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The Spinning Wheel of Fate

by Manoftyr

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Chapter 1 (2006)
Chapter 2 (2006)
Chapter 3 (2006)
Chapter 4 (2006)
Chapter 5 (2006)
Chapter 6 (2006)
Chapter 7 (2006)
Chapter 8 (2006)

Chapter 7

Chapter 6: Here, there and then somewhere else


Gau seemed as smitten with me as I was with him... 'Looks like my gamble paid off, I've snagged him,' I thought to myself as we entered the front door into the kitchen/dining room. As soon as Gau closed the door behind him I turned around, got up on my tippy toes and planted a kiss right on his lips, just to make sure I had his attention then I started

"Gau, I want you to know this isn't some random inclination I've developed overnight or anything... I've felt something about you for... well, quite awhile," I began then walked over to sit down at one of the dining room chairs.

Gau continued to stand however, his eyes following me. I continued.

"I guess it started when I first met you eight years ago right before the collapse. You remember don't you? On the airship?"

"Yeah, back at Thamasa right before we hit the floating island," he replied and I nodded.

I continued. "Well, I thought you were attractive... like, really attractive, everything about you... you were so strong and ferocious and had this raw animal magnetism and at the same time you were so silly and sweet and childlike, and you had such a pretty face... you still do!"

Gau shrugged and looked kinda embarrassed at my complements, this made him seem even cuter from my perspective. I continued.

"Well when I fought side by side with you my attraction only got more intense, but we were both kids back then and I didnít know what to say! I didnít tell anyone, not even Strago," I paused to see if he was still listening. He was, intently I might add which was comforting.

"Well, fast-forward a year after the collapse and everyone was getting back together to kill Kefka... I still felt something for you and it started going beyond just a physical attraction, I felt deeply for you and I was worried and scared for you with every passing day. I was truly relieved when I discovered you were okay... I felt like I was starting to fall in love with you but with the urgency of the world ending and all I didnít want to say anything."

Gau nodded.

"Please continue" he replied. That made me smile... it was nice to know *someone* cared.

"Well after we killed Kefka that was when Clyde revealed everything under threats from Strago to reveal it himself... and if you remember right, I had a pretty explosive reaction to it."

"I can't say I blame you," Gau quipped in.

"Well, thatís when we all went our seperate ways... and I was deeply upset at the prospect of not seeing you again, and thatís when I knew what I was feeling wasn't about to go away but then Strago got cancer and I had to take care of him."

I took a deep breath, and as if sensing my emotions Gau strided over to me, knelt down and held my hand.

"It's alright Relm" he re assured. I looked into his eyes filled with concern and love, smiled, and continued.

"Well, when Strago died, I made up my mind that I'd well... do what I did when you got here," I finished and looked up at Gau's bright blue kind eyes which seemed to radiate a natural calm that re assured me of my course of action.

Gau began.

"Well, I'd be lying if I said this is entirely new to me. While it's true I had no idea you had any feelings for me... I sorta felt something for you, but back then I was still just learning how to relate to people and I wasn't even sure what it was I was feeling. When I was with Terra I had my mind occupied with so many other things that I guess I just sorta forgot about it until you well... made your move so to speak. Then I felt something similar to what I felt back then only hundreds of times more powerful," he paused. "Ao I guess what I'm trying to say is that in a round-a-bout way... I was feeling the same thing, or at least something similar," he finished.

Hearing him say that made me feel relieved, then it was mutual from the beginning, I threw my arms around him and hugged his massive frame, his size made me feel safe, safe from everything "Guess I'm here to stay," Gau wondered aloud as I squeezed him as hard as I could causing Gau to laugh .

"That tickles!" he exclaimed and picked me up like one would a baby.

Suddenly Gau made a strange expression and sniffed at the air. He put me down then walked over to the window.

"Hey Relm... I think I see your dad coming out of the bar and I was hearing shouting earlier... he looks pretty drunk too, and he doesn't look like he knows where he's going," Gau announced.

"Plffft, so?" I replied and Gau turned towards me with a look of shock.

"He looks like he needs a place to sleep it off... "

"Well he's not staying here!" I interrupted his train of thought.

