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Title: Resolutions
Rating: G
Words: 1,124
Summary: Because hearing Brother drunkenly sing raunchy songs at the top of his lungs wasn’t her idea of a good time.
Note: Happy Birthday theoreticalpixy!

The sound of tinkering in the workshop wasn’t out of the ordinary. The sound of tinkering in a workshop supposedly devoid of other workers was. Seeing that Gippal had given everyone else the night and following day off, he wondered who was still working.

He got his answer as soon as he walked inside. There, at the very back workstation, sat Rikku with her back to him. He stood there and watched her for a while, his head cocked to the side as he leaned against the doorframe. At twenty-five, she’d abandoned the little bikini top she’d worn at seventeen for a reddish orange halter top. It covered more skin than the bikini had, but was surprisingly ten times more intriguing to him than the skimpy excuse for a top had ever been. He let his gaze go over her from the top of her ponytail to the tips of her boots, pausing appreciatively in the spaces in between.

“So you just come in here without telling me hello first?” He couldn’t help buy grin at the way she jumped, the tool in her hand clattering to the tabletop.

“I didn’t think you’d be here,” she said, picking up the screwdriver and continuing her work. “It’s New Year’s Eve, don’t you have some hot date?”

“Nope.” He walked behind her and looked over her shoulder. “Whatcha working on?”

She grew very still for a second or two before relaxing again. “Power converter on the Celsius blew out and we didn’t have the right tool aboard. I didn’t think you’d mind.”

“I don’t. Just let me know when you’re around; I miss talking to you.” Rikku’s cheeks and tips of her ears flushed in the bright overhead task lighting as he continued. “What about you? Aren’t you seeing that guy from Kilika? Whatshisname? How come you’re not out at some party with him?”

Rikku rolled her eyes. “That ended months ago; I’m not with anyone any more.” She turned on the stool until she was facing him, her work forgotten momentarily. “Besides, I didn’t feel like doing much this year, especially when we’re docked in Luca.” While hanging around Buddy and slinging back a few drinks amid the crowds was always fun, hauling a tipsy Brother out of Luca’s fountains while he sang raunchy Al Bhed songs at the top of his lungs as he tried to strip wasn’t on the top of her things Rikku loves to do list. She’d had to do it once before and wasn’t too terribly interested in doing it again.

“So you just decided to come hang out here?”

She leaned into the arm that he had thrown casually over her shoulder. “Yep.” He smelled like leather and fuel, a combination that she’d identified as his since they’d been kids.

Gippal brushed the side of his cheek against her hair. It was as soft as it had always been and smelled faintly like fruit of some sort. Just like always, there were tiny braids worked in here and there. His fingers itched to undo them just so he could see how her hair looked down her shoulders, wavy in some places and straight in others. He’d always known about the crush she had harbored on him though he didn’t do anything to encourage her. He had been flattered, though he really didn’t see her as the type he usually dated. She was more of a friend than anything, one of the guys he could joke around with that just happened to have breasts.

It was only when she had suddenly stopped trying to flirt with him and started dating other men that he realized just how nice her breasts actually were. He’d also started realizing just how nice everything else about her was. She spent more time in Kilika than Djose, stopping by for a brief hello every once and a while when she wasn’t off hunting spheres with her brother and Gippal couldn’t help but feel jealous, especially when she went on and on about how great her boyfriend was. He usually tuned her out after the first fifteen minutes or so, concentrating on the way her mouth moved and the comforting rhythm her voice fell into as she talked instead. He found himself flirting with her even more so than usual and looking forward to her visits more than someone labeled just a friend should. Then one day while she was working alongside him, he realized that he had fallen in love with her. It had happened so gradually over the years that the realization had taken him unawares.

She’d neatly turned the tables on him and she didn’t even know it.

He cleared his throat, straightening up and moving his arm off her shoulder. “Well, since you’re here, you want to help a guy out with a few things?” he asked, leaning against the table.

Several hours later saw them up to their elbows in parts from a digging machine that would hopefully prove to be more efficient than the models Gippal had out in the desert already. The newer digger would free up workers for other parts of the Faction while still generating new jobs. The prototype wouldn’t make people obsolete and work could be finished in half the time. It was a win-win situation.

“Huh, will you look at that,” Rikku said, pointing to the horizon. Far off, they could see dim bursts from fireworks.

“Probably Rin on the Highroad. Luca’s too far away to see their show.” He pulled out his pocket watch. “And it is officially midnight.”

Rikku stretched, rubbing her hands on a rag. “Happy New Year,” she said, still looking at the very faint firework display.

He watched her for a second before leaning over. He wasn’t seeing anyone and she had just confessed that she was single, so he decided to throw caution to the wind. “Happy New Year,” he replied, brushing his lips against hers. It was the briefest of kisses, but Rikku stared back at him with a questioning look on her face before cupping the back of his head in her hand and kissing him back, this time longer. She sighed against his mouth and let out a stuttering breath when he nibbled her top lip.

“Any resolutions this year?” she asked, her fingers tracing the collar of his shirt.


“Oh? And what are they?”

He smirked, his hands tightening on her waist. “I resolve to kiss you as often as I possibly can.”

She laughed before going up on tiptoes so that her lips were at his ear. He couldn’t suppress a shiver when he felt her breath on his skin. “Then I guess it’s my job to see that you keep your promises.”

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