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Go Back to Sleep

Fandom: Final Fantasy XII
Title: Go Back to Sleep
Author/Artist: iceprincessd
Theme(s): #19 homebody; bubbles; stay
Pairing/Characters: Balthier/Ashe
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer/claimer: Balthier and Ashe do not belong to me. Property of Square Enix.
Summary: Honestly, let one fiend take a swipe at her while reloading your pistol and you’re marked for life.


The weak, pre-morning light was trying its best to filter through the lone window in the room Balthier was staying in. It was a rare pleasure to have an actual room to himself – he was usually paired up with Vaan whenever they had enough gil to afford rooms. Penelo was a seemingly sweet girl, but Balthier found out that she had a thinly veiled mean streak. She had lied when she promised him Vaan went to sleep right away and slept quietly through the night. After the first inn, Balthier’s ears had been talked off and then just as he had been drifting off to sleep, he had been jarred awake by the horrendous sound of Vaan snoring. At least out in the field the boy had some survival instinct that kept him from snoring. In camp, Balthier always made certain that his bedroll was the furthest from him.

To top it all off, Miss Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed herself had asked how he had slept with the most innocent look on her face as she fixed her braids that morning after.

Honestly, let one fiend take a swipe at her while reloading your pistol and you’re marked for life. He imagined that if it had been Basch who had dropped the ball instead that Penelo would have instantly forgiven him and not even dreamt about using Dalmascan Snoring Torture as a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

But back to his current room. They had upgraded all of their gear the night before and found out they still had a surplus of gil. He’d be the first to admit that the money was burning a hole in his pocket and had suggested that they all sleep somewhere besides the Strahl. As much as he loved his ship, he was in need of a change in scenery.

Plus it was easier to sneak in and out of Ashe’s room than it was to smuggle her out of his private quarters without anyone noticing. As much as he had wanted her to stay an entire night, it was virtually impossible to do so in such close confines. And since he had been the one to speak to the innkeeper, he had gotten his top pick of rooms, delegating the walking buzz saw disguised as a pirate in training to a room far, far away from his.

He yawned, stretching his arms over his head. His back creaked and popped with the movement, making him wince slightly before scrubbing his face with a hand.

“Your hair is sticking up,” Ashe commented, stirring at his side and reclining on an elbow.

He pulled his eyes away from the way the sheets pooled around her body. “Yours is too,” he teased, grinning when she tried to tame the bed head mess.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you anything other than perfectly groomed before. It’s a shock.” Her hand went to his face, her fingers catching on the stubble at his jaw.

“I’ll get to that,” he said, turning his head to drop a kiss on her palm. They were speaking in hushed tones, as if anything louder would break the intimate setting they were in.

“Don’t.” She tilted her head. “At least not yet. I like it.”

He traced a finger over her lips, liking the way her eyes went hazy and her breath hitched. “Whisker burns don’t become you, Princess.”

“This is true, but I do happen to like the man who gave them to me, so I don’t mind them much.” She stretched, putting her arms around his neck. “It’s getting late. I should go.”

“The sun hasn’t even come up yet.” He shifted so his chin was resting on her shoulder. “Stay a little longer.” He watched as she caught her bottom lip between her teeth and thought her options over.

She moved closer to him, one of her legs going over his. “I guess a while more wouldn’t hurt.”

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