Ok… I get it. None of you like Colette much… I can understand. Nether do I. Unfortunately she has to do with the plot so there's no getting rid of her… Sad to say but there is a legitimate reason on why she can see Zelos. I won't go into it now though… Sorry but it will be explained! Plus she won't be the only one I swear! You'll like the next one to see him very much… Or at least I hope you will… O_o;;

I'm LATTTTTTTTEEEE. DON'T KILL MEEEEHHH! On a side note… I hope everyone had a happy Halloween! And For all of those who care… I think I have the flu… Which sucks cause I have school…

(Ps. I do not own… Except maybe at this point the innkeeper… I kinda had fun with her personality and character… XD I love giving unknown characters a part! )


Chapter 4

"So let me get this straight…" Colette said still looking confused after I had explained what had happened. Then again she was never the smartest crayon in the box… "Your dead?"

"Yep."

"Like dead dead?"

"Yep."

"… Um how did this happen again?" Seriously?! Dear Volt, Colette if I had know you were this dense I would have gone and betrayed the group a long time ago. Like when I first met them. Should have just let the guards take em'… Then I wouldn't be dead.

"I betrayed you guys and was killed by Lloyd."

"But Lloyd would never do that!" She gasped in shock and I wanted to smack myself in the face. How in the world was this girl that dense!

"He had to Colette. I was going to kill them. Really." I said looking her in the eye. She looked like she wanted to cry. Cry because of what I didn't know. But that was Colette for you. "Look Colette. I'm dead and so far you're the only one who's able to see me… And Lloyd… Lloyd doesn't need to know about me. None of them do. Could you please keep it a secret?" I asked her calmly bowing my head. No one else need to know. I could see the pain in their eyes. They didn't need to know that the companion they lost was still with them. Only this time as a ghost.

Plus Sheena and Raine would want to smack him. A lot. If not just for his little stunt at the tower but for everything he put them through. And if that wasn't enough, if Kratos figured it out.

He wouldn't stand a chance…

"I don't know… I don't want to lie to them…" Colette said biting her lip. Her eyes betrayed her reveling the conflict she was having.

"Please Colette."

"Ok Zelos… I won't tell…" She said finally folding to me. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding.

"Thanks Colette…" I manage to say before hanging my head in relief. The room was filled with silence as Lloyd breathed in and out deep in sleep.

"I guess I'll just go to bed now then…" Colette said quietly and made he way to the door. It opened with a creak before she looked back at the sleeping teen. "Get some rest." She said before closing the door. I didn't know it she meant Lloyd or me but I bet it was for the first.

I was sort of surprised how through the whole conversation between Colette and me, Lloyd hadn't moved once. Not a twitch. Not even a yawn or a sigh. He just laid on the bed oblivious to everything around him.

"Geez Bud… If I didn't know any better I'd say you were dead…" I chuckle now standing over the sleeping teen. He must be utterly exhausted to be this deep in dreamland. " You really went through a lot today didn't you… Well sleep tight Bud cause I don't think its going to get any easier after this… But you know… Whatever will be, will be."

---

In my own personal opinion, the morning came too fucking soon. The sun peeked through the window shining right in my face. I had fallen asleep in a chair of to the side shortly after my little angel left. And now I was woken but the blasted sun! Could I not get a break or what?!

A knock came at the door as I got to my feet stretching. "Lloyd? Are you awake?"

"Sheenaaaa," I whine like it was any other day. "Go away he's sleeping! I was sleeping!" She entered anyway not able to hear my warning. Taking one look at the bed was all she need before a smile formed on her face.

"Ah… So your still asleep?" She asked quietly not making a sound as she stepped closer to the bed. Lloyd had managed to kick most of the sheets and blankets ether to the floor or to the end of the bed. "Genis was right… You are completely exhausted…" Jee I could have told you that much… Oh no wait. You can't hear me. She picked up the blanket that had been kicked away placing it gentling on top of Lloyd.

"Ok… I'm getting this really awkward feeling now…" I mutter watching the increasingly sappy moment play out in front of me… I mean she was starting to brush his hair out of his face… Dear goddess… "Sheena… You never did that for meeeee!" I whine pitifully watching the scene with narrowed eyes.

