Title: No Regrets

Author: Zalia Chimera

Rating: PG13

Pairing: Mild Cliff/Fayt

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean 3 or any of the characters.

Summary: Cliff explains a few Klausian New Years customs to Fayt in his own special way.

Of course Fayt knew that other planets, especially those that weren't part of the Federation, had a different calendar, but it still threw him off guard when the celebrations for the New Year in Aquaria began. He was still working on his own calendar where it was the middle of summer with New Years a good few months away yet.

Cliff and Mirage had taken it in stride, joining in whole-heartedly with the festivities as though they'd always been there. He supposed that it was part of travelling to different planets so often. Of course, they introduced Aquaria to some Klausian 'traditions' which seemed to consist of the two of them getting raucously drunk before trying to beat each other up. It had been impressive (not to mention amusing at times), but Fayt still couldn't help but feel a little detached from the situation.

He found himself in the corner of the bar of the inn they were staying at later that night when Cliff came up to him, his lip bloodied and one eye blackened, but grinning like a loon and carrying a couple of glasses of some rather worrying looking red liquid. Cliff flopped onto the bench next to him and held up one of the glasses before downing it in one shot, making an exaggerated gasp when he set the glass down.

"Enjoying the party, kid?" Cliff asked, his grin never wavering even as he wiped a spot of blood from his lip with the back of his hand.

Fayt shrugged. "It's not New Year for me."

Cliff rolled his eyes and ruffled Fayt's hair a bit more roughly than he normally would have when sober. "You're too serious. It's a party, enjoy it while you have the chance. Not like you're gonna' get to celebrate another New Year on Elicoor."

"You mean I should get drunk and fight someone according to Klausian tradition?" Fayt replied sarcastically.

"Well, I can think of worse things," Cliff replied with a laugh. "Me and Mirage have a rematch every year," he explained. "But Klaus is a planet of fighters. It's pretty common."

Fayt snorted. "Any more Klausian customs I should know about? I don't want to end up in prison again because they decided we were more trouble than we're worth."

"Funny you should ask about customs," Cliff replied in a way that made Fayt begin to worry.

The bigger man held out the shot glass of ominous liquid towards him. "Drink up. It's not quite the same, but I managed to get things similar enough."

Fayt looked at the glass warily and Cliff laughed again, patting him heavily on the back. "C'mon! It's not gonna' kill you. It's a tradition to drink it to see in the New Year to wash away the bad things and start with a clean slate."

Well, he couldn't really argue with that. Earth had some pretty odd customs itself depending on where you went. He took the glass reluctantly and decided to just get it over with. He tossed it back and began choking and sputtering, the backs of his eyes starting to prickle and his mouth burning. What the hell had been in that?

Before he had chance to swear or try to kill Cliff for trying to poison him, strong arms grabbed his shoulders and pulled him into a rather forceful kiss. His eyes widened, feeling Cliff's lips against his and his fingers balled in the older man's shirt, not entirely sure whether he was trying to push him away or pull him closer.

Finally (too soon, part of his mind said), Cliff pulled away, licking his lips with a satisfied smirk on his lips. "That's the other part of the tradition," Cliff said, as bells across the city began to chime. "No regrets."

He brushed his thumb over Fayt's lips lightly and then headed back towards the crowd of people, a light of mood as he ever was, leaving a rather poleaxed Fayt behind.