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Stormy Monday

Title: Stormy Monday
Rating: G
Challenge: first sleepover
Words: 1,023
Summary: “You can sleep here if you want to.”
Note: Happy birthday, andromeda3116!

A knock at the front door woke Gippal out of a sound sleep. He crawled out of bed, yawning as he ran a hand over his face.

“I can’t sleep,” Rikku offered as an explanation, looking forlorn as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other.

“It’s three in the morning,” he said, blearily glancing at the front entry clock with his good eye. Outside, thunder rumbled, making Rikku wince.

“I know.”

He noticed that her clothes were soaking wet, her hair dripping into her eyes. It must have been raining hard if the quick run between breezeways that connected his home unit to hers got her that wet. “Come on in,” he whispered, closing the door behind her. “Sudran’s gonna kill me if the rugs get water stains on them.” He glanced at the closed door of his mother’s bedroom, hoping that they wouldn’t wake her up.

“Dry off here, I’ll get you something to wear.” Rikku nodded and closed the bathroom door. Gippal wandered back to his bedroom and contemplated the contents of his dresser. At thirteen, he was tall and thin, but even then, he knew that all of his clothes would still be too big for her. He finally decided on a purple shirt and a pair of shorts he only wore around the house that he had outgrown the summer before. He left them on the floor by the bathroom and after telling Rikku where they were, he padded to the kitchen.

By some stroke of luck, the noise made getting the kettle out from underneath the counter didn’t cause his mother’s light to turn on, nor did the shrill whistle that told him when the water was hot. He dropped packets of tea into two mugs and filled them with hot water, pouring a heap of sugar and a big glob of honey into one.

Rikku padded barefoot into the kitchen, drawn by the smell of toast Gippal had decided to make. He slathered one slice with jam and handed it to her.

“Thank you,” she told him, perching on the kitchen stool. Like he predicted, his clothes were too big for her. The shirt came down almost to her knees, the neckline so big that it slid over her, leaving one of her shoulders bare. His shorts hung loosely on her, the bottom hem hitting at mid-calf.

“Thunderstorm?” he asked, coating the second slice of toast with peanut butter before taking a bite.

“A really bad one.” She reached for a mug, grimacing when she took a sip from the unsweetened one.

“Isn’t anyone there at your place?” he asked, pushing the sugar-laced mug towards her.

“Just Brother. Pops and Keyakku got held up at that dig site up north.” She’d tried to wake Brother, but he slept like the dead. And even if she had woken him, he would have teased her, saying that only babies were afraid of a little noise.

Never mind that he had been the one to strike her with the thunder spell, making her terrified of lightning in the first place.

Gippal yawned, draining the last of his tea. “Do you think you can sleep now?” He got up from the kitchen island and put his mug in the sink.

“I think so.” Stomach full and warm, Rikku could feel sleep start to creep up on her. She followed Gippal to his room, where he said he had a spare blanket and pillow for her to use. Another good thing about being his friend was the fact that he had a comfy living room couch. She’d never slept on it, but she always did like sitting on it whenever she came to visit.

Thunder rumbled and she bit her lip to keep from crying out. Gippal shifted on his feet uncertainly. “You can sleep here, if you want to,” he said quietly.

She stared at him, her head tilted to the side before nodding. Gippal climbed in first and claimed the side of the bed tucked against the wall.

“Thanks,” she told him again, pulling the sheet to her chin. Even though his bedroom didn’t have a window, she knew that lighting flashed outside.

Gippal reached out and squeezed her hand in the dark. “No problem.”

Rikku woke up at her usual time the next morning. She blinked, not registering where she was at first. Her bedroom didn’t have a poster of the Psyches taped to a far wall, nor did it have a desk cluttered with bits and pieces of metal cogs and other components she couldn’t make out in the gloom.

That’s when she remembered what had happened the night before. There was a warm puff of breath at the back of her neck. Gippal had shown his true colors sometime during the night, proving that he was a bed hog. His arms and legs were sprawled out all over the place, shoving Rikku to the very edge of the bed.

She yawned. She hadn’t gotten any sleep before leaving her house to head to his. Gently pushing his arm out of the way, she reclaimed her half of the mattress. Gippal responded by snorting, something that would have probably embarrassed him if he had been awake to hear it. She giggled, twisting the sheets back so she could cover up. Not only was Gippal a bed hog, he was also a blanket thief.

She closed her eyes and was about to drift off again when he muttered something, but she couldn’t quite make it out. Then he twisted, smacking her in the face with his hand as he flipped to his side, his back now facing her. He took the sheets with him.

Rikku sighed. She could hear thunder rumble outside again, making her believe that they were in for another day of rain again. She turned on her hip, her back to Gippal. One of his feet kicked out and pushed against her backside. She might have been uncomfortable, but Rikku felt like she was in the safest place she could think of in Home.

Plus, Gippal’s mom always made fantastic pancakes for breakfast.

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