Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy X or X-2
Chapter Fourteen: Unrequited
After my failed attempt at killing my brother I lounged around the Cabin for a while. I had my journal with me as I waited for Barkeep to complete the task of making breakfast. I offered to help him but he insisted that it was not needed. I smirked from my seat by the counter. I think he feared that I would slip in some mystical potion or something of that nature that would end up with brother being in sick or in pain.
"How's the trip going so far?" I turned to see to whom the familiar voice belonged to. I was surprised to see Buddy standing there and even more dumbfounded that I didn't hear him coming. I guess thinking about murderous ways one could kill a sibling tended to render one deaf of the world around them.
I gave Buddy a lazy warm smile.
"It's great. I never thought that Spira had so much to offer." I laughed.
"I'm happy you get that luxury." His comment came off bitter with a hint of envy embossed in the shell of each word. I frowned noting that I may have offended him.
"I'm sorry." I whispered
"Huh?" he looked at me and even though he wore his goggles I could tell that his emerald orbs were concerned. "Oh no Rikku, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to come out that way, and I honestly meant nothing by it."
I gave a soft chuckle.
"I'm surprised that you're not hostile towards me. I mean yeah I helped save Spira from Sin but I was just a guardian and that right shouldn't just give me the chance the go out and explore the world while my race is still frowned upon."
"Don't be so hard on yourself ok? You helped defeat Venagun and live to still brag about It." he chuckled and crossed his arms over his chest and then ended up with one hand on his hip. "You are living proof that our people can do anything," he said pointing at me.
"But are they accepted?" I asked. "Let's not forget that while Yunie, Paine and I did most of the physical work, you Buddy and Shinra and I regret to say brother helped save Spira too."
He looked shocked at my revelation and looked away concealing his blush.
"I'm not the only Al Bhed that has kept this planet safe." I said standing up and turning his face towards my own.
"And yet our people get no respect." I turned away from him and walked back towards my stool. I couldn't stand to look at someone from my own race and still feel connection towards them. I was alienated from the world because I was Al Bhed and I was alienated from the Al Bhed world because I helped save the people that have grown to hate us.
"All isn't lost though." He sat down on the stool next to mine. "People are more open to technology despite what happened with Venagun and Sin. It's a small welcoming but we take what we get. In time Rikku, we'll be able to explore the world and basket in its treasures. But until then we can only take baby steps because it's not like we aren't ready, it's the world that isn't ready for us."
The breath I took in from the stale air-conditioned air calmed my guilt-jumbled nerves down. Buddy's logic made me feel better.
"The way time is flowing I feel like it'll be seven lifetimes before the world is ready."
"Maybe so but with each lifetime they'll be given the chance to catch up." he chuckled.
I hugged him where he sat and held on tightly.
"Thanks," I said and I felt his body tense underneath me. His heart pounded through his chest and met with mine. I rested on face on the crook of his neck and felt him return the hug. His arms were strong but I could tell that he was trying his best not to shake. He smelled like home and suddenly a homesick feeling rose to my throat.
"I guess I should help brother; I'm scared he might run us into the ocean or something" he said clearing his throat and letting go. I moved far enough for him to stand up. His face was a slight pink color but I was not going to voice it and make the situation more embarrassing for him.
"Yeah," I said
He left with the door sliding behind him. I sat there in his stool feeling a bittersweet about what just happened. Things with Buddy had always been this way, always awkward with a slight hint of unrequited love in the air. I don't know why the sweetest guys end up falling for a person like me. I turned to the counter and saw my journal and opened to a fresh page.
Maybe if I actually fell in love with one of them guy then I would actually be happy.
Journal Entry # 13
With the addition of Yuna the Gullwings were now complete. I was excited that the new adventure had just begun. Aside from finding more information about who the blonde was on the mysterious sphere we went about Spira doing odd jobs that required us to achieve a sphere (and then pocketing it for ourselves of course).
At the moment we were in the pursuit to find Yuna's dress sphere that was now missing. The culprit had been using the sphere to impersonate her through out Spira. Yunie became a celebrity quickly but her modesty prevented her from actually taking advantage and enjoying it. But that didn't mean that Paine and I couldn't benefit from it.
