"This is it, folks! In just a few minutes, the championship game! But who could have imagined... A championship game between these two teams. Our legendary Luca Goers going against...the horrendously ill-fated Besaid Aurochs!" Bobba said as the two teams swam into the pool.
"This looks like history in the making, Bobba."
Over by the stands Giles is walking up the stairs, and looks into the pool. Willow and the Aurochs are swimming over to meet the Goers. Bickson sticks his hand out, Willow went to shake it but Bickson made a fist and swung at her. Willow glared at him before turning and swimming over to the team.
The Blitzball shot up with Willow and Bickson after it, Willow got to it first, and threw it to Letty. He swam toward the goal, and was surrounded by two Goers. Abus tackles him as he tries to pass the ball to Jassu. Graav grabs the ball and passes to Bickson, who shoots and scores the first goal. Keepa throws the ball to Jassu, who dodges a tackle by Bickson and passes the ball to Letty. Letty swims toward Willow and passes the ball to her. Willow performs the Super shot scoring, and tying the game. The goalie throws the ball to Graav, who shoves Letty out of the way, and swims toward the Aurochs goal. Jassu and Botta block his path. He dodges Letty's tackle, and throws the ball to Abus. Abus kicks the ball into the goal as the buzzer sounds off for halftime.
"What's that?" Jimma asked.
"Looks like everyone is calling for Xander." Bobba says.
Willow looks up and can hear Xander's name being called out over and over. <Oh what the heck, it's Xander's team anyway.>
"Hey, where's that player going?" Bobba asks watching Willow swim out of the pool. "She maybe injured!"
Tara stands up and starts to leave when she hears that, but Faith takes her hand. "Don't worry, she isn't hurt. She just went to get Xander." Faith grins.
"Come on Xander! Your fans are calling for ya!" Willow says running into the locker room.
Anya smiles at Willow then to Xander. "Go on." She says and watched Willow walk Xander to the sphere pool.
To be honest, I did feel kind of left out, but... It really was the Aurochs and Xander's show, after all.
"What's going on? The crowd is going wild!" Bobba said as the fans started screaming and shouting. "Ah! It's Xander! He's back on the field and ready to go. The Aurochs seem glad to have him back."
The buzzer sounds signaling the start of the second half.
The ball is up. Bickson grabs it and takes off, with Xander right behind him. He passes the ball to Abus who shoots; Keepa is ready and catches it. He throws the ball to Botta, who swims away from Graav, and dodges a tackle from another Goer; he passes the ball to Letty who shoots. The Goers goalie catches it, and throws it to Bickson. Xander tackles him, causing him to drop the ball; Abus tackles Xander as Graav takes the ball. Swimming toward the goal Letty tackles him, and Jassu takes the ball throwing it to Xander. Xander swims toward the goal, and looks at the timer, only fifteen seconds to go. He dodges away from Abus, and around Bickson, and shoots. The ball goes into the goal as the buzzer sounds the end of the game. Xander slowly floats to the bottom of the pool with a huge goofy grin on his face.
"Unbelievable! The Aurochs win! This is one for the record books!" Bobba shouts.
Willow swims out to Xander who is still lying on the pool floor. He looks over and gives her a thumbs up, then his eyes widen when he sees four Sahagin's behind Willow. The fans start screaming and running as fiends invade the stadium. Willow gets hit across her back by a clawed fin, cutting her back open. Xander throws his ball bouncing it off one to another until two of the fiends are dead. The one that wounded Willow was getting quite a beating, when she turned she had kicked in the face, then punched it five times, before kicking it again, killing it. <Damn rule about no weapons in the sphere pool! Xander has his weapon! But noooo I can't have mine!> Willow thinks as she and Xander swim for the door.
Willow and Xander run though the stadium killing any fiends that got in the way. Turning a corner they see Giles sever the head of a brown, four legged scaly fiend.
"Giles!" Willow shouts surprised.
"Sir Giles!" Xander shouts just as surprised as Willow.
"So you do know him."
"Yeah. Best guardian there ever was." Xander said and was thrown to the ground by a strong gust of wind. Willow looked up to see a giant bird fiend, with red wings, and long neck, and a long tongue hanging out of its mouth.
Xander rose and threw his ball hitting the fiend in the face. Willow and Giles both swung their swords slicing the fiends chest. Garuda flew into the air, and tried to grab Willow with its claws. Willow jumped back, and as it settled down again, she ran at it and swung her sword slicing its chest open. Xander hit it again killing it. As the fiend disappeared more fiends surrounded them on all sides.
"Oh man, gimme a break!" Willow said just as a black portal opened in the sky. A giant three-pronged anchor fell out and into a portal on the ground. When the anchor rose up Willow thought she was seeing things. A face appeared first; the top of its head was covered in bandages, with the left eye showing. It had huge spikes down the middle of its head. Two of its top teeth curved up at least a foot, and two bottom teeth were the same. Decayed hands crossed over a decayed chest came into view with chains holding the arms in place. A blue opened pod surrounded the upper half of its body. Its waist and legs were still in the portal when the anchor disappeared. Lady Glory was standing on the balcony behind it. Its left eye glowed red, before shooting out an energy blast, killing every fiend it hit.
"What the hell is that?" Willow asked staring at it.
"That is Anima, an Aeon." Giles said.
Willow angrily looked at Giles "And you! I want to talk to you!"
"Uh...I'm gonna go check on the team, ya?" Xander said and ran off.
[With the Aurochs]
"You really leavin', Cap'n?" Datto asked staring at the ground.
"Shouldn't you heal up first?" Letty asked.
"Tara needs me with her, not laying around in some bed." Xander said handing the Blitzball trophy to Jassu. "Well... See you boys! Be good.
