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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 8

Chapter 7: Grey Part I

I opened my shades expecting to be greeted by the morning sun but was instead treated to the melancholy visage of grey as far as the eye could see. The sky was covered with clouds and the ground was thick with a dreary fog. The ground looked damp, probably from last night's rainstorm. It didn't matter, as no day no matter how dreary could make me sad right now. I looked back over my shoulder, Gau was still out like a light... apparently you *can* force things to progress faster then normal. Hooray for hormones!

...

It was grey out, the greyest day in months... which I suppose was fitting seeing as this late afternoon was Strago's funeral. I slipped out of my PJs to take a shower, got dressed, left my room and proceeded down the stairway to the main lobby of the inn. Downstairs, Locke was sitting in one of the large lobby chairs with Celes sitting on his lap. It struck me as comical the lack of size differentiation present in those two, but of course, we are a rather small group of guys with only Edgar and Sabin breaking 6ft... well except for Gau, who's probably even taller then Umaro now. I suppose I have no right to poke fun at Locke since I'm even smaller then him, but I have an excuse since I'm an albino haemophiliac and we're not known to be large people.

It's funny, you'd think that being frail would lend itself to me being a cautious person and yet it's done the complete opposite. I mean, my whole life, as a kid people always told me that it was a 'miracle I was alive' and that stuck with me, but in a different way then intended... I mean if life, and mine particularly, could end so unexpectedly... then to hell with it! live it up here and now, and I haven't died yet. This scar on my face tells a helluva story, I almost died because the blood wouldn't clot... but I didnít, and that in of itself is exactly what I'm talking about, you don't know if you don't try.

Celes has grown, she hit a spurt midway through nineteen so she's actually a tad taller then Locke now, and I'd wager about the same weight if not actually heavier since she put on some weight around he hips and belly since the pregnancy that she still hasn't quite lost... damn she is still so friggin hot though. Locke has no idea how lucky he is, if I'd have had the opportunity I would of done everything to her, violated every imaginable orifice from every imaginable position.

"Hey you two! Valkyrie and midget," I yelled out to them as I walked over. "Keys?" I asked to which I was met with a disappointed sigh.

"It's not like you'd be doing any flying today anyway, and I'd like to have em," I insisted with my arms crossed.

"Yeah, yeah hold on... they're in my pocket somewhere" Locke replied as he fished around for them,

"I don't know where you get off calling Locke a midget, he's bigger then you are," Celes said defensively.

"Hext to you he is, or rather 'under' you," I replied with a sly grin and Celes blushed with embarrassment.

"Here ya go!" Locke exclaimed and tossed the keys in my direction which I snatched from the air. I couldn't get the disturbing yet equally hilarious vision of Celes laying on top of Locke out of my head, I had to ask. It was too damned funny a question,

"So... who's on top?" Locke and Celes gave me a shocked expression.

"What do you mean?" Locke asked.

"Come on, we're all adults here so tell me... who's on top?" I asked, and Celes blushed with more embarrassment and Locke gave me a funny look, not a dirty look but a look that said 'I wonder where you're going with this'.

"Alright, since miss prissypants is too embarrassed to tell us how 'bout you Locke, who's on top?"

Locke laughed and said "Celes, almost always"

"LOCKE!" Celes exclaimed.

"What? What's the harm at this point? we've been married for six years" Locke reasoned and Celes "harrumphed."

I laughed .

"Do you ever worry about her accidentally crushing you?" I asked while stifling more laughter as Celes grew redder with rising anger and more embarrassment.

Locke continued to laugh "Haha, the thought has actually crossed my mind before... but it'd be a nice enough way to go," Locke replied still laughing, triggering more laughter from me and more reddening from Celes. I was laughing so hard my sides ached.

"Haha, I'm sorry babe, I didn't mean to make fun" Locke reasoned and Celes turned her head away.

"Aw, come on... anyway, my legs starting to get pretty numb so could you get up?"

Suddenly a cruel smile came over Celes' face.

"No, if I'm so darned big I'm going to sit here and squish you," Celes teased playfully with a mean smile.

