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Keraunophobia

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Blue mushroom. Yep, big blue mushroom tucked behind some rocks near a lightning tower for safety's sake. That's where she was gonna live for a week. Brother had given her a brand-new remote transmitter and promised that the airship would be by to pick her up as soon as she was ready to bail. Smug bastard. Well, he could just wait until she called, and maybe she'd spend a few extra days shopping in Guadosalam just to drive the point home. Wasn't this his fault to start with, trying to play at black mage when he didn't have any brains, let alone the other attributes she'd come to associate with that profess--?

Rikku shrieked and dove into the newly-erected dome shelter as a lightning bolt struck just a few paces off.

Ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfuck this wasn't such a good idea.

Blue mushroom. Cozy. Snug. Like the fabric-sided houses on Besaid with the baggy underwear ceilings. Rikku liked tents. She knew this kind could stand up through a big-ass sandstorm and not shred, so a piddling rainstorm should be no problem. She lit and hung a glow-light and curled up exactly in the middle of the floor. Yessir, perfectly safe.

Her eyes fell upon an exposed metal pole, part of the latticework of the roof. The tent was buzzing, and her hair was prickling; even the metal buckles of her jumpsuit felt twitchy. Her eyes travelled up to the ceiling and her stomach sank: metal, metal, metal, all over the place! Just great. Well, she knew how all those towers outside worked: even if a bit of bolt got past them, the sparks would just crawl around the outside of the tent's skin like snakes. So that was all right too, but her gut sure didn't believe it. She uncurled from fetal position long enough to tug her duffle bag and bedroll well away from the wall.

Dinner was first, and then Rikku would somehow have to find a way to sleep with the sky exploding.

Nine hours later, she was crying into the sleeping mat, stiffer than a hidebound Yevonite, and every thunderclap was making her whole body jerk. It wasn't like there was anyone around who could hear her whimpering, but she still hated herself for it. Of course, as soon as she thought it, her mind had to start conjuring up invisible witnesses. Maybe Mr. Grouch was floating around watching her with that smug I'm-dead-so-nothing-scares-me arrogance that she should've seen through from the start.

"Fine, you're worse than the storm!" Rikku spat, sending vengeful thoughts back to Guadosalam and the Farplane. If only that tourist trap had been the real deal, then next week she could have sauntered up the steps and go find Auron and Tidus, tell them that she'd done it, by golly, that she, Rikku, had spent a whole week out here in this hellhole, and she wasn't afraid of lightning anymore, not a bit, nope.

"I suppose I can be, sometimes," a velvety female voice said between peals of thunder.

Great. Now she was hallucinating. Rikku sat up, dabbing at her eyes with her scarf. They rounded to spheres when another blue-white flash of lightning painted a black silhouette against the canvas. Robes or something, spines for hair, and-- huh?

"Lulu?" the Al Bhed ventured.

Only Lulu of Besaid could sound like she was stopping by to borrow a hairbrush in the middle of a freaking apocalypse. "May I come in?"

Yep, Rikku was definitely losing her mind. "Sure!"

Rain went pat-pat-pat on the floor tarp for a moment before being blocked by the tall woman stooping to enter with her usual double-moon flash. Some part of Rikku's mind registered with heady triumph that the mage's hair, for once, was not so together. It was coming undone in a wild messy frizz around her ears. Maybe she had taken a near hit from one of the bolts? Then Rikku was hurtling across the floor and wrapping bony arms around the woman and burying her face in the damp ruff of her gown. Normally Rikku would have taken a more cautious approach -- Lulu was like a pocket Ronso, liable to reduce you to a bloody heap if you rubbed her fur backwards -- but right now she was certain that the mage's ire was definitely not as bad as the storm.

"Long time no boom!" Another thunderclap added ironic punctuation. Rikku found herself sobbing and laughing both at the same time. "W-what are you doing out here? Brother didn't bring you to spy on me, did he?"

"Hardly," Lulu said, gathering the shivering girl close. "Why would I have anything to do with your brother?"

Rikku sniffed; wet fur was tickling her nose. Lulu was soaking. "He might've told you I was in trouble or somethin'.'

"Then he'd surely have wheedled Yuna into searching for you. Are you in trouble? This is hardly your element, my dear."

