Of course, at this point, I suppose I should be more surprised about the identity of our damsel in distress. [Written for Bottle_of_shine's Kissing Battle on LJ; warning for mild use of Yaoi Logic.]f
Vaan glared up at him, looking a little battered but generally none-the-worse for wear. "I didn't ask for your help."
"Oh, I know. But we were in the area, and it seemed you could use some." Balthier put his gun down in the grass, and leaned down. "Your hand."
Vaan continued to glare at him for a few moments, then tucked his treasure - a pendant, as far as Balthier could tell, and he would have to have words with Penelo about letting Vaan be so obvious - into the sash around his waist and reached up. Between Balthier lifting (and nearly sliding over the edge himself for his troubles), and Vaan's scrambling, they managed to get him out of his hole, although not without some casualties.
"Stop fussing," Vaan groaned, seeing Balthier's mournful look at his cuffs as they stood up. "I mean, you can wash them, can't you?" He touched the small bulge at the side of his hip, as though to check he hadn't lost it, and Balthier was mildly reassured to find that the boy hadn't lost all touch with common sense, despite his apparant urge to go to Archadian houses - heavily guarded Archadian houses at that - without an invitation.
"Oh, I'm sure I could." He could hear the whine of a hover - either Fran or Penelo, although he wouldn't have put money on which. "As a thought, Vaan, do you know what the correct response from a damsel in distress is, once her distress has been taken care of?"
"Knock it off," Vaan grumbled, and barely a heatbeat later "Why would I know something like that?"
"You seem to enjoy the role of knight in shining armour - I would have thought you'd tried rescuing more accomodating damsels than our queen since I last saw you." Balthier shook his head, mock-disappointed. "I was expecting recompense - I didn't know you were as lacking in this area as you were -"
"Okay, okay, I got it. What do you want?"
Balthier smirked, and was rewarded by Vaan paling slightly under the dust on his face before Balthier leaned in and kissed him, one hand curled around the back of Vaan's neck and the other on his waist. Vaan froze, fingers suddenly digging into the brocade of Balthier's waistcoat at his shoulders, before sliding down Balthier's sides. Balthier smiled slightly against Vaan's mouth, before kissing him again with far more thoroughness than distracting a few Imperials and fishing him out of a hole could possibly warrant. Only when he was sure Vaan wasn't paying attention to his hands did he dare shift them along his waist.
They broke away from each other only when the hovers - two, practically racing each other, Fran on one and Penelo the other - crested the rise. Penelo swung to a stop, and Fran carried on; Balthier snatched up his gun and leapt on as she passed. He waved back over his shoulder, Vaan's treasure - a rather impressive pendant that numbed in fingers in the way manufacted nethicite had, and where exactly had the boy been robbing again? - dangling from his fist.
Vaan waved back, holding up Balthier's money pouch. The one that contained the gil from their last few heists.
"You were careless," Fran observed, glancing back.
"Oh, not really. After all, this is much more valuble." He hooked the pendant around his neck. "Where can we stop until we sort out a way to carry this without breaking the hover?"