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So um. Insomnia. Procrastination. Something. I'm half asleep, but I have to stay awake 2 hours after eating, and I ate dinner too late, so I occupied myself with another wee fic.

This is giftfic for cupcakemonster because I upset her a bit popping off poor Wakka in that broken piece of fic. This is unpolished, but I think I managed to catch their voices, which is what I obsess about in my writing.

Title: Reluctant Guardians
Fandom: FFX
Characters: Lulu, Rikku
Rating/Warning: G, minor game spoilers
Summary: Rikku asks Lulu a few nosy questions soon after first joining the party
Word Count: 941


"So, um... how'd you get to be Yunie's Guardian, anyway?" Rikku kicked her legs restlessly under the fallen log where she had alighted, peering sidelong at the reserved woman looming beside her.

They made a rather incongruous pair of sentries. The Al Bhed girl floated from perch to perch, a splash of orange in the dim flicker of the fire's embers, while the mage stood motionless, arms folded, all black shadows apart from her pale face and neck, just one more treetrunk at the fringe of the clearing. Of course, Rikku had not made the mistake of perching on Lulu.

Lulu was Scary.

Tidus had already told Rikku all about it this afternoon. But Rikku knew something Tidus didn't, so she wasn't really scared of any black mage, except the way you're extra-careful with a quirky machina that needs a tune-up. See, Lulu was cool. She'd shooed off that blitz player with just one word, invoked a "girls only" meeting, and curtly explained that Wakka would super-freak if he knew what she was, but Lulu didn't mind, because she knew about Yunie's mom and all.

"If you're here to help us look after Yuna, then that's fine."

Lulu didn't have to add the "but if not..." part, either. She had fixed Rikku with a stern look like Brother sometimes tried to pull off when he was bossing her around. Only Lulu wasn't trying to make herself look important. She was simply letting Rikku know in a friendly way that a mountain would fall on her head and squash her flat if she did anything to Yunie. Which was fair enough, although they might have a few arguments down the road about the best way to protect her.

"Well," Lulu said carefully, after one of those thoughtful silences that drove Rikku a little nuts, "I didn't actually want to be Yuna's Guardian. We tried to talk her out of it."

The Al Bhed pricked up her ears, trying to keep the quiver of hope out of her voice. She wasn't supposed to give away Pops' latest crazy scheme. "Really?"

The somber woman shook her head, gazing fondly towards the slim figure curled in the crook of Kimahri's arm close to the fire. "Yuna was adamant. We kept telling her that someone else would take care of Sin before she was old enough, but she said, 'I know... this is something I have to do.'" The older woman's voice lifted and softened in a very credible imitation of the young Summoner. The mage sighed. "So that was that."

Rikku stopped picking at the bark and slid down off the log, pacing. "So then you became her Guardian?"

"Yes and no. After she started her apprenticeship, I joined another Summoner's pilgrimage." Lulu hesitated before adding, "I had... hoped... I might save Yuna the trouble."

"But--?" Rikku prodded, and then her mouth formed an "O" as she put two and two together. The girl turned away and kicked at the ground irritably. "Oh. I'm sorry."

Lulu raised her head, calm and remote. "I was too inexperienced. So I trained for another year and watched Yuna's progress. When another Summoner sent word around to the temples that he was looking for a guide, I talked Wakka into coming along too. It was... difficult for both of us. Father Zuke turned back three quarters of the way to Zanarkand."

Rikku grinned a little in spite of the somber narrative; one of Lulu's understated pauses had hinted that Wakka, rather than their fickle Summoner, had been difficult. "Well, turning back isn't so bad. At least you were all okay! And now you know a lot more, so Yunie's got super-duper Guardians!"

Lulu gave a quiet chuckle. "I hope so." She gave Rikku a measuring look. "You do understand: as far as I know, Sir Auron is the only Guardian who's ever survived a successful pilgrimage."

Rikku could feel the color draining from her cheeks as those strange eyes fixed on her. "Yeah," she said dropping her gaze. "I know." How could Lulu be so calm about it? This was Yunie and all her friends she was talking about! "So, it's a good thing we have him with us, right?" the girl rallied, plopping down on a pack.

Lulu didn't smile, but there was a whisper of warmth in that dusky voice. Suddenly Rikku thought maybe she sounded just a little sad, as if it wasn't just Yunie she was feeling protective over. "Yuna is fortunate in her Guardians," she murmured. "We shall see."

 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
rustehroll
May. 31st, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
... you have completely redeemed yourself (not that I was ever actually upset more like "waugh I go EmoCupcakegirl and cry lots") and paid me back in spades. This is perfect and not only did you give me a ncie scene between the two of them, you did something I rarely do, which is invole CANONS and give me a nice picture of pilgrimage and Zuke and what'shernamewhodied and all that good stuff.

