Setting: FFX, Gagazet
Theme + Number: Frost/Ice/Snow, #27
Summary: Chilly vignette on Gagazette's slopes.
The snow blew into the cave no matter how much they heaped up packs and blitzballs and odds and ends. Everyone wedged in together at the back, Rikku's knees poking Wakka's ribs (so he said loudly), Tidus a-grumble, Yuna too quiet and withdrawn behind one of those frozen smiles. It used to be Lulu holding her when Summoner training left her drained and mute, but the boy from the sea had elbowed his way into that spot. Lulu had stopped worrying about it after he learned the price: if he was going to live in Spira he must learn about loss, and if he died here it wouldn't matter. Instead she moved to keep watch at the entrance, sandwiched between Kimahri and Auron, red coat gathered closely around her shoulders, watching the snow swirl past.
"Lulu stay back," Kimahri rumbled at length. "Too cold. Kimahri and Auron guard."
"Soon." She stole a glance towards the swordsman, measuring the puffs of frosted breath before his face. How many did he have left? "Your mountain is beautiful, Kimahri."
Ten years in Besaid had trained her instincts to recognize the shift in the big Ronso's weight as the equivalent of a smile.
"Braska... also watched." Auron whispered, apparently noting her veiled scrutiny. "He found wonder in everything." There was a grey gleam from his glasses as the seasoned Guardian turned away from both of them.
Usually he only spoke of his past pilgrimage to and for Tidus and Yuna, to give them back a little of what they missed. But something had held him in Spira this long, despite his vehement denials of regret, of dwelling on the past.
I tried to change the world. But I changed nothing.
Lulu could feel the poignant presence of one diamond, Braska's daughter, resting behind her. She knew suddenly from the surety with which Auron had led them to this scant shelter that it was not the first time he had stood here with one or two comrades, gazing out at the snow. The set of his shoulders was weary. He had come full circle. This moment, for him, was frozen in time.
Mutely, Lulu slipped the oversized coat off one shoulder and gritted her teeth against the blast of icy wind. She drifted against him and reached up to drape the coat around him too.
"Kimahri's right. It's cold."
Auron grunted, drew an arm around her and bundled both of them together under his coat. There was a faint crunch beside them.
"Kimahri check on Yuna," the other Guardian muttered, retreating.
They shared a numb kiss and then stood side by side, watchful and beyond words. There was only snow. Darkness. The clear blue scent of mountain air. Twin puffs of frosted breath blending together and whirled away by the icy winds from Zanarkand.