A/n: I probably should be working on 'Because You Are Here' but typing a new story is way more fun then re-reading and proofreading past chapters. I am still working on rewritting 'BYAH' and I'm almost done! So expect an update for that sometime soon. I also wasted a majority of my summer playing Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy X and I watched a whoole lot of Bones lol;;; (which is why I kind of disappeared... lol [/guilty])
Plus after a string of events, I had a lot of free time and I just figured that I get started on this short story since I had it planned for a while, and it is on-going C8
It is also slightly AU since it takes place after the first game but the events of the sequel never happened (meaning, Lightning never went to a different dimension lol)
Disclaimer: The only Final Fantasy XIII I own is the game disc inside my PS3 :P
Misfortune can very well be Lady Luck in disguise.
Chapter one: Two sisters in a problem
After the blast of smoke Serah accidentally triggered, she slowly opened her eyes only to see nothing but a heavy gray fog. Gently picking herself up off the floor, she quickly fell back down from the sudden painful rush to her head that had her seeing lights. Coughing out the smoke, Serah began to fan the smoke away from her eyes.
Once the smoke was cleared, Serah squinted and was able to see past the smoke…
… only to come face-to-face with her unconscious body lying helplessly on the floor.
A loud, shrill scream echoed throughout the second floor.
"No, Serah, I am not going with you to pick up Snow's fixed phone and that's final," Lightning said into her phone, annoyance laced clearly in her voice. She walked to her couch and flopped down on the silky furniture, angrily blowing a stray strand of pink hair out of her eyes.
"But sis, Snow's busy and I need a ride to Maqui's place!" Serah begged on the other end. Almost everybody knew of Serah's infamous driving skills. It was because of that that she wasn't allowed to buy a car for herself nor was she allowed to be on the road behind the wheel. "And don't you say that you have something to do because you and I both know that you're not busy today."
Lightning sighed irritably while roughly running her hand through her pale hair.
After a short moment of intense silence, Lightning finally gave up. "Fine, fine," she huffed. "I'll be at your house in five minutes."
"Thank you so much, sis!" Serah cheered happily. "I love you!" Lightning quickly ended the call without another word as she pushed herself off the couch. She reached to grab her set of keys from the coffee table while quickly putting on her shoes before making her way out the door.
The bell on the entrance of the local bar rang as Lightning and Serah made their way into the café. The woman standing behind the counter didn't look up from her cleaning when they entered, continuing to shine the many glasses that crowded around her as she spoke.
"I'm sorry but the café doesn't open until…" she slowly brought her head up to see the familiar faces of her friends.
Serah smiled. "Hey, Lebreau, we're not here for a drink," she giggled. "Is Maqui here?"
"Yeah, he's upstairs like always," Lebreau said while motioning the sisters to the case of stairs hidden in the back of the café.
"Thanks," Serah said as she waved to Lebreau, Lightning trailing behind her in silence.
"This better not take long, Serah."
The younger Farron smiled at her sister. "Don't worry, it won't. We just get in, get Snow's fixed phone and get out. It'll probably only take like three minutes," she said reassuringly and Lightning hoped that she was right.
Although Lightning had learned to let go some of her distaste for the people of NORA, she still didn't like to be around them for too long. Lebreau never stopped gossiping, the good and the bad stuff, and was always very chatty. Maqui was just plain annoying and always paid way too much attention on his inventions, causing him to be a very careless person, and Gadot was just like another Snow. Only louder… as if one of them wasn't bad enough.
"Hey, Maqui!" Serah greeted once they reached the second floor of the café that served as his workshop. The blond teen looked up from his work and waved.
"Hey Serah," He smiled and turned to Lightning, ready to greet her too, only to cower back in fear once he saw the dark and annoyed look in her eyes. "So you're here to pick up the phone, right?" Serah nodded. "Okay, I'll go get it, be right back."
Maqui ran off in search of the phone while Lightning waited, arms crossed firmly over her chest, and Serah walked around in complete awe.
"Wow, look at all of this stuff…" she said while gazing at the many mechanical instruments and inventions that littered the floor and tables as Lightning continued to look uninterested. She could barely see anything but metal and felt very uncomfortable in the room. There was little light from the windows with the thick curtains blocking out a majority of the sunlight and there was just no space, most of it taken up by Maqui's inventions and tools. There was barely anywhere to walk as she saw Serah jumping and hopping over some things in her way as she continued her exploration.
"Hey, sis, come and look at this!" Serah called over.
"I'm not interested, Serah," Lightning replied flatly as she turned away from her sister.
Serah made her way back to where Lightning stood with something in her hands. "Hey, look at this!" Lightning stared at the device and then to Serah with stern eyes.
"Serah, you shouldn't touch anything, what if you accidentally set it off!"
"No, but look at this!" she practically shoved the device in her face. "Doesn't this look like Snow's phone? Maybe Maqui forgot where he put it…"
Lightning examined the device a little closer. "Huh… I wouldn't be surprised if he did. This place is a total mess…"
"Hey… what do you have in your hands?" Serah and Lightning both turned around to see a very anxious Maqui, his eyes wide and alert, standing behind them with something in his hands also resembling Snow's phone.
Maqui's sudden outburst scared Serah as let out a small yelp, accidentally letting the device slip through her fingers as it crashed onto the floor, unintentionally turning it on as a cloud of smoke erupted from the floor, engulfing the sisters.
The smoke started to clear a bit as footsteps quickly approached Serah.
"W-what happened? You shouldn't have touched anything!" Maqui said frantically. He looked over Serah quickly, trying to see if she was injured anywhere. When she had let out that scream earlier, Maqui couldn't help but feel a powerful wave of worry washing over him. Strangely, Maqui saw nothing wrong with her.
"T-this can't be! …It just can't." Serah said, her voice trembling. Maqui couldn't figure out what Serah was so hysterical about. He followed her line of vision to try to figure out why she was acting this way only to see one of his devices, broken and shattered into different pieces, and another person laying off to the side.
The body stirred a bit as Lightning slowly got up off the floor only to stare directly into her own eyes.
"… What the hell is going on…?" she asked slowly and dangerously.
Serah couldn't believe her ears or her eyes as she witnessed her body move and speak without her consent, and with such profanity! Maqui's reaction was also the same, his face pale, as he finally understood what was going on.
"Okay… so um… I think I have a pretty good idea on what is going on… but you're probably not going to like it." He said. "Actually, no, scratch that, you're definitely not going to like it…"
Lightning narrowed her eyes, almost daring him to go on, as Serah had her full attention on him. "Don't freak out but that device that you touched was something that I was in the middle of working on…"
"And…?" Lightning asked in a low voice.
Maqui swallowed hard as he continued. "I-it causes two nearby people to switch bodies."
Serah's eyes widened as Lightning couldn't believe her ears. He had to be lying. That sort of thing just wasn't possible!
Lightning walked to Maqui and had to reach up to grab his collar, shaking him violently. "Why the hell would you even create something like that?"
Maqui tried to pry Lightning's hands off of his collar. Even in Serah's body, Lightning was still very intimating.
"I… I was bored," he choked out, trying to defend himself.
"Hey now, just as long as he has a fix to this, everything should be fine." Serah reasoned, trying to calm her sister down as Lightning loosened her grip on Maqui. "… you do have a way to undo this… don't you?"
Maqui let out a nervous laugh. He already had one (very scary) Farron mad at him; he didn't like the idea of another one ready to rip his heart out. According to what Snow had told him one day, both Farrons were mad scary when angered.
"Uh… no. I just started working on it. I didn't expect to use it any time soon… and when you dropped it on the floor, it broke."
After hearing this, both Serah and Lightning turned to Maqui with the nastiest glares they could make, Lightning's grip on Maqui's collar tightening once again.
"I can not believe this!" Serah cried once she got into Lightning's apartment room, kicking off her shoes by the entrance off to the side. She glanced briefly at her sister's strange choice of dirty worn-out boots for footwear. But then again, Lightning was never the one to care much about her appearance or her lack of femininity. To think that she would have to pretend to be her for an unknown amount of time was frightening and strange at the same time.
Lightning sighed as she closed the door behind her, slipping Serah's sandals off her feet in annoyance. She had almost forgotten why she always stayed away from wearing sandals when going out. Being in Serah's body and in her shoes reminded her of the pain and discomfort.
Serah walked to the couch and limply sat on it, blowing her sister's fringe away from her face. She could care less on how bad her posture was or how she wasn't sitting properly; there was a more important issue currently at hand.
"You can't believe this? I have to live with the idiot now!" Lightning said irately, crossing her thin arms.
The younger Farron jumped up from her seat, her back snapping straight, her face pale. "Oh no…" she quietly whispered.
Lightning let her arms fall to the side as she felt worry wash over her. The situation was already bad enough as it was. What else was there to add to the misfortune?
"No one can know about this!" Serah said desperately as Lightning failed to comprehend. "About this… you and me, you know…?" she tried explaining but Lightning still didn't understand her point.
She raised a thin brow. "And why not?"
Serah stared at Lightning in disbelief. Lightning… in my body…
"Are you kidding me? Everyone'll think that we've gone crazy!" she clarified. "We can't let anyone know!"
Lightning shook her head as she disregarded what Serah was saying. "I'm not going home to that oaf, Serah." Just the thought of it made her want to throw up. "I think I might kill myself."
Serah grabbed onto her—er—Lightning's hand and begged. "C'mon, sis… do it for me… please?" she added sweetly. Lightning tried to pull away for she did not want to be caught in Serah's little cutesy act. They may have worked on her before but Lightning wasn't going to let it happen this time. And the fact that she was doing it in her body made it all the weirder.
"Bu—why do I have to do it? You've the one who married him, not me!"
"Yeah, but you're in the wife's body!"
Lightning stood her ground against Serah and her pleading eyes. They shouldn't work against her, not when Serah was in her body. No, Lightning Farron would not fall for it.
"Forget it! I'm not doing it!"
"I am going to shoot myself."
Lightning stood in front of Serah's large house in despair, dreading every moment she stood awkwardly outside the door, stalling as much as she possibly could.
She wouldn't allow Serah to drive her car to drop her off at the house for it was way too dangerous for the both of them. So instead, Lightning took a taxi home and specifically told the driver to take his time, especially because Serah lived so close to her apartment.
Slowly, very slowly, Lightning went to unlock the door with the keys Serah gave her. Once the door was unlocked and opened, Lightning peeked her head in before entering, checking and double checking to make sure that no one was around. She hadn't seen Snow's car in the driveway but it could've been parked in the garage and there was no way of knowing for sure without making a whole lot of noise.
When Lightning was satisfied with the surroundings, she quietly made her way in, closing the door softly behind her. Even if he was home, she could just sneak in, clean herself up and go to sleep without even encountering the oaf.
Once the door was shut and her shoes were off—I really need to find some more comfortable shoes to wear—Lightning let out a soft sigh. Her sigh turned into a shocked gasp as she felt strong and large arms wrapped tightly around her currently small and fragile frame.
"Serah baby, I've missed you all day~!" Snow gushed lovingly in her ear as she felt goose bumps all over her from his hot breath in her ear. "Did you miss me too?" Where did he even come from? She should've been able to notice him since he was so ridiculously huge.
Lightning fought back the strong will and urge to punch Snow for the way he was acting but then Serah's words from earlier re-entered her mind.
"I know you two don't exactly get along well but we can't let anyone know! Maqui already promised to keep his mouth shut so please just try to get along and pretend to be me and like him, please?"
… This better not be a daily thing if Serah wants that to happen… Lightning thought darkly.
