A/N: I decided to pick up a challenge from the LJ community lover100 for TerraXSabin. I realize they're not the most popular pairing for this fandom, but they're my favorite. They'll all be stand alone fics following a pretty similar continuity unless I say otherwise. The full table can be found here in my livejournal (.). I'm certainly taking requests and challenges for these 100 fics, so please feel free to check the prompt table out and drop me a line either here or at my livejournal.
Sabin paused for a moment as he stood on a hill looking over Mobliz. He put his pack down just for a moment to stretch his back out. The sun had been up for a couple hours, so he figured that Terra had just sent the children outside to play for a bit and start their chores while she cleaned up after breakfast and had a short break before she prepared for lunch.
Regardless, he knew that she wasn't expecting him since he had told her he'd be away training for a while. He picked his pack back up and began walking towards Mobliz. While he did, his mind wandered.
Locke, Edgar, Cyan, Setzer, Strago, and Sabin sat around a card table in Figaro Castle. The guys had made it a point to continue to get together and Figaro Castle proved to usually be the best place to congregate. It always proved to be a night of drinking, excessive gambling, outrageous tale-telling, loud arguments and random conversations.
This particular night romance was apparently on everyone's mind, since Edgar and Setzer almost immediately started in on Locke and when he was going to propose to Celes. Sabin chimed in and made a joke about how Locke wouldn't until he could find a ring in cave somewhere.
"Yeah, well when are you going to finally stop pretending?" Locke asked, directed at the monk.
Before Sabin had even realized it, the table had turned towards him. "Pretending about what brother?" Edgar asked, his eyes full of curiosity.
"Aha, I bet there has been a girl all this time!" Strago piped up, apparently proud of his astute observation.
Sabin attempted to hide his embarrassment from the attention on him, but fumbled over his words so poorly Edgar knew that they had caught him. "So do tell, dear brother."
Sabin cleared his throat and stared at his cards. "A uh… a gentleman doesn't… kiss and tell," he feebly attempted to respond.
"Pfft, like you've even dropped a hint to her," Locke replied, leaning back in his chair laughing at Sabin. Sabin, who was one not to get angry easily, simply laughed along with him.
"All right then," Setzer began as he pulled all the cards together to shuffle. "So who's the lucky girl? Do we know her?"
"You could say that," Sabin answered, his eyes staring at the table.
"And by that he means, yes. Yes you guys all do," Locke answered with a smug smile.
"Wha? Hey!" Sabin exclaimed and jumped up, staring at Locke. Two seconds later, he realized that the rest of the guys at the table were attempting to contain their laughter. Sabin sat back in his chair and tipped his head back, realizing that his outburst only proved Locke's statement to be true.
"Well I suppose there are only so many women that we all would know," Cyan stated calmly while tossing a couple of his chips into the center of the table.
The room was silent as they played through their current hand. Sabin looked around at his friends, noticing that while Locke still had his smug, knowing grin, the others looked at each other as if they were attempting to read each other's minds.
"I think I've got a good idea," Edgar finally said. "And I think that you should make a grand gesture of romance to her." Edgar swept his arm dramatically to go along with his statement. "I think she'd love something beautiful like a diamond necklace."
"I don't know if that's very practical for her…"
"Then you should wait until the moon is full and bring her beneath a blossoming tree to recite poetry to her," Cyan suggested. Sabin arched an eyebrow. "What? It worked with my wife."
"All you need to do is bring her somewhere she's never been before. Women love exotic places. Trust me," Setzer chimed in.
All too quickly, Sabin answered "She's already seen most of it all anyway." He then grimaced when he knew he surely had given everything away.
Finally, Strago decided that it was his turn to give advice. "Just bring her a bottle of good wine and if there's good feelings between the two of you, you'll have a night of passion." Setzer nodded as he said this. "Always works for me," Strago finished with a shrug.
"Ugh!" Locke and Setzer exclaimed while Cyan laughed heartily. "Old man, that is not something we needed to hear," Locke continued while tossing in his ante.
"What? I haven't been old my whole life you know!"
Much to Sabin's relief, the conversation never turned back to him and his probably-not-so-mystery girl.
Despite the embarrassment, Sabin remembered the conversations with a smile. So what was he, supposed to take Terra to an exotic place with a flowering tree to give her a diamond necklace, read her poetry, and get her drunk on a bottle of red wine? Sabin laughed at the thought.
"Sabin's back!" The squeal took him out of his thoughts and back to the present. As soon as he saw two of the six year olds running towards him, he smiled and began to wave.
"Hey guys!" He answered when they got near him. The little boy immediately began to hang off his left arm while the little girl reached up for his right hand. He could only chuckle and nod when they began chattering and sharing stories of what had happened since the last time he had been there.
By the time Sabin approached the main house he had, from his best guess, three kids hanging off of him, one holding each hand, and four others that he was nearly tripping over. Terra at this point had stepped out of the house to see what all the commotion was about. When he up at her, she was smiling with her hair tied quickly in a messy bun, a well worn red dress, and a now grey apron covered with flour and grease. He smiled and waved to her while thinking how cute she looked like that.
