A/n: Okay first FFXIII fic here on the site, and to be honest I'm a little nervous about it ^^; (but I'll get over it right?) Anyway, I *love* the game though I haven't beaten it yet (only just got it) *but* I've seen the videos on youtube-it takes away nothing for me! ^_^
So, this just a little pre-game origin story on how I view Claire becoming Lightning, who we're intro'd to when the games starts. I'm not really sure how long this story will be since I'm writing as I go, same goes for the chapter lengeth as well, so it make take time with updates unless I'm on a roll. Feedback, however, adds fuel to my fire which definately makes me write faster b/c it lets me know that you all are enjoying it ^_^! So, please let me know what you think of it!
"You'll never fall, till you let go. Don't be so scared of what you don't know."-Unknown
Chapter 1: Claire Farron
"So, when is 'she' gonna get here?" inquired a curious three year old Claire Farron as she sat with her mother on the couch. She poked at the elder female's swollen belly in amazement.
Aire Farron simply chuckled with amused affection as her belly was assaulted by a tiny finger; still, she was glad that her daughter—soon to be eldest—was so excited about having a little sister.
"She'll be here soon, Sunshine," the mother responded with affection as she reached a hand up to ruffle her daughter's pink locks that the smaller of the two inherited from her.
A bright smile appeared on Claire's face, causing her eyes to shine like diamonds. She was thrilled that she was going to be a big sister; she was also glad she was getting a sister. Still, amidst the joy…was doubt.
Both her parents had told her that being a big sister came with a lot of responsibility. She'd be setting an example for her younger sibling so shed have to be aware of all actions she made. Not only that but she had to lookout for and protect her sister as well. What if she failed at her job? …The thought truly frightened her.
The elder female tilted her head to the side curiously. "Sunshine, what's wrong?" she asked because of the expression that appeared on her child's face. The young child looked suddenly worried.
"What if I'm no good at being a big sister?" she demanded to know from her mother. Her electric blue eyes, borderline platinum, looking up at her mother's face—her eyes portrayed so many emotions: excitement, worry, fear, and more.
Suddenly, Claire was enveloped in a hug and the next thing she knew the young strawberry blonde was pressed against her mother, head coming to a rest at the other female's shoulder. Claire's face was buried in the crook of the elder woman's neck, due to the fact that one of her mother's hands was on the back of her head and pretty much forced the smaller of the two to rest her head there.
"I'm…scared," she admitted against the skin of the elder Farron. "I don't want to...I don't want to let anyone down by messing up."
Aire simply rubbed her daughter's back gently as the young child practically poured out everything concerning the fast approaching birth of her little sister. As she listened, the mother noticed not once did Claire ever mention not wanting a younger sibling or say anything negative; when most children broke down like this they expressed their worries and fears about being replaced by a new baby. But not Claire.
True she was expressing worries and fears but not about losing her parents attention but about not being cut-out to be an older sibling. Everything that she was hearing from the small body wrapped protectively in her arms touched her heart; filling it with parental pride and other such emotions. The confessions let her know just how much, how genuinely, Claire was looking forward to having a sister and being the best older sibling that she could be.
Eventually, words stopped passing from the younger Farron. Her face remained where it was and tiny hands clenched and unclenched on the older woman's shoulder-catching both cloth and a few strands of strawberry blonde hair. Aire didn't wonder why her child had stopped speaking so abruptly, she knew why. The prick of cool tears upon her warm skin caused goosebumps to rise in the area where her neck and shoulder connected. Claire was silently crying, her small body shaking with spasms ever so often.
"Claire..." Aire's voice called out gently. The girl in question hands clenched, as tightly as her three year old hands would allow, to her mother's shirt showing that she was listening. "Look at me Claire," she ordered gently, coaxing the child from her hiding spot which happened to be her mother's neck.
She pulled away and came face to face with a pair of eyes identical to her own-the only difference being that Claire's eyes were reddened and slightly puffy from crying. As the two Farron ladies stared at one another, Aire reached up a hand to wipe at the tear streaks that ran down her child's face.
"No more tears now, okay?" she asked and was met by a nod, showing that Claire would try. "And, as for everything you told me...it's okay that you feel these things Claire. It shows me that you're just as excited for the baby to get here just as your father and I are." She informed her daughter with a proud, beaming smile; it was returned to her.
"I'll be honest with you, there will be times when you mess up and that's okay. You're not perfect Sunshine...none of us are," the mother stated with an amused chuckle.
Thin eyebrows knitted together in slight confusion by her mother's words. "But, what if I tried really really really hard not to mess up? Would I still mess up?" she questioned, purely curious. If a person tried real hard they could not do good, could they?
Another chuckle escaped from the much larger Farron. "Yes you would Sunshine because even if you gave it your all, somewhere along the road you're bound to falter," she pointed out. The confused expression that passed across her daughter's face let her know that the three year old was having trouble understanding what she was saying.
