aoife_hime: ([ffxii] balthier's ego)
aoife_hime ([personal profile] aoife_hime) wrote on January 3rd, 2008 at 06:08 pm
New fandom fic
So... pomegranates. To the few of you who knew I was writing this, here's the long-awaited first part to my pomegranate crack fic for Final Fantasy XII. I'm still working on my CCS fic (no joke, I've just been feeling stifled creatively-speaking as of late); this crack fic, however, has kinda taken over my brain.

Title: Quirks
Author: [ profile] aoife_hime
Fandom: Final Fantasy XII
Characters: Balthier, Fran [pre-game]
Rating: Somewhere in that vague range between PG-13 and R (definite nudity but nothing explicit)
Length: 1118 words
Summary: Everybody has their odd habits. Balthier's just happens to be a little stranger than most. This chronicles each party member's discovery of said 'quirk'.
Notes: The whole idea was spawned by this picture and the comments it evoked. So thank you to the crazy wonderful people at [ profile] balthier_ashe for sending my brain down this cracktastically hilarious path.


I. Fran

It took a lot for Fran to become irritated, at least according to hume standards. In all her years of pirating, she’d been in situations that had caused even the ever-suave Balthier Bunansa to crack and reveal his latent inner petulant child while she had remained as cool as ever. Certain things, however, set her off quite easily, especially things that assaulted one or more of her overly sensitive senses. The twelve oversized barrels of high grade stink sap she and Balthier had pilfered off a specialty store in Rabanastre the previous week, for example, were more than enough to raise the viera’s ire.

According to the merchant from whom they’d pilfered the infernal stuff, it was quite good for preserving food in the middle of the hot desert summer. The merchant had also been foolish enough to allude to the fact, albeit indirectly, that it fetched extremely high prices on the black market. Balthier’s interest had been piqued immediately, and Fran was ashamed to admit she too had been rather enthusiastic during the initial phases of the heist. Once one of the barrels cracked in transit in the Strahl’s hull, however, her enthusiasm had promptly keeled over stone dead. For Fran, the way the smell of the stuff went straight to her head and left her nauseated and seeing double for a week afterwards made the repulsive product not in any way worth the price it fetched them (though Balthier was quick to point out that it had certainly fetched a pretty gil). She’d forced her insufferable partner to clean out the toilets after that venture as penance. And after how closely acquainted she’d become with the Strahl’s toilets that week, the job had certainly been nothing short of daunting. Still, she felt she’d been letting him off easy, as the boy still wore that self-assured grin of his as he finished swabbing the last of the toilets. His embroidered white shirt didn’t even have a speck of grime on it, either, and Fran continued to fume in the subtle, slow-burning viera way. One day, the boy would get his comeuppance.

‘One day’ didn’t seem nearly fast enough in coming, however. Three weeks had passed since the initial transport of the stink sap, and Fran still felt a bit of psychologically-induced nausea whenever she passed the toilet, while Balthier went on with his life as usual. Grumbling internally, Fran felt her stomach somersault unpleasantly yet again as she marched quickly passed the toilet to her bunk. What she needed now was a pomegranate; the refreshing fruit of which she was always sure to keep a supply had never failed to settle her stomach in the past and she hoped today wouldn’t be any different.

Two weeks ago they had picked up a supply of twenty-one of the delicious specimens, and having eaten one a day since then left Fran with seven pomegranates to spare before they restocked. At least, that was what her math told her to be true. The problem was, she realized as she stood in front of the fruit bowl she kept in her room, she only had four of the blessed things left. She did the math once again, utilizing her fingers this time just in case she had mistaken things in her head, but again she came up with the same result: there was a three fruit difference between her theoretical count and the actual count. Fran frowned slightly, running her long nails lightly over the skin of one of the few remaining pomegranates. It shouldn’t put her out nearly as much as it did, but in her defense they were her fruits and Fran, ironic though it was given her chosen profession, never liked having her possessions go missing.

A huff of an irritated sigh passed through her lips. Perhaps Balthier would be able to shed some light on her current predicament.

Fran exited her bunk and marched down another corridor of the Strahl, her shoes sending echoes bouncing purposefully off its metallic walls. Balthier was certain to know she was coming with all the noise she was making, she mused, and as such didn’t bother to announce her presence when she arrived at his cabin’s door. She knocked once before proceeding inside.

“Balthier, do you happen to…” Fran began as she entered her partner in crime’s personal room, only to find the words dying on her lips. As her confusion over the display in front of her increased, she was grateful at least for the knowledge of what had happened to her missing pomegranates.

“Ah, good morning, Fran,” Balthier greeted from his leisurely position in his chair. While his voice was steady, Fran noticed he had gotten ever-so-slightly pink around the ears. One of her missing pomegranates dripped a lazy trail of red juice down his uncharacteristically exposed forearm. “I suppose you’re here about your fruit… I’m dreadfully sorry I’ve been pinching it.”

Fran shook her head ever so slightly, though whether it was to dismiss his apology or merely an attempt to clear some of the surprise from her mind she wasn’t certain. The calm, detached portion of her brain grudgingly supposed this was not, by far, the worst idiosyncrasy a hume partner could display; she surmised that it was a very private habit of his, especially given that this was the first time she’d ever stumbled in upon him in such a state, and would therefore be easily avoidable in the future should she so choose. Satisfied with this to the greatest extent she supposed she could be, she turned to go then, thinking of ways to best protect her dwindling supply of pomegranates from her incorrigible, eternally surprising partner. But just as she was about to close the door and leave Balthier to his eating, Fran couldn’t resist making one incredibly below-the-belt dig. It was so rare she saw him anywhere near flustered, after all – it would be a shame not to milk the current situation for all it was worth.

Giving her stark naked, fruit-eating partner a thorough, yet disinterested once-over, she concluded seriously, “I no longer believe you were able to seduce seven different women during our last stop in Balfonheim. I now wonder that you are able to seduce any.”

The corner of Fran’s mouth turned up ever so slightly in the viera approximation of a smirk as Balthier grew noticeably indignant and a rather deep shade of pink in the face. His mouth flapped uselessly as he searched for a retort. Fran left the room then, finally feeling as if she had her recompense for the stink sap incident. Her nose was possibly the only thing as sensitive as that boy’s ego, after all.
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