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[Luxord/Aeris] [~To Ivalice~] [G]

Scene Title: To Ivalice
Scene Rating: G
Warnings: None
Characters: Aeris, Luxord, Balthier, Fran, and a number of Moogles
Short Summary: Aeris and Luxord arrive in Balfonheim and meet Balthier and his crew before flying off to see the rest of Ivalice.

*Ping!* This is your captain speaking. We're coming in for landing at Balfonheim International. Weather is a sunny 78 degrees, with a slight wind from the north. The current time is 10:52 AM. A reminder, please keep your cell phones and other electronic devices turned off until the plane has landed. Please remain seated until the plane comes to a full stop, and as always, thank you for traveling with IvaliceAir today. *ping! ping!*

"I think my leg fell asleep," Luxord remarked as he stood up, yawned, stretched, and started to retrieve his luggage from the overhead bin. Sure enough, he stumbled a little as he began to fight with the other passengers to escape the vessel. With a little struggle, and a few muttered curses, both of their carry-ons were retrieved. 
"Ready to embark on one of the grandest adventures yet?" he remarked, holding out Aeris' luggage for her.

Luxord made his way into the terminal and through customs without a hitch. Granted, it took 45 minutes, but he made it through without too many questions. As soon as he passed the security checkpoint, he began looking around, almost anxiously. His eyes lit up while a large grin settled on his face. Another man with began to stroll over towards Luxord, a small smirk forming. The new man had dusty hair and was far tanner, with a slightly weathered look about him. The two embraced with a handshake/manly hug until Luxord broke it up with a nicely timed headlock-noogie combination.

A slight scuffle and two interesting new hairdos later, Luxord waved Aeris over while trying to smooth his hair down again. "Miss Aeris, may I have the honour of introducing you to this scoundrel of the skies? This is Balthier, captain of the Strahl and my closest comrade-in-arms."

Once the plane had touched down, and the other passengers had stood, Aeris also rose to her feet. She had flown a few times before, so she had thankfully rid herself of the airsickness she always seemed to get before. Though, the fact that she was asleep, like her companion had been, for 75% of the flight might have helped her stomach. It certainly had kept her mind off how high above the ground they were. 

Unlike Luxord and quite a few of the other passengers, Aeris didn't have much trouble getting about after gathering her luggage from the overhead compartment. Again, that was most likely due to her being asleep. She couldn't help but laugh as Luxord and the other passengers all seemed to grow hostile in their race to escape the plane. 

"Oh yes, I'm quite ready," she said with a smile. She had little luggage with her, as most of her things fit into one roll-along backpack and a side bag. She let Luxord lead the way, and tried not to fall behind while taking in the sights of the airport. Not that there was much to see. All airports looked identical save for a few architectural differences. 

Her attention had been torn from the peculiar color of the news stand off to their right to the rather "rough" greeting Luxord and his friend shared. At first, she thought he'd gotten into a fight before the two men stopped and the blond waved her over. 

"Ah, so this is Balthier? It's very nice to meet you." she said after Luxord had introduced the "sky pirate" she'd heard much about.

Balthier smirked at this.

"Sky pirate? I prefer 'profiteering archaeologist' myself, but I suppose that works. Aeris, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm assuming that this is your first time flying an airship. Don't worry, you'll be fine," he reassured.

Luxord was looking around while Balthier was getting introduced. He seemed to be looking for someone else.

"Bal, where's your partner? I swear, you two are attached at the hip or something."

"She's off getting supplies. The G-diffusers went a bit haywire when we landed, and Nono said we'd have to totally junk them," was the reply. "Aeris, if you've got all your belongings, we can head on to the aerodrome. It's not far," Balthier continued, and began to stroll towards the exit. At this, Luxord swung his duffel bag over his shoulder and followed suit. "Best not to get lost, Miss Aeris. Balfonheim has some pretty bad characters running around."

Balthier told the truth when he said it wasn't a far walk. After about two miles, the small party entered a large building that looked as busy as the airport was. After a small detour at the Private Airships counter, they headed on to the hangars. Five ships down and on the right was the Strahl, complete with a busy crew. However, none of the crew resembled anything close to human, unless humans were four foot tall, covered in white fur, and had a cute little pom sticking out of their heads. Amongst them was a tall woman with large rabbit ears, something that also wasn't quite human.

