|Behind Covered Eyes
Author: Smokey Lonesome PM
Basch is letting his shame effect his duty and he is torn between to which country his duty should lay. Vaan is on his way to becoming a great Sky Priate, but he still feels as if he is running away. AsheVaan most probably.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,706 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 12-18-06 - Published: 11-18-06 - id: 3250237
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/n: Ehyah! There are a million dishonest and simpler ways to say why I haven't updated, but honestly I just didn't write anything. Didn't want to lie to you. It's cool though, all I have to do is play the game to get my spirit back. My other story will be updated soon too. Luckily I'm a smart sort of lass and wrote down the ideas for the chapters.
Disclaimer: Square Enix owns the character, some content, all that jazz.
Ashe stared down at her kingdom, or the part that wasn't block by the palace perimeter. After her guests had left Ashe retreated to her room. Soon this would not even be her room anymore. She would be expected to move into the royal chamber. The room every king and queen had slept in since the palace had been built. This was the only room in the palace that did not make her feel so alone. She savored the view of the town from this balcony. She only wished that she could see the citizens clearly. From this balcony everything looked so small. She had been told once that a good queen concentrates as a kingdom as a whole, and not just individual people. But she wanted to know each and every person in her city. From here she couldn't even make out the looks on their faces.
Queen, she mauled the thought over in her mind. Her name would be forever be written in Rabanstre's history as a Queen in a few days. She thought about her mother and how her daily life was. She always had worn complicated dresses and sat with an expressionless look on her face. In private she was always so playful, right up to her death. Ashe wondered if being Queen would be like that for her, switching between two personalities all the time. She had freed this country, fought with her own sword and shed her own blood for it.
As a Queen she would no longer be expected to fight to defend her country. The thought of sitting around and being a figure merely for show sickened her. She wanted to be a Queen that would fight on the front lines, but no one would ever allow it. She was the last of the royal line. She was a precious gem to the kingdom, a gem that was to be kept safe in a metal box.
The hot desert sun was starting to set as Vaan finally strolled into the Aerodome. Penelo sat on in the entrance of the airship, running her dagger along a piece of whetstone. Kytes jumped down from the roof of their ship and fell forward onto his hands.
"It's about time!" Vaan tossed the bag of pilfered coins to the young boy who immediately began digging in it.
"You took forever, did you get anything good?" Penelo asked, hopping down and looking over Kytes shoulder. Her eyes widened at the amount of gold in the bag.
"He did great!" Kytes exclaimed, taking several coins from the bag and tossing them in the air. "I think we should go treat ourselves to a meal." Before Vaan could answer Penelo and Kytes took off. They looked like a happy family as they strolled through the streets. Vaan couldn't help but like moments like these. Where he was among his childhood friends and could laugh at even the stupidest things.
The inexperienced crew ended up at the bar and took seats in the loft around a table in the corner. Kytes began to split the coins between them for their own spending, though a large portion was put towards things for the ship. Vaan pocketed his share of the coins and looked up at Penelo.
"I saw a lot of old friends today." Penelo looked up and Vaan placed his elbows on the table and leaned in closer. "Basch took me with him to the palace to see Ashe."
Vaan purposely left out being saved by Basch. There were certain appearances he had to keep as well. Not that he would lose any respect from his friends, but he just wouldn't hear the end of it for a long time. Sky Pirates don't need saving.
"He's visiting? How's Ashe doing? She nervous?" Penelo asked eagerly to Vaan whose face had gone blank. He realized that he really hadn't asked that many questions.
"Well Basch showed up early from Archadia. Didn't really find out much else." The blonde sky pirate grinned sheepishly as he leaned back in his chair. Penelo sighed as their meal arrived. They wolfed it down readily. Penelo's cooking was alright, but it never held a candle to a professionals.
The night began to steadily pass. The bar grew louder as it's inhabitants drank more. Kytes left early after dinner to go spend his money. Vaan managed to wonder over to a poker table filled with shady men. Penelo looked over his shoulder for awhile. Vaan concentrated on his cards he had not even noticed when she left.
The young sky pirates' winnings had grown to a substantial size. The men scowled at their hands as he looked around trying to read their faces. He had enough money to feed his crew for the next year at least. However, he was confindent he could win this last hand. Vaan's eyes shifted to a olive Bangaa. His left eye twitched slightly. That was his tell. He was bluffing his hand. Vaan raised his bet, sure enough the lying bangaa folded as well as several other men.
Vaan and a shady Hume were left now. The other men had left the table and went downstairs. The Hume raised the last of his pile. This man was hard to read. He wore his long greasy red hair over his face so that it was barely visible. Only men with obvious facial tells would do that in a game. Vaan studied him over and matched his bet. The cards were called. Vaan had beaten his full house with a royal flush. The table shook as he jumped to his feet.
"Cheatin' pirate!" The Hume drew his short blade and pointed it in Vaan's face.
