Summary: Oneshot. AxP. "Piper should wear dresses more often, don't you think, Aerrow? She sure looks cute in them," Finn told him. "No, actually, I think she should keep to her regular clothes," Aerrow seethed as he saw the other guys looking at her.
Rating: T for slight swearing, implied situations and fluff
Disclaimer: I don't own Stormhawks, if I did then you'd see Aerrow and Piper kiss at least once
How Do I Look?
A Stormhawks Oneshot
There are some things about girls that Aerrow does not understand. Correction, there are some things about Piper that Aerrow does not understand.
Because Aerrow doesn't pay attention to any of the other girls, their faces or their bodies. Aerrow doesn't pay attention to their dresses or make-up, their flirtations or their ramblings.
Piper is the only girl Aerrow truly pays attention to and the only girl that he is happy to understand. They share a special bond.
He doesn't call it a friendship or a partnership because it's more than that. He doesn't call it a relationship either because it's much deeper than that… more sacred to him. Something extremely precious.
It's his special bond with her.
So that's why, when there are things that Aerrow can't understand about Piper, he gets a bit frustrated. He gets frustrated that he doesn't know everything about her, and that he can't give her everything she needs.
Why does she need to have other female companions to confide in, when she has Aerrow?
Why does she sigh longingly at another girl's clothes when her own uniform makes her stand out beautifully to Aerrow?
Why does she go for older guys, when someone like himself is waiting for her?
Why does she insist on being treated like a girl when Aerrow merely treats her like Piper?
Why does she want to distance herself from him, when he loves her so much?
"This party is so… dull…," Finn complained loudly, though he sipped enthusiastically at his glass of wine.
"…Finn," Aerrow reprimanded him, "it's for Princess Peregrine's birthday. Perry's royalty… so she has to follow all of those old Terra Klockstoppia traditions whenever the kingdom celebrates her birthday."
Finn rolled his eyes, "Come on, Aerrow. You can't honestly think that this is any fun for her, can you? Just look at it all!"
Privately, Aerrow had to agree with Finn on this one.
The party had the atmosphere of a dead goat. It stunk terribly, not literally. But on the sense of excitement and frivolity, the party scored at the bottom. All of the guests were ancient and stuck-up, pruned and polished to an extremely dignified posture, holding their glasses with pinkies in the air. Noses turned up snottily when ever Aerrow and Finn passed by a noble or baron, dressed in extravagant clothing of silk and embroidered gold. The orchestra by the 10-feet glass windows, which showed a view of the lush moonlit garden, played depressing pieces which reminded Aerrow of screaming banshees. Everyone was proper and refined. Rambunctious behavior was looked down upon with snide looks. Not Aerrow's kind of scene at all.
People merely stood in pre-decided groups, huddling together and talking amongst themselves like stiff statues. Girls fanned themselves with fluffy fans, gazing haughtily at the boys they disapproved of, while at the same time, looking longingly at the handsome heirs of the rich and powerful. Their dresses were weaved from the finest fabrics adorned with pale colours of pink and lilac as well as the most exquisite jewels. On each girl's head, hair was piled up in intricate designs, held together with dozens of pins and sparkly clips. They were like walking china dolls, afraid to move in fear of toppling over or destroying their outfits.
Food lined up on long banquet tables for free taste testing piled up upon silver dishes like mountains. However, the guests hardly went near the food, only touching the wine that would be passed on from walking waiters who held glasses on a tray for guests to take. Junko took advantage of the free food, spending most of this time gathering food on his plate, and complimenting the chef. The wallop was busy talking with a few waiters, friendly to all staff and unwilling to let the general mood of the party weigh him down.
But Aerrow had never been in a more enormous hall dressed up in velvet curtains and decorations recognizing the princess' nineteenth birthday. Aerrow found it kind of interesting how Perry was only one year older than Finn, Piper and himself.
The princess had not arrived yet, claiming that she had had enough of these boring parties for a lifetime. She was busy up in her room, dressing Piper up for the party. Speaking of which, since Piper was still getting ready with Perry, she had not arrived yet either.
Aerrow gave a sigh, "You're right. This party stinks. No good music. No laughs. No dancing. Nothing but standing around and drinking."
With a cheeky grin of victory, Finn nudged Aerrow in the abs, "well I can't complain about the drinks. They're delicious. The girls here are gorgeous. I like the one over there," Finn pointed to a blonde in a baby blue gown, "because she's got a really cute butt."
