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FFX fanfic snippet

Another gap-filling dribble.

Title: Mi'hen Sunset
FFX, evening after the Luca tournament
Characters: Auron, Lulu
Rating: G
Word Count: 830




Yuna's party had made good time on the Mi'hen highroad, considering the excitement of the tournament and its aftermath, but Lulu was very glad they could postpone camping at least one more evening before the more serious portion of the pilgrimage began. After sunset, Auron had herded Yuna and Tidus back to the Al Bhed inn where Wakka was fretting and pacing in the lobby like a caged sand wolf. Auron had not followed them inside. After Wakka's third surreptitious kick of the viewer console standing in the corner and Tidus' fourth, "Are our rooms ready yet?" Lulu slipped out, shaking her head as Kimahri picked up his spear to accompany her.

The last bars of red and purple lingered above the sea and upon its surface, as if some gifted painter had tried to use the horizon as canvas to capture the fire and thunder and leaden horror of Sin's presence beating against Spira's shores. Peaceful. So quiet. Crickets chirruped in the grasses, and chocobos clucked and peeped a short distance away.

Auron stood at the edge of the bluff, leaning on his sword, but he did not gaze towards sunset's last embers. He was staring fixedly north.

Lulu glided towards him over the grass. "You can... sense Sin, sometimes?"

The man's sigh was so faint that she could not be certain whether she heard him or the surf, but the subtle sag of his head told her more. "The Crusaders think he will come," he replied finally.

The mage nodded. "Yes. They've tried this before, I think. At Djose." The tight, clipped words were as distant as his gaze. "Some Crusaders used machina then, too. But that last time, they weren't excommunicated. I wonder why this is different."

He shrugged. "We'll see soon enough. It will make no difference. Sin can't be defeated their way."

"No." Lulu drifted a little closer, coming up beside him to watch the red glinting crests of the distant waves.

She had wept tears into that ocean. On the pilgrimage with Father Zuke, she and Wakka had stopped on a lonely stretch of beach pointed out to them by a patrol of Chocobo knights. Wakka had thrown a blitzball into the waves and mumbled clumsy words. Lulu had said nothing, frozen there with the salt water lapping at her skirts until the two men left her alone at the brink of that vast graveyard, where she could utter imprecations against Chappu's rash stupidity in peace. After that day, she had locked her heart tight and put tears aside for good.

The past was past. She drew herself back to the present. "We should find a way around this Operation Mi'hen. It doesn't concern Yuna's pilgrimage. If by some miracle they succeed, we can take her back to Besaid. If not, there is no need to endanger her, or let her see... what failure looks like."

"You can't shield her that way." Sir Auron's dark glasses angled towards her, masking what little she could see of his face. "Sooner or later on this journey, she will have to face and overcome hard truths. A Summoner is tested in will, as much as strength."

"When you've come to know her better, Sir Auron, you will learn not to doubt Yuna's will." The mage lifted her chin, a dry barb of humor surfacing briefly. "She overcame mine, in beginning her apprenticeship. I did not make it easy for her."

"Hmph." He shook his head. "She has her father's stubbornness. As does one other. He, also, needs to learn."

"Tidus?" Lulu glanced over her shoulder with a sigh. "He's forgotten everything. Yevon. Sin. The goal of the pilgrimage. But Yuna wanted him along. She doesn't seem to want him to know what will happen to her. But sooner or later--"

"Exactly." With a grunt, the warrior hefted his sword onto his back. "Tomorrow, he will begin to see what this pilgrimage is about. As will you."

"I?" She turned and hurried after him. "This is my third pilgrimage, Sir Auron. I am somewhat acquainted with futility."

He snorted. "You don't think Yuna can succeed?"

"No. I believe she will."

 

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
trekqueen
Sep. 6th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
eee naughty Auron! Watch out for that sharp tongue of Lulu's!
auronlu
Sep. 6th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
He was being pragmatic, in this case. Every one of them is going to have to face some nasty truths towards the end, so they might as well get used to it now.

Mi'hen another episode where I ponder why, when Auron obviously didn't quite approve of what was going on, he didn't tell Yuna, "Come on, we're just wasting time here."

