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Update: Claret Sky

I did say I'd be updating frequently, huh. They will be very short, though, it seems.

Some backstory for anyone who may be interested in this part, and a return to the heavy angst. I am obsessed with this game right now.

Claret Sky
Bal/Vaan, post-canon
Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

The pain is a burning, twisting thing as the Zodiac Spear punches through his gut.

He hunts the Cerobi Steppe often, but he thinks he has become complacent in his partnership with Fran. She wears her Ribbon always, and status spells trickle from her as water from a Gigantoad’s back. Balthier grunts, and it is an ugly croak through the blood in his mouth. He wishes that Fran were present, even if she were to call him a foolish hume-child.

Balthier grips the shaft tightly, bracing against the tug when Vaan tries to wrench the weapon back, and he aims so that the shot grazes the man’s shoulder and gouges out a strip of shirt and skin in passing.

The Silver Lobo is dead and crumpled to the ground from Balthier’s attack, but he was not quick enough to prevent its thrice-damned Screech.

Balthier sees the glazed cast of Confusion fade from Vaan’s eyes, and the stricken horror that seeps over the churl’s face is almost enough to make him laugh, could he breathe.

He does not feel it when he falls, and he notes the spreading numbness of his body shutting down with detached interest. Vaan rushes toward him, and the glitter Balthier sees could be the glow of magick or the odd flashes of his vision failing him.


There is a tight bandage wound around his waist when Balthier wakes.

Penelo smiles and sits back. “Thank goodness you’re alright,” she says.

He is in his cabin aboard the Strahl, and the soft fabric lining his bed is stained and rumpled. Balthier pulls himself up onto his elbows, and his tattered shirt falls open further. He fingers the bloodied rips ruefully and thinks that he will need to pay a visit to his tailor much sooner than anticipated.

There is a minute blush on Penelo’s face, but she looks in his eyes and does not pull away from helping him up.

Balthier smiles at her, and he turns his head to the door.

Vaan leans against the frame, arms clutched about himself tightly, and when Balthier meets his gaze, he sees a storm.

“The rainclouds over your head are disturbing my rest, Vaan,” Balthier says.

He frowns when Vaan flinches harshly. Vaan spins and runs, and the door slams shut after him.

“Was it something I said?”

“Vaan...” Penelo says, and she pauses, swallowing hard. “Vaan had command over a squad when he first arrived in Archades. They were recruits from Dalmasca, mostly. They thought it would calm him and help to control him.”

“Why put so much effort into a boy who cannot be beckoned easily?”

Penelo picks at the bedsheet where a loose thread is trailing, and she shrugs. “Basch noticed first. That the Council was becoming overly powerful. He tried to... he tried to protect Larsa. He threatened them, and along the way, he spoke of a small group of warriors strong enough to face the Occuria.” The words force past Penelo’s lips as heavy as stones. “He... Larsa found him soaking in his own blood, and the Council called it a suicide.”

“But they had Vaan, by then.”


Balthier waits, but Penelo does not seem inclined to continue, and he prods gently. “And the soldiers under Vaan’s command?”

Penelo is silent for a long time.

Balthier shakes his head. “I believe I can imagine—”

“Vaan killed them.”

Penelo looks up at him through dry, wide eyes.

“Vaan was hit by the breath of a Marlboro Overking, and he killed them all.”


Vaan’s muscles are tense under Balthier’s hands, and he does not respond to the soft caresses.

Balthier palms a sharp hip, kneading into the dark skin with his fingers, and he tries to coax Vaan into relaxing because he is so tight that he teeters on the brink between pain and pleasure.

It is dark in the cabin, and Balthier hears nothing but the rasp of his breath and the hum of magicite power. He sighs, and he stills his thrusts until they are barely nudges, and his skin scrapes over Vaan’s with every movement.

“I do wish you would quit this fretful nuisance. You know he never dies, the leading man.” He smiles, a quick twitch of his lips.

It is then that Vaan shifts under him, and Balthier reacts, digging his nails into the slick flesh under his hands so hard that he fears he has broken skin, and Vaan gasps.

Balthier pulls his hands back, but Vaan has opened up as a Galbana lily does in the morning, and he rocks up and forward, and he pushes hard against Balthier.

"Balthier..." he says softly.

The sound of Vaan's voice uncoils something hot and suffocating in his chest.

"Balthier, please."

Blood surges through Balthier’s body and roars in his ears, and he cannot do anything but feel. He slams his hips forward, and he reaches out and tugs and rakes until Vaan is quivering and shaking, hissing in pain. Vaan cries out at a particularly sharp yank on his hair, and Balthier freezes.

He stops. No.

He leans down, and he tries to lay a kiss on Vaan’s open mouth.

Vaan turns his head to a side, and he clenches around Balthier until the sky pirate shudders and falls.




( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
\o/ More, so soon! You are quite prolific.

Talk about a gut-wrenching opening! Really grabs you by the shirt and pulls you to the screen. And such a sad bit of backstory. ;__; Poor Vaan. I love it, it's so tragic.

The turn away kiss at the last moment there was a nice touch - it really captures so much of the tension and the nature of their current relationship (and Vaan's state of mind) without explicitly stating anything.
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
Ah, well... I go kind of nuts when I've got an idea I want to get down.

I feel kind of awful, sticking Vaan into this downward spiral that no one but Balthier really knows about.

Thanks for reading! And I don't know if I've mentioned how much I love this userpic. All that gorgeous red Genesis in one little square. XD
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Heh, it's great for us! And best to get it all down quickly while the flame of creativity is burning!

It is awful. Deliciously awful. Don't stop, I'm a sucker for this kind of angsty tragic spiral. It's much more satisfying than the usual headspace teenagerish melodrama that passes for angst in most fics.

Thank you for writing! There's so little good BalVaan out there. Ahaha, thank you, Genesis seems somehow appropriate for commenting on any sort of FF fanfic. Nothing, of course, is quite to the caliber of Loveless
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )