By Lilac Summers

And he was gone.

As quickly as he'd appeared in her life, he had left. Yuna didn't know quite how she felt. It was as if everything inside her had entered some sort of stasis. So many defining moments today. Sin defeated. Auron sent. Her aeons killed by her own hand. And Tidus...

How could he have been a dream? How could that be fair?

She'd been so willing to die. She had lived her life always moving towards that one purpose. She'd fought to bring hope to her people, to seem happy to her friends, to be content with her life. It had been such a limited life. She hadn't had the chance to be a flirtatious teenager, to sneak out to bonfires, to get drunk and silly on smuggled plum wine. She had never fretted over whether she would ever be as sophisticated as Lulu, or join a blitzball team like Wakka. Or do something completely crazy, or completely mundane. Be an explorer; be a shopkeeper.

She'd never asked-had stopped only to guiltily wonder, but quickly squelched the possibility-whether she'd ever have lovers.

Have love. She'd never asked for it. She'd never asked for anything.

She should have asked. The thought burned through her slowly-thawing emotions. The pain was coming now, deep and sweet as she stared down into the swirling clouds he'd disappeared through.

She should have asked him what he meant when he said he'd "disappear." But somehow she'd already known, but like a fool she'd thought everything would turn out differently. Happy endings. She'd believed in happy endings.

If you had only asked...

Fayths help her, she would have been willing to let Sin live. She would have given up her life for Sin, but not her love.

And she should have asked how they could do this to her. How could the fayths send him into her path only to take him away?

What right had they had? Rage swept away the shock of sorrow. It felt wonderful and heady, for Yuna was never ever angry. Always kind, always gentle and understanding. Well, she was angry now. It flared within her into twisting shapes. She could only be thankful her aeons were gone, for she would have torn the sky with their power. She could understand, now, the vengeance of Valefor, the rage of Ifrit, the cynicism of Shiva, the hunger of Bahamut, the pain of Anima. She felt them all simmer from her head to her fingertips.

The sorrow she'd felt at their deaths only mingled with the agony of his leaving. Too much, too soon for her to handle. The urge to lash out was enormous.

But she was Yuna. And Yuna was never, ever angry. Never, ever sad. Never, ever hopeless.

So she swayed on her feet, lifted her face to the heavens...and began to laugh. Great gulping spasms of laughter that echoed over the sound of rushing wind and churning motors. She laughed at evertyhing she hadn't asked for, and then had taken away. Laughed at her friends' looks of horrified surprise, and laughed even harder when their faces blurred into inky spots through a haze of bitter tears.

And she laughed and laughed and laughed till her throat was hoarse and she felt her spirit shatter into so many broken pieces of colored glass, to float away with the rest of the iridescent lights. To float away with him, till she was empty inside and all that remained was her pretty, pretty laugh.

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