It was the perfect summer day at the Luca fair—clear skies, a warm breeze, and the delectable scent of popcorn with a hint of cotton candy filled the air. The fairgrounds were packed with happy families enjoying midway games, carnival treats, and amusement rides courtesy of the Machine Faction.
A gentle breeze swept Yuna's mocha colored hair off her shoulders and ruffled the bottom of her pink sundress. She smiled, reveling in the delightful sensation, and the constant sound of children's laughter, that is, until she realized her own child was no longer by her side. Time seemed to stop while her pulse raced. "Valerie!?"
"Mommy—Mommy—can I keep it?!" giggled a five-year-old little girl, her blond ponytail bobbing around as she ran over to her mother with an unhappy looking moogle clutched tightly against the front of her blue jumpsuit.
Yuna gasped. "Oh my, goodness! Put Moganna down this instant!"
"A moogle is not a pet."
The moogle struggled in her daughter's grasp, trying to break free then sighed dejectedly when the five-year-old refused to release her grip. "Ku-po-po-po-po," it said, sadly.
"Valerie, listen to your mother!" Tidus demanded in this stern voice he'd been trying so hard to master since their daughter had begun to test her limits with them.
Valerie's smile faded as she reluctantly released the moogle.
"We're so sorry about this, Moganna," Yuna apologized.
"No worries, kupo!" The moogle hovered in front of her briefly—its gaze and pom-pom suspiciously directed at her tummy as if it knew what she had just discovered lately. It then twirled happily in the air and flew off into the crowd.
And then, came her daughter's signature pout, complete with a quivering bottom lip—the look her husband succumbed to every time.
As Yuna expected, Tidus caved and scooped up their daughter, swinging her up onto his shoulders to ride piggyback. "Hey—whaddaya say Daddy wins you that stuffed moogle over there?" he suggested, pointing over to the blitz stand.
Valerie's face brightened. "The one waaay bigger than me?!"
"Yup, that's the one! Betcha I can get it in one try. It's nothin' for a blitz ace, like your ol' man!"
Yuna rolled her eyes. Some things never change. For the most part, Tidus was still his charmingly cocky-self, fumbling every so often at parenthood like she had been for the past five years. In all honesty, she couldn't ask for a better father for her child. He'd do anything in his power to make their daughter happy. And Valerie…well, she had him wrapped around her little finger, which is why her husband had been struggling in the discipline department for some time now.
Of course, things at the blitz stand hadn't gone quite as planned. Yuna knew all-too-well those games had become nothing but a gil sink over the years, purposely being rigged by the vendors for profit. By the fifth try, Tidus had finally lost his composure.
"This is complete shoopuf sh—"
"Tidus! Our daughter, remember?"
"Sugar—I meant sugar."
The vendor twirled the end of his goatee wearing a smug grin, clearly amused at how agitated her husband had become. "Another go at it blitz ace?"
Tidus responded with a glower. "Just give me the damn ball."
After showboating to their daughter by spinning the ball on the tip of his finger, Tidus tossed it at the target with such force; it not only hit dead center, but plowed right through the wooden stand, and left a gaping hole.
"Yeah!" he cheered, pumping his fist into the air. "Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!"
Well that certainly wiped the smug look off the vendor's face. "Took you long enough star player."
This guy certainly was no fan of her husband. And his disdain for him was so obvious even their young daughter had picked up on it from how the cheerful expression on her freckled face twisted into a scowl. "You're just mad 'cause my daddy and the Aurochs always kick the Goers asses!"
"Valerie—language!" Yuna shot her a stern look, surprised at her daughter's choice of words. "Where'd you hear that from?"
Considering how Tidus winced and turned his head away, she was fairly certain her loving husband had been the source.
"One moogle for a very animated young lady." The vendor handed the over-sized stuffed moogle to their daughter and gave her half a smile, suggesting he was rather amused by the way she chose to defend her father.
The moment Valerie had the plush doll in her possession, Tidus lifted her into his arms, and put her back up onto his shoulders. By the looks of it, she was struggling to hold onto the over-sized doll and her father's neck with how she was wobbling from side to side.
"Want Mommy to hang onto that for you, until we get home?"
Her daughter nodded and handed her the stuffed moogle. Yuna smiled at the nostalgia the plush doll brought to mind. Six years ago, Tidus had won her a smaller version of a moogle like this. Unlike today, he'd been lucky and won it on the first try. That wasn't all he'd gotten lucky with—and that moogle hadn't been the only gift she'd received from him that night either. It was truly a magical evening—in more ways than she'd ever imagined.
Six years earlier…
"Hey—give it back!" Yuna cried, chasing after her boyfriend through the crowded fairgrounds. The sun had set and the twinkly lights from all the rides and vendors lit up central Luca.
Tidus came to a stop by the candy apple stand and waved the stuffed moogle in his hands, tauntingly. "If you want it back, you'll have to give me something first," he grinned.
Resting her hand on her hips, she gave him a playful glower. "No fair—that's supposed to be a gift!"
"And you've yet to thank me for it properly," he retorted with a playful glare of his own.
Yuna inched toward him, trying to keep a serious expression on her face. "Let me guess—you want a kiss?"
"That's not gonna be a problem, is it?"
