Lulu slowly walked to the Temple, where Yuna had been set aside a few rooms in the aftermath of the Calm to receive foreign dignitaries and the like, her own hut being woefully inadequate for the task. It was Yuna's temporary solution to the problem of conducting her affairs while she was on Besaid, at least until the bigger quarters she had commissioned were completed.

She was looking forward to seeing Yuna again. Her status as the most sought-after person on Spira meant she had to spend a great deal of time away from Besaid. Lulu hadn't seen her for three weeks, and was looking forward to catching up with her. Yuna had thrown herself wholeheartedly into her work after the Calm, perhaps as a way of forgetting Tidus, and Lulu was anxious to see how she was doing. Any happiness she had felt upon their impending reunion, however, had been dampened by her encounter with Wakka.

The gravel of the road crunching beneath her boots, Lulu allowed herself a moment of anger for Wakka's perceptiveness. She didn't want—didn't need—his help or concern. Damn him! How had he known?

You don't need to be a fortune teller, her mind drily replied. You look absolutely horrible.

She cursed, knowing it was true. Even she had been startled, looking into her mirror this morning, at how pasty her skin had looked and how deeply shadowed her eyes were. Obviously applying her makeup with a trowel hadn't fooled Wakka. He had been observing her for some time now, that much she knew, but today had been the first time he had actually broached the subject directly.

"Do you want to tell me what's wrong?" he had asked. She had hesitated, for a half second, toying with the notion of telling him, the prospect of unburdening herself nearly overwhelmingly appealing. But she couldn't. She had been going at it alone for so long now that she couldn't imagine trusting anyone else.

One of the teachings of Yu Yevon, discredited though he now was, explained that no man was an island, entire unto himself. Lulu, though, prided herself on being self-sufficient. If there was one experience life had taught her, it was that she could depend on nobody but herself. The lesson had been taught cruelly, but she had learned well.

***

The meeting with Yuna had gone better than she thought, in spite of her lingering anger over Wakka's intrusiveness. Yuna was busy, but her new role seemed to agree with her: she seemed happy to be of help to the new Spira, even if she was a bit harried at the enormous amount of work her new position required. But Yuna had taken the afternoon off, and they had taken a walk along the beach, talking and giggling over old times. Lulu left her, reluctantly, before dinner. Yuna hadn't complained, but Lulu knew she had been keeping her away from her work.

Lulu walked home along the path, humming to herself as she went. She had intended to finish some work in her garden in the few hours of daylight remaining, preparing the soil for next year's planting, but she was suddenly, and unexpectedly, tired.

Oh well, she thought. There's no hurry. I guess it can wait until tomorrow. She slid out of her dress, and, not even bothering to hang it up, left it crumpled on the floor. As she climbed into bed, yawning, she thought of Wakka and her promise. Her former anger at him abated. I suppose he was right, her brain sleepily mused. I probably could do with a few extra hours of sleep.

***

It was the beach at Besaid, the night before Chappu left: the night she had lost her virginity, her back digging uncomfortably into the rough sand as he moved over her, whispering promises into her ear, promises that he had never returned to keep. In the middle of the night, she had reached for him, staying awake and cradling him in her arms until he woke, the dawn breaking over a beautiful sunrise—the last that they would ever see together.

In the dream though, when she reached for him, he was already dead: a bloody gashing wound across his abdomen, exposing his entrails, which spilled out when she tried to pick him up. Terrified, she opened her mouth to scream, but her voice refused to comply, except with a few inaudible croaks. She scrabbled back across the sand, trying desperately to run, when terrifyingly, his eyes opened. His wound ripped apart viciously as he stood up, pointing at her: "This is all your fault Lulu! Your fault! Why didn't you save me? Why didn't you save us?"

Behind him, she saw through the murky darkness other unsent walking towards her, hands outstretched, fingers pointing: her parents, Ginnem, the villagers at Killika… too many to count, all chanting, "Your fault, your fault, your fault!"

She put her hands over her ears, and this time, her voice obeying her, screamed out, "NOOOOOOO!"

She awoke gasping, back at her hut, bathed in a cold sweat, and chilled to the bone with a cold no amount of blankets could cure.