The last chapter....T.T I knew thee well, Growth Spurt, long shall I mourn your loss and revel in the reminiscence of the joys spent
Colette: That was almost...poetic.
Me: Why thank you! :D
Colette:...Christmas is coming, isn't it?
Me: D: How'd you know?!
Colette: You're being even more energetic and expressive than usual.
Me: :D ISN'T IT GREAT?! CANDY-CANES! SKLEE!!!
Colette:...Freakyanimegal owns nothing, thank you all for reading! n.n'
Me: SKLEE MORE!!!
"That right there, see that? That one?"
"My mother named me after that one, she said it meant 'strength',"
Lloyd smiled softly as Kratos grinned, having just pointed out the star that was his namesake. Sure, they should have been resting instead of
sitting on the roof of the inn checking out the night sky, but...neither of them really cared. Lloyd, in fact, would have gladly given up a week's
worth of sleep for these few minutes he had spent with Kratos on the roof, pointing out different stars and constellations. It was a competition,
almost, seeing who knew the most about the starry heavens. So far they were pretty even, actually...though Lloyd was more interested in the
little facts Kratos kept dropping here and there, like the bit about his mother.
"Didn't your parents name you after a star, too?" Kratos tilted his head to the side.
"What?" Lloyd blinked, staring at him.
"Well...that one," Kratos pointed to the sky, "Roido, say it fast and it kinda sounds like 'Lloyd' right?"
Lloyd could only gape at him.
"...Okay, maybe it's just me," Kratos shrugged, looking to the side, "...I like your name, though. 'Lloyd'...heh, it does have nice ring to it, is what
I'm trying to say I guess..."
Kratos smiled softly and brought his knees up to his chest, resting his arms on them as he looked skyward.
"...I feel...like I know you," Kratos said.
There was a split second of silence before he blurted out more.
"I- I mean, of course, I know I do know you- and I probably knew you better before and all-" he stammered, looking as if he had just said
something wrong, "but I- that is...I-"
"It's okay, you don't have to worry about it," Lloyd said.
"...But it's more than I feel like I 'know' you..." Kratos trailed, frowning, "...it's like...I..."
Lloyd thought maybe he should change the subject, but if he let Kratos keep on this he might remember something-...but then, maybe he didn't
want him to, not quite yet...
"What's your home-town like?" Lloyd asked.
"What?" Kratos looked up at him. "Don't you know that?"
"You...never said much about yourself before," Lloyd admitted.
"...Oh, well..." Kratos frowned, "...it's a city, you know...lots of buildings, lots of people...nothing special. ...What I want to know is what exactly
is going on here."
"Huh?" Lloyd blinked.
"In this time," he said, "the last I remember Sylvarant and Tethe'alla were at war, but it doesn't seem like they are now...and that tower wasn't
there either, I think I would have heard about one that big."
"..." Lloyd frowned.
"...Can you tell me?" Kratos asked. "Or is that something else you can't?"
Lloyd thought it over a minute. ...Sure, they wanted him to remember it on his own, but keeping him COMPLETELY in the dark wouldn't help
anything either...he must have been frustrated enough already. But what was he supposed to tell him? It's been four-thousand years, the
world's been split in two by a dictator we just killed who you and Yuan used to work for- and did I mention you're my Dad? ...Not happening.
"Ah, nevermind," Kratos sighed, "...then could you..."
Lloyd looked at him.
"...Could you tell me about your Dad?"
The twin-swordsman almost fell off the roof.
"I'm sorry if it's something weird to ask," Kratos blushed, "it's just...I kinda want to know what they're-"
He shook his head.
"N-nevermind, forget it! It's stupid," he spat, blushing even more.
"...You want to know what Dads are like?" Lloyd finished, staring at him.
"..." he nodded briefly.
Lloyd stared at Kratos, then up at the sky.
"...Dads are like..." Lloyd trailed, "....they're like..."
He couldn't seem to find the words, but he knew what it was, he knew what it felt like but he just couldn't seem to make them into words of
any kind. What were Dad's like?
"...Dads are...warm," Lloyd said, "they...they make you feel safe, and warm, and...happy. ...They might be kind of...harsh, sometimes, and they
may make you feel like you're not good enough at others..."
Kratos was hooked on his words, and Lloyd found himself drifting into his memories. Kratos had always ticked him off, had always insulted him,
had always...protected him. Always did his best to protect him, keep him safe, keep him healthy, acting like he didn't care the whole time...
"But..." Lloyd smiled, "what makes you feel warm is when you know they care, under it all...and when they show they care, deliberately show
it, when they admit it..."
More than anything, he had said...
"...It makes you..." Lloyd smiled, closing his eyes, "it makes you so happy you just..."
"...I want to be like that," Kratos said.
"What?" Lloyd looked at him.
"...I want to be like that," Kratos muttered again, "...I want to be the kind of dad that can take care of their kid, that can love them."