Even though she was cold in the beginning and barely opened her mouth. I managed to get Paine to speak in complete sentences (that weren't insults) and managed to leave the negative numbers from her weird point system. But she wasn't in the mood to talk to me so I was just walking around the ship trying to find anything to do.
I made it to the engine room where I saw Buddy hunched over with a part in his hand. The engine he was working on was off while the others pumped with speed.
"Hey, need any help?" I asked making my presence known. He looked up and smiled.
"Oh, hey Rikku. Sure" he scooted over and I knelt beside him. He was taking out the bolts from the part and exposing the membrane where it received all of its commands.
"So did anything come up?" he asked focusing his attention on the part and not me. My fingers brushed the toolbox and I eyed the various tools.
"Not really, brother hasn't done his dorky disco dance yet so I guess the computer is still searching for a signal."
There was a silence between us as he kept working on the part and I kept skimming for a tool that would be of any use to him.
"So, are you doing ok?" he asked breaking the thick silence with a sharp click of his tongue.
I nodded my head but remembered that he wasn't looking at me.
"Yeah, why you ask?" I picked up a screwdriver and handed it to him.
"Well, I'm just a little worried since Gippal is working at the temple."
I stopped my search from looking for another tool and looked at him. Where was he going with that statement?
"Are you happy Rikku?"
I almost lost my balance and fell sideways at his question. I had everything that I wanted now. I had people who loved me, a sense of acceptance from the world from doing my part in saving the world from Sin and Gippal.
"Yes" I whispered trying to convince myself.
"Then why did you pause?"
It was like a slap in the face. The reality of it was that I wasn't happy. I still thought of myself as a hideous monster that if loved, would destroy in return. How could I ignore that I still felt shaky about the relationship I had with Gippal. I still felt miserable at home and to boot no one still had the guts to trust me. The fact of the matter was that I was too busy drowning in my own self-pity to actually admit that I was happy. Nothing in my life had gone well and nothing would in the future. It was a statement that I had chosen to accept and live by, while I put on the glass mask of lies that portrayed happiness. I felt like I was caving in myself. I suddenly didn't want to be in the engine room anymore.
"I'm sorry for asking that, I guess I'm just mad at myself." he sighed and finally looked at me. I noticed that he wasn't wearing his goggles and that his green eyes almost glowed in the dark.
"Why?" I thought that I had lost my voice underneath all the shame that was overlapping in my throat.
"Because…I'm in love with you."
My eyes widened at his revelation. Then all the memories of him being so nice to me flooded in. he was always on my side making sure that if brother he backed me up with his logic. Even the times when I desperately wanted companionship he was there to offer it but I was too blinded by my own angst to see him standing there. It wasn't fair that he wanted to love something as irresponsible as me. How could he?
"I know, I'm an idiot to say that but when I see you with him you look happy but sometimes I question if you really are. You smile so much that it's so hard to tell. I don't want you ending up with a broken heart because of Gippal. You deserve better even if you don't think you might. I don't know if I can make you happy but I know if you gave me the chance I know that I could try."
His words were making me slightly shake now as tears were coming down my eyes.
I looked at him, biting my lip to keep myself from sobbing uncontrollably. I leaned in and I did what I hoped to be the right thing. My kiss had caught him off guard and he almost fell backwards. The awkwardness of it made me feel like we were eight. But as soon as his shock wore out he began to respond. When we broke I felt so guilty. I didn't kiss him because I returned his feelings. I felt pity and that was a feeling worse than hate. I looked down at my hands avoiding his eyes and I figured that my actions spoke enough for him to understand.
"I see." he said
"I'm sorry." I said trying to make him know that I felt terrible about what happened.
"It's ok…maybe in another life time."
"Yeah, sure." I said.
We worked in silence as we fixed the part for the engine. He wanted to stay behind and clean up. I didn't push him to join me in the elevator. I was sure he had a lot to think about with out me hovering over him making him feel even more unwanted.
I needed fresh air.
