Summary: Penelo has a crush. He just doesn't get the hint.

Disclaimer: I do not own FF12.

Foreign Languages

She doesn't understand why he hasn't yet noticed her feelings. After all, she's tried everything she can think of, from blushing whenever he mentions her name to giggling at all his terrible jokes. When she smiles at him, she lets her grin linger an instant longer than necessary. She is always the first to volunteer to help him, the first to support him, the first to heal him when he is hurt.

And for all his reputation as a ladies' man, he hasn't noticed.

No matter how many hints she drops, no matter how she burns for him, he doesn't notice. No one else does, either, except maybe Fran, but Fran is Fran and therefore unlikely to do anything but watch.

She is beginning to fear that they will never be more than "Just Friends," and it frustrates her. Even Vaan, the object of her attentions not so very long ago, is less thick-skinned than this man.

'Maybe cause Vaan knew me really, really well before I liked him.' This thought, though, is Rationality, and Rationality is not allowed in "matters of the heart."

So poor Penelo, her heart stolen by the man with the handkerchief, desires her newest friend and tries desperately to tell him without actually saying anything, because that's how a crush works.

And for all his reputation as a ladies' man, he hasn't noticed.

When he casually invites her to his room for the third night in a row, she finally agrees, and he treats her to a long, awkward night of sitting on his bed. She is searching for something, anything, to say to him, some way to tell him that she doesn't want to be "Just Friends," and, unknown to her, he is searching equally frantically for something, anything, to say to her that will get her pants off.

She leaves in the morning, cold and disappointed (but mostly disappointed), and sleeps all day. That night, she giggles at all his jokes extra hard. He gives her an exasperated look. Fran, eyeing them both, excuses herself. Penelo thinks she catches faint hysterical laughter.

Two nights have passed, and Penelo has been up late chatting with Vaan about "old times." Tired, she heads for bed, only to find that he has somehow gotten into her room and managed to fall asleep in her bed. She suspects that he is naked.

Penelo is upset. Does he really think that just because he owns the Strahl, he can barge into her room whenever he wants and claim it for his own?

Still, as he is the object of her affections, she decides to let it slide and instead searches through his clothes (which have been neatly folded on a chair) until she finds the key to his room. For the second time that week, Penelo spends a long, unpleasant night in his bed.

That morning, they all sit down over breakfast to plan their next move. He gives her that same exasperated look. Fran eyes them both and snorts, though with disdain or barely contained laughter, Penelo doesn't know.

Penelo doesn't know many things, like why he still hasn't noticed her feelings. That evening she giggles ten times as much at his unfunny jokes and blushes as red as a tomato.

And for all his reputation as a ladies' man, he doesn't notice.

She has had a bit too much to drink, and Basch offers to escort her to her room. He tucks her in bed and wishes her a good night, and Penelo thinks, 'Now there's a real knight in shining armor…'

The next evening, she giggles at all Basche's terrible jokes and smiles at him just a bit longer than necessary, and she has no idea why Balthier keeps shooting her sullen glares.


CY: I was thinking about how guy and girls kind of speak totally different languages and they don't always understand each other, and it seemed to fit these two really well...