A/N- …I have no excuse. You may pelt rotten fruit at me. My only reason is that my muses for FFX had abandoned me for a while, and my Kingdom Hearts muses ruled. But, I, along with my other friend, who's story's initials are "WT" are planning on finishing our stories before the year's over. I planned for five chapters throughout the summer…but I apologize. So much has happened, and I haven't been able to properly work on this. LUCKLY (for me, at least), this was, by far the hardest chapter. I hope you don't mind how many places they (the two main heroes of this and last chapter) zip through. Because…they do. And I don't care what you say.
However, many, many, MANY, thanks to all my reviewers (without you, this story…would be updated a hell of a lot slower. Or never. :D), but defiantly for this chapter, I have to dedicate it to abbyjenna because without her, I still wouldn't have started this chapter.
And, if you enjoy Harry Potter, hope you enjoy the last book! My deal with my main muse was that I couldn't read it, unless I finished this chapter. So, I'm hoping to get it tonight.
Oh, forgot to add. I've edited chapters 1-6. Hope they're better now, and I plan to continue my edit. :D
Anyway, expect the next chapter a lot sooner. I'm going to beat myself up, trying to get another out in two weeks, but I will try.
Chapter 39 – Oh the Places We Will Go
You know the old saying, time flies when you're having fun? Well…okay. I suppose it's pretty true. All the maps in the game wouldn't be able to truly encompass Luca. Think of the biggest city in the country you live, may that be New York City, or some place equally as large—or larger. Than, times it by about 1.5. There. You have Luca.
They had shops of all kinds! Sports shops (only blitzball, to be honest), clothing (which was…truthfully, quite bland, unless you wanted to spend huge amounts of gil. But when we passed those shops, I walked faster, and Auron held onto the money tighter), and other types of places, such as bars, dance clubs, some Spiran form of pizza shops and seriously a lot more.
But, after a week of Luca, despite all of Chris's warning how exciting it could/would be, Auron became restless.
"We should be leaving here," he said, as I enjoyed a cup of ice cream. Well, at least I think it was ice cream. For all I know, it could've been poison. "The next temple is some ways away, and I haven't been capturing any fiends…"
Rolling my eyes, I sighed. "You just want to get away from them, don't you?" I pointed my spoon over my shoulder, to a pack of girls (and a guy), who'd been following us around, ever since someone at the bliztball dome has recognized us a few days back. Well, technically, they were only following Auron (and truthfully? If I wasn't with him, I would be following him as well!). As if answering my question, he sighed, and lowered his head into his hands.
Ha. I bet that those kids wouldn't like him half as much if they knew how old he really was! …Don't look at me like that!
A few hours later, we had packed up, and headed off to the Mi'ihen Highroad. Our stay in Luca was dull-er than imagined, but Mi'ihen would probably be worse. We'd spend at least two days here, seeing as it takes one to get to the Travel Agency…
"No." Auron spoke aloud for the first time since we'd last seen his small group of fan girls (and guy), throwing gifts at him from the stairs from Luca. "We should try and finish the Highroad today. It's not worth wasting another night." With that said, he pressed onward, shouldering his sword, and striking down every fiend in his path (and accidentally chopping a child's blitzball in half. The kid scowled at us, but Auron's eyebrow raise was enough for the kid to leave).
I sighed, and rushed up behind him. "You don't want to do this, huh?" He raised his eyebrow, turning down to look at me. "You seem as if you'd rather spend a day with…" I trailed off, glancing back to Luca with a shudder. They were creepy, no matter what you think!
Auron gave a good natured sigh, before putting a hand on my shoulder. "No, but we should press onward. This Highroad has nothing to offer us, and we have another immediately after." When a giant yellow bird rushed by, he shuddered, but continued. "At worse, I can carry you, if you are too tired to continue."
Blinking, I looked after the bird. "Can't we just ride a Chocobo?" His grip on his katana tightened considerably. "Think about it!" I grinned, and began jogging after the chocobo lady. He began walking at a faster pace, which, much to my annoyance, was the same as my jog. "If we do, we can get to Djose a lot faster, and probably to the Travel Agency at Djose by tomorrow morning!" Auron grimaced, and glanced after the bird lady, who had already arrived at the end of the road, and was turning the corner for the Travel Agency, which would take us hours.
"Oh, come on," I offered, grinning. "I'll race you to the Travel Agency!" Auron's eyes widened every so slightly, and he shook his head, before expelling a loud breath.
"Brie, while you do know that I have captured each fiend here," about six times over, he forgot to add. Every night throughout the week, he would leave me, and capture fiends. "But, running? Wouldn't it simply be wiser to walk…?"
He might've continued speaking, but I began to run, grinning the entire way. And even if he wasn't going to run with me, at least I could get a chocobo and turn around and pick him back up, right?
"I still cannot believe you passed out like that," Auron muttered under his breath, as we arrived to the Travel Agency. "You could've waited for me. You could've stopped running. But now, we'll have to rest, for you to regain your strength."
I bit the inside of my cheek in annoyance. Okay, sure, maybe I was weak, but he didn't have to make it to obvious, by hefting me over his shoulder so we could continue walking. "No! You yourself said that we have to make it to the other Highroad by tomorrow morning, which will be here in probably…five or six hours. Therefore, you have to drive the chocobo."
