The look in Snow's eyes when Serah was crystallized was pure torment, even for a boy who loathed the very breath Snow so stutteringly inhaled. He was the reason his life got ruined, so wouldn't seeing the same fate happen to his adversary make him happy?

The answer was no. As confusing as that made Hope, it was true.

Hope hated Snow, he simply HAD to for his late mother's sake. Didn't he?

Snow was the one who let her die, whose hand just couldn't hold on long enough. Yet Hope just couldn't make himself completely hate the man that stood so broken before him. A glimmer of despair flickered in Hope, he wanted to comfort the man who destroyed him, as odd as that seems. Then Snow looked up with a vengeance in his blue eyes and Hope yet again felt the pang of hate he so longed for. The flame re-ignited as Snow made his vow to bring Serah back.

Hope could understand the hate, but he couldn't understand that the true reason behind it was jealousy.

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The point of no return, he had broken Snow completely, in mind and in body. Hope lays next to his new founded hero. The man who just risked his life to save a boy that attempted to take his. But how? Hope took this in his mind as them finally being even. With a last shuddering breath, Hope's eyes close.

Hours pass before Hope wakes up again, dreary yet comfortable. He feels weightless. Once he completely comes to his senses, he realizes that Snow is carrying him with every ounce of his strength. This couldn't just be kindness, could it?

Despite Hope's doubts… he knew. Right then and there. He loved Snow. And there was nothing he could do about it…no matter how much he ever wanted to. But as Hope realizes this, he also realizes that he doesn't want to do anything about it anyway.

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~5 Years later~

"Snow!" Hope's hushed whisper vibrates through the thin Bodhum air. He shakes Snow's strong bronzed shoulder, which is slightly exposed above the shield of his nighttime blanket. "Snow!"

"Hmm?" Snow mumbles quietly. Hope smiles, his best friend stirring out of a light sleep. "Hope dammit. I had a long night with Serah, could you come back later?" Hope's smile quickly fades at the sound of his best friend's fiancée. They'd been engaged for nearly six years and they still hadn't tied the knot.

"Get up you ass." Hope shoves into Snow hard, but Snow still doesn't budge. "Ugh." Hope groans and lays next to Snow. Serah has gone out, to the beach no doubt, for a midnight drink. Her habits increasingly getting worse. So Hope lays there, his tall lean body next to the well muscled broad physique encased in tanned skin that still stands at least a foot over him. Things have changed for Hope in the past years, his realization of his feelings for his post-enemy friend growing stronger with each daybreak. Hope's sea-green eyes flick over to examine Snow's wide back, each muscle as if expertly carved by Gods. He doesn't know what to do with the spare time that stretches between them.

So Hope doesn't think, he acts on instinct. His body shifts so that he is facing Snow, he slowly wedges his body closer to him, feeling so small again by the large man. He gets so close that the blonde hair escaping from the black bandana Snow wears begin to tickle his nose and upper lip. Hope absorbs this moment, the scent illuminating from his partner intoxicating the say the least. His pale hand raises from his side and slips slowly over Snow's hip. Expecting his friend to recoil, Hope tenses, but nothing happens. Slowly, his fingertips tracing the chiseled abdominals of his ally, he rests his arm on Snow. Snow doesn't move, he is either asleep or under the impression that his fiancée is the being who lays next to him as opposed to his innocent best friend of 5 years. Hope jumps slightly as Snow takes his hand lightly in his own. A soft noise escapes from Snow's throat as he shifts his body so that he is laying on his back. Hope's heart is pounding uncontrollably as this moment finally catches up with him. Should he take advantage of his friend's poor judgment in such a weary state? Or should he just play it safe and leave?

"Baby…" Snow mumbled tiredly as he squeezes Hope's hand, completely under the impression that Serah is the one who wants him so badly at this moment. Hope attempts to pull his hand from Snow's rock grasp but fails miserably. He might of grown and developed extremely within the past half decade, but he is still no match for Snow. Snow rolls over again, this time to face Hope. Hope can feel Snow's breath hit his face and he wishes he could catch his own. He waits a few seconds, waiting for something to happen. Snow adjusts his pillow with his free hand, making it so their noses touch ever so lightly. Face to face they lay, just breathing onto each other, feeling the moment though neither of them conscious enough to fully embrace it. Snow's face pushes in closer, making their noses dodge each other to avoid unnecessary impact. Hope can't contain himself any longer. He is done waiting. He beings to close his eyes, he wants to lean in the last inch and kiss him. But he can't. He just can't. His mind is preventing him from moving forward. He feels Snow's strong legs against his thin legs, the pressure between them so intense, so thick, that no force imaginable would seem powerful enough to overcome it.

Then one action blurs into another. Snow's arm wraps surely around Hope's waist, pulling him dangerously close. Their lips are but a hair away from each other. A heat builds up in Hope, it seems so hot that it could incinerate them both, but it doesn't, it seems to feed Snow's actions. As if he can feel it, as if he can taste it. Hope's heart inflates, he wants this. Just one kiss, a stolen secret he can remember forever. Just this moment, he has him. Snow is right here, a gasp away, within his reach. The stubble on Snow's chin brushes against Hope's smooth jaw line. The bristle seems to make Hope shiver and quake, he's so close now. Snow leans in the last distance and lays his lips softly on Hope's. He applies pressure to them, careful and passionate within the briefest of moments. Hope relishes the moment, feeling every texture that Snow provides.

A sound from behind makes Hope's eyes open. Serah is done with her drink.