You can't quit until you try

You can't live until you die

You can't learn to tell the truth

Until you learn to lie

"Fran! Watch out behind you!" Balthier called out as he fired his gun at one monster while a second one scratched at her back. She turned around and dodged most of the attack before getting her spell off the instantly blew apart a couple monsters. The rains grew heavier, and the sky pirates had difficulty seeing the strong beasts that came there way and were obviously used to all the rains.

"Fran!" Balthier yelled out again and jumped between the Viera and a beast that came to attack her. As it struck him, he killed it by quickly drawing his sword and stabbing it through its gut. Fran looked over her shoulder to see the bloody mess, grateful for her partner's keen observations. The two fell to the ground, weary from the fighting, their wounds, and the cold, cold rain.


The Viera made her way through Rabanastre, walking from the Aerodome in the Western sector of the city. The clicking of her stilettos on the unevenly paved ground was caused by terrible wounds that had cut large chunks out of her legs and left her with a limp in her left leg. No one paid her any mind though, as wounded members of all races were a common sight in the capital due to the Westersand and the current rainy season on the Giza plains. But she continued her way through alone, regardless of her wounds. Though they were very new, she paid them no mind and continued on.

Her eyes and ears were watching and listening respectively for any sign of Vaan or Penelo. Though her immediate plan for coming to Rabanastre was to visit Ashe, she had news for the children as well. As she hobbled her way through the city towards the palace, Fran was not surprised that she did not see them. After all, they were sky pirates, and a good sky pirate always has work. Then again, there was always the possibility that they had been captured and put in jail somewhere. That was unlikely though as news of that had not been spread anywhere, and where her and Balthier had just been in Balfonheim, they likely would have heard it.

Fran turned left and walked up the long road to the palace while Balthier slept soundly in the Strahl, resting quietly in the hangars with a moogle or two checking up on her. "Ah, Lady Fran," a guard greeted the Viera as she approached. "I trust that your expedition outside of Ivalice was successful that you only came out with a few wounds?"

Fran did not smile, nor did she frown at the guard. "I have grave news for Her Majesty. I must speak with her."

"Of course," the guard replied. "Go on through. They will tell you inside where Her Majesty is."

"Thank you," Fran replied as she continued hobbling on in.

"Oh, and tell that partner of yours I said hello."

Fran looked over her shoulder, her white pony tail cascading over the opposite shoulder. "That I shall," she replied with a wry smile.


You can't breathe until you choke

You gotta laugh when you're the joke

There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

What a strange place. Fran thought to herself as she left the Aerodome and walked into the streets of Archades. She had heard of the unfriendliness of the people, but since she was here to speak to a petitioner about a hunt, she had been allowed in the city limits, but only to speak with the petitioner upon beginning and returning the hunt. The Viera walked down the long road, ignoring the stares and gasps of the ignorant wealthy citizens, some who believed that she must be a new servant at the palace. Others murmured about how she should cover herself up and not be so indecent. It entertained her to no end. After a few moments, she entered inside the magick shop, where her petitioner waited for the one who would fell their mark.

Within minutes, Fran received her information and left. On her way out of Archades, she stopped by the weapons store to pick up extra arrows for her bow. Inside, she found the most peculiar thing. There was a teenage boy, who clearly was from a status of wealth, pouring over a book about hunts and clans. Why would a boy of such stature be so interested in the process of hunts. Maybe he was looking to post a hunt, and in that case, Fran could kill two birds with one stone. Or one arrow ileft the Aerodome and walked into the streets of Archades. She had heard of the unfriendliness of the people, but since she was here to speak to a petitioner about a hunt, she had been allowed in the city limits, but only to speak with the petitioner upon beginning and returning the hunt. The Viera walked down the long road, ignoring the stares and gasps of the ignorant wealthy citizens, some who believed that she must be a new servant at the palace. Others murmured about how she should cover herself up and not be so indecent. It entertained her to no end. After a few moments, she entered inside the magick shop, where her petitioner waited for the one who would fell their mark.

Within minutes, Fran received her information and left. On her way out of Archades, she stopped by the weapons store to pick up extra arrows for her bow. Inside, she found the most peculiar thing. There was a teenage boy, who clearly was from a status of wealth, pouring over a book about hunts and clans. Why would a boy of such stature be so interested in the process of hunts. Maybe he was looking to post a hunt, and in that case, Fran could kill two birds with one stone. Or one arrow in this case. "Are you looking to post a hunt?" Fran asked, resting one hand on her hip as she looked at the brown haired boy.

"Uhh, no…" he trailed, looking at the Viera like a lost child. "I uh, am simply doing a school report."

Fran smirked as she watched the boy lie through his teeth. Perhaps in this culture his excuse would be accepted, but she found it more fun to egg him on. "Really now? And is that why you are reading an application for a clan?" There was nothing but silence, and the boy had no idea how to respond, surprised that she would not accept his bullshit excuse because the society of Archades gentry never actually listens to what is being said. Fran sat down next to him. "Perhaps you have a question to ask then?"

