Title: This could be heaven (1/1)
Author: Tomo Trillions
Fandom: Final Fantasy X
Disclaimer: Square's, not mine. Title ripped off a Queen song. XD;
Couplings: JechtxAuron, mildmild Tidus + Yuna
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: SPOILERS, shounen ai/yaoi, angst
Notes: This, pretty much, is my interpretation of Jecht, Auron, Braska and Tidus - post-game, they prepare for an eternity together and exorcise the ghosts of life. Braska plays middleman, Jecht plays blitzball, and Auron remains the stoic, emotionally repressed, flaming badass we all know and love.

....not to mention that Tidus Figures It Out. XD;

~Tomo T.
knivesnomiko.pitas.com
www.hanashika.com/tomo
~~~~~

Tidus decided almost immediately that he liked Braska.

At first it had been strange, he hadn't been sure of what to think - this young-ish man was Yuna's father and yet he looked was scarcely ten years older than Tidus himself. He had thought Braska would be more stern faced and stone-gray-proud, just as the many statues scattered across Spira portrayed him.

He found upon their first meeting that Braska was easy going and quick to smile, when he commented on the stark difference between statues and the real thing, the summoner had simply shrugged. "People make their own heroes," he'd grinned.

Tidus thought that was probably quite deep, and he thought about it sometimes before falling asleep.

Braska's wife was also unbearably young - she hadn't a line on her face, she stood thin and light and fragile-looking. It was easy to see where Yuna got her bird-like grace and single, spiraling green eye. The resemblence was almost uncanny, and on occassion it made his heart ache a little - though Braska and his bride seemed to understand, and she often spoke of Yuna with him.

He thought about Yuna quite a bit, mainly cursing himself - Yuna's single green eye was a trait from her mother's side of the family, though her other eye was her father's definite blue. It was a detail, and Tidus had never been one for detail; however that was a detail he'd missed, it made him wonder how many other details had gone over his head - but no. Life was about the here and now, he'd always said, not about regret.

Finding out the truth - that he was no more a part of the 'here and now' than the fairy tales he'd grown up with - hadn't done much to alter that core mentality. It was who he was.

Braska had short-and-sandy light-colored hair along with pale blue eyes, and when he removed his heavy summoner robe his skin was faintly tanned and his arms muscled, enough to impress.

He was much taller than Tidus without his oversized headdress (how could he wear that?), though Jecht towered over them both.

The first dinner he shared with the people he'd be spending eternity with had been a warm, pleasant affair with good food and old, shared jokes; even Auron seemed more laid back than usual. When his mentor was beside Jecht and Braska, Tidus reflected, he seemed to simply fit in. There was none of the aloofness or disdain as he'd marinated himself in back on Spira - while remaining quiet and faintly withdrawn, Auron was relaxed and content in a sense the young blitzer had never witnessed before.

Tidus had been a bit suspicious when his father elbowed Auron in the side, muttering something too low for his son to catch - but Auron had nodded darkly, briefly in response. Out of curiosity he'd asked Braska what it was about, but the summoner had simply shrugged.

"I'm sure we'll find out in due time," the summoner told Tidus, a knowing smile gracing his lips. The blonde blitzer suspected Braska was very aware of whatever it was, but didn't pry. Somehow, he decided, if Yuna's father thought the secret should be kept, it was probably worth keeping.

Tidus sniffed once and excused himself, tromping off to bed. Sleep was a nice thing, and even the dead could appreciate a few good dreams...

The irony made him smirk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The farplane was not at all like he'd imagined it would be. There was no bowing and scraping to some unnamed God, no halls of white or stoic fountains, no hymns and harps and Yevon-ish whatnot. What there was, well, it wasn't shabby - a great expanse of beach spread away, overhanging trees thick with long moss-heavy flowers, and a series of thatch-and-stone huts at the top of a small waterfall that gushed into the sea. There were steps up to them, and on those steps he could see Braska sitting with Tidus, talking merrily with their heads down, buddy-buddy already. Leave it to Braska to make friends with the anyone in record time...

There was a breeze blowing, and a few birds circling lazily overhead. His blitzball lay where he'd abandonded it at the foot of the steps, and Braska's wife, young and as fair as the day she died, was preparing a lunch for them all as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

"Huh," Jecht muttered, astutely. "S'nice here. You wanna go for a walk or something?"

