Disclaimer: I don't own Yuna, Rikku, Paine, or any of the FFX or FFX2 characters mentioned and/or portrayed in this story. I do, however, own my sphere hunters, Kalla, Bane, Sabeth, Ganen, and Riva.
Thanks for coming in here to read my story! You see, I bought Final Fantasy X-2 out of curiosity back in June, but didn't understand a lot of it until I went out and bought FFX on an impulse last weekend, then spent the entire day locked in my bedroom playing the game for fourteen hours straight. I'm not exaggerating, either. FOURTEEN HOURS STRAIGHT I played that game. It gets really addicting! (Not to mention the fact that Tidus is really, really cute!) So, I now am a Final Fantasy Freak. I still, however, have not finished either game, even after playing FFX2 for four months and FFX for a week. (I'm stuck on Seymour Flux on Gagazet and Shiva in the stupid hole in the floor. Poop.) So I apologize for any plot holes. Feel free to correct me if I make any slip-ups concerning the canon plot. I FEAR NO SPOILERS! This story is the product of an obsession with no outlet other than fanfiction, since none of my friends have any clue as to what Final Fantasy is. Enjoy and review!
The early-morning sun coming through the window washed over Yuna's face, bathing her in a warm light as her eyes fluttered open. As she slowly sat up, the door to her room opened and an already dressed Rikku walked in. "C'mon, Yunie, get out of bed! Brother's picking us up today and he said he's going to just leave us here if we're not outside when he gets here!" she whined.
Yuna just laughed softly to himself at Rikku's antics. "All right, Rikku. I'm up, I'm up. Say, why don't you go and get Paine out of bed? I'm sure she'd appreciate it."
"Oh, no." Rikku said, shaking her head. "I ain't goin' nowhere near that girl at this time of the morning. She'd skin me alive!"
"And I won't?"
"Of course not. You're Yunie, and Yunie would never hurt me. Right?"
"No...eh heh heh...I hope not."
"At six in the morning, it's possible."
"Well, then, maybe I'd better go check on, um, um..." Rikku said, discreetly edging towards the doorway. "Um...byeYuniegottago!" she said as she zipped out the door fearing the wrath of an awakened Yuna (though the magnitude of Yuna's early-morning wrath was nowhere near Paine's level.)
Yuna yawned as she slipped out of bed and changed out of her pajamas and into her clothes. Today they were leaving Bikanel Island. She, Rikku, and Paine had been on Bikanel for the better part of the last year, getting away from the attention of the news media and helping the Al Bhed rebuild their Home. Brother, Buddy, and Shinra had lent a hand by ferrying supplies from the mainland to Bikanel using the Celsius. A week ago, the Al Bhed's new Home had been finished, after eight months' worth of hard work. This was a happy occasion, but it also left the Gullwings without much to do. So it was back to sphere hunting for them. Yuna was actually looking forward to it. That way of life had become a lot of fun.
Walking down to the landing pad and searching the masses of Al Bhed for Rikku and Paine, Yuna finally spotted someone she knew. "Paine! There you are!" Yuna said, running over to her friend.
"Morning, Yuna." Paine said in her usual lukewarm tone. "Find Rikku yet?"
"No. Have you seen her?"
"Yunie!" Rikku's voice rang out over the mass of people. "Brother's waiting for us! He says it's time to go!"
"Well, then let's get going!" The three girls raced down to the landing pad, where the Celsius was waiting. Gippal, who had come along with a good half of the Machine Faction to help with the reconstruction, and Cid were both waiting there.
"I just wanted to thank you kids for all your help in doing this." Cid said. "If any of you ever need any help with anything, just let old Cid know."
"We will." Yuna said.
"So, Doctor P, see ya around?" Gippal said, turning to Paine.
"Yeah. See you around."
"Oh, and say hi to Baralai and the Noojster if you happen to see them."
"Will do!" Rikku shouted, jumping up and down. "Now let's go! I wouldn't put it past my blockhead brother to really leave without us!"
The girls all walked up onto the ship and headed to the bridge. Rikku ran through the door and jumped onto the floor, narrowly missing Buddy's head. "It's good to be back, isn't it, Yunie!"
"Yes. Yes, it is good to be back."
