This is a sudden idea that sprung into my head while I was having a night-day-dream. I couldn't think of a good title. I apologize if it gets a bit confusing with the pronouns. The idea is that he's confused. ... Then again, anyone would be... This is a bit of a weird fic, but I like it XD Warning, this contains spoilers for the end of Disc 3 and the game! I don't own Final Fantasy or any of its characters.
Without further ado:
He was surrounded by white on all sides. It was neither cold nor warm. In fact, he couldn't feel anything at all. No one was around him. The only thing he could sense was his own presence. Or could he feel even that?
Where am I? He could feel himself thinking, or maybe he was thinking about thinking it. He tried to lift up his arm to see his hand. It wasn't there for a moment, and he thought passively, Shouldn't I have a hand? Suddenly his gloved hand was there, turning as he examined it. Everything slowly came back to him. Fighting the l'Cie, once, twice, three times. Losing all three times. And the final time, realized the l'Cie were the last hope he had for saving Cocoon. And in his last breath did his best for the people of Cocoon, to whom he devoted his life. I detonated a bomb. But how am I alive? Or- I'm not alive. Is this what happens after death? Or, am I perhaps caught in the clutches of a fal'Cie? Have I too been rewarded with life after death, only to be a puppet of fal'Cie, like Cid Raines? Theories were flying through his head. As he looked at his hand, his feet, his arm, he soon realized his clothes were torn and soiled with his blood. His skin was burnt and torn. He realized he was cold. His face- he trailed his finger along his scar, feeling new cuts, bruises, and burns.
What is this? These injuries… The image of what his body would look like from the eyes of someone looking down on it. With a numbing coldness, he realized he was dead. He had killed himself in an attempt to save the l'Cie, the very l'Cie he was set on killing. Despite himself, knowing he could not be saved, he could only think, Did they complete their Focus? Did they save Cocoon? Is everyone safe? He thought of the pink haired woman and the blonde man. They seemed so sure of what they were doing. He remembered the rest of the party- the dark skinned man, the young boy, the pigtailed girl, and the tall, dark haired woman. The group of six l'Cie. For some reason as he thought of them, he couldn't feel hatred towards them for having given his life to save them. He felt nothing, except for a small ounce of hope that they had completed what they set out to do. He trusted their words and hoped they meant to complete them.
He wasn't sure how long he was there. Though his body told him he wasn't there for long, his mind was unsure of anything. All he could focus on was the cold, or, what he thought was cold- as far as he knew, he could be so warm that it felt cold- and the lack of pain in the injuries of his body. Everything around was so bright; it felt like his eyes were adjusting to the point of making everything black. All he could focus on was the cold, then numbness, and the lack of feeling.
He tilted his head in question. Was that him thinking that? Or had he said it out loud? It didn't sound like him. It didn't feel like him.
Open your eyes. He thought that his eyes were open and tried to open them. Nothing happened. All he could see was white.
Don't focus on the pain or the cold. Just wake up. He could hear the voice now. He could feel around him.
That's it. Your time's not up yet. People need you. He could move his hand. He blinked at it, seeing the cloth still torn, but the burns and bruises on his skin he couldn't see. He could feel that they weren't there.
You're almost there. Wake up. He could feel warmth.
Wake up! He opened his eyes. Bright light flooded his eyes. Warm air filled his lungs. He could feel ground beneath him, air around him, gravity pulling on him. He could hear wind and animals. He closed his eyes to keep the light from hurting him. When he thought he was ready, he opened them again. It took but a moment for his eyes to adjust. The sky was blue and the clouds were white- but not a white like before, a white like nothing was there. The clouds seemed like they were there, and he knew they were. He turned his head slightly to the left, feeling the warmth already spread around his body and feeling in his limbs. He saw a large, clear blue structure. He knew on first glance what it was. He tried to say the word, but nothing escaped his lips except for a sound, and but he knew what he had meant to say.
'Cocoon'. He closed his eyes. They saved it. Cocoon is saved. Then, he began to realize what happened before he- before he ended up here. I… died. I detonated a bomb. I couldn't have lived through it. He looked over to the crystal structure. For some reason when he looked at it, he felt a sense of familiarity. He then remembered the voice.
Wake up. Who was it that had said that to him? Or had he just imagined it? It was so familiar to him.
"Who is that?" A voice crept to his ears. A voice he also recognized, though barely.
"Is that… Is that who I think it is?" A deeper voice this time.
"I don't believe it." Three voices- including a young one who added afterwards,
"What is it, Daddy? What's going on?" He could feel footsteps as people ran towards him. He couldn't move. He felt his eyelids already getting tired. He closed them and felt darkness again.
That voice again.
Stay awake for just a little longer.
Who are you? He desperately tried to think, but he received no answer, just a faint laugh- or, it may have been one of the people coming to him. Someone fell onto their knees next to him.
"Yaag Rosch!" Yaag. That was his name- he felt like he hadn't heard it for so long, he almost forgot it.
"How did he get here? Is he alive?" It was a higher voice. He instantly recognized the voice as one of the l'Cie.
"I don't know." A similarly high voice. A hand reached forward and touched his cool neck. "He's so cold." She moaned quietly. A pause. Everyone seemed to be waiting to see what she would say- even himself. "He's alive!"
"I can't believe it!"
