People always looked shocked, whenever they saw her these days. Everyone, of course, knew of High Summoner Yuna, the story of how she had defeated Sin and brought the Eternal Calm. It was thanks to her that all of Spira was able to live free of fear.

And yet, people always seemed to expect her to still be sweet and demure Lady Yuna, dressed modestly in a long skirt. They certainly didn't expect to see her running around in tiny hotpants brandishing guns! Well, Yuna supposed, it was quite a change.

But why shouldn't she? Why were people always so surprised? Why did they expect her to remain exactly the same? Didn't she have a right to enjoy the Eternal Calm, too?

Through all her years of training to be a Summoner, all through her pilgrimage, she had believed she was travelling towards her death. Everyone loaded their hopes and dreams onto her shoulders. She never wanted to disappoint them, so she acted how she thought a Summoner should, how they all expected her to be. She had never before lived for herself, only for the people of Spira. She talked with them, and comforted them, although no-one ever offered to do the same for her. And above all, she always made sure to smile. "I've learned how to smile... even when I'm feeling sad."

He had shown her a glimpse of what her life could have been like, during her pilgrimage. He, unknowing of her fate, had filled her head with stories of what they would do after they had defeated Sin. Not just travelling to his Zanarkand, but other, every day things, too. Things other people took for granted. Being able to see a Blitzball match whenever she wanted, maybe even learning to play herself. To lounge on a beach without a care in the world. To be able to spend time with her friends, without thinking that the days they had together were numbered.

All things she thought she'd never be able to do.

And then, when it turned out that she could do all these things... it had been an amazing feeling, though it had been bittersweet. For the first time in her life, she suddenly had the freedom to do what she wanted, be who she wanted – but she had to do it without him. But he had inspired her, with his cheerful outlook on life. He made her see that it was okay to live her life for herself, and she was determined to do it. For him.

And she was happy. It had been odd, at first, changing her clothing so drastically. She had balked when Rikku showed her the new outfits she had bought for her. She spent the first couple of weeks nervously trying to pull her shorts down lower over her exposed legs before she got used to it. But she liked the way she dressed now. She was able to express herself like she had never been able to before.

The sphere hunting was great, too. Many people seemed to think it was an undignified occupation for the High Summoner, but who cared what they thought? This was what she wanted to do. She was able to fly across Spira in an airship, still having adventures as they searched for long-lost spheres. She was able to spend all the time she liked with her friends – although Brother could be a bit creepy occasionally. Sometimes, there was nothing she loved more than just going up and standing on the deck of the airship as it hurtled across the sky, feeling the wind blow around her, marvelling at the views, just like she was now. She never thought she'd be able to do all this. She had thought she would die two years ago. And yet here she was, living on, and having the best time she'd ever had.

The only problem was that he wasn't here to share it with her. Yuna sighed, drawing her knees up to her chest. It wasn't right to feel angry or cheated. She was already luckier than she ever thought she could be, she had no right to wish for even more. But there was still an emptiness in her heart without him. She knew he would have loved travelling with the Gullwings, too. She imagined him here, on the deck of the airship with her, laughing with delight as he watched the world speed past below them, before turning and taking her in his arms -

"Yunie? Are you here?" the lift door had suddenly opened, and Rikku came tumbling out. Yuna was startled out of her reverie as she stood to greet her cousin. "Yunie!" called Rikku, running up to her. "I've been looking all over for you! You need to come down to the bridge right now, one of the spheres we found... you have to see it!"

"What? Why? What's so special about it?"

Rikku was almost dancing with excitement, waving her hands around. "Well, I couldn't believe it, but in the sphere... it's him, Yunie! It has to be! It looks just like him!" she grabbed Yuna's hand, dragging her back towards the lift. "Come on! You have to see it!"

Yuna felt her heart jump into her throat. It couldn't be, could it? He had... he'd disappeared. It couldn't be. But what if it was? It was too good to be true, but Yuna couldn't help the sudden feeling of hope that overwhelmed her. Maybe, just maybe...

"I'll be able to enjoy my freedom... with you."


The idea for this actually came to be because of some comments on Youtube. xD I was listening to FFX music videos (as you do), and there were some comments complaining about how much Yuna changed between FFX and X-2, even one saying "As far as I'm concerned, Yuna died at the end of FFX." And well, it annoyed me. I think the change makes perfect sense. Who WOULDN'T want to mix it up after all she's been through? :P

Also, I know that's not how Rikku told Yuna about the sphere (iirc, Rikku came to Besaid), but I just wanted to change it up a bit.

I also listened to both of Yuna's themes from FFX and X-2 while writing this for inspiration. The themes are so drastically different, they do a great job showing how much she changed between games. Her theme from X-2 is funkayy. :D

Also, please check out my other Yuna centric fic, "Winging It". It can kind of be considered a prequel to this one. :)

Thanks for reading, and reviews = love.