Chappu/Lulu. My interpretation of how their relationship might have developed.
"Lulu, what are you building there?" Jana bent down to the little girl, her long red hair swinging forward.
"It's the temple," the child replied seriously, and Jana hid a smile. Just turned five, she was young to be so self-possessed, but considering her parents, Jana could see where Lulu got it. She shaded her eyes to look down the beach after her own two sons, who were now happily wrestling in the water. As they rolled and laughed, she could see a large blue shape rising out of the sea toward them. "Lulu, sweet pea, stay right here," Jana ordered, and took off down the beach toward the fiend that threatened her boys. They continued to play, happily oblivious. Jana murmured the correct prayer and called a bolt of lightning out of the cloudless blue sky. The fiend made a gurgling sound and disintegrated in a gush of water and a cloud of pyreflies.
Distracted by the sound, the boys gave up their contest and looked up at her. "Mama?" Wakka asked. "What's wrong?"
Jana scooped up Chappu and briefly tried to smooth his hair, but gave it up as a helpless endeavour. "Nothing, dear. Come on back to the village, now. It's lunchtime, and I know you must be hungry. Lulu!" At her sharp call, the girl scrambled along the sand toward her, dark hair flying in the sea breeze. "Let's go home and get some lunch, shall we?"
Lulu smiled and settled in to walk at Jana's left as Wakka fell in to the right. As she did every day, Jana thanked Yevon from the bottom of her heart that she had been given these precious children to love--the sons she'd made with Lakko and her best friend's daughter.
Out of habit, Jana glanced out to sea. The water was as calm as the sea ever was, with no sign of the terror that always lurked. Jana took a deep breath and prayed that Sin would not trouble this peaceful little island for a while yet.
The local Crusaders' Lodge kept the path from village to beach relatively clear of fiends as a training exercise, and they returned to Besaid village without incident. Both Lulu and Wakka were beginning to droop from the long walk, which meant they would take good naps when they were done eating.
The boys were uninterested in kitchen affairs, and devoted themselves to a game of Crusaders, but Lulu watched wide-eyed and solemn while Jana spread soft cheese on the flat bread she'd baked that morning and sliced fruit. Jana poured water into the squat cups Lakko had made for the children and set out the meal. They devoured it hungrily, and Lulu carried the dishes to the washing area with great care. Not long after, she and Wakka began to yawn. Chappu was already half-asleep where he sat on the woven rug on the floor.
"Naptime, I think," Jana said. Lulu pouted, but curled up under a light sheet. Wakka was more vocal in his protests, but subsided when he realized that Lulu and Chappu were already half-asleep. Jana left her three charges napping peacefully and went to the weaving tents.
Ama was seated in front of her loom, slender hands flying as she worked the shuttle. The cloth taking shape was a beautiful vivid pattern of blues and greens. Jana stood for a moment admiring her closest friend's work until Ama sensed her presence and turned with a smile. "The children are asleep?"
"Yes. Lulu's so serious sometimes." Jana seated herself next to Ama, who laughed and set her shuttle aside.
"Is the fishing boat back yet?" Ama looked longingly at the entrance to the weaving tent, but didn't get up. She would finish her cloth today.
"No, I didn't see it at the beach. But no sign of Sin, either, thanks be to Yevon." Jana made the gesture of prayer, as did Ama. "They will be back soon."
"Yes, I know. I simply worry." Ama smiled. "I miss Rashi."
"And I miss Lakko." Jana shrugged. "They're due back late today, so I'm sure we'll see them tonight."
"I hope the fishing went well. We're running a little low." Ama frowned.
"Don't worry so much, Ama. All will be well." Jana smiled as she rose. "I should get back to the children."
"Jana, thank you for taking care of Lulu," Ama said.
"She's a joy, Ama. Be proud of her." Jana left quietly and went back to her own tent. There was some mending she could do to while away the time during the children's nap.
Lulu cuddled her moogle doll and lay very still so her mother and father wouldn't know she was still awake. She liked listening to the rise and fall of their voices when they talked quietly after she had gone to bed. She could hear the sigh of the sea breeze through the trees around the village, and the sounds of the small island wildlife.
Just as she was closing her eyes to really sleep this time, she noticed that the insects weren't singing anymore.
"Ama?" Her father's voice sounded strange.
"Yes, Rashi. I hear it." Lulu chanced opening her eyes wide enough to really see. Her mother was standing with one hand resting against her throat, her eyes huge in the soft candlelight.
