"Tales of Symphonia" Fanfic

Reflection

Author's note: Just some archive digging and note transferring... this isn't my best, just the first TOS fic I penned. I didn't quite know the characters and it lacks a certain strength that lies in my other fics. But it might be a show of where I've come from writing wise and well it is fanfic... Enjoy... I'm trying to get stuff for Shards and Cupid but my new job is really physically demanding and I have very little energy so my speeds now comparable to a turtle up-date wise. Hope you all had a happy new-years guys

He sat, his back against a tree. The rough bark muffled by his cloak, his tunic, and by his dull sense of touch. It was always like this, every night he sat, his back to the world, his eyes on Heaven. The Stars, so beautiful would fill his eyes, and the darkness of the night would give him just a shred of that which could never be his. Sleep, he ached for the oblivion behind his eyes to take him for a short time. Some days that longing was so strong he would do the gestures, set up his blankets, lay still. All in futile hope that true sleep would take him, not the blood tinged unconscious of wounds, but true sleep. Soft as velvet, a last shield for his weary soul. It was with envy he watched Raine and Genis set up their blankets, with envy that he watched them drift off. They would never understand, could never comprehend nor survive. It had been almost twenty years since he drifted off, twenty years he had a handful of hours of sweet oblivion. It had been at least twelve years since he had eatten a full meal. What little he did eat to sustain himself had roused worry from his companions. They had looked at him with their open warm eyes so sad and lost...

He fuzzily remembered the lie he'd fed them, and because they respected his privacy they had let it slide. For once though, not having to eat didn't seem too bad, not with the stars above him... and the scent of Raine's cooking still thick in the air. With lazy eyes he combed the campsite, and a slight smile curled his lips when Genis snuggled closer to his book. He slept with a book that one, not a stuffed animal with far too sweet wide eyes, but a massive encyclopedia. With one so young, barely twelve years to life, those thin arms could barley wrap around that thick book. A frown touched his face as he strained to read the title of the book, strained to and failed for it was lost in it's nest of blankets and half elven limbs.

The sound of the child's toy and weapon along with the sense of being stared at, made Katos know he was going to be talked to. And by the quietest member of their little company.

"Why do you do Mercenary work?"
Kratos looked up from the sword he was sharpening to stare into Genis' steel blue eyes. "Hmm, It's just something I'm skilled at..."

"Yeah right, your almost as smart as Raine, you could have been a scholar!"

"What's wrong with what I do now?"

"It just doesn't seem right, you killing other people, I mean I understand why Llyod might do that. It's all he knows or can do... Oww! Raine, that hurt!"

"Genis leave Kratos alone alright, he can do what he want's it's not our place to bother him about it."

"No bother Ms. Raine. I do what I do, Genis, because I'm the only one who can do it. Much like Lloyd, I realized I could protect others with my sword-skills. You've heard the saying "the quill is mightier then the sword" ?"

"Yeah, it's the one Lloyd doesn't like. He hates anything related to study, well except star junk and-"

"I've noticed. Regardless it's accurate, to a point. I merle pick up where that saying fails. Sometimes Genis there must be force applied, that's what I do. I protect who needs to be protected... and avenge those who can't be saved."

"Hmm I didn't hear you after the word "protected", what'd you say?"

"Nothing... It's not important..."

Raine sighed in her sleep, and snugged up with her books and notes on ruins. He mentally groaned as the title seemed to leap out off the page to his angelic eyes. Triet, he had hated Triet, and Lloyd's endless whining about the heat had nothing to do with that hate. He remembered Lloyd's look of dread when he'd said they would have to go to Triet's SouthWest Ruins. The boy's glazed eyes had mirrored his own as the half elven woman had prattled on about different stones, translations of the angelic language, and hieroglyphic symbolism along with pure and universally accepted translation methods. Lloyd had fallen asleep mid lecture, standing. The woman had snapped her head up at the boy's first snore, then whipped around staff extended. Lloyd had tried to dodge, but half groggy he'd failed, and landed on the hot sand butt first. The tall slender woman then had done something Kratos could never have expected, she rolled Lloyd over and smacked him sharply on his rump. He still remembered the sight, Lloyd a nearly full grown man, trying to bolt. Raine had pinned him down with a boot, dusted of her long orange robes, then had smacked him sharply with her staff five times.

"Kratos! Help! Ouch! Oww, Genis save me!" Lloyd was clawing at the sand, trying to escape using his finger nails to drag himself forward. Too kind or perhaps panicked, to realize all that he had to do was roll to the side to dislodge the professor.
"You've got to be joking, you think I want to be next?"

"Noishe, help!"

The dog much smarter then either of it's masters excused itself with a whine and had trotted of.

Kratos sighed, hid his face with a hand, and felt his face burn. Not a glorious moment in the Aurion family tree. Hilarious, on foresight yes, but it still made him a bit ashamed. A quick glance at the two empty bed rolls made him sigh. "The love birds" as Genis mockingly called them, were off somewhere talking. They did that every night or so it seemed. Lloyd would confer with Colette, or Genis, even once he'd gone of alone with the Raine. Stupid as it was he felt a twinge of jealousy, Lloyd was adamant about avoiding him.

There was hate in the boys eyes, or so he imagined.

