TOS One Shot

A/N: Starts out as a Lloyd and Zelos' quest in Falnoir to get the gloves for re-visiting the ice temple. I added a few extra components, and lots of other stuff. I imagine I'll re-write this in the Shards books but I want to get the idea out of my head now before I lose it. Think of it as Rough Draft material or a writing exercise.

A Shot of Ice

"Zelos, they're sick, the doctor said there was medicine in the ice temple and..."

"You think I wanna freeze my n-"

"Fine, I'll go by myself!"

The red clad boy stood pulled on a coat, and another, and another, but then where he was going he needed all that. Shifting his sole pair of non-suspenders –honest to Martel pants!- he tromped to the door, taking his swords on the way out.

"Stupid kid." Zelos had had this argument with him before, Lloyd would be back in five minuets tops, whining about the cold or distracted by something. Five came and went and no return. Zelos gave the kid eight and honestly began to worry, just a tiny bit. He finally got out of bed, cursing and whining about the brat and having to go after him in the freezing cold. He stomped and whined even as he got dressed, hoping that someone else would take the task for him. No one did, no one could. Sheena and the hunnies were laid out sick and Regal the only male hunnie who did not swing that way -so that counted him out of the running a damn waste- was so sick he was in the hospital hacking up green crap... Oh yeah the brat… wasn't he sick to, well he wasn't underfoot –literally- so Zelos didn't see him much and out of sight out of mind right? He charged outside, cursing Lloyd every step of the way. He caught the kid walking from a house, huh he hadn't even left the city, some would be hero this guy was. He then blazed right by Zelos, all intent and crap, not even seeing…

"Whoa whoa, where are you headed little man?" He jogged –quite a feat in these ugly furs- up to the kid.

"If I get some stuff for ice mittens then I can get back into the ice temple and pick up some silver leaf herb and the old man in the shop can make medicine." Lloyd said, all but running for the city gates.

"Hold it, I where's this I thing coming from. I'm not sick or nothing."

"I didn't think you wanted to go." Lloyd said quietly and Zelos flinched at the pained note in the kid's voice.

"Changed my mind, I do that a lot you know?"

"You do? I wouldn't have, well thanks." Lloyd smiled. "Come on lets go!"


Three hours later and not a peep, not a whine, not an 'I'm bored' he was just all quiet and intent. They'd already got the plate from an ice spider… and now had like five other things to get.

"Weirdest list I've ever seen bud, are you sure that man was like crackers or something?"

"Crackers sound nice." Lloyd smiled, having a Colette brain blank or something.

"No, not…" Zelos sighed. "Was the old man crackers, nuts!"

"Ummm… oh you mean moon touched, no he seemed fine and he helped us before remember?"

"You never know with old people, they like to turn around and go nuts on you like that. No use in trusting an old person cuz of that."

Lloyd just laughed. "If you don't trust people older then you how did you learn anything? If I was like that with the Professor I'd be even dumber then I am now!"

"Nothing could make you dumber then you are now, bud!"

Zelos got a snowball in the face for that one.


"Give me that!" Zelos shivered, snatched the parchment that Lloyd was worrying to death with his nervous hands. He sighed, scanned the list. "Nothing nothing nothing… where the heck do we find all this stuff? What's a scale of a Silver?"

"A big worm, the old man said it had to be the scale right between the eyes."

"Bud worms don't have eyes!"

"Well… maybe it's a magic worm!" Lloyd protested.

"Lloyd, you need to stop hanging out with Colette."

They were crouched in a small cave, Zelos had found it by shear stupid lucky trip –Colette's clumsiness must be contagious or something- and they'd made themselves at home as they could. It wasn't first class, and he had to use mana to keep a fire going, not fun. They had both sworn tomorrow would be it then they'd go back and like smart sensible people get supplies for their mini-journey- side quest, thing.

"No idea, well kind of an idea… I'll think and try to remember."

"You work on that." Zelos shivered, not having to think to have brought any form of supplies they both were suffering. The sandwiches Lloyd kept stuffed in his pockets for Raine cooking days so he could claim he had eaten were split between them. There were pretty nasty, covered in fur and lint, and Zelos a connoisseur of fine foods didn't like that one bit. He let Lloyd know that and finally Lloyd stood.

"OK, you know what I'll hunt something up OK?" Before Zelos could just say he was joking the kid went outside. Now cold, hungry and alone Zelos curled up by his fire and grumbled a few curses. Wondering what the heck was taking so long, and what Lloyd thought he could 'hunt up'.

"I swear, if it's spider I'll say I'm allergic to it." Zelos growled, telling his knees to stop chattering like that, it was bad for his image.


"Cold… cold…" Lloyd shivered, rubbing his arms together. "I hate Falnoir sometimes…"

"Wandering around, when it's almost nightfall, in a region known to go to sub-zero temperatures is not the wisest thing in the world."

"You know what Kra- Kratos!" Lloyd turned, numb hands gripping at his swords. "What are you doing here?"

Clad the same as the day they met was Kratos Aurion, he was a seraphim of cruxis' high order, but for a seraphim he was pretty weird. Purple pants, purple tunic, and cloak. God's Lloyd was freezing with three layers of furs on and Kratos was standing as serenely as if it were a summer day. He pulled his long auburn hair out of his eyes, he wore a mask as always. Not on his face for his face was a mask of his soul. Those eyes colder then the snows about him warmed just the slightest when they regarded him, and only months of traveling with him told Lloyd how to read that.

"The skies are clearer here then almost anywhere else." Kratos smiled then the gesture was gone and to any who didn't see it would never have been there. "I should very well put the same question to you."

"Doing stuff." Lloyd answered evasively. "And I bet you're just lying, like always." Lloyd shivered turned his back on the man.

"Do you think everything was an act?" Kratos sounded… annoyed, angry and it all drained away in a second. "Even something as simple as enjoying the night sky, with…"

"Who knows?" Lloyd flared. "I don't, not anymore!"

Not with what everyone has said.

"If you must know," Kratos' voice dripped sarcasm. "I'm working for Yggdrasil, plotting the downfall of his foes."

Lloyd paused, felt that old call as he had during their journey together. He ignored it, the silent call grew louder, insistent, and he kept ignoring it.


The Iselian knew that would be the only vocalization he'd get of the call. If he kept walking Kratos would just leave him alone. He paused, shivered, stared at the snow in front of him.

Two souls call another when one is falling, when the dark has come they call and if the bond is true the call is answered.


"I'm… you have no supplies. Why is this?"

"Oh you know." The Iselian felt a lump in his throat; this was way too much like old times. "Just one of my stupid stunts."

"Hurmph, some things don't change."

"Yeah…" Lloyd shivered, his teeth were chattering. "Look I'm freezing, so if you don't have anything to say…"

There was a flash of silver blue light; the snow around him was stained with that color as the snow around the seraphim must be now stained red.

As always when Kratos drew his wingshis voice changed, developed a slight echo almost like a crystal chime. "I have other things to tend to; perhaps our paths will cross again before your quest for something has been fulfilled. You may be rash, but I know you and you have a purpose. Seeing you in this state… circumstances must have been dire to get you out here." He heard something fall to the ground, there was a near whirlwind behind him and when he turned Kratos was gone. A few feathers lay on the snow, some tipped red, some not, all of them giving off soft light like rogue stars.

He had left behind a pack, shivering Lloyd went to it, and picked it up. When it didn't explode or spit fire or shock him or do anything like that he forced it open with trembling hands. Inside were food rations, a map, compass, and a few red rocks. He pulled on of the rocks out, red quartz mined from Triet if Raine was right about that. It was warm in his hands, scalding hot, a pebble of this stuff held enough heat to serve as a fire and fuel a stove for weeks.

