Final Fantasy X2 transcript translated/retold by M'jai; Original content written by M'jai
Re-uploaded and revised 31 May 2010
The setting, characters, and inspiration for the plot all belong to Square Enix. Some dialog is taken from game clips of Final Fantasy X2. Fans of the game will recognize which content is not mine, so I do not even pretend to take credit for it. My appreciation goes out to Square Enix and their wonderful game designers for giving us such inspiring entertainment.
Scenes retold from the movie clips are mostly my own translations of the Japanese game. So if my version doesn't match your version, ... that's why.
Any resemblance between my fan-fic and other FFX2 fan-fics is purely unintentional. We are all playing the same game, after all, so it's pretty easy to draw some similar theories out of it. Hopefully, it will pack a few new surprises, though.
Chapter 1: Homecoming
"Are you real?" Yuna asked as she hugged Tidus tightly to her.
"Maybe," he answered softly with uncertainty.
Yuna reluctantly released her hold on his back and neck and stepped back to survey him. Hesitantly, she placed her palms against his chest and lightly pressed. He was solid. She did not pass through him this time. His clothing was cold and wet, but his skin was warm and already beginning to dry a bit. He seemed real enough, however, she had been fooled once before by his surreal existence, ... and so had he. She so badly wanted to believe that this was real.
"Do I pass?" His brows rose with a measure of anxiety. He couldn't trust his own senses to know whether he was alive or not. Was he transparent still? Did he even look like himself anymore? He couldn't tell if she was disappointed with what she saw. The memory of fading from reality was still too fresh to take anything for granted.
"Mh." Yuna nodded with smile of approval. "You're back."
"I'm home." A wave of emotion overwhelmed him, as he pulled her to his chest, wrapping one arm over her shoulders and the other around her waist. "I'm home!" he repeated with a broken voice. Burying his face into the base of her neck, he hugged her tightly again for a long moment and struggled to control the moisture in his eyes. Having been ridiculed by his dad for being a crybaby when he was younger, he refused to let anyone see tears now, even if they were tears of joy.
Yuna closed her eyes and allowed herself to be wholly engulfed in his embrace. She lifted her arms to wrap around his torso with a sigh of relief, also allowing herself to believe once more. "Welcome home."
Rikku and Paine grinned to each other from where they stood on the landing ramp watching the couple's mysterious, but long-awaited reunion.
"Hey! Please, some other place, gah!" Wakka yelled from the beach in mock disgust.
Tidus and Yuna looked up from their solitary embrace to see that the entire island of Besaid had joined them. Yuna was amazed at the sight, but it gave Tidus the excuse he needed to blink away any remnants of moisture and smile again.
"Yo!" Wakka called out again with a grin and a wave.
"Don't bother me, I'm telling ya!" Tidus gestured for him to go away if he didn't want to see.
"Uh?" Wakka spread his arms in mock confusion and looked over his shoulder at Lulu with a chuckle.
Lulu cradled baby Vidina in her arms and flashed a wane smile to Wakka for his teasing, as if he deserved the curt response.
"Oi!" Rikku called back from the ship's ramp and waved to them.
"Mh." Tidus took Yuna's hand, urging her to jog with him toward the shore from the sandbar in the water where they stood beneath the airship. As she splashed in the water behind him, Yuna allowed her relief to melt into unbridled happiness, and she soon took the lead.
"Oh! Uhwa!" Tidus mildly complained with a laugh, as he stumbled keeping up with her. He was surprised at the normally shy girl's boldness. "I see you've changed!"
"Well, because a lot has happened!" she told him above the noise of their splashing. Now, it was her turn to fight the overwhelming emotion.
"I want to hear about it!" he answered with excitement.
"Well, for starters, I found a sphere of you," she started to explain, but a lump formed in her throat, and her eyes began to burn with moisture. "At least, ... I thought it was you." She stopped on the water's edge, and turned to face him once more. All her hard work to try and find him, all those hopes lost on Shuyin, all those times she had wished he were with her made her unable to hold back the tears any longer. She felt silly for crying now. "I'm so happy that you're back. I really am. It's just that ... I've missed you so much." Apologetically, she lifted a finger to wipe her eyes.
Tidus, understanding exactly how she felt, pulled her head to his shoulder to shield her from the crowd running their way. This was still their private moment, however brief.
Yuna squeezed her eyes shut, clearing them of the remaining moisture. Then, she straightened with a sniffle and wiped her lashes once more before turning to smile at the oncoming throng. The crowd cheered their return and welcomed them with hugs as they circled around them.
