Characters: Nooj, Rikku
Pairings: Nooj/Rikku, sort of; implied Nooj/Paine
Notes: For cupcakemonster, who requested Nooj/Rikku with the theme "I love you, I hate you." I don't know if this is exactly what she was looking for, but it's what presented itself. I tried to keep it within drabble parameters, but it just kept going and going and in the end I couldn't force it to be any shorter. Continues the series (good god, has it really become a series?) that includes Shirt and Closet; inspired by and refers to cupcakemonster's stories on this theme.
He had assumed it was over, but there she stood on his doorstep, grinning and bouncing as though their final argument had never happened, as though Paine hadn't moved in over two weeks ago.
"Noojster!" she squealed, and flung herself at him, pushing him back into the hallway and taking his mouth with hers. He found himself returning the kiss, his tongue parting her lips entirely out of habit; then his rational mind wrested back control and he broke free.
"Rikku." He looked down at her sternly. "What are you doing here?"
She smirked back up. "Same thing I'm always doing here. Paine's off with Yuna and Gippal's being boring, so..." She wriggled into him, hands wrapped around his neck. Nooj did not want to think about their recent affair; he did not want to remember the sharp, smooth planes of her hips, or the heat of her mouth or her clever thief's fingers. But her closeness was a forcible reminder, and against his will, his body responded. This girl induced a madness in him, and he had no real understanding of why. They didn't even like each other very much -- why should he feel compelled to push her to the floor, strip her bare, and ride her until they both collapsed?
He gathered enough willpower to push her away again. "Stop it," he said. "It's over, Rikku. You left. And I'm not available. We're through, if we ever even were in the first place."
Her eyes narrowed. "Like you really meant any of that. I thought it was just a fight. Blowing off steam or whatever."
Nooj raised an eyebrow. "I seem to recall that you're the one who took her toys and went home."
She stared at him for a long moment, hurt and surprise creeping into her green eyes, and then she stepped back, tossing her head and crossing her arms. "Yeah, okay, fine. You're right. It's over. So why won't you go away and leave me alone?"
It seemed obvious to the point of cruelty to mention that she was the one who had knocked on his door, this time and every time, so he said nothing.
Finally, Rikku blew the hair out of her face. "Fine," she muttered again. "I should be able to stop thinking about you, right? So fine. I'll just do that. No matter how much..." She trailed off and looked away.
"I thought you said you didn't love me." It was not a response he had planned.
"I don't," she snapped, whipping around to glare, beads in braids clicking loudly in the still room. "I hate you! And I never want to see you again." She turned on her heel and stomped out, slamming the door behind her.
Nooj contemplated the shut door. Rikku had been a complication that his life had not needed. He had made his choice; he was content with it. Much easier for her to go and not come back. Yes, he decided, this was definitely for the best.
Then the door slipped open, and Rikku stuck her head inside.
"What now?" he grumbled. "You just said--"
"So you're really staying faithful to her?" She peered at him from beneath her braids, expression unusually meek.
After running through his options, Nooj decided that honesty was the easiest, and the most likely to get her to leave. "Not that it's any of your business, but yes. I am."
She smiled. "Okay. That's all right then. 'Cause she deserves it, y'know?" A quick look at the floor, then her grin widened. "See ya." She closed the door with a soft click.
He would never understand this girl. "Probably better that way," he muttered to himself. With a shake of his head, he made his way to the study, then settled in to wait for Paine's return home.