Disclaimer: Still own nothing but the uncanon ideas, though I do wonder why Square didn't develop the Zodiac matters further.

Notes: This took much longer to write out than I supposed. Maybe it is due to the new ideas and how I cannot seem to be able to focus on ghostly matters alone. I thought this fic in its entirety would be less than 10.000 words in length but by the second chapter it's already passed that mark. I am unsure if I should be proud or suspicious...

I will not proofread this for now, lest I delay it too much.

!Warnings: Multiple pairings, including mooglexhume pairing, mentions of incest, undetailed and rather light sexual content and the general weirdness one should expect from me.

Loneliness was the one thing that degraded him for the past years.

But it would not hinder him, not in this situation.

Luso focused on the task at hand: find out where he was sent to, and find civilization. The creatures roaming the forest he'd fallen into were not as timid as the ones from the surroundings of St. Ivalice. Hare-like animals sniffed him curiously as he passed by, short humanoids eyed him from a distance and so did wolves. Round chickens half his size roamed under the shadow of treetops.


Half his size?

He was sure his eyes had a glimpse of immense yellow legs, and the trembling ground under his feet agreed with him.

They only refused to agree when Luso saw said giant creature running right towards him. They would not budge so save the body that they supported.

Luso thought he would die even as a sonic blade of air hit the chicken's legs, sending it roaring towards the ground.

"Are you alright, boy?"

Clan Gully was his salvation. Happy and courageous as he looked, he was on truth afraid that anything wrong would have him out of the clan and into lost misery. With this worry in mind, Luso did his best and did not question his clan's decisions.

Even after mastering swordsmanship, he never stopped being a writer. Always observing, sincerely curious about Ivalice's culture and history, he wrote down his journal. It was not rare, on the first month, that Luso pestered Cid about everything in that time period. He asked so many things even Cid had to admit he did not know many of them, neither did he understood why the hell was he asking stupid questions such as "how can people learn magick?" or "do dragons exist here?"

The revgaji grew to better tolerate him as their bond grew closer- humes were so easy to bond with, so emotional. Only then did he learn better about how the boy wasn't from this world.

Adelle was, in contrast, much less comforting. Maybe, if he had not his strength, he would be afraid to come near her. She was teasing in every way, and in the first weeks they could not trust her at any rate, careful to count the gil they had every now and then. Fortunately they had none missing, or at least they thought so.

Ghosts were well at the back of his mind. Paranoia was, now, more due to the common monsters than anything- every sound he heard in the wilderness, mainly if they were to sleep out of a city, would startle him right away. He was not used to wake up with sword in hand and eat raw fruit, but it was not like he complained much about it, either.

Cid was shot all too soon. Luso grew desperate with worry, not knowing what would be of the clan or himself if the revgaji died.

As he slowly healed, Cid brushed off his clanmates' worries, posing Luso as the new clan leader. The boy was astonished; the clan's archer, Fayd, had been the leader prior to Cid's arrival, from what he had heard, so why would he be the one to lead clan Gully? The most surprising of it all was said clan's acceptance to the decision. They merely encouraged Luso on, and so the ocean-eyed boy was unable to refuse.

Not as bad in leading as he'd thought, Luso dealt with the burdens of choosing and managing quests and the clan's currency pretty well. He priorized potions over new weapons and it was rewarding. Ivalicean inhabitants were not as difficult to deal with as humes from his own world, though it became a whole different matter when it concerned monsters and different species. He'd never seen anything like them before. So when he caressed moogle wings and prodded viera ears and felt the scales of bangaas and entwined fingers with nu mous, they didn't scold their new clan leader as much.

The newest quest was to recover a zingu pearl. Easy enough, it seemed. But alas, Clan Gully never had set foot inside the Galerria Deep. Not with Luso, at least.

And was it cold. Chilly, desolate. Since the very entrance of the lengthy cave the boy thought that when he stepped inside, he would not see the light of day again. But was turning back even an option?

"We forget now burdens of past, and in its ashes do we collect the seeds of future prosperity." Fayd almost chants, tone loud and sure. The archer turns around at the entrance, fiery eyes gazing down every clan member, and bangaa, viera, moogle and nu mou nod their agreement. Luso and Adelle do not comprehend any of it, nor does Yujin, the newest member and an unsure soldier. And even if their limbs feel glued, petrified, they follow the oldest clan members which had already gotten into the Deep.

"Don't you leave us behind! Hey!"

Monsters became rarer and rarer the deeper they went in. No sight of pearls or big sandy pits they could search in. The search had made them so wary that by the time an enormous sand pit was found, they were not as eager to near it. Much less because it shifted and moved.

Luso was the exception. To ease the thick tension in the humid atmosphere, he checked the pit closely, finding the ripples almost water-like. Certainly there were zingu pearls there!

The boy searched avidly, the others walked closer, brushing off suspicions of unsafety. This mission was going better than what they expected. All is calm and silent. But none ever said death was noisy nor slow.

Luso hears a too sudden, loud shifting sound. His feet do not have the support of the ground anymore, and he sees brown, black, insect. He feels his torso being constricted forcefully, sure that every single rib of his will break in a second or two. Struggling will do nothing, the constricting power able to be equalled to two rocks crushing him. For the first time since his encounter with that crushatrice, Luso thought he would die.

For an instance, he feels unbearable heat, thinking it may be due to his ribs finally breaking and spilling blood everywhere within him. But when the boy is dropped to the sand below, he breathes irregularly and quickly and realizes his bones were still there.

Swift arms pick him up, eyes meeting with Salma's focused expression. She casts a quick cure spell over him just in case, laying him upon the rocky ground farther away from the noise he hears in the distance before taking out her rapier and speeding off to fight.

When Luso glances back, he sees a huge scarab screeching its pain as fire roasts its sketelon, a dragon being the cause of its current burning. Which is odd, as he saw no dragon before. The boy feels helpless as his body wishes to catch its breath and recompose itself and so he cannot fight, left to watch amazed as arrows, swords, rapier and spear make a ridiculously quick work of the dying beast. Never had he seem Clan Gully work so well.

He only understands where the dragon comes from when it happens to shrink, revealing the extremely dark gray fur and long drooped ears that could only belong to Ransem. Maybe that was what being a morpher meant. When the insect stopped writhing and stilled completely, the party turned to Luso, asking how he fared, helping him stand up.

His heart welled up with content warmth, feeling secure and loved. He had not a thing to fear with friends like these.

