Zanarkand Sleeps

A FFX alternate timeline fanfic by Princess Artemis

© Copyright S.D. Green, 2004, all but for what I am borrowing from Square, which is © copyright Square.

---

The ballroom was rich in decorations, with a hundred small bells hanging from streamers of white and deepest navy intertwined. Sprays of flowers stood in prominent places—at the gift table, which was laden with pale paper-wrapped boxes and small bags, at the corners of the doorway, at the podium, at the altar.

White and lavender wisteria blanketed a white trellised arch, and beneath it stood Tidus and Yana. Tidus wore a white suit of an expensive cut, his silver jewelry a more elegant and understated version of the symbol of the Zanarkand Abes, and he was fidgety and giddy, barely able to contain himself. Yana wore a white dress with a long train, bedecked in pearls and lace, her veil nearly reaching her toes. She smiled warmly, her emotions far more grounded than Tidus', but certainly, she also barely touched the ground for happiness.

It was their wedding day.

Yana's attendants stood near her, wearing elegant strapless navy dresses. Tidus' attendants wore black with navy vests, but his master attendant's vest was scarlet. Yana's mistress attendant also wore scarlet.

The maester (Tidus' master attendant had been surprised to hear they were called maesters here) pronounced the final benedictions sealing Tidus and Yana's vows to one another 'by the Zanarkand Night'. There was an uproar of cheering and a good many tears shed as Tidus removed Yana's veil and kissed her.

Unknown to all but one, himself, the master attendant felt weak for the first time in this long existence. But he smiled with the rest and called no attention to himself. This was Tidus and Yana's day.

---

During the reception, there was a band that played, and dancing. There were traditions to maintain, and as in all things for this day, Tidus' master attendant acquiesced to the requirements. One of them was dancing with the bride.

He wasn't a particularly good dancer; his had always been a dance of death and discipline, not any dance of life. But Yana didn't seem to mind, nor did she flinch when her feet were trod upon. She smiled up at her dance partner and asked, "Now how did he get you into that suit and out of those sunglasses?"

"A crowbar," he answered quietly. But he hadn't minded nearly as much as even he would have thought; he was genuinely happy, for the first time in a long while.

Yana's smile broadened. Her hair was dark brown, almost an ash color, and her eyes the clearest emerald green. Then she tilted her head. "You've been good to him, Auron, and to me. I thank the Zanarkand Night that my love didn't have to grow up alone."

"You give me too much credit."

"Oh, I don't think so. Just think of what might have been, and what is not?"

The dance ended, and Auron kissed Yana's hand, giving her a rare smile that reached his one copper brown eye, and if it were possible, softened the empty place where his other had been. "You will be better for him than I ever was."

Yana continued smiling, her face radiant. Auron bowed to her, and chose to sit out the rest of the dancing. He would not think of 'might have beens' and 'are nots' tonight, only the 'what is'. He watched as Tidus reclaimed his bride and danced with her, their love for one another clear and bright. To himself, Auron whispered, "I've done what I set out to do, Jecht. To you, my promise is fulfilled." He did not realize at that moment that what little raven remained in his long, white hair had vanished.

---

Later, as the party wound down, Tidus sat down next to his master attendant, grinning from ear to ear. His hair was dark brown; he had given up bleaching it several years ago. Tidus poked Auron's left arm, which he held against his stomach in a peculiar way, owing to long habit. "I saw you actually smiling, old man," Tidus teased.

"Why should I not? You have just married a wonderful woman. I am happy for you."

"Ahhhh, I'm happy for me, too, if you couldn't tell." There were traces of tears on Tidus' cheeks, but every one a tear of joy; no one could begrudge him that now.

Auron smiled. "I can tell."

Tidus sighed then. "I...I wish my mom was here...and my old man." He wiped at his face. "Even if he did call me a crybaby."

"I am certain they would also wish it. And if he had called you a crybaby tonight, I would have hit him."

The young newlywed laughed. "I'd pay to see that!" Then he leaned back as far in his seat as he could and smiled. "I wonder what it would have taken to put a shirt on him, if he'd been here?"

"As much effort as it took to get me to remove my glasses."

He laughed again. "That was a lot easier than I expected."

Auron's tone was serious. "I would deny you nothing this day."

"Thanks, Auron. I guess that means tomorrow you'll be bundled up like a cocoon and all seriousness?"

"Perhaps not. I feel very...light...right now."

