Paine trailed her fingers through the shifting sand beside her as it tugged on her skin. In front of her, the water of the oasis sparkled under the sun. The growing winds shifted the palms and grass growing up from the sands in slow, sweeping motions.
"You'll burn out here in that bathing suit."
"I'm fine." Paine twisted her head to look at Nooj, making his way toward her. "How's the ship?"
"Gippal says we'll be back underway in an hour." He didn't sit beside her, but stood close enough where he could trace his hand along her hair, smoothing through tangles. "Our ship doesn't like the sand, it seems."
"Takes after its captain, then." Paine smiled as fingers tugged gently on her hair. "Grumbles a lot, demands to be oiled."
"Are you insinuating that I can't handle sand?" Nooj's tone deepened, and Paine pulled her hand away from the tiny circle of sinking sand to stand up.
"No, I'm saying you grumble about sand." She glanced at him, wanting to smooth away the slight frown there. "Sand, chocobos, Baralai's cupcakes...I know all your weaknesses." The wind whipped around them, and Nooj braced against it.
"You missed one," Nooj said.
Paine looked toward the water, and them smiled and stepped forward, putting a foot in the water lapping against dry land. "I guess I did." She went forward, bare feet sinking into the wet sand under the water. It was cold against her skin as she went deeper, goose bumps spreading upwards, ignoring the beating heat of the sun. She looked back to see Nooj's face gone slack and the chill of the water in the wind was worth it.
"Paine—" Nooj's voice caught as Paine slid her fingers under the bottom of her top.
Her lips curved upwards. "Let me show you the one I forgot."