"Sorry," Balthier sighed in frustration as the Strahl landed roughly on the green grassy of the Cerobi Plains, the wing scrapping the base of a nearby windmill. The Moogle that was working on repairing it looked a bit shaken. Balthier glanced at Vaan who was attempting to sink through the pilot's chair and perhaps into the earth beneath the Strahl's body.
"It may be imperative that I fly us back to Balfonheim now," he said, gritting his teeth and trying to calculate how many scratches his baby was going to have on her now and how much it would cost to repair. Vaan sat up hurriedly in the chair.
"I can do this," he said, almost whining. "Please. One more try. Please?"
Balthier pressed his fingers to his temple, wishing that Fran were here to perhaps calm his temper before he rung the boy's neck. Apprentice indeed. Perhaps if the master didn't shoot him before he could learn anything useful.
"One more time, Vaan," he said after a few minutes and several attempts at calming himself as he tried not to think of the long scratch on the left wing. "I'm expecting you to pay for the damage."
Vaan had the decency to look mortified at the damage he had done and he clutched the controls tighter this time, his knuckles turning white. Balthier's frown deepened and he unbuckled himself from his chair and placed his hand on top of Vaan's on the thruster.
"You must relax first," he instructed firmly, "or else you're only going to crash her and if you do that, I will not hesitate to wring your neck."
Vaan nodded and loosened his grip a fraction and forced himself to relax a bit. Balthier remained standing at his shoulder, his hand still on top of his.
"You can let go of my hand now," Vaan said finally, glancing up at him. Balthier pulled back with a start and scowled at the smirk that appeared on Vaan's face as he returned to the copilot's chair.
"Wipe that look off your face, Vaan, and fly the damn airship," he snapped irritably and rubbed his hand, trying to erase the feeling of the boy's hand beneath his.