Alpha Redux

BY : Seven
Category: Final Fantasy X > General
Dragon prints: 821
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy X, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 11a! It’s gonna be a long one again, so I’m splitting it up. Thanks as always, for the reviews, I love them. Keeps me encouraged. ;) Hope you like!
NOTE: There’s some Al Bhed language out the ying yang in this chap, so refer to thttomttom of the page to translate, or go here: http://ffx.annamation.ca/albhed.php It’s a lovely site with FFX and FFX-2 media and pics, so surf around!
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“How could the one I shared my dreams with,
take my dreams from me…
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“You getting tan yet, Yunie?”

Yuna squinted over at Rikku, who was lying on her stomach on their large beach blanket, taking in the sun by the pool. “A little,” she responded, lifting her arms and inspecting them for a new hint of brownness. She wasn’t pale, but she wasn’t as dark as Rikku either.

Rikku was wearing the new yellow bikini Yuna had bought her for her birthday. It was entirely too skimpy for Yuna’s liking, but that’s how Rikku liked her clothes. The blonde turned her face toward the brunette, and rested her head on the blanket. “At least you’re not a ghost like Lulu,” she snorted, trying to muffle her laugh into the soft terry cloth.

Yuna, who was lying face-up, saw the spell coming before Rikku did. The afore-mentioned Lulu was sitting under an umbrella close to the pool entrance, only a few feet away and heard her comment. She nonchalantly lifted a hand, waved it a little, and….

“AIEEEEEE!”

It was too funny. Yuna covered her mouth, laughing at her cousin, who’s back was arched and she was vigorously rubbing her just-shocked bottom. “That’s not funny, Lulu!” Rikku scolded, turning awkwardly and glaring at her older friend. “You coulda killed me!”

Lulu casually crossed her long legs at the ankles, relaxing back in her beach chair. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said coolly, reaching into her pack and pulling out a handful of those yucky gelatin bears she loved so much. Yuna couldn’t see how she liked them so much, they tasted like nothing and the texture of them was gross.

“Candy?” Lulu offered, holding a colorful handful out toward Yuna and Rikku.

Yuna shook her head vigorously and Rikku followed suit. “Aren’t you hot in that dress, Lulu?” Yuna’s cousin asked.

Lulu was wearing one of her trademark long, black buckle dresses with the fur lining. Wasn’t she hot? Ever? Yuna guessed that she would have to get another style of dress soon, once her tummy started getting bigger.

“No,” she replied, obviously knowing where Rikku was going with this. “And I know that if it were up to you, I would be clad in some sort of maternity bikini,” she deadpanned.

“She’s right Rikku,” Yuna chimed in, giggling at Lulu’s humor. Her cousin’s sense of style suited her free personality, but she didn’t seem to understand that not everyone was comfortable showing so much skin. Especially someone as modest as Lulu.

Rikku pushed herself up to a standing position, and faced Lulu. “But you’re so pretty, Lulu!” she exclaimed, resting a hand on her hip. “You should show it off! I bet Waaakka would like it…” she added, waggling her eyebrows and making a pawing motion with her free hand.

Lulu pulled her black satin eye mask down to cover her eyes from the sun. “Wakka likes it just how it is.”

She rolled her eyes. “Well, suit yourself,” she resigned, turning and walking down the steps into the pool. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta cool off my burnt BUNS!” She punctuated her last statement by kicking water in Lulu’s direction.

The three laughed, and Yuna flipped over onto her stomach to get some sun on her back. Her bathing suit wasn’t as skimpy as Rikku’s but it was a bikini that was pretty skimpy to her. She wouldn’t have dared worn it back in Besaid, but the Al Bhed dressed differently than everyone else, and their dress code was greatly less inhibited. So she was well, less uncomfortable.

TheBhedBhed Home was rebuilt only four months after the Eternal Calm had begun. Uncle Cid had headed up the operation, and the survivors of the attack on the old Home were there to help, as well as fellow Spirans who believed in the cause and wanted to establish peace with the Al Bhed. The major difference between this rebuilt haven and the old Home was that some of the former Yevonites dwelled here among the Al Bhed. Yuna thought it was lovely, people finally coming together in spite of race. It was like a dream come true.

Architecturally speaking, the Home was in the shape of a giant dome, and almost twice as big as the old one. During the nice days, the transparent protective ceiling was mechanically rolled back and the sun was allowed in. The Home was self-maintaining and it had everything from shops to dwellings to entertainment, so the Al Bhed never had to leave. Underground was the machina production facility, where machina was mass-produced to distribute all over Spira. Yuna had only seen it once, and all the inventions and all that machina sued to make machina sent her mind reeling.

