Author's Note: I tried another pairing, one of my favorites: Tidus and Yuna. But I feel like a lot of people over sexify their relationship, when I feel that they would be so sweet and gentle with one another. So this is my stab at it. Enjoy.

Working our Way Up

Yuna hit the water of the Via Purifico with an audible gasp. The water was surprisingly warm in the canal and normally Yuna would be swimming peacefully, as everyone in Spira knew how to swim. However, her long, dark blue skirt was heavy when wet and it kept dragging her under the water. Sputtering frantically, she slid the skirt off and abandoned it to sink to the bottom of the canal. Desperately, she scrambled onto the banks in only her black bra and underwear, her brown hair sticking to her face; she was so soaked that only closer inspection could reveal that there were tears mixed with the fresh water from the Via Purifico.

She curled up on the metal surface, hoping it would provide her with even a shadow of protection as she shook with the cold, and the fear that Seymour would send guards in after her. All she knew was that Tidus was down here somewhere and he would help her…protect her…

Yuna's nightmare had started about three days ago when Seymour Guado had kidnapped herself and Tidus after they had been separated from the rest of her guardians in Macalania. Seymour had promised not to harm Tidus, in the promise that Yuna would marry him with no complaint; seeing as how Yuna had recently discovered that she was in love with optimistic, gentle Tidus, she could hardly refuse the offer.

Tidus had protested strongly to her decision when she had gone to visit him in his cell.

"He won't honor his promise to keep me safe." He argued fiercely, stroking Yuna's white cheek through the bars. His palm was extraordinarily warm and rough. It felt comforting and Yuna closed her eyes in contentment. "The second you agree, he'll have me killed and have you locked up. Forever." His sea-blue eyes were intense and beautiful.

She stroked his hand with one of her own. "I can't let him hurt you, Tidus. Of everyone in all of Spira, I care about you most. I would even marry Seymour."

"I can't let him have you!" He would have pulled her to his chest if it weren't for the bars. "If he touches you…I…I could never forgive myself. Run away. Please. I'll find a way to escape. He just…I won't let him have you."

Tears crept into Yuna's voice; she hated the thought of being with Seymour as much as Tidus did. "And I won't allow him to kill you." Gently she touched the place on Tidus' tan face where she knew was the tiniest patch of blond stubble, nearly invisible to those who had never been extremely close to his face.

She had rubbed that scratchy blond stubble before running out the jail.

The next day, when Yuna accepted Seymour's proposal, Seymour had Tidus thrown in the Via Purifico, despite Yuna's every plea for mercy; no one ever survived the Via Purifico.

The day after, Seymour tried to rape Yuna. She managed to escape and, seeing no alternative, had thrown herself into the Via Purifico in only her underwear and the blue skirt: all that Seymour had left her with. That was how it came to be that she was lying on the embankment, shivering dreadfully, praying for death or Tidus.

….

Tidus found her a few hours later, her beautiful skin tinged purple-blue from the cold of being in the water and then on the cool metal with almost no clothes on. One day in the maze had done almost nothing to diminish his will to escape, but he often felt as though he was just walking in circles. But now Tidus had found what he was so desperately looking for.

He carried her to where he had been hiding from all the wild monsters, and lay on top of her to get her warm; he loved her silky skin, but the purple tinge of it terrified him. She was so cold. It was good thing his skin was always so inexplicably warm, like he'd been out the sun for hours. Yuna's skin, on the other hand, was smooth and cool, like porcelain, and, although he realized that this was not the time or place, he ran his warm hands all over her lovely white skin. He told himself it was to make her warm, but he couldn't deny that he liked the feeling of touching her.

Gently as he was able, he wound his arms around her back and pulled her as close to him as she could get. He buried his face in her hair and inhaled, closing his eyes. Yuna smelled like the sea and tropical flowers.

It seemed like he held her for an eternity until she woke up, but gradually color returned to her ivory cheeks and her eyes fluttered open. Tidus was never sure which of her eyes he preferred: the blue eye, so deep he though he would drown in it, or the lively green one that sparked with energy.

"Tidus?" She whispered in her hoarse voice. "Am I…?"

"You're awake." He breathed a sigh of relief and pressed his forehead to hers. His infectious smile crept to his lips; she loved his smile. "I was so worried about you, the whole time I was down here. What happened?"

She looked as though she was about to smile, but her face crumpled and tears began to pour out of her eyes. Tidus was shocked for two reasons. The first was that she was crying, and the second was that she was still so beautiful, even with snot coming out her nose. This proved how he was helplessly in love with her. She buried her face in his shoulder, gripping him as though she would never let him go.

"I was…so scared. So scared…I'd never see you again." She wailed. "And then…he attacked me…"

Tidus gave a jolt as anger bubbled in his stomach. He would have demanded an explanation had Yuna not been so distraught. Instead, he bit back his anger and held her. It was the least he could do, after he had failed to protect her.

