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 Seven

Auron kissed me in the snow, and that kiss burned in my memory, in my blood. I'm not sure how long we would have stood there, lost in each other and oblivious to everything around us, if we hadn't been found.

Tidus and Wakka came crashing through the trees and calling out our names, which gave us time to draw apart before they saw us. We were both shaking, and Auron steadied my shoulder for a moment before turning away to retrieve his sword and my forgotten clothing. Tidus pulled up short when he saw us, his glance flickering from me, standing there garbed in Auron's coat, to Auron who was calmly fastening his own belt, my clothing in his hand. His mouth worked but he couldn't seem to summon a coherent question. Wakka stopped just behind him taking us in and then whistled long and low. "What happened to you two? We were worried, ya know?"

Auron made short work of his curiousity. "We were lost in the snowstorm and were beset by wolves. Rikku saved us both but took a tumble into the snow. There is little more to tell than that, and we should get moving anyway if we want to be back by nightfall."

Wakka seemed to accept the abridged version of our adventure without question. "Well, it's good that you two are alright." He turned to Tidus, whose eyes were round and wide open with surprise, even though he said nothing. "Let's go then, ya?"

Auron swung his sword up and over his shoulder, Tidus and Wakka both turned to head back the way they came. I followed, but kept falling behind since Auron's coat was far too long, and trailed in the snow, constantly falling under my feet and tripping me up. After the emotions of the day and our battle I was worn out, and thought I might fall face first into the snow.

"Auron." I called. He turned back immediately. "Help me, please. I can't..." My hands reached out and he was there. "Tidus!" We waited while Tidus trotted back to us. "Go on point behind us. Wakka can lead."

Then he swung me up into his arms, and carried me back to the Inn.

When we arrived we were surrounded by the rest of the party. Lulu and Yuna made exclamations of dismay at the sight of me but were soon reassured by Auron.

"She'll be fine in the morning." He carried me into our room and placed me on the bed, repeating the tale of our desperate fight and my fall, but when he reiterated his claim that I had saved us both I had to set him straight.

"Oui cyjat la." No one else understood but him. He fell silent for a moment then sm at at me. "Fa cyjat aylr udran. Now rest." he warned me sternly.

He drew Lulu away. "Keep an eye on her tonight. She had a rough day."

Lulu nodded and turned back to me. My eyes closed, and I felt hands lifting me up and the covers being drawn over me. When I opened my eyes again he was . Th. The next morning the Guado arrived.

There was a scene between Yuna and Tidus then. Neither of them wanted to be apart, yet didn't have any choice in the matter, and we all witnessed their pain at the enforced separation. But the Guado surrounded us, and Yuna left with them. I was glad for Auron's discretion yesterday, I didn't want everyone to look at me with that look in their eyes if something terrible happened to him. I wouldn't be able to bear it.

We were expected to wait for yet another group to escort us to the temple separately, which made no sense to me. I would have asked Auron why we couldn't just go ahead and follow them there, but cries of alarm and the sound of machina reached us from the lake. The Guado were under attack and were hopelessly incapable of protecting Yuna.

We began a desperate race across the ice, trying to reach her before it was too late. The raiding party circled the guado, whooping and hollering to distract them from the real threat. My brother's voice rang out across the ice. "Rikku!"

I pulled up short. My brother had come to finish what I had started back at the Moonflow. He warned me to stay out of the way but I refused. I stood up to him, telling him that I was Yuna's guardian now and would fight to protect her from him, and anyone else who came to take her. When the guado tried to drag Yuna away she broke away and took up arms with us once again.

"E femm damm vydran!" He threatened, but I would face that hurdle when I came to it. Then the fyn sylrehy, an ancient war machine was activated and sent rumbling down the slope towards us. My brother shouted again, crowing that our magic and Yuna's aeons were nullified by the roving sensor, and I translated the message. It seemed strange to be fighting against my own side, and I was only glad that my people had sent the machina in to battle against us. If I had to fight them hand to hand I would have, but I would have been consumed with guilt afterwards. As it was I knew all of the weaknesses of the machina, and told Wakka that if he took out the magic negator Lulu and Yuna could easily destroy it with lightning spells.

