Title: Bedraggled

Author: Zalia Chimera

Rating: PG

Pairing: None

Characters: Ronixis, Ratix, Iria

Disclaimed: Don't own Star Ocean or the characters.

Notes: Set just a bit after the PA in which Ronixis falls into the Harbour XD

There was that look on Iria's face when Ronixis finally made it back to the inn, dripping wet and bedraggled. He'd been on the receiving end of that look several times since he'd first met Iria. It was the one which suggested that she was struggling to decide whether she should berate him or just burst out laughing. In the end she did neither, just pointed him firmly towards a side room where he found a hot bath and towels waiting for him.

He ducked into one of their rooms first, divesting himself of armour and bow, coiling the bowstring inside a piece of oiled paper to protect it. It had become a familiar routine in the weeks that he'd been on Roak, even though before that he'd not done any archery in a long time. Even before his promotion to Captain, his time on Earth with access to a shooting range had been limited. A set of clean clothes were dug out of his travelling pack and he headed towards the bathing room.

It was odd to have access to an actual bath when he'd become so used to just having a shower on the Calnus, but this was a real bathroom. A large tiled room with one big tub in the centre, a set of steps leading up to it, and then smaller bowls of warm water to one side along. It was different to what he was used to, but just what he needed after falling into the ocean. He didn't think that he'd be living that one down for a while.

He'd washed and slid into the large tub full of deliciously hot water when Ratix entered, seeming unconcerned about being nude. He smiled brightly at Ronixis and slipped into the water, sitting on the ledge which ran around the edge of the tub, the tip of his tail just peeking out above the water.

"Two baths in one day?" Ratix teased, grinning a little at Ronixis. "Didn't realise you liked water that much."

Ronixis laughed then stopped, pondering for a moment how Ratix could be quite comfortable enough with bathing with another man, and yet be so awkward and offended when Ronixis had asked to touch his tail. Cultural differences, Iria would have said, but that didn't really explain anything to his mind.

Ratix seemed to notice his silence and leaned forward, peering at him curiously. "Something wrong Ronixis? You seem quiet."

Ronixis held his tongue for a moment, knowing that he really shouldn't say it, but finally was unable to help himself and blurted it out. "If you're cat, why don't you hate water?"

Oh yes, never living it down.