Disclaimer: Final Fantasy XIII and its respected characters are the property of Square Enix, Inc. This is a work of fanfiction, and no profit has or will be made off of the work. By stating this disclaimer, I refuse to be hold liable of violating copyrights.
Warning(?): This work features the pairing of Snow x Lightning, and will have adult situations in the future. The game only takes place in Final Fantasy XIII and will not consider XIII-2 at all. The story was actually conceptualized before XIII-2, but since there are elements that coincidentally collided, I just borrowed the names.
As always, comments are loved and welcomed and worshipped! ^^
“We have to keep our dreams alive. Something to look forward to.”
“… thirteen machine guns and sixty-five rounds recovered,” the young Academy Guardian rattled off. He eyed me insecurely while I continued to type, and winced when his partner kicked him. He cleared his throat, “Seventy-five rounds. My apologies, Commander.”
I shook my head, making a hand gesture for the young soldier to continue. Feeling encouraged, the young man completed his report by recounting the numbers for all other weapons recovered. Making a final note on my tablet, I studied the report quickly before looking up at the two newest Guardians. The mission was an easy one, just enough challenge to whet the appetites of the new graduates while providing experience in the field that could never be obtained through classrooms or exams. They were asked to accompany an Academy Scholar, just a couple years above them, to a newly discovered shrine in the Bresha Ruins. Judging from the excited looks from the youth, it was hardly a guess about how the mission went.
“What was recovered from the site?” asked the robotic voice of my tablet after some quick typing on my part. Developed during the time I was going through physical therapy to recover my muscle strength, the generic, female alto had been my voice for the past year with people I worked on occasional basis. While it was bothersome because of the slight delay, I haven’t had any complaints yet from clients or cadets. The fact that I didn’t speak outside of necessity in the past made the significance of my ‘injuries’ much easier to adjust to.
The boy, Vaan, stammered while glancing at his partner, who rolled her eyes and took a step forward to assume the speaker role. “Nothing out of the ordinary, Commander. There were scrolls and books along with some ancient weapons, and a couple of orbs that Yuna thought were interesting. We’ve gathered about two lift-loads of artifacts.”
I nodded, making a note to ask Hope about the orbs later, after his Scholar had a chance to study it. The past year had been an exciting time for him and his Scholars, having found a couple of new ruins and sites around Pulse that provided insight into the rich history and culture of this planet’s past. While New Sanctum didn’t think most of the studies and research were relevant to the development of the new world on Pulse, Hope had steadfastly ignored their complaint and continued to send Scholars and Guardians to these archaeological sites, if only to satisfy our curiosity of the world that Fang and Vanille had lived in before. The government was divided between thoughts of conserving resources for the development of something more pertinent, such as military weaponry, and the pursuit of academic knowledge to learn how to coexist with the planet. It was almost pathetic that not even a decade had passed on the new planet, and already disagreements threatened to tear the world apart. Now an influential force in the New Sanctum government, Hope had stood his ground and constantly reminded both sides to focus on bettering the lives of the people that live here now, and compromising when any side became too angry. How the young man in his early-twenties could be such a political genius was beyond me, but then again, I had stopped becoming surprised by the silver-haired man after he announced my appointment as Academy Guardian Commander many years ago.
Ensuring that I had all the information I need to complete my report, I typed quickly on the tablet. “Good work. Don’t start your final report until tomorrow, and take the rest of the week off,” the robotic voice said, and though it lacked in emotion, the two young Guardians beamed in excitement that inevitably brought a small smile to my lips. The pair looked at each other hesitantly, before Vaan stepped forward, fidgeting at his wristband in a nervous tic.
“Um, Commander?” he asked, and at my nod, he smiled and continued. “Do you think we can have the full week off?” When I lifted my eyebrow in question, he quickly added, “There’s a place in Archylte Steppe that just opened with chocobo races and other stuff, and Penelo and I wanted to check it out… We’ll be back the day before our next mission and be in tip-top shape, we promise!”
I frowned, not in displeasure but in simple confusion stemming from the development of a tourist attraction on what was a dangerous grassland in the past. Though there were some areas fairly devoid of fiends, it still baffled me that people were willing to make a dangerous trip to the Steppe that had nothing but grass and monsters. It did, however, make a great hunting ground for some. My fingers moved about my tablet, I quickly studied the mission list ahead of me, and mused about the possibility of shifting a couple of days around for the young partners. Recently clearing the Guardian exam, Vaan and Penelo had been on a series of missions that involved both indoor and field time, and the last thing I needed was two burnt-out soldiers in the field getting themselves or their charge killed. A week-long vacation seemed reasonable, and luckily, their next mission had a longer deadline.
Shifting a couple of things around in the calendar, I nodded at last, the young man’s earnest gaze not affecting at all. “You must be back before Thursday of next week to give yourselves a day of rest in the Academy, but you may have the days between then and when you submit your report,” I typed, and quickly added when the two cheered, “but only if your report is well-drafted.”
“Will do!” Vaan cried as he did a quick backflip, which earned him a slap on the back of his head by his calmer but equally energetic partner. The young man grinned at me sheepishly, before he pulled Penelo with him out the door. “Thank you, Commander!”
Standing by the doorway and holding the door open, Selphie watched the two excited friends chatter about their upcoming vacation, before shaking her head and closing the door. Striding across the minimalistic office, my secretary took a seat in the chair across from me with a grace that normally didn’t manifest in the bubbly woman. She had been my rock and support through the past year. The wise, mature, almost mother hen-like side of her had surged when I walked through my office door the first day after being cleared by my physical therapist of being capable to move without support. The brunette had dropped herself in the very seat she now occupied and stared at me. After nearly forty-minutes of my ignoring her and doing paperwork, she quickly rounded the table and wrapped me in an embrace the instant I looked at her.
