Hurray! An update! A big thank you to all of you who read my story and review, I really appreciate it. I wonder how you will take this chapter. I've been working hard in school, so I didn't have much time to work on it. Explains why it's so short :P
I DON'T own any of the Final Fantasy characters or original story/plot :)
Chapter 4: Matters Of Trust
Where am I? Rikku thought, scanning the room in desperate need of realization. She diverted her attention to an unconscious Yuna whose body was spread out on the floor in a sloppy manner. She was incredibly still, urging Rikku's instincts to do something.
"Help!" Her squeaky voice rang loud, but to no one in particular. Scrambling to get off the bed, she noticed that she wasn't wearing her permeable suit. Instead, she had big old robes of a red-wine color. Only after a second, she resumed her examination of Yuna.
"Don't touch her!" Wakka's rough voice was heard from the entrance of the hut. Rikku flinched.
"I-I'm..." She stayed speechless while kneeling down in front of the petite young girl. Wakka glared at her, never looking away, he picked up Yuna in his arms and placed her delicately on a bed opposite of where the Al Bhed was once resting.
"What happened-" Lulu followed into the hut, but stopped in mid question after seeing the bright eyed blond awake and breathing. "Are you okay?"
"Yes." Rikku's eyes were hiding pain yet after hearing Lulu's words of comfort they began to soften. Weakly, she supported herself on the bed and got up on her feet. The robe hung itself on her left shoulder, but not for long as she quickly put the sleeve back in its place.
"I'm sorry to ask," Rikku continued, "but where am I?"
Lulu chuckled, "There's nothing to be sorry about. You're in Besaid."
"Yeah-'Oh'" Wakka said mockingly.
"Wakka," Lulu's stern voice was like a bucket of cold water; he became tense. "I apologize for my husband, he's not very comfortable around Al Bheds."
"I see..." Rikku sat back on the bed and looked down. Her feet hung inches away from the floor.
"Would you like something to eat?" Lulu gave Rikku a weak smile.
"Um...I think I better no-"
"None sense!" Lulu interrupted, "You're weak and in need of nutrition. I'll make some Chocobo soup- Wakka?"
Rikku watched the two walk out of the hut. On the inside, she was amused to see Wakka's submissive nature when fazed by Lulu. Minutes passed and Rikku stayed in the same position, sitting on the bed, eventually crossing her legs from the discomfort. She focused her attention on Yuna, she looked pale, like she was dead. Rikku shuddered.
"I wonder why Wakka and Lulu didn't mind her being knocked-out..." She muttered, then she recoiled after witnessing a slight movement from her. Yuna's fingers jerked and her eyes scrunched together. Maybe it's a nightmare? Rikku thought.
"What is wrong with you?" Lulu exclaimed, churning the Chocobo soup in a small pot over the fire.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He rumbled.
"...You can't go around hating every Al Bhed you come across..." The woman sighed, keeping her eyes fixed on the meal.
"Oh, c'mon Lu," His hands snaked around her slim waist and his head found shelter at the nook of her neck.
"Wakka..." Her grim tone was enough to make him step away.
"Fine, okay, ya? Whaddaya want me to say?"
He frowned, the usual laid back Wakka was gone. His frustration didn't do much to change Lulu's mind, so he groaned in defeat once again before walking away to their own hut. Lulu knew him well, he was going to apologize in time. She didn't chase after him like a worried mother knowing this, instead she walked back to the crusader's hut. Her delicate, pale hand touched the fabric of the curtain-door and, with the same grace, she pushed it out of her way as she entered.
"Oh!" She exclaimed, putting the bowl of chocobo soup on a bedside stand. "Yuna, you're awake!"
"Yo! Brother!" A young Al Bhed with a light chocolate tan and fit body shape strolled through the bridge of Brother's newly repaired airship, Celcius.
"Yr, Pitto! Ruf tu oui mega so pypo?-(Ah, Buddy! How do you like my baby?)-" Brother yelled back. He leaned by the captain's seat feeling self confidence after fixing a few glitches.
"Well, I can't say much. It's almost unbelievable that you fixed her..." Buddy snickered knowingly.
"Yeah, yeah, so maybe Gippal helped me out, but that doesn't-"
"Save it, Brother. I can tell by the screws and bonding material, it's all from Djose and Gippal's newly discovered machines." Buddy fixed his beryl goggles, making sure they felt tight against the oily skin under his eyes, his attention was centered on the refurbished computers and newly installed contraptions. "I remember when we found this ship," he continued with nostalgia, "I can't believe we were crazy enough to venture into a sea of ice. Man, we were freezing our blitzballs off!" He chuckled, acquiring a laugh from Brother, too.
