Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X > Final Fantasy

Chapter 11

by PissedoffPunk 0 reviews

Category: Final Fantasy X - Rating: R - Genres:  - Published: 2009-08-10 - Updated: 2009-08-10 - 10935 words

Morning had come and Lindsey was outside waiting for Josh to wake up so that they could continue on the D'jose highroad to the Moonflow. She was looking forward to riding a shoopuf, the sadness of the tragedy from the day before gently dulled by a good night's sleep.

Demi got up dissapointed. She had slept with her pack as a pillow, but didn't have any dreams. Nothing. Had the candle not worked? Sighing she quickly ate and joined the other guardians and summoner outside. "Off to see a man about a shoopuf?" She asked as she joined her friends.

"Even better," Lindsey said, "We're going to see a Hypello about a shoopuf. We'll leave once Josh gets up."

"Ooo! Those are the shape shifters yes?" Demi grinned dispite her dissapointment from the candle.

"Uh... no. There are no shapeshifters in Spira. Hypellos are.. well, you'll see when we get there. It's not a long journey," she said with a little smile.

"I think I might have been thinking of Animorphs then," Demi mused. "So, how do you want to sit? You on one side of Josh, Dexter up front, Noodles on the other side and me in the back? All four sides taken care of?"

"How do you get Animorphs from 'Hypello'?" she laughed, pushing Demi playfully, "Well the carriage is ... it's like.. a boat? Seats all facing inward. You can just pick your seat. It doesn't matter."

Josh came out with a yawn, staff and pack in hand and hair out of place from deep sleep, "...g'morning..."

Lindsey smiled, "Morning." She went up to fix his hair.

"D'aw," Demi cooed. "You two are so cute together."

"Come young one, we have a giant anteater to ride," Noodles chuckled as he put a hand on the bouncing girl, calming her down almost instantly.

"Aye aye Old Fart," Demi grinned saluting him. Rolling his eyes he let Lindsey and Josh take lead.

"Speaking of farts," Dexter grinned wickedly as he quickly ran up infront of the others.

"Oh dear sweet Yevon!" Noodles cried covering his face. "I had my mouth open!" All he got was a cackle in responce.

"Come on guys, let's go. We gotta get to Guadosalam at least by noon," she said as she and Josh lead back over the bridge to the fork of the D'jose road. At the fork, she stopped and faced them, "From here on, we're headed now to Macalania Temple, snowy realm of the Ice Queen aeon Shiva. We're headed to Guadosalam and through that, the Thunderplains. And after the Thunderplains, the Macalania Forest."

"So can I build a snow man while we wait on Josh to get the Ice Queen?" Demi asked. "I'll even give him a little bowler hat and everything."

"Where're you going to get a nose, hmm?" Dexter challenged. The Al Bhed simply looked at him, looked down at his crotch for a moment, then back up at him.

"I know a guy who's got one," she smirked mischeviously.

"Guys come on! Let's go!" Lindsey shouted from down the highroad, having made it ahead of them. She waved her arms to get them to hurry it up.

"Nooooo!!!! Don't leave the shoopuf without me!" Demi squealed grabbing Noodles's hand and sprinting after her friend. "I wish we had a camera, or at least a memory sphere. I wanna remember this ride." The older guardian grunted as they caught up easily.

"I feel like a cat being drug around by it's tail," he sighed as he slowed their pace.

"Oh but you love it," Demi cooed pecking him on the cheek. He merely smiled softly and continued walking.

Fiends cluttered the highroad, but it served well as good training for the group. It was when they reached the moonflow that Lindsey grabbed Josh's hand and pulled him excitedly to the wharf.

Josh had his eyes upon massive elephant-like animals with tiny ears, narrow faces and long, tube-like noses curled up like a coil. "Whoa!" he exclaimed, "Wow! That's a shoopuf?"

"Ah huh. They're amazing," Lindsey nodded.

"I want one," Demi said staring at it. "I shall call it squishy and it shall be mine."

"Do you even have room for it?" Dexter asked in awe of the creature as well.

"Lindsey? How big is out back yard?" Demi asked holding her arms out trying to gauge the creature's size and girth. "What is tha. . ." She said trailing off as she cocked her head to the side. "We have a boy!" She cried.

The owner of the wharf came up, a short but skinny blue frog-like man, "Rides ze Shoopufsh?"

Lindsey smiled and nodded, "Yes please! All five of us!"

"Shoopufsh launchin'!" he said, waving his arms before leading them to the elevator that transported them from the platform to the carriage on the shoopuf's back.

Demi just grinned like a mad woman as she held Noodles's hand.

Lindsey pulled Josh close to sit down with her on the booth-like seat, "This is so exciting. I love shoopuf's."

Josh smiled at her excitedly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

"I feel like I should be the gondala singer," Dexter snickered at the two couples, taking a booth for himself.

"Sing!" Demi grinned resting her head on Noodles's chest, cuddling to him.

"Don't!" Noodles snickered, drapping an arm over her.

Lindsey urged Josh to look over the side as the shoopuf slowly moved from the dock and into the water. "Look," she said, both of them looking over the side like two children, "A sunken city."

"Wow," Josh cooed softly, gently bumping his head against hers, "Amazing."


Remembering Lindsey's warning, Demi played like she was enjoying the ride and sites when she was really trying to look in the water for the Al Bhed machina that would show up.

Lindsey smiled up at Josh as he enjoyed the view. He looked back at her, smiling, but his smile faded slowly, as did hers. He leaned his head in, eyelids drooping a little. She didn't move in, but didn't pull back, her eyes closing as his lips lightly touched hers in a virgin kiss. Granted, Josh had kissed plenty others, but this would be her first ever...

Demi's grinned widened when she caught sight of Lindsey and Josh, nudging Noodles and waving Dexter, but shushing them so the pair could have their moment. She leaned her head back against Noodles as she felt his fingers trace circles where her shoulder showed through between her vest and armings.

Lindsey stared up at Josh with uncertainty as he gently pulled away. She was completely new to this whole love affair. She didn't know how to kiss... or even respond to a kiss. "Uh-h..." she stuttered before Josh hushed her gently with another kiss, his hand raising up to gently stroke her hair, "Mm.."

Feeling a dose of happiness run through her, like she was high on something, Demi rested her eyes. Her smile still plastered to it as Noodles kissed her temple softly.

Lindsey pulled back and smiled a little at Josh, "So.. um... how do you like the ride?"

Josh smiled, gently nuzzling her, "I like it... a lot..."

Dexter took in the ride, bobbing his head to the music that only he could hear. They were about half way across when he noticed lights in the water. "I don't mean to interupt your lovely ride here, but are their suppose to be lights coming out of the water. Cause it looks like a car is driving up to the surface."

The shoopuf stopped and snorted, much like that of an elephant as three Al Bhed sprang up to the carriage from the water, two grabbing onto Josh and diving with him back into the water, "Ahh!!--"

The third shoved Lindsey away from her summoner before retreating with the other two back into the water.

