Yuna spoke to the crowd, her final words to them before she went to her death.
“I will defeat Sin. I must defeat Sin.”
Tidus awoke with a start from his nightmare. He stared around the room with eyes almost spinning in their sockets. Beside him, Yuna’s calm breathing remained undisturbed. He was thankful that his yell of fright and shock had not woken her from her own dreams. His had started as a dream, but had turned into a nightmare. Outside, the first light of dawn was showing. Besaid Island would soon be shining in the morning sun, and the people around would begin rising. Hopefully, they would have had a better night’s sleep than him.
After a few more moments sitting there, and realising that a sweat had broken on his forehead, Tidus gently slipped out of bed and went to where his clothes lay. Pulling them on as quietly as he could, and taking a look at Yuna to see if she had woken, he slipped out. The crisp pre-dawn air was exhilarating: it had been one of his favourite things when living in Zanarkand and watching the sunrise. He caught himself: he may have lived there, but it wasn’t real. It was sometimes difficult to imagine it not being real, with all its sad and happy memories.
He walked quietly through Besaid, beyond the town’s gates, and turned to look at the temple. Though it had been threatened with destruction during the Vegnagun crisis, it remained intact. Just as the faith of the people here in Wakka and Lulu remained intact. The two made an excellent headman and mayor. Tidus smiled. He clearly remembered the day he had come back to Besaid from the sea, and had embraced Yuna in the shallows. And then Wakka had come alone and interrupted the moment. He almost laughed as he remembered his response. ‘Who asked you to watch, Wakka?’. Of course Wakka watched, along with Lulu. He remembered the shock he had felt when seeing their child Vidina in her arms. That was something he hadn’t seen coming.
As he walked up the hill, Tidus allowed himself a quiet laugh. Look at himself, reminiscing over everything because of a silly nightmare. He was in the now, living a life he had only dreamed of, with a woman he loved in a friendly town in a time of peace. Sin was gone, Spira’s government was in order, and Yuna was left alone. In fact, she was feeling more content than ever since her visit to Iutycyr Tower with Rikku and Paine. That brief trip had seen her change from someone incredibly content with the quiet life of Besaid to someone again willing to travel across Spira in wild adventures involving who-knew-what. And Tidus often went with her, as he could find the life of Besaid a little dull at times.
He finally reached the top of the hill, well before the sun had risen above the horizon. It looked wonderful, and the distant waves gave the impression of vast lands beyond his field of view. He remembered Lulu telling him that Besaid had been a launch point for expeditions to find new lands given its location in the extreme south of Spira, and reports inspired by dawn illusions like this. He sat on a rock and watched the glowing fire of sunrise spread across the sea, just as it used to in Zanarkand. He then let off an involuntary yawn, reminding him that he was usually in bed well after sunrise.
“What a crazy nightmare.” he said to himself. “Don’t usually create fantasies like that. Like someone else was in my head. I know we had a bit of a party last night, but that wouldn’t cause it, would it? Maybe it was the cheese. Or the Bikanel curry Cid and Brother sent? I don’t know why he thought Vidina would want something that hot? She’s only four. Or maybe it was just that I stayed up too late. Nah! It was never too late in Zana..” he faltered as he remembered. “Oh, yeah. I never used to sleep, because I was what existed in sleep. And I never had true dreams either. Guess I’ll have to get used to it. I’ve got a whole lifetime ahead full of it.”
He returned his attention to the growing light on the horizon, and didn’t hear the footsteps behind him. It was the voice that caused him to start in surprise.
Tidus turned. Yuna had followed him up from the village. He got up as if guilty of something.
“Sorry if I woke you.”
“Yeah, but there’s nothing bad about that. We get to watch the sunrise together, and there’s no-one else around.”
Tidus nodded, his smile returning. He shifted a little, making room for Yuna on the rock, which was actually a collapsed standing stone from the island’s distant past. After a short while, Yuna spoke again.
“What woke you?”
Tidus shifted a little, embarrassed.
“No, I won’t. Come on. Tell.”
Tidus screwed up his face, then said lightly
“I had a nightmare.”
True to her word, Yuna didn’t laugh. Instead, she seemed concerned.
“A nightmare? Was it the cheese or the curry?”
“I don’t know.”
“Wanna tell me about it?”
“I’m not sure you’d like it.”
“If we can’t share that, what can we share?”
“You’re right. It’s only a dream. It started with you and me taking a trip to an island. I was this irritating punk and you were looking tired. I ended up dying on the island. Turned out the whole place was built by some unsent summoner during the Zanarkand-Bevelle wars. Anyway, you called me back like you did the last time. But I was all wrong. I became cold, distant, hurt as if I’d been injured. You’re sure you want me to carry on. You’re looking...”
Tidus faltered. Yuna was indeed looking unnerved by his words.
“Best hear it out.”
“Alright.” Tidus continued uneasily. “Well, after a while, you joined something called the Spiran Council and I went back to blitzball. Then Sin came back, we had a scrap because I had another girl, and you went to the stadium to defeat Sin. Then everything went black and some girl called Chuami was moaning and yelling at me about Yevon and Summoners and Auron and... She just wouldn’t stop.”
“Sounds like you.”
“You were more than a little irritating at times. I didn’t stop you, as it helped lighten the journey. But you were.”
The two of them fell silent, then burst into laughter. Not the hollow laughter they had practised together in Luca, but true laughter that rang in their mouths like joyous bells.
“Yeah, it’s just a stupid dream. There was even this guy called Kurgum who had a big crush on you.”
Yuna’s grin was disarmingly pretty. And perhaps a little out of place with her Gullwings outfit. Tidus smiled at the vision in front of him: Rikku and Paine may have said different, but Yuna had changed a great deal from the stay-at-home woman swayed entirely by her duty that Tidus had first met staggering down the steps from Valefor’s shrine. It was then that the sun broke above the water’s surface, and the two watched it in all its splendour as it lit up their faces. Yuna leaned her head against Tidus’ shoulder, smiling.
“What did you do after watching the sunrise?”
“Well... I went swimming. A blitzer’s life is not an easy one. Though the way some people talked about me, you wouldn’t think so.”
“So how about a swim?”
“At this time of day? Give it half an hour. It’ll be freezing.”
Yuna jumped up and looked at Tidus with the lightly chastising expression she had developed in the Gullwings.
“Star of the Zanarkand Abes, was it? Or was that all talk?”
Tidus also rose.
“Hey, that’s below the belt. And anyway, how do I know your stuff about practising for blitzball wasn’t all talk?”
“I’ve been practising holding my breathe, and I played blitzball in Luka once while I was travelling with Rikku and Paine.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“Maybe. A swim in the bay. First one to the outcrop has to go back and get breakfast.”
Tidus appeared to consider, then tapped her on the shoulder and started running down towards the beach.
“Race ya!” he called over his shoulder.
Yuna laughed and gave chase, following him down to the sea. As they ran, each had separate yet similar thoughts swirling through their heads. Yuna was blessing the day Tidus had come back and brought a sense of solidity into her life, which had flowed into one of being carefree. Tidus was willing that these glorious days with Yuna, going across Spira and returning to Besaid where their friends were, would go on for the rest of their lives. But despite this thoughts, one united feeling was going through each of them.
‘Please let Yuna win. Tidus is a terrible cook.’