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{ why did you come with me? }

--only because I wanted to come with you.

Zidane Tribal
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you don't need a reason to help people

character; Zidane Tribal
series; IX
age; 19
class; Thief

"Hey, Zidane?"

It was Blank's voice, and upon hearing it Zidane sluggishly pulled his threadbare blanket over his head, at the same time wrapping his tail around the bottom corner to tug the rest of it over his feet.

"Go away," the younger boy sniffed, pout evident in his voice despite how muffled he sounded with his face pressed up against his pillow. To his dismay, rather than heeding his behest, Blank actually came into the room and even went so far as to sit on the floor right next to where Zidane's nest of clothing and odds-and-ends linens he called a bed was. And then there was a gloved hand on his head, making a motion of ruffling his hair through the thin blanket.

"Heard the boss really did a number on you this time. How you healin' up?" Blank went on to ask, ignoring Zidane's feigned animosity.

"Doesn't even hurt!" Zidane declared, pulling the blanket down just far enough to cast Blank a defiant glare.

"Doesn't even hurt, huh?" Blank echoed, falling into what seemed to be deep contemplation. Then, without warning, Zidane felt Blank prod him sharply in the side.

"O-OW!" Zidane protested with an indignant yelp, head disappearing under the blanket once more to hide his slightly ashamed flush at being called out on his tough guy act. "It's nothing, okay?" he went on to insist, shifting a little so that he wasn't lying on the bruise on his side anymore. "I've had worse. You worry too much. You're gonna turn into Ruby."

"Hey, who said I was worried?" Blank shot back, but Zidane got the feeling that his friend was only trying to help nurse his wounded ego. Not having anything to say to that, Zidane fell into a sullen silence until Blank decided to speak again.

"I was surprised when I heard you came back. You find what you were looking for?"

"...no." It took Zidane a little bit to answer, but when he did he pulled the blanket away from his head and sat up slowly, wincing a little as he did. He turned his gaze to his hands, which were settled against his legs, his tail tapping against the floor as he tended to do when he was uncomfortable or nervous. "Turns out there are a lot of blue things in the world. Who knew?"

"So why'd you come back? I thought you wanted to find your home."

"Nah, I wanted to find the place I was born. Funny thing," Zidane laughed, voice tinged with irony. He shook his head a little, then glanced up a Blank, grinning sadly. "I started getting homesick. Suddenly, one day I woke up at an inn and didn't know why I was there. I felt so stupid, out there by myself without Marcus to help me keep my head on straight or Ruby to tell me stories or Cinna to tease about his stupid hammer. Or you. I nicked myself with my own dagger and you weren't there with your weird medicines to scold me. So I came home. I'm always gonna look for my birthplace, but... This is where I belong."

Blank stared at Zidane in silence for a few moments before he rolled his eyes and punched Zidane lightly on the arm, trying not to look embarrassed.

"You're a loser," he sighed, shaking his head.

"Yeah, I know," Zidane answered with a sheepish smile and a shrug. Blank watched him a moment longer, then sighed and reached out for Zidane again. Grimacing, Zidane quickly ducked his head and shut his eyes, then was startled when he felt Blank's hand on his head, ruffling his hair. Brow furrowing in surprise, he cracked an eye open to see what Blank was up to. Startlingly enough, Zidane saw then that Blank was smiling.

"Welcome home."

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