"JOSH!" Lindsey shrieked.

Demi launched herself into the water at full speed diving after the other Al Bhed. She easily caught up to them, kicking one off Josh before grabbing him. Wrapping and arm around his waist, she flicked out a knife and sliced the other one's arm, freeing him. Turning and threatening the other two that were unwounded with her knife, she started to kick towards the surface, knowing the Josh was running out of air.

One of the Al Bhed threw a grenade at Demi, it exploding on her but not doing much damage, only blinding her as they grabbed Josh again and rushed him into an oxygenized capsule in a machina. When he was put into the sphere, he gasped for air before looking around and slapping the glass with his hands and crying out fearfully, though his sounds werent heard.

Like hell she was going to loose Josh. Going to the surface for a giant breath, she dove back down and grabbed onto the machina throwing a grenade at the Al Bhed that tried to stop her, blinding them for a moment as she swam around to the glass where Josh was looking out. 'Take a deep breath on three,' she mouthed as she grabbed a few tools she had swiped from the Al Bhed on the beach before the disaster, she got to work, quickly removing the hatch just as 'three' came around.

The massive machina rumbled and shot itself back, opening up two hatches, revealing missiles ready to be fired at her. It fired off the missiles, small in size and doing a bit of damage to her, but not enough to knock her out.

Demi let go, stunned for a moment as she drifted, taking the hatch with her. Shaking it off for a moment, she pushed her aching lungs to get to Josh who was still in the machina. Reaching it, she made a face as she slapped a flashing EMP onto the machina. They weren't hard to make with what she had. Just didn't have a lot of what she had. Grabbing Josh's hand, she pushed off from it going for the surface.

Lindsey waited anxiously for them to resurface, "Come on, come one..." She was becoming nervous, the shoopuf getting anxious as well. The hypello driver was working in his saddle on the beast's neck to calm it, "What'sh could thatsh be!?"

Shooting straight to the surface just as the EMP went off, Demi and Josh broke through. Gasping and coughing, it took the young Al Bhed a moment before she could keep her head above water. Diving in without hesitation, Noodles and Dexter swam out to help get Josh back to shore. "Come on," Noodles grunted, grabbing Demi's worn out form and helping her get to the shoopuf while Dexter helped Josh.

Lindsey reached down and helped Josh back up into the carriage, "Are you alright?"

"Yeah.." he coughed, shivering from the cold and wet.

"Ish ebelebuddy okay?" the hypello asked from over his shoulder.

"Yeah... we're fine now."

Noodles helped a coughing and sputtering Demi into the carriage, giving her a few thumps on the back. "I hate water," she huffed as she glared over the side. "I hate rivers, I hate oceans. . . Someone's always trying to drown me or a friend!"

Lindsey was busy tending to Josh, drying him off and wrapping her arms around him to warm him up. "...At least we're almost there. We'll rest up at the wharf."

"Here," Noodles said helping Demi get some of her armor and clothes off and wrapping her cloak around her as they got closer.

"You ok over there. . . Opera Man?" Demi asked through chattering teeth.

Lindsey sat Josh down, huddling close to him to get him warm. He nodded to Demi, shivering as he cuddled close, "Y-yeah... th-th-thanks..."

"N-no pr-problem-m," she said pressing against Noodles tighter for warmth.

"How quick can we get a fire started before we have a summoner and guardian-cicles on our hands?" Dexter asked ringing out the clothes.

"I'm not starting a fire on the shoopuf. We'll get warmed up when we reach Guadosalam. There's an Inn there and a place where we can get items. Right now we just work with what we have," Lindsey said as he held Josh close to her.

"I figured that, but. . . never mind," Dexter said as Demi sat in Noodles's lap shivering and shaking hard. Her tiny body compared to his looked like a rattle.

Lindsey looked over her shoulder, the shoopuf having started moving again. "We'll be at the wharf soon..." She was also dreading the visit to Guadosalam. Seymour would be there waiting for them. As for what he would want, Lindsey could only speculate. In the game itself, he proposed to Yuna. But Yuna wasn't here and Josh was the summoner of the group. That, and the Maester seemed to have taken interest in her. Perhaps he'd propose to her? Though she didn't know exactly what marrying a summoner's guardian would accomplish.

"G-good-d," Demi chattered as Noodles rubbed her back, getting the goosebumps downs a bit.

"Shh," he said softly, kissing her head as he continued to rub her.

A while later, the shoopuf emerged from the water, body shaking to rid its light blue skin of water. They got off the shoopuf and proceeded to rest at the entrance to the small forest that lead to Guadosalam, where Lindsey heated the air around Josh and Demi, warming them up and drying their clothes.

"Better?" she asked.

"Much," Demi smiled snuggling herself in her cloak for a moment before putting her armor and extra clothes back on. "Gracias," she chirped getting everything just right on her.

She nodded and lead them into the forest, fighting off easy fiends but coming across treasure chests in battles. "Demi! Look! Get the item from that treasure chest! But be careful, some treasure chests can be fake and are really Mimics," Lindsey said as she distracted a fiend, letting Demi to run in and pick the lock.

Demi nodded as she easily picked the locked, getting 200 gil. "Got some money!" She whooped as she danced as Lindsey easily killed the fiend.

The party moved further through the forest, entering upon a massive tree, the entrance wide and under its gigantic roots. "Here we are..." Lindsey said as she lead them in. They were greeted by an elderly guado sporting a servents uniform, "Good evening, Lord Summoner and guardians. My name is Tromell, servent of former Maester Jyscal Guado and of Maester Seymour Guado."

Lindsey bit her lip slightly and bowed, "Hello."

Josh bowed as well, doing the prayer, "Hello. My name is Josh, though I'm sure Maester Seymour already knows that... and you might as well."

Tromell smiled through his crinkled eyes, "Aha, yes. Welcome to Guadosalam. Lord Seymour has been expecting you."

"Now I remember where I've heard that name before," Demi said snapping her fingers. "Little Shop of Horrors! I did that one my sophmore year." She giggled as she started to sing the theme song.

"Quiet little one," Noodles shhed her, holding her to his side, stilling her dancing and singing.

"Not to be rude but, what does Maester Seymour want?" Lindsey asked.

"I'm not sure, he has not told me directly. Though I suppose I should admit that I haven't asked him!" Tromell chuckled softly. "Please, allow me to escort you to his mansion." Lindsey sighed as she followed Trommel back to the entrance of the Royal Guado Chateau, the entrance small due to the place being built into the tree. He lead them inside and into the back to a waiting room with a long table sporting fruits and vegetables.

"Maester Seymour will be with you shortly... Please wait here," Tromell said as he retreated to the two doors in the back of the room.

"Should we worry, like right now?" Demi asked eyeing the food, but warry of the possibilities of their contents. Poison, drugs, the works.

"Just watch for now," Noodles grunted eyeing the place. "Keep your head up and ears open. I don't want any surprises."

"Sir yes sir," Demi grunted back.