"Okay, look at it this way. Remember when you were trying to learn how to ride your bike earlier this week?" Aire asked and earned a nod. "And remember how after a few tries you were able to get it a little and you were doing good...until you hit that brick and went flying off the thing." She had to bite her lower lip to keep from laughing at the memory, least she hurt her daughter's pride.
"Hurt my knee," the child muttered and pouted slightly, making her look even more adorable in her mother's eyes though she kept that bit of information to herself. Telling that to Claire would only upset the child further, causing her pout to deepen, and make her look even cuter. At only three her offspring was such a tomboy...just like Aire was at that age from what her parents told her.
"Yes, that's true you did," she agreed, eyes quickly glancing down at the body part that was now within their conversation, before focusing them back onto the young girl's face. "But, can you tell me why you hit the brick in the first place?"
Suddenly, Claire looked down. Not because she didn't know the answer but simply because she was searching her memory to try and find it; from that angle, the child's eyes almost looked a steely grey which could show her determination to find the answer. It took a few moments but Aire was patient with the smaller of the two until once again cobalt eyes locked once again.
"Because...I was looking back at you. So...I wasn't watching where I was going," she said, slightly unsure that her response was completely right.
Aire smiled. "Very good. That was exactly why you had your accident. Well, being a big sister is the same thing. Yes, you're supposed to watch out for your little sister but, if you spend too much time looking at others you won't see where you're going until you fall...and it will feel like the situation happened suddenly. You see where I'm coming from?" She wondered.
"Y-yeah, I...I get it," the child confirmed.
"And before you ask, even if you saw the brick, or rock, or anything and tried to miss it you'll run into more of them no matter which path you take. There will even be times when tripping and falling will be your only option because it can't be missed and you can't turn around. That not only comes with being a big sister but also living and being a person as well," Aire commented, as she reached up a hand to run through her daughter's smaller mane of strawberry blonde.
Immediately, Claire's body relaxed; small shoulders slumping down and eyelids drooping to the point of closing. The smaller of the two leaned into the touch and Aire could have sworn that a low purr was coming from the girl. Needless to say, lavishing the youngest Farron's, for the time being, head was one of her weaknesses-that is to say that the action caused the child to instantly calm.
"So, to make a long story short...yes you will fall down, many many many times in your life. Some will even leave a scar like the one on your knee. It's an important part of the learning process but, what truly matters is that you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. And, every time you do this you learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them in the future," the taller of the two explained. She simplified it as best she could without dumbing it down so much that Claire would understand; for a three year old she understood more than most at her age.
"A-Alright...every time I fall down, I'll try my best to figure out...what and...and where I messed up...s-so I won't...repeat...it," Claire struggled to respond that everything that her mother had told her. While she still did have many questions they were pushed to the back of her mind by the feel of her mother's hand stroking through her hair. It felt so good!
Silence enveloped the pair for a few moments before it was broken by the Aire's voice. "I think it's time for your nap Sunshine," she commented though it was really a statement; the girl was practically asleep on her feet.
A smaller head shook weakly in protest. "I'm not tired," she protested in a voice that had sleep creeping into it. That didn't help her case nor the yawn that followed shortly after the statement.
The elder of the two smirked. "Oh really? Well, someone looks and sounds tired to me," she countered. "Alright, up you go. Let's get you to bed...I may even join you," she added as she tightened her hold on her offspring before removing herself from the couch.
Once up, with Claire held securely by one arm, she began heading for the stairs. She ascended them slowly not just because she was carrying an in-and-out child but because she was heavily pregnant and she could no longer see her feet; not being able to see her feet bothered her greatly for some reason...it was the same way when she was carrying Claire those few years ago. Thankfully, she knew how many steps she had to go up before she was on the second floor, and having a hand on the railing didn't hurt either.
Upon hitting the landing she immediately headed for Claire's room; it would remain that way until her sister was out of the crib stage and able to sleep in a normal, barless, bed. She entered the room and gently placed the now snoozing girl atop the comforter and covered her with her thick, red blanket; it was her favorite out of all her blankets.
She hovered over the sleeping form for a few minutes, gently brushing a few stray locks from her daughter's tiny face. "You'll do fine as a big sister Claire, there is nothing to be scared of because you'll have your father and me...both of you. I'll know you'll love her and do your best to protect her when she finally gets here, hell, you do it now. And, as long as you give that, give it your all...I know you'll be the best big sister ever to her," she whispered before leaning down, albeit slightly awkwardly, and placed a gentle kiss on the dreaming girl's forehead.
Then she turned and proceeded out of the room. She paused at the doorway. "I know you will be." She added to her previous statement. "Sweet dreams Sunshine," she said before continuing on out the room.