He raised his eyebrow. "One does not drive a chocobo, Brie."
"You know what I mean!"
As we approached the chocobo lady, she gave us a strange glance, before smiling. "Hi! Sir Auron, Lady Brie. Would you like to rent a chocobo…or perhaps spend a night?" She added after Auron had placed me on the ground, and I'd tripped over my own feet from exhaustion. I have no idea why in the world the Fayth had picked me. If they'd seen me in gym, they would have definitely picked someone else.
Auron shook his head, and, with an added grimaced, climbed onto the chocobo, before reaching down for my hand. I grabbed his hand, and he pulled me up, so I was seating in front of him. "We'll be alright."
"How much for the ride?" I asked, reaching into my bag and grabbing the pouch of gil. I think it was around a hundred gil, or so…
But, she shook her head, and explained that rides for anyone in Yuna's guardian party would be free. With that, Auron somehow got the chocobo to move, and we were off!
"I hate these things," he muttered under his breath, as I leaned against him. I seriously didn't know the Mi'ihen Highroad was that long. Sure, I'd walked it before, but that was when I was talking with the entire group. Now, it was just Auron (no matter how cool of a person he may be), but he wasn't very talkative…well, he was. Just when he wanted to be.
"Why?" I offered, hoping we could actually have a conversation.
"Jecht…" and he trailed off, with an extra shudder. Blinking, I shuddered as well, not really wanting to know what the heck had happened. "Those documents…"
"What?" I jumped, startled. It certainly wasn't my fault that I was beginning to nod off. It was pretty late at night, anyway.
Auron shook his head (at me? Hopefully not), before continuing. "Chloe, Argul, Gabriel…Charon. If they, we are actually their reincarnations, then why, if you look like Lady Chloe, I like Argul, why doesn't Tidus look like Gabriel? Is he not part of this whole… group? And who was reincarnated as Charon? And, if he actually was, why hasn't he come after us?" He paused for a moment, as if trying to recollect his thoughts. "Certainly Seymour can't be it."
I'd been thinking the same things myself, but it was interesting to hear them spoken aloud by someone else. "And why's this?"
"First off, Seymour's not out for a person. His entire goal was to rule Spira, and hoped to control Sin by marrying…" Auron trailed off, leaving me to think for a second.
'Seymour can't be it. Even in the actually game, Seymour wanted to be a part of Sin to save Spira, in his own twisted world.' I shook my head, sighing, and resting my head against Auron once again.
"Tired?" He questioned, glancing out to the road. I turned my head, watching the sun's final rays stretch across the land.
I decided to ignore his question, and continued on with his original intent. "True, he wants to rule Spira, but that's only because, in his sick mind, he believes that he would be saving it. But…how do we know someone isn't pulling his strings?"
"Excuse me?" Auron raised his eyebrow. I shrugged, and closed my eyes.
"Think about it, Auron! Abyss is all but stalking you, and you know she can't be working for Seymour." Auron shot me a look that read, Why not? "Because, people like that just don't. It's a fact." Auron gave me a strange look as I continued. "And, if anyone even remembers, the Guardians? My - our, guardians. Jiva, Iru, Rajei. They knew someone was out, that someone was trying to find us. But…maybe they know. Maybe…we can ask them."
I rubbed my eyes, as I tried to complete my thoughts but it really wasn't working. Eventually, after five or so minutes of hearing me talking about how everyone bishonen needed his fan girls, Auron realized I was babbling, and let me fall off to sleep.
'Her reasoning is right,' he thought, setting up the tent, while his sword, staked into the ground, stood by Brie as she rested. With the chocobo given back to the owner at the other end of the Highroad, Auron surveying the lands, looking for an ideal place to let them to rest. 'But what is the use? I can probably use this night to capture more fiends, she can pray at the temple tomorrow, and we can leave by tomorrow night.' Rubbing his face, he nodded, and decided that said action would be a lot easily.
Half growling to himself, he undid the tent he'd barely started, and lifted Brie, carrying her easily as he pushed onward, glad that fiends were a lot more active in the day than at night.
When Auron was at the half way mark for the Travel Agency, he rested, glancing over to the water as the first trickles of day were approaching. Even so, he wasn't nearly as tired as he would've expected. 'Training,' he thought to himself, allowing himself a quiet, but dry chuckle. 'Training at all hours of the day must've made me like this."
He glanced over to the girl with whom he'd been traveling and exhaled deeply, before picking her up again, and pressing onward. He was going to have to tell her eventually… But surely, since she knew so much about this world, would know that Tidus, a dream, would have to fade…
As Auron approached the Travel Agency, dawn broke over the horizon. After rummaging through her backpack, he pulled out the sack of gil, and paid for a room. He ignored the wide eyed stares he was receiving from the employees, and rested her onto the bed, leaving her items next to her, and instructions for her at the desk. After that, Auron left the Travel Agency, his katana resting on his shoulder, and worry marks etched on his forehead.
He was going to have to tell her someday, that he, too, would fade away. He just didn't want to, not yet. Allowing one, even as young as her, to live in a dream, was nice, but when it broke away, it would probably leave her at less than what she was before… If she cared for him as truly as she said she did.
He shrugged, as basilisk slithered from around a stone column. It was easily to allow her to live in a dream, than to mope in despair, he reasoned, as he readied himself for battle.
