"Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the
imagination and bottling the common sense. "
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy: Chapter 1 …Crazy/Beautiful…
"Yuna…?" he whispered in her ear, so close she could feel the breath of his words on her neck.
Her own sweet, secret smile and yet continued to feign sleep and be comforted by the gentle rubbing on her upper arms in an attempt to rouse her. His words were involuntarily lulling her into such a blissful reverie of which she not dare disturb for fear of losing this perfect moment of peace. And yet he pursued…he having always been the more pushy one of the two.
Glancing around the camp once again to assure himself that his comrades were indeed still in deep sleep, Tidus dared to speak again.
"Ohh Yuuuunnaaa….?" He cooed, brushing away a few errant strands of hair from her face, placing them gently behind her ear and thus revealing her glowing smile. "I know you're awake" he said, while un-intentionally matching her playful expression "you're grinning like an idiot".
The jig being up, Yuna regrettably gave up the charade and opened her eyes with a sigh. He was behind her, and even though it was too dark to see an inch in front of her nose, she felt him enveloping her, and saw in her mind's eye the arrogant smirk now obviously adorning his lips.
"Of course I'm awake…"she whispered to the empty darkness in front of her, not daring to face him yet since her giddiness was far past the point of embarrassing. "How could I sleep? Today being the day that it is…"
She heard him laugh mildly, followed by the sensation of strong arms wrapping themselves around her waist and a soft kiss on the back of her neck. Though his actions were harmless, Yuna couldn't help but tense up, her back rigid against his warm embrace.
Everyone was around them…what if Lulu just peeped an eye open for a second and saw this?...they weren't suppose to know…they wouldn't approve…their plans would be ruined…
"Not now Tidus." She hissed in the strictest voice she could muster, which, to say the least, wasn't at all very threatening coming from someone so small. And yet still, the fluttering kisses continued down her neck, her resolve melting a little with each. "You're crazy!"
"And you're beautiful."
He was teasing of course. He understood. He always understood, and as silently as he arrived from his original place across the camp ground, she felt his warmth slip away and only heard him again as he nestled back into his own sleeping bag a good 20 feet away.
With his abrupt departure, Yuna shivered, suddenly feeling hollow as she pulled her blankets more tightly around herself to ward off the chill of night in the Calm Lands…sending Tidus away suddenly seemed like the most foolhardy decision she had ever made (and that included the decision to marry Seymour). But regrets were for the weak...the future is what to look forward too. And according to the moon's position in the sky, there were only another 20 minutes left until things were set in motion...
Twenty minutes until her life changed forever.
For the hundredth time that night, she checked that the blaring lights of Rin's Calm Lands travel agency were still visible on the horizon. Her heart almost stopped when her eyes met nothing but darkness in front of her…that is until she remembered that the travel agency was in the complete opposite direction. She glanced over her shoulder, where of course the faint glow of the tented inn was stationed exactly where it had been five minute prior. And upon its sight she found she was able to let out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
Paranoid didn't even begin to describe her trepidation.
While letting out a sigh of relief, Yuna noticed how nervous she actually was as her hands began to shake even under the protection of both her quilt and the gloves she had put on in anticipation of the event. The outside temperature could even be described as somewhat warm this specific evening…needless to say, it wasn't the cold causing her tremors.
In a desperate attempt to calm her nerves, Yuna triple checked her small pouch of items she had scrounged up during this last few weeks of planning: Guard Bangle, potions, wild flowers, Sake (stolen from Auron at the risk of Tidus' neck) and her white gloves…all there…nothing to fear…and yet still the tremors continued. In fact, they had gotten worse.
While closing her eyes and clutching her hands to her madly beating heart, Yuna took several deep breaths of moist, grassland-air, practicing her calming exercises that had been part of her summoner training in the event of an emotional breakdown (which happened more often that Yevon cared to mention in their scriptures). She, herself had had several small, internal episodes with every final goodbye, more strongly as she neared the end of her journey…not that any of those small "episodes" came close the sensory overload that she had experience that night in Macalania…
With a sudden clarity, Yuna's eyes popped open and her pulse slowed to a healthy rhythm, abruptly dissolving terror into peace as the bliss of memory enclosed her. That night was now six weeks past and yet still she could picture the scene as though it had happened yesterday. The feel of his lips upon hers had caused an almost feverish reaction in her body…a stimulation which both excited and scared the hell out of her at the same time: a confusing buddle of sensations that stumped her to this day as to how to interpret them.
Not much had happened since then. The Calm Lands were indeed worthy of the title seeing as it was nothing more than a deserted plain on which nothing ever happened. Even the occasional fiends they stumbled upon were sleeping half the time, making the battles painfully easy. Lulu however, had been the one to come up with the brilliant decision of using this, their last link to civilization, as a good place to hang around and level up before conquering Gagazet and Zanarkand. For two weeks that had been doing nothing but that, and though everyone was bored out of their minds, Yuna and Tidus were more than grateful for the extra time to organize, though they made sure to complain as much as the others in an attempt to hide their scheming.
So as not to alert the others of their growing relationship, secret rendezvous (such as that night at the lake) had been few and far between, each one more eager, intense and shorter than the last. In summary, due to the crowded nature of their journey and the concession that getting caught was not an option; the physical intimacy they so craved was moving slower than a snail with a limp.
