AN: And Here's part 2, final installment.
Tales of Symphonia
Kratos didn't wake until the next evening deep in a healing coma as he was, at least according to Raine. They'd just finished changing the bandages for the fourth time when the swordsman's russet eyes opened and he sat up, startling the group.
"...ngh." The ex-merc groaned softly as he strained his injuries and Regal surprisingly knelt next to him.
"Lie back, you'll reopen your wounds otherwise." Ever the voice of reason, but the angel ignored him his eyes flitting from one person to the next, confused and wary.
"We're not going to hurt you." The blue haired martial artist assured.
"That does not excuse the fact that this is a precarious situation." Kratos spoke finally.
"We aren't holding you prisoner." Raine aloofly stated, "As soon as you've recovered you can leave."
"I see, and in exchange I suppose you want information?" The Cruxis Seraph guessed shrewdly.
"...we have a few questions." The elder Sage admitted.
There was a tense atmosphere as the two parties regarded one another each waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Um, Mr. Kratos?" Colette nervously broke the silence.
"Chosen." He stiffly addressed her.
The blond angel twisted her hands in her robes.
"Why were you punished!" She finally burst out.
The auburn swordsman blinked and glanced down at his torso which he saw was uncovered allowing them all to see the age old scars that he'd tried to hide. Internally he cursed, outwardly his head bowed until his face was mostly concealed in his hair.
"Kratos?" Lloyd tried taking a step forward.
"It's not open for discussion!" He snapped glaring.
"My personal affairs are none of your concern." A flat rebuttal.
"Are you ashamed then? Or do you just don't want us to know what Cruxis does to its' traitors?" All heads whipped around to stare at Raine.
"Sis?" Genis wondered, "What do you mean?"
"Are you saying he betrayed Cruxis, too?" Sheena questioned stunned.
Raine and Kratos stared across at each other, their gazes locked in a battle of wills, but there was the tiniest hint of apprehension in the Seraph's eyes. Finally the half-elf held up her hand and let the golden locket dangle from it and the swordsman's visible eye widened.
Lloyd's own expression turned to realization, "That's right, you're wife and son..."
The other's eyes, except Raine's, widened as well as the revelation hit them. They weren't aware such a man like Kratos could feel so deeply for another with the way he acted.
"You're wearing your Cruxis uniform in the photo." The healer addressed the auburn angel who growled, his gaze absolutely icy.
"They were human weren't they." Kratos visibly flinched at the twin sword's accurate guess as the rest of the party drew back shocked at the reaction.
Regal spoke up softly aware how sensitive the subject must be, "Your family are they...?"
"I-" The swordsman stopped to gather himself his shoulders sagging, "It is forbidden for angels to marry humans."
"Kratos..." Anyone could have whispered it.
"I see," Zelos said knowingly, "So since it wasn't allowed you rebelled and betrayed Cruxis."
"..." The ex-mercenary looked away.
"But you were caught, weren't you, and Cruxis punished you." The Tethe'allan Chosen continued with an odd expression on his face his eyes flitted to Sheena for just a moment.
"I don't see how something that happened years ago has any relevance to your current problems." The Seraph tried to deflect, inwardly uncomfortable, "It doesn't change the fact you and I are enemies."
"How can you say that!?" Lloyd suddenly shouted, "You told me yourself it was the Desians who killed them! The Desians and Cruxis work together! How could you go back to serve the organization that took them from you!? That wouldn't even allow you to have them!?"
Kratos had a dead look to his wine colored eyes, remaining silent, while the others had sympathy written in their faces. Raine's features had softened, Regal had a sense of empathy in his, Zelos looked indifferent but there was the slightest bit of understanding for what the angel could have had. Presea had a sad expression, while Sheena still displayed her shock. Lloyd shook with outrage, Genis didn't quite know how to feel, and Colette had tears in her eyes. For the first time they were beginning to see just what kind of position the angel was in compared to themselves in the grand scheme of things.
"It doesn't matter. I am a Cruxis Seraphim and nothing can change that." The swordsman did his best to keep the hollowness out of his voice, no one was convinced, but they didn't press him. It only confirmed in the adults minds that the man wasn't much more than a slave to Yggdrasil.
Zelos's hand on his shoulder cut the twin blade off, "Leave it alone, Bud, it's obvious the old man doesn't want to talk."
"Fine." Lloyd walked over and picked up the man's armor where he'd left it fully repaired and dropped it at the auburn male's side.
"Go back to Cruxis then, I'm sure that uncaring bastard misses his loyal dog." A flicker of hurt and shame passed through russet eyes, but the teen didn't care angry as he was.
The red clad young man stalked off towards the pond to think.
Some hours later Regal walked over to speak to him.
"You missed dinner." He started lightly, "There's some saved for you."
"Not hungry, maybe later." The twin swordsman replied dully.
A grunt came back.
"I believe he was more upset than he let on." The blue haired chef informed gently, "What you said hurt him deeply."
A sigh escaped Lloyd's mouth, "I just-it doesn't make sense why he would go back! Why he would just give up!...and after the way he was treated...I don't understand this at all!"
"Hm," Regal became contemplative, "There are many things that bind a man to other's. Sometimes willingly, like risking everything just to have a family, and sometimes not."
The teen looked up at the older male, "You think he didn't go back willingly?"
"I don't pretend to know whether Kratos did or not. It may be he simply thought he had no where else to go." The martial artist sighed, "Life is full of complications made worse by human emotions. Sometimes we cannot always see the correct path to follow."
"But, I still don't get how he could be part of an organization that would enforce such a rule. You shouldn't be told what race you make friends or fall in love with." Lloyd protested angrily.
"Well, Bud, that's why we're trying to stop Cruxis right?" Zelos walked up just then, "So people have a right to exist and make their own decisions?"
"Yeah," Lloyd nodded his head at the red haired Chosen, suddenly determined, and held up a fist, "We'll defeat Cruxis and make sure that neither they or anyone else can dictate people's lives, for everyone's sakes!"
"Even those in Cruxis?" Sheena was next to join them and behind her followed everyone else.
"Yeah, we'll save everybody!" The twin sword declared.
"Well that's good and all, but first we gotta find Aska." Genis pointed out.
"Yes, we still have to separate the worlds." Presea agreed.
Lloyd rubbed his head, "Yeah, uh, do we still have no where else to look?"
"Actually, I may have an idea now on the location of the Linkite Tree." Raine told them.
"That's great, professor!" Colette gushed.
"Alright, let's go!" The brunette called enthusiastically pumping his fist in the air.
"..." Collective sweatdrop.
Lloyd scratched his neck embarrassed, "Eh, can I eat first? I'm starving."
AN: So there we go it's shorter than the last one but I wanted to get this wrapped up.
You'll notice Noishe is kinda missing here but it didn't seem especially important to include him. I threw in a couple issues here that the game never really talks about, though.
Fic was inspired by two others, one by Freakyanimegal, and the other was about our favorite Seraph possibly recieving punishment for his rebellion. The question of whether Kratos might have had a legitimate reason not to wear a swimsuit, in that tiny side quest, was also a factor.
Anywho, I didn't just write this to get my thoughts down, but also to promote my Tales of Symphonia Challenge Forum. Come have a look, get inspired, or post your own ideas so far its just me there (I'm so alone *sobs*) I warn you though, I'm a huge Kratos fan so most of the 16 ideas I've already posted have him included.
I'm gonna throw in something special in the forum as well that pertains to this little two-shot.