Looping her arms around his neck, she drew her face close to his and nudged his nose with her own. His eyes were so dreamy, especially while half-lidded. And every time he kissed her, those lips of his were so moist and sweet. As much as she loved kissing him, she loved teasing him even more. The moment his arms slipped around her waist and his lips parted, she made her move—pulling back from his advances just in time, before snatching the plush moogle out of his hands.
Judging from Tidus' stunned expression, she had clearly bested him. And she couldn't be more proud of herself, giggling at how he stood frozen with his mouth slightly agape.
"Oh, you're gonna pay for that!"
"Gotta catch me first!" Yuna turned on her heels and raced toward the fair's exit.
In the midst of her daring escape, Yuna thought about how perfect the day had already been. The Aurochs had won the Crystal Cup, Tidus had been named MVP—even though he'd only been back a few weeks—and she not only had front row seats for the game, but had been the star performance at the half-time show. And now, they had spent the entire evening celebrating at the first annual Luca fair. Everything was just perfect.
Then suddenly, something solid collided against her body and dragged her to the ground.
Yuna landed safely against her boyfriend's chest, but the impact resulted in her lacy songstress skirt to ride up, and expose her silk panties to the onlookers passing by. A familiar flush warmed her cheeks when she heard shocked whispers and giggles come from behind.
Groaning from embarrassment, Yuna made a move to stand, but Tidus held her firmly in place. "Let me up—people are staring! My skirt…"
Thankfully, her boyfriend reacted rather quickly by scrambling to his feet and pulling her up alongside him. "Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away." Tidus' smile had faded and he looked almost ashamed by his actions from how he hung his head. "Are you hurt, at all?"
"No," she replied, smoothing her hands over the silky, blue and white material, "just a little embarrassed."
Tidus bent down to retrieve the stuffed moogle off the ground and handed it to her. "Here, don't forget this." Suddenly, his face brightened. "Oh, I almost forgot—I have a surprise for you, if you're interested in seeing it, tonight?"
This certainly piqued her curiosity. Tidus wasn't very good with surprises, so this must've been something special for him to keep it a secret all day. "Of course—what is it?"
"Well, it wouldn't be a surprise if I told you, now would it?"
Yuna squeezed the plush moogle in her arms and smiled. "I suppose not."
"C'mon, I wanna go somewhere first." With a protective arm around her waist, her boyfriend led her away from the fairgrounds and over to a very familiar spot located by the steps leading to the Mi'ihen Highroad—a spot she hadn't visited in a while.
"This place…sure brings back memories," Yuna murmured, leaning against the railing, overlooking the city.
"Yeah, like that awkward laughing episode of ours."
Yuna giggled. "That was pretty bad, wasn't it?"
"You started it!" he chuckled.
"Mmmm…you kinda took it a bit far though."
"Yeah…I guess I did." His arms encircled her waist from behind and his head rested against the side of hers. "I think I wanted to impress you in some weird way."
A chill passed through her body, making her shiver. This place; the way he was holding her; brought back memories of her pilgrimage—memories she wanted to forget; memories of him fading and leaving her empty inside.
"Hey—you okay? Are you cold?"
Shifting in his arms, she turned to face her boyfriend, and shook her head. "Can we leave?"
His face dropped as if her words had wounded him. "D-Did I do something wrong?"
Of course he hadn't. All he'd wanted to do was share a moment with her—and she knew that. It wasn't his fault she still hadn't come to terms with the past and her fears. "No, I'm sorry—it's just—I thought—"
"Ahh…I get it now." A sympathetic look crossed his face. "This brought back bad memories, huh?"
"I'm sorry," Yuna winced, "I know you didn't intend for this to happen. It really hasn't been that long since you came back, so…"
"C'mere," Tidus pulled her against his chest and wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace, "I'm not going anywhere, okay?"
If only she could take some comfort in those words, but they offered none. There were no guarantees he wouldn't fade again—Bahamut had never made such a promise. Her throat tightened with emotion. She could feel the moisture begin to pool in her eyes and drew in a quick breath, hoping to avoid the emotional release her body was threatening to unleash.
Unfortunately, her efforts had only alerted Tidus to her emotional state. "Aww, Yuna," he said, squeezing her tighter in his arms. "I can assure you—Valefor didn't go through all that trouble bringing us together just to have us ripped apart again."
"Bahamut," Yuna mumbled. "It was Bahamut, not Valefor."
The tears brimming in her eyes suddenly dried up. And the knot twisting in her gut had turned into a flutter. Did he know something she didn't? Easing out of his embrace, she tilted her head slightly to the side, and gazed into his eyes, trying to get a better read on him. "Have you been keeping something from me?"
His expression seemed rather taut with his lips pressed together tightly—it was the same look he'd given her after their meeting with Bahamut in Bevelle. "It's just that—well I—yeah—I wasn't sure how to approach this before. I figured if you didn't ask there's no reason to bring it up, y'know?"
Since Tidus was stumbling over his words more than normal, she began to fear the worst. Her heart sank. "What aren't you telling me?"
"When I faded from Spira…I didn't end up in the Farplane."
Yuna frowned. "But…I heard your whistle," she mumbled. "That doesn't make sense. Where were you, then?"
After nervously scratching the back of his head, Tidus gently took her by the hand, and led her over to the bench to sit. "A place called, Palamecia. My memories from there are a bit foggy, but some are clear as day. Valefor pretending to be you was one of those things that stuck with me."
