Series: Final Fantasy X-2
Characters: PainexRikku, mention of Gippal and Baralai
Summary: Paine wakes from a nightmare and Rikku comforts her.
AN: I wrote this... probably after FFX-2 just came out and then forgot about it.
Critique: Sure, I think Paine's character is off, probably Rikku's too. *wrinkles nose*
With a loud gasp, Paine sat upright in her bed as the blankets puddled around her waist. Her entire body was sweating and her heart hammered in her ears. Her breath caught in her throat and she coughed. Just a…Oh Thank Yevon…Just a… She looked to her right. Rikku was still sleeping peacefully on her stomach curled up around her pillow.
Paine took a deep breath. Looking further across the hut, she spotted Yuna curled up around Tidus in their small cot. Looking further towards the door, she cringed. Baralai was curled up behind Gippal, spooning him. The covers were completely off of Gippal revealing his tanned torso and… He sleeps in the nude? Paine turned away.
I have to get out of here. She threw back the covers and attempted to rise. Rikku stirred, her subconscious aware that the presence beside her was now missing. Paine froze in place as Rikku awoke. “Paine…” she mumbled not quite awake. Paine continued to sit on the edge of the futon, not moving hoping Rikku would go back to sleep. Rikku’s hand reached out and rubbed the empty space now next to her. Huh? She awoke fully and propped herself up on her elbows.
“Paine…what’s wrong?” She asked, a bit sleepily. Paine just shook her head. “Bad dream?” Rikku questioned.
Pained nodded. “Nightmare.”
Rikku sat up and positioned herself behind Paine and wrapped her arms around Paine’s shoulders. Paine took a deep breath but didn’t push Rikku away. “You wanna talk about it?” Rikku asked.
Paine shook her head. “No,” she whispered.
“I have to get out of here,” Paine spoke and rose, and looked for her shoes. “Hand me my shirt.” Rikku handed Paine her light blue tank top and Paine dressed. “I’m going for a walk.” Rikku rose and put on her boots. “I’m coming too.”
“No. I want to come. I don’t think you need to be by yourself now.”
Paine nodded. “If you insist.”
“I do,” Rikku stated firmly. Paine smiled.
The two women left the hut and went for a casual stroll down to the beach. It was quiet the entire way. Neither one of them spoke, and the sun wasn't even up yet. Rikku reached over and clasped Paine’s hand gently, as if to say ‘you don’t have to say a thing, but I’m still here.’ Paine smiled. They walked until the reached the small secluded cove. Paine sat down on the sand and Rikku followed suit.
“Are you having a good time here?” Paine questioned breaking the early morning silence.
Rikku shrugged. “I guess so. Not a lot is going on, its’ kinda boring.” Rikku smiled and shrugged again. “I guess it’s good. Everything is so busy and frantic at Home, it’s nice to be able to just sit around and do nothing.”
Paine nodded in agreement as Rikku continued. “And Gippal and Baralai! Who would’ve thought?! Certainly not me! I mean, I knew Gippal was a player…but Baralai?? He’s so…”
“Girly?” Paine said with a grin.
Rikku laughed. “Well yeah…kinda…I mean, I like Baralai, but he’s just too…nice.” Rikku frowned and lowered her voice. “I don’t want Gippal to take advantage of him. I mean, I’ve known Gippal for a long time, and he’s a machina genius, but when it comes to human emotions he sucks.” She kicked up some sand as if to punctuate that fact.
“Spoken from personal experience Rikku?” Paine teased.
Rikku scoffed and pushed her lightly. Paine flopped into the sand, chuckling slightly. “Why does everyone say that?! I did not sleep with Gippal!”
Paine continued to lie on the sand. “I was just teasing, Rikku.” Paine patted the spot next to her and Rikku lied down next to her and put her arm around Paine’s stomach.
“So…you never told me what exactly happened between you and Gippal.”
Rikku sighed. “Nothing really. Gippal’s all talk. We dated for a few weeks a long time ago. Like, when I was thirteen. Oyaji wanted me to. He said something about unescorted women were unsafe."
Rikku scoffed. "Anyway, he made Gippal and a couple other guys’ tag along after me on expeditions. Then Gippal started calling himself my boyfriend, until I told him to knock it off that I wasn’t his girlfriend and then he said ‘you want to be?’ I was surprised but I said okay anyway. That only encouraged him. He started spreading all these rumors and saying things that weren’t true.