Rikku and Paine jumped from the landing ramp into the water to run to the shore behind them.
"Who do you think you are just popping in on us out of nowhere, ya?" Wakka scolded Tidus by hooking a strong arm around his neck and giving his unruly, wet head a knuckle scrub. "Where you been the last two years?"
Tidus laughed and pulled away from his hold in time to receive a gentle hug from Lulu. "Two years?" He was stunned. Had it been that long? "I ... It's kind of hard to say." That's when he noticed the baby in her arms with stark red hair. Shocked, but not needing any further explanation, he looked to Wakka. "So, this is why you wanted to retire from blitzball?"
"Hey, now. That's the future star player of the Besaid Auroch's you're looking at, ya?" Wakka proudly grinned. He turned to Yuna. "Sorry we couldn't make it to Luca to hear everyone's speeches about what happened, but we got word through the Youth League that the machina had been defeated. Let's have a big bonfire tonight in the village, so everyone can welcome Yuna home!" he suggested to the crowd, giving Tidus a sly glance that made him chuckle. A cheer of agreement went up from the crowd. "Meanwhile, you come dry off at our place and give us the scoop on what's been happening."
Lulu greeted Yuna with a hug and a smile, careful not to bump the sleeping baby in her arms. "So, it was him - that sphere you showed me."
"No. But it led me to him all the same."
The crowd that had gathered began to move away from the shore back toward the village. Tidus took Yuna's hand as they followed.
"The rest of the crew will be coming later." Rikku hopped on one foot trying to pull off a sneaker and pour out some ocean water.
"Brother's being an idiot right now and everyone's having to calm him down," Paine explained.
Yuna stopped for a moment with mild concern.
"That's nothing for you to be worried about." Rikku pushed her shoulders forward, encouraging her to keep walking. "Someone else needs your attention now."
"Nothing like having a rival appear on the scene when you thought you had the playing field all to yourself." Paine smirked.
Yuna remembered the conversation between Brother and Barkeep the hypello she had accidentally overheard in the cabin once. Brother had confessed to Barkeep that he loved Yuna, but he had never directly spoken to her about it. "I didn't mean for him to feel -"
"Just ignore him. He'll get over it." Rikku continued pushing Yuna forward, rather than allowing her to spoil the fun of the moment by returning to the ship to check on their self-proclaimed, pouting leader.
Yuna found herself and Tidus swept along with the well-wishers down the road to the village. Once there, everyone scattered to their homes to begin the final preparations for the celebration. Wakka and Lulu led the way to their tiny hut just in front of the Besaid temple. It was warmed by the sun, scented with fresh fruit, and cooled with a gentle tropical breeze - a cozy little place for the new family and their guests to escape the public eye for a moment. Yuna removed her water-logged boots and set them by the door next to everyone else's upon entering.
Lulu placed the baby on the bed and surrounded him with pillows to keep him from rolling off as she unwrapped him from his blanket pod. He was just beginning to wake, and his little face pinched into a very big yawn as he stretched, kicked, and blinked his eyes. "Wakka, why don't you get the boy a towel and some clothes so he can dry off."
"You're already changing his diaper, ya?" Wakka scratched his head.
She gave him a flat expression. "I was referring to Tidus."
"Oh, so!" Wakka gave a laugh at his own misunderstanding and went to the dresser to find a dry change of clothing. "Say, how'd you get back to here, anyway? I know you're a good blitzer and all, but don't tell me you've been holding your breath under water that long. Here, put these on." He tossed the clothing to Tidus's chest. "We can't have you running around nekkid, ya?"
"Though there's those among us who might not think that's such a bad thing. Right, Yunie?" Rikku winked and nudged Yuna.
Yuna's blue and green eyes widened slightly, and she felt her face suddenly warm. Her hand went to her cheek hoping no one saw her blush.
Tidus opened his mouth to answer Rikku, but Wakka intercepted the inevitably egotistical remark by turning him toward the screen. "Well, none of the rest of us are that glad to see him."
"You're just jealous because you've gotten tubby since retiring from blitzball." The petite, strawberry-blond thief poked a finger into the large man's slightly expanding waistline.
"That's extra presence I told ya," Wakka insisted.
Yuna laughed lightly to cover her embarrassment, as her eyes followed Tidus to the screen, but then she turned her attention to the baby on the bed.
