"We'll camp here for the night." Fang directed, halting on the cliffside overlooking the small town.
"Here?" Vanille asked, befuddled. "Right in the open?" Fang nodded to a dilapidated house to her left that perched on the edge of the cliff, broken and worn in its old age, obviously abandoned. "Oh." Though the building would provide better protection from the elements than their usual camp out, Vanille wondered at the choice. "You wanna visit the town?"
"I will in the morning." Fang confirmed, making her way over to the busted place. "We need to refresh our supplies."
Vanille's heart dwindled. "I thought we were stopping soon." She followed faithfully after her most trusted friend. "Fang? I thought we were… settling down."
"We are, Vanille." Fang calmed, hearing the small echo of panic in her friend's voice. She hated it there, wanted to erase that for Vanille. Only 13 and already fearful enough to be an old woman. Vanille deserved better than that. "I just want to get to Lothering. It's the farthest town South, and the least likely to ever be visited by the Qunari."
"Isn't all of Fereldan protected against the Qunari?"
"It's shielded, yes, but only by distance. The reason the Qunari don't come here is because they're a full continent away. They'd have to cross all of Thedas to reach us. I'm gonna put the most distance between us and them that I can, Vanille. Just a few more days." Fang broke the lock on the door and held it for her.
Vanille quieted, swallowing thickly. She moseyed into the house, taking a pack from Fang. Fang checked the second and third rooms to be safe that they were alone. They began settling in.
Vanille took their only pot and gathered water from the stream outside, returning in to find Fang blanketing out their bed. Vanille heated the water magically, conjuring a flame around the sides of the pot that didn't touch the floor. She removed their meager stores and cut some potatoes into the water with a dagger Fang had given to her since before they fled Gran Pulse. Seheron now. Vanille winced. Their homeland hadn't even been allowed to keep its name, the Qunari destruction had been so complete. But Vanille had it easy. At least some of her people had escaped.
Fang was different. She was the only Yun left. Their bravest warrior clan had fought to the death, and not one had submitted. Of those who'd been sent away on the escape boat, only Fang had survived.
Vanille struggled to steer her thoughts away, focusing on the mundane task at hand. Just a little more. Fang had promised. Maybe then, finally, after two years of running, they might finally be able to regain a semblance of their lives.
Fang clung to her late that night, holding her to ward off the nightmares.
Vanille only wished she could offer Fang the same.
Lightning Farron was up before the crack of dawn. She hated waking early, really, silently glad Serah never woke for her to snap, but it was only a pittance of the sacrifices Lightning made for her sister on a daily basis.
Cleaning herself up for the day, ready to take on a new one, Lightning cooked Serah breakfast and took a few spoonfuls for herself before she was packing her usual daily gear, decking out in the trim leather armor she'd inherited from long-dead parents.
Lightning and Serah had been orphaned at an early age, two years ago when Raina had contracted the spreading plague that'd swept through Lothering. Cyrus had been lost to them years before; Raina had been all they had left in parenting guidance. They'd been orphaned then; alone...
It was the day she became Lightning.
Steeling herself to the memory, Lightning shook off the lingering recollection. There was no use dwelling on it; not when there was work to do and a sister to care for. Lightning grabbed her sword at the door.
Another day of hell awaited.
"We're almost there, Vanille." Fang assured, sensing the drudgery of Vanille's slowed step after days of walking through the marshy, wet land.
Fang nodded. "I'd put us only a couple leagues away by now, if we keep pace."
"Fang!" Vanille perked considerably, taking her arm. "We're going to settle somewhere!"
Fang offered her a small smile, glad Vanille seemed to be happy. "We should be able to stay in the Chantry for a little while, they usually take refugees. Would you be okay with that, Vanille?"
"Yes," Vanille agreed readily. "I'm going to be careful this time, Fang. No mess ups. Maybe… maybe we could try to make this like home."
It'll never be home. Fang thought. Home was where her people lay dead, in a land where she could once take Vanille anywhere without fear of imprisonment. Home was filled with filthy Qunari scum. "Maybe."
Vanille wished Fang could mean it.
