(Author's Note: The long cutscene after the tournament tore me apart-it was so distressing to not have the book with me, and no spirits, and nothing like it had been before. It felt big whenever I would get something back and make progress, and I thought about how Tia must have felt, after such a twist of fate and finally being reunited with a spring of support, and hearing from him how strong she was... stronger than him, than all of the spirits put together... So I hope you enjoy this story :) This game, it was so amazing!)
As a small yellow spark Ur orbited Tia, listening to her breathing. He noted that it was shallow and short. He inspected her in what ways he could for her physical and mental state of being as she made her way slowly down the winding staircase. Swinging by closely in front of her, he listened to her calloused fingertips drumming on the Book of Prophecy unevenly, from trembling. One of her hands continued to wander towards the bookmark sticking up from Ur's page, and she ran her finger across it with a little sound he could just hear. Something about the gesture, and then her finger continuing along the pages, where the other bookmarks should have arisen…
She stopped. Ur lingered near her shoulder, and then became a small, spritely form sitting upon it. Tia's eyes slowly slid to him, but as soon as the smile began to form on her lips, there was something wrong. He expected that strong smile she had shown him at the top of the tower—he would have felt it glowing upon him-he expected that great inner courage she possessed to shine through at any moment so he could return the feeling and they could swing down those stairs with bravado and certainty.
And then he sensed it—the tear that was leaving a bright streak down her face. He was a teacher and a student in practically everything, but water and electricity didn't mix.
Sitting heavily upon the final step of their current flight, Tia brought her hands up to her face and masked it from him, from everything. Her voice was as wobbly as her vision through those tears as she managed to say, "I've missed you so! I—I," she paused to gulp and take a deep breath, "I've missed the spirits, and I've missed these pages in my hands, and I'm still missing so—so—so," another great gasp, "much!" Dark thoughts eminated from her, visions of dungeons and pangs of pain and breaks of the heart at the loss of trust in her friends' eyes...
When the ethereal weight which Ur had pressed so slightly on her disappeared, Tia's hands flew from her face and gripped the Book of Prophecy in her lap, and she stared at the place he no longer was. Panic played in her eyes until they caught the crackles of electricity in the air beside her, and he appeared in a human size, sitting with his hands between his knees and head down in thought.
"No—No, I am up to it. I am up to it all! I just—just need a moment," she shook her head vehemently, roughly wiping at her eyes. She was arrested by the humming hand which was laid on her knee, and another tear slipped through her fingers as she looked to Ur. Even though the shackles covered his eyes, she could feel them on her face. Her heart gave a heavy thud after its upset galloping.
His voice was level as it always was, and it reassured her just as the feeling of his bookmark safe within the pages of the Book of Prophecy had, "Tia, I have absolutely no doubt that you are up to what is ahead. Look!" He smiled lopsidedly, gesturing to himself, "Here I am! Without any of us, you rescued me. And I know." His hand gave just a little more weight, and his voice lowered, "I know… I have an idea of what that cost."
After a breath which filled her completely, Tia rubbed her cheek of its tears and looked ahead of her, her brow and jaw set, "I would go through it again. It's worth it, this world and the next. It's all worth it."
Ur's smile warmed, "You have no idea how I admire you." He paused, surprised at saying it and surprised at Tia's flushed cheeks, which burned through the air to him, and so he hurriedly continued, "It is true—I have seen many heroes, and none quite like you. And that is because you are so… so… steadfast in the face of friends and foes… you believe in goodness, and you know true value. And I want you to recognize the true value in yourself, Tia. When I told you that you had greater strength than we spirits had, I was telling you the truth."
When a fresh spring of tears began to flood Tia's eyes, Ur's expression wavered in uncertainty and concern. Her hand took hold of his as she felt the slightest hint of him lifting it, "Th-thank you, thank you so much… I… It is only that sometimes there is strength in being vulnerable, in being weak and letting that weakness run itself out."
They sat together in silence for some time, until, through the doorway onto the balcony, the deep yellow of the sunset spread across the floor. Tia protected the Book of Prophecy from her falling tears, her brow contracted and her mind bleeding all of the memories of the past dreadful days and their alienation of their bitterness, and her other hand was cradled by Ur, who watched her with his ears and his fingers and palms. When he once rubbed his thumb across the back of her hand, he felt her trembling increase, and so he did not do it again. When she was quiet once more, and the silence was only broken by her steady breathing and the trills of a few birds which had found their way so high up in the clouds for the evening, he heard her whisper, "I'm ready."
Her fingers tightened around his hand, and she stood up. Another deep breath and Tia straightened her shoulders and began to walk ahead with purpose. The feeling of Ur's hand in hers faded away, and she looked beside her to see a yellow spark orbiting her. Oh, how she had missed the spirits after she had lost the book and had no one else she had known before to stand with her. How she had missed him. And how she missed her friends and the way the world was only a few days before—but she would make things right.
She would make things right.