Being Grownup…

Hello there! I'm back again, with a new fanfic. This one shall be all about Rikku. I suggest that you read my previous fanfic before you read this one if you haven't already. This one's kind of like a spin-off from Rikku's POV. The first one is called The End, With You and this one probably won't make much sense unless you read that one first. There will be a little repetition from the first one, but it's just so this one will make more sense. But, I guess it's really up to you. ^.^

A/N - I hate the Ataris… but it was an appropriate title, so whaddaya gonna do?

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Ch. 1 So Many Tears

"Yippee!" Rikku hopped up and down.

They were on their way to see Gippal, Baralai, and Nooj in Luca. Rikku, happy of course to see Gippal, even though it had only been a few days since last she'd seen him.

"Would you please take a sedative?" Paine shot a glare in Rikku's direction and drummed her fingers on the bar.

"Oh, you big meanie. Can't you just be excited once in your life?" Rikku pouted, "I'm just happy."

"I don't see why you give that jerk Gippal the time of day. He's just like every other guy on the planet," Paine rolled her ruby eyes.

"What have you got against Gippal anyway? He's cool," Rikku put her hands on her hips.

"He's arrogant is more like it," Paine shot back.

"What about Baralai? Is he like every other guy?" Rikku teased.

Paine glared, "Yes…"

Rikku's lips curled up into a sly grin, "Sure, okay. Just keep telling yourself that. Whatever it takes to make you feel better about being in looove."

"In love my ass," Paine rolled her eyes, "I could care less about Baralai or any other guy for that matter and I suggest you shut up about it. Respect points, remember?"

Rikku giggled nervously, "Respect points… right."

"Fa yna raaaaaaaaana!" Brother yelled over the intercom.

((We are heeeeeeeeere!))

"Oh, goody!" Rikku bounded to the exit of the airship, waiting for it to open.

She was met by Brother, who held a stern expression, hands on hips, "Rikku! Mayja dryd Gippal ycuha. Ra ec dnuipma."

((Rikku! Leave that Gippal alone. He is trouble.))

"Ur, tuh'd pa cemmo," Rikku rolled her eyes and exited the Celsius.

((Oh, don't be silly.))

Paine and Rikku entered the room where Baralai, Nooj, and Gippal were all sitting around, drinking and reminiscing. Gippal looked up from his mug.

"Hey Paine!" he smiled and raised the mug at her. Rikku's cheeks grew hot with jealousy.

"Hello, you two," Baralai stood and led them to the table, pulling out their chairs for them.

Nooj nodded in each girls direction, "Nice to see the two of you again."

"Good to see you too," Paine nodded back.

"So, what's up? How was the party?" Rikku grinned in Gippal's direction.

"It was a blast! There was this girl there, I swear, she looked just like you Paine," Gippal again pointed his attention toward the ruby eyed warrior, making Rikku grit her teeth.

"I highly doubt that," Paine said plainly.

"She really did, though," Baralai backed his friend up, "It was uncanny. She was really beautiful."

Paine felt a blush creep to her cheeks, "Then she must not have looked a thing like me," she said with anger in her voice.

Gippal's laughter echoed through the room, "Cynical Paine, you know you haven't changed a bit since the Crimson Squad."

She raised one perfectly sculpted eyebrow at him, "And neither have you."

Nooj laughed this time, "It doesn't look like any of us have changed."

"You seem to have," Baralai pointed out, "I don't remember you ever laughing back then."

"True. You've got me there," Nooj took a sip from his mug.

Rikku was growing uncomfortable here with these old friends. The only people she really knew were Paine and Gippal.

And lets face it, she thought, I'm not on great terms with either one of them.

"Umm… so, where's the grub?" she asked, drumming her fingers on the table.

"Looks like Cid's girl hasn't changed any either. Still thinking with her stomach," he said, thrusting a thumb behind him towards the kitchen, "It's back there."

Rikku stood up angrily, almost knocking the chair backwards in her frustration. She stomped into the kitchen and pounded a fist into the wall.

They were right… he is just a jerk. Ooo! I hate admitting when Brother's right. Damn him… damn Gippal.

She desperately wanted to scream, but held in the urge. Instead she formed a plan, to see what Gippal really thought of her.

"Hey, Gippal, could you help me in here a sec?" she called from the kitchen.

Gippal stuck his head in the door, "Yea, what is it?"

"Come in here," she said pretending to be struggling with something.

"What is it? We were just in the middle of a really important discussion," he stood right behind her and tried to figure out what she was doing.

She turned around to face him, cheeks hot, "I… have something to tell you."

"Okay…" he raised an eyebrow at her.

"Well, I…" she faltered.

"This is not like Cid's girl at all to be at a lose for words. This must be really serious. Come on, out with it," he put his hands on his hips.

"I… I might just have a little teeny tiny crush on you but I'm not really sure and I just had to tell you to get it off my chest cause it was bugging the hell out of me and if you don't feel the same way I completely understand and I'm sorry for bringing it up and…" she took a much needed breath, "and the point is I think I have a crush on you."

His laughter burned her ears like fire, "Crushes are for little girls, kiddo. I'm sorry but I just don't feel the same way. Was there something else or can I go now?"

"That's all," she lowered her head and muttered under her breath, "Oui zang…"

((You jerk.))

She stayed to herself the rest of the trip except when she was around Paine, telling the warrior how right she had been about Gippal, spouting off the speech she had given him and his evil response. She disguised sadness as extreme anger and annoyance and only cried about the predicament when all the lights were out and she was sure Paine was asleep on the other bed.

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Okay… I know this was a short chapter, but I just wanted to see how you'd like it so far… I don't know what gives me such inspiration to write these stories but I *love* it! Review please all you wondermous peoples!

A/N - I know it seems like I'm making Gippal out to be an ass… but there's a reason. All will be revealed… later!

~*~Ena**Kurohoshi**Raine~*~