A/N: First shot at this couple--which I've become rather fond of. All these themes were taken from a livejournal community called 1sentence. Please enjoy and constructive advice is always welcomed.
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy XII. All rights are reserved to SquareEnix.
Like lighting—powerful, strong, mighty—he struck down each opponent with the speed of gods; Penelo was definitely impressed to say the least.
Once, upon Mt. Bur-Omisace, within the refugee camp, she had stood freezing, the warm climate clothing she donned doing nothing to protect her skin until—with much surprise—Basch handed her a woolen blanket: "Here, some warmth before you become frozen where you stand."
So young and full of life, Basch thought as he watched the Rabanastre girl dance within the rain of the Giza Plains, quite envious as it was foolish for a grown man—and knight—to join in such an activity.
They all, every single one of them, treated her as if she were a mere child, but Basch—chivalrous till the end--was always the last to regard her as such; equal they were in his eyes.
He knows it's wrong that he takes interest in the young girl more than anyone else in the group, but there is just something about her carefree spirit that lifts his own and makes it young again.
Surprisingly, Penelo discovers that Basch—one who had seen many battles and experienced the terrible cruelties of the world—can be so gentle in his words; he constantly consoles any worries in her.
It's strange how they seem to communicate with each other, though neither one has known the other for long; words are not really needed as one look is enough for them to completely understand what the other is thinking.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step, Penelo had heard this saying before, but had never completely understood it until now; thanks to his help she was taking each step with confidence.
Penelo knew that Basch fon Rosenberg was a loyal knight of Dalmasca, but personally, she thought he would do better as Basch fon Rosenberg, loyal King of Dalmasca.
Have being taught how to fight by her brother, Penelo had thought that she would be quite ready for the battlefield if need rose, but once seeing what it really was like out pass the protective walls of Rabanastre, she knew that she was very far behind; immediate lessons from a certain knight became top priority.
It all had happened so fast—first the creature set out to annihilate her, then his tall frame posing as a wall—that she was extremely dizzy from it all when he turned around with a nod of reassurance.
Sometimes Penelo could be extremely patience—having to put up with Vaan for so long was the reason—and sometimes she would be very impatient, but a small conversation with the knight always did make time move faster and allowed her good-mannered self to return.
He could definitely see a change in her—from the young, orphan girl from Rabanastre, to a stunning, mature fighter on the battlefield—with much pride.
When Basch gave a command, Penelo usually followed it without question—he being well trained in the battlefield--, yet there was one she could not obey: "Do not worry."
Though usually not clumsy, ice was another matter entirely for Penelo; Basch's hold upon her shoulders as he helped her maneuver around was strong and very reassuring.
For as long as she could remember, there was always this need to see people smile, and though Vaan had always been where she went to see that desire fulfilled, lately she was finding it in Basch's welcoming grin.
Basch had always perceived the young girl to have child-like grace which he personally appreciated among the chaos of their journey.
When he spoke, which was sometimes very little, she listened, paying much mind to each word for his voice was a bit alluring, enchanting; much different than Vaan's own boyish, optimistic one.
"But he obviously likes Ashe. She's a lot more beautiful than I am," Penelo sighed despairingly, but Basch merely chuckled and stated with amusement, "Beauty is not always found in the skin Penelo. It is usually found in the soul and you have quite a charming one at that."
They all made a lovely picture, poising smiles and laughter in their eyes; Penelo wished that it would never end.
Her tears ran hot, searing the puffy, red skin of her cheeks as they fell; she really was a fool to start believing in fairytale love endings again for surely he did not feel the same; kindness was not always love.
Basch had not meant to chuckle, he was usually much better at concealing such things, but her blazing eyes and puffed out cheeks were rather amusing, considering how short her stature was to his own.
Once while they had been visiting the people in the Giza Plains, Penelo had caught Basch knelt before a crying child, consoling the girl like he had done many times for her and realized what a good father he would probably make in the future.
"Don't be so doubtful. 'Tis better to stay confident in hard times," Basch soothed calmly though Penelo knew that what they were about to face was the worst they all had seen thus far.
His eyes were cold, distant and full of something she had never seen before—a complete shadow of himself; suddenly Penelo wished she had the power to bring back what this man had lost if only to see but a bit of kindness in him yet again.
Their goodbye was short and sweet; a smile, a joke, and a sigh of relief, but it was rather unfulfilling, "Don't worry, when I write to Larsa I'll be sure to send you a letter as well, Basch. I know how much you'll want one."
Penelo sometimes hid her tears for she wished not to be a hindrance, yet around the knight there was nothing to hide; he accepted all of her, flaws and weaknesses alike.
