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» Just Whistle and I'll Come Running, Tidus
Yuna
 Posted: Oct 28 2014, 02:16 AM
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When she'd said she'd come running, Yuna hadn't been kidding at all.

It seemed like an eternity that Yuna'd been looking for him now. She knew it had only been two weeks, judging by the date on her conversation with Zidane, but it felt so much longer than that. Every day, she'd come into the city to search for Tidus, but this city was so large and she'd hardly had time, with all the other things that needed doing. Like constructing a shelter, and making nets to catch fish, and all the other day-to-day tasks that went into trying to build some kind of reliable livelihood. The business of survival only left her with a few hours a day to search, and she'd gotten nowhere. She couldn't even be really sure, before now, that that name belonged to Tidus at all. Zidane hadn't remembered what the owner looked like well enough to know. She could have been chasing phantasms for all she knew. But she still had to look. She still had to hope.

And then she'd gotten his message.

Yuna didn't know if she'd ever run so fast before in her life. Her body was definitely not used to pushing itself this way; not to imply that she wasn't fit, or that she was unused to exertion. It was just that Yuna had to fly, and she only had her feet to do it. Her feet pounded on the hard streets, breath coming in harsh pants, and there was a stitch in her side, but still she kept pushing. 22nd and Main. The building with the Machina. She knew where that was, she thought. She had to.

And there was the whistle.

Yuna nearly tripped. The sound stopped her heart in her chest, it felt like, just for a moment. Everybody whistled, and yet it seemed like a sound that didn't belong to this world. She paused to catch her breath, to figure out where the sound was coming from. And then she was off again. It guided her along, one whistle at a time, one foot in front of the other--

Until she burst around a corner, and there he was. Standing up on top of a pole that did not look at all safe, fingers in his mouth and whistle piercing her ears, and he was real.

And Yuna stopped, shoulders and chest heaving for air, and no words left in her mouth.

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Tidus
 Posted: Dec 18 2014, 08:19 PM
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I've been looking everywhere for you.

All the excitement in her replies made goosebumps pop up on his arms, but those words in particular had given Tidus a dizzy feeling--like a punch to the gut without the pain. He knew that stubbornness ran deep in her and the thought that she'd turned it to searching on his account was...flattering. Or something not quite that word, something gleeful and pleased but also a little sad. He'd have to ask her how long, so he could spend twice that time at her side and--and, well, that could come later. He still had to see her, first, and it didn't seem like anything could have changed, but.

So he'd pocketed the phone somewhere harder to slip off his body (never again), pumped his fist at the air with the kind of lively "Haha!" that might have precipitated a Blitzball game, and found the tallest pole in sight to squirrel up. He hung off it like a noisy street lamp, anchored with one hand around the spherical top and the other in his mouth, and he whistled like he thought she could already hear him. (Maybe she could.) Deaf and blind to any complaining on the part of the people passing by underneath, he only stopped at times to shield his eyes with his hand instead and see if he could spot her in the crowd. A flash of white-gold there, a trickle of blue there, and the heart in him that didn't seem to tire of leaping anxiously at each one.

He was just starting to think seriously that she'd gotten lost (because something couldn't happen now, nothing stood in her way for long) and he was about to pull out his phone and see if she'd said anything when his eyes landed on hers and the whistle on his lips turned to dead air.

She'd come running, as promised. He wasn't sure how he hadn't seen her running up; like she'd just melted into being, and no matter how long ago they’d talked it seemed to Tidus like she could have doubled for one of her own summons. He made some sort of sound that he didn't have time to identify, a happy crow or shout or maybe even her name--and then he was descending in a twist at breakneck speed. Just like that, he was standing in front of her with one hand still anchored to the pole (and he’d only stumbled a little bit). At first, he wasn't sure why he was hesitating.

Then he wondered if she was thinking the same thing he was.