"… You're such a dirty old man, Finn," Aerrow rolled his eyes. "You shouldn't degrade other girls like that."
Pretending to be hurt, Finn said loudly, "I'm just appreciating God's creations! Nothing wrong with that! You're the weird one… you don't look at any girls but Piper."
"No I don't!" Aerrow spluttered, turning red immediately, "I just don't think it's appropriate to gawk at other girls. That's all."
"Sure it is…," Finn waggled his eyebrows at Aerrow with a smirk.
"Finn…," Aerrow growled lightly.
"Hey guys!" Stork ran over, still scratching his neck irritably where the bow tie of his tuxedo was tied to tightly, "Did you see the Wax Museum in the other room? They actually have a life size model of the guy who invented my anti-mind worm helmet! He's a genius! You have to see it! It's a riot… made of wax and bubblegum."
Finn and Aerrow exchanged equally disturbed glances at one another before shaking their heads no at the same time.
"Don't you think that's a bit unhygienic, Stork?" Aerrow pointed out.
Jumping in, Finn elaborated on Aerrow's refined statement. "What he means is, that it's just gross man. Bubblegum and wax? Yuck… Who'd pay to see that?"
Stork frowned at them and crossed his arms, aloof.
"Fine," he turned his head, "if you won't go with me, I'll just find someone else who will appreciate his brilliance!"
Radarr, who had been trying to clean up the cake that he had dropped on the floor by accident, came back with a bottle of soap and a cloth when Stork spotted him. With a chuckle, Stork grabbed Radarr and dragged him away.
"Let's go, Radarr! I have something great to show you…"
Poor Radarr gave an undignified squawk, clawing at the floor desperately against Stork's strong pull. Unfortunately, he was only delaying the inevitable, for Stork seemed even stronger in his enthusiasm. Radarr was in for a long evening.
Aerrow tried hard not to feel too sorry for his friend. But he'd rather it'd be Radarr then himself who had to be exposed a long boring tour of some royal wax museum. It was a mystery to Aerrow on to why Terra Klockstoppia even had a wax museum in the first place.
Taking another swig of his cherry red wine, Finn smacked his lips in satisfaction. His eyes were a bit glazed over from the influence of the wine, but Finn was still sober enough to think clearly. This meant that Finn was still reasonable enough to think up outrageous plots which usually ended in mayhem, one way or the other.
The familiar glint in Finn's eyes flashed at Aerrow, taunting him before Finn opened his mouth to brag. "You know… I think I should liven up this party for the princess… Give it a bit more pizzazz or something…"
"Finn…" If Aerrow had a penny for every time he had said Finn's name in a voice of warning, he'd be ten dollars richer. "Don't give Princess Perry any trouble… It's bad enough that her party sucks. I don't think we should mess it up even more than it…"
The words slipped off Aerrow's tongue, completely forgotten.
At that moment, Perry and Piper opened the doors and entered the grand hall. Aerrow was awestruck at Piper's dress. The dress was a navy blue but it had little strings of amber on the sides, flowing down in soft silk. As Piper moved, the cloth sparkled under the light and her hair was up in a pretty up-do with only a simple topaz butterfly clip to keep it in place, yet strands of her midnight blue hair still lofted out of the tie in wavy strands. She didn't wear any make-up except for a bit of lipstick and a tiny bit of eye shadow, but Aerrow thought she was the most stunning thing he had ever seen.
She looked more stunning than Perry, who was wearing more ethereal and wealthier robes and jewels, which made her look more like the Queen she would grow up to be. But she was no Piper. Piper looked strong yet free to Aerrow, as joyful as always, and as feisty as can be. Sometimes Aerrow wondered why he couldn't tell the difference between Perry and Piper in the first place when they had first met, but now, the differences were crystal clear. Piper was Piper. And Perry was Perry. That was that for Aerrow. He just knew.
"…Wow," Finn gaped.
"…Hm," Aerrow could only agree, also struck by speechlessness.
"Never realized how cute Piper could look in a dress," Finn mused to himself. "Don't tell her I said that though."
Aerrow only nodded numbly in agreement.
Finn smirked inwardly. His best friend was such an open book. It was fun to see him interact with Piper as they got older. They were a nice twosome.
Because Aerrow seemed incapable to do so at the moment, Finn decided to call out towards Piper and Perry. "Hey, over here—"
"Excuse me! Ms. Piper! Would you like to go for a walk?" Another boy's voice interrupted Finn before he could finish what he was saying.
