And BTW, thanks for all the reviews the last time around! Nothing inspires your friendly neighborhood fanfic writer more, especially around the holidays.
Title: The Bloom Upon the Bough, Chapter 2-- The Comedic Interlude!
Fandom: Final Fantasy XII
Pairings: Penelo X Larsa X Vaan friendship
Rating: PG-13 (Tentacle Monsters Ahoy!)
Summary: "Did you ever wonder," Vaan said one day, out of the blue, "where on earth Larsa keeps all of his potions?" An ongoing series of drabbles featuring Penelo and Larsa continues.
"Did you ever wonder," Vaan said one day, out of the blue, "where on earth Larsa keeps all of his potions?"
Blinking, Penelo stood back to stare properly at him. It was a nice enough day on the Giza Plains, if one didn't mind massive torrential rains, a side-quest cooked up by the most sadistic level designers since the ones in Dragon Quest, and terrifying elementals that seemed to like to chase innocent people with a pressing need for pocket change all over the place.
(But those were probably more Penelo's issue's speaking than anything else.)
Still, it was a nice enough day on the Giza plains, Penelo's massive hissy fit with miscreant game developers aside, when Vaan had interrupted an otherwise peaceful (in the sense that almost everything around them had been enthusiastically killed) stroll about the place with his question.
Looking up from her bored search around the plains perimeter (where the HELL was that last withered tree, anyway?! the best part of whatever game developer had come up with that ran down his mother's legs), Penelo pondered. And pondered. And pondered some more. Finally, face screwed up tight in concentration, she had to admit, "I don't know. I never really bothered to think about that."
In the midst of scuffing more mud into the already dirty river waters, Vaan turned at Penelo with a frown. Penelo bravely overlooked the innate hilarity of watching him try to think. "Seriously? You never noticed all those times he practically pulled a pharmacy out of nowhere and saved our rear? Even when he kept us alive during that one time we tried to fight that stupid white blobby thing and we had to restart from our last save point-- which wasn't even in the sewers-- when the stuff with tentacles kicked out butts before we could touch him?"
It still upset Penelo to remember how close she had come to death by halitosis. "Those were called Marlboros and you were the one who was responsible for that. It took Fran weeks to get all the slime out of her hair and I still think she's planning to kill you in your sleep for taking her along then."
This time, it was Vaan who shrugged. "Who knew that bunny girls wouldn’t get along so well with things with tentacles? But it's still weird though-- Larsa, not the bunny girls. Although I guess they're pretty creepy too. How the hell do they even make misanthropic little bunny babies without guys around?"
It was times like these when Penelo was tempted to throttle her very best friend in the world just a little bit. "We're not even up to the Viera side-quest part of the plot yet. Do you want the author of this to smack you upside the head in the next chapter for not following the storyline?"
Vaan just shrug it off. "Like she could do anything worse than what someone in Japan is drawing about me right now. But, think about it-- how the hell can Larsa even afford to be a drug dealer's nightmare? We couldn't even afford *one* high potion the last time we went to Rabanastre-- and that was only two days ago."
That, at least, was something Penelo could answer, hands on her hips and voice pitched into that know-it-all tone she knew would drive Vaan nuts. "That's because you decided to spend all our money on, I quote, 'that kick-ass pole I can't even use yet but I'm sure I'll get the points for soon!' As though you didn't already steal a Deathbringer. And I don't know if you've realized this yet, Vaan, but he's sort of like, you know, *royalty.* He's Emperor Gramis' son, for god's sake! His pocket change alone is probably worth more than what we managed to rob off that elemental a while back."
They paused to share a look of quiet desperation with each other. Poor Basch always had been the bravest of them all. It was a real pity that the last shopping trip had left no money for a spare phoenix down.
"Still," Vaan muttered, not even bothering to try and look for another stupid tree to chop down and shove into the river, "that still doesn't explain where he keeps them. He's so tiny and he uses so many and I just can't figure out how that'd work."
Penelo just shrugged and slung her gun off her shoulder, already seeing the faint shape of another walking LP point in the distance. "Who cares? And who really thinks any of us make good clothing choices anyway? You can't afford a shirt, I can't put on a pair of pants, and I'm not even going to go into what the hell Ashe wears from the waist down. As long as Larsa's willing to be the manliest twelve year old ever the next time we meet, I'm not going to worry about where he keeps any of his potions."
"Yeah," Vaan finally said. "Larsa's pretty tough for a kid who's voice hasn't even cracked yet. And I guess if he ever ran out of pockets, he could always store some up his--"
Even as a child, Penelo had known that Vaan would lead an interesting life. It was a real pity that it had ended out of nowhere.