Categories > Games > Final Fantasy X-2 > Unwavering Symphony

Chapter 5

by animeangelash 0 reviews

It really was the nicest day they had seen in a while. Regrettably, the siren had a knack to ruin such days quite abruptly.

Category: Final Fantasy X-2 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance - Characters: Lenne, Shuyin - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006-01-06 - Updated: 2006-01-07 - 4642 words

Disclaimer: Everything that is used in this fanfiction-characters and settings-all belong to Squarenix. I do not own them, in full or in part.


It was undeniably one of the nicest days Zanarkand had seen in weeks. Besides the wispy clouds that lazily drifted from over the endless expanse of blue sea, the sky was completely clear. The ocean was calm, waves arching almost perfectly, as opposed to the choppiness that had defined them for quite a while. The late-afternoon sun shown bright and hot against the streets, and the crowds were out in abundance to enjoy it.

Shuyin was with Lenne at the time. They were at the port, watching incoming cargo ships drift by, chatting about everything and nothing at all. Occasionally, he would joke about the near-miss game that had taken place the previous night (leaving the Abes with a score of 0-6), and in return, she would give comfort that wasn't really needed, though not turned down.

"You'll see," she said reassuringly. "You'll win soon enough, and it'll all be worth it."

"It would be worth it for Nirui to not yell at us for once," he responded with a shrug and a smirk.

"That's not a nice thing to say about your captain,"

"Hey, come on. You've heard her. I know you have. Why else would you have been as white as a sheet that one time?"

"I was?" She asked, her voice indicating quite a bit of self-consciousness and remorse. Still, it didn't take long for him to dissolve into laughter, and, after casting a perplexed look in his direction, she couldn't help but do the same.

It really was the nicest day they had seen in a while. Regrettably, the siren had a knack to ruin such days quite abruptly.

The ghastly noise and accompanying voice came screaming through the buzz of cheerful conversation, quickly sucking all the pleasantness out of the air. Shock and then fear quickly took its place, gasps of disbelief quickly turning into screams of terror all along the pier. Hundreds of frenzied footfalls sent tremors through the concrete as people recklessly fled for their designated sanctuaries, the calm yet forceful voice still somehow audible in the background of it all.

The delight in her eyes instantly replaced by anxiety and dread, Lenne whirled around, watching as the frantic crowd began to disperse into the nearby buildings with no shortage of pushing and shoving. "Oh no," she said, horrified. Spinning back around and clamping her hands tightly around the safety railing, she leaned over it, her eyes scanning a sea too calm for the current circumstances.

"What's wrong?" Shuyin hollered over the pandemonium.

"They've been coming by sea recently," Lenne called over her shoulder, leaning even further forward. Gripping her shoulder to steady her, Shuyin squinted off toward the horizon, looking for whatever it was that Lenne was so eager to find. However, with each passing second the siren became even more deafening until it got to the point where he could no longer hear himself think. Obviously, he wasn't going to be of much help.

"There!" Lenne exclaimed, pointing off to the south. There, speeding toward the shore with frighteningly obvious hostile intent, were a number of Bevelle hovers. Already, a sizable group had gathered on the beach, and though they were not but mere specks, it was clear what they were there to do: intercept Bevelle's forces.

Giving the rope around her middle a good tug to secure her staff (or colorful walking stick, as Shuyin had first known it), Lenne leapt away from the railing and hastily seized Shuyin's hand. The next thing he knew, they were barreling down the street at a speed rather dangerous for someone wearing as long a robe as Lenne was.

"Find somewhere to take cover and stay safe," Lenne said, her all-business demeanor carrying a strong sense of déjà vu. "I'll meet up with you as soon as I can." With that, she released his hand, leaving him tripping to a stop as she continued to race down the boulevard, dodging around panicked stragglers left and right before completely disappearing into the throng. He remained there for a moment or two, eyes fixed on the spot where she had disappeared.

However, the crowd quickly began to dictate his path, taking him along as the many frantic citizens scrambled for the sanctuary of the buildings. After a few moments of resistance, he finally submitted to them, scanning the business and shop windows for a place that wasn't packed with people already. Yet, he could not focus, for his mind was inconveniently somewhere else. Coming to a stop (which was easier said than done due to the aforementioned crowd), he looked over his shoulder, eyes fixed upon the end of the street down which Lenne had disappeared.

Thinking back, he called up the memory of their first meeting. The destroyed hovers that lay broken on the sand; the summoners, guardians, and acolytes running about frantically, desperate to find something with which to aide their fallen; the bodies...

