Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a fantastic time with your family and friends. This story actually formed in my brain months ago and I've been waiting for Christmas to post it. If you haven't figured it out yet, I like to take our lovely L'Cie and put them in situations I see out and about in real life or in other games, TV shows, books, etc. My imagination has a habit of doing that... Call it unoriginal if you must but it's damn funny up here in my head.
I hope you enjoy and I apologize for the ending. Writing endings is not one of my strengths at the moment.
Anyway, insert the usual disclaimer about how I own nothing and do not profit from doing this and now, on to reading!
Lightning glared at the box. It was bad enough she was standing in front of her house in the snow in just a t-shirt and thin lounge pants instead of being inside the comforting warmth of her house next to the fire, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and a candy cane. One of Lightning's silliest guilty pleasures in life was candy canes and she wanted one right now, damn it. It had been such a pain in the ass to find them this year and the box at her feet was to blame for her current lack of peppermint goodness. Lightning's glare intensified. If she had the ability to shoot fire from her eyes the cardboard would have long since turned to ash along with the strings of lights within.
"My house does not need to be decorated, Serah."
The younger Farron crossed her arms and gave Lightning a glare to rival the soldier's. Honestly, Serah wished her sister could just get into the holiday spirit a little bit. "Come on, Light. It's Christmas! And not just any Christmas," She raised her arms above her head in a grand gesture, "it's our first Christmas on Pulse!"
"Gran Pulse!" shouted an accented voice from inside the house.
Lightning rolled her eyes and Serah huffed, "How does Fang do that?"
Lightning shrugged. "Good hearing is a requirement for hunters." Lightning actually enjoyed Fang's absurdly good hearing. It meant she could tease her Pulsian lover with the quietest of whispers even when the others were around without anyone being any wiser. Sure, she always had more marks that she had to cover up the next day before work, but in Lightning's mind it was so very worth it.
Serah sighed and bent down to reach into the box. Pulling out a string of white lights, she restarted her pleading, "Please, Light? I bought these lights just for you. Look, I even made sure to get plain old white. You don't have to do much. Just line the roof with them or something."
"I don't want to hang lights. I don't want to have to deal with putting them up and taking them down and putting them away. There's no point to it."
"I just want your house to be as pretty as mine..." Both pairs of Farron eyes shifted to the house right next door to Lightning's. Serah beamed while Lightning grimaced. Lightning thought it looked like Christmas had projectile vomited all over her sister's house. There were reindeer, snowmen, and three different Santas on the snow covered lawn. All of the figures blinked and twinkled merrily with brightly colored lights that made Lightning's head hurt more and more the longer she looked at them. The house itself was absolutely covered with colorful lights, from the roof to the siding. It was painfully obvious that both Serah and Snow were thoroughly enjoying their first Christmas as a married couple. They had jumped into decorating with an excitement generally only seen in kids on Christmas morning.
Lightning turned back to her sister to attempt a logical argument against hanging the lights and made the mistake of looking into her sister's eyes. Crap... Serah saw that brief flicker of emotion in her sister's eyes and, sensing that she was close to breaking her older sister, turned on the water works just the slightest bit. She knew Lightning wouldn't be able to resist the tears.
Sure enough it worked. "Damn it, Serah." She snatched the string of lights from Serah and bent down to stuff it back in the box, "Fine, fine. I'll decorate a little bit. I won't promise I'll use the whole box though. Just stop it with that face."
The smile that emerged on Serah's face was almost as blinding as the lights on her own home. She lunged and hugged her sister tightly, "Thank you, Light! I promise you'll like it and I promise I'll help you put them up and even take them down and..."
"It's alright, Serah, you don't have to do that. I can do it myself. You should be getting home. It's not getting any warmer out here." Lightning rubbed Serah's goose-bump covered arms to prove her point. Serah nodded in agreement.
After extricating herself from the hug, Lightning grabbed the box of lights and started towards the door to her house. Serah followed her sister with suspicious eyes, "You promise you'll decorate?"
"I promise." Lightning threw over her shoulder, "Good night, Serah." The door closed with a soft click and Lightning set the box down on the floor next to the door. A small smile came to her lips when she felt strong arms wrap around her waist.
"You caved." Fang chuckled into her ear.
"I wouldn't say I caved. If it will make Serah happy, I'll do it."
Fang laughed openly, "So, yeah, you caved." Lightning turned around in Fang's embrace and very deliberately ran her hands up the tanned arms. Fang hissed from the cold, "You're freezin', Light. C'mere." Lightning let herself be pulled towards the fireplace and snagged a candy cane from the box on the table by the door as they passed by.
