Chapter XIII - Mea Culpa



".Dies, nox et omnia
michi sunt contraria;
virginum colloquia
me fay planszer,
oy suvenz suspirer,
plu me fay temer.

O sodales, ludite,
vos qui scitis dicite
michi mesto parcite,
grand ey dolur,
attamen consulite
per voster honur."

_________________

You're a lie.

It was utterly dark. A dark that smothers the light and engulfs all matter. The blank void extended for ages, eons even, spreading its gloom like an incapacitating plague.

He stood alone in the midst of the shadows, his katana strapped faithfully to his weary back. He couldn't see anything but the repressive obscurity closing in around him.

Disembodied voices floated about ominously spitting their accusations coarsely into the darkness, ripping through its oppressive visage like daggers. They struck him with the same staggering intensity lancing into his flesh and extracting the scarlet tears of pain from the deep abrasions.

You're nothing but a fabrication.a wretched stain upon the garish fabric of Spira.

No! No, he had done so much for this dejected world; he had sacrificed every fiber of his being just for it's livelihood. The horrid untruths of the voices did his years of service injustice. He had fulfilled his promises to the condemned Jecht; he had brought his son to Spira.

You failed them.and they died. You were a coward, to afraid to fight for what you believed in. You're a failu..

Auron's strangled cry silenced the voice, as he unsheathed his blade from his back with sheer rage acting as his adrenaline. He ran at the source of the voices, slashing madly at the blackness, his sword lancing through utter nothingness. Despite, the futility of his actions he continued to battle the oblivion with unreserved rage. Beads of sweet began to form on his brow, and languidly ran rivers down the frame of his masculine features. Stray rivulets poured furiously into his russet eye, blurring his vision until he was slashing blindly.

In a burst of anger, he projected his weapon at the source, the clanging of metal reverberating eerily in the obsolete atmosphere. He fell heavily to his knees, a trembling hand feverishly wiping the sweat from his stinging eye. The previous words of the voices bit into him like vipers, their poison spreading throughout his whole body until it was shaking uncontrollably with unnamable emotion. He was a failure.he had failed his friends; the only people strong enough to believe in the pitiable creature he used to be and.still was.

...and now you are going to fail another summoner. You staunchly push her toward her imminent death.you are making the same mistake all over again...you are terrified...you.wretched.mistake.

He shook his head silently in disbelief, the sweat and transpiring tears falling like rain droplets into the gloom. He couldn't be...he had tried so hard, suffered so much. Yet in the end, the vicious truth of the allegations were much more painful than his death. His story was not the heroic tale he had penned in his youth. Instead, it was the account of a cowardly guardian's anticlimax.raw, putrid failure.

He raised two trembling hands to his face, attempting to mask away the recreant that lay within; beyond the marred flesh and tough veneer, beyond the physical muscle and judicious phraseology.he was a coward. A spineless coistril, too afraid to offset his preposterous beliefs and save the lives of the only people that had ever cared for him. And he was doing it all over again.letting them live their own lives in such a way that would only lead to prominent doom.

And still, he could not bring himself to do anything... it wasn't his place... it wasn't his story.

It's the story of Spira.the ever-twisting whirlpool of death and decay. It's everyone's story.it's the story of those who have died inanely, it is the story of those who live, and those who have yet to be born. It is your story.your pen and paper, your thoughts and creations.your failures and successions.It's the saga of a world fighting to truly live; to be free of the chains that bind, of the wars that rage, of the hate that never ceases.It's the only story.

His eye shot open; meeting the same obscurity he had just been subjected to. There was something placed upon his legs, weighing them down and preventing all movement. His russet eye darted about the darkness in panic, praying to whomever would listen that his nightmare had not been a reality.

A blurred object arose before him, duel swirling pools of jade gazing at him with utter disquiet. He released a sigh when his chaotic mentality finally registered that they were merely eyes, the eyes of Rikku.

"Oh! Thank goodness, you're awake!" The girl exclaimed, her arms folding around his neck, as she pulled herself towards him. Auron gazed blankly down at the puff of flaxen hair that bobbed happily with its owner. It had only been a nightmare.an unbearably accurate nightmare. His overwrought muscles, assured that their master was on the brink of serenity, began to relax, allowing the man to ease back into the convivial solace of the couch.

"You had me worried, ya know! You were thrashing about and mumbling incoherently.are you okay?" Rikku asked inquisitively, pulling out of the unreturned embrace. Are you okay? He re-asked himself, although he was already sure of the answer. No.he had never been okay in the first place. A brutal nightmare would not fill his barren wasteland full of daisies either. He would never be okay.not until he was free of this hellish existence, resting peacefully on the Farplane.

"...I'm fine," He replied, his voice a sonorous rumble. How could he explain to the girl that he was.well, he knew he wasn't at all what she thought was; a high and mighty guardian with the resilience of titanium and a heart that beat with feverish passion. The only passion his heart beat with was the torrential hatred of Sin.and himself. He was no hero, not even in the least. Then, why did the whole world think he was? The knitted web of lies and old wives tales would last far beyond his time, inscribed in the scriptures of Yevon. The heroic journey of the High Summoner Braska, and his two faithful and courageous guardians. Bullshit. If they had heard his vain whimpers of misgiving, would they revere him as they did now?

"Auron?" chimed in a tinkling voice ripping him from his dismal reverie. His lone ocular refocused upon the shadowed Al Bhed, her features muted in the darkness. Hell, he was slowly slipping farther and farther. The apprehensive gaze of the girl muting his thoughts completely. No one had looked at him with such a pure emotion, other than fear of course, in such a long time. The effects of it were almost debilitating.

"I..." he stumbled over his words, not really sure what he was trying to articulate. Yet, whatever it was in was probably illogical. One of Rikku's diminutive hands rose and placed itself benevolently upon his cheek, the simple touch triggering a shiver to run up his spin. She was so close, barely a breath away.and he was falling, loosing all sense of time and place; utterly tantalized by those resplendent spirals of emerald.

"I have to go," He stated plainly, snapping suddenly out of his enchantment. Gently, he placed two faintly trembling hands upon the girl's hips, moving her to the vacancy beside him. He stood up promptly, not even chancing a second glance for fear of loosing control, the only enduring aspect lingering in his hollow reality.

He was a deplorable falsehood and he would not taint Rikku's golden existence with his depravity. She meant.too much to him for him to tactlessly pull her into his acrimonious world of deceit and bereavement. Thus, he left the room leaving Rikku to her doubts and thoughts in the darkness.