It was breaktime from adventuring, and Bartz and his fellow Warriors of Light were currently spending said breaktime in a pub in Tule. With Faris's cave of a pirate hideout nearby, she decided to have a reunion party, taking her fellow Warriors of Light along like they were her dear crewmates as well. Merriment was made, drinks were drank, and rowdiness rolled, of course, though the third one was especially controlled by Faris for the sake of a certain small bunch of other patrons.
As for the two other Warriors of Light, Lenna went on a walk with Krile after boredom easily grabbed onto the quartet's little sister figure. See, the current Queen of Tycoon had grown a stronger need to watch over their late friend's granddaughter after said granddaughter took her grandfather's place as the Earth Warrior. Plus, she was pretty content with watching from a distance when it came to her long-lost older sister interacting with her crew.
And so, Bartz was left behind in the pub, nursing a mug of beer (which he hadn't drank much because of the bitter taste) by a table while he thought about what sort of things to do next after the partying.
Now, Bartz was approached by a group of men in shades of purple, green, and tan, the clothes and skin telling the wandering Wind Warrior of them being Faris's pirates. Their captain was on a seat by the bar, calmly listening to three lively crewmates. As for the ones who approached Bartz...
"Is there something wrong, guys?" the wandering Wind Warrior asked, taking a sip of his drink a moment after. The significant number of crewmates whom he was facing were looking at him with a mixture expressions, causing Bartz to raise an eyebrow and turn his neck slowly as he paid attention to the looks of awe, curiosity, disbelief, envy, shame...
"We just found out 'bout our Cap'n bein' a lass," one stone-faced crew member drawled.
And that's when Bartz decided to put his mug down and let go of it for a while. His eyes widened a little, considering the bravery in the pirate Fire Warrior's action there. People of their world didn't hear a lot of stories about women being able to do a man's job pretty well, let alone being a pirate captain who strikes fear into the hearts of sailors. Not like Faris plundered and pirated as much as the typical pirate, though, as she had better standards, standards which involved targeting those with standards that were lower than hers. Said standards were upheld even more after she became a Warrior of Light, and Bartz remembered her saying that she would remind her boys about that upon meeting again.
That, and there was the emasculating feeling of being outdone by a woman in multiple manly aspects.
Bartz then took a few moments to look at his pirate captain friend, his friend who was now paying attention to him and her crew.
"We've been shaken by the discov'ry," another pirate said, "But our faith in our Cap'n still stays strong!"
"And if not fer our Cap'n having strong faith in us as well," said a third, "We'd be throwing ourselves overboard fer bein' such floppy lads!"
"May the Crystals protect our Pirate Queen..." one awestruck pirate prayed.
Bartz took all of that in, but he felt like there was something more behind their approach...
"Okay..." he started, "Is that all...?"
"We jus' wanna call ya a lucky scoundrel, matey!" one pirate shouted out from the back of the assembly.
"Ya have our glorious Cap'n," shouted another, "And then ya have her Queenly sister!"
"And there's that little lass too!"
"Are ya asking to be keelhauled, ya greedy dog!? She doesn't look like she's gotten enough years in her!"
"Yeah, go maroon that scoundrel!"
And then they descended into chaos, showing their renewed code of conduct and resolve in life through fists of justice, shouts of unity, and breaths of alcohol.
Meanwhile, Bartz stared into the distance, even past the dancers who usually had him struggling with not staring too hard.
Then, he looked at Faris...whom he had once snuck a peek at while she was sleeping way back then...and with Galuf too, a thought which, in hindsight, made the Wind Warrior cringe.
Now, Faris was facing the bar again, arms on the countertop and crewmates nowhere beside her. The crewmates were probably out trying to stop the rumble that their fellow pirates were trying to cause, while Faris wasn't out there in the act of shutting them up.
Thinking about why she was acting like that and whether or not he should approach her, Bartz then went to look at his unfinished mug of beer, hesitation floating around in his mind. Along with that hesitation, there were thoughts about all those usually overlooked moments involving Faris needing to be told off by her also pretty younger sister...like, well...when she changed clothes with Bartz as her only companion in the room.
