|Catarina (catdevigri) wrote in kinkfest,|
@ 2008-11-07 16:39:00
|Entry tags:||a: catdevigri, f: final fantasy xii, november 06, p: basch/penelo|
Making the Best of Hard Work and Accidents , Final Fantasy XII (Penelo/Basch)
Title: Making the Best of Hard Work and Accidents
Prompt: Final Fantasy XII- Penelo/Basch- fancy dress date- "You ripped my new dress!"
Word count: 1,979
Summary: Penelo wears a very special dress to a dinner at the palace with Ashe, Larsa, and Basch.
A/N: Argh! This was for the 6th, but I just couldn't get it finished until today!
Penelo couldn't have been prouder of her dress. She twirled around in front of the cracked second-hand mirror in her room. The long dress reached to her ankles, a cascade of yellow silk with gold and white trim. She looked like a daffodil- not a silly roadside flower sprung up by accident, but a carefully tended flower in the garden of the queen. Penelo loved the feel of the cool fabric between her fingers and the swish of it sliding against her legs as she moved. Ashe had generously offered to loan her one of her own dresses, but as wonderful as it would've been to wear the clothes of a queen, Penelo had turned her friend down in the interests of showing her independence and ability to work hard. The dress meant more to her for having been paid for her with her sweat and savings. For the past month, Pnelo had scrimped and saved every gil she could to buy this very special dress and now it was time to wear it to the special occasion it was picked for. Basch and Larsa were coming down from Archadia to visit the queen and Ashe had invited both Penelo and Vaan to come along. Even now Vaan was still waffling over the decision.
"What do you think?" Penelo asked him, bursting out of her room. "I was thinking I would wear my hair in a single braid so I'd look more mature."
Vaan scratched his head. "You look classy, I guess. Basch and Larsa'll be impressed."
"I'm guessing you've decided to stay home," she noted, looking Vaan over from the soles of his bare feet, nearly black with dirt, to his bare chest. Looking like that, she hoped he didn't plan on going to the palace.
"Yeah, well, on a double date like that I'm sort of the fifth wheel."
"It's not a double date!" Penelo interjected, but Vaan continued unabated.
"I'm going to say here and polish the... Well, I know the Strahl is gone. ...I'll help Migelo stock the shelves," Vaan sighed.
"I know you're all broken up about losing the Strahl," Penelo tried to comfort her friend, "But look on the bright side! That means that Fran and Balthier are alive. And we're bound to see them again sooner or later."
"Yeah, yeah," Vaan brushed her off casually, "Don't worry about me. Go fix your hair and get going to the palace."
Penelo felt as if she would never become entirely used to the royal palace. Somewhere in the back of her mind remained the notion that as a commoner she wasn't exactly welcome there. And everything inside was so big, smooth, and clean. As a diligent guard led her to the balcony where the queen and her other guests waited, Penelo turned her gaze here and there to the marble floors, graceful columns, and antique, artistic decorations.
"Penelo. I'm happy to see you," Ashe greeted her calmly, staying in her seat.
Larsa's eyes lit up and he jumped up from his seat filled with energy. "Oh, it's been much too long!" he gave Penelo's hand a hearty shaking, "You look stunning."
"Hello Your Majesty, Your Highness, ...Basch," the transplanted commoner responded awkwardly but happily. She might be a little out of place, but she was glad to be here. These were her friends after all. Basch pulled out the fourth chair at the table and pushed it in gently after Penelo sat down.
Basch was cleaner cut now, but strong as ever. She could remember the way he had handled himself in battle as they had worked their way off to Raithwall's tomb, through the wilderness to Giruvegan, and north to Archadia. Even just out of prison, Basch had never been weak. He had worked with any weapon the group had found for him with equal zeal and considerable skill. Certainly Basch had been a force to be reckoned with, but in all honesty, the one Penelo would've been afraid to face alone was Ashe.
"I have primarily focused on bringing positive change to Dalmasca, but I've also tried to return to the status quo in many sectors," Ashe explained to Larsa, "When the people feel that their lives are their own again they'll be more equitable to change. Their happiness will solidify the country." The serious cast faded slightly from the queen's face (it was never completely absent, Ashe being such a whole-heartedly stern person) as she turned to face Penelo, "That means we've reassembled our little quartet of court musicians. I thought they could serenade us after we eat."
"That sounds impressive," Penelo laughed, responding positively to the queen's outreach of warmth.
"If they're anything like the ones I remember, they're a talented group of individuals," Basch nodded, quietly reminiscing about his time in Dalmasca. Vossler had liked getting the musicians to accompany his rowdy, raucous drinking songs. It had become a bittersweet memory now, like the many others he had of Vossler.
Three of the musicians were the same. They were much as Basch had remembered. The cool evening breeze blowing in off the sand ruffled the hair and clothes of the small group. Ashe rubbed her hands over her bare arms. "I'm getting chilly. I think some movement would be the best solution." She rose from the table and looked over her guests, "Would anyone care to dance?"
"That would be lovely," Larsa chuckled, taking Ashe's outstretched hand.
Basch looked awkwardly across the table to Penelo. "Hmm, um, shall we?" His armor clanked slightly as he rose from his seat.
"I thought you'd never ask," the girl laughed. It was no secret to her friends that Penelo loved to dance. Although her usual dancing was of a more lively variety, the type created from a personal response to music with no regard for established steps or manners, dancing of any kind was a pleasure for her.
Ashe looked over Larsa at Basch as she danced with the emperor, but when she realized that Penelo had caught her staring, she firmly fixed her glanced down on Larsa's face. Penelo wondered what the queen was thinking.
Basch didn't seem to have noticed that he had been watched. He was too busy looking at Penelo. She looked so carefree. Perhaps he had never looked at her so closely before, but now he was noticing new things about her face and mannerisms. Her lips were held loosely together in a smile and for a moment or two, he would see a section of her top teeth between her pink lips. He could tell how immersed she was in listening to the music by the way she kept her eyes closed for such long intervals as they danced. It was sweet.
It was as his mind wandered that he mis-stepped. Penelo's eyes flew open at the sound of ripping fabric. "You ripped my new dress!" she hissed, her forehead creasing in distress. Basch had stepped on her the edge of her yellow dress and torn it up the middle from the hem to her mid-thigh as she turned to twirl. Basch clenched his teeth nervously.
"Did something tear?" Ashe asked curiously.
"Umm, my dress," Penelo squeaked out. Thinking about how hard she had worked to acquire the dress in the first place only for it to meet this fate made her want to cry, but that would be far too petty and embarrassing. She recovered quickly, trying to act as though nothing significant had occurred, "It's n-nothing that bad. I was just surprised."
"Oh, that's good," Larsa replied.
Penelo gave Basch a very commanding look, silently telling him that to uncover the true extent of the damage would be to court death. He did his best to keep a stoic look on his face and stay calm, but he couldn't help but glance down at Penelo's legs to access the situation. "I blew it this time," he thought.
His dance partner stepped much closer to him to try and hide the embarrassing rip. To those ignorant to the truth, it looked particularly romantic. Ashe found herself wondering about Penelo and Basch's sudden closeness, but decided it was none of her business and it would be better not to comment.
It was hard for Penelo to keep her cool. Honesty was her usual policy and this deception was nerve-wracking. She yawned conspicuously several times to try and project the idea that she growing tired before turning to her face to her hostess. "Ashe, thank you so much for inviting me here. I really had a wonderful time with all of you." She took care to stand with her body still turned toward Basch, using him as a human shield. "It's just starting to get a bit late and I think I should head home to Vaan and Migelo and everyone. Vaan's got to be feeling a little lonesome by now."
"It was my pleasure to have you here," Ashe replied pleasantly. Larsa nodded and smiled, tacitly agreeing with the queen's statement.
"I suppose I should be going then-" Penelo finished up, giving Basch a meaningful nudge.
"I-," he straightened up, "I'll walk you home, Penelo. This isn't a safe hour for a young lady to be wandering around alone."
"What are you trying to imply about my capital?" Ashe asked with a sly laugh. Basch and Penelo responded to her comment with nervous laughs of their own.
"Please just let me get out of here!" Penelo thought, tightly gripping Basch's big hand.
"I'll be back shortly," Basch nodded to his master, beginning to move towards the door. Penelo was as close to his side as a vine climbing up a tree. With her free hand, she tried to hold the front of her dress together.
She let out a long sigh as soon as the pair was out of sight of the two royals. Basch seemed equally relieved. "Please forgive me. I'm ashamed to have troubled you like this."
"It-it's not your fault," she insisted, letting go of his hand and backing away a little as she suddenly became self-conscious of her closeness to her companion.
They nervously avoided making eye contact most of the way out of the palace and through the dark streets of Rabanastre. Everytime their eyes met, they would both quickly look away. Penelo felt her face flushing red, a deep color hidden by the shadows of the night. Basch was similarly embarrassed by the whole incident.
"There's the place," Penelo announced, running the last few yards to the front steps of Migelo's shop. She would be glad for the whole thing to finally be over. She wanted to change out of the dress, go to sleep, and forget about the whole thing.
Basch was not as quick to depart she expected. He lingered on the doorstep. "Are you sure there isn't anything I can do for you to make up for this? I feel so awkward."
The warm yellow light seeping out of the upstairs windows illuminated his nervously smile. Basch was a well-meaning, but terribly unlucky man. In the end, however, he always managed to get through the tough times. He'd been through much worse than this. Penelo admired his strength.
"Well, there's one little thing..." she said.
"Lean down," she instructed him, and as he tipped his face close to her level, Penelo jumped up and kissed him. "Tee hee," she giggled and hurried through the door of the shop, leaving the serious man standing alone on the step. He put a trembling hand to his lips and stared for a while at the door before turning around to walk back to the palace. Inside the shop, Penelo rushed up to the living quarters on the second floor. And from a second-story window, Penelo watched him go until he disappeared around a corner and was gone.