Gogo's Secret: Epilogue
I base this story upon a rumor I once read about somewhere in a FF6j/FF3 shrine, it was about Gogo maybe being someone important... he/she is surely a mystery in the troop, as well as Shadow.
Somebody might say I treat the ol' ninja strangely, but he says in the end that he'll start all over again, so a new life it is.
This takes part moments after the last ending scene.
Terra's hair looked like a green waterfall as she released it from the ponytail, standing by the stem of the Falcon. She gave a great laugh of complete freedom, and the others followed her example.
"We won! We won, we won, we won!" Relm yelled, dancing around like crazy.
She gripped Mog's tiny paws, and their two small bodies swung around, laughing, until Umaro got in the way. He gripped them carefully and placed both the girl and the moogle on each of his shoulders, with a smile longer than Relm's arm.
Gau stood at Terra's side, jumping up and down and howling in joy. The green-haired woman bent down and hugged him, to his great surprise.
"Yes, green world!" she smiled, "it's recovering!"
"Faster than anyone could ever believe. This must be the most beautiful view I've ever had before my eyes!" Edgar sighed happily, watching the greening fields below the blue sky.
"Hey bro, don't fall over the fence now, ya hear?" Sabin chuckled.
Edgar just smiled back.
Locke and Celes stood as much apart as possible, enjoying the wonderful, sunbathing scene below together.
"It's simply fantastic." Celes mumbled.
"Yeah," Locke said, "it's wonderful."
He looked at her hands. She still held a grey-blue bandana in a tight grip.
"You almost ate it trying to pick up that silly trinket," he said once more, shaking his head, "it's only a piece of cloth..."
"No, it's not."
Celes' voice had a sharp tone, which almost startled the treasure hunter. He looked at her with slight worry about making a fatal mistake. She looked straight back, into his eyes and spoke.
"As I was left alone at the solitary island, when Cid... grandpa died, I went up to a cliff and jumped."
"What?!" Locke choked.
"I thought I was the last human alive," Celes continued, interrupting his "are you nuts...", "I didn't find any meaning of life anymore. But the waves brought me back on shore. As I awoke, there was a dove that gave me new hope, because it carried this bandana. I therefore knew that at least you were alive. It's not only a piece of cloth, it saved my life."
After listening to those words, Locke did something that made her very surprised, something she thought that only ol' smooth-tongue Edgar would do. He assembled both her hands into his larger ones and raised them to his face. Then he kissed the bandana, and said, smiling at her astonished look:
"Then I was terribly wrong."
Celes remembered what he had said as he'd saved her from falling in the tower; "I will not let go!"
He didn't even let her rest from the first shock, until he delivered the next:
"If I'd try to kiss you, would you draw the slicer and cut my lips of?"
"Wha... I... I'd... you..." she gasped, dumbstruck.
"Oh, what the heck," he smiled, "it's worth the danger!"
And so he lowered his head and touched her lips with his own. As Celes felt his hands at the backside of her head, she swung her arms around his shoulders, almost unaware she did it. Her white cape moved gently in the wind, making a small, private room for only her and Locke.
" 'For the rest of my life, I will keep you near...' " Locke sang, whispering, imitating the hero Draco's line in the opera Celes had been a part of.
She had to laugh, he made it sound so stupid. He wasn't even trying to make it sound half as serious as Draco had, yet he meant what he sang.
"Aww, I have to paint that!" Relm exclaimed, her eyes glistening as she watched Celes whisper something in Locke's ear that made him smile.
"No, kupo kupopo!" Mog gasped, waving his short arms.
"On canvas, you little teddybear, you!" the girl laughed.
Happiness was overwhelming, until four words, spoken by Cyan, cut through everything like black lightning.
"Where is Sir Shadow?"
Everyone turned, suddenly with pale faces.
"What do you mean?" Setzer asked sharply, "he isn't here?!"
All of a sudden, every single human, moogle and yeti was at the stern of the ship, looking back at the fallen tower.
"Something must have happened," Edgar said, worried, "he could have trampled on..."
"Don't be ridiculous," Strago snapped, "he wouldn't even trample on something and fall if he was blinded and in a dark room!"
"But why isn't he here then, you old fool?" Relm asked, uneasy, "Interceptor isn't around either! That poor little doggie..."
Gogo looked at the girl and then turned to Strago.
