[identity profile] cybersky.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] flybycontact
Originally written in August 2006, with thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gothatheartholo for giving me the theme to work with.

Title: Darkness
Fandom: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
Character/Pairing: Clair, references to Nel/Clair
Rating: G (nothing particularly objectionable)
Summary: When the Darkest Night envelops Elicoor II, Clair recalls Nel's last words to her before she left, and fears the worst. Major spoilers mentioned. This fic was written with the assumption that Nel is the second optional party member chosen.

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean 3 or any of its characters, nor do I make any money out of fanwork such as this.

-

When the Darkest Night enveloped Elicoor II, Clair could not sleep one wink.

It disturbed her, apart from anything else; the way all the stars in the sky had simply vanished like hundreds of little candles put out by a breeze. It was as though the gods she worshipped had abandoned the world, leaving endless black as if to doom the world as she knew it to wicked damnation.

Thinking like this reminded the young commander of what Nel had told her the last time they had spoken, before her partner had left with the otherworlders. According to Nel, there was a greater power out there – a universe outside of the one Clair had been familiar with – that was threatening to destroy her world and all that was in it. She had spoken of deletion, a word that Clair had never heard before, but whose meaning scared her to the core: the enemy had the power to make the world disappear without warning.

And that was what had happened to the stars that night.

Clair shivered. The stars had been deleted; she had worked that out soon enough. What really scared her, though, was what else could have disappeared. Nel had gone to the world beyond the stars with the foreigners... had she been deleted too?

No. She didn’t want to think it possible. Nel had been away on missions for long periods before, and yet she’d always come back from those. She had risked her life before – all the time, in fact, as part of the Secret Legion – so this was no different, was it?!

But it was – very different, in fact. Nel was somewhere completely different to Aquaria or Airyglyph or Sanmite; a place that she knew nothing of and understood nothing of. That was what truly scared her: the fact that she didn’t know what Nel had actually gotten into nor even where she was.

She just couldn’t bear to lose her. Nel was the girl she had grown up with from an early age; she was her most valuable ally in battle; she was the best friend she ever had; and moreover, she was the woman she loved. Clair simply couldn’t imagine life without her, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to bear it either.

It was so dark, and so cold – or was her shivering purely due to the fright she felt? – but Clair didn’t want to go to sleep. She knew she would more than likely have nightmares – of Nel vanishing, being deleted, and everything else disappearing around her. Instead, she opted to look out of the window of her room.

In a way, she was relieved to see the peasantfolk of Arias running around in a state of confusion and hysteria; it meant that she wasn’t alone in her fear. Still, she knew she had to do something to help them. As worried as she was now – Nel had always told her she worried too much – it would not have done any good to simply let herself be defeated by this darkness. Besides, by calming the villagers, she could relax her own mind, at least for the moment.

And so out into the Darkest Night she stepped. No matter what had truly happened, she was going to be strong. For the villagers. For her country. And for Nel – whom, in her heart, she knew was still out there, fighting to stave off this terrible fate known as deletion.

-

As with all the old fic I'm reposting, comments and concrit are fine, but bear in mind that I may already be aware of the flaws in these things.
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