A short, AU story that should be finished within the week (if I do one chapter each day). I don't plan to squander time or forget to update. Heh, heh, I wonder how many of you will spot the love triangle...? :p This is pretty much my perspective on teenaged behavior.

Of Teenagers and Hormones

Chap. 1 ~ Horror Movie

Dark room. Eerie silence. And popcorn ceasing to exist.

"It's a party in my mouth, but everybody is dying."

A firm stomp on the back from a heeled boot promptly silenced the snickering fool. "Shut up, Gippal." Even in pitch blackness, illuminated by constant flashing pastel colors, Gippal could sense, no, feel his friend's ruby glare drilling a thousand needles into his soul.

"Y-you got it, Dr. P."

Guttural chuckles, rusty and rarely free to fly on sonic wings, roamed mockingly in the air. "Smart of you to know your place."

"Shut up, Noojster."

"SHH! Quiet, you guys!" Tidus shushed the talkative blonde, which in turn rewarded him with a triplet of pointed glares. Somewhere in an unknown angle, a middle-aged man perched on his armchair sat in strained silence, squeezing the cottony blood out of the innocent furniture.

"You be quiet."

"You first."

"Stop telling me to."

"Not until you actually shut up."

"You first."

"You first!"

"No, you!"



With an exasperated huff, a sun-blonde girl intervened in the immature banter of annoying loud whispers. "C'mon, Gippal. Quit it. You know Tidus won't give up. Stop joking around and watch the movie."

"Not until he shuts up."

"You fi–."

"Will you all just shut your asses up? I can't hear what the freakin' hell these people are saying!"

The loudmouths immediately clamped their mouths shut, not wanting to face the wrath of a fire-breathing, trash-talking bald dragon.

Tidus had planned, by sitting next to his crush, to follow through with this common (yet oddly successful) cliched tactic, in order to win her over completely. It's common knowledge, the best way to snag a girl hook-line-and-sinker; subject the lucky girl in watching a horror movie and she'll (without a doubt) cling onto you for dear life. That was the original plan... until he became the one clinging onto her, and vice versa. And with the wrong girl. Yuna's cousin, to be precise.

"Rikku..." he hissed, tugging in vain at her fingernail-sharp vice grip. Her hands were like a leech that loves blood-sucking too much to let go. "I can't feel my arm..."

His irritation and hushed demands fell deaf on her poor, terrified ears. Rikku trembled, breaking out into a cold sweat, green eyes bulging in fright, and Tidus sympathized with her, going as far as reflect her anxious behavior.

The would-be, hair-concealed face of the killer leapt forth from its hiding place behind the hospital curtain, brandishing a butcher knife-sized scalpel in hand, and the hapless victim shrieked.

I'm about to pee my pants.

"B-b-bathroom break!" Gippal pressed pause on the remote. Great. I forgot this is a DVD.

"We'll wait for you–."


Gippal snickered, "Chicken-wuss," and without further adieu, pushed the PLAY button. Everyone refocused their eyes on the TV screen after witnessing Tidus's cowardly retreat.

Yuna watched, doe-eyed and absolutely mortified, to the point she wanted to throw up.

A dead carcass. Gruesome blood splatter. And a preteen boy munching on something juicy, crispy, and horrendously gross.

He's eating human flesh.

Roasted human flesh shaped like Christmas cookies.

Human flesh butchered from his mother's dead body using cookie cutters.

Yuna bit her tongue to prevent the inevitable screamage. Unable to watch any more of this sick insanity, she shut her eyes tight and ducked her face behind someone's shoulder, wounding her arms around the person next to her. Fingers traced small circles on Yuna's back, soothing her, tickling her, distracting her– and she sighed and smiled once she realized who it was. Baralai, her beloved step-brother.

"I thought you liked horror movies." His voice was low, quiet, and light. The others couldn't hear him, and this way the movie continued uninterrupted. Her head rose from behind his broad shoulder and their faces met cheek-to-cheek. They slipped into a private conversation.

"Not the bloody ones. I feel faint when I see too much blood."

"You can close your eyes. You don't have to watch."

"But I can still hear it..."

"Then, zone out. Doze off. Rest your eyes." Yuna could feel his mouth stretch into a smile. "It will be over before you know it."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Baralai kept movement to a minimum, stretching his arm around her shoulders, reaching out to grab a folded blanket on the armrest, spreading it out and laying it over themselves, tucking the fuzzy coziness beneath her chin. Snuggling to his arm, Yuna settled into a more comfortable position, resting on his shoulder, tuning out the suspenseful, creepy noises synonymous of a horror movie. The subtle scent of guacamole, sour cream, beans, and cheese, and a soft, spicy scent from his hair– it intoxicated her. Yuna giggled, a bit giddy of the delicious aromatic blend. Hunger lulled her inside a safe bubble, her little comfort zone.

"You smell nice. Like food."

Heat radiated from his face, bashful chuckles reverberating on her head. "Gippal dumped an entire bowl of Spanish dip on me earlier. That's why I smell a little like food."

"Were you tasty?" Her comment was supposed to be silly and innocent, so of course Yuna didn't understand the sexual innuendo she gave birth to.

"...I don't know. I can't taste myself."

"Stop flirting, you two." Baralai scowled, disgruntled at the bossy tap of knuckles on his head, glaring at a smug Paine, stern expression softening when they succumbed to laughter.