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After We Defeat Sin

by Lassarina Aoibhell

Author's Notes: I don't own FFX, I don't own the characters, I own nothing but the story I've created. I hate Tidus and Yuna both, but this fic demanded to be written. MASSIVE MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!!

"What will we do....after?"

Yuna's soft, hesitant question breaks the uncomfortable silence that has fallen over us. Surprised, we all turn to look at her. She seems uncertain at having our sudden attention and stutters slightly. "I--I mean, no other summoner has--has survived....defeating Sin. I have no Final Aeon. What will we all do when we defeat Sin?"

We are all silent, stunned by the question. Auron "hmphs" and stands up. "Worry about defeating Sin first. You can worry about the rest later." He moves a short distance away from the group and stands amid the tumbled towers of the strange building-block city we found inside Sin. Wakka shuffles his feet. Lulu smooths the fur lining of her dress. Me? I sit there, knowing why Auron doesn't want to discuss it. I don't, either.

When I first came to Spira, when I joined Yuna as her guardian, I did not know what awaited summoners in the dome of Zanarkand. I did not know that there would be no "after" for her. And then, in Zanarkand, the balance shifted. Yuna wasn't going to die. She didn't need to sacrifice her life for the good of Spira anymore. She was saved that burden.

But I had a new worry, a new burden, because in Zanarkand I learned that my time, not hers, was limited.

Just as the other guardians had not told me what awaited Yuna, so I have not told them what will happen to me when we kill Yu Yevon and end this cycle of destruction. I had to live with the burden of knowing Yuna would die so others could live. We all did. I won't make them relive the experience of knowing a comrade will die. I especially won't tell her. Not until I have to.

Will she remember me when I am gone, when I have drifted away like pyreflies over the Moonflow, when memories fade? Will she remember the night at Macalania Lake, the water warm and silky against our skin and the pale moonlight that surrounded us?

A light touch on my shoulder startles me out of my morbid thoughts. Yuna is kneeling next to me, her pretty eyes intent on my face. When I first came to Spira I thought her eyes--one green and one blue--were odd, strange. Now, I barely notice the difference. I just think they're beautiful.

"You look sad," she says softly. "Is something wrong?"

I reach out to brush strands of her silky brown hair out of her face and tuck them behind her ear. There are a few dozen casual, lighthearted comments I could make to brush away her concern, but I don't have the heart for it. "Just thinking about...tomorrow."

She tucks herself close against my side and rests her head on my shoulder. "It must be hard, knowing that you have to fight your father."

"Yeah." I put my arm around her and stare at the eerie mist that drifts thinly around us, tinted pale blue thanks to the glow of the healing sphere nearby. Her body feels tense and taut. I start stroking her hair soothingly. "What's up?"

"I.....all my life, I have known that I would be a summoner and defeat Sin. That I would help Spira, and that I would die to do it. But....now, I don't know what will happen. I will defeat Sin, but I will still be alive. What will I do? What am I going to do after I defeat Sin?"

I pull her closer to me. "Remember at the beginning of the pilgrimage, when I told you that in blitz you gotta keep your mind on the game, and not worry about later?"

She nods, her hair sliding across my skin. "I remember."

"This is the same thing. If you worry about what's gonna happen, you can't focus on what's happening now and what you have to do now."

"Okay." She is silent for a moment. "What do you want to do? Will you....go back to your Zanarkand?"

In a manner of speaking, I suppose I am. "I don't know." I shrug. "We should have a big party, to celebrate defeating Sin."

"That would be nice." She cuddles closer.

I am lying to her. I know exactly what I'll do when we defeat Sin. I will fade away and die. I'm seventeen years old. I don't want to die yet. I want to stay here in Spira with Yuna, and celebrate her Calm, and see the looks of joy on people's faces when they learn that this time, Sin won't return. Yuna won't have to dance anymore. I want to see all these things and I never will. I don't want to die, I don't want to admit to her that I won't be here for her, but I find myself speaking anyway. "Yuna?"

"Yes?" She looks up at me, her eyes wide and trusting.

"....Nothing." I bend my head to kiss her, and her arm curves up around my neck. She is soft and vibrant and so alive in my arms. I don't want this moment to end, because there will be no more after this. And I can't tell her it will be the last time I will hold her.

I'm a coward. But she doesn't need to know that. Not yet. Please, not yet.

Well, there you are. This was inspired by the 3 Doors Down song "When I'm Gone." Comments, critiques, etc, may be sent to rina@rpgplace.net.

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