Like Father, Like Son
Summary: (Collection) Kratos wonders why his son always smiles more around his mother. She tells him it's because he doesn't use "baby talk". Is a smile and giggle worth all the humiliation on the part of Mr. Stoic?
Spoilers: DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE GOTTEN PAST THE FLANOIR SCENES.
A/N: This will eventually become a compilation of random Kratos and Lloyd Bonding-Stuffies/Fatherson-Stuffies/Family-Fluffies fics.
The sun was high in the sky as the quartet made their way through the grassy fields of Sylvarant. As they walked on, Anna held their ten-month-old son in her arms with a bit of difficulty—but she accepted that trouble if it meant little Lloyd wasn't frowning or crying.
Having a few siblings after herself, Anna had learned that children in their first year were more often than not sleeping, eating, crying, or making noises and chirping sounds as they watched the world around them. Lloyd, was a different case entirely: he took after his father, who, more often than not, did not sleep, eat, cry, or make noises and chirping sounds (though he did watch the world around him).
Alas, as all good thins must come to an end, Anna found her arms getting increasingly sore as Lloyd seemed to get heavier by the minute. Once he finished a great bout of giggles, she sighed in relief as she secured him onto the backside of Noishe, who trod happily behind the couple.
"That's enough for now," she said, ruffling his soft brown hair that had begun to take shape atop his small head. "Mommy's arms need a rest!"
Kratos looked behind them at the protozoan and his son—the first, completely content while the latter crossed his chubby arms sloppily across his chest and frowned back at his father, sticking out his bottom lip.
Awkwardly, the seraph looked back at the trail ahead. A few moments later, he stole a glance back at Lloyd—the boy was still glowering menacingly; in return, his father stared right back at him.
Anna noticed the miniature stare down between the two males and gave them both a queer look as she asked, "What in the world is going on between you two?"
Kratos' stare did not leave that of their sons. "Have you ever noticed Lloyd only smiles around you and Noishe?"
After a momentary pause, Kratos looked forward again, letting his thoughts run. "He never smiles with me..."
"Huh, I wonder why." Anna snorted sarcastically. "Kids mimic what the see; monkey see, monkey do. I smile at him and he smiles in response." She peeked back at their son and grinned, waving.
Lloyd's grumpiness shattered as a smile replaced his frown and he laughed happily.
Kratos was unconvinced and stubborn. "What about Noishe, then?"
"Noishe just looks funny, I guess." She replied simply, shrugging.
He knew for a fact that he had smiled at Lloyd a dozen times, but never once did he receive much more than a curious blink in response. There had to be more—there had to be a secret of the trade she wasn't telling him. "Anna, surely it can't be as simple as that,"
She thought for a moment, then smirked devilishly. "All right. You got me," she acquiesced. "There's one thing that will set almost any child off, and I can see why you, of all people, would be ignorant of it."
Intrigued, he pressed for more. "Which is...?"
"How you talk to them."
It was Kratos' turn to frown. That didn't make sense with his logical thinking—a fact which he verbalized to her, saying, "I'm talking to him how any other semi-intelligent being would want to be talked to. What's wrong with that?"
She shook her head in exasperation. "Kratos," she said, "most people, as well as many animals, understand only what you say based on the way you say it. You have to use 'baby talk' with Lloyd or else he'll continue to reflect whatever tone he hears in your voice."
Behind them, Noishe cocked his head to a side, following their conversation and eager to see if the mercenary would follow through in order to make his son smile and laugh. He wasn't the only one: Anna kept her eyes intently on her love as well, biting back the urge to laugh at the thought alone.
Kratos sighed, closing his eyes and turning around to face Lloyd and bent down to the scowling boy's level. He opened his eyes and smiled as wide as he could.
"Hey there, Little Lloyd!"
Lloyd's chocolate eyes expanded to their maximum size as his scowl faded to a dumbfounded gape. Shortly thereafter, he screamed in delight and held his arms out to his father, beaming and giggling hysterically.
Happy with the outcome, Kratos picked up his son and continued onward—trying his best to tune out the uproarious laughter coming from his wife beside him.
He was in high spirits and so was Lloyd; that was all that mattered.