Lulu sighed and shook her head at the exchange between Rikku and Wakka as she lifted the newly-changed baby onto her lap. "So, are you going to tell us what happened, or are you going to make us wait until the bonfire, along with the rest of the village?" She sat down on the edge of the bed next to Yuna.
"You mean with Vegnagun?"
"That and his reappearance."
Paine made her way to the small sofa behind the tea table and sat down.
"Vegnagun has been destroyed," Yuna announced.
"Yeah, we kicked its butt!" Rikku demonstrated with a karate kick.
"Down, girl." Paine grabbed the back of Rikku's shorts and pulled her down to sit beside her before she accidentally kicked something valuable in the small hut.
"Shuyin is resting now," Yuna thoughtfully added. "And Vegnagun shouldn't be a problem to Spira anymore."
"What's a ... Vegnagun?" Tidus asked from behind the screen as he found a towel to dry himself and exchanged his yellow shirt for a white, sleeveless one with bold tribal designs that laced over the chest. He didn't bother with lacing it though.
"It was a giant weapon created during the Machina War." Paine leaned back and crossed her legs. "But since it proved unreliable in being able to distinguish between friend and foe, it was hidden under Bevelle. Shuyin was going to destroy Spira with it. It was his answer to purging hatred from the world."
"Sounds like Maester Seymour's method of solving Spira's problems - killing everyone in order to restore peace." Tidus draped the fluffy towel over his damp head and shoulders and left it there as he continued to change the rest of his clothing.
"Maester Seymour probably had some influence on his final plans," Yuna quietly agreed, thinking of the sphere they had found in which Baralai was asking the Maester to hide him. Those spheres somehow left more questions with Yuna than answers.
"Shuyin even tainted the aeons with his hatred, and they brought fiends into the temples. It was awful!" Rikku exclaimed. "But YuRiPa kicked their butts. Yep, yep, yep!" She grinned.
"YuRiPa?" Tidus looked up as he pulled on the matching white shorts. He picked up his wet clothing and came from behind the screen.
"Us," Paine translated.
"Oh. Who's Shuyin?"
"He's the one in the sphere - the one that I thought was you," Yuna explained.
"He looks like me?"
"Uncannily so," Lulu agreed, having seen the sphere herself earlier. "And what about you? What's your story? How did you manage to come back?"
"I ... don't know," Tidus admitted with a shrug. "I just woke up and found myself in the ocean."
Lulu stood and passed the baby to Yuna. Then, she took the wet clothing from Tidus to hang on a small bamboo rack in the sunny breeze by the door. "Are you real this time?"
Tidus looked to Yuna with uncertainty. Even if he had passed her inspection, the truth of the matter was that he still didn't know.
"He must be real this time," Yuna answered as she lightly bounced the baby on her knee. "When Vegnagun was destroyed, as I was leaving the Farplane, I heard a whistle. The spirit of Bahamut appeared and thanked me. He asked if I heard it, so I knew I wasn't imagining things, and then he asked me if ... I wanted to walk with you again." She looked from the red-headed baby to the blond young man peering at her from under the towel.
"And you told him no, but he dumped me on you anyway," he playfully guessed. "Sucks to be you, huh?"
She couldn't help but be amused. It was nice to have his familiar humor back. As he removed the towel from his head to his shoulders, her breath caught for a moment. The white, island attire he had changed into contrasted beautifully against his sun-kissed skin and brought out the white highlights that streaked his mopish, golden hair. She had always been attracted to his flirtatious disposition and boyish good looks, but seeing him in this new attire made her forget what she was talking about for a moment. Forcing herself to look away, Yuna cleared her throat in mild embarrassment at her own reaction and hoped no one else noticed. She retraced her words to remember what she was going to say next. "He promised me they would do what they could."
"So, you're really here," Rikku concluded.
"Just like he promised," Yuna added with a broad, happy smile.
"But if the fayth brought him back, that would make him a dream again, wouldn't it?" Lulu arranged the wet shoes in the sun by the door, and then moved to stand before Tidus to inspect him closely. Nothing slipped past her intelligent, crimson eyes.
"Cut it out, Lu," Wakka complained. "You're raining on everyone's parade bringing this up. Who cares if he's real or not. He's here, ain't he?"
"I'm sorry. It's not my intent to put you on the spot about your existence," she apologized to Tidus. "We're all very glad to see you again. It's just that when we killed the aeons after defeating Sin, I thought we had also ended their dream. That's why you faded," she stated the obvious. "It's a bit unsettling to know that they might still be dreaming again, because that was the whole reason for sending them - to end their eternal summoning. It was the only way to prevent Yu Yevon from coming back with a new Sin. If they were sent, how could they bring you back? For that matter, how was Shuyin able to bring them back and poison them with hate? If the aeons, the fayth, and their dream have returned, will Sin also return?"