"What on earth do you feed her that screws her brain up like that?" the wrapped figure asked.
Strago was about to snap back, when there was a dunk! from behind them all. Everyone spun around.
"Are you people worried about me?" the man dressed in black asked, smiling.
He put Interceptor down and ran his fingers through his chestnut-colored hair. He had taken off the hood, his skin almost as pale as Setzer's due to the loss of sunlight throughout the years.
"Hey Shadow! You're alive!"
Relm took off from Umaro's shoulder, landed on the neighboring neck of Sabin (almost knocking him to the ground), then finally reaching the deck.
She rushed over to the ninja and caught Interceptor in a big hug.
"And you too, puppy!" she said happily and giggled as the dog licked her face.
"I actually wanted to start off over again alone," the dog's partner said, "but then Interceptor hurt his paw on something, so I had to reconsider."
He looked down at the dog, rising his eyebrows.
"Now, however, I see that Interceptor seems to be fine."
The dog looked very innocent and lifted his front right paw from the deck.
"Funny," the old ninja said, "wasn't it the left one you hurt, old friend?"
Then he laughed and patted the dog's head. The whole party moved closer, happy to see him, weary of his sense of privacy. But he smiled, astonishingly.
"What's with the carefulness, my friends?"
He laughed again and bowed.
"Let me introduce myself, you might know me as Shadow, but my name is Clyde."
Relm was the first to dare touch his hands, then the others followed, all smiling. At least you could assume everyone smiled, Gogo's eyes seemed happy, but it was hard to tell.
"You're really handsome without that hood of yours," Relm said as everyone had greeted Clyde, "but you smell worse than gramp's chickens!"
This remark filled the sky with laughter.
"You might be right there, little lady," Clyde said, rubbing his eyes to get rid of the tears of wild joy, "say Setzer, could I hire the shower-room for a while?"
"Well, we could have a game of poker about it." the gambler answered, but then smiled again, "ah, whatever. You can have it for free, just this once."
"My, you're in a generous mood today, aren't you?" Clyde smiled, "well thanks. Interceptor, you could also use... where do you think you're going?"
If dogs could whistle, the big beast would have done so as he moved away from the crowd. Relm ran up to him, put her hands on her small hips and harshly said:
"Now you go and get cleaned as a good dog!"
A bit softer, she continued:
"If you're a nice doggie, I'll brush your fur afterwards."
Interceptor considered this, and then strutted back to Clyde. The yesterday-I-was-a-ninja- today-I'm-not turned to the stair down into the ships inner part, but stopped as Celes spoke.
"Wait a moment," she said, "now while everyone's still here, I want to announce something."
Everyone looked at her.
"Me and Locke are getting married this summer." she told them with a beautiful smile.
Locke looked like he heard a monster chanting Imp, pointing at him.
"We are?!" he said, eyes wide.
"Yes we are." Celes said, as a straight order.
"Fine with me..."
He couldn't continue, because he was about to drown in congratulation-cheers.
About an hour later, they were all down inside the ship, except Strago, who was driving the big floating building-like thingy. Setzer was playing cards with Edgar and Cyan, while Relm and Gau played mimicking with Gogo. Umaro and Mog was sleeping, the little white teddybear with pink wings laying on the great yeti's stomach, moving up and down by the big snores. Sabin helped Clyde give Interceptor a bath (the runaway prince had got bored of not having anything to fight, and therefore decided to risk his life again). Terra and Celes was sitting on a sofa, laughing and planning the wedding, and Locke sat in a facing chair, watching the blond woman.
They all noticed that the screams had ceased, and concluded that Interceptor finally was clean. Sabin came up the stairs, soaking wet with bleeding cuts on his arms.
"That was fun!" he said happily, "I think I'll get myself a dog."
"It was nice knowing you." Edgar mumbled and assembled the cards Setzer had given him.
He looked at the cards and raised his eyebrows.
"Setzer, what are you thinking?" the king of Figaro asked, "you've taken the wrong set of playing cards again."
"I've only got one." Setzer said, frowning.
"Oh, really? Here, you can have one of my aces of heart, I only need one myself."
Setzer hit his forehead.
"Sorry, my mistake."
"It was most lucky for us that thee never made mistakes in battle," Cyan chuckled as he returned the cards and got new ones from another heap, "otherwise they might have been less glorious."
