New World, Old Traditions (Xenoblade Chronicles Tickle Fic)
A/N: SURPRISE! I decided to write a shorter fic for the 1-year anniversary of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition!
While I couldn’t finish “WARNING: Beware of Grins” in time for the anniversary, I couldn’t stomach the idea of not doing anything for it. So I sat there, wondering if I could do anything to celebrate this milestone, when I thought to myself, “Hey! I should write a fic based on two of the headcanons that I have about the birthdays of the main party members in Xenoblade Chronicles!”
What are those two headcanons? Well, allow me to describe them to you!
Headcanon #1: The birthdays of each of the main party members correspond to a date that matches up with either one of two things:
The release date of a specific entry in the Xenoblade series, including ports.
A date on which major news for a specific entry in the Xenoblade series was announced. An example would be March 26th, the date of the Nintendo Direct Mini that announced the release date for XC:DE and the Future Connected epilogue that came with it.
While I would love to list off all of the birthdays, I don’t want this Author’s Note to drag on and on, so I’ll just list off the birthdays of the characters who will be the main stars of this fic.
#1- Shulk’s birthday is June 10th (the release date of the original Xenoblade Chronicles in Japan).
#2- Reyn’s birthday is March 26th. I already explained the significance of this date earlier, so I won’t repeat myself.
#3- Fiora’s birthday is May 29th (the release date of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, A.K.A today!)
If you want to know the birthdates of Dunban, Sharla, Melia, and Riki, let me know!
As for headcanon #2, this is what it is: Shulk, Reyn, and Fiora have a tradition of tickling each other on their birthdays. It doesn’t matter whose birthday it is, they will all get the chance to tickle each other. If you would like to learn more about this headcanon, check out this post!
Now that I have explained my two headcanons, I would like to give one last bit of information before we move on to the fic.
Normally, when I write a fic, Shulk is the lee. However, I wanted to try something different with this fic.
This time, it’s Fiora’s turn to be the lee. Shulk will be one of the two lers in this fic, the other being Reyn (though I suppose that’s obvious, given the fact that I told you my headcanon for Reyn’s birthdate). This is going to be fun to write.
Oh, and one last thing: There are major spoilers for Xenoblade Chronicles in this fic. Do not read this fic if you haven’t beaten the game yet.
Alright, I think it’s about time that we get to the fic. So without further ado, let’s go! Happy 1-year anniversary, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition!
When was the last time she had slept like this?
When was the last time she had a good night's rest with no nightmares or monsters to keep her up at night? When was the last time she dreamed of her friends and the wholesome mischief they would get themselves into? When was the last time she slept in in the morning?
And most importantly, when was the last time she had slept in her Homs body?
For months on end, she was afraid. Afraid of how others would view her in her mechanical body. Afraid that both her friends and brother would betray her. Afraid of losing control over herself once more (even though Meyneth was careful with her body, never putting it in harm's way). Afraid that at any moment, she would fall asleep forever.
But now… she was free. Free from the cold metal that once gave her a second chance at life. Free from the sorrow that filled her heart every time she thought about her shortening life span. Free from the emptiness that came with the inability to feel the physical touch of an organic life form. Free from the gods that once ruled the world.
She thanked them. She thanked everyone and everything that made her life as a Mechon more bearable. She thanked those who gave her the courage to fight on, even with the threat of Zanza and the constant feeling that death was coming for her.
But most of all, she thanked Shulk, Melia, and Linada for finding the Biotic Regeneration Device, the very machine that saved her life.
The sudden loss of her mechanical body meant that she could feel certain physical sensations again. She couldn’t remember the last time that she had felt hunger, thirst, or extreme fatigue. Sure, she had felt tired as a Mechon, but that paled in comparison to the exhaustion she had been feeling since the day that she woke up from the chamber. She hadn’t felt this tired since the day that her brother returned home from the Battle of Sword Valley.
She had felt this way for at least a week now. She knew that some of it came from all of the walking she did when she was tasked to find those who needed help with the reconstruction efforts in New Colony 9, but when she thought about all of the times that she had helped people in the old world prior to the Mechon raid on the old Colony 9, she knew that the majority of her fatigue came from an entirely different source.
She didn’t know for sure what the cause was, but she figured that it had something to do with the fact that she was in a mechanical body for months. She was still adjusting to the body she never thought she would be in again, so it wouldn’t surprise her if the fatigue went away on its own in about a month. For now, she would have to deal with the excessive amount of sleepiness.
Right now, she was asleep, burned out from her walks across the new yet all-so-familiar colony she called home. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue with any of her companions. All of them knew that she was much more tired than she had ever been in her life, and they would usually let her be when she slept into the late hours of the morning.
However, today was a little bit different.
Today was Fiora’s birthday, and she had slept in. Shulk and Reyn were having none of this.
“What do you say we do to wake her up?” Reyn asked the former visionary.
“Hm… We could gently shake her until she wakes up, but she won’t be happy about that…”
“Should we spook her?”
“No! We are not doing that!”
“Sorry, sorry. Just wanted to propose an idea.”
Shulk glared at him for a bit before he put his hand on his chin in thought.
“Scaring her isn’t a good idea, but maybe we’ll have to do something that will jolt her awake…”
“Seems like it’s the only way to wake her these days…”
Reyn mulled over a possible solution. After a few seconds of silence between him and his closest friend, he was suddenly hit with an idea.
“Wait, I got it!”
“Oh dear Bionis… what is it, Reyn?” Shulk said, playfully teasing the older Hom.
“First of all, don’t give me that attitude,” He poked the younger male in the bicep, “second of all, do you remember a certain tradition that you, Fiora and I used to have?”
Shulk rummaged his brain for a memory that would provide the answer to the soldier’s question. Eventually, he found it.
“Are you talking about… that tradition?”
“Huh? Can you be more specific?” Reyn was a bit confused, not understanding the vagueness of the heir’s response, before he noticed the blush that was forming on his face.
“Oh, so you do remember that tradition?”
Reyn ruffled his hair before he asked him, “So what do you think? Should we do it?”
“It might work… And even if it doesn’t, we’ll tickle her anyway at some point in the day. Tradition and that.”
“So is that a yes?”
Shulk nodded and said, “Yeah, it’s a yes.”
The auburn-haired male gave him a thumbs up. “Alrighty then, let’s go and wake up Fiora!”
The two of them left the Weapons Development Lab and strolled through the streets of New Colony 9. As they walked by, Dunban, Sharla, Melia, and Riki all greeted them, asking if they could wish Fiora a “Happy Birthday” on their behalf (all four of them were busy with the reconstruction, and Dunban didn’t have the heart to wake his sister up from a well-deserved sleep). They told them that they would, and kept on walking.
Eventually, they arrived at Dunban’s House. Reyn went up to the front door and turned the knob. He wasn’t surprised to find that the door was unlocked. He quietly pushed the door open and tip-toed inside the house. He waited in the kitchen for a few seconds, listening for the blonde woman’s footsteps, before he turned to Shulk to tell him that she was still asleep. The scientist carefully stepped inside the room.
They sneaked up the stairs, careful to avoid the spots that made the steps creak, and found the young girl sleeping in the bed.
“Ready?” Reyn whispered to his fellow Hom.
“Ready.” He answered
The older male slowly lifted the blanket off of Fiora’s body, revealing that she was wearing a Dyed Top and Dyed Bottoms. She usually put these two pieces of clothing on when she was about to go to bed, and wore her normal outfit during the day.
Reyn looked over at Shulk and whispered, “You go for the knees, and I’ll go for the sides, alright?”
“Got it.” The heir whispered back.
Reyn carefully reached over to pull Fiora’s shirt up and slowly drifted his hands towards her sides, while Shulk made his fingers walk up to her knees.
As soon as their fingers made contact with her skin, they lightly wiggled them.
At first, she didn’t react to the touch, far too deep in her sleep to notice anything that came from the real world, but in ten seconds, she finally let out a couple of giggles.
“Hehehehe… Stahahahahahp…” She made an attempt to swat at the boys’ hands, but she didn’t put enough strength into the swats, and was therefore unable to stop the sensation.
