DISCLAIMER: I do not own FFX or FFX-2 or any of the characters or places associated with it. I do, however, own the twisted idea for this story.
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Author's Notes: Last Chapter. I was going to drag it out for one more, but decided against it. It only called for one more chapter and if I'd dragged it out there would have been a lot of filler stuff that I didn't think was really necessary.
I'm going to be taking a little bit of a writing break. I've been writing non-stop (with weekly updates!) since December of 2003! I hadn't realized I'd been going for that long. My brain and creativity really need a rest, but don't worry I will be back.
Thanks so much to all who reviewed! I really appreciate the support.
Chapter Twenty-Six: Stopping The Nightmare
Shuyin let out a cry of pain as his feet slipped from beneath him and Yuna was helpless to stop him from tumbling down from atop Vegnagun to the hard floor. His head hit the surface with a sickening crack and he didn't move.
"No!" Yuna shouted, rushing toward Shuyin's side and smacking his face a few times, "Tidus! Shuyin! One of you! Wake up!" Her knee felt a warm liquid and she quickly found the bullet wound in his right thigh. Thankful it wasn't anywhere else, she ripped her half-skirt off of her hip and tied it tightly around Tidus' leg.
"…Yuna…?" Baralai hedged tentatively.
She glared at him, "What were you thinking? How was this going to solve anything? Look what you did!"
Baralai returned her glare and replied angrily, "If I hadn't done anything then he'd have destroyed Spira. I think shooting him in the leg was the nicest thing I could have done."
"Oh, so I suppose I should be grateful?" she spat back, pulling harder on her skirt to make sure the bleeding was cut off. She'd never known much about first aid, but she knew enough to make sure Tidus wasn't going to bleed to death, "He could have seriously been hurt from that fall."
"And I'm sorry about that." Baralai replied, kneeling down next to her and touching Tidus' neck for a pulse, "But he's alive and this is probably for the best anyway."
Yuna gaped at him as she rocked back on her heels, "For the best? How do you figure that?" she motioned toward his leg and the skirt that was starting to become more red than blue, "I can't get it to stop bleeding! No matter how tight I pull it just keeps bleeding. You might have hit a vein or something!"
Baralai stood and extended his hand to her, "Why don't you back away from him, Yuna?"
She shook her head violently and bent back over his wound, pulling again on the skirt, "No. Not until I get this to stop."
"Yuna!" Baralai said again with more force, "Come over here."
She turned her head to face him. If looks could kill, Baralai would have died a thousand times in that instant. She'd never been more furious with someone in her life. In her sane mind she knew that what he did was the most logical thing to have done in the situation. It wasn't as if they could have talked Shuyin down from Vegnagun. He hadn't exactly been lucid at the time. But her overwhelming worry for Tidus was manifesting itself into pure, unadulterated rage at Baralai for daring to hurt him in any way – no matter how well intended. And then for the man to have the audacity to want her to get away from Tidus! Well, it was in that moment Yuna truly wished looks could kill.
Baralai's hand was still extended as he said, "Yuna, come over here. I can help him, but I need you out of the way."
Yuna's ears perked up at that news and she lifted a brow, "You can help him? How?"
"I have an Aeon."
Yuna's jaw dropped but she stood slowly and made her way toward Baralai without consciously willing herself to do so, "…How…?" she asked, unsure of what else to say. In order for Baralai to have an Aeon he'd have to be a summoner and she was certain she'd never heard of a Summoner Baralai before.
Baralai looked quizzically at her, "All members of Yevon have an Aeon. It's a right of passage." He paused at her frowning expression. He didn't realize she was frowning because she had no idea what he was talking about. She'd never known about this rule before, although now that she thought about it, it made sense. Seymour had an Aeon but he wasn't a Summoner on a pilgrimage. She'd never wondered about it before.
"I can get Maester Mika if you'd rather he help." Baralai said, returning Yuna's full attention to the conversation.
She let out a little yelp, "No! No!" she paused at Baralai's shocked visage and calmed herself. Mika wasn't to be trusted in the world she knew, but this was quickly becoming a world that didn't know Sin. Mika wouldn't have been the same. She gave him a small smile, "No, you can help him. And quickly please. I don't want him to bleed anymore."
Baralai nodded and Yuna stepped back while he cured Tidus' leg. It was a surprisingly quick process and before Yuna knew it he was removing her stained skirt and examining Tidus' newly minted leg. He turned and smiled at her, "Everything seems all right now."
Yuna smiled, "Thank you. I'd have hated for anyone else to get their hands on him first." She paused for a moment and looked at the doorway before turning back to Baralai, "Wait…wasn't the security alarm tripped? I thought for sure there'd be people heading this way."
Baralai shook his head, "I took care of it. As soon as I heard the alarm I realized it had to be Shuyin since he's the only one who knows about this place and wouldn't think about the alarm." He smiled, "I just told everybody I had tripped it myself and not to worry. Then I came down here."
"I figured it'd be better to confront him alone than with 12 or 13 guards with guns."
Yuna's mind flashed to that horrible moment when she'd seen Shuyin and Lenne gunned down and decided that Baralai had made a very good decision indeed. Shuyin probably would have reacted even more forcefully if he'd felt himself truly threatened again.
Her eyes cast down upon the blonde still laying on the ground unmoving. She sighed, "What are we going to do about him?"
Baralai shrugged, "I suppose I could try sending him."
Yuna bit her lower lip and looked at Baralai, worry furrowing her brows, "But wouldn't that send Tidus too?"
"No," Baralai replied with a shake of his head, "Sending only removes the dead and Tidus isn't dead. Its just that I don't think a sending as ever been performed on a live body…I'm not sure how it'd work."
"You mean there could be complications?"
"Possibly." Baralai admitted, "I'm just not sure what kind."
Yuna turned back to the blonde laying on the ground and sighed. If she took this chance she could lose him forever. But if she didn't Shuyin would continue to try and use Vegnagun until he succeeded.
She turned back to Baralai, "Why didn't you or anybody else suggest it before?"
"We'd need him to remain still at the very least. I doubt Shuyin would."
Yuna nodded. Shuyin never would have consented to it. He'd have kept fighting. But now…now was the perfect time to take that chance and make things better…or worse. She asked, "Are you sure you know how to do this?"
"Yes. Do you want me to try sending Shuyin?"
Yuna nodded before she had a chance to let herself think of 100 reasons why she shouldn't, "Get it over with." She ordered, taking three quick strides away from Tidus and squeezing her eyes shut. She didn't want to see what Baralai did. She covered her ears. She didn't want to hear what he was doing either.
"A few minutes ago you didn't want to be around me. Now you do?"
"You can't just leave me here! Please don't leave me here." "What's your name?" "Yuna Brewar. What's yours?" "Tidus Bacohl. You look starved. Let's get you something to eat."
"You can't just leave me here! Please don't leave me here."
"What's your name?"
"Yuna Brewar. What's yours?"
"Tidus Bacohl. You look starved. Let's get you something to eat."
She let out a little whimper that she couldn't hear when she remembered the glint in his eyes when he'd flirt with her. Oh how she prayed this would work. She couldn't bear the thought of losing him. Not when they'd just found each other…
"I…I liked that."
"I liked that too."
"I like you…"
"I like you too…"
"Yuna! Yuna!" She felt a tapping on her shoulder and opened her eyes. Baralai was looking extremely concerned when she turned to face him. He placed both hands on her shoulders and stared into her eyes, "Are you okay? I was calling to you for a few minutes and you didn't respond."
She nodded sharply, "I'm fine. I am. I just…" she looked over to Tidus who was still laying still on the floor, "Is he…?"
"He's still alive. And I managed to send…" Baralai paused and shrugged, "Well, I sent something. A pyrefly exited his body. We won't know exactly what happened until he wakes up. I suggest we get him out of here, though. Maybe take him back to Besaid."
Yuna nodded and moved in slow motion, her body doing the work but her mind far, far away from it as she helped Baralai lift Tidus up. The tall man carried the brunt of the blitzball player and Yuna made their way down the hall to scout around and make sure they got out unnoticed.
"So we're all just going to sit here and do nothing!" Braska shouted, pacing back and forth with the vitality of a fully cured man, "This…this Tidus person killed Jecht and Seymour and then kidnapped my daughter! I refuse to sit back and do nothing!"
Auron sighed, "Braska, my friend. Tidus has nothing to do with this. The person who did these things is Shuyin – a spirit who is possessing Tidus' body."
Braska groaned angrily and collapsed into a nearby chair. The group was currently huddled in Wakka's hut to discuss what to do next. After Seymour had been pronounced dead, they'd all worked together to give him a small funeral and bury him next to Jecht on the outskirts of the village. Braska had wanted them to go immediately after Yuna but no one had thought it was a good idea. They didn't know where Shuyin was taking her and they didn't want to raise his ire further until they'd come up with an idea.
That was several hours ago. They still had nothing.
"Well, I'm with Uncle Braska. We can't just let Yunie stay with that crazy guy!" Rikku chirped, squirming in her seat a bit, "We've gotta rescue her."
"But we don't know where they are, ya."
"That's why we should have followed them." Snarled Braska, "Now my daughter is in danger and we don't know where she is!"
At that exact moment, Yuna stuck her head in the curtain, "Eh…little help here."
Braska leapt from his seat and grabbed Yuna, pulling her to him tightly, "How did you escape him! Oh, my sweet, sweet baby girl. Are you okay?"
Yuna hugged Braska back briefly before pulling away, "I'm fine. Its just…well…I need your help." She darted out of the tent and the group followed. She pointed toward Baralai who was still struggling to hold Tidus upright, "We figured out how to get Shuyin out of Tidus, but we need a place to put him until he wakes up. He's getting to heavy for Baralai. Could one of you help him?"
Auron rushed forward first and lifted Tidus easily from the ground. He spoke while moving Tidus toward the guest hut, "How did you get Shuyin out?"
Yuna rushed after Auron and let the curtain fall behind them before whispering, "Well…we're not entirely sure if it worked yet."
Auron practically dropped his blonde bundle but recovered just enough to put Tidus gently down before gaping at Yuna, "You're not sure? What exactly did you do?"
Yuna gave him a brief retelling of the events of the past few hours. It was a very long story but she managed to tell it in only a few sentences. Afterward Auron shook his head, "So he might have sent Tidus and we're housing a serial killer and we don't know it yet?" he sighed and ran a hand through his hair, the usually stoic man a vision of worry, "I hope for all our sakes that Baralai sent the right person."
"Me too." Yuna replied, her eyes lingering over Tidus, "Me too." She sighed woefully and lifted her gaze back to Auron, "Could you explain to everybody what happened. I'd really rather wait here until he wakes up."
"But if it's Shuyin…"
"Then I'll do what I have to do." Yuna replied softly, lifting a decorative pillow from the chair behind her and gripping it until her knuckles turned white. The thought of having to suffocate anyone made her heart beat a little faster. Please…please let it be Tidus, she thought.
Auron frowned but nodded and left Yuna alone with Tidus. This reminded her very much of the hospital after his knee had been broken. Except for the fact that she knew when his eyes opened that it was Tidus looking at her. Now she wasn't so sure.
Tidus let out a little gurgling sound and moaned softly. He sniffed the air a few times, his nose scrunching up much like it did when he was confused about something. Yuna dug her fingernails into her palms, completely oblivious to the pain that should have caused.
His blue eyes came open slowly and he blinked a few times at the sudden intake of light. He turned and looked at her, smacking his lips together a few times as if testing them out. Then he smiled, "Hey there."
"Tidus?" she asked, tentative for his answer. Shuyin was capable of being nice too.
He nodded and blinked again, "Yes…I mean…I think so." He sighed and stretched a little, "I'm definitely in control right now, which is good."
He nodded, "It was so weird when Shuyin was in control of me. I knew what he was doing, I just couldn't stop him. It was like I was a passenger inside of myself." He stopped and looked at her, "What happened?"
"Baralai sent Shuyin," she replied quietly, "We weren't sure it would work, but I guess it did."
He gave her a small smile, "Then shouldn't you be more happy?"
Yuna lunged forward and wrapped her arms around his neck, dropping kisses along his jawline. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her up onto the bed with him. She let herself be cradled against his chest, playing absently with his necklace, "Is this finally over?"
"I think so." He replied, kissing her head, "I don't feel him around here anymore."
She looked up at him hopefully, "So that means we can pretend none of this ever happened? We can start over?"
Tidus shook his head, "Well, we can't start over, honey."
Yuna frowned, "Why not?"
"Because…" he said with a wink, "I don't have a blitzball to hit you with."