"Just don't overreact if something does happen that isn't to your liking..." Lindsey said to Demi quietly.

Josh was at the food table, busying himself with fresh fruits and vegetables it has to offer.

"The food's good, right?" She asked quietly, her stomach gurgling a bit. Her metabolism going through the roof when she came to here made Demi eat even more than before, but Yevon be blessed she stayed her weight.

"Mhm!" Josh nodded, handing her a plump orange fruit.

Tromell came back, "Ah... It's been so long since we've had visitors here... Ever since Lord Jyscal passed away, these halls have been too quiet."

Lindsey had to pause and think about who Jyscal was for a second before twitching a little, "Ah.. yes. The loss of Lord Jyscal is great indeed..."

"But now, a new heir has come to the throne! Lord Seymour will surely be the shining star that will give light to all the peoples of Spira."

"That's quite enough, Tromell... Must I always endure such praise?" Seymour came in quietly and bowed to the Summoner party, "Welcome..."

While Tromell had rambled on, Demi quickly got to work, stashing most of the fruit in everyone's packs, filling them up without them realizing it. Munching on the fruit that Josh had given her, she merely stepped behind Dexter and Noodles, all but dissappearing from the other's view. She wasn't about to bow down to anyone, just wasn't her thing. Noodles watched Seymour, wanting to see how he actually interacted with others. He'd only seen him a time or two and it wasn't for very long either. Dexter stepped closer to Lindsey, remembering the first time, he wanted to make sure that the blue gravity defying haired man understood that Lindsey was taken. Though it was by Josh, that didn't stop Dexter from acting like a protective boyfriend.

"You wanted to see us about something?" Lindsey asked, cutting to the chase. Truth be told, she was anxious about what he wanted.

"You're quite quick," Seymour nodded slowly to her, "Come." He nodded back over his shoulder. Lindsey sighed softly and stepped forward, the room seeming to dematerialize under her feet as the image of the waiting room of Seymour's abode changed to the scenery of the grand Machina City of Zanarkand, as it was one thousand years ago.

"This sphere is a reconstruction created from the thoughts of the dead that wander the Farplane," Seymour explained as he too looked around, calm in his demeanor.

Despite having seen it hundreds of times, Lindsey was still mesmerized, looking around as Seymour stood next to her, the others more so behind them with Josh wandering closer to his love interest, though he too was amazed, "Wow..."

"Zanarkand..." Lindsey uttered, looking around as they seemed to zoom through the unsleeping city.

"Yes... Zanarkand... as it appeared one thousand years ago... The great and wonderous machina city Zanarkand... She once lived in this metropolis," he said.

Lindsey blinked and tilted her chin down.

Demi squeaked when the scenery changed, catching her off guard. Trying not to move out of fear of falling over, she held onto Noodles's arm gently to keep herself steady. Noodles stood solid with his arms crossed, taking in the sight with even emotion. Dexter let out a whistle as he turned easily staying in place, inching closer to Lindsey, wanting to block Seymour off from her.

"This is almost as good as the tilt-a-whirl," Demi muttered.

The Zanarkand scenery changed to a bedroom with a large mirror. On the round bed sat a woman with silver hair and scant clothing. "Lady Yunalesca..." Lindsey uttered as she looked over at her. The Lady seemed lost in thought on her bed, sitting there silently with a forlorn look on her face.

"She was the first person to defeat Sin... and save the world from its ravages," Seymour said.

"And you have inherited her task," he said, nodding in Josh's direction.

Josh bit his bottom lip, slowly nodding.

"You are entrusted with a great task..." he said, "To face Sin... as Lady Yunalesca did."

Josh looked over at Yunalesca.

"But Yunalesca did not save the world alone... To defeat the undefeatable Sin, it took an unbreakable bond of love--the kind that binds two hearts for eternity..." he bowed in prayer as another figure entered the illusion. He was graced with armor and a cape, and Lady Yunalesca stood to greet him. They met each other in a tender embrace.

"Every man's dream come true," Demi snorted having Noodles's hand wrapped around her mouth in a split second.

"Who's the man?" Dexter asked, slowly inching beside Lindsey till he was right next to her. His side bumping into hers, he threw her a wink to let her know that he was there and with her.

Lindsey, usually quite claustrophobic, took a step from Dexter, giving him an uncomfortable nod. "Lord Zaon," she said softly just before the vision disappeared in a white light. With Lindsey free wandering and looking around as it disappeared, Seymour appeared behind her, leaning his head in and whispering into her ear.

Her eyes widened and jaw dropped a little to his unheard words and she turned around and looked up at him, thoroughly shocked. He only smiled gently at her, admiring her reaction.

She took a step away from him, feeling like she was going to choke, before turning around and grabbing a glass of water and chugging it. Her face was flushed and Josh looked at her, concerned.

"What happened?" Demi asked rushing over to her friend, glaring at the guado instantly blaming him as the oldest guardians stayed quiet.

Lindsey didn't know whether or not it was safe to actually say. She surely didn't want Josh and her fellow guardians to attack the Maester. "..He .. p-... p-proposed.. to me..." she said, barely above a whisper.

"Uh--Hey..!" Josh rose his head to Seymour. Surely this guy wasn't serious! "What's the big idea?"

"While you, the summoner--as well as all other summoners of Spira--are charged with bringing peace to Spira, your guardians are no exception. But this means more than just defeating Sin... She must assist to ease the suffering of Spira... and its people. I proposed to her... as a Maester of Yevon."

"Spira is no playhouse," Noodles replied. "A moments diversion may amuse an audience, but it changes nothing."

"That's creepy as hell!" Demi blurted out, not taking into consideration her words. She was use to saying what she felt, now was no exception.

Seymour ignored the loud Al Bhed girl an put his eyes on Noodles, "Still, the actors must play their parts."

He looked to the quivering brunette huddled against the curly-haired summoner, "There's no need to answer right away... Please, think it over."

Lindsey nodded quietly.

"We will do so, then," Noodles said. "For now, we leave." He grunted, ushering the other guardians to the door. Keeping himself between them and the blue haired guado. He wasn't about to let this-this BEING try to keep them here in the world and ruin it even more. Demi grumbled her breath as Dexter pulled her along, letting Josh tend to Lindsey.

"Lindsey... I await your favorable reply," Seymour said smoothly as he watched them leave. Lindsey said nothing, but allowed Josh to lead her out. He turned to Noodles, catching him before he left with a word, "Why are you still here, Sir?" And Dexter... for that matter.

Noodles frozen, turning on his heel and sending a cold stare to the guado. He. . . coudln't know. . . could he? Demi stopped and frowned as Noodles stayed planted while Dexter ushered her on before she could hear more and find out.

Lindsey blinked and looked up at Noodles.

"Pardon me," Seymour bowed slightly, "We Guado are keen to the scent of the Farplane..."

Lindsey huffed and stormed out. Josh sighed softly and followed her.

Keeping his stare fixed on Seymour for a moment longer, Noodles followed out. "What the hell was that?" Demi demanded as he walked ahead of the group, making her jog to keep up.