A small, far-off smile came to his lips.
"I want to be the kind of dad that can care for them and love them and be strong enough to let them know it," Kratos grinned, "I want my
kids...to always be that happy, no matter what."
Lloyd choked, trying not to shake.
"...I- Hey, are you all right?" Kratos stared.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine," Lloyd shook his head, his voice cracking.
Why was he saying that?! S-sure, he understood where he came from after he himself had said all that about a dad taking care of their kid,
but... Then it hit him. ...Kratos never had a father, so he wanted to be the best one for his own kids- for him.
"We should go in," Lloyd said, "it's getting late."
"Okay," Kratos said, "...can we do this again sometime? Maybe?"
Lloyd looked at him, the hopeful look in his eyes, the starlight a sheen on his spiky hair.
The hopeful look.
"...I'd like that, if you want to," Lloyd smiled.
"Great! I'll just tell you when I want to, huh?"
"Just say the word," Lloyd smiled.
The next morning, the lot of them headed into the Torent Forest, again trying to keep Kratos out of the main battles. They had relatively no
difficulty in getting through the woods aside from almost getting lost once or twice, but found themselves at Origin's rock soon enough.
"What is that?" Kratos stared.
There was a flash as Origin appeared before them, startling the majority of the group.
"I see you've come as I requested," he said, "...you want my power, don't you?"
Lloyd stepped forward, determined.
"Free as I am, I no longer desire a pact," he said coldly.
"W-what? Even if we make a vow? We need the E- the pact!" Sheena said.
Kratos muttered to himself, once again angered that he knew nothing of what was going on.
"I have lost my faith in your kinds," Origin glared, "I have no desire to be betrayed again-"
"Oh come ON!"
Everyone stopped and stared at Kratos, who came forward.
"Look, I may not know what's going on, or what a pact is, or anything else," Kratos huffed, "but I DO know this: for being some kinda spirit-
thing, you sure are being stupid!"
Jaws literally dropped. Yuan went to cover Kratos' mouth, startled.
"You idiot-! Keep your mouth shut-!"
Kratos knocked his hand away and moved forward toward Origin more.
"Someone let you down, so what? It happens," Kratos said, "you can't close yourself off from everyone else just because ONE person hurt you!
Labeling off EVERYONE as 'bad' or whatever isn't fair- well, life isn't fair, but it isn't RIGHT. It's...petty! That's what it is!"
"Petty...?" Origin glared.
"Damn right, it's petty!" Kratos said. "You're behaving like a little kid if you're too scared to try again! You're giving up! Look, I don't know what
happened and all...but it doesn't matter! Just because YOU were hurt doesn't mean you can hurt others, other people have all been hurt too!"
He fidgeted a bit, his face scrunched up again.
"I...you can't live like that, you can't live or- or even exist unless you..." he closed his eyes, "...if you give up trying to find the good in people
then...then you give up on everything that IS good, you know what I mean? Er...well..."
Lloyd stared at the teen, his mouth slightly agape. ...He didn't even remember and he was...sticking up for all of them, and not just sticking up,
to go against Origin like this was...well, not intelligent. Then...Kratos didn't exactly know who Origin was, but still...
"A-and if that's not enough for you!" Kratos continued, glaring up at the spirit. "...If you really need something to make you help..."
He looked at Lloyd, fidgeting a bit more before looking back.
"I...I don't know them very well, not them," he admitted, "...but...I remember the important things about them. I remember...."
He closed his eyes again, straining to concentrate.
"...I remember that they're good people," he said finally, "...they're good people."
Kratos bit his lip and glanced away, flushing slightly as if embarrassed. All the others could only stare, including Yuan. Yuan had known Kratos
for a VERY long time...and not once had he seen him talk like this since-...since they were kids. The half-elf smirked.
"...You've gottta admire he actually said that to you, though," Zelos said, "the 'petty' thing."
"...Prepare your weapons," Origin stated.
"Origin-!" Lloyd started.
"I will...try to believe in people," he smirked, "if one with no memory can still recall your souls, I have little doubt in you, especially if the one in
question is Kratos."
Lloyd stared a minute and then smiled.
"Come, prove your worth!" Origin said, materializing his weapons.
"Stay back," Yuan said to Kratos, "this is out of your league."
Kratos shot him a nasty glare before the rest of the group charged in. However, deciding to ignore Yuan's warning Kratos dashed into the fight
too only to be knocked out a few seconds later when Origin hit him upside the head. He caught sight of Lloyd's eyes widening just before he hit
the ground and everything went black...
"...Mithos has lost it, hasn't he?" Yuan asked, his face downcast.
He sighed and nodded his head.
"...He's completely obsessed with reviving her," he said, "he's even gone so far as to do this to the world..."
"We didn't have a choice in the manner of the world," Yuan said, "they would have died, they had to be split until we found a way. ...It's just now that
we know the way, he won't let it..."
