Intro/Note thing:


1. This is/was only my second piece of fanfiction. It's way better than the first, but… don't expect too much… I don't like my writing style very much, but I am humbled that some of you do. I chose to re-do parts of it because I just hated them. A LOT. Nothing /major/ changed, just some wording, and descriptions. Don't bother re-reading the whole thing, if you are concerned about that, the plot and whatnot stays the same.

2. I had originally planned to leave this as a one-shot, but I (and the reviewers :D) changed my mind so it will be insanely long and multi-chaptered, stretching from here ((in the Thunder Plains)) to the end of the game. And, yes, you will need to learn Al Bhed or find yerself a translator thingy, like this: www. Pixelscapes .com / twoflower / albhed :cough, CHEATERS, cough:

3. You know what I realized only a couple moths ago? That I am a huge oblivious loserface. If you paid any attention to point 2, you would know there are parts in Al Bhed. The title is one of these parts. Rumt Sa. …translates to "Hold Me" (yeah. Too much fluff for me, too.) I honestly did not even think once about the fact that there is a Savage Garden song of the same title. … yeah! My other little one-shot-dealy was also named (purposely, though) after a SG song… So, starting now (because I was a huge 7th grade SG fangirl) the lyrics are going to be the chapter titles, and you can see similarities between the song and the story. Maybe. Anyway, I do have a tendency to ramble on, which is one reason why the story is so damned long. Oh yeah, offensive language occurs now and then. Deal.

4. This is Auron/Rikku centric. (Well, dur.) If you don't like it… save all of us the headache and just leave now, please. Subjective flames will only be used to roast marshmallows while I type out the next chapter. However, If you plan to criticize me on more intelligent manners, such as writing style, grammar, etc, please do, I humbly accept complaints. I also endorse leaving me some flippin' sweet reviews, or just talking with me on email, LJ/GJ, or a chat program. 3 :D

5th and final: I don't own any copyrights on these characters or places, and I don't mean to infringe on those copyrights which are not mine.


Hey, yeah
If we can't find a way out of these problems
Then maybe we don't need this
Standing face to face
Enemies at war we build defenses
And secret hiding places

I might need you to hold me tonight
I might need you to say it's alright
I might need you to make the first stand
Because tonight I'm finding it hard to be your man

Hey, yeah
More than angry words I hate this silence
It's getting so loud
Well I want to scream
But bitterness has silenced these emotions
It's getting hard to breathe
So tell me isn't happiness
Worth more than a gold diamond ring?
I'm willing to do anything
To calm the storm in my heart
I've never been the praying kind
But lately I've been down upon my knees
Not looking for a miracle
Just a reason to believe

I might need you to hold me tonight
I might need you to say it's alright
I might need you to make the first stand
Because tonight I'm finding it hard to be your man

Do you remember not long ago?
When we used to live for the nighttime
Cherish each moment?
Now we don't live we exist
We just run through our lives
So alone
That's why you've got to hold me

Hey, yeah
If we can't find a way out of these problems
Then maybe we don't need this
Standing face to face
Enemies at war we build defenses
And secret hiding places

I might need you to hold me tonight
I might need you to say it's alright
I might need you to make the first stand
Because tonight I'm finding it hard to be your man

Hold Me : Savage Garden

Chapter 1: If we can't find a way out of these problems…


Two blinding bolts of light slammed into the nearby lightning tower simultaneously. Even though the Guado had told Yuna's party the worst part of the storm was over, the squall had hardly relented. In fact, the lighting seemed to be getting stronger, and more frequent.

"Whoa! That was a close one!" Wakka laughed, poking fun at Rikku, who was obviously miserable. She had long been terrified of lighting and thunder, and being stuck in an endless plain of it with people who really don't care wasn't making life any easier for the poor girl. Lulu scolded Wakka for his insensitivity, while he shrugged it off casually.

"Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh…" That last deafening crash and Wakka's tease had been the last straw, now Rikku's nervous laughter echoed dully in the static air.

"Hmm? What's wrong?" Wakka asked, as if he didn't already know the answer.

"Eh heh heh heh heh heh heh..." Rikku continued to laugh tensely, ignoring Wakka's questions.

Another bolt of lightning struck nearby, sending Rikku to her knees in exasperation and fear. She covered her head with hear arms, crying out, "I wanna go home! I hate lightning! I hate thunder!" She pointed to a makeshift building ahead of them "Let's go rest over there! Please?" She begged.

