Disclaimer: Square-Enix Incorporated owns all copyrighted material this fanfiction may include. All other materials, such as characters, events, dialogue, et cetera, all belong to Zeshin-kun.

Author's Note: And a thousand words, call out through the ages. They'll cradle you…

Oh hello! No more long-winded comments from me. Let's get right to it!

Spira: The Eternal Discord

Epilogue: Meaning

Besaid, an island paradise in the middle of nowhere and yet it was the beginning of so much. It was perfect for them to strive forward on their journey together, free from bickering cities, wars, and schemes. Its lazy tides crashing on sunburned shores fit well with this new life devoid of delusional grandeur and false gods. They had all encountered such strife, but overcame it each time. They had been forced to push on when all they wanted was to lay down their arms and rest at last, which made this Besaid Island the haven I had always wanted to give them.

Still, much as we try, there was no appeasing some. This time would be no different. Our resident dark shadow just couldn't let go of what he had believed to be his final destiny, to be nothing more than a villain, bested and cast out into the Farplane Abyss.

"It just feels so unnatural." Shuyin said, looking out at the bright yellow sun bathing him in its warm light.

"Has anything in our lives been natural?" His one true love, Lenne, asked of him, wading through his demons to reach his side.

"After everything I've done, I can't possible deserve…"

"Everything you've done?" Paine interrupted, "Please, define for us what 'everything' you're talking about."

"You kno-"

Cutting him off, she proceeded to add, "Because as I recall, it was technically just a shadow of you that did the bad of your 'everything'."

"It might have been a shadow, but-"

Not skipping a beat, Yuna stepped in next to quiet the silly boy, "And even if it wasn't just the shadow's doing, wasn't it you who was so persistent in going about defeating Dark Shuyin?"

"Well, it was my mess. I thought…"

"Shuyin dear, you're fighting a losing battle this time." Lenne winked at him.

"Yea, just relax. Bask in the sun for once." The former dream suggested, taking in a deep breath to show his original the way.

The "Terror of Zanarkand" hung his head in defeat, a smile finally creeping across his features. As he turned to the sun above, his eyes brightened for the first time in centuries and he, too, soaked in the rays. The rest of them skipped and ran through the sand, enjoying themselves in the comforting atmosphere. Paine headed for her old friends, the reunited group talking amongst themselves about their last mission. Even the deathseeker couldn't hold in his happiness, though he tried as some macho challenge between him and the former shadow. Baralai and Gippal were poking fun at one another, each attempting to have Paine side with them, though Leblanc managed to cool them down by threatening to give them the heel. After what Logos and Ormi reported, she had kept a strong arm on the Crimson Squad during their last battle.

Yuna was overjoyed by all the happy faces. She had never dreamed it possible to have attained such a victory without losing anyone in the process. She had done it. She had achieved her goal as she had set out to do ever since the end of her pilgrimage. The glow on her face as she watched her man playing around with the other Aurochs was indescribable joy. For his part, the blitzer stayed true to himself. He'd grown since those days of the former high summoner's pilgrimage and no longer required anything else in his life apart from her presence. That in mind, he frolicked with his Besaid teammates, oblivious to the ordeal he had overcome. While the rest were letting out a sigh of relief, he knew only that it was a new day and life went on.

Lulu and Wakka looked out at them from their home, the former having just put baby Vidina down for a nap. They watched the commotion their younger friends were making, satisfied by the unlikely turn of events. In what they believed to be the Spiral of Death, this planet's only offer, arose an ending that had presented them with life.

Back on the beach, Shuyin and Lenne were witnessing a gathering by the Celsius. Shuyin didn't know what to make of it, but as his love winked at him and turned to the scene, he was about to.

Doushite koko made

Jibun bakkari mamotte tandaro

Hito no itami mo wakarazu kichattane

She sang out, voicing the hearts of Spirans past and present. She asked the questions they dared not, but had always wanted an answer for.

Nanika dekiru koto atta darou ni

Honto no watashi wa mou sukoshi yasashii

She asked, remembering all the times she felt she could've been more. The potential within her had never come to light, but it was there and wanted to come out.

