Story: Midnight Flight (chapter 9)

Authors: AnsticeVolk

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Chapter 9

Title: New Poster Couple

[Author's notes: Sorry it took so long to get up.  I've had putter issues.]

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Mahatma Gandhi



“Yuna! So brave, so strong, so wonderfully fit, so firm, so luscious, so…” –click.

Paine quickly turned off her mike and yawned. She sniffed and opened her eyes as Rikku stirred. “Tell Brother just five more minutes.”

Paine just smirked and proceeded to sit up. She scratched her head and pushed Rikku aside. Rikku continued to roll and curled up into a little ball, feigning sleep. “Rikku, get up.”

“No, I don’t think I will.”

“Fine, when I win the competition I will eat all the Moogle Coins in front of you.”

“You can’t win without your partner…you’ll get disqualified,” Rikku countered with a sly grin.

“Not if my partner is knocked out in the beginning of the round because someone got ‘careless’ with her sword,” Paine said walking towards a dog sleeping soundly.

Rikku, with her eyes still closed, simply held up her hand and waited for Paine to help her up. Paine woke the dog up and let it lick her hand and walked back to Rikku. Taking her hand in hers, Paine pulled the blonde to her feet. “Jeez Paine, your hands are sweaty…wipe them off next time.”

“My mistake,” Paine replied in monotone with an inward smile.

Rikku rubbed her face to help wake herself up and stopped. “GUH,” she looked at her hands, “-huff huff- what what what is…is….”


The warrior simply cocked her head to the side and raised her eyebrow, looking at the dog panting happily. Rikku glared and pouted her lips. She reached inside the pouch on her belt and took out a tiny package. She opened it and wiped the dog spit off with the moist towelette. “You know…I bet your hand smells just as bad…and you know…I bet you don’t have any of these,” Rikku said as she sauntered towards Paine.

Stopping right in front of her, Rikku held up the towelette. “I could be nice and let you use mine…or I could just let you have smelly pooch hand. What should I do? Hmm, decisions decis- hey!”

Paine quickly snatched the small wipe from the thief’s hand and began to clean her glove off. “Yeah…or you could just let me take it from you.”

Rikku feigned a scowl. She seems to be in a playful mood. She’s so cute.

“Spira to Rikku,” Paine said waving a hand in the blonde’s face, “you ready to begin warming up?”

Rikku grabbed the moving hand and intertwined their fingers. “I’m always ready to get you hot and sweaty,” she said with a wink.

The warrior fought back a blush and moved her face towards Rikku’s. The Al Bhed could feel the warmth of Paine’s breath on her lips. Rikku heard her say something about letting them begin but all she understood was how close Paine was to her.

Pulling back, Paine stared at the blonde who’s features were a trance-like expression. Paine raised an eyebrow and tugged the thief’s hand to get her to move. Maybe I shouldn’t play around with her so much. But she starts it. It’s only right of me to finish it. Yeah…



“Geez…slow down Paine…this just a warm up,” Rikku yelped as she dodged an attack.

Paine slowed down and wiped away a thin veil of sweat on her forehead. “I’m just ready to get this over with now.” Tidus…you’re going to be obliterated.

“Well, if you keep going at it like that Ms. Painey-pants you won’t have any energy to fight in the championship battle. Come on…the fight against Ziv and Svetlana should be our warm up so lets just go wait until our turn is up again, okay?”

Paine tilted her head sighing. She looked Rikku up and down quickly before she nodded. Rikku smiled and grabbed her hand and they walked to see how the fight with Lucil and Elma was doing.


“Oh and Commander Lucil hits Ekon in the back hard! I don’t think he will be getting up from that one folks!”


Oh isn’t Commander Lucil amazing? She is simply beautiful and marvelous. I’m so lucky to be with her. She’s the greatest things that has ever happened to me and I’m just so so so so so privileged. “Elma, look out!”

Elma turned around just in time to block a strong attack from Chasina. Elma stumbled back and Lucil ran to her side. “You okay?”


