My eyes burned, and the tears finally came. I touched down. The wings that had appeared faded, and I quickly pack my belongings. I had thought that Wakka's rejection had been bad, but I had dreamt that they would accept me back with joy in their eyes. Yet, they rejected me, and I left them behind.
Although I had left my identity behind, I had a new one, one in which no one would know me, or connect me with Yuna. Even thinking about them hurt, but I shoved it away.
"Hey did you hear about the freak magic user that appeared at the stadium? The high summoner has people searching for her now, as we speak. Odd magic she cast, sprouting wings." The innkeeper said to me as I passed by.
"Watch who you speak to, you never know who might be a freak magic user." I said, glaring at him with shining eyes.
"What in Yevon's name!" I heard him shriek as I exited the building. I went to the wharf, and bought a boat from a fisherman. It was machina run, thankfully, and wasn't difficult to use. I pointed it in the direction of Besaid, and set off into the sun.
I arrived there a few days later, pulling up on the more untamed side of the island. The fiends were already gathering on the shore to greet me when I arrived. I looked at them unsmiling, and merely made my way through. They all begged for my attention, although I paid most no mind. I paused at a lupine puppy. Its doleful eyes peered up at me, its hunger evident from its ribs. I picked it up, and scattered the rest of them. I started to build my new home, in the untamed land of Besaid. They would look for me, but they would most likely not find me.
It had been nearly 9 months since the emergence of Fayth. She appeared suddenly, and helped people, although most did not know why. She did things others would not do, and was not only willing to face up the consequences; she did so with her head held with pride. Only one had threatened her with a cage, and no one had since. The man was still blathering on about the details of an imaginary place.
Yuna braced her back, her bulging belly a testament to her pregnancy. She shuffled along the beach, sitting down next to Lulu, and her daughter Kara.
"You look big Yuna. When are you due?" Lulu asked with a tease.
"Any day now. I hope it's soon, I want to be able to sit without difficulty." Yuna said as she smiled. Rikku and Wakka were having a game of Blitz with the team, helping them practice.
"I know how you feel. Did you find out how you became pregnant yet?" Lulu asked, watching the match.
"No. Cid says that it's most likely magic, he just has no idea how, or what magic, or why for that matter. No only that, but the only person I can think of strong enough to do this kind of thing is you." Yuna replied yawning as she stretched, before she got back up. "I have someone coming from the temple in a little while, I gotta get back." Yuna explained as she made her way back to her home. She had almost reached her home when a Lupine darted across her path. It stopped, looking expectantly over its shoulder.
"…Lupus, get your skinny little behind back here!" Yuna heard a faint voice say. The lupine grinned, and darted back into the brush. Yuna shrugged, and continued on her way. She made it about five feet, when she was bowled over by someone who came out of the brush.
"Oh, I am so sorry I should have looked where I was going. Here, let me help you up." The person apologized profusely.
"Thank you." Yuna said as she was heaved to her feet. The stranger froze, and looked up at me.
"Yuna?" the voice whispered. Grey eyes turned into a milky white. "I'm sorry Yuna, I didn't mean…" Fayth began.
"Fayth? What are you doing here? Aren't you traveling?" Yuna said in a surprised voice.
"No, well, I mean I do travel, but I prefer to stay close to home…" Fayth blushed, "Here, I'll help you get home." She said, taking my arm, and gently guiding me home. She was different then she was before, more human. We had reached my home, when I heard a whine. It was the Lupine that had crossed my path earlier.
"Lupus, what have I told you about running off? Come here you rascal." She said to it, and it leapt at her. Instead of attacking her, which I expected, it gave her a big lick. She looked at me, her eyes filled with some untold emotion. "You might want to send for Rikku and Lulu your baby will want to makes its entrance soon." Her voice was sad for some reason.
"How do you know that?" Yuna asked Fayth.
"I know, because I set the time for today. Wanted you to be happy, and to forget me. I knew how much you wanted a baby, it was the least I could do." Fayth said. Yuna was about to reply when she was wracked with a sudden labor pain, and she cried out, gripping Fayth's hand harshly.
I knew I should leave, but I could not leave Yuna by herself at such a time. I scribbled a quick note to Lulu, and gave it to Lupus.
"Take this to the Dark woman on the beach. Drop it next to her, and then leave. Go straight home, and if I am not there, come here. Now go!" I said to the young fiend, who bounded off with the note. I helped Yuna inside, and carried her to her bed. Another labor pain struck, much more intense then the last. It was coming much more quickly then I thought it would.
