Epilogue: Time to Say Goodbye
I took a deep breath and let it out in a happy sigh. Maybe it was just my imagination, but the air seemed clearer, the shadow of struggle and fear gone from the world. Everything seemed brighter and more cheerful.
I walked through the gates of Iselia…my home. It was so different from the times I had left before. I knew that from now on, no matter how many times I left, I would always be able to come back.
Grandmother and Father were waiting for me. "Grandmother, I'm home!" I called, waving.
My Grandmother smiled. "Oh! Chosen One!"
I shook my head. "No, Grandmother, I'm not a Chosen anymore."
"Oh, yes…Colette," my grandmother said. It felt so good to have my name to myself again. "You have made us all proud."
"Welcome home, Colette," my father said.
I ran up to my father, my real father, and hugged him tightly. "It's good to be home, Father."
And while it was home, it wasn’t. Home was with Lloyd. But who says you can’t have two homes?
We finished our explanation of Kratos intent and the details of what had happened on Derris-Kharlan. It seemed as though a lifetime had passed for us in the mere year we had been on our journey. So much had happened, not the least of it being that…mother…was still alive…and she loved us.
"I see," Altessa said. "So Kratos will travel with Derris-Kharlan, wherever it may go." The dwarf shook his head sadly. "What are you going to do? Go back to Iselia?"
"No," I replied. "We're going out to visit new lands."
We will seek new adventures, new allies and bring change. I thought of Yuan at that moment and I smiled. Yes. change can be a very good thing.
I smiled up at my sister, who was like a mother to me. I knew we'd be going to see mother before we set off. Raine still had to face her after our experiences.
"We're going around the world to try and make it easier for half-elves to be accepted," I informed Altessa.
"It sounds like you have a difficult journey ahead of you," the dwarf commented.
"We can return to Iselia when we're tired," Raine pointed out.
I nodded and thought of the small village and of the people there who truly accepted us. "We will always have a home there." We would always have Lloyd and Colette and all of the rest. We were no longer lost.
I could not contain the excitement of our victory, made even sweeter by the fact that my grandpa was finally out of his coma. I practically skipped into Mizuho…where I got a huge surprise.
Everyone was waiting for me and as soon as I arrived, they all bowed, low, congratulating me. It was so different, not being the shunned coward who had failed to control Volt.
"Hi everyone! I'm back!"
Orochi clapped a hand on my shoulder. "Sheena! I'm so glad you're safe!"
"Congratulations, Sheena!" said my grandpa, his eyes crinkling in delight.
I blushed. "Don't congratulate me yet!" I said brightly. "A whole new world lies before us now. We have to inform everyone about the revival of the Igaguri style."
"Yes," Orochi said. "And for when Kuchinawa returns as well."
I grinned and nodded. I'd bring him back, someday. "Yeah, come on everyone, let's work as hard as we can! We're gonna make the village of Mizuho into a ninja clan to be proud of!"
And we would. We would aid this new world and face the challenges head on.I will no longer run.
"See, look what happened!" I huffed. "It's all because the Pope opened up his big mouth and tried to banish me and stuff, the whole world got messed up!"
The Tethe'alla King sighed heavily, no doubt ashamed that he had treated me so awfully. But I supposed I could forgive him just this once.
"Well then, Chosen One, what would you have me do?" the king asked.
I grinned shiftily. "We'll send an emissary of peace to Iselia."
The King raised his eyebrows. "Emissary? Who do you plan to send?"
"How about Sheena from Mizuho?" I suggested, laughing at my own genius. "She's already involved."
"So the emissary of death becomes the emissary of peace," mused the king.
"I won't let you say no," I added. "Until you do something about the Church of Martel, I still have the rights of the Chosen, remember?"
It shocked even me. Who knew I could be so intelligent and brilliant? I mean, I knew I was, but no one else did. I didn't really want it to show. But I guess this journey changed me. It's a strange thing, finding out who you really are and having friends who trust you and don't just wanna use you. Even stranger is falling for the bewitching eyes of a very cute summoner. I guess there's no going back. I don't even want to.