Immediately her mind went into overdrive, trying to devise some tangible theory as to how his story could be possible. But most of all, how it could prove he was real. The excitement bubbling within her was almost impossible to contain. One of the reasons she'd avoided such a discussion was the fear of him having no memory after he faded—it would almost legitimize him being only a dream; one that ceased to exist. But now, this information changed everything. He had to be real.
His voice anchored her back to reality. As much as she wanted to believe in this theory, there were still many questions she needed answered. "Why would Valefor pretend to be me? And how could a fayth appear to you, if you weren't in Spira?"
"We figured there must've been some kind of tether connecting Spira to Palamecia."
"Oh—yeah, can't remember the names very well—some grumpy, warrior-guy and his really annoying echo-faerie-thing."
A strange world with faeries—Yuna didn't know what to think anymore. And it had to be obvious from how her boyfriend let out an exasperated sigh and slumped back against the bench.
"I know it sounds unbelievable. I wasn't too sure what to believe, myself, when I woke up there. I'd thought it was some version of the Farplane, or a type of hell. I'd accepted my fate. My story was over. I never expected to return. So, I set out to be a hero there, trying to forget my past."
Her stomach dropped. Suddenly this story didn't seem so lighthearted anymore. Judging from her boyfriend's sullen expression, she anticipated his account of things to take a darker turn.
"My resolve didn't waver until I saw you—or what I thought was you."
"Yeah…she was determined to give me hope. Up until then, I'd lost all hope of returning to Spira…and to you. And even then, I still didn't think I could go back. That hero thing didn't work out too well either. When we realized living in Palamecia would mean being branded heretics—I set out to find a way to send that Yuna home, thinking it was you."
"And did you…find a way?"
"…I'd lost hope again." Tidus leaned forward into a slouching position and combed a hand through his disheveled hair, clearly uneasy about where the conversation was headed. "When I discovered it was Valefor and not you—I was devastated. Watching you fade away like that…I know it wasn't the same, but I have some idea what you went through when I—" his voice cracked with emotion. "Well, it really sucked."
This was clearly difficult for her boyfriend to discuss. It made sense now why he hadn't been eager to have this conversation with her. Apparently, she wasn't the only one who had been wrestling with demons from the past. In an effort to console her man, she took his hand in hers, rested it on her knee, and encouraged him to continue with a nod. "Go on."
After letting out a long breath, he briefly shut his eyes, indicating he was struggling to control his emotions. "I assumed you were better off without me, until Valefor told me how wrong I was. I didn't know how much you'd thought of me…and how it kept you going. Valefor wanted to bring us together, again. She wanted to end our pain. In the end, I had to believe I could return to you. I had to find hope. And I did—in us and our love. It was enough to power a crystal that would portal me home…to you."
Yuna had no idea when the tears had escaped her eyes, but they were now flowing freely down her cheeks. This place Tidus had been to; this Palamecia, she wanted to believe it existed. A dream couldn't be a conscious being—it made no sense; it never really had in her opinion. The fayth were no longer dreaming. The temples were empty. Yet, here he was, alive and sitting next to her. Valefor appearing in this other realm—it wasn't possible, unless there were more to the fayth than what she and the rest of Spira were led to believe. No, she was convinced, Tidus was real now, or maybe he'd always had been.
"Yuna—I'm sorry, I know this is a lot to take in."
"No, I'm sorry," she sniffled, wiping the tears from her face. "I had no idea what you'd gone through. And I feel awful for not giving you the opportunity to tell me before today."
"It's fine. We need to allow ourselves to be happy. If this gives you the reassurance you need for that to happen, then it was worth it."
How could this man be any more perfect? The lengths he'd go to make her happy; to be with her—he was literally her dream come true. Captivated by the longing in his eyes, she leaned in and captured his lips in a tender kiss. There was truly nothing better than this. Those soft, moist lips caressed hers, slowly growing with intensity until his tongue traced the swollen flesh, begging for entrance. Gladly welcoming his gesture, she deepened the kiss, massaging her tongue against his—rough and gentle all at once.
Yuna hadn't been too keen on public displays of affection, especially with both of them being celebrities—that and she just really wasn't used to it yet. Somehow, it didn't bother her at this particular moment with how late it was, and them being in a secluded area in Luca. And Tidus…well his lips were working their magic. His hands, however, seemed to have a mind of their own—at least that was his excuse every so often— this time wandering up her thigh and under her skirt.
The tingling sensation of his fingers ghosting over her flesh, made her shiver and moan into his mouth. Her pulse quickened and her body heat elevated with every inch of his hand, until his fingers traveled even higher, hooking into the side of her panties. And then, her breath stalled.
Tidus may have returned to her several weeks ago, but living in Besaid under the scrutiny of the temple priests, village elders, and an overprotective Wakka and Lulu, she really hadn't felt comfortable advancing their relationship—much to Tidus' chagrin. And quite frankly, she really wanted that to change, but not in a public place.
Judging from how quickly Tidus abandoned his task and broke the kiss, he must've sensed her discomfort. "Sorry," he apologized, leaning back against the bench, breathless. "When we get into it like that—I find hard to control myself."
A warm sensation spread across her cheeks. She felt the same way, but had difficulty finding a way to express it through her shyness. Instead, she chose to change the subject. "Didn't you say something earlier about a surprise?"
"Oh—right!" Tidus leapt to his feet and offered Yuna his hand. "We should go now, before it gets too late.
With her hand in his, she stood, and quirked a brow. "Where are we going, again?"