"It was nothing. Seymour playing his game," the stubbled guardians grunted.

Lindsey headed up the highest ramp to the highest bridge in the small city, "...I'm going to see my grandfather..."

"Lindsey, wait..." Josh said weakly, "You're not seriously going to go through with it...?"

Lindsey didn't answer, only kept walking.

"Don't lie to me," Demi stopped. "I don't care what you do really, just don't lie to me." Sprinting to catch up with Lindsey, Noodles stayed with Dexter in the back along with Josh.

"I'm gonna have to tell her. . . Aren't I?" Noodles asked Dexter softly, his aching heart knowing where they were going.

"Tell her what...?" Josh looked up at him before looking back at Lindsey, "She wouldn't say yes... would she...?"

"Has Lindsey talked to you yet. . . about unsents?" Noodles said slowly, trying the best way to explain it.

"I doubt it, not if Demi has anything to say about it. If she's even mulling it over, the girl'll probably kidnap her," Dexter sighed. "She's gonna be pissed at one point or another Kevin, you didn't honestly think she wouldn't ever find out, did you?"

"You mean you--" Josh blinked, stopping and staring at him. He blinked and started walking again, shaking his head, "...I see..."

Lindsey walked up the stairs leading to the Farplane, stepping inside and walking to the edge of the rock platform. surrounding the platform was what Heaven would have looked like... surrounded by fluffy clouds, a glorious waterfall and clusters of pyreflies. She stood there for a second, thinking up the memory of her late Grandfather Edens, a tall, skinny, bony man with dark hair and thick glasses, sporting a flannel tee-shirt, jeans and church shoes.

"Yeah, me and Dexter both," Noodles said softly. "That's how we got here." He and the blonde came at a stop when they came to the entrance of the Farplane.

"We can't go in can we?" Dexter asked softly as Noodles shook his head.

Demi kept her own inner feelings to herself as she looked around the place. Looking around she saw the others waiting outside. "Lindsey. . . Why are Noodles and Dexter waiting outside?" She asked, getting scared.

"Memories can get too painful for some people... They might have lost loved ones near and dear to them and haven't been able to properly cope with it yet..." she said softly, looking up at her grandfather. Softly, she spoke to the image conjured up by the pyreflies, "Hi Papaw... It's great to see you again... You must be thinking to yourself how much I've grown... it's been so long... I still have that white tiger you gave me just before you went..."

"Go on ahead," Noodles nudged Josh. "She needs you now."

Demi turned around, scared of who'd she'd find. Out of the mists, a solider started to walk towards her. Light brown hair with a reddish tint and blue gray eyes. "T-Tommy?" She sputtered, whipping her shades off as her eyes over flowed with tears. Her oldest brother, gone to war and never came back.

Josh entered the Farplane quietly, walking past Demi and going to Lindsey, "...Are you okay?"

"..Yes.. This is my grandpa," she said, "My Grandpa Edens..."

Josh bowed to the image of the tall skinny man, "Nice to meet you." Though the image didn't respond, but stand there with a pleasent look on his face. A forever image. "So.. um.. What.. are you going to do?" he asked.

"...I'm not going to do anything," she said softly, "..but I do need.. to see him. I need to him."

"Why? It's not like you don't have a choice... Please, Lindsey... Don't go through with it..." he said, voice littered with painful desperation.

"I didn't say I would, Josh," she said softly. Though she knew it would probably happen either way, whether she said no or not. There was no way she could alter how the story went. She would have to confront him head on... Just her alone.

"..You're just going to talk to him... right...?" he asked quietly.

She didn't respond, only stare out into the heavenly space of the Farplane.

Demi fell to her knees as she saw a small boy rush up next to her brother. Covering her mouth, choking back a sob, she reached out to touch him, but stopped herself. "Matty? Oh God Matty," she snivled at her nephew's image, grown from his 2 years the last time she saw him before they buried him at the age of 3. Then more people came, her grandparents, friends who'd passed in high school, cousins.

Noodles saw Demi fall to her knees, wanting more than anything to run to her, to comfort her. He knew that if he set foot closer though, he'd be gone. "We gotta finish this," he said, heart ache growing by the minute. "Before it's too late."

Lindsey turned as the image of her grandfather disappeared. She grabbed Demi's hand and pulled her along, "...Let's get out of here."

Josh followed slowly behind.

Leaning heavily on Lindsey, Demi hiccuped as they came back to the other guardians waiting on them. As soon as Demi got close enough, Noodles was attatched to her. His arms wrapped tightly around her as he stroked her hair and murmered to her about how it was going to be alright. Dexter sighed looking back at the Farplane, hearing a woman's voice call to him. Shaking it off, he walked with the others.

"Lord Jyscal!?" came a cry behind them, Guado visiting the Farplane alongside the summoner party gasping and crying out. Lindsey turned around, seeing the ghastly apparition of the late Maester Jyscal Guado emerging from the Farplane. "Jyscal..?"

"What?" Josh looked around, "I thought he--"

"Josh! Send him," she looked at him.

"Oh God! Zombie Guado!" Demi cried, clinging to Noodles.

Josh nodded and did a small dance, Jyscal disappearing in a small cloud of pyreflies. From his disappearing form dropped a recording sphere. Lindsey walked up to where it dropped and knelt down, picking it up and slipping it into her pack.

She turned and walked down the steps, headed back to Guadosalam, "...Let's go."

"Why was there a zombie guado?" Demi asked, her face blotching and red and her voice a bit nasally. "Why do I bother asking?" She sighed. "Just go with the flow, yo."

"Pretty much," Dexter ruffled her hair.

"He wasn't sent so he became a fiend, right?" Josh said.

"...It means he died an unclean death," Lindsey said softly.

When they made it back to the small city, Lindsey turned to the group, "...I'm going to go talk to Maester Seymour. You all wait out here until I'm done. I'll be back soon." With that, she turned and went into the mansion.

"She has to say no..." Josh said softly, "She has to..."

Knowing her friend, Demi knew that she was about to do something hella hard. "I hate it when she does that," she huffed.

"Do what?" Noodles asked.

"Go off on important business and acts like she's the only one that can do it. Well in this case she is the only one, but beside the point," Demi waved Dexter off as he was about to speak up.

Josh shook his head, visibly upset and went to go sit and wait for her to come back in a place that wasn't near the mansion. He went to sit on a ledge, facing away from the door.

Demi took a seat on the floor, next to Noodles's feet, waiting. She hated waiting and hated it even more cause it was bad waiting. Very bad waiting for Josh. Poor guy.

It was a good long while before Lindsey came out of the mansion. She didn't have any sort of look on her face that would indicate anything, but she looked to Noodles, "He's not here. He must have left for Macalania."

"We go there then," Noodles nodded, knowing his duty know. Being just near the Farplane, he had sudden realization of what he was to do. "For now though, we rest a bit. Take a few hours time and sleep and recover before heading that way."

Demi frowned up at him. When did he get so. . . Auronish? He was quiet yes, but this new attitude. . . Was there another reason that he didn't step into the Farplane?

"Fine," she said softly as she went to go to the Inn. She went into her own room and locked the door, sitting on the bed and watching Jyscal's sphere...

Josh watched her go into the inn. He stood up and followed her in, but winced when the door was shut and locked. Gently, he knocked, "Linds..? Can.. Can I come in...?"

Demi picked up Josh's pack where he had laid in, accidentally dumping it. "My candle!" She cried as Dexter and Noodles turned at her out burst in their room. Stuffing everything back in, she hugged her dream candle sightly. "No wonder I haven't been getting anything, it was in Josh's pack the whole time," she giggled stuffing it under her pillow.

"Should we- wait, never mind," Dexter shook his head as Demi flopped onto her bed followed by the slow and steady decent of Noodles next to her, wrapping an arm around her waist.

Hearing Josh whine like a lonely puppy, Lindsey sighed as she stood up from the bed and hid the sphere in her pack before opening the door and letting him in. Coming inside, Josh sat down on the bed, looking up at her. She smiled gently at him and sat down on the bed with him, "...we should get some rest..." She laid down and he could only sigh and lay down next to her, head on her shoulder.

Demi's head hit the pillow and she was out like a light. Hoping her dream candle would work, she let herlself be guided in her REM sleep. It was dark, pitch black. She was breathing heavily as screams came from every direction. Turning around in circles she tried to see. Suddenly a bright light from above shone on Lindsey. She was bloodied and beaten, her clothes torn and barely there. "Lindsey!" She screamed before the light faded and suddenly Josh was at her right under another light. He was wearing his clothes, the ones from the real world with glasses. A soft smile on his face as he waved, Lindsey coming up behind him and wrapping her arms around him. She was fine.

Dexter was suddenly at her left, Josh and Lindsey gone. He had a sad look on his face, dressed in his real world clothes. "Don't cry," he said. "Don't cry when it snows."

"What? I don't understand, Dexter?" She whined as he dissapeared, leaving her in darkness. Spinning on her heel, she found a light. She wasn't expecting who was standing there. In his giant red coat, sake bottle at his side, Auron stared at her.

"You're too close," he said. "You need to step back."

"Step back? What happens when I step back?"

"You'll be home. Just step. . . Back." The light went out as she stood there, calmly trying to make since when she felt arms wrap around her.

"I'm sorry. . ." Noodles whispered in her ear. "I'm sorry for leaving you."

"Wha?" Spinning around he was gone. Her body began to shake as the darkness lifted. Blinking her eyes she looked up at Noodles's hazel orbs, staring down at her with concern.

"You ok?" He asked as he adjusted his pack. "You were mumbling in your sleep."

"Yeah. . . Yeah I'm fine," she nodded getting up and stretching.

A few hours past and Lindsey and Josh were waiting for Dexter, Noodles and Demi at the tunnel leading out to the Thunder Plains. Lindsey liked thunder, personally, and softly she sang as they waited, "Plains of lightning, plains of thunder~ Those who cross are torn asunder~."

Making sure to grab her candle, Demi sprinted out to where Josh and Lindsey were waiting. She wanted to talk about her dream to Lindsey. So far she'd seen a few things coming, maybe she could get a perspective on what it means. "Ready for march!" Demi said brightly. Noodles stood straight and tall, intimidating even. Dexter smiled softly, in a better mood after the rest.

"Let's go," Lindsey said as she lead them out into the plains, a rock-sheet pelted with rain and darkened by black clouds, lined with lightning rod towers that only seldomly catch wandering lines of lightning. "The lightning towers attracted the lightning... We gotta stay not too near but not too far from the towers, okay?"

"Ok," Demi nodded. "Hey Lindsey, can I talk to you a second?" She asked catching up with her friend. Noodles took up the rear with Dexter. "I had a dream while we were resting and I think it's important."

"Can it wait till we get to a tower? AIEE--!" she shrieked as she dodged a bolt of lightning. "Whoa! That was a close one!" Josh laughed, grabbing onto a freaked Lindsey and comforting her, "Let's keep moving."

"Now I see why Rikku scared of this place!" Demi cried scuttling back to Noodles who just chuckled as he tucked her under his arm.

They kept moving over the plains, dodging bolt after bolt after bolt and fighting off thunder-based fiends with ease, cutting through with the ease of a razor through butter. When they reached the tower, Lindsey looked to Demi, "..So what is it that you wanted to talk to me about?"

After Demi peeled herself from Noodles, she sighed. "I had a dream that I think is important. Like my other ones and no scoffing!"

"What happens?" Lindsey asked quietly, looking at her friend.

"I don't know. It was like I was standing by myself in the dark place and all of a sudden there's this light," looking to see Josh talking to Dexter and Noodles, she leaned in closer. "I saw you. . . You looked like someone took a baseball bat to you," she sighed. "But then the light goes off and I see Josh all normal and everything waving with you all better hugging him from behind like a happy couple." Glancing back at the boys she moved on.

"Then I saw Dexter. He told me not to cry when it snows, so I'm thinking something happens to him at a snowy place. The second to craziest thing of all was Auron. I saw him, I know it was him. He's not gonna pop up and be like 'I'll be a guardian to Josh,' but he told me to step back. If I step back, I'll be home."

Lindsey blinked at her dream. If there was anything she learned while on this trip, it was to trust Demi's dreams whenever she had them, "...I'll be careful... I don't know what any of that means though... We'll be okay, no matter what, okay?"

"That was most of it though," Demi said biting her lip. "Noodles was the last one I saw. He said. . . 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry for leaving you.' He was hugging me from behind and it was like he was dissappearing. Lindsey. . . I may be nuts and all, but I'm not stupid. I think. . . My gut's telling me that there's a reason him and Dexter didn't go to the Farplanes with us. Not because of bad memories, but that they're like Auron. They're unsent."

"Stop thinking about it," Lindsey said, "We have to focus on defeating Sin right now, okay? Save the dramatics for later. Let's just go, alright?"

"Yeah, OK," Demi said nodding, her mood sullen. "We better get moving. Wanna catch the fiance to be," she said going back to the others.

The group moved on, fighting off fiends and dodging lightning bolts. It would be a while before they reached the Travel Agency, where they took a short break before moving out again. When they reached the Macalania Forest, everything was quiet... peaceful. And a little cold.

"It's beautiful," Demi said softly looking at the crystals growning from the trees. "This is where the spheres come from, right?" She said as she gently touched a crystal, her fingers glowing for a moment before it dispersed.

"...Kind of," Lindsey said. "Let's get a move on before I freeze my ass off."

The group quickly treked to the temple where Josh would be getting Shiva. "It doesn't snow here, right?" Demi asked. "Just cold as hell."

"Why? Scared I'll actually follow that rabbit?" Dexter chuckled. Demi stared at him for a moment, remembering her dream. Shaking her head they went on.

