A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

BY : tuatha
Category: Final Fantasy X > General
Dragon prints: 1042
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy X, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Title: A Secret Journey Part One

by tuatha danaan

Summary: The story of the pilgrimage told in Rikku's words, and what she learns on the way.
Classification: FFX fic, AU, Rikku/Auron relationship, story, romance
Rating: PG13, higher rating (up to R) for future instalments
Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to Squaresoft, but the story is mine.
(actually Rikku's, but you know what I mean. : )

Feedback is welcomed at tuatha@caloundra.net

A Secret Journey

Part One


Our journeys all began in separate places at separate times, but our story ended together,
at Zanarkand.

My story began with Tidus. We found him at Pyyz dasbma, an ancient temple dedicated
to Baaj. He was wet and miserable and half insanfterfter we rescued him he told me he
came from a place, a wonderful city full of people living in peace and splendor. A place
called Zanarkand.

I didn't believe him. Zanarkand was a ruin, a place of terror, a place where Sin destroyed
the summoners and was reborn again. I told him not to tell anyone about his toxin dreams
again, but when we journeyed together, he told everyone. The funny thing was, even
though none of us believed him, I think in our hearts we wanted to. A world free of Sin,
where people could live together without fear. We all wanted to believe in that.

But I'm skipping ahead. We were returning home when Sin came. When it left us, almost
wrecked and half an ocean further away from home than when we started, Tidus was
gone. I was sure he was dead, washed overboard with three other sailors whose sending
will never be completed. They lurk in the ocean depths, those unfortunate souls, and I
believed he was one of them.

Our mission to retrieve the ancient machina was successful, despite our loss. We
continued on with our plan thankful that the cost had been no greater. You see our people
believed we had a destiny. To destroy Sin, and to stop the sacrifices in the name of
Yevon. Then we could rebuild our home without fear of Sin's destruction.

My father came up with the plan. He is a great leader, and very persuasive. All the Al
Bhed believed in him. It was his idea to join forces with the crusaders, and to use the
most powerful machina we could find in a last ditch effort to destroy Sin. It was not his
best idea, so many souls were lost in the operation which failed.

Although I knew about the plan, I was not directly involved in that side of the operation. I
was part of one of the retrieval teams, and after our successful mission in the sea of regret we were assigned the task of retrieving the summoners.

That was when I met him again. And Yuna and the others. Yuna hood ood guardians, it
was our third attempt at retrieval and I was determined not to fail again. We decided to
intercept her at the Moonflow, but Tidus and Wakka were able to take her back.
Unfortunately the underwater machina I was using was breached and I barely escaped in
time to save myself.

Washed up on the shore, barely conscious, I was grateful just to be drawing breath. Then
he was there. Tidus seemed strangely pleased to see me, considering he'd almost killed
me. I wasn't sure what he'd think when I told him that s ins involved in trying to steal
Yuna, but he didn't seem to mind. It made me think, that so many of them were trying to
help her on her journey, to protect her and keep her safe. They seemed to believe there
was a way, and that's what we wanted too.

He told Yuna and the others who I was, how I'd helped him before. Then there were some
awkward glances between them. Yuna and the other girl who was her guardian, Lulu,
drew me aside.

"You're an Al Bhed. Why were you trying to kidnap Yuna?" The older girl asked me. She
was intimidating, to say the least.

"We aren't trying to hurt her. I just want to protect her, you know?"

I looked at Yuna then, she was frowning in concentration, but I knew she believed me.
She asserted in a gentle tone "I have guardians to do that."

"But they can't save you. If you call the final aeon...you'll be killed."

She looked saddened and turned away, gazing back through the trees where we'd come
from, as though she was searching for something far away.

"We can try. To defeat Sin, we risk much...but I believe it is worth it." She ed bed back to
me and I could see determination, and an implacable will behind it. "It is my choice."

Suddenly I understood. It was as though a light had come on and everything was clear.

