Penelo has something that Balthier wants. Trading services sometimes means you get something unexpected in the bargain.
Okay. Okayokayokay. I was so one of those people in highschool who NEVER STUDIED EVER and wrote exams and just sorta was like "check out this shit I'm way totally making up, hahahaha, watch me make shit up". And I failed a lot. Whoops! Okay! So no big deal, right? Ahaha. I'm so breaking every single rule EVER and writing about a game that isn't even out yet, which is way worse than doing the whole writing-about-games-that-are-out-but-I-have-not-played thing. I'm making super duper big assumptions based on some brief character studies that include stuff like "Penelo loves to sing and dance.... [Penelo] works happily in a bazaar." But HEY this is why I had so much fun.
You don't have to like it, you don't have to read it, or review it. Forgive me.
Please. I just. I just had to.
A Mutal Agreement
He didn't wear socks. That was the first thing that crossed her mind as he undressed, pulling off his shoes, tossing them aside as the stamped leather made soft noises on the floor of his cabin. She guessed he didn't really need to wear hard-soled shoes, after all, he was flying high above the earth and above /normal people/, and it didn't get really dusty up on the deck of his airship. He looked up and smiled slightly, the grin lightening his face and she smiled back, tremulously. Her mind spun, still wondering what the she was thinking, trading services for services with a high-flying sky pirate and even though it was sorta stupid she also was feeling brave.
Brave. She liked feeling brave. It was kind of thrilling, sitting on the edge of his bed ad he peeled leather pants from his legs, metal wire sewn under strips of leather appliquÃ©d on top giving him trouble as he worked them off. She guessed it was metal wire underneath the fancy designs on his pants anyway, an extra guard against the cutting power of swords and daggers. His gun, casually, was leaning up against his dresser where he'd tossed his vest a few minutes ago.
"You sure about this now?" it was odd he'd be asking her again, for what had to be the fifth time but she only nodded. Some things just had to be done, and, well... this was half to buy them passage and half because she wanted it. She liked the way Balthier moved, liked the way he stood. It was so different from Vaan and at the same time it made her ache a little on the inside, where she'd sorta ignored those feelings before. And it'd been hard to get over the weird jealousy she felt burning up inside her and this was as as good a way as any to quench it.
Or maybe cause a little of it for some other certain people-
But, Balthier. There was that same language in his body that her brother had possessed when he'd taught her the art of dancing and fighting. Plus he was a sky pirate and she'd always figured flying was just another type of dancing and had wanted to so badly. Maybe that's why she'd been all over Vaan like that, because Vaan had been sorta working his way up to the clouds, just like Balthier.
She pushed the thought away recklessly and stood, undoing the fastenings of her suit, fingers finding the buckles around her thighs and flicking them open, hearing the soft cl-clink of the metal as they bounced off her skin lightly. She slid the outfit down, shivering in the breezy cabin, windows open wide, curtains billowing out as sunlight bright as new gil poured in and she stood, proud of the way she looked because she was a dancer and he was a flyer and he grabbed her hand gently in his and kissed each of her fingers so tenderly.
Maybe it wasn't love as he bent her down to the bed, scooping his arm under the back of her knees, kissing his way up her legs, making her fingers dig into the mattress. Maybe it wasn't even about affection but some sort of mutual agreement for him to fly and her to fuck and it was most definitely about the fucking because holy she hadn't expected to feel like that her first time.
Even when she thought about Vaan and compared him to Balthier in her mind and she was very careful not to call out the wrong name, fingers digging into the back of Balthier's scalp, nails scratching down his back in some sort of scrabbling dance she had no previous experience with. Later she'd remember it weirdly, especially after when he curled his arm around her and held her to his chest, her fingers splayed out over his skin, oddly pale for someone who spent so much time out in the sun like he did, her nails trailing over some vague scars left over from battles he would no doubt tell people about when drunk. She closed her eyes and settled in, listening to his breathing, quiet under her ear versus the sound of wind scouring along the side of the airship. Eventually his chest moved, taking her head with it, as he chuckled quietly.
"Hmm?" she looked up at him, her voice rough with screaming and he just shook his head at her, running a finger down her nose before tilting her head up to kiss him.
"Nothing," he said quietly, cupping the side of her face afterwards and she looked up at him, eyes wide as her heart thrummed madly inside her chest and she really wasn't thinking about Vaan so much anymore and how she'd wanted him first and wanted him bad. It was really just more like /ohgodohgodBalthierohgod/.
Her fingers clutched at his shirt and she pressed her lips against his again, hungry for a second. As he let her go, slithering away a little, his own voice a little breathless, shocked maybe by her sudden passion /after the fact/, she laughed a little, giddy, sitting up and pulling the sheet against her breasts, looking out the window, the sunlight coming in.
"Never figured I'd get my first kiss like that," she said, voice soft and she didn't look at him, nostrils flaring slightly at the scent of clean pure air, the light white and crisp around them as he ran a hand down her bare spine, thumb trailing over each disc.
"Guess you got a bonus in our bargain," he said and then pulled her down again, curving strong arms around her waist and giving her a place to mourn.