"Hi Sabin! I didn't expect you back so soon."
"Is that a bad thing? I could go if you wanted me to…" He trailed with a smile, knowing full well that the kids would start screaming to stop teasing them and pulling at his arms to force him to stay.
"You're more than welcome here," Terra replied over the noise.
Sabin turned to all the kids around them. "All right guys! Who's taking care of the animals today?" Several of the children raised their hands. "Okay, go off and make sure they're okay and well fed!" The kids answered with a new found excitement that they would and took off smiling and giggling. "All right, then who is taking of the plants and making sure they're growing nice and tall?"
Several of the kids left raised their hands and jumped excitedly. "We can pick the strawberries soon!" One of them exclaimed.
"Okay, then you better take care of them really well today." He then looked to the remainder of the group, all of the older children. "So what are you guys doing today?"
"We're going to the forest to help Duane bring back wood," one of the boys answered. "You should come help Sabin!"
"Yeah, we'll be able to bring a lot more back if you come with us!" One of the girls added.
Sabin looked up at Terra and smiled. "Well, I guess I know what I'm doing for the day. All right guys, let's get going!"
Terra smiled as she watched him. Without missing a beat, he had gotten everyone focused and joined in their day's work. She thought about trying to tell him he didn't have to, but she always said it to him, and he always did it anyway. The last couple of times he insisted that she really didn't have to keep reminding him she didn't expect anything from him. As the group walked away towards the forest, Terra wave and called out, "Be good! Take care!"
Sabin looked over one shoulder and gave her a simple wave back.
A full day of work, cooking, and cleaning went by. Terra had nearly forgotten that Sabin had just arrived from the way he blended in so well with the day's activities, unlike the way Setzer had a tendency to disrupt everything. The sun finally set, the children were finally put to bed, and Terra finally had a chance to sit on the floor near the fireplace with a blanket that Sabin had given her during the winter the year before.
"Crazy day's finally over huh?" He asked as he sat down next to her.
"As always," Terra answered with a genuine, but tired smile as she offered some of her blanket to Sabin. He held his hand out, motioning that he was fine. "I'm so sorry, but I haven't gotten any more of your tea yet. I can make you some of my white tea or I have some dried fruit I could use for an herbal tea."
"Hey, don't worry about it. Actually, I have something for you," Sabin said as he got back up and walked over to his pack that had been abandoned by the door previously. He pulled two small items wrapped in brown paper and checked them over to make sure they were still in good condition. "Here," he said as returned to his seat next to her and handed them to her.
"Sabin, you didn't have to," Terra answered as she accepted them.
"It's part of the fun of traveling," Sabin answered as he watched her delicately open the heavier of the two.
"Oh! It's the next two books of the series I've been reading! I didn't even know these were out!" Terra exclaimed as she thumbed through the thick romance books that were her secret pleasure. Sabin was one of the few people who knew about it and the complicated reasons why she first started to read them. Terra put the books next to her and went to the next rectangular object. She unwrapped that in the same fashion and found a decorated tin advertising the hot cocoa mix inside of it. Sabin watched her eyes light up. "Wow, I haven't had any since the last time I went to Figaro!" Terra threw her arms around Sabin and kissed him on the cheek. "You're the best Sabin!"
Sabin's heart nearly jumped out of his chest when she kissed him. A second later, Terra timidly pulled away. "I… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…" There was silence between them - the awkward kind that really only belonged between teenagers. Terra turned a bright shade of red, realizing what she had done. "I'll go start on the hot cocoa," she said quickly, jumping to her feet and practically dashing to the kitchen.
As Sabin sat and stared at the fire, he could practically hear the guys at the poker table laughing at him – and probably rightly so. He watched the fire dance and quickly realized that so many things had been leading up to this point. The way she used him as a pillow more than once and the way he could feel her heart race faster when they were closer to each other. She was always excited to see him, and though she hid it well, hated it when he went away.
"And myself?" Sabin asked. Like he had to ask; as if he didn't already know the answer. He realized that maybe it was finally time to act on it and take that risk. After all, Terra had already started it, hadn't she?
Sabin rose to his feet and made his way to the kitchen. Part of him was confident in what he was doing, the other part was wondering where his sanity had gone. He took a step into the kitchen and watched Terra nervously fidgeting in front of a pot on the stove. She looked up at him, and shied away quickly. Sabin took a few more steps into the kitchen to stand next to her. He put his hand on her back, and gently moved it around her shoulder. Before he realized what he was doing, he had leaned down to kiss her.
And he was so relieved when she put one of her small hands on his neck and returned the kiss.
Later, when they sat side by side in front of the fire with their mugs of hot cocoa and his arm around her, Sabin's mind wandered to the conversation about how to romance a woman. He figured the guys would never believe that giving a girl two books, hot chocolate, and kissing her in the kitchen while she started to make said hot chocolate would be romantic in any way shape or form.
And yet, it had been perfect.