Author Topic: Rebirth ~ The Price of Eternity [A Fan Restoration Project]  (Read 1425 times)

Danko Kaji

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Re: Rebirth ~ The Price of Eternity [A Fan-written Restoration]
« on: December 28, 2016, 03:31:14 am »
Chapter 8
Tentative Title:
Of Divergent Winds
---

(A/N): So far, this chapter happens to be my favorite dialogue scene in the entire story. Yuna's thoughts and feelings really answered a lot of questions about what exactly did she make public knowledge (and what she didn't), as well as why the heck those grandmas are so strict (bc they be sick and tired of her wishy-washy, shiitake mushrooms). It pretty much throws a lot of annoying and unbelievable details into wonderful perspective.

*

The Aurochs Ace swayed to the whim of the waves.

Tidus did not know how much time had passed since they abandoned the rudder, but grey clouds still hid the light of the moon and stars from view.

He lied on his side, daydreaming, his eyes drawn to the white hood of her summoner garb peeking out from across the room on the sofa, almost glowing in the gloomy dark. He sensed her slow breathing against the nape of his neck, lulled by the warm, comforting perfume of her breath. A few minutes ago, he had turned over to face his thoughts, and Yuna had not stirred from his movements, except to snuggle against his back.

In the dark, Tidus lost all notion of time.

None of their friends, despite their conversation, amiable company, and constant reassurances managed to clear any of his unease, which tormented him. But a single moment by Yuna’s side somehow swept away all of his worry, and he cherished that. However, a heavy gloom still persisted in seeping into his every senses. He felt it encroach upon him like an internal wound, bleeding without an outlet, tightening his muscles and weighing in his stomach. And then he identified the feeling as self-blame.

Why? What caused him to dwell on this culpability?

That helplessness of being gone for two whole years, causing Yuna grief over his choice. He chose to end the cycle at the cost of his existence for Yuna’s sake, without once asking how she felt, and now he wondered if he made the right choice. He had no other choice. The Fayth chose his father for that role, and Tidus had been next in line when Jecht failed. He thought he made the right call…

No matter how many times he repeated it, it didn’t erase the fact: he abandoned her, and she had been all alone. Did he deserve happiness with the woman he loved?

Yuna stirred, and Tidus closed his eyes, feigning sleep.

He could sense her eyes boring into his back.

After a long, quiet moment, she stood up on the mattress and walked over his body, in order not to disturb him in his sleep. He continued to listen to her tiptoe in the dark, feeling her way along the space between the table and bed, eventually picking up the clothes she had left on the floor so she could dress up again.

The boat pitched all of a sudden, startling him enough to open his eyes, catching her own.

“Sorry. Did I wake you? I’ll be right back.”

She leaned in with a smile, kissing him on the lips, and Tidus blushed.

He resolved to leave his somber thoughts, because nothing justified in having them. He sat up, swinging his legs to sit at the edge of the mattress, and stood to follow the retreating hem of her white dress into the gangway. Climbing halfway up the stairs, he heard a loud, dull thud right above him, and he dashed up the stairs two steps at a time until he finally reached her.

He found her grasping the rudder wheel, as if she caught herself in mid-stumble, balancing herself on one foot, peeking outside.

“It’s hard to see. So dark, ow…”

“What was that noise? Did you hurt yourself?”

She gave him a sheepish smile, combing her fringe out of the way to show her swollen red forehead.

“That’s not funny!” Anger rose from worry, and it surprised him when he couldn’t close the lid on it fast enough. “Don’t look so peaceful about it. If you’re in pain, you have the right to complain. Whether the pain is physical or something even much deeper, don’t hesitate to tell me about it. I’m here for you.”

She stared, startled by his outburst. “...okay.”

“I came back for this reason, you know.”

“Very well.” She smiled, thoughtful. “You know, we won’t be able to whistle anymore.”

“Huh? What d’you mean?”

“To call for each other. If we’re together all the time…” Yuna trailed off, becoming shy now in his presence.

“Oh. Huh. That’s right.” The thought made him smile, and then silence fell between them, motivating him to step closer.

Yuna frowned, reluctant to stay close, and then she stepped back, averting her eyes, wringing her hands in that old nervous habit of hers. “Forgive me, I… We need to talk about something.”

“Ah…” In order to hide his embarrassment, Tidus stepped back to stand in front of the porthole, gazing out into the dark horizon. Only the seafoam stood out in the blackness. Couldn’t this thing have waited until after they had time to settle down and relax together? They didn’t have much longer to enjoy their quality time together before Yuna must return to answer for her disappearance.

“The elders have been asking me about everything that occurred in the temples… Learning that the Grand Maester was an Unsent; that he didn’t want happiness for Spira, but only to ensure the continuation of his cult… That Yevon’s teachings to defeat Sin were in fact a way to bring it back to life…”

“Yeah?”

“I’ve remained silent on the subject for a long time. I’ve never told them the full truth behind my role in those events. I’ve never said how exactly I had defeated Sin for good, nor how I believed that Yevon’s teachings were just a pack of lies or that the Church had become a parasite of our world. I’ve never mentioned these subjects. Not with most people, at any rate.”

“I can imagine. It’d be quite a shock for the faithful.”

“Yes. Some people may become mad at me, or even hate me.”

“I see.”