The young woman nodded and the two set their sights on Chasina. The strong woman braced herself; she wasn’t going down without a fight. Elma and Lucil ran towards her, weapons in hand. Chasina took her sword and separated it into two. She twirled them twice and met each of the other women’s swords.

“Wow…geez Paine, how come your sword doesn’t separate into two like that,” Rikku asked pointed at the three women fighting.

“Because I’d whip any and everybody’s ass if I had two swords.”

Rikku smiled. She knew that Paine wasn’t lying. If the warrior was that skilled with one sword…just imagine what damage she could deal with two.

The clanking of metal and hard breathing was all that the three women could hear. Everything else around them was blocked out and unimportant. Chasina fought diligently against Elma and Lucil but eventually they would wear her down. Two against one were never very good odds in fighting, especially with trained fighters. Elma and Lucil looked at each other quickly and nodded. Elma stopped swinging her sword immediately, causing Chasina to be caught off guard. Lucil took advantage of this and came up to her side and elbowed her behind the ear, just hard enough to knock her unconscious.


“Well there we have it folks! With Ekon and Chasina both knocked out, our winners of this round are Commander Lucil and Elma! What a fantastic match! As the grounds men clear the floor of those two, will Ara, Tal, Varon, and Nixie please come to the arena? Don’t go anywhere folks, the first battle of the quarter-finals will begin in a few minutes!”

“Wow Paine…so that will make them be matched up with,” Rikku closed one eye and scrunched her face.

“Tidus and Yuna.”


“Tidus and Yunie! Oh neato! Ya know, we only get three more fights until we are named the champs!”

“Don’t be so arrogant Rikku…anything weird could happen at any given moment.”

Rikku tilted her head and squeezed Paine in a tight hug, “umpf.”

The thief rested her cheek on the older girl’s collar bone and closed her eyes. A small smile formed on her lips when she felt Paine hug her back. We’d make such a cute couple. Strong, serious Painey…awesome, funny, super-cute Rikku…no other couple could stand a chance in cuteness. Tidus and Yunie got nothing on us! We’ll be the poster couple of Spira…just watch us. “RIKKU! When’s Yuna coming back to fight?”

“Brother! I though you went back to watching your shows?”

“And give up the chance to see Yuna in all her glory? I don’t think so.”

Rikku sighed, “She and TIDUS will be going against Lucil and Elma later. You’ll just have to wait! In the mean time, you should cheer for me and Painey when we‘re up!”

“Wha? You and….Paine?….Ryja E mucd so seht…? Dryd ec fryd drao yna tuehk…?” (Have I lost my mind? That is what they are doing?)

Rikku just smiled and turned off her mike. She stepped away from Paine and watched as the four fighters in the arena psyched themselves up for the next battle. Ara and Tal were loosening up, cracking there necks and knuckles, where as Varon and Nixie were quietly chanting something.

“Who you think is gonna win, Paine?”

Paine glanced at Rikku and then back to the fighters. “Varon and Nixie.”

“Ne special reasons? Going for the underdogs, eh,” Rikku questioned cutely.

“They know what they’re doing. The other two don’t have enough rank on them to win this match. It’ll be over shortly.”

The thief smiled sweetly and blinked back to the combatants. She tilted her head and watched the fight get underway. Varon and Nixie were kicking the other two’s butts, to put it frankly. Rikku would have figured that Ara and Tal would win because they didn’t get worn out in the first battle like the old couple. Apparently Varon and Nixie were just that good. They are gonna be tough to beat. If Paine and I can get them each one on one and not let them work together…we will have a really good chance at winning. Yep…just have to keep the geezers apart and the fight is a shoe in.

Paine looked quickly at Rikku. What is she smiling about?


“And the winners are….Varon and Nixie! Oh man folks…they had the upper hand the entire battle! With this victory, they will be facing the winner of our next battle! Will they be fighting Rikku and Paine? Or will they be dueling with Ziv and Svetlana?! We will begin the second battle of the semi-finals shortly! In the meantime, why don’t you stop by the concession stand and purchase a cold beverage or a delicious hotdog? Take the kids to get a balloon or a foam finger! Ten percent of the proceeds will go towards saving the Squatter Monkeys of Kilika Woods!”


