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[personal profile] wallwalker posting in [community profile] personalapocalypse
I am a slow writer. Case in point: My OTP for Star Ocean 2 for years was Rena x Noel, and yet I've only recently managed to actually write anything about their relationship.

Three ficlets. All were written for [community profile] fic_promptly.

Title: Social Jungle
At a dance. Five-sentence fic.

---

"I really don't know what I'm doing here," Noel began as Rena pulled him onto the dance floor, stumbling slightly in the leather shoes that she'd insisted he wear; they were nice enough, but they didn't have any traction at all!

"You're taking me dancing, to make up for forgetting our last shopping trip," she reminded him, holding his hands tightly; her gloves were white satin, a touch too big, and her dress was a soft, shimmery blue gown. She did look very pretty, at least; he felt ridiculous, like some sort of bird in full display and trying to attract a mate. "Now, remember what Celine showed you when she taught us how to dance - you do remember, right?"

He smiled and nodded nervously as he put one hand on her back; hopefully he'd catch on fast, because he recognized quite a few of the people in this party, and these social balls could be just as cut-throat as any predatory beast.


Title: Adaptation
"He's a different man in the forest, when no one else is around." Drabble.

---

Noel was a different person out in the forest, when it was just the two of them. He was so focused, and his smile looked brighter, more real. It wasn't just that he loved the forest, even - he seemed more alive out there.

Rena was starting to understand. She didn't get as angry anymore when he forgot things. She reminded him more often about things like shopping trips, because it wasn't always easy for him to remember on his own. Of course, he still forgot sometimes, and Rena was always quick with a way he could make it up to her; he always did his best to make things right. He wasn't thoughtless, just distracted.

Still, she was finding that their best dates happened in that forest, where the two of them could explore, and she could get to know this new Noel a bit better.


Title: Pets
They end up taking in a lot of animals together.

---

They usually followed Noel home.

The first one was a puppy, barely old enough to be without its mother, bony and scraggly but very happy to wag his tail and demand belly rubs from both of them. They had just been leaving Krosse for the cart-ride home to Arlia, and Rena had taken one look at him and said that they were naming him Tiny. (Tiny grew up tall enough to reach Rena's waist without jumping, and could eat off of any table in their home, but she insisted on keeping the name despite Noel's amusement.)

The second was a bird that had apparently escaped from some noble's house and had ended up in Hilton. It perched on Noel's shoulder for the entire ship ride back to Harley, and he hadn't understood why everyone kept making pirate jokes about him until later, when Rena had explained that pirates all seemed to have friendly parrots on their shoulders in the old books. Then he'd gotten off on a tangent that this bird obviously wasn't a parrot, but the damage had been done; Rena wouldn't call the bird anything but "Parrot" from that point on, and when she gave pets names, they stuck.

The third was an old black cat they met in Laceur. Rena had been reluctant about bringing her home, because she was so old, but Noel had asked that they at least take her back to the inn for a couple of nights so that he could make sure she was healthy, and she was such a sweet cat that Rena finally agreed to let her come back with them. She was the friendliest and happiest little creature they'd ever met. Rena called her Inky, and for four years she slept in the sunniest spots in the house and jumped into peoples' laps at the least appropriate times.

The list kept getting longer and longer, and neither of them had the heart to turn a stray animal away. It was a good thing that Arlia was in the country, and that there was plenty of room around town for animals. Otherwise things might've gotten crowded.

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