12. kesäkuuta 2014

The New Beginning

Author: Afeni
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII saga
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Square Enix, just the story is mine.
Warnings: Story spoils the ending of the whole FFXIII saga. You have been warned.
Summary: What happened to Vanille and Fang after everything?
A/N: I’m not native English speaker, so forgive me if I have made some stupid mistakes. This story is originally written in Finnish and I have translated it in English. The original one can be found here.

The New Beginning

Tender headache tickled Vanille’s temples. She wasn’t sure if the pain was real or not, but either way it was all around her head. She wasn’t ready to open her eyes, because she was afraid what would she saw. Everything was real in her mind. They had won and Bhunivelze has lost. Light had won the god and saved the souls. Everybody had entered to the new world, everybody but Yuels and Caius, who had been left behind.

But what was this new world? What was it like? Vanille had seen a glimpse of it and it had been beautiful. It has been spherical like Cocoon, but it surface had been intact. It had been full of greenness where the light touched it, full of glimmering water and white clouds. There had been thousands… no, millions of lights in the darker side of the world. The new world had looked amazing.

Then everything had gone dark. Vanille hadn’t felt anything, she had just sunk in the emptiness, maybe even stopped existing. She did not know, what had really happened. But the moment just before losing her final grip she had been afraid that Bhunivelze had won anyway.

Now it seemed like she was still existing. There was a hint of a headache and couple of strange fragrances in the air tickling her nostrils. She was somewhere where it was nicely warm, not too hot, but still a little moist. The moist wasn’t the same kind as in Gran Pulse, the fragrance was new and mixed with many other fragrances she didn’t know.

Voices surrounding her were foreign too. There were squeaky pace coming somewhere, maybe from the upside. Beside that there was strange and low growl, which didn’t stop even for a moment. Growling was mixed with people’s voices like there was a market place nearby. That meant that she wasn’t alone.

Vanille took a deep breath and slightly open her eyes. The orange light flooded to her sight and there was a moment she wasn’t seeing anything else. Her eyes hurt and she had to lift an arm in front of them before she could sit up. She realized she was sitting on a bed and lift her arm down again to touch the bed. Blanket fell down and her hand touched bristly sheet.

Now Vanille could see clearly her surroundings. She was sitting in a small room with diagonal ceiling and a window where the light was coming from. When she looked more closely, she realized that the window was actually a door and next to it was a smaller window. Who made a door from glass?

The room was furnished.  There were also a desk and a lower table with a strange flat… something. It looked a bit like monitors Vanille had seen at Cocoon, but it’s screen was black. The monitors of Cocoon had been full of text Vanille couldn’t read.

Before the desk there was a chair and it’s back there were some clothes. Vanille glanced herself and realized that she was naked. Where had her clothes gone? Who had took them?

Vanille slogged the rest of the blanket of her and put her feet down. The floor was made of wood and it was warm and steady under her, but her pace was flimsy like she had been sleeping a very long time, like she has been sleeping five hundred years. How long had it been this time? She couldn’t remember anything from this sleep, she hadn’t been dreaming like in the other times. Carefully stepping she made it to the desk and started to examine the pile of clothes. They seemed fit for her so she got dressed. The white underwear was following with a skirt made of hard, dark blue material, over knee socks and pink shirt with short sleeves, which has buttons on its front side. She left two of the upper buttons open. The clothes felt strange next to her skin but they were all she had now.

Vanille was just going to feel her neck and hair, when she heard a door open. At least she thought it was a door. She turned around and saw Fang, who was just stepping from a bathroom to the room Vanille was standing.
“Fang!” she cried out just to realize that her voice was hoarse.

Fang was smiling the way only she could smile, but she was still looking odd. She didn’t wear her usual royal blue sari but light blue pants, which seemed to be made of the same material as Vanille’s new skirt. Fang was also wearing a black top. A part of Fang’s pants were torn, which made Vanille think that Fang could have been in the fight… except she had come from the bathroom, where shouldn’t be monsters. Right?

Fangs hair was as wild as always and she looked like she had just washed herself, because there was water dripping from some of her hair.

Not wanting to think anything anymore Vanille rushed towards Fang and almost jumped to her neck. She felt familiar and save arms intertwining around her. Fang hadn’t changed even though she was wearing strange clothes.
”I thought you were going to sleep the whole day,” Fang said to Vanille’s hair and pet them lightly. Vanille realized that there wasn’t her usual pigtails in her hair, but the curls were free on her shoulders.
“How long have you been awake?” Vanille asked and stepped a little further from Fang.
“An hour or maybe two,” Fang answered. “Long enough to know that we are not at home.”
“What is home anymore?” Vanille sighed and seceded from Fang’s grip. She swept her hair behind her ears and looked around her more closely.

There were as much as three doors and a closet in the small room. One of the doors was ajar and behind it was the bathroom. Other two were more like doorway. Vanille went to one of them and soon she was standing in a very little kitchen, where wasn’t even a table.  There were just a strange hob, some cabinets and a sink. When she opened the cabinets, she found some dishes and couple of packages, where was a picture of plate with some food on it. It looked like porridge. The texts Vanille couldn’t read, even the letters were different from Gran Pulse and Cocoon.

As Fang was watching Vanille went to the third doorway and stepped to entry. There was couple of coats hanging in the coat track and some shoes underneath it. Vanille could point right away, which ones were more of her style and which ones could be Fangs, but they weren’t their shoes. Or were they?

