Well hello, everyone. People on this site know me as SirGecko, and you can read more about me in my user profile. I'm new to the Final Fantasy X area, so I'm slightly apprehensive as to what your responses to my work will be. But, I hope that something positive will come outof this, I'll get somecomments, and who knows . . . I just might make a few friends along the way.I'm excited to be a part of this genre. It truly is a great game, not just for the graphics, but the story behind it is just wonderful. So inspired I was that I just had to create my own story based on Final Fantasy X.

Anyway, enough with the sentiments. Without further adieu, we'll move on to chapter one.


Chapter 1: Nothing and Everything

Yuna stirred, moaning slightly and stretching out as far as the small confines of her bed would allow. She opened her eyes and rubbed them slightly, trying to get rid of the morning bleariness that she always experienced right when she woke up. When her vision cleared, she opened her eyes fully and looked around. It looked to be a beautiful morning. She could hear the breeze whistling through her window, making the curtains that hung in front ofher window billow. She could hear the faint sound of sizzling coming from down the hall. Auron had apparently not broken his regimen, she thought with a smile. He would rise when the first star was put out by the rising sun, and then make breakfast for everybody. She found out that, to her surprise, Auron was almost as good a cook as he was a warrior. Yes, it felt like a good day. That is, until she ran her hand across the top portion of her bedsheets.

When she felt the dampness.

Suddenly, everything rushed back to her. All the torture, all the promises that would never be fulfilled, all the memories, and all the pain hit her full force in her mind. Once again, she could feel the tears begin to well in her eyes. But no matter how much she cried, the pain still came. And it still wouldn't go away. It was as though her body was trying to purge her of the sorrow through the tears. However, the measure was only in vain. She knew that there were so many wounds to heal, so much to get over that she would very likely go on attempting to purge her soul of him until the day that she closed her eyes for the last time. Only then could she be at peace with him. And his memory.

She tried meditating. That didn't help. His face always came back and appeared on the front of her closed eyelids like a projection. She tried occupying herself with fun things. That didn't work either. She had forgotten how to have fun. She had even snuck away and tried drinking her sorrows away. Of course, that was only a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. Wakka and Lulu weren't too pleased with having to assist her in getting home either. Wakka took a swig from the bottle of hard liquor that Yuna clutched, and then flung the bottle into the sea. They then had to put her to bed, and were awakened several hours later by her moaning. She was complaining of a huge headache.

She didn't know what to do. Suicide had crossed her mind on several occasions, but she had resisted. She knew that by killing herself she would only cause those she left behind to mourn. They in turn might fall into the same position and Yuna didn't want that, not at all. It seemed as though she would also cause all of Spira to mourn her death as well. No, she thought, physically shaking her head. There has been more than enough death to occupy us recently. It's not worth it. They need me.

They need me.

Such a thought, Yuna muttered to herself bitterly. My friends need me, the People need me, Spira needs me. I live to serve, and that's all I've ever done, she thought. And when the heavens offer me some prospect of living my life with the man I love, he is ripped and torn away from me. I give so much to the world and ask so little. Is one man, the one man I ever fell in love with so much to want?

Here, Yuna broke down crying. She always tried to fight off the sadness, fight off the tears. But in the end, she would always lose. Every morning, she would wake up in total bliss, until she felt her bed sheets. And then she would remember everything . . . and start crying again. So ironic . . . at the start of her pilgrimage, she knew that she would be the one to die in the end. However, Tidus had come up with a plan to save her life, knowing that it would mean his death. It was funny how love for something could cause one to be so sacrificial, in such similar ways.

But what killed Yuna the most was that she had accepted the fact that she would be dying. She had accepted the fact that she would never see her friends, family, and people again. She had accepted the fact that she would be the one to be sacrificed for the greater good. But damn Tidus, he just had to, had to be so stubborn. Had to care so much. And all these thoughts comprised Yuna's pain, all these thoughts had attacked her emotions until she couldn't control them anymore.

It was then that she realized what the only thing was that would take her mind off of the pain and suffering. And that was sleep. She wished she could just instantly close her eyes and sleep the pain away, lost in the sleep like a drug. And then, she would feel the high, those few moments after waking up when she remembered nothing of the previous day and was ready to tackle the new one. Then she felt her tear-stained sheets where she had cried herself to sleep the night before. And the night before that. And the night before that. Then she would crash, the pains of the days before coming back to hover over her like a black, ominous thundercloud.

