1/14/06 - For those who wanted a bit more narrative than the short story, here are the last 3 sections expanded. Enjoy!
Summary: Now in 16 pages but the same as before: Tidus and Yuna get married. They go live in the Celsius, making a new sphere hunter team composed off: Rikku, Paine, Yuna, Tidus, Garik Ronso and Beclem. But half a year later, Tidus and Yuna have to go back to Besaid, as Yuna gets pregnant. Yuna and Tidus have twins
--- Year 2 AG, the day after "Perfect Ending"– Return to Besaid, Yuna and Tidus get married
When Yuna and Tidus arrived at Besaid the whole village was waiting for them on the beach, again. This time they talked to everyone and spent the whole morning telling their tales and listening to the news at Besaid, catching up with all that had happened. Yuna half expected a sermon from Lulu or a complaint from Wakka for her and Tidus having disappeared in the day before, but none came. That was because Rikku had beat some sense into Wakka, making him finally realize Yuna had the right to pursue her happiness even if it disappointed some. It was way past time for anyone to be demanding that Yuna lived up to others expectations of how a High Summoner should act. She had earned that right, she had saved Spira twice for crying out loud! Said Rikku fuming.
Lunch was at Lulu's, excellent as always. Tidus and Yuna had missed Lulu's cooking. She had been the best cook on their pilgrimage. She and Auron who, surprisingly for such a grouch, knew how to season almost anything found on their travels to make it taste good, even some bitter Ochu greens or the insipid, flavorless snow fiends of Gagazet. I guess a lifetime on the road taught him how to fend for himself, thought Tidus, missing his mentor and friend.
Yuna and Tidus told everyone about their decision to get married in Besaid, and then live aboard the Celsius hunting spheres for a while longer. Tidus had just had a 2 year long hibernation and was eager to see the sights and places that he had missed for so long. Yuna was also wanting to revisit the places of her pilgrimage and they both wanted to know more about Spira's past. Rikku and Paine were ecstatic. The Gullwings would have a repeat performance ? Yeah!
Wakka and Tidus stood looking amused at the 4 girls, who were talking excitedly, fussing with the engagement and wedding news. Brother watched from the commsphere scared. What was it about girls and weddings ? he moaned to himself. Mention a wedding preparation and women of all ages flip out, start babbling "teal", "burgundy" and other weird color names, while endlessly discussing identical choices and fussing about esoteric details like a "bath set". Bath set ? Brother had one bath towel in his cabin and that doubled as hand towel, washcloth, nose tissue, shoe polisher, carpet, toga… when the 3 girls were on board they had all kinds of towels in different colors and sizes and washed them incessantly! You could wash the entire Celsius with the amount of water the 3 female Gullwings spent on bathing and laundry! Brother decided to turn off the commsphere, to avoid being dragged into the girls discussion. He didn't need to be told how to dress or how to help with the temple arrangements, thought Brother testily.
Yuna and Tidus married the following week, in a small ceremony at Besaid temple, a far cry from her pompous and adventure riddled "almost wedding" to Seymour at Bevelle's highbridge. Jokingly, Lulu had asked if Yuna wanted a dress as fancy as the one she wore at Bevelle, with the same wings so she could jump out of the temple if she changed her mind at the last minute.
Wakka, Rikku, Yuna and Tidus collapsed laughing, remembering Seymour's angry face at Yuna wiping his kiss off and jumping from the highbridge like she could fly. Her jump from the 12 ft. high tower gave quite a scare to Seymour, his troops, his wedding guests and Yuna's guardians. Even Yuna herself wasn't sure she could summon her flying dragon Valefor on time, but she just had to jump. Yuna had decided she would rather die than marry the evil, treacherous Seymour who had just ordered his goons to shoot her friends dead right in front of her. During the ensuing confusion she and her friends escaped and the rest was history…
Yuck! Yuna still shuddered when she thought how close she had been from marrying that madman. Now that she had married for love she could not possibly believe how she had almost accepted marrying for any other reason, particularly so close to giving her own life in a sacrifice for Spira. Her life should have been enough, the cruel Maesters of Bevelle should have never forced her to play yet another role in their twisted games!
Yuna was not sorry to having been the one who brought the Yevon Church's downfall. She had some pity in her heart for Yunalesca, who had meant well when she used the Final Summoning in an attempt to give some hope to a doomed Spira dying at the hands of Sin. She and her husband had committed the ultimate sacrifice to preserve that hope, no wonder Yunalesca still clung to the misguided lies of the Final Summoning for such a long time.
But Yuna and Tidus had refused to aid Yunalesca and Bevelle's Yevon Church perpetuate Spira's Spiral of Death and it's lies. 1,000 years of grief was just too much to commit to a lie, no matter how necessary or beneficial it had seen in the beginning. So they had had to kill Yunalesca's unsent form and Seymour, the ambitious and criminally insane Guado Maester. And watch the rest of the Bevelle church crumble under the weight of their own lies and Seymour's treachery. Yuna had no pity for the Bevelle Maesters and their Yevon Church. Their twisted games and exploitation of the sincere faith of the Spira people had lasted 1,000 years unquestioned. It was way past the time to end it!
--- Year 2 AG, 2 weeks after FFX 2 ending – A new Gullwings II team is formed
After their wedding Yuna and Tidus retired to the Youth League lodge tent, which had been graciously vacated by the Aurochs for the bride and groom. To Yuna and Tidus surprise, the tent was spotless and had been redecorated into a cozy room with a soft fur lined bed, a bathtub, a table filled with food and fruit baskets and several wedding gifts from their friends and the village residents. Yuna was so happy with the surprise that she wanted to go back to the beach where all villagers were commemorating their wedding by a campfire but Tidus stopped her.
