There was a tale that the story tellers of Twilight Town would narrate to the children. It was about a pilot who flew higher into the endless sky than any other airship had gone, who discovered worlds no other travelers had been, and about an Angel who fell in love with the pilot.
?" The clangs of wrenches and screws against the metal casing of the Highwind pause momentarily when Cid stops his work to peer down at Roxas at the base of the ladder. The sudden mute of all the familiar sounds in the hangar makes Roxas squirm uncomfortably with embarrassment. "You're kidding, right?"
Roxas sucks in a deep breath, watching his mentor decend from the ladder before saying in his most determined voice: "I'm not kidding. I want to find that floating fortress."
"You're fuckin' crazy, kid," Cid tells him, motioning with impatient curls of his fingers for the grease rag. Roxas chews tentatively on his lip, looking for any encouraging sign from the older man when he hands over the rag. "There's a reason why people call it the World That Never Was. Pilots go missing trying to find that damned thing, which we don't even know actually exists or not." Roxas' eyes watch as Cid rubs vigorously at his soiled hands, the skin around his nails calloused and dirty from many years of taking care of his airship.
Throwing the towel over his shoulder, Cid rummages in to his pocket and puts a cigarette in his mouth. "Curiosity killed the fuckin' cat, y'know," Cid muffles around the stick between his lips, flicking on a lighter to scorch the end. Roxas feels his heart sinking.
"There are worlds outside our own, Cid," Roxas says, "we can't find out about them by flying around the same places we always do."
Cid scoffs, running a hand through his hair, damp from work and the afternoon heat, before turning back to examine his ship. "There are some things that oughta be left the hell alone, Rox. Sometimes there are things that aren't meant to be found."
Roxas shakes his head and walks right up to him, nudging him in the ribs with a small punch. "And what if there are things that are meant to be found, out there, right now?"
After a moment's pause, Cid takes a long drag from his fourth cigarette that day before snubbing it beneath his boot. Heavy boots carry him away from the ship towards his desk, unorganized and laden with papers, maps, and blueprints. Roxas, heart heavy, sighs and leans against the Highwind. The metal is cool to the touch as his own face heats up with the first inklings of disappointment and frustration. He had done the studies, he's flown countless airships with and without Cid's supervision, he has the skills required for combat, and even had dreams about what the fortress would look like. He knows of the risk involved. People had told him about the the stories of pilots being attacked by Wyverns, getting swept up by powerful winds created by monsters people called Angel Stars. Despite it all, Roxas feels he can do this, as if he is meant to do this.
"Roxas." The rough sound of Cid's voice jostles Roxas out of his thoughts, and the young blond turns to see Cid waving him over. He weaves by the mess of tools left on the floor, approaching with a small frown on his face. He's sure as hell he won't be accepting to run any errands for Cid after he was shot down just moments before.
Cid looks at him for a moment, and rolls his eyes. "Wipe that fuckin' frown off your face, will you? I just want to give you these."
Roxas looks down, and sees a pair of goggles and a tube of paper in Cid's hands. "Goggles?" He asks incredulously, taking the offerings nonetheless.
goddamned goggles." Cid says bluntly, taking a gentle swat at the blond head before him.
"Ow! Mind telling me why you're giving me your goggles?" Roxas yelps, taking several steps back and shooting a dirty look at the man for the assault. He puts them on, fitting them against his face.
"I wore those when I discovered the Rising Falls, Smartass. I was your age." Cid pauses, before continuing, "they mean a lot to me, so don't lose 'em."
At a loss for words, Roxas can only nod. The goggles suddenly feels as if Roxas had worn them all his life. It lights a flame in belly, and he was itching to put them to use. He doesn't want that spark to end. A small breeze sweeps in from the wall opening into the sky, like a beckoning for Roxas. The sky is beginning to turn into a bright orange in the remaining hours of the afternoon, just another reason for Roxas to seek out a way to sate that flame burning within him.
Cid closes the gap Roxas had said between them and puts the rolled paper in the younger pilot's hand. "Those are maps charting off towards the goddamned edge of the world. I've marked down places you can land in and stay and recharge or whatever. It can only help you get so far, but at least you'll have a way back home if you chicken out."
Roxas lets out a light chuckle, punching Cid in the gut gently. "I won't chicken out."
Cid gives a huff, and his lips pull back into a smile. "I know you won't, kiddo," he says, pulling Roxas into a headlock and messing up the golden tresses of hair, "y'aint a pilot if you get scared of the unknown, but it's exactly what worries me."
"So you do care!"
"Don't let it go to your head."
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The prompt was steampunk akuroku, and the drabble is an added bonus ;D Ahhh, it's been a while since i've written drabbles <33
I apologize if there are mechanical uncertainties here XDDD i'm not a mechanical genius. Axel's wings were referenced off this gorgeous piece of work, so give this guy love: [link]