Author's Note: This is a one shot; something short to see if it would be worth my time to try to write something longer along these same lines, though perhaps a bit lighter. This is my first attempt at a Gippal and Rikku ficcy. I'm sorry if things turn out sad in the end; I'm letting this story flow on its own and as it will.

I don't know, at all, where this story came from. I'm inspired by Savage Garden like I'm thirteen again and my endless summers are filled with thousands of stories I might never have the time to write. Perhaps it was 'Two Beds and a Coffee Machine' ... that song has inspired so many of my more angsty fanfics. But I'm inspired like I haven't been since I played FFX-2 for the first time late into the night and through the early morning. Like Rachie is still my best friend and we never really fought at all. So, this is for her…and friendships lost and forgotten.


Time to Dance


Desa du Tyhla


Her footsteps were lingering and precise as she made her way down the devastatingly proverbial hallway. It wasn't the same one from her reminiscences, her nightmares. But it was reconstructed in a mockingly similar manner to its original design; a hallway that had existed in the Al Bhed's beloved Home.

But that had been before the adventures that had led to this moment.

Before she had run away from her friends and family to save her cousin, a Summoner, from the fate that awaited her at the end of her Pilgrimage, a desperate attempt to rid the world of plague. Before Sin had been defeated and Spira had celebrated liberation. Home had been from somewhere before her journey as a Sphere Hunter had begun. From some time before she defeated Vegnagun.

And long, long before she had been reunited with him.

"Rikku, drec fyo. E's yvnyet drana sekrd hud pa silr desa."

The voice was discordant as it rippled through the silence. It was urgent, desperate; and the knowledge that such a tone could be warranted from anything pertaining to him made her knees weak and her stomach churn austerely. Before that voice, those words, before she had entered into that staggering hallway, it had been just the sound of her footsteps, faint against the white marble floors.

But there had still been that same sense of urgency. It was a strange force pulling her forward, replaying the terrible memories in her mind of a time when she had been much younger. It was an unusual feeling; an exigency and instability that made her palms sweat, made her heart race.


"Sysy!"

It was a fraught sound that echoed past what seemed like hundreds of people, all scurrying around to try to make right of the disaster; this destruction and suffering. But it was an anguished cry, holding fear and uncertainty somewhere deep inside of its most withheld reaches.

And it was with despondency that the small blonde girl ran through the hallways with tears staining her porcelain cheeks.

"Sysy! Frana yna oui?"


With a hand over her heart, Rikku followed the owner of the voice, noticing the way that his strides were twice as large as hers but that she still managed to keep up with little effort expended. It was the adrenaline. It was the desperation. And, yes, it was her love for him. Her fear that she wasn't going to make it in time because…

'There might not be enough time.'

"Sysy!"

The memory mocked her.

'Gippal…'

Her heart betrayed her.


The tears were hot, warm against her still child-like features, she rushed through the double doors at the end of the hallway before anyone could catch her. Before Cid could stop her. Before she really knew what it was that she was going to find waiting for her on the other side.

'Sysy!"


And there were tears, again, in that reminiscent hallway. There were tears flowing down the young Al Bhed's eyes as the man whose voice had brought her to this doorway slowly allowed her access to the room and its occupant.

"Gippal!"

Her heart was in her throat as she whispered his name weakly. It was delicate, a precious tone that her lips knew the form of so well. A form that her lips would never forget; but she was, else wise, speechless as she took in the sight of his motionless figure.


A small girl, blonde, with stunning green eyes rushed to the side of the bed located near the wall at the edge of the room. There was a woman lying there, barely able to reach her hand to stroke the soft locks of golden blonde hair away from the sad eyes the studied her. It was weakness when all Rikku had ever known from her was strength.

It was lifeless.

But full of love when her voice broke through the silence, "So raynd, mad sa muug yd oui z-zicd uha mycd desa..."

"Sysy, tuh'd dymg mega dryd!"


It wasn't a rush, this time, as her feet cautiously made their way across the smooth marble floor to his form. So slowly, hoping that this, her time, her heart, their love, hoping beyond hope that just this—everything; that it would all be enough.

Enough to keep them together.

'Desa…'

"Oh, Gippal," she managed, breaking down by his bedside. Her shoulders were shaking violently as her body was ravaged by tears. His strong hand felt so weak against her chest and the tears that rained down her cheeks were only flooding her vision; keeping her eyes from considering, from truly seeing him. "Gippal…"

"Rikku," he moved his hand in an attempt to wipe the tears from raining down her face. That voice that spoke her name. It wasn't him; it wasn't the voice of the man that she had fallen in love with. It couldn't have been the voice of her Gippal, so strong and proud. It was weak, fighting against time. "E's c-cu kmyt... du c-caa oui."

"T-tuh'd dymg mega dryd!"

There was silence as she looked down at him.

The way he was looking at her. It was like he'd never seen her before. It was like he was seeing her for the first time, or the last time, and it was causing her heart to break. His green eyes, glazed slightly from the medication struggling to keep him alive, to give them more time, stared up at her with desperation. With longing.

"B-bmayca, Rikku,csema... u-uha mycd desa."


'Rikku…'

The room was silent. But she managed to plead with her daughter, 'Bmayca csema uha mycd desa?'

And the shocked young girl's eyes were wide as she stared at the pained expression of her mother's face. The door had opened behind her, but she couldn't pull herself away from her mother's indignant green eyes. They 

were just like her green eyes. The woman desperately fighting for her last few breaths was so similar to her daughter; so much the woman that her daughter would grow up to be.

Blinking, Rikku smiled with tears brimming at her eyes.

"S-so tyikrdan. So Rikku; cu p-payidevim..."

