Chapter 4: Aurora Scarf - (First Strike)
Fang woke abruptly to the sound of Vanille repeatedly calling her name and shaking her awake. Frowning to herself, Fang wondered when it was she had fallen asleep and how long it had taken Vanille to find her.
"Are you okay? Why are you lying unconscious here anyway, Fang? And… where's Lightning? Did she do that to your face?" All the while, Vanille had been looking at Fang with a concerned look, her face threatening to darken into an emotion that broke the huntress's heart each time: sorrow.
"Whoa, hold on a sec, one question at a time…" Fang purposely laughed to brighten the mood. "Course I'm fine, why wouldn't I be, hmm? I don't specialise as a sentinel for nothin' y'know?"
She reached up to stroke her sister's face lovingly, before sweeping away the hair that had fallen into her eyes.
"Secondly, I'm lying here because I fancied a rest, yeah? I don't do unconscious."
The corner of Vanille's mouth turned up slightly at this comment, but her brilliant green eyes remained in their lie-detector mode, which meant Fang was keenly being studied as they conversed.
Aware that Vanille's eyes had been particularly interested on the forming bruise on her cheekbone, she instinctively moved to catch the smaller girl's wrist the second Vanille shifted to touch the woman's face.
"And no." She stressed. "Light didn't do this to me, it was a goblin… one of the damn things just got lucky. Light just went to finish 'em off, that's all."
Fang pointed in the direction of knee-deep grass behind her, to vaguely indicate where Lightning had ran off to.
The redhead's beautiful large eyes narrowed as she looked between the tall grass and Fang.
"Mhm, well, I'm only here because Sazh saw you in the distance. We found an old lobo nest full of gorgonopsids to the north… there may have been a mutiny." Vanille giggled to herself. "But we did a little pest control… the cave is ours."
"That's great!" Fang said enthusiastically as Vanille offered to help her up and smooth down her clothing. "Show me the way." She said, placing her hand on the small of Vanille's back to urge her to lead. Vanille nodded and skipped a few paces ahead before turning on her heels and looking back to Fang.
"What about Lightning? She won't know where we-"
"She's a born survivor that one, no doubt she'll find us." Interrupted Fang, who turned to stare longingly at the grassy fields the soldier had fled into, sighing as she did so.
As to not make her sister anymore suspicious, Fang quickly caught up to Vanille.
"Is it very far then, Miss Dia?" She said playfully.
"Not really, buuuut… I'd like a piggyback!" Vanille squealed, quickly dashing behind Fang and leaping on her back, regardless of her response. Fang groaned in response, pretending to buckle under the girl's weight.
"Hey, What're you trying to say?" Vanille gasped, flailing about on Fang's back in an attempt to hit the saboteur, careful to avoid the lance. Once she had enough, she looped her arm around Fang's neck.
The Pulsian sun had lowered significantly since the start of their journey, causing a long stretch of shadow to form in front of Fang from her feet. The setting of the sun meant the climate was a lot cooler and therefore bearable to travel in, not that the two Oerbans had any problems to begin with. After what seemed to be half an hour of silence, Fang guessed that Vanille had fallen asleep due to the sound of slow, controlled breathing in her ear.
Brilliant. I wanted her to heal my bruise.
Rather than retrace her steps back down the perilous mountainside, Fang searched for,
and found, a gradual declining slope, to her relief; the thought of carrying Vanille down the way she had originally came would be suicide.
With her only clue of her friends' whereabouts being 'north' and 'cave' Fang headed in that direction, which was coincidently the route they would need to soon take anyway. The girl on her back shifted slightly in her sleep, nuzzling her head against Fang. Despite the sweetness of it all, Fang didn't particularly want to carry Vanille for much longer, as her muscles protested with every movement. The slope she had been sauntering down started to become more uneven and rocky, yet despite a stumble or two, her sister did not stir.
As much as she loved the smaller girl, Fang prayed to Lady Luck that Vanille was accurate with her directions. As she walked, she cast her mind back to her childhood to occupy herself, thinking of the orphanage and all the mischief she and Vanille would get up to, before shifting to the present and their current predicament as l'Cie.
