"Come play with us, mommy!"
Fang looked up from where she was polishing her spear and grinned. Her two daughters had just come into the living room and as usual, it looked like they were up to something. Little Diana had somehow managed to convince her older sister, Averia, to give her a piggyback ride. Naturally, however, that wasn't the end of things. The older of the two was wrapped in what looked a lot like a white bed sheet and to complete the picture, Diana had draped a pink towel over her head and her right hand was clutching a rolled up magazine like a sword.
Fang put her spear down for a moment and raised one eyebrow. "Hmm… what are you two supposed to be?" It wasn't the first time that the girls had played pretend and when they did, they had a tendency to go a little bit overboard. For instance, they'd once spent almost a week pretending to be Snow and Hope. They'd even scrounged up two wigs, along with some gloves for Averia and a boomerang for Diana. The latter had amused Lightning, whilst the former had enraged her. Fang, though, had found the whole thing wonderfully amusing. Besides, an angry Lightning was a Lightning on the look out for stress relief and Fang was only too happy to oblige her in that regard, whether it was through some sparring or other… even more pleasant activities.
"Can't you tell, mommy?" Diana huffed and narrowed her eyes in a very Lightning-like fashion. Unfortunately for Diana it was a little hard for Fang to take her daughter seriously when the girl was about half her size and clinging onto her older sister's back like some kind of monkey. "I'm telling you, mommy, you should be able to tell! It's really, really easy to tell!"
Fang took another long look at the pair and then shook her head. "Nope… I still can't tell."
"You meanie!" Diana growled. Eyes still narrowed she gave Averia's hair a pull, earning a scowl from the older girl along with a poke in the side. "Giddy-up!" Diana shouted. "Come on, giddy-up!"
"All right, all right," Averia muttered, tugging at Diana's hands. "I'm going, I'm going. Now stop pulling my hair, it hurts!"
Averia staggered forward and Fang watched with thinly veiled amusement as Diana kicked her legs around. Honestly, if Averia hadn't had such a good sense of balance, the two of them would have ended up on the floor long ago.
"Take this, mommy!" Diana cried as she gave Fang what was supposed to be a tremendous whack with the rolled up magazine. Due to her size, however, it was more of a tap, and Fang just chuckled. "Do you get it now, mommy?" Diana said. "We're playing Eidolon!" She reached down and tugged at the white bed sheet wrapped around Diana. "See, Averia is Odin and I'm mom!" She smiled happily and pointed at the pink towel wrapped draped over her head like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Now, don't you feel silly you couldn't tell?"
Fang struggled to hold back her laughter. Just like Lightning, Diana hated being laughed at and while the little girl had absolutely zero chance of actually hurting Fang, she could be absolutely devious when it came to pranks, something that Fang blamed entirely on Vanille. "I see," Fang said, somehow managing to keep her face straight. "How silly of me."
"Yes, very silly." Diana nodded sagely. "Really, really silly."
Fang smirked. Now that she thought about it, it wasn't all that surprising that Diana had decided to play at being Lightning. The girl absolutely idolised Lightning and despite the fact that her hair was perfectly lovely – it was, after all, very much like Fang's hair – Diana was always complaining that she wanted pink hair. Indeed, the issue of her colour had been at the centre of one of Averia and Diana's few fights, with the younger of the two demanding that her sister 'share' her hair colour with her. Still, even if she would never say it out loud, Fang wouldn't mind too much if Diana took after her a bit more.
"You know," Fang said, a smirk forming on her lips. "You look really good, Diana, but what about me? Don't you like my Eidolon?" She put on a blatantly fake sad face that somehow neither of her children saw through. "And what about poor Mr Snaggles?" She pointed at the Bahamut plush toy that was perched on the couch watching everything unfold like the elder statesman that he was. "What would Mr Snaggles think?"
Both Diana and Averia's eyes widened comically.
"You're right!" Diana wailed. She pulled on Averia's hair. "Come on, turn around, we need to go change into mommy and her eidolon. We can't just forget about Mr Snaggles!"
As the two children stumbled off, no doubt to go looking for something that would make Averia look like a metallic dragon, Fang returned her attention to her spear. The weapon was in need of a bit of maintenance and while Fang didn't particularly enjoy the process of sharpening and polishing it – she much preferred actually using her spear – there was nothing worse than going off to fight a Behemoth King with a blunt spear. Hell, the last time that had happened, she'd been forced to use her spear as a club. She winced at the memory. Not only was clubbing a Behemoth King to death a very slow, tiring process, it was also messy, very messy.
