A note from the Hime no Argh herself-

Well, this is it...my very first FFX story! Hope it's good. I know, this idea has probably been done about a billion times before, but I'm hoping that maybe my version will be original and interesting and capture everyone's attention. So don't hesitate to share any suggestions you have, they could be very helpful.

Al Bhed translations are at the bottom. I'm a fan of Al Bhed, so I'll probably have Rikku talking in her native language fairly often throughout the story. Translations will always be available at the bottom of the page.

I am an FFX fandom newbie. ^__^ Welp, I shall attempt to make my mark herein. Thanks very much for reading, and enjoy!


* * *

Waking Dreams


Chapter 1
The Waking Dream


She lay deep beneath the sea, cradled in the ocean's current. The water around her was warm, the deepest blue, dark and soothing. From somewhere deep in the sea came drifting notes, a song tinged with heavy sadness. The Fayth's hymn.

A light streaked past, then another, then another. They were pyreflies, spheres of colored light that were the spirits of the dead. The three gathered close, and began to speak.

"There's been a change." She recognized the quiet, wry tone. It was Braska's voice. "The Fayth want to reward our deed."

"Which deed?" The deep, dry voice belonged to Auron. "There are so many of them."

The next voice, gravelly and masculine, struck a chord of familiarity, but she could not place it. "Yer deeds, maybe. If we're talkin' about the good kind, I got none."

"That's not true, Jecht," Braska protested. "You have plenty."

"Name one," Jecht scoffed.

"You gave your life to become my final aeon."

"And became Sin."

"Does it matter?" Auron interrupted. "It's in the past."

"It's all in the past," Jecht said peevishly. "At least I thought it was. We gave it all up for my kid and that was that, right? I was happy enough with just disappearin', ya know."

"I think that is the issue," Braska remarked. "They know we gave all we had left for the life of Jecht's son."

"It was worth it," Auron said quietly.

"Of course," Braska agreed. "And they are following our example."

"What example?" Jecht demanded.

"The Fayth want to disappear," Auron supplied pensively. "They are tired of dreaming. They will not even go to the Farplane. They merely want to sleep."

"They are willing to give us new life," Braska added quietly.

"Yer kiddin'," Jecht said disbelievingly. "They wanna do for us what we did for my kid?"

"If Tidus is alive in Spira, I'm sure I know what he will search for. We could accompany him," Auron suggested. "The three of us. We'll see all our old friends again."

"I dunno," Jecht said doubtfully. "I don't think-"

"Oh, you don't think," Auron retorted. "You're just afraid to see your son again."

"You gotta be kiddin' me! That ain't true!"

Auron laughed. "I knew you were too thick-skulled to admit it. Fine, then. If you're not afraid, then come back with us."

"I ain't afraid," Jecht said defensively.

"So? What'll it be?"

"You really wanna live and die again, Auron? My kid'll probably kill me anyway."

"That would be entertaining," Braska commented, amused. "You'll have to tell me all about it when you die again."

"Why?" Jecht said, sounding confused. "You can watch it just as well."

Auron sighed. "I think he means he's not coming, Jecht," he said patiently.

"Oh." Then, "What? Hang on a sec! If I have to go back, so do you!"

"No," Braska said firmly. "I've earned my rest. I don't have anything left to occupy me in that world. You two do, especially you, Jecht."

"'Cause I got a kid? You got a kid, y'know."

"He's right," Auron pointed out. "What about your daughter?"

Braska hesitated. "I don't want to return to her," he said slowly, "if there's a chance I might just leave her again soon. I'm older than her, I would die before her. I don't want her to lose me all over again."

"That's a good point, Braska. I feel the same way, y'know?"

"Don't you start, Jecht," Auron said exasperatedly. "You can't use that excuse. Braska's at peace with his child. You are not."

"You always gotta make this tough for me, y'know that?" Jecht complained.

"Of course I do. What fun would it be if it weren't tough for you?"

"Try not to bicker too much in your new lives," Braska said, amused. "It gives people headaches."

"Yeah, yeah. How are we supposed to find my kid, anyway?" Jecht demanded.

"The Fayth will find him for us," Auron said patiently.

"You said you know what he's gonna be searchin' for," Jecht commented thoughtfully. "What exactly is he gonna be searching for, anyway?"

"Yuna, of course. Wherever she goes, he'll follow."

* * *

The sound of waves crashing against the shore woke her. Yuna opened her eyes and stared up at the sky. It was stained a deep orange tinged with delicate pink, the color of sunset. She blinked in surprise. Had she really slept this long?

Her feet were wet. Yuna slowly sat up and watched as approaching waves flooded over her feet and ankles, water seeping into her boots and soaking the hem of her skirt. She'd fallen asleep here on this hidden beach outside Luca sometime shortly after noon, when the tide was low. Now the sun was setting and the warm sea rising. So much for a catnap, Yuna thought wryly as she climbed to her feet.