Turning on a heel, he started down the street at a sprint, receiving several elbows in the shoulder and loud curses from those who were headed in the other direction, seeking safety. However, he paid them no mind. As he rounded the corner and continued to race down the street against the flow of bodies, he knew he had far more important things to worry about than a few annoyed passersby.


Ten minutes and as many wrong turns later, Shuyin came to a skidding halt at the shore, where the standoff between the Zanarkand and Bevelle forces was already well underway. Bevelle soldiers stood like menacing hood ornaments atop their stationary hovers, which remained offshore. Whether the summoners were holding them off or they were merely using the sea to their advantage, Shuyin couldn't tell.

Meanwhile, summoners and guardians alike were spread across the beach, ferocity shining in their narrowed eyes. Swords and guns were commonplace among the guardians, held in many a tense fist. At the same time, magic filled the arsenal of those without a weapon, blasts of fire and flashes of lightning daring the hovers to come closer.

However, as intimidating as the guardians were, the summoners' tactics easily put them to shame. Alongside them were numerous bizarre looking beasts, their shapes varying from snake to bird to nearly human, and nearly everything else in between. Those that were airborne attacked with such viciousness, it was as if they neither knew nor cared about anything else but the battle. Meanwhile, those that were hindered by the water made due with bombarding the hovers with balls of fire, blades of ice, and violent artificial gales, among many other things.

"What the-?" Shuyin said, stepping back in amazement, and consequently backing right into something else. Looking over his shoulder, he saw a middle-aged man looking back at him, face glistening with a thin layer of sweat and caked with a far thicker layer of anxiety. Beside him stood a small group of other frantic looking individuals, each clinging securely to a sizable brown box and watching the battle with a certain amount of fright in their eyes.

"Who are you?" The man inquired anxiously, drawing a sleeve across his forehead to rid it of moisture. "Citizens aren't allowed here!"

"I'm not," Shuyin stammered, a little too quickly to come off as convincing. "I-I'm a guardian."

"To whom?" the man asked, eyebrow raised in suspicion.

"Lenne," Shuyin responded, turning away from the man, whose brow was already furrowed in thought.

"But the Lady Lenne-" Shuyin however, was already gone, scanning the crowd of summoners and guardians and trying to pick out a flare of white amongst the assortment of other colors that adorned the rest of the crowd. By the time the man turned his eyes upward once again, Shuyin was too far away to hear his protests over the din.

As he searched, Shuyin spotted one of the airborne creatures, overcome by its injuries, fall from its aloft position and slam into the waves, bursting into hundreds of pyreflies upon impact. Quickly they dispersed, shooting off in all directions and then up into the sky, where they swiftly disappeared from sight. Once they had fully dissipated, one of the summoners near where the creature had been stepped forward, raising her staff above her head. She began spinning it, her pace steadily increasing until a solid ring of light hovered above her. Energy radiated from it and the staff, white sparks shooting from the both of them only to land harmlessly on the sand. Then, with one quick, fluid motion, she took the staff in one hand and swung it, sending the mass of energy rocketing through the air. When it came to rest on the wet sand, the ball of energy unfurled into a blue, snake-like creature, which announced its arrival with a resounding hiss for all to hear.

"The summons..." Shuyin muttered to himself as he watched the snake dive into the water, coming up underneath a hover and upending it. However, as fascinating as this new revelation was, he quickly turned his eyes back to the crowd. As before, he had more pressing matters to attend to.

After a few more anxious minutes of searching, he finally spotted her. She was at the far end of the crowd, a few yards away from her nearest brethren. Her hands were held before her face, shielding it, as a translucent mass that Shuyin could only guess had been one of the summons disintegrated into nothingness before her. Meanwhile, the driver of one of the hovers had noticed her predicament and, taking advantage of the hole in the defenses that she presented, turned the hover sharply and started speeding toward her.

Lenne, quick to spot this, hastily raised her staff and twirled it in one hand, beginning a summoning. A swing to the left, a twirl to the right, a turn, and then the staff was held carefully between her hands, her head bowed and eyes closed. Above, black clouds that had before been non-existent began to gather, casting an ominous shadow over her stationary form.

However, before she could finish, several of the soldiers cocked their guns and fired upon her. The first four bullets fortunately only got to within a foot of her before recoiling and landing harmless in the sand. Each time, a nearly transparent bubble shape would appear around her, then swiftly disappear once again; a shield spell. Unfortunately, four shots were all the shield could stand. The fifth bullet shattered it, sending shards flying through the air, where they flickered once more before disappearing completely. Her eyes flying open, Lenne unfortunately had no time to react before the bullet embedded itself in her thigh. Screaming in alarm and distress, she dropped to a knee, the clouds above her dissipating as she did so. An instant later, another bullet whizzed by her head, slicing across the top of her ear and bringing forth from her another cry of pain.

