A/N: I'm ToS-obsessed, though of course I don't own it. I don't do fanfics very often, though I've been writing forever. Anyway, enjoy.
Pain. Numbing, though. Can't feel. Drifting…
Freshly baked bread, the smell wafting through her home. Home. The fire warm and crackling. Mother laughing warmly, such gentle–
No. Lloyd. There. So quiet… but still breathing. Breathing. Living. Lloyd, live–
"I'm home, Mother."
The older woman smiled radiantly, wiping her hands on the green knit apron she wore over her dress. There was a deep blue ceramic vase of daisies on the table.
He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me–
"Your father will be home soon."
Someone nearby – Noishe whining… can't... oh, Kratos!
"Who's that out there?"
Desian? No… dwarf?
"Easy, lass, don' move…"
Name. My name? "Anna,"
Pipe smoke? No, wood smoke. Father!
"So these are the candidates,"
"Test results are complete, Grand Cardinal."
"Then hand them over, you idiot!" the man shouted, grabbing the pages greedily. "It's a match, a perfect match," he gloated. "Commence Project Angelus immediately, on host body A012."
"Yes, Lord Kvar." He saluted.
That cold laugh; such cruel eyes.
Groan. "Please," gasping. Breathe, keep breathing. "Please, Lloyd…" Coughing. Can't–
"I couldn't leave you," he said simply. So coolly detached, but she knew.
Can't stay… awake–
"This is nothing like the stories I used to read," she said bluntly. "You're too stubborn to even consider being romantic, so I won't wait. We won't be able to settle down, to live peacefully and have a family and grow old together or anything like that, but I don't care! I love you, Kratos Aurion. This isn't a mistake… You gave me my life back; don't you dare leave me like this and take it away!" She blinked away the tears that threatened to spill from her pale blue eyes.
"I…" He hesitated. The man of ice, hesitated! "Anna…" He ran a hand through his auburn hair, refusing to meet her eyes. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally raised his glance to her. She nearly stepped back from the heat permeating those twin chocolate circles. "I have done many things in this life that I've come to regret, for the sake of a better world. Leaving you would be the most… And I can't. For all the world, I could never leave you behind."
"Kratos," she whispered as he slowly knelt before her and took her hands in his…
Voices. No time left. "Take…take this." Glow. Shining, like Lloyd's eyes…
"Isn't he beautiful?" she asked, holding her newborn. The baby gurgled, then cooed happily and reached up with chubby little fingers.
Kratos stood nearby, frozen with the awkward uncertainty of new fathers.
"I think he wants to meet his Daddy." She smiled.
He sat down beside her and took the baby – their baby – in his arms. "He…looks like you, a little." He brushed a tuft of brown hair away from their son's face, and his eyes widened slightly.
He made a sound that was something between a grunt and a laugh. "So it would seem."
"What do you think of… Lloyd?"
Lloyd… "Please… Please protect… Lloyd…"
"I'm looking after Lyla today," she informed her husband. "I'll be back later tonight. Keep an eye on Lloyd while I'm gone."
"How much mischief can he and Noishe possibly get up to?"
She raised her eyebrow. "He and Noishe? Well, have fun, boys."
"Mommy!" Lloyd chirped, climbing down from their white and green 'dog', who was curled up peacefully by the door.
She scooped the child up off the floor and kissed his forehead. "Be a good boy, honey."
"No! Mommy!" Tears welled up in his big brown eyes, and he clung to her.
"Daddy will look after you, Lloyd," she said gently, passing the toddler to Kratos, who gave her a brief smile as he hoisted his son onto his shoulders.
"Daddy!" Lloyd squealed, giggling and firmly gripping spiky locks of auburn hair, causing their owner to wince. "Bye bye Mommy!"
"Bye bye, Lloyd," she answered. Mouthing a quick 'I love you,' to her husband, she turned and went out the door.
Dark. Blink. Still dark…
"–care of him. Dwarven vow…"
She arrived home late, that night. Entering the house quietly, she tiptoed her way to the room containing her and Kratos' bed, as well as Lloyd's crib. Her husband was sprawled out over the covers, their son sleeping soundly in his arms. Kratos seemed to have dozed off as well, his lips curved in a secretive smile. Her breath caught as she gazed at his face. He had never looked more peaceful and content.
Kratos, I love you so much. I know… you'll look after…
That's that, for now. Thanks for reading.