Women

"How about that one?" She pointed a green-haired, white-clothed woman as she walked by the bench where they sat in the streets of Meltokio.

"Hmm." Kratos considered the denoted girl with a practiced eye. "No." He paused again to contemplate his current situation.

"Why am I doing this again?" The dejected mutter was quickly lost to the bustling air around the two as he came to a conclusion. None of this made sense.

"Because you love me." Her response was alive with amusement.

Kratos sighed heavily. "Anna, of course I love you, but I fail to see how this has anything to do with that."

"It has everything to do with it."

He suppressed the urge to sigh again. She was often like this, demanding they go on spontaneous outings to do things Kratos would never in his life have done otherwise. In this case, it was... checking out women.

Kratos knew quite well that Anna preferred men over women, so he could not understand why she would want to do anything like this. It confused him. He didn't comprehend women at all, and especially not this woman. So much of what she did didn't seem to have any point or reason lying behind it. It was like she was doing it just because she wanted to. Perhaps she was.

"In what way?"

She merely chuckled at his distress. "You'll understand when you're older."

An eyebrow shot up of its own volition. She knew all about his past, so why she was spouting such nonsense was beyond him. A lot of the things she did were. "Anna, may I remind you-"

"Look!" she exclaimed excitedly, effectively cutting him off. "There's another one!" She tilted her head to the side as she studied the woman in question. "She looks promising."

Despite his better judgment to stop this foolish, random activity, he obliged her and eyed the woman indicated. Anna was right, as always; the woman was rather attractive. Her midnight hair was done up rather simply, being held atop her head with an austere yellow tie. She wore little or no jewelry as far as Kratos could tell and her purple clothes were basic in style and ornate in detail covered with accents of blue and yellow, a taste found commonly in Mizuho. That, of course, was not what he first noticed. That was her rather... excellent proportions peeking out from under those clothes. He coughed to hide his embarrassment.

"Aha! I knew it!" She crossed her arms knowingly and nodded. "So I guess all it really does take is a nice rack."

"Anna!" The shocked outburst came unbidden as a blush flared on his cheeks. After a moment of scanning his mind for a valid excuse, he spoke up, floundering through his words, having come up empty, "I... I- I mean, she was just..."

She unfolded her arms and clapped a stray hand on his shoulder in reassurance, the broad smirk she wore belied the placating gesture. "It's okay. You're a guy, after all. You can't help it."

He looked to the ground, allowing the auburn bangs to hide his shame-covered countenance. He couldn't believe he would look at another woman in that way when he had one as wonderful as Anna sitting right next to him. He was a horrible person. No, he amended, he wasn't even worthy of being called a person. He was much lower than any person he knew on-

"Kratos." That simple statement of his name jolted him from his thoughts. "You better stop that right now."

"But-" He had failed her. He could not possibly view himself as being worthy of her.

Anna moved closer, taking his head in her hands, forcing Kratos look at her. "It's okay. Cheer up!" She smiled mischievously . "If you don't, I'll make spaghetti for dinner tonight, and force-feed it to you."

He tried to look away from that piercing gaze, but it was impossible. "I would deserve it."

"This is supposed to be fun. Fun. You need to let everything go once in a while. It won't hurt; I promise." To accentuate her point, she moved forward, placing her lips on his.

He tried to pull away from the loving woman he didn't deserve, but she held him fast. He unintentionally felt himself relax as her familiar lips engaged in a one-sided dance, pleading for him to join in. He wanted to please her, but he also wanted to push her away. She pressed on him harder; the feeling it created was overwhelming.

Before he could control himself, Kratos leaned forward, taking power from her, melting into the sensations that filled him. He brought up his hand to her earthen brown hair, caressing the soft, feathery threads. Kratos felt the arms of his beloved encircle him as the kiss slowly deepened. They danced to a song of their own making, creating a temporary paradise just for the two of them alone.

