Haha, me. Het. I know, it's funny, right? Ah, yes, let's see if I can do het as well as I do yaoi, shall we?

Thinking Inside the Box

by taitofan

Rated PG-13 for het and lolicon

Disclaimer: If I owned Star Ocean 3, the four optional characters would have been mandatory, Sophia would have pulled an Aerith, Melt would have done more, and AlbelxFayt would have been canon. None of that happened, and thus, I don’t own it.

Author’s notes: Well, here’s something new and different…me, posting a het fic as my first venture into my fandom! This is my fave het couple in all of SO3 though, so I suspect I’ll write it again… After I get some yaoi up of course. Heh. …Anyway, this was just a silly little idea that popped into my head one night, so I went with it. Hope I make a good first impression into this lovely fandom! I’ll try to put up something with a bit more substance next.

Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 07-26-07

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“Hey Albel! What’cha doing?” The Glyphian warrior had a policy when it came to Peppita Rossetti—ignore her whenever humanly possible. Ever since she’d joined them at the Moonbase, she’d decided that even if he was the “scary one,” he was her new friend, so really, it was the only way he could stay sane…since he wasn’t allowed to kill her. Therefore, he continued sharpening the Crimson Scourge rather than respond. If worse came to worse, he could always decapitate her and hide the body. No one would ever have to know… “Oh, come on! Quit ignoring me! I wanna show you something!” Still, she received no sign of acknowledgement. “…Albel?”

When the poking began, he had to give the kid some credit. Whatever she was lacking in brain cells, she made up for with guts. Very few people would dare to talk to him, let alone touch him. Of course, with as much as she begged to play with his hair, this hardly surprised him. If he kept ignoring her, she’d eventually go away—she always got bored sooner or later. Surely, he could outlast a fourteen-year-old girl…

Alllbelll! Come on, please? It’s really important—I promise! And it’ll only take a couple of minutes…” Utter silence was all she was met with. She wasn’t so easily deterred though, not when she was on such an important mission such as this. She still had one more thing to try… “The quicker you listen to me, the quicker I’ll leave you alone and not bug you for a whole week.” He perked up at that. An entire Peppita-free week? As in, no Peppita at all for the entire week they were staying in Kirsla refining their weapons? He supposed that he could put up with the brat for a few minutes for such a reward…

“What is it, worm? Make it quick.” She smiled triumphantly—which he scowled at of course—and moved so she stood directly before him. Due to the near two feet he had on her, they were almost eye-to-eye while he was sitting down. She stored that tidbit away for later, lest it prove to come in handy.

“See this box?” She pulled out a small wooden box from only who knew where—with her outfit, he really didn’t want to know. He snorted at the question, not bothering to dignify it with a response. “Well, if you look inside, you can see who I love the most. Wanna see?” She looked positively giddy at the thoughts of him knowing whose picture she had, bouncing on her heels and smiling like a lovesick girl…which, it seemed, she was.

He was hardly impressed.

“You hyperactive little brat… What make you think that I would possibly care about whichever of those maggots you love?” He said the last word mockingly—how could someone so young possibly understand such a strong emotion? Not that he cared of course. If she wanted to waste her time with one of them, that was her problem. She didn’t look at all upset by his annoyed words though. In fact, her smile widened.

“Oh, I think you’ll care about this once you see inside…” He let out a noise of disgust at the very thought and shook his head at her naďve ideas.

“Dream on, worm. I couldn’t care less about whoever’s picture you have in there. In fact, let me guess. Is it the idealistic fool? Or perhaps that idiotic child? Will you leave me alone now?” She giggled and shook her head, causing him to roll his crimson eyes. What a pest…

“Nope, it’s not Fayt or Roger. Guess again!” Even if she was annoying, he was a man of pride, and he refused to let her beat him at this—childish game or not.

“The blond lummox?” Another giggle.

“No, not Cliff either.” Another scowl.

“That foolish old man?” Her nose scrunched up at the very thought.

“Ew, he’s old enough to be my granddad!” …As much as he wanted to win this unofficial game, he was really glad he was wrong that time.

“…It must be one of those insipid females then,” he declared confidently, only for her to shake her head, an amused twinkle in her jade eyes.

“Wrong again! It’s a guy, not a girl, silly!” Normally, he would have slit anyone’s throat who’d dared to call him silly of all things, but he had other things to worry about at the moment.

“Surely, you didn’t waste my time trying to guess someone I don’t know…” The threat was left unvoiced, but painfully apparent. It was her turn to roll her eyes. Honestly, sometimes she wondered…

“No, you know him. I can’t believe you can’t guess who he is though…” As much as he hated to admit it—not that he’d admit it aloud of course—he was rather…disappointed that she’d managed to defeat him, no matter what the challenge. But who else could it possibly be?

“Bah, I don’t care you little worm,” he sneered, though they both knew it wasn’t true. “Now just show me what’s in the damn box so I can start my week without you.” She shrugged and slowly held it out, grinning all the while. With an impatient growl, he snatched it out of her hands with his good arm and swiftly undid the latch with the tip of his claw. If this was some sort of trick, he was going to—

“…Is that…?” Peppita did a mental victory dance. Albel “the Wicked” Nox, the feared warrior, at an involuntary loss for words, and it was all thanks to her! It was a great day indeed.

“Well, I don’t have a picture of you since this planet isn’t advanced enough for that, but that mirror still shows the person I love the most when you look in it!” While Albel sat looking into the small mirror within the box, Peppita giggled softly. Without waiting for a reaction, she leaned in and lightly pressed her lips to his. It only lasted for a few moments before she pulled back, a warm expression on her face. “You don’t have to say anything. I understand… Just keep the box, okay? I’ll see you in a week.”

She left without another word, leaving Albel alone with his reflection. He sat expressionless for a few minutes before snapping the box shut with a scowl. What a brat…

…But still, maybe he’d seek her out her before the week was up. You know, just because.

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That's all she wrote! ...Literally. This is a oneshot, and though I plan to write this couple again soon (best het SO3 couple imo, and the only Albel het I like), I won't be continuing this. If you desperately need to know what Albel did...he lasted two days, found Peppita playing with Woltar's lums, and proceeded to show her how a proper kiss goes. ...Or something like that.

Back to yaoi next time. Oh yes, if you thought fluffy lolicon was odd... You haven't known me long enough. ;3