"Ah, there's always one glorious side, the trick is to be on the one." Setzer smiled.
Fifteen minutes later, he was the new king of Figaro.
"Seems I was on the glorious side, then." he chuckled.
"Brother, I'm very, very disappointed." Sabin said, gravely.
"Blast, I should have kept that extra ace..."
Edgar sighed, and Setzer laughed.
"Let's not be serious today, eh?" he said, "I would've made an awful king anyway."
"Good, can I have my ring back?" Edgar asked.
Setzer leaned back in the chair.
"I don't know," he said slowly, smiling, "I need a wedding gift for Celes..."
Then he laughed and threw the golden circle with the blue gem over to Edgar's side of the table.
"Is that you, Clyde?" Terra suddenly said.
Everyone turned. The man, with his faithful dog at his side, brushed his white sleeve and smiled.
"What do you think?" he said, "and yes, Setzer, I'll pay you for the clothes. My black stuff was not to be saved, and there was a chest with unused shirts and pants in there."
Out of the chest, he had chosen a white shirt and blue trousers.
"You're really picking up a new life, aren't you?" Locke said.
"It seems so. It'll take a while to get used to this, but..."
"You look great, Clyde," Celes said, "not as good as Locke, but close."
"Thank you." he said with a soft laugh.
He went up to Setzer, Edgar and Cyan, and joined them in their game of cards. Sabin went upstairs, to let the wind dry his clothes.
"It's nice to know that the world is finally in balance again." Cyan happily sighed.
"Yeah, sure," Setzer grumbled, "apart from that I'm about to loose the Falcon to this retired ninja!"
"How could you do that to Daryl!?" Edgar gasped, "she'd eat you alive!"
"I'll let you keep your ship if I get the clothes for free." he smiled.
"Deal," Setzer sighed, "ohh, what a terrible business-day."
"Thee saved the world today, did thee not?" Cyan pointed out.
"Yes, but then I started loosing money... aye, life's cruel. If Daryl was here, she'd stomp on my back for being so generous."
Setzer heard bitterness in his words, and shuddered. Cyan put his hand on the airship owner's shoulder.
"Don't be sad," the knight said, friendly, "she lives on the inside of thee, just as my family does."
"Yeah, you're right."
Setzer straightened up.
"Can't be sad on a day like this, can I? So what do we bet next?"
"You're missing out, Gogo!" Relm yelled, jumping up and down, "Gau wins!"
"Huh?" the clothed person said, "oh, I need a rest. You kids are just too much, even for me. And didn't you promise Interceptor something?"
Relm nodded, happily.
"Yeah, that's right! Will you help me, Gau?"
"Uwauu!" the wild boy howled, nodding.
Gogo turned around, raising its voice:
"Hey Setzer, could I have a free shower too, to honor the day?"
Everyone looked at the big cloth-heap.
"Umm, sure," Setzer finally said, "but wouldn't that mean you'd have to take off..."
"I said I'd honor the day!"
"Err, go ahead."
Gogo's every step was watched as it moved down the stairs.
"Kefka writing a book about roses wouldn't surprise me more." Locke mumbled.
"Roses!" Terra exclaimed, "you'll need tons of those at the wedding."
Celes touched her own hair.
"Maybe not tons," she said thoughtfully, "but a couple of white ones in my hair, and the dress must be rather tight, I can't stand loose clothes. Locke, you look strange."
"Just wondering how you'll look with the dress on, sweetness."
Celes raised her eyebrows, but didn't say anything. Locke smiled teasingly, then he looked thoughtful.
"Hey," he said, "we should get Maria over to sing at the party."
"With Setzer there?" Celes smiled, "we'd need to tie him onto something. But it would be nice to meet her..."
Another hour later, Terra stood up and stretched her whole body.
"I'll go downstairs and knock on the door to check if Gogo will be finished soon," she said, "I could also use a shower. Setzer..."
The gambler just waved with one hand, completely caught up in the game against Clyde. Terra disappeared downstairs. Five minutes later, she returned, with a very strange look in her eyes. She went up to the men around the table, and spoke.
"Setzer, Gogo wants to see you, right now."
"Can't he wait just..."
"No. It's important, Setzer. You must go straight away."
"You'll regret it if you don't."
There was something strange in Terra's voice, which made the gambler finally understand that she was absolutely serious. He stood up.
