stardustproxy: Clap. Clap. Slap. (Selphie)
Title: Unexpected
For: Tiny Baby Phoenix 4!
Medium: Fic
Request(s): Fandom/Request 3: (FFV) Faris, wherever she lands post-game, stuck as something other than a pirate.
Fandom(s): Final Fantasy V
Characters/Pairings: Faris, mentions of Bartz, Lenna
Rating/Warnings: PG
Feedback: Um, be gentle. I haven't played FFV in about five years.
Spoilers: Through the whole game.
Word Count: 1265
Summary: Faris is not content to be a princess or a pirate. But what will she be?

Notes: It's un-beta'd, and I haven't played FFV in about five years, so my characterization of Faris might be kind of on the fuzzy side. I totally apologize if it seems awkward in any parts. Also, I was sort of experimenting with a style I don't usually deal with. But I simply adore Faris, and this prompt caught my eye for some reason--I think because I don't know if I see Faris being a pirate after the game either. I'd been considering replaying FFV purely because of Faris (and Bartz to a lesser extent), and this fic might be the push I need to go through with that thought! Anyway, I hope you at least sort of like it. Originally written for [ profile] ff_exchange, Phoenix Down prompt~

Faris knew she had to leave the castle. Being a princess was one matter, but being expected to lead a country was a great deal different than leading a pirate ship of twenty. She was also a bit fed up with being called Sarisa. That particular side to herself had been thrown overboard many, many years ago. Sarisa was a name that she no longer suited, it was too feminine, too delicate, too many things that Faris no longer was.

The dresses irritated her because they were uncomfortable, but wearing dresses paled in comparison to trying to remember etiquette lessons long forgotten, replaced by lessons in piracy. Tiny teacups with a pinky out felt awkward and clumsy in her hands. Heels that required dainty footsteps and immaculate posture to walk properly in them made Faris feel ugly and fake. People told her she was beautiful, but it was Sarisa that was beautiful, not Faris. Faris would never be beautiful.

So she had left.

Lenna had looked the other way, realizing that her older sister had traded in love for her country for love for the sea long ago. Lenna knew her sister loved her, and the absence would not be for so long this time. In turn, Faris knew her sister was strong, that she had matured, grown and changed over the course of saving the world. Lenna would be a fine leader, without a wild princess-raised-by-pirates stumbling around underfoot, more of a hindrance than a help.

But the sea wasn't as comforting as it had been before she saved the world, before she had become a light warrior, embraced the power of Fire. Fire and water were opposites, caught in an everlasting conflict, never at peace with each other. Or at least, this is what Faris told herself when she looked at the sea and found it unfulfilling for the first time that she could properly remember.

Then there was the matter of being ousted as a woman, Faris mused. Sure, her beloved pirate crew had known she was a woman and ignored it, but it was a matter of them knowing versus the rest of the pirate community at large. No matter how much she tried to be taken seriously, it grew wearisome to plant fists into other pirates’ faces night after night, to prove she was just as strong as she had been before. Stronger, even, when it got down to the physical.

Finally, and the most important reason, as far a Faris was concerned, is that pirating wasn't the same without Syldra by her side. Syldra might still be with her in spirit, as a summon that she carried with her, but it wasn't the same. It wasn't talking to the sea-dragon after particularly difficult days. It wasn't knowing someone who knew you inside and out, who knew all your secrets and thought you were fine anyway.

So she had left that, too.

Her pirate crew mourned her loss, but Faris left the ship in the hands of her first mate. He promised she could "come back anytime" and "he was merely looking after the ship in the good Captain's absence again", but she knew, deep in her heart, that she would not be returning this time.

Faris tried a number of positions, from hired bodyguard to information seeker. Each job left her feeling more unfulfilled than the last. She stayed at each job for a shorter time than before, struggling to find roots, but picking up and wandering none the less. And here we all said that Bartz was the one overcome with wanderlust, she often thought wryly as she moved from one job to the next.

She had no talent as an actress or singer, she soon discovered. She didn’t want to be a mother, mistress, or wife. The idea of running a shop or an inn bored her to tears. Children irritated her, and she had no desire to teach, anyway.

But the chocobo took her by surprise. One day, many months after Faris had given up the sea to find a new way of living; the chocobo limped into town, its right wing dripping a bloody trail behind it. She’d greeted the bird, wrapped up its broken wing, and tried to find it a comfortable spot in the stable. Satisfied, she’d settled back into her current unfulfilling job of the moment, breaking up bar fights between unruly patrons of the local pub. She expected the bird to be gone by the next morning.

But the bird had not left.

In fact, the bird had brought along two more yellow birds, each sporting an injury of their own. One with a large gash on its leg, another with a thorn caught in its beak. Faris patched both of the birds up, wondering why she was the one patching up the broken birds, and not Bartz. He actually liked chocobos, after all.

After several days of this, Faris began to wonder just how all the birds were getting injured in the first place. After patching up the current days’ ailments (two thorns caught in wings, and a gash in one tail), she followed the leader chocobo out. It still had a patched wig, and was the one she had fixed up that first day, nearly a week ago.

What she found was a farm, with chocobos milling around, and no one to care for them. The grass was overgrown and unkempt; with the water troughs were empty. A broken fence protruded out menacingly in all directions, with several chocobo feathers caught in its ripped wire (the source of the many cuts and scrapes, Faris assumed).

In short, the farm (or what had been a farm), was utterly neglected. A few carefully-worded inquires in town revealed that the owner of the farm had died some time ago; His children had inherited the farm, but wanted little to do with it. The chocobos should have all been sold off, and it really should be abandoned completely.

Without thinking twice, Faris found the owner of the farm, and paid far more for it than it was worth. (Being a princess, a successful former pirate, and one of the current four warriors of light, saviors of the world did leave one with a rather sizeable income, after all.) Just like that, Faris had given herself roots that she had avoided planting for a long time.

So she would not leave.

The work was hard, but Faris felt a sense of fulfillment she had not had in quite some time. The chocobos seemed to take a liking to her, and she grew comfortable around them. She started talking to them, and was surprised to realize that they were actually decent listeners. The leader of the current flock (a dozen altogether), with the broken wing, Faris decided to call Prospero.

Prospero kept its name, even after Faris learned a little more about chocobos and discovered Prospero was a she. There was a certain humor in the name, which Faris could appreciate.

She also discovered that she was talented at riding on a chocobo. Fast and free, Faris felt light while running around on the back of her chocobos. It was like flying on the ground for a few short minutes.

The farm grew, her reputation grew, and before long, another year had passed. A year where Fairs had managed to stay put, not moving from town to town. During that year, she hadn’t felt ugly, alone, unsure, or fake even once. She had felt like herself, and nothing more.

So now she wanted to stay.
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July 2010


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