But of course there had to be a bad event to counterattack that good one. Clan Gully's members had separated in the large gallery room to search for the blasted pearl, except Adelle, who had decided to follow Luso. He searched patiently, hands darkening with wet sand, until the female thief decided to say: "Hey, look! A ghost! Right behind you!"

A dreadful feeling washed over him that moment, an horrid ghostly image flashing on his mind, and so he gripped tightly at his sword and gasped slightly "W-where?" and tried to turn around, only to stumble and fall. Adelle was struggling to keep her balance, so hard she was laughing. He stood up distraught and blushing, and the smirk she donned as he did so just warned him of the torture he'd be getting from her from now on.

Zingu pearls finally found, the mission could be completed.

Luso visited Cid often, relying on him for support about his doubts and worries. Their bond was growing close, too close. The revgaji always renewed his hopes in a way, knowing his clan to be trustworthy, and knowing there was not a thing the boy should worry about. He needn't be desperate about coming back to St. Ivalice, too.

Truth was, Luso loved forgetting about the life he had before and immersing himself into the Ivalice of the current time period. He was a warrior, not a student.

His fear of ghosts would be one of the only remnants of his previous life. And Adelle made sure to prod into that fear as much as she could. Not rarely did she attempt to scare him much like she did on the Galerria Deep, delighted in seeing the boy completely lose his composure. Asking her not to repeat the act again proved to be useless.

Luso loathed the day she would take this too far, and this worry proved itself very real, as one day he had not even opened his eyes to accept the morning sunshine when he stirred to cold breathing against his face.

Forcing sleep away, he lifted heavy lids, preparing to face the foe that somehow got into the inn room.

Large pupils met a frightening sight; ghastly cold mist hovered in the dark air, coming out of a mouth that dripped with a dark liquid. A mess of white strands partially covered glowing yellow eyes, a deep growl coming out of the creature. Heart racing to alarming heights, the boy wanted to scream, but it was caught up in his throat as he coughed harshly, back hitting the bed's wooden end as he moved away desperately. Tears began to well up in his eyes as he downright refused to open them to spot the ghost again, whimpering lightly.

Luso's chest tightened as a familiar, amused laugh filled his ears. Adelle wiped the liquid from her lips, spitting the ice on the floor. "That was the best idea I've had in a while." she grinned, turning to take in his half confused, half horrified expression.

After a few seconds, her grin dropped. "Calm down... it's me, really. That was just a prank."

He simply lowered his head, breathing still irregular. His tired eyes then shot open in realization, hands quickly gripping the sheets and trying to pull them towards himself, throwing Adelle off-balance. "Hey- Wait! What's wrong?" she took his wrists, not wishing to be ridden of the bed. When she noticed his red cheeks, the wrists were drawn back even more, and Luso reluctantly let her push him back.

It had been really just a joke at first. But when he wouldn't calm down and laugh it off, heart rate unsettled, nervous, submissive, eyes prickled with tears and a patch of urine surrounding his crotch, she saw it wasn't a mere normal fear. It was as if this scare had partially broken him. So the thief proceeded to comfort him afterwards. She wasn't as sweet as this when he managed to recover though. Nevertheless, he had little option but to trust her when she knew of his weak bladder and intense fear of ghosts, both which she could and still would use for her advantage. It embarrassed him a lot.

Throughout their quests they happened upon a quite polite and artistic moogle named Hurdy. Being an aspiring bard, his tiny fingers were always ready to tap a song. Luso and he became quick friends as they could talk of inspiration and art, Luso's related to writing, Hurdy's, to music. And the boy had to admit the moogle was graceful and pretty- not rarely would he catch himself staring at the swaying ears, sweet eyes and beautiful blonde hair of the bard. He couldn't, couldn't be falling in love with a moogle; maybe falling for Cid, or even Adelle, was more believable and normal, but a moogle...?

But he was still a teenager, his passionate mind could care less, his occasionally needy body could care even less, and his creative imagination- dear Ivalice what was he thinking.

Luso was sincerely happy when Cid came back healthy and well, though it did not distract his body at all.

But the most overwhelming of all was Vaan. When he first appeared to clean up some mess in the Moorabella Aerodrome with Penelo, the brunette had not paid too much attention, but-

Vaan was much peculiar to him. Besides possessing an eye-glueing beauty, Luso could feel within him a strange presence of importance. As if there was a light or a darkness inside him that he never felt before, in anyone.

And oh fuck his voice. Luso never thought a voice could be so alluring, entrancing, attractive as the Sky Pirate himself. The brunette's body was almost growling, sparking with sexual frustration and held back feelings and why wasn't he giving himself what he wanted?

Probably because he wanted more than he could take. None accepted sharing a lover, did they? So would he even risk trying it? Cid and Hurdy probably preferred females, and wasn't Vaan travelling with Penelo already?

Vaan and Penelo would oft stumble upon Clan Gully, assist them, merely converse as well. The male sky pirate seemed to easily strike conversation with Hurdy about another moogle called Montblanc; apparently, his brother. Vaan talked with Luso as well, ever sating the brunette's curiosity about Ivalice's history. Once in Moorabella they stayed in the pub until rather late in the night because the brunette just would not calm down about Vaan's adventures within the insurgence – resistance, he corrected himself – and in Lemurés. He had not known as much about it before; history classes at his time were rather frail.

"You were a hero... you helped change Ivalice's history for the better."

"Don't flatter me so," Vaan touched his forehead against the boy's, feeling his light pulsing easily. Light, and the faintest feel of gravity. "Ashelia, Basch, Larsa, Balthier, Fran, Penelo... they all helped well alongside me. So did Kytes, Filo... Llyud."

"I don't get it. I don't feel in Penelo the same I feel in you, Vaan." Luso felt darkness, almost smelled it emanating from the other. Light in spirit, darkness in power.

"Nor did I feel in any of them the same as with you," the platinum blonde sighed, stepping backwards. "I am unsure why."

A small part of Luso wished that it would be a signal of love, but he knew all too well that it wasn't. And without a clear answer for the odd feeling they got from each other, they finally headed towards the inn to rest.

Airships were only recently "discovered" in his time, so Luso was astonished to find how technologick and quick and functional they were in Loar. Their insides were even prettier than what his blasted memories told him of. His first ride on an airship there was pacific in general, except in his turmoiled heart. Cid, who knew of the boy's past, held him close for comfort.

In Fluorgis they happened upon Vaan again. While Clan Gully took to buy supplies, the city being a bustling and diverse commerce center, Luso conversed with the sky pirate- it was Vaan's wish that they did so in a place people wouldn't see them. A treasure too dangerous and valuable, he said.

