This is a work in progress. It is a fanfiction for the video game Tales of Symphonia and for those of you who do NOT want to spoil the ending please do not read this fiction, it contains spoilers right in the first paragraph. If you are unfamiliar with the game it's up to you whether or not you want to spoil the game for yourself. Thank you and please enjoy. I appreciate comments and constructive critisism and if you'd like this is also posted on fanfiction.net under the username Gaara-Kaibutsu.
Summary: Dirk rescued two children that fateful day, Lloyd and Owen. Except he decided not to keep both of them and his decision may impact the fate of Colette and the world years later.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Symphonia in any way but I do own Owen and I don't plan to share him -cuddles-
R.I.P. Brian St. Onge
The battle between Kratos and Kvar was nearing its end; one side clearly tiring. Kratos threw out a final Double Demon Fang and rushed forward to deliver a blow to Kvar’s side, sending him flying a few meters. With his angelic hearing he swore he heard Anna calling out to him and turned his head towards the sound looking around desperately for her and their sons. In that moment Kvar saw his chance to retreat and did so with haste.
Praying to the Goddess Martel that his wife and children were alright and that he could reach them before the monsters did, Kratos jumped down the cliff landing gracefully at the bottom. He looked about frantically for the two toddlers that had come tumbling down just moments before their mother accompanied by the protozoan Noishe. Shit shit shit! Kratos panicked; the twins were nowhere to be found. His heart was racing. Where could they have gone?
His wife was lying in a bloodied heap, her limbs twisted in impossible positions and her breath raspy and shallow. Kratos sunk to his knees beside her and clasped her hand in his own; she was barely conscious and he was losing her fast.
“Anna, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you and our sons.” He choked starting to sob. “I’ve failed you.”
“Kratos my love… it’s not… your fault. I knew…it was…coming.” Anna paused to cough up blood, her breathing becoming more and more labored by the second. She was desperate to let her beloved husband know the twins were safe and not to blame himself for her inevitable death that she knew was fast approaching. “The twins…Noishe…”
“No Anna! The twins are they alive!? Please Anna don’t leave me!” She was already gone before she could finish. Ironically perfect weather for the occasion, clouds began to roll in and it began to pour. He let her hand fall limp to the ground and screamed at the top of his lungs in anger, frustration and pain, letting his tears fall freely mixing with the rain. He lost her and he had no idea what had befallen his precious children; the only things he had left, his only reason to keep living.
Just minutes before the battle ended, a Dwarf by the name of Dirk Irving was making his way through the forest back to his small home when he heard cries coming from the cliff area. Curiosity got the best of him and he went to investigate the sound, thinking nothing much of it considering the human ranch was just above it. When he reached the clearing he saw it littered with the torn bodies of Desians. Beside the cliff he spotted the strange protozoan Noishe guarding two toddlers and a bloody woman. He hurried over to them and knelt beside the woman searching for any signs of life. It surprised him briefly that the large dog-like creature let him through but then again it seemed intelligent enough to realize the danger its masters were in. At first he thought she was dead but she opened her eyes slightly and looked up at him.
“Please, my sons… take them somewhere safe.” Dirk scooped up the two wailing children. Anna smiled faintly up at him, before fatigue claimed her and she closed her eyes again.
“Dwarven vow number two: Never abandon someone in need. I’ll keep them safe miss, ye can count on that.” Monsters roamed the forest regularly and with two children in tote Dirk was in no position to fight any of them off so he hurried back to his small cottage home. Noishe trailed behind whining the entire way keeping a close watch on the man who held his master's children.
After hours of searching the area and in a fit of rage taking out every monster in sight of the clearing Kratos gave up the twins for dead and collapsed on the ground in exhaustion. There wasn’t anything left for him to live for; he failed his wife, his children. He cursed himself, Cruxis and everything at the top of his lungs until his voice went hoarse and he could no longer make a sound. He then settled to cry, no longer caring about his calm appearance. By the time he had collected himself enough to even move it was almost morning, he contemplated committing suicide but thought better of it and made the decision to return to Cruxis. He had nothing left as far as he was concerned.