"No. It snows at Macalania Lake though," Lindsey said as they traveled through the forest via the path created by winding trees. Mostly water fiends roamed here and they were still able to cut through rather easily. It was an annoyingly long while until they reached the Lake itself, a clearing opening up in snow with the Travel Agency there. "Let's warm up in here real quick before we set off the rest of the way to the temple," Lindsey said.

Ducking into the Travel Agency, the group sighed with relief at the warmth. "I'm never leaving home again," Demi said as she stomped her feet and rubbed her arms.

"I could use a soak in the Cali sun," Dexter said in agreement.

"Warm up quickly everyone. We gotta make haste and all that," Lindsey said as she heated the air around everyone.

Upon leaving the Travel Agency, the party was met by Tromell, who welcomed them heartilly, "Hello, hello! Lord Joshua and guardians, it's good to see you again. Seymour has sent me here to escort you both to the Temple." He said, referring to Josh and Lindsey.

"Oh..?" Lindsey stared at him.

"We're Josh's guardians, shouldn't-" Dexter said, but stopped when Noodles held up his hand.

"It's Josh and Lindsey's choice," he looked over at the younger girl. "Do what you need to."

Lindsey looked back at Noodles over her shoulder and nodded before grabbing Josh's hand and pulling him along towards Tromell. The elder Guado bowed and nodded, "Yes... We'll have to ask you to wait a little while longer." He turned and guided the two down to the lake.

When they reached the lake, the loud roar of four Al Bhed snow-mobiles rumbled in the air as they were ambushed.

"Ah!" Josh cried out as Al Bhed reached for him.

"Oh dear!!" Tromell exclaimed as well.

"Guys! Help us!" Lindsey shouted to the group still by the Travel Agency

The three guardians sprinted forward as Noodles pulled Josh out of their reach just in time. "Keep down," he barked as he stood over him with his back facing Josh. "Demi! Dexter! North and west! Lindsey, get south covered!" His large katana, Enro, shining in the blue light of the ice.

The Al Bhed surrounding them retreated over a snow hill before one of them came over with a massive cannon rolling up beside him. He shouted to the Al Bhed, one that he recognized, "Demi! Tuh'd ehdanvana un oui kad drec!"

He slapped the side of the huge cannon, "Ouin bnaleuic magic yht aeons yna caymat!" He laughed

"...Demi! What did he say!?" Lindsey shouted to her Al Bhed friend, staring at the huge machina.

"Kad dras!" he shouted, sending the cannon at them, a smaller floating machina shooting out of its back and negating the magical field around them.

"You can't use your magic and Josh can't summon! They have a seal or something on the canon that blocks it!" Demi said loading her arrows up. "Give me just a second though," she grunted letting her electric arrows fly and take it out. "We're good now, hit it!"

Lindsey gathered her energies as Noodles and Dexter whithered away at the Cannon, the cannon automatically counter attacking with each of their attacks. Josh stood back, healing Noodles and Dexter when their health got too low.

"Alright, stand back!" Lindsey shouted as she thrust her arms forward, shooting lightning at the machina, weakening it significantly, "Now Josh! Bring your new friend out to play!"

Josh smiled, "Right!" he ran up to pray to the Thunderhorse, thick gray clouds hovering over head, bolts of lightning shooting down in columns and surrounding him. He rose his staff, bolts of electricity shooting from the tip to a portal. He waved his staff forward as the massive horn of the Thunderhorse Ixion poked through slightly. The electrical beast leapt forward, landing next to his summoner before rearing and whinnying protectively. "Great to meet you," Josh greeted the massive horse. It shook its head and snorted, galloping towards the cannon and slashing it with its horn.

It fought with its horn and healed itself with thunder spells. As a final killing blow, Ixion reared and slammed its hooves down on the ground, its horn glowing with electricity. It shot a beam of electricity from its horn at the cannon, leaping back from recoil as the cannon was lifted up into the air. A ball of electrical energy formed at the base of its horn before shooting up the line of lightning at the cannon, causing an explosion that roared through the clouds above. When the cannon landed back on the ground, it exploded a final time, falling apart in puffs of smoke. Ixion reared and whinnied triumphantly, bumping its massive head against Josh victoriously. Josh laughed and hugged the huge head of his new aeon.

The Al Bhed stared in disbelief and defeat. The main Al Bhed shouted angrilly, "Demi! E.. E femm damm Vydran!"

"Ku yrayt! E's tuehk so zup so fyo! Fryd'c ra kuhhy tu? Cbyhg sa yht dyga yfyo so pendrtyo!?" Demi shouted back, not sure why they were going to tell on her to 'Vydran' AKA 'father.'

The Al Bhed blinked and Lindsey cut in, "Cra ec guardian uv Josh, oui caa? Ra ec cyva fedr ran! Cra femm kiynt res! Ra ec cyva!"

"Damm ran cra tuac drec ymuha!" he shouted back before retreating beyond the hill.

Lindsey sighed and took Josh's hand before looking up to Ixion and bowing to it. The horse reared as it dismissed, leaping back and disappearing into the morphing clouds. "Let's go," she said as she and Josh went back to a shaken and visibly irritated Tromell, "Now then... Let us be going..."

They walked off into the snow, trekking the edges of the lake fault before reaching entrance to the temple.

"Please tell me we're not just going to sit around while Pervy McPervson perves on Linds," Demi grumbled as they waited.

"Demi, can these run?" Noodles asked breaking the silence, pointing to the snowmobiles.

"Oh uh," she blinked as she went over and checked them out. "Yeah, they should be good to go," the young Al Bhed nodded as she pushed one up right.

"Now we leave," Noodles grunted as he hopped on a snowmobile. Demi gave him a look, scratching the back of her neck before hopping on her own, quickly followed by Dexter. Speeding across the frozen wonderland, Demi had a moment to think. Why had Noodles suddenly gone all stoic and tucked in? It was like he was trying to distance himself. . . from everyone. Why?

When they reached the main foyer of the temple, the place was alive with music. Tromell stood next to the entrance and both Josh and Lindsey were nowhere to be seen. The door to the Cloister of Trials was guarded by a priest. He eyed Demi with noticeable disdain, though he didn't move from his spot.

O'aka was there and he greeted the other guardians with fervor, "'Ello Guardians! It's been so long since I've seen ye! Or--well, we haven't really met, I s'ppose, but any friends of Lindsey and Lord Summoner Joshua are friends of mine! What's with the forlorn looks? Haven't ye heard the news?"

Demi grumbled under her breath, as they walked in. "Just stay quiet and behind me," Noodles said softly going up to Tromell. "Where is Summoner Josh and his guardian Lindsey?" He demanded, but in a subtle way. Biting her tongue, Demi nodded and stayed put next to Dexter.

"They are with Seymour. Summoner Joshua prays to the Fayth," Tromell smiled, his old face crinkling with joy, "Ah, it's been so long since anything like this has happened... Such happiness will it bring to all the peoples of Spira... Ah--You may wait here for them, I'm sure they'll be back in a little while."

