Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X > Final Fantasy

Chapter 8

by PissedoffPunk 0 reviews

Category: Final Fantasy X - Rating: R - Genres:  - Published: 2009-08-10 - Updated: 2009-08-10 - 6027 words

Lindsey was sleeping in the next morning. When the boat docked at Luca Port, the group had disembarked and checked in at a nice Luca hotel. Thanks to Noodles' attention, she was fully relaxed, deep asleep almost as if she were dead. Josh was in the bed next to her, these big Luca hotels having enough sleeping space so that all of them could share the same room. She slept long after the sun started to come up, surprising as she was usually the reluctant early-riser.

Josh was still asleep, though not as deeply. He tried to keep himself from worrying about whether or not Lindsey and Noodles had been having sex or not. He was still also exhausted from both acquiring the fire aeon, and the boat ride from Kilika to Luca.

Demi had stayed in the engine room for the entire rest of the ride on the boat, only resurfacing to grab her pack and go to the room. She'd given Dexter and Noodles both dirty looks and ignored Lindsey and Josh all together. She'd decided she was just going to fight the fiends, do her duty, then go home. No fun games of trying to hook people up, no blitzball, nothing. She kept getting the feeling that no one really cared for her as much as she cared for them, so why put forth the effort?

Noodles and Dexter left the others be, Dexter knowing his plot had been unravled and wanted to give Lindsey and Josh their space and Noodles was tired, just plain and simple.

Lindsey was still asleep, but Josh woke with a soft grunt, sitting up in his bed and scratching gently at his hair and looking around.

Demi was gone, up on the roof, watching everyone as they did they're morning routine. Dexter's chest fell and rose evenly as he slept, wanting to get as much done before they were unable to stop at an inn for a while. Noodles was sitting on the window seal, drinking a cup of tea as he watched outside the window. His expression was unreadable as he kept his gaze out.

Outside, Luca was a bustle, music playing with people out in the city and flocking towards the Luca stadium. Jimma and Bobba's voice rang over the intercom, the announcers for the main event. The tournament was shaping up to start soon and Maester Mika was coming into port, along with Maester Seymour. Josh got up and stretched, yawning widely before he got up to look out the window briefly before turning to wake Lindsey up, "Hey... Wake up... The tournament's going to start soon.."

Noodles turned and glanced at them before kicking Dexter awake. "Come on blond, we've got a summoner to protect," he grunted emptying his cup.

"Sn'what?" Dexter shot up with wild blinking eyes. "Oh ok," he said getting up and stretching. Popping his back easily, he pulled his vest on, zipping it up easily. "One, two, three, four. . ." he frowned counting heads. "Only four? Has anyone seen Demi?" He asked looking around.

"She left early this morning before the rest of you woke up," Noodles said fastening his belt to his back.

Lindsey yawned as she sat up, Josh's face close to hers as she did, bumping her face with his with renewed affection. "Oh.." she grunted softly as she slid out of bed and grabbing her equipment. "Okay.. Let's head to the docks to meet Maester Mika," she said as she fastened her harness and buckled everything up, "Don't forget your weapons... Something might happen during the tournament that may require our... attention."

"Ok," Dexter said as he grabbed his claws. Noodles stayed quiet and vigil as he waited for the others outside. "Do you know where Demi went? I know she wanted to go to the game," Dexter asked as he made sure everything was set.

"No," Noodles said. "Didn't ask and she didn't tell." The blond nodded eyeing Noodles for a moment. "Are you ready summoner?" The oldest turned to Josh.

Josh nodded to Noodles, now ready and dressed up.

"I'm sure the Maester will want to meet our newly appointed summoner," Lindsey said, swords sheathed in her belt, "Let's go," she said as she headed towards the Dock numbered 3.

"Yeah, but. . . Never mind," Dexter sighed shaking his head as he followed the others out, feeling slightly guilty about leaving Demi.

"She probably went to go get good seats for the game," Lindsey said, "Stop worrying. She'll be okay." She kept her gaze from Noodles, feeling a tad awkward about the night before. No one told her about the predicament with Demi, and to probably make things worse, she was feeling good from her massage. She felt good, but would try to avoid Noodles as much as possible... She didn't want to give him the wrong idea.

