Last chapter! Sorry this is so late. This chapter is a lot different from the other two, but I really like it. Enjoy!
One more time with feeling.
Try it again, breathing's just a rhythm.
Say it in your mind until you know that the words are right.
This is why we fight.
- One More Time With Feeling by Regina Spektor
"Ragnarok," Serah's voice said.
It was like she appeared out of nowhere. One moment they were all walking through Oerba and the next there she was walking towards them. Vanille's hand was soon without the presence of a larger, gloved one and she knew she had lost.
She should have known, seen it coming or something. There was just no possible way that he could ever love her the way that he loved Serah. Serah was the girl that every guy dreamed about. Pretty, girly, smart, and always in need of rescue (so it seemed).
So Vanille watched as Serah went straight into Snow's arms. It felt like her heart had been shredded and nothing else mattered but the blinding pain. Fang placed a hand on her shoulder, but Vanille brushed it away.
Serah was talking to Snow about something when he pushed her away abruptly. Vanille took a step forward to what was going on when an owl soared through the sky. A strangely familiar owl.
"Destroy Orphan!" Serah said with a bright smile. "We'll save the world!"
"Stop it!" Lightning said with agitation on her face.
"You can't do that," Serah said. "You love me too much, you do, don't you, Claire?"
"Enough already!" Snow said, stepping in between the two sisters. "Serah, we are all shooting for the same goal here."
Just then a light formed around Serah and her appearance morphed into Dysley's.
"And the result of that is this," Dysley said.
"You son of a bi-!" Snow shouted, swinging a fist that connected with air.
He tumbled to the ground just to get back up and try again. His fist hit a force field next and he went flying backward towards the group. Vanille hurried to Snow as he stood up. She wrapped her arms around his right one and buried her face into his coat.
"Stop it!" Vanille cried. "You'll only hurt yourself."
Snow froze before taking a few steps back and freeing his arm from her. Anger still lit up his blue eyes and Vanille stayed away in order for his head to clear. Time was short though.
Sazh and Lightning stepped forward with their weapons ready just as Dysley morphed once more into another one of his fal'Cie forms. Fang and Hope joined soon after, leaving Snow and Vanille to stay back.
She kept her distance from him and the fight. Her binding rod was out just in case she needed to cast a quick Cure or Esuna. Snow stretched his hands into and out of fists before heading towards the fight. She sighed and watched him go with her rod still in position.
He stopped halfway to his destination to spin back around and go back to her. She probably looked confused because he needed to give an explanation.
"I forgot something," he said, cupping her cheek and pressing his lips against hers.
It was over quicker then she had hoped and her eyes fluttered back open to see him running away.
Vanille's green eyes opened slowly with heavy blinks to make sure she was where she thought she was. Bodhum was busy as per usual with the abundance of travelers and small families. She had fallen asleep in the beach chair... again.
It was a month after the fight with Orphan and memories seemed to be haunting her in sleep. Guilt was a common emotion these days. Fang and Serah had sacrificed themselves when Vanille knew she should've been the one to do so. Serah should be falling asleep on the beach, not her.
She raised her arms over her head and wiggled her toes in the warm sand. Boredom was also a common emotion. Sazh and Dajh were back at their home miles away, Hope was living with his dad in Palumpolum, Lightning was a soldier again for the new and improved government this time, and Snow was always busy helping out with Team NORA.
It seemed that no one took note of Vanille's home being Oerba back on Gran Pulse. Bodhum was nice, but she missed the wild life and fresh air. Salt water and sand could only do so much for her.
Grabbing her sandals and the beach bag she had borrowed from Lebreau, Vanille stood up and made her way to the bar on the beach. Once there she was quickly spotted by Lebreau who was working the counter.
"Vanille!" she called, waving an arm. "Over here!"
Vanille walked over to Lebreau and placed the beach bag on the counter. She opened up the bag and took out her things (sunscreen, keys, small amount of gil, sunglasses, and shorts) before handing it back. Lebreau took the bag and stowed it away under the counter.
"So, how was the beach?" she asked.
"I fell asleep again," Vanille said, sitting on one of the stools and putting her sandals back on her feet.
Lebreau laughed and shook her head while sliding a water bottle across the counter to her. Vanille reached for her gil, but Lebreau stopped her.
"It's fine," she said. "Just don't put your shorts back on because you're drawing in customers."