Dirk on the other hand had his hands full with the two tykes who greatly missed their parents and were having none of this strange man holding them. They wailed and screamed completely inconsolable until finally they both had tired themselves out and fell asleep. He had no idea what to do with them; he couldn’t possibly care for them both maybe one, but certainly not both. There was no choice but to find someone to take them and raise them properly. Deciding to wait until morning, then maybe someone would be looking for the children and he could save himself the trouble of finding someone to take them. If not at least he wouldn’t be waking the town to get them off his hands either.
It had grown considerably dark within the last few hours and since Dirk couldn’t do any work while the twins were sleeping for fear of waking them and enduring another scream fest he decided to turn in for the night. It surprised him that both toddlers had slept entirely through the night. When he woke at sunrise as he did every morning they were awake on the spare bed he laid them in the night before amusing themselves with the sight of the strange surroundings before them and the many objects in their reach.
“Well now, curious little tykes aren’t ye'?” He cooed earning him grinned looks from both boys. He scooped them up and left the small cottage and made the short walk past the human ranch and through the forest down to Iselia where he hoped to find their parents. That morning there didn’t seem to be many monsters about. He was thankful since he was still unsure what he’d do about any of them with the children in tote. The dog seemed useless, upon entering the forest the protozoan took off at the first sight of a small rabbit. Dirk still had no idea what it really was; last he knew dogs were not green and white or bigger than an average person.
The guards at the front gates were in the midst of a conversation when he walked through the gates. Both turned to inspect who was passing through and gave the dwarf a confused look upon viewing his cargo before waving him in and returning to their conversation. The old lady who lived by the general store was out taking a morning walk in the cool air, she stopped as Dirk passed and waved hello.
“My my Dirk, since when did you have children? How come you’ve never come down here to share them with us, look how beautiful they are the little angels.” She smiled.
“Well Mary I’ll have to burst your bubble and tell you they aren’t mine. In fact I came here this morning to see if I could find whose they were or better yet someone who could take ‘em in. I found ‘em laying below the cliff with a dog yesterday on my way home.” Dirk explained, pointing out past the town walls to the cliff where the human ranch could be seen, dark and menacing even from a distance away. Mary gasped and looked down at the oblivious toddlers now clutching his arms and staring around at their surroundings with immense curiosity.
“Oh lord! Dirk I don’t believe they’re any of ours, no one has reported any children missing that I know of but maybe you should go ask the mayor.” She clicked her tongue in pity of the children, “Oh the poor things. I hope they didn’t come from the ranch, that’d be such a pity.”
“I hope not either, I know of the peace treaty, the mayor would certainly turn ‘em away and forbid anyone here from taking ‘em in. Thanks for the help Mary. I’d best be on my way now.” He nodded his head towards her and turned in the direction of the mayor’s house hoping to catch him for a moment while he wasn’t busy. He received weird stares from the people he passed as he made his way through the village before stopping in front of the mayor’s house. The mayor had seen him coming and opened the door for him before he even had the chance to knock startling the twins and causing them to whimper.
“Why Dirk what brings you here?” The mayor asked cheerfully stepping out of the way and motioning for Dirk to come in.
“It’s these little ones; I found ‘em with a dog in the forest by the cliff on my way home. I wanted to know if anyone in the village is missing little ones or if possibly anyone had room to take ‘em in.” The mayor squinted his eyes and looked down at the twins.
“By the cliff Dirk? I’m afraid I can’t help you, they belong to the human ranch not to us and I will not have the village put in danger by taking them in. I’m sorry, you’ll either have to bring them back or find somewhere else to bring them.”
“Aye I see. So you’ve no intention to help me save these children.” Dirk narrowed his eyes at the mayor who looked away ashamed.
“There’s another dwarf visiting the village today, maybe he’ll help you since he’s from out of town. He should be at the general store talking with Jacob.” The mayor opened the door for him and refused to look him in the eye. Dirk nodded to him on the way out before the mayor quickly closed the door behind him.