The battle was long, but eventually the machina malfunctioned, its circuits fried by the spells that had been cast against it. The guado thanked us perfunctorily and then insisted on leaving again without delay. Yuna cast a longing glance at us, and then left again.

That was when Wakka finally learned the truth about me. I gave up, not wanting to lie about it anymore and just told him. He ranted for a while and the others tried to reason with him, but he stormed off. I was sorry about bringing dissention into their ranks, and told them so, but Lulu reassured me I hadn't done anything wrong. I didn't feel as though there was anything else I could have done but I still felt bad about it.

My people had scattered after the machina was destroyed, leaving behind their equipment and the hover skiis they'd been riding on, and Auron asked if we could use them. One had been overturned, but it was not irreparably damaged and the others were all working perfectly, so that was how the rest of us travelled on to Macalania temple, riding Al Bhed machina. Wakka was in a state, asking Auron if he was Al Bhed too, which was really pretty funny now that I think about it.

Kimahri righted one of the scooters and took off. He was wasting no time in trying to catch up to Yuna. There were only three left between the five of us. Tidus chose one and Lulu calmly climbed on the back with him. I guessed she had something she wanted to tell him, that couldn't wait, but I didn't want to ride with Wakka after the things he'd said. I was glad when Auron sat astride one and sat back waiting for mekka kka seemed to have accepted the group consensus, as he clambered aboard the other and after briefly experimenting with the throttle control was moving slowly forward toward the others. These machina were simple to operate, so I thought he would be fine by himself.

I ran over to where Auron was waiting and instead of sitting on the back I squeezed onto the vehicle in front of him. "I take it you're driving?" he asked.

I nodded. "You bet." These vehicles were used all over Sanubia, for transport, for racing, even on water, and my brothers and I were veterans of many nymmeac, building our own and taking on all and every challenger.

I warned Auron "Hold on tight." I felt like showing off, so I peeled around in a circle, blasting an arc of loose snow in our wake and laughed with joy. Auron had grabbed me fiercely around the waist once we took off, and now he leaned in close to my ear. "How fast can this thing go?"

"You wanna find out?"

"Floor it." he chuckled, and I whooped as I let it fly. We passed Wakka like he was standing still, and when we swerved around Tidus and Lulu I called out "See ya!" as they fell behind. It was fun to see he had a goofy surprised look on his face. Despite Kimahri's hetarttart he too was setting a pedestrian pace, and his head shot up as we raced by him. It was exhilarating after all our journeying on foot to be hurtling along at speed, finally covering ground that would have taken us hours if we were walking. Snow flew up in our wake as we entered a ravine with wide white walls that stretched on before us in gentle curves. Auron leaned in and I felt his lips at my ear again. "Stay to the left, there's a deep chasm up ahead."

I nodded and slowed down a little. I was a daredevil, but I wasn't suicidal. Pretty soon the gap opened up and I could see the edges of the deep drop beside us. I let the throttle drop back again to take a look and we cruised up the ravine. "There's a challenging path on the other side of the gap, and I'm sure you'd enjoy it, but I'd rather not depart for the farplane just yet."

He pointed ahead. "Keep going, if you stay near the left it's safe."

I sped up again since there was no real danger with such good visibility, and we raced towards Macalania temple. Auron's hands felt strong and comforting at my waist, his body pressed against mine, and I was incredibly happy. It probably sounds selfish, considering the situation, but looking back we had so few moments together, and to pretend now that I wasn't moved by him would be to deny everything he meant to me.

We sped through the canyon and after an hour or so Auron pointed up ahead. There was a bridge leading off to the right in a gentle curve but he pointed straight ahead instead. "We go up there."

I did as instructed and the path became a steep incline ending in a wide cliff. We pulled up on a flat area and I could see the path curving around and the temple below us. The view was breathtaking. When I moved to dismount, Auron's arms tightened around my waist. "Stay a minute."

I waited for him, not entirely discontent with being held in his arms while he composed his thoughts. "I have to tell you something. It's difficult...I haven't been honest with you.

"But there are reasons...Rikku, you need to think about your future. I won't be around for much longer, and you will have to go on, alone, after the pilgrimage. You need to think about finding someone, a boy your own age who will love you."

