So, here it is. The end. I can't thank you enough for sticking with this story. I was only fifteen when I started it, now I'm an old woman of twenty six! This fic is older than my dog! But at least we got there in the end.
Special thanks to Guest again, for being such an encouraging reviewer! This chapter is for you, I hope it satisfies your 'hint hint' expectations.
I've tried to keep it in a similar style to the game's ending. Enjoy!
Melodies of Life
Two years later
Freya stood on top of the Burmecian palace, gazing at the city with pride. A lot had happened to their people but now, looking at the beautiful city, you wouldn't be able to tell.
It had been hard for Puck to convince his citizens to accept Alexandria's aid, when the Queen's fiancé was the person who'd destroyed their home and killed their friends. But with Freya and Fratley's constant insistence that Zidane hadn't been responsible for his actions, Dagger's wish for good relations between their nations, and even a visit from Zidane himself, they finally accepted him and began to move on.
'So this is where you were hiding.' Fratley's teasing voice said behind her. 'I thought you'd be excited about this visit to Alexandria.'
'I am,' she smiled, turning to face her husband of eighteen months. 'I was just thinking of everything that led up to this moment. It makes it feel even more wonderful.'
I can't believe I'm actually going. Amarant grumbled to himself, seeing Alexandria in sight. He sighed, walking towards it with a content smile.
I guess I'll never fully understand that monkey. I'll be stuck with these people the rest of my life.
Surprisingly, he didn't feel any resentment at this.
Eiko peered impatiently out of the Hilde Garde IV, grinning when she saw Alexandria in the distance.
'Finally! I told you we should have left earlier! Dagger will be so mad at me if I can't get ready in time.'
'Eiko.' Cid chuckled, 'You have plenty of time!'
'Yes,' his wife agreed, smiling fondly at their adopted daughter. 'Don't worry, today will be perfect.'
'This is going to be a disaster.' Mikoto groaned, gazing at herself in the mirror. 'I look like a fat hippo.'
'Hardly.' Reason said, sat on the guest bed and looking at the day's schedule Steiner had handed him when they arrived the day before. 'You're only four months along.'
'Exactly!' Mikoto complained, 'If I was bigger it would be obvious I was pregnant, but right now I just look bloated. Couldn't Dagger have chosen a looser dress?'
Reason laughed but schooled his face into a sympathetic look when Mikoto glared at him.
'Mikoto, you're beautiful. That dress is just showing the world you're carrying my child.'
Mikoto couldn't help smiling, her eyes tearing up with happiness. She moved and sat with him on the bed, letting him gather her in his arms.
'Today represents the start of a new life for our friends. Why not show off our own future too?' he said, placing his hand on his wife of twelve month's stomach.
Mikoto laughed, placing her hand over his.
'Okay, maybe this dress isn't so bad after all.'
Vivi was enjoying the town while he waited, watching his sons join in the skipping game.
I'm so thankful I was able to live long enough to see this day.
After the final battle and Ipsen's sacrifice, the mist had disappeared forever. Vivi and the Black Mages had returned to the village, ready for the day they would 'stop'. It was lonely without the genomes, but the remaining Terrans left in their bodies had been distributed to the main Kingdoms, where they could learn more about Gaia and be kept under watch. The one in Alexandria had become a cook apprentice under Quina.
Within a few weeks Mikoto and Reason had visited the Black Mage village. Mikoto had explained they'd started living in Madain Sari, somewhere quiet while Gaia adjusted to what had happened. Reason had thrust a bottle at Vivi, telling him to drink.
Vivi still didn't understand it well, even when Reason's Gaian had improved and he tried to explain it himself. All he knew was Reason had used ingredients from the Iifa tree to create a unique potion. It acted as a stimulant, multiplying the mist already inside the Black Mages and extending their life. Eventually the mist wouldn't be able to multiply anymore, but this would be in sixty to seventy years. As long as the Black Mages drank the Mist Potion once a month, they would have the life span of a human.