The general store. I’d best hurry before he finishes his business and leaves. He picked up the pace and made his way towards the small shop. Through the window he could see the dwarf was still there talking to Jacob much to his relief though he had no idea what he’d say to him. He didn’t know the man; after all he was only a visitor. The door to the shop opened and the dwarf stepped out and stopped abruptly upon seeing Dirk.
“Well now I didn’t know I had kinsman in these parts.” The dwarf smiled a goofy grin. Dirk smiled back.
“How’ve you been Clade? It’s been a long time since we’ve last seen each other.”
“I’m doing great. Nel and I are traveling about, taking a break from everything.” Clade looked down briefly at what Dirk was holding before doing a double take, “Wait, human babies? Where’d you get ‘em?”
“Found ‘em abandoned by the cliff in the forest. I actually came to see you to ask you a favor. It’s a bit strange asking you so suddenly but I have no one else to help me, the village refuses to. I need someone to take these kids; I can’t possibly raise them both.” Clade studied the twins who were preoccupied with a nearby green and blue butterfly fluttering in circles around them.
“Well… I’d hate to leave a brother in need but I couldn’t take ‘em both either. I’ve got an idea though, it’d be a shame to separate the tykes but you could take care of one and I the other.” Clade grinned, “Nel and I were hoping to have a kid actually, she’s in the grocery collecting supplies for the way back. You see we live in the city of Luin now. ”
“Well now ain’t that something, speaking of Nel how is she?” Dirk asked looking back at the grocery for Nel.
Clade’s wife stepped out of the grocery just moments later. Clade waved her to them excitedly. Confused she hurried over wondering what he was fussing about when she saw Dirk and the twins her confusion turned to a huge grin on her face.
“Look at them Clade, they’re absolutely adorable!” She poked at one of the twins’ cheeks, “Oh Clade, I wish we could have children…”
“Well ye see Nel, Dirk here found these tykes over by a cliff and he can’t take care of them both he came to me asking if we’d possibly be able to take one in.”
“Why goodness of course we’ll help you out Dirk. Dwarven vow number two: Never abandon someone in need!” Dirk handed one of the twins to Nel.
“I’m afraid they’ve no things and I haven’t a clue their names but what’s important is they’re healthy. I hope you’ll take good care of him and a safe journey home. I still live up the mountain there just past the forest if you’re ever in the area again.” Dirk watched the couple as they turned to leave the village. He looked down at the young boy in his arms. He looked barely three years old. That’s when he spotted a small necklace around the child’s neck. It read in fancy lettering on the outside: Lloyd; but the toddler yanked it from his hands before he could view the contents. Lloyd was no longer watching his surroundings; the only thing catching his interest was the sight of his companion being taken from him by yet more strangers. Tear welled up in his eyes and he began to whimper.
“Owen.” The child cried out flailing in the dwarf’s arms trying to break free. He didn’t quite understand that it meant little even if he did break free from the grip of the man but then again even if he did understand it probably wouldn’t have stopped him either. “Owen! Mommy! Daddy!”
“Lloyd’s your name then? Shh now it’s alright. Owen will see you again soon don’t fret.” Lloyd looked up hopefully at the man tears streaming down his pale cheeks. “Come now, we’ll go back to my house. You must be hungry.”
“Owen come back? Mommy and Daddy too?” Lloyd squeaked still fearful of the dwarf. Dirk wasn’t sure what to tell the child. How could he tell a three year old that his mother was never coming back and as for the father, Martel only knew what had befallen the man if he was even there to begin with.
“Of course they will.” He’d probably live to regret that statement but it satisfied the boy for the moment, for now that was all that mattered. “Shall we have something to eat?”
Lloyd grinned excitedly, “Yes!”
R.I.P. Brian St. Onge
Chapter 2: Two Years Later
“Daddy it’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!” Lloyd squealed as he hurried down the stairs of the small cottage early one morning; exactly two years from the day he was found. Dirk turned from his work and smiled at the five year old now hovering behind him.
“Aye it is Lloyd, I’ve got a surprise for ye later if you’re good,” Lloyd’s eyes lit up and he grinned ear to ear. “But you’ve first got to eat your breakfast.”
