I stared after my father's retreating form in the snow. My father. The man I'd been secretly praying would find me, the prayers that left such an incredible guilt in my heart. I was happy with Dirk as my Dad, but I still wanted to know my real father.

And now I did. And he'd just unburdened four thousand years of his own guilt onto my shoulders and was now walking away from me.

Like hell he was.

I tore off after him, reaching him just as he was exiting Flanoir's city gates. "Kratos!" I shouted angrily; the man turned in time for me to shove him. I expelled a little mana in the push, almost like a mini Beast, for some reason, and Kratos tumbled backwards, his fall broken by the snow that covered the ground. I stared down at him, oblivious to the tears streaking down my face.

"Lloyd! What is the meaning-"

"Shut up!" I shouted at him. "Just shut up! How dare you? How dare you! First you lead us all on, let us believe you cared for us, then you sold us out to Yggdrasill. Twice. All the while knowing I was your son!" I choked on that word, and a pained expression flickered across Kratos' face. Not pained, sheer agony. But now that I'd started, now that it was all bubbling to the surface, I couldn't stop myself. "And now you have the audacity to just dump all that on me, demand that I stop Yggdrasill, and then just walk away like nothing ever happened!" I narrowed my eyes, gasping through sobs that I was suddenly aware of now. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"What do you want me to tell you, Lloyd?" Kratos replied angrily, my scolding obviously touched a nerve. "Do you want me to tell you about why Yggdrasill couldn't leave me alone?"

"You're Origin's seal. You told me-"

"No, Lloyd," he shook his head. "He took me back to Derris-Kharlan because I was too weak from the attempt on my own life to fight back!" It suddenly got a lot colder; had he... tried to kill himself when he lost me? That's what it sounded like... "Do you want me to tell you about how I suffered in Triet for two weeks before Mithos finally came for me when I was about to die? Do you want me to tell you about the fourteen years I dreamed of nothing but my dead son, woke in tears every time I dared to sleep?"

That struck me. "I thought angels can't sleep."

"Lesser angels and the Chosen cannot," he answered, then heaved a sigh. "I am sorry, Lloyd. I'm sorry I didn't try harder to find you, that I gave up too quickly. But I cannot undo that. I cannot rebuilt that bridge."

"You can't rebuild something that was never there," I informed him quietly.

He blinked rapidly a few times, breathing deeply. I was about to ask if he was alright when he said, "Then I can try to build one, then."

"What if I don't want-"

"I love you."

Those words struck me like a blow to the gut, so hard I literally doubled over and my sobs started again. Kratos pulled me down to my knees and rocked me gently, murmuring apologies and words of reassurance. Suddenly I felt like I was three years old again, but this time, I was with my father. It was how it should have been and how it should be.