They plan while they recover. Implied crossover with FF Tactics: War of the Lions. BalthierxFran.
He knows not how it was that they escaped from the crashing wreckage; they've used up viera-lifetimes worth of luck these past months, and that just to remain among the living. Neither of them escaped unscathed. He sustained several broken ribs and a leg that he fears may never be quite sturdy again, not to mention a head injury that made it a significant miracle that they survived the flight to the Rozarrian border. Fran's arm is broken in more places than either of them cares to count, and there is something wrong with her back that prevents her sitting up for any period of time.
Still, here they are afforded the best care that Rozarria can offer. Al-Cid heard of the Archadian skiff that all but crash-landed in the mountains, and came himself to investigate. Upon discovering them, he immediately arranged lodgings and medical attention, claiming that it was the least he could do in light of their efforts to avert war.
Balthier despises being indebted to him, but he reminds himself that he suffers this indignity for Fran's sake, though she would not thank him for arranging his thoughts thusly.
"Tell me of the sunrise," Fran says, interrupting his thoughts, and he turns to face her.
"It was a cloudy morning," he says, "and there was little to see. Had we the Strahl, I would fly you above the clouds to see it."
"We shall have it again." Fran smiles. "You long to have sky beneath your wings again."
"A pirate without a sky is a poor pirate indeed."
"Is the sky the only thing that makes us pirates?" She is smiling, that faint curve of lip that evades most men's notice.
"Of course not," he scoffs, sprawling across the foot of their bed. His leg pains him less now, and his ribs hardly at all. They will be flying again soon, provided that Fran's back mends. A part of his mind wonders if it ever will, and what he will do then; in his deepest heart he knows that the leading man is much less admirable without his leading lady, and truth be told he would be quite lost without her. He turns his mind back to their conversation, lest she grow impatient with him. "We are pirates because we are dashing, and of course fabulously good-looking. The sky merely aids and abets our endeavours."
"We shall not be earthbound much longer. We should plan our next adventure." Fran sits up a bit.
He sits up and leans forward to adjust the pillows behind her that she might rest more comfortably. She is getting better, slowly, but it troubles him that they are not so fit as they are accustomed to being. "Fran, you know I do not believe in planning overmuch. It takes all the fun out of it."
"Your lack of planning nearly cost us both our heads when you proposed raiding that ball at the palace last year."
"How should I have known a Dalmascan urchin would have the same idea as I?" he grumbles. "And I suppose that did not turn out so ill."
"We gained no treasure from it." He just catches the edge of amusement beneath her level tone. "We also gained a significant number of injuries."
"And we made a name for ourselves in spectacular fashion as the sky pirates who saved Rabanastre," he reminds her.
She is truly smiling now. "We must have a fitting sequel to our adventure," she says. "It would not do to sully our reputation with an insufficiently grand gesture."
Balthier shifts so that the bed will better support his injured leg, and studies the canopy above their bed. "We could plunder the secrets of Draklor."
"Larsa will have done so ere now." Her ears flick back and forth as a cooling breeze finds its way through the open window. "And I doubt very much that the Emperor—or the Queen of Dalmasca, for that matter—would appreciate our meddling in their respective treasuries."
"We could persuade Larsa," Balthier protests. "And Ashe's air fleet is ill-equipped to catch us in the Strahl."
Fran levels a stern look at him, and he sighs. "Very well, very well. We shall not steal from friends." He fiddles with the lace on his cuffs. "And what do you suggest? You seem ill-pleased with my offerings; time and past you made one of your own."
"The cache of Glabados," she replies promptly, and were it not for the tall, densely carved footboard, Balthier might well have tumbled off the bed in sheer astonishment.
"You propose we thieve from the church?" he inquires.
Her nose twitches as though she scents Mist, and out of habit he checks the door and the windows for intruders. Fran's senses with regards to such things are far sharper than his own.
"I mislike their way of guiding their parishioners," she says slowly. "Besides, it is said they possess wealth beyond even the Kiltias."
Balthier shakes his head. "They're a tenth the size of Kiltias, and known only in Archades," he says thoughtfully. "What might they have that would be so valuable?" A thought strikes him, and he turns to look more closely at her. "Nethicite?"
She shrugs. "Nethicite, gold, jewels. I heard a rumour, when we were in Archades, that they have collected pieces of nethicite with power beyond even that of the Dawn Shard."
"If that were so…" Balthier turns the idea around a few times. "Why would Vayne—or for that matter, my father—not have seized it from them?"
"They cloak their truths in tales of an age gone by—a story of twelve mighty warriors who saved the world with the power of their artifacts. Even if the artifacts are not nethicite, they would surely carry a value beyond price."
"And even were they not valuable, the sheer scale of it—the main temple of Glabados!—is quite impressive." Balthier grins at her. "I presume that you have a plan?"
"I would not dare tread upon the leading man's toes." Fran smiles faintly.
"You would dare," Balthier says amiably. "Very well, then. Let us plan."