"Luso... have you ever heard of Scions?" the blonde started when both were safely hidden among trees in the city's outskirts.

"Yes." the younger answered simply, remembering Lezaford's words on the matter. "They have immense power and live not in this world... dimension."

"...Almost that, yeah. Well, the twenty five Scions were said to be created by the Occuria, forced to work under them. The Scions of Darkness believed themselves stronger than their creators, and so rebelled, desiring to take them down, but they failed and were trapped within magickal Glyphs."

"Weren't they strong enough?" Luso questioned, head bobbing slightly to the side.

"I think they were, but... something was holding their power back. No one knows what." Vaan exhaled. "Well, these Glyphs- me and my companions managed to obtain all of them."

Luso staggered. "What?"

"Their powers were kind of swayed there. They hadn't much to kill nor reason to attack with all they had, surely tired of being trapped for millenia. So we did it. But the Glyphs were broken after Occuria's grip on history did as well. The Scions were free to roam their land once again. But they did not savor their freedom. For a moment's obedience they submitted to 'big boss' Zodiark and allowed us to lock them inside those accessories. But still once released from those they would be free once again, only coming back to the accessory in soul if their new owner proved to be worthy. They aren't as locked as before." Vaan threw something – a choker, Luso presumed - in the air, catching it again easily. "Here, take it. It likes you."

"Likes me? What do you mean?"

"It felt attracted to you. Always responded somehow when you were near. Maybe you have an use for him. Zeromus' soul is inside that choker, and he wields gravity. Just don't show it off too much, okay? He'll help you when you call or when he so desires it. He's not truly bad, so don't you worry. Don't let anyone steal this accessory. Scions aren't the slaves their creators wanted them to be, so, wrong hands... you get what I mean."

Luso felt special, possessing such a powerful mystical creature as a Scion. But as soon as he went to sleep that night, a mere second from laying the magick accessory down on the bedside table, the choker latched itself on his mouth by force, and though his hands tried to pull it off he could do naught to remove it.

"Luso. We meet again."

A deep, distant voice, whose familiarity only his soul could grasp. His mouth began to salivate in compliance to the choker placed on his lips.

"Gravity is yours, if you so prove yourself worthy of wielding it."

A symbol glowed blue in front of his eyes. Two circles, each with a tail, seemingly as if they were chasing each other, if not frozen in time.

"And if you do, we are Cancer as one. It is I, Zeromus, the Condemner, that calls upon you."

The Condemner's Choker released his drooling mouth soon afterwards. Luso wondered how one could wield gravity like they did fire or wind.

Khamja and Duelhorn. Two clashing organizations – they had too many members to be called clans, so Cid had them go by the term organization – that seemed to slowly tear Jylland apart. They could be ignored before. But it was becoming too much. And Clan Gully wasn't going to stand indifferent to that.

Luso was hopeful as he had felt a flicker of light within one of Khamja's most skilled assassins, the Nightfall Ewen. They did meet quite a bit of times, oft to discuss valors of life or battle. Ewen taught him a lot of ninjutsu, and though they would still not trust each other as much, they were somehow acquainted.

"You seem to take more pleasure in doing as you please than killing under orders. Why don't you desert Khamja?"

"Once in Khamja, always in Khamja. Wonder you still why we so dislike Cid?"

Their encounters were always at night, and luckily no clan member insisted to know how Luso was able to wield some magicks and ninjutsu out of nowhere. He had become such an able fighter. No living thing could topple him easily. That didn't stop Adelle from taking advantage of him, though.

But differently from before, she was currently taking things too far. If he wasn't as confused and embarrassed and weak at the moment he could well have cursed her for rape or the similar, yet being touched by another felt unbelievably good. Luso was unsure why she had done it; then again, he couldn't understand any of the resolves she might have had for anything.

And now that he knew better of the sensation, every time his creative mind decided to work in the matter it would feel much more real. Unhelpful. Yet deep inside, he still desired that Cid, or Hurdy, or even Vaan, would do as Adelle did.

Then again, matters of the heart seemed easier to deal with than his biggest fear. Disdain. Phobia.

Freaking ghosts.

That posting at the pub had almost frozen Luso, heart slowly sinking down his chest before, as he finished, it relocated itself and thumped heavily and slowly. Or so it seemed.

"Excuse me, sir?" barely stuttering, the boy asked the pubmaster, "Could you give me some information about the Nazan Mines?"

"Oh, the said haunted mines? They were all crowded and made the miners' prosperity years ago, such joyous days. Now they are mere site of research for scholars and geologists... and are said to house many types of undead, such as zombies and ghosts. Hunters say they are real, some other won't believe it, but meh, no proof."

The ill researcher needed their help, depended on them for his life. So they could not draw back.

Cid once again supported him on. Even though undead could be brushed off as mere enemies for the hunters of Ivalice, for Luso, it wouldn't be as simple. The first step into the mines had the boy feel the nauseous taste of vomit at the back of his throat, but he swallowed it obediently. Nothing to fear, he repeated to himself. You're strong. Your Clan's with you.

As with the Galerria Deep, the mines were damp, cold and rather dark, its predominant soil being a tone of grey instead of the less eerie brown of the Galerria. This time, however, there were no creatures inside. The Tramdine Fens had much more water and was warmer than this almost toxic ambient, so of course the monsters preferred the outside.

Well, the living monsters.

Luso had swore not to fret, but what are promises if not mere words? The sight of the ghosts and their long-drawn moans alone felt like a cannon shot to his rather unprepared psyche. Never had they before looked so physical and mischievous. So many, many of them. He felt like a little kid all over again.

He was unprepared, yet they attacked. The clan reacted instantly, drawing blades, bow, harp, rod. Luso felt his living pace quickened by a haste spell, but moving was difficult. Utterly overwhelmed by the mere presence of the undead, a step felt like a mile, the light katanas he held, as if made from the heaviest ore. On truth he only really snapped into reality when a strangled groan filled his ears and a beam of a light so intense it almost blinded his eyes came into vision few centimeters away.

"Luso! Put yourself together! It is not only our lives that we hold responsible over!" Yujin, long made a paladin, shouted towards him.

There were far too many. They couldn't do it without him. His mind clicked painfully. Were he to remain still, he would be hindering everyone.

No. Nobody would die because of him. It would be unbearable.

Luso fought and did not know how he did. Everything was a blur. To guide himself he used the odd ability of sensing light and darkness he had somehow attained in Ivalice, striking dark, dodging and defending light. He attempted to forget the undead and focus on the battle, immersing himself into it.

Too many. It wasn't enough.

In a too hurried spin he wound up tripping, falling dangerously on the rocky soil below. It only added to the already existing aches, and the boy highly wished ninjutsu abilities did not require so much concentration. Katanas no longer had contact with his hands, and while he searched for it with the same hands, he only found rocks, dirt, blood.

Clawed hands both of deteriorating material and ghastly in nature racked at him, their sounds horrifying. They reeked of dead and despair. His conscious was giving out. Luso did not want to fight anymore. He wanted to shrink, stop listening and feeling and smelling, and die at once.

Something pulsated on his belt.

"Do you not think you have proved yourself already?"

He felt constricted against the ground by no physical force for a moment. He heard screams that belonged not to the living. A warm feeling of power, as well. When Luso opened his eyes, he understood far too well why.

Zeromus was laying condemnation over the multiple undead, throwing them away with gravity, raking them with large orange claws, crushing them with the hand of a crab. The Scion's deadly tail gave no pretty imagery when it sliced through the corpses that insisted on fighting.

Said gravity was also the one to throw Luso in the air, and he felt himself expecting the less pleasant of scenarios before Cid's strong arms caught the boy before he could fall.

"Did you summon it?" the revgaji questioned, astonished by the power of the allied creature that was basically doing their dirtier job for them. Luso shook his head weakly, feeling very nauseous. Zeromus did was his, in a way, but he had never called him.

What seemed to be before an extremely high amount of foes was reduced to nothing with the Scion's power. A pregnant silence loomed over them with the last deaths, as if daring them to ask, yet holding their startled selves from saying anything. Zeromus ignored the hume curiosity and hesitation, turning around and staring Luso down. When he spoke, his beak-like mouth seemed to move little.

"I may be an ally whenever you summon my help, but be aware I am no slave. Prepare yourself."

He allowed himself to be absorbed into the Choker clinging to Luso's belt, leaving Clan Gully with nothing to expect.

"I suppose we should head back to see if the man remains ill or if he has become sane, after we willed away those spirits." Ramsem suggested thoughtfully.

Cid did not let go of the boy even after he was able to walk, tending his odd poison with esuna along the way. Many undead were poisonous, being able to spread it through breath and touch alone. The other members of the clan had their own poisons already cured by Yujin's chivalry.

As he was carried to the safety of Fluorgis, dark thoughts swirled within Luso's mind. That had been a living nightmare, what they went through in the Nazan Mines. Would they have died if Zeromus had not chosen to intervene? Would they be unable to complete the quest, and leave the man fated to suicide from the insanity he'd fall in? Could have only some of the clan members died, and the others left to mourn over their loss? And if he himself died, how would his aunt fare in Saint Ivalice? Would others have shared the same fate in the wretched mines had they not killed the undead? It gave him a headache, thinking about it.

The man had gotten better, after all. Luso tried to brighten up with that knowledge. He didn't. His body felt too tired, felt like he was unable to do battle or running. Rather numb. Maybe he was sick.

It had been that chief undead soul the one to fell him with such illness he could not force himself to smile. Pessimism gripped him, unyielding, at all times, making him weak, ever sad. All of Clan Gully worried for him, and he felt he should be content, for the others cared, but he could not. All that struck Luso in it was guilt for making them worry.

It was a deep, hopeless depression.

In battle he was struck down and hit much more easily. The pessimism in him led the boy to believe he was becoming no more than a nuisance to the clan. They had to keep him in a bed for days so he would stop thinking that for every battle they engaged in, and so he would recover more quickly.

Luso hated it. Being alone allowed the worrying thoughts to plague him constantly, bringing him over to despair, and not rarely he would find himself tearing up or crying from the thoughts alone. What if his friends died in battle? What if he could have been there to prevent it? What if the illness he felt passed onto anyone else? What if the undead from the Nazan Mines wanted revenge and proceeded to kill other Ivaliceans? What if they are searching for him everywhere back in his time, or had they thought him long dead already? What if they blamed his death on Mewt? What if he died and Ewen received no more encouragements to break free of Khamja's grip? It was truly sickening.

So when Cid arrived to check upon him one day, Luso took his blonde head and kissed him to the best of his ability and did not give a care in the world about the possible consequences. He wasn't going to let him go. He wouldn't, couldn't be alone again.

Much to his happiness, the revgaji didn't pull away. His lips, though hesitating, were tender against his own, but he did not linger before pulling away.

And still Luso pleaded. "Just... don't go. Please. I need someone to talk to, a distraction, anything. These thoughts are driving me insane."

"Thoughts?" Cid asked softly, tender as his kiss had been.

"Thoughts of death, hopelessness, worry. They just don't go away. I was never like this, so why the fuck...?" Like this, yes. Just not as deeply.

Words heeded, he was brought back into the battlefield, and there would he remain until he was cured, allowed to smile and laugh once again. The undead soul was whisked away, though it left behind another reason for the boy to hate ghosts.

Back in their tracks, Luso kept to filling his journal, avoiding the haunted mines as much as he could and growing in courage after he better learnt of Cid's returned feelings.

The same feelings he hoped Hurdy would have as well. But would that not be dreaming too high? The moogle was talented and kind, precious and helpful, and though Luso wanted to give him the love – and the lust, the boy recognized with a blush – he deserved, could it even be possible that they accepted a romantic affair of four ends? Hardly so. But he could well be underestimating these Ivaliceans. Vaan had helped him broaden his views even further once, giving him more hope on the matter.

"Have you... ever felt you loved someone more than you should?" Luso launched the small stone onto the water's surface, watching as it bounced off before finally diving.

"Yes," Vaan replied, a sad smile rising on his lips. "... My brother. One does not love a sibling like I loved him."

At first, Luso blinked. That sure was a big thing to swallow.

"You don't... love him anymore?" the younger asked slowly, pupils dilated in surprise.

"He's dead."

Luso swallowed thickly. "I'm sorry-"

"I'm through with it, don't worry." Vaan smiled a little more brightly, arm wrapping around the brunette's shoulder. Neither made a sound or move as the sky pirate tried throwing a stone onto the water, and it bounced too briefly before disappearing under the surface. One that lived in a desert knows less how to play with water.

"Did he... reject you?" Luso spoke calmly, a little uncomfortable for treading on intimate territory.

Not faltering, Vaan closed his eyes and shook his head negatively, his grey-blue eyes seeming much more vivid when he opened them again. "I think he loved me, not only as brother but as lover, much before I did. I had not even known incest was supposed to be a sin, or a bad thing whoever they call it, but when I did, I couldn't care. We loved each other too much, and I simply hated that there would be some guilt in his expression every time he kissed deeply, touched, found himself liking it too much... it... one shouldn't feel guilt for loving another. Love is supposed to be a good thing." a blush spread on sun-kissed cheeks as he chuckled, "I think I'm talking too much here..."

"I don't mind it. Really. It's just... I-I didn't expect you to get so intimate. With me of all people."

Crossing his arms behind his head, the blonde stood up. "I see the way you look at me, Luso."

It was the youth's turn to blush. "H-huh? What do you mean-"

The kiss had been intense in a way neither could describe. Not fiery with lust, nor quite drowning in passion, but that feeling, that intensity... it was related to the peculiar kind of energy they felt in no one else.

It was far too strange and overwhelming and he was unsure if he wanted it or if he should move away. His mind didn't. His body wanted to press closer yet it wasn't from primal mating instinct; the sexual need was far less strong than this odd- this odd- thing.

They parted and not for breath as it was not what they were accostumed to. The sensation had been comforting, pleasant, but too exquisite.

Both gazed into each other's eyes.

"Luso. Your light. Never lose it, okay?"

Well... the... conversation had given him hope about his impossible crushes. Adelle had headbutted in without consent, Cid was willing, and now, if he had any luck, Hurdy could be his, too. Vaan was not truly in his reach, and though they did love each other in an affectionate way, it was a kind of relationship he could not really count in.

One day after the conversation about Reks, which he learned to be the name of the sky pirate's brother, he asked Vaan if he moved on after Reks died, to which he showed him a long collar with a pretty red feather as its main adornment.

"High up in the skies, there was a purvama, called Lemurés, in which a warrior race known as aegyl lived. They had in their backs wings of all kinds of colors. From the most curious of aegyls, I took this feather. He meant a lot to me, so I'm going to find him again one day." Vaan muttered dreamily.

Luso supposed he understood. It was another legend of Ivalice that he would savor.

There was also Ewen, the Nightfall who the boy was attempting to get out of Khamja. Even if Ewen showed no true interest in it. Of course the ninja looked alluring and desirable enough sometimes, but that was it. No further. But his views as a professional assassin were truly interesting.

And for that, one night Luso dared question him something he would usually avoid, lest his fear is bared for people to see. Both very awake, skin caressed with cold, Luso voiced: "What think you of ghosts?"

Taking his time to think, the ninja replied most indifferently, "They are merely the physical manifestation of a deceased's spirit, most corrupted by darkness, unthinkingly roaming and lusting for blood. If not corrupted they merely roam the world, purposeless, and still unthinking. If they become too physical, they are named undead."

"There are no undead where I come from."

"May be from too little influence of light and dark. You said there was no magic either, did you not? Their souls are probably much weaker. Grew weak, gave birth to weak, died weak of soul. Lack of magick and true fighting spirit tends to do that."

He felt a little cowardly, then. In this Ivalice they had true reason to fear ghosts, as those could really do physical damage, but back in his home, they were mere spectres, almost simple air. Though as images of blood and corrupted faces flashed in his mind, Luso reassured himself his deep fear was genuine and reasonable, and were not his sickly reactions to it and haunting paranoia enough of a problem already?

Fear the living, not the dead.

Fear the physical, not the imaginary.

It is all in your head.

But fuck, it isn't.

And were not all undead corrupted? Normally a strong feeling such as hate will allow a ghost to go physical, or rise the dead, maybe, as well, A woman, before a zombie, called Frimelda, told him. She did not seem corrupt – at least in general, since she many times sported unkind mannerisms that led him to doubt some of it – so maybe there were good ghosts and undead around.

Of course Luso's hope dropped when he learnt she hadn't really died, only turned zombie by a special chemical. Oh great. What could he trust about undead now?

He saw his hope faultering and renewing itself. Then faultering again, and so it continued.

On a very early morning Hurdy had asked if the sea-eyed boy would like to stroll with him in the Tramdine Fens to collect wood for a flute he wished to obtain. Luso felt unable to deny it. They left a note to warn the clan of their whereabouts and left well-equipped.

If they spoke in the way, they spoke of art. Hurdy pointed at certain trees and told him about what kind of flute each could birth, saying the type of wood he procured was a little rare and delicate, so he supposed it was not the job for their bangaa. Luso found the calm morning more than inspiring, feeling the urge to write, but not having brought his journal, he simply kept walking.

Such peace was almost dream-like. Night creatures prepared to sleep while day dwellers woke from their slumber, groggy and not yet willing to fight.

But a day is not a day without a little conflict.

"Luso!" Hurdy shoted suddenly in his high voice, "Behind you!"

The boy promply rolled forward as to evade whatever was trying to attack him from behind, solely wishing it wouldn't be a magick user. Just as he tried to lift himself from the ground to fight, a melodious Requiem echoed through the air, freezing him in place.

Admittedly, if adrenaline wasn't being pumped in his blood at the moment, Luso would probably have melted with the beauty of the moogle's voice as he sang.

The brunette turned around in time to see a barely physical ghost disappear with little protest, damaged badly by light.

... Hurdy's song did that?

"Kupooo," the blonde whined slightly, panting to catch his breath. "You good, kupo?"

Luso did not answer, instead smiling and taking him in an embrace upon his lap. "You sing so beautifully." the boy said breathlessly before he could stop himself.

"T-thank you kupo," Hurdy said in response to the compliment, "This one was not difficult to beat, it was probably wanting to vanish into the afterlife already, kupopo." he then wiggled, shifting considerably while trying to get off the hume's arms, "The hug is too strong, Luso- Mmff-"

Loosening the clutch of his arms, Luso made to apologetically explain, "I'm used to hugging people bigger than me, I guess." Hurdy seemed to become still and silent. The boy felt his furred face heat up against his chest. "Hey, why are you-"

... Oh.

"Ah. I'm sorry." Luso murmured, cheeks tinted a deep red as Hurdy fidgeted with slight discomfort. He was surely feeling the boy's desire poking him from below. Luso lifted the small body and placed him on the ground, quickly standing up even as his legs shook a little. "We should now find the wood, shouldn't we?"

He made sure that he was far behind the moogle, scolding himself for having paid little attention to what could have happened back there. Maybe if he did the awkward scene wouldn't have played itself out. What if the bard was afraid of him now?

