Reminiscing

Reminiscing.

I realise that chapter one contained some character-bashing, which I hate. I justify that by saying that Rikku was in a bad mood, which she probably was. So, to balance things out, here is a shot from a different perspective. Almost certainly the last one in the series.

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He sat on the sands, a respectful distance from the girl with the serious expression and the huge sword. She was training, an air of concentration around her that seemed almost alien. He had to stifle a grin when she paused to breathe, and hefted the blade onto her shoulder in an inescapably familiar way. Except he could never remember the old man needing to breathe.

So engrossed was he in the strange scene that he barely noticed Yuna coming and sitting beside him. Draping his arm around her shoulders, they sat in comfortable silence for a while. Eventually, he broke the silence.

"What's with the, y'know, outfit?" He gestured to the red figure further down the beach, currently engrossed in beating the crap out of some wooden posts.

Yuna smiled, slightly. "It is Sir Auron's old coat, and one of his swords."

His jaw dropped. "No way…" He paused. "Why has she got them? Did he leave a will?"

Yuna laughed, lightly. "He did leave a will, but his weapons and robe were not mentioned. We assume she stole them from his room."

"Oh. Figures." The silence returned, broken sporadically by the hacking sound the sword made on wood. "Did you ask her?"

Yuna nodded. "She evaded the question, and asked me why I carried that." Here she pointed at the sword lying next to him.

His eyebrows knotted, working out the implications of that statement. "What, so…you think they were…" His voice trailed off, his brain trying desperately to avoid a whole series of unpleasant mental images.

"I thought that for a while, but it does seem unlikely."

"Phh, yeah. Her? And the old man? He was, what, thirty five? And she was fifteen."

Yuna smiled. "I do not believe that would have stopped her."

"Yeah, but it would sure have stopped him." He grinned at the thought of the serious warrior trying to gracefully avoid the advances of a hyperactive Rikku.

"She wrote a song, you know." Yuna said, after another pause.

"Oh?"

"We think it was about him." Yuna said, distractedly.

"Did you ask her about it?"

"No, but it said a lot of things about stories and coming to an end."

He could barely suppress a laugh. "That sounds like Auron alright. Always talking about stories." A memory came back to him, and he smiled. "I remember the only time I think I offended him."

Yuna looked sidelong at him. "Yes? When was that?"

He chuckled. "I used to yell at him a lot. I told him he was cranky, that he was old, that everything was his fault, that he was a smug old bastard, but the only time I got to him was when I told him I didn't care about his stories. He just gave me this look, you know. It scared the crap outta me, I can tell you."

Yuna laughed into her hand. "He had that effect on people. I wondered what it was. Perhaps it was the fact that he said so little, or maybe it was his reputation."

"I don't know about you, the way he waved that thing around was what did it for me." He replied, waving a hand at the red figure wielding the flash of silver.

"Perhaps." Yuna replied. She scowled. "Something troubled me about that man for the longest time."

"What?"

"He had all the answers. He knew Yevon was a parasite, he knew that Sin was created by the Final Summoning, he knew everything, and he didn't tell us. He waited until we found out on our own, usually at an inconvenient moment."

"Well, would we have believed him if he told us? I might have, being new and all, but Wakka might have tried to have him arrested, or something. At least it explains why the fabled Warrior Monk never did any praying."

Yuna unexpectedly laughed. "We must have irritated him quite a bit, when we were on the pilgrimage, talking about our faith in Yevon."

He laughed at that. "He must have had one hell of an internal monologue going the whole time." They both laughed at that.

They talked, and remembered, as the sun bled on the horizon and turned the colour of a faded old robe, and Yuna smiled as she remembered Auron's final message, and Rikku walked over to them, grinning widely and clearly exhausted, and they all drank from a flask of water and silently toasted the old man.

This is your world now.

"I hope you like what we've done with the place." Yuna murmured to herself.