"Seems like I'll have to win back my hair later, Clyde."
"I can wait," the no-ninja said, smiling, "I can bet my fingers to Cyan in the meantime."
Terra followed Setzer to the last stairs, as if she wanted to make sure he really went down to meet Gogo.
"What's up with you?" the albino man asked, "you seem totally freaked out."
"You'll understand, now go!"
Terra almost pushed him down the stairs. Then she turned around. Finding that Locke and Celes sat together on the same sofa now, in deep conversation, she thought it would be better to join the guys and watch Cyan bet his toenails.
Setzer walked down the short corridor, grumbling. What on earth could be so important that Terra would throw him down a flight of stairs?
He reached the door and knocked.
"Gogo?" he said loudly, "Terra said that you wanted to see me."
"Yes," a half-strangled-by-three-layers-of-bright-cloth voice called back, "you can come in."
Setzer pushed the door open.
The first thing he saw was the big heap of yellow clothing on the floor. He then looked up on the one that stood in the middle of the room, and he almost fell down.
"Wha... wha... you?!" he stuttered, "you... you're..."
Dressed in a red shirt and white pants from the chest, still covering her face with a yellow veil... but Setzer would recognize that body-shape anywhere; it was burned into his mind.
She turned away.
"I didn't know if I wanted to let you know," she muttered, "I feared it would only cause you pain, Setzer."
He stood up, angry.
"We fought side by side for so long, and you never gave me the slightest clue?" he exclaimed, "how could you do that to me?! All these years I thought you were dead and..."
"I had a reason!" she snapped, making him quiet.
She turned back, to look at him again.
"Let me tell you what happened," she said, with a calm, almost cold voice, "as the Falcon crashed at Triangle Island, I was hurt. I stayed by my ship, waiting for you to come and look for me. But after a couple of days, a zoneeater suddenly attacked and swallowed me, trapping me inside its big body. It also sucked up some of the curtains from the ship, and I used those as clothes to stay warm down there. Your friends showed up, the first sane company after years, and I went with them to the outside world again. Then to find you, and the Falcon... it was hell for me to keep silent!"
"Then why did you?" Setzer accused.
"Because the zoneeater swallowed a mirror from the ship as well!" Daryl snapped, "and my face was destroyed in the crash!"
Silence stuffed the air. They glared at each other. Setzer finally took a step forward.
"No! No way, Setzer!"
"How many years was it since you looked at yourself in the mirror?" he sharply asked.
Daryl once more turned away.
"One look was enough," she said, "I knew it would leave a bad scar."
"Well I've got scars in my face too," Setzer snapped, "but I don't walk around with a veil! I don't lie to people who love me either."
Daryl didn't answer at first. Then she said, angrily:
"I knew this was a mistake, you don't have a clue..."
"Then give me a clue and let me see your face! Daryl, you have no idea what I would have given to have you back again, at our cliff, in the sunset..."
"Yes, I do know." she said, quietly this time.
"Come on, it can't be that bad!"
"Yes it can!"
"You're acting like a baby!"
"That's it!" Daryl snarled, "I'll return to Triangle Island and the zoneeater, the loneliness is better than you!"
"No, you're not returning," Setzer said, coldly, "I won't take you there."
"You mean you could stop me?"
They glared at each other again. Then Setzer shook both his hands.
"Alright, let's do this our way," he said, "let's set it with a coin toss."
He reached into his many pockets and brought forth a tiny, round piece of metal. He continued:
"If it's head's you'll show me your face, if it's tail's I'll bring you back to Triangle island, is that OK?"
Daryl hesitated for a moment, but her gambling-spirit was strong.
"Alright, then." she said.
Setzer nodded gravely and put the coin on his thumb. It flew straight up, then landed in the palm of his right hand. He put the hands together as soon as the coin touched his skin, and then slowly removed the left hand.
"Head." he gravely concluded.
"Alright, you win." she said.
She slowly raised her hand and unwrapped her head. Then she looked coldly at Setzer, who hadn't moved a muscle.
"Well, aren't you gonna say something?"
"I don't understand why you hid."
Yes, there was a scar, and it was big. It started at her left eyebrow and went down to her right cheek. But it wasn't that bad, it hadn't changed her much.
"There's a mirror on the inside of the wardrobe," he said and pointed, "you should take a look."