Vanille looked down at what she was wearing. A pink tank top that showed the straps of her bikini top and a pair of yellow bikini bottoms. Her sandals were a light maple color and her red curls were arranged in their ever present pigtails. The only thing off about it was the thing she loved the most; the silver necklace with the Team NORA cat pendant on it. It rested cozily over her heart and she couldn't remember the last time she had taken it off.
Twisting the cap off of her water bottle, she took a sip before looking around the room. It was decently sized for a bar and was always alive with customers. Vanille never really liked it there. She was used to empty plains and smaller groups of people. Knowing everyone's names was something she loved.
Racking her mind, she soon realized that Nautilus was her favorite place in Cocoon. Everything was vibrant and alive. Sure, it was pretty crowded, but the Chocobos and the excitement was something she craved.
After spending some more time with Lebreau, Vanille headed back to the apartment she shared with Snow. Taking the keys out of her shorts she had yet to put back on, she put the key in the lock and twisted it. She turned the knob and pushed the door in when she was pulled into the apartment. Stumbling into the front room, she made contact with a bare chest.
Arms were wrapped around her back to steady her. She placed her hands on his chest and looked up into disapproving blue eyes.
"You left for the beach only two hours ago," Snow said.
"I fell asleep," Vanille shrugged, dropping her things on the couch and closing the door behind her.
"How many times have you done that?" Snow asked.
"Too many," she replied, pulling the tank top over her head and making sure that the necklace stayed in place. "We should go somewhere."
"Like the bedroom?" Snow asked, looking Vanille over in her bikini.
"No, like a vacation," she said, rolling her eyes.
"We live in a vacation spot," he said.
"All the more reason to go somewhere else," she said, walking down the small hallway that led to their bedroom.
"Like the bedroom?" Snow repeated, following her.
Vanille ignored him and opened up her dresser drawer to get some clothes out. She undid the knot on her bikini top when she turned around to see Snow nowhere in sight.
Smiling, she grabbed a towel from the hall closet before heading into the bathroom for a quick shower. She and Snow hadn't made love since the first time in the field back at Gran Pulse. They slept together every night, but things never got too intimate. Vanille was tempted to ask why, but could never find the exact words she needed to say.
After taking her shower and changing into a light cotton dress, Vanille exited the bathroom. Snow was sitting at the kitchen table looking through several papers.
"What's that?" Vanille asked, walking up behind him and wrapping her arms around his neck.
She placed her chin on his shoulder and tried to catch a peek of the papers when he flipped them over. He turned his head and brushed his nose against hers before placing a kiss on the corner of her lips.
"Are you serious about leaving for a vacation?" he asked, wrapping an arm around her waist and positioning her on his lap.
"Of course!" she chimed. "What were those papers?"
He smirked as he grabbed the papers from the table and handed them to her. She flipped them over and shuffled through paper after paper before handing them back.
"So?" he asked.
"I'm from Gran Pulse in case you've forgotten, Snow," she said. "I can't read the Cocoon language, only understand and speak it."
"I forgot," Snow said, running a hand through his blonde hair. "Well they're different vacation places. I tried to find places that you might like, but-."
"I want to go to Nautilus!" Vanille said instantly, clapping her hands together and smiling widely.
Snow gave a startled blink at her sudden response, but quickly recovered as he leafed through the papers. He grabbed one of them and turned it around to face her. Vanille looked at the picture of the hotel that was right in the center of Nautilus. It was lit up just like every other aspect of the park and was very expensive looking.
"How much?" she asked.
"Money's not an issue," Snow shrugged. "It's for a week, so-."
"An entire week?" Vanille asked. "Sold! Go book it!"
"Vanille," Fang said, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder. "You've got to stay."
The red head looked up at her friend and shook her head furiously. "Our focus is the same. Become Ragnarok, save Cocoon, the end. Plus it's not complete with only one person."
"Then I'll do it," a voice said.
Fang and Vanille turned to see Serah Farron standing there. The real, genuine article instead of Dysley's cheap imitation.
"You take care of Snow, you hear me?" she asked, slipping the bracelet that was around her bicep off of her arm and into Vanille's hand. "Give that to Claire, okay?"
"Wait, I can't let you-." Vanille started.
"I had the same dream, so this will be alright," Serah said, placing her hands on top of Fang's.
Fang looked at Serah and then to Vanille. "You're going to have to live."
Vanille opened her mouth yet again in protest, but stopped when they both shook their heads.
"We woke up 500 years later, didn't we?" Fang asked. "So, Serah and I might as well. We'll see each other again, just you wait."
