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Maybe I'm Paranoid

Title: Maybe I’m Paranoid
Rating: G
Summary: He had a sneaking suspicion someone was following him.
Note: Pre-game. Basch is around eighteen or nineteen here. Also, as far as I know, Ivalice doesn’t have zippers, hence the lace faux pas reference. *wink* For night_is_fallen, because Bashful!Basch was just too cute to pass up.


The back of Basch’s neck prickled uncomfortably. He had the sneaking suspicion that someone was following him, and had been doing so for quite some time. The first feeling of uneasiness had occurred in the Southern Plaza, where he had been joking around with a guard he knew near the fountain. Summertime in Rabanastre was blistering hot like usual, and he was grateful that he was able to dress in lighter clothing on his day of leave. The heavy armor that reflected the sun’s rays back towards him was left on its stand in his rooms. The breeze ruffled his hair and flowed through the thin linen shirt he wore, the first couple of buttons undone on account of the heat.

Winding his way through the bazaar, he stopped at a stall and pretended to be interested in the tapestry cloth the merchant was selling. He stood still and listened, his ears filtering through the usual din of bargain-seekers haggling with storefront owners to see if he could pinpoint anything out of the ordinary. A barely noticeable turn of his foot had him standing in profile, his eyes raking over a stand of goods to find a girl of around eight looking up at him. She was trying to be stealthy, half-hiding behind a cart selling food on skewers. He smiled at her, puzzled when her face turned bright red and she darted off in the opposite direction.

In the North End, he could have sworn that the Viera who stood near the entrance to a building had stared. He was more interested in the odd insignia next to the door though and nodded politely as he passed.

He had heard news of a traveling music troupe coming through the night before. Stopping into the Sandsea, he spent an enjoyable hour or so listening. They were very good; the woman who sang the majority of their love ballads had a beautiful voice. He sat back and listened as she launched into another song, this one about a girl pining for a handsome boy. Unless his eyes deceived him, she had stared right at him. He dismissed it almost as soon as the thought entered his head; it was a trick that many performers probably learned, making a large crowd suddenly dwindle down to a more intimate level for any one of their listeners. He applauded with the rest of the tavern when they were through and added his own piece of gil when the guitarist’s hat was passed around.

Basch finally made his way down to the protective shop. He didn’t need anything, seeing that he owned his own armor, but it didn’t stop him from looking. The proprietor’s daughter was reason enough for him. His eyes flicked over to where she stood with another customer before moving back to the case full of armor, the bronze shining brightly in the lantern light.

A high pitched giggle to his left drew his attention. Two girls around his age were standing together near a display of silk shirts, one red-faced and trying to hush the other, who had her hand clapped over her mouth to stifle her laugh. He had an uncomfortable realization that they were looking at him, which made him wonder if there was something wrong. He eyed the girls before wandering towards the back of the shop, wondering what was making one of them nervously giggle and the other sigh dramatically. Thoughts of trousers and improper lacing ran through his mind, making the tips of his ears burn.

“Can I help you?” Basch swallowed hard, trying to come up with an excuse for being there. He was a soldier for goodness sake; he’d fought battles and faced fiends. Talking to a girl – a very pretty one, he couldn’t help but remind himself – shouldn’t be so difficult.

He inwardly slapped himself in the forehead when he stammered off a request for a shield he didn’t need, his fingers brushing her palm as he paid her. “Could you help me with something?” he asked, hooking his money pouch back into his belt.

“What is it?”

His eyes slid over to the girls who were now openly staring at him. They caught him watching them and turned away quickly. “Is there something wrong with the way I look? I’ve been getting really odd stares today.” He instantly regretted asking, because the girl – Gwen, his brain supplied – slowly looked him in the eye, her cheeks pink. He watched as she bit her lip, then shook her head.

“I don’t see anything wrong,” she replied, rocking back on her heels. “I don’t think you have to worry about how you look, Basch.”

He was so surprised that she knew his name that he could only mumble his thanks before leaving the shop, his new shield in hand. The prickling sensation was back and he looked over his shoulder in time to see Gwen looking at him with a wistful expression on her face. Caught, she busied herself with organizing a pile of caps, the pink on her cheeks darkening. Her eyes flicked back to him though and she gave him a shy smile.

Basch smiled back, happy for the first time that day that he had caught someone staring at him.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
whomever
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Adorable Basch is adorable. <3 I love reading about him pre-martyrdom. And I have this weird thing where I actually adore reading about canon characters and OCs, providing the OCs don't suck. Would you kill me if I said I'd like to read more of this Gwen and Basch, despite doubting it will come to fruition? ♥ Ruvly.
iceprincessd
Feb. 23rd, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
Adorable!Basch is fun to write.

More Gwen/Basch? She kinda showed up within five minutes of my first play-through of the game when I was still "I don't know who you are, Mister Scruffy Blond Knight, but I think I love you and I've decided that you need a girlfriend, if you don't already have one."

So yeah, there's a couple more ideas bouncing around in my head for them. I've been halfway contemplating doing a table over at lover100 for a few months now, but that's a really daunting challenge.
whomever
Feb. 25th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
You could always pick up something smaller, like 30_fantasies or 13drabbles. There's tons out there.

Either way, if you do continue, you're sure to have me reading!
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
Ahhh! I don't know how I missed this!