"So have you found Rikku?"
"Hell no! I had spent my time at Djose with Gippal trying to fix airship." Brother's heavy Al Bhed accent lay bare, his tongue working hard to pronounce correctly but eventually giving up and blurting out Al Bhed.
"Brother, I really wanna ride this baby again. Do you, er, think I could help you search?" Buddy asked with a grin.
"...Sure, why not." Brother answered, defeated, he walked away thinking that Buddy was just too optimistic for his liking.
"Woohoo!" He ran, or hopped, to the station on the left side of the captain's station. Expertly, he pressed buttons and the small computer screen lit. It functioned to his delight, a fast processing computer with GPS. His eyes widened under his goggles, as he beamed and simpered in his seat, "I think I'm gonna really enjoy this..."
"Well, well, well, If it isn't our little Tidus? Haha! How was the trip? Did Gippal get drunk?" A boy with spiky blond hair, similar to Tidus's, and with the same familiar cerulean eyes looked amused. He laid on an extensive, beige couch. His looks were just as handsome, a very athletic young man from first glance, but with a gentle and playful aura.
"Quit laughing at my pain and help me with my bag, Shuyin!" Tidus retorted, he was acting just as frisky as he entered their fancy boat house.
"Fine," He stood up from his comfortable position and took the heavy bag from the other. "I told you that Gippal was gonna do this to you again, but since your older bro doesn't have a say in this house.." Shuyin muttered, leaving down a hall and into Tidus's room.
"Yo, chill your ass! I just wanted to get away from all the fame!" Tidus yelled from the kitchen. He began to stuff his face with potato chips.
"Oh, well boo-hoo! You are such a victim!" Shuyin sarcastically cracked, he strolled into the carpeted living room.
"Shut up!" Tidus yelled with his mouth full.
"Didn't I teach you to chew with your mouth closed?" Shuyin teasingly smacked him in the face and walked over to the T.V. "Like, damn, act like the super star Blitz player you are!"
"I get that from coach all the time, I don't need it from you." Tidus plopped himself next to Shuyin with two cans of soda.
"Sorry dude, but you knew the perks that came with being a Blitzball player for the Abes."
Shuyin was right. Tidus knew from the moment he tried out, and from the moment he got accepted that his life was going to make a drastic turn for the glamour. In Zanarkand, being part of a prestigious Blitz team like the Zanarkand Abes was enough to treat you like a celebrity. Tidus believed it was more of a curse. He watched his own father, Jecht, drown himself in bottles of beer and women before reaching his demise 10 years ago. He didn't want that happening to him either, but he wanted something to be proud of. He wanted to be a blitzball player, it was the only thing he was good at. It might be a sport to someone else, but to him it was an inspiration that drew him into being the best he could be. However, he could never admit he was the best. Being crowned the star player still didn't change that thought. Only thinking about it made him remember his father... "There's no one better than me, kid! I'm the best! Haha!"
"Hey man, what's wrong?" Shuyin nudged Tidus, making him snap back to the present.
"Huh? Nothing, I just remembered something." He shook his head, handing Shuyin a can of soda.
"Whatever you say..."
Rikku finished her soup briskly, savoring the delicious taste of it. Her energy seemed to replenish itself after the meal, so she thanked the regal woman with sincere gratitude.
"So what's your name?" Yuna kindly asked, she gave her an eye-smile while drinking from her own bowl of soup. Lulu sat on the side, mostly watching the two girls socialize. It was a rare sight to see Yuna talking to girls around her own age.
"My name is Rikku, and thank you for taking care of me. I thought I was a goner." She giggled.
"You're very welcome...Rikku..." Yuna's thoughts wandered after saying the familiar name. In the back of her mind, she knew that name was associated with a certain Al Bhed.
"My brother is probably looking for me, if not my father would've killed him!" She smiled, but the other two women gasped. "Not seriously!" Rikku smiled with a nonchalant nod.
"Um, may I know who this brother of yours is?" Yuna asked with intrigue, her eyebrows furrowed together.
"His name is Brother. Yeah, I know, what a weird-"
"You're Rikku! And you're Brother's sister!" Yuna exclaimed. She stood up, pointing at Rikku with wide eyes. Rikku's short hair slightly bounced as she hopped up from her seat, the blond hair was pulled back slightly with stray strands framing her small face.