When I woke up, the midmorning sun was beating in through the window. I scowled, and hugged the pillow tighter, and pulled the blanket over my head. Sheesh. Couldn't someone be considerate and shut the damn window…?
Shooting up into a sitting position, I looked around, and after leaping off the bed, and looking outside, I confirmed that I was in the Djose Travel Agency. But…how?
Leaving my things in the room I awoke in, I began searching around the Travel Agency for Auron, only to find that him, and all traces of him, were absolutely gone. With a sigh, I made to return to my room, when the manager…person (could've been. Maybe I was completely and utterly wrong with my judgment), approached me with a smile.
"Lady Brie?" I blinked in response; I'd just woken up an hour or so ago. I seriously hope he didn't expect me to be at my best. "It's lovely to see you up. Sir Auron had dropped you off, and left, some hours ago, but left both us and you instructions at the desk. Would you like some breakfast before or after you learn of these instructions?"
I blinked again. How much had Auron paid these guys? Seriously. 99.9 of Rin's Travel Agencies never served food, and I don't believe that this one was the exception. With a shrug, I asked for some toast and water, and within seconds, another person rushed up to give me said food. I blinked for the third time with a grin; I could get used to this.
Munching on my toast and following the manager guy, I arrived at the front desk. The lady behind the desk handed me a piece of paper, and, after a smiled and offered thanks, I quickly returned to my room.
…This toast needed butter…
Shaking my head, I quickly opened the letter, and, with a smile, noticed Auron's hand writing.
Hopefully, you don't mind being left there by yourself. And even if you didn't, it's a bit too late. Following your advice, I transported you to the Travel Agency, and left, in order to collect the fiends for this idiotic quest.
Try, if you awaken in time, to visit the temple. If possible, we'll try to leave by tonight. Seeing as the fiends out here are weaker, and you would've had time to rest. When I return, I'll drop by the temple to see if you're out. Either way, stop by the inn before even thinking about scouting the roads, looking for me.
In fact, don't think of that at all.
See you soon."
And after that, he hadn't even signed by, but the hand writing was so obviously him, that it made me smile widely. With a sigh, I quickly donned my shoes, and walked to the temple, though making sure to leave my things in the room.
Entering the temple, I almost smiled, half expecting Isaaru or his guardians to come walking down the stairs or something of the sort. Traveling through all these temples again, without Yuna, was a bit unnerving (especially seeing as the monks looked as if they wanted to whack me upside the head, exclaiming that, even though I was supposedly the messiah, I couldn't just waltz into the temples! I wasn't a summoner!), but with a deep sigh, I climbed the stairs, and headed into the temple.
I hate the cloister of trials. But I'm sure you remember my ranting and raving, so I'll spare you the details.
However, I was practically electrocuted from the same reason as before, thanks to me not thinking when handing the "super-charged sphere". I loathe myself at times.
With a shake of my head, and the sleeve of my shirt torn off to create a makeshift bandage for my hand, I approached the done, kneeled in front of it, and mumbled the hymn of fayth under my breath. A few moments later, a man appeared sitting, before turning to face me, standing, and reciting his little speech. This time, I was ready, and pulled out a piece of paper and pencil, and began to copy him word for word.
"For a long time, we had forgotten how to go forward. You reminded us we must go forward. Yes, we must run. Let us go, you who share our dreaming. Come, and we will run till the dream's end." He gave a nod to me, and a sadden smile, before disappearing.
Blinking, I sat onto the floor, resting my head in my hands and thinking. If this fayth was all knowing, then was that some form of suggestion that Tidus was a dream, and was going to disappear when this was all over? But I already knew that…but they couldn't be talking about Auron, could they? The worst that could happen to him was that he would be sent… It had to be my insane imagination running away with my fears.
Shaking my head and reaching down to collect the items that appeared after the fayth disappeared (unfortunately, it was only one piece of paper. I half wished to read it, but I remembered the last bit was in my bag, unread), my mind instantly thought about Tidus. How had he been doing, anyway? Sure, I wanted to spend as much time with Auron, but Tidus was a big brother figure to me. I would be just as sad if he were to disappear as if Auron did.
'What…if they both disappeared?' My eyes widened at the thought, my body pausing as it reached down to grab the items from the treasure chest, before shaking my head. I may be paranoid, but that was pushing it.
I collected the items, and quickly rushed out of the cloisters, leaving all my paranoid and negative thoughts behind.
As I arrived outside, I heard a priest speaking softly to someone, whose retreating shadow looked a lot like… "Auron!"
Auron turned, before giving a small smile. He nodded thanks to the priest, before walking up to the cloisters stairs. "You ready?" I gave him a nod, and we headed off for the Travel Agency.
"How long –?" I started, but he cut me off before I could continue.
"Two or so days. Are you prepared to hike up the Moonflow?" He gave me a questioning look. "I would leave you here, but in order to do that, I would have to cross the Moonflow three or so times." I gave him a smile, but nodded.
"I'm fine, but are you?" When he raised his eyebrow, I added, "You've hauled me into the Travel Agency a few days ago, and you've been fighting fiends ever since. Are you sure you don't need to rest?"
He gave me a smile, before patting my head. "I'm an ex-warrior monk. Long days are nothing." When I narrowed my eyes, he smirked, before adding, "And I've had plenty of rest waiting for you to return."