But okay. This was so freakin' adorable x adorable to the adorableth power. Ha! XD

It was so very very IC for Basch, I can imagine him reacting this very way to the stares of pretty much EVER FEMALE in Rabanastre. And the idea of him blushing is just so fscking cute.

I want to make him blush. I mean, huh? What? Who said that? *looks around*

Good work, lady! XD
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
I have a feeling that Teen!Basch was just one adorable kid. (and now I've made myself feel old by refering to a 17-18 year old as a "kid". Oy.)
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm so excited for the part in my fic where he gets to tell Pen about growing up in Landis with Noah. I am going to have SO MUCH FUN with that ... of course, there will be a lot of angst there, too.

But still. Teenaged!Ronsentwins. Mwahahahaha.
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
I CANNOT WAIT FOR THAT PART. Ronsentwins for the win!
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
I am definitely making Basch the troublemaker and Noah the stick in the mud. For the lulz. And because I can totally see it in my mind, as well. I mean, it just seems logical. Obviously, when they get older and things go to shit, everything changes. But growing up? Oh, definitely. ;)
bossy_muses
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Poor Noah. My like (because he still hasn't made it into love quite just yet) for him makes me feel bad whenever there's a scene where he's doing a bunch of talking behind his helmet. I keep waiting for him to rasp out "Basch, I am your brother!" or something a la Darth Vader.

(aww, damn. I forgot I logged into this user name on this window. I fail at multitasking.)
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm really pretty indifferent to Noah. I don't really like the guy, but a few conversations with some people has stopped me from flat-out hating his guts. I mean, the dude sold out his brother. His twin brother. And being that I happen to harbor an all-consuming love for that particular twin, makes me not so friendly to him. LOL But the fact that Basch doesn't seem to hate him, makes me not really hate him either. ;)

But I do enjoy Gabranth/Drace fics, and I'm pretty much convinced that there was something going on there. About the only time I could deal with him in-game is when he was talking to Drace about Larsa. Every other time, I was just mad at him. LOL
bossy_muses
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
I like the potential Noah has. I mean, there's got to be some backstory that we'll never see as to why he sold Basch out and why he's so damn bitter.

I'm probably mixing my metaphors, but it's like after the fall of Landis, there were two paths to take. Basch took one, Noah took the other. And maybe because they were twins and they've been acting as a single unit for a while, it really tore him up that Basch didn't go with him. He could see that in itself as a sort of betrayal.

And I can't remember where I read it, but somewhere someone said that the reason Noah went to Archades in the first place was because their mother had been from there and he had either wanted to keep ties with his family's memory or that she was still alive but sick (I wish I could remember)

I don't know. I like poking at characters with sticks and seeing what other facets of their personalities they don't show are there.
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Oh, I hear ya. I definitely think Noah's got lots of potential, and I'm anxious to see what comes out when I start writing about Basch's formative years. Because I know something's going to jump out and bite me on the ass. LOL

I heard that about Noah, too. Their mother was sick and dying, and for some reason, Basch left, but Noah stayed behind with her. Which is why he is so angry, I'm assuming. And I think that Basch became very duty-oriented after that faux pas. I don't think Basch as a young man was the Basch we know IN-GAME. I think he probably made some bad decisions and is now repenting for them.

Boy. It's getting deep in here! XD
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Quick! To the liferafts!

I just went awfully angsty with a grown up in-game Gwen/Basch that I'm going to be scrapping.

Where's Vaan for comedic relief when we need him?
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Vaan: "Uhhh, how old were you again?"

I still headdesk every time I get to that part in-game. Oh, the pain. LOL

Personally? I kind of like the idea that Basch did some craptastic stuff in his youth, that it's a dark time for him. It makes the fact of who he ended up BECOMING all that more poignant and effective, at least to me.

Plus? Gives rise (ahem) to all that aggressive!Basch we so want to see. He's got a lot of guilt/anger/repressed emotions to work off.

Oh, god. The moogles, they are back. Penelo might be in a little bit of trouble later on in my fic. ;) Not that she'll complain.

Mwahahahaha
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
"Smooth, Vaan."

Hahahah! KUPO! Oh, I'm sure she'll enjoy endure whatever trouble she'll find herself in. ;)
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
LOL I love that you used "endure". The word is STAMINA, people. The man's got it. Take from that what you will. ;) My icon? He's not LEGENDARY for his battle skills alone, you know. XD
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
You know, now I really can't wait for that part in your story. *grin*
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, there's still a long way to go before they get down-n-dirty. ;) But there will be more illicit smooching(-and-more!) before that. So at least there is SOMETHING to look forward to in the near future.

Damn this pairing for having to have such a long explanation and build-up. They cannot just have sex because the sun is shining. Which is no fun, because, well, I like smut for no good reason. ;) But I think that the smuttiness in this fic will be worth the wait. XD
iceprincessd
Feb. 27th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Sex for sex's sake is always fun, but so are the building up to it moments.

Between yours and Jamie's stories, I'm reading the last few chapters of each over just to get my fic fix. :D
night_is_fallen
Feb. 27th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
I'm working on my next chapter. Won't have it up till at least tomorrow, since it's another MONSTER. (Probably going to be close to 4,000/5,000 words when it's all done.)

I'm just glad people are READING it and liking it and not stoning me for writing such a "cracky" pairing. For the record, I don't think it's cracky, and I take it very seriously. XD I think there was enough IN-GAME interaction between the two of them to build off of. But that could just be me. lol

Also? I talk to much! XD
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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