Chapter 34

Lyrics from "Calling" by Kyosuke Himuro from the FFVII: Advent Children soundtrack

"You sure about this?" Cloud asked.

Vincent nodded. He had never been more sure about anything in his life. "Yeah. It's time for me to start over."

He, Ellone, and the rest of his friends from the world that had once been his were standing by the docks in Fisherman's Horizon, three weeks after the Serpent Queen's defeat. The late summer sun shone brightly overhead in a clear, early afternoon sky, and it felt good. This entire place felt good, he thought. And so did he, for the first time he could remember.

With the demons and their Queen destroyed in both worlds by Holy and the cleansed lifestream, the dark shadow of recent weeks was gone. Repairs had been made to the airships and the Gardens, wounds had been mended, and all that remained was for Cloud and the rest to return home. Except, Vincent thought, for him. He was home.

Beside him, Ellone smiled. "Don't worry, we'll keep in touch."

"You'd better!" Tifa teased, hugging her. "And take good care of Vincent, will you?"

"I will," Ellone laughed.

Vincent was certain of that. He would miss his friends, of course, but with the new modifications Cid had made to the Shera with Iseldra's help, the massive airship could make the jump between worlds with less of a strain on the vessel's power and propulsion systems than before, and the same adjustments had also been made to the other airships as well.

So far it seemed to have worked, as Rufus and the Turks had returned to their own world an hour ago aboard the Condor, the only surviving airship from the WRO attack force that had been led by the Valiant. It would be some time before live interworld communication was possible, but this was a beginning. Of what, Vincent wasn't sure, but it would be interesting to find out.

Yuffie, standing with Barret and Red on the ramp leading into the Shera's cargo bay, grinned and winked at him. "Just be sure to invite us to the wedding, you two!"

"Wha…?" Vincent blinked.

Ellone's cheeks flamed crimson. "Oh, um, we will…"

"Speaking of which," Tifa said, "Squall and Rinoa's is next month. So we'll see you then! And you have to come see us when I have my baby."

"We wouldn't miss it," Ellone promised.

Cid chuckled. "Gonna be one helluva party! 'Bout time, too!"

"Damn straight!" Barret added. "Been waitin' to be a godfather for who knows how damn long. Thought I was gonna be a grandpa first."

Yuffie suddenly collapsed in helpless gales of laughter, chuckling so hard as she doubled over that tears leaked from her eyes. She had to grasp the side of the ramp to steady herself, and even then it was at least a minute or two before she managed to compose herself. She kept giggling in spite of herself, and Vincent wondered if she was going to have another fit. She didn't, but she didn't stop, either.

"The hell's so funny, squirt?" Barret growled.

"Just imagining you as a grandpa!" Yuffie giggled helplessly. "You'd be a crotchety old geezer, that's for sure!"

Barret raised his metal fist. "I'd still be able to kick your scrawny ass any damn day!"

"Only if I let you! Grandpa!"

"Aw, hell…" Barret muttered, shaking his head. "I ain't livin' this down, am I?"

Tifa patted his shoulder encouragingly and smiled. "Nope. But I think you'll be a wonderful grandpa someday."

"Not you, too!"

"Sucker," Cid snickered.

Barret glared at him. "Ain't you s'posed to be gettin' this bucket ready to go?"

"I will, just as soon as I finish my smoke. A man's gotta have his priorities. And don't call my baby a bucket, 'less you plan on stayin' here."

"Yeah, yeah…" Barret muttered.

So it went for a few more minutes, Vincent saying little as was his custom while his friends bantered amiably around him. He would miss it, of course, even if he didn't take part it in all that much himself. There were some things, he thought, that did not change even if others did. But it was alright. He had grown accustomed to choosing his words carefully, and his friends to his quietness. It would be odd, not being there with them anymore, not being able to listen to them chat and tease each other as they so often did.

Ellone smiled knowingly at him. "You miss them already, don't you?"

"You know me well," Vincent admitted.

"So tell them. It's not like we can just drive down the road to see them anymore. We won't be able to call them, either. Not that you ever used your phone much."

Vincent shrugged. "Yuffie kept calling me."

"I can imagine," Ellone chuckled. "But you'll miss that, too, I think."

"Maybe. I can live without it."

Ellone nodded. "Yeah. Anyway, everyone's already said their goodbyes to Squall and the others. So all that's left is us."

"Right," Vincent sighed. "Better get it over with."