Lloyd ran to the table and climbed up to the seat, eyeing the fried eggs that sat on his plate. He opened his mouth to complain about his least favorite breakfast but thought better of it when he saw Dirk eyeing him with a warning look. Sighing he grasped his fork in one hand, his nose in the other and took a bite of the eggs he hated so much; almost as much as tomatoes.
“Ugh I hate eggs!”
“I know Lloyd, just eat them. You’ll be late for your first day if you don’t hurry,” With that Lloyd shoveled down the rest of his eggs and held up the empty plate towards his father.
“I’m done can we go now Daddy?” Dirk chuckled at the antics of the young boy and nodded. Lloyd ran over towards the door and pulled on his custom made red boots; Dirk had made them special for him. “Wait I have to say buh-bye to Mommy!”
The older dwarf followed Lloyd to the back of the house where Anna’s grave was located. Before he had taken the twins to Iselia Dirk had returned to take Anna’s body and give it a proper burial. Lloyd dropped to his knees beside the tombstone covered in flowers and whispered to his mother. When Lloyd finally stood back up Dirk took hold of his hand and led him through the dark forest, stocked full of monsters, to the small town of Iselia. He was having a difficult time keeping up, but only because he wasn’t concentrating on walking; he was looking around in amazement at everything they passed as well as warning Dirk of all the monsters he saw.
The guards nodded to him as he entered with the small boy in tow. It was nearly time for school to begin so he scooped the boy up and put him on his shoulders before picking up his pace. In front of the school house the children gathered awaiting their teacher; many just as young as Lloyd. Lifting the boy from his shoulders he placed him back on the ground and gave him a nudge to go with the other children and play. Lloyd looked up at his father with a frightened look before clutching onto his pants leg.
“I’m scared,” Dirk pried the boy from his clothes and knelt down in front of him holding him by the shoulders. Lloyd looked down at his shoes, “I don’t want you to leave.”
“Now Lloyd, all these kids are the same age as you and you’ll be making friends with ‘em just as soon as you go over there and say hello. I’ll be back later to pick you up, I promise. Be a brave little man for me and go play with the kids.”
Lloyd had little choice so he turned slowly and walked a few steps towards the other children before looking back at his father. All Dirk did was smile. Lloyd continued on towards the other children and stopped finally to talk to another boy around his age. He would have to get over his fear sooner or later, but Dirk decided to at least wait for them all to go inside before leaving; it’d provide some assurance for the fearful little boy. He could never stray far from Lloyd’s sight or he would panic, thinking he’d been left behind; even in the safety of his own home.
The teacher emerged from the little school house and called for the attention of all the children. She was slightly old, with grayish hair and glasses; the standard school teacher look. Lloyd paid no attention to the woman and continued to chat with the group of children he was standing near. Dirk shook his head, knowing the boy would receive punishment at least once on his first day. Sure enough the teacher looked towards the only boy still talking and gave a disapproving look enough to scare every child there. Lloyd decided now was the time to be quiet and gave a sheepish grin towards the woman.
After some sort of speech dictating the rules of the school and her name, Mrs. Dubois, towards all the new students she led all the children into a small classroom.
“Take a seat anywhere but if I find any of you misbehaving I’ll move your seat and send you to the corner, understood?” She had already classified Lloyd as the trouble-making sort and eyed him the entire time.
“Yes Mrs. Dubois!” The class chorused hurrying to sit together with all their friends. Lloyd already decided he didn’t like this place much; having to sit still for so long and sound like zombies talking to this mean old lady was not something he wanted to do every day. He did like talking to other kids his age though, and playing; he loved to play. He decided after a moment it was worth it and found a seat next to the boy he was chatting with earlier.
The day droned on with talk of mathematics and learning to read and write. Lloyd had picked up fairly quickly how to write his name on the chalkboard tablet and already knew his alphabet. It amazed the other kids and Mrs. Dubois how much he knew so he took to bragging about it for the rest of the day. Most of it was forgotten when they came to mathematics for the day, Lloyd had no idea how to do it and was finding it difficult to follow along; the boy next to him was constantly showing him how it was done.