Auron rolled his eye heavily and glared at Wakka for taunting Rikku to her breaking point. He knew that if they stopped now, it would be nearly impossible for them to get her going again. Wakka avoided Auron's glare and nervously attempted to straighten his vibrant red-orange hair. It was being battered by the pouring rain, yet most of it had remained in its upright-and-locked-position.

Once he was sure Wakka was comprehending his wordless message, Auron tried to reason with Rikku "This storm never stops. Better to cross quickly." He said. But trying to reason with Rikku is like talking to a wall, and she was too far removed to acquiesce.

Tidus shook his head like a golden retriever, sending water droplets flying everywhere. "Well, what now?" He asked, looking concernedly towards the young girl. Even though he hardly knew her, she was like a sister to him.

Auron sighed and commanded the group to continue onward. If they couldn't get her to talk, they could get her to move. Once they got to the old building, though, Rikku stopped just outside and refused to go anywhere. The rest of the party ignored her and trudged right on past.

"Pretty please? Just a few minutes?" Rikku offered, faking a desperate smile.

While she did manage to get a passing glance from a couple of them, Auron refused to give in.

"I'm scared of lightning! Let's rest, please? Pretty please?"

He was NOT going to succumb.

"I'm too young to die!"

'Her pleas are all in vain, I am not turning back.' Auron resolved to himself.

"You're mean...cruel! Your moms would be ashamed of you!"

'Her insults don't hurt… just continue, Auron…'

"Are you having fun doing this to me?"

"Fine, we rest." Auron calmly closed his eyes in frustration, reluctant to give in to Rikku's whining. Oh, how he hated defeat. "She's worse than the storm." He added bitterly.

So, much to Auron's dismay and Rikku's delight, the group sought temporary shelter at Rin's Travel Agency. Rikku made no outward notion of delight, in fear of further agitating the stoic guardian, and rushed inside, exhaling deeply. The storm was only getting worse anyway. Rikku consoled herself.

Auron sighed impatiently. Rikku's constant whining was driving me insane; it probably would have been more of a problem than just resting anyway. He told himself to excuse his surrender. At least this way we will all be well rested for the next day.

Inside, Rikku cowered in one corner, praying no more lightning would flash, while the rest of the group scattered around the lobby. Yuna, however, seemingly distracted, had disappeared down the hallway into one of the rooms. When Tidus tried to follow her, she hardly made notice and avoided talking to him. He was confused at her distant behavior, but he decided it would be wiser to let her be.

"What's wrong with Yuna?" Wakka pondered when he watched Tidus' rejected return.

Lulu shrugged "It's not like her… I'll go see." With that, she walked down the hall and into Yuna's room.

Rin entered the lobby and greeted the travelers. He commented on the weather, trying to make small talk, but no one was really in the mood for it. He was about to leave, when he noticed the crimson clad warrior standing off by himself.

"Sir Auron?" He inquired in disbelief.

Auron faced him, reluctantly.

"I wonder if you remember me?" Rin asked, seeming to search Auron's scarred face for the answer to some long lost riddle.

"Yes… I should thank you." Auron said, trying to be discreet. He didn't want the other guardians to know anything more than what was necessary about his past… it was… a bit of a sore spot for him, to say the least. Rin attempted to continue the conversation and press Auron for more details, but Auron politely broke him off, saying he would "rather drop that subject." Rin looked at him suspiciously, bowed, and left the room.

Not long after, Lulu returned to the lobby, saying that Yuna was under a lot of stress and just needed to rest for a bit.

"You gonna stay with her?" Wakka asked.

"Yes. Yuna wishes it," Lulu turned to Kimahri, "Oh, she also asked Kimahri to stay with her as well." The blue Ronso nodded and accompanied Lulu to Yuna's room.

"You see, Kimahri is kinda like Yuna's step-father, ya?" Wakka explained to a jealous-looking Tidus "When Yuna's father, Braska, died it was Kimahri who brought her to Besaid and raised her. Lu, Chappu, and I were like her siblings, but Kimahri has always been her guardian and trusted confidant."

"Ahhh…" Tidus mused in false contemplation, he didn't care what Yuna's reasoning was; he just wanted to be with her.

