So here we are. The grand finale. I hope you loved it. If you've been wondering what people said they wanted to read, it's my new FF8 fic I've been working on. So that's next up. It's a Selpher fic. LOVE IT Anyways, you all have been wonderful fans. Please review one more time.
I see you there,
Don't know where you come from
Unaware of a stare from someone
Don't appear to care that I saw you.
And I want you.
"Turn this ship around," Rikku commanded. "We're gonna make that place burn like a Bikanel campfire cookout."
The ship's crew was in a frenzy working to get the mission over with as quickly as possible and prevent the radical Yevonites from committing the unthinkable. Buddy jumped into the navigator's seat. Shinra got comfortable at the information deck. Rikku hopped into the second navigator's seat. The rest waited with bated breath for Brother to take his seat as captain of the Celsius. But he couldn't move. His spiral eyes shot daggers at his younger sister. Although the mission at hand was pertinent, he wanted answers…he deserved answers.
Everyone remained silent on the floor of the bridge waiting for their leader to make the first move. He had been mostly quiet, attempting to yell but catching the words on his tongue as if they weren't quite the right words. So everyone waited patiently.
Brother stopped his endless pacing then asked, "One question…why?"
Rikku shrugged, "Why I left?"
Rikku could only shrug again, unsure of where to go with her own words. There were so many reasons. She looked out the front window of the Celsius, busily searching for words to make it clear to Brother and everyone else…herself included. Outside, the clouds balanced in the sky around them. Rikku longed for the days when she could sit and watch the clouds zip past her because she was on mission. The ship's lack of motion frightened her, as if the ship poised to fall out of the sky at any moment. She wondered if she could survive the fall into the ocean below.
"I was…angry," she started, "I was confused. I was scared. I was…I was…heart broken."
"Heartbroke?" he asked in his broken language. "Gippal?" She nodded. Brother groaned. "I hate that flashy bastard! …Do you…love him?"
"Yes!" All the remaining passengers answered.
"I didn't ask you!" He crouched down before his younger sister. "Rikku…do you really love him?"
"Yes," Rikku said, "very much."
Brother groaned and swore. He hated the thought of them together, but it was inevitable. "I want you to know vydran (father) and I would have done anything to make you happy."
What's your name,
Because have to know it.
You let me in and begin to show it
We're terrified because we're heading straight for it
Might get hit.
Brother, on one of his various rampages, shoved through the crowds of workers looking for the familiar bald head of his father. As usual, Cid was found crouched down in front of blue prints, studying his protégé's design for a grandiose museum of sorts to honor Al Bhed history. The floor had already been set and the workers now busily erected walls to contain all the wonderful treasures. Brother ignored all this. He had some yelling to get to and nothing would deter him.
"Vydran! (Father!)" he hollered across the crowded floor.
Cid groaned, knowing full well who the voice belonged to. Without glancing up from his drawing, Cid beckoned for his son with wave of a gloved hand. Brother stomped over, but Cid put up his pointer finger, hushing his son for a split second. Cid mumbled something about the cost of golden cactuar sand then looked over at his son. "Famm? (Well?)"Cid commonly used his native tongue with his son who refused to learn the language of the other Spirans. Frankly, Cid enjoyed their language, it was good for business. Plus, Brother had a hard enough time understanding coherent thoughts, let alone ideas that weren't in his own language.
"So cecdan ec eh muja fedr y veaht. Fa cruimt hud cdyht vun ed. (My sister is in love with a fiend. We should not stand for it.)" Brother folded his tattooed arms across his tattooed chest, glaring down at his aging father.
"E ymnayto ghuf ypuid Gippal. E tu hud caa yho ryns eh bibbo muja. (I already know about Gippal. I do not see any harm in puppy love.)"
"Bibbo muja! (Puppy love!)"Brother scoffed. "Drao yna rayt ujan raamc vun aylr udran. Luhcaxiahdmo, drao pudr yld vyn duu unnacbuhcepma.( They are head over heels for each other. Consequently, they both act far too irresponsible.)"