It was harder than he thought. How did one do this? It wasn't as though he hadn't been away from them for long periods of time, because he had. But Ellone had been right. He couldn't just stop by anymore if he wanted to visit. It was more difficult now, and as yet phone signals couldn't travel between worlds.

It would be a relief not to have to put up with Yuffie's incessant yammering, but at the same time, Vincent didn't like the idea of being cut off from her and the others so completely. As much as he valued his solitude, there were times that he wanted more to be with his friends, even if he rarely said so to them. Yet to be with Ellone, it was a price he would pay gladly.

"Yuffie," he said, figuring he'd start with her. "Try and stay out of trouble."

Barret rolled his eyes. "Hopeless, if ya ask me."

"Hey!" Yuffie glared at him. "I can be good! It's not like I still steal materia or anything. Most of the time, anyway. I'll be an angel, Water God's honor!"

"Eh, she'll only last a day," Cid said.

Barret looked at him. "I say she won't even last that long."

"I say that's a bet. Fifty gil?"

"A hundred says she lasts two," Cloud chimed in. "She'll try for Vincent's sake, but that'll only hold her back for so long."

"What?" Yuffie sputtered. "Oh, that's it! Two hundred says I can!"

Cid grinned. "You're on, squirt!"

"Hah! So, uh… exactly how long are we talking, here? A week, maybe?"

"A month," Cloud said.

Yuffie's eyes widened and she looked as though she were about to choke. "W-What? I mean… a whole month? You're holdin' me to this for that long?"

"You could always pay us now," Cloud shrugged. "It's up to you."

"So if I don't screw anything up for a month, I get two hundred from each of you. But if I do, um… accidentally… get in trouble…"

Cid finished for her. "You cough up two hundred for each of us."

"Fine! But I'll be the one laughing next month when I win the bet! Just you wait and see! My dad's not even gonna know who I am, I'll be so good!"

"Keep dreamin', runt," Barret snickered.

Taking a final puff on his cigarette, Cid tossed it to the ground and rubbed it out with his boot. "Alright, folks, it's about that time."

"Cid," Vincent said, "My regards to your wife."

"Thanks. I'll tell her. Just as long as you two stop by for tea whenever you swing back our way. She don't get to entertain company that often, you know."

Vincent nodded. "Right. We will."

"I look forward to meeting her," Ellone added.

"She'll like you just fine, miss," Cid grinned. "Anyhow, I gotta get this baby ready to roll. Man, it's been one helluva party, ain't it?"

With that, the crusty pilot ambled up the ramp and into the ship, followed by Yuffie, who was already starting to look a little green. Vincent wasn't at all surprised. But he would still miss her, just as he would miss the rest of them.

After exchanging farewells with Red and Barret, who soon followed Cid and Yuffie inside, Vincent turned to Reeve. He was with Shelke, for Iseldra and her son were already on board. Vincent understood the ice maiden's hesitation to join them, even if he felt it unwarranted. Still, it wasn't for him to say anything of it.

"Reeve, do me a favor," Vincent said.

The other man nodded. "Of course. What is it?"

"Look after Shelke. And be watchful of Rufus. I don't trust him. Keep us informed of what's going on over there."

"I'll do that. Good luck, Vincent."

Reeve shook his hand, hugged Ellone, and then headed inside. Shelke lingered for a moment, however. "Lucrecia would be happy for you, Vincent Valentine. As I am."

"I know," Vincent agreed.

And then she, too, was gone, smiling softly and slipping away into the ship. That left only Cloud and Tifa. Cloud held out his hand. "I guess this is it."

Vincent shook it. "Yeah. Watch out for everyone, Cloud."

"I always do," Cloud grinned.

"And that's why we all love you," Tifa teased gently, slipping an arm around Cloud's waist and smirking at him. "Even if you are a head case."

Vincent nodded to her. "Take care, Tifa."

"You too, Vincent," she replied, letting go of Cloud for a moment to hug first Vincent and then Ellone. "Both of you."

"We will," Ellone smiled.

As Tifa and Cloud hurried on board and the ramp closed behind them, the Shera's engines roared to life, kicking up a light breeze that ruffled the sleeves of Vincent's black button-down shirt and the hem of Ellone's white skirt. Vincent watched as the airship rose gracefully into the air and headed west. He and Ellone watched until the Shera was only a tiny dot on the horizon. For a moment, the vessel seemed to stretch, and then there was a brilliant flash of white light as the Shera flew through the sky as though fired from a giant slingshot.

A second later, both the light and the Shera were gone.