The fire was already dancing merrily in the hearth, just the way Lightning had left it when Serah had first knocked on the door with the box of lights. Fang pulled Lightning down to sit beside her on the blankets and pillows they had been occupying earlier. Tossing her arm over Lightning's shoulder and pulling the pink haired woman close to her body, Fang took a deep breath of contentment. Fang saw Lightning glance at the mug of still warm hot chocolate on the end table and she handed it to the other woman.
"Happy?" Fang asked as Lightning stirred the hot chocolate with her candy cane before popping the candy in her mouth. A sigh of pleasure escaped Lightning's lips and she shifted further into Fang.
"I am now. Hand me the remote."
Fang grabbed the remote and handed it to the soldier, "When are you going to hang 'em?"
"Why? You want to help?" Lightning pointed the remote at the TV and restarted the movie they had put on pause.
Fang chuckled, "Nope, I just want to see ya actually doing something so domestic. I might take a picture or two."
"And this isn't domestic?" Lightning scoffed and waved a hand over their current entwined position.
The brunette nodded, "It is, but hanging lights doesn't come with sex. This does."
"Oh, you think you're getting some tonight?" Her tone was light, almost playful as she placed her hot chocolate and candy cane on the end table.
"I don't think, love. I know." Fang flashed a predatory smile at her lover and let her hand drift up a strong, pale thigh. Lightning closed her eyes in pleasure but a thought nagged at her mind.
"I have no idea how I'm going to decorate the house. I've never put lights up before." Lightning let her head drift to the side when Fang's lips attached themselves to her neck.
Fang lifted her head with a huff, "You'll figure it out. It can't be that hard. Now, shut up." She returned to kissing the soldier's neck as her hands started drifting in bolder directions on Lightning's body.
Lightning pulled back and glared at Fang, "And who said you were the boss?"
"I did. You goin' to do somethin, about it, Sunshine?" Fang's smile widened and her eyes gleamed in anticipation. Lightning's response was to grab the front of Fang's sari and kiss her senseless.
The rest of the movie was forgotten along with the hot chocolate and the candy cane.
The box of lights sat innocently in its spot next to the door, waiting.
The next morning Lightning pulled on her warmest clothes and laced up her boots before leaving Fang asleep in bed and trudging outside with the box of lights. It was rare that Lightning was grateful for a day off from work, but this was one such day. She would much rather get this task done and not have to worry about it anymore than have it hanging over her head.
The box hit the snow covered ground with a soft thud and the tools needed to hang lights followed right after it.
Lightning crossed her arms and stared at her house, wondering about the best configuration for the bright atrocities of lights in that damn box. After about two minutes a finger started tapping against her arm as she quickly grew frustrated.
"Tch. This is ridiculous." Lightning's gaze drifted from the box to the bare house and back to the box. Then her eyes wandered over to Serah and Snow's fully decorated Christmas-vomit-explosion. Steely blue eyes snapped rapidly from Serah's house, to her house, to the box, and back again several times as an idea started to form.
Now most people thought Lightning had no sense of humor. How could a fully trained, elite soldier who had seen so much trauma and death, and who had in fact, been the cause of so much trauma and death, be capable of humor? Add in her workaholic tendencies and generally cold demeanor and suddenly Lightning had no ability for fun.
Her sense of humor was there but only those closest to her saw it. Lightning could laugh and crack a joke. Fang was generally credited for bringing it out in the soldier, something that the Pulsian reveled in. The thing about that sense of humor, though, was that it was very dry, sarcastic, and came from a razor sharp wit. In Fang's terms, Lightning was a major smartass.
With a smirk that would make Fang proud, Lightning bent down to pick up her tools and grabbed a string of lights from the box. She shouldered her ladder and marched towards her house with the determined gait of her military background.
A couple of hours later Fang stirred in bed. She stretched languidly and was satisfied when her back popped in several places. She trudged sleepily downstairs to the kitchen and started making some hot chocolate for herself and Lightning. That woman and her hot chocolate addiction...Fang had learned quickly that while Lightning was strict about her diet, once Christmas rolled around all bets were off and hot chocolate and candy canes were a constant requirement. A flash of pink hair caught her eye outside the window. Fang couldn't help but grin like a fool. Etro, she loved that woman. Pulling on her best winter coat, Fang grabbed two mugs of the steaming hot chocolate and made her way out the door. She made sure to snag a candy cane from the box by the door on her way out.
"Done already, Sunshine?" Fang made her way over to the pink haired woman who was putting her tools back in t
heir box and held out a mug of hot chocolate and the candy cane. Lightning took the offerings of sugar from Fang before leaning in to lightly kiss her lover good morning.
