Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy, or any of the characters used in this fic. They all belong to Square Enix and their respective designers. I only own any of my original characters that I choose to include, as well as any of my own original plot ideas.

From The Inside

"Save it for next time, kiddo."

Save it? For when; why? He's been saving it from the start, trying to determine just how he should arrange his words, give them bite. And now, he's being chided like a little boy, sent off to play while the adults take care of their business.

Afraid of looking foolish, weak, he runs off, muttering that they certainly will meet again.

But, as he looks back, watching Snow pound at the crystal, Hope is disappointed. He's being pushed aside, postponed, for the sake of this girl encased in stone. Yet, he thinks, were his mother in her place, he'd push everyone aside, too. But it isn't his mother. It's Lightning's sister; Snow's blushing bride-to-be.

Hope finds that he just doesn't care.

Go back there and say something! His feet keep moving as he trails along behind the others. He doesn't hear Vanille calling his name, urging him to keep up. Why are you so weak? Why can't you say something? What do you want to say to him, anyway?

Hope stops, looks back over his shoulder at Snow, and scowls. He can feel himself crying now.

"You killed her," he rehearses to himself. "You killed her... and I hate you..."