Stay (With Me)
15 years old, Rikku leaned into Gippal closing her eyes. She knew this wouldn't last forever, she was leaving soon to go after Yunie and save her from the pilgrimage. Plus even if it wasn't for that, Gippal had received word he was accepted in the Crimson Squad.
He had called her out there to show her something before they said good bye the next day. He still hadn't said a word about it though since she got out there to meet him. She opened her eyes looking at the reflection of the moon on the oasis. She was getting tired of the silence though.
“Hey Gips,” Rikku whispered quietly which was uncharacteristic for her.
Rikku met Gippal's good eye as he looked down at her, “What did you want to show me?”
“Well Cid's girl,” she heard Gippal begin only to be cut off by Rikku.
“I have a name you know,” she said pouting as she looked at him only to be quiet when he put his index finger against her lips.
“Hush,” Gippal said his eye rolling in response to her protest, “I got you something to say good bye with.”
Rikku watched as he reached into his bag to get the item he was producing to show her. She glanced up to him in wonder then back to his hands noting the two blue hair berets in his hands. They were jeweled with sapphires she knew were dug up in the desert. She glanced up to him in surprise.
“Do you like them?” Gippal asked rather nervously losing his normal joking persona he kept up.
Rikku looked down at them just remembering everything that brought them to this point.
They had known each other for so long. They grew up together here in Bikanel. Sure they had their ups and downs. They fought all the time but everyone knew they were best friends.
Everyone but them also knew they were meant together long before they admitted their feelings for each other. They had been dancing around each other for so long before the just month before at the party celebrating the discovery of the airship.
She knew he was watching her the whole night even while trying to talk to Brother and Buddy most of the evening. It was finally just after the reveal that she had got him cornered and admitted everything.
She just had never known he would respond with pulling her into his arms and kissing her like that. Then the screams of Brother until they had both ran out of the chamber in laughter. It had been one wild ride since then.
Rikku looked back to Gippal's eyes saying slowly in response, “I love them, Gips, thank you.”
Rikku saw his smile as she felt him slowly put them in her hair in a cross shape then him getting closer until his lips were on hers.
They stayed there together for what felt like several hours. Rikku knew the time though and knew she had to get going. She would be leaving soon after all. She shivered as she pulled away whispering, “Gippal....tuh'd vunkad sa.”
“E fuh'd, Rikku,” Gippal said back quietly and Rikku knew he hardly ever called her Rikku unless he was very serious.
Rikku slowly stood up with him turning away from him saying, “Caa oy mydan drah, Gips.”
She started to walk then started to run feeling the wet tears starting to fall down her cheeks. She didn't want to leave and she wanted him to stay. That wasn't a choice they had at the moment though, after this was done she knew she wouldn't have to live without him. Or so she hoped at least.
Gippal watched with a frown as Rikku ran toward Home. He reached up running a hand through his golden hair. He didn't have a clue when he would see her again but they both had things they had to do. He just hoped he could defeat Sin with the Crimson Squad before Rikku ever had to run into that with her cousin.
Two years later
18 years old, Gippal had made quite a name for himself as a Machina Faction Leader. It was the life he had been striving to build to act as a buffer between Nooj's group, the Youth League, and Baralai's group, New Yevon. He hadn't seen Rikku since the destruction of Home and he hadn't even spoke to her then. He knew she had been busy with trying to save High Summoner Yuna so he didn't want to distract her from that. He took the first chance he got to get off the airship with the other Al Bhed rather then temp fate right then. He had figured when she was done she would come find him.
Well Yuna defeated Sin, brought the eternal calm, Rikku had been with her all the way to the end, was still alive and well according to Cid during the meetings they had, but she still hadn't come to find him. He could only figure one thing, unlike his promise to her about not forgetting her. She forgot him and moved on with her life.
Well that was until Gippal saw Yuna, Paine, and Rikku waiting in line for an interview to become Diggers. He couldn't figure why she would suddenly show up with the high summoner and Paine of all people for a job from him. Not that he was going to complain, she sure had grown up and the view was stunning he had to admit. He did notice the lack of the barrettes in her hair though, and that just made him think still she had moved on.
