A/N: Ah, yes. We've finally made it to the end. I think I've accomplished everything I wanted to tell in this story based on my own interpretations of FFX-2, as well as its more elusive, and hidden meanings. Part of the reason I decided to begin a story like this was because of the nature in which FFX-2 was presented. I felt that the plot was not solidified as much as I was expecting it would be, and I admit that there were plot holes in the story that left fans like myself and many others wondering the "what ifs" of the game.
Well, I've finally finished what I set out to do, and I'm glad you all have welcomed the story with open arms. I know you must have hated me each and every time I ended a chapter, because of those damn cliffhangers, huh? My deepest apologies, and also my deepest thanks to you all. Without your support and your interest in the fic, there would have been no other reason for me to continue, but because of you guys I did.
A possible GippalxRikku story may happen in the future, but not for some time. I really would want to do one, and this time it would be Rikku's story and her quest to fulfill what Yuna had helped her with... if you have seen that one scene I was talking about in the last A/N of Chapter 15.
Until then, the story is drawing to a close. ;;
"Time is so long that these tiny palms can barely hold it
At the end of a million-mile voyage,
We can still run across smiling faces." "Pray" from FINAL FANTASY
Finale: Chapter 16
They were drifting. A canvas of colors, its brilliant lights, and shades, blazed by them. Hands still joined, Yuna shut her eyes from the brightness and wondered how far they had gone and when they would arrive...to their home.
She imagined what it would be like to finally rest easy knowing the world was once again at peace. Although the people of Spira had thought that the end of Vegnagun meant peace for everyone, Yuna knew that it was not entirely true. Not everyone had found their peace. No...there were two people who had spent more than a lifetime finding that. And now they finally had it.
Shuyin and Lenne. The tragic couple had changed something within her. Perhaps it was because they had reminded her of herself and Tidus on a number of occasions, yet all four of them had felt the same sadness. Yuna knew how she had felt without Tidus by her side, and Shuyin had experienced the same when Lenne was taken away from him.
Yuna remembered that day after the defeat of Vegnagun. When Lenne had emerged from her body, she couldn't believe it. As Yuna watched Lenne and Shuyin reunite under that star-filled sky, her heart was both happy and sorrowful at the same time. She didn't think she could feel both of those emotions, but now the sorrowful part had dissipated. Shuyin and Lenne could now rest together.
Suddenly the movement stopped. Yuna felt a gentle squeeze on her hand and opened her eyes slowly, hesitantly.
Did they make it back?
As her eyes focused, she met the smiling face of none other than Rikku. Her cousin was smiling at her with tear-filled eyes as the pyreflies that had brought them back disappeared into the sky.
"Welcome back, Yunie..." Rikku whispered as she ran to Yuna in an embrace.
Yuna raised her arms to hug the small form of her cousin. She smiled happily.
"Sorry to have worried you all..." Yuna said softly.
"Took you long enough, Yuna," Paine said teasingly. Nevertheless the warrior walked up to Rikku and Yuna to join the embrace as well.
Tidus stood back and smiled at the three girls. He suddenly felt eyes watching him as he looked up to see three male faces he had never recognized before.
"Y-You!!" Tidus saw a man with an eye patch on his eye exclaim, one finger pointed accusingly at Tidus.
"Aha. Ah...hi there," Tidus stuttered nervously as the man continued to glare at him. Tidus slid his eyes around to another man who was leaning on a metal walking stick, and another man with silver hair. All three were all regarding him with suspicious eyes.
Yuna pulled away from the embrace and laughed when she saw the glares Tidus was receiving from Gippal, Nooj, and Baralai.
"Guys, why the suspicious faces?" Yuna said teasingly as she moved up to Tidus' side. He put an arm around her slowly while she looked up to smile at him apologetically.
"Indeed," Baralai began thoughtfully. He slowly smiled. "Rikku and Paine were right."
"Damn...never thought two people could ever look so much alike..." Gippal suddenly spoke up as he glanced over Tidus. He was no longer glaring. Standing with one hand on his hip, he continued to think over what Baralai had said about Tidus being the dream of Shuyin. The Al Bhed could hardly believe it.
"The resemblance is uncanny," Nooj said as well.
"Enough talk about how much he looks like Shuyin!" Leblanc interjected suddenly, much to the surprise of everyone. Tidus raised an eyebrow at her curiously. She had been watching the whole thing and couldn't help but laugh.
"You know loves, this calls for a celebration," she said.
Rikku's ears perked up at the mention of a party.
"Oooh! A party!!" the girl exclaimed. Throwing one fist into the air, Gippal couldn't help but smile when he saw her start to dance in place.
"Somebody stop her..." Paine said. Yuna could hear the smile in Paine's voice.
"You guys party a lot here, don't you?" Tidus suddenly asked Yuna. She laughed when he said this.
"They've always been fun," she replied with a smile.
"Yes, a celebration," Leblanc spoke as she began to head for the Farplane's exit. "Come on, loves. My treat this time," she said.