His face fell and his raised a hand to his head, deep in thought...and perhaps remorse.
"...What of his plans for the half-elves?" he asked.
Yuan fidgeted a minute before he sighed.
"...No offense, but...the humans will just cause more war,"
"...Though I will admit this whole 'chosen' thing is...well, we're going to hell for sure, if we actually ever die,"
"..." he looked away.
What? What was this...? Mithos-? Mithos Yggdrasill, his obsession to resurrect Martel, the Chosen of Regeneration, the Tower of Salvation, the
angels, Derris-Kharlan... He..he knew this...He-
The Lestuk. It had done that to him and then all of this had-
"Kratos!" a voice called. "Can you hear me? Kratos-!"
Kratos jolted upright at the voice, shaking his head as he tried to clear his thoughts.
"Are you okay-?"
"D-don't talk to me-" he muttered, closing his eyes, "d-..."
Then his eyes snapped open, taking in the sight of everyone around him.
"...Kr-?" Colette started.
"Did you make the pact?" Kratos asked. "Can you get the Eternal Sword now?"
"Who told him about the-?" he started.
"No one did," Kratos said, "but they need the Eternal Sword to reunite the worlds, right?"
Lloyd stared at him.
"W...wait, do you remember now-?"
Kratos stood up, silently brushing himself off.
"...Yes," he said, "...most of it."
Yes, he knew everything about the pacts, what had happened in the past four-thousand years, and the fact he was that old, though there
were quite a few parts he still didn't quite grasp.
"...Why am I like this?" he asked slowly, his face wrinkled in a frown as his eyes became misted. "...I'm supposed to be Lloyd's age, right-?
Or...look it....I'm...missing something. How did I...?"
"Well, uh..." Genis started.
Kratos shook his head, glancing aside as the others looked at him strangely.
"I apologize, we need to make the ring of the pact now, correct?" he stated in his old manner, startling all of them a good measure. "...There's
a dwarf near Iselia, unless I'm mistaken?"
Lloyd seemed crestfallen.
"...Yes," he said.
Kratos noted Lloyd's sadness and the unease about everyone else and quickly added something.
"I- I'm sorry, I should have congratulated you on beating Origin," he smiled shakily, "sorry I wasn't of much help..."
"Uh...no, that's okay!" Colette smiled. "We're just glad you're all right, right guys?"
"Yep, sure," Zelos said offhandedly.
"Thank you Ch- Colette," Kratos said to her, "...that's kind of you."
"Well...now that we made the pact, let's go to Dirk's," Sheena said.
"Right," Raine stated, "the sooner the better."
"Though I would prefer it to be Altessa, he is not well enough to move as of late..." Yuan sighed, rubbing his forehead, "...Dirk will have to do."
"Have to do? He'll do perfect," Lloyd snapped.
Yuan smirked, shrugging somewhat.
"Right, right, I take it back, he's an expert craftsman after all,"
"And don't you forget it," Lloyd stated proudly, nodding.
And so they went to leave for Iselia, Lloyd's eyes often glancing at Kratos. He had remembered a lot, obviously, but...he didn't seem to
remember the stuff that was important- that is, the stuff that was important to him...he sighed.
"What a mess..."
So after arriving in Iselia, explaining (again) why one of their group had been 'altered' and requesting Dirk make the ring of the pact, they found
themselves having to stay overnight while the job was being done. Of course, they had left Kratos far from the conversation seeing as he did
not recall why he had changed, or the bit about Lloyd's father yet... Regardless, they had free-time and as such Lloyd took advantage of this
time to visit his Mother's grave, kneeling down in front of it like the last time he had been there.
"...Hey, Mom," he smiled, "...the worlds will be all right again, soon, and...I should be back to normal soon, too. ...Though I've got to tell you
He glanced over his shoulder to find Kratos walking aimlessly around the yard, as if he was lost and didn't quite know what it is he should have
been doing, or if he even belonged there.
"...Then, I guess you've noticed," he sighed, "...he's remembering a lot, though, so maybe he'll be back to normal again too. ...Yuan said I can
use the Eternal Sword to put him back to the way he was once the seed sprouts. ...He doesn't quite remember about...you know, though, so-"
"Who are you talking to?"
Lloyd looked to the side as Kratos walked up to his side, an inquisitive glance in his eyes.
"...My mom," Lloyd said simply.
"...Ah, I see..." Kratos bit his lip, glancing aside, "...I'm sorry."
"Stop apologizing already, you're-"
"Starting to sound like Colette," he finished.
"Y-yeah...nevermind," Lloyd shook his head, getting to his feet, "...did you want something?"
"...I was your enemy, why am I with you?" he asked flatly.
"What?" Lloyd blinked.
"...I'm with your group but I was your enemy," he stated, "...I...I can't remember why I changed sides. I know I had a good reason, but I can't
remember what it was..."
