You hated when Tataru had this scheming look on her face. That look usually meant she was up to something that would be shady or worse…involve you in doing the said shady activity.
“My dear Warrior…” Tataru sing-songs, looking at you like a cat that caught its prey. “We are low on funding, and I just had the most wonderful idea.” You gulp. “We are going to make a calendar and sell them!” Tataru exclaimed.
You release the tension your body had been holding. “Oh, that doesn’t sound too bad.” You murmur, looking at Tataru. “Cid and Nero found the most miraculous Allagan tech the other day. It’s like an instant painting machine. I think it would be amazing to have portraits of you added to the calendar. Are you free for a few bells tomorrow?” Tataru asks.
“Oh, uh, sure! I’d really like to see this new tech they found. What time should I meet you?” You didn’t know it at the time, but you just signed your death warrant.
“Uh, Tataru, what is all this?” You look around the room, bewildered. The previously unused supply closet in the back of the Rising Stones was now decorated to look like a quite lavish bedroom. In the corner was a dressing screen adjacent to a clothing rack with rather risqué clothing hanging on it, as well as a large four poster bed in the middle of the room. Tataru was at the side of the room, looking over a rather small, rectangular object with Nero.
“Oh good, you’re here! Nero is here to operate the…what did you call it again?” Tataru looked over at the Garlean, who was eating a shit eating grin. “A camera. Well, Warrior! You can’t be looking like this if we’re going to sell some calendars!” He clapped his hands, and Tataru started pushing you to the corner of the room where the dressing screen was.
“Okay, get undressed! I’ll be back to help you put on your outfit.” Tataru chirps happily, moving out from behind the screen and towards the clothing rack.
“W-Wait, Tataru! What in seven hells is going on?! I thought this was a portrait session?” You say bewildered, attempting to move from out behind the screen. You are stopped by the Lalafell holding up something sinfully small and lacy on a hanger. “Oh, did I not say what type of portraits they were going to be? My mistake! Now strip. We’re on a tight schedule before Cid comes looking for that camera.”
She shakes the hanger at you, making you go back behind the screen. You sigh and start to take off your armor before you hear Nero say, “Wait! These would be perfect portraits. The esteemed Warrior of Light shedding their armor after a long day of…whatever it is that you do every day. Come out from behind the screen.” “Oh, brilliant, Nero! I should have thought of that myself. Come, Warrior!” Tataru beckoned, putting the lacy garment back on the clothing rack.
You look up, a light blush starting to dust your cheeks. ‘What in Thal’s balls did I get myself into? But…if it’s going to help fund the Scions quests I guess it won’t be harmful…right?’ “Oh...uh...okay.” You slowly move away from the screen, towards where Nero and Tataru were standing near the camera. “What… exactly should I do?” You question, looking at both of them.
“Okay, just imagine this in your head,” Nero starts. “You’ve just gotten back from a long and arduous fetching quest for some pompous noble and you cannot wait to just rest and relax. Let’s start by having you take your gauntlets off.” Nero readies the camera, making a motion with his head towards Tataru. She picks up what looks like a large cluster of fire shards and shakes it. The cluster starts emitting a bright light. Nero looks pleased, and puts the camera up to one eye. “At your leisure, Warrior.”
You start sweating a little, but do what is asked of you. You begin imagining a recent quest where you had to fetch wine for Gegeruju, and how relieved you were to finally finish it and go home. You gently unbuckle your gauntlets from your arms, only slightly noticing the furious clicking sound coming from Nero’s direction.
“That’s it, now, look up at me- No, not like you just smelled something bad, like you are contemplating something- YES like that. Perfect! Keep going.” Nero was furiously tapping a small button on the camera. You place your gauntlets on the bed and sit down, looking up at Nero for directions. “Okay, now I want you to start unlacing your boots, very slowly.” You lift your right leg up, starting the arduous task of unlacing your boots.
“Tataru, make sure the light is hitting them just right!” Nero barks, while getting closer to you and focusing the camera on your hands. All this sudden activity flusters you, and you pull back a bit. “Why are you stopping?” Nero groans exasperatedly, keeping the camera steady. “Nero, you’re….awfully enthusiastic about these portraits. Why are you helping Tataru?” You question, stilling your hands. Nero sighs and pulls the camera down from his face. “If you must know, Mistress Tataru and I agreed on a nice sum of gil if I were to help her. Now keep unlacing!”
A bell has passed, and you’ve started getting comfortable with the situation you were in. It wasn’t ideal, but the thought of these photos kind of thrilled you in a weird way, like this was a glimpse of something only a lover would see. You were changing into your fifth outfit, a thin, black choker with a lace harness that connected to a pair of lace smallclothes. Nero crudely said that it would focus nicely on your ‘assets’, attempting to get a rise out of you. You tried your best to ignore how that comment made you feel, because he was right. You looked like sin incarnate in this.