Lloyd just had to be so luck didn't he… Practically had two girls literally all over him… Without even trying! He had tried that with everyone of the women in the group… And what did he get? A couple of red hand prints on his face. And they all had Exspheres attracted! It hurt!

And now he, the great Zelos Wilder, had to watch after him like a mother. It was utterly pathetic…

Though as he spent hour watching the teen he noticed things he hadn't picked up before… The way Lloyd would try with all his fight to smile. The poor teen didn't realize he emotion were practically out on a sign in neon lights for the whole world to see. It would have to take a blind man not to notice that. In fact he wondered how he hadn't seen it until he'd gone and died. Then again spending hours studying ones face did reveal quite a bit about a person especially when that person can't see you staring at them. Who knew being a guardian angel would have it's benefits?

Yea he spent hours of the night staring at Lloyds face. There wasn't much else to do.

Though now that he thought about it, he could have just gone down the hall to the girls room…

Why hadn't he done that?!

"Lloyd… I hate you… this is all your fault!" Zelos shouted at the sleeping teen. "I could have watched Sheena and the Professor get dressed! Do you know how long I've been waiting to see that!?" He was being petty sure but no one could hear him anyway… Well Colette could but she didn't really count…

As Sheena finished playing with Lloyd's hair she took one final look at the sleepy hero before whispering in his ear, "Sleep tight Lloyd." Did I mention how much I was gagging now? That's it. I need to get out of this room. As Sheena opened the door I walked right through her to get to the other side.

Hehe… I was just in Sheena…

"Seriously… A chill? It was warm just a second ago…" Sheena said trailing off looking for the reason of the sudden shiver. I snickered as the ninja tried at failed to located the reason aka me. "Strange…"

I was trying really hard not to laugh as Sheena walked down the hall with me right behind here. This was going to be amusing to mess with the group.

Oh but wait. Colette might not light it… Joy.

"Is he still asleep?" I looked over to see low and behold Raine sitting at the table with Regal and the innkeeper. They were all enjoy what looked like a cup of coffee with their breakfast. I was more curious on why Raine was sitting at the table.

"You really let her in?" Sheena said look at the Innkeeper with a wide smile. The old woman let a pleasant smile form on her face.

"Its rather rude to let someone eat outside." The elf said calmly drinking what looked like tea from the lighter color. She let a small smirk grace her face. "I already feel bad enough about leaving them outside all night. Besides, this isn't the first time I've broken the Elder's rules." Oh now I really love this lady. She went against that stuck up elf and got away with it… Wait how was she getting away with it?

"He actually lets you get away with breaking his laws?" Raine asked raising an eyebrow.

"If you remember dear he's the one who broke it first." The woman smile cheerfully but I could see the evil look in her eye. "Plus he can't do anything to his mother." Ohhhh burn. I don't know how many times I want to say it but I really love this lady. I wish I could have meet her BEFORE I died…

"I see. That's why there was no argument with you providing blankets for Genis and I. Thank you for your kindness." Raine said bowing her head. The elf just laughed.

"No worries my dear. I would kick myself if I didn't help Virginia's children. She was such a nice girl, pity the racism here runs so deep…" The woman trailed off leaving Rain in shock. Well I would be too if someone admitted to knowing my mother…

"You… You knew my mother?" Raine asked watching the elf closely to see if the woman was lying at all. The years clearly showed on the elf's faces as she looked sadly down into her cup.

"Yes. I watched over her as a child and saw her fall in love with a human. I was even there for your birth." Shock was clearly etched on Raine's face as she watched the woman as if in a trance. Sheena had sat down in a chair leaving me standing off to the side where I wouldn't be a problem. Then again me being a problem wasn't really possible at this point. Regal was watching the conversation as he sipped his coffee. "You were such a bright child. Even more so than some of the other children. I think you got it from your father. Virginia was never as interested in books as you were." She laughed at the blush forming on Raine's face as the knowledge passed over her.

"I- I see…" The half-elf said trying to process the new information. Hell I think she was in shock that someone remembered her from all those years ago let alone recognize her from a child. "You have surprisingly good memory."