They'd only gone a little ways further before Vanille sensed the presences. As a rule, Vanille scanned on around them for a mile each way. It was a sustained magic the elders had taught her back at home, not very specific, but useful for knowing any vast numbers they were unwittingly coming across. It was still too soon for the town; they were amidst the outer stretches of farmland and the group Vanille was picking up was too large, even for a family of farmers. She tugged Fang's arm. "Fang, I'm sensing a group ahead."
Fang reached for her spear. "Are any like you?"
Vanille shook her head. Though such a ranged spell couldn't provide specifics on a group or enemy, Vanille was adept at sensing magic within others, even from a distance.
"Do you want to avoid them?"
"Well, I'm not crazy about the idea of running into a group of Templars..." Vanille admitted. "But if they're bandits or slavers, they could be hurting somebody."
"Are there any dogs with them?"
"I can't tell at this distance."
"Could be Qunari. They never give up." Fang muttered darkly. "How far?"
"There." Vanille pointed to a few distant, far off specks on the clear field. "That's them."
"Stay a ways back." Fang ordered. "Don't get involved."
With that, Fang sprinted off, Vanille chasing after.
Lightning sighed, watching a hawk fly circles high above where the empty road stretched on below. Two years of training later when she applied at the young age of 13, helpfully brought in by a friend of her mother's and Lightning was still boring the guard watch post with her fellows.
"Ahh, let it go, Light." Rygdea, a longstanding friend in the guard patted her shoulder soothingly. "You know the Templars take care of this town and her roads. We're just the lackeys."
Lightning shrugged off his hand. "This is bullshit. We could be doing any number of things; sitting here on a dead patrol is worthless."
"Uh, my crying feet beg to protest. We're actually standing," Rygdea corrected. Lightning shot him a death look. "Loosen up, Light." Rygdea chuckled, sitting on the ledge. "You're always too tense. If they're content to let us stand here and do nothing while they take care of everything, that's a'okay fine with me. S'long as we're getting paid for this shit." Lightning grunted. "You know what you need, Lightning? A good, strong man in your life; someone funny and devoted, who'll take good care of you and Serah with hard work and motivated drive."
"Guess that means you're out."
"Ouch," Rygdea held a hand over his heart. "You're wounding me, Light."
"It's good practice for if we ever come across an enemy."
"And again!" Rygdea cried. "Drive the dagger deeper, won't you?"
"And I don't find you attractive."
"Lightning, my pride!- "
"Shh." Lightning hushed, listening intently. Far off in the distance, a small scuffling... then a distant scream broke the air, only a quiet call at their distance. "Come on!" Lightning hopped their empty bridge. "Let's go, Rygdea!"
"Lightning!" Rygdea groaned.
"Nugfucks! Why does she have to be so fearless about this shit?" Rygdea sighed, scrambling after her. "The things I do for her…"
Vanille screamed. "Fang! Behind you!"
Fang sliced through the bandit without pause, whipping her spear around before she thrust back, impaling the one who snuck to her back. He choked, gagging as his innards splattered the floor. Fang wrenched her spear free of his abdomen, and jumped, pitching into a roll to escape the clatter of blades that struck empty dirt. Fang whirled back on them, bringing up her spear in just enough time to block a sharp sword.
They were clumsy, even for bandits, but their numbers unusually high. Fang had no doubt in her skill to beat the blighters, but she was ready for their sheer numbers to give a few nicks along the way.
A sharp sting cut across her forearm. Fang jerked, stiff-arming the bandit to her left as she shoved away the first guy.
"Hey assholes!" Lightning taunted, sprinting towards the group. Unable to see what civilian they were assaulting, it was her safest bet to draw their fire onto her. "Heads up!" It drew some of them, at least- just as Lightning cleaved right through neck of her first victim, completely severing from his body as the stump fell with a dull thud.
They watched for three seconds, then half rushed at her. Lightning battered off the first few swords thrown at her, then darted out of the way, slashing a bandit across his thigh as she went. He went down, simpering, followed by another through the chest. Rygdea had caught up and took two from her load. By the time Lightning cut through her third bandit, a wicked slash across the chest, she caught her first glimpse of the thieves 'victim.'
Bronze-skinned and tall, with a lance taller than her height, a girl her age in nothing more than tight-strapped black leather and long trouser pants, fought ferociously, warding off three of the bandits at once before she cleanly stabbed a fourth and struck the high end of her weapon to another's chin. The girl anchored her pole in the body and kicked, then tugged the blade end free as if she faced no resistance at all. Lightning forgot to fight; she was enthralled.
"Eyes on your quarry!" Rygdea snapped to his oblivious sister-in-arms. "Lightning!"
Not hearing him, Lightning was rewarded for it by a forceful, deep cut to her arm that riveted her back to battle. Lightning yelped, nearly dropping her sword as she clutched at the wound and backtracked, then snarled, adrenaline eating up the pain.
Fang sliced through the last of her attackers with ease. With the other two's random appearances, the battle had gone from easy to casual. Like a workout.
Fang turned to her would-be saviors if she, a helpless victim. There was a male soldier of complete disinterest fighting beside a… pink? haired warrior. Fang blinked. She'd never seen such color on a woman before. The girl fought one-handed with a darty little sword, another hanging unused at her back, though she didn't seem to need it. The girl was easily twice as quick as any of her assailants, though Fang did note the deep, ragged gash in her arm where one had slipped between her defenses.
Fang watched the woman jab, cutting across the bandit's leg before she was in front of him in a flash, driving her blade home deep. The man fell with a squish and the girl pulled her blade from him, not without a little jerk. Her hand went to her arm next, fingers coating with blood in seconds. She grunted, sheathing her sword, and pulled out a weak potion. The bleeding barely slowed.
But she was approaching then, wound or not. Vanille ran up beside Fang to check her arm; Fang's grip tightened on her spear just in case.
"Citizens," Lightning grimaced, her arm felt as if it'd fall off any minute. "Are you injured?"
"You more than me."
Vanille startled at the sight of Lightning's arm, initially surging forward to help,but paused at the touch of Fang's hand on her shoulder. When she looked back to her best friend, Fang gave her a sharp, dark shake of the head.
Lightning squinted; that accent was unfamiliar. The bronze girl had obviously been combat trained at some point, no common, helpless victim. The shape of her face and tint of her body was vaguely familiar. Lightning eyed her spear, a double-sided weapon with intricate steel tips blossoming at both ends; the alloy of the middle bar seemed to be made of the same. Lightning recognized the markings engraved into the blade ends; years of study into the warrior's culture had taught her that. She blinked. "You're a Yun?"
Fang remained at the ready; she could never be certain how these people would react to that fact.
"Lightning! Do you always have to run off like- Nugfucks!" Rygdea cursed, eyes catching on her wound. "You're bleeding out."
Rygdea touched her arm, but Lightning merely brushed his hand away. "I'm fine, Rygdea."
"Here," Fang offered, taking a leather strap from the little one's bag. She handed her spear to the little one and took a baggy white shirt buried under and ripped off a bottom strip. Crossing to her, Lightning inhaled upon her touch without meaning to. Fang's eyes met hers, a hint of amusement trickling through them as she deftly layered the ripped cloth, then wound the leather around Lightning's arm. Lightning grunted as the bind tightened over her wound, but did not break her eyes from Fang.
"Are these the victims?" Rygdea asked obliviously, eyeing Fang's giant spear in Vanille's little hands. Nevertheless, always amiable, Rygdea held out a hand. "Rygdea Lionheart of the Lothering Guard Patrol; happy to be of assistance to two'm such lovely ladies."
"Hi!" Vanille took it happily, then stepped back blushing at the charming smile he gave her.
Fang ignored his offered hand, eyes fixated on Lightning. "You're the Lothering Guard?" Light could still feel her fingers on her arm, which somehow managed to draw her focus more than the gaping wound that'd been gashed into her.
"We are," Rygdea confirmed. "Guard, not the Templars. We share no such vow of chastity."
Lightning blinked. Fang finally lowered her guard, stepping back, fingers dropping from Lightning's skin. She took her spear from Vanille and stored it across her back. Luck seemed to be smiling on them for the moment. "You should have that checked out quickly." She nodded to the injury. "You're the ranked of the two?"