Swimming pools were new inventions to Spira, since during the days of Y, th, the machina used to make them was forbidden. People relied on real beaches and lakes and ponds for bathing and recreation. Yuna preferred the natural beauty of the beach and the wind and the birds, but the swimming pool was a nice, functional change of scenery.

This was pleasant, hanging out with her two of her closest friends, and just enjoying the weather. Rikku’s brother had flown Lulu for a personal lesson with one a young girl that morning. Amaru, the young Al Bhed girl, had very strong talent in the art of Black Magic, and she was one of Lulu’s students as well. It was a very intriguing situation because the Al Bhed were not known at all for possessing the gift, and Lulu was renowned all over Spira for her skill in magical guardianship. The two working together was quite a conversation piece. Yuna was glad her friend was having fun with her art and passing it on to others.

Speaking of friends, where was Paine? Yuna voiced her question out loud to her friends. One of them would know.

“I dunno,” Rikku said, wading over to the edge of the pool where Yuna was laying. “She said she had errands to run.”

“By herself?” Yuna asked, turning her face toward her.

Rikku folded her arms on the edge of the pool, sloshing water onto the cement and the edge of the towel Yuna was on. “I guess so,” She rested her chin on her folded arms. “She took a ship.”

Yuna frowned. That was very strange. Paine usually never went on errands without Rikku, at the least. “Did you ask to go with her?”

Rikku shook her mane full of blonde braids. “Mmm-mmm. She just said she’s was going and she left.”

“Hmm. I wonder what as so important?” Yuna wondered aloud.

The two turned their heads at the jingling of Lulu’s buckles and hair adornments. “Well, I’m going to go take a nap,” the tallest of the three said, stuffing her things into her pack and standing up from the chair.

This was no surprise to Yuna. Lulu slept so much since she’d become pregnant. She hadn’t gained very much weight though, like she thought might happen. Just that cute little pooch that she and Rikku and Wakka liked to rub. It was hard to believe there was a baby growing in there. What a beautiful thing. Yuna couldn’t wait until she had a baby of her own some day. Well, if she ever had one. She’d only pictured that scenario with Tidus.

“Have a good nap, Lulu,” she said, suddenly melancholy at the thought of him.

“Yeah, get some sleep Lulu,” Rikku echoed, “cuz we’re gonna par-tay tonight!”

Lulu raised her palm on her forehead, shaking her head in amusement and walking out the gate. Rikku had somehow found out about her party, but at least she still had no clue about the one they having for her in Besaid. Her cousin was a natural thief. Information concerning herself was no different.

“I hope Paine comes back in time for the party,” Rikku said, resting her head back down on her arms. “Guess who I invited?”

“Who?”

“Ja-ssu,” she giggled.

Yuna smiled. Rikku, ever the matchmaker. Though she had to admit, Jassu was a nice person who she had known since childhood. He was head over heels for Paine, and it seemed her friend liked him a little too, but would never show it. Tidus was always conspiring with Rikku about how they would get those two together.

Tidus.

“Yep, Paine’s gonna freak. But I’m just not gonna tell her that I invited him. I mean, she won’t know and it doesn’t mater anyway because it’s my party and I can invite whoever I want, right?”

Yuna heard her, but was lost in her thoughts about Tidus. Even though she was still very angry, and very hurt by him, she missed him. Terribly. It was so frustrating; almost everything reminded her of him. Part of her hoped she didn’t have to see him again until she was ready, while part of her hoped to see him at Rikku’s party tonight. But that very unlikely, since he had a scrimmage tonight against the Djose team. Or had they already played? In any event, he wasn’t going to come all the way to the Al Bhed Home. He would have to have left in thee wee hours of the morning by Al Bhed watership, because the smaller ferries and boats only went from town to town; none went to the remote Home.

“Yunie? Are you listening to me?” Rikku flicked water on Yuna with her hand.

“Hmm? Sorry.” Yuna shook her head, wiping off her forearm on the blanket.

Reaching across the blanket, Rikku pushed Yuna’s hair back from her damp brow. “You’re thinkin about him, aren’t cha?” she asked, tilting her head.

Was she that obvious? Nodding, Yuna allowed her eyes to slip shut. Coming to the Home with Paine and Rikku that day had seemed like her only option. She couldn’t even stand to look at him, with that hang-dog expression on his face. He wanted her to forgive him, but she couldn’t yet. She didn’t know if she even could. And yet, she still wanted him. They’d made such plans for their lifgethgether, and she wanted all those things. How can you stay angry with someone and want to be with them? But at what price? So he could cheat on her when she wasn’t around? Maybe he was off with someone as she lie there, agonizing over him. Her thoughts had turned angry, and she released a slow sigh.

“I think he’s really sorry, ya know.”

Yunayes yes snapped open. “That does not matter to me, Rikku. I didn’t matter to him when he was kissing that woman either,” she said, angry at the memory burned into her brain.

Rikku’s face screwed in thought. “I know you saw what you saw Yunie, but that just seems like…I dunno, I just can’t believe he would do that. Did you ask him about it?”

Her eyes slipped shut again. “Yes, and he told me that he was not thinking and he had just acted on impulse.” A pang of hurt shot through her stomach at the memory of his explanation. He had been so casual about it… “He said he wouldn’t do it again, but I don’t know if that is the truth.” Why did he do it at all?

“I dunno,” Rikku commented in a low voice. “That’s just so totally not like him at all… But Yunie, you have to talk to him again. Maybe everything will be okay and –“

“Rikku,” Yuna said, opening her eyes and sitting up. “why are you defending him? He-he hurt me…” she rested her fingertips on her breastbone.

Her cousin’s eyebrows knit together. “I’m sorry,” she said softly, “I mean, you’re my cousin and he’s my friend and….I, I just thought you guys were so happy, ya know?”

Yuna did too. But what a difference a day makes, she thought sourly. Rikku reached over and covered her hand with her own. “Hey, why don’t we go get something to eat and nap with Lulu? I’ll buy you some pnufheac….” She enticed with raised eyebrows, “with sprinkles…”

Her stomach grumbled at the thought. Yuna loved Al Bhed brownies with sprinkles. They were her guilty pleasure. She usually ate healthy, and the pastries were so fatty, but they tasted so good… “Deal,” Yuna agreed with a smile. She loved her cousin for trying to cheer her up.

“Let’s get outta here then,” Rikku suggested as she stretched her arms over her head. “All this sun is making me sleepy.”

Yawning at her suggestion, Yuna nodded. It was high noon, and the sun was directly overhead. Her limbs felt heavy, like she had been drained of her energy. She rose to her feet and began to gather up their things.

Maybe a nice nap would do her good before the party. Spira only knew how much alcohol and dancing and crazy behavior was going to be going on later. Another reason the Al Bhed were hated by Yevonites. They were known for their wild celebrations and so-called “heathen” lifestyle. Yuna had never been to an Al Bhed lamapnydeuh* before, and she knew that she would need her rest. Especially if she was going to babysit a drunken, hyperactive Rikku.

The blanket was folded neatly, and Yuna handed Rikku her towel. She used it to towel off, then she tied it around her waist. Thank goodness, because Yuna was tired of seeing Rikku’s bare “buns” anyway. The giggles snuck up on her suddenly, and she tried to mask it with a cough.

Her cousin looked at her quizzically. “Um, I’m pretty thirsty.” She covered, slipping her bare feet into her flip-flops.

“Oh,” Rikku nodded, “me too. Let’s go down and pick up some food and stuff. We’ll bring Lulu back somethin.”

The two cousins started through the bustling section, which was busy with people out and about during the mid-day. The Home Xiyndan* reminded her of the Bevelle shopping district, or the Luca marketplace. But the neat part was that this was self-sufficient, and all indoors. She found it a very interesting concept.

As they made their way through the crowd and toward the tehan*, a young Al Bhed man walked up to them, and smiled warmly. “E raynt ed’c ouin pendrtyo lamapnydeuh duhekrd,” he said, giving Rikku a hug.

He looked about their age, tall and handsome, with blonde, short hair and striking green eyes like Rikku’s. His trademark Al Bhed goggles were perched on the top of his spiky hair. Yuna guessed he was a blitzball player because of his muscular build.

Rikku beamed, releasing him. “Oab! Oui’na lusehk nekrd?” she grinned, “Ed’c kuehk du pa dra byndo uv dra lahdino!”

He laughed, showing a perfect row of sparkling white teeth. “Oui ghuf E’mm pa drana,” he said, tilting his head, “E ajah puikrd oui y bnacahd.”

Yuna couldn’t understand them, but she did make out the words “party” and “coming” and “you”. Suddenly, Rikku turned to her and smacked her own forehead. “Oh my gosh I’m sorry Yunie!” she apologized, resting her hand on Yuna’s bare back. “This is Blappa, he plays for the Psyches.”

Oh… She didn’t recognize him without his Al Bhed swimming mask on. Yuna waved. “Rammu,” she smiled politely. “Hello” was one of the few words she know how to say.

His eyes fixed on her and widened. To Yuna’s surprise, the handsome blitzer knelt down on one knee and took her hand in his. “Rammu,” he said, bowing. “E ghuf fru oui yna, Lady Yuna.”

Rikku turned to her bewildered cousin. “He says he knows who you are,” she smiled proudly.