There was no way to make more Black Mages, but it seemed a small disappointment in comparison.
'Daddy!' One of his sons called. 'Won't you try?'
'Yeah!' Another said, 'I want to see you break your old record!'
Vivi laughed happily.
'I guess there's enough time,' he said, accepting the challenge.
Quina looked the kitchen over one last time.
'Now remember, I go to ceremony, but I'll be back! Don't burn food while I gone!'
'Yes Sir!' The staff chorused.
The Terran, who'd renamed himself Glutton, grinned.
'Don't worry; I'll keep an eye on everything. You go enjoy the wedding!'
Steiner made a hasty final check for the third time, making sure all security measures were in place. When the Queen had insisted the ceremony would take place on the theatre ship he had protested venomously. But she would not be deterred, so Steiner had to increase all guards.
Baku had laughed when he insisted guards be inside the ship too, in case anyone tried to stowaway and ambush them during the wedding.
'Who would want to interrupt it when they've been waiting two years for it to happen?'
Steiner had won in the end, even though the Tantalus crew had rolled their eyes at him. He could see them now in the crowd, watching his preparations with amused grins.
'Steiner.' Beatrix scolded with a warm smile. 'Everything will be fine.'
'Yeah, Rusty,' Zidane said. 'Listen to your wife and get off the stage. You're blocking my view of where Dagger is coming from.'
Steiner huffed but did as he was told, muttering a reluctant 'good luck' before moving away.
He joined Beatrix near the side of the theatre ship's stage, ready to leap on and help if needed.
'I'm happy for them both.' Beatrix said, smiling. 'They've been through a lot to get here.'
Steiner couldn't help nodding in agreement. It had taken the couple a long time to get re-acquainted after Zidane changed. Slowly he became less like Destruction and more like the old Zidane, able to sympathise and even form friendships with people. They had watched their friends getting married around them; Freya and Fratley, Reason and Mikoto, and finally Steiner and Beatrix eight months ago. Still they took it slow, making sure they loved each other for who they were now, instead of the memory of who they used to be.
Zidane had re-proposed four months ago, and immediately wedding plans had started.
A Knight of Pluto ran up to Steiner, grinning.
'The Queen is ready.'
Steiner nodded. The Knight ran to the band, and a moment later the music started. Eiko and Mikoto came out first as bridesmaids, looking beautiful in lilac dresses with ribbons in their hair.
Zidane looked up from talking to his best man, Vivi, and watched in awe as his Queen began walking towards him.
'Man, what a crazy day!' Zidane grinned, flopping onto their new bed. 'Don't you agree, Mrs. Tribal?…Well, I guess it's actually Mr. Alexandros, right?'
Dagger nodded, unable to stop the ear-splitting smile she'd been wearing all day.
'Yes, you're the Queen's consort, after all.'
'Well, I'm just glad I don't have to be King like Doctor Tot was making out. I'd be horrible at it, and you're clearly a great ruler.'
'I'm glad you approve,' she smirked, 'But you'll still have to help me.'
Zidane paused, putting a hand beneath his chin in a mock-thinking pose.
'How about I be your personal massager? I'll be very dedicated in my duties.'
Dagger giggled, sitting down next to him.
'Very well,' she said in her Queenly voice. 'Proceed.'
Zidane grinned, gently removing her shoes and beginning to massage her feet. She closed her eyes in bliss, letting out a content sigh.
'I'm so happy,' she breathed, still with her eyes closed. 'All our friends are doing well, the Kingdoms are at peace…and I finally have you. I always thought I'd have to choose between you or my subjects, but finally…'
She felt Zidane kiss her, a soft loving kiss that made her gasp with passion.
'I love you, Dagger, Queen Garnet Til Alexandros, and I will never leave you again. I promise.'
Dagger smiled, pulling her new husband in for another kiss.