They walked until the waterfall could not be heard and the coastline had bent away, leaving them out of sight and mind, until all he could hear was the crashing of waves and the crunch of Auron's boots against the sand, a steady stride.

"So, here we are, huh?"

"Apparantly so."

Jecht could not remember the last time he'd stood on a beach - he'd watched them on many seperate occassions, from the deeper water, his fins and coiled ropes of skin quiet beneath the surface of the sea... As Sin, he had watched people, only attacking when the command rose in the back of his mind, roaring and screaming, crushing in the voice that was "Jecht" until he broke obeyed; and then he let his control, his sanity slide into the backseat, let that monstrous blackness engulf who he was until he could no longer see the faces disappearing beneath the waves, crunching against his form, screaming -

With an effort so painful that he winced, Jecht shoved the memories back down and locked them away again, letting them settle in his brain like mud in water. With the rest of eternity to regret, he would have plenty of time to muse on his mistakes and his...well...sins...

He had to talk, and so he did. Turning squarely to Auron, he scratched the back of his head and smiled, weakly. "You've... changed, huh?"

The silence between them was suddenly tense, as stiff as Auron's posture. Jecht lifted one worn, calloused hand and lingered near high cheekbones, then pulled away. Half hidden by the heavy collar (why wear it in the heat? Jecht wondered) his face was impassive and gruff, faintly stubbled and heavily lined.

"Yeah."

For a moment, there were absolutely no words to say - and then he was talking quickly, almost desperately, his hands deep in his pockets. "I didn't age a day, you know. Neither did Braska. And his wife. Funny how you did, you being just as dead as those two back there..."

Auron's icey look could have frozen Besaid's burning beaches, the force behind it left Jecht cringing. Just when he began to suspect that he'd be getting the cold shoulder for the rest of eternity (God, when Auron was angry, he was positively intimidating...) the other man relented and spoke, eyes unseen behind his dark glasses. "Well. You three no longer had bodies."

"Neither did you...you were just a trussed-up, pyrefly-boosted ghost," Jecht pointed out drily, leaning back on his heels and observing the clouds overhead. A thought occured to him and he laughed, a deep sound, from down within his chest - the question posed was morbid, but still, he needed an excuse to break the dim silence that had fallen between them.

"Did you ever find your body? Wouldn't it be strange to attend your own funeral?"

Auron 'hmph-ed' in dark humor, shaking his head. Jecht was pleased to notice that his hair was still long - not as long as before, but at least the length was there - he'd always liked that.

"You could have taken Tidus, heh, shown him what his old uncle Auron looked like before the buzzards got him! A real field trip..."

Now he was certainly getting the cold shoulder - and it was probably well deserved, given that Jecht had never been good at knowing when to stop. Auron's brows lowered behind the glasses, his collar hitched up a bit, and he was out of reach again, beyond the circle of Jecht's clumsy influence. The blitzer stopped dead in his tracks and put one hand behind his head, looking down sheepishly. "Sorry. I just - ...sorry."

"You never change." It was an accusation, not a compliment, and left Jecht oddly hurt.

"Nah," he muttered, "I guess not."

The sun was hot against bare flesh and Jecht led them to a copse of trees further down the shoreline, digging his toes into the cool dirt beneath the flickering shadows. From his place up against one of the rough-barked palms, Jecht watched as Auron lowered himself - gingerly - to the ground and leaned back, sighing faintly. As if he'd been relieved of a great weight, he closed his eyes for a moment - like an old man. Jecht gulped.

Auron was just...so different from the young, devoted soul he'd known ten years before. Ten years? It might as well have been a million, or even forever... Jecht's fingers found a twig, and he stabbed hopelessly at the dirt beside him, lumping and relumping it into ant-mountains, searching them for words.

He wasn't very talented at sounding concerned, a trait that had made him such a lousy father/husband - the closest he could manage was a usually faintly sarcastic, somewhat affectionate barb. It was not in Jecht's nature to be accepting of weakness, to be understanding, or even polite - ten years as Sin, terrorizing a world, had made sure of that. He hadn't learned any manners, floating around, making friends with the plankton...

The laugh Jecht did manage was forced, he lobbed the twig at Auron's robes, it stuck in a fold, out of sight. "Tired? What, you out of shape?"

"...no." Emotionless, expressionless. "I've just been walking for a very long time."

The blitzer paused to feel out the unsteady ground of emotion and detail, stuff Jecht was not familiar with - all he knew was that he longed to ease the ache in Auron's voice. He just didn't know how it could be helped.

