Yuna spun once, twice, and then three times. The dress she was wearing was something to behold. It was Sky blue save the colored beads on the bottom. It made her feel like a high maiden and not the High Master Summoner she was. She hated the title and the job, but in the end what she was doing was bringing so such immense joy to everyone - even she couldn't deny that. And because of that that, she felt she could not stop. The clothes she was happy to remember, were not the robes that Baralai had suggested she wear for this happy day. He has suggested that she wear ceremonial robes, which were pure white with the symbol of the temple embroidered all over them. She wasn't his to control, although she didn't like to think that he thought of her like that. They had remained friends after the battle and despite the differences that they had when it came to Spira's future she had tried to make sure that their friendship would continue.
She sighed, although she hadn't actually asked all the leaders from all the various temples in Spira had come. In fact she had tried to discourage them from coming. She heaved another sigh you couldn't stop people from doing what they wanted to do, something she knew from only leader that was missing was the Guado leader from the temple in Macalinia and she didn't blame him. Shaking her head of all the unpleasant thoughts that politics brought about she glanced in the mirror and spun once more.
Looking down at the headgear she had been requested to wear she pulled it delicately out of the box it rested in and donned the silver circlet. It had the symbol of all the temples carved into it in their respective colors. She placed it on her head. There, now she really was a high maiden, crown and all. She laughed at her joke and looked down again at the book in front of her, and started rereading what was on it. Love, joy, friendship… so forth and so on. She had read through it so many times it made her head spin.
Make-up was last and the easiest. She had never been found of wearing much so just a little here and a little there and she was done. One final look in the mirror had her smiling. Behind her she heard the door open and Tidus entered, donning the gear that he had worn the very day she had met him, and the very day he had been reborn. She laughed at that. Tidus had been reborn so many times she didn't know which one was the symbol of his true rebirth. "You look lovely." he said.
She smiled, "You don't looks so bad yourself."
He looked down as if to check himself out and then his eyes met hers and she giggled, "Yeah, I guess I do look nice don't I?"
Suddenly Yuna sobered as if remembering something, "That's not the point. You know you're not supposed to see the bride before the wedding!"
Tidus laughed and Yuna was reminded how good it felt to hear that sound. He looked at her again, "No, I guess not. But then again, this isn't your wedding."
Putting her hands on her hips Yuna gave him a scolding glare that would send even some of the bravest men running for the hills. It was one that Lulu had taught her on many occasion of having it directed at her, and that she now used often. It seemed to work and Tidus himself sobered at it. It was only when he looked his most frightened that Yuna smiled at him, "It's okay. Just get out of here. Aren't you the best man or something?"
He turned the doorknob and looked at her as he did it, "I might be."
The door closed behind him and Yuna turned back to the book and flipped it closed making sure that the page she was using was marked with a white ribbon. Standing up she went to move outside. What greeted her was the longest hall in the temple at Besaid. From one of the rooms loud yet highly melodic music played and she poked her head inside the room. Inside, the bride sat putting the finishing touches on herself. She looked radiant, Yuna smiled, "You ready?"
The bride turned and grinned widely, "Yes. I'm ready."
Yuna smiled and closed the door and walked two doors down. Inside that room the groom sat - he looked nervous but ready as well. Yuna smiled, "It's time."
He stood up and followed her outside matching her steps, making sure to stay right behind her. They walked up to the altar and Yuna stood fidgeting in her robe, "Are you worried?" It was Tidus who now stood a few feet away.
"I've never done this before, I'm just nervous."
"You think you're nervous, you should see the bride."
"You talked to her?"
Tidus stifled a laugh at what Yuna was saying, due to all the people around them, "She's a little worried, but she'll be fine"
She would have said more but her voice was silenced by the woman she saw at the end of the aisle. And everything fell away; the dress that the bride was wearing was gorgeous. It was pure white; the top was a simple halter strap. Instead of a long skirt it was a short tea length, perfect for the warmer weather. The fabric was silk and flowed with each step that she took. On top of her head was a small circlet much like Yuna's that had a red stone hanging from the center on a small sliver chain. Her hair was done up in a bun tendrils of it spilling down under the circlet her green eyes shining with life. And around her neck was a necklace that had a rainbow stone in the center that changed colors like the pyreflies in the Farplane. And finally on her finger a ring given in secret with a promise of love and loyalty.