"Ms. Piper, we'd like an autograph!"
Both Aerrow and Finn stood dumbly as a small group of handsome baron boys crowded around the princess and Piper, all of them intent on flirting with the two girls.
This was not good…
Finn glanced at Aerrow warily. Yup. Aerrow's hands were tightened into fists. Aerrow's face was going a bit red from anger. Aerrow's eyes were filled with absolute malice towards the boys. This just screamed unexplained loathing.
Aerrow was jealous.
Well, this is interesting, thought Finn.
He'd only ever seen Aerrow's ugly side when the sky knight was dealing with the Dark Ace, Carver or Domowic. The Stormhawks didn't often stop in places where Piper looked her best, so Piper never really got the opportunity to talk to many boys their age. Piper was pretty good-looking, not Finn's type as she was more like an annoying yet endearing older sister to him, so it was only natural that other guys would notice. Other guys that were posing as a threat to Aerrow.
Oh, this was too funny. Finn couldn't resist poking a few of Aerrow's buttons at the moment.
"Piper should wear dresses more often, don't you think, Aerrow? She sure looks cute in them," Finn told him.
There was a crack; Aerrow had just cracked his knuckles.
"No, actually, I think she should keep to her regular clothes," Aerrow seethed as he saw the other guys looking at her.
"Oh… so you don't think she looks cute…?" A crafty Finn leered at him.
"Yeah I—wait—what?! No! I was just saying that—"
"Hey Piper…!" Finn sang out loud, now skipping through the clumps of gossiping nobles towards his favourite target to annoy, "You'll never guess what Aerrow told me!"
Jaw wide open as Aerrow finally realized what he had just done and what Finn was planning to do, the sky knight stretched out, running as fast as his legs could take him. His mouth was on the verge of opening, shouting out a loud 'no!' in protest…
Turning around, Piper replied, "Yeah, what is it, Finn?"
"No! Piper! Don't listen to whatever he says! It's all a lie!" Aerrow cried out from across the hall.
Several of the guests looked at him with distaste for his outburst.
"Aerrow doesn't think you look cute in dresses," Finn told her, "he wants you to stick to your regular clothes all the time because he thinks you looked less than pretty most of the time."
Piper only blinked at him. She felt a little hurt.
"NO! Piper, wait—"
"I can't believe you!"
The princess was storming her way over to the flabbergasted Stormhawks leader, who now had no idea what was going on. He knew it couldn't be good though.
"How dare you insult Piper and her dress? Do you know how much time and effort I put into making it? Plus, if you insult Piper's looks, you're practically insulting me! I am not ugly! Neither is Piper! Now apologize, you brute," Perry threatened him, "or you'll lose a few appendages, if you know what I mean!"
"But I'm not—"
"Oh so you won't apologize?"
"Now you're just putting words in my mouth, I just—"
"You're getting lippy with me?! That's it! Guards, off with his head!"
At that moment, Piper put a hand over Perry's mouth, smiling nervously at the bewildered dukes nearby. When the guests had wandered far away from their temperamental princess, Piper released Perry and sighed.
"Please… calm down. Aerrow wasn't trying to insult your appearance at all," Piper told her slowly. "Finn was the one who told you and I about this, can you honestly believe anything Finn says?"
Thank you God above for Piper, Aerrow prayed quietly.
He should've known that Piper would understand.
Princess Peregrine was a bit more skeptical of Aerrow's innocence. "Really…? Is that true, Aerrow?"
Nodding instantly, Aerrow felt like a bobble head.
"Hm…" Perry scrutinized him as one would scrutinize a thief, "well, if you're really telling the truth, then about letting me know what you truly think about how I look today. How about it?"
"Uh… well…," Aerrow mumbled, "I don't really…"
"Maybe I should chop your head off anyways…"
"Youlookreallybeautifultoday!" Aerrow blurted out quickly. He liked his head where it was, thanks.
Perry merely stared at him, eyes narrowed.
Aerrow waited patiently, his heart beating like it never beat before. No one had ever told him how scary a princess could be. Now he knew how Alice felt when she met the Queen of Hearts.
"…I don't think you're being honest enough! Guards—"
Once again, Piper had to cover Perry's mouth. A good save, Aerrow commented in relief within his head.
"Perry… please, you can't take what Aerrow says seriously. He doesn't like looking at girls and complimenting them. It's just not Aerrow. I wouldn't be surprised if what Finn said was true," Piper said airily, "so don't let it bother you. Aerrow doesn't really care much for how girls look… right?"
