When You Say Nothing At All

The pirate heaves an exasperated sigh as he brings the small airship to a hover, rubbing his temples in the manner of an old man worn from years of overwork.

Ironic, the viera thinks to herself, stifling a chuckle but failing to hide the slightest hint of a smile from finding its way to her dark face, framed by curled locks of an almost jarringly white color. She watches from the doorway to the cockpit, her back against the wall, unmoving save for the rhythmic ebb and flow of her chest; he doesn't see her but is aware of her presence as he makes preparations to anchor the ship, flicking the switch for the cloaking device as the final touch.

He waits for her to speak, pretending that he doesn't feel those burgundy eyes on him, that he hasn't become accustomed to the silent melody of her movements.

It had been their little game for years, since she first set foot on the Strahl: first one to talk has to do all the maintenance on the ship for a week. Back then she'd start the game early, then trick him into asking her a question, and it was so easy she had to laugh each time he glared at her in defeat. But that which came as second nature to a creature of The Wood eventually rubbed off on the Hume Pirate, and before long her string of victories became deadlocks, ties. When he grew older they stopped playing, or at least stopped doing it as often.

But as the years rolled by and their simple partnership was transmuted into something far more complicated, the game gradually gained a new, different dimension.

He switches the Strahl into standby, lowering all but the most neccessary systems, including the blinding deck lights. In less than a moment they lower to a dusky flourescent, just enough to see by. Just enough for her reflection to be clear in the concave surface of the airship's windshield.

She decides now to speak, informing him that everyone's resting now, and that the princess is getting impatient about nearing the dead Dynast-King's tomb. He nods, then adds jokingly that if she wants to get there so badly, maybe they should just ditch the lot of them into the Sandsea. Let's see how patient she is then, he finishes with a smirk. Fran smiles quietly to herself, saying nothing. The game hasn't started yet; they're still busy playing their daytime roles of swashbuckling Pirate and impeccable Warrioress, and as much as she enjoys the sound of his laughter it still seems harsh to her sensitive ears. Both can sense it is about to begin, the low lights and the tension between themselves growing, both urging them toward the enevitable beginning.

She says nothing as she moves forward gracefully, the placing of her hand on his cloth-covered shoulder signaling the start. In less than a moment the carefree smile--his mask--disappears from his face, replaced by something indescernable, almost serious. For a moment their eyes focus on each other's.

There is a question asked in that moment that both know the answer to, that experience has taught them gradually. He responds by sliding his own fingers along her arm, skimming her cocoa-rich skin until they come to rest in the crook of her neck, and though she makes no sound the slight darkening of her eyes betrays her carefully subdued longing. They continue to caress, slowly but with increasing boldness; hands move from shoulders to chest to neck and along the ridges of spine, and eventually the effortless teasing becomes calculated, purposefully restrained.

She hesitates slightly before deciding to raise the stakes again, unable to forget even after all this time her own guilt about having one so young. It was strange in and of itself, since before him she had never cared, but for some reason when she was with the Pirate she was painfully aware of her age, though the exact number had escaped her long ago. So many times she wanted to urge him to stop, but every time she had these thoughts he always managed to make them disappear, to replace them with bliss. It is this more than anything that drives her to place her lips on his, gently but passionately.

Anyone else would have caught the nearly invisible lines beneath her eyes at this proximity, but the rogue has long since gone blind to her imperfections, few though they are to begin with. He returns the kiss without hesitation, the warmth of her mouth driving him recklessly onward, sparing only the tiniest amount of his concentration to hit the door switch, isolating them from the rest of the ship. She deepens the kiss as his hands hungrily travel up and down the length of her back, feeling it even through her leather bodice along with the lingering sensation that she's been brushed by lighting. By now the tiny cockpit is filled with the sounds of their pleasure, her heavy breathing nearly equal to his lustful sighs as their lips dance, part briefly as if to test the extent of thier resistance before waltzing again.

Her lips are leaving a warm line from his mouth to the curve of his neck when he whispers her name, barely above a mumble but it echoes off the walls so much that it's as though he screamed the word for the entire world to hear.

She's won, but by now the viera's thoughts are as far from victory as possible. The prize is before her already, even before he surrendered, and she claims it as she slides clawed fingers to the buttons on his vest, parting the sides of the garment with care equalled only by her desire.

He knows he should wait, but by now he is too lost in the touch of the beauty before him to put up his former masquerade of patience. He reaches for the garment covering her forearms and blindly unhooks the clasp, his ecstacy growing when she does nothing to deter him. In fact she accomadates him, moves her arms so that her bothersome attire can be gotten rid of, and within seconds she performs the same service for him.

The rest is a blur, as it always is-- armor, weapons and clothing all disappear to manifest in a heap at their feet; the passionate exploration by hands and fingers of territory both know well, but have no intention of tiring of; the sound of her breath catching ever so slightly as he worships her bare chest, repeating her name as if invoking the adoration of a goddess; hands running through short hair or long boundless locks, the texture driving both to near insanity. Soon enough he loses control and wordlessly enters her, and though she freezes it is merely a reflection of surprise rather than repulsion. Soon enough she is matching his rhythm with her own, savoring the feel of him inside her.

She finally climaxes with the first syllable of his name on her lips before it's swallowed up by a wordless howl of pleasure, mouth gaping and eyes rolled to the back of her head as his had been moments ago, lost in a moment of ultimate ecstacy. She collapses against his seated form, and it strikes her as odd that she has never experienced the act to this level before, with her strength drained and her lids fluttering between coherence and exaustion, her chest heaving in a vain effort to slow the racing of her heart.

For a moment both remain still, blissfully numb from the lingering warmth of afterglow, her arms around his neck and his own chest pressed firmly against hers while he runs fingers through the luxurious strands of her hair in slow, measured strokes. She finally looks down at him once their breathing has calmed, her bloodred irises meeting his darker ones yet again. As if reading each other's thoughts they pull close again, this time for a kiss that simply expresses everything that the lustful ones from before do not.

Neither say what other lovers would at this moment; both know it too well to insult the integrity of their bond by doing something as hollow as placing emotions into words.

Eventually they relinquish their physical hold on each other, the brightening of the sky outside their Shangri-La like the signal to begin their play. They dress wordlessly, purposefully, not a single wasted movement to either one's actions.

She breaks the silence after a while, telling him that there's a stall in one of the port engines he'll have to go over, along with a routine check on the cloaking device.

He grins, tells her that he's got no intention of losing next time. Too soon the others come in, led by Vaan as he enthusiastically asks how much farther they need to go, while Penelo urges him not to be a nuisance and Basch stands a distance away, saying that the princess will be coming shortly.

Once again he becomes the smirking, carefree Pirate and she the aloof, stoic Warriorress.

At least until the next time comes to play their game.