“I won’t ask what was going on, or what happened,” she had said. “But I know something is wrong, and I need you to know that I love you to death and I will do whatever I can to help you out.”
True to her word, Selphie had been my bridge and defense from the outside world, fielding concerned questions from faculty and staff about my loss of voice, as well as reporters once they got wind of my awakening. Small in stature, Selphie Tilmitt was a force to be reckoned with, balancing people and information tactfully without knowing, or even caring, about the real reason behind my injuries. I was able to work in peace and quiet with minimal disruptions or questions, and for that I would be indebted to the brunette for years to come.
“That was nice of you,” my secretary commented while studying her tablet, making a couple of notes without looking up at me. “You sure the extra two days of vacation won’t affect the Vile Peaks mission?”
I shrugged. ‘They will be fine. They need to learn time management, anyway.’ I mouthed the words slowly for Selphie to understand, who nodded in return. Since learning of my loss of voice, the girl had enlisted Hope and Zell’s help immediately to learn how to read lips, even after I mentioned the tablet would work just fine. For my comment, I received a glare and a lecture on how a tablet can never replace the true essence of speaking, and how she would not be shut off from my world because of her inability to read lips and sign. Why I deserved to have someone like Selphie I had no idea.
Looking at what I would guess to be my calendar, Selphie began to inform me of my day. “Senator Seymour called, again, and insisted on having a conference with you, even if it’s video. He refused to even begin discussing the budget for additional transport unless you meet with him, so I scheduled him for this afternoon at two.” At my exasperated sigh, she reached over and patted me on the arm, smiling when I didn’t flinch. “Your three o’clock debriefing with Cloud Strife would probably have been canceled, since there were reports of a storm in Yaschas Massif, so I went ahead and rescheduled the meeting to day after tomorrow. But I’ll let you know once he gets back. Also, Instructor Trepe sent the latest rubric and instructions for the field exam, and she wanted you to approve it before she begins selecting instructors for it. Oh,” stopping for a breather, she sipped on bottled water she brought in before continuing, “the latest cadet progress report was compiled, summarized and in your Inbox.”
I glanced at my desktop display, wincing at the large file containing the progress report that I had to digest before the end of the week, and groaned inwardly. As the Commander, not only did I have to determine the grouping of the field exam to ensure safety and proper assessment, which means to know each cadet well enough through reports from different instructors, but I had to also design the field exam with enough challenges for all cadets and push them to the limit in order to determine their eligibility for Guardian status. It was the part of my job that was most tedious and painful. Receiving naught a sympathetic look from my secretary, she added salt to my wound without missing a beat, “Don’t forget to give your recommendations to Instructor Trepe before next Friday so she can process them in time.”
Glaring at my slave driver half-heartedly, I nodded my understanding and mimed a gesture of needing a lot of coffee between now and when I finish my work. The energetic woman giggled before closing her tablet and stood when I opened the rubric she mentioned earlier. Before she left for her own desk, she turned and said, “Oh, and Dean Katzroy called. He said dinner is at 7:30 tonight because he’d run a little late, and he’s grilling steaks tonight.”
There must have been something on my face at hearing the mouth-watering event, because Selphie giggled again before she closed my office door. For better or worse, since I lost my ability to speak, I began to rely on expressions to accompany my gestures and silent words to those close to me. While I could hardly replace Sazh or Snow in wearing their hearts on their sleeves, I was, quoting Director Estheim, “more human-like” now. It wasn’t easy, displaying my emotions to let others detect them, even if I would trust my life with them. But without my beloved blade, I felt vulnerable and afraid, until I learned to rely on Hope and Sazh for support. The process was difficult for all of us, and I am forever indebted to the two men who tolerated my uncontrollable reactions and were still willing and patient with me.
Despite spending three months with Fang and Vanille, upon awakening everything was a challenge. For weeks I would flinch from Hope and Sazh if they were remotely close in proximity, and passed out from hyperventilation from Sazh trying to hug me when I first awoke. Frazzled and confused, the poor man had a pained look in his eyes when I came to, standing as far away from me as possible without losing visual contact. He fidgeted and scratched his hair in vain while Dr. Kadowaki, the official physician of the Academy, tended to me. After the plump woman helped my weakened body settle onto the sofa and left, I asked Hope to share the details of my attack with the man who, on rare occasions, I view as an older brother. Sazh was absolutely livid when Hope finished his summary of the attack, which was to be expected. His declaration of my being family to him and that he would be by my side while I get through this difficult time was heartwarming, and it felt good to know that I wasn’t alone.
The downside, much to my annoyance, I now had two men who vowed to be my personal protectors, as if I was some damsel in distress. Really, whatever gave them that idea?
A relief, however, was when Sazh supported my decision of not seeing Dr. Sid until I decided I was ready. While never relaying the details of my time with the two Pulsian women, Hope and Sazh knew enough about their role in my recovery that they allowed me to continue my work as the Commander, though they unanimously agreed that I was on desk duty until further notice. Although cures and potions had mended broken bones and lacerated muscles, the months of bed rest had weakened my body significantly. Even when I wanted to return to work by the third day, I didn’t have the stamina to even walk through the entire physical exam, which gave Hope the perfect excuse for locking me in my own apartment for a week. The Director was insistent on physical therapy, which ended up being two weeks of intense sessions followed by weekly visits for the next year. The fact that my wrists gave out within a minute after lifting Omega Weapon was frustrating, and it wasn’t until the past couple of weeks that I have been able to begin training at the Training Center, where either Sazh or Hope must accompany me to watch my back.
