Stepping off the boat, Yuna made her way to a nearby bench. She checked her supplies. "Definitely time for some shopping."
Luca was just as busy as ever. It was the perfect place to stock up, but the crowded streets also made it more likely for there to be trouble. Her eyes turned to the ocean. The trip over had been relaxing, the water perfectly clear and calm. She could seem him wanted to jump right in. Thoughts like that didn't hurt as much as they used to. The urge to call out towards the sea had long subsided.
Stretching, she yawned and looked around for a nearby shop. She'd gotten a tip about a sphere not far from here. Making sure she was prepared was a higher priority than making it there before anyone else.
A familiar name caught her eye. "Rin! He'll give me a discount!"
Her stomach grumbled. "Heh, but first, a little food."
She stopped by the nearest place to eat, and checked over the menu. Three teens approached her table. One, a girl, looked like she couldn't be much older than fifteen at most. The oldest appeared to be around how old Yuna had been when she'd first set out on her pilgrimage all those years ago. He appeared to be the leader of the group. The last of the group looked to be somewhere in the middle, and she was certain, was definitely Al Bhed. While things weren't perfect yet with how many on Spira thought of Al Bhed, it'd gotten so much better than how it used to be. Seeing the younger generations mingling more with each other always put a little smile on her face.
The oldest of the group stepped forward. "Are you...Miss Yuna?"
Her smile grew a little more. It was nice to not be addressed as "Lady" so much anymore. "Yes. Can I help you?"
The boy blushed a little. "You...You're..."
The girl stepped forward. "You're a big inspiration for us, Miss Yuna."
"Can we have your autograph?" The Al Bhed boy held up a piece of paper.
"My autograph?" She'd gotten used to that sort of request of the years, but it never failed to make her feel just a little awkward.
"If it weren't for you, we wouldn't have decided to go Sphere hunting!" The older boy blushed.
"Oh? You three hunt for Spheres together?"
"Yep." The girl nodded.
"Our parents weren't happy about it." The older boy mimicked, what Yuna assumed, was his mother. "You're too young for this. What would I do if anything happened to you?"
"Mom's such a worrier." The girl laughed.
"She only worries because she cares."
"Yeah, I know." The boy's face turned a deeper shade.
"So...you three wanted autographs?"
"Yes!" All three of them spoke in unison. The Al Bhed boy handed her a pen and three sheets of paper. He stayed mostly quiet.
Is he shy? Perhaps he hasn't gotten the language down yet. It'd taken Yuna a lot of practice with Rikku and Brother to learn the Al Bhed language. She didn't see them as much as she had in the past, but they still corresponded through letters. She and Brother particularly had worked hard on learning each other's languages, with each sending their letters in the other person's native tongue. Rikku had gotten more lazy as letters went on and often switched back and forth as she sometimes did when she and Yuna talked. She missed those talks, but as long as the letters came, she wasn't worried about her. The letters were usually filled with her and Paine's recent adventures, and little notes all over the pages were Paine had "corrected" the details to explain what really happened. Rikku sometimes had little drawings of things they encountered in the margins. Not well done, but that's what she loved most about them.
After signing, she handed the papers back. "Here you go."
"Thank you, Miss Yuna!" The girl took them up and split them amount the trio. "I wish I could get one from Miss Lulu. She's so amazing!"
"A fan of Lulu's?"
"Yeah. I heard she's one of the best black mages in all of Spira! I wish I could just get one day training with her!" Yuna noticed the girl kept a moogle with her in the pack she was carrying.
"That's what Vidina goes around saying, but I mean, of course he's going to say that!" The older boy didn't seem as impressed as his sister.
"You're just jealous because you suck at magic." She teased.
The Al Bhed boy snickered.
"Hey! That's not funny." He crossed his arms, putting on an act to hide his embarrassment. "Like you're any better."
A thought crossed Yuna's mind. "Oh! You know, I've known Lulu to teach some of the kids around Besaid some magic for protection. If you say I asked her to, she might give you a little lesson if you ever stop in Besaid."
"Really?!" The girl started towards the door. "Come on, boys! Let's hurry up and go to Besaid!"
"But we were heading towards Kilika!" Her brother protested. "What's the rush?"
"I am not wasting time in Kilika when I could be training with the great mage Lulu!" She was halfway out the door at this point. "Come on, or I'm leaving without you two!"
"But..." The boy sighed. "There's no reasoning with her when it comes ot learning magic."
The Al Bhed boy finally spoke up. "I...wouldn't mind taking a lesson from Miss Lulu too..."
"What? You two."
He looked down at the floor. "Well, I do need to improve my magic. It's almost as bad as yours."
"What? Oh, fine. We'll all go get magic lessons." He stormed out, following his sister.
The other boy lingered behind a little. He spoke to Yuna again, this time in Al Bhed. "Is it true that you're half?"
Yuna replied. "Yes."
He smiled and waved goodbye, running off to join his friends.
How many years had it been now since she'd been like that? Looking back, she had surrounded herself with so many people, kept them as close as possible. When she'd been a summoner, everything was for the good of all. She didn't ask for much, she tried to always help without a second thought. It might have been her own form of selfishness, or maybe her loneliness, but in that time, she always wanted to be surrounded with people she cared about constantly. Seeing them even a tiny bit happy around her, that made her happy. Still, it had always seemed fake, and she still felt immensely lonely. When everything was over with Sin and she'd gone back home, people started drifting away from her again--others, gone for good. She was happy that the suffering had ended, but...she missed that warmth she felt while traveling around.
Rikku and Paine...being with them had change her so much. Through them, she learned to be more relaxed about things, learn to ask for what she wanted and go for it like those kids. To be free.
Even though everyone had scattered across the world, she didn't feel lonely anymore. There was no reason to fear. She didn't need to keep everyone at her side always. The world was safe now. She'd ensured that.
And she'd learned, that all she needed to do now was to keep doing what her heart wanted. After all, that's what she had worked so hard for. So that everyone could be free, including herself.