A/N: In this one I am DETERMINED to get Leblanc and Logos together! And I will do it too, although it probably won't have anything with future fanfics as I have a liking of their relationship struggling!)
"Chapter 1: Love is Complicated"
Leblanc let out Spira's currently most sorrowful sigh as she flopped her head forward, deeply burying her chin into her pillow. A Fem-Goon rubbed her spine up and down, and let out a tiny morose sigh of her own. She hated seeing her Boss so upset, any proper Goon does, but her particularly sweet heart found it hard to watch.
Earlier, Nooj had once again paid Leblanc a visit for the sake of the spheres he collected...and nothing else. He had become an expert in evading any and all of Leblanc's not-so-subtle advances, and upon his departure, left nothing but the echo of his grateful albeit strictly professional tone. The Fem-Goon had been present to witness it all, and as usual, was requested to do what she did best. It helped on the bad days, and felt well deserved on the good. It was unfortunate that it was more the former than the latter today.
Mara, the Fem-Goon that doubled as a masseuse, shook her head after another sigh was let loose from pouting lips. The Goon was aware that Leblanc's broken heart would mend itself again the moment Nooj paid them another visit, but in the meantime she couldn't help but feel empathetic. She leaned farther back to reach Leblanc's lower spine. Forward and backwards her hands moved, soothing at least some tension where she could find it. Of course, that did very little for a hurting heart, which her ministrations could never reach. She wished she had something to say to cheer up their deflated leader.
In fact, as the time passed in silence, she almost felt like the other goons were counting on her for this task. Surely they'd want her to say something, anything really, instead of sitting there like a rock. She should say something reassuring, and hopeful. Maybe she should offer some advice! She leaned forward again, placing her hands on Leblanc's shoulder blades, and smiled behind her mask. "Hey boss? Don't let it get to you. It's his loss really, and, you know, there's always other fish in the sea if-"
"Don't even mention that!" Leblanc snapped, and she lifted her head suddenly, gripping the edges of her pillow with tense fingers. Mara drew her hands away and to the sides of her face at the outburst, which was bitten out a little more viciously than is usual of a moody Leblanc. Leblanc slammed her face back into her pillow and moaned miserably.
"I don't want to talk about it, Mara." Followed soon after, barely audible through the dampening pillow. Mara's brows furrowed behind her mask, and she hesitated a moment before her honey-sweet voice ventured again.
"I know, Boss, but-" She replaced her hands on either side of Leblanc's spine as she said, "We hate seeing you like this. You-I mean...you're a very good person, Boss. If he can't see it, than he may not be that great after all."
Leblanc remained stubbornly silent, but didn't shut her up either. Mara took a little strength from that and pressed on.
"If I can say so," Her soft voice gained some weight as she continued, "I don't think the Meyvn Nooj deserves you, really. He doesn't say anything, one way or another, and that certainly isn't fair to you! And really, it's been just as bad, if not worse, since that day."
The day the goon spoke of was when Leblanc first went into despair about the Meyvn's disappearance. All the events after that, however, the goon knew very little about. All of Spira, in fact, never really got the details of what the main trio of the Syndicate referred to as that "Vegnagun incident", although 'incident' did not describe that whole ordeal very well. After all, if all had failed than that would have easily been the end of Spira itself! Despite that, the Syndicate trio looked to those events a little differently than say, the Gullwings or even Nooj had; somewhat traumatizing, certainly, and worth some thought afterwards, but not an event that changed their group or themselves very much.
The Goons, like most of Spira, collectively gathered that something must have happened to trigger the alliances, the Meyvn's speech, and the sudden apologies of all faction leaders. And they were vaguely aware that the Syndicate trio was involved. However, what they noticed more than anything is how that incident seemed to change Nooj's attitude towards their beloved boss. It was subtle, but still remained. He was just a little bit more professional and distant with her than he was before. Much to Leblanc's internal suffering.
Leblanc's mind instantly recalled this, and realized what the Goon's had already seen. Nooj had been more distant towards her, even after everything with Vegnagun was cleared up. Leblanc was feeling the weight of that deeply. The Syndicate leader was in no mood to discuss the topic any longer. She interrupted whatever comforting babbling the Fem-Goon had engaged herself in with that very Former High Summoner-like tone with her own very sharp and Leblanc-like, "Mara, stop talking. Or at least talk about something else?"
The Fem-Goon slightly twitched, but recovered quickly enough and dutifully replied, "Yes, Boss."
She turned the topic, but Leblanc could hardly even register it through the sound of her own thoughts. Why does he continue to ignore me and my feelings for him? Leblanc let the goon chatter on, and only made a low hum every now and then to keep her going on whatever string of conversation she chose to follow. As she slowly slipped into a dreamy state that threatened a nap, Leblanc thought to herself, I can't give up now. If I did, what would I have left? This isn't working out as it is...why? What do I need to do differently? She blinked slowly, feeling that comforting warm unconsciousness consume her slowly. Her last thought, just before she fell asleep, flitted across her mind very sharply, What needs to change?
