Yes, I KNOW I have too many stories going! This is kind of my break from the norm, all right? This is going to be a

SHORT, SIMPLE story. Yes, it is possible for me to write one. I haven't done it in a while so I figured I'd break from my

usual 'epic plot' stories for a while... This will be maybe ten chapters max. I figure once I'm done with this I might get

some plotbunnies out of my head and get some more working for my other stories... Regardless of the reason, however,

I hope you like it all the same. n.n

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Growth Spurt

The group was stumbling through the temple of darkness, attempting to find the last piece of shadow in order to make the

second to final pact and hopefully disconnect the worlds. Thing was, seeing as it was very dark it was also very easy

for...say...someone to trip and fall down one of the holes in the floor.





Lloyd fell and hit cold floor beneath him, having not been for the exsphere it would have most likely been a fatal fall. The teen

groaned and sat up, looking around his surroundings. It was pitch-black, without the blue candle the group had he couldn't

see an inch in front of his nose...

"Dammit...where am I...?"



Lloyd got to his feet, drawing his swords on instinct.

"W-who's there?!"

Have you come to challenge me...?

Lloyd shuddered, unnerved by the hellish tone that spoke to him.

"N-no, m-me and my friends were just passing through...I...I didn't mean to disturb-"

Bright red eyes flared in the darkness.


Lloyd's swords were knocked out of his hands, the boy yelping before finding himself gazing straight into large, glowing red

eyes. The boy gasped, unable to break his gaze from the hypnotic irises.

You're merely a child...

"W-what?! I'm not a kid!" Lloyd snapped defiantly.

A child you are, no matter how

Lloyd glared, his irises blazing.

...But a strange skilled years or so might shape you into a fine opponent.

"Ten years...?" Lloyd frowned, then glared. "I could take you on now!"

Hehehehe...courageous brat...that settles it.

"...S-settles what...?" Lloyd stammered.

Good night.

"H-huh? Good night? What are you-?"

Lloyd hit the floor.

It was several minutes later when a pink-winged figure descended into the abyss, calling out the name of her red-clad friend.

Using her angelic senses she spotted Lloyd and swooped down to find him fast asleep...

"Lloyd...?" she whispered. "Lloyd, wake up."

The blond gently shook her friend, getting no response from him. Concerned now, she looked around the area to find

nothing but his discarded blades. She sheathed his swords and then picked him up via her angelic strength, flying back up to

the rest of the group. The Professor would know what was wrong with him, the Professor knew everything. However, when

she did rejoin her friends their first course of action was to leave the temple in order to get Lloyd someplace safe in order for

their half-elven healer to take a look at him. Of course, as fate would have it, they could find nothing wrong with the boy

except he simply would not wake up... That was usually the case anyway, of course, but this time it was so extreme not

even several hard-bound textbooks (courtesy of Genis) to the face could wake him. Needless to say, they became severely


"What do we do, sis?" Genis asked.

Raine frowned, biting her lip, "I don't...Colette, are you sure he was alone?"

"Y-yes!" Colette nodded. "I went down and I just found him sleeping there!"

"You said his swords were out, though, am I correct?" Raine glanced at her.

Colette nodded again frantically, possibly the most distraught out of all of them. The Professor looked at her sleeping pupil

again and rubbed her forehead, straining to think of what could've done this... She had tried 'recover', 'purify' and 'dispel',

but if this was the result of a spell, it was a damned strong one. The others were becoming antsy as well, unnerved and

worried for their idiotic leader.

"Maybe we should get him to a hospital," Sheena suggested.

"Where? We're wanted, remember?" Zelos asked.

"B-but we have to do something!" Colette stammered.

"The doctor in Flanoir might not have heard about us yet," Sheena told Zelos, "it's very far out there, after all...unless you

have a better idea."

"Regardless, it's getting dark and he can't fly in this condition," Raine stated, "let's set up camp here until we decide on our

next course of action."

Lloyd was having a strange dream.

He had a dream that he was fighting himself, and he was losing, badly. He gritted his teeth together and tried harder,

attempting to defeat his double. Slowly he began to get the upper-hand, but something felt strange. Why was his double

getting shorter? Then suddenly Lloyd knocked his doppleganger to the floor, and it evaporated, the two large red eyes from

his previous encounter now staring at him.

Now you're ready.

"Ready...? Ready for what-?"

Lloyd opened his eyes to dim light, laying flat on his back on a mat with a simple blanket over him as he looked up into a still

mostly darkened sky. Slowly he sat up and looked around... The group was sleeping here and there, the dying embers of a

fire smoldering in the center between them all. He looked around at his friends than at the slip of light which signaled, from

the look of it, a rising sun. Lloyd rubbed his eyes and yawned, rubbing the back of neck. Geez...what happened? His eyes

snapped open wide. Oh yeah! He fell in the Temple and met some kinda...thing, then it called him a kid and then he fell

asleep and had some f'ed up dream... The swordsman groaned again and made a move to roll over and go back to sleep

when he noticed something. His clothes weren't the comfortable fit he remembered, in fact, they felt rather tight... Lloyd

pulled on his collar, attempting to loosen it when he heard a ripping noise. The brunette froze before slowly moving his arms

to find his jacket had bust at the shoulder seams... All the color had drained from Lloyd's face when he looked down at

himself and realized something was very, VERY off...


