Ten Ways to Get a Lightning
A/N: Credit to wikihow[dot]com/Get-a-Guy-in-10-Easy-Ways for the, erm, tips. And inspiration. Just don't ask me why I was googling the phrase. I'm not single and lonely. I swear. R&R much appreciated.
"I think... I like Lightning?"
Fang dropped her spear in shock and earned a punch to the nose by Snow.
"You could've chosen a better time. When we're not sparring, for example" Fang said, voice nasal from the cloth stuffed into her nostrils. "You owe me a pint of blood."
Vanille tilted her head. "And Snow a new set of bones?"
"Him?" Fang snorted (and Vanille wondered how such feat was possible with bloody rags inside her nose). "He's a bloody sentinel with a skull thicker than a slab of concrete. He'll live."
At that moment Vanille's peripheral vision registered Sazh and Hope entering the camp. The former immediately tripped.
Sazh: "What the! Who the hell threw this oversized piece of garba-"
Hope: "Sazh? I think it's Snow. Maker; it's Snow! I think he's dead! Is he dead? Is he dead?"
Vanille narrowed her eyes. "I don't think I quite believe you," she said, rising up. "I'm going to help Hope with healing him."
"Imagine a few days without hearing a single speech about eternal love this or being a hero that."
She imagined. And sat down again. "I suppose Hope will manage."
"Glad you share my pain."
A silence that could be called 'pregnant' reigned.
"Fang?" Vanille said after the pregnancy period had ended, "what should I do?"
"Tell her you love her."
"Oh geez." Fang tipped her head backward and massaged her nose. "Look kiddo, this isn't a Cocoon soap opera. Just tell her straight up."
"Fang. It's Lightning."
Fang considered it for a moment, then let out a long sigh. "Fine." She gestured towards her satchel. "Get that and open it. Front compartment; a book."
Obligingly, Vanille rose and retrieved the satchel. After a bit of rummaging, she found the item in question and held it against the glow of the fire. "Ninety nine ways to get a guy."
"Got that on discount."
While she was browsing those cheap romance novels with half-naked couples on the cover, no doubt. Fang's vice: pornographic literature. At least she had stopped reading it out loud whenever Hope wasn't around.
Vanille eyed the dubious title. "Lightning isn't a guy."
"That's besides the point."
That's pretty much all the point, Vanille thought.
"But only idiots like Snow need all ninety nine ways," Fang said again. "So for you, we'll do ten."
Vanille was convinced that she had confided in the wrong person.
1: Just be yourself.
"Author's a bloody idiot," Fang said, ripping the page and tossing it into the fire.
"I knew I should've gone to Snow instead."
"Nothing!" said Vanille cheerfully. "So what's number two?"
2: Wear cute clothes that make your body have feminine features.
Fang tugged at Vanille's fur pelt. "You're already wearing pretty much nothing."
"Let me guess," Vanille said, "author's a bloody idiot?"
"No. I just think she's telling you to be more feminine."
The older woman looked like she was enjoying herself too much.
"How do I do that?" Vanille asked with a frown. Then felt Fang's hands starting their creep towards the cinch of her pelt.
"You sure you need this?"
Noticing Fang's wide grin, Vanille decided to kill a bear the first thing in the morning and use its pelt to reinforce the cinch.
"...can we move on to number three?" she said, but not before feeding the fire with the page. Just in case.
Both of them frowned at the unfamiliar word.
"Make... up?" Vanille said, tilting her head and tapping her finger onto her lip. "I think I heard that word before." Seeing as Fang was no help at all, she began reading the entry. "...eyeliner? Colour? Lip gloss? Drag queen? I don't understand."
"Author's a bloody idiot. It doesn't make- wait!" Fang smashed her fist against her palm. "I know! It's face paint."
And Fang made even less sense.
"Yeah, you know. That, hmm." There was a pause as Fang began searching for words. "You know those women we saw in Cocoon?" she said finally, "I think they were painting their faces."
"For what end?"
"Eh. To enhance their beauty. Least, that's what I overheard from some gaggle of loud girls in Bodhum. They were talking about Snow. Can ya believe that?"
Vanille pictured the scene in her head. And tried hard to not burst into laughter. "Oh, that's ridiculous, Fang."
"Yep. Painting their faces for Snow. Girls." Fang shook her head in disgust.