She locked eyes with Aerrow, and he could see that she really was upset with what Finn had told her, just hiding it.
"Piper… that's not…"
"You're right Piper," the head-chopping obsessed princess admitted. "What he says doesn't matter."
Now that hurt. Aerrow felt like he had been stabbed in the heart. Piper didn't care what he had to say? Piper didn't think it mattered?
No. That couldn't be true. She did care. He saw it in her eyes. She did think what Finn was true. She really did feel hurt that he didn't think she looked good in a dress. He felt as guilty as hell, like a complete jerk.
It was killing him inside now. Especially when Piper agreed with Perry (it was more like a half-hearted 'yes' but it still hurt).
"Let's go chat with those boys," Perry went to drag Piper away.
"Stop!" Aerrow put a hand on Piper's shoulder, "Uh, can we talk…? Please?"
The two girls looked at him expectantly.
Aerrow gave a strained smile in Perry's direction, "… Alone?"
The princess didn't budge for a moment, but then she stepped away and disappeared into the crowd, her glare never leaving his face. The message was clear: I'm watching you, bub.
They really should consider therapy for her, Aerrow thought; she's scarier than Cyclonis…
Now to face the task at hand: mending things between Piper and himself. Yes. That wouldn't be too difficult, but then Aerrow found himself staring blankly at Piper, words blank from his head.
"You wanted to talk…?" Piper started tentatively.
"Oh… um… right," Aerrow swallowed slowly before starting, "what you heard from Finn…"
"Don't worry about it," Piper stated automatically. "It's fine. You're just like that, that's all."
"It's not fine—"
"It's like the time Carver got us those new Stormhawks uniforms and you didn't think they suited our identity, isn't it? You just don't think dresses suit me. Whether or not you think I'm attractive hardly counts for anything in this matter," Piper said curtly, though her eyes did flash dangerously. "Though, I would've thought that you had matured a bit and maybe considered that the clothes don't make the person… but I guess not."
In alarm, Aerrow tried to explain further when suddenly a loud blaring sound echoed through the grand hall, startling all of the party guests.
It was Finn.
He'd gotten a hold of a microphone and his electric guitar, hooked them up to some crystals and begun playing a loud upbeat melody. Beside him, Stork was holding his wax and bubblegum life size figurine, a microphone by his lips. Radarr was by a set of drums—Junko was with a keyboard.
"Hello Terra Klockstoppia!" Finn shouted, a peace sign directed to an elderly looking bishop, "It's time to crank up this party and live it up Finn-style! Let me introduce you to my first song: Jump!"
"Oh Finn!" Both Aerrow and Piper scowled simultaneously.
The music that came from Finn's guitar, however, sounded like something from a rock album. It wasn't a loud incomprehensible noise that made ears bleed, it was melodious, steady, fun. It had a beat and harmony. Finn had obviously practised in private with his guitar over the years, because his playing wasn't half-bad. He actually rocked a bit.
On the microphone was Stork, who Finn appeared to have bribed with that bubblegum and wax life size statue to sing. It was no surprise, since the talent show on Terra Neon, when Stork's singing came out as an alluring ballad which girls were swooning too. His dark lop sided hair gave him the look of a rock star as he swayed to the music, singing lead vocals, his fear of the stage all abandoned.
The ladies in the ball room all squealed and jumped to their feet to the horror of all the other up-tight guests.
Equally as enthusiastic were Junko and Radarr, jamming on their instruments. When they learned to play so well as a band, or even with a keyboard and drums, was a complete mystery to Aerrow who was gaping.
"We are the Stormhawks!" Finn yelled out as he strummed on his guitar, while Stork continued to sing, "DANCE FOR US, LADIES! Jump, jump, jump!"
Guards and nobles alike were distraught between the tempting allure of the music and their reputations. What would the princess say?
"Alright! Rock on, this is awesome! I love you guys!" Perry screamed, joining in the other ladies who had started dancing, "I order everyone else to jam in on this song!"
Well, that solved that. The other nobles stared at each other, before shrugging and surrendering to the club-like atmosphere of the transformed party. Having fun.
"Well… it looks Finn did something good for once," Piper commented in disbelief.
"Yeah," Aerrow agreed with her.
They were standing on the sidelines like wallpaper, still stuck in their awkward conversation and their pride for their team mates. Aerrow wanted to continue talking to Piper, trying to explain what he really meant, but he was torn between asking her just to dance and forget everything. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Piper's lips arch upwards, her foot tapping along to Finn and Stork's song as Junko and Radarr played the accompaniment.
