Yuna's expressive eyes were well suited to tears, but that perfect porcelain smile Lulu had taught her to master (dear Yevon, forgive me) was still fixed on her face three months into the Eternal Calm. Macalania lake might thaw sooner than Yuna's tears. Her former Guardian feared she would never learn to weep and let go. It was the hardest lesson of all, but it couldn't be rushed.
So Lulu left her alone when she wanted to be alone, and spent a lot of time using her glare to good effect to keep the world at bay, as always. Some accused her of the Evil Eye and others said worse, but they could have Sin back, for all she cared: Yuna had suffered enough without having to endure breezy well-wishers who had no idea what she'd been through on their behalf.
Besaid's jungle was useful for keeping a celebrity out of the public eye. Even that little island got too much traffic now, but the Fiends weren't gone entirely, and casual visitors lacked a pilgrimage's worth of training to help them make quick work of anything that came shambling out of the shadows. It was a pity that gentle-hearted Yuna couldn't take the same grim satisfaction as the mage in a well-aimed blast of lightning. But the Summoner liked the forest, the strange cries, the soft sounds of the rain plashing on a thousand levels as the leaves quivered overhead, and there were waterfalls enough to shed all the tears she kept hidden inside.
This particular waterfall had belonged to Lulu and Chappu, but Lulu didn't mind sharing. She didn't mind that Yuna had nothing to say, and had run past small talk and halfhearted giggles into silence, leaning against the mage's shoulder drowsily while the spray from the freshet a few paces away dusted them and coated their hair with fine, tiny spheres of dew. The mage had one arm loosely around her and sat straight-backed and stiff gazing out at the darkening wood for any unwanted visitors: four-legged, no-legged, or two.
Yuna sighed. "Late," she whispered. "We should... go home." Her voice was too flat. Another boatload had arrived today, and a whole handful of mainlanders had been lurking around the temple waiting for a chance to see the great High Summoner.
Lulu dipped her head. "We can wait until dark if you like. Wakka will only fret a little; he knows we can take care of ourselves."
She had not meant for the comforting kiss that skipped across Yuna's forehead to turn into something else; she had kept those feelings carefully buried, mostly even from herself. But who had gone on two pilgrimages to save Yuna the trouble? Who had said, "I will," when Yunalesca asked which of them would sacrifice themselves for their Summoner? Who had watched over her with silent watchdog devotion, and yet stood back to let a young woman find her wings, never clipped them, only fought tooth and nail to keep the world from breaking them?
Sisters was so much easier to feign.
But when Yuna looked up as the sorceress bent over her, somehow (not somehow, it could be no accident; Yuna would step off the highest tower in Bevelle to avoid being where she did not wish to be) their lips skimmed across each other. Lulu stiffened. Yuna hesitated too, but only long enough for blue-green eyes to widen. Then she nuzzled back, mouth warm and quiet and lonely, and it felt like the insistent song of a Summoner's staff calling a long-dead spirit forth from cold stone.
Lulu's will frayed just enough to answer. She drew her arms around her precious Summoner, enveloping her in her sleeves, and kissed the tears away one by one when they came at last.