Small Problems

This is a Star Ocean The Last Hope fan-fiction. It has nothing to do with the game, and I'm trying to keep them in character, but it's hard sometimes.

Special thanks to Ciissi for the idea that sparked this story.

An Item NOT Worth Making

It was innocent enough. Item creation was a simple enough task, and with everyone paired up, things wouldn't go wrong, right? Added crew members would also make for more interesting creations, and possibly better ones, too, yes?

That was not the thought after Item Creation Team 3 (consisting of Mericle, Lymle, and Serah) managed to make a very unique concoction that smelled like big-berries and looked like juice. And the roulette to try the mixture out landed on Item Creation Team 2 (consisting of Faize and Arumat).

Crowe didn't like the giggles the girls were sharing as the strange liquid was poured into two glasses and handed to the two Eldarians. "Edge, do you think this is a good idea?"

"How harmful could it be?" Edge asked.

"Remember the aphrodisiac they gave Reimi?" Crowe reminded. He thumbed the pregnant girl that made up the third member of Item Creation Team 1.

Edge made a face. It was thanks to that aphrodisiac that now had everyone wondering which crew member had fathered Reimi's child. "I get the point. But . . ."

"This is NOT funny." came a slightly higher-pitched voice from Team 2's desk.

"At least you can still see over the desk." came another high-pitched voice. "And you still at least sort-of fit your clothes."

Myuria and Baccus looked over, and their faces nearly fell. Upon seeing the reaction of the Morphus pair, Edge and Crowe headed over.

A nine-year-old glowered back at them, his clothing rather baggy around him. His grey hair was fluffier than it was when he was an adult, but those piercing golden-amber eyes said all.

"Arumat?" Crowe asked. He looked around. "Where's Faize?"

"Hiding his shame in his shirt." Arumat replied. "What was that mess?"

Reimi read the label on the bottle, which Welch had so graciously put on upside-down. "Potion of youth." she said.

Faize's fluffy green head poked out of the top of his shirt, and they saw a severe problem. Their ages had been reduced quite evenly. While Arumat was now a nine-year-old, the six-year difference between the two Eldarians remained. Faize was three.

"This is going to be a problem." said Edge. He picked Faize up, shirt and all and stood him on the table. "We're going to have to make new clothes for you two." He sat Arumat up on the table as well.

"My clothes are fine." said Arumat. He hated that his voice was nowhere near as commanding as it once was.

"You neglect the fact that you're covering your shame with your hands, I see." said Faize. It was also annoying how Faize's child-like voice still suited him. "Your pants are still on the floor."

"Yay, playmates!" cried Mericle.

It became obvious that Faize was irked when he struggled to get a hand out of the very long sleeve. When it was apparent the sleeve would not bunch-up properly, he gave up and used his symbology anyway.

"Ice Needles!" While smaller, just like his stature, the symbology still had the same desired effect. Mericle got ice in the face and scampered back to where Lymle and Serah were.

Myuria came over with a towel and wrapped it around Arumat. "We'll need to see about an antidote." she said.

"Then make it, witch!" Arumat growled.

"I cannot properly analyze the mixture." said Baccus. "We will have to wait until we reach EN 2 to make the antidote."

Faize yawned.

Arumat was livid. "That's three weeks away!" he practically shrieked. "How do you expect me to survive in this . . . this . . . THIS?! For three weeks?" He indicated to his shortened stature and inability to now use his scythe.

"I have to put up with it, too, and technically, I'm at a worse disadvantage." Faize returned.

"And that is?" Arumat growled.

"I won't be able to perform my duties on the bridge as I should." Faize replied. He inspected the hole his symbology had made in his sleeve. Short, but none the less dainty, fingers poked out, and Faize seemed more curious about how he'd managed to retain his slender figure than how to get out of this predicament.

Reimi suddenly piped up, starting with a "Thank you, Welch." She turned and carried a unique bundle over towards Arumat and Faize. However, she dumped half the parcel in Edge's arms and the other half in Crowe's.

"What are these?" Edge asked.

"Their new clothes." Reimi replied. "Now take them somewhere private to change. The rest of us will clean up in here."

Crowe sighed and helped Arumat off the table. "Come on, you can change once we get to your room."

Faize clung to his spot on Edge once he'd been picked up. The man he practically worshiped was holding him. He watched around him as Edge carried him up to the room he shared with Arumat. He sighed a little sadly as Edge put him down and handed him the clothes.

Here was another problem. Arumat changed quickly, and his clothes looked very similar to what he used to wear, except that it was a shirt on him and not the vest. Faize, however, couldn't even manage to untangle himself from his full-sized shirt. To make things worse, Arumat left after he was dressed, leaving Faize alone.

Faize cried. He cried like the small child he was; loudly, and with tears flying everywhere.

Edge stepped in and saw the small Eldarian, still in the long shirt, crying like something was terribly wrong. "Faize? Faize, what's wrong?"

Faize held his arms up. "I can't get out." he complained, dropping the formality. His large amethyst eyes looked pleadingly up at Edge. To his secret delight, Edge took the shirt off him and helped dress him in the new clothes.

He yawned again. The excitement was catching up to him, and he was getting sleepy. He held his hands up again to try and get Edge to hold him. It worked, and Faize nestled himself close to Edge's neck, dozing off before they even made their way to the lounge.

"This is cute." said Myuria.

"Hmm?" Edge tried to look at Faize. "Did he fall asleep?"

"Yes." said Myuria, a small smile playing at her lips.

"Hey!" cried Lymle. "I'm supposed to have nappy-time with Edgie!"

"Not today, Lym." said Edge. "Faize is smaller than you, now. You're going to have to let him take his nap with me this time."

Lymle pouted. "Mattie doesn't take naps." she returned.

Crowe snickered from where he sat on one of the couches looking out at the stars. Across his lap, sound asleep, was Arumat.