This idea was distracting me from my other story, so I thought I'd get this oneshot up. Light/Fang, plus a random one of my ideas.
"No one crosses this line, ok?" Vanille drew a line between two buildings in Oerba with her hand.
"Again?" Sazh sighed, his chocobo chirruping.
"It's not that," Fang strode past, "She's serious this time. It's the Oerba Memory Stone."
"The what?" Lightning lifted her eyebrows
"Memory Stone," Vanille chirruped, "Most villages have them."
"Well, they did," Fang continued the explanation, "It's how we recorded things, the Stone's saved everything that's happened in Oerba. Can be a bit overwhelming," the Gran Pulsian paced along the line, taking care not to step over it. She continued moving, to a building, Cie'th free.
"Right, this is our camp for today," she announced
"Shouldn't we move away from the Memory Stone?" Lightning replied, incredulous
"Nah," Fang shrugged, "The Cie'th stay away from it, we'll be safer."
Without listening to any other protests, Vanille stretched, yawned, and hopped over to the building, curling up in an effort to fall asleep.
Lightning sat just on the border of the house, the only one awake under the moonlight. She couldn't sleep; it just felt unnatural to have no one on guard, for Cie'th, or monsters, or whatever.
Well, partly that, but mostly burning curiosity.
Fang had brought new meaning to the word 'vague' earlier. 'A bit overwhelming' Lightning mused; that was all she'd really been told about the Memory Stone. It didn't sound too bad, besides, if she just had a look…
Yawning, Lightly quietly got to her feet, stepping over a snoring Snow, taking care not to wake anyone. After casting a look over the party, she was satisfied that everyone was sleeping. That was good. Smiling to herself, Lightning walked up to the line Vanille had drawn earlier.
It took just a moment's thought before she crossed it, in one easy, graceful motion. The instant she did, an odd whispering noise began to emanate from the air.
"Is that all?" the pink haired woman muttered, mildly amused. She respected Fang, true, but sometimes the Pulsian…well, went over the top.
She took a few more steps forwards, before being distracted by a dim light. Frowning, the soldier turned right, to catch a glimpse of something beneath the house. Edging closer, Lightning suppressed a gasp.
It was the Memory Stone, she supposed; a stone, true, but covered in swirling blue light, light which looked almost solid, if it didn't keep gently twinkly, rippling, moving down the sides of the Stone.
Not quite certain why, Lightning reached out a hand, the tip of one finger brushing the light.
Instantly, the Memory Stone reacted. There was a pulse of aquatic light, and Lightning found herself standing in the central square of Oerba, only in daylight, and the village was in much, much better condition.
In front of her, there was a huge crowd of people, each dressed in what seemed to be the old Pulsian garb, just like Fang and Vanille wore.
Lightning took a surprised step back, unsure, as everyone stared towards her. She was about to speak, before she saw Fang literally walk through her. Only, it wasn't her Fang; it was a slightly younger Fang, the brand on her should black, active, and new.
"You have to go?" a youngish man from the crowd spoke to Fang, running up to her
"Of course, Lom," Fang replied, tilting her head
"Call me Rigba, seriously, we've known each other years."
"Oerba Lom Rigba," Fang chuckled, "I prefer Lom." Fang ruffled the man's hair a little.
Lom Rigba took a step forwards leaning to give Fang a quick peck on the cheek.
Something within Lightning began to burn.
In the next instant, the air around her started to ripple the blue of the Memory Stone again, and Lightning found herself standing, seemingly invisible, at the top of a tree. A fair way below was Oerba; but up here was a younger Fang, dressed only in a somewhat skimpy black bit of fabric, no sari, sitting on a branch, legs dangling over the long drop to the village below. She wasn't branded, nor did she have the tattoo over her arm, and looked about eighteen.
"Hey Fang," a man, also about eighteen or nineteen, climbed up the tree, reaching the thick branch Fang sat on.
"Hi Lom," the younger Fang cracked a smile as the boy sat next to her.
"Aren't you a bit old for climbing trees?"
"You can talk," Fang chuckled, "I wanted to look around."
They watched as a series of people, each dressed in near-identical green uniforms, lined up in rows. It was a pretty impressive sight; the design was like a grid, symmetrical, almost mechanical.
"How many do ya think'll make it back," Lom muttered, gesturing to the ranks
"None," Fang said, darkly, "Once an army gets sent to Cocoon, they never come back."
"They could be the first," Lom added, hopeful
"Yeah, right. If we want to win this war, we're going to need more than normal people."
"You think you can convince people to become l'Cie?" Lom replied, half-incredulous
"They'll lose their lives either way," Fang muttered to herself.
Fang hoisted herself to her feet, about to take a few steps back to the central trunk, to climb back down. Things didn't go too well though; she stumbled over a knot in the branch, slipping over the edge.
"No!" Lightning took a step along the branch, unseen, unheard from her strange vantage point.
The Gran Pulsian didn't fall too far; she grabbed onto the branch with her elbows, pulling herself back up.
"Just keeping you on your toes," she smirked at Lom Rigba's expression, hiding how shaken she was.
Before she could hear the response, Lightning was whisked away by another pulse of blue, from the Memory Stone.
She next found herself at a river's edge. She could see a teenage Fang swimming across the river, and back again, her well-built form, slim yet powerful, accentuated by her immodest garment. Her hair was slightly shorter, smoother, than it was in Lightning's time, and it was held down by the weight of the water.
Why was it showing her all this? Lightning mused as Fang kicked away from the land, swimming to the other side of the river. The Memory Stone seemed to have some fascination with showing her Fang's history, why? She admired the female warrior, true, but nothing more. And why did she just feel so…so annoyed when she saw that boy, Lom Rigba?
She was brought back to the sight in front of her once Fang swam back to the riverbank on her side of the village. There was the sound of clapping. Lightning turned around to see a fifteen or sixteen year old Lom, standing by the water.
"Nice, Fang," the teenager said appreciatively over his own applause.
"You coming in?" Fang spoke, holding onto the river bank with one arm, while paddling in the somewhat deep water with the rest of her body.
"Nah," Lom shook his head, "Been told to get you back to the village, Vanille's holding a party."
"She's always holding parties," Fang chuckled, "How long then?"
"It'll start when she finishes picking carob berries."
"Enough time to dry," Fang announced, pulling herself out of the water. Her outfit clung to her body, water dripping off her form, clearly outlining the contours of her body. Lom reached out, pulling her onto the ground as water continued to pool around her feet.
Lightning was about to remark, feeling something as Lom touched her bare skin, before there was another swirl of blue. Lightning found herself standing, alone this time, in the snowy mountains just outside Oerba.
She couldn't understand it. Why did Oerba Lom Rigba make her feel so…so… she didn't even know what word she was looking for. Was she…jealous? Honestly, she wasn't sure.
A youngish, about ten, girl drew into sight, struggling, shivering as she pressed on, walking along the snowy ground. The child persevered, evidently extremely tired. And yet she still pushed forwards, shivering. A few seconds later, the girl fell onto the snow, tripping.
Lightning ran towards her, kneeling down, though she knew she couldn't help the child.
The girl had long blackish hair, growing all the way to her waist, though it was currently splayed out, the edges covered in tiny icy crystals.
"Fang!" a young boy's voice echoed over the snow. "Fang!"
Another tan year old, with short, sand brown hair appeared from around a bend, wearing a thick jacket, and carrying another thick fleece.
"Fang!" he cried again, noticing the shivering girl on the ground. Quickly, he ran over to the child Fang, covering her in the other jacket.
"What're you doing here, Lom?" Fang muttered, shivering
"Looking for you," he replied, "You know, everyone's worried."
"Let `em worry," Fang muttered, struggling to her feet, "I can do this, I can take it."
"You don't need to, just ignore Betra, she's an idiot."
"Then let me prove her wrong," Fang took a few more steps, struggling, shivering even with the coat on.
"You're not a coward Fang!" Lom shouted, cold himself, "You don't need to prove that!"
"I can. I'll show them,"
"Come on, you really think you can take on the whole of Cocoon by yourself?"
Lom Rigba's remark caused the girl to falter.
"Maybe not," she conceded, stumbling, "not yet," the second remark was barely a whisper.
"Then let's go back," Rigba Lom was quickly at her side, offering her a hand.
Something within Lightning began to burn again. Jealousy? If it was, it was too mild a word.
"I can do it myself," Fang knocked the boy's hand away, starting to move back towards the village.
Lightning smiled, enjoying seeing Lom flounder there for a moment. The emotion surprised her; she generally wasn't sadistic, well, unless it was about Snow.
Another blue mist surrounded her. More than a little irritated by the constant change of scene, she stumbled forwards, this time seeing Lom and Fang hanging around an alley between two tall houses.
"Canir and Gela!" Lom said. He looked about seven or so years old.
"Sheesh, are you ever quiet?" Fang fell back against the wall.
"I thought it was good," Lom slumped
"I don't want to know about every marriage!"
"There's free food though!"
"Don't care," Fang straightened up, preparing to leave
"Hey, Fang," Lom Rigba called, "You want to get married some day?"
