Frost gathers in her white-streaked hair as she climbs Gagazet. The pillars loom, and she hears again the echo of the Hymn, dark ghost-voices of the lost Ronso.
With each step, she grows closer to faltering, her old limbs failing in the relentless cold. With each step, she grows closer to remembering. She forces her hands to flex around the grip of his mightiest sword, and thinks of the way he would arch that single sarcastic eyebrow at her if he were here.
This is the trial of Gagazet, the frost lined halls in which so many have fallen. Their bones litter the crevasses, their weapons are many-colored tears glittering across the velvet white skin of the eternal god, the eternal goddess, the mountain that will not bend.
She shoves the sword into the ice to take one last step. Leaning against it, standing at the roof of the world, she coughs, long and hard. Blood stains the snow, disregarded. She shakes back her hair, the beaded plait as long as her grief, strong as her love, and says in Al Bhed, "Now who's the badass, Auron?"
She presses the detonator. And as the mountain comes to Rikku -- she laughs.