"Uh, yeah. Is that a bad thing?" She asked in a panic.
"No! No, not at all..." Yuna trailed off with a smile.
"Where have you been? Have you found any trace of her?" Cid boomed through his spacious office at Home. Brother trembled, a sudden urge to use the bathroom came over him.
"Sir, dad, I..." He tried to look for words to explain his delay in the search of his sister.
"Spit it out boy!" Cid lit a new fresh cigar in his mouth.
"I kinda went to Djose to get the Celcius fixed and-"
"YOU WHAT?" He yelled once more, droplets of spit trickled out of his mouth in his effort to keep the cigar inside his mouth. Brother found it disgusting, so he backed away slowly.
"I really want to find Rikku, and the only way to find her in a short amount of time is by using the Celcius! Zicd dnicd sa uh drec!-(Just trust me on this!)-"
Cid scoffed and shrugged at him, indignant. "I never thought you would do this to me," he muttered, "the machine faction is forbidden for you and your sister! You both knew! But, hell, no one listens to the main authority nowadays! ed'c ihyllabdypma! -(It's unacceptable!)-"
Brother felt anger rise inside of him. Fire threatened to escape his mouth as he thought of the many things he wished to say. He had so much on his mind, so many responsibilities he didn't even what to do. He admitted he wasn't always the brightest; Rikku was the clever one, hence Cid's favorite child as the years passed. He had reached his breaking point, angered, especially because he didn't have anything to do with his father's rivalry with Gippal. The once loyal to Home youngster became the leader of a completely separate headquarter to Al Bheds. Cid's power was endangered, and all because Gippal wanted machines to clear the tainted history of their kind.
Brother would never betray his father, much less would Rikku. But from the looks of it, Cid was digging his own grave.
"Vunkad oui, Let! Uhla E veht Neggi, drana'c hu fyo oui'mm ajan caa ic ykyeh!-(Forget you, Cid! Once I find Rikku, there's no way you'll ever see us again!)-" Brother stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind him and avoiding any eye contact with Cid. He questioned whether what he said was true, if he meant it in any way. Brother was never the one to hold a grudge, but seeing his dad so paranoid, even with his own son and daughter, tainted his heart with hatred and resentment.
There was no way Rikku would like to see her beloved daddy after hearing this news. Brother knew exactly how she felt about Gippal. Not even her father's words could separate her from someone so dear to her.
"So," Rikku kicked a pebble on the dirt path. "you're my...cousin?"
"Yes! You don't know how happy I am to meet you!" Yuna stared up at the clouds. It was a beautiful, clear morning. Yuna didn't hesitate to tell Rikku the truth last night after dinner. Lulu was just as delighted, the news might raise the sender's spirits up. She noticed that Yuna had been spacing out a lot lately, and if it wasn't for her independent attitude, Lulu would've taken the changing moods more seriously. Now, the two cousins were getting to know each other as they explored the island together.
"I wonder why Cid never mentioned you..." Rikku trailed off, crossing her arms in front of her small chest. The villagers returned the clothes she wore under her permeable suit, they were wet but intact, whereas the suit was torn from the explosion.
"He never mentioned me?" Yuna looked down to face Rikku. She had a nervous expression.
"Well, he, er...no. He didn't. He doesn't really talk about family. He's always focused on business and keeping Home safe."
"I see." Yuna continued to look up at the sky, yet her happiness wasn't as radiant as before.
"Don't worry Yunie, I bet he's just constantly busy so he doesn't find the right time to tell us. I mean, you are a long lost cousin, right?" Rikku grinned at her, oblivious to her amused expression at the new nickname she gave her.
"Yunie? I kinda like it."
"Well, why don't you tell me more about you? You seem to be around my age, right?"
"Well, yes. I am seventeen and I'm a sender."
"Whoa! You're a sender? That must be very hard to do! Why would you do something like that?" Rikku skipped over to the bridge by the waterfall. She invited Yuna over to sit down next to her, the two girls let their legs dangle from the ledge of the bridge.
"I guess it's a sense of duty. My father is High Summoner Braska, after all."
"No way! That's...shocking." Rikku took in the amazing view of the forest-jungle. Everything seemed to be lively, the tropical colors and sounds of the fauna was something new for her.