Smiling in return, I was about to head into the Agency, before he put a hand on my shoulder. "I have your bag. Are you ready?" Spinning around, I sighed. Auron was always a step ahead of me. I nodded, and we headed down the path of the Moonflow.
The fiends on the Moonflow were easier than expected, seeing as they were still as strong as they were when we first traveled by. Meaning, they were pretty dang weak now. The only fiend Auron actually couldn't take down in one hit was the Ochu.
"Thanks for that, by the way," Auron nodding in my direction, as I was leaning out the cabin to get a better look at the sunken city beneath the Moonflow Wakka had spoken about before. I gave a grin in response.
"You're welcome," I said, sitting back down in my seat. It was a pretty interesting sight. Auron hadn't wanted me to interfere with the battles, so he would be able to capture the fiends, but when he became poisoned, I helped out, ignoring his protests.
The shoopuf driving was looking warily at the water; I wouldn't blame him. After what happened last time we were here, one would be wary of fiends (or Al Bhed's), trying to kidnap innocent bystanders.
Auron gave me a look, shaking his head at the driver, and I smiled in return. Times like this…they were nice, just the two of us. "So, what's next?"
Giving a sigh, Auron leaned back in the seat he was occupying, and exhaled. "Quick stop in Guadosalam, only to walk to the Thunder Plains…" At the mention of Guadosalam, Auron closed his eyes and sighed. "Then we rest at the Thunder Plains. After a night there, we travel to Macalania, stop in the temple and such. After that, Bevelle."
"Haven't we already stopped in the temple?" I inquired, leaning forward in my chair. "So we can regroup with Tidus and the others faster?" A minute passed, and Auron hadn't responded. "Auron?"
"I can understand if you didn't wish to but…" He let the word hang, and he glanced out to the Moonflow.
"Auron?" I repeated, standing up to sit next to him.
"Would you mind…exploring the city?" He asked finally. When I was about to answer, "Sure!" he continued. "I want to show you my home. Or what might be left of it."
I blinked, realizing that what he asked probably would've been a difficult question, but I nodded anyway. "Sure. I wouldn't mind at all." He offered me a smile, just as the Hypello announced that the shooopuf would be arriving at the shore in a few minutes. "Oh, curious… You don't want to stop in the Farpla—"
"No." Auron answered bluntly, looking back to the water. I tilted my head; I could understand before why he wouldn't want to, being an unsent and all…but he'd assured me that he wasn't. "Even though I'm…alive," the way he said the word "alive" made me feel nervous, but I let it pass, "I still don't want to go into there. There are things I'd…rather not see."
"Okay," I responded, as we both stood up to unboard the shoopuf. "So, onto the Thunder Plains, huh?"
As we boarded the lift, he nodded, and I gulped. I may not be Rikku, but the Thunder Plains still scared the living daylights out of me.
Even with the images of the Guado men and women glaring at us as we quickly shuffled through Guadosalam (I continuously heard whispers about "Seymour's wife?" and "Sir Auron?" You wouldn't believe how quickly Auron managed to get us out. Being smarter than me, Auron quickly guided me away from the item's shop, informing me that, if the residents of the town did not wish to deal with us, we shouldn't aggravate them more), I almost wished to go back there, once I stepped into the Thunder Plains.
"I hate this place," I mumbled under my breath, almost jumping when another flash of lighting struck. I whimpered, clinging to Auron tighter as he raised his eyebrow and looked down to me.
"Brie, why don't you head on to the Travel Agency and book us a room? I'll show up in an hour or so." Auron offered, trying to pry me from his sword arm. I violently shook my head.
"But what if you need help?" I attempted, the grin I was giving him twitching considerably when the roar of thunder boomed nearby. Auron shook his head, before succeeding in prying me off, and held my shoulders to ensure I wouldn't cling to him again.
"Go. I'll be on in an hour or so. According to this list the zookeeper left us, there are only eight fiends here, all which can be taken out with a hit." Auron sighed, and patted my shoulder. "I'll be fine."
Nodding, I turned to leave, before looking back with a frown. "You're not mad at me, are you?" He raised his eyebrow, and I continued. "Seeing as you'd always be alone than anywhere near me. Seeing as we're going to fight Sin soon, we might die a horrible and bloody death, and my last moments with you might be that you truly hated me forever and ever an-." I was cut off with a chuckle, in which I responded with a glare. "I'm not trying to be funny!"
"Neither was I," Auron shook his head, before giving my shoulder a squeeze, a one arm hug, if you will. "I promise I'll be there in an hour or so, alright?"
I gave a sigh, but headed off to the Travel Agency, leaving Auron to his fiends.
Auron struck down an Iron Giant, before wiping his forehead, trying to rid himself of the never ending supply of water, thanks to the rain. A little over the promised time, but he was done with the accursed fiends. How could he had known that qactuars, not be confused with their desert counterparts, cactaurs, were so difficult to find? With shake of his head, he began walking back to the Travel Agency, seeing as his fiend attacks had taken him to the outskirts of Macalania. It was probably better to allow her to rest in an inn, instead of the ground right outside of the Thunder Plains…
With a smirk, he recalled that they guardian party had the same predicament with Rikku…how many months ago was that? Back when Brie accepting the proposal to Seymour's wedding request had been nothing…
Auron shook his head, and, for the strangest reason, recalled something Lulu had said, just outside the Thunder Plains. About how staying both too close and too far from the lightning towers could cause one to be hit by lightning. But somehow, Tidus would get hit, or, by chance would jump away.