"Okay Celes, it's not funny anymore. Get off me" Locke grabbed the sides of Celes back and tried to sit up and lift her off but she scooted back, reached behind and pinned his hands to the arm rest by his wrists... this was starting to get hilarious.

"Celes, that's enough get off me... I think I feel my thighs and pelvis bending."

"Too bad!" Celes teased as she bounced up and down on Locke's lap, swivelling her hips to grind her tailbone into him, at this point I was practically on the floor rolling in laughter.

"Ow, ow, ow, ow, Celes please get off me, you're hurting me," Locke was crying as Celes proceeded to ground his lower-half into dust.

"Ohhh, you big baby!" Celes exclaimed teasingly as she got up off Locke who immediately began rubbing his aching thighs.

"Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, oh my god, hahahaha... that was so goddamned funny, hahahahaha" I was laughing so hard I was crying.

"Don't think I've forgotten about you Setzer," Celes said with that mean smile still on her face 'uh oh' I thought and started running but she was hot on my heels and tackled me to the ground before I could make it to the door.

She overpowered me, and pinned me to the ground sitting on my chest with her knees on my arms "Oops I'm sorry, am I crushing you?" Celes teased and bounced up and down on my chest forcing the air rushing out of my lungs.

"Celes... get... get off... I can't... breathe" I stammered out between coughs.

She plonked down hard on my chest causing one big cough.

"Take it back" she said with her arms crossed.

"Okay, I take it back... I take it all back, you're not that big" I stammered out *still with a smile on my face*.

Celes laughed and got off me and now Locke was the one laughing himself onto the floor. I got up, dusted myself off and straightened out my jacket.

Celes turned to Locke and lovingly grabbed the bottom of his chin.

"Remember, I can take you down any time I want" Celes lovingly cooed.

"Not like I'd ever complain," he replied slyly and was promptly drawn into a kiss for his trouble.

Feeling myself gradually being overcome by the proverbial 'three eyed green monster known as envy,' I decided it would be best for me to retreat to the airship.

...

I watched the spectacle from over at the continental breakfast buffet table, which my brother had more or less cleared entirely. Not sausage nor toast nor egg nor danish was safe from his appetite, but fortunately the rest of us had been content with more modest (see: human)' portions. Cyan, Terra, Shadow and Cid were all still asleep as far as I knew and I assume Gau and Relm are at Strago's old house, either still asleep or eating breakfast I suppose. Thoughts of others and what they're doing tend to consume my thoughts, at least when I'm not scoring tail that is. I see my friends as sort of my extended family, and I suppose my role as a king has shaped me in the sense that I feel as though I have to look out for everyone. My brother practically still is a little kid, hell, he hasn't even had sex yet and he's thirty five years old! I'd hook him up but I know he'd refuse it, I'd swear he was gay if I didn't know he had a thing for Terra. Sabin's definitely an odd one, always has been.

I could never have what Locke and Celes have... I've never been as comfortable with the idea of emotional intimacy as I've been with physical intimacy. I could never allow a single person to consume to majority of my concerns as I have an entire kingdom to worry about not to mention a childlike brother and a whole cabal of companions I need to look after and it would be selfish to allow a single person to supersede them in such a way. People can think of me as a petty pervert or merely uncaring it doesn't matter to me, what matters is that I can maintain a position where I can look after everyone and if I were to grow emotionally attached to a single woman over all others it would compromise that. I said it once and I'll say it again: Sometimes I hate to be king, and it's as true now as it was then. I suppose in a less outwardly apparent way I'm just as odd as my brother.

"*BEEEELCH* Whoo! well I'm done here... I'm gonna go hit the can then head out back and train," Sabin announced as he rose from his table and proceeded in the direction of the restroom which will most likely be rendered uninhabitable for the next eight hours.

I slumped back into my booth from which I could survey the main lobby and staircase, and therefore keep a watchful eye on everyone. Locke and Celes were laughing and joking over what had just transpired with Setzer and were getting their things together in preparation to leave, but I figured I'd stick around to get everyone else organized once they've awoken.

... .

It was so grey outside, grey as far as I could see... I found it saddening, I always loved to be greeted by the sun in the morning upon opening the blinds. I sighed to myself and slipped out of my nighty to take a quick shower before getting dressed. I was figuring on going to visit Gau and Relm to see how they were doing, and I was hoping to get Clyde to come with me... it makes me sad to see such a void between him and his daughter.

