If you’re reading this, then you have discovered where I hid that metal flask from the hide-and-seek game when we were 13. You may have noticed there are a few more of your things in there now, like that awesome bandanna that I really liked. Sorry I didn’t give them back sooner.
"I forgive you," Locke whispered, wiping his eyes with the heel of his hand.
So she’d been nicking things from him on the sly, huh? Maybe Rachel was the world’s greatest treasure hunter, after all.
He decided to contribute something as well. Within, he placed the tin cameo he had purchased for her, that he’d worn all these years since her death.
"We’ll come back and find this together," he insisted. And he put it right back where he found it.
Of course, Locke had a talent for this kind of thing. It was easy enough to sneak out without being noticed, into a moonless night. He left a note and a bag of gil for Rikku:
Going north. I love you. I’m sorry. Setzer and the Falcon will be here tomorrow. Tell Celes you want to work on that armor.
Saddling up a bird, he ran full tilt toward Tzen, skirting the tower as much as possible. No way they would risk following him, would they?
I know what that language mean’s Locke. ‘Get my affairs in order’. What the fuck are you playing at that you need to do that? Stop worrying about every one else and do right by your self for once, you dozy great pratt.
I’m not a fool.
You don’t have to feel guilty.
You need to stop hurting yourself for the sake of making things right
I’m worried about you.
I want Jidoor again. I want stupid breakfasts and bad coffee. I want to wander through the town making bets on who can steal the most.
I don’t want letters that leave me scared about you.
I don’t want to lose you Locke.
The letter came late in the evening, just as he finished his preparations. As his eyes danced over the words, over and over again, tears sprang unbidden to the surface.
Where was home?
Faris. He had told Faris that they were their own home.
Sniveling, embarrassed of his own lack of control at such a simple thing, he swiped the tears away from his face. Locke had no home. Not since the day he’d left Rachel’s doorstep in shame. He’d betrayed Rikku, he’d failed Faris, he was unfit to call them home.
Nothing will be real to me until I right this wrong.
I had told Celes I was delayed in picking you up, though I don’t know if she relayed the message. I’ll finally be in Albrook tomorrow.
It’s a hell of a lot to put a poor pigeon through to say this, but I wish you were here. When I get in, we’ll get a drink together and talk about nothing.
Gods, that sounded like heaven. To pretend everything was fine in a way only they could, because they understood one another on some ridiculous, visceral level. Talk about nothing, avoid everything, drink until sleep overtook.
He’d been avoiding everything for far too long. He abandoned Rachel in an attempt to save the world, and the world broke beneath him. For all he tried to care for his friends, they only ended up battered in the end.
Nothing would come through for him until he set things right. If he stayed and waited for Setzer, they would convince him to come away with them. His goal would slip through his fingers yet again. He’d have to be gone before the Falcon landed.
"You gotta forgive me, Gabs," he sighed, pouring himself a drink and offering it up to his old friend in toast. "To findin’ direction in life, huh?"
// we walked into the phoenix cave and there was a cave-in and all the returners died. the end.
((Better than being eaten up by dinosaurs
that’s usually how i die in that fucking cave orz ))
ooc; Celes does suspect something is going on she just has no idea what it is XD
He’s gonna ditch ya’ll like the sneaky little shithead he is. <3 (whether or not you choose to follow… ;3)
I said I’d write, and I’ve been remiss in holding up my end of the bargain. Truth is, I’ve been… wrought. Not that you want to hear of my problems, I’m sure, but things haven’t been easy.
Setzer and I are over. It’s done - for good this time, we’ve both agreed. It was actually rather amicable.
How are you? I miss you. I’m heading to Jidoor, trying recruit some crew members for when my new ship - the Syldra - is finished. I know you probably wont be able to come and meet me any time soon, but I hope you can come down for one of her first voyages.
I’ve sent some charms - lord knows you need them, boy. I hope they work to keep you out of trouble.
But write back, please. I want to hear about everything - Rikku, your life, how things are going. I worry sometimes I’ve been a fool and lost you.
Of course they’d been wrought— with all that had happened, who wouldn’t be? Locke had been sure everything had driven Faris back into Setzer’s arms, but… they had split for good? Somehow, he had a hard time buying it. After all the ups and downs in their relationship, Locke found himself feeling… numb about the news. A man so smitten as he should revel in it, but he simply felt tired. And feared for them both.
After laying out the parchment to return their letter, he stared at the blank surface for a long time. Why couldn’t just push through everything— his own shame, their muddled feelings, the way he’d betrayed— No, that was why. He couldn’t simply play natural with Faris after all they’d done. With all he felt.
"Stupid," he breathed to himself, running angry fingers through his hair.
Might as well just start at the beginning. Tumbling the charms over the fingers in his left hand, he sighed heavily and began to write.
You ain’t lost me. I wish I could say there was a day goes by that I don’t think about you, but I can’t.
I’m glad to hear about the ship. I’m sure it will be grand. I can’t wait to see it. I’m happy you’re doing well. I knew you would. You’re strong. A survivor. I know some men in Nikeah that will probably take up with you. I’ll write them.
Rikku is here, though she’s been busy still. She wants to help me save the world. I’m scared something will happen to her, just like you.
I can’t sleep lately. I know that what I’m after, it’s close by. Just a few days to the north. After I get my affairs in order, I will travel there. It’s hard here on the southern continent. You can always see the tower, any time of day or night. Please stay in Jidoor.
Balthier and Celes are here. But you knew that, I’m sure. I’m trying to keep loverboy out of trouble. I want all of them to go someplace safer. Setzer is to come in the Falcon sooner or later, I guess. He can take them.
I miss you too. It seems so long ago we were in Jidoor together don’t it?