Before he knew it, it was the end of day and everyone was let out of the classroom. Lloyd became nervous thinking Dirk wouldn’t be there when he got outside; that he abandoned him here and he’d have to stay here forever. His fears quickly subsided when he opened the outside door and stepped into the sunlight, Dirk was standing off to the side near the mayors’ house waiting for him. A smile broke out on Lloyd’s face as he noticed another figure beside him; Owen. This was his surprise! He raced to his father’s side, throwing his arms around him before turning to his twin and doing the same. Lloyd’s fears melted away completely with the presence of his brother there. It had been a couple months since he last saw the auburn haired boy and he’d begun to miss him.
Owen returned the hug and giggled at his more outgoing twins’ actions. He decided his twin could use a bit of fun as he didn’t look too happy when he emerged from the giant school building. Challenging him to a game of tag he poked at Lloyd and took off towards the gate. Lloyd accepted and followed after him laughing. Of course he had caught him before either of them made it to the gate and they had to sit and wait for Dirk to come before they could go any further.
“You two make me feel old you know,” Dirk said as he approached them ruffling Owen’s messy auburn hair and Lloyd’s short brown hair as he passed through the gates to bring the boys back home. The twins ran on ahead continuing their game all the way back to the cottage nestled in the forest.
Six years later…
Lloyd was twelve years old; old enough to walk through the forest with his wooden swords and go to school all on his own. Dirk no longer had to stop in the middle of his work to walk the boy there and back. He’d made plenty of friends since his first day too. One of which was the Chosen of Regeneration herself, Colette Brunel. She was a year younger than him but she always loved to hang around him more than any of the other girls and boys.
That morning was the first day having a new teacher and a new student so the kids were more rambunctious than usual. Old Mrs. Dubois was growing far too old to keep the younger students in line so she stopped teaching when an elf by the name of Professor Raine Sage offered to teach the classes from then on; the mayor gave her permission. Lloyd sat at his desk staring into space waiting for the new teacher to come in while Colette chatted his ear off; he was only half listening anyway.
A small boy with white messy hair walked in looking fairly nervous. The whole classroom went silent and Lloyd snapped out of his daze to look over at the boy who looked far too young to even be in school. Behind him a young woman with long white hair came in as well holding a piece of chalk. This is our new teacher!? Seriously?
“Hello class, I am Professor Raine Sage. You all may call me Professor Sage. This is my younger brother Genis; he is six years old and will be joining us from now on. I’ll take attendance now; it’ll give me a chance to learn each of your names. Genis you can sit by that boy there in the red,” Raine took out a chart of names and began calling them off and checking off the names as their respective owners responded with “Present.” Lloyd smiled and waved at the young elf who then walked over and took the empty seat beside him returning a shy smile.
“Alright class, I’d like to begin where your last teacher left off so please turn to chapter 3 in your books and we’ll start from there,” She turned towards the chalkboard and began to write out notes.
“Hey there Genis, wanna be friends?” Lloyd whispered leaning over his desk towards the small elf. Raine stopped writing and thought momentarily about scolding whoever was talking while she was teaching but chose to ignore the conversation entirely and continued writing on the board.
“Uh… y-yeah sure,” Genis replied nervously, he knew his sister could hear Lloyd talking and would probably be angry he was disrupting her. To his surprise she remained stationed at the chalkboard writing and paid no attention to Lloyd.
“Awesome, we can hang out later if you want. I won’t be going home until later on so I can stay around here and we can play or something.”
“Stay around here? What do you mean; you don’t live in Iselia?” Genis asked before he noticed the bandage around his new friends’ left hand. “Oh, did you hurt yourself?”
“My hand’s alright if that’s what you mean, it’s nothing,” Lloyd lied covering up the hand where his exsphere was. “I live through the forest and past the human ranch with my Dad. I just go to school here and usually hang out afterwards until it’s time for me to go home; I’ve got to be home before sundown or I’ll be in big trouble.”
“Oh, that’s cool. After school we can go to my house if you want,” Lloyd nodded.
