(Part 1 of this chapter: https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/character/853473/blog/4733896/
Gaius waited patiently as she collected her thoughts, her struggle to mask her feelings was written all over her face by this point. She was delving into something painful. Part of him was amazed she was speaking so candidly of herself to him; a stranger. Perhaps she thought her captors were going to kill her, and was merely telling her tale so that part of her would live on. He almost snorted in laughter at that thought; unless she posed a threat to them, which at this moment seemed as not, she would be released in due time, to return to her life as she saw fit.
But, if that thought is what kept her talking, then who was he to stop her?
Outside his quarters, Severa was leaning towards the door, it's battered state letting sound leak out like water with no dam. Valdeaulin, just now returned from another supply mission into the city, approached her with a loud greeting. She held her hand up in a silencing motion and cast him a warning glare. Frowning, he turned his head slightly in a questioning motion, and she indicated into Gaius' room. Peering in he saw Babette seated in the chair, and understood. Taking up a comfortable stance leaning against the wall of the house, he joined Severa in listening.
“There was a cadet that would patrol the market street of our home district,” Babette said, finally able to keep her voice steady. “Emboldened by just being in the army, he would taunt and heckle mother and I whenever we went to shop. Father, a lowly grunt in the magitek factory, would be beaten if he tried to intervene and protect us.” She didn't hide her disgust with this fact. “Mother finally told him to stop, worried that it would kill him. Her love was a gentle merchant after all, he was not suited to weather the beatings given to him by our Garlean superiors. He did not want to, but acquiesced, unable to handle the tears shed out of fear for his life.”
“And thus, mother and I bore the taunts, the occasional thrown garbage, the uncouth propositions. Mother taught me how to ignore these things, as they were words, and could not kill us as weapons could. I was braver with her, and even though the words thrown at us were hateful, I never felt their sting. Mother, I think, did, and it was eating at her like a rot on the inside.”
“I think the cadet grew frustrated as time passed, seeing that both mother and I had become completely oblivious to his presence and voice. One day, in the company of his fellow soldiers, he snatched me away from mother and....” Babette winced in her reverie, “....in the cruelty one would only afford a child, he bent my ears in a taunt to see if I could 'fly' with them. So harsh were his movements that he snapped them both, and as you can see before you, he disfigured me for life.”
A bitter smile graced her lips in the next moment, “...and then mother promptly ripped one of his pointed Elezen ears clean off of his head.”
To Be Continued