Eventually, she had to break off, stopping a moment to catch her breath before speaking again, that infamous smirk once again in place as she leaned her forehead against his. "See? You enjoyed that, didn't you?"

He laughed softly. "More than you know." She was perfection embodied in a single woman. She tolerated his idiosyncrasies with a laugh and some caring words, and yet she would not let him fall prey to those same flaws when they threatened to overwhelm him. She wanted to free the world of discrimination, just as Martel once had. She was idealistic almost to a fault and was yet willing to fight for that cause. It only helped that she was beautiful in both body and mind.

"I don't know... I might just know." She licked her lips thoughtfully. "Mmm. Kratos flavored. Or, is it Angel flavored?" She giggled. "If all Angels taste like you, I want to kiss them all."

He shook his head in bemusement; at least, he did so as best he could while leaning against his beloved's forehead. "Perhaps another would suffice?"

Anna leaned back onto the bench, a small smile in place. She seemed to consider the request before answering, "Hmm. Maybe later. We're not done here yet, after all."

He sighed inwardly. She just loved to torture him with small play and then leave him when things got interesting; it only left him wanting more. It was one of her many quirks. It was similar to the one where she made sure he suffered through a dinner filled to the brim with tomatoes at least once a week. Also, there was that she often demanded he take her flying. Of course, Kratos was a little suspicious of that being her true motive behind the command. They hardly ever made it that far.

Kratos pulled her to him, making her lean against his chest, setting his chin on her hair after she'd made herself comfortable in his embrace. "Why should we continue this when you know you're the best woman of all?"

She blindly reached up with her hand and patted his hair similar to how she would a small child's. "Nice try, but we're not leaving."

He resisted the urge to sigh again. Once she had decided something, he could never persuade her otherwise. Mix that with her spontaneity and he received a bizarre combination in return. It reminded Kratos of the last outing he'd "participated" in: mid-night dancing in Exire. "Anna..." he started, before being interrupted by the woman in his arms once again.

"Don't whine. It's unbecoming of you."

"What?" Kratos did not whine under any circumstances; it was more of her strange nonsense, he guessed. "I do not whine."

"Yes, you do. All the time."

"When?"

She chortled for a moment. "Are you sure you want to hear this?" Not waiting for an answer, she continued, a smirk clear in her voice, "There was when we were at the Altamira Inn, and I ordered Pescatore for you..."

"That was-" She knew he didn't like tomatoes, even then.

"And that time when you were helping me catch butterflies in Hima..."

"I-" She wanted him to catch butterflies! It had been a ludicrous request.

Ignoring him completely, she continued, "-And there was also the time we made snowmen in Flanoir and you-"

A blush rose on his cheeks again at the mention of that incident, and he felt the need to stop her before she went any further, "Anna..." The warning came out more dangerously than he had anticipated, but she ignored it, being another story.

"And in Welgaia when-" She only made it that far before Kratos placed a hand over her mouth, stopping her from continuing, blushing redder than his hair.

"That's enough," he muttered, sighing. "You win."

She didn't have to say anything for Kratos to know she was reveling in her victory. The smugness came off her in droves.

The next ten minutes passed in silence, both taking a simple pleasure in the mere presence of the other. It was ruined only once when Kratos had to remove his hand from Anna's mouth because she had starting licking his fingers for no reason. Then again, she was an unpredictable sort of woman, and he found he liked that about her. It added life to his otherwise lifeless existence.

Shattering the atmosphere of the moment, Anna wriggled and arm out of his embrace and pointed at an unsuspecting Meltokio citizen. "That one."

"Anna," he began, confused, "that's a man."

"Oh, I know. Now, we're finding out your taste in men." The never-ending amusement heavily laced her tone.

"Excuse me?" Anna's full laughter filled the air.

Kratos shook his head, giving up. "Women."

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Disclaimer: I am not Namco.

A/N: I don't normally write romance.