Summary: Yggdrasil knows about Lloyd. Knows he is Kratos' son. So after he sends Kratos to help the Chosen on her Journey, he intervenes in order to keep Kratos from discovering his son until… until he is ready.

Disclaimer: Namco owns Tales of Symphonia.

Chapter 1:

Yggdrasil watched as Kratos searched the rubble beneath the cliff; digging through the corpses; calling out for his missing son and wife. The man collapsed on the ground, fingers digging into the soil as he called out for his family, his voice hoarse. "Lloyd…Anna…"

He was covered in blood, the rain gently washing it in thin streams along his skin, drenching his clothes. Yggdrasil stared silently, watching his old teacher mourn. He was surprised, though only slightly, that Kratos could feel such pain for a couple of inferior beings, but perhaps that is because he was once one.

His wife was dead, but his son… Yggdrasil turned his head towards the path that the dwarf had disappeared down, carrying the limp form of the woman followed by the protozoan carrying the boy. Yes, Kratos' son was alive, though he could never know about it.

Kratos hadn't moved from his position on the ground, but Yggdrasil saw that he had drawn Flamberge, the fiery sword glowing in the misty air. The fool!

"Kratos, stop." He moved toward the man, laying a hand on his shoulder. "You don't want to do that." His voice calm, though inside he was panicking. After all this he couldn't have him killing himself.

"Leave me, Yggdrasil. Let me die." His voice strangely hollow, deadened. His auburn hair was black against his pale skin, plastered down from the rain. He looked ghostly in the mist. The rain fell with soft tapping against the ground; the stones; the leaves; everything seemed to be struck with the water, enhancing the small sound till it was deafening.

Yggdrasil shook his head, water droplets splaying off, "You know I can't do that, Kratos." The man gave no reaction, the sword glowing brightly as the moisture dripped from its curves and points. Sighing, he decided to try something different, "Sensei?"

Kratos flinched slightly, turning his head up to see a young boy staring down at him with concern. "Mithos…?" he looked confused.

Yggdrasil nodded his small head, more rain dripping from his blond hair, "Please, Sensei, you told me never to give up." He held his small hand, "Don't give up either. Come back with me."

The man stared at the open hand for the longest time and then he nodded his head and pushed himself from the ground. Yggdrasil backed up, carefully watching him as Kratos gazed at his sword. The older man turned his gaze back to the Desian corpses, torn and ravaged by the monsters hiding and waiting beyond the trees since Kratos had descended here. Yggdrasil knew that he was searching for them, hoping, wishing… just as he had so many years back when Martel had died.

"I will come." Kratos' voice hadn't changed; it was still the hollow sound eerie in the silence. He sounded as if he had already given up.

Mithos sighed with relief and allowed his iridescent wings appear on his back, shimmering in the light rain. Kratos released his own sapphire wings and quickly warped back to the angelic city. Yggdrasil let a small smile fill his face and he looked down the path.

"A son…" he would have to remember the child and make sure Kratos never found him. He looked around the clearing again before warping away allowing the ravenous creatures to crawl from the shadows to finish devouring the corpses.

--

Everything had been lost. His family... gone. Kratos wasn't sure what he was doing anymore. His gaze was empty as he stared at the swirling clouds enwrapping the city. He hadn't move since he warped back to Welgaia, just stared. The blood had dried, staining his clothes and skin a rusty brown. It was her blood... Anna's. He closed his eyes, wincing as he remembered shoving the blade into her chest. Her scream, his scream.

He opened his eyes. He saw the forest, the tall thick trees and overlapping canopy. The thundered rolled threateningly, the wind howling. He saw Lloyd...little Lloyd, his son. Large brown eyes staring at him, wide with fear. "I will protect you."

"I will protect you." Kratos heard himself whisper. A promise, a promise to his son. To his wife... Anna...

Kratos frowned and looked around him. She wasn't there. He saw the metal city behind him, a cold empty place, mindless angels hovering silently within the corridors. Why...?

He stopped, remembering where he was. "I came back." he stated dully. He came back because they were gone. They were dead. No!

"Lloyd!" he spun around, eyes wide. Lloyd wasn't dead, he was alive somewhere. Near the cliff and Anna--he had to go look. Lloyd needed him! Kratos looked around frantically when suddenly Yggdrasil was before him. "Kratos." he said calmly.

"I need to find him." he tried moving past him, but Yggdrasil gently grabbed him.

"Kratos, they are gone." he said.

"No, Lloyd--I need to go look for him. I promised I would protect him. Let me go to him." Kratos tried pulling his arm away, but Yggdrasil held on to it tightly. "Please, my son... Lloyd." Kratos begged him, his voice dropping to a whisper.

Yggdrasil shook his head, "No, Kratos, they are gone. They died, you have to let go." he assured, the struggling seraph. "Let go, Kratos. They are gone."

Kratos fell to his knees, Yggdrasil releasing his arm, and he shook his head. "But... Lloyd..."

"He died falling from the cliff. He is gone Kratos." Yggdrasil dropped to the ground next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder. He reached over and pulled Flamberge from its sheath, holding it one hand as he pulled Kratos to his feet with the other. "Come on, Sensei."

Kratos followed wordlessly as Yggdrasil lead him to his room. Yggdrasil's words played over in his head. They are gone. Lloyd...

Well it was short, but essential. I hope Kratos wasn't too OOC. The next chapter will jump fourteen years to the day "before" the oracle.

Tell me what you think and review please.