Edea smiled as the door to her room in the infirmary slid open and Laguna ambled inside. He grinned. "Just wanted to check on you two ladies before I head home."

"We're doing just fine," Edea replied. "Both of us."

As she spoke, she looked down at the baby cradled in her arms. Her daughter blinked and stared back at her in rapt fascination. She was still small, but she was no longer confined to the incubator, no longer beyond her mother's reach. Her breathing was strong and regular, and she was as fully developed as any healthy newborn could be.

Laguna's eyes danced. "She's just so cute! The doc was tellin' me how much better she's been doing, and it's so cool to see her out and about like this, you know? I'm happy for ya, Edea. And for Sariese, too. I hope you'll come visit sometime."

"Of course we will," Edea agreed. "As long as you do the same."

"Sure! I love kiddies, you know?"

Edea laughed. She knew, alright. "Yes. Would you like to hold her?"

"Really?" Laguna was dumbfounded.

"Yes. Here, like this."

Carefully, Edea handed Sariese to him, showing him how to hold her so her head was up. Laguna took the baby gently and started lightly tickling her tummy. Sariese giggled a little but found more interest in his index finger, grabbing it with her hand and staring at it intently. Laguna's giddy mood seemed to evaporate for a moment as he held her, and his expression grew wistful. "I wish I could have been there when Squall was this age…"

"You did what had to be done, Laguna," Edea assured him. "No one blames you."

"I'm his father, Edea. I should have been there."

Edea laid a hand on his shoulder. "You're with him now. And he does care about you, even if he doesn't quite know how to say it."

"Neither do I," Laguna sighed. "We've never really talked about it, you know?"

"It will come in time," Edea assured him.

Laguna gently handed Sariese back to her. "I hope so."


Sara blinked as the morning sun peeped in through the windows and spilled across the blue and white patterned comforter. A sound like a buzzsaw filled the air, and she turned in bed to see Zell lying on his back beside her, still out and snoring contentedly. Her mind still foggy with sleep, Sara rubbed her eyes and tried to wake up. Normally she didn't sleep late, but she and Zell were on vacation. With summer terms cancelled due to the recent crisis, everyone was being given leave until early fall and the new semester.

Naturally, Zell had wanted to go back to his hometown of Balamb for a while, and Sara didn't mind at all. They had left not long after she had said goodbye to Yuffie, Barret, and the rest of her friends from the other world. That had been just a few days ago. Balamb Garden was still stationed in Fisherman's Horizon along with the Ragnarok, although Galbadia Garden and the Illumina had left just before Sara and Zell did.

It felt good just to relax and wind down after the events of the past couple months. Sara had never been to Balamb before this, but the quaint seaside town felt more like home than Galbadia ever had. She could see why Zell loved it so much. He had taken her to meet his mother the first night they were here, and Sara had been surprised at how warmly she had been received despite the fact that Sara had chosen not to hide who she was.

"Oh, yes, I recognize the name," Ma Dincht had said, "but that doesn't mean anything. You're not your father, Sara. I can see that clear as day."

Sara had told them both that night about her decision to transfer to Balamb Garden, to be here, rather than ask Zell move to Galbadia with her. Zell had protested at first, saying he didn't mind, but Sara had explained that Galbadia was her past, not her future. Balamb was. And him. Zell had finally relented, although Sara knew he was more glad about it than he let on. And, she thought, so was Ma.

A particularly loud snore from Zell scattered Sara's thoughts like leaves in the wind and brought her fully awake. She drove an elbow into his ribs and he flinched, snorted, and turned on his side. His snoring diminished, although it didn't go away entirely. But it had lessened enough that Sara felt it wouldn't drive her mad. Zell was practically dead to the world when asleep, although Sara had to admit he had good reason to be worn out. They had made love almost all night until finally falling asleep at almost four in the morning.

Instead of staying at Zell's place, they were in a suite in the Balamb Hotel. Sara loved the view of the ocean from the balcony, and she slept like a baby in the soft king-sized bed she shared with Zell. There was a jacuzzi tub and a kitchenette, both of which they had used recently in more ways than one. And the walks down the beach at night were wonderfully romantic.

Sara turned, the sheets slipping down to reveal her bare, freckled shoulders, and shook Zell. At first he just ignored her, mumbling something and pulling the covers tighter to himself. But after Sara shook him a few more times and called his name, he finally blinked his eyes open and turned over to face her. "Yeah, yeah, I'm up…"

"Hey," Sara leaned close and kissed him. "Good morning, handsome."

