Hi there!

Aw, this is going to be one of the few (I noticed that lately!!!) Baralai/Rikku stories. I couldn't resist to write it down since I just sat in the tram, thinking about nothing but Final Fantasy X-2 the thought of this story hit me!

I hope you'll have fun reading chapter 1!

Please, review!!! All of you, non-members, too, please!!! Like it/ hate it? Tell me!!!

Notes:

This is going to be a little bit different from the game we know (and love!). Rikku never met Yuna and all the others. She's "just" an Al Bhed, curious and has a talent for sneaking into places. * smile *

Chapter 1: Bevelle

Rikku looked around one last time before entering the city. Bevelle, what a beautiful city! What a pity that not a single Al Bhed was allowed to enter this city.

They just hated the Al Bhed and she couldn't do a thing about that. Rikku sighed, then remembered what she where she was and why she was here.

This was her night – she would come of age. Finally 18 years old! And this was her acid test – she'd prove she was as grown-up and qualified as every other Al Bhed. Her father hadn't liked the thought of her trial.

"You're supposed to enter – unnoticed, of course – and to prove that you've been there and as a reminder of that day you'll take one of the spheres from the temple and bring it back with you." She remembered every word her father had said when he told her about that mission.

And now, here she was and with each step that brought her closer to the temple, she asked herself if it had been a good idea. But on the other hand... she couldn't just turn around, giving Brother a reason to tease her.

"Let's do it!" she whispered and slowly opened the double doors of the temple. She moved slowly, trying not to make any noise.

She had done things like this countless times before – so, why should she be nervous about this one?

She knew there were priests around – and though she was sure about being able to handle one of them by herslef, she wanted to take care.

"Let's see... where is a sphere?"

This was a temple after all... there were supposed to be some spheres around...

Rikku slowly walked on, entering a room. There was a sphere! And a beautiful one, too! Forgetting that she had to be careful, she almost ran to the pillar there sphere was fixed in, her boots making noise on the ground.

She slowly took the sphere – it was much easier to get it out of that pillar than she had expected it to be. Rikku laughed silently.

"Found it!" she cheered.

"My, my, my. What do we have here?" a voice from behind said.

Rikku froze in her motions, then, very slow as if the world had stopped turning around, she forced herself to look at this man who was standing behind her.

She could handle one of the monks, no need to panic.

But once she had turned around she saw that there was not only one monk – there were about 7 of them looking at her.

"Oh-oh!" she said as the men moved closer to her.

"An Al Bhed!" one of them shouted suddenly and a lot of things seemed to happen at the same time. Rikku started to run, but one of them caught her wrist and she hit the ground.

"Let go of me!" she screamed, her eyes and voice full of anger.

While she tried to free herself, something hard hit her head and the last thing she noticed that the world lost its colours, all of them fading to black.

***

She didn't know how much time had passed when she regained consciousness, she touched her hurting had, looking around to find out where she was.

Memories came back in a rush and she jumped to her feet.

Bevelle... temple... sphere...

"OH!" she screamed and realized where she was. They had the nerves to lock her up in a CAGE! They had locked her up in a big cage just like they would lock up a bird!!!

"HEY!" she screamed and she felt anger rising inside of her.

"Shut up, girl!" a monk coming nearer said and she recognized him. It was the same one that had screamd that she was an Al Bhed in that room she'd found the sphere in.

"You'd better let me go!"

"Or what, little girl?" the monk asked, not even looking at her.

"My..." she started but stopped just when she realized it would not be smart to tell him that.

She had wanted to say that her father, Cid, leader of the Al Bhed was going to beat him and all of his friends up for doing this to his only daughter but that would give them more power than they had by now.

Once they'd know who her father was, they could use that against her father, so Rikku stopped, turned around so she hadn't to look at the monk's face anymore. He was smirking by now.

"You know what, little girl?"

She didn't react to his talking but he continued. "The Praetor himself is going to come to see you – you tried to steal something that belongs into this temple he's living in."

The monk laughed. "I don't want to be in your shoes, little girl."

***

Praetor Baralai couldn't help but feel curious about that girl who'd made it to sneak into this temple. He mentally shook his head and sighed.

An Al Bhed in this temple... they offended against Yevon's teachings by using machines and all.

But he had to say that he'd never seen an Al Bhed by himself before. Since they were not allowed to enter the cities they avoided those places.

Yet, he'd see an Al Bhed for the first time. He walked next to some monks who were telling him what had happened during the night – at least, they didn't wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him that they had caught a girl.

When he entered the room they kept prisoners in, he saw the monk who was watching the Al Bhed talking to her but she didn't seem to talk, too.

"Hey, girl, the praetor is here! Turn around!" the monk shouted as Baralai came nearer. Rikku smiled – she could at least play her own game now.

"Praetor!" the monk said and bowed.

Baralai sighed. "Is that the girl?"

"Yes, Praetor."

"Turn around now, girl!" the monk shouted again and this time, Rikku turned around.

Baralai looked at this girl and couldn't help but stare for a few seconds. He hadn't imagined the Al Bhed to look that way... more... well, ugly?

Her eyes were green, a wonderful colour... he slapped himself mentally.

"Not the right time... nor the right moment for such thoughts." he thought.

***

TBC

Hehe... I liked this chapter, though nothing really happens at all. Well, but they met – that happned after all, right? Please review if you want to know how the story goes on!