The school day had ended and all the children gathered their books and went home for the day. Genis led Lloyd and Colette past the mayor’s house towards a small house beside the pond. He opened the door to reveal a small room with two beds, a table and two bookshelves full of books.
“This is my house. There isn’t much to do here really except read so maybe we could go to one of your houses’?”
“I’ve got a better idea, let’s go outside the village. We can play in the hills; me and Colette do it all the time,” Genis looked a bit uneasy about leaving the safety of the village, especially without his sister to keep him safe. He hardly knew any spells well enough so do it himself.
“Don’t worry, there’s nothing out there; the monsters live mostly in the forest. If we see any we can come back or I’ll take care of them, ok?” Lloyd said trying to reassure him.
“Yeah Lloyd can protect us. I’ve gone all the way to his house with him once and he didn’t let a single monster come close to me. He’s really great,” Colette chimed in enthusiastically. She’d had a crush on the red-clad boy since they both were young. When she started school just a year after him, they got along pretty well; never did they fight or disagree with each other. Both of their comments reassured the young elf and he finally nodded following them down the path towards the village entrance.
“Hello Chosen, Lloyd. Who’s this here?” One of the guards asked leaning over to talk to them.
“Oh! Hello Mr. Jackson. This is Genis, he’s just moved here and we’re going to show him around,” Colette explained. The guard chuckled and stepped out of their way to let them pass.
“Alright, better be careful you three,” They walked through the gate and out into the fields, Noishe came over from his spot near the gate and began to follow them. He’d always followed Lloyd to school every day since he began traveling on his own.
“Colette, you’re the Chosen?” Genis asked. Colette turned and smiled at him before tripping over her own feet and falling on her face. “Are you ok!?”
“That’s normal, Colette is always falling over.”
“Yeah I’m awfully clumsy, I’m sorry,” Lloyd sighed; no matter what he did he couldn’t stop Colette from apologizing about everything that wasn’t her fault. “Oh, yeah Genis I am the Chosen.”
Genis and Lloyd walked back over towards where the clumsy Chosen had toppled over and fell back in the grass looking up at the big puffy clouds overhead. After what seemed like only minutes to the three kids the sun began to disappear on the horizon. Lloyd jumped up in a panic and hurried them back to the village where he waved good-bye and started on his way back to the cottage he called home. Noishe met up with him as he crossed the field and headed into the forest but the fearful protozoan hurried ahead when it sensed the presence of monsters leaving Lloyd alone again. Lloyd just sighed, he was already used to it by now; Noishe was a horrible guard dog. He never helped out when he encountered monsters; he only ran away and waited for him at home. It made him wonder why Noishe even bothered to come along every day.
The forest wasn’t as bad as it usually was, hardly any monsters were about as he passed through but he knew that once nightfall came there would be dozen more. The sun was fading behind the horizon fast and the forest was growing darker and darker by the minute; he knew he had to hurry or he’d be in trouble, both from his father and by the monsters that would soon make their presence known.
A wolf stepped from the shadows, challenging him. It blocked his path through so Lloyd had little choice but to fight it. He unsheathed the wooden swords he carried with him at all times and stood poised for battle. The wolf’s teeth bared and it rushed towards him. With one swing Lloyd knocked the wolf off its feet but it barely stunned the creature and it rushed at him once again. A few more good swings and the wolf ran off growling leaving Lloyd alone again.
The sun was quickly setting and Lloyd was about to panic, this would be the first time he was ever going to be late. He’d never stayed with Collette for very long so he’d never worried about being late but now that Genis was around he’d completely lost track of time. Father probably wouldn’t be happy with him and he’d likely get punished. Dirk was more worried about the Desians getting hold of him and the quantity of monsters that came out at night than anything else. Lloyd broke out into a run through the twisting forest trails and finally came upon the bridge that led to his home. Thank Martel the sun’s still up. Maybe Dad won’t kill me. Dirk was still hammering away at his latest project and paid no attention to the nervous teen that walked through the front door. Lloyd sighed in relief before heading up to his room to begin that math homework he was supposed to do.
Ugh maybe Dad should’ve killed me… I hate math.
R.I.P. Brian St. Onge