Looking at the grave, I couldn't help but smile. I missed my sister terribly, but I felt like she was proud of me. "Alicia…I'm finally myself again," I said. "Time is finally starting to flow again from that night sixteen years ago." I thought back on the memory I had hated for so long. It still pained me, but it was that event that led me to where I am now. I'm not saying I'm glad it happened, I'm not saying I wouldn't wish it had been different. I guess what I am saying is that even though what happened was bad, it led to something better than anything that I could ever have imagined. I suppose it's a fair trade.
"You know what?" I asked my sister. "I'm twenty-eight years old now. Can you believe that?"
"Were you…talking with Alicia?" said a voice from behind me.
"Yes," I replied, smiling at Regal.
It was strange to think that I had forgiven him when I thought I would hate Alicia's killer forever. But I've learned that the world isn't that simple. It's not all black and white, just like it's not human and elf. There are those trapped in between, just like me, just like Alicia, just like Regal.
I stood there, listening to Presea talk to her sister, finally making peace with the tragedy that had befallen her.
She looked so much like Alicia when she smiled. "I just got back from overseeing the destruction of part of the mine. Now that that's done we can rest assured that no new Exspheres will be excavated."
"That's good to hear," Presea replied. "What are your plans now?"
"I'm going to devote the full resources of my company to revitalization projects in order to build a new and better world," I said.
"I'll help, too," Presea said. "I'm sure Alicia and Daddy would have wanted me to."
I returned her smile as she walked past me to the elevator. I looked at Alicia's grave and heaved a sigh. Even though her captors had been defeated, it still didn't bring her back. I couldn't ever really make up for what had happened, what I had done, but I'd do what I can. I smiled and felt as though Alicia was nearby, smiling in encouragement.
I turned away and walked off after Presea. I guess I need to do something about these shackles.
"You bastard," I snarled, my blood pumping in fury.
Kratos sighed. "It can't be helped."
The anger rose up with in me, burning my core. How could he do this to me? To Lloyd? The world was at peace, he was free, but he wouldn't accept it. He never could.
"You promised," I said through clenched teeth. "Fifteen years ago, you promised you'd never leave me."
Kratos sighed. "I have to go, love. I'm sorry."
He reached for me but I stepped back, tears filling my eyes. "Don't touch me." I turned away and walked up the stairs to Lloyd bedroom. "Just go Kratos!" I shouted down the stairs, running into Lloyd's room and slamming the door.
"He's still going?" I asked, not really asking him.
"Lloyd," Mom said. "Don't go. He can't get back if you don't use the Eternal Sword. Please."
I looked at my mom, a woman who I thought I should never see again, and heard my dad sigh, a man I thought I'd never find. So many crazy things had happened, I knew something in me had changed. I didn't want my dad to go…
But I also knew that I would never had the courage to ask him to stay.
It hurt beyond any measure of words to see Anna recoil from my embrace. I wanted to just hold her and forget for a moment what I was about to do. As she ran up the stairs, I heard her beg Lloyd not to go, not to send me back.
I half-hoped he would agree. If he asked me to stay, if he would just accept me, nothing in the world would make me go. But I heard him stand, I heard him start down the stairs.
I unfurled my wings and vanished, to wait for him before the ruined tower. How could he ever accept me?
"Are you really going to Derris-Kharlan?" Lloyd asked. It had been a week since Mithos's defeat and the world was picking up the pace again. People were rebuilding, the land was reviving, life was once again worth living.
But all was not right. Derris Kharlahn had to be freed into space, else it absorb more mana from the world now known as Symphonia. The Yggdrasill Tree was too young to support it. The few angels still in Welgaia were stuck, lost and alone.
Kratos looked at Lloyd sadly. He'd give anything to remain here with his wife and his son. "If a half-elf of Cruxis remains here, the other half-elves will have no place to live," Kratos said. "As a surviving member of Cruxis, I must bear the responsibility for what has happened."