Then again, I think they enjoyed treating me like a delicate flower a little too much. I look forward to the day I can prove otherwise again.
I wonder what Snow will say, when he sees how I have changed since he left?
Will he still… care… like he did before?
My mood darkening, I laid my head down on the glass desktop, the drive to go through files and paperwork evaporated. Touching my lips, I thought about the feeling of his stubbled chin tickling my digits when he kissed my fingers. The warm breaths tickling my skin and the soft words he spoke, the promise he gave. Never had anyone ignited such heartwrenching, burning sensations inside me, and even a year later, it still felt like he held my hand in his, the touch always lingered.
What would I do, if he never came back? Or, rather, he does come back, only to say his feelings have changed?
What if he still wants Serah?
Distressed, I banged my forehead on my desk a couple of times, hoping the dull pain would wipe away such selfish thoughts. Of course I would be happy if he still wanted Serah – someone pure and innocent deserves him. Despite the numerous showers, the feeling of filth and taint remained, and I’ve come to accept the fact that they will always be there. Snow shouldn’t have to bear my cross. Besides, things would be the same as before – I would be content with the two people that I love happy together – and that should be enough for me. So long as Serah and Snow are happy, I should be happy. It would be greedy of me to want more.
Shaking my head furiously to clear any thoughts of the blonde, I turned to put on the oversized bomber jacket that draped over the back of my chair. A permanent outer layer for the past year, I sighed when I slipped my arms through the large sleeves, and tightened the jacket close around me in a self-embrace. Stopping just past my ass, the bomber jacket was almost a short coat on me, with the ridiculous N.O.R.A emblem on the back that had turned many curious eyes when I first began wearing it around campus. Inhaling the scent of generic detergent that I obtained after breaking into Snow’s dorm room, I allowed myself a momentary reprieve and felt the dark thoughts slowly ebb away to the deeper part of my subconscious, dormant until future hysterics. While I suppose the good doctor could give me tips and strategies to be rid of the negative, pathetic thoughts, I simply had no motivation to visit him, dreading the “How do you do”s and the forced talking. Really, I’ve heard all there is to it about my “condition” that I really don’t need to explain my feelings to a practical stranger just to “get healed”. I can handle myself, despite what Hope, Sazh, and sometimes even Selphie think. The thought that I was simply waiting for Snow to return and accompany me to revisit the darkest part of my life had never crossed my mind, and I’d like to keep believing that.
Refocusing my mind on the desktop screen in front of me, I allowed the images of the man that occupied my dreams of late to be overtaken by the burden of responsibility once again. Regardless of what my personal woes might be, life must continue on, and work will never cease. Perhaps if I tire myself from work, I can have a fulfilling dream starring a certain blonde tonight.
Exiting the cab, I emptied my pocket of the rest of the gil on my person, before picking up the luggage that sat on the curb. Hours past midnight, the illuminating public gateway had already shut off to give the citizens of Academia much needed peace and quiet, while stranding late returning Academy personnel like me at the train station. I had to walk a good mile or two before finding my cab driver asleep at the wheel, who was none too thrilled about taking me for such a long distance until I promised to give him all the gil I had. Sure, I could have simply checked into a nearby hotel or found a 24-hour cafe and waited for the sun to come up, but thoughts of a certain Commander would drive me crazy with the need to see her if I did.
Clutching the thin, government-issued tablet in my hand, I stared at the imposing structure ahead of me that felt more like home than the peanut-shaped Farron house in Cocoon. While limited in my communication with anyone from the Academy, I was ready to bolt for the train station and catch a returning ride when Hope told me that Light had woken up from her sleep after arriving at Cocoon. Physically restrained by Nida and reprimanded by Hope, I made the young Director promise to keep me updated with Light’s progress in her struggles to return to normal life. It broke my heart when I learned about her mute status, but I was rest assured after speaking with the residential shrink that, if Light agrees to see him, there would be a way to help the Commander regain her ability to speak. Knowing the stubborn woman, I promised Dr. Sid that his request takes priority on my list of to-dos when I return. With some understanding of her condition, studying lip-reading and sign language had occupied all of my free time when I was not assisting my counsel. Luckily, Cocoon had more books on every subject compared to Pulse, which made my research and study that much easier.
My studiousness also got me a pair of reading glasses, unfortunately. Even though I should be paid to wear these lenses because of how good I make them look, if I may say so myself, I still feel an odd mixture of love and embarrassment when I have to take them out to read anything. Nida certainly had some fun teasing me about it, blaming the need for eyewear on old age.
Striding down the familiar hallways, I let the hum of machinery that seemed nonexistent during the day, but more pronounced in the quietness of night wash over me. My boots clicking on the prestine floor, I sidestepped a cleaning robot when it zipped past me. The fifteen floors up to the executive quarters might as well be a trek around Pulse, and I took several deep breaths to still the racing heart that threatened to bounce out of me if I don’t see Light right now. Pausing in front of the familiar non-descript door, I pressed my thumb on the scanner, the beep that granted me entrance brought a giddy smile to my face.