"Oh Boss," Mara, noticing Leblanc had fallen asleep, smiled behind her mask and said to the sleeping form as she readied herself to leave. "I know there's someone out there that can return your love. I just know there is."
The Fem-Goon shut off the light as she left with a soft click of the door.
Slam! The double doors smashed loudly, swinging out of the way of the infuriated form that shoved them from their raging path.
Ormi poked his head out from behind his own bedroom door as the loud crash erupted from down the hallway, signaling the end of an on-going argument and the outcome of it as well. In his opinion, Logos shouldn't even think about dating the girls, after all the pretty lil' dames worked under them and something like that never ended well for his gun-slinging friend. Still, that hardly stopped Logos. Girl number-oh, the count was five, maybe six now?-stormed out with mussed up hair and a livid expression behind an unmasked face and a pretty little mouth opened to screech.
"Logos, you jerk!"
"Oi!" Logos called out, but struggled to make proper pursuit as he was fighting to slip back into the tight shirt that he wore under his uniform. His feet skipped across the floor as his head was yanked through his collar and he fumbled with getting his long arms in the right place. He started to follow after the simmering girl, shouting at her back, "If you could be reasonable for one moment-!"
"Leave me alone!" The girl screamed, her voice cracking with emotion, and didn't even spare a glance backward. Ormi almost found himself laughing, since she seemed to be making a big show of it all. She was already shouting at the top of her lungs and pushing through a large group of Goons, turning her teary face to every single one she passed. The Goons, in various stages of getting ready for bed, in turn stopped and stared at the spectacle. Logos soon felt the eyes of all ranks of goons boring into him curiously, and of course mildly amused.
Logos rolled his eyes and huffed through his nose, slowing down just enough to share a knowing glance with Ormi as they passed by his door. Ormi finally bellowed in his laughter upon receiving the look, which morphed his friend's face into a twitched grimace, but that didn't stop the warrior from continuing to heartily laugh even as the gunner caught up with his girl and tried to soothe her anger.
He attempted to gather her up in what would have been an apologetic embrace, but she would have none of that and decided to juke to the left, and out of his reach. She quickened her pace and took off back down into the basement, once more passing the group of goons, who were already whispering to each other.
"This again?" A droning-voice belonging to a female goon asked. There were some repressed snickers that answered her, but another voice, belonging to a male counterpart, pipped up just as Logos and his lady passed them.
"Pay up, I told you it wouldn't last." There was a chinking sound of gil changing hands.
"No, don't go-" Logos didn't raise his voice, wishing very terribly that this argument could end more subtly and perhaps beneficially, but in any case much more privately than it currently was. She didn't respond and he chased her down the hallway until she, in her Goon-like agility, flipped right over the overrides, not bothering to turn them off even if the traps were set for the time of night. Logos, out of frustration and irritation in equal parts, finally raised his own voice, "What are you even angry about?"
The Fem-Goon jumped over the second override completely, then the third, and turned around with hands on her shapely hips as she stared up at the gunner joining her on the ledge. She tilted her head at him, her voice thrown at him from sneering lips. "Don't you get it, Logos?"
"Erm," The gunner twisted his face up for a split moment. "If I say no…?"
"Ugh!" She made a tearing motion with her hands out of pure aggravation, before she finally lost any ounce of control she had left and pushed past him, elbowing his lower back as hard as she could. Although she wasn't exactly strong, it was sudden enough to make him fall forward with a loud 'thwump'. Promptly, the observing goons heard the scraping that was the spike walls being revealed behind the false panels and the following grinding that was the mechanism sliding across the stone ground towards their abandoned second in command.
Only some of the goons had enough of a vantage point to see him tuck and roll into the third override pit, letting the whole trap slide over his ducked head, but everyone got to see his narrow head pop right back over the ledge as his ex-girlfriend took off around the corner again.
"You could have killed me!" Logos shouted loud enough for her fleeing form to hear. He took his time, clearly not planning on pursuing her further, and hauled himself with bony elbows onto the platform. She didn't stop in her hasty retreat, but replied immediately to his statement with a high-pitched teary whine of- "Good! I hope you do die! You jerk!"
Goons threw themselves to the sides of the hallway to clear out of her way as she heatedly ascended the incline towards the main floors, and they appropriately flinched as the loud boom of the secret passage door resonated throughout the basement levels.
Ormi, still standing before his doorway, pealed into a new fit that lasted as he spoke and pointed at his friend who slowly made his way to him. "She sure showed youse!"
