There, faithfully every night if only for a few moments before his watch began, Sabin Rene Figaro would slip into a quiet meditation. It was something he had been doing since his training under Duncan began and it was the perfect way to keep himself energized no matter how weary the travel and fights of the day had been. The trance would allow him to block every image and noise out of his mind. In this place, he would only see what he could best describe as the night sky. It was peaceful and impenetrable.
There were few things that could snap him out of his nightly meditations. A hoard of local beasts that wandered to their campgrounds was one, and a fairly obvious one at that. His brother had successfully pulled him from his trance the first time he ran the chainsaw's motor next to the monk's ear. However, it was also the last time since the result had left the king with a terrible headache even after all the Cure magic Locke casted on him. Gau also managed to snap him out of it the time he tackled Sabin from behind. During the wrestling match Relm watched, mouth agape, while Setzer nearly fell over from laughter. And dinner. Dinner could always bring the monk back to reality.
But small instances aside, there were only two people that could bring him out of his meditation. His old master could always do it by speaking to him. It always got him into trouble and Sabin quickly learned how to fake the meditation. It took a few years, but he was finally able to stay in at least a light trance, and only when Duncan would speak directly to him would it cause a problem. The other was the green-haired girl that had been traveling with Locke and Edgar when he encountered them.
He always seemed to know when she was around. He could feel her presence even in the deepest of meditations. He could see an image of her in his mind whenever she so stretched a leg. At first it threw him off completely and he could barely focus. Simple reasoning from his training led him to figure out that her intense aura was from the same source as her mysterious magic. With no real understanding of her own abilities at first, she lacked the control over the energy that was constantly exerting from her body. It was annoying and distracting, but his innate kindness took away any desire to speak to her on the matter. It was not difficult to read the strife and worry held within her heart. So instead, he returned to his meditation.
No matter how much time went by, he would always remember the first time she interrupted his meditative state unintentionally. His eyes were closed; his mind was focused on the night sky that was his balance point. Suddenly a bright human figure appeared in his vision and walked slowly in front of him. Sabin's eyes slowly opened to see her moving slowly between him and the fire while staring at the sky above them.
"Terra," he addressed her quietly.
She looked down at him, eyes widened as if surprised he would speak. "Yes?"
There was silence between them. Sabin was not quite sure of what to say to her; he had only felt the need to address her after the shock of her aura appearing in his personal night sky. A moment or two more passed and Sabin noted the quality silk dress that relaxed over her curves and the solider-like way she moved was a sharp contrast to the insecurities she wore on her sleeve. He now knew he needed to say something to ease her already burdened mind.
Sabin rose to his feet and answered her. "What were you looking at?"
Whether or not she was aware his question was a deliberate attempt to calm her nerves, he was unsure of. She seemed to appreciate the mild distraction. "The sky. It's very beautiful."
Sabin crossed his arms, thinking of what he would respond with. All he could do was nod in agreement.
It would be quite a while before he meditated while she was traveling with him. No more then a few hours after he made it back to Narshe, Terra turned into her Esper form and took off to the skies she so frequently watched. He felt her magical aura tear through his very conscious and he could only watch as she attempted to flee from herself. It wouldn't be until much later while camping on the Empire's home continent that he would meditate near her again.
It was different from the first time he had meditated by her. She was still quite uneasy and unconfident, though Sabin was able to read that off of her as soon as she stepped onto the airship for the first time. This time, however, her aura wasn't nearly as bright in his mind's eye since she had learned to control the magical power imbued in her from being a half Esper. Still, her aura was so strong that she lit up his night sky. She walked in front of him and his eyes opened, watching her every movement. He watched as she looked at the sky for a few moments before turning her head towards him. Sabin smiled as she looked slightly puzzled.
He rose to his feet and walked a few steps to stand next to her. "Looking at the sky again?"
There was a pause before Terra broke out into a small giggle. Sabin turned his head toward her, now fully puzzled by her reaction to his question. "Sabin, I flew."
Sabin folded his arms and returned his attention to the night sky. "Yeah, that had kind of been my reaction the first time I rode in Setzer's airship…"
The young girl just smiled and shook her head. "No, I flew. In the sky." Terra's arm moved to point to the sky above them. "Right up there."
Sabin smirked, having been previously unaware that she retained the memories in midst of her transformation. "Yeah, you did. Scared the wits out of us."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you all…" Terra's face turned to match the emotion in her words.
He quickly noticed this and acted to change the conversation. "So was it like flying on the airship?"
"No," She replied with a small smile. "It was very different. It was an incredible feeling. I felt… free. It was just the sky and me. And it was beautiful from that view."
He just smirked, thinking about how when he had flown in the airship the sky looked exactly the same from that view as it did from the ground.
