Lotus' Grimore

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    Tangled Webs


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    Post by Lotus on Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:52 am

    The Grapevine:

    Summary: Hope and Lightning starting off in a marraige of convience. Will there eventually be love involved, or is it doomed to be as it is.

    Last edited by Lotus on Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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    Post by Lotus on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:39 am

    Chapter 1: Morning Reflection

    Don't taint this ground with the color of the past
    Are the sounds in bloom with you?
    Cause you feel like an orchard of mines
    Just take one step at a time


    A white haired man, about the age of 27 years of age looked at a picture of a family. There was a man, appearing to be in his thirties huggling his beautiful wife. He seemed to be happy, and she looked as sweet and social as ever. In the center, there was a teenager, facial features of the man, but enough of the woman that it was apparent that he was their son.

    That picture was taken a few weeks before it happened, the purge of Bodhum. The event that took the life of the woman in the picture. When the life of the teenager grew to hell in a handbasket. From a teenager growing up in a family that could be considered wealthy, in a world where the Falcie took care of the citizens, Hope Esthiem didn't know a thing about combat. It was pretty much fight or die, leaving survival to be a literal crash course, even if he was following an established soldier of the Gaurdian Corps.

    Even if he was going on running as if he were a train heading into a crash, now that it's in his past, it was doubtful that he would have traded those days for anything. Except for one thing. That in which was a paradox in thinking. Could it have been possible to save his mother? If she wouldn't have died, would he have chased after Snow, eventually to be branded and put on that crash course?

    Would his mother have stopped him? Hope didn't know if he would have wanted his mother to endure something like that. She took being purged and fighting to protect him as if she feared nothing. Too many questions, and no way to know the truth without the timelines becoming a mangled mess.

    "Got to live in here and now. I still miss you though, I miss you both." He was talking to the picture, of his father and his mother. I wonder, would it have been any different?" Hope spoke, wiping a tear away from his eyes, "I had the ability to try to save you, but I ended up saving the world. Again! Knowing you, mother, father, if I would have been selfish and save you, you would have been ashamed of me. That you would be prouder if I saw the bigger picture and kept the world from going to ruin."

    Granted, he knew that nothing was absolute. He protected the world from a threat twice, and change was inevitable. The best that anyone could have done is work with the twists that they are given and make the best choices that they can. Little room for regret, or be driven into insanity.

    Esthiem wondered what it would be like. To be married to a woman that you could love day to day. Not just a facade for the sake of the public view. He lived with someone, a woman that he held a great amount of respect for. It started out as a favor, a lie that both of them needed for their own reasons. The web just started to get more complex that a wedding eventually became a reality. What the public doesn't know is that it isn't much more than an act.

    Most of the time, his job kept his mind off things, kept him busy enough to not fret over what is or is not reality. Hope and his wife are friends, they keep tabs on what is going on in the other's life to keep up the act. Because, they care about eachother on that much of a level to know what's going on.

    So far, the greatest obstacle is the paparazzi. Annoying twits that like to try to get in everyone's buisness. Claiming that it's in the rights of free speech to harass everyone and their dog to get information. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they didn't manipulate it to sound the way they want to. Amusing side to that however, is watching Gardot convince them that they should leave the property when they show up.

    You see, they do have security, but only the top ranking officers of Nora know what really goes on outside of the public eye. To appease the crowd that their rose tinted reality is what it is. People slept better that way, the embarassing rumors that the tabloids produced down to a minimal.

    Life in general, it is alright. It has it's problems, but what doesn't? Soon, it will be time to get on about the day. As the director of the academy, he's got some appointments to see later on in the day. A proposal to purchase the rights to an area of archaeological research. Despite how dull it sounds, Hope really threw himself into his work. It was the greatest pleasure of his life.

    Stepping away from his reverie, Esthiem had started to get ready, putting on his uniform. Everything, including his boomerang. Making Gran Pulse livable was still a task and a half. It was good to be protected. You never knew when you had to fight for your life in the field. You know what? He wouldn't have it any other way.

    Last edited by Lotus on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Post by Lotus on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:41 am

    Breakfast, a time that would be viewed to anyone else as an aqward situation. In truth, it's not. Well, perhaps at first, but Hope and his wife were used to it. It was a time of the day to sit, eat and discuss the plans for the day. Sometimes it was nothing more than light chatter, while others it would require a bit of planning. Today it seems to have more planning involved than casual conversation.

    "Morning," Clair Farron-Esthiem, otherwise known as Lightning stated. She was ready to go to work, not much more to say to that. Lightning was who she was. She had a reputation for keeping her life right on her routine. No nonsense personality that she didn't really have a reason to cast aside.