When the interview happened he teased her like old times and it felt the same like they fell back into a groove neither of them mentioning their last meeting though the first time.
By the second meeting, Gippal was getting tired of not knowing how she felt anymore. He didn't even try to hold back the words as they slipped from his lips when Yuna said they seemed close, “We made quite the couple.”
He looked down at Rikku as his arm was wrapped around her shoulders quickly feeling her shove and the force behind it. He noticed her blush as her words met his ears, “Fryd yna oui cyoehk?”
He just laughed to that but the nervousness in her words and the blush on her face spoke more to him then the Al Bhed she just spoke. He smirked ruffling her hair saying, “Rikku's always good for a good laugh.”
He then pulled away looking at the three girls crossing his arms saying, “If you're here about digging, this isn't the best time.”
“Well, there were fiends here too, right?” Rikku asked glancing over to the girl meeting her green eyes noticing the hand on her hip as she continued, “Want us to clean up for you?”
“Fiend hunting?” he asked raising the eyebrow over his one good eye as he looked at her, “What, you guys give up the sphere gig?”
Yuna start to speak glancing over to the high summoner but his eye kept moving back to Rikku worried about them getting involved in all this. They had already saved the world once as he heard Yuna go on ending with, “Maybe...you'd like to hire us?”
He paused pretending to think about it rubbing his chin knowing he had to say something that would hopefully push them out of this. He didn't need Rikku running off after Vegnagun how she ended up running after Sin even when her original plan was just to save Yuna.
“Nope,” he finally said looking to them simply directing the next line to Rikku even if he was looking at Yuna, “You already took care of Sin.”
He then looked straight at Yuna meaning this for her period, “We can't go running to you every time we get into trouble.”
He glanced over to Rikku deciding to play with her a bit though by flirting with Yuna. Maybe if he made jealous she would give more of a notion on if after all this was said and done he could get her to stay. He slowly walked over to Yuna leaning down looking at her face with a smirk saying in a husky voice, “I watch my own back.”
Rikku huff near by as he stood up, his eyes falling on the Al Bhed as she screamed toward him, “Show off!”
Well there was was the reaction he wanted a smile coming to his lips to the blush that came to her cheeks after wards. He took it in asYuna's voice began, “Well, be careful.”
He kept his eyes on Rikku meaning much more then the simple word as he said, “You too.”
Rikku followed Yuna back to the ship saying in response to Yuna's questions on what Gippal had said with a deep red blush, “No, there was never anything between Gippal and me.”
She hated lying to Yuna but he had never made any action toward finding her either. It wasn't like she had been invisible for the past 2 years. Being Yuna's guardian had made that rather hard. No as far as she knew once Sin was taken care of she heard about him becoming the faction leader soon after that. Maybe what they had really had just been a childish romance that when it came down to it meant nothing to him. Only something to tease her about now then immediately flirt with Yuna afterwards in front of her.
She on the other hand still had held hope those two years that they would meet again and pick up the pieces to being right back to how it was before. Sure she never went to find him either but she had been nervous with how he would react. Home was destroyed and she had went with Yuna to stop Sin instead of making her cousin quit her pilgrimage. She went right into the line of fire even though she knew that was part of his reason to join the Crimson Squad to begin with. He had wanted to protect Home and her from Sin as well as the rest of Spira's hatred to the Al Bhed.
When they got back to the ship she made an excuse to head to the engine room to be alone. It was the best place for her to think as she slipped her hand under her bandana. She slipped two blue jeweled barrettes out them laying in the palm of her hand. She looked at them as she held them close to her heart taking a deep breath in.
“Gips....” She whispered to herself her eyes closed as she felt them poke into her hand, “I guess I'm the only one who didn't forget.”
She opened her green eyes as she stood up, putting those barrettes in the pouch on her belt. She ran up the stairs to the elevator knowing the Gullwings had things they had to do. People they had to save. An ancient Mechenia to destroy. She could worry about the growing hole in her heart later.
It was right after the concert as she looked at the video with the others from the commsphere the Farplane.