Also, I got to thinking that Chappu must've died there in the previous equally stupid attempt, so essentially Lulu, Wakka, and Yuna were getting to witness firsthand what had probably happened to him.

Meep.
trekqueen
Sep. 6th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
eeep yea... one of those learning experiences where one knows the trainwreak possibly coming but cannot look away. *sigh*
lassarina
Sep. 7th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
The last three paragraphs really cap this fic brilliantly. Well done.
lassarina
Sep. 7th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
I have kind of a random game-timeline question for you, since I'm thinking of it. Do you happen to know the order and timing of each of Lulu's three pilgrimages? I know Ginnem was first, then Father Zuke a year before Yuna; do you happen to know when the pilgrimage with Ginnem was (especially compared to when Chappu died)? I'm just curious because I don't remember myself and couldn't find it in the script, and don't have access to Ultimania.
auronlu
Sep. 7th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
The script doesn't tell us about Ginnem's pilgriamge, but the Ultimania guide gives us definite dates. However, it contradicts the script in a few places.

Script, date of Chappu's death:

Wakka: "He was with the Crusaders when they fought Sin last year. He didn't make it. I first heard on the day of the tournament."
Tidus: "Oh, so that's why."
Wakka: "I became a guardian to fight Sin, ya?"

Script, date of Father Zuke pilgrimage:

Tidus: "Who was that?"
Lulu: "Until half a year ago, he was a summoner. Wakka and I were his guardians."
Wakka: "It was kind of a short pilgrimage."
Lulu: "He gave up halfway. Here, on this plain. Now, he is a monk at the Bevelle temple. This is my third pilgrimage as a guardian. Father Zuke was my second. And my first, well... It ended here, too."

So, Chappu died about a year ago (game time), then after the tournament Wakka and Lulu went with Zuke, and their pilgrimage ended half a year ago. However, the script never specifies when the Ginnem pilgrimage happened.

Ultimania Guide:

2 years ago
- Yuna begins training as an apprentice summoner.
- Lulu serves as a guardian to Summoner Ginnem, who dies on her pilgrimage. Lulu returns to Besaid.
1 year ago
- Lulu becomes a guardian for Summoner Zuke. Wakka also promises to become Zuke's guardian after the blitzball tournament.
- The Crusaders carry out a daring defense operation of the Djose Shore. Chappu is killed taking part in the battle as a Crusader.
- Lulu and Wakka leave on a pilgrimage as Zuke's guardians.
- (6 months ago) Zuke quits his pilgrimage in the Calm Lands. Lulu and Wakka return to Besaid.

But the script and timeline contradict each other in a few places. First, the guide implies that Wakka agreed to become guardian before the tournament, whereas his comments above suggest he joined Zuke and Lulu to avenge Chappu. Also:

Script, on the deaths of Lulu's and Wakka's parents killed in Sin attack
Wakka: "I don't even remember my parents."
Lulu: "I was five then, so I remember mine a little."

Yet the timeline has Wakka aged 23, Lulu 22. Why can't Wakka remember his parents?


Anyway. According to the guide, Lulu became Guardian when Yuna started her apprenticeship, two years before the game. The more detailed backstory for Lulu written up in that guide says she did so after failing to talk Yuna out of becoming a Summoner. Lulu was trying to shield Yuna from the start -- either by getting to Sin first, or by getting enough training to be able to protect her. Note that Chappu was still alive when Lulu went off on her first pilgrimage -- I am writing a later bit of Resurrection on the assumption that a) Chappu was not pleased when Lulu went with Ginnem and b) he joined the Crusaders after failing to dissuade her from a second pilgrimage (although really, it's just as likely that he joined them before she met Zuke).
lassarina
Sep. 7th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

I'm thinking I need to put a specific authornote in my pregame fic about Yuna noting that this is not using the Ultimania guide, because it's based around a different timeline than the one that you gave, but this is wonderfully useful for purposes of my Lulu fic.

I had always pictured Lulu's first pilgrimage as longer ago, somehow.
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