Still sobbing, she got out of bed and walked to the window, staring out at the final remnants of the sunrise. The sun was perfectly centered in the window, bathing the island of Besaid in it's warm and comforting rays. Settled right over the ocean, it was just coming out of its reddish look, and began settling back to the common, yet soothing blue. There were seagulls flying along the beach, off in the distance and down a ways. The bushes outside her window were green and bushy, and every now and then the melodious sound of a chirping bird could be heard from it. It was, as she had expected, a beautiful day. She only wished that she could enjoy it.

It was interesting. Mother Nature seemed to be trying extra-hard to cheer Yuna up. The weather on Besaid since she had returned had been just gorgeous. Not too hot, not too cold, but warm. Just right. But in the end, it didn't help Yuna. It didn't mean much. Her friends were trying to help her too. So were the people of Spira in general. Everyone who has tried to help her only ended up causing her pain. Tidus the most. Oh yes, Tidus, her guardians, Mother Nature, and all of Spira have been trying to help her get over Tidus. But for her, they were rubbing salt in her wounds.

But then, she reconsidered. They were doing all this because they cared. All of the consoling, the gift-giving, the cards, and the kindness was out of the want to make her troubled life a little bit easier. They didn't want to hurt her, but were trying to help because they themselves couldn't bear to see Yuna this sad. She knew that things had not been the same since Tidus's disappearance. Even her guardians had become more somber than they had been previously (which meant that Auron had hardly said a word lately). It was saddening to them not only that Tidus was gone, but that Yuna continued to mourn him. Overall, Tidus's death affected not just Yuna, not just her friends, but all of Spira itself.

But the worst part of the whole thing for Wakka, Lulu, and Rikku, was that she continued to hope. Every night, Yuna would go out to for a walk, back to the dock and on the ship where she and Tidus had first gotten to know each other. She would go to the bow of the ship and whistle, just as Tidus had taught her in Luca, so long ago. The whistling could be heard at few-minute intervals for hours on end. This, more than anything else, was what made it hard for Yuna's closest friends.

Yuna knew that by whistling she was only making things harder on herself. But she was a hoper, a dreamer. She thought that the permanent destruction of Sin was impossible, but she had done it. They had purged Spira of Sin forever. So, what made Tidus's reappearance so impossible, compared to beating Sin? But then, there was a little voice in the farthest reaches of her mind, calling out to her. Telling her that, basically, reality was a bitch, and no matter how much she hoped that the impossible would become otherwise, Tidus would not be coming back. Not now, not ever. That voice that everybody called a conscience had to remind her of that constantly. But Yuna ignored it. She hoped that it was wrong, hoped that she was wrong. She hoped that once again, she could defy reality.

Her sobbing continued.

> > > > >

She could hear the hiccuping through the thin wall that separated her room from Yuna's. It wasn't the most pleasant sound in the world. But there was so much emotion in those sobs, she could tell even through the wall. It was a sound that Rikku had grown used to by now, unfortunately. And even more so, she was always one to wake up after Yuna. Every morning since she had arrived in Besaid, she would wake up to Yuna's sobbing. Every now and then it even caused her to tear up and get a clenched throat.

She sat up in bed, the sheets tickling her bare skin. She grabbed one sheet and hugged it to her chest. It was slightly chilly out, and she didn't want anybody barging in on her while she was still in bed. However, she didn't feel like getting up just yet. There was no real reason to; she was still tired and had only just woke up. But Yuna sounded so sad . . . Rikku felt that she should at least comfort her.

Changing her mind, Rikku let go of the bedsheet and swung it back. She hopped out of bed. The floor was cold, and it almost instantly chilled her feet. Quickly she padded across her small room and opened her dresser to pick out what she would wear today. She ended up choosing her favorite pair of short orange shorts, and a navy blue sleeveless top that hugged the curvatures of her body and fell short of her waistline about three inches. Some had said that she dressed like a skank, but she and her friends knew otherwise. Her friends knew her as the optimistic, lively girl who always had a smile on her face and had a knack for cheering people up.

She ended by putting on some white socks and her usual pair of boots she had acquired at Home long ago. The sobs could still be heard in the background. Briefly catching her own eye in the mirror, she turned about and walked toward her bedroom door. It had a nasty habit of creaking when she least expected it to, so she opened it very carefully so as to not wake up Lulu and Wakka down the hall. When the space was wide enough, she slipped through the door.

> > > > >

How long had she stood at this windowsill, crying? Half an hour? Maybe forty minutes?

