1. Baralai lies. It's not even accusation - it's fact. [Written for the 100,000 words of Baralai/Gippal project.]
That didn't hurt as much as might be expected; Baralai had given up any claims to honesty when he asked Maester Seymour for protection. He just takes a certain amount of consolation in the fact that - despite what Gippal may say, and despite the fact that his definition of a lie doesn't bear much resemblance to the rest of Spira's - there are some people he has never deliberately lied to, and - more impressively - has no plans of lying to.
Gippal is on the top of the list, although he doesn't know it. Baralai wouldn't tell him, for the simple reason that Gippal would probably laugh and say that was the worst lie he'd ever told.
2. Baralai learns fast when he wants to, and he picks up the weirdest things. Gippal knows he can recite dates of "historical interest" - or at least, historical interest according to Nooj - and treat wounds without any supplies courtesy of Paine, but he only realises Baralai's picked up something about machina when he comes down to the basement of Bevelle Palace where the Machine Faction are working and starts helping.
Baralai must have picked up some Al Bhed as well - Rikku comes down a few hours later and catches Gippal watching Baralai (Coatless and with his shirtsleeves rolled up; Gippal has to admit that he's pretty far gone if Baralai's bare arms and throat are more interesting than the amount of skin Rikku's outfit's showing off. Then again, considering that "forearms and throat" probably equate to "more of Baralai's skin than he's seen in two years," he's got an excuse.) more closely than he can pass off as wanting to make sure they didn't electrocute the Praetor of New Yevon.
"Yna oui /cdemm suuhehk ujan Baralai?"/ she asks grinning and shoving at his shoulder. Gippal laughs - sure, Baralai'll be annoyed that they're talking about him in a language he didn't understand, but at least Gippal won’t have to answer any awkward questions.
Or at least, that's what he thinks: Baralai jumps, nearly smacking his head on the console he'd been lying under, and says "Is Gippal still what?"
3. New Yevon tried to restrict Baralai's power exactly once. That lasted about three days - three days of being unable to access the commsphere network, of having lifts and doors and lights lose power unexpectedly, of whole sections of Bevelle Palace being unusable.
Baralai always insisted it was a coincidence, and no one asked Gippal in case he arranged for it to happen again.
4. Gippal takes real pleasure in making Baralai look a mess and he won't try to deny it. There's just something about grabbing Baralai in his office or the corridor, pressing against him and kissing him as thoroughly as he could manage - something apart from the obvious anyway. Baralai always makes a few token noises of protest, then slings an arm around his shoulder and slides a hand into the Gippal's hair, messing up the spikes. Not that anyone would notice on him - Gippal's turned looking rumpled into an art form - but Baralai's always neat and precise. Baralai with his hair a messy white halo around his face, shirt open under his coat to reveal dark skin and that complicated belt half-undone... Well, that was an image that could last for weeks.
Almost as long, in fact, as the memory of the look on Isaaru's face when he walked in and saw the state Gippal left Baralai in.
5. There are more spheres of their time in the Crimson Squad than the eight that Paine found. Not many more, admittedly, but there'd been some. Baralai had found them buried in boxes of spheres marked for disposal - from the dates on the box, the only reason they hadn't been was because Lady Yuna had drawn attention away from the twenty-seven candidates that died and the three that hadn't. He would have to thank her.
Most of them he offered to the others to watch and choose from as they wished, but some he kept back. Not ones that could be considered important. One of him and Gippal sprawled out in the sand at night, Gippal laughing and pointing at the stars, shamelessly making up names for them and Baralai not being able to contradict him because he hadn't even known half of them existed. Gippal at the Oasis, barely pausing long enough to strip off his clothes before he throws himself in, coming up gasping with the water running down him and his hair a sand-coloured mat in his face - then lunging for the camera.
Little things like that. Nothing that would interest the others.
He probably should have shared them with the rest anyway, but - well. Everyone's busy. Nooj with keeping the Youth League intact and Paine doing whatever it was she did when she wasn't teasing Rikku or helping Commander Lucil be Nooj's keeper. Baralai had New Yevon to run, and Gippal, despite Baralai's best efforts, was not working exclusively at Bevelle. It was hard enough getting everyone alone in the same room the first time.
Besides, Gippal's ego was large enough without knowing that Baralai was keeping spheres of him.
6. Gippal's voice sounds different when he speaks Al Bhed. Deeper. Smoother perhaps. And if Baralai sometimes gets the urge to trap Gippal in his chair, or pressed back into an alcove, or really anywhere he can get his hands and mouth on Gippal until he's shuddering and breathless, only able to manage Baralai's name and fractured Al Bhed, his voice low and deep in a way that almost makes Baralai stop breathing -
Well, he has a feeling that Gippal knows exactly what Baralai's doing - the wicked look on his face when he starts speaking Al Bhed for no reason was a hint - and he hasn't objected yet.
7. When Baralai wakes up from a nightmare (/The/ nightmare - there's only one nightmare now, because even the Den of Woe can't compare to Shuyin inside his mind - to Vegnagun -), he's usually shaking and tangled around Gippal so tightly that it takes him ten minutes to prise himself free. He sits on the bed, watching Gippal until he's sure that he's not woken him, then staggers to his office to work mechanically though stacks of paper. He doesn't think. He doesn't go back to bed until he's stopped shaking, until he forgets what it was like to hate that much.
When Gippal wakes up from a nightmare, he struggles and flails and usually ends up flinging himself off the bed. Baralai follows him to the floor and kneels at his side, reaching out to soothe him - but he always drops his hands before he touches. There's always the thought What if he was dreaming about -
"Pyreflies," Gippal manages, scrubbing at his face and nearly dragging off his eye patch. "So many pyreflies."
Only then does Baralai dare to reach out, wrapping his arms around Gippal to cover his relief.
8. Gippal has weird ways of showing his affection. One day, he locked everyone else out of Baralai's office - Baralai didn't actually notice for a few hours; he'd enjoyed the quiet and finally caught up on all his paperwork before he realised that something was wrong. Once Gippal dragged him off to Bikanel for a few weeks, and countered the accusations of kidnapping that followed for months afterwards by telling them that is was for Baralai's own good. And there's always the way he grabs Baralai, or slings an arm around his shoulder whenever he comes within reach.
Baralai can't do as much in return as he'd like - even if he delegates to Isaaru, there's still a lot work for him to do. He does what he can though, and the look on Gippal's face when he shows him the map of Bevelle that says there should be an airship hanger in an unused part of the Palace makes him think it might be enough.
9. "Are you any good at navigating?" Gippal asked, footsteps clanging on the metal grate above Baralai's head.
Baralai smiled, dust swirling around his feet as he walked down the passage, tracing his fingers across the backs of the chairs. The windows were caked with dust and cobwebs; the lights flickered like vanishing pyreflies; it probably hadn't been touched in centuries. It was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. "Do you know how to fix an airship?"
Gippal laughed, and there was a clang Baralai felt through the soles of his feet as the trapdoor between levels crashed open and Gippal dropped back down. He was at Baralai's side in a moment, slinging an arm around his shoulder and kissing him quickly. "I'm a genius, of course I can."
"Of course you can," Baralai repeated, laughing, and pulled Gippal in to kiss him properly. At that moment, dusty and exhausted and lit by broken lights, Gippal was the other most beautiful thing, and he was happy to believe anything he heard.