chapter one - no one can hurt you again

/author's note/ i do not own final fantasy xiii or any of its characters. i only own my OC, hunter lee, and any other original characters unless stated otherwise.

:-:-: theme: forward motion by thousand foot krutch :-:-:

She was only thirteen but she felt so much older. She felt like there was a piece of herself missing, unlikely to ever be found.

Of course, it hadn't always been like that but the times when she used to laugh and smile with her family were hazy in her mind, like something out of a dream that one couldn't quite remember.

It had only been natural to stop laughing and smiling when her reasons for doing so had been taken away from her.

Hunter was the person who had taken those reasons away. Hunter was the girl who had laughed and smiled a long time ago. And now, Hunter was a L'Cie and a murderer.

She was nothing more than a sick monster and it was all her fault that her parents had died. Her older brother, Hanley, had told her those exact words. He had been someone who she had looked up to for most of her childhood but things started to change when he found out about her brand. It was only right that the eighteen year old had started to treat Hunter like the trash she was.

Her parents had been so much calmer when they found out about the brand burned into her skin. They had even gone as far as to vow to protect their daughter from the PSICOM soldiers sooner rather than later. After all, Hunter wasn't human anymore; she was a wanted species.

It didn't stay like that for long though. Her parents had only managed to keep her brand a secret for two weeks at the most. And then they had showed up at her home, armed to the teeth with no problems about killing if it came to that.

The rain had been coming down in buckets that day, only adding to the gloom of it all.

Hunter had been in the living room with her parents as her mother admired the new outfit that she'd bought for her. She had been wearing it at the time and that only made her mother gush over the white tank top and the blue-green sweater. Her mother kept going on about how cute the outfit was, especially with the black jean shorts and combat boots that she wore with it. Her father had laughed at her mother's antics and Hanley had been sitting beside the window, gazing at something outside as he pet his bird's feathers absentmindedly. Hunter had looked over at him, admiring the blue bird that she had given him for his birthday the previous year. She had even helped name him Chaos.

Their peaceful day was fated to end badly though. Everything had been ruined when they heard the sound of a large truck pulling up outside of their home.

The soldiers didn't knock, just kicked the door down before pouring into their house. The worst part was that Hanley seemed to have been expecting them. Hunter couldn't help but wonder if he had tipped them off about her brand.

Hanley's blue hair had stuck to his forehead as he dragged Hunter outside into the rain. She had been brought to the large truck there, where more soldiers were waiting. A man with silver hair and blue-gray eyes was waiting there as well; his features were pointed and a thin scar ran across his forehead.

"Hanley Lee, I presume," the man had asked, his eyes never moving from Hunter's brother.

Hanley had nodded, his blue eyes looking at his sister in disgust one last time before he focused his attention on the man in front of them. "And you're Yaag Rosch."

Yaag narrowed his eyes, "That's Lieutenant Colonel Yaag Rosch."

Hanley merely scoffed and pushed her forward. "Whatever, this is what you came for. This is the monster that I contacted you about."

Hunter felt her heart clench.

Yaag nodded, roughly pulling Hunter closer to him. "Then we'll be lea-"

"HUNTER!" her mother screamed from the house.

Hunter's eyes widened as she looked towards the house, watching as her parents pushed the soldiers out of their way in their attempt to get to her.


Hanley growled as he stepped in front of his mother, forcing her to stop in front of him. "Mom, don't get any closer! Can't you see?! This thing isn't Hunter anymore! It's one of them!"

The older woman had frowned at him, shaking her head. Some of her blue hair had fallen from her bun, only to plaster itself onto her face. "She hasn't changed! She's still your little sister! Just as she's still our daughter and we love her, no matter what happens to her!"

The brown-haired man nodded in agreement with his wife. "Hanley, I thought that you were better than this. Did you... did you call them here? Did you really want your sister gone so badly!?"

Hanley clenched his fists and glared down at the ground that had been turned to mud from the rain. He didn't protest as Yaag pushed him aside to talk to Hunter's parents; didn't even say a word.

"Mr. and Mrs. Lee, I apologize for the loss of your daughter but I assure you that Hunter will be taken elsewhere to be with others of her... kind," Yaag had said.

Mr. Lee glared at the man and took a step forward so that he could reach behind him and grab Hunter, pulling her close to him. He embraced his daughter, daring anyone to try and take her away from him. "Don't you dare! She doesn't deserve that; it'll be the same if she stays here with us. Hunter is fine here and we've decided that we're going to help her complete her focus!"

Hunter had kept silent the entire time without the faintest idea of what to say. It had all happened so quickly that she couldn't find the words to argue against all of this. She didn't even notice when she was passed over to her mother as her father shielded the two of them, fiercely arguing with Yaag.

"If you don't back down now, there will be bloodshed!" Yaag yelled at Hunter's father. The men were signaled to raise their weapons.

But Hunter's parents didn't waver. Her mother had even let go of her in order to stand beside her father. "We're willing to protect Hunter with everything we have and that includes our lives!"

"Then so be it."

Yaag's hand rose. Everything had started to move in slow motion. Hunter and Hanley's parents didn't move; they didn't even flinch as Yaag brought his hand back down in a signal for his comrades to open fire.

Hunter's eyes had widened as blood splattered over her entire body, the rain immediately making it run down her skin. She heard Hanley scream in shock and despair, and doubted that he had planned for this to happen. Their parent's bodies hadn't even dropped to the ground before she fled the scene. Her parents had been the only things shielding her from the soldiers and now that they were gone, she was no longer safe.

Hanley had seen her though, and had run after her as she ran through the deserted streets of Palumpolum. She couldn't if tell they were abandoned because of the soldiers' arrival or if it was because of the terrible weather. Either way it benefitted her. She didn't have to worry about the pedestrians.

Hunter quickly turned and began to run through the alley ways. When she had looked behind her, she couldn't see Hanley. She almost sighed in relief before she felt herself colliding into something.

"Got you." Hunter was pushed back, her body slamming into the cement walls. Hanley had stared down at her with wide eyes full of sorrow and madness.

"Hanley..." Hunter managed to whisper, her body freezing up in terror. "H-Hanley wh-"

"You killed them! You killed mom and dad!" Hunter felt a sharp pain in her chest, remembering that the blood she was covered in wasn't her own.

"Hanley, I didn't-"

"You are a monster." Her brother's voice had switched to something calm; it unnerved her. "It was you. You were the one who killed them. Not me." It had sounded like he was trying to convince himself of that. Hunter couldn't ponder on it for long because he slammed her against the wall again, pushing all thoughts out of her mind. "If you hadn't changed then none of this would had ever happened! I wouldn't have had to call them! And then mom and dad wouldn't have..."

His voice cracked and he had tried his best not to cry. Hanley punched the wall beside Hunter's face, making her jump. "Run." He said in that unnerving voice again. "Run. I will find you. And I will kill you." Hanley stepped back, looking at Hunter with cold eyes. "Monster."

And then she ran. She ran for her life. A life that wasn't hers anymore.

/author's note/ please leave a review! your feedback would be greatly appreciated. the same goes for your thoughts.