Chapter One

Four Years Later….

Paine woke to a warm half embrace she had no idea she participating in. The room was a little cold, even to her. It took a moment for her senses to reorient themselves and her fuzzy mind to replay the events of the last two days. A small smile came with recognition. As Paine looked down to the blonde woman she had been sharing a bed with for the better part of five years. She was pouting softly, her features not aging in the least bit save for a few creases that would become laugh lines or stress lines later on depending upon how life treated her. They were so minor she doubted Rikku even noticed but spending five years with someone gave you a lot of looking time, and Paine loved looking at Rikku.

Paine pushed some of her wife's long blonde hair out of her face and away from her so she didn't roll on it and wake herself up like she tended to do when she wore it out in bed.

Her wife.

With the motion of moving hair Paine had caught sight of the only real piece of jewelry she would ever come to wear regularly. Her wedding band was simple yet different. She liked that Rikku went with her gut and the minimalist approach because she loved it. The only thing that was different was that for one the platinum band was scratch resistant which was probably good in her line of work, and also had a line of small tamed diamonds indented, and that wrapped around the center that left the exterior smooth.

She knew Rikku couldn't resist and to be honest she liked it a lot better in person than in theory.

They had gotten married two days ago, but arrived to The Calm Lands Bed and Breakfast just last night. It was a little harder to believe that they were married yesterday. They got home to their tiny apartment, the same one Paine had lived in for four and a half years, and Paine watched Tv while Rikku lay with her feet on her lap as she worked on an important plan for some office building downtown which she was almost late to the launch meeting the next morning due to all the sex they had the night before.

Paine had heard about sex dying for a lot of couples, she just didn't understand why. She wanted Rikku all of the time, and when they did have sex it was still as passionate as when they had first started. Though it happened a little less, something about having real jobs and responsibilities got in the way of how it was when they first graduated NLU. They went on a period that summer of doing at least twice a day, and then was nonexistent till their wedding night (Rikku wanted them t wait to make it special an idea that Paine begrudgingly agreed to) But that was life right? In the end sex was just a very nice bonus, ice cream an already delicious slice of pie.

She was married for Yevon's sake.

Paine lay there a moment trying not to wake Rikku with the news, like maybe she wasn't present at the small ceremony. Like maybe she didn't know that they were married yet and was waiting for Paine to tell her. It was odd feeling this giddy about something, especially for Paine. The road to this was one bumpy one, starting with their engagement. For Rikku asking Paine to marry her came about after one big fight they had where Rikku slept at Yuna's for an entire week and talking about anything with her girlfriend had become so strained because neither of them really knew what was wrong. Rikku returned to their apartment to find Paine wasn't there either, and hadn't been since they fought. She found a note on the fridge from Paine saying that she was giving her space for her to decide what she wanted.

She hadn't come back from where ever she went for another week and a half and it broke Rikku's heart that they let it get this bad. It hurt to see her things left untouched, her side un-slept in. Rikku herself went on a bagel and jelly bean eating binge one night before crawling into bed and just laying there until morning; eyes wide and watery.

Then one day Paine just came back, Rikku remembered it like it was yesterday when in reality it was months ago. She remembered that she had been sitting on the couch sketching something for Yuna one earlier Saturday morning. Paine opened the door and silently took off her jacket before announcing that she was home. Hearing those two words was all Rikku needed before she pounced Paine into a fierce hug. That night they tried to talk about what was wrong. It turned out Rikku had withdrawn a lot more than she had realized. It wasn't just about feeling unimportant any more to Paine and she needed Rikku to know it. With everything changing from how things were in college they needed to get back on the same page in a major way. They made up by making love right there on the living room floor. Rikku snuck out early the next morning then snuck into the bathtub fully dressed with Paine while she was showering, got on one knee, and proposed.

"Marry me? I can't wait anymore. I love you, I always have and always will, and I know you do to. I want this more than I've ever wanted anything… will you marry me Paine? " She couldn't lose her, and that feeling of almost getting hit by a car was a good enough one to really put what was important into prospective.

Paine could remember being paralyzed and for a moment they just stayed like that. Paine holding her soapy blue loofah ball against her skin and Rikku on one knee, with her clothes slowly becoming soaked, not even flinching with the water spraying her directly in the face.

Paine looked down at the woman beside her. She could remember feeling so scared during those two weeks of not seeing or communicating with Rikku. She didn't know what would or had happened to get them like that. But seeing Rikku waiting there, water getting in her eyes but they never blinked. It was like she was putting her heart on the table and Paine had sworn she had it before but it was being offered again because maybe somewhere she misplaced it.

Now they were married, wife and wife, and Paine honestly had never known a joy as enthusiastic as this one. She'd have to ask Rikku what happened at their wedding because honestly all she could do was look at her bride.