"There iz no time for zis!" Brother shouted. "We have work to do!"
"Wow, nice welcome." Paine said sarcastically. "We're not even on the ship for a full minute before we start getting orders again."
"Well, I am ze leader, and ze leader gives ze orders, and I say zat we are going to Luca!"
"Why Luca?" Rikku asked.
"While you three were helping out here, a brand new group of sphere hunters showed up and are taking Spira by storm. They've actually been around for about a year, but didn't really start getting around until about six months ago." Buddy said.
"Yes, and I zay zat we need to find out more about these...Guardians."
"Guardians?" Yuna asked.
"It's what they call themselves. The Guardians." Shinra said, pulling himself away from the computer.
"Nice name." Paine said.
"So you want us to tramp around Luca because you're scared of a little competition?" Rikku asked, punching Brother in the arm.
"Basically, yes." Shinra remarked from his computer.
"No, it iz not zat. I am just ze, ze leader. And ze leader orders you to go to Luca and find out about the Guardians!"
"Fine, fine, keep your hair on." Rikku said. "We'll go. Just get us there, all right?"
"Rikku and Brother arguing-even worse than Rikku and Brother agreeing." Paine drawled.
Finally, the ship landed in Luca. The girls got out and headed to the blitzball stadium first, to ask around about the Guardians. When they finished, they'd come up with one thing-the café in the square was the Guardian's favorite hangout in Luca, and word had it that they were in town.
The inside of the café was bright and filled with talk, but there were few people there. Yuna went up to the woman at the counter.
The woman turned around. "Well, if it isn't Lady Yuna and the Gullwings! What can I do for you?"
"Well, we're looking for a group of sphere hunters named the Guardians. Would they be here?" Yuna asked.
"Yes, there's a few of them over in the corner there. Their "boss" isn't here today, but his number two is. See that redhead over there, with the Al Bhed girl and the boy with the sword?" The woman pointed to a tall girl sitting at a table in the corner, next to a boy with black hair whose face they couldn't see and a young Al Bhed with blond hair. The redhead had bright blue eyes and was wearing a red shirt with black shorts and a black leather jacket. From the staff leaning up against the back of her chair, you could see she was a mage. The boy was wearing a pair of brown pants with a green t-shirt and a large silver sword with a green handle was leaning on the table next to him. The Al Bhed had blond hair done up into messy pigtails on both sides of her head, her long bangs hanging down in front of her face, and wore tan shorts with a white tank top and a dark green jacket. Her hands were grease-stained, as though she had been working with machina.
"That's her. She runs things when the boss isn't around. He's somewhere else in Luca, getting supplies, I heard them say."
"Thanks." Yuna began to walk over to the table when Rikku stopped her.
"Yunie, wait. Maybe me and Paine should take care of this one. Everybody knows you, and I'm sure they aren't any different."
"The element of surprise. Might not be a bad idea." Paine said.
"Yeah. If you show up, everybody will know that it's the Gullwings."
"Ok, I guess I'll wait outside." Yuna said, a little disappointed.
"All righty! We'll tell you how things turn out!"
Rikku and Paine walked over to the table where the Guardians were sitting.
"'Scuse me, but are you the Guardians?" Rikku asked. The red-haired girl turned around to look at Rikku and Paine, her face curious.
"Yes, half of them, anyway. What's it to ya?"
"Oh, we were, ummm..."
"Wondering what the qualifications were to join." Paine said quickly, covering for Rikku.
"Yeah! We wanted to know about you guys and how you get in!"
"Wannabes, huh?" she said, turning to the Al Bhed girl. "What do you think, Sabeth?"
"I dunno. You," she said, pointing to Paine, "look strong, but you," she pointed to Rikku, "don't have much to show for yourself. "What's your pitch? Good with machina? We've already got people with that kind of experience."
"I can beat any of you guys in a race and can steal anything! How's that?"
"I guess we'll have to let you try, but you've gotta see the boss first. He can't talk today, business, you know, but meet us at Dock 3 tomorrow night at six and you can see him. After that, we'll talk about letting you in."
"What are your names again?" Paine asked.
"I'm Sabeth," the Al Bhed girl said, "this is Kalla," she gestured to the redhead, "and this grouch is Bane." He don't talk much, right Bane?" Bane answered only with a grunt.
