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Kisses and Near Misses

Title: Kisses and Near Misses
Rating: PG-13
Words: 2,094
Challenge(s): first kiss; rapture, capture, cling
Summary: They don’t consider the first time they kissed to be their first kiss.
Note: Happy birthday, siilentfall!
Note the second: This was supposed to be a short, fluffy one-shot. The plot bunnies had other ideas though.


Rikku doesn’t consider the first time she kissed Gippal to be their first kiss. She had been thirteen to his fourteen and had been innocently walking around Home, minding her own business. Sure, maybe she might have finally developed where she didn’t have to stuff her bra with rags – not that she’d ever done it out in public, because from the privacy of her own room she could tell that she’d never be able to pull the look off – and yes, maybe a couple of boys her age were finally noticing that she had legs that didn’t come with gawky, bony knees. It still didn’t give Gippal any right to grab her and kiss her in front of all their friends. She did feel justified for biting him and the shocked look in his eye as she had stomped off had been satisfaction enough for her.

Still, it had taken her an entire week before she had gathered enough nerve to look him in the eye again without breaking into a fierce blush.

***

Gippal doesn’t consider the first time he kissed Rikku to be their first kiss. He had been fourteen to her thirteen and fed up with all the leers and jests the other boys were throwing in her direction when she was out of earshot. It wasn’t like she was wearing anything different or acting strangely, but it was as if someone had turned on a bright neon sign above her head that said ‘look at me’ that hadn’t previously been there before. Yes, her legs had filled out after a recent growth spurt – she was still puny and barely reached his shoulder – and no, he wasn’t ashamed to admit he had ogled her newly developed chest area with the avid interest of a hormonal teenager. It still didn’t give any of the other guys the right to do so, or to hoot out lewd comments they’d heard other men around Home say about other women.

So he did the only thing he knew to do: he grabbed her by the shoulders and planted one on her, just so the other guys knew she was his girl and that he’d deck anyone that said anything about her while he was in hearing range. He could only stare at her in shock, wiping at his bloody lip after she bit him. Their friends had fallen over laughing at him while he stood there watching her stomp away.

She didn’t talk to him for a whole week after that.

***

Rikku doesn’t consider the second time she kissed Gippal to be their first kiss. He had been sixteen to her fifteen and headed out to join the Crimson Squad. So many things had gone through her mind; what if he got hurt along the way? Who would look after him – because she knew that he needed looking after; if left alone to his own devices, who knew what trouble he might manage to get himself into – and who would he have to talk to?

More importantly, who would she have to talk to? They’d been part of a cohesive unit for years, Rikku and Gippal, Gippal and Rikku. There wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t see him or vice versa. It wasn’t like she couldn’t survive without him, but that she’d be incredibly lonely doing so.

He must have felt the same, because the night before he set out, he snuck into her bedroom. She pretended to be surprised. They hadn’t talked much, just held the other and shared desperate kisses, with her clinging to him as if she was trying to imprint the feel of his body on hers into her mind. He woke her up in the morning, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead. She smiled, even if she could feel the unspoken goodbye linger between them.

They didn’t need to say anything and she didn’t watch him as he left her room.

***

He doesn’t consider the second time he kissed Rikku to be their first kiss. It had been filled with too many goodbyes to be the foundation of an actual relationship. She had been fifteen to his sixteen at the time and trying hard to hide from him the fact that she was going to be leaving to become a guardian. It had been pointless for her to do: he had ears; he knew what she had been talking about with her father. What if she got hurt along the way? Who would look after her – and he knew that she needed looking after; if left to her own devices, who knew what she might wind blowing up – and who would she talk to?

He knew that he could make it on his own; he was a tough guy after all. It was Rikku that he worried about. They had been their own team, Gippal and Rikku, Rikku and Gippal, for so long that striking out on his own felt strange. It was just the idea that she’d be doing the same without someone she trusted watching her back that put him off balance.

That was the reasoning behind breaking into her bedroom that last night before he left. It was also why he had captured her mouth with his desperately, trying his best to memorize how warm and soft the skin at her waist felt under his hands, how silky her hair felt running through his fingers. He had woken up early the next morning, just staring at her as she slept beside him, and he knew he couldn’t leave without seeing her awake one last time. He’d kissed her on the forehead, just to see her smile, but that in itself was a sort of goodbye.

They didn’t need to say anything and he never looked back as he left her room.