"Oh, please, do laugh it up, Ormi," Logos paced up to his sizable comrade before folding his arms rather irritably over his long torso.
"Whut happened, huh?" Ormi patted his sides and then took a few deep breaths to calm himself, "Didn't seem like youse two had much problems until now."
Logos gave an indifferent loose-shouldered shrug, "She apparently found my lack of emotional attachment unbearable, although she didn't care to point that out until now."
"Hmm? That's a new one," Ormi sniffed in sarcastically, "That doesn't seem like something to try to kill youse for without talking about it first. Whut did youse say to make it worse?"
Logos ran the length of his nose with his index finger and looked back down to his bedroom to avoid eye contact. "I might have said something about her being clingy."
"Only after she kept pestering me! I lost my patience." Logos admitted with a roll his neck and let one of his hands rub at the base of his spine. Dropping unceremoniously down into one of those override pits did nothing for his already aching frame. Leblanc had his colleagues and himself go on a rather fast-paced and crazed race for a series of spheres that the Meyvn Nooj wanted not hours before. They retrieved them as their Boss expected of them, but not without several bumps and bruises. Logos was wracked with exhaustion and then the hyperactive Fem-goon, who had been keeping him company for a while now, wanted to bother him as soon as he returned from that horrendous adventure. Patience was lost and then, well, now he was standing dumbly in a damp basement being silently judged.
Ormi raised an eyebrow.
Logos eyed him sideways right back, before shifting his weight, trying to offset the pressure of embarrassment over the former scene, and dragged out, "She overreacted. In any case, I always figured she wanted the same thing from me as I did from her. "
Logos sighed, and then mulled over all the recent events, finally voicing his last thought with a murmur, "She even told me in the beginning that she didn't want anything...complicated."
"Yeah, yeah, sure," Ormi's smile broadened, "Youse get enough with tha' Boss."
"Speaking of-" Logos's voice took on a more interested tone, shaking off the irritated edge from Ormi mentioning the subject like that. He gave a small jerk to his chin to indicate the floor above them, "Did you hear anything about how it went with the Meyvn?"
Ormi had long since caught on to Leblanc's obvious crush, and his face dropped a little in sympathy. "Oh, youse knows how that always goes."
"Pity." Logos answered, although he didn't sound or look as sympathetic as his friend was for their pining employer. Ormi huffed and rolled his eyes as Logos gathered himself off and stalked back towards his room with a gesture of a wave over his shoulder.
"Have a good night then!" He didn't at all seem the rejected lover as he should have been. Ormi screwed up his face and hollered with a slight high-pitched crack in his voice-"Hey, wait! Youse ain't even gonna tell that broad you're sorry?"
Logos slowed down just enough to show that he was considering...before giving a half-shouldered shrug, and answered with, "Maybe tomorrow."
Ormi shook his head and chuckled a little. Logos spent a lot of his time on the ladies, but boy if he seemed like he didn't care about them sometimes. Really it was all a waste of time, as far as the warrior could see, since his tall friend could be spending his energies trying to the win the heart of someone worthwhile. Someone he really liked, and couldn't live without, instead of broads he wasn't too sad to see go. What was the point of having someone around if you didn't miss them when they were gone? He never understood it.
The heavy set man turned on his heel and reentered his room for the night, contenting himself to know that when he found himself a girl, she wouldn't ever be tempted to push him into spiked wall. Not that she could if she wanted to.
When morning slipped through the thick spiraling tree canopy of Guadosalam, the streets were already full of bustling travelers with a lot to do. Inside the Chateau Leblanc, the hallways and the basement passageways were equally busy. Dawn had already drawn the occupants out of their various corners around the mansion, and most had set themselves to work or at least prepare for the day. As was usual, it was a little later in the morning when Leblanc finally made her way downstairs from her own room. She had washed her face and put on a few swipes of makeup, and no one, not even herself, could tell that she had spent a rather miserable and lonely night fitfully. However, her pace was a bit slow, not that anyone noted that, as she made her way into the living room.
"Boss," Logos lifted his head in polite acknowledgement of his superior and took another sip of his coffee. His steaming mug was filled to the brim with the black liquid but was quickly half-emptied in a greedy and nearly numb gulp from the gunner.
Leblanc scrunched her nose to the side in slight disgust as she approached. "Ugh, I don't see how you drink it like that, love."
She always took hers with a very liberal amount of cream and sugar, a cup of which was supplied to her soon enough by an eager-to-please Goon. She blew on the top to take a careful sip, before pulling it away to let it further cool before she'd drink it down. The sweet with a slight hint of bitter flavor would help lift her mood some, but not if she scalded her mouth first.
Ormi, having already had his coffee that morning and a breakfast besides, was looking quite a bit livelier than his somewhat heavy-eyed friends. His wide gap-toothed grin broke through his face as soon as Leblanc wandered by his way to select some choice pieces of fruit from the table, and asked as he did most mornings, "An' how are youse, Boss?"