Really, Lenna was so flustered at the two of them when she walked in and had a misunderstanding about the situation.
Still, Bartz couldn't erase the fact that he looked more than he should back then. He just easily forgot about it right after 'cause there was an endangered world to save and all that more urgent stuff.
Yes, seconds were spent as Bartz stared at his beer mug.
Some more seconds later, the considerable remaining amount got finished in one swig.
Really, maybe it would help him think about the serious situation which he just noticed...?
"Wow...I'm close friends with two beautiful Queens...and I never thought much about my love life up until now..."
Dear Dorgann Klauser and Galuf Baldesion would probably end up laughing their butts off if they knew about that, alright...
"Huh, what? Oh, hey, Krile."
"You've been staring."
"Staring? I wasn't staring at you."
"Exactly. You weren't staring at me. You were staring at Faris."
It was another day with adventuring...well, to be exact, they were on the way to install some upgrades into some towns, courtesy of Cid. They were traveling by airship, with Cid at the wheel as well.
Meanwhile, Lenna was indulging her curiosity towards machinery with the help of the young Mid, while Faris was just looking out at the sky past the window, adjusting one side of her long and wavy hair every now and then.
"There you go again, Bartz," Krile went with her still quiet voice, but she had a smirk on her face. "I may be a kid, but I do know when people are talking about romance...and that includes pirates."
At that, Bartz sighed.
"First, a woman, then a little girl..." the Wind Warrior muttered.
"Come on, Bartz, I know you like me," the Earth Warrior responded. "As a friend, of course, but Faris? I know you like her more than just a friend."
"What makes you think I like her more than just a friend, Krile? I mean, come on, we've got work to focus on, and...and, uh..."
"You'd like to do work with her?" Krile added with a raising eyebrow and a wider smirk. "Get some booty with her? Go on a ride with her?"
At those suggestive, well, suggestions, Bartz's face had widened eyes and a dropped jaw for the young Krile.
"Krile, may your grandfather's soul haunt you into purity," the son of Dorgann then said.
"Well, Bartz, may your father's soul grant you the bravery to take the pirate's treasure!" the granddaughter of Galuf responded with a louder voice, sending Bartz into a panic. "And excuse me, but Grandpa had me know those things - and trust me, it was a very awkward talk - so that I wouldn't be unprepared for the crazier parts of romance!"
"You're still not getting my point, though," Bartz deadpanned.
"But we're getting away from what we should be doing now!" Krile shouted again, an index finger under Bartz's chin before both of her hands grabbed him by the front of his coat and threw him towards a certain pirate's direction.
Needless to say, the Wind Warrior panicked some more...especially when he almost hit Faris...and smacked face-first into the glass window.
"You were talking about me," he then heard the pirate say, and it sounded more like a statement than a question.
"Yeah..." Bartz replied, taking his face off and letting out a deep breath. "How'd you know?"
Also, he was blushing as he faced Faris.
"The two of you were not exactly quiet," she answered, the small smile on her face stirring a mixture of feelings within the actual man.
Also, all those lady etiquette reminders from Lenna really did a lot of work on Faris...They made her even more charming than she already was!
And because of that, Bartz shot a momentary glare at the pesky blonde kid behind him, followed by said kid sticking her tongue out as she ran away out of the room with a giggle.
"So, you see me as a woman?" Faris continued, pulling Bartz's face back with one soft touch.
The Wind Warrior then remembered how so many women were smitten by the faux man before him.
Bartz felt kinda like one of those women.
Now, how should he not faint at such a chilling yet also smoldering touch...?
"I am not your typical woman, so I am flattered..." the sister of Queen Lenna replied to the meaningful silence, "But considering your character...you are quite amusing."
"Wait, are you saying that you don't mind?" Bartz wondered, confused at his pirate companion's wording. "What about Lenna? I mean...What if Lenna also likes me?"
Seriously, Bartz had begun considering that possibility ever since those pirates introduced the idea to him...and he hadn't got it out of his head ever since.
"Yes," Faris answered, still smiling, "I do not mind. And if my sister likes you..."
"Bartz, Faris, Mid just showe - Huh?"
Enter Lenna, Queen of Tycoon, walking into a very panic-causing moment.
"...she will have to do her best to steal my treasure from me."
The pirate now had her treasure in her arms, embracing him as she whispered into his ear.
"Whoo, get that booty, Bartz!" that pesky blonde kid suddenly shouted.
Bartz then felt like he really hadn't gone deep into the life of a pirate.
Well, that, and he wondered about whether or not he would have to dress like a woman sometime.
Actually, yes, Bartz did end up dressing like a woman.
"You know, Bartz, in honesty, I like you the same way my sister likes you."
"Oh...but you're not gonna fight for that?"
"I would, but it hurts to think of that...even if it hurts to let a brave, funny, handsome, and kind young man like you go. Besides, the two of you seem like a better match, what with how much passion you have for adventure and all."
"Now close your mouth and let me put some rouge on your lips."
And back to reality they were.
"Okay, again, why are we doing this?" Bartz wondered after his lips were coated with red.
"Because Faris thought that it would be amusing!" Krile answered, lying on her side on Lenna's bed in Castle Tycoon. "That, and the people of Tycoon need some entertainment, and who else would be better than the funniest and most heroic adventurer in this world? You even have Her Queenly Majesty's seal of approval!"
Said Queen giggled in agreement, not much else being said.
"'Treat this an adventure, Bartz...'" the crossdressing young man huffed as he repeated what his lover told him. "At least I can go back to my manly clothes after this..."
"And Faris will still be in her manly clothes!" the blonde girl declared.
"I guess that's the way it goes..." Bartz sighed. "She grew up with clothes like those, after all..."
Crossdressing still was an awkward thing to him, but hey, at least his lover held a beautiful passion for adventure, along with a very cool and very charming personality!
"Don't worry, at least you'll be steered real well later!" the annoying blonde girl added.
"Krile, please stop teasing Bartz," the Queen requested, though the way she was smiling didn't stop Bartz's pout very much. "He has already received enough teasing from us."
Now, how much would it take for Faris to dress like a woman again?
"Indeed," a very familiar voice suddenly entered. "But he has not yet received enough from me."
And then there was the most benevolent scourge of the seas, entering the room in...her usual outfit, but this outfit seemed to have a more open coat, a more open undershirt, and quite tighter pants...
"And that is treasure for you to claim later, my love," the fancy smirking pirate went, lifting Bartz's powdered face with one smooth and chilling touch.
"You scourge..." was the flustered adventurer's weak reply.
"That I am," Faris agreed, widening her smirk. "And I have faced treasure that has tried fighting back before, so you have a lot to go up against."
Bartz won't be admitting it out loud, but he found his lover much more seductive like that than when she took on the form of a Dancer.
"You should totally tell those playwrights to add this to our riveting tale of saving the world," Krile suddenly went, giggling and then cackling as she went in between the two lovers.
"Why you!" Bartz growled, right before launching himself to start chasing the running Krile.
"And here we go again..." Faris sighed with a resigned smile.
"Ahahaha..." Lenna went with an awkward smile.
And so, through a mischievous blonde kid, Lady Bartz Klauser was introduced to the people of Tycoon and to Faris's crew of pirates.
Also, it should be noted that it was quite a confusing experience.
Author's Note: Something to take note about me and Final Fantasy V is that said game is the first and currently only mainline Final Fantasy game that I managed to clear.
Also, to those who would like to play the mainline Final Fantasy games: Never underestimate the power of grinding. I did that underestimation when I was younger, running away from random encounters a lot, and then I got myself more easily wrecked by bosses plus stronger mooks.
Anyway, despite the difficulty of the game, Final Fantasy V was a fun experience from start to end, and the Class System there is quite memorable. Same goes for the lightness of the characters, even though there are moments when they end up having sad times.
Ah, and yes, Gilgamesh is hilariously awesome.
As for this fanfic, although I don't mind the game not focusing much on romance, the thought of Bartz and his love life became something I found interesting, especially while knowing that Bartz ended up becoming the only male member in the main party, so yeah, here's this.
And so, with that, honest constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated!