because i can't get over the fact how striking they resemble as a pair of siblings to me, this fic is thus born.
Tidus doesn't recall another time when he feels like a big brother. tiduscentric, rikku, gen fic
Despite what other thinks of him, Tidus actually knows.
In fact, he knows much more than an average, ordinary friend who stands by Rikku. Like the other time, when the others had teased her with him, he manages to see what's beneath those usually cheerful sparkling eyes. In them, he thinks he reads more than just the bubbly character people recognizes that is the fun-loving girl who has recently admitted her long-time crush for a fellow Al Bhed machina lover.
Rikku's eyes are green, there is no question about it. Everybody knows, but Tidus believes otherwise. He's seen them turn blue on some occasions when she looks in his eyes, then drops her gaze to the floor, and sighs quietly. He's seen them turn a shade of red when she sees him with another girl, especially if they're behaving in an awfully intimate way that makes her squirm in discomfort.
And Tidus doesn't see them sometimes, when they well with unshed tears.
But Tidus doesn't have to know in the end, because he learns. He doesn't know when it happens, but eventually, he finds himself getting used to the idea that Rikku always likes to approach him on days like this where the sun hangs high, and he's supposed to be out with Wakka in the sea of Besaid playing Blitzball.
Instead, he realizes she's by his side before he knows it, and they're talking about alot of things. Her past, her fun experiences with Yunie when they're still in the Gullwings, her incessant questioning of her cousin and his relationship, and how they've progressed so far. She likes to poke fun of him and his easy blushes when she only has to mention Yuna's name several times, and how Rikku sometimes picture the looks of their child. "You can call him or her Yudus! Or Tinie!"
At the end of the day, Tidus looks himself in the mirror with Blitzball in one hand, and another running through the blond tendrils of his hair. He's sun-baked, and his cheeks are tanner than the day before. But he realizes he doesn't mind so bad at all. Talks like this makes him feel funny, though still, he doesn't pinpoint which part of it makes it all so funny.
So these talks continue, and Tidus stops seeing, for he starts learning.
It's not only her. He begins to tell her his part as well. How he first felt when he looked into her cousin's eyes. Or his toughest experience ever in a Blitzball match against the Al Bhed Psyches. Or how he thought he had died when Wakka had once accidentally attempt a slam dunk with the Blitzball right on his head.
Those times had made her laugh so hard, and her eyes had crinkled. Sometimes, Tidus feels happy that he'd managed to make her forget about the guy she likes so much. Other times, he only feels obligated, and contented, to lend his shoulder, when she needs someone to cry on.
"He's an idiot! Why can't he see that I like him so much!" And Tidus listens, and watches over her all the time, as she pounds her fists in fury against his chest, as she sometimes yells expletives into his ears, or to the sea in anger. Then she'll laugh nervously, and wipe her tears, and he'll quietly offer her his handkerchief.
Then she'll poke him, and he'll make a face. Sometimes, she asks for a knock-knock joke. Rikku knows Tidus has a whole packful of them always ready at his disposal, and he won't ever hesitate to share some with her. She always tells him how 'Tidus's the only one who listens to my stupid jokes and laugh', when others would just ignore her and give her blank stares and blinks.
Once, when she finally tells Tidus that her heart is so very broken, the BlitzBall player finds it amusing how quickly angry he had gotten. And how, in just a matter of twenty-four hours, he had gone, and punched the Al Bhed Machine Faction founder twice in the jaw for making Rikku's life miserable. Yuna tells him he's being 'overprotective', but Tidus still doesn't understand. The feeling in his heart when he's around Rikku feels funny. No, it's not that kind of love he feels when he's around Yuna. That's an entirely different matter altogether.
Tidus doesn't understand what this feeling is. It's so foreign, and strange. Yet funny, and warm at the same time.
He only gets his answer, finally, when Rikku walks by his side one day, on their way to catch a Blitzball match. Tidus has somehow gone and influenced the younger girl to catch the Blitzball obsession bug, and Paine always likes to put him down on that one. "Don't you think you already are a bad enough influence on Rikku?" She likes to insult. But then again, that's Paine for you.
So this is how Tidus learns, and finally sees.
It's a Saturday morning, fresh, and the air is teeming with salted sea scent in Luca. He walks with Blitzball in one hand, and Rikku bouncing up and down enthusiastically by his other side.
Someone calls his name, and he stops, and looks down in familiar eyes of an old man. It's one of his oldest fans around, and he waves his hand and grins in response. His white pearly teeth shines against his tanned, bronze skin.
In the next second, Tidus blinks, when the old man asks a simple question.
"Is that your little sister? You two look so alike! Ah, Tidus, you never told me you had a sibling!"
It hits Tidus then, and there.
Now, as he looks down at Rikku pointblankly, who has looped an arm around him, beaming back cheerfully at the old man, saying something along the lines of, "I knew we looked alike! See, Tidus! I can almost pass off as your younger sister and nobody will ever suspect a thing!"
Tidus, in that moment, knows only to smile, lean down, and rest a palm on Rikku's head. And before he knows it, he's ruffling her long, braided locks, and grinning back with a nod.
"And why would I want a brat for a little sister, Rikku?"
On a morning like this, as he takes off on a chase with Rikku hot behind his heels, their laughter rising into the air that couples together with the sounds of waves splashing against Luca docks, Tidus realizes what's this funny feeling finally is, after all.
And he's never felt so much like a big brother figure to someone, until now.