||[Nov. 10th, 2007|08:14 pm]
Tales of Symphonia Challenge
Another one for the Kratos/Zelos anti-pairing. It's been awhile. Go easy on me.|
Title: Unexpected Allies
Prompt #: 56: Allies
Character/Pairings: Huh. Let's see. Lloyd wants Kratos, not knowing that Kratos is really his daddy. Zelos figures this out, and decides to confront Kratos, who somehow manages to convince Zelos to seduce Lloyd instead. Which is crazy. Cause it's not like Zelos is gay, or anything. Well there was that one time with Yuan, but there was lots of alchohol involved...
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, slash
Word Count: 2745
It’s the second time Kratos shows up unexpectedly that Zelos knows Lloyd had a serious problem. He wonders idly if it’s possible to hate Kratos anymore than he already does, and if his continued appearances around Tethe’alla are solely designed to drive its Chosen One insane.
It’s not until said Chosen finds himself outside Meltokio castle, arguing about sacred wood and pretending not to notice that Lloyd is too distracted by Kratos’ dreamy eyes to follow the conversation, that he realizes a few things. One, it is possible to hate a person that much, and two, Lloyd really is and idiot. Because, really, who else would be dumb enough to fall hard for Kratos?
Lloyd really has no taste. But what could you expect from someone raised in the boondocks?
Zelos could almost sort of maybe understand the infatuation. Barring the man’s entire personality, Kratos wasn’t all that hard to look at. But if Zelos’ sources were to be trusted, that sweet ass came with a lot of baggage. Like, dead family baggage, and who needed that?
Apparently Lloyd did, because he starts firing questions at Zelos as soon as the seraph is gone. ‘What was that about? What does he need sacred wood for? Did he smell good to you, too?’
That last one wasn’t actually spoken out loud but Zelos took the liberty of imagining it was on Lloyd’s mind. The kid was seriously screwed.
Zelos sighed once Lloyd was finished letting off steam. Lloyd was heading down a dangerous path. Zelos knew he needed to do something, but this was going to be a difficult subject to broach with subtly.
“You heard what he said. Colette’s illness takes priority right now. Quit worrying about what he’s up to.”
“But I need to know! I need to know whether he was really trying to help us of if he’s just setting us up for another betrayal. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
“Oh, so is that why you’ve been taking extra long showers? Good place to think, I guess,” Zelos grins. Subtly is not really his strong suit, after all.
“Huh?” And apparently picking up on innuendo wasn’t one of Lloyd’s.
Zelos tries again.
“Look, I was a teenage with raging hormones once, too. I know what extra long showers mean. And I wouldn’t mind so much except you keep using up all the hot water and my luxurious locks are suffering.”
“What does my showering have to do with anything?” Zelos receives an odd look.
“You really are clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff, aren’t you?”
“You know, I’m really tired of people calling me clueless.”
“Relax. I know you’re not as stupid as you look. I’m just saying when it comes to romantic issues you’re like a fish out of water. Consider yourself lucky that you have me to be your guide.” Zelos attempts to give his fledging a reassuring pat, but Lloyd sidesteps him.
“Wait. What are you talking about? There’s nothing romantic going on!” Lloyd blurts out, truly surprised by these accusations. “I’m just worried about what Kratos is planning. He’s…I still can’t trust him, but I’d like to think that’s he’s a good guy deep down. I want to believe that there’s more than meets the eye.”
“No. There’s less,” Zelos corrects with a smirk. “He’s just a jerk-off”
“Hey, don’t talk about him that way!” Lloyd snaps back.
“Oh? Why not?” Zelos tries he’s best to look perplexed. Lloyd doesn’t even have to try.
“Want to get into his pants?” Zelos smiles wryly. Lloyd is shocked silent for a moment before exploding with—
“Z-Zelos! No way is that true! Are you crazy?” The thing about blushing and sputtering like and idiot to deny something? It usually doesn’t help your cause.
“It’s obvious Lloyd! Or do you not trust me enough to tell me the truth?”
“Zelos, don’t use that against me,” Lloyd sighs, having heard this argument before. “It’s just not something I want to talk about, alright?”
“Anyway, it’s none of your business.”
“Look, if you worried it’ll gross me out that you’re gay, don’t be.”
“That’s not it…and who said anything about gay?”
“Come on, man. Colette and Sheena are practically throwing themselves at you. No straight guy could just ignore that!” Zelos reasons.
“Not every guy is a pervert like you!” is the intense retort that causes Zelos to flinch. Not anything he hasn’t heard before, but for some reason that one stung.
Lloyd seems to notice because he returns with a meek; “I mean. Sorry. I didn’t. I didn’t mean that.”
“Right. No need to apologize, I know what you think of me. Sorry for trying to help. Won’t happen again!”
