Lulu smirked faintly. "I'm sorry, Yuna, but he should have knocked." The leather felt soft and comforting against her skin as she threw the garment over her head slid into the black sheath of her gown.
You tease us! But that's ok. :)
"When the Calm comes, who knows?" Lulu allowed possibilities to hang in the air, feeling the weight of the impossible. "Maybe then I'll think about it."
Could this be a heartbreaking foreshawdowing for the long-awaited Resurrection IV?
Sometimes Lulu thought the Summoner should have tried the sword's art; she had a masterful way of slipping right past one's guard. "Oh?"
I like the way you paint Yuna. It's accurate and subtle. She doesn't parade her power. She keeps it quiet, interpersonal and often unspoken. But it is also undeniable.
"Good." Yuna giggled and gave her a final squeeze before releasing her. "Sorry, I just can't help but imagine you two being all grouchy and gruff together, like an old Ronso couple."
Apt in-game simile! I like those.
"Hey," Rikku protested, looking up from the hilt of the sword she was tinkering with, a replacement for Auron's missing weapon. "We all want Yunie to win! We're just not willing to let her die. If you think for one moment--"
I'd suggest having someone other than Rikku say this, as she was constantly nagging the party to turn around. Unless there's something I'm not grasping here.
Is this the end of this arc? It sounds like it could be.
Again, bravo. I always enjoy your writing, you know. You know what I think? It would be interesting to try and write something with you. I've never attempted team-writing before, and I think our writing is similar enough to mesh. Just a idea, of course. :)
I don't know why simple conversations took me so long to write.
Teasing the readers -- I kept wanting to dwell on Lulu's almost painful beauty while I had her nekkid in this chapter, but there wasn't really a place for it. Yuna's used to it. :)
Resurrection IV -- will be Zanarkand through the end of the game, with an epilogue I wrote long ago that may or may not be its own piece. I am going to be a bit self-indulgent and prolong that part of the story.
Rikku's protest: I may have framed that somewhat clumsily. Rikku's attitude towards the pilgrimage was complicated. She wanted Yuna to turn around, but starting at the edge of the Calm Lands, she and Tidus shifted to trying to brainstorm ways for Yuna to survive. When Tidus and Yuna came back from their watery liason, Rikku said that she guessed that if Yuna really REALLY wanted to go, then they should go with her. Even up on Mt. Gagazet, when they were looking down at Zanarkand...Rikku claimed: "I'm not saying we shouldn't go. But shouldn't we think about it some more? There's gotta be some kind of way we can save you, Yuna!" Now, I think Rikku wasn't really fooling anybody, but my thought in this conversation was that Auron's telling Lulu that it's all right to stay behind if she's too shaky-- that was also the meaning of his words in the tent just before he stepped out, that others will see Yuna to the end if need be-- but he hides his true meaning by pretending to be telling Tidus and Rikku, the two doubters, to stay behind if they're not fully committed to the quest. Rikku both is and isn't fully committed. By this point in the story she has fairly well resigned herself to Yuna's pilgrimage and keeps going, hoping against hope that she and Tidus will find some way to save her.
This isn't quite the end of an arc, although I'm struggling a little to find my way to the end. I vaguely had in mind that a night spent at the Ronso village before they ascend the summit will give Auron and Lulu a little more quality time.
As for collaborating -- possibly someday; I love your writing so much, and we do think similarly! But Trekqueen has first claim on me, and I'm also avoiding committing to anything else right now, as I always turn online recreation into "work" until I burn out. I've just spent two years being obligated to an online community 2-8 hours a day, every single day, in a heavy-duty moderator position, and I only just retired to free myself up to play a bit, so I want some time where nobody is relying on me for anything. :)