"Child its only been a few years! I'm not that old!" The Elf looked insulted but had a warm humor sparkling in her eyes. She maybe old in age but she wasn't about to let that get her down. I surprised she didn't snap at the comment. "And don't even think about asking." Ah yes. Never ask a woman her age. Unless you were telling her she looked several years younger than she actually was. If not, expect a nice slap to the face. Women are so touchy about their age. I've had my fair share of red palm prints because of it. "My husband would be very disappointed in me if I had lost one of the features he loved so dearly."

"Husband?" It was the first time I had heard Regal speak all morning. But then again he was always the gentleman. And rather quite.

"Ah yes. I suppose you've met him. My husband is the Storyteller." Well its just one surprise after another. This lady had a whole life story that wasn't even done yet I'm sure. "It is such a pain to be so far away but he is happy being able to pass his stories from generation to generation with having to deal the long list of rules here. I'm sure you've hear of the taboo word yes?"

"Yea." Sheena said speaking up for the first time. At least she was paying attention.

"He caused most if not all the racism this village has towards half-elfs." The woman muttered angrily, her eyes narrowing slightly and her knuckles turning even writer than they were before.

"But that's wrong." I wiped my head to the side to see Lloyd standing in the doorway frowning at the elf. He wasn't angry just…

Disappointed.

"You know it and I know it sonny…" The Innkeeper said in a smile that did not reach her eyes. "Sadly the rest of the village isn't nearly as open-minded as you and me as you can tell my the silly laws they lay."

"That's stupid! Why would they only trust the stories they've heard without seeing one with their own two eyes!?" Lloyd spat frowning at the injustice of it all.

The woman stared at Lloyd before bursting out laughing. "What a spirited lad you are!" She giggled like a teenage girl. A very amused teenage girl. "Now if only more people were like you the world would be what it is today. I think I like you." The woman stood for the first time dusting herself off as she rose. "I'm going to have a little chat with my son. There's something about his policies that think he should hear about..." She wrapped a shawl around her neck before giving them all a smile. "If you need anything just tell them that your staying with Mitera." And with one final glance at Lloyd she walked out the door leaving complete strangers in her house.

Have I've said I might love that woman?

"Son?" Lloyd asked obviously confused. Looks like bud didn't wake up to hear most of the conversation.

"Apparently we are staying with the mother of the Elder." Regal said calmly with Raine nodding her head. Sheena looked rather stunned if anything at the new information. That or she just wasn't awake yet.

"Seriously?!" Lloyd said mouth agape. "We're staying with the Elder's mother?!"

"Apparently." Muttered Sheena taking a cup from the table and pouring herself a cup that she so desperately needed. I nodded my head to this. Why would the mother of the Elder be a simple Innkeeper? Shouldn't she not have to work?

"Where are Colette, Genis, Presea?" Lloyd asked picking up a biscuit off the table taking a huge bite.

"They went off to explore the village while you were still asleep." Raine answered taking a sip of the hot coffee.

"So that's where they went off to…" I muttered having already noticed the three missing members. I was sort of disappointed. I was hoping that I could get Colette to make Lloyd rest.

"I should go get them… We should leave soon." OH hell no! Absolutely not. There was absolutely no way Lloyd was, physically or mentally, able to fight his father. He needed to rest.

"Actually Lloyd…" Raine said cutting Lloyd off. The professor shared a look with Regal nodding before continuing. "I discussed it with everyone this morning and we all agree that it would be for the best if we rested another day before heading out."

"WHAT?!"

"Professor I could kiss you!" I cry as Lloyd shorts in frustration. My hunny looked like she would much rather be with my little angel and the brat right about now.

"B-but I have to go and fight D-Kratos!" He shouted again angry and confused at why they had come to this decision. Apparently it was obvious to everyone but him that he was hurting at this. I was willing to bet my um… magazine collection that Bud didn't even know he was instinctively calling Kratos 'Dad'.

"I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you made him wait another day." Regal said agreeing with the professor. Lloyd lowered his head so far that I couldn't see his eyes anymore.

"Come one Lloyd… One day won't kill the old man. I mean he has lived for over 4,000 years… One measly day is like minutes to him…" I voice now standing behind the teen. I raised my hand to place it on his shoulder but forced it to stop mere inches away. Just as slowly the hand move back to my side.

"…Fine." The reply was so low I could barely hear it. Hell, if it wasn't the looks of relief on the other's faces I would have thought I had heard wrong.

