The Sun Still Shines
Of all the stupid, immature things…Lightning thought to herself as she watched the scene before her. Not shockingly, Vaan was being immature. And Laguna was humoring him. The two of them knew how to act childish at a moment's notice, though Lightning expected nothing less from Vaan. He was such a child, so clueless.
Didn't he realize that they were all going to their deaths?
If he didn't, Laguna should have. He was an adult after all. But still, during this moment being safe from the manikins, the two of them were having a snowball fight. They were on their way to destroy the Rift so that the rest of Cosmos's fighters would have a chance in the next fight. The only reason that they weren't continuing right now was because it was nearly nightfall and this was the safest area that they reached in a long time. Vaan was the one who started the snowball fight, with Laguna's help. And now Tifa joined them. Even the soft-spoken Summoner Yuna was a part of the fight.
Whatever, the soldier told herself as she sat by the sidelines, on a rock. They can do what they want. Doesn't mean I have to join them. Despite Lightning's disapproval of their silliness, she was sincerely wracking her brain trying to figure out why they were doing this. A snowball fight of all things…Shouldn't they have been strategizing? Trying to find a way to defeat the manikins but still preserve their lives? That was what Lightning did all the time. And yet she never came up with an answer to her ponderings. They would all die when they faced the manikins. If they had more allies, then maybe they could win. But right now they couldn't. And there was absolutely no way of adding allies to the battle.
It all looked so hopeless and yet she still ran forward. Every step she took was a step closer to death.
"Don't look so disgusted, Lightning," a voice said from behind her. The smart-aleck Kain had returned from doing a final patrol to make sure that they were all safe here. "It's a snowball fight. Haven't you seen one in your life?"
"I wouldn't remember, now would I?" Lightning asked smoothly.
"What, your memories have yet to return?" the dragon warrior inquired. He remained slightly behind her and to the side, his purple eyes set on the snowball fight as Tifa easily hit Vaan in the head with a snowball.
"I remember minor things," she said with a shrug. "Just that the world I lived on was pretty technological and I was a soldier there. Friends, family…nothing about them." She looked over her shoulder at him, giving him a look. "What does it matter to you?"
"It doesn't," Kain responded nonchalantly. "Just wondered if you had any concept of what 'fun' is."
"Judging by the memories I do have, I never did have a grasp on it. But apparently I'm not alone since you're not in the fight."
"I may not recall it in my past, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating fun when I see it. I would participate but somebody needs to be on the sidelines to scold you for sulking."
"I'm not sulking."
"What are you, then?"
"Why on earth would you want to do that?" Kain asked.
"Because somebody needs to be."
Kain shifted on his feet; it was something Lightning saw out of the corner of her eye as she watched the battle in front of her once more. Yuna ducked behind a tree and avoided one of Laguna's snowballs while Vaan took his chance to clobber the older, distracted man. "Perhaps you're right," he said after a moment. "One person has to be mature…" He bent down and scooped up some snow in his hand while Lightning wasn't looking. Then, when he was standing upright again, he simply dropped the snow on top of Lightning's head. The soldier grunted and looked over at him, giving him a dirty look. But she was also surprised and confused.
"But that one person won't be me," Kain finished.
"Why'd you do that?" Lightning practically hissed, lifting a hand to wipe the snow off her head.
"Why does it matter?" he asked smoothly. "I did it. Now, how will you respond, Lightning?"
What would she do? As far as she could tell, she only had two choices: retaliate or do nothing. She decided on the latter. "I choose to not respond."
Kain gazed at her for a moment, meeting her fiery blue eyes that showed that she wasn't completely angry at him. "Pity," he said simply, turning his gaze ahead to the fight.
Lightning felt strangely irritated by Kain's word choice. It was a pity she couldn't act childish? Maybe a little. The soldier hmphed and rose from her seat, turning around and walking away a few feet. Kain, joining in on the immaturity by dropping a snowball on her head…He was so confusing. One minute he was stoic and serious and the next he was trying to irritate her. Or, no wait, he never stopped doing that. He always got under her skin.
And yet, there was something endearing about that. Maybe she'd humor him and retaliate, just this once. She tactically decided that was the best course of action. He was still watching the other battle, right? She turned around and looked at him briefly. Sure enough, he wasn't looking. She only had one shot. Silently, stealthily, she bent down and scooped some snow into her gloved hand. Was she seriously doing this? Before she could question herself much more deeply, she rose and chucked the snowball at Kain's back. It hit in the dead center with a thud.
Much to Lightning's shock, Kain started chuckling right away. As if he expected her to do exactly what she just did. "Lightning," he started, turning around to face her. "Did you honestly expect me to feel the cold snow through my armor?"
Before Lightning could respond, the two were interrupted. Laguna ran in out of nowhere and collided with Kain, tackling him from the side. Both of them toppled over into the snow, rolling in the moisture until Laguna ended up on top of Kain.
"What the…?" Kain managed.
Laguna only smiled, glancing over at the stunned soldier. "Thanks for distracting him for me, Light. Couldn't have done it without you." He sent her a wink, which immediately made her catch on to his little plan. He was saving her from some humiliation. She grunted and nodded at him as a small smile tugged at her lips.
"Light, you took my target!" Vaan whined. But then he smirked, tossing up a snowball in his hand. "Guess I'll have to go for you instead!"
Lightning's eyes widened as she ducked, avoiding the snowball that Vaan chucked at her. If that's how you want it…she thought, eyes narrowing as her lips formed a smirk. She knelt down and picked up some snow of her own while Laguna and Kain started brawling in the snow. She hardly noticed; her focus was on the boy who was preparing to hit her. But he wouldn't; her speed and reflexes were much stronger than his were. She rolled out of the way to avoid another snowball while also chucking one at Vaan. Shockingly, he dodged it.
Vaan rolled over to the side, right by the feet of a certain monk. He quickly realized the error in his ways. Tifa quickly shoved Vaan down to his stomach and put a knee on his back to keep him down on the ground.
"Hey, Light!" Tifa called while ignoring Vaan's struggles. "Mind lending a hand?"
Again, the soldier grunted her response. She started over to the pair with snow in her hand. Slowly, a devious expression formed on her face. Somehow, the stoic soldier was changed by the snow and the circumstances. Fun was finally within reach and she took a firm hold on it. She also took a firm hold on the back of Vaan's pants and pulled the waist.
"Lightning! What are you-? GAH!" Vaan cried out as he felt Lightning slip the snow down the back of his pants. Yuna stood aghast at her spot, the innocent Summoner horrified but also amused by Lightning's actions. The soldier herself was actually amused as well. She and Tifa both stepped away as Vaan started "dancing", trying to get the snow out of his pants. The scene was so humorous that Lightning actually started chuckling.
Vaan did recover eventually, swearing revenge upon Lightning and Tifa for their dirty trick. That was when it became an all out war; every man for himself. Everyone had secret alliances, but even Tifa had to break hers with Lightning so that she could have a chance to hit the soldier with a snowball. There was no telling when they would all have this chance to be happy together again.
Eventually, the exhaustion set in. All of them collapsed in the snow, breathing laughter as they stared up at the colorful sky. The sun was setting; the day was nearly over. And, Lightning was reminded, their lives as well. Still they all laid on the ground with their heads in a circle, in close quarters with each other.
"This is how it's meant to be," Yuna said with a sigh, staring up at the sky. "I want my journey to be full of laughter."
Lightning glanced over at Yuna, confused. Yuna understood what their journey was leading them all to, and yet she still decided to have fun. How could she have fun even when knowing the outcome?
Or maybe, that's why she can have fun, Light thought. She wants the last days to be enjoyable. And then the thought struck her: Why would life be worth living if they weren't happy? There was more to life than simply being alive.
To her left, Kain laid, staring up at the sky. She gazed at him evenly as the wheels turned in her head. These were her last days and she was surrounded by people that she cared about. She would make the most of this time that she had; she would cherish the time and the people she had.
Kain set his hand on hers without even looking over at her. Somehow, it made her smile.
She understood now. Even she could have hope for a better future. It looked dark now but in reality, the sun was still shining. There was still hope and in the future it would make itself even more present. She shut her eyes and grasped Kain's hand, turning her head so it was facing the sky again. The sun still shines, even now. And it'll shine even more brightly tomorrow.
Author's notes: I'm so surprised I decided to pop out my third Dissidia oneshot! I never played the game, but I've seen cutscenes and fell in love with the romantic concept of Kain/Lightning. But I did want to focus on the friendships built throughout the game, specifically when the group is travelling to defeat the manikins for good. So I got this out of my system. If you liked it, please review and check out my other Dissidia stories!