Look around just people,
can you hear their voice
Find the one who'll guide you
to the limits of your choice.

Chapter I - O Fortuna

The rain fell languidly, seemingly in no rush to meet the unforgiving ground below. Crystalline droplets collided with the man's broad shoulders, bouncing off toward the craggy earth beneath. Her brilliant emerald eyes glared at the man, a wrathful flame burning clearly within. Every few moments lightning would streak across the sky, extending its deadly fingers toward the rocky terrain. She would recoil into nothingness, searching for shelter where there was none.

"The thunder isn't going to stop, so we'd best press on," He replied coolly to her plea, glancing at her askance with his one cold russet-colored eye. She recoiled once more, not from the dreaded strike of lightning, yet from the unfeeling expression resting in his eye. She couldn't accustom herself to his aloof nature, like the others had. They all held him in such high regards, the legendary guardian. Rikku simply viewed him as bitter and furtive.

"I know, but...! That's no reason not to!" She returned, her voice escalating. Did he have no fears? No compassion?

Yet, he didn't turn towards her, he merely resumed his previous scan of the valley before them. Her eyes once more only hit against his strong back, the smoldering glare turning to ineffectuality.

"Pleeeease! Stay heeere!" She cried, turning to the others, her fear overshadowing the anger in her large jade eyes. Her eyes darted to and fro from the others, one of them would understand, they had too. They had fears and uncertainties, and were indisputably more emotive than the callous stone statue surveying the land before her.

"The thunder will stop! Let's just stay for a little bit, okay? Please!" She beseeched further, throwing it all at her companions. Perhaps, if she could convince at least one of them, they could influence the rest. Auron wouldn't argue against the whole group, especially if Yuna was for it.

Everyone merely gazed impassively back at her, as if brainwashed by the unfeeling brute. She couldn't believe what was happening. No one even spared her a sympathizing glance. She dropped to her knees at another strike of lightning, quivering strongly from the voluble blare and blinding light.

"And I'm even begging you like this..." She stated looking up hopefully, attempting to use pity to win them. She must be a quite deplorable sight, crouched on the ground, sodden flaxen hair plastered to her head. Yuna glanced down at her giving her, her usual sensitive glance, yet not moving toward her. Was even her own cousin against her on this? Was she alone?

"Cruel...so cruel.....and heartless....." She uttered, loudly enough to be heard over the rumbling thunder, as she collapsed against an insensitive rock. An uncomfortable hush fell upon the group, interrupted only by the clash of thunder and terrorizing strike of lightning.

"We've no choice, let's stop. At least it'll quiet her down," Auron stated in his usual detached tone, turning from the current path to the new one towards the Al Bhed shop. Rikku's green eyes lit up, as she bounded after him. Thanking everything for his transitory mercy and a few precious moments of peace.