Fang ignored him. "Returning to the town? We're heading there too."
"I can take you to our commons." Lightning agreed, glad for their company on the way back. "Rygdea, stay here and clean up. I'll report to the Captain."
"What?" Rygdea complained. "Suure, Lightning. I'll happily haul carcass duty while you prance away with the two beautiful victims."
"I'm injured." Lightning argued logically, really just preferring more time to speak to this foreign, exotic woman.
"You wouldn't be if you'd paid attention instead of oogl- "
"Rygdea," Lightning interrupted sharply.
"Going, going," Rygdea grumbled, trudging off to haul bodies.
Lightning glanced at the Yun, who almost seemed in the pre-stages of smiling for an instant. Lightning nodded over. "Follow me." Footsteps picked up behind her own. She realized she didn't even know their names yet. "I'm Lightning."
There was a pause before the reply, but it still came. "Fang," the taller girl introduced, "and this is Vanille." She gestured towards the smaller one. "Thank you for assisting with the bandits."
"It doesn't seem that you needed it."
"I'm Yun," Fang answered the unspoken question.
"What're you doing in Lothering?" Lightning inquired.
Fang's eyes held on Vanille then, a sort of protective sadness seeping through.
"We're starting over," Vanille volunteered. "It's time for us to begin anew."
Lightning kept Fang in her peripherals; the ghost of Fang's fingers imprinted her mind.
"Rygdea's still out there, Captain." Lightning finished her report. "Hauling the bodies. He's going to need a wagon."
Amodar sighed, flattening the paperwork on his desk. "This just extended work for me another five hours."
"Don't be sorry," Amodar brushed off. "You've cleared a road full of bandits today. It's good work, Farron." Lightning accepted the praise with a bowed head. "I'll send Shneff over with the wagon later. And this is the woman they were attacking, who helped you?"
"Yes, she's the… " Lightning glanced back at Fang, who was watching her.
"The warrior." Fang finished. "And I'm looking for work, if you've got positions open."
Amodar sat back, not expecting such a blatant offer. Lightning blinked too. He considered Fang for a long moment, then looked to his Guard defender. "Lightning?"
Fang's eyes bore into her, Lightning could feel them. The warrior's recommendation stood in her hands.
Lightning had such a feeling about Fang.
"She fought well," Lightning admitted. "Better than I did, and sustained the lesser injury. She'd be a promising addition to the Guard."
Amodar looked on, impressed. Though Lightning was young, she was also one of his best Guards in the squad. They were a small group, since little need for Guard arose with so many initiates to the Templars, but it was a group he was proud to lead and one where Lightning shined in. If she spoke of this girl as her better, Amodar would be floored to see such techniques from girls so young. "Very well, Fang. I have two spots open, in fact."
"I'd be glad to fill one."
Amodar nodded slowly. "Lightning, fetch her a parchment on the way out. I will put her through testing Monday. Now go home; take a break."
Lightning nodded graciously, backing out. Fang tailed after, then met her stride at her side. "Lightning- "
"Call me Light."
"Light," Fang corrected, following her to the wall where Lightning opened a drawer and leafed through some parchment. "Thanks for the recommendation."
"Mhmm… " Lightning chanced a sidelong glance, fingers on the blank parchment. "Use this," Lightning directed. "Amodar needs your name, credentials, any previous training you've had… " Lightning momentarily trailed off, for Fang seemed troubled. She continued when Fang failed to say anything. "And the name and location of your home on the page."
"We've just moved in," Fang reminded, taking the sheaf from her. "What do I put without a house to name yet?"
"You haven't bought a land plot?"
Fang shook her head. "Not yet."
"The Guard requires a dwelling," Lightning explained. "A place of residence in the records. It was a law passed several years ago to keep cheap or corrupt city officials from hiring desperate, untrained refugees."
"I can't put down the Chantry for a week or so, finish off accumulating my funds, and switch the address?"
"I don't know if they'll let that go…"
"So I can't work until I have a house, and I can't get a house until I have enough money, which work would provide." Fang grunted. "That's helpful. So what, I have to buy a square of land, plant a tent on it and name my house?"
