Note: This story came off the top of my head. It's nothing special, just something I thought I'd put up for everyone. I've never written an FFX fanfic before, this'll be my first one, let alone this pairing. So, I hope it's enjoyable enough.

Disclaimer: Anything FF related belongs to Tetsuya Nomura and his company buddies.

"Temporary Salvation"

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You run to him. You don't know why you run to him, only that you do. Maybe it's because he's the closest person around, maybe it's because you know him better than anyone, or maybe because for some reason, you think you can trust him with your woes and troubles. After all, you have nowhere else to run. You have no-one else to run to.

It's late at night and everyone is scattered around the campsite. This really isn't a time for a break in your journey, but you guys had decided on stopping anyway. Throughout the set-up of the fire and impromtu beddings, you sneak off to the side, out of everyone's sight, out of everyone's hearing.

At first you think that you can just deal with it yourself. ...So much for that idea. You kick up dirt, throw rocks, pound your first against your leg, anything so you don't make noise, just in case someone comes looking for you or hears you all the way back there. Of course, with so much distance between you and them, and the noise of nature all around you, there's no way they could actually hear you. But just in case, you remind yourself, you resort to more violent things than screaming and crying like you wish you could.

Fiends are wandering the area, they always are, and to your luck, you run into a few and take out your confusion, your frustration, your anger, your helplessness out on them. You don't escape unscathed, though. No, you're too busy just hacking away at the beasts to think about yourself. You just want to let go, to be released from the invisible chains that held you down.

When you return to camp, perhaps a couple hours later, everyone stares at you... even her. You do your best to ignore them all, playing off that you were fine, just need some rest, but it's hardly believable. It's obvious that some of them are unconvinced while the others are just too busy fawning over you to notice your lack of fervor.

Playing a grin, you politely push them away and move off again, this time not so far so that they can see you and won't worry about you anymore. You wash your wounds with a canteen of water, glaring hard at the ground for no particular reason. You sigh heavily, and wipe a hand across your face, hoping that your resolve had returned. It probably hasn't, but you have to suck it up and return to the group.

At camp, Rikku hands you medicine for your cuts and bruises. You take it automatically but don't touch it all throughout the meal. Ah, cooked fiend and some left-over jerky from a few nights ago. This is as best a feast as you have ever had in a long time but even though the girls took the care to cook it just nicely, in your mouth it all tastes like charcoal. Of course, you never say that aloud, you wouldn't ever dare, not in front of Lulu.

Another hour or so passes before you wander from camp again, disappearing form their sight. You can't help it. Even though it's very unlike you to close yourself off, you feel like it's the only thing you can do right now. So even as some of them call your name and question your intentions, you ignore it and continue moving on.

You don't hear the noise of another person following you; you're too drawn into your thoughts to notice, so when a hand drops on your shoulder, you jerk, flashing your sword, nearly cutting off your friend's head.

"Whoa!" he says, rubbing at his neck.

You immediately apologize and stare at where you cut him, suddenly feeling guilty. In your daze, you had injured your best friend. Your gaze drops and the weight of a freakin' airship falls on your shoulders.

He looks at you, and even though you don't see it, you know he's studying your face. You can't look at him because you're afraid of the emotions that were carved into your eyes. The hurt, the pain, the confusion, the... There are too many emotions to name them all. You just know you can't show it to him because out of all the people in your group, you know that HE knows you best.

He kept by your side, joked with you, comforted you while you were still alienated to this world's cultures and rules, helped you step by step ever since you two first met. He is your best friend, your closest companion, your greatest buddy through and through.

Thinking about that, you come to slowly realize... if he's your best friend, your confident and aid, then why can't you tell him what you're going through right now?

Feeling that slight tug of comfort, you yank on it and look up, meeting his eyes, letting them tell the story for you.

He stares at you for what seems like eternity and you try your hardest not to blink. You can't blink, you have to spill it all out to him now or else it'll just break inside you and in the process, crush you. You feel an odd sort of dampness on your cheeks and you jerk, hands coming up to your face to touch what you realize is tears.

Crying. You're crying. You gasp from shock, embarrassed and humiliated that you're doing this in front of him. He's never seen you cry, and the last time you ever did was... No, you can't remember when it was the last time you cried. Still, you can't do it here, now, in front of him.

