Beta: Xinarie and Altum. Extra thanks to Altum for helping me with the game details.
Summary: Drabbly. I'm recording this now, because I don't know when I'll get another chance. I'm recording this now, so you won't blame me if it looks like I'm letting go. [Tidus, Yuna, and one last message before the end.]
Warning: First-person writing is not everybody's cup of tea. Otherwise, read with care.
I've never been one to give up. I don't have it in me to just let go like that. It's not in my blood, I guess. I kept going even after my old man disappeared, even after Sin destroyed my home. Yeah, there were days I felt like quitting, but I've never dropped down and just taken it. I'm a fighter. I fought for the Abes and the Aurochs. And now I'm fighting for Spira and Zanarkand. I'm fighting for Wakka, for Auron, for Lulu and Rikku and Kimahri. All of you. I'm fighting for all of you - and you, most of all.
I'm recording this now, because I don't know when I'll get another chance. I'm recording this now, so you won't blame me if it looks like I'm letting go. Because I'm not.
Do you remember at Gagazet when I touched the cliff? That was when I first found out that I – that I wasn't real, that I was just some fragment of some leftover dream. And I was scared. Do you understand? I was scared and I didn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it, because I didn't want to just be something . . . immaterial, something abstract. All my life, I've lived in the concrete, in the here and now. Or, at least, that was what I told myself, because I didn't understand how I could be nothing but a dream.
When I played blitzball – whenever I dunked my head underwater, all I could hear was myself. It was all about the chase, about the excitement and the rush and the adrenaline. It was about the flush of victory and that ache in my lungs, about the ball floating right in front of me. About life itself, because underwater, the only thing I could hear was my own heartbeat. Hundreds of thousands of times a day for seventeen years, and it's always been there. Right there, for me to hear, and I've never grown tired of it, not once, and I thought, how could someone who's experienced all this not be real?
But after that – after I learned that maybe I was something less than solid – I tried again, the whole diving underwater thing, and I found out that . . . that there was nothing left. No noise. No sound of a heartbeat, and I think that's what scared me most of all. Not being able to hear my own heart or my blood. Nothing but this hollow space in my chest, and it was like I'd imagined it all, all the sounds of living.
That's why I didn't tell you, at first. I didn't tell you because saying it makes it real, and I didn't want it to be any more real than me.
It wasn't until later, when I heard your sphere and the recording you left us when you were planning to – to leave, that I remembered that time in Macalania. When we kissed and – I could hear your heart and feel it beating against my chest. And I felt – strange, after I remembered, and then I realized that that was because I wasn't afraid anymore.
Do you understand? I was scared, but it's okay now. I understand, and I know it's okay. Everything's okay. Because underwater, even though I can't hear me, I can hear you. I can hear everything about you – the rush of the blood running through your veins and your heart – and I know you're alive, even if I'm not. And if I'm going to disappear at the end of all this, I want you to know I'm not scared anymore, because I found myself in you. If I'm going to have to disappear, just remember that there's no better way for me to go, because I'm doing this for you – for all of you. I'm giving you my heart, and if I have to drown, then I want to submerge myself in your heartbeat and never surface again.
I'm not letting go. I'm not. Remember that when you think of me. I'm not letting go because, right now, there's no better reason to hold on, to hang tight.
I'm right here. Put your hand over your heart and listen and just remember – oceans apart and standing on different shores, but I'm right here. I'm right here, and I'll never let go.