He tightened his fingers around the pole a little, as if to prove to himself that he was solid. It wasn't going to happen again, it couldn't. This time he'd go to her. But as he took a halting step forward it occurred to him he had to say something, just in case. I'm glad to see you and I'm so happy you're safe disappeared under--

"I love you," he got out, and it wasn't enough. It didn't say enough, and he wondered fleetingly if she'd felt the same way about the words then, when he couldn't hurt her enough to say them back. "--too," he added, as if it were a conversation that had never truly stopped.

As if they'd just been separated, for a little while.

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Yuna
 Posted: Dec 18 2014, 08:36 PM
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It was like a spell. Yuna couldn't tear her eyes away, but neither could she move forward. It seemed so impossible. Her eyes soaked up every motion he made, memorizing it all just in case this was all ephemera, destined to dissolve the moment she moved and broke the spell. His voice, yes, in one of those enthusiastic outbursts of his that said so much more than just words. And could anyone else move quite like that? That exhilarating burst of energy, like he had too much inside him to contain, ruining his grace with that endearing stumble at the end. For someone as skilled as he was, he still managed to be all limbs and left feet. Yuna etched it all onto her heart, in that moment frozen between fiction and reality.

But then he spoke, and just like that, the spell was broken. Tears spilled down her cheeks, and Yuna dove, throwing herself headlong into the now, regardless of how it ended up. She could pass right through him again and she knew it, but she'd lived through that once. If it was fated to happen again, it was worth it for this 'today.' She threw her arms wide and hit solid and warm and oh so real, and she clutched him tight, the way she'd wanted to back then. Everything else she had ever known was gone, but right here and right now, this was real.

"Welcome home."

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Tidus
 Posted: Dec 19 2014, 02:13 PM
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It didn't all disappear or spin away, and Tidus's hand slid free of the pole. For a moment it almost felt like they could still be in Luca, except surrounded now by the buildings that Yuna had tried to imagine, but then Yuna's face twisted with pain and Tidus couldn't focus on anything else. He took a more urgent step just as she started running, because no--wait. This was happening almost the same way, and he didn't want her to feel the bitter failure (again) to breach a completely possible distance after winning an impossible fight. But it was out of his hands, she barreled at him like she'd barreled at Zanarkand, heedless of the inevitable, and Tidus reached to catch her and braced himself for the nausea of fading away at the same time.

He stumbled back with the impact.

Even if they'd fallen, it wouldn't have mattered--the only thing he was aware of was that his arms were full of her. He turned his cheek against her hair, squeezing tight, but not as if to make them meld into one; it was instead at the sheer joy of being two, instead of one with another preserved in memory. Jecht would have told him not to cry (and he wasn't, shut up), and wasn't it silly that he even felt the urge at a time like this. There was no lurking dread on the horizon that would claim him or her or both, and being solid enough to catch her this time meant a closeness they'd never allowed themselves to have before. It was everything that should have been the first time, but missing the friends that had surrounded them then.

Still, when Yuna called it home Tidus knew she was right. Home had been Zanarkand once, and Zanarkand was theirs--a dream they talked about that had become just as real as Tidus now. He put a hand the back of her head protectively and waited for the lump in his throat to let him talk.

"Good to be back."

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Yuna
 Posted: Jan 28 2015, 09:22 PM
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Yuna didn't dare lift her head from his shoulder. It was too unbelievable, and she didn't want to do anything that could make this unhappen. If she didn't move from right here, everything would be alright. She squeezed him tight, and in the next instant she shuddered, the floodgates opening. Face buried safely in yellow fabric where no one would see, she could gasp in the tiny breaths her tight throat would allow her.

I was so afraid I would never see you again. Gasp. I thought I was all alone. Gasp. How did you bear this?

None of those words left her lips. They wouldn't have helped anything, only bring the pain of loss into sharper focus. She knew, had always known, that life was transient, and that tragedy could come at any time. She knew that life was meant to be lived moving forward, not back. And so she let herself cry until she had it under control. Then she lifted her head, sniffed once, let go of Tidus with one hand to wipe her eyes, one after the other.

"I..." And she gave him a wobbly smile, "...I m-missed you."

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