Setting: FFX, in camp some night
Theme/Number: (with) Benefits, #22
Summary: Sentry duty can be a spectator sport.
Auron took a sparing swig, savoring the odd firewater he'd developed a taste for in Zanarkand. He would run out soon. He had avoided the stuff for several years on principle, some kind of atonement for having been so hard on Jecht, or maybe wariness that the same poison might take hold of him. Nowadays, though, it reminded him of her. Sometimes silky and mild, but it could bite unexpectedly with a slow deadly afterburn that shook your boots off.
Benefits. He'd come on Yuna's journey on a personal crusade: end the madness ten years late, free Jecht, avenge Braska, finish the pilgrimage he'd left half-finished. That was all. Saving Spira was almost secondary; Auron just hated leaving things undone.
He hadn't thought about the reality of a second pilgrimage, of spending time with another set of Guardians, save as a way for Jecht's boy to get a chance at life, real life, not some dream-world cooked up by the spirits of the dead sleeping a thousand years until they'd run through every original idea and were stuck on Blitzball. Blitzball. He sighed and returned to contemplating his drink, capping the jug and letting it drop with a faint clunk.
Yes, very much like her. Lulu was just one of the huddle of bodies asleep by the fire, tucked next to Yuna tonight with their hands laced together, symbol of that unspoken sisterly bond between them that he generally ignored, since it meant hair and hugs and gentle advice and (for all he knew) gossip about the rest of the party. He had a feeling that it was no accident the mage had arranged their bedrolls with her head at an angle towards him. She had slipped partway out of the blankets, white skin gleaming all the way down to the dip betwen her breasts, face peaceful and composed in sleep.
Or not. Right on cue, the mage stirred, peeled open the one eye that was visible beneath her sheaf of black hair across her face, and searched sleepily across the clearing, counting heads. Their gazes met for an instant, and the corners of her mouth twitched into a faint smile. She snuggled back down again, turning over. Moonlight shone on the smooth, elegant plane of one shoulderblade.
No, when Auron had spotted Yuna's party across the stadium and decided to bank his hopes on Braska's daughter, he hadn't really contemplated the benefits.