Her face lit up as she heard Gippal's voice. It was nice to know he was alive as he said, “Impressive machina! An invention like this could change the world. Whoever came up with this is a genius.”
She smirked hearing Shinra respond, “He's got good taste.”
Rikku knew though Gippal wouldn't complement someone without throwing in some of his own cockiness and right an queue she heard though a little fuzzy from the feed, “Guess I'm a genius, too, for fixing it!”
She watched over Shinra's right shoulder as Yuna watched from the left as Gippal tapped the glass on the sphere asking, “Anybody home?”
She couldn't help but look toward her cousin as the woman exclaimed, “Gippal!”
She sighed as there was no response hearing disheartening from Shinra, “I don't think he can hear us.”
She looked back as Gippal had a similar response to her looking briefly dishearten at it not working. It was only brief and she doubted anyone other then her would recognize that look of his when a mechina didn't work as he expected. She heard his voice deep in thought, “No response. Hm.”
She was pushed out of the way by Leblanc as Nooj's voice was heard over the comm. She huffed glaring up at the older woman as she pushed herself up. She kept listening to the conversation of Vegnagun as she fixed her skirt. She felt the twinge of pain in her heart that Gippal could die before she even got to tell him the feelings that she held still in her heart for him.
“Eteud ec kuehk du kad rescamv gemmat duu,” Rikku muttered to herself as she recognized Gippal's tone during his last sentence. He wasn't going to let Nooj take on that thing by himself.
She saw Paine looking at her knowingly, a small blush appearing on her cheeks at the thought of Paine hearing her. She knew Paine had teasing her enough about how she had acted before they went to save the Machina Faction. She didn't want the idiot's current love, even if she hated to admit it wasn't her anymore and it was kind of hard to be jealous of a buisness, to be destroyed.
She waste anytime joining in on wanting to help the two though. She had to fix what was broken between Lenne and Shuyin for the sake of Spira and save Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal with the others even if she knew in the end her and Gippal wouldn't ever be more then friends again.
Gippal looked up at her as she knelt beside him just before Vegnagun. He felt her applying an X-potion to his skin that he didn't have a clue where she had pulled it out of. That pouch of hers wasn't that big. He bit his lower lip as it stung. He saw Paine and Yuna watching the sphere near by he had handed Paine. He glanced back up to Rikku meeting her green eyes saying, “Thanks, Cid's girl.”
“I have a name,” she said as she applied more potion making him gasp as it stung. He took in her Alchemist dress sphere noting just how much more covered she looked in this compared to her normal clothes.
“Oui luimt ryja kuddah ouincamv gemmat,” he heard her whisper more to herself as she worked on his wounds not looking at his face anymore.
“E's cunno, E teth'd ryja desa du kad y cdulgbema uv budeuhc mega cusa baubma E ghuf,” He said in response as he went to sit up. It wasn't his fault that Nooj had slipped by while he was left to fight one of those damn Ultima weapons. He had almost been killed when these three came and defeated it with ease. Well he guessed it could have been worse for his manly pride then being saved by these three. He also knew why Nooj had done it, he had made it clear he wasn't going to let the man kill himself with his plan. Vegnagun was still a machina after all and that meant it was built by people so it could be taken apart by them somehow. He was going to find out how.
He watched as Rikku finished and stood up, her saying, “Stay here for a few minuets then you can catch up. That potion will take some time on the wounds you had, Gips.”
He blinked his one good eye in surprised to her calling him Gips as he was forced to watch her run off after Paine and Yuna toward Vegnagun. He glanced to the side, noticing something small glittering from the ground where Rikku had been kneeling while she worked. He reached over picking two small, blue, jeweled barrettes from the metal floor. He stared at them in shock, Rikku must have dropped them from her pouch while getting that x-potion out. The fact she still had them after all this time meant the feelings he hoped she still had for him had to be there somewhere. It was a sign she hadn't forgotten about him, just like he hadn't forgotten her. He slowly slid them into his pocket knowing after this was said and done they had a lot to talk about.
He got up slowly after a few minuets racing after the girls. He wasn't about to let them and the Leblanc gang save the world alone.
