Hello! After an extraordinarily long absence from this website, I have returned! However, this will be the last story I publish under the name Sailor Miniji. My new works will be published under the username Miniji.

I'm publishing this story under this name simply because it was not recently written. I only just found the file again--who knows why I never published it when I originally wrote it, it's pretty good for something I wrote over five years ago--and decided to put it up on . The Word document says that it was last edited in 2003, so...I'm guessing that's when it was written xD

Oh well. Enjoy.

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Thunderbolts crashed noisily as lightning illuminated the tiny room. Rikku crouched as far away from the window as possible, whimpering into a blanket as she clutched it to herself. Her swirly green eyes were wide in terror, and her hands shook as she tightened her hold on the coverlet.

"I'm not here…this isn't happening…this is all a dream, a really bad-eeak!"

The Al Bhed girl jumped as another lightning bolt struck the inn's ceiling. Her vision swam as tears filled her eyes, and her lip trembled. Knowing that she couldn't stay in the same area all night and be rested enough to continue the pilgrimage in the morning, Rikku shakily got to her feet. Wrapping the blanket hastily around her shoulders, she dashed out of her room and into the hallway. She hadn't bothered to change out of her daily clothing, and the dark green of her tank top appeared black in the windowless corridor. Leaning against the wall, she contemplated what to do. She certainly wasn't going to ask to share a room with one of the guys; Wakka and Tidus probably didn't want to be bothered, Kimahri was a slight bit scary, and she would never wake up Auron. The man was intimidating, to say the least, not to mention that she wanted to keep her pride intact. Rikku also didn't want to bother Yuna. While she was certain that the summoner would gladly share a room with her younger cousin, she knew that Yuna deserved the most sleep of all. Being a summoner was hard work. With all that in mind, Rikku had only one choice left: to wake up Lulu. The Al Bhed hesitated before going up to the woman's door and knocking timidly.

"Lulu?"

She heard a quiet shuffling noise before the door opened. The mage's long, black hair was undone, held back in a loose ponytail. She had changed out of her usual dress and was wearing a simple, violet camisole and short pajama pants. Rikku's face lit up in a slight blush as she realized that she was staring, and she turned her gaze to the floor.

"Rikku? What's the matter?" Lulu's voice was smooth with only a hint of tiredness, and it was laced with concern. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the Al Bhed threw herself into the other's arms.

"Lulu, ramb sa, E's clynat!" Lulu frowned and tapped a finger lightly on the girl's mouth.

"English, please." Rikku flushed, embarrassed.

"Sorry. I-I'm scared!" Lulu's frown deepened.

"Of the lightning?" Rikku's shriek as yet another thunderbolt cracked was more than enough to confirm the mage's suspicions. She gently led the younger girl into her room and sat her down on the bed. Keeping her arm around the Al Bhed's shoulders, she spoke to her in a somewhat soothing tone. "There isn't anything to be afraid of. Look," she released the girl, spinning so that she faced her. Lulu held out her hands, allowing a tiny spark of black electric magic to flicker to life. Rikku bit her lip, tensing, but stayed put and watched the erratic spark dance about above the mage's fingers.

"Hold out your hands, I promise that it won't hurt you." Rikku hesitated before complying, continuing to nervously chew on her lip as she did so. "Concentrate on your hands." Lulu pressed the tiny electric storm into the Al Bhed's hands, pleased that the girl remained composed. Rikku giggled, surprised as the tiny bolts of electricity sent tingling, ticklish sensations throughout her arms. Lulu smiled, watching the girl.