Luso drew out his katana, knowing his arousal to be heated still. He tempered the blade with the spell of Hoarfrost, feeling the chilly air emanate off its surface. It was the fastest way to deal with it, was it not? He approached the side of the katana to his clothed heat, shivering already from the thought of it, before he felt a tug at the blade's handle, another at his belt.

The spell faded.

"I can help you, kupo."

Never again did he question of how Hurdy felt about him.

Luso was afraid the three would not take it lightly. Cid had, on truth, grimaced at the prospect at first, but came to not be much bothered by it with time. The boy was glowing with happiness with the two males accepting it, even though they were rather uneasy, but knew they must have made a right decision when Luso showed to be as bright as ever since.

And Adelle, who wasn't one to share anything, was surprisingly indifferent about "sharing" him.

The entirety of Clan Gully was special, but those three became specially close to the sea-eyed boy. Gully was his family, Jylland his devotion, Ivalice, his heart.

Khamja thus was their most immediate enemy. Organization and Clan represented a threat to each other. The one to ruin the other first would win.

They were dealing with skilled assassins, and this reality would only truly be shown to all but Cid, who already knew of it, in a night of minucious planning and isolation. Khamja was stealthy in its every move.

Even though some of the clan members were missing, the chance to obliterate them was not wasted. Illua, ever the ambitious leader, had her lips open in a delighted grin as she watched them pace through the entrance of Delgantua Ruins.

The uneasy feeling had crept up Luso's spine as soon as they set foot on the ruins' edge. The Condemner's Choker was almost shivering in his belt, as if expecting.

"We should turn back." Jaoreen, the assassin, hissed softly. One of two male vieras the clan had ever seen, he could almost smell danger as they knew it, but upon the warning Adelle merely scoffed.

"We can face anything, and some bad omen over some old ruins won't topple it for us."

Luso was going to interject, but was almost forcibly stopped by a loud, short, exploding sound.

Many shots flew across the air at once. He had not sensed it; his soul did. With an instinctive hand flip and an ethereal feel of power, a flash of blue occurred, and the boy didn't even know how it came to happen, but the bullets never reached them.

Shock overcame both clan and organization. Luso glanced at his hands, then up.

"Those Khamja rats..." Cid growled under his breath, seeing the gunners and snipers that composed a prestigious division of assassins in the secret group.

Illua's expression contorted angrily at the odd powers.

Another shot.

But I didn't...

His body did it again, as if refusing to allow the death of his friends. Now, the blue magick could be seen better before it faded. A shield...?


Zeromus, what did you do?

An amused chuckle. I did nothing. It is your doing, Luso.

"Has the Grimoire granted you this, boy?" Illua asked, tone like sugar mingled with raw dirt.

"How would I know?" he rasped back.

She grinned, biting back frustration. "We shall see once I have my hands on it."

Night was a studio for the clouds to play with, their position able to cast darkness over the land or allow the moon to shine on all below. They were at the moment eight, and how many were by Illua's side there? They had to run.

"I'm ready to Cover." Yujin warned, whilst the moogle Ganoslal lit his sword with fire, a light to pierce the darkness.

"There are fifteen of them that I can sense," Fayd informed after he broke off from a illusionist concentration.

And so they ran. Luso embraced the ethereal, powerful feel that burned in his fingertips and chest and with it felt an intimacy with the force of gravity. With it he threw opponents away, hurled stray rocks and sticks at them. It would feel delightfully entertaining if their lives weren't held by a thin strap as they fled towards Moorabella.

Everything he heard was unnerving, from the sound of swords and bullets cutting the air to screams.

"Yujin- stop Covering me! You have already a lost eye and I wouldn't want you to lose the other!"

He felt tiny arms gripping his neck, it almost making him stumble with the startle.

"Too quick. Had to fly, kupo..." Hurdy murmured against his ear, breathing ragged.

Snow had been their best sighting yet. It meant they were near the city's outer walls, and as such, near safety. Most of the gun-wielding assassins had already tired much, giving up their strife after the snowy grounds cooled their feet, but Illua wouldn't just give up.

Damn it.

"Wait, Luso- what what- what are you doing- kupoooooooo!" Hurdy was easily thrown over one of the rocky walls, light as he was. With clenched teeth, Luso turned around in time to parry a sword strike of Khamja's blue-haired leader.

"You're just a boy," she snarled, sword not even drawing back as it forced one of his katanas off his hand, and Luso bit his lip harshly to suppress a gasp as he felt the very tip of his fingers cut off.

"Jealous of my ambidextruousity?" he countered, swinging the other katana in her direction, only to have the woman jump back. She glared, madly striking in attempts to disarm him of his other blade. He tried electrifying her through the spell of Skyfury, but seeing this Illua let go of the blade at the same moment, and so the electric jolt came right back at him. Literally shocked, he staggered, and it was enough to have his katana thrown off and away from his grasp.

"Swords make of a peasant a squire, but what of one without them?" she pushed him to the snow-covered ground with all strength of an arm.

Luso was attempting to fill himself with gravity's power again, but her blade was too quick, its swiftness cutting the air ahead of his face and-

It just stopped.

What? He felt a pressure at his right hand. He had hold of something. Swinging it, the brunette found out it was a large, slightly transparent sword, and Illua was forced to step back.

"This Grimoire, it-" she hissed out.

"Would you stop blaming the Grimoire for everything?" he growled, swinging the sword's strangely light weight towards the woman. She jumped back again.

"Why else-"

"Luso!" an arrow burrowed itself almost ridiculously close to Illua's feet. Jaoreen's eyes narrowed.

The woman's glare became murderous. "You will no longer have any hand to wield a blade next time we meet."

And much to his relief, she disappeared. But so did the mighty, bluish transparent blade he held.

That entire event had been the first time Luso came to know he could wield gravity not unlike Zeromus. Sadly it was not often he could harmonize enough with it to wield it, nor get the hang of it as he wished. Of course they questioned how he managed that, but since he could not explain, they presumed it was the doing of the Scion of Cancer and said nothing.

On truth the one other time he found himself able to use it was once again a time of dire need, of imminent death.

Clan Gully was well warned of the danger dealing with those heavily misted crystals could proportionate, but it was not of curiosity to kill them, and they had already learned it after shushing the light of the Brightmoon Tor tower for the first time. Different dimensions, teleportation, they'd dealt with it all.

Or so they thought. Contact with the third crystal, in the cursed Delgantua Ruins of all locations, had sent them into blinding darkness. It was a void in which they could nor see nor feel anything physical around. They were left expecting, calling for names that would not answer. But it was brief-lived.

The first words that came to Luso's mind once the darkness was shrugged away and allowed them to see something were wall, daggers, death, skull.

Weak torches lit the features of a thing best left unseen. It was a rocky wall of moving limbs, some looking like raw bones, sharp and multiple bug-like legs able to drag it back and forth. But of course they would not drag back. As it struggled forward, its deep redden eyes gazed soullessly forward, its "face" also a horrendous thing. Who would allow such a thing to wield those many daggers and swords?

The sounds it made topped over the scariness of it all, as if blood icing was put on a dated out cake.

Luso was downright tired of it. His legs tired of weakening with fright, skin tired of shivering, bladder tired of giving in, limbs tired of the startle, mind fatigued of the dread and heart of its clenching.

His friends were there, starting to fight the ominous wall. He wished to tag along, but his legs did not feel up to it just yet. He almost tripped over. Said wall was forcing them back, diminishing their space, behind them a dark pit whose end they couldn't discern. This dimension was as hateful and alike in appeareance to the ruins. Except the ruins had no botomless pits to be dealt with.

It wasn't late before the demonic wall forced upon them a magickal swipe which threw all over to the pit. Their screams became the fuel that allowed Luso to feel the ethereal power again, and embrace it with a calmness he did not know he had at the moment.

Feeling the living presences around him, Luso grasped at them with gravity, stopping their fall. He stopped his own as well, nullifying gravity on himself to leap towards the floor above, dragging the bodies with it. With gravity did he stop the wall's advance and allowed his friends to destroy it.

"Luso, your eyes... they were glowing blue. As in, really glowing. Like there was blue mist emanating from them in a way."

This gravity. Why did he even have this power?

"It's because you are a Cancer in the Zodiac," Vaan had answered him when he had asked almost exasperatedly one day. "There is other reason, or reasons, but I don't know of them. Zodiark wouldn't tell me anything either."


Luso's heart almost shot up to his throat as the sky pirate suddenly shot a blast of darkness from his hand, it ripping off a chunk from a rock. When the platinum blonde looked back at him, his greyish blue eyes were darkened.

"He is Ophiuchus and Darkness, so do I. He had taken a liking to me just as Zeromus took a liking to you. But again, I don't know as much beyond this..."

Vaan had conjured that darkness (as an element, not from my heart, he had said) out of almost nowhere, yet Luso couldn't simply do the same with his special gravity. Practice, concentration, he would get used to it, or so he hoped.

Luso wrote on the Grimoire, just as it wrote down itself sometimes as well. Time passed slow. He still couldn't come back, didn't truly want to, but he kept on. Illua wanted his Grimoire but such a tome could not get into hands as wicked as hers, for the monsters of the Rift to be released over the land. One of them had to be killed and he wasn't ready to allow that one to be him. Not when she threatened his Ivalice.

Great, he was becoming possessive of a land. More than just a land, he corrected, but still.

In Zellea laid a Jagd that appeared to be an end of the world, running thick with mist and barren as a desert, but colder, less friendly. Dark. The lines that divided the dimensions themselves seemed thinner and easier to cut, so to open a Rift there would be almost as easy as summoning an Esper in common land. An Esper, not a Scion, as they so easily tended to mend both as one in terms.

Lezaford asked him many times if he was ready for this dangerous battle. No, no, maybe, no, maybe, yes. He trusted Clan Gully too much. They teleported using a red crystal that was secured within the basement of Lezaford's cottage and from there, walked until they almost felt time warp itself, mist flowing almost too thick as to make the vieras Salma and Jaoreen shudder furiously and even Luso noticed he himself was almost falling breathlessly to his knees from such high amounts of mist.

At least the rest seemed rather alright. The sea-eyed boy had become used to bringing his "three lovers" into risky combats, however, it was still difficult not to protect them all the time during those. He needed to remember they could take care of themselves, and Fayd and Yujin reminded him well of that by trusting each other enough in battles.

Illua wasn't really waiting. She was observing the entire place, as if feeling its potential and power. This time she was not guarded by her assassins of Khamja, but by a horde of behemoths that seemed more dazed and mind-controlled than obedient of their own accord. As if Luso would mind interrupting this.

"Hey Lu!" he waved two katanas in the air, wary as all behemoths and the woman turned to face the Clan. "I thought you were going to summon some friends so we all came along to party."

"I reckon you should attain a more serious posture, or else the behemoths may get their meal before the monsters of the Rift do so."

Better than thinking about the saddest parts in all of this.

"I suppose the power hungry is never sated." Cid commented.

"Nor should those with filled stomachs complain about hunger."

The ensuing battle was not as much complicated. Behemoths were formidable foes, but even so they succumbed to the might of a clan who ought not to give up. Cid allowed Illua's death to be honorable, too, and she faded in darkness, an unusual parting for a living being. The behemoths did not degrade, instead slowly becoming purple mist.

Luso took the corrupt Grimoire left behind by the woman, its dark surface still. The Grimoire will open the Rift, Illua had said. Was she really sure of it?...


Clan Gully heard an inhuman, deep roar shake the ground. A mystical pressure unimaginable cut a rift in the dimension, the corrupt Grimoire suddenly glowing throughly, floating, pages flowing forth.

From the Rift emerged a headless melty body, who promptly attempted to crush them under a hand of rock. They couldn't dodge. Salma had been expecting this, and so in a split second she called forth the Esper avatar of Phoenix, it engulfing them in rebirthing flames.

They were ready to fight again.

Their numbers and quick actions were the critical factors to lead them to any victory, but the Neukhia just refused to die. Misty, newer limbs made to slash at them, magick that they could not dodge weakening their every heartbeat.

Luso was almost forcing a sacrifice unto himself, unable to keep listening to the pained sounds and breaths, aware any of them could die at any given moment. But maybe if he died, all fears of the time when he was ill with an undead soul would become real, and who would be able to wield the Grimoire and close the Rift if not him?

"Luso, don't." Yujin told the boy as if reading his mind. Luso frowned as he looked him over, it almost crystal clear to him that the paladin had been Covering the others from attacks.

"Has Fayd not scolded you enough about excessive Covering?"

"I-I can't help myself. Mainly now, with all the risks we are running through..."

"Fayd's gonna kill you if we get out of this alive, you know, right?"

"That won't be necessary."


Yujin started shining white, eyes closed.

'I'm sorry.'

