Auron knew he was dead. He knew it and was ready to embrace it, but he couldn't fade just yet. No, he still had promises to keep.
Wearily laughing to himself, bordering hysterics, strong hands gripped long hair, attempting to remove dark locks by the roots.
"I'm dead, I'm dead, this is death," a shuddering gasp escaped gritted teeth. "Why haven't I faded? Why am I alone?" Hands struggled, vainly demanding the release of the painful grip scouring a raw scalp. Spasmodically, tendons writhed beneath weathered flesh, fighting with themselves along with the powerful forces of "habit" and "reason".
Wearied, beaten and scar mangled, the form twitched pathetically, shoulders shuddering as breath erratically fought to escape the very moment it was drawn in.
"I'm dead or I'm dreaming," he sobbed into the sandy surface.
And then it came. In a tumult of excess anger, exasperation, unsettled dreams, robbed time and forgotten love a hoarse scream rose to shake the very core of all that was, releasing all his aspirations and worldly desires from the hollowed depths of his being.
In final resignation, the tension ridden muscles eased as limbs fell limp, wilting and laying placidly in an awkward array upon the ground.
Nothing was left. He'd banished all that was him, sacrificing his heart except for the fraction of it that remained necessary, the part that owed the fulfillment of two final promises.
With deathly determination, stiff limbs reasserted themselves, adjusting to pull themselves into position to turn the world around.
The setting and environment tilting as he rolled to lie upon his back, eyes desperately gripped shut for one final second before fluttering open.
Dead? Dreaming? He wasn't quite sure whether it was the former or latter that he preferred.
Rapidly, eyes moved restlessly within their sockets, searching the formerly veiled heavens, following the patterns of gaily twinkling stars, looking for some indication, a symbol or maybe a sign.
But his vision was dimmed and he could see nothing but an averted, pale face as he felt what portion of his heart he allowed to remain split into two mangled, jagged and grotesque remnants.
With one final disconcerted and emotion ladened sigh, he forced his troubled mind to ease, endeavoring for a momentary rest before the long haul.
"It's both,"he decided"I'm dead within a dream."
Pale locks spilled, pooling in picturesque, liquid grace behind the willowy form and atop the white sheet.
But he tarnished that, both the crisp, cleanliness of the sheets and the silken hair, with the sporadic and forceful thrust of his hips and the merciless grip of his hand in long hair.
Despite it all, pale arms still embraced him, grounding him and supporting him. Yet even his constant was tinged with the same desperate force that drove him to taint and maul that which he respected and loved the most.
With a final shove and a cry of release, all motion ceased as sobs were muffled into a long neck.
"Auron," warm, moist breathing caressed the crown of his head. "What do think becomes of us in death?"
"I don't want to know." Brawny arms clenched tightly around thin hips. "I...don't want you to have to find out as immediately as you will."
Shadows took stronger hold of the couple as, with one final burst of light, the flame of the candle perched next to the wilted lilies on top of the white oak side table flickered and extinguished.
"You're so beautiful."
Flesh grew cold as ears were deaf to the gentle whisperings of admiration.
The sun came at the end of the darkness, piercing through the haze of memories that could never again be played out. Memories, both his and of him, that were distorted in the end
He didn't recognize himself; he no longer retained the ability to recognize them.
In the epitome of his hopeless tragedy and at the very core of it all: he could no longer remember his face.
So, wounded and bleeding, he clutched those remaining promises to and with in himself.
He still remembered that Yuna was now safely situated in Besaid with her surly guardian.
He still remembered and was perfectly aware of the fact that he was now within the dream of all dreams.
He was dead but he didn't allow that to hinder him as he found his feet and rose to them.