- "Hey, where do you think you are going ?" he said
- "I was going to thank the Aurochs and the villagers" said Yuna
- "You can thank them tomorrow! I have been waiting for you for 2 years! Now come closer.." said Tidus and started to kiss her lovingly.
They awoke late the next morning as a fierce Rikku wouldn't let anyone make any noise close to their tent lest they disturb the newlyweds. She needn't have worried as both Tidus and Yuna were so tired that they would not have waken even if a Gagazet wolf howled right by their tent.
After a healthy breakfast Yuna went to thank the villagers and to show Lulu, Paine and Rikku her gifts, while Tidus and Wakka went to the beach to play some blitzball with the Aurochs and some other players from Tidus time at the Blitzball League. That was Wakka's surprise for Tidus, he had invited Zazi Guado, Biggs, Nimrook and Irga Ronso for a blitz game, and the Aurochs had invited Beclem, the Youth League drill sergeant who had just spent months barking at them putting into shape to be Youth League soldiers. To everyone's surprise Beclem was recognized immediately by Nimrook and Biggs.
- "Hey what is Kyou doing here ? I thought he was retired. " asked Biggs to the Aurochs
- "Kyou ? His name is Beclem, he is the Youth League Master Sergeant assigned to protect Besaid" answered Keepa
- "No, no, that is Kyou without a doubt. I caught enough of his shots to recognize his double spin goal shot anywhere." said the goalie Nimrook pointing at Beclem who was practicing the shot that had awed the Aurochs a month ago.
- "Huh ? That is strange… Let's go ask him!" said Keepa
It turned out that Biggs and Nimrook were correct: Beclem was none other than Kyou, a free agent that had played only half of the blitz season two years ago, before having to retire due to serious injuries. A sheepish Beclem told them he had been at Operation Mi'hem when Sin attacked and had his leg broken in 3 places, ending his short blitz career without even completing a full season. Beclem had been embarrassed at such short career and like many others in Spira he had decided to reinvent himself after Sin's demise brought the Eternal Calm. He even had adopted a new name to shed all his past away.
- "But I guess I should get back to being Kyou, the failed blitz player, now that you have revealed my past" Beclem said sadly, resigned to being the butt of all blitzball jokes yet again.
- "Not by my account! In my book anyone has the right to start over, specially you who got injured through no fault of your own" said Tidus
- "The same goes for me! You are still Sergeant Beclem to me" said Wakka
- "Aye!" said the Aurochs and the other blitz players
- "Well, thanks… How about some blitz playing now ?" said Beclem relieved and eager to change the subject
Beclem was surprised at their acceptance of his wish to reinvent himself. He had been resigned to having failed to make friends at Besaid but now he wondered if he did fail. After all, they had invited him for Tidus surprise game, and now had accepted him in spite of his new name and short blitz career. Beclem suddenly realized that the Aurochs had seen through his "tough drill sergeant" ruse and had considered him a friend. He asked Datto about it and Datto told him that they all had respected his tough but fair ways and liked his dedication to keeping their home safe. Why wouldn't they befriend someone who fought so hard to protect their beloved island ? asked Datto.
With 7 Aurochs on hand Wakka had to join the newcomers so that Tidus could take his old place at the Aurochs for a 6-6 game in the crystal clear waters of Besaid's bay. Yuna, Lulu, Vidina and the girls were sitting on the top of the hill having a picnic and cheering for their friends. Tidus was a bit out of shape after his 2 year long hibernation so he had trouble making his Jecht shot on the first half and the score stayed tied zero-zero. In the second half Tidus managed to score 2 goals with it, after being goaded into trying again by Kyou / Beclem's one-zero score on the Aurochs with his highly athletic double spin goal shot that resembled Tidus infamous Jecht shot. The game ended two-one for the Aurochs and Tidus.
After the game and a hearty supper Tidus and Yuna left on the Celsius. Buddy dropped the couple at Macalania where Yuna and Tidus wanted to start their honeymoon. Yuna had told Tidus that the spring where they had their first kiss had changed but he still wanted to start their honeymoon there and then trek to Zanarkand's dome, retracing the steps he and Yuna had followed on her pilgrimage to defeat Sin. You are so lucky, your boyfriend is so romantic! Rikku had said at their plans, being immediately corrected by Lulu and Paine: Husband not boyfriend!
- "The best husbands never stop being romantic boyfriends" answered Rikku dreamily
- "You got a point there" said Lulu smiling
- "Ugh! Now that the lovebirds have left for their honeymoon can we please stop with the mush Rikku ?" asked an impatient Paine
- "But mushy gooey romance is the best part!" protested Rikku
- "No it is not… It is disgusting!" answered Paine making a face
- "You want me to stop being mushy then you have to make me" answered Rikku sticking out her tongue
- "Time for pain!" said Paine and threw an orange at Rikku
- "Ha! You missed! " yelled Rikku defiantly
- "Out with both of you before you scare Vidina" said Lulu laughing
Lulu kept on laughing and shooing them from her tent. She told the two Gullwing girls that their visit was turning into a true girlfriend sleep over: talking about boyfriends, food / pillow fight… She had to put her foot down before the girls started a doll tea party with Vidina as the main guest!