"I'm taking a breather," Sabin told them, waving his hand to signal for Setzer not to deal him in this hand.
"Oh sure," Setzer answered. "Just as soon as you started losing!"
"Well Celes, it's just you and me then," Edgar grinned.
"Not a chance," she replied flatly, glaring at the lecherous king as she did so. Sabin just smiled to himself as he made his way towards the deck.
Events had passed that he certainly would have never guessed would ever occur. Many of them were far worse then their planned worst-case scenarios. They had all managed. Through tears, injuries, and strife, they were all reunited and their resolve reinforced. Their world was in ruin and its people were distraught and hopeless. It was on them to restore hope and peace.
It was a task he had taken upon himself immediately. It was what his master expected out of him after all. And in his traveling he would find some of his companions and stop Kefka. His plan took a lot longer then he had initially thought, and it hadn't even dawned on him that some of his allies would also lose hope. But after Celes found him, the ball finally rolled and they were all reunited.
The year had changed all of them in at least a small way. Locke came to terms with Rachel's death while Cyan learned a bit about false hope versus reality. Celes had never been so passionate in anything she did. Little Relm perhaps grew the most, but that could only be expected when a ten year old went through what she had to.
Sabin now stood on the deck. The wind that floated the airship as it wandered the skies blew at him with a force that threatened to knock him over. It was no different from when he stood on the deck of Setzer's old airship.
But that was far from the truth. Everything was different from the year before. Even the sky looked different, the sun and stars partially blocked by the dust and dirt from their planet's reformation. He was different. He had grown physically and emotionally.
His eyes set on the green-haired girl leaning on the railing by herself. He hadn't even realized his attachment to her until after they were separated the second time. Maybe it had been the long year between the last time he had seen her, or perhaps it had simply been their individual growth. While on the outside, neither had changed much. Inside, however, their growth was much more intense. Sabin had become more determined and had learned that his connections to the ones he loved made him stronger. Terra had finally accepted herself and her abilities, thus becoming more confident and more powerful then she ever had been before, which only added to her beauty in his opinion.
Terra turned her head as she heard someone approach. "Sabin."
"Terra," he answered as he walked next to her then proceeded to lean on the railing as she did.
"Is something the matter?"
"No, just thought I'd take a breather from the game for a bit. What're you doing up here?"
"I'm just thinking."
"A little bit of everything I guess. The children… The battle ahead…"
"How many times do I have to tell you not to worry so much?"
She laughed a little. "No, no. No worry Sabin, just thinking."
"All right then," he answered.
Silence set between them as their attention turned to the land and the sky above it. This was the part that Sabin appreciated most about his friendship with Terra. While everyone in their group had grown deeply close due from their battles together, there were still some clashing personalities. At times, things just got too out of control for Sabin. For Terra too it seemed. Together they didn't need to say a word, but could have an entire conversation, both leaving more content and relaxed then when they had come together. There was a peace between the two.
"So have you thought what you'll do when this is all over?" Terra asked, breaking the long silence between them.
"Haven't thought that far in advance," Sabin answered truthfully. "Just ask my brother – I've never been a real planner." Terra giggled for a moment, knowing just what Edgar would say. "What about you?"
"I'll go back to Mobliz," She answered with a broad smile. "I'd like to get regular schooling in for them. I think it's important."
"I think I'd have to agree. Knowledge is what's gotten us this far."
There was a pause as Terra turned her head towards him. "Maybe you can come by and teach the children a bit. I'm sure they'd love to after the way you beat up Phunbaba."
"Hah, I don't blame them," he answered, slightly amused.
After a few moments, Terra's voice lowered to a whisper. "Besides, I'm sure I'll miss you."
"Is that so?" Sabin teased. "…Well then I guess I'll just have to come by."
"Good," she answered before resuming her watch of their surroundings.
Sabin felt fully at peace watching the sky from the deck of the airship with her. He hadn't been searching for a special someone to protect, but he finally knew he had found her. His reached out, his hand sliding up her back before resting between her shoulder blades.
There really wasn't any time for a solid relationship; Locke and Celes discovered that the hard way. Terra and Sabin were each too focused on their current goal of freeing the world from Kefka. Maybe then, once peace returned, they could see where their friendship could lead. But for now, Sabin was content with fighting by her side and protecting her and her dreams. Even if she remained nothing more then the beauty that would appear in his meditations, he was content with what he shared with her.
Terra blushed as she felt his hand on her back. As it found its resting place, her hand moved to touch his hand still on the railing. Sabin's eyes met hers for just a moment before looking back at the sky.
Yeah, maybe he wasn't much of a planner. But boy did the future look bright and hopeful.