But that didn't seem right either, Lloyd didn't have much of a capability for hate, didn't waste the passions he felt in something as petty as a grudge. He applied that passion everywhere else though. Much to everyone's annoyance. Kratos should have been grateful Lloyd was so curious, that he was willing to try anything once. He remembered one evening when the two boys had gone off to spar, how Llyod had come back scorched and Raine had fallen on both of them like thunder from the heavens. Llyod never tried to use magic after that, nor did he try to practice dodging magic attacks, at least not with Genis.

Kratos had offered to help the boy train, and had been rather icyly rebuffed...

First by Colette, Raine, and even Genis. Lloyd hadn't said anything, he'd just slipped off while the rest of the group yelled at him not to encourage Lloyd to do anything else stupid. Colette had looked at him with horrified tearful eyes, tortured with the idea of Lloyd even getting a scratch. Raine had muttered something about how he as an "adult" should have known better. Genis had said that if Kratos hurt Lloyd he'd get toasted, and it wasn't going to be Lloyd who'd kick his butt, it'd be Genis'.

The image of that boy trying to take him down made Kratos laugh. He wasn't bad for someone raised in peace time, but if it ever came to pass that they did fight... Kratos killed that thought, and that humor, with another thought. There could come a time when he'd have to fight them, there could be a time where the blood that fell from his blade was not that of a monsters. But theirs.

Could in all probability was would.

He might have to kill them all.

Suddenly the firelight seemed sinister. Caked the elvish siblings silver hair with false blood, deepened the shadows around the two other bed rolls so they looked like they held charred corpses. He'd killed others before, once not to long ago had killed the innocent and the guilty with no thought to what he was doing. Now he could no longer do so, not after her. Colette and Lloyd soon came back from their walk, and with a parting hug Lloyd left her to sit by the fire. Kratos sheathed the blade he had drawn out, at the sound Lloyd looked in his direction, then spying him, smiled. The boy loosed his hand that had wrapped around the hilt of a sword and sat by the fire. The look in those brown eyes and open face told Kratos everything, Lloyd was ashamed of his warriors reflexes. Silent as death, Kratos walked out from the darkness, and mutely joined the young swordsman.

"There is no shame in what you are Lloyd, you should not feel that way."

"Huh, err I don't get what you just said.. I was kind of expecting something like 'go to sleep, it's late'."

"You're old enough to know your limits Lloyd. Only when you push yourself beyond them to a dangerous point will I comment. You forget, I'm not your keeper."

"Err.. OK well this sounds kind of like a lecture..."

"Then that fault is yours, or rather your ears'."

"Are you always so literal?" Kratos stared at Lloyd for a long moment and the boy squirmed. "OK that was uncalled for on my part, but geeze lighten up will you?"

"When I find a cause to lighten up as you put it, I shall."

"Your so bloody condescending you know that! Anyone someone trys to talk to you, criticism, sarcasm, that's all they get! Your so.. so high and mighty to everyone else. Maybe Genis was right..."

"You," Kratos looked to the side, a bit of shame touched his face. "You must hate me greatly to say something like that..."

"Hate? Uhh no, I like you, kind of.. I mean you're a really good swordsman and you've saved Colette more times then I can count. It's just sometimes you're a jerk. You don't listen to us, you don't talk to anyone. You kind of hang there like.. well like me in Math. I have to be there, I know it's important, but I'd love to be anywhere else."

"That's not the impression I wish to give..."

"Well you're giving it, at least that's what Genis thinks." A log snapped in the fire, and Llyod nearly hopped a foot in the air. "Geeze, give a guy a heart attack will you?"

"I imagine the wood is strongly moved by your words."

"That's what I'm talking about! That.. that... Oh forget this, I'm going to bed."
"Wait, Lloyd... If this manner of mine has been such a strain on you and the others why hasn't anyone said anything sooner?"

"No clue." Lloyd yawned, and stretched. "It might just be me."

"Hmph, I doubt it." Kratos was remembering the nights when Raine would look at him and he would wait expectantly for her to speak, and get nothing in reply. Even Genis seemed leery of talking to him unless Raine or Lloyd was there. Colette talked to him a bit, but all their talks fell into awkward silences. "It might just be me after all."

"Yeah, well whatever, I'm tired and no offense but you've been up awful late. Wake Genis up, he's been wanting to experience a watch by himself anyways." Then with a muttered goodnight Lloyd went to his blankets.

"I had not known that Genis wished to have a watch..." Lloyd's only response was a snore. How in the higher powers did the boy just fall asleep like that? "There are some things I don't understand Lloyd, most of all is your understanding. You read our inner souls like books, bind us to Colette's cause, and through it all we are never deceived. If only it were the same for all of us, if only our lives were as simple as yours."

After a bit of mulling it over Kratos sighed, then decided he best attempt to fein sleep and set the next watch. Genis would serve as decent cover for yet another of his lies. So many lies that were the core of his life, and as he set up his blankets, he did his best to ignore the half elvish boy. Genis' eyes were all alight with wonder at the night, a night that his over protective sister let him see little of. Kratos mimed stretching, ran a hand through his hair, and was surprised to here Genis wish him good night. For a second Kratos stood, said nothing, and he could almost feel the young boy quake at his silence. In such a empty motionless silence only Lloyd would not shake.

"Safe watch Genis."

"Th..Thanks..."

Kratos sunk down on the blankets, closed his eyes, and prayed as he did every night that he would sleep.