Patience, however, was one of Yuna's virtues (if not one of Tidus', who still made several daily advances despite the danger) and she had rather be slowly digested in the belly of a Bikanel Desert worm than cause any of her guardians shame, grief or even discomfort. And as such, the decision had been made that the others must never know, for the sake of her honor (she was just recently widowed), for the sake of their peace of mind (the label of "traitors" already a difficult enough burden to bear), and mainly for Tidus' physical health! Having been repeatedly warned against "seducing" Yuna at regular intervals in the journey by every senior member of the party, the option of castrating him upon discovery was a genuine concern.
Yet still, despite the extreme caution taken not to be alone, not to touch or even glance longingly, his every chaste gesture, such as helping her up a slope, brushing her fingers when passing her a bowl, even just knowing he was standing behind her in battles at the ready to jump in and defend her from attacks…everything, his mere existence sent bolts of electricity up her spine.
And when they spoke? It was mainly about trivial things, incorporated with the group's general discussion but Tidus, however, somehow always found a way to sneak in some suggestive comment, aimed away from her of course but still causing enough of a reaction to make her blush madly and need to excuse herself.
A rustle from Lulu's sleeping bag next to her, followed by a yawn, swiftly pulled Yuna out of her trance.
'Lulu…awake? Why?...why now? With only minutes to go? She knows of course! She knows the entire plan, since she always knows everything! I was stupid to think we could get this past her. Stupid! Stupid!'
Panic seized her as she tore off her gloves and buried them and her pouch of items under the folds of her skirt, already hidden by the quilt, just in case Lulu had x-ray vision. She dare not move…dare not even breathe for a full minute, waiting for blaring lights to suddenly shine in her face at any second as the black mage's interrogation began. She would crumble of course under the pressure, let the entire plan slip out in a fit of sobs and from then on she would be chained down during the nights and Tidus would have his legs broken and everything, EVERYTHING would be ruined!...
Another minute passed…and still nothing…then another and another…nothing.
Spurred by potential hope, Yuna dared to poke her head out from under the covers where she had been hiding, and to her relief, the first sound to fill her ears was the smooth deep breathing rhythm of a black mage, deep in sleep.
Paranoid didn't even begin to describe it…
Falling onto her back in relief, the young summoner clapped her hands over her mouth in a desperate attempt to muffle her giggles at her own ridiculousness.
'Ten minutes now' she reminded herself, staring at the night sky and acknowledging the moon and stars position. It was beautiful night…perfect in fact for such an occasion. Whichever God was indeed in control of her destiny, he was smiling down upon her tonight, giving her his blessing.
Letting the wind tickle her face, she let her eyes gradually close and her nervousness melt away into the serenity of the night.
Tonight would change the way things were…the way things would be at the end. Of course she knew she were breaking all the rules for young female summoners, who are all meant to remain virgin statues until the day they died, but she had already thrown caution to the wind. It was too late. It had been too late the moment she had laid eyes on him and asked him to accompany her on her journey. Everybody had been so confused as to what prompted her decision, and she too, in fact, had had no idea what provoked the invite. Only now, almost a year later, did she realized that some buried, subconscious part of her mind had always had cruel intentions towards this attractive young athlete who was thrown into her path.
Though the thoughts were completely unconscious, Yuna only now realized that her death would be that much more terrible if she were not to experience certain things first. Tidus' kiss had brought these thoughts finally bubbling furiously to the surface and her indifferent demeanor had instantly crumbled. She didn't want to die, she realized. Not like this. Not without having even done one spontaneous, "immoral" thing in her entire existence. She had only ever lived for her mission, if that was to be called living at all.
She would die though, her continuing the pilgrimage was always, and will forever be, carved in stone. Her people were still the first on her list…but a close second was a certain blonde, blue-eyed blitzer: a goofy, impulsive, live for the moment kinda guy who had all too easily stolen her heart. First with attraction (she may be a virgin summoner but she wasn't dead!) then with his coy, boyish charm, his arrogance at all things blitzball related, his kindness, his innocence to all the terrors of Spira and finally, only recently, with his touch.
She remembered one time…a month ago upon their traveling along the endless valley that linked Macalania to the Calm Lands…the night when all this had been put into motion. Their kiss at the spring had been two weeks prior and Tidus had since been constantly attempting a repeat, to Yuna's chagrin. Both of them were still confused and had yet to have any time alone to discuss things. All too enthusiastic about the prospect of a potential relationship with Yuna, Tidus had yet to understand that discretion was the better part of valor.
'He is indeed crazy' she affirmed with her memories of that day, giggling to herself. 'Crazy and Beautiful'. What a night that had been…so painfully long ago, their last encounter…
Author's Note: Yes, I know. The Crazy/Beautiful idea is a shameless rip from the movie. But only that line! My original rough draft went something like: "You're insane!" "And you're beautiful" and then I suddenly remembered that a movie was based on that same line and I kicked myself saying "dammit! Every good idea has already been taken!" And thus I decided, what the hell, lets go all the way and change it too "Crazy/Beautiful" so that people don't think I'm just stealing an idea and paraphrasing in an attempt to make it my own. It's not my own, I meant it the mirror that line. But please note that I've never even seen that movie so nothing in this fic will relate to it. It's simply a great line. :P
On another note: This is the first fic I've posted in years…During the boring hours of college classes I've written more than 14 of theses from start to finish but this one in particular touched me, as you'll see why with upcoming chapters, most of which are already written out so do not fear me leaving this one hanging like "The Promise" (my other fic). Like it so far? I'm not at all changing the FFX storyline, this pretty much follows the same events from the Calm Lands on, with some added, between the lines romance which I found the story lacked. So enjoy! Next chapter up soon. REVIEW!