“Zelos…” Lloyd seems to soften a moment before thinking better of it. Instead he fixes Zelos with a glare and a set jaw. “Fine. Whatever. I don’t even know why I bother with you sometimes. You’re…” but Zelos never finds out exactly what he is because Lloyd chooses that moment to turn and storm out of the room, slamming the door loudly behind him.
Once the reverberations settle, Zelos allows the carefree façade to drop and allow himself to feel worried.
Fighting with Lloyd felt odd. This wasn’t the friendly jab they usually shared. This wasn’t the usual Lloyd. No, this was Lloyd with an infatuation and Zelos didn’t like this Lloyd. This Lloyd was moody, defensive and just not right. In short, this Lloyd sucked. Or wanted to get sucked. By Kratos.
Zelos’ ick meter is now maxed out by the thought.
Right. Moving on to the plan.
Zelos knew it was time for an intervention. If Lloyd wasn’t going to forget about Kratos, then maybe it was time for drastic measures. Maybe having Kratos would get Lloyd back to normal again. It was a disgusting thought, but Zelos couldn’t see any other alternative.
So he now had a mission. To save Lloyd he was going to have to find Kratos and glue their private bits together if that’s what it took to get the old Lloyd back. A good screw always made Zelos feel better, should work alright for Lloyd, too.
“This better be good. I told you not to call me unless it was an emergency,” Kratos states as he takes a seat across from his drinking mate for the night. Zelos smiles widely and attempts to order them something, but Kratos declines. Zelos frowns and realizes Kratos has trumped his attempt to stall for time. The jerk.
Well. Time to get down to business.
“It’s is. It’s about Lloyd,” says Zelos, and Kratos now seems interested. “He’s been acting strange lately and I think it has to do with you. So, uh, what’s the story between you two?”
“I don’t know what you mean. Yggdrasill has placed you to supervise the group. My job is over.”
“Don’t play dumb with me. You’ve been helping us out the entire time. Pushing us in the right direction to cure Colette’s illness. Why send all these mixed messages? What’s in it for you?”
“Nothing. It was under Mithos’ orders that I—
“This isn’t about Mithos. This is about you and Lloyd, and I know what you’re hiding. You care about him, a lot.” Zelos pauses to stare across the table hard, waiting for Kratos to deny it. There’s a tense moment of silence before Kratos finally speaks.
“Yes. Well, I guess there is no use denying it now. You really are surprisingly clever sometimes.”
“Good. I’m glad we’ve got that settled.” Zelos swallows the lump in his throat. He had already suspected that Kratos returned Lloyd’s feelings, but hearing it like this was giving him a strange sense of unease.
Like. It was really going to happen. Kratos and Lloyd. Lloyd…and Kratos. It still made him a bit sick thinking about it, but he came here with a mission and he wasn’t about to bail out now.
“So. Are you going to tell him this little secret?”
“I wasn’t planning on it.”
“I think you should. He’s been…really different lately. I think if he knew how you really felt, things could get better.”
“I don’t know.”
“I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I think you’re the best match for him, but it’s kind of inevitable at this point.”
“I’m…not sure I’m following you.”
“Just do me a favor and don’t go making out in front of me, I don’t think I could stomach it.”
“Oh, and I’ll promise not to tell Yuan if you just keep it away from me. You two are an item, right? I really don’t feel like dealing with him being even bitchier than usual when he finds out you’ve been cheating.”
“Chosen!” Kratos face was turning an interesting color by now, somewhat resembling his least favorite vegetable, but Zelos plowed on. There was no going back now.
“And one other thing--”
“I am his father!”
“Lloyd. I am his father. I’m concerned about him because of that not because…” Kratos trails off with disgust visible on his face. Zelos just stares at him, open mouthed. “Not because I want to have sex with him! Goddess. What even gave you that idea?”
“I guess I gave you too much credit thinking you had figured it out. Maybe if you thought with something other than ‘little Zelos’-- ”
“Hey! It’s not little! …Who’ve you been talking to?”
“--for once in your life, you would have gotten it right.”
“Look, enough about me and more about you, alright? When were you planning on dropping this little bombshell anyway?”
“That is none of your business.”
“Well, I’m making it my business. You can’t just pretend like we didn’t have this conversation. I don’t want to have to do this, but what if I decide to tell the kid myself?”
“Then I’ll have to disembowel you.”
“That sounds fun and everything, but I still think he should know.”
“I…I can’t. Not yet.”
“But you have to tell him! The kid has the hots for you!” That gets Kratos looking uncharacteristically shocked. Zelos savors the vague satisfaction for a moment.
“Yeah, that’s right. And believe me, I already thought it was gross before, considering your personality, but now…That’s just wrong! We have to do something!”
“I…don’t believe it.”
“Believe it old man. That’s what you get for prancing around in all those tight, bondage slave outfits,” Zelos scolds. “Anyway, don’t you think he has a right to know where he came from?”
“That is not for you to decide.” Zelos sighs heavily as Kratos does his best to replicate the immovableness of a brick wall.
