Windstorm
By Famira Damaris

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Skies of Arcadia.
Author's Note: I suddenly got an urge to write a Skies of Arcadia fanfic – blame the wonderful Anne Felis for that. ^_- *bows down* Anyway, I'll keep this short. This isn't a fanfic devoted to Vyse, Aika or Fina. It's probably one of the few (only?) based on Domingo. ^^ Anyway, possible shounen-ai later. Takes place about a year and half after the events of the game – I'm assuming that the world of Skies of Arcadia is much bigger than portrayed, so…er...new lands. ^^ . Centered around Domingo and Lawrence. *cackles*

Italics for thoughts, sounds, emphasis
Archive: I highly doubt anyone would ask, but sure, go ahead. Just ask.

Description: A year and a half after the rising of Soltis, Domingo finds himself once again struck with wanderlust. A supposedly harmless visit to Crescent Isle results in an unwilling helmsman assigned to journey with him. Adventures seem to have a habit of growing out of proportion…(Potential shounen-ai)

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Windstorm
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[Prologue]

The problem with the world was that it had gotten boring as of lately. No new rumors. No excitement. Nothing. As far as he knew, most of the sights to see had already been discovered, logged, and put away. Which was also part of the problem; it was just another reminder that most of those Discoveries listed in the books hadn't been made by him and him alone. Oh no, maybe several were labeled as being found by "Domingo", but the rest were under a different name. The frustration alone from being "upped" was positively irking. It was all terribly unfair. And boring.

In fact, he hadn't discovered anything new since the rising of Soltis. After that whole affair, everything had suddenly gotten a whole lot less exciting. His failed attempt at opening a trading business was one example; a lack of interest in it had seen to its closure. It was definitely boring these days. Boring and peaceful.

"You really need to get off your butt and do something, Domingo."

Domingo only stared with a ruffled air at the cool mug he was cradling in his gloved hands. His audience was entirely unsympathetic: whatever sympathy she'd had previously had long died off after his little tirade. In fact, the young man was well aware that he'd overstayed his welcome but he made no attempts to leave, despite the fact that whatever he was complaining about now was probably going in one ear and out the other. Most people tended to do that when he went into a full scale rant – hell, he recognized that slightly annoyed, glazed look. The very same expression which happened to be on Polly's face as she worked behind the worn counter of her tavern's bar.

"I mean it too," the buxom woman continued, running a damp gray rag over the oak surface. "If you're so bored, then why the hell are you sitting here and getting drunk off your rocker?"

"I'm not drunk," Domingo muttered. He rarely got drunk and he thought he'd been able to tell if he was. You can't exactly get drunk on half a glass of loqua, he reflected dryly. In fact, he hadn't even finished the mug he'd ordered, so he doubted he was hammered. Domingo had a higher tolerance than that. And it wasn't like he was disturbing anyone – the room was alive with conversation as sailors and merchants intermingled. They didn't notice him, or anything he was saying. "I don't get drunk."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that."

"Whatever," the raven-haired explorer grunted.

Polly scrubbed at a particularly stubborn smudge on the old wood. "Shouldn't you be out doing something? I'm sure you've better things than just hanging around here all day."

"Maybe I like the food."

"Normally I'd take that as a compliment, but this is starting to get ridiculous. And it sure isn't my good looks that you're here for, so don't use that sorry excuse," Polly said, unimpressed. Domingo closed his mouth and swallowed his retort, slightly taken aback that he was so wide open. She leaned forward as her freckled daughter ducked behind the counter, deftly balancing a plate of baked Sky Sardis in one hand and a tray of varied drinks in the other. Polly turned her attention on Domingo as Anne scurried to the waiting customers. "You're young, kid. You shouldn't be sitting out here wasting the day away."

Domingo said nothing, his lips turned down a boyish frown. Round and round went the half-empty mug, sliding in a lazy circle from one palm to the other as he glared at the loqua, as if doing so would solve all his problems. It wasn't like there was a whole lot to do these days and he failed to see what was so wrong about hanging around at Polly's tavern during his free time (of which he seemed to have a lot of). In fact, thinking about it, he'd been frequenting the place for several weeks, nonstop. Moons, maybe this is getting a bit out of hand. But there was still the principle and the stubborn, almost sulky expression remained.

"I'm not wasting it away."

"You're moping it away then. Same thing."

Domingo made a sour face at this remark. There was certainly truth in what Polly was saying, but what was he supposed to do? His life had been devoted to exploring new areas, running around and making the discoveries that made him famous. But now he was stuck twiddling his fingers, bored out of his mind and, for lack of anything better to do, sorely tempted to bang his head with frustration into the thick counter. As far as he knew, there was simply nothing more to explore out there – in fact, a certain Blue Rogue had seen to that. Domingo glowered away at his glass of mur loqua. Across from him, Polly was regarding him with an expression that was more disgust than sympathy, her large lips pursed in disapproval.