I was far from home, alone, and it seemed so obvious to me now that whether we were Al
Bhed or Yevonite, crusader or guardian or summoner, we all wanted to defeat Sin. We
just hadn't all agreed on how to do it. I wanted to believe there was a way, and if it took
joining their party and fighting our way to Zanarkand together I was willing to do it.

I think they expected me to turn around and leave them to their journey. But I hadn't
abandoned my determination to save Yuna, just changed my idea about how it could be
done.

"Let me journey with you. If there is a way to defeat Sin and save you...I want to find it
too."

Lulu was surprised. "You want to become Yuna's guardian?"

"Yes." I raised my chin, and looked her straight in the eye. Yuna seemed pleased, but
hesitant.

"I would like that. But...I need to ask the others."

I nodded, understanding her reluctance. After all, I was Al Bhed. If they refused to let me
join them I would find another way, even if I had to follow them all the way to
Zanarkand.

Lulu hesitated a moment. "Listen, if you do come with us, don't tell Wakka you're an Al
Bhed. It will only cause problems if you do."

I wanted to ask why, but something about the way she said it didn't invite questions. I just
followed Yuna back to the clearing. The others were all there waiting for us.

I haven't really told you about the party yet, but that was when I first met all of them.
Tidus was the crazy Zanarkand Abe's player that we rescued from the ruins of Pyyz.
Yuna was the Grand Summoner Braska's daughter. She was so gentle, so sweet, and yet
she had more strength in her heart than any of us. Lulu was Yuna's friend and confidante.
She had been a guardian before, to a summoner who failed, but she only spoke of that
once, much later in our journey. She had also lost her love and husband to be, Wakka's
brother, in a failed operation against Sin. Despite this she was a good friend to both Yuna
and I, like an older and wiser sister. She is the only one of us who really got the happy
ending, but that is the future, and we are still at the beginning of my story when she was
the only one of us with a tragic past. Wakka was a blitzball player too, but he played for
the Besaid Aurochs. I'm ashamed to say everyone at home would laugh whenever they
played. Despite the fact that he is a very skilled player the Besaid Aurochs always lost.
That changed when Tidus started playing for them, and I could believe he was a star
player, wherever he came from. Kimahri was a Ronso, a quiet and fierce warrior who
said little but was devoted to Yuna. And there was Auron. Auron was intimidating in a
different way to Lulu. Even Yuna called him Sir.

When Yuna announced that she wanted me to be her guardian she looked to Auron for
approval. Sir Auron was a legend, the guardian who led High Summoner Braska on his
joy, hy, helped him defeat Sin, and then vanished mysteriously with the calm ten years
before. A man with the strength of a hundred, able to vanquish a behemoth with one
stroke of his mighty sword, a man who could singlehandedly fend off an army without
raising a sweat. Or so they said.

He came over to me and raised my chin, studying my face. I admit it, I was afraid of him.
Even though his hand just felt normal, with the strength of one man instead of a hundred,
and he wasn't threatening me with bodily violence I closed my eyes against his scrutiny.
Then he demanded that I look at him. ‘Oh well’, I thought. ‘They would probably find
my body washed up somewhere down the Moonflow. Hopefully Yuna would perform the
sending before they let me wash away.’ I blinked, slowly, then looked back into his eyes.

I should have been thinking about the journey, about how I wanted to save Yuna, but I
was distracted by the depth in his gaze, a soft absorption of shadow and light that seemed
to reach far beyond anything I knew. He had a scar that ran from his forehead to his
cheek, across his right eye, which was forever closed against the light. He must have had
the most beautiful eyes, his irises the darkest brown that exists in nature without being
black, and his eyelashes were dark, long and lovely, except where the scar split his eyelid
on one side. I wished I could see his other eye, to know if it held the same intelligent
light, that same deep shade. So while he was searching the secrets of my soul all I was
aware of was a shallow sorrow for the loss of that other eye. When he finally released me
I was sure that was the end of my guardianship, but he seemed satisfied with whatever he
had seen in me.

And so our journey together began.

End of Part One


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