The Calm Lands had been Rikku's idea. As soon as they arrived Paine could feel all the troubles and weight of living in a bustling city like New Luca be washed away by the historic serenity of the once violent battle grounds. The little bed and breakfast Inn they were staying was called Eternal and was run by an elderly woman named Vesta. She showed them to their luxury extended stay room last night and even sent up a nice basket of treats since the kitchen was closed when they arrived. Old habits showing themselves Paine didn't say much to her, she supposed it was just her city girl mentality on overly helpful people, but Vesta and Rikku had spoken for a little before the blonde came up to settle in for the night.

And what a night it had been.

Paine sighed contently into the fresh linen and stretched her legs out. The window in their room was open to let some air in and from the looks of it they had managed to sleep in a bit.

She was starting to really like it here.

Here being in this new stage in life.

It sometimes seemed like she was a completely different person, having been clean for six years probably had something to do with it. Her body just felt new, and she were actually able to sleep a whole night without stirring; something that was unheard of even a year ago. Rikku seemed a lot happier too and Paine felt good about where they were. She was her best most special friend, different from all the rest, her lover, and now her wife.

Rikku smiled a little. "What's that little smile about?" She whispered, her voice was thick, and her Al Bhed accent more present than usual.

Paine turned her head quickly to meet her unexpected gaze. How long had she been awake? Paine shrugged and turned toward Rikku to place a hand on her lower back with one hand and lean her head on the other. "Nothin'"

Rikku continued her closed mouth smile. "So pneta."

"Pretty cool huh?"

She laughed and nodded in agreement. "Pretty cool Pai."

Paine leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. "How did you sleep?" She asked when she settled back on her elbow.

Rikku stretched and then fell limp. "Amazing, I love this bed, can we bring it home with us?"

Paine laughed a little, the bed was pretty damn comfortable though. "Yeah right."

"It could fit."


"With your things."

"Ah since you brought like three extra bags."

She grinned lightly knowing very well that their first little argument as a married couple was on why she needed to pack two extra bags. "The weather here is so unpredictable." She restated her initial argument.

"You're lucky you're my wife."

Rikku laughed and nodded. "Sure am."

They lay quietly just absorbing the later morning. Paine moved to lie on her back and Rikku cuddled up on her side. Graduating second in her class right under her Arch school bestie and her official career rival Lucil Marsh was impressive considering how close it was, hell even landing an internship and then a job at one of New Luca's most successful private Architecture firms had even felt better, but nothing at all could top the feeling of being Rikku Milan Bayla-Kerrigan. "Rikku Kerrigan…."

Paine smiled. "I'll believe it when I see it." They were still waiting on the papers.

Rikku grinned. "What do you call this?" She motioned to show her flashier diamond wedding ring. Paine shrugged and Rikku hugged her closer. "It means you can't ever get mad at me ever again."

Paine laughed. "That's not what it means."

"Well what does it mean then? You always have to share your french fries with me?" She joked.

"Again, something that is just never going to happen."

"Alright then what huh?"

Paine thought on it. "It means that even when I do get mad, I'll always come back." She glanced at Rikku. "And it means that you'll never be alone, unless of course you need to be, I'm always gonna be here."


Paine nodded. "Yeah."

"Aw." Rikku leaned forward to steal a small kiss. "I think I'm gonna like being married to you."

Paine laughed. "Well fuck I mean it's a little late to have cold feet babe."

"Can I tell you something?" Paine nodded. "I was real nervous…"

"At the wedding?" Rikku nodded. "Why?"

"Weren't you?"

Paine nodded quickly. "You have no idea."

Rikku smiled. "You got all teary on me." She nudged Paine softly remembering the moisture in her fiancé's eyes when they stood there facing each other in front of their friends and family.

Paine blushed a little and scratched the back of her head. "You think they got a picture of that?"

Rikku smiled. "No."


"It was sweet."

"I guess I was just…y'know realizing it, like it just hit me then."


"Why were you so nervous?"

"Well it's not every day a girl gets married Pypo, I was freaking out that something would just happen like I'd trip or I'd break a heel or—"

"You looked so beautiful."

Rikku smiled widely. "So did you."

"I think that's when I stopped being nervous…like when we got up there and you took my hand, I was like alright cool, I can do this." Paine looked off for a second. "I remembered."

"I think it's when you smiled at me, when I was walking to you, you kinda gave me this little smile that said everything would be okay, I knew you wouldn't do that unless you were sure."

"You didn't think I was sure?"

Rikku gave her wife an honest look. "Sometimes… I didn't want to scare you away." They had had a rather fast engagement of only a few months.

Paine frowned a little. "I wasn't going anywhere Ri."

"I know, just…you know me."

Paine nodded once. "Crazy."