It was time for a different strategy.
“Alright, I hate you and you hate me, ” Zelos starts, only to be interrupted rudely.
“That is incorrect. I don’t hate you.”
“Hate is a pretty powerful emotion, and that’s something a reserve for very few. I can’t say I’d want to waste it on someone so insignificant to me. No offence.”
“None taken,” Zelos says blandly. This guy was so frustrating. Lloyd better thank him for all this later.
“Fine then. I hate you and you have an…indifferent tolerance towards me,” Zelos pauses to make sure he’s getting this right. Kratos nods curtly. “See? This is why I hate you. You always have to make things so complicated.
Anyway, what I was trying get to before I was so rudely interrupted was; despite all that, we need to do something about this. I don’t want to see Lloyd get hurt and I’m sure you feel the same, right?”
“Of course, but I’m not sure what we can do. Have you considered the fact he’d be even more distraught once he’s learned he’s been pining after his blood father?”
“That’s not…” Zelos is ready to protest—it’s just instinct when he’s around Kratos—but realizes he doesn’t have anything decent to counter with. “Hn. Actually, that’s a good point.”
“Unless…” Zelos has learned to be very very afraid when Kratos gets that calculating look in his eye.
“Well, since you seem so eager to help…perhaps you can distract him for me?” is the casual request. Like he was simply asking the Chosen to take out the garbage for him or some other menial task.
“Zelos, pick up your jaw.”
“I’m just shocked you would suggest that!”
“What’s wrong? You’re saying you’re not up for the task?” Kratos asks, a sly grin forming on his lips that could even put its target to shame.
“I…hey, I see what you’re doing here! Don’t think you can manipulate a manipulator!”
“Lloyd is obviously confused about his sexuality right now. It would be better if he had someone to help him through it.”
“Let me just make sure I’m hearing this right. Do you…expect me, to, uh, seduce the kid?”
“Something like that. Though I’d obviously prefer if you wouldn’t take advantage of the situation, just get his mind off of me for awhile.”
“Yeah. Sure.” Zelos snorts. “What do you expect me to do? Start calling him ‘hunny’?”
“It would be a start. Yes.”
“I…you. Okay. It’s official. You are the worst parent I’ve ever heard of.”
“Believe me, I’m not happy about this either. Who would want their child fraternizing with a debaucher like you? There is simply no alternative”
“Tell me why I’m helping you again?”
“Because you’re the one that started this. And because you don’t want Lloyd to get hurt.”
“Right. Well. That’s the thing, I don’t want him to get hurt. I mean, he’s my friend, you know? Maybe the first one I’ve ever had and I don’t want to screw that up by adding something else to the equation. I mean…ugh, even thinking about him sexually is weird! Like kissing a brother or something.”
“But I take it you like him,” Kratos asks softly, his face betraying nothing. Zelos has never seen Kratos take such interest in any of his feelings. This had to be a bad sign.
“Um, kind of?” Zelos falters, not liking the knowing look Kratos was now giving him. “Okay, yeah, of course I do. What’s not to like? He makes me believe the best in everyone, including myself.” Zelos liked the look Kratos was giving him now even less.
“Right. You like him so much that you’re now withholding information from Cruxis in order to aid his cause--don’t worry, I haven’t said anything to Mithos.” Zelos spared a moment to look relived in between wondering just how Kratos knew all this stuff. “I’m just trying to prove my point; that you would abandon the ‘winning team’ for him.
“Look. That doesn’t mean anything. Mithos just creeps me out. Besides, I’m not even gay--
“I know you’ve had sexual contact with men, so you can abandon that argument.”
“Yuan has a loose tongue when he is drunk.”
“Tell me about it.” Zelos holds a glazed look as he remembers the details of that night. “I mean. I have no idea what you’re talking about.” But the smooth cover-up comes out too late, and Kratos is already standing to leave.
“Well. I think that settles things. I’ll be expecting regular updates. And remember, no below the belt action. I’ll know.”
“What was that?”
“Nothing,” Zelos says quickly, only because he wanted this conversation over with. Not because Kratos scared him. Much.
“Oh, and one more thing,” Kratos pauses in the doorframe to address Zelos one last time. “For someone who is so good at figuring out who has a crush on whom, I’m surprised you haven’t realized you’ve got one yourself.”
It takes a few minutes for Zelos’ normally brilliant mind to work out the perfect comeback to absolve him of this grossly incorrect assumption.
“No! I don’t!” but the thing about outright denying something so loudly that half the room turns to look at you? It usually doesn’t help your cause.
And Kratos has already left the building. Bastard.
It isn’t until Kratos is long gone and Zelos has a chance to order a hard drink that he realizes a few more things. Like that his ever growing hate for Kratos has a lot to do with his annoying habit of being right all the damned time. And maybe Lloyd wasn’t the biggest clueless idiot when it came to the thing called romance.
Maybe it was Zelos.