03/24/21 - Painting the Town Blue


A pair of blue-haired lovers sat at the small dinette table in their new home. Though they were very different in personality, motivation, and desire, the excitable shapeshifter and the cool-headed Spaniard had spent years together, fighting, adventuring, and exploring. While they had both seemed content to settle down and let others tread the more active path, a stirring had occurred within the couple, an urge to dance into danger and weave into new, strange circumstances.
Absolutely none of that mattered now however.

Blue bounced within her seat, rocking the table as she leaned forward and stretched her hands out, skillfully avoiding all manner of dinnerware and full cups of tea. Her fingers flicked and she stared out dolefully at Tret. The Xaela wasn't too great at playing the sad sort however, the sliver of a smile peeking out of the corner of her lips as she made a strange keening noise in his direction. She realized this probably would not be able to be translated however, and with her tail wagging up a storm behind her, Blue finally spoke words. Not many though.



Busy in one of his few notebooks, the hyurs looked back and forth across the page as he wrote and scribbled. A checklist this time, going over thing he needed to grab for the hou- welp, work was done. Not moving the notebook, dark brown eyes flicked up above the top as the sound of xaela body sliding across the table. Then there was the sound. One that he knew too well. One that certainly did not belong to the dragonfolk races.

As his named was draaaaaaged out, Tret slowly lowered his after dinner work to his lap and raised a brow at her, replying as simply as he was beckoned



Pleased that her maneuvers were noticed, Blue withdrew her outstretched hands in favor of using them to hoist herself up and onto the crowded table, teetering ever slightly. The Xaela dropped into a crouch and tilted her head at the hyur.

“Whatcha' doin?”


Reaching out as he saw Blue plant her hands, Tret pulled his cup and plate off the table and finished off his drink. Quickly, he slid down in his chair far enough to place the tableware on the ground before sitting back up and watching his wife tower over him, as if ready to tackle him right over backwards out of his chair. And she would do it, he knew. Also too well.

“… I believe I'm about to be doing whatever you have in mind, Lovely. What you thinking about?”


As predicted, the Xaela soon launched herself straight for Tret, quite secure in knowing he was going to catch her, though there might be some chair skidding in the process.

Once properly settled in his lap, Blue smiled sweetly and kissed her husband on the cheek, though she'd still wriggle happily even when held.

“I wanna take a break from house stuff. Too much! We need a change!”

“We need a date night!”


With a muffled bang, the back of the chair hit the floor, but not Tret's head. Holding her tightly and bracing for impact, he relaxed once he was horizontal and smiled up at Blue.

“But there's still so much to d- Sure dear. Put the dishes in the sink, and lets get dressed, I suppose. Did you have somewhere in mind for us to go and visit tonight?”


Blue wiggled a bit and rubbed her forehead against his.

“Yay! I knew you'd see it my way!” She teased playfully, though his question as to –where– the pair should go left the Xaela to give a blank look in return.

“Hmm…well..” Blue peered out the window overlooking the kitchen. The sun was still high in the sky but would begin to set a in a few bells…she tapped her scaly cheek briefly as she thought.

“Well, we haven't made a proper trip to the beach together since the….the festival! I forgot what it was called- you remember? Everyone was there…Maybe we can make it before it gets too dark!” She prodded Tret's nose gently with the tip of her finger before hopping out of his lap and turning around to gather up her miraculously-upright dishes.

“Whatcha' think? More fun than scribbling 'bout house things!”


“Would be Moonfire, lovely. Though I think the others would not be there waiting, so no reason to hurry too much. If we're heading to the island, it will be evening once we set down. If we hadn't just eaten, I'd be more willing to let you try and teleport me…”

Tret gives a wry smile and a shrug before he collects himself and sets his disheson the table for Blue to deal with. After, he turned and headed for and up the stairs to change out of his work clothes, calling down “We could do a beach evening though, sure. Want to go to the same area, or somewhere else? Not sure quite what kind of date you have in mind!”


Blue shook her head. “I only kinda know how to teleport now…and that crystal over there I haven't attuned with, so it'll just be the scenic way.”

She went about scrubbing dishes clean, earfins flicking at Tret calling down below. Rather than yell back, the Xaela finished up and skipped up the stairs.

“Closer to the water this time maybe! I wouldn't be against a fire or a swim. Oooh, maybe we can bring some snacks too!” Blue beamed at the thought before changing into more beach-appropriate outer wear, though she wriggled back into her dress just as quickly. It was good to have options.