Rikku smiled at the little smile Paine wore. She knew it meant that all that stuff that led up to them almost breaking up was in the past. "Well then I couldn't get up there faster." Paine laughed a little. "Then Pops had like the biggest moment ever, like really it wasn't that serious." Paine laughed louder this time remembering the awkwardly long embrace between father and daughter. "I mean c'mon."

"He was just happy."

"I know but couldn't he have picked a different time to do that?" Rikku narrowed her eyes at Paine who was having a good time laughing at her. "It's not funny! His big ol' shoulders messed up my hair."

"You're hair looked fine."

"You know whose hair was awesome?"



Paine sighed at the mention of her sister. "Babe her hair always looked that way, she put a fucking ribbon in it and everyone's impressed."

Rikku laughed. "Oh baby I know, your hair was the best. Is that better?" Paine nodded cutely. "Aw, it's okay." She patted Paine's arm and kissed her sweetly on the lips.

Paine rolled her eyes. "Alright alright."

Rikku patted her head. "Best hair goes to you."

After another few hours of being in bed and being together the duo finally decided to venture out to get some food. Paine showered first and pulled on some jeans and a long sleeve shirt before letting Rikku enter the shower while she did her hair in the bathroom mirror.

"I don't feel like eating something new." Rikku said from behind the steamy curtain.

"What do you mean?" The fourth degree black belt asked as she patted an area that was effected by bed head.

"Like I don't feel like being adventurous. I want comfort food."

"Al Bhed?"

"No…just y'know something I know."

"We can get ribs in Macalania."

"How far is that?"

Paine shrugged before picking up some more gel. "I don't know."

"We can do that…Paine?"

"Yeah babe?"

"Should we call someone?"


"Y'know like Pop or Keira or something…"

Paine glanced at the shower curtain then back to the mirror that kept getting foggy on her. "…If you want?"

"No but just to say hey, we're here, and y'know…"

"I don't think their expecting a call any time soon."

"Why not?"

"Cause honeymoons are mainly spent fucking."

The bathroom was silent for a moment. All that could be heard was the water running.

"Well…I'm gonna call."

Paine chuckled at how her voice sounded. It was as if the idea of a honeymoon was lost on her until just now, which Paine thought was funny because in no way shape or form was her wife innocent. "Okay."

"Call Gippal too."

"I'm not calling Gippal." She could only imagine his response to the premature phone call.

"Why not Pai?"

Paine shook her head. "Because he's not expecting one."

"Well at least Keira."

"I thought you were calling her."

"She's not my mom."

"She is now."

Rikku laughed at the truth in that. Over the years she watched Paine and Keira relationship grow, and then for a week Paine had to leave for a seminar on training and Keira had gotten her days mixed up and came over to bring Paine something. Well she and Rikku ended up staying up all night drinking wine and talking about Paine. Ever since then Rikku had had a better understanding on where Keira was coming from and it was completely unexpected but she actually enjoyed her company a lot. She reminded Rikku of Paine in so many ways you'd have thought she actually did raise the girl.

Before she had a mother, then she had none, now she had two.

Her father and Leblanc had finally tied the knot two years ago, and Rikku took a scary amount of pleasure from calling Leblanc "Ma." even though she knew Juliann hated it. Maybe that's why she liked doing it. It was their own way of continuing the relationship they had before but Cid found it sweet that his wife began to respond to it without noticing. Rikku remembered how conflicted she felt about the wedding, it made her miss her mother and even honestly dislike Leblanc before both Yuna and Paine talked some sense into her. If she really thought about it Leblanc had essentially been as present and sometimes a little bit more so than her father had while she was in her late teens and early twenties.

"Paine Kerrigan…"

"Rikku Kerrigan…" Paine mocked.

Rikku smiled behind all the soap suds she had made. Making the decision to add on Paine's last name was probably one of the easiest one throughout the long term of wedding planning. She was always going to be a Bayla, but adding the Kerrigan was more of a symbolic thing for the life she wanted with Paine. Plus they flipped a coin and Rikku lost, but no one had to know that.

"Alright well that's not as annoying as you intended it to be." She could hear Paine let out a small chuckle. "Call."

"Fine, fuck."

"And stop cursing."


Rikku chuckled. "Thank you."


Rikku made sure to rinse off well and then turned off the water and pulled her towel around her before stepping out of the large tub. "I mean not today or anything but eventually…"

"Cursing?" She knew saying that was just Rikku wasting her breath. She had been cursing for a long time now.

"No silly, calling."

Paine's attention was lost at the sight of her wife fresh out of the shower. "We might as well send out a mass email." She joked dryly before putting her comb down and pulling Rikku close.

Rikku gave Paine a look to her comment but not to her actions. "We could be dead in a ditch."

"Or we could be doing it in a ditch."

Rikku had to laugh a little. "Alright I guess I see your point."


Rikku placed her hands on Paine's strong biceps and enjoyed the tender kiss they shared. "You know there is room service..."