"Good. Until tomorrow we will stay here. Please relax until then Lloyd." Raine said please that she had been able to change her students mind. I suppose if that didn't work out they would have used Colette on him.

Honestly, its not far when a girl comes up to you in tears with those big blue eyes and asks you anything. ANYTHING. You will not win and there is no escaping those big blue eyes. Believe me… I've tried.

I would have been lying if I said breakfast was normal after that. Lloyd had taken a sit and remained quite as the other three talked around him. Occasionally they would try to bring Lloyd into a causal conversation that he blew off and ignore. Eventually that gave up probably figuring that he'd talk when he was ready. Though I must say Sheena looked ready to kill him.

"I'm going out." Lloyd said finally finishing off what little he had actually put on his plate. He stood up leaving the dishes there and went for the door.

"Lloyd." He pause mere centimeters from the handle as Raine called out to him. "Please don't go without us. We want to be there for you." Lloyd just nodded opening the door just enough for me to slip out before him.

It was nice and warm outside. The sun was out and the birds were chirping. The elves that live in the village were busy at work for the day ahead of them. That was until they saw Lloyd com out of the inn. Whispers were started almost immediately as they tried not to stare. I'm sure everyone knows how not noticeable that is… YEA DON'T THINK I DON'T SEE YA IDIOTS OVER THERE!

I didn't see any sign of Colette of Genis. Lloyd really need them right now too. Bud was this close to exploding and taking the whole village with him. I followed him as he took severally paths around trees and houses until we got to a small clearing. It was peaceful and still with benches for people to sit by a slow moving stream. There were no other people around just the sounds of birds, a good place for Bud to think about things which he really needed to do.

And a great place for me to rant whether Lloyd heard me or not.

"I'm in a really bad mood, just so you know." I start off as Lloyd took a seat on one of the benches. "…I just can't accept the way he acts. You know, Kratos. And right now your acting just like him…" Lloyd still stares as the water flows past him carrying leaves with it. I let out a snort. "Well, I guess you are his son. But I gotta say, the way he's decided to leave the job of settling things up to you is just, like, really irresponsible. It's like he's trying to run away from the situation… And quite honestly Bud, what your doing right now isn't much better. The rest of the group, they care about you. Pushing them away to handle it yourself isn't going to do you any good. They'll follow you anyway. So don't think you have to do everything by yourself. You have friends…" I pause thinking about what I did for him.

My death. I didn't sacrifice so much for Lloyd to stop his quest. "Lloyd. If you're having trouble finding the answer, just chant my special magic words… Whatever will be, will be."

"Whatever will be, will be…" I couldn't believe the words that Lloyd had whispered. The same words I had just said.

"Lloyd?" I whispered hoping not for the first time in the past few hours that the teen could hear me. I was sadly disappointed as his hand reached into his coat and pulled out a barely glowing red stone. My Cruxis Crystal.

"Zelos… You said that once… What would you say right now? That I should listen to them? Or go after Da-Kratos on my own?" He asked looking at the crystal that dimly glowed in his hand. Soon his hand began to shake and tremble as tears pored down his face. "What should I do?!"

I didn't know what to do. I wanted to talk him through it. I wanted to pat his back as he cried. But both of these things were just beyond my reach, literally. Eventually I just reached out with my hand placing it over Lloyd's. "Bud, everything things going to be ok…"

I don't know if it my feeling or words or even just my hand being so close, but seconds later my crystal lit up like stars in the sky. Pulling my hand back in a jolt I watched in awe as it shined in Lloyd's hand like I had never died. And ever slowly, a smile formed on Lloyd's face.

"Zelos… Is this your way of cheering me up? Of telling me not to give up?" Lloyd chuckled wiping the tears off his face. "Well I won't. I won't give up. I'm going to change this, change everything."

"Well shit Bud, it took you long enough." I was glad he was finally coming to his senses. Lloyd wasn't a person who sits around mopping like a child. And it only took a glowing Cruxis Crystal to do it… I seriously wonder how that happened anyway?

Just as quickly as it came the light fade back to the dull shine he had been before. Lloyd stared at the stone before once again placing it in his pocket. He stood after that accomplishing what he had come there to do. Stretching out in the bright sun was enough for a smile to pull a smile on my face.

"Lloyd?"

