Final Fantasy X

By Th' Lady Shadow [ 10-25-02 ]

Do you know I danced for you?

In the end... when all of us were standing in stunned amazement at what we'd done, what we'd just done...

I cried for the joy and wept for the pain, almost oblivious to the fact that they were all holding me. Their warmth was nothing to me. Remotely, I felt guilty. Should have been happy, should have been overjoyed, but...

I asked them to leave. They obeyed.

Slowly I picked up my rod again, feeling its lightness, the smooth way it fit into my hands. I stepped forward near the edge of the airship's outer deck, not bothering to clear all thoughts from my head as in my other sendings. This would not be a sending of peace, it would be one of memory.

I trembled, both in body and in soul, for I knew that by doing this it would be confirming that I had lost you. But if some foreign victim of Sin who meant nothing to me deserved a sending, then by god, you deserved a parade. I could not bring myself to do it, and I could not forgive myself if I didn't.

Everything in my body was urging me to begin the steps, my feet light and eager and so traitorous to my heart that I felt sick.

So I made a decision.

I danced, one last time, just for you.

I remember thinking in little shards that the sky was fiery red, red like my bleeding, cracking heart.

Maybe the sky was crying with me too.

So I let my feet dance and my hands guide the adorned rod in their grasp, let them do as they wished. Closing my eyes, I could not help but remember.

How you looked at me that night with the moonlight glittering off the water-drops on your face; how I'd seen a little droplet near the corner of your mouth and wanted so much to kiss it away - but didn't. Should have. Would've made you happy. So many should haves.

How you'd looked at me with that expression so deep and rich I could have drowned in it -- how you gave your sincere, quirky half-smile. "Always," you'd promised.

Yes, always. You will always have all of my heart.

It is wrong for a summoner to grieve over the sent.

We are trained to be automatons.

We are taught to look professional even when our hearts are shattering, everything in us telling us to fall, to scream and sob out our tears, break down like the people who stand around and watch us. Some just stare, some are on their hands and knees, crying, suffering still more. Some are there, but do not watch; they cannot bear to.

In this last act as a summoner, I fail miserably.

I can feel the tears run down my cheeks as I twirl on one foot, my staff swooping with the grace of unwanted experience. The sobs that wrack my chest are deep, and make me shake so hard that I have to work to keep my balance.

Long after I should have stopped, my body continues lamenting for you.

How contradictory -- my hands send you away, but all the rest of me cries for your return.

I've always had the Hymn in my head when I sent Sin's victims. It helped me to pace my dances, helped me, perhaps, to ease the dead into the Farplane more swiftly.

For the life of me, now I cannot even concentrate enough to remember the Hymn's first line.

All I can remember is your lips on mine, your hands so gentle and yet so greedy for me that night in the deep waters of the spring. All I can focus on is the periwinkle glimmer of happiness in your eyes as we spoke on Mi'ihen Highroad, surrendered to the beauty of that sunset.

And that look in your eyes in our last seconds together, when everyone that mattered was watching us and yet we were alone in our own little world, you and I. You looked...so scared. And I wanted to hold you, wanted you to hold me, because I was afraid too. I was losing you.

What can possibly be left for me, now that you're gone? The entire world will be at my disposal, but I want nothing to do with it. I was supposed to die, not you. Either that, or you were supposed to find some way to save me, some way to steal me away from this wretched end and kiss me like you did that night and hold me forever to you. Wasn't it clear enough that I'd sell my soul to spend the rest of my days at your side?

But I suppose that didn't matter to the fayth.

I don't suppose it's hate I feel for them...they've helped me so much.

But I feel that I can never feel anything but hurt fury for them...them, who took you from me.

It seems so silly that nothing else ever seemed to matter quite that much...once you came along.

Your promise of hope and life was...was like some eternal spring of happiness, where the water always tastes as wonderful as the first sip...and I knew I shouldn't have, but I drank eagerly from it. Needed it, maybe, as time went on. And now...

I feel my knees hit solid metal - painful, but I hardly notice the fall...my hands automatically hold me up from the cold surface, unbidden to do so by my mind. My rod falls and clatters on the steel hull, coming to a stop a few feet from me, a fact which I only barely soak in. The tears have by no means ceased or lessened -- I can't remember ever crying half so hard. My hands fail as well - I sink to my elbows, pressing my forehead against the unforgiving hollow steel of the airship and letting my body shake. The wind is suddenly cold, freezing cold...

The sun is not there to warm it.

I whisper his name to the deafened gale; the futile prayer soothes nothing. My whisper becomes a murmur, my murmur a choked cry. But my voice is too hoarse from crying - it hurts, and pain of any kind is unwelcome.

