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Ghosts

Title: Ghosts
Author: iceprincessd
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: emotions (#9 boredom)
Characters/Pairing: Basch (claim); Larsa; original characters
Warnings: end of game spoilers, slight adult content, Basch/Original Character
Summary: “Your brother, Basch? Did he have a family?”
Author's Note: Ever since the first time I saw Basch, I wanted to give him a family. He’s thirty-four at the beginning of the game; I figured that even as a career military man, he had settled down with someone. Written mostly to appease my inner fangirl, even if it did come out angstier than I had originally planned.



“Gabranth?”

“My lord?” It was a rainy day in Archades, the sky nearly the same color as Basch’s armor. Seven months had passed since he had taken on Noah’s mantle of protector, and he was satisfied that things had gone well.

“I was wondering,” It wasn’t like Larsa to stall. “Your brother, Basch?”

Basch turned from the window and looked at the young Emperor. Even after seven months, it was odd to talk about himself as if in third person. “Yes?”

“Did he have a family?”

Basch took an involuntary step backwards. He didn’t know if it was boredom or plain curiosity or an attempt to know his new guardian better, but the question cut him to the quick.

“Our mother died over fifteen years ago.” He had been in Dalmasca. Noah had sent him a letter, furious about the way he had abandoned kin for a king he shouldn’t have been loyal to. “Our father had passed on many years before that.” They had been six, determined to be the men of the house. Basch couldn’t remember how his father had looked like, though his mother had often said how much both boys favored him.

“Is that the only family then?”

Basch turned away and stared out the window. Rain slicked down the glass obscuring his view of the city. “A son.” Gafin, small and wailing in his birthing blankets, pale blond hair almost like fuzz atop his head. Basch, fearless in battle and the scourge of his enemies, deathly afraid to hold on too tightly for fear of hurting his infant son. “He is your age now; he will be thirteen in a month and a half.” Gafin, learning how to sit up, the wooden chocobo Basch had painstakingly carved tight in his chubby little hands. Gafin, determined to learn to run before he could properly walk. Gafin, who would curl up at Basch’s side to sleep when nightmares visited, who ran, arms flung wide to greet Basch on his days of leave, who had wanted everyone to know that his father was the Basch fon Ronsenburg. His son, whom he trained in swordplay with wooden blades during the day and ran his fingers through the boy’s hair as he slept at night.

He closed his eyes, remembering the last time he had seen him. It was rushed; he needed to reach Nalbina and their king before the treaty had been signed.

“I will protect Mother until you return.” At ten, Gafin was already starting to grow, though he had resembled a lanky beanpole at the time, all height and hardly any substance. Basch had reached out and put a hand on his shoulder, resisting the fatherly urge to muss his hair, which was as golden as his own.

“I know that you will.” He had given into temptation then, gathering his boy to his chest for a hasty hug. “Be sure to mind her as well.”

“I will."

“Gabranth?”

Basch blinked. “My lord?”

“Are you all right?”

He nodded, giving Larsa a faint, barely there smile. “I am. Apologies, I was miles away.” He cleared his throat. “Is there anything you need of me before I leave?” He was setting out as part of a diplomatic party to Rozarria. While there, he would try to dig up as much information as he could behind the scenes for Larsa.

Larsa knew when to drop a subject, thankfully. “No. Have a safe trip.”

Several hours later, ensconced in his private quarters aboard the airship, Basch stared at the files in front of him. According to his informants, Gafin was healthy and settling in as a delivery boy in Balfonheim. He also did odd jobs around the port city, the extra gil earned helping out his mother.

His mother. Basch had been grateful that Larsa hadn’t asked about her. When he had been branded a traitor and supposedly executed, the marriage contract between he and his wife had been voided. Also according to his informants – and he didn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt about using the resources available to him for personal reasons – she made a tidy living working in the combined protective and weapon shops. Both she and their son had been living in the small apartments above the shop for two years.

His fingers tightened on the report. They had been there, right under his nose, all those months ago and he hadn’t known it. While reaching the Pharos had been of the utmost importance, he would have liked to have been reunited with his family, to let them know that he was still alive. He grit his teeth in frustration and set the report aside.

Added to the report were several detailed sketches of both his wife and son, which he had run his fingers over again and again. “Gwen.” Her hair was longer than it had been that last day. She had a scarf tied around it now, the ends of the material brushing her shoulders. Even though the picture was done in black ink, Basch didn’t need color to remember the way her light brown hair had always shone in the sunlight or how it had felt running through his fingers and across his bare chest.

He closed his eyes, recalling the soft texture of her skin, the way the curve of her hip fit perfectly in his hand as they lay spooned together in their bed, her back to his front. He didn’t need a picture to remind him of the way her lips felt against his or how she would contentedly run her hands through his hair as he rested his head on her chest, sweat cooling on both their bodies. Two years away from her had not erased all the years of memories.

“Don’t go,” she had pleaded, even as she held his shield in her hands. “I have a bad feeling.”

“I must go,”
he had replied, buckling on his sword belt. “It is my duty.” He should have listened to her; in all the years of marriage and even when he was merely courting her, she had never asked him to stay.

He had framed her face with his hands and kissed her, hoping to assuage her fears. “I will come back to you, I give you my word.”

Opening his eyes, he sighed at his broken promise. Reluctantly setting aside his past – the pictures tucking neatly under his breastplate and into the jerkin he wore underneath – he picked up another document detailing spice smuggling by Rozarrian privateers. He made notes in the margins, focusing now on his future.

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