And so, as he usually did, Jecht followed his instincts - flopping forward and reaching out with clumsy fingers to remove the dark glasses from Auron's face.

The one revealed eye was the same dark brown he remembered - the other, though, was traced by a deep scar, one that cut through Auron's forehead and down through the eyelid, trailing away across his cheekbone. Hesitating for only a brief moment, Jecht folded the glasses in one hand and reached out to touch the scar, curious.

He had always needed to feel things before they became real or even began to make much sense, that was why he was a sports star. There was nothing more real, more fast-paced and there than blitzball - he excelled in it. Words had always been a detail Jecht did not bother to master - so he told Auron with a very gentle touch all the things he could not say. The touch was apologetic, sympathizing, and at the same time very satisfied, pleased. Proud.

Auron's face was rough, and as Jecht ran a finger down the length of pale, thick scar tissue he closed his single good eye, the lines of his face relaxing for a moment, almost vulnerable. And there, beneath all the layers of exhaustion and buried emotion, Jecht caught a glimpse of the youthful Auron, the one that he'd despised, condoned, and loved in turn. He grinned.

Jecht the dream had loved Auron the ghost. For ten years inside his own cracking mind he'd wondered if that love could really exist - could a dream feel something like 'love', could the dead return such an emotion - and decided, in the end, that none of that really mattered. This mattered.

"Maybe souls age?" He muttered, voice weak and pained. Auron heard that note and tilted his head, slightly, letting Jecht open his heavy collar and see his face in full.

"Maybe." Auron looked down, a flicker of a smile brushing thin lips. You'd still be older than me, I think."

Jecht took courage from that small expression and in an instant he was all blitzball-bravado and show, balling a fist and ramming it into his palm. "That's right! It'll be a cold day in hell before you out-old-man me, Auron!"

Auron gave him a long, thoughtful gaze. "I could be young again, I think. I could imagine myself as I was, back then, and the Farplane could make it real - "

Jecht's teeth flashed white in an enthusiastic grin. "That's right! Go for it! You could have your eye back too, and - "

" - but I won't."

Pausing, his hands in mid-air, Jecht blinked. "...huh?"

Auron lifted a hand, running fingers along the jagged edges of his missing eye, a lonely motion. "I earned this. This is who I am... who I was. Just like you can't take back your time as Sin, I can't take back my mistakes. This...reminds me."

Jecht stared. "You want to be reminded of all that pain?"

With that question, there was suddenly a gap between them too large to be comprehended. Jecht felt it acutely, just before him, a great chasm of confusion and lonliness - he stepped back from the brink, suspicious, and watched Auron closely.

"I died," Auron said quietly, "because I couldn't stand the thought of being without Lord Braska, without you. Somewhere along the journey I confused myself, I began putting you two - a summoner and a blitzball player! - above all of Spira - and I lost everything. I can't take that mistake back. I don't deserve to."

As the weathered version of his one-time companion spoke, Jecht's fingers were tightening against his knees, his knuckles pressing white. With each breath, his chest felt tighter, his air felt lessened, and at last he looked up at Auron with accusation in his eyes. How dare he say that, after all they'd been through and all they'd done?

Very low, so low that it was nearly a whisper, he asked. "Who says it was a mistake?!"

"If I had broken the cycle the first time through, neither you nor Braska would have died. If I'd cared enough to die for Spira, if I'd let myself be the Fayth, Tidus could have grown up with a father..."

So that was it, then? That was all he saw their journey as, a mistake? Another cycle in Spira's chain with nothing special to it?

Jecht felt an odd stinging in his eyes, he glared hard at Auron, teeth clenched - he barely knew this jaded man, he couldn't fathom what heart Auron was speaking from. "Shut up."

"Jecht - "

"No. Shut up." the blitzer turned away, groping for words - they slid through his fingers, intangible. Instead, he slammed one fist down into the dirt, ground it there for a moment, willing tears (him? crying?) of frustration to dissappear.

When they did, moments later, he looked back up at Auron and spoke as deliberately, his mouth cotton-thick. "It wasn't a mistake, Auron."

Auron's single eye bore an expression Jecht couldn't read, and he was fairly sure he didn't want to know what this stranger thought of his outburst. Stupid hard-ass bastard monk... "Braska didn't think it was a mistake, did he? He wanted to give his life, and he did! I didn't die for some stupid - "

He choked on the words. "It wasn't a waste, we set up the playing field - that the only way it could have been. Otherwise Tidus would have failed, too, and - ....and...