I know I'm totally sucking at this feedback thing here, bt my brain is on Fitzmode. Apologies for my crackacular crackness.

I love how Lulu's frank honesty smacks Rikku in the face with her own mortality because, she's on this pilgrimage to do the whole "savin' Yunie-time" thang, and really doesn't seem to have thought about the whole "whoawhoa we're all gonna DIE" but true to form she swings back around (ahhh Rikku, my lovely little pendulum, how I adore you and your fabulous moodswings, god help your future husband) and is all perky-cheerful and says that it rox her sox that Auron is around to Keep Them All Alive (nevermidn the fact he let the rest of his party die last time, but I guess that couldn't be helped.)

I also like the way you totally nail Rikku spot on with this, perfecting her voice and especially Rikku-izing the way Llulu explains Wakka and his, uh, "feelings" towards the Al Bhed. Are you a fan of Joss Whedon at all? I feel like you are channelnig Buffy like nuts right now in this story, which in my estimation is just about perfect.

As uusual your Lulu is perfect and I wish I could make her dance for me like she dances for you (envyenvyenvyenvy).

Sigh. I am complete like a puzzle, and full like after thanksgiving dinner (praise be for cranberry sauce), and I thank you.

:) I like getting fic written for me, it makes me feel speeshul, and especially because you are an awesome AuLu writer and I know RIkku is um...

Okay, let's face it, most people who love Auron and Lulu really do not LIKE Rikku or tend to look on her with disdain, when she's my favourite character of all Freaking Time and I appreciate how much effort you put into writing her here.

... *loves* Thank you. :) I wanted to also say on that note, you've inspired me to try my hand at working my Auron and Lulu voices and maybe building their muscles a bit, and you've been a big motivater in me moving away from Rikku-centric-and-only-Rikku-centric fic writing. So for that, thank you too. You've given me the bravery to Try New Things which are Scary and sometimes Funny Feeling The First Time kinda like sex or cottonswabs in your ears.

and if this is illegible with typos it's because the font in your comment boxes is tiny on my screen and I can barely read what I'm writing and I am way too lazy to paste this into notepad which is pisspoor of me but yay anyway
auronlu
May. 31st, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
(Bah, coding... customizations...why does LJ have to be so complicated? Tell me if this fixes it, it's something that only happens on browsers/platforms I don't own!)

Er anyway, so yah. Thank you!

I've barely ever seen any Buffy; I'm thinking more of my almost-but-never-actually-was-girlfriend's fourteen-year-old daughter. :)

And you've helped me get past my slight aversion to Rikku. Okay, yeah, when I played FFX the first time through, I was all, "GAH it's another PERKY TIT cute thief-chick, designed to be the CUTENESS mascot of the party!" I didn't like Selphie. I didn't like Yuffie. That particular character doesn't usually work for me. I don't like feeling manipulated into thinking someone's cute. (Apparently I'm more susceptible to blatant attempts to make me think somone's cool.)

However, you've written her with so much life and spirit and humor that I've become very fond of Rikku indeed. Now I think she's great, in a very different way. Which is a good thing, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to enjoy X-2 at all, since it's all ABOUT perky tit cuteness.

So anyway, you've gotten me to write Rikku. This was about the first Canon thing I've written too! I keep writing her as I saw her in FFX, a bright-spirited teenager, and not as most folks tend to write her -- a tiny bit older and wiser and wilder, as she is in X-2 -- and my maternal instinct is slipping in somewhere or other, but I can easily imagine that Lulu would have a ghost of the same big sister feelings towards Yuna's cousin as Yuna.
muggy_mountain
May. 31st, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
Combining comments because that is how I wrote them.

For some reason occasionally I too get the Auronlu's comment text is too small and all anti-aliased and blurry like on a Mac.

But!

Cupcake - Not *all* of us dislike Rikku. I think she's a strong character, and as multi-faceted as all the others. She's certainly a teenager which seems to give most Final Fantasy writers two options: whiny or chipper. They chose the latter, which is probably alright as there is enough angst in the plotline as it is, and it makes her fun to write. *Aurikku* is a different dish entirely.

Auronlu- Hivemind again, ack! :) I'm attempting to write the Lady Ginnem chapter now, and all kinds of trouble with getting Lulu just right. I'd imagine she'd be fairly different before losing her first summoner and lover. But that's ok, right? I like the that you present this bit of common ground, and you again prove yourself to be a great writer by being able to slip into Rikku's as seamlessly as their grumpiness.
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