Logos and Ormi trailed after her, but Yuna caught the smiles on their faces.
"Wait for us, boss!" Ormi exclaimed as they caught up with her.
Yuna smiled at Leblanc's retreating form. It was strange really. When she had first met the Leblanc Syndicate, she had always been hesitant around them during their first moments as sphere hunters. Yet, when the bigger problems like Vegnagun arose, Yuna could hardly believe that they had stopped their petty fighting and actually sided with each other to save Spira. Yuna knew Leblanc had a soft side, and she was grateful that the other woman had begun to open up to the Gullwings.
With smile to shake away her memories, Yuna smiled up at Tidus. He smiled back at her warmly.
Looking around at Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal, she found the three men give her a short nod before heading after Leblanc as well.
"See you guys at that party, eh?" Gippal waved with a laugh.
"C'mon, Yunie!" Rikku exclaimed as she grabbed her cousin's hand and began to pull her away, dragging Tidus along with them.
Rikku led them out of the Farplane with Paine not to far behind. The warrior couldn't help but smile, her heart finally at peace knowing everything was settled once again.
And Yuna laughed, a brilliant smile on her face.
"There's just something I don't get..."
Yuna shifted a bit in his arms and turned her head to the side to look up at him.
"What is it?"
He paused. "Yuna...how exactly did he come back?"
"Through Lenne's feelings that were still within me..." Yuna replied quietly after a brief pause.
They were sitting together on the bank of the Moonflow, drunken voices drifting out from the party at Guadosalam. Leblanc had ordered a large banquet when they arrived back from the Farplane, and it was now approaching midnight. The Ronso had been invited as well, and Kimahri was glad to see everyone again. Even Buddy had dragged Brother out of his depression and Yuna saw them having a wonderful time. Even Brother had cracked a smile or two.
Yes. Everyone was happy that things were back to normal once again, and now they were ready for a long and well-deserved peace.
After the meals were over and the singing was complete, Tidus had approached her and whispered that he wanted to go outside. Unknown to everyone else, Tidus and Yuna had quietly exited the party for the time being. The short walk through the forest was peaceful as they walked hand in hand, and here they were now.
"That's what I don't get," Tidus answered slowly. He stared out into the pyreflies drifting over the lake, their soft glow providing enough light for the both of them.
"You told me that they faded away, so how was it possible that you had a little bit of Lenne still in you?" he continued after another pause.
Yuna leaned her head into the crook of his neck and sighed softly.
"It's something I don't understand either...but after everything that's happened, I think I know now," she began.
Tidus said nothing, his gaze fixed on a single pyrefly that was hovering in front of the shore.
"Maechen once told me that a person's feelings are able to remain within someone if they ever come into contact with those pyreflies...and that's what happened to me," Yuna continued on.
He looked over at her this time.
She sighed softly. "I guess it was all a big mistake. Shuyin and Lenne had already faded away together, but it was my fault that they returned. If I had been strong enough back then, Lenne's conscience wouldn't have remained within me and I wouldn't have wished for Shuyin to come back too..." Yuna trailed off. "None of this would have happened..."
Tidus gently turned her face to look at his. Yuna kept her eyes down.
"Don't say that, Yuna. You've helped them in more ways than one," he began.
Yuna turned her eyes at him this time. He smiled at her warmly and she couldn't help but be thankful that she had found him again. Even after what Shuyin had done to both of them, Tidus was still forgiving. Yuna knew that Tidus had probably felt the emptiness of being alone. Tidus knew how Shuyin felt knowing that being apart from the one person that could ever shed light on the darkest of sorrow was painful.
Even if they had fought, she knew that they had understood what was truly important. It was getting past the anger that inevitably brought happiness once again.
"You helped Shuyin let go of his shadow and find peace again. You helped them both rest easier too," Tidus spoke.
"Rest easier..." Yuna echoed quietly.
"Yup. And you know something else?"
She looked up into his face curiously. "What?"
He smiled at her again and wrapped his arms around her as they looked into the bright lake.
"It's because of you that I'm here, you know. Just knowing that you were here for me was enough, and now I'm able to hold you again."
Yuna felt tears begin to well up into her eyes as she listened to him. She turned around to face him fully this time, bringing her arms up to hug him. She felt his arms come around her warmly.
"We've beaten all odds to stay together, Yuna," she heard Tidus whisper gently to her.
She couldn't help but laugh softly at this, brushing away a tear that had leaked out from one eye.
"Together until the end," Yuna heard herself speak softly. She pulled back and stared into his endless pools of blue with an expression of pure tenderness.
He smiled gently and shook his head a bit before drawing their faces closer.
"Always and forever, Yuna. Always."
And as he whispered those final words to her, her heart soared as his soft lips touched hers in a tender kiss. She knew that he felt the same love that her heart held for him and much more. Transcending all barriers and crossing over the ages, the love they shared glistened like the very tears of happiness she was now crying—joyful, endless, and unstealable.