Demi stayed on the roof, letting the sun bake her skin as she sat up in her shorts, boots, and vest. Watching the others leave down the street, she quickly shimmied back into the hotel, going back to the room. Shedding her clothes, she went to the bathroom and started a cool shower to ease her crispy tan skin.

Noodles lead the way, keeping his eye out for anything that would harm the others and himself. If he stayed equally aloof and away from everyone, then everything would settle down and they could go home. He needed to stop worrying about how everyone felt and just keep his and Dexter's asses clean.

The older blond though was trying to think of ways to cheer Demi up when they would meet up at the tournement. Granted they'd only known each other for two or so days, but it was like hanging out with friends again with her. He felt bad for getting her in trouble with Josh and Lindsey, but now the thing with Noodles, which he so pleasantly explained to him, was just making him feel even worse.

Josh kept quiet. He just wanted to be with Lindsey and get to know her better. He was working to keep himself from being mad at everyone else... with all this hook-up crap. Though it was tough not to. "So, who's Maester Mika?" he asked.

"Maester Mika is one of the four leaders of Spira," Lindsey answered, "He's been in office for a long time and this Tournament is to honor his 50th year as Maester." She explained as they came up to the dock and the massive and rather glorious boat from Bevelle.

Noodles played the ever vigil guardian, keeping Josh safe as they got to the dock. "When do the fiends show?" He leaned over and asked Lindsey quietly, keeping his eyes up and moving instead of on her.

Playing his part as well, Dexter stood on the other side of Josh keeping his post watching for Demi or the fiends. Letting the near ice cold water run down her body, Demi let out a pissed off punk scream before punching a hole in the shower wall. So now not only would they have to leave in a hurry before house keeping came, but she'd be in trouble, again.

Lindsey's eyes narrowed at the question, "After the final game with the Luca Goers." She tried to drop her look as they reached the disembarking point of the Maester, Maester Mika saying a few words before walking down the ramp, followed by the newly appointed Guado Maester, Maester Seymour. He had a precarious look around him and he introduced himself to the crowed. Lindsey sighed softly before performing the sign of prayer along with everyone else.

Holding her bleeding hand she splash some potion on it that she had swiped on it, making a face at the burning sinsation before it healed. Pulling hergear on, she headed out, strolling lazily through crowd towards the stadium.

"Is it just me or does Seymour make you want to cry?" Dexter leaned over asking the others, only earning a 'hmph' from Noodles. "Fine," he sighed. "I'm gonna go look for Demi, see if she found any seats, k? Will you three be ok by yourselves?" He asked, wanting to get away from the group of downers.

"Fine, stay close. We don't want to have to take the fiends on short handed," Noodles said keeping Seymour in the corner of his eye.

Lindsey caught Seymour's eye, close guardian of the Summoner birthed from the Fayth itself. He smirked at her as well as Josh, causing him to squirm with discomfort. Lindsey bowed, followed by a nervous Josh. She stepped back, allowing the Maesters to pass through, Seymour's eyes staying on her even as he passed until she was too far for his eyes to follow anymore.

"Creep..." Lindsey said in a hushed voice under her breath.

Noodles gritted his teeth as he watched the look that Seymour gave to Lindsey. Granted he wasn't attracted to her, but the look was enough for him to want to slice the half guado in half. Dexter ran off, trying to find his fellow blond before the games started. She had gone on about how she didn't want to miss it, but Demi was no where to be found.

Keeping her head down and eyes low, Demi managed to stay unnoticed as she slowly made her way to the stadium.

Josh glared at the back of Seymour's head as he passed, an angry, primitive jealousy rising in his chest.

"Let's just head to the stadium.. don't want crappy seats. Can look for Demi there," Lindsey said softly, grabbing Josh's hand and pulling him towards the entrance of the stands.

Noodles followed behind, still keeping his guard up as he surveyed the scene. Dexter hadn't found Demi. Why wasn't she here? Was she on the other side? He had made a lap around calling her name as loud as he could. . . Did she just leave?

"S'cuse me," she said quietly, bumping into a crusader as she tried to dodge them, not really wanting to run into Luzzu or Gatta.

"O'p, sorry," the crusader said.

Lindsey looked around for her friend, "Why isn't she here? Wait... Maybe I can use a flare? No, no, she wouldn't know what that would mean, would she...? I mean it's not like we discussed, 'hay if we can't find you we'll send out a flare'..." She started calling out for Demi too.