I went up to the deck where Yuna and Paine were chatting. I had to admit that I was jealous at the moment. Not because they were hanging out with each other and I wasn't there. I was jealous of them. I envied how Yuna was so likable and friendly. She could strike up a conversation with anyone and managed to melt the cold hearts of the most stoic. She wasn't like me. My 'perky' attitude tended to make people want to hate me because they weren't happy. They thought I was trying to be better than them. Paine was so in tune with herself and her emotions. Her carefree attitude and common sense made her a magnet even though she hated being the focus of attention. I wasn't like that. My personality repelled anyone with its intensity making people more scared to approach me. Even as I young kid I had trouble making friends because I tried too hard.
I walked up to them.
"Hey, what are you guys talking about?"
They turned and looked at me.
"Nothing that concerns you." Paine said walking past me.
"Is it that juicy? Why can't I know the secret?" I pouted and pretended to be mad.
Yuna giggled at my childish antics.
"Don't worry Rikku, it's not that serious." She said patting my shoulders.
"Yeah well! I have my own secr…whoa!" I screamed while I felt the airship give up from under me.
"Hold on!" I heard Paine yell. She was closest to the door and was holding onto the floor trying to crawl her way towards it.
The ship was plunging towards the ocean. Yuna and I held on to each other. Only when did I feel that we were sliding in the direction the ship was pointing to did I react. I took her arm and with my free hand tried my best to make my glove stick to the shiny surface. Yuna crawled holding onto my waist.
"Keep going!" I heard Paine yell. She managed to get to the door and open it. She was holding on to its frame with one hand and with the other she reached out towards us.
I managed to get to the door and made Paine take Yuna first. As soon as Yuna was inside I reached for the edge of the floor where the door and metal met. The movement proved to be a fatal one because I lost my iron grip and felt myself slip. I closed my eyes knowing that it was all over. The ship was gaining speed and there was no way that I would survive a fall to the ocean.
Someone gripped my hand.
"Rikku come on! I'm not letting you go!"
I looked up and I saw Paine.
I got a determined look on my face and began to push myself up. She pulled me hard. I saw a pale hand on her shoulder and noticed that Yuna was helping her too. They managed to drag me inside and the door was slammed. We screamed and held on to each other as the alarms rang and we could hear the ship getting closer and closer to death.
The violent shaking began to stop and I was convinced that we had already died. I felt the airship level itself and before I knew it we were back to normal again.
Yuna was as pale as ever and Paine was catching her breath. We all helped each other up and made our way to the elevator. We made it to the bridge where brother quickly ran towards us to see if we were all right.
"What the hell happened?" Paine yelled angrily.
The doors slid open, letting Buddy and Shinra inside.
"There was a mechanical malfunction in the engine room. We managed to keep it under control" Shinra said.
"As long as we're all safe and it won't happen again then I'm fine" Yuna said shaking a bit and still pale. I frowned and went to her.
"Yunie I think you should lay down," I said feeling her forehead, which was ice cold.
She nodded and brother took her to the elevator. I shook my head and hoped he didn't do something stupid. Paine went to stand behind Shinra. I wanted to thank her for not giving up on me but I was scared that she was not in the best of moods.
"Are you ok?"
I turned to see Buddy. I was surprised that he was still talking to me.
"Oh, yeah, just shaken up a bit"
He sighed in relief.
"Good." he said then it got quiet between us again.
"About earlier…" I began.
"Don't, I think it's best that we stay friends."
I raised an eyebrow and saw that he wasn't angry.
"Good, I think being friends is a bond thicker than blood." I said flicking his nose.
There was a beeping sound in the air.
"We have a signal" Shinra said from his seat at the computer.
"Mish Rikku, breakfast is ready"
I looked up to see Barkeep with a hot plate of food. My stomach rumbled a bit in excitement. I closed the journal, took the plate and thanked Barkeep.
A/N: So there you guys go. Two chapters…one update. I hope that these filler chapters weren't that boring. The rest of the story will be a bit more intense from the first half, so I guess I'm just trying to set the base with these chapters. Thanks so much for reading and remember to review.