Chapter Fourteen: Falling Out of Paradise
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know.
But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
A castle of rocks, marble, and electricity stood quietly on the craggy surface. The air around it was so cold that it seemed that the sky itself would crack like ice. Night was starting to collapse around its great exterior, which rose up and up to the frozen sky. Sparks of shinning blue streaks of electricity illuminated the area, as the electricity ran through the floating rocks. The awakening shadows began to reach toward the structure form the corners, as they clawed their way hungrily across the walls.
All around the sky, it was losing it's magnificent shade of warm pink. The air grew pale and bloodless as a lone shadow stood before the towering construction of floating rocks. The stillness that settled now across the area was deep as the blackness beginning to swallow up the shadow's heart. The sudden glimmer of electricity lit up the shadow's appearance. A pair of chocolate eyes burned like hot coals taken off of a roaring fire.
Walking forward with purpose, those burning eyes glared at the entrance of Djose Temple. Hands pushing on the door, he blinked a few times to get adjusted to warmly lit area. Machina littered the floor as eyes scanned the room. An Al Bhed man looked up from his clipboard and smiled at the visitor. "How can I help you, sir?" the man asked politely as he took a step forward.
The visitor just smiled and lightly touched the metal gun that rested inside the visitor's formal priest jacket. "I can think of one way you can help me," the visitor replied in a smooth voice as he slowly took out his gun.
"Beautiful…" she murmured, as she leaned against a strong shoulder. A calloused hand ran up and down her back as she stared at the last remains of the sunset. "Thanks for showing me, Gippal," she added as she allowed herself to shiver softly as his lips lightly touched her cheek.
Gippal grunted in response as he moved his lips toward the curve of her neck. Rikku subconsciously ran her hand through his golden hair; she failed to hear the soft footsteps, as the sky became a darker shade of navy. "G-Gippal, we have a guest that wants to see you," a voice stammered. Gippal and Rikku jerked their heads toward the voice and saw a shaking Al Bhed. Rubbing his nose, Gippal gave a questioning look as to 'who' this guest is. "The visitor is-" A furious BANG filled the soft and silent air like a knife cutting across the sky.
The Al Bhed's eyes widened with shock as the body fell face front on the ground. As the body collapsed, Gippal caught a flash of white and already knew who it was. "Me. Long time no see, Gippal…Rikku," the Praetor of New Yevon snarled in disgust as he reached their names. Rikku cringed behind Gippal, and Leader of the Machina Faction winced slightly.
"Hey 'Lai…how's everything?" Gippal cleared his throat as he watched the Praetor of New Yevon walk towards them. "'Lai?" the Al Bhed asked softly as the olive-skinned man stopped when he reached about two arm lengths away from the two. Biting his lip he felt Rikku shake nervously from behind. He knows…but how?
"How's everything? Everything is just grand. Spira scowls at me, I lost a lot of respect in New Yevon, and to top that off," Baralai frowned as he looked at the dark sky before going on. "The one I truly love and cherish went behind my back for you, Gippal," Baralai growled as he looked at Rikku with madness in his eyes.
"'Lai…please try to understand -"
"Understand? I already understand, everyone is betraying me because of their own selfish causes!"
"'Lai! Listen to yourself! You went on with that crazy man Seymour for your own selfish causes!"
Baralai remained silent as that statement stung him. Seymour…somehow Seymour didn't seem so insane and horrible now. Gippal was the crazy one, Seymour was just misunderstood. Soft and suave words ran through his mind, "Cleanse Spira, Baralai. Just lift the gun and pull the trigger…do it." Baralai's eyes widened, that voice…it was him. A warm feeling ran though his body, help me Seymour…I was wrong about you.
"What holds you, 'Lai?" whispered Gippal. "Our love? Our want and need? That is too strong, our love, to call back one such as you. I expected you to hide like a coward," he spat at the praetor viciously as he grew tired of Baralai showing up at the wrong time and place.
"Love is a shadowy and mysterious sensation. Just like hate. They are both energies that bind us to life. Just like vines…but vines always ensnare the life out of others. Now I truly know why Shuyin possessed me in Underground Bevelle. He saw… He saw how I was destined like him. We both lost something that we love, and we struggled to get it back. They faded away…together. Will I also fade away with Rikku? Or will I be alone once again?" Baralai replied softly. Seymour's voice whispered softly in his mind once more, "You were never alone…you had me."
A cold shiver ran through Baralai's back, I'm going crazy. Lifting his gun toward Gippal, he pushed away the thought of being crazy and gave an innocent smile. "You should know, Gippal, I never miss an open opportunity," Baralai laughed as the gun shifted so that it pointed at the Al Bhed's neck. "To bad this will have to end this way."
Gippal quickly drew his own gun out and winced slightly as he expected a bullet to suddenly pierce him. Nothing happened. Baralai didn't shoot; he just waited silently with the metal gun still pointing at him. Taking in a deep breath he took aim and spoke in a pained but tense voice, "I know 'Lai. We'll just have to wait to see who drops first, right?"
