Disclaimer: If I owned FFXII, BalthierXFran would be canon. Trust me.
Zephyr here! It's fall break for me, so I've been doing a lot of writing. This is kinda sorta like my CG oneshot "Oblivious", but it's a little bit different. And I do believe this is my first FFXII oneshot with Basch and Ashe, which is a little strange for me. Ah well. Let the deadly tale begin!
"I'm telling you, he's not going to believe us."
Ashe turned to Basch as she leaned on the back of the recliner in the rec room of the Strahl. The man's eyes were closed as if he was attempting to sleep, but Ashe knew that he was simply trying to concentrate.
"Why not?" Ashe raised an eyebrow.
"Because he's stubborn?" Basch phrased his response like a question.
"Surely he has some idea." Ashe retorted. "He's oblivious to some things, but he called out Vaan and Penelo."
"But he can't understand it when it's being directed at him." Basch replied.
"I don't think he's that oblivious." Ashe brushed a strand of hair from her eyes.
"It's Balthier." Basch responded. "He's always oblivious with these things."
Ashe and Basch turned around to find Balthier walking into the room, a rather old book in hand.
"You are." Basch responded.
"Don't be ridiculous." Balthier threw himself down on the couch.
"We're not, and yes you are." Ashe responded.
"Why am I ridiculous this time?" Balthier asked.
"Because you can't tell that you like Fran." Ashe explained.
"Of course I like Fran." Balthier's eyes scanned the words on the page that he was reading.
"And not as a partner." Basch added.
"What other way would I like her?" Balthier frowned in confusion, still reading his book.
"Romantically, Balthier." Basch informed the sky pirate.
Balthier finally gave up on his book and stared at Bash and Ashe. He had no clue what they were talking about, but he wanted to know.
"What do you mean?" Balthier raised an eyebrow.
"You like Fran." Basch explained.
"That's absurd." Balthier shook his head. "I'm the leading man."
"So?" Ashe questioned. "What's your point, Balthier?"
"Leading men do not fall for their partners." Balthier explained.
"Of course they do." Basch said. "Just look at Penelo and Vaan."
"They're children." Balthier dismissed the idea.
"But you aren't much older than you are." Basch pointed out. "And they are partners, aren't they?"
"As I said, they are children." Balthier responded. "And childhood friends, at that."
"Look, that has nothing to do with it." Ashe sighed in annoyance.
"You say that I'm romantically attracted to Fran?" Balthier closed his book with a slam. "What evidence do you have?"
"Let's start with the fact that you've been avoiding eye contact with her." Basch began.
"I do not." Balthier retorted. "I don't usually maintain eye contact."
"You are with me right now." Ashe pointed out with a smile.
"That's not the point." Balthier glared at the Dalmascan princess.
"Then there's the fact that I've seen you randomly staring at her." Basch said.
"When have I done that?" Balthier questioned.
"Just this morning at breakfast." Ashe informed him.
"And last night when we were working on the engine." Basch continued.
"And can't you tell that you get flustered when she stares at you?" Ashe asked curiously.
"Leading men do not become flustered." Balthier said the word full of loathing.
"Yes, they do." Basch responded.
"Just look at Vaan every time Penelo walks into the room." Ashe said.
"This is ridiculous." Balthier was clearly growing more agitated by the second.
"You can deny it all you want, but the fact of the matter is that you like Fran." Ashe said.
"I can't very well deny something that isn't true." Balthier retorted.
Fran walked into the room carrying her bow and several arrows in hand. Clearly her hunting trip had not gone as expected.
"No results from the hunting expedition, I see." Balthier noted.
"What's he denying now?" the Viera turned to Basch and Ashe for some sort of answer.
"Fran, do you believe that I am romantically attracted to you?" Balthier asked.
Balthier was the only one who could tell that the Viera was taken aback when she said, "Why do you ask?"
"Ashe and Basch seem to believe that I am taken with you." Balthier said as he ran a hand through his hair. "Do you agree with them?"
"That depends." Fran said as she walked out to the kitchen.
"Wait, what does that mean?" Balthier demanded as he followed her out of the rec room.
"It means that I have my own opinion on this matter." Fran said, shooting Balthier a mysterious smile before she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.
"And that would be what?" Balthier asked as he sat down at the table with the Viera.
"I cannot simply tell you, Balthier." Fran said as she joined him at the table.
"And why not?" Balthier wanted to know.
"Because that is cheating." Fran said, the red eyes meeting the brown. "The leading man does not cheat, does he?"
"No, but he would like some answers." Balthier angrily crossed his arms in front of his chest.
Fran sighed, realizing that the conversation was going nowhere, and said, "There are times that make wonder, but most of the time, I am certain that you do."
"Wait, you actually agree with Ashe and Basch?" Balthier raised an eyebrow.
"I'd have to say that I do." Fran nodded.
"And why is that?" Balthier demanded.
"That would be cheating." Fran said.
"No, it wouldn't." Balthier shook his head. "That would be you telling me why you think that I like you."
"Which is the same thing as cheating." Fran said before she took a drink from the water bottle.
"But how is it that you know that I like you before I even know myself?" Balthier demanded. "And this isn't to say that I-"
"Balthier, sometimes you're an open book." Fran said as she leaned back in her chair. "You're not always as secretive as you'd like to think you are."
""I am secretive!" Balthier exclaimed angrily.
"Then would you care to explain how Basch, Ashe and I discovered that you like me?" Fran raised an eyebrow.
Balthier sighed in frustration and said, "I have no idea, Fran."
"You might want to think on it." Fran said as she stood and left the kitchen.
She hadn't been lying to Balthier. It was blatantly obvious that he liked her and even more so that he had no knowledge of this. It was as Basch and Ashe had said. Balthier might know a lot, but when it came to things concerning romance, he really wasn't that observant.
I know it's very short, but I've been wanting to write this one for a while. I hope it was a good one. Thanks for reading! Reviews equal love!