Author: Lady Starwing PM
Exiled from Cruxis, Kratos Aurion flees to a land that has separated itself from the Mana Seed conflict. There, he undergoes a journey that leaves four worlds and many races at stake. Utter destruction of anything that can be called continuity inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 4 - Words: 20,341 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 08-22-10 - Published: 07-13-10 - id: 6139492
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello! Once again, I'm doing what I do best!
Ike: You mean driving everyone else crazy?
Lloyd: You're new here, aren't you? You have NO idea how crazy this chick can get ...
Well, there's that, but I was going to say I'm back to "destroy the utter continuity of my two favorite fandoms once again!" :D
Ike: Oh dear Ashera ...
Lloyd: I could not have said it better myself ...
I own nothing other than this idea! Enjoy!
Prologue: Meeting in the Rain
If there was one thing Greil knew he hated right now, it was the weather. Thunder boomed above the small cavern that the man had found, lightning flashing and illuminating the forest of Gallia with frighteningly sharp relief. A faint whimper from his side made Greil look down in guilt as two pairs of blue eyes stared at him, clearly frightened. Wincing, Greil hugged his children closer, watching the stormy skies as he waited for it to break. He was on the run again; Daein's forces had apparently caught word of his location in Gallia, forcing him to take his two children and flee.
"Dad …" Greil looked down at his son, Ike, who clung to his one side. Two worried blue eyes looked up at Greil's face. "Dad, do you think we could find somewhere to go? I'm wet, and Mist looks sick." Greil winced and looked down at his daughter, who was only three. All three of them were soaking wet, but they didn't have a home to go to anymore.
"I hope so, Ike, I do hope so." Greil murmured, rubbing Mist's back as she sniffled and snuggled closer to her father's side. Ike looked up at his father again, but his gaze soon turned to stare out the cave mouth, watching the forest as lightning flashed once more. "Both of you should get some sleep, it's late." Greil told the children, feeling Mist shake her head against his side.
"Don't wanna …" Mist mumbled, beginning to cry. "I miss Mommy …" Greil sighed, but didn't talk about it, still remembering the horror …
Ike's sudden yelp made Greil turn to look at the cave's mouth; standing in front of the place was a large, black dragon with leaf green webbing between its wings and underscales. Standing with a shout, Greil grabbed his axe and stood in front of his children, keeping the weapon between him and the dragon; the dragon's blue eyes widened in shock. "Peace! Peace, I mean no harm, beorc warrior! I honestly mean no harm!" He spoke up, sitting back on his haunches to hold his paws open in front of him to show that they were empty. That alone made Greil pause; that was a beorc gesture, not a laguz one. "I am sincere in this, sir, but I must say, your son has quite the lungs on him."
"What on earth is a Black Dragon doing in Gallia?" Greil asked in response.
"What's a family of beorc doing out in Gallia in the middle of a thunderstorm?" Came the dragon's retort. Greil opened his mouth, as if to retort, but it hung open in silence as he found himself unable to give an honest reply. The black dragon seemed amused, as he lowered himself back onto his forelegs to study the small family. "I highly doubt you're out here by choice, as it were." He stated, tail flicking back and forth. "Did you offend King Caineghis on accident? As far as the lions go, he's very tolerant of beorc."
"No, I didn't offend anyone … not here, at least." Greil stated, looking away. The dragon seemed amused by the statement.
"Oh hoh, offended a fellow beorc, have you?" His tail continued to flicker back and forth, a chuckle escaping his throat. "And judging by your accent, I'd say that you're from Daein, or that general area. You upset His Royal Highness King Assh –"
"Noishe, who on earth are you talking with?" A second male voice came from behind the dragon, making both Greil and the dragon – apparently named Noishe – turn as an auburn man in a long, dark violet jacket approached, a red sword in his right hand. Once he was level with Noishe's flank, he looked Greil over. "We're supposed to be hunting for food, not finding lost warriors." He commented, eyes still examining Greil, making the other male rather uncomfortable; red eyes weren't the most pleasant things to have staring at you.
Finally, the man's face twisted in confusion. "Have I seen you before, somewhere? Your face looks familiar, but …" Sword still in hand, the person stepped forward, making Greil blink in confusion as well. Noishe snorted.