"No," Rikku replied miserably, cringing at another way-too-close ka-BANG. She drew a wobbly breath. "I'm fine. I mean, I'm not fine, but I will be. I'm tired of being teased because I'm scared of lightning. I'm Al Bhed, y'know? We make electricity sit up and beg, just like you do!" She bit back a whimper as the tower outside whined and sizzled.

"Oh, Rikku." Lulu rocked her soothingly. "So stubborn. And so brave. Very like your cousin."

Rikku swallowed. "Really? Well, 'cept Yunie wouldn't be in here quivering over some stupid light show..."

"No, but you both face sorrow or fear with head-on defiance, challenging it to single combat."

"Maybe," Rikku said meekly. "Anyway. I bet Brother that I could last a week out here. But it's awful, Lu, you have no idea what it's like..."

"Not really." The sorceress was still holding her. "Would you like company tonight? I don't suppose that would invalidate the wager."

"Oh, Lu, would you?" Rikku gulped and glanced up at her with relief. She was startled to see dark circles under Lulu's eyes -- unless that was just the poor lighting -- but she looked almost as weary and strung out as Rikku felt. "That would be super. Hey, is everything all right?"

"The Farplane portal seems to be... damaged." The faint stammer was so very un-Lulu-like that it made Rikku stand up straight and stare. The mage inhaled deeply and added, "The Guado tried to warn me, but I foolishly assumed that whatever was going on in there, I could handle it."

Rikku watched her, shyly amazed. Lulu almost sounded afraid. Wasn't that against black mage regulations or something? "What happened?"

Lulu's swift scowl was reassuringly familiar. "If it's all the same to you, Rikku, I'd rather not dwell on it."

"Oh, okay." Yet another lightning bolt short-circuited her brainpan, and Rikku banged her chin against the woman's collarbone when she flinched.

"Rikku." Man, that was going to leave a bruise, but the sorceress simply held on, enveloping her in cold, wet sleeves. "Listen. Let's try an experiment, shall we? I'd like you to imagine that the tent stretched overhead is an adamantoise shell, harder than diamond. Feel the solid earth under your knees. Make yourself a part of the earth. You are rock, stone, sand. You feel the lightning's sting, but it dissipates when it touches you, weakening as it spreads out--"

"Lulu, I'm not a mage, okay?" Rikku snapped. "That doesn't work. Thanks anyway. Are you cold? You're soaking wet."

"Indeed." Lulu said. "I was enjoying the storm."

"You're so weird." Rikku raised her head cautiously like a skittish snail and waved a hand towards the nest she had made for herself. "Blankets. More blankets. Have some." The next lightning bolt made her jump, but Lulu's presence was distracting enough to make it bearable.

Make that very distracting when she began shucking leather, fur, and boots -- why in Spira did the woman wear fishnets in the middle of a wasteland? -- and stripped down to a few bits of black silk that might as well be Ribbons. Rikku tried to imagine what her Brother would say if he got an eyeful of this, and promptly wished she had not gone there. Lulu selected a green furry blanket and wrapped it around herself, although modesty and the mage seemed to be rather casual acquaintances. "Thanks."

"Sure thing." Rikku tried to sound nonchalant, although her heart was still hammering away like a runaway steam engine as it had been for the last eleven and a half hours.

The woman gestured towards the mat. "Would you like me to work on your back? It might help."

"Hunh?" Rikku's eyes narrowed. She suddenly remembered that Lulu was quite capable of whipping off much bigger spells than her stupid brother at a moment's notice, and it struck her that spinal chords and black magic would not be a good working combination. "That depends on how many volts you plan to use."

Lulu gave one of those low laughs that reminded her of painfully frustrated Yevonites. Had the sorceress ever noticed the effect she had on some of those poor priests? "I meant a massage. I fear it would take an aeon to pound your muscles into submission right now, but I'll do what I can, if you like."

"Ooooo." Rikku twisted and flopped over on her stomach and elbows. "Heck ya." Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a fleeting frown cross the mage's features again -- what now? -- but whatever that was about, it did not stop Lulu from settling over her and pressing the heels of her hands against the girl's lower back.

