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This is our world now

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It hurt. It hurt a lot.

And yet, even though each morning it felt like her heart was being wrenched out by Shiva’s icy, elegant hands only to be sewn back in place with Hell’s Fire, (oh, how it hurt!) she could still see some of the brighter things in life.

There was something about the way the sun shone off the temple minaret, sparkling, shining in the early Besaid sun... the way the sand glowed almost white, almost whiter than the snow at Gagazet beneath an azure sky... just lazing in the sun, watching the children playing in the water... everything was so beautiful...

In a way, nothing had changed; the temple still stood tall and proud in the centre of the village, people still greeted each other with the age old bow, and she would always be known as High Summoner Yuna, daughter of the great Lord Braska.

But things were definitely different. There was a new freedom now, a lack of dread and fear that each beautiful Besaid day would be their last. There was time that there wasn’t before, time to actually stop and smell the roses.

In short, there was peace.

Peace...

Peace...

Everlasting peace...

... Isn’t that what she had always wanted?

A little thatched hut by the lush rainforest, time to play with the children and to enjoy the company of their small, tight-knit community...

But it was missing something.

Because in the middle of all that, she wanted family.

The family she never had.

To be the mother that she knew for only a short while.

To love the husband and father disappeared she was seven, yet forever immortalised in stone and marble.

She wanted it, she needed it! Why shouldn’t she?

She thought maybe... just maybe... it was foolish, she knew now... but there was this tiny part of her (just a tiny, tiny part...) that hoped that she would be able to have that family... his assurances that he would save her, that they could go to Zanarkand and see the sunrise... it made her hope (in vain... all in vain...) that they would be able to go back to Besaid afterwards... together...

But fate had changed that. The Calm came (that blissful, wonderful Calm...) and he faded away in to nothingness. And while she was prepared then to give her life, she wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak and pain after. Was it worth it in the end? An eternal calm... that was definitely worth it... but wouldn’t it have been better for her to fall in the end, the one to make the final sacrifice? No, she shouldn’t think so pessimistically. It was worth it, it was! She could live now, live in peace and freedom. But she also knew that the pain would never completely heal, never completely ... no matter how many days she spent on the endless expanses of beach (endless... that’s what the pain was...) The loss of that family that she was so hopeful for... that would never fully fade, would it? Nothing could bring her real happiness except that family.

So when Rikku came along, words could not express the tiny drop of pure joy in her heart when she saw her. Because while Lulu and Wakka would always be so special to her, there was something to be said about blood relations, as much as one didn’t want to acknowledge it. Besides, Rikku always brought joy wherever she went; her constant smile always helped bring hope on an otherwise bleak journey. Though Rikku lacked the strength and wisdom of her older guardians, she was still an invaluable member of their party. Without her, she didn’t know if she would’ve been able to complete the pilgrimage.

Rikku’s visits brought a little bit of love, helped her sew up the scars in her heart, fill the void just a little. Yes, Rikku was definitely a bringer of joy and laughter. But on this visit to Besaid, she brought something else.

She brought that sphere (yes... that sphere...) and she was able to see him. Him!

Oh the excitement! Oh the joy! He was alive somewhere! It must have been him, it couldn’t possibly be anyone else!

But with the hope, there came also despair. That nagging feeling of doubt, saying it couldn’t possibly be him, the cynic inside of her saying ‘Remember last time? Don’t get your hopes up.’

But with gritted teeth, and with a determination almost as great as her first decision to become a summoner, she silenced the doubts, silenced the uncertainties. It didn’t take Rikku much to persuade her to go; it was obvious for both of them that the quiet life on Besaid wasn’t enough for her. She couldn’t just stay here, knowing what she did now.

It was time to move forward towards what she had so long wanted. She was beginning a new journey now. Leaving Besaid like she did once before, long ago...

But this was a different journey. This wasn’t the same as that as her forefathers, this wasn’t that of a summoner.

So as they set off, she discarded the staff, she threw back the white magic she had so long relied on. The long flowing skirt and sleeves so crucial to a sending ceremony disappeared. As much as she felt saddened at parting with them, it was a necessary step. She had to get rid of the old; it was too restricting, tying her to a past she wanted to forget, weighing her down with sad memories (the memories...), holding her to the old ways, the old ideals.

She was a new woman in a new age. Gone were the days of Yevon, of rules and taboo, gone were the days of fear and shame. Sin no longer owned the world, Yevon no longer controlled Spira. Because, as Rikku said with a smile as they took off;

‘This is our world now.”