I don't own any of these characters.
In the silence of her dream, Lulu stared at the overgrown pigeon before her. It opened its beak and warbled, sounding like a phone ringing underwater. Her heart racing, Lulu opened her eyes to the familiar gloom of her room. The queen sized bed, so large to accommodate her height, was a mess of twisted blankets and sheets. Illuminating the darkness sporadically was the flashing screen of Lulu's mobile phone. The muted ring tone echoed in the otherwise silent house. Lulu reached over and snatched the phone from the beside table, blinking at the caller ID. 'Yuna mob calling…'
"Shit," Lulu swore as she sat up in her rumpled shirt and answered the call. "Yuna," Lulu said, her eyes darting around the room. She clicked on the lamp beside her as she heard Yuna sigh.
"Hey, Lulu," Yuna said, her voice so low Lulu could barely hear it.
"What is it?" Lulu asked quickly. Already forming an idea of what it could be, Lulu's eyes searched the mound spilling from her built-in wardrobe occupying an entire wall for some pants. The wall opposite was entirely windows, currently covered with curtains. Opposite Lulu's bed was a TV cabinet next to the closed door; a sound system was on the floor between the windows and TV cabinet.
"Well, it's kind of a funny story, really," Yuna attempted to sound cheerful. As always, Lulu saw through Yuna.
"No, it's not," Lulu said, isolating a pair of yesterday's pants on top of the heap. "Where are you?" Lulu's rich voice carried as much depth and strength as usual, making Yuna feel ashamed of herself.
Yuna sighed. "His house." As soon as Yuna had said 'his house' Lulu leapt out of bed and tried to pull on jeans with one hand. "The downstairs bathroom. Please, can you come and get me? I'm, I'm scared, and he won't sleep forever."
"I'll be there in five minutes." Lulu said, sitting on her bed. "Don't move, or anything. Ok? Just wait for me."
"Thanks Lulu," Yuna sounded relieved as she hung up the phone. Lulu pressed 'end call' on her phone and pulled on her jeans, stuffing the phone into a pocket.
"Damn you, Yuna," Lulu cursed to herself, grabbing her keys from underneath the light and her heavy leather biking jacket from the foot of her bed. Old socks were quickly pulled on, leather boots unzipped and went on her large feet in seconds.
Jogging as quickly as she dared down the hall past her parents' and brother's room, Lulu reached the steps downstairs and took them two at a time. She found her way easily through the dark lounge room at the foot of the stairs, and walked past the kitchen table and out through the door to the garage.
Flicking on the light her parents' sleek black Mercedes reflected the glow; her brother's Pontiac with it's dented fender absorbed the light. Between the two was Lulu's shining black two-seater motorbike. The huge garage had ample room to turn the bike around and once Lulu had unlocked the side door, she walked it out into the night. She prayed there wouldn't be any police patrols - she didn't want to waste more time to grab two helmets. Lulu revved the engine and drove off toward Yuna.
The three quarter moon cast eerie shadows on the perfectly planned front yard. The mansion reared up out of the flawless garden, no lights on inside. Lulu turned the bike off and walked it to the window furthest left of the ostentatious front door.
"Come on Yuna, where are you?" Lulu muttered to herself. After a tense few seconds, the widow began to ease open, and in the poor light Yuna peered out. That same soft brown hair and wide green eyes were only visible for a moment. With Lulu's help Yuna opened the window more and carefully climbed out. Lulu saw that several buttons were missing from Yuna's white school shirt, but the younger girl had tried to do it up anyway. The purple pleated school skirt had a busted zipper, but the knee-high black boots were still there.
Yuna dropped gently to the ground, clutching a small black bag. Wordlessly Lulu handed the smaller girl her riding jacket; the leather garment made Yuna appear even smaller. The sleeves hung two inches over her hands. Quickly Yuna climbed on the bike behind Lulu and wrapped her short arms around Lulu's waist. Briefly checking Yuna was safe, Lulu started the engine and got back onto the road.
After having returned her bike to its original place between the cars, Lulu followed Yuna into the house. Closing the door to the garage behind her, Lulu turned on the kitchen light. Yuna shied away from the brightness, allowing her short hair to fall over her face. At the end of the table was a curtained window; Yuna moved to stand near it, placing her bag on the table. Lulu ignored her obvious thoughts as she opened the fridge, instead wondering why she didn't tie her waist length hair back properly. She would have a tough time brushing it in the morning.
