beauty & the beast

by Ornery-chan

Author's Note: This is a Blank/Mikoto fic (gotta love 'em!) largely inspired by Trick Sparrow's love ('luv) n: piece. You need to read it first to understand the relationships established here, because this takes place between Chapter 2 & 3 (about three weeks after they met).

Chapter 1

I was halfway finished with my nightly rituals, when a thud on the floor occurred from behind me.


Gasping, I dropped the brush I was holding and turned to face the window.

"Blank!" I said in surprise, as I bent down to pick up the fallen brush. He was quicker, though, and was the one who held it to me. I took it and asked, "What are you doing back here? And why did you come by the window?" My room had to be three floors above.

He sat comfortably on the bed. I would have told him off grimly, if he was any other person. But he was red-haired Blank, one of my closest friends here in Lindblum.

"Sorry to disturb you, Miki, but I had to tell you something important…"

I looked down the window. It was very dark outside, but I could make out some boxes and other objects piled on top of each other, reaching the gutter. "Is that how you came up here?" I asked, pointing to the structure.

He grinned. "Yeah. The lobby's already closed, and I needed to tell you about…"

"This." He brandished a piece of paper out of his hidden pockets.

I took it from him, and scrutinized it. Never have I seen such an odd piece of paper, to be so special that he needed to return for it at this time of night. Blank had probably gone home to the Theatre District, where he and his friends resided, after escorting me here (one of his rituals). Why did he have to give me this paper?

"Blank, what is this?"

Surprise crossed his face. "Oh. I forgot you don't know." He gave me a reassuring smile. "We call that a ticket, Miki."

"A ticket? For what?"

"Read." He stood up and peered over my shoulder.

My eyes scanned the tiny surface. "Come see the Tantalus rendition of 'Beauty and the Beast'…"

I finally got it. "Tantalus is holding a play tomorrow?"

I already knew about their plays. At first I was bewildered by them, too (just like everything else in Gaia.) Why would people want to watch an enactment of fictional scenes? But I had seen Blank in their practices and sensed that he was proud of what he was doing.

Blank nodded cheerfully. "I want you to come and watch us." He declared, sitting back on the bed. "This is what we've been practicing all week." His face suddenly colored imperceptibly. "I-uh…I'm very excited. We wrote the play ourselves. N-not the concept, though. Just…the words." His voice turned to a faint whisper near the end.

I did not really know much about plays themselves, so I had no idea how an original Tantalus play would fare. I sat down next to him and said, "That is good, then."

"Really?" He seemed to have brightened up. "So you'll come?"

I nodded. "Of course. You are all my friends, aren't you?"

"Thanks." He took a deep breath. "This means so much to me."

I nodded again, then suddenly let out a small yawn. When I turned red, Blank chuckled.

"Seems to me that the little miss is quite sleepy now…" He stood up. "I better be going."

I watched him walk towards the window and boost himself out, when I remembered something.

"Blank, wait!"

He popped out the window then. "Yeah? Do you need me to tuck you in?" He teased.

I glared at him. "No, what do I do with this?" I showed him the ticket.

"Wha? Oh." He went back in my room. "Keep it. You'll need it to be ushered in the theatre tomorrow."

"What time is the play? It's not going to interfere with work, is it?"

"It's on the ticket. I don't think it will." He fidgeted. "I made sure of that…"

I glanced back at the paper, then I saw it.

"Blank…it says here the ticket costs 75 gil." I gave him a confused look. "I haven't paid you anything."

He stopped me from getting my money, though. "No need to, princess. You go free." He winked. "Special privileges, you know."

I blinked. Special? Princess?

"Well, good night Miki."

He disappeared down the window. I was still looking at it numbly when he reappeared a few seconds later, almost scaring me.

"One more thing." He smirked. "Cute nightgown."

My cheeks warmed after that.

Always timestamp your works!

12/28/2001 – 3:45 PM