Paine smirked and lowered her hands. "You read my mind."


Rikku moaned softly and lessened her grip of soft smoky hair. "What?" She murmured. Why was Paine stopping?

Paine looked down at Rikku. "You don't wanna go?" They had an appointment to go chocobo riding that Paine was actually pretty fucking excited about, but by the time they got back from eating and fooling around some more time escaped them. It was only Paine coming up for air that caused her to see what time it was.

Rikku just stared up at Paine in the well lit room; confusion and mild annoyance evident on her features. "What?"

Paine shifted. "Chocobo riding babe." She said softly.

Rikku let her arms drop from around Paine's almost naked upper torso. "You stopped because of—"

"I'm just asking."

Rikku closed her eyes and shook her head. "Pypo…"

"We already put down a deposit."

"Of five dollars."

"Money doesn't grow on trees."

Rikku chuckled to herself and then opened her eyes again. She smirked lightly to herself when she realized something. Snaking her arms back up Paine's and around her neck she purred. "Don't you want me to ride you instead?"

For a brief second Paine didn't say anything. Rikku knew she was confusing her between two things she wanted more than anything and it was hilarious to see the gears turning as she nonverbally weighted the pros and cons.

Eventually Paine leaned down and pecked Rikku's lips. "You know I do." She breathed. "But….you said we would…"

Rikku smiled softly. "You're adorable."

Paine made a face. "I just thought it'd be nice to actually do something here…"

The blonde laughed at how quickly she jumped to the defensive when being called something that had little to no threat power. Rikku sat up. "You're still adorable." She made a move to get off of the bed. "C'mon." Her wife wanted to go chocobo riding, well then she would take her chocobo riding.


Gippal furrowed his brows. "What the fuck you callin' me for?"

Paine rolled her eyes. "To tell you I'm not in a ditch."

"Is that code for you aint getting any?"

Paine exhaled. "How's Em?"

"Y'know…who knows. How's the wife?"

Paine looked over her shoulder back into the tiny storefront they stopped at. Rikku was at the counter buying something. "Spending money."

Gippal chuckled then paused. "You wanna run that by me again? What the fuck do you think this is choco- burger? I said no substitutes….yeah…..Hello?"

"Thought you didn't work on Mondays?"

"What the hell am I supposed to do with myself while this chick is off in Djose cutting people open?"

"Read a book?"


"So you two good then?" Elma and Gippal were eerily stable as a couple. It was scary. But then again they weren't even a couple right now since they broke up two months ago. Paine didn't want the details but it seemed things were fine at the wedding since she was Gippal's date.

The again they were Elma and Gippal, stable for them was probably an overstatement, but whatever the issue they were always together when they could be, that had to mean something right?

"I mean sure…Why?"

Paine shrugged. "Just makin' sure you're not getting into anything."

Gippal nodded appreciating the check up. He had relapsed once before and Paine was right there for him while he got through it. Now they checked on each other from time to time. When Paine got into that big fight with Rikku she had spent those two weeks with him trying to sort things out in her head, but most importantly trying to maintain her sobriety. "You good?"

Paine nodded to herself. "Yeah."

"Fuck then let's hang up, I gotta plate some stuff here, and you should be plating something as well, know what I'm sayin'?"

Paine shook her head. "Alright."

Then just like that they hung up. Paine stuffed her hands into her pockets and looked up the sleepy little store front street in Central, It was the central most habituated area of The Calm Lands, and they were spending one of their last days of their honeymoon exploring the little town. Tomorrow was Gagazet, and then the day after they would be heading home. Had a week gone by that quickly? Paine turned to enter the little boutique and walked up to Rikku who had just swiped her debit card for something.

"Paine look how cute this is."

Paine shook her head at the fabric. It was colorful, it was Rikku. "A shirt…"

"It's not a shirt it's a dress…duh." Rikku smiled at the woman at the counter who handed her the new purchase. "I think I'll wear it tonight." She said as she looped her hand through Paine's arm and walked out of the store. Rikku loved Calm Land weather; it was like springtime year round, she wasn't missing the cold, muggy streets of New Luca at all right now.

"I mean sure, just don't get mad when I end up punching someone."

"Oh stop, it's not that short."

"Baby to you short is like underwear."

"Your point?"

Paine chuckled. "Again, don't get mad."

Rikku just smiled as they walked back toward the cozy little BnB. "So who did you end up calling?"


"Ohh are he and Elma back together?"

"They seemed okay at the wedding right?"

Rikku shrugged. "Too busy staring at my wife."

Paine smiled. "Yea, me too. Guess we really have to watch the video when it comes in."

"Oh that's gonna be good, Yunie said people got real drunk after we left."

"I believe it, open bar? Definitely a Bayla move."

Rikku chuckled then elbowed Paine lightly in the rib. "Um, you weren't' exactly complaining."