Cracking noises filled the frozen air. Smoke drifted lazily toward the sky from both guns. The two young men stared at each other with hatred as they struggled to not show their pain or any signs of getting shot. Slowly Gippal felt his body sag as he collapsed on his knees. Clutching his arm, he watched his clothing become soaked with warm blood. "You missed 'Lai? I thought you were aiming at my neck!" Gippal laughed nervously as he stared at his arm. No response came, just the sound of something soft hitting the ground. "Oh god…that means that I…" Gippal whispered hoarsely as he jerked his head up.
The once standing Baralai was now on the floor, face first. His snow-white hair was now sprinkled with dirt. Gippal blinked a few times in disbelief as he crawled slowly toward his silent companion. "'Lai?" Gippal croaked as reached the praetor's side. Lightly shaking the man, he received no response but just the howling of the wind. "Why did you miss?" Gippal whispered into Baralai's left ear as he felt tears beginning to form. He heard Rikku give out a scream in horror as she realized that Baralai was no longer living. Gippal watched his true-love faint in shock as the clouds rumbled in anger.
The clouds began to cry softly as it splashed on Gippal's face like a rough slap. As he looked down at Baralai he noticed a finger twitch. Shaking his head in surprise, Gippal leaned down to see if he was right. The same hand lunged at Gippal and wrapped around the Al Bhed's revealed neck. "I never miss an open opportunity, Gippal," the praetor growled as he lifted his dirty face to stare at Gippal.
Baralai watched with content as he felt Al Bhed's pulse quicken with fear, as his face began to turn a deep shade of scarlet. Soon the pulse began to slow down like a train that was about to reach the station. Sitting up to get a better view, Baralai was about to flash an innocent smile when a dagger-like feeling pierced his stomach for the fourth time. Releasing his grip on Gippal to clutch and grope his stomach, he moved his hands back to see red blood. Slowly getting up, Baralai allowed the rain to wash away the blood on his hands.
Glaring at Gippal from above, he gave a swift kick to the ribs and was satisfied when a sickening crunch accompanied the thunder. Something about making Gippal squirm made this all too enjoyable. Turning his head away, Baralai threw up a batch full of warm blood. Feeling his heart frantically race around and his mind screaming in his ears, he quickly turned to the Al Bhed.
Leaning down to meet the AL Bhed's groaning form; Baralai moved his lips toward Gippal's ear. His lips grazed Gippal's ear as he spoke out in a deadly voice, "When she –," Baralai quickly turned to the left again to heave out more of life's warm and salty nectar, " – gives birth….I will take him/her away when he/her reaches the age of one. If you even attempt to stop me…than I will not miss your lovely neck, as I did this time." Baralai growled softly when he drew back from the frightened blonde.
Pity surged through the Praetor of New Yevon as he saw this expression. Stumbling away from the area and back toward Bevelle, Gippal stared at the bloody floor with guilt. "I actually shot him at a vital spot while he just shot my arm," Gippal whispered softly as the sky thundered once more with anger. His thoughts traveled toward Rikku and this 'birth' of a child, 'Lai's child. "It's just a lie…just a hoax," he murmured.
"I'm sorry 'Lai. I guess we won't be flying on one ship as planned…but two. I no longer have a navigator to lead me on the right path and you don't have an engineer to fix and turn your troubles into laughter. I guess we both lost…but you lost more. Like you said before…you might fade alone while I will not. I guess this all started when I listened to Cid and allowed my temptations and anger to consume me. Now we will both pay… We threw away our friendship, so will next time be our lives?" Gippal whispered as the rain pattered on the ground.
Deep inside the Djose Temple, soft singing filled the area. Bright pieces of passing fragments littered the area like a contagious disease. The fragments multiplied as the singing grew louder and darker. Each note became full of sorrow and rage. For when the pyreflies danced there was sure to be death.
A/N: Well that is that, but man do I have another better, sweeter, and so on sequel for you loyal readers. But before I do so, I will like to thank everyone for reading my story. You guys motivate me to write on and become better. I see that this story is rated M and I hardly placed anything that involves maturity...so I'm going to right more chapters that might burn your virgin eyes. So the title of the sequel is 'Nightmare in the Den' yes it is from the Piano Collection for Final Fantasy X-2 but it is a truely fitting title for the sequel. So keep your eyes peeled for the story! So here is a spoiler of what you will find in the chapters...so this paragraph may or might not be in chapter one but on a different one. So once again, enjoy!
"It stared with the findings of a secret...that lead into a lifetime of lies," he whispered softlyto the cold, dark, mysterious clouds of space. The city glowed softly like a growing candle but only to flicker slightly when the wind came by. The young man beside him laughed softly as he ruffled his snowy-white hair that matched the color of the cracked bones before them. The sound of soft music filled the air as the golden earring dangled and clashed with each piece. The earring was just a simple symbol of Yevon as two smaller symbols hanged by it. The smaller symbols represented the rebirth of spirits while that large one represented the essence of life itself. "Is it possible that this is all true?" he countinued as he stared off at the dark sky as shooting stars flamed out across the heavens.
'Nightmare in the Den' coming soon to stories near you...