Lloyd shook his head. "What about mom?"
Kratos closed his eyes, Anna's hurt face clear in his mind. "She has to stay here for you, does she not. She loves you."
"But she loves you too!" Lloyd insisted. "She needs you! And…"
"I'm sorry," Kratos said morosely. "I've no choice."
Lloyd sighed. He knew there would be no convincing his father so he changed the subject. "I'm going to collect all the Exspheres remaining in this land."
"And I will discard all of Cruxis' Exspheres into space," Kratos said. He reached forward, as though to clasp his son's shoulder, but seemed to think better of it. "I've dragged you into this until the very end."
Lloyd looked down. "It's okay…" he mumbled.
The silence stretched between them until Lloyd though he'd scream with frustration. Damn it! How can he do this? Come back, disrupt my life and mom's and walk out again. Why?
I must pay my debt….for allowing Yggdrasill to continue. But once…just once I wish I could hear Lloyd accept me as his father. Kratos sighed, feeling his resolve weakening. If he stayed any longer, then he wouldn't have the strength to do what he had to do. "It's time for me to go. Please use that sword to send us to Derris-Kharlan."
lloyd nodded and looked Kratos in the eye. "Goodbye…" Lloyd said. Then he smiled up at Kratos. "Dad!"
Kratos's eyes widened as he son smiled at him. Before Kratos registered what he was doing, he gripped both of Lloyd's shoulders tightly. "Don't die before I do, Lloyd…my son," Kratos turned away.
"You're not going anywhere, old man!" a voice called from behind him.
Kratos and Lloyd spun around, astonished to see a sizable crowd of people behind them. The one who had spoken was Yuan, ahead of everyone, Raine close behind him. Genis had his arm around Presea and winked at Lloyd. Regal looked as dignified as ever, his hands unbound at last. Next to him were Sheena and Zelos, holding hands as Colette grinned happily and skipped up to Lloyd.
"Everyone!" Lloyd exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"
"Weeeeeell," Zelos drawled. "When we found out that Kratos was planning to run out, we were…um…summoned to stop him."
" A futile effort," Kratos said.
"He's still so cocky," Genis said to the others. "Even after we saw his son beat him."
Kratos said nothing as Lloyd blushed.
"At any rate, we need you to remain here," Regal said. "This world is still new, and its creator," Regal gestured at Lloyd, who tried to protest, but the former convict talked over him, "is still young. Guidance is essential, particularly from experienced people with a knack for it."
Kratos looked mildly alarmed. "No!" he said firmly. "I'm not to be trusted with power! I am a harmful mentor and a failure of a role model. We all know this."
"You know," Sheena said, looking at Raine. "I don't know if I want someone this dense influencing anyone."
Raine smiled. "We're not asking you to rule the world, Kratos. We're asking you to stay and step into the role you so desperately want."
"But—" Kratos said. "But I let Mithos do as he pleased! I allowed him to cause countless people to suffer! And then…with my own hands…" Kratos looked around at everyone, particularly Lloyd. "I hurt you all."
"But we knew you'd always come back, Kratos," Colette said. "You did it all for Lloyd. And for Ms. Anna."
"Kratos," Yuan said. "Don't you think four thousand years is long enough to punish yourself?"
Kratos was very frustrated at this point. He'd done nothing to deserve their championship of him. "Yuan…you know that I have more to regret. What about…?"
"Me?" said a new voice. Lloyd let out a whoop.
Kratos sighed and turned around. Anna was sitting on a chunk of the Tower of Salvation, one leg stretched out in front of her, the other dangling off the edge, swinging as she stared at the tiny seedling know as Yggdrasill. Behind her, her wings glittered.
Kratos sighed. "Yes, Anna. You."
Anna looked at him, one eyebrow raised. "So…you exile yourself to a world devoid of emotion as an act of penance?"
"I must atone," Kratos muttered.
"Dad!" Lloyd shouted. "Your remorse is remittance enough!"
Raine gasped. "He knows the word remittance!"
