Another one-shot I had to do. This focuses on Anna's pregnancy and the birth of our dear Lloyd. It's rather serious as opposed to my other works, but I love it just the same.
Because this is rated T, I didn't actually include any of the actual delivery, nor several other things I would have enjoyed. Regardless, enjoy, for I worked a whole two hours on it XD
Disclaimer: I no own ToS or anything else I may somehow relate to...
Three long years they had searched for 'home'. Three long years had gone by with them living in minuscule cottages, sometimes happy, sometimes bitter, but always in love.
It had been a marriage fit for two warriors. Done quickly and silently without rings and with only a solitary priest as unknown as the village that harbored them to legalize the affair.
Pregnancy had slowed their flight to an indefinite halt. Kratos had secured them a cozy house on the edge of a village filled with the kindest of people. Anna, for her part, had bonded immediately with the residents while her husband guarded her swollen belly protectively. Most everyone had accepted their net of lies(According to Anna, they had broken off from a caravan of family for some adventure of their own, until they were found by Desians.)
Kratos strained to be polite and kind for the most part. He smiled gently when need be(At times with a provocative nudge by Anna) and struggled to keep his irritation with questions to a minimum. He would accept no friendly contact, but when Anna took comfort, he did as well. If she required human contact, then by Goddess he would go to the ends of both worlds to get her only the most suitable company.
The community was stationed on the coast, nestled some hundred miles west of Palmacosta, and relied heavily on the exotic and magnificent fish that hailed their harbors each summer. The men were rough-cut, tough, but kind, as were the wives, and the children ran screaming and playing through the streets, causing mischief as all youths did.
After some persuasion in the form of threats of life sleeping with Noishe, Kratos aided the folks with the building of boats and catching fish. The former he was a fair hand at... the latter, not so much. After witnessing one of the seraph's few lacking skills which included actually operating the nets, he was 'reassigned'(Meaning the fishermen, in fear of him, casually pointed out some monsters causing them trouble).
Life was, for once, peaceful and calm.
"Anna, you are a woman with a child overdue. You are NOT going to rake leaves, do the laundry, or mop!" Kratos tugged at the pants and buckets his wife was cradling. "You must rest.I do not want our child to be in any way shape or form injured because you felt that my pants were not suitable."
Anna put on her legend-worthy pout and latched onto Kratos' arm, leaning herself against his side as the gargantuan lump that was her belly jiggled in mirth as she laughed. "I want our little boy to come into a spotless house, Mister Aurion." She said lightly.
With his brow raised, Kratos planted a light kiss on the corner of Anna's mouth, smirking dryly, "I think it's a girl." He announced surely, running a hand through her waist-length earth-brown tresses gently, teasing out any snags or tangles.
"Do you, now, Kratos?" Against her will, Anna rested her head on his chest and breathed in his scent of forest, rain and unnameable spices. Certainly, it would always be her favorite smell.
"Anna... are you smelling me?" He looked down upon her and kissed the edge of her lips again.
"Yes," she cooed. "You smell very nice." Anna breathed in the intoxicating essence again and sighed into the indigo material of his outfit, nestling her face away from his teasingly.
Kratos frowned in disappointment when she turned her head- or more importantly her lips- away from him. "Well, you smell enjoyable as well," he admitted somewhat sheepishly. "Lilacs and something else that I cannot quite place."
"You're sweet." Anna stretched up and firmly pressed her lips to his.
The embrace lasted several seconds with neither deepening or ending the encounter before Kratos casually attempted to hint the former.
Another disappointed frown etched into his face when Anna pulled away with delight at his suffering. "Don't you have somewhere you're supposed to be?" She teased, poking him in the chest.
"Anna! You're overdue! I can't just go off and kill off monsters with you here alone!" Kratos stood solid as the shorter of them both strained to shove him out the door. "I highly doubt a dragon with overtake the village on this day. Besides, I can sense a storm moving in."
Anna sighed heavily and sat down in a rocker gently. "I won't be alone. Katherine Neil is coming over."
Still unmoving, Kratos switched to the pleading idea. "Anna... I wouldn't be able to live with myself if you had our child without me!" He said quietly. "Please?"
"No. These people have been so good to us, Kratos!" she stood again and shunted him to the home's mahogany entrance. "The least we can do is defend their homes from monsters."
Knowing it was no good to argue against his wife, Kratos grudgingly took the doorhandle in his hand and twisted it, accepting another kiss before walking into the warm July air.
With Kratos gone, Anna wearily trudged to the kitchen, a fine little spot floored with pretty yellow tiles with marble counters and a small mahogany table off to the right.
Pulling open the cupboards, she grimaced, laying a hand gently on her swollen belly. "I hope Katherine gets here soon, Noishe," She spoke to the protozoan, who was now watching her wearily. "Maybe Kratos should have stayed home." She winced again and glared down at her stomach as threateningly as possible, "Don't you dare come yet, Kid." She warned, "If I have to be uncomfortable, I want your papa to be too!"
"Anna? You all right, Hun?" The door to the kitchen swung open and an aging woman of perhaps seventy entered with an air of pleasantness. "Whoops." She took in Anna's exterior and came to a quick conclusion, having had eight children of her own. "Come on, dear." She took hold of the soon-to-be mother's arm and gently led her through the small abode. "I just caught Kratos walking out of the village. He certainly looked more irritable than usual." She giggled softly as Anna moaned. "Don't worry your pretty little head about it, Anna-Banana, I'll find one of Rick Stone's little boys and your man will be home in a jiffy."
Entering the main bedroom, a large space with walls of calming blue and a very plushy carpet, Anna smiled at Katherine and sat on the bed. "Do you think Kratos will make it home? He said something about a storm." She looked out the large picture window and frowned at the blue, cloudless sky that had graced the village this morning.
"Well, Hun. It looked very clear out. But that Kratos is as reliable as an old dog with weather and things of that sort." Katherine took hold of Anna's small hand and ran her weathered thumb over the flawless surface comfortingly, "Don't worry, my dear, from what I've seen, a full valley of Mark Smith's geese wouldn't keep your husband away."
Anna giggled lightly at the memory.
It had been about eight months ago...
"Isn't this place wonderful, Kratos?" Anna twirled around on the dirt road and Kratos smiled gently, catching her form when a rock interrupted her dance.
"It is, Love." He said quietly, taking in the friendly atmosphere with almost a hopeful expression, "It is..." He ducked down and pressed a kiss to her cheek before scanning the streets again. "Come, will show you the house I purchased for us." He tugged at her arm and they began to walk down the main road, Kratos in silent contemplation, Anna waving merrily to all who looked at them.
"Noishe!" The Arshis whined and padded away from several nets taht were squirming with fish. "Stop your foolishness." Kratos lightly flicked the protozoan's nose and frowned at what he saw trailing behind them.
Ten massive, white, devilish-looking geese were following closely behind with beady black eyes glued on Noishe's tail and the wings of Kratos' cape.
It took five minutes before they got up the courage to nip at the objects of desire, and when they did, all Hell broke loose.
"!" The noise Kratos made with seven geese latched onto his cape and in turn cut off his oxygen supply could only be explained as a squawk. A loud, unnatural squawk that one would not imagine Kratos Aurion to utter. Noishe was already ten meters up the road with three birds hanging off his tail.
Anna looked at Katherine brightly, "That was our first day, wasn't it? When the geese attacked Kratos, I mean."
"Yes, it was." Katherine laughed gently. "It's a good thing Mark was already planning on killing a few of his birds or he may've been upset."
Laughing again, Anna was unprepared for the pain that wracked her body. "Ow..." She moaned. "Don't tell me I have to go through this for long..."
With an apologetic smile, Katherine patted her shoulder. "I'm afraid so, Hun. You could be here until tomorrow, depending on how nice Martel and your baby are feeling." She stood up and stretched a bit. "Now, you get comfy and I'll go round up one of those boys to get your husband."
Resting her head on the pillow, Anna secretly prayed that the Goddess was feeling kind.
Two hours later, Katherine reentered the room, looking slightly dampened. "Oh, Dear, I'm sorry..." She patted Anna's hand as the woman winced again. "Kratos was certainly right. It's awful out there." She pulled open the curtains and Anna stared out into a mass of howling wind and buckets of rain.
"Is he alright? Is Kratos okay?"
"He's fine, Hun, but it's impossible for anyone to get through weather like this. I nearly drowned walking 'cross the street." Katherine smiled gently, "Little Jerome is going to try as hard as he can to find your husband, but Anna... he might not get here in time."
With a weak smile, Anna sat up. "Well, I guess it'll be a nice surprise then..."
At exactly ten o'clock at night, Kratos heard of his wife's dilemma.
As luck would have it, he'd sensed the storm approaching and had tried to get home, but do to the sudden ferocity, he'd been forced into a neighboring house for the time being.
"Mr... Mr Kratos!" Through the wind and rain a boy he recognized as Jerome, only eight years old, burst into the room and pushed past the house's owner hurriedly, "Baby!" He yelped in short breath.
With a look of confusion, Kratos let the child breathe. "Pardon? What about a baby...?" His eyes widened and the Seraph waited with baited breath.
"Mrs Anna's havin' a baby! Auntie Katherine told me this morning but I couldn't find you!" the normally-shy child felt a sudden spurt of courage and grabbed Kratos' hand, pulling at him determinedly, "You've gotta go!"
With his stomach clenched in fear, a new sensation, Kratos pulled the boy into his arms, finding it much faster than letting him go and having to say thank-you and the such. "Damn it all..." He cursed quietly, "I told her I shouldn't have gone."
Exiting the house, Kratos used his angelic vision to locate the house and started running, unsure if the liquid coursing down his face and body was rain or perspiration. "Martel, let her be alright." He prayed as he charged, unaware of Jerome's yelps, unaware of the thunder, unaware of anything but reaching where he should have been hours before.
Bursting through the door, Kratos dropped the boy into a chair and bolted through the house, slipping and sliding for the most part, even skidding past the bedroom door where he heard the definite sounds of a new life form. His heart both soared in ecstasy for the thought of being a father, and plummeted for having not been there to witness and support his wife.
Opening the door as softly as he could, Kratos watched as Anna snuggled the babe to her shoulder lovingly whilst Katherine congratulated her wholeheartedly. Slipping into the room, the Seraph sat down at the bedside and Katherine took her leave.
Staring in awe at his child. His perfect, almost surreal child, Kratos struggled to say something appropriate.
"Hi..." Both he and Anna said in unison.
"Meet Lloyd, Kratos." Anna smiled sweetly. "Lloyd Erik Aurion..."
Kratos took the babe into his arms unsteadily and stared into the depths of those two, wide, curious blue eyes and smiled softly, "Lloyd... my son..."
Outside the door, Jerome frowned and looked up at Katherine. "Auntie Katherine... I don't understand... the baby and Mrs Anna are fine... but Mr Kratos is crying."