“Or, or! We can see if someone is selling fish and eat it over the fire! And if not, I could catch some! ..Though I'm full now, so maybe later!”


upstairs, Tret had already gotten nearly ready for an evening or more on Vrylbrand. A fishing rod had been laid against the stair railing, and the man himself was pulling a fresh shirt over his head and down over the top of a pair of shorts. Much more appropriate garb than his last significant trip to Bloodshore.

“Suppose I could see if the herring are biting tonight. Maybe that waterfall pond is hiding something too… We'll make a stop by the crystal for you though. We could hit a few on the way there, I believe. Need to take you around to get tuned into them all eventually, neh?”


Blue grinned upon seeing the fishing rod and nodded to his prior suggestion about attuning to all the things.

“Eventually! I don't mind taking my time with that. The fact that I could teleport to Kugane anytime I want is kinda intimidating! If we played hide n seek, you'd never be able to find me!”

Blue was as ready as she was going to be, glancing around the room briefly for anything else she wanted to bring. She just barely managed to spot Rex, his body covered in soot and seemingly asleep at the base of the fireplace.

“We can let Rex guard the house while we're gone.” Blue twirled around and hopped down the stairs, waiting at the front door for her beau.


“Vinalo was telling me the other night about going on some kind of pilgrimage with Misha? Some tradition for marriage here. I'll have to ask them about where all they're going. You wanted to make all that official and such, we could do that and see crystals! Need to chat with the people outside of the big church near Hawthorne… Got a little distracted from that, sorry…”

`There would be a quick chat with Rex to ensure he knew that intruders were to be set on fire and not the house, then the two would head outside to grab their ride. Derrick was thankfully scraping about in the yard, and the now trio would head off on their little adventure. Across the beds, on the ferry, through Gridania, and across the land and sea on an airship.`

True to Tret's word, the sun had dipped below the horizon as they landed and unloaded in bustling Limsa Lominsa. Bird, lizard, and fleshbag tore off out of the zephyr gate down towards the La Thagran Checkpoint then eastward towards Bloodshore. A macabre name for such a tourist attraction.


“Why do you think they call it Bloodshore anyway?” Blue asked casually, her eyes set on the sea and the lights from surrounding lanterns that glowed ever brighter as the sky began to turn dark.

Derrick easily maneuvered past both beach-goer and regular, his hind feet kicking up sand behind the trio as he made for the shore. To the right, a number of fishing piers and tents had been set up, hosting entertainers, fishermen, and tourists. The smell of the sea overpowered everything else.

Regardless of how Tret answered, the Xaela returned back to his prior words from before they had left- or at least part of it.

“So have you been researching what we need to do for the bonding ceremony stuff? Is it just the pilgrimage?”


“Something about pirate wars back in the day. I don't really know. Which reminds me… Need to track Sarge down… Oh <Fuck off! It's a beach!>” Tret flipped the 'Bo back at someone who had more than a cross word for the trio as they galloped past, steering their ride out towards the hidden falls area. Blue asked to revisit the area from Moonfire, and it was a quiet enough little cove. Their trip slowed a bit as they navigated rocky terrain.

“No, like I said, I got a little distracted. We started talking about it and then I went on my own trip, and had to deal with the house and the other things… I don't even know where all Vinalo went! They said it was a lot of places all over and they were taking their time. Knowing the two of us though? We'll run ourselves ragged trying to get it done in one trip. I'll visit the church and figure it out….”


“Sounds kinda fun to race through what is pretty solemn and sacred to a bunch of folks. But…would that be disrespectful?”

Derrick was a good, massive bird, experienced in nearly all terrain, so the sudden shift from sand to rocks left little trouble. Guided over to the little cove and the campfire where the pair and their friends had celebrated Moonfire, the chocobo finally stopped. He'd patiently wait for his riders to get off before making a beeline back for the person who had cursed at them on the beach prior to enact proper vengeance.

Blue ran over to the camp, dipping down and picking up stray sticks to drop onto the blackened logs that still remained. She kicked off her boots and bounced around the unlit pyre, savoring the feel of the sand beneath her feet. A thought suddenly occurred. With a bubbly giggle, the lizard wriggled out of her dress and soon stop, drop, and rolled around in the gritty salty sand before going on to make an angel in it. As one tends to do.

She looked up at the sky above, trying to spot the brightest of stars before shifting her gaze over in Tret's direction with a silly grin.


It was probably for the best that they'd parked themselves a bit away from other beach-goers.


