A/N Thank you to those who reviewed my last Xenoblade fic. Here's another one shot. Set pre-game pre-Battle of Sword Valley :)

"I don't want to hang around with a smelly boy!" Fiora whined. "Dunban!"

"Don't be so silly, Fiora. You'll like Shulk, you wait and see!"

"He's always hanging around with that Reyn," she said scornfully. "He's loud and breaks things. He bumped into Katherine the other day-he knocked her right over- and never even said sorry, just rushed off."

Dunban sighed. He didn't have time for this. He, Dickson and Mumkhar needed to train for the battle ahead- but neither he nor Dickson wanted to leave the kids completely alone while they were gone. They'd be safer together.

"Maybe you and Shulk could try that new recipe you were working on?" suggested Dunban.

"Whatever," Fiora muttered.

"Come on, Fiora. I know you're a good, kind hearted sensible girl- at least give Shulk a chance. You should at least try and be a good hostess."

"Yeah, yeah. O.K," she said.

He smiled at her and then ran up the stairs to collect his katana. There was a violent knock at the door. Fiora plonked herself down at the kitchen table, sighing.

"Oi-oi! Ready to go Dunban?" Dickson kicked the door open with such force the hinges rattled. He smiled at her. "Hello there, Fiora. Cheer up, it might never happen."

Fiora scowled.

"This is Shulk," Dickson announced, pushing him forward.

Shulk was small with white blonde hair. His eyes were very blue, like the lake surrounding the colony. He smiled, which warmed his face considerably, and held out his hand.

"Hi, Fiora. I've heard a lot about you," he said brightly.

"Hello," Fiora muttered.

Shulk blinked at her, this girl he was supposed to suddenly become friends with. Shulk wasn't the kind of person who needed many friends- he preferred searching for scrap metal and playing with the machines in the lab. He was a 'promising engineer' according to the Defence Force. And anyway, in his eyes Reyn as a best friend was probably worth at least two regular friends, maybe more.

"Right, I'm ready!" Dunban announced, dashing back down the stairs, katana in its sheath. "Have fun, you two! No burning the house down!"

The door slammed shut and then he and Dickson were gone.

Fiora scowled. So fierce was the scowl that Shulk considered turning tail and running back to the lab. It was only sheer curiosity that stopped him- curiosity about Dunban.

Shulk adored Dunban. Dunban had once rescued him from an angry Bunnit and ever since that day Shulk badgered Dickson for stories about Dunban. Dickson seemed more than happy to oblige him- Shulk had heard a multitude of tales, from the time Dunban hid the Colonel's binoculars to the time he saved Dickson from the fearsome spiders of Tephra Cave. Dunban was his hero.

"Is it true your brother once beat off four Singing Brogs all by himself?" Shulk blurted out.

Fiora blinked. "Oh yes," she said without skipping a beat. "And did you know he took on a whole SCHOOL of Volff who were attacking some traders from Colony 6? BLAM BLAM BLAM he went with his sword and..."

"...he's always composing poetry too. He's really good with words and-"

Fiora jumped. She'd heard a THUMP outside and then a string of slurred curse words. It was Dickson. He and Dunban had obviously stopped for a pint at the tavern on the way back from training. Fiora suddenly realised it was early evening. She'd spent a whole afternoon with Shulk- it didn't seem possible. It had gone so quickly. Shulk was sitting opposite her, rapt.

"Poetry? Really?" he asked.

But Fiora had lost her thread. She realised she'd spent the whole afternoon talking. And Shulk had just sat and listened politely.

"Fiora? Shulk?" Dunban opened the door. Dickson stumbled in after him.

"Hello," said Shulk.

"Did you have a good time, kiddies?" Dickson asked.

Fiora held her breath.

"Can I come again?" Shulk asked.

Fiora smiled at him then. And decided it would be OK to be friends with the boy named Shulk.

A/N I feel like the 'flow' is a bit off with this fic...anyway, I liked the idea of Shulk and Fiora becoming friends through mutual admiration of Dunban. I don't think their first meeting is mentioned in game. But if it is, PM me because I'd be interested to know what was said! I've done all the heart to hearts but can't remember them all sadly...