Yuna sat up in her bed, tears stinging her eyes again. She looked to her left to see Rikku and Paine sound asleep before her eyes returned to her comforter, that ironically wasn't providing a lot of comfort. Vegnagun had been destroyed, and that was all good and fine. She saved the world…again. But that too, was okay. She was High Summoner after all, and even after Sin was defeated, it still was her duty to protect her people.

But there was a mass sense of emptiness lying inside of her. Once again, she had pushed aside her own desires and needs and put her mask on for the world. This time, it hit her harder then the first time. The last time, she left, heart-broken, but still, she found a shred of hope somewhere. Most likely in her happy-go-lucky cousin who pulled her from her depression. But this time, as she sat in her simple bed on board of the Celsius and felt a deeper pit in her heart. She had a spark of hope when she found that sphere of him. And yet, when Lenne and Shuyin disappeared before her eyes, so did the rest of the hope she had set in her heart.

With a soft sigh, Yuna changed to her Gunner dress sphere and gently set herself out of bed. She walked down the stairs, seeing Barkeep resting comfortably with the other Hypello. Brother was snoring, and Shinra was curled up in his bed with his stuffed moogle. She walked to the elevator, heading to the bridge.

Slowly, each step perfectly in front of the other, the way a high summoner should perform in front of people, she walked down the seemingly-long hallway, the twin doors sliding open as soon as she stood in front of them. She hugged herself looking around the familiar surroundings. But it hurt too much. There was nothing comforting about the cold steel and wires of the bridge.

"Yuna?" A male voice said, snapping her out of her doze. "You all right?"

"Oh, hi Buddy," Yuna forced a smile, walking towards the Al Bhed stretched out in his usual seat. "I…just couldn't sleep."

Buddy looked over his shoulder, smiling at the High Summoner. "Yuna…I know you better then that."

Yuna smiled slightly, before allowing herself to get rid of her mask. She brushed her hair back. "I know…" she replied in her timid voice.

There was a long pause between them. "All right then, where do you want to go this time?" Buddy asked, trying his hardest to console Yuna. Sure, she had never told him directly his problems, it wasn't like he was an idiot like Brother. He knew what was on her mind. "Bikanel…Mihen Highroad…Moonflow…Zanarkand?"

Yuna sighed softly. "I…I'm not sure."

"All right," Buddy replied, turned back to his control panel. "Let me know when you figure it out, all right girl?" Buddy asked, pouring a bit of excitement into the last part of his question.

It caused Yuna to giggle for a minute and reply "Yessir!"

A few minutes later, Yuna found herself standing on the deck of the Celsius. The cold night winds ripped through her, causing her to wrap her arms around herself. The stars were pretty though, she couldn't deny that. It was in that moment, she wanted to find solace in someone. Her walls had already been broken down twice, and for the third time, they were threatening to break down again. But she had to take caution in who she confided in. Paine might not offer the comfort she sought, and Rikku, though she loved her cousin dearly, would tell half of Spira by the time the sun rose. Brother would surely try some strange sort of incest. And Buddy? Well…she had always wondered what it would be like to have a fling with him, but she couldn't picture herself breaking her barriers down for him.

So, the question still remained in her mind, who could she tell?

She couldn't tell just anyone. Even her friends that traveled with her on her pilgrimage, she felt like she couldn't tell them either. They might tell her over and over that she could confide in them, but she knew if she did the look they might give her. And Yuna dreaded that dearly. She had never been particularly fond of Nooj, nor Leblanc. Gippal, too, was like Rikku, in that he might not be able to keep it quiet. But Baralai? Well certainly Baralai would…well, no. But if he? No… Yuna simply looked at the stars, her hands clutching over her broken heart.

I set out on a narrow way many years ago

Hoping I would find true love along the broken road

The coldness of the night forced Yuna back in the wind-breaking warmth of the airship. Her mind continued to ponder her latest thought. Baralai had been her enemy once, and yet… She knew now she could trust him. Their history together went back further then a history she had with anyone else, even Kimahri or Auron. They had forgotten initially when they met each other since it had been so long, but they had played through the streets and parks of Bevelle as small children. With a half smile a deep breath to force her courage together, Yuna walked back to the bridge and seated herself at Shinra's commsphere station.

But I got lost a time or two

Wiped my brow and kept pushing through

I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

"Hello?" Baralai asked in his simply sophisticated manner as Yuna saw the video of the commsphere turn on.

"Praetor?" Yuna asked meekly. "My-my apologies. I did not disturb you, did I?"

Yuna watched as the silver-haired man simply smiled. "No, not at all Lady Yuna. It is always an honor to hear from you." Baralai brought his hands together and bowed. Yuna half smiled, noting that he must be one of the only men still using the prayer bow. Not even Wakka did it these days, though he was always crying out for some divine help with his son.