"Would you like a drink? Maybe some food?" Lulu asked, pouring herself a glass of cold water. Unable to stop herself, Lulu left the water and cup on the bench and walked quickly to Yuna. Before the petite teenager realised what was happening, Lulu's hand cupped Yuna's chin and lifted the small face up to the light. "How about some ice?" Lulu asked bitterly.
Yuna's left cheekbone was bruised purple with a freshly scabbed graze on top. The eyelid was heavy and the eye itself bloodshot. Lulu trembled with barely contained anger. Yuna looked away, a diminutive hand emerging from the jacket to play absently with the threads of the curtain.
Gulping her water down Lulu left the cup in the sink, and returned the water to the fridge. "I'm pretty sure we've got a steak if you'd like that," Lulu said sarcastically, hating herself as soon as the words left her mouth. Her dark eyes softened as she saw Yuna's slumped form. "I'm sorry." Grabbing a clean dish towel Lulu opened the freezer and lifted out the unopened half kilo bag of frozen peas. Lulu wrapped the crinkling bundle as she walked to Yuna. "If you put ice on it now, it won't swell so much."
This time Yuna voluntarily lifted her face toward Lulu, allowing the taller teenager to apply the frozen pack. "Thanks," Yuna whispered, her good eye watching Lulu.
"You don't want to go home," Lulu stated quietly.
"I don't think Braska would appreciate being woken up at this hour. Do you?" Yuna asked, raising the one visible eyebrow.
"What time is it?" Lulu wondered.
"It was 2:03 when I called you."
"Right," Lulu sighed. "Are you tired?"
"No," Yuna admitted shyly.
"What do you say to watching a c-grade movie on public television?"
"Alright," Yuna smiled her innocent smile, picked up her bag from the table, and followed Lulu up the dark stairs.
Lulu closed the door behind them as they entered the bomb site that was her room, still illuminated from the small lamp she'd left on. Turning on the ceiling light just made it worse. Yuna giggled softly, covering her mouth with the sleeves of the jacket.
"Come on, I know you weren't expecting a miracle clean-up," Lulu shook her head as Yuna shed the heavy leather garment and placed it on the ground at the end of the bed. Lulu found a set of pyjamas two sizes too small for her and threw them toward Yuna. Pulling her skirt down, Yuna sighed.
"The zipper is ruined. I don't suppose you've got a small old skirt I could borrow, do you?" Yuna asked, pulling on the baby pink pyjama shorts.
"You're a funny one," Lulu said wryly. "I sure as Hell don't, but Rikku might. You can ask her in the morning; she's just down the hall, in Auron's room."
"She and your brother are still together? That's really sweet," Yuna's childlike smile lit her face once again.
"You'd know if you spoke to her occasionally," Lulu said without thinking.
Yuna's eyes filled with tears. "Please don't, Lulu. Please."
Lulu ground her teeth, resisting the urge to hurl the peas she still held across the room. "Why do this to yourself, Yuna? I'm your guardian but you won't let me help!"
"You don't think that I know this isn't normal?" Yuna lifted her school shirt over her head, revealing bruises all over her shoulders and hips.
"Now who's torturing whom?" Lulu sobbed. She still won't ask for help. He's been doing this and she didn't want my help.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this, Lulu! He was supposed to look after me! He was supposed to love me, forever," Yuna said, her voice softer, tears escaping her sad eyes.
The bedroom door opened, a sleepy Rikku standing in a too-large tee shirt. "What's going on, Lulu? I heard shouting," Rikku looked over and saw Yuna, bruised and crying. "Jesus, Yuna! Are you-" Rikku took a step toward the girl.
"It's fine, Rikku," Lulu said, stopping the blonde girl in her tracks. "Tell Auron not to worry - I can hear him thinking from here. We'll tell you in the morning. Go back to bed, ok?"
Rikku looked from Lulu to Yuna, arriving quickly to a conclusion. "Alright. I'll see you in the morning. Just keep it down." Rikku nodded, retreating and closing the door.