AU: Son of Sin is a popular band with an abusive lead singer. Can her love cure him? Or will she become his next victim? TidusxYuna/AuronxRikku. R for violence and sex.
Warning and Disclaimer which will serve for all chapters:
This story is gratuitous. Completely and utterly gratuitious. There's violence, sex, abuse, screaming, drug use, depression, angst... everything you'd find in a crappy made-for-HBO movie about American youth. You have been warned. Despite all this crap, I own nothing involving Final Fantasy X, Square-Enix, or any of its affiliates. I do, however, own my developed ideas of the original FFX characters. Also, ALL SONGS QUOTED IN THIS STORY ARE MY OWN POETRY. STEAL THEM, AND I PROMISE, YOU WILL DIE. 'Nuff said.
Italics are not thoughts,lyrics, or flashbacks to things that have been said in the past. Tidus' voice when he's pissed off is supposed to be read as if it's Shuyin's voice. And yes, there is a reason he's so OOC. A very real reason that isn't explored in-game, so I'm exploring it in this fic. Enjoy.
"When you wake up, who are you?"
The music began to swell in Lulu's soul, fingers nearly caught in the strings of the black-lacquer electric lapharp but she was playing fast enough to untangle herself and oh, nothing else mattered but this. She followed the cues that came at the corner of her eye. He sank to his knees, he rose again, a practiced choreography of live performance. One could almost say she loved him in a way, though she felt neither physical or emotional attraction to the man. What she loved was his voice. He strained at every note, felt the strains of melody inside him, and when he belted out the words to the songs she wrote, she felt like it was a kind of sex. Like every recording they made was a child to be nurtured and adored.
"Are you an animal? A mass of organs and flesh, with no thought or feeling, only primal instincts? Eat. Sleep. Ps. St. Fk."
Not that she'd ever even consider having sex with someone like that. Matter of fact, she hated the man as a person. She despised him. Though she'd known the boy for years, he was a complete asshole, and he was terrible to his current girlfriend, their drummer Rikku. As it was, most of the group suspected that she wasn't happy with him, but she was too afraid to let him go. Despite the bruises that now and then lined her legs. Despite the thin vertical scar that marred her tiny wrist, an attempt at suicide, she still claimed to love him. Rikku was only fifteen. Far too young to be forced into such a relationship.
"Or are you a human? A creative and energetic being, more god than creature? Dream. Create. Live. Contemplate."
Lulu almost felt sorry for the new songstress they'd hired on as a second lead. Certainly, the young woman's popularity as a classically-trained singer and pianist was second only to Son of Sin's popularity as an alternative rock group. Bringing Yuna into Song of Sin was one of the best decicions they'd ever made, and it was all thanks to Rikku, since the woman was her first cousin. She was a personable girl who Lulu had met several times before, in their mutual hometown of Besaid. Wakka, Lulu's boyfriend and the band's bass player, had also grown up there. In fact, Wakka's friendship with Tidus and their similar love for the machina guitar (not to mention Blitzball) was why they'd formed the band. And Lulu, well, she was dragged along. Not that she minded. Despite her relationship with the bassist, she had her own horde of fanboys. If Wakka wasn't certain to freak out, she'd have accepted the Spiran Gentlemen Magazine's offer to take nude pictures. An entire spread just on the infamous raven-haired, red-eyed rock harpist. It would have made her a fortune.
"When you wake up, are you a man? Or are you..."
Luckily, the songstress Yuna hadn't yet arrived. Their lead singer still hadn't thrown his temper tantrum of the day, and Lulu was hoping against hope that poor Yuna wouldn't have to sit through it on her first day of practice. Ugh. Lulu set her hands down, waiting through her few-measures rest and taking the time just to glower at the man. Stupid fucking Tidus. One day, he'd ruin this opportunity for everyone.
"Or are you..."
"ARE YOU A COMPLETE MORON?" he screamed, throwing the mike stand to the cement floor of their warehouse in uptown Luca. The music halted at its crash, and Lulu calmly placed her hands in her lap, balancing the harp between her legs. "You've gotten that line ENTIRELY WRONG!" There he went again, going off on Rikku. Lulu's painted lips pursed in disgust. Rikku only looked down at her lap, drumsticks clutched tightly in her small hands.
"I'm sorry, Ty," she mumbled. "I'll get it right this time. M'just distracted, what with Yunie coming in today and all." She tried a smile on him. It was a pretty smile, pale coral lips stretched wide around straight pearl teeth. A pretty smile. Just rather fake. "Aren't you excited?"
He stared at her for a few moments, and dragged a hand through his hair. Though Tidus Shuyi was naturally a dark-complected brunette due to his Zanarakandan father, Jecht Shuyi, he'd bleached himself a stunningly bright shade of blonde. He'd been blessed with upward-slanting blue eyes, though, a gift from his late mother, who had been from Bevelle. Those features, combined with an athletic body and an always-open black dress shirt, served to make him a very attractive man. It was no wonder Rikku had agreed to date him after their first few practice sessions. Unfortunately, he was also... well, a jerk.
