First of all, let it be known that Gippal is a pathological liar who will do anything to get a free beer or into the pants of a woman.
No, I am not exaggerating. Please. I am so sick of getting that look. The look that says, without really saying, of course, because gods forbid you have the balls to say it, that I am an over reactive teenage girl who is running on hormones and Mountain Dew and perhaps I should go get my head checked because no one is really as slutty as I say Gippal is. Come on now. The guy practically has Man Whore written across his forehead in big, bold letters framed in neon to match. The day Gippal preaches abstinence will be the day I eat my own weight in broken glass and Shoopuff turd. The man must utilize fool proof condoms or something, because as far as I am concerned, he should have enough grandkids to start his own third world nation, a hierarchy system and all. Also; he should be dying of AIDS by now. Perhaps Syphilis, if one wants to get technical. AIDS isn't too common among the Al Bhed, but I doubt Gippal's sexcapades are limited to only involve those of his own race. Or gender. Ha. Gippal the bisexual. Now there's a picture. Remind me to bring that up with him one day. There is absolutely nothing I enjoy more than watching his face go through all the shades found in the color wheel. Hee hee. Purple's my favorite. Though fuchsia is amusing, too.
So, Gippal being a gigolo aside, I feel the need to point out where this story all began.
"Rikku will you marry me?"
Well, technically that was where the story ended.
And it was Baralai who spoke those words, not Gippal. Gippal just piddled in his pants from laughing. Yeah, I got you there, didn't I? Didn't I? You thought Gippal and I would start out by hating each other, go on some epic, melodramatic quest where we would be forced together under inevitable circumstances and cruel misfortune, and somewhere along the line we would begin to open up to each other, perhaps I would convince the pimp of the century to settle down and he would convince the caffeine addict of the millennium to be secure with herself or some cheesy Hallmark bull crap like that (even though I cease to wear a shirt that doesn't mean I am actually comfortable with the skin I'm in. That just means I dehydrate easily. Anyway.) He would then destroy our newfound relationship by predictably cheating on me with a one night stand, which I would inadvertently catch him in, and I would proceed to run off and angst about it for some couple hours until I couldn't bare the misery anymore and run off to do something highly illogical and dangerous (most likely life threatening.) That is when Gippal swoops in and wipes me off my feet or some such nonsense, for the man couldn't pull romance out of his butt if he tried—he thinks a six pack of beer and a pile of machina is sexually stimulating—and I would fall into his lanky spaghetti arms and woo accordingly, forgiving him of all his past transgressions and agreeing to marry the manorexic out of love and adoration. Then we'd go off and make babies.
For the love of all things sacred, that burns. Not the stereotype, but the making babies part. Ewie!
And besides, telling Gippal he can't cheat on you is like telling the belated Seymour to go a week without his Botox. Just not gonna happen. I know this, I acknowledge it, and I accept it. I have no gross misconceptions concerning the latter.
"Oh dear Farplane gods," Gippal hyperventilated, keeling over and clutching his sides like he was in process of repressing vomit. "Are you serious?"
I remember glaring at him quite vehemently.
"Ya know, it wouldn't hurt my self esteem any for you to get jealous."
"Why would I be jealous?" Gippal spat out between fits of hysteria. "Let him have you, for all I care. The heck am I gonna do with a girl like you anyway? Oh gods...Barali? Ha! Aw, holy hell, I think I just wet myself..."
He actually did, but I was unaware of the phenomenon until it actually started to seep through his pants. At that point I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
But anyhow. I am getting ahead of myself.
I guess this really all started when we received word from the ever formal Baralai via letter (a hand written letter, can you believe it? I mean, we live in a world of movie spheres and email where I could forward the entire continent Gippal's home made sex video with Nhadala in a matter of nanoseconds, faster than you could say 'Tidus looks like Meg Ryan!'—well, minus the eyelashes—and then there's legalistic ol' Baralai, commiserating with us through the archaic art of calligraphy and paper. So archaic, in fact, that Nhadala didn't even know what to do with the chocobo messenger when he gallivanted up to her, severely malnourished—compliments of the Bakinel Desert—and panted a greeting that went something along the lines of 'I have a letter from Senior Baralai for citizens Rikku and Gippal—can we please have some water before we die?' Nhadala, flabbergasted, has been told to have charged into our primitive remodeling of Home, screaming and shouting and hollering for medical supplies and first aid kits and water. Gippal muttered, off hand, to me since I was the unlucky bystander that was within his proximity at the time, 'The only time she ever screamed that loud was when she was in bed with me.' I distinctly remember shoving him in the chest, trying to get his leering face out of mine and his perpetual minty fresh breath out of my nose. He pretended to be mortally wounded, of course, the attention whore that he is, and I responded by kicking him once he fell down, hands splayed across his chest, wildly proclaiming I had broken all twelve of his ribs. I asked him if there really were twelve ribs in the human body, and he replied 'I dunno, Twit. I just made that up.' I kicked him again for good measure. Anyway.)