"See, it really isn't so bad." Rikku nodded her agreement, looking up quickly to grin at the mage, and then put her concentration back on her hands. Lulu stood, motioning for Rikku to follow. "Just release it." She explained when Rikku looked worriedly from her hands to her fellow guardian. "I want to show you something." Rikku dropped her arms and stood, watching as the electricity quickly faded away. She hurried over to Lulu as the older woman walked up to the room's window and drew back the curtains. Rikku squeaked, stumbling back into Lulu as the lightning storm in its entirety was revealed. She began to turn away from the window, wanting to hide, but was stopped as Lulu's arms wrapped protectively around her waist. Rikku shook lightly, but reached up and held onto the mage's arms and faced her fear. Lulu soon began to talk softly into the Al Bhed's hair.

"Don't worry. The lightning cannot hurt you while you are inside of this building. However," the mage's arms tightened protectively around the girl's lithe frame, "even if it could reach you, I would never let it hurt you." Rikku looked back, her eyes swimming in mixed emotions.

"Lulu, I-" The girl jumped as a sudden lightning bolt struck close by the window, emitting a quiet shriek as an extraordinarily loud boom of thunder followed it. She turned around in the mage's arms, hiding her face in the woman's shoulder. Her voice was muffled, and she began to lightly cry again. "I'm sorry! This just…isn't working…" She pressed against the older woman, avoiding looking her in the face at all costs. Lulu frowned in concern and maneuvered them over to the curtains. Shutting them, she led Rikku back to the bed and sat down with her at the edge of it. Pulling the girl close, she rocked her back and forth soothingly until her crying subsided. Rikku sniffed, wiping her wet face with her hand. She looked up at Lulu mournfully.

"I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to be a bother to you." She pouted cutely as she spoke, staring at the mage in embarrassment. "If you want, I can go back to my room." Her body tensed as she said this, hoping that even after her fall in dignity, Lulu would allow her to stay. Lulu frowned, but kept her arms around the Al Bhed girl.

"Why would I want you to leave?" Rikku stared at the mage in shock, numbing as she felt a finger lightly outline her lips. Lulu lifted the girl's chin with two fingers, pulling her face forward to meet hers in a light kiss. The kiss was gentle, questioning, and more than a little awkward. When they broke apart, both girls began giggling nervously, unsure of what to do. Lulu recovered first, peering into the Al Bhed's face with concern. "Is this alright?" Rikku considered the question momentarily before nodding vigorously, glad that the darkness of the room hid her sudden blush as she did so. Lulu pressed a kiss onto Rikku's forehead, almost smirking, before pulling the girl onto her lap. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she kissed her again, more firmly. Rikku's hands tangled themselves into the mage's hair, mussing it up.

They continued on for a few moments, simply getting used to the feel of each other's mouths, before Rikku stopped in mid-kiss and yawned tiredly. Lulu pulled back, smiling at the girl. "Perhaps we should go to bed. We are, after all, getting up early in the morning." Rikku groaned in protest, nuzzling her face into the woman's neck.

"Do we have to?" She whined.

"No, but we're going to." Lulu's tone was business-like, and she disentangled herself from the other girl's limbs. Sliding up to the top of the bed, she pulled down the covers and motioned for the Al Bhed to slip inside of them. After she did so, Lulu crawled into the bed beside her, and pulled the covers up around them. Rikku pouted at the mage, something that was wiped away by a quick kiss. Lulu pinched the girl's cheek.

"Now, now, no pouting. We both need sleep." Rikku scowled lightly at her before scooting forward and cuddling with the older girl. She looked up in confusion when she felt the mage nudging her onto her other side, but then blushed lightly as she felt Lulu spoon against her. Searching out the woman's hand, she held onto one of her fingers and closed her eyes.

"Lulu?" Her voice was sleepy, and she found herself growing more tired by the second.

"Yes?"

"Can I share a room with you tomorrow too?" Rikku could almost feel the mage's grin.

"Of course." Rikku smiled.

"And the next night as well?"

"Yes."

"And the night after that as well?"

"Yes."

"And-" She was interrupted by a tired and lightly amused voice.

"Yes, Rikku. Now go to sleep."

Rikku sighed and smiled contentedly, snuggling with Lulu. The lightning storm didn't bother her again all night.