All right, since I got something like fifty e-mails asking for it (and you couldn't just go to RPGclassics, could you?) I'm posting the alternate ending here as well. Happy now?
Chapter 28: The Dead Rest
Rikku and Auron stared as Yuna twirled around on the roof of the old stadium, dress and ribbons whirling in the air as she performed the final sending Spira would see for a long time.
"Is it over?" she asked, barely daring to believe it.
"It's over," Auron replied softly. He felt Rikku's hand grip his tighter and his heart was almost torn in two.
"What now?" she asked.
Now? You go back to your life. I have nothing to keep me here any longer, except you… "I don't know," he whispered.
Rikku looked up at him. "Are you OK?" she asked, concern in her voice. "You seem a little sad."
Auron lied. "Jecht was a good friend, I regret his death." I should have told you earlier, but I was a coward, and I don't dare.
Rikku hugged him. "I understand. I miss my friends as well."
We have to go Auron.
Auron looked across at Wakka. "What?" he asked.
Wakka looked back and shrugged. "I didn't say anything," he said, puzzled.
Auron frowned, he could have sworn…
Auron, this isn't our place anymore, Jecht's voice whispered through his head.
"But I don't want to go," he whispered to the air fiercely.
"Sir Auron, we have to, we can't be here when Sin is sent," Yuna said.
Auron looked at her and realised that he had spoken the last few words aloud, and the others were moving towards a blue cloud of light at the opposite end of the platform. He looked back at Yuna. "I apologise, my mind was drifting," he said, and walked slowly towards the 'exit', Rikku gripping his hand.
They moved through Sin silently, mesmerised as fiends that had once attacked them from miles away just sat and turned to brightly coloured dust before them. Soon it was as if they were walking amongst some kind of moving and swirling rainbow, the pyreflies floating away to the Farplane, carrying the souls of those killed by Sin as they were finally freed from it's thrall.
"What's wrong?" she asked, as they walked through the maze of mist and lights.
Auron looked down at the look of worry on her face. She knows something is wrong.
How do I explain?
You'll have to sooner or later.
But what if…
It's too late to change anything. The last thing she deserves is to see you leave suddenly, without any warning.
"Rikku?" Auron began.
"Yes?" Rikku asked quickly.
"There's something I need to tell you," he said quietly.
Suddenly Rikku looked ahead and smiled. Auron turned and saw the familiar sight of the airship ahead of them. She smiled at him and ran towards the airship. She turned back and laughed. "Tell me when we're out of this place!" she shouted, and ran onto the ship.
Auron sighed and followed. This was not getting any easier.
They looked around, shielding their eyes from the glare of the lights, as around them the Aeons dissolved into dust. Rikku wiped tears from her eyes as creatures she remembered fondly helping them in battle and protecting them from their enemies disintegrated in some kind of obscene fireworks show. Although she wasn't too sad to see Shiva go, that woman had always given her the creeps, and Ifrit seemed to be staring at her, roaring, and then they both went, to wherever it is Aeons go to die. She looked across at Auron.
She looks so happy, what am I supposed to tell her?
"What is it you want to tell me?" she asked cheerily. "Auron?" she asked.
Auron just stared at her, not speaking. I can't do it.
"Auron, what is it?" she asked.
Tidus looked at Auron. "We should go," he whispered.
Rikku whirled on him. "Go where?" she asked, puzzled.
Tidus' eyes widened. "You didn't tell her?" he asked. Then he slapped his hand over his mouth. Oops.
"Tell me what?" Rikku asked Auron, panic in her voice, as Yuna danced on.
"Auron, what's going on?" she asked.
"Rikku, there's something I need to tell you," he said.
"What?" she asked, walking up to him.
Yuna finished her dance, and turned to look behind her. She saw the team talking, and the others looking on, wondering what was happening, and Tidus watching Auron, unsmiling.
She saw Rikku's eyes widen, and the girl turned to look at Tidus, saying something to him. Rikku turned back to Auron, tears in her eyes, and shout something at him. She had a pretty good idea what. The others looked shocked, and Rikku fell to her knees in front of Auron, and started weeping.
"How could you?" she whispered.
Auron knelt down next to her. "I'm sorry," he said. He didn't know what else to say.
Rikku looked up at him. "Let me go with you," she said.
Auron took off his glasses, and for the first time anyone else had seen, he looked at her directly. "Rikku, you have a life here," he said. He took hold of her face and lifted it so their eyes met, wiping the tears from her eyes. "You have all your life ahead of you, you can't leave now.
"But I want to be with you," she said.
"No! Auron, you're not going!" she whispered through sobs.
"Rikku, I have to."
"Why? Give me one good reason!" she shouted at him. "You've got at least one good one to stay here!"
"Rikku, we have t go now," Tidus whispered. He looked across at Yuna, who was staring back with much the same expression as Rikku. He cringed. At least she had some warning. Rikku had nothing.
"You can't just go! Not now, not after everything!" Rikku shouted, getting up and backing away from Auron.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. Auron began to glow with an inner light, and pyreflies came out of his body. "I can't stay any more."
"Don't leave me like this," she whispered.
Auron took one last look at Rikku and turned, closing his eyes. He felt his body weaken, and he felt the now-irresistible tug of the Farplane, and peace.
Suddenly a hand grabbed his shoulder, and he was turned on the spot. Rikku clasped her arms around his waist and kissed him, tears streaming from her eyes. Auron kissed back, wrapping his arms around her, and not letting go.
She disengaged her lips from his for a second. "E muja oui," she whispered softly.
"I love you too," Auron whispered, and pressed his lips back against hers, praying this moment could last forever. He became transparent, and Rikku's hand fell from around his shoulder as he faded into darkness. He turned to face away from her, not wanting to look at her face, and walked to the edge of the ship, staring out at the Calm Lands as
In that moment, Rikku made her decision. She turned to Yuna and the others. "I'm sorry. Goodbye," she whispered, tears in her eyes. "I'll see you all someday."
Yuna just nodded.
"We'll miss you both," Lulu whispered.
"Take care," said Wakka.
Auron sighed and closed his eyes, ready to leave this world. He vaguely heard Rikku say something to the others, but he didn't hear what it was. Then…
He felt a hand on his shoulder. Blinking in surprise, he turned to see Rikku smiling softly at him. How did she… Then he looked, and saw that her hand was translucent, and pyreflies were also flying out of her.
"Because I won't stay if you don't," Rikku whispered.
"I never regretted anything, and I won't regret this either," she said. She leant forward and kissed him again. He kissed back, and they forgot everything around them as the world turned white, and they made their final journey together.
The last view, before the pyreflies obscured the pair, was of Auron and Rikku locked in a kiss. The pyreflies sped up their paths, and a bright flash of light blinded the others as Rikku and Auron travelled to the Farplane together, the pyreflies weaving and dancing around each other as they disappeared into the beyond.
The end. Again.