shamera: haruhi: sitting on Kyon (haruhi: bop to the top!)
Shamera K. Tsukishirou ([personal profile] shamera) wrote2015-05-21 06:35 pm

[FFXIII] Night Out (3300words)

Title: Night Out
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII series
Character/Pairing(s): Serah/Snow, vague pre-Noel/Hope, featuring the rest of the crew
Rating: PG
Warning: all about the alcohol
Summary: Noel calls Serah during her Girls' Night asking for help.



When Serah heard the familiar ping sound of a text message that night, she barely spared a glance at it to read 'SEND HELP' before she was distracted by Vanille's laughter ringing out loud and clear, nearly doubling the petite girl over in half as Fang continued her impression of Sazh's latest escapade regarding the situation where none of them were now willing to babysit Dajh now that the boy was hitting an age where he questioned everything, especially why people seemed to couple up and where babies came from.

Serah laughed as well as the older woman recounted with amazing clarity the exact choice of the young boy's wording which made his father choke on air.

It was only seconds later, not long enough for her to register the words of the text message through the thin haze of alcohol and pleasant conversation, that she got another ping. She sniffled a bit, and fumbled in her purse yet again to read the message on her screen before she even unlocked her phone.

'not ur sister'

Serah gave out a long exasperated noise that drew Lebreau's attention as she slumped over the bar counter to rest the side of her face against her bare arm.

"What is it?" The woman asked her with a smile, already working on their next round. "You're not wimping out on us already, are you? There's still three more rounds before the games start."

"Nothing," Serah denied, because nuh-uh, no way she was drunk already. That was barely half a drink and even though she knew she was a bit on the smaller side, she knew her own alcohol tolerance enough to regulate her own drinks. She waved her phone at Lebreau for a moment. "Probably just Snow in trouble again."

Because there was only one person in the world who could possibly be texting her for help and then remind her not to send her sister.

"Well, you're not going anywhere." Lebreau told her, setting another bizarrely pink drink in front of her. "Not on Girls' Night."

"I know," Serah responded, although her smile was a tad strained. "I won't go. I'll just give him a call in case..."

As the other woman rolled her eyes at her, Serah held down the two on her phone to speed dial her significant other, because even if he was her hero, she couldn't exactly leave him in his hour of need, no matter what the others might say. Lightning wasn't even there yet, so maybe if he really needed her, Serah might be able to sneak out of Girls' Night before her sister even got there...

There was a long ring, and then the line was picked up to an overly loud, "HELLO? HEY, SERAH!"

Serah winced at the volume, pulling her phone away from her ear as the noise from the other side of the line registered. It wasn't just Snow being loud, everything was noisy. The boys must have hit up a club from the loud music blasting in the background.

"Hi, love," she told him, cupping her phone to her mouth so that she didn't have to shout for him to hear her and feeling a warm tingle from the bottom of her stomach that made her smile involuntarily. It was just how Snow made her feel all the time, and even when he was being loud and silly, Serah could feel the overwhelming fondness envelope her in a comforting haze that could have a little to do with the alcohol. "You messaged me?"

"I did?" The confusion was clear in his tone, and there was a moment where the background grew a bit quieter-- he obviously went somewhere a little bit more private, or at the very least decided to cup his phone to muffle out the background. "Sorry. Must have butt dialed you."

Fang laughed loudly from across the table, and Serah looked up to see Vanille attempting to balance sugar packets like a house of cards, and looking adorably confused when she couldn't so much as create the first layer.

"You have 'send help' as a saved text to send me?" Serah asked, not bothering to hide her amused smile. "Snow, that's just silly."

"Pfffft." The raspberry was immature, even for him, and she wondered how many drinks he already had that night. "I don't need help. Here, I can check--"

He was interrupted as Serah's phone 'pinged' again, this time right next to her ear, and she blinked in confusion.

"Hold on," she told him, and pulled her phone away before waiting for a confirmation, watching as the screen lit up to show the faint green at the edges to show she was still on the call, but the middle of the screen held another text message.

'I'M SERIOUS'

This time, Serah squinted down at the name in too small font on top of the message.

