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09 July 2011 @ 08:38 pm
Long time lurker, first time poster. Apologies in advance if the following fic is a little unrefined. Out of the blue, I woke up one morning with the urge to write something for Gippal and Rikku. Unfortunately I haven't played the game in ages or read/written fic for them in just as long. Still, I enjoyed writing this and hope you all might enjoy reading it!

Title: Being vague is almost as fun as doing this other thing
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Random fluff.
Summary: All has been said and done when it comes to this whole saving-the-world business, but the same can't be said about where things stand between Gippal and Rikku.

They break up and get back together more times than either can count. What they have is never entirely official, but at fourteen Gippal is the first boy she really wants to kiss. At fifteen, despite his many claims otherwise, Rikku is the first girl he fumbles to second base with. When he runs off to try and save the world, he never expects it to be the girl he leaves behind with glassy eyes and a quivering bottom lip who really helps to achieve the feat. Least of all, he never expects to look for some part of her in every girl he's with thereafter. He never quite finds another like her because, for the good of all Spira, there can only be one Rikku.

When the world settles for a second time, the Gullwings go their separate ways. Yuna happily remains in Besaid with her most beloved guardian while Paine takes a sudden but not-so-mysterious interest in the Youth League. It leaves Rikku 'alone', but she doesn't sit back and mope about it. She simply realizes that her friends have something she wants and goes out to claim satisfaction for herself. She briefly finds it in a brash young blitzer of her own; a guy from Kilika with a refreshing interest in machina and all she has to teach him; even a quiet New Yevonite with perfect hair, perfectly pressed clothing and even the most perfectly perfect manners. Gippal hears gossip about each new exploit from friends who think he's far more interested than he is, none of it ever really bothering him until he bears witness to her innocently holding hands with another man in the streets of Luca. That next day, Djose's workers learn to fear their leader when he's in a foul mood.

He doesn't confront her about it until nearly two months later, when the 'fling' has lasted far longer than anyone expected. The Celsius needs some part or another and Brother sends Rikku to pick it up, because the only thing he loves more than annoying his sister is purposefully sending her off to be annoyed by other people. The neatly wrapped package could have easily been given to her by any worker in exchange for the appropriate gil, yet he demands that it be placed on his desk so that the delivery can be taken care of by him personally. It's a ridiculous little order that nobody bothers to question. He makes sure to look extra busy before she strolls into his cramped make-shift 'office', all paper work and thoughtfully furrowed brows. She's one of the few to ever look particularly unimpressed by his antics, which makes him ignore her in lieu of an already completed order form for just a few minutes more.

"I can see the bright red 'APPROVED' stamp through the cheap paper." She huffs at last, arms folding tightly across her chest. "How much longer are you gonna sit there and pretend to be important?"

"I am important." Comes his quick reply, and he can only hope it doesn't sound as sulky to her as it does to his own ears. Rikku rolls her eyes but offers him a playfully conceding grin.

"Yeah, I know. I'm just trying to avoid stroking your ego. It's big enough as it is." He wants to make a lewd comment, that his ego isn't the only thing that's purportedly big. Wisely, he refrains. "So, you got the part that Brother was after?"

Gippal nods, pulling to a stand and plucking the box off the top of his desk. He holds it out to her only to snatch it back just as she goes to reach for it. He simply can't help himself. Rikku is a little more grown up each time he sees her. A little more grown out in all the right places, and he knows he's not the only man to notice. Perhaps that's why he perpetuates the old nick names and instigates the immature behavior around her. Here in his office, playing a game of keep away better suited to a pair of toddlers, she's still every bit the bright-eyed little girl he shared a childhood with. No matter how much time and distance separates them, nothing can ever take their past away.

By now the box is held as high above his head as he can stretch his arm, weight precariously supported only by his fingertips. He should be concerned by how easily their wrestling could send it crashing down atop his head, but instead he's a little more focused on the way she has to press herself against him. She uses him for leverage and support to try and claim the box, even as she continues to beat at him. Now probably isn't the best of times to broach the subject, but words are falling out of his mouth before he can think to catch them back. "So, Cid's Girl, what's up with you and this guy I've been hearing about?"

The question causes her to recoil with a suspicious look on her face. It's obvious she wants to know who has been gossiping about her, but she's more curious as to why he's asking. She doesn't get flustered or blush like he's sure she would have even less than a year ago, instead offering him a casual shrug. Secretly he curses her growing maturity. "Oh, you know. He's a really nice guy. Things are pretty good, I guess." She offers, clearly trying to avoid any intimate details. He lowers the box, but still refuses to fork it over.