Tidus grinned and looked at Auron, ocean blue eyes sparkling. "It's the father of the bride that gives away his daughter, not the best friend of the groom's old man, old man."

Auron returned Tidus' gaze. "Nevertheless. You have grown strong; you have grown well. You have been your own man for a number of years, and now you are no longer your own. I think...I shall miss you."

The younger man laughed a little. "If you feel light right now, normally you must feel like the whole city is sitting on your head. Even happy, you're as serious as granite. I wasn't exactly planning on kicking you out, you know."

The elder quirked an odd grin. "No, I hadn't expected you would...but you must admit, you are no longer my charge in any sense of the word."

Tidus looked thoughtful, pursing his lips. "No, don't suppose I am, huh." Then he brightened considerably. "Now she has to deal with me!" He pointed to his wife, who stood some distance away, talking with her attendants.

"An admirable woman to take up such a daunting task."

Tidus laughed and punched Auron lightly. "No fair!"

"What is the score now? Seven hundred and fifty-three to zero?"

The younger man nearly fell out of his chair laughing. "I know I've got you more often than that in the last twenty years!" he gasped.

"If so, it has not been much more." Auron's tone, to ears that did not know him, sounded serious. But Tidus knew him, and was well aware that he was joking and even being playful in his even voice. Auron didn't tell jokes, he traded jabs. Fortunately, with Tidus, his jabs were rarely barbed.

Tidus never had become very good at the sort of verbal fencing of which Auron was a master, so his master attendant's estimation of the stabs that hit true was fairly accurate. "So I guess that's seven hundred and fifty-four, then?"

"That's right."

Tidus started laughing again. "I guess it would help my count if I didn't leave myself wide open so often."

"It is the downfall of many when engaged in a sparring match."

"At least I know I can whip you at Blitzball."

Auron smiled slightly. "Do you wonder why I so rarely play?"

"Not really. I figured sinking like a stone had something to do with it, though," Tidus shot back with a wink.

Auron stood and bowed. "You may add a point to your score."

"You're just being generous."

"If you don't want it, then I shall not record it."

Tidus started laughing again. Then, suddenly, he stood and wrapped his arms around the older man. "Thank you, Auron, for everything."

Auron returned the embrace without hesitation and said, "You are more than welcome. It has been my honor."

Tidus pulled back and gave Auron a quick pat on the shoulders, smiling, a few stray tears leaking from his eyes. Then he turned and made his way to his wife, his steps light as feathers.

Auron fetched himself a glass of champagne and sat down, silently toasting the two before draining the glass. "A hard road, but it has indeed been my honor to guard you upon it," he whispered to the air.

Behind him, behind them all, in a corner unseen, a small boy in tattered royal purple robes stood and watched.

* * *

Shortly after entering Tidus' houseboat, as Auron stepped down to the living room, he stumbled, falling first to his knees, then pitching forward onto the soft carpet. He was unaccustomed to such weakness, even though he knew weariness as one knows one's own body. He wanted to get up, but found he could not...and then he found the weakness comforting, somehow.

A small boy wrapped in an ornate purple robe kneeled down, setting a hand on Auron's hair. "We're sorry," the boy said, voice quiet.

Auron slowly turned his head to look at the boy. "Do I know you?" he asked, his own voice barely above a whisper.

"You've seen my dreams many times, you've seen them all around you. Twenty years ago, you saw the dream of the Dragon." The hooded boy sat down, stroking Auron's bone white hair with a tiny hand.

"Bahamut. You are the Fayth of Bahamut."

The boy nodded. "Yes, I've dreamed of the Dragon for a very long time."

Again, Auron tried to stand, to move, but for some reason the comfort of simply lying on the floor was too welcoming for him to leave it. It was a strange feeling, warm, soothing, but somewhat frightening at the same time. He felt like closing his eye, but he didn't. "Why are you here?"

Bahamut tilted his young head, his dark face frowning slightly. "I came to say we're sorry. We...hoped."

"For what did you hope?" Auron asked tiredly.

The boy smiled faintly, sadly. "We hoped to rest. We've been dreaming so long, and we're tired. We hoped to finally rest, even as we have slept for so long."

"Why...does this concern me? Why apologize to me?"

