Author's Note: Okay, I know I have another story that I haven't updated in forever, but this got stuck in my head, and if it gets me back into writing again, then I say go for it, right? Also, 13 pages for FFXIII fanfiction! BOOM!
Final Fantasy XIII is the property of Square Enix and not owned by me in any way, shape or form.
This Tear Will Be Her Last
A bright light slowly began to appear, and then intensify through her eyelids. As gently as a caress, it hovered, awaiting the sleeping dreamer to acknowledge its presence and awaken. And when she did, the well rested Serah Villiers smiled drowsily and opened her eyes slowly.
Attempting to bring her consciousness fully into the world of the living, she turned to see the other side of her bed empty, but a tray with breakfast on it placed on the end table by her bed. She vaguely remembered a nuzzle from her husband earlier that morning as he placed the tray down, before mentioning in a soft husky voice that he was leaving and how much he loved her before giving her a kiss on the forehead.
Before reaching for the tray, the young girl's hand, which had been rubbing her eye as she yawned, traveled down her body with its twin to rest on her stomach.
A year and a half had passed since Cocoon's inhabitants had been transported to Pulse. The feral world's new residents had a lot to get used to in the beginning… Lives needed to be rebuilt; people needed homes, and eventually, businesses. With everyone pitching in, things popped up pretty fast. Lightning and her friends had decided to reside in Oerba, partially because the buildings were already built and just needed a good bit of touching up, and partially in the memory of their friends that had sacrificed themselves so that the former Cocoon inhabitants could have the life that they had now. Fang and Vanille loved their world and their town of Oerba so much, that lots of love and care were given to the buildings.
Snow and the other NORA members were a big help with the reconstruction. Snow's size and strength made it easier for him to help, and he always left early every morning so he could help others fix up their own parts of their new town. He never left without making his wife breakfast though, and he came back frequently to check on her.
Serah, although not having the chance to attend Eden University for too long, had started helping out in the Medical Center. As of the moment, only two people were qualified to help out and train under the main doctor of the center. She was sure that more would pop up as they got their new lives together, but for now the job was left to Serah and Trellis McKroy. A man who also had had some limited doctoral knowledge.
Serah and Trellis had been working non-stop to help those that had been injured in the opening of the Arc on Cocoon, and those that just happened to wander into the path of a Pulse monster while exploring. People were beginning to learn where they could go and where it was just safer not to go, and some were even learning how to defend themselves against monsters. The steady flow into the Medical Center had just started to even out when Serah began to have exhaustion spells.
Dizziness. Headaches. And though she hated to admit it, fainting spells.
She kept everything a secret because she didn't want to worry anyone, especially her over protective husband who would have easily dropped everything and kept her at home. But after an incident where she had had to excuse herself from a patient (thankfully a woman with a minor scratch) and run into the hallway for some air, only to pass out as Snow walked around the corner, her petrified husband had carried her into her boss, Dr. Tomyoy. After a quick analysis they were given the news.
Mixed with exhaustion, stress and Serah's small stature.
Snow's reaction had been different than anyone would have expected. His face had become more serious as he closed his eyes and wrapped his tiny wife in his arms while she slowly processed the news. Dr. Tomyoy had continued that Serah needed plenty of rest and that she could have time off, but Snow had interrupted, setting his steely blue eyes on the doctor.
"Dr. Tomyoy. If you don't mind, I'm taking my wife home. I'll bring her back when I think we're ready."
Serah began to eat her breakfast as she stroked her stomach. She was beginning to get bored in the house. Snow had stayed with her for a while, carrying her everywhere to keep her off of her feet and away from anything that could be deemed remotely dangerous or strenuous.
Like cooking, and walking down the stairs…..
And… just walking in general…
Lightning was almost just as bad when she came over, if not worse. Not that her sister carried her everywhere, but if she tried to do anything, Lightning would promptly (but gently) put her back in her place and go do it for her.
