They had arrived at the villa two hours ago. Reeve was watching Raieyana. (Motionless. No sound. For two hours. Ray, talk to me. Maybe I couldn't understand, but maybe this just isn't a time when someone should be alone. Don't shut me out. Please.) He walked over to her bed and sat down next to her. "You okay?" he asked.
"Sure," she said.
"Ray, say something. Please."
"Hmm, gosh I don't know. Hell, Ray, two of your closest friends and your sister just died. Not to mention Denmae. Me, being a real dumb-ass, I guess, thought maybe you would want to talk to someone who cares about you. A whole damn lot." (Don't push me away.)
"Reeve," said Raieyana, "you should stop, then. Everyone who has ever cared a smidgen about me is dead. I don't want you to end up dead."
"Ray." He kissed her softly on the cheek. "I love you."
She started shaking. "Love, love, that's what it was all about. I wish I could have loved him. God, I would have told him I did, if I thought he would have believed me. If I could have let myself lie to him. Don't love me, Reeve. You saw how the last one went. Not you." He wrapped his arms around her. She started sobbing in his shoulder. "Don't love me..."
"..everyone I have ever loved is dead. Not you, not you..."
Reeve stood up. "Ray, I'm not leaving you. I'm staying right here."
"Forever? Forever is a long time, you know."
"God, Ray, do you want me to prove myself or what?" he asked. Raieyana nodded. He brushed away her tears. "I'd do anything for you to trust in me."
She kissed him full on the lips. "Show me that you love me," she whispered. Reeve willingly obliged.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Raieyana was dreaming.
"Father knows your weakness... Your latest weakness, that is. You've had so many...Tseng, Aula, Ishmael. You don't seriously expect to survive, do you? Do you expect to win? Why don't you accept who you are and face your reality? Sephiroth lives, he lives--forever. In you." Aysta's voice trailed off into the darkness of the cavern Raieyana was in. Her companion turned to face her. He wielded a sword. (The Evenstar.) She felt the cold metal as the blade went through her. He leaned forward and she could see his face. (Reeve.) Then his face changed. (Sephiroth?)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Raieyana woke up with a start. (What does it all mean? What is Reeve going to do? What is Sephiroth going to do?) Reeve stirred beside her.
"Hey, you moved," he mumbled, taking her back into his arms.
She got up out of bed. "I need to go outside and do some contemplating."
Reeve was wide awake now. "Do you need to do this 'contemplating' alone?" he asked.
She shrugged. "I guess not."
"Good," he said, "contemplating was my best subject in school, you know."
"Reeve, this is serious."
Raieyana walked out onto the balcony, with Reeve following behind. "It's so dark, like the earth's mourning Ishmael as well. Actually, it reminds me of a night a little while back. Blane and I dated a couple years ago. We had just broken up, and I was talking to Ishmael...
"So, Ray," said Ishmael, "are you and Blane officially 'over' now?"
Raieyana shrugged. "I guess so," she said.
"Good, because if you two had stayed together much longer I would have had to fight him for you." There was always this joke between the four of us that I "belonged" to Ish.
Raieyana shook her head. "Sure, Ish, just so I could get thrown away with yesterday's trash when you meet the girl who really is meant for you."
Ishmael turned and looked into her eyes. "There'll never be anyone for me but you, Ray," he said, "even fifty years from now when you've lived your life and I've lived mine and we're both old and grey, I'll still be there waiting for you. No matter how many 'Blanes' come along for you, I will always be in the background, hoping 'maybe someday Ray will be mine.' But it will never happen, because you always attract tons of other guys who are better than I ever will be."
"No, Ish," said Raieyana, "no one can ever be as good as you. I don't deserve you."
And so I tried to laugh the whole thing off, but he was serious. I've remembered it all this time. He was so good to me. I didn't deserve him then and I'm still not worthy of him now." "So what does that make me?" asked Reeve.
Raieyana looked thoughtful. "Besides the man I love?"
"Never mind," said Reeve, "I like that answer just fine. So what is bothering you, anyway. Another bad dream?" She nodded. "Did you die again?" She nodded. They sat for a few moments in silence, listening to the gentle sound of the waves crashing into the shore.
"I don't know why it worries me so much," she said, "it's just a little eerie, that's all, and I sit here, so upset and everything." They sat there a little longer, while Raieyana was thinking. "Well," she said, apparently coming to some sort of decision, "we should probably go back to bed."
"I like the way you think," said Reeve. Raieyana rolled her eyes. "Oh," he said, "that's not what you meant."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Raieyana awoke at the break of dawn the next morning. (I now realize what I need to do. I just wish it didn't have to be this hard.) She kissed Reeve on the cheek and climbed out of bed softly, so not to wake him. She quickly got dressed and gathered up her things.
"I love you," she wrote, "so much, but I have some things that I need to take care of. And I realize now that I have to do it alone. I hope that I will see you really soon." (He can't hurt me if he's not with me. I'll just go undo the resurrection spell and come back to him. I only need to finish the last part of the translation first. And take care of some business in Junon...) She was silhouetted for a moment in the doorway by the sun, surrounded by light. But then she closed the door behind her and left. For the boat dock. For Junon.
I leave you here today
There's nothing you can change
I still love you, but it has to be this way
I can't hold your hand
As I fly away