For a long moment, the childlike Bahamut sat in silence, brushing Auron's hair with his fingers. "We watched you, watched you through Braska's eyes. We saw our chance...we saw Jecht, our dream walking under the undreamt sun, and we saw hope. We knew him well. We knew what he would ask. We thought we knew you, and we did. Without her knowledge, I lent the power of the Dragon to Yunalesca's, and together we struck you down."

Auron blinked slowly, once, at this odd bit of news. "You killed me." There was silence a moment. "That wound was slow in the killing."

Bahamut ducked his small head, seeming in shame. "I could not let you go so quickly. We bound you there. I...bound you there."

The seemingly older man narrowed his brown eye. "No, that I do not believe."

"I helped bind you. For hope."

"False hope?" Auron felt the heat of anger rise in his chest, but he made no move. Only his gaze reflected fire.

The hooded fayth shook his head. "No, it was a real hope. But even real hopes slip through the fingers of dreamers...."

Auron closed his eye, letting the anger flee him. To keep hold of it took too much effort. He sighed, a sudden thought coming to him. "He was supposed to return, wasn't he? For his son."

Bahamut nodded, and Auron felt the motion in his mind. The man sighed again. "Would it have made a difference? If he had come and taken us back to Spira?"

"Yes, we think so. If he had been there...he knew his father. He would have helped find a way. If you had been there, the memories of his Zanarkand would have been stronger. Both of you had reason to free the Walking Dream. You had a reason to help guide the summoner, to help her ask the last question that has yet remained unasked. He would have found his reason."

"Yuna?"

"Yes."

"She is gone, then."

"Yes. The Sphinx is now Sin."

"Kimahri...," Auron breathed.

"We would have helped her. We wanted to help...and maybe someday, we can. But we fear it will be a very long time. The Sphinx has no reason to disrupt our dreams."

For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, tears pricked at Auron's eye. "It continues then. The spiral of death."

Again, Bahamut nodded and Auron felt it. The diminutive fayth removed his hand from Auron's hair. "Yet it spirals inward. There will be an end, someday."

"An end of everything." The anger returned, and Auron glared at the fayth. "And I have kept my promises for twenty years beyond my time for nothing! I am dead and have raised a dream as if he were my son!"

"No, child!" Bahamut declared, his small voice vehement. "Your promises altered everything!"

"How so?" Auron demanded through clenched teeth.

The fayth grasped Auron's unmoving hand. "You...you...rekindled hope for us. And you are not summoned, you are not a dream, you are real. There is nothing Yu Yevon can do to erase your hand from the face of Zanarkand...because you brought reality into the depths of our dreams. When the real intrudes upon the dream, the dreamers begin to awaken."

Again, anger fled from the seeming elder of the two. "What does that mean? I don't understand."

Bahamut lightly shook his head. "It doesn't matter. For you, all that matters is that we are sorry the hope you helped give us did not come to fruition. Still, the seed is planted. From now on, we will do more...we are still dreaming, but we are awakening. I am the fayth of the Dragon, and the Dragon is King. No summoner will gain an aeon without gaining secrets as well."

A sudden weariness came over Auron, a deeper one than he had ever yet known. He felt the need to ask only one more question, although there were many things he did not understand, many questions he could have asked. But only one last thing weighed on his mind. "And Tidus? What of him, when you awaken, and find your rest?"

It was difficult to see, and Auron couldn't be certain he had seen it, but Bahamut smiled. "He is different now; he has had the hand of reality upon him for twenty years. That affects a dream...and he will spread that touch of reality. Perhaps the entire dream will be affected when we awaken. Now you should sleep. Only one more morning, and then you can rest."

Auron felt he could take no other action except to blink in acknowledgement. He was tired. He had been tired for twenty years. His duties discharged, his promises kept as best he could keep them, and the strange words of the fayth...the revelation that these simple acts of devotion had been worth something to the world...Auron felt satisfied with that. More than satisfied. And so he slept, awaiting one more morning and the gift of rest.

* * *

Two weeks later, late at night, the door to the houseboat rattled as someone fumbled to unlock the door. Yana giggled and said, "Tidus love, you should just put me down before you drop me!"

Tidus fiddled with the keys, holding his wife in his arms and attempting to unlock the door at the same time. "But I'm supposed to carry you over the threshold, and by the Zanarkand Night, I'm going to do it!"

"Not if you drop me first!"

"I'll get it, don't worry!" Tidus said with a smile. Then he quickly kissed Yana and continued his attempts to unlock the door. Finally, he succeeded and threw open the door in triumph. "Hah! See?"

