Sunday, July 5, 2015

[Fanfic] To Learn Something New (ch 10)

Title: To Learn Something New
Author: Vianna Orchidia / Annasthacy Chashyme
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII Series
Character: Lightning Farron, Hope Estheim
Rating: K+
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I do not own the series and the characters, and I do not gain any profit from this fanfiction
Warning: set post-LR, happily married yay

cherry /cher·ry/ n a small round fruit that is usually red or black

Sapphire eyes narrowed at a plate of cake lying innocently on the table.

"What. Is. This."

"Oh, Lightning! You came home early. Did something happen at work?" A silverette came out from the kitchen, donning a creme apron she didn't remember having, and pulled her into an embrace. He kissed her lips lightly, then pulled away.

"No, I just finished my work earlier than expected and the boss let me go home." Lightning crossed her arms. "What about you? Shouldn't you be at work too?"

Hope glanced at the cake sheepishly. "I took the day off."

"You what?" astonished, Lightning raised her voice. The workaholic Hope Estheim took the day off? And without telling her, to top! Had the world gone mad or some kind of insane God appeared last night?

But Hope only gave her a calm, somewhat shy smile. "It's your birthday. I wanted to make a cake for you, so..." He trailed off, measuring his wife's reaction. It wasn't so bad; she widened her eyes for a moment before returning to normal, muttering a small "oh, it's my birthday already?" under her breath. Hope's smile got bigger. "Come on. I'm not the best, but I think the cake turned out fine. It's shortcake."

True enough, when Lightning further inspected the cake, it wasn't half bad. But there seemed to be something off about this cake...

"Um, Hope? I thought basic shortcakes are strawberry. Why is this... cherry?"

He played with his fingers. "I kind of took the wrong canned fruit at the supermarket, so I just had to with it...?"

That was clumsy. So her Hope. The woman chuckled into her hand. She took the knife from him and proceeded to cut the cake evenly. "I don't hate cherry," she assured him softly. "Let's just hope the different fruit didn't change the flavor."

"Yeah, let us," Hope laughed as he helped her putting a piece of cake each on two plates. "Happy birthday, Light."

"Thanks."

[Fanfic] To Learn Something New (ch 9)

Title: To Learn Something New
Author: Vianna Orchidia / Annasthacy Chashyme
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII Series
Character: Lightning Farron, Hope Estheim
Rating: K+
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I do not own the series and the characters, and I do not gain any profit from this fanfiction
Warning: AU; Hope and Claire are married.

smile /smile/ n an expression on your face that makes the corners of your mouth turn up and that shows happiness, amusement, pleasure, affection, etc.

"There's nothing wrong with her. Nerves, muscles, everything is normal. I can only assume her current disorder is caused by psychological reasons." The grey-haired doctor gave him a look of symphaty. "I suggest you take her to psychiatrist. He will know what to do, more than me for that matter."

Hope Estheim sighed before nodding in gratitude to the elderly doctor. "I understand. Thank you, doctor."

"Oh, Mr. Estheim?" He called out, halting the young man from gathering his things.

"Yes?"

"I know I don't specialize in this field, but I can tell this much: take it slow with her. Many of psychological disorders stem from stress and depression. And don't forget to take care of your health too. Your wife won't like you exhausting yourself because of her, will she?"

A tired smile tugged at Hope's lips as he bowed before leaving the room. "Thank you, Doctor."

It had been barely a week, and just as the doctor said, he was starting to get exhausted. Claire's illness made her prone to sleepiness, her apetite diminished, and most of all, it made her weak. She hated being weak, so she got a little frustated at herself too. Taking care of her was quite a hassle.

"Hope," a thin woman called him from the waiting room when he stepped out of the doctor's room. "How was it?"

Unable to tell her the truth, not to mention she was not even aware of her own condition, Hope merely smiled and put his arm on her waist. "Just a little stress. You need to rest more."

"I have rested enough," she refused quickly, her tone irritated but her face remained blank.

"Well, apparently the doctor doesn't think so," he chuckled as he led her outside, to their car. With her unchanging blank face he couldn't guess what her current mood was, but he decided to play safe and appeal on her good side. "There's still time before dinner; do you want to go to that park and grab a quick ice cream?"

Claire let out a sound that was almost like a laugh. "You know how to please your wife, Hope Estheim."

The teasing edge in her voice calmed him and he exhaled through his mouth. He could even picture the small smile, or cunning smirk if she felt being playful, that would certainly be on her face under normal circumstances. Hope tried to keep sorrow from showing on his features. "Alright, ice cream then."

Dealing with this disorder might be harder than he initially thought.

A/N:
The disorder mentioned above is modeled from Miho Obana's Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Play). If you know the series, then you know how Sana stopped making facial expressions. By the way, I call her Claire here, to emphasize the normal life of this AU.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

[Fanfic] To Learn Something New (ch 8)

Title: To Learn Something New
Author: Vianna Orchidia / Annasthacy Chashyme
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII Series
Character: Lightning Farron, Hope Estheim
Rating: K+
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I do not own the series and the characters, and I do not gain any profit from this fanfiction
Warning: set post-LR

Tokyo /To·kyo/ geographical name city ∗ of Japan in SE Honshu on Tokyo Bay (inlet of the Pacific)

“What is this city called again?”

Hope chuckled as he laced his hand with Lightning's. “It's Tokyo. You should try harder to remember places' names in this world, you know. It will come in handy.”

“You know I can't help it. I'm just naturally bad at it,” Lightning frowned in disdain, but didn't try to take her hand back. Instead, she squeezed his ever so slightly, showing the smile her lips kept hidden.

They resumed walking, taking in the night scenery of one of the busiest city on the world. They had taken a train from the nearest station from Hope's hotel to Shinjuku, and was greeted by an ocean of people. Since both of them were not exactly people persons, they decided to steer away from the crowded part of the city and took another train to the tranquil Ueda Park.

“It's our last night in Tokyo, huh.” Watching cars pass by on the main road, Lightning wondered aloud. “This city is beautiful.”

“We have been here for a week since my seminar ended. We still have work back in France, right?” her partner reasoned calmly. He liked the city too, but they always had another time. It is the new, safe world after all. They had all the time they wanted. “We can come back here some time.”

Light's lips curved upward. “I want to visit other countries too. I've only traveled around Europe before meeting you.” She traveled while he started teaching in a university. Hope had seen the photos she took but still, he wanted to go in person. If possible, with Lightning too.

“Where do you want to go?”

She gave him a peck on the lips which he happily returned. “Anywhere you take me, Hope. As long as we're together.”

Keeping her face close, Hope breathed out, “We're together.”

A/N:
So I completely forgot what that park in front of Tokyo Imperial Castle is called, but the internet let me down and I couldn't do any research. I think it's Ueda Kouen but if I'm mistaken do forgive me and tell me the correct one :"")

[Fanfic] To Learn Something New (ch 7)

Title: To Learn Something New
Author: Vianna Orchidia / Annasthacy Chashyme
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII Series
Character: Lightning Farron, Hope Estheim
Rating: K+
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I do not own the series and the characters, and I do not gain any profit from this fanfiction
Warning: set after the first game where FFXIII-2 never happen. AR where Serah didn't come back. a little ooc?

Undo /un·do/ v to open or release (something); to unfasten or loosen (something); to change or stop the effect of (something)

She was the epitome of straightforwardness, strength and faith, he thought. She was amazing, gorgeous, almost a goddess, and he practically put her on a pedestal. He could even see himself getting on his knees and kiss her toes.

But as he watched the trails of tears on her cheeks, Hope felt that pedestal broke down and her ideal figure faded away.

"I'm not a goddess, Hope, not even close." He heard her fears that day. "I am lost. I don't even know where I want to be. My only anchor in this life is gone, because of my fault, and the only atonement I can give is through death. Will you let me die, Hope?"

He did not understand. Why must she ask for his permission? If she wanted to die, she just needed to die. He wouldn't be so selfish as to keep her alive when her soul was already dying. He would mourn, cry perhaps, but he would let her go.

She must've seen his confused expression, for she smiled weakly now. "Sorry, that came out of nowhere. It's just... I really don't know where I want to be. I don't know if I really want to cross the river. I need someone to pick for me." Her eyes got even more distant when she continued in a broken whisper. "Besides, I'm done picking for myself. My choices always end in things getting worse, Hope. I'm done making mistakes."

At that moment, she sounded just as that: done with everything in her life. She's right there, in front of him, but he already mourned for her.

At that moment, he wanted nothing more the ability to turn back time, to undo the mistakes she did, to undo the tears she shed, to undo the pain that killed her.

At that moment, he cried with his broken goddess.

A/N:
AR where Serah died/still in crystal stasis after the first game. See, I was being negative yesterday. The sentence that dwelled in me is “I don't even know where I want to be.” and see where it got me.

[Fanfic] To Learn Something New (ch 6)

Title: To Learn Something New
Author: Vianna Orchidia / Annasthacy Chashyme
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII Series
Character: Lightning Farron, Hope Estheim, Serah Farron
Rating: K
Genre: General
Disclaimer: I do not own the series and the characters, and I do not gain any profit from this fanfiction
Warning: AR, set after FFXIII-2 and before LR

Cat /cat/ n a small animal that is related to lions and tigers and that is often kept by people as a pet

A cat. A snow white, huge cat with other-worldly jade green eyes. It hopped onto Lightning's desk with four lean, powerful limbs, and began circling the whole surface of the desk. It would be kind of normal had its eyes not stared at her general direction all the while.

Besides, her office was like on the third story, among the innermost area of the Military Unit's headquarter. How in Pulse did that thing get inside, anyway?

A soft purr led her eyes back to the offending creature, now stretching comfortably right at the center.of her desk, on her bloody report, acting as innocent as a cat could muster. Lightning frowned at it but made no move to shoo it away.

There's something about the cat that caught her off guard. Perhaps it's the eyes. Jade eyes, almost human, that were trained faithfully on her person. She could swear she knew those eyes. A long, long time ago... Maybe almost eight hundred years ago, when it all began with the Purge on Budhum.

Lightning gasped. The albino cat just jumped off her desk, leaving her room with long strides. What was that about?

That was the first time. She realized the cat began to follow her, appearing all of a sudden in front of her only to leave a minute later. Sometimes she found it watching her curiously from the side but disappeared when she turned her head. It was watching with its jade eyes, menacingly so. Lightning knew it spelled trouble, but she still felt that overwhelming curiosity concerning the cat.

Only after a few years she understood where the color of those irises came from. A white-haired boy. l'Cie brand. Orange jacket and tosca scarf. It had been so long that she took a while to assemble the figure of a boy she once called partner.

The moment she realized, she was already trapped in the illusion of a cat, sometimes a boy, taking her far into the realms of God.

A/N: I was in a sour mood yesterday, so all I could come up with is dark-themed drabbles. This one is based on “Hope got dragged into Valhalla instead of Lightning” what-if. The white cat is supposed to be Hope's counterpart of rose-haired phantom.