There was a short pause. Yuna nearly lost her nerve, until Baralai spoke again. "My lady, is something the matter?"

"I-I was simply wondering if I could see you now," Yuna replied, bowing her head slightly, as if to apologize for her statement.

Baralai cocked his head slightly, somewhat puzzled by her request. But, being no fool, he could plainly see something was on her mind. And if he could be of any assistance, he happily would. "Why, of course Lady Yuna, it would be a pleasure. I shall have a monk meet you at the bridge upon your arrival."

Yuna looked up, seeing Baralai nod. She smiled softly. "Thank you," she apologized quickly before bowing her head.

As soon as Yuna shut the commsphere up, she stood up and turned to Buddy who was already looking at her. "Buddy, can you take me-"

"We'll be there in a few minutes Yuna," Buddy smiled before turning back to the panel, leaving Yuna to stand there, blood filling her face.

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are

Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars

Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

"Ah, High Summoner Yuna," the monk brought his hands together and bowed to the Gullwing as she walked towards him. "The Praetor has asked for me to bring you to his apartment. If you will follow me." Yuna nodded as the monk turned around to lead her to Baralai's apartment. As she followed him, she was pleased at the lack of attention she received, which she credited to the fact that it was two o'clock in the morning and the majority of the city was asleep. Her mind wandered, and she found herself almost angry. The same people who groveled now at her feet were the ones who only two short years ago shunned her. She rarely found herself in such a heated anger, but now it was overcoming her with every step through her birthplace. "We are here Lady Yuna," the monk told her, interrupting her thoughts.

"Thank you," she replied in the kindest voice she could muster up, nodding as the monk walked away after opening the door to Baralai's apartment.

Yuna walked in, noting that it really was more like a small house then an apartment, and it was neat and cozy, right up Baralai's alley. She shut the door behind her quietly, her heart pounding wildly.

"Lady Yuna," Baralai said, drawing her attention to his gentle smile. She looked at him, noting that he was still dressed in her formal day wear, as if he hadn't even changed from his long day of work. Sort of contrasted her whole digging out at Bikanel whenever she felt like it job. A pang of guilt hit her. Surely, as the High Summoner who brought the Eternal Calm, she should be trying to do more to help her people. It was her-

Her thoughts were interrupted as she felt the soft cloth of Baralai's sleeves resting against her arms and back. She half hugged back, almost shocked from the embrace that made her heart pound even faster against her chest. "Lady Yuna, what is the matter?"

"Please Praetor, simply Yuna," she replied, staring at the flowered wall paper of the hallway to the living room.

"Then, Yuna, I ask the same of you," Baralai replied with a smile, looking at the nineteen-year old. Yuna looked back at him, her eyes meeting the man who was only a year her senior.

This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

"So…how have you been?" Yuna asked, obviously unsure of herself.

Baralai looked at her. "Yuna." He simply said, resting his right hand on her shoulder.

For a moment Yuna's eyes widened in slight fear, which confused Baralai. But…he had done the same at Macalania Woods. The first person she gave her heart to…and yet he was…

As Yuna covered her face with her hands and burst into heaving sobs, Baralai did the only thing he could think of, which was to pull her into his arms again. He looked down at her, his heart breaking at the mere sight. He had always been protective of her, even when they were children. He didn't know what was causing her to break down all of her walls and allow her pain to seep out, but he was glad that at least he could be there for her. In a few moments, once her sobs changed simply to tears streaming down her face. "Yuna…" Baralai said softly while cradling her in his arms. "It's okay to tell me what's wrong…"

Yuna pulled back only far enough to be able to see him, though she was embarrassed by the tears pouring down her face. "It's just…no…never mind…" Yuna tried to turn away from Baralai and head to the door.

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand

"Yuna!" Baralai exclaimed, catching her and pulling her to him again. She looked at him like a deer in headlights. He looked back, trying to find some way to comfort her, to get her to trust him. "You…don't have to be anyone but yourself. The door's closed. No one else will know. I promise."

There was a pause as Baralai held his breath, praying that his words go through to Yuna.

But Yuna wasn't dense like Rikku, nor was she detached like Paine. Yuna was an intelligent young lady, perhaps stubborn and serious-to-a-fault, but intelligent all the same. Not to mention beautiful and-

"It's just…" Yuna interrupted his thoughts, and Baralai gave his full attention. "I'm so sick of all of this. I saved Spira twice, and yet, there's nothing but emptiness dwelling inside of me. The first time, I lost him. And then…when I thought I had found hope of him, it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity!" Yuna felt Baralai's soft hand rubbing gently up and down her back as her sobs increased in noise. "When…when Lenne disappeared with Shuyin…I fell into a deeper pit then before. But, I had to keep smiling. Spira was still watching me. I thought I'd be okay, I thought I'd move on. But sphere hunting has nothing left for me-I only did it because I found the sphere of him! There's nothing left for me, no where to turn, nothing to do! I can't trust any of these people! Before I completed my pilgrimage, they all turned their backs on me and shunned me! The temples, the people…"

You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

As the tears streamed down her face, Baralai paused thoughtfully before brushing his finger against her cheek, catching a few of the tears. "Yuna, don't be so hard on yourself. You don't have to be so strong. You don't have to uphold your old life anymore. You are free to make your own choices."