"Mommy," Averia shouted from the direction of the kitchen, "We're going to use some stuff from the kitchen."
Fang chuckled. What did they need in there? "Sure," she shouted back. "But remember the rules. Don't touch the knives or set anything on fire." She grinned. "And don't take any food from the fridge." There was a clatter as Averia bumped into something in the kitchen. "Yes, Averia, I know you've been sneaking cake. I don't mind that much, but you need to get better at hiding it." Back in Oerba, stealth had been one of the key skills that hunters needed to develop. Fang had honed hers sneaking extra food for her and Vanille out of the orphanage's kitchens.
"How did you know it was me, mommy?" Averia shouted from the kitchen.
"Because every time you stole cake you came back with icing on your mouth," Fang shouted back. "That, and I kept finding cake crumbs in your bed. Next time, wipe your mouth and make sure you put a tissue out to catch any crumbs."
"Drat!" Averia growled.
"Don't worry," Fang said. "You're still young, you've got plenty of time to learn." She looked over at the clock and then smiled. "How long will you two need to get your costume ready? Your mom is going to be back in about half an hour and I'm sure she'd love to see it."
For the next half an hour, Fang kept her eyes on her spear and her ears on the activity going on in the kitchen. The two girls were making a lot of noise banging things around and arguing, and Fang was certain that Averia even cursed once or twice in Pulsian, which Fang would probably have to speak to her about. Not only was Averia a little young to be using that particular word, but Lightning would probably also make both of them – Averia and Fang – wash their mouths out with soap.
Fang was just putting the finishing touches on her spear when the front door opened.
"I'm home," Lightning shouted.
Fang put her spear down and ambled over to the front door. Lightning was there and Fang spent a good moment or two admiring the fine figure that the other woman cut in her Guardian Corps uniform. Now, Fang would never be caught dead in a uniform, but she didn't have any objections at all to Lightning wearing one, especially one that fit so well. The only downside to how good Lightning looked in uniform was all the looks she got, from men and women, although Fang had found that a good glare and the casual offer of a "sparring match" put a stop to people ogling her Lightning, at least while she was present.
"What's that you've got there, sunshine?" Fang asked, pointing at the thick folder of papers that Lightning was holding. "More paperwork?"
Lightning made a disgusted sound. "I don't mind being promoted, but I just wish they'd let me see more action and less paperwork." She shoved the folder down onto a table by the door. "I was filling out requisition forms for two hours and I still didn't finish." She glared savagely at the folder. "If I didn't know I'd have to redo them, I'd burn the lot of them."
"Hey, hey, enough of that." Fang tugged Lightning to her before the pink haired woman really did set the folder alight. "You're home now, which is all that matters." She smirked and then pulled Lightning into a kiss. The other woman relaxed immediately and Fang was struck, once again, by how amazing it felt to kiss Lightning even after all these years and two wonderful kids. She hoped that never changed.
"How was your day?" Lightning asked as they moved apart. They'd learned the hard way that kissing more than once or twice was not a good idea. They had a tendency to forget themselves and with the kids around… well, as parents it was their duty to not mentally scar their children.
Fang shrugged and led Lightning into the living room. "Pretty boring, actually. I spent most of this morning looking over the reports from that last expedition into the mountains." Lightning winced and Fang gave a light chuckle. "Yes, the one where they all got food poisoning because they didn't bring enough rations and no one bothered learning what was poisonous and what wasn't." She took a seat on the couch and pulled Lightning onto her lap. "On the upside, at least they didn't die, although reading through the report, the food poisoning they got was bad enough to make them wish they were dead."
Lightning's lips twitched. "Ah, yes. I think they referred to it as 'extreme intestinal distress' in their report."
"Yep, although I guess you've got to give them points for coming up with an interesting euphemism." Fang pressed her face into Lightning's hair. Even after a hard day at work, the other woman still managed to smell nice. "You want some coffee," Fang asked, pointing to the still warm cup on the table beside the couch.
Lightning nodded gratefully and pulled the cup of coffee over, somehow managing the feat without leaving Fang's lap. "So, what are the kids up to? I hear a lot of noise from the kitchen, Fang."