Softly, Lightning sighed as she took in a large breath. "Oh… Snow… my dear Snow… who I… l-love so much… I… missed… you…" Ugh…!
She could hardly believe herself when she said that to him. It just felt so wrong and way, way out of her comfort zone. Lightning just wanted to curl up in a corner and die. She didn't know how she'll be able to keep this act up.
Snow hummed happily in her hair while maintaining the tight embrace. "Did you get my phone from Maqui?"
Lightning tried to slowly pull away from Snow without making it seem like she wanted to be far away from him as possible as she tried her best to hide her disgust.
She nodded as she reached into Serah's purse for the newly fixed phone and placed it in his hands. "Thanks so much, baby, I'm sorry you had to pick it up for me. I would've gotten it myself if I wasn't so busy today," he said while scratching the back of his head, smiling as usual.
"No problem," Lightning said nonchalantly, unaffected by his so-called "charming smile", dubbed by Serah. "Sorry but I'm kind of tired. I'm going to go to bed now." So please leave me alone now…
"Huh… already? But it's only six and you haven't even eaten dinner yet."
Lightning started to walk towards Serah's bedroom. "I'm not hungry, good night."
Maker, just take me now.
Straining her head and toes, Serah stood up tall and stretched her body to try and examine the contents inside the high cabinets.
Lightning was tall, that much was obvious, but how on earth did she manage to reach these cabinets? Serah couldn't do it even in her sister's ridiculously giant body. Her stomach rumbled loudly once more as she struggled to find some food.
There was barely anything in her refrigerator and all she could find was half a bottle of opened wine, expired milk, and month-old strawberry yogurt. After she threw out everything but the wine, Serah seriously wondered what Lightning ate everyday.
Craning her neck just a bit more, Serah could still barely see anything as she felt her toes about to give out. Desperately, she brought her hand out to reach for anything in the cabinets, running her hand over the surface. She cringed as she felt nothing but dust as she lost her balance and fell backwards, tumbling onto the tiled kitchen floors.
After taking a few seconds to recover from her fall, Serah got back on her feet and continued her search for food. Lightning had to have something to eat in her house. Next to the refrigerator was a small storage closet that she had almost missed since it looked like it was just a part of the countertop.
Making her way over to the closet, she pulled on the handle, hoping to find something edible on the other side. Serah flung the door open and her jaw dropped. On the other side, there was nothing but instant noodles along with other dried products that lasted for a long period of time.
Frustrated, Serah closed the storage closet and pondered in the kitchen, walking in countless circles as she tried to think. "How am I supposed to cook dinner now?" Serah sighed as she dragged her feet into the living room, throwing herself onto the cushiony couch. She couldn't drive out and buy food since Lightning made sure to take the car keys with her before she left the apartment. It was too dark outside to walk anywhere and who knew how long it would take to find an available taxi to drive her to a nearby grocery store and another for a ride back?
Serah picked her head up from the couch to look around the living room. She didn't know why, but she had almost forgotten how bland and plain Lightning's apartment was. It was probably because whenever they decided to get together and have a meal as a family, Serah always offered off her place to hang out and they rarely went to her apartment.
There was barely any furniture for Lightning only had the bare necessities; one couch along the wall, a coffee table, a TV, etc. Nothing hung from her plain white walls and every room in the apartment all seemed very spacious.
Serah brought her head back down to the couch. "Honestly, what does she spend all that money she makes at the GC on? Gunblades?" Serah huffed angrily onto the soft fabric of the couch.
Suddenly the door bell rang and the sudden jingle of sound made Serah jump from the couch. "Who could that be? It's kind of late for visitors…" And who could be making a special visit just to see sis? Serah thought curiously as she swiftly scrambled off the couch and towards the front door, quickly fixing her hair and flattening her clothes before slowly opening the door.
As soon as the door opened, Serah was met with a vibrant and warm smile.
"Light! It's so good to see you again!" He dropped his duffle bags to the side as he advanced towards her, engulfing her in a tight hug.
Serah flinched slightly as she didn't see the sudden hug coming so soon, her actions flustered.
"H-hope?" Once she heard how high-pitched her voice was, she quickly adjusted it to match the way Lightning typically talked. "Hope… I—uh—what brings you here?"
Hope pulled away slightly as Serah was shocked at how tall Hope had grown over the years, his height surpassing that of her sister's. "Light… don't tell me you forgot already," he laughed as Serah felt herself placed in an awkward situation.
"Uh, would you care to, um, refresh my memory?" she asked casually, trying hard not to make it obvious that Hope wasn't actually talking to Lightning.
"I told you over the phone that I'm going to be studying at the University of New Bodhum this fall and you said that I could stay at your place," he beamed while Serah couldn't believe her ears.
"O-oh! No-now I remember!" she laughed uneasily. "Oh, silly me, how could I've forgotten?"
Hope smiled fondly at her as he resumed the hug. "It's so good to see you again, Light. I can't thank you enough for letting me stay at your place." Once again, Serah was taken aback with Hope's words. Since when was Hope this forward with his feelings?
Serah returned the hug by patting his back clumsily. "It's no problem… Hope," she said while breaking the hug. "I should… probably let you in now, huh?" Hope laughed lightly with a flushed face. He bent down slightly to pick up his bags and walked inside as Serah closed the door behind him.
"Um, what would you like to eat?" Serah asked sweetly, almost forgetting who she was supposed to be for the moment as she mentally kicked herself.
Hope laughed softly as he turned to face her after removing his shoes. "Since when do you cook?" Serah sighed in relief knowing that Hope didn't find her question or tone suspicious.
"Instant noodles it is then~" Serah walked over to the storage closet she had discovered earlier and pulled out two bowls. Even though she hated eating this stuff, there was nothing else to eat and she would rather eat the instant junk than nothing at all as her stomach cried out in hunger yet again.
"You should probably go unpack your stuff. I'll tell you when the noodles are ready," she informed, pouring water in a hot water maker as Hope nodded and brought his bags to his new room; the very room Lightning used to use for storage since she had no other use for it with her living by herself.
Serah had almost missed her chance to answer since she wasn't quite yet used to being called by her sister's name, let alone her nickname. "Uh, yeah, Hope?"
She was met with silence as she thought that maybe she had waited too long to answer and he had already left the kitchen.
"I missed you…" he had said very softly, so softly that Serah had almost missed it again. She froze as she turned around. She was confused on how to respond to that kind of confession. Serah thought hard on how Lightning would've answered him if she were here at this moment. What would be the "Lightning" way to respond?
"Y-you should go unpack now. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes." Serah slowly turned back around to face the hot water maker as she dispensed the water in their separate bowls. Hope stared at her back with an unreadable expression before nodding to himself and walking in the direction to his new room with a quiet "okay".
Once Serah was certain that Hope had left the kitchen and that she was by herself, she released a sigh that she had been holding in the entire time they were in the room together. She leaned against the cool surface of the marble counter-top as she waited for the noodles to cook in the hot water.
"This isn't going to get any easier, is it?"
Chapter one [END]
A/n: [Edit] Wow, I just noticed this now, but ff(dot)net deleted a whole bunch of my exclamation points. WHAT THE HELL. [/rage]
It may be a bit OOC-ish with my failed attempt at humor. Whenever it becomes too OOC, please tell me politely and I'll change it. The same goes for any errors and typos C8 And I hope it wasn't too confusing with the pronouns and names since Serah and Lightning did switch bodies.
I hoped you enjoyed this chapter and since I had a lot of free time, I managed to finish the entire fanfiction so I'll try to update regularly. Maybe... every 2 weeks? How's that?
And now for the preview~ 8D
Preview: "Now that we're finally alone we can finally put that plan into action… you know, with the big, happy family?"
Please leave a review for this review monster C8
[Last edited: 9/4/11]