Basch listened quietly to the younger group members chatter to themselves with slight interest, "I want a fortune of gold and diamonds, things that really sparkle! What about you Penelo," Vaan questioned, and Penelo stated calmly, "I don't want a fortune of treasures, having good friends and a person to care about is a big enough fortune for me."
There were few people that Penelo felt completely, and utterly safe with: Fran provided a understanding safety, just girl to girl being friends and looking out for one another; Vaan was a childhood friend, trust was what bonded them tighter than any iron bars and it was no surprise that she felt safe with him, but Basch was different, the type of secure feeling that was around when she was near the man was beyond comforting, but why would that come as a surprise; one always felt safe with a friend.
When they met again—a year having passed since their journey—Penelo was awed by Basch's appearance, for his brother Noah he appeared to be, but with a smile of warm welcoming the apparition disappeared and all that was left was the man she knew and liked so well.
Neither were an open book that could just simply be read and their whole life would be understood, no they were complex people with various emotions and beliefs that hid their thoughts quite well, but chose to speak when passion and worry won the best of them; Basch and Penelo were not books that could be quickly told, thus the reason why they enjoyed to sit and read each other slowly, learning, and understanding like ever good novel should.
Beauty was in the eye of the beholder, this Basch had once said to Penelo; she had not completely comprehended it then, but now—even though he was no Casanova—she could confidently say that Basch, himself, was a inspiring beauty different then any she had witnessed before.
"Never give up hope, there is always a way," Basch spoke strongly and for a moment Penelo believed, believed that her chance at happiness was just a step away even when things were perceived so bleakly.
He had seen her fight, seen her smile, seen her even dance, but had never heard her sing; it was soft like a lullaby from history's past and left him quite somber in the end—a child's mourning of lost life covered by what was suppose to ease the soul.
It certainly was sudden and not what had been expected, but Basch appreciated how quickly the girl had taken to him, despite his dirty reputation and broken honor.
She knew death was inevitable, that someday everyone would face it, but for a spilt moment when he had been at the brink of death, Penelo's heart had stopped; she did not want death to take this man just yet.
Though he was still strong, loyal, gallant Basch, Penelo knew that it would take time for the wounds of his deceased brother to heal, and of course she was willing to give him as much as he needed.
She was too nice, and she knew it quite well when she offered to wash everyone's clothes in the river—darn them for accepting her generosity—but Basch was even kinder when he agreed to help instead of making her do it all alone.
"Though this war has torn Dalmasca and The Empire's people apart, like ripped cloth it can be sown back together," Basch assured her and Penelo nodded, agreeing because of course, he was always right on such things.
They both had a history of losses and hurt, but they both also had a history of making the best of the worst situation.
The explosion of the Sun-Cryst was incredibly powerful, sweeping Penelo off her feet and towards the edge of the cataract, but Basch caught her with speed and suddenly the power of the explosion was nothing compared to how strong his grip around her was.
Noah looked liked him, walked like him and even had the strength like he did, but Noah was not Basch, and for that Penelo was thankful; would she have taken to the man like she had to the dubbed 'traitorous' knight?
She had wanted to believe that a caring god watched over them—who had guided her through all the hard times and had given her friends that protected her so—but was disappointed when they found out that they were merely bound by the Occuria; maybe meeting him was just luck after years of disappointment.
It was funny actually, even though she knew it wasn't right to laugh at him, but seeing Basch fall straight through a Fool's Façade when he appeared to be the least clumsiest person in the group was one thing she would never let him live down.
Her face was hot, no burning, wait…scolding when she had accidentally stumbled in on him as he was changing into freshly washed clothes; Penelo had seen men with lovely muscles before, but never a grown man such as Basch when bare before her eyes.
He congratulated her on a job well done by helping to flying the Strahl to safety; Penelo only laughed in thanks for she had never knew how good it felt to be praised by him—blushing softly was followed there after.
Harm did not often befall Penelo possibly because she was the group's archer and was damn good at what she did, or because he often stood between her and the enemy; either one appeased to her in the end.
There had been one time when Basch had called her precious, in what context she couldn't remember, but from that day on Penelo had always had the feeling she was worth far more than what she first thought.
She had a hunger, a hunger to see him again after a year had passed since the war; she was quite happy when he sent her a personal message saying he was anticipating meeting her once again at the coronation of Lady Ashe.
If there was one thing Basch and Penelo shared in common more than anything else, it was that they both believed in each other, they believed that one another was a great person, destined for great things and in that is where their bond lied.
A/N: I hope everyone has enjoyed this and possibly has developed a new OTP? Maybe? Anyways, thanks for reading, it's always appreciated.