Disclaimer: Final Fantasy X & X-2 belong to Square Enix.

Synopsis: Yuna's marriage to Baralai is comfortable but memories of Tidus hinder her from truly loving him. That all changed one night when she realized just how much Baralai cares for her.

Pairing: Baralai/Yuna

Fading Out, Falling In

The first time she walked down the aisle in the holy city of Bevelle, the High Summoner, Lady Yuna did it out of a sense of duty for her beloved people. She played at matrimony like a skilled performer, fooled Lord Seymour Guado, but ultimately lost the game, causing her guardians to become innocent victims to the corruption that was Old Yevon.

The second time she slipped into the white gown and veil, Yuna did it—not only because she felt it necessary to mend Spira—but also because she decided it out of a pitiful attempt to fill the void in her heart. She knew it was wrong, but when she decided that the marriage between the Youth League's High Summoner and New Yevon's praetor would seal the rift that had been dividing Spira and disrupting the Eternal Calm, the wedding plans were already under way.

Marriage to Baralai did not bring Yuna unhappiness; perhaps it was their friendship that prevented that. However, a marriage to a friend was just that: an enhanced friendship sealed with blessed vows. It wasn't satisfying. It wasn't enough. When the celebration in Bevelle ended, none of her friends mentioned the guardian blitzball player from Zanarkand again, but that didn't prevent the memories of him to invade her mind every day, and night.

There were evenings when Yuna just couldn't sleep and she stood outside the balcony from their bedroom that overlooked Bevelle, just staring into starlit skies wondering when the Fayth of Bahamut would come with news. Though, that was just wishful thinking.

Yuna knew that the Fayth have all gone to rest after Vengagun's defeat. Regardless, there was still a part of her that yearned in futile to see the small, celestial figure. Even hearing his childish voice would give her hope that she could see him again.

But it was just false hope, she knew. She never encountered such things and accepted that she would one day eventually forget.

Her time on the balcony usually progressed silently into the night until her eyes were worn weary and she was forced to retire to bed.

But that night was particularly different. She had a visitor.

"Yuna," Baralai said in his naturally soft-spoken tone. "What are you doing out here at this hour?"

She politely turned to him, smiled and returned her gaze back to the night sky. "Just watching the stars," she answered in her sweet voice.

"Aren't you cold?"

She shook her head and listened to the sound of his footsteps as he waltzed over to stand beside her. Typical Baralai—typical, kind-hearted and caring Baralai was always looking after her. That was why she was rather welcoming of his arm around her shoulder, pulling her into his chest to offer her his body's warm.

How can she not find him endearing?

Feeling his sincere embrace, his undying protectiveness, his earnest love for her, Yuna cursed herself for being so selfish. Baralai was here, he was real but instead of seeing that, she had been chasing a dream, a shadow from the past.

And for the first time, even if it started with a twinge of guilt, Yuna believed that she was willing to return all that Baralai had given her.

When they both retired to their sleeping chamber several nights later, Yuna broke her usual demeanor in bed to nestle up close and placed a hand on his chest, a feat she's never tried. Baralai was startled and asked if anything was the matter.

In reply, she only shakes her head and offers him a smile.

That night, she tried not to think of Tidus and found it rather simple to do. She noticed Baralai's hand over hers, his warm, soft breathing against hers and she found that she could live with that.


Whew! This fic has been hanging around in computer for a while and I finally decided to finish it up. It's rather short, but I just wanted to explore that possibility of Tidus never returning. Plus, I've always liked Baralai.

Hope you enjoyed it!