A/N: Okay. So this is what happens when I discover how much I LOVE a pairing and didn't know it. I wrote this little fic as a fill for the kink meme. It was a great prompt; gave me LOTS (maybe TOO much) to work with. It's way longer than my usual fill, but, honestly, it was pure pleasure to write, and I don't regret ANYTHING! Besides, imo, you can't have comfort sex without the reason for the comfort... hence the extended beginning before the prompt!sex. Heh.

Prompt: Snow/Lightning, rebound, comfort sex. (Also, the prompt requested that Hope not be involved in a pairing with Lightning, so I obliged.)

P.S. - I've considered writing a Lightning/Raines fic in the past, and perhaps (if I have time) I MAY expand upon this in regards to that pairing. Raines is SO sexy.

Oh, and this hasn't been beta'd - just edited by me, myself and I... although, considering its length I really SHOULD have had it beta'd. Sorry for any mistakes and such!

Anyway, please enjoy!

Of course no one knew that they had something on the side.

The curiosity of youth and the pangs of loneliness experienced by a high ranking male in the Sanctum brought the two together, forming a tender and patient companionship.

It had started when she was first admitted to the academy, an innocent admiration that quickly blossomed into something else.

She was young at the time; seventeen. A tender year shy of the standard enlistment age, but since Bodhum was growing, the need for more security around the city was paramount. Lightning found her way into a good, secure job and her age was no longer a concern once she took the entry exam. Smart as a whip, fit as a fiddle and eager as one could get, Lightning wasn't going to let anything stop her from fulfilling the promise she made to her mother before she died.

Refusing to let her little sister get a job, Lightning insisted Serah stay in school and do her best. The money their dead parents left behind wasn't going to pay the bills forever, but it would buy some time.

An important man spoke at her orientation of their futures and of the glory of the Sanctum.

After she heard his rousing speech entailing how their youth was the lifeblood of Cocoon, responsible for keeping it's citizens protected and their way of life maintained for many years to come, she couldn't stop thinking about the older man. He was everything she wanted to be; decorated, brave, a tower of morality and strength; well-spoken, charismatic...

The last two traits, she suspected, were ones she would never seize given her quiet, introspective nature and short temper, but the rest she could achieve through her loyalty and dedication to the Sanctum. She was sure of that.

Within the first week, she'd seen him in the halls of the campus, shepherding the new additions to the flock, or whatever it was he did there. Personally, she thought that he was much too important to be mixing it up with the likes of the first years, but there he was, speaking to and encouraging the fledgling soldiers.

Asking some classmates casually about him, she discovered that he was not only all those things she though he was, but he was more; friendly and genuinely interested in the concerns and needs of the student body. Not only that, but he seemed to have all her female peers twitterpated. His name was on the tip of every girl's tongue. Even her male counterparts admired him.

When she thought about it, she had to admit that he was devastatingly handsome. Intimidatingly tall with stick straight black hair and intelligent icy blue eyes... a perfectly proportioned body, a sign of his, no doubt, rigorous training, and it didn't take long before she found herself falling prey to his spell like the others.

Even though he had never made his way around to speaking with her during the first month of her military education, she watched him; she was always watching him. If she was being honest, he didn't get around to her because she was far too flustered to speak with him, fearing she would make herself look like a complete fool.

Once or twice, though, she had let her mind wander when it should have been on task, and a couple of embarrassing times he caught her gaping openly.

Those were the times she cursed her hormones. They were obviously getting the best of her. She had dreams of him; most of them not at all innocent. She had to scold herself; those sort of relations were not why she had joined the corps, but the man of her very literal dreams demanded so much of her free thought that she couldn't deny her indulgent rendition of him.

Sometimes rational thought would break through, reminding her that lusting after one of the most important men in the corps was fruitless and whimsical.

That category of emotions; especially those governing love fell into her definition of weakness.

All she had to do was survive the next couple months of training and she'd probably never have to see him again.

Ready to buckle down, she thought that perhaps jumping into her education with both feet would help her to forget all about the unattainable Cid Raines.

It was an arduous task with hormones running rampant and all, but she was able to push the man to the back of her mind and concentrate on her studies. It helped that she knew where he'd be and when, so she avoided those places. Also not letting herself sit and think for too long was helpful, taking a turn in the training grounds to stomp some simulated opponents was utterly exhausting, but ensured her a dreamless sleep.

Things were going quite well and she was very proud of herself for repressing her emotions.

She planned to never be ruled by her base desires. Soon she'd be a full fledged soldier and that meant she would say good-bye to unnecessary feelings; almost all feeling, save for useful ones; those that would keep her alive.

That was, until she was required to attend a mandatory social function.

