This is sort of an edited version. I went back and terminated a few typos, but I'm sure I still missed some. Anyways, same spiel there. I don't think this is too great, but if you get some enjoyment out of it, then it's worth it right?

Disclaimer: I don't own FF 13. :/

The storm outside was increasing in intensity. It sounded like someone had taken a hammer to Hope's window, and that it would shatter any second now. He couldn't work like that. If he was going to get any studying done that night, it would have to be quiet.

Sighing, he got up from his desk, leaving behind his study materials, and walked over to the window to get a better view of the storm. He wasn't exactly sure why though; he had come to hate storms. They were just loud, obnoxious bursts of energy, and they left just as quickly as they came.

Before his eyes, a massive bolt of lightning struck the ground, completing the stormy scenery along with the bending trees. He had to admit, that the electrical strike was quite the beautiful sight to behold.

It had lit up the dark environment outside, giving the land a brief bursts of light. It disappeared after a few seconds of flashing however. Hope couldn't help but feel a little sad as he listened to the thunder that accompanied the lightning a few seconds after it had disappeared. All it was was a definite announcement that the lightning was truly gone. That same bolt would never be seen again; it was gone forever.

Hope quickly pulled down his blinds, covering up the stormy view with an opaque white wall. There was no reason to keep watching. It was just making him think of her.

"Dammit..." The white haired teen mumbled to himself, moving back to his desk where he was determined to get some studying done. His last year of highschool had finally arrived, and the eighteen year old Hope wasn't planning on failing his exams.

Even with his papers right in front of him, his mind had begun to sift back through the past four years.

Four whole years had passed since his grand adventure as a Le' Cie, and things were finally getting back to normal. A peaceful life had been achieved by the former citizens of cocoon, and for the former le' cie as well.

Most of his friends had gone back to their normal lives. Sazh and Dajh went back home together, and were living a happy life together, without any fal' cie business getting in their way. Serah and Snow finally got married, and had had two kids; twins, a boy and a girl, but both with the same bright blonde hair as their father. Lighting was just hoping that wouldn't mean the two had inherited their father's brains as well.

Hope smiled when he started thinking about Lightning. The soldier had been reinstated within the Guardian Corps, after some heavy deliberation from her higher ups, with a promotion. Lightning Farron was now a sergeant. He was surprised that she hadn't gone straight to lieutenant after all that she had done, but Lightning herself didn't seem to care too much. She just shrugged it off, in that special way only she could.

He had kept in touch with everyone, and sent letters to everyone at least every two months. Every year, he visited Boduhm with the rest of the group to enjoy the famous fireworks festival, and general attended a party hosted by the Villers shortly afterwords.

For the longest time, nothing excited Hope more than getting to see Lightning at these gatherings. He wouldn't deny that he was close to the woman, and the two were effectively as close as friends ever could be. The soldier always seemed to loosen up around Hope, letting down walls that no one except Serah had seen crack before.

That was all they were tough; just friends. Nothing more than that. They hugged, laughed with each other, but never went beyond the boundaries of a platonic friendship. It was at that point that Hope's happy reminiscing began to hurt. He had always wanted something more. Perhaps she didn't feel the same way, but Hope knew exactly how he felt.

Ever since their adventures were over, Hope knew that he was in love with Lightning. The woman had become more than a role model, or even a mother figure to him. Despite not having felt that way about anyone else before, he knew that he was in love, and that it was likely to never change. He knew at the time it would never work out. He was barely a teenager, and Lightning was a grown woman. There was a whole seven years separating the two, and Hope knew his feelings would never be returned so long as she saw that gap there. He was a kid to her after all.

Hope earnestly hoped that over the years, as he became older, became an actual adult, that she would understand, and ignore the stupid age gap between them. There wasn't anything in the world he could have asked for more than for her to return his feelings. There was nothing though. No signs at all.

So it was that Hope Eistheim had given up on his love. In his eyes, it was time to move on. Clearly, the older woman didn't see him within the same light that he held her, and as such, their friendship would never escalate to something more.

Hope stopped. Remembering anymore would just be a greater burden on his mind than he needed at the moment. Standing up, he looked outside to look at the state of things. The storm had ended. No longer would the thunder drive him crazy, nor the lightning either.

Another distraction arose shortly afterwords however. From the corner of his room came a persistent beeping sound, alerting Hope to an incoming call on his cellphone. He reached mechanically for the device, pulling it open and resting it against his ear.


"Hope it's me." A girl's voice piped in on the other line.

"Oh, hey Elly. What's up?" Hope answered, putting enthusiasm into his response, despite the fact that he was still feeling down on the inside. There was no reason to drag his girlfriend into his old personal history anyways. She probably wouldn't have understood either way.

He could hear the quirky girl chuckle from across the line. "Just wondering if we were still up for tomorrow. You seemed kinda down earlier, so I was just wondering if you still wanted to grab some coffee after our exams."

"I'm fine." Hope laughed, walking once again over to his window. "The weather was just getting me down. I'd love to grab something after exams."

"Alright. See you tomorrow then. "Love you!"

"Love you too." Hope finished, as he heard the other girl hang up on her line. Sighing, he collapsed on his bed, reflecting over what he had just said. Did he really love her back? It was doubtful. Ever since he had given up on Lightning, he had never found anyone who had instilled in him the same feelings of love he had felt for the older woman so long ago. He knew it wasn't Elly's fault; it was entirely his inability to love her back, and he felt like a monster for it. A massive gaping hole was in his chest, and she couldn't, and he doubted anyone could, ever fill it back up.

Thundering noises attracted his attention to his window once again. Clearly, the storm wasn't finished with him yet.

"...Do you ever give up?" Hope dragged himself to the window, lifting the blinds to see the large bolt of lighting behind the formerly opaque view. Once again, the majestic force of nature had come down on his hometown, and once again, filled him with a longing he had long since tried to choke down.

It was hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. He desperately tried to shove down those thoughts, locking them away in any empty cabinet that remained in the back of his mind. That was the plan; shove that feeling away for good, lock the door, and burn the damn key.

Wrestling with his thoughts, he sat himself back down, head in his hands. After fifteen minutes of wasted fighting, he gave up. He knew for certain the moment he felt tears coming from his eyes.

Hope was still in love with Lightning.

Running a hand through his white hair, Hope looked over at his phone. His fingers moved across the keypad, finding the number of his girlfriend. He held the phone up to his ear, though he only managed to encounter her message box. He waited for the tone, and spoke into the phone.

"Elly? I'm sorry this is on short notice but...something's come up, and I don't think I can meet with you after school tomorrow. I'm really sorry. I'll make it up to you later."

Hope hit the end button and terminated the call.

What was he doing though? Was he really going to leave his girlfriend standing alone tomorrow while he chased after some stupid fantasy, the same dumb fantasy from four years ago, where in he and Lightning might be together?

He had to though. Despite any earlier apprehension, Hope knew that he had to settle this. It was about time the soldier found out just what he felt. Perhaps he'd get lucky anyways; there was always the minutest possibility she cared about him the same way, and she had just had the same. It was probably just old childish thinking arising from the grave, but he had to know.

If he didn't do this, he would never be able to move on any further.

Lightning Farron needed to know he loved her.

He went down to his father's room on the other floor, where Hope found him working ever dilligently at his desk.


"What is it Hope?" Bartholomew looked over his shoulder.

"I'm gonna be out for a few days." Hope said with a small smile forming on his face.

"Where might you be going then?"

"I'll be in Bodhum for a bit."

And that's that. Thank you for reading!

If you liked it, hated it, or whatever, please drop a review by and let me know.