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Title: Leverage
Rating: PG
Challenge: soap, star, song
Words: 815
Note: Happy birthday 1frickengirl!
Note the second: Quasi-songfic. Thelma Houston’s song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” has been stuck in my head all day since hearing it on the way to the office this morning. Suspend disbelief and imagine if you will that disco somehow found its way into Spira.

The image recorded in the sphere was static-filled and had a blue tint cast over everything. The view was erratic at first, as if the recorder was trying to get their bearings. Quick flashes of a hotel room dipped in and out of view – one shot of the open window overlooking the sea told the viewer that the sphere had been recorded in Luca – and just as the viewer was about to be motion sick, the video stabilized. A trail of clothes started from one of the living area’s couches and progressively grew larger towards a closed door.

The camera dipped again, one the recorder’s hands quietly turning the knob. The interior was dark, but the outline of a large bed could be seen in the background.

“ – try to mess with the volume,” the recorder was heard muttering. “Listen to this.” The sound of water running was louder as the recorder made their way towards another closed door, a sliver of yellow light peeking out from underneath.

I can’t survive, can’t stay alive There was a muffled snort of laughter from close to where the microphone on the sphere recorder must have been. Without your love, oh baby! The camera dipped for a third time as the recorder reached out to open the door.

“Huh. Locked.” The camera was put down on a side table and the view was filled with the recorder hunched over the lock for a few seconds. Lock taken out of the way, the recorder reached over and picked the camera back up.

The first thing that came into view was the wide array of hair care products jockeying for space on the sink countertop. Gels and mousses were mixed in with several cans of hairspray and an array of brushes and combs. The sound of running water was louder as the recorder inched slowly towards the tub, the occupant’s silhouette only slightly visible behind the fog of steam that filled the room.

Baby! My heart is full of love and desire for you! the song continued. The camera shook slightly as the recorder tried to smother their laughter. Now come on down and do what you got to do! The person doing the singing suddenly hit a high note as they scrubbed their hair, pausing to strike a dance pose that left one hand high in the air above the shower curtain.

You started this fire down in my soul!

The recorder’s hand suddenly shot out and pulled at the shower curtain. “Well, if Yuna doesn’t want to be Spira’s next super star, then you’d be a shoe in.”

Only your good lovin' can set– The right side of the would-be singer’s face was obscured by a trail of soap suds that was quickly sliding from their hair. All that the viewer could really see were surprised green eyes peering out from behind drenched blonde hair. “Turn that thing off!” they yelled, stepping out of the tub, one hand stretched out to make a grab for the camera. Then the picture fuzzed out and went blank.

The three people watching the sphere sat back. One had a completely satisfied smirk on their face, the other looked slightly embarrassed, and the third managed to look both somewhat nauseated and amused at the same time.

“Well,” Paine said, leaning back. “Never pegged Gippal as the type to sing in the shower.”

“And he let you keep this?” Yuna asked, sipping at her drink.

Rikku nodded, the smirk spreading even more across her face. “I told him I wouldn’t show anyone if he bought me the shoes I had been looking at the other day.” She was perched on the ledge of a wall, her legs dangling below her and her new boots reflecting the sunlight as they lazily swung around.

“But you just did.” Paine rolled her eyes. “I should deduct respect points for that.”

“But you won’t.”

A ghost of a smile curled her lip. “No, I won’t.”

Rikku hopped off the wall then. “So, could you two keep it secret for a little bit longer? There’s this really nice place I want Gippal to take me to tonight and I really like seeing him squirm. It’s not often that I have something this big to hold over his head.”

The three of them walked away then, never noticing that Gippal had snuck up behind a pillar and had heard the entire conversation. Well, two of them didn’t notice. Paine turned her head and rolled her eyes at him, but didn’t say anything. Gippal just smirked at her.

“So you think you’ve got the upper hand, huh?” he murmured, watching Rikku strut in her new footwear. “We’ll see how long that lasts.” He stuck his hands in his pockets then, turning around to head in the opposite direction, whistling as he went.

Oh baby please, don’t leave me this way…

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