A very short oneshot. Set post-game, so naturally includes spoilers. In my eyes, it had to be done.

The silver haired boy walked up to the crystal pillar, smiling sadly and softly resting his hand on the cool, clear crystal. Hope closed his eyes, believing and feeling that he wasn't alone. That she was here.

"I'm sorry, Vanille" he whispered, aloud to the empty land and impassive crystal. "Sorry I let this happen. You didn't deserve this. And I keep thinking, maybe it could've been different. If I was older, stronger, if I focused, if I'd only listened to Light earlier… But I didn't, and now you're here. Maybe I could've helped, found some other way, even taken your place, but I didn't and now I can't" a lone tear trickled down his cheek. "I wasn't lying when I said I liked your smile. But now you can't, and I can't help thinking that, maybe, it was…my fault" Hope said the last words slightly quicker than he intended.

Desperately alone, Hope stared through the clear, rippling crystal, through to the emptiness beyond and within.

"Don't worry" Vanille's ever cheerful voice chimed inside his head. Hope looked around, spirits lifted, but still unsure. Was it Vanille speaking from within the crystal, or his own mind giving him what he needed the most?

He bowed his head for a brief moment, eyes closed as he tried to stop the tears.

Knowing he was alone, the boy took one more slow step forwards, lightly touching his lips to the crystal. He stepped back from the kiss, seeing the faint mist cloud the otherwise immaculate crystal.

"Bye" he murmured.

The imprint of the kiss was already fading as he turned.