"Auron...I don't want some other boy." I twisted in his arms and knelt before him, reaching out to touch his face. "I love *you*."

"You must stop." he commanded, but I refused. "I can't! I won't. Why are you pushing me away? To protect me?"

He held my wrists, holding me away from him, but I wouldn't be deterred. "If something happens and I lose you I will be hurt, But I don't want to lose you now. Not ever. Leave the future whereis.is." I leaned in and pressed my lips to his face, his lips and eyes, kissing him everywhere, trying to show him how I felt for him.

"Your touching me like that is not helping my resolve."

"It's too late. And if you did push me away you'd only want me back again." I took his hands in mine and brought them up between us, matching palm to palm, our fingertips together. "Push. Try."

He did, but our fingers clasped, defying his will. His resolve truly broke then, and he pulled me to him, his hands roaming over my back while he pressed my body to his. "I tried to stop myself, but all I could think of since that first day was touching you. Why did you let me? You drove me insane with your presence."

I didn't care. He was mine, he loved me, and that was all that mattered to me. It was intoxicating that a man so strong and powerful was so fragile with love. I wanted to incite him, ignite the flame of passion within so that he couldn't resist me. It may have been wrong, but I was also in love, and couldn't help myself any more than he could.

While he spoke he was touching me all over, kissing my face and neck with abandon. His lips trailed over my skin, while his hands roamed from my back to my arms, then over my breasts, and began to squeeze and massage them, making me gasp with pleasure. He leaned over me, pushing me back against the seat and his body rose over mine. He pressed me deeply, forming himself to me while he again found my mouth to kiss. I had clasped my arms around him, and now I could map his back the way he had done mine, and run my fingers through his hair. It wassoftsoft and fine between my fingers and his body was warm and strong, hard with muscle and bone that pressed into sensitive places and increased my pleasure a thousandfold when he moved over me.

I would have been content to remain like that for a lifetime, but eventually his kiss ended and he rested his head beside mine, his breath warming my collarbone. I held him in my arms, allowing myself to slide slowly earthward from the plateau I'd reached under his ministrations. I realised why he'd stopped now that I was aware of the world around us again. I could hear the thrumming sound of the other vehicles below us, Tidus calling out something to the others.

He lifted himself from me, and looked down at me with knowing eyes. My cheeks were flushed, my limbs weak and shaking. I wanted to crawl away somewhere and curl up into a ball until the feelings went away. His hand stroked my arm gently then helped me to sit. His lips brushed against my brow. "Now you know how it feels." I clung to him thinking that if he had been fighting this since he'd known me his will must be stronger than iron.

I could hardly bear to let him go, while he was back in control of himself, planning and considering. "I would have liked to be at the temple waiting for them, but it can't be helped now."

I pulled myself together. "You want to get there first? Sure we can."

I started the motor and headed back down the path, pulling up sharply and letting the vehicle spin one-eighty. "You really better be holding on tight."

"What the hell..." Then he grabbed me hard. I took that as agreement and let the throttle out completely.

We reached the edge of the cliff and shot out over the canyon's lip. "Yeeehaaaaa!" I screamed, letting all of my emotions loose, as we flew through the air. As it was I had to turn sharply when we landed to avoid crashing into the temple's stairs as we had slightly overshot the landing. And unfortunately despite Auron's wishes the others had seen our flight. Wakka pulled up his own vehicle and stared at us both in amazement.

"Auron, man, your face is white."

"he he." I was still feeling the rush. "Easy as pie."

Auron leaned in to me so the others wouldn't hear. "Mulu Al Behd."

I grinned. "Hey, at least I gave you plenty of warning this time, right?"

"Did you two catch up to Yuna?" Wakka asked, once the others had gathered around. We both shook our heads. "But how can that be? They were walking."

"I suspect there is a transporter device hidden somewhere near the lake." Ausaidsaid. "Many of the temples have them, but the locations of them all are not known." He looked at the temple doors. "Well, shall we?"

We trooped up the ancient stone steps, and entered the temple.

End of Part Seven

Al Bhed primer and translation guide:

oui cyjat la = You saved me
Fa cyjat aylr udran = We saved each other
E femm damm vydran = I will tell father
fyn sylrehy = war machina
nymmeac = rallies
mulu = loco

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