"It's a surprise, remember?"
"Well, how are we supposed to get there if I—"
Before she could finish, Tidus scooped her up into his arms, bridal style, and grinned. "This'll work. Now, close your eyes—no peeking either."
"You can't be serious?" she groaned, looping her arms around his neck while holding onto the plush moogle.
"Oh, I'm serious. And we're not going anywhere until you do so."
"Okay, okay," she conceded, shutting her eyes, "but if you throw me into the water, I'll make you regret it."
That elicited a chuckle out of him. "Don't give me any ideas."
"Aww," he whined, "you're no fun."
Several minutes had passed since they'd left the junction of Luca and the Mi'ihan Highroad. By now, Yuna had grown antsy and began to squirm in his arms. "Are we almost there?"
"Whoa—easy now! Yeah, we're almost there. Try and stay still a little bit longer."
Groaning in annoyance, Yuna opened her left eye a crack, despite her boyfriend's warnings.
"Hey—I saw that! Close 'em—I said, no peeking!"
Yuna squeezed her eyes shut, startled by his sudden response. Normally, she was a patient person, but there was something about tonight that had her a bit on edge. And what was worse, she couldn't figure out what was making her feel this way.
"Okay, I'm putting you down, but keep your eyes closed, alright?"
Finally! She was beginning to cramp up in that position. How Tidus had been able to carry her without even the slightest change in his breathing made him truly an enigma.
When her feet hit solid ground, she stumbled back a bit, but Tidus held onto her firmly until she regained her balance.
The sound of keys jingling caught her ear, followed by the distinct click of a lock unlatching, and the creak of a door. Tidus' hand rested at the small of her back and guided her forward. "Just a little further," he instructed, gently tugging her to the left then coming to a halt. "Okay, now you can open them."
When she opened her eyes, she found herself standing in front of a rather large bay window, overlooking the moonlit sea. The view was breathtaking—not only that, but the unfurnished room was quite impressive as well; spacious with hardwood floors, modern blue-grey painted walls, and a rich wooden ceiling fan with what looked like brass tips. It looked suspiciously like one of the new townhomes she'd seen advertised in Luca Living magazine—except for the strange pile of pillows and sheets discarded on the floor near the wall.
"Well…whaddaya think? Wait—don't answer that! Let me show you the rest of the place, first!" Tidus eagerly grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her into every single room on both levels, before leading her back down the staircase into what she suspected had been the living room they'd started out in.
Everything had happened so fast, she wasn't sure what to think—it was all so surreal. One thing was certain, though—Tidus had purchased this house. And she suspected he'd done so with her in mind.
"I know it's empty right now, but the furniture will arrive sometime tomorrow."
Surprised, Yuna's eyes slightly widened. "You bought furniture, already?"
"Yeah—well Paine and Rikku helped me out with that—decoratively anyway."
"When did you—how did you get the gil for all this?"
Oh no, there it was—the coeurl that ate the chocobo look, he had a bit of a smirk on his face while furrowing his brow. Whatever he'd done, he knew she wasn't going to approve.
"Promise you won't get mad. I swear, I only did this once and I won't make a habit of it."
"What did you do, Tidus?"
"It's not that bad, really. I kinda took my share of the earnings from that sphere hunt we did a couple weeks ago, and quadrupled it...in the Calm Lands…at the poker table."
Yuna's eyes slipped shut as she let out a dejected sigh. "You gambled with all your earnings?!"
"And it paid off!"
"That still wouldn't have been enough for this place and all the furnishings."
"I put the furniture on layaway. Part of the tournament earnings will cover the cost. If we didn't win tonight…then I wouldn't have been able to get the furniture for a while."
"I suppose that explains why you were pushing yourself so hard at practice, lately."
His face fell and his shoulders slumped, signifying he was disappointed with her reaction. "I know I took some huge gambles with getting this place, but…" he paused, pulling a spare key out of his pocket, and then looked at it longingly before his eyes locked with hers. "The biggest gamble of all was assuming you'd wanna move in with me."
It felt like all the oxygen in the room had depleted, leaving her breathless. She knew he'd done this for them. Hearing him say it, though, was different for some reason. It felt more real and less like a dream. Besaid had been her home ever since she was seven. Moving away from there to Luca had never really crossed her mind. Of course that wasn't the real issue. Something else was ailing her about this; something she didn't want to admit.
"Say something, Yuna…please."
"People are gonna talk, y'know?"
Tidus frowned. "So, let them. Who cares? They don't have to live your life—you do. What do you want?"
"It's not that simple."
"Yeah, it is."
"I was a summoner. The people of Spira expect—"
"For you to be this virtuous, picture of perfection?!" he snapped, shoving the key back into his pocket. "You were a summoner! You're not anymore!"
Were they fighting? This wasn't how the night was supposed to enfold. Her gut twisted with dread. Sometimes, she wished he'd taken the time to understand Spira's traditions then maybe he'd understand her trepidation in regards to this. "Not many people live in sin here, Tidus."
"Don't we technically have to commit a sin in order to be living in sin?"
His words stung and left a vile taste in her mouth. Never had she thought he'd use that against her. Balling her hands into fists, she turned to look out the window at the full moon and fought back tears.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Yuna, I—" Tidus paused and exhaled heavily, indicating he was either frustrated with himself, the situation, or quite possibly both. "Look, I wanna start a life with you. We're never gonna be able to do that if we stay in Besaid. Everyone there is in everyone else's business and they're all-too-happy to tell you how to live your life."
