Noel didn't get it.
He truly didn't.
Hope Estheim, by his viewpoints so far, seemed like a reserved, light humored type of guy.
He's mostly on the reserved trait because he noticed how Alyssa clung to Hope and how Hope politely rejected her advances.
It was normal, or so he assumed, that girls would be entranced by Hope Estheim's demeanor. He's got quite the looks… his hair is a nice silvery color and it gleams in the light and his eyes are absolutely-
He stops his train of thought there because it's sounding as if he's one of those Academy girls.
Which he isn't.
But that isn't the main point of his confusion.
He noticed that Hope, the 24 year old Academy director not his past self because he never met younger Hope, seemed to be a calm person that had personal boundaries.
So he was slightly taken aback when all of a sudden, Snow Villiers, Serah's fiancé and total 'Hero' persona, had greeted Hope with a tight and secure embrace.
Snow had managed to fix his time traveling issue and had landed right in Academia, after of course spilling Alyssa's true evil motives and saving the day like the hero he should be.
It wasn't until the whole mess was cleared when he actually took a second look at Hope and gave the silver haired leader a hug.
A hug that Hope Estheim, supposedly a person Noel thought kept to himself had returned the embrace with equal force.
The hug didn't confuse Noel.
No it definitely wasn't that, although he did get a sort of weird drop in his stomach…
It was the way he noticed Hope's fingers gripping Snow's back as if it was he to let go Snow would disappear. It was the way he noticed Snow's arms wrapped around Hope's waist much lower than a normal embrace should be. It was the way Hope's expression detailed his face.
Sure his eyes were clenched shut be he could see the way Hope was feeling.
Relieved. Happy. Shocked. In love.
Noel didn't get why he felt just a bit more resentful towards Snow.
He really had no purpose on hating the guy in the first place. Their first encounter wasn't all rainbows and sunshine, but Snow approved of him so he should at least be considerate.
It's probably just the fact that even as the two males let go of each other, Snow didn't.
The blonde had kept his arm around Hope's shoulders and he unquestionably saw the way Snow's fingers did a light squeeze on the silverette's shoulder.
Hope, on the other hand, made no move to push Snow away from his personal space. Instead, he gave a light warm smile toward Snow as they caught up.
Noel had tried to get answers from Serah, but then he knew that she knew as well and that she wasn't doing anything to stop them.
Noel had a frown on his features as he realized that maybe he had felt something deeper for Hope Estheim over time of getting to know him, but he had no chance to act on them.
It seems like the heroalready beat him to it.