“Oh Paine! Let’s get a hotdog after this match! I wanna help the cute little monkeys! Ghiki will be happy that I helped his relatives!”

“I thought that monkey died?”

“NO! He is alive and well,” Rikku said matter of factly.

“Surprised me. Come on…we’re up. Let’s do this.”

“Right, Paine!”

Paine and Rikku made their way to the arena.

Ziv and Svetlana were sitting on their box when Rikku and Paine walked into the arena. They quickly stood up once the two were positioned across from them. Svetlana grabbed her battling rod and Ziv tightened his grip on his spear. Rikku twirled her daggers for show, to excite the crowd, as Paine raised her sword and sliced it towards their opponents.


The air was filled with enthusiasm and the smell of hotdogs. The crowd cheered for the match to begin and a chant could be heard shouting “RiPa.” The announcer downed a bottle of water and made his way to the center of the stadium. “Alright people of Spira! It is time for the next battle to BEGIN! Paine and Rikku, I like you to meet Ziv and Svetlana! No need for courtesies now, just begin!!”


The four waited for him to get out of the way and they then began their assault. Rikku made a beeline towards Svetlana as Paine dashed towards Ziv with a menacing glare. Ziv slashed at the warrior and missed as she jumped over his head and landed behind him. Easily she could have taken him out but this was supposed to be their warm up. I can’t knock him out now…I haven’t even broken a sweat.


A few yards away, Rikku was toying with Svetlana. The poor woman was doing her best just to block the swipes coming from the Al Bhed. The clanging of metal hitting metal could be heard all over the stadium. After a few moments Rikku’s smile grew even wider. Paine was still practicing with Ziv when she heard a familiar tune. Is that? She is! Rikku is hitting her weapon on that battle rod to the tune of Real Emotion! She must be getting bored. She even scrapes the blade down it for the notes that are carried out. “Rikku!”

“What,” she said with a grin.


The thief nodded and jumped behind Svetlana and knocked her out. Paine crossed weapons with Ziv and pushed his away hard. He twirled around and lost his balance, causing him to bend at the waist. Having his back open, Paine hit him with the hilt of her sword and he fell to the dirt.

“And that’s it for this battle! Those two just wiped them out! Let’s hear it for Paine and Rikku folks!”

Rikku smiled cutely as she raised her daggers and jumped excitedly. Paine just smirked. She was kind of disappointed in not giving the crowd a better show…but who was she to show off with such second-rate opponents? They’ll get a better fight for the championship battle. Yuna and Tidus won’t go down easy, but by Spira she will win. They will win.

“Yeeeeeeaaaaah,” Rikku yelled as she did one final jump with a punch towards the crowd. Paine sauntered up next to her and gently elbowed her. The thief stumbled and turned to face her partner. She raised her fists and snuffed at her nose with her thumb. She bounced back and forth and punched the air. Paine grabbed one of the lightning quick fists and spun the blonde around. Kicking out the blue sneakers under her, she dipped the owner. Paine grinned staring down at her. Rikku raised her chin and a glint of mischief shot through her eyes. “Kiss me.”


The warrior’s smile lessened slightly as a small blush covered her cheeks. She pulled Rikku up and kissed her lightly on her forehead. The crowed “awed” and both the girls smiled. Paine shook her head with a smirk and dropped Rikku all of eight inches. The mass of people laughed as she turned and took two steps away and then turned back to Rikku. The Al Bhed sat in the dirt with her head tilted to the side. Paine huffed and went to pick up Rikku. She placed her hands under the girls’ arms and raised her as one would a child. She wiped a smudge of dirt off the younger girl’s chin and took her hand and led them towards the arena’s exit.

