Author's Notes: Well, this is my first fanfic to the Final Fantasy IX section, and also to (In a long time!). Hopefully I have improved my skills and I can create stories to be enjoyed by many Anyway, on with the fanfiction! Oh, yes. Warning: Very, very light Shounen-Ai content (Zidane/Blank). Kind of angsty and sad, too.

Disclaimer: FFIX and all characters and locations herein are copyrighted Square-Enix. However the story itself is mine.

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Long Distance Forgotten

Blank stood off to the side of the stage. He held a faint, content smile, as he watched Zidane leap off the deck of Prima Vista II.  The furry-tailed teen didn't have far to run before he swept his love up into his arms. She looked so… happy in his arms. So… right, he concluded.

Almost instantly, a pang of jealously ached at his heart. Dagger was all Zidane's, now. He had everything before him... A beautiful girl, a lavish castle, a kingdom, and a hoard of new friends. Though all that Blank figured would matter to Zidane was that he loved Garnet and she loved him back, Zidane had everything in front of him and nothing behind him.

Blank's mind wandered back to when they were younger. Everyone else was cheering the couple, Freya clapping proudly and Vivi's children leaping happily. But Blank was lost in the memory.

How long ago was it? Eight, maybe six years since he joined Tantalus? He'd never really felt… home. Baku already had known Marcus and Cinna, and they were close friends. Blank almost felt like a fifth wheel… In reality he was greatly appreciated – both his thieving and acting skills were top-notch.

Then Ruby joined the crusade. Blank was reluctant at first at having her on the 'team'. "She's just a… girl!" He'd say to Baku, baffled. Of course, Baku would respond with the old "You know we could use 'er for the girl parts!" And since Blank was the… most limber of the group, it was either Ruby joined or he'd be wearing the wigs and dresses and speaking in the high voices for a long, long time.

But then… It was four years, almost to the date, when Baku discovered Zidane on the port of Lindblum. The two boys had instantly clicked; inseparable didn't even describe their friendship. In fact, Blank reminisced with a small smile, the only time they were apart was when they bathed. And occasionally, not even then.

Most people would assume that constantly being together, with never a break from companionship, would easily ruin the friendship. Blank thought as much, too. Wouldn't you get tired of seeing them every single waking moment?

Yet, it was not like that with Zidane. They shared common interests, but had enough of different ideals to be able to playfully argue over various topics. After all, being exactly the same is terribly boring. That's why people make friends, after all. Companionship, yes, but also to experience new things – thus becoming wiser. At least, that was how Blank thought.

Then… One day he woke up and looked to his left. Naturally expecting Zidane to be there, Blank sleepily said, "Hey, Mon." It was an affectionate nickname – monkey was perhaps too embarrassing for public ears, so it was shortened to Mon.

Blank shot up like… well, a shot when he wasn't answered. Zidane's bed was empty, and looked as if he hadn't even been slept it. He ran into the next room, leaping on Baku's bed in a desperate attempt to awaken the older man.  Baku was not a morning person, but when he caught on to what Blank was babbling about, he was up and out of the room instantly.

They all looked. Marcus and Cinna searched all over Lindblum while Baku handled the outskirts of the Grand Castle. Blank numbly walked around the Theatre District, looking. True, he was honestly looking for his friend but Blank was deeply hurt by Zidane's absence.

The other three men noticed it too. They reassured Blank that they were going to find him very soon. Yet, while the bandana-wearing boy was accepting of the reassurance, he still harbored deep pain.

It was about that time that Blank began to question his true feelings. Did he… love Zidane? Was it purely an infatuation with the friend he'd wanted all his life, or was there something more? Blank never fancied himself a lady's man, unlike Zidane, but he never considered the possibility of him, well, swinging that way.

As an actor of such caliber as his own, he read the play transcripts very carefully and memorized almost every line in the play, not just his own. The beautiful maidens in Lord Avon's plays… They became very distraught when their leading men departed for whichever reason; war, personal affairs, or even self-discovery.

