A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

BY : tuatha
Category: Final Fantasy X > General
Dragon prints: 1094
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.

A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)


She clung precariously to the precipice, her fingers grasping onto a sharp
protrusion of rock. Her other hand searched blindly for purchase, her toes
wedged into a tiny crack, the only thing between her and oblivion.

Far below the rest of her party waited, their tents set up on the last part
of the mountain that could be said to be closer to horizontal than vertical.
She looked up, then carefully to the side, inching her way up the incline.

This was not Mt Gagazet, the home of the Ronso. They'd passed the village on
their way, meeting Kimahri there. In her pack now nestled two spheres,
instead of the one she had originally carried. She'd seen it, and a spark of
hope had lodged in her chest at it's import. A spark of hope that had been
missing for so long, but she had to continue.

Kimahri had listened gravely as she told him. "There is something I must do

Then his eyes had accused her. She'd drawn him away from the others, and
placed both her hands on his furred forearms. "I made a promise to him too.
I've waited this long to fulfil it."

She looked up the mountain path and his eyes had followed hers. Up the
trail, over the mountain pass, but turning aside from the ancient machina
city on the coast and into the heart of Ronso territory. Within weeks summer
storms would surround the peaks and make it impossible to cross again until
the next year.

Kimahri had nodded. "Rikku go. Climb mountains. Yuna wait." Then his lips
had split into a wide ferocious grin and he'd picked her up and hugged her
till she thought she'd burst from lack of air. The other Ronso gathered
round had murmured at his uncharacteristic display of affection, but Kimahri
had always defied the conventions of his race. All of them had that in

Her thoughts turned back to her task. The crack that her feet rested in
petered out, she had a bare toe hold now, and her hand reached, reached as
far as she could stretch. She could see a handhold, and further along yet
another fissure at knee height. All she had to do was get there.

The others below were probably watching through binoculars at her
painstaking progress. Naielle certainly. She knew he was a little afraid of
her, and a lot in awe. All of them were, but Naielle especially because he
was a little in love with her too.

She'd changed, of course. Her body had bloomed, with no traces of the
awkward teenager she'd carried around with her on that long journey with
him, and the others. It made her sad, when she looked in the mirror as she
dressed, knowing he wouldn't see her the way she was now and be filled with
love for her. But sometimes at the edge of her vision she'd catch a glimpse
of...nothingness. It was a space where his presence resided in her mind.

It was never quite clear to her, and she never spoke of it to anyone, but
she braided her hair and wore pretty clothes and they were all for him, and
sometimes when she went to bed at night she touched herself and felt his
breath on her body as she sighed his name.

She felt sorry for Naielle. Rin too, who whenever he saw her would take her
hand and bow low, and compliment her till she blushed and turned away. He
understood, as Naielle and the others never would, and his own eyes would
look sad for a while too as he remembered Auron.
She grit her teeth. There was no other way for her to do this. Her fingers
shifted and she relaxed her knees, then she threw herself sideways, her hand
slapping against the rock and holding. Her body swung forward, her knee
searching for that gap as she clung desperately with one hand.

Then she felt him, all around her, whispers of alarm and admonition at her
foolhardiness. Her other hand found purchase and she brought one leg up to
catch her toe in the gap and she was safe again. 'I'm a daredevil, not
suicidal.' she told the air, then laughed, remembering. He was still there,
his concern receding but his presence still with her.

She didn't want to die, although all her companions would probably argue
otherwise. They didn't understand, that was all. They all thought her the
most fearless of the sphere hunters in the new Spira, but in truth it was
this she craved. The wind moved over her shoulders and his hands brushed
against her, whispering encouragement. It was moments like this that she was
closest to him.

Her course was clear. She reached again and again, coming closer to the top.
Her arms were shaking with fatigue when she finally reached up and found
snow instead of more bare rock. Her legs could barely support her as she
finally drew herself up and collapsed face down with her legs still dangling
over the abyss.