That decided it then, Aerrow would just ask her to dance and forget all about this weird night.
"Piper, do you want to…?"
"Ms. Piper," an older boy cut in front of Aerrow, a player's smile on his lips as he bowed to her, "would you do me the honour of dancing with me?"
Suddenly, Aerrow's homicide urges returned tenfold.
Piper was blushing a bit, "I don't know… I was kind of hoping that—"
"Great, let's go," the disgusting boy didn't even listen to what Piper had to say, he was whisking her by the arm before she could finish.
Instantly, Aerrow pulled them apart, "Actually, she was going to dance with me. Sorry about that." A charming smile mixed with antagonism was forced on Aerrow's face, his tone close to a sneer. "You've should've waited for her to finish, sir."
They glared at each other for a bit.
"Why would she want to dance with her superior? It's a bit inappropriate behaviour, don't you agree?" The boy challenged Aerrow in a testy voice.
"You know, I think I will dance with Aerrow," Piper snapped. "I don't appreciate you hassling me, good day."
In victory, Aerrow shot a cheeky grin at the infuriating boy as Piper led him to the dance floor.
Unfortunately, Piper led him to the balcony, away from the party, protected by huge curtains for their privacy. She turned towards him, glaring.
"What was that all about, Aerrow?" Piper growled at him, "I am perfectly capable of choosing who I want to dance with, thanks."
Aerrow was taken back. "What? But you didn't even want to dance with him!"
I don't understand, he thought quietly.
"What, do you think I'm incapable of telling him off by myself?" Piper scowled. "Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean you have to get all weird around me because I like to wear dresses sometimes or because some boy actually thinks I'm a good partner to dance with!"
"What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with the fact that you're a girl!" Aerrow snapped.
"Oh? Then why don't you just treat me like your equal, your team mate like you used too?!"
"I do treat you like my equal!"
"Liar! You don't think I'm strong enough to stick up for myself just because I decide to dress up a little bit?! I'm Piper! I'm not just any other girl to you, so stop treating me like that!" Piper bellowed, all the frustration sucked out of her.
Oh… so that's what this was about… Aerrow felt guilty all over again. His feelings were really messing up with their relationship. He sighed and motioned for her to listen to him.
"No, Piper… I wasn't thinking that… It's just… when I saw you in that dress…," Aerrow shuffled from toe to toe, "… I was speechless, I thought you looked great. It was overwhelming."
Amber eyes widened. "You…"
"I wasn't the only who noticed. There were a bunch of other guys you'd never even talked too who noticed too. I got angry when I saw them looking at you," he explained. "I get kind of jealous sometimes, you know? I can't help but act rashly when I'm like that… like the time with Carver… or Domowic even.
"So, try to understand. I'm not treating you like a girl. I don't even look at other girls like that. I'm treating you like Piper, because I care about you."
It was as if he had lit up a flame in Piper's eyes, for her entire face lit up in a really enchanting glow. It made Aerrow want to reach out and cup her face, whisper sweet things in her ears. She was just beautiful to him, stunning
"Aerrow…," Piper's voice caressed his name, "I'm sorry for misunderstanding and… thank you for caring about me."
Then, as if things couldn't have been more perfect, she leaned up to him and kissed him lightly on the lips before stepping back. A healthy glowing blush settled on Aerrow's face as Piper looked away from him shyly.
"You know I care about you too," Piper said quietly.
As if things couldn't get more embarrassing, or sweeter for Aerrow, he was sporting a goofy grin on his face. The music and the party beyond the balcony in the grand hall, all forgotten as he and Piper shared this special moment.
Fireworks exploded in the sky, lighting up the stars, startling the two back to reality.
"…Wow. This was a great party… wasn't it?" Piper said casually.
Aerrow couldn't respond, still in his goofy state.
"You know…," Piper grinned deviously, "you'll have to get back the kiss I stole from you, Aerrow."
That certainly sparked his interest. "Oh? How do you propose I do that?"
Piper leaned off the balcony railing before jumping off and running down into the garden below, "You'll have to catch me first, Aerrow!"
He laughed and leapt down from the balcony, running after her as the fireworks decorated the sky.
They share a special bond. A bond unbroken. One led by trust, friendship and most importantly, love.
Don't you love AxP fluff? I know it as cliché and corny, but I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading :D Please point out any grammar/spelling errors.