"Isn't he a Yevonite?" he asks, tone incredulous. Gippal knows there are exceptions to the crazy-as-a-loon rule, Baralai being the perfect example. It's still hard to believe Rikku would date someone so conservative. "And what do you mean that things are good, you guess?"

In response to his incessant questioning, she temporarily gives up pursuit of Brother's package. "Don't say Yevonite like that! It's the same way people used to say Al Bhed. I'm trying to be an equal opportunist here." She scolds, then sighs. "But our interests are pretty different. Compromise is a good thing, but I think one of us would have to totally change in order to make the other person happy. That wouldn't be fair to anyone. I think the relationship only works because we don't see each other that often." For some reason, that last bit leaves him feeling a little crestfallen.

"Sort of like us?" he absently wonders. Rikku shakes her head, once again surprising him with how she doesn't bashfully avoid the subject as she once would. She still fidgets a little though, which he thinks is rather cute. The threads she's plucking out of her scarf would probably disagree.

"Things are different for us. We bicker a lot, but we can also get along real well when we try. Sometimes I think it's the fighting part we try harder at, you know? We share a lot in common but are still different enough to keep things interesting, and I like you! I've always liked you. Enough that one day I might be okay with this not-so-often thing turning into an almost-every-day sort of thing. Not right now, but once things calm down a little with your work and I'm done exploring Spira's every last nook and cranny." She's rambling a little, but it's alright because she's saying all the things he wants to hear. Despite always sort of longing for something concrete with her, Gippal thought he would feel more panicked when the subject finally came to light. Surprisingly enough, he's not. "Anyway, we're still young. It used to be that you had to do everything while you still could, but without Sin running around it's okay to kind of space things out now ..."

Now she's blushing a little, and rather than bring it to attention or poke fun at it he saves her by offering a tender smile and holding out the package at long last. Brother is probably wondering what's happened to his airship parts by now. Standing and taking his wordless invitation, she carefully tucks the heavy little parcel under one arm. The slight pout on her lips says that she's a little disconcerted that he no longer has anything to add to their conversation, but also relieved that he's not pressing the issue.

Neither are ready to lay out the true extent of their feelings just yet, but they're both okay with that. His operation has yet to reach the point of being a well oiled machine that can run on its own, and he thinks Rikku is plenty busy with her self discovery. He has a feeling she wants to make a name for herself in the world that isn't attached to anyone. She doesn't want to be Rikku, the daughter of Cid and 'princess' of the Al Bhed or Rikku, the cousin and former guardian of High Summoner Yuna. She wants to be Rikku the yet-to-be-determined-but-surely-awesome-something, and he's certain she'll find it in time. For now, the promise of something more in the not too distant future is enough. It's a vague sort of confirmation of affection that could only work for them.

"Isn't this the part where you try to be all smooth and smarmy, and end our meeting with a kiss? Or at least make some totally lame comment that makes me temporarily doubt my taste in men?" quips Rikku, snapping him out of his reverie. In spite of himself, Gippal laughs.

"I'm wounded, Rikku. You really weren't kidding about going out of your way to avoid stroking my ego! Maybe I'll have to find some other girl to do it while you're gone." He challenges. Smirking as she saunters by, Rikku pauses long enough to stand on tip-toe and press a kiss to his cheek. He sincerely wishes she had planted it just a little more to the left, so that his lips could enjoy the lingering warmth instead.

"You could, but you won't." They both know she's right. "And for the record ... 'The Yevonite' and I have talked about letting things cool off and just being friends. I didn't want to say so before because I figured you would gloat." Indeed, he feels a surge of satisfaction at the news and wants to make a light-hearted yet sarcastic comment. He doesn't. Rikku isn't the only one who has done some growing up, and he's slowly learning that at times it's best to just keep his thoughts to himself.

"Just get those parts back to your brother before he has a conniption fit, would you?" he hopes what his tone really conveys is that he'll miss her. Rikku snorts daintily in response.

"Yeah, alright. Get back to work, you lazy bum!" She mutters while moving toward the door, but what she really means is that she hopes she'll see him soon. Gippal hopes so, too.
icicle_streamsicicle_streams on December 24th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
I like this, it's not too cutesy and for once, they take things a bit slower in an easy-going relationship that's not all about the physicality. Your use of present-tense suits the pace and flow of the story, you have a good mix of longer and short sentences to add interest. Write some more rippal? :D