SPOILER WARNING: If you don't know about Kratos's past or what happens to Lloyd at the end of the game and don't want to know please look away now, thanks :)
Bit of "Bliss" timeline fluff featuring Kratos, Lloyd, Colette, Hope and the bump that'll become Miles :) Set a short while before Miles is born, Kratos is staying with Lloyd and Colette while he gets himself settled back into an ordinary life instead of being all alone :)
Dedication: For two people this time, Kratos father/grandfather family fluffyness for BBQ Bert and Colette/Lloyd fluff for Urby :) Although I suspect BBQ Bert won't object to the Lloyd/Colette fluff :) LOL Thanks for putting up with me rambling you two, hope you enjoy :)
Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own Tales of Symphonia. Namco own it I believe. I just can't stop writing about it and have a slight obsession with it :)
Kratos laughed as he walked into the living room and spotted Lloyd, Colette and Hope all fast asleep on the sofa.
"You're missing your programme," he nodded at the radio in the corner as he sat down in a chair with a mug of hot chocolate.
"I'm not, I'm still awake," Hope yawned, blinking sleepily. The theme that signalled the programme's end stared playing.
"You'll have to tell your parents what happened," he chuckled. Both Lloyd and Colette were dozing soundly. They'd tangled themselves up in a hug so that Lloyd was cradling Colette in a gesture that was both loving and protective. Hope was settled in their laps, resting against her mother's large bump. The child wasn't due for another month or so yet but Hope quite seemed to like the idea of having a little brother or sister and often talked to her mother's tummy.
"Granddad, can I come and sit with you?" the small girl asked, clearly after a hug.
"Alright then," Kratos smiled as Hope climbed down from the sofa. Her mother sleepily opened one eye as she felt the movement of her daughter leaving her lap but closed it again as soon as she saw where the child was going. She nuzzled Lloyd and dropped back into sleep.
Kratos lifted Hope into the chair and wrapped an arm around the girl.
"What's that?" she asked, pointing to his mug.
"Hot chocolate," he answered, taking a sip.
"Can I have some?" Hope smiled at him with an expression that matched her name.
"I'll make you a mug if you like, sure," her grandfather offered.
"No, I only want a bit," she replied, holding out her hands for the mug. The brown haired angel rolled his eyes as he handed the drink over. He'd played this game before, Hope would finish so much of the drink that he'd end up giving the mug to her and making himself a new one.
But he didn't mind. Hope was such a sweet, polite, friendly child. A real little angel. He laughed at the irony of the expression considering what both her parents were.
"What game were you playing with Noishe today?" he asked. The small girl had been tumbling around in the garden with the large creature that afternoon.
"Nothing much, just the usual. Tug of war with my sock and stuff," she replied. "Thanks."
She handed the mug back to him, almost empty. He sighed and put it on the table beside the chair. Hope started clambering up onto his shoulders.
"You're so tall, how'd you get so tall?" she asked.
"I grew a lot when I was younger," he said, wincing slightly as Hope accidentally tugged on his hair as she settled herself on his shoulders. She giggled.
"You're silly granddad," she smiled.
She was quiet for a few minutes before she began to think out loud.
"I wish I was tall, then I could see the world from up high. Mummy can fly you know. I wish I could," she sighed.
"Ah, but you can," Kratos scooped her up off his shoulders as he stood up then threw her into the air, carefully catching the young girl before doing it again.
"More! Again!" she squealed delightedly, giggling as she enjoyed the sensation of almost flying.
Colette's eyes blinked open as the noise disturbed her light doze. She smiled at them before pulling an irritated expression and reluctantly moving from Lloyd's embrace, clearly not wanting to do so.
"Bathroom," she mumbled, still sleepy, before making her way out of the room. Kratos nodded at her then stopped throwing Hope into the air, blowing raspberries on her tummy instead. She squeal-giggled in delight and he grinned.
He always regretted not being around for his son as Lloyd was growing up but it was wonderful to be around for his grandchild, well, grandchildren soon.
He twirled Hope around and plopped himself back in the chair.
"Granddad, what was daddy like when he was my age?" Hope asked and he felt a stab of pain and guilt because he'd not been there, he didn't know.
Colette, who had appeared in the doorway as Hope had asked the question, settled herself back on the sofa with Lloyd and began telling her daughter about when she'd played with her husband in the woods by his house when they were younger.
Kratos smiled gratefully at her and she gave him a slight nod in reply.
"Right," she yawned when she got to the end of a story. "Time for bed you I think."
"Awww, mum, I want another story," Hope protested.
"How about I tell you a bedtime story?" Kratos offered, looking over to Colette as he offered to check the angel didn't mind. She smiled at him, she didn't mind him tucking his granddaughter in for the night.
"Yay! I want the one about the time when Noishe was playing fetch and he jumped in the pond and got all wet," Hope cheered as her grandfather stood up and made sure she was safely on his shoulders.
"Again? I've told you that one so many times! Mind your head," he said as he ducked through the doorway.
Colette smiled softly before nuzzling Lloyd's cheek gently.
"Lloyd, hey, Lloyd," she murmured softly in his ear.
"Hmmm?" he blinked awake sleepily.