"Baralai is such a nerd," Gippal continued once the messenger and corresponding chocobo had been taken care of. The two had caused enough commotion to make one think Paine had finally decided to come out of the closet and was engaging in a promiscuous mud wrestling match with a scantily clad Shelinda. Because that's all we need; every man with an ounce of testosterone in his body to stand and stare slack jawed, eyes glazed like doughnuts and tonsils merrily on display, as Paine ripped off the two items of clothing—er, leather—that she actually wears so she could gain better access to Shelinda's jugular. I'm sure even Tidus would stop salivating over Yunie, in all of her size two glory, long enough to watch that. Gippal, predictably, would go all happy in the pants because I know just like I know the sky is blue and the grass is green and Nooj is a psycho half robot who can probably no longer fornicate that Gippal will get excited over anything that even vaguely resembles a bosom. He got horny over grapefruits once, I swear. All he has to do is see something fleshy and voluptuous and already the aeon inside his pants starts summoning. (I believe its overdrive is called something along the lines of 'Dance Of The Seed.')
Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes. Gippal. Ranting. Imagine that.
"He nearly got a human being, not to mention that overgrown canary, killed over a measly piece of paper decorated in his oh so formal hand writing."
"Chocobo," I corrected, smacking Gippal on the back of the head. "They're called chocobos, you retard."
Gippal has always housed a simmering, unyielding hatred for the large feathered birds of Spira. He has never told me why, but they freak him out on multiple levels for reasons unknown to mankind. I attribute his traumatic past experiences to probably something well deserved on his part and consequently enjoy throwing anything chocobo related into his unblemished face without even the slightest trace of mercy.
He usually pays me back with a Thundera spell of some sort, since he is too dense and too thick skulled to bother learning Thunderaga. Every time I have actually tried to teach him, out of the kindness of my ever so gigundo times ten to the billionth power heart (lest he be attacked by some water bearing fiend one day, of course. I so do not want to be held accountable for his untimely demise even if he really has had it coming to him for oh so very, very long) he always scoffs at my insisting, 'It will only take two hours of your life, tops!' He does his infamous eye roll that he is ever so notorious for—which I always found funny considering he only has one eye; I wonder if his eye socket twitches when he does it—and retorts, 'And those are two hours of my life I could actually spend doing something important. Like inventing a cure for cancer or something.' Puh-lease. Gippal wouldn't know the difference between Advil and Morphine if it shot him in the ass. The apocalypse is nigh the day Gippal starts inventing cures for terminally fatal diseases, much less malignant tumors even those New Yevonite dorks can't figure out.
"I know they're chocobos, alright? I don't like them, dammit."
We were meandering across the still pretty messed up streets of Home, which was still under heavy construction (I swear, one of these days I am going to cark it 'cuz of smoke inhalation or lung cancer or something. I never understood Cid's dire need to live in the remnants of Home while it was still being rebuilt, but hey, the man feeds me, so I guess I can't complain.) We were trying to make it back to my place, the unlikely duo that we were, me making sure to stay six inches away from him at all times, lest he tries to grope me or something, when I abruptly brought up, since I knew Gippal was far from capable of intelligent conversation, "Aren't you, like, supposed to be at the Djose Temple running the Machine Faction or something?"
"Ah," he dismissed, waving his hand aimlessly in front of him as if to swat at imaginary flies. "Trivial matters, by dear Rikku. Don't worry your pretty little head off about it. I've got my co-captain running the show in my absence. Besides, every man needs a break once in a while, no?"
"Gippal," I dead panned, trying hard—oh so very, very hard—not to face palm at his inquisition. "You hardly ever did anything while you were working there. The heck do you need a break for?"
Good job, me! You are learning to accept Gippal's innate stupidity! Next we'll tackle that nasty nail biting habit of yours.
Gippal paused for a minute, contemplating my previous inquisition as we sauntered on through the dust and grime I had grown accustomed to after spending the last nineteen years of my life in the desert. It stung my eyes and tickled my throat and I was thoroughly convinced I was going to be sent to the Farplane with two lungs full of cancer and an IV of chemo to match. Just because I'm used to the place doesn't mean I have to like it. Blegh! Sand! I have always had a personal attraction to Kilika, believe it or not, but Pops was all like, 'Rikku, my girl, you need to get your skinny little white ass back here 'cuz we're finally starting to rebuild Home and I'll be damned if I don't have my own children back here helping me!' Yup, that was Pops. You gotta love him.
Of course, Brother characteristically refused, still bitter about that final feud they had right before his permanent departure. I'm still not sure what it was about, but knowing them and their natural affinity to be both incredibly moronic and incredibly stubborn all at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it was over something stupid, like monkey livers. Or socks. They could have argued about socks. It wouldn't surprise me. So, needless to say, Brother took the Celsius and Buddy with him after he dropped me off—more like kicked me out on my hindquarters spinning, but I'm pretty sure that's the way Mom delivered me, so it's all good—and I made my way back to the new little make shift home my father was currently occupying.
"Well, how about 'cuz I just saved the world?" Gippal remarked keenly, interrupting my train of thought.
I shook my head back and forth, sending blond strands orbiting around my head.
"Wait, did you just say you saved the world?" I repeated, wondering how brain dead the man really was.
"Damn straight I did," he confirmed, supplying me with a hearty nod. "I totally kicked Vegnagun right in his shiny metal ass."
"Nu-uh!" I spat, sticking my tongue out and immediately regretting the habitual action because of the insane amount of grime permeating the place. I will never know what inspired the Al Bhed to live here—much less my father who is anal enough to complain when the ice cubes in his tomato juice melt before he is done drinking it. 'Oh, look, a desert just chock full of deadly, scowering fiends who eat, breathe, and live for the pursuit of human flesh. It's hot enough to melt the skin off your bones and boil your spit before it hits the ground. If you spend longer than three point two seconds out in the sun unprotected you'll get sixth degree burns all over your body. Not to mention the view of the ever captivating...sand dunes. Oh, and the social aspects aren't too shabby either—we're miles and miles and miles away from any human/ronso/guado/Toblie/yevonite soul. In fact, we may even learn to embrace the mental disorder of schizophrenia, because then at least we could talk to ourselves!' Yeah. I can totally see the draw to this island. "You assisted, at the least! Yuna, Paine, and I were the ones that did all the ass kicking!"
"Shhh, don't tell Nhadala that," Gippal hissed, looking over his bony shoulder. "That's how I got her into bed with me!"
I snorted in disgust and tried to quicken my pace so as to get away from Gippal, who was tagging along behind me. The man could never walk in a straight line, it was practically blasphemous to think he could. He always navigated like liquid steel, fluid and agile yet sturdy and strong—which I still can't figure out 'cuz gods know the man has no muscle to speak of and only half a brain cell, so why the Crimson Squad even hired him to begin with is beyond me—and right now he was staggering over to my side to try and catch a glimpse of the letter I was holding in between my fingers.
"Gippal, I already told you, I'm not opening it until I show it to Pops! This could be important!"
"Yeah," he buffed, scratching his neck in response. "So important, in fact, Baralai didn't want to send it through email and resorted to slave labor instead, because we all know chocobos are faster than cyberspace."
"The guy's old fashioned, Gippal. I'm sure you knew this." I paused, then decided to venture down the path of sarcasm, which I'm sure would not go unappreciated by my partner, assuming he had enough brain cells left after all that alcohol consumption to pick up on it. "Hey! Maybe he's so old fashioned, he even practices that long forgotten concept of chivalry!"
"Chival-what?" Gippal repeated, though I couldn't tell if he was intentionally trying to be difficult or if he really was as brain dead as I had previously thought. "There you go again, spouting those nonsensical ideas of romance you've had lodged in your head ever since the second grade."
"Excuse me for thinking I'm worthy of a little respect," I miffed out, sticking my ski slope nose high in the air, even if the sun scalded my face and made my vision go strawberry red. The social repercussions would be worth it.
"If you want respect, try wearing a shirt," Gippal muttered, still wavering behind me.
"I over heat easily!" I shot out in defense, spinning around on my heels, my voice habitually cracking at the sign of confrontation. Sometimes I wonder if I am doomed to forever wonder if I was supposed to be a pre-pubescent boy instead of an estrogen ridden female. Gippal was wise not to mock such things.
