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♦♦♦⋮ “I promise I’ll take good care of it, Fang!
— Yaaaay, we’re gonna get a farm!”
"Have no doubts ya will, ‘Nille. Jus’ make sure you thank Bekah later too, alright?"
Gaps in words, silence reigning possession after the statement so cowardly left her lips. It was completely unnerving, anxiety maliciously toying with her respectful patience as fingers trembled in strained apprehension and rolling into gripping fists at her sides. This silence…only enlightening the soldier that perhaps her words held no merit. That they meant nothing to Fang now.
Was I too l a t e, Fang…?
Azures let themselves connect with emeralds, holding their gaze without speaking and without withdrawal. There was a silent message there, unspoken but evident behind flickering hues. Lightning had purposely let herself out of her own barricade, stripping down several walls, enough so she could see. See what she couldn’t speak at times…Loyalty. Devotion. Friendship…and Longing.
She hadn’t been so sure about anything until now.
A cant of the head was all that was given to the roseate’s confirmation, as she silently mulled over the answer given to her. Fang could feel the hope she had harbored for what felt like an eternity flicker and grow, but a part of her wanted to refuse it this right out of caution— and for good reason. So many times had they pushed each other this far; resulting in her being told she deserved better, or ending with her being brushed aside due to Lightning’s own crippling fear of losing her.
Still, it wasn’t hard to tell the soldier had lowered her walls; a rare thing indeed, from how long she had persisted in trying to get them down herself, but.. Was it really what she wanted?
"—I’ll admit, I wasn’t really holdin’ my breath on you ever sayin’ that.." Fang spoke up finally, even though she was still attempting to find the right words to say, as she hadn’t been prepared in the least for this outcome. "And while I’m relieved to know you feel somethin’, I gotta know.. What do you really want, Lightning? I refuse to let myself act on this, until I know for certain it’d truly be welcomed.” A long pause, before finally, “..Because I don’t want to end up doin’ somethin’ to make ya push me away again.”
♦♦♦⋮ "— So can I get a farm?!"
"I’m guessin’ I don’t have much of a choice, do I? As long as ya really take responsibility for it, than yeah you can.”
“Is she cute?”
“Yeah, but a crybaby.” The woman was a good listener, so Fang continued. “When she’s lonely or worried, she always cries. But if I pat her on the head she’ll forget it all in an instant. She’s just like that…”
“I see… well, I hope you can find her soon so you can pat her on the head.”(ffxiii: episode zero)
♦♦♦⋮ "Not with that, silly!
She can force people to come and help take care of the farm!”
"…I guess you do have a point there.”
♦♦♦⋮ "I’ll get some farm help too, yeah?
And you and Bekah can help too!”
"…Somehow I don’t think you’re goin’ to get Rebekah of all people to help, ‘Nille."
A sturdy jaw clenched, instant tension creasing her body in iron defense. Hues maintaining their glacial glare, predisposed nonetheless to their recent accounts. “I may be an idiot, but I’m not stupid, Fang.” Furrowed brows pained her expression, cringing at how that statement had erupted. It was something dumb enough Snow would have said.
Shaking the effects off, she continued through a strained willingness. For once, being granted this much liberty to speak without harsh bellows unnerved her. Transmitting her emotions or discussing them weren’t her expertise. “There’s something going on between us…”
I wish I could just be b r a v e u n a f r a i d to tell you
"Because…I feel it too." Everything changes.
Now that’s an understatement if I ever heard one.. The pulsian mused to herself inwardly, though making it a point to keep her expression as blank as possible— to hide any hint of her current thoughts, or feelings on the matter.
She had known there was something going on between them, far longer than she cared to admit, but after everything else they had gone through.. Hearing Lightning admitting she finally noticed had caught her completely off-guard, along with the sudden shift in their conversation. Her gaze lingered upon the ground separating them for a few moments longer, before jade hues lifted and locked onto azure counterparts.
“—You do?” There was no derision or disbelief in her tone, rather there was a sense of pure curiosity, and underlying it all.. a bit of hopefulness, that she had refused to let grow until now.
♦♦♦⋮ “’Cause I don’t just want one; I want a lot!
A lotta animals and a lotta friendships with ‘em!”
She’d built separate parts for them, of course!
"That’s all nice and dandy, ‘Nille. But can you really take care of them all by yourself?”
Strides fell immobile at the rise of the pulsian’s call, hesitant to revert her attention back to her given their situation. Lately, it had been walking on thin ice for either of them. Eventually observant optics turned to face her, conservative as ever to drown any emotion that would dare defy her. After a long pause, the soldier found her words to speak again.
"The other night…you asked me if anything would change—”
Lightning knew this was a sore subject to bring back up again, the horse practically beaten to the ground. But..it was something that she reflected on long and hard and Fang at least deserved an answer.
"Nothing has changed, Fang… " her tone was at a whisper, slow and gradual pauses in between in search for the appropriate words. "I’ll still be there to fight by your side, to lend you a hand in what I can. It changes nothing.”
"And yet…it changes everything.”
No words were spoken as she just.. listened to the soldier’s words, having already expected the conversation to switch in this general direction sooner or later, considering it’s pretty much how it always went— yet it didn’t mean she was any more prepared for it though.
However, Fang frankly would rather have just forgotten the ordeal entirely and moved on, like she tried doing after the last few fights they had gone through.. But Lightning had stayed, and was seemingly really wanting to talk about it. So, despite feeling like she already knew where this was headed, she was willing to go along with it— at least to see what the woman had to say on the matter, even if the roseate’s words had earned her a puzzled look.
"—How does it change everythin’?”
♦♦♦⋮ “A farm, Fang!
Of chocobos and moogles and—!”
Eagerness was evident in her tone, throwing her arms in the air for extra emphasis.
"But why a farm? You can always jus’ buy a chococbo, y’know? ..And I don’t think the moogles would appreciate being kept like wild animals either.”