If Serah didn't love her sister and her husband so much, she would have gone insane. But she understood that they had lost her once and just wanted this pregnancy to go by as smoothly as possible. Plus, some of their neighbors were pregnant and had lost their families somewhere between the Purge epidemic and the downfall of Cocoon. She was so thankful to still have hers…
However, after watching Snow turn down several people that had come to the door to ask for his help, Serah pleaded with him to return to helping with the reconstruction. He had initially disagreed, but after a long negotiation and repeatedly gaining her promise that she wouldn't leave the house, he returned to work.
Of course, he and Lightning both came to check on her as often as they could.
Serah went back to the center about three times a week, and never for very long. Dr. Tomyoy and Snow had negotiated the schedule and decided that that would be the happy medium between the Medical Center's schedule and Serah's delicate health.
She usually slept most of the day, and other times she would read through old Pulsian books that had been salvaged. She enjoyed learning what plants could be used to make different medicines, and what methods the Pulsian doctors used for common illnesses and monster attacks.
But sometimes, on occasion, although it had been happening more frequently lately, Trellis would come by her house pleading with her to come by the Center. His aunt was apparently very sick, and bedridden at home. He frequently wanted to check on her, and
Serah, of course, agreed. She couldn't deny his wish to watch out after his aunt. Plus, he was never gone long, so she usually got back home before Dr. Tomyoy and Snow got wind of her activity.
It seemed like today would be one of those days, she thought to herself, as she saw Trellis walking up to her house with his usual worried look on his face. Placing her barely touched breakfast back on the tray, she rushed to the door to meet him.
"Trellis! How's the center? How's your-?"
"Aunt?" Trellis finished for her. "Not too well. Serah, I'm sorry to keep asking this of you, but.."
"No, no no!" Serah replied breathlessly. How is it that just a quick stride to her door and a slightly worried mentality left her so breathless during pregnancy? "Let me just write a note in case Snow comes back…"
Trellis watched her as she hurried off, his worried face melting easily off his features. Serah Villiers, was absolutely gorgeous. If she wasn't already pregnant (and her husband wasn't 6 feet and 7 inches of muscular death staring you in the face) he would have tried to seduce her to moving in with him. The girl was skinny, and you couldn't even tell that she was 3 ½ months pregnant, and she seemed so fragile, both physically and mentally.
As if she could be broken to fit his every desire. To need him just to survive, and not have any strength for any other activity that didn't involve accommodating his needs.
Cooking. Cleaning. Massages. Child bearing. Sex.
But, sadly, Mrs. Villiers was already taken. And if Trellis wasn't afraid of her husband, then he would most definitely be afraid of her older sister…
Talk about scary…
Every time she looked at him, it was like she could see right through him. It was like he was an expendable threat that could easily be taken out should the wish occur. It was like-
"Finished!" Serah popped back into the room, throwing on a sweater, just in case she began to get cold. "Let's go."
Trellis re-adapted his "worried" mask and began to walk to the clinic with Serah, disappointed that circumstances would not allow him to have the young girl next to him.
'But,' he thought to himself, blond hair and green eyes taking over his thoughts. 'At least, I'm going to have somebody…'
Bumping his fists together, Snow looked over the new room he had just added to the Gobtrei's house. It meshed in with the rest of the house quite well, even though they had used old Pulsian parts lying around. The Gobtrei's were also expecting a new addition to their family and needed a little more space. When they asked Snow for help, he just HAD to agree. He knew the feeling of beginning a family…
"Snow, thank you for your help, man," Quentell Gobtrei said as he clapped Snow on the shoulder. "We'll get the interior set up from here. But we couldn't have done it without your help."
"Just happy to help out," Snow replied, smiling yet again over his handiwork.
"Are you heading over to the new bar?"
"Eh, maybe, in a bit." Snow said off-handedly. In truth, although he loved seeing his friends and helping out with the new restaurant, he liked to spend more time at home with his wife nowadays. He still did his rounds to check on everyone, but then he usually went straight home, to the amusement of his friends who liked to make the "whipping" motion whenever in his presence. Speaking of his beautiful bride…
"Alright, you enjoy your new room. I'm going to go check on my family," Snow's attention was not set elsewhere as he began to jog off.
"How long 'til that baby of yours comes?" Quentell called out.
"5 ½ months! We can't wait! Bye!"
Quentell shook his head at the man that was always so eager to help, and seemed so infatuated with his little family.
"Daddy, daddy!" Quentell's 2 year old son came running out of the house while his pregnant wife Marissa followed, smiling at her little family.
Snow strode home, giving a wave and a smile to all of his new neighbors. Opening the door, he realized that the house was quiet. His darling wife must be napping. Hopping up the staircase, he gently pushed the door opening to rest his eyes on….
An empty bed.
And a barely touched breakfast.
Eyebrows furrowing, Snow called out, "Serah?" Beginning to step into the room to look for his missing wife. A white piece of paper was stuck on the bedroom mirror, and he began to read it even as he crossed the room to pick it up.
I had to run out to do an errand. I'll be back soon. I love you, hero!
Snow tried to process the letter even as he put it down. Errand? He did all of the grocery shopping AND gotten every food she could possibly crave, AND he had taken care of everything outside AND inside that needed to be taken care of.
Serah needed to rest. And NOT go outside without him.
Snow took two steps backwards as he contemplated the situation. Serah wasn't feeling too well yesterday, prompting him to carry her to bed and place them both in bed as he rubbed her shoulders and back until she fell asleep. She apparently didn't eat her breakfast, so she must have left in a rush. That ruled out any of their friends' houses because she would have eaten first if it wasn't an emergency. The only place in Serah's life that could fuel emergencies was… the Medical Center.
And with that thought, Snow turned and strode quickly out of the house.
Serah was beginning to regret her decision as she listened to a man rant about the cut on his arm.
"Sir," she began. "We used an antidote on it so the poison is gone. Potions are in very limited supply and your injury is very very minor. It will heal in less than a week! We need to save the potions for something-"
"Now you listen here, lady," the irate man started again, pointing his finger directly in Serah's face. As he continued his rant about how his wound WAS important and how she should give him a potion right that second, Serah attempted to tune him out and calm herself. She was starting to feel exhausted again (how does that happen so quickly?) and the stress was making her head hurt. She knew she had to relax for the baby's sake, but the man was so LOUD.
And he apparently didn't want to leave…
Trellis usually was back within 2 hours, but it had been 4 and Serah, for the past few weeks had been used to being carried through the house by her loving and devoted husband, kept off of her feet, and sleeping off her exhaustion. Covering for Trellis so often recently had counteracted the pampered treatment that she had received, and then she would get customers like this who just pushed every possible boundary that he could.
Plus, she was hungry… Glancing at the clock, she realized that she must have missed breakfast AND lunch by now…
Serah sighed as she continued stitching a little boy's arm that had fallen over some construction materials. As hard at it was to focus with this man in her face, the little boy had been waiting a while, and she was NOT going to make him wait until the man decided that he was done making an idiot of himself.
"Are you alright, little guy?" She asked as she smiled at the little boy warmly. The little boy smiled and nodded before his smile began to fade as he eyes set on something behind her. She began to turn as the man grabbed her by both arms and turned her towards him.
"Are you ignoring me, you little witch?" he asked angrily. Seething with anger while looking into the girl's beautiful gaze, he began to shake her.
Dizziness flooded into Serah's awareness. "Please…. Let… go!" she begged as panic and anxiety began to swim through her body. The breathlessness returned and slowly turned into the feeling of steel bands wrapping tightly around her body and not allowing her to breathe.
"Sir!" she tried again nicely as the shaking and screaming continued. The panic became overwhelming and darkness began to encroach on her vision as she thought to herself… 'Please… don't hurt… our baby…..'
The shaking suddenly stopped as the door was thrown open, and a 6'7" blond man walked into the room.
The entire room paused for a moment, all of the occupants taking a moment to process the new situation. Then the contemplation was cut off as Snow uttered a surprised "What?" before his expression darkened. Growling, the situation was effectively ended with a burly fist, and a previously irate man smacking his head against the adjacent wall about 7 feet away.
"What the he-"
"Snow…" a muted gasp came from beside him, interrupting his intent to beat the man into a better human being. Men don't put their hands on girls. Especially not this girl. Especially when Serah Villiers was Snow Villiers' pregnant wife.
Snow immediately dropped to his knees and picked up his wife from her position curled on the floor. Her beautiful eyes slowly opened and she smiled at him, weakly calling out "My hero…"
Snow felt like crying.
My one…. My only….
When she became pregnant and Dr. Tomyoy expressed that there were dangers since she was so tiny and so exhausted, Snow couldn't even happily process the news. All he could focus on was that his wife had worked herself too hard, and now her life and the life of their unborn child might be in danger. He had tried so hard to keep her safe. To keep her happy.
Why was she here?
Picking her up, he looked over at the child in the seat. It looked like Serah had just gotten done doing a nice little stitching on his arm. The kid looked up at him wild eyed as he said, "Go on kid, you're gonna be fine."
The kid scampered out as Snow turned to follow, stopping in front of the man that he officially considered lower than Barthandelus himself.
In a dark, threatening voice, Snow growled, "I'll deal with you later," before turning and walking out the door.
Walking out of the examination room, Snow walked into the main lobby where Dr. Tomyoy had come running out to see what the commotion was.
"Mr. Villiers…" the startled man started before he noticed what the other man carried in his arms. "Serah? What is she doing here?"
Snow sent a glare at the doctor. "I was hoping to get that question answered myself."
The doctor gestured into an empty examination room, and ran around the room preparing things while the younger man set his wife on the cot.
"Where is Trellis?" the doctor asked himself as he got a flashlight and held open Serah's eyelids, looking into her pupils.
Snow was silent. He didn't know the answer and he was restless. He felt like either pacing until Serah woke up and they received the news that all would be okay, or going back into the other room and beating the man that was shaking his wife into a bloody pulp. But he knew neither of these would help his wife, and he wanted to stay by her side and watch everything that happened to her.
Feeling around her stomach gently, Dr. Tomyoy looked back at Snow slightly, asking "What happened?"
Taking a deep breath, Snow began to relay what he knew.
Trellis McKroy was practically skipping back to the Medical Center. He had taken a little longer than he usually did, but after a successful date and a heavy make out session with the newest girl he was trying to score, he couldn't have planned the circumstances out better…. Well, if she hadn't gotten nervous at the very last moment and hastily said goodbye to him, that would have been great, but he was pretty sure that by the next time they met, she would succumb to his desires.
'If only there was a way to break Serah…' he thought to himself as he walked into the usually quiet center. There was only one room that looked like it had occupancy. That must be where his beautiful co-worker was working on one of his patients for him.
'And I'm still getting paid for today,' he thought to himself as he opened the door. 'She's already started down the path. I might be able to break this girl yet…'
However, the only thing that he felt being broken was his nose as a fist came in contact with his face, knocking him clear on his back.
"Uggh," Trellis garbled as he dropped to the ground. Not even having the time to process who punched him, the fist grabbed him by the neck, lifting him and pressing him firmly against the wall.
"Where have you been?" Snow growled in his face.
Coughing, and attempting to breathe, Trellis knew a sarcastic comment probably wouldn't be the smartest thing at this moment.
"My aunt…." He rasped. "Sick…"
"Really?" Snow drawled. "Because a very reliable source told me that you were seen sticking your tongue down some young girl's throat today, instead of being here DOING YOUR JOB!"
Trellis's eyes widened. Who could have told on him? His legs flailed as he tried to kick out of Snow's grip. "….Lie…"
Suddenly, Trellis was dropped to stand on his own feet. As he reacquainted himself with air, he suddenly saw a flash of strawberry blonde and felt a very sharp instrument pointed at his throat.
He opened his eyes and looked straight into the furious eyes of Lightning Farron.
"I don't lie, Mr. McKroy… and I know what I saw… I was very concerned as to who was watching the clinic on my sister's day off while you were so happily man whoring yourself across town."
Trellis didn't know what to say. He had been caught, and he was scared to breathe with Lightning's sword so close to his vital organs. Lightning raised an eyebrow, awaiting any answer that the man could possibly come up with.
Trellis's eyes move over to Snow, who stood behind Lightning glaring at the man.
"What happened to the hero?" Trellis challenged. "The man that would protect everyone?"
"He became a husband and father," Snow replied, unflinchingly. "I'm her hero now, and my wife, who is pregnant and exhausted is lying in a hospital bed because of you!"
"Besides," Lightning replied coolly, pressing her sword tighter against the man's neck. "He's already helped saved the world."
At a loss of what else to say, Trellis sneered at the two former l'cie. "If you weren't here she'd be pregnant and exhausted anyway, in my bed."
He should have expected the knee in the groin that he got from Serah's older sister, but being thrown through the door, through the waiting room, and out the main entrance was a reaction that he didn't expect from the other man, although on hindsight, he supposed that he should have. As he skidded along the ground, his body's momentum eventually carried him into a pole, successfully knocking him out.
Angered, Snow attempted to follow him out, only to be stopped by Lightning's hand.
"It's okay," she said through clenched teeth. It was obvious that she was upset too, but trying to harness her anger. At least for now.
"You take care of Serah, hero." She turned to look at him. "That is your job, right?"
"I'm going to deal with this guy and turn him in to the Guardian Corps for a little while. You take Serah home, where she belongs."
Snow took a deep breath, with his eyes on the man resting unconsciously outside of the Center. Releasing his anger was hard, but he at least could release enough of it to see Lightning's point. He didn't want Serah here any longer.
Turning, he gently picked up his wife, kissing her on the forehead as he brought her into his arms. As he turned to nod to Lightning, he carried Serah out, stopping to gently kick Trellis McKroy in the ribs before taking his wife home.
This time, he only rolled a couple of yards.
Serah's return to consciousness was very similar to her situation about 7 hours ago.
Well, minus the light gently rousing her into consciousness, and if she could ignore the splitting headache that was getting worse and worse by the second….
"Ugmmm…" Serah squeezed her eyelids closed in displeasure as she reached for her forehead, hoping that there was something physical causing her headache so that she could remove it and continue through life.
"It's okay," came a husky, almost whisper from next to whatever soft surface she was laying on. "Hang on a sec…"
Serah gasped. She had already woken up once. She went to the center, there was an irate customer…. And now Snow was here. Trying to open her eyes, Serah knew that she was busted, and if she knew her husband well enough, in big trouble.
She turned to see his smiling face, but the smile didn't reach his eyes. It was similar to the face he had when she turned to crystal. Smiling for her sake, but internally worried.
She hated that for him….
She reached out to touch his face, and her hero smiled down at her, caught her hand gently in the air and wrapped his fingers around it while reaching with his other hand towards her mouth. Trusting him, she opened as half of a pill for her headache and dizziness was placed on her tongue.
Said arm then moved under her back and gently coaxed her into a slightly reclining position. Serah looked at her husband guiltily as he handed her a glass of water to wash down the pill. It must be bad if he was giving her pills. They decided mutually to stay away from them for the health of the baby, but if he was giving them to her freely…
She drank the water, swallowing the pill, before handing the glass back to the doting love of her life.
"I'm sorry," she rasped.
Concerned as to how he must be feeling, and furious with herself for making him feel this way, she turned her head away as tears began to prick at the back of her eyes.
"No…" Snow whispered, grabbing her chin and turning her towards him, rubbing his thumb right under her eyelid. Gently, he pulled her towards him and kissed her, gently, and so slowly that she wanted to cry even harder because of the sweetness of it all. Slowly, though, she got herself under control.
Her husband would not let her cry. He absolutely hated it when she did. He had told her several times about his adventures saving the world with her sister and how her crystallized tear was the only sanity he had to hold onto the whole time. He had promised her sister that that tear would be her last, and every time it even looked like she was going to cry, Snow would try anything and everything to get her to stop.
While it seemed impossible for her to never again cry in her life, whether happy or sad, thus far, Snow was doing a pretty decent job…
Placing her hands on his cheeks, Serah pulled him away from her lips. "I'm sorry," she whispered again before giving him another sweet tender kiss. "I love you…"
The kiss resumed where it left off as Snow's hands ran down her arms slowly, almost as if comforting her, or committing her skin to memory. Gradually, his hands trailed off her arms and traveled to her stomach.
Breaking away with a gasp, Serah looked down at his huge hands as the spanned the entirety of her waist, and brought her hands to join his. Watching their hands together, she looked back up at him and smiled. "We're alright…"
Snow smiled his relaxing, cocky smile at her. "Like there was ever any doubt…"
Leaning into his arms, Serah closed her eyes as the words drifted past her lips.
Lightning Farron crossed her arms and waited outside of Serah and Snow's house. She refused to call it the "Villiers's household" because in her mind, no matter how green she became with Snow, Serah was formerly and always would be a "Farron." She shifted her weight as she waited for the door to open.
She was always capable of "breaking in" or "finding a way in," but she was trying to be courteous and knock out of respect.
As she knocked loudly again, she finally heard the hurried, heavy footsteps of the big oaf that was technically considered her brother-in-law before the door opened.
Walking by his shirtless and bandana-less form without a formal invitation, Lightning commented, "Nice… How's Serah?"
Caught mid-yawn and rubbing one of his eyes, Snow closed the door behind Lightning. "Sleeping in bed. Where she should have been all day."
Lightning made a non committal noise as she looked around the living room, not really seeing anything as she finally let the day sink in.
Snow, finally shaking himself awake, walked into the kitchen and started rummaging through the fridge. "How's Trellis?"
"We had a 'discussion' about where his priorities lie," Lightning started, taking slow steps towards the kitchen. "And Guardian Corps has him helping to clean out fiends from some of the outer areas. They found some doctors that have been looking for work and have finally gotten settled. They're not too far, and they're going to commute and work at the Center."
"That's great," Snow commented, beginning to cook dinner.
"How much does Serah know?"
"That she needs to let me know before she goes somewhere for this very reason."
"And about Trellis?" Lightning countered.
"That he is a liar and that she should never speak to him again."
"That's all she knows." Snow interceded. "That's all she needs to know…"
Lightning looked to see Snow looking away, gripping his spatula tightly in his fists. With the things that Trellis had said today alone, not including how he had used Serah, it was amazing that Snow could shoulder his anger. Especially knowing that his wife had been in close contact with the man that had obviously had such intense thoughts towards her.
Lightning walked briskly over to Snow and placed her hand on his tensed bicep. She waited before his eyes focused on her.
"She's with you, hero. There's no safer place for her to be."
Snow watched her for a second before a smile slowly began to crawl onto his face.
Both heads turned as the petite Serah Villiers walked out of the hallway drowsily, clinging to a wall. Dropping the spatula and walking around Lightning, Snow almost ran over to where his wife was.
"You're supposed to be resting," he said softly, kissing her as he lifted her into his arms. He brought her to the dining table and sat her down at the head of the table, kissing her forehead as he went back to the kitchen.
"Dinner will be up in no time!" Snow called out, throwing the spatula in the air and letting it flip end over end before catching it. He pointed it at her and winked. "I expect you to eat every last bite."
Lightning came to hug her sister as she sat down next to her. Serah pouted at her sister. "No one will let me do anything around here…"
Lightning brushed her sister's hair back as she felt her stomach. "We're a family." Lighning replied.
"It's our job to take care of you."