Setting: Crimson Squad days
Theme + Number: #56 Loyalty
Summary: Baralai didn't expect it of an Al Bhed.
Baralai'd heard stories about the Al Bhed -- just folklore, really, scraps of information and what Yevon taught about them and all the ways the Al Bhed defied Yevon. He didn't actually meet an Al Bhed until Gippal -- and that wasn't surprising, since he was raised in Kilika. Kilika was far too small for Al Bhed to turn up there, almost insignificant. The only thing that drew visitors was the temple and the stories about Lord Ohalland, and they weren't of interest to Al Bhed.
When he was told that he'd be in a group with an Al Bhed, he was both repulsed and fascinated. He'd signed up for Yevon's sake -- he wanted to do something more than just hope, which, important as it was, seemed to be all that priests did. He would be a priest later, he decided, and he'd learned to use his weapon well enough to dazzle any critic. And then he signed up.
He hadn't expected to be taking part in sacrilege from the start. He almost refused to be in the group with the Al Bhed, but went along with it in the end -- for Yevon's sake. If they were going to let Al Bhed join, someone had to be in a group with them.
He expected Gippal to be... more shocking than he was, in a way. He expected to be exasperated and annoyed with him and his ideas. Instead, he found that they agreed on the only point they needed to agree on; they would do anything to protect their people from Sin.
And after that, he only saw good in Gippal. His dedication to a cause, his loyalty that never wavered, his fierce form of love that was often over protection, the easy grin that came at just the right moments.
And he fell in love, and never regretted it.