The young man with the silver hair had large pockets. Truly huge – eyeing them, Rikku was fairly certain she could easily fit inside and get lost. They also jingled when he moved, which was what had drawn the Gullwings' attention in the first place. Even after he'd made purchases at several of the shops in town, the clink of something was audible as he slouched down the street.
When he stopped to purchase some sea-salt ice-cream, she and Yuna exchanged glances: now was their chance.
Riku was raising his newly acquired treat to his lips, when a sharp pull on the end caused the cold confection to brush his nose and miss his mouth. Tilting his head sideways, he found a tiny person clinging on to the very tip of the wooden stick. She smiled brilliantly as he blinked at her in surprise, and then gave another tug. As he hadn't otherwise moved, this time his hand jerked and he bumped himself in the chin. Holding the ice-cream at arm's length, he glared at the pixie as he fumbled for a napkin to wipe his face.
"Can I help you?" he asked, practicing his sarcasm for the first time that day.
"Oh!" one tiny hand flying to her mouth in embarrassment, she bowed in mid-air. "That's so polite! Yes, I'd like some ice-cream, please!"
Mouth twisting to the side in a not-quite smile, Riku decided this must be one of the Gullwings that Sora had mentioned. Probably the little leader... Yuna, was it? But where were the other two? "So you decided to take mine?" he asked, glancing from side to side in search of more fluttery little kleptomaniacs.
"Would you really mind?" Dual-shaded eyes blinked innocently at him. "I won't eat much, I promise!" She'd released the ice-cream stick in order to clasp her hands in front of her, the picture of earnest persuasion. As he watched, her gaze flickered down to his waist, and then back to his face, quick enough he almost missed it.
A second later he felt a weight in his pocket, and clapped the hand holding his napkin down over the opening, trapping a small, wriggling form inside. He'd found Gullwing number two. "Too slow!" he exclaimed.
Yuna, abandoning her innocent act, shouted, "Rikku!" in a tone of great distress. Zipping down to his hip, she began begging to know if the other miniature trouble-maker was alright.
"Oh, foofie!" came the muffled but heartfelt reply, and Riku's lips twitched.
Wait... "Your friend's name is Rikku?" he demanded.
Yuna, giving every impression of hopping from foot to foot despite being in mid-air, barely spared him a glance. "Yes. Oh, let her out! Rikku! Rikku, can you breathe in there?"
"I'm fine, Yunie!" The words were accompanied by the distinctly odd sensation of someone trying to stand on the loose change in his pocket. "I was right!" and now there was a giggle in that muffled voice, "I can stand up in here! We should get Paine, and see if we can all fit."
Riku rolled his eyes. Just what he needed: pixies using his pockets for slumber parties. Reaching in he tried to grab her, and felt tiny little hands push him away with unexpected strength.
"Hey! Don't go shoving things in my face!" He'd almost suffocated her with that wad of paper.
"I'm not shoving things in your face," Riku retorted, "I'm putting my hand in my pocket, which is what they're for! Come out of there!"
"Nuh-uh. I'm still exploring. Besides, you didn't say please." The fabric of his pants shifted, and Riku could swear he saw the outline of folded arms and a huffy chin. Then she was moving, munny slipping and sliding beneath her feet as she wandered around. "It's nice and clean in here," she commented in an off-hand fashion, "no lint or anything."
Yuna, reassured by Rikku's chatter, had moved closer and now hung over the opening, hands clenched in the stitching, head inside. "Any treasure?" she asked hopefully, as if Riku couldn't hear their entire conversation.
"Nope. Just munny."
"Most people would consider that to be treasure," he found himself saying, and wondered how he'd ended up in this situation.
"LAME," came the response, in stereo no less, just as too little pin-pricks settled on the top of his head.
Ah. Gullwing number three had arrived.
"What are we doing?" The question strove hard to sound disinterested.
Yuna's head came up, and her bright little smile flashed again. "His pockets were jingling in a suspicious manner, and we'd watched him spend a lot of munny, so we thought he might have treasure in here."
"Does he?" Now her voice held disinterested curiosity, surely a feat in and of itself.
"No, just munny."
The most recent arrival made a sound of disgust.
"What exactly are you looking for?" Riku's voice was testy, finding it annoying to have these hand-span-high people criticizing the contents of his pockets.
"Well..." Yuna's tone was thoughtful. "Jewelry is always nice."
"Or hard candy," Rikku chimed in, still somewhere in the depths of his pocket.
"Or synthesis items," added the one on his head. Paine, he guessed, from Rikku's comment earlier.
"I don't have any of those," Riku said, tossing the balled-up napkin and long-forgotten ice-cream into a trash can. "Now come out of there!"
"Fine." The grudging agreement was accompanied by a sharp kick, as if someone had poked him in the leg, hard, and he yelped. She came rocketing out into the open, and he grabbed at her with both hands, catching only empty air.
"Too slow!" she chirped, repeating his earlier taunt. She hovered in front of his face, sticking her tongue out, then disappeared in a small flash of light.
"Work on those reflexes," Paine suggested, and then her weight was gone from his head.
"Sorry for the trouble!" Yuna apologized, darting in to press a kiss to his cheek. He had just enough time to realize she was blushing, before another flash – in a different color this time – surrounded her and she vanished, too.
Left in the street, alone, still blinking in surprise, Riku decided he was never – ever – telling Sora about this.