When she had calmed down a little, Tidus pushed her back so he could see her face clearly. Gently as he was able, he wiped the stray tears from her cheeks with his thumbs.

"Did he hurt you?"

She shook her head. "I was just…so scared."

Tidus was boiling with rage as he now realized why she was only in her underwear, but he held her tenderly and kept murmuring apologies in her ear.

"Did he touch you?" Venom seeped into his voice.

Yuna's ears turned red. "Only…a little…"

Tidus felt like an angry little boy who was jealous over another taking his possession. "Where?" Yuna was bright pink as she pointed out the places with trembling hands and Tidus found her very desirable as she did so. "Hold on to my hair." He murmured, and she shivered. Still, a moment later, he felt her petite hands weave into his blond hair.

Tidus kissed her, with all the passion he had at Macalania, and she just tried to get as close as she could. Blue-haired bastard, Tidus thought as he gripped her slender arms; how dare he lay hands on something so pure and innocent?

Without thinking about it, Yuna let her hands trail down from Tidus' head, to that wonderful spot where his hairline met the scruff of his neck and then to the black straps that held up his yellow jacket and black shorts. Tidus was suddenly aware of the fact that he was wearing too much clothing. While still kissing her, he expertly undid the metal hooks on his suspenders allowing his pants to fall slack at his waist.

Yuna, he noted fondly, had completely disregarded his orders to hold his hair and was instead removing the yellow striped jacket he wore in place of a shirt.

Tidus shivered as he felt her cool hands trace and feel the lines of the muscles on his arms, chest, and abdomen. Either she was very skilled or just very innocent. He would put his gil on the latter.

He broke the kiss with a gasp and a question. "What are you doing?" She had been running her hands lightly along his pecs, and her butterfly-light touch was creating an impossible fire in his stomach.

She looked up at him with no lies on her face, just her innocence. "You're…so very warm. It's unbelievable. It's like…you're made of sunshine." And then she smiled so sweetly that Tidus had to hug her.

"If you keep saying those kinds of things," He warned in his most dangerous voice, "while being as pretty as you are, I'm going to have to do inappropriate things to you."

Yuna sounded confused. "Was that not the original goal?"

Tidus drew back for a moment and cocked his head. "Good point."

At first, he was afraid to go any further than delicate kisses on her face and neck, for fear of breaking her. Rather than fiery desire, he felt so warm with love he thought he would shine like a star. Yuna, despite such chaste kisses, was pink as the sunrise and biting her bottom lip, an endearing habit.

"Is it too much?" He asked jokingly, fondling a strand of her hair.

Yuna covered her face with her hands. "It's…too embarrassing! I…want more…"

Whatever he had expected her to say that was not it. With a groan he pressed his head to her chest. "I give up. You're too damn cute for your own good."

"Does that mean we're stopping?"

"Too late now." He replied. He laid her on the metal floor with the utmost care, as if she were breakable in his clumsy hands and she stared up at him, expectantly. With trembling hands, he unclasped the tiny hooks on the front of her black bra and eased the torturous garment away. Out of instinct, Yuna's hands shot to her chest to cover her naked breasts.

"Don't look!" She begged. Tidus sighed patiently and delicately clasped her hands in his, rubbing them with his fingers. Slowly, he eased her hands away, his heart pounding from excitement.

"Don't worry. I just want to see." Only when her hands were rigidly at her sides, did he get to enjoy the view. Like the rest of her skin, her breasts were ivory with a pink blush and they were perfect in size and shape, biased or no. He could tell just from a glance that one breast would fit perfectly in his hand, as if the two were made like puzzle pieces. He spent so long admiring them that Yuna became self-conscious and antsy.

At first, he only touched with one finger, feeling that to just dive right in would be a waste of untouched beauty. His fingers traced the shape of her breasts, the softness of the skin, the sensitive nipples warming under his touch; Yuna stretched her neck back and continued to bite her lip, the blush in her cheeks getting ever redder. After his finger was finished, he let his lips, just the lips and not his whole mouth, wander over her tender flesh like a long, trailing kiss.

Only after Yuna began to weave her hands through his hair again, did Tidus employ the full use of his hands and mouth. He was still unerringly gentle, never nipping or rubbing her raw, but still, she was so innocent she acted as though he was being as rough as he liked. The second his warm tongue hit her skin, her nipples were as hard as though she was out in the cold and her stifled cries only made him want to treat her more gently.

"Did Seymour…?" Tidus looked up at her florid face. She shook her head.

"Only…Tidus…"

He grinned happily, showing his super-white teeth, and then continued leaving a trail of kisses down her breasts and stomach. He stopped when he reached the black waistband of her underwear.

"May I remove them?"

"Please. Not yet. I'm...scared. Please…" Her breaths were gasps. Smiling indulgently, he honored her request not to take off her underwear yet. But he still touched her.

