Angel Dust


The first time Lloyd Aurion saw his daddy's wings, he shouted in awe. To his childish mind they were pretty, and sparkly, and blue, everything that was awesome in the world upon the shoulders of his most favorite person. Lloyd Aurion wanted to be just like his daddy. He wanted wings so he could fly and be cool and save mommy like daddy always saved him.

When he told his father so, the little brunette expected to see a small smile tug at his daddy's lips, the smile reserved for Lloyd alone, but his daddy just frowned. His eyebrows creased and before Lloyd knew what was happening he was being hugged tightly.

"No." Lloyd frowned and felt tears prickling at his eyes. He wanted to be like his daddy and opened his mouth to tell him so, but never got the chance. "You will never become like me. I won't let you." Lloyd took a shuddering gasp and began to cry at his father's rejection. What was wrong with having wings? What was wrong with being like daddy? Daddy was the strongest man Lloyd knew, the strongest man ever. But his daddy just hugged Lloyd tighter and continued to shake his head and rub circles in his crying son's back.

"No, No, No . . ." Kratos' voice rumbled against his son's ears, breaking in pain as the man began to rock back and forth. Had Lloyd looked his daddy in the eyes in that moment he wouldn't have understood the storms brewing within them. He would not realize that his daddy's mind wasn't focused on the present. He would not have understood the burdens of a past that Kratos had been too weak to prevent and too guilty to let go. Falling in love with Anna had been a mistake. Bringing his Lloyd into the world was unfair to the baby, but Kratos had always known he was more selfish than most men. This reprieve; he wondered how long it would last and clutched his son to his chest, taking comfort in the boy's scent and his soft, though confused mumblings.

"I won't let Mithos have you." Lloyd let out a small breath in confusion. He didn't know who Mithos was, but he learned something that day, a lesson he would carry with him always: Beauty didn't always bring happiness.

And Kratos Aurion realized just how well nightmares survived outside of dreams.

The first time Kratos Aurion saw his son's wings he screamed long and hard. It was uncharacteristic, yes, but as the rest of the group of world regeneration was doing the same thing, nobody noticed. Had Kratos known less about the truths of Goddesses, he might have prayed, but he knew only his son's strength would pull him through the reuniting of the worlds unharmed. Not for the first time he marveled at what his Lloyd had become, so very happy that his son was alive at all.

All those years ago when he'd seen Lloyd go over the cliff and found nothing at the bottom, he'd lost a piece of himself. Anna was dead. Lloyd dead. Noise missing. Kratos Aurion had tried so hard to keep his little piece of paradise, his family alive and he still failed, just like he'd failed as Mithos' guardian. He hated himself then. But now. . . now the tiniest bit of Kratos wished that his son hadn't survived, if only so the boy wouldn't realize exactly what those wings meant for the future. There was nothing ahead in that future but a stopping of time, the gradual release of humanity, tossing away basic necessities like the need to eat and drink and sleep. Simply changing the crest wouldn't work as it had for Collette. How would his son, a boy who was so utterly, painfully human feel about the united world once he knew he'd be walking its soil for the rest of eternity? How would he feel as ,one by one, his friends passed from the land of living into distant memory and then, for the world, nothing more than nameless, faithful legends that carried only the barest of truths?

He and his son were different, Kratos knew. Kratos had tasted defeat early in life. He'd been born to war, fought it, lived it, and then continued it of his own volition, but Lloyd . . . Lloyd floating softly back down to the ground with a wide smile, clutching the eternal swords in his fists, knew victory. He hadn't been beaten down. He still had faith. How long would that faith last Kratos wondered? Lloyd's wings shimmered in the sun as the group hugged and congratulated each other. The Eternal Swordsman caught Kratos' eyes as his father slowly made his way towards him. Brown eyes, so like his own held a spark of something and Kratos realized it was understanding.

Lloyd knew that the power of his exsphere meant the loss of his humanity. For all of his protestations against the sacrificing of people, Lloyd Irving-Aurion, unbeknownst to any but his own father was a hypocrite. His wings were the most beautiful of all.

And Kratos Aurion failed once again.

AN: Yes, yes, I know. It's been a while and I'm letting some faithful readers down my posting yet another fic that isn't the ending to the Digimon fic, but I am working on it. I FINALLY have a few plot bunnies running around in my head now that I'm not so busy with school. We'll see how far they get me. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this little snippet-thingy I've posted for you in the meantime. Tales of Symphonia is one of my all-time favorite games. TOS2 was blasphemous as far as I'm concerned.

Until next time!