I exited my room and proceeded to his room. I knew which one it was as I had heard him screaming in his sleep last night. I knocked on the door to which a gruff and mumbled voice replied:

"... nyugrghh... who is it?"

"It's Terra, can I come in?" I replied in my usual mousey way.

"H... hold on," Clyde replied from behind the door.

I heard no footsteps but nevertheless the door unlocked and I took it upon myself to open the door seeing as it was unlikely Clyde would open it for me. Upon opening the door I saw Clyde shirtless from behind walking back to his bed, a large prominent scar perturbed diagonally starting at the upper left area of his shoulders and ending in a straight line towards the right of his lower back. He is very pale, not albino pale like Setzer but as close as one can be without actually lacking melanin altogether, his hair is the exact same shade of brown as Relm's and reaches down to his shoulders.

Clyde turned around and sat on his bed looking at me with a blank expressionless stare with consistent unblinking eye contact, his eyes are a cold shade of grey almost like stone. Before I could even speak Clyde interrupted me.

"Terra I'm not going with you to see Relm, I have no interest in her and she has nothing but scorn for me," he stated blankly.

I sighed "Clyde... "

"Please don't call me that" he interrupted again before rising from his bed to approach me.

"Terra, I'm not who you think I am," he began. "You see things in me that simply are not there."

"Thatís not true Clyde!" I raised my voice as my emotions flared.

This time Clyde sighed "why do you want me to go with you? It will change nothing" he reasoned in his cold straightforward way of thinking, I looked up at him... I couldn't help but slightly tear at the eyes with the emotion I was feeling.

I reached up and grabbed the bottom of his chin to bring his face closer to mine, he didn't so much as flinch.

"Clyde... I know you're a good man underneath. I know you have feelings inside because you showed me, you showed us all and no matter how much of a facade you've put up... you... you've never fooled me," I started tearing a bit more.

Clyde reached down and wiped the tears away from my face.

"... you have such pretty eyes," he said as he looked down at me before continuing. "Terra, I am undeserving of your emotion. Please don't fret or feel over me as I'm incapable of returning it."

"I don't believe that," I spoke between sniffles and Clyde sighed again.

"Please leave me be," and with that he walked back to his bed and laid down, hiding my tears with my arm I ran from his room and closed the door behind me...

...

I laid back down on my bed and stared at the ceiling which seemed to stare back at me. I was still kind of hung over and that coupled with my dream from last night had left me feeling rather drained. I had allowed myself a weak moment once in the past where I had felt emotion for Terra, and just now again I felt something resembling genuine empathy. I honestly did not want to tell her to leave, but it was more for her sake then mine... if I were to allow her to grow close to me I'd only end up abandoning and hurting her like I did to Relm... and Baram... and everyone else who's ever made the mistake of relying on me for anything. Of course it's not like Relm had a choice in the matter seeing as she never asked to be my daughter. I closed my eyes and tried to return to a state of hopefully dreamless sleep.

...

"Ahh! that was great!" I declared after finishing the last bite of the breakfast Relm had prepared triggering a giggle and smile.

Relm came over to where I was seated and sat next to me, looking up into my face and suddenly asked a question of me.

"Gau, you know a lot about my past but I honestly don't know much about yours... what happened?" she asked with legitimate curiosity and wonder.

I looked back and replied. "Well, what do you mean? You know I was abandoned on the Veldt as an infant..."

"See thatís just it!" Relm interrupted. "How did you survive as an infant? Something had to of happened, Someone had to provide for you as a newborn."

I let out a deep breath "... It's a really weird story," I replied. "I honestly never told anyone because I never thought they'd believe me... I didn't even tell Terra and she practically knows everything else there is to know about me."

Relm looked up at me with loving eyes, took my hand and said :"Baby... you can tell me anything," and even though we'd only been 'close' as it were for two days... I trusted her completely.

"Alright, well... I told you it was strange so don't be surprised if you hear some parts that are impossible for you to believe... even I have trouble believing it,"

Relm nodded and I began my story...