Once again, he started with just one of his fingers, stroking around the elastic of the fabric. He created circles with his finger until her reached the center. He was surprised to find that she was already a little wet. So pure… Even with only the lightest pressure applied, Yuna reacted instantly, moaning, crying, or pulling at his hands and hair.

"You can tell me to stop at any time." He told her after she cried out like he was hurting her. "You can also hold on to me…if you want."

Tears were running down Yuna's cheeks. "Why…would you…stop?"

Tidus moved so that his head was next to hers but he kept his hands at her waist. He blushed. "If I'm hurting you." This time he used two fingers, rubbing harder up and down. Yuna practically screamed and her nails dug into Tidus' shoulder blades as her hips naturally rose to meet his hands. He was so close and so in rapture of her that he didn't realize that he was using his whole hand until it was almost completely soaked.

He pulled his hand away quickly and Yuna gave a shuddering sigh before looking up at him balefully. Tidus had to use every ounce of self-control he possessed to resist the plea in her eyes.

"I'm sorry," he said sheepishly, "I got a little carried away. Now can I take them off? We can keep going if you do." Yuna nodded quickly before she could regret her decision and Tidus kissed her nose. As quickly as he could, he peeled off her underwear and felt to see if she was still aroused. Much to his surprise he found that, at some point, his pants had been pulled off of him completely.

"Did you do that?" He asked, looking with confusion at his naked waist. "I don't remember taking my pants off…"

"Am I not allowed to take your clothes off too?" She asked, looking worried. "I want…to see you too."

Tidus couldn't help himself; he pulled Yuna to him in a tight hug so her face was against his chest. "How are you so perfect without even trying? Of course you're allowed to do anything you want to me." He met her surprised eyes and smiled. "I live to serve you, remember?"

Yuna giggled. "Oh good. You have a very pretty body too, Tidus."

Tidus turned bright red. "You're impossible." Before he could regret it, he pushed himself into her and she squeaked. "Sorry, sorry. Did I hurt you?"

She shook her head. "It feels…weird. That's all."

"You can dig your nails into me, if you need to."

"Okay."

Having sex sitting up, with Yuna on his lap, was difficult, but at least it allowed Tidus to go slow, to pace himself and not overwhelm her. She had her face pressed to his tan collarbone, her breath hitting his skin in small gasps. He rocked slow and steady, his hips itching for release of the warmth that was building up inside of him like a volcano. He wanted to go all out, but he held himself back, solely for Yuna's pleasure. Her pleasure was his own. Finally she gripped his hair and pulled his face to meet hers.

"Tidus…I won't break…Thank you for being so gentle but…if you don't go faster…I'll die."

He gave a sigh of relief. "I thought you'd never ask." With the speed of the athlete that he was, Tidus had Yuna in his arms and was up on his feet, pressing her back against the metal wall. In this way, he had enough leverage to go as fast as he liked. Tidus, as a bitzball player, was strong and limber with unlimited stamina, so he was confident in his abilities to be able to make love standing up, while holding her up, for hours if needed.

Even so, Yuna's white legs gripped him tight, with unexpected strength. He tried to lessen their hold on his hips.

"Yuna…I'm strong…" He whispered breathily. "I can hold you up…you relax…and let me hold you up." She nodded in exhaustion and her muscles relaxed, trusting him completely. She was so light, he held her up with ease.

Tidus was also known for his impatience and impulsiveness, and in his defense, he tried to be slow and steady. But Yuna was bursting with energy and she kept begging him to go faster, faster, faster…until finally, Tidus was going as fast as he was able, which was pretty damn fast. His mouth was open to accommodate the sharp gasps coming from his hips and both he and Yuna were slippery with sweat; holding her was like trying to keep his grip on a fish…a mermaid. Yuna was screaming his name, clawing at his back and kissing whatever part of him she could reach, as her white toes curled backwards in ecstasy.

They finished in tandem, and Tidus all but slid to the floor in exhaustion, Yuna resting her head on top of his. How had her nightmare become so wonderful?

They stayed in the exact same position for a good five minutes, cooling down and catching their breath after such a passionate encounter. No words were even needed as Yuna stroked his gold hair and sweaty neck and he rubbed her white back.

"When we get out of here," Tidus was the first to break the silence, "and we WILL get out of here, watch out. I'm gonna want to do this everywhere."

"The beach first." Yuna suggested timidly. "At night? In the sand?"

Tidus was shocked, in a good way. "You are too perfect."

When he helped her to her feet, she giggled. "Tidus, we forgot to take your shoes off." He looked down and laughed, for the first time realizing that he was completely naked, save for his shoes.

"Tell you what," He leaned down and kissed her sweetly on the mouth. "Next time we'll start with my shoes and work our way up. How's that sound?"

Yuna smiled by way of response, her cheeks turning pink.