"Mornin', beautiful. You just wake up?"

Sara slid her fingers along the side of his face, tracing the dark tattoo along the left side. "Yeah. I don't feel like getting out of bed yet, though. But I was thinking about going down to the beach later and working on my tan."

"Sounds good," Zell yawned. "Might go swimming, then."

"Hey, Zell…"

He looked at her. "Yeah?"

"It's probably nothing, but… I was thinking the other day about Rinoa, and how she said she can't feel her power anymore. Neither can Elle. But… I can still feel mine. Maybe because it's new, I don't know. I guess I'm just a little worried."

"Well, why dontcha just talk to Matron about it when we get back?"

Sara nodded. "Yeah, I think I will."

"She'll help ya," Zell assured her. "So don't worry about it, okay?"

"Okay. How about you? Are you alright? I mean, about Lily and all. It's only been a week since the memorial service for her and the others."

Zell took her hand in his. "I miss her, yeah. But I'll be okay."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. I've got you, remember? That's all I need."

Sara kissed him again. "You say the sweetest things sometimes, you know that?"

In answer, Zell pulled her to him, returning her kiss passionately. Sara's heart raced as a wave of heat suddenly swirled through her body. She rolled on top of Zell and kissed him more deeply as he slid his hands through the long strands of her blond hair and down her back to explore the soft curves of her body.

She and Zell didn't get out of bed until almost noon that day.


That same day in Fisherman's Horizon, Seifer sat with Quistis on one of the docks, his legs and hers dangling over the side. They each had a fishing pole, and although Quistis had expressed some doubts at first about whether she could do this very well, she had caught on more quickly than Seifer had expected. It was nice having her with him out here, enjoying one of his favorite hobbies together. Not that he'd ever caught much, but he still liked sitting out under the sun and watching the waves roll on by as his lure floated along in the water.

Suddenly there was a tug on Quistis' line. "Whoa! Seifer, help! I think I've got one!"

"Alright, Quis," Seifer reeled his own empty line in as fast as he could, tossed it on the dock, and stood up behind Quistis to help her pull hers in. "Here, like this."

He put his hands over hers and pulled on the fishing rod along with her, but the fish kept tugging hard on the line, more so than Seifer had thought. He couldn't see it, but judging from how much of a strain it was just to keep the fishing pole from flying out of his and Quistis' hands, the damn thing had to be big. Just his luck, as he hadn't caught so much as a minnow today. Raijin would laugh his head off when he found out.

"Damn, this sucker's strong," Seifer muttered.

"Not bad for my first day, don't you think?" Quistis teased.

Seifer smirked as he struggled to help her hold onto the pole. "You haven't caught it yet, Quis. Alright, together on three, got it? One, two, three!"

As he finished, Seifer gave a hard yank backwards on the fishing pole as Quistis did likewise. The line suddenly snapped as the fish pulled hard in the opposite direction at the exact same time, however, and Seifer and Quistis stumbled and fell on their backs on the dock, Quistis landing on top of Seifer as she did so. There was a loud splash as the fish jumped and swam away, Quistis' lure firmly in its mouth.

"Oh, blast it all," Quistis sighed, rolling off of him and sitting up.

Seifer chuckled as he sat up next to her. "Bit off a bit more than you could chew?"

"I didn't see you catching anything."

"Yeah, you got me there. I usually don't. I just like to try anyway."

Quistis laughed. "That does sound like you."

Seifer didn't get up right away, and neither did Quistis. It was nice, just sitting here with her. Even if she did have a way of knowing exactly how to deflate his ego whenever she wanted. Somehow, with her, it didn't really matter. Seifer shook his head, still wondering how he'd managed to fall for her of all people, and her for him.

"What is it?" Quistis wondered.

Seifer reached out and ran his hands through her rich blond hair, which spilled freely over her shoulders. He liked it better this way. "Nothin'. Just admiring the view."

"I'll bet," Quistis snickered.

Grinning, Seifer pulled her to him and kissed her. As usual, it was enough to drive everything else from his mind. For a while he and Quistis stayed like that, and Seifer supposed he could have sat here in a liplock with her all day and not worried about a thing. But he'd had enough of the docks for now, and not enough of her. Not by a long shot.

Seifer pulled away for a moment. "So, what do you think?"

"About what?"

"You and me, Quis. Us. I don't know about you, but… I haven't felt this good in a hell of a long time. Heh, looks like you brought me a little discipline and I made you a little rowdy. That's a pretty fair trade, don't you think?"

