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Fair and Square

Title: Fair and Square
Rating: G
Challenge: first crush
Note: Happy Birthday, lady_nicole!

“I always wondered,” Rikku started, sitting next to him.

Gippal raised an eyebrow. It was never a good sign when his girlfriend started a sentence that way. “What?”

“What it was that you did to make Brother not like you as much as he does.”

Gippal shrugged. “Dunno. I can’t remember doing anything too bad to him.” As a boy, Gippal had played numerous pranks on the other children running around Home. Brother had just happened to be an easy target, especially since his temper had been on a short leash and he had looked like an angry chocobo when he threw a tantrum.

“He says you stole his first crush away from him.” Rikku leaned against Gippal’s left shoulder and playfully poked at his side. “That wouldn’t have happened to be Lydia, would it?”

Gippal reached over and grabbed her hand when Rikku’s poking became just a tad bit too hard to be considered playful. “Did he say that?”

“Not about Lydia, but he did tell Yunie that you stole his first crush. Then he went on about how you always got all the girls…”

He brought her hand up to his lips. “Babe, the only girl I’ve ever wanted to get was you. Lydia was five years older than I was and I didn’t have a thing to do about how she rejected Brother all on her own.” He grinned. “Jealous for a bit, weren’t we?”

She blushed. “No…” She bit her lip and looked away, blushing even harder when Gippal laughed. She huffed a bit when he wrapped his arms around her and hauled her onto his lap, but it didn’t last long, especially since he was rubbing his thumbs over the small of her back in distracting little circles.

“I might have teased your brother over the years when we were growing up, but I promise you, I’ve never stolen anything…” he drifted off and his thumbs stilled.

“What?”

“Oh, I can’t believe he thinks I stole that! I won it fair and square!” Gippal shook his head. “I was thirteen and Brother was going on and on about this new sand bike he had just built and how fast it could go. Remember, I had been in that big bike phase back then?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I couldn’t get in a word edgewise unless it had something to do with them. You were worse than when you went into that blitz phase a few years before that.”

He ignored her and went on. “Anyway, he was so proud of the bike that he had built that he was challenging everyone around to races. I got fed up with him bragging about how many he had won, so I told him that if I won our race, he had to give me his bike.”

Rikku’s eyes widened. “So that’s why he was so upset for weeks. Huh, I never could figure it out.”

“Well, he was probably even madder when he realized that I customized his old bike even further and made it better.”

“I can’t believe he’s held a grudge this long.”

Gippal resumed his thumb circling and nudged Rikku’s nose with his own. “So am I finally cleared from the whole stealing of girlfriends charge?”

“Yep. You’re officially cleared.” She leaned over and gave his lips a brief peck. “Though it might be a good thing if you made it up to me for all the years I thought you were this ladies’ man, just to be on the safe side.”

He smiled against her mouth. “I take it Brother isn’t the only one in the family to carry a grudge?”

She draped her arms around his shoulders. “Just be grateful I tend to forgive easier.” She gasped when his hand slid over her calf, his fingers brushing the sensitive underside of her knee.

“Will you two find someplace more private to do that?”

Gippal lazily looked up from Rikku’s mouth. Brother was looking down at them, his fists propped on his hips and his mouth turned down in a disapproving frown. Gippal blinked. Well, what do you know; some habits did die hard; Brother still looked like an angry chocobo when he threw a tantrum.

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