Balthier is the epitome of suave... unless he's chocobo riding. (Vaan/Balthier drabble).
Vaan stretched his hands up towards the sun, feeling a pleasant crick in his back. He was enjoying this rare moment relaxation as he, Fran, and Balthier slowly made their way across the Ozmone Plain on chocoboback. Fran was in the lead as she was the one with the best scouting skills. Vaan was riding a few feet behind her chocobo and Balthier…
“Damn bloody bird!”
Vaan swiveled around to see Balthier fighting with his chocobo… again. This happened every time they rented chocobos. Balthier severely disliked chocobos and the feeling was obviously mutual. At the moment Balthier’s chocobo was trying its damndest to veer off the trail and the pirate was trying just as hard to keep it on track.
“Bloody hell!” Balthier cussed again as his chocobo whipped its head around and bit the man on the foot.
“Perhaps it can sense your negative energy.” Fran said, still facing front and fighting hard to keep the amusement out of her tone. “You should try being more pleasant.”
“Who could be pleasant when they have a smarting foot?” Balthier grumbled.
Vaan smirked, his chocobo warbled, and the blond turned to face the front again.
Balthier went zooming by as his chocobo suddenly decided to sprint. It cut Vaan’s chocobo off, making it squawk angrily, then veered off the trail towards a tree.
“The feathery bastard is trying to kill me!” Balthier exclaimed, pulling hard on the reins to make the chocobo turn.
Vaan cringed and waited for the dull thud that meant the chocobo had run Balthier into a tree… again, but it never came. The sky pirate managed to make the giant bird cooperate at the last second and they missed the tree by inches. However a small branch still managed to smack the man in the face, leaving a shallow cut across the bridge of his nose.
“I hate chocobos.” He muttered, cheeks turning slightly red in embarrassment.
Fran tried to hold in a laugh and snorted loudly instead. Balthier shot a glare at his partner then rejoined the queue behind Vaan. The blond was mesmerized by Fran’s swaying ponytail so he wasn’t sure what happened, but suddenly Balthier’s chocobo had sprinted off again, running in wild circles and trying its hardest to buck Balthier off.
Fran turned to face Vaan, “Go and rescue him won’t you? I would do it myself, but I fear my own raucous laughter would distract me.”
Vaan grinned, “Yes’m.”
The blond urged his chocobo forward, who eyed the scene before it warily and perhaps with a little amusement for its feathered companion. Balthier was flat against the chocobo’s back with his arms wrapped tightly around its neck, hanging on for dear life. The pirate’s chocobo was making an unholy racket, warking and kwehing and stomping its feet. It hopped around angrily like a child throwing a tantrum and banana-yellow feathers flew every which way. Vaan surveyed the scene then nodded and carefully moved his chocobo alongside Balthier’s.
“Give me your hand.” He said, holding his hand out to the older man.
Balthier reached out and grabbed Vaan’s hand. Sensing the sky pirate’s weakened grip around its neck the chocobo bucked harder than ever, sending Balthier flying. The momentum knocked both Vaan and Balthier off the blond’s chocobo and they landed in a tangled heap on the grass.
“Ouch!!” Balthier cried as his chocobo gave him a hard knock on the head with its beak.
Then, in another storm of anger-molted feathers, Balthier’s chocobo sprinted off back towards Jahara. Vaan’s chocobo kwehed worriedly and rubbed Vaan’s cheek with its beak.
“Vaan, you all right?” Balthier asked.
“Excellent.” The blond groaned, sitting up.
Fran rode up and looked down at the pair, “Are you two all right?”
“Yes. No thanks to that bloody beast.” Her partner replied, feeling the egg-sized lump forming on the top of his head.
“You will have to ride with Vaan now.” The Viera said. “We still have a long way to go and it is too far to go on foot.”
Vaan gently touched his fingers to the lump on Balthier’s head and murmured a Cure spell.
“Thank-you.” Balthier said.
Vaan stood and pulled Balthier to his feet.
“Are you sure your bird won’t go berserk?” He asked, eyeing the chocobo suspiciously.
Vaan shrugged, “We’ll find out now won’t we? Hop on.”
Balthier sighed heavily and swung up onto the bird’s back. It ruffled its feathers a bit, but didn’t do anything otherwise.
“Slide back, would you?” Vaan said. “I’m driving.”
The pirate grudgingly moved back and Vaan mounted the space in front of him. The blond took up the reins and gave them a gentle flick. The chocobo seemed tenser than it did when it was just Vaan sitting on it, but the blond’s presence in addition to Balthier’s seemed to balance everything out. The bird did not act up. Satisfied that they were on their way again, Fran took up lead position and they plodded on.
“Hmn…” Vaan hummed amusedly as he felt Balthier’s hands clasp his waist.
“Care to let me in on the delight?” Balthier asked.
“Oh, just reveling in the fact that, for once, you’re MY wench.”
Balthier rolled his eyes. This was going to be a looong journey.
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