"Come on Yuna, you can do it." I said encouragingly, as I prayed that Rikku would make it in time. "Just a little more…" I said, as Yuna started to breathe heavily. About twenty minutes later, I held Yuna's beautiful baby girl in my hands. I cleaned her up, and helped Yuna with the afterbirth. Yuna fell asleep after, and I held the baby girl in my arms.
"You are so beautiful, just like your moms." I said to the small baby, who just stared up at me in wide eyed wonderment. She gripped one of my fingers in one chubby hand. I smiled down at her, my eyes returned to their normal form.
I was snapped out of my reverie, when Rikku and Lulu burst in, followed by Wakka. They stared at me for a moment.
Rikku stared at Fayth, who was holding what must be their child in her arms. Her eyes, which before had been that white, were the blue orbs of Tidu. Before Rikku could say anything, Wakka spoke.
"What in blazes are you doing here!?!" Wakka said in a furious voice.
Fayth saddened, and her face fell back into its former self. She gently kissed Yuna's child on the forehead, before handing the baby to me.
"It's a healthy girl Rikku. Congrats." She said to me.
"Answer me!" Wakka said, grabbing Fayth by the neck, and heaving her into the wall. "Why are you here?"
Fayth just stared at him with her eyes, which changed from white, to a royal blue. "I was talking to Yuna for a moment, when she slipped into her labor. I sent Lupus to get you, but I didn't want to leave Yuna alone. I delivered the baby. I am sorry you weren't here Rikku." Fayth said. Rikku just stared. Fayth was still Tidu for all that she had left that behind. Fayth was still apart of her heart.
"Lupus? You mean that Lupine? You sent it to attack us?" Wakka sneered, "Its dead now."
"No, he was bearing a message! He was to fetch you." Fayth started to cry, even though Wakka was still holding her by the throat. Suddenly, it started to rain, and it rained harder and harder. "No, you killed him, you killed him…" Fayths eyes went to a deeper blue, and she slumped slightly.
"Ow!" Wakka cried, and he jerked his hand away from her throat. "Her tears burn." He said as he clutched his hand.
Yuna woke up about then, and stared at the scene around her. Fayth was in tears, and Wakka was clutching his hand. Fayth was slumped against the wall, defeat written in her stance. Before anyone could day anything, Fayth stood up and spoke loudly.
"I actually tried! I tried to do one good thing for you, and my only companion was killed because of it. I can't… I can't do this anymore…" she ran out of the house, and into the rain. Her footsteps slowly faded, and the rain continued to pound on the roof.
"Wakka, you moron! Why did you do that?" Rikku hissed. She was still holding the newborn babe.
"What? That freak was probably here to take your child away." Wakka said with a small sneer.
"But for a moment, she was Tidu! I saw her true eyes! Her normal human eyes. Why did you drive her away!" Rikku sat down where Fayth had sat, and crooned to the silent baby.
"Rikku…" Yuna whispered. Everyone stopped arguing and turned to Yuna. Rikku came to sit beside her wife, and showed her the baby.
"Look Yunie, a beautiful baby girl." Rikku said softly. She gave Yuna the baby to hold.
"Where is Fayth?" Yuna asked. They all looked at each other, and when no one spoke Lulu explained.
"Well, we were approached by a lupine, which dropped a message next to me. Wakka, thinking I was in danger, killed it. I read the message it dropped and we rushed here. We found Fayth here, holding your child. For a second, I thought it was Tidu, but it was not. Wakka attacked her, and told her that he killed the lupine that she had sent. Her eyes changed to a blue, and it started to rain. She started to cry, and her tears burned Wakka. She left, and here we are." Lulu stated.
"Lupus was tamed. He didn't hurt me when he passed me. Fayth was trying to catch up to him when she accidentally knocked me down. She helped me back here and I went into labor. The baby was born, and I fell asleep. I…" Yuna was interrupted by a knocking at the door.
"Come in." Rikku said. The door opened, and in came several people from Yevon.
"Hello Yuna, Rikku. Have we interrupted something?" the elder Yevonite said, looking around.
"Yes, but it can wait. You said what you had to say was urgent." Yuna replied. "Wakka, Lulu, can you wait in the sitting room?" they took the hint, and left the room, allowing a private conversation between the people.
"Lady Yuna, thank you for allowing us to meet with you. To make things to the point, we have a slight problem." The youngest Yevonite said.
"How can we help you?" Rikku said.
"Well, you see, there is a being in Spira, with an odd energy reading. We only got that reading from Aeons, you see, and them alone. We want to find this being, and have been searching for sometime. But she only appears to a select few. People that she helped mainly. But in the last encounter, she said that she had loved ones here, on Besaid. No one on this island has traveled, except for you and your former Guardians. We at first thought it was Wakka, but we found a pattern in the people she helped. They all were women. And we remembered what the stories say, about a sixth Guardian. We ask you to tell us about your sixth guardian." The elder explained.
