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Double or Nothing

Title: Double or Nothing
Rating: PG
Words: 774
Challenge: Gippal’s reaction to Rikku + Tidus
Note: Happy belated birthday, halfling_rogue!


“Pay up.”

Gippal gave an overly dramatic sigh as he reached for his wallet. “It was a stupid bet.”

“You just say it was stupid because you lost.” She shoved his feet off his desk and perched on top of the surface. “Five gil, please.”

He put the piece in her waiting palm and tucked his wallet away. “I still say that having a pro Blitz player on your team tipped the scales somewhat.”

Rikku shrugged. “I gotta admit; you’ve improved since the last time we played.”

“The last time we played, you were eleven and jabbing everyone with your skinny little elbows.” He leaned back in his chair. “Which, by the way, was highly illegal of you to do.”

“Oh yeah, like you weren’t holding onto my leg at the time.”

“Fouls only count if someone catches them.”

She leaned back on his desk, her palm squashing several folded plans. “I’m glad we caught you during a slow time.”

“Yeah, me too.” Several of the workers had joined in on the impromptu Blitz game, which had raised morale several notches.

“And I’m glad that you’re not mad at me.”

He frowned. “Why would I be?”

She fidgeted. “Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Tidus recently. I haven’t had many chances to come visit you.” She looked at him from under her bangs, as if she was trying to read his expression for any signs of irritation. Ever since Tidus had come back, they’d resumed their friendship, complete with horsing around and shoving the other. She always felt self-conscious when Gippal was around, as if she shouldn’t do the things that she used to do with him with other guys.

“It’s okay. I know you’ve been busy.” He reached out and unknotted a snarl at the end of her scarf. “But speaking of Tidus, tell him it’s ‘tysh, cra’c lida’ instead of ‘tosh cra’c lida.’”

She laughed. “Who did he say that about?”

“Yuna. Which I’ve got to agree, she is pretty darn cute. Though if I were talking about my girlfriend to another guy, I probably would have described her as something other than cute, but that’s just me.”

“You don’t mind that I taught him Al Bhed?” Well, Rin had started him off, but once the cat was out of the bag about Rikku’s heritage, she openly tutored him on the course of their pilgrimage.

“Should I be?” He leaned forward. “You mind that I taught Paine?”

“No.” She looked away. Okay, so at first she had been a little upset, but then she realized that Paine hadn’t been interested in him. Maybe that was what was so awkward - if she looked at Tidus and squinted, she could kind of see Gippal. While she was Yuna’s guardian, she had missed Gippal so much. Tidus managed to fill up the void he had left, becoming the person that she could joke around and talk to without feeling like she had to worry about what she said or if she sounded dumb. For a short time, she even developed a crush on him.

“So you think that I should be jealous of all the time that you spend with him then?” He smirked. “Or the fact that you’re all buddy-buddy?”

She bit her lip. “Well, are you?”

He leaned back, his head hitting the back of his chair. “Nope.”

“No?”

“Not at all. Wanna know why?” He watched as she nodded. “So you guys hang out all the time. Big deal. There’s something that I can do that he can’t.”

She tilted her head. “Yeah? And what’s that?”

He couldn’t stop the grin that spread across his face. Before Rikku could react, he reached out and pulled her off the desk and onto his lap. Threading one hand into her hair and running the other over her knee, he swallowed her surprised squeak with his lips. Rikku relaxed against him, her hands tugging at his shirt to pull him closer to her. “That,” he told her smugly, rubbing his nose against hers. She sighed as his fingers played with the hem of her skirt. His lips skimmed over her jaw. “I demand a rematch.”

She pulled back a little. “Huh?”

“I want a rematch. Your team versus mine.”

She laughed, her fingers sifting through his hair. “What, so you can lose some more money to me?” Her breath hitched when his teeth nipped at her earlobe.

“You said it yourself; I’ve improved since the last time we played. I might have just been holding back and letting you win.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Wanna bet?”

Rikku arched her eyebrow. “You got five gil?”

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