The thought of her newfound friends – no- family turning C'ieth pained her greatly; her heart constricted at the very notion of losing Vanille, her best friend, her sister… and the new addition to her heart, Lightning. At the very thought she bit her tongue; the only physical pain she could inflict on herself at that moment to stop anger from building up.
This l'Cie business is a curse and a blessing.
She needn't have worried at the thought of getting back before sundown, it seemed, as a flicker of light caught her eye in the distance. After an agonizing mile long hike northward, the glorious sight of two blotchy figures encircled around a campfire greeted Fang, behind them stood the ominous cave as Vanille had promised.
A Ruin spell became a much-needed flare to alert the two she saw to her presence, which finally become known; Snow stood tall and waved whilst Sazh casually made his way towards the Oerbans, dragging his feet as if it were a chore.
It's not as if he had to walk all this way. Fang thought bitterly.
Meeting halfway, the two nodded in approval at each other.
"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but there should be another with you."
Multiple excuses rolled around on Fang's tongue. For the sake of simplicity however, she relayed the same explanation as she did with Vanille.
The man nodded, the excuse seemed feasible.
"I'm afraid Hope's turned in for the rest of the evening, so until soldier girl returns, you'll have to settle for a potion." Sazh said.
"And I'll sure as hell take one, but I kinda have my hands full at the minute." Fang responded in kind with her trademark sarcasm.
The man seemed to get the message, and Fang wordlessly allowed Sazh to pry Vanille from her weary back, appearing to be stuck onto her with the force of a limpet clinging to a rock. The older man hooked his arms under the limp arms and knees of the redhead, and with great ease, carried her back towards the cave. It wasn't until Fang had sat down that she realised how exhausted she was.
The potion Fang received lessened the pain to her face, yet the bruise still remained, to her displeasure.
The reassuring, overly firm gloved hand of Snow slapped her shoulder. Normally, she would take the blow and deal him one back harder, but right now she felt uncharacteristically weak.
"Man, you look beat. Why not turn in early?" Snow suggested, rubbing her shoulder with slight concern etched on his face.
Fang placed her opposite hand upon his, and patted it firmly.
"Nah, I'm fine, just all aches and pains." She gestured to her bruised face. "On the contrary, I don't think I could sleep for a long time yet, so why don't you let me take the first watch?"
Her determined stare dared him to say no.
He removed his hand and made a defensive gesture. "If you're sure."
Lightning did not grace the camp with her presence that evening, during which Fang spent her time devouring a tasty supper of roasted gorgonopsid meat. Her companions slept peacefully within the cave, however Fang refused to do so with Lightning still out in the wilderness that was Gran Pulse. Fang busied herself finding extra wood for the campfire, which she stoked every so often to ensure it would continue burning; it would act a beacon for miles, attracting both its intended audience and uninvited fiends. Although she promised both Snow and Sazh that she would wake either of them up for their own shift, the huntress had no intention of doing so.
If Lightning were to return, Fang would be the one awake to see it.
After hours of staring into murky nothingness, Fang had retreated to the mouth of the cave, utterly bored and completely drained of all energy. She sat cross-legged at the entrance, with the rest of her body hunched forward and her head resting on her hands. The terrain wasn't ideal for sentry duty or sleeping; she squirmed around to sweep stray pebbles from underneath her that were digging into her sharply.
I may never sleep tonight. She thought drearily. Or maybe she wants me asleep, the predator.
She shuffled to place her back against one of the cave walls once she became too uncomfortable and irritated; she had thrown one of the stones in annoyance and caused it to echo noisily off the opposite wall.
Fang reclined as best as possible, with her legs just short of touching the other wall as she cradled her lance, finally succumbing to sleep.
Fang jolted awake to the soreness of a stiff neck from leaning her head against the wall, her bones cracked as she massaged her neck and she groaned with relief. What seemed to only have been a few minutes of sleep had actually been longer -judging by the smouldering remains of the fire.
It was then she noticed unfamiliar warmth stretched across the length of her left leg. Slowly turning her head to the left, Fang flinched, cracking her head on the wall behind her.
Directly opposite, with her legs brushing Fang's and arms crossed, with a predator-like stare, was Lightning.