"Well, anyways, I'm kinda tired myself, so I'm gonna hit the sack now, k?" Wakka yawned, patting Tidus on the shoulder and heading into the adjacent room. "You just turn in whenever you're ready, but don't stay up too late, long journey to Macalania tomorrow, ya?"

Tidus nodded and gazed back into the lobby. He wasn't tired enough to go to sleep just yet, but he certainly was bored enough. He noticed Auron sitting on the couch, flipping though an Al Bhed primer, while Rikku still hovered in her little corner, paralyzed with fear. Lightning struck, louder than usual, and Rikku squealed and swore in Al Bhed. Tidus held back a laugh, it was rude to laugh at others misfortune… he attempted to strike up a conversation with Auron, who was apparently more interested in learning one letter in Al Bhed than anything Tidus could possibly have to say.

Sighing in defeat, Tidus retreated to the room he was to share with Wakka.

Rin returned to the lobby once Tidus had departed. "Sir Auron." Auron gazed up from his 'reading'.

"So what have you been doing these past ten years?" Auron gave him an icy glare, but Rin retained his cocky smirk. "Now that no one else is around, would you please tell me…? I am most interested."

Auron glared at Rin, trying to formulate a plan to keep the past shrouded in mystery. Rin probably knew the most out of anyone else in Spira, and Auron erally didn't feel like letting him know any more.

"I've been keeping a promise to a friend." He said, reluctant to reveal even that.

Rin arched an eyebrow, "I see…" He knew Auron was keeping secrets and he was determined to drag it out. "Can you tell me more?" He pressed, his voice implying that it was more of a demand than a question. Auron sensed Rin's determination, and racked his brain for a way to avoid it.

Outside, a snap of lighting illuminated the plains and the thunder roared again. Rikku squealed and feel to her knees, her hands protecting her head from the dangers of… thunder. Auron smirked. The perfect excuse. With his eyes, he nodded in Rikku's direction, letting Rin know that his lips were sealed in the presence of other company. "I see." Rin said, his excitement quickly fading, disappointed than he would not be able to get a response form the mysterious man.

"Rikku! Fuimt oui seht mayjehk Sir Auron yht E tu tecclic cusadrehk?" Rin asked her. She gave him a look of terror.

"E lyh'd suja! E's yvhyet uv mekrdhehk… E's hut kuehk yhofrana… tuh'd syga sa pa ymuha!" She demanded in a panic.

Rin exhaled shortly. "Veha." He was now doubly disappointed. He turned back to Auron. "We all have our secrets. I believe Rikku has a few of her own."

Rin gave them both a smug grin and bit them goodnight, turning on his heel, and retreating to his private sleeping chambers.

"Fryd dra vilg? Zylgycc!" Rikku swore and continued to sit in silence, crouched in a fetal position.

Auron returned to his reading. After a long while of not speaking, Auron looked up from the dictionary and asked irritably "Aren't you going to bed? You look exhausted."

The Al Bhed girl looked into his face with horror and an expression that read 'I need sleep!' "I am tired," she explained. "I could pass out… but I'm too scared to move! I'm more afraid of the storm than insomnia!"

"By not sleeping, you could put Yuna in danger tomorrow, if you are too tired to fight."

Rikku groaned, she really wanted to go to sleep, but she couldn't… she was too scared. She stood up to ensure that she wouldn't accidentally doze off. Auron averted his attention back to the language primer, as Rikku continued to shiver and whimper whenever a faint rumble of thunder could be heard. After some time, Hhe noticed her swaying a bit, dozing off on her feet, but she always snapped awake just before she completely passed out. Watching her sleepy actions made Auron drowsy as well. He struggled to keep his eyelid open… so… tired…


A blinding bolt of lightning, followed by a deafening clap of thunder, seemingly right above the travel agency's roof, shook the entire area and disoriented the still-awake guardians. Even Auron felt his heart racing after that insanely loud roll of thunder. He looked over at Rikku. Auron's blood froze at the sight of Yuna's youngest guardian, and cousin. She stood straight upright, her eyes wide open, muscles locked, the lower corner of her right eye twitched ever-so-slightly before she fell backwards completely. She collapsed, on the floor not moving. Auron jumped to his feet, but quickly remembered to check his emotions and keep his cool demeanor. He glanced around before proceeding.