"Hey, Kalla!" someone yelled from the doorway of the café. Paine and Rikku turned around to see a girl standing in the doorway. She was wearing a short blue skirt, brown knee-high boots, and a black tank top with red and blue specks all over it. Silver hoop earrings hung from her ears, and she sported a tattoo of a thorny rose on her left arm, as well as thick silver-and-red bracelets on both wrists. Her hair was light brown and so long it looked as though she could use it as a blanket.
"Who are these guys?" she asked, walking over to the table and plopping down next to Sabeth. "Wannabes?"
"We are not wannabes!" Rikku said indignantly. "We just want to join!"
"Wanted to see the world, get away from home." Rikku lied.
"Really? Where are you girls from?"
"Kilika Port." Paine answered using the first name that popped into her head. "We had heard of you and thought we might try to join when we got to Luca."
"Kilika, hmm?" the girl said, stroking her chin. "Funny, you looked Bevelle born and bred to me." Paine gulped, this girl was perceptive.
"Yeah, since when do an Al Bhed and a city girl like you even travel in the same circles, let alone with each other?" Kalla asked.
"Oh, sorry Sabeth, no offense."
"Oh, I was helping the Youth League with some finishing touches on that base of theirs, for a price of course!" Rikku said. Paine looked at Rikku with disbelief, amazed at how well the Al Bhed girl could lie.
"Yeah, then I met Paine here-" Rikku noticed Bane twitch at the mention of Paine's name, but continued her story. "-and we just hit it off! We originally came here to Luca to check out the sights and play some Sphere Break, but decided we'd check this out while we were here!"
"Well, I guess I'll buy your story." the girl said. "I'm Riva. Nice to meet you."
"I'm Rikku, and this is Paine!"
"Hey, isn't Rikku the name of Cid's girl?"
Rikku wasn't sure if she should panic or shout. She hated being called Cid's girl, I mean, she had a name, but she didn't want to blow their cover either. So she just played it cool and kept a straight face. "Really? I heard it was something else. Oh well."
Paine grew more and more amazed at Rikku's ability to lie with a straight face as the girl rambled on and on. "So," she said "do you think your "boss" will let us in?"
"I really don't know. He's been a little weird lately, all moody-like." Sabeth said.
"Coming down the Highroad the other night he was totally out there, just kept staring at the sun setting." Kalla remarked.
"Yeah, until Bane whacked him over the head with his sword and he tackled him to the ground!" Riva said, laughing. Paine thought she actually saw Bane, who had been withdrawing more and more into his own little world as the girls talked, crack a smile, as though remembering this undoubtedly funny scene.
"So, we cool for tomorrow night? Dock 3 at six?" Rikku asked.
"Great! We'll be there!" Rikku and Paine walked out of the café and over to Yuna who was sitting on a bench looking utterly and completely bored, swinging her legs back and forth.
"Yunie!" Rikku shouted. "We got 'em! We're meeting their "boss" at Dock 3, tomorrow night at six!"
"Good job, guys! What else did you find out?"
"Well, we met the guy's number two, Kalla, and three of the other members. There's this guy named Bane who doesn't talk at all, an Al Bhed girl named Sabeth, and this other girl named Riva." Paine recalled.
"Great! So why do you have to meet them tomorrow night?"
"Well, Paine's great idea was to tell them that we wanted to join, so we're meeting tomorrow night for some kind of interview."
"What are you going do after that? What if the guy wants to hire you?" Yuna asked.
"My plan is to tell him we'll think about it and never come back. That should satisfy my knucklehead brother." Rikku said.
"Well, for now, let's get back to the airship and rest." Paine said. "I'm tired, and I'm not exactly looking forward to another day of tramping around Luca trying to quell Brother's fear of competition."
"I'm all for that!"
Well, did ya like it? TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME! REVIEW! PLEASE! Flames are fine, but will be read once and then thrown at Seymour, the evil to end all evils. I swear, that guy annoys the heck outta me! He sounds like Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh, another guy that annoys the heck outta me. Oh well, I suppose it can't be helped. Again, please review! Thanks! The more reviews I get, the faster Chapter Two will get here! Give the little girl some positive reinforcement, would ya? Thanks!