"But it's…near impossible to get close to anyone, you know?" She hoarsely whispered.

Baralai tightened his embrace on her, his fingers tracing along her back. A small smirk appeared over his face. "But, I do believe you are close to me at this moment."

And that was when he felt it. She let out a soft sigh and her sobbing was soon quelled to the point where it finally stopped. But that didn't stop their position. Yuna still clung to Baralai, and Baralai continued to hold her tightly to him, trying to do anything and everything to calm her. Though the silence was far from awkward, Baralai still wanted to break it with anything that could possibly comfort the distraught girl. "Remember when we were children? How we used to play down at the park, and run around playing Summoners and Guardians? "

Yuna pulled her head away from his shoulder to look at him, a small smile spreading across her face. "And how we always made Ormi play as Sin because he always insisted on playing with that big dog?"

"And how the Summoners would always compete against each other, and usually wear each other out before they even got to Sin?" Baralai laughed.

"And how you always insisted on being my Guardian," Yuna interjected.

Baralai stopped laughing and instead simply looked at Yuna. He was speechless. Only his eyes blinked a few times as her words, or more importantly her tone of voice, rang through his head. That memory was more of a statement then a question. Of course he remembered that, but they had been so young, he was shocked that she would. "Yuna, I'm surprised you remembered that," he told her honestly with a smile.

A smile crossed her face, as she continued reminiscing. "You said that you had to be my Guardian. And unlike the other Guardians, you always held my hand and made sure I was okay." Yuna giggled.

"I took my job seriously," Baralai replied with a short laugh.

"And the day before my father left for his pilgrimage, you took my hand, ran up to him and told him that you would-

"Take good care of Yuna until you return!" They both finished together. Their eyes met, and a bit more laughter filled the room.

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

Though Yuna had calmed down, Baralai still held her close to him, and she made no attempts to push him away. "You know…" Baralai said quietly. "The day you left for Besaid, I cried." He interrupted himself with an embarrassed chuckle as Yuna looked up at him sympathetically. "As soon as I turned fourteen, I began training to become a monk."

"Because of your mother, right?" Yuna asked.

"Only partly," Baralai replied. "News had reached Bevelle that Lord Braska's daughter was beginning to train as a Summoner since Sin had returned." Baralai scratched at the back of his head as he confessed to her. "I wanted to be your Guardian Yuna."

Both blushed slightly at his confession. "I would have been honored Baralai… Sir Baralai." Yuna giggled softly, and to him that was enough.

There was another pause between them. Baralai glanced over to the clock resting on the wall. Its hands laid out two-thirty. A smile slipped over his face that he had been holding her for well over an hour. He had always admired her, always found her beautiful in her own special way. Others found her stuck up because of her shyness, or fake because of her constant kindness. But in his mind, Yuna would always have a special place in his heart, and secretly, he had always dreaded that perhaps Yuna would succeed in defeating Sin the traditional way. There was no way he could ever forget her.

This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

"Baralai…thank you…" Yuna said softly in the comfort of his arms.

"I am glad I was able to provide comfort for you."

"It means a lot to me," she replied.

Baralai opened his mouth to say something, but soon found Yuna leaning in to kiss him gently on the lips. Though shocked by the forward motion from the once-shy girl, Baralai returned the soft kiss. And when they broke, there was a smile and a blush apparent on both of their faces. "Yuna…" He whispered softly.

"You mean a lot to me…and I…I just realized that now. You always have." With those words spoken, Yuna tightened her embrace on the somewhat stunned Baralai.

This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

"Yuna, I am leaving tomorrow for short vacation, would you care to accompany me? Take a break from the pressures of their watching eyes?"

Yuna looked into his eyes, and with a smile and nod replied "Yes, Sir Baralai." There was a small giggle. "I would love to."

"Very well, Summoner Yuna, I promise then no harm shall befall upon you."

Their laughter echoed throughout the otherwise empty apartment.

A/N: All right, I admit, that was pretty retarded, and I might just take it down when I'm not so damn tired. I got the idea while being incredibly moody while listening to the radio and came up with the idea. So I was inspired by the song Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts and by a certain person in my life who sometimes I love to hate, sometimes I hate to love, but who I will without a doubt love for the rest of my life. Anyway, flames are welcomed, I really couldn't care otherwise. I only wrote this on a break from Tie a Bow, Please Don't Forget.