Suddenly, a cry came from one of the side resting rooms. A woman in yevon robes came out and fell to her knees, "Lord Jyscal! A-A sphere in Lady Lindsey's belongings!"

Demi quickly ducked over, picking up Lindsey's belongings and picking the sphere up, already knowing what it was.

Noodles and Dexter rushed after her, taking the recording sphere and putting it on the floor before turning it on.

The projection image appeared and it was Jyscal, worn and weary in his age and stress. Softly, he spoke, "What I am about to tell you is the unclouded truth. I swear it on my honor as a Guado. Listen to me very carefully, for I shall tell you the truth about my son, Seymour...

"His mind is closed even to me, a maester of Yevon. But I can feel flames of darkness burning in his heart. He is using Yevon, the Guado, and even the summoners. If he is not stopped, he will surely bring destruction and chaos to Spira. I will leave this world soon, killed by my own son...

"But I do not fault him. Because I was not wise enough, he has suffered, and become twisted. I could not protect him and his mother from the world and its cruelty. I will accept death as punishment for my deeds. But whoever is watching this... I implore you to stop Seymour! Stop my son."

"I knew he was a freaking perve! Now he's a murderous perve!" She huffed. "This is why arranged marriges don't work!"

"We need to get to Lindsey and Josh NOW," Noodles said taking the sphere with them as they rushed back to the main room, going for the Cloister doors.

"Damn it Lindsey," Demi grunted. "You fucking know better."

"What's goin on!? Need any items or weapons or what?" O'aka asked, worried.

The priest stood guard at the door, "You may not enter while Summoner Joshua prays to the Fayth."

"We are the Lord Summoner’s guardians," Noodles said, unable to keep the anger from his voice. "You would keep us from our sacred duty?"

"They are with the Maester. You may not pass," he said firmly.

"Precisely," Noodles responded. 'Now, will you let us by, or will we have to use force?"

"We're not afraid to open up a can of 'Whoop ass!'" Demi chirped in.

"You may NOT pass!" the priest asserted.

"Oh for fuck's sake!" Dexter cried shoving the priest out of the way and making their way through the frozen hallways of the cloister, finding Lindsey and Seymour standing together outside the prayer room.

"Lindsey! I will kick your ass so help me if you keep pulling this 'only I can save Spira' bullshit!" Demi barked as she lead the other two guardians into the room.

In the large round room, Lindsey stood between the door to the chamber of the Fayth and Seymour. She was facing him, with her arms folded across her chest. Her eyes were on the taller man, brows furrowed but narrowing more as the group appeared behind them. Seymour didn't look up, "Please be silent. The summoner prays to the Fayth."

"What the hell?" Lindsey looked up.

"Fuck you ya 80's horror movie reject," Demi spat, Dexter holding her back from going after the immensly larger man like she was a vicious attack dog. In her own right, she was.

"Demi, shut the hell up," Lindsey snapped. She then looked to Noodles, "Why are you here?" Josh emerged from the chamber, and Lindsey backed up into him, letting him lean against her.

"No Lindsey you shut the hell up!" Demi growled. "I am not some stupid friend that is just along for the ride! I am tired of being ignored, put down, and told that I'm only here for one reason. Well guess what!? Your plan is so see through it's fucking seran wrap! You know damn well why we're here and that's to keep YOUR ass alive! You complain about me always almost dying when you're the one putting yourself on a silver platter because you think that you're invincible! Now that I'm done ranting and raving, can we get on with the fight that will inevitably happen?" She huffed, getting in Lindsey's face then back up.

Seymour chuckled softly as Lindsey took Josh and walked back towards the group, Lindsey knocking Demi back with her shoulder, "So that's why you have come..."

"I saw Jyscal's sphere," she said, turning to face him.

"You've come not to accept or deny, but to punish me," he said, turning towards them.

Lindsey growled, shooting a glare at Demi.

"What a pity," he said, "Since you all come flocking here offering your lives for the sake of your Summoner and Guardian... I will simply have to take them." He rose an arm, pyreflies gathering to create two warrior Guado Guardians behind him.

Josh, already riled up from the simple fact that Seymour proposed to Lindsey, took a step forward, "Maester Seymour! I trust my guardians with my life... But they are also my friends! I will not stand by and watch them be hurt. I will fight you too!"

Lindsey drew her blades and pointed one up at Seymour's face, "We will stop you... no matter what."

Seymour smiled wickedly, "So be it."

Demi resisted the urge to knock her friend back as she took her place between Dexter and Noodles, arrows at the ready. "Lindsey! You go right! Demi left!" Noodles barked, taking the reigns from the squabbling guardians. "Josh, stay back till I say," he instructed at the girls lept forward taking on the Guado Guardians.

The two Guado Guardians cast both Shell and Protect spells upon the Maester, who started off casting a powerful fire spell at Josh. It didn't matter if the Summoner died, no, not to Seymour.

Lindsey ran in front of Josh, taking the hit for herself, "Ah! ..Take out those guardians..!"

"Lindsey back to your place!" Noodles growled at the girl, taking out a guardian as Dexter and Demi worked on the other. "You're no good dead and Josh can heal himself!"

Josh ignored Noodles and cast a cure spell on her.

Once the guardians were taken out, Lindsey ran forward and sliced at Seymour, dealing average damage against him. He only flinched, and retaliated with an ice spell and freezing her feet to the ground.

He cast all sorts of the higher elemental spells at the party, damage which Josh ran about furiously to heal.

Feeling his adrenaline start to pump, Dexter grunted as he charged Seymour. His fists punching the maester faster than the others could see, dealing a deal of damage in his own right before he dodged a lightening bolt sent his way.

Seymour was visibly hurt, but he wasn't out. Rather than furthering his magic attacks, he rose up a hand as he summoned the dark aeon, "Feel my pain... Come Anima!"

The massive Aeon was brought up before them by the massive chain born from the heavens. Josh took a step up, "Let me handle this!"

Lindsey retreated back as Josh prayed to the new Aeon he attained, massive ice shards dropping to the ground, birthing the 9 foot tall woman of bright blue skin. She woke from the ice with the lift of her head and the flipping of her hair back, and upon opening her eyes, she grinned ever so slightly, before thrusting her hand forward, shattering the ice around her and tossing her blue cloak aside, Josh gingerly catching it in his hand.

"Please, help us!" he pleaded with the Aeon, who gazed up at the other woman towering above her. Shiva fought with powerful kicks, swift and agil despite her element. Anima counterattacked with her devestating attack: Pain. Though Shiva healed herself easily with her powerful Ice magic.

In a final blow, Shiva laid upon Anima a dressing of ice, freezing her in place. Shiva then wove her arms about before pointing her long nails up to the ceiling, a ball of ice energy forming at her fingertips. She whipped her arms behind her before thrusting them forward, the ball of ice shooting outward in a beam, encasing Anima further in Ice.

With a smirk, Shiva rose up her hand, palm to the ceiling, and snapped her fingers, the ice exploding around Anima and finishing her off.

