Setting: FFX, airship
Theme + Number: Rations (44)
Summary: Fleeting moments of private time.
They had learned to ration themselves into these cracks between the days. There was so little time. Most of it was spent plotting, fighting, guarding, gathering in weapons and strength for a battle that was right off the map, that no Trials or Teachings could prepare them for. Jecht was waiting. They would never know if they were ready until they tried. Yuna needed Lulu -- not for advice or protection anymore, she went her own way; she just needed the mage's silent presence, like the torch flickering in the Chamber of Fayth to serve as witness to the Summoner's vigil. Tidus needed Auron to be there in case anything went wrong.
They belonged to their Summoner and their companions.
So they rationed these moments. It wasn't merely the passionate joinings, with clouds drifting past the airship's window and an endless abyss below them. It wasn't when Lulu allowed herself to be a sensuous young woman in her own body, or the times that Auron let himself laugh for some reason other than sheer cynicism or the riptides of fate. It was when they stopped guarding -- not just others, but themselves from themselves.
Auron was tired and let it show, sitting on the floor with his arms stretched out behind him on the bunk, sprawling like the spreading roots of an old tree.
Lulu was tired of too many companions and admitted it. She loved them all, even that irritating boy from the sea and Yuna's bright cousin, but she had never travelled with more than two before, and she longed for the secret shadows of Besaid's jungles where she might lose herself for days when the village closed around her.
They rationed themselves to truths. To confidences: not too many, of course; each prized secrecy, and weeks could not cut through years of walls. To memories: Auron's first lesson in the monastery, the last thing Lulu's mother told her before she was gone. To dry jokes and wry observations about their companions and the unorthodox road they had travelled.
Most of all, they rationed silence. There was a weight and heft to it, when shared, that transcended the reach of any sword or spell. When Auron was gone, Lulu would remember their shared silences most of all: his silhouette against the porthole, her hand on his shoulder, and the quiet moments when no one needed them to be anything, or to explain.