She was gone before Cid could pull her into his strong arms. Her life had faded with the smile that had crossed Rikku's delicate features. And the child's tears fell with a new resurgence. A speed unknown to her, a hopelessness.


It was all she could manage to shake her head at Gippal. 'No!' her mind wanted to scream. She wanted to yell; to cry her eyes out until he sat up and held her like he might have any other time. She wanted to be that seven year old girl again, before she knew how bad loosing someone she loved would hurt.

"Gippal, E lyh'd. E-E fuh'd mad oui ku cu aycemo!"

"Drah bmayca tuh'd lno."

This time would be different. She wouldn't lose him; she wouldn't give up so easily like she had before. Rikku had learned so much since the death of her mother. She had lost so much, sacrificed so much so that she would never have to relive this.

This moment.

This pain.

But he was so weak in front of her. He wasn't even able to hold his hand to her warm cheek, that cold palm of his. The skilled hand that had taught her how to repair machina, that had fit so perfectly in so many places on her body, that had held her hand so many times before.

His hand.

Over her heart.

"Ed-d'c cu lumt. E fyhd du l-lmuca so aoac, Rikku. P-pid E's cu yvn-yet... E fuh'd c-caa oui frah E ubah d-dras ykyeh."

"Gippal, don't let go!" her voice was desperate, descending to madness and sorrow. She buried her face in his chest then, gripping the crisp white garment in which he was clothed with tight fists. The tears were so strong, they had completely overcome here. She knew nothing but the sickening feeling, the hopelessness, the grief. "E lyh'd muca oui... E's hudrehk, huputo fedruid oui."

She wasn't able to stop herself, she couldn't control her emotions in that moment. Even when she felt his arms weakly wrap around her small frame. Even when she felt his heartbeat weaken beneath her. Even when she was sure that time wasn't standing still for her, not just this once; not even for them.

"E l-lyh'd vekrd drec y-yhosuna. Rikku, E's yvnyet."

Her body was frozen as a pain rushed through her that was so white hot, so real and intense that it was nearly blinding. She had no words, she had nothing to describe the sorrow she felt as she looked down at his pained figure. Because she could do nothing for him. In these, his last moments, she knew nothing to say to comfort him. She knew no words that could ease his fear, reassure him.

"E's hud nay-to du t-tea!"

"Gippal," there was regret in her voice. Her eyes were apologetic and she felt herself growing fearful for him. But Rikku held his hand firmly in hers and cupped his cheek in her hand lovingly. "E muja oui; yht E bnuseca E'mm cdyo fedr oui ih...ihdem dra -- E fuh'd mayja oui, Gippal!"

And it was with his last breath that he managed, "So kenm..."

She was silent for a moment as the tears welled up in her eyes. And when she heard footsteps from the hallway outside, she let herself loose. She cried in vain for her lost lover, shoulders shaking and breath ragged. She was frenzied, clenching his clothing in her fists, running her fingers through his soft blonde hair. Never, for a moment, did Rikku take her eyes from his peaceful features.

It was too soon. She hadn't been ready to let him go. She hadn't been ready to lose him; and he'd told her he was afraid. He'd been so scared, uncertain; and Rikku wasn't there with him. She wasn't there for him in moments when he had so desperately needed her.

"Rikku," the hand on her shoulder was familiar, firm and comforting.

"No!" she cried her voice hoarse until it was loud and foreign to her ears.

"Tyikrdan…" he tried again.

"No!" she was louder this time, a shriek, shaking his hand away from her shoulder. Desperately she held onto Gippal, hysterical, frantic, completely mad with her mourning. "I won't leave him!"

The voice was soothing as Cid tried again, pulling his daughter's small form against his own. It was the same when her mother died. It was exactly the same, everything. That room, the sorrow, the fear, that damned hallway. This place. Everything.

"Vydran!" her voice was unrecognizable in her sorrow and she desperately fought the man as he attempted to pull her away from the lifeless body of Gippal. But she'd let go of him and had lost her balance somewhere along the way. When her body fell against the floor, it was her father that knelt down in front of her, taking her shaking shoulders into his body and rocking her back and forth in his arms, both of their figures on the cool marble floor. "He was afraid. He was scared, daddy…"

"Quiet, now!"

His heart broke when she'd called him that. She hadn't said that word to him, that name, not since the night her mother had died.

"B-but it hurts… so much," she buried her face in his shoulder, sobbing twice as bitterly as she had at the loss of her mother. Because losing Gippal had been twice as heartbreaking for the girl. She'd been in love with that man. He'd filled the empty places that the loss of her mother had left in her heart.

With him gone, it was like losing her mother all over again.

And Gippal with her.

"Oh Daddy!" she sobbed, completely distraught.


Author's Note: This was extremely difficult to finish. I had to stop several times because I was crying too much to continue. I almost feel sorry that I ever wrote it in the first place; but it's beautiful in a sad, strange way. Please, if you never review another piece of fiction I write, review this piece. Let me know what you think; I'm going to need some support to be okay with calling this piece finished.

I want to apologize for all of the dialogue being in Al Bhed; the story doesn't flow correctly without it. Some of the power is lost if the characters aren't speaking their native language. To translate their speech, just type 'Al Bhed Translation' into Google. You can 'half and half' the screens if it helps make the reading easier. Hell, just a few of you might actually know how to translate Al Bhed on your own. I know this isn't the first story to use it but there's too much dialogue for me to include in translation at the end.

Please talk to me about this one… it really took a lot out of me to write this piece. It's something that I feel like I need to talk about because I want to know that it makes someone else feel what it makes me feel when I read it. 

Tell me if you felt the emotion, the hopelessness and desperation; because it was absolutely haunting me when I wrote this.