Josh sighed, "...I hope she's okay.."

Dexter however did find the others. "You guys seen Demi? I've done a few laps around and still haven't found her. I don't think she's here," he said glancing at Noodles.

"She'll be fine, she's a big girl," he grunted.

Demi wasn't even in the stadium, just on the outside still trying to get in. Being short and not really use to big crowds, she was doing well not to panic like she did back home.

"I know that.. but I really wanted to watch the game with her.. I know how much she likes Blitz..." Lindsey said softly, looking around worriedly. "Argh.. we're already here... may as well just take our seats..." she sighed and sat down with Josh on one side and Noodles on the other.

Noodles adjusted his sword so he could sit comfortably as Dexter huffed, sulking next to Josh. He was now moody, matching the rest of his group, missing his new friend.

Keeping her breathing steady, Demi slowly made it to the stadium. . . In the nose bleed section where as the summoners and guardians that were there were up front in the middle. Getting her mind back on track, she made it to her seat, hoping to have a good time at least by herself, it was what usually happened anyway.

Even as Bobba and Jimma welcomed the crowd in the stadium as it filled up, Lindsey was still looking around, feeling small between medium-tall Josh and very-tall Noodles. "I don't see her anywhere..." she sighed, resting against Josh, who in turn wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

The crowd errupted at the water sphere was beginning to be filled. Demi jumped up and cheered right with them, forgetting that she was alone. Dexter feigned intrest as Noodles stayed put, guarding at all time.

Lindsey sighed and watched as the sphere pool filled up and the two first opposing teams entered the water and took their positions, the Al Bhed Psyches and the Besaid Aurochs. "I want the Aurochs to win, personally... no offense to Demi... I guess it's just a ..being ..kinda native to Besaid..." She liked Besaid. It was the most innocent island in the entire world of Spira.

Josh smiled and watched with amazement and excitement, his earlier gloominess completely gone.

Lindsey looked up at Josh before looking up at Noodles, poking his hand and whispering to him, "...Beware of any Al Bhed near here... I'm sure if you remember... they kidnapped Yuna around this time... I.." her voice got quieter as she leaned closer to him, "..I doubt they'd try to take Josh in such a huge crowd... but we still have to be careful..."

Noodles nodded. "Keep physical and eye contact as all times. I don't want any blood spilt if it can be helped," his head swivled as he kept an eye out for Demi or any Al Bhed that would try anything. "Tell Dexter as well and. . ." he hesitated, not thinking it was right, but wanted to be safe. "If you see Demi, don't leave her alone with Josh."

Grinning as she watched the game, she cheered when the Aurochs scored and when the Al Bhed scored. She wasn't partial to either team and liked both equally. She knew that Iyassu was in the water and hoped he was having a blast like she was.

"Nah... If they're expecting a fight then they'd send machina after us... The Al Bhed aren't the type to resort to traditional combat..." Lindsey reached back behind Josh and poked Dexter's side. She gave him a look and mouthed, 'Keep your eyes peeled...' She nodded her head towards Josh, who was too into the game to notice his guardians communicating around him.

Lindsey looked back at Noodles, "...Do you really think that... she'd... kidnap him and give him to the Al Bhed...?"

"She hasn't been around all day, I really don't know where she went," he sighed. "For all we know she could be a plant. I know she's a good friend of yours, but. . . I really do want to be wrong."

Demi saw several other Al Bhed looking around talking to each other. Curious, she went in close to hear what they were saying. "Drana'c y summoner ib vnuhd. Ra ryc drnaa kiynteyhc. Dfu yna ouihk yht aycemo tecdnyldat frema dra umtan femm pa ryntan du kad net uv." The young girl's eyes widened. They were after Josh! Great, now she had to think strategically. Getting up from her seat, she took off as the game ended, the Aurochs winning by one point.

Lindsey cheered with Josh as the Aurochs were declared winners of the match, Jimma and Bobba hysterical in their announcer box, "Un-be-lievable folks! In 10 straight years the Aurochs haven't won a single game! I cannot believe my eyes! This victory against the Al Bhed Psyches will put them up into the finals!"

"Yay! We're in the finals!" Lindsey cheered giddily.

