AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thank you to Stratos263, A.K.b00m and fanficlove2014 for reviewing the last chapter!

This chapter is dedicated to Kweh Viola, nijamuzen, kaylabear1 and Stone474.

DISCLAIMER: Final Fantasy X, its characters, locations and plotlines are owned by Square Enix. I do not claim to own any of these. However, I do own my original character Sakura, also known as Suki. If you wish to use her in any form of media then please ask my permission first.

Chapter 52 – Never Truly Gone

"I can't believe this…" Brother murmured, which I quickly translated for Wakka who was glancing down at me in confusion.

We had all trudged back inside the airship once we'd began to recover from the shock of seeing Sin crash into Bevelle after we'd fought it in the sky.

"Believe it, son!" Uncle Cid replied, clapping Brother on the shoulder. "They've done it! It's happening!"

Neither of them seemed that upset about the destruction going on in the city below us, but I wasn't really surprised. They both hated Yevonites and Bevelle was full of them. Rikku and I both had to stop ourselves from screaming at them.

"Rikku! Sakura! Excellent!" Brother praised, turning round to grin at us.

I couldn't help but smile back. I could see he was genuinely proud of us and he wasn't meaning to be malicious.

"It's…going to come back, isn't it?"

We all turned to look at Yuna who'd just given us a reality check. We all knew it wasn't over yet.

"I know," Tidus agreed with her, taking hold of her hand to squeeze it.

"What?!" Uncle Cid cried. "You're kidding me!"

"No," Tidus shook his head. "We've got to beat the guy inside Sin."

"The Crusaders would be out of a job if it was this easy, yah?" Wakka smirked slightly.

"But it must have weakened, right?" I asked nervously, looking up at Lulu.

Lulu nodded, rubbing my back comfortingly. "It has, I'm sure of it."

"Yeah!" Rikku cheered, trying to bring morale back up. "We're winning!"

Uncle Cid looked round at all of us and nodded. "Alright. I'll do what I can with the main gun!" he announced before running out of the room to see if he could fix it while Brother continued to pilot. Yuna looked down for a moment before she left the room too without saying a word.

"Is she okay?" Rikku asked.

"I'll go check on her," I offered before running after her.

She was nowhere to be seen annoyingly.

"How is she so fast…?" I muttered to myself.

"No luck?"

I looked round at Tidus who had followed me.

"Figured we might as well follow Yuna together one last time," he smiled.

I could tell he was trying to make light of the situation but it didn't work. Remembering the fact that Tidus would disappear soon just made my heart sink.

"…Sorry Suki," he apologised, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment knowing that he shouldn't have joked about it.

"…'s alright," I murmured. "Let's just find Yuna."

We walked through the corridors in silence until we reached the viewing platform. We were heading up to the deck but Tidus stopped and stared out of one of the windows.

"What is it?" I asked, turning to watch him.

"I…I need to talk to you," he said quietly before turning to look at me. I'd rarely seen Tidus looking so serious and I swallowed a lump which rose in my throat, having a feeling I knew where this was going. "I…uh…" Tidus wrung his hands nervously before taking a deep breath. "I wanted to thank you Suki. You were the first person in Spira who spoke to me and you've been with me throughout this whole journey. I'm so grateful. I've never seen you as a kid; you're just as good at fighting as I am, probably even better. You're so strong and loyal, and I couldn't have asked for a better friend, or a better sister."

By this point I had given up on holding back the tears and was opening sobbing. I flung my arms around Tidus and he held me as I cried. I suddenly didn't care about acting grown up.

"Please don't go," I sobbed. "Don't leave us. Don't leave me and Yuna and Rikku…"

Tidus stroked my hair and from the droplets of water I could feel I wasn't the only one crying. "I'm sorry Suki. If it was my choice I would never leave."

