Listen when I tell you, we will never meet again
I will disappear
See me - insubstantial like mist
I will reach for you
Whistle for me, I'll hear
I will sing my reply
To deaf ears
Think of me, when you dance in the ocean
When you dance for their souls
Think of me and know
I remember - love
The ocean stretched out from the pale sandy beach of Besaid to the horizon, where the sun slowly drowned in the red stained water. Yuna, retired summoner, waded carefully out into the barely lapping surf and watched the tiny fish dart after one another in seemingly random circuits. She had discarded her traditional long-sleeved elaborate uniform for more serviceable shorts and tank top. With her light brown hair carelessly tied up, she almost looked like a carefree young woman taking a late afternoon swim. Almost. Her eyes were haunted, searching. Yuna inserted her fingers in her cheeks, just like he'd shown her, and she offered her whistle to the wind, with a prayer that it would find him in the far-plane.
"Hey Yuna, what you doing down here?" a tall burly red-head called. "The guys are going to be practicing the blitz, and I'm going to be offering some pointers. Want to watch with me?"
Yuna smiled. It was an old habit, smile even when you're hurting. Smile even if you want to scream. Wakka deserved her smile though. He was just concerned. Everyone was. "Blitz, eh? I'd love to."
Wakka met her at the water's edge and offered his arm. "We're taking out Rikku's boat. I recruited her for the team." Wakka's face was plastered in a self-satisfied grin. "I tell you, only one man I ever saw could move better than that girl under water..." He clammed up, apparently ashamed of slipping and mentioning, him.
"Tidus is gone. Please don't treat me like glass. I won't break. I promise." Yuna dropped Wakka's arm and smiled up at her tall friend. She couldn't know how much like a child she looked to Wakka out of her summoner's robes. She couldn't know how desperately he, everyone, wanted to protect her. "Should I stop by home and get some food?"
Wakka didn't comment on the sudden topic change. "Nah, Lulu is bringing some sandwiches, rice, and wontons." As they crested the hill, the dock came into sight and Wakka broke away at a run waving to the team.
Lulu's head popped out from below deck and the rest of her followed quickly. She looked different in regular clothes, tan pants and a low cut black top. Her hair was down, loosed from all its braids and ties it fell far past her waist in a shiny black curtain. Yuna waved enthusiastically. There was no need to train to guard summoners who would never summon or journey again. Her friends were free to live normal lives. It didn't even occur to her that she was included in that number. It was time for her normal life too.
It took a moment for Yuna to spot Rikku. She was wearing an oversized yellow and blue blitz uniform and was waving for all she was worth. Once she was onboard, Rikku was at her side. "Yunie, did you hear? I'm on a blitz team! I was going to try out for the Al Bhed team eventually, but Wakka was so persuasive. Besides, I'll get to hang out with my favorite cousin."
Yuna tried not to laugh but she couldn't help herself. "Couldn't they find a uniform that fits?"
Rikku pulled at the baggy uniform and shrugged. "I think it was one of Wakka's old ones." She giggled and leaned over the railing. "Will you help me cut it down later? I'm not very good with a needle."
"I thought you could make anything. Remember the Mana Mog you made Lulu while we were crouched behind a big snow pile hiding from that old machina," Yuna said. "You must have finished that mog's upgrade in three minutes."
"I did, didn't I?" Rikku's grin was genuine. "Unfortunately, I'm still no good at sewing."
"Hey, we're shoving off. Last call if you want off," Wakka called. The boat groaned a little and the engine whined a shrill complaint.
"Ack," Rikku gasped. "He's going to rip out the transmission."
Yuna smiled at the quick fight that ensued while Rikku tried to protect her delicate boat from her formerly devout Yevonite friend.
Yuna kept a firm grasp on the rail and stared down into the rapidly darkening ocean. "You seem happy enough or are you just smiling for our benefit?" Lulu asked. She had moved to Yuna's side with the silent grace of a cat and joined her looking over the edge.
Yuna's smile didn't falter. "Actually I'm smiling in puzzlement. How are these guys exactly supposed to practice in the dark?"
"Ah." Lulu flexed her fingers and grinned. "I'm providing the stadium lighting."
"You aren't going to cast Flare at them all night? Someone might get hurt." The boat jerked throwing them both into the railing pretty hard.
"Wakka, I will hurt you if you break my boat," Rikku cried.
"I'm not breaking it. I just have to get the feel of her," Wakka shouted back.
Rikku turned toward Yuna and Lulu with a desperate look then rounded back into Wakka. "If you break it, you're buying the parts to fix it." Rikku left Wakka to toy with her boat and plopped down in the middle of the blitz team with her comically oversized uniform ballooning around her tiny frame. "Big jerk, can't believe he talked me into anything. Next time, sleep grenade, then we'll see who's piloting the boat." Rikku smiled too herself. Their Wakka was actually fighting to pilot a machina.
Yuna turned toward the stars. Tidus would love this. He'd be in the middle of the team crowing about their eminent victories. Or maybe, maybe he'd be at the rail with his arms around her looking at the stars and whispering to her about his Zanarkand.
"We're here boys and girls," Wakka called. The boats motor died too abruptly and Rikku could be heard grumbling from the pack of players. "Hey Lulu, we're ready for the light show."
Lulu patted Yuna's arm. "Come watch will you? This should be pretty." Lulu pushed her long loose sleeves up past her elbows and made her way up onto the platform at the tip of the bow. Her arms, so pale that her skin appeared translucent, moved in gentle sweeping circles around her body and she whispered a spell. First one then five then a thousand tiny dancing lights swayed with the movements of her arms. Lulu slowly dropped her hands and the mystical lights dove into the ocean in and around the boat.
Yuna gazed over the side of the boat and gasped at the beautiful dance of light. Much of the marine life was fleeing the strange pyrotechnic display, but the water was clear and blue all the way to the ocean floor.
"Okay, I want all the blitz players in the water right now. Show Rikku how Besaid plays," Wakka called.
Yuna made her way over to Lulu. Lulu hooked her arm with her friend's and drew Yuna close. "That was wonderful," Yuna whispered. "All this just to practice Blitz-Ball?"
"And to celebrate," Lulu said. "It is a very important day."
"We didn't want you to hear about Kimahri form anyone else. Wakka wanted to surprise you," Rikku said. She was the last Blitz player still on deck. The mischievous grin on her face suggested that the surprise might have been her idea a little.
"Kimahri is back?" Yuna's face lit up and she spun around. "Did he make his peace with the Ronso? Is he okay?"
"He's not back," Lulu said. "He made his peace. They made him Maester."
"Oh." Yuna's smile was a little delayed. Her Kimahri was gone too. He had almost been like a father, always watching over her, always there. When her smile finally came it was brilliant. "That's wonderful." Yuna wanted to scream. They were so close, but they were slipping away. Everyone was moving on with their lives. They were all ready to forget, to just live.
"I'm not ready to forget. I'm not through grieving," Yuna wanted to shout.
Instead she watched the Besaid Blitz team. She watched and she smiled and inside, she dreamed of things she could never have.