Quistis chuckled. "Maybe. But why don't we see how it goes?"

"Sounds good to me," Seifer agreed.

"Now that you're back in the Garden, it won't be a problem for us to see each other. I'm glad Matron got you reinstated."

Seifer nodded. "Me, too. Hell, it's home to me. Always has been."

"Well, then, welcome home, Seifer."

Reaching up to stroke his face, Quistis pulled her back to him. Seifer obliged, returning her kiss and sliding his arms around her. He'd forgotten all about fishing, and the huge fish that had gotten away. It didn't matter. There would always be others. He and Quistis would find them eventually. When they weren't finding each other, that was.

That day, they went home early.


Ellone had lingered on board the Garden with Vincent for another week after Cloud and the rest had returned to their own world, to their home. And while she enjoyed being able to visit with Squall and Rinoa and the rest, she too wanted to go home. Although she had only been away from Winhill for about two months, it seemed much longer. And she had come to a decision as well, one she shared now with Squall as she walked with him, Rinoa, and Vincent toward the western edge of town.

"I've been thinking about that job you offered me back before this all began," Ellone told Squall. "You know, about teaching the junior classmen?"

Squall nodded. "Yeah, I remember. What about it?"

"I'd like to do it, if the job's still available. Fall term starts in a month and a half, right? I could be ready by then. What do you say?"

"You're hired," Squall deadpanned.

Ellone laughed. "Hah! I see Rinoa's been helping you with your sense of humor! But I'm glad you agree. Still, I do have a request."

"What is it?"

"You still need a gunnery instructor, right? Irvine said he's still going through with the transfer to Trabia. He felt it was what Selphie would have wanted."

Squall shrugged. "Yeah, he was telling me about that. You have anyone in mind?"

"Well…" Ellone began.

"Oh," Squall sighed, looking over his shoulder at Vincent, who trailed a little behind them with Rinoa. "Him. Are you sure?"

Ellone nodded. "Yeah. We've talked about it. He wants to do it, actually."

"Really? Doesn't seem like him."

"Well, he's a little different now. And besides, do you really think you'll find anyone more qualified than him for the job?"

Squall smiled. "Touche. Alright, if he wants it, he can have it."

"Great!" Ellone hugged him. "We'll be back in time for your wedding, I promise. We'll stay afterward, since the term starts only two weeks after that."

"Sounds good. We'll see you then."

Ellone came to a stop as she and the others reached the town limits. Fisherman's Horizon was behind them, and the long, gray ribbon of the abandoned train bridge before them. A road ran along it on one side, wide enough to drive on. Vincent had wheeled the Blackbird up here as he had walked with the others—Tifa had lent it to him and Ellone for a while—and now he got on and waited patiently for Ellone to join him. It was time.

"Take care, you guys," Ellone said, smiling at Squall and Rinoa.

She hugged first Squall and then Rinoa, and then patted Angelo's head affectionately—Rinoa had decided to take her neatly groomed collie along with her for a walk. The dog panted in the heat but was obviously enjoying herself. She whimpered a little as Ellone moved away, but a doggie treat handed to her from Rinoa quickly cured her of her melancholy.

Getting on the motorcycle behind Vincent, Ellone—dressed for the road in blue jeans and a white sleeveless top—waved to her friends and held on as the Blackbird roared to life and sped off. Soon the town was falling away behind her and the road was long and empty ahead. Ellone didn't mind, though. She and Vincent weren't in any hurry. They were, after all, on vacation.

Nemurenu yoru wo ikutsu kazuetara ore-tachi tadoritsuku darou
Dore dake no inochi nakushita toki arasoi wa owaru no darou
Rekishi no ue wo korogaru dake no sukuenai doukeshi-tachi
Itsuka dareka ga itte ta you ni
Kotae wa kaze no naka


I wonder how many sleepless nights you have to count, before you find your way
After how many lives are lost, will the strife end?
Clowns that cannot be saved, just tumbling atop of history
Like someone said one day before
The answer is in the wind

She closed her eyes and let the wind whip through her short hair and ruffle the edges of her sleeveless blouse. Her hair hung loose and flew behind her as the motorcycle raced down the road like a streak of black and silver. The ocean, endless and blue, was a blur to her right, past the railing, and the empty train tracks slid past her on her left. Beyond them was the ocean again, stretching away to the south as far as she could see.

