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22 November 2010 @ 04:14 pm
[In Progress] Soul Sister Part 1/?  
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII
Title: Soul Sister
Characters/Pairing: Lightning, Serah, eventual OCs, hint of future Farroncest
Warnings: Angst, mention of death, shifting POV, language and violence later on
Rating: M
Summary:After the death of Claire and Serah Farron’s mother, Claire Farron enlists at the premier PSICOM military academy and training facility in Eden as a ward of the state sponsored by the Cocoon government. Emotional and physical tensions grow between her and her sister as Claire sheds her past and slowly grows into Lightning, the stoic new talent joining the Bodhum Security Regiment of the Guardian Corps, spearheaded by her mentor, Lieutenant Amodar. The relationship of the sisters finally comes to an irreversible breaking point as Serah is eventually revealed to be a Pulse l’Cie at Lightning’s 21st birthday.
Notes: My NaNoWriMo fic! It takes place pre-game, Lightning-centric from age 15-21. Hence the OCs that will pop up here and there throughout the fic. Cameos from the other XIII characters as well.

I want to make a special mention of Lissar's translation of Episode Zero. Without it, I couldn't have pieced together events from Lightning's early adolescence.

And finally a big thank you to maplepie_tree for betaing!


I had another nightmare last night. It is the first I have had in a while that wakes me up so bad and sweaty that Serah asks me what’s wrong. No, I didn't have the heart to tell her about Mom...yet. All I could get out was that we had to visit Mom in this hospital today. I'm scared, I don't know what to do. My forehead's in pain, but I don't want to go to the school nurse. I can't focus on the work that's out in front of me. All I can think of is 'Mom, I hope you'll get better soon.' For mine and Serah's sakes.

The doctor called last evening as Serah was cooking dinner. Said that Mom's condition was getting worse. If she died...I don't know what to do. I'm only fifteen years old, pulling a decent grade average in school. What could I do? I don't even have a job...just breathe, Claire. I know I want to cry, but I can't. I'm the big sister, I have to be strong for Serah.

And this is how I spent my afternoon. I picked up Serah once she was dismissed from her school, thankfully within reasonable walking distance, and I don't think I've let go of her hand since. We're close to where the hospital is. Serah seems nervous besides me, as we walk down the street, heels clicking against the pavement from time to time. Her hand is getting sweaty; so is mine. Serah keeps trying to run as fast as her legs will let her, but I have to take care of her.

"Hey." With that, my hand squeezed hers, so she could stop and listen to what I had to say.

"Don't run, it's dangerous." It's true, Bodhum is still a large place, even for a tourist spot famous for its beaches. I also was trying hard to not run. It's ok Claire, she's still alive.

Serah looked up at me, and her eyes, her eyes tell me she feels something is wrong, because we're close, and I couldn't hide my feelings from her for very long.

"What's wrong with Mom?"

"Nothing," I replied, and left it at that. I didn't want to think about it more. The growing, empty void in my stomach was enough warning. I was too nervous to reassure her further until I felt certain about Mom. But the doctor...

The room was very white, but dimmed from the shades covering the window. I picked the withering flowers from the vase, and replaced it with cheap, new ones that we both picked up on our way here. The flowers are the only splash of color in the room, besides the smattering of faded pink hue on the wall. Roses are her favorite flowers, but I felt odd giving her these. Roses for romance, right? It would've felt too inappropriate for me, because Dad always gave her some, as far back as I can remember.

"Mom!" Serah cried, running up to her until she stopped, then hugged her very carefully. I was right behind her for my hug. I hugged my mother, our only parent, until I couldn't hug her any closer.

"Why, girls, thank you for the flowers. They're lovely."

"Anything for you, Mom. Are you okay?"

"I'm feeling a little better. The fever's gone now."

"That's great!"

"Yes. How are you two doing in school?"

At least Serah was smiling again. Etro, I even have a wide grin on my face now. It's good to visit Mom whenever we can. I wanted to meet the doctor on the communications link, face to face, to explore the options if Mom...if she wasn't here anymore.

Don't be so negative. She's right here, talking to you.



"I...I'm just happy to see you. I'm sorry I didn't see you yesterday."

"I'm feeling good today. Actually, I want some fruit." Turning her head, she nodded towards Serah.

"Serah, would you go and buy some for me?"

"Wait," I said, "I'll go buy some."

"Serah's better at choosing."

"Yea," Serah nodded, "And I'm a better cook too." With that, she left the room. Well, at least I can try to tell Mom what was exactly on my mind...the doctor's call, anything else I could do to--


"Yea Mom?" By that tone, Mom also had important things to tell me too. She knows, she knows, but I can't panic now. I took her hand instead. It's warm and comfortable, like always.

She took a breath before speaking, all eyes on mine. Mom looks very sad.

"There will be many things you'll have to do now." She squeezed my hand and with her other one, placed it on top of mine. I don't want to hear this...

"But you know, you don't have to do it all by yourself. Serah can help you with some of those things," she continued. She knew, she knew, and I can't do anything for her.

"But Mom..." I can't say anything more. There's a lump in my throat. My eyes are getting blurry, but I can't cry in front of Mom. She's telling me I have to be an adult, and little kiddies cry. I can't do that right now. It's not fair to Mom. She's dying, the doctor said. She's telling me she's dying, and that I have to be responsible for everything now. I have to be an adult, for her, for Serah. I know, Mom, and it hurts.

I want my-- our Mom to live. The lump's getting bigger, my headache just tripled in size, and a little whine creeped out of my mouth. I sound like a dying cat--and, and my eyes are wet now. I tried to duck my head down so she couldn't see, but the soft pitter-patter can be heard on the floor. Curse you tile flooring, with your amplified sound system. And no, I just let out a sniff, my shoulder are shaking--

There's a little pressure on my arm. I leaned into it. I only wanted my Mom to be okay. It took me so long to accept Dad's passing, and now my Mom is being taken away. I'm so weak, I don't know what to do...except to stop crying. Mom is just holding me. I like that; it feels safe.

"Aww, my baby. Don't cry." Her arm reached some more and softly rubbed my back. I needed that comfort. Thank you, Mom. It probably felt like ages, before I'm good. Probably a little bit puffy-eyed, but i had to be calm for the next part. I had to tell Serah soon.

"Cute little spoiled girl. We used to call you that, before Serah was born."

"I don't remember that..."

She laughed a little bit. "Once Serah was born, you became an older sister. You were only three. Both your father and I no longer can call you our spoiled girl." My hair was being stroked by Mom's but she felt so thin. Serah and I kept telling her to eat, because how else can you get better? Then it hit me. Mom was really dying. Her hand went through my hair again, staying on the little curls at the end. She continued with the memory, "After your father died, you always helped me, didn't you? You always watched over Serah,"-- I gave a little nod at that--"You're such a good big sister. That's why I'm not worried about Serah. Because you'll be there for her...but Serah will be there for you too. She will help you when it hurts, she will give you strength. Don't forget that."

I'm tearing up again. All this time, Mom was worried for me, because she knew I had to deal with the responsibility a lot more than Serah. I have to ask for this doctor now...

"My little spoiled girl..." And Mom continued stroking my hair, eventually standing up to give me a proper hug. That was it. Mom was telling me I have to take care of my sister and myself...because there's no one else who was able to do that anymore. And I won't be letting my mother down. Not if I can help it. To protect what was left of this family, I have to be an adult. I can't just shift this responsibilty to anyone else, because Mom trusts me. I vaguely heard clicking on the tile floor, then the door opened--

"Mom, I got your favorite. Strawberries."

"Thank you, Serah. Come, give me another hug." And we three were all hugging each other in the middle of the room. It was turning orange because of the sunset, making the room vibrant. I felt a pain in my chest, I can't go home and be a child anymore. I'm not the same person. I tried grinning as we held each other, but it felt forced, fake.

I don't think I can ever feel like a child again.

I placed white flowers on the grave marker. White roses, because roses were her favorite. She told me many times before...before she passed on. It's been two weeks since we had the ceremony. That day was cloudy, a sort of rarity given that Bodhum was sunny all year round. Serah was crying during the ceremony, wouldn't talk to anyone, not even me. I was trying to bottle my tears, but as the service went on, I broke down during the eulogy. I lost my mother. She wouldn't get to see me grow up--Serah too--, have my own marriage, maybe grandkids too. None of that, nothing at all.

I spoke with those social services people the doctor recommended. There was hope at least. I can take care of Serah, even if I'm only fifteen. There were...options. And I will take them, because it's better than splitting us apart because of my age.

"Hi Mom. I know roses are your favorite."

So I'm asking Mom, for help. I can't be Claire anymore. She wasn't strong enough. I had to be someone else, a stronger, responsible adult. From this day on, I am not Claire Farron, the little spoiled girl.

I am Lightning.
Thoughts?: busybusy
Beats: Only Girl (in the World)- Rhianna