Oh man! I can't believe I actually got this out in time! dies School has kicked my butt in ways that I can't even possibly begin to describe right now. My apologies for the semi-lateness, and I hope you enjoy!

"You lied!"

"I did nothing of the sort!"

"Did so!"

"Did not!"

"You told them we weren't a couple!"

"I did not. I merely asked you what you were saying. I never said anything at all to suggest that we weren't originally a couple."

"I'm fairly certain hiding your face and pushing me might've implied it all on its own!"

"Oh well, I suppose I could've just smiled and told them 'Gippal's always good for a laugh!' After all, it worked for you, didn't it?" Gippal's visible eye narrowed a bit.

"So that's what this is all about?"

"Excuse me? You're the one that got your manly pride all bruised just because the girl brushed you off this time, instead of the other way around."

Subconsciously, Gippal wondered if she actually knew how intimidating she could be. Seriously, she was what? Five foot two at the most? And she looked downright silly standing there with her hip cocked and arms crossed. Yet she could instill fear into even the bravest of faction leaders with a simple glare.

She glared.

He gulped. Speak of the devil. "Are you even listening to me?"

"I'm listening, Cid's girl. You're upset because I teased you in front of your friends." Yes, the name thing might've been getting a tad bit old, but Gippal was an Al Bhed. He was brought up to believe that you worked with what you were given. Besides, she was cute when she was mad.

He chuckled lightly, "Besides, I figured you would be the one bragging about our little escapades."

She clenched her teeth a bit before speaking, her words coming out as a sharp hiss, "There was nothing to brag about. Besides, if I remember correctly, I dumped you."

He winced, true or not, that one had stung a bit, "Jeez Rikku, grow up. It was a joke."

"You still don't get it, do you? They give me a hard enough time as it is! They know I'm in love with someone! I won't give up a name! And here you go acting like a big bad idiot spouting off nonsense about things that happened two years ago!"

It took all of her self control not to smile at the dumbstruck look he was sporting.

"In love?"

"What? You thought I was still moping about the past? Memories are nice, Gippal, but that's all they are."

He paled a bit, sure, he was an Al Bhed, he knew the saying just as well as she did. But that didn't make it any easier to swallow. "Since when?"


"How long have you two been together?"

"I've.. I've known him for a long time." She replied softly, her smile returning.

"Does he treat you right?" He mentally slapped himself. Spira, was that really his voice sounding all sad and mopey? Smooth, Gippal. Real smooth.

She gave an outright laugh then, much to his surprise, "Not at all. He's mean, and violent, and couldn't be faithful if his life depended on it. Plus, I don't see him very often. He's usually too busy. But when I do get to see him, it's worth it."

Again she tried not to laugh at the murderous glare that crossed his features, "Violent how?"

"Pssh, nothing you need to worry about."

"Kid, so help me Ifrit, if he's harmed one hair on your head, I'll break his neck."

She smiled again, "He's never laid a finger on me, silly. Come on, Gippal. Give me a little credit. He's just a violent person. It's who he is. Sometimes it can actually be kind of sweet."

"There's nothing sweet about a guy that's mean to you."

"Ah, but it's the mean bits that make the sweet that much sweeter."

"Cid fucked up somewhere when he raised you, kid. He really, truly, honestly, without a doubt did."

"And how exactly do you figure that?"

"You've got a serious complex going on here. You're in love with a guy that's, and I quote, 'mean and violent', but it's okay, because when he's not being mean, he's really really sweet."

"It's not a complex, Gippal. It's merely me stating that I'm in love with a jerk, and that he's rarely ever nice to me, but that when he is, it makes it worth it."

"And I'm merely stating that you're fucked up in the head if you think it's okay to stay in a relationship with someone who obviously doesn't appreciate you."

"Honestly, Gippal, it's really sweet of you to be worried, but I'm a big girl. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." She shook her head a bit, he was dense. Totally dense.

"I'm well aware of that, kid. But why let him cheat on you? Doesn't that set off an alarm somewhere in the back of your head?"

She shrugged, "You tell me."

"Because you've managed to convince yourself that he's going to eventually change and stop his 'mean, violent, cheating' ways, right?."

"Nope. Because he's an idiot."

