Well, it's been a few months since my last oneshot, and this is (obviously) my first final fantacy fic so I hope I make you all proud!

Anyway, I'm not to sure if I was able to keep Vaan in character...his character is kinda hard to write so that's my excuse. Anyway, on with the lovin!

Disclaimer: I don't own FFXII

Desert Disasters

"...If you get tired, we rest."

Those words kept running through Vaan's head in an endless, tireless circle, much the same way the bubbling jealousy had been circulating in his blood.

Those words hadn't even been directed at him, but at his best friend, Penello. Perhaps that was the reason for his unexplainable reaction.

It was strange, this burning anger those words had awakened in his heart toward the girl. It shouldn't hurt like this, but it did. His heart shouldn't ache because someone was worried about his friend; sands, even he worried about the girl. Then again, that was his job. He was supposed to look after all the other orphans, and Penello fell under that category.

But that didn't change the fact that it had still hurt to hear Balthier say it with such obvious concern. He had found himself glaring in the girl's direction more and more often, and he couldn't seem to stop.

Panello, naturally, had brushed the older man's concern aside. She was strong enough and could handle a little extra sunlight. That had earned an appreciative chuckle from the pirate, and another fiery burst of jealousy from the boy leaning on the other side of the rock.

That had been days ago, before they entered the desert. Panello had kept true to her word; she rarely asked for breaks and seemed somehow unaffected by the glaring sun reflecting off the shifting sands and rusty metal of the bridge.

The blond shot a dirty look at his friend as the sky pirate's words resonated through his head again. the sun continuously sipped at his strength, and his growing fatigue had him wanted to drag his feet-but he didn't. All he wanted to do was curl up and take a nice long nap, but he knew even that wouldn't help. His nights were spent in forced insomnia, between his dreams involving Recks and the ones surrounding Balthier he felt no overwhelming desire to give into his body's thirst for sleep. It was just too painful.

The one thing he was doing correctly, he supposed, was keeping hydrated. Yet with everything else piled together it was no wonder it wasn't doing any good. He knew he should request a break, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He couldn't reveal such a stupid weakness. If Panello could do it, then so could he!

And this had absolutely nothing to do with his still seething jealousy.

Vaan's spiraling thoughts were interrupted by an angry cry from overhead. Vaan's face whipped upward in alarm, his body tensed and he found his sword in his hand before he was even aware he'd grabbed it.

Vaan's dusky eyes widened almost comically seconds before he dived forward, rolled, and came up behind the massive creature hovering in the air where he'd been standing moments before.

He could hear someone's shriek, and his companion's footsteps rushed towards him. He distantly heard Balthier's cultured voice hiss out a curse or two, but he didn't have time to think on that or the strange way the world tilted around him; the creature had swung around with a powerful sweep of his massive wings, eyes focusing on the boy with deadly accuracy.

Vaan would have to get this over with quickly, his adrenalin rush was already vanishing, and his legs felt like jelly; he was vaguely surprised he could even hold his sword in front of him.

Vaan dodged forward, ducked under a wing, and brought his sword up and over in a broad arc above his head.

The creature's keening cry almost burst the thieves eardrums as his sword tore into it's wing. Before Vaan could do more than blink at the newly aquired ringing in his ears, a thick, spiked tail caught him across the chest. The blow sent him flying backwards into Basch, who stumbled, but managed to stay upright.

The captain stepped around him to face their opponent after setting him on his feel. Without his support Vaan fell to the ground, and instantly began groping for the sword he'd dropped at his impromptu flying lesson.

His hand closed around the hilt and he stood quickly, ready to rejoin the fray. He took one step forward before pausing. The edges of his vision had started to turn black, and the world was rocking back and forth now, as well as spinning wildly.

Vaan frowned and shook his head, bringing his hand up to steady himself as he became unbalanced at the motion. He was only able to see a blurred figure fall to the ground. He knew it was the creature, felled at last, and he felt a little sense of triumph at the beast's defeat.

The triumph was replaced with a not so pleasant emotion when Vaan saw Balthier's form (he wasn't sure how he knew it was him cus he couldn't see straight, but he just knew) knelt next to the princess, gently prodding the girl's injured leg, directly above the knee.