"Want to go to bed now? You look as tired as I feel," she offered quietly.
"OK, sounds good," he yawned. "You want a drink to take with you?"
"Mmm, mug of warm milk'd be nice," she nodded as he got up from the sofa and stretched. He chuckled.
"How come you only ever seem to want that when you're pregnant?" he asked.
"I don't know, being pregnant is weird. But nice," she blushed, guiding his hand to rest on her bump, her hand on top of his. He blushed lightly, bending down a little to kiss the top of her head and nuzzle her affectionately.
"I'll just go get your drink," he said softly, slowly moving away to go to the kitchen. She sighed happily, gently rubbing her tummy.
A short time later he appeared in the doorway. She got up and followed him to their bedroom, turning the radio off as she went. They paused at their door as Kratos quietly left Hope's room and slowly pulled the door shut.
"She alright?" Colette asked quietly.
"Yes, she's fine. Fast asleep. Thanks for letting me tuck her in," he smiled.
"That's OK, you're her granddad, granddads are supposed to tell their grandkids stories and stuff like that, right?" Colette nodded.
"Hey Lloyd?" Kratos's tone became a little more serious.
"Whazzat?" the younger swordsman replied, sleepily. Colette sensed from his tone that Kratos would appreciate some privacy for the conversation. She took both mugs from Lloyd's hands then kissed him lightly on the cheek before tottering into their room.
"Lloyd. I, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when you were growing up," Kratos apologised quietly. Lloyd tipped his head to one side thoughtfully.
"That's OK, you thought I was dead, how were you supposed to know I was still OK?" the younger swordsman said.
"Still, I should have tried harder to find you," Kratos mumbled.
"S'OK," Lloyd yawned, moving to pat his father on the head in a reassuring manner. The older man smiled, his son was one of the few people he would allow to make such a gesture towards him due to the almost patronising nature of it.
He wrapped his arms around his son in a tight hug. Lloyd blushed a little, still unused to being hugged by his father, but returned the gesture all the same.
"I gotta go to bed, I'm really tired," he yawned as his father moved away slightly. "Really though, don't worry about it, it's OK. I was safer like this, right? Just nice to have you here now. Hope likes you, nice for her to have another granddad around."
'Another' granddad reminded Kratos that he'd not been the one who had raised his son and he felt another stab of guilt. But the young man was right. That was the past, which he couldn't change. He'd just have to do his best for now and in the future to make up for it.
"I'm proud of you," he smiled at Lloyd, playfully messing up his son's hair. "Your mother would be proud of you too."
Lloyd smiled, a slightly solemn one because his mother wasn't alive and here to be with them, but pleased at the thought that his parents were proud.
"OK, I'm goin' to bed now, you wanna say goodnight to Colette?" he asked, yawning sleepily again.
"Alright, is she…" Kratos started as Lloyd walked into the room he shared with his wife then stuck his head back around the door.
"Yeah, she's still awake and she's decent. And she's nicking my stuff again," Lloyd rolled his eyes, but in an amused way. Kratos moved to the doorway.
"Goodnight then," he called out, spotting Colette sitting at her dressing table brushing her hair, dressed in one of Lloyd's old shirts.
"Do you actually have any nightclothes of your own?" he blinked, noticing that Colette wearing Lloyd's clothes was becoming a regular occurrence, and not just at night time.
"Yeah, but, well, Lloyd's are nicer. They're all big and cozy and warm and his. They make me feel safe," she explained as she put her brush down on the table.
"We are talking about just ordinary clothes, bits of fabric, right?" Kratos pulled a slightly puzzled and bemused face. Lloyd, having had this conversation with his wife before, chuckled from where he was sat up in bed, sipping a mug of hot chocolate.
"Yes, but nice clothes, that Lloyd's worn," Colette nodded like it was the most obvious thing in the world to understand.
"You're daft," Kratos sighed as she made her way over to the door.
"Thanks," he said more quietly as she got closer.
"What for?" she yawned.
"For being there for Lloyd," he replied.
"Hey, he was always there for me too. Besides, I love him so very very much, with all my heart," she said, smiling happily.
"I can see that," Kratos chuckled and gently patted her bump, causing her to blush a little and absentmindedly rest her hands around her bump in a loving, protective way.
"Anyways," he said, a little louder this time. "I should let you two get some sleep if you're tired."
"Night night extra dad," Colette giggled, doing a similar head-patting gesture to the one Lloyd had earlier. He stood still, pulling a slightly bemused expression, a little unused to being called that still, as she moved to snuggle into the bed beside Lloyd. She wrapped an arm around her husband, picking her mug up off the bedside table with her free hand and the pair nuzzled each other before she downed the last of her drink and placed the mug back on the table.
"Goodnight you two, sleep well," Kratos said quietly.
"'Night," the replied as they settled under the covers.
Kratos switched the light off for them then slowly pulled the door closed, pausing a little to smile at his son and daughter-in-law. Their expressions as they lay curled up together in each other's arms, eyes closed blissfully, were so peaceful and content, almost childlike. Funny to think they had a child themselves with another on its way.
He sighed contentedly, glad to be a part of this family and to see his son happy, then closed the door and wandered away to his room down the hall.