AN: Just a lil' drabble, trying to get back into the writing game wowee I'm out of shape.

The princess thought herself skilled into the insight of others; she had to be to ensure her survival.

Ashe kept everyone at arm's length, save for Vossler. It was hard to trust anyone with Imperials sniffing around every nook and cranny, let alone sky pirates whose loyalties rested with the highest bidder. Basch was an entirely different matter altogether. His presence troubled Ashe; the fact that Vossler still trusted him did little to ease this worry. A truce, a weak one albeit, had been made between the two but that did little to assuage emotions that had long been carved into her consciousness.

Balthier was difficult to read. He permanently displayed an air of playfulness and blasé which was difficult to penetrate. Questions were always met with more questions much to the Princess' frustration. Did Fran know what lay beneath? The Viera seem unconcerned with most Hume matters, so why would Balthier be any different? There existed a trust unmoveable, unshakable in its foundation. Something like that could only be built from knowledge of ones most intimate secrets. Ashe could only assume why Fran lived amongst the Humes (dissatisfaction with her own kind?) but with Balthier she had nothing to create a bigger picture.

As for the other two children, they made the princess feel more at ease. They were yet innocent, perhaps a little burned by hatred for the Empire but their intents were honest at the very least. In them Ashe saw the future. They were the ones she sought to liberate from Archadia; it would be their ideals that would guide Dalmasca. The boy, Vaan, though a little dull, was endless in his optimism. This was measured with Penelo's sense (at least one of them had it). Their banter proved quite amusing through what would be a sombre journey.

It was an odd assembly of individuals aiding her cause. As the wind bit deep into her skin she watched them saunter across the beginnings of the Sandsea. While they were not the choicest of companions at least she would not be swallowed up by the vast desert, alone and helpless.