A/N: First of all, a little note and improvement here. I have edited all the chapters and am finally stating Tidus' name. ::gasp:: ;

A few people have made me realize that the story is much easier to read when his actual name is used, and my job is easier as well since I can just say it.

The reason why the original chapters prior to chapter 14 didn't use Tidus' name was to keep with FFX's consistency. There was just something about how the characters never spoke his name that made me feel a bit hesitant about using it as well. I never heard what the other characters sounded like when they spoke his name, so I felt a bit odd with using it in the story. However that's all changing now.

I've just been so tempted to just say Tidus' name, so I finally get to do it. Enjoy the story in its improved form. =)

After completing FFX-2 and being overwhelmed with joy while watching the ending, I was tempted to write this since I haven't seen many FFX-2 fics out there yet. This takes place shortly after the game and its events, so spoilers for FFX and FFX-2 are evident and unmarked.

The story is heavily focused on Tidus and Yuna's relationship, but references to Shuyin (Shuin) make appearances throughout.

This is my first FINAL FANTASY X / X-2 story, and I plan to make this longer than the work I've done in the past. Although I haven't posted my other stories here yet, I will do so if/when I dig them out of the dark recesses of my hard drive. ;;

Any comments/suggestions are welcomed whole-heartedly. =)

Disclaimer: FINAL FANTASY X / X-2 and all characters mentioned in this story belong to Square Enix.

In Times When I Couldn't Hold You
By Ryee


Chapter 1

Standing there as they remained in that warm embrace, she wanted nothing more than to stay like that forever. The breeze blew against her bare arms and legs while the cool water splashed gently around their feet. She could hear their clothing rustling gently in the breeze. Soft wisps of his hair tickled the side of her face and neck making her smile with fondness.

As Yuna reluctantly broke their contact to steal a glance at his face once again, her smile faded when her green and blue eyes saw his features. A more prominent jaw, wisps of hair longer than what she had remembered, but nonetheless eyes filled with a longing and sadness. He smiled at her sadly and reached behind her to draw her form close to his once again.

"I've missed you."

Yuna stirred slightly in her sleep, her face frowning while she let out soft breaths. While traces of sleep faded away and the foggy images of the dream dissipated, she slowly let her eyes drift open. Taking in her surroundings, she remembered that she had spent the night in Besaid Village after a night of celebration. She smiled gently at the thought and cuddled the blankets.

The flap to the shelter fluttered gently from the breeze and a cool wind snuck in and hit her exposed leg. Yuna burrowed deeper into the blankets and shut her eyes with happiness at the previous night's festivities.

Rikku and Paine were exceptionally joyous and even enthusiastic that night, while Wakka and Lulu spoke to her about her journey while showing little Vidina to the other visitors that hadn't yet met him. Yuna laughed a little at the thought of Paine showing a side of herself Yuna had not seen before. Paine was smiling and even dancing to the music that had erupted, and although not as passionate as the way Rikku had acted that night, Paine seemed quite happy nonetheless.

Yuna took a deep breath. And of course the shocking revelation that Tidus had returned caused a brilliant smile to appear on her face. Last night had been a time for celebration, a time when all of Spira was saved, but more importantly - a time when Yuna's deepest wish had come true.

She still remembered seeing him from the Celsius high from the sky. Even from the airship's bridge, she couldn't mistake his characteristic figure. The bright colors of his clothing, to the deep azure of his clear eyes - Yuna could see it all even despite the altitude. She had sprinted to the opening of the airship and almost hurt herself jumping down onto the shore to see him. Her heart had pounded so furiously out of happiness and pure joy to finally run into his arms again.

Two years ago when she had run towards him as he was disappearing was a scene that she knew all too well. Since that day, she kept playing back that moment in the deepest depths of her mind, all with a heavy heart.

Yuna wiped a few stray tears that had leaked from the corners of her eyes. She laughed softly. None of that mattered now. The fayth had granted the single most valuable gift to her. He was back.

Pushing the blankets away and moving towards the edge of the bed, she wondered why it was so quiet in the village. More importantly, where did Tidus go? Surely everyone should have been awake by now. Yuna walked over to the doorway and slipped out into the square. Her eyes focused at the hints of sunrise peeking from the top of the temple. It was barely morning, and she realized that he wasn't anywhere.

She froze. What if it was all a dream? Yuna shook her head. No. It couldn't be. He was here. Real and alive just like she had asked for. Calming herself and heading in the direction of the beach, she set out to find him.

As Yuna neared the shore, she could see a lone figure sitting on the sand. Making out his distinctive wispy hair billowing gently in the early morning breeze, she suddenly felt very mischievous. Silently, without making a sound, she crept up behind him ready to make her attack.

"I know you're there," he suddenly said. He didn't turn to face her but she could hear the smile in his voice.

Yuna hit him playfully and frowned in defeat. "Oh, you spoiled it," she said while seating herself next to him. Her mouth opened slightly in admiration at the beauty of the water. It had been so long since Yuna had watched the sea in the early morning, and today it dazzled like crystals - a brilliant ocean of orange-red twinkling at her.

As she continued to gape at the early morning's beauty, she felt a sudden warmth come around her. She turned her head to the side and smiled. He had moved behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Yuna sighed happily and let her back lean against his chest.

"So why were you out here?" she slowly asked after some time. He was silent, but laced their fingers together.

After a few more moments of silence he finally spoke. "I was just thinking about some things."

Yuna looked down at their intertwined hands. She frowned a little. "What things?" she softly asked, a bit hesitant if he was willing to speak about it.

She felt him shift slightly. "You know...I never thought I was going to see you again..." he trailed off. Yuna said nothing but he continued after a few moments. "All these years away from you. I thought I had lost you for good," Tidus continued.

Yuna looked into the sparkling water. "I know. I felt the same," she paused and took a deep breath. She felt his hold tighten around her. "After we fought Vegnagun, I heard a whistle. It was then that the fayth appeared and asked if I wanted to see you..." she trailed off. Composing herself once more she continued. "I told him I did."

She turned around to face him. His eyes were cast downward but slowly rose to meet hers. Yuna raised her hand toward his face. The action in itself was only to assure her that he was indeed real and wasn't going to fade again. She saw him smile.

"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere," Tidus spoke softly. He pulled her into another embrace.

Yuna closed her eyes, wanting to savor the peaceful moment with him. She felt his hands resting at the small of her back. Her eyes suddenly snapped open. Her dream the night before returned to her, albeit a bit hazy.

Although Yuna couldn't remember the dream in its entirety, she felt herself pulling away from him slightly to look into his face. Clear blue eyes stared back at her.

"I've missed you," the voice echoed.

"What is it?" he asked her softly. Raising his gloved hand to stroke the hair away from her eyes, she looked down.

"No, it's nothing," Yuna replied. She cleared her mind of the strange feeling. She stood up and smiled down at him. Grabbing his hands she struggled to lift him up with her.

He laughed. "Okay, okay, I'm up." Yuna smiled cheerfully.

"Let's go back to the village. I'm sure Rikku and the others are up by now," Yuna told him. They began to walk up the beach hand in hand. Yuna swung their arms playfully.

"You know, I'm pretty sure Wakka wouldn't be up by now. Knowing him, he's probably still as lazy as I remember. He's really gotten bigger these last two years!" Tidus added.

Yuna laughed and kicked up some sand. "He definitely has! I'm surprised at how much his belly has grown!" she giggled. Looking up into the sky, the traces of red and orange had cleared to a deep blue. Birds flew overhead. "I'm happy for him and Lulu."

"Yeah, Vidina looks just like him. It's kinda funny to see a little Wakka," he chuckled.

As they neared the village, Yuna could see Rikku running up to them. She stopped in front of the two and smiled suspiciously.

"And where have you two been?" she nudged Tidus in time with her words. Standing with her hands behind her back, Rikku winked at Yuna.

"Um, we were just down at the shore," Yuna told her cousin slowly. She had always stuttered when she knew Rikku had caught her doing something.

"Ohhh, the shore," Rikku said teasingly. She came near Yuna and whispered into her ear. "And what were you two doing down there, hmm?" she asked.

Yuna leaned away from Rikku. "N-nothing! We were just talking!" she told her cousin. Yuna heard a chuckle from him.

