Hey, guys!

So, one day I stumbled across the wrong section of Hopurai fics and find myself in the middle of FangxLightning (Fight or Flight; the fandom, I mean…) fandom. Probably the first same sex paring I actually took seriously after L/Light.

Anyway, this piece. It can be understood a stand alone one-shot, although I do have a second chapter in mind and do intend to give an ending to it. I just have to brainstorm it, hang in there…Also, my Hopurai piece will continue, all o.k.

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Disclaimer: It belongs to Square. It's so simple that not even House could've said anything about it. Maybe next time.

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Matching Tides

Chapter 1 ~ To The Sea

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"Ha! Hope lost it again!"

"I did not, no way! You're going blind, Snow!"

"Easy now, you two! It's just a game. What's the problem if Hope can't keep his eyes away from Lightning for a few seconds?" Vanille said, her voice cracking up in laughter near the end.

They had already set up their camp when the red headed girl challenged Hope for a staring contest. The boy often played the game with his mother and, since he knew there was no utter trick that Vanille could do, accepted her request. They sat in the ground by the fire staring at one another for a while until Hope asked for the rules, or even for a judge, and Vanille said there were none. After some insistent misunderstanding, like the constantly flickering light from their fire, they both agreed on calling Snow over to be the judge. Luck still wasn't on Hope's side, however.

"It has nothing to do with Light!" he exclaimed exasperated, trying to cling to any excuse that would keep him from becoming the laughing stock of both Vanille and Snow for the next few days. Although, that didn't mean his friends' accusations weren't half true. His face was of a bright red, causing Snow to point to him and laugh loudly at any thought of the two of them together that didn't involve physical pain for Hope.

"Didn't knew you like it rough, kid!", the blond man said after his laughter died down, making Hope even more embarrassed.

"It's nothing to do with that! My hair just keeps getting into my eyes, it ain't fair!", Hope almost begged to them.

"Hey, why didn't you say so earlier? I can hold it up for ya!" said a still grinning Snow, his hand already moving to hold his bangles up above his forehead. The fact that his hand was probably the size of Hope's whole head had probably slipped him unnoticed.

"Argh! Hey, lemme go!" Hope exclaimed rather loudly while snapping his arms wildly to Snow's direction, misunderstanding his supposed act of kindness for one of murder.

"Alright, alright!" Snow gave up, putting his hands up in the air for a complete 'I quit' stance. Then, without a notice, one of his hands dove down to Hope's neck and grabbed his scarf.

"Come 'ere, kid", he said while already tying his scarf tightly in Hope's head in a similar way to his own black bandanna, despite the boy's protests. When finally finished he took a few steps back to properly look at his work, giving off his best hero pose and grinning proudly.

"You serious?", Hope asked incredulous, shooting his eyes up to the tall man standing in front of him.

"You look kinda cute like this, you know!", a giggling Vanille added before Snow could defend himself from Hope's unsaid accusation. "Let's play already! Just keep your eyes off Light, okay?"

At the opposite side of their camp, Lightning was standing guard at a distinctly high place surrounded by a few rocks. She knew the area probably didn't have any enemies, but the wildlife down on Pulse was known for being frequently unpredictable, so the soldier decided to stand guard for the night, even though her body was earnestly begging for some hours of sleep.

Lightning sat in one of the rocks and surveyed their camp with heavy eyes. At some point, she noticed Snow's focused attention on Hope and Vanille, who were apparently just chatting. She was too far away to hear any of the conversation to begin with, but, after a while, the whole camp came to a still silence. Moments later she recognized the sound of Hope's voice and Snow's deep laughter, when Snow grabbed the boy's scarf and tied around his head.

Lightning chuckled at the scene bellow. She concluded they were probably having a staring contest, for it was the only reason why Hope had to keep his hair out of his eyes. They resumed playing soon afterwards; that particular match lasting longer than the others, due to Hope's new luck.

The soldier was so immersed in their game that she didn't notice the sound of footsteps climbing up to the spot where she was standing guard, and could barely hide her surprise when a familiar cocky voice spoke from behind her.

"You should be careful, y' know", it said. "All that smiling could be addictive." Lightning turned around to find Fang standing just a few feet behind her, looking down at her, smirking, for having caught her in a personal moment.

"What are you doing here?", the soldier asked, her defenses already up again. She glared at the other woman, waiting for an answer, until her neck started to ache because of the odd angle. Fang sat in a small rock next to the one Lightning was occupying, the soldier's glare following her every move.

Lightning sighed and moved her gaze back to the game, certain that she wasn't going to get any answer from the warrior.

"You don't have to stand guard. I know this place as the back of my hand, believe me; nothing's gonna come up.", Fang finally replied, her voice a bit more serious than usual, as if trying to convince the other woman of her statement.

Lightning turned to her slightly surprised by the fact that Fang noticed she was standing guard. That particular night, she decided it was best not to tell her comrades that she would stand watch for them to rest peacefully. They were all exhausted, and taking shifts to no end wouldn't help the least their conditions.

"What makes you think I'm standing guard?" she asked after a while.

"Didn't say you were, just said you don't need to." Fang replied, her smirk back in her voice. Their gazes kept locked in each other until they heard Vanille's voice cutting trough the silence that had settled between them and turned their attention back to their game.

Hope had apparently won, for he standing with his arms crossed in front of his chest looking rather proud. Vanille whined again a couple of times before pushing his bandanna down to cover his eyes, making him look like a small, retarded version of Snow.

Lightning smiled at the boy she had taken under her wing; he seemed so grown up at times that she would often forget that he was still just a kid. Vanille acted much like the mother he had lost, playing games with him and telling him everything would be ok… and he needed it. Too much had happened to him; he was thrown too many responsibilities at the same time and was slowly tumbling down. Just like it had happened to her…

Fang watched her as she smiled and became lost in her thoughts. The soldier had been angry for having her privacy invaded less than five minutes ago, and now she was all smiles. The pulsian chuckled to herself. So much for a tough, emotionless girl named 'Lightning'. People in Cocoon really didn't understand nature…

"You're just like the sea, sunshine", she stated, her lips twisting up in a rare true smile. " 'Lightning' just doesn't suit you at all. You're like the sea, always caught up in changing tides and all…"

Lightning turned to her ready to disagree, but something about her smile and her eyes simply stopped her. She lost her gaze in Fang's for some time, then turned away from her feeling the heat on her cheeks.

"I never know what to say to you", she said quite honestly, still not facing her. Lightning then abruptly got up, her back to Fang. "I'll get back to the camp now. If anything happens, I'll make sure to deal with you personally tomorrow", she threatened while making her way back to the camp, leaving Fang smiling to herself.

"Good night!" she heard Lightning shout at her from a distance.

Fang smirked and said to herself, "Night, sunshine."


Also, please tell if I'm in some serious downhill writing.

Reviews appreciated.