For hours they rode, trading off every so often. Sometimes Vincent would drive, and sometimes Ellone would. She loved it, loved being with him like this, just the two of them without a care in the world. She was alive, and she felt free. Every day was a gift, a treasure to be cherished. She had been given a second chance, and she meant to take it.

Somuketa kao wo ikutsu utaretara kizukanu furi yameru no ka
Dore hodo no kurushimi ni taetara egao wa jiyuu ni naru no ka
Sabita kusari ni tsungareta mama mata shippo wo maku no nara
Itsuka dareka ga itte ta you ni
Kotae wa kaze no naka


How many times does your face have to be hit as you turned it away, before you stop pretending you don't notice?
How much pain must you endure, before you smile freely?
If you're going to accept defeat again, still bound by rusted chains
Like someone said one day before
The answer is in the wind

As night fell, Ellone pulled the Blackbird to a stop beside one of the old travel stations that had been set up along the bridge every dozen or so miles. Nobody used them now, but they were still mostly intact. They were dry and warm and well-stocked, although Ellone and Vincent had brought plenty of their own supplies with them as well.

Ellone stood outside at the railing for a while and just watched the ocean and listened to the rolling of the surf and the crying of the seagulls soaring overhead. After a moment, Vincent joined her, and she leaned her head against his shoulder. They looked westward and watched as the sun slowly dipped beneath the horizon and cast glittering reflections upon the waves like a thousand sparkling diamonds.

Furishiboru koe to nigirishimeru sono te de
Unmei wa kitto kawaru toki wo matte iru
Chippoke-na ai no sasayaka-na chikara de
Kanashimi wa itsumo dakareru no wo matte iru


With your voice strained and your hands gripping tightly
Waiting for the time when your destiny is sure to change
With the faint power of a tiny love
Always waiting for your sadness to be embraced

When it was over and the sun had set, Ellone helped Vincent unload the bike and set up their things for the night. She and Vincent talked and ate and relaxed for a while, sitting comfortably next to each other and just enjoying each other's company. Then, as the evening wore on, Ellone leaned close to him and kissed him long and deep.

Vincent responded almost immediately, returning her kiss and holding her against him. Soon his hands were exploring her, and hers him, and before long they started undressing each other and tumbled into their blankets together. They made love until well after midnight, when they finally fell asleep exhausted in one another's arms.

Uso no pazuru wo narabekaeteru aware-na petenshi-tachi
Fukiyousa wo kiyou ni furumau oroka-na romanchisuto-tachi
Rekishi ga nanimo kataranaku naru sonna hi ga kuru yokan ni
Itsuka dareka ga itte ta you in
Kotae wa kaze no naka


Pitiful frauds working their puzzles of lies
Foolish romanticists who gracefully entertain with clumsiness
And the premonition of the coming of the day when history will tell you nothing
Like someone said one day before
The answer is in the wind

So it went for the next three days. Ellone and Vincent would drive from early in the morning until dusk, stopping now and again to eat and rest. At night they would stay at another of the old travel stations and listen to the waves rolling endlessly in the ocean outside. Ellone found it wonderfully soothing as she lay with Vincent together in the midst of their passion.

It was early on the fourth day that the grassy hills of southern Galbadia finally came into view ahead of them, and by the time the first stars began to come out, the Blackbird was racing off the old train bridge and onto the winding, paved road that ran through the region. Ellone's heart quickened. They were almost there.

Furishiboru koe to nigirishimeru sono te de
Unmei wa kitto kawaru toki wo matte iru
Chippoke-na ai no sasayaka-na chikara de
Kanashimi wa itsumo dakareru no wo matte iru


With your voice strained and your hands gripping tightly
Waiting for the time when your destiny is sure to change
With the faint power of a tiny love
Always waiting for your sadness to be embraced

It took another two days, during which time they camped out under the stars at night. There were no more travel stations, but Ellone didn't mind. This road didn't get much use anymore, and it felt as though she and Vincent were the only people in the world. She liked that feeling, and the sound of the wind whispering through the tall grass.

Finally, about a week after they had left Fisherman's Horizon, Ellone and Vincent reached their destination. It was just starting to get dark as Vincent brought the Blackbird to a stop for a moment on a low ridge overlooking the little town of Winhill. Ellone hadn't realized until then just how much she had missed the place. But she had. As the stars began to come out one by one, lights shone in the windows, a warm and welcoming yellow glow that reached out to the two weary travelers still on the road. Ellone could see her own small house, not so far away, empty for so long. But not now. Not anymore.

Ellone looked at Vincent and smiled. "We're home."