Dropping my luggage by the door, my eyes gazed around the clean and organized minimalistic apartment. Nothing seemed to have changed since I left, though the sight of my bomber jacket draping over the arm of the sofa piqued my curiosity. Filing that away for later investigation, I crossed the living room and walked straight to the closed room that separated my obsession and myself. Opening the door as quietly as possible, I felt I could finally breathe when I saw the shadowed figure sleeping on the bed with her back towards me. I watched the rise and fall of her chest, her pink hair pooled loosely on the white sheets, dark almost like ink, that looked so much more tantalizing without the hairband that she used to keep it tamed over her shoulder. Noticing that she was only wearing a thin-strapped tank top with the blanket down below her waist, I chastised the pretty Commander in my mind for the possibility of her catching a cold this way. Shaking my head, I approached the sleeping beauty.
Pulling the blanket higher, I paused momentarily when Light stirred. Turning, my gorgeous Light unfurled from the ball she had made of herself, and I marveled at the serene, relaxed expression on her porcelain face. A small smile tugged at the corner of her lips, and before I thought I was ready, deep sapphire eyes locked onto mine with soft warmth. A satiny hand reached up and cupped a side of my cheek, my eyes widened at the most brilliant smile I’ve ever seen the Commander bestow upon me. I couldn’t help but stare, my eyes only moved to her pouty lips when they parted to whisper my name.
“You’re back,” Light breathed, her hand brushing against my stubble. “I missed you.”
“I missed you too,” I replied, my voice sounded loud in the quiet bedroom.
The supple hand slid from my cheek to wrap around my neck, and suddenly I found velvety lips pressed against mine. I inhaled sharply, my eyes probably wide as saucers, until the pressure left. Light made a soft whimper before our lips met again, and she pulled away, frowning at me in confusion, silently asking why I wasn’t joining her. Realizing this tantalizing warrior had no idea what a proper kiss was, I gave into my desire and crushed my lips to hers before she could get too far away. Tongue tracing her lips to imprint their shape in my mind, I swallowed her hitched breath and took advantage of the parted lips. Finally tasting her for the first time, I took my time and savored the sweet flavor that could only be Light. Coaxing the shy and inexperienced Commander, the first touch of tongue sent shivers down my spine. Supporting myself with my hands pressed down on the bed on both sides of her pillow, I moaned in delight of dreams coming true. Maker, if I’m still sleeping on the train, please don’t let me wake up.
When breathing became difficult for both Light and I, we parted, panting. Her eyes closed sometime during the kiss, but she kept them half-lidded as pink tongue darted out to lick her lips sensually. I stared incredulously, blood leaving my brain and went straight to my groin, making my pants suddenly too tight for comfort. I shifted, trying to put some distance between the alluring woman beneath me and my obvious erection so I don’t frighten my beloved. A cold shower definitely on the horizon, I couldn’t help myself and pressed my hand to her delicate face, thumbing the skin underneath her right eye while I studied her adorable expression. Placing a kiss on her forehead, I started to push myself away from her with great reluctance.
Sinewy fingers tightened around my shirt so that I nearly lost my balance before I was wrenched forward. Hands on my chest almost frantically, I felt more than heard the buttons on my shirt popped off and land somewhere in the room. Before I could react, lithe body pressed up against me, and I couldn’t help but wrap my arms around her, my eyes closed as I inhaled the rosy scent of her shampoo. I tried to not pay attention to the taut nipples pressed against my bare chest, but it was difficult to think clearly when I had the woman of my dreams in my arms, now kissing any available skin she could access from her position. Her actions could almost be non-sexual, just strings of kisses that held a tone of innocence to them, but it turned me on nonetheless, almost painfully. Before I could pull away, sapphire eyes locked onto mine again, the desire and passion inside undeniable, “You promised.”
“Light…?” I asked, trying to clear away the lustful cloud in my brain.
I swallowed thickly, “What did I promise, Light?”
Light nibbled her lower lip, an action that nearly sends me over the edge of desire. I tightened the sheets beneath my fingers, breathing heavily while I waited for her answer. It seemed like eternity before my Goddess finally responded, “You promised to wash away their touch…”
I nearly fainted from the whimpering plea. “W… What?”
Pushing herself up from the bed, Light captured my lips with hers again, whispering before she sealed the kiss, “Take me… Let me feel you instead of them…”
Overwhelmed by the need in her voice, I ignored the logical question in the back of my mind that Light wasn’t making any sense and her speech seemed slurred, and closed the distance between our lips. Deepening the kiss, I guided the pliant body in my arms back onto the bed, pausing only to pull the tank top off of her. Smooth under my ministrations, Light blushed when I stared at her plump breasts and perky nipples. I was simply stunned by the sight of the beauty lying beneath me with only her panties on. Stared for too long, Light crossed her arms to cover herself and shifted uncomfortably. Even though I’ve seen her naked body every day for three months, the fact that she was awake, willing and sexual made the sight all the more enticing. I bend down to kiss the soft lips again, licking and exploring her mouth while gently pushing her hand away, taking a breast and kneading with my hand. She moaned into my kiss beautifully, arching into the touch. Taking a nipple in my fingers, I trailed my kiss from her lips and along her jaw, before I took an earlobe and suckled on the tender flesh.
“S… Snow…” Light gasped, her legs curving as I assaulted the sensitive skin behind her ear. Her deft hands massaged my shoulders before pushing my trenchcoat and buttonless shirt off with one move, then nimble fingers entangled in my hair. I groaned at the sensual touch, and I responded with sucking underneath angular chin, making sure to mark my Goddess. I continued marking the whimpering Light, pausing when my lips arrived at where her l’Cie mark used to be in front of her heart, that I was fortunate enough to glimpse once in the past. Nipping the tender flesh between her breasts, I couldn’t help but mark it repeatedly until Light… no, Claire, writhed delectably.