Rikku dumped her pouch on her bed, digging through the potions she had stashed in there asking loudly, “Where the hell are they?”
“Um, Rikku, what are you looking for?” Yuna asked from behind her, glancing back at her cousin noticing the bewildered and surprised look. She probably guessed that would be from just how many potions she had stashed in her pouch from the alchemist dress sphere.
“My barrettes,” she replied having wanted to wear them during the good bye to Gippal and the other two. In truth she wanted to see if Gippal even recognized them anymore.
“You mean the ones you used to wear all the time?” Yuna asked then in wonder as she turned around sitting down among the potions.
“Yes them, have you seen them, Yunie?” She asked looking at her cousin in hope, even if it wasn't for this good bye thing she didn't want to know they were lost. They were the only thing that kept the hope alive in her for Gippal to still love her.
“I'm sorry, Rikku, I haven't,” Yuna said and saw the woman shake her head. She sighed looking down gripping the sides of her bed. She hoped this wasn't a sign that she should just give up on Gippal.
She felt Yuna hug her slowly as she looked up trying not to cry as she slowly hugged her back. She could barely hear Yuna saying, “I didn't realize they were so important to you,” as she felt her heart begin to shatter. The hope she had would disappear if she couldn't find those damn barrettes, or at least that is how it felt.
Rikku gulped but started to cry whispering, “They were a gift from Gippal before I left Home to save you, Yunie. They represented hope that he wouldn't forget me and that we would last even being apart.”
She felt Yuna pull away slightly and wipe off her tears with her hand as she heard voices down below.
“You sure she's here, Dr. P?” Gippal's voice was the first she heard as she shivered starting to pick up the potions quickly to hide them before he got up to the beds from the bar area.
“She's probably up stairs,” Paine said knowingly in response and Rikku knew she would have to get her back for this later. She glanced to Yuna who shrugged not sure what Paine had in mind.
She took a deep breath as she heard Gippal's heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. She looked back as he got to the top of them. She knew her eyes were puffy from the tears and silently wondered why he was here.
“Hey, Yuna, can you leave us alone?” Gippal asked Yuna as the sound of his boots against the metal floor were heard.
She glanced to Yuna who was looking unsure after what she just found out from Rikku. She nodded slowly to the girl, saying, “Go ahead, Yunie. I'll be out in a little bit.”
She saw Yuna nod before she left her and Gippal alone there. She looked back to Gippal in wonder asking, “May I help you, Gippal?”
“Well I had something to ask,” Gippal said before looking behind her as the bed filled with potions in wonder, “What's with all the potions, Cid's Girl?”
She huffed as she came over poking his chest saying, “Hey I have a name you know, meanie.”
She then turned away, crossing her arms not looking at him, “I was looking for something, not that you should care.”
“Oh,” Gippal said before she felt his arms sliding around her waist and pulling her against him. She looked up at him with round eyes, surprised by this action.
“Were these what you were looking for, Cid's girl?” Gippal asked, opening his hand in front of her revealing the two barrettes before going on to explain, “You dropped them while you were healing me up down before Vegnagun.”
Rikku stared at the barrettes knowing her face was a bright red now. She slowly felt, Gippal's other hand remove her blue bandana and slide the two barrettes into her hair before she finally whispered nervously, “Th-that may have been it.”
She was turned around and forced to look up into Gippal's good eye with her own before he leaned down whispering into her ear, “I missed you too, Cid's Girl.”
“I have a name,” she protested weakly as she felt Gippal kiss her shoulder which sent shivers down her spine. She felt the kisses go up her neck to her hips whispering against his lips, “Anyway.....I've always been your girl Gips even the past two years.”
She felt his lips form a smile against hers as he kissed her before saying against her, his voice husky and deep, “Your staying with me this time, no more running off to save the world.”
“I don't know, Gips, I can't promise that,” Rikku said playfully before pressing into him more as her eyes met his again.
“Famm drah, E femm zicd ryja du ku fedr oui cehla oui yna so kenm yht ymm,” Gippal said before kissing her again neither hearing as one of the potions rolled off the bed shattering on the floor, both to happy to know the other never forgot and they could finally stay.