Cid stood and wiped grease from his hands on the side of his jumpsuit before placing two gloved hands on each of his son's shoulders. "Mecdah (Listen)," he began, "drec ryc paah vunsehk muhk pavuna. Pid E femm damm oui dra cysa drehk ouin sudran dumt sa frah E vencd hudelat dras. Yc kenmc knuf ib drao pakeh muugehk vun y syda dryd lyh nabmyla draen vydran. Cusauha cdnuhk. Cusauha tynehk. Mega y ghekrd. Yht cehla ran vydran ec dra meuh cra haatc cusauha bnaddo ysywehk. E lyhhud yknaa dryd Gippal ec dryd syh. Pid ev ed'c fru cra lruucac, fa ryja du cibbund ran yht ruba vun dra pacd. (this has been forming long before. But I will tell you the same thing your mother told me when I first noticed them. As girls grow up they begin looking for a mate that can replace their father. Someone strong. Someone daring. Like a knight. And since her father is the meuh] she needs someone pretty amazing. I cannot agree that Gippal is that man. But if it's who she chooses, we have to support her and hope for the best.)"
Hear the song playing on the background
All alone but you're turning up now
And everyone is rising to meet you, to greet you
Gippal glared with his good eye at the pathetic allies before him. He and Rikku were going to fight until their last breath, but Nhadala and Rin had already given up all hope.
"C'mon guys," he pleaded, "we can't let Yevonite lunatics tear up Home again." They didn't even budge. Gippal tried to imagine what Cid would do at this point. He could motivate. He Could unify. Gippal's skills were far less impressive. "Listen, I know this is partially my fault. Hell, it's all my fault. I should have never trusted that psycho with my peoples' lives. But I need you to trust me with yours. The radical Yevonites have tried to take everything. They can't have my pride and Home is just as much my pride as the blood in my veins and in yours and in every Al Bhed."
Rin softened a little. His spiral eyes watered slightly in response to Gippal's exposure. Rin watched Gippal's broken eye. He had never seen his meuh without an eye patch. Gippal seemed so naked.d No eye patch. No chauvinistic façade. Only his love for protecting his people remained.
Rin finally spoke, "I never thought I'd see the day Home was rebuilt. But you changed that. I used to wonder what Cid saw in you, what Rikku saw in you, what anyone saw in you. But you're a knight. You have honor and pride and duty. And you're willing to risk everything to defend it."
"But it's not about that," Nhadala mumbled. "Rikku's defending on you, isn't she?" Gippal nodded silently. "Well then, what's the plan?"
Gippal gathered his thoughts quickly to formulate a scheme. "Bad guys come in, we kick their asses. Plain and simple. One of 'em's gotta have a key on them.
Rin shook his head, "I am no warrior."
Gippal shook his fist at the merchant, "Ever use one of these. Just cock it back and send it flying."
Turn around and you're walking toward me
I'm breaking down and you're breathing slowly
Say the word and I will be your man,
"Vydran! (Father!)"Rikku remembered. "We've gotta blow up Via Infinito!"
"She's right," Baralai added. "That's why we tracked down your ship."
Buddy quickly set course for Bevelle underground. If they brought the ship underwater, they could remain undetected and blow up Via Infinito from below. There was just one problem. "What about Gippal. Isn't he still down there?" Buddy asked.
With much chagrin, Lulu commented, "We don't have much time if Terryn is planning on letting Cid loose on the workers or attacking Home."
Rikku crawled up to the captain's chair to man the artilary. "Terryn won't head for Home until she's got Gippal or me." The ship dove into the calm ocean, forcing an energy of raw anger into the serenity below. "Besides, Gippal's already escaped."
"You can't be so sure," Baralai added. "Paine and I were Crimson Squad members with him. He can get a little…distracted.
"We've already concluded that he only gets that way when it comes to me. Now, are we in this together or what?" Everyone stared at one another. Tidus was ready to fight again. He spent too long waiting to reborn from the fayth. Lulu was, of course, ready, much to Wakka's dismay. But if Lulu was in, Wakka definitely was in. The same went for Tidus and Yuna. Brother, Buddy, and Shinra needed to see Cid and Gippal alive or Bikanel would fall apart. Baralai needed to look like a good guy for politics' sake. He couldn't have renegades running around and soiling Yevon's good name. That left Paine, who silently decided Rikku sincerely needed her help. "I'll take the silence as a yes. Just get ready for a bumpy ride. Get equipped now because after I finish of Via Infinito, I'm heading straight to Luca to save the workers."
"What about Home?" Brother asked.
"Gippal's gonna take care of that one. I know you don't like the sound of that, but we gotta save Pops. Let's just hope Gippal gets to Terryn before I do, because I'm gonna massacre her limb from limb."
