A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

BY : tuatha
Category: Final Fantasy X > General
Dragon prints: 1094
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy X, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A Secret Journey (Rikku's Story)

Part Thirteen


When I woke light streamed through the window, filling the room with fresh
morning brightness. Auron had thrown the covers off the bed and was half
reclining beside me, now wearing his trousers but nothing else. I realised
he was studying my nude form as he waited for me to awaken. I grasped for
the sheet and covered myself, feeling shy about his scrutiny, but he gently
pulled it from me again.

"Would you deny an old man the simple pleasure of looking at his lover?" He
asked me, and I laughed, pleased at the thought. I was now, and it made me
happy.

"I would deny you nothing." I offered, and half-lowered my eyes
coquettishly. I thought about challenging his description of himself as old,
but he was nuzzling me, he kissed my breasts and his hands ran over my body,
and I forgot everything but the way he was pleasing me with his attentions.

I stroked his hair, like silk it ran through my fingers, falling sable and
silver against his dark brow. "You please me greatly, old man."

He raised his face, and I let my hand fall to his cheek, his short whiskers
rasping against my palm. "Do I?" He frowned. "I'm sure you've realised by
now I know as little as you do about this."

I sat up against my elbows, looking down at him. He was eye-level to the
skin of my belly, and he kissed me there, his lips nipping lightly at my
skin. "So you must tell me what pleases you and what doesn't."

"Oh, everything you do." I responded and fell back against the matress. A
motion from the other side of the room startled me and I turned to the door.
My father stood there in the doorway.

"Rikku!"

'Tysh!' I thought, and scambled for the covers again, while Auron rolled
away from me at the intrusion. When I had the sheet firmly around me I
stood, but my face was flaming at what my father had seen.

"Fryd'c kuehk uh?" He demanded.

"Vydran! Rana ec dra syh E muja." I raised my chin and spoke with pride.
Then I glared at him. "Cyo hudrehk oui femm naknad ykyehcd res, palyica E
fynh oui uv so fnydr ev oui uvvaht sa."

Father stared at me for a long time, and I waited for him to explode with
anger at my temerity, but after a while he let out a great booming laugh.
"oui'ja knufh ib."

He studied Auron, who stood on the other side of the bed, his feet planted
wide in a stance that promised trouble, if trouble was forthcoming. "Pid fro
uha cilr yc drec, tyekrdan?" I knew my father's eyes noted Auron's age, his
wounds and did not see the man behind them. Auron gave no sign of
understanding our speech, and I think my father thought he did not know our
language. I forgot in the heat of our discussion, but still would have said
the same thing if I had remembered.

"E muja res! Ra ec dra pnyjacd syh fru ajan mejat. Dnian, yht gehtan, yht
suna kahdma eh rec muja vun sa dryh oui luimt pameaja. E femm vummuf res eh
ymm drehkc, vydran, re ec so munt."


Auron was staring at me strangely, openly astonished at my declaration. He
knew I loved him, I k he was was just surprised that I was so eloquent in
the circumstances.

"Ec dryr cu?" My father said. "Drah oui femm pa ryhtvycdat du res?"

'Oh no', I thought. We had no time for such a thing, and I thought Auron
would object for that reason alone. I knew he loved me, but to openly commit
to me was not something I expected from him.

I was trying to find an explanation for our refusal but it was my turn to be
surprised when Auron spoke directly to my father. "E tu hud upzald."

He turned to me. "Your father only wishes to protect you. I would not
dishonour you or him by refusing." Again he spoke to my father. "But it must
be done quickly. Once we find Yuna there can be no delay."

"Well that's what I came here to tell you. We think we've located her."

"Where?"

"On the main continent. The search is being narrowed down as we speak. Heck,
they could have found her while we've been standing here."

"We must go then."

My father approached him, and they stared each other down.

"What about my daughter?"

Auron looked at me. "If Yuna is near Bevelle there will be time for that on
the way."

My father nodded, satisfied by his answer. It wasn't surprising that they
were at odds, both men were used to commanding others and neither would
submit their authority. It seemed that they were finally accepting each
other as equals when my father slapped Auron on the back. "You're not what I
would have expected or hoped for my daughter, but she never does what I tell
her anyway. If she does what you say then you've got the advantage of me."

He turned to me. "So Rikku, tonight you will be wed, eh?"

