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[identity profile] electrumicity.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bifolding
Title: Grasping the Present
Fandom: [livejournal.com profile] timeandtides, Final Fantasy XIII
Pairing: Cid/Rygdea
Rating: PG
Notes: A hypothetical future scenario; basically, if Cid and Ryg hook up in the future. TnT-verse, but again, hypothetical. Cid has nightmares because he's still an angstmuffin and his life sucks. Also, I wrote this fic on my Blackberry at 2am while curled up in bed having insomnia, so forgive any errors.

Nightmares are hardly uncommon to him. His mark may be frozen, but it doesn't stop the memories of how it felt—or rather, feels, because he can practically feel Barthandelus' grasp reaching as far as here. Night after night with only a few respites he wakes up, suffocating as if the pillow under his head is instead pressed against his face. His right hand still burns, and it takes minutes before the pain goes away.

More than the physicality are the feelings of terror, of guilt, and most of all, helplessness. Even here he feels as if he cannot run. All it is is a delay of the inevitable. That only death awaits him back home is somewhat of a comfort, but for some reason, not as much anymore as he would have thought.

Maybe that reason is what is lying in his arms right now.

This wasn't planned, wasn't expected, was likely a bad idea from the start, but here they were. It might have been a craving for affection that he hadn't gotten for longer than he could remember. It might have been a warped need for acceptance that went too far. Rygdea's hit every weak spot of his and dragged them to the surface, and with little ability to hide them anymore around the man...

Sharing a bed with the younger man is hardly a cure-all for his nightmares. It helps a little, but when it comes down to it, Rygdea can't save him from his fate no matter how hard he tries. Love doesn't conquer all; it never does, and it's nothing more than a silly saying to make young couples feel happy while they can still afford to be naïve. Love—if that is what this even is—won't get rid of his brand. It won't stop Barthandelus. It won't save Cocoon. It won't suddenly and completely heal the erosion of his own soul and spirit that he has gone through since his branding.

But at the least, it soothes him a little. It makes him feel just a bit more human, and gives him a reason to genuinely smile, something he hasn't truly done in years. Sometimes the suffocating feeling when he awakens from a dream isn't just his own panic, but instead Rygdea unconsciously clinging to him in a near-death grip. That, he can't mind all that much.

Little has changed in the big picture; if and when he returns home, his future is set in stone. Even if he tries, he will have no time to change his fate. For now, though, he can at least let the steady sound of Rygdea's breathing and the feel of his heartbeat against his own chest lull him to sleep after the nightmares. The future is lost and irretrievable, but he can still try now to make the present his own.
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