A/N: Meh. I was bored. And y'know... can't get enough of the old Zidag. Drop me a review on your way out pretty please!

Belated Introductions


"What is your name?" she asked softly, and her voice carried discreetly across their lonely camp like a whirl of wind-pushed smoke.

He was casually reclined opposite, prodding at the campfire's flames with a stick he held between his toes. He stopped when she addressed him though, and threw her an odd look.


Vivi looked up at her too, lamplight eyes bright with curiosity. He was huddled affectionately against her in a way no child would have dared in the castle, and drew clouds and suns with smiley faces in the dirt with a gloved finger.

Garnet held the blonde boy's gaze across the fire, feeling intently out of place sitting in the dirt with her legs tucked neatly beneath her, hands tightly clasped together on her knees. Her feet were hot inside her leather shoes and her hair was hot against her neck, but she could not remove her boots, for it was unseemly to show ones feet in public, and she could not tie up her hair because a lady of her status should style her hair loose.

"Your name," she repeated. "I do not know it."

This was not entirely true, for she had heard Vivi use it once or twice as they battled across the plains outside of the Evil Forest (Steiner called him a many number of things, all of which she was certain did not ring true), but it seemed strange that he had not formally introduced himself, especially to someone of her stature. Of course, their initial acquaintance was hardly conventional, but still…

He blinked at her stupidly. His face was dirty and his hair was lank, his clothes were crudely mended in places and his voice was unrefined and energetic, underlined with a Lindblumese brogue. She had never met anyone of his sort in her life and had no idea how to handle his coarse mannerisms and indifference to etiquette, royal or otherwise.

"Zidane," he drawled, in a manner that suggested she might be a bit slow.

She bristled. "I was just making sure. I have already introduced myself yet you… you have alluded to any form of introduction…"

He stared at her blankly, blue eyes knotted with amber flames. Somewhere to their right, shrouded in darkness, Steiner grunted something disapproving. It went ignored, and Zidane stood up.

She watched him with part apprehension and part curiosity as he bowed at the waist (not a real bow, she noted, for the angle and footwork was all wrong) and whirled one hand with a theatrical flourish and announced, "Then please allow me to introduce myself appropriately. I am Zidane Tribal, if it pleases Her Highness."

Garnet's face went hot and she scowled. "Are you mocking me?"

He grinned crookedly. "Not at all."

"Well," she countered haltingly. Then she stood up too, and executed a bow that was flawless in its intention and flowed prettier than a silk skirt. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Zidane Tribal."

He cocked an impressed eyebrow and crossed his arms. "Ditto, babe."