Running as fast as she couled up the stairs, Demi found a pair of binoculars. Quickly adjusting them, she searched the front and frontish rows for her party. Cursing, she sprinted around looking till she finally found them. "Good, Josh is attatched at the hip to Lindsey, Noodles is playing watch dog and Dexter looks pissy. Just another day in the neighborhood."

Noodles kept his back straight, eyes and ears open. His gut was telling him that the Al Bhed would try something. Not now with the crowd, but when the fiends attacked. That would be when they made their move and like hell he was going to let them get Josh. Whether Demi was working for them or not, he didn't know, but he hoped that she hadn't switched sides to spite them.

Lindsey smiled up at Josh, who was just as excited as she was.

"Wow this is exciting," he said, looking down at her, "I'm happy we came to see this. This is just awesome."

"Shit, shit, shit, shit," Demi grumbled under her breath as the second game started between the Aurochs and the Goers. Sprinting down the empty halls, she easily caught up with the Al Bhed team. Sneaking around, she listened in on their plan. After the game when everyone was standing up to leave, they would go after Josh. Making sure her was clear, she dashed off to find her party again. Though in the crowd and excitement, she got turned around.

Dexter started to get antsy. Something was up with Demi, why would she miss this? Was she that upset? He glared at the older man before going back to the new game.

"The next game is about to start," Josh said excitedly, grabbing onto Lindsey's hand and shaking it.

"Yep, it will be the deciding game of the tournament," she said with a smile.

"Ok. . . Um, where to go, where to go. . ." Demi said dancing around. "Damn you Spira! No machina means no walkie talkies," she hissed looking around trying to guess where to go. Quickly picking a way, she ran as fast as she could till she found herself up higher than before. "Damn it!"

Noodles tensed up as the game came to the last half. Not really paying attention to the game as he spotted several Al Bhed taking seats in about a hundred yard radius. Noting their places, he nudged Lindsey. "One, five, nine and eleven o'clock for spotters. They're getting ready to move in."

Lindsey narrowed her eyes, "They wouldn't seriously try anything during the game would they?"

But of course it was probably the perfect plan. Nab the summoner while everyone was too distracted by the most compelling game of the century, the Luca Goers versus the Besaid Aurochs, battling for the Cup.

She looked up at Josh and smiled widly at him, grabbing his hand and holding it tightly with her arm wrapped around his, "Isn't this fun?" she said holding onto Josh like a tigress on her prey.

"Probably wait till the crowds start to leave, get mixed in and they'll nab him right from under us," Noodles said making eye contact with a spotter, scaring him off.

Dexter looked around seeing the few goggled faces in the crowd near them, none of them Demi though. Skittering to a stop, Demi huffed as she looked around finally finding a level.

Lindsey got nervous as they approached Half-time and the teams retreated for a brief rest. The Aurochs had been putting up powerful defense an the score was tied at 0 to 0. Looking around, seeing the Al Bhed watching them, she lifted up Josh's arm and scooted closer to him, wrapping her arm around his back.

"I really need to work out more," Demi huffed, stopping to catch her breath. Pulling out the binoculars she nabbed, she finally found her party and the Al Bhed that were surrounding them. "Oh great fun."

Noodles heard the game start up again as the teams battled against each other. "Dexter," he barked at his friend. 'Stay at his side.' He mouthed to the blond. Dexter nodded, subtly getting closer to Josh. Not getting as close as Lindsey, but still close enough to fend off an ambush if necessary.

Lindsey watched, one full minute into the game, the Aurochs dishing out incredible defense. Towards the end of the game, the Auroch's scored, enticing waves of roars from the audience. The timer was running out and as the game won, everything went positively quiet, Jimma and Bobba going ballistic in their box as the crowds cheered. After a few minutes of the Aurochs celebrating their victory, the stadium exploded into chaos as fangs and drakes emerged into the crowd, roaring and snapping and biting, people jumping from their seats screaming and stampeding towards the exits.

"It's happening!" Lindsey shouted, drawing her blades.

"Dexter! Lindsey! Grab Josh and get back to the inn! Don't stop for anything!" Noodles yelled as he drew his sword. Demi stood there stunned for a moment as all the fiends suddenly appeared.

