Chapter 5:
Lightning

Friday, October 31st

"Hi." I said.

"Hi." Serah greeted back.

There was a pretty solid wall between us and it wasn't going to fall down anytime soon. I thought the words would come easy once Serah arrived, but they were locked securely inside my mind. What the hell could I say in a situation like this? What could ANYONE say that would sound plausible? She wordlessly watched me from across the table, her hands shifting up and down her mug of untouched hot chocolate.

"Serah…I know you think I'm crazy but I know it's you and you just don't remember anything." I said quietly.

"Faint memories have come back to me ever since our last conversation and we still have the photos." Serah finally looked up from her drink. "Photos, fuzzy memories, and a gut feeling can't prove I'm your sister."

I placed my hand over her's and drew in a deep breath. "Take a DNA test with me to make sure, to clear this whole thing up. I'll drive-"

"Hold on, I'm still trying to process what you told me last week!" Serah cut me off and ran a hand through her curly pink locks. "I'm not ready for something like that. At least…not until I have a gut feeling like yours telling me that we're related."

But at this rate, it'll take months! I need to know NOW! I wanted to say that, but I held my tongue. Saying something so aggressive like that while she's still trying to figure this whole thing out isn't the best idea in the world. Patience is what I needed but after searching for her for ten years, I couldn't stand to be patient any longer; I just wanted to be with her again.

"Claire…" I snapped out of my thoughts at the sound of my real name, the name little Serah always called me by. "Can you show me some pictures of us? Maybe seeing some of us together will jog my memory and again, I don't want to take that DNA until I have more memories like you."

I sat there for a second before her request slipped into my brain and I smiled at her. Serah stood up and followed me into my room as I carefully pulled out the box of pictures from its usual spot under my bed. Serah took a seat beside me, already holding the framed family photo that sat on my nightstand.

"This is us…right?" She confirmed.

"Yeah, you still even have that same side ponytail." I playfully flicked her ponytail and dug out a stack of photographs from the depths of the box.

"Your first day of school, remember?" I handed her a photo of the two of us in front of a bus, Serah wearing a white and pink dress and me wearing black cargo pants and a t-shirt. "You were so scared and you made me sit next to you on the bus for the first two weeks of school."

Serah studied it for a while, her brow furrowed in concentration. "A little bit…I just remember I was crying during lunch-"

"And they had to pull me out of class to comfort you!" I finished. So she DOES remember something!

"What's this one?" Serah pulled out a picture of the whole family piled into a horse-drawn carriage.

"That's mom and dad," I pointed to their joyous faces. "We both got our pink hair from mom and our eyes from dad; remember how he used to call you 'candy' whenever you were sad?"

A pot of confusion, anticipation, and excitement brewed inside my room during that time; confusion added by Serah, anticipation added by me, and excitement from both of us. Serah and I pulled out more and more photographs as small fragments slowly began to rebuild her memories before adoption; memories I shared with her. We laughed and playfully swatted at each other's snarky comments like they we probably would have if we grew up together while going through our teen years. Serah had the most fun making fun of my fluffy hair as a little kid and I pointed out how cubby she used to be, pinching her cheeks for emphasis.

"Claire, you're crying."

I put a hand to my face and sure enough, trails of tears had fallen down my face during the time we had been talking. Funny, I never noticed I was crying. Was it from laughter? I don't think I've ever done that in my life…

"Are you okay?" Serah placed her hand on my shoulder.

I nodded and dried my eyes on my sleeve. "Yeah I am…do you remember now?"

"I do but…I want time to think about this first. If we are truly sisters than a lot is going to change, more for me than you." Serah explained.

Part of me wanted to smack her across the face and scream at her to take the damn test with me but the other, more rational part, told me to wait. This is heavy, especially for Serah, and things will change if she decides to take the test and it comes back positive. My patience will have to hold on just a little longer; if it's lasted me ten years then I'm sure it can hold on for another couple weeks.

"You're right, just give me a call when you know what you want to do." I explained.

