|Out of the Void
Author: Kloud Farideigh PM
Lightning is thrust into life in the future on a new quest at the goddess, Etro's appeal. She knows she is not meant to stay. Knowing that, how far is she willing to let herself go before "goodbye" becomes final? With that prospect in mind, the fight for the future may be the toughest yet. Lightning can only hope she's prepared to handle it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Lightning & Noctis - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,260 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 07-17-12 - Published: 06-07-12 - id: 8194295
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This started out as a one-shot, but with this kind of ending, how can I not continue?
He held her in his arms. Her head rested on his chest, slender, lean muscled arms circled his torso. Only months ago, she never would've seen herself here, with him, or anyone. They'd met simply by chance after all. It was remarkable just how seemingly slim that chance was.
"Lightning, I must go."
Her eyes flickered up to his and he could see that she wanted him to stay. She was too unselfish to ask.
"I won't be long. I should be returning within the week."
There had been many times when he'd said similar words to her, and always proved true.
There was no guarantee of anything. The closer she got to her goal, the more she remembered. The memories came in pieces, the most complex puzzle Lightning had ever encountered. At first, there were few. Lightning knew bits of her past, generally who she was; she knew Serah and others she'd traveled with, whose names she had forgotten, and a quest whose objective she could no longer recall clearly.
Slowly, she began regaining what was lost. She came to remember Snow, the obnoxious idiot who was set on marrying her beloved sister; Hope, the confused teenager she'd become fond of; Sahz, the sentimental airship pilot; and the two native Pulsians, Vanille, the sweet, upbeat young woman, and Fang, the fierce, spear-wielding guardian.
Once again, Serah was lost to her.
When Etro had called Lightning into her service, she had no idea as to what it would entail. She was forced to leave everything behind and enter a new world centuries into the future. Lightning had little idea of what Etro wanted. Destroy the object of my demise… What did that even mean? What could possibly bring down a goddess?
The moment Lightning touched foot in "New Pulse," she noticed the presence of the military. They were the first group she came in contact with—unfriendly contact. She refused to answer when an officer demanded to know to whom she reported. Their armor and colors were unrecognizable. When they came to subdue her, she took them out; nothing personal. The landscape was strange, oddly shaped buildings cast dark shadows on the ground and with every corner she turned, more soldiers followed. As Lightning began to encounter larger numbers, she sensed the arrival of a new force. A man clad in black swept effortlessly through what had become a battlefield. Before she knew it, the antagonist numbers had dwindled to nothing. Only then, did he approach her.
Lightning eyed him cautiously. This man was unknown to her. Out of the stillness, her sharp eyes picked out one other who seemed to be surveying the damage. She kept her focus trained on the man in front of her, keeping watch of the other in her peripherals. He noted her distrust and held up his hands in a nonthreatening gesture.
"Who are you?" he asked.
She stared him down before answering.
"My name is Noctis Caelum."
That chance encounter sparked it all. He offered her a place to stay, a place to belong amidst this futuristic Pulse. At first Lightning wouldn't reveal anything about her origins or intentions, other than they weren't hostile. She was confused herself. There was so much that she couldn't remember and that placed her in a position of weakness. Weakness was not something Lightning was keen on showing anyone, especially Noctis.
Slowly, with his encouragement, she began to integrate herself into his world. There were still plenty of carefully guarded boundaries Lightning had for herself, but Noctis had his own as well. Ever so gently, those boundaries began to weaken.
Lightning would constantly think back to how it was she was persuaded to accept Etro's mysterious quest. She found herself standing knee-deep in water. There was no end to the landscape in the spaceless void; it seemed to stretch on forever. A red orb in what appeared to be the sky, reflected on the water, tinting it bloody hues. Whatever sky there was overhead was colored in deep blues. It blended with the ground; there was no definite line between the two.
Lightning waded through it, her destination unknown. The water dragged against her legs and felt unnaturally thick. Glowing azure eyes in the distance called to her like beacons, sentinels in the sunless void.
"Why have you come here?" asked a voice. It seemed to come from everywhere, resonating the most within Lightning's head. She stopped moving, unsure if her mind and ears were playing tricks on her.
"Who are you?" Lightning snapped. She searched for a body that belonged to the unearthly feminine voice.
"I am Etro."
She knew that name well. Etro, the goddess of death and chaos.
"Etro…" she repeated. "What do you want?"
"Your help. You have learned much from your journeys. Your determination and devotion to those you care for have brought you to my aid. Should you succeed, I will reward you with that which you desire most… I ask again, will you help me?"
"Show yourself," Lightning demanded, point blank.
A ghostly shape faded into existence in front of her. Etro's faint figure reached an outstretched hand to her. Lightning's eyes narrowed.
"What kind of help do you want?"
"Discover and destroy the object of my demise. Your path is laid with lies and treachery. Success is imminent if you are able to overcome such deceit, for you have the strength to triumph."
Lightning weighed the offer. Dealing with a goddess as dangerous as Etro was set up for disaster.
"How do I know you'll keep your promise?"
Etro's lips curved into an artful smile.
"I give you my word."
Lightning kept her hardened glare trained on the goddess.
"Very well, I'll help you."
She took Etro's airy hand and the world around her swirled together into a blur.
That which you desire most…
Noctis leaned down to kiss her briefly. The feeling lingered on her lips as she looked up at him once again. Why did she let this happen?
Lightning didn't know how many more times she would be able to say those words until there was no returning greeting. She was only ephemeral in this world.