And my own two hands will comfort you
And my own two arms will carry you
The four Crimson squad recruits had been enjoying the relaxing night. All the recruits had been invited to a grand black and white party at the mansion that once belonged to a master of Yevon. The house had been purchased and was in the process of being renovated by a wealthy entrepreneur who went by the name Leblanc. What a business woman wanted with warriors, Gippal couldn't say. All that concerned him was free booze and women to get his lonely mind off Rikku.
Gippal didn't particularly care for tuxedos either. The Al Bhed didn't exactly dress up. The yevonites had a style all their own, the Spiran tux belonging to it. The jacket was more like a robe with wide sleeves and a draping, buttonless front. The sleeves had the symbols of the aeons stitched in irredescent white. His tie was a bow with long ties trailing down above his navel and the loops startched open. Instead of the traditional four hole button closing the shirt, or zippers, something Gippal could understand, there were hook and eye buttons. The slacks, luckily, were standard.
The three men all matched perfectly. Paine wore a long black dress, sleevless, that wrapped around her neck and fell into cascading panels of embroidered cloth down her back.
None of them had a date, but Nooj soon would become quite popular and liquor would bring together an unlikely pair for one night only. Gippal would remain alone that night despite a few willing takers.
At the top of the stairs, a curvaceous short-haired blonde in a gravity defying white dress glided down the hallway to where the group entered. The whole back of her dress gathered into a billowing, beautiful mess of ruffles. She pulled a long fan from one of those ruffles. "Hello, loves. I'm so glad you could attend."She extended the back of her hand to Nooj. He placed her gentle palm in his and offered a kiss to the smooth flat side of the back of her hand. Gippal would have shook it vigorously. The formal gig wasn't his forte. "Nooj the Undying. I've heard a lot of good things about you." She put her head down and glared over her nose, "And a lot of naughty, naughty things as well. I guess you could say I'm your biggest fan."
"I'm honored. Now, if I may be so bold, what's the occasion." Nooj as always quick to get right to the point.
Leblanc lead them into the dining hall. They sat together at her long wooden table decorated with the finest foods Spira offered. "Surely you've heard of me, Gippal." Gippal shook his head. She gasped in shocked. "The sphere viewers that your people produce, my family and I backed the idea. It made both my family and the Al Bhed very, very wealthy."
"You're that Leblanc?" Gippal shouted. She nodded.
"I'm the only Leblanc anyone should ever care about. But what good are sphere viewers without spheres. Let me get straight to the point, I need sphere hunters. I'm starting a syndicate of sorts and I'll need all the man power…or powerful men I can get. How about it, loves, any takers?"
"You asked Crimson Squad recruits to come here so you could ask them to quit?" Nooj began. "You must be out of your mind. Some of us gave up all we had to get into the squad."
"Trust me. The rewards will be much more plentiful." Leblanc stood to leave, "Now Nooj, I'd love to hear the details of your infamy in my…private quarters."
We're coming close and then even closer
We bring it in but we go no further
Two ghosts in one mirror, no nearer
The plan to jump the guards worked perfectly, but there was no time to enjoy their freedom. Nhadala, Gippal, and Rin searched every hallway and corridor trying to find the exit, all the while kicking ass and taking names. Rin went from merchant to mercenary in a very short amount of time and Nhadala proved to be quite the banshee.
A dark skinned head poked around a wall and hoarsely whispered to Gippal and his companions, "Follow me." Gippal's ears perked up. It was Maroda. Rin and Nhadala were already inching toward the vested man, but Gippal was far more skeptic. Him and Maroda weren't exactly buddies. But Maroda waved and called again, "Quick, before the guards come. I'll show you the way out. I have a ship waiting outside."
Gippal caught up with Maroda, bringing the other two with him. As the snuck past hordes of guards on the look out, Gippal was finally breaking a sweat. Beating up a bunch of bald guys had been no problem to following the guy who stole his woman. Maroda lead them through a trap door leading to the rear patios of Bevelle. Once safe, Gippal requested answers. "How the hell you'd know we were down there? Where's Rikku? Did she make it out?"
"Rikku's brother overrided the frequencies screaming about an emergency. I helped get everyone out of Djose before he blew it up and –"
"He did what!" Gippal shouted.
"Hey, it was either that or wait for the Yevonites to do it," Maroda scoffed. "Listen, I don't know where Rikku is, I don't fully know what's going on. All I know is I've got a ship and a one way ticket to Bikanel if you guys want it."