Yana giggled and hugged Tidus tightly as her husband stepped over the threshold of his houseboat, carrying her with him. Then he promptly set her on her feet.

"Oh, only so far? I was hoping you'd carry me to our room...," Yana teased, a sly smile on her face.

"Don't you worry about that," Tidus said, nuzzling Yana's neck. "Just give my poor arms a rest, OK?"

Yana laughed and swatted Tidus' shoulder. "Star of the Zanarkand Abes needs to rest his arms...!"

A devilish look entered Tidus' blue eyes as he pocketed the keys. With mock stealth, he closed the door, as if he were pretending to sneak about under the noses of watchful parents. Then with exaggerated movements, he stalked back to Yana.

Yana narrowed her eyes, and pretended with equally exaggerated movements to move away, as if she were really being chased. But they were moving far too slowly to properly call it a chase, and if Yana really wanted to escape, she was doing a poor job of it. Then she giggled as the slow chase made its way toward the master bedroom. "Are you afraid of waking Auron up? I don't think he would mind."

Tidus' grin was predatorial. "Are you trying to ruin everything?"

"Oh, no, not at all," Yana smiled, eyes flashing, as she pretended to escape her husband.

Rather abruptly, Tidus stood, and the mischief in his movements fled. "Maybe we should wake him," he said, voice low.

"Hmm? Why? What's the problem?" Yana asked, a bit consternated and concerned.

Tidus just pointed into the living room by way of answer.

Yana turned and followed his finger, then gasped slightly, running into the living room. Tidus followed her, and both kneeled down at Auron's side, gut in knots. Apparently, judging by the clothes he still wore, he hadn't moved for a while. Auron was still wearing his master attendant outfit, and he looked to be asleep.

Neither of the two saw the robed boy standing in a shadowed corner; all their attention was on the older man. It took some effort, but Tidus and Yana managed to turn the heavier man over on his back. He was still breathing, that much was clear, and his skin was still warm. Both exhaled breaths they hadn't known they were holding; neither had consciously contemplated that Auron might be dead, and they were relieved he wasn't.

Still, it was clear now, as a bit of dust puffed up when they moved him and the indentation in the carpet became obvious, that Auron had been in the same position the entire time Tidus and Yana had been on their honeymoon.

"OK, this is not cool, old man," Tidus said, shaking Auron, trying to wake him. Yana moved to Auron's other side and loosened his tie and shirt in hopes of making him more comfortable.

It took a bit of effort, but Tidus' shaking had the intended effect, and slowly Auron roused. He opened his one copper eye, but other than that, he made no motion.

"What are you thinking?" Tidus demanded. "For a second there, I thought you might be dead!"

For some reason Tidus and Yana could not fathom, that statement elicited a faint, wry smile from Auron.

Yana frowned. "What's so funny about that? You had us very worried."

"My apologies," Auron croaked softly, voice dry from disuse.

Relieved beyond words, Tidus asked, "So what happened? What do you need? We should probably call a doctor...were you out all this time?"

"You just returned?" Auron asked.

Tidus nodded.

"Then yes, two weeks. Not long enough...but I have been promised longer...," Auron answered, his voice trailing off.

"What are you talking about?" Yana demanded. "It's not natural to sleep for two weeks...certainly not for longer than that. I'm calling a doctor." She moved to stand, but Auron set one hand on hers, stopping her with that simple movement, since he had not the strength to do more.

"I don't need a doctor. There is nothing natural about me."

Tidus frowned deeply. "You're being even more confusing than usual. What's going on?" It had taken several years, but now, Tidus trusted Auron's word in everything. While he had often been cryptic to the point of frustrating, he had never outright lied to Tidus, and he knew it.

Auron closed his eye and sighed. "You will not understand, but I will tell you...or rather, I will write it. And then I will ask you to carve what I have written into the face of my sword. Can you do that?"

"Huh?" Tidus blinked, confused. Then he heard a voice in his head, one he had heard before, but always dismissed as just random thoughts...even if they had always been on target. The first time he had heard the voice, it had told him he could trust the mysterious man before him. The voice told him he could do as Auron asked, so Tidus said, "Yeah, I'll do it."