Claire. My Claire.
Trailing away the bruising skin with my tongue, I eventually took the other nipple into my mouth, licking the nub before sucking it softly. The gasps and moans resounding from my beloved tingled my spine and made my pants too tight for any tolerance. Sensing my discomfort, dexterous fingers reached down and began unbuckling my belt. I managed to wiggle out of my jeans without pulling my lips away from sweet, pert nipple, earning myself another sweet whimper.
With her fingers in my hair once more, I sighed in contentment and showered kisses on her chest before taking in the other nipple. I shifted slightly, my hand trailed down the smooth and willing body beneath me. Taking note of the places that caused the stoic Commander’s breath to hitch, I made sure to commit them to memory for future exploration. Right now, I just want to be inside her, despite my noble intention of going slow just in case she wakes up and pushes me away. My hand stopped when I felt the elastic waistband of her white panties, unsure if I should give into my lust and risk losing the chance to love the woman forever.
“…Snow?” intense blue sapphires on me, I looked up when Light drew me up to her. Pouty lips captured mine, amazing me with how quickly the Commander learned to kiss as tongue entwined with mine and drew me into her sweet mouth. Distracted, I didn’t notice until my fingers pressed against the hot folds of her entrance, my beloved Goddess suddenly took control, simply gripping my wrist to keep my hand there without any hesitation or confusion about her needs. Breaking the kiss, I stared down at Light, my eyes roaming her delicate face composed of beauty and strength, silently asking for permission. The exquisite Commander smiled, her eyes dark with fervor, fear, and determination. Parting her legs, she completely unraveled me with her words, “I want you inside me, Snow…”
“Maker, Light…” I growled, my lips crushing hers in a bruising kiss. Pulling off her panties swiftly, I nearly rip the small article of clothing before inserting a finger into her wet depths. Finding the nub easily, I rolled the sensitive flesh, swallowing the gasps and whimpers expertly with my kiss. Inclined to give my innocent nymph an orgasm first before pushing myself inside, I alternated between rubbing her clit and pushing my digit in and out of her. Adding another finger, I trailed my kisses down her neck, her moans and whimpers fill the room beautifully. Ignoring my aching need, I paid close attention to how she reacted to my touches, stilling whenever she stiffened, and hovering over her when fear suddenly clouded her eyes. Claire visibly relaxed every time she looked at me, and I in turn thrust my fingers or toyed with her clitoris until she gracefully arched her trembling body. She came, thrusting her hips onto my hand and crying out my name. Absolutely breathtaking.
Collapsing back onto the bed, I watched Light intently while she caught her breath, an exquisite blush covered her pale skin. I couldn’t help but kiss her again, positioning myself at her entrance. Seeking out her eyes, I nearly came prematurely when she pushed herself onto me, the tip slipped into the tight canal and searing heat enveloped my hard cock. I growled and bit down on the mark I was working on her neck, and heard something I never thought possible – my Goddess giggling.
“You’ll be the death of me,” I whispered in Claire’s ear as I pushed in slowly. She moaned, her hand tightened around my arm, the slight tremor easy to miss had I not been careful. Sucking on an earlobe, I breathed huskily, “It’s me, Light. It’s okay.”
She relaxed slightly at my words, enough to let me enter her another inch, and I repeated my words every time I pressed in, until I was completely sheathed inside of her. I panted in wait for Claire to adjust, knowing that I wasn’t exactly small in size. Her nails dug into my arm, she took several deep breaths before nodding, granting me permission to move. Slowly, I took great pains to try to control my movements, rocking in and out of her tight body that seemed reluctant to let go each time I was deep inside.
“A… ah… Sn… Snow…” Claire moaned. Her grip tightened, she quickly found a way to drive me insane by rocking back with me, making it difficult for me to keep the slow pace. As if sensing my dilemma, I soon found myself lost in shy, half-lidded azure eyes filled with the same lust and desire I felt. “Don’t hold back….”
“You’ll get hurt,” I tried to reason, and grunted when she pushed herself onto me, hard. “Light…”
I grinned at her authoritative tone, feeling sweat dripping onto her breast. “Yes, ma’am.”
From then on all seemed a blur when I gave into my carnal needs, spreading her legs and wrapping them around my waist as I pumped deep, full and hard within her. Claire kept her eyes on my face while she moved against me, the sounds she voiced so erotic and sweet. It wasn’t long before she let out a lustful cry of my name, her vaginal walls tightened and pulsed unbelievably around me as she reached her second orgasm. I growled loudly, burying myself deep into her body in climax, releasing inside and claiming her completely.
Moving so I could lie down without crushing her, I shifted only enough to lie on my side, while keeping my appeased Commander in my arms and my dick inside her. Claire whimpered softly, then adjusted her head to find a comfortable position, one of her legs draped over my thigh before she sighed in contentment. Since she had not complained about my reluctance to leave her body, I wrapped my arm tightly around her slender waist, pressing her to me and unwilling to let go. By the time I satisfied my need to snuggle with my divine lover, I found Claire had already drifted back to sleep. Wondering if she was actually awake during our intercourse or dreaming about me (could it be?), I decided to properly love her and shower her with pleasure again tomorrow, and forever in the future.