"He's from Daein, if you've ever walked through that grim place, Kratos." The dragon commented, making both Greil and the newcomer – Kratos – look at him in surprise. Noishe gave them a smug look. "And while all that is fine and dandy, I personally think we should get back to your place, Kratos. The children our friend has behind him seem quite cold. We can kibitz about familiar faces and past meetings when we get out of the rain."
"You talk a lot for a dragon, you know that?" Greil commented, and then turned to look at Ike and Mist; Mist was staring at the dragon with wide, frightened eyes, but her older brother seemed more puzzled than anything else. They were both soaked to the bone, like their father, and that ultimately made him sigh and turn back to face Kratos. "I assume your house is close by." He lowered his axe, not breaking eye contact with the swordsman. Kratos looked at the children and nodded.
"You might want to carry one of them, however." He stated, looking at the sky as thunder pealed overhead once more. "The storm might be close to wearing out, but it's still pouring." Greil nodded, scooping up Mist as she ran to him, Ike right behind her. Gripping his father's cape, Ike continued to stare at Noishe, who looked right back at him.
"What are you staring at me like that for, beorc boy?" Noishe asked, obviously puzzled. Ike simply stared at the dragon for a while longer, before a faint smile broke out across his face.
"You're funny." The simple statement had Noishe standing there, mouth opening and closing as he tried to figure out how to respond to this. Kratos stared at the Black Dragon in great amusement before shaking his head.
"Bless Ashera; five roaring dragons can't make you fall silent, but two words from a boy Lloyd's age, and you're speechless. Miracles do happen, it seems." The man joked, making Noishe turn to glare at Kratos while Greil coughed to hide a laugh, Ike sniggering madly. Seemingly ignoring the glare the dragon was sending him, Kratos stepped out of the cave. "Let's go; Anna is probably worried." With that, the small group set off through the forest.
Greil wondered only briefly how deep into the forest they were heading, as a few minutes after they passed through the deepest part of the forest, they came upon a small wood house nestled beneath a large tree. A light blazed in one of the windows, making Kratos sigh in relief. "Good, Anna's still up." He picked up his pace slightly. Noishe, who was between the two beorc with his wings extended as a walking rain shelter, shook his head in amusement, but regulated his pace so that both Greil and his children were safe from the rain and yet Kratos didn't get drenched as well.
The moment the door was opened, Kratos was pulled into the room by a brunet woman wearing a forest green dress. "You idiot beorc, what're you doing going out in a storm like this!" she chided as Greil and Noishe slipped into the house behind Kratos, who was giving the woman a weak smile. "Do you think I want to raise Lloyd on my own, you giant goofball?" Noishe rolled his eyes as he shifted to his human form, black and green hair covering his head. It seemed the woman had noticed him, because she turned to the dragon laguz to lecture him as well, the motion revealing two wings in a severely molted state across her back.
'A laguz …?' Greil blinked, staring in shock; it was incredibly rare for a bird laguz to live in the forest of Gallia instead of the mountainous island of Phoenicis, and yet it seemed that the woman who stood there lecturing both Kratos and Noishe was a hawk laguz … but why were her wings in such bad shape? The thought would have to wait for another time, as Mist's sneeze made the laguz - who was more than likely the Anna woman Kratos had mentioned earlier – turn to stare at the small family, gold-orange eyes widening in shock. Her eyes took in Greil and his children only briefly before she stepped forward, grabbing a towel off of the table as she passed it.
"What on earth is happening tonight! Have all beorc lost their common sense these days, or is it just you males?" She demanded, gently pulling Ike towards her and trying to dry the young boy with a towel. When Ike pulled the towel away from Anna's hands to dry himself off, she relented and shooed him over to a small den, where a fire burned in a fireplace. This left Anna free to turn and glare at Greil, who was still holding a now puzzled Mist. "Honestly! You have two children with you, why on earth aren't you all at home instead of outside in a storm?" Greil winced, and was about to answer when a new voice popped up from the stairwell.
"Momma, what're you – Daddy! Noishe!" Ike's head perked up from within the confines of his towel just as a brunet boy his age jumped down the stairs, racing towards Kratos with a big grin on his face. Kratos stooped to catch him up in a hug, grinning as well. "Ewww … you're all wet, Daddy!" The six-year-old stuck out his tongue at his father, who stuck out his tongue back. Anna shook her head in amusement.
"Lloyd, you should be in bed." She stated, making the boy pout at her.