After unmounting and giving the big beast a swat on the haunches as he took off, Tret sighed and looked out to the ocean, then towards the nearby falls. Shouldering his fishing rod and collecting their bag, the man wandered over towards where Blue was having her full on spaz out. Letting her have her fun, he crouched next to the burnt out fire, drew a knife, selected a particular rock nearby, and set about trying to start up a small fire for them

“One of the benefits to your form here… I'm not spending hours shaking sand off every bit of you….”


Blue stuck her tongue out at Tret, accidentally licking sand from her lips as a consequence. Instantly distracted with spitting and sputtering the bad-tasting sand away, she was in no mood to quip back at the hyur proper. Instead, she rubbed her face against Tret's shirt to clear the sand away, before responding, “We gots water to clear all the sand away, no fret!”

With a grin and a giggle, Blue sat down beside him and watched his attempts at lighting the fire, tail waving leisurely.

“I don't mind this form as much now. But I guess it's been a few years..”


Tret paused as he was used as a rag, gave Blue a withering look, the. Smiled and turned back to the wood “More than a few, it feels like… Wonder some times how many more… Hah! Here we go!”

When his sparks caught, he'd lean down to blow on the embers, coaxing and feeding them eventually into a tidy little fire to mark their spot for the evening. Tret stood, brushed himself off, and pulled his now extra sandy shirt off, tossing it to a nearby rock “Outstanding. Well, the night is young, we don't have anyone to wait for. What shall we do?”


Blue's eyes lit up when the flames finally caught, pleased at the sudden warmth and the gentle crackle of burning wood. She wriggled in place at the question but her stomach answered first with a not so gentle gurgle.

Laughing, the Xaela hopped back up onto her feet, careful not to spray sand all over the newly born flame.

“It was quite a trip just getting here. Why don't we make the most of the water? I wouldn't mind a fishy snack.”


He would first toss a medium log onto the fire, then Tret would grab his rod and a bag and nod “Suppose we could try and have something ready for later… or Now. I'd say we should see who can catch more fish first…. But you'd just jump in and scare all of mine off.”

the two would set off towards the surf and Tret dropped off his stuff roughly above where he believed the tide line was. Kicking off his loafers, he then turned to give Blue a wink and took a jog towards the water, splashing up to about knee high for a bit before throwing up his hands and driving in.


Blue followed after Tret with a skip and a jump to the shoreline, a mischievous grin on her face at his claim. She brought a hand to her chest. “Why, I'd never do that!”

“..Not intentionally anywa- hey! Wait for me!” Blue didn't need too much prompting herself, though she didn't dive but rather walked out into the water until she couldn't feel the floor, then twisted around and dove.

The clear blue sea was only slightly warm, and while the first few fulms of beach offered nothing of relative interest on the seafloor besides sand and seashells, further out, a variety of small fish flitted and darted about. Small bits of colorful coral patches and plantflife. A more alive sea was one that took a little more effort to reach.


Tret broke the surface after some time in the deep water, then laid back to float lazily on the surface. This was of course a dangerous position to be in. Dwellers of the deep target surface prey based on their shadows…


The sound of lapping waves, seagulls crying up above, the gentle murmur of tourists some distance away…it seemed relatively peaceful. And yet there was a threat in the water. One that couldn't be immediately detected because she was very, very careful.

Lami hadn't taught Blue how to sneak around underwater. That was just something the Xaela taught herself for fun. She peered up at her prey from the seafloor, markings vibrant and pulsing. How best to surprise her partner was the name of the game. She could change into something…the big cute Mudpuppies from Bozja immediately came to mind…but as cute and slimy as they were, they were a bit too big and lumbering. Blue shook her head, a small stream of bubbles escaping at the slight movement before she carefully swam up under Tret, grabbed his ankle, and yanked down most mercilessly.


<Quiet… Shame it won't last… Three… Two…> Tret took a breath as he felt a slight push of current beneath his back, just a split second before he was dragged under. He twisted about once submerged again, working to break free of her hold and flip around to face her as they drifted downwards slowly. Reaching for her, Tret would finally pull Blue in for a quick embrace before pointing up and quickly swimming back for the surface, coming up with a gasp of air and waiting for her to follow


Blue smiled, in no mood to resist as she was pulled in for a hug, to which she tightened the embrace and answered with a kiss before letting him go up for air. The Xaela followed soon after, taking a big breath when she broke the surface of the water. She reached over and stroked Tret's cheek affectionately.

“Now I'm pretty sure we've both been scaring the fishes off!” Blue rolled onto her stomach and just let the waves keep her afloat, head turned and tipped in her partner's direction.


“Ahhh.. eh, plenty of ocean for fishies to hide in. We can keep our own little area. They'll come back… Or I'll find somewhere else to hunt.”