"Lenne!" Shuyin shouted in horror, whipping his eyes around to the soldiers reloading their guns, swiftly decreasing the space between themselves and Lenne. Panicked, Shuyin pivoted frantically, desperate to find something that would prove useful.

However, finding nothing, he quickly turned upon the closest summoner and their respective guardians.

"Help her!" He shouted at them, gesturing wildly behind his back and successfully frightening more than one. "They're going to kill her!"

However, as he soon realized, he needn't have bothered. Gulping back the pain and cries that accompanied it, Lenne turned eyes filled with determination back toward the cruiser. Biting her tongue, she pushed herself up into a shaky standing position. Then, holding her staff out once more, she resumed her summoning with the same-if not more-vigor. Again she swung the staff, precisely as she had done so before. Again the clouds began to gather, and again the soldiers trained their weapons upon her.

"Le-!" Shuyin started, attempting to stir her from her reverie. Even if he disrupted the summoning, it was better than letting the soldiers' bullets do so instead. Before he could finish however, Lenne raised her staff into the air, and then swiftly brought it down, slamming the base into the sand. Simultaneously, a blast of lightning shot down from the clouds, casting an eerie glow upon her. Then, the focus of the performance quickly switched to a strange oval shape that hung in midair above her, seemingly growing from the lightning itself. It quickly began to rotate, centrifugal force peeling a pair of wings, a tail, and a head back from it. This exposed a bird-like creature, though it was so in shape only. It was devoid of any feature, and could very well have been made of wax if not for its animation.

Gripping her staff tightly, Lenne waved it seaward, indicating the incoming hover. Without hesitation, the beast flapped its monstrous wings, and shot toward its target, sending sand flying about it and her.

Visibly exhausted, Lenne collapsed to her knees once more, a hand upon her chest as she struggled for breath. Meanwhile, she still gripped her staff tightly in the other, her knuckles beginning to turn white.

Shuyin could only stare, transfixed and awed. In the space of a minute, he had seen her shot twice, one a distressingly close to being fatal, yet she was still able to continue, sans shield or any other sort of protection from Bevelle's onslaught. Even now, with blood painting her robes a vile scarlet and her lungs devoid of air, she was still prepared to act if the need were to surface.

"Lenne . . ." Shuyin whispered to himself, watching as she struggled to her feet, using her staff as a stanchion. As he watched, he thought about the people behind him, the summoners brandishing their staffs with ardor while their guardians stood beside them, ready to return any fire that came the summoners' way. Why wasn't there someone to offer Lenne a hand? Why was she forced to fight on her own? Where were her guardians?

Collectively, the roars of several engines rang through the air, accompanied by bellows of rejoice from the shore. Turning, Shuyin saw that the hovers were retreating, soldiers plucking their own from the water as they went, a chorus of taunts and cheers from Zanarkand's forces seeing them off.

With a sigh of relief, Shuyin turned back to Lenne, once again intent upon aiding her. "Lenne!" He called out to her, only to find that it wasn't necessary. Her eyes were already upon him, disbelief and surprise painted across her face. In response, Shuyin's own features immediately took on an apologetic air, one hand rubbing the back of his head as the memory of her earlier warning came back to him. Then, he once again spotted the continually expanding bloodstain on her leg, and realized than an explanation could wait.


If possible, the minutes following the battle were even more hectic than the battle itself. After Bevelle's retreat was assured by the cruisers' disappearance over the horizon, the shore became a frenzy of activity. As it turned out, the boxes that the clergy members had been protecting were worth their effort; they were filled with potions, hi-potions, remedies, and an assortment of other medical concoctions. Unfortunately, as they began rapidly disappearing, it became apparent that they were in short supply. As a result, guardians and priests alike could be seen scrambling this way and that, searching for the supplies necessary to aid their fallen and injured. Even finding a simple potion was a laborious chore.

When he finally had an adequate supply of items (two hi-potions and a remedy), Shuyin headed back to where Lenne sat, her robe hiked up around her thigh so that she could better examine her wound.

"Here," he said, adding his collection of bottles to the Ether that was at her side.

"You shouldn't have followed me," she said quietly, picking up one of the hi-potions and fiddling with the cork. "You could have gotten hurt."

"You weren't much better off," he replied, eyes flitting between the burn on her ear and the gash on her leg.

"It's nothing," she replied.

"You were shot!" Shuyin retorted.