Lloyd went to say something when Raine cleared her throat, standing a few feet away. Once she caught their attention she waved a small
stone in the air, raising an eyebrow. Furkiol.
"...The fights are over," Raine stated, "Yuan and I can revert you now, if you want."
"Revert..." Kratos said slowly, "...what...?"
"You don't know?" she asked, worried.
"...Lloyd doesn't usually look like this, right?" Kratos glanced up at him.
Lloyd didn't say anything.
"...Of course, if you DO want to stay like that-" Raine started.
"W-what?!" Genis yelped, racing over. "Of course he doesn't want to stay like that, right, Lloyd?!"
"It is a possibility, Genis," Raine pointed out, "it's his choice-"
"Of course I want to go back," Lloyd said sternly, "...I can't stay like this anymore."
"...I see," Raine closed her eyes.
"...I'll be ready for this when it really does come, the way it's supposed to," Lloyd smiled, "until then I'm going back to the way I'm supposed to
"Yes?" she asked.
Lloyd smiled softly so his eyes seemed to gleam.
"Huh? For what?" Genis asked.
"She did keep my secret," Lloyd said, "and I've learned a few things from her too."
"...Well, I should hope," Raine smirked, "I am your teacher after all."
"Okay then...let's get Yuan and get down to business- where is he anyway?"
"Uh...well, I asked him to sample my cooking-"
"RAINE! YOU KILLED HIM!" Genis shouted.
Raine smacked him.
"Ow-! Hey, I'm not happy with it! How would we get Lloyd back-!? ...Though actually, once this is over I don't mind if the blue-haired bastard
keels over-" he spat.
Raine smacked him again.
"Watch your mouth! And don't say such things!"
"Oh suuuuure, stand up for your boyfriend!"
"He is not my-!"
"Swapping spit doesn't make him your boy-?! OW-!"
"Woah woah woah, what!?" Lloyd stared. "You and Yuan were-?"
The Sage siblings stopped, Genis still holding his arms over his head to shield a possible oncoming blow while Raine pulled her arm back. They
blinked and then looked at Lloyd.
"...Ah, about that-" Raine flushed slightly.
"Kissing?" Kratos raised an eyebrow. "Strangely, you seem like a good couple."
Raine glared at him darkly and was about to say something when Yuan came out, spitting out bits of whatever it was Raine had 'cooked'. They
stopped to look at him as he neared.
"Bleh...disgusting," he shuddered, "...so, are we going to administer the furkiol-?"
"Disgusting?!" Raine cried, glaring.
"...You're going to need to give me the furkiol if Lloyd-"
"Don't change the subject!!!"
Genis grinned evilly as Raine shouted at Yuan, Kratos smirking somewhat in amusement as Lloyd suppressed snickers. After a minute they
turned to Lloyd.
"All right, come inside and we'll fix you up,"
"Right," Lloyd nodded.
He looked at Genis and Kratos one more time before smiling reassuringly and walking off with them. ...Back to normal. He'd finally be back to
normal. Sure, he'd kinda hate losing all his extra strength, height and etc, but he had made up his mind. He wasn't supposed to be like this yet,
he'd lost a whole ten years of his life. Presea had lost a lot of her life-...Kratos had lost ten years of his life. ...He said before he lost his memory
that he didn't want the same thing to happen to him. ...So it was his father's wish he shouldn't be cheated...and every second of life was
precious, wasn't it? ...All right. He was going back.
....That, and Colette...agh, nevermind.
Lloyd did as he was instructed, sitting on the wooden chair.
"All right, take off your shirt-" Yuan started.
"What?" Lloyd stared at him.
"Oh please, it needs to be applied to the torso," Yuan rolled his eyes.
Lloyd complied and Raine involuntarily felt her eyes widen. Yuan took notice.
"...I look that good too, you know," he muttered.
"What?" Lloyd said again, even more unnerved than before.
Raine hurriedly changed the subject.
"All right, Yuan's going to apply it...it'll hurt, I'll heal you immediately after," she said.
"Healing right away should hasten the process," Yuan stated, "especially since we're not using the same force Mithos used on Kratos, you
should be back to your old self in minutes."
"So I won't fall asleep again?"
"You will, just not for very long," he stated.
"Yes," Raine nodded, getting into position, "okay Lloyd, get ready."
"...On the count of three," Yuan said, placing the stone on Lloyd's back, "...one-"
"ARGH-!" Lloyd cried out in pain. "Wh-what happened to three-!?"
"You would've tensed by then," Yuan's voice said cockily.
Lloyd went to give Yuan a piece of his mind before he felt his lids droop-
And then he fell asleep.
Outside, Kratos was looking at Anna's grave, frowning.
"...Anna..." he whispered, "...I know that name. ...I know it. ...Where..?"
