"Hey, isn't that Gatta?" Tidus asked pointing off to the side of the temple entrance. The group approached and sure enough the little lump huddled against the wall was the young crusader, his legs curled up to his chest and his head in his arms.
Wakka squinted at the form, tilting his head to the side. "Huh, that is him." The guardian glanced around, searching.
"Wakka," Lulu started, speaking softly but urgently. "Don't-"
"Hey, Gatta," The orange haired blitzer yelled, but the young guardian didn't even twitch. "Where's Luzzu, ya? I owe him some punches." Wakka smiled, swatting at the air to illustrate his meaning.
Wakka knelt down, his face paling as he finally noticed the state Gatta was in. "Where is he?" he asked urgently, his fearful grip tightening on the crusader's shoulder.
Gatta's shoulders shook. "I found him, b-but, he was, t-torn in half!" the young man sobbed, leaning forward into Wakka's hand. "I-"
Wakka squeezed the crusader's shoulder before jerking away, his own hands shaking. "That idiot." he grunted, clenching his fists and turning to kick the wall. "What was he thinking?"
"Wh-what do I do now?" Gatta gasped, staring at his knees. No one had an answer. "I can't do this, I'm going back to Besaid."
Wakka stalked off, the others trailing behind him until only Kimahri was left. The Ronso knelt by the boy and put his hand on the shoulder Wakka had grabbed minutes before, staying silent until Gatta looked up.
"Eat. Sleep. Leave when ready."
Gatta nodded, though his eyes were filled with tears. "But, what if- what if they don't want me back?" he whispered, lowering his gaze once more.
Kimahri just shook his head. "They will want. Island need protectors."
"But, but the operation, we were excommunicated."
Kimahri said nothing, but Gatta understood. "No they're letting us stay here, the maesters were there. Y-you're right. Besaid needs me," Gatta stated, something resembling certainty leaking back into his voice.
The gardian stood and left, the crusader following a few minutes behind.
"Oh, hey Gatta, you're still here?" Tidus asked approaching the crusader hovering near the statue of Ohalland.
Gatta nodded. "I'm going back to Besaid. With Luzzu gone..."
"Yeah, it'd be hard fighting alone, wouldn't it." Tidus responded bobbing his head encouragingly.
The lost crusader snorted, shaking his head. "I was so eager to fight Sin, to battle at Luzzu's side. What a fool I was." Gatta turned to face Tidus, his expression wild. "Luzzu never wanted us to come here in the first place, you know? He wanted me and him to stay at Besaid to protect the village in case something happened, but I just nagged at him, telling him he couldn't keep me back just because I was -am- the youngest, I'm not a cadet anymore, I can fight just as well as everyone else. Huh, what a fool." He turned back to the statue, his previously fierce expression faded into one of resignation.
Tidus shuffled awkwardly, almost laying a hand on his shoulder before pulling away. "Hey, it could be worse, right? At least you made it out. You can go back to your family now!"
Gatta's head turned just enough for one dark eye to land on the extremely uncomfortable Tidus. "You have no idea," the crusader mused blankly before shaking his head and pushing clarity back into his words. "Most of the other crusaders have already left. I'll go soon. You're leaving too, I assume. Good luck, I hope we meet again someday."
Tidus, taking this as a chance to escape, turned and trotted back out of the temple, leaving the lost crusader to turn back to the statue and linger.
What Do I Do Now?, 617 words. Updated March 26.
I probably shouldn't be writing one shots when my main story's at such a critical point, but I was playing the hd remake and couldn't help myself. Gatta they just kind of leave where as Luzzu they comfort him a little, so I figured I'd fix that. Plus, the crusader always need more love from the fandom.