[One-shot fluff] "What is Valentine's Day?" wonders Fina. "Why the heck do we have to close our eyes?" wonders Aika. Just what is Vyse up to anyway?
Although it was early in the year, the sun spread a nice warmness. Not too cool, neither too hot. It was just enough. Living in the vicinity of the red moon’s light sure had its advantages. A pleasant breeze blew by and nuzzled some hair strokes belonging to a Blue Rogue named Fina. She sat on a bench that stood by what was once the pond. Just some days ago, Izmael had been over and reconstructed it. Now it was deeper and worked as a pool. Fina leant backwards against the back support, closed her eyes to half, and relaxed.
It had been a still day. Relatively said, of course. During this whole week, the three Blue Rogues had been over to Valua to ship over some much-needed supplies to the yellow continent’s survivors. When that was done, Delphinus set of against Nasrad to pick up some things for themselves. After the battle at Soltis; Vyse, Aika and Fina had decided to form an own Blue Rogue group at Crescent Isle. Sure, it would be practical to just join an already existing group, like Dyne's. But no, they had decided that they wanted to be together, even if it meant being only three. And also, after this whole rush throughout the whole Arcadia, it would feel great to relax for a time.
To find the wares they needed was not so hard, only Vyse was gone for a long time, keeping Fina and Aika waiting in the sweltering Nasrad. He had returned to the ship eventually, carrying a package or something. Aika had of course scolded him for being late, then curiously wondered what he had bought. “Nothing special”, had he replied. “Just some new parts for the ship”.
Aika’s voice was so sudden it almost startled her. The blonde silvite turned her head to where the voice was heard. The redhead had just rounded the corner and now sat down next to her. Fina didn’t felt all that lonely, but it was nice with some company.
“Hello Aika.” said Fina. ”Is Vyse still down in the docks?”
“Yep. He said he had some long fixing for the ship, and that it might take a while. And of course, it was all so technical that he had to do it on his own.”
As they had docked /Delphinus/, Vyse had “dismissed them for the day” and then started to work (without packing up his stuff) on one of their smaller ships: /Wave Line/. It was a lower medium sized ship; very similar to old Drachma’s ship /Little Jack/. The hull wasn’t yet strong enough to make it through a stone-reef, so that was he was up to now.
“Well” said Fina. “he sure likes sailing-boats.”
“Yep. It’s probably that’s why he bought whatever-it-was for it.” She giggled. “A quite fitting present for today.”
“What’s so special about today?” wondered Fina. As far as she was concerned, this was just another day.
Aika looked at her with raised eyebrows.
“It’s Valentine’s Day, you know.”
“Uhm, what does that mean?” Fina asked, looking a bit confused.
“You don’t know? Well, I guess I've never told you about that. You know, it’s been a long while since you said something like that.”
Aika looked upwards to the clouds, wondering how in the world she would explain this.
“Valentine’s Day is a sort of celebration. It started out in the mid-oceans, but now it has spread to Nasr. It’s not really a holiday, it's more like a time when all couples gets to express their love for each other by, say, give each other flowers, chocolate, maybe going out on a date and other mushy stuff like that. Shortly enough just give each other a little extra attention.”
Now when she thought about it, Fina remembered that there had been quite a lot of couples out in the plaza and the bazaar today, and most stalls sold out roses in nicely arranged bouquets, chocolate in heart-formed boxes and so. So it sounded plausible, and quite cute actually.
“That sounds nice,” said Fina.
“Yeah,” Aika agreed. “It’s not always couples who gets to enjoy the day. Others may decide to just be a little extra nice in general, but mostly it’s just a love celebration. To make sure girls gets a gift at least once a year.” She giggled.
Fina seemed a little wondering about the last part of what Aika had said, so the redhead continued:
“I mean, there’s a joke in between guys going: ‘If you buy her a gift, you are just out for something. But if you don’t, you are not compassionate to her!’.”
The two gals laughed.
“That seems a little harsh now, doesn’t it?” Fina said, although she still giggled.
“Maybe,” said Aika. “But who cares, as long as we win!”
“Oh, really!” said a voice, coming from the balcony just above them.
It didn't take a genius to know it was Vyse, and a quick look upwards verified that. He stood up there with his wrists resting on the rail, looking down on them. But there was something with him that seemed odd. He looked a bit astute, or perhaps anticipating.