There was silence in the room as Rikku walked into the room, one foot in front of the other. In front of them, Auron who had chosen to wear his traditional monk garb - tried to loosen his collar, "Hey, you'll be alright. You're getting married." Tidus said.
Auron stared daggers at Tidus, "Easy for you to say, you're just the spectator."
"Yes, but I had to be with Yuna who was just as frantic as your blushing bride."
Rikku reached the altar and turned. Yuna nodded and then opened the book in front of her. Looking down she couldn't help smiling, the book had been rewritten after the war. It had talked about Yevon, and it talked of the first war, but then there were also things inside it about the Al Bhed that had been added and it was from one of these passages that Yuna was to read, "Before the great war, before times of prejudice and anger, there was the time of peace. In this time all races lived in harmony. None was seen as an aggressor, none the wronged. In this time it didn't matter what you were, one just existed. It was in this time that Avick met Calistia. They married and had many children." At this Yuna closed the book and begun her own deviation, "This was considered the last Al Bhed human marriage before the war. In many ways it was. But when the war broke out, and up till now there have been many marriages in secret. This is the first one, not hidden, not kept a secret and it is my hope, that there can be many more."
Yuna pulled from the sleeve of her robe a long match and then lit it. With a solemn face she turned to two candles, both blue and lit them as she talked, "I light these blue candles to give you peace and tranquility on your journey." Then she pulled out two red flowers and placed on in Rikku's hair while the other she placed on Auron's jacket, "I also give you the red flowers of Amaranth, to pray for the immortality of your love."
Her lips quirked up at this, for no one knew how true it really was. Auron's immortality both a curse and a gift - he would most likely fade when his wife passed but that would not be for some time, if Yuna had her say. She looked at the two of them, Auron and Rikku, and spoke "May those who are to be blessed present their ribbons."
Rikku pulled out two ribbons, one silver and one purple. Auron followed by pulling out two ribbons as well, one gold and one black. Yuna took both of them and wound the silver and gold ribbons together, and then used the ribbons to tie Auron and Rikku's hands together, "With these ribbons I bond both male and female together." Then she did the same with the black and purple ribbons, "These knots symbolize your pure love and your strength."
She tied both woven strands together, "With the combining of these strands you are blessed in marriage, may you be bound together forever."
The crowd started clapping and everyone grinned, and then both Rikku and Auron walked down the isle hands still tied together - ribbons proudly facing front. Tidus followed them and then so did Yuna - book clasped firmly under her arms. As the crowd got up Lulu and Nooj both stood up and walked over where Yuna now was, at the isles end to receive congratulations, "It was a beautiful ceremony Yuna."
"Thank you. I was fortunate to be asked to do it." she told them.
They all knew that this was a lie. The second that Yuna had announced her position was the second that Rikku and Auron had announced their engagement. Yuna knew that she was one of the reasons they hadn't waited. They had wanted to be sure that their wedding was special. It didn't hurt matters that their friend was now qualified to do it.
It had taken a while for them to figure out which passage that they were going to have read to them at the wedding but they had finally decided on a passage that they thought explained them thoroughly. When Yuna had read it she had agreed, it was perfect.
Yuna walked up to the couple - hands now untied, who were chatting with a red haired girl. When she saw Yuna she turned and bowed, Yuna wanted to sigh, she hated it when they did that, "Do you remember me lady Yuna?"
"Of course Shelinda, how could I forget you?"
"I don't know, but when I heard that Rikku and Auron were getting married I just had to see it with my own eyes. Such a marriage will do Spira good I think. "
Next to her Yuna watched as Rikku tried to stifle something that seemed to be between a laugh and a growl. Both of them knew that Rikku and Auron had not married for Spira and for anyone to think that offended them. It wasn't that they weren't on good terms with Spira again - they were, for the most part - it was just that both of them, all of them had felt betrayed by it. And this was something years latter that they were still trying to work through, "I suppose," Yuna sighed, here of all places she did not want to be talking politics, "But this marriage wasn't for Spira, you should know that."