"Fayth…" Rikku and Yuna said together.
"How did you know her name?" the young one said.
"She was my sixth guardian. Her name was Tidu. She was… destroyed in the battle against sin. Somehow, she must have survived. She became Fayth, when she spoke to us." Yuna said telling the half truth.
"We believe that she may hold the key for bringing back Aeons." The elder said.
"The Aeons will sleep in eternal slumber. They have no need to be brought back." Yuna said to him simply.
The Yevonites took their cue and left. The youngest paused by the door.
"My elder would not have approved of my telling you this, but we believe that Fayth lives on Besaid, perhaps in the wild." He said before he disappeared to catch up with his companions.
Rikku and Yuna simply gazed at their child, who smiled up at them with bright white eyes.
I could no longer hear his voice. Lupus truly was gone. I mourned for the one friend I had in this world, who had died by a former one. I slowly made my way back to my rugged home, and settled down. I gazed for a long time at a painting I had done here. I had done several. One of what I remembered of Kimari and Auron, another of Lulu, Wakka, and their child. But the one I gazed at was of Yuna and Rikku. They did not know that I often watched them, that I often longed to be with them. I remember the first time I had watched them. They had been sad about not having a child, about not having a family. I remember the spell I cast to make Yuna pregnant. I had taken bits of Yuna and Rikku, and merged them into one being. I had hesitantly added a bit of myself. It would not be very noticeable, just little flashes. Or it should have been. The baby had my eyes.
I fell asleep trying to figure out if I had done the right thing, and the sun slowly raised, to find me sound asleep, my face stained with tears.
I woke to an unusual sound. Instead of the soft forest noises, I heard the sound of machina. It sounded like it was close, and like it came from above me. I went outside to find out what it was. It eventually found the clearing, and I saw that it was a Flying Machina, aboard which were Yuna, Rikku, and their child.
Rikku landed with carefully. It had taken the better part of the day to locate the home of Fayth, but Rikku had managed to. She helped Yuna get off, before getting off the small craft herself.
"Fayth?" Yuna called. The baby cooed softly.
"What do you want?" A voice returned. It came from the awesome dwelling. On the front porch, stood Fayth. "I'll have you know I was asleep until you came near with the contraption." She said crossly.
"Fayth, will you talk to us?" Rikku said.
"What is there to say? 'Hello I'm back'? Or 'You killed my only friend'? Pick one." She started to turn back into the house.
"Please Tidu!" Yuna called. Fayth halted and stiffened.
"I am not Tidu! I am Fayth! Fayth! Tidu died along with sin!" Fayth said. Thunder boomed in the distance.
"Please Fayth, come see our daughter." Rikku said. The baby stretched her arms toward Fayth.
"I have no need to see her again. Now leave me alone." Fayth said, leaning against the roof support.
"Fayth, come see your daughter." Yuna said softly. Fayth said nothing. She sat down, with her head in her hands. They approached her. The baby giggled, and reached for Fayth. Fayth stretched one hand and the baby clasped her finger in one fist. Fayth smiled softly, and her eyes became orbs.
"She is beautiful isn't she?" Yuna said, sitting down next to her.
"Yes, she is. She'll grow up to be as beautiful as her mothers." Fayth replied, her voice a soft whisper.
"Fayth, why do you hide from the world? From those who could love you? From us?" Rikku asked Fayth softly. Fayth with drew her hand from the child.
"What have you named her?" Fayth asked, seemingly ignoring the question.
"We thought we would name her Fera." Yuna said.
"Will you answer my question Fayth?" Rikku asked. Fayth did not respond. "Did you even hear me?"
"Yes, I hear you." Fayth said before rising. "Thank you for coming. I hoped you enjoyed the visit." Fayth disappeared into the house. Rikku followed her. Yuna remained outside, looking around at the beauty that surrounded Fayth's home.
"Fayth, why do you keep running?" Rikku said. She could not see Fayth, but she could hear her.
"I run because I must. Leave me be, please!" Fayth's reply came, her voice deeper, more ragged. Rikku's brow furrowed as she made her way through the house.
"Can you at least tell me why I must?" Rikku questioned.
"Leave! Now!" drifted the harsh reply.
"Fayth?" Rikku said as she entered the room the voice was originating from. Fayth's shuddering form stood by the window sill. "Fayth? What's wrong?" Rikku tried to get a look of Fayth's face.
"You ask why I run. Why do the Yevonites seek me, or the crusaders hunt me? Or the Guado respect me? It comes down to… what I am." Fayth said. Her form flickered for a moment. "Please go." her head glanced at me before gazing out the window.