"Clyde never cared about me my entire life! why should I give a damn whether he sleeps in a bed or a gutter?" I reasoned bitterly, and Gau shook his head.

"I understand your anger, Relm but I'm not going to let him pass out in an alley, and I smell a rainstorm coming."

I sighed.

"I'll give you the gil to pay for a room at the inn but he's *not* staying here... I don't want to have anything more to do with him then absolutely necessary," I was adamant about that.

"Alright that's fair" Gau reasoned and proceeded out the door towards Clyde.

I looked up. I was right, it did start to rain.

'Great' I thought to myself. I made haste towards Shadow and cried out "Whoa, whoa! Where you going Shadow?"

"Leaving, nobody wants me here," Shadow replied as he walked past without making eye contact, he reeked of vodka.

I tried reasoning.

"Shadow, you don't know what you're saying... you're drunk and need to sleep it off,"

Shadow turned to face me.

"Don't tell me what to do you freak" he spat out. "Why don't you go back to that house over there and fuck my daughter some more, hell, do it RIGHT HERE in front of me and see if I give a fuck! She's your fucking problem now! First she was Strago's problem and now she's yours... never my problem, and that's how I aim to keep it!" Shadow ranted.

"Who are you trying to convince of that Shadow? Me, or yourself?" I replied, and for a moment there seemed to be an emotional crack in this facade of his but it quickly vanished .

"Eh, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about you damned... nyughhh... .*snore*"

Taking advantage of his drunken and distracted state I grabbed a hold of a nerve on the back of his neck, a technique I learned from observing monster behavior as a teenager. I slung Shadow up over my back and walked him over to the inn. I slapped the gil for the night down on the table, laid Shadow out on a bed and instructed the innkeeper to let him sleep his drinking off through the night.

I made my way back to Strago's, or rather Relm's house, opened the door and closed it behind me. Before I knew what was happening Relm was on me again. Not implying it was bothersome but I was certainly taken aback by how much of a sexual aggressor she was. Ahe backed me up against the door and wrapping her left leg behind my midsection actually climbed up onto me holding my head in her bosom with her legs wrapped around under my armpits and clinging to my back. I manoeuvred myself carefully as not to fall and sat down on a chair, and things proceeded largely as one would imagine...

... ... ... ... .

"Excellent parry Sir Sabin!" Cyan exclaimed as I knocked another of his sword strikes aside.

I took a swing with my off-hand but Cyan skillfully evaded while keeping my other hand tied up with his sword then stepped back to distance himself while swinging his blade about to deter an advance. Knowing that if I didn't close the distance he would be able to strike with impunity I rushed forward, catching each swing at an off angle to deflect the blows. Midst my deflections Cyan noticed I had turned slightly to parry his last strike leaving my right shoulder exposed, Cyan whirled his blade around and brought it down but I narrowly evaded. I noticed Cyan had overshot the slash slightly leaving his front exposed and quickly stepped forward knocking the blade aside with one hand then tagging him above the left brow with the other, not hard, but with enough force to let him know he was tagged .

"Alright, that was a tag!" I proclaimed.

"Methinks this bringeths the scores to 6 and 6 Sir Sabin, t'is a tie," Cyan replied.

"Good, well lets leave it at that cause' I'm exhausted, we've been at this for hours! phew" I plonked myself down on a log,

"Indeed, twas a most exhausting match," Cyan agreed as he sat upon the log adjacent to mine. These sparring sessions had sort of become a tradition between the two of us over the past seven years, since there really aren't any monsters for two warriors like us to go out and fight any more, we find this is a good way to keep our skills sharp.

"Your control still amazes me Cyan, never, not once have you ever drawn blood when you tag me," I complemented.

"And nary have you ever left the slightest of't bruises, Sir Sabin," Cyan complemented right back. Ever since becoming a retainer to Figaro, Cyan has been like a dad to me and I like a son to him.

"YEAH! THAT WAS SOOOOOO COOL!" I heard a voice coming from the scrubs behind, I turned around and there was Rachel jumping up and down excitedly with Terra seated beside her.

Before I could ask where the hell they came from Rachel ran up to me.

"Uncle Sabin!" she squealed with joy.

"Hey little monster!" I replied and picked her up under the armpits and swung her around onto my lap.

She continued excitedly. "We were watchin' the whooooole time! You were like *this* and Cyan was like *this* and you were soooo cool, and, and, and... "

I laughed .

"I want to be a great warrior like you and Cyan when I grow up!" Rachel declared with enthusiasm then jumped down off my knee and proceeded to dart around the camp site while wielding a stick fallen from a nearby tree.

Terra watched Rachel frolic with a smile while patiently remaining seated in the grass... it was as if I was totally invisible to her but it is not as if that's any different from how she's always seen me, and It's not like I've given any clue or incentive for her to behave otherwise. Unlike my brother I'm very unsure of myself when it comes to women, indeed, it's lead some to go so far as to assume I'm a homosexual... nothing could be further from the truth, but I suppose I fit the bill in some superficial ways.

It's funny, I still remember the first words she said to me. 'On first glance I thought you were some bodybuilder who strayed from his gym,' and she said 'bodybuilder' with this tone of near-disdain. Ever since then I've been WAY too chicken to so much as suggest that I find her attractive. Besides, it's not like she's into he-men types as she more or less said so. I've had dozens of suitors and groupies who've been after me for my body my whole life but I've turned them all away, and I suppose that's a large part of why people like to speculate as to my heterosexuality but I have no interest in stupid sluts like my brother seems to. When I was younger I saw the way Edgar womanized and fucked everyone in the castle, and I made a promise to myself that I'd never be like that... and I've held true to that promise my whole life. It's no one's business but my own, but, I'm still a virgin, and the only people who know are Celes, Cyan and Edgar.

I guess me and Edgar just went in two completely different directions to fill the void when mom died. I always looked inward for the strength to go on and Edgar always turned outwards to the pleasures of the flesh. Even while pondering things over in my head I keep the same smile and pleasant disposition, after all, I don't want to bring anyone else down or lay my burdens on another. Rachel was still running around giggling and shouting war cries as she battled imaginary foes scattered throughout the campsite, suddenly I sensed a presence standing behind me.

"You didnít have to hit Clyde in the face like that" I heard Terra's voice scolding from behind.

I looked around, and there she was, hand on hip.

"He grabbed Celes by the neck, Terra," I reasoned.

"It was a reflex, she punched him in the head, he would have let her go," Terra argued and I shrugged.

"Eh, I dunno... I guess I'll apologize to him tomorrow," I conceded.

"I think you should," Terra re-enforced.

Terra had always defended Shadow and his behavior staunchly ever since the final battle and his secrets were revealed. I've always tried to see the good in him myself and I truly doubt he would of actually hurt Celes... so I guess I did act too rashly, but, sometimes it seems to me like Locke can't protect her the way I feel a husband should, and it's as if I have to make up the difference. Back on the floating island we would of left Shadow for dead if Terra didn't insist we wait for him, even to the point where she refused to board with us should we have left without him. Out of all of us she really believes the most adamantly that he is in reality a good person, and just deeply troubled. Now, I try to see the good in everyone and everything and I don't doubt that Shadow has his redeeming qualities and on some level cares about us and the world... after all... if he didn't he wouldn't of done what he did on the floating continent. But, and there is a *but* I doubt Shadow has the capacity to express his care in any shape other then his actions when things really come down to the wire. His scars are to deep and his psychosis to severe.

Suddenly it began to rain, strange, the storm clouds seemed to come out of nowhere.

"Awwwe! PHOOEY! I hate the rain!" Rachel complained as Cyan rose from his seat.

"Come m'lady, t'would be a shame if thine exquisite dress was't ruined," Cyan reasoned with a warm smile and took her hand to lead her back to Thamasa. Terra followed shortly after Cyan and I after her, staring at her beautiful form in secret and cursing my cowardice as I trailed behind.

...