"You're right." The words had seeped out from between her lips with far more ease than she'd thought possible.
Yuna let out a breath of a laugh at how stunned he sounded. No matter how angry, or hurt she'd been from his words, she could no longer deny the truth. This wasn't so much about Spira's traditions, but more about what some of the traditions meant to her. Old traditions were sometimes hard to completely abandon.
"I want—" she paused and turned to face him, clutching the stuffed moogle tightly against her chest as if it would somehow give her courage. "I want to move in with you, but…that's not all I want."
A relieved smile etched across his face. He made his way over and tilted her chin up to look him in the eye. There were only a couple of times where she'd seen him with such a serious expression. And honestly, it made her a little uneasy.
"I know what you want. Believe me—I want it too. Had I known that was more important to you, I'd have held off on this. We don't really have enough for a big wedding, right now, but if you want—we can always ask Baralai to marry us here in our home."
Leave it to Tidus to find a backhanded way of proposing. In all honesty, she really hadn't given him much of a choice in that regard. A small ceremony in their house with a few family and friends would more than suffice. Rikku, however, would probably advocate for a huge wedding later on, to which Yuna wasn't opposed to either.
Her lips curved into a smile, pleased with his suggestion. "I'd like that. And, it's better this way…having the house first," she admitted, tilting her head to the side. "Where would we have lived, otherwise?"
There was that famous grin of his. "Gee, I dunno," he shrugged. "Your room at the temple, I guess. Those priests would've had to invest in some ear plugs though."
"Tidus!" she cried, playfully whacking him in the shoulder with toy moogle. "You're horrible!"
"Or we could've always told them, we're praying really loud," he chuckled.
Now that made her cheeks flush.
"Did I ever tell you how cute you look when you're embarrassed?"
That had done it, she buried her face into the moogle in hopes she'd disappear.
Tidus laughed then lovingly threaded his fingers through her hair. "I love you. I know we've never done things in the traditional order, but I intend to make you happy and give you the life you deserve."
Peeking up from the moogle, she smiled at him warmly. There was no doubt in her mind he would follow through on his promise. Yuna, however, was finally ready to be free of one old tradition. "Tidus…what are those for?" she asked, gesturing to the pile of sheets and pillows on the floor.
"I dunno," he frowned. "There were some odds and ends in here when Rin showed it to me. I assumed it was just stuff the contractors forgot when they finished the place."
"Rin owns the building company?"
"Yeah—he seems to own almost everything in Spira, doesn't he?"
"Why so interested in these?" he inquired, crouching beside the pile to inspect the material. "They look pretty clean, I guess. You tired—thinking of spending the night?"
"Something like that."
Tidus stood and cocked a brow. "Y'know, Rikku is expecting us at the docks within the hour. We have things in Besaid we need to pack."
"Didn't you say something earlier about learning to live for myself and not others?"
"And she knows you're showing me this, tonight?"
"Yeah," he nodded.
Yuna shrugged. "She'll figure it out."
"Figure what out?" Tidus asked, inching toward her with a playful smile. "What is it that you wanna do?"
Her pulse quickened. This was so out of her comfort zone. She wasn't sure what to say, or how to act. All she knew was the desire reflecting in his blue eyes had her entranced.
"Yuna…" His hands were now on her waist and his thumbs were drawing little circles on the skin exposed by her navel. "Tell me what you want."
This was almost torture. No doubt he wanted her to say it. And if she didn't, she was certain he would continue to tease her until she complied. Obviously he was trying to coax her out of her shell, something she'd been working on for the past two years, but not in this aspect.
With an amused smile, he brought his lips to her ear, and whispered in a husky voice, "Tell me, Yuna. There's no one here but us."
The sensation of his breath on her ear sent a pleasurable shiver down her spine, making her drop the moogle onto the floor. They'd never discussed it, but she suspected, unlike her, Tidus had experience with physical intimacy in his other life. And the only experience she had were stories from Rikku and Paine, along with a very explicit sphere recording she'd found in the Bevelle underground.
Continuing with his seductive torture, Tidus' lips brushed against hers and lingered there, gently grazing the plump flesh. Through half-lidded eyes, he pulled her close and slid his hand down her back, traveling lower, and lower, until she felt it glide over her rear, and give it a firm squeeze.
His touch set her ablaze, prompting her to abandon any reservations, and moan, "Make love to me!"
A seductive chuckle left his lips, obviously pleased by her response.
This man had stolen her heart three years ago, and now, he'd stolen her breath with a fierce kiss—one filled with many layers of emotions. It was in that kiss, she felt his pain of being separated from her, the fear of it happening again, years of pent up lust and desire, but most of all, his overwhelming love for her.
He broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers, breathing heavily. "Do you have any idea how much I love you?"
Yuna smiled. "Some…but I think you're gonna show me."
"Uh-huh," he grinned, hoisting her up onto his waist, and carrying her over to the wall by the trove of pillows and sheets.
When he set her down, he swiftly removed his glove, necklace, and armguard then kicked off his shoes. This was really happening. After two years of searching and several weeks of teasing, she'd finally be able to give herself to the man she loved.
Before she knew it, she was back in his arms. This time, his kisses were slow and sensual in contrast to her frantic attempts at unfastening his blitz uniform. Those sinful lips suddenly broke away, leaving her yearning for their moist warmth, once again.