You turn your back and start walking away, wiping roughly around your eyes, pressing the heel of your palm to one eye as you focus on the ground, stumbling stupidly over small obstacles. You want to get away, to erase this feeling drowning you, to rewrite the incident where you spilled your guts over in the lap of someone else.

You said you to yourself that you could've handled it. ...You can't. You realize this and a hiccup threatens to break past your lips. You quicken your pace, dropping your hand and blinking furiously at the tears that wouldn't stop. Why won't they stop? You don't know, nor do you care; you just want to get as far away as possible.

When you trip, you almost welcome the dirt, not bothering to save yourself from ramming your head into the ground. It's surprising, though, when a strong hand, the same one as before, grips your shoulder and saves you a bloody nose. Eyes wide, you turn and look up at him, questioning his pressence and his reasons for helping you.

Instead of answering, he simply lifts you up to your feet again and pats you down.

"Gotta be careful, ya?" he says, a gentle smile on his face.

You blink and lower your head to stare at the ground again. You mumble an apology again, only to hear it get waved off halfway through. You frown and look up at him, eyes questioning, demanding.

He surprises you by grinning, patting your shoulder and saying, "I know what ya feel, man. No worries, I won't tell anyone. Why don'cha just tell me what's goin' on in that head of yours?"

Those are the words that you didn't want, yet cherished because it meant he cared. He really cares for you and you can't help but love it. He, if anything, would listen to you, truly listen to you, and give you the right answer.

You nod to his suggestion and turn around, finding a spot where you two can sit and talk; you have a feeling that it'll take some time for you to really get it all out. He follows you without question, and when you two spot a nice private space to settle, he sits by you, not necessarily right next to you, not necessarily in front, just close by so you know that he's there even if he's not saying anything.

You stare up at the sky and frown at it, sucking in a deep breath. You gather all your thoughts together and without checking to see if he really was paying attention or looking up at the sky with you, you burst into a jumble of words and sentences, half of them not even making any sense to yourself.

What must be another eternity later, you stop, breath short and in pants, face wet with another splash of tears, body hot and tired from gesturing wildly. You stare out at nothing, sniffling. Your mind's blank, you can't think of anything else to say - you've pretty much said it all - and basically shut down on yourself, reveling in the silence.

At this moment, you don't care if he'll really say anything to you now, you're just glad he listened through it all and didn't interrupt. You sigh, letting go of all the emotions and thoughts that held you bound, feeling those invisible chains fall away from you.

...But then, something else grabs you, a little more physical. It's an arm wrapped around your shoulders. You startle and look at your best friend, questioning him. He doesn't look at you, just staring out at nowhere in particular, and tightened his grip on your shoulder. You furrow your brows and wonder a bit before shaking your head and simply accepting things as it is and the simpiltan comfort he's giving you.

You smile at his clumsy efforts and sink into his side, curving against him. Before he can even look at you funny for your actions, you mutter a "thank you", not specifying what you're talking about, though you're sure he knows what you mean.

He smiles back at you and though you're not looking, you can feel it. You know it's there - he's there. He'll always be there, even at the end when once more, you'll break down. You know you won't be strong enough when it happens - the end, you mean - but even so, if he could give you the same kind of comfort as now, then you'll be okay. Even if you snap and betray everyone in your angst, he'll be there as first in line to snap you right back in place with a well-aimed blitzball at your head... or maybe your balls, with a silly grin on his face and a twang in his voice, reminding you that everything's going to be okay and even though it may never be the same again, you can keep moving on.

Fin.

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AN: Huzzah! The end! Sorta. Actually, in the middle of writing this, I thought, "hey, kaz, this is too clean. you're a dirty mind, so why not make a juicier version of this?" So... with that in mind, YES! There IS a dirtier version of this off adultfanfiction. Of course, I'm still in the middle of typing it right now as I'm uploading this, but still, if you wander to my profile, the link should pop up soon. (grin)

Thank you for reading!

(Alos, all fans of my other works: no worries, even with this ski-doodle, I'm still working on my other works. ...Just slowly. Whoops!)