It was snowing and I was crying and naked in the middle of the wild plains of the veldt. My father in his delirium had left me here but in my infant state I knew nothing, only that it was cold, that it hurt, and I wanted my mommy who I never knew, being practically torn from the womb and left here to die within the span of a couple hours... but then... something amazing happened. I don't know why I remember this in such clarity but I remember it nonetheless.

Through the swirling freezing snow I saw a figure, distinctly feminine... I can only describe her as an angel... an angel in the snow. She drew near then picked me up and drew me up into her warm embrace, her body radiated this natural warm... it was surreal. She held me to her bosom and I instinctively suckled her teat, drawing in warm, sustaining, nourishing milk. Her warm feathery wings wrapped around her form like a cocoon embracing me along with her arms and giving me great warmth. I suckled at her nourishing breast for hours blissfully unaware of much else, I knew she was moving but I don't know where she took me. It gets really hazy after that... but I'm pretty sure I fell asleep in her arms and I vaguely remember spending the rest of my developing years secluded in a cave, being looked after by this angel in the snow.

When I was... I think, no more then either three or perhaps four years old she took me by my hand out of the cave and out onto the veldt... and then... the landscape... changed. I really don't know how to describe it, but, picture you're walking down a road and suddenly all your surroundings get fuzzy, then wavy like vapor, then they disappear altogether and you have tunnel vision... all you can see is what you're walking towards up ahead and its different. It's like you're walking towards another world.

"Now this is where things start to get really strange," I warned and Relm nodded, I continued.

I found myself walking with her through what seemed like a forest, and as you know there are no forests on the veldt... but this forest was different. There were mushrooms as big as I was for example, some of them extraordinarily colored with shades of turquoise, blue and violet. The trees were so tall they stretched into the sky... as in you could not tell where the trees ended and where the sky began, and they were all around... trees as far as the eye could see in all directions. Then we came to this clearing... and well... up in the trees there were Elves playing harps...

"Elves?!" Relm exclaimed with a sceptical face.

"Yeah, Elves" I replied. "I don't know what else to call them. They were tall and had long elegant fingers and their features were very refined and chiselled with high cheekbones, slanted eyes, long pointed noses and chins, and pointed ears. Their hair ranged from blonde to red to brown to black. I couldn't make out their eye colors clearly but they were all either kind of greenish or bluish, and again I have no idea why I remember this so clearly," I explained.

"... alright, continue" Relm replied with curiosity and wonder.

She lead me past the harp-playing Elves and into the clearing, and there was a campfire surrounded by howling wolves. She instructed me to sit down and stare into the fire. I sat down and gazed into the fire... and I saw these little faeries inside the flames dancing, and their dance entranced me... I couldn't look away, then, it was like the whole world was spinning, and spinning fast. I had the same sensation from when I was lead to this place, with the tunnel vision and everything... and I saw myself only years older at the same spot where I was abandoned... and I was sleeping by a campfire. I got closer and closer to myself... until I was myself, I was who I saw sitting at that campfire and everything was gone... the Angel, the Elves, the forest, everything. I inexplicably now had the know-how to survive on my own, I knew how to hunt, how to make a fire, where to find shelter, how to get water, everything I needed to know, and It was only three years later that Sabin and Cyan found me there... living like a monster in the wilds.

"... and thatís pretty much everything," I finished and Relm looked back at me with a kinked head and a strange expression. "Now before you judge this, remember that I have absolutely no reason to lie or make this up, and that it's as strange for me as it is for you... if not stranger since I experienced it... and you wanted to know how I survived as an infant and so this is what I recall... now you can see why I never told anyone," I explained.

"I have no reason not to trust you Gau... and well... as strange as it may sound if you're telling me angels, elves and enchanted forests... then I believe you," Relm replied with a smile. "And... I want to paint what you experienced," she continued. "It sounds so fantastic and vivid that I feel like I just have to."

I smiled and reached out to hug her which she eagerly accepted.

"Wait right here love," Relm said as she backed up and ran up the stairs, then shortly returned with her sketchpad and pencils

"Okay, now... describe to me in detail as much as you can, I want to sketch them down so I have a point of reference to paint from" I shrugged and began describing the finer details of what I experienced for her to draw...
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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