”Where are we?” Vanille said out loud.
“I don’t know,” Fang had to admit. She was leaning to doorway. There was a wrinkle between her browns. “Do you remember what happened?”

Vanille nodded.
“I remember… everything. I remember Gran Pulse, fal’Cies, eidolons, Cocoon, Bhunivelze, the soul song, our friends. Everything.”
“But any of those aren’t here”, Fang sighed. “We got rid of Bhunivelze for good. The god is dead now. We are on our own in this new world.”

Vanille nodded again even though she didn’t really understood, what the new world actually meant. Of course she could remember all the talk about it. All the talk about the world that Bhunivelze had created for those who believed and worshiped him. The world they had took from him and the world they had shipped all the souls, even those who Bhunivelze had abandoned. What kind of world was it? Did they have the right to live on it?

”What is this world called?” Vanille asked. Fang shrugged.
”I don’t know. I haven’t talked with anyone,” she answered. Vanille sneaked next to her back to the room and went to see the glass door. She could open it but behind it was just a small bench and a rail. It was scary, how the door just opened to the emptiness.

There was a warm night on the other side of the door. The air was full of racket and strange, a little musty smells. After a little moment of staring Vanille realized there was a street underneath. A street full of people and some kind of wagons. She had seen many vehicles at Cocoon, but not like this ones.

The street was full of shops and butics and some of them sold food. The fruits were gushing from the counters and Vanille would have like to grab them right away. On the other side of the street was another building, which had same kind of doorways she was standing now. There was only a rail to stopping people from falling.

Vanille felt Fang behind her back. She put her hand to her shoulder like she was comforting her. Vanille didn’t know what to think. She had wanted to believe that the new world was like the old one, that there were something similar, something save and the things were like they used to do. Secretly she had hoped that she could have her family and her old friends back from centuries. Maybe they were in the new world, but could they ever find each other?

”Look at that,” Fang told and pointed past Vanille. Vanille turned her head and stared the strange tower. It was grey and high and didn’t look like you could climb up it. It wasn’t anything like Taejin tower and there didn’t seem to be reason behind it. And next tower there was something disturbing on the sky. Cocoon.

No, it wasn’t Cocoon. It was intact, round and white. What was it?

Vanille was just going to say something, when there was a voice coming from the room. Music.  She and Fang looked each other and turned around trying to discover the cause of the voice. A little, flat object on the deck was winking, vibrating and playing a song, which Vanille had never heard before.

Fang marched to the desk and took the object to her hand. There were some text on it, but Vanille didn’t understand it. There was also a picture on the object. Lightning.

“Why there is a picture of Light on it?” Vanille said out loud. Fang shook her head and turned the object on her hands until she poked it with her finger.

“Hello? Fang? Vanille?” the voice of Lightning came from the object.
“I think it’s working the same way as those transmitters we used on Cocoon”, Fang notified.
“Fang?” Ligthning’s voice came from the object again. ”Do you hear me?”
“I do”, Fang answered.
“I can barely hear you”, Light said. Fang moved the object closer to her mound, because Lightning’s voice was also tranquil.
“Can you hear me better now?” Fang asked.
“A little. Good to know you are okay. Is Vanille there?” Light wanted to know.
“Save and sound!” Vanille yelled.
“Was that her? I’m… I’m happy that you are both okay”, Light continued. ”Where are you?”
“I can’t tell. We are in a big city with a high tower of its’ center and the Cocoon is on the sky”, Fang told her. “How could you contact us?”
“It’s hard to explain. I just know how this world is working, even though I just woke up”, Lightning answered. “I don’t know, where everybody is, but I found Serah and Snow. They woke up in a little vineyard couple of days ago. I woke up a couple of weeks earlier.”

Vanille didn’t remember when she had heard Lightning talk so much at one time and voluntary too. Light’s voice sounded different from before. It was freer, happier and lighter, even though they were in an incomprehensible situation.

“Vanille, hi! And you too, Fang!” Serah’s voice entered into air as sweet as ever, but it was dull. “I will be so happy to see you again for a longest time! We look for you and then we are going to look for everyone else too.”
“Did you hear? We are going to get you there!” There was a voice of Snow somewhere afar.
“Roger that, hero. We stay put,” Fang answered.
“Good. We look for the city with a high tower. By the way, this is my phone number. You can call me anytime”, Lightning added.
“I’m not sure how that is working, but I’ll find out”, Fang said.
“Excelent. See you soon!”

The object glinted and there was some numbers and text on its’ surface for a couple of seconds. Then the Lightning’s voice and picture were away. Fang looked at the object and pushed it with her finger. Suddenly there were a light and a new picture, where Vanille was laughing in Fang’s armpit. Vanille didn’t know when and where the picture was taken.

”It looks like the new world remembers us better than we remember it”, Fang said and put the object back to the desk.
“Yep”, Vanille answered not knowing, what she should think about. She was scared but on the other hand she felt save for a long time.
“Don’t look like that. Just remember, how we have survived about everything”, Fang said. ”We can make it. This is just a new beginning.”

Vanille nodded and smiled. They could start over and there was nothing to be afraid of. Fang grabbed Vanille’s hips and pulled her against herself.
“I have missed you”, Fang whispered and pressed her lips against to Vanille’s. The kiss was light, but it told to Vanille everything she needed to know.

They were here and now. There wasn’t anything to worry about and they had a whole new life ahead of them.

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