The next thing that registered to Vanille was waking up next to a confused little boy. She recognized him almost instantly.
"Dajh?" Vanille asked.
The little boy looked up and apparently he recognized her too. "You're the lady who was with my daddy, aren't ya?"
She smiled and nodded her head. Standing up, Vanille took in her surroundings to see the field that she had run to. The field that she and Snow had...
"Are you okay?" Dajh asked. "Your face is all red."
"I'm fine," she said, taking Dajh's hand in hers and helping him to his feet. "My name's Vanille. I'll take you to your daddy, come on."
Looking above her was a mistake. Crystal arched through the sky and wrapped around Cocoon. The people there were safe, but the thing that made it a mistake was a faintly glowing blue light in the core of the crystal arches. She didn't wait for her eyes to adjust before looking down and walking with Dajh out on to the field.
Soon she took sight of four familiar people. Tapping Dajh on the shoulder, she pointed to Sazh.
"Daddy!" Dajh cried, running towards his father.
Vanille continued to walk and smile as Sazh was reunited with his son. She headed towards the pair first. Sazh looked at her walking towards them and gave her a smile.
"I'm glad you're okay," Sazh said, giving her a hug.
She returned it happily. "I'm happy you're okay too."
Next she walked up to Hope. Before he could react she placed a hand on the back of his head and pulled him towards her.
"Not too beaten up, are you?" she asked.
"'Course not," he mumbled, taking a few steps back. "You seem fine."
"Of course!" she responded cheerfully. "What'd you expect?"
Lightning was a lot harder to face. She held out the bracelet Serah had given her and placed it in one of Lightning's hands.
"I'm sorry," Vanille said. "I'm so sorry."
Silence hung in the air and she had a feeling that all wasn't forgiven so easily.
"It's all right," Lightning said. "Thank you for bringing this back. I think that you should keep it though."
Vanille took the bracelet back and looked at it in her hands. How could Serah have acted so nicely to her? She had done nothing but cause her pain. Vanille was just a terrible person full of lying and cheating. She didn't deserve this. Nevertheless she nodded and placed the bracelet in the pouch on her right thigh.
Turning to Snow she felt her insides begin to churn. She tried to give him a smile, but the corners of her mouth weren't working properly. He took two strides forward and wrapped his arms around her. No words were needed, because when he was around she could do what she had needed to do.
The bed was way too big and she was way too cold. It also didn't feel right and the pillows were much too fluffy. Vanille came to the conclusion that hotels were not her style at all. It just seemed extra bad because Snow was nowhere in sight. She propped up and looked around the room a few times before noticing that the bathroom light was on.
She swung her legs from the side of the bed and walked towards the bathroom. The door was open and she took a chance by looking in. Snow was sitting on the tile floor with his back against the cabinet. His eyes were closed, but she could tell he was awake since he was tapping something against his knee. Vanille turned around on her heel as quietly as possible.
"Vanille," Snow groaned.
Flinching, she turned back to look at him. He waved his hand in a motion for her to sit with him. Sitting down backwards, she rested herself between his knees and leaned her head against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and started to stroke her stomach.
"Yes?" she asked, but it came out more like a squeak.
"Are these things... accurate?" he asked, holding the positive pregnancy test in front of her face.
"Well that's what they say," she said, sliding down further on the tile floor. "It could be a fluke though. It was only one time."
"How many of these have you taken?" Snow asked.
"Oh, I don't know..." Vanille trailed off. "Like six? And they were all... positive."
Her voice was so high-pitched now that it was a wonder his ears weren't bleeding. His hands then turned protective against her still flat stomach. She took a chance and turned around to look at his face. To her surprise he was smiling.
"I'm going to be a dad," he said, pressing his forehead against hers.
"That is usually how these things work," Vanille said. "You're not mad, are you?"
"Mad?" he asked. "Hell no! I'm the happiest and luckiest guy in the world right now."
Without giving her a second to think he took her in his arms and stood up, carrying her bridal style back into the bedroom. Placing her on the bed, he ran a hand through her hair and kissed her long and hard.
"I love you," he said when the kiss was broken.
Looking up at him, she finally gave out a real, genuine smile. "I love you too."
Well, that's that. I hoped you enjoyed this short fic. I had a whole bunch of fun writing it. I'm also pretty excited about this being (most likely) the first Snow/Vanille fic out there. Review! God bless!
- Erin aka linksofmemories