"Noel?" She mouthed, befuddled. She pressed the phone back against her ear to talk to Snow. "Hey, aren't you with Noel right now? What's going on?"

There was a suspicious silence (which wasn't so much a silence as the music blared in the background, the beat heavy and pounding), before her significant other burst out in peels of laughter. It was loud enough that it caught Lebreau's attention, the woman raising a curious eyebrow at her.

"Is that Snow?"

Serah nodded absentmindedly, and then lifted her drink to her lips as a show that she wasn't leaving any time soon so Lebreau didn't have to worry or stomp over and beat Snow's head in for messing up Girls' Night.

"That--" The man gasped between laughs, wheezing his words out. "Oh, man. Okay, okay. Remember the first time we got Hope drunk and he actually ran away from Lightning because he claimed she had cold hands?"

Serah hummed an acknowledgement. It was something she and her sister shared, and Snow had never minded, although she did remember the rather startled expression on her sister's face realizing that Hope had actually flinched away from her, only for her to start yelling at Snow about getting Hope drunk once she realized why.

After the hangover Hope nursed the next morning, he had decided he would never drink again, much to Lightning's relief. Serah didn't understand why her sister had been so insulted, though. They did have cold skin. In fact, she usually used Snow to warm herself up, sticking cold fingers down the collar of his shirt to feel him startle before turning around to cup her hands within his.

Some people didn't like being attacked by cold hands. Snow was not one of them, and Serah was infinitely grateful for that. It wasn't much an indicator of affection, though, as she was certain that Hope adored her sister despite his aversion to cold hands.

"Yeah, well, apparently--"

He was interrupted by a distant voice that Serah recognized as Noel's, slightly pitchy as he asked 'are you on the phone with Serah? Give it here!' in a manner rather uncharacteristic of him.

Serah chewed on her bottom lip. Did her hero get Noel drunk this time? She had never seen or heard him drunk before, so maybe he was the type who drunk texted pleas of help to his friends.

There was a startled exclamation, and Serah smiled at Vanille as the girl asked her a question, raising a hand (still holding onto her glass of atomically pink liquor) to point at her phone in apology. She'd get back to them in just a bit. The phone crackled as it was passed around, the microphone coming into contact with various things before it settled again.

"Serah?!" Noel's tone was strangely high pitched.

"Hey, Noel," she responded as pleasantly as possible. Lebreau was not so subtly trying to listen to the one-sided conversation, commenting a bare minimum as Vanille started another story. "Are you okay?"

Well, he sounded alive and uninjured, so Serah supposed it wasn't an emergency that really needed her in the midst of it. Her hero could handle it. Still, it was better to ask than not.

"No, I'm-- would you stop laughing? If you were being helpful, I wouldn't have messaged Serah, would I? This is all your fault." Serah waited, vaguely amused, as she listened to Noel berate a laughing Snow over the phone. "You did it on purpose!"

She waited patiently, humming slightly to the song she could hear over the phone. Oh, she liked that one. She'd been hearing it all summer, and it was so catchy...

There was a loud cheer as the little bell near the bar door rang, and she looked up to see her sister striding in, still dressed in her work clothes and crossing around tables as Fang stood up and waved her over enthusiastically, grinning all the while. She raised her own arm to wave once, smiling warmly at her sister.

"Took ya long enough!" Fang exclaimed, pulling Lightning into a quick embrace before pulling the other woman down to the empty seat right next to her. "Can't start the fun and games without the full group now, could we?"

"I need help-- advice." Noel's voice was finally firmly against her ear again, and Serah turned her attention back to her phone after greeting her sister. "Snow's useless."

"He tries, though!" Serah defended, although she wasn't exactly sure what was going on still. From the way she could hear Snow's laughter, he might very well have something to do with this, but she couldn't just let people berate her hero like that, even if it was Noel (and Lightning, and Hope....).

"He does not." Noel whined, and then paused, making an uncomfortable sound that sounded suspiciously like a squeak. "I, uh. I. Oh, sweet Etro, okay, you need to-- thaaaat's-- breathing is a thing I need to do. Breathing. And--"

He really did squeak after that, and Serah could hear Snow's laughter increase in volume in the the background until he nearly drowned out the music. There was another pitched sound from Noel (strange, especially since he was usually so composed), and the sounds of the phone being passed before she could hear Snow's breathy laughter again.

