In a chair, Light had sat down, after a long and tiring fight against Caius. Breathing heavily, she snapped the chest plate off and let it drop to the ground. Blue eyes closed while she cast a curaga spell, removing the aches from her tired body. The pink haired woman had sighed, she knew that going to see Hope would be a major risk, but that was a little too close for comfort. Five minutes after her return up till now...

She could rest for a little while at least. Caius usually stays gone a while when he pulls out of the fight between the two of them. Her nerves were on edge, Light got back in time to deal with him, but still... Too close for comfort. If she were late, she hardly doubted Caius would wait for her to get back before attempting to destroy the goddess.

Will this ever be truely over? She wondered, knowing that Noel and Serah were trying to fight their way to a better future. Traveling the timelines, correcting paradoxes. Caius going along and setting some trouble up for the pair of them. It was fortunate that they got lucky and recovered Hope from the void. She knew they would if they didn't give up, just a one in a thousand chance of finding the right gate and searching that.

Long story short, they really got lucky.

Not often did Light find herself thinking about what will come after this fight is over. Would she remain in Valhalla or would she be allowed to leave? If she were to leave, what would she do then?

Logic stated that if she were to leave, she would want to be in the same time with her sister. It would be nice to stand beside Serah in a nice dress. To celebrate the union which she gave her blessings to while they were on the initial trip to save the world. When Snow had proven himself worthy of calling her sister.

What then? What would be for her? Light had looked into several possiblities, plenty of timelines. A couple things looked like they could be interesting, but there was actually one thing that caught her attention most off. Something that she couldn't really admit to anyone yet. After all, if she will never leave here, what would be the point in dragging many other people into something that can't ever be?

Hope.

She had seen what kind of man he would be through the events through time and his dreams. Hope was the kind of man that a lot of women tend to want. He had determination, intellegent, and the ability to understand her. She had seen his willingness to tolerate her in the worst of her moods. She can't say that she loves him in this moment, but she can say that she is willing to give him a chance. Won't say anything of it until she knows if she will make it out of Valhalla. He's been through enough.


3 Days Later: Acadamia Evening Hours

The work shift had just ended with everyone in a good mood. Or mostly everyone. Hope was just sort of there. Lively enough while he was distracted with work, melancholy while he was on break. While everyone looked up to him, they had accepted that this is how he is feeling.

"So, Director." Alyssa approached, curious expression on her face. She was testing the water naturally, hoping for a sign that not all hope is lost for a chance at scoring a date. "The girls have a date at the Empyrean, and we were wondering, erm... I was wondering... Would you like to join us?"

Hope didn't say anything as he stared off into the setting sun. Instead pulled out some notes that he was working on and starting to go over them. A frown tugged at the corner of his mouth. The Empyrean was a bar and dance club. It didn't take a hard guess to see what Alyssa was trying to do.

She had frowned, not liking the fact that Hope hadn't given her an answer. "Director? Would you like to go with us? I'll buy."

He had given a sigh, as if he wouldn't have wanted to have to give this answer. Hope shook his head, not taking his eyes of the blueprint that he already had memorized. "Alyssa, it's not that I don't appreciate what your trying to do. It's that I am not ready to even consider seeing another. There's nothing wrong with you, the problem is me."

He wanted to make it sound like he was giving her the benefit of the doubt, but he wasn't sure if that would work or not. Alyssa annoyed him over the last few years in his dreams, but could he really take that out on her? On some level, he had respect for her. Just not while she was trying to get in his pants.

"You see, what happened while I was in that void may not have been real to you, and easily classified as a dream, but it was for me. Even if these memories were false, I lived through three years of time before I was brought back. In those years, I was a married man whose marriage meant something more than anything else. Even if I am only going to have these memories as part of a dream, I still feel married in my heart. You don't come out of a marriage that aburptly ended and want to go dancing."

Alyssa had given him a look. "It was a dream though. . You should live a little. That is the only way to move on."

"I realize it was only a fragment of my imagination, but it mirrors what I wanted in my heart." Hope answered, running his hands through his hair. "It was real to me. I just am not willing to do anything more than work. Work is the only thing keeping me sane right now. Just go have your fun and leave me be."

Alyssa sighed, picking up her purse and headed out the door. "Fine, be that way. See you tomorrow."

When Hope felt that he was alone, he had set the book aside. Realizing he was a mess, he stared out the window. Gazing at the crystal that Fang and Vanille guarded. Maybe it was time to go to the base and see them? Given the distance, he supposed it would take a little bit of planning... It's been long enough, and maybe they can help him sort out his thoughts. Sometimes, going out there helped him continue just one more day.


Author's Note:

Yeah, I had realized that I had delivered a bit of a twist that I didn't originally intend. However, I wanted to try to do something that wouldn't have them just repeating another day without anything really plot wise. I am sorry this chapter is as short as it is, but I didn't want to leave you guys hanging without an update any longer.

I will be working on making plenty of details next chapter, and hope this somewhat made up for that cruel twist.