The Only Exception

Last night (actually this morning :P) I was listening to the radio, and 'The Only Exception' by Paramore came on. I was bored and just before the song came on I was thinking, "Hm .. maybe I should write a CloudxLightning fic since everyone wanted me to do that in TwoLSaS (1st fic)." Suddenly, The Only Exception came on and I started listening to the words. I quickly wrote it down in my book, and thus, this story was born :D

Anyways, on with it!

Oh, and because I'm rather uncreative, this story is AU and Lightning lives in Bodhum at the moment, 'cause I just don't feel like making up town names x.x

Warning: Lightning's real name, family fighting, and slight language maybe later on.

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or XIII. If I did, the series wouldn't have lasted to FFIX T_T; … if even :P

Chapter 1

Promises Are Made

A ten-year-old Claire Farron lay in her bed. Her cobalt blue eyes wide open and fully awake. She was wrapped up tightly in her rose colored quilt, her hands clutching the sides in a white-knuckled grip.

Her eyes flickered to her digital alarm clock as she heard an aggravated growl followed by lots of yelling, making her cringe.

It was one forty-nine AM.

"Ugh! You know what James? I'm going to my mother's. I'll pick up the kids tomorrow morning." Claire's mother, Charlotte Farron yelled at her father, James Farron.

"Charlotte -!"

"Let go of me!"

A tear escaped Claire's eye as she heard her four-year-old sister, Serah, begin to cry from all the yelling. It was the second time that night that Serah burst out crying in the room next to Claire's.

Thud, thud, thud.

Claire heard her mom stomp past her room and down the stairs.


It was the third fight this month.

Thought Lightning was young, she acted rather mature for her age. And hearing her parents fight like this all the time made her both mad and sad.

She heard her father sigh and her baby sister's door open. After a few minutes, Claire could hear her father faintly talking to Serah, whose cries and wails at ceased.

A minute or two later, some light spilled into her room, her dad's shadow cast into the ten-year-old's bedroom. Claire quickly snapped her eyes shut, feigning sleep.

"… Claire?" her dad whispered softly from the door, watching his daughter's back as she faced the wall. "I know you heard all that."

No response.

Claire stiffened when she felt her bed dip behind her as her dad sat down.

He sighed deeply.

"Claire … marria-" he began, but was cut off by his daughter.

"- Marriage has its ups and downs. Yeah, I know dad. You've told me before." And again, and again, and again. Claire added as an after thought, grimacing.

Claire's dad grimaced too, and outstretched his hand to touch his distant daughter, but thought better of it and dropped it.

"Claire it'll -" she cut him off again.

"- Be fine. Sure dad …" she sneered the last part, too upset to care.

James felt his heart crumble. Do me and …Charlotte really fight this much? He wondered, biting his lip. I hope when she grows up and gets married this doesn't happen to her … A sudden idea came to his mind.

"I'll promise you something if you promise me something in return." He said quietly.

"… Okay …"

"I'll promise to try and fight less with your mother and leave you alone right now. If you promise me something very important."

Expectant silence.

"If you promise me right now, that you'll never fall in love, that doesn't exist." James waited.

No response.

He sighed. I guess not …

As he got up and made for the door, he heard Claire mutter, " … I promise." Softly, just before he smiled and shut the door, leaving Claire in the dark once again.

Little did he know exactly how hard his silent, independent, friendless daughter was taking his fighting with her mother.

Not that much, I know, but … meh, I thought it suited the length just fine … for the first chapter I mean xP

Don't flame this please, if you didn't like the story, click that "Back" button up at the top of your web browser and pretend you never read this. If Claire's parents' fighting struck an angry nerve with you, then write down your feeling on a piece of paper, crumple it up and tear it, then toss it in the trash or whatever you feel like doing with it.

My parents used to do this all the time when I was little, but thankfully, it never ended in divorce. :/ So yeah … I mixed a smidge of myself in with Claire in this chapter, 'cause I wanted to make it a little more … me? I dunno. Anyways, if you like, click that little button down there. You know you wanna! XD Lol, anyways, I don't know about updates, as I'm already having trouble updating my first fic (4 months old and only 7chapters Dx) Soo … yeah.

R&R please!