His Hands

Disclaimer: I do not own the Final Fantasy franchise.

xXWarningXx: There are minor spoilers for any one who hasn't played the game.

He had beautiful hands.

She watched him in a kind of dream as he bustled about making camp. He crouched like a widcat a few paces in front of her in those ridiculous pants while his nimble fingers worked to start a fire. She would've been helping him but she'd had the unfortunate luck of twisting her ankle during their tussle with the last monster and, like the worrier he was, he insisted she take a breather while he did the job this time. Dear Etro, he'd even had the gall to tell her she deserved a rest.

A sudden flame sprung up from the coals and he admired his handiwork for a second before slapping his knees with those gorgeous palms and standing in one swift motion. He turned to her to inform that he was going for a quick hunt for food and she only nodded with a serene smile; her own, gloved digits brushing over a sleeping Mog's belly in her lap. Noel gave a jerk of his head in reply and stalked off, looking at her almost every few minutes as if to make sure she hadn't disappeared while his back was turned.

He returned dragging a large, silver beast by the tail slung over a shoulder and gripped with his hand's amazing strength and Serah had to marvel quietly at it. As he skinned and gutted their meal to prepare for dinner, she observed the skilled motions he used - so fast and methodical. She mentally compared his hands to Snow's - his that would over-power Noel's with sheer size, but she couldn't keep from coming to the conclusion that they'd be equal in fortitude. Noel would not go down without a fight.

She sometimes found herself wondering what his hand would feel like clasped with hers. Oh, they'd held hands lots of times...mostly when they were running to escape from danger and she needed aid to stay in pace with his long strides, but what she desired was different. Her hands were always covered, so she never felt the creases of his palms against hers. They never laced fingers. It was like some unspoken agreement between them. Too intimate. To say nothing of prior obligations.

Fear of getting too close did nothing to temper her fantasies, however, and she would more often than not find herself imagining very heated scenarios. Normally she'd just give herself a good shudder and it'd all be over, but tonight it was taking an unusually lengthy amount of time to travel to that threshold. Her lazy grin widened as she listened to him begin mumbling to himself, his deep, soothing voice not doing much of any good for her reverie. He pulled the gauntlet off of his left arm to hopefully make his task less clumsy and her silly mind could only conjure up those same movements slowly prying her gloves off, his fingertips stealthily ghosting her skin as he arrested her gaze solidly with his eyes made of ocean water...

"Don't let your face get stuck that way."

Her eyelids fluttered rapidly and she sucked in a breath (how long had she been withholding it?) to clear herself and drop back into the present. Noel was staring at her with his brows furrowed and a shallow, but concerned frown on his full lips. "You were looking at me funny. Something you want to talk about?" He was at her service now - almost like a knight.

A hero.

Serah furiously shook her head and her mouth opened to a full smile in reassurance.

"No. It's nothing. Just tired, I guess." She airily replied with a windy chuckle, fiddling with her necklace as if to distract him. Noel brought his chin down closer to his chest but could still see her from the tops of his eyeballs and his dark brows slid up to hide under his bangs. He blinked at her languidly. She'd seen this look before: he didn't believe her one iota. He apparently decided to let it be, though, for he rotated a broad shoulder and returned to what he was doing. Serah immediately drifted back into her haze preceding and her robin's egg orbs settled on his elegant hands once again.

He always made big gestures with them. Expressive as he was, his emotions came out of his hands as well as in his facial features and his seductively low tones. He let himself get carried away at times, his whole arms coming into play at intervals. This is honestly what she enjoyed about him the most. Being alone in his home world would've made him bottle any feeling when coming in contact with anyone else, but with her, he was animated and alive. She didn't like seeing him sad. He was someone who needed to be all over the place, happy and content.

"Like hell it's nothing."

Whoops. Caught again.

But he was smirking at her this time, evidently amused that she seemed to be checking him out.

"You can tell me, Serah. I won't judge you." He said, humor burning akin to hot crystal in his words and she had to laugh, but she still refused to bestow what was earning her attention.

"I know you won't, but it's okay. It's -"

"It most assuredly is not and you are going to spill it right this minute or you're cooking your own supper." He joked, removing his touch from the homemade spit he'd thrown together to prove his point. Serah gave an mockingly exasperated sigh as if annoyed by his incessant poking, but her mirthful antics suggested otherwise. She lifted a pointer finger away from Mog's wobbling tummy to tap her the side of her jaw, pretending to think hard about admitting her private musings. Noel waited patiently despite his jest.

"You have lovely hands."

He plainly didn't expect this answer by how quickly his blithe expression slid away and he indolently brought the aforementioned appedages into his view in a practically hesitant manner to investigate her claim. He spun them in half circles, back-to-front, mesmerized by the body that he lived in for eighteen years, yet never truly appraised until now. He finally lowered them and gave her an arched forehead in a repudiated fashion. Serah rolled her eyes good-naturedly.

"Noel, I'm serious. They're very...graceful and refined." She was totally straight-forward and sincere.

"And I get the inkling that you got a skull fracture, too, when that monster tripped you, huh?"

"What? No! I'm..." She trailed off when she heard him burst out in laughter, hiding it behind a fist so as not to awaken Mog. She pursed her lips at him then and shifted so that she faced the other direction. "You jerk." She huffed, crossing her arms over her chest with emphasis to show her irritation. "I was trying to give you a compliment."

"By basically declaring my hands are pretty. I worry for my manhood, Serah!" He quipped, but he layed off when he saw her nose stick up in the air to make a show out of ignoring him. His jocular attitude softened. "Ah, don't be like that. You know I'm teasing. If it makes you feel better, I'm grateful that you even noticed." He didn't like it when she was mad at him, despite the fact they were genuinely just messing with each other. She declined to look at him for awhile, but eventually she threw a forgiving, pouty beam over her shoulder at him.

"Apology accepted." She said with a nearly flirty shrug as she spun on her bottom back around, carefully balancing Mog to a more comfortable position in her lap. "...I guess." She tossed in for a measure of superiority, stretching her neck in a dare of him to be defiant. Noel only scoffed and went back to fiddling with the turn spit.

He was busying himself by not acknowledging the writhing of his heart in his chest.

Noel glared down at his trembling hands, horrified in the realization of the crime he'd just commited.

"I killed...the Goddess?" He fell to his knees, distraught. It was his fault Serah was gone. Not only did he fail to protect her from her visions, but he was the cause of her... He gazed down to his fingers again, clawed against the metal of Sazh's ship.

*You have lovely hands...*

Yeah, well, these "lovely" hands were the reason her life had been snuffed out of existence.

What irony...

A/N: Welp, there is my first Final Fantasy fanfiction. I've recently fallen head-over-heels in love with the SerahxNoel pairing. I have the deeply, deeply sinking feeling they will never be canon, but I don't care. They are perfect and that is all that matters to me.

I wrote this little piece because Noel has got EXTREMELY nice hands and I watched some of the parts where they had to hold on to each other and I noticed they never twined their fingers. Thus, this viginette was born.

Listening To: "9 Crimes" by Damian Rice. This is my offcial Noerah theme song.