This entry is inspired by a comment I wrote recently in auronlu's journal in response to this post. Because the comment was getting long and I have a habit of articulating myself more in comments than in my actual journal, I thought I would expand here.
Auron is one of the most popular characters in Final Fantasy X. Thus, the character inspires much fanwork. Due to this, he is also very often butchered in terms of character. Mind you, all the characters are, but I believe Auron is the most challenging to write (particularly dialogue) of all the beloved characters (Tidus, Yuna, Rikku and Auron from what I have encountered) and thus, falls victim more often.
Auron is guarded, doesn't speak much, and what he does is often careful and cryptic. And it goes deep. He spent his life (and afterlife!) fulfilling his duties to others. Even taking into account that he has turned his back on Yevon and his Zanarkand years are mostly unaccounted for, he obviously retains the seriousness and formality from his years as a warrior monk. The gruff exterior is no fragile snail-shell to be cracked easily by the right girl's charms, and there is no romantic comedy lead to be found within. Too many fics I have read suffer from the "But I can change him!" symptom. No, you can't, not without taking too many liberties at his character's expense. No matter how disarming your Rikku or whatnot is, Auron is Auron. The joke Auron cracks at Djose? Obviously out of character, they make that clear in the game with the reactions of the other characters. Not to say that one can't have fun with him, the game plays Rikku against him for some comedic effect.
Which brings me to Rikku, of course. Obviously, I don't see this as a successful romantic pairing (though I think "successful romantic pairing" with Auron is relative...) but I have read a few convincing Aurikkus. Those particular fics tend to focus on Rikku vainly crushing on Auron. This is completely believable --from what I know and remember, teen girls are quite subject to silly infatuations with older teacher-types. However, Rikku is also often abused with a shallow character treatment.
The girl joins the pilgrimage to protect her cousin after repeated kidnappings failed. She dreads the pilgrimage's progress --it means her cousin will die. Auron, however, is constantly pushing forward and with most of his exterior words and actions, he fully supports the spiral of death. With such a chasm in motives, I hardly see Rikku fancying him beyond a passing crush. She is part of a persecuted minority class and he is revered as a legendary guardian by the Yevonite majority. Yes, she is bubbly and emotive, but she is incredibly strong, smarter and more realistic than her girlish whining may indicate. She is also not likely to spend a great deal of time mourning the man, as some fics suggest. She has survived many losses in her young life and she moves on. The scars may stay with her, but I hardly think she is so weak to contemplate suicide and forfeit her future because Auron is gone. "Memories are nice, but that's all they are."
Opposites may attract and writers may be able to convince one of nearly anything, but I really believe that pairing these two in any normal and balanced romance requires a bit too much character adjustment to be believable and in character. No matter how cute the possibility might be, we like the characters for what they are, not for what they could be and it is much more enjoyable to read an in-character fic than it is a thinly-veiled wish fulfillment fic.
Hmm, I didn't really expect this to turn into an anti-Aurikku rant. I really have nothing against the pairing, (I'm actually part of the community as it attracts so many good writers/artists!) I just find it unbelievable in most stories. I think I'll stop for now, before I get into rants about all the other characters. Do I take fanfic too seriously? Yes, probably, being that I am foremost a writerly geek and am rediscovering words through this venue. And I realize people write fanfic for different reasons, but I still think my points are valid if you are bringing your fics into the world and exposing them to an audience.
Of course, please feel free to rant in response. :)