A/N: Hopefully this will exhaust my NoelXYeul itch if I finish it. Somehow, I planned out a multi-chapter fic for this pairing. No spoilers for you though! Just... Don't expect a happy ending. This pairing just doesn't work that way. If I manage to make it somewhat less painful by the end, then that's good enough for me.
Noel and Serah had been walking around for hours, getting in a few battles along the way, and he was all but convinced that there was no paradox in the timeline. Nothing really seemed out of place. Frustrated and tired, the two stopped to rest, finally taking some time to drink in the view. It was a beautiful place, if not a little warm, with exotic, colorful plants in every direction and a clear, fresh river running downhill.
"I don't get it, why can't we find anything? Usually creatures are jumping out from every direction right?" Serah commented in confusion. "This place seems perfectly fine the way it is."
"I have no idea, nothing looks out of place aside from how few times we've been attacked compared to other places," Noel replied, scooping some water out of the river and pouring it over his hair, which had grown slightly damp with sweat due to the heat. He scooped more, splashing it at his pink-haired companion childishly. "Cool off Serah, the water feels amazing!"
Serah giggled as she rolled her eyes, wiping soaked strands of hair out of her face. With a devilish gleam in her eyes, she sent a wave back at the sword wielder. He blinked, slightly startled at the ferocity of the wave she'd sent his way. Then he grinned widely.
"You have started a war, and I don't feel like losing today," he stated strongly. The both of them threw water at each other wildly like children, not paying much attention to their surroundings.
"You know, you should probably save some for the fish. I think they need it a little more than you do," a gentle voice teased. Both travelers stopped short, looking around for the source of the voice. "Over here!" the girl called from a little farther upstream.
Noel raised an eyebrow curiously, motioning to the figure. Serah nodded, still grinning as they made their way towards the girl. When they reached her, she was filling a few pots with water. As soon as she was completely in view, Noel and Serah both stared open-mouthed. Yeul was humming happily as she worked, her shirt a little bunched up from her work and wearing shorts instead of her skirt, which was hanging up on a line nearby. Her shoes rested on the grass fairly close to her as she waded into the river.
"Uh… Hello. My name is-." Serah began.
"I know who you are! It's nice to see you," Yeul cut in as she got out of the water. "This place is gorgeous isn't it?" she sighed.
'Well she's definitely more… bubbly than the other Yeuls we've seen,' Serah thought, looking at Noel.
Noel, however, seemed to be thinking about something else entirely. He was staring at the young seeress with a light blush in his cheeks. Normally seeing her would send a rush of emotions through him that were impossible to ignore, but his mind was so distracted trying not to look at the way the her deep blue hair clung to her pale skin that seemed to be glistening with water droplets, that his thoughts were more like a big jumbled mass of nonsense.
Serah nudged Noel lightly, pulling him out of his stupor. "It is beautiful, don't you think so Noel?" the pinkette asked, smiling knowingly.
"Right. Yeah, it's… stunning," he breathed, his eyes lingering on Yeul a moment longer before he looked away, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Your cheeks are very red, are you getting overheated Noel?" Yeul asked with complete innocence as she stepped closer, reaching up and pressing a hand against his cheek gently.
"Y-yeah well, it is a bit hot," he said quietly, resisting the urge to hold the hand on his cheek to keep it in place. He sighed quietly when Yeul pulled her hand away and she began to look around a gather her things. When he glanced at Serah, his traveling companion was giggling quietly, trying to stifle her laughter at his reaction. With an annoyed eye roll he turned back as Yeul was re-wrapping her skirt over her shorts. Most of the pots were lined up by the riverside and all her things were together in a neat little pack that she slung over one shoulder. The seeress looked up at Noel, catching his gaze and smiling.
"Well then, are you two up for a hike?" Yeul questioned lightly.
"Sure! Where to?" Serah asked cheerily. She was enjoying watching Noel act so… boyish.
"Just up there," the younger girl answered happily, pointing to a mountain ledge that's distance was slightly under exaggerated by the word 'hike'.
"Lead the way," Noel replied as Serah sighed at the distance.
When they finally reached their destination, Serah and Noel both sat immediately after the somewhat tiresome journey. Yeul, however, walked to the ledge fearlessly and sat, her legs dangling freely over the edge as the sun began to set. She sighed contentedly,taking in the beauty of her home. Noel watched her back from his spot.
"You know, a gentleman would make sure that a pretty young lady doesn't fall off the edge of a cliff," Serah mentioned from beside him.
"I dunno, it looks like she's having some nice alone ti-," Noel began, only to receive a sharp glare from his pink-haired companion he imagined she used on her students. "Fine, I'll go. Happy?"
"Overjoyed," Serah answered mischievously.
Noel go up from his spot, walking to the cliff edge beside Yeul before sitting down. He looked at the horizon, admitting that the view was much better in his present position.
"So… Do you come out here often?"
"Every day. I like watching the sun set. It's not quite day, but not night either. One of the most beautiful in-betweens I know of," she answered quietly. "I've seen it hundreds, heck probably thousands of times, but it never gets old. I used to wish it was always the same, but I realized that nature doesn't work that way."
"I know the feeling," Noel said, looking at her with interest. She turned to look at him and he quickly turned his eyes back to the setting sun, which had almost disappeared behind the horizon.
When the sun had finally descended, a thought occurred to Noel. "Yeul, where's Caius?"
Yeul seemed to contemplate the question for a moment. "He comes and goes. That guy is gone more often than not. He's like a constantly working father I think," she finally answered, standing up and waiting as Noel did the same. Then, unexpectedly, she grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the ledge toward what looked like the wall of the mountain. She motioned to Serah to follow as she pressed against the rock lightly and a door opened. She pulled Noel inside, Serah following closely behind.
"Welcome to my home," she said cheerily.
It was a small place, but comfortable, definitely home-y. Serah looked around appreciatively at the cozy lighting and furniture. Yeul had released Noel's hand and was walking towards the kitchen when she stopped for a moment, staring into blank space and swaying. Noel stepped up beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder gently. She blinked quickly, stumbling a bit as she snapped out of her trance. Noel held her up, keeping his arms firmly around her until she regained her balance.
"Are you alright Yeul?" he asked.
"Yeah, just a little dizzy from doing a lot of work today," she answered, smiling up at him. "Thank you for catching me."
Noel nodded, slowly pulling away, making sure she could stay steady. Yeul lingered as though she wanted to speak, but quickly turned and walked to the kitchen. Serah couldn't help noticing that the smile from the young seeress had seemed… not exactly fake, but weaker than before. In the kitchen, Yeul was sorting through her pack, pausing to think about what had happened. She looked up at her reflection with sadness in her eyes. Why was she so unfair to him?
"Please don't hurt him this way again," she whispered pleadingly. Unfortunately she had no power over her fate, and both of them knew it. She saw it in his eyes whenever he spoke to her, the sad knowing that they would lose each other again. Was it so much to ask that he didn't have to go through that pain just for a little while? She just wanted to know him and let him know her. Was that too much to ask?
A/N: There you go. First chapter up, second being written as quickly as possible. I told you things couldn't be all happy. As for her quick vision there, it weakened her a little, but obviously she doesn't always die straight away after a vision. If you want anything to happen in this story, or have ideas for other stories, feel free to share. I love input, but (as Yeul's life is) this fanfic is set on a timer. Once it's over, it's done. Please give a little review.