Back at the Celsius Rikku and Paine asked Buddy, barkeep and ShinRa if they thought that they acted too girly. They already knew Brother's answer: No Never, more girly action please! ShinRa bailed out of answering with his traditional "I'm just a kid" non-answer. Barkeep kept asking what was "guirrrr-ly"with his thick hypello accent. Buddy was the only one who responded:
- "Not too girly for me, I like it. But now that Tidus is going to join the team perhaps you two could try to make him more welcome by including him on the fun, not just Yuna." he said wisely.
- "Hmm.. You have a point. Perhaps we should get 2 more guys on our battle team to make things more balanced for Tidus" said Paine thoughtfully
- "Aaagh, more men on the Celsius ? Never!" said Brother arriving at the bridge
- "Then we will move to dad's ship, you pervert!" said Rikku annoyed at her brother
- "Yes ! We are not doing this sphere hunting for your viewing pleasure, you know Brother ?" agreed Paine angry at his antics
- "If the girls leave I'll leave too" said ShinRa
- "What about you Buddy, are you going to join our mutiny ?" asked Rikku and Buddy nodded in agreement
- "Heh, I was just kidding, no need for mutiny. Of course you can invite whoever you want to join your battle team Rikku. This is your ship too" said Brother sheepishly
- "Awww! Isn't he the cutest, nicest big Brother ?" said Rikku and whispered to Paine "I'm glad he remembered who lent him all the Gil he needed to fix the Celsius!"
--- Year 2 AG, 1 month after FFX 2 – At the Celsius, 3 new additions to the Gullwings
When Yuna and Tidus came back from their honeymoon the girls told them about their idea of inviting two more members to make a 6 member Gullwings team. Yuna and Tidus were very excited at the idea as it reminded them of Yuna's pilgrimage team: 7 members – Sir Auron, Yuna and Tidus, Lulu and Wakka, Rikku and Kimahri Ronso. But who to invite ? Rikku wanted to invite Gippal and Baralai but they were both busy with their own teams: the Al Bhed Machina faction and the New Yevon league. The same was true for Paine's favorite: Nooj the leader of the Youth League was pretty tied up too. The girls had just seen how confused the groups had gotten without their leaders and were not eager to see it again. Wakka and Lulu could not travel and battle with a newborn. Donna and Bartello had disappeared after their very public reunion at Kilika. Isaaru and Maroda were busy and Yuna didn't want to separate the brothers who had just reunited to protect Bevelle after 2 years of squabbling.. Who else was good at battles and was available ?
Yuna mentioned to the girls that Kimahri had just asked her and Tidus if they could take Garik, the hot headed young Ronso under their wing. Kimahri felt an adventure filled trip around Spira would be the perfect answer to cure Garik's heartache and loss at the fact that so few Ronso remained. The girls agreed to it immediately as they were very fond of Kimahri and liked the young Ronso too. By joining the Gullwings Garik would see and learn about other people in Spira and that would take his mind off the past. And after defeating him in battle to stop him from starting a war against the Guado the girls knew the large, bulky Ronso was a fierce warrior and an excellent addition to the Gullwings.
- "Perfect idea Yuna! It will be great to have a Ronso on our team again, they are so strong and calm!" said Rikku
- "Yep, that is what I thought when Kimahri suggested we take him on the Celsius. But who else can we invite ?" said Yuna
- "How about Isaaru ? He is pretty good in battle, he almost made it into High Summoner. " asked Tidus, remembering their friendship and their battles with the young Summoner.
- "Nah.. He and his brothers are pretty busy protecting Bevelle." said Rikku
- "Can't his brothers stay at Bevelle under this new guy Baralai ?" asked Tidus
- "That would be bad. Isaaru was pretty lost after he found out there was no more Sin and he had a big fight with his brothers right after it. They reconciled just recently. I would hate to be the one to separate them" said Yuna
- "Oh riiight! You told me about his and Cid's misguided attempts to pay homage to Zanarkand by making it a tourist trap. I had forgotten that!" said Tidus
- "Oh well, let's keep on thinking on our way to Mushroom Rock" said Yuna
The Celsius landed on the bottom of Mushroom Rock the trail, where a quiet and sulky Sergeant Beclem waited them to take them to their meeting with Meivn Nooj, the Youth League leader. On their way up the hill Beclem meditated on the people from Besaid and their famous High Summoner. The crusty drill sergeant had been pain in the neck to Wakka and Yuna until very recently. After Bevelle's treachery was revealed Beclem, like many, had been angry at the church of Yevon and summoners in general and Yuna in particular. But last week he had changed his mind about Yuna, after his leader Nooj told his officers about Vegnagun and about how the 3 girls saved Spira one more time. At the meeting Beclem couldn't resist mentioning Yuna's shameful behavior, in his view, during Operation Mi'hem.
- "It seems High Summoner Yuna chooses when and who she saves. She saved none at Mi'hem" Beclem had said angrily
- "Huh ? What are you talking about ? She saved hundreds that day!" said Commander Lucille who had been there.
- "When ? Where ? At the beach none were saved! And the High Summoner was giggling like a schoolgirl while walking among the corpses of my squad!" Beclem answered darkly.
- "That was because she could not have stopped Sin at that time. No one could! Not without the final Aeon or the Airship cannons that got fixed only much later" answered Lucille
What Commander Lucille didn't know, as no one in Spira knew but the members of Yuna's escort during her pilgrimage, was that the key to their victory over Sin had been Jecht not Cid's airship. It was Jecht who had held the beast's fierce attacks until Yuna, Tidus and their team got inside Sin's tough outer shell, out of range from Sin's extremely powerful, city destroying cannons. No one in Spira could survive those, not even High Summoners. Summoners had barely time to summon the Final Aeon to pierce Sin's armor, before being vaporized by them. If it wasn't for the fact that Jecht had been inside Sin with a certain amount of control over the beast Yuna would have shared the fate of all the High Summoners for the past 1,000 years. No one but Yuna's team knew the place that Sir Jecht, Lord Braska's heroic famous guardian and Tidus father had been after Braska defeated Sin, and no one but her and her team learned of Jecht's much more heroic crucial role in defeating Sin forever.