I was betrayed, laid out and left to die by the forces I had sold out to... and for the first time I truly hated myself. As I was lying there on the corner of the floating continent I saw three figures drop from an overhead ship and I instantly recognized them as the same people I had betrayed, I expected them to kill me outright. They landed and there where three, the Figaro twins and the lovesick half-esper lass from the boat but instead of the cold bite of a blade I felt the healing touch of magic and was greeted by a warm smile. They invited me to once again fight alongside them, and seeing as the alternative consisted of lying in a ditch and dying I took them up on their offer. I traveled with them battling all manners of abhorrent monsters ranging from mighty dragons to huge floating heads with psionic powers, and in truth I didn't know where I was going or who my enemy was anymore or even why I was trying... for the first time in my life I had realized myself for who I was... a disgusting slimeball sack of shit.

I was not worthy of fighting alongside such fine men and women, and especially alongside a young girl so innocent, sweet and beautiful... perhaps I felt I had to protect her, perhaps she reminded me of the daughter I abandoned long ago. I shielded her from harm in our many battles as she slung spells and blade with equal devastating skill, I blinded eyes with thrown shurikens and slit throats with my knives... for that moment in time my life was forfeit, I was worthless, just an empty husk, a shell to be thrown about where needed. The pain was nothing to me, my whole existence was pain and any physical pain inflicted upon me by those beasties paled in comparison to the consuming internal suffering that comprised every waking moment of my existence... they didn't know who they were fucking dealing with, no one did, no one understands, no one would ever understand. As we fought onwards, on and on we finally encountered a beast so terrible I fully expected to die fighting it, it called itself Atma nothing more nothing less.

The Figaro brothers and the girl Terra fought with the ferocity that only one who truly believes in their cause can, and I, I fought with a suicidal tenacity, without fear, without emotion, without any thought to myself or my wellbeing... I simply did not care whether I lived or died. Perhaps it was this insanity which lead me to land the blow which felled the great beast for that is the only thing I've ever been good at my whole life... killing... and sensing my work was done and overcome with sudden shame and guilt I fled their company, choosing instead to observe from a distance, and thank the gods that I did.

I witnessed a terrible act that as fate would have it only 'I' was properly suited to prevent from reaching it's utmost terrible conclusion. The demented clown Kefka trapped the Figaro brothers and the girl Terra in some sort of magical field then turned and slew his master, and through some trick of fate managed to command the Goddess statues to do his bidding. The General Celes appeared I assumed to do his bidding as well but she instead turned and attacked him, he prepared to slay them and I realized that if he was to act then he would destroy the world, he would destroy the innocent Terra, he would destroy Strago... and he would destroy my daughter... I could not allow this. I hurled myself at Kefka, knocking him down before he could act and somehow that act freed them from the force field. Then I leapt to my feet and as quick as I could I maneuvered the statues in such a way as to trap Kefka as the General, the brothers and the girl all fled for their airship as demonic clown like beings assumedly of Kefka's creation chased and engaged them.

I tried to my utmost to pin Kefka down but it was a failed endeavor from the beginning. Kefka threw energy forward knocking the statue from him and crashing into me with such a force that it propelled me backwards and down crashing into the hard, unforgiving and alien surface of the floating continent then bouncing backwards into and contorting in mid-air, I felt bones break and my left leg up to my pelvis became dead weight. I crashed back down into the ground and rolled off to the right tumbling down unforgiving terrain, being tossed like a rag doll by the momentum being built up before I found myself at the eastern edge of the continent, dangling on the edge. By chance the girl Terra was there and having insisted that the others waited for me so were the others, they hoisted me up and she grabbed me, leaping with me to the airship and again healing my wounds. It was all black, I couldn't see anything, I could just feel her holding onto me and trembling, and if I'd of had the strength I'd of been trembling too... and screaming when the bolt hit cracking the ship in two.

We were separated, thrown in opposite directions by the blast and sent plummeting downwards into the black, dank, dark abyss below, it was terrifying, it was the most fear I had ever felt, the worst, I couldn't take it, I... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I awoke screaming, to find myself in the Thamasa inn.

'Ow, my head,' was my first thought upon gathering my senses, I looked out my room window and it was the dead of night and pouring rain. I instinctively scoured the room for Interceptor before realizing that he had been dead for years. I sighed a sigh of mixed relief, grief and loneliness and tried to get back to sleep...

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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