Two very different men have some things in common after all. Very unusual pairing. Yaoi.
When Nooj was a child, one of his first lessons was that if you wanted something, you simply went after it. You grabbed it, you took it, and you did whatever you pleased with it. He never forgot that lesson, even though his primary desire was death. He never intended to forget it either, especially when the something was a someone today. Now, a someone was a little different than a something. You have to consider personality, feelings, thoughts and reactions. Other than that, a someone was little different than a something. You wanted someone, you took inititave, but you did it on a tightrope. Not too confident, but not without it. Not too aggressive, but far from passive. Even though the left side of his body was Machina, he knew that he would have no problem maintaining his balance with a someone he intended to go after.
That someone was a Summoner. A soft-spoken, but sharp tongued one as he had no problem tearing apart Nooj's fellow Crimson Squad candidates whenever they hit on him. Not a single one of them had balance. Some fell right off the tightrope, others were pushed off by the red haired Summoner, while others managed to straddle the line just for a little bit before they simply jumped off. Some, however, never even had a chance to get on a tightrope. Case in point: the man who currently swaggered over to the Summoner and hovered near him for awhile. As soon as Nooj saw that, he knew that the burly, dark haired man had zero chance to do much of anything. He was part of Group 6 among the Crimson Squad candidates. They were known to be strong, but quite foolish. Nooj had no doubt that he would get to see just why Group 6 members earned the reputation they had. The Summoner, sensing the man's presence, slowly turned around and remained still, clearly waiting for the right moment to strike.
"Are you with someone?" The man asked and Nooj inwardly groaned as he had witness this about a thousand times everywhere else. Stupidity was universal.
"No," was the Summoner's only reply. Nooj knew that wasn't true as he had seen the Summoner with two Guardians, a dark skinned man and a child before the latter two went to their room. This made things interesting to him as he leaned forward, not wanting to miss a thing.
"Are you looking for some company?" The man asked, moving towards the empty stool.
The Summoner leaned back with a smile as bright as day, "Why yes, as a matter of fact, if you have any suggestions other than yourself, send them on by."
/He could suggest me, but he won't/. Nooj thought, helplessly grinning. /Not that I need anyone to suggest me/.
"I'm going to go out now," the man finally said after a long pause.
"You do that," was the Summoner's terse reply. When the man walked off, the Summoner turned back to the bar. Nooj wanted to get up and dance. He wished more people were like the Summoner. That way, there'd be less assholes who seemed to plague Spira.
"Oh man!" Gippal exclaimed before knocking back his clear, strong liquor know as "Yazu". "That was cold! Loved it!" He sat next to Baralai, who sat across from Nooj. Baralai buried his smile in his collar. He didn't touch his water. He was the only one at the table that didn't have an alcoholic drink. In fact, Nooj was willing to bet that he was the only one in all of the Mi'ihen travel agency that didn't.
"My kind of guy," Paine replied. She had a strawberry daiquiri in her gloved hands and mixed the whipped cream with a straw.
"Mine too," Nooj answered as he took a sip of red wine. His three friends looked incredulously at him.
"Excuse me? Your kind of guy?" Baralai blinked about a dozen times.
"Yes, mine," Nooj looked at the Summoner, who still had his back turned. "He's strong."
"That's obvious," Paine interjected. "You have to strong to be a Summoner."
"That's not quite what I meant. I mean that he's not afraid of getting rid of creeps. If you're an ass, he sees no reason to be polite." When Baralai flashed Nooj an evil grin, he added with a grin of his own, "I'm not a creep Baralai, so don't get any ideas."
Baralai chuckled, "I don't think I could be like him though. I mean, if someone were to threaten me, I'd fight back, but I wouldn't know how to deal with people like the Summoner just dealt with."
"Just say no," Paine shrugged.
Gippal put his arm around Baralai, "And say yes to me!"
"I thought I did that already," Baralai smooched his best friend's cheek.
"Knock it off, brats!" Nooj snapped in a playful manner. Paine only rolled her eyes.
"Yea, that'll happen," she said.
"So, how come you keep staring at the Summoner?" Gippal inquired. "You think you have a chance with him?"
The spray from the newly spat out drinks nearly blinded Nooj. Baralai looked as if Nooj had gone into a Temple and took a dump on one of the Fayths. Paine and Gippal couldn't help but shake their heads while trying not to laugh.
"In case you haven't noticed, Noojster, half your body is Machina," Gippal managed to respond after nearly choking on the Yazu.
"So?" Baralai echoed. "Nooj, if he is a Summoner, then he is sure to be a devout Yevonite."
"So, he'll probably detach your Machina limbs and shove them up your ass," Paine answered.
Nooj only shrugged, "He wouldn't do that."
"Oh, really? How would you know?" Gippal asked.
"It's all about maintaining balance," Nooj responded. Baralai raised his eyebrows. He knew exactly what Nooj was talking about.
"Indeed," Baralai agreed, "but, you're not dealing with an average Spiran. In fact, I don't think you're dealing with an average Summoner."
"He's human, isn't he?" Nooj argued. "Just because he's a Summoner, doesn't mean he's above everyone else."
"The rest of Spira disagrees," Baralai shook his head.