"Are you sure?" Tara asked as Xander approached.
"Never did like long goodbyes anyway. Sorry for making you wait, Tara. I had some promises to keep, ya? But from now on, I'm your full time guardian."
"Then welcome back, Sir Xander." Tara hugged him "It's good to have you back."
"It's good to be back." He then turned to Anya. "Any news on what happened?"
"Not really. We still don't know where the fiends came from. Maester Snyder is safe and sound, thanks to Lady Maester Glory. That's about it."
Tara looks over to the ocean "Lady Maester Glory's Aeon... It was so powerful."
[With Willow and Giles]
Willow is standing by dock two giving Giles a "go to hell look" that doesn't seem to be fazing him. "Don't just stand there! Say something! This is all your fault! Getting swallowed by Sin! Ending up in Spira...wherever the hell that is! Not being able to go back to Zanarkand, everything! I'm telling you it's all your damn fault!"
Giles stands there and laughs
"Who are you, anyway, chuckles? You knew my old man, didn't you? And you also knew Tara's mother?
Giles nods "That is correct."
"There is no way. That's just impossible."
"Noting impossible about it. Ira, Mythe, and I... Together we defeated Sin ten years ago. Then I went to Zanarkand where I watched over you. So that one day I could bring you to Spira."
"Just why did it have to be me?"
"Ira asked me to."
"Is he alive?"
"It depends on what you mean by Ďalive'. He is no longer human. But then...I saw something of Ira in that shell, couldn't you? You must have felt him when you came into contact with Sin."
Willow thinks for a moment "No...it can't be."
"It is. Sin is Ira."
"No! That's ridiculous! It can't be, I don't believe you!"
"But it is the truth, Willow. You'll see for yourself. Come with me."
"And if I say no?"
"Every story must have an ending."
"I don't give a damn about your stories, Giles."
"I see. Sorry you feel that way. Fine, then. Come or don't come. It's your decision."
"Dammit Giles! What am I supposed to say? You tell me it's my decision... but I don't have a choice, do I? You're the only one that can tell me what's going on! I have to go with you! I have to!" Willow said falling to her knees.
"Irritating. I know. Or are you afraid? It's all right." Giles said putting his hand on Willow's shoulder. "It's okay to be afraid.
When Willow calmed down she stood and looked at Giles. "Will I ever go home?"
"That is up to Ira." He said then turned to leave "I'm going to offer my services to Tara. Come."
"Do you think that she'll stay here?" Xander asked leaning against the guardrail on the walkway.
"Sir Giles knows her, apparently. You were right, she did meet someone she knew." Anya said standing by the stairs leading up.
"Ha! Told ya she would."
"Do you think she'll find a way back to Zanarkand?" Tara asked not turning around not wanting them to see the tears in her eyes.
"All I can say is I'll miss havin' her around." Xander said straitening up.
"She's still in town, isn't she?" Tara asked wiping her eyes. "I think I'll go see her." When she turned she saw Giles walking toward her with Willow following behind. "Sir Giles?"
"I wish to become your guardian. Do you accept?"
"You serious?" Xander asked as his jaw hit the ground.
"You refuse?" Giles said and turned to leave.
"No! No, we accept! Right everyone?"
"O-of course! No problems here! Not a one!" Xander said picking his jaw up off the ground.
"But...why? Don't get me wrong, Sir Giles, but why after all these years?" Anya asked slightly confused.
"I promised Mythe."
"You promised my mother? Thank you, Sir Giles! You're welcome to join us." Tara said bowing.
Giles reached over and grabbed Willow by her wrist and pulled her around. "She comes to. This one I promised Ira. And I think she would be a good guardian, also."
"Is Sir Ira alive?" Tara asked and gave a half smile to Willow.
"Can't say, haven't seen him in ten years."
"You'll meet eventually."
"I'm looking forward to it."
"What's our itinerary? Where are we headed?" Giles asked Anya.
"Hey, Willow, come with me." Tara says taking Willow's hand and leading her over to the view of the ocean. "Watch." She says then whistles.
"Hey, you got pretty good." Willow sadly says.
"You sound sad."
"Wanna scream?" Tara giggles out.
"I don't think that'll help."
"You know what? It's embarrassing to say this myself... But Summoners and their guardians are kind of like Spira's ray of light. Everyone in Spira depends on us to defeat Sin... So, I learned to practice smiling when I'm sad, you know? I know it's hard, but smiling helps."
"Yeah... I understand...I think."
"Right, now let's see what you can do!"
"Come on! It'll be fun."
Willow looks at Tara trying to smile, and covers her face. "This is weird!" She says embarrassed.
"Next, try laughing out loud."
"Come on, show me, please!"
Willow turns toward the ocean and takes a deep breath. "Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha."
"Um...you probably shouldn't laugh anymore." Tara says as Willow continues to mock laugh.
When Willow takes another deep breath Tara steps beside her and she too takes a deep breath. Looking at eachother, they both start mock laughing. Tara begins to actually giggle with Willow following not far behind.
"That was too funny!"
"It was you idea, Tara. But it worked I feel better now...a little on the crazy side, but good."
"Thank you. I want my journey to be full of laughter." Tara said giving Willow a hug.
"Okay." Willow says with a goofy grin.
"If we should get separated, just whistle. I'll come running. I promise." Tara says.
Nodding Willow touches Tara's shoulder. "Well, let's go." When they turn Xander, is staring at them, along with everyone else. "What're all you looking at?"
"We were just worried you guys might've gone crazy! So, nothing serious...I suppose." Xander told them grinning.
"Sorry! Well then, a-alright. Now, we will go to the Temple of Djose. And guardians?" Tara said and everyone turned to her. "Don't forget to smile!"