“Those two are such a cute and funny couple! Hah hah! Well, next up we ha…”

The announcer’s voice faded out as the doors to the warm up arena closed behind Rikku and Paine. They went to the mat they had slept on and sat down. “Say Paine… should we go out there and watch the fight with Yunie and Tidus? We will most likely be going against them the championship round?”

“You can go. I’m going to stay here and focus for our battle against Varon and Nixie.”

Rikku didn’t want to leave Paine so she sat there with her legs stretched out in front of her. She reached for her toes and bobbed a little bit, then she leaned back on her hands and looked at the ceiling. Paine sat cross legged and thought about their next challenge. Soon they’d be up against the water couple and this wasn’t going to be an easy fight. They’re experienced, well trained, quite athletic for their age, and battle smart. What can be their weakness? Lightning? Too obvious…they’re sure to be equipped with armor that’s lightning resistant. Hm… “Hey Rikku.”


“The best strategy I have against Varon and Nixie is to keep them apart and not let them team up. That’s about it though.”

Rikku looked at her. “Is that really all you have?”

Paine nodded. Rikku looked deep in thought for a couple minutes and then an idea struck her. “Say! They’re old right? Why don’t we just cast haste on them and let them have a heart attack? They are taking the risk anyways for competing and being so old. And besides…they have the emergency squad nearby.”

Listening to her idea, Paine figured it was better than hers. They could just cast haste on themselves and then on the other two and just maybe that would work. Rikku came up with a pretty smart idea…she’ll be a scheming strategist in no time. “Fine. It works for me.”

Rikku held her head high and gleamed at her brilliant idea. Yeah. I totally showed Paine my genius. I hope it works…it would suck if it didn’t.


“And now people of Spira! The semifinals begin! With the loss of Hania and Tait and the astonishing loss Commander Lucil and Elma, we have but four couples left. Beginning now…Varon and Nixie will fight against Rikku and Paine. Soon after that Sage and Vivek will battle with Yuna and Tidus! Which couples will make it to the championship battle? Which team will win the 100,000 gil and Moogle Coins? Which team will become the new poster couple of Capt. Spira’s couple competition? Only time will tell! Let’s get the next battle started! Fighters, you know who you are, come to the arena now!”

Paine and Rikku walked to center arena and Nixie and Varon followed suit. The four shook hands and went to their starting blocks. The crowd cheered loudly as the bell rang for the match to begin. The warrior and thief each cast haste on themselves and proceeded to cast it on their opponents as well. The four fought rapidly for quite some time and it seemed as if the plan was a failure until they noticed Nixie grab at her chest. She bent over breathing heavily and Varon ran to her as Rikku and Paine backed off. He talked to her soothingly and eased her down to the ground. He then yelled for the emergency squad to come take her to the recovery center. The medical technicians quickly took her away as Varon picked up his wife’s sword. Walking toward the other two, he smiled slightly. In a soft voice he muttered, “That was very clever of you two. Separating us and using our old age to your advantage…,” Varon wiped at his beard, “I understand you want to save your energy for the final battle…I’ll give in now if you two swear that we can have a rematch…no tricks…just a good ol’ fashioned brawl.”

Paine looked down and Rikku and they both nodded. “Alright then. It’s a deal…but you best bring you A game.”

Varon nodded. “We always do. Until next time young ones. HEY! I ADMIT DEFEAT! THEY WIN!”

The grey haired man bowed and walked in the direction of the recovery center.

“Um…well there you have it folks! Seems like these two are in the championship round! But who will be joining them? Let’s have a cheer for our next contenders, Sage, Vivek, Tidus, and Yuna!”


“Paine…,” Rikku whined.

“What is it?”

“I’m nervous about the next battle. Yunie and Tidus look like they’re getting ready to finish up out there…I think they’ve been practicing.”

Paine rested her hand on Rikku’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about anything. We’ve improved too and we will win. You got that? We’ll make it happen.”

Rikku exhaled and nodded with a smile. She reached for Paine’s hand and glanced towards the arena. She nodded again and looked back at Paine with raised eyebrows. “Well, look sharp.”

