A Generation of Legacies
The steps to the cliff brought a wave of ocean air. The smell of the water and the freshness of the air washed over him. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sensations. The sounds of the crashing waves in the distance filled the background, but the sounds of the people talking and children playing caused a smile to grow on his face and look down on the beach.
A family had gathered for the day on one of the remote beaches of Besaid. They had been there since early morning, but he had been kept away until now. He hadn't bothered returning home to change, and he still wore his guardian uniform.
He had grown somewhat in the past few years. He now stood taller than his father, and his sandy brown hair had been trimmed so it wouldn't go past his eyes. He wore a clean shaven face which balanced the years of experience his gray eyes reflected.
"Look! It's Daddy! Hi, Daddy!" a small figure called out from below.
Koiray smiled and waved, making his way from the cliff and walking out onto the beach. A small boy ran out to meet him, and Koiray easily scooped him up and kissed him on the cheek. "Hey, Takoire."
"Are you all done with work now?" little Takoire asked.
"Yeah. I'm all done. Now all the Crimson Knights will have to figure things out for themselves, and I can be home with you, Mommy, and Ayrie for a whole week!" Koiray answered cheerfully, throwing his son up into the air.
His son was now five years old and appeared exactly as Koiray had remembered him. They shared the same hair and eyes, and little Takoire's never ending curiosity about the world around him always kept Koiray on his toes.
Koiray walked out to meet everyone else, and his wife met him with a kiss. "Finished with work?" she asked.
"Finished for the week. I promise you the guardians won't bother me all week, and if they do, I'll demote them." Koiray put his son down and touched him on the head. "Go play with Maya."
The little boy ran off without a word to a small, young girl playing not far from the water. Desa sat next to her, helping her to build a small sand castle, and his friend waved to him. The small girl was only four years old, and her light purple hair was tied back in a thin, tiny, braid.
He walked over to his father and greeted him with a hug. "Hey, Dad."
"Nice of you to join us," Takoire said with a smile.
Koiray turned to his mother, holding in her arms a one-year-old little girl. "Hi, Mom." He touched the child with affection and kissed her on the cheek. "Hi, Ayrie." She only laughed at him and smiled, and Koiray made a face at her. "Has she been good?"
"She's been a little angel," Lenne answered easily, "but when she learns to talk, ask me again."
Koiray shrugged. "You're the one who wanted a granddaughter, remember?"
"Look on the bright side, Lenne," Gaia said, walking over to them. "At least this way, Ayrie and Erhardt will have someone their own age to play with."
Koiray followed Gaia's gaze to see Darka nearby playing with a two-year-old boy. The boy had light purple hair and a cheery disposition. His balance with the blitzball was less than stellar, but in that regard, Erhardt had inherited his father's aptitude for the family sport.
"I don't know. My daughter's going to be able to play blitzball. Erhardt won't be able to keep up."
"You're right about that," Takoire answered. "My grandchildren will all be good enough to be blitzball pros."
"It's not my fault Maya and Erhardt inherited my skill with a blitzball," Syan said, walking towards him.
His cousin had also changed in the last few years. Syan had grown to equal Koiray's height, and his light purple hair was no longer constantly brushed back. Instead he had adopted the customs of the time and wore it casually, but still short enough so it wouldn't detract from his image. He wore the robes of a High Summoner of the Cheribum well, though today he wore his simpler robes: earth brown pants and a coat with epaulets that reflected the colors of all the aeons. On his right shoulder hung a black and brown chain that designated he had passed the Cheribum's test, only the second person who had done so since the aeons had returned. Above his heart his Summoner's Brand had been embroidered in gold: the image of a phoenix flying towards the sky's zenith with its wings outstretched. There was a calmness in him that had developed in the past few years, and it seemed that even Syan had learned to break the rules every now and then.
"I know it's not your fault," Koiray reasoned, "but that doesn't mean your kids will keep up with mine."
"Fine," Syan returned. "At least all my children will know how to dance properly. There is thing or two this time could learn from the Spira of a thousand years ago."
Koiray shrugged. "I don't know. Do I want my children to know how to play blitzball or… dance? I don't know how I'm going to decide."
"That's all right," Teyh answered, his wife Leanna beside him, "Uncle Teyh'll teach 'em the ropes!"
"I fear for my children," Syan answered bitterly, "and yours."
Leanna sighed, touching her swelling stomach. "I wake up with that thought every morning."
"You don't mean that, sweetie," Teyh answered with a kiss. "What kid is not going to love having the Crimson Knight of Besaid as his dad?"
Koiray rolled his eyes. "I really don't want to play this game."
"That's probably because you would beat him," Leanna offered. "Teyh does report to the Crimson Regent."
Teyh groaned and frowned. "Whose side are you on anyway?"
"I wasn't going to say anything," Koiray said simply.
"That's because of that humble thing you do…" Teyh returned.
"Oh, humility?" Syan asked his brother-in-law.
The Crimson Knight's frown grew. "Oh you're one to talk. You're going to be taking over the Council of Summoners in a few months. Aunt Lenne is finally going to retire, and you'll be one of the three leaders of the Council of Factions."
Syan bit his bottom lip, turning when he felt a hand on his shoulder. "Try not to tease him too much, Teyh. He's nervous," Desa said.
"Please," the Crimson Knight answered, "all your kids are probably going to turn out to be Summoners, too. This family needs to just stay away from the spotlight for once."
The High Summoner merely laughed and shook her head. "No, I think you're wrong on that account, Teyh. Maya and Erhardt cannot just play with normal toys like normal children. Instead half the gadgets in the house are constantly being taken apart and put back together. They take after their mother."
Gaia smiled and touched Desa's stomach, revealing her to be in the late stages of her pregnancy. "Don't be so quick, Syan. Your newest family member may just turn out to be your little protégée. Speaking of which, have you decided on a name for him yet?"
Desa smiled and nodded, reaching for her husband's hand. "We're going to name him Reth."
The group stood in silence for a moment, but Koiray smiled and nodded in approval. "That's a good name." Koiray glanced around noting everyone's presence. "Where are Jassen and Ro?"
"Ro and Alyanna are coming in on an airship in about a two marks. Jassen, Aria, and the kids are going to pick them up at the dock."
"How long are Ro and Alyanna going to stay on the island?" Lenne asked Gaia.
"Garren said probably not long. The wedding's in two months, and supposedly, there's still a lot that they have to do."
Koiray nodded. "All right. I'm going to head back to the house really quick and change, and by then Maru should be done with his shift at work so I can come back with him and Shayla in tow." He waved goodbye and headed back the city. He could make it back within half a mark; he just needed to remember the box Hara told him to bring back.
A lone figure leaning up against a rock face appeared in the corner of Koiray's eye, and a small smile appeared on his face.
"May I join you?" he asked.
"You're always welcome to, Gramps," Koiray answered.
Kokon sighed and frowned. "I thought we had given up on that nickname."
The Crimson Regent shrugged. "Old habits die hard. So, what's up? What brings you here?"
The Cheribum simply shook his head, walking alongside him in an easy manner. "Nothing really. I just wanted to check in and see how all of you were. It seems everything is doing quite well."
Koiray smiled and touched Kokon on the shoulder. "It's good to see you. You should stop by more often."
"I stop by more often that you think." He laughed to himself, recalling a memory. "I once watched a match you proctored during the Tournament of Guardians, and unfortunately, you caught me watching. Suffice it to say, you managed to pass out spectacularly with all of Spira watching."
His descendent grimaced and shook his head. "From now on, whenever you visit, try to make it a bit more announced." He paused. "So are you going to stay for the picnic and say hello?"
He shook his head. "No. I prefer to stay out of the spotlight, something your family did not inherit from me."
"You're kidding, right? Isn't the Cheribum the mightiest of the aeons? You have the biggest temple between Suzaku, Byakko, Genbu, and Seiryu."
"I have to keep up appearances."
"You know, you once promised me that if you ever appeared in my time that you would stay in a broom closet," Koiray teased.
Kokon laughed and shook his head. "Cases like those are when I see fit to bend or break the rules a little bit."
They walked further into the city and into one of the private districts. People offered him nods and smiles which he returned. His status as a Crimson Regent offered him recognition, but he laughed at the notion that these people had no idea the Cheribum walked among them.
"Do you miss being able to shift?" Kokon asked.
Koiray paused thoughtfully. "Sometimes. I worry about the future sometimes, and then I think, maybe I could shift and take a peek, but then I remember I can't." He laughed. "But it was worth it, giving it up."
"Little Takoire will have to learn to control his ability eventually."
"Yeah, but that's a problem for another day. For now, I'll just let him be a kid."
"Good for you then that young Ayrie will not have the same problem as her brother."
Koiray cocked his head. "She can't shift?"
"No. She was born after you lost your ability. There was nothing to pass onto her. By the way, I chuckled when I learned her name."
He shrugged "I thought it would be appropriate."
Koiray stopped thoughtfully, just outside his home. He looked up into the Cheribum's face with an earnest expression. "Kokon, can I ask you a question?"
"You can ask, but I can't guarantee an answer."
"My family… How long will this last?"
The Cheribum smiled and lifted his head. "I think your family will be just fine for awhile yet. You and your family have earned the right to live in peace time after time. I think the universe is finally seeing to that."
Koiray smiled and nodded. "Thank you, Kokon, for my life, for my family, for everything."
The aeon shook his head, grasping Koiray by the shoulder. "No, Koiray, thank you."
Author's Notes: Wow. I honestly can't believe that this is the end of the line. When I finished A Generation of Aeons, I was leery of doing a sequel. Eventually though I decided I would. This story was much more elaborate than Aeons, and as I've said before, this story focused more on the people and less on saving Spira. I also tried to show the complications of the human spirit through all the characters, especially Koiray, Hara, Sareth, Maya, and Syan. I also struggled to make Koiray the down-to-Earth hero but at the same time show what happens if you're given too much responsibility over time.
Just like Kokon said, I'm going to give Lenne, Takoire, Koiray and Syan the peace and quiet they deserve. This story is finally over, and these characters have had their say. I may write a one-shot or so in the future, bringing back a character or so, but this is it. It saddens me in some ways. This story evolved way past Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, and I know that these characters are mine, to let them go feels a bit surreal.
I feel like I need to send out a special thanks to my BETA Jezzi. She helped me write Aeons and the beginning of Legacies. She really helped me to grow as a writer, and I wouldn't be who I am today without her. I also want to send out a very, very special thank you to Ogro. Through it all, you have been my most faithful reviewer. You've followed this story for a long time, and you always give me the best reviews. Your reviews gave me the encouragement I needed to keep this story going. I probably would have given it up if it weren't for you. You also have my permission to name your character, Koiray. I don't mind. So thanks again.
That's all I have for now. Please leave me a review and tell me what you think. I'm slowly going over the chapters and making edits and fixing things so come back some time and read it again. I hope you're happy with the way the story turned out, and if you're not, feel free to tell me. In my opinion, a writer isn't as good as he or she writes, but how much he or she grows.
Until next time.