Welcome to the first chapter of "Lingering Doubts"! This is a Noel X Yeul fanfiction (with possibly a bit of Noel X Serah mentioned) and it is continuous (sometimes I wonder what I get myself into when I make so many continuous fanfictions). This is the semi-sequel to my One-shot "The Only Thing that Mattered". I just thought you would like to know that but don't worry, it is recommended that you read it sometime but you don't really have to considering that it doesn't really have that much spoilers and stuff in it. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters/places/etc. for Final Fantasy XIII/XIII-2. Everything belongs to its owners.

Chapter 1: Lingering Doubts

Darkness was all he could see, but then again, that was becoming more common with each passing day. Chaos had been released into the world a little bit over two weeks ago and since that day, the darkness had been growing. Caius was dead, probably being the cause of the whole mess.

No, he thought, it's all my fault. I shouldn't have killed him. I should have been able to stop him. If I would have, Serah wouldn't have…

Noel brought his hand down angrily on the metal table in front of him, not being able to finish his thoughts.

"Sometimes, I think you could cause an earthquake in Pulse and bring down Cocoon with that hand," a voice said from behind him.

"Hope…" he started angrily, even though his friend was only trying to help.

"I know," Hope stated as he came to sit beside Noel, "but listen Noel, not everything is your fault."

Noel sighed, knowing that his friend was right, but some part of him didn't want to admit it; the part known as pride.

"I just wish I could have been able to save her…" Noel trailed off. Hope nodded, completely understanding what his friend was going through.

"So, how are you doing settling in? Is everything ok so far?" Hope asked, changing the subject.

Noel looked over at his silver haired friend, saddened to see that the same grief and compassion that he was feeling was reflected in his friend's blue eyes.

"Yeah, everything's fine so far. Thanks for letting me stay here," Noel said, trying to forget about what was always on his mind; for Hope's sake at least.

"That's good. And don't think you are being a burden, because you're not," Hope stated, almost reading Noel's mind.

"I know, but there are so many other people that need your help that I just…" Noel started but trailed off, not sure of what to say. He looked down at the ground, the events of what had happened since he left his dying world now invading his mind again. The memories stopped when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Noel, I know that there are a lot of people who need taken care of, especially now, but you are one of those people too, ok?" Hope said encouragingly before leaving the room.

Noel smiled a bit, remembering all of the tales he had heard from some of the people now taking residence in the New Cocoon about how Hope was now living up to his namesake; him now finding the talks very true.

His thoughts drifted back to before his adventure with Serah had begun, back to when he was in the dying world.

He should have known that something was wrong from the day that Caius had started to train him to become Yeul's new guardian. He hadn't known it until months later, but Caius never told him that Yeul could only have one guardian. Yeul had told him that bit of information; she had probably guessed that Caius hadn't told him yet and wanted to spare him of being lied to.

The day he found out that he would have to kill Caius to become Yeul's new guardian, things were never the same between him and his 'mentor'. Caius became more easily aggravated and pushed him to his limits on more than one occasion, taunting him that he needed to get better.

He knew now that Caius was probably only trying to get Noel to have a grudge on him or something so that it would be easier to kill his mentor, but that was never the case.

Noel knew that he would have never been able to kill Caius intentionally, that it was all an accident.

Sometimes he woke up at night, thinking that everything was a dream up until now. That would all change when he would head over to the closed window and pull back the blinds, seeing the darkness that was Chaos that lurked outside.

He would then get frustrated over what had happened and be in a raging fit for hours until he had exhausted himself to sleep fitfully.

He thought again of how Caius would continually tell him that he would have to kill him, no matter what.

What could he have possibly gained from that? Noel thought as he sighed.

Back when he had been in the dying world, he had talked with Yeul about these things. She had never told him the answer if she knew, but Noel didn't hold it against her. She was the only friend outside of Caius he had known back then; by that time, most of the population had already died out.

Noel walked over to the window that he had during the nights he had woken up, staring out at the darkness.

A bit of frustration and anger hit him, but it vanished quickly with what he thought about next.

Yeul had been with him on the journey; he knew that he felt her presence. She had promised him that she would see him again, but he didn't know when that would be. For all he knew, it could be years from now or when he finally died at the end of his life.

He exhaled through his nose slowly, trying to make sense of the whole thing, but the more he thought about it, the more confused he became.

Yeul… he thought with sadness, are some promises just meant to be broken?

So, how was that? I know it's a bit short, but the next chapter will be out soon. This was sort of like an introduction/recap chapter. I hope that I'm not going out of character too much, but please tell me if I am and I will try and fix it as best as I can. Also, this sort of created more of a backstory will Noel since not much was shown about his past before Final Fantasy XIII-2 started. One more thing, I might not update this as much since I have my other fanfictions to update, but please don't let that discourage you (I will be finishing "El Traicion" soon so that can give me more time to work on this)! The next chapter will be out soon! I hope you enjoyed this chapter and please review!