"Presea?" Sure enough there was the little rose bud in her purple dressed glory. She looked rather confused that Lloyd was here of all places. Then again no one would ever thing that Lloyd might need some time to himself after all the shit that's happened in the past few days. No, of course not. "What are you doing here?"

"I think the better question is why are you here?" She didn't say 'alone' but it sure felt like she wanted to add that.

"I just needed to think for a little while and get away." He answered simply not going to detail at all. Probably because he didn't want them to worry any more than necessary. Well it was too lat for that.

"I see…" Presea said after a short pause and most likely she did. She was the silent type after all. "Well Genis and Colette are looking for you. They wanted to show you some things they found around the village." Oh well that was great excuse to get going. "I was sent to find you."

"Well ya did. So should we head back then?" Bud asked receiving a curt nod from Rose Bud. I follow a few feet behind them not wanting to bother them anymore than necessary as they walked along the dirt path. Oh dear Celsius, I getting far to use to this 'Guardian Angel' thing…

"Being here, it just doesn't seem real that the world is heading towards destruction…" Presea said speaking up and was oddly the one to break the silence.

"Yeah. If the Great Seed doesn't wake up, this world will…" Lloyd started but stopped towards the end not wanting to say whenever could happen. Honestly it was not a pretty thought, though I don't know how it could get any worse than it was now… You know what I take it back. It could be worse. A whole hell of a lot worse.

"What we're doing may be against the laws of nature." Lloyd looked at Presea confuse look plastered on his face.

"What?"

Presea stared at the sky finding some interest with it all of a sudden. "People chose the path of destruction. What we're trying to do may be nothing more than meaninglessly extending the life span of the world…"

"Are you saying it's better if the world is destroyed?" Lloyd's voice held and edge that always came up when someone thought destruction was the best path. The only path. Jezz Bud, your so predicable…

"…I don't know. I don't think anyone knows what is best. That's why you're having difficulty deciding." She said stopping in the middle of the path finally look Lloyd in the eyes. Lloyd stopped several steps ahead of her.

"Presea…"

"There may not be a correct path. So please, choose what you really believe for yourself." In a way she too was trying to cheer up the red clad teen. I think they all would in their own way. They weren't about to let their semi-leader go in to a depression on their watch.

"Thanks, Presea."

"… I'm glad your feeling better now." And with that last word she looked past Lloyd and continued walking like she had said nothing at all.

"Wait… What?" Lloyd called confused on what had just had happened. Then again Bud was never the brightest light bulb in a dark room.

"Lloyd!"

"Hey over here!"

"Guys!"

By the inn was the rest of the group waiting for him to return. Colette and Genis were in front with the rest sitting in chairs or on the stairs. They all seemed to brighten instantly seeing the smile on Lloyd's face. He wasn't 100% yet but maybe after tomorrow he would be. But for now they were have that he was at least smiling. It was enough for me right now. One step at a time.

"Lloyd! Where were you?" Genis asked running over to the teen a worried smile on his face. "We came to the Inn and sis said you had taken a walk. Colette and I wanted to show you some things we had found."

"Sorry Genis." Lloyd said scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "I just had to get some fresh air that's all." The Brat seemed to find this answer acceptable as he nodded his head.

"Oh yea Lloyd you'll never guess what we found?" Colette started and then began chatting with Lloyd excitable with Genis jumping in from time to time.

I watched almost wanting to laugh as the three talked like the children they were before the painful truth had ripped all the innocence from them.

Yea. Lloyd would be fine. He had all of these people to care about him.

But if Lloyd was going to be fine…

Why was he here?


Mitera - means mother in another language… Can't remember which one though… Opps… O_o;;

Why Presea you might ask? Well she isn't really going to play much of a major role in this story so I thought I'd give her a spot here. She like Regal are really most likely going to be seen and not heard. Not to say I don't like them. I do. I use them a whole lot more than I use Colette even if she does have Judgment. Just not in this story. Sorry.

As for the thoughts of Zelloyd, I've decide because its practically a 50/50 split that I'm going to make two separate endings. One with their friendship and one with them actually together. But seriously don't expect these anytime soon… I still have to get there. XD

As always please read and review. Your comments mean a lot to me... And plus they keep me writing! You don't want to see me stop writing now do you?!!!

Though with a months absence... I would understand if your reallllllly mad at meh.... I'M SORRYYYY!