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Liberator

Lunet Greene

Brynhildr (Crystal)

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A Story: Ch 5 Part 1

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(Please look here to find the rest of the story: https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/character/853473/blog/?order=2)
Rated M for: My that could become spicy



~*~

Night had fallen. Babette was curled into a ball on her side on the floor of the gaol house, and had dragged a lock of hair over her mouth, nibbling at it absentmindedly. She stared into the darkness around her, the only illumination from a small candle at the round table in the corner of the room, where the Highlander once again sat. He'd long since fallen asleep, his head leaning heavily on a hand he'd propped upon the table. His mouth had fallen open, occasional snores coming from deep in his throat.
She'd been fooled; utterly, completely fooled. How could the man who had caused her the greatest despair also be the one that had given her hope? It wasn't right...it didn't make sense. She'd grown up idolizing and hating him. She'd foolishly built an ideal around one moment that probably been but another day in his life. And more than that, she'd felt...
Curling into herself, Babette made a noise and clutched her head, shame and despair coursing through her chest. Now he would leave, and forever be out of her reach. No! She wouldn't let it end like this, going their separate ways. Their paths had crossed for a reason, she felt the kami had led her to that place in the city to begin with.
Feeling a sense of calm settle over her, Babette sat up, her face set with determination. The man or the wolf, which one was she to recognize? She would do as she was taught when all was tangled and unclear; she would let the kami guide her blades. It was time for her to show her hand. She was ready to strike.
She scooted to the frame of the magitek cube, and with a pin pulled from one of the hooks of her chain mail, she pried a small panel loose. How much of an oversight for them even after hearing her tale, to not realize that she would know a little about magitek after she was so open that her father worked in one of the factories. In fact, he was among the conscripted to build these very cubes. A set of blinking lights flashed at her as she removed the panel. It was a fail safe to prevent individuals from being trapped within; the others she could forgive such an oversight, but how had the Wolf not known?
After pressing the buttons in the proper order with her pin, the field powered down. The silence in the room was deafening now that the soft hum of the machina was extinguished. Placing the pin back where it went, she stood, wrapped her scarf around her neck and pulled it high over her nose, and then looked towards the Highlander. A dark smile crossed her face and she lowered her eyelids into a predatory look before dashing across the room to him.
There was a muffled yelp that could be heard from the outside, but it was so quick that if anyone had heard it, they merely shrugged it off as someone stubbing their toe, or being startled by something insignificant. The single light flickering in the gaol house was doused, leaving only darkness and the distant sound of wind. Babette emerged, daggers back in place on her hips, looking every part the shinobi she was. She melted into the shadows as she moved between the houses. A few of Gaius' comrades were gathered around fire pits, enjoying their final night camped in this village as if they were merely leaving from a vacation. Gentle snow had begun to fall once again, muffling all sound.
Gaius sat on the low table he'd been using as a bed the past week, holding his arm out for the village healer to re-dress. Although he'd put the flame out, the molten oil had seeped through his bandages, and onto his already scarred skin. Severa had summoned the village healer to apply salve and bandage him despite his protestations that it was not as bad as it seemed. They had a long journey ahead of them. The closest airship port they could utilize was on the border to the Burn, and that was well over a day's travel from their current location. She did not want to risk him falling ill from infection of an untreated wound.
The healer was just finishing up when Gaius noticed the candle, placed next to his makeshift bed, flickered although he had not felt a breeze blow past. He pulled his arm away from her, clenching a fist and relaxing his hand experimentally. “That will do.” he said, securing the last bandage himself. She made no motion to leave, and he gave her a sharp glare. “You should leave now.” he said, his voice harsh. The woman huffed in indignation and gathered up her salves before storming out of the house, letting the door fall shut heavily behind her.
Gaius stood, still fiddling with the bandage on his arm, then, with a swift shift in stance, he grabbed a bottle from a pile of garbage that had collected in the corner near his bed, and threw it towards the darkened side of the room.
Light glinted in an arc as Babette cut the bottle in twain, it's two halves flying past her and smashing into the wall behind her. She seemed to coalesce from the darkness itself, and with a grand arcing motion of her arm, flung towards him a shower of kunai. Gaius dodged most of the small blades, but once again raised his arm instinctively to block the one closest to his head. The knife sunk into his already wounded flesh, and his hissed through his teeth. He yanked it free of his arm and threw it back at her quickly as she launched herself at him. It flew harmlessly past her head, but the scant second she took to focus on it, Gaius used to land a kick to her midsection.
This sent her flying, her back hitting the wall and breaking through it. Nearby, his comrades jumped to their feet as she crashed into the ruined house next to Gaius', too surprised for it to sink in that they were fighting. Severa and Valdeaulin, their arms laden with baskets full of supplies, came walking from the village. They were quicker to realize what was happening, and both dropped their baskets and reached for their weapons. Gaius, emerging through the hole Babette's body had made, held up his hand to stop them.
“If she looks like she's winning, I'm going to kill her.” Valdeaulin growled under his breath. Severa, still on guard, took a moment to smirk at him.
“Still set on fulfilling that promise, huh?” she asked in amusement. Valdeaulin glanced at her sidelong, but said nothing.


(One more part to go, didn't want to interrupt the flow as badly as already having to extend it into another post is doing. So not quite to character limit, but close enough.)
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