Hello once more. I hope you all had a great weekend! It's about that time again when I post up another fanfic from my vault. This one was probably the most fun for me to write regarding the Opaline Brigade and I hope you'll agree it is a fun story to read too!
By now you know these girls "professionally", but it is about time we get to know their inner-selves (past Awias's vacancy, Eleusynia's snidery, and Yekan's foolery that is). There is a bit of an inside joke at the end, but I promise even if you aren't in on it the story won't be any less enjoyable. With that, I'll end the director's commentary and start the dern film!
ALLZVAHL THAT ENDZVHAL
Requested by: Awias
Subject(s): The Opaline Brigade (Yekan, Awias, and Eleusynia)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Setting: Castle Zvahl Baileys
One brisk night in Jeuno, three women sat around a table and were reliving their past relationships. This is normal enough for a bustling city with all its tables and women, but these three had the supernatural ability to, even in the most benign situations, topple anything from a government to Drogaroga’s Spine (for the third time) without even realizing what they had done. That’s right, these were not three ordinary women. It can’t even be said they are extraordinary. These three are just…trouble…
* * * * *
Yekan sloppily poured herself another glass of red wine with an accompanying cackle. Her cheeks and nose had already started to take the same shade as her cup's contents. Eleusynia did the same thing, though a little more subtly. The black mage was just as inebriated but only half as boisterous.
“’N then whdya doo?” slurred Awias as she filled her stemware, “Deedja kisssss ‘im? Deedja,” she continued her question by leaning in close and whispering slovenly in Yekan’s ear. Eleusynia cocked her head to try and listen, but gave up after she remembered she could hardly understand Awias when she wasn't yelling drunkenly. It must have been something terribly personal as Yekan's entire face turned beet red.
“Maaaaaaybeeeeeee,” Yekan answered coyly to the silent question, "Guess there is only one way you’ll know for sure.” With that she made a hand gesture to Awias that polite society would condemn.
On wobbly legs, Awias stood up, pounded down her glass and saluted. “Aye aye, Cap’n Yekan!” She plopped down and poured another half glass which she quickly slammed back down her throat.
“Hhhhhhhey, Aw-Aw-Awwwias,” Eleusynia elongated her address as each eye blinked independently, “thhhat izn wine yew are drinking…what the hhhhhell isit?”
“Pure millioncorn grain alcohol,” she said rather lucidly.
Both other women looked in shock at her, then the nearly empty bottle, then back at her. Awias simply continued to stare forward and smile. She continued the grin as her body slumped forward, hitting her head on the table before falling out of her chair.
“Ummmmm,” Yekan stammered, “isss she gunbe ok?”
“I dunno, Yuck, you’re teh hhhhealer.”
“Oh yeah,” she laughed, “Ahm teh healer. Hhheyy, you did juss call me 'Yuck'?”
All the while, Awias lay on the ground smiling and staring forward in some kind of state of awakened unconsciousness. A little blood trickled from her forehead, and odds are if a thread leech had even a taste, it would have died from alcohol poisoning.
“We thrrreee arre sumpin else, airen’t we, Yek?”
“I m-m-m-mean with us and the jobs and the men and the alcohol.”
“I am sssooo drrrunk rightnow.”
Eleusynia gave Yekan a quizzical look and rapped her on the back of the head for being indignant. Yekan’s head carved the same graceful downward arc that Awias’s did. She too bounced off the table on the floor.
The drunken black mage’s mind was slowly grinding out what happened. It was almost painful to watch and would sound like rusty gears grinding to a halt if made audible. With a shrug Eleusynia said, “Whhhen in Rabao, do as the Rabaoins do.” She leaned back and with a massively purposeful thud, brought her head down on the table too. Her future wooden pillow rushed up to meet her and soon there was sleep.
The next morning, Yekan awoke to the sounds of cooking. Awias was in the Opaline Brigade Headquarters & Temp Service making breakfast.
“W-w-what are you doing so early?”
With her back turned and focusing on her task, the short blonde replied, “Making breakfast for us, silly.” She giggled and continued to cook. Yekan rubbed her head and ached to get up. She saw Eleusynia facedown on the table. A puddle of drool the size of La Theine’s Ephimere seemed to encompass the black-haired woman’s face and it was any wonder how she didn’t drown in her own saliva.
“Hey Yek, wake Eleusynia up won’tcha? Our meal is almost ready.” Awias was unusually capable this morning, confusing the white mage even more. She nudged Eleusynia, poking her shoulder over and over.
“Hey, sleepyhead, wakey wakey.”
“Juss five morree minutes.” She still sounded a little drunk.
“Poor Eleu,” Yekan thought, “she can’t handle anything more than a half bottle of rolanberry wine.
Eleusynia begrudgingly roused herself. She looked up and squinted. Her head throbbed. A candle seemed like too much light and anything more than a whisper felt like needles in her ears. “Yekan, you look like how I feel.”
“You ain’t miss hot stuff either, Eleu. Look at that. You have a large bruise on your forehead!”
“So do you, miss smarty.” Yekan winced as she touched her head. Eleusynia did the same.
“Oh good, you are up,” bubbled Awias, “Just in time for a delish breakfast!” She turned around to the sore women. She stood in front of them smiling in her apron, holding two plates of food. Her face looked like a map of the Carpenter’s Landing waterways, only the rivers were drawn in trickles of blood. “What? Why are you staring? Don’t you like scrambled lizard eggs?”
Breakfast was served and the women ate and chatted. “I don’t understand you,” inquired Yekan, “Awias, you drank nearly an entire bottle of grain alcohol and for once you seem to be more capable than Eleu and I combined.” With that a throat cleared behind the morning edition of the Tarutaru Times the black mage held in front of her.
“Yeah, I know isn’t it weird how that works?” Awias’s comment seemed curiously innocent and final in nature. As much as Yekan wanted to, it would be like trying to squeeze blood from a rock trying to figure this out. Then again, the state of Awias’s facial beauty seemed to suggest you could get blood from at least a dense piece of lead...or perhaps a tree stump.
Picking up matter-of-factly, Eleusynia said from behind the paper (with the front page headline being “Multinational Effort to Rebuild and Reinforce Spine Still Underway at Huge Taxpayer Expense”), “Are you still interested in meeting someone, Yek?”
“I can’t promise I could ever do again what I spilled to you all last night,” she grinned, “but why, do you know someone who is looking too?”
“I might,” the black hair appeared from the lowered newspaper, “what about you, Awias? Are you still looking for someone who will, what did you call it?, ‘summon your water spirit’?”
Not picking up that her friend was trying to embarrass her, Awias snuffed, “Of course I am!”
Eleusynia just stared at the summoner, unblinking for a minute. Reality once again caught up with her and the black mage turned her attention back to the white. “Anyway, Yek, I know a guy you may like. How about I tell him about you and set you up on a blind date?”
Yekan cheered, “Woohoo! I trust your judgment, Eleu, it is this one I’m worried about.” She motioned to the woman sitting to her left who was watching dust float in the morning sunbeam which snuck between the window shutters. For a brief instant, Yekan though she saw Awias mouthing silent words to the animated motes.
“I’ll go see him today, then.”
All three women disengaged the table and went about their business for the day. By late afternoon, Yekan received a private message through the linkpearl she kept in her ear. It was Eleusynia. Her voice was transmitted directly into her thoughts.
“Hey Yek, he said yes. I told him all about you and he seems really interested.”
“Ya really! Really really even! He said that he would like to meet you tonight in fact.”
“Wow that is so sudden. He sounds desperate…”
“No no no no, nothing like that. It is just how he is. Trust me on this, I’ve known him for years now.”
“Why don’t you date this guy? What’s his name anyway?”