"Just fine," Leblanc smiled back but frowned when he wasn't looking. She had lied. First, there was the ever taunting image of Nooj that haunted most of her thoughts, and subsequent thoughts about what to do about that keeping her awake after her unusually short nap.
Still, not even all that was the cause for her lack of rest, as she received a rather annoying guest last night. Some point last night, she found herself outside her room to inspect some commotion at the bottom of the stairs that had increased enough in volume to rouse her. She quickly discovered that the goon who guarded her door was trying to soothe an upset Fem-Goon that was apparently leaving the Syndicate altogether.
Leblanc shook her head tiredly, before turning away from the table, breakfast in hand.
"You're girlfriend quit," Leblanc abruptly announced as she passed by the gunner again. There was a short sputtering noise into the gunslinger's mug. This managed to pull a smirk on her lips.
Logos wiped at his mouth, before he lifted his head, heat tinging his face. He then attempted a sort of apology, "Things didn't work out as planned, and she was rather upset last night, I hope she didn't trouble you about-"
"She didn't," Leblanc cut in, before sitting down and taking her time in enjoying her breakfast mainly consisting of pears. Truth be told, she had been inconvenienced last night, but she elected to say nothing as to not overly guilt her second-in-command. It would probably effect his performance in upcoming missions, she reasoned, although that wasn't why she did it. She chewed thoughtfully. Let no goon ever say she didn't do something nice for them every once in a while.
Logos's little girlfriend, if she could be called that, ended up being a real pain in the ass. She wasn't an exceptional goon to begin with, strictly speaking about work ethic, but that didn't bother Leblanc near as much as having to hear all about the Fem-Goon's woes involving love, or lack thereof. Something Leblanc didn't want to hear about when she had problems of her own in that department. Worse, the girl had been in no mood to skimp on details. In the end it was all for nothing. When Leblanc offered no words of sympathy, and flat-out refused to send the gunner into unemployment again upon request, the whiny brat announced her resignation and left sometime late into the night as if she hadn't said anything at all.
Leblanc wished she hadn't. She would have much rather been asleep, even with the image of Nooj plaguing her, than having to listen to how Logos said this or that, or didn't smile enough, or is annoyed too often. Besides, wasn't it obvious enough with a pinched face like his that he'd be uptight? Leblanc always had that impression from him although she never gave it much thought personally. That being said, Leblanc never had any trouble with him or his demeanor when it came to her business, and that suited her. His ex-girlfriend's complaints aside, Leblanc much preferred to have Logos around. He was useful in sticky situations, and that face of his could pass as intimidating when need be. It didn't hurt that Leblanc had him wrapped around her little finger either.
"Logos," Leblanc raised her head higher, placing her now empty plate aside, "Gather up some goons. We're going to leave as soon as possible for that sphere wave that came in last night."
"Yes Boss." Was the prompt reply.
Leblanc rose to her feet, mind tracing over everything that needed to be done, "Oh, and where did you put-?"
"In the storeroom."
"Well go get it," Leblanc's eyes flicked sideways just as Logos gave his affirming nod, and she started to depart from the living room as she continued to leave instructions, "And while you're at it love, can you go get the detector-"
"Already have that, Boss." He yanked something from his coat and gave it a gentle toss into the air, catching it like he would with his revolvers sometimes, and holding it up for her to see. Of course, he held the exact device she wanted, but she'd like it if he didn't have that smug smirk, however fractional as it was on his usually scowling face, along with it. She swiped it from his hand with a raised brow, and still he looked as pleased as a cat as he lifted himself from his seat to go do as she asked.
With detector in hand, Leblanc turned to head back for supplies from her room. She was thinking clearly now that she had breakfast and coffee, but was still under some effects from last night. She stopped suddenly, and a smile curled over her lips. That girl that had hounded her last night kept saying over and over again how hard love was. Leblanc felt that statement deep in her own bones, but she couldn't help but internally laugh as the girl admitted that she could't seem to keep that gunner happy no matter what she did. As if Logos was that hard to figure out.
Leblanc looked over her shoulder and gained the gunner's attention just as he was about to pass through the secret passageway with a slight lift of her chin. "Oh, Logos?"
"I think it's time..." Leblanc made a vague gesture, brushing her hand through the air, towards the left door towards the back of the room. "To try out that new ammo you and the Goons have been cooking up, wouldn't you say? In case we run into any rival sphere hunters."
He didn't smile, but his eyes did have a flash of something light, "Yes, Boss. It would be my pleasure."
There, Leblanc thought, feeling very much her triumphant and typical self, not that hard.
I'm back to re-writing this again (hahaha...ehhh)