"Not now, Raine!" Genis grumbled, elbowing his older sister.
"You wanna know what I think?" Anna said. She rose up in air and floated over to Kratos, landing directly in front of him, looking up into his red-brown eyes. "I think…you're full of shit."
"I beg your pardon?" Kratos asked, confused.
"You heard me," Anna said, smiling. "You want to go because you're scared. Just like you were eighteen years ago. When we first met." Anna laughed out loud. "You've always been afraid to love people…to accept other people's love…except for your son's." Anna winked at Lloyd, who looked thoroughly shocked. "In fact the only one you were never afraid to love is Lloyd. And you wished desperately for him to accept you."
"HAH!" Yuan snorted. "Afraid to love? Afraid to feel, more like. It was years before any o us got so much as a smile out of him. Apparently even as a kid, he was reserved and standoffish."
Kratos sighed heavily. "What about the angels in Welgaia?"
"We can make Rune Crests and restore their natures," Yuan said.
"We could use them in reorganizing the church," Raine added.
"I…" Kratos looked around. All these people…care…about me? I can't… "I can not."
Anna glared at him for a moment. "Then you've left me no choice. " Anna turned to Lloyd. "Lloyd…I'm sorry…but it seems as though I'm going to Derris-Kharlan."
"What?" Lloyd and Kratos gasped.
Anna hugged her son and took Kratos's hand. "We promised each other in our vows 'Til death do us part.' And nothing but death will allow me to live without you."
"Anna, you can't." Kratos tried to push her from him, but she latched onto him, refusing to let go.
"Hey wait!" Lloyd said. "If you're both going, I'm going too."
"If Lloyd's leaving, I'm going with him!" Colette said.
"Me too!" Genis said. "I promised you I'd stick by you always, Lloyd."
"I too, will accompany Lloyd and Anna…and Genis." Presea smiled and kissed Genis on the cheek.
"Well, someone has to help watch all these children," Raine said slyly. "And I can do the cooking!"
"Then I will go too, another cook can't hurt," Regal said as everyone edged away from Raine.
Yuan grinned devilishly at his friend. "I can't trust you to run things up there. I guess I have to go with you and keep you from doing something foolish."
"You know," Sheena said. "I did like the sound of the anti-gravity room." She winked suggestively at Zelos, whose face lit up.
"YEAH BABY!" he cried. "Look out Welgaia! You're about to be graced with my gorgeous, unbounded beauty!"
"NO!" Kratos shouted, unable to bear the thought of Zelos underfoot for the rest of forever. "I…"
"Yeah, Dad?" Lloyd said wickedly.
"YES!" Anna threw her arms around Kratos's neck, kissing him hard. "I love you."
"I love you too." Kratos rested his forehead against hers, his eyes closed as she held him tight. Lloyd grinned. I wonder… With a yell, the Eternal Swordsman ran forward and jumped on his Dad's back, causing Anna to fall on her backside.
Kratos was blood-red with embarrassment. "Lloyd…what are you doing?"
Lloyd grinned. "Come on Dad! You never got to wrestle with me as a kid!"
Anna and Yuan were roaring with laughter as Kratos looked confused.
"If you seek a lesson in combat…" Kratos said.
Lloyd sighed. "Whatever, you're no fun..." Lloyd loosened his grip on his father's neck and prepared to jump off. Suddenly, Kratos seized Lloyd's wrist in a death grip and yanked, hard. The astonished boy flipped up and over his father's shoulder, landing flat on his back as the wind exploded from his lungs.
Anna and Yuan were on the ground as everyone howled, except Regal, who merely chuckled. Lloyd blinked up at Kratos, who crouched down next to his son, a hint of a smile on his face. "…then here's a tip. Lesson 1: You always have more to learn."
Anna staggered upright and jumped on Kratos's back herself. "This is so fun, though!"
"So what next?" Sheena asked, looking around. "We've nothing to do, no pacts to form, no angels to kill, no madmen to defeat. Now what?"
