sincere: DGM: Lenalee's back to the viewer (Default)
Kay ([personal profile] sincere) wrote in [community profile] insincere2015-09-22 10:12 am

Xenogears, "Warm Again" (Billy+fluff)

He's lived with the cold for so long that he's forgotten what it felt like to be warm. It's nice. It might not be just from the desert.
Contains goopy friendship feelings, gross. Also, dorks. Written for the [community profile] fic_promptly prompt for any fandom, "After The Ice".

.warm again.
The air that buffeted Billy's face was warm -- and more than warm; it was almost hot, only the whipping wind stirring his hair and clothing giving him relief from the unfamiliar desert climate. He leaned out over Renmazuo's hatch, squinting against the bright glare of Aveh's seemingly endless sands.

He was still dressed for Aquvy. His heavy mantle was built to keep out the frigid gusts, but here in Aveh he was only trapping in the heat inside his long shirt and pants instead. The bone-deep cold of the frozen islands was something so constant that Billy had simply gotten used to the sensation of cracking skin and numb extremities.

The comm was buzzing with chatter, mostly Bart's incessant talking mixed with Fei chiming in to bicker with him now and again, plus the occasional half-hearted reminder from Sigurd or Citan that the channel should be kept clear.

It was all so warm here. Billy closed his eyes and let the wind, the voices wash over him.

He hadn't been alone in Aquvy. There had been Prim, of course, and the children at the orphanage that he'd looked after. They had made him happy, lifted his heart when he needed it. And he'd had Bishop Stone and Verlaine... poor company though they'd turned out to be, in the end, they had seemed to respect him and treated him well enough on the surface. That had made him feel good about himself, a sign that he had made it through everything and emerged on the other side as an adult that others could rely upon.

All the happiness he'd known in Aquvy hadn't warmed him. All his hard-won independence and confidence hadn't banished that cold.

Maybe there was something different about having others that he could rely on, for the first time in a long time. He knew that whatever else, he could count on Bart and Fei and the others to watch his back instead of needing to go it alone -- they would take care of Prim and the orphans if anything went wrong -- perhaps they would even take care of him if anything went wrong. It was a faith that he hadn't had since his mother's death. And maybe it was starting to melt something buried bone-deep inside him.

Billy breathed out, half-expecting to see his breath fog in the air.

Bart's diatribe was interrupted as Elly's voice patched in over the comm. "You know, I actually think I'm getting a headache from all this." Her smile was audible. "The lack of discipline in this little troop is really obvious."

"Hey, we can't all be military goons! My pirates are doing just fine without anything like discipline."

"You don't need to be a goon to be responsible. Right, Billy? You'll back me up on this, won't you?"

Billy felt his lips curve up involuntarily, and he leaned back, sprawling over the seat to reach the console and flick on Renmazuo's microphone. "Absolutely. And I think it's pretty clear that Bart wouldn't recognize a 'goon' if one was looking him in the mirror."

The laughter over the channel (and Bart's indignant retort) carried away all memory of the cold.

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