Final Fantasy XII (Vossler, Balthier) [week 7 - prompt 5]
Title: A Distasteful Price Author: Cadence Rating: PG Warnings: Game spoilers through Leviathan. Word Count: 400 Summary: Vossler does not work well with pirates or mercenaries.
Vossler stands close to Ashe when they pause.
It's quite reasonable, really—the creatures here can show up unpredictably, and that is far from the only factor that makes this setting hostile. Still, it's habitual enough he doesn't even consider it—as is the way he keeps her in the corner of his vision as he scans the area. And, he suspects the way Ashe's weight shifts toward him as she does the same. Their proximity is not particularly notable until Balthier strides up from behind them and jostles them both as he moves to inspect something.
Ashe starts at the bump, and Vossler glowers at the pirate's back. Then she presses her lips together and pulls herself straight.
"Any luck?" she asks, and Balthier sighs.
"I think we should try the other corridor again," he says resignedly.
The comment causes groans from the children, but they begin walking immediately, the viera in the lead. Ashe and Basch follow, but Vossler holds his ground as Balthier checks the shot for his gun.
"Have significant experience in pilfering sacred tombs, do you?" Vossler growls.
"It's a boon to you that I do, it would seem, as your princess seems well-set on pilfering this one," the pirate says mildly, not meeting Vossler's eyes.
The statement is truth, of course. Ashe has made the right choice in hiring this pirate, for without him they would be very unlikely to retrieve the Dawn Shard. Without the Dawn Shard, his plans come to nothing, and Dalmasca is lost. But when it's at the price of letting this vagabond –
It is perhaps not fair to criticize when you have set your own distasteful price, some dark corner of his mind interjects.
I will do what I do for the good of Dalmasca, he thinks, like a mantra.
You have set a distasteful price for Dalmasca, then.
Vossler scowls at himself and moves to walk away. A slim arm shoots in front of him, and he pauses more out of surprise than anything.
"Things are not going to work like this," Balthier says. "You don't have to like me, but I can't have you scowling back at me and missing a trap or a zombie."
For the good of Dalmasca, he thinks, and looks forward at Ashe.
"Fear not," he says, more calmly, but still with an edge. "I shall be focused on our goal."