"Excitement is no excuse to slack off in the beat. If you lose it, so does everyone else in the group. And don't fucking call me Ty. I hate that. If you want this no-talent hack cousin of yours to join this band, then you better stay on-track, woman." His voice seemed so flat during these tirades. When he was happy, he was as squeaky and excitable as his girlfriend. But those times were becoming more and more rare, lately. Instead, the insults flew from his mouth like vomit at least once per practice, sometimes twice, in that deep toneless accent. And they were almost always aimed at Rikku.
From the the other side of the room came the growl of a very pissed-off dog, which halted the man's tirade. Tidus turned to look toward the warehouse door, and standing there with a challenging flash in its black eyes was the most regal Wolfhound any of them had ever seen. He was so deep a gray that he was almost blue, and was so tall that he could have opened the doorknob with his teeth to let himself in. Around his neck was a handmade, beaded blue collar, accented by what looked like eagle feathers hanging from a gold nametag. And, apparently, he did not like what he was hearing.
"Oh Khimari, be good," said a voice from behind the dog. A girl then walked into the room, hand at her neck in an obvious gesture of nerves. She was dressed simply, in a long blue skirt printed with white flowers, black cowboy boots, a loose-fitting white blouse. Her facial features seemed to be touched by the same Al Bhed blood that ran through Rikku's veins, and brown hair fell in soft waves that framed her face. Yet somehow, her eyes were her most distinctive feature. Even across the room, the group could see that her eyes were divided in color, one the grass green of her Al Bhed lineage, one the bright ocean blue of the Bevellese. As she bowed to them, even Tidus held a respectful silence. "Good day. I am Yuna Len of Besaid. I am honored to meet you all."
Wakka snickered, but since they'd attended the same high school, the girl didn't seem to mind. "Hey, don be so formal, ya? We all gonna be workin' together, might as well leave off wit da ceremony an' junk." The bassist scratched his head, clearly as happy as everyone else for the reprieve from Tidus's bitching. Letting his bass hang from the strap around his shoulders, he grabbed a pack of cigarettes from the stool next to him and lit up, taking the moment to relax. After a few puffs, he passed it to Lulu, who also indulged. Luckily, he didn't mind getting his girlfriend's lipstick all over the filter.
Rikku, though, grinned and jumped up from her set, running over to pounce her cousin in a tight hug. "Yunie, I'm so glad you're here!" the golden blonde squealed, bouncing on her toes before reaching down to pat Khimari on the head. The wolfhound just stood there, silent and watchful, hardly paying attention to Rikku at all. Instead, he looked toward Tidus. If it were possible for a dog to narrow its eyes in contempt, this one would have.
Tidus snorted, shaking his head. "All right, all right, break it up. Rikku, leave Lady Len alone. Now that she's here, I'd say it's time for her to show us what she can do on the mike." Speaking of which, the mike was still on the floor. He reached over to pick it up as if nothing had happened, raising a brown eyebrow to Yuna when she looked over. Challenging her before she could question his action. "Unless you want to warm up first?"
"I'd like that, thank you" murmured the girl. For a songstress, her voice was awfully soft and meek. According to Lulu, though, she'd been a rather sheltered girl all her life. Her father had been overly-protective of her. He hadn't taught her about the birds and the bees until she'd begun her first period, and even then it was only to quell her sudden (and considering the situation of Spira at the time, rather understanadable) fears that she was dying.
Apparently, Dr. Braska Len been afraid that she would come into contact with Sin, the deadly virus that had plagued Spira for a literal millenia. It had been impossible to detect, impossible to treat, and everyone who came into contact with the virus ended up either dead in seconds or insane, their memories eaten away by a toxin produced by their own glands. Rikku's parents had both died from it, as had Wakka and Lulu's. The band's name was one of the main reasons they were considered so extreme, simply for associating itself with the cause of Spira's suffering. And Dr. Braksa Len, well... while he was working on a cure, using a combination of white magic and natural chemicals, he came into contact with the virus. He'd finally created an antivirus and immunization which he'd named Calm, but not until after he'd already become so infected that the cure would no longer work on him. His contribution to medical science had ended the epidemic, and all of Spira had been immunized against any strain of Sin ever produced. It was another reason for Yuna Len's popularity, and likely this inherited fame was the reason Tidus didn't pay much attention to the girl outside of Rikku's offer for her to join. After all, duets were all the rage right now.
For now, Tidus looked the girl over, taking her in from eyes to feet, not to mention taking note of her guard dog. After a few moments, apparently satisfied that she'd work as an image, he turned to the band and said, "Take five, guys." To Yuna, he nodded, stepping away from the mike stand so that he could plop into a chair in front of the band. "Whenever you're ready, Lady Len. Warm up as long as you like, then sing something. Popular, preferably. None of that Gagazet opera crap I've heard you do on the radio."
A gruff voice came from the second level of the warehouse. "That 'Gagazet opera crap' to which you are so ignorantly referring, boy, is worth more in artistic and cultural value than all five of your albums combined." Auron, the manager for Son of Sin, decended the stairs. As always, he wore his black designer Bevelle Fog trenchcoat even indoors, the thick cloth falling loosely over a red dress shirt and gray slacks. It even covered the thin black ponytail he'd kept growing for years. When he stopped at the bottom floor, he inclined his head politely to Yuna, before pushing a pair of sunglasses up along the bridge of his nose. They were the only things obscuring a long scar that ran over his right eye, down to his collarbone. "Good day, Lady Len. I thank you for coming."
Yuna blinked, then clapped her hands together in sudden excitement, the most jubilant display she'd made since she'd entered the building. "Mr. Auron! I know you. You were the one who did all of that research with my father! I'm so glad to meet you!" she cried, bowing once again.
"Indeed," he murmured, shoving his hands into his pockets. His one good eye glittered in amusement at her reaction. "Though to be honest, I wish I could have worked more quickly. It may have spared us some grief. Sin touched both our lives. I simply escaped with mine, thanks to the Calm your father gave us. This scar the virus left me is a constant reminder of his sacrifice."
"Yes..." Yuna trailed off, the placid depths of her eyes darkening at the mention of Sin. She had lost her father to the virus so recently that it still drew a shiver from her bones. But Auron... he was like her own personal celebrity. In his presence, she couldn't show sadness. She was here to do a job, after all, and do it she would. With a quick flash of a smile, she pulled a metronome from the pocket of her skirt. It blared out an A-440 and she took the note, practicing a few scales and consonant exercises while the rest of the group seated themselves next to Tidus on folding chairs. Auron alone remained standing.
Once the girl was ready, she took a deep breath and stood behind the mike. A popular song, hm? Well... this was a dark rock group. May as well go with the one song of theirs she really liked. The one with the winding melody, political overtones. The one that Tidus Shuyi sang with such passion, so that he nearly wept the last lines. She sang it differently, of course, but... well. Right. She was putting it off far too long. Yuna, be strong! Case of nerves, begone! she repeated to herself, a stage fright mantra she used often. A breath. Here goes.
I thought it an empire If everything is made of feeling, I thought I saw my empire Have I subtracted your boredom, Grow used to this misery.
My edge is all left to me:
The razor used to bleed me,
Used to bleed by itself,
And now it needs help.
Tumbling from the sky
With torn and faded banners,
Crumbling to dust;
Dust so fine my hair is white,
False wrinkles caked with age.
My empire is great
My kingdom as vast as yours,
But our people are now the dust of centuries
Lost through misdirection.
If my empire is made of truth,
It is slipping fast.
My edge is all left to me:
The razor used to bleed me,
Used to bleed by itself,
And now it needs help.
Tumbling from the sky,
But it was yours:
Your crumbling kingdom of despair
Where you'd spent your rage
On the court fool
And ordered a new one each day.
You may borrow my dusty empire for the hour.
I thought it an empire
If everything is made of feeling,
I thought I saw my empire
Have I subtracted your boredom,
Grow used to this misery.
Once she was finished, the room rang with silence, final echoes of her voice ringing in her own ears. Everyone was staring, silent. Well of course, Auron was always silent, but this was particular. And Tidus... he was staring at her so hard, she thought her head would explode. He must have hated it, she thought to herself, setting the mircophone back down and lowing her eyes for a moment. But something bothered her. There was no hate in his eyes. No jealousy. Nothing negative. In fact, despite everything she'd heard about him, he seemed to be... pleased, maybe. His lips were parted, torso leaning forward. And the blue in his eyes seemed to glow just a little bit, sparkle a little bit. In that moment, he was bright and beautiful. Yuna could easily see why her cousin was in love with him. It would be so easy... to sink...
"God. For a skinny chick, Yuna, you sure do belt it out!" Rikku giggled, clapping enthusiastically. The rest of the group joined in her applause quickly, a rain-patter sound of five people clapping. Even Auron, a slight smirk gracing his stubbled face, deigned to pull his hands from his trenchcoat pockets and applauded Yuna's performance.
Lulu smiled. The girl had done well. Her voice was strong and true, as powerful as the strength of her heart. She'd even left Tidus speechless, the boy's lips still parted. "So, Shuyi, can she stay?"
Tidus managed to smile, shaking his head. He had a sweet smile, Yuna noticed. And his eyes... they were so clear. They twinkled as he looked at her, and she couldn't help but smile back, clasping her hands modestly behind herself. "Hell yeah, she can say," he cried out, his voice breaking with his excitement. "Welcome to the team, Yuna. Welcome to S.O.S.!"