"How is he alive? How did he get here?" He felt his eyes creep open. Above him were the pink haired l'Cie, and a girl that looked similar to her. The latter still had her hand on his neck. On the other side of the l'Cie was the blonde man. He couldn't see anyone else.
"Rosch?" Asked the blonde. He tried to open his mouth and say something. All he could say was,
"How…?" Quickly the blonde put a hand behind his back and helped him to sit up. He got a full view of everyone sitting there. Six people to be sure, but not the six who had confronted him before. Missing were the pigtailed girl and dark haired girl. Instead, there was a young boy who was clinging to one of the l'Cie and the other girl.
"You're okay!" All of the l'Cie had smiles on their faces. One looked like he was ready to cry.
"You're the… l'Cie?" He asked. The blonde had an even bigger smile.
"Not any more! See? We completed our Focus!" The man showed him his wrist. It took a moment for him to realize why the man was showing him his arm, when he remembered briefly seeing his brand there. His eyes widened in realization.
"You're… not l'Cie?" The young, silver haired boy smiled.
"Nope! We're all okay, too!" Then he faltered. His gaze dropped. "Well, some of us."
"Who…?" He asked.
"Vanille and Fang… The two from Oerba on Pulse." Two of the l'Cie were from Pulse itself?
"They sacrificed themselves to save us." The blonde said. "But, beyond that, I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Snow Villiers. This is my fiancée, Serah Farron, and her sister, Lightning-"
"Please, call me Claire." Lightning said with a smile. Snow smiled back to her.
"I'm Hope Estheim." Said the silver haired boy. "This is Sazh… Sazh…" He trailed off.
"Sazh Katzroy. This is my son, Dajh." Said the dark skinned man.
"Nice to meet you, sir!" The young boy chirped. He nodded to all of them, shocked at how friendly they were.
"Still, I can't believe you're okay, Yaag. And there's not a scratch on you!" He looked down in surprise. Snow was right- all of his clothes were perfect, and he couldn't feel any injury. He lifted a hand to his head- there was nothing except his smooth hair. He turned to the party again.
"What happened to the two others?" He asked. The group exchanged looks.
"The two… The two became Ragnarok. As we killed Orphan, Cocoon began to fall. We were being saved as we completed our Focus, but Fang and Vanille stayed back and became Ragnarok. They turned Cocoon into a crystal and saved all of us." Hope said. His eyes were low to the ground.
"So everyone's okay? All the civilians?"
"The military is helping everyone as we speak. It was because you sent the order for them to." Claire said. He seemed to remember giving the order to suspend all l'Cie activities.
"Here, let's get you up." Snow said. He and Sazh supported him as they got him to stand.
"N-no way!" Came a loud voice. They turned to see a soldier running towards them. "Lieutenant Colonel Rosch!" He said. "I thought you were- oh man, you're okay!" The soldier exclaimed. "I was hearing terrible things about how you- you- aw, I'm so glad you're okay!" The soldier, without warning, came forward to hug him. This caught him by surprise, but he didn't move away. "All the soldiers were a mess when they heard you died right after giving the orders to save citizens. If it weren't for that… I don't know how many lives we would have lost."
"I should help you." He said, seeing past the soldier to the military men filing citizens to safe areas, telling them everything's going to be okay, and that the Cocoon has been saved.
"Don't even think about it!" The soldier said. "You need to rest. So much has happened. You were working so much harder than everyone else."
"Daniel!" The soldier turned around. A woman was waving to him.
"I have to go." The soldier said. "But I'm glad you're alive. Everyone will be ecstatic to hear. You'll be a hero." It was obvious the man had a huge smile on behind his helmet. He turned and ran towards the woman. "I'm coming! Guys, guess what?" They could hear before his voice was too far off for any of them to try and listen.
"He's outgoing." Hope said. Snow laughed.
"That's an understatement." The others laughed, and he smiled at them.
"But Yaag… I still have to wonder. How are you alive?" He looked down.
"I was nowhere for a while- I couldn't feel anything, see anything, or hear anything. It was weird and confusing, though not so much at the time- and then I heard a voice telling me to wake up. It seemed familiar, but I-" He stopped. He was starting to realize who it was as the others exchanged looks.
"You heard someone telling you to wake up?" Claire asked. Yaag nodded, but he was lost in his own thoughts. The group of six having defeated him as he stumbled out of the Proudclad, blood running down his face, his head pulsing with pain, his body screaming at him to give up and fall to the ground. The group walked past him- and he remembered feeling someone looking back at him, behind all the others. He tried to remember who it was, but the person's face remained blank.
Who were the two that were sacrificed? He thought of the dark haired girl, but it wasn't her he was trying to think then remembered the other- the orange haired pigtailed girl. … Vanille. "It was that girl. The pigtailed girl. She was looking back at me when you all left. Her voice was the one I heard. The one telling me to wake up." The others smiled, but their smiles almost seemed sad.
"She woke us up, too." Hope said. He must have looked confused, because the others started explaining.
"When a Focus is completed, the person goes into crystal stasis, right? She woke us from that." Snow said.
"Without her, we'd be shiny, blue, and sound asleep." Sazh said.
"In the end, though, she ended up sleeping. Her and Fang." Claire finished. He looked towards Cocoon. He could pinpoint the feeling of familiarity to the girl, the one who had saved him.
"You saved Cocoon." Yaag said, as though trying the words on his tongue.
"No, we didn't," Claire said. "They did."