Note: I have two main gaming series I'm working on right now, Fatal Frame and Final Fantasy. Both, of course, shorten to FF. So, I was musing about this when I remembered what Minwu did in Final Fantasy II, and what happened with Sae and Yae in Fatal Frame II. This is AU to Fatal Frame II, but not to Final Fantasy II.

Mysidia Tower's Shadow
by Estirose
c 2013

The world flashed around the twins, and suddenly, they were someplace else. Yae looked around in wonder, as Sae caught up to her, panting. The world was nothing like she'd ever seen, the wildlife unfamiliar. Above her, there was a great, gleaming tower, taller than the tallest building.

Someone cleared their throat, and Yae instinctively stepped in front of her sister. She was the older one, she had to protect Sae. It occurred to her that the place was far warmer than their mountain village, and she was starting to sweat in her ceremonial kimono.

The man in front of her should be sweating too. He wore a lot of clothes - some kind of hat or other headgear that she'd never seen before, the bottom half of his face covered by a mask. He wore clothing heavier than theirs, clothing that covered his feet almost, which were covered with heavier shoes than Yae had ever seen.

Everything screamed "stranger". Of course, this whole place was strange.

"I am Minwu," he said, folding his hands. "And you are?"

A first name only. Of course, family names were relatively recent, even for them. "My name is Yae," she said, and hoped that would be sufficient. "This is my sister, Sae."

The man was nodding. "It's a pleasure to meet you both. Unfortunately, you seem to have landed just outside the Tower of Mysidia - not a very safe place, unless you're trained warriors."

"No." Yae shook her head. "I'm afraid not."

The man - Minwu, it sounded like a name from the mainland - sighed. "I don't have much training with dimensional spells," he said. "And I must conserve my energy for a very important task. But I would hardly leave you here undefended." He looked at them. "Is this garb normal where you come from?"

"It's... we were supposed to be going through a ceremony." Suddenly, Sae was next to her. "But Yae wanted to run away, so we did. We should go back, perform the ceremony...."

"I refuse to lose you." She didn't want to include the stranger in any of Sae's arguments.

"You wouldn't lose me. I'll be forever with you." Sae was shaking her head. "We need to go back...."

"What does this ceremony entail?" the man, Minwu asked.

"Don't tell him, it's not for outsiders to know," Sae hissed at her.

Yae had to agree. It wasn't something that outsiders had to know about. "We can't tell you. But I don't want to do it. Not if I lose Sae...."

The man shook his head. "If it requires sacrifice... what could be won by doing it, or not doing it?"

Sae took her arm. "We'll save the entire village, Yae. We'll become one. Who could ask for more?"

"Not if it means your life!" Yae had seen what losing Mutsuki had done to Itsuki. She refused to have what happened to him happen to her. She didn't care if Sae came back as a butterfly, she couldn't lose her, not to this.

Minwu put a hand on Yae's shoulder. "As a White Wizard, I try to save lives... but sometimes sacrifice is required." He looked up at the tower. "That's what I am here to do, to save the world, even if it means leaving my beloved ones to grieve."

"I like him." Sae was looking at him pointedly. "Come on, Yae. If we return, we can convince them that they made a mistake, we can go on and save the village. Maybe Father will let you marry that outsider that you like, the folklorist's apprentice."

Munakata Ryozo? She'd thought about it, but it had only been a vague thought, a what-to-do after they escaped.

The man was doing something. "I might be able to open your gate without sacrificing too much of what I have," he said. "it may not land you where you were, but it may land you where you want to be."

"Come on, Yae. Let's go. This is what we were destined to do." The man was concentrating, and Yae could see light coming from the ground. Sae pulled her in.

They were in the Tachibana house. She recognized the place. She sunk down, Sae hugging her and murmuring to her in a comforting way. Men came, but Yae didn't look up until she heard her father's voice.

"You're here?" Father said, obviously surprised.

"We never left." Sae shook her head. "Father, I must talk to you, about what will happen to Yae after...." And she was off, though Yae could hear them talking about Kusabi sacrifices, and the worth of the folklorist's apprentice. Sae wore their father down, and eventually he agreed: Munakata Ryozo would never leave the village. He would become family, marry Yae after the sacrifice.

Yae wanted to throw up.

But instead she went through it, strangling her sister as she was required to, losing consciousness as the butterfly rose from her sister's throat. Someone caught her as she fell.

She woke up with Itsuki sitting by her side. "Itsuki..." she said.

"You're awake."

"You're free... or are you...."

He shook his head. "Since you never escaped, I was allowed to leave the storehouse. Everybody thinks they imagined the whole thing... but I got you out, I remember that."

"I remember that, too. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, we were back here." She couldn't explain what had happened. She didn't want to explain what had happened.

"Ryozo will be a good husband." Itsuki sounded tired. She wondered if he'd kill himself, like so many had before. "I think.. I think getting married will be a good idea for you, now that Sae's gone."

"He'll never replace her." She shook her head. "I don't want to get married. I don't even want to live...." It was safe to tell Itsuki. He understood.

"I know. I... I want to be at your wedding, though." He gave her a watery smile. She remembered that the man was his friend.

Could she do it? For Itsuki's sake? Would her wedding give him something to live for?

Maybe. Or maybe he would still find a way to die, after making sure she was settled down. Itsuki had always cared for her happiness. She'd cared for his, too.

"Promise me that you'll live?" She wasn't sure about getting married. But she did care about Itsuki. She wanted him to have a friend, and to live out his life. "If your friend Ryozo is here..." Three outcasts. They could be together, even if the rest of the town wanted nothing to do with them.

"I'll try." He didn't want to, she could tell. But then, she didn't want to, either. She didn't want to marry his friend, not this way.

But Sae had arranged the wedding, and she felt that she should go through it for her twin.For her family.

For her future, as bleak as it might be.


Fatal Frame fics
Final Fantasy fics