"Miss Aeris, I'd like you to meet Nono, Perdie, Mick, Try, Bree, Jasper, and most importantly, Miss Fran," Luxord rattled off. "Welcome to home away from home."

"Ah, yes. I'm a bit airsick as well, but I'm sure it will be fine," she laughed softly, "After all, I'm confident you're a superb pilot."

When it came time to head off for the Strahl, she made sure she was ready to walk along with them. The advice for keeping an eye out was good, though she doubted she needed it.

"Thank you, though I'll be alright. I grew up in Midgar's slums, after all. When you're raised there, you know how to avoid anyone and disappear in a blink." she said, smiling again. Most of what she said was true. After all, playing "Keep-Away-From-ShinRa" had been a normal event for her as she grew up. Their doggedness in getting her in their clutches still baffled her.

Upon meeting the crew of the Strahl, Aeris had to stifle another giggle. Who wouldn't when faced with an array of moogles and a rabbit woman? She extended her hand to each one in turn and shared the common "How do you do"s and so on.

"Home away from home..."

She glanced out a window and thought of the scenery that would undoubtedly flit past if she stared out at it mid-flight. Just the thought made her legs wobble slightly.

'Oh no...please stay up, body.'

Luxord rushed up to stabilize and catch Aeris.

"Careful, now. Perhaps you're still a bit woozy from the flight. Bal, will you take Miss Aeris to Miss Fran's cabin? She could use a lie-down." Luxord promptly rushed off to procure medicine, although he went in the wrong room a few times. "Damn that Balthier and his love of keeping the ship a mess. Now, if I was a bottle of medicine, where would I be...?"

Balthier sighed once, and then began to lead Aeris down the hallway in the opposite direction, past what looked to be a small kitchen and an office. On the left was a small bedroom: sparsely decorated yet feminine. "Here we are. Fran won't mind, she doesn't use it at all anyway. We'll be taking off soon, so if you want to get comfortable until your stomach settles, that's fine, just brace for impact when we hit top speed."

Balthier strolled over and drew the curtains over the large window. "You know, he likes you an awful lot. It's a shame that he'll never admit it because he's too damn shy," he said as he finished fluffing the pillows. "While he's out running around like a chicken with its head cut off, is there anything you want to know about him? He still sleeps with his security blanket and his favorite color has always been white."

"Thank you. I don't think my body appreciates so much flying," she laughed softly. She muttered a "thank you" to Luxord, and to Balthier as well as he walked her to Fran's room. Once she was seated on the bed, she definitely felt much better. Aeris appreciated the decoration of the cabin, and idly thought that Fran definitely knew how to make any place pleasant to live in.

"Thank you Balthier, I'll be sure to rest up. Sorry about that." she laughed again. What he said afterward, though, stopped her. Of course it surprised her that Luxord fancied her. She'd never dated before, certainly, and the closest thing she had to a boyfriend before was her dear friend Zack Fair. For several seconds, she could only stare at Balthier as she tried to register what he'd told her.

"Well, I can't think offhand what to ask. I haven't been in this situation very often..." she said. It was still a bit to take in. She would give it a chance. After all, she did like Luxord, so it wouldn't hurt anything.

Balthier checked outside in the hall before continuing.

"For starters, he keeps a beard, dyes his hair darker, and crops his curls short, all in the name of looking older. He's spent the night in a jailhouse more times than he can count, and..." Balthier trailed off. He went outside the room, checked the hall again, and then continued in a whisper, just in case.

"His high school nickname was Princess," he finished with a wink. Luxord burst into the room, looking a bit frazzled.

"Why do you keep the ginger in the library, of all places?" he said, sounding a bit exasperated.

"It makes the room smell better. You didn't check there first?" was the reply. Luxord sputtered in frustration at this, and then slowly regained control of himself.