"Maybe… I'm right and they're wrong…" Lloyd muttered to himself as he swung the pack over his shoulders. "Ju… just this once."

He went back to Zelos, was given a long lecture for trusting Kratos, and then they set up a piece of the quartz in the center of the room. Lloyd 'tested' the rations because Zelos refused to touch them if Lloyd didn't risk poisoning himself. The Chosen curled around the quartz, seemed tired from keeping the fire so Lloyd kept first watch, and he had to wonder. If Zelos ran into Kratos would he have taken the supplies? Remembering the vehemence and the fact that Zelos had been willing to let him poison himself Lloyd didn't have to think hard.

His last thought as he went to sleep mid watch was it was a good thing he had gone out, or they would have been in serious trouble.


"Give me a clear path, fair weather at my back, let the heavens show me their glory and I will fear nothing and travel where ever destiny shall take me."

"You're well read." Zelos snapped, looking up at the auburn haired man in anger, he was half expecting him on their journey since Lloyd stupidly trusted the guy last night. Kratos was like a dog, give him a scrap of attention, even look at him, and he followed you home. He was angry at Lloyd for giving Kratos that attention, more angry when Lloyd didn't even go for his swords. The Iselian and the Angel stared at each other, the older man on the back of a hill the younger at its base, both were staring at each other. It was almost like this meeting was planed.

"I've had the time to become well read." Kratos' eyebrow went up in a lazy arch, he stared at Lloyd. "I ask again what are you doing here Lloyd?"

"The weather's good, the stars are out, figure I'd go take a walk." Lloyd chuckled, throwing Kratos' words back in his teeth.

Man did the guy not like that. His eyes turned to slits and he growled like some freaking dog. Zelos gripped the hilt of his blade wearily but Lloyd just waited the man's anger out. He was… cold, Lloyd was as cold and unimpassioned as the snow around them. There was weariness, exhaustion on the angel's face for a second, then it was gone, the mask was in place.

"I see… interesting company you keep these day's Lloyd."

Sound surprised old man, I wonder if Lloyd was smarter then I gave him credit for.

No way some bastard –wings aside he's a bastard- is gunna talk to me like I'm a dog.

"What is that smell? It almost smells like… sewer rat." Zelos said the last brightly, an exaggerated chirp that would have out sweeted Colette's happy observations, keeping that tone he continued. "Is that you… or the thing you roll around with when you aren't traveling with the kiddies?" Kratos snarled and Lloyd backed up as something caught in those black pit eyes and ignited.

"What did you just say?" Kratos seethed so violently that the snow around him should have been melting.

"I said…" Zelos looked at the pale Lloyd. "Yo bud, what's wrong?"

"Epp… It… behind…"

Kratos turned as the snow hill behind him shivered. Hundreds of small ice hued legs shivered, pushed off the ground, and a worm-centipede the size of a barn rose out of the earth. It was the color of silver, and its mouth, large enough to eat all three of them in one gulp.

"Holy shit, you're a big boy!"

"Man that old man wasn't lying when he said they were big!"

"You were looking for this thing? My gods how stupid have you gotten after you hit the pillar boy?" Kratos snarled, drawing his sword and running away from the writhing snow about him as the monster was trying to free its lower half.

"Umm yeah, if you think we were just sightseeing. You're more gullible then Lloyd if that's..."

"Hey!" Lloyd flared. "Zelos shut it!"

Soundlessly the beast slithered towards the two arguing swordsmen; it was so quiet and left no mark on the snow as it moved.

"No way something that big…" Zelos gapped as it slithered over the snow.

"It's probably a minor snow elemental, or a cross breed of a monster and an elemental."

"What? Lloyd, now's not the time to act smart!"

"Children, fight later." Kratos had joined them, was the only one not hypnotized by the slithering monster.

"Running sounds good about now." Zelos looked to Lloyd. "Hint hint…"

"Go ahead and run, I'm getting that scale!" Lloyd drew his swords.

"What scale do you need?" Kratos shifted closer to Lloyd, his blade and shield at the ready.

"Don't you work for like, Cruxis?" Zelos protested.

"It's my day off." Kratos snarled, "Well Lloyd?"

"Bud, you can't be trusting this guy!" Zelos protested as Lloyd spun his blades and looked the nearing monster over, it had half a hill to slither down before it reached them.

"The platinum one, right between the eyes," Lloyd pointed with a blade at a shiny speck on the head and Kratos nodded. "That's the one I think."

"A hellish way to get the materials for a platinum scale armor, Lloyd."

"It's not for me, it's for Colette's medicine."

Kratos nodded. "Then by my oath to Cruxis I must help you retrieve that scale." The man cracked a smile. "Not that I wouldn't but if Yggdrasil starts nosing about…"

"You know, one of these days you're going to pick a side, tell us which it is and the world's gunna end." Lloyd rolled his eyes. "Fire?"

"Light." Kratos corrected.

Lloyd frowned but then nodded and trudged through the snow at the beast head on.

"He's like going to be total mince meat." Zelos said quietly.

"You have no faith in him." Kratos shivered, rolled his shoulders and those nasty blood wings ripped out of him, he hissed in pain then looked to the heavens. "That will be your undoing." He then began to chant in angelic, calling on the light of the heavens to cook all the sinners about him.

Superior jackass even casts his spells like he's all that.

Zelos watched in shock as Lloyd calmly jumped out of the way of a descending leg, he leapt off the ground, off of the first joint of the leg and his blade drew a few thin lines the thing could of put a band aid over. Zelos watched it roll over; try to smash the swordsman, who just finished his jump by kicking off of the monsters side. Lloyd pulled a good bird impersonation and landing quite a bit away from it. The kid turned both blades pointed at the thing.

"Over here!" He yelled, his blades making a musical note as they clapped together. "Yeah I'm the one who cut you! What are you going to do about it?"

And the whole thing, two vulking mansion lengths and his mansion's height just turned on Lloyd.

"Kid kid… if you get smushed Colette's gunna get sad, I can not have you making a girl in the dumps bud, does hell to their looks!" Zelos called drawing his sword. "Stupid little brat has to go and play hero." The Chosen growled under his breath.

And what gets to you Zelos boy is that he is, he is a hero. He's more then you'll ever be.

Zelos told that inner voice to shut the Hell up, and even as he slogged through the snow and approached the monsters butt began the words of a fire spell. Zelos, being a fine connoisseur of butts knew his assess well. This was an ass no one would get a pleasure from. Not even a sick perverted someone like him.

"Burn baby, fire ball!" Three orbs of red fire smashed into the things as, it squeaked mouse like, and turned. Purple light licked across the sky.

"Zelos, you're in range of Kratos' spell!" Lloyd screamed, "Run!"

"Big whoop I can take a few dinky sunbeams..." The first bolt of light fell from the heavens. It was silver blue in hue, and ohh about the width of a pillar in the king's castle. It went into, and through the monster, and melted the snow under it with a loud hiss. "I'm running, shit! How'd you last against this guy!"

"Don't ask me I was out most of the fight!" Lloyd yelled back, with a laugh in his voice.

More light, faster, harder, rained from the sky, when it cleared the monster and the scenery about it had a ton of holes big enough for a few people to tumble into, not that the monster was caring all that much. Its mouth, a wide hole that's pieces moved about inside and made it drag even the air in, decided to have a bite of Lloyd to make up for its missing parts. The head arched, plowed into the snow and a red blur went up and landed on the things back. Lloyd zipped about, slashed with his blades, and then jumped off and the thing turned on Zelos. Looking into that mouth the Tethe'allan Chosen almost pissed himself. Gathering the last of his courage he jumped aside, used his ex-sphere to power his jump, he then kicked off the ground, managed another jump on the thing's snout. He had the dubious pleasure of looking it in the charming crystal blue hued orbs, it –for a worm- looked surprised. And there it was the platinum scale all he had to do was reach out and pluck it out, nothing easier. Zelos froze, too scared, and the monster finally decided he didn't like having an ultra hot Chosen on itself. (After all Zelos being there made it look bad) so it arched its head and slammed it into the ground a few times. Zelos dug his sword in and held on for dear life as the thing bucked and heaved trying to throw him off.


"Help, help!"

"I don't know weather to laugh… or to cry…" Kratos muttered under his breath as Zelos was clinging to the worm and Lloyd was darting around slashing at it trying to make it forget about Zelos and go after him. Unfortunately the monster, despite its huge bulk of its head, was insanely stupid and was blaming all the pain it was going through on the thing it could see.

"Dear Martel, I don't wanna dieeeee!"

Kratos sighed, rubbed his temples that were beginning to throb.

"Someone saaave meeee!" Zelos screeched.

The exaggerated parts of the words were when the Chosen was holding on for dear life as the monster began to rise up and down and buck as much as a worm could.

Watching Lloyd almost get smashed five times in a minute trying to save that bastard… Kratos snarled, flapped his wings.

"Lloyd, pull back!"

"But Zel-"

"I've got it!" Kratos roared, and Lloyd used to obeying him dashed off, the monster went back to trying to dislodge its… unwanted visitor. Sighing Kratos jumped off the snow slicked ground outside of Falnoir, fluttered across the ground and then hovered a few inches from the whimpering red head. "Zelos, damn it man, jump!"

"I'm so freaking scared I'm hearing things…" The Chosen whined, still holding into his sword.

"Open your eyes you coward!" Kratos snarled, and the Chosen did so.

"Oh, not a nightmare… You know what you can just shove…"

Kratos watched as the head smashed into the earth, burrowed into the snow, and when it came up again and was lined with Kratos the seraphim stared at the snow covered Chosen. A screaming snow covered Chosen.

"I don't wanna die!" Zelos howled. "Help!"


"What are you nuuuuuuts AHHH!" The head went down again and when it came up Zelos was a great deal more receptive to the idea of jumping.

Kratos honestly toyed around with the idea of letting Zelos fall to his death, Lloyd however seemed attached to the red head. Snagging the scruff of Zelos' fur coat Kratos dragged the Chosen away, easily holding them both in the air. He did drop Zelos into a large snow drift, ordered the man to stay out of the way, then winged his way back to fight. Lloyd was harassing the thing with his blades, whittling it away, and given enough time probably would have been able to slash one of it's main arteries and scored a kill. Watching Lloyd dash under the mess of legs, scramble away from the huge bulk as the thing began to roll in an attempt to smash the boy, was too large a goad however. Power licked at his flamberge, fires that had fueled the worlds' creation, he fell from the sky his blade spilling a tail of fire behind him. He smashed into the thing's back, slashed a huge gash in the monster's back. It arched, screamed it's soundless scream and curled on it's side as a series of fireballs rained from his charged up blade and pounded into the things wound, digging deep into organs. With one spectacular twitch it died. From his safe snow drift Zelos whistled.

"Damn Old Man, you really kicked his ass."

"It's, the beast was asexual."

Zelos muttered something unflattering under his breath that Kratos pretended not to hear.


"Here…" Lloyd groaned, one of the legs had pinned him down. "Damn, that was stupid."

"When you care for someone you do stupid things for them… it is part of love I guess."

Kratos picked up the leg and Lloyd crawled out from under the tree sized limb.

"It's probably pupil teacher rubbing off of one another!" Zelos yelled.

"Chosen, shut up!" Kratos flared, and Zelos shrinked back into the snow with a meek whimper.

"What's he talking about?"

"Now's not the time Lloyd." Kratos pulled the swordsman to his feet. "Do you need healing?"

"Nah…" Lloyd staggered and the seraphim held him up. "just a… little… winded… that's all."

"Hurmph," Kratos met Lloyd's glazed eyes and then put his hand over the young man's forehead. "A minor concussion, a few bruised vertebra, and a cold… So you're fine hmmm?"

"I can… fight…"

"Indeed… Breath of life I summon thee… Healing wind."

Lloyd's eyes unglazed and he looked less pained when the green winds that licked at him and smelled faintly of spring dissipated.

"OK, thanks, I'm better now so…" Kratos absently snagged the scruff of Lloyd's coat. "Aw man I'm better now!" As Kratos again checked him over with his power Lloyd whined. "You know this is gunna look bad on your Cruxis record or something."

"Yeah you don't wanna miss your chance to earn more evil points!" Zelos hollered, and decided to make like snow and duck when Kratos favored him with a death glare. Llyod meekly stood though another rush of tingling power, this time it wasn't wind or anything, just mana that buzzed through him and was warm.

"I've stimulated your immune system," Kratos said, breaking the charge that he had put in the link between them. "If you take it easy you won't get sick."

"Thanks… Umm let's get that scale Zelos."

"Alright!" Zelos slipped out of his hiding spot, and went to his sword and yanked it out of the 'nose'. There it was, the platinum scale, they stared at it, at the dead eyes around it and hesitated. "So who touched that nasty dead thing to pull out a scale that for all we know it's like ultra stuck in the skull?"

"Worms don't have skulls." Kratos growled, Zelos nearly hopped out of his skin cuz the seraphim had strolled up behind them. "They are in-vertebras."

"Look I'm a math expert, not biology, that's the Professor's thing."

"How are they doing, Raine, Genis, Colette?"

"Like were gunna tell…" Zelos began heatedly.

"Pretty good." Lloyd used his sword to poke the scale. "Raine's even more ruin nutty now that there are more ruins to go to, Genis is trying to read ever book in Tethe'alla, and Colette's trying to make some new religion or something with all the old stuff and ou- my stories."

"Interesting." Kratos wings flapped lazily. "If you ever get a chance drop some of her writings down with Syt, I would like to read them when I have the time."

"How's Syt doing," Lloyd turned. "After Luin…"

"He got away. I have agents protecting him and his family. The second Kvar came into Luin they knew and spirited them away. As I understand the funds you have been putting their have been gone to making them a new inn. They've been donating half of all their profits to the reconstruction."

"That's good. I was really worried about them; they all made it, their all alright then?"

"Issia wants my head on a pole. She did not know I had angelic guards in Luin watching over them. Syt has been skinned by his wife's sharp tongue, but beyond that, no casualties."

"Issia's pretty vicious huh, well when you see them tell them I say hi, and I'll drop by when we're in Syl- erm in the area."

"They know about the split worlds Lloyd. I'll send them your well wishes."

"Wa- wait they knew, what you were, what was going to happen, everything?"

"They knew what was supposed to happen, and I've been keeping them abreast of matters here. What happened in the Tower was a fluke."

"Oh so I guess you'd have given orders for Yggdrasil to just snatch Colette and run?" Zelos growled.

Lloyd held his peace, waited for Kratos to explain.

"No, she would have been taken by Remial with no words, but Remial opened his mouth." Kratos snarled. "She would have been checked to see if she could serve as a vessel, if she did then she would have become the vessel if not –which is what I believe would have been the outcome- she would have been "resurrected" as we did Spirituia. Remial though had his gloating fit, I was sent to execute him for he was a flawed project, and you did the task before I could stop you. Yggdrasil was infuriated that you killed one of his own and that's when it all went to Hell."

"That's why you looked so surprised…" Lloyd muttered. "I never thought Angels killed each other and fought and stuff."

"Despite the tales we are more flawed… then we would like to be."

"Phht, why the hell should you believe this guy?"

Lloyd was on his tip toes stabbing at the scale, he missed and hit an eye that decided to… ooze…

"Yuck, bud, don't play with it!"