His hands gently covered her trembling fingers and guided them up to his mouth, holding them captive with a kiss. "Slow down," he mumbled. "We've waited too long to rush this."
With a nod, she eased the pace of her motions, carefully unfastening his buckles, and trembling slightly when pulling down the zipper of his blitz gear. The loving look in his eyes calmed her nerves and strengthened her resolve. She slid her hands over his toned chest and under his yellow hoodie, savoring the warmth of his skin as she eased the material off his shoulders and down his arms. The moonlight shining in through the window highlighted every muscle on his tanned skin, making it almost impossible for her to tear her eyes away.
Before she could form a coherent thought, Tidus had her pinned against the wall with his lips busy trailing seductive kisses down her neck. Those fiery lips were relentless, traveling up to the sensitive flesh by her ear, and then suddenly, they stopped. What came next made her knees buckle. The erotic caress of him gently blowing into her ear sent an intense spark of pleasure throughout her entire body. She gasped and gripped his shoulders to avoid falling, then breathed a quivering sigh.
"You like that, huh?" he chuckled, seductively.
"Y-You're teasing me."
"Mmmhmm," he hummed against her neck.
Those wandering hands of his had already untied her frilly, blue sleeves and were working them down her arms. Releasing her grip on his shoulders, she allowed him to finish his task, and free her from the silky material. His lust-filled eyes locked with hers before he smothered her lips with another heated kiss.
There was nothing quite like this man's touch. Of course, she had no one else to compare to, but she wouldn't want it any other way. He was the only man for her. The love she felt for him was so intense, she swore she'd burst from it all.
His lips had left hers and were now traversing over her jawline and down to the tender flesh below her ear. Delighted by her man's efforts, she buried a hand into his unruly blond hair, urging him on. At this point, her lover's hands had traveled over her shoulders, and were now dragging over her breasts. Yuna mewled, feeling her nipples swell at his touch.
The erotic sound seemed to encourage him to become more daring, his hands sliding back up to knead her breasts, while his fingers gently pinched the raised peaks on every rotation. Yuna threw her head back against the wall and let out a throaty groan. Never had anything ever felt so good.
He responded to her rapture by carefully lifting the ruffled garment up and over her head, leaving her exposed to him for the first time. The hungry look in his eyes as he gazed upon her body, made her slick between her thighs. It actually surprised her a little, not just how comfortable she was in this situation, but how turned on she was from his stare.
From the way his body was pressed against hers, Yuna could feel his excitement poking at her pelvis through his shorts. His lustful expression seemed to guide her hand down to the bulge in question and encouraged her to give it a firm squeeze. Her gesture earned her a low groan and a nip at her neck.
Before she could undo the clasp holding his arousal captive, Tidus guided her hand away from its task, and sank to his knees to remove her boots. But he hadn't stopped there, his palms glided up her legs, to her thighs, and under her lacy skirt until they reached their destination at the waistband of her panties. Blue eyes laden with desire, bore into hers as he hooked his fingers into the sides, and gingerly slid the silky material down her hips.
The gentle caress of his fingers grazing the flesh at her thighs made her quiver. She didn't think she could handle much more of his teasing. It was beginning to drive her mad. "Tidus…"
Slowly, he rose to his feet and pressed his lips to hers for a tender kiss. His talented hands brushed against her tummy then dipped lower to unfasten the belt on her skirt. It was at that moment she took the opportunity to pop open the button on his shorts and gave them, along with his boxers, a sturdy tug. The leather material fell to the floor at almost the same time as her lace skirt, leaving them completely exposed to one another.
"You're sure about this?" he whispered, gazing into her eyes.
There was nothing she was more certain of in her life. She'd found it odd, though, he was asking now, considering their compromising position. Then again, this was Tidus, and his timing hadn't always been the greatest. "Yes, I want this—very much so."
And that was all the affirmation he needed. With a loopy grin, her lover gently gripped her hips, and guided her over to what would be their make-shift bed for the night, where they sank into a nest of soft pillows and sheets.
Never in her wildest dreams had she thought the day would end like this. It was hard enough to wrap her head around Tidus purchasing this house for them, but now, they'd made plans to marry, and were about to make love. All of her deepest desires were coming true in one night. Quite honestly, she wasn't sure if she was dreaming, or not. Tidus, thankfully, had found a way to assure her this was all real.
Soft lips, hungrily feasted on her breasts, lavishing each erect peak with equal amounts of attention, and eliciting an erotic mewl from her lips. Tidus had always been a multitasker, so she shouldn't have been surprised when one of his hands slid down between her thighs. A gasp escaped her lips followed by a long moan. The titillating sensation of her lover's mouth on her breasts and his fingers massaging the nerves at her core had her squirming, and murmuring his name.
A joyful chuckle bubbled out of her lover, signifying he was quite pleased by her delightful response. While the heat rose in her body, his mouth dipped lower, abandoning the peaks of her breasts to travel past her navel to its destination at her moist core.
The idea of such an act had always seemed rather vile to her, that is, until now. Her lover's lips and tongue glided over her nerve endings in such a way—it felt like he was leaving a multitude of erotic kisses at her center. And the smooching sounds he was making while engaged in his task, aroused her even more. Suddenly, it felt like the room was on fire. Her pulse quickened and her breaths grew labored. Just when she thought he couldn't possibly do anything more pleasurable, he entered her with two fingers, and began to flick his tongue.