However, she wasn't finished. Rubbing her red eyes for the umpteenth time, she resumed her crying. She missed him so much. His gentle touch, his reassuring words, his promises of showing her the Zanarkand that he knew, and his bright, happy-go-lucky face. And she knew almost for certain that he would never come back. She would never see his Zanarkand. She would only see his face, remember his touch, and hear his words in her memory. And it hurt. Oh, it hurt so badly.

"Yunie?"

Yuna knew who it was before even turning around. Only one of her friends called her that. She turned, and saw Rikku standing in the doorframe, looking apprehensive. If Yuna had been in a better state of mind, she would have complimented her on her attire. But all she did was stare. Without waiting for a response, Rikku walked across the room and enveloped Yuna in a hug. Naturally, this only heightened the intensity of Yuna's crying, but Rikku didn't care. She was her cousin.

"Shhhh, Yuna, it's okay," the younger girl muttered, holding Yuna closer. "That's it. Let it out. Let it all out."

They must have stood there for at least five minutes before Rikku decided it was best if they both sat down on the bed. Guiding Yuna over, they both eased down. Rikku sat in silence, listening to her older cousin weep. It tore at her heartstrings; she had never seen anybody this sad. But she could understand. She had shed her own tears over Tidus. There was no way you couldn't be drawn to him in some way. He had a way with people, always trying to cheer them up, always making them feel important and included. He wasn't the smartest kid around, but that didn't matter. His heart was in the right place.

Rikku had ended up admitting to herself that she, in some small way, loved Tidus as well. He was the only guy on the pilgrimage who would actually make conversation with her, the only one who didn't seem to hold any grudges against her or make any judgments about her. She was sure that back on Zanarkand, there were plenty of girls who had wanted to date him. Not just because he was famous, but because of his personality. He was an easy man to fall in love with.

"T-thanks, Rikku," Yuna said, startling the Al Bhed out of her reverie.

"No problem!" Rikku said, spirits lifting now that Yuna was actually saying something. "You just got my shirt wet, is all," she added, giggling a little bit.

"Sorry," Yuna muttered.

"Sorry for what?"

"For getting y-your shirt wet."

"It's fine," Rikku said, casually dismissing it with a wave of her hand. "How are you feeling?"

"Lousy," Yuna replied, cracking a smile.

Rikku chuckled. "Well, I guess so. Your face is really red."

"I must look terrible," Yuna said. "Look at me. I'm still wearing my nightgown."

"Get cleaned up and come have some breakfast," Rikku said.

"Have you eaten already?"

"No, but I'm betting Auron has. He's probably not too pleased that we didn't show up."

"I'll have to explain why, and apologize," Yuna said distractedly, wiping her face with the nightgown.

"You don't need to apologize," said a low voice to her right.

Startled, both Rikku and Yuna spun around. Auron stood leaning against the doorframe, left arm in his sling as usual. The sunglasses on his face were at the very edge of his nose, so that he could peer over them when need be. Yuna had theorized that ever since he was injured by Yunalesca while on his own pilgrimage, he had become light-sensitive. Nevertheless, the glasses added to his tough and to-the-point disposition.

"Ah!" Yuna said in surprise. "Sir Auron . . . I didn't know that you were standing there . . ."

"Obviously not," Auron replied. "I just came to inform you that breakfast is ready."

"Thank you, Sir Auron," Yuna replied.

"Stop calling me that," Auron said slightly harshly. "I'm your friend now, not your guardian." Yuna said nothing. She often didn't know what to say when Auron was around. He stepped into the room and sat down next to Yuna. There was what seemed to be a very long pause.

"I realize how you are feeling," he said after a minute. "I was once young like yourself, hard as you may find that to believe." Here he smiled slightly.

"Yeah," Yuna agreed, smiling herself.

"But you've got to stop apologizing for everything," Auron said. "You take the blame for everything and that isn't healthy." He paused. "Life has thrown many twists at me, and has led me to sum it up in this quote." Yuna listened. So did Rikku. "'Should have' is the past. 'Is' is the present. 'Will have' is the future. We learn from the 'will have', and we think about the 'is'. And we use it to plan for the 'will have'."

"That seems to fit," Rikku said energetically.

"If you mourn Tidus like this, you'll dig yourself a pit of sorrow and depression that you won't be able to climb out of," Auron continued, staring seriously at Yuna. "Be careful and look to the 'will have'. There's still a chance for everything. You, Spira and even Tidus. You would do well to remember that," he finished.

"I will," said Yuna.