"Oh of course."
At this Yuna smiled and then left them to talk to one another. When she looked around she saw many faces she knew and many she didn't. One of those faces was a woman in a very tight fitting pink grab that was waving a fan back and forth, and looking bored for it. Her blond hair was done up in a messy bun and held together with some form of hair sticks. Yuna wondered why her alarms, which she had put effort on perfecting after a few years of work didn't start to going off instantly, but they didn't.
One of the people she didn't see however was Baralai - which was odd considering that he had promised to try and come if he could. She sighed and sat down at one of the tables and ordered a drink, Tidus saw her across the room and made his way to her, "Bored?"
"Worried. Baralai isn't here; I know he had canceled all of his meetings just to come so to see the wedding, that he isn't here troubles me." she said.
"How come?" Tidus asked.
Yuna glanced around the room quickly to see if any one was listening to them and then quickly dropped her voice to a softer register, "I don't want this spreading, so far I'm the only one Lulu has told. The Youth League and the new Spira government, which is currently calling itself New Yevon - are already coming to blows. I'm worried about what might happen."
And she wasn't worried just for herself; she was worried for Lulu too. Who had become a figurehead for the group that Nooj lead. It had only been a few years and yet Lulu had changed. Lulu had been fine with the dropped charges of the label traitor but she didn't like the current government and used her position as Nooj's partner to make that known. It was this that had begun to strain the relationship between the two of them and, with the coming tensions she didn't know what she was going to do, "That's bad." Tidus said.
"It is. Something needs to be done, but I do not know what - it troubles me to see my friends fight like this."
This is why Yuna had resisted the position; sometimes she didn't think she was made for this kind of life. She put her head down on the cold surface of the table and sighed. She hated it. The seat next to her was pulled forward, table shaking a little and Rikku plopped herself down on the chair, "Why are you so glum? This is supposed to be my happy day."
Staring up at Rikku yet not taking her head off the table Yuna smiled, "I know. I'm sorry, I'm supposed to be the poster child for all that is peaceful and harmoniums. And it is your day. But I'm way too young to be doing this."
They didn't argue that fact, Yuna was mealy nineteen and already in charge of more things than a person her age should have been. Beside them three more chairs were filled and Lulu looked down at Yuna, "You seem… morose."
Taking her head off the table Yuna looked right across at Nooj and wished she could speak what was on her mind. But to point out that Baralai was mysteriously missing, when she knew Nooj would blow it all out of proportion seemed counter-intuitive. Instead she smiled, "I'm fine, just a little tired. I've been so worried about this for so long that now that it's gone I feel tired."
"You're not going to tell them?"
"About Baralai? In front of Nooj? No, it would cause problems."
It was one of the things that Tidus and Yuna still shared. When they had left the battle site of Sin's defeat she figured the connection they shared would be gone. But during one of their trips to oversee the progress that was being made on fixing Anima's temple, they had been attacked. In her fear she had called out to him through her mind. He had heard her, and she had been glad for it. Just like she was glad that she could talk to him like this now. With the way that Spira was heading she she needed someone impartial that she could tell everything too. She wished it could be Rikku, but she didn't want to worry her cousin any more that she had too. And she knew that Auron wasn't an option either. Anything she told Auron would reach Rikku some way or another, they couldn't keep any secrets from each other. So the job had fallen on Tidus's shoulders.
"Has anyone seen Baralai?"
The question came from Rikku and Yuna sighed into the table again before raising her head to judge reactions. Looking across the table she tried to understand Nooj's face, and even Lulu's, but all she got was partial disdain. Not enough to really go with, "No I haven't. Where is he?" Nooj's clipped told Yuna the true story.
She was sure now that the wheels in Nooj's head were turning, and she saw Lulu scowl for a second. Now she knew without a shadow of a doubt that they were angry, and that they suspected Baralai of something. She wanted to disappear into some sort of void, but there really wasn't anything that she could say that would make them instantly forget. However Auron spoke up trying to soothe his wife, "I'm sure he's coming he must have been detained by something at the last second."
Which was exactly what Yuna had feared. Her eyebrows furrowed, "Well I'm sure it's nothing all that terrible. You know how Baralai is, he wants everything to be perfect. He'll be here."
She didn't know if she was dreaming or just imagined it but she was sure she saw Lulu look at her with concerned eyes. Both of them knew that Yuna's job, the one that she had given herself was what was keeping the peace between both sides of Spira. And it was, in some ways taking a heavy toll on her, "I'm sure that's what it is." Nooj said.
Lulu tired to smile to calm Yuna, but the damage had already been done and both of them knew it. Tidus watched the exchange with open eyes, he didn't understand most of it, he wasn't there during Yuna's endless meetings but he did know that something was happening between Yuna and Lulu. And it disheartened him to learn that it was fraying the friendship that the two women had, "I'm thirsty, why don't I'm going to go and get a drink, does anyone want anything?" Tidus asked.
Everyone declined, and Tidus wandered off to get something to drink. Thing was he wasn't the only one who was seeing what was happening. Rikku and Auron both saw it too. Yuna had chosen to focus so much on peace while Lulu was on one of the sides that she was struggling against. While they both agreed that Lulu was right in her belief that the government was not perfect, they knew that if came down to it they would help Yuna first and foremost. Whatever choices she made. The promise went back to the battle against Sin. Rikku chose to change the topic, "Well, thank you for performing the ceremony."
Yuna welcomed the topic change and let it happen even if she had a feeling that it was done on purpose, "Of course, it was my pleasure."
From the other side of the room the crowd cleared and the woman with the fan seemed to look at their table and then a loud screech filled the room. The rest of the table turned towards the sound and watched as she descended upon the table, "Noojie? Is that you?"
At her words Lulu looked at Nooj seriously, "You know her?"
"Unfortunately, yes. She's an old friend from the days before the true calm. We," he seemed to be choosing his words carefully, "were linked."
He wanted to get it out of the way quickly, afraid of seeing how Lulu would deal with his old flame. Instead she linked her arm with his and watched as the woman approached the table, "It's been forever my Noojie-wogie. It's so good to see you!"
She sat right next to Yuna who could only stare on in horror at the woman in front of them. She blessed what ever was up there that Tidus was gone off to get drinks and stared at the carnage in front of her, "It's good to see you too." Nooj said.
The woman turned to Yuna, and her eyes became wide, "It's so good to meet you Lady Yuna, I'm Leblanc."
Yuna put out her hand to shake Leblanc's hand and the woman took her's without little hesitation, "It's nice to meet you."
"Same my dear, same." but the way she said it was flippant, as if she was just getting it out of the way.
She turned back to Nooj and was about to hug him when she noticed Lulu next to him, holding on to his arm. Lulu smiled icily, "I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Lulu."
Leblanc pulled back as if burned and then smiled back with the same grin, but Lulu would not back down. She knew just what she was dealing with, and did not want anyone bothering Nooj, not after what they had been through. It was if they were attached at the hip, "I'm sorry, I didn't see you. I should go." the woman said.
She stood up and left the table - hips swaying back and forth as they went. When she had gone Tidus returned and sat down, "What was that about?"
Lulu spoke through clenched teeth, "Nothing. Nothing truly important any way."
They were silent for a moment and then Tidus nudged Yuna, "I think it's about time for that thing we were talking about."
"Oh, right that."
Reaching into one of the long sleeves of her dress Yuna felt around and then a crease appeared on her forehead. She reached into her other sleeve and then the crease deepened. It took a while for her to realize just what had happened, and right under her nose too, "She took it!"
Rikku looked at Yuna with a look of question on her face, "Took what?"
"My dressphere! I was going to sing for your wedding, and she took my dress sphere. Right in front of me, and that's one with the recording of…"
She stopped short and didn't finish her sentence. It was the one thing that she had been quiet on, she didn't think the others needed to know about her problems with him. But it was halfway out and too late to take it back, Auron looked at her seriously, when Yuna kept secrets it wasn't something to be taken lightly, "Of who?"
"The other Tidus."
There was silence and then Rikku spoke up, "Well then, let's get it back!"