"Yevon, protect us." Her father began to pray, as did her mother. Lulu clutched her moogle tighter and her thumb crept toward her mouth, a habit her mother had broken her of last year. Something was very wrong.
It started as a high, whistling wind, like sometimes happened in winter storms. Lulu burrowed into her sheets and whimpered against her doll. She could hear things crashing outside, like when Wakka and Chappu swung their toy swords in the house and crashed into Jana's table, only louder. The walls of their tent were shaking now. She took a deep breath, ready to dash out of bed, even though it would make her mother angry, but then something even scarier happened. The walls of their tent tore open with a loud, angry sound, and she heard more loud crashes. Her mother screamed, then screamed again. Lulu pulled the pillow over her head and cowered, terrified. The crashing and screaming--not just her mother's--went on for what seemed like forever, then it grew quieter. After a long, long time, she heard a few insects start to sing again. Slowly, she sat up and crept out of bed, dragging her moogle doll by the arm.
Her father was lying near the table, with one of the heavy support poles from their tent over his face. Her mother was sprawled across him, facedown. There was a heavy smell in the air, a little like the blacksmith's tent, and there was red stuff everywhere. She bent forward to tug at her mother's hand, but it fell away from her fingers, leaving red streaks on her hand. "Mama? Mama? Daddy? Mama!" She pulled harder, but her mother didn't answer. "Daddy! Daddy, wake up, not funny!" But neither of them got up to answer her, and her mother didn't hold her hand.
She could hear people outside, crying and talking. She wasn't supposed to go out after dark, but maybe her parents needed help. She chewed on her lower lip, and decided to go find Jana. Jana would know what to do, and she lived right next door.
Outside, she gaped at the village. When her mother had called her in for dinner, it had been quiet and pretty. Now the support poles of the tents stuck up like the twigs Wakka always stuck into his sand castles at odd angles. The adults were standing in little groups, some crying. Lulu crept along to Jana's tent and peeked in the entrance, which was mostly still up, but sagging. She couldn't see Jana or Lakko, but Wakka and Chappu were curled up right inside the door, crying.
"Lulu!" Chappu held up his arms. "Lulu, Lulu!"
"Chappu, where's Jana?" Lulu clutched her doll tight with both hands, transferring dark red marks from her hands to its soft covering.
Chappu started to wail again, which made Wakka start, too. Lulu peered into the darkness of the tent, but couldn't see anything. "Jana? Lakko?" She took a few steps forward. "Jana, I think Mama's hurt. Are you there?"
"Lulu?" She turned and saw Lord Kieran, the summoner, standing in the doorway. "Come outside, sweetheart. You too, Wakka, Chappu."
"Mama!" Chappu demanded.
"Come with me for right now, Chappu, and we'll come back for your Mama." Kieran, who was very old--much older than Jana, who was all grown up--bent with a little groan and picked Chappu up. "Come on, Wakka. Lulu! Come here."
Lulu hesitated. "Lord Kieran, I think Mama's hurt."
"Ah, and you came to find Jana?" He smiled when she nodded. "We'll go check on your mother in just a minute, Lulu, but now you must come with me."
Some of the village women were gathering all the children in the large circle near the temple where new summoners called their first aeon. Kieran brought Lulu, Wakka, and Chappu to the circle. "Sit here, and we'll go make sure your parents are all right," he told them, setting Chappu down with a grunt. "You listen to Meri, you hear?"
"Yes, Lord Kieran," Lulu said quietly. Chappu grabbed on to her hand, looking terrified. Wakka was sucking his thumb.
"Ah, Lulu, good, you're all right." Meri smiled down at her. "Now, we're all going to sing the Hymn to the Fayth, all right? Ready?"
Lulu clutched Chappu's hand and began to sing.
She woke up in the shade of the temple approach, tucked under a small blanket. Her moogle doll lay next to her on the pillow. She sat up suddenly and looked around her. Wakka and Chappu were curled up nearby. But where was her mother?
"Good morning, Lulu." Father Arusa, the head priest of the temple, was standing above her. "Will you come with me?"
"Where's Mama?" Lulu demanded, scooping up her doll.
"Please come with me, child, and we will talk," Father Arusa said.
"I want Mama." Lulu set her jaw and stared up at the priest.
"I know, child. Come with me, now." Father Arusa took her hand and led her toward the temple. Many people lay on thin mats in the main hall of the temple. He led her to one of the small rooms behind the tall staircase that led to the Cloister of Trials.
"Lulu, you know about Sin, right?" Father Arusa asked.