Auron nodded just slightly, and Tidus went to fetch some paper and a pen. He handed the objects to Auron, who slowly pulled them up and began writing. Both Tidus and Yana watched Auron write, and as they read his slow words, both wrinkled their brows in confusion. Auron wrote about things that didn't exist, places they had never heard of...but interspersed with the strangeness were short descriptions of Tidus' father, Jecht, and second-hand descriptions of Zanarkand.

Auron wrote about something called Sin, about aeons and fayth, about a man named Braska and his daughter Yuna, about promises and ruins, about Spira and spirals, and about death. His own death.

"Now wait a minute," Tidus demanded, looking down at Auron. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"I am not finished," Auron admonished softly. He wrote 'The End' in formal, stately symbols. Then he drew a very elaborate version of one of the symbols in the Zanarkand syllabary, the one used most often to denote not a sound but 'The Zanarkand Night', that beautiful darkness that most of the residents would swear by in oaths both meaningless and profound. It resembled a large stylized eye surmounting a small body with two cloak or wing-like shapes on either side. But Auron drew two lines through it, crossing it out. After that, he continued writing, and this time Tidus and Yana understood most of what he wrote, for it mainly concerned things and events from the last twenty years he had lived in Zanarkand.

Once more, Auron drew the Zanarkand Night symbol, crossed it out, and wrote a short bit more, again about Sin and Spira, but more about the fayth. This time, the last thing he wrote was 'I Rest' in a more formal hand.

When he was finished, he set the paper aside. Yana picked it up, reading it over a second time. Auron asked again of Tidus, "You will carve this into my sword, as you have said?"

"Yeah," Tidus answered. His voice was quiet, confused. "But I don't understand most of it. I knew you weren't from here...I wasn't sure where you could have come from...but did all of that really happen? What you wrote?"

"It is all true. I don't expect you to understand it. You may someday, but I doubt it." The older man paused, uncertain for a moment. Then he added, "Give my sword to your children. Tell them what is written on it, even as a fairy-tale. Would you do one more thing for me?"

"Auron, you sound like you're going to die! What are you talking about? Last requests? You'll be fine!" Tidus stated firmly, as if his words would make it so. He still did not understand most of what Auron had written, but a feeling settled in his gut that Auron was making last requests...that he really was already dead. Unbelievable to Tidus' rational mind, but his heart hurt.

Auron shook his head slightly, sadly. "They are last requests. I have been promised sleep, which is more than I could hope for here. Go into my closet; there is a hook bladed sword there. Carve into the hilt, not the blade, but the hilt, 'This is Jecht's blade, given me by Sir Auron, guardian to Lord Braska'. Keep it as an heirloom; learn to use it, if you can. Teach your children to use it. And if you ever see Sin, if your children see Sin, run toward it, not away...with Jecht's sword, and with my fairy-tale in their minds."

Tidus looked up at Yana, then he stood silently and fetched the two swords. Yana watched Auron for a long while, silent. Then she said, "This is true?" She held up the paper. "You...died...so you could come here and watch over Tidus when his father couldn't? It doesn't make sense."

Auron just smiled faintly. "I know."

Tidus returned with the two swords. One was small, reddish in hue, a blade he could hold with one hand. The other was longer than he was tall, at least a foot and a half wide, black with some decorative scrollwork engraved on the steel. He was dragging it behind him, because while it wasn't quite too heavy for him to carry, he had no idea how to carry it properly. He guessed he would never be able to hold the sword properly.

He set the swords down on the carpet nearby. Sitting down next to Auron, Tidus said, "You really are leaving, aren't you."

Before Auron could answer, a voice sounded in Tidus' head. 'We will give him what we cannot have...endless, dreamless sleep. This will be his rest, until the day comes when the dreamers awaken and finally find rest.'

Almost ignoring the voice, yet still echoing it, Tidus said to Auron, "You're going to sleep, and you aren't going to wake up."

Auron nodded, and slowly it seemed he was drifting off right there. All movement and feeling of life visibly began slipping away.

Tidus grabbed him and shook him, trying to keep him from falling asleep. "It's not fair," he declared. "It's not fair!" Tears pricked at his eyes. "You were supposed to stay here, see my children! They were going to call you grandpa, Auron!"

"I'm not—," Auron began, but Tidus interrupted him, gathering up his near lifeless guardian into a fierce hug.

"I know," Tidus said through tears that now fell freely. "But you might as well have been. They would have called you grandpa."

"I would have been honored," Auron whispered, sleepily.

"Not fair...not fair...first my old man, then my mom, and now you...."