“O-oh, man.” Snow sounded breathless from laughter. “So Noel’s a bit busy to send more than a few texts right now. Don’t worry about him. Go enjoy your girls’ night out! World will still be there when you’re back, promise.”

“Well, that sounds promising.” Serah said, amused. “I’m glad to know that the world isn’t going to end over— whatever this is. Sure I shouldn’t head over? I’m sure Light won’t mind too much.”

The responding chorkle of laughter made her rethink spending the rest of the night watching Vanille get progressively more drunk and eventually end up singing enthusiastically off-key in front of the entire bar, cheered on by both Fang and Lebreau as Lightning would make her way increasingly down the seats until she had Serah’s head tucked against her neck, glaring hard at anyone who so much as gave her baby sister a second glance while Serah would giggle at her overprotective drunk sister.

While it was always nice to get the affirmation of Lightning’s affections (seeing as her sister wasn’t often a very tactile person), Serah’s interest was piqued.

“You don’t want to get Sis involved with this. She’s just overreact and take it the wrong way.” Snow said rather cheerfully, and his words brought a agreeing sound of protest from Noel from a distance away. “Don’t worry about this, baby. Your hero’s got it. I’ve already sent Maqui and Yuj for some help, and Noel’s just over-reacting.”

“Says you!” and then a split second later a more panicked, “Anyone but Lightning! She might actually kill me.”

The retort was so flustered that Serah couldn’t help but ask, “What happened, anyway?”

“Ahh, not much. Just the regular guys’ night, you know? Noel’s not used to it. It’s his first time out.”

Serah found herself smiling, glad that her significant other was getting along with her best friend. “You got him drunk, did you.”

Snow only laughed in response to her accusation. “Oh, he’s not that drunk! What was I telling you before— oh, yeah! So, remember how Hope has this thing against the cold when he’s drunk? Yeah, so that’s why Vanille has to take him back all the time because he’s always clinging to her because she’s warm and all?”

“Mm-hmm.” Serah threw up a thumbs up as Fang asked her if she wanted another order of fries while the rest of them were getting snacks, and pulled the phone away from her face to cover the mouthpiece for a moment as she responded, “And a milkshake!”

“It’s a bar, sweetheart.” Lebreau laughed at her. “Are you seriously ordering milk at a bar?”

“I’m drinking!” Serah protested, pointing to her half empty glass. “But I want a milkshake to go with it!”

The other woman laughed again, but agreed to put that down on the order as well.

“Sorry,” Serah breathed into her phone as she turned her attention back to Snow again. “Go on.”

She remembered the incidents quite well. There had been more than a few jokes thrown on both Hope and Vanille’s behest during that time, although the pair took all the teasing with little more than fond exasperation. Vanille had always been the exceedingly loud and happy drunk, while Hope was always quietly… affectionate. Maybe a little clingy, although she had been informed by her sister on the strictest confidentiality that it was quite cute, because it reminded her of when Hope had been younger and would cling to people whenever allowed.

Which was possibly why Lightning was so put out by the fact that Hope couldn’t seem to stand the Farron sisters’ cold hands when drunk, and usually retreated toward Vanille, sometimes even ending up wrapping his arms around Snow while half-drunk, half-asleep, and murmuring various uncomplimentary things while Snow laughed and ruffled his hair, claiming that that may be the only time in which he would get a voluntary hug from Hope.

“Apparently,” Snow told her cheerily, “Noel is very warm.”

The resulting mental image coupled with hearing Noel panicking the background of the call, had Serah burst out laughing, unaware of the curious looks being given to her by her concerned sister. “No. You didn’t!”

“Hope is so drunk.” Snow agreed pleasantly, sounding rather pleased with himself. “I’ll take pictures and send them to you.” She could hear Noel’s panicked ‘no, no, no!’ in the background, which only made her laugh louder, bending over slightly against the table as she tried to muffle the laughter with a hand. “Aw, c’mon, kid, it’s just his way of showing affection! Feel proud: even Sis can’t get that close to him when he’s like that.”