Blank would sigh and shake his head. He wasn't like those ladies. Obviously, of course he wasn't. But they were all prim and beautiful – they captivated their men simply by breathing. Blank, on the other hand…

It had been so long, and it had hurt so much, he never could remember how he got the patchwork stitching over his body. Zidane would often ask him about it, late at night, but Blank could never recall the events surrounding it. If there even were any events.

Regardless, Blank was then certain. He loved Zidane and if he – no, when he returns, Blank would tell him and face the complications should any arise. After all, he learnt that to keep powerful feelings such as love harbored within, it would make one very sick.

They had lost track of the days. It could have been months. Or maybe, it was just weeks. But one day Blank was looking bored out of his window when he saw the figure walking towards their 'hideout'.

Zidane had returned.

He rushed to the entrance of the hideout to greet his blond friend, along with Marcus and Cinna. But Baku was there first. And Baku did not look pleased. Blank knew that deep inside Baku was relieved… Perhaps this was a fatherly reaction.

Blank couldn't even utter a 'thank goodness' to Zidane because as soon as the blond-tailed teen entered the building, Baku delivered a sharp punch to Zidane's pretty face. Blank gasped. Marcus and Cinna were as silent as the dead.

Zidane didn't make a sound, but he did look bewildered when Baku slung him over his shoulder and proceeded to march to his room to give Zidane a proper talking to. Blank's voice caught in his throat when Zidane glanced at him and mouthed the words "I'm sorry".

Much later, when the sun had set into slumber and the stars shone in twilight, Blank and Zidane were sitting up in their shared room. It felt so wonderful to Blank to have the bed next to his occupied again. They talked about how Zidane had left in search of his home… The elusive blue light that Zidane would often mention.

When their last topic of conversation died out, and all was silent for a few minutes, Blank spoke up. He told Zidane how he honestly had missed him, and that he didn't have to search for home. Because home was right here… with himself, and Baku and the gang.

Zidane looked mildly surprised, but a satisfied expression settled on his face. He thanked Blank, telling him that what he had just said meant so much to him. But Blank was not finished. He proceeded to explain his feelings while Zidane was off exploring and searching. Zidane was silent the entire time, but his cheeks tinged in color as Blank went on.

And he proceeded to tell Zidane how Blank never wanted to leave again. How he was too important and it upset him so much. And… then he took the most daring move he had ever made in the entirety of his thieving and acting career.

"I… Love you, Zidane."

The memory of Zidane's body suddenly flying into his, the feeling of his embrace and their first kiss was instantly shot from his mind as he was brought back to the real world.

"Uh, Blank? Did you say something?" It was Cinna. "You were just standing there with your fingers by your mouth. People were starting to stare."

"Oh." He glanced at the larger male for a brief moment before unconsciously wiping the salty wetness from just under his bandana. "Sorry. I guess I was lost in thought."

Cinna chuckled. "Jealous?" He gestured to the couple still staring into each other's eyes.

"What?!" Blank asked rather loudly, his mouth hanging open.

The hammer-wielder raised an eyebrow. "I asked if you were jealous of Zidane. Garnet is a wonderful woman."

"Oh." Again, he cast a glance at blond and his raven-haired woman. "…Yeah, she's damn beautiful."

And they walked had in hand up the stairs to the castle, the approving applause of General Beatrix and supportive shouts of Captain Steiner like a parent's blessing to them. They were all smiles, reaching the doors to the castle. Garnet smiled.

"This is what you really want?" She asked, though she knew the answer.

"Of course." Her blond hero grinned, sticking his tongue out at her. "I love you, Dagger."

She giggled, responding and kissing him, before two guards opened the castle doors for them. Zidane nodded and thanked them, stepping into the inviting castle. He paused ever so much though, glancing back at the Prima Vista II. Blank was not on stage. He'd probably gone back inside the ship… With an almost regretful sigh that Garnet did not catch, the large oak doors closed.

Blank did not see Zidane's final glance over the long distance.

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Author's Notes: xx I feel now that there might have been a bit I could have elaborated more on, but I feel I accomplished what I set out to do. 'Write a fic centering on Blank and his somewhat forgotten love for Zidane, where it has a somewhat sad ending.' I am an avid fan of Zidane/Garnet, however, and am in no way putting down that pairing. I hope you enjoyed! Please review.