It was like a shot of light going straight into the Neukhia's core. Two screams of pain then echoed through the air: the monster's, and Fayd's.

Yujin was nowhere to be seen, no more. It was heartwrenching and maddening at the same time. It filled Clan Gully with renewed strength. Fayd absorbed an overwhelming amount of mist, releasing it with an illusionist magick that sent the Neukhia staggering, almost distorting the fabric of dimensions in the Jagd.

Luso felt deep within the ethereal force. The Grimoire of the Rift junctioned itself magickally with the Judge Sword, the transparent blade that materialized its light into Luso's hand as soon as his soul finally felt harmonized with the power of gravity again.

It functioned like a key. As soon as he stabbed the sword through the creature and into the Rift, slaying it, the Rift shut itself tightly, leaving behind only remnants and mist.

The Jagd was still and barren as if nothing had even ocurred in it. Never once had a victory tasted so bitter to them, the good elements of it not yet enough to cancel out the bad ones. None of them moved if not to heal another, Hurdy's hoarse voice echoing in a curative chant through the empty space. And even so, they were almost succumbing to the wounds.

"Fayd." Armored steps shushed low, pained voices and proceeded towards the silently crying archer, who looked up thoughtlessly. "The Judge of an Adjudged Clan lives not without his clan." No answer came as Fayd swallowed thickly, broken still by the loss of his lover. "If you are to die here, my fate is the same."

They watched in expectance as Clan Gully's judge threw aside his sword, entertwining his own gloved fingers ahead of his chest.

"Fayd. You have been a great leader for all since I first met you. So were Cid and Luso, and each member devoted to Gully. As a Judge, it is my duty to protect your right to live. As a comrade, it is my desire to keep you alive."

The Judge faded into a light that warmly settled itself inside the twelve members, healing them drastically. They found their limbs and strength restored, ready to walk.

It was difficult to decide, whether to smile or cry.

The risk of stray Rifts opening was eradicated for now, and Luso felt, so clearly, that his Grimoire was ready to send him to St. Ivalice again. He found out that, deep down, he had never wanted this moment to come.

But what of his aunt? What of those who could be considered his friends in the school? Had the two years he spent on Jylland done its effect over there? He was afraid. So afraid.

Why shouldn't I... stay... here?

Tears cascaded down his eyes, and he could not stop them. He wished he could turn back from the decision, stay with them all. Go with Vaan to search for the aegyl, study the other lands and species.

Luso couldn't.

The time of the good-bye was psychologically murdering him. Fayd needed comfort after Yujin's death, the clan needed strength after the loss of its Judge. And Luso needed this Ivalice, needed them all, it all. He was going to leave this place that he loved so much and come back to a world in which he did not feel as lively in, did not feel as happy, as belonging.

He glanced over at Cid, Adelle, Hurdy. His eyes could not even properly see them, so filled with tears they were. The embraces, kisses, touches, he would have none of it once returning. There would be only humes. No battles to be fought.

It would be like dying.

Vaan patted his shoulders, holding onto them. "Come visit us again someday, Luso. We'll receive you back with open arms."

I am too tired of good-byes. Reks killed, when Balthier disappeared for a year, then Llyud- please, Luso. Don't let this be our last meeting.

He looked at them all, trying to smile. "I shall."

When the vortex of time swallowed him and his memories of the time in Jylland came back with rushes and jolts, Luso felt like curling up and dying there, but knew that it was still something he could not do.

Mewt, the librarian, was there when he arrived. He seemed not surprised, merely fixing his glasses as Luso composed himself from his emotional wreck and asked, "Which year are we in?"

The older chuckled, answering, "It has not passed an hour since you first disappeared from here."

Dumbstruck, the boy stuttered out, "B-but it's been two years- I went to another world, Mewt, you just have no idea-"

"Oh, but I do." he smiled warmly. "I believe you did, and after all, I do see you've grown a little..."

From fourteen, in Jylland Luso had grown to become sixteen. His body did seem to tell so, even if he was not believed in. Mewt was the one to fully believe everything Luso spurted out, providing him support about the situation.

"There are three people I want you to meet. They will believe you as much as I."

With it did Luso come to know Marche Radiuju, Ritz Malheur and Doned Radiuju, friends of Mewt Randell and, according to them, dreamers of Ivalice. Marche was a young man of twenty years when he met him. He said that, at fourteen years of age, he also had explored Ivalice, but this one was entirely fabricated from dreams and not from reality, all because of the Gran Grimoire.

Fourteen. Gran Grimoire. That was six years ago. According to the current timeline, Luso had eight years then.

A memory flickered into his mind. So Zeromus knew when the Gran Grimoire was used.

The four of them told Luso of what they had lived in the dream, of how real it was, of how alike it was to the Ivalice Luso had known. History and Final Fantasy had much inspired the kids, it seemed.

Marche and Luso became friends quickly. With much of their tales to tell, they wound up finding a twist to the Dream Ivalice, not known before.

It was Montblanc.

Luso was almost startled that, as soon as he mentioned the moogle, Marche had taken his shoulders, shaken them almost dizzyingly, eyes shining with a bright glint of hope, questioning the black mage's wellfare. Luso said he was alright and happy, it appeared; roaming the world in search of treasure.

"He remembered you, Marche."

They bordered and crossed the line of embarrassment often, after that day. Luso learned that Marche had fallen for Montblanc much harder than he'd fallen for Hurdy himself. That the blonde boy and the chocolate-colored moogle had formed a bond of friendship and romance that even had Marche doubt if he ever wanted to abandon that dream. Now that he kne Montblanc wasn't just a dream, it felt so much more comforting, even if they could not reach one another.

Luso could not understand how Marche was able to stand all this time without Ivalice and without his lover. He's got more friends, more family. That must be it.

For days, Luso would wake up unnecessarily early, groping around for his sword, only to find none. The lack of monsters and adventure made the energy in his body fade away at those times, and even if he attempted to sleep again, he couldn't. So he contented himself with something else, be it strolling outside, writing or reading the journal he wrote while in Jylland.

He missed everything so much.

The pubs, the different species and speeches, Cid's amusing types of expressions, Fayd's and Yujin's occasional couple bickering, the quests, Hurdy's voice, the locations, the free soul within Vaan's eyes, the magicks... everyone's smiles.

Marche, Mewt, Ritz, Doned, they were not enough. Time healed their missing of Ivalice, and maybe it would heal Luso, but he was not this patient, could not stand as much. So within months he used the Grimeire's power, and traveled back in time again.