"Everything you believed in on Spira came true, didn't it? You kept your promises, you broke the spiral. If you'd been the fayth, I would have had to find the brat and guide him through Spira, do you think he would have listened to me for even a minute? It was... it was the only way.

"He was better off without a dad!"

Auron's mouth was hanging slightly open, and Jecht knew that was the most he'd ever said at one time - words, that's all they were. Stupid words, he couldn't even describe this well enough to make Auron understand, the stupid monk was too selfish to see -

He told him that, "You're too damn selfish," shoved his hands in his pockets and stalked away down the beach, leaving Auron alone beneath the breezy trees.

It wasn't fair. He'd waited so long to see Auron again, and now he couldn't even get through to the other man...

Jecht was an honest person, starkly honest to a degree so intense it was nearly a fault, he didn't lie. What he thought was what he said, he had no secret opinions or gossip to speak of, he was honest, he had always been honest...

So why doesn't he believe me?

They'd all had a difficult time, the last ten years had been harder than anything else, ever. But at least Auron had control of his own mind, at least he hadn't been pacing inside the body of a monster for a decade, watching himself crumble and crack as the people he cared about came to destroy him.

He hadn't learned, on the brink of his own destruction, that he was nothing more than a dream, that his family and friends and fans were all figments of imagination kept alive by feeding on exhausted souls.

At least he'd returned to Zanarkand, walked the streets of the great city and admired all the magnificent views Jecht had bragged about, all swagger and alcohol-redness. He'd seen Tidus playing blitzball in the great dream-league of Zanarkand and seen him play again, holding his own in the real waters -

- was that so awful? Had he thrown his own life away? Was caring for Auron in this clumsy, desperate way all a mistake? It had been all they could do. They'd done everything, given everything, and in the end they'd won -

Why couldn't Auron just - just...

He walked alone for as long as he could bear it, the sun falling lower in the sky until it hovered, magnified, just kissing the waters on the horizon and refracting up, liquid-gold against the palm trees. And then, when he could walk no more, Jecht fell backwards into the sand, breath hissing through his teeth. The sky was pinky-orange overhead, stretching away forever.

This was paradise. They'd earned it, hadn't they? This was the true farplane, it wasn't a guado-displayed collection of pyreflies, it was the end of all things and they would - as far as Jecht knew - be here forever.

Forever. Suddenly, inexplicably, he wanted a drink.

He found one laying in the sand, it was cool and feathered with sweat. Jecht peered at the label in surprise, swiping a thumb across it and knocking grit away - it was Zanarkand brewed, his favorite from the days back home. The standard victory-drink of the Zanarkand Abes...

He opened it, and remembered countless evenings with the team he'd led for a perfect record, their faces flushed and half-drunk on exhilaration and adrenaline, his beautiful, young, perfect wife - who he had not so much loved as needed - the cityscape at night, dark and technical and perfect, the stars drowned out by the glittering lights of a sleepless city. It was all there, and he could taste it if he wanted, but -

Auron had kept his promises, and Jecht's paradise was not the city, it was here with these four people: he poured the liquor out, it sloshed into the sand and left an wet imprint next to his knee.

So much for Zanarkand.

Promises. Damn promises. They'd won... hadn't they? They'd been redeemed. Only Tidus could have shot the winnng goal, and he'd done beautifully, much better than Jecht could have ever done. He'd had potential, Jecht's blood and Auron's influence, he'd gone into Spira and adapted, despite a few moments of indecision he had been completely successful. He'd won, and given himself up selflessly without complaint - not as Jecht had done, but certainly as permanantly.

He flopped back, the sand grinding into his back. He closed his eyes.

When the sun was gone from the sky, crunching footsteps approached. Jecht didn't move an inch, listened to them striding nearer and guessed at their maker - not Tidus, they were too confident, too even, but not Auron either, not heavy enough.

"Braska?" He opened one eye, and the young summoner settled cross-legged next to him, pale under the moonlight. "Whaddaya want?"

"Oh, I was a bit worried. Auron came back and sat out on the steps for hours, never saying a word - I wondered where you were. So I found you." His smile was innocent and pleasing, Jecht felt a bit of his tension fall away and shook his head - smile that powerful was almost a weapon.

"I yelled at Auron and left," he confessed. "He pissed me off."

