The Hymn plays along the rough edges of his voice and lulls the turbulent waters of Braska's heart, and soon he hears not Jecht, but the fayth echoing throughout the reverent halls of St. Bevelle.
And then he is back in Bevelle, great sanctuary of Yevon, as a man no higher than acolyte.
Touched by Sin, the mournful song of Shiva in his heart.
Song of ice and snow and holy stone – song of grief, pain, suffering, and Braska still feels it there, buried deep within himself, the incessant call of the ice queen.
She lives within him, breathes within him, cold fingers imprisoning him.
And he can hear another sort of singing – a tender, feather-like existence just shy of Shiva's sorrow. A song of hope, of love, of days gone by.
Braska closes his eyes and sighs as Auron slips a strong arm around him, pulls him close. Hesitant, yet bold: the gesture worked by limbs more suited to war than bed. Still, tucked under the shared covers, Braska turns, lays a hand upon Auron's bare chest, smiling at the warmth blooming from his palm.
"Rest, my friend." Braska traces the lines of Auron's collarbone, presses his lips to the base of Auron's neck. "The journey through these endless plains will be long. You'll need your strength."
"I should say the same to you, my lord."
There is the slightest touch of amusement in Auron's voice, and Braska chuckles. He does not correct Auron on the way he addresses Braska – old habits are hard to break, he knows.
And Valefor continues to sing her prayer to the sky, mottled wings outstretched, eyes sharp and searching for signs of danger. Braska hears it in the depths of his soul, in the beat of his heart, in the wake of his dreams.
Shiva's call dims, recedes.
You are tired, my lady.
Shiva laughs a cruel laugh, but she does not fight it. He feels her withdraw into her own chamber, waiting, ever waiting, for the next time she is summoned to lay waste to fertile fields and the evergreen.
Braska tastes the bitter tang of pyreflies, heavy and mournful on the tip of his tongue.
And Jecht continues to hum.