Tidus is breathing
And then he realised there was no heartbeat there; this sea had no life in it, and it was empty and he was drifting--he burst into tears then, while his mother waded in, screaming and crying and cursing Jecht in the same breath.
And then when he was older, and his mother would stand--not touching-- just breathing, so perfectly timed that it seemed they were sharing the same breath; that man that seemed to burn away all the oxygen with his words like fire, so that his chest grew tight and burnt--so that it was as if he couldn't breathe and was drowning in air.
And he would cry then--and she would come to him and smother him in that darkness where he could hear her heartbeat, but the scorched scent of ozone lingered on her, as if she had put her arms around the fire and could not bear to let go.
That man was gone, and she was crying she was breathing she was dying, and he knew not what to do. He tried, oh how he tried, but every day she grew a little older, a little sadder, and every breath was like a stone on her grave.
When Auron came, a messenger in crimson and steel, it was like she breathed easy at last--
Jecht isn't coming home.
And she breathed her last.
And he tried to breathe, though his tears choked him, till he gasped for air, though he was above water and on land. The scent of fire was bitter to his nostrils, and the priest murmured his prayers and the ashes skirled over the white foam then dissolved. He choked like a fish caught in a net, and he clung to Auron's fingers and cried.
And Auron, quietly--
The beginning of all life is breath, and from it comes life. From life comes strength...
No, he wanted to tell Auron. Life comes from water--I should know, I was born from it, but I cannot find its heartbeat now.
Breathe deeply, said Auron. Draw it all in, from the very heavens, till it sinks to the earth. Then let it all go--
And he drew it all in, holding it, till it become like a stone in his stomach, sinking to the ground, till he could hear his blood thundering in his ears, till he could feel his pulse leap in his clenched hands.
And then he let it go, and it carried over the waves, where the tide rolled over and carried it all away.
Then someone behind him murmured, their black clothes rustling like stiff paper, Poor boy--how could Jecht abandon them? And now he is all alone.
And then he flung his head back and howled hatred to the sky.