"Realize that Wakka, Lulu, Rikku and I are here to help," said Auron. "In any way we can. Just say the word." He then got up, and motioned for Rikku and Yuna to do the same. "The bacon's getting cold. Come, Wakka and Lulu are waiting at the table. Let's go get a bite to eat."

> > > > >

"Just now, you sounded like a leader, you know?"

"Cry, cry, cry, that's all you're good for!"

"Now is the time to shape your stories!"

"You don't want to finish that sentence."

"Save some for Kimahri!"

"This is your world now."

"Long as we do our best, I can walk away happy."

"Maester Seymour!"

"You really do come from a world where there is no Sin, as you say."

So many voices . . . so many faces . . . he couldn't match them all with their owners. He tossed and turned, not able to focus on any one thing. This was all so confusing . . . what was going on? Who were these people? Why did they look familiar? His head was starting to hurt. In his sleep, he subconsciously grabbed his head and began to convulse violently.

"I . . . I love you!"

Who was that again?

"AAAUGH!" he screamed, jerking his head up.

Ah, it was just a dream.

And then he remembered who they were. He sat up, the voices of his friends still resounding in his head. Where were they? Where was he? He wished he had an answer to those two questions. But has he sat up and looked around, he realized that he had no clue where he was or even what he was. 'I love you' . . . some of Yuna's last words to him as he disappeared. He was sure that she was heartbroken, and it wasn't her fault. It wasn't his fault either.

Soon after thinking this, he felt his emotions changing from confusion and worry to anger and resentment. He was just a dream, ha! That was total bullshit. He was alive! He had to be. He was sitting up, going through conscious thought, moving, and otherwise carrying on the basic functions of intelligent life. Where was that boy anyway? The little fayth who first appeared to him on the deck of the ship in Zanarkand. If Tidus could find him and talk to him, maybe he could get this whole thing straightened out. Maybe he could become more than he was said to be, a dream. Maybe . . . maybe he could see Yuna again.

"You won't."

Tidus whirled around. It appeared that he didn't have to look very far to find the little boy. The Fayth of Bahamut was floating before him. Tidus looked up at the boy, still in his hooded purple garments, still with the serious look on his face that didn't seem to belong with a boy so young. Tidus wasn't sure what to make of what he said. Had he been speaking aloud? No, that wasn't it. Apparently this little Fayth knew how he was feeling.

"Where am I?"

That was the question that kept running through Tidus's head. He was laying on the ground in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. Fog surrounded him on all sides. Thin fog, not the dense stuff where he could barely make anything out. There was also a greenish light emitting from far off in the distance, all around. The place, wherever and whatever it was, had a mystical appearance about it. Occasionally, Tidus could see a pyrefly hovering about. Was this the Farplane? His thoughts were interrupted by the boy's answer.

"You're nowhere. And yet, you're everywhere."

"Huh?"

"You're nothing. And everything."

"Don't confuse me kid, I'm flustered as it is."

The Fayth smiled. "What I say is very straightforward. You don't exist, and yet you're here. Which means . . . well, what do you think it means?"

Tidus was quickly becoming irritated. "I don't know. But start making sense, and fast." He noticed his sword lying next to him.

"You wouldn't kill me," said the boy. "You couldn't anyway. I don't exist, remember? And neither do you."

Tidus opened his mouth to respond, but his words stopped short at his throat. He was so confused and so angry that he didn't know what to spit out and in what order. Nothing was making sense, and he wanted to know exactly what was going on. He wanted to know where he was. But most of all, he wanted to see Yuna and the rest of his friends. In the end, he decided it best to ask more questions in the hope that he might make sense of something, at least.

He repeated his question. "Where am I?"

"Stuck," said the boy lightly. "You're stuck between reality and a dream. Stuck between existence and nonexistence. We all are."

"So I'm not alive, and yet . . . I'm not dead?"

"Well, that is an interesting question, isn't it?" The boy looked down at him, smiling in a slightly mischievous way.

"Very," said Tidus sarcastically. "Am I alive or not?"

"Oh, well, you see, my friend," the Fayth said, "you jumped ship right before you disappeared. You fell and fell. It was a one-mile drop." He paused. "And then you came here. So, you were still existing when you fell."

Tidus didn't like where this was going. "So I fell . . . and then . . . I don't remember anything."

"That's because, my confused friend," the Fayth said, "you are quite, quite dead."


Well, was it okay? Drop your comments in the review box and let me know. It would be much appreciated. Anyways, take it easy and I'll see you on the next go-around.

SirGecko