Our Current Contingency

Lightning does not consult gravity before she jumps.

"Hope," she admonishes. "Your proximity is becoming an issue."

The boy in question stammers a wayward apology.

"Oh, uh – sorry. I'll. Um. I'll work on that."

Lightning takes another death defying leap as she charges at an incoming enemy.

"Hope," she repeats, landing awkwardly on his left foot.

"… Yes?"

"Work faster."

o-o-o-o

Fang must use glue to adhere her outfit to her body.

Not to mention Hope is pretty certain she is wearing nothing underneath but a sports bra.

Sometimes he wishes her clothes would succumb to physics and actually fall off.

Or not.

Accursed prepubescent hormones.

o-o-o-o

Vanille insists on wearing a tube top yet sports ten pounds of animal fur.

"Hey, Vanille," Sazh petitions. "Why do you wear so much fur?"

"Because it keeps me warm, silly!"

Fang stops rekindling the fire to fix her comrade with an incredulous stare.

"You mean to tell me your ass seriously gets that cold?"

"Ha; not anymore!"

"But at one point it did, eh?"

Vanille laughs.

"Isn't that kind of obvious?"

Only after Fang is done tending the flames does she turn her attention back to their resident pilot.

"Now Sazh," she begins, the premonitions of a smirk adorning her features. "Just what were you doing gandering at my partner's hindquarters, anyway? Hm?"

As Sazh is being accosted and proffering incoherent apologies, Hope finds himself wondering the same exact thing.

"He looks because it's there," Lightning mutters, already seeing the quandary arise in the young boy's eyes. "Snow would look, too, if he weren't already engaged."

"But what would you do if he accidentally did look?" Hope asks, genuinely curious.

"I would relieve him of his testicles."

Hope stops asking questions after that.

o-o-o-o

"Snow," Vanille asks in earnest one day. "Does that checkered blanket you wear pull double duty as a table cloth?"

"It's great for picnics," he enthuses with a wink.

"Oh? Really? Can we have one right now? Pretty please?"

"We're in the middle of a hostile environment," Lightning reminds them pointedly. "What do you think?"

"I think it would be a great idea! Think of the stress it would relieve!"

Lightning secretly wonders if Snow ever removed said table cloth for Serah.

Or any other articles of clothing, for that matter.

o-o-o-o

Hope is utterly confused concerning the machinations of Lightning's sword.

"I don't understand your weapon," he grouses, trying to determine how she can unsheathe it so fast. "It bends in all the wrong places."

"I don't understand Vanille's weapon," Lightning counters, equally perplexed but for different reasons. "What would you call that thing, anyway?"

"Antlers?" Hope tries, venturing a guess. "With … fishing lines?"

"What could have possibly inspired her to construct – oh, never mind. I'm sure she has her reasons. It seems to be working for her, at any rate. It'll probably make more sense when we get to Gran Pulse."

For the record?

No, it didn't.

o-o-o-o

"Hey, Sis!"

Lightning has given up all hope concerning Snow and his aggravating misnomers.

"I am not your sister," she grumbles for good measure. At least now she can say that she tried. It was a futile endeavor, but with Snow most thing are.

"So, what do you carry in that pouch of yours?"

He's trying to be amiable – when isn't he amiable? – but Lightning is not in the mood.

"Which one?" she drones, eyes straight ahead. She will not grant him the courtesy of eye contact. Not when he's busy asking asinine questions that serve no ultimate purpose.

"The one on your leg."

He indicates this by pointing. Lightning heaves a sigh and swats his index finger away.

"The remains of dead puppies."

Silence.

"Ya know what?" Snow concludes, awkwardly smashing his fists together. "Forget I asked."

o-o-o-o

Lightning isn't particularly fond of heights.

She keeps it a secret, and as a result tends to throw herself off any precipice she can find. She will never admit defeat, but fighting on the deck of the Paradesium makes such admissions tempting.

She blames her momentary weakness on the wind and continues to hurl herself at all those who oppose her. And nobody is the wiser.

o-o-o-o

Snow is talking. Again.

Lightning is not in the mood. She never is.

"Do you even bother to think before the words come out?"

"I don't!" Vanille offers. She's ignored.

"Sometimes," Snow admits. "But mostly I go with my gut. Ya know, speak from my heart and all that."

"How admirable," Lightning drips sardonically. "Tell your heart it's beginning to wane on my ears."

"At least he doesn't think with his head," Fang comments.

"I fail to see how that could possibly be any worse."

Fang smirks.

"You're obviously thinking of the wrong head."

o-o-o-o

Lightning never sits down.

She just leans on things.

Hope doesn't know how she does it. He wants to acquire that same stamina, so he decides to confront her about such things.

"I broke my tailbone as a kid," she says.

"Wait … really?"

"No."

She attempts the feat of smiling. Hope follows suit and does the same.

"It was actually Serah," she amends, shaking her head at the memory. "I pushed her too hard on the swing."

"I don't believe you."

"… Good man."

She tries to smile again, only this time it's wider and more evident.

o-o-o-o

Hope is growing quite deft at delivering inspirational sermons.

"He's just so motivating!" Vanille comments, pigtails bouncing like misplaced slinkies.

"Hey, what about me?" Snow asks, feigning discontent.

"You just waste air," Lightning grumbles.

No one bothers to argue.

o-o-o-o

Vanille is incessantly making noise.

She can not say anything without adding a giggle or a squeak or a "whoopsies!"

Even when she sleeps she's audible.

Nobody really minds, though. Her one word exclamations have become so commonplace that is would feel weird without them. In fact, the party depends on them. It keeps their moral up. (Besides, no one else is willing so say 'oh poopie!' when they miss a target.)

So she continues to hop, skip, jump, and sway – always in tandem with some form of articulation.

o-o-o-o

Snow gets thrown around a lot.

Of course, it would help if he didn't fling himself at every adversary he sees.

No on knows what he hopes to accomplish with such feats – for he's done this millions of times and they all end with the same result: him; sprawled across the floor in whatever position he happened to land in. What compels him to hurtle his entire body mass index across the battlefield time and time again is anyone's guess. Sazh thinks he aspires to be a human meat shield. Lightning insists it's mental aberration. Hope says impulse. Vanille suggests dedication. Fang just scoffs and helps him up.

Some things are better left unknown.

o-o-o-o

Author's Note

o-o-o-o

This was obviously written in the same vein as To Fight Beside You, my collection of vignettes starring the cast of Final Fantasy XII. I wanted to try the same format with other characters, and FFXIII provided the most material.

There will be updates, as soon as I figure out more plot related shenanigans to throw at them.

Also: I adore all the characters in FFXIII – I tease because I love. I harbor no secret agenda and do not wish to bash any of them, just poke a little fun at their habitual tendencies, is all. XD

Hope you enjoyed!

Leave a review if there's something you want to see!

I'm always open to suggestions. ;)