Lulu set to work unravelling knots and clenched muscles with the same methodical precision that she had once applied to the puzzles and locked doors in the Cloisters of Trials. This, too, was two steps forward and one back, since every thunderclap made Rikku tense up again. Gradually Lulu's coaxing fingers began to lull her into a trance, push-push-pushing scary lightning away. It felt glorious. In fact, her hips were tingling where the taller woman was straddling her to reach her shoulders. Her whole back tingled, too, when Lulu finally switched to running her fingertips in light spirals and circles up and down, ending the ritual. "There, I think that's lifted the petrification," the mage murmured, combing fingers through her hair. "For now, at least?"

"Thanks," Rikku said. She rolled onto her side, smiling muzzily. "Wow."

Sleeping arrangements were a little awkward, since Rikku had not expected any visitors, but Lulu seemed to have added Rikku to the Yunie-list of people who could touch her without being flambéed. It was Rikku's tent after all. The older woman drifted off quickly, taking the rumble of thunder and the patter of rain for a lullaby. Rikku felt a good deal more relaxed than an hour ago, but every time she started to drop off, another earsplitting thundercrack would drill into her skull. Also, she was startled to discover, there was something more than merely snuggly about the way the two of them were spooned together, with Lulu's arms around her waist, warm breath against her ear, and those attributes which made Rikku feel self-conscious mashed against her shoulderblades. Rikku wasn't interested in her that way, and she doubted any such thought had ever crossed Lulu's mind, but dang, even asleep, the woman just oozed sensuality. She smelled nice, too.

What a weird night. Well, the sorceress was still human, at least: she was beginning to emit squeaky little snores. Grinning, Rikku listened for a while before falling back on Plan C. With a weary sigh, she reached down and slid her hand into her shorts.

It hadn't done much good earlier, but having warm comfy curves at her back seemed to be helping. There was something deliciously daring about trying to get herself off without waking up the person right behind her. Another bolt slamming into the earth some distance off shook her concentration, but Rikku kept going. Thief's fingers, well-versed in many nefarious activities...

Yikes. One of Lulu's hands had slipped and was opening and closing in her sleep. It wasn't exactly groping -- there wasn't much to grope anyway -- but it was kind of creepy.

Or, actually, rather tingly. Score a few more points for the weird brigade tonight.

Rikku began to pant, even though it had been at least two minutes since the last flash of lightning. Stress made her horny, and she was so close--

Damn. Lulu stirred behind her, and her hand had stopped moving. Rikku froze.

"Rikku?"

Rikku didn't say a word. Maybe the sorceress would think she was still asleep.

The woman shifted slightly, still hugging her close. Her arms were laced across Rikku's, including the one that had been busy just a moment ago. Was Lulu awake enough to notice where Rikku's right hand was?

The sorceress was practically breathing on her neck. No, she was...

She was...

Maybe Rikku had finally drifted off and started dreaming. Soft velvety lips nibbling the nape of her neck were not very likely, nor were Lulu's fingertips supposed to be tracing faint circles over her stomach. Rikku let slip a faint moan.

"Good?" The breathy question at her ear was not the least bit innocent, and she felt another lightning stab of panic.

"Mmm," she answered. Her vocal chords were apparently hooked up backwards right now, responding to a different master than her brain.

"Then why stop?"

Rikku blushed so fiercely that she suspected the woman could smell it. Another lightning bolt unzipping half the sky made the tent-poles rattle. "Stop what?" she blurted.

That purry chuckle of Lulu's just had to be against the Teachings. Lithe fingers slid down Rikku's forearm and stroked the back of her hand, barely grazing her inner thighs. "A very good way to relax."

"Um," Rikku said, squirming. "But..."

"Venus crest, Venus sigil, remember? I'm hardly likely to be offended."

Fingers. Back of her wrist. Whispery little caresses like chocobo feathers. Right, well then. Rikku had no idea what esoteric mumbo jumbo Lulu was babbling on about, but apparently she wasn't going to tease her, except, well, what was that tongue doing to her earlobe? Rikku exhaled shakily and picked up where she had left off, swirling her fingers in and out. Sporadic kisses pattered across her shoulders. She twisted on the mat, coaxing one of the mage's wandering hands to fall across her breasts. Okay, so maybe there was something to this Venus business. Even through her jumpsuit fabric, the fingertips trickling over her tits were pure magic. And when the tip of Lulu's tongue twisted warm and wet inside her ear, Rikku definitely saw sparks. She convulsed around her fingers with a wrench, whimpering and gasping while flicking fingers played havoc with her nipples, setting off a secondary explosion.