"How could I? I was marrying the most amazing person in Spira."

Rikku grinned. "We're married now, you don't have to butter me up anymore."

"Really?" Paine visibly relaxed. "Fuck that took forever."


They continue their slow little walk just enjoying the time together. With them both working now the week had become mundane in ritual. It was nice to do things that weren't so boring and adultish.

"I'm sad we have to go home soon." Rikku looked about the streets. "It's so relaxing here."

"Yeah I know." The evening sun was out and the breeze light enough to cause a chill but not enough to be cold. An amazing feat for a January evening.

"We definitely need a vacation home here."

Paine laughed. "We don't even have a home home where we live."

"The apartment?"

Paine shrugged. "Yeah but, I was thinking maybe we should look into moving…" She had a wife now, somehow living in that tiny apartment didn't seem acceptable.

Rikku nodded slowly. "Yeah?" For Paine to actually bring it up like that meant she had been thinking about it for a while.

Paine nodded back. "If you want."

"We can at least look." She smiled to herself.

"Yeah cause after this week we're kinda broke for a little bit." They both wanted to do something nice for their honeymoon, so it was understood that some cash money was going to be dropped. It's what made Rikku buying a few nice things okay. They hadn't yet joined bank accounts but it was one of the first things to do upon their return. Rikku was serious about it. She had seen how miscommunication with Paine on money could lead to arguing and she didn't want that. They both made decent wages for what they did, Paine brought in a little bit more since she was essentially running Bridgeport Studios now, and Rikku was merely entry level in the firm. Her father had helped some with the wedding, but really they had spent enough to be on a tight budget when they got back, at least for a little while. Paine paid rent and Rikku paid for groceries and utilities and it worked out well enough for when they were just girlfriends but once they went to the bank she was sure she and Paine would have to sit down again. It was just one of those things about adulthood you heard about but never really dealt with until you were actually an adult. Paine was very…Paine. She liked to pay for things but then she was also frugal. Rikku hated going grocery shopping with her, so that's why she usually just did it herself. Paine didn't see the bill, she just saw the fridge was full and Rikku got all her favorite things. Rikku was sure she would need to cut back if they got a bigger place though.

"What do you want to do tonight?" Rikku asked.

Paine shrugged. "I'm kind of enjoying this doing nothing thing."

She smiled. "Good, you need to relax more." Paine had been stressing out a few months leading up to the wedding. Yfih ifihadnurk ert rydnurk Rikku always liked to say.

"Mm." Paine motioned to a bus stop. It was the first she had noticed in the little town. "You wanna go exploring?"

"On the bus?"

Paine chuckled. "Yeah I mean, it'll take us somewhere everyone around here goes, my first time seeing one…" She let go of Rikku's hand for a second before running up to the stop and grabbing a schedule before returning back to her wife's side. They got back into their room to find the bed made up with new sheets and the bathroom cleaned. Rikku left to go try on her new dress leaving Paine to plop down on the bed and open up the bus schedule and map. She followed a few routes with her finger and then grabbed Rikku's cell phone since it was the fanciest out of the two of them. She searched a couple of places and then decided that maybe tonight would turn out to be really fun after all.

"Babe," Paine opened the bathroom door. "You wanna go dancing?"

Rikku stopped adjusting her dress and beamed up at Paine. "You hate dancing."

Paine shrugged. "So?" It wasn't that she hated dancing she knew Rikku was just messing with her, it was that she knew Rikku loved dancing and what better way to spend one of their last night's here doing something they hadn't done since all the wedding planning started. "We can eat downstairs and then go. Sound good?"

"Where are we going?"

Paine motioned to the map. "Macalania Bizzarro district."


Paine held Rikku a little closer as they walked down the street sometime that night. "This place is fucking weird." She noted as they passed a man dressed as a chocobo chatting it up with a woman dressed as a man.

Rikku giggled. A little tipsy still from the drinks at the only dance club for miles around. "I like it here."

The streets were damp and smelt of earth. It was like something out of a fiction novel. The beautiful sparkling scenery of Macalania Woods played background to what reminded Paine of some of the more sketchier places in New Luca. But it just felt different, she wasn't necessarily scared, she was just….weirded out. "You would."

Rikku chuckled and leaned into Paine a little more. "I had fun tonight, wait till Yunie hears about this little place."

"You still gonna be up for that tour tomorrow?" Their scheduled group left sometime in the morning and it was already pretty late.

"Maybe…" Something had caught Rikku's eye. "Pai let's go in there." She pointed to a lit up store front on the corner just before where the late bus would come and pick them up.

Paine followed to where she was pointing and squinted to read the sign. "MunchBox? Sounds like a sex shop…"

"That's cause it is." Rikku laughed but then looked up at Paine to gauge her response to the suggestion.