"I'm all right," she said. "Really. Look." Uncorking the hi-potion and holding it to her lips, she downed it, wiping her mouth on her sleeve afterwards. "See?" she said, pointing at her leg. In a matter of moments, the wound had disappeared completely, leaving only a pinkish stain behind.

"Lenne," Shuyin said, turning his eyes toward her burned ear. "You could have been . . ." He stopped, busying himself with locating the Remedy bottle. "Why don't you have a guardian?" he asked, handing it to her. She took it in both hands, running a thumb along the glass as her eyes flitted about the sand by her feet.

"She . . ." Lenne started, but quickly trailed off.

"Lenne?" Shuyin pressed, tilting his head in an attempt to see her face more clearly.

After a few more moments of silence (or relative silence, given the noise and chatter that reverberated around them), Lenne set the bottle down, running a hand across the sand. "My guardian died," she answered, turning somber eyes upon Shuyin.

" . . . Died?" He asked, not quite sure how to respond. "Um . . . When?"

She was silent, and Shuyin mentally reprimanded himself for pushing the subject. If their roles had been reversed, he knew that he wouldn't have wanted an inquiry when the matter at hand was the death of a friend.

"About two months ago," she replied, catching him off guard. "It was during the battle at the shore in Sector A. I didn't end up finding out until a few days later, though."

As the last sentence left her lips, Shuyin's eyes widened in realization before he quickly turned them downward, watching her draw circles in the sand. His home was in Sector A.

Bits of the night they met flashed through his mind once again. He saw everything he had seen in his earlier musings, and then her, staring despondently at the pyreflies that rose higher and higher into the sky. Had that been the night that her guardian had died?

Something grabbing her attention, Lenne turned, prompting Shuyin to do the same. A group was beginning to collect a few yards away from them. "Oh," said Lenne, beginning to gather up the bottles. "They're getting ready for a Sending," she told Shuyin, pointing at the crowd with her free. Getting to her feet, she held it out to him. "Let's go."


Three bodies-two Bevelle soldiers and a guardian of no more than twenty years-were laid before the waves, pulled far enough back so that they would not be dragged away. The sky, which had been a brilliant blue only an hour or so before, was now black, thanks to the ominous dark clouds that were still rolling in from the sea.

However, no one paid any attention to them. So far as Shuyin could see, everyone was focused on the summoner that stood before the bodies. He was a sturdy man, stony-faced, grave, and rather calm, indicating that this obviously wasn't his first Sending. Apathy the only thing present on his face, he raised his staff, then gracefully brought it down. He let it gently skim across the sand, spinning around his ankles, pointing it toward the sky a moment later. Slowly, pyreflies began to rise from the three bodies, emerging quicker and quicker the longer the Sending continued.

Shuyin held his gaze upon the pyreflies as they drifted off into the distance, only losing them when a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, quickly followed by crack of thunder. A few of the clergy members turned their eyes upward for a moment, clearly apprehensive. As the summoner let his outspread arms drop to his sides and the last of the pyreflies departed from their empty shells of bodies, another angry clap of thunder sounded, and rain finally began to fall. It was slow at first, giving the crowd a bit of time to watch the pyreflies float away into the darkness that hung thick as fog over the sea. However, it was soon coming down in torrents, soaking through sand and cloth alike. The clergy, guardians, and summoners began to quickly head for cover, their arms thrown over their heads in a feeble attempt to protect themselves from the downpour.

Shuyin watched them go, brushing a few wet strands of hair out of his eyes. He was hardly in as much of a hurry as the others, since his vocation had made him all but immune to the discomforts of water. However, even with that advantage, he didn't plan on staying out in the rain for very long.

He turned to Lenne, who, to his surprise, was not trying to avoid the rain at all. She didn't even make the slightest effort to shield herself, leaving her arms at her sides and letting the rain soak her. Her eyes were still fixed upon the wispy pyreflies, though they were now practically invisible through the rain and gloom. He watched her for a moment, rather baffled by her apparent indifference to her own comfort. Then, he gently placed his hand upon her shoulder, breaking her from her reverie. "Lenne, we should get going. We're getting soaked."

Blinking a few times, an embarrassed expression adorned her features, quickly followed by an apologetic smile. The image was one Shuyin would find himself pondering in the days to come: Rainwater covered her face, running down her cheeks and off of her chin. Yet, even after the evening's trials, even after watching those she held dear disappear into the nothingness that lay beyond the shore, he knew that all of that water was rain.

"I'm sorry," she said, lifting a hand and brushing some of the water from her face. "That was rather silly, wasn't it?"

"Not a problem," Shuyin responded, again brushing a bit of unruly hair out of his eyes. "Let's go to my apartment. It's closer than yours is, and you can hole up there until the rain stops."

"All right," she said after a moment's consideration. Flashing him a smile of gratitude and making sure he was beside her, she started to jog up the beach, hands spread before her face to protect her from the now monsoon.

As Shuyin followed her, his mind began to wander, and he somehow couldn't help but remember her words from before: "My guardian died."


Within the scope of two hours, Shuyin found himself lying on his couch, an arm cushioning his head as he stared unblinkingly at the ceiling of his apartment. Or, more correctly, stared into the darkness where the ceiling mostly likely was.

He was playing the day's events over in his mind, most specifically what Lenne had said to him after the battle. If his assumptions were correct and her guardian had really died that night, she had gone nearly two months without someone there to aid her.

Turning on his side, he looked in the general direction of his bed. It hadn't been a simple task, but in addition to staying the night, he had convinced Lenne to take the bed, an excess of 'thank you's following her eventual concession.

In hindsight, the wistful silence that had followed her mention of the guardians was a blindingly obvious sign of her predicament. To him, his ignorance was hardly short of infuriating, and he had spent most of the last hour silently reprimanding himself for it and searching for some means by which he could have figured things out sooner. The fact that he could find no such means was even more aggravating.

Soon enough however, he realized that such reminiscences were going to have to wait until later. There was something much more important that he had to worry about: Lenne was without a guardian, and had been so for some time. Skill and luck had kept her safe for the past few weeks, but unfortunately, that evening's near miss had cemented a rather disturbing truth. If she continued to fight on her own, peril would most likely not be long in coming.

He remained silent for a few more moments, staring into the blackness that encompassed him, wondering if she was still awake. "Lenne?" he eventually whispered, pushing himself up on an elbow. "Are you asleep?"

"No," she responded, though her voice was a bit groggy. He heard the sound of the covers shifting, and could only assume that she was sitting up as well.

"Today . . . you could have died," Shuyin said, his voice coming off more anxious than he would have liked.

"I told you, I'm all right," she said gently, the covers shifting once again. He could almost hear the gentle, reassuring smile that she was surely wearing resounding in her voice. "You don't have to worry about me."

"You might not be next time," Shuyin pointed out. "You need a new guardian."

"I know," She admitted, her tone a mix of good humor and subtle repentance, the latter completely out of his place to his ears. "Everyone keeps reminding me of that. I just . . . I don't want to put anyone else in danger."

"But that puts you in danger."

"I suppose."

Their discussion coming to a dead-end, the two fell silent, listening to the rain as it pounded as viciously as ever upon the curtained window.

"I'll do it."


"I'll be your guardian."

Immediately, the sound of footsteps and frantic shuffling met his ears, and a moment later the overhead lamp flashed to life, briefly blinding him. After giving his eyes a minute to adjust, he looked up at Lenne. Her hand still lingered on the switch, eyes wide and firmly focused on him. "Shuyin, no," she said, letting her hand slide down the wall and fall to her side.

"Why?" he asked, sitting up and turning to face her. "You need someone there, right? I could help you!"

"Shuyin," Lenne sighed, sinking back onto the bed and rubbing her hands together anxiously. "You just . . . you don't know anything about being a guardian. You could get hurt."

"I'll learn!" Shuyin insisted. She turned toward him for but a moment before looking away again, training her eyes upon the floor and fidgeting nervously. Shuyin followed suit, letting his gaze wander about the floorboards as he searched for something to say. "Lenne, I want to help," he said, turning his eyes upon her, though her own stayed firmly locked upon a discarded box in the corner of the room. "Lenne-" he prompted, nearly suppliant.

"Are you sure you want to be a guardian?" she interrupted, turning toward him.

"Of course," Shuyin responded, nodding with as much zeal as he spoke.

She was silent for a moment more before getting to her feet and walking over to where the switch for the light was mounted. "Let's get some sleep," she said listlessly, forcing a small smile onto her face for what he could only assume was his benefit. "I'll explain things tomorrow, if you still want to do this."

With that, the light went out, plunging them both back into the comfortable blackness. Shuyin settled back against the cushions, listening to the driving rain and Lenne tiptoeing across the floor. Muttering a quick "Good night," and shutting his eyes, Shuyin continued to the listen to the former noise, which continued to sound long after he had drifted off to sleep.


A/N: Thank you for being so patient, readers, and sorry for the late update. Hopefully, this chapter's length will compensate for the delay. As always, reviews are greatly appreciated.

Oh, and while I'm at it:

Dra cdyka ec cad. Mad ic pakeh.
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