Maqui spat blood onto the sterile hospital floor. His jaw ached. Though Maqui was older than Noel, he was still weak, and Noel had easily brought him to his knees with a punch to the jaw.
"I-I'm sorry." Maqui tried to say, but fell unconcious before he could. Noel turned and walked calmly away.
Noel ran. He ran from Maqui, from Serah, from everything.
He ran for over 40 minutes, away from the hospital, and outside city limits, nearly 3 miles from the only Bhunivelze hospital. At the edge of the city, he came upon a rock overhanging the ocean. Suddenly, everything he hadn't felt yet that had been building inside him for an entire year, broke. The flood of emotion was too much for him to handle.
He screamed, falling to the ground, tears dripping off his face, his eyes filled with a love for the girl he'd been sent to protect, loss of the same girl, and anger at the world for taking her memories away from her. Serah had understood him when nobody else but his Yeul did, and HE had spent a year fighting off Cauis.
When the goddess had returned, Noel had killed Cauis, who no longer had the goddess's heart. But she had offered him the same title and power as Lightning. He had refused, in order to be with Serah. He had a right to love Serah. Noel had been stupid enough to fall in love with her, but that was sort of a choice. Why had he, though.
"Noel." Said a voice, masculine, but with underlaying naivety. Noel whimpered uncharacteristically, looking up at Hope with bloodshot eyes and a wet face, his breathing heavy.
"Hope," he croaked. "What are you doing here?
"Maqui called-he told Lebreau that you ran off, and to go to you." Noel's eyes practically burned with anger, but you could see the small bit of remorse. Hope reached out his hand to Noel. He ignored it. Hope was a friend, but his Noel's everything had just broken, he couldn't do anything. Hope put his hand on Noel's back, comforting him.
"Serah will remember. She loves you just as much as she loves the rest of NORA, maybe even more
Noel's intake of breath was subtle. "But- he said..." He looked up at Hope, his face still glistening with tears, but with a spark in his eye. Then he stood up. "It doesn't matter either way. It doesn't matter. She doesn't remember."
Hope scrunched his eyebrows together. "Maybe she can remember, if there's an object that is significant in her past with you."
Noel averted his gaze, his hand in his pocket, gripping a certain necklace. "I don't have any idea, except maybe Mog."
Maqui stood dumbfounded near the spot Noel had just punched him, and then ran away. He admitted, it had been a bad day for him, and yes, his only love had forgotten that he existed, and then he had gotten yelled at by Maqui, who'd told him that he had no right to Serah but was it really necessary to hit him? In the jaw? Seriously, it hurt. Okay maybe.
"Hey Maqui, what's up kid?" Gadot's voice echoed a bit in the hallway. "What just happened?" he added. Maqui turned, and there were the redhead with the faux hawk and Lebreau.
"It was Noel, but I'm fine. Someone needs to go to him." Lebreau nodded.
"I'll call Hope." She said, understandingly. She stepped into a separate hallway to make the call. Gadot left and returned a few minutes later with some paper towels, cleaning up the blood Maqui'd spit on the floor.
Lebreau returned, saying, "Okay, Hope'll go see him, and he'll be staying at his house tonight, instead of here. We both think he needs a break from Serah and it might make her uncomfortable, since she doesn't know him."
Maqui felt a white hot dagger stab his heart. He had almost forgotten about Serah. Serah, whom he had had a fond respect for since he was 16. NORA, and everyone, found it very hard not to love her, the slightly badass history teacher that she was.
Vanille scrunched her eyebrows together. She held a pen in her right hand, and there was a piece of stationary in front of her. She wrote a few words, then paused, then rinse and repeat. It said:
It's raining today. The rain will hide my crying. The worst part of the days without you are when I wake up. I'm about to be happy, then I realize that you aren't by my side, and I'm nearly swallowed by grief. I miss you. So much.
Vanille set down her pen, taking the stationary and folding it neatly, sliding it carefully into a fancy envelope. She sat for a while with it in front of her, then placed the un-addressed letter in her ornate oak desk in NORA house.
Yuj sat on the couch near Serah's old room in NORA house. His legs rested on the coffee table in front of him. 'Midna.' He thought. The same thing that was happening to Serah had already happened to someone he knew. Her name was Midna.
She'd left Yuj's life before he'd met Snow, and that was what caused him to join NORA. To prevent things like this. Now, he'd completely failed. Nobody should have to go through what Yuj and Midna had went through, and now Noel was. Yuj felt like it was partially his fault, even though he had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Noel had already been accepted into the 'family', so everyone felt for him, mourning in their own way, but knowing that Noel's pain was the greatest. Of course, they knew about Midna, so that was always a touchy subject. They hadn't talked about it.
Noel entered Hope's house, gawking. It was huge. The main part of the front was the statue of Cocoon on its crystal pillar, right in the front door. No, it wasn't right in front of you, it was off to your side, but it was still shocking and a beautiful representation.
Something else that caught his eye, were the toppers on the banister. They looked exactly like the edolith of each of his friends. Fang, Vanille, Lightning, Sahz, Snow, and even Serah (the crystal tear).
"You can have any room but the one on the right when you turn left." Hope gestured upstairs, "I'm going to be out back. Just call if you need anything."
Noel walked up the stairs into the hallway. He decided to go in the one with a blue door. When he opened the door, it was much larger than he had expected. It had a bed that had a dark blue blanket, Noel's favorite color. He fell on the bed. It was soft and warm. He had pushed Serah completely out of his mind, and before he knew it, he was asleep.