The Night Watch

The two guardians waited the night watch together, like they normally did. Silently, they stood vigil over their sleeping comrades. This was their only time alone, private. During the day, they were surrounded by the party, constantly involved in training and battles. Neither of them was able to talk to each other during the day, not only because of the great amount of effort it took to protect the summoner, but because if it was ever found out about the two of them, it would be frowned upon, and they would be distanced by the party. So they kept their meetings until late at night, when everyone else was asleep, and they had utter and complete privacy.

They had found these feelings for each other back in Guadosalam, after their first encounter with Seymour. What he did, what he said, had upset them both. His twisted proposal to Yuna was unnerving, and his blunt statement about Auron was uncalled for. The secret the Legendary Guardian had kept for so long put out there in the open. Auron's defenses had been shattered after that. The events at the Farplane had worsened things. He spent time alone with his thoughts, until the party came back, brining with them the spirit of Jyscal. He doubled over in pain as the call of the Farplane grew stronger. It took all of his strength to resist the sending Yuna performed. He then had to endure Yuna's talk of her father, immediately filling him with grief and guilt. That night, as he sat on his bed, the memories of the past were all drawn back. His angst filled thoughts were interrupted when he felt a presence enter his room. As he turned around, he was both surprised and comforted by the owner. Auron invited the other guardian to sit with him, and they spent the might that way, talking only when necessary. When morning came, as his guest stood to leave, Auron looked up, and with sincerity filling his voice, said "Thank you."

The pilgrimage continued as it did before, but something was different. The two guardians felt something, deep down. Ever since that night in Guadosalam, sitting in the dark, just to sit in silence, comforted by each other's presence. They both knew something had happened, but refused to act on it. They both played over that night in their minds, trying to figure out what it was that had happened to create these feelings, yet relishing the feeling that occurred every time they thought about it. It was a vicious circle. Then, it all changed, when it came time for the night shift.

It was a clear night on the Calm Lands, the stars shining so bright, it illuminated the lone guardian standing watch. Auron looked over his shoulder to see the silhouette, shadowed by the fire. By this time, everyone was fast asleep, and had been for a while. Slowly, he got up and made his way over to the shadowed figure. He was acknowledged with a nod. Together they stood in the silence, bringing them back to the time in Guadosalam. The warm wind rustled Auron's coat, and he realized how unseasonably warm a night it was. His tight leather chest plate stretched as he removed his coat, his skin tingling due to the temperature change. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the other guardian watching him. The other had seen Auron without his coat before, so why was he watching now? He felt his skin tingle again, and not because of the temperature. That feeling was coming back again; he had to do something…

"You should get some sleep, I'll take the watch."

"Kimahri not tired."

"We need to have you performing your best."

"Why not Auron sleep?"

"I… need time to think."

The ronso nodded, and headed back to the fire. Auron breathed a heavy sigh and ran his hand through his hair. Why was he feeling this? He couldn't understand it. As Auron was pondering over his inner turmoil, it was Kimahri's turn to look on at the distressed warrior from the light of the fire. Kimahri had always respected Auron, since the day he found him struggling down Mount Gagazet. Bleeding and delusional, he had crawled his way through the snow. The handsome man had been marred and disfigured, yet Kimarhi had seen determination in the young man's eye. From that day forward, he had never forgotten Auron, and had helped him up until he was sent to go to Yuna. Kimahri was certain he would never see the man again. When he had shown up in Luca though, things were different. Automatically, Kimahri knew that no man could live through wounds such as his, he must be an unsent. Strangely enough, though the thought of an unsent would frighten people, Kimahri was completely the opposite. He was enthralled that the man he respected so much was here, having defied death to battle Sin, again, and next to his last charge's daughter. Auron was a dedicated man, and this kind of compassion and reliability intrigued Kimahri.

As their journey continued, he was drawn to the older guardian, enchanted by his movements and logic. He knew that he was also respected and trusted by Auron, the fact that he was still by Yuna's side proved that. They talked every so often about tactics, fiends, different routes, but mostly about life. Late at night, when everyone else was asleep, when it was either of their turns for the night watch, as they exchanged shifts, they would have conversations. That was their bonding time, he liked to think. When they were at Guadosalam, Seymour had laid Auron out like a pack of cards, but thankfully the others were too blind to see it. The visit to the Farplane hadn't helped him much either. Kimahri couldn't stand to see the man he respected so much in such turmoil. Late that night, when they would usually change shifts, he went into Auron's room. As he sat on the bed opposite the other, he couldn't help but feel the pain and sorrow that exuded from Auron's slouched body and tired eyes. He didn't ask questions, he didn't say anything. He laid a hand on Auron's back, and together, they sat through the darkness.

It had been weeks since that night, but the memory was still vivid in Kimahri's mind. Deep inside, he felt that maybe this deep respect, this adoration for the Legendary Guardian, had somehow grown into something more. Something that made him want to stay up to take the night shift, just so that they could have their talk. He pulled out of his thoughts as he heard a heavy sigh from behind him. As he looked back, he saw Auron sitting down, leaning against a rock, looking at the stars that shone in the sky. He had taken off his glasses, his eye brightened by the light. He rested one arm on his bent knee, the other hung by his side.

Kimahri got up and walked over to the rock. Without saying anything, he lay down next to Auron, and rested his head in the other's lap. There was no exchange of words; they both knew what the other was thinking. Auron brought up his arm and rested it across Kimarhi's chest, stroking the soft fur that covered it. They stayed like that through the night, silent.