Vaan innocently raised his hands and scooted his chair back slowly. He stood up and the blade followed him as he rose.
"I'm just good at poker. That isn't a crime." Vaan flicked the blade away from his face. "Now put that down before I make you."
The angry card player stuck his short sword into the table. He couldn't prove Vaan was cheating. He looked away as Vaan began to gather his winnings. Suddenly he whipped around and bashed Vaan against the head with a bottle. Vaan felt the bottle shatter above his eye. He picked up his bag of money and stumbled down the stairs. The oily Hume drew his short sword from the table and followed him. Vaan regained some of his sense and sprinted out the door with his money. He ran until he was sure the man wasn't chasing him.
The unlucky sky pirate walked down the streets plucking pieces of glass from his head. The cuts weren't too deep and he didn't think that they would need to be stitched. Before he knew it he was in front of the palaces' out wall. He looked up at the glowing windows. Ashe was in there right now. Vaan climbed up crates looking up at the large palace. It looked so lonely in there. Before he knew it he had pulled himself up onto the ledge of the wall.
Still slightly stunned Vaan uneasily sat on the ledge and searched for a cloth to stop the bleeding. As he pulled one out of his vest he fell forward onto the grassy lawn. Vaan rolled over on his back. He felt dizzy still, today was turning out to be a very bad day for him. He glared up at the starlit desert sky and wondered what the easiest way to escape the palace walls was. He couldn't just walk out the gates or scale the wall again.
He got to his feet and stumbled across the lawn. He would try to find a friend that could escort him out. Vaan regained his sense of stealth when he entered the palace. As he reached the third floor the weary man started to read the room labels on the door. At the end of the first hallway he found one that read 'Royal Lady's chamber'
He wondered if it was wrong of him to assume that this would be Ashe's room. He unsurely knocked on the door. The worst case scenario would be he would be chased by a guard. That would make a perfectly horrible ending to a horrible day. No answer came, Vaan waited. He leaned in closer towards the door. Moments later the door opened.
Vaan and Ashe were face to face. Ashe's eyes widened with surprise. Vaan backed off slightly and swayed.
"I was wondering if you could let me o—" Vaan was interrupted as Ashe took his face in her hand. "You're bleeding!"
Vaan hesitated before he nodded his head. He was slowly dragged into her room and sat on her bed. He looked around. This room was probably bigger than any house he had ever lived in. The carpet was red as well as the walls and curtains. Everything seemed to be trimmed in gold. She put a cloth on his head and began to dab at it. Vaan looked up at her. His brain still felt addled, but she looked so lovely. A string of her dirty blonde hair dropped over her smooth pale face. This felt nice, having someone so intently concentrating on him, taking care of him.
He winced at the pain but continued to smile foolishly. She grabbed his hand and placed it over the cloth. He held it there and continued to look at her.
"I have to ask, what happened?" She sighed as she sat down next to him.
"Gambling, I won a lot! Could've done without being hit with a bottle though…" Vaan laughed as he jingled what winnings he had made away with. "Then I ended up here…and fell into the courtyard."
Ashe smiled as she folded her hands in her lap. "It sounds fun. Well not being hurt, but living like that."
"You miss it?" He asked the soon to be Queen. She shook her head.
"I've never been able to live like that." She rubbed her eyes and brushed that lone strand of hair from her face. "I feel so detached from the people I'm going to rule over. I'd like to just go out and be able to talk with people." Vaan listened to her talk and fell backwards onto the soft bed. The bed just seemed to melt around him. Ashe laid down beside him. He could feel her right there next to him. Her heat warmed his cold bare arm.
"I know I can't." She sighed, Vaan rolled on to his side and watched the curtain whistle with the cold night wind. She looked up at him.
"Well…I'll always be here." He said quietly. "Even if I fly off somewhere I'd always come back if you ask it." Vaan felt and overwhelming urge to stroke Ashe's beautiful soft face. He resisted it. There was no way she could ever think of him as anything but a friend. Queens didn't have lovers, they didn't have boyfriends, they had men of honor that could be fitting husbands. He would never be a man like that.
Ashe rolled over placing her back against his chest. Without thought he placed his hand on her waist. Vaan closed his eyes. This would have to stop here.
"You're going to make a great ruler." Vaan whispered as he got off the bed. The night air cooled his warmed heart. "I have to go, I might actually be missed if I stay out too long." Vaan slowly turned to leave as Ashe still lay stretched along the bed.
"See you later then!" Vaan waved as he left the doorway. Vaan rubbed his tired face and looked down at the cloth he was still holding. Aside from the pain in his head he chest ached. His heart felt like it was melting down into his organs. Vaan placed the cloth back on his head and tried to forget the pain. He walked halfway down the hallway before he froze. He turned around and swiftly marched back into Ashe's room. She was sitting on her bed looking out the balcony windows.
"I…sort of need an escort out of the castle." He grinned awkwardly, scratching the side of his face.