"I dunno," Lloyd said. "Oh wait, I gotta get rid of Derris Kharlan." He jumped out and pulled out the Eternal Sword.
"While he's doing that," Anna said. "Hmm…what are we going to do? Any villages need supplying?"
"Maybe," Regal said. "It's nearing winter after all."
"Snow should be in soon," Kratos added. "We all should think about getting settled prior to the first fall."
"Snow…wait…what day is it?" Anna asked, frantic.
"December 1st," Kratos replied. "Why, love?"
Anna screeched and slid off of Kratos's back. "OH NO! Only twenty-four days left! There's so much to do! I've got to go shopping, I've got to get a tree, I've got to make decorations…AUGH!"
"Anna, what are you talking about?" Genis asked, dumbfounded.
Anna looked around at everyone. "Don't you remember? I said I'd acquaint you with it!"
"With what?" Lloyd asked.
"Christmas!" Anna squealed.
"Anna," Kratos said, walking up to Anna. "Why is there a pine tree…in the living room?"
"I like it!" Anna declared. "We're going to decorate it for Jesus!" she added as everyone sat working around Zelos's living room. “Or for whoever really. To each their own.”
It was a week after Anna introduced the idea of Christmas, everyone seemed quite keen to get on board. Zelos declared himself 'super rich and fabulous host' of the activities, and he opened his mansion to all of the heroes (and Yuan) and preparations to get Christmas in motion were going full steam. Besides that, Anna and Kratos had no place to live yet, and Raine and Genis's house had burned to the ground. Regal had offered Presea a place on his estate, but Presea insisted that she wanted to find her own place. It was helpful that Zelos had all the extra rooms.
Now Genis stood by the fireplace, eleven oversized socks sitting on the floor beside him as he scratched his head in confusion. "So…I'm gonna hang my sock over the fireplace and…fill them with candy?"
"Then I tie these leaves on the ceiling and see if I can get some action," Zelos held up the mistletoe, grinning like a pervert. "YEAH BABY!" Sheena threw a piece of tinsel at him.
"This seems completely backwards!" Lloyd said. "So we chop down a tree and we put it inside. Then we take these lights and put them out there," he gestured through the window where Yuan was flitting around, trying to tack up Christmas lights to the mansion. Anna had already figured out a way to light them.
Kratos sighed. "I really need to get a job." Tt would get him away from this insanity hopefully.
"I don't know what's going on," Colette said, happily cutting out paper snowflakes that Anna had demonstrated for her, "but it sure is fun!"
"That's true," Sheena said, looking up from the ornaments she, Lloyd, and Presea were making. She held up a tinsel creation for everyone to inspect.
"Wow!" Anna exclaimed. "That looks just like Origin! Good job Sheena!"
"Thanks!" Sheena said, smiling.
"Presea's look great too!" Genis added, gesturing to her creations. They were all carved wooden bears.
Lloyd was huddled in an opposite corner, craftily hiding his project from view. Anna walked over and tapped him on the shoulder.
"MOM!" Lloyd snapped. "I said don't look! These are Christmas presents!"
"I'm not looking!" Anna said. "I need your help."
"With what?" Lloyd asked warily.
"I need you to use the Eternal Sword and come with me to Earth," Anna whispered.
"What now?" Lloyd asked.
Anna shook her head. "I'll tell you when. We have to be sneaky." Anna returned to the tree where Kratos was patiently wrapping more lights around the branches. Anna leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. "You're good at this."
Kratos smiled at her. "I want it to be perfect for you," he said.
Anna grinned and wrapped her arms around his muscled chest, running her finger along the contours of his abs through his shirt. Kratos ran his heavily callused hands down her back, his chin resting on her head.
"I have an idea." Anna pulled back and grabbed Kratos's hand, leading him up three flights of stairs (Zelos really had a huge mansion), a shifty look on her face. She laughed out loud and leaned against the door to their bedroom, smiling suggestively. Kratos smiled back. "Need a hint?" Anna purred kissing him softly on the mouth. She reached back and opened the door, pulling him inside and closing it.
