First off, in case no one else has noticed, I made some small changes to the previous entry "Paradox Ending: the Future is Hope" in which instead of hiding Hope in a hug, Noel and Hope show support through some intense hand holding... I prefer the intense hand holding myself. So if you want to check it out, go ahead and take a look, however, that was the only thing changed about the entry.
As for this entry... I don't know... I was having a hard time with the idea of extending "The Future is Hope" especially since I really just wanted to keep these drabbles, so I decided to just move on and come back if I really wanted to. That is the purpose of drabbles, is it not?
So once again, favorite, follow, or drop a review please, all are appreciated since it lets me know that others are still enjoying these.
Paradox Ending: Heir to Chaos
He needed to protect.
It was something that came naturally to him, probably because it was something that he was born to do. Protect, save, to put himself between another and death. It was something he needed to do, and something he was often cursed to fail at.
He failed them, he killed them. Their deaths were not a fault directly from him, he had not intentionally killed them. But he had wanted to protect them, and their deaths were on his hands.
For the longest time he did not know what to do about it, for much too long he just continued to float through time, to reflect on his and everyone's actions. He inherited the Heart of Chaos, he was immortal, and he had no idea what to do.
If he continued down this path, returned to Serah in Valhalla, then he was doomed to watch her die once more. If he tried to return to a time before that, then he would be doomed to kill Caius and Etro once more. And Yeul… If he even attempted to see Yeul, in any time, he would alter time and probably kill her as well. His Yeul had long since died, and the time here, floating aimlessly, sifting through his and Caius' memories, it gave him the time he needed to truly accept that.
But he didn't know where to go from there.
That light continued to glow, it gave him his option, all he needed to do to leave was decide where he needed to be.
Would he face his fate? Continue where he left off? After Serah died?
Or would he run, and try to change what happens, try to alter their fates in unforeseeable ways?
The more time he had to think about it, the more he solidified his decision: any chance he had to save Yeul, Caius, and Serah was a chance he could not pass.
But where? Where did it all go wrong? The beginning was as it should be. As much as he would prefer to leave Serah, leave her where she would have been safe, she was needed for them to get through all of this. She knew what was wrong and what wasn't, she could change time by screaming at it, and without her he would probably never convince Hope to help him…
Serah had introduced them, the guy probably would've thought him a wandering lunatic without her word. But more importantly, their time with Hope always involved making decisions that would drastically alter time… But many of those decisions were essential… To inspire the guy to go to the future, to build a new Cocoon… to NOT be killed by his own robots… each visit brought about a change that their presence was essential for.
Alyssa's fragment maybe… What if he had gone back before then? Refused the fragment? Would that change anything? He didn't know what he and Serah would decide to do then… He also didn't have any reasonable excuse for everyone else to turn away a fragment either, Serah would definitely protest…
If he remembered right… that was also the day after he and Hope…
He felt his heart tighten in his chest, the thought of going back slightly further, of reliving the time with Hope, making his skin prickle with excitement. He stifled it though, it wouldn't be the same. It was a valuable memory that he didn't want to change, even if it meant never being able to make another.
But what he could change… the morning after.
It was the first time he woke up to someone else beside him. Not his first time for spending the night with someone, but the first time either he or they had stuck around until morning.
Waking up with another body wrapped around his, the first thing that occurred to him was that it suited Noel's personality rather well to be clingy in his sleep. Eyes sliding open slowly, he rested his gaze on the figure next to him. A tan face, strong arms, posture relaxed in a way that almost made him vulnerable. Here, he was not a hunter, or a time traveler, or even a fighter, he was just a man, lying down like he had been through hell and back.
It made him seem thin, weak, destroyed. It made Hope want to protect him.
He could tell Noel wasn't asleep, his breathing wasn't quite as relaxed as it should have been, not as deep and restful, but he was drifting. He was awake, but it was like he was still dreaming.
For a moment, he almost thought that he wasn't even really there.
Something was different. Noel was different, like he was not the same person he was yesterday.
This Noel was not resting, this one could never truly rest… this Noel was running.