I smiled, and nodded. I wondered what the others would think to see Auron
stand next to me, taking my hand before my father and promising to be with
me always. I wondered briefly if we could keep it a secret from them but
realised that brief wish was madness.

"I'll see you in the control room."

When he left I sat suddenly on the bed, starting to panic. "What have we
done?"

"You've agreed to marry me. Getting cold feet?"

"No, not that. I'm just afraid, what will the others think?"

"Do not worry about it. Let them think what they will." Perhaps he realised
that our betrothal had been forced on us, or he understood that I again
doubted his willingness to be with me. He knelt beside me. "You wanted to
make sure I did not regret loving you? I only regret what will happen to you
when I am gone." He took my hands. "I will love you for the rest of my life,
so there is no harm in saying that before your father, and it will ease you
both if some ill should befall us on our journey."

I didn't want to think about such things, the possibility of losing him.
"Auron, why do you love me so much?" It was true that I felt I was just an
ordinary girl, and I found it hard to believe that he cared for me the way
he did.

"Rikku...what did you say to your father about me?"

I looked at him, trying to understand what he was asking me. He had heard my
words and didn't need me to translate them. He explained. "That's why. No
one else sees me the way you do. And you...are not ordinary to me. You're
brave and beautiful and clever, and when you look at me I become the man I
was once, the man I could have been, if fate had been kinder."

"Me, brave?" I thought that was kind of funny. I was petrified out of my
wits most of the time, and it usually showed.

"Yes, you. You throw yourself into the unknown with such energy, even when
you are afraid of the outcome. Now, you can be brave and face your father
with me. I don't think he would be too pleased with me if you refuse, after
what he saw us doing."

I smiled, ruefully. I guessed he had a point. We finished dressing and
headed for the control room. When we arrived we did not have to wait long
before my brother announced he had fixed her location. She was at Bevelle.

"It's going to take three hours to get there. In the meantime..." He looked
at me.

Auron spoke. "Do it."

"Now? It's too early." Handfasting ceremonies were usually performed at
dusk.

"It cannot be helped. We don't have time to waste."

My father was clearly displeased by Auron's desire for haste, and his
bluntness. He turned to me. "Are you sure about this, Rikku?"

I nodded.

"Well, then." he began. He took my hand, and called several Al Bhed from
their posts, including my brother. He began to speak in Al Bhed, proclaiming
my desire to be handfasted, enumerating my virtues, and exhorting Auron to
care for me, keep me safe and guard my honour. Auron replied to my father's
charge solemnly. "I will do so."

The ceremony was quickly over, and he gave my hand to Auron. Lulu, Wakka and
Tidus could not understand what was said, only seeing us standing there
while my father spoke, Auron standing impassively until my hand was put in
his.

My father hugged me, then Auron commanded "Come. We have little time."

His grip was firm, his strides eating up the corridors of the ship, and I
had perforce to run to keep up with him. His manner was brusque, even cold,
and it was a marked contrast to his behaviour this morning.

When we reached the room he locked the door behind us. "Auron...why are you
doing this?"

"You know that we must be together before dawn or the handfasting will be
void. After we reach Bevelle we may not be able to be alone together."

"But last night..." I began but he interrupted me.

"Tonight is what will matter to those who witnessed our bonding. You know
that, why do you object?"

I didn't object to being with him, I just didn't understand why his face had
darkened, his mood becoming bleak and dangerous. He advanced on me and
searched my face when I didn't answer, then he turned away and slumped on
the bed. "You need do nothing. We can just wait here until we reach Bevelle.
As long as we are together now no one will question you later."

"What?" I was becoming angry in my confusion, and his unspoken words
clamoured at me. I demanded an explanation. "Is that why you agreed to this?
So that when you are gone I would be able to say you were bonded to me? Is
that it?"

"Is there something wrong with that?"

I did not answer, turning to storm out of the room. Despite his pose he on on me before I reached the door, holding me fast. "You can't leave." He
hissed at me.

"Watch me." I threatened and tried to break loose from his grip.

"Have you forgotten that you are supposed to obey me now?"

I seethed with anger, struggling against his hold on me. "For how long?
Until you leave me at Zanarkand? That's all yhinkhink about!"

"Someone has to! You think you can hide from the future forever? You can't,
it will find you. You have to think about it, Rikku, you have to be prepared
to go on when I am gone."