Unsteadily I stand, taking the rod in hand again. I raise it...

And hurl it as far as I can into the clouds, letting it fall, forever surrendered. It in itself has caused enough pain, and I refuse to be a bringer of still more death. At that thought, Mika's words are remembered involuntarily:


Spira is a spiral of death.

We were so close, Tidus. We'd almost won, you and I. Almost.

I close my eyes; let the wind slip through my fingers, my hair, urging me towards the edge.

*Am I next, then?*

Taking a glance at the seemingly endless clouds, I wonder - why not? My hands cup the wind at my sides; my arms raise.

I can fly.

I raise up on my toes, testing the feeling - ah, yes, weightless and timeless, a falling star in perpetual motion. I remember that feeling.

What would I have to lose?

A few close friends. Very dear to me, yes, but...

But Tidus...

He's a different story altogether.

Memories: like snapshots, they flit and flutter across my mind's eye.

The first time I saw him; heavens, I'll never forget that day. I don't know what compelled me to act like I'd known him all my life - but when I righted myself from my fall and looked right at him, it *was* as if he was someone who I'd known since childhood. My voice spoke my own wonder at the simple fact, and it confirmed my destiny.

'I've done it. I have...become a summoner,'

He had looked surprised, but not awkwardly so; after a moment, he'd smiled. And as quickly as it had come, the moment was gone - Lulu was asking me if I was alright, Kimahri was inspecting me for harm, and I didn't have a choice but to return my attention to my guardians.

And again, on the S.S. ... something or other. He came up near me, and I moved to give him space to look at the ocean. For once, I didn't have a clue what to say - I had planned to ask him questions, but the words wouldn't come to my mind anymore. So I intelligently commented on the first thing I noticed to start a conversation.

'The wind...it's nice.'

He glanced at me, grinning, and we both laughed at how pathetic that was. I was sure he sensed it as well as I did; the subconscious interest, the almost-palpable electricity - chemistry, would you call it? I never delved too far into the gossip circles of the Besaid women, so I didn't know the names for half the feelings I was getting. But I had known even before that moment that I wanted him near me, even if I didn't know why...quite yet.

Then again, while leaving Luca - where we lost ourselves in the simple joy of a relaxed moment alone. Now *that* had made him awkward - laughing aloud so even *I* thought we were insane, and by then I knew he must have thought that surely I was out of my senses. But...it felt good. And we really *were* laughing, weren't we?

I hadn't laughed like that in a long time.

It gave me a scare that he almost caught me making that sphere recording, out on Mi'ihen Highroad. By that time I'd admitted it to myself - yes, I was falling for him. It had been...frightening at first. The timing was undeniably all wrong, and...I didn't want anything more to lose. But it was a bit late for second thoughts; renouncing your feelings is hard, and in the end, usually fruitless. So I was falling for him - maybe even loved him a little. Just a little. Maybe. How was I supposed to know what love was like?

And then at the height of it all, when everything was going wrong and all my good efforts had been virtually undone, leaving me alone, he came and gave what comfort he knew how to give. That night in Macalania was by far my most cherished memory. The way his eyes --

No. Don't...think about it.

It's only more painful.

I'll...never see that again.

Not that...adorable quirky way he smiled, and the way I knew he meant it. So many smiles on my journey had been false. But his...his were always true.

The wind was nice this evening, too. Biting cold and now startlingly strong, enough to make it an effort to stay upright.

--I love you, I love you, a thousand times, I love you...--

And that was why I refused to meet another morning without his smiling face. I loved him so much it hurt...and the pain of that was myriads more exquisite than any form of death would be.

I faintly wondered what it would be like. Would I just...stop? Or would I close my eyes - would it be like falling asleep? Or would it be terrifying and miserable, like a flight through Hell?

All I knew was that we had to find each other again...some way. No matter what.

A future here, on Spira? Uncertain at best, and inevitably laced with misery. People would want to take his place... but who could possibly even come close? They would expect their Maestress to marry again, first thing. Marriage...ha. Maybe if Tidus were still here, that would work - he wouldn't need convincing at all.

Still more misery at that - what could have been, what could never be. Ah, yes, death was the cruelest force of all.

But...maybe the kindest as well.

I wasn't sure...what it would be like.

But...there was only one way to --



Eyes closed, all I could feel was the chilly rush of air - seemingly downward, but it was only my descent.

As if just awakening, my eyes opened. Immediately I was caught by a pair of familiar, strong arms. I didn't even need to think about it, as he swung me around to absorb the impact - we were both laughing so hard tears were soon coming to our eyes, and he promptly flopped down to wipe them away, from his eyes and my own.

