As it's almost Christmas, I wrote a couple of Christmas themed oneshots. I hope you enjoy!
This is the first, it's a Final Fantasy XIII tale, set around chapter 10 or so, in Oerba. Possibly mild 's semi-humour, semi-serious, with a little Fang/Light just because, and a few extra, more serious, moments.
Not my best, but I thought some of you might appreciate it anyway.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy Yule/Whatever-Greeting-You-Prefer
And a Happy New Year!
Night-time in Oerba. Silence. The six l'Cie slept below a tumbledown roof, all a fair distance from each others, none conscious. That was the effect of this night, of this fal'Cie: few stayed awake when he neared.
A step. The large, portly being, just taller than a human, just fatter than most humans, moved closer to the sleeping party. Step by step. In the darkness, it was hard to make out the vivid red that covered most of his body.
A ghostly chuckle passed through the air, unheard by all.
Ho ho ho…
A day later everyone awoke. It did not take long to see that something was, ah, very wrong. No Cie'th were outside the house now; the plaza was empty, save for a blanket of snow that completely covered it. And the mostly-fallen house they were in, that too had changed. A fire happily burned in a grate, with woollen bags, sock-shaped, dangling just above. Each of the stockings had a face sewed onto it: Lightning, Snow, Hope, Sazh, Fang and Vanille. They were all stuffed full.
That wasn't the least of it. Despite all the snow outside, someone had hung up row upon row of decoration. Long strings of some, thick, sparkly material curled from one end of the roof; tinsel, of many colours, on the inside and outside, gold, green, purple, blue, who rainbows, sometimes more than one in a strand.
And on the outside: lights galore. Little flower petals, blue, white, green, red, yellow, gold, all shades and mixtures, in strands hanging down, while further back across the roof, shapes were formed from the lights: animals, trees, and the fal'Cie visitor who had attended to Oerba the previous night.
To top it all off, an extravagant tree had spontaneously popped up in the corner; covered in red, gold, shining balls, and dotted with more lights and tinsel. On the top, a bright star rested.
Vanille was the first to wake up and, after the squeal she gave, everyone else was soon up. Except for Lightning; the pink haired soldier was nowhere to be seen. Instead however, there was a large package, in cheery blue paper, tied up neatly with a red ribbon. It was struggling, crinkling, in the place where Lightning sat last night. Frowning, Hope crawled over to it though, try as he might, he found it impossible to rip the paper open. Soon, something else caught his attention; a tiny little fold of card was attached to the package with a small sticker. This, he was able to rip away, and he soon read it.
"To Fang," he said.
The raven haired Gran Pulsian walked over, kneeling and, with a quirk of her lips, easily ripped the blue paper open. From within, gasping, Lightning clawed her way out.
"Would someone mind telling me," the pink haired soldier spluttered, "What the hell is going on?"
Vanille looked around the room, at the snow, the decorations, the stockings, and finally at the wrapping paper laying discarded around Lightning.
"Santa," the redhead squealed
"A-what-a?" Sazh replied, frowning
"Santa. He's a fal'Cie," Vanille giggled, "Makes everyone happy for one day a year."
"My idea of being happy is not being wrapped up in some cheery package," Lightning was doing remarkably well not to shout. The soldier struggled out of the crinkled, bright mess.
"She's got a ribbon!" Vanille squealed, hyperactive as always. Her high-pitched squeak woke everyone up completely, as the redhead scrambled over to the soldier, trying to tug a red ribbon off, from around Lightning's chin and hair. Somehow, it stayed on.
Noticing a pattern, Fang reached over, untying it with one light tug. Another small card fell down: To Oerba Yun Fang.
"Looks like you're my present, Light," Fang wagged her eyebrows. Lightning harrumphed.
Santa could sense joy and irritation, mostly to mask a guilty joy, emanating from the six l'Cie. But the day was not over yet: his day, Yuletide, once a year. And for those on Gran Pulse, it was to be truly magical.
Santa lifted a brown sack, pulling it seemingly from empty air. He opened it, and a little twirl of magical energy came flying out.
"Snow Villiers," a jolly whisper came from the fal'Cie's pudgy lips, "Hope Estheim, Sazh Katzroy," a smile curled at his lips, "Oerba Dia Vanille. Lightning Farron and Oerba Yun Fang."
Seconds later, the specks of magic all went flying off. Santa resealed the sack with a tug of some string.