Anima disappeared with a shudder and Seymour grit his teeth, "..That power that defeated Anima... It will be mine!" Perhaps Josh was of use to him alive afterall.

"Not as long I still breath," Noodles growled as he dealt a hit to Seymour. "Dexter! Demi! Take left side! Lindsey and I will take right!"

Shiva frowned slightly before looking to Josh, who gave her a dismissive nod. She disappeared in a cloud of ice.

Seymour was getting serious now, doublecasting spells at a quick rate, though he was quick to be felled by the might of their physical attacks. When the fight was over, Seymour fell to his knees. Lindsey grit her teeth and took a quick step forward.

Seymour looked up at her and grinned slightly, injured and dying, "...I can see right through you..."

Lindsey looked away, flinching. Seymour fell back on his back, still and dead. Lindsey knelt beside him and closed his eyes before standing up and looking at the others, "He's dead."

Tromell and two other guado apostles came in, "Lord Seymour..!!" They rushed to him, pushing them back.

"We need to leave now," Noodles said pushing the others towards the door. "Don't let the guards stop you." Demi and Dexter nodded as the older guardian pushed Lindsey and Josh on. "Don't look back."

Lindsey shook her head and grabbed Josh's arm, pulling him back, "Josh, you need to send him. Now."

Josh nodded slowly and rose his staff, but was pushed aside by Tromell and the guards, "No! Stop! Stay away from him, traitors!"

They gathered the dead Maester up and took him away.

This was precisely what Lindsey was hoping to prevent. She sighed, irritated, "Let's get the hell out of here..."

Noodles growled as he urged the others on ahead of him, taking up the rear. Things were gonna have to change if they were going to survive longer than where they were. Demi and Dexter cleared the way so they could get out of the temple. "Hurry!" He barked defending their backs.

When the party reached the main foyer, they were stopped by a huge blocking crowd of guado guards, Tromell, and other patrons of the temple.

"Please, just let us explain what's happened!" Josh pleaded nervously.

"We're justified in our action. Please, we have Jyscal's sphere," Lindsey pleaded also.

"You mean this?" Tromell rose up the sphere before smashing it, glaring at them hatefully, "Guado take care of Guado affairs!"

"They're not letting us go..." Josh quivered.

"Let you go?" Tromell bit back, "Why, Lord Seymour would never forgive us if we did. I'm sure Bevelle would feel the same way!"

"Stand down," Noodles sighed to the others, putting his sword away. "We're at a stopping point in our journey." Dexter shot him a confused look as he put his fists down. Confused as well, Demi sheathed her knives.

Lindsey lowered her head before grabbing Josh's hand as the guado's guards went down, "Go!" She rushed forward, knocking through guado guards and Tromell, "Come on!"

Noodles growled as he pushed Demi and Dexter on, knowing they would be caught again as they sprinted after Lindsey and Josh. "Why do I have a feeling this is VERY redundant!?" Demi cried as they caught up with the others before they reached the the lake road.

"Just move it!" Noodles ordered as they skidded to a stop. A large abominable snow man like creature with two Guado guards blocked their way. "Stupid wendigo."

The fight against the snow-monkey was fast-paced, the beast dealing hard hits to the party members, but easily cured by Josh's magic. When it was beaten down into submission, it growled and jumped high into the air, landing on the lake ice and breaking it, sending the party down to the bottom of the lake.

"Everyone alright?" Noodles asked after their rough landing. Helping Demi up, he looked over at Dexter who gave him a nod. "Lindsey? Josh?"

Josh and Lindsey were in a pile, Lindsey underneath the lukewarm knee-high water with Josh ontop of her, the brunette having broken his fall. She jerked underneath him, and in response, he rolled off of her and helped her up. She coughed as she held onto him, raising an arm to wipe water from her eyes, "Ah.."

Sighing, Noodles looked around at their surroundings. "We have to think about how we're going to get to the next temple."

"Where is the next temple?" Dexter asked as Demi took his claw, getting to work on fixing it from the fall.

"Bevelle," Lindsey said irritably, "The exact place we want to avoid like our lives depended on it." Josh looked at her, "What do we do now...?"

"Since Lindsey has so honorably and decatingly chosen for us to run the course of Yuna's group, we go to Bevelle," Noodles said, trying to keep his temper, though it was steadily rising.

"Oh buzz off!" Lindsey shouted, "I was trying to prevent what Demi helped accomplish! Also, thanks so much for blowing my cover. A direct confrontation with Seymour was really what was going to help us get through this easy as pie. And now? We're traitors!"

"Enough!" Noodles snapped, like a an old lion, tired of the blaming and bickering. "You want to play the blame game fine, but you do it when it doesn't endanger our lives." He held Lindsey's gaze, making sure she knew that he was the one taking control of this argument and it was done when he said it was done. "I know your intentions are good, putting Spira first, but you are walking a VERY thin line Lindsey. Demi was right back in the temple. You are acting as if your actions alone will save this world and take us home, with that you are throwing our lives away. You are not the one to defeat Sin. Josh is. You saying yes to Seymour only prolonged our pilgramige. Now not only will we have to fight Seymour again, but we will have Yevon at our backs.

Now, was your plan to defeat Seymour by yourself and have Josh send him? If so, it was a poor and horrible plan," he grunted, keeping his voice even as the others stayed quiet. Dexter looked taken aback by his friend's words, he'd never seen Noodles this in control while he was pissed. Demi just stood there, quiet and unable to move or even talk.

"You really think I'm that arrogant..." Lindsey said quietly, "My plan was to stall him... To negotiate with him. I know what his plan is. It's me he wants, not any of you. He would have at least listened to me. But I guess there's no point in trying to change what's already set in stone."

With that, she walked off through the knee-high water, away from them. It wasn't like she enjoyed being the Maester's prime target. It wasn't like she wanted to go in and try to do it alone. She stalked to some ruins and sat upon a ledge, holding her knees up to her chest as she listened to the gentle Hymn of Shiva's Fayth.

"Seymour never would have listened," Noodles sighed closing his eyes, a migrane coming on. "He has had this plan long before we came along. So yes, I really do think she is that arrogant. She's trying to detour from Yuna's story in a way to where we have to react just like her guardians did and have the same outcome."

"Noodles?" Demi asked softly, staring at him. This wasn't Noodles, the man standing before her was someone else.

"This is our story, we don't have to draw from Yuna's to get to the end," he said looking after Lindsey. "Nothing is ever set in stone until it is past. She still has to learn that. She isn't Yuna and we aren't her guardians, we are Josh's. So it is your decision of what we do." Lifting his gaze he turned to the younger man. "You have more power than she gives you credit for. She does not decide this journey you do."

Josh shook his head, not saying anything. He turned and left in the other direction, wanting to be alone himself. His face was purely white, even though he was mad. He was mad at everything. And everyone. He crawled into a crevice of an old piece of the ruins, sitting in the small enclosed alcove and held his staff close to him as he sat cross-legged.

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