At first the snow felt cool against her overheated limbs. She turned her
head and felt his chest beneath her, the wind toyed with her hair and his
lips kissed her temple where his hand had just brushed the hair away. She
didn't care if it was real. It was enough to just believe it for a moment.

Finally she raised her head and looked around. She took the larger sphere
from her pack, the one she'd carried through Spira as she told his story.
She hit play, and images formed, the spheres from Braska's journey that
she'd patiently copied, then her own voice. She stopped it, and pressed
several buttons. Then she stood and began to record, turning in a circle as
the sphere took in the vista, mountains that glowed with the reflected hues
of the utterly blue infinity of sky above, and sparkled golden white where
sunlight hit and slanted off the slopes. Far away that golden sparkle was
repeated as it reflected off the ocean, stretching out to the horizon and
beyond, with no ripples to mar its surface.

She began to speak. "This is it. Isn't it beautiful? A world free of Sin.
It's yours. You were wrong you know. If it wasn't for you, everything you

The image on the sphere shudders a little then steadies as she places it on
the snow, then she sits down beside it. She reaches into the little pouch
that rests on her belt, taking out a fine lock of raven hair. She strokes it
gently, letting it run like liquid over her hands then she brings it to her
face and kisses it.

"You did it. You never gave up, so it's your world too. I know you can't be
here to see it. I wish with all my heart you could have this happy ending
too...so I have to. I'm doing it for you, Auron, you know."

She places the keepsake back in her pack, then turns resolutely. Before she
begins her descent she speaks once more. "I'll come back, I promise. Right
now, Yunie needs me, so I gotta go." There's a pause. "I love you. Vunajan."

Time passes as the sphere records the passing of the clouds, the shifting of
shadow and light across the mountains. The red clad man stands gazing out at
the new world. He turns and his dark hair shifts across his shoulders. His
face is unlined, his eyes are clear. He knows that it is her faith in him
that keeps him alive. His last promise is kept, not by himself, for he no
longer shoulders any of the burdens that kept him bound for so long. She
keeps his promise and he is at peace, at last.

End of A Secret Journey

A/N: Well, it's done! It took exactly six months and one day to write this
journey, and I feel as though I've taken a real journey as a writer. If
reading this has been even a tenth as rewarding for you as it has for me
writing it I'd be *extremely* happy.

I'd like to thank the following people because without their feedback and
encouragement this story might still be unfinished: Lassarina Aoibhell, Kim
(grasshopper), Ruki (the sake fairy), Funkadelict, rock-star-vt, Rinny
Leonhart, M Stygianstar, Rinoa Heartilly, Kirsty (evrae), Fairy Armadillo,
Gigi, Chris K, Ater Serpens, JadeBlueAfterglow, Mirrsy, Pierson, faded jae,
aurora lockwood, Deathalletta, Strawberry, Blurry, ZNP (Casey), Anya, Mako,
Mo, sweet-garbonzo, Lady Genjustsu, Liz_Fizzz, Lia Galanodel, Magisisters,
silver-girl, Suteki Rikku, Cloud Ex-SOLDIER, Trish, pk-angel, Nay, Lisa,
Prince Tiger, Be Nice To Wakka, Rosa Heartlily, Shine, Princess Tigalily,
thecrunkest, Exit_Xero, spudryan, Blue,and many of those others who left
short notes or whose reviews were lost from fanfiction.net. I'd also like to
thank Final Fantasy World Apart fanfiction forum, RPGfanfics,
fanfiction.net, FF loveshack and Adultfanfiction.net for hosting this story
while it was a work in progress. And extra special thanks to everyone at DSL
for making me feel welcome.

All of you made this possible, and I really hope you enjoy the ending. I did
my best to make it uplifting while providing sufficient resolution. I hope
it's not too sad, for all of you who like me were dreading the end. You'll
notice that there is a slight possibility of a sequel, but I'll need some
time to think about it. Feel free to let me know if you think that sounds
like a good idea or not. ;) I'd love to hear from you.


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