Too. Much. Beer.
Her brain was screaming at her to get up, but her body wouldn't let her out of the warm bed. Her warm bed? No, her bed spread was red. And there wasn't a window there. And there usually weren't so many beer bottles on her floor…
She groaned and rubbed her eyes. She was fairly certain there was some place she was supposed to be this morning, but was too busy trying to figure out where she was and what happened last night to remember exactly where that place WAS. She tried sitting up but was pulled back down by a strong arm. She gasped a little and glanced behind her at the man in the bed with her. One of the Al Bhed Psychs again. Oh well. At least it wasn't one of the Aurochs. Word always got back to Wakka, who always told Lulu who always had a hard-to-follow lecture ready to go. Blech. The strong blitzer behind her pulled her closer to him, nuzzling his nose into her warm, bare back.
"Kuut sunhehk," (good morning) she could hear him smiling as he spoke. They always woke up smiling after a night with her. He kissed the back of her neck and slid his hand over her naked hip.
"Well it IS a good morning, isn't it!" she laughed a little, letting him kiss and paw her gently under the covers. Just a little harmless fun. Fun got hotter fast. Just as he climbed on top of her, her commsphere beeped.
"Tu oui ryja du kad dryd?" (Do you have to get that) he whined into her neck, his lips brushing her collar bones as she smoothed her blond hair out before answering the commsphere. She didn't want to be TOO obvious.
"Oac! E tu!" (Yes! I do!) she snapped at him. He trailed kisses down her chest and she fought the urge to just blow off her cousin and engulf this toned tanned mild stranger into mind blowing morning sex, but her conscience got the best of her.
"Who is it?" he asked, his English startling her. He must have been sobering up.
"It's Yuna, now cut that out, I'm busy!" She pushed him off of her with a giggle and he flopped beside her in bed. She clicked the commsphere on.
"Rikku!" Yuna looked impatient. "Where are you?!"
"Uhhh… hehe, that's a pretty good question," Rikku trailed off. She was still unsure of what hotel she was in, and in which city that hotel was. She was pretty sure she was in Luca, but who knew?
"Stop playing around, Rikku! We have a meeting this morning! You're late!" Yuna huffed. Crap! The meeting!
"Oh…cred!" (shit) Rikku cried out, jumping out of bed, not sparing a moment for modesty as she clambered into last night's clothes. Tripping into her mini skirt, she said a good bye and a thank you and scrambled into her halter top as she hurried into the hall. She received an eye roll form the maid and didn't have the time or the patience or the sobriety to remind that maid of exactly who she was. And yes, she WAS pouring out of one of the Pyshch's rooms at nine in the morning, thank you very much! Now where did she put that damn garment grid…
Late again! She was always late. Maybe she wasn't the only one who forgot? That was doubtful. And she wasn't even THAT late and if she was where she thought she was, the meeting wasn't even that far away. She might even have time to stop and put her other shoe on! She burst through the hotel's front doors and out into the bustling streets of Luca.
Oh goodness! Too bright!
She paused and put her hands over her eyes, trying desperately to adjust to the morning sun. She made a silent vow to never drink that much again…today.
"Rikku!" Flash. Snap.
"Not now!" she groaned.
"Rikku over here!"
"Shelinda, I'm BUSY!" Rikku grumbled, pushing past the spherecams and flashing cameras and that nosey little Shelinda.
"Too busy for your fans, Rikku?" Shelinda grinned. Rikku sighed.
"Hi everyone! Thanks for coming to our shows!" she gave one of the spherecams a big grin then hurried away, the camera crew and Shelinda chasing behind her. "I've gotta go! Business!" she called over her shoulder. Mornings like these were when she questioned the fame. Recalling the fact that she could have whatever professional athlete she wanted for the night drove the question right out of her mind.
"THERE you are!" Yuna was waiting, hands on hips at their regular coffee shop in Luca. Paine was sitting down at a table looking casual with a newspaper and a cup of coffee. Buddy had a few folders in front of him and a drink as well. Two more mugs sat at the empty chairs. One empty chair was next to the angry Yuna and the other was for Rikku. She was last. Again.
