Title: End's Beginning
Rating: PG
Series: Final Fantasy X
Spoilers: Zanarkand spoilers, vague full-game spoilers...beware. YAOI.
Coupling: Jecht/Auron.... m/m kissing, so there.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Square's. o_o (insert witty comment about how much I wish I owned them here)
Notes: My first Final Fantasy in general fic, though I swore I'd steer away from video game fics, here's my little Jecht/Auron-shippy piece. Because Sexy Monk Boy captured my imagination, and Jecht just kicks ass... This takes place just after the Trio of Travellers defeats Sin and brings in the Calm. Naturally. Thanks to Sharky, who beta-d mee~

Flames are appreciated, if I didn't like flamers, I wouldn't luff Auron quite so much.... XD

** ** Telepathic speech! Oooo!
~ ~ Direct quotes from the game/memories

~Tomo Trillions
knivesnomiko.pitas.com
http://www.hanashika.com/tomo

~~~~~

It was a beautiful place, with a sky so massive and full of color that you could lose yourself in the layers and twists of cloud before you even realized you were looking up. Massive banks of every sunset color melted together peaked over an innumerable multitude of shining, torrent-like waterfalls.

They poured into nothingness, or fog, or other waterfalls, stairstepping into infinity. Flowers grew more often than not against the shimmering, moss-covered stones, and gnarled trees with obscenely verdant leaves clung to any available patch of dirt.

He stood up to his knees in flowers, at the center of a massive crescent of gushing falls, beneath a sky of colors that bled - but he was not alone.

Braska bowed deeply fom across the field of color, expression somewhat sad as Auron moved slowly towards, like a swimmer through molassas, caught up in the never ending vista surrounding them. When the monk - ex-monk - had seen enough, the heavily robed summoner stepped forward and spoke in a voice that no living man could hear.

"Auron, isn't this a bit soon?" he asked, tone so understanding it brought unwarranted tears to the distracted eyes of the newly-dead young man. Auron was still floating on the waves of confusion that heralded the seperation of body and soul, and it took him a few moments to notice the summoner.

The dark-haired youth's gaze settled on Braska, and after a moment of serene silence a flash of sudden recognition sparked in his eyes. His response to the gentle smile of his superior was delayed but no less reverent than it had been in life, obvious as the dark-haired guardian fell to his knees, greeting the man he had served with all he could give. "Lord...Braska!"

Braska laid one hand, softly, on the back of his guardian's skull. "Why are you at the farplane, Auron? I didn't want you to die."

"I....died..." he whispered, thinking back, though the memories were painfully blocked in his mind - he recalled the hulking monster, Braska's final summon, recalled the beautiful snake-lady with powers that had half-blinded him as he was cast away. The blood, he could feel himself crawling away, desperately knowing that he lay on the doorstep to death, spitting up blood and requests as one last Ronso gazed, pityingly, down at his broken form...

"You shouldn't have done that," Braska's dissapproval was like ice, and for Auron, ever waterfall spread out across the farplane froze solid, cascades of silvery ice-diamonds hovering, unmoving, in the flower-scented air. "You were not finished with Spira. We needed you to stay, to help the next summoners..." He shook his head. "This makes things a bit more difficult."

"But...we defeated Sin, you summoned the final aeon, we..." Auron felt his mind emptying much as it had before, when all had faded from jaded red to heavy black, and he had woken here. "....oh..."

And he remembered the promise.

Braska's expression was torn between sympathy, regret, and perhaps a tad of jealousy - the long-haired man bowed again. "Thank you for your service, Auron.... You are needed, elsewhere, though I would love to monopolize your company for the rest of eternity." A half-smile slipped across his mouth, and he took Auron by the hand, helping him to his feet, where the ground promptly began to slip away.

"I promised," the guardian whispered. "I promised.....didn't I .....?"

~~~~~

Endless. Grey. Un-dark, un-light, simply being, perhaps he was moving, perhaps the world was moving around him, but his body was solid and cold, and the pyreflies just wouldn't leave him alone.

He opened his eye - for he only had one, now - and percieved the great unending flatness of the new world, and could not understand. Not floating, not standing, simply being in the great, endless realm of something that was neither a color nor a place, nor a state of mind, nor anything that one might concievably consider...... .....

He wanted to sleep. He was tired. Every part of his body was infused with a melancholy ache, in particular the thin wound that trailed from his forehead to his stomach, still sticky with blood undried. He had told his story, and it had ended, in a mass of blood and crumpled flesh: It had been a prideless ending, but an ending none the less.

His ending.

~"Make me the fayth." ~

Hadn't they done everything the way it was meant to done? He had wanted to break the cycle, but such a thing was impossible - it was self-perpetuating, it wouldn't allow for changes. Jecht had been right - it was the only way they had - and no amount of rationalizing or idealistic hope could change the way things had to turn out.

