This idea simply wouldn't leave me alone, I had to do it. Zidane is such a tricky and fun little bugger.
Luck of the Draw
"If we're gonna split up, we should pair off. Seems like that's the safest and simplest solution," Tidus said. The other eight Warriors of Cosmos nodded.
"Except, there's only nine of us, Warrior of Light already left when we arrived," Firion said. "Who's the one who goes alone?"
"I think, that would be him," Zidane jerked his thumb over his shoulder. The group turned to watch the lump of black leather walking away from them.
"Oooooookay, Squall has graciously volunteered to be the odd man out," Bartz sighed. "So that leaves eight. Four pairs, easy."
"Alright, let's pair off," Zidane nodded with a smile. His eyes glanced over the one Warrior of Cosmos he'd been watching ever since the group had assembled. Okay, yeah, the worlds were in chaos and they had to save existence itself from evil. Did that mean – pardon the phrase – he couldn't chase a little tail? Terra was pretty, she seemed nice, and if her outfit was a good indicator she didn't mind showing a little skin. She was three for four in Zidane's books. Now if he could just pair up with her and head off alone, he go check if she was a good kisser and it was four for four. Zidane closed his eyes and opened his mouth.
"I choose Terra!"
Zidane's eyes popped open. That didn't sound like his voice. If fact, he was fairly certain it wasn't. He turned his head to see Tidus walking towards Terra.
"I've got experience protecting girls from monsters, ya know," he said.
"Thank you," Terra began to reply, "but I don't need prote-"
"Hey hey!" Zidane said, scampering over and wedging himself between Tidus and Terra. "I've got experience protecting ladies too you know!" Zidane shouted. "As a matter of fact, I've got lots of experience protecting them! It's kinda what I do, probably better than you too!"
"I'll bet," Tidus muttered. "Get real, you're way too little to protect anyone right."
"Take that back ya big lout!"
"Don't make me come down there! Or do you want a footstool?"
"I'll show ya footstool!" Zidane hopped up and tackled Tidus to the ground, the two of them rolling.
"You two remind me of Palom and Porom," Cecil said dryly from the side. Tidus and Zidane stopped and looked up at him.
"Did he just call us pom-poms?"
"I don't know."
"Let's focus, we're wasting time!" Firion shouted. "Does anyone have any particular inclinations over who they travel with?" One by one, the other group members shook their head. "Then I suggest we leave our partners up to destiny. Destiny brought us, so destiny will send us off." Firion pulled his quiver of arrows from his shoulder and turned from the ground. As Firion worked unseen, Zidane and Tidus stood up, Zidane giving Tidus a discreet kick in the shin as he walked away. After a few minutes, Firion turned back to the ground, eight arrows clustered in his hands.
"Eight arrows, four different color threads around each other," Firion announced. "Draw an arrow and match up your color." The group shrugged and stepped towards Firion. Zidane, meanwhile, was panicking as he saw Terra reach for an arrow.
"Dammiiiiit! Now I'll never get paired with her! Eight arrows, odds are like, ten, fifteen…really low that we'll match up! It's not fair, I thought of it, I'm the one experienced with protecting women and whoa, you can see right through those stock…no, focus Zidane!" Zidane mentally slapped himself. "Alright, be cool, be calm. You got as much chance as any of them, better, you've got the luck of a thief on your side! Just pick an arrow and go for it!" Zidane took a breath and marched up to Firion, picking one of the last two arrows. Zidane turned as Tidus reached for his, and looked down at his arrow. The threat was bright blue. He looked back up at Terra, and his eyes widened. Hers was blue! "Yes! Luck of a thief, ha ha ha!"
"Terra!" Zidane ran up to Terra with a grin. "I think we got matched up!"
"Really?" Terra asked, holding out her arrow. Zidane stopped in front of her, and his grin vanished. His thread was bright blue, hers was dark blue. "Oh, I guess not," Terra said. "They're different shades."
"No they aren't!" Zidane insisted, grabbing Terra's arrow. He held them up over his head, squinting at them. "It's just a trick of the light, they match!"
"Yo, Zidane!" Zidane turned to see Bartz waving at him. He groaned and handed Terra back her arrow, then ran over.
"Yeah?" he said.
"I noticed your arrow," Bartz explained, holding out his. Zidane looked down. Bright blue. "Looks like we're partners," Bartz smiled. "Come on, the others are already moving out."
"So wait," Zidane said, "Then, who did Terra pair up with?" Zidane turned, and his jaw dropped at the sight of the small suit of red and orange armor walking away from him with Terra. "Him!?" Zidane cried. "He can't be paired with her! He's just a kid, he's twelve!"
"Actually," Bartz said behind Zidane, "I think he said he was-"
"This can't be happening," Zidane moaned, ignoring Bartz. "I'm always paired with the girl, this isn't fair!" Zidane shook his head and noticed four figures walking in another direction. "I thought we paired off, why are they in a group of four?" Zidane asked.
"They decided to pair up the pairs, I guess, a group of four," Bartz explained. Zidane gasped and snapped his fingers.
"That's it!" he cried, turning and running towards Terra. "Terra!" he screamed. Terra and Onion Knight turned as Zidane stopped in front of them, panting for breath.
"Is something wrong?" she asked. Zidane shook his head.
"Nah…everything is fine…" he panted. "Bartz and I were…wondering if you two…wanted to…be in a foursome with us." The second the last three words left his mouth, Zidane froze as he comprehended what he'd just said. Terra's eyes went wide, and Onion Knight's face scrunched up.
"Eeeeeeeeewww…I'm way too young to know what that means, and now I wish I didn't," he grumbled, walking away. Terra took a deep breath and forced a smile.
"Zidane…" she said slowly. Zidane's face was still in the expression of finishing his sentence. "You seem like a really nice guy, but what you just said is very creepy. So I'm going to walk away now." True to her word, Terra turned and walked briskly after Onion Knight. Zidane watched her go, and his shoulders began to shake.
"I'm not creepy!" he called after Terra. "I...I'm cute!" Zidane looked behind him and grabbed his tail. "Look! I have a tail! Cute!" he shouted, holding out the appendage and jumping up and down. Terra didn't turn around, and Zidane stopped jumping. A sob escaped his mouth as he sat down on the ground, letting his hands fall on his knees.
"You okay?" Bartz asked, walking up behind him.
"It's not fair," Zidane protested. "How come I don't get to pair up with the girl!?"
"Hey, cheer up!" Bartz said brightly, patting him on the back. "You got paired up with me!" Zidane cocked an eyebrow, and slowly turned his head to look up at Bartz.
"Trust me," Zidane muttered, slowly shaking his head. "It ain't the same."