She paused, gazing out at the sea. Her dream was as stark in her mind as if it were a true memory. A conversation between Auron, her former guardian, Tidus's father Jecht, and her own father, the High Summoner Braska. A far cry from the sort of dreams she usually had.

"Just a dream," she told herself softly. "Just a figment of your imagination."

How she wished it wasn't.

The sea, stained gold by the setting sun, beckoned to her. Yuna walked hesitantly forward, wading into the waves until she was waist deep. She stood there for silently, rocking slightly on her toes as though she were anticipating something- anticipating what?

Though the sun had only slipped a few more inches, it still seemed like hours had passed when a familiar voice called from the shore. "Yunie! Hey, Yunie!"

Yuna smiled to herself, then turned to wave at her friend. "I'm right here, Rikku!"

The Al Bhed stood on the shore well away from the waves, wearing her usual orange shirt and yellow shorts, her golden hair tied back and hung with feathers. She put two fingers in her mouth and gave an ear-splitting whistle. "Whatcha doing there in the water?"

"Just wetting my toes," Yuna replied, and laughed. She waded out of the water and up onto dry sand.

Rikku linked arms with her and began to walk back toward the wooden stairs that led up the cliff face shadowing the beach. Yuna had no choice but to follow. "You better come back and let Wakka know you're alive," she said, grinning mischieviously. "He's stomping mad 'cause he thinks you weren't there for his Blitzball match this morning."

"But I was," Yuna protested, surprised.

"Yeah, but then you took off before Wakka could meet up with us."

"Didn't you tell him I went for a walk?"

Rikku laughed. "We told him, but you never came back! What happened, anyway?"

"Oh, I fell asleep on the beach," Yuna explained sheepishly.

"Did you have a nice dream?" Rikku asked teasingly. At those words, Yuna fell silent.

Rikku looked at her closely. "Yunie? Yna oui famm?" she asked worriedly in Al Bhed, her native tongue. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Yuna replied, shaking her head. "I just had kind of a weird dream, that's all."

"What about?" Rikku asked, but before Yuna could reply they heard another familiar yell from the top of the cliff.

"Yo! Dere you are, Yuna!" Yuna and Rikku glanced up to see Wakka, an enormous, tanned figure with bright red hair and a cheerful grin, waving frantically.

"Hi, Wakka!" Yuna called as she and Rikku ascended the steps.

Wakka waited for them at the top, his fists planted on his hips. "How come you didn't come to de match?" he demanded immediately.

"She was there," Rikku said defensively. "You were so busy getting yourself kicked in the head that you didn't notice."

Wakka grinned, revealing large white teeth. "Hey, I didn't mind. Dat got my team a penalty shot!"

"I'm sorry I didn't stick around after the match," Yuna said, bowing apologetically. "The crowd was getting to me. I needed a walk."

"She fell asleep on the beach," Rikku promptly added, explaining Yuna's long absence.

"Oh," Wakka said easily as they began to head up the path toward Luca City. "Dat's alright, den. So did you guys see me make dat penalty shot?"

"Yes, we did!" Yuna said admiringly. "I thought you might be dizzy, but you pulled it off with no trouble. That was really impressive, Wakka."

Wakka rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, grinning. "Well, I've taken worse den dat," he admitted, sounding pleased. "It was worth it, anyway. Dat point brought us back from our slump, won de whole game."

"Only you could be happy about getting kicked in the head," Rikku laughed, nudging Wakka with her elbow.

He grinned and patted Rikku affectionately on the back, nearly knocking the wind out of her. "You got dat right!"

Yuna remained silent, listening to her friends chatter with one ear while she watched Luca approach. The entire city was glowing in defiance of the darkening sky. In just two years Luca had begun transforming into a machina city, lit with electricity and powered by generators, as Zanarkand must have once been. Though some aspects of it, such as the Blitzball stadium, were still powered by magic, most of Luca's citizens were used to the modern technology that the Al Bhed were helping to incorporate into a world without Sin. On a distant shore far from Bevelle, where Yevon's false religion was still preached, Luca had no trouble making the transition.

I wish he could see Luca now, Yuna thought sadly, her dream still on her mind. I bet it would seem so familiar to him.

"...definitely make the next match, right, Yunie? Yunie?"

Yuna blinked and glanced at Rikku. "Oh, I'm sorry. What?"

Rikku stopped walking, planting her hands on her hips and staring Yuna in the eyes. "Are you sure you're okay, Yunie? You've been zoning out an awful lot lately."

"She isn't getting enough sleep, either," came Lulu's dry voice. The woman stood before them on the path, wearing her odd black dress with its tight bodice and skirt made of belts. Her dark hair was pinned up and braided, her red eyes level as she gazed at Yuna. "Isn't that right?"

Yuna shifted her weight from foot to foot uneasily. "How did you know?"

Lulu shrugged. "We do share a room," she pointed out. "I hear you leave sometimes at night. You've got dark circles under your eyes all the time, as well."

Wakka looked at Yuna worriedly. "You go out late at night? Where d'you go?"

"Just walking," Yuna said sheepishly. "I like the glow of the machina lights. It reminds me of Zan-" She halted abruptly.

"Reminds you of what?" Wakka demanded, but Rikku and Lulu gave Yuna sympathetic glances.

"Never mind," Lulu murmured to Wakka. "Come on, Yuna. Let's go get some dinner, hm?"

"Sure," Yuna said, putting on a smile. She followed Lulu, arm and arm with Rikku, Wakka bringing up the rear, and together they headed toward the glow of the machina city.

* * *

Lulu insisted on accompanying Yuna on an evening stroll through the city, saying she had something she wanted to talk about. For a while, though, the two women walked in silence through the bustling streets, lit by the pure whire glow of the machina lights. They went to the Blitzball stadium at the heart of the city, where several teams were holding late-night practice in the same globe, perfecting their moves while they tried to keep from bumping into each other.

After watching for a bit, Yuna and Lulu left and headed to the theatre district. Here, people dressed in their best milled on the elegant walkways extending over the water, on their way to the stylish theatre or the fancy restraunts and shops.

The women paused in a small niche in a walkway, sitting on a bench that faced the water. For several minutes they sat quietly, gazing out at the ocean. Then Lulu spoke at last.

"Rikku said you dreamed."

"Mm," Yuna said.

"On the beach," Lulu added. "She thought it upset you."

"It didn't really," Yuna said softly. "It was just a dream."

"What about?"

Yuna hesitated. "It was- my father," she said haltingly. "And Sir Auron." She paused again, briefly. "And Sir Jecht."

Lulu looked sharply at Yuna. "Him? The one who...?"

"Was Sin," Yuna confirmed in a wry tone. She paused. "And Tidus's father."

"Well?"

"Well what?"

"What happened?"

"Oh." Yuna looked at the water below them. "They just talked."

Lulu sighed. "Do you know, Yuna, that you get very dense when something's bothering you? Which makes me think there's more to this dream that you're telling me. Now, we can easily sit here and go around in circles all night, but I must say, I think you'd feel better if you just came out and said it."

"They said Tidus had come back to life," Yuna stated flatly.

Lulu gave a small "ahh" of comprehension.

"It felt very, very real," Yuna added quietly. "As though I had heard a true conversation."

"Dreams often seem real," Lulu said calmly. "Especially those about the ones we have lost."

"But it doesn't make sense," Yuna said, frustrated. "Why should I dream about Auron, Jecht, and my father? And they said some very strange things, Lulu."

"Like?"

"Well, first they said that the Fayth wanted to bring them back to life, as Braska, Auron, and Jecht did for Tidus."

"So they said Tidus is alive?" Lulu murmured.

"Yes." Yuna hesitated. "And they said he's looking for me."

Lulu glanced at Yuna sidelong, but the former summoner stared at her hands in her lap.

"It would be wonderful if that were true," Lulu said quietly. "But it was probably just a dream, my dear."

Yuna smiled. "Oh, I know," she said cheerily, and rose to her feet. "Should we go?"

Lulu gazed at her for a moment, then stood as well. "Yes, let's go."

They went back to the hotel in Luca Harbor. Wakka was in the lobby with two of his teammates, arguing Blitzball tactics- they didn't bother him. Rikku was already asleep in the room the women shared. Lulu went to bed and fell asleep shortly, but Yuna lay awake, staring at the ceiling.

Sunrise was perhaps an hour or two away when Yuna finally got up and left the room. The lobby was all but deserted; Wakka and his teammates had gone, to bed or perhaps to the stadium for some early morning practice. The lights still shone outside, though a pale gray glow in the east suggested the coming of dawn. Yuna walked the streets like a person half-asleep, her legs carrying her as though they had a mind of their own.

She ended up on the cliff over the hidden beach cocooned within Luca's rocky shores. Yuna hesitated for a moment, then headed down the stairs to the beach. She kicked her boots off in the sand and waded barefoot into the warm surf.

"Have you missed me?"

Yuna glanced to her right. Tidus stood beside her, waist-deep in the water, his patient, loving eyes on her.

Yuna smiled at him. "Every single day since you left."

"I was afraid you'd say that," he said gravely.

"Why afraid?"

"Because I don't want you to be sad."

She drifted closer to him, her hand just next to his, almost touching. "I'm not sad anymore."

Tidus smiled in his cheery, boyish way. "Me neither," he announced, but then she saw him ripple, like the water in which they were half-submerged.

Yuna stepped back like she'd been slapped in the face, reeling with shock and pain, and saw the small waves she created pass through Tidus as though he weren't even there. "You're not real," she choked, tears blurring her vision.

The water didn't move when he stepped closer to her, and she couldn't feel the hands he placed on her shoulders. But she could feel him, his presence near her. A part of her. Half of her soul.

"Yuna," he whispered, "I swear I'll find you."

Yuna looked up quickly, but he was gone.

* * *

To be continued.

* * *

Translations

Yna oui famm- "Are you well?"