Braska nodded amiably, he had obviously expected as much. "I figured. Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not really." Jecht paused. "Yeah. But - ...I don't know."

"You care about him. I knew, all along, you know."

Jecht's face was unreadable. "You....knew what?"

Braska's laugh was clear and reassuring. "That you two were lovers, of course."

Lovers? Had they been that? Jecht had always supposed that word implied some kind of deep, emotional bond, the sort he'd never held with - they'd found comfort in each other, and that had led to pleasure, a sharp release of tnesion followed by a few moments of genuine peace, it had kept the lonliness away. But 'lovers'...?

"Auron...didn't want you to know," Jecht muttered, quietly. "He didn't want anyone to know. I couldn't care less, as long as he stayed with me - but - "

"Jecht, you left him," Braska shook his head, eyes understanding. He had a face that could melt the hardest of hearts, and it often did... "that hurt more than anything."

"... s'not like we had much of a choice."

"Auron had already set his heart on saving me, and saving you - he didn't want us to die. But you, the 'drunken fool from Zanarkand' picked Spira above him, you were the one that kept your eyes on the true goal. Auron feels like he failed us, by falling for you and clinging to me, by begging us to turn around and leave Spira in it's plight - while you, of all people, sacrificed everything to save his world."

Jecht's mouth opened and closed, blankly. "I... I just - "

"You had your own reasons, and he had his. He was attached to us, I was his master and you were his lover." There was a faint smirk, now, at the corner of Braska's lips - "His boyfriend, if you will. And we left him alone together, he couldn't bear the thought of being left behind. Only....when he faced down Yunalesca..."

- it must have been lonely walking back to Zanarkand, treading through Gagazet's freezing nights to reach the great ruins again, the overpowering sense of silence and death that lingered there overpowering -

Auron had done it all by himself.

"...he threw his life away." Jecht stared down at his hands, beginning to understand where Auron was coming from. The mistakes were not all his own, many of them lay in Jecht's own short-comings, his single-mindedness and lack of emotion had cut Auron off without even a proper goodbye. There had been no soft kisses or promises of affection between them, no apologies or regrets, he'd asked Auron brusquely to watch the kid, and then allowed himself to die. He'd sided, in the end, with Braska - they'd followed the ancient way rather than breaking the chain... that must have been difficult to watch. So hard that Auron had stormed back to Zanarkand's ruined shell, demanding explanations, peace of mind, demanding a reason from someone who gave it to him, and then....

And yes, he'd thought of Auron with every passing day and watching him desperately for a decade, but the grizzled version of his friend coulnd't know of that.

"Oh." Jecht mumbled, succinctly. "He..told you all of this?"

"I'm a very good judge of character, Jecht, you of all people should know that." Braska tilted his head, fingers working into the still-warm sand at his side. "I've also been watching the both of you for a very long time. Auron regrets. Until he can forgive himself, he'll wear his scar."

"Do you think he'll ever... or, we'll ever..."

"Does he still love you?"

Jecht squirmed, faintly uncomfortable with the wording. He'd never been one for 'love', but Braksa knew so many things... was he right? "I guess. Does he?"

"I'm sure he does. He's just a very different person now, you'll have to learn to incorperate this new Auron into the old Auron, and forgive him his little quirks."

"I kinda miss his talking. He used to never shut up about you and Spira and all..."

Braska's smile was gentle now, soothing, somehow the expression conveyed an answer to everything Jecht was feeling. It was easy to see why all of Spira had been infatuated with him upon his pilgrimage, why his victory had been so celebrated - Braska had called himself a 'fallen summoner', but Jecht suspected he'd lost rank alone when he married an Al Bhed woman. The people of Spira had never given up on Braska, he was not the sort of man that could be pushed aside like that - they had trusted him all along, and that was why he'd been successful, in the end. "I know."

"It's... a lot to think about," Jecht said, weakly. "I'm not any good at thinking."

"I know," the summoner reached out, punching his shoulder lightly; it was a jesture he'd picked up from the blitzer himself, and the familiarity of it made Jecht grin in the moonlight. "But I thought you needed to hear it."

"Thanks. Braska... you're a good guy, you know? The best sort."

Braska ducked faintly, eyes light. "I try," he stood and dusted himself off, offering Jecht a hand. "Will you come home now?"

"...home...?"

"Well," the summoner ammended, "it's my home. And could be yours, if you'll stay with us."

"That an invitation?" Jecht pulled himself up and ran a hand through salt-sticky hair.

"Of course," Braska grinned back.

~~~~~~~

Tidus felt that something had altered slightly the night before - just enough to be noticeable-but-not-obvious, subtle and yet... It bothered him, he didn't know what it could be.

Jecht stayed out almost all night, though Braska brought him back a few hours before sunrise - Auron waited on the steps until they were in sight, and then disappeared back into his room, exhausted. Tidus watched him go and then stumbled back to bed, he slept until lunch.

The next day and the day after that, everything settled into a pattern that Tidus began to consider normal. Jecht even invited him to play a bit of blitzball, they wrestled and fought in the waters close to shore until both were bruised and exhausted, soaking wet and starving for dinner. Auron shed his long red robes and sat all afternoon with Braska's bride, the summoner himself making the meal - it was comfortable and relaxed.

The days after that proceeded slowly, lazily, because they had nowhere to go and no place to be. Their world was nothing but a small patch of beach and a beautiful forest - Braska took the three men into the woods, showing how far he'd explored, they took to making a map and worked on that for almost two weeks before losing interest completely. Tidus found (created) himself a video game console and began racking up hours upon hours of gameplay - he was inside, taking a break from doggedly racing chocobo when something else happened, something which he witnessed purely by luck.

Jecht and Auron were half-dressed in the water, the blitzer cheerfully tossing a ball in the air, Auron evidently offering to play with him. The prospect of Auron playing blitzball was enough to make Tidus laugh out loud - he watched eagerly, settling his elbows on the windowsill.

Certainly Auron had never played before, but battle-honed instincts made his reflexes quick, he caught the ball as Jecht lobbed it over, easy and slow. They went back and forth for a few minutes, the throws getting faster and less direct, Auron jumping to catch the high ones, Jecht diving and taking a mouthful of salt water when they were a tad too low. It looked like fun - then Jecht called something and Tidus watched his mentor smirk, slapping the ball back. Jecht caught it and disappeared under the waves.

For a long minute there was no sign of Jecht at all, no bubbles broke the surface, there was no shadowy refraction on the water's surface - the ball splashed up meters away, though, and Auron jumped to face it. Just as suddenly as he'd disappeared, Jecht flung himself up and out, catching Auron around the waist and pulling the guardian down with him in a flurry of splashing white foam.

When they came back up again, spluttering and soaked, Tidus was laughing so hard he barely noticed the physical closeness, the way Jecht's laughter stilled abruptly, and he leaned forward, the way their mouths fit together.

He was not distracted enough to miss the kiss, however, and it would have been hard not to notice the way Auron's hands came up instinctively, catching Jecht's bare waist. Tidus watched, shocked, as Jecht pulled his mentor flush against himself by the shoulders and raised one hand to touch his scarred cheek hesitantly, the blitzball bobbing on the waves a few feet away, forgotten.

The second kiss was longer, lonely, and certainly a great deal more involved than the first. Tidus felt his cheeks flush and he looked away, swallowing sharply -

"Auron and my old man?!"

He thought about it for a very long moment, trying to adjust his thinking and shuffle this new fact in with everything he already knew about the two men.

Honestly, he'd always suspected Auron didn't...properly appreciate...the female gender - and he'd known all along that his father hadn't loved his mother - but - but! Auron and his dad.

They certainly seemed happy.

"No wonder he took such good care of me," Tidus decided weakly, looking back out at the water. Jecht and Auron were apart again, but it was different - a good sort of different, it looked comfortable. Whatever ghosts they'd been harboring must have been exorcised, Auron's movements were fluid, easier than before. While Tidus could tell the scar and missing eye were still very pronounced, everything about his mentor seemed eased, younger, somehow.

This was what Braska hadn't told him, he'd needed to learn this for himself - Auron, at least, deserved a chance to be happy. And if Jecht was what it took, then...

He would have a lot to tell Yuna when she finally arrived, that was for certain.

"I guess there's no accounting for taste," Tidus smirked and gave Auron one last lingering look.

He had forever to get used to the idea.

~~~~~~~~~