"Not until you tell me why." Rikku replied.
"You want to know why! I'll show you why!" her form melted away, replaced by something different. It had two curved horns, which sloped back. Its upper body was protected by thick fur. Its feet were not feet at all, but hooves. It had long red hair. Its face looked like that of Anima, but unbandaged and healthy. And it had a tail, a thick, lizard like tail. "This is why I run!" the thing hissed. "You cannot comprehend how it feels. To be hunted, to be so unusual, to be a… a freak. Will you leave me alone now?" Rikku could hear Fayth's voice, and she could hear the desperation in the thing's voice. Only through the eyes could you tell that it was Fayth.
"Fayth? What... how… when… why?" Rikku stammered.
It burst out laughing. It was a human laugh. "You sound just like you did when you first found out I was a girl. And now you find out I am this, and you ask the same questions." it shifted back into its human form. "Now you know why, so leave me alone." Fayth said.
"Fayth, you can tell us." Said a voice from the doorway. Yuna stood there, Fera in her arms. Fayth merely looked at her sadly.
"This is what I am. I am the remains of the Fayths. I have been this way since I returned. I don't know why I returned as…" she stopped. Pain scrolled across her face, "… as a monster. Luckily for me I apparently have magic. I automatically use an illusion when I am near people. Its instinct after… well, its instinct now."
"Why do you hide yourself?" Yuna asked. Fayth switched forms again.
"Isn't it obvious? Because I am a hideous beast. Something many people fear." Fayth's voice became quieter. "Something people cannot love."
Fera cooed and reached for Fayth's horns. Fayth took Fera gently, and held her near her horns. Her blue orbs softened when they looked at Fera.
"Fayth, how can someone love you, if they do not have the chance to love you?" Yuna said laying her hand gently on Fayth's shoulder.
"I did try, before I remembered who I was, before I realized how different I was." Fayth said shaking off Yunas hand. "Sometimes opinions are based on experience." She added.
"What happened to cause you to instinctively put up an illusion? Will you tell us?" Rikku asked Fayth, imploring her with her eyes.
Fayth looked at us, and began recounting her tale. "I woke up in front of the giant fayth, or what had been the giant fayth. I remembered nothing; I could not even tell you what Spira was called then. I only knew I had to go south. So I did. I fiddled with my magic, and played with illusions. I had been in one when I met her. A young woman of astonishing beauty. Actually, now that I think about it, she looks like you two. Anyway, I was in an illusion that showed the world that I was a tall male. I believe my unconscious mind made it look like my form Tidus. We hit it off. She loved me, and I cared deeply for her, although it never was love. On day, we were sitting near a river, on a clear sunny day, when the worst day of my life happened. I let my illusion fall away. When she next looked at me, she screamed. She was absolutely terrified of me. She calmed a bit when I turned the illusion on, but I could tell she was scared. We went back to where we were staying, and I fell asleep. When I awoke, I was surrounded by a large group of people. They all pointed weapons at me. When I asked them why, they pointed to her. She was clinging to another's arm, looking terrified. I tried to back away, but I couldn't. Someone bashed a club into my shoulder, and I forgot the illusion, which caused it to fall. I cried out in the pain, but they thought it was a threat. They attacked me, and I was forced to run. I didn't want to kill anyone, so I ran. I had to knock out a few people, but that is all. They set traps for me, and I fell into some, damaging my legs, scarring them." She lifted one hoof, and pointed to the jagged scars running down her calf. "So I changed my illusion to female, and it became instinct to use it."
"Why do fiends follow you?" Yuna asked.
"I think it is because of what I am, and our similarities." Fayth replied.
"What happens when you die?" Fayth paused, deep in thought.
"I will dissipate, like aeons. I will leave nothing." She said. Her head jerked to the window. "What!" Fayths now red eyes turned to glare at them. "You set me up! You betrayed me…" her eyes turned a light blue. "And I thought you were different." She said before leaping out the window into the treetops.
"Fayth wait! We didn't know!" Rikku cried out the window, but Fayth only continued to leap away, the branches swishing as she passed. Soon, she was out of sight. Coming out of the forest was a group of crusaders and Yevonites. They were carrying machina, swords, and bows. Their intent was obvious, as nets were carried among them.
"Fayth, we are sorry! We didn't know they were following us!" Yuna said.
"Under my bed is a box. Give it to Fera when she is older. Farewell, High Summoner. Farewell, Al Bhed Guardian." The wind whispered. It blew up a small cloud of dust, and it showed us the image of Fayth looking at us, before it blew away.