"Oh, I think it'll be good if you just let them finish," Fang said before she raised her voice and called out to her children. "Are you kids done yet? If you are, come show mom and mommy what you've come up with."
"We're almost done," Averia shouted back. "Just wait a second."
And sure enough, a few seconds later, Averia and Diana stumbled out of the kitchen and into the living room. For a moment Fang and Lightning just stared… and stared.
"That's…" Fang trailed off, her shoulders shaking as she tried to hold back her laughter. On her lap, Lightning gave her a dark look before moving off as Fang dropped to her knees on the floor and burst into full-blown laughter. "That's… that's just too good," Fang managed to get out between fits of laughter. "You two are just too cute!"
Diana gave Fang a scowl and then looked over at Lightning. "It looks good, doesn't it, mom?"
To her credit, Lightning managed to keep a straight face. "It sure is." She paused. "But what are you?"
Diana smiled broadly. "Can't you tell? I'm mommy and Averia is Bahamut!"
Finally managing to get a hold of herself, Fang leaned back against the couch and looked back at her daughters. Averia was wearing a bizarre mix of black and purple towels and aluminium foil shaped rather crudely to resemble Bahamut. That alone though, wouldn't have been enough to have Fang in hysterics. No, the real icing on the cake was the two coat hangers that had been taped to Averia's back in place of wings. They were draped in purple and pink dishcloths and there were even little strings attached so that when Diana pulled on them they flapped. And speaking of Diana, Fang and Lightning's younger daughter had a big blue blanket wrapped around her and she was holding a mop in place of Fang's spear. Mr Snaggles, Fang thought with an almost manic grin, would be very proud indeed.
"I see," Lightning said. "Is this a new game then?"
Diana nodded quickly. "Yep. We're playing Eidolons." She paused and looked at Fang. "Before you came home, mom, I was playing as you and Averia was being Odin, but then mommy said that Mr Snaggles would be sad if we didn't dress up as him so me and Averia went into the kitchen and got lots of things and then…"
"Well, I think you two did a very good job, didn't they Fang?" Lightning stood and patted both girls on the shoulder and then shot a vicious glare at Fang. "You even have flapping wings. I'm really proud of you both."
Fang stood up. Laughing aside, the girls really had done a great job and it would be a damn shame not to acknowledge it. "Yeah, your mom's right," Fang said. "You two did a great job. You look even better than me and the real Mr Snaggles."
Diana gave a little cheer and even Averia grinned widely.
"Mom," Diana said, poking Lightning with her mop-spear. "Why don't you play with us?"
"What do you mean?" Lightning asked before she reached over for her cup of coffee and took a long sip of it.
Diana smiled and waved her mop-spear through the air in crazy circles. "Well, mommy couldn't play with me and Averia before because you need two people to play Eidolon and since I was with Averia, she didn't have anyone to play with." She pulled out a white bed sheet from the mass of black and purple towels and aluminium foil around Averia. "You can be you and mommy can be Odin." She nodded to herself in satisfaction. "Mom, you can ride mommy!"
Fang burst out laughing as Lightning spat out her mouthful of coffee and let loose a series of ragged coughs. "What?" Lightning muttered as she struggled to recover, her cheeks a rich, rosy pink. "What did you just say, Diana?"
"Well," Diana said, looking a little puzzled at Lightning's lack of understanding, "See how I'm mommy and Averia is Mr Snaggles? That means there's no one being you or Odin, so you can be you and mommy can be Odin." She shrugged. "You ride Odin, don't you, mom? So that means you'll be riding mommy instead."
"…" If it were possible, Lightning's cheeks just got redder.
As Fang watched the whole debacle unfold, she was hard pressed not to burst out laughing again. Diana had absolutely no idea of how her words could be taken and neither did Averia, by the looks of it. Slowly, a smirk formed on Fang's face. Oh, Lightning was going to kill her later, but this was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Putting a dejected look on her face, Fang reached out and took Lightning's hands in hers. "What's wrong, Lightning?" Fang asked softly, her eyes twinkling with mirth even as she carefully schooled her features to look utterly distraught. "Don't you want to ride me?"
"…" Apparently, Lightning's face really could get redder.
Still with a sad look on her face, Fang turned to her two daughters. "Poor mommy," Fang put one hand over her face and sighed dramatically, "It doesn't look like your mom wants to ride me at all."
"Damn it…" Lightning muttered, cheeks still aflame. "Stop doing that, Fang."