Slowly the pleasant tremors subsided. Flushed, Rikku wondered if she could just lie there and pretend nothing had happened; most likely Lulu would file it away as some obscure bit of lore under "Rikku: how to kill". But warm limbs were still tangled around her, and the quick, hot breaths at the back of her neck told her that Lulu was wide awake. Another lightning bolt made Rikku jerk for the wrong reasons.

Ah, why not. What was the worst that could happen?

She summoned up her courage and rolled over, coming face to face with lush lips, lusty half-closed eyes, features shining with faint perspiration.

Shit. Sexy goddesses with perfect skin did not normally figure into Rikku's bedtime fantasies, but she felt a little kick in the solar plexus that suggested that might change.

This plan definitely ranked right up there with "pitch a metal-poled tent smack dab in the middle of the Thunder Plains and camp out," but Rikku was already on a roll, so why stop now? She scootched upwards and skipped a maybe-just-an-accident kiss across the corner of Lulu's mouth. The throaty purr that she got in response made her feel all melty, and she addressed herself to those warm lips with growing enthusiasm as the sorceress responded in kind, licking and suckling until they were locked mouth to mouth, wrestling with one another.

Finally Rikku broke off for air. "Lulu... what are we doing?"

"Keeping away the storm." The mage slid a hand up her face, cupping her cheek. "Does what we're doing frighten you?"

"N-no... well... maybe. A little." Rikku snuggled against her. "But it's nice. I'm just confused. I mean, we're friends, but... we're friends, y'know? And I'm not Wakka."

"Certainly not," Lulu said. "For which we can both be grateful."

"Yeah, 'cuz like, you've never tried to aerate my skull." Rikku slid her legs between Lulu's and felt another quivery jump down there. "You, um. You want to relax too, maybe?"

"Mmm." The sorceress made a delicious growly noise in her throat. "I can think of few better ways to put a nasty shock out of one's mind, can you?"

Rikku felt a tad guilty for being pleased to learn there was something that could rattle the mage, even if... "I so do not want to know, do I?"

"Absolutely not." Lulu's other hand tightened in her hair.

Another near strike spurred her to lunge for Lulu's mouth, feeling very queer as thunder rolled from Home to Zanarkand and back while their tongues flirted. Those breasts were practically a waterbed, pinnacle of Al Bhed luxury. Except waterbeds didn't moan when you squeezed them. Well, not that Lulu's breasts were doing the talking, but her lips, gods-- and fingers brushing her just where the ticklish skin of her waist turned into hips -- they had plenty to say.

Suddenly they were crawling all over one other, Lulu's toes creeping up the sides of Rikku's calves and Rikku's hands skating her breasts and belly ticklishly while they wrestled. There was another ka-bang right outside, but Rikku barely noticed, burrowing under the blanket of Lulu's hair and trying to see what her ears tasted like.

Yep, even goddesses had earwax, but that breathy cry was beautiful.

Time to peel her out of those ribbons. The last few scraps of black fabric went flying and smacked into the tent wall in short order, and then Rikku was darting over her with her tongue, nipping and tickling, giddy with the new tracts of real estate that had just opened up. Magical musical mage -- all she had to do was lift up a breast and kiss her under there and Lulu went boneless for a few seconds, moaning wantonly. Payback for Lulu's discovery a few minutes ago that sucking and swallowing her fingers one at a time was a guaranteed way to reduce her friend to quivering sighs.

Rikku nuzzled Lulu's belly button and raised her head, scanning for more targets. Lulu was smiling down at her. Miss Grumpy actually looked happy for a change, warm and glowing and lewd with the tip of her tongue catching in the corner of her mouth when she noticed Rikku's glance.

"Hi," the girl said, hunkering down only a little for thunderbolt number five thousand and sixty-two.

Lulu's hands stroked through her hair. "Enjoying yourself?"

Rikku's sunny grin widened.

