Setting: FFX, in the Calm Lands
Theme + Number: #8 Stay awake, #21 Watching, #98 Calm
Summary: Of apologies and sharing sentry duty.
Rikku is asleep. She looks kinda cute all curled up like that and even though maybe she should be getting up for her shift at watching out for fiends now, Wakka is reluctant to wake her. It's the Calm Lands, after all. He can see fiends coming a mile off on the flat ground, so it's not like he's exhausting himself patrolling the perimeter or somethin' like that. So he takes her shift, back to the fire, looking from Rikku to the terrain surrounding, flitting briefly over the others and then back to Rikku.
He feels kind of sorry for her, nowadays. After all, there're so many assholes, himself once included, who seem to think that she's not a person because she was born and raised away from Yevon's temples. He has to admit a little discomfort at that idea still, but it's not like Yevon has proved itself a straight and narrow path in all reality.
Yeah, it's not her fault she's Al Bhed. That's like saying Lulu's hasty temper is her own fault. They were both born with it, as far as Wakka can tell.
Wakka looks around again and then looks back at her, sees her shivering a little and curling up tighter. He leans forward and drags the pile of wood closer, selecting some big sticks to add to it to make it bigger and warmer and brighter.
He can see her face a little more clearly in the flicker of the fire now, but he doesn't want to look. He just looks in her general direction, pondering apologies -- apologies for being as he is, apologies for Yevon's sake, all of them -- and he doesn't even realise when she wakes, opening her eyes slightly to peek before sitting up with a rustle, flipping the thin braids over her shoulders.
He blinks. "Rikku. I, uh, didn't know you were awake."
"Well, I am," she shrugs, getting up to stretch a little. "What time is it?"
"I... dunno. Think it's your shift now, anyway."
"Aww, and I was getting such good sleep."
"I'll take your shift, if you want," he offers, sudden and a little shy and wondering if he said that too hastily. He doesn't think he'll sleep tonight, anyway, not used to having so much wide open space around him. In Besaid it was all trees and rocks and houses, a tiny universe all to itself. That, and he's been thinking too much. Gives him dull headaches sometimes and stops him from getting any rest.
"I can do it. I'm not a baby."
Sudden defensiveness and Wakka shuts his mouth quickly, wondering why he even offered. Of course she'd turn it into an insult. He put one foot wrong and now he can't correct his step.
Which is a pity, because he likes Rikku. He likes Rikku a lot now he's learnt to ignore the Al Bhed again. Heck, he might even get to like her despite the Al Bhed in her, somehow, maybe. After all, it's only another lie of Yevon.
"Sorry," he mumbles, and then, catching his chance, "about everything."
And then he gets up to let her take his place beside the fire, the extra wood at her feet and the warmth at her back. For a moment he thinks that she won't be able to handle the fiends, so fragile and skinny as she storms past him, but she's quick on her feet and vicious when she wants to be, so he knows she'll be fine.
He turns over again to look at her, blinded by the fire so he can only barely make out her beyond it. "Yeah?"
"I'm sorry too."
He smiles and he can't think of what to say, but Rikku standing up again, coming over to him and kneeling down, tugging gently at his arm. "Come and take this watch with me, okay? I... I don't like it so much when everyone is asleep."
Without saying anything more, he lets her drag him back to that place by the fire. She settles at his side, shoulder warm against his, shifting constantly in little tiny movements that could be annoying but he finds easy to ignore.
"I've been a big meanie recently," she says, softly.
He bites his lip, feeling awkward. "It's not like you didn't have your reasons. I... I was a big meanie too."
She smiles at him using her words and shrugs, curling up a little more on herself so her arms are wrapped round her knees and her knees are against her chest. "Still, y'don't get nice things by putting two nasty things together. And it's not like you can help being all... Yevony."
"So I'm forgiven?"
He can't help but grin at the thought as she sticks a bony elbow into his ribs. "Maaaaaybe, but you have to sit my watch with me more often in return, 'kay?"
He surprises himself with his reply, biting his lip the minute he's said it, but finding he doesn't regret it at all -- "Only if you sit my watch with me."
She grins. "Deal!"
He's not sure when they fall asleep, but he wakes to her head on his shoulder and his cheek against her hair, and one very pissed off Lulu looking down at them. Except not too pissed off, because there's a hint of amusement in her face. "Sleeping on watch, Wakka? And here I thought you were getting more reliable."
"Geez... I'm sorry, Lu."
"Don't do it again, Wakka. We can't afford fiends suddenly coming up and attacking the group. Now," she smiles a little, as if she's quite aware of exactly everything that was said last night, and finally approves of something he's done, "wake Rikku. It's time for us to go. And... well done, for apologising to her."
Wakka's surprised that she actually says that last, and he nods somewhat numbly as she turns away to confer with Auron over something. He shakes the Al Bhed girl gently, laughing at her displeased murmur.
"Time to get up, Rikku."
"Ohhh... cred," she sits up with a jerk, rubbing at her eyes, "did I fall asleep on you?"
He nods, fighting back a smile. "Yeah. But it's okay."
And it is.