Ho ho ho…
Snow trudged down through the now snow-covered, yet bizarrely comfortably warm, streets of Oerba. The sunlight gave off little illumination, giving the streets an almost night-time aura, eerie, yet comforting.
The cheerful string of coloured lights hung from building to building. A curled wisp of magic twirled around them, before touching the snow, and growing, swelling. The newly created form stepped out from around a building, to face the blonde Snow.
The l'Cie stumbled.
"S-Serah?" Snow gasped.
The pink haired woman shyly looked up, eyes widening. "Snow!" she ran up, throwing her arms around the thick-set man.
"Serah, I- how- what are you doing here?" Snow stuttered for a moment before returning the embrace
"I don't know," the Farron spoke, voice muffled by his coat, "I'm just glad I am."
Gently, Snow lifted his fiancée's delicate head with one finger, smiling softly. Knowing it may well be his last chance to do so, the man pressed his lips to Serah's surprised, tender mouth.
Sazh walked slowly through the snowy Oerba, taking in the new sights. The grand tree, decorated with lights and shiny things, was impressive, but the rest of this done-up Oerba was worth a peek too. Despite the fact it was day, the sky had taken on an almost magical night-time aura, making the chains of rainbow fairy lights seem brighter, and the images and creatures drawn with similar lights more enchanting.
Much shorter than Sazh, someone else was tottering through the snowy, dreamy village, awed by the almost fairytale decorations. Tiny footsteps formed in the small snow dust as he toppled forwards.
"Dad!" the small figure, a dark skinned boy with bouncy, round hair, shouted.
Sazh turned, face softening as he saw his son, standing in the snow, grinning and waving.
Hope brushed off a chunk of rubble, wiping the cold off his hand after that movement. He sat slowly on the bench, trying to relax since the strange events of the morning, and the present. With the snow, it would be a bit too dangerous to leave Oerba, so they were staying put here for another day.
It was quite difficult to go down the street; a jungle had almost been made out of the sparkling strands of tinsel, vines hanging down from the rooftops. Hope brushed them aside with a wave of l'Cie magic.
"Hope?" a soft, almost melodic voice drifted through Oerba. A voice he never thought he'd hear again.
Tentative, Hope turned around.
"Mum?" the silver haired boy spoke slowly, surprised.
Nora Estheim came into view from beyond the tinsel, "Oh Hope," she smiled, "It's so good to see you again."
Vanille hummed, skipping along through the snow. She made sure to melt the areas she walked on just before she landed, just to keep the merry rhythm going.
As she turned the corner, she stopped in her tracks. The fal'Cie Santa had definitely visited: he who makes all wishes come true for just a day Who knew what was happening to the others? But ahead…
"Chocolate!" Vanille squealed, running and burying herself in the mass of candy and sweets.
Santa watched the l'Cie from his mystical perch, smiling and chortling at their joyful antics. Hope receiving praise and talking with his mother, Sazh catching up with his son, explaining how he truly felt, and Snow reuniting with his fiancée, if only for one day.
He looked over at the last two; Lightning and Fang, as the day wore on.
Ho ho ho…
The night passed quickly.
As day gradually came, the l'Cie each awoke. Snow by the wall, arm around empty air. Sazh below an empty sofa. Hope snuggling into empty air. Vanille moaning, full, in the corner.
Lightning and Fang were nowhere.
Oerba was back to its normal plain self: all snow had faded, the lights were off and lost, and the tinsel removed. There was no trace of yesterday's brief wonderland. And yet, there was still a lingering feeling of joy, of happiness.
"What just happened?" Snow slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes
"Santa," Vanille giggled, trying to bounce up but groaning from the amount of chocolate she'd eaten.
"I don't see anything," Sazh frowned, looking up and around
"Was it a dream?" Hope frowned, downcast.
Before the redhead could reply, a scream pierced the dawn. The four l'Cie looked at each other, before quickly getting up and running out the dwelling, It took them just a few seconds to reach the source of the scream; an area, fairly high up, on the road into Oerba. Lightning and Fang were there; laying on the floor, tied dangerously close, faces almost touching, by several ropes of silver tinsel.
"It wasn't a dream," Vanille giggled, watching the two struggle
"Will someone, "Fang half-shouted, "Please, let me out!"
The pink haired soldier opposite her raised her eyebrows, irritated, but mildly bemused. Lightning's nimble fingers went low, just out of sight. Fang bit back a sudden gasp.
"Take your time," the raven haired Gran Pulsian soon amended, as a sly smile spread across Lightning's face.