***

She does consider the third time she kissed Gippal to be their first kiss. He’d been eighteen to her seventeen and already a leader of his own faction. So much for wanting to stay out of politics, like he had always said to her, just because he was a neutral party didn’t mean that he was entirely out of the loop. The first time she had seen him after two years apart had made the air in her chest clog up. He’d gotten taller and leaner, she wondered if he was eating like he should. There were faint dark circles under his eye, the patch he wore covering up the other. She had ached to jump into his arms and kiss him breathless, but had clenched her fists at her sides and had decided to follow his lead to see where he would take their relationship. If she had been disappointed by the fact that he hadn’t grabbed her like she had hoped he would, she hid it well.

Months after Vegnagun’s defeat, she had been sent on an errand by her father to Djose to solidify a contract deal with Gippal. He’d been aloof the last time she had seen him, so she decided to put away childish dreams and act as businesslike as she knew how. It hurt that he would treat her like that after all they had gone through together when they were younger, but she tried not to let it show.

She just couldn’t hide her surprise when Gippal had pinned her to his office door and knocked her breath away yet again. After recovering from the shock, she had kissed him back, laughing as he held onto her with one arm while walking backwards further into the room and sweeping the contents of his desk off the surface with the other.

“Hello there,” she whispered, tracing his face with shaky fingers, lingering over his mouth. He kissed her again, and it was like the years apart hadn’t ever happened.

***

He doesn’t consider the third time he kissed Rikku to be their first kiss. It was too hot, too full of need, too much of everything to be his idea of the start of anything new between them. If anything, it felt as if it picked up where they had left off two years ago, with a big helping of ‘I missed you’ added in.

When he first saw her after two years apart, she had stolen his breath away. She had been seventeen to his eighteen and sexy beyond description. Gone were the last traces of childhood roundness to her features, replaced with soft curves and exotic planes. She was tanned and lean with mile long legs – how she accomplished that feat while still only reaching to barely his shoulder was beyond him – that had made his hands itch to run down them. It took all he had not to grab her by her barely there wardrobe and kiss her, damned if they had an audience or not. He hadn’t though, putting his hands behind his back instead and following her lead to see where she would take their relationship. If he’d been disappointed by the fact that she hadn’t jumped into his arms like he had hoped she would, he hid it well.

Months after Vegnagun’s defeat, he had conned Cid into getting Rikku back up to Djose on a false pretext. There was no contract to negotiate over, but then again, Gippal wasn’t above using sneak tactics to see his girl. And she was his girl, whether she knew it or not.

He hadn’t been able to keep his hands to himself after all, pinning her to the door of his office as soon as she had closed it behind her. He had stared down at her in rapture as she not only wrapped her arms and legs around him, but had answered his kisses with just as much heat as his own, if not more. Her laughter against his mouth as he had blindly swept all the items off his desk had been welcome, something that had been missing in his life for too long.

“Hello there,” she had said, her hands on the sides of his face. He had replied with another kiss, feeling as if two years had never happened.

***

There had been many, many other times that Gippal had kissed Rikku, but it was the one he shared with her on a cold evening that he considered to be their first. She had been thirty to his thirty-one and had just come back from a trip to Gagazet. He hadn’t wanted to wait for her to get back to Djose, so he’d met her at the bottom of the mountain. Over the years they’d been friends and then eventually lovers. Every so often they’d bicker and then break up, only to make up again. They would spend months together some times and then be apart for months at a time. Neither of them had demanded it, but they had stopped seeing other people years ago, back when they were still teenagers and just starting to figure out who the other was.

He watched as she made her way down to him, her arms wrapped around her for warmth and a beaming smile on her face. Their time apart had shrunk down from months away to weeks, to now where even a day without seeing the other felt strange. It had taken some time, but they were back to their old team of Gippal and Rikku, Rikku and Gippal.

“I didn’t think I’d see you until later tonight,” she told him, sliding her hands up his chest and linking her fingers behind his head. He grinned down at her and rubbed his hands slowly up and down her back, loving the way she shivered under his fingers that had nothing to do with the cold.

“Maybe I missed you,” he answered, lowering his head to hers so their noses touched. His hands went from her back to her waist, finally stopping at the gentle curve of her stomach, where as he put it, a future engineer sat.

Her hand covered his, the wedding band cold against his skin. She seldom wore it, seeing that with their work it could get caught on any number of mechanical bits, but whenever he saw it on her hand; he couldn’t stop the rush of pride that went through him. “Well, maybe I missed you too,” she replied, standing up on tiptoe to press her lips against his. It was soft and sweet and full of the love that they shared for one another.

It was like coming home.

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