Paine glanced down at Rikku then back up just as quickly. "I mean…we might miss our bus."

"We have like a whole half hour." Rikku pushed Paine along when she simply nodded. "It's not because of you or anything…" Rikku tried to read the unfamiliar look on Paine's face.

"Why would it be because of me?" She asked quickly.

Rikku laughed and took her wife's hand. "Let's just check it out, you never know you might see something you like."

The whole place just felt funny to Paine. First off there were dildos everywhere, she had never felt more gay than she did now standing in the lube section with her seemingly un-phased wife. They had been together for quite a while now, five years basically and things in the bedroom had always been hot the way they were right? Right? Rikku never complained…

Paine followed Rikku down the aisles with her hands in her pockets. For starters she was never a browsing type of girl, she liked to know what she wanted before even going into a store, second off she didn't think she'd really know what to want from a sex shop. They didn't need lube, so why were they even in this section? Did they need lube?

"Do we need lube?" Paine asked quietly.

Rikku couldn't be enjoying herself any more than if she were up in her old attic painting Paine nude. She could tell her wife was uncomfortable, but it was a cute uncomfortable not an upset uncomfortable. She could tell the taller woman was questioning just about everything she laid her eyes on, and she could tell everything that she even glanced at for more than a second was making Paine wonder something.

"No." Rikku looked over her shoulder at her. "Just looking."

Paine nodded and cleared her throat a little.

Rikku hid her smile. "I was thinking though…"


"Maybe we could…" She tilted her chin. "Try something new."

Paine was quiet a moment. "Like what?" Rikku shrugged and headed down the strap on section. Paine followed after her quickly. "I don't know about.." She glanced at a leather onesie attached to a dildo the size of her arm. "This…"

"Neither do I, y'know you're my first and my forever so I was just thinking that maybe…"

Paine bit the inside of her mouth gently. "You want me to…y'know." She motioned to the wall of rubber. It wasn't like she was completely against the idea, but all of a sudden she felt fourteen again. Clumsy and unsure, and this was Rikku, she had always been so confident about sex with her. Paine had zero real experience with strapping it on. I mean it couldn't be too hard…Paine briefly wondered why they were having this encounter so late in their relationship. I mean they were fucking married. Didn't married people have all this shit figured out already?

Rikku bit her lip too, a little blush at her ears. "I mean it can't be too bad."

"But it's like…a dick."

"Well but it'd be you see, and that'd be…" Rikku looked back to Paine. "That'd be okay…I read that lots of lesbians do it."

"I know." Paine said quickly. She didn't want to make it seem like she wasn't as good or like she had reservations. "Whatever you want baby." She decided that Rikku had read somewhere about something that meant she had to look it up and maybe this was awkward for her too. She didn't want Rikku to feel like she were missing something she supposed. Whatever Rikku wanted it was her job to give it to her, especially in this department seeing as how they vowed to be monogamous. "I mean we're married now so…" Paine shrugged not even knowing what that had to do with anything.

Rikku laughed a little then looked back to the wall. "I wouldn't even know where to start…how about a cute color…"

"It's not a scarf Rikks…"

"Alright so like pink or…oh, here's a green one, you like green."

"Not on a dick." Paine blurted out.

"They're not dicks Pypo." Rikku shushed.

"Alright alright…." Paine sighed and glanced about the wall. "Why are we in the small section?"

Rikku burst out in laughter and then tried to contain it when she realized Paine wasn't joking. "Oh so you think you'd be bigger?"

Paine nodded. "I mean…c'mon."

Rikku found the little stance Paine shifted into hilarious. "Alright Pai, you pick then."

Her confidence was gone just as fast as it came. "No what? This was your idea."

"And what makes you think I wouldn't want to use it?"

"Oh who?" Paine looked around behind her. "Nah, sorry Princess."

Rikku rolled her eyes. "Oh stop, you and I both know that you like—"

"Would you just pick one then? Fuck." Paine walked off mumbling leaving Rikku chuckling.

She loved her wife, and that was just that.

On the bus ride home Paine was trying very hard to ignore the grinning Al Bhed sitting beside her.


Paine paced the bedroom with vigor.

Did she wait before things got hot and heavy to put it on? Or did she have it ready…

"For the love of fuck." Paine growled at herself. This in her mind was not the time and place. She had loved women all of her life, and yeah when she was younger she wondered what having an extra part would feel like, she didn't necessarily want one, but she had wondered. Then she turned out to be very capable of getting things done on her own. Hell she had kept Rikku happy for years. Why was she making her do this! "I mean it aint like you never wanted to." Paine reminded herself as she continued to pace with the light purple dildo in her left hand and the strap on part in her right.