Soon enough, her eyes fluttered open, still giggling at the sensation that was coursing through her body. Shulk and Reyn took their hands off of her as she drifted towards wakefulness.
“Good morning, sleepy head!” Reyn sang, ruffling Fiora’s hair exactly like he did with Shulk’s back at the Weapons Development Lab.
“Hands off, you big oaf…~” She teased, earning a pout from the soldier and a laugh from the scientist.
“Happy Birthday, Fiora!” Shulk said, pulling her up into a sitting position before hugging her.
“Aw, thank you, Shulk!” She replied cheerfully, then turned her attention over to Reyn.
“No, Fiora, I didn’t forget your birthday this year.” Reyn said with a faint blush and an exasperated tone.
Fiora had every reason to doubt him. Normally, Reyn would forget about her birthday for at least half of the day before someone would remind him.
“Heheheh… I don’t believe you one bit- ah!” Fiora was about to sass her muscular friend, but she was cut off by Shulk pushing her onto the bed.
“You can laugh at him later, Fiora. For now, we have a tradition to attend to.”
He quickly lost the former Mechon, “What? What are you talking about?”
“What? You don’t remember our old tradition?” A tinge of dismay flashed across Reyn’s face, but in a split second, it had vanished. “What do you think, Shulk? Should we help her remember?”
The younger blonde nodded as a smirk grew on his lips. “Yeah, let’s do it!”
Reyn was about to tickle her underarms, but Shulk stopped him.
“Hang on, do you know how long we’re supposed to tickle her?”
Fiora heard that second-to-last word and immediately began to panic. “Wait, what did you say?”
Reyn ignored her (as did Shulk) and answered the heir’s question. “Yeah, she’s nineteen years old now, so we’ll tickle her for nineteen minutes, correct?”
“You got it! Now, are you ready?”
“You bet I am! Let’s bring this tradition back!”
Fiora could only squirm and giggle as Reyn grabbed her wrists and pinned them down with his left hand. Meanwhile, Shulk sat down on her legs and moved his body until he knew for sure that his weight would keep her legs pinned.
Shulk tsked at her and slipped into his role as a ler, “You should save your breath, Fiora, because you’re going to need it~”
The unexpected tease from the former visionary was the last thing she heard before she was suddenly attacked by two pairs of hands. One pair went for her underarms, while the other snuck up her shirt and pinched at her ribs.
“Ahahahahahahaha! Nohohohohohohohoho!” She quickly fell into a laughing fit and tried her hardest to pull her arms down. Unfortunately, Reyn’s grip was far too strong, so she had no choice but to surrender herself to the tickles. Even worse, while she made her attempt to escape, the soldier took advantage of the situation and sped up the tickling every time she stretched her arms out.
“Eep! Reheheheheheyn, stahahahahahahap! Lehehehehehet mehehehe gohohohoho!”
“Sorry, Fiora, but you’re out of luck. There’s still eighteen minutes to go~!”
Fiora squealed as the older male raked his fingers back and forth in her underarms and teased her at the same time. Since when did he become an intimidating tickle monster?
Knowing that she was helpless under Reyn’s hold, she decided to focus her efforts on her legs. Shulk was a bit weaker than Reyn, so she figured that it would be easy for her to knock him off. She laughed and laughed for another two minutes before she made an attempt at lifting her right leg.
However, as soon as she tried to lift it, Shulk countered her by launching an all-out attack on her knees.
“Oh no you don’t! You’re not getting away from us~!”
“Whahahahahahahaha! Sihihihihihihihihincehehehehe whehehehehehen dihihihihi yohohohou gehehehehet sohohohoho bohohohohohold?”
“Trust me, if Reyn wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be doing this right now. But since he’s here with me, I’m feeling rather brave.” He moved his right hand to the back of her right knee and began to scratch at the spot, while his left hand skittered across her left kneecap. “Soon, you will fear me~!”
The teasing and tickling from the youngest member of the group nearly broke the helpless woman underneath him.
“Ihihihihihihihihi’m nohohohohohohohot ahahahahahfraihihihihihihid ohohohohohof yohohohoHOHOHO! REHEHEHEHEHEYN, NOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!” Reyn broke the laughter dam within her by blowing raspberries into her neck.
