Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: Finally, something that isn't written for a prompt!
Fang/Light is my OTP, and I've always wanted to write a piece for this pairing ever since January. I had a few oneshot ideas, however none of them materialized because then I got sucked into my not so secret ship Farroncest. However, my desire to dedicate something to these two finally prompted me to write this and honestly this is quite a mammoth project for me just because of the expected length of this story. I don't do multichapter well, I have a tendency to be unable to complete them so I don't know how far I'll get with this but I'm definitely very passionate about this right now so I'm hoping for the best. Support always helps, cause motivation is all a writer needs. Rated T for now, but may change in future chapters.
As always, comments and criticisms are most welcomed.
Story Note: I titled it Dust to Dust exactly as the piece in the original soundtrack as it was my main inspiration.
Lightning - Viridian
Even until the end, you smiled…and lied to my face.
There was music playing in the background. The mellow melody sounded like classical. She didn't listen to music much, and couldn't really tell what genre it belonged to. Only that she didn't like it. She knocked back the drink in her glass, feeling it burn the back of her throat. It's unpleasant. It's always unpleasant. But it will pass, and after she'd get that lightness in her head. That she relished, if only for the moment. Only for this moment.
She set the glass down on the counter, motioning the bartender for another. He eyed her top down, and maybe it was her uniform, maybe it was her demeanor, maybe it was she really didn't give a damn what, he wordlessly complied even though she could tell he was wondering if she was trouble. He slipped another glass in front of her, removing the empty one. She downed that as well.
He looked worried, a crease forming in his even brow, and he seemed to withdraw from her slightly. But she knew why. It was all too clear to her how she was presenting herself. The depressed loner, tossing back too many drinks too fast. The type who gets into bar fights. Lebreau would be readying the bat by now. And that's exactly why she was here instead of there. The drinks were shitty, the atmosphere was shitty but at least here there was no one to put a cap on how much she wanted to drink, no one to tell her how much they think she shouldn't drink.
Just who did they take her for? She knew herself better than that. This wasn't her. She didn't drink. But it's just for today, just for tonight. She needed this. They wouldn't understand. Nobody understands, because nobody knows.
And that's fine. That's fine.
She tapped the now empty second glass on the counter, calling for the third. The bartender eyed her from the little distance he's made between them. He picked up her glass, and then paused.
"You're going to get home fine, Miss?"
She glared at him. He poured the drink.
He didn't want trouble. Or hassle. That glare ought to shut him up. But for convenience, she didn't knock back the third drink. She sipped it slowly, already feeling her head clouding up. She took a deep breath, propping her chin on one hand. Yes, that's the feeling. The lightness, the fogginess, the blurriness that just makes her not want to think of anything. Makes her incapable of thinking of anything. Especially not that.
She closed her eyes, emptying her glass. Not that. Anything but that. The stool next to hers creaked with occupance. She took another deep breath, trying to shake off the unwelcomed invading thought, and then…wildflowers. She caught the whiff of wildflowers. How odd for the scent to be here. Though the scent by itself was not odd. It was…musk, earthly, filling deep into her. Exotic. Almost like standing in a field of flowers. Like windmills. Like mountains.
"I'll have what she's having."
That's where her reverie ends. She blinked, looking to her side while watching the bartender pass the same drink she was having to the person next to her. A slender hand reached out to take the glass, raising it to waiting lips.
"You alone, soldier?"
Lightning stared at the woman beside her. The first thing she noticed was the fragrance of wildflowers. So that's where the scent was coming from. The woman herself was very ordinary in appearance. Tan, black hair, moderate height, but taller than most, curvy. She turned away, signaling for the next glass. That sounded like a description of someone else entirely. Though that person was anything but ordinary.
"Not very chatty, are you? Or am I too forward?"
Another glass slid into her open hand and she grasped it firmly, completely ignoring her neighbour. The woman paid no mind however, laughing small as she sipped her drink; all the while Lightning felt eyes blatantly on her. Finally after what seemed to be a moment of contemplation, the other shuffled closer, much to Lightning's disdain.
"You're Lightning Farron, aren't you? The former l'cie?"
The sergeant tensed. She never liked it when she was referred to as such. Former l'Cie? It sounds almost like a title. She didn't answer, focusing instead on the contents of the glass in her hand. But it would appear her neighbour wasn't one to give up easily.
"I'm right, aren't I?" she chuckled at the silence that followed. "I never thought I'd actually meet you. What are you doing here? Today of all days?"
She shuffled closer still. Lightning could feel her breath on her cheek.
"It's the one year anniversary of Cocoon's fall! We've survived Pulse for a year! You should be celebrating with all your former l'Cie friends, not here drinking by yourself."
Lightning sipped her glass. That's right. One year. But what is there to celebrate?
"Everyone's celebrating. Hear the fireworks?"
Of course, the distant boom didn't go unnoticed. Fireworks tend to remind her of another event though. That night in Bodhum…before hell broke loose. Before she found out that Serah was a l'Cie, before she herself became one, before becoming enemies of the world, before finding a ragtag group to call family, before Barthandelus, before Gran Pulse, before her.
"Light…look at me…"
The air seemed to grow thick. She exhaled a shaky breath, downing the glass in her hand. She felt her everywhere. Her presence was everywhere. She stood up, slapping some bills onto the counter and backing away on unsteady feet. A hand grabbed hers.
"Whoa, leaving already?"