“Mmnh…” Stirring, I threw my arm across from my bed to grab a pillow, and covered my face to block out the annoying sunlight that snuck through the curtains. I turned, and moaned out loud when sudden soreness shot through my spine from my nether region. Opening my eyes to the darkness thanks to the pillow on my face, I frowned while tossing the thing aside. Momentarily dazed, I tried to recall what I did yesterday that warranted such soreness from my lower back and my vagina. When I eventually remembered the vivid dream I had last night, I felt the air get suddenly too hot. While it wasn’t the first time I have dreams of Snow, they first started with him pulling the men off of me, and for the last couple of weeks they had been of him making love to me, never had the dreams been so lucid and real. I wondered what my subconscious was trying to tell me, but I certainly enjoyed the dreams until the reality of a cold bed and lonely apartment came crashing down.
Sitting up slowly, I winced when my back complained with a couple of cracks. With the comforter sliding down my chest, I blinked in confusion at my naked body, shivering in the cold morning air. Rubbing the goosebumps away from my arms, I wracked my brain trying to recall if I had slept with or without my clothes last night. It wouldn’t be the first time I have fallen asleep after overworking myself in the office and had just enough stamina to get back to the apartment and take a shower.
Getting up slowly, I had to grab onto the nightstand when my legs nearly gave out, and I hissed while trying to straighten myself. Pulling open my dresser angrily, I grabbed panties and an oversized sweatshirt I stole from Snow’s dorm. Dressed, I placed the lightning bolt amulet and Snow’s gift around my neck, a habit since he left. Walking to my half-covered door, the hearty scent of food finally struck my senses. Knowing Hope had been away in Neo-Sanctum, I wondered if the young Director had arrived back early and decided to have breakfast together. Tugging the huge sweatshirt to make sure it covers everything I needed it to, I smiled when my fingers pulled on the sleeves that tend to pool around my wrists, just enough to make it inconvenient yet endearing.
Even without being here, Snow still found a way to remind me of his presence.
Walking into the living room, my steps slowed to a stop, my eyes widened at the baritone humming some off-key tune. Blinking away the sudden moisture that blurred my vision, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the back of the tall blonde busied over the sizzling stove. Dressed only in jeans, the half-naked man did a fancy flip of the knife before he began to chop something on the cutting board. Slowly approaching, I feared the enigma would disappear if I made a sound, I made it to the counter behind Snow before the man sensed my presence. Turning, he studied me fondly, and I couldn’t help but notice the flour on the tip of his nose from the pancake he’s making. Crossing the steps that separated us, I couldn’t tear my eyes away while reaching up to wipe away the smudge. Once my finger touched his skin, I couldn’t pull away from the warmth, my other hand joined to cup his chin. Mesmerized by the emotion in his cerulean eyes, I rolled on the balls of my feet and captured his lips. The soft lips pliant, I sighed in contentment when I confirmed the man whose arms were wrapped around my waist was not an illusion. He parted his lips when my tongue probed, and I felt a hand support my head as I delved in. Tasting the sweetness of sugar and blueberries, I couldn’t help but smile when I touched a sensitive spot that made the man thrust forward, his erection clearly pressed against me.
“You’re real…” I whispered, pulling away just enough so I can look at him. His eyes lidded, I wondered how a man can have such long eyelashes that somehow didn’t make him look feminine at all. His stubble tickled my chin, sending waves of desire coursing through my body. “You’re really here…”
Eyes finally open to look at me filled with desire and guilt, “Claire, I…”
Before he could voice his senseless apologies, I pressed my lips to his, biting his lower lip in retaliation. He moaned as I pulled away, and when he tried to apologize again, I silenced him with another kiss. Addicted to the taste, I sucked on his tongue until we both ran out of air before we finally parted, our breaths quickened. He traced my features with his finger, making my eyes flutter shut when I felt him drawing across and brushing against my skin titillatingly. When the digit pressed against my lips, I pulled it in and suckled on it, licking the residual breakfast ingredients off. He groaned loudly, before crushing my hips against his erection while he bit down on my neck. “Maker, Claire…”
“Was last night… real?” I asked, my body shivered from hearing my real name on his lips. I never knew the sound of my name could be so beautiful.
Snow nodded, his wild hair tickling me. “Yes. Claire, I’m so sorry, I—”
“Did you not like it?” I asked, suddenly afraid that, since Snow had some time to think it over, he’d realized that I wasn’t enjoyable to be with. That had to be it; why else would he be apologizing? Since he had more experience, he could definitely compare me with others, and someone with my history had to be digusting and—
“Stop,” a hard shake shook me out of my panic, and I looked up at Snow, whose hands now gripped my arms almost to the point of pain. Stern eyes bore into mine, the man struggled to find his words before he spoke again. “It wasn’t the most exciting sex, no, but it was the most fulfilling.”
I tilted my head in confusion, not understanding what he meant by ‘fulfilling’. How could it not be exciting, but at the same time good? Snow softened his expression with an exasperated smile. “Because I finally got to be with you, silly,” he said. Leaning in to whisper in my ear, he added, “And as for exciting… I do plan on teaching you so many things, my little nymph.”
Feeling my cheeks burn, I bit my lower lip to refrain from commenting on the nickname. Hearing a sharp intake of breath, I barely registered his descent before lips were on mine again, pressing and imploring for permission. Parting my lips, I surrendered to him while our tongues entangled, he caressed sensitive points I didn’t know I had. Hands on my ass, he kneaded the flesh as I rocked against him, his jeans never annoyed me as they do now.
I was powerless when strong hands suddenly lifted me up so high that my legs wrapped around thick waist in instinct. He chuckled, the reverberations quickening my heart, and he pulled away only to nibble on my jaw hungrily. Feeling his cock pressed hard against my clothed entrance, I blushed when I heard him turn off the stove before heading back to the bedroom.
“Since you questioned whether or not I enjoyed you…” He growled, his voice thick and heavy, “I guess I’ll just have to show you just how much power you have over me.”
Bundled in the oversized shirt that Snow had peeled off of me earlier, I sunk deeper into the sofa while the man resumed his task in the kitchen, now making lunch instead of breakfast. I watched Snow’s busy form with a grin that I couldn’t contain, the memory of my first mention of hunger after our orgasm in bed still fresh in my mind, along with his crestfallen expression when he asked me if I was hinting at his performance by wanting sausages when he was still inside me. Maker above, it was really an innocent request.
The subsequent shower after we thoroughly broke in the bed was anything but innocent. When I found myself too weak-kneed to stand, I growled at Snow and demanded that he put me on the sofa before making my lunch. The man was only too happy to oblige.
Reaching over to grab the remote control, I dialed Selphie’s desk, even though a small corner of my television screen was already blinking with voice mail. The bubbly woman’s face appeared on the screen before the second ring, and her voice was two octaves above normal in nervousness. “Oh Maker! Light! Are you okay? What happened?! You didn’t come in, you didn’t call, you didn’t even text! I left four messages!! Maker fal’Cie up above, you better explain yourself, Commander! I knocked on your door and no one answered, so did Director Estheim and Dean Sazhoy. Where were you?!”
When Selphie finally stopped to take a breath, I chuckled at my red-faced secretary, “Take messages for all non-emergency calls, and reroute all emergencies to Hope and Sazh,” taking a glance at the very amused Snow who signed ‘two days minimum’, I added, “I’m not coming in today and tomorrow.”
As she was unable to form a reply in her shocked state, probably from my first leave of vacation in five years and the fact that I’m talking, I disconnected the phone, promptly deleted all four messages and locked the phone to silence. I looked over at Snow, who now faced me while chopping vegetables, and it dawned on me that he used the correct sign language. Testing the blonde out, I signed in curiosity, ‘What are you making?’
‘Pesto penne and minestrone soup,’ he signed back, his grin broad with proud excitement at my wide-eyed expression. When I stared at him incredulously for too long, he laughed softly, “I had too much time in Cocoon.”
‘Liar,’ I signed, feeling my ears heating slightly. Hope asked me when I woke whether it was okay for him to tell Snow about my status, and I didn’t want to hold anything back from the blonde. It wasn’t a reach to know why the man learned to sign – an elective skill for me in the Corps – and that knowledge sent a tingling, warm sensation throughout my body. Not lust, it simply made my lips curl upwards uncontrollably, and I sank deeper into the large sweatshirt to hide what must be the most ridiculous look on my face. Suddenly, it was so difficult to be “Lightning”, the soldier seemed embarrassed and hid herself deep within me for the first time in over a decade, and I was almost afraid of the elation I was feeling. It almost seemed… sinful to be this euphoric.
Taking several deep breaths to calm myself, I almost missed Snow’s words informing me that lunch would be ready in thirty minutes. The remote still in my hands, I idly flipped through the channels, my mind thinking of everything and nothing for the moment. My eyes eventually rested on the thin tablet that’s meant for one-time use, standard government issue for important documents, on the coffee table. Picking up the tablet, I thumbed through the document, and my giddiness died almost instantly when I recognized the divorce decree. While knowing that was the reason Snow was in Cocoon for the past year, it pained me to be reminded of the fact that my paradise was built on Serah’s broken heart and marriage. How could I be so blissful when my little sister had just lost so much?
Frantic, I dialed the cellphone number that I committed to memory, biting my lower lip in worry while I waited for the line to connect. The harsh beep was alarming, followed by the computer-generated voice apologizing for the number being no longer in service. After trying the house number and getting the same result, I leapt from my seat, ignoring the complaint of my legs, and grabbed my cellphone from my nightstand. Ignoring the concerned Snow who watched my every move, I began to dial the numbers of Serah’s friends in Cocoon, the ones that I managed to cajole out of my sister after six months of living apart for the first time in our lives.
By the time I tried to dial the fourth person, my heart was already at my throat. The first two had picked up, and hung up once I identified myself. The third girl took a little longer, cursing out a “bitch” before hanging up. I could hardly be angry at the rude treatment that was only just, and simply prayed that I would be able to at least talk to Serah, or relay the message, with the final number that I had. The apartment seemed eerily silent save for the dial tone, and suddenly, a large woman’s face filled the screen, complete with overzealous, clown-like make-up.
“Quina?” I asked, my first reaction was alarm at how red the plump woman’s face was, and the bloodshot eyes. I immediately question the sobriety of the woman, and how early it seemed to be drinking already. Trying to keep my voice level and non-commanding, I tried to discern the whereabouts of my sister. “Quina, do you know where Serah is? The house and her cell are both disconnected.”
The chef with odd make-up laughed, her head tossed back and her voice sharp and grating through the vidphone. I narrowed my eyes when Quina turned to look somewhere off the screen, and she screeched, “Hey, Serah! Your slut sister is lookin’ for ya!”
I took a deep breath to clear my head while the chef continued to berate me with words while trying to convince Serah to come to the phone, if only to get rid of me. The screen images shook as the phone changed hands, and I felt tears stung behind my eyes when my little sister, who I hadn’t seen in over a year, came on the screen. “Serah…”
“Whaddaya want?” she slurred, and I was on the edge of my seat already. Was she drinking? Was she okay? And why was she in a pub so early in the day?
