IIIIIIIII am so wired.
SORRY I GOTS BABBUS ON THE BRAIN
Celes’ eyes snapped open, much like they always did when she awoke, and she took in the room around her with the same calm familiarity she did each day. Even years later, the habits of military life were slow to leave, lingering reminders of her youth and the path her life had taken to bring her to this point.
A point of curious amounts of discomfort mixed with contentment on this quiet morning. She was getting far more used to her child’s penchant for waking her just as dawn was settling across the outskirts of Kohlingen and cracking through the trees. Just as she was with all the changes that had come about.
The first time around, it had been terrible. An unplanned accident that had left her shaken to the core at times, ill at ease with the reality of what had been thrust upon them so suddenly. This was decidedly less traumatic.
Now that she knew what to expect with a pregnancy, and had fully endeavored to have this second child, it was much simpler to adapt. It was so easy to take things in stride now. Such as being awakened by the tiny flutters of movement within her swollen womb.
Letting her eyes drift closed against the soft morning sunlight just starting the peek into the windows, she languidly drifted her fingers across her abdomen in a caress. Even knowing the science of it, Cid’s lessons were very thorough after all, she marveled at the reality of a small life growing within her.
Another daughter. She was sure of it. She’d never be able to explain how she knew, but the truth of it was there, undeniable in her mind and heart. Having had a midwife for a mother, Locke was inclined to believe her. He and tiny Elenca both were ecstatic as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their newest family member.
With only a few short weeks left upon them, life was becoming an excited, frenzied rush of preparations. Ever so talented with his hands, Locke had toiled away happily at the just recently finished bassinet that stood proudly in the corner, draped with soft blankets and sitting at the ready to comfort and protect their newborn once she was here.
But for now, they were still just three. In the stillness of the morning, Celes let the sounds of her slumbering family soothe her back into a hazy doze. She turned onto her side to face her lover, her face alighting with an indulgent smile as she saw his eyes blearily watching her. He returned the look, reaching out and tangling their fingers together where their hands met across their eldest’s back as she snored softly into the bedding between them, each content in the knowledge that while their lives had shifted so very far from where they might have once pictured them, the journey they were taking together was the most wonderful treasure they could have ever hoped for.
Please look at this screenshot.
This is not a Thing You Say when you have dragged your girlfriend’s corpse over to be preserved by the town’s resident Crazy Old Dude.
You can argue that it’s a different translation or whatever, I didn’t look long enough to get a GBA shot. This is the translation I grew up with and the one that I have damn near memorized.
Repeat after me:
Locke did not actively preserve Rachel’s corpse.
Locke was not the one who chose to preserve Rachel’s corpse.
Locke was not responsible for the preservation of Rachel’s corpse.
He came back to Kohlingen after the Imperial attack. How much time would pass before decomposition set in? Think about it.
Maybe a sane person, an adult not wracked by grief, would’ve slapped the old man and said “Bury this bitch, what the fuck is wrong with you” but no. He’s a dumb, really sad kid. He’s asking here if her body is really being preserved. And then the Old Man encourages his quest by saying "If you could call her back…she’d come back! Wah ha ha! I’m sure you’ll find something that’ll bring her around!"
I just really really dislike that people continually blame Locke for this no matter how I write him or asdfasdfasdf fuck me sideways
Actually, thanks so much for putting this up here! I completely forgot about this line, here, and, because of everyone’s misinterpretation within the fandom, was under the impression that this was Locke’s doing. So, really: thanks for clearing up the one ick-factor I had with my favorite character. ♥
But it also brings up a more disturbing question: why did the loony old man decide to preserve her in the first place..?
That old man always made me super uncomfortable…
Okay, I looked up the Lina Darkstar translation just for clarity.
Old Man: That time, I used medicine I just happened to have on hand to put this girl into the eternally youthful state you see…! Ke ke ke… What with Lock’s passing request… No way you could do it without using medicine…
Lock: You’re sure this medicine works, then.
Old Man: Of course, of course. Your precious girl’s corpse will be preserved juuust like this, forever and ever. Ke ke ke…
While the old man does say that he had the medicine on hand, it definitely sounds as though Locke put him up to it in one way or another. The bit about the “passing request” definitely hints at Locke having a say in Rachel’s preservation, even if it was a very tiny say, even if it was some time after the Imperial invasion.
And even if the old man were completely responsible for Rachel’s preservation, that doesn’t excuse the fact that Locke allowed her to be preserved for seven years. Seven years is a long time. I understand that Locke was still a kid when Rachel died, but he can’t not be held responsible for his actions when he’s now very much an adult.
See, I agree far more with Lina’s read of it in her analysis of the scene that the batshit nuts old fuck was experimenting on her, and NOT that Locke had anything to do with it at the onset, because it’s clearly stated that he was not there for the attack. Rachel wanted Locke to be told she loved him when and if he returned as she died as her memories came back - again, because he was not there.
Him not being there makes it awfully hard for him to have had a say in her preservation, given the time it would take for a body to start breaking down.
(The old man is supposed to make you uncomfortable; all of his verbal cues in the Japanese point to him being a dangerous/creepy character.)
Locke didn’t put her in stasis, but now that she’s there, he hopes that she’s safe and he’s going to do whatever he can to try and FIX things, because he feels like all the blame is on him, even though little of it truly is.
My completely realistic interpretation of their last night aboard the Falcon before storming the tower, that is not even a little, tiny bit influenced by 18 years or rampant single-minded shippyness: