A/N: Finally, the Epilogue :)
Come what may
"Yunie, Gippal and I are leaving now! Are you sure you don't wanna come with us?"
I looked at the door, where Rikku was standing with her arms folded across her chest, her beautiful green dress matching her swirled eyes, make-up perfectly applied and hair pulled up in a mess of braids and loosen strands. "You look absolutely stunning, sweetie." I told her with a smile. She frowned and I added, answering her question, "Yes, I'm sure I don't wanna go with you. I still have to go get dressed and all that stuff, so… Don't worry though ― I'll be there on time."
Her expression softened a bit. "Okay then… I'll see you there!"
I nodded and she left the room as I lied down again, staring at the ceiling and hearing her high-heels clicking on the wooden steps. A few seconds later I heard the front door closing and I sighed deeply, getting up and heading to the shower.
Two months had passed since Tidus had left to Zanarkand again. Two long months… I had been missing him like crazy, wanting to hear his voice, to breathe his scent, to feel his touch… We called each other often, but because of the time difference we could never speak for too long ― just a moment to hear the other's voice and then long letters sent to tell everything that wasn't said during the calls. Blitz season had started again, with the beginning of the spring, and this time I didn't miss one single game, always cheering for the Abes right next to Rikku. Actually, to watch the Abes' games was the only way I could see Tidus now; at least until I would meet him again… I could hardly wait for that moment to come, but while I had to wait I was focusing on my studies, and I had also found a job. It was only a part-time, but it paid good cash and I had to save money so I could go and meet Tidus.
I stepped out of the shower and returned to my room, where I began to dress myself up ― a sleeveless turquoise dress, white high-heeled sandals, a little bit of make-up, one last touch to the hair, silver earrings and bracelets… When I was ready I looked myself in the full-length mirror and nodded in approval. Today was little Vidina's baptism in the religion of Yevon and Wakka had invited everyone to be there on this important day.
I grabbed my white purse and walked down the stairs, ready to go to Lulu's, but something caught my eye on my way out. Rikku must've forgotten to turn off the TV again… I thought, walking into the living room and searching for the remote control.
"And now it's time for the Blitzball news with Allora. Allora, what can you tell us?" The deep voice of the journalist made me look up.
A pretty young girl appeared on screen at that moment. The scenery behind her was the one of a huge waterpool, where a few guys were practicing blitzball moves. They were wearing the Zanarkand Abes' equipment. "Well, Vargg, all I can say is that the Championship will be hard this year. All teams want to win, but the Zanarkand Abes won't give the title up so easily, especially now that they've got this new fantastic player: Shuyin. This talented young man came from Besaid two months ago and, although very little is known about his past, we know this ― he is the son of Jecht, one of the biggest players in the history of the Zanarkand Abes, and also Tidus' brother. It seems that talent is something that runs in the family, Vargg. Anyways, Shuyin's been doing an incredible job, but Tidus hasn't been showing up much, what makes us wonder what's happening with out favorite star…"
Tidus hasn't been showing up much? I asked myself, frowning. I knew everything was okay with him, for I had called him last night, but could he be hiding something from me to keep me from worrying? I seriously doubted that ― Tidus had never been good at keeping secrets from me, and if something was wrong he would certainly tell me… wouldn't he?
I turned off the television and walked to the back door, making my way through the garden to Lulu's house. Paine was the one who greeted me, wearing an elegant suit ― I think I will never see Paine wearing a dress… We stayed chatting for a little while and then Nooj joined us. He was alone, for LeBlanc had gone to her mother's third wedding, but he had decided he would go to Vidina's baptism instead. "I couldn't miss it or Paine would kill me." He explained, jokingly.
"You're forgetting I would torture you first." Paine said calmly, making us laugh.
"Yeah, I know. But then again, this kid is almost family." He continued. "Besides, I'm sure there'll be other weddings. LeBlanc's mom is always collecting new husbands, so…"
I laughed again, stepping away to meet Rikku and Gippal, who were talking near the catering table. After two months they were still together, and they hadn't had one single fight since then ― well, they had had some minor fights but that was normal to any couple ― and they were happier than ever. Gippal, always known as a ladies man, was being very loyal and faithful to my cousin. Rikku, in turn, had confessed to me that she was beginning to think of taking the next step in the relationship. Their love seemed to be growing strong.