"Sin is our punishment for our wicked ways, and when we atone, it will be gone." Lulu recited what Jana had painstakingly taught her.
"Do you know what that means, Lulu?"
She frowned and tried to remember what Jana had said. "It means that a long time ago people did something very bad, and that made Sin, and we have to apologize to Yevon and do as the teachings say. Once we do, Sin will go away."
"Very good. Your mother taught you well." Father Arusa smiled.
"Mama didn't teach me much. Mostly Jana because she watches me while Mama weaves," Lulu answered. Why did the priest need to ask her about Sin? Wasn't it his job to know this?
"Lulu, sometimes when Sin gets near a town, bad things happen," Father Arusa began. "He knocks down buildings, and sometimes people get hurt."
Lulu clutched her doll so tightly that the stuffing started to move away from where her arm pressed. "Where's Mama?"
"Lulu, your mother and father were very badly hurt by Sin. I'm afraid they won't be coming back," Father Arusa said.
"Not coming back? But they didn't go anywhere! They were in our tent!"
"Lulu, did Jana teach you about the Farplane?"
"The Farplane is where the summoners send people who have died so they don't become fiends," Lulu recited.
"Yes. People who have been hurt very, very badly have to go on to the Farplane. Your mother and father are going there."
Father Arusa sighed. "Yes, child. Sin came last night and broke many things in the village, and killed many of the people. Your parents both died."
Lulu started to cry. "I want Jana!"
"Jana...Jana also died," Father Arusa told her.
"No! No! No! NO!" Lulu jumped to her feet and stared up at Father Arusa. "They can't be dead! They were fine yesterday! I want them to come back now! This isn't a good game!"
"Lulu, they can't come back--Lulu! Come back here this instant!" Father Arusa made a grab for the back of her dress as she dashed for the door, and missed.
She raced out of the temple, past all the children sleeping, and ran to the tumbled pile of wood and cloth that used to be her family's tent. She dashed inside and skidded to a halt. There was no one there. Their belongings were a mess, but no parents, and the floor had masses of flies on it. She could just see a brownish smear underneath their swarming black bodies.
"Now, then, what's all this?" She spun fast and saw Lord Kieran standing in the doorway, leaning on his walking staff.
"Father Arusa is very unhappy that you ran out of the temple that way," he said after a moment.
"They're not gone! I want them to come back! I don't like this game!"
"I only wish it were a game, sweetheart." Lord Kieran sighed. "Will you come with me to the beach? It is time for the sending. I think Wakka and Chappu would like it very much if you were there with them."
Lulu's eyes filled with tears. "Can't you bring them back?"
"No, Lulu. Not even the aeons can do that."
"But you have special magic! You can heal things! Fix them!" She stamped her foot.
"I can heal wounds, yes, but this is something no one can do. I'm sorry." Lord Kieran held out his hand. "Come with me now. The sending is very important."
"I want them back," she whimpered as she dragged her feet toward him.
"I know, sweetheart. Come, you must be strong for Wakka and Chappu. See? Here they are." She stepped into the bright sunlight and saw her friends standing at the entrance to their tent, staring at their feet.
Everyone in the village trooped slowly down to the beach for the sending. There was a strong, cool breeze that ruffled her hair and felt good on her hot skin. Lord Kieran stepped out across the water, balancing perfectly on its surface. He began a slow, graceful dance with smooth movements of his staff. A huge, shimmering cloud of pyreflies rose from the water beneath his feet and streamed up into the sky. Lulu, standing on the beach with Wakka and Chappu clutching her hands, thought it was very pretty, but at the same time, she hated it. Those pyreflies meant that her mother was never coming back, never never never.
Lord Kieran finished the sending and came back to the beach. Lulu noticed that he was limping again, although he had danced just fine. Was that part of the summoner magic?
He stopped in front of them. "Let's take you back to Meri, then, and she'll take care of you, all right?"
"Lord Kieran?" Lulu squinted up at him. The bright sunlight hurt her eyes.
"I hate Sin. I hate it!"
"So do I, sweetheart. So do I. Come on, I think you need something to eat. It's been a very bad night for all of you." He walked toward the village. Lulu followed with Wakka and Chappu. She paused at the edge of the beach to look back.
The water was peaceful. The beach looked much as it had yesterday, except that the dock had collapsed. The last few pyreflies were drifting away from the water.
Lulu sniffed and continued back toward the village. Where was she going to live now with Mama and Jana both gone?
Author's Note: That's the first chapter. Concrit is welcomed with open arms.