"Sorry, I got held up by Shelinda and her idiots when I was leaving the hotel-" she began then cut herself off.
"Don't you live in Luca?" Paine flicked her eyes up over the top of the Lucan Times.
"Yes," Rikku fought a blush.
"And you were coming out of a hotel this morning?" Paine asked, still raising an eyebrow over the top of the paper.
"Maybe I was," Rikku crossed her arms over her chest.
"Explains your outfit," Paine shrugged and glanced back down at what she was reading.
"Hey!" Rikku threw her arms in the air.
"Enough! Let's just get started!" Buddy intervened. Paine set down her paper and Rikku plopped into her chair. The coffee was inviting. She didn't want to let on just how hung over she was. A cheeseburger would have been the ticket, but the hot mug of caffeine would have to do. "So, let me start off by saying your past month's shows have all been huge successes," Buddy began, becoming all business, sitting up straight and going through his folders. Rikku was kind of disappointed he dressed casually in what looked like blitz practice clothes instead of a tie or something. He was very official.
"We know they have been, and the spheres have been selling as well," Yuna, the most business savvy of the trio kept up with him. Since the vanquishing of Vegnagun, the Gullwings started to get bored. The sphere hunting craze turned up just about all there was to find, Spira was finally at peace, the Al Bhed were importing Machina into all the cities to help the Yevonites progress, and the two time saviors of Spira were still young and in their prime. Yuna was starting to get the urge to settle down with Tidus, they had a cute place in Besaid, but she was just twenty-one now, and still not quite done being young and irresponsible.
Rikku, the poster child for young and irresponsible was living large. She had a hip pad in Luca where she liked the night life, and a respectable apartment in New Home where she spent half of her time laying low (and the nightlife there wasn't bad either). Paine had settled into the easier living of Bevelle and was one of Baralai's right hand women on his council when she wasn't out with The Gullwings.
Buddy, Brother and Shinra were still inseparable and still bombing about Spira on the Celsius, however they were no longer hunting for spheres. Late one night, after too many drinks from the older boys on the crew and too many suggestions from the drunk Buddy and Brother, Shinra had tweaked some old spheres and garment grids just right. He mixed a little of the songstress, a little of this, a little of that, and presented the new spheres to the Gullwings by the next morning.
He'd created the Rockstar Dressphere.
And it was a great time.
The Gullwings now traveled around Spira playing concerts, making music spheres to sell in stores, doing interviews, they were on spherevisions in homes across Spira, on the covers of magazines, making public appearances… Yuna hated admitting it, but they were even more well recognized as rockstars than as heroes. Rikku had assured her to just go with the flow and enjoy it. Most of the profits they made went to worthy causes, the group financed an entire district of New Home. Some to help out with Baralai's Preatorship, sometimes just for food and fun for the whole village. They were very generous. And constantly in the public eye.
"So we're doing splenderiffic, why did you need to drag us out here at nine in the morning?" Rikku was still squinting and rubbing her temples. Paine, without speaking, reached into her pack and handed Rikku a potion. "What?" Rikku gave her a quizzical look.
"Drink it, Drunky. It'll help you feel better." Paine turned back to Buddy and gave him her attention. Buddy had become the manager of The Gullwings. It was unofficial at first. They just used him because Brother was ridiculous and Shinra was twelve, but they found he was really good at what he did, he had a great relationship with the girls and he was very organized.
"So I had a meeting with Tobli," Buddy said, sipping his drink. "And he's going to be doing a major PR blowout job for you."
"For what? We're already blowing up everywhere," Rikku pointed over her shoulder where Shelinda and her camera crews were pressed to the window, trying to sneak a peak at The Gullwings inside. Paine scowled. Yuna flashed a polite smile at the cameras.
"Well, have I got news for you ladies," Buddy grinned, pulling out another folder.
"What is it?" Rikku asked, doing her best to get excited. Her forehead was on the table.
"Gullwings?" Buddy smiled. "You're going on a world tour."