Sunao ni narenai jibun ga modokashii

Nani ga dekiru no? Watashi ni wa?

She didn't know what the future held, but maybe there was more in store. Her journeys were not over yet.

I want to know

The meaning of peace & love

It was such a foreign concept in a Spira so plagued by malevolence. Together they rose above it and were given the opportunity to find a new path.

I want to know

The meaning of your loveliness

I want to know

The meaning of peace & love

I want to know

The meaning of your loveliness

Shuyin marveled at them, looking around at all the friends that surrounded him now. War had destroyed the life he knew and he thought that was how it would always be. Now, in a Spira without Sin, there really was hope and a bright future ahead.

Sukoshi demo chotto demo

Sukutte ageru koto wo

Chippoke na watashi demo

Kangaete mitai kara

Hanashite ne kikasete ne

Anata no tooi tooi me no

Oku ni aru yasashisa wo

Shiawase wo samishisa wo

The others had their stories, laughed about all their follies, and boasted about their heroic rescues, but the warrior had remained sentinel, her heart sealed ever since that day that seemed a lifetime ago. Those old wounds had healed and those that left her had returned.

kanashisa wo

Even in her sadness, she knew she was not alone. None of them were. They were a family now and she'd never forget it.

Soba ni ireba yokatta jibun ga

Soba ni iru dake

Sore dake demo

Honno sukoshi chotto demo

Nanika no yaku ni tateru nara

Sofa de asa wo mukaetemo ii

Soto de uzukumatte itemo ii

Moufu ichimai dake demo ii

I want to know

The meaning of peace & love

I want to know

The meaning of your loveliness

I want to know

The meaning of peace & love

I want to know

The meaning of your loveliness

This was everything she had wanted. She didn't need to be recognized or honoured for what she had accomplished. All she needed was someone there with her, someone for just a bit, just a while to be near, to hold her hand. Now, he would not fade away. Now, he could stay with her, not just for a while, not just for the day, but forever this way. They could relax on a sofa if they wanted or sit on the sands, idling their time away just watching the waves crash into the shore.

Imamade wa kono hoshi ga

Watashi wo tsutsunde kureteta

Mawatteta ugoiteta

Jiyuu ni nattaru ki ga shita

Iki nante dekiru koto

Atarimae ni omotteta

Sukoshi demo hanashitai

Tokidoki wa daiji na koto

Sukoshi demo chotto demo

Sukutte ageru koto wo

Chippoke na watashi demo

Kangaete mitai kara

Hanashite ne kikasete ne

Anata no tooi tooi me no

Oku ni aru yasashisa wo

Shiawase wo samishisa wo kanashisa wo

The past to the present and unto the future, how strange was this dream? Could it be real? This world that spurned them, stole from them their very lives, yet it had always held them, hadn't it? It spun, it moved, it let them choose their destiny on their own terms. Even if the road they traveled had taken them so far, they could take a breath. This was the natural way of things even if it never seemed so.

There was time now, time to rest and time to talk about the way things were, all these little things that had been pushed to the side when the big ones interfered. They could tell each other now what they wanted. They could ask each other what they wanted.

"I want to know..."

"The meaning of peace & love…"

All of them gazed out at the horizon, a bright future soaring high in the distance. What new adventures did it bring? Where would they go from here?

"Someday, somewhere in the sky…" Yuna whispered out toward the water, "May we meet again."

~The End~

Author's Note: Aw, you'll see them again very soon as this story takes place before Last Mission. xD Yes, the whole of this fiction, despite its length and how long it took me to write it, happens over the course of two months, one month before Last Mission.

The epilogue intentionally leaves out the narrator's identity, though I have one person in mind to fit into the role. The song is "The Meaning of Peace and Love" sung as a duet by the J-Pop sensation, Koda Kumi, and Korean pop star, BoA. It's one of my longtime favourites and fits well with how this story ended, doesn't it? =3

So it's been… wow, exactly seven *giggle VII ^0^* years in the making, but Spira: The Eternal Discord is finally resolved. I wanted to mention one last thing: That line I have Yuna saying is from a music video of her character song sung to the background of Yuna's Ballad. It is open to interpretation what it means.