Just as Auron shook his head at the improbability of being hit by lighting, a bolt of lighting struck him down, powerful enough to knock him out.
Twiddling one's thumbs, while interesting for the first hour or so, isn't very fun. Neither is pacing, or jumping in horror when a bolt of lightening would strike too close to the Agency. I sighed, and resigned myself to a seat in the front. It had been a half hour longer…perhaps Auron got lost or something?
"…really a shame, we sent a team out there to help him…"
I jumped up, blinking. "Wait, help who?"
A random passerby (so random, in fact, that they don't get a name), gave a sigh. "Lady Brie, correct?" I nodded, and she pointed to the part of the Thunder Plains, where Macalania met them. "Sir Auron has been struck down by lightening about a mile or so away…oh, but wait!"
Already half way out of the door, Pendragon in half, I turned to face her, "Yes?"
She grimaced, before continuing. "As I was saying, a team had been sent out to help him… My husband tried to lift him alone, but simply too heavy…"
Although I wasn't trying to be rude, I simply ignored the rest of what she was saying, before spiriting out of the door, and down the path, only to find that the men had already arrived. One, though, asked if I could carry his sword, seeing as both his weight and the sword made him nearly impossible to handle. I nodded, grabbing his sword with…a lot of difficulty (that thing is insanely heavy!), and I lead the men into the room that I had for Auron and I.
After they had left, I sighed, wanting nothing else but to collapse onto the bed as well, but I realize that Auron could possibly get sick if he was stuck in wet clothing… I looked left, then right, and then declared to myself I had to do this, I unlatched his coat (which is seriously no easy task. That task itself took ten minutes), and then his shirt, and obviously his boots. I frowned, realizing that there was nothing to dry him with, so I snatched a towel from the bathroom, and did so.
Hee. What? Get your minds out of the gutter!
After he was all dry (and after I cleaned up a burn mark on his back –what had he been doing? Waving his sword in the air, hoping to attract lightening?), and all his clothing spread across chairs so it could dry, I gave an exhausted sigh, before collapsing onto the floor. I couldn't really take up the bed. A sick, wet Auron inhabited it. Although this really hadn't stopped me before, I decided to stick to the floor, and curled up, exhaling deeply.
My last conscious thought was, 'I just hope he finished fiend hunting…'
Auron awoke, wincing at the sharp pain brought about from the burn on his back. Shaking his head and trying to ignore it, he sat up, taking in his surroundings. 'I didn't start out here…what happened?' A suddenly flashback of the lightening strike made him sigh, realizing that fighting with a large sword in the middle of a never ending lightening storm was probably more idiotic than not…
Brie's last words flashed through his head, and he all but jumped out of bed, almost stepping on the poor girl. Said person mumbled something else in her sleep, before turning over. Auron spent a total of fifteen seconds staring at her, before picking her up and gently placing her on the bed. "We've slept in the same bed before," Auron spoke softly to himself, not wanting to wake her. 'Why would she sleep on the floor…?'
Another glance showed him that she had laid his clothing out to dry, and he shook his head with a tired smile, before climbing back into bed, to prepare for the journey that they would venture in Macalania.
After hiking through the Thunder Plains (Auron and I fought together, seeing as he's captured the monsters already. He took great care to stay away from lightening this time, however), we arrived in Macalania, and I couldn't keep the smile off my face. No matter how cold the air was, or what had happened here, I still loved this place. The crystallize feel of the surroundings always made me grin.
However, when Auron started talking about splitting up again, I frowned, and turned on him.
"Brie, before you even start, there is no lightening here. According to this list of fiends," Auron pulled out the list from his coat pocket, "I should be able to handle them easily. I have plenty of potions, and you can handle yourself. Is there a problem?"
I slouched, realizing he had gotten me on every account. "No…it's just…" He chuckled, patting my head; I resisted scowling as I pulled his arm off me. "Bye then…" He raised his eyebrow as I turned, stalking off.
After a few moments, I heard footprints behind me, and turned around to see Auron towering over me. Well, not towering. But standing over me, at the very least. "Be careful," he said, leaning down to kiss my forehead. I felt my face head up as he continued. "I'm sure I would not be the only person upset if you were hurt."
I nodded, and quickly headed up the shimmering path, seriously glad for the tree coverings of the Macalania forest, so he couldn't see my blush all too well.
Fiends, as Auron had stated, were fairly easy. While it was still difficult as anything to heal and protect myself, I realized I'd become strong enough to take down a few of the fiends with one hit. And when I say a few, I mean…like two of them. But if I faced Chimera, for example, I sprinted away, hoping they wouldn't follow me. Luckily, they didn't. …Most of them, anyway.
As I passed the area where we'd fought the Spherimorph, I half wanted to go in, and just…I don't know. Simply see if anyone had left any other spheres behind, most likely. Reason caught up with me before I could head in, and I quickly passed by it, with a frown on my face.
I arrived at the Travel Agency a little past dark, and it took quite an effort to actually arrive there. Seeing as the ice was slippery, and fiends were still amuck, I ended up falling into the door, cursing my own klutziness.
