I, I barely remember this festival, what we should do, what it's all about," she said quietly.
"What you should d-do is have fun, and what it's a-about is celebrating warmth and friendship with your l-loved ones," he said, smiling in what he hoped was a reassuring way.
She continued to look a little lost for a moment before her expression returned to a more neutral one.
"What should I do to have fun?" she asked.
"There's all sorts of things you can do. There's always cooking to be done," he paused and winced as he remembered that his sister had insisted on 'helping' Regal with that. "Or you can make decorations, sing songs, make or wrap presents..."
He let his voice trail off as he indicated the others in the room. Lloyd and Colette were sat at a table covered in colourful pieces of paper, making paper chains and snowflakes. Sheena was tying ribbons around a few small, neatly wrapped boxes. Zelos was, mysteriously, nowhere to be seen but at least, Genis thought, he wasn't harassing Sheena and causing all of the chaos that went with that.
"Presents?" Presea asked.
"Yeah, it's t-traditional to give people small presents. Biscuits or little ornaments o-or some other trinket you think they'd like," Genis explained.
"I haven't prepared anything," Presea said, a slight hint of concern in her voice.
"Hmm, it's a bit late to go shopping and I guess there's not enough time to make a carving or something like that for everyone," Genis thought out loud. "Oh, how about I help you make a batch of gingerbread biscuits for everyone?"
"Would that be a good present?" Presea asked.
"Definitely. You can decorate them too. I'm sure everyone will love them," he smiled at her, his shyness temporarily forgotten as he led her to the kitchen, excited by the thought of the fun activity ahead.
"Can we use the kitchen for a bit?" he asked Raine and Regal once they'd gotten to the door.
"Certainly. I think we could use a break," Regal said, warily casting an eye over some of the dishes that Raine had very obviously insisted on 'improving'.
"But I'm in the middle of making a spicy festival cake," Raine protested, holding up a mixing bowl.
Genis and Regal looked with horror at the ingredients which were beside her on the counter. Things which so clearly did not belong in a cake.
"It can wait. We have been monopolising the kitchen and it's only fair that the others get a turn to use it," Regal said diplomatically while trying to gesture to Genis to 'accidentally' get rid of the cake mix without Raine noticing.
"I suppose you're right," Raine said as she dusted her hands off on her apron then removed the garment and put it on a hook by the door. "Have fun you two."
As Genis began to gather the ingredients they needed Presea paused thoughtfully.
"I, I think I remember doing things like this with father and Alicia," she said quietly.
Genis stopped putting things on the counter and moved to slowly, shyly and gently hold her hand.
"How about w-we make a batch in a shape that'd help you remember happy times with them?" he offered gently.
"I'd like that," Presea nodded slightly, a hint of a smile on her face.
Genis blissfully lost track of time after that as he and Presea made batches and batches of biscuits for everyone. His bubbly, floaty, happy feeling was interrupted, however, some time later when a ruckus that could only mean Zelos' return erupted in the living room.
The pair paused, put their baking tools down and went to the door to see what was happening.
"Zelos, stop being ridiculous and take that plant off of your head," Sheena said, backing away from him.
"It's mistletoe hunny, don't you guys have the mistletoe tradition in Mizuho?" he replied.
"I know perfectly well what type of plant that is but I'm not kissing you," Sheena huffed, running away from Zelos in the reverse of the usual situation.
"Oh go on, just a little one, it is winter festival," he whined.
"No," Sheena said firmly. She span round to grab the small piece of plant from where it was taped to his head then held it as far out of his reach as possible which happened to be directly above Genis and Presea.
Genis looked up at the mistletoe and blinked, not quite able to believe it was there. Presea just looked confused.
"Well, go on then, kiss, it's tradition," Zelos grinned.
Before Genis could tell Presea it was a silly tradition and that she didn't have to if she didn't want to he found himself becoming the recipient of a gentle peck on the cheek.
As he blushed bright red and decided that now would be a good time to retreat back into the kitchen he found himself thinking that, so far at least, this was the best winter festival he'd ever had.