Rigba's childish comment made Lightning's hand edge towards her sword. Her eyes narrowed.
"Alright, so I'm jealous," she muttered to herself, as Fang turned.
"No way," Fang chuckled in response to Lom Rigba's question, before running along the ground.
Another wave of blue washed over Lightning. It continued swirling, until more surroundings became visible: a four/five year old Fang and Vanille, presumably, sitting around inside a building.
Lightning's thoughts were in chaos; why was she even jealous? It was just Fang, just Fang, just the brilliant, witty, beautiful Fang. Wait…beautiful? Did she really just think that?
An image flashed in her mind; the eighteen year old Fang surrounded by sunlight, and yet still appearing brighter. Gulp. Yes, she definitely thought beautiful.
It was still bugging her though; she didn't…she wasn't…
"Heya!" the redheaded four year old sitting on a cushion in front of Lightning squealed, "I'm Vanille!"
"Hi," the five year old Fang carefully jumped over a toy, landing next to the younger girl, "I'm Fang."
"Fang, Fang," Vanille sang, giggling. She paused, peering across the room. A kid, about five or six, was peering around the door. "Hey!" Vanille called, waving, perky as always
"Hi," the boy shyly entered the room
"Who're you huh?" Fang looked at him
"Rigba," he replied, looking at the duo.
Lom… Lightning felt an unnatural envy for that one boy. He knew Fang for so long, and how close were they? She wanted that closeness, she needed that closeness. Especially with Fang.
Was that what the Memory Stone as trying to show her? Fang?
There was just something alluring about the Gran Pulsian; how she moved, how she spoke…
"Fang…"Lightning whispered, soft.
The world around her again dissolved to blue. She braced herself for another scene, further back in time, but was instead confronted by the first memory; Fang and Vanille, recently branded, leaving Oerba. The end of the torturous scenario was played out in front of her; Lom Rigba stepped forward, giving Fang a light kiss on the cheek.
A moment passed, Lightning burning.
Then Fang stepped forwards, and hit Lom Rigba's cheek.
"Not interested," she murmured, barely audible, before turning and leaving Lom simply standing there, surprised.
Something within Lightning was tamed, as the world faded to blue once more.
Instead of any new scenes, she was deposited in her present, reeling, staggering back from the swirling blue Memory Stone.
"I love you, Fang," the soldier quietly murmured, words barely audible, even to herself.
A few seconds slowly ticked by in the cold night.
"I see you couldn't resist, Farron," a familiar Gran Pulsian's voice drifted through the air.
Lightning turned, tense, to see Fang a few steps away, quickly crossing the line to come closer.
"I figured you wouldn't be able to stay away," Fang smirked. "It's blue, huh?"
"What?" Lightning frowned
"The Stone; changes colour depending on who's near it," Fang lifted the hem of her sari, comparing it with the light, "Pretty similar," she noted
"What colour do you get?" Lightning attempted to strike up conversation, trying to hide the awkwardness she felt.
"Let's see," Fang seemed to brighten with the reply. Lightning stepped away, pushed a little further back by Fang, who than stepped past the soldier.
The Stone's light glimmered, turning from the blue of Fang's sari, to a pale pinkish colour. Light frowned, surreptitiously lifting a strand of her hair to compare the shades.
Fang reached out, about to touch the Memory Stone. Lightning's eyes widened, reaching out to grab Fang, pull her back even. Maybe the Gran Pulsian could find out what Lightning had seen; that might not go well.
There was a flash of pink and blue, before both Fang and Lightning were shown the same scene.
It wasn't a scene from ancient Oerba though; Lightning noticed that all too quickly. It was a scene from just seconds ago, night.
The Lightning from the past stumbled back, away from the Memory Stone. She seemed to hover there for a few seconds, stunned, looking around.
The watching Lightning tensed, knowing what was coming. Fang, for her part, was frowning.
And then the past Lightning spoke, murmuring almost silent words to herself. "I love you, Fang."
The light of the Memory Stone took both of them to their present time, Lightning embarrassed, Fang, stunned, thinking.
"Lightning," Fang was the first to speak, slow, measured words, "Did I really just see that?"
The soldier was silent. What could she say?
The black haired Gran Pulsian turned slowly, stepping much closer to Lightning. An endless second passed, before Fang leant forwards, giving Lightning a chaste, soft peck, close to her lips.
Lightning reeled slightly at the sensation, before coming to her senses, and lashing out, striking Fang's cheek.
"Feel better?" Fang raised her eyebrows, rubbing her jaw
"Not quite," Lightning replied, taking a step forward and capturing Fang's lips with her own, for a long, strong, passionate kiss.