At first, Fang glanced deeper into the cave to check on her sleeping companions, then turned back to observe the soldier.
"Where the bloody hell have you been?" Fang hissed, her voice low as to not disturb anyone. She didn't answer. Fang had been expecting a witty remark.
She used the silence to study the woman, who didn't seem to have gone through any torment in her lone escapade. Not a single injury graced her striking features, despite their previous scuffle. At the thought, Fang's tanned hand reached up to brush her own cheekbone; the pain had gone, as had the slight swelling.
"You been touching me?" She smirked. Her voice sounded slightly more seductive than she anticipated.
Lightning mirrored her smirk, a dangerous twinkle apparent in her aqua eyes.
Fang moved her lance out of her grip as she unfolded her arms, reaching out to place her right hand upon Lightning's shin, absorbing the intricacy of the woman's boots with her fingertips.
'Well?" Fang urged, giving her ankle a squeeze as he looked into the moonlight-streaked face of Lightning, which did not contain even a hint of fatigue, it only added to the woman's god-like status in being perfect.
Lightning tilted her head to regard the landscape, to watch the dazzling trail of fireflies, rather than the alluring viridian glances of Fang.
Her mind raced a mile a minute. Fang's hand remained upon her leg, as her thoughts remained upon Fang.
"Go to sleep, Fang." She ordered, which didn't seem to settle well with the Pulsian, as the pressure to her leg increased. She hastily kicked her off, picking herself up from the floor to wander outside the cave.
Naturally she expected the Oerban to follow her like a loyal puppy, anticipating that she would place a hand on her shoulder and pull her back at some point. In a flash Lightning spun around, simultaneously drawing her blade to cut Fang off before she could make contact with her skin, as if her touch were acidic.
The two stood motionless: one defenceless, one borderline homicidal. Moonlight caressed their flawless forms, though neither could enjoy each other's angelic features with a thick tension in the air.
Fang's hand itched, knowing she had foolishly left her lance behind; though only a few paces away, one wrong move in her retrieval could prove fatal.
"Come now, Light. Even you don't murder someone in cold blood." Fang jested.
"Don't tempt me."
Lightning swung her sword upwards in an arc shape, holding back a war cry as the tip of her blade narrowly missing Fang's nose as she withdrew backwards.
"Damn right, I'll tempt you." Purred Fang.
Lightning bolted forwards swinging the Blazefire saber wildly at Fang, who leaped sideways. They circled each other, Lightning purposely placing herself between Fang and the cave.
"Now for a taste of your own medicine, Fang." Lightning warned, throwing a Ruin spell at Fang from a point-blank range. The spell lit up their battleground temporarily, lighting up Fang's face enough to show the surprise etched upon her features. She allowed the spell to hit, locking her arms in front of her face to reduce damage, as she hit the floor with a muffled thump.
Lightning stalked up to Fang, pointing the blade edge to Fang's exposed neck. Fang seeming to regard her assailant with more enthusiasm that needed, deliberately eyeing the length of Lightning's toned legs as she approached.
Careful of stabbing the blade into her own throat, Fang propped herself up with her elbows, swapping her interest in Lightning with the Blazefire saber instead. Lightning remained as she was, tightening her grip when Fang's hand boldly moved to stroke the length of the blade with her fingertips.
"Why didn't I notice this before?"
Lightning instinctively reached for her navel, and the piercing concealed behind her jacket, but dropped her hand when she realised Fang wasn't referring to it.
"No love, I already know what you've got hidden under there." Fang responded, adding a wink. "I mean this inscription on your sword here."
Undecided on where Fang was taking this, Lightning poked the sword closer to her throat in case it was all a ruse.
"I had my name engraved on it, so what?"
Lightning figured Fang would not be able to read inscription, as it was written with the Cocoon alphabet.
Fang chuckled, causing the hairs on the back of the soldier's neck to rise.
"No, I'm talking 'bout the Pulsian description here." She said, working a finger upon the engraved words.
Lightning frowned. The other inscriptions were written using the Pulse alphabet?
"What does it say?" She asked, as her interested now truly peaked.