He slammed his hand over his mouth for two reasons. One, he didn't want to wake his companions, two, his voice had

become deep and mature, and though he didn't think of it at the moment it was highly reminiscent of Kratos. He glanced

around a moment more before grabbing his swords and dashing away from the campsite as fast as his now longer legs could

carry him. Once he was convinced he had gone far enough he drew one of his swords and looked at his reflection in the

blade. A strong-jawed, rather attractive man of about twenty-seven gaped back at him. He damn near dropped his sword

before staggering backward to lean against a tree.

"Oh gods..." he whispered, "oh gods..."

A loud whine directed his attention to the side.

"Noishe?" he asked.

The long-eared 'dog' stared at him, tilting its head to the side before growling.

"N-noishe! It's me! Lloyd!" Lloyd stammered.

Noishe continued to growl, stalking toward him.

"Noishe! Really! Please!"

The protozoan stopped its advance and then looked up at the 'strangers' face, looking him over once or twice. He sniffed

Lloyd around the face a moment before barking happily and licking him, wagging his tail.

"N-noishe-! S-stop-!" Lloyd laughed. "St-! Down! Down boy!"

Noishe whined and backed up a step, his ears drooping.

"Sorry Noishe, I'm just a little...shocked, right now..." Lloyd fidgeted, looking at his larger hands, "...what happened to me?"

Noishe whined as Lloyd moved a bit and his shirt ripped some more. Lloyd growled in frustration and then took his jacket off,

leaving only the formerly loose black muscle-shirt he wore beneath.

It made him feel awkward to just be wearing that, but the jacket was too small for his newly broadened shoulders...and the

suspenders had to go too. The extra five or six inches he had suddenly gained made them not only unnecessary but

constricting, leaving him with his formerly baggy pants and the dark muscle-shirt. It was then he noticed something else...he

had apparently gotten beefy. Not huge muscles like Regal, a slim but defined, well sculpted body that was easily visible due

to the clothing he currently had to put up with.

"Uh..." he blushed brightly, "man this is awkward...good thing no one's around."

(Of course, Lloyd had no idea of the multitude of fangirls whom just salivated all over their keyboards...the author of course,

being one of them.)

"Man, what am I going to do...? What happened to me...?" Lloyd frowned.

It was then that the dream came back to him.

"That thing-! That thing did this to me!" he realized. "I'm going to go right back and kick it's freaking-!!"


Lloyd flinched, hearing the voice calling for him.


"Lloyd Irving!"

"Bud! Where are you?!"

Lloyd jolted, fear evident in his expression. He couldn't let them see him like this...he just...couldn't. He looked around

frantically a moment before hoping atop Noishe, whom merely whined in curiosity.

"C'mon, Noishe, get me out of here..." he begged quietly.

Noishe hesitated a minute before running off with Lloyd on his back, leaving his friends far behind. The nearest town...that

was Meltokio, damn it... He was wanted there, wasn't he-? he wasn't...the seventeen year old Lloyd was, but HE

wasn't... Perfect, he'd go there to try to figure out what to do next... He had to find whatever that thing was in the temple,

and once he did he was going to whip it's sorry hide and make a pair of boots out of it.

"There's Meltokio," Lloyd said after a while, "let's go there, Noishe."

Meanwhile, his friends were panicking to the fullest extent. It didn't help the remnants of Lloyd's shirt were found, seeing as

said idiot had not bothered to pick up the shreds he left at the campsite.

"Did you look over there?" Raine demanded, pointing to her right.

"Yeah, he's not there," Zelos said.

"I looked over by the river," Sheena said.

"I checked the forest," Presea reported.

"Oh where is he?" Colette cried, almost in tears.

"Where is who?"

The group turned on heel at the appearance of a spiky-haired Seraph whom was scanning the area with suspicion in his

eyes. He ignored the looks of hatred and fear from the people assembled when he noticed something. No one was yelling at

him, proclaiming him a traitor and attempting to question him...

"Where's Lloyd?" he asked, putting all his effort to keep his voice its usual monotone.

"What did you do with him!?" Genis cried. "Did you or Cruxis take him?!"

"Obviously not," Kratos snapped, "otherwise I would not have asked where he was."

"Perhaps the Renegades, then?" Raine suggested.

"But don't we have an alliance with them?" Sheena asked.

"Yes, but I don't fully trust them even if Lloyd does," the Professor bit her lip.

"H-hey-! What are you doing by there?!"

Kratos was leaning down by the spot his son had last sleep, his red-brown eyes inspecting the area for clues of any sort.

There was no blood, but then, there didn't necessarily have to be if he was attacked... The Seraph got to his feet and

attempted to sense Lloyd's mana signature, another ability only some of the most advanced angels could preform. There. He

went northeast...

"He headed in that direction," Kratos said.

"You expect us to trust you?" Raine hissed.

"Don't then," he said dangerously, "but that is where he went."

Turning his back on the group the Seraph headed off following Lloyd's mana signature. He had come to warn them about the

pacts a final time, but now his concern was for his son...he had to find him before someone else did.

Yes I realize this is short, that's kinda the point though. I'll update soon, most likely. n.n I hope you don't mind me doing

this as a change of pace, and next chapter will probably be longer.