Another in the Variations series, and the "pairing" (although it's hardly a pairing, not even UST is involved) is Nooj/Maechen. Yes, really.
Nooj: If you’re done playing, let’s go.
Gippal: Chill out.
Nooj: Lost your nerve?
Gippal: Hey, we’re talking about Vegnagun. How the heck do you fight that thing? We can’t even walk up to it without freakin’ it out.
Nooj: Or making it mad. But I’ve got a plan.
Gippal: If it doesn’t work?
Nooj: Death will be my apology.
Gippal: Whatever, man. When a Deathseeker dies, that’s no apology. What about Leblanc?
Nooj: Well, she—
He was interrupted by the sound of a throat clearing behind him. Nooj and Gippal turned around to see an elderly man on the edge of the clearing, stepping out of the shadows. "Pardon me," he said, "but would you happen to be Meyvn Nooj?"
Nooj glanced at Gippal, eyebrow raised; Gippal shrugged. "I am," he replied as his good hand drifted to the sidearm clipped to his belt. "And you are?"
The man bowed. "I am Maechen. Please, do not be alarmed, I mean you no harm. I am but a simple scholar, wandering the face of Spira for longer than I care to remember. I have been searching for you for some time now, since I first heard that you were looking for information about Vegnagun."
"How did you know about that?" Nooj lurched another step closer, not dropping his hand from his weapon. He recognized the name -- the fellow had left several messages over the last year, requests for an audience. He had refused them all without really understanding why. Shuyin's influence? Yet another thing he would probably never know.
Maechen spread his arms in a gesture of peace. "In my travels throughout Spira, I hear many stories. Alas, I cannot recall who, specifically, told me of your quest for the mighty machina. But Vegnagun is a subject of which I know much, and I had hoped that we might exchange stories."
Nooj snorted. "Vegnagun has slipped its bounds and escaped to the Farplane. No time for stories; all that's left is to destroy it. Unless you know a way that it might be managed?" He held his breath, surprised to feel a rush of hope as he contemplated this new source of knowledge.
But it was all dashed as Maechen shook his head. "Alas, that I cannot tell you. I had hoped that you might have discovered some way to fight or dismantle it."
"I have a plan." Nooj looked up, ignoring Gippal's uncomfortable shuffle behind him; he supposed it would be stretching the point to call the expanse of darkness above him a sky.
"Ah." The elder nodded, then bowed again. "Well then, I shall leave you to it. Best of luck to you and your Al Bhed friend." And he disappeared, leaving a streak of pyreflies behind him.
"Whoa." Gippal shivered. Then he turned to Nooj. "So, about that plan. You didn't get to tell the old man what it was; care to share it with me?"
Nooj did not answer, only turned to start walking down the dark, silent path, and to wonder how different that path might look if he'd only listened to the man earlier.