Part of me wanted to scream that he was abandoning us, accuse him of breaking Yuna's heart, but I knew there was no point. For one neither of those points was true. I knew that if Tidus had a choice in the matter he would stay with us.

The Sakura of a few months ago would have screamed and been irrational, but this journey had changed all of us, myself included. But no matter how much I'd matured over a short space of time I still didn't want Tidus to leave us.

"I'll never really be gone Suki," Tidus whispered in my ear. "No matter what happens when the fayth wake up, I'll always be with you guys. I promise."

I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. I stepped back from him, wiping my eyes dry and taking a deep breath.

"Thank you for everything Tidus," I said, managing to crack a smile.

Tidus grinned back and nodded, his own eyes as red as mine were. He gently punched me on the shoulder and nodded towards the door to the deck. "Shall we get back to summoner hunting then?" he asked.

I laughed slightly and nodded, following him up to the deck.

"I wonder if Sir Jecht is in pain…" Yuna mused when she heard us approaching her, not turning round to face us. She had been on the deck as we expected, staring out at the horizon.

"Let's just end this quickly," Tidus said.

"The fayth said they would help us, right?" I reminded her.

"It bothers me… The way they said that," Yuna remarked.

"Why?" I asked, frowning.

"I mean, they've been fighting alongside us this whole time, but now they say they'll help?" she explained.

"I…guess so," Tidus replied.

"Wait…" Yuna started as if she'd just realised something. "Sin is reborn when Yu Yevon merges with an Aeon, isn't that right?"

"That's what they said, yeah," I agreed.

"If I summon an Aeon Yu Yevon will join with it, but at first it'll be small, won't it?"

I frowned, seeing where she was going with this. "Yuna…you're gonna sacrifice your Aeons?"

"But if she does we might be able to beat Sin without the Final Summoning," Tidus was smiling.

I couldn't smile though. Of course it was better than the alternative but all I could picture was Valefor. My chest tightened. I didn't want her to die either… but I knew I couldn't have it both ways.

"I don't know…" Yuna frowned. "What if Yu Yevon jumps again?"

"Then we'll take it down again," Tidus said. "We'll fight it until there's nowhere left to run."

"I never thought it would come down to this," Yuna admitted, finally turning round to look at us.

"I know," Tidus smiled slightly. "Hey, the fayth... They're tired of all this too. Let's let them rest."

I looked up at Tidus and my heart swelled with admiration. He was so selfless. He knew that letting the fayth stop their dreaming would mean he would disappear, but he was so willing to help them.

"The fayth said it's pointless to keep dreaming," Yuna said softly. "The dream will disappear…he said. What did he mean?"

Yuna was looking right into Tidus's eyes. I bit my lip. Did she know? How could she?

"And…what is it that Yu Yevon is summoning from within Sin?" Yuna continued her questions.

The dream of Zanarkand. Tidus and I both knew the answer but neither of us spoke.

"You won't…go away, will you?"

I looked down and turned away slightly from them both. Somehow Yuna suspected that Tidus was connected to all this and if I looked her in the eye when she sounded that sad I wouldn't be able to lie to her anymore.

"Yunie! Guys! Get in here! Something's happening to Sin!"

Before Tidus could say anything Rikku's voice interrupted over the speakers.

Looking grateful for the distraction Yuna immediately began to head inside. Tidus grabbed her arm before she could do so.

"I'll always be with you Yuna," Tidus murmured, placing one of his hands over Yuna's heart, "in here. I'll never truly leave, no matter what. I promise."

Tears began to fill Yuna's eyes but she nodded. Tidus moved his hand to rest it on Yuna's cheek before slowly drawing her face closer to his and kissing her. Much like their first kiss Yuna was crying, but this time for a different reason. She couldn't bear the thought of Tidus leaving either.


My cussing caused Yuna and Tidus to stop kissing and look back round at me. I felt incredibly guilty for interrupting their moment but I couldn't help it, as what was in front of me was so terrifying I couldn't keep silent.

"Are…are those wings?!" Wakka's voice screeched over the speakers.

"Those are vilgehk wings," I swore. "Of course Sin has wings! Cause why on earth would Yevon want this to be easy for us?!"

"Suki, calm down," Tidus said, resting his hand on my shoulder. "We can handle this."

I swallowed hard but nodded before the three of us ran back to the others.

"Jecht. He's waiting for you," Auron said the moment Tidus, Yuna and I walked in.

"The main gun is still busted," Uncle Cid sighed. "We can't give you any cover fire."

"Just take us in," Tidus said confidently. "We'll do the rest!"

Tidus then slowly began to look round at all of us in turn. I could see in his eyes he was thinking about all the times we'd all fought together and the journey we'd all come on. His gaze landed on me and he smiled before he turned to look at Yuna who smiled back at him.

Uncle Cid nodded before turning round to Brother. "Alright, take us up! Straight to the mouth!" he ordered. "No mistakes, or I'm gonna tare out that mop you call hair."

Brother glared at me and Rikku as we snorted with laughter. My guess was Brother didn't really understand Uncle Cid's threat since his Spiran wasn't the best. "Uh…trust me! Me…take you there! No problem, yah?" he managed to reply in broken Spiran, earning a thumbs-up from both Rikku and Yuna while I still giggled at Uncle Cid's earlier remark.

"Let's get ready to Blitz!" Tidus grinned, high-fiving Wakka.

Everyone nodded and ran up to the roof. Rikku and I stopped just after everyone else left and nodded to each other. We ran back and both threw our arms around Uncle Cid.

"I love you pops," Rikku smiled.

"I love you too Uncle Cid," I added.

Uncle Cid was shocked for a moment but he soon smiled and hugged us back. "I love both you girls too, and I'm so proud of you both. You get up there and kick Sin's ass, you hear me?"

"Rodger!" we both replied, saluting him before we jumped behind him and also hugged Brother. He squirmed quite a bit but did eventually hug us both back.

"Don't get hurt out there," he said. "If you do that human we found in the cave will have hell to pay!"

"We'll be fine, don't worry," Rikku grinned, ruffling his hair up and then jumping away before Brother could hit her.

"Be careful up there Sakura," Brother murmured to me, his face serious. "Don't die, okay? Come back safe, and bring Rikku safely with you."

I knew Brother was equally worried about both me and Rikku, but he felt weird saying it to Rikku since she was his sister. I smiled softly and nodded, clasping Brother's hand tightly in mine.

"We'll both come back safe, I promise," I reassured him.

Brother nodded and grinned before turning back to the control panel. Rikku grabbed my hand and we both ran to catch up with the others.

Brother had literally flown the airship right up so we were face to face with Sin.

"Here we go!" Uncle Cid called as we all pulled out our weapons.

"I'm coming for you dad," Tidus cried as Lulu blasted a fire spell at Sin; we weren't close enough to hit it with swords yet.

"You need to move closer!" I called out.

"Not until you weaken it a bit more," Uncle Cid replied over the speakers. "If Sin hits us once right now, we're all goners."

Kimahri grunted in frustration and flung his spear right at Sin. It embedded itself in Sin's armour but now Kimahri was left without a weapon until we moved close enough for him to grab it back.

"Well that wasn't your smartest move!" I called out to Kimahri who just glared at me, hating that he hadn't thought that through.

Kimahri was stuck behind the rest of us as he was defenceless for now. Lulu and Yuna cast more fire spells while Rikku and I threw a few grenades at Sin, aiming near where Kimahri's spear was since that spot would be weakened. Wakka used his Blitzball to dig the spear in further, having to aim very carefully so the ball would come back to him.

Eventually Brother moved the airship close enough to Sin that Kimahri could run up and retrieve his spear, Auron running up at the same time to slash at Sin so Kimahri had some cover. Tidus and I ran up just after Auron doing our now-signature cross slash over the weak spot Kimahri had created.