Rikku pretended to be "getting comfortable" in the bathroom, when really she was sitting on the sink playing a game on her phone while she listened to her crazy wife pace and talk to herself. Was it mean? Rikku didn't think so, Paine was the love of her life, she understood when things were new for her she got nervous…maybe not to this degree but it was a learning process. She found it endearing. This was the woman she had married and she loved her for it. With a little sigh and a yawn Rikku hopped off of the sink and turned the shower off. She was a little surprised when Paine knocked on the door.

Rikku opened it and smiled. "Hello."

"C'mon." Paine motioned to the room.

"Are you rushing me?" Rikku chuckled.

Paine shook her head no. "I'm a lil…"She ran a hand through her hair. "I mean I'm twenty five."

Rikku laughed and put her arms around Paine's neck. "You know what I think?"


"I think you need a drink."

Paine laughed. "I'm freaking out for nothing aren't I?"

Rikku nodded. "A little, but it's cute so I'll allow it."

"I was thinking about it and I…" Paine shrugged. "I don't wanna hurt you or nothing…maybe we should have gotten a smaller.."

The blonde smiled softly. "Pai it's just for fun, relax hm? You know what I like? I like you." She rubbed her hands up and down her wife's toned arms. "I like how you feel, and how you smell, and just everything. I'm not trying to replace you."

Paine laughed a little. "I know I know…" She put her arms around Rikku. "Just kinda took me for surprise."

"So you've never ever?"


Rikku smirked. "Well tonight's your lucky night."

Paine gave Rikku a look. "No."

"Ah c'mon."


"We'll flip a coin."

Paine paused. "….Alright fine, go get one."



Paine was a fast learner….

"Fuck baby." Paine breathed at the nonsense Rikku was sputtering as she hit the block before Orgasm Avenue.

Rikku swore she was going to die. She just couldn't deal with the way Paine rolled her hips like no matter what she had she was made to love her. Right now she just happened to be equipped with a little extra. The blonde realized this had to be payback for what she had done not long ago that had the Judo fighter submitting in the sexiest of ways.

Paine used her palms to lean on as she slowed down on purpose. "Cum." She ordered as she grinded her hips in slower. Rikku responded by moaning loudly. She jerked a second later and grabbed at Paine's arm beside her head.

"Mmm Here?" Paine jumped her whole body into the motion.

"Ye-Y-Y-Yes!" Rikku's back arched high off the bed. Paine wrapped her left arm under her back and fell on top of her completely, using the bed as leverage as she pushed deeper.

"Right here Princess?" She asked again into Rikku's ear hoarsely.

"Painne..Pypo…mmm." She took a deep breath and held it shakily as she felt her wife's tongue coil gently against her ear lobe. "Vilg…uh.."

Not long later Rikku found herself in the afterglow of one very hot love session with her new Mrs. The room was dim; lit only by a few amber lamps, she was hungry and sleepy and warm and happy. The blonde watched as Paine ridded herself of the extra appendage and disappeared to the bathroom, moments later returning with a tall glass of warm water and shorts and a tank top on. She drank half then set it on the nightstand before running a hand through her hair and climbing into bed on Rikku's left. The blonde immediately took this as the opportunity to turn towards her and cuddle as best as she could while wrapped up in a blanket.

Paine chuckled at the amount of blanket between them "Baby." It was raspy, the kind of raspy Rikku loved.

"Come come." She whispered and pulled Paine closer.

Paine leaned over her and smirked a little. "You good?"

Rikku offered a similar smirk in return. "Are you?"

The tips of Paine's ears flushed a little but not more so than her entire body was right now from her previous activity. Paine nodded and sighed gently as she settled back on her back. Rikku uncoiled some of the blanket and covered Paine's lower torso as she wrapped one of her legs between Paine's. Paine adjusted herself so that her arm was around Rikku and the other behind her own head.

That had been an experience.

Paine nodded in the thought. She snuck a glance at Rikku who was resting her cheek against the inside of Paine's shoulder and had her eyes closed. She had meant for it to be a glance but staring at Rikku as her wife was still so new. For the longest time they had been girlfriends, and for a short time fiancés, her image never changed in Paine's eyes. She was Rikku and that was that, now though, well things just seemed more…heavy. More real, she was a woman, a woman who had grown so much and now was pledging herself to her forever. Things had to change, Paine wasn't quite sure what exactly, nothing was really wrong, but this was her wife. She came before everyone and Paine needed to keep that in mind always.

"You're gorgeous." She whispered.

Rikku's eyes opened and found Paine's. They lay like that for a long time, neither saying anything. Finally Rikku used her right hand to rub Paine's stomach softly. "E muja oui."

They kissed.

You couldn't tell her five years ago that she would be lying here, married, with a woman. Rikku just wouldn't have accepted it, but everything just changed so fast, everything she knew and everything she learned with Paine. Growing with her had been one of the greatest joys, and yeah everything was far from cookie cutter perfect. There were days where they were so out of sync that all they did was argue, but it was never as real as their last blow out. From that moment when Paine came home Rikku knew she wasn't letting her go ever, she simply couldn't go about things without her. She had done the damage, and it had hurt Paine.