"It's okay, Lu." Tidus continued to dry his hair with the towel. "I understand your concern. I wish I could give you answers, but I don't know them. After I faded, I'm not sure what happened, but I saw my dad, along with Auron and Lord Braska. It was like they never left Zanarkand." He hung the towel over the divided screen and looked toward Yuna, who looked surprised to hear of his meeting with her deceased father. Tidus moved to the chair beside the sofa where Rikku and Paine sat. He lowered himself into it and ran his fingers through his shaggy, damp hair to half-heartedly comb it. "They congratulated me for destroying Sin - for freeing my old man. Not so much in words, but I could feel it."
"Lord Braska and Auron were real people. Are you saying that you saw them in the dream, or in the Farplane?" Lulu gently reminded him of the differences between the world he came from and reality.
"I don't know." Tidus felt frustrated that it was the only answer he seemed to be able to give. "When Sin first brought me here, I thought I had time-traveled into the future, or something - the way everyone was talking about Zanarkand being in ruins for a thousand years. But this time, I don't remember going back. Sin destroyed the dream Zanarkand that night, so I don't know if there would be anything left to go back to, even if I could."
Lulu placed a hand on his shoulder to let him know that she had not meant for her questions to upset him.
"Actually, we all thought you was a little touched in the head after getting too close to Sin." Wakka bluntly interrupted and twirled a finger at his temple.
Tidus chuckled at the memory, knowing it was Wakka's way of trying to lighten the mood a little.
"So, you're saying you're from a dream created by the fayth over a thousand years ago, when Zanarkand was still alive?" Paine didn't quite know what to make of this conversation.
Tidus lifted his chin to meet the gaze of Yuna's newest friend. She sported short, silver-gray hair and had crimson eyes that reminded him of Lulu, more because of the quiet intelligence they seemed to be veiling than the color. He didn't know anything about her, not even her name, but he nodded reluctantly at her assessment of his former situation.
"That's one heck of a dream." The woman's black leather armor crinkled lightly as she leaned forward, intrigued by how real he seemed to be.
Rikku dropped her chin into her hands and placed her elbows on her knees. "Aw, come on you guys. You're making him feel bad. There's nothing he can do about where he came from or what he is. We should just be glad he was able to come back." She pouted for a moment. "I'm with Yunie on this one. Who cares whether he's real or not. He's back and that's all that matters."
"It's okay." Tidus sighed and stood. "I understand Lu's concerns. To be honest, I wish I knew for sure. But I didn't even know the truth about myself last time, until they told me."
"Well, perhaps there is a way to find out earlier this time," Lulu suggested. All eyes turned toward her as everyone waited to hear what she knew that they did not. "Return to the Farplane and ask."
The shoulder length part of Yuna's mouse-brown hair made a soft swishing sound in her ears as she firmly shook her head. "No."
"The guado have returned to Guadosalam. They can probably offer their help in assuring his safety if you use their portal. It may be the only way to test whether he has become real, or if he is still part of the dream." Lulu moved to Yuna's side and reached for her baby. Her long, black braids spilled over one shoulder until she straightened and placed Vidina on the other.
"I don't care," Yuna protested. "What if something happens to him, so that he can't come back again? Taking him to the Farplane to see if he disappears again is not a risk worth taking. He should be allowed to stay forever this time, if he wants to." The young summoner stood and paced to the door, folding her arms at her chest as she allowed the island breeze to cool her anger. Why were they even discussing this so soon after his return?
Tidus approached her from behind and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Yuna, ... nothing lasts forever - not even in your reality. Whether I'm real or not, all we have is the time between here and there. That's all anyone ever has," he spoke softly. "Lu's right. If there's a way to do it, I should try to find out the truth about who I am now - for your sake, as well as mine."
Yuna didn't seem convinced. She stared through the crack in the door curtains at the lighting of the bonfire in the center of the village, watching the smoke and ash rise into the air like charred pyreflies. By sunset the flames would be as big as the summoning circle itself.
Tidus gave the matter some more thought and leaned against the door post. "After I faded, every now and then, I would get this feeling that you were reaching out for me. So, I'd whistle hoping you'd hear me."
"When I was lost in the Farplane, I followed your whistle to find the way out. I could swear that I saw you," she related.
"There. You see? We're connected." He perked up a little. "I'll always be with you in one way or another." When she didn't respond, his smile faded. "Wouldn't you want to know the truth, if you were me?"
As much as she hated to admit it, she realized she would. Though it had not been a full decade yet, his return could somehow mean the end of what they thought would be an Eternal Calm. The gentle, island breeze suddenly felt cold to her. Why did doing the right thing always hurt so much? "Sphere hunters search all over Spira hunting for clues to the truth about Spira's past because, as a people, we don't know very much of our own history." She chilled and turned around to face him, searching his azure eyes for reassurance. "If it's what you really want, then we'll go to Guadosalam and ask to use their portal," she quietly agreed to the idea. "But if any part of you starts to fade, we leave immediately," she insisted.
Tidus smiled at her firmness. "Yes, ma'am."
"Woohoo! We can go to Guadosalam tomorrow morning, first thing," Rikku eagerly offered and stood to do a little dance.
Tidus waved his hands. "No! Uh, Rikku, no offense, but ... it's been two years since I left. I want to see what I've missed. If all I have is the time between now and then, I'd like 'then' to last a little more than a day. Maybe you could take us island hopping, but then allow us to go on foot from the Mi'ihen High Road. Would that be all right?"
"Sure! Can we come with you?" She hopped to Tidus's side.
"Rikku." Paine frowned slightly at the younger girl for not minding her own business.
"Well, he's my friend, too, you know. Yunie's not the only one that missed him." Rikku defended her rudeness with a pout.
Yuna was touched by Rikku's unexpected plea. She looked to Wakka and Lulu. They had been a tightly knit group on the pilgrimage to defeat Sin - the summoner and her guardians. These were the people who were willing to die to protect her until she could accomplish her goal at the final summoning. As much as she felt the urge to keep him to herself, she knew she had no right. "I would be honored to have my friends accompany us and make sure we get there safely, ... making memories along the way, like we did before." Yuna glanced at Tidus to be sure it was okay with him.
He shrugged with an easy-going smile. "It's okay with me." He punctuated his decision by elbowing Rikku aside as if she were a pest for asking.
Rikku giggled and bumped him right back, nearly knocking him into Yuna.
Wakka smiled to himself at their light interaction. He had been quiet during most of the conversation. He felt as if he had lost two little brothers sometimes when he considered how the Farplane had claimed both Tidus and Chappu. It was good, however momentary, to have his little buddy back. "Great. Now that all that is settled, and Lu is done popping everyone's balloons, maybe we can have a celebration around here, ya?" He clapped his strong hands together and rubbed them, ready for some food and fun.
"Right," Lulu agreed with a smile, again offering a slight nod of her head in apology to Tidus and Yuna for being, perhaps, overly concerned about extenuating circumstances. "What are your favorite foods? I'll fix them tonight for the festivities."
Rikku suddenly had visions of a table full of desserts. "Oooh, how about some palm fruit pies and some berry swirlies and some -"
"She's not asking you. You'd eat her out of house and home." Paine interrupted Rikku's wish list and stood to approach Tidus. "I'm Paine. It's nice to finally meet you. I'll go see what's keeping the rest of the crew and tell them the travel plans. Just be warned about Brother."
"Brother?" He side-stepped to let her pass.
Rikku leaned back, clasping her hands behind her head in a stretch. "He's probably still pouting that you've returned because he's got this really big crush on Yunie."
"In a jealous fit, he's more likely to hurt himself than you, trust me. But we don't want him to pounce you without warning." Paine smirked lightly, then bowed to Lulu and Wakka in excusing herself from their small home.
Tidus blinked at the mild threat. He remembered Rikku's big brother. ''But, ... isn't he your cousin?"
Yuna nodded with light embarrassment.
"Okay, ew.'" Tidus made a face. "He needs to get out more often."
"Come on you." Wakka stood and hooked an arm around Tidus's neck again. "I gotta borrow him a few minutes to say hello to the guys on the team," he explained in half-apology to Yuna before dragging Tidus outside.
Once outside, though Wakka was twice his size, Tidus managed to escape his hold to jog toward the blitzball team's hut on his own. "Hey! How about a game on the beach, Tubby? You up to it?" he challenged over his shoulder.
Wakka stopped in his tracks and shook a fist toward Tidus. "Who you calling Tubby? You just bring it on, ya! I've changed diapers that look better than your score sheets!"