"I don't care," Nooj shrugged, looking back at the Summoner. He finally noticed that the Summoner was wearing blue and white robes. "All I have to do is tread carefully, then grab him and take him."
"Would that be before or after he chars you with an Aeon?" Paine grinned.
"He's not going to char me with a Aeon," Nooj answered simply.
"Oh, really?" Paine leaned forward, her face turning red from trying to hold back even more laughter. "What makes you so sure?"
"For him to react that way, I'd have to be a real threat. He hasn't charred anyone yet, and I seriously doubt I'd be the first."
"You're sort of missing the point though, Noojster," the younger Al Bhed glanced over to the Summoner. "I think he's rejected everyone here because they're either Crusaders or Crimson Squad candidates. No way the Summoner would find that attractive. He'd rather have a Yevonite."
"I don't think even a Yevonite would be good enough for him," Baralai sighed, looking at the Summoner. Nooj noticed longing in his dark eyes, but it only lasted for a second because Gippal grinned at him and he grinned back. "You'd need to be a Maester..."
"Or a fellow Summoner," Paine nodded.
"Maybe a Captain..."
All of them feel silent once Nooj mentioned that. Just a couple days ago, they were on a ship discussing their dreams of having an Airship of their own. Paine would be the pilot, Baralai would be the Navigator, Gippal would the engineer and Nooj himself would be Captain. So, where would the Summoner fit? Nooj found himself balling his fists. He knew damned well where the Summoner would fit. In a casket, or one of the Fayths all over Spira. There'd be a statue erected of him and he would become "High Summoner." Such a title meant nothing to Nooj because the Summoner granted that title was always dead, so what good would it do? It made Nooj wonder if the real reason for all the rejections was the realization that everything has now lost meaning since the Summoner would die. Before the three who sat with him, Nooj had no one and saw no point in being with anyone since he only intended to die. He earned two nicknames for that, but neither one guaranteed his death. But, the Summoner? He was sure to die. As far as Nooj was concerned, it's what linked them.
"Captain?" Gippal echoed before shaking his head. "No, still not good enough."
"We have something in common. How about that?"
When Baralai gasped, "Nooj!" No one was surprised. The white haired youth went on to say, "I don't want either of you to die, but at least his death is for Spira. Yours would be for yourself without any regard for your friends!"
"And the Summoner? Does he have regard for his friends? What about his Guardians? The dark skinned one must either be a friend or a brother. The little one is either his youngest brother or his child."
Baralai quickly countered, "As Guardians, they know what will happen to him, and if they didn't accept it, they would not have been Guardians."
"Sure, that works for the older one, but the younger? You make it sound like he has a choice."
That statement hung in air like a flying fiend. Gippal and Paine lowered their heads, but Baralai pressed his full lips together until his mouth looked like a straight line. Nooj glanced back at the Summoner. He knew that there was no way the child knew the implications of the Pilgrimage. Even if he didn't know the Summoner, he knew that he was an adult, and like most adults, they would lie to children thinking that a favor was done. Nooj would have loved to be a fly on the wall of the Zanarkand Fayth just to see the boy's reaction once he found out what had to be done in order to defeat Sin. That was, of course, assuming the Summoner ever made it that far. As soon as Nooj pictured the bleak mountains of Gagazet, he shut his eyes.
"Are you okay, Nooj?"
He opened his eyes to see concern in Baralai's. He nodded and glanced one more time at the Summoner. Nooj knew what Summoners were supposed to do. He understood that they would die to save the world for a little while. All they were doing was perpetrating the same thing for one thousand years. They didn't die honorably. They died for a religion that sacrificed them to appease a god that no one should be worshipping. What sort of beast would bring a monster into the world to kill and maim others? His own life was ruined. Countless lives, including that of his friends, were ruined in some way. What of the Summoner? Was his life as ruined as the others? Did he seek death because of it? What of his Guardians? Did the Summoner consider them? Nooj knew that he would never be able to find out unless he made his move now.
Taking one last gulp of wine, Nooj grabbed his cane and stood up. His left hip hurt, but he grit his teeth. Pain was nothing new to him.
"You're going to go after him?" Gippal asked, incredulous.
Paine smiled at Nooj, her eyes a mixture of awe and approval, "Good luck."
"Please be careful, Nooj," Baralai said, also smiling.
"You don't have to worry. The worst thing he could do is kill me," Nooj replied, helplessly returning the smiles.
The walk over the empty stool was the easiest in the world. If anyone stared at him and hoped that the Summoner would knock him into the middle of next week, he neither knew nor cared. All he knew was that the Summoner would be his for the taking, at least for a little while. Without concern for what might happen, Nooj sat sideways on the stool, ignoring everyone but the Summoner. He could see that the other man quickly tensed, his hands flat out on the bar. That didn't concern Nooj. The Summoner wasn't going anywhere. Nooj knew that before he claimed the space as his own.
Up close, Nooj could see the irritation all over the Summoner's handsome face as his hands became fists, but he simply waited until the Summoner finally turned, a string of vicious words ready to be thrown. Nothing came out. Instead, the Summoner's mouth remained open, his sharp blue eyes wide as his hands fell on his heavily robed lap. He could only manage one whispered word, a title Nooj had been given for his recklessness in battle.