The two spent a relatively lazy half bell or so floating, splashing, and harassing one another among the waves before Tret decided he was about done with soaking. He took off towards the beach again, slicking his hair back out of his face as he found footing on the sand and stone below. Finishing rod and bag were collected from the sand, and he waved the former back at Blue behind him.

“Gonna head over to the falls, should be a bite to eat hiding in there. Wanna come along, or go dry off a bit?”


Blue reveled in the marine playtime, but half a bell was all that was needed to properly tire herself out- at least for the time being. She followed after Tret eagerly, but stopped when she no longer felt the water shifting beneath her feet, taking the time to do a full body shake.

…Significantly less effective than expected.

“I'll come watch for a while! See if you can get something good and tasty!”

Around this time, Derrick came galloping in, his head held high and proud, with something that looked like part of someone's trousers in his beak.


Tret turned about fully as their faithful guard bird came back with the spoils of his… “What is… <Damn it, bird! Take those back! Go! Go! Those are not yours or mine! You stubborn beast, stop taking things!>” He became quite animated as he adminished the chocobo strutted about with his catch, looking over the rocks to make sure there wasn't more trouble to come.


Luckily for the two of them, the only hint that something was amiss over in the direction the trouser-snatching bird had come from was some very mild yelling, drowned out by the ocean surf. Derrick meanwhile, still quite proud of his find, reluctantly obeyed with a muffled “KKFFWEH” and ran back to drop off his catch….or maybe cause more mischief. It was hard to tell with that bird.

It allowed Blue to catch up to Tret after all the shake-shaking though, bringing a hand to her head. “Oooh, I gotta do that less forcefully…feeling just a lil dizzy!” She smiled and did a slightly off-balanced hop and pointed in the direction of the falls. “We going there thens for fishing fun?”


With a sigh, Tret shook his head softly and crouched down to collect his things again “<Sometimes I wonder about having children. Sometimes I am reminded I have a great big one already…> Yes lovely, though that's nothing new for you. You were alway rather… vigorous? doing that. Come on then, yes, over to the pool over there. Should be a few things in there to catch. The sleepers and crayfish should be perfect for what we want.”

Back on track for a fishing adventure, Tret led Blue over to the hidden falls, normally occupied by a Curious Roegadyn who enjoyed training in full armor beneath the crashing waters. Tonight (and only available in this exact reading location) it was empty of hulking men and a perfect spot for some fishing. Tret would set down his bag, draw out the fishing rod, and set bait to his hook before casting the line out and taking a seat in the sand to wait “Ahhhh… and now we wait…”


Blue's ears flicked at the sounds of rushing water, though it didn't seem to bother her too much. The vibrations were actually kind of soothing to her earfin-horns. She settled down beside Tret as he cast his line out, peering down at the water curiously to see if she could spot anything moving. Her tail twitched in quiet anticipation as she spoke low, yet in a conversational tone of voice.

“So, you're really worried 'bout Rina with this upcoming fight thing?”


“As best as I can figure, she's got a condition like my family does. Or something like it, mine doesn't… Talk to me. The way she talks… She seems to believe the two of you are alike.” There was a pause as the line was tugged and a catch was reeled in, a dark scaled fish that was summarily unhooked, clubbed, and then set aside for the next cast

“I know you're gonna use all the new things you've learned. She doesn't want that. She wants your rage. The deep rage. Just a duel of uncontrolled brutality. To try and wear herself down, maybe? Find her real limit? Feed her own beast? I dunno.”


Blue watched the entire fishing process with interest. Her own fishing skills didn't involve a line or a hook. Just whether she could snap up something before it darted away.

“Well, my plan is not to bring that side out. It'd been rather quiet for the most part…though there were a few times in Bozja where I got so upset, I just wanted to just stop caring 'bout the danger and just become it instead.” She admitted this with a gentle sigh, glancing up at the hyur with a thin smile.

“Maybe I was wrong before. When I told you that night that I thought it was talking to me and all that. Think it was me just talking to me..if that makes sense. Trying to convince myself that it's okay to rage about, because then I'm stronger and I fear nothing and even if its not the best way to protect people, its a threat.”

Blue reached up and kissed his cheek affectionately.

“A significant one!”


“Very significant. The problem with being a threat is that you get a target as well. That's what happened last time. You were out in the desert, living your best life… And some people decided you were causing an issue and needed to be stopped. Power attracts trouble. Look at how much shit we've dealt with because of some amount of power people wanted or were afraid of…” Another bite, and Tret pulled on the rod and reel. Not enough, this one got away… “Fuck. I think she'll try to wear you down. Force you into a corner where you have to go all out to survive. I doubt she'll be happy with you keeping control, that might just piss her off if you can and she can't.”