"I'm only fifteen, so I don't have much care about my sense of duty. Not that I have a duty to take care of at the moment."
Yuna giggled, "You can say that I enjoy being a sender, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I just wish I could be myself sometimes, but I can't do it. It's hard after years of practicing the art of hiding my emotions." Her smile faded and slowly turned to a frown.
"I'm sure you'll find the one thing that will make you happy. You just need to get out there and experience more of life. Don't you ever get out of this island?"
Yuna sharply looked up. No, she never left the island. It was her home since she was a child. It was her home since she could remember her father's face, and since she could remember herself deciding to become a sender. She loved being here. But she hated the restrictions. She hated the responsibilities. She hated watching death, dealing with death. It was all too depressing for her happy nature.
"Rikku, I want to know what happiness is." Yuna's serious statement took Rikku by surprise, she didn't really know what real happiness was either. Even so, she knew the happiness that came with love.
A long moment of silence went by as she tried to find an explanation for Yuna's marvel. The two didn't mind the awkward silence either, the quiet brought peace.
Until Rikku got an idea.
"Oh! I know!" Yuna flinched at her high pitched squeak. It made her shudder and cringe. Rikku ignored her reaction and continued to share her idea.
"Why don't you come with me? We can explore Spira on our way to Home!" Rikku clapped her hands together. Yuna was expressionless.
"I don't know. I mean, where would I stay?"
"Don't worry! Cid will be glad to take you in!"
Yuna weighed her options. Maybe, if Rikku takes her Home, she might be able to convince her into taking her to Zanarkand. Inside, she felt afraid to meet Cid. He sounded like a tough daddy from Rikku's explanation.
"Sure...But how will I explain this to Lulu and Wakka?"
"Who said you need to explain? C'mon, Yunie! You're seventeen, you should be able to make your own decisions by now!"
Yuna bit her lip in doubt, her throat became swollen from the thought of running away.
"I don't think that's-"
"Yunie! Just trust me!"
Gippal paced outside the temple, he swung his arm back-and-forth with a cigarette between his index and middle finger. Honestly, he was never the type to smoke. In fact, there must be a crisis for him to inhale on the drug. Thoughts of Rikku's whereabouts kept popping into his head during another work day in the Machine Faction. Things went wrong and he was unusually clumsy. The day was never going to end for him, not until Brother found Rikku. Just as he thought about Brother, the fiery red Celcius came descending on Djose grounds.
"Nothing?" Gippal asked without bothering to shout. He installed a powerful microphone that picked up sound waves with ease. Any one talking from outside of the Celcius could be heard from the inside. Not that he wanted Brother to go around snooping on people, but he wanted him to communicate with Rikku easily if he found her or she spotted the airship.
Brother sighed on the loud speaker, "No, and what's worse is that I got scolded for visiting the faction."
"Man, you're truly stupid. Why tell your dad something like that. You're endangering my workers by provoking your father!" Gippal threw the cigarette on the ground and crushed it with his foot.
"That's the least of my worries. Right now I have Buddy trying to track down Rikku all over the southern Spiran peninsula. No luck around the ruins, the perimeter is deserted."
Gippal cursed under his breath, "Well have you tried going to other islands. Like Besaid?"
"No. We were gonna be on our way tomorrow morning, there was going to be a tropical storm tonight."
"O-K! Contact me when you find the kiddo." Gippal waved one last time before running back into the temple. He needed to fix the mess-ups of today's work. There were new inventions he had been dying to work on, but never could because of the more important research on machina he dug out in Bikanel Island. All in all, he had to trust this one job in Brother's hands and Buddy's brains.
Yuna woke up, looking at the machina beside her bead. It read 7 A.M. She groggily sat up and looked over at Rikku laying peacefully on the bed next to hers. She was wrapped in her blanket in a fetal position, quiet snores purred out of her. Yuna found this opportunity to escape to her favorite side of the island. She needed some time to think about her choices. She didn't want to leave Besaid, but Rikku might be a once in a life time chance for her to escape definitely. But wouldn't it be easier to tell Lulu? She promised she would be there to listen, right?
She began to put on the layers of her Kimono. The cloth felt like silk against her skin; goosebumps arose as she walked out into the cold, humid morning weather. She walked down the usual dirt path, but soon went into a hidden path between the bushes. Minutes passed until she finally came in contact with the sand of the beach. Swiftly, she took off her boots and dug her toes into it.
"I missed this..." She whispered to herself with a sigh.