Are you okay? It seems disjointed, far away, and Yuna spends a moment wondering where she's heard it before until she notices that someone has just asked her it and someone is standing beside her and that someone happens to be Rikku, all blonde and braided and golden.

Yuna smiles, because she is good at that. "Yes, of course." It is morning. The sun is bright orange ball that squats on the horizon, not quite awake enough to rise higher, and the day is cool in a way that promises heat. A breeze rustles through the palm trees, smelling cool and wet and sweet. "I'm sorry," Yuna adds, "I'm not really awake yet."

Rikku's eyes narrow in what doesn't quite manage to be a frown, this is Rikku's attempt at being suspicious, being attuned, but she isn't well practiced at it so she instead sits on the pier's edge next to Yuna, legs tan and dangling over the edge, bare against the rough wood. "I don't know why you're awake this early," Rikku says instead of accusing Yuna of being upset, "Since you don't have to be."

"You're awake," Yuna points out after a few seconds of silence, realizing that conversation is what it called for. She looks out over the ocean, at the water just below the sun, careful not to blind herself.

"I'm used to it," Rikku says mournfully, swinging her legs, "In the desert, we'd have to wake up before dawn so that we wouldn't burn to a crisp while working. The habit's kinda stuck," she sighs, and Yuna smiles and prepares something polite to say but Rikku speaks first. "You know, I miss him too."

She is casual, too casual, Rikku has practiced the words a thousand times, practiced speaking without stammering or getting stuck halfway, imagining reactions ranging from bad to worse. It is all she can do to not stare at Yuna now, trying to read the emotions on her face. Rikku's hopes were set too high—Yuna is impassive, smiling gently.

"Of course you do," she says distantly.

"It's been eighteen months," Rikku replies quickly, fingers bunched in her lap. She feels the urge to draw them to her mouth, to bite her nails off one by one, but instead she folds them into steeples, playing the old finger game. Here is the church, here is the steeple

"I guess it has," Yuna says, and starts to say 'it feels like longer' before she realizes that might be a lie. It doesn't feel like shorter, or longer. Just eighteen months. A year and a half. Five-hundred-forty-six days exactly. No more, no less.

"Well, yeah, it has," Rikku says, hurried, loosing her nerve and speeding up, talking isn't her strong suit, not like this, she can't say anything when important things need to be said, "So I was thinking… maybe you should get off Besaid, you know?"

The sun inches up in the sky. Yuna shakes her head slightly, not looking at Rikku. "This is my home. I'm happy here."

"I'm traveling with my brother now," Rikku says loudly, washing Yuna's words away, ignoring them as best she can, "We have our own airship—well, we will once it's done. We're treasure hunters. You should come along. It'd be fun, you know?"

"I don't really want to travel. I'm happy here," Yuna said in reply, looking at her feet. Bare, pale, dangling over the edge. She looks at the shape of her toenails—stubby, round—and her ankles—thin, knobby.

Rikku wants to yell in protest, push Yuna into the water, but instead she swallows thickly and twists her fingers in her lap. Here is the church, here is the steeple, open it up…

"You're alive, you know?" Rikku says desperately, "You're alive, Yunie. So you can't just keep… sitting here all day. You have to be happy."

"I am happy," Yuna says, correcting gently. "Of course I am. The Calm is here, Sin is gone, and I'm alive. I never dreamed that I'd be able to see such a thing."

Rikku bites her lip. "Living is easy," she protests at last. Open it up, and see all the people. "It's the easiest thing there is."

Yuna looks at Rikku for the first time since she sat next to her on the dock. "That's ridiculous. You should know better then to say—"

Rikku's words are a waterfall, rushing past Yuna in a confused, loud flurry. "No, no, that's not right at all Yunie—living is easy. All you have to do is… All I'd have to have done is lock you in a room somewhere an' feed you, and I'd have been a great guardian, you know? You'd be alive—no way you can be sacrificing yourself in a prison, you know? Living is as easy as you can get. But now all you do is sit an' wait for the dead to return, and they ain't gonna come back, you know? You're alive, you gotta do something with it. You gotta be happy, and that's the trick."

"I'm happy," Yuna says, a touch impatiently, "I don't know what you're getting at."

"No, no—you're not. You're alive, 's all," Rikku says, hands flying out in front of her, fingers twisting and flapping about themselves, voice rough in her rush. Church, steeple, open, people. "I promised him. He was gonna keep you alive and safe, and I was gonna keep you happy. It was our deal, as guardians, and now he's dead and you're sitting on the docks!" Her face hasn't caught up with her words and is confused, round with the last traces of baby fat, Rikku will be beautiful one day but for now she's just sixteen and heartbroken, lost and ineloquent.

"Rikku," Yuna says, and maybe she means to be stern and maybe she's just as lost as Rikku is, but all she ends up sounding is confused. There is a message somewhere, floating in the foam below their feet, but neither can quite touch it and all they can do is stare at each other until Rikku looks away over the sea.

"Me and my brother, we're going to be treasure hunters. Sphere hunters. We're going to Gagazet next week. You should join up—it'll be fun," Rikku says nervously, swinging her legs and gripping the dock's edge with both hands. Open it up, see all the people.

"Send my love to Kimahri while you're there," Yuna says politely, and stands up slowly, brushing her skirt flat. The moment—the almost, the maybe—lingers and then is pounded, forgotten, against the rocks.

"You should come," Rikku insists, a touch desperate, "You should."

"I'm through with adventuring," Yuna replies, looking over the island distantly, "And I think I'd like something to drink," she adds, before walking towards the beach, towards Besaid village.

Rikku scrambles up after—open the people—and kicks her sandals off in the sand, abandons them in the chase, calling to Yuna angrily, "I bet we'll find great stuff up on that dumb ol' mountain!"

"Be sure to show me," Yuna replies, and the sun climbs higher behind them.