"It's called water," the man responded flatly, hand on hip. "Drink it."
"That's dehydration, you idiot! There's a difference!"
"And I am supposed to presume you suffer from both."
"It's a medical condition..." I choked out measly, pawing the sand with my naked foot. "...I take medication."
"Too much, apparently. When did they start prescribing Slut Pills, anyway?"
"You big...big poopie head!" I shouted, reverberations echoing ten decibels too loudly off the nearby machine equipment. "That's not nice!"
"Truth hurts," came the excuse.
I had no ready repertoire at hand, so I chose to spin around and continue marching. It's always my ingenious fool proof tactic and I rely on it quite a bit.
"What? No comeback?" Taunting. Provoking.
"You are, like, so totally lucky I don't have my Machina Maw dress sphere with me right now! Otherwise you'd be...you'd be dead! That's what you'd be! Curled up in a fetal position begging for your life!"
"...I don't beg."
"Would so if I had my Machina Maw dress sphere."
I started to bounce from foot to foot, another side effect of confrontation. "Yeah-huh! Stop being difficult, Gippal! "
"I'm not the one who insists on changing her clothes every time she needs to fight," he grumbled, passing me in all of his ever present audacity and sauntering on ahead to Pop's strange make shift trailer/excuse for a house.
I bobbed behind because I had no repertoire and couldn't really explain my need to change my clothes to perform certain attacks. All I know is it is easier to perform a dance routine that induces sleep in a singer's outfit than a warrior's one. Ask Yunie. She'd back me up. What? Don't make that face! Yes she would!
"Hey, Pops," Gippal partitioned, letting himself in the rickety little dwelling. Nobody has locks in Home. Fiends can't use door knobs anyway.
"Fur the last time, I ain't your Pops you incompetent bleach haired Cyclops! Even my genes ain't that bad!"
I glanced in the general direction of the voice and found it came from behind a closed wooden door located off the side of the kitchen.
"I think he's in the bathroom," I offered gently from behind the ever wavering Gippal who stood in the threshold of the door. "And I like the Cyclops bit, by the way."
"Shut it, Trampie."
"Wut was that?" Pops hollered in his perpetual raspy tone. Gippal winced at the sign of confrontation and I basked in his awkwardness.
"Bambie," he corrected weakly. "I called her Bambie."
"Is that the best you could come up with?" I hissed.
Gippal glared. With one eye. Ha.
"Whadya want anyway, Gip?" Pops demanded. "Rikku ain't here, and I sure as hell don't have any business with ya, so why don't you scamper along and go poke out your other eye or sumthin'?"
I giggled at the mental image.
"Actually, Pops, I am here," I offered, waving even though he couldn't see.
I heard rustling from inside the bathroom, and Pops emerged within a nanosecond and a half. He trusts Gippal about as much as I trust Brother with a nuclear bomb. Which is: not at all.
"Did you even wash your hands?" Gippal dripped condescendingly.
"'Least I got sumthin' to dirty my hands with!"
And here we go. Round two of the Pissing Wars has begun. Ding.
"Um, letter?" I suggested, waving around the piece of paper to grab everyone's attention. Not like my bare midriff didn't do that for me, but everyone around Home had grown immune to it now. Except for apparently Gippal.
"I didn't know they made them anymore," Pops mused, haulkering over to my position in the ever smelly kitchen that gets washed maybe twice a year if it's lucky. And it is usually Buddy's doing, not mine. He's got this uber thing against dirt. You could eat off the floors of the Celsius. I tried it once. And I'm still here.
"It's from Baralai," I mentioned as Pops tore open the letter. "And, um, it's kinda addressed to me."
"And me," Gippal piped in.
"Shaddup. Wasn't talking to you."
"Wut? I wasn't."
Gippal instinctively leaned over and grabbed the now opened envelope. "My letter," he stated defensively and extracted a formally folded—and not to mentioned very pleasantly scented—piece of paper with Baralai's 'oh so formal' handwriting that was so loopy it was scarcely legible.
"He go to class to learn to do that?" Pops grumbled, scrunching up his pug nose at the sight.
"Gimme," I demanded, taking the letter out of the hands of the scarcely coherent males that populate our island. If they're the best the Al Bhed have to offer, we are seriously screwed.
I cleared my throat.
"Just read the damn thing, girl," Pops demanded. "I was in the middle of taking a dump. I can't hold these things forever."
"...out of curiosity, just what did Rikku's mother find attractive about you?"
We all pondered this for a silent moment before I preceded with my articulation skills.
"Dear Citizens Rikku and Gippal," I began in tones of great import. "Ha ha!" I interjected. "He named me first!" I stuck my tongue out.
"The dump, Rikku," Pops reminded me devoid of emotion. "I was in the middle of taking a dump."
"It has been brought to my attention, after the devastating events concerning Sin and consequently Vegnagun, that perhaps a new order is called for among Spira."
"Well I coulda told him dat!"
"While the wounds are many and hard to heal, for we can not shake hands with clenched fists nor build upon a foundation that is riddled with the mistakes of the past, we must learn from our past transgressions and proceed onward to a new future for Spira."
"He wants gil, doesn't he?" Gippal prompted.
"While there is much to been conquered concerning the matter of Spira as a whole, I believe it is best if we try to mend the wounds on the inside of ourselves before we try to tackle the feats that lie on the outside. To commence my new plan to bring unity among the many tribes and/or cults and/or religions of Spira—"
"So basically people who don't agree with him..."
"Gippal, please! I would like to commemorate a marble statue here in the center of Bevelle to stand as a representation, neigh, a reminder, that when we all work together great things are possible."
"How far did he hafta reach up his rectum to pull out that crap?"
"The statue will stand three stories tall and be a mosaic like union of the six of us that defeated Vegnagun...six of us? Try three you abysmal ass wipe!"
Gippal retracted the letter from my grasp because I was busy spitting blood. He continued.
"...And we will each stand two stories tall on a pedestal of solid granite, to serve as a reminder what the Youth League, the Machine Faction, and the New Yevonites can do when they work together. Your presence is requested to fix the finishing touches on the statue, and also so that you may be present at the ribbons ceremony. Your arrival is expected in three months. Travel whatever way you see fit. Just show up. And bring gil."
"It don't say that," Pops grumbled. "I've seen pictures of this Baralai and he don't have the balls to say something like that!"
"Nah, but it was totally what he was thinking."
"I can't believe he said six...!"
We continued to stand there in a hypotonic like stupor for the next five minutes.
"Wellp," Pops initiated. "I gotta go finish taking my dump. You kids run along. Do whatever you want, Rikku. If you old enough to stop wearing a shirt then you old enough to get your skinny white ass to Bevelle on your own."
"...but Pops...!" I whined accordingly.
"Nature calls," he left me with and disappeared behind the door once again.
That left me and Gippal standing in my cramped, stinky kitchen, gaping at each other with mouths like dead gold fish and trying to make sense of the chicken scratch Baralai just sent us.
"Oooh Gippal!" my blond companion mocked in a high pitched voice that was not becoming on him. "I can't open it till I show Pops! What if it's important?"
He found this of great humor and chuckled to himself all the way out the door.
I was left standing there, letter in hand, mouth agape.
"Wait!" I called. "Wait! Gippal! I need to borrow an airship!"
"I'm not going, dammit," came the response from my open window. I could hear Gippal sauntering off farther and farther away.
"Well, fine, if you're gonna be a stubborn poopie head about it, I'll get there on my own! I, for one, think it's very nice of Barali to make this gesture!"
"...he wants gil," Pops muttered from the bathroom.
"Pops," I sighed. "Shut it. I wasn't asking you."
I'm re-writing Nonesense Of Fools. Obviously. I had three chapters done on the thing before I was able to determine it was complete and utter crap and deleted the former composition accordingly. I am continuing it, for Gippal and Rikku are like pure sex (as some fanart on deviant art calls them, ha ha) and to not finish this epic quest would be blasphemy. Yes, for those of you who are wondering, the statue idea was meant to be incredibly stupid and corny. That was the intention. Such are things in a comedy. Really good comedy can intertwine the insane and the plausible and make a fantastic story while it's at it. Not saying this is a great comedy, but I strive for such. Oh, and you can all thank 'Touch Of Grey' for inspiring me to get off my lazy bum and finish this update she didn't know I was working on.
For those of you who are wondering, yes, I am still going to include the original elements I had planned for the first version of this story (ie: Yuna's pregnancy and Rikku's reaction) only I added the element of Gippal and...surprisingly Baralai, which came out of nowhere. Perhaps a dream. I don't really know.
So lemme know what you think:)