Summary: Kratos is becoming more confident with his role as a father and is determined to be a good father and a positive role-model in Lloyd's life. Lloyd's future is in Kratos' hands and he is determined to set a good example.

Disclaimer: Namco owns Tales of Symphonia.

Dress Up

There were a number of things Kratos had yet to experience in his long life and most of them revolved around his new family. Being a father and a husband had definitely been new challenges for him to overcome. From teething, changing diapers and suffering from parental abuse, he had managed to overcome them slowly. He had made sure that wooden hammer had been reduced to ashes after his third encounter with it.

Still, he couldn't possibly fathom how things could develop from there. He had questioned Anna on what to expect in child rearing and though she was inexperienced as well, she claimed to have a motherly instinct to direct her. Kratos didn't place a lot of faith in such a claim, but he had no proof otherwise to deny it. However, when it came time for Kratos to watch over Lloyd while Anna slipped out for a well-deserved break, Kratos was certain he was prepared to hold an authoritative role over his son.

He had the afternoon snack planned out and knew exactly when to put Lloyd down for his nap. It might take a story or two to do so, but Kratos was never lacking in stories. Kratos had the clothes picked out for emergencies, should Lloyd spill food or get himself dirty and he knew exactly where all the toys were located. Yes, Kratos was well prepared for this challenge.

However, after spending a few minutes reassuring Anna he had everything under control, he had made the mistake of turning his back on the young toddler. Once Anna had left and he had shut the door with a calm assurance, he found himself staring at the abandoned spot on the floor where his son had been playing with Noishe.

The protozoan, unperturbed by the sudden disaster paid no mind to Kratos as the man frantically looked around the living area. It suddenly occurred to him how many places were available to his young son. He searched behind the couch, in the cabinets and even in the small toy chest. A cold chill was settling in his stomach and for a moment, he considered going out to call Anna back.

Of course, it was foolish. Anna wasn't any more likely to locate Lloyd than Kratos was. So with a firm determination, Kratos preceded to scour the small house they occupied. Still, it was unnerving that the young toddler failed to even answer Kratos' calls and briberies.

Even the promise of a piece of candy didn't lure the young boy out. Of course, Kratos didn't have candy, but Lloyd couldn't possibly know that.

It wasn't until he was searching their son's room that he heard a noise coming from his own bedroom that he shared with Anna. Slightly perplexed at the reason for Lloyd to be in there, but relieved that their son hadn't slipped outside, urged Kratos to hurry over to his bedroom.

The door was slightly ajar and with a gentle nudge, Kratos slipped in quietly. He couldn't determine exactly why he entered quietly. It could have been because he heard his son, babbling in the short sentences of a toddler. There was no one else in the house, and Kratos had learned from Anna that such moments were better undisturbed.

Slipping in silently, Kratos could only behold his son with widened eyes and stunned silence.

Upon their bed, the young two year old stood donned in only his socks, underwear, with a second pair pulled over his head and one of his mother's bras hanging from his small shoulders. In his hand was the only tube of lipstick Anna had and it was now smeared, bright red, across Lloyd's chubby round cheeks and mouth. The tube, now practically empty, was in his pink-stained hands, which twisted the tube back and forth in an attempt to find more lipstick to wield.

Kratos found himself, mouth slightly agape, staring at his young son. He found himself unable to analyze the situation beyond what his eyes could see. His son, in nothing but his undergarments and his mother's bra.

It was in that moment, Kratos struggled with the decision to address Lloyd, or simply slip back out of the room and try to recollect himself; however, Lloyd took the opportunity to lift his head, jerking slightly to find his father staring at him.

The large, round eyes stared at him in a moment of uncertainty and potential understanding that he had done something he shouldn't have. But whatever guilt Lloyd possessed was quickly diminished as he turned proudly with his head up and arms out, presenting himself in earnest to his father.

"Daddy! I'm pwetty!"

In all of Kratos' preparations, he had been unable to foresee this possibility. He wasn't even sure if Anna herself could have predicted this. It was in this moment as well, Kratos having high aspirations that Lloyd would one day make a formidable opponent and skilled swordsman wavered in the horrifying image of his son posing proudly in his wife's bra.

"Lloyd." He finally found his voice and instantly knew he had to save his son potential embarrassment should Anna see him like this. For he knew, as Anna often said, she would relate all these 'cute' incidents to Lloyd when he was older.

Kratos had to save him from such disaster.

"Daddy! I'm pwetty!" Lloyd repeated, brandishing the smeared lipstick tube with his waving arms.

"Lloyd, we have to take that off."

Instantly, Lloyd's cheerful face became defensive and he clutched to the 'clothing' he wore with passionate defiance. "No!"

Kratos gritted his teeth against the simple word, one he had heard too often. With resignation, Kratos approached Lloyd, reaching to remove the garments from the boy. "Lloyd, you can't wear your mother's—"

"Mine!" Lloyd fumbled across the bed away from his father, hugging the bra tightly to his chest.

Kratos attempted to circle around the bed, but the toddler proved apt at slipping out of reach each time he came around. In frustration, Kratos leaned over the bed and grasped the wriggling toddler.

Half on the bed, Kratos struggled with his flailing son, who protested loudly against the removal of the clothing. Not only was Lloyd uncooperative, the lipstick was everywhere and Kratos found his hands slick with red and as was his face where Lloyd put his pudgy little hands.


"Yes, Lloyd."

"It's mine!"

"It's your mothers. Let go—"

It was inevitable that the tug-a-war between father and son would go to Kratos, but it was unfortunate that at that moment, a number of things occurred.

The first, Lloyd's hands, slick with lipstick, slipped on the material. The elastic reaction caused the bra to snap back and flip up to Kratos' head, the straps and cup getting caught on his hair. The second was Anna pushing the door open with a concerned frown.

"What on earth is going on in here? I forget something and come back to find—..." Anna trailed off as she stared at the scene, before her.

"Kratos? What is on your face—and is that my bra?"

A variety of possible reactions ran through Kratos' mind in how to possible try to save his pride. But as Anna's laughter filled the room, shortly followed by a giggling Lloyd pulling his underwear back over his head, Kratos could only close his eyes as the bra dangled from his own hair and sigh in resignation.

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