He groaned and held his head. Remember! He had to remember! Anna, who was Anna? Feh, fine, he remembered the four-thousand years
after the Lestuk but he didn't remember-...a gap. There was a gap spawning about five years...or was it nineteen years? ...He remembered the
Journey of Regeneration, he remembered the pacts they attempted, he remembered the tree going out of control, he remembered everything
except-...Lloyd. All the parts with Lloyd during that were...blurry. Like he knew some things, but some of the others facts that were right in front
of him were...distorted.
"Think..." he murmured.
Then, why had he gone back to this anyway? He was old, ancient, and he looked fully-grown...why was he a teenager? Why was Lloyd
different? Was there some connection...? He found himself sitting in front of the grave, trying to remember desperately. There was something
so important about this...why couldn't he remember it...? His eyelids fluttered before a yawn escaped him... It had been a long day, he
supposed he should go inside and get some rest. Tomorrow would be a big day too, of course... So without much more thought to his
exhausted psyche he entered the house and gladly fell asleep upon the mat Dirk had pulled out for him. Dirk...there was something about him
too- Wait! That was it! He jolted upright, he was the only one in the large main room where Dirk was at work...
"S-sir, could I ask you something?"
The dwarf looked at him over his shoulder.
"...Yes?" he asked.
"...You raised Lloyd, right?"
Dirk raised an eyebrow. The group had told him to keep quiet about...well, almost anything, especially Lloyd's upbringing. Then how did he...?
Then, he could be remembering, like Raine said...
"Aye, I did,"
"...So...you're his...father...?" Kratos frowned, biting his lip.
Now that was an awkward situation.
"...'E's my son, just as much as he is his real father's," Dirk nodded.
"...I..." Kratos shook his head, wincing. "...No...what did I-?"
Then the Seraph quite suddenly lost himself again. He remembered everything except the most important facts...something so, so important...
And this guilt. Where did it come from? Why did Dirk saying that he was Lloyd's father bother him so much-?
"Are ya all right-?" he started.
"I- I'll be fine," he grunted, "...I...I just...I'm fine."
Then suddenly, it hit him.
Anna...Anna had been in the ranch, Anna had been his-...his...wife.
That could only mean that Lloyd was-
There was a loud sound as a boy in red stumbled down the stairs, yelping in pain as the sound of Yuan's laughter from upstairs echoed, Raine's
giggles accompanying it. The brunette in a heap at the bottom of the stairs wearing too-large clothes huffed and glared up at the half-elves
toward the top.
"Okay okay, I KNOW I should've changed first-!" the teenage Lloyd shouted.
Then he knew.
Lloyd was his son.
"Lloyd!" Dirk grinned. "I see the professor and her boyfriend fixed ya up!"
"Yep!" Lloyd grinned, excited. "See? I'm short again! ...Er, shorter! Are the others still outside-?"
Lloyd locked eyes with Kratos, who was gaping at him.
"...Uh....yeah," Lloyd looked down at himself, "...I'm supposed to look like this, see-"
"Lloyd..." Kratos whispered slowly.
He was his father. His FATHER. A father that had let his son be raised by someone else- who had murdered his child's mother, who had
abandoned him, who had left him for dead and didn't even have the guts to tell him when he found him-
He was a horrible father. Just like the one he said he'd never be.
"...Kratos, are you okay-?" Lloyd started.
How could he look at him? After what he had done- and that night in Heimdall- No! How could he have said that?! Lloyd must have hated him
even more for saying all that about wanting his children to be happy, while he was right there! And he had left him! He had abandoned him!
"Kratos, what's wrong-?!" Lloyd started.
"I left you," he choked, eyes wide, "...I abandoned you..I abandoned my son..."
Lloyd's eyes widened.
Kratos ran out of the house, Lloyd's voice calling him back. The ex-Seraph tore into the woods, ignoring the questions by the rest of the group
as he dashed off into the plants. No! How could he have been so stupid!? How could he have been such and IDIOT!? All those things he had
said in Heimdal....he was hurting Lloyd, even without his memory! Why was he always making things worse?! Couldn't he do anything right-?!
Lloyd had caught up to him? He was definitely faster than he would have suspected. Kratos tried to avoid him but Lloyd grabbed his arm. The
false teen wrenched his arm away and then Lloyd did the only thing he could thing to do to make him stop.
He tackled him.
"Guh-! Let me go-!"
"Kratos, calm down-!"
Kratos stopped. Just stopped, he didn't think, he didn't move, he didn't breathe. He was frozen as Lloyd lifted him up into a sitting position and
then hugged him tightly.
"...Dad, it's okay..." the brunette whispered, holding his father close, "it's okay-"
"You didn't abandon me," Lloyd whispered, "...you came back, you helped me, you...you did what you could to keep me safe, and you...loved
me. You didn't abandon me."
"...Lloyd-" Kratos choked.
"Do you remember what happened before we fought Mithos?"
Before Mithos? ...They...they got separated from the others and there was that trap-
...and he had said 'more than anything'.