    "Hello," Hope responded to her greeting, walking over to a Mahogany counter. He was after some cereal, a simple breakfast. Truth be told, he didn't feel quite up to cooking this morning. For no other reason than he just simply didn't want to. Pouring a bowl of Corn Flakes, Hope made his way to the table.

    Light had picked up the conversation after a moment. "So, what are you planning to do today? Are they planning on keeping you busy?"

    "Meh, just a meeting before lunch." Hope answered, taking a bite of his breakfast before he decided it was okay to volunteer more information. While their relationship wasn't what the public thought it was, the rings on their hands gave reason to share more of what he would be doing today with his partner. "Mayor Junon Ora Ashton is scheduled to make a case of why his city needs renovation funds. I am anticipating an agreement between him and the directors. They just had to deal with that freak tornado outbreak."

    Light listened, watching Hope as she took in the information as it was being presented to her. This sounded pretty important, but nothing that would take all day. "This means you should be home by five, correct?"

    "More than likely," Hope answered, picking up that there was something on the other side of that question. Fortunately, there was no foreseeable item of importance that would demand his attention after the meeting is adjourned. "What is going on?"

    Light didn't seem to be too surprised that Hope had picked up on the question. Where it was going. At this point, she had sighed. It wasn't directed at him, but the ones that had decided it was good to leave a voice mail when a memo should have been sent out a week ago. "Public appearance. They are throwing a surprise promotion for Major Miles. I only found out about it this morning. Starts at Seven at the ballroom of the royal palace."

    Hope bit his lip. Major Miles was the known main interest of President Raymond's daughter. Make the leading family happy, and that is good press release for the public. As heroes of humanity, it would look better if the Esthiem were there. It would have been them in office for as long as they wanted, but after all they had done already, they wanted to take a backseat for a while.

    Hope nor Lightning wasn't stupid. In case the timelines started to blur again, they would have rights to do what is necessarily to take the reins and prevent the world from collapsing on itself again. Until then, they wanted to live away from the primary decision making process, and at the same time, be a part of it.

    Hope rolled his eyes, getting back to the present conversation with his wife over once again a simple breakfast. "A few day's warning would have been nice. I will have Alyssa take my suit to the dry cleaners for me."

    Lightning's annoyed expression had turned into a teasing smirk. Now that the business part of the morning was taken care of, she was free to make a joke. "Are you sure you don't regret turning her down, Hope? Imagine that pretty face all draped in lace, or under you."

    In the duration she had asked the question, Hope had made his way over to the sink, to grab a glass of orange juice from the fridge. In sheer horror, Hope choked and spit the fluid over the counter. A pitch a little higher than normal, Hope countered, "Have you lost your mind?"

    Lightning didn't exactly roll on the floor laughing literally, but the expression that she wore was close to the equivalent of it. If you take into consideration the range of emotions aside from anger that the woman shows. "You fall for that every time."

    Hope took a deep breath, shaking his head, a bit of a smile because he'd been had. He had reached over, picking up a dish cloth to wipe up his mess. "Yeah, yeah... I will have to see you later, I have got to be getting to work. You owe me a Java Chip for that one."

    "Later," Light stated, she had a little bit of time before she was due for her job. She wondered if him bolting meant she had gone a little too far... A few minutes of wondering, but not too long. Her job was something that required her to focus on that. If Hope was angry with her, they would discuss it before the promotion.

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    Post by Lotus on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:18 am

    Claire's morning had come to a bit of a slow start. Well, long start is more like it. Memories of fights that she would rather forget had invaded her dreams. Dreams that she would rather not have had and said she did. Other than sit up in bed watching Hope sleep like nothing in the world was out of place. Lightning found herself envying that ability time, but she couldn't grudge him for it. The academy work that he still does is quite draining, just as draining and HAD to be more monotonous than her job during the day. Ok, she had to admit it. There were nights that he would get fitful sleep that he stayed up all night.

    While they may not have done anything along the lines of marraige consumation, they did share a room. With saving cocoon and fighting to save the timeline, the both of them had been through more together than to worry. Things were as they were, may put on a show to the public, but wanted to be something of a married couple. It was hard to explain, but for them it just worked.

    The reason for the explanation, Claire had gotten up, and make her way to the closet. Changing into her work uniform while her partner continue sleeping. His back was to her, Lightning wasn't worried about Hope looking at her blue panties while she dressed. Though by the time she made it out of the room, the woman gave Hope one last look and grunted in amusement. Well, the signs were there for SOME interesting dream.

    That was another thing that life didn't really phase her with. You share a bed with a your husband regardless if you two perform together or not, that's going to happen. It's just a part of human nature. It's how men behave when they wake up that causes her to decide if they get hit or not. So far, today... She will tease.

    Claire walked through the hallway, listening for signs that Snow or Serah would be up. Their house caught fire the last week, so they were moved into there for the time being. Sure, they had the funds to get them another house, but it was decided that a few weeks of not having to deal with that and sister time could be fun. Their children should be at school.