Speaking of the Garlean, every time you had gone to change outfits, he and Tataru were gathered around discussing the portraits he had taken. You couldn’t help but overhear the conversation once. “The pose where they had their arm around their waist while lying down and looking to the side was great… We should try more poses where they’re looking a little more debauched. Maybe we could use them as limited edition incentives for people to purchase the calendar.” Nero had murmured seriously to Tataru, who was nodding fervently in agreement.
“I’m ready now.” You said, walking back over to the bed. Nero and Tataru looked up at the sound of your voice. Tataru squealed in delight, clapping her hands furiously in excitement. Nero just looked up and down your body in shock. “We’re going to make so much gil!” He said with glee, readying his camera.
You were finally on your last outfit, if you could even call it that. It was just a long, deep blue ribbon that Tataru had wrapped around your body and tied together in a nice, big bow that conveniently covered your nipples. “This will be for the Sixth Umbral Moon! Perfect for the Starlight Celebration.” Tataru cooed, helping you move from behind the screen.
You moved back onto the bed, getting into a comfortable position. Nero made a sound of contemplation. “Something is missing. Tataru, do you have more of that ribbon?” He asked, looking at the Lalafell. “Yes, one moment.” She ran back behind the screen and grabbed a piece of ribbon. “Perfect! Tie it around their eyes.” Nero said mischievously, looking way too proud of this sudden bout of genius he had. You moved closer to the edge of the bed, bending down so Tataru could tie the ribbon around your eyes.
“Alright Hero, now I want you to fall onto the bed.” Nero instructed, moving closer to the edge of the bed. You flopped onto the bed, as if you were protecting your body from injury. “No, no, not like you’re in a fight. Like you’ve just been tossed there by a suitor and they’re about to debauch you so furiously that you’re shaking in anticipation.” Nero said matter-of-factly, moving the camera back to his face. You try again, the movement cue making your imagination stir. It must have been correct, because Nero made a sound of approval. You repeated this motion a few more times before Nero told you to stop and lie down, taking a few more shots from above.
“Alright, now you need to place your leg a bit further up… No not like that, seven hells! Let me just do it.” Nero went to grab at your leg, just as a door opened.
“Tataru, have you seen Nero? Cid is here looking for him…Oh Nophica preserve what is going on in here?” Coultenet exclaimed, taking in the sight of the room. You were starting to sweat a bit from the exertion of falling on the bed, and Nero was gripping your leg. All of this while Tataru was holding that damned fire shard cluster to get the lighting right. “Oh, Coultenet! Please close the door. Can you hold this for me? I fear the desired lighting effect we want isn’t working with my height.” Tataru said sweetly, most likely glaring daggers at the Elezen.
“Oh uh, sorry! Hoary Boulder is waiting for me and uh… CID I FOUND THEM!” Coultenet screeched, running out of the room and leaving the door wide open. “Well, it seems our portrait session is over. Good job, team! I’ll develop these at once, Mistress Tataru.” Nero said with a rush, quickly getting off the bed and exiting the room. Tataru looked at where Nero once was, before panicking a little and leaving the room, closing the door.
“Tataru? Nero? Hello?” Great, they had left you tied up in an obnoxious bow AND blindfolded. You try to break the ribbon by flexing your arms, but the ribbon wouldn't budge. Fuck. Who knows who will find you in this state?
“A package from the Scions of the Seventh Dawn has arrived for you, Lord Commander.” A knight says to Aymeric. “Perfect timing. I was growing impatient. Please place it by my desk.” The Elezen said coolly, not looking up from his stack of paperwork. The knight did as he was told and saluted before leaving the room. Once the door was closed, Aymeric sprung up from his desk towards the package. He started ripping feverishly at the adhesive to open it. He opened the package and saw the contents inside, and could not hold back an animalistic sound of joy. His four calendars had finally arrived. Now should he be a good boy and wait each moon to change the calendar portrait, or treat himself and feast his eyes upon each portrait? As he jostled one of the calendars, a small envelope fell from between its pages.
Curious, he opened the envelope and saw a small note addressed to him, as well as a small sliver of sturdy paper. The note was scrawled in lovely script, no doubt the work of the Scions’ secretary, Tataru.
Thank you for helping fund future Scion operations! I have included these limited photocards with your purchase. Please enjoy them to the fullest. We look forward to serving you again!
Aymeric flipped the small photocard over and cursed out loud. It was of the Warrior of Light, naked and tied up in a Borel blue ribbon lying down on a bed, blindfolded. He quietly prayed to Halone for this blessing, staring at the photocard with fervent adoration. This was possibly the best purchase he had ever made.