Sometime between Tidus' fingers pumping inside her heat and his lips gently sucking on the swollen nerves at her center, a burst of pleasure erupted from her core, and sent tingling shock waves throughout her body. It was like nothing she'd ever felt before. The intensity of her release had her clawing at the pillows, gushing on the sheets, and screaming his name in ecstasy.
Quivering and panting from the intense pleasure, she glanced over at her lover, who'd resurfaced with a triumphant grin on his lips. After wiping the glistening liquid off his chin, he settled beside her, and traced a finger across her jawline. "You're amazing," he whispered.
"You…that was...oh, wow," she replied between heavy breaths.
From the goofy look on his face, her inability to string together a coherent sentence seemed to be all the praise he needed.
"I kinda can't believe this is actually happening," he said, running his thumb over her lips.
Neither could she. It was right, though—the timing and the place. This was their home, now. Her life with Tidus would begin tonight—it already had. And it was her decision—to hell with what the rest of Spira thought. The summoner would have her guardian. And right now, she intended to worship his body as he'd done so marvelously to hers moments ago.
Shifting under him slightly, she gently pushed a hand against his chest, and guided him onto his back. Up until tonight, the only time she'd seen the male anatomy in an aroused state was in that explicit sphere recording. And diagrams in books hadn't really done it justice. One thing was certain; Tidus was definitely well endowed, which made her a little nervous for later.
"Hey," he said, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, "you don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with."
Her lover must've read too much into her gawking. She hadn't really been having second thoughts, but now, Tidus' caring nature only strengthened her resolve, and made her eager to please him. "Mmmm," she nodded, dragging a finger down his chest, "I wanna show you how much I love you."
The way he was worrying his bottom lip at her touch, suggested he wasn't about to protest. Lips replaced her fingers on his skin and moved over his tanned flesh in a slow, seductive manner. His breathing had changed into a more uneven and ragged pattern—much to her delight. Oddly enough, this felt very liberating. For Yuna, she wasn't just abandoning old traditions, but embracing a new side to herself—a sensual one, she rather liked.
Considering the loud groan her lover unleashed when she gripped his arousal, he too, seemed to be smitten with her new level of confidence. Of course, Yuna had no experience with this sort of act, but she wasn't completely naïve either. The tighter she squeezed while pumping her hand, extracted more pleasurable groans—simple enough. However, at this point, it wasn't enough for her—she wanted to taste him.
Having a mouthful of Tidus, though, was quite different from what she'd practiced on. And yes, she had tried to prepare for this moment with him—although the popsicles had never been quite so big. His sexy grunts and groans, boosted her confidence, and urged her to grow a bit more aggressive in her technique, sucking him harder.
"Ahh...Yuna," he hissed, his right hand finding a home in her now disheveled hair.
The sexy sound of his voice made her stomach flutter, but his blissful expression with his eyes half-lidded made her pulse race. It was the ultimate adrenaline rush. And she wasn't going to be satisfied until he reached his pinnacle.
His breaths quickly turned into pants. The grip on her hair grew tighter. And then came a gasp. "Yuna…I…too good," he groaned through heavy pants.
Unrelenting in her task, she continued her erotic torture, until she felt him twitch and expand. The unruly groan of his release had briefly distracted her from the warm liquid hitting the back of her throat. After instinctively gulping it down, she settled beside her sweaty, mess of a man, and beamed while he recovered.
"You sure…you never did that before?" he asked, breathing heavily.
Yuna bit her bottom lip, feeling her cheeks flush. "You know I've never been with anyone else.
"I know," he grinned. "Plenty of girls in Zanarkand practiced on stuff like popsicles too."
Mortified, she buried her face into her hands and groaned. "Oh, how'd you know!? Did Rikku tell you?"
Tidus chuckled. "No, I figured you had some practice, since you didn't graze your teeth on me much."
Seems like her assumptions were true—Tidus must've had quite a few sexual encounters in Zanarkand. The thought of him being with other girls made her stomach drop.
There was no reason for her to feel jealous—it was literally, another lifetime ago. She was being silly. He loved her. And she knew their love was unmatched. "I'm fine," she smiled, warmly.
"Good," he whispered rather seductively, draping an arm over her waist, "'cause now, I wanna make you mine."
Something about his words only heightened her arousal. They seemed very aggressive and primal, which she found incredibly alluring. She wanted to claim him just as much, if not more, than what he'd expressed.
Gripping his shoulders, she latched onto his neck with her lips, sucking gently at first, before growing more aggressive and biting down.
Tidus gasped then chuckled, incredulously. "You know that's gonna leave a mark, right?"
Oh, she knew alright—that was the whole point. Satisfied she'd achieved the desired result, she withdrew from her task, and admired the purple splotch on his skin.
"You meant to do that, didn't you?" he asked, playfully raising a brow.
She hummed seductively in reply.
"I'll have to repay the favor…on the eve of your next concert."
Yuna's eyes grew wide. "You wouldn't dare!"
And she knew that would be one she'd lose. Tidus was probably the most stubborn person she knew. Once he made up his mind—good luck changing it. Unsure how to respond, she let out a grunt of discontent.
"You're too cute, you know that?" His lips brushed against hers, ever so gently, before he added in a whisper, "…and sexy. I love you."