"Looks like throwing your spear wasn't a bad plan after all," I remarked to Kimahri.

"That was Kimahri's plan all along," Kimahri grinned.

"Oh, yeah right," I joked, sticking my tongue out at him which made him chuckle.

Flashes of black light began to form at Sin's mouth. It fired the sparks down at us, hitting Lulu and Yuna. They both managed to stay standing although the grimaced as the sparks hit. Both of them gritted their teeth and nodded to each other before casting fire spells simultaneously at Sin almost as revenge. Rikku threw in a grenade as they continued to pelt Sin with fire spells, also throwing an Al Bhed potion over them both to heal them up. Just as she did though Sin fired the black sparks again, this time hitting Rikku. She seemed to shudder for a moment before she crumpled to the ground.

"Rikku!" I cried out, running to help her, but before I could get there Auron had dove in ahead of me, picking Rikku up easily and moving her quickly away from Sin so he could throw a potion over her. She sat up slowly and smiled her thanks at Auron who actually smiled back.

Wakka threw his ball at Sin while all this was happening, and as he did Sin let out a groan and its mouth began to open slightly, almost as if it couldn't use the muscles it needed to keep it shut anymore.

"It's weakening!" Lulu cried.

"About time!" I replied, running at Sin again and jumping up, managing to get in three quick but deep slashes before I landed back on the deck, easy dodging though the lightning spell Lulu had cast as a cover for me.

Tidus ran up after me and slashed at Sin over and over again before ramming his sword into the ground and jumping up off of it. Wakka threw his ball at him and, just like last time, Tidus flipped over and Jecht-shot the ball right at Sin.

Sin's mouth suddenly opened right up and clouds of light and fire began pouring out as it made an almost unbearable roar. The clouds engulfed us and we couldn't see anything, which meant neither could Brother who was meant to be piloting the ship.

Then, just like that, the clouds and Sin were gone. All around us were wisps of pink, purple and yellow, and pyreflies danced around almost like the Farplane. Then there came a terribly familiar laugh. A giant eye appeared in front of us and as soon as it opened we seemed to fly right into the pupil. Wild winds whipped all around us but I knew what I'd seen and heard. Seymour.

The wind vanished just as quickly as it appeared, but now their airship was flying through a strange world of blue. The ground looked liquid like water but when the airship landed it was solid. Pale clouds lingered only a few inches above the ground, but darker more formidable clouds were blocking out any sign of the sky, if there even was a sky in this place.

"Dad! Where are you?" Tidus called out.

"We must go to him?" Auron informed him, already disembarking the airship by simply jumping off the deck.

"Then we will," Tidus announced. "Lemme take front!"

"Good luck," Yuna murmured to him, catching hold of his hand for a brief moment as he ran past.

Tidus nodded. "Follow me," he smiled as he ran off, Yuna and Wakka hot on his heels.

"Um…Sakura? Rikku?" Uncle Cid's voice over the speakers sounded strained and confused. "Where are we?"

"Well…I think we're inside Sin," I concluded, to which both Auron and Lulu nodded. "Yep, pretty sure we're inside Sin."

"Inside… Right, okay," Uncle Cid sighed heavily. "You know, your mom and dad would kill me if they knew I let you do this. Your mom would have too Rikku."

"We'll make them proud," Rikku promised, taking hold of my hand.

"I know you will," Uncle Cid replied, and I could hear the smile in his voice. "Now go on. Do what you need to do."

"We'll be back as soon as we can," I promise before we both jumped off the deck of the airship and followed after the others.

AN: Sorry this chapter took so long, I was kinda putting off writing it :3

The next chapter is pretty much going to be all fights and to be honest I haaaate writing fights. They're boring to write and – to me anyway – they're just as boring to read. But hey, can't have a Final Fantasy fic and not have fights in it!

I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please review!