Author's note: Boredness and a need to jump into Gippal's mind made me write this. Enjoy. Warning for hints at yaoi.


It's nights like this where I just want to smack myself in the head. Hard. For two reasons, actually. One, maybe I'll knock myself out and be able to get some sleep. Two, maybe I'll knock some sense into me. It's one of those normal nights in the desert, napping in our sleeping bags. Come morning, we continue our "training". You'd think that an organization like the Crimson Squad would have better training then just sending the recruits out to the desert to kill fiends. Pfft. What are we, desert cleaners or something? They trying to build an amusement park here?

Anyway, I'm ranting. To myself. A bad habit of mine. Hey, I'm not exactly known for my sanity. But, back to what I was talking about before. It's another sleepless night. Maybe it's because of the excitement of earlier battles. Who knows. But I'm sitting here, against a rock, while my three teammates frolic in dreamland.

It's funny. We're probably the most rag-tag group of the recruits. We seem to be the youngest, as well. We have Paine, a 16 year old girl who wears enough leather to make me want to start a group called "People for the Ethical Treatment of Fiends". There's Nooj, age 19. He's the oldest, and looks it. He doesn't even LOOK 19, for crying out loud. And he assumes his role well. Bossing us around, blah blah, he's the oldest, maturest, he makes decisions, you know. The usual. He isn't that bad, though, once you get him to actually crack a smile.

And the last person…well, is one of the causes of my internal problems. His name is Baralai. He's 18, I believe. Dark skinned, silver hair. Rather quiet, but  occasionally cracks a fall-on-your-ass-laughing joke. He has this adorable, quirky smile and---ah, I'm getting ahead of myself. You see, this is my main problem. I've known him for…what, six months now. Originally we fought at lot. I was annoyed with his quiet, let's-spend-lots-of-time-thinking-things-out attitude. And he was annoyed with me for the fact that I was exactly the opposite. Well, that went on for about a month before I found myself one day in a headlock. Damn, he was stronger than he looked. After that little brawl, Nooj forced us to get along. And we did, but not after a month of the famed silent treatment.

It's funny how close we've gotten since then. Out of the group, he's the only one I really feel like I have some kind of connection with, to talk to and all. And it went on for a while, us being best buddies, you know.

And then, one day, I noticed how cute his smile was. Nearly shot myself when I came back to my senses. 'What the hell's wrong with you, Gippal? You're a poor, deprived, depraved child.' I kept repeating that to myself. But that didn't help me from noticing day after day every cute and adorable thing about Baralai. And oh, seeing him half-naked at the oasis by accident did NOT help the matters. At all.

Now, okay. I'm a teenage guy. I should have been able to easily pass this off as some kind of sick, random fascination, lust, whatever. Nothing that I should take seriously. I kept telling myself that. And then, one day, he almost got massacred by a rogue sandworm. He barely made it out of that one. And that got me thinking. What would I do without him? Would I find another friend like him, another person as nice as he was? Well, considering the number of people in Spira, that was pretty probable. But…there was just, something else. Something that was causing the worry I had for him and his well being. Something that was telling me "Gippal. This guy is going to be one of the most important things in your life. Lose him, and you might as well jump off Mount Gagazet, you worthless sonofa---"…Er, sorry. But I didn't understand it, at all. And then a word came into my mind one night. "Love". I laughed when I thought of that. Me, the wonderful Gippal who's bragging rights include being the boyfriend of nearly every Al Bhed girl in Home at one time or another, being in love? It was ridiculous. But as time went on, it began making…some sort of sense.

Even now, I'm not sure of myself. All I know is that I care for Baralai and his precious little smile more than most things. A lot of these sleepless nights I spend just staring at his sleeping form, trying to solve the turmoil that's inside of me. Trying to figure out how I feel. Trying to figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do when I do figure that out.

I wonder if he's noticed my glances. I wonder if he realizes that I watch him when he sleeps. I wonder if he's thought any of these things about me? Nahhh, probably not, but it's always nice to pretend. Fantasy is always a good thing.

…Oh, damnit, is he awake?