A birthday present for Katie (elendraug), who asked for a Zidane and Blank fic that was halfway decent. This is definitely halfway-something, I just dunno about the latter part :D Maybe slashy if you squint.
Edit: Oct '07, beta'd and a few things changed.
"Man, it's the middle of the night! We've got a big job tomorrow; just chill out and go to sleep already."
The clear, temperate night swirled around the docked Prima Vista, soft firelight from outside crackling and seeping through the small window in the cabin. Nocturnal bugs chirped and buzzed in the wild grass, and stars twinkled behind the occasional musty sheen of cloud. Perfect for Zidane to be a pain in the ass and keep Blank up talking all goddamn night.
"Just hear me out, okay?"
Blank rolled over on his bunk and groaned, an silent assertion that he would tolerate him for now. The bed creaked; Zidane was shifting on the bunk above his as well.
"Ever wonder what you're gonna do after Tantalus?"
"Oh my god, Zid---"
"Hey, shut up! You said you'd listen!"
"...Fine." Blank closed his eyes, hands covering them and clenching his hair as he thought. "...I don't know," he admitted eventually. "I haven't really thought about it."
"I know, man. It feels like this is always gonna be here, you know?" Zidane's voice wasn't sad, just reminiscient. Some nights, for some reason or another, he just wanted to talk. It wasn't so much Zidane showing his best friend a side of him that no one else ever saw, because that was bullshit... but everyone had his demons. It was an unspoken agreement of sorts between two people who knew each other too well: late-night talks instigated by Zidane never left the bed.
"I guess..." Blank conceded. "I don't know; I don't really think about it. It's where I've been all my life."
"But you can't stay here forever. I mean, maybe you can, but something's probably gonna happen and you'll have to move on." Zidane made a noise that was almost like a sigh, but not quite. "We'll all have to move on eventually."
What weirded Blank out was that his friend was completely right and was touching on a subject that wasn't something Blank would guess either of them would ever think about. Tantalus was there. Tantalus was now and always had been, even when Zidane had taken the occasional "vacation". Truth was, Blank had no idea how to answer the question.
"I don't really know, man," he finished resignedly then slid his hands under his head and stared up at the wooden boards of the bunk above his. The fire had dwindled, fading from the window and leaving only the moon and occasional lightning bug to illuminate the room in a dim blue glow.
He saw feet shift, dangling over the side of the bed. Zidane'd gone and restlessly turned himself upside down, Blank was sure. "Why's it important?" he asked, averting his eyes to the window and open prairie outside. He didn't notice the feet disappearing.
Suddenly a large blond head with messy, upside-down hair flung itself in front of Blank's view as Zidane hung with his tail from the top bunk's railing. Blank didn't even bother being surprised, as it happened too often.
"I dunno..." Zidane shrugged as he righted himself but continued to hang. "I was just thinking about it is all. 'Bout you, Cinna, Marcus, everyone. Where we'll all be, you know."
Resisting the urge to groan, Blank shrugged back. "Don't think so much, then. The heist tomorrow's more important anyway."
Zidane grinned. "Word is the princess is seriously hot."
Blank smirked. "Yeah, so says the boss. I've never seen her, but her mother's an ugly cow. I don't see how anything that cute can be spawned from that.
"Miracles of Gaia, I guess, "Zidane snorted. "Ten gil says she's a total babe."
Blank raised a sleepy eyebrow. "You're on, man."
Zidane grinned back, but silence took reign, and his grin slipped as he stared into nothing.
"Somethin' wrong?" Blank asked, sort of confused by the sudden uncharacteristic quiet interrupted only by the sounds of the night outside.
"Nothing's wrong, really, "Zidane mumbled.
Shrugging halfheartedly, Blank relaxed back into his bed. "Maybe you should just nab some of Benero's sleeping weeds. The stuff's expensive in town."
"Heh, if we were anywhere close to town I'd just find some ladies to help me to sleep."
"You do that," Blank said, dead tired by this point.
"Bet your ass I would, man." After a second of silent, Zidane reached from the rafters of Blank's bunk ceiling and swung himself forward to lean on the bedpost opposite Blank's head. Moonlight, no longer blocked by Zidane's form, streamed back to the center of the hand-made blankets, barely illuminating each other's faces.
"So I'm thinking," Zidane said, breaking the silence as he stretched and lounged thoughtfully. "I'm thinking that after this next success, I might take off again."
"Why?" Blank asked, knowing full-well that he was going to be told anyway but might as well ask for posterity's sake.
"The scenery's getting boring."
"Only you could get bored of a travelling troupe, genius."
"You know what I mean." And he did. Zidane was restless---it was why he had joined Tantalus in the first place. He just couldn't stay in one place, even when the one place travelled around the whole damn continent.
"Well how much do you have to see before you're finally content?"
Zidane thought for a moment, then shrugged. "I guess I'll have to find out."
"Whatever," Blank grunted as he pushed himself off the opposite bedpost to lay back down, legs sprawled over his friend's as dim light grew dimmer with a passing cloud. "I'll be here when you get back."