Blue giggled as the next catch got away, settling back down and wrapping her arms around her knees. “Well…I guess if she really makes me feel like my life is in danger, I'm more likely to go all out..though if that's what she wants from the start, then I shouldn't look at this like a regular ol' battle huh…” She shook her head softly. “Do you have any suggestions for me? Veldi says I should kick her between the legs…which reminded me of the Grotto of all things.”


“Can't say I know anyone that doesn't go down to a solid crotch kick. But… specific for Rina… She's a heavy fighter, despite her size. Been carrying a smaller sword lately, looked like. But if she's going all out, maybe she'll get the big one again. If you can get in close, that should force her off using anything too big, make it hard to swing at you. But she may just punch you in the face…”

another bite, another catch, another fish laid out in the sand nearby before the line was cast again

“…In theory, you'd want to let her wear herself down some swinging at you, but that may not work so well here. Chip at her where you can. Use some of those fancy moves you picked up so that you're dealing most of the hurt before she gets a chance to give you some in return…”


Blue waved her hand up on the air as if she were striving to get Tret's attention. “I can go invisible too! That'd annoy her!” As if to show the hyur her prowess, the little Xaela sucked in her breath and poofed out of sight….for a few seconds at least, before popping back into view with an exhale. She wriggled around excitedly before stopping.

“Oh but if she has a beast what if she has like, a super amazing beasty nose that sniffs everything? I dunno but- I suppose if I don't find myself some new claws I'll just go in there barehanded. It's really hard to do any of what Lami showed me with mudras and things with the big bulky claws..even though I love em so.”


Tret watched her poof out of sight again, keeping his eyes fixed to the spot she was just in. When. She popped back in, he smirked and reached out to boop her nose, then turned back to his work “I've been watching you when you do that little trick… Trying to find a weakness to it. I might have something, but I'll share later when I'm sure. You know, I could go looking for something a little less…. Bulky for you to use! Or you could try the gloves I picked up recently. They have some plates over the back, but I can get a knife out and thrown pretty easy with them too. I'll get them out when we get home and let you check them out.”


Blue winked at Tret playfully. “You're thinking too much 'bout it. I leave tracks. So I gotta watch where I do it, else there'll just be tracks in the sand to follow! And gotta be super quiet too!” She tilted her head at his offer and smiled. “I'm willing to try anything at this point. Wish it was as easy as simply growing claws…then I wouldn't have to worry bout losing 'em or not being able to use my fingers…it's still strange.”

The Xaela went quiet for a moment, staring out where she could see the fishing line just before it submerged itself under the water.

“If I did something really bad and unforgivable, would you still love me?”


“Well then yeah, that's what I was thinking. If she wants you in the desert, bad luck. I'll see what I can find for you this week, I suppose.”

The line was still, no bites for quite a while since the last catch. Tret had started watching to too, though more out of curiosity than deep thought.

“…You know, I believe I owe you that much, given you did the same for me. Even if I didn't owe you? Likely. Can't really think if anything you'd do to make me stop loving you. Something you're concerned about doing? Or… Did?”


Blue hummed gently before shaking her head. “Talking to Lami and Veldi n' trying to encourage them to stop seeing themselves as terrible people has been hard.”

She looked to the hyur and smiled gently. “Like what you did, that you think is so unforgivable? You did because there wasn't really any other choice. Or maybe there was another choice but in the moment, how were you supposed to know? It wound up for the better anyway. I'm alive, aren't I?”

“But those two? I don't know…no matter what they did in the past…or even in the present, how could I ever view them differently? How could I ever stop caring 'bout them just cause I learn something new?”


“Guilt affects people in different ways. Some can let it go easily, justify their actions. Others… Get haunted by it. They carry it forever. Feeling that much remorse makes for a not so terrible person, I would think. They don't want to have done those things.”

Tret gave the line a shake, raising a brow slowly. Odd…

“Maybe they have had similar choices as I did..they made the wrong one. It happens, sadly. But choices must be made with the info available. If they did the things they did without regret, that sounds a bit more like an uncaring, unfeeling monster. Seems like they want to be better. Come on you little bastards….”


Blue watched as Tret shook the line, tilting her head and squinting out at the water curiously.

“There's definitely regret. I guess that's why I don't understand. They know what they did was maybe bad or wrong. Veldi seems sure she's just going to do it again.”

The Xaela leaned over the water, dipping her fingers into the pool before bringing them up to her face to rub away some stubborn specks of sand.