Fang grinned, certain now that the only reason she wasn't dead was because Lightning would probably feel bad about killing her in front of their children. "Well, sunshine, aren't you going to hop on?" She bent down and gestured for Lightning to climb onto her back.
"Yay!" Diana cheered as Fang lifted Lightning up onto her back. "Mom is riding mommy!"
X X X
Later that night, Fang awoke, her danger sense screaming that there was trouble close by. In an instant, she was fully alert. With the girls and Lightning in the house, there was no way that she'd ignore even the slightest hint of danger. However, she scarcely managed to roll over in bed before she found herself stopped, pinned down with her hands held above her head. She struggled for just a moment and then stopped as she took in the familiar form on top of her.
"You had a lot of fun at my expense today, Fang," Lightning whispered, her lips only a hair's breadth from Fang's. In the near darkness of their bedroom, Lightning's eyes glittered with cold fire, her cerulean gaze a heady mix of fury and desire. "That wasn't very nice of you at all."
Not bothering to struggle, Fang did her best not to shiver. Over the years she'd come to know Claire Farron very well. Claire Farron was kind and gentle, and sort of shy, and almost too easy to embarrass. Fang loved her with all her heart. Lightning Farron, though, could be cold, ruthless, and absolutely without pity. And it was Lightning looking down at her now with her lips drawn into something that was almost a snarl, not Claire. Most people would have been terrified out of their wits. Fang wasn't most people. In fact, Fang loved Lightning every bit as much as she loved Claire.
"Really?" Fang murmured, leaning up to try and kiss Lightning only for the other woman to pull away with a cold smile. "You could have fooled me."
Lightning's eyes narrowed to little more than slits and Fang felt a surge of heat run through her. Oh, she was in for it now. "You said you wanted me to ride you, Fang," Lightning whispered, voice thick with passion as she leaned down and brushed her lips against Fang's throat. "Well, I've only got one thing to say to you."
"What's that?" Fang could barely get the words out as Lightning began to plant little kisses up her jaw.
Lightning smirked and pulled back, licking her lips and locking eyes with Fang. "Giddy-up."
X X X
The next morning, Fang sat down for breakfast with a groan. Lightning had been very… passionate the night before and although neither of them had minded at the time, she knew for a fact that they were both feeling the after effects of some of their more, ahem, interesting activities. Needless to say, neither Diana nor Averia were likely to miss the fact that both of them were hobbling around like cripples.
"Are you okay, mom?" Averia asked as she watched Lightning bend over very slowly to pull some hot bread out of the oven.
Lightning nodded and reached for a cup of coffee. "I'm fine, honey, I just strained my back a little." She took a sip of her coffee and tried to ignore the lecherous look Fang sent her way. It probably hadn't been a good idea to let the other woman get to her so much, but Fang had pushed her just a little too far with some of those taunts, especially when Diana had insisted on an Eidolon jousting match and Fang had urged Lightning to "ride her harder".
Diana put her food down and tilted her head to one side. "Was it when we were playing Eidolon, mom?" She looked over at Fang. "Was it when you were riding mommy?"
Lightning spluttered wildly as she scrambled to find a cloth to wipe up all the coffee that she'd just spewed all over the kitchen counter.
"Diana," Fang said, smiling as she ignored the death glare that Lightning sent her, "You're one smart kid."
X X X
As always, I neither own Final Fantasy, nor am I making any money off this.
So… how do I explain this? Well, one of the things that I tend to do when I'm writing is daydream about other things that I could be writing (is that odd?) and while I was thinking of the next story to cover for "Tell Me a Story", an idea popped into my head and while I was thinking about that (it involved the kids playing pretend but in a different fashion) this popped into my head (or rather fell out of my head, whichever you prefer). The end result, I guess, is something that is a bizarre mix of humour (hopefully) almost smut (really?) and a random assortment of other stuff, like how much fun it is to pretend that you are a giant metallic dragon that can crush stuff.
For those of you who haven't read "Tell Me a Story", Averia and Diana are Lightning and Fang's two daughters. Our intrepid heroines might have conquered the fal'Cie, but children are an entirely different (and altogether much more piranha-like) kettle of fish, if you'll pardon the idiom. Honestly, if I have kids and they turn out anything like me, I'm in serious, serious trouble.
As always, I appreciate feedback. Reviews and comments are welcome.