Setting: Escape from Bevelle
Theme + Number: (Guilty) Conscience (61)
Pairing: Auron/Lulu (and Kimahri)
Word Count: ~ 550
Summary: Saving Kimahri takes precedence over common sense.
Sir Auron's hunches had proved right at every turn, especially the ones he'd left unsaid, like Maester Seymour's as rotten as Vilucha's fermented fish sauce. It was one of many reasons she respected him yet wanted to grab him by the collar and give a good, hard shake.
Especially now. They had Yuna safe and sound (for the moment) and were within half a mile of the city gates and freedom, but they were minus one guardian.
One brave guardian. One old friend who had been a part of their lives for as long as Yuna. The only guardian Lulu really trusted, because Auron, despite all his wise hunches, was holding back on them.
Yuna was stumbling, and Lulu had to grab her hand because Kimahri wasn't here any more. Guards didn't seem to be following. This desperate plan was going to work, thanks to the Ronso's brave sacrifice. Just what he'd always wanted: a chance to redeem himself for that broken horn (more secrets, but she knew a disfigured, runt Ronso wasn't in Besaid for the fishing). Why did she feel guilty for leaving him? Would it not be a graver sin to risk Yuna's life and stand beside him?
Yuna, dear Yuna, was lagging, and it wasn't because she was tired. "I can't leave Kimahri behind!"
Auron had the right words, as usual. "He is a guardian. Protecting you is everything."
Lulu should back him, back Kimahri, hammer home sense before—
"That's right!" That boy, always opening Yuna's eyes to things she had not (and should not) have considered. "We're all guardians! And you know what that means? Yuna... Anywhere you go, I'll follow!"
Spoken like a true guardian, willing to let her die as long as you get the chance to be there!
Lulu opened her mouth to intervene, but it was too late. The stampede had begun. Yuna and Tidus were running back. Wakka and Rikku, easily swayed, charged after them.
I'm sorry, Kimahri.
The mage moved to Auron's side— the only guardian left now, stewing at empty air. Her apologetic smile was meant as much for the Ronso as for him. "I'll go too."
Auron met her eyes with a knowing smirk that would come back to her later, when she had time to think on more agreeable matters than survival. His amused snort was infectious— Yevon, at a time like this, how could they not laugh?
And was it her imagination, or had he just ogled her, after ignoring her non-strategic assets for most of the pilgrimage?
Well, she supposed, if they were about to get themselves killed, they might as well enjoy the scenery.
Pushing idle thoughts aside, she lifted her skirts and ran faster. Small miracles: Kimahri was there ahead of them with his spear still braced against Seymour's chest, not dissolved to pyreflies or a smear on Bevelle's cold tiles. The others skidded to a halt and started trading insults with the maester turned fiend. Kimahri shook his head faintly.
"Sorry," she whispered at his elbow. "Auron was overruled."
Conscience clear for the wrong reasons, the mage stepped forward, readying thundaga. Auron flung his arm free and hefted his sword— speaking of scenery— and Lulu felt the familiar thrill of combat as she raised her arms.
Oh, yes. Auron's sword painted poetry in the air, and she sent lightning's kiss after it with a flourish. Hoary clichés held power at such moments. Today is a good day to die.