“No? No what? What am I doing wrong, Fiora~? Tell me!”
“QUIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIT THEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE RAHAHAHAHAHAHAHASPBEHEHEHEHEHEHERRIHIHIHIHIES!”
Reyn let out a chuckle, “Sorry, what did you say? I can’t understand you!”
“YOHOHOHOHOHOHOU KNOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOW WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHT IHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHI SAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHID!”
Shulk shook his head and made his hands jump up to her sides. “Fiora, Reyn doesn’t speak ticklish.”
“Yeah, I don’t understand the ticklish language! I haven’t even studied it, yet!”
Fiora’s mind was about to be lost in the raging river of laughter that spilled from her mouth.
“SHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHUT IHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIT!” She accidentally yelled.
Reyn stopped tickling her and put his hand over his heart in mock offense, while Shulk let out an exaggerated gasp and sped his tickling up to the max.
“Fiora! That wasn’t necessary! Shulk, I think we need to punish this rude little birthday girl!”
“I agree, Reyn, but we should save the punishment for the last five minutes. That will straighten her out for sure!”
Fiora had never shivered at Shulk’s words before, but even though all of the tickling, she felt a powerful chill run down her spine.
“WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAT DOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOES THAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAT MEHEHEHEHEHEAN, SHUHUHUHUHUHUHUHULK?!”
The scientist let out the most threatening laugh she had ever heard from him in her life, “You’ll see~” Then he zipped his hands onto her stomach, releasing a shriek from the back of her throat.
“EEEEE! STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP IHIHIHIHIHIHIHIT! STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP!” She was getting dangerously close to breaking as she endured the barrage of tummy tickles that rained down upon her.
“Ten minutes left, Reyn! Don’t let up just yet!”
“Got it, but we might want to slow it down so Fiora can breathe!”
“Good idea. If my hypothesis is correct, her laughter will turn silent in two minutes, so we should ease up on her so that doesn’t happen.”
Reyn had to laugh at that. Even when he’s tickling someone to death, Shulk would always find a way to be geeky. Fiora probably laughed at that too, but right now, it was impossible to differentiate between her normal laugh and her tickle laugh.
The two boys slowed their fingers down until they were only tracing over her skin, and although she was tittering, she was able to take a dozen, much-needed breathers.
“Yohohohou guys ahahahahare much mohohohohore ehehehvil than Ihihihi thohohohought…”
Reyn took this moment to revel in her words, “Don’t mess with this tickle monster! You’ll regret it when you do, right Fiora?”
Fiora did her best to give him a death stare, but only succeeded in making herself look silly (if Reyn laughing at her was anything to go by).
As per usual, Shulk took the smart route and just facepalmed at Reyn’s behavior.
“That’s a dangerous thought process, Reyn. Don’t forget that she can dish out punishments more dangerous than Zanza.”
That got a shocked response out of the other male, “You sure about that? I don’t think a tickle monster would have anything on a god!”
“I didn’t defeat Zanza on my own, Reyn! Fiora helped, and so did you and the others!”
Reyn wanted to argue back, but found that he couldn’t. Shulk had a point.
“Anyway, we have five minutes left, and you know what that means~”
“Dear Bionis! How did he transition back into his role so effortlessly?!” Well Shulk was right, Fiora would learn to fear him at some point. If he can return to the role of a ler in no time flat, then she would be terrified to know how he would act if he was playing the role of a tickle monster.
“Ohoho, I’ve been waiting for this! Ready for the grand finale, Fiora~?” Reyn asked with an unnervingly innocent tone in his voice.
“Well too bad!” Reyn nearly shouted out at her. He made his hands hover over her neck, while Shulk had his hands over her hips.
“This is part of the tradition, Fiora. When we reach the five-minute mark, we will target the lee’s worst spots until this time is up. We will not make any exceptions, no matter how much you protest against us or beg for us to reconsider.” Shulk explained to her in the most nonchalant and calm voice she had ever heard from the former visionary. The voice was so haunting that even Reyn was shuddering in fear.