“How long have you been standing there?” called Aika.
“Long enough,” was the reply. “Actually I had a… surprise for you two today, but from what you just said…” He shrugged his shoulders.
Aika and Fina exchanged a quick glance. Was this really…?
“Nooo!” shouted Aika. "Do you actually listen to what I say?"
Both Vyse and Fina gave her an odd look.
“Not very often, but it happens,” said Vyse.
“What Aika is trying to say” started Fina “is that whatever we said, we didn't mean it.”
“That's more like it. Wait here, and close your eyes. I'll be right back.” He walked to his room. Then suddenly he shouted: “I said wait, Aika!”
“I didn't do anything!” Aika said in a most indignant tone, and quickly tiptoed back to where she had stood just some seconds ago.
Fina and Aika decided to follow their captain's advice, and they closed their eyes. What is he up to, anyway? Fina thought for herself that maybe he wanted to show them the new parts, but she “heard” herself how silly it sounded. Was this yet another custom she hadn't learned? Was it something that was in connection with this “Valentine's day”? Surely, it couldn't be worse than that time when they found out she didn't knew what “money” was.
Some minutes passed. Aika had started to get impatient. And finally, they could hear the sounds of Vyse's footsteps next to them.
“Okay, open up!”
The gals quickly opened their eyes. The sunlight blurred their sight, but they could vaguely see Vyse holding something big and white. After some blinking, the blur went away, and then they saw it was…
“Here you go,” he said and handed over the two flower-bouquets. “For my fav… uhm, the two best Air Pirates in the skies.”
The two bouquets consisted of white flowers, each one of them almost as big as a rose. The petals were white, and the corollas were deep blue. The bouquets were wrapped in some sort of shining silver paper that sparkled in the sun. Aika and Fina were awe-struck at the sight. Their smiles reached from ear to ear.
“Wow, thank you,” Aika said, quite surprised.
The redhead moved the flowers close to her face and took a deep breath though her nose. They smelt just as sweet and lovely as they looked.
“So pretty they are,” said Fina. She was not as heated as her redhead counterpart but anyone could tell she was equally happy. “Thank you so much.”
“Yep. It's jasmine flowers,” Vyse said, apparently feeling quite accomplished with himself. “I hope you're not too angry that I had to delay you in Nasrad, but I couldn't have bought them while you saw it, could I?”
/Most certainly not/, thought Aika.
None of the two gals answered, instead they gently put the flowers down on the bench, then quickly rushed forward and threw their arms around the very surprised Vyse. Aika reached the target just before Fina, so Aika got the front while Fina got his left side. Unfortunately, it all happened so quickly that Vyse hadn't time to prepare himself for the impact, so he fell backwards down on the ground with the gals still clanging to him, they were just inches away from accidentally head-butting him. He managed to move up from his back to a sitting position, feeling all the sand he had got in his hair. As Aika had stood closest to him, she had thus half ended up in his lap, her arms laid wrapped around his neck and chest. Fina had got a grip just above his waist. She held a slight distant, not because she wanted to, no way, but she felt a bit shy about it all. Fina wouldn't have done this if Aika hadn't taken the first step.
But it felt nice to be close, to them both.
“Whoa, that was almost worth the price… for the flowers,” Vyse said, a bit overwhelmed.
Then, a seed of an idea was planted in Aika's head. It began to grow and then sparked out, just like a flower in sunshine. It had been so kind (and unexpected) of Vyse to buy them the flowers, so didn't he deserve a gift as well? They hadn't bought anything, but what if they would…? It sounded crazy, but why not?
“Wait here for a second,” she said and then put her gloved hand across Vyse's eyes.
Aika turned her head to Fina and mimed a certain word to her. The silvite seemed a little shocked at the suggestion, but after a quick and mute discussion, consisted mostly of face expressions, she nodded at last. Fina might not dare on her own, but if they did it together…
“Hey! How long are you going to keep me in the dark?” said Vyse. Aika could feel a frown on his forehead through her glove.
“Not any longer than you did,” Aika answered, still covering his eyes. “The thing is; we had totally forgot this day…”
“But I didn't know anything about it in the first place!” objected Fina.
“So we haven’t bought a gift for you,” Aika said quickly. “I'm sorry for this.”
“That’s alright,” said Vyse. “But you could always remove your hand.”
“Yeah, soon. But we think this'll do,” said Aika. “Ready, Fina?”
The silvite nodded, and Aika's hand flew off. Before Vyse could say anything, they leant forward and placed one kiss each on his cheeks. At the impact; his face shifted from huge surprise, then to slight embarrassment as it started to turn red, all that in just a few seconds. His gaze flickered between the girls, and then he decided that the ground was very interesting to look at, but they could see he was smiling.
“Oh, t…thanks,” was all Vyse managed to say, laughing nervously.
“You know,” Aika said, giggling at his blushing. “Sorry for laughing, but you're totally khale-red! Isn’t he, Fina?”
“I'm not!” Vyse replied a bit too hasty while his face had the same colour as his scarf.
Aika raised her eyebrows in a sceptical manner.
“Not?” She turned to Fina. “Your opinion, please?”
Fina giggled and slowly moved her face closer to Vyse as to get a better look, a bit amused over the effect she had had on him. She had totally forgot to feel shy.
“You might pass as a red moonstone,” she said.
“Red moonstone?” Vyse shot back. “Why you, give it up already! You probably don't even know what that is.”
Perhaps it might've sounded more convincing if he hadn't had such a shifting gaze and just a slightly steadier voice.
“Oh yeah? Let’s see you try to ignore this!” Aika said and kissed him just next to his lips, almost hitting his mouth’s corner.
In honesty's name, her aim was set straight at his mouth, but at the last second she had wondered what the heck she was doing, and then quickly moved her head just in time. She hadn't thought about using any tongue, but that was no excuse. She had only meant to prove how ginourmously wrong Vyse was. Now her cheeks started to burn, not to mention his.
“S…see?” Aika said and pointed at him. “Fina, doesn't Vyse look like a tomato now? For the red colour, I mean.”
An easy way of getting rid of shyness was to push it to someone else, the “poor” Vyse in this case. Fina remained quiet; she appeared to have something on her mind.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “But you know, Aika, that wasn't really fair.”
“T…t… that's right,” stuttered Vyse. “We're talking biiiig molesting here.”
Oh, giddy. Vyse could take on a legion of Black Pirates, but this scared the life out of him, let be in a pleasant way. Fina smiled at his embarrassment in a way that made her the new definition of “Sweet”.
“Not exactly,” she said. “I meant that now… uhm,” Fina’s voice trailed off, and she turned down her gaze.
She took a deep breath, pulling herself together.
“That now” Fina said calmly “she and I is uneven.”
Fina already had her face just next to Vyse so it was just a moment's work for her to give him a second kiss; light and soft as a flutterfly's touch. Aika whistled low. Fina seemed to have some guts, alright. If she just got to start, she wouldn't back out of anything.
“Convinced yet?” Aika asked, smiling ever so teasingly.
"I think he is," Fina giggled.
“Heh heh, alright, you got me there,” Vyse said, chuckled slightly. He didn't seem so embarrassed anymore. “At least it'll help cover all that lipstick you’ve smeared me with. My face would be a mess by now.”
“Stop whining, wimp,” said Aika. “You didn't seem to be suffering.”
“No, maybe not, but you’ve still practically made me up, you know.”
Those words (and the way he said it) made Aika's forehead fall straight down on Vyse's shoulder while she was almost choked by her giggle. How much did Vyse know about lipstick and rouge anyway?
“Don't worry,” said Fina. “We don't have any right now.”
Double-definitions, since neither Fina nor Aika had any makeup, neither in their face nor in their possession.
“Well, it's not like you need it anyway,” Vyse said with a sly smile.
Don’t need it? What was this? Aika's head popped back up from his shoulder.
“Hey, what did you mean with that?” she said, frowning a little.
Vyse looked back at her; a little afraid he had broken the spell.
“Mean? Isn't that… well… obvious?”
“Because we're hopeless cases anyway?"
His eyes widened.
”No, no, no, not at all,” he said quickly. ”What I meant was that… ehm…”
He couldn't back out of this one. Having said ”A”, he had damn better to say ”B”.
”Alright. That you don't need it because… you're both cute just the way you are.”
Looks like Vyse just had turned the tide. Now it was Aika and Fina's turn to blush just a little, well, mainly Fina. It was a quite blunt thing to say, it wasn't very original either. Frankly, it was quite dweebish. But Vyse had really meant what he said, and that's what counted.
