This. is. insane. Isaaru, formerly summoner, currently loather of all monkeys, thought to himself. He shoved aside a monkey couple with his foot and sat down on the stairs. Since Lady Yuna came and paired these damned things up, they've been breeding, and now they've practically taken over the Yevon Dome! Cid is gone, the tourists have all been scared away... There's no reason for me to be here anymore.
Isaaru sighed, wishing that there were more places in Spira that needed an ex-summoner with very few skills. He ran a hand through his auburn hair, noting that it was almost completely loose. After a morning of attempting to chase away the monkeys, he was in very sorry shape. Maybe I just need a break, to get away from this place for a while. Find someone to talk to....
Maroda. Isaaru felt the pain of missing his sibling clutch at his heart for a moment, but quickly brushed it away. He chose his path, and I have chosen mine. Maybe someday he will forgive me for it.
Standing, Isaaru pulled the tie from his hair and tossed it at a nearby monkey couple. They continued to gaze into each other's eyes, oblivious to Isaaru's irritation. He shook his head and trudged out of the Yevon Dome, only to be stopped by the twin women dancing near the entrance.
"Did you hear about the Sphere Break tournament coming up, Isaaru?" the one on the right, the item shop owner, asked him.
"It's in Luca, being sponsored by Lord Rin himself," he other chimed in, smiling, "We heard some tourists talking about it when they were leaving the dome."
"We were thinking of going, but neither of us play Sphere break, you know."
Isaaru nodded politely, already tuning them out. Luca... I remember Luca. Always sunny, with so many people around you couldn't be lonely if you tried. I think that would be the ideal vacation spot at the moment.
"Thank you," he said, walking past them. They stared after him for a moment, then glanced at each other and shrugged.
- - -
Luca was much as Isaaru remembered it, a bustling city with something for everyone. He had arrived a day before the tournament was scheduled to start, and had spent his free time touring the city and drifting through memories of his pilgrimage.
One wandering trip took him to the Sphere Theater, lobby taken over by people learning and practicing Sphere Break. Isaaru walked up to the desk and was greeted by a smiling clerk.
"What can I do for you, sir? Would you like to purchase a music or movie sphere, or do you have one you would like to view?"
Isaaru smiled. She has no idea who I am. To her, I am just a customer like any other, not the summoner Isaaru, not the New Yevon member Isaaru, not Cid's employee Isaaru. It's nice to be anonymous for once.
"Yes, I would like to purchase a movie sphere, please." What to choose.... Nothing with Maroda or Pacce in it... I don't want to think about them right now. That leaves... almost nothing. My pilgrimage, and the job I have now... there just isn't much I want to reflect on.
"Do you know what memory you would like recorded?"
Isaaru shook his head. "I'm sorry, I can't decide on one."
"Don't worry about it, it happens all the time," the clerk laughed, "Just come back when you've made up your mind. Or maybe," she winked, "You should go out and make yourself some new memories!"
Isaaru smiled, and it reached his eyes for the first time in more than a month. "Thank you, I think I'll do that."
"With everyone in town for the Sphere Break tournament, it shouldn't be a problem. Lord Rin is a genius for holding this tournament, don't you think?" The clerk put a hand to her cheek, blushing lightly. "He's so handsome too!"
Rin... I remember when--ah, that's perfect! Isaaru nodded once. "I think I've made up my mind."
"Well then, close your eyes and concentrate, and I'll get it recorded for you!" Isaaru did as he was told, letting his eyes flutter shut and his mind rove backwards in time.
. . .
"All done," the clerk chirped, "Here's your sphere, sir. If you'd like to view it, just head to the left there. Enjoy your sphere!"
Isaaru walked into the viewing hall and carefully placed the sphere down, watching as it flickered to life before him.
Isaaru flinched as the door of the travel agency slammed in his face. Maroda was mad at him again, over some silly argument they would both forget by the next day. But until then.... Isaaru sighed. He would have to wait outside for a while until Maroda cooled down.
"Your brother has quite a temper, does he not?" Isaaru jumped at the sudden words from behind him, spoken in an accented voice. He turned, and saw a man standing behind him, arms crossed over a partially bare chest. The man had shoulder-length hair, a rich blonde color, held back by a pair of goggles. A thick red collar with a silver ring on it circled his neck. His skin was a beautiful tanned bronze, and his eyes a brilliant shade of green.
"Ah... hello," Isaaru smiled at the man, trying to cover both his irritation and his sudden attraction. Who is this man? "Yes, he does have a rather bad temper. How did you know he was my brother?"
The man smiled, an expression that made him look calculating and, in Isaaru's mind, seductive. "You are the summoner Isaaru, no? I try to keep track of anyone who frequents my travel agencies. It is simply good business to know your customers."
"You must be Rin, then," Isaaru held out his hand, "It is a pleasure to meet you."
"It is a mutual pleasure, to be sure," Rin accepted his hand and clasped it firmly. Isaaru was startled by the heat of the Al Bhed's hand in contrast to the cool evening air. "Have you noticed the sunset tonight, summoner? It is quite lovely."
"Please, call me Isaaru, not summoner," Isaaru looked out at the sunset and saw that it was indeed very beautiful, the oranges and reds reflecting off the water below. Rin walked over to a ledge that overlooked the water, and Isaaru followed. They stood in silence for a few moments.
Isaaru watched the sunset with half of his mind, and Rin with the other. The fiery colored light enhanced Rin's good looks, making him appear even more vivid than he did in simple sunshine.
"Perhaps you should speak with your brother, Isaaru?" Rin's voice was quiet, not breaking the peaceful moment.
"I suppose I should," Isaaru sighed, glancing down at the water below, "He may have calmed down enough to listen to me by now."
A warm hand rested on his shoulder made Isaaru look up to see Rin standing quite close to him. "Yours is not an easy life, my friend. If you ever need someone to talk to, I will be willing to listen to anything you wish to say."
"I... ah...." Isaaru smiled, meeting Rin's swirled eyes and revelling in the warmth they held, "Thank you."
The sphere stopped with a short whirring sound, but Isaaru didn't move, eyes glazed and staring off into the distant past. Rin will be here for the Sphere Break tournament, surely. I think I will have to find him and see if he is still willing to listen to me.... Isaaru left the Sphere Theater with a smile on his face and a newfound lightness to his step. He headed back to his hotel, deciding to get a good night's sleep.
Comments much appreciated!