A/N: A random little one-shot I thought up of after playing the game. Enjoy. :)
Special shoutout to BRANDY721 for making a beautiful, lovely picture for this little fic! Used as the cover art for this story. Check out her tumblr for more awesome art! brandylog dot tumblr dot com! :)
Summary: When I gazed into my own future, I expected to see many things. My own wedding day. My sister, smiling. My husband at my side. And happiness. Pure bliss. But nothing could have prepared me for what I saw instead…
Noel is looking at me with worry in his eyes. He's searching me for answers, an explanation, while I lay in his arms, still feeling dizzy. I cover my eyes with my hand and try to refocus. I try to recall previous events before I had the vision. I had been standing here, before the gate, with Noel beside me. We were about to head in when it had hit me. I started having palpitations and I broke out into a cold sweat while the world around me swayed.
And then I blinked and everything changed. I opened my eyes to the sound of waves crashing against the shore, of seagulls soaring overhead. The sun was setting and it cast a warm orange glow over everything before night would soon settle.
My home. But was it my time?
I opened my eyes and drank it all in. The beach was abandoned but everything was just as I remembered it. The houses were all intact, the entire island looking exactly the same way from when I had left. Nothing was amiss but the people. I searched, my feet leaving prints in the white sand but there was no one, nothing. Not even a sound, except for the water and birds.
Until I moved a little farther down the shore, anyways. I saw him then. A child. He had his back to me, crouched down and working on what looked like to be a sand castle. He was so engrossed in what he was doing that he didn't seem to hear my footsteps when I approached.
I tried to speak, to ask him where everyone was and what was going on, but the words that left my mouth were not mine.
"Finished yet?" I asked, my voice sounding cheery.
I panicked and wondered why and when I'd lost control of my own body. It was my body, of that I was sure. The visions had never happened like this before. I was always the observer but now…now I didn't have a clue as to what was going on.
The little boy didn't turn around to look at me, still busy adding sand into his red bucket, his hands coated with dirt as the water crept close by.
"Not yet! I'm gonna try to make it bigger!" He cried enthusiastically.
His hair was a mass of soft, light brown waves on his head, moving delicately in the warm summer breeze. He was small and I judged that he was probably no older than five or six. He couldn't have been one of my students; he was too young. But I couldn't recognize him. I'd need to see his face. But I had no control. I was helpless as I crouched next to him and started building the sand castle.
"Then let's work on it together." I hear myself say.
I could feel the rough texture of the sand between my fingertips, taste the salt in the air, see the way my fingers worked and manipulated the sand. It was all so real and yet, I couldn't turn my head. I couldn't make myself to look at the boy beside me no matter how hard I tried. I just smiled and filled the bucket for him.
He paused then and I heard him ask, "I want dad to see it! He'd think it was so cool! I bet he's never built one this high before!"
I giggle softly and finally turn my attention to him. He's looking up at me with these big eyes, so blue and infinite…beneath a fringe of dark lashes. I find myself thinking he has the most beautiful eyes.
His nose is small and curved and his lips are shaped like a ribbon, soft and pink. His cheeks are chubby and rosy and when he smiles, he reveals a gap where his tooth would grow.
He looks familiar to me. Too adorable for me not to be able to place a name to his face. I would know someone so distinctive. But I can't remember, not even when I try.
"How about we take a picture when we're done and show that to dad? Just in case he isn't here before the tide rises, hmm?" It's my voice that's reassuring him.
But in that moment, his smile fades and his small shoulders slump. There's disappointment in his eyes and I find myself feeling terrible. I dust off the sand from my hands and place an arm around him.
"Hey now, no pouty faces!" I say, trying to sound stern.
He doesn't look up at me.
I sigh, "I promise you that one day, when your dad gets back, I'll make sure he sits here and helps you build the greatest sandcastle in history!"
He looks up at me now, his eyes shining with hope and delight and I find myself smiling, "Really? You think he will?"He asks me eagerly.
I nod, "Of course!"
He seems satisfied with this and we return to building. He's more focused now, chewing on his bottom lip as he manipulates the sand beneath his short, little fingers. I help him and playfully put a trickle of sand on the tip of his small nose.
He sneezes and I laugh but then he picks up a bunch of sand with both his arms and stares at me mischievously. In fits of laughter, I stand up and step away while he gives chase. The sand slips between his arms but he still gives pursuit and I can't stop laughing. Finally, he falls over in the sand and my laughter stops.
I find myself consumed with worry and I rush over to his side.
"Oh, sweetie, you aren't hurt anywhere are you?" I crouch next to him and look for any sign of injury.
In that moment he pounces on me and starts tickling everywhere. He isn't very effective because he's young and he hurts me more than he tickles but I laugh anyways and play along because it's making him happy. I kick off my sandals and my feet are in the air until he grows tired of the game. His small body collapses on me, his cheek resting against my collarbone and his soft, baby brown hair tickles my chin. His breaths come in heavy as he cools off and I stroke his hair tenderly.
"Mommy," He starts.
"Hmm?" I ask, closing my eyes as the fading sun warms my face.
Wait…Did he just call me…?
"Will daddy be back tomorrow?" He asks me, his voice soft and sad.
I continue to play with his lovely hair but I can't believe it.
This was my future.
This was my son.
I would have a son?
And I would raise him in New Bodhum?
But…where was Snow?
Where was Lightning?
What happened to my wedding day?
"Maybe…I don't know for sure. But he promised and you know how daddy is with his promises." I say, interjecting my own thoughts.
He sighs and I wrap my arms around him, protectively. I am consumed with emotion for this child and so I cradle him, wanting to keep him safe and with me forever.
"Mom, you're doing it again! I can't breathe!" He takes in a dramatic breath of air and I laugh, loosening my grip on him enough so that he can move.
"Daddy never breaks his promises. So then he will come back!" He cries excitedly.
He climbs off of me and runs on little legs towards the sand castle. I watch after him, memorizing the way the sunlight adds strands of golden blonde to his hair. I sit up and hug myself, my eyes never leaving him. Would Snow leave me again? Would he leave his own child?
No, none of that sounded right.
Those eyes, that hair. They weren't mine. And they weren't Snow's. The boy's nose and his lips and the wave of his hair were all mine. That much, I could see.
When he turned to wave at me, to wave me over, I finally realized it. Why he seemed so familiar to me.
I knew. In that instant I knew. But just as I stood and waved back, he started to disappear. He was fading, this little boy. Time slowed as his little body jumped and his arm moved against the orange sky above his head. His blue, blue eyes were for me and his smile, still missing that tooth, was also for me. His mother. His mom. He called me 'mommy'.
It was beautiful. I was so overwhelmed. To think that I would be a mother to a boy so beautiful and so happy. I didn't want him to fade, I didn't want the image to go away. I wanted to keep him. But I knew I wouldn't. He would disappear until nothing was left. Not the white of his polo shirt or even his navy blue swim shorts. The paleness of his skin melded and vanished into the background and even the beach was gone, taking with it the sun and my home and everything.
That was when I had come to in Noel's arms. He was looking at me with so much worry and concern. He had no idea what happened. He didn't know what I had seen. But he wiped at my cheek with the pad of his calloused thumb and it was then that I realized I had been crying.
"Serah…" He whispered my name, his voice a soft caress against my skin.
He stroked my hair away from my face and I found myself staring at his eyes and remembering.
My son's eyes. My son would have his eyes.
I sat up and wiped at my face. He didn't leave my side, still worried I'd fall again.
"Are you okay now?" He asks me.
I nod, still shaken by the vision I had. Still seeing the fading boy from my future.
"What did you see…?" He asks.
"Nothing!" I'm quick to the defense.
I can't tell him. I can't possibly say it.
"We both know that's a lie…" He says.
"How do you know I'm lying?" I argue.
He sighs, "Because, when you fainted, you said something about an alternate future. A different timeline. A chance at a different life. I didn't hear much because you were mumbling but I got the gist."
"A different…timeline?" I repeat, wondering.
Of course. What I saw was my own future. Nothing solid, only a possibility.
But that was my son.
Did that mean…there was a chance he would never exist? Was that why he faded away? Because he's from an uncertain future?
My head hurt. I didn't want to think about it. The thought of losing that future frightened me but the thought of a different future wasn't any less scary.
I looked at Noel then and studied him. He quirked up an eyebrow back but didn't say anything.
"I saw…I saw my home. And sandcastles. I was building a sandcastle." I say.
"That's it?" He asks.
"And…I was happy. So happy. It was a good future, I think. One I'd like to maybe keep." I smile genuinely as I think about it.
To marry Noel. To be with him. It didn't sound so bad at all. Actually, it wasn't bad. I didn't think I'd mind.
"Well, I guess that's…good? Maybe we can build sandcastles later whenever you start feeling down." He laughs.
I laugh with him. It was so silly.
But now things were different. I'd seen my son. And he had filled me with so much happiness and so much joy. I wanted that future, now that I was given a taste of it. And as I walked behind Noel and watched his back, all I could think of was him, playing in the sand and laughing.
A/N: Any type of feedback is welcomed. :)