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Dissidia: Second String, Final Round

Title: Dissidia: Second String

Rating: PG, mostly for violence.

Summary: What if the heroes of Dissidia and Duodecim were replaced with their supporting cast instead?

Author’s Note:  This is technically the last round.  And, um, it's really short.  Sorry!  I didn't realise it was so short when I was carving up which ficlets went where, but cutting it off at the start of Shade Impulse made the most sense. However, I have another post's worth of homeless ficlets that didn't fit into the flow very well - I'll make a post with those tomorrow probably  (or more accurately, later today).


Previous Round



ALL

Dagger observed the other champions of Harmony as they arrived, stage by stage, tired and ragged from their travels but eyes bright with renewed hope and determination.  Black Mage stood beside her – he had already been waiting when Dagger strode back to Sanctuary, chin held high despite the tears in her eyes.  Auron had arrived some hours later, accompanied by Rinoa, Arc, and Rydia.  Faris appeared not far behind with a scowl on her face, but that quickly turned to a thinly suppressed smile as she ruffled Arc’s hair in greeting.    Locke, Maria and Aeris followed a short while after that.  Snow trailed with a sheepish grin, rubbing the back of his neck and showing off his crystal.

 

And then, finally, Balthier sauntered up – the last to arrive.  “I hope you weren’t left waiting.”

 

“Balthier!” Dagger called, half in admonishment and half in relief.  She’d seen nothing of him since she first encountered her mother.

 

“Garnet,” he greeted with a suave smile.  “Lovely as ever, I see.”

 

She had no time to retort however, as with the champions assembled, they turned to where Cosmos waited.  In reverent silence they approached, and one by one showed the proof of their efforts.

 

“And now,” Black Mage intoned, speaking on behalf of the group, “We shall settle this battle.”

 

Yet it could not be so simple.

 

“No.”  Cosmos’s voice tolled like a bell.  “It has… already been settled.”

 

And then she slumped, weakened, motes of light scattering around her.

 

“Cosmos?!” Dagger cried in alarm.

 

She raised her gaze to stare at them with eyes the colour of the sky.  Solemn, but without regret.  “You fate is to fall… into true darkness.”

 

The peaceful waters and white sands faded, warped into a twisted landscape of raining fire and black clouds and massive swords cratering the landscape.  Laughter, deep and foreboding, rumbled behind them.

 

They whirled, and Cosmos was gone, facing Chaos.  Snow and Locke made to dash to her aid, but Chaos merely spared them a careless glance, freezing them into position, weighing their limbs with invisible bonds of darkness.

 

“Cosmos!” Black Mage cried.

 

It was all for naught.  She turned, briefly, to spare them one final glance.

 

Then their goddess disappeared in a pillar of fire, and they fell into oblivion.

 

 

…………….

 

 

When the darkness receded, they stood in Cornelia Plains.  The grey skies had turned stormy and the grass had withered, but the familiar roll of the hills remained the same. 

 

For now.

 

“We’re still here…” Rinoa murmured, brushing her fingers across her arms and face somewhat nervously, as though expecting chunks to be missing.  “How?”

 

“I thought… I thought we’d be lost in the darkness forever,” Arc confessed in a small voice.  Faris laid a comforting hand on his shoulder, though looked no less disturbed herself.

 

“What happened?” Dagger asked.  “Is Cosmos… is she really gone?”

 

They fell into a depressed silence as they contemplated it.  There seemed no doubt.  Cosmos had fallen.  This world had sunk into the grip of Chaos.

 

Something bothered Locke, though.  “That guy, Exdeath.  He made it sound like we killed Cosmos.”  They all fell quiet, recalling those last, blurry moments before they succumbed to the darkness – ExDeath’s taunting words disguised as mercy, Celes and Cecil by his side, watching them fade in solemn silence.

 

“… We did.”

 

It was Aeris who had spoken.  She cradled her crystal – a cool marble of luminescent white-green – to her chest.  She closed her eyes, as though listening to a distant song.

 

“Can’t you feel it?” she asked.  “It’s been right there all along.  Cosmos gave us this gift, to give us a chance.”

 

Rydia paled, and inspected her crystal with more care.  “She gave us part of her power… so that we can live on?  That’s… that’s so stupid!  She was already so weak!”

 

“Perhaps,” Auron said, “She felt there was no other way.”

 

The knowledge weighed heavily upon them.  Rather than try to save herself, Cosmos had sacrificed the last of her power to save them instead.

 

The enormity of such a gesture, when the fate of the world hung the balance… it was humbling.

 

“I see,” Black Mage murmured into the guilty silence.  “Then we’d best not squander it.”

 

They were Cosmos’s chosen.  For whatever reason, she had chosen them, and put her faith in them, above any others.  And they would prove her choices worthy, no matter what it took.




Bonus Round