~"It's the right thing to do! Everyone's depending on us." ~

Yes. They had done the right thing. Braska, Jecht - they had died honorably, defending Spira from the monster that was Sin... only Auron had suffered a shameful death. He had given up hope the moment he leapt at Yunalesca, and had sought the easiest way to end the charade that was his life. The teachings were lies, Braska and Jecht were gone, Spira was safe, for the moment. What need did the world have of him?

She had been right, damn her. To live without hope...

~"I'll fight Sin with you, Braska. Then maybe my life will have meaning, you know."~

Meaning.... what was meaning? He curled tighter in on himself, thinking vaguely - meaning? There was no meaning, there never was. The meaning, the motive behind their quest had been a lie.

~"The cycle will continue and your deaths will mean nothing!" ~

He squinted, gritting his teeth against the painful reality that haunted him even in death. He knew those voices, the feel and sound of them reverberated through the nothingness and returned, empty, to his mind - they were the voices of the dead, that would never return.

"Jecht..." he whispered, the name wrenching through his stomach, heralded by a painfully stark sensation of loss. "I wanted... to go with you... to your Zanarkand. But....I'm so.... sleepy..."

**Auron.**

It was spoken in soft, whispering tones, in the back of his mind, slowly building into what could only be described as a precense floating all about Auron's mind - it tasted, smelled, and generally *felt* like the guardian he had let slip through his fingers. For a moment, he might have felt lips off-center against his own, deliciously warm and salty as they pressed softly to the corner of his mouth, for a moment a hand might have squeezed his shoulder tightly in greatful lonliness, but then, he might have imagined it all.

**Death doesn't suit you, you know? Why'd you pull a stupid move like that, anway? You were always such a self-righteous bastard....**

"Stupid...move?" Auron asked, bewildered, in the greyness.

**Attacking Yunalesca on your own, without anyone to back you up? What a dumb idea. Sometimes you amaze me, Auron.**

"....Jecht," Auron whispered, a smile cracking the slowly congealing blood slick against his face. That voice. His name. He wanted to curl up in the warmth of those words and let himself be berated into eternity - what was said was of no consequence, as long as Jecht kept talking and never, ever let himself be silenced again.

"Jecht, I wanted to die with you." In the end, they were all that mattered. "I should have been the aeon. I should have gone with Braska. I - "

His throat felt swollen and thick, making speech strangely difficult as his one good eye fell closed, lips close to the wall of being before him. Jecht had always been full of fire, and he could still, even now, feel that glow against his soul - it was the fire of a personality that would not be undone, that would not leave loose ends flapping in the breeze that was life.... It was a brilliance in the grey. It made the entire un-world bearable.

He was so very, very regretful. Auron had always wanted to protect Braska, had always believed death was merely a fact of life, yet when it came down to the end, he'd let Jecht, a father, a husband, step in front of him and take his place as Braska's final aeon. He'd let them die, because he was too niave, too idealistic, to understand the only way such a thing could be done.

"...I'm sorry."

Jecht paused in his words, as if considering the mental anguish his lover was radiating, and seemed to come to a decision. **Auron?**

The dark-eyed young man sighed softly. "....yes...?"

**Shut up.**

He imagined, quietly, the sensation of hands clasping against his shoulders and found that the heat warming his mind doubled and tripled, then burned tenfold at his images.

**You can't sleep now, the story isn't over. Braska sent you back to me because we're not finished yet.... Sin isn't - **

"But it is over. Braska is gone, you're gone, I'm gone, there's nothing anymore. Nothing, forever." He remembered so well the nights together, how long and how short they had been, the days of hiking and the campfires, the stories and drinks, the adventures, the quotes. He remembered the sharp blue of blitzball, the softness of another's robes, Jecht's familiar kisses, the tiny hands of Braska's young daughter, the crackling of healing magic as it knit bones and skin, but never the cured up the soul.

He'd let them go off to die together, and hadn't been able to bear Spira without them.

**I am not gone. Auron... I am Sin. I won't be gone until you've freed me.** It was a thick admission, ringing in the back of the young ghost's mind, burned there by the acidity of pure pain.

**Please...you have to get me out of here..... Kill me, Auron. Find a way. Break the cycle. You said you would, didn't you?**

Auron closed his single eye and pressed his face into the dream-body that would dissappear the moment he sought to verify its existance, nothing more than pyreflies outside his fervant imagination.

"When Braska gave you up to her....you called for me," he had heard the voice in his mind as he waited, alone, in the hallowed halls of the great city of ruins. He had screamed in rage, thrown his sword to the dirt, and clutched at his mind as Jecht's last words hissed through his imagination. The good-bye Jecht had sent him was an apology, a confession, but more than anything else - a hope - and Auron had damned himself, for he had so hated hope, the fickle emotion that had stolen his dream away. "I heard my name...."