"Don't you have a launch to attend to? Last I saw Jasper, he was looking for you. He mentioned something about the pressurizer being faulty again," he said with a sigh as he sat at the foot of Fran's bed. "Now, Miss Aeris, just chew this ginger root and have a lie down. You should be fine, as long as Bal doesn't feel like doing any fancy showing-off today," Luxord said as he shot a glare at Balthier. Balthier shrugged in a "what, me do something like that?" manner and headed out towards the cockpit, leaving the vacationers in Fran's room.

Aeris sat and listened intently as he spoke, hoping to not miss any important detail. Naturally, the "Princess" bit sent her into a short fit of laughter. She stopped abruptly, however, when Luxord himself came inside the room.

"Thank you." she smiled and slipped the ginger into her mouth. She laid herself back against the bed, and nearly moaned in delight at how comfy the bed was. Fran definitely knew how to make a room livable.

"I'm sorry to have worried you like that."

"Oh, it's nothing. I just didn't want you to be sick on holiday, that's all," he replied as his ears began to turn a pleasant shade of red. He began to nervously fiddle with the bedspread, since his Cube was still in his bag and his favorite deck was nowhere to be found. For some reason, Luxord found himself becoming more and more of a nervous wreck, and he had no idea why. It certainly wasn't Balthier at the helm, or the airline food--which he slept right on through--, or the fact that he had that tingling feeling of forgetting to turn the oven off, even though he knew that dorms didn't have ovens.


Good heavens! He was at a loss for words for once! 'Think, Luxord, think!'

"Plants!" 'Good. Let's make a proper sentence now,' he quickly thought, trying his hardest to save face. "What got you into botany? Gardening, or a job at a flower shop, or...?"

She did notice his nervousness, and just smiled at him as he fumbled for words. Balthier having told her Luxord's feelings prior made the whole display rather cute to her. The last time such a thing had happened, she was just a fourteen-year-old and an upperclassman had asked her to prom.

When he moved onto the subject of gardening and the like, she was as delighted as he was that the awkward tension seemed to be easing up.

"I became interested in plants when I was a child. In Midgar, there isn't any natural flora growing anywhere, especially under the plate," she explained, "But there was an abandoned church near my home that seemed to break this rule. In a part where some of the wood flooring was missing, I saw these beautiful white and yellow lilies. I'd never seen them before, so I showed them to my mother. She told me that the flowers were a miracle."

For a moment, she lapsed back into thought and remembered that day. Elmyra had just smiled and explained what the flowers were. Afterward, the little Aeris had been so intrigued by them that both she and her mother planted the lilies all around their house.

"I remember loving how life went on in a place where nothing could grow before. We planted the flowers around our house, and people stopping by were always amazed and happy at the sign of life."

Luxord was surprised at Aeris' tale.

"A place where nothing grew? My, even in dreary old London, something managed to turn green every spring. That's astonishing," he exclaimed. Luxord had always grown up with some sort of lawn to run on, or tree to fall out of, or some sort of greenery to get all over his clean white shirt.

"I suppose I've just always taken it for granted," he mused.

He began to ask another question, but a squall from the intercom behind him startled him and made him slam his hands over his ears from the feedback.

"This is your captain speaking, hope you don't mind. Lady, gentlemen, and established guests, the Strahl will be taking off very shortly, headed for the Dalmascan Westersand. We may encounter some slight turbulence on our way today, but don't fret, it's just another monster getting caught in the engine. Please enjoy your stay with us," came the voice from the cockpit.

"Ooh, sometimes I hate him, I truly do," Luxord muttered as he tried to stop the ringing in his ears. "He hasn't grown up at all since senior year, I swear."

She just smiled at him. Aeris could understand his sentiment on the wildlife, as she'd known all her life that Midgar was a lifeless city. People dwelled there, true, but they never truly lived.

"Mm...Midgar is probably the one place filled with people where nothing truly lives."

She jumped at the sudden noise and looked up at the speaker. Aeris couldn't help but laugh at Balthier. Her giggles became more unruly at Luxord's comments on him.

"I see. He is a bit ridiculous, isn't he?" she asked. When her laughter had subsided, she sat up a little straighter.

"Again, I must thank you for inviting me. From what I’ve read about Rabanastre, I know Ivalice must be even more of a sight than just the one city.”

The End! =D


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