Appearing casual (but inside freaking out, seriously now, watching someone faint is not something to be casual about, even if you are Auron), he strode over to the limp girl and poked her with the toe of his boot. No response. He poked harder. Nothing. He glanced around the room again, checking for anyone who might be watching him. Not that he was doing anything wrong, but… he didn't want people watching him showing concern… or something like that. No one was around. Good? OK. Sighing, he bent down and abruptly rolled Rikku over onto her back. He peered into her face… it was relaxed, but it had traces of fear and pain etched into her features. 'She must have fainted out of fright.' Auron reasoned. 'poor girl…'

"Rikku." He whispered shortly. She remained unresponsive. "Rikku." He tried again, a bit louder. Still, she didn't move. Biting his lip in frustration (and perhaps concern), Auron took her pulse, just to make sure she was still alive. 'Okay, good.' She was still there.

He tried poking her again. When that still did not draw a response, he rolled his eye and picked up the Al Bhed, carrying her to the only remaining room. She wasn't heavy, but Auron still thought it was inconvenient. She should have already been in bed. Why did he have to be taking care of her anyway? It was the least he could do for her 'saving' him fro Rin's prodding. Why was he thinking more on this than he should, anyway? He grumbled incoherently as he walked down the hallway. 'I guess it's not too bad…it could have been Tidus. Hmm…her hair smells nice.' He thought… without thinking. 'Wha-? Where did /that/ thought come from!' he asked himself, mentally slapping his peripatetic mind. He shook his head of the thought.

Gently, he pushed open the door and set Rikku on the room's double bed. It was a small room, and apparently, there was a hole in the roof, because the floor was soaking wet. Amazingly, however, the bed, and the small table next to it remained dry. Once he laid her down, he examined her, sleeping innocently, in peace. 'If only she was this peaceful while awake…' He smirked to himself, turning to leave. But, just as he turned, another great clash of thunder screamed across the plains.

Rikku's eyes shot open in fear. Auron turned back around just in time to catch the terrified girl who had attempted to fling herself out of bed. She slammed right into Auron's chest; the impact sending them both toppling onto the ground. She held him in firm grip with her face buried in the front of his coat. He didn't move, probably too surprised to do anything.

"Auron I'm scared… I wanna go home! I hate this place!" She sobbed, "Rumt sa…"

"Get o" He started, trying to shift her insignificant figure off of his legs, but paused when she looked up at him with terror in her blazing green eyes. He exhaled, allowing her to stay. What was it, recently, with him letting her do as she pleases? She buried her face in his torso at the next clap of thunder, and shivered. Auron could not, for the life of him, understand why the thunder scared her as bad as it did. Auron smiled sadly, he had tried to be angry with her, or even irritated, but he felt more sympathy and worry for the young, trembling girl, than anything else.

He wrapped his strong arms around her, allowing her to take comfort in his embrace. Before he knew it, he had relinquished his pride and dignity in order to console a frightened young teenager. Without thinking, he showed this new girl more empathy than he had shown anyone else in the past twelve years. It was… awkward, yet, strangely comforting for him. He mused over the strangeness while Rikku thought about the leaky roof. "The floor is wet." She mumbled miserably.

Auron chuckled at her profound statement of the blatantly obvious. "The roof leaks."

She moaned at her mounting misfortunes. Auron stood up and helped her to her feet. She sat back down on the bedside, swinging her legs up onto it as Auron pulled the sheets over her. A lightning bolt collided with the ground far away, but it still scared Rikku, who sat straight up in bed.

"Are you going to be alright?" He asked her. She didn't answer, only looked at him with pleading eyes. He knew that was going to be bad news for him. Why did he ask…

Rikku, however, was unsure of what to say… she wanted him to stay, she was horrified, but… she didn't want to make him stay… maybe she would be able to ignore the storm.

"Yeah, I think I'll be alright, maybe... but…" She said, mock cheerily, hoping Auron would sense her disguised desire for company. Auron sensed it alright, but wasn't even ging to go near it. "Okay then, good night" He was cut off by yet another bolt of lightning, crashing to the ground, just outside the cracked window. Immediately Rikku latched onto Auron's shoulders, pulling him closer, while he was trying to pin down her wildly flailing body. More thunder shook the building, and their nerves. Even Auron had never experienced such a ferocious squall.