"What am I thinking?" she said teasingly, sliding up to him and unbuttoning his shirt.
"I don't know," Kratos replied. He swept her off her feet and they fell back onto the bed, Kratos hovering over her as she smiled. "But I love the way you think."
From outside there was a huge burst of electricity followed by Yuan's shout, "SOMEBODY GET THESE ORIGIN-CURSED THINGS UNTANGLED BEFORE THEY KILL ME!"
"So why won't you tell me?" Lloyd whispered as he snuck down the stairs after Anna.
"It's a surprise!" Anna snapped. Her head ached. It was two days before Christmas and Anna was off to get her present for the group. For the past week or so, she had been feeling rather nauseous, today throwing up at every sight of food. Regardless, she still had something she had to do.
"Fine," Lloyd grumbled.
"All right," Anna said making sure no one was in sight. "Let's go."
Later, Kratos returned to his room in the early hours of morning, his arms laden with wrapped gifts. He immediately noticed the empty bed that should have held his ill wife. Instead there was a note.
I went Christmas shopping with Lloyd. I probably won't be back until very late tonight. Kratos sighed at her stubbornness and refusal to rest and get well. Stop sighing at me! Kratos grinned wryly. I bet she went somewhere she shouldn't have and won't say where she's gone. And you are right, I'm not telling you where I went. Stop worrying. We'll be back before you know it.
I love you. (Please don't let Raine near the turkey!)
Lloyd wants to add something.
Dad, any idea where I can find a forge. I need to make a ring for...someone?
-Lloyd (Also Mom thinks she's funny, but she's not- ow!)
Kratos laughed out loud, folded the note back up and slipped it into his pocket.
This is my first entry in you. Kratos managed to remember my frequent habit of writing in my journal back when we were first married. It's different now. Then I documented each day in fear it was our last. Now, I want to document each day in a promise that it won't be our last.
Christmas went wonderfully. Everyone took to the idea of gifts rather well. I was so proud of Lloyd. His gifts to everyone were ornaments shaped like themselves. Everyone got a kick out of Kratos's because it was smiling.
I'm waiting for the others to finish opening their gifts so I can present mine. It was worth it, going to Earth to get it. It turned out so fabulous. I guess having an Eternal Swordsman for a son has some perks. They'll all love it, and it'll be something to show future generations.
Kratos is watching me write. I can feel his eyes on me. I'm so glad we convinced him to stay. I would have been so lost without him by my side.
Especially in light of my discovery this morning-
Anna looked up and saw everyone staring at her expectantly.
"Oh?" she said confused, setting down her pen. "What is it?
"What did you get us all?"
Oh!" Anna said. "Right. I got y'all all…" she paused grinning wickedly. "A HUG! Everyone line up!"
Everyone sweat dropped at that, except Zelos who shouted "Yeah baby!" only to be smacked by Sheena.
"Mooooooooom!" Lloyd whined. "Come ON!"
"Fine fine fine!" she sighed. "Tada!" Anna said, whipping out a leather bound book labeled, "Tales of Symphonia."
"You bought us a book?" Lloyd said, paling at the thought.
Anna looked at her son with reproach while handing the book to Colette. "No, though you will definitely be reading more now that I have something to do with your life!"
Lloyd gulped. "Yes, mom."
"Pictures!" Colette cried. "They're pictures of us!"
Anna grinned shiftily as they flipped through all of the pictures she had taken. There were even pictures from early days, when Kratos had traveled with them on the world regeneration journey.
"Aw geeze mom!" Lloyd groaned. "You had to get one of me losing to Dad didn't you?"
"Perhaps if you had practiced more," Kratos chided his son.
"Aww, look at Colette and Lloyd!" Sheena crooned. It was a picture of them in their finery at the dinner party they had attended in MEltokio ages ago. "You two are so cute!" Lloyd glared as Sheena teased him. Sheena looked back down at the page and shrieked, yanking a photo from its plastic covering. Lloyd leaped over Colette and seized it, cackling madly. He looked at it, paled, turned green, and raced for the bathroom.
