Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy IX.

Memories of Our Friendship

It does not feel right for someone so much younger to be buried beneath so much soil. Whispers among your kind refer to it as a "life cycle" and though we know they fear it, we also know they accept it. How they accept such a preposterous thing is beyond me. A life cycle does not abruptly end unless in battle or sickness. How could your life cycle be complete when there is so much your life has yet to experience and live out?

How could a decade of living permit an eternity of death?

"I'll miss him." Shoulder-length black hair obstructs my vision, and I look up to the back of the head of my queen. She stands solemnly in front of the grave, staring down at the freshly dug soil. What many around me have described as a homely stone, a tombstone, rests on top of the soil with small engravings of endearing words embedded into the gray stone. "He was a good friend."

Most of the people that have come to pay their respects have left, leaving the queen and me alone atop a hill posing as a burial ground for the nearby village. It feels quite lonely in a place with no life.

"Yes, Master Vivi was an excellent companion," I lament. Memories invade my mind, picking out each and every moment I had with the young black mage.

A gentle breeze blesses the hot air, making it a bit easier to breathe. Her Majesty stares off into the direction the wind is coming from, mirroring an expression I had seen before once when the sun had long since set and fireworks illuminated the night sky.

"Steiner." I stand tall, listening intently to whatever my queen has to say. "...His name will not become my father's." She turns to face me with determined dark eyes. "His memory will not be silenced..." The determination wavers, and a vulnerable look overcomes the young woman who had earned my respect for her bravery and courage in such hard times. "...right?"

Smiling softly, a look I often saved for my beloved, I nodded. "Right."

Satisfied, the Queen of Alexandria took one last look at the grave of her dear friend before heading down the hill. It is my duty to remain with her at all times, but I allow myself the grace of privacy for a few moments. The sun is still high in the cerulean blue sky with a few stray clouds passing overhead, and despite everything, time and life continues on.

Vivi... It was you who helped us discover who we are and why we are here. For your courage, and for your friendship, your memory will live on.