"It's too… tall…"

"Hand me your sword." Kratos took Lloyd's long slender blade and after whipping it off on the snow managed to get the curved tip under the scale and wrench it out. "You're fighting with scimitars now?"

"I keep the scimitars for enemies that have arrows and projectiles and twin long swords for well… everything else."

"Ah," Kratos handed sword and scale over. "You should head back, any longer in this cold and you will get sick and all my mana will mean nothing at that point…"

"Umm we still have some stuff on the list to get."


"A List." Lloyd sniffled, and sighed. "I'm fine; don't look at me like that. I get nightmares about chicken soup every time you stare at me like that!"

"The others can do it; you are sick and will only get sicker if…"

"I'm fine!" Lloyd flared, and then began to cough. "And they can't everyone but me and Zelos has a cold. Stupid doctors don't even treat cold patients anymore…"

"Let me see this list of yours."

Zelos protectively put his hand over the pocket it was in.

"Um, no. Giving info to a baddie like you is a huge no-no. First rule in the Zelos book of wisdom, don't help bastards. Sorry but you can just go flutter back to Ygg-who ever she is, and go back to boot licking alright?"

Kratos rose an eyebrow, stroked his blade and the look on his face told them he was seeing images of skewered Zelos' dancing in his head.

"Guys," Lloyd stood between the two men, put his arms between them to keep them apart. "Could you fight some other time? Just give him the list Zelos."

"You're taking his side!" Zelos whined.

"Zelos…" Lloyd sniffled. "I'm taking the side that leads to you guys being quiet because my head is killing me alright!"

"I'll handle this." Kratos said after scanning the list. "You are far too sick to even try to get these items…. A lock bigfoot's mane, a blizzard wolf's fang, three penguin feathers… This isn't for medicine!"

"The old man in Falnior needs it to make some sort of gloves…" Lloyd said, ignoring how Zelos ribbed him. "We had a pair but they melted when we visited Triet."

"Ah." Kratos stroked his chin, and Zelos had to wonder how the guy could just wear a short sleeve tunic and tight pants and flimsy purple cloak when in three furs he and Lloyd were freezing their male hood off. "The feather gloves are made out of ice enchanted items, you should have…"

"Kratos…" Lloyd said in a quiet dangerous tone that made Zelos' eyebrows hop, he'd never heard Lloyd talk like that before. "I have a headache and I feel like crap, don't scold me alright!"

"You are sick, you said you felt fine!" Zelos snapped, putting his hands on his hips.

"I'm fine…" Lloyd squeaked, images of being doctored by Zelos were now dancing in his head. He was nervous, Zelos was probably a bad doctor, Kratos –he knew this for a fact as he nightmare-d about being spoon fed soup- was a bad doctor and the only good ones were several miles away. "Really… just a little cough…"

"And a headache, and the chills, and a cough, bud, you have what we in Tethe'alla call a C-O-L-D."

"That's it! I will fetch these items and you will be going back to bed young man."

"Kraatosss I'm fine, really, honestly, I can…"

"And like Hell we trust you to do anything for us! You're one of those Angels, remember? Or you forgot, what is your deal anyways? Any time Lloyd gets himself in deep you're there yanking him out, I bet Yggdrasil wouldn't like that."

"Oh, and you are going to tell him?" Kratos snarled.

"The temple," Lloyd said quietly, "we can get the feathers and everything else there."

"Alright, I'll drop you off at Falnoir, then I'll go to the temple and you can leave the rest to me." Zelos swung an arm over Lloyd's shoulder.

"I should go…" Lloyd protested. "I can help!"

"Bud bud… how are you gunna snag more hunnies if you don't feel good? You catch your feet and I'll send a few of them your way, alright?"

"The doctor said there's a rock in the seal room… Good for healing sick…" Lloyd leaned weakly into Zelos' arms. you have he reihards?"

Zelos nodded, fumbled in his pockets and pulled out a toy sized steel bird. He'd have died before admitting, but he had been toying around with it in his boredom and had totally forgotten about it, now he set it in the snow and it grew so it could hold easily two people.