“Nuh-unh-unh, you don’t get to know. He doesn’t know yours either. That’s part of the fun. Also, I don’t date him because…well…I have reasons. Just go on the damn date! Be spontaneous for once in your life, Yek! Sheesh!”
“Hahaha, ok Eleu. Where does he want to meet me? Ru’Lude Gardens? Perhaps even the fountain in Victory Square of San d’Oria?” She gasped, “Oh maybe the Manaclipper on the way to Purorororowhatever Island?!” Yekan swooned at the romantic ideal.
“Castle Zvhal Baileys.”
The line went dead. A dull static crackled between the two women.
“A-are you serious. Because I mean…”
“You mean…that is…but…that place…I…er…”
“This guy had better be HOT and not creepy, Eleu. I’m not into Zvahlic boys who wear black clothes, put on makeup, and mope around graveyards, nor one of those “emoters”. I mean I want some rippling biceps, a nice firm rear, and a willingness to cater to my every need here.”
“Trust me. Meet him inside the front gates around ten o’clock tonight.”
Yekan sighed. “Fine. Ten o’clock it is.”
“Have fun tonight, Yek. I’m going to go find Awias now before she does something-”
“Stupid,” they both said at the same time.
“Ok then Eleu, I’ll see you later tonight. I hope this works out and maybe I’ll have a good story for you.”
“I look forward to it.” The private channel closed. Yekan scurried back to headquarters to get ready. Of all the places in Vana’diel, this date had to take place in the coldest, creepiest one of them all. Thoughts of impending doom, shivers of abject fear, and the constant feeling of need to use the bathroom didn’t stop her as she packed for her arctic adventure in dating.
Around nine o’clock, a winterized Yekan materialized beside a giant, humming crystal in the icy barrens of Xarcabard. Her snowsuit was form-fitting, but very functional. A sewn-in fur stole decorated the edge of the hood, and followed her shoulders down to her bust. She put a scarf around her mouth and her hands inside complimenting gloves, ensuring that her hands would stay warm. She was also able to hide a few items in hidden pockets "in case of an emergency". But, what sort of emergencies could arise crossing a tundra full of undead creatures in sub-zero temperatures on the way to the most feared piece of architecture known on the planet? Right?
“Trust me,” snuffed Yekan, “I got something you can trust right here.” She made another motion which by no stretch of the imagination would have gotten her beheaded if simulated in front of King Destin of San d'Oria.
After an hour trudging through the snow and ominous dark and swirling mists, the castle appeared above her. As always, it was framed by terrestrial auroras. “I guess it does look pretty at night…and the thought of meeting someone here is kind of exciting. Maybe I was wrong? For a guy to want to meet here, he must be very strong and brave. Or a complete fool.”
The snowbound white mage was happy to escape the driving winds. She slipped into the open gates. Yekan found a small note inside that read, “Come inside and you will see, the wondrous place I’ve made for thee.”
Yekan snickered, “Aww this guy is such a mushpot.” She walked in further, passing by jagged pillars carved from the very black rock the castle itself is carved into. A light, silent snow began to float down. “This place is beautiful in a way,” she commented to herself, “but it is still really scary. Wasn’t there some kind of horribly cruel race of creatures that are rumored to live here?”
Almost in response she heard snow-crunched footsteps come from ahead and around a corner. “Demons!” she panicked to herself, “I need to hide, quickly! But…what if it is my date? He’ll think I’m some kind of freak for getting scared at first site. Gah! What to do?”
Yekan hid herself behind a pillar and peeked around. If it was her date, she could nonchalantly reveal herself. If it was a beast, she could conceal herself and hide. Footsteps came closer and soon a heavy breathing followed. A faint red light began to get brighter and brighter. The white mage’s chest rose and fell more quickly now and she actually began to sweat. Her mind raced and her body prepared itself for flight.