"No! We're going to save Yunie! We'll find a way. We can find a way to save
you too."

"You can't. I won't survive our encounter with Sin. It is my bane."

"Fine!" I shrugged him away. "We'll do this, and then you can go off to
die!"

I wrestled with my clothes, throwing them down like a gauntlet. "You don't
want to make me lie when I tell everyone how happy my husband made me,
before he died, do you?"

"Rikku, stop it!"

"Come. We don't have much time." I taunted him, and watched the cruel barb
sink in.

"Don't!" But despite his words he took my wrists in a bruising grip and
pushed me onto the bed. He stared down at me, his chest heaving, then sat
heavily with his head bowed. "Stop it, Rikku."

"Is that it? Is that all you have to say? When my father asks me whether my
husband honoured his vows will I have to tell him that you couldn't bear to
touch me, that you sat in despair with your head in your hands?"

"Enough!" His eyes flashed dark fire as he stood and threw off his cloak.
His armour followed, loosened abruptly then torn aside and flung to the
ground. Last night our bodies had been cloaked in darkness. Now I could see
him; the solidity and weight of his form as he unclothed himself, the sheer
breadth of his chest and shoulders, his muscular frame. Looking at him stole
my breath, and reduced me to quivering bonelessly while he moved over me.

He pressed me deeply into the matress beneath me, and first one knee then
the other pushed my legs apart. His hands cradled my scalp, his mouth
pressed against mine. I was afraid in that moment of what I'd done. He was
contained, his muscles bunched with tension, but impending release with
every forceful breath he exhaled, his eye promising dissolution.

His anger was undone by my trembling and he pressed his cheek roughly
against mine. "Tell me to stop." He pleaded.

I couldn't. I felt as if I was staring down from a great cliff, but while to
go forward was frightening to retreat was worse, implying acceptance of his
death. I couldn't do that. So I refused. "No."

"Rikku..."

"Do it!" I instructed harshly. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders
holding him fast, my legs curled around and over his. "I won't let you go."

There was no preliminary. Passion, anger, pain, all swept over me as he
buried himself to the hilt inside me. He drove into me again and again,
mercilessly igniting every nerve while my cries were swallowed up in his
mouth. I held on desperately, never sure when pleasure would overtake pain,
or pain, pleasure. Tears squeezed through my tightly shut eyelids and I
prayed for release.

He lifted his mouth from mine, and I moaned with each thrust through tender
flesh, wailed with each retreat he made from my body.

"Rikku!" He threw his head back, shouting my name as he convulsed, his body
shuddering to a close as he was freed. His face was enraptured, beautiful in
that moment, and I loosened my grip to reach up and touch his cheek, my
limbs sliding away, loose and sweaty as he rolled away. He lay on his
stomach while I learned to to move independently again, free of his
gravity. I moved awkwardly, still feeling heat within, and surprised by the
absence of blood after our rough encounter.

His despair weighed at my heart, so I crawled over him, an inadequate
blanket though I spread myself over his broad back, my arms covering his.
His face was turned away, but I kissed his ear, his temple, my lips
fluttering over the silken strands of his hair. "E muja oui." I whispered.
"E muja oui..."

I closed my eyes, wanting only to be close to him, no matter what. I slept.

End of Part Thirteen

Al Bhed Primer and translation guide:

tysh = damn
Fryd'c kuehk uh? = What's going on?
Vydran! Rana ec dra syh E muja. = Father! Here is the man I love. Cyo hudrehk oui femm naknad ykyehcd res, palyica E fynh oui uv so fnydr ev oui uvvaht sa. = Say nothing you will regret against him, because I warn you of my wrath if you offend me.
oui'ja knufh ib. = You've grown up
Pid fro uha cilr yc drec, tyekrdan? = But why one such as this, daughter?
E muja res! Ra ec dra pnyjacd syh fru ajan mejat. Dnian, yht gehtan, yht suna kahdma eh rec muja vun sa dryh oui luimt pameaja. E femm vummuf res eh ymm drehkc, vydran, re ec so munt. = I love him! He is the bravest man who ever lived. Truer, and kinder, and more gentle in his love for me than you could believe. I will follow him in all things, father, he is my lord.
Ec dryr cu? = Is that so?
Drah oui femm pa ryhtvycdat du res? = Then you will be handfasted to him?
E tu hud upzald. = I do not object.
E muja oui = I love you


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