Commander Lucille proceeded to tell Beclem that she had been at the top of Mushroom Rock at the Mi'hem Operation Headquarters on that fateful day. She told him that she had personally witnessed Yuna and her team battling a large Sin Spawn monster, saving countless lives on top of Mushroom Rock and she had also seen how Yuna had being ordered to smile by Seymour, to avoid letting despair settle in on the survivors. A High Summoner had to always smile and look confident Lucille had heard Seymour tell Yuna and Lucille told it to Beclem. He was astonished. After Lucille's and Nooj's revelations Beclem was thankful that even before learning the truth he had relented a bit and toned down his insults, after seeing how Yuna, Wakka and her friends saved the Besaid temple from a Dark Aeon. Today a sheepish Beclem quietly took the High Summoner and her team directly to the observation deck to talk to Meivn Nooj, without uttering the stinging remarks he had been known to say to the Gullwings.
- "Thank you for coming. I called you here to discuss sphere hunting" Nooj said
- "As you are well aware, sphere hunting and the clues the old spheres give about Spira's hidden past have always been a concern of mine and of the League" he continued
- "Now that old spheres found by sphere hunters have warned us about Vegnagun and have helped us pinpoint it's location and the identity of it's pilot this concern has grown even more pressing."
- " I am sure that you agree with me that finding old spheres is vital to Spira's safety. After Sin / Yevon and Vegnagun, who knows what dangers lurk in Spira's past, ready to strike us when we least expect unleashed by greedy or misguided Spirans ?" said Nooj passionately
- "We agree. But what do you need from us ?" asked Rikku
- "Since you have found the most important spheres in the past it is in the League's interest to aid you as you are bound to find others. You are the best sphere hunting team in Spira" said Nooj ignoring her
- "Skip the flattery and cut to the chase, Nooj" said Paine impatiently
- "I know I can't convince you to join my League but perhaps I can make you see the wisdom of having someone from my team join yours " said Nooj going directly to the point as directed
- "What ? " said Yuna, Rikku and Paine surprised.
- "I have heard that you are adding a new team member. I was hoping you would agree to adding a second one . One of my elite officers, who could help you not hinder you in any way" said Nooj
- "And after helping us this elite officer would contact you and tell all we have been up to, right ?" said Rikku suspicious
- "So ? Will he / she tell me something you wouldn't tell me yourself ? Surely after our joint battle with Vegnagun you know and trust my dedication to protecting Spira" said Nooj calmly.
- "Hmmm… Maybe. But we have to discuss this among ourselves. Who did you have in mind ?" asked Paine.
- "Any of my senior officers has my unconditional trust. You can chose any of them: Yaibal, Beclem, Lucille, Elma, Maroda… Even I would join you if you wished so" answered Nooj looking at Paine intensely
- "No, not you, we have had enough tension in Spira with a leaderless Youth League to last us 5 decades, thank you" said Paine firmly
- "They have been conditioned by Yevon's teachings to follow, never lead... That is a problem I am trying to fix but it will take some time before I, Gippal and Baralai can leave in long missions." said Nooj unhappily. Being tied to the HQ drowning in a mountain of bureaucratic work was not his idea of fun.
- "Very well then. We will think about it and give you an answer soon" said Yuna and the girls took their leave.
Back at the ship they discussed Nooj's request. The girls told Tidus that they did trust Nooj, and also Gippal and Baralai but they disliked the idea of taking in people every time one of them asked. Kimahri's request had been different. He had been Yuna's friend for years, Kimahri had practically raised her since she was 7. They just couldn't refuse a request from the Ronso leader. But what about Nooj's request ?
- "Well we were thinking of adding one more member to the Gullwings anyway. But it can't be Maroda, he is Isaaru's brother, we don't want to take him away from Isaaru's team at Bevelle" said Yuna
- "Lucille or Elma would be great but that would bring even more girls here" said Rikku thinking out loud
- "Who cares! Does any of them play blitzball ? Brother, Buddy and I were thinking of making a Gullwings team to compete on the league now that Garik is joining us, but we are short on one player" said Tidus
- "One of the candidates does, he is the masked bloke you met at Wakka's surprise game, the one the Aurochs invited" said Rikku with a grimace
- "Cool! Kyou.. Err.. Beclem, right ? He has a killer goal shot and he plays very well" said Tidus happily already thinking on having a killer Gullwings team for the next blitzball season
- "Yeah, but he has been kind of a jerk to Wakka and Yuna until recently" said Rikku pouting
- "Well he changed, didn't he ?" said Yuna always the forgiving High Summoner
- "But how good is he in battle ? We have recently battled Yaibal, Lucille and Elma on their League Tournament and I have to say Yaibal would need to level up a lot to keep up with us or Garik" said Paine, remembering their battle with the young Youth League Sergeant.
- "We could do some trials but from what you girls said there is just one candidate from Nooj that would work: Beclem" said Tidus, leaning towards the blitz ace.
- "If you are worried about Gippal and Baralai wanting to force their people on our team, we might as well get it all out in the open now. Why don't you ask them to send some candidates for a trial ?" piped in ShinRa
- "Great idea! Not bad for just a kid. All in favor say aye" Said Rikku excited and was answered by a chorus of "aye's".