"Orrr…" Lightning suggested, the thought coming to her on the spot. "You could lodge up with me for a week," Lightning cleared her throat at Fang's lifted eyebrow. "A few days," Lightning reasserted, "Or… however long it takes, anyway. So you can put a household name down for the time being to work, then change it when you buy your own."
A small smile played at Fang's lips.
Lightning lowered her eyes to avoid that smirk. Unfortunately, Fang's tightly-covered breasts were just under her neck, followed by her immodestly uncovered stomach, flat with fine lines defining the contours of her abs.
Lightning lost track of her words.
"The couch!" Lightning coughed, choking for something to say. "You can sleep on the couch. With Vanille! …if you do that, I mean. If she's not like, your sister. Do you... do that?" Damn the woman's front! She was still seeing it, even looking away now. Lightning willed herself to shut up. "Never mind."
Fang stepped towards her, eyes seeming to smile of their own. Lightning felt her fingers touched. Fang merely tilted her head, sliding the parchment from between Lightning's fingers. "Vanille and I will work for the duration of our stay."
"Okay…" Lightning agreed meekly.
"Thank you, Light." Fang stepped back with the parchment. "Vanille's outside; let me get her."
"Serah!" Lightning called up the stairs. "We have guests."
A pattering echoed from the landing as Serah descended the stairs, ricocheting into the kitchen, skidding up short at the sign of their company. "Hello!"
"Serah, this is Fang and Vanille," Lightning gestured accordingly, "Girls, this is my sister, Serah."
"Hi!" Vanille greeted enthusiastically. "It's nice to meet you, Serah!"
"Serah, I need your help. Get the stitches."
"Were you hurt?" Serah squeaked.
"I'm fine," Lightning admonished. "Just get the stitches. Fang, Vanille- "
"I'll make dinner!" Vanille volunteered, racing to the stove.
Fang shrugged. "She hasn't been able to use a stove in a while."
"So I see."
"What'd you do to yourself, Sis?" Serah came trampling down the steps once more, needle and thread in hand. She plopped into the seat next to Lightning, who indicated the blood-soaked shirt tied to her arm. Serah began carefully removing the temporary bandage.
"I'm afraid that's my fault." Fang apologized. "She engaged the bandits coming after me. Sorry, Light."
Lightning waved her off. "It's okay."
Serah gasped at the sight of the wound. "Oh, Maker… stop doing this to yourself, Claire!"
Fang quirked an eyebrow. "Claire?"
Lightning winced as the first needle pinch buried under her skin. "My birth name," Lightning explained, amiable to focusing on anything else. "I prefer Light."
"Claire…" A small smile tugged at Fang's lips. "Claire's nice."
"What about you, Fang?" Serah asked patiently. "Is that…"
"My birth name," Fang grinned. "Yes."
Serah blushed. "Sorry…"
Lightning hissed as she jabbed her, right in the wound. "Oops! Sorry, Claire!"
"I actually had another name too," Fang admitted, keeping the conversation to distract Lightning. "My people used to call me Hawke; it was a term of respect held solely for those who'd serviced our chief with an invaluable task after training. He'd only ever asked three tasks before. I was honored to be given one of them."
Lightning's brow furrowed. "You couldn't have been older than thirteen then…"
"I was twelve." Fang informed. "My clan used to train from the moment they are able to comprehend to become warriors."
"Where are you from, Fang?" Serah asked curiously.
"North." Fang filled in, further puzzling Lightning. It was the second time Fang had deliberately avoided mentioning her heritage, yet when Lightning had asked, she'd revealed it in an instant. Had it merely been a slip?
"Does everyone like carrots and oats in their lentil stew?" Vanille asked, checking back over her shoulder. She winced at the stitches on Lightning's arm, knowing how easily she could fix that otherwise without it scarring as bad as it would.
"Oooh, you're making lentil?"
Lightning stiffened again at a distracted poke. "Serah," Lightning grimaced. "Bond over dinner later please."
"Oh! I'm sorry, Claire." Serah refocused all her attention on the wound, carefully weaving. Lightning eyed Fang, who provided a lovely visual pick-me-up for the eyes.
"You've got a nice place here." Fang complimented and meant it. This was just the kind of home she hoped to provide for Vanille in this place. "Does the Chantry have a big presence in the town?'
"Sortof," Lightning explained. Vanille chanced a look back to her. "The Templars have a pretty concentrated presence here. They run the town. The Guard's actually pretty quiet. If you're looking for more action, joining them would be a better bet."
"I prefer the Guard," Fang's eyes roved over her. "It seems much more savory."
Lightning's pink brow arched at the appreciative stare. "You should try it. Patrol may be a little more… stimulatingwith you around." The edges of Lightning's mouth quirked when Fang shifted in her seat, features echoing a shift at Lightning's provocation. "The hunt, more stirring…"
"Careful," Fang warned, adjusting her position for comfort. "Sometimes, you'll realize: you're the prey."
Lightning's mouth curled. "I don't think that'll happen."
Vanille smacked herself loudly, drawing all of their eyes. "Oh man!" she exclaimed, "I forgot the basal! Lightning, do you have any?"
Late that night, Vanille squirmed in Fang's arms. Smushed together on the couch, Fang held her like usual, which Vanille generally appreciated.
But Fang's grip was too strong.
"Fang!" Vanille hissed quietly, not truly wanting to wake her, but at wit's end with her grip. She wriggled, trying to crawl out from under Fang's arms, but her hold was solid. Vanille could barely budge. "I have to go to the bathroom, Fang!" Vanille pleaded, bladder begging her escape.
Fang slept on.
"Gah!" Vanille grabbed the arm around her stomach and clawed Fang with her fingernails. She choked as Fang's grip around her belly only tightened. "Fang, please!" Vanille squeaked quietly. Fang remained a deadweight rock. Vanille sighed, reaching back. There was no help for it. She summoned a small ice spell in her hand, touching it to Fang's cheek.
Fang stirred, shivering, and Vanille almost peed as her grip pulled against her stomach, but Fang blinked then, eyes opening amidst the cold. "Vanille?" she reached up and took Vanille's wrist, tiredly brushing it away. "Stop that."
"Finally!" Vanille peeped. "I have to go to the bathroom, Fang! Lemme go!"
"Oh," Fang sheepishly lifted her arm, where Vanille sprang out, tumbling off the couch. "Sorry, Van." She shivered, wiping away some ice chips that'd formed on her cheek. "Hurry back."
"I'm going," Vanille assured, stumbling in the dark through the living room. She passed a small hallway on her way to the bathroom, eternally grateful that Lightning and Serah had one installed in the house. Of all the things Vanille loved about her people, the lack of innovation to copy this great invention was a shortcoming, in her mind. Some things should just be shared across Thedas. Not that it mattered now anyway…
Relieving herself in the bathroom, Vanille sighed, rinsing her hands in the basin before she turned back around to rejoin Fang. She stubbed her toe and cursed, "Ow!" Gripping the injured appendage as she poured a small cure spell into her foot. The red bleeding wound disappeared in a flash, along with the stinging pain of the injury, leaving only a drop of blood in its wake.
The injury reminded her of Lightning's. Vanille winced at the memory, deep open cut flashing through her mind as she recalled Lightning's stiches that afternoon. Vanille had wanted to heal her so bad, but Fang was right. If they wanted to make a living here, she couldn't screw up again, not even to heal a new friend they'd made.
Unless… Lightning was fast asleep right now, as was the whole house. What if Vanille snuck up there and did it now? Fang wouldn't be pleased in the morning, but she could deal with that later. Lightning would have no idea how her arm had been fixed if she never saw her do it.
Gaining confidence with the idea, Vanille crept past the living room, half-surprised that Fang didn't hear her. Maybe she'd fallen asleep again. Re-entering the kitchen, Vanille started for the stairs, wincing when they creaked. Fang's hearing was almost animalistic, it was so attuned. More cautious now, Vanille snuck up the stairs.
The first door she investigated proved to be Lightning's, as Vanille found her lying on a bed at the far side of the room. Her covers only pulled up, tucked under her arm, Vanille could see her injury with Lightning resting on her good side. Vanille hurried to her side, momentarily distracted by Lightning's lack of top. The front of the covers were pulled up over her chest, but they dipped on her back, revealing no bra strings at her back. Vanille blushed, averting her eyes politely.
Reaching out a cautious hand, Vanille summoned up a familiar curative magic that was hers to control. When the power had built within her, she gently touched Lightning's arm, fingers glowing with her power; she poured it into Lightning over her wound.
Lightning snapped so fast, Vanille could barely register the movement. Rolling 180, Lightning caught her wrist in an instant, which was joined by a dagger at her throat seconds later. "Vanille?" Lightning's voice came harsher than it had at dinner without any trace of warmth. "What did you curse me with? Speak quickly."
"It wasn't a curse, I swear!" Vanille cried, horrified. "I healed you."
Lightning glanced down at her arm, which wasn't hurting so much now, but remained hidden against the covers. "You're a mage," Vanille swallowed thickly. "And Fang's a Yun."
"Please don't kill me." Vanille meeped. "I just wanted to help, please!"
Lightning lowered her dagger, but kept a wary eye on the girl. "You're hiding from the Templars? Or the Qunari?"
"Vanille!" Lightning's half-opened door slammed the rest of the way. Vanille jumped; Lightning sat up, finding Fang charging in. Fang stopped dead as Lightning's blanket fell from her chest in the startle, revealing her half-naked on the bed with a dagger. Why did she have a dagger? It was fucking hot. "Light…" Fang coughed, struggling to lift her eyes. Lightning's graceful features proved no better for the growing dilemma in her pants. Fang did her best to avert her eyes. "Is… is everything alright? I thought Vanille… "
Despite the circumstance, Lightning couldn't help her amusement. So different from the cocky warrior she'd seen throughout the day, Fang actually turned her back at the small slip of dress. Lightning pulled the blanket back over her chest. "I'm covered, Fang."
"That's good…" still, Fang didn't turn. "Normal people who live with their sister usually wear clothes to bed and all... " Lightning grinned. "Ahh- Vanille. You should… come back downstairs. When you're ready to." Though Fang had no explanation for why Vanille was in Lightning's room at two in the morning, other, more pressing matters had captured her immediate attention. Fang gritted her teeth, painfully aroused. In her mind, Lightning squirmed. She blinked away the inappropriate visual. "I'll wait. Downstairs. No need to hurry if you're..."
Vanille giggled. "See you, Fang!" Fang shuffled out.
Lightning gave her a look. "You'd think she's seen breasts before, considering."
Vanille broke into another fit of giggles. Lightning touched her arm where Serah had stitched. Aside from the stitches that'd need to be removed, her skin had completely smoothed over, healed. Vanille had cured her.
Vanille sobered when she noticed Lightning touching the stitches. "Lightning…"
"I'm not gonna turn you in, Vanille."
"We're just trying to get by, you know." Vanille peeped, unusually serious. "To rebuild. Maybe find another place to call home."
"I understand, Vanille. Really." Lightning exhaled softly. "We can talk about this in the morning with everybody. Try to get some sleep 'till then."
"Okay." Vanille agreed softly. "Lightning… thanks. For everything."
When Vanille crawled back into bed initially, Fang wasn't there. She curled under the blanket and waited for her friend; Fang showed up a little while later. She scooted in behind Vanille. Vanille grinned, sliding to accommodate for her best friend's familiar comfort. "Did you wash your hands?"
"Shut up, Vanille." Fang replied without malice, cuddling in behind her. She fixed the blanket over both of them.
"Lightning is really pretty." Vanille snuggled. "I think she likes you; and we all know, you like her…"
"Vanille," Fang warned.
"You should kiss her." Vanille decided. "Whip her right off her feet with it! Make her all happy and gooey inside."
"Are we still talking about my kiss?"
"Fangg!" Vanille admonished, swatting back at her."You're so bad." Vanille smiled a little more. "Lightning would probably love it."
Fang's arm wound around her stomach, tugging her back. "Go to sleep, Vanille."
"G'night, Fang. Keep your dreams from being too sweet while I'm here!" Fang nudged her belly. Vanille chuckled.
"Good night, Vanille." Fang closed her eyes, small smile tugging her lips. It wasn't home, but maybe it would do after all.