Here's the last part. Italics are flashbacks.
6:15. Quarter of an hour after my 'date' with the fal'Cie ex-Primarch. The Sun was setting, but I didn't feel cold. I didn't feel…anything.
"You're a lot of things" I sighed, "And convincing is one of them. How the hell are we meant to defeat a fal'Cie?"
"I wish I knew" Lightning seemed almost reluctant to reveal a weakness, "We tried before. Three times, he always survived."
Time was passing. I felt tired, I knew I was about to sleep. Sleep for how long? I didn't know. It wasn't the first time I'd contemplated sleeping forever, but it was the only time the decision actually had any merit behind it. And it seemed I didn't have a choice now: the deed was done. It felt like a storybook, only I was among the characters.
"I have to actually do something, for once" I shouted to no one in particular. An hour and a half until 'Snow'. But was there anything I could do that would achieve anything? Lightning said she'd tried to kill Barthendelus three times, when she was a l'Cie. I wasn't even that. What could I do?
Psychiatrists had diagnosed me with depression of some technical variety after my ex first started cheating. A few suicidal thoughts, and a tendency to fly off the handle at some things. I'd loved him, and he'd cheated, again and again. I was just a toy to him.
I drew a few more lines on my sketch of the Bodhum fireworks, but my heart wasn't really in it. There had to be some way I could help, rather than counting down the last hour and a quarter until the fal'Cie. How ironic: fal'Cie. Here I was, drawing the fireworks of days before the fal'Cie that had started all this was discovered.
The psychiatrist had recommended I try something happy and cheerful, when he permanently broke up with me. Something bustling with life, maybe try getting back into the spirit of things. The shrink mentioned a club. Well, we all know how that turned out.
The l'Cie had failed to defeat the foe I was up against in seventy minutes. They had fought and survived three times even with l'Cie magic. I was a normal human. What hope did I have?
I was about to fall asleep, I could feel it. A long, long slumber. It was almost 6:30. And people were pointing and staring, movements clear, but silent, as if on the other side of a sheet of glass.
The fal'Cie had been out in the wilderness for the months since the Fall. If it was from Cocoon, then no doubt the Pulse natives were annoyed with it. Maybe that was a chance.
Dysley/Snow looked pretty intimidating in its fal'Cie form. Snarling, huge heads. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I was terrified.
Just over an hour until the 'date'. Well, better get this over with. I took one, long step out of the city, hoping.
All I'd said was that I knew who he was. He was the fal'Cie Primarch. It got angry with me, if I knew, it meant Lightning knew, I could practically hear it think. So its attempt to break up the families, Snow, Serah and Lightning, wouldn't work.
It was done. Many hated the ex-Primarch, not surprising. It was easy to find the means. I just hoped it hadn't lied.
I wondered if I would've been able to do this if I wasn't already depressed. The shrink had said I was suicidal and, yes, I controlled it well enough in day to day life, but maybe that buried instinct was what made the difference.
I looked up at Cocoon, smiling. A lesson to be learnt. With three quarters of an hour to go.
Barthendelus was still now. I had no doubt it was furious, that it wanted to shriek, scream, tear down the whole city, the whole world. But I refused to let it. Not now. Not ever.
Well, I'd better look the part. Trick the fal'Cie. Lines of mascara, a bit of concealer, lipstick, and hair tied back. Going out with a bang.
They were still pointing and staring. The denizens of New Cocoon. I imagined it was quite a sight. Were they scared or relieved?
"Hey there?" the sickening grin of the fal'Cie Snow caught my attention. His hand wondered a bit lower than it should. I didn't smack it out the way, not yet. I had to be careful.
I looked around, anxious. It was almost time for me to sleep. Just…
"I know who you are" I revelled in speaking the words, and seeing the momentary fear dancing across Snow's face. At last; now I had the upper hand.
Snow, Lightning and another woman with pink hair and a long pigtail came into view. Was that Serah? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.
The true fal'Cie Barthendelus stood in front of me, seconds after I detailed my revelation. But now I was sure. "Just one touch" I whispered, jumping and planting my hand on his central face, over his mouth, as if telling him to be quiet.
Lightning stopped right in front of me, mouth moving soundlessly. Well, I couldn't hear anything. I could read her lips though, just about. "I can't believe she…"
A flicker of fear passed though Barthendelus as his eyes caught my neck. My hand and my neck were glowing, shining with an unearthly light. The fal'Cie wailed, most likely in fear, as he focused on my collar bone and the pattern on it. Or rather, the brand on it. The l'Cie brand on it.
Snow stood in front of me. I stood there, arms stretched out either side of me, like a barrier, holding Barthendelus back. But I wasn't just a normal barrier, no.
I had left the city to find a fal'Cie, and I had. I had the Focus to do just one thing: get revenge. I just had to simply touch Barthendelus. One touch.
I stood there, soulless crystal eyes as, in crystal sleep, I gazed out. Barthendelus was behind me, constrained hopefully eternally by a shell of crystal. My crystal.
I really hate two-timers.
"Please say you can hear me" I murmured, well, tried to murmur. I was crystal and all, but it felt the same as normal speech. I was just so unbearably tired. Probably why it was called crystal sleep: eventually, I would really sleep. Maybe dream. But for a few moments, I was alive. Able to talk, hopefully. Able to beg forgiveness for what I'd said to Snow, for what I might've done to Serah, and to apologize to Lightning for not believing her. Oh, and to give her my drawing. I think she liked the fireworks. A pity it'll remain unfinished.
"Rami" Snow muttered. I was slightly taken aback that I could actually hear him this time.
"I'm sorry, Snow, I'm sorry" I spoke quickly, madly. Please hear me, oh, please hear me.
There was a sharp intake of breath from Snow.
"Rami?" he said again, almost curious this time.
"You can hear me!" the phrase came out in a gabled mess, "Oh thank you. Please, I'm sorry, remember that. I didn't know it was…well, you know."
"It's not your fault, don't worry" Snow sounded as if he was chuckling, though his voice was sombre.
Lightning and Serah looked at him oddly. He pointed towards me, silent, from where they stood a few metres in front of me. I didn't care about the rest of the crowd: I didn't know them, they didn't know me. I didn't have anything to say to them, I only had to speak to the three.
"Serah" I murmured. She staggered back slightly, confirming my guess as to who she was. "Sorry for what I tried to do, you look happy together."
"It's alright" her voice sounded like a breath of fresh air. I smiled softly: forgiven, that was a good start. She was kinder than she'd sounded on the phone, then again that was hardly surprising. The situation was somewhat better.
I looked towards the person on the right: Lightning.
"Looks like the fourth time's the charm" I laughed
"I'm sorry you had to-"
"Don't be. I wasn't living for much anyway, but this way I die for a lot. And shouldn't I be the one apologizing?"
"You don't have to. It wasn't your fault, it was his" I couldn't tell if she was talking about Barthendelus or Snow.
"Thanks. Don't forget me, please, any of you" I was struggling to stay awake by now.
"We won't" Lightning muttered, voice quiet.
Well, I suppose a huge hunk of crystal with a fal'Cie inside wasn't exactly easy to forget.
"By the way, Lighting" I caught her attention, "There's a drawing in my house, you probably saw it. It's yours, use those 'Guardian Corps privileges' to get it, huh?"
"Got it" she nodded.
Well, that was that. Last will, check. Well, she's helped me I suppose. She deserved something, and I didn't have much. The sketch would have to do.
"Bye" I spoke softly, feeling tiredness wash over me. Not…yet. I wouldn't sleep just yet.
"Bye Rami" Snow muttered. I wish I had time to know him better-admittedly I didn't want to know him as well as I had the imposter, but still. He seemed like a nice guy, really. And we hadn't really met on positive terms.
"Bye" Serah looked away. I barely knew her: that was my main regret. I'd almost ruined her life for someone's revenge, and I never actually saw her until I lay here, about to fall into crystal sleep. I hadn't done all I'd wanted to in life, but I couldn't bring myself to feel sad.
"Bye" Lightning looked down. I'd known her better than the other two, but I still didn't understand her. She looked pretty harsh, violent even, but she was still protective. There was so much I wanted to say, wanted to do, but in the end it call came down to that one word farewell. Bye.
Smiling sadly, I let the weariness overtake me, closing my eyes and at long last, descending into a tranquil sleep.
The sunlight streamed through the glass, casting shadows onto the golden pine floor, a fresh scent emanating from the planks of wood. I stayed where I was sitting, peering out through the window, staring out over vivid green grass, into the bright, comforting sunlight.
I drew one long, arcing line on the plain sheet of paper in front of me. I couldn't draw the birdsong, but I could draw the light and the trees.
It was like a dream, the simple scenery and all the details of it.
I sat back, inhaling the fresh, fresh air.
Perfect. This was perfect.
Smiling softly, I leant forwards, continuing to draw the world.