Baralai declined their invitation saying he needed all his men to help defend Bevelle from the many fiends pouring out of the Via Infinito cloister. He also asked Maroda to be excluded, to which Yuna agreed immediately. Nooj's candidates would be 4: Yaibal, Lucille, Elma and Beclem. Gippal also sent 4 candidates: 3 men and Nhadala, the tough no nonsense Bikanel desert camp leader. The Gullwings decided to do the trials at the hidden dungeon on the Calm Lands, away from prying eyes and a place where neither the Youth Leaguers nor the Al Bhed had the home field advantage. The dungeon was infested with tough fiends, including the fearsome and deadly Ultima weapon fiends so the Gullwings followed the candidates closely, allegedly to monitor their performance but in truth to keep the weaker candidates out of trouble. The youngest Al Bhed, Hurk was the first one to fall, followed by a hapless Elma who had the bad luck of facing 3 Ultima fiends in a row.
- "You can rest and try again, if you want. Three Ultimas would be too much for anyone" whispered Yuna to Elma
- "Oh that's OK Lady Yuna. It would be an honor to join your team but to tell you the truth I get awfully sick on airships. Nothing like riding a Chocobo with the wind in my face for me! " whispered Elma back making Yuna laugh at her mock sick face.
A heartbroken Yaibal was the next to fall, followed by Ringar, the second Al Bhed youngster. Lucille, Nhadala, Beclem and Nybi, a 19 year old Al Bhed whiz kid where the only ones able to clear the tough dungeon and moved on to the next step: The following day the 4 would battle the 3 female Gullwings and Tidus as a team, to see if they worked as well on a team as they did alone. To Tidus disappointment neither Nhadala nor Lucille played blitz and Nybi was a goalie just like Garik Ronso so he wouldn't help the Gullwings Team. Tidus decided to root for Kyou / Beclem. While the 3 girls consoled Yaibal, he went to talk to Beclem to find out why he had been so rude to Yuna and Wakka until recently.
- "Hey Sarge ? Getting ready to face us tomorrow ?" asked Tidus
- "Yes Sir" answered Beclem politely
- "Heh, call me Tidus. Everyone does. None of this Lord or Sir thing to me!" Tidus answered
- "Yes.. Tidus. You can call me Beclem too if you wish to" said Beclem
- "Now that we are on a first name basis can I ask why you pestered my friend Wakka and my Yuna so much ?" asked Tidus
- "Sir.. err.. Tidus.. " said Beclem embarrassed looking down
- "Relax man. Wakka and Yuna seem to have forgiven you so I will too. I just want to know why, that's all!" said Tidus
Beclem told Tidus about his experience at Mi'hem and about how he had learned only recently about the reasons Yuna had acted so oddly then. About Wakka, Beclem told Tidus that he "had been a Crusader, he hoped that, with Sin gone, life would change radically"(4) Indeed, with Sin gone Beclem had cast his past and his birth name aside and reinvented himself. He had been sorely disappointed at the famous guardian, who his friend Chappu had said so much about and who had helped bring the temples down. Beclem had expected Wakka to be the champion of helping Spira cast it's past submission to Yevon's church aside. Hence Beclem's altercation with Wakka on whether to burn the Besaid Temple or not were, in Beclem's view, justified: Not only he had no respect for old temples but also he was responsible for the safety of the village. "Finding out that Wakka didn't share his ideals was a tough blow" (4). Beclem also told Tidus that the sight of Wakka, a father to be, risking his neck for mere statues had made him blind with anger: Having been an orphan who had a hard life growing up in the Bevelle orphanage he could not stand the thought anyone, including Wakkas's baby, going through similar sad experiences thanks to what, in Beclem's view, amounted to silly antics to save a pile of rubble. Later he had been forced to admit that there was no need to burn the temple, when Yuna and her team easily cleaned it of all the fiends.
- "Well, I also got to admit that even I got mad at Yuna's giggling at Mi'hem. I was mad until Kimahri explained to me she was doing it under Seymour's orders" said Tidus with a grimace at the memory of the evil Maester
- "It seems I misjudged the High Summoner's motives and for that I am very sorry" said Beclem gravely
- "Yes and your blaming of Wakka for not living up to YOUR idea of him wasn't very fair also. Wakka is a terrific guy if you appreciate him for what he is, not for what he is not!" said Tidus hotly remembering how much Lulu had got in friend's case for the same reason two years ago.
- "I grant you that I may not have been fair to Wakka. But I will have to take your word for his qualities as it seems I will have little opportunity to meet him in the future. My assignment in Besaid has ended." said Beclem resigned
- "Heh ? Why do you think you are competing here today and I'm asking all this questions ? You will see a lot more of Wakka and Yuna if you join our team" Tidus answered
- "I am here under orders but I had assumed I had no chance as I was already disqualified based on my past behavior" said Beclem embarrassed.
- "Not true. Every one of the four finalists has an equal chance. Besides, Wakka and Yuna have forgiven you already and will do it even more after I tell them what you told me." Said Tidus
- "I thank you for your fairness Sir… errr.. guardian" said Beclem
- "No thanks needed. Go rest now and prepare for a thorough butt kicking tomorrow as we are fair but we will not hold back either. Ha Ha! You guys are dead meat!" said Tidus laughing defiantly
The trial battle took place in the morning, with Yuna, Tidus, Rikku and Paine winning as Tidus had predicted, but not as easily as he expected. Nhadala was extremely though to conquer with her high HP and excellent shielding, plus she healed her team non stop with her Alchemist stash. But Alchemist "Stash" spells were slow to cast so Tidus and Rikku with their auto Haste could hit twice in the time it took Nhadala to heal her party once. To the girls and Tidus surprise Beclem also had the Auto Haste skill and had some powerful blitzball attacks, while Lucille could cast some fierce black mage spells and Nybi had a powerful gunner suit and used "Trigger Happy" non stop on Yuna and Paine, trying to get them down with it's chained attacks. Luckily the young Al Bhed had no magic catnip or he would have succeeded in taking Yuna and Paine out of the battle. But without catnip even his chained attacks and Beclem's fast counter attacks were no match for Yuna's White Mage healing and Paine's Dark Knight shielding. The 4 candidates fought surprisingly well but lost the battle after Paine used a few Darkness spells and a Black Sky as the coup de grace. After Elma's refusal Paine wanted the remaining candidates to know why the Gullwings were considered the best battle team in Spira and why it was an honor to have the opportunity to join them.
- "Drunuikmo pidd gelgat po 3 kenmc! Fryd femm Gippal drehg ?" said Nybi in Al Bhed after the battle, worried at Gippal's reaction at his defeat at the hands of "3 girls"
- "Ra lyh'd cyo y drehk yc fa "kenmc" ryja zicd gelgat rec ufh puudea mycd suhdr!" answered Rikku telling Nybi of their victory over Gippal himself at the Den of Woe just a month ago.
- "Ouch! That "Meteor" spell you cast on us was something!" said Lucille, still sore at her cuts and burns from the flaming rocks which pelted her after Paine's "Black Sky" spell
- "Here, let me heal you" said Yuna worried, always the healer who hated to see someone in pain
- "Never mind. I'm better already. I should have expected it after the trouncing you girls gave me last month at the Youth League tournament" said Lucille grimacing
- "Yeah, I was crazy to think we could win after witnessing you 3 battle an Angra Mainyu and win last month!" said Nhadala frustrated
- "What about you Beclem ? You don't seem to be complaining much about your wounds and defeat" asked Paine curious
- "Win some, lose some. That's life... You guys fought better this time but as long as I'm still here I will get you Gullwings eventually" the drill sergeant said smiling while he dressed his wounds.
The girls thought that it was odd how the usually moody Beclem seemed to be the only one who was taking the defeat in stride so they asked Commander Lucille about it. Lucille told them that Beclem was the most cool headed and skilled warrior in the League but his relaxed behavior on the battle field, which the girls had just witnessed, didn't accompany him when away from the gym. His sulky attitude had kept him a Master Sergeant both in the Youth League and the Crusaders while many others got promoted ahead of him, in spite of his bravery at many real battles and his excellence at tournaments.
- "Well, I for one like his upbeat attitude. Thinking you can do something is half the battle to succeed at it" said Tidus who was also someone who tried to never let a defeat or low odds put him down
- "But his insulting of Yuna and Wakka gets on my nerves" said Paine
- "Oh that ? I talked with the guy yesterday. It seems that somehow he got convinced that Yuna was laughing at his dead comrades at Mi'hem" said Tidus
- "But I told him I was there and saw Seymour order Yuna to smile on that day. You should have had no more trouble from him!" said Lucille puzzled
- "We didn't, not after you set him straight 2 weeks ago" said Tidus
- "Seymour ordered Yuna to smile in front of all that carnage ? How awful!" said Paine
- "Oh yeah! High Summoners and their guardians were supposed to be always upbeat and to never let on how dire and hopeless the situation felt. They were supposed to be Spira's "hope" and smile in spite of all they faced and watched. Didn't you know that ?" asked Tidus
- "I didn't. I guess it worked very well then. I never realized that Summoners might have doubts and fears like the rest of us. I guess that was naive and foolish of me" said Paine
- "Well, you were not the only one to have superhuman expectations for Summoners, I can tell you that! Even today some folks think they can demand whatever they want of Yuna, after all she has done for Spira!" said Rikku angrily. People's habit of abusing Yuna's goodwill was her pet peeve.
At lunch the Celsius crew and the team started discussing the finalists. Nhadala was pretty good, but Rikku was an even stronger Alchemist than her, plus all 3 of the girls were also skilled in Al Bhed weapons and gunner / Trigger Happy battle techniques so both Nhadala and Nybi would be redundant in their team. Lucille's black mage skills were also outmatched by Paine and Yuna. That left Beclem's blitzball attacks, attacks which reminded them of Wakka's fighting style, a skill set that was very handy against flying monsters and that they didn't have yet on the Gullwings.
- "He is a good compliment to our team styles, he plays good blitzball and I like his self confidence. Why not chose him ?" asked Tidus
- "I vote yes. Perhaps we can help him shed the demons of his past just as we are going to try to help Garik" said Yuna who agreed with Tidus and also pitied the drill sergeant
- "I guess… My favorite is Nhadala but you two have a point, she may be redundant with Rikku on our team" said Paine
- "Nah.. Nhadala is to old! Why not Lucille, she is so hot with that red hair of hers.." said Brother wistfully
- "Shut up pervert! We are choosing a warrior not eye candy for you." Said Rikku hitting him with her bread roll
- "Heh ? Oh alright, I vote for the blitz ace then. Beclem and Tidus will be sweet in the attack of our Gullwings team!" said Brother nabbing Rikku's bread and eating it.
