Themes: Lost (7) Dawn in winter (19) Frost (27) Spheres (29) Uncertainty (81)
Summary: After being separated from the Crimson Squad, Paine is trying to find her place in the world.
Setting: Pre X-2, after the Crimson Squad disbanded
Key to the Past
A frost covered window was the first thing she saw upon awakening. She groggily opened her eyes all the way. The window seemed to represent what she had become, iced over, cold. She had been staying at Rin’s travel agency by Lake Macelania for a few days, as she had been aimlessly traveling since she was separated from her friends in the Crimson Squad.
Paine slowly hoisted herself out of bed, then dressed and began packing her meager belongings. She had decided that she’d better move on, and perhaps come closer to finding a place for herself, so maybe she wouldn’t feel so lost.
She looked out the frosty window again as she continued packing. It was still barely dawn and the light of the new day reflected off of the snow, making it sparkle. Paine smiled slightly. For such a cold and unforgiving landscape, it was quite beautiful, if a bit vague.
She slung her small bag over her shoulder and made her way into the main room of the Travel Agency. Something made her stop when she overheard Rin talking in Al Bhed to two other people, a young man and a young woman. Paine wasn't normally nosy, but something about the conversation caught her attention. So she chose to listen, thankful that she had learned to understand and speak Al Bhed.
"Yes, I have heard about treasure spheres in the area, but I would advise caution. A lot of fiends have been spotted roaming around," she heard Rin say.
"Ha," the young woman said (more like boasted,) "A couple of fiends aren't gonna scare the Gullwings away!"
"The Gullwings?" Paine mused, "Must be sphere hunters."
It dawned on her then, sphere hunting! That was it. Perhaps she'd find some clues about what happened to the Crimson Squad. That was when Paine decided that she would be a sphere hunter.
"Excuse me," she said cooly and they turned to her. "You are sphere hunters, the Gullwings, am I correct?"
"Yup," The blonde girl said proudly.
Paine decided to get right to the point. "My name is Paine. I was wondering if I could travel with you. I have interest in becoming a sphere hunter."
The young man, also a blond, eyed her suspiciously. "Why?"
Paine shrugged. "I have my reasons."
The girl frowned at her companion, punching him on the arm. "C'mon! You gotta be more trusting. Besides, it gets lonely with just you, Buddy, and me!' She turned to Paine. "I'm Rikku. And I don't see why you can't."
"Ok, fine!" The man spoke with clear irritation, although it was clear that Al Bhed was his first language as his speech was a bit halted, "But don't blame me if something happens," and he mumbled a few Al Bhed curses.
"Don't mind my brother," Rikku said. "He's just wierd."
Paine nodded as she studied her new travelling companions. The girl who had introduced herself as Rikku seemed kind enough, and full of energy, and her brother was not much different. Sure, they were quite opposite of her, but Paine didn't mind. This might be interesting.
In her line of view then was a large airship and both of the Al Bhed seemed quite proud of it, they called it the Celsuis.
"I've always wanted to fly in one of these..." <lj-cut text= "Key to the Past>