"Yevon help us," she whispered before ducking from the floods of people. Drawing her bow and ammo, she weaved through the people. Firing off several shots, she took down a flyer. "I can't do this on my own," she grunted putting her bow away and drawing her knives out. Sprinting out, she started to work on them as best she could at her level.

Josh looked up and around him, his excitement melting into horror, "What's going on!?"

"Get up! Let's go!" she grabbed his hand and pulled him forward, leaping past Noodles and down the various bleachers of the stands, "Be careful!" she called after the older guardian.

Fiends appeared in their way, though Lindsey cut through them as best she could while keeping an eye on Josh and an eye out for any Al Bhed.

Noodles sliced easily through most of the fiends, taking only a few hits before he started to follow his party. Dexter stayed right behind Josh, keeping him in sight at all times. "How's it looking up front?" He called before the group stopped, a giant lizard stood in their way of escape as Noodles caught up to them breathless.

"Son of a bitch," he growled. It didn't take Demi long, dodging some fiends easily. Finding her party up against Godzilla, she growled. "I'm gonna get myself killed," she groaned as she ran up to the balcony, jumping off and onto the fiend's back. "RIDE 'EM HARD!" She whooped, grabbing onto his hard plating. "GO!" She screamed as she dug a knife into it's neck between the plating. "GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW!" The fiend snapped his neck around catching her hand in the plating, easily crushing it.

"Go now!" Noodles ordered, as he pulled the others away before the fiend could turn on them again.

"GET!" Demi screamed at him as he turned and paused. Pulling her hand out and knife, she cradled the hurt one as she pulled out an arrow, gouging out it's eyes before it flipped her off. Saying a few words, she electrified the arrow and jammed it into the fiend. It roared in pain as it stomped around, catching the Al Bhed girl with it's tail and whipping her into the seats before it went over a level and finished itself off.

While the amount of fiends did have Lindsey a little unnerved, she was more worried about Josh being kidnapped by the Al Bhed rather than him being hurt by fiends. The fiends were weak enough to be taken easily by them and the fiends that attacked head on fell easily to her blades, "Come on!" There were no Al Bhed in sight... Perhaps their plans were foiled.

Through the screams of the citizens and the warcries of the guardians, Seymour took stand in the stadium and closed his eyes, raising his hand and concentrating. A massive chain fell from the heavens, burrowing deep into the ground as it drug forth from the hellish depths below the dark aeon Anima. She arrived with a terrible roar, a cry of anguish rather than the call of a warring beast.

It expelled energy from its showing eye, fiends evaporating and exploding into clouds of pyreflies. Blood poured down her mask when the deed was done and Seymour stared over the astonished crowds with a smug look.

Demi stayed where she was, her body still in the settling rumble that fell around or on her. Dexter stayed still as he watched the giant aeon before it disappeared. "What the hell was that?" He asked in awe.

"Something that does not like anyone or itself," Noodles said staring up at Seymour.

Lindsey stopped, still holding Josh's hand. He had turned himself around, staring in awe at the massive aeon. His first aeon, when he saw her, he immediately understood her. And even just acquiring his second, he felt a deep understanding with him. But this aeon... was a mystery to him. He couldn't probe her. He couldn't understand her...

"Not quite tardy to the party, I see..." Lindsey sighed.

Noodles shook his head, looking back towards where the lizard fiend had been, seeing nothing but rubble. His heart stopped a moment seeing a blood covered tuft of blond spikes. "Oh no," he breathed, barely able to stay standing.

"I think it's about time we leave Luca... Let's regroup, find Demi, get supplies and winter clothes, this will be the last city we stop at," Lindsey said to Josh and Dexter.

Josh nodded slowly.

"Demi!" Noodles cried rushing over to the rubble, seeing her cover in a few chunks of concrete. "Shit," he said looking her over. "OVER HERE!" He yelled at the others, already tossing the pieces off her with grunts. Dexter turned and followed Noodles's gazed and his sprinting direction.

"Josh! Get over here now!" Dexter barked, pulling the summoner along with him as he ran over to Noodles and Demi's motionless body.

"Ahh!" Josh cried out as he was tugged along by Dexter towards a hurt Demi. He gasped at the magnitude of her injuries, almost as if she had been trampled by both fiend and citizen alike. He dropped down to his knees, concentrating all of his energy as he could into healing magics. healing her wounds to the best of his ability, pushing himself into passing out though Demi's wounds still healed even after he collapsed.