"You...have Ya...na...."

Tidus nodded, a jerky motion. "Yeah. But I want you both. That's not too much to want, is it?"

The voice whispered, 'Say goodnight.'

Tidus nearly choked on his tears, following the prompting of the voice. "Goodnight, Auron."

No voice answered him, but Yana saw Auron mouth the words 'Goodnight' before he finally slept.

It took a long time before Tidus would let go of Auron's sleeping form, and Yana cried with him, because she had come to care for Auron almost as much as Tidus had.

---

Later, Tidus and Yana carried Auron to the room he had occupied for so long. They laid him on his bed, and at Tidus' insistence, they changed his clothes from the master attendant's suit to his normal dark clothes with the long crimson coat. At an unknown prompting, Tidus did not place Auron's left arm in his coat the way he normally wore it, and did not clip his tall collar to his armor, nor did he place the ubiquitous sunglasses over his eyes. Tidus set them aside, and after carefully arranging the sleeping man so he would be comfortable, the two quickly left the room, locking it behind them. Auron never once stirred, but his uncovered face looked younger than it had in all the days Tidus had known him, and while his hair was still white, it somehow managed to look young as well.

Neither were sure what they would do with Auron later, but for now, what they had done seemed most appropriate.

Returning to the living room, Tidus found a strange stylus lying on Auron's sword. Shaking his head, the young man sat down to carve the words Auron had written onto the blade. Yana dictated for him, and when it came time to draw the symbols, she set the paper down so Tidus could see them clearly to copy them. It was hard for both of them, as both reading and writing detailed the life of a person they both loved. After he was done, Tidus found a strange desire to write more, so he did, this time in a script he didn't recognize at all, except for three symbols he had seen on Auron's ceramic jug. Again, once he was finished, he began another writing, this time writing in a modified version of Zanarkand's script, one that he could almost, but not quite, read. He wrote this on the other side of the sword. Finally, he filled out the last of the large sword in a second completely alien script, one composed of sharp edged shapes.

It hadn't felt right drawing the large symbols only to cross them out; it was a little like sacrilege. He had vowed to his wife using the words 'by the Zanarkand Night' and the symbol was etched into their wedding rings. But that voice in his mind had told Tidus that the symbol meant something entirely different to Auron. It meant 'Yevon'...but Tidus didn't know who or what 'Yevon' was or why Auron would dislike it so.

His hands hurting from the effort, Tidus still continued to etch words, this time the words Auron had asked him to write on the hilt of the smaller sword. Again, he ended up writing it in four different scripts, only one of which he knew.

Finally, he set the stylus down and rubbed his hands. He didn't notice when the stylus disappeared into the hands of a little boy in purple.

There was a long silence.

Tidus broke it by saying, "I'm tired, but I don't think I want to sleep now."

Yana leaned against him and said, "I know...I don't want to sleep either."

So the two newlyweds sat on the floor of the living room, before two blades, and wrapped in their thoughts, they did not sleep for the rest of the night.

* * *

The houseboat never left the hands of Tidus nor his descendants, and neither did the swords. No one ever opened the door to Auron's room, but they knew it was his, for while no one remembered writing it, upon the door were etched these words, which changed as the language of Zanarkand changed:

"Here sleeps the Guardian of Spira

Friend of Jecht, father-guardian of Tidus

Until the day comes that Zanarkand sleeps

When rest comes for the dreamers"

---

The End

____________________________

Author's Note:

I'm not sure what prompted me to write this, since I'm not usually into AU's...I guess I just wondered 'what if' Sin never came back for Tidus?

For those who might be wondering, Auron is sleeping because no one can send him. As he is in what amounts to a giant aeon, there's a strong chance, at least in my thinking, that if he dissipated his pyreflies would become part of a building or something. As for the swords, they are made of matter, and Auron knew that, so that's why everything is written on them. If Yu Yevon or the fayth totally redid Dream Zanarkand, they couldn't do anything to the swords because they aren't made of pyreflies, thus guaranteeing their continued existence. The languages written on the blades are Tidus' Zanarkand language (which I assume looks like the Yevon script, since that's where the script originated), Spiran, Yevonite, and Al Bhed. Yes, I think the fayth would know Al Bhed.

Yana's resemblance to Yuna isn't an accident; I figured Tidus would probably find the same sort of women attractive in Zanarkand as he did in Spira.