When he kissed her hand, Yuna began blushing furiously. It had been a year, and she was still getting used to people’s random acts of kindness, let alone gestures of pure respect. One day, she hoped she would stop turning into a beet when people did something nice for her.

Blappa stood, releasing her hand with a bow. “Femm oui pa yd dra byndo duhekrd?*” he said, looking from Yuna to Rikku to translate.

“He asked if you’ll be at my party,” she interpreted. Her words were directed to Blappa now. “Oab, fa femm pudr pa drana,yht nayto du byyyyndyo!*” she squealed, raising her fist in the air. “Whoooo!!!”

Blappa laughed, and gave her another hug. “Ugyo, drah E femm caa oui duhekrd?*” he said in a soft voice. A slow smile spread across Yuna’s face at the interaction. This guy really liked Rikku.

Her cousin smiled coyly, and pulled his goggles down onto his face. “Ugyo,*” she giggled, grabbing Yuna’s hand and walking away.

Yuna waved at Blappa over her shoulder, then looked at her cousin. Why hadn’t she said anything about him? “He likes you, doesn’t he?” she said in that conspiratory voice only teenagers could accomplish.

Rikku shrugged, smiling. “I dunno, I guess.”

Oh, she knew. Why didn’t she just admit it? “You like him too.”

Giggling, Rikku slapped her cousin on the arm. “I dunno, maybe!”

She hoped she did. Yuna didn’t know Blappa, but she had a good feeling about him, so she decided he was going to be invited to the surprise party in Besaid. She wanted her cousin to have a good guy that treated her right. Maybe he would settle her down and get her to marry him. Although, Yuna thought with an inward smile, taming Rikku was going to be a daunting task. But she thought back to how they were flirting and the way he looked at Rikku when they were talking. Even she knew a guy really liked a girl when they hung off their every word.

Tidus used to look at her like that…

Her face fell, against her will. She really missed him, and she wanted to see him. But she wanted to see him so she could be mean to him or ignore him. Now what kind of sense did that make? Her feelings were going wild, and she wished she could just get ahold of them.

Rikku saw her face, and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Yunie,” she said reassuringly, “no matter what, it’ll be okay. Just…just try not to think about it s much and just let stuff happen.”

Yuna frowned quizzically. “Just let things happen?”

“Well, yeah. I think that everything happens for a reason, ya know? If you just sit back and relax, then things kinda have this weirdo way of falling into place.”

So more time would heal her heart? Even heartache this bad? “Really?”

Rikku pulled her into a loving hug. “Really Cuz.”

Yuna wrapped her arms around her best friend’s waist. For being so young, she thought Rikku was wise beyond her years, despite her carefree attitude. Maybe she was so open and free because so many bad things had happened to her. She was a lot like Tidus, squeezing every drop of fun out of life, everyday.

Goodness, she missed him.

Pulling away and looping her arm through Yuna’s, Rikku began leading toward the tehan* again. “So let’s get some grub and get some sleep, and then we gotta get dressed for the partyyyy,” she grinned.

Rikku’s smile was contagious. Maybe tonight would be the start of her new outlook on life. Everything happens for a reason? Maybe. But Yuna wondered if the struggle in life was trying to find the reasons, or just continuing on without looking back. Her cousin would say the latter, but Yuna thought more of the former.

Since she had met him, living without Tidus had never entered into her lexicon of what her future would be. It seemed so right and natural for them to fall in love and be together forever. But now, in the face of his unfaithfulness, Yuna didn’t know up from down. It was like being told that the sky wasn’t blue, but purple. And then looking up and seeing it for yourself.

For the first time, Yuna realized that whatever happened, she knew that with her friends by her side, she would get through this. With or without Tidus.

The problem was, that she didn’t know which one she really wanted anymore.


To be continued.....
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Translations:

lamapnydeuh - celebration

tehan - diner

E raynt ed’c ouin pendrtyo lamapnydeuh duhekrd – I heard it’s your birthday celebration tonight.

Oab! Oui’na lusehk nekrd – Yep! You’re coming right?

Ed’c kuehk du pa dra byndo uv dra lahdino – It’s going to be the party of the century!

Oui ghuf E’mm pa drana – You know I’ll be there

E ajah puikrd oui y bnacahd – I even bought you a present

Rammu - Hello

E ghuf fru oui yna, Lady Yuna – I know who you are, Lady Yuna

Femm oui pa yd dra byndo duhekrd – Will you be at the party tonight?

Oab, fa femm pudr pa drana,yht nayto du byyyyndyo – Yep, we will both be there, and ready to paaaartay!

Ugyo, drah E femm caa oui duhekrd – Okay, then I will see you tonight

Ugyo - Okay


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