"It's the same thing, day after day. You can't keep doing this," Polly planted her hands on her wide hips, frowning at the young man sitting across from her. "It isn't good for you, sitting around here all the time and doing nothing. All you do is complain to me about 'the old days', how you did this or that or whatever. To be blunt, it's starting to get a little old."

Next to him, one of Polly's regulars let out a bark of laughter. She'd been listening in on this latest turn of the conversation for several minutes, although she hadn't seen any reason to butt in until now. The blond sailor grinned at Domingo.

"Sorry, Domingo, but I'd have to agree. It was funny for a little while but now it's just pathetic."

Domingo deigned not to reply, his dark eyes fixed sullenly on his glass. The blonde regular eyed him, and, after a chuckle, spoke over his head to Polly, her voice raised. "Y'know, Polly, I remembered that there used to be this amazing guy way back when…"

Domingo only rolled his eyes at this remark. The dark-haired man had an idea where this conversation was going and he didn't really want to hear it. Not now. It was rather hard to sulk properly when they began to resort to these tactics. What's the point? Why can't they just leave me alone? But they rarely left him alone to feel sorry for himself. If Polly wasn't smacking some sense into Domingo (he had been chased out with a frying pan once), then it was Amelia who was embarrassing him into beating a hasty retreat.

Polly caught the other woman's crafty wink and returned it:

"…Yeah, I remember him. Tall…handsome…great fashion sense. Hard to forget him, huh?"

"Oh, yeah, I'd have to agree. Hard not to jump a catch like that."

Domingo almost choked as he took another sip from the mur loqua. Futilely, the treasure hunter tried to keep his sputtering to a minimum, still studiously avoiding the gazes of the two women standing nearby. This was even more forward (and awkward) than usual. Sheesh, women wanted to jump him? That was almost daunting, but he managed to keep his face straight as he found a sudden interest in his drink. Polly and Amelia continued their assault as they exchanged grins over his bowed head.

"You'd always hear about him, even way out in Maramba. Helluva a treasure hunter."

Polly laughed. "You're telling me. The guild-master next door was always coming over and boasting about him. Y'know, he found the Guidestones near here. At least that's what I heard."

"Oh, that was him?" Amelia feigned astonishment. "…I wonder where he went. I don't think a guy like him would just settle down somewhere, not with the world just waiting to be explored."

"Maybe he's wandering around some unknown part of Arcadia right now…"

Domingo knew that a muscle near his eye was starting to tick in mild irritation. They didn't have to rub it in. His annoyance was growing even further as Amelia raised her voice even more, the blonde glancing as several merchants from Nasrad stepped across the crowded threshold. Those sitting close by were starting to listen in on the conversation.

"…Probably. He ain't the loser type. I know he wouldn't be satisfied to just sit on his sorry ass –"

"I get the damn point already!" Domingo exploded.

The room abruptly fell silent at his bellow and he was suddenly aware that he had a good number of curious eyes on him. His cheeks flushing red, he lowered himself back into his bar stool, the silence deafening as he glared with all his might at a spot past Amelia's head. The flaxen-haired sailor only continued to grin infuriatingly at him as the room slowly became a buzz with conversation again. Polly went back to innocently washing a pair of mugs out as Domingo tried to force his blush down.

"If you 'get' it, then what the hell are you moping around here for?" Amelia asked, raising an eyebrow.

Domingo scowled, reaching up and brushing a loose strand of black hair from his eyes. He knew they meant well, but that didn't mean he had to like it. And he said as much. Polly hung up the now cleaned mugs on the rack behind her, as if she wasn't listening; an amused glance at the young man seated before her.

"It's for your own good, kid: you're not supposed to like it. You can't sit around here all day and sulk. Not in my place."

"Horrible impression to make on the ladies," Amelia added, and then corrected herself, waggling her eyebrows mischievously; "Or should I say men?"

"Shut up." Domingo grunted.

Amelia wouldn't shut up: instead, the tanned woman leaned against the bar's counter and plucked the nearly empty loqua glass from his hands, ignoring his indignant protest. "But I agree with Polly here. You used to be fun to hang out with but all you do now is bitch about what you used to do, how bored you are these days. If you're so bored, then go do something about it."

"You don't – "

Polly cut him off. "Yes, you should definitely go do something productive. And I don't want you to chase out my customers with your 'in my day' tales. I swear, you're a bad influence."

"I am not! I –"

" – You're sitting here and sulking, that's what." Amelia picked up their joint scolding as she handed the glass to the auburn-headed owner of the tavern. "It's sad. I wouldn't be surprised if all the Moons were laughing at you. I know I am."

"So –"

Polly shot Domingo a stern Look. "Maybe you should just sit quiet and listen to us for a moment, kid. What happened to that driving urge to see what everyone else hasn't, to be the first to discover all that there was to discover?"

Vyse beat me to it, Domingo thought sourly. Hard to discover something that's already been found.

"And don't give me that crap about Vyse beating you to it," Polly went on, as if she'd read his sullen train of thought. The rag shook at him like she was scolding a young child. "There's a whole lot that I'm sure Vyse hasn't seen. That no one has seen. Just because Vyse discovered a lot of new things doesn't mean that you should sit here and whine about it." Her tone lightened as she got the desired effect: Domingo was coming as close as possible to hanging his head sheepishly. "Come on, think about it: no one's seen all there is to see of Arcadia. That should make you feel even more motivated."

"In fact, I'm sure there's new areas that no one's explored yet," Amelia drawled thoughtfully. "Those new Blue Stone engines are enabling us to reach new heights. I'm sure even the notorious Captain Vyse hasn't been everywhere."

"Well…" Domingo trailed off.

What they were saying did have some truth in them. Vyse couldn't have possibly seen all of the world yet. And since he'd returned the Delphinus to its rightful owner, he was probably even more limited to where he could travel. But you don't know that for certain, nagged the party pooper in the back of his head. In fact, it was telling him, it seemed like a better idea to just sit here and blow off the effort of traveling around all together. If he was to start exploring again, he'd have to completely re-haul his ship and the bill for that would probably be staggering…

With chagrin, he realized that Polly was still talking, now with a sense of finality. "…In fact, I think what you need is to go out sailing. It'll be good for you. They say sailing's good for the blood."

Domingo blinked through his long bangs. "And since when were you my mother?"

"As of now," Polly replied smartly. Behind her, a wiry, chestnut-haired man was sneaking up behind her. The busty woman didn't even turn around as she quirked an eyebrow. "Scare me and I'll have you scrubbing dishes for a week, Robinson."

Her husband spat a mild curse at being so easily detected, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. Domingo could only marvel at how the former sailor had changed over the length of a year, and then some. Dressed in something other than rags, Robinson actually cut a respectable figure – currently he was donning a long apron that stretched from his neck to his knees. Well, he looks completely different without that bushy beard. Robinson had looked like a wild madman when Vyse had rescued him from the Dark Rift that day and it never failed to surprise Domingo to see how he'd changed since then. Coming up behind Polly, Robinson hugged her from behind, resting his forehead against his wife's back.

"Can't blame me for trying."

Polly smiled. "True. Tell Domingo here that he needs to get some fresh air and do something worthwhile."

Robinson glanced over his wife's shoulder, eyeing the pony-tailed treasure hunter. Robinson tended to keep to himself and he wasn't as familiar with the tavern's customers as Polly was. But he recognized Domingo as that lookout that he'd seen occasionally on the Delphinus. "Well...er…I don't know. Maybe sailing isn't everything – sometimes it's better to play it safe."

"You're supposed to agree with me, Robinson, not give him all these ideas that being a homebody is a good thing," Polly sighed good-naturedly. Her tall husband only shrugged.

"At least someone agrees with me," Domingo huffed. And then belatedly realized his mistake as Polly rounded on him.

"Robinson has a right to be a homebody, but you don't!" A sudden sly smile. "In fact, if you're not going to go out on your own, I'm forcing you to. I don't tolerate adults who act like babies. As of today, I'm kicking you out of my tavern."

Domingo stared incredulously. "You wouldn't."

"Sounds like she's serious!" Amelia crowed from the side. The female sailor was obviously enjoying herself.

"I'm not going anywhere."

Polly wasn't the least bit fazed, smiling sweetly at the stubborn young man seated at the counter. "You are. You can't come back here until you get that adventurous spirit of yours back." Domingo started to protest and she turned to her husband, with that same innocent expression on her face. "Robinson, could you get me a frying pan?"

Domingo suddenly remembered he had errands he had to run then.

To be continued...
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*bows and scrapes* Wah, wah! It's only the prologue! Don't get scared off! xX; No shounen-ai just yet, but it's coming. ^_^; Anyway, my first attempt at a Skies of Arcadia fic. Next chapter is a "trip" to Crescent Isle and the meeting between Lawrence and Domingo. *sweatdrops*

- Famira Damaris/Camille Vidan