The warrior raised one eyebrow and led the blonde toward the stage.

“And there we go! Lady Yuna and Tidus are the winners! They are going against Rikku and Paine in championship battle! It will start in twenty minutes! So stock up on food and drinks because this is going to be one battle you won’t forget!”


Tidus walked out with his head held high and his hand around Yuna’s waist. Yuna’s hand was in Tidus’ back pocket and she wore a coy expression. From the other side, Paine walked out with her fingers intertwined around Rikku’s. Both couples stopped near the center and smoke shot out of the ground behind each. The crowd went wild and the cheer could surely be heard for miles around. Paine stared hard at Tidus who seemed oblivious to her because he simply stared at Rikku. He did a subtle wink and Rikku’s hand tightened around Paine’s. “Why don’t you drool over YOUR girlfriend like that, Tidus?”

Tidus glared at Paine, “Why don’t you go and get outta here bitch?”


Yuna looked at her boyfriend, “What’s you problem Tidus?”

“It’s nothing sweetie.”

Rikku raised her head, “Yeah, heh, I bet it’s too hard for him to pronounce.”

The warrior smirked at Rikku’s attempt to make a mordacious comment. As Tidus was getting ready to comment back, the announcer walked up. “Okay you four… it seems like you’re ready for this. Remember, if you use way too much excessive force, kill someone, break someone’s whatever, and blah blah blah you will be disqualified. You win only if both members of the same party are unable to fight or give in and you get the gist. Well alright, be classy and good luck.”

The announcer turned around and started talking to the crowd. Rikku had a serious look on her face for once and Yuna inwardly winced at the harshness. Tidus’ eyebrows were furrowed and Paine’s eyes seemed to be a brighter shade of crimson than usual. They exchanged final glances before each turned around and headed toward their blocks. “Hey, what was that about back there,” Yuna asked.

“Seriously…it was nothing.” Tidus reassured her, “you ready to do this?”

Yuna nodded and tilted her head with a smile. Tidus leaned down and kissed her forcefully. The gunner blushed and placed her arms around his waist. On the other block, Paine and Rikku looked away. Debating on whether she should or shouldn’t, Paine figured what was the harm in “playing it up” as Rikku put it. She turned towards the blonde and placed her hands on the girl’s hips. She leaned down and kissed Rikku lightly. She began to lean back but was stopped by arms going around her neck. Rikku brought her in closer and her right foot raised. Pulling back, they held onto each other and looked back at the Yuna and Tidus. “Tee hee…I think they’re jealous.”

Tidus grimaced at how well they fit into one another. They looked as if they were meant to be held by each other. Perfect. They molded perfectly into each other. Tidus grew rigid. Feeling his tenseness, Yuna grabbed his hand and petted it. It seemed to calm him down…a little. “AND LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!!!”

They all picked up their weapons and jumped off their boxes. Paine rushed towards Tidus and the two clashed swords. Yuna was firing at Rikku who was deflecting the bullets with her daggers. Yuna then used Trigger Happy and managed to hit Rikku in the shoulder, thigh, and arm. The thief clenched her daggers and screamed. She raced towards her cousin with the fury of an angry chocobo, dodging the rounds being shot at her. Jumping high in the air she came down hard on Yuna. She cut an X right under Yuna’s clavicle, causing her hood to fall to the ground and blood to rise up. “Looks like you’ve been branded Yunie.”

Yuna wiped away some of the blood and looked at her hand. Shaking, she balled her hand into a fist and punched at Rikku. The Al Bhed swatted it away with a forearm and hit the gunner in the stomach with lightning quick speed. Yuna staggered backwards and raised her gun. Rikku lifted her leg and knocked it out of her hand with an inside crescent kick. The weapon went skidding across the ground. Yuna looked panicked for a second but she then stood up straight with a stern expression. Rikku twirled her daggers and threw them into the dirt. The blades stuck into the ground and the hilts vibrated back and forth. “Might as well make this fair, eh?”

