By Th' Lady Shadow
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
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.
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
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...
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
'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
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,
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
--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
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
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
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."
"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..."
"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.
"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
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
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?"
"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."
"You gonna be okay, Yuna?" Wakka asked. I forced a feeble smile at him.
"Yuna, is there anything you need?" Lulu asked, stroking my hair. So
A thought came to mind, and I almost asked the question. Almost.
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.
"I don't remember any of it. I just remember it was really...sweet..."
A special thanks to Ethereal Fury, for beta-reading this and oh-so-cleverly
helping me with the title... *snicker* Thanks a
I know there are some minor, unexplained details in this fic, but that's
because it was designed to halfway accompany my
pet project-in-progress, DCT, which doesn't *have* to be read to understand
this, but certainly helps. It can be found at: