Warning: Spoilers if you haven't played through the Flanoir Doctor scene
Summary: Just outside Iselia, Kratos thinks about the situation he's in when he's interrupted by Lloyd having a nightmare. Father/Son fluff.
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to Tales of Symphonia, just playing with the characters for a bit.
A/N: This fic was inspired by a Conway Twitty song, "That's My Job". I remember hearing it when I was a little girl, but couldn't remember any of the lyrics to do a proper search on it later. Then, over Christmas, the song came on the radio, and the whole time it played I kept thinking of Kratos and Lloyd.
That's My Job
Kratos lay with his arms around his wife, unable to sleep, but enjoying the moment nonetheless, her steady breathing soothing and reassuring. The day had been long and tiring as they kept to the base of the cliffs that surrounded Iselia in order to avoid the human ranch that squatted in the middle of the forest like a mechanical spider. Since the village of Iselia had a treaty with the Desians, the patrols were thankfully short and almost non-existent, so at least they didn't have to worry about running into any.
Soon, very soon, they would find the dwarf that was rumored to live somewhere in these woods, and get a key crest for the ex-sphere that graced the young woman's throat. And, once that was done, he could take his small family to Derris Kharlan where they'd be safe from the Desians once and for all. Yggdrasil needed him. At least, the angel needed to know his general whereabouts at all times—the reason he didn't just take them to Tethe'alla where they could be hidden more easily—just to make certain he was still alive.
So far, Kratos had kept Anna and Lloyd a secret. His plan wouldn't work if Yggdrasil felt Kratos betrayed him before getting the key crest. It wouldn't matter once Anna was safe, because the ex-sphere could be removed without harming her, and then he would present it to the leader of Cruxis as a peace offering, pretending that was what he had intended all along and that he just happened to fall in love with the experiment in the process. For the reason he took so long to bring it to him? He didn't trust K'var's intentions, and knew he needed to keep the woman away from all Desians until the ex-sphere matured.
And then, they would wait for the regeneration ritual to begin in fourteen years. Sylvarant would die without it; more importantly, the child who was the current Chosen of Mana was an exact match in mana signature to that of Martel. Once Martel was resurrected she would surely put a stop to what Yggdrasil had been doing. That was Kratos' only hope. He had tried looking for a way to gain the power of the Eternal Sword himself, but the only way he had found involved making a pact with Origin. In order to release the seal of Origin, Kratos would have to die, and there was no one he trusted enough to be the one to wield the Sword, not after Mithos had betrayed everyone four thousand years ago.
It had occurred to him that Anna might be the one...but just as quickly dismissed that idea. He was trying to keep her out of danger, and once the seal was broken Yggdrasil would know and would probably use the Sword to keep whoever it was from making a pact. Which meant, ultimately, that Yggdrasil would have to die, or at least be incapacitated in order for that plan to work.
And with all the protection the leader of angels had...Kratos' thoughts were interrupted by a small sniffling sound.
"Yes, Lloyd?" he asked, knowing it was his son, even though he couldn't see in the darkness of the room.
There was the sound of padding feet, and then he felt pressure as a small form clambered up on top of him. Kratos rolled a little, slowly so as not to disturb Anna's sleep, and let the boy snuggle into his other arm, pressing his little face against his chest and holding on for dear life, as if he were afraid Kratos would disappear if he didn't.
"What's wrong, Lloyd?"
The only response was Lloyd's grip getting tighter, and more sniffling.
"Ah, did you have a nightmare?"
"Want to tell me about it?"
Kratos gently rubbed the boy's back, waiting as his breathing began to even out. Then, just as Lloyd was about to fall asleep, he sat up and giggled.
"Let's play, Daddy!"
Placing a finger against Lloyd's lips, Kratos listened to the sound of Anna's breathing. She didn't seem to have been disturbed.
Lloyd wiggled away from him, protesting loudly. "Hush, Lloyd, you don't want to wake your mother."
"Yes I do. Mommy! Time to get ooomph."
With his hand firmly over the little boy's mouth and his other arm holding Lloyd tight, he got up out of bed and walked outside. While it had been dark inside the small shelter they had made, the clearing at the base of the cliffs was awash in moonlight. Carefully checking his surroundings, Kratos flew Lloyd up to the top of a cliff.
"Whee! Wanna fly more!"
"No more flying," Kratos told his son firmly as he set him on his shoulders, "Look up at the sky and tell me what you see?"
"Um...booga wooga oooga," said Lloyd, before collapsing in a fit of giggles. "Did you hear that? I'm so silly."
"Heh," Kratos said, unable to keep the smile off his face, "yes, you are silly. Now, look up again and tell me what you see."
"That's right, and do you remember what they make?"
"Um...no. I wanna fly again, can we fly again?"
"Try to pay attention, Lloyd."
With an annoyed huff, Lloyd said, "Con...consellons."
Kratos jiggled the boy up and down making him giggle. Then, just as suddenly the boy fell silent. Frowning, Kratos tilted his head back so he could look up at his son. "Lloyd?"
"I just thought you were gone. We falled for a long time. We just falled! And you were gone! You went bye-bye." The child was sniffling again, and Kratos took him off his shoulders and cradled him close.
"It was just a nightmare Lloyd, I'm still here. I'll always be here to protect you, I promise. That's my job."
Lloyd continued crying for a little while as Kratos rocked him gently and walked around, then, with a final sniffle he sat up in his father's arms. "What's my job?"
Smiling, Kratos told him, "to obey your mother and father."
"Oh." Lloyd absorbed this information. "What's mommy's job?"
"To love you absolutely."
"And what's Noisy's job?"
"Noishe," corrected Kratos.
"His job is to protect you as well."
"Hm. What's...that flower's job?" Lloyd asked pointing at a spot on the ground.
"Now you're just being silly."
This caused Lloyd to erupt in a fit of giggles, before going on with his questioning, asking what job everything he saw had. Soon enough, this exhausted the child and he fell asleep. Taking him back to the shelter, Kratos tucked him in beside Noishe and kissed his forehead.
"I will keep you safe, Lloyd," he whispered before returning to his own bed. Soon. Soon they'd find this dwarf and everything would resolve itself.
A/N: I was going to have a spy be watching them, but decided to leave it with this happy hopeful ending instead.