This post is part of the series Life's Little Triumphs
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Life’s Little Triumphs—Gau
a mini-series by Dot
Setzer was late, Gau noted. Quite unusual, considering that Setzer almost always arrived on time, and Gau would help Setzer deliver supplies to the other towns.
As time passed, Gau became more and more worried. Did Setzer’s airship crash, like the previous one had?
Gau decided to ask Cyan if he had seen Sezter. Getting out his compass, Gau found which way was north and began walking.
– Gau –
“Welcome, Sir Gau!” Cyan shook Gau’s hand. “What brings thee to Doma?”
“Setzer not come to get Gau,” Gau explained. He frowned. “Wait, that not sound right.”
Cyan clapped a hand on Gau’s shoulder. “Thou art already improving greatly. So thou sayest that thou has not seen Setzer?”
Gau nodded. “Have Cyan seen Setzer?”
“I’m afraid not, Sir Gau.”
Gau’s face fell. “Oh. Well, thank you, Cyan, but Gau need to go now. Gau want to get to old man’s house soon.” He turned to leave.
“Hold, Sir Gau.” Cyan turned and spoke a few words to a soldier. “Take thee a chocobo; thou shalt get to thine destination much faster.”
Gau wanted to hug Cyan, but he restrained himself. “Thank you very much, Cyan!”
– Gau –
Gau slowed the chocobo to a stop as his father’s house came into view. He had been coming almost every day to make some kind of repair on it, and it almost looked brand new now. Gau wondered what would happen when there was nothing left to repair.
The aging gentleman walked out of the house and brightened. “Ah, there you are! I was wondering when you’d get here.”
Gau grinned and walked forward, handing the reins to his father. “Sorry Gau late.”
Gau sat down at the table, and noticed a vase of fresh flowers sitting on it, as well as a framed picture. Turning the picture towards him, he saw that it was that of a well dressed young man standing next to a very beautiful young woman in all white, both smiling.
Mother. Gau felt a lump rise in his throat.
“That’s my dear wife,” the old man explained, pouring Gau a cup of tea. “She passed away a long time ago.” The old man suddenly stared at Gau straight into his eyes. “You! You have her eyes!” Shaking, he reached out and touched a strand of Gau’s bangs. “And her hair—”
Gau almost didn’t dare do so much as breathe. His heart beat in his chest so much so that he thought it would leap out of his chest.
And then old man’s eyes went wide with fear. “Have you come for me as well?”
Gau’s bubble burst painfully. “Huh?”
The old man backed away from Gau. “Don’t pretend! I saw you! You were the monster that took my Annabel away from me!”
Gau shook his head. “No, no, Gau—”
The old man began grabbing things and throwing it at Gau. “Stay away from me! Go! Scram!”
Gau could hold his tears no longer. He turned and fled, not even caring that he had left the chocobo behind.
“Go on! Git!” The old man screamed, continuously showering Gau with whatever he could get his hands on. He untied the chocobo and gave it a hard shove. “And take your devil bird with you, too!”
But Gau was already running into the horizon.
– Gau –
Gau crashed through the forest, not caring that the branches were cutting into his skin or the sharp stones piercing his feet. What he did feel, though, was his heart breaking.
The word echoed again and again in his ears, and the image of his father staring at him with fear and hate etched itself in his mind.
Gau’s foot caught onto something, and he tripped into the shallow stream before him. The icy water stung his wounds and he could taste blood in his mouth from cutting his lip at the fall. Instead of getting up, though, Gau started laughing. Anybody who might have passed through the forest at that moment would have stopped to see this strange sight, a young man dressed in animal skins, laughing and crying and throwing up droplets of water.
But there was no one else.
Exhausted, freezing, and despondent, Gau collapsed into the stream. He no longer had any feeling in his fingers or toes, and the numbness was beginning to creep up into his body as well, but he didn’t care.
The last thing he was aware of as he lost consciousness was the clear blue November sky.
– Gau –
Gau opened his eyes and winced as bright light lanced into them.
“Ah, thou art awake.”
Gau blinked, trying to clear his vision. “Cyan?” He asked, his voice hoarse.
“Aye.” A strong hand held Gau down when he tried to get up. “Strain not thyself. Thou art weak, and in danger of falling ill.”
Gau lay back into his pillow and stared at the ceiling. “How Cyan find Gau?”
“When thy chocobo returned without thee, I rallied a search party with dogs,” Cyan replied. “Thou were delirious and babbling nonsense.” He wiped Gau’s face with a cloth. “What possessed thee to attempt to drown thyself?” Cyan leaned forward. “Did something happen at thy father’s house?”
Gau looked away. “Gau—” he shivered.
“Thou needest not reply until thou art ready,” Cyan interrupted, getting up. “Sleep now; when thou wakest, I shall have food brought to thee.”
“Wait!” Gau cried out as Cyan was about to leave the room. “Don’t—don’t go.” He choked back a sob. “Please. Stay.”
Cyan nodded. “Very well.” He returned to Gau’s side and held the young boy’s hand. “I shall not leave.”
Gau grabbed back as if his life depended on it. “Thank you.”
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
One of the lesser-known side quests of FF3 can be accomplished by heading to the crazy old man’s house (north of the Veldt) with Gau in your active party. The second time you talk to him, the rest of your party members will realize that the old man is actually Gau’s father.
When they try to reconcile father and son, however, the old man insists that the baby he had abandoned on the Veldt was actually a monster.
Naturally, everybody’s mad at the guy for being such a jerk (especially Sabin, if you bring him along), but Gau steps in, and haltingly declares that he is happy because his father is still alive.
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