Vaan took a step forward, uncertain what he would do but knowing he had to do something, but the world started to spin in earnest, so he decided it was best to stop while he was ahead. He brought a hand up to clutch at his aching head, and saw through slitted eyes as Balthier stood up. The pirate was now looking at him, but that was the last Vaan saw. Black enveloped him, and he felt his knees hit the ground, before...nothing.


Vaan came awake much later, with a groan. His whole body ached, his head pounded, and he felt like he had a mouthful of sand. No, wait...he did have a mouthful of sand.

Hacking and coughing, he sat up and spit to the side, "Ugh...yuck!"

"My thoughts precisely." A voice drawled from behind him.

Flushing slightly at being caught, Vaan spun around-or at least tried to. It was kind of difficult to 'spin' when you're half sitting, half laying on the ground. He ended up doing an awkward sort of shuffle, which only served to further his embarrassment, especially when he realized the speaker was Balthier.

This discovery only made him feel stupid- he should have known it was the sky pirate, no one else in the world had a voice like Balthier's.

Balthier looked decidedly unimpressed; he was leaning against the railing with his arms crossed, the Sand Sea restlessly shifting behind him. "You are an ideat." He drawled after a lengthy silence. Vaan scowled, but any reply he would have made was cut off by the sky pirate continuing his chastisement. "What in that tiny little mind of yours thought it was a good idea to push yourself past your endurance?" His voice had moved from cool and smooth, to heated and harsh.

Vaan's eyes fell to the ground as even more color flooded his face, "Well, Penello didn't-"

"You are not Penello!" Balthier snapped, and Vaan flinched, "Just as you are not Basch, or Fran, or myself. You are Vaan. One would believe you of all people capable of taking care of yourself." Balthier's eyes were cutting as they scrapped over the thief's prone figure, "Apparently I was incorrect in my assumptions and you need looking after more then a three year old."

Vaan's temper was slowly rising with every word out of his crushes mouth until he felt sure he would explode. The barb was the last straw, and he spat, eyes flashing, "I don't need a babysitter!"

Balthier pushed away from the railing and stalked gracefully towards him, making Vaan's vulnerable position painfully obvious. "Tell me Vaan,what did you think to gain by wearing yourself out?" Balthier's voice was soft now, and Vaan couldn't read his thoughts.

The boy cast his eyes aside and shifted uncomfortably, "Penello-" He broke off, unable to voice his, admittedly irrational, reasoning.

"What does Penello have to do with anything?" Vaan glanced up at the pirate coyly, seeing the furrow on the handsome brow, before darting his eyes away again. This was so embarrassing.

"You told her if she was tired we'd stop." he murmured by way of explanation, part of him wishing desperately that the older male wouldn't be able to hear him. The silence that followed was long and almost painful.

"You...were eavesdropping?" now that sexy drawl sounded amused, and Vaan practically burned with humiliation. At that moment he wanted nothing more then to crawl under a rock and die, but he forced a curt nod.

Again with the eternal silence! Vaan began to fidget uncomfortably; still avoiding looking at the older man.

"Are you...jealous...Vaan?" That was purred directly into the blond's ear, startling him into looking at Balthier with overly large eyes.

Just when had Balthier moved, he thought with panic. He hadn't noticed at all, he hadn't heard anything.

Vaan's pulse had accelerated and he gulped, staring into Balthier's eyes. He felt like a hare that had been cornered by the fox. But, oh, what a sexy fox he was; Vaan wouldn't mind being devoured by those wicked lips.

Vaan blinked, was it just him, or was Balthier's face getting closer? "W-" He was cut off by a short chaste kiss. It was a simply brush of lips but it was enough to render Vaan completely dumbfounded.

Balthier drew back with a smirk, "Next time you want my attention, pet, try not to get yourself killed. I can't enjoy you properly if you're dead."

Then the pirate was gone, leaving poor Vaan's thoughts in one messy tangle.

Well, how was that? I had fun writing it...my sister thought it was too emberrasing though...anyway: