Coming Home


“It’s better this way...” Yuna said to the Fayth.

*   *   *   *   *

There was no one here. Not surprising, since it was the middle of the night. Yuna and Paine were sleeping in Tromell’s home, formerly Chateau Leblanc, as guests of the new Guado leader. Rikku had been there too, until she realized she wasn’t going to get to sleep anytime soon, and found herself slipping from her much-too-long, made-for-a-Guado bed, and sneaking out the front door. Her feet just seemed to lead her here.

Rikku didn’t know why she kept being drawn to this place. She didn’t used to come here at all. Avoided it, in fact, when Yuna was on her Pilgrimage.

The Farplane.

The dead lived on in our memories, she always told herself. No need to conjure them up with a bunch of pyreflies, when you can talk to them in your heart.

Besides, in the deep desert of Bikanel or Sanubia, when the Al Bhed were outcasts of Yevon, there were no Summoners to send the dead. So none of Rikku’s loved ones were on the Farplane back then. No reason to visit this place.

So why now, years later, did she keep coming here, to stand in this vast sacred chamber of eternity?

But she knew why: to find him.

Yet standing before the edge, looking down upon the flowered field where the darkness of Shuyin and the paranoia of Vegnagun had nearly ended the Calm, ended the world, there was no one here. Try as she might to call him to mind, conjure him up, his image would not come.

Troubled and yearning, the Al Bhed girl returned to her foreign bed and a fitful night’s sleep.

*   *   *   *   *

From underneath the cascading waterfalls and shadowed from the hazy faux sun, the Fayth watched the high bank that led out from the Farplane to the honeycombed trees of Guadosalam. He spent most of his time deep in his new home’s many bucolic planes and layers, each just a thought away. He moved through the dreamy and dreamless moments of uncounted time wrapped in the folds of his many brethren summoners from ancient Zanarkand, and too those whom Yu Yevon had called and that had died before the great defeat and the coming of Sin.

But this one, like no other, sometimes came here too, to watch that ledge high above. He was drawn whenever one of those heroes and heroines who’d freed him and the others from that sleepless dream came to pay their respects, to visit with their own departed loved ones. The burly blitzballer and his crimson-eyed bride; the muscular blue-furred Ronso elder, who so rarely left his sacred mountain; the sublimely beautiful High Summoner, last of Spira’s great, selfless, tragic saviors. And, of course, the desert’s pixie-princess. He watched them, listened to them, hoped his silent hopes for their happiness.

For most those hopes had been answered. He’d seen tiny Vidina, held aloft to show the silent form of Chappu. He knew of the safe return of Lian and Ayde, retold to Maester Kelk Ronso. And he’d spoken first hand to Spira’s beloved brunette heroine; though she’d searched at length for her blitzballer, the one the Fayth himself had recruited from the dream of Zanarkand, her hopes had led her to a different path: loving that past as a fond memory, but choosing to live for the future.

There was only one the Fayth now worried over. So lovely and so sweet, she was like a ball of life incarnate. It pained him greatly to witness her soft, almost unrealized torment. She was still so young, and perhaps it was that youth and her endless vitality that spurred her old friends to realize their own dreams. 

While leaving her still dreaming.

He wished there was something he could do for her. He thought on her journeys with the Summoner. What had made her happy then?

The company of friends had. Protecting her cousin had. But was that all?

After the defeat of Sin, her friends had been sent or scattered. She’d been driven to help Yuna find her dream, rather than live for Spira alone and not herself.

Twice she’d lived to help Yuna find her dream, actually: the dream of defeating Sin, and the dream of finding him. The first had come true, while the second... well, Yuna had let herself awaken from that.

But, there was something there, he just had to think...

The Fayth flicked through images in his mind, of Rikku’s journey alongside the High Summoner. Coming to alongside the Moonflow. Viewing a magical sphere of ancient Zanarkand. Shock at Yuna’s engagement. The fury of the fearsome Thunder Plains. Riding to Yuna’s rescue on the back of a snowmobile. Huddling in the cold, unknowingly atop Sin. Trekking over the dunes on Bikanel. That horrible first sight of Home under siege. The look on his face when she spilled the truth of a Summoner’s fate. A sham wedding, riding to the rescue down great and shaking steel cables. Swimming and swimming through the underbelly of Bevelle. Diving to search for an airship. Macalania’s beautiful pools. The Calm Lands great expanses. The snowy trails of Gagazet, Yevon on their tails. Then at the summit, the unsent Seymour. An almost endless cluster of Fayth. Losing him into some strange dream. Descending into Zanarkand. He’d promised to show her Zanarkand, on the deck in the ocean. Cold and huddling in the temple at Baaj. Fighting Yunalesca, fighting Sin, fighting Jecht, hating, fighting Yu Yevon, fading...

And suddenly it occurred to him how he was seeing the Al Bhed: through the eyes of the one he’d sent to this world.

He retraced the memories anew. There was something in the smiles, in the easy chatting, the laughter, the lingering glances...

The Fayth blinked. A moment, not far from that balcony, high above. Him and her alone, after Yuna had gone off to give Seymour her answer. She teased him about taking a chance with Yuna, but he teased her right back. “I’d rather have you, Rikku,” he said. But... was it a tease after all? The Fayth closed his eyes, picturing it through each of theirs.

He’d followed her, again and again, talking about marriage, about loss, about children. She clung tightly to him on the snowmobile, he could feel her arms around him, she could feel him beneath her hands, her soft scent cutting through the chill wind, his hard muscled back, beneath her pressed cheek...

Guadosalam. “I’d rather have you, Rikku,” he said.

She’d been surprised. Overwhelmed. The Fayth could feel her heart flutter. She jumped down through the branches to the floor beneath him, casting a smile back upwards.

“Syopa cusatyo!” she’d called.

The Fayth opened his eyes. Maybe someday... he thought.

Someday soon.

Unsent: Chapter 1