"Hey, Yuna, your cousin was already all stressed up because you weren't here…" Gippal said as soon as I approached them.
"Well, Riks, you don't have to freak out. I told you I would be here on time." I replied. "I just needed to get some rest before, that's all."
"I know. But you know I don't like to leave you all alone…" She whined, not looking at me.
"I know." I said, smiling at her.
"Well, ladies, if you'll excuse me, I'll be right back." Gippal said, pecking Rikku on the cheek and walking towards Paine and Nooj. Baralai joined them soon after and I smiled, seeing the Crimson Squad together once again. There had been a time when things had been very complicated between Baralai and Paine. When I had talked to Baralai a few weeks before, he had even revealed to me he was thinking of leaving Besaid and returning to Bevelle.
"If I stay here I'll only be bothering Paine and the last thing I wanna do is to make her suffer in any way. Maybe, if I'll go to Bevelle, things will be easier." He had said with a sad look in his eyes.
"I don't think things would be easier, Lai. I think things will only be easier if you and Paine sit and talk about this. You have to work things out." I had replied, feeling my heart heavy with his words. I didn't want Baralai to leave, he had become one of my best friends in the past months and I would miss him a lot if he left…
A week later, though, Baralai had changed his mind. Apparently, it had reached Paine's ears that he was thinking of leaving and she had taken the matter in her own hands. She had gone to talk to him and after a long conversation they had finally realized they couldn't get back what they had lost, that the innocent friendship they had once shared could never be reached again. Yet, there was still a strong feeling that kept them together and it was more than attraction or desire… The passion they had felt for each other had changed over the years and now it was something not even them could describe… Maybe it was a different kind of friendship. Nevertheless, it was the chance they had both been seeking for sometime now and they had decided to take it and to try and be friends like they had once been. So far, their decision seemed to be the right one… At least from the outside, it was very good to see those four friends together again.
"Gippal's very happy that Paine and Baralai made up." Rikku stated, following my gaze. "He didn't show but he was very upset with this whole story. He never told me exactly what had happened, but… I knew it was something that bothered him…"
"Yeah." I agreed, thinking that the whole story was something none of us would ever know; Paine and Baralai were both too discreet and I also believed that their story was something they wanted to keep to themselves. "Anyways, I'm just glad they're all happy."
Rikku nodded and then added, as an after thought, "Talking 'bout being happy… Have you talked to Lenne lately? I was listening to the radio today and her song came up. It's very good and it's already a big hit all across Spira!"
I smiled broadly. It was true ― the song I had written for Lenne was making an enormous success and it had been number one on the tops for three weeks now. Lenne was so very happy with her work. She had started to record her album in Besaid, but her producer had thought it was better if they transferred the recording to Luca, where they had better conditions. She had moved to a small apartment in Luca almost two months ago and her first single, 1000 words, had just gone out a few weeks before. We had kept in touch, and she had even asked me if I wanted to write her another song, due to the hit the first one had been. I had laughed and had told her it was something I had to think really carefully about ― though it felt very good to have my name on her single, as the songwriter of the song, I wasn't really ready to repeat the experience just yet. Maybe some day later…
"Yeah, I talked to her a couple of days ago." I answered Rikku. "She's very happy in Luca, she's thinking of staying there another year or so, while recording the rest of the album… Then, who knows? She can return to Besaid or go somewhere else… Anyways, she's going to stay there until after the summer and I'm seriously thinking of visiting her during our vacation. Blitzball Tournament is going to take place in Luca, as you know, and I…" I trailed off, smiling shyly.
Rikku noticed my blushing and grinned mischievously. "Blitzball Tournament… Right. And also a hot blonde blitzer, lemme guess…"
"What can I say?" I replied. Then my smile widened and I lowered my voice. "I have a secret to tell you, Riks."
Rikku eyed me closely, curiosity stamped in her green swirls. "What?"
"Girls! You look lovely. How ya doing?" Wakka approached us, smiling from cheek to cheek.
"Thanks, Wakka." I thanked him, interrupting what I was about to tell my cousin and looking up.