“Because of this, after the death of Grand Maester Yo Mika and the appearance of the Movement of Truth, the Yevon clergy decided to reform into a political faction known as New Yevon, with Baralai…” She trailed off, creasing her brow in thought, the shadows of an unspoken sentiment flitting across her eyes. “Oh, that’s right, you don’t know who Baralai is…”

“Rikku and the others have told me about him. He’s very close to Nooj and Gippal, right?”

“That’s right. Where was I?”

“But what’re you trying to say?” Tidus pressed, impatient.

“I kept most of these events secret because I was worried. But the elders wanted to know everything. They have begged and cried, and even have accused me of egotism. Remaining silent for so long, for fear of what others would think, apparently that is vanity. They insisted that if I explained it to them, they would understand, and they wouldn’t hold a grudge against me, so…”

“So? Tell them! Tell them about how the old crook Mika kept the machina all to himself. Tell them about what that bastard Seymour did--!”

“I’ve told them. It has taken some time, but I’ve told them everything.”

“And?”

“They listened to me without interruption.”

“Well, that’s great! All the better!” He smiled, relieved. For such good news, he didn’t know why Yuna didn’t sound so excited about that. He couldn’t even figure out where this conversation was leading them.

She shook her head. “No, that’s not good.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Afterwards, they asked me: ‘Now to whom will we be able to trust in order to guide us in our lives?’” She quoted them, morose.

“They can decide for themselves, can’t they?”

“They’ve asked me if they must forget Yevon’s teachings.”

“Of course! It was a sham!”

Yuna lowered her eyes, shaking her head.

Tidus became wary all of a sudden. Did he say something wrong? “What?”

“I’ve followed the teachings, too. Admittedly, it contained despicable lies, but the rest of it wasn’t all bad. After all, I’ve led a happy life, and I met you.”

“Yuna!”

Surely she’s not going to call their fateful meeting “a gift of Yevon,” too. That’d be laying the gratitude thick. And to keep up the spirit of the argument, Yuna decided to use his previous words against him.

“And what’s wrong with the elders wanting to believe in the teachings? It’s their choice.”

At that, Tidus forced himself to concede. “You may be right…”

“So I must go back tomorrow.”

“What?”

“I promised I’d join them in order to find a new prayer text.”

“But why do they need you?”

“It’s my fault that they’ve lost their faith.”

“But don’t you think you’ve done enough for them?”

“That’s not a reason for me to cross my arms and do nothing.”

“Yuna…”

In his moment of disbelief, the words he wanted to say tangled in his throat, he noticed the ornament which hung from her ear, the full length of its blue cylindrical beads shrouded within her brown hair. He hadn’t seen her wear it in the cabin. When did she take the time to put it on again? Since Tidus had met her, she had always worn it, a present probably from Kimahri going by its tribal yellow design, but the color had never faded.

‘It's like... I’m the only one who’s changed.’

“Yes?” She called out out to him again.

“It’s nothing,” he said, loudly, to dispel his thoughts. “I understand. Let’s hurry back to the village. We just need to find the right direction.”

“I’m sorry.”

Now he felt guilty that she felt the need to apologize. It’s not what she said, but the fact she refused a kiss from him in the first place, that put him in a bad mood. They hadn’t seen each other in so long, two years since they were last intimate, that Tidus did not understand why she still wanted the distance.

“It’s all my fault,” he said, hoping that would absolve her of self-blame, and proceeded to turn his back on her to hide his unease.

“I noticed, a bit earlier…” She spoke up after a long, heavy silence, her voice ringing clear in the salty air. “That we aren’t very good at apologizing to each other. During the weeks we traveled throughout Spira, climbing Mt. Gagazet, fighting Sin and then eventually Yevon… And during the two years we were separated, with no letter or news-- my feelings have only grown stronger. And then, this morning, you came back to me, just like that. Now, I know who you are and who I am. I know we can make an effort to understand each other. Hey, are you listening to me?”

“Yes, of course.”

He tried to stifle the tears threatening to burst from his eye sockets.

“When I met you, I was seventeen years old, and I’d fallen madly in love with you. Now that we’re together again…”

Unable to handle not looking at her, he turned around to face her, spellbound by the sight of her swinging her hips in a gleeful manner, her cheeks pinched pink in a shade of flattering crimson. She looked so radiant and beautiful, he could already sense his anger melt away.

“From now on, we’ll have to face life everyday, and above all, make no mistake-- I still love you. I don’t want to leave you anymore.”

“Ah…” Now she had gone and done it. He couldn’t fight it anymore.

She quirked an eyebrow, amused, but more so startled by his lack of reaction. “‘Ah’...?”

He fought to control his voice, even when it broke under the weight of his emotion. “I love you, too.”

“What a relief!” She beamed.

Yuna looked like she wanted to say more, but then gave up on it. She turned around and started using the console sticks, the ones near the rudder, and for a few seconds, they could only hear the noise of the buttons she pushed, the stretch of foreboding silence.

“We may have a problem,” she said, nervous. “I can’t use the radar. We can’t establish our position.”

Just afterwards, the mini Commsphere that Tidus never noticed before sitting atop the control panel did not work either. They were stranded somewhere in the middle of the ocean, with no means of contacting the outside world.
Lost in the winds of change~

"There's some things you can't do alone,
but they become easy with friends beside you."

Consider me a wandering 'Maechen' of FFX/X-2 lore.