Lindsey ran after them, crying out at the sight of her friend hurt, "Demi!"

"Demi? Come on Demi, talk to me," Noodles said leaning over to see if she was even breathing. "She's barely there." He frowned as he found a faint pulse. "Dexter and Lindsey, you take Josh, I'll take Demi and we get back to the inn NOW." He grunted, carefully picking her up.

Nodding, Dexter helped Lindsey lift Josh up and started to carry him back to the inn as Noodles instructed.

When Josh was taken to the inn and secured safely at the Inn, Lindsey left without a word, heading to the roof tops. She was reluctant, her pride and hatred made it difficult for her to win the decision over to ask the new Guado Maester for help. Her own summoner was down for the count and there was no way what few potions they had would heal Demi's injuries all the way. The stupid girl...

Lindsey gritted her teeth and dug her fingernails into her palms as she bolted, roof-hopping in search of the residing place of the Maesters.

Noodles sat in the window, never taking his eyes off of Demi's shallow breathing. Dexter stood watch outside, waiting for Lindsey to return or for someone to pull something. "Why?" The greying guardian whispered. "Why did you do something so stupid that saved our asses?" Blood still stuck to her face a limbs, though her outer injuries were healed, it was her internal ones that made Noodles nervous. She could be bleeding to death right there and there was nothing he could do about it.

The impact of her shoes against the ground and the rooftops made dents with her speed and the force behind her legs. Upon reaching the prestigious living-space of the Maesters, Lindsey took a deep breath. Demi owed her her very fucking life for this. She walked up to the door and knocked, only to be greeted by two guado guards. Lindsey swollowed a lump in her throat, "My name is Lindsey... I am a guardian of the Summoner Joshua from the isle of Besaid. I come requesting an audience with Maester Seymour."

Noodles stared at Demi hard for a moment before realizing that she was slowing down breathing. "No, no, no, no," he muttered, jumping over to her. "Come on stay with me Demi," he said holding her hand and patting her face a bit. "Come on!" He slapped her as hard as he could, leaving a red mark on her cheek, but her breathing remained the same before he started to blow air into his lungs. That at least kept her breathing for the time being.

The guarding guado shook their head in denial, but were stopped by the man himself, "Come now, let the lady say her piece." He smiled at her as the smaller guados nodded and took their leave. She bowed to him respectably, "Maester Seymour, your grace, I require your assistance, if it's not too much trouble..."

"Of course..." he said, raising a long-nailed finger to her chin and lifting up her face to his, "I see it in your eyes..." He gazed at her eyes with his own half-lidded, "A friend of yours is in grave danger."

"..yes... Please, our summoner passed out from exhaustion from trying to heal her... Please, we need your healing abilities... I'll..." she didn't want to say it, "...I'll do anything... I'll be eternally in your debt."

He grinned at that and chuckled, "Oh dear sweat, you do not owe me anything. I can choose not to assist, but I will assist you. Show me to your friend."

Lindsey nodded and turned, leading him to the hotel in which everyone was staying.

Noodles sat right next to Demi's bed, sitting with his head propped up on one knee. He stared at her chest to make sure she was still breathing, all be it barely. Dexter's head popped up when he heard footsteps coming up the hall. "Lindsey?" He asked softly as he saw the maester and his guards behind her. "Neither of them have woken up yet," he said looking at his pale friend laying in the bed with the oldest guardian sitting right next to her.

Lindsey stepped in silently, stepping aside as the Maester entered, followed by his two guards, who proceeded to take to Lindsey's shadow. "Her.. on the bed.. she's in critical condition," she said, watching the back of the Maester's head.

"I see," he said, voice sopped with reassurance. He walked up to the bed, face calm but serious, as he rest a clawed finger on her forehead, his hand glowing a bright white, healing magics delving deep into Demi's body and repairing the bruising and blunt damage to her inner sanctums. Seymour barely broke a sweat. He retracted his arm before turning to Josh, still out in bed. He did the same with him, only it took less effort and not as long.

Demi gasped awake as if taking her first breath after being under water for a long time. Her hazel swirled eyes were wide open as they wildly scanned the room trying to focus. "What the hell is going on?" She croaked.

