Woman of the Wood, Final Fantasy XII (Balthier/Fran)
Title: Woman of the Wood Author/Artist: catdevigri Rating: PG-13 Warnings: Nudity, implied sex Prompt: Fran/Balthier - age difference - "still so young to travel so far, old enough to know who you are" Word count: 772 words Summary: Fran thinks about her new partner/lover. Fran was never more aware of her age than when she was in the company of youths. All humes she encountered seemed so young, and many bright-eyed or frail, but the boy at her side now (she called him a boy, he called himself a man) could be seen as young even among the humes. The swagger in his step and his cheeky smile could not disguise what he truly was- a baby bird who'd barely left the nest. He'd make his own way, he said, his name would be known- not the name his father gave him, but the name of a bold sky pirate, fierce and free. Fran didn't see what was so important about the name, be it Ffamran or Balthier, but to spread your wings and make your way alone in this wide world- that she could appreciate.
Fran reached out with her long nails, running her spindly fingers through his clipped hair. Her dark fingers looked like roots making their way steadily through the soil. But they didn't seek water or any other nutrients for the body, they slid seamlessly along looking instead for something to feed the soul. The woman could leave the Wood, but the Wood never left the woman. She was like a tumbleweed, rolling away, taking her roots with her. She was not searching for a physical place to dwell though. Verily, she did not feel as though she were purposefully searching for anything at all, only letting the winds blow her aimlessly along. Was what the boy did any different?
Her hand trailed down past his hair along his neck, over his shoulder, and to his sturdy chest. It was a strong chest, young and alive with the beating of his vigorous heart. The boy opened his eyes and gazed back at Fran, her long, white hair, her intense eyes, her smooth, dark skin. He had never known any woman the way he knew Fran. Her naked body was as much of an object of veneration for him as any of the treasures he sought to steal. ...He wondered what his father would say if he knew...
She was stronger than him, in body and mind. An oak to his acorn, reaching upward toward that sprawling sky. She had taught him everything he knew about, well, about all manner of things. And for all his flirting with the girls in Balfonheim and the other ports, just as he could ask for no better partner, how could he ask for any other lover? The romantic overtures he made to those girls were just part of the role he was trying so desperately hard to play. Perhaps he was only flattering himself if he thought of himself as an acorn who would one day grow to be like Fran... At this point, he was only a vine headed for the sunlight by crawling its way up the trunk of a better established tree.
It had been so, so long since Fran had been as young as the pirate boy. Her youth in the Wood was shrouded by the obscuring fog of time. She could scarcely recall what it was like to be so fresh, so green, so naive... There were advantages to being young. A young, thin tree could sway in a wind that would snap older trunks. She did not think of herself as hardened with age, but rather toughened and tested. She too had been green in a way when she first chose to leave the Wood, but even that was a long time ago now.
"Where are we heading to next, Fran?"
"That decision should belong to you," the viera reminded him, "Are you not captain of this vessel?" This fledgling had to learn to think for himself sooner or later. She would not be the overpowering shadow his father had been, restricting his freedom and growth. She considered herself as more of a trellis, supporting him as he stretched toward the open sky.
And with the way he clung to her in other, more intimate ways, the trellis analogy might be more than apt. Hmph. Just because the Wood remained an undiminished influence on her mind did not mean that all her analogies had to deal so exclusively with matters of the land. ...Of course, that also didn't mean that she could think of any others quite so quickly.
"I...I suppose I am," Balthier responded to her query at last.
"The little bird has found his voice. Listen to him chirp."
"I'm no chick, Fran, though I'm only just starting out. Soon enough, you'll see, I'll be the leading man."