This, of course, made things twice as terrorizing for Rikku, who was near a mental breakdown. In a desperate attempt to calm her, Auron put his mouth at Rikku's ear and whispered, "Rikku… crrr, lyms tufh… ed'c ymnekhd." The foreign words tumbled clumsily off of his tongue, but Rikku understood and appreciated his attempt at her language. She relaxed her body, but still kept a vice-grip on Auron. He was now lying in an awkward position, face down across Rikku's chest, with her fingers inexorably pinning him down.

After a period of calm weather, it seemed that Rikku had finally fallen asleep. He was grateful that she had finally fallen asleep, and took advantage of that time to loosen her grip on his being and try to leave. Slowly, her hands slid off as he stood up, but with the last ounce of strength she could muster, she grabbed onto his coat lapel with her right fist.

"Auron… please don't leave…" She breathed sleepily. Her voice, drenched in sleep, was filled with sincerity and plea.

He paused momentarily, unsure of what she was really asking, before placing his own hand on top of hers. "I won't." He reassured as he removed her hand from his coat. Wait- damn it! He cursed himself for agreeing to stay. Score three for Rikku, Auron: zip. Sighing at his own newfound misfortune, he turned around and unbuckled his belt, setting it on the nightstand by the bed. Rikku watched in hidden, yet unabashed, fixation as he stripped himself of his crimson coat, which he also placed on the stand.

Her jaw dropped in awe of his exceptionally toned biceps. 'Auron has… ARMS! I am SO glad it is dark so he can't see me gawking at him like this… look at those ARMS! On Auron!' She thought, her mind beginning to pull out of its sleepy web. Her fear had subsided, replaced by admiration and gratitude for the man who had sacrificed a great deal of personal pride to comfort her. He was so powerful, and unafraid, unlike herself, who still had a childish phobia of something as trivial as lighting. She felt lucky to have him near, and even luckier to have him exposing a hidden soft side to hershe immediately stopped her thoughts from wandering too far in that direction.

With a 'clink' he set his glasses on the table and slid into the bed next to Rikku, who slid over to make ample room for him. She was not going to touch him. That would be weird. Very weird. And she would be dead. Very dead. He lay on his back, gazing up at the dilapidated ceiling, with Rikku far to his right, still quivering. Rikku smiled to herself as Auron pulled the covers up to his chest. 'I will have to repay him sometime.' She mused. She pondered it for a while, and decided an honorable way to thank him would be to conquer her fears: for him. That way, he wouldn't have to feel pressured by her next time. As soon as that thought had completed, a loud crash of thunder rocked the area again, sending Rikku to find 'shelter' in Auron's side.

"Uggh! I'll repay him later!" She thought, accidentally out loud. He dismissed her comment as delusional and allowed her to burrow herself in his ribs and hip. He sighed. He couldn't say he hated the position…and yet…he felt a bit awkward. And there was no way he was going 0-for-four. He cleared his throat loudly; she got the hint and scooted away shyly. He smirked to himself; he won! But the victory was called too early, as the next resonating smash of thunder sent the Al Bhed right back to his right side. Auron exhaled deeply, it was just not his day.

He decided that it would be best to just get the rest of the miserable day over with, and he didn't protest. Unfortunately for him, another bolt of lighting followed his resolution, causing Rikku to creep even closer. He had given up trying to fight it, but exactly how much closer was she planning to get? He was the one who could get claustrophobic with just one other person in an entire blitzball stadium, how he had let Rikku go past all boundaries was beyond him. He closed his eyes, not wanting to think about it anymore, waiting for sleep to claim him.

But Rikku was now trying to get comfortable. She tossed her right leg in between Auron's and pressed every muscle against his right side, squeezing him like a little kid would do to a teddy bear. She relaxed again when Auron draped his left arm across her body, embracing her and absently stroking her hair. Rikku smiled as she realized his actions were becoming more and more unguarded in his state of half-consciousness. Thenher eyes shot wide open, was he acting in his sleep? Or was he still awake? He lazily rubbed the back of her neck with his thumb. Her mind tried to fight back sleepiness to determine if the warrior was asleep or not, but lost in the end. She sighed sleepily… it was so… nice…so…relaxing... what does it matter? She too was hypnotized by the temptations of sleep, and soon joined Auron in a much needed slumber.

end chapter 1:

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