Fandom: Final Fantasy X-2
Theme(s): #7, Power
Spoilers/Warnings: Set in-game, during Chapter 3; minor spoilers to that point.
Disclaimer: Characters, places, and themes from FFX-2 are copyright Square Enix.
Notes: Fic as game meta. Inspired by a thought I had while replaying the game. Apologies for letting this claim lapse for so long! I have bits and pieces on other themes and hope to get them shaped into stories soon.
"Wow, that Dark Knight dressphere really took it out of you." Rikku nodded at the large plate of food that Paine had served herself. It had been a busy day, running up and down the Highroad to protect travelers from machina run amok. All three girls were hungry, but Paine had easily taken twice as much as the others.
Paine dunked her bread in the stew, took a huge bite, and followed it up with a gulp of water. "It's not the easiest way to fight. Effective, though."
"Sure was." Rikku sat back in her chair and glanced at Yuna. "Did you notice how she mowed down those machina?"
Yuna nodded, then turned to Paine, resting her chin on her palm. "What's it like?"
"It's like..." Paine looked at Yuna, then into Rikku's eyes, bright with curiosity. She fell silent for a moment as she searched for the best words to describe the experience. "It's not that different from casting spells, how you take a bit of your essence and turn it into magic. This dark magic is similar, except instead of channeling it into a spell, I'm blasting fiends with raw power. Destroying them by sheer force of will."
"Whoa," Rikku breathed. She leaned forward again, elbows propped on the table. "Does it hurt?"
"Sort of." Paine glanced to the ceiling and thought for a moment. "It's more... draining. Like running for hours, or being battered by a sallet over and over." She raised an eyebrow at Rikku. "You could try it. Want to trade grids tomorrow?"
Rikku leaned back again and shook her head, braids bouncing. "Ugh, no thanks! I'll stick with bullets and bombs and perking you up when things get hairy." She looked to Yuna, who shuddered as she nodded agreement.
Paine shrugged. "Suit yourself. I don't really blame you; it's hard. I don't think I'll be able to use it every day."
"Should you be using it at all?" Yuna tipped her head, eyes thoughtful. "You have other dresspheres. Maybe you shouldn't risk yourself like that."
"It's fine. I want to keep working with it, see what I can make it do. There's something about it... it has so much power. And I don't have to rely on anything else. No magic, no weapons. Just me." Paine raised her eyes a bit and stared into the distance. "I'll tell you one thing, though. I'm not surprised we found that dressphere in the depths of Bevelle. Only Yevon could've come up with a weapon this dark." She paused again, as if wanting to say more, and Rikku and Yuna sat still, waiting, holding their tongues as though silence could get her to speak. But she just took a deep breath, picked up her spoon, and started her meal.
Yuna and Rikku exchanged another glance, then followed suit, recovering their strength to prepare for the next battle, whatever it might be.