"But Momma, I wanted to know who was here …" Lloyd pouted, dropping to the floor from where Kratos held him. Landing lightly on his feet, the small child trotted over to where Anna stood in front of Greil, clinging to the edge of her skirt and looking up at Greil and Mist with bright red eyes. "Who's this? Is he one of the laguz that live nearby?" Greil looked down at the small boy in confusion, but knelt to look at him, Mist slipping out of his grip at last to be on eye level with Lloyd.
"I'm not a laguz, little one. I'm … well, right now all I can say is that I'm lost." Greil admitted, making Lloyd giggle softly. "What about you? Are you a laguz?" It honestly didn't matter to Greil either way, and he didn't know if Kratos was a laguz or not, as the auburn had never said if he was or wasn't. Greil looked up in time to see Anna and Kratos share a worried glance, but it was Lloyd shaking his head that caught his attention.
"Nope; Momma's laguz, Daddy's beorc." Lloyd was still smiling, and he now turned his attention to Mist. "Who're you?" He asked, letting go of Anna's skirt to come towards the small girl. Doing so let him catch sight of Ike, who had wandered over to where his little sister was standing, half hidden behind Greil. The two boys stared at one another for a long moment, but both of them grinned in the end. "You're my age!" Lloyd laughed, making Ike snigger in return. "What's with the towel? Are you wet?"
"Yeah … Dad, Mist and I were outside …" Ike nodded, Mist now sneaking over to hide behind her brother, allowing Greil to stand up as all four adults present watched the three children. "I'm Ike, by the way. Who're you?" Ike asked, wondering who his new friend was. Lloyd gave Ike a worried look.
"I'm Lloyd, but why did you go outside? Did that twister a while ago wreck your house?" The small boy seemed genuinely concerned, and it showed in his eyes. Anna smiled and shook her head, leaving into the kitchen for a moment, only to return with a tray of steaming hot mugs that smelt distinctly of chocolate, making all three of the children look up at her.
"Lloyd, can you run upstairs and get some of your old clothes? I don't think Ike and Mist like being wet." She spoke to her son, Mist's aptly timed sneeze making Lloyd nod and quickly trot upstairs while Anna got Ike and Mist situated on a rug near the fire, handing them both small mugs of hot cocoa, a drink that seemed to be quite popular with the younger laguz of Gallia.
Greil watched this for a moment before turning to Kratos, brows knit in concern. "… You live here?" He asked, placing his axe against the wall as Kratos nodded and sat at the table, Noishe sitting on the opposite side. Turning his gaze to Anna as she walked over to the table, Greil nodded at her. "How did the two of you come to live here?" As he spoke, he saw Lloyd jump down the stairs again, clothes in his hand. Walking over to Ike and Mist, Lloyd handed them the clothes before leading the way towards the bathroom so they could change.
"Simple; it was the safest place either of us could think of." Anna responded, sitting down next to her husband. "While Crimea is trying to improve its beorc-laguz interactions, tension with Daein is too high for either of us to be comfortable." The hawk laguz explained, sipping from her mug. "And I was not about to try and take Kratos and Lloyd back to Phoenicis."
"And from what I've been seeing, Begnion is not a good place to be raising our child." Kratos added on, looking at Lloyd as he settled down on the rug, a now dry Ike and Mist sitting next to him. Greil also looked at the children, who were talking about something that he couldn't quite hear, before turning back to look at Kratos and Anna again.
"Lloyd's a Branded, isn't he?" He asked quietly, having heard of the children that were born of the union between beorc and laguz. When Kratos and Anna both nodded, Greil looked back at Lloyd again, who was grinning broadly at Ike while the two shared a joke. "That makes the most sense then … at least here, Caineghis is fair and accepting. It would be suicide for your family to try and move to Daein; there's been stories of groups that stop at nothing to get rid of the Branded." Anna and Kratos' eyes both hardened, and a low growl escaped from Noishe's throat as he sipped on his cocoa. Only an idiot would have missed the fact that the others seated at the table weren't pleased with the news. Deciding to get away from the dangerous topic, Greil turned to Noishe. "And what about you? I thought the dragons never ventured away from Goldoa's borders."
Noishe smiled as his sky blue eyes lightened, mirth starting to chase away his rage. "I'm in a self-imposed exile that most beorc call a pilgrimage. I personally don't see how my clan-mate Dheginsea can stand isolating himself, but ever since his mate died, he's been a very sour person." The Black Dragon's eyes grew serious for a moment. "Although I doubt I'm the only one … Prince Rajajon left a while ago, and Princess Almheda recently married … Speaking of which, you're from Daein, aren't you?" Noishe asked Greil, who immediately tensed.