Yuna felt the blush burning her cheeks. Before she could react, his lips melted onto hers for a passionate kiss. The sensation of his hands guiding apart her thighs while he positioned himself made her tremble with anticipation. For Yuna, their joining was sort of like the beginning of their romance; awkward, fulfilling, but unavoidably painful.
The blissful expression on her lover's face was quickly replaced with one of concern and what looked like a bit of regret. "I know…I'm sorry," he whispered, giving her a chaste kiss on the lips. "It gets better—I promise."
Of course, Yuna wasn't naïve, she'd expected this. No matter how painful it was, a part of her finally felt whole. She was connected, literally, to the man she loved. And there was no one in Spira—nor would there ever be—anyone she'd want to be with more than Tidus. Gripping his shoulders tightly, she gave him a nod to proceed. "Go slow."
As instructed, her lover slowly rocked his hips against hers, while leaving feathery kisses upon her face. She could feel every ribbed inch of him graze her walls with every careful thrust. And while the pain hadn't eased much, the loving look in Tidus' eyes was all the comfort she needed.
It took a while, but she'd finally become acclimated to her lover. The pain had subsided and gave way to a pleasurable sensation. Tidus must've suspected as much, since a grin had replaced the grimace on her face.
"Mmm…feels good now."
A small smile inched across his lips. "Good."
Those strong hands of his guided her legs up around his waist. And then, his thrusts gradually increased with intensity. Thankfully, her lover had incredible stamina. Knowing Tidus, he was probably determined to bring her to release this way. Even she knew the odds of that happening the first time were not very good. Then again, defying the odds had seemed to be Tidus' forte. Which was fine by her, she really wanted him to succeed in his task.
The sound of their slick bodies slapping together, along with his sexy grunts and husky groans, had her teetering on the edge. Her breaths grew heavy and her pulse pounded fiercely. Deep inside, the tingling feeling returned, and began to build.
"Yuna…you feel sooo good," he groaned.
Hearing her name leave Tidus' lips in such an erotic fashion, coupled with the blissful look on his face, had her completely undone. Intense pleasure pulsed throughout her body, leaving her quaking in her lover's arms, after unleashing a long, erotic cry.
Her release must've spurred about her lover's, from how his sexy grunts turned into desperate gasps. The grip on her body tightened. His hips slammed into hers. And then, a savage groan spilled from his lips.
With the final thrusts from his hips, he collapsed onto the sheets beside her, gasping for air. "You…wow…mmmm."
"I love you, too," she giggled, snuggling against his shoulder while his arm curled protectively around her. This was pure bliss. Making love to Tidus had been the most exhilarating feeling she'd ever experienced—it was everything she'd hoped for. He was perfect.
"Y'know…I think Valefor had a thing for me, or something."
Well, maybe not so perfect, after all. Yuna frowned. "Are you trying to make me jealous?"
"Is it working?"
The playful tone in his voice brought a small smile to her lips. He really loved teasing her, didn't he? "Tidus…" she groaned.
He responded with a chuckle and a kiss on her forehead. "You have nothing to worry about. My heart belongs to you—always has and always will."
Still, there was something about Tidus' story from earlier, which had left her a bit unsettled. It seemed like Valefor had planned to live with him in Palamecia under the guise of being her. How could a fayth be so misguided and selfish—and then claim desire to end their pain? Her stomach churned. Maybe the fayth weren't at all what they'd appeared to be.
"You got really quiet—are you alright?"
"Hmm…? Sorry, I was just thinking about what you'd said earlier about Valefor."
"I guess it's kinda disturbing, huh?"
"I'm still grateful to her, though. Let's face it, Yuna, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here right now."
"I suppose you're right."
Tidus lolled his head to the side, reached out to grab the stuffed moogle lying on the floor, and brought it up to his ear as though it were capable of telling him a secret. "Really—are you sure?" His eyes lit up. "Yeah—I'll tell her!"
"What are you doing?" she giggled.
"Hey—this is serious," he insisted, clearly struggling to keep a straight face from the way the corners of his mouth were twitching upward. "The moogle told me we're gonna have a wonderful life together."
Humoring her lover, she decided to play along. "Oh, really?"
"Yup! We're gonna get married, have two children—one boy and one girl—and live here till we're old."
Her heart fluttered, surprised at how forward her lover had been with his desires. "You want children?"
A smile tugged on her lips, thinking of what a child of theirs would look like. "Mmm," she replied with a nod.
"Good," he grinned, "'cause according to her," he wiggled the moogle in his hand, "we're gonna have two."
"How do you know it's a her?"
"Because Moganna is a magical moogle who knows all."
Yuna nodded her head slowly and fought back a laugh. "You named the moogle?"
"Yuna!" he cried in mock surprise. "I could never do such a thing. She told me her name."
Alright, she'd had enough with this game. "Give me that!" Yuna snatched the moogle out of his hands, tossed it across the room, and then captured his lips in a tender kiss.
Sometime during the fervid massaging of their lips, a very faint, child-like voice emanated from the other side of the room. "Kuuupooo."
Yuna froze and searched her lover's eyes for any indication that he'd somehow been behind the source of the sound. Considering the startled look on his face, he too, had heard it.
Slowly, she turned her head to look over at where the stuffed moogle lay face down on the hardwood floor, and stared at the toy. "Did that thing just…" she looked back at her lover's stunned expression before they both screwed up their faces and simultaneously cried, "Nah!"