Though it was only a joke what I said above, for those who know me from the forum, I'm sure you know what else that entails. xD *cough* Exigo *cough* Poor Yuna never gets to be at peace, does she?

What's next for me, you ask? Well, not that you would, but I'm asking it for you so there! I actually have in mind another sequel to follow that RP, as I have mentioned, but I don't think I'll be staying in the world of Final Fantasy X any longer. After close to a decade, I think it's about time I moved on. I think I want to get that one story going, the idea I had to continue the story of Strawberry Panic. It's a break from all these serious dramas and impending days of judgement. It also allows me to branch into a more domestic atmosphere, less ultimate evil covering the world in darkness and more the world will end if she doesn't like these chocolates I made. =p There are at least three more ideas swimming about inside my mind, but again, global destruction and impending doom, so I think I should save those until later. x)

I hope you enjoyed this ending! Please leave lots of comments and I'll set aside these boxes of tissues for those of you who need them. Until next time! *poof gone*

Afterword: You lot can completely ignore the following, but as this is the last chapter of the story, I have such a compulsion to get all these ideas out my head. xD

There were many reasons I wanted Yu Yevon's latest scheme to include pulling in the core of Spira. The one portrayed in this story was that Yu Yevon wanted to rebuild Spira under his design. Another will set the foundation for future events. There was one to set the stage for last chapter's battle. However, there were more reasons. The one relevant to this rant I'm on actually started with my last story. When Shuyin became an unsent and went about destroying the world, he eventually made the move to draw more power and cast his influence on the Farplane. This move succeeded and Shuyin was capable of manipulating everything, controlling the Aeons, restarting the age old war on Spira, and most impressive of all, forcing his will on the core of the planet itself to have it reshape and reform to aid in its own destruction. Yu Yevon was witness to this and, what with his own goal for control having been foiled, this was inspiration he'd been waiting for. The shortcoming of Yu Yevon's Yevon faith was that it required absolute faith in a transparent lie. Once generations began to see how its teachings failed in practice, especially integral pawns like the fayth, Yevon fell apart. That wouldn't happen with Shuyin's move, but he lacked ambition in Yu Yevon's mind. However, he underestimated again. While he had great ambition to control, he had no understanding of the cost. In the last story, while Shuyin succeeded in taking control, he nearly lost himself to them when he tried to take them all with force. A few circumstances pushed him far enough to maintain his own consciousness while wearing himself thin snaring them all, the most relevant here being his history. For one thousand years, he'd been seeing nothing but the suffering Spira's populace, soaking it all up and driving him insane. From a shallow viewpoint, his insanity looks to show he was weak. However, he was driven insane because he couldn't cope with just how powerless people were in choosing their own fate. Despite his fanatical endgame, his motivations were compatible to anyone else of that time and he was able to unite them to himself. This plays into future events, as well. x) Yu Yevon had spent years estranged from his people, being repulsed by the technology they coveted. He had to force himself on them, pulling them into his new Sin with his gravity magic, but that only brought back the same old issue. If they didn't want to help him, Yu Yevon would have to keep hold of them himself. One thousand years of the dead his Sin murdered in the Farplane and all of the lost souls in Zanarkand that sacrificed themselves to his lies and all of them now a part of this new Sin, that's not what he wants. Adding further to that, the very core of his new Sin was another powerful being that rejected him. Throughout the course of the final battle, he was losing his influence on them and, worse yet, they may have ended up influencing him instead. Why would Yu Yevon, of his own volition, want the people that defeated him before back inside where they could have the chance to beat him again? With Vegnagun destroyed, the Celsius had not the engines to maintain its shields. Once they failed, he could have had Sin tear it apart just as it did with the other machina in the sky or it could have used Exa Graviton again.

This "Living Farplane" is also, itself, a foreshadowing of future events, but I would just like to delve into its relation to Shuyin as I just did for Yu Yevon. That line of his where he speaks in both perspectives is meant to illustrate that relationship. Akin to Yu Yevon being the antagonist of the Farplane, having been responsible for taking many of the lives that dwell within it, Shuyin is their epitome. As he watched the many that died during the Age of Sin, he became linked to them through his own death and, consequently, acted as their avatar. Accordingly, Shuyin's final actions were not completely his own, but he shared in the objective of Spira's people. This is also why I had the fayth take him as their summoner, not that he could ever be their summoner, but that all of them were united and, as the Farplane's consciousness grew, that unity became stronger. *This contrasts my portrayal of the Spira of the past. Unity, The Illusion from my last story anyone? ^.~* This is also why Larea's Magus Sisters ended up being the final Aeon to fall and the means by which Shuyin was able to defeat Lenne. It also motivated Anima's late and short appearance as she would only be unified with the others onceSeymourwas put to rest, which wasn't very long ago. Larea would have the most to draw on, Fayth following, and correspondingly,Seymour's mother would have the least. The same contrast is then drawn with Yu Yevon having control of Sin, Lenne, and her Aeons, then losing each one in succession until all he had left were those closest to his thrall, the Final Aeons he corrupted as a parasite. Once they fell, his defeat drew closer as he continued to claw at the power that was leaving his side.

I also said that I had wanted Shuyin to have his revenge on Yu Yevon this story, but really, that all started when I read somewhere about the stray pyrefly before Yuna sent the Yu Yevon parasite in X. The prevailing theory was that that one pyrefly showed Yu Yevon escaped being sent, which meant he could always return one day. Of course, back then I had always thought it was representative of his being sent, as he lost himself when he became a parasite so it stood to reason the only thing that remained of Yu Yevon himself was that one pyrefly and the rest was a mindless parasite. However, another theory popped in my head after considering this other theory and I thought about what was discussed back in Chapter 45, how the parts of Shuyin that did end up in the Farplane became Chappu. I thought about how, parasite or not, they were still Yu Yevon's pyreflies. If they were sent, they'd lose themselves to the Farplane and be reconstituted in the future, but if Yu Yevon's consciousness could escape, that could be enough to recollect those pyreflies. I wagered the stray pyrefly was Yu Yevon's salvation and it then moved into the Farplane, rebuilt himself as an unsent, then during Shuyin's rampage, he drew on it and ended up needing more power to control the pyreflies. He sought Shuyin's friends to become fayth in order to "save Shuyin and Lenne". Of course, he only wanted Lenne, but he knew they'd never agree to it unless they could bring back both. With Lenne as Sin's core, her own siren's voice being capable of manipulation, Yu Yevon thought he had what he needed.

Now, the following comment would have had a bigger impact had I been able to present it several years back when author akksgurl was still about. =x Lenne's words to Shuyin are from the Evanescence song, My Last Breath. Akksgurl and I had had a writing challenge of sorts going whereby we'd try to incorporate lines from one of their songs into the story. =p I had My Tourniquet and My Immortal back in Eternal Love.

Of course, there's more. After all, there was that one sphere that accounted one of Lenne's meetings with Yu Yevon, which only explains in part why Lenne was so important to him, another detail that featured in my last story. There'sKirin's part and, of course, that discussion they had about how each of the current cast of characters is related in some way to my cast of Eternal Love characters. This idea, by the way, also places in future events. xD On that note, there's also just what "future events" I'm referring to. *Yes, it's to do with Exigo. =p haboo and Rinnie, you get a cookie. Just one. Now fight each other for it! kukuku*

Honestly, it's due to all these commentaries that can be drawn from Spira that drew me to it so many years ago. In my opinion, no other Final Fantasy has come close. Of course, the events in the game itself don't illustrate it so vividly, which I believe to be the reason why many fans still consider VII or VIII to be better, but I think there's not much to consider about VII unless you draw from its now established link to X and even less so for VIII.