"I was … but I put that past behind me." He muttered, not wanting to bring up the subject. However, it seemed that his statement only confirmed something for Kratos, because the auburn snapped two fingers.
"Now I remember why your face was familiar at first." He mumbled, eyes locking onto Greil's. "You were General Gawain, weren't you?" Greil stiffened, noticing that Kratos seemed more interested than disgusted. "I thought the rumors said you had died, but since you're sitting here and talking to us it's fairly obvious that that was a lie." Anna lightly smacked Kratos, which Greil wrote off as her way of laughing at her husband. "What happened to make you go a separate way?" Kratos seemed to notice Greil's tense form, because his voice had softened.
Anna gave Kratos a look that seemed to read 'this is all your fault' before reaching out and placing a hand on Greil's arm. "We understand if you don't wish to talk about it; Kratos and I were just wondering what one of Daein's greatest generals was doing all the way out here in Gallia, and under an alias at that." She gave Kratos an arched look again. "Kratos just doesn't know how to ask that sort of thing, save for in a blunt way. I'm trying to get him out of that habit, but it'll take time." Greil saw Kratos' exasperated look, and relaxed slowly, tension leaving his shoulders at a slow, even pace.
"… Ashnard … he is not like his father." Greil spoke slowly, eyes closing. "I was questioning his sanity for a long time, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I found out just how horrible he was …" he didn't want to talk about it … "My wife and I left as soon as we could manage it, and we fled, not wanting Daein to catch word of us. We finally just settled here … but we were found out, and Elena …" Greil shook his head, hating the painful sting of guilt that always surfaced when he thought about what had happened. "She was killed when the two of us were cornered by a group of Daein soldiers. Now I just want to keep Ike and Mist safe."
"Speaking of the children … I think it's bedtime for them." Noishe nodded towards the fireplace, a smile on his face. Greil turned to look with Anna and Kratos, a faint smile working onto his face as Anna laughed lightly, Kratos shaking his head in amusement. Sometime during the adult's conversation, all three children had fallen asleep, Mist leaning on Ike's shoulder while Ike and Lloyd laid back to back on the rug, not stirring even when Kratos walked over and picked Lloyd up.
"Yes, I'd call this bedtime." Kraots chuckled, walking towards the stairs. "Ike and Mist can share Lloyd's room for now; I'll grab extra blankets and pillows." Greil picked up Ike, stopping and staring at the auburn as he went up the stairs; had he just implied that the other family would be staying in the house with them? Anna laughed when she saw the stunned expression on his face, Mist in her arms as she led Greil upstairs.
"Don't think too hard on it; the weather is atrocious, and Kratos has a soft spot for children." Anna smiled. "And you obviously have nowhere else to go for now, and we have plenty of room here. You should stay here until you get your feet back under you, and Lloyd doesn't have any friends close to his age." Opening the door to her son's room, Anna settled Mist on one of the cots that Kratos had placed in the room, Lloyd already dangling half off of one near the window. Greil laughed at the young Branded's position, settling Ike onto the final cot just as Kratos passed by the door.
Handing a set of blankets into the other man's arms, Kratos continued on down the hallway. "The guestroom hasn't been used in a while, but we do keep it clean, and the squirrels stop trying to build their nests in here after Noishe ate the last ones that did so." Greil snorted in laughter at the thought of the Dragon Laguz eating squirrels as the door opened to reveal a tidy room with plain green walls. "The bathroom is down the hall and on the right. Mine and Anna's room is next door if you need to ask anything." Greil nodded, sighing heavily in relief.
"Thank you … You and Anna are kind people."
"Don't worry about it." Kratos waved it off with a casual wave of the hand. "I know what it feels like to be as lost as you are now. … Rest well." With that, Kratos left the room, closing the door behind him. Sighing, Greil sat down on the bed, looking out the window as the rain continued to pour down outside, wondering what to do now that he and his children were out of the weather.
Hehehehe ... Yes I am QUITE crazy. XD This idea bit me quite a while ago, so I have a handful of the future chapters already typed up, but I'll wait a while to post them ... let's say ... two weeks until I update this one next?
Enjoy, and review please!