Well, this is a brand new Rikku x Gippal story I cooked up in my little imagination! I must say I REALLY love this couple! Just so cute together! I hope you guys enjoy! And Please Read and Review! And be respectful! I will accept CONSTRUCTIVE criticism!!!

Read on!!

It was a cool, clear fall morning in Spira. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were chirping sweetly, and a young girl's voice could be heard yelling loudly over the bustling crowds in Luca.

"But I don't want the green one! I want the purple one over there!!" Rikku yelled loudly at the clerk. She had been trying to purchase small gifts to send her friends all day long, and she had spotted her last gift that she needed. It was a pretty necklace for her cousin Yuna. She had approached the clerk to buy the necklace, but the clerk could barely hear what she was saying. The lady had to be at least 90 years old.

"Oh sorry honey. You want the blue one don't you? These old ears of mine, I swear. Here is the blue necklace." The old lady put away the green one, and pulled out a large blue necklace.

Rikku puffed up her cheeks in frustration, and let her breath out in a big sigh.

"OK. I. WANT. THE. PURPLE. ONE. THE. ONE. WITH. THE. HEART. NO! NO! NOT CART. HEART. H-E-A-R-T!!!!" Rikku was practically yelling at the old lady.

It had been 3 years since Rikku had last saved the world from the terrible machine Vegnagun. She had been vacationing in Luca for the past 2 months. She had just wanted to get away for a while. She had even managed to separate herself from her cousin Yuna and friend Paine who had also helped save the world from Vegnagun. As promised, Nooj the Meyvn of the Youth League, Baralai the Praetor of New Yevon, and Gippal the head of the Machine Faction had joined forces to form "Hope of Spira." This was a new organization that promoted the Calm throughout Spira, and also promoted the bringing of all of the peoples of Spira together. The times had never been more peaceful. The three men were now the unofficial leaders of Spira, and were treated like royalty. Rikku hadn't seen any of them in a year.

"Yes! Yes! That's it! The purple one! Thank you!!" Rikku clapped her hands together happily.

Rikku hadn't changed much in the last 3 years. She looked a little more mature. She was 20 now. For the most part, though, her appearance hadn't changed at all. And neither did her happy-go-lucky attitude. She was still the same perky little Rikku.

"Here it is sweetie. On sale for 30 gil."

Rikku hurriedly slapped down the gil, and took the bag from the old lady. She was eager to get out of there, in case she lost her voice trying to communicate with the woman.

As she exited the store, she ran smack dab into someone, and dropped her packages.

"That's minus 5 respect points Rikku." A low voice said.

Rikku recognized who it was right away. "PAINE!!" She squealed in delight.

Rikku hugged Paine tightly. She was very happy to see her friend, whom she hadn't heard from in months. "How have you been!?"

Paine pried the smaller girl off of herself before answering. "I have been extremely busy. I've been in countless meetings; seen hundreds of things signed off, and have had to keep up with 3 men." Paine sighed as she bent down to help Rikku pick up her packages.

Rikku stood up and looked at Paine with a smile on her face. Good old Paine. Still the same. Older, yes. Wiser, yes. And…from the looks of it, completely exhausted. She had decided 2 years ago to become a bodyguard for Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal, when the three men had formed their alliance and became Spira's unofficial leaders.

"Come on Paine, you look tired. Let me buy you something for lunch!" Rikku said, as she grabbed Paine by the arm and dragged her off to a nearby café.

Rikku sat chatting animatedly to Paine, as she pushed French fries into her mouth.

"So you see! I have been on my own for a while now, with absolutely no problems! I kinda like it like that! Not having to depend on anyone. I am definitely not the same little girl I once was."

"I see." Paine said with a small smile. She waved away Rikku's offering of half her cheeseburger. Paine had come to meet with Rikku for a purpose.

"Rikku, I need to ask you something important. A favor you could say."

"Mrfmn." Rikku swallowed her food. "Sorry! What did you want Paine?" She asked, her bright green eyes widening with curiosity.

"I've come here to ask you…" Paine took a deep breath. "Well. As you know, I have been a bodyguard for Nooj, Gippal, and Baralai for the past 2 years.

"Yep. OOH! Take a look at that hunk over there in the corner!" Rikku pointed to a black haired man sitting in the corner of the café.

"Rikku, FOCUS." Paine snapped her fingers in front of Rikku's face. "Anyways, recently there has been an increase in threats against the master's of the Hope of Spira."

"Masters?" Rikku asked confused.

"That is what we call Baralai, Nooj, and Gippal. Now listen. Recently the Hope of Spira committee has decided that there needs to be an increase in the number of body guards that help protect the Head members of the league."

"Ooooo Paine! You sound so official!" Rikku held her stomach and laughed.

"AND I am here," Paine continued ignoring Rikku's comment, "To ask you if you would please come and be a bodyguard with me. I am asking you to become a bodyguard for one of the men."

Rikku swallowed her last bite of food hard. It wasn't easy getting it down. "Me? ME?? You want me to be a bodyguard?"

"You would have to move to the HoS headquarters that are located in Bevelle. The job pays 1,000 gil per day, so you will be compensated well. I don't know how long they will need you though. Probably until all threats against the HoS have ceased." Paine's ruby red eyes looked into Rikku's swirly emerald ones, awaiting her answer.

Rikku still couldn't believe that she was being asked to take on such a huge responsibility.

It was exciting and frightening at the same time. "Why me Paine. Why would you decide to ask me…why not Yuna, or even Leblanc!?"

"Well actually Rikku, it was your qualifications that made the committee want to choose you. I mean you've helped save Spira not once, but twice. You are actually over qualified. And Yuna was asked, and she accepted the offer. She and Tidus discussed the matter, and they decided that it would be a good thing for her to do. Besides, Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal are friends, if nothing else. Yuna is to be Nooj's bodyguard. That was already decided."

"Oh, ok, so we each get assigned to guard ONE of the guys, not all three at the same time…Whew! Personally I don't know how you did it Paine……."

Rikku thought about the offer for a moment. "It would be different." She thought, "Something out of the norm, the same old same old. Could be a fun adventure!"

"All right Paine, I accept your offer!" Rikku said excitement in her voice. "Sign me up for Baralai! I have always wanted to get to know him better!"

Pain cast Rikku an apprehensive look. "Actually, Rikku, Baralai has already been assigned….to me…which means…" Paine avoided Rikku's stare, which was never a good sign.

"Oh great Spira..." Rikku said, slapping her forehead. "Which only means that I will be assigned to GIPPAL!!!"

Chapter 2 coming soon to a near you!