By: Koorino Megumi

I wrote this drabble for the wonderful Dagas Isa! There are no spoilers. Just don't take it too seriously!

As he walked into the store, Fran following behind him, heads immediately began to turn. Typical.

"You choose the snacks this time," he said as he took a look at the front counter, noting the young woman there. Fran nodded wordlessly and disappeared among the shelves.

Balthier headed straight for the front, ignoring the whispers and stares as he passed. The woman at the register had curly blond hair and, as he approached, was beginning to look rather like a chocobo faced with an airship.

"Can you?" she squeaked.

Balthier put one arm on the counter, leaning over it and grinning at her. "Well, you see, I find myself a bit short on money at the moment. I wondered if I might be able to find out, up front, just how much fuel I can purchase with this amount?" He reached into his pocket, withdrawing an embarrassingly meager amount of gil (for one in his profession) and rolling it out on the counter.

The woman looked at the money, looked back up at Balthier, and looked down again indecisively.

Balthier leaned farther forward over the counter, reaching as if to gather a stray coin. With his face very near to hers, he asked, "Is there anything more that I can do to help?"

"No, no, this is...this is good," the young attendant stammered. She was staring at him openly. He smiled for her, stepping back and handing her his fuel receipt. "Good doing business with you." He picked up a few of the coins, as if gathering his change.

She nodded numbly at him. "Thank you."

"Those are for the food." He gestured to the remaining coins with a flourish before turning to walk away.

Fran met up with him at the door. "Did you settle the bill?"

Balthier grinned. "Don't I always?"

"Then we should go quickly."

He gave a theatrical sigh. "It's always business with you, isn't it, Fran? I thought women were supposed to enjoy shopping."

Fran's expression was wry. "I do not think I enjoy it as much as you do."

The sky pirate pouted. "Now that's an insult!"

As they left, still arguing lightly, Balthier checked the shop off on his map. After all, it didn't do to cheat the same store more than once in too close succession.