Biting my tongue against the urge to chastise her behavior, I raked in the image of my beloved sister hungrily. Her hair was longer, she styled it gracefully which was different than the youthful ponytail I was used to, though a few strands had strayed in her inebriated state. Immaculate make-up made her skin look flawless, she appeared like a porcelain doll crafted by a master ceramist. Yet her bloodshot eyes and bags underneath besmirched her perfect visage, exposing the wounded soul that currently glared at me with such hatred that my skin crawled. Maker, is this my Serah?
“Serah?” I started, afraid to startle perhaps myself more than her. At a loss for words, I asked the only thing on my mind that seemed mundane, but encompassed so much. “Are you all right?”
She scoffed mockingly, “All right?! Am I all right?! Gee, Sis, I don’t know, how would you feel if I stole your husband, huh?”
“I… I didn’t…” Not intentionally. Never. But how could I explain last night and this morning? Or the dreams I had of Snow?
Serah sneered at me, the disdain like a dagger piercing through the screen and into my soul. I suddenly realized how idiotic it was to call her, but I couldn’t just let it go and ignore her pain. It was a sin for me to bear. “Serah, I’m… I’m sorry.”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it, Claire,” she spat my name, making me cringe. “You’re a lying whore who couldn’t find a man if you wanted, so you went and steal other people’s man. Well, you know what? Screw you and screw him! You can have that good for nothing son of a bitch,” she paused, and I could hear laughter in the background cheering her on.
“Serah, don’t say that. You’re not like this…” I whispered, and I could hear the tremor in my voice. Did I change my pure, innocent sister into this? How could I? What have I done?
“Tch,” she leered with contempt. “What do you know about me, oh great Commander of the Academy? You know what, Claire? Why don’t you do us all a favor and just go die somewhere? Go to hell and don’t bother callin’ again, I don’t wanna see your pathetic face anymore.” With that, she disconnected, the screen flashed in grey before going pitch black completely.
I stared at the vidphone, too stunned to move. Never had I heard such language from Serah. Her words stung – what do I know about her? Aside from her good grades, the name of her school, what did I really know about my little sister? I don’t even know the names of her teachers or friends, let alone her thoughts, beliefs, or passions. It’s my fault, it’s all my fault, I turned her into hate…
“Hey,” I jumped when the sofa dipped, and a strong arm wrapped around my shoulders. A hand wiped away the tears that fell unbeknownst, intense cerulean eyes looked into mine. Thumb on my lips to silence, Snow asked, his voice deep and serious, “Do you trust me, Claire?”
The question sent chills down my spine, and I couldn’t breathe. Relentless, he asked again, “Do you believe my words?”
Snow gave me a small smile, and took my hands into his. Drawing circles on the backs of my hands with his thumbs, he contemplated before speaking, “Serah and my marriage would’ve been over, whether you were involved or not. If I were to pinpoint, I’d say our marriage was doomed the day I arrived back here at Pulse. Maybe, I don’t know, if Serah came to Pulse…
“Were you a factor? Yes, absolutely. But you weren’t the main reason. You just accelerated the process. Actually,” he scoffed, “having you reciprocate… That was a pleasant surprise.”
I felt my face flush when he kissed the back of my hand, and silence surrounded us briefly before he continued. “Serah was right about one thing – you didn’t know her. Hell, I didn’t know her, not as well as I thought I did.”
He shook his head, “I didn’t want to admit it at first, but it’s hard to not notice. I won’t go into details – you don’t need to know that – but what you witnessed was a side of her that neither of us has seen until recently. And that was before I came to Pulse.”
When I didn’t respond, he sighed and pulled me into his arms. “Give her some time, Claire. She’ll come around, you’re sisters, after all.”
I must have looked pathetic when Snow leaned in for a kiss, and I clinged to him, burying my face in the crook of his neck. I knew that he wasn’t lying, but he didn’t sound convincing. Nodding, I closed my eyes, letting the soothing rub of my back calm my fear, too afraid to think of the alternatives.
— To Be Continued
Author’s Note: After the long extra-long chapter previous, it was interesting when I thought this chapter was much shorter, only to find out it was still a lengthy one. At least my beta is used to it by now, heh. I debated throughout the past two months after completing this chapter on whether or not I will keep the lemon scene within the FF.net version, and I came to a compromise that it will remain for a month, and upon the next update I will remove it with the rewritten part. You can still read the lemon scene on my website (check out my profile). I wish to respect both my readers and FF.net regulation, so I hope this compromise is okay to all.
One of the reviewers had mentioned about my interpretation of Serah being completely OOC and unfathomable, and I felt it was a legitimate concern. I already addressed this issue on my site, but I want to restate here, since I can tell that many have the same questions about my treatment of the little sister. “I do understand your frustration and disbelief of why Serah is behaving that way – in fact, that is exactly what I want my readers to feel as they go on this journey with Lightning and Snow. I can understand why you feel this fic is going into a Serah-bashing fic; I probably gave the wrong impression by prefacing it in my first chapter when I mentioned that I didn’t care for Serah as a character. However, let me assure you that there is a reason I am portraying Serah the way I am, and it is not for bashing purposes. As each chapter begins with the warning, this fic does NOT take FFXIII-2 into consideration whatsoever at all… I’m trying to be subtle until I reveal it later in the story.” (if you wish to read the whole response, again, please head over to my website *wink*)
Once again, thank you for all the lovely reviews and offers of help for chapter 6! Despite a hectic month, I was able to have a good outline for the chapter and solidify the ending of the story. Super excited! Please keep the reviews coming – they are the food for my writer soul! XD