A/n: I listened to Yeul's Theme last night and was inspired to write something for her. This is more a character study than anything, and I didn't write it with any pairings in mind, but you are free to interpret it as you wish. I'm not sure if I'll end up writing more for Yeul (within a different continuity) so completion of this is tentative. Thanks for checking this out, and I hope you leave your thoughts!
Yeul clasped her hands together, her breathing slow and reminiscent of slumber. She knelt at the small shrine, elbows atop the tablet. She shut her eyes, to better see what she knew would be her last vision.
A pink-haired girl, stumbling backward onto sand, looking lost. Comrades yelling at her side, charging forward, kicking up duststorms. Her eyes were open wide, so bewildered at the goings on around her. Yeul had seen this girl before. Serah Farron. Serah directed her gaze upward-
"You want her? Then you're gonna have to go through me!"
Yeul's breath caught in her throat, eyelids fluttering open.
Noel's image continued to dance across her vision, his form blending into the curves of the tableau she knelt at. He dove downward to meet Serah, offered her a weapon. She took it in her hands with uncertainty in her eyes. This... their first meeting. This confirmed what she had suspected from her own first meeting with the young apprentice Guardian. He would serve this girl just as Caius served her.
The moment faded from her sight. She stood, dusting dirt from her knees. She had always known Noel was destined for more than this dying place. Caius knew, too. He saw the timeline and its spiderweb of possibilities, amassed the knowledge of all the former incarnations of herself. He was, sadly, on a path to something she could not prevent. She had been with him for centuries, and she knew his ways. If what she had seen was accurate - and, she reflected sadly to herself, it always was - he was set on leaving already. Three down to two. At least he wore the headband she had made him. Those feathers had taken quite awhile to dye, and left her fingertips stained still. It would be with him wherever he chose to go, the smallest piece of herself from this time. He had known when she handed it to him - it was a goodbye gift. He stared long into her pale face before wrapping it around his head.
She walked the pathways of their empty village with her slightly scuffed knees. She took in the low-hanging clouds, the skinny chocobos squawking, and the sound of her own clothes, rustling loudly in this ghost town. She touched the crystal embedded into her sternum, the source of her power and her sickness. Her breaths had been shallow for the past few days, and she slept for much longer than she used to. It was these signs that she remembered from life to life - the signs of her impending end. She was fading, just as this place was.
She allowed herself a small smile, then turned to face Noel.
As he spoke to her, regaling her with a story of how he'd bagged a giant behemoth for her birthday feast, she looked into his face. He was the only thing about this place that was so thoroughly alive. Healthy, capable and wiser than he knew, Noel would go on to do many things in the timeline, with Serah at his side. The girl was not the frail seeress that Yeul knew she herself was. They were capable of much - creative and destructive. She was certain they would choose the paths truest to their hearts. And Noel, she knew, had a pure heart.
He left, presumedly to get Caius, turning from her with a brilliant smile. She mirrored him weakly, then continued up the path to the farseers' relic. She had to record her visions in the Oracle Drive. This would be her last act as the seeress in this life. The relic loomed up in front of her, foreboding, but on she walked.
She wondered what her next life would be like. She carried little with her from life to life, only vague senses of deja vu hinting at what she might have liked or done in a past life. Caius didn't tell her much, at least not in so many words. There were the occasional grunts of surprise or murmurs of consent, which told her some. When she'd picked daisies as a child and he'd only nodded - daisies she'd loved for centuries. When she turned up her nose at cinnamon spice and he'd let out a hum of discontent - she'd liked it so much in her past few lives. Sometimes she wondered if she was an echo, and her true self was at the very start of the timeline. How much of that self was still in her? Did that self want to cut her hair? Did that self love to sing? And then other questions began to spring up: did Caius miss any of the other Yeuls? Did he compare them all?
She arrived at the relic, knelt at its base. She raised a pale hand to the device. It was time to pour her visions of Noel and Serah into the Oracle Drive. She could only see a certain number of paths before her sight clouded. The other Yeuls would have to do the seeing from those points.
The Drive began to glow, and she felt the blood drain from her extremeties. She closed her eyes. She was getting so very cold. It was nearly time.
She heard Noel come up the path and kneel beside her. Caius always kept his distance, mindful of his duty and hers. Noel never did, ever curious, and ever willing to see her as just a girl. "Hey, Yeul!" he said into her ear. He shook her, and she felt herself sway on her knees. "Are you okay?"
Bless you, Noel, she thought as she fell back, knowing he would catch her. It was time for the second goodbye. She'd had time to compose this, as she did Caius' - the twisted advantages of being a seeress - but she did not know what to say at all. Still, she could feel it in her bones, down to the second she would evaporate. Slowly, she opened her eyes. This would be painful for her... because it would be painful for him. "Noel."
He looked down into her face, brows pulled together sorrowfully.
She locked onto his eyes, already tearing. He knew what was to come. "It's strange," she said weakly, "I knew all along this day was coming. But I'm still not ready... to say goodbye."
He shook his head minutely, grabbed her hand tight.
"I wish we could stay together," she told him honestly. She wanted to be more honest, wanted to tell him he was good and pure and strong and that he'd change the timeline with his own seeress. But she couldn't, so she settled for the next best thing. "I'll miss you, Noel."
His tears were spilling over, landing on her skin. She didn't flinch. She reached up and cupped his cheek. A few more seconds, now. "You don't have to cry. We will meet again," she promised. If it was an empty promise or not, she had no way of knowing. Would she remember him into her next life? Don't forget this vitality, she told herself. Remember these tears, and remember his smile.
She felt her heart slow. It was onto the next... I'm coming, Caius.
And those were her last thoughts as the crystal consumed her, and she disappeared to be reborn, all over again.