Author's Note: Thanks to TheDonutMistress for coming up with floppy ears and the order in which events take place.
Parings: Funny but mostly platonic Vaan/Fran, implied Balthier/Ashe
Summary: Vaan's a curious kid who likes to ask questions. Really, really offending questions. Fran's getting angry.
By: Mazzie May
"So, Fran…" Vaan's perched on one of the maintenance counters in the Nalbina Aerodome's ship hangers. It's just him, Fran and Nono; Penelo's out about town shopping, dragging Ashe along, Basch in tow. He doesn't know where Balthier is. Probably inside the ship.
She doesn't look away from the wires. "What is it?"
"Are there any floppy eared Viera?"
Her hands still. "I'm sorry?"
"You know how you have erect ears?" And he balls his hands at both sides of his head, extending his index fingers. "Are there any with floppy ears? You know, floppy, floppy?" He wiggles his fingers up and down every time he says 'floppy.'
Ashe is lying down with a headache, Basch is sitting with her, Penelo's learning Navigation from Balthier, who's reading beside her. While Fran's organizing maps in her and Balthier's room, Vaan comes in and stands right across from her. She looks up at him once and finds him staring at her mouth.
"Something of interest?"
"Smile." Instead, she frowns. "That's not a smile."
"An odd request." She sets the paper down. "Why make it?"
She sighs, smiling a little, lips closed. "Satisfied?" she asks, almost pursing her lips to hide any trace.
Vaan shakes his head. "No, no, with teeth."
"I want to see if you're two front teeth are bigger than the others."
Fran refuses to speak with Vaan due to the teeth remark and he sits colouring on the floor outside her room, Penelo on her knees beside him, making 'I'm sorry' cards. Balthier finds it irritating because he wants to sleep and he can't very well due that if he can't get into his quarters. He's since given up and is somewhere in back showing Ashe how to fire a gun. Basch is somewhere.
Vaan's just finished up a card, along the top it reads, "Vaan with Fran…" and beneath it a sad doodle of stick figures, one with long ears and another without an ears at all, smiling. On the inside, "Vaan without Fran…" the earless figure standing alone with a frown, little blue dashes on it's face. Tears.
Currently, he's having the worst time getting the folded paper underneath the door. Finally, he gives up, knocking, asking her to open up. "Please? I have drawings for you! And… and I don't care if you have big teeth or scary nail, talon… thingies."
Fran did not open the door that night.
Or the night after that.
Or the night after that.
Balthier's equally sore (for different reasons), but he seems to keep himself busy, wherever he is. Ashe is disappearing about the same time he is, leaving a worried Basch to search around at about a fourth of frantic. Penelo is entertaining Larsa and vice versa.
Vaan sits huffing on his cot, grounded for his age comment two days prior.
When Vaan teasingly keeps holding tools out of reach of Nono's determined but failing hands in Balfonheim, Fran appears beside him. With a yelp, he drops the tool for Nono.
"Are you angry at me still?"
She looks at him, annoyed.
"I have more pictures—"
"I have plenty, thank you."
A moment of silence. Finally,
"Please don't eat me!"
The words echo in the metal hanger. She stares at him, unable to pretend that his plea did not surprise her. "…what?"
"Don't eat me?"
Fran opens her mouth, probably to speak, but nothing comes out. She only stares.
"Does this mean you want eat me?"
Fran can't help herself. "Why would you ask me such a thing?" They're alone in the engine room. Penelo's asking Basch about knightly stories and Balthier's showing Ashe how to pilot the Strahl. Vaan doesn't think Ashe's doing a very good job for two reasons; one, the shipping's a pretty jittery and two, when Balthier was teaching Vaan how to pilot, Vaan didn't sit on Balthier's lap.
"Uhm… Because I didn't want you to eat me."
She crosses her arms. "Where did you get the idea that Viera eat people? What happened on the Leviathan?"
"Oh, no. Not that."
"It just seemed like the right thing to say."
Again, Fran's not conversing with Vaan. For once, the whole group is together in Nalbina.
"Fran, don't be mad," he tries. She does not look away from the weaponry.
Basch is beside her, testing a sword and Balthier's trying to keep Penelo and Ashe from scolding a guard for pushing the workers too hard.
"Fran…you're really pretty."
Her hovering hand stops a moment before continuing. "Well, thank you."
"Prettiest Viera ever."
"Again, thank you."
"I love you, Fran."
"Once more, thank you."
Vaan reaches into his pocket. "I have some spare Gil… I can buy you a carrot. Would you like that?"
Fran stands straight and says to a gaping Basch, "I'm going back to the ship." Balthier, who has a hand on Penelo's elbow and an arm around Ashe's waist, bites his lip, as though swallowing a laugh.
"Who told you I would like Carrots?"
"I, uhm," Fran has both hands on either side of his head. He's cornered in the back of the Strahl. "Uhm…"
"And you said I would eat you?"
"Vaan." She leans in, their noses are touching. "No. More. Games."
Fran has a good amount of fabric in her fist as she pulls Balthier out of the pilot's seat, glaring daggers. Something like a growl escapes her sneer. He tries in vain to hide his huge grin.
"Honestly, I think it was funny."
Author's Note: Because the idea's funny and just wouldn't go away. And these questions just needed to be asked. Who better to ask them, you know? Oh, Vaan… you silly kid. Of course, he had a little help from the ever-fantastic Balthier. This fun to write…
R&R please, commentary always appreciated.