That Moment

By Bounty Hunter Lani

"So, what did you want to talk to me about?" Chappu asked, staring up at the moon.

The night would have been quite dark, were it not for the thousands of stars above and the light of the moon. She smiled as she watched the wind whip through his auburn hair and around his boyish face. He glanced over at her.

"What are you smiling about?" he asked.

"It's nothing."

"Come on, Lulu. You never smile for nothing," he teased her.

This, of course, made her smile more. She lowered her eyes to the ground and sighed deeply.

"Sure is beautiful tonight," he commented, looking back to the moon.

When he looked to her again, she was still looking at the ground. He knew there was something on her mind.

"Tell me," he said.

Her large brown eyes found their way to his crystal blue ones and she sighed again.

"Now I know there's something wrong. Is it about me leaving?"

"Well...." she trailed off.

"Look, don't worry. I'm gonna be smart about everything I do. You know me."

"Yes, but I also know you're going to be arrogant as well. I do know you."

A smile crossed his face.

"You're beautiful when you're worried," he commented, staring at her.

She smiled again. He had always been able to make her smile.

"You're gonna come to all my games when I get back, right?" he asked, trying to take the tension from the air.

Lulu was silent, but he knew exactly what she was thinking. He turned to her quickly and grabbed her shoulders.

"Lu, listen, I am coming back."

Her silence was chilling.

"I'm not gonna let some oversized sea-monster tear me down!" Chappu stated.

"But---Sin is more than----"

He put his finger to her mouth.

"I've heard this a thousand times," he said gently. "You need to be more possitive. Smile. Let me see it again."

She forced a short smile and let it fade quickly. He shook his head.

"Grumpy." He smiled.

They stared at each other for a few moments in the moonlight. The words were on the tip of her tongue and she wanted them out, but she could force them. They were shut back; locked behind her teeth and her tongue was tied in a knot. She took a deep breath.

"Chappu, all kiddings aside, I'm just being realistic. I mean, what if you don't---"

"Hey! You lost that possitivity already! Seriously though, I am gonna make sure I come back. I couldn't leave all this. There's no way. Come on, what would Wakka do without me?"

Lulu laughed slightly; nervously. "I shutter to think."

"I can't let him down this season." said Chappu, speaking of his beloved pastime of Blitzball. "We've been working on this great move, a double team move. Together. We'll have to show you sometime."

"I'm looking forward to it." she said, gazing up at him happily.

They continued to look up into each other's eyes. Lulu wished it would never end, but the ships of war were comming closer on the bay; she could see them. But she wished she could wave her hand and make the sea swollow them up so that Chappu would never leave her. But----this was what he wanted and she had to consent.

"Chappu, I---"

"Hey, Chappu! You'd better be leaving soon, ya? You don't want to miss your boat."

Lulu closed her eyes. He had to ruin the moment.

"Yeah, you're right, Wakka." he said, brushing past Lulu. "Oh, wait, Lulu, you were gonna tell me something?"

Lulu looked past him to his older brother and then turned her gaze away from both of them. She couldn't describe her emotions at that point. She would have blushed, but nothing about her ever revealed her emotions, not even her skin.

"No. It was nothing," she said.

"Well, then. I'll be going. I don't want to miss my boat!"

Chappu tried to slip away quickly, but Wakka caught him none the less.

"Hey, you forgot your sword!" Wakka called.

Chappu stopped in his tracks. He turned slowly back to his brother. Wakka was standing there, holding the sword out to him: the symbol of their brotherhood bond.

"No. I didn't forget." he said honestly.

"Wha?" Wakka asked, puzzled.

"I--thought I'd be better off--using one of the weapons on the site."

A firm look crossed Wakka's face and concern appeared on Lulu.

"Machina?!" Wakka demanded.

"Yes." said Chappu, sounding ashamed.

"What about the things you've been taught? You're directly defying Yevon!"

"But, it makes sense. Those weapons are much more powerful than this sword. I feel like I'd be doing a greater good."

"But, Sin is our punishment for the bad things we do. If we go against Yevon's teachings, isn't that bad?" Wakka questioned.

"We---can only do what we can. And this is the best chance we have! I have to fight this way, it's the only way!"

Chappu handed the sword back to his brother. As he looked up, he saw that Lulu had come to stand by Wakka, both of their faces looking troubled. Chappu smiled.

"Come on. There is nothing to worry about. I'm coming back. Everything will be fine! I promise. You'll see, Wakka. You'll see-----everything will turn out okay. I'll be home by the first celebration of the new calm. And Lulu--- don't be grumpy. Where's that smile?"

She faked a smile. She would never do that for anyone but him.

"That's more like it. We'll talk when I come back okay. There'll be plenty of time!I have to hurry!"

Chappu picked up his bag and rushed off down the hill. Wakka looked down at the sword in his hand. Despite his strong belief in Yevon, he couldn't give his brother a lecture on the truth. There was nothing to be said. Lulu just stood. No words could come to mind. The darkness gathered around them.

That moment, two fragile human minds were caught on the edge of an emotional cliff. Two hearts had been crushed. One had betrayed his faith for his brother's feelings; the other had denied her love for an instant, not knowing there would never be another. Both of their faces watched as Chappu hurried away; down to the boat that would take him off to war. Later, they would face the most emotional trial of all: carrying on their lives without him: the brother; the child; the lover.

For you see, Chappu couldn't fulfill his promise.

Bounty Hunter Lani's Fanfiction