Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X-2 > Little Lamb, Who Made Thee

The Statue

by Ikonopeiston 0 Reviews

What am I doing here?

Category: Final Fantasy X-2 - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Nooj - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2006/07/04 - Updated: 2006/07/04 - 1718 words

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The Statue

LeBlanc was not satisfied with the way her life was progressing. Sphere-hunting had become a bore which not even the challenge from the Gullwings could enliven. All anyone seemed to find these days were the repetitive recordings of second and third rate entertainers from a time more than a decade back. She had begun using those spheres to play bocce in the corridor behind the hidden door. It was as good a use as any since nobody would pay even a token sum for them. She still had a stash of historical treasures but even being careful how she doled them out, she was not sure she would have enough to keep Nooj coming back with none being discovered to replace those she handed to him.

He had never mentioned the episode in which she had told him who she was, still referring to her as 'the Lady LeBlanc' and preserving strict formality when in her presence. All her efforts to rekindle the friendship from so long ago were met with a cool "I haven't known Talya since I left Kilika." She did not dare throw a tantrum lest he refuse to come to her even to collect the artifacts he lusted after. She had tried to seduce him but was unable to even coax him up the curving staircase to the upper floor where her bedroom was located. Sometimes she wondered if he had taken a vow of celibacy. Deep in her convictions, she cherished the faith that if she could simply keep him with her for one night, he would not want to leave her again. It had worked with other men, why not with Nooj?

LeBlanc was bored, bored beyond tolerating. She stared at the tall glass case across from her bed, its emptiness reflected in the mirror. She had bought it on a whim, not thinking what it could be used for. It was enough that it was well made and a bargain. Now an idea was taking shape in her brain.

"Logos! Get up here! I've got an errand for you."

-X-

It took a week of negotiations but LeBlanc finally found a sculptor who seemed capable of producing what she wanted. Her requirements were stringent and she was both willing and able to pay to have them met. So the commission was awarded. An image of the hero Nooj, Meyvn of the Youth League, Warrior against the last Sin, would be produced in the colors and proportions of the man himself. It would show him as he looked at this time in his life. The artist would apply all his skills as well as the most advanced techniques available toward making the statue as realistic as possible down to the most minute detail. When finished, it would be placed in the case in the lady's bedroom and carefully lighted so that she would have the illusion of her obsession always in her view.

While she waited for the statue to be finished, LeBlanc held back from sending for Nooj. She needed to prove to herself that she could resist the compulsion to see him. Besides, absence quickened desire.

During this time of denial, she examined her own mind with the exacting diligence she would have applied to analyzing a business competitor. As she saw it much of her confusion and lack of productive focus arose from the fact she was unable to choose which person she was when she was with Nooj. Was she the girl Talya who had been his right hand and platonic companion when they were children together exploring their island home? Or was she the sophisticated woman LeBlanc who desired a more complete relationship with the man the intervening years had made of him? She volleyed from one dream to the other without being completely drawn to either. This indecision was unlike her normal way of dealing with difficult questions. As the head of her organization, she had taught herself to make choices quickly and neither regret them nor change without compelling reason. What froze her in this case? Why could she not see the factors clearly? As had become her habit, she created imaginary conversations with which to explore the various aspects of a problem.

She lay back on the chaise, closed her eyes and summoned up the scene she had replayed so often with so many variations.

"Now that you've found me, are you satisfied?" The man in the scarlet clothing looked directly at her.

LeBlanc thought for a while. That was what she always imagined him asking; it was her response which varied, depending on what she saw as truth on a given day. What was she expecting when she came to the mainland? What would it take to fill the void which continued to torment her?

"Not yet, Noojie. I want things to be as they were when we were children." She had never before used that as an answer.

"Then you are more foolish that I ever imagined you might be. You want to go back to a time when you thought you were happy, forgetting all the troubles and suffering of then. Why not just go all the way back? Back to your mother's womb? It makes as much sense as what you're asking right now." He thumped his cane on the floor for emphasis.

"You know what I mean. I want to be now what I was to you then. Don't try to pretend you don't understand what I'm saying."

"You want to be my little friend? The little girl who hung on my heels and did exactly what I told her to do? You are a fool. I'm not that boy anymore and you're not that little girl. We've grown up, you said so yourself. We have lived. Changed. I have lost much and learned even more. I have no idea what life has done to you but you are not that girl I barely remember. She wasn't a bad person but she doesn't exist any longer. Accept that!" He pointed at the empty glass case. "I think you want to seal us both up in that box and pump out all the air so that we are preserved in what you see as a state of perfection. It won't work, lady."

LeBlanc whimpered. That was not the way it should go. Why did it never turn out the way she expected? No matter how she answered the question he posed, it never worked out happily. She tried again.

"Now that you've found me, are you satisfied?" The man in the scarlet clothing looked directly at her.

"Satisfied to know you're still alive. Yes." She said softly.

"That was all you wanted? You could have asked around. It wasn't necessary for you to make all the effort you did." He raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, it was. I needed to look into your face and see if I still knew you."

"And?"

"I know you. You're still the same one I followed without question or hesitation back in the old days, Noojie. I'm ready to follow you again and be whatever you want me to be to you." She stood and walked within easy reach of him.

"I have enough followers, LeBlanc. I'm not recruiting more. Stay in your own world. Mine can be dangerous." He leaned back slightly.

"Why won't you call me Talya? Why do I scare you?"

"You're not Talya anymore and you don't scare me. It's just I don't want to hurt you. There has been enough pain connected to me." Nooj looked away into a distance she could not see.

"No! I won't let you go. We had something years ago and it's not all gone. I've got faith it's still there. I've hunted you and found you and I'm not going to lose you again!" She gripped him as firmly as she could, only belatedly realizing she was clutching metal not flesh.

He laughed gently when she hastily let go. "You aren't as ready as you thought to deal with what I am, are you? LeBlanc, it's no use. There's nothing to recover. I've told you what I am. Accept that and don't put yourself where you'll be hurt again - I don't want that. I'm on my own journey and you cannot come with me."

"Why?" she wailed. "What does Death mean to you? Why ...?"

He seemed to recede into the curtains and walls of the room. She still had not given the answer he required. Maybe when she had the image of him imprisoned in the case instead of her mind's eye, she could find her way to the proper words. Maybe if he knew she had his eidolon held and enshrined, he would come up to the room and she could ... She tossed restlessly. What had happened to change him so? Why was Death more desirable than she was? She knew he had been caught in the embrace of that Dark Mistress when he had fallen prey to Sin, but he had escaped. What made the return to that cold bed so compelling?

Since her first adult encounter with the champion from her childhood, LeBlanc had invested both time and money in learning all she could about his adventures since he had joined the Crusaders and later the Crimson Squad. Stories about him abounded but no explanations. He was a great hero who never hesitated to hurl himself into the fore of the battle. He risked his life as a routine action, defending those who fought alongside him. He lived like a monk among a motley mob of adherents who all but worshipped him. He spent his time accumulating and cataloging spheres dealing with Spiran history. He was dedicated to the search for his own death. That was all. No friendships, no connections, no human details were to be had. He was aloof and alone with no cracks in the shell he presented to the world. She stamped her foot, denting the parquet of the floor with her heel, then stretched out again on the chaise, forcing her mind into a zone of quiet serenity before she called up the vision once more.

"Now that you've found me, are you satisfied?" The man in the scarlet clothing looked directly at her.
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