There was a responding raspberry, but that didn’t sound like it came from Noel at all. Serah wondered if Hope was actually coherent enough to understand that they were talking about him, or whether he was in that pleasant state of being closed to passing out. The few times she had been drinking with them proved both Hope and (surprisingly enough) Lightning to be extreme lightweights, barely able to handle more than two drinks of low alcoholic content before they would start behaving uncharacteristically.

“If you ask me,” Snow continued, “Noel’s the one who might be drunk. He’s, uh. We might have given him a few of the harder drinks. Took it like a champ. He’s awfully red, though. Can’t tell whether if that’s because of the drinks or because Hope’s practically on his lap.”

Serah giggled, muffling it with a hand. Oh, she definitely needed pictures of that.

“The boy doth protest too much!” Snow called out loudly in response to what appeared to be a protest from Noel, and then said to the phone, “Really, he’s getting too flustered over this. It’s just Hope. You’d think he had some hot girl or something.”

Serah looked up, pressing her lips together tightly so that she wouldn’t say anything unnecessary or burst out laughing again. Oh, Snow. Her hero really was a bit dense at times, but his heart was always in the right place. Or maybe he actually did have more in common with Lightning than her sister would ever admit, given his mile wide blind spot when it came to the people he loved.

“You’ve got everything handled, then?” She asked instead.

“Oh, yeah. Maqui’s getting some of that hangover tea from the store before they close. Yuj is seeing to Sazh— man’s been hitting the drinks a bit too hard tonight, gotta get him back safely before Dajh’s babysitter storms off or something. I’ll make sure Hope and Noel get back safely, don’t you worry. You go and have the time of your life, and I’ll see you later tonight.”

Serah smiled widely as she felt a swell of affection at the thought of Snow being so caring. Despite her sister’s occasional gripe, her hero really did have everything together. How did she ever get so lucky as to catch his attention?

“Okay.” She told him, tone warm. “You have fun as well. I love you.”

There was a momentary pause, and Serah could feel his smile through his words. “Love you, too.”

As she took the phone away and pressed on the button to end the call, she could feel Lightning slide into the seat next to her. It seemed her sister had already started on her drink, by the way the tips of her ears were flushed pink.

“Trouble?” Lightning asked, pressing a shoulder against Serah. “Just tell me who.”

“Nah.” Serah responded, and turned to wrap her arms around her sister, ignoring Lightning’s grunt of protest before resting her head against her sister’s shoulder, letting her cold fingertips warm themselves against Lightning’s side. It would only take another drink for Lightning to hug her back, and Serah could wait. It didn’t mean her sister loved her any less. “Just a call. Snow got Hope drunk.”

“Oooooooh,” Vanille plopped down next to them, looking bright-eyed and excited. “Need me to get him home again?”

“Don’t you dare, missy!” Fang called out from across the table. “This is our night, so I’m not giving you up to the boys just yet.”

Vanille pouted, but then scooted her way across the bench to smile affectionately at Fang again.

“Don’t worry about it,” Serah told them brightly. “Seems like he’s taken up residence in Noel’s lap, from what I’ve heard.”

Her sister stiffened suddenly, fingers stilling from where they had previously been playing with Serah’s curls.

What.

“Whoops.” Serah muttered, although she didn’t feel very repentant for the slip. She just brought her half finished drink up from the table towards Lightning, “Don’t worry about it? At least not tonight. Snow’s got everyone under control.”

“That’s right!” Serah looked up to see Lebreau back with another round of drinks as well as the snacks they ordered earlier, looking rather smug. “Tonight we do girl talk. Tomorrow, we’ll deal with the boys. So none of you are allowed to leave until we’re all good and plastered.”

“Hear, hear!” Fang agreed loudly, picking up the drink she ordered as a salute. Serah made a happy noise as she leaned forward a bit from Lightning’s arms to reach for her milkshake. “To girls!”

“To girls!” Vanille and Lebreau echoed, although Lightning was still frowning rather fiercely, even as Serah patted her sister consolingly on her arm, snuggled up against her with her deliciously cold drink.

“To girls!” Serah repeated as well, but then smiled, “And to my adorable, always amazing, ever brave hero—”

She laughed as the others took to booing her.