Spoilers: Very minor, Crimson Squad-related
Notes: This was written for heyheyrenay's request for the Out of the Comfort Zone meme, which was "Rikku/Gippal, with porn". The porn part was optional -- and a good thing, too, because I highly doubt this is what Nay had in mind when she asked for it ;) -- but it's the part of the prompt that gave me the hook for the story in the end. Hopefully she will be amused enough to forgive me...
"Hello?" Rikku stuck her head around the half-open door of Djose Temple and looked around. A lone engineer sat on the floor in the corner, poking around inside the guts of an old machina soldier. She stepped through the door, and he looked up with a nod of acknowledgment. "Is Gippal here?"
The engineer waved a hand toward the side room that Gippal had claimed as his office. "Yeah, he's in there. He expecting you?"
Rikku shook her head. "Just in the neighborhood, thought I'd stop by. Is he busy, you think?"
"Not as far as I know." The engineer shrugged. "Didn't see anyone go in there with him, anyway."
"Thanks!" Rikku bounded through the main temple space to Gippal's door, which she tossed open without knocking. Gippal sat at his desk, and as his head snapped up at the noise of her entrance, he whipped his hand behind his back; Rikku was almost positive that she saw the reddish-gold glint of a sphere.
"Rikku," he said as he composed his startled expression into a friendly smile. "What brings you here?"
"Nothing, really." She sauntered across his office, then perched on the edge of his desk. "And I bet that's what you're gonna say when I ask what's on that sphere you just tried to hide."
Gippal narrowed his eye, cocked his head to the side. "I don't suppose I can just say 'what sphere?' and expect you to believe me."
She grinned at him. "Nope." She put out her hand, palm up. "Now hand it over."
For a minute he studied her face. Then he grinned as he pushed his chair back and jumped out of her reach. "No." Quick as lightning, Rikku was on her feet, chasing him around the office. They were both laughing as she backed him into a corner; she stood on tiptoe as he extended the hand that held the sphere over his head.
"Aww, no fair." She jumped in a fruitless attempt to bat the sphere free. "You do realize, you're just making me more determined to know what's on there."
"Oh yeah?" His free hand slipped around her waist to pull her in close, then looked down at her, still chuckling. "You sure about that?"
She raised her eyebrows and hoped he couldn't feel her heartbeat kicking up a notch. "Please. Do you even know me at all?"
He laughed again and let her go. "Yeah, well, I'm still invoking executive privilege on this one. You're just going to have to stay curious for once."
"Fine." She stuck out her lower lip at him and stepped away as he slipped the sphere into his pocket. He sat back down at his desk; Rikku stood behind him, her arms dangling over his shoulders. She kissed his temple, then laid her cheek next to his. "So, you glad to see me?"
"Sure," he said, lifting a hand up and around to muss her hair. "You always liven the place up."
"I'm so glad to hear that." She kissed him again; then, in a single fluid motion, she slid her hand down his chest and into the pocket where he'd hidden the sphere, curled her fingers around it, and pulled it free.
"Hey!" Gippal knocked over his chair as he lunged for her, but she was already on the other side of the room.
She gave him a smug smile. "Never taunt a thief. I figured you'da learned that by now." Then she held up the sphere and clicked it on. A few seconds later, she let out a small shriek and turned it off again. She looked at Gippal, who was staring at his shoes.
"Is this what I think it is?"
Gippal scrubbed the back of his neck with a sheepish shrug. "Um. Yeah."
"Where did you find it?!"
He scuffed his feet against the floor. "It turned up on a dig." Rikku raised an eyebrow at him, and he raised his chin to meet her eyes. "Seriously. Nhadala delivered it personally this morning. She promised that no one else has watched it, and that she only saw enough to realize what it was. You know her policy: no one screens spheres in the field."
Rikku glared at the sphere as if it might explode in her hands. "So how did it get out there?"
Gippal shrugged. "Must've been left behind two years ago, like the other ones. The first minute or so is just a routine Crimson Squad exercise. I think she left the sphere in the camera, and one of them must have turned it on by accident. Maybe by knocking it over; that would explain the weird angle. And they didn't notice because they were, uh. You know. Otherwise occupied."
"Well, let's hope so." Rikku shuddered. "'Cause I really, really don't wanna think about the alternative." She squeezed her eyes shut in an attempt to banish the image that already seemed burned into her mind. Then a thought occurred to her, and she stared at Gippal, eyes wide. "So wait. Did you watch it?"
"Um." His eyes slid away from her, and Rikku was at his side like a shot, beating him around the shoulders.
"You pervert! How could you?" He held up his hands to ward her off, then caught her wrists. She stilled, glaring at him.
"I didn't watch the whole thing! Just enough to be sure it was... who Nhadala thought it was." He lowered their arms, then raised an eyebrow. "Besides. Like you wouldn't have?"
"Hmpf!" Rikku pulled free of his grip and dropped her hands to her hips, her right hand still clenched around the offending sphere. "Unlike certain people, I respect my friends' privacy." He said nothing, skepticism written in his arched brow, and for a long minute they stared each other down -- until Rikku saw Gippal's lips twitching with suppressed laughter. She felt an answering bubble of mirth rising in her chest, and soon a single giggle burst forth, followed by another, and then they were both laughing, the tension dissipating as she leaned on his shaking shoulder.
Then she straightened up, wiping a tear from her eye. "Okay, fine. You got me. But this probably falls into the category of too much information. Even for me."
He grinned. "Fair enough." He held out his hand, and she gave him back the sphere.
"So." She glanced at the sphere again. "You gonna tell them?"
"Well." He walked back to his desk and sat down; Rikku took a seat in the chair next to him. "I was sort of trying to decide about that when you walked in." He ran a hand through his hair. "My first thought was, well, of course, right? I mean, if it were me, I certainly wouldn't want anyone else to have it. But to give it to them, I have to admit that I saw what was on it. So then I started thinking that, since it seems to have been recorded accidentally, they probably don't even know it exists. And what they don't know won't hurt them. Right?"
"Maybe." Rikku glanced at the sphere, which Gippal had placed on the desk. "But if you don't give it back to them, then you have to hold onto it."
"Yeah." Gippal glanced at Rikku with an evil smile. "Hey, it might make for useful blackmail material, someday."
Rikku swatted him on the arm. "You wouldn't!"
Gippal kept the wicked grin in place for a few seconds, then mellowed into a laugh. "Nah. You're right, I wouldn't. I guess the only thing to do is destroy it."
"Yeah." Rikku slumped forward with a sigh, leaning her elbows on the desk as she contemplated the sphere. She heard Gippal chuckle, and she looked over at him. "What?"
"You're thinking about watching it, aren't you."
"Nooooo." She shook her head furiously, braids clicking. "No. Abso-posti-lutely not."
Gippal leaned back in his chair, arms crossed. "Uh-huh."
She stared at him, and then her lips curled into a saucy smile. "Well. Uh. Maybe. Just once."
"Just once." Gippal set the legs of his chair back onto the floor, a glint in his eye. "And then we destroy it?"
"Heck yeah." Rikku snatched the sphere off the table and sat up straight. "Can you imagine how awkward that particular conversation would be?"
Gippal laughed and shuddered at the same time. "No kidding. Okay, you've got a deal. Just let me lock the door."
Rikku bounced a little in her chair as he stood and walked across the room. "Don't forget the popcorn."