"This party is gonna be great, ya! This is such an important day to my little boy…" His eyes were bright and he looked so happy…
"Where is he?" I asked, looking around the room, where people were friendly chatting.
"He's with his mother, ya. They must be coming down in no time."
Wakka was right, a few seconds later Lulu was coming down with Vidina. Everyone wanted to see the baby, everyone wanted to congratulate the parents… In the middle of the confusion, I got separated from Rikku and unable to tell her my little secret. Well, it really didn't matter, she would end up knowing sooner or later…
After greeting everyone, Lulu and Wakka told us it was time to go to the temple, where the ceremony was taking place. It was a simple thing, not taking too long, and yet it was something beautiful, very meaningful, full of emotion… It made me think of the first time I had been in that very same temple — I was about seven years old and my mother, who was still alive back then, took me to visit her family in Besaid. She was already ill at the time, but I didn't know it, so I thought that that had been the most wonderful trip ever and that I would never forget it. And I never did, because that was the last time I ever journeyed with my mother, for she died during the winter. Now that I think about it, I think she took me to Besaid so she could say goodbye to her brother and to his children, maybe she wanted to be with them one last time, maybe she wanted me to get to know the place where she had grown up…
When the ceremony ended, everyone went back to Lulu's house. This time, Paine and Rikku came with me in the car and I decided it was the perfect occasion to tell them what I had been planning for several days now…
"Girls…" I started, my eyes fixed on the road ahead, my mind racing to find the right way to say it.
"Yes?" Paine asked, turning her head to look at me.
"I've got something to tell you…"
"Is that what you were gonna say to me when Wakka interrupted us?" Rikku, who was seated in the back, put her hands on the front seats and leaned forward.
"Actually, it is." I answered. "I've been meaning to tell you for sometime now, but… I don't know, I guess I was trying to find the better way to do it."
"So, what is it?" Rikku insisted.
"Well… I'm leaving." I waited for their replies but Paine was just staring at me and Rikku had her jaw dropped, so I continued after a short pause, "As you know, I've been working and saving some money and when I get paid, next week, I'm gonna buy a ticket to Zanarkand… I know I said I didn't want to go there, but being away from Tidus is so much worse than going to Zanarkand. That's why I decided to try it. I'm not planning on staying there forever, of course, 'cause I still have exams at school, but… I'm seriously thinking of moving to Zanarkand next year. There are a lot of good colleges there and I'm going to ask to be transferred to one of them."
Silence. I didn't even dare looking at them, afraid of they would say. I wasn't asking their advice or their approval, but in someway I was asking them to support me and my decision. They were the first to know, right after Lulu, who had been the first person I had gone to when I had decided to go to Zanarkand. I had talked to her a few weeks before and I had told her I wanted to leave immediately, because I couldn't stand the distance. She had been the reasonable person she always was and she had said to me "What is truly yours will be yours now and always." Only then did I realize how right she was, and that I couldn't just leave without planning anything first. So I had begun saving money to the journey and checking my agenda to see when it was the best time to go without interfering too much with my studies… And now that it was all set, I was telling Rikku and Paine.
"You're sure about this, aren't you?" Paine finally asked, eyeing attentively.
I glanced at her. "Yes, I am. When Tidus left for the first time I would have given anything to go with him. This time I can actually go, so… What am I still doing here?"
"I don't want you to go, Yunie…" Rikku murmured, tears forming on her eyes. "But I want you to be as happy as I am with Gippy, and I know you're only that happy when you're with Tidus, so… I wish you the best luck in Zanarkand."
"If I could, I would hug you right now, Rikku!" I told her, smiling. "It means so much to me that you understand why I'm doing this."
"I understand you, Yuna." Paine said. "I think people should fight for their happy ending. Don't make the same mistakes I made."
I nodded and stretched out my hand. She held it and Rikku put her hand on top of ours. The three of us would always be together, no matter where life would take us. After all, we were the Yuripa…
Back at Lulu's, there was soft music playing and some people even began to dance. I smiled at the old couple in the middle of the room, wondering if Tidus and I would be like them when we would reach that age. Then I saw Lulu and came near her, congratulating her for the reception she was holding.
"Oh, it's nothing big. But thank you anyway." She replied. Then she looked around. "You know, to Wakka this was very important… He really wanted Vidina to follow our religion."
"It's understandable. He is a very good father." I complimented.
"Well, he's a very good father to Vidina. But do you think he can handle another kid?" Lulu asked, a mysterious smile playing on her lips.
I looked at her. "You're telling me you're… pregnant again?"
She shook her head, still smiling. "No, I'm not pregnant… yet. Wakka and I have been talking and we're thinking of having one more baby. Maybe next year you'll have to fly from Zanarkand to come and see my baby daughter, who knows?"
"I'd do it gladly, you know it." I said, hugging my friend.
"Yes, I do. Now, let me go check on my son. It's not like him to be this quiet…" Lulu said, walking away from me.
Suddenly, the song 1000 words started playing. I smiled, recognizing Lenne's amazing voice. "Lenne really is an excellent singer." I said to myself in a low voice.
"And you really are an excellent songwriter." I heard a familiar voice saying from behind me. I froze, unable to turn around.
"Is this a dream? If I turn around will you be gone?" I asked, my voice trembling, my eyes bright with tears.
"I'm not going anywhere." The same masculine voice replied.
I turned on my heels and there he was, standing so tall and handsome in a black tuxedo, his blonde hair falling to his eyes as always. I smiled, meeting his intense gaze. "Tidus… What are you doing here?"
"I was just passing by and…" He trailed off, looking lovingly at me. Suddenly he held out his hand. "I think you owe me a dance."
"Do I?" I asked. He nodded and I took his hand, saying softly, "I think I do." We started to dance, gently swaying to the music. I looked up at him and bit my lip. "Why are you here, Tidus? Is everything okay? Is there something you're not telling me?"
"Actually, there is something I need to tell you. But first… Do you love me, Yuna?" He asked out of the blue.
I blinked. "Of course I love you. What makes you think I don't? I adore you, Tidus. Do you really think I would've done all the things I've done — fight with you, make up with you, write a song for you… sleep with you — if I didn't love you? The answer is no, silly. I do love you. I've loved you since the day I've laid my eyes on you."
"Really?" He insisted, grinning broadly.
I nodded. "Really. And a thousand words are not enough to express my feelings for you." I finished, kissing him fully on the lips, my arms snaking around his neck and his hands pulling me closer to him.
When we parted, Tidus said, still smirking. "Let's go home, Yuna."
"Home?" I repeated, not understanding if he meant my home.
"That's what I need to tell you." He ran a hand through his hair. "I… You know Shuyin's doing an incredible job at Zanarkand and… well, I thought that maybe it was time for me to take a break and… I quit the Abes."
"You what?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"Yeah, I quit the team. And I bought a house… here in Besaid. A couple of blocks away from here. It's not right next to Rikku's but it's close enough and… Do you wanna live with me?"
I looked at him, not knowing what to say. He had given up on his dream to be with me, to live with me? He had even bought a house… "Of course I wanna live with you!" I exclaimed, throwing my arms around him. Then I took a step back, my smile fading. "But Tidus… the Abes were your dream…"
"Nah. You were my dream. And I almost let you slip away… I won't make the same mistake twice. I love you too much to do that."
"What can I say?" I bit my lip to avoid crying in front of everybody.
"You don't have to say anything. I just want you to be happy."
"I am happy. I'm the happiest girl in the whole world right now!" I kissed him again. "I love you so much."
"I love you too." He replied. "Now, do you wanna go see the house? It's not far away."
"And leave in the middle of the party?"
"Wakka and Lulu wouldn't mind. Besides, now we have all the time in the world to visit them. After all, I'm planning on staying in Besaid for many, many years to come…"
"Okay then." I agreed with a grin.
As we sneaked out through the back, I knew that there were many explanations we would have to give… But that could be saved for later. Right now, I just wanted to enjoy the moment that I was living in. I felt on heaven, walking hand in hand with Tidus. I could hardly believe that this was happening to me. And yet, I knew it was. Because, like Auron had once said, every story must have and ending and this was my happy one. Come what may.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it. This is the end, and Tidus and Yuna are together again, as they should always be.
Thank you so much for all the support you've given me. It's been very important to me, thanks. :)
Now I'm going on vacation for two months, and I won't be back until September, so… I'll see you when I'll see you.