"Of course, news like that spread along through all the Al bhed, seeing as how oyaji’s the leader and everything. Anyway, once oyaji heard about some of the rumors he called me the Al bhed version of a floozy and saying how I shouldn’t be doing those things cause I wasn’t married to Gippal. He started yelling about how he forbid me to see Gippal, and we got into a huge fight, with me screaming that I hoped Gippal died and dropped off the face of the earth. I didn’t really see much of Gippal after that. I heard Oyaji ran him out of Home for ‘spoiling his daughter’s virtue’ or something like that. I didn’t really see him again, until the eternal calm and I heard he had started his own machina business.”
Paine nodded. “I see. I must have met him shortly after that. He joined the crusaders and signed up for the crimson squad. I think he was sixteen. No…wait, he was sixteen when I met him, but said he’d joined the crusaders at fifteen then was transferred to the crimson squad.” Rikku nodded.
“I think Gippal was fourteen or fifteen when he left Home. Or got ran out on a rail as some of the al bhed say. Oyaji still doesn’t like Gippal to this day, even though I’ve told her numerous times it wasn’t true.”
Paine just nodded and snuggled closer to Rikku. “You wanna tell me about this nightmare you had now?” Rikku asked.
Paine shook her head. “No,” She said half teasing, half truthfully.
“Ah C’mon. It can’t be that bad.” Paine shook her head and just grunted. She sat up and Rikku tumbled back down to the sand. “Hey!”
Paine chuckled. “Sorry.”
Rikku sat up and started to gently rub Paine’s shoulders. “Please tell me. You’ll feel better. You’re all tense here.” Paine sighed softly and leaned back into Rikku’s gentle hands.
“Rikku…Do you…Feel resentment towards Yevon for what they did to your people? You know, the Al bhed…” Paine asked.
“No. Not really. We’re just different that’s all. Things are fine now.” <
“No, I mean, _before_ the calm. When Sin was still around.”
Rikku sighed and her hands stilled. “I don’t know. You know they killed Yu-chan’s mother for ‘daring’ to marry a summoner. Cause supposedly she was tainted or some bullshit like that. And when the guado invaded our Home, they killed so many…so many died…and then we blew it up…knowing people were still inside…” Rikku trailed off going quiet for a moment. “But no,” she continued. “I don’t blame them. I don’t like what happened. It wasn’t fair, but it’s passed now. We need to look to Spira’s future. Not point fingers about the past.” Paine nodded in agreement.
“Rikku, I’m sorry.”
“That you lost loved ones. That you had to sacrifice them to save the rest.” Paine spoke very softly.
“It’s okay Paine. It’s not your fault it happened.” Rikku pulled away and turned her back towards Paine. “Rikku?” Paine asked and now put her arms around Rikku from behind. She kissed Rikku’s cheek softly only to note it was wet. “Rikku?” She questioned again, softer this time.
“It’s okay. Really.” Rikku sniffled and mumbled something.
“What?” Paine asked softly.
“My mother…I miss her sometimes…” Paine turned Rikku around in her arms and kissed her softly. Rikku’s own hands wrapped around Paine’s neck and pulled her closer. After a moment, they broke apart and stared at each other. “How did she die again?” Pained asked. Rikku took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “She was killed out on a ship, they were ambushed by Yevon’s navy and their ship sank.”
“No. It’s okay, really. I was kinda little when it happened. I just never had a mother ya know? Oyaji and aniki raised me so I’ve never had another female figure to look up to. To teach me to do ‘woman stuff’ ya know? I guess that’s why I’m such a free spirit and it makes Oyaji mad, cause I don’t act how he expects women to act. Yu-chan too.” Rikku bent over and removed her boots and dug her toes into the sand. Paine released her from her arms and sat by her side and just watched. “What about your parents Paine?” Rikku asked softly.
“They were killed by Sin. I guess they were on vacation when Sin attacked Luca and they were killed. I was just a baby, so I don’t remember. I lived in Luca until I was old enough to leave and then join the crusaders. But I wasn’t cut out for that. I was too young they said. So they made me a recorder for the crimson squad. The rest you know.”