The steps stopped just around the corner from where the leader of the Opaline Brigade was hiding. This was the moment. The tension was as thick as the cold, heavy, snowy air that surrounded her. At the peak of it all she heard a sneeze. A girlish sneeze. Yekan peaked around.
Before her was a very familiar figure. It was Awias, dressed in a slinky cocktail dress. She was shivering, but kept warm by the glow of her floating Ifrit. It must have been her footsteps but his glow and deep breathing which threw Yekan off-kilter. “Awias?” Yekan questioned.
“Yek! Are you here to…to…ACHOOO!” The summoner sneezed mightily but looked back up at her blonde comrade with a dangling line of snot from her nostril. “Are you here to make sure me and my date got along alright?”
“What are you talking about," responded Awias, "You’re trying to trick me, aren’t you? I’m the one with the date here. Eleusynia set me up on a blind date with a friend of hers she knows. Mmmm I hope he is one of those dark and sexy Zvahlic guys or even a thoughtful emoter...”
Yekan gave a blank stare for what felt like hours.
“I can’t wait to meet him, no matter who he is. It has been a long time since I’ve gone out with someone. I just hope I don’t run into any of those demons that I heard about living here. They sound scary!”
“Awias, I hate to break your heart dear but I think we have been set up.”
“But who would do such a thing?”
Another stare. Yekan’s eyes were probably frozen in disbelief. If Awias didn’t through her naevity, the cold would kill Yekan and whoever found her frozen body would see that she died with a look on her face which could only be described as “what in the hell were you thinking”. Odds are, the frozen and choked corpse of the other blonde would have to be pried from fingers locked solid not from ice but pure frustration.
“A-are you serious, Awi? It was Eleu! She set us up! I was supposed to be on a blind date here, too!”
“Ooooooh.” She scooted closer to Ifrit’s radiant warmth, the tendril of nasal content still dangling.
“She lured us out here into who-knows-where to brave who-knows-what for some who-knows-why reason!” At the top of her shout, Yekan heard footsteps behind her. “Awias, that isn’t anything of yours is it?”
Awias shook her head.
“I don’t suppose that is our date, eh?”
Awias shook her head agian.
“I suppose then that all my shouting has attracted a massive demon to our location and that it is standing right behind me.
Awias smiled, nodded, and clapped her hands. “You’re so smart!”
Slowly Yekan turned around. A gaping maw and vicious claws filled her vision. Two red eyes stared directly into hers. Quickly Yekan grabbed Awias’s hand and ran, screaming through the gates and away from the decrepit castle. The demon turned and tried to take a swipe, but Awias stumbled and the raking motion passed through empty space. The girls ran as fast as they could out of there.
When they were out of site, a familiar laugh escaped the mouth of the “demon”. Two hands rose up and removed the headgear from Eleusynia’s face. She shook down her black hair and smiled at her cleverly-disguised handiwork. “Hehehehe, I totally got them. Why does it feel so good to be so bad? Sure they’re gonna kick my ass when I get back…but it was worth it. The look on Yek’s face was pri-”
The incognito black mage was cut off by a noise directly behind her. She turned slowly and there stood a real demon! It looked down at her and smiled. There was something about its eyes…they were…they were…filled with adoration?! The fear in Eleusynia’s heart was replaced by even more fear, but for a wholly other result of this encounter. She knew the rumors of what demons are capable of doing to young women and this one clearly took a fancy to the disguised, black-haired woman.
“Guys, wait for meeeeeee!” She ran off screaming outside.
Meanwhile, Yekan had teleported herself and Awias to the first place the white mage could think of – Holla. They arrived in the middle of a large rainstorm. Soaked now to the bone, Yekan was beyond words. She just stood there trembling in fury as Awias laughed a bit.
“Well…the night’s not a complete bust.”
“So help me Altana, Awias, you had better not piss me off more by whatever you say next.”
“Well I was wondering…do you want to go to Holaris Peak?”