Some stupid dance for some stupid reason; something to do with politics and mixing with other factions of the Sanctum. It sounded like a complete waste of time.

She was bitter. She didn't care to socialize with anyone let alone other recruits from different cities.

To top it off, and much to her annoyance, she was unable to wear her uniform; instead she was forced to wear something much more feminine.

But there was no way she was going to wear a damn dress.

With a great sense of personal offence topped with a little indigence, she appealed to the social committee. Her argument was simple – Just because I'm female doesn't mean I'm going to wear something so girly. It's unprofessional! – but she suspected it was her promise of bodily harm – If I have to wear one, someone on this committee is going to pay – that won them over, and eventually they relented. Once the amendment to the dress code was made, they clarified, advising her she could wear a skirt and jacket along with a blouse of some feminine design, but only males were cleared to wear dress pants and ties.

A small victory, but she took it nonetheless.

Much to her sister's chagrin, she dodged the frock bullet but Serah still insisted she lend Lightning some fashion sense. They found her a black ensemble, a knee length pencil skirt with a smart double breasted jacket, and a baby pink camisole underneath. Serah insisted that she needed to wear stockings and have heels to top off the look, so Serah sent Lightning for shoes and promised she'd return with stockings to round out their trip.

As it turned out, sending Serah for stockings ended up being a huge mistake.

Only once the girls were at home, while Lightning was dressing for the evening's festivities, did she notice that Serah had come back with thigh-high stockings. Not the kind you needed to wear an extra piece of lingerie with thankfully; they stayed up all on their own... but Lightning could have strangled her sibling with them.

But all Serah had to do was remind Lightning it was unprofessional to go with bare legs.

Having been beaten at her own game by her 14 year old sister, Lightning readied herself the rest of the way in stubborn silence, her Cheshire grinning sister watching from the doorway.

Examining herself in the mirror when she was done, she lifted up her skirt to make sure the hose was in fact staying up, and tutted when she saw it, a blush covering her cheeks.

Her innocent little sister shouldn't have even known such perverse hosiery existed!

Lightning sure as hell didn't...

The party was just as boring and as pointless as she knew it would be.

After a few drinks, the choking atmosphere of pretentiousness and pageantry forced her to seek refuge on the back terrace, but not before snatching another glass of champagne.

Lately she'd been retreating there when she needed to seek a little solace during her breaks in between classes and didn't have time to train.

Having her evening start off so perfectly with the discovery of the naughty stockings, Lightning was in for even more frustration when she caught her first glimpse of the man she tried hard to forget.

She had wished desperately that he wouldn't be in attendance, but knew no such luck, though never in her wildest dreams did she think she'd see him out here. Assuming naively that she was the only one who knew about the secluded terrace she was quite shocked upon the discovery of one Brigadier General Raines standing with his back to her, staring into the starlit sky.

All at once, those repressed emotions and lusty thoughts about her superior officer came rushing back.

It was somewhat poetic, she supposed, that when she felt as though she couldn't control her desire, she'd come to this very spot and meditate. Tonight, however, she'd come hoping for a similar peace only to be thrust back into that very desire. That didn't mean she had to like it.

Turning as silently as possible in the deathtraps she wore on her aching feet, his voice broke the silence.

"You don't have to leave, Cadet."

Lightning froze in her tracks.

He was wrong.

She did have to leave.

But she didn't.

Perhaps it was the emotional connection she had with her idyllic Cid Raines that kept her from leaving. Totally unprepared, she struggled with what a simple Cadet would have in common with the Brigadier General.

With a held breath, she approached his side, keeping a comfortable distance between them.

The breeze wafting in from the darkness stretched out before them offered her a deep breath with which to clear her head.

And for a moment she wondered if she should say something. He always spoke the first words during their conversations... in her dreams, that was. She rolled her eyes at her pathetic train of thought.

"Can I tell you a secret?"

Surprised by both his voice and request, she snapped her head to look at him; her face too serious.

"What?" she yelped. She'd heard him loud and clear, but chose to answer as though she didn't. She wanted to slap herself upside the head.

Keep it up, Farron...

Wide-eyed, he raised an eyebrow at her unusual response, amusement playing on his features, as he repeated himself.

"Can I tell you a secret, Cadet?"

"Of course, Sir!" she responded rigidly and still a little too enthusiastically, barely talking herself out of a salute.

Oh sweet Eden was she nervous...

He smiled at her, waving a hand good-naturedly. "At ease, Cadet."

"Thank you, Sir." she muttered, feeling quite silly as she turned back to the inky sky, taking a deep sip from the flute in her unsteady hand.

He chuckled under his breath and continued. "I actually hate these things."

She sighed with relief, almost forgetting just who was standing beside her. "Me too."

Another deep chuckle.