Gippal studied Maroda's face for truth and sincerity. He realized, regretfully, the true meaning behind Maroda's rescue mission. "You thought Rikku was here, didn't you?"
"Listen, Gippal. I love Rikku very much. And I know I could treat her better than you ever could, but right now, it's not about that. And if you're willing to sacrifice your people so you can sit around a fight this out over who's the better man, than it's clear who the winner is."
Later on if it turns to chaos,
Hurricane coming all around us
See the crack, pull it back from the window,
You stay low
Rikku stared across the docks hoping to squint hard enough to see Bikanel, to see Gippal. But from her perch on the Kilikan docks with Maroda by her side, it was pointless. She could feel his eyes burning holes in every part of her. She glanced over to study his gaze. Was it lust? Was it love?No, it was something completely different. Something she hadn't seen since Gippal. It was confusion. Maroda watched her, trying to figure out what she was thinking.
"Rikku," he started. There was a tinge of pain in his voice. "what are you thinking about?" Rikku smiled and winked, playing coy or dumb, she didn't know. "Who are you thinking about?" he asked this time.
Rikku froze. She felt so transparent. She found herself becoming defensive, "He hurt me…but lately being with you, I think maybe I hurt him."
"What do you mean?"
Rikku could sense a strange maturity in her voice that scared her. "It's nto that I don't like you, Maroda. I just know my heart belongs somewhere else or with someone else. And I see you struggling to please me when I'm already off to the next thing. Fighting sin…fighting Vegnagun. Maybe…I loved him and hurt him and…no."Rikku slapped her hands flat on the wood of the docks. "No, no, no, no. I can't resent him more. To think he called me not marriage material. He's the one who can't even do his own laundry."
Rikku began to let her resentment get the best of her. The combination of Gippal thoughts and frustration always put her in the same mood. She prowled over onto Maroda's lap and grinned devilishly. Maroda looked away, "Under other circumstances, I'd find this very appealing. But this unrequited love stuff isn't something I need. I'm stable enough for an empty romance."
"Do you even listen to yourself when you talk?" Maroda asked harshly. "You're still very much in love with him."
And my own two hands will comfort you
And my own two arms will carry you
Rikku had never seen anything as beautiful as the explosion that destroyed the hell hole that was Via Infinito. It rumbled throughout the ocean and the interior of Bevelle couldn't have been more psychotic. There were prisoners escaping left and right and now their torture chamber was exploding underneath them, all the while, both Yevonite leaders were missing, the Yevonite extremist leader and the New Yevon leader.
But now the ship was landing in Luca. As soon as the ship docked, Rikku ran for the elevator. The quicker she could find her father, the quicker she could end this. Her team followed, brandishing their weapons for the fight.
Inside the skeleton-like struncture, blood, screams, and corpses filled the halls. "We're too late," Yuna said hopelessly. Rikku knew she meant it sincerely. With the amount of carnage, it was hard to believe that anything survived.
"C'mon," Rikku said while unsheathing her knives. She gripped them firmly, her biceps flexed as she did. "I'm heading down, you can follow me if you wish. Just don't kill any lupes."
Rikku shot down the scaffolding like a monkey, jumping from pole to pole until she hit bottom. She knew it wouldn't be long before whatever monster lurked below found her. She had been berserked a few times. It felt like spiders on the brain. Everything went red.
A low growl sounded from behind her. "Dad…"was all she could whisper.
She spun around and saw the rabid beast. Blood and froth dripped from his fangs in waterfall-like drops. His fur was tangled with the entrails of her brethren. His spiral eyes were cross eyed with rage and confusion. The red glow of the beserk spell was in a state of constant generation. Whoever cast it knew their spells.
"Dad! It's me, Rikku! Your baby girl!"
The beast growled low in response.
"Dad! You have to stop!"
She stood firm, arms spread, staring deeply.
But he continued to growl and gnash.
"Rikku, move!" Yuna's voice called. But she couldn't. She couldn't believe her father would do this to her, to anyone. The lupe fell on top of her, surely crushing some bones, but the red glow had faded. Rikku caught a glimpse of Yuna with her hand on one of her old rods. "I cast esuna. He should be fine."
Rikku could barely breathe with the weight of her father crushing her. He slowly backed off and nuzzled into her side. Rikku writhed in pain, "Yeah…that's broken."
Brother finally caught up with the group. "Vydran (Father)?" With his head down in shame, the lupe approached his son. He nudged up on Brother's hand. But Brother ripped away and punched him on the nose. "Look what you've done!"
Rikku struggled to her feet, but collapsed to the ground. Yuna could cast cure, but it couldn't mend bones. "We've gotta…send him. We've gotta…get him back to normal." Blood flooded her mouths and splashed when she coughed between words.
Yuna and Baralai, who had just arrived, both shook their heads. "Sending souls won't change him back…it'll just transport him to the Farplane." Yuna offered a hand on her shoulder, something Rikku hadn't expected. "But I don't think this kind of magic is reversible. If he's a summon…then his body already belongs to the fayth."
Rikku clenched her ribs with a grimy hand. "What if we found the fayth."
"A body must die to become a fayth," Baralai stated.
It dawned on Rikku slowly. Or maybe she knew it all along. Still, she didn't want to admit the unthinkable. Instead, she let out an ear piercing shriek that echoed all around the party. The beast sat down next to her and nuzzled into her again, this time avoiding her side.
Brother dammed the tears to keep strong for his sister. "Where is the fayth? That's where we'll send him."
"Wherever he was most attached in life," Yuna said.
Come across you lost and broken
You're coming to but you're slow in waking
You start to shake.
You still haven't spoken,
"Round 'em up," Terryn commanded. The bald headed men shoved the Al Bhed men to the ground with sacks covering their faces. "One of you knows how to get in there. Now, dammit, I'm losing my Yevon-given patience." The Al Bhed men remained diligent in their silence. But Terryn fired a gun, trying to shake their confidence. The bullet burrowed into the forehead of one the men. His body dropped to the sand, arms still bound and head still covered.
He was a man with a name.
The other Al Bhed men prayed that his last thought was that he protected them.
"There's four more of you freaks. One of you knows how to open that door!"
"I know how," Gippal shouted from his approaching hover. He was back in his normal clothes with a few Al Bhed at his side, along with Nhadala, Rin, and Maroda. It was time for some serious damage.
"Kill him!" Terryn ordered. Her composure finally dispersed. The hatred oozed from every pore in her body. She fired her gun four more times, each bound man falling in a pool of his own blood in the sand.
The legion that came with Gippal jumped from their hovers and pounced on the Yevonite soldiers. Gippal flung himself from his craft, landing straight onto Terryn. Unfortunately, she was a lot stronger that he imagined. They wrestled back and forth for the gun. Gippal would be happy enough just getting it out of reach. He heard shots being fired and pray it was his team doing the shooting.
Terryn gripped Gippal by the wrists and pressed all her weight on him, grinning maliciously down at him all the while. "I'm gonna enjoy what I'm about to do to you and all your people for that matter."
The next sound from her mouth was a cry of sheer pain. The lupe's bloody teeth pulled out from her side before chomping back into her neck, picking up Terryn by the head like a rag doll. The lupe shook its head furiously until he heard Terryn's neck snap in it's mouth.
Gippal rubbed his wrists, soothing the pain Terryn left. His men took the chains from the fallen men and locked up the Yevonite soldiers. He smirked at the lupe, "What took you guys so long." The lupe growled. Gippal returned to his old swaggering ways, as if he hadn't just been saved from a gruesome death. "Where's Rikku?"
They're coming back and you just don't know when
You want to cry but there's nothing coming
They're gonna push until you give in,
"Rikku," Gippal called to her. She was knelt in front of her mother's grave, surrounded by machina ruins. As he drew closer, he noticed two things. The first being a grand circle near the grave with the head of a giant lupe inside with one spiral eye. The second thing he noticed was the huge gash across Rikku's bare ribs. He ran to her side.
Rikku didn't look as he wrapped her up in his arms. She, instead, closed her eyes and nuzzled into his chest. It had been many hours since she last saw Gippal, but already her heart had grown heavy, calling to him. His arms felt warm and safe about her. "I asked the others to leave me here…my father…he won't live…past today."
Gippal felt wet tracks trailing down his shirt. He held her tighter. "I missed you…I was worried about you."
"I don't know what to do anymore, Gippal. I can save the planet. I can save nameless people. But I can't save those closest to me."
Gippal put his hands on either side of her face and bent in. He kissed her gently. "You don't have to save anybody. I'm your knight."
Now we're here and it turns to chaos
Hurricane coming all around us
They're gonna crack,
Don't you back from the window
You stay low