"Good, because now it's my turn." The sorceress stretched languidly, slid hands around the girl's thin waist, and rolled Rikku under her. There was far too much hair, but Rikku didn't mind being drowned in it when it flowed over her exposed skin like wet silk. She had to help Lulu with her jumpsuit's buckles -- ironic, considering her favorite attire -- and wriggled out of her shorts with quivering anticipation.

Rikku was confused for a moment when Lulu turned around, swinging a knee over her nose and kneeling over her. Then she got a whiff of sex, womanhood and want. Before she had too much time to think about what this meant, Lulu was arching down over her, gently nudging Rikku's thighs apart, and diving down into warm damp curls with her mouth. Rikku yelped and shuddered as knowing lips seized her and began to suck, tongue flickering against her in ways that fingers simply could not match. Rikku gripped the sides of Lulu's legs and held on, whimpering sighs tumbling out. Lulu jellified her with another husky "mmmm" as her tongue scooped deeper in, sampling her. Her breasts were tickling Rikku's stomach, too. The ground shook again, but Lulu's thighs squeezing her ears dampened the sound of the crash, and Rikku was no longer entirely sure whether the vibrations were coming from outside or inside.

Hips wriggled over her face in an unmistakable request. Rikku opened her eyes and was treated to one view of the sorceress she had never expected, albeit in shadow. Fishnets served as a glorious runway strip, and Rikku skimmed her hands along them appreciatively. Reaching back to roll the top of the mattress over and give herself a bit of a pillow, Rikku tilted up her chin and gave a hesitant slurp.

Delicious did not even begin to describe the taste, and Rikku squeezed another lusty groan out of Lulu with her next lick. It was difficult to concentrate with a firm tongue lapping at her feverishly, sending invisible waves of thunder rippling through her. Rikku lunged and lapped at her with budding euphoria, finding all sorts of crafty tricks to make the woman quiver and writhe above her. Thrusting her tongue up and inside, she could barely breathe, but Lulu's warmth and slippery wetness were intoxicating.

Hands were sliding up her inner thighs, nails raking her gently. Rikku gurgled incoherently when nibbling lips slid upwards to suckle her while a finger carefully, exquisitely worked its way into her sex. Her head was swimming. Was Lulu really going to--

She shrieked again as the finger dove into her, curling slightly to tickle her inner walls. Before long a second finger slid in there thrusting and quivering, while the Al Bhed girl gulped and whimpered, pulsing her hips hungrily and begging her to go faster, deeper. Distracted as she was, her ravishing of the sorceress was a little more erratic, but Lulu's dancing hands encouraged her to give deep-tonguing a break and try the hands-on approach. The groan vibrating against her sex nearly stunned her to forget to move. She was astonished to feel the woman's hot inner walls sucking at her fingers greedily, like her mouth had a short time ago. Their bodies slid and heaved, slippery now with perspiration, and the heat between them more than compensated for dislodged blankets.

Lulu wasn't letting up any more than the storm, and Rikku was pumping her hips desperately, milking the jangling thrills of touch and sensation until she was riding ecstasy and hanging onto the mage's thigh with nails digging in. She broke and wailed, flinging her head back and gasping for air while Lulu's tongue and fingers hammered her, refusing to let her squirm away from too-much so-good sparks shooting through her. She thrashed and rode the cresting waves for nearly a minute before remembering the other half of the equation. Still shuddering, Rikku flung herself back into Lulu's sex with gusto, nipping and plunging her tongue with playful urgency while she experimented with clever little twists and long, quivery strokes that elicited hoarse moans. Make that banshee howl. Rikku was almost smothered when the mage suddenly pressed down, hips bucking across her face, washing her chin and cheeks with sweet tangy juices that burned her lips. The last tingling aftershocks in her own body kept Lulu company while she rode out her own noisy climax.

They slowed and stilled, pawing at one another in languid contentment for a while before Lulu rolled off of her and turned around again, kissing her with a murmuring sigh. Wordlessly they resettled the blankets over themselves and wrapped around each other; Rikku uncharacteristically robbed of speech, Lulu making wicked little grunty noises as she settled down. They shared one final lingering kiss, then let sated weariness overtake them.

So that's why they call it Thunder Plains, Rikku thought blearily as she drifted off.