The lady behind the desk laughed at my expensive, but helped me up anyway. After paying for a room and depositing my items there (save for my potions), the lady behind the desk raised her eyebrow as I started heading out of the door again. "Where are you going this late at night?"
I blinked, turning back around with a shrug. "The temple. I want to arrive there today so Au—my party and I can be gone from Macalania by tomorrow, or so." She nodded, before holding a hand up, and quickly speaking into the phone she was on.
"Well," she began, putting down the phone, "A young gentleman says he's heading over to the temple's general area; if you wish, he offered to drop you off at the temple." My eyes widened, and I nodded eagerly. You have no idea how difficult it is, trying to walk, on ice, in the dark."
After waiting a few moments, a young man, in which I could tell, was Al Bhed (from the trade mark goggles that hung around his neck. Then again, he may not be, and just was wearing them for who knows what reason), gave me a smile, before cocking his head. "This her?" The lady at the front desk nodded, and he approached me with a smile. "Ed'c hela du saad oui! Hysa'c Tadan, yht E cehlanmo ruba oui yht E kad ymuhk famm! (It's nice to meet you! Name's Tadan, and I sincerely hope you and I get along well!)"
I blinked at him. Okay, when I first arrived here…who knew how many months ago, Al Bhed was a second language to me. Now, all I got was "well," "I," and "you." Noticing my blank stare, the man tried again. "Name's Tadan… Hope we get along well!" I nodded, feeling slightly idiotic, but glad that he spoke English as well as Al Bhed.
Or Spiran. Whatever.
After shaking hands, we headed outside, and he quickly headed to the back of the Travel Agency. "Well, this is her," he spoke with an air of pride. I raised my eyebrow, and quickly hurried after him. My quick, however, was insanely slow, seeing as I was trying to not slip on the ice. When I finally got there, the soft humming I'd been hearing for a few minutes proved my suspicions about his heritage true.
"Her," I repeated, as I climbed behind him on his snow bike. As he adjusted the goggles, he gave me simply advice, such as to hang on to him, and to not keep my eyes widened and look around.
Resisting rolling my eyes, I did what he told me, and we were off to the temple.
I have no idea what happened to Tadan, but I entered the temple, and, thanks to the lack of activity there (Seymour was the head priest, but after the third time we fought him, he'd…disappeared), I quickly headed into the temple, and through the Cloister of Trials (cause you don't have to solve them until later!). Almost running (and almost slipping), I headed down to the Chamber of the Fayth, and kneeled down, praying and humming the hum of the fayth.
The woman who had appeared for me before when I prayed, showed up, and spoke her words. Seeing as this was the one area in the game that I remember revisiting the temples, I mouthed the words as she spoke. "Should the dreaming end, you too will disappear--Fade into Spira's sea, Spira's sky. But do not weep, nor rise in anger. Even we were once human. That is why we must dream. Let us summon a sea in a new dream world. A new sea for you to swim." She almost disappeared, before turning back to me, tilting her head. "Lady…?" I blinked, seeing as none of the other fayth acted like I was there.
"Um…yes?" She smiled down to me, and I stood up from kneeling. No matter how rude I may seem, there was a certain amount of time I could kneel on my knees.
"The man with you, the man you prayed about last time…" She trailed off, and I assumed she was going to ask where he was. Or if he was dead, but that's not nearly a pleasant question as the former.
"Auron? He's…capturing fiends…?" I blinked, realizing, for someone trapped in a fayth for a millennia, would they even understand what I was talking about?
Answering my question, she nodded (or she just did so anyway), and continued. "You should be wary of him. Not all is what you may think."
Blinking, I raised my eyebrow, and stepped closer. "Do you mean the fact that he's unsent? But he's not; he assured me that he wasn't!" She shook her head.
"It is not my place to tell you. Ask him, and when the time is right, he shall tell you." She gave me a sad smile, and, before I could continue questioning her, she disappeared into pyre flies, leaving about three or so papers resting on the floor. I knelt down, picking up the pieces, and realized that these papers weren't in the same writing as the ones before. The hand writing looked like a neater version of …mine?
Momentarily ignoring Auron's advice, I flipped through the three of them, realizing that they were all written by the girl, Chloe. Whatever she'd been writing about, the last one had been scribbled in a way that seemed as if she had been running away from danger when they were written. Giving into temptations, I began reading them…
I should've realized Charon's plans from the start. Argul's affection must've clouded my vision from clear thought, and now we're caught in this mess. The deal with the fiends has been taken care of, but…father. Father's dead. Father's long dead, and Charon's this…monster. I have no idea what he's done. Has he bargained with the fiends for a body that is undying? Whatever this means, Argul is in serious danger, so brother, Argul and I have fled for our lives. But…the true question is…
What does Charon want with m—
I gave a small scream, and clutched the papers to my chest, spinning around and producing Pendragon with my other hand. Exhaling deeply when I saw the person, I sighed, and stuffed the papers into my pocket. "Tadan…how did you get in here?"
Tadan entered the Chamber, raising his eyebrow as I quickly collected the items from the chests. "Lady—"
"Brie," I cut in, realizing I should just learned to deal with this. But I would never, anyway. He blinked, but continued.