"You love me, Dad, so you are my Dad," Lloyd mumbled, his face in Kratos' shoulder, "...I'm sorry if I hurt you."
"I hurt you-" Kratos retaliated.
"Don't worry about it," Lloyd looked at him and smiled, "...you...it's okay now, okay?"
"...How can I ever make it up to you?" he whispered.
"Well...you could hug me back," Lloyd laughed nervously.
"I was just kidding," Lloyd stammered.
"...So...you do remember everything now?"
"...Yes," Kratos stated.
"...I was talking about you, you know," Lloyd said.
"...When I was talking about what dads are like..."
Kratos flinched. That conversation....how much had he messed up?
"I-" Kratos started.
"I was talking about you," Lloyd said again, "...when I was talking about how wonderful it feels for them to admit it...I was talking about you,
what you said before we fought Mithos..."
Kratos could only stare at him.
"...Lloyd, take this..."
Kratos unsheathed Flamberge and handed it to his son.
"...Why are you-?" Lloyd started.
"I owe it to you," Kratos answered softly.
The ex-Seraph got to his feet and began to make his way away from Lloyd.
"W-wait, where are you-?"
"I just need a moment, I'm sorry," Kratos whispered.
"...D-" Lloyd started.
"Leave me alone," Kratos whispered.
With that he left his son for yet another time, unable to bear it.
"...Dammit," Lloyd muttered.
It was the next day after that when things began to calm down. Using the ring of the pact and the mana from Derris-Kharlan, they had
managed to revive the giant tree and create a new pact with the spirit that had been born with it. So now, their first day in the newly united
world was spent together taking a well-deserved rest. After all...there was still one thing they- meaning Lloyd- had to do. Kratos sat far from
everyone else, staying as secluded as possible. He hadn't said anything to anyone since Lloyd had returned to normal, he had barely even
looked at any of them. Not to say they hadn't tried, almost everyone attempted to get him to talk (to Lloyd, mainly) but none succeeded in their
effort. They had been resting in Meltokio, at Zelos' request, but that didn't seem to help the situation seeing as it gave Kratos an opportunity to
stay even further away from them.
"...Um...hey, Kratos-" Genis started.
"I'm sorry, I don't want to talk right now," Kratos said numbly, walking away.
The half-elf huffed. He couldn't just ignore them forever! Didn't he realize that this was hurting Lloyd too?! No one hurt his best friend!
Especially-! ARGH! It was so frustrating! He glared at the still-teen as he made his way out the mansion doors...
He looked up and had to shake his head a minute when Lloyd walked up to him. After all, since Yuan said it wouldn't be wise to use the sword
so quickly after reuniting the worlds, they hadn't been able to turn Kratos back yet. Of course, now that meant they had two teenage Aurion
swordsmen walking around in that same outfit, with the same face...yeah, disturbing.
"Y-yeah? What is it, Lloyd?"
"D...did you see where-?"
"He went out into the city," Genis said immediately, "he's still in a funk."
"...Okay, thanks," he smiled weakly, then headed out.
"...Good luck, Lloyd," the half-elf sighed.
Lloyd didn't have much trouble finding his father, seeing as he was wearing his outfit... Damn, no wonder he was always getting captured. Was
he that easy to track? Maybe the Renegades were right...his outfit did stand out a lot. Oh well, it made it easier for him this time. Lloyd ran up
to Kratos as he wandered aimlessly through the plaza, grabbing his shoulder.
"Lloyd, I don't-" Kratos sighed.
"You don't want to what? You don't want to talk to me?" Lloyd growled.
"What-? No, that's not-"
"You've gotta stop this!" he snapped. "You can't stay all mopey forever-...well, maybe you could, but I won't let you!"
"Lloyd-" Kratos started.
"I know you feel bad, and I know how hard this all must be for you after losing your memory and all..." Lloyd bit his lip, "...but...but if you're mad
at yourself, it's okay! I'm not mad at you-"
"How?" Kratos snapped, turning to face him. "How could you possibly not be mad at me after all I've-?"
"Would you WAKE UP?" Lloyd snapped "I've forgiven you, for everything! I don't care about the past anymore, I don't! What matters is that
you're here now, and-"
"If you feel bad for 'abandoning' me then stop IGNORING ME!!" Lloyd shouted.
Kratos stopped, watching as Lloyd began to attempt to calm himself with deep breathes. ...He was right. He was doing it again. He had been
so...ashamed, of what he had done to his son that he just ended up abandoning him again, in a sense...what was he supposed to do? How
Both teens looked up, catching sight of the source of the laughter. A group of fighters had just come from the coliseum, evidently having won if
their cocky attitude was any hint. A group of four gladiators of which the leader was pointing at the two of them and laughing.
"HAH HAH! Look at that! They mmaaaatch! Isn't that ADORABLE?" he cackled.
Lloyd flushed and Kratos glared.
