Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy X.
A/N: This has been revamped, slightly. The end is more... slowed down. :) I hope it's at least a little better. Enjoy!
The moon was out, full and beautiful, shining down on the Farplane with a glow that was fittingly eerie. The chanting, continuing chorus of the dead echoed around Auron as he gazed up, eyes full of moon-glow and a semblance of peace, and he listened silently as they shifted another hollow octave up.
He could almost see them- the others- swaying in a mist with their song. Back and forth- moving around each other in chilling, dead nothing, like dancers in a hall of lifeless roses and pyrefly trails. He could almost see them- but almost was a far cry from actually being able to.
Alone. It was a word and a feeling that he had become hard friends with, grudgingly but with little will against it. He was alone here, yes. Alone, and always listening to the others. They sounded so close, each one barely inches away from his ear, breathing dead-breath into him as they sang. He reached an arm forward and felt the empty air with what would pass for contriteness. His fingers dangled a moment longer before they fell again to his side.
Of all of the things he had expected from death, this was the farthest thing from his mind: A purgatory for a man who had saved the planet. It was ironically fitting, somehow; Men dreamed of being held above the crowd in legacy, but the fact remained that it was lonely work being at a top that has no bottom or purpose.
But, of course, he was not only at the top of the pile: he was in another pile completely, one built of nothing but ringing glass while he wailed upon the top, glaring at the others from far away.
The worst part, he considered, was that he did not know why.
It was a thought that kept him up at night- if there was a night- beside the endless notes and past-life memories. Above all, that was what kept his eyes from shutting and his mind from sinking to blissful nothing.
Time was a thing that did not exist. It did not stop, it did not reverse. In the Farplane, it simply wasn't. It was a thing that perplexed Auron, almost as much as his solitude, and more often than not it gave way to endless paradoxes that made his head ache to think about.
If there was no time, then he was in the past as well as the future in Spira. It was a notion that he could readily accept. But, then, wouldn't that mean that everyone on the planet was already dead before they were born?
He didn't know. More than likely, he didn't want to. Almost certainly, he never would.
Despite headaches, and hours of needless self-debating, he found that timelessness did give him one thing; perhaps, most ironic of all, it gave him the most important thing- time to think.
Standing in an open, endless field, young again (but somehow so much older), he moved his mind around his thoughts, and tried to sort them out.
Perhaps… he was being punished.
The thought had occurred to him many times, although at first, he shirked away from the notion.
Who would punish him, after all? Yevon? He scoffed, He wasn't a God. And certainly he had no jurisdiction over this afterlife. But, then… there was no one left for him to question, once the man was swept aside.
So… what was it then?
The questions spun themselves around him like spider webs, catching his fingers and pinning his thoughts in dead-end places. More sleepless nights, more wondering at sins he may have committed but didn't know of for certain.
Now, as the moon shone as the endless night wore on, his feet padded silently once again across the dead-petal sea. Lying still would not solve his problems, it seemed. The more he waited- listened to that maddening song- the more questions he found, and the answers still slipped through his grasp.
He couldn't let himself think tonight- not about that. Not if he wanted to keep his sanity a moment longer. What distractions did a dead man have when all of his days were gone, though?
Auron looked out at the vast night with a young eye- two, in fact, and perfectly whole- and beneath his somehow imperious gaze, restored by timelessness, he saw the pyreflies dance. It seemed… after everything, that they were to be the only ones left to befriend him. He whispered to them, sometimes- or shouted, if it suited him- and he found it a relief that they couldn't answer back. Gratifying that he could tell them his secrets.
"She didn't like the color green," was just one of them. It was a strange thing to say under normal circumstances. Here, it was like the silence: a constant, average, fact.
Sitting on the Farplane, more thinking than actually existing, he found that he remembered a lot of small things about her like that: The way she always ate everything with the spoon turned upside-down, the way she only liked to drink hot water- little things. Insignificant things, really, but sometimes he thought that it was the only thing keeping him sane: Trying to figure her out.
She tickled at the back of his mind like the feathers in her hair on the back of his neck, and more and more often, he found that he didn't care that it was so.
Rikku… Was it so strange that he should think about her here? She was all he tried not to think of in the other world. In this world- despite his hatred for it, and his yearnings to go back- it was almost a relief. There was no duty here; there were no more important things to do. There was no her.
It was painful to think that the thing he wanted most during these musings was the only thing he wanted to keep away. It should have been wrong to think- it should have been very wrong- but it meant one thing to him, and perhaps that one point made everything all right: She wasn't here, so she wasn't dead.
He had no way to prove it, of course. But… it was a feeling, and he had spent most of his life ignoring such feelings. Feelings like hope and fear and… was it love? He decided it didn't matter. He wasn't going to ignore them anymore. Not a single one.
It was strange that he hadn't noticed it earlier. Strange that he still didn't realize it: He was free here. In a cell, he was free.
Irony wore a hard mask, it seemed, and somehow Auron thought it was laughing at him. How do you feel when there is nothing to experience? How do you feel anything but frustration? Anguish?
Looking at her face in his mind's eye, however- at one moment terrified and soaked in Thunder Plain rain, at another beautiful and glowing in the Zanarkand sunset- he only felt peace.
He chuckled wryly, gave up that farce and laughed outright. Now, who was laughing at whom?
But irony doesn't blink in the face of scrutiny, because facts don't change simply by standing still. He was alone. He was damned.
Closing his eyes, he took in a breath… and yelled. The dead still sang. There was no echo. Quietly, he closed his eyes and let his head fall forward into his hands.
Love. He had loved her. Loved… her. Maybe that was his sin. To love a flower in winter.
He grimaced; He wasn't a poet. Those weren't his words. The truth was, he'd loved a Rikku during the reign of Sin.
Looking up, there were no stars. Looking down, there were only the dead petals beneath his knees. Looking around, there was no one. No Rikku. No hope.
Suddenly, he was doing something that he hadn't done since he was very younger. He was screaming. Screaming at the world to shut up and leave him alone for once. Why was he the tortured soul? Why was he the one cursed to be this way?
He didn't know. He didn't care. He screamed, and it felt good. His ears rang. It felt good.
He stopped. Still, there was that sound in his ears, like a call only a deaf man could hear: his thoughts. One endless, endless thought that summed everything up.
In the darkness, with a moon that somehow only shined on nothing, screaming was based in everything: Shrill, contrasting objects, with death and pain and frustration scripted across them.
There was a hand on his arm, and suddenly the screaming turned into silence again. Auron shut his eyes. No… no, there couldn't be.
There was that light, though. That sweet, encompassing light that he had always dreamed of finding here. Through his fastened eyelids, through the haze of darkness, it penetrated like the moonlight never did. He'd found it.
He'd found her.
She stood there, shining like every moment of sunshine, and she was grown. Fayth and Yevon, there she was, taller and with a smile that had probably snared a hundred men. He stood in awe of her a moment, in awe of everything she had become while he wasn't there.
"I waited for you, silly," she said. "Years and years. No one but you, kay? So, no tantrums." She was smiling, though. No regrets. No sadness. She had waited. No time had passed for him, and she had waited, in a Hell that could be counted in excruciating detail. And he saw it all.
He saw her grow older. He saw her hair turn to from gold to snow by strands, and the wrinkles that had formed at the corners of her lovely, match-lit eyes. He had seen her live, he had seen her die. There was pain, there was sadness, but most of all, there was that light- that life that she never let go of. There had been no one, like she'd said, and Auron felt like he'd taken something from her that was important. But, she was still smiling, smiling and smiling and smiling. No regrets. No sadness. Only life.
He saw it all. He saw... it all.
Quietly, she took his hands. "I think you got lost," she said.
He nodded, "Yes." Yes, he had been lost for a very long time. And for no time at all.
"I'm going to take you home. To Yunie and Tidus and everyone. Their kids… you should see their kids, Auron!" She laughed. He'd missed that. "We've all been waiting for you." He nodded. He knew.
Silently, she squeezed his hands, pulling him.
"I..." No more stopping emotions. No more stopping himself. No more. "I love you."
She smiled. "Yeah." It was beautiful.
And she pulled him into her light. And that was beautiful, too. Because, he was finally home.
He had seen it all.
A/N: Auron screaming? OOC, non? I'm sorry. I'm not use to writing Auron at all. It was a quick fix to end it. I've actually been avoiding writing him for a long time. I hope you liked it though. I realize that it was very repetitive and drawn out, but I had writer's block at the time, so I hope you can forgive me. I really appreciate knowing what you think. Concrit is my lifeblood. I could also use a beta for my future Aurikku fics, if anyone's interested. :) Thanks!