The woman got up, coming close and immediately, she's swamped with the scent of wildflowers. Wildflowers, exotic wildflowers…she stopped to take it all in, breathing it in, closing her eyes. She let it flow into her, let it swirl with her already foggy head. It smells like her. It smells like her hair, like her clothes, like her skin. Lightning opened her eyes, pulling away from the woman. The woman…the woman who looked like her too.
The other seemed to sense her confusion, taking her hand again. "You look like you could need some companionship," she pushed closer. "I'm right here."
Lightning frowned at the woman, not really understanding her intent yet at the same time understanding it completely. The woman smiled, slowly leading her out of the bar. She staggered along, not really having the strength to fight, not really wanting to. The outside air stung at her, and she was momentarily blinded by the colours in the sky, the myriad of them appearing all the same to her. The fireworks were still going on.
Her companion didn't let her enjoy it for long though, quickly pulling her away. She stumbled after the other, the occasional blasts of sound and light in the distance making her instinctively reach for the hilt of her gunblade. The action went unnoticed by her companion, who pushed forward unrelentingly.
Where were they going? Try as she might, Lightning couldn't recognize any of her surroundings at all. Not the buildings, not the streets, nothing. While that could be due to her state of mind, somehow she knew she was going into unchartered territory. What was she doing? That, she didn't know, yet she knew. Did she want it? She couldn't answer that.
The unexpected stop had her reeling not to crash into the one before her, an act only possible because of how alert her body still was despite the on goings in her head. The woman glanced back at her, smiling slightly.
"We're here," she whispered, something Lightning barely made out over a particularly near-sounding boom.
Here? Where? She wanted to look up at building they're at, but she found it so hard to focus on her or her words, pale cerulean eyes inexplicably drawn back to the night sky behind her. Solid reds, blues and yellows of various shapes exploded in the vast space, blending together to create shimmering shades of purple, orange and green. And then those colours too, gave birth to newer ones. She thought she saw viridian.
A breath passed her ear, and suddenly she was rushed past narrow hallways and up a flight of stairs. The door clicking close was the only indication to her that they were in a room of some sort. She looked around, momentarily dazed at all the floating furniture. She closed her eyes, and then opened them again. Everything was still floating. Did she drink too much? It was only three shots. Or was it four? She reached out for the nearest wall, leaning on it for support, willing the objects in the room to obey the laws of gravity.
She heard the presence behind her before she felt it, the familiar and comfortable weight behind her thighs shifting. Realization snapped reaction. Her gunblade was being lifted from its holster. She twisted around, quickly backing away while glaring at the hands that reached for it.
"Don't touch it."
"Okay," the woman lifted both her hands. "Okay, we'll keep that on."
Sensing no threat, Lightning relaxed, which gave away to surprise when her legs hit the bed behind her. Instantly, the other had made her way in front of her, hands on her shoulders.
They pushed gently. "Sit down."
She sat, and the other woman wasted no time straddling her lap. Lightning tensed, unused to the feeling. It didn't feel right. The weight on her lap, the thigh brushing against her own, the hands on her shoulders, everything didn't feel right. They felt out of place. Stop. She swallowed to steady herself, looking everywhere but at the face before her. A hand came up to brush her bangs from her face and she sighed, closing her eyes.
The ghost of a touch travelled down her cheek, to her jaw, to her neck, caressing ever so softly. She grimaced. Something's wrong. She opened her eyes. The woman's hand was still on her shoulder, the other in her hair. The sensation on her neck moved to her collarbone. She felt her chest constricting.
"…don't be shy…"
She got to her feet so abruptly that the woman on her lap was thrown to the floor. But she didn't care, hand above her breasts, forcing air in. The ghostly touch now moved back up to take hold of her cheek.
"I want to look at you…"
This was wrong. What the hell was she doing? Taking a deep breath, she headed for the door, her vision now strangely clear. She didn't spare a glance at her companion.
Ignoring the cry of protest, she raced down the flight of stairs, and like lightning itself; she was out of the building in a flash. The cold night air rushed at her but she didn't stop; she ran the direction she came from. Her chest was still heaving, and she struggled with every breath. But she had to get away. She could still sense the foreign feel of that woman, still hear her voice ringing, still see her looming over her. Her eyes were black.
They're the wrong colour.
They should be green. Viridian.
She skidded to a stop, just barely knocking the waist high wooden fence that guarded the perimeter of the cliff side she was on. She put her hands on the fence, resting her weight against it, and just breathed. Pathetic. She felt pathetic. She couldn't move on, and she couldn't let go. A burst of light flashed above her, and she caught the colour she was looking for. Viridian. Like those eyes. The piercing eyes of a hunter. She looked up. The fireworks were still going on, beautiful inside the barrier that contained them.
And in the centre of them all, illuminated and reflecting the flashes around it, was Cocoon. The planet was wrapped in its crystal radiance, standing proud on its pillar that has bored its weight for the past year. Lightning clenched her fists. Its pillar, which until this day, held two lives within it. Or rather, it was the two lives that uphold the pillar. Upholds Cocoon.
"Dammit," she trembled, exhaling a breath. "Dammit!"
"Won't you look at me, Light?"
She drew out her gunblade, pointing it to Cocoon. The fireworks stopped, and slowly, Cocoon fades into the darkness, the last of the luminance leaving but an outline. She held her weapon tightly, flicking it into its sabre form. With a powerful strike that buried the tip of Blaze Edge into the earth, she cut the fencing before her in half. It would achieve nothing.
She pulled her blade out of the ground, not taking her eyes off where she knew Cocoon was. Her hand snaked up to her neck, tracing the last of the ghostly sensation.
I am looking at you. You're the one not looking at me…Fang.