Serah then embraced me tightly and I stood there for a second, taken aback but then hugged her back. I thought back to when she sat in my arms, trembling during a storm, and I would hold her like I was now while dad told jokes to take her mind off the storm. I silently prayed that more moments like these would come soon but I could only hope and wait for Serah's answer.

Friday, November 7th

"You found her! Oh, Light that's great!" Hope exclaimed from across the table.

I smiled. "I did but she doesn't believe me…I showed her pictures and she vaguely remembers time with me but she's still in denial." I explain, picking up an eel roll from the platter at the center of the table.

The following Friday during my family dinner, I told my family the news; my mom nearly dropped her sushi and Hope nearly knocked over the soy sauce. Their joyous expressions and my mom's glassy eyes told me they were happy for me and the fact that my ten-year search had ended. I was happy too but…I would be even happier if Serah thought of me as her sister and not just a friend with crazy theory.

"Give her some time to take it in, she's probably in shock." My dad said. "But once she gets over it, I'm sure she'll come to terms with it." He gently pats my back.

"When that happens you should invite her over, I'd love to meet her; she sounds like a sweet girl." My mom took another sushi roll.

I nod. "She is, and oddly enough she's also friends with Fang's cousin."

"Really?" Hope laughed. "Talk about a small world…"

"Now that you've said that, I'm surprised you haven't met each other until now…Serah that is." My dad says, taking his plate to the sink.

"I guess it is but I've only met Vanille a few times." I reply.

"That doesn't matter." My mom shakes her head. "But what does matter is the fact that you found her." My mom put a hand on my shoulder and smiled at me.

My phone then buzzed violently in my pocket. I held up one finger and pulled it out, hoping to the sweet voice of Serah's confirmation of my request that I had been waiting for all week.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Claire, it's Serah. Do you have a moment?" Serah greeted.

I pointed to my phone and mouthed Serah to my mom. She nodded and pointed to the living room, where I could talk to her in peace.

"Yes, what is it?" I replied as I took on a seat on the couch.

"I decided I want to take the DNA test with you." My heart nearly started dancing. "I've been having these dreams about us based on the photos for the past few days and the subject also hasn't left my mind."

"When can you do it? I can schedule an appointment now if you have time within the next few days." I explained smiling (full teeth and everything, a rare one) to myself.

"Sundays are usually best, but I can't just tell my parents, 'Hey I'm going out for the day because my friend claims I'm her younger sister and we're going to a DNA test to prove it' What do I tell them?" Serah pointed out.

"You're out with Vanille for the day; you hang out with her a lot, right? Your parents won't suspect anything." I suggested. At least, I hope they won't… "So this Sunday will be good?"

Serah was quiet on the other line for a few moments. "Yes."

"Meet me at the café where we met and I'll drive to the geneticist's office, okay?" I ran my hand through my hair

"Okay, but Claire?" Serah's voice shrank.

"Yes?"

"If the test comes back negative can you promise me not to show me anymore photos or even talk about this again? It's caused me enough anxiety and if it comes back negative I don't want to do another one to cause more." She asked.

What is she talking about? Of course it will come back positive, we're sisters! I didn't want to shoot down her request but I wanted to let her know how ridiculous it sounded. I held my tongue for both, I just want her to be happy whether she knows we're related or not.

"I promise." I said finally.

Contact is all it takes
To change your life, to lose your place in time
Contact, asleep or awake
Coming around you may wake up to find

Questions deep within your eyes
Now more than ever, you realize

And then you sense a change, nothing feels the same
All your dreams are strange, love comes walkin' in
Some kind of alien, waits for the opening, simply pulls a string

Another world, some other time
You lay your sanity on the line
Familiar faces, familiar sights
Reach back, remember with all your might

Love Walks In by Van Halen


I am BEYOND sorry for taking forever to update this! A mix of no motivation and writer's block has contributed massively to this but I promise I'm back and hope to get another chapter in before my summer break is over in about a month.

I'm neutral on how this came out, I have about 1/4 of the next chapter written and it's so much better than this one. I actually just really wanted to update this one because I've been paying too much attention to my Superfamily fic Family Moments. I've also been working on my original novel so you can all safely assume I've been busy XD

Enjoy!
~Yukihikari-chan