Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 9 > Practical Medicine

Out Cold

by Myshu 0 reviews

Zidane, Freya, and how to learn nothing the hard way.

Category: Final Fantasy 9 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Freya Crescent, Zidane Tribal - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2007-01-28 - Updated: 2007-01-28 - 1319 words - Complete

The Lost Continent was bloody cold.

Kuja's tracks had disappeared somewhere around the mountains, and Eiko with them.
So there they were, trekking around the base of a dead volcano, its ashes long overwritten by snow. After an exhausting hike across the tundra they reached a brown oasis, a pocket of trees warm with dying amidst the barren plains. The party burrowed so deeply into the copse that the icy gales couldn't touch their campfire, and there they stayed for the night.

Snug in her tent, Freya was trying to remember the last time she had one to herself. Not to depreciate her esteemed travelling companions, but after spending a long, stressful day with them, a small respite was in order. The privacy was courtesy of both Eiko's absence and Amarant's inclination to sleep outside, arctic conditions be damned. The burly bounty hunter had a stubborn streak as thick as his hide, so Freya spared him her concern and lent it all to Eiko.

The poor girl, lost in Kuja's clutches. He was just going to step on her eidolons on his personal ladder to power, and Freya and the others could only hope that they caught up with the villain before Kuja disposed of the child-summoner the same way he did everything that exhausted his use.

/No/, Freya assured herself, her stomach hardening around the word, /Kuja would not have his way/. She wasn't going to let him hurt anyone anymore.

She leaned back from her thoughts and snorted. A certain someone's suicidal heroism must have been rubbing off on her. She didn't need to waste precious rest on worry, anyway. Her blanket was thick, her pillow firm and her belly warm with a potion--a cozy bunk on the Blue Narciss it wasn't, but gaining the feeling back in her frozen toes was luxury enough.

She was drifting between dreams when the flap of her tent rustled suspiciously.


/That was the wind/, her chilled brain resolved, and she sighed back into oblivion.

"Psst. F-Freya. Come oooon Freya, wake up. G-God damn, it's f-freezing out here," the wind persisted.

Grumbling fiercely, she kicked out of the covers, leaned forward and snapped back the flimsy door. Right outside appeared Zidane, on this hands and knees in the dirt like a stranded mutt.

"U-Um," he introduced, quaking in spurts, "This is gonna s-sound a little crazy..."

"From you, it always does," Freya curtly remarked, already resenting the frigid air intruding on her nice, cozy tent. Once her sight adjusted to the moon-dusted campsite, she couldn't help but notice that her friend was clad only in his undershorts.

She blinked numbly. "...Where are your clothes?"

"Y-Yeah..." he responded slowly, "It's a-about that."

After he didn't elaborate, Freya shook herself awake and hustled him inside. "Oh get in here and out of the cold already, you imbecile."

Zidane immediately dove for the blankets, turning twice in place as he wrapped up. Sitting in a tight knot to one side of the tent, only a blonde tuft and long tail poking out of the blanket, he looked like a sahagin in hiding. His fluffy appendage coiled once around him and then knotted into itself.

"Unbelievable," Freya huffed as she reclaimed the other blanket. "What happened? Why did you wake me up? You still haven't told me where in the world your clothes went."

"They're back by my tent, laying out to dry," the blanket spoke.

"And... why?" Freya prodded him.

The pile of wool shifted until Zidane's face reappeared. "You know that pond over there, where we got our water from?"

"Yes..." she answered warily.

"Well, I got up to take a piss--"
"This is already more than I wanted to know."
"--and I kinda slipped on the rocks and, uh, fell in."

She stared hard at him. "You fell in the pond."

"Ye-e-e-eah." He shook all over for emphasis. "Kinda got soaked. I did as much as I could, but, y'know. Pants probably won't be dry until morning."

"And this is my problem, how?"

She almost swore she saw him blush through the darkness. "Well, um, I was wondering, if, uh, you wouldn't mind if we, maybe... Can I sleep with you? Pleeease? You're warm."

"Oh, for the love of Reis." Freya gruffly turned her back, flopped onto her pillow and tucked herself in.

"Is that a no?" Zidane squeaked.

Freya let him stew for a minute, seriously considering resuming her privacy, until she relented. She slapped the mat beside her with her whip-like tail. "Come on."

"Yeeeeah thank you thank you thank you," he quietly sang as he wiggled into place.

She gave him a minute to get comfortable before she wondered, "Why me?"


"Why do you always come to me with these things?"

"Do I really have to explain?"

"Indulge me."

She could feel a slight tug on the blankets as Zidane sat up on his elbow. "Well, let's see. I'd bother Vivi, except he already has enough trouble getting to sleep and--no offense to him--he's a nine-year-old Black Mage, neither of which can help me. He also kinda smells like old pork left in a fireplace--don't know if you've noticed."

Freya opened her mouth, trying to look for something in that sentence to chastise him for, but he continued without her.

"I'd go to Quina if I wasn't afraid of getting eaten in my sleep, and I'd sooner wipe my butt with one of his-her-and-or-its crusty old sporks than wake Rusty up for anything, including and perhaps especially the entire forest burning down all around us."

She clamped a hand over her muzzle, sniggering something terrible.

"Even if Eiko was here, I'd rather not give her any more wrong ideas than she already has/; Amarant would sooner /throw me back into the water than look twice at me, and it's probably going to be a really long time before Dagger lets me in the sack, so you're all I've got left."

It was the best Freya could to maintain a healthy deadpan. "I am deeply, deeply flattered, Zidane Tribal."

"Any time," he said cheerfully, falling back into place behind her.

"Mmm-hmm. Go to sleep."

"Plus," he added belatedly, "You're warm and fuzzy. And don't snore." He teasingly nuzzled her shoulder blade. His cold nose mingled with warm breath to give her goosebumps. "And you smell like pears, did you know that?"

She chuckled despite herself. "I said go to sleep!"

"Pears that fell in the mud."

"If you don't shut up I'm going to beat you."

"And got eaten by a wet dog."

She promptly reached over, grabbed her purse and pummelled him with it. He merely rolled through the blows, laughing. "Hehehe--ow ow--hehe--ow--hehehe--ow holy crap woman--ow--hehe--what do you keep in--ow--there--ow--rocks?"

"You are going to behave if you're going to keep sharing a bed with me," she stopped the assault long enough to warn him.

"Yes'm, I surrender," he agreed playfully enough, and Freya packed the blunt weapon away.

"Really though," he whispered once she settled back down, "I appreciate the way you've put up with me. I know I'm a royal pain-in-the-butt."

She closed her eyes and huffed in good humor, "To say the least."

"Heh. Maybe Dagger will someday say that about me, if ya know what I mean."

"You're a scoundrel. Go to sleep."

Thus they lay together, staying warm and thawing out, respectively--he wasn't kidding about freezing, she noticed. Eventually Zidane's shivering breath grew placid like slumber, and she let herself relax. One of these nights, the Dragon Knight lamented, they were going to have a nice camping trip--no sand scorpion stings, no dislocated shoulders, no Kuja and no wet pants.

Freya bolted upright with a furious epiphany.

"Wait a second, you were going to--" she sputtered, "In that pond? Where we /got our drinking water/?"
Sign up to rate and review this story