"Lady Brie, then." He shrugged, giving me a boyish smile, despite the fact that he had to be at least 17 or older. "Well, I dropped you off a day ago, and I dropped by the Travel Agency a little while ago, wanting to see if you'd stopped there…since you hadn't, I stopped by here again, wondering if you were alright." He gave a laugh that was full of pure mirth before shaking his head. "Seems like this temple wasn't thought through very well. I walked right into here."
I gave a small laugh, and, grabbing his arm, lead him out. His jaw dropped, and I shrugged. "Sorry about this. I guess they don't warn people that the trial comes after the Chamber." Tadan chuckled nervously, and ran a hand through his shoulder length blond hair.
"I'm glad I met you here…" I blinked, and he quickly added, "Thanks to you, I'll be able to get out…right?"
I nodded, and handed him my bag. "I'll do the trial, if you can drive me back to the Travel Agency." He nodded, and I headed down the ramp to begin the Macalania's Cloister of Trials.
"She'll back soon, Sir Auron," the lady at the front desk sighed, as Auron questioned her for the third time in an hour. "Please, don't worry so much."
Auron said nothing as he resigned himself to a chair, with a sigh. 'Don't worry? Sorry, that's my job. Especially with a…,' he paused, unsure of how to word his relationship with Brie. A shake of his head later, he shook his head, and sighed once more, just as the headlights of a snow bike pulled up next to the Travel Agency.
"…still can't believe you tripped on the ice, Brie. That must've taken some skill…" There was a scoff, and a replying voice, only confirming the name Auron heard in the first part. Standing to his feet (and trying to not seem so…nervous), he quickly headed out the door, half wondering to himself, 'And who was the male voice talking to her?'
When he approached outside, he saw Brie and some…tall, lanky blond (who could've easily been mistaken for Tidus, except this boy's hair was longer), who was wearing goggles around his neck (signifying the Al Bhed heritage), and seemed to be standing much too close to Brie. Schooling his face so it didn't match the emotions he felt, he spoke. "Brie?"
I glanced over to the door of the Travel Agency, noting Auron standing there. Even from where I was standing, I could tell something was wrong with him; his entire posture was tense, and he had an edge to his voice. I wonder what from?
Giving him a small wave, I turned back to Tadan, giving a slight hug. "Thanks for helping me out." I smiled up to him, and he nodded.
"No problem." He beamed down to me, as Auron walked up. "Is he the person you're traveling with?" When I nodded, Tadan held a hand out to Auron. "It's very nice to meet you, Sir Auron."
Auron raised an eyebrow, but shook the offered hand, nonetheless. "May I inquire…how do you two know each other?" Tadan gave a grin and a shrug.
"I just dropped her off at the temple, and drove her back here. Haven't known her for more than a day or so, Sir Auron." Auron nodded, seeming to accept that answer. Tadan turned back to me with a smile. "If you ever need help, drop by here. Then again, you might find me else ware. But she," he jerked his thumb to the Agency, "would know where I am." I nodded, about to thank him again, when he leaned down and kissed my cheek. "Hope to see you around!"
With a wave, he climbed aboard his snow bike, and with an extra nod, he drove down the bank of snow, and off into the distance.
"So," I headed back into the Agency, smiling to the lady at the desk, who smiled in return, and headed to the room. "onto Bevelle?"
I grabbed my pack, put the papers together in order (however, I seriously hope I can convince Auron to read them. Just a glimpse from Chloe's texts make me want to read the earlier ones), and turned to face Auron, who hadn't moved from his spot in front of the door. "Or…would you rather spend the night here? In case you need to res-"
"Who is he, Brie?" Auron gave me an interrogating stare, as I glanced up to him. "And why did you offer to go with him?"
I gave him a confused look, before shaking my head, and heading to the door. "Auron, it was nothing! Sheesh." I made to move past him, in order to leave, but he wasn't budging. "Auron, shouldn't we be heading to Bevelle…?"
"Who is he?" Auron repeated, raising an eyebrow. "Is there a reason for not telling me?" I blinked, before walking up to him, and feeling his forehead.
"Are you alright? Maybe the weather has gotten to you, quick change of temperature can to that!" When I grinned up to him, and his face didn't change in expression, I sighed. "Auron, it was pitch black when I stopped by here. The lady at the front desk said that he was passing through the area of the temple, and I accepted a ride with him. Why are you so worried?" While I was talking, Auron simply sighed, and sat down, resting his head in his hands. Remembering what the Fayth had said to me, I questioned him. "Is there something you're not telling me?"
"No." I raised my eyebrow in suspicion; he had answered me too quickly. "Brie, do you recall that I had to tell you something, but…" he exhaled softly, "but I couldn't tell you at the time." I nodded intently, and he sighed slightly. "Brie that is more than likely what the Fayth are telling you." He looked up to me, his eyes showing his true age. "I promise, I will tell you the truth. But please. Don't force the answer out of me just yet."
I nodded in response, before kneeling next to him on the bed, and hugged him tightly. He leaned back onto me, closing his eyes in exhaustion. I smiled in response, and closed my eyes as well.
We left a few hours later, Auron barely speaking, and the lady at the desk blinking at the changes she noticed in both Auron and I. I smiled to her, and she wished us on our way.
However, about two hours (and three stops) after that, I stopped in awe, eyes wide, and jaw dropped. Auron raised his eyebrow at me, as he took the gil pouch out of my possession again. "You've been here. What's so surprising about it?"