"Sheena!" Colette cried. "It’s Sheena and Zelos! And they're…kissing!"
"NOOOOOO!" Genis moaned. "The horror…THE HORROR!"
"I love you," Kratos said to Anna, who grinned. They spent a long time flipping through the album, reliving the happy memories. There was a series of Genis and Presea, who both blushed, as everyone 'awed.' The best shot was a picture of Presea giving Genis the carved bear and in turn, Genis giving her a sharpening stone for her ax. There was three pages of pictures devoted to Sheena and Zelos. The pictures switched from Sheena smacking Zelos to Zelos groping her to various sneaky shots of them snuggling or kissing. At bottom of the last of those pages were the words "Isn't Love Strange?" Some pages featured all of the spar sessions between Kratos and Lloyd, including their epic final battle. There were all of the hilarious goofs, accidents, and Colette clumsy moments, especially Colette throwing Zelos. Raine glared and Genis and Lloyd howled with laughter at pictures that showed Raine geeking out at all of the ancient wonders they encountered. She enjoyed the shots of her various corporal punishments on Lloyd and Genis. There were pictures of the battles, of the ruins, of the crazed Giant Tree, of Cruxis, of Ozette, even of Alicia at her grave and Mithos Yggdrasill.
"Aww," Raine said. "Lloyd hugging Colette. Too cute!"
Colette blushed and Lloyd went to retort when Raine screamed and Yuan swore. Everyone turned to look at the picture that had caused such an uproar.
"AUUUUUUGGHH!" Genis took off, much as Lloyd had, for the bathroom. Lloyd himself fainted and Zelos covered his eyes, shaking in fear. The picture was a shot of the inside of the Tower of Salvation’s secret passage. Dead enter in the photo, was Raine in Yuan's arms, getting kissed senseless.
Yuan gaped at Anna like a fish out of water. Anna smirked.
"Hey," she said defensively. "I warned you I'd get you for all that vile stuff you did!" She looked back at her husband. "Didn't I warn him?"
"Anna," Kratos said. "You are in for a world of trouble."
"You!" Raine jumped up and seized her staff.
"I'll kill you for good this time!" Yuan roared, brandishing his own weapon. Anna screamed and raced off, the two half-elves in hot pursuit.
"Kratos!" Anna shrieked, unfurling her wings and racing outside.”Heeeeeelp!”
"GET BACK HERE!" Raine roared, summoning a Ray attack.
"I WILL DESTROY YOU!" Yuan shouted, grabbing Raine and flying off after Anna.
"YOU LEAVE MY MOM ALONE!" Lloyd shouted after them, taking to the skies as well.
"Lloyd be careful!" Colette called, also flying after him.
Kratos sighed and stood. "Excuse me while I set this chaos to rights."
"This is too good to miss!" Zelos said, scooping up Sheena and flying off after Kratos
"This will be amusing," Regal smirked as he, Genis, and Presea walked off after the angels.
Upon arriving outside, a scene of hilarity and chaos met their eyes. Anna was zipping around, her arms locked around Kratos's neck as the two were trying to dodge ray attacks from Raine and Yuan.
"Yuan!" Kratos roared. "Leave my wife alone!"
"Yeah, don't be mad you two got busted!" Anna cackled.
"Anna, you're not helping…"
"NEVER!" Yuan shouted. "I swear I will murder you once and for all."
"Leave my mom alone!" Lloyd began buzzing around Yuan's head like an angry bee, hitting him with his sword hilts. Yuan attempted to cast judgment, but missed thanks to Lloyd, singeing off some of Zelos hair.
"No my hair!" Zelos moaned. "My beautiful hair!" In retaliation, Zelos swung his own sword at the Seraph, missed, and dropped Sheena into the snow.
"YOU IDIOT!" Sheena roared. "PYRE SEAL!"
