Hey guys, so this if my first ever fanfic, have got 3 more chapters planned after this one, but will only complete and upload them if your feedback says so because I don't see the point in continuing a storyline that no-one is reading :P So please leave feedback, both constructive and positive, it would be greatly appreciated because I have never done anything like this before and feedback/reviews will hopefully help me develop my skills.

Anyways my story is set after the ending of FFXIII and incorporates some of the events in FFXIII-2 except that Hope does not go and try to find his dad. Hope you enjoy reading it and I look forward to hearing from you all ^_^

Oh and All characters and some story aspects are owned primarily by Square Enix, though the general story is mine :)

Paradigm Shift: Rapid Growth - Chapter 1

Base of Cocoons Pillar (000AF)

Snow lifted Serah off her feet and into a tight embrace; this was the first time the couple had met since the blonde had seen the younger Farron turn to crystal. Sazh and Dajh had also been reunited for the first time since the events in Nautilus and Sazhs chocobo chick was chirping happily to finally be reunited with the former Sanctum l'cie.

Everybody was happy.

Everybody had somebody.

Everybody but Hope that was.

Hope looked straight passed the 2 heart-warming reunions taking place in front of him. He scanned the horizon with those large aqua eyes, just searching for a familiar face. Deep down Hope knew that there would be nobody, Vanille and Fang were encased in Cocoons pillar, even a miracle couldn't bring his mother back from the dead and his father had most likely been purged by the Sanctum. This didn't bother the silver haired boy much though, he had long ago come to terms with the death of his mother and he never had the strongest of relationships with his father anyway. Sure he was upset that he had lost Fang and Vanille, but he was never that close to Fang and he could never quite shake the feeling that Vanille had more than just friendly intentions.

The silverette turned around to look behind him and was greeted by nothing but a sharp gust of wind and empty Pulsian fields. Hope felt a pang in his heart, something was missing or, more specifically, someone was missing.

'Wait… Snow, where is my sister? Where is Claire?' Serah had pulled away from her fiancé and was now staring up at him with angst.

'Don't worry, sis couldn't have gone far' Snow replied with his usual cocky grin.

Overhearing the conversation Sazh started issuing orders 'Well she is bound to be around here somewhere, right? Why don't we split up and try and find her? '

'Snow, you and Serah head east, over to those cliffs, me and Dajh will head west and Hope you and urrhh…' There was an awkward pause as Sazh realised that Hope was alone and had nobody to pair up with.

'Why don't you just stay here in case soldier girl comes back?' Sazh chose his words carefully as to try and avoid upsetting the younger former l'cie.

He did not succeed.

Hope didn't need Sazhs pity, he did not accept it. He had become stronger under Lights command and knew he was more than capable of searching for her on his own. Besides, Hope refused to stand by and do nothing whilst Light was missing, the former l'cie and guardian corps soldier had become like a mother figure to him, probably because their meeting coincided with the death of his mother. However since the group landed on Pulse for the first time and Hope had been able to summon his Eidolon, he had begun to feel less and less like a burden and thus Lightning had become less of the protective mother figure he had come to associate her with, now his feelings were more…. complex. Hope shook these thoughts from his head, he knew now was not the time to be dealing with them.

'Actually, I think I'll go and check nearer to the pillar, I guess I'll have to get used to being alone anyway' Hope retaliated to Sazh as he snapped out of his trail of thought.

Those words stung Sazh, as he knew he had upset the silver haired boy.

'Well, we'll rendezvous back here in around 20 minute's …okay kid?' Those were the only words Sazh could muster up as Hope began to make his way towards the base of Cocoons pillar.

Hope was making his way to the base of the pillar when he saw the sun begin to reflect off an object in the distance and straight into his large, but strangely cute, aqua orbs. Hope felt his pace begin to pick up, and before he knew it he was sprinting towards the glimmering object on the floor. As he drew closer to the mysterious object, he began to faintly recognise its size and shape, though this was not clear as the sun was still reflecting off the object and into his eyes thus hindering his vision, whatever this object was, it was clearly well looked after. When he got within a few steps of the object, he realised he was in only a few metres away from the base of the crystal pillar. He looked down at the object, shielding his eyes from the sun which was now reflecting off the crystal pillar.

Hopes heart sunk as he realised that the object before him was the knife which Serah had given to Lightning as her 21st birthday present, which in turn had been passed onto him during his mission to avenge his mother's death. Only now was he realising the irony of Serah purchasing the weapon which may have been used to murder her fiancé.

Hope stared at the knife for a few minutes, before finally bending down and grasping it in his hands. He took off one of his gloves using his teeth and began to caress the handle of the blade up and down with the fingers on his bare hand, somehow when he did this, it made him feel closer to Lightning, he could even smell her scent on the handle.

That's when everything dawned on Hope. Lightning was nowhere to be seen and he had found her knife at the base of the crystal pillar…. Could it be possible that Lightning had also turned to crystal and was helping Vanille and Fang support Cocoon?

'No. There has to be some other explanation. Light wouldn't just leave me like this. She wouldn't! She promised that she wouldn't abandon me!'

Hope's legs gave way, he fell on to his knees and began to quietly sob. Hope was in turmoil. His heart was telling him that Lightning couldn't be gone, that she wouldn't just abandon him like this. On the other hand his brain had reached a conclusion… she was trapped in crystal inside the pillar with Vanille and Fang.

Hope realised that he was supposed to meet up with the others a long time ago and that they would probably be worrying about him by now. He slowly stood up, dusted himself off, brushed the silver locks out of his face, wiped the tears from his eyes and started heading back to the rendezvous point, still hoping that one of the other groups would have found her and she would be standing there waiting for him.

Hopes heart skipped a beat when he drew closer and saw a girl with pink hair running towards him, but he was sent tumbling back down to reality when he saw it was just the younger Farron sister.

'Well, did you find anything? Do you know where my sister is?'

Hope extended both of his arms, his right arm placing the object he was clutching into Serahs palm and his left hand cupping the back of her hand reassuringly.

'It's Lightning's knife, I found it near the base of the pillar'.