"But…but!" I exclaimed. Even though I thought Luca to be the equivalent of New York (or some large city), Bevelle took the cake, with it's citizens walking along the streets, giving passing glances at the vendors that were perched on the edges of the main streets. Auron shook his head at the large amount of people walking on the streets, and grabbed my arm tightly. I glanced up to him, and his only response was to lead me (meaning dragging me) down the street, to a less populated area of town.
"Where…?" I questioned, and he sighed softly, releasing my arm, and walking up to a single home. The entire area could've been a dump, but this house looked the worst. Overgrown, and with traces of a fire (though, the fire must've been too small, or at least not big enough to harm the house too much), and while it didn't reek of ashes, it looked horrid. My memory came back to me, just as Auron answered my question.
I blinked, and did the only thing I could do; putting a hand on his arm, and muttered a soft, "I'm sorry," before turning away. Auron caught me before I could go too far, however.
"Where do you think you're going?" He asked, with a slight touch of humor in his voice. I shrugged him off, and gave him a questioning look.
"Don't you want to …" I stopped, searching for the right word. "Be alone with your thoughts?" Auron chuckled softly, shaking his head, and surveying the home once again. He put a hand one of the walls, before turning his head back to me.
"Brie, my true home was the Bevelle temple. I only lived here for the first six years of my life." I blinked in response. Okay… and? Wouldn't that just mean he went to the church at an insanely young age? "My father…" he stopped, shaking his head. "Well, you can probably guess what kind of person he was. Seeing as …people like Seymour are related to me…" He gave a final glance to the house, before sighing again. "I was hoping for evidence of my brother. Younger…" Auron closed his eyes, as if trying to remember something. "Last I saw him, I was fifteen, he was about six or seven. But, I guess he wouldn't be around here."
Giving a dry chuckle, he held his arm out for me, in which I grabbed his hand, the sheer size and maturity of him, as always, making me feel younger than ever. "And besides, Brie." He smiled down to me, as we began to walk away. Auron didn't turn to look at his house again. "Why would I be foolish enough to allow you to venture into a city the size of Bevelle…alone?"
Although I agreed with him, I scowled; my eyes lit up at the kind gesture (or…so I though), of what he was doing.
"So, we have the Calm Lands, Mt. Gagazet, and Zanarkand fiends left to take care of," Auron was currently laying on a bed, checking off the places of fiends we had covered. After seeing his home, we checked into a pretty fancy hotel (inn), seeing as Auron had accumulated plenty of gil from his fiends capturing.
I was sitting on a chair beside the desk, stacking the papers of, so far, Gabriel's and Chloe's story together. "Yeah…but why haven't we seen Lulu, Brandon, Kimahri, or Wakka? We've stopped in all the places they were."
Auron nodded, turning to face me. "Well, why I don't truly know, I'm partially glad we didn't bump into Brandon. One teenager is quite enough, thanks." I narrowed my eyes, resisting the urge to chuck the pencil I was holding at him. I still needed it, thank-you-very-much. "The others were more than likely busy themselves…although, I could've sworn I saw someone dodging lightning in the Thunder Plains, and I would bet I heard Lulu scolding someone in Macalania…"
My eyes turned into slits as I narrowed them even further. Placing the papers onto the desk, I stood, and towered over where Auron was laying. He glanced up to me from behind his papers with an all knowing smirk, and I gave a sigh of annoyance. Flopping down onto the bed, I leaned back, resting against the pillows. Auron shifted into a sitting position, and his smirk turned into a smile. "You miss Tidus?"
"Is it that obvious?" I questioned, another sigh emerging from my lips. Sure, being alone with Auron was nice (…and not like that. Sheesh!), but still, it'll been almost two months since I'd seen Tidus. I really did miss him.
Auron nodded in response, and I rolled onto my stomach to face him. "You think, when Sin is defeated, we can go back and revisit all the places? You, Tidus and I?" Auron's face, while not all that smiling in the first place, fell, and his eyes became downcast. "I think brother should meet Tadan…they look similar… And he has to meet Chris! And we have to inform Chris that shopping in Bevelle is thirty times better than Luca. I'm sure it'll be fun." I paused, when, after all my babbling, Auron still hadn't responded. "Auron?"
Suddenly, he was next to me, tilting my head up, staring me in the eyes. I blinked, an uncertain feeling rushing through me, when Auron spoke. "I love you." I nodded in response, but he shook his head. "No… response to that. Please." A request, I realized, not a question.
"Um…" I felt my face heat up, but with Auron's hand on my chin, I couldn't really look away or anything. "I love you too…" He released me, and nodded solemnly, with an almost sigh. I tugged on his arm. "I wasn't done. If you were to go anywhere, and leave me behind… I'd be lost." I grinned up to him, hugging his back. "But let's not talk about that. We're going to see brother tomorrow. Shouldn't we be well rested, or else they may think things?"
Auron opened his mouth to response, but closed it, with a chuckle. "Yes, I suppose so."
After five minutes of getting ready, I climbed into bed, almost falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Auron, however, stayed up, seemingly trying to write something down, but every time he'd start, he would crumple the paper up and through it away. I almost asked him what he was doing, but I nodded off to sleep right before I worked up the nerve.