"Shh, lie still," Noodles said holding her down when she tried to bolt up. "Just take a second." His voice was firm, but gentle.

Seymour smiled, an authoritative smile but still turning genuine when his gaze fell upon Lindsey, "It is done."

Lindsey collapsed to her knees, face planting on the ground as her arms splayed out in front of her on the floor, "..thank you, Maester Seymour..." It was something no one would have seen from her, but as broken as she was, it was almost automatic.

The guado Maester approached her and looked to his guards in brief glances, who both knelt down and dragged her up. She couldn't look Seymour in the eye, but he forced it--gently--with a clawed finger under her chin, lifting up her face. Their eyes met and he looked into her eyes, almost as if displaying a silent message of reassurance.

"We'll meet again, Summoner and Guardians," he said softly before letting go of Lindsey and leaving the room, followed by his own guards.

As soon as Seymour had left the room, Dexter let out a breath. "Ok please tell me that he creeps the hell out of at least one of you?" He turned back to his party. Noodles ignored him as he got Demi to calm down and not hyperventilate.

"Better?" He asked as he helped her drink a glass of water. Demi merely nodded, still a bit out of it.

Josh was awake too, feeling a little dizzy but alright. He looked over at Demi and smiled, seeing that she was alright.

Lindsey left in a hurry, "I'm going out..." she said as she did in a quivering voice. Leaving the hotel, she ran through the streets, leaping over smaller people and obstacles, dashing nonstop towards the Mi'ihen Highroad. Bringing out her blades, she swung them wildly, cutting up plants that just happened to be hanging out in her path. When her blades struck the ground, she dropped to one knee, hanging onto the hilt and burying her face into her knuckles, choking back a sob before inhaling one just the same.

Dexter saw Lindsey leave out of the corner of his eye. Ducking out from the others, he followed her easily through the crowds. Keeping up at a distance, he slowed down when they reached the Highroad. Going as a crisp walk, he just followed the cut foliage to where Lindsey was. He stopped though, not sure if she wanted his help now that he thought about it.

Noodles laid Demi back down for her to rest as he tucked her into the bed. "How are you feeling summoner Josh?" He asked softly letting the girl rest.

Lindsey heard Dexter behind her, but didn't move to greet or confront him. She only said, "She better stop getting hurt... because I'm NOT doing that again..."

Back at the inn, Josh laid on his side facing Demi. He looked tiredly at Noodles and smiled weakly, nodding, "..Better.. A good nap will get me back up and running again.."

"What'd he do?" Dexter frowned stepping forward slowly.

"Very well, rest up. We'll be leaving in the morning," he said as he took post at the window again.

Josh nodded and laid himself down, closing his eyes to go back to sleep.

"..He didn't do anything..." she said, slowly standing back up, "..but.. the way he looked at me... I don't think I can face him again..."

Demi laid there in a soft haze as she twirled back and forth between sleeping and awakness. Staying near her still Noodles propped himself up in a chair, crossing his arms and setting his feet up on the foot of her bed. Closing his own eyes, he took a nap as well.

"You. . . Ok now?" Dexter asked meekly walking towards her, not wanting to make her uncomfortable.

Lindsey put a hand up to her face, shutting her eyes tightly against her palm, "..I don't know..." She sighed deeply, "...I'm going to go around town and gather supplies... I'll be back around sun-down... Just..go back and watch over Demi and Josh..."

"Lindsey. . . Do you really want to be alone right now?" He asked. "Promise no games."

"I'll be fine..." she breathed, "Just go... they need you more than I do right now..."

"You're a bad liar, you know?" He sighed, not swayed.

"What are you afraid of happening to me?" she looked back at him, "The Al Bhed are still probably going to try to kidnap Josh. A summoner needs at least one able-bodied guardian. Just go."

"Noodles is there, he's better than almost all three of us combined," Dexter countered. "Everyone at least needs a friend."

Lindsey sighed softly, giving up, "..Okay.. I'm going to gather food first. When we get to the less civilized regions, we can just hunt fiends for food... We'll be able to gather water from Macalania and Mount Gagazet..."

"Ok," Dexter nodded as he followed. He was hoping that this journey would get better at least between the party members rather than the world and them.
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