melusine (melusine) wrote in ffx500,

The Sanctuary Keeper (Wrong Place at the Wrong Time Challenge)

The Sanctuary Keeper
by melusine

At first, there was the duty. She understood the duty, though she understood little else. The exact reason had been lost. She knew that she was to guard something and that too stray too far would cause her heart to twinge in way that had happened too often to even be called familiar. Habitual would be a better word and she would have agreed if it had been centuries earlier and the speaker had been that nice old man who received the final summoning.

She had wanted to tell him that she, too, held a final summoning. But she saw in his face -- that same look she saw on her own face in the pool, which would in time turn to the expression that Yunalesca had whenever she looked to her own fayth -- and knew that there was nothing she could say that would matter more. At the time, she wondered if she could possibly send anyone to kill her own husband. And then she was forced to remember that the fiend left nothing of him that could become unsent.

They had been, as the villagers of Kilika would say, in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was her guardian and she felt less a summoner with each passing day. She began experiencing the beginning of birth pangs -- they had been too careless on their journey -- midway through the mountain and he had stuck close to her when she could barely walk. It was then that they met what had once, they imagined, been numbered among The Faithful.

The worst was knowing that things could have easily been different. If her pains had begun days or even hours earlier they would have been safe in one of those small cities that dotted the plains. They could have turned back, child in tow, and waited for another summoner to defeat Sin. But it wasn't and she barely managed to escape while her husband was mauled by the fiend.

There was nothing left. Even though the fiends were dead, they still remembered the feeling of food and The Faithful that had died had died cold and hungry. There was nothing left for her to send and it wasn't until nightfall that she could leave. When she reached the Fayth Wall, she knelt down and cried until her child forced herself into the world.

Her tears turned to laughter -- and she had been relieved of that, since she thought that she would never stop crying -- when Lady Yunalesca informed her that she could receive no final aeon with her guardian husband dead. They had met in the Chamber of the Fayth and she had to stop herself from begging Yunalesca to understand. It was then that she made another choice: she offered her child. Her daughter had no hope without both a father and a mother.

In the end, she couldn't do it. She had the fayth and the lady's blessing -- and she admired the woman's strength at blessing anyone who wished for her husband and father to die -- but she couldn't venture far outside of Zanarkand. In the end she chose poison. And, later, she chose her place as the Sanctuary Keeper. But it was enough before it was never enough to tell the summoner that came after that she understood what it was to lose everything.
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