"Ack! Lloyd move!" Yuan said, hitting him with his weapon. Lloyd fell to the snow below
"DON'T YOU HIT HIM!" Colette shrieked launching every angel attack she possessed at Yuan.
back on the ground Regal was grinning and Prsea was laughing. She looked sideways and noticed that Genis had something in his hands.
"Genis, what are you doing?" Presea asked.
The small half-elf held up Anna's camera and was taking pictures. "Revenge."
Anna sat on her bed looking out of the snowy window, a happy smile on her face. I wonder what he'll say?
The door behind her opened and she felt Kratos enter the room. Wordlessly he crossed the room and sat next to her on the bed, pulling his wife into his lap and kissing her hair.
"What did you want to tell me?" he asked, a hint of apprehension in his voice.
But Anna sat up and gasped, pointing out the window frantically. "Oh my God!" she shrieked. "Look!"
Outside, Lloyd and Colette were standing in the snow, looking at each other with such a degree of compassion in their eyes that it almost made Anna choke up. Gently, Lloyd, pulled Colette in his arms and kissed her softly.
But that wasn't what made both Anna and Kratos gasp. Lloyd released Colette, but held onto her hand. Very slowly he sank down onto one knee, his hand reaching into his pocket as Colette's eyes widened. Grinning, Lloyd withdrew a small box and opened it, offering it up to Colette. Colette burst into to tears and nodded as Lloyd slipped the ring on her finger.
Anna turned and threw her arms around her husband. "I knew it!" she cried. "I knew he'd marry her!" She pulled away and looked at her husband carefully. "You don't seem surprised."
Kratos shrugged. "I knew they would always be together. This was to be expected."
Anna raised an eyebrow at her husband. "Oh really?"
"Then why do you have a carefully innocent look on your face?"
"I've no idea what you—"
Kratos sighed. "Well, perhaps Lloyd asked me if he should propose to Colette…and perhaps I said if he felt it was right then he should, but only if he felt the time was right."
Anna kissed him vigorously. "I love you."
"I love you too," Kratos replied, resting his chin on the top of her head. "What did you want to tell me?"
Anna smiled at him. Leaning over she whispered something in his ear. Kratos eyes widened as Anna pulled away, grinning broadly. Silence stretched for long moments, so long that Anna began to fear that perhaps this wasn't such good news after all.
Kratos got to his feet and pulled her up next to him, his face pale, his eyes wide. "You're serious?"
Kratos swallowed hard, looking around the room wildly.
Then suddenly he laughed. Anna jumped at the sound as Kratos laughter filled the room and his eyes shone with utter delight. He picked Anna up by the waist and spun her around before hugging her tightly and kissing her senseless.
"I don't believe it…" he whispered, a broad grin on his face. "This is…this…come on!"
He grabbed Anna's wrist and pulled her from the room and down the stairs. He dashed into the living room, causing everyone to look up. Everyone flinched in shock at the grin plastered on Kratos's face.
"Everyone," he said, fighting to keep his voice calm. "We have an announcement."
"Oh no," Yuan muttered. "Not again?"
"Again?" Lloyd asked the seraph.
"Anna," Kratos gestured that she should be the one to tell.
Anna grinned up at the love of her life, wondering if anyone in the world could be as happy as they were before turning back to her friends.
Our journey has come to an end. Through all the strife, all the battles, all the blood, all the tears, all the laughter, and all the smiles, we have emerged, whole and united. We may be a little scarred, we may be a little shaken, but who knows? We may be a little wiser. All that's left is to make a promise to this new world: that we will love it and cherish it and love those who inhabit it. No matter what hardships lay ahead, we can overcome it, as individuals, as comrades, as inhabitants of Symphonia. We all love this world and deserve to be here. I'd like to think that no one will ever be afraid to live proudly in the open: humans, elves, half-elves, angels, whoever. It will take time. We have united the land, now we must reach within ourselves and reach out to one another and unite as living creatures. But as I watch my son laugh, my friends rejoice, and my husband watch me from close by, I know one thing for certain.
I am not afraid to bring this new life into this new world.
The artist formerly know as Ada,
Anna Adalais Aurion
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