"Rikku, you haven't changed at all," Tidus told her jokingly.

But before Rikku had the opportunity to retort, Yuna heard Wakka's voice from his hut.

"Hey you kids! Watcha doin' up so early?" he shouted from their shelter. The trio watched as the older man jogged up to them.

"Mornin' Wakka. How's it going?" Rikku asked cheerfully. "You still okay from that party last night?"

Wakka scratched his head. "Ehh, y'know. I got responsibilities now that I'm a father, ya?" he replied. "Gotta get up early for Lu and Vidina," he continued.

Yuna smiled. Wakka had sure changed. Everything he spoke about had something to do with his family. She admired the man actually. His whole life had been one full of changing lifestyles. From a blitzer to a guardian to a father. She was grateful for his help during the pilgrimage, and finally seeing him content with his life made her happy.

Wakka turned to Yuna. "So what are the two of you up to?" he asked, his eyes looking between them.

Rikku interrupted. "They were down at the beach early this morning," she said teasingly again.

Yuna couldn't help but smile. Although she knew the younger girl was happy that the two of them were finally together again, she knew Rikku would still keep her teasing side - especially when it came to Yuna and her relationships.

"How about you, Rikku? How's Gippal doing?" Yuna said. She couldn't help it. Yuna knew there was some history between the blonde and the leader of the Machine Faction.

Rikku laughed nervously. "Ehehe. Yunie, I already told you! Nothing happened between Gippal and me!" she said defensively.

"Gippal? You mean the leader of the Machine Faction? Rikku, you never told us!" Wakka said, crossing his arms in the process.

All eyes were cast on Rikku as she fidgeted nervously. "Ehh, you know. Why don't I go wake Paine up! I'm sure she wants to go with us today to visit Gipp- I mean Baralai and the others!" Rikku stuttered. Before anyone could say anything more, Rikku sprinted in the direction of Paine's hut.

"Aha! I knew it! Something did happen between those two," Yuna laughed in fondness. As she watched her cousin's retreating form, she felt a gentle tug at her hand and looked over at Tidus.

"You've met a lot of people while I was gone. Even Rikku seems like she's finally interested in someone," he told Yuna with amusement. Yuna nodded and smiled. As the two walked toward their hut, he spoke again. "Paine, Nooj, Baralai, Gippal, Shinra, Lenne." Tidus trailed off and smiled. "I sure missed a lot, huh?" he chuckled and turned to look at her.

Yuna didn't see his gaze. Yes, Lenne. Thoughts of the former summoner brought the unavoidable name of him with it. Shuyin. A name that Yuna found herself avoiding. She hadn't spoken about Shuyin to him yet. Nobody else in the village had mentioned Shuyin to him either. It was strange. The man who tried to destroy Spira had never been spoken of yet. Yuna frowned at another memory.

When she had awoken during her visit to the Farplane, her heart had skipped a beat as Shuyin emerged from the fog. His voice was so soft then, speaking to her with a sense of longing. But Yuna knew it wasn't him. No, it could never have been him. When Shuyin hugged her afterward, all her fears and sadness seemed to have vanished during that moment. But regardless of how real the feeling seemed, Yuna knew it was Lenne's conscious that was inside her. Lenne's feelings and the dressphere had made Yuna feel that way toward Shuyin.

"Yuna, is something wrong?" she heard Tidus voice suddenly speak up.

She turned to him, suddenly feeling guilty that she was thinking of another man when she was with him. "No, don't worry about it," Yuna said. She smiled to reassure him.

"Are you sure? You know you can tell me anything," he whispered softly. They sat together on the bed. "I'm here now. What's wrong? You acted the same way at the shore this morning," he told her while pulling them together into an embrace.

Yuna remained still. 'I should tell him about Shuyin. I don't have feelings for him, so there was nothing to fear.'

She pulled away slowly. "You're right," Yuna began. He looked at her. "There is more to the story than what I told you last night," she finished. Yuna studied his facial expression.

"Alright, what else happened on your journey?" Tidus asked. His face was completely neutral and was filled with curiosity.

She took a deep breath, anticipating what his reaction would be.

End of Chapter 1

A/N: A bit shorter than what I intended, but the next chapter will be longer. Until then.