A/N: This is set after the canon ending. I didn't actually start shipping them until that scene, but at some point during that final sequence it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy. The characters are not mine. I am just playing with them.
Noel woke up to Hope kneeling next to him with a painfully worried look on his face. He saw a brief look of relief wash over his features before the worry took over once again.
"Noel, I'm glad you're finally awake. How do you feel?"
"Fine, thanks." That was a lie, but what else could he say?
"Are you sure? I checked for broken bones while you were out and everything seemed fine, but that doesn't mean you're actually fine at all."
"Yes, I really am fine," Noel shook his head to try to clear the cobwebs as Hope helped him to his feet. "I think I just need- "
A sudden need to vomit cut Noel off. He doubled over to retch although it was mostly just bile. Hope's hand on his back was a small comfort.
"Yeah, I did that, too. We need to be careful."
Between coughing and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand Noel managed to ask Hope where they were.
Hope answered with a short, hollow laugh.
"I was hoping you knew."
Noel stood up straight and looked around. The sky was nothing more than a dark, blurry canvas and the landscape wasn't much better.
"Well, we're either in a part of Valhalla I've never seen before or in the Void Beyond. Those would be my best guesses anyway."
"I thought as much." Hope kicked up some dirt with the toe of his boot. "I think the only thing to do is to pick a direction and start walking then. Any preferences?"
"No. They all look equally bleak to me."
"That's helpful." Hope took a step towards Noel and brushed past him on his newfound way.
"Hope!" Noel didn't move but shouted after him as he kept walking. "Hope! What are you doing?"
"Walking." Hope called back. "What does it look like?"
And since he didn't stop, Noel was forced to chase after him.
"That's not what I mean," Noel said as he grabbed Hope's arm and spun him around to face him. His eyes looked like he was about to cry but the rest of his face was pinched with anger.
"Then what do you mean?" Hope snapped.
"What about what just happened? Serah...the goddess... Aren't we going to talk about or at the very least acknowledge it?"
"No. I can't..." Hope covered his eyes for a second and took a breath. "Please, Noel. Let's just face it later. For now let's just keep doing what we can - which right now is pretty limited to walking. Please."
Noel froze for a moment.
"Okay." He dropped Hope's arm and backed away. Hope looked relieved.
Noel watched Hope's back for a few moments before starting after him, keeping a few paces behind. Hope was right. If Noel let himself stop to really think about what happened the weight of it would crush him before he could take another step.