Choices

by Puppy Noelle

Disclaimer: don't own anything but the thoughts inside my head…yeah lol

Description: One year post-game. Vaan is kidnapped during his sky pirate adventures, and, after he is rescued, must face punishment for the bounty on his head. However his punishment turns instead into an affair with the Queen of Dalmasca, which proves to be both a blessing and a curse.

Genres: Drama/Romance/Action/Adventure

Pairings: Vaan/Ashe, some Larsa/Penelo hints

Rating: PG-13/T, for now

This fic is dedicated to my lovely Amber who convinced me to finally get my butt to work on this story! 3 3!!

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CHAPTER I: Worries

She ran as fast as her petite dancer's legs would allow her. She knew she had to enlist as much aid as possible, and she was positive that the Dalmascan Queen would find some way to help. As Penelo reached the top step leading up to the palace, two guards blocked her path.

"Stop right there!"

"Please!" the blonde girl protested, "I have to talk with Queen Ashe! It's an emergency! Vaan has been—"

The guards refused to relent. "Her Majesty cannot be bothered by some peasant girl's trifles."

"But I'm one of her friends! Penelo! I'm one of the people who helped her reclaim the throne—"

"Penelo!" It was Ashe, bursting through the front doors. "Let her pass immediately! She is always welcome in this palace."

The guards bowed and apologized profusely, but were paid no attention as Penelo rushed forward and hugged the queen as tightly as she could.

"Ashe! It's awful! Vaan's been kidnapped!"

Ashe was stunned. "Vaan? How did he allow himself to get caught?"

"We were surrounded! We found this huge trade ship and he thought that since it was so big, we could sneak in and out without getting caught, but after we talked to a traveling merchant who had hitched a ride for some reason he turned back right before I was to take off, but then a bunch of guards pummeled him and dragged him off. I knew I had to get help so I left and went to tell Larsa and Basch what happened, and then set straight for here."

"You went to Larsa first?" the queen asked curiously but with a twinge of bitterness. She hadn't heard from Penelo or Vaan since her coronation and dearly missed their company.

"Yes," replied the blonde dancer, whose face was etched in confusion at her friend's tone, "I guess I went there first because I knew that I'd get Basch's help for sure, but I wasn't sure if you could just pick up and leave, you know? But I guess once Larsa decided to pick up and leave what he was doing, that you might too."

Ashe grasped the younger girl's hands in her own. "Of course I will come! If Vaan is ever in trouble please let me know right away."

"I will. I'm sorry."

"It's all right. Just tell me what ship he's on and where it's at."

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Dressed in her old clothing from her Resistance days, Queen Ashe quickly scribbled down a note to the Parliament members and the maids as to her purpose and approximate location. Apparently Larsa and Basch's airship had arrived, and they awaited the two women at Rabanastre's Aerodome. As soon as Ashe and Penelo arrived, the now thirteen year-old Emperor, Larsa, stepped forward. "We searched the area for the ship you described Penelo, but it had already left. And you guessed correctly: it was indeed in Dalmascan air, but we also found that it is a Trade ship under Archadian jurisdiction, so it is best that both countries are available to settle this dispute."

"But how are we to find its current location?"

"It won't be easy," Basch replied, "but we've been able to track the route it's supposed to follow to deliver its goods. Its next stop should be Bhujerba, so if we make haste we should be able to intercept it. Although it may be best if we all take different ships and surround it so that they won't try to flee."

"Good idea!" chimed in a still worried, but optimistic Penelo.

"Yes," the young queen agreed, "Let us go."

Everyone agreed and hastened to their separate airships, although Ashe could have sworn that she saw the young emperor's eyes meet with the blonde dancer's for a moment too long. Or maybe she was merely hallucinating; after all she did have quite the distraction worrying about Vaan's welfare.

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End Chapter One

So how did you like it?? Short I know, I tend to write really short intro chapters since I detest them so much XD Oh and if anybody screams "femmeslash!" at the whole Ashe grabbing Penelo's hands or Penelo running to Ashe to hug her… SMACK for your baaad dirty mind! Lol… it's called platonic sisterly affection! XD I do not support slash, sorry loves 3 lol So anyways! (ignore the crazy ramblings…lol) to be honest, this story is a lot better inside my head than on paper… but I really don't want to spend a lot of time on the beginning stuff… it'll get better when I get to the fun parts, I promise!! But, oh and uh: Review if you please! (…and please review… I'm tired of getting a mere 2 to 4 reviews for every 200 hits…lol). And again, please ignore my utterly insane ramblings…hehe

much love!