Tidus brought Yuna flowers once.

They had stopped for the night, and he and Rikku and Wakka had gone to the waterside
to play blitzball (or really just play around in the serf with a blitzball) and Tidus came back
with a ragged collection of lace-edged flowers, which grew among the sea grass on the
dunes. He presented her the bouquet almost sheepishly, his hair waterlogged and hanging in
his eyes, chalky salt tracks running down his face.

Rikku bounced around them with an armful of her own, and Tidus gave a few to Lulu too.
Yuna was glad for that - she might not have let herself accept them otherwise, no matter
how much she wanted to. She wore one flower tucked behind her ear for the rest of the day,
and left the rest in the hotel room. She thought about drying them, but decided it was
probably wiser if she didn't.

She likes watching him and Rikku together. They should have been the pair of cousins,
they're so much alike. They feed off each others energy, getting more and more worked up
over some new idea or discovery until their excitement practically glows around them and
Sir Auron voices a practical objection with a mildly cutting edge. They both glare at him and

But Yuna has to admit she likes to watch him more when he's alone.

Tidus is pure motion, sleek muscular energy, with an athlete's economy of grace. When he
stops, it's abrupt and focused and usually quick. His eyes are almost an unsettling blue; it
was one of the first things she noticed about him, although at the time it was in a purely
analytic way - he was new to Besaid, his eyes were blue, he looked confused and
overwhelmed. But one thing about Tidus is he never lets himself be overwhelmed by
anything for very long. She noticed that about him early on too.

Sometimes a trick of the light will turn his eyes the burnished gold of a Ronso's, and when he
looks at her her belly feels warm and liquid.

He's impetuous but not thoughtless, and when he accidently brushes against her arm or
waist she can feel it for the rest of the day, prickles of static in the shape of his hand.


When Yuna sits next to him by the fireside, Tidus can feel himself sit up straighter and
something large and heavy in his chest expanding as if to squeeze all the air out of his lungs.

He's never met a girl like her. Maybe because she isn't even a /girl/, not really. Well,
Lulu's definitely not a girl either, but Yuna doesn't scare him. Not that Lulu scares him,
she's just kinda intense and... yeah.

Yuna's the most elegant thing he's ever seen, and he makes a complete ass out of himself
in front of her at least five times a day. But she just smiles at him sweetly, and he feels all
warm and goofy inside.

For someone so reserved, Yuna is surprisingly tactile. She's always running her hand
against the wall, patting the trunks of trees that she passes, turning a stone over in the palm
of her hand. Deep in thought, her fingers will stroke up and down her staff in a way that
makes him a little uncomfortable.

She's all smoothness and roundness and silk. Her serenity radiates around her; he watches
her talking to people and invariably a few minutes later they are calmer and happier.
Sometimes Tidus wants to curl around her and absorb that peacefulness for himself, but
that seems selfish somehow.

Once when he'd been in a funk about Sin and Jecht and getting back to Zanarkand, Yuna
had sat next to him and put her head in her hands, making a little 'hmm' noise as if he were
one of those puzzles that depend on the one piece that never fits anywhere. Then she had
flashed one of those brilliant smiles, pressed a piece of coral into his hand, and flitted

The coral was rough and pinkish with edges that jutted out for no particular reason. He
kept it in his pocket until he lost it somewhere in the Thunderplains.


There are some things that Yuna knows unequivocally, instinctively and deep in her bones.
She can't remember a time when she wasn't determined to be a Summoner. And the
second or third time she saw Tidus's grin or the way he cocked his head when he was
trying to understand something, well, she knew.

It hasn't even occurred to her to tell him. She hasn't told anyone, although Lulu and
Kimahri at least know. It could only hurt him, and that's the last thing she ever wants to
do. He's keeping her safe from fiends, and in return she will keep him safe from her.

The secret is nestled inside her chest, snug and safe, like a baby bird. It's sweet enough to
keep the doubts, the fear, the misery and the other, nastier secrets at bay.


She's way out of his league.

Tidus isn't used to thinking that about most girls, but Yuna isn't most girls, and he can
accept the fact that she's too good for him without real rancor.

Still, maybe when this is all over, when both their jobs are done, he might be able to sit her
down and tell her. The worst she would do is reject him gently, and then he'll just find a hole
to crawl up and die in. Or maybe she won't and, oh man. That would be /great/.

When all of this is over, then he'll know.