Hello! I'm new on the one shot frontier, but I decided to create this little fic anyway! Final Fantasy XII has helped nullify the pain of the absence of KHIII, so I thought it would be wonderful to write this little story as a thanks. I would also like to note that Balthier has overwhelmed any and all hopes I have to have a reasonably functional, non-video game character marriage. We are to be wedded sometime in June. ;3.
Please enjoy, and all wedding gifts are to be sent directly through the review button!
It was because of the Nethicite.
At least, this was what Balthier told himself some odd years ago; too far back to remember why he had invented such an obvious scapegoat for his father.
He was picking through some old documents, some old files, littered with notes, coffee stains and cob webs. The old man's office had not seen human care in a number of years, and Balthier was in no hurry to provide it with some. In fact, the sooner he found what he was looking for, the better.
His brow wrinkled in frustration, it was impossible to find anything in this land fill, formerly known as his father's office. Papers were everywhere, well, everywhere except for where they were supposed to be. The file cabinets were virtually empty, and the contents of which had been dumped onto the table, spilling over onto the floor in a great wave of text. Nothing was in order, and the notes that had been hand written in haste were overlapped onto other sheets of paper, making it impossible to tell what had been so important to write down.
With a sigh only he could hear, he flopped down into the desk chair and was immediately greeted with a cloud of dust. The dust settled down after a moment, and, after Balthier had brushed a fair bit out of his hair, he propped his feet up on the old table.
So this was what it felt like, to own the world, to head the house hold. He smirked to himself. In all honesty, it didn't feel all that spectacular. When he was younger, he wondered why his father liked to spend so much time in this office among the clutter and disarray, just to kick his feet up and chuckle to himself. Before shooing him out of the room, the old man would cackle to and say "It is because of the power!"
Cidolfus was a queer man, even before his exposure to the power of the Nethacite. In fact, he had a way about him that was kind of off putting. Their relationship had been unstable at best.
He had always been in the habit of talking to himself, not wanting to be interrupted even for a meal. Balthier had learned quickly that his father could go for hours after the appropriate meal time before he ate, and it was useless to save him anything. They hardly saw each other during the day, Cidolfus was usually tinkering around in his office, creating new machines or upgrading the old ones. In fact, the only time they laid eyes on each other was when his father left to relieve himself, bypassing him in the hallway.
But unstable meant there were good times as well. Though few and spread out, they did happen, and these were the memories that Balthier held with him. The two had a love for machinery. On the days when Cidolfus wasn't too busy, they would go together to the hangers and tinker around in the old airships, finding out which lever affected that, and what that button did.
It was a shame that the good times didn't outweigh the bad.
And Balthier had realized this type of helter-skelter behavior was typical of anyone that worked for the Empire. In fact, he was sure he wasn't as worse off as other people in his position. Some fathers beat their children. Some children didn't have fathers at all.
But perhaps the hurt of being ignored by the father he had was worse than not having one at all. At least then he wouldn't be rattled back and forth between the days Cidolfus wanted to take up the role and when he didn't.
Then the Nethicite had come into their world, and surprisingly, not much had changed. Their good days had become almost nonexistent, but Balthier was older by then and didn't really need to be taught how to rewire an airship. The loneliness hadn't magnified as much as one would think, as Cidolfus wasn't around much in the first place.
Both of them knew their relationship was reaching it's end, and perhaps the discovery of the Nethicite was the marking point.
In fact, once Balthier had taken off, he would venture to say that his father wasn't angry, just a little disappointed in himself.
In away, the Nethicite had put them out of their misery. It stopped the two from carrying on like wounded animals, clinging to the little bit of life they shared; it released them.
They could lead relatively happy lives apart with only the past to bring them down. There was no need to go back and amend things. This was how they were supposed to be.
"They come," Fran's voice floated in the room with the ghostly murmur only the Viera were capable of.
"I need but another minute." He replied, taking his feet off the table. Another minute for what, Balthier wasn't entirely certain of. He could imagine that the alarm would sound in a matter of minutes, and he would be livid if he jeopardized his own freedom because he had a whim to visit his old man's tomb of an office.
Dusting off his posterior as he did so, Balthier stood from the cracked leather chair, and strolled around the room once more. He felt somewhat relieved as he did. He could lay everything to rest here; let the past be the past.
With a small smile, he gave a little wave to the dusty office with it's papers and mildew, and then he stepped out of the door, Fran waiting patiently.
"Did you find what you were looking for?" She asked, as the alarm sounded in the distance and the metal clank of imperial feet on the marble floor filled the corridor. Balthier drew his gun. "Yes. I believe I did."