- "You stole my bread you big meanie!" said Rikku outraged
- "Barkeep, can you get more bread for my whiny little sister before she cries ?" said Brother laughing at Rikku and yelped as Rikku threw the salt shaker at him
- "Manners kids! We still have to decide. Who do you vote for Rikku ?" asked Paine
- "Hmm.. Not Lucille or Nhadala otherwise I will have too much trouble keeping this brother of mine in line. Nybi or Beclem then" said Rikku
- "Nybi is a bit too wet behind the ears for my taste. And he is also a dupe of your gunner skills. You girls outclass him seriously at Trigger Happy. Besides, isn't the blitzball guy also a master at gun combat ? He was the one who kept the Gunner's Gauntlet high score record at Besaid, wasn't him ?" asked Buddy
- "Yeah, until we wiped the floor with his record" said Rikku smugly
- "But Wakka told me he didn't rest until he beat our record. He holds the high score now" said Yuna
- "He does ? Interesting. I like having people who never give up in my team. I guess I can live with his cocky attitude if he leaves Yuna in peace. I vote Beclem too." said Paine
- "Well, until Rikku decides between him or Nybi it seems we have 4 and a half votes for the blitz guy. It seems to me he wins in spite of Rikku's doubts" said Tidus teasing Rikku
The Gullwings finished their lunch and went to the Celsius Deck tell the news to the finalists. Nybi was as expected very disappointed but to their surprise Lucille and Nhadala were not sad but relieved at the news that they were not chosen. Lucille and Nhadala confessed to Yuna that they had been very busy at a job they loved and had agreed to the trials because of their respect for the Gullwings and for the honor it was to be invited. But both women were very ambivalent at the prospect of leaving their job unfinished, at the Bikanel camp for Nhadala and at the Youth League training task force for Lucille. So their defeat was not sad and devastating as it had been for Yaibal or Nybi.
- "Relax kid. I told you Gippal himself had his butt kicked by me Yunie and Paine. He can't complain about you, you lasted more rounds then he did!" said Rikku from the top of her 17 year old experience calling the 19 year old a "kid".
- "Yes and as a finalist you can always join us in some missions in the future, cant he ?" said Yuna trying to soften the blow for the sad Al Bhed technician
- "Sure! And join us at blitzball practice. I will ask Gippal myself!" said Brother
- "No need Sir, I'll be fine" said a proud, less sad Nybi and asked to be excused to go back to his post at Djose Temple.
- "Sure, see you later Sir Nybi" said Brother and asked Buddy to drop the lad there.
Still at the deck, Beclem was astounded. He had never once been that lucky in his life. He was the one they chose ? How ? He was very happy he had won the honor but he was also very surprised that he got it. He knew he had done good at the trials but he had done good a trials and battles countless times in his life before but his rewards for it never amounted to much. Always his so called "bad attitude" had been used by his superiors to keep him at his place. He had tried to change that "bad attitude" countless times too but something always seemed to set his hot temper on fire and he blurted out something that got him on trouble. After years stuck as sergeant at the crusaders he had tried changing careers to blitzball but in spite of his skill and efforts Sin had ended that career in less than 2 months. Would this new chance last longer ? He owed to himself to try to fit in and to keep his temper in check. He also owed it to Yuna and her friends who after his months of unfair insults to them still gave him a fair chance. This time he would try harder to control his "bad attitude" he decided. He was running out of places in Spira to go and new names to try to reinvent himself. With his new attitude decided Beclem took the ship's lift and joined the Gullwings at the Cabin for a commemorative dinner for the finalists.
--- Year 2 AG, 3 months after FFX 2 – At the Celsius, 3 new additions to the Gullwings
After Garik and Beclem put their affair in order and packed they joined Yuna, Tidus, Rikku and Paine at the Celsius for a training excursion in the hidden dungeons of Spira: At Bikanel, at Mi'hem, at the Calm lands and at Bevelle's Via Infinito first 40 floors. While they were busy at the dungeons ShinRa constructed a challenging Tower to help the Gullwings team hone their battle skills. When the team got back they went to rest and relax in Besaid and got surprised by ShinRa's new Tower of Trials. After days loafing around on the gorgeous Besaid Beach everyone on the new Gullwings team was excited to try the challenges there. They decide to enter themselves as "Gullwings II battle Team" in ShinRa's challenges and the name stuck. The 6 person team would be known as Gullwings II from then on.
--- Year 2 AG, 5 months after FFX 2 -- Gullwings II hunts for clues to Spira's past.
Meivn Nooj tells the Gullwings II team that he is rather curious about the infamous cache of old spheres that New Yevon's founder Trema is supposed to have. But no one knows where Trema is. Nooj tells the Gullwings team that while hunting for clues on older spheres whereabouts Maroda and Isaaru's brother Pacce had found an intriguing new dungeon in Bevelle: Via Infinito. Rikku, Payne and Yuna laugh and tell Nooj they have already been there twice. They had never bothered to go past it's level 40 though. Suddenly the girls recall getting to it's 20th floor and seeing an unsent copy of Maester Kinoc dropping two Crimson Squad spheres on the floor, right before their battle with Vegnagun. Perhaps the higher floors would have older spheres Nooj speculates and the Gullwings II team decides to go check it out.
The Via Infinito dungeon is extremely hard but after their countless training sessions at ShinRa's tower the Gullwings II team is ready for it and crosses the first 80 floors in little more than 1 month. But then they hit a stop at level 80, where Chac, a very powerful basilisk keeps watch. The fiend is extremely fast and his petrifying eyes can pierce even the strongest anti-petrifying magic and charm items. They spend 3 full days trying to beat the powerful fiend, to no avail. Yuna just can't heal the gunners fast enough and they usually end up petrified before getting the beast's HP down to zero.
