Baralai/Gippal together before they go to Mi'ihen.
Today especially brought smiles to everyone's faces(except for Nooj, of course, because he never seldom smiled about anything) because the next day meant actual combat in a not-so dry place. Mi'ihen, actually, and they'd be going by boat, which worked perfectly because water ruled over sand. At least for Baralai it did.
Baralai had a ritual, and that simply meant standing beside Gippal, which he chose to do right now. "Hey, Gippal. It'll be a beautiful night, especially since we're leaving here."
"Yea," Gippal shrugged. "I never paid attention to the stars though. Not really, not like you."
"I guess not. I love looking at them, but doesn't it seem like everything is more beautiful when you're about to leave?"
Again, Gippal shrugged. "I never really thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, I guess it's true. Home looked like it was begging me to stay because it looked much better than before. I guess it's psychological."
"But, you came here."
"So, did you. Didn't Bevelle look more beautiful before you left?"
Baralai lowered his head, thinking of the colorful towers, the water falling from miles high, the surrounding crystal forest and mountains. "Yes, but it always looked beautiful to me."
"Same could be said for Home, but it's not to your taste though, I guess."
"Hmmm...I wouldn't know. I've never been there."
"Maybe one day, after all of this, I can take you." Gippal replied before chuckling. "I think the Al Bhed would be more accepting of you before people in Bevelle accept me."
Baralai sighed. "Yes, I suppose that's true. Maybe when Sin is finally defeated, people will change their minds. It'll be slow, because change always is, but it'll happen."
Gippal looked up at the newly appearing stars. "You could be right. I just hope it happens in our lifetimes. Heh, I'm impatient." He rubbed his neck, a common habit of his. "What can I say?"
"Nooj is like that too," Baralai replied. "So is Paine, but she's not as vocal about it. I worry about Nooj sometimes."
"He's angry all the time. I mean, he's a good friend, but I think if it weren't for us, he would have died a long time ago."
"You could be right. If it weren't for Paine, then he easily could have. None of us wanted that, but I'm glad he has someone he can relate to."
That statement made Baralai smile. Then again, Gippal did that pretty often. "Don't we have someone we can relate to?"
Gippal chuckled. "Yes, of course." He looked at Baralai, his eye that wasn't covered with an eyepatch sparkled with mischief. "We've got each other. Not a bad deal when you think about it." Gippal looked back at the sun which had become nothing more than something to paint the sky with dark purplish red. "I guess all four of us are lucky. Some of the Crimson Squad groups actually hate each other. In face, if Sin doesn't kill them, they'll kill each other."
"Don't say that. No one's that hateful." At least Baralai hoped not. He certainly never remembered hating anyone that much.
"You don't get out much. Believe me, some people are just mean, but you're not. I can't see you being like any of the less pleasant members in the Squad."
Baralai smiled. "That's nice to know, but Nooj is angry, but I don't see him really hating anyone either."
"Nah, just himself. He'll never fully tell us what happened in the past, but there's no doubt that it haunts him." Gippal picked up a stone, and tossed it into the water. "Even if he seems calm, there's no doubt that what happened to him affects him every day, and not just physically either."
Baralai followed the rock as it skipped across the water before eventually sinking. "Still, he's a little happier now. I guess it's because we're going to Mi'ihen to fight Sin."
"Sure, in our own way. We're supposed to be going to some kind of cave." Gippal grinned. "Hardly ideal for any of us, but every little bit counts."
"Especially if it beings peace."
"Nooj would just say it's boring. I can see it now."
Baralai shrugged. "He and Paine are warriors. Everything that doesn't involve fighting is boring to them." He smiled at the fading sun. "I have other ways to entertain myself."
"I'm sure you do." Gippal said, his eye giving Baralai that knowing look. "I do too."
If his skin weren't dark, anyone would be able to see Baralai's blush. "Uh, yea, of course we do. I can't help but wonder what will happen when we get to our assignment. I'd like to be optimistic, but I'm never sure. What if something goes wrong?"
Gippal wrapped his arm around Baralai. "Come on, you know better than that. Everything will be okay."
"I sure hope so. I hope that all of Spira will be okay once Sin is gone."
"See?" Gippal said, tightening his hold. "You sound more confident already."
Baralai rested his head on his best friend's shoulder. "That's because you're with me. I don't what I'd be thinking if you weren't with me."
"See, that's your problem. You think too much and you worry too much. Thinking's not bad, but sometimes you have to just do it."
"Do it, you say?" Baralai smirked, wondering where that sudden thought came from.
"Hah! And you say that my mind is always in the gutter!" Gippal laughed.
"I, uh, think I learned it from you."
They didn't say much more after that, but they certainly did more. Some people say that the stars are the eyes of those who had died. Baralai wasn't sure whether to believe that or not, but what he did know was that if they were eyes, he hoped that they wouldn't be too horrified at the doings of two boys under the cold desert sky.