What might have been an uncomfortable pause lingered for a moment, then dissipated. **Yeah.**

"And after we fought Sin, when Braska was gone and I was alone... I heard you crying."

For a long moment the voice of Jecht did not return, leaving his mind pained and empty, brilliantly blank, and then - as if out of a great ocean of fog - words came, again. He clung to them, eyes closed, tasted their soft skin-tones and gentle red glow as they slithered through his mind and faded away again. **......I did cry. Like a kid. Like that brat. Anyone would cry if they'd gone from dream to nightmare as quickly as I did.**

"...Dream?"

He swore, fingers tightening across the smooth, false form before him. "Yu Yevon was a summoner.... He was summoning..."

**Yeah. Right on the money, Auron.**

"....damn it."

The voice was hot and sharp against his earlobe, and Auron shivered - it was Jecht that he held, now, alone in the world of greyness he could no longer stand to see. **You can't wait, then, you understand. You have to act, it gets harder and harder with each passing day....**

**You have to find Tidus.**

That was it. That was right. That was what Braska had so gently reminded him of, pushing him away from the comforting world that had been the farplane: His promise was unfulfilled, and that one, holy pact would tie him to life - and to Jecht - until it had been redeemed in full.

It had been the promise that bound ghost to dream. It would not be absolved. And Jecht... Jecht needed him more than ever before. The knowledge stirred within him, and he moved to kiss the apparition before him, feeling all at once the hot pressure of Jecht's mouth and the cool palms of his hands, falling forward into what would be their last kiss.

It was sweet and brilliant, and made his nerves ache. He reached forward, found the planes of the back he knew so well, let his jaw open wide and succumb to the roving demands of the one person that had burned his way into his soul.

~"Sin is eternal. Every aeon that defeats it becomes Sin it its place... and thus is Sin reborn." ~

"Take me to Zanarkand," Auron whispered, shaking with sensation as the warm hands against his shoulderblades fell away, leaving behind the empty nothingness he had nearly drowned in. "I'll find him. I'll keep him. And when the time comes..."

The dream-kisser stepped back and the ghost fell forward, back against a sudden wall of thick rubber-grey skin which hummed powerfully against the flats of his hands. Auron opened his good eye, somewhat unsteadly, to find a very different sea of grey pushing back against him - it was thick, the same color as a storm cloud, and coated in layer upon layer of rivulating textures. It pulsed and vibrated and glowed, and smelled of salt. The farplane was gone, Jecht was gone, the voices and memories that had reverberated inside his mind had been muted to a dull, painful roar, just behind his ears.

The sun was somewhere overhead, falling, too-fast, towards the glittering surface of the ocean, flat and stretching on until it dissolved into the fuzzy hues of horizen-caugh clouds - Auron inhaled, exhaled, tested what it was to be physical once more, and looked around.

Life, again. A second chance to write off his story, another try in the world of Spira. It felt different, being unsent - as if he were more a part of the scenary, a part of the surroundings, and there was a gentle pull at the back of his mind that could only be the realm of the farplane, calling him back to its gentle waters...

They would defeat Sin, though the idea no longer held the mystical sort of magic it had once claimed, it no longer glowed with a subtle aura in the back of his mind. It had become a task, nothing more, one that must be put out of the way before other desirables could be found. What it meant to be a guardian hed suddenly, in his mind, completely altered into something akin to being trapped, helplessly, in the web of a great spider. In defeating Sin they would kill the spider and the lies it spun, though it might bring the beliefs of a world crashing down around their ears...

It was better than living a lie.

As far as the eye could see, water, and the smell of salt: He knew that Braska's daughter would one day set forth to be a summoner, and when she did, he knew he must be there. He knew, above all, that Tidus must be there, for the blood of Jecht and the blood of Braska twice united against Sin would know strength no others could dream of.

**.... when the time comes .... return him to me ...**

Something shifted, what must have been wings fled upwards from the creature's spine and out, stretching membrane-thin towards the sky as the sun rose behind them. Auron moved, sinking to the 'ground' beneath his feet and leaning against the wall of flesh that had, at some point so recently, been the man he loved. The guardian turned his head and watched the newly-born pyreflies dance on the crazed aura of Sin's destruction, and whispered as they sought the dream of Zanarkand.

His unbreakable word had damned him before, but he would suffer one thousand times more if it meant the last chapter in their story could be written and closed. And then....true death....

Auron thoughtfully pressed his left arm against his stomach, into the folds of his robe.

".....Jecht, I swear I will bring him to you."