“Now, any last words before you meet your end~?” He asked her. Silence was the only thing he got in response.
“Nothing? Very well, then. Reyn, on the count of three.”
Shulk looked over and raised an eyebrow at his slight stutter before he returned his attention to the poor woman beneath him.
“Three.” The two of them brought their hands closer to her in perfect sync with each other.
“Two.” They finally made contact with her skin.
“One.” Fiora was once again in an anticipatory giggle fit.
“Now!” All hell broke loose.
At long last, Fiora broke under the intense tickling that shook her to the core.
“NOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO! WHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIY WOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOULD YOHOHOHOHOHOHOU GUHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIYS DOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO THIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIS?!”
Reyn was going to answer her, but Shulk butted in and only said the word, “Tradition.”
They both knew that any further teasing would send the former Face unit into a fit of silent laughter, so they stayed silent for the remaining five minutes. The only sound that could be heard in the house was Fiora’s uncontrollable laughter.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity to her, they let up. The tickling abruptly ended, Reyn let go of her wrists, and Shulk got off of her legs.
She laid there, chest heaving up and down as she struggled to regain her composure, while the scientist checked on her legs.
“Can you feel this, Fiora?” he asked as he squeezed her leg in a way that would not be painful or tickly.
“Yes… I can... feel it.” She told him in between breaths.
“You alright?” Reyn questioned her. “Feeling woozy?”
“No, I’m… fine.”
All three of them sat there in near-silence as Fiora’s breathing returned to normal. When it did, she spoke.
“That was impressive. I didn’t think you two had it in you to tickle and tease me like that.”
Reyn objected, “Hey, I’ve had that potential for years! If there’s anyone you should be impressed by, it would be him!” He pointed at Shulk, “I had no idea he could speak like that! It creeped me out!”
The younger boy couldn’t help the prideful smile on his face. “I learned it from watching and listening to all of you guys.”
“So that’s why you sounded like Melia towards the end there!” Fiora exclaimed, “I was trying to figure that out!”
“Oh, uh… That wasn’t intentional.” Shulk professed, feeling slightly embarrassed. He often imitated those that he loved on an unconscious level, and apparently, that’s exactly what he did when he teased Fiora.
“Sure it wasn’t.” she countered.
“Hey guys,” Reyn spoke up, “I think we should go and find the others. They might need help with the reconstruction.”
Fiora was a little concerned about the possibility of them working all day today, considering what day it was. “Do you think we’ll have time to celebrate my birthday today?”
“I think so,” he answered, “They told us to tell you that they said ‘Happy Birthday’, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought about that.”
“Oh! Well, I think we should go and find them so we can talk about it! Just give me a few minutes to change!”
“Okay then! Shulk and I will be downstairs waiting!” He turned to the other boy, only to find him staring at the bottom of the staircase.
“Shulk?” He didn’t get an answer.
Reyn didn’t notice it (or perhaps he might have forgotten it), but Shulk knew what was coming next. According to the tradition, once the birthday boy/girl was free from his or her tickle session, then…
“But first…” Yep, he called it.
He turned around and found that she was still sitting on the bed, looking at him and Reyn with an evil glint in her eyes. He knew what was coming.
“W-what?” Reyn stammered out. He was about to turn and make a run for it, but Fiora’s reflexes were too fast, and she caught his arm before he even had the chance to take a single step away from her.
“If I remember correctly, it’s your turn to be tickled.”
The soldier’s eyes widened, “W-wait, so you DO remember our tradition?”
“Yep, I was just pretending to not know about it. I’ll admit, the results I got from that were surprising,” She glanced at the younger Hom, who was as still as a statue, “...but I knew that the reveal would rile you guys up. I know that this will make you ten times more ticklish, so I figured that I would go for it.”
She got up off of the bed and tugged at Reyn’s arm, trying to pull him onto the spot that she was in mere minutes ago. “Shulk, can you help me?”
In no time at all, Reyn’s laughter would fill the home. After that, it would be Shulk’s turn.
They may be in a new world, but they knew that they would adjust to it just fine, because even though everything has changed, the past would never be forgotten.
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