--- Year 2 AG, 6 months after FFX 2 - Tidus and Yuna go back to Besaid, this time to stay
Even before her grueling battles with Chac Yuna was feeling very tired and was finding it hard to keep up with the team. She asks them for a pause to rest in Besaid. She didn't tell anyone but she feels sick. She feels nauseous and starts feeling very emotional and cries at the silliest things. At Besaid Yuna asks the best healer she knows besides herself for advice on what to take for that:
- "Fatigue, nausea, slow reflexes and a suddenly more sensitive heart ? Yuna, you don't have to ask me about this! Don't you know what this means ?" asks Lulu smiling
- "No, I don't. Do you think an Elixir and a Remedy every morning will help ?" asks Yuna worried. She feels like crying. Why won't Lulu help her instead of asking silly questions ?
- "The only thing that will help is for you to stop battling immediately and stay put in Besaid. You are pregnant, oh clueless healer!" said Lulu laughing
- "What ? No, it can't be.. Can it ?" says Yuna stunned at the news
- "You tell me High Summoner. If a married woman came to you with those symptoms what would you tell her ?" said Lulu
-"Uh.. You are right! It IS pretty obvious, isn't it ? I wonder how I missed it! Duh! " says Yuna now unable to deny the fact
-"Just one of the many things motherhood does to you. The rest of your memory will be gone in no time!" laughs Lulu knowingly, her usually meticulous self having lost any hopes of ever being the same after Vidina was born.
Yuna tells the news to Tidus who gets deliriously happy at the idea. They both can hardly wait! Because of Yuna's pregnancy and the coming baby Tidus and Yuna decide to leave the Gullwings II team. Rikku and Paine invite Donna and Bartello to join them in a Gullwings III team and keep on crossing the Spira skies in search of spheres and adventure. But they are forced to leave Via Infinito for later as no one can heal as fast as Yuna, and Donna is no exception
--- Year 2 AG, 10 months after FFX 2 --- Twins At Besaid
Their decision to go back to Besaid and take it easy proves very wise as Yuna starts getting very big, very fast. Lulu suspected her friend was about to have twins and tells Yuna and Tidus that.
- "I think you are right, I can feel their thoughts sometimes. I definitely felt two minds" says Yuna, confessing to have used her trained Summoner senses on her tummy.
-"Two babies ? That is fantastic news mom!" gushes Tidus and goes out to tell everyone in the village. He tells everyone the news five times at least...
Even Wakka has to laugh at his friend's antics. Tidus appears to be going through the same befuddled / excited / scared stages he had gone a year ago.
- "Was I nearly that insane last year ? Wakka asks Lulu.
-"Every bit of it. Go ask the Aurochs if you don't believe me" answers Lulu laughing while Yuna lost her battle to suppress her giggles
- "That bad, heh ?" said Wakka red faced
The two girls burst out laughing and an embarrassed Wakka went after Tidus. Girls! Put two of them together and there starts trouble! Wakka thought to himself...
Three months later Yuna gives birth to two boys, both blonde as their father, but with her green eyes. Tidus and Yuna decide to name them Auron and Jecht.
-"I guess you will name the next one Braska" teases Lulu holding a sleepy baby Vidina
-"Braska could be, but I'm definitely not naming any kid Seymour" answers Tidus laughing
-"Ugh! Did you have to remind me of that pest ?" answers Yuna making a face and scaring baby Auron who was nursing
-"See ? Even Auron's namesake knows the guy was trouble" says Tidus
-"Remember when you told Seymour that in our last battle ? The son-of-a gun said "My sincerest apologies" just like he meant it, the fiend" said Wakka
The memory of Seymour's deadpan "My sincerest apologies" answer when Tidus confronted him made them all burst out laughing. The noise awoke baby Jecht who had been sleeping contentedly after he got a full tummy.
-"Agh! Even dead and in the Farplane the pest gives me trouble" says Yuna rocking both babies, one on each arm.
-"Pass me little Auron here. He ate a lot already and I think I can put him to sleep by telling him one of Maechen's tales" says Tidus and proceeds to put his baby to sleep by speaking in Maechen's calm voice
-"You sound just like him!" said Wakka laughing
-"Shh!" said Lulu and shooed him out of Tidus and Yuna's tent
Later in the day Rikku and Brother came to visit and were delighted at being chosen the baby's godmother and godfather, together with Wakka and Lulu. The rest of the Gullwings III also joined them in Besaid, eager to see the new babies. That night, the Gulwings crew and the Besaid village residents all gathered at the village's campfire. Tidus introduces Auron and Jecht formally to the friends gathered by the campfire. This time it is Lulu's turn to be ecstatic at the way her friends stories turned out.
But Tidus an Yuna's adventures have not ended yet. Not by a long shot… See more soon here
(1) on sequels and a new Gullwings Team: I chose to make Yuna create a new Gullwings team, one very similar to the FFX team, just to show how a FFX 3 sequel could be done: Tidus & Yuna, Rikku & Paine (replacing Lulu), Garik Ronso and Beclem replace Kimahri Ronso and Wakka. They form the Gulwings II, a new team of sphere hunters that travel around Spira on the Celsius. A series of stories or a new game could tell their adventures. Alternatively Brother, Buddy, Shuu or other blitz ace could be Wakka's replacement but I added Beclem here because I had written about him on my Wedding Bells at Besaid Fan Fiction
(2) If you like mushy romance go read my "Wedding Bells" story at this Fan Fiction site. It tells of a love affair between Beclem and Rikku during the FFX2 events. (Yeah I know, everyone wants her to date Gippal.. But go read it, it is not that bad ;-)