”Thanks,” smiled Aika “You're not so bad yourself either.”
How did… whoa… this mess happen anyway? Vyse thought as both gals leant closer to him.
But he didn't mind it at all.
Vyse carefully laid his arms around Aika and Fina in a soft and gentle hug, enjoyed having them near him. Aika glided just a little bit to the side, so that Fina could get up closer and get a better grip around Vyse, an occasion she gladly took advantage on.
They sat like this for a while, snuggled up against each other in a blissful moment of closeness together, neither one of them wanted to let go. Curious how seventh heaven could lie so near as in the sweet embrace of two Blue Rogues, but it wasn't just any Rogues, or girls. Vyse cared for Aika and Fina most of all in the whole world. It felt so cosy, so right, to have them near. The feeling of their warmth and closeness, the “touch” of their calm breathes against his cheeks, to hug them and be hugged in return. It made him all warm inside. If someone, whoever it was, had barged in at that moment and offered Vyse all Nasr if he came along, Vyse would have single handily kicked the person in question all the way to Valua. And that was only because he was in a good mood.
And then, finally, the inevitable happened.
”I hate to say it” Fina said, her cheek resting against Vyse's shoulder ”but we have to go and put the flowers in water. They've been lying out there for some time.” She didn't seem to be in a hurry to get up, though.
”Mmm, kinda makes me wish you've bought us plastic flowers instead,” mumbled Aika.
Then Vyse said something stupid, something really stupid. He only meant it as a joke, but that was no excuse, oh no.
”Yeah, I tried to, but they were out of stock.”
”WHAT!” They both looked at him as if they wanted to beat him in his head with both a boomerang and Cupil-club, and then drown him in the pool.
”Just kidding, just kidding,” Vyse said quickly.
Both gals smiled.
”We know that,” Aika said while Fina started to get up. ”That's why we'll only smear you with lipstick directly from the tube in the morning!”
Vyse shrugged, taking his grim fate with quite equanimity.
”It's on your own risk. Seriously, do you really want to have 'Vyse the LegendAry Tranny' as captain?”
Aika laughed so hard that she fell backwards. Fina had of course no idea what a transvestite was, much less a tranny, but the good thing with laughter is that it's always contagious. Plus, two laughers strengthen each other.
“No way,” giggled Aika. “But maybe ‘Vyse the Redfaced’!”
“Or” suggested Fina “‘Vyse the blue Rouge’?”
“Aika! See what you’ve done! Now she does it too!” Vyse tried to sound injured, but he couldn’t suppress his smile.
After their laughter died out: Fina and Aika picked up their respective flower bouquets and walked of to their rooms. Vyse's gaze followed them. When they were out of his view, he turned around so he faced the pool, then he leant back down on the ground with his hands behind his head, and let his thoughts wander just like the white clouds high above him.
It had all started as a sudden thought. As they had walked past the flower-seller in Nasrad, he thought about it over and over again. What if he would… maybe not (it might be misinterpreted), but then again, why not? He liked to see them happy, and they were both well worth a gift. Gilder had once said that all gals' hearts melt as quickly as butter in the Nasr desert if they got some flowers. Vyse hadn't said anything about it then, but he found it too cliché. Now he knew it might also depend on the one who gave them, and also the thought itself.
/I’d never thought they would be THAT happy/, he thought for himself.
Sure he had counted for a hug, but not a kiss! And not only one each, but four! OK, hadn't he denied that blush it would have stopped at two. Actually, he had liked the first ones best, and maybe Fina's second, innocent enough as they were. Vyse could still feel the touch of their delicate lips on his cheeks. Just thinking of it made a stupid smile grow across his lips, but it was his mouth and he did whatever he wanted with it. Unexpected, but most welcomed. But the best thing of it all was the look on their faces when they had got the flowers. So surprised and so joyous. Vyse knew then and there that he had made a good decision. He would’ve given himself a pat on his back if he weren’t lying down.
Maybe I should do this more often. Gotta keep the ladies happy.
He yawned and closed his eyes, wondered how the rest of the day would turn out.
A/N: In flower-language (the one I came over) jasmine means “We will be friends forever”. Quite fitting for our favourite Blue Rogues, isn’t it?