Class: Black Mage
Title: And A Star To Steer Her By
Summary: Secret Santa gift for deadcellredux: Daryl, Setzer, and airships.
Word count: 436
She tries cards and dice, but they soon pall: cards can be marked, dice loaded. At first she takes pride in spotting the signs, but then she gets too good, and there is no challenge.
She makes a little bit of wealth, enough for some comfort, and abandons the gambling tables. Let others throw their lives away on the spin of a wheel, the roll and clatter of dice.
There are other challenges worth finding.
She is not very skilled, at first. It would have been nice, to claim she had some great gift, but this is not the case. She wishes it were, at times: it would be easier. But then perhaps she might walk out, abandon an endeavour gone stale too soon. With time, she thinks, she will wonder how she ever thought it difficult.
When the nights are too warm she sleeps outside in the wind and counts the endless stars and thinks of how she might reach them, one day.
It is a good goal: craft a ship, touch the sky.
The sky is wide and endlessly open, the wind in her face a call and a challenge. Fly faster, fly higher; the world is before her, waiting to be seen.
How can she not accept?
She names her ships after the birds that wheel overhead, in heights not yet reached.
She does not remember quite how she met Setzer, though she recalls that it was by chance.
It was at a pub. He bought her a drink. They talked. Several ales later they drunkenly declared their mutual love of airships.
He showed her the Blackjack. She returned the favour.
Setzer has a taste for culture she does not share. The Blackjack is large and luxuriously appointed; he travels in style. He takes her to the Opera House, once, and never again: Daryl has no patience for the romantic.
She tells him exactly what she thinks of the opera: that it is foolish to wait uselessly while two otherwise perfectly sane men fight to the deaths over you; that it is obvious proof that men who clank stupidly around in heavy armour cannot think properly in the presence of a beautiful woman - and oh, fine, all right, the singing was fairly nice.
She prefers shouting across at him from the deck of her own Falcon, the wind snatching the words from her lips as she says them; there is something truer in that than in pretty songs and empty lyrics.
They chase the stars.
Or perhaps it is truer to say: she chases the stars, and he follows her.