That page, too, went into the fire.
4: Try not to be nervous.
With that one syllable by Fang, the camp fire became big enough to start roasting their dinner.
5: Make sure you don't just like him because he is cute.
"Well? Do you?"
"Do I what, Fang?"
"Do you think that... that," Fang evidently had much trouble coherently forming the next sequence of thought, judging from her twitching lips and shaking shoulders. "Lightning is... is-"
And suddenly she was roaring in a full blown laughter.
Vanille sighed. "Fang..."
"Oh come on," said Fang, not entirely recuperated. "Lightning. Cute. You gotta admit that those two words don't belong in a sentence together." She paused. Blinked. "Or in a paragraph, really."
She had once again missed the entire point, thought Vanille. "I don't think that's what the author meant, Fang. I think she meant don't like a person just for her looks? I think you can substitute cute with beautiful, in this case."
"Ooh. So you think she's beautiful, eh?"
The conversation was turning into something Vanille decidedly did not like. "I do," she said cautiously. "I think everyone would find her beautiful."
"Okay. Looks aside," Fang said, leaning back onto a rock, "what do you like about her?"
Fang's grin was beginning to scare her.
"I'm not saying; you're just going to mock me," Vanille said.
"Oh come on. I won't. Now kiddo, tell me; don't be shy."
Vanille narrowed her eyes. Fang raised an eyebrow. Vanille stared. Fang wiggled said eyebrow.
"...fine," she said finally. "I like her because..."
"Because... not telling."
She ignored Fang's groan.
Just at that moment Sazh appeared with dead birds slung over his shoulder. "Well, are you two going to spend all night burning books or can we start cooking dinner?"
"Sorry Sazh. Just one more page," she said. Then tossed it in.
6: Be flirty, give compliments and laugh a lot at all of his jokes.
"Wow. A surefire way to become the creepy, giggling stalker."
For once, she agreed with Fang.
"Fang. Can we just burn the book?"
"Nah; give it another chance."
7: It's easier if the guy you like likes the same stuff as you.
By that point Vanille was more interested in finding out whether the piece of meat she was eating was a bird, a squirrel, or a horribly mutated guinea pig. Probably all three.
8: "Talk the talk." Don't afraid to be seduc
"Your battle mo-"
9: "Walk the walk." Hey girl, when you walk past him swish those hips and accelerate that ass even; show him your something to have and hold.
"I think," Fang said between chuckles, "any more swing to those hips, kiddo, and you'll end up having to find a hip replacement."
Vanille glared at her. The receiving end, of course, was oblivious.
"Or you could just 'accelerate your ass'." Fang then tipped her head back to laugh. Again.
The book didn't have parts of it ending up in flames this time. Instead, the whole thing went straight to Fang's face.
Vanille stomped off to find Lightning.
"You," she said after she had found her. Chest moving up and down; breathing ragged.
Lightning looked from polishing her gunblade, frowning at the uncharacteristic interruption. "Vanille?"
"You," she said again. And after she hard regained her breath, in a rush: "what do you think about me!"
And Vanille, Vanille was having a panic attack. She squeaked, she thought in horror. She squeaked. Like a hamster. She squeaked like a hamster. Like a hams
"Is it about the conversation you had with Fang?"
"Ten ways to seduce... me?"
Vanille didn't believe in needless violence, but at that very moment she really, really wanted to feed the fire with the author of the book. Or Fang. Or herself. "How- how did you-"
Lightning looked amused. "Fang seemed to have forgotten her volume control. Or the fact that I'm close by."
True, she had found Lightning seated on top of a fallen tree by merely going a brief distance further into the trees. Fang. Fang had known Lightning was there all along. She was a dead woman.
But first: her rapidly sinking social life.
"You're not... angry?"
"No. There isn't any reason I should be," Lightning said after a while. But then, "although..."
Vanille blanched, knowing what was to come. She looked down and waited for the blow.
"You shouldn't have dismissed the first point so easily."
Surprised, she looked up to see Lightning smiling.
"...huh? I don't under-"
And suddenly Lightning's lips were against her own.
1: Just be yourself.
She heard Fang's hoot from the distance, along with Hope's what are they doing? and Sazh's be quiet, kid!
Damn that Fang and her book. She'd just have to give her a hug tomorrow.