So here is the first part of a little Lightning and Hope fic I'm writing. Don't worry, its harmless. I actually do like this couple and think they could be really cute in a few years when Hope is older but right now they are just cute because he is the first person Lightning warms up to. Anyway, please tell me what you think; I appreciate any and all comments.


Her eyes were daggers. Glowing icy sharp daggers that reached down into the core of him and made him feel painfully vulnerable. Hope could tell by one of her trademark glances aimed his way that she could see right through him, right through his weak defenses to his even weaker self. If her eyes really were the blades they seemed to be, he would have been ripped to shreds hours ago.

Hope glanced ahead at her agile back, and her deadly gun blade, causing a shiver to ripple through his entire frame at the thought of how easily she could rip him to shreds. After all, her name was Lightning. She was a soldier, a fearsome and fearless warrior; and he was nothing. He was just an ordinary city boy, hardly worth mentioning, who followed her around like a lost puppy. He hated how pathetic he felt chasing after her heels, but what else could he do? He needed her help. Thus he endured her icy stare and piercing silence.

Scrambling over a bolder that Lightning had leapt over with ease, Hope felt his feet slipping and a second later his back hit the hard ground and a groan escaped his lips. Up ahead, Lightning glanced coldly over her shoulder as Hope leapt to his feet and brushed the dirt from his pants.

She shook her head slowly, her lips a light line. "Are you still following me?" She said in more of a statement than a question.

Hope scanned the rocky terrain with his vivid green eyes trying to avoid her gaze and seemed to shrink as her eyes burned into him. "I-I don't mean to bother you-"

"You are." She said, affirming his fear. "I could travel twice as fast without you tagging along. I told you to go back to the others; it seems you weren't listening so I will say it again. Go back now unless you have a death wish."

He felt that slam as no more than scratch to his already beaten and bruised pride. When you have lost everything what else is there to hurt? He built up what courage was left in him and tried to hide the tremors in his voice.

"I'm sorry, but I can't go back. I need you, Lightning." He thought he saw her eyes widen ever so slightly and the corners of her lips twitch, but he couldn't be sure. She said nothing, just burned into him with her eyes. Encouraged by her silence he forced his eyes to meet hers. It took all his willpower to not look away. Staring into her pale blue eyes was like staring into the heart of a fire and soon his eyes began to water and he had to blink rapidly to clear his vision again. At that point he felt even more the fool and just spat out what was eating him. "Please, Lightning! I need your help! Please!" At that last word his voice cracked and made the poor boy's face turn scarlet.

Lightning raised one eyebrow and folded her arms across her chest as if to say, 'See. You are just a child.' And with that she turned on her heel and headed back up the steep slope.

Frustration taking over all rational thought, Hope spotted a rock near him on the ground and swung his leg at it, fueling all his anger into his foot. Sure enough, his boot made contact with the poor defenseless rock, and sent it soaring through the air. He watched it rise and fall, and only then did he realize it was heading right for Lightning's head. The blood drained from his face quicker than you can say chocobo and he yelled, "Light! Look out-" Then shut his eyes and winced.

She turned toward him at the last second and greeted the rock with her right temple. She mumbled either 'Useless Twerp' or 'Gawl that hurt' as she crumpled into a heap in the dirt.

The next few moments felt like years to Hope as he slowly opened his eyes and saw Lightning lying there lifelessly. What had he done!? He had just killed their fearless leader with a rock! How stupid could he get!?

"L-Lightning…?" he called out softly hoping to hear a groan or something in response. He ran to her side and fell to his knees. "Lighting… a-are you alive? Please, please, be alive…" Placing his hand close to her mouth and nose he tested to see if she was breathing. He felt a slight puff on his fingers and saw her chest rise and fall out of the corner of his eye. He couldn't help but smile at that. "You're alive!" He said with relief.

But now what?

He sat there and thought for a moment before deciding to try and wake her up. He called her name a couple of times, and when that didn't work he shook her roughly by the shoulders. "Wake up, Light!" He pleaded to the sleeping lioness. Her head lolled to the side and it was then Hope noticed the small gash where the rock had hit her head with a trail of crimson blood trailing down her cheek.

Tears of frustration swelled up in his eyes as he inspected the wound carefully. "I'm so sorry, Lightning…" He whispered as the first tear slid down his cheek. "I can't do anything right." As his tears began to pick up speed he unwound the scarf from around his neck and used it to wipe the blood off of her face. As he was dabbing at her cut it struck him how soft and warm her skin was. Then suddenly his eyes were scanning her face, her closed pale lids, her long eyelashes and pink lips. He had never really noticed how pretty she was because he felt he had to avert his gaze whenever she came near him. But she was pretty, beautiful even. Hope found himself smiling down at her as he wiped his tears with his free hand.

Feeling a sudden urgency to get her away from their open location and keep her safe, Hope quickly bandaged her head with his scarf and pulled himself to his feet. Grabbing her forearms with his hands he tried dragging her, but a twenty one year old woman of pure muscle doesn't budge very easily when she's limp. Trying a different method, Hope crouched down and pulled her slowly up on his back in a piggyback fashion. This was much easier except for the fact Hope had to walk completely bent in half to keep his balance.

He tried shifting her weight so she would be more secure, when he looked down and saw Lightning's long legs and realized his hands were holding her up by her thighs. His cheeks turned bright pink and continued to darken in color as he noted her slender arms hanging limp, her head resting against his with a tendril of rose colored hair tickling his nose, and the pressure of her on his back. He felt dizzy all of a sudden, but shook it off with a nervous gulp and a determined frown. "Don't worry, Lightning…somehow…somehow I will keep you safe." And with that he set off up the hill with Lightning on his back.

Please tell me what you thought of this first little blip! Thanks for reading!

Random comment: When I first saw Hope I was expecting that I would hate him, and was pleasantly surprised to find that he became one of my favorite characters. I liked Lightning from the get go, thought I would like Snow but didn't. And hated Vanille pretty much since I heard her voice. Did anyone else have an experience like this with any of the characters?