author's note: everyone loves aeons. be careful, grammar does not lurk within. second person POV, trippy 'fic - y'know, i think this is getting to be a habit with me.


You started seeing Aeons after they died. Rikku with her arms outstretched, scarf spread behind her, hair in the wind with her eyes watery and near shut, she is shouting something happily and you hear only the warm-wind heartbeat of Valefor, the ribbons tied into Her fayth's braids, sweet sun wind and things twist in and over like a strip of paper tangled and

You're running again, running alone down the corridor running and gasping and crying for breath, you've bitten your tongue accidentally and the blood in your mouth fills all of you and dizzies you, you stumble and

are in the Farplane

Wakka will crouch sometimes, sit on his heels, he uses his finger to draw a diagram, a blitz-play in the warm packed dirt, the other Aurochs watching carefully. Baby Vidina crawls over and giggles, swiping his pudgy hand through the dirt to join the game and Wakka chuckles and picks up his son and continues the lecture one handed - Ifrit - always Ifrit, crouching ready to spring and jump and move, red and brown like packed earth and clay

This time you know what will happen before it does, and when you turn you see the Praetor approach you and he sees you, not the other, and you both watch helplessly as the others in both of you move and dance and embrace and Baralai's skin is cold through his coat and his eyes are black

and Tidus pulls you up, grabs clumsily at your forearm and wrist, tugging frantic as he helps you to your feet and he keeps looking behind him because he can hear them too, you spit the blood out as you stand and he takes your hand

but now he's Shuyin and his face is dark

and now he's Baralai and he is angry, shouting and pacing and drawing a gun on Nooj, dark and coiled with venom, small and terrible and Paine had told you that he wasn't as nice as he looked, you just hadn't believed her, but Gippal believed her and drew his gun on Baralai, fluid, pauseless, grim.

The Al Bhed live in Djose now, you'd heard from Rikku. They hadn't asked, she wasn't asking, it was a fact and you had been glad of it, too many people had been asking her lately - asking everything - you don't know the answers, you wanted to yell at them to think for themselves and Gippal was perhaps well suited for the lightning-place, posturing like the Aeon had been, grand and a little silly like the fayth, bells and lightning jangling offkey as they conspired to eachother

You run. You run and run and run and now Baralai is the one leading you, now Tidus, now no one, now you are a Summoner and running to Seymour and running to Kimahri and the Highbridge flashes in the night and you don't care about anything you just want him dead and you want to fight and you breathe clear and strong and free

You watch Lulu sometimes on the hottest Besaid days, sitting with eyes half closed, curled into a chair, even just watching her is enough to bring back the faint memory of glinted glass and sharp crystals of snow.

A suspended bridge over a chasm of metal with the alphabet of Yevon glowing runes on the far walls, a pit of forever with a platform at the end, a dead end, the end, the last -- run keep running there's nowhere else you run and

Paine's face is tight and you watch her instead of the three men, read the events in her eyes, Rikku's fingers dart nervously and at last she takes Paine's hand, never moving her own eyes from the triangle of guns ahead, Paine for once doesn't pull away from the contact and pyreflies erupt darkly from Nooj's body --

You run and run to the end, to the platform, not caring any longer for secrecy and your arms stretch from your body like wings

That day in Bevelle you knew how to fly

and you scream and beg him to stop, please stop, please just

Vegna-Gun stirs

Bahamut moves

the wind stings your eyes and you promised not to cry, Summoners don't cry even when the one they love most is so faded that he passes right through you

Stop please stop please come back to me stop this please

Anima was always so hideous to look at and smelled like death and mold and she'd scream in your mind every time you called her and you'd beg for control, your hardest summon, but she was a peaceful thing a mourning thing a crying thing and it was easier after that until she grew angry and her rage enveloped you and all you were, dark and twisted and sleek and

Baralai apologizes to you when he strikes but he doesn't pull his blows

You are the only one that I can trust, he says to Seymour and you flinch away from the sphere without thinking and

Shuyin looks down at you from Vegna-Gun, surprised and concerned and something else, something nicer and Tidus had looked at you that night in Macalania like that and

your arms are outstretched and you beg Bahamut you beg him for

a dream - it was just a dream -

Who the heck is Lenne?

We have to fight it, Paine snaps, There's no other choice!

Shuyin leaps down to you and the guards approach and you can hardly breathe and are dizzy from fear and exertion and he is Tidus after all, near transparent without the fayth and

I was not the one meant to marry the High Summoner

Baralai looks at you and then at the guards and his face is dark with rage and you wish you had a fayth to call upon as the Monks aim their weapons and

I'm sorry I couldn't show you Zanarkand, Tidus says, his voice high from fear and he doesn't want to die either so you can't just start crying, that would ruin everything, he is brave and you

- fire -

Bahamut roars and you find yourself naming its every move, even as Rikku darts in and cuts and Paine prepares an attack with her sword, you find yourself reaching with your mind towards it, a familiar twisting dance

had you seen him at Operation Mi'ihen? Are you imagining the dark eyes and the boy crouched against a rock, face hidden in the collar of his coat and eyes shining bead-bright, hair such an odd shade of

You cast your spell and strike him down again

Shuyin reaches for you as they prepare to fire, Tidus reaches for you and passes through, Baralai does nothing and directs his anger at the guards and

each time you killed one of your Aeons, their deaths had screamed themselves in your mind, pitiful pain and breathless relief, whispers of thank-you and a sharp hot pain like

a bullet that

I just want to see her!

strikes both you and him down.

Lenne turns to you and smiles, already fading. "Thank you."

"No problem," you whisper.

"Is Baralai okay?" Rikku asks, looking over to where the guys are waiting.

"He's alive, better than nothing," Paine says with her usual frank pessimism.

"I'll bet he's kinda out of it," Rikku guesses, "since he was possessed."