"These are moonlilies! They say that clouds of pyreflies gather here when night falls."
"The entire river glows, like a sea of stars."
The pyre flies, no longer imprisoned by daylight, roam free in the night, buzzing with a soft, clear note in their float. The river of moonlilies glow, providing the only light in the darkness, except for the gibbous moon. Spring green beams of light shot from the moonlilies' nectar, their brilliance fleeting like shooting stars.
"Hey, I got an idea!"
"We're not waiting till nightfall."
"Then, once we beat Sin, we're coming back!"
The memory of her first love saying that with tragic ignorance produced tears. Her liquid sadness glittered like transient crystals.
"It's a small world..."
Startled that he spoke, Yuna wiped her eyes, gazing up at her male companion.
"Us, together, stargazing..." The crown of his head rested on the tree behind him, his dark skin melding with the color of the bark. Yuna could not see his fond smile in the dark. "If I look at it from three years ago, I never would have expected this."
Slightly offended by his words, Yuna's murmur echoed in the quiet air. "You don't see me in your future?"
"Of course, I do." His gentle retaliation immediately put her at ease. His green coat served as a makeshift blanket, thick and heavy, the holy inscriptions of Yevon reminiscent of a hollow God. Yuna found comfort in it nonetheless, curling her fingers into the satin fabric, snuggling her face into his lap while listening to him speak. "Ever since the Eternal Calm... I couldn't picture this world without you. Without you..." There were many things Baralai could credit her in, too many things– how could anyone forget or discount a single one of her heroic deeds?– but he settled for his favorite one. "...I wouldn't be alive, here, with you."
She never would have seen it coming either; living, instead of being dead. Her heart loyal to one man, picturing no future without him; only to adopt a new lease in life. Sometimes Yuna wondered how did she succeed in discovering love again, with this young man of all people. How could she ever consider living a life without him? Simple. Her feelings migrated, her affection reciprocated, and her love was reborn in another.
He wouldn't mind, she mused with a twinge of guilt, as long as I am happy.
Her heart ceased to throb with yearning, a desire for someone forever lost; it raced with eager anticipation for the next day to see Baralai. Someone real, someone alive– Yuna grew tired of dreaming.
"Stay with me until the end. Please."
"Not until the end... Always."
The warmth still lingered on her skin, even when she stirred, rousing from the haze of bittersweet dreams, for once not shivering in the chill that lingered in dawn's shadow. Sunlight crept into the horizon, the nocturnal pyre flies dispersing in the absence of darkness. A new morning, another day, and she claimed her life yet again. But old emotions still threatened to rise from the treasure box of its confinement, the single corner of her heart Baralai could not cleanse.
That is okay, she told herself many, many times, if he is by my side, he will remind me who I love more. At times, this mantra worked; at others, it crumbled the fortress of her resolve. When all else failed in schooling her feelings– no amount of meditation and solemn determination as a summoner could prepare her against something this trivial, like love– his voice would dispel the dark forces at work.