Characters/Pairings: Yuna, Paine
Rating: No cock
Summary: A chat about dresspheres and Yuna's past. Bunnied by a comment Sev left on this fic about the Dark Knight dressphere, approximately a million years ago. What can I say, sometimes they are slow to percolate.
The door to the cabin opened, rousing Paine from her nap. She rolled over and sat up just as Yuna appeared on the stairway to the loft. "Hey."
"Hi Paine." Yuna paused on the top step, hand on the railing. "I'm not disturbing you, am I?'
Paine shook her head. "Just relaxing. We had a busy day."
"Yes." Yuna sat down on the bed. She pulled her garment grid out of her bag and tossed it next to her with a sigh. "And figuring out that Alchemist dressphere was a lot of work. So many potions and gadgets to choose from! I don't know how Rikku keeps them all straight."
Paine glanced at the net of spheres, their faint sparkling glow reflecting against the white pillowcase. "I'm surprised she let you pry it out of her hands for the day. I don't think she's used any other sphere for more than ten minutes since we got it."
Yuna smiled. "Well, it is an Al Bhed artifact. It makes sense that she'd feel more comfortable using it."
"You're Al Bhed too, though." Paine leaned back on her hands and tipped her head to the side with a thoughtful frown. "Aren't you?"
"Well...." Yuna sat up straighter, her shoulders tightening as she pressed the backs of her calves against the mattress. "Yes. I mean, I suppose so. I don't usually think of myself that way."
"Huh." Paine settled back against the ship's hull and wrapped her arms around her knees. "Why not?"
"I guess..." Yuna stared into space for a long moment, then sighed. "It's complicated."
Paine nodded and silently cursed herself for prying. What was she thinking, bothering Yuna with personal questions like that? "Sorry, I didn't mean to..."
Yuna shook her head and met Paine's eyes with a half smile. "It's okay. I don't mind talking about it. I just... haven't. Not even with Rikku." She picked up her garment grid and worked the Alchemist sphere out of its place in the net as she spoke. "When my parents married, my mother's family -- well, Cid, really, since he was her only living relative -- cut her off, and they never reconciled. I was born in Bevelle and she never took me to Bikanel, so I never knew any other Al Bhed besides her." The dressphere fell free and dropped into Yuna's left palm; without looking, she laid the grid back on the pillow and curved both hands around the sphere. "My mother taught me a little of the language and she tinkered with machina sometimes, so it was part of my life, but not a large part. And then she died, and not long after that my father went on his pilgrimage and I moved to the temple. When I tried to speak Al Bhed there, the priests and nuns ignored me and the other kids made fun of me, so I stopped, and when I met new people I didn't tell them about my heritage. By the time Kimahri came and took me to Besaid, hiding it had become a habit. Almost no one there even knew. And those who did know never talked about it."
She stopped talking for a minute, and she looked out the window, lost in thought, passing the sphere between her hands; Paine watched, entranced by the glowing sphere and the bare suggestion of movement inside, and she found herself wondering if anything was recorded on it. Several minutes passed in silence, and then Yuna spoke again.
"It was still a part of me, but I buried it. So deeply that I didn't think about it most of the time. Sometimes, I think I even forgot." She dropped her hands to her sides, fingers splaying on the bedspread, and she glanced quickly at the dressphere. "I felt it, a little bit, the first time I picked up a pistol. But using this dressphere made me feel it even more. It's waking up the Al Bhed in me, and it makes me wonder what I would have been if I'd grown up among them." Yuna shook her head. "Maybe I shouldn't have hidden it."
"You were seven years old and surrounded by people who hated the Al Bhed. What else could you have done?" Paine leaned forward, wrapping her arms around her knees. "But what about now? It is a new world, after all, one you helped create. You should take advantage of it."
Yuna nodded slowly. "You're probably right." She lifted her feet from the ground and swiveled to fall back on the bed, the dressphere still nestled in her hands. "I'll talk to Rikku about borrowing this for a little longer. But I still want to rest a bit before dinner." She raised herself on one elbow to meet Paine's eyes with a gentle smile. "Thanks Paine. You're a good listener."
Paine allowed herself a small smile in return as she stood and stretched. "Have a nice nap." And she hopped off the balcony, leaving Yuna to her thoughts.