Story inspired by the delightfully creepy imagery and lyrics of the "Lulu's Lullaby" fanvid on Youtube. Go there and add this to the URL: watch?vrOWqXE3BLkA
Chapter titles are mostly song lyrics from the "Mordred's Lullaby" song by Heather Dale, the soundtrack for that video.
"Um, Lulu? Can I talk to you for a minute?"
She glanced up from the infant dozing in her arms and smiled distantly. "What is it, Tidus?"
The young man gulped. He had reason to be edgy around her, of course, and seldom dared look her in the eye these days. Wary glances had passed between them a few times: memories of an ill-advised night in Guadosalam, after Guado wine had proved that even the mage's cold iron reserve could be loosened under the right circumstances. Or the wrong ones. He had been dropped from her "list" by the next morning, but the damage had been done.
Lulu had put the indiscretion behind her at once -- it was hardly the first mistake or disappointment in her life, and she and regret had always been on rather distant terms. To her surprise, Tidus had been able to get over the embarrassment quickly, and had acted only a little more cocky than usual for a day or so. Lulu was probably lucky that the larger Seymour problem soon distracted him, or he might bragged about his most outrageous score to Wakka. Not that Wakka would have believed him.
Something had changed since his return. Tidus no longer came to her like a lost puppy seeking counsel and wisdom or a verbal cuff. Partly that was because he and Yuna were all over each other. However, when he visited the hut she and Wakka shared, he always seemed to be talking to Wakka and not to her. Wakka had insisted she was imagining things, but his obliviousness almost certainly confirmed it.
The young man who stood facing her was pale behind his smile. He gave the sleeping child a nervous glance.
"He's a heavy sleeper," she said mildly. "Go on."
There was an agonizing hesitation before he began clumsily, "Do you remember your parents, Lulu?"
"Of course." She frowned, feeling the distant tug of old sorrow dulled by years of resignation. "Sin killed them. Why?"
"Oh." His face fell. "Well, um... my old man, y'see... I learned some things while I was on the Farplane. Things I didn't want to. And I'm really sorry, Lulu."
She shook her head, that old mannerism so familiar that he almost smiled. "I shall sit here until you find your way to a point, Tidus," she said with dry patience.
"Jecht, he could -- back at the beginning, y'know, when Yu Yevon was still weak -- sometimes he could still kinda pull it back together. Do whatever Auron did to keep up appearances. Walk around in something like his real body, the one we saw inside of Sin. But he was still Jecht." Tidus scowled bitterly. "After a couple weeks as Sin, he broke his promise to Auron. Got drunk sometimes. Said it was the only thing that helped him keep Yu Yevon out of his head for a while. That stopped working after a few months, but before that-- no, let me back up."
He was fidgeting worse than ever. "Sin really can take people back, forward in time. Just like it can take 'em in, out of the Dream, or even be inside of itself. Time and space and reality just sorta don't work the same way with Sin as for us. So when you're Sin, sometimes you get confused where you are, when you are, and you never know where you'll wind up..."
"Tidus." The mage leaned forward. Whatever was bothering him was starting to bother her. "The point."
"You're my sister," he blurted, disbelieving and scared and taking a step backwards even though she was sitting down with a baby in her lap.
Lulu's mouth opened slightly, but she didn't say a word. Couldn't. That went along with "times Lulu had giggled at Tidus' jokes" for a new record, but he couldn't exactly enjoy the victory.
After she didn't speak, he went on miserably. "I... don't know who your mother was. I don't know if she was the lady who raised you. I tried to dig it out of him, but he wasn't sure." Tidus looked down at his hands. "But that's... why you're not like anyone else, Lulu. Didn't you ever wonder? It's Sin. Nobody else has power like yours. Dad recognized you the first time we fought him, when we were trying to save Kilika. Said your bolts gave him a hangover without the good part." He swallowed again. "I'm sorry, Lulu. How could we have known?"
She was staring at Vidina, not Tidus. She was going to keep sitting there, apparently, and her icy silence began to unnerve him even more.
"I can change time too, you know, in a more limited way," she said finally in a low, flat voice. "Haste. Stop. Slow. There are different applications. Such as... a pilgrimage is hardly the time and place to bring a child to term."
Tidus gaped. "What?"
"You heard me." Vidina stirred and yawned, roused perhaps by the sudden lack of music in his mother's most dangerous purr. Abruptly she gathered her son close, rose with stiff-backed elegance, and swept away, skirts jingling against the grass. "Good day, Tidus."