"It says 'put the sword away and be civilised.'" Lightning snorted. "But really… it says 'Invoke my name – I am Spark.'" Fang trailed a finger upon the shorter inscription. "And this bit says 'blinding instant'… nice, huh?"
Lightning pulled the blade towards her to examine the words herself. She had always presumed the marks were merely a stamp from the creator of the gunblade.
Fang made to get up, but Lightning placed the sword back to her neck with one quick motion.
"Not so fast." She interjected. She felt herself become more and more wound up by Fang's actions as the woman casually placed her arms behind her head, drawing the soldier's attention to her full chest as she too ka deep breath.
"I'm getting pretty tired of your antics. Leave me alone, I'm… not interested." Lightning said tiredly.
"Yeah, right. 'Not interested' my ass." Fang licked her lips slowly, wanting Lightning to take in every bit of her seduction.
"I'm immune to these little games you play, Fang. What part do you not understand? I'm. Not. Interested." Lightning reaffirmed.
Fang sat up, pushing the gunblade away from her throat daringly with a single finger, as she slid her left hand across the top of the blade to grip Lightning's wrist.
"I think you should join me down here, Light."
Fang was obviously going to persist with her emotional tormenting, as she used her free hand to gesture that Lightning should come closer, curling a long finger slowly.
At this point, Lightning's heart drummed hard in her chest, feeling momentarily helpless as the dark temptress's hand snaked up to her own, forgetting that she had been angry. She swallowed.
"Look at you, Light." Fang said, prying the sword from her iron grip. "One minute you're pissed off, the next minute you're all hesitant…"
Lightning found herself being pulled closer to Fang, who had sat up slightly to meet her halfway.
Fang's gaze pierced her own in a way that felt like her very soul was exposed. It was at that very moment that time froze around them, only beginning again once Fang inched closer to her face, pulling the soldier down on all fours on top of her.
Fang leaned in to close the gap - Lightning twitched – and a kiss was placed on her cheek instead. However Fang's invasion didn't stop there; although silently irked that the sergeant had moved, Fang trailed delicate kisses up the soldier's jaw line, leaving a tingling sensation on Lightning's skin in her wake.
The arm that was propping Lightning up gave way, causing her to fall further into Fang, who let go of her wrist in favour of tracing her hand into Lightning's soft hair as her kisses lowered to her neck.
She involuntarily moaned when Fang sucked at her neck, then began nibbling her ear, and her eyes fluttered shut, cutting off the unneeded sensory, to focus more on Fang's alluring touch.
Fang rolled them over, temporarily breaking contact to gently place Lightning underneath her, and take in the gloriously flustered sight before her.
This is wrong. So very wrong. Lightning tried to tell herself, but her actions betrayed her lust filled mind when she forcefully grabbed a fistful of fabric, and pulled Fang down onto her lips anyway.
Her heart exploded; her eyes rolled back into her head and a euphoric feeling washed over her as Fang wasted no time in prying her lips apart with her very talented tongue.
The hands of both women travelled to each other's hair, tugging, pulling and ensuring a firm grip so neither could escape. Lightning found the braids in Fang's hair particularly interesting, looping them around her slender fingers, whilst Fang enjoyed combing her fingers through Lightning's own tresses.
They broke apart to breathe, and Lightning finally took notice of the changing colour of the sky.
"I think it's best if we go to bed now." She panted. "No Fang, to sleep." She corrected, when the suggestion only succeeded in Fang giving her an excited look.
"Fine." Fang hesitantly rolled of her.
Picking herself up and dusting herself off, Lightning turned to face the cave, her face feeling rather warm.
"You go in first and lie down, at least make it look like I've taken over guard duty. I think it's time Snow got up off his lazy ass next."
Fang nodded, letting her desiring gaze linger over Lightning, before heading for the cave.
Lightning slowly sauntered over to where her gunblade lay, repeating the last few minutes in her head.
What have I just unleashed?
A/N: I've worked on this chapter in little bits, whenever inspiration hit, I wrote. Just a question, would anyone like this to change to an M Rating, or are we happy as it is? Because I'm up for a challenge! I'm also thinking up another story involving these two, perhaps slighty AU just to keep it interesting.
Until next time! x