Rikku nodded and smiled.
“Shall we go back? It’s daylight now.” Rikku asked. “The others will be awake.”
“No. Let’s stay out here.”
Rikku looked puzzled for a moment but shrugged and gave a cheery “Okay!”
“I don’t know this Tidus guy very well. I can’t say I trust him.” Paine confessed.
“What? Why not? He’s a good guy.”
“I’m sure he is. He seems nice. But…he looks so much like Shuin. It…makes me nervous.”
But Tidus _is_ Shuin…sorta…but I can’t tell Paine that! She’ll flip! “Don’t worry. He cares for Yuna. Lots. He knew that to save her, he’d have to die. He loves her very much. He’s a little odd, but he’ll be good to her. Besides its’ not like Yu-chan can’t stick up for herself.” Paine laughed but nodded her head in agreement. “Plus, he’s amazing at Blitz. Like, really good. I mean super! It’s really neat to watch. I hope he signs up to play again! He’s incredible. I mean, he could really make a good career out of just being a Blitzer. ”
“He’s that good?” Paine was in disbelief.
“Yep. Better. Best Blitzer in all of Spira.”
Paine just nodded and changed the subject. “What about Gippal? Is he resentful of Yevon? You know, what we were talking about earlier…”
“Not as far as I know…He’s dating Baralai for crying out loud! I mean, he wouldn’t do that if he truly hated Yevon would he?”
He’s the only one who truly understands me and the pain I went through. Paine thought remembering what Gippal had said. “My dream…nightmare…Gippal…he…” Paine couldn’t continue. It seemed so real! It still seems real! She started to shiver.
“Paine?” Rikku was hugging her again. “What happened?”
“Gippal…he went crazy. Saying that Yevon had killed his people and he was going to punish them. And Baralai…he…he…” Paine was visibly shaking and crying now.
“Paine…Paine. Shhh. It’s okay now. It was just a dream. It’s okay now.” Rikku held Paine close and ran her hands in a soothing manner down Paine's back.
Paine pulled away and looked into Rikku's eyes. Rikku's expression softened seeing Paine's own red eyes filled with tears. “Gippal said I had to be punished. And he made Baralai…he made him…r-r-rape you. And you screamed. And you wouldn’t stop screaming and Baralai said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll make it hurt.’ And I screamed. And I can’t stop thinking about it. Seeing Baralai lay over you, and hearing him say ‘Don’t worry. I’ll make it hurt’ over and over in my head. He was so cold. And Gippal said ‘He’ll give Rikku the one thing you can never give her.’ And I know it’s a dream, but he looked so evil! I can’t…I can’t stop hearing Baralai say that, and the sound of your scream in my head…Oh Rikku. I’m sorry.” Paine spoke very fast and then collapsed into Rikku's arms sobbing.
Whoa. That’s…that’s quite the nightmare. “It’s okay Paine. It’s alright. I’m here. I’m okay. Baralai can’t touch me. He won’t touch me.”
It took a long time before Paine finally stopped crying. The sun was now quite high in the sky approaching noon. But all the while, Rikku never let go of Paine and continued to hold her and tell her it was alright. “I’m sorry Rikku.” She finally said as she pulled away.
“For making you worry. For bawling like that.”
“It’s okay Paine. We all need to cry sometimes. That was a pretty freaky dream.”
“I don’t want anyone to hurt you Rikku. And I couldn’t save you… I…” Paine was whispering now.
“It’s okay. I don’t want anyone to hurt you either. I care about you. A lot. And more than just a friend now.” Rikku smiled softly trying not to blush.
“I’m sorry if I made you worry, rushing out like that, but seeing Gippal there, I just panicked. I couldn’t stay there.”
“It’s alright, Paine. I understand.”
“Thanks Rikku. For listening, you know? And for not making fun of me…for crying…”
“Why would I make fun of you for crying?”
“Because it’s weak to cry. I’m a warrior. I haven’t cried in four years.” Paine chuckled a little and grabbed her head. “Now my head hurts.” Rikku too laughed. At least Paine still has a sense of humor.
“C’mon I’m getting hungry. Let’s head back to the village.” Rikku grabbed Paine's hand and pulled her up and they walked back to the village.