Never again

She wouldn't turn into her father, no job was that important. The one thing she wanted most was lying right here beside her.

"Pypo?" Rikku whispered.

Paine turned back to her from staring at the ceiling. "Yeah?"

"I'm confused."

Paine studied her for a second and then turned her body to face her. "About what?"

Rikku sighed and made a little noise that Paine found completely adorable. "I'm hungry but I'm also really sleepy…I wish you could eat food for me and it would go to me." She pouted.

Paine eased into a smile. "You asking me to make you a sandwich?"

A little grin played on her mouth. "What else are wives for?"

Paine chuckled. "Lovin' you up, which I just did, amazingly I might add." She made a show of stretching out. "I did my duty."

Rikku rolled her eyes then closed them as she snuggled closer to Paine. "Oh please, I carry this team." She yawned then.

Once the amusement died down Paine yawned lightly. "You want me to go downstairs and get you something though?"

Rikku barely shook her head no.

"Alright well I need to go to the bathroom so…Princess?" Paine waited for her to nod or something. "Ri…" When she got no reply Paine sighed heavily, she was tangled up in Rikku and to get up to go to the bathroom would just wake her up and she knew how tired she was from their daily excursions and nightly activities.

With another yawn Paine realized that she'd just have to hold it till Rikku was in a deeper sleep.

Marriage was compromise after all right?



"Alright right already, she cut you off, get over it." Rikku sighed heavily as she put her bags down in the tiny living room of their apartment. They had had a long trip home and it was clear to them both that they were just tired.

"Where did she buy her damn license is what I want to know." Paine kicked out of her shoes before going tin to the kitchen to get water.

"Oui you are so exhausting to travel with." Rikku rolled her eyes and stepped out of her flats and moved to gather Paine's forgotten shoes.

"Yeah well…If people weren't so fucking—"

"Can you pour me some water too?"

Paine sighed, maybe she should let it go, they were home safe and sound and oh yeah, she was married. With a silent nod to herself Paine grabbed an extra glass. "Yeah."

Rikku walked over to the pressed the little red light on their answering machine.

"Hi, you've reached Rikku Bayla" Came Rikku's voice before Paine jumped in. "And Paine Kerrigan." Then Rikku again. "We aren't able to come to the phone right now, but leave your name and number and we'll get back to you as soon as possible, bye!"


"Hey guys it's me." It was Lai. "Work here is getting extended a bit, won't be back for a week it seems. Anyway hope the honeymoon went well, Paine I'll give you a call when I can. Bye." Rikku leaned forward from her spot on the couch to hear the next message.

"Now?" A little voice came on the phone.

"Yeah, say it now." Came Wakka's encouraging whisper.

"Hi Aunty Pai and Aunty Weekku."

Rikku's heart melted every time Vidina said her name these days. "Pai it's Viddy!" She called. Paine emerged a second later and leaned on the back of the couch over Rikku.

"Um…Daddy said dat I should say sometin' so I'm sayin' sometin'…..Huh?" They could hear Wakka in the background. "Oh happy wedding! and..nd moons! Bye!"

"Oh my gosh he's too much." Rikku cooed.

Paine chuckled. "I can't believe he's using the phone now."

"Pretty soon he'll be doing pre-calculus." Rikku shook her head and then went to the next message.

"Milan it's your father. Call me immediately when you get this."

"Uh oh." Paine chuckled.

Rikku rolled her eyes and checked the date on the last one. "He called right before we got in."

Paine went back into the kitchen. "Call him back."

"Ugh. Alright." Rikku picked up the phone and dialed her old house number. "Ma!" She furrowed her brows when Leblanc didn't sound annoyed but more worried. "Where's Pop, Paine and I just got in…mhm…" She glanced at Paine who raised an eyebrow at Rikku's confused expression. "Pop….no I'm good..sitting? Yeah why?..." Rikku stilled. "Ruf?" She whispered. She gulped quietly and her eyes shot to Paine's quickly. Paine knew the look well. Something had happened. "…Yeah…n…no I'm fine…. Yunie? I…I….okay…Pop?" The last word sounding a bit wobbly. "Tet cra...fyc cra eh byeh?" Rikku looked to the ground. "Okay…yes…I-I love you too…bye."

"What happened?"

Rikku held the phone in between her hands carefully, she was clearly still in shock at whatever news she had just received. "Knyhtsy passed away last night..."

AN: I'mmm baccckkkkk. Oh and am I excited lol. First off everyone who reviewed CnC you are amazing, and I do appreciate your words of encouragement. I hope you all enjoy this fic just as much as the first. Tell me what you think of the start up. Review!