The teenager looked down at his book, smirked, then looked at the Viera. "So how exactly did you know I was lying? Are those ears lie detectors?"

Fran simply smiled, decided she liked the boy.


"Halt Viera!" A guard commanded as Fran walked through the palace doors. "What business have you here?"

Fran stared blankly at the guard. "I am here to speak with the Queen. Where is she?"

"Hmph. Not just anyone can walk in here and get an audience with the Queen. What do you want, and I'll see what I can do."

Fran shook her head and hobbled past him.

The guard ran in front of her and stopped her again. "I said halt!"

"I have no time for your antics. I must speak with Her Majesty."

"And I-"

Another guard appeared, quickly running up towards the two of them. "Is there a problem here private?"

"This Viera insisted on entering the palace and refused to give any answers, so I stopped her."

The guard shook his head. "You do know who this woman is, don't you?" The private was silent. "This is Lady Fran, who aided Her Majesty in reclaiming and protecting Dalmasca. You could show a bit more respect."

Fran just shook her head. "Let the ignorant be ignorant."

"I apologize," the superior said, addressing Fran.

"Where is Her Majesty? I must speak with her." Fran replied, ignoring the apology.

"Right this way."


Just open your eyes

Just open your eyes

And see that life is beautiful.

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

Fran met with the teenage boy in their same spot in the second floor of the weapons store. They had grown a friendship where Ffamran would get her anywhere and anything she needed, and Fran showed him the outside world, and snuck him out on several occasions. A couple years passed, and the teenage boy was growing into a young man, and into that his father had made him into a judge. Despite this, he and Fran still retained their friendship, since Fran treated him as a normal person, and Ffamran provided some entertainment, and the closest thing to family since she left the Wood so very long ago. "So how goes the judging?" Fran asked with the same teasing tone she nearly always used with him.

"I told you not to talk about that in public Fran. My fans have no need to know what I look like outside of my armor." Fran simply gave him her look. "Besides, I actually have something serious. Would you accompany me to my mother's memorial service tomorrow? My father's been going even more mad, and I could use a sane person there."

Fran looked into his eyes, seeing his sincerity despite his arrogance. "I will go."

And Ffamran smiled and relaxed back in his chair.


I know some things that you don't

I've done things that you won't

There's nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home

"Your Majesty?"

"Yes?" Ashe answered, not looking up from her papers, seemingly uninterested.

"The Lady Fran is here to see you. Shall I send her in?"

Ashe looked up, now interested. "Of course." As the guard left to allow Fran in, Ashe stood and fixed her dress. Though she had traveled with them and they had seen her look terrible more than once, now that she was the Queen, she tried as much as she could to keep her appearances up. "Fran! …Fran?" Ashe quickly ran towards the Viera in concern as she as she noticed the limp. "What happened to you?"

"Some minor injuries. Nothing that will not heal," Fran replied.

"You should be resting! I'll have the healers look at it, and we'll set you up in a room, and Balthier?"

Fran looked at her old companion. "He is sleeping in the Strahl."

"Sleeping, while you limped all the way here? Good thing he remembered his manners," Ashe replied sarcastically with a smile. She meant no harm by it and missed Fran's frown.

"Will you come see him?" Fran asked.

"In the Strahl? Of course," Ashe replied. "But I'm calling for a carriage. I'll not have you walk all the way back to the Aerodome."

Fran nodded as Ashe ran out into the corridor.


I was waiting for my hearse

What came next was so much worse

It took a funeral to make me feel alive

"That's it," Ffamran said, as he and Fran left his mother's memorial service. "He's gone more mad then I thought. All that talk about Venat and Nethicite. I can't be in this position Fran. I can't do it anymore," the young judge vented to the stoic Viera as they left the graveyard.

"What will you do?" Fran asked curiously. "Will you stand up to him?"

"No, no that'll never work. He'll just wander around in circles and talk to himself and talk to me and vent about how history's turning back into man's hands and all sorts of gibberish… Fran, I've been thinking lately."

"That's quite dangerous for you," Fran replied with a small smile.

He chose to ignore it and continue on. "Let's leave here. Head to Balfonheim, find an airship, and we'll find freedom from our pasts."

"You choose to cut your ties?"

"Yes, I do."

"Quite painful," Fran replied. "Are you sure?"

"Are you backing away from an adventure Fran?"

"Not at all. Are you sure you can handle it?"

"Is that a challenge there Fran?" He asked, and their eyes both knew the answer. Fran looked into his eyes and instantly knew that he was running, and he was afraid. He clearly thought that running away would make him happy, and she knew that would not be the case, but it would be best for him to learn by himself, and not for her to lecture him. Besides, it would be nice to be out of Archades for more than a couple weeks at a time.

And that was that. A major decision such as that seems quite minor to a Viera. After all, she lives such a longer life that anything can be a small phase. Humes however, were much more afraid of large decisions, but he took a long time in thinking about it, ever since she had met him in fact. And she would stand by him.