Yuna looked downward and turned back pulling a gun out from behind her and aiming it at the blonde. Rikku stood ready. “You think I’d be dumb enough just to have one gun with me? Man Rikku…that wasn’t very smart.”

Yuna fired the gun. Rikku swiftly bent backwards with the bullet going right over her chin like some cool Matrix move. Back flipping behind her daggers, she pulled them up along with her upper body. Both ladies, now rearmed, continued to battle.

“Tch, come on Tidus, surely you can do better then that.”

“Hah hah, I don’t see you outmatching me at all. Perhaps you need to shut your mouth,” Tidus countered.

Paine merely smirked, “Bring it punk.”

They clashed swords again and pushed against each other. Paine inched her way up and summoned enough strength to push Tidus off balance. She swiped downward and cut into his clothes. Barely drawing blood, she clenched her jaw and raised her sword once again. Tidus rolled out of the way and slashed at Paine’s knees. The warrior jumped up and dodged the blade. Steadying herself, she gripped tightly to her sword. Tidus came rushing forward and thrust his sword right at Paine. She used her blade to push it away and came up with a kick to his head. The blitz ball star shook it off and began to use his overdrive, Slice and Dice. Almost unseen, he rushed by Paine and cut her on the arm. He ran past again and sliced her stomach. Running by again he slashed her shoulder. On his final cut, she targeted him before he hit her and she rammed the heel of her palm under his chin and sent him flying. He landed sprawled on the dirt shaking his head back and forth. “Uhh.”

“Tch, damn you,” Paine muttered grabbing her shoulder.


Yuna forgot her fight with Rikku and ran over to her boyfriend. Paine went over to Rikku to see how she was doing. “Tidus? Come on, wake up. Wake up.”

The blonde opened his eyes slowly and let his vision focus. Yuna sighed with relief and smiled. She helped him to his feet and steadied him until he could stand on his own.

“Looks like he nicked you a couple of times, Paine,” Rikku said wiping at some of her cuts.

“Lucky hits. And look at you…,” Paine mentioned.

Rikku shrugged and held out a potion. “Rana...dyga drec.” (Here…take this.)

The older girl took it and drank half of it. Her cuts quickly healed and she gave the rest of the potion back to Rikku. Rikku took it and drank the rest. All the bullet wounds mended themselves and she was back to normal. She threw the bottle away and smiled back up at Paine who looked down and wiped a smudge off her chin. The blonde raised her head towards Paine and suddenly felt herself being pushed forcefully backwards. Landing on her side, she looked where she was standing and found a stalagmite of ice piercing upwards. Some of Rikku’s potions fell out and broke but she grabbed what didn’t and scrambled to her feet as more blizzaga spells were cast towards her. One by one icicles rose from the ground penetrating anything that was above it. Rikku ran as fast as she could to get away from them. A very weak blizzard spell was cast in front of her as she stepped forward. Must be Tidus’. The ice enveloped her boots causing her to be frozen to the ground. Beneath her a blizzaga spell began to form. Rikku winced, ready for the agony. It didn’t come. She was being carried in the arms of a silver haired warrior, away from the frost, with her feet bare. Paine placed the Al Bhed on the ground and sprinted back with speed only possible with haste. She yelled flame tongue and melted the ice with Rikku’s boots. Grabbing them she rushed back and gave them to their owner. Rikku quickly put them on and grinned at Paine. She smiled back and was suddenly struck with a lightning bolt. “Erah!”

The warrior fell backwards and dispel was cast on her. Beneath her, ice began forming. Rikku ran to her and pushed her out of the way. The spell was a small puddle of slushy water. Tidus really needs to stop…that is just pathetic. With Paine out of harm’s way, Rikku turned back toward the spell casters. Yuna, in her black mage outfit, began to cast blizzaga. Not again!! The thief jumped out of the way and rolled back to her feet. The icicles were right on her trail. Yuna was casting them even faster and Rikku was sprinting just to stay a few inches away. Suddenly, Rikku was snapped back into the stalagmite just cast. Her scarf had been pierced right through. She quickly tugged at it and heard a slight rip but was still fixed to it. No! The blizzaga shot up out of the ground. She felt nothing but skinned knees and a cool neck. The crowd fell silent.