"Y-yeah! What's a matter?" the second cooed. "Your mommy dresses you like that?"
"Their mommy has no sense of fashion," a female sorcerer cackled.
"Wait, we shouldn't be too hard on them," the largest member guffawed, "moms like making sure their twins always match and stuff, they just
got a short end of the stick-"
"Twins!? Oh geez, not this again..." Lloyd sighed.
"Aw look, I think they're mad,"
"Oh no! They might whip us with their suspenders!"
"H-hey-!" Lloyd started.
"I'd kindly request you stop that," Kratos hissed.
"And what are you gonna do about it?"
"Careful, he could dress you,"
"AGH!" one mocked a gasp of horror.
"That's it-" Lloyd started forward.
Kratos held out a hand to stop him.
"Lloyd, calm down, they aren't worth your time,"
The group laughed louder.
"Aw, he's trying to protect him!"
"Yeah, I mean, his brother looks retarded, so maybe-"
In less than a second the speaker (the largest) was on the ground howling in agony. The rest of his group gaped at their companion and then
up at Kratos, who had unsheathed his sword and was glaring death at them.
"Would any of the rest of you desire to insult him?" Kratos asked simply.
"H-hey! You little-!"
They all charged at once, and just as quickly they all found themselves groaning on the ground. Kratos sheathed his sword, bristling.
"Let that be a lesson to you," he spat, "come on, Lloyd."
With that he turned on heel and began heading back for the mansion, Lloyd staring about at the scene before following after him.
"W-why did you do that?" Lloyd asked. "You didn't have to-"
"I know," Kratos said simply, "...but they...agitated, me."
"..Heh heh," Lloyd grinned.
"...Heh," Kratos smirked.
So they made their way back into the noble's quarters when Lloyd stopped.
"...What is it?" Kratos asked.
"...I...I can probably turn you back now," he said, "if...if you're ready."
Kratos looked away.
"Of course, whenever you feel like it," he nodded.
"...Okay," Lloyd nodded, "...so once we get inside, then?"
"...As you wish," Kratos said simply.
Lloyd sighed. For a minute there, he thought Kratos had gotten out of that funk...and then he was right back in it. Damn! ...Oh well, he'd have
to try again later. Once they were inside, Raine instantly rounded on them, her brother cowering behind her.
"Where have you two been?!" she scoffed.
"...Didn't Genis tell you?" Lloyd said simply.
"Yes, but you left without a word to any of us-"
"He just said he told Genis, did he not?" Kratos supplied.
"I was talking about YOU," she glared.
"...Ah," he said simply.
"Professor, you know you're not really-" Lloyd started.
"I know, but any time he does something stupid you're sure to follow," she crossed her arms.
"...My apologies," Lloyd said smoothly, "you know how impulsive I can be."
Raine's jaw dropped and Kratos turned slowly to stare at his son.
Genis was in a catatonic state.
"What?" he asked.
"Y-you...you-" Raine stammered slightly.
"Well, I was going to yell, but then I thought a minute that maybe she was just worried and I do tend to do stuff without thinking that gets me
into trouble..." the brunette trailed.
"...Lloyd," Genis said, "stop it, you're scaring me. You're not an adult anymore, so please...never do that again."
"What, think?" Lloyd blinked
"No, I mean...well, yes...nevermind," the boy sighed.
"...You have grown up," Raine smiled, "just naturally."
"Aw, geez Professor..." Lloyd laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Well, anyway..." Genis trailed, "...what were you two doing?"
"Having some bonding time!" Zelos sing-songed.
"When did you get here?" Lloyd asked, seeing the ex-chosen appear from nowhere.
"I live here!"
"W-well, anyway..." Lloyd said, mimicking Genis, "...I'm gonna turn Kratos back now, so-"
"Already!? Wait, wait, before you do that I need to do something!" Zelos said.
"...And what pray tell would-?"
Zelos stuck a finger in his mouth, grabbed Kratos and then stuck the slobbered finger into the Seraph's ear.
"Agh-!" Kratos cried.
"AHAH! I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO- OW! OW! HEY-! OOWWWW!"
A few seconds later Kratos glared down at the twitching form of Zelos, growling.
"...It could've been worse, he could've killed you," Genis said, poking him.
"AHAHHA!" Sheena laughed, having been drawn by the sounds of a beating along with everyone else.
"...Right, well if Kratos is going back to normal...does he have any of his old clothes?" Raine asked.
"I have my mercenary garb in my wingpack," Kratos nodded.
"Aw, you had it the whole time? Why didn't you tell me?" Lloyd whined. "It would've been fun to try on that one, too!"
"Well, you'd better go change into those then, unless you want your clothes to rip off..." Raine trailed.
"...Yeah..." Sheena trailed.
Both women stood in silence for a minute, and even Presea slowly tilted her head to the side in thought.
"...Why are you guys blushing?" Colette asked.
"We're not!" they all shouted (except Presea).
"...I have no comment," Regal stated.
"Eeeewwww!" Genis shouted.
"Guys, that's my dad you're talking about..." Lloyd twitched.
Kratos coughed into his hand.
"I'll be right back..."
With that the Seraph took his wingpack and left the room.
"...Then again, Lloyd...did YOUR clothes rip off when you changed...?" Sheena asked, blushing.
"Huh? Well...the pants fit because they were big before anyway, that's why I wear suspenders," he said, "but my jacket kinda...er...well, I
ripped it when I moved..."
There were assorted stares.
"...Your shirt ripped off?" Raine said slowly.
"Er...yeah," Lloyd said, having thought that was obvious, "because my shoulders didn't fit and-...guys?"
Sheena, Raine and Presea had adapted distant looks between daydreaming and embarrassment.
"...Oooooohhhh...." Zelos smirked.
"Huh?" Colette blinked.
"Oh mother of mana, I can't take much more of this..." Genis moped.
"Huh?" Lloyd mimicked Colette.
The half-elf smacked himself.
Kratos entered, fidgeting as he tried to keep his purple garb from slipping.
"You look funny," Lloyd grinned.
"Hmph, this isn't any different than when I first changed..." he pointed out.
"True...well, okay, here we go," he took out his swords, "stand back, everyone."
Everyone gave the two Aurions some space when Lloyd conjured the Eternal Sword into his hand, Kratos standing before him. The spirit's voice
began to ring out in their minds.
What is it you seek, master of the pact?
"...Change Kratos back into an adult," he said.
There was a bright flash of light and they watched a few seconds after, looking at Kratos. For a minute, it appeared nothing had changed
before the male aged before their eyes, growing to fit his clothes once more. The Seraph sighed in relief and Lloyd smiled softly.
It is done.
And then the sword was dismissed.
"...Whew, it worked," Lloyd smiled.
"...I'm glad that's all over," Kratos trailed.
"Y-yeah..." Lloyd smiled.
Kratos and Lloyd locked eyes. The two males both went to say something, then stopped, then repeated their actions before sighing and
looking away. Their friends sighed with them.
"Morons," Genis muttered.
"...Well, this means...everything's over, right?" Sheena asked. "We've done everything we need to do..."
"Well...yes, but that doesn't mean our friendship is over!" Colette smiled.
"Right," Lloyd grinned, "and personally, I think since we totally deserve it-"
"Way ahead of you bud! PARTAY!!!!!" Zelos shouted. "SEBASTIAN!"
"Sir," the butler said, appearing from nowhere.
"How'd he do that?" Genis stared.
"Is he a ninja too...?" Colette wondered.
"Prepare the servants, me and my buds are having a party!"
"Right away, sir,"
"WOO! LET'S GET DOWN WITH OUR BAD SELVES!" Zelos cried.
"..." Kratos blinked.
"Yeah, this'll be fun!" Lloyd grinned.
As the rest of the group prepared for their 'Saved the World' party, Kratos lingered toward the back watching Lloyd. ...Before, he thought that if
he survived releasing Origin, he'd want to leave on Derris-Kharlan...but... It didn't matter. Lloyd had used the sword too often in the span of a
few days. If he wanted to go or not, he would have to stay for a while longer. ...Though by then the comet may have already drifted too far...
"H-hey, D- ...Kratos?"
Kratos looked down at Lloyd, who grinned sheepishly.
"Hey, I've actually gotta look UP at you now," he chuckled.
"...So it would seem,"
"...I was wondering-" Lloyd started.
Lloyd stared at his father, blinking before the stoic man continued.
"...Roido means courage," Kratos trailed, hesitant, "...that's why I named you Lloyd."
The teen gaped at his father, his eyes wide and a faint flush creeping into his cheeks. Kratos glanced away, coughing somewhat as if
embarrassed. After a minute Lloyd smiled.
"...Thanks," he said.
"...It was strange, being young again..." Kratos trailed, "...I can not honestly believe I said that to Origin..."
"But you totally had him! It was awesome!" Lloyd grinned.
"..Heh," Kratos smirked softly, "...perhaps...it was a good thing, that it had happened."
"...I thought it was," Lloyd admitted, "I mean- you know, because...I got to know you a little more."
Kratos looked at him a moment before nodding.
"...You said if I wanted to look at the stars with you again, I just had to say the word,"
The teen looked confused a minute before his eyes lit up and a grin spread on his face.
"Yep, I did,"
"...Would you like to look at them tonight?" Kratos asked slowly.
"Of course, Dad,"
His father smiled.
Awwww! It's so fluffy! It's-! It's-! ...Over. O.O
Me: It's OVER! D: Wow... That's so strange, isn't it? n.n'
Colette: But it was fun, right? n.n
Me: Why...yes it was. n.n Thanks for reading, everyone! :D
Colette and Me: MERRY CHRISTMAS! n.n