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diversions and distractions

Title: Diversions and Distractions
Rating: PG
Words: 845
Summary: Someone has to bring you up for air sometimes, Gippal.
Note: Happy birthday lady_nicole!

“What are you doing?”

The question was asked in a syrupy-sweet voice that could only mean one thing: trouble. Gippal looked up from his desk – and the massive amounts of paperwork on top of it that were currently the reason he had a pounding headache – and tilted his head.

“Working. You know, the thing that you do if you want to earn gil?” Well, he had actually been spacing out, the numbers and names on each document swimming before his tired eye. He just wasn’t going to tell her that. “What have you been doing?”

Rikku grinned. “Plotting fiendishly plotty things.” She perched on the edge of his desk, the only available spot that was free of clutter. “I’ve decided you need a break.”

He sat back, his chair squeaking at the shift of weight. “Is that so? And since when have you been the boss of me?”

She leaned towards him. “I guess you didn’t get that memo, did you?” Picking up a half-finished mug of coffee, she swirled the contents around, her lip curling up when the muck at the bottom stuck to the mug. “Jeez, when do you let people clean in here? This is practically fossilized.”

“You could always volunteer.”

“No way. The clutter monster would probably attack me.” She hopped off his desk and grabbed his hand. “Seriously, come on outside with me. You’ve been cooped up all day and I’m bored.” She tugged at his arm, but all that happened was that her boots slid on the stone floor of his office.

Gippal tugged on her arm, sending her sprawling into his lap. “And I’m your personal source of entertainment?” he murmured, wrapping his arms around her and resting his chin on her shoulder.

She made a noise of agreement, snuggling closer in his embrace. “But of course. Now are we going to get out of here or what?”

He grumbled, but let her lead him outside. They skirted past the workers tinkering with machine parts, stopping to say hello and exchange brief words. Hand in hand, they walked over the bridges linking Djose to the rest of the main road. He wondered where she was taking him when they started to climb up a rocky, barely used pathway.

They stopped when they reached upward as the path would take them. There was a thick blanket already laid out, a woven basket weighing it down on the ground nearby. “You had all of this planned, didn’t you?” he asked, looking out at the scenery. From the cliff they were standing on, he could see the ocean, the sun starting to dip under the waves, turning the water a vibrant crimson.

She wrapped her arms around his waist. “I told you I was plotting evil, plotty things all day.”

He dropped a kiss onto the top of her head. “Any particular reason, or you just felt like it?”

She frowned. “What’s today?”

“Thursday.” Which meant that he had to get payroll finished so that his workers could get their weekly wages the next day. It also meant that he had to get in contact with a metal vendor if he was going to get the next shipment of hovers built in time for his contract with Rin’s travel agency to be met.

“Anything else besides Thursday?” She poked him in the side with a finger. “Anything special?”

“Nope.” Then he froze. “Aw, crap. I missed one of those stupid meetings that Baralai always springs at the last minute, didn’t I?”

She sighed. “No, but that’s not what I meant.”

“What then?”

“You’re twenty-four today, you big dork.”

He blinked, then mentally brought up a calendar. “That’s next week.”

“No, it’s today. I can’t believe you forgot.” She stepped away from him and rolled her eyes. “And I even went through the trouble to bake you a cake and everything. Nooo, you have to forget all about it. Just as well, since part of the cake turned out crispier than the others and I covered it with extra icing but I think you can still tell the difference…”

Gippal stopped her tirade the easiest way he knew how. When he let them both up for air, he gently framed the sides of her face with his fingers. “Thanks for remembering,” he whispered, brushing his lips against hers.

“Someone has to remember important details like this,” she retorted, rocking up on her tiptoes to kiss him better. “Otherwise you’d keep your head stuck in your paperwork all the time.”

“That’s why I have you to drag me out every so often.” He looked again at the blanket and basket containing the questionably burned cake. Then he thought of the mountain of work that would more than likely keep him up until very early the next morning to complete. Hooking his longer leg around Rikku’s ankle, he sent them both sprawling to the ground, rolling at the last minute so he took the brunt of the fall.

Work can wait, he thought, tunneling his hands through the thick gold mass of Rikku’s hair.

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