“I guess I'm just thinking bout it more cause if we're both going to be more active and involved, then maybe we'll end up making bad choices too. I don't want to live with regrets.”


The line finally pulls. Significantly. Before Tret could properly reply, he was up on his feet and hauling back on the rod. After a short struggle, he falls back on his ass and stares incredulously as he reels in an empty hook. Wordlessly, he would rebait and cast the line again, watching it for a few seconds before looking back to Blue and scooting back up next to her.

“…Something REALLY wanted that worm… Ahem. Don't think of your choices as bad or good. You wouldn't make them lightly. People may get hurt. You may get hurt. Maybe you learn something later that changes what you would do. But… You didn't do that. You'll remember it the next time, though. And you'll have a chance to do it right that next time. That's just life. It doesn't always work out perfectly.”

Three fingers were held up towards Blue “You… then me… then everything and everyone else. Every time I have a hard choice, that's my priorities. I'll do whatever has to be done if it means you are OK in the end, or if I'm being threatened. And I won't lose any sleep over it. I'll be the unfeeling monster and be content.”


Blue watched the entire scene before her with clear amusement on her face . It seemed that whether he actually caught anything or not, the Xaela was just as intrigued to watch and observe the goings on.

“Or maybe you snagged it on a log.” She suggested teasingly, wriggling against him happily when he settled down beside her once more.

As he listed themselves in order of importance, the woman shook her head briefly with somewhat of a sad smile.

“I'm apparently more important than I've realized to people, so now I gotta be a little selfish and care about myself better. I just…I don't know. I can't NOT act. I need to do something if I'm able to. Hard choices where I need to weigh someone's importance to me…I can't. I just won't make it. I'd rather do foolish and stupid things in some little hope that everything works out.”

“I don't want to lose anybody. Not you, not anyone.”


“Lovely… I know. We're certainly different people. I like the people here. I liked the people at the grotto. You're the one I love, though. And you know… If you keep you safe? One less thing for others to worry about. The incident in the slyphlands? I left you to do your thing, because I trusted you to be smart about the fight. And you did wonderfully.”

Tret trailed off there, watching his quiet line again. Another long period without a bite. This was interesting. After a few seconds, he spoke up again, keeping his eyes on the water

“Being strong isn't about power. It's about your mind, too. You may have to make those hard chocies, one day. And you may not have much time. But like I said… Make them with the information you have then, and commit. Everything might not work out, but sometimes the goal is just to lessen the damage….”


Blue leaned on Tret, listening quietly.

“I can promise that much. I'll either dive in or I won't. There's no real in between there. But even if choices weren't good or bad or right or wrong…I still wanna make the one with the best outcome.” She reached over and ruffled the Spaniard's hair affectionately, tail sweeping up and around her feet as she relaxed and looked out across the water, just in time to notice that something…had started to tug at the line.


“Well, that's what we all hope f- There you are again, you little bastard…” Up on his feet again, Tret did not haul back immediately this time. There was a hard pull on the line, and he would play with the potential catch for a bit, trying to make sure it…. “<THERE! GOT YOU>” Tret reeled hard and fast, pulling this way and that to lead the fish and keep his line from snapping. Slowly, he stepped back away from the water, intent on dragging the fish into the sand where HE was the king!

With several big splashes, Tret would be rewarded for his work. nearly a foot long, a deflated puffer was flopped out onto the sand, where it puffed up quickly as it caught sight of Blue nearby. Certainly larger than some of the other of its kind in the pond, it struggled against the line it was hooked to and the sudden difficulty with breathing, the big puffer flopped about on the sand.

“Holy hell. that… That's a fish… One I don't think we're going to try to eat though. Our luck, these are just as dangerous as the ones back home….”


Blue jumped up to her feet as Tret pulled out the weirdest looking fish Blue had ever seen. She gave a surprised, if not quite happy squeak as it puffed up again. “Oh, it's such a cool fish!” The Xaela agreed. She wanted to poke it, but the spines on the fish didn't look terribly nice. Not that spines usually were. She looked to Tret with a tilt of her head.

“You've seen these fishes before? It's so weird….but no, it doesn't look tasty….what are we gonna do with it then?”


Slowly, Tret approached, waving at Blue as he watched the fish flop. “Run back, grab the bucket. He's bigger than the puff fish I've seen in here before. A lot bigger. I think we could take him by the Guild on the way back, see what they think of him.”

he made a wide circle around the struggling fish then quickly worked to dig out a little pit in the sand. Once happy, he'd cut a channel to let some water in, then pull the fish into the water by the line. Once it hit the water, it deflated and swam in circles, looking for someway out. and off the hook of course. but that wasn't happening yet.


Blue nodded and obediently hopped off, if only to return with Derrick in tow, who took pride in hefting the bucket instead. She patted the bird's cheek and took the bucket away when they were close enough, passing it over to Tret as she crouched down and observed the fish as it swam in fervent circles this way and that.

“Well, they'd prolly know more about what to do about it than us at least.” Her stomach grumbled. “We caught a couple other fishies besides this one though. They aren't gonna kill us are they? I'm hungry enough to take the chance.”


Tret took some time to fill the bucket from the pond then lift and drop the fish into the collected water, reaching in to unhook and let it explore its new temporary home. He pulled a bit of specialty chain out of his fishing bag, hooked the two other fish he'd caught, and hefted them, the bucket, and his rod, nodding his head “Grab my bag, and we'll head back to throw these guys over the fire for a bit, neh?”


“Sounds like a plan!” The hungry lizard chirped, dropping down to pick up said bag before skipping after Tret with a smile. Luckily for them both, the fire, while smaller, had not blown out entirely, and there was a slew of branches still around to keep it stoked.

By this point, it was well and truly night, with campfires, lanterns, and a night sky filled with stars being the only sources of light. It was just enough, though it brought with it a cool breeze, enough so that Blue quickly located her dress and wriggled back into it before settling before the fire, her eyes shining from the flickering flames.

“It's been a good date so far.” Blue acknowledged before licking her lips at the prospect of a fishy meal.


Tret kept shirtless and sandy as he worked around the fire: leaving his prize catch aside to not be disturbed, preparing and starting to roast the other fish in a simple manner, stoking the flames a bit with a few leafy branches and then a small log to really feed it. Once there was downtime, he flopped down next to Blue and sighed “A lovely evening indeed. Nice to get away from the house for just a bit. So… How involved do you think you're going to be? or we are? Think I'm going to need to look for a less active 'real' job?”


Blue shrugged her shoulders at the question he posed, staring at the way the fire licked at the fish and idly scratching her cheek.

“I…don't really know. Whatever Veldi's involved in, I wanna be too! Though I guess it'd be easy enough for her just to not tell me bout stuff so I'm not doing anything at all.”

“Aside from helping her with this drug business if she lets me, there's not much else going on. Just practicing and learning more things till something else happens maybe.”

She looked over at Tret with a smile.

“The world isn't melting Love, don't think you need to change your steady occupation yet. Also, it's been a very nice cover when we've needed it. Maybe there'll still be times when you need to start up some chaos with our feathered friends like before.”


“Well, that's a little comforting. Here i was thinking we were gonna start preparing for war. Sometimes we don't have to be involved, especially when things are way over our heads. Veldi seems to be involved in things beyond what we even saw at the Grotto. As I've said a few times… it can be good just to be a place to rest and recover. We must know our limits. We can push and stretch limits, but going too big too fast is dangerous…”

He pulled a fish out from over the flame and gave it a gentle poke with the tip of his knife before handing it over to Blue and checking the other

“Yeah… Suppose a real job comes with benefits. Fair.”


“Dear, I already went to war. Ain't no thing.” Blue teased playfully, though her hands fiddled anxiously in her lap.

“The thing is just a drug. A bad drug that's all over making more problems and hurting people. It should be stopped. Even if Veldi weren't a part of that, I'd want to get involved…I saw what they did to that little girl. And to the man we ended up killing…and to the folks that took too much of the drug, knowing they were going to die but believing their sacrifice would make the ultimate difference.”

“That's a lot to take in. More than anything I've gone though in the Grotto..though I admit my mind wasn't all there sometimes..and even Last One Standing, with its small important skirmishes…this is big. It's the world. I'm a small little thing, but I do want to try and prevent it from causing more trouble.”

“It's the sort of thing that would…after a while maybe. Even if we were far removed n just living our best lives in the Lavender Beds.”

“And Veldi is involved. And Yoake too, and Lami. So now it matters even more.”

“Even you got talked to by the maybe leader of all that. What would have happened if you'd gone with her?”


“Lovely… There's always something happening to threaten the world. Garlicans getting agressive in the east and around here. Primals being raised by the tribes. Someone out at the canopy was talking about strange cultists that worship a “dark primal” the other day. That just sounds ominous as all hell.” Tret checked his own snack, then took a bite, munching thoughtfully for a few moments

“…The pyrefly issue is certainly something. I had a nice chat with Ellie about the… creator I suppose. sounds like a slippery little fuck. They're best to leave us alone, really. We don't know anything, we're not interested in what they're selling. No reason for them to come and give us a direct cause to bother them…”


“She had no reason to come up to you at all, but she did.” Blue looked down at her stick of fish and began nibbling on it gingerly, thoughts bouncing all over her head.

“I just want to help. I know I can!”


“And I haven't heard anything else since… I know you can help, lovely. Im a little bit concerned really about myself helping. I tend to…obsess, you know…”


Blue reached up and kissed him on the forehead.

“No need to obsess. There is no threats or anything right now, haven't gotten hurt or anything. No declaration of vengeance…it's quiet and peaceful! If something happens that changes all that, then we can be ready for it then.”


“no need yet. We'll see what happens…”

The two would cozy up after their evening snack had been snacked, relaxing far away from the troubles of their individual and collective lives. Listening to the waves, remarking on birds flying over the water, chastising a bird who certainly was not making a good name for his owners. after some hours, Tret would finally stand up and stretch, looking about for his shirt

“Ugggghhhhhh Ah! need to rinse off… What do you think? Want to wander back to the city and find somewhere to crash for the evening?”


A large beak tapped Tret from behind, did the damn bird have- yep, there was his shirt. A muffled “WAFFFFFK” ensued.

Blue hopped up as well, her stomach grumbling having well ceased and her nagging thoughts having settled back where they belonged. She took Tret's elbow and nodded with a little frown.

“Think I got some sand wedged in my scales…but yeah! Rinse and wash and crash!” She echoed with a smile.


with a decidedly unamused look, Tret slowly turned around to stare evenly at their bird. He held the stern face for a bit before giving a smile and reaching up to ruffle some neck feathers before taking his shirt “Good boy. We're going to wash up a bit. Kick some sand on this fire, neh? make sure its out.” he pointed at the fire and made a small effort to kick some sand onto it, as if to demonstrate, before taking Blue's hand and leading her back across the way towards their fishing pond. Rather than get in where he had been casting the line before, Tret wandered closer towards the cascading water. He was smart enough not to get directly under the falls though. they would absolutely knock him on his ass.


The sometimes clever Derrick tilted his head from side to side, observing Tret's demonstration closely. As the pair walked away, it did as it was told, smartly kicking the fire to death with an onslaught of sand. Puffing up proudly, the large chocobo slowly strutted after them.

Blue was not smart enough to not get directly under the falls. Or maybe she didn't care nearly as much about falling over, pouncing the rapids as if it were her sister Veldi. Though she'd probably get more sprains this time around, eeping and gurgling as she was doused in the powerful water.


As if predicting the future, Tret made no effort or noise to stop his wife, continuing to rinse off as she was immediately taught that thousands of gallons of falling water was quite heavy. He let her fight for a short while before stepping in to rescue her. She would be pulled out from directly under the curtain if water and offered a shoulder to lean on as she recovered. “Waterfalls are pretty, but strong, lovely. Come on now, catch your breath. Pretty impressive there are people to can train under waterfalls, neh?”


Blue spouted out water as she was rescued after a time, all damp and dripping but most certainly clean of any and all sand! Success? Panting, the girl leaned against Tret and once she did catch her breath, nodded a little bit. “Well, I'm gonna learn more about manipulating water and then I'll train under waterfalls too! But…not for a while. Waterfall wins this round..blech.” Once more the lizard shook herself, water spraying every which way, and once more she gained a massive headache right after. At this point, the tired Xaela was just clinging to Tret to keep herself upright.

“I think…I'm tired..”


a warm smile spread over Tret's face again, and he pulled Blue in close as she lamented her exhaustion “Tiiiired? But it is still so early!” A kiss to punctuate the taunt, then more between words as he continued “My little… Tough lizard… Can't be tired… Already! Fine, fine… Well, there's our ride. I'll let you ride back, I've got a friend to carry back and I don't want to spill him if we hit a bump!” Tret gently led Blue out of the pool and to the recently arrived Derrick, helping her up into the saddle and then leading the bird for a walk back to the fire.

The three travelers had an uneventful trip back to Limsa. Derrick, being firmly guided, would not have much chance for further trouble. After stabling the bird for the evening, Tret and Blue would take a trip up the lift to pick.up a room for the night. Leaving his wife to get settled, Tret and his bucket made a quick trip down to the lower docks to see if anyone at the fishers guild was awake. An excited appraisal would reveal he had caught a special specimen of spotted puffer, known as The Salter. Taking a scrap of paper from the guild receptionist, Tret made his way back up to the wench, curious to see just how tired Blue really was…

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