A.N. and that is all for now….hah yeah right…I wouldn’t do that!















Rikku snapped her head around and gasped. “Paine! NO,” she cried.

The ice impaled the warrior through her abs. Blood was running down the frozen pillar as she gasped for air.


“Hey there. I’m Rikku. Nice to meet you,” the blonde said holding out her hand.

Looking at it, a tall warrior grasped it and responded, “Paine.”

“Well, now that we are practically best friends now…would you like to join the Gullwings?”

The serious woman looked at the bikini-clad girl and then behind her. There stood a huge airship that had to have so much torque it would leave a crater the size of Kilika Island if floored. She looked back at the blonde who had pyre flies floating around her like some sort of deity. Her emerald eyes, with the Al Bhed trademark, glittered in the setting sun. The Moonflow was never this gorgeous… “Alright.”



A small tear fell from Paine’s eye. “Rikku…”

“I’m here Paine…”


“O-okay…I’ll do it…just hang in there and stay conscious. Please…”

Rikku briskly turned to the other couple. Running towards them with tears in her eyes she screamed, “Machina Maw!”

Something clicked. Without having to change to all her dress spheres, the machina rose from beneath the ground and splashed in front of her with a fantastic thud. Outfitted in gold, Rikku charged the machine and hopped aboard. “Eraaaahhhh!!! Varja!! Smasher, Crusher…Howitzer!!”

Yuna and Tidus were paralyzed by fear and stared wide-eyed at the powerful machina heading toward them. Yuna somehow snapped out of it and casted protect on them. The machina slammed into them with a mighty attack. Smasher then slammed into Yuna as Crusher crashed into Tidus. The two were knocked into the block, which crumbled on impact. The protect seemed to have done nothing.

Behind Rikku, Paine summoned all her strength and pushed herself off the icicle and fell to the ground. “That a way, Rikku…hm…that a way…”

She tried hard not to succumb to darkness and mentally cheered on Rikku. She’s done good…really good…damn…I should’ve brought a potion…or eight. Paine swallowed and looked to the ground…was it? Was she hallucinating? A potion? A hi-potion? Half full? She grabbed it and weakly twisted off the top… Just enough to stop the bleeding…bottoms up… Paine shakily raised the bottle to her lips and drank the bitter concoction. The bleeding began to slow, some muscle began to repair itself, and some of her consciousness returned to her.

“Shockstorm!! Homing Ray!”

Tidus and Yuna were being battered with attack after attack but somehow managed to stay conscious, much to their misfortune. “Shockwave!”

That was the last attack either of them saw before blacking out. Rikku was breathing heavily and her machina slowly began dissolving back into the earth. She stood there for a minute and remembered. She turned back to where she last saw Paine. All that was there was a bloody mess. She followed the trail of blood down and saw her sitting at the base. Rikku ran towards her. “Paine!”

“Rikku…do me a favor…”

“Yes…an-anything Paine…”

“Get off my hand and hand me another potion…”

Rikku quickly removed her knee from the warrior’s hand and dug around in her pouch to find another potion. She had two left. She opened them and placed the opening to Paine’s mouth, slowly pouring the liquid in. After the second potion, Paine’s stomach began healing. More muscle repaired itself, the bleeding completely stopped, and Paine had enough strength to get up. The crowd howled with excitement and relief as Paine stood. RiPa was chanted over and over again with such enthusiasm. “And the winners! RIKKU AND PAINE!”

If possible, the crowd grew even louder and thrilled. Paine grinned at Rikku as she leaned on her. Rikku beamed a huge smile as she helped Paine to the recovery center.

[End notes: Okie. That's all for now.  I'll begin working on the next chapter.  In the meantime, review and lemme know what ya think. Thanks!]

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