"I had to make sure I finished before you could get that damn camera out." Lightning let a small smile form before she took a sip of her hot chocolate.
Fang laughed, "No worries, love, I'll be sure to have the camera out come Christmas Eve. So, how did it go?"
"Turn around and see for yourself." Lightning popped the candy cane in her mouth in a futile attempt to stop the wry grin from forming on her face.
Fang turned and green eyes took in the formation of the lights on the house. The lights were not lit yet, as it was still morning, but the meaning behind the configuration was something only Lightning or Fang herself would have come up with. Fang couldn't wait to see the lights when they were turned on later in the evening. Tanned shoulders shook with suppressed laughter and sparkling green eyes glanced at Lightning.
Lightning tried to hide her smile by taking a long sip of hot chocolate. Tried. And failed.
"Come on, Snow, drive faster!" Serah was practically vibrating in her seat. She honestly had thought Lightning wouldn't really decorate her house but when she had received the text message from her sister saying that the house was done, she had nearly squealed with excitement. It had been a long day at work after she had read that message and her dinner date with Snow right after work had been even longer.
"I still can't believe you convinced sis to decorate her house. I didn't even think she knew how." Snow shook his large head in disbelief and he adjusted his grip on the steering wheel. The streets of Oerba flew by. While the small city had come a long way in the past months as far as reconstruction, there was still much to be done. In fact, most residential areas had been built from scratch just outside the ruined city while the industrial and business sectors were slowly emerging from the ruins themselves. Still, Serah and Snow passed by ruin after ruin. It was definitely an odd sight to see the ruins of Oerba covered in Christmas lights.
Serah giggled and waved a dismissive hand, "It was easy. Once I turn on the waterworks she caves faster than Fang does with Vanille."
The car turned onto their street and Serah nearly squealed with excitement when she saw the faint glow of light coming off of her sister's house. Snow parked and Serah scrambled out of the car. She jogged into her sister's yard but her gait slowed as she really looked at the lights for the first time. Her eyes narrowed and her jaw clenched with frustration.
Up in their bedroom Fang sighed and lifted her head from Lightning's breasts, "Rainbows is home."
Lightning groaned before pushing Fang off. She slid to the bed beside Lightning and wrapped her arms around the slim waist. Serah was still yelling for Claire.
Fang chuckled softly while kissing a pale shoulder, "This is gonna be good."
A low growl was the only response she got before Lightning raised her voice, "What, Serah?"
"You damn well know what!" Serah yelled back, "Get your ass down here. Right. Now!"
"Breakin' out the profanity already. You're really in for it, Claire."
"You must really want to sleep on the couch." Lightning favored Fang with her signature death glare. "Tch. She's not going to go away until I go down there." Lightning waved Fang off before getting up from the bed. A hand on her wrist stopped her. "I'll be right back."
"No, no, no. I'm coming with you. This is the second night in a row Rainbows has interrupted us. Need to put the intimidation on. Hand me my sari, would ya love?"
The two dressed hurriedly before trudging down the stairs. They grabbed their jackets and stepped out the door to see Serah glaring at the lights with Snow laughing behind her.
"Yes, Serah?" Lightning raised an eyebrow.
Serah pointed an accusing finger at her, "You are so frustrating! I try to do something nice for you. I try to get you into the Christmas spirit. And what do you do? This! Ugh!" Serah threw her arms up in exasperation.
Lightning watched Fang making her way over to Snow to greet him before turning to her sister, "Serah, I don't see what the problem is. You asked me to decorate, and I decorated. And I even used the whole box."
"Don't play dumb with me, Claire Farron!"
Lightning was having trouble not laughing. She knew it wasn't completely right of her to take her sister's well intentioned idea for her and mangle it so, but, it was there. It had to be done.
She stepped beside Serah and gazed at her house in all its glory with the word "DITTO" spelled out on the roof and an arrow pointing to her sister's house and sighed.
"Serah, you said you wanted my house to be like yours. You didn't give me nearly enough lights to accomplish that task. This was the most logical solution."
Serah started to make a strangled unintelligible noise while glaring at Lightning. She threw her arms up in defeat one last time before stomping off to her own house, leaving Lightning, Fang, and Snow standing outside.
Snow ambled over to Light, "You know, she really meant well. Wanted you to be really happy this Christmas."
Lightning glanced at Fang who was taking a picture of the house on her phone, presumably to send to Vanille and smiled, "I am happy, Snow." Fang looked up and met Lightning's gaze and smiled back at her, "Really happy."