    Breakfast of Corn Flakes was rather uneventful. Not a whole lot to say about that until Hope had made his appearance, awake and looking in more presentable shape than he was while he was sleeping. Not that Claire was expecting any different. When their conversation was finished, she was still chuckling a little. If Hope collected on that iced beverage or not, that was up to him. Teasing the hell out of him just felt like the right thing to do.

    Lighting had put on her game face, picking her cell phone up off the table, and headed into her room to retrieve the gunblade when it went off. "Commander Estheim." she greeted, recognizing the number to be the General that she was assigned under. Give it a bit of time, she had stated in the past, and she will be interested in taking more responsibility. For now, like Hope, she was just interested in laying low for a while.

    After listening to what the general had to say, she pursed her lips. "Yes Sir, I will take the day off." Lightning had made it sound like it was a great inconvience to do so. Days off were alright, she planned to spend some with Serah, but to be required to be at her best for the function... Sounded like someone just didn't want to deal with her today. Oh well... Lightning hung up the phone, and put it in one of her vest pockets. Might as well make the best of it.

    Walking into the living room, Light had turned on the tv. Bored, the woman had spent a few hours flipping through the channels. "Shouldn't you be at work?" a surprised femine voice asked.

    Lightning felt a little relieved, for Serah had woke up. "They gave me the day off. They want me dressed for that ridiculous function tonight. Something new and different was recommended."

    Serah hadn't much to say about that, other than to shrug. Thankful that she didn't have to deal with that as much as Claire did. "You should buy the most expensive thing you can find for Snow and me, as well as yourself and send THEM the bill for your trouble."

    Serah and Lightning had talked. They were given the option of being able to go to this with them. Snow didn't really want to do to this hoity toityness, but Serah gave him those eyes. The eyes that would guarantee that he would give into her will.

    "Don't tempt me," Light answered, amused at this idea. If you asked her idea of something that looked nice and comfortable, it wouldn't be some over priced silk dress that will only be used for one day. It was bad enough trying to get her to pick out a wedding dress. Too much lace, too exposed, is this a dress or a tent? The list went on...

    "The guys are lucky that they just can wear a suit and be just fine." Light complained some more, though it had just occured to her... "We are going to have to get Snow a new suit sooner or later anyways. Lets just pray to Etro that the tailors already have something close to his size..."

    Maybe it was a good thing that Lightning had the day off. Time with Serah and a chance to actually make sure her gorilla of a man actually looked presentable. His trench coat was really the only thing of his that made it out of that fire since he used it to keep as much of the smoke out of the kid's faces as he could.

    Meantime, Hope had gotten to work and the day started just as he predicted it would. Presentation of what was going on. The restoration/renovation/whatever the heck funds it was called had been approved by the council. Now, the man could retire to his office, perhaps have someone deliver some chinese for lunch or something.

    Taking a moment to rest for a moment, Hope would punch the numbers to call Alyssa to his office.

    "Oh, hello Mr. Esthiem," the irritating assistant had answered, attempting to sound coy. It was looking to be one of those days. Just when Hope thinks he had gotten through to her, she lays low for a while and try getting his attention then.

    If only he didn't actually need her mind when she could be effectively put on research.

    "I have an errand for you to run." Hope got to the point. Not really tones of friendliness, but of buisness is usual. When Zydele was like this, it was the only way to deal with her. Not without threatening to fire her, which she knows until he finds a suitable replacement, he will just deal with her.

    She looked put off for a moment, then put a finger to the side of her lips, as if trying to call attention to them. "Just what -kind- of errand?"

    "Just a delivery and pickup. Simple today." Hope continued in the tone, looking at his computer screen that was much more interesting than her. Trying to keep this as painless for him as possible. "Take my suit to the drycleaners and have it back by four."

    She started to get closer, to see what it was on his screen that she was in competition with. Hope had lifted his right hand to support his chin, subtly showing the fact that he did have a wedding band on. The common assumption for that would be, I am married, not interested.

    Leaning over, Alyssa tried to not be daunted by this non humilitating push. "You know, I was thinking, it's not looked down on us to have lunch together. Perhaps I could 'treat' you?"

    Hope stared straight at her without a hint of amusement on his face. Backing away like the time she grabbed his arm in front of Noel and Serah when he met them those years ago. When he was actually 24 years old, and no time skips.

    "Listen. Married. I do not have any interest in cheating on her. Back Off." Hope spelled out that he wasn't interested. Letting Alyssa walk off in a huff, to do what she was supposed to do. Usually, it is the female that has to fend off the predators, but yeah... Ironic isn't it?

    Leaning back in his comfortable chair, Hope rubbed his forehead. Hopefully Light's day will go better than this.

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