Turning back to him, opening her mouth to correct her overly casual statement, he interrupted her by listing off the rather comical reasons he didn't like 'these things', taking charge of the conversation readily as he always had in her daydreams. She was still unsure if she could trust her voice to stay strong, so she interjected only when politeness dictated she must.

He didn't seem to mind.

Soon the conversation became very easy between them, both smiling, him more than her, and both laughing, once again, he more than she, but it felt good to speak with him casually.

Like a dream, really.

The food at the soiree, the choice of beverage, her favourite season, his favourite holiday; a cute story of how his mother made him a costume for a school play, when he was no higher than a cactuar, that ended in disaster.

Lightning didn't remember the last time she'd been so thoroughly entertained.

He was everything she'd thought and heard he'd be. If possible, he was more.

She still called him Sir, and he still called her Cadet, but the polite formality provided a very definite and comfortable border.

The joint laughter died down; the conversation eventually halting, partially thanks to Lightning's lack of skills, which she berated herself for.

The terrace without his voice and laughter seemed to be much quieter than it had been before; the mood turning truly awkward for the first time since they started talking. She took another sip from the glass, her eyes casually drifting over to look at his face.

His whole body was turned openly toward her, his own features as serious as hers had been before. Not just serious, but intense.

The constant stinging undercurrent of desire running it's course through her, raised bumps of anxiety all over her, the champagne she was consuming along with the glasses before it, caused her blood to hum and her mind to swim.

Perhaps it wasn't just the alcohol...

His cool fingers brushed over hers as he took the champagne flute from her.

"I've seen you staring at me." he commented, barely breaking the silence.

Watching the tip of his tongue barely brush against the rim of her glass before his lips caressed the edge, he drained the glass slowly, maintaining the intense eye contact even as he swallowed.

She tensed; her mouth long since dried up, heart in her throat. Choosing to look away, instead focusing on the irregular pattern of smooth slate beyond her feet, she felt her whole body throb with honest heat.

So he had seen her after all.

Well, of course he had. They'd even made eye contact a couple times...

The only thing she could figure was that maybe she had wanted him to see her, to read her; to notice her awkward reverence. Despite the fact that she denied and fought it, somewhat successfully until this night warm spring night, she found herself exactly where she fantasized she wanted to be.

Head spinning slightly, she brought a hand to the cool stone of the terrace half wall to steady herself, thoughts threatening to topple her right then and there.

His large fingers immediately closed over her trembling hand.

Surprise splashed her face, breath caught in her throat again, stomach twisting in anxiety so much so the possibility of her vomiting on his shoes was a real danger.

Was this really happening?

Cursing the alcohol that was in her system, she attempted to regain control of her facilities, but the electricity between them seemed to crackle as if it was a living entity and by the time she realized she could no longer look away, she discovered she didn't want to.

He was the picture of masculinity; so irresistible clad in his formal military dress that fit him just so, that she thought it might have been tailor-made especially to suit his form. Raven haired and devilish, his unusually pale skin illuminated by the moonlight, shadows only deepening that trademark intensity.

His expression behind his icy coloured eyes was steady with its usual confidence but near unreadable otherwise.

Only the hint of a smile played upon his lips.

Those lips...

His gravity invited her in, leaning towards him, staring at his mouth.

But a smile? How could he smile at a time like this?

How could he smile when she wanted to...

Her dark lined lids began to close of their own accord the closer she got to him.

Oh... How she wanted to...

"Brigadier General?"

The blast of an intruding voice caused her to snatch her hand away from his warmth as she spun to face the black night past the terrace.

Dress shoes clicking on the slate heralded the stranger's proximity.

She could feel her cheeks flush hotly, wondering just what had gotten into her and just what was she about to get into...

"There you are. I've been looking -"

Would it look to suspicious if she were to leave now, red faced and quaking?

The intruding voice softened. "I'm sorry, Sir. I didn't mean to interrupt..."

She heard an almost silent sigh, drawing her eyes to the peripheral to witness his chest deflate ever-so-slightly.

"Yes, Rydega?"

She recognized that name as being Raines' second-in-command and the Brigadier General's rumoured closest friend.

At least it hadn't been someone from her class... that could have been very embarrassing. Though... nothing had happened. What was there to be embarrassed about aside from the fact that she acted like an awkward teenager in front of a man that couldn't possibly want anything from her; a man many years her senior; a man obviously much more experienced than she...

"You are needed inside, Sir."

She heard Raines' feet shuffle beside her and Rydega's footsteps rescind, but she not dare turn around yet. Not until she was sure he was gone...

Warm breath ghosted over her ear as he whispered past it, the nearness of his body and sound of his deep sensual voice threatening to make her swoon.

"Meet me back here in three hours, if you so wish, Cadet Farron."