Gippal merely blinked. He honestly hadn't expected her to answer his question at all. And if he had been expecting it, he was fairly certain that hadn't been the answer he would've looked for. "So he's a mean, violent, cheating idiot, and you're in love with him?"

"Pretty much sums it up."

"But why?" Yes, he might've been whining, but it was past the point of ridiculous. He held up a hand, "Nevermind. Because you love him, right?"

"I've always loved him, Gip."

"So then, I know him, right?"

She giggled a bit before answering, "Yes, you know him pretty well, I suppose. Not as well as I do, apparently, but yeah."

He growled, "It's Dachi, isn't it?"

"You idiot!" She turned to storm away, but was quickly stopped by a hand on her shoulder.

"Why are you being like this?"

"I'm not being like anything! I'm not going to sit here and play twenty questions with you about my love life."

"I just wish you would tell me who it is."

She dropped her gaze to the stone floor then, her smile disappearing, "If you knew me at all, then you would already know." Her gaze lifted, and she planted a small kiss on his cheek.

She stopped at the door before exiting, but didn't turn back to face him, "See you around, Gippal."

Unfortunately, Gippal was too dumbstruck to process her departure. For some strange reason, it felt like his entire brain had suddenly stopped working.

All he was aware of was the fact that he most definitely, one hundred and fifty three percent did not want her to go.

And so he promptly chased her down and told her so.

She stopped when his hand touched her arm, but still didn't turn to face him, "What now?"

"I don't want you to go." He blinked a few times. Boy, his brain must've been fried from all the time he'd spent in the desert. It was saying things all on it's own now.

This could never end well.

"That's nice, but I've got a ship to Besaid to catch."

"I don't want you to go."

"Yes, we've covered that, Gippal."

"No, I mean I don't want you to go. And I don't want you to be in love with someone else."

She finally turned to face him then, a large smile covering her face, "And why is that?"

He took a deep breath then let it all out in a sort of rushed high pitched sigh. Why was it that his brain could work ten million miles a minute when he didn't want it to, but when he actually needed it to work, it caputed on him? He sighed again.

Rikku, completely unaware that Gippal's brain was broken, took the sighing and the lack of continuing to only mean one thing. He wasn't sure what he wanted, and she was through waiting for him to grow up and rediscover what was right in front of him.

She shook off his hand and started to walk away again.

She made it three steps.

"Because I want you to be in love with me."

It was her turn to be stunned silent.

And Gippal's turn to worry over what exactly that might mean.

He didn't have to worry for long however, because suddenly she was in his arms, legs wrapped around his waist, clutching to him as if he were a lifeline. "You idiot."

His eyes widened a bit, well now, that wasn't very sweet at all. He absentmindedly noted that his hands were currently in a position that would likely get him castrated when she realized it, "I tell you I love you and you call me an idiot."

She giggled, her breath warm against his ear, "You never said you loved me, you know."

He opened his mouth to protest, but quickly shut it again, technically she had a point.

"But it's okay, I'm perfectly capable of reading between the lines."

He smiled, this was why he loved her, he decided. She had an uncanny ability to read him. It was like some scary sort of Rikku-radar. "I do love you though."

She nodded, "I know."

"And I don't want you to go."

"I know that too."

"Does that mean you'll stay?"

She cocked her head to the side, as if considering it, "That depends, will you give me a reason to?"

That was all the prompting he needed. He shifted his grip on her a bit, and sealed their mouths together. He happily swallowed the little moan she gave at the sudden contact.

It wasn't Spira's most passionate kiss, or even the best co-ordinated, but in the end, neither of them cared. They were them, Rikku and Gippal again. Nothing could possibly have been better.

It wasn't until they broke apart that a thought struck Gippal, "Wait, what about your boyfriend?"

"I never said I had a boyfriend."

"You did so! We just had a big conversation about him, remember? The mean violent ass you're.. in love with.. Oh." Rikku gave a large smile. Poor thing, it was like she could as the pieces clicked together in his head.

He blinked.

Then he glared.

And she smiled.

"You lied!"

"I did nothing of the sort! I merely stated that I was in love with someone, and that he was an idiot. Complete truth!"

He growled a bit but his glare finally gave way to a smile. For the moment, everything was right with the world. He had his girl. And he loved her.

Even if she was a liar.