Just open your eyes

And see that life is beautiful.

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

A few months later, they were on the Phon Coast, fighting monsters to accumulate loot to feed themselves, when a monster came up from behind Balthier and struck him down. He yelled out to Fran as she finished her last slice through the monster they had been battling and turned around to see her companion fall to the ground, poisoned. With a few magick spells, she felled the beast and ran to Balthier's side. "Fran…"

Fran ignored him and went to giving him an antidote and treating his wounds.

"Fran, answer me damnit. What if I'm dying?"

Fran rolled her eyes as she looked at his face. "You will not. It is only a minor wound and small bits of poisoning."

As Fran picked him up, he found himself more and more delusional. "Fran, you have to promise me something."

"What is it?" Fran asked, amused at his currently state.

"You must promise me, no one will tear up when I die." Fran only shook her head and held back a smile. "I don't want any of this mourning. No one going mad from my death. No one's to cry."

"You are going to be fine," Fran reminded him.

"Promise me."

"Fine, I promise," Fran replied.


Alive...Just open your eyes

Just open your eyes

And see that life is beautiful.

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

"Balthier?" Ashe called out as she entered the familiar corridors of the Strahl. "Balthier, wake up already." Ashe turned to Fran. "Where is he?"

"In his room," Fran replied. She watched as Ashe barged into his room and began yelling at him about how rude he was that he let Fran walk all the way to the palace injured while he did nothing but sleep. Fran walked behind Ashe and stayed at the door of the room while Ashe walked inside.

"He's… Balthier!" Ashe exclaimed frantically as she ran to his side, checking for a pulse. She instantly began chanting a strong white magic spell when Fran walked beside her and put a hand on her shoulder.

"I have tried," Fran replied.

Ashe looked at her in shock. "You couldn't have tried hard enough!" Ashe exclaimed, and frantically went back to her chant. Fran allowed her to cast the spell, so she would see the truth in Fran's words. "This… this can't be happening…" Ashe whispered in shock. She looked at the sky pirate's body and noticed how peaceful he looked. It looked just like he were sleeping while they were on the road and she would peek while she was on watch. Only he would quickly wake at any sound or noise. Here, he was silent and motionless. "You… said he was sleeping Fran."

"He is in eternal sleep now," Fran replied, stoic as ever.

Ashe brushed some his hair off of his forehead tenderly before kissing his forehead. Fran heard her whisper something that even her acute hearing was unable to make out. As the Queen walked by, the Viera received a look that went straight through her and made her really feel the sorrow of the events that just happened. The emotion's in Ashe's eyes were so strong, but she hid them so well.


Just open your eyes

Just open your eyes

And see that life is beautiful.

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

"Fran, are you okay?" Balthier gasped as the rain pelted his body.

"Yes, thank you," Fran replied as she looked over to him. She noticed his eyes began to lose focus, and she realized he had lost a lot more blood then she had initially believed. "Hang on," she commanded him while she cast a spell for them.

But in the middle of it, Balthier put his hand on her wrist. "Don't forget your promise Fran."

"You are going to be fine," she reiterated as she continued her spell. But by the time it went off, Balthier's built frame had finished its last breath, and he lay there motionless as the rain pelted him. Her hand rested on his cheek, as she continued to try to revive him.


Just open your eyes

Just open your eyes

And see that life is beautiful.

Will you swear on your life

That no one will cry at my funeral?

About a week or so later, everyone had been gathered for a funeral. The Viera's wounds had mostly healed, and she was no longer walked with a limp. Basch and Larsa arrived the day Ashe sent the news out to them, and Vaan and Penelo returned to Rabanastre when they heard the word in Balfonheim a few days later. They were in the royal palace, dressed in black in a small funeral held for the sky pirate. The casket was open from the waist up, and they all knew Balthier would be incredibly happy that his gorgeous face was not damaged in his death. It was just the six of them, standing together near Balthier's casket. Basch, with his helmet removed, put his hand on Ashe's shoulder and looked at her with concern maybe she would only understand. Vaan was only in shock as he stared at the casket that his mentor was in, unable to believe that only a few years had passed since they had met while sneaking into the palace. Penelo clutched a tissue, unable to stop the tears that were pouring from her eyes.

After the silence, Vaan spoke. "He'll wake up, right?"

"Vaan, how can you be so stupid?" Penelo yelled at him. "No, he's not going to wake up." And she cried some more.

Ashe walked next to her and held the girl's hand as her eyes misted up. "Here lies a hero of Dalmasca."

"And a hero of Archades," Larsa replied biting back his tears.

"No," Basch interjected. "A hero of Ivalice. Were it not for his knowledge, his airship, and his willing to jump into danger, we would have never been as successful as we were."

Fran looked about the room, looking at her allies. She frowned as she realized she was unable to keep Balthier's promise. There everyone was, shedding tears for a man who had made her promise that no one would. But as she watched Ashe smile and wipe a tear away, she knew that her partner would surely understand.

And with that, a single tear fell from the Viera's eye.