We shared an exhilerated, idiotic grin as I snaked my fingers around his neck, to interlock at the back.

"You did it." He pressed his forehead against mine, hands holding me firmly to him. The sensation...pure delight.

I shook my head. "We."

"Okay. We."

"Aren't you angry?"

I was talking about my jump, and he knew it. "Well, it wasn't in the script, to say the least...no, I guess not. Really can't find it in me to be mad at you. But..."

"But what?"

"You can't stay with me." His regret for this was visible - he held me more tightly still, even as I struggled in protest to his words.

"No! But--!"

"Yuna, listen to me..."

"Tidus, *please--*" I begged, pulling his mouth to meet mine; it did, with an endearing and rough, bittersweet sort of passion that brought back in me the beginnings of my sadness.

"Yuna, it's not over yet, you hear me?"

I pretended not to, staying silently and blissfully pressed against his body. God, he was warm...just how I remembered.

"It's not over," he murmured, again. "and I'm going to see you again, alright? I promise."

"I want to stay here with you."

"And I want to stay with you, *over there.* Personally, I think *that's* a much better arrangement." he chuckled suddenly, a wry grin forming on his face. "Your story's not over quite yet."

"And what about yours?"

They were inevitably entwined, our fates. Even in this moment, it could be easily acknowledged. It was just one of those facts of life; something invariable, unquestionable.

"We'll see. Yuna...you have to go now."


"Hey." He smiled as much as he could, which was wavering somewhere between uneasy and forced. Not that comforting, but still, it was a smile... "I love you; you got that?"

Despite my disappointment at having to part with him so soon (by Yevon, way too soon! Any length of time with him, save eternity, was far too short.) I couldn't help but smile myself. "...Got it..."

He stroked my hair, looking slightly concerned. "You're not gonna remember any of this...and I know this is contradictory, but...try to remember that, alright? I love you."

"Why won't I remember it?"

He let out a slow, unhappy sigh. "It's not my doing. They're the ones that're controlling all this, and I'm almost positive they won't want you to remember."


Tidus shook his head. "There's no time to explain it all now. Our 'dear friends' are still here."

"What?" I asked dumbly. Tidus shook his head more resolutely, urging me to drop the subject. He gave a good incentive, too - gathering me close against him, kissing me warmly.

The darkness began to close on me again; the increasingly familiar ebbing away of consciousness. I recognized it this time, and clung to him in something akin to terror. He looked pained; as everything finally went black, I halfway felt his head turn, to look at some unknown point.

Tidus sounded shaken, but furious at the same time. His voice held a deep, audibly threatening resentment:

"That better have been enough."

I heard no more.


Consciousness returned to me only reluctantly.

Lulu's voice: "...poor thing's just in shock. You can't blame her. It'll take time for her to get back on her feet..."

"How long?" Rikku? Maybe Wakka. Couldn't place the voice.

"However long it takes!" Lulu again, her voice an angry snap. "You'd rush her now?"

I tried to speak her name, but couldn't make my mouth form the word -- my head ached terribly, plagued with a painful pulsing almost in synchronization with my heartbeat. I settled for a groan.

The desired result was achieved -- after a second, I felt her hand on my arm. "Yuna? Are you alright?"

"My head..." I mumbled. Gathering my senses enough to open my eyes, I found myself to be lying on my back, sandwiched between thin blankets and an uncomfortable bed. The room was dimly lit, thankfully - just that little amount of light made my eyes shut tightly again in pain.

"No wonder your head hurts." Lulu mused, with a dim amusement I found irritating. "You hit the deck pretty hard, hm?"

"You mean I...didn't jump?"

"Huh?...You...meant to?"

"What happened?" I repeated, forcing my eyes to stay open and look at her. Yes, it was Wakka who stood behind her, also looking concerned.

"I don't know. When I came out there, you were on the deck, out cold. I guess you just fell and hit your head. Those winds are strong, Yuna - don't stay out there alone again."

I nodded.

"You gonna be okay, Yuna?" Wakka asked. I forced a feeble smile at him.

"We'll see."

"Yuna, is there anything you need?" Lulu asked, stroking my hair. So motherly.

A thought came to mind, and I almost asked the question. Almost.

'Where's Tidus?'

But I stopped myself before I had the chance to blurt it out.

"I had the strangest dream..." I admitted instead.

"Oh? What about?"

I thought for a moment, and then tilted my head a bit in mild confusion.

"I don't have the slightest clue." Even to me, the surprise in my voice was audible. The dream - I remembered the feelings, but what had happened seemed just out of my mental grasp. It seemed like something I should have remembered - something I was supposed to keep in my mind. Important.

"How odd,"

"I don't remember any of it. I just remember it was really...sweet..."


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