"More importantly can he stay on?"

Zelos looked at the sick Lloyd, nibbled on his lower lip and shook his head, no way that kid could stay on. He wasn't even leaning good.

"I could carry…"

"Like hell you will!" Zelos spat, he pointed his sword at the man. "I don't trust you old man, not like he does, not like any of them do. So you stay away from him and from me, got that Gramps?"

Kratos' face twitched, he swatted the steel aside, not wounded by the long sword in the slightest though his hand had touched the sharp of the blade. Zelos took a step back, let Lloyd fall to the ground and lifted a hand to begin a spell. Katos' finger snagged his tunic, twisted, and Zelos was hanging inches off the ground. He had the dubious pleasure of looking down one that furious mug, not much of a face that…

"Your hatred will kill not only yourself but him, is that what you want?"

"We don't need your help." Zelos croaked.

"You don't need it; or rather you don't think you need it." Kratos let Zelos fall to the ground. He gently picked up the young swordsman, held him so tenderly Zelos felt something in his brain click.

"What the hell, what is he to you?" The Chosen snapped.

Kratos said nothing, kicked off the earth and set his wings to flapping.

"Like Hell you're leaving with him." Fire snapped between his fingers, he threw a fireball and though didn't mean to miss it hissed through the air and clipped one of the wings. Kratos fanned his wings, spread them as far as they could go and flapped them so he wobbled back and forth, as close to hovering as he could get. One hand freed itself, it swept over Kratos in a mocking benediction and a chill of angelic mana filled the air. Something in Zelos' gut clenched, he felt sick and got sick unable to help himself as the poison of a twisted angelic blessing fell upon him. Where Colette could and did constantly call on the Goddess in her prayers to grant blessings Kratos had called it upon Zelos as a curse. On bloody wings he flapped to Falnoir, leaving the Chosen behind, and it was when he was well enough to go back and call it a bloody day that Zelos remembered something. There were three angels, three seraphim, and one of them was called the angel of death. And the angel of death flew on wings that dripped the blood of a sinner. Whatever Kratos' deal with Lloyd was, considering what the bastard was… he wanted none of it.

As he flew back, his stomach giving him hell he had a bit of a sobering thought. Lloyd was a good kid, he was honest to a fault, a little random, but seeing him sick, weak, how could someone who gets taken out by a cold win against angels? Look at all the Hell Kratos had just casually brought down on that worm thing that was taking them both out! He mulled over everything that had been said, after all it was an hours flight to Falnoir so he had plenty of time to mull. He played over the conversations, and felt a twing of anger. Lloyd had picked Kratos' side, kept trusting Kratos, no matter how stupid it was to do so. Bitterness welled up in him, none of them could see how screwed up, insane that… thing was!- Kratos wasn't even human in Zelos' book, he was a thing, an Angel-

Lloyd didn't trust him, kept trusting that bastard and…

Anger and bitterness mixed. Lloyd was trying to do the right thing, he honestly was, but he was trusting the wrong people. He was trusting the Renegades, and the Mizuho spies, he was trusting an Angel for crying out loud. He was putting all of his trust where it shouldn't have gone, he was… He wasn't trusting him, he was trusting everyone but him. He realized as he glided in, that cold practical part of him that was always thinking stuff over even when he made a joke, something. No way Lloyd was going to win, no way. So like when playing a game of dice in a no win situation –because if Lloyd lost everyone was screwed even he knew that- with nothing to lose you just chucked it all in one call and hoped it came to the right. He wondered which he should pick but realized there was only one winning side.

Hope on the hopeless, it was fire, idealism. So like his father used to say, just take a short of ice, mix it in lies and half truths so the cold didn't burn then chug it down fast.

Not that hard really, a sting and then nothing, maybe a bitter taste, a bitter memory.

Not all that different from another drink he chugged with Aionis in it, so long ago.