Bittersweet Reminiscence: Chapter 1


Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy X-2.

Tidus' POV (after the flashbacks)

"Tidus!" she ran at him through the shallow water, spreading her arms wide and engulfing him in a tight embrace. She couldn't believe it—after all this time, she would finally have what she wanted all along—he was back…now her life could begin.

"I'm home," he whispered into her ear gently, pulling her closer to him still.

"I'm really home."

"I love you…"

This was the day she had been waiting for…dreaming for since she was a little girl. She honestly believed that in that frame of no more than a few seconds that she couldn't possibly be any happier. Not ever.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife," the temple priest then turned to Tidus; a congratulatory smiled lighting his ancient features. "You may now kiss the bride."

As his soft lips caressed hers, she realized the rogue tears rolling down her cheeks. She was wrong. She could be happier. This was heaven—here, only a mere inch away from his widely grinning face. He was just as happy as she was…everyone was. In that moment, she wasn't aware of the crowds loud cheering.

Only him…her husband.

They would be together forever.

"Come and feel! It's moving…we're going to be parents soon, isn't it fantastic?" She was ecstatic with joy over her pregnancy. Yuna couldn't believe that she was about to have everything that she'd thought she would have to sacrifice on her pilgrimage. It was almost surreal. To know that it happened only three years ago. He was happy too, although he had expressed his concerns about being a parent to his wife on more than one occasion, she had simply dismissed his negativity and regarded him as the best father-to-be she had ever known.

"I bet it's a boy," he guessed, while rubbing soothing circles on her slightly bulging stomach. She giggled— he obviously would never change, not matter how much time passed.

Are you saying that you wouldn't love the baby even if it was a girl?" Yuna questioned with mock horror, turning away. He laughed whilst wrapping his arms loosely around her waist, burying his face in the crook of her neck. "Of course not," he mumbled in response, fluttering kisses down her back. "But you have to admit…the way that baby has been kicking at you, it's highly doubtful it's a girl."

She wanted to fight him more on the subject, but his kissing and massaging was making it extremely hard to concentrate.

She gave in.

He laughed.

"I win."

"What do you mean you have to go? I need you."

"It's only for a couple of days," he protested, standing firm at the door, bags packed. "The Luca tournament only goes for about a week, you know that."

"Yeah but…what if the baby comes while you're away? What would you do then?" She was angry…more so then he'd thought possible.

"Yuna, it's not due for at least another month yet. One week isn't going to hurt. Besides what do you want me to do? I'm their captain. They need me."

"Tell them to cancel the game!" she screeched, rubbing her temples to ward off an oncoming headache. "Please Tidus…I need you more then anything right now." She begged in much softer tone.

"Yuna—" But she cut him off.

"You're such an arrogant jerk sometimes…can't you just think about something other than blitzball for one damn moment?"

"You don't understand!" the blitzer yelled back, his fingers balling into fists in frustration. "This is the biggest game of the year; we've been practicing for months…we can't just cancel it! You're overreacting about this whole thing."

But as soon as he said those words, he instantly regretted them.

"I'm sorry."

"Fine. Leave." Her voice was low and dark. The silence that followed was almost tangible. Nobody seemed to know what to say.

Then he broke it.

"You're the one keeping me in the dark all the time, not telling me anything. I feel like I don't even know you anymore. I'm beginning to get the sense that this job of yours is more important to you then I am…then our family is."

"You know that's not true," she asserted firmly, taking a step towards him. "But the research we're conducting right now is secret. I've told you that already."

"Don't," Tidus warned. "Don't go using that as a justification for me not going to this game. For the past several months you've been constantly called away on 'duty', not coming home until the early hours of the morning…or sometimes for several days. I've been spending a lot of time on my own recently because you've been busy. I understand that. I recognize the importance of your position, but don't go getting angry at me for spending one week away from home because it's of sudden inconvenience to you."

"How can you say that?" she whispered, her voice breaking on the last word. But instead she shook her head violently, warding off any outburst of emotion. "Do you know what? I don't care. Leave. But don't expect me to be here when you get back!" She stormed past him then, heading straight for the door. He grabbed her by the wrist just as her hand came to rest on the handle.

"Yuna, you can't go out now. It's pouring. You'll kill yourself and the baby." She didn't answer. Instead she flicked her arm out of his grasp and opened the door, getting reading to step outside. The sound of droplets smacking the ground greeted their ears, along with an icy draft of wind.

"Yuna, close the door," he repeated his warning. But something in his voice made her step out past the threshold. He was almost daring her to try it. She was drenched immediately in a freezing downpour, soaked right through. The High Summoner began half-running through the village, trying to find her way through the thick sheets of rain.

"Yuna. Stop. Come back inside," Tidus' voice rang out over the white noise of the downpour. He tried to reach once again for her hand but this time she backed away, widening the distance between them. "Don't touch me."

"Please," his voice was urgent…desperate. "Come home. Killing yourself isn't going to solve any of our problems."

She stood there for a moment, deliberating. He quickly became impatient though and once again made a grab for her. She dodged it, but his groping fingers found the sopping wet material of her shirt instead. He pulled her to him, and although she struggled against it, trying to dig her feet into the mud, he was able to overpower her and keep her firm and still against his chest. Eventually she just burst into tears, clawing at the dark cloth of his blitzball uniform. He tucked her head under his chin, waiting for her to calm down.

He then picked her up and carried them back to their hut without another word. She lay limp and defeated in his arms, aside from her fists clenched tightly at his shirt, her head resting loosely against the smooth contours of his torso.

That day, he didn't go to the blitzball tournament.

That was the worst fight we'd ever had. We didn't say another word to each other afterwards, both of us feeling as though we had lost a battle to one another. She had run out there trying to make a point about the state of our marriage and was overcome when I persisted in retrieving her. I had wanted to go and spend a week doing what I loved, and was defeated when I held her there in my arms amidst that storm—unable to walk away from her apparent neediness.

I had stayed with her just like she asked, but I knew that she was expecting me to get up and leave at any moment. I thought about it more than I probably should have, but I didn't go. I almost did. For lack of a better word I was furious. I just hoped that Jassu would be okay to lead for the tournament.

We lay in silence together in bed, neither of us willing to admit that we were wrong. I could feel the heat emitting from her body after the warm shower she had taken. We both lay on opposite sides of the bed as far from each other as possible. I soon grew tired of it though, and moved closer. She didn't turn around, but I still draped my arm over her waist and placed my face in her freshly washed hair. It was the same nostalgic vanilla sent. She stiffened at the gesture but I ignored it.

"I love you," I whispered into her ear gingerly. I wasn't about to say 'I'm sorry' as I was still rather angry. She seemed to know too. Yuna still didn't face me nor did she even acknowledge what I'd said. Instead I felt her relax under my loose embrace. She then spoke her first words I'd heard her say in over 5 hours.

"Goodnight Tidus."

I guess in that one moment of wordless communication, we agreed to disagree.

Of course, during those last, precious weeks…with her body so close to mine…I had absolutely no way of knowing just how deadly Yuna's research had truly become.

A/N: Another story from me. I came up with this somehow, deciding to try something a little different. I'm writing this purely for fun because I like it. For those who don't understand, the flashbacks start from when Tidus returned right through to his marrying Yuna and her falling pregnant. Of course they are not exempt from fights, just like a normal couple.

Chapter 2: Secrets, will be posted next week.

Reviews of praise and/or constructive criticism would help and are always greatly appreciated. No flames though. Enjoy.