A/N: I am proud to say that I was at the midnight release for this game. At first I was apprehensive of the game play, mainly the battle system. But I will highly recommend this game to anybody, it's a sharp improvement over FF12.

Anyway, I'm currently on Chapter 10 of 13 in the game, so personally I do not know how it ends. I'd appreciate that nobody tells me either. So facts in this story may not be 100% correct based along the storyline. With that said, enjoy…

Lightning/Fang pairing...written from Lightning's POV, slightly AU and out of character.

The Pain

Chapter 1

I gripped my weapon with both hands, raised it to strike the final blow…then the monster fell. My eyes met with those same green ones they always met with.

"It's not a contest darling." There was almost a smug tone in her voice as she poised her spear on her shoulder.

"Let's keep moving. It's starting to get dark." I pushed past her and easily hopped over a boulder that was blocking the path.

"Why are you always so cranky?" I ignored Vanille when she spoke.

"It's the only thing she seems to excel at." I turned in time to see Fang cradle Vanille in her arms as she slid off the rock. "There we go."

Why was she taking so long to let her go? They tell us they're sisters. What kind of sisters though. I've never been that touchy-feely with Serah. I don't get it. "There's a waterfall in the distance, we can stop there for the night." I turned my back to the group and led the way, gunblade in hand in case of beasts.

"Argh!" The grunt escaped my lips unexpectedly when I was blindsided by a behemoth. Everything went black when I hit a solid surface several feet away.

"Don't leave yourself drained Hope. She's still alive."

The smell of burning embers and the fresh scent of falling water started filling my senses. I felt one more crash of soothing magic wash over my body. My eyes opened.

"That was a nasty hit you took there." I was shoved back into a laying position when I attempted to sit up. "No you don't. You need to rest. For once, let someone else keep watch." As much as I hated to admit it, Snow was right. I ached in places I had never ached before. My right leg felt numb. My left leg felt like it weighed a ton. "Fang will keep watch, she already offered."

"Of course she will." I turned my head to look away. My eyes focused on the mist that rose from the waterfall. "Let me guess, she slayed the behemoth too, right?"

Nobody answered me. I should have known though. Of course Fang slayed the monster. Next to Snow and I, she was the most powerful. What am I saying? I'm admitting that she's just as strong as I am. She's not. I have to prove it. I pushed myself to sit up against a rock. The others began making beds of leaves and grass to sleep on. Hope pulled a blanket from our supply bag and walked slowly over toward me.

"Here, this will keep you warm." He didn't let me take it from him. Instead he unfolded it and draped it over my lap.

"Thank you." I pulled it up onto my shoulder and leaned my head back to close my eyes.

My eyes shot open when a wave of pain shot across my shoulders. I bit my lip to keep from gasping aloud. I didn't want to wake the others. She was awake though. She was a lot like me, her body was accustomed to little or no sleep each day. I sighed softly and kicked the blanket off of my legs to stand up. I needed to move around, regardless of my pain.

"And where do you think you're going?" Of course she noticed me.

"I can't sleep." I kept my answer simple.

"You should be sleeping. Long trip tomorrow ya know." I watched as she ran her fingers through Vanille's hair one last time before using her spear to hoist herself up. Ignoring her, I walked to the water to get a drink. My throat felt scratchy, almost like I had swallowed a cotton ball. I couldn't stand to watch her and Vanille. Each time they shared a glance, a small touch, anything, I felt my heart ripping in half. "What's your problem anyway Light?"

"I don't have a problem."

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a smile grow on her lips. That simple smile made my heart race. It wasn't the same smile that she gave to her though. "Lightning, you're a liar."

"Go to hell Fang." I turned to walk by her, my eyes never lifted to meet hers. It was safer that way. I couldn't let her see that she made my solid soldier exterior crumble.

"My, my, someone's touchy tonight."

She grabbed my wrist as I got by her. "Let me go, or you'll regret it." Though, I really wanted to scream at her to hold me tighter.

"That a threat darling?" She tilted her head to the side. "You know, you don't scare me." Without hesitation I yanked my wrist from her grasp and swung my right hand in an attempt to punch her. To my dismay she grabbed my fist with her hand. Her head tilted to the other side. "Don't go hurting yourself now."

I looked at her one last time, it turned out to be a mistake once my eyes met with those damned green ones again. "I really can't stand you sometimes, you're just as bad as Snow." She plucked my last nerve quite often, just like him. He does it because he cares…though, I doubt that's the reason she's doing it. She doesn't care about me. I'm just a traveling companion to her and Vanille.

I knelt to pick up my gunblade before returning to my spot against the rocks. She on the other hand, returned to her spot beside Vanille. I couldn't help but to stay awake the rest of the evening watching her, wondering what in fact was going through her mind. I feared I may never know.