*Things always look better when you can't see them.*
A full ten minutes passed before Squall had even begun to contemplate
opening his eyes let alone moving from the dark, safe corner. Eventually he
forced himself to pry at least one eyelid opened and, upon doing so,
instantly regretted it.
The scene had still yet to miraculously morph into something semi-pleasant
as it did in his wonderful daydreams of late. But alas, nothing had
changed. Rinoa, growing paler by the second, still lay sprawled on the
floor at an almost impossible angle and Quistis' blood continued to slowly
stain his sheets. . .his really really nice sheets. She had to taint
everything of his didn't she?
Upon closer inspection Squall concluded that there was nothing dangerous
about the assistant headmistress' state. The cuts were minor and so few
that the only thing she needed worry about was finding a sturdy brand of
band-aids and of keeping well away from him in the future. He quickly
decided that the best remedy, not to mention the most simple, was to simply
let her sleep it off. What other choice did he have anyway? In a few
minutes Garden would be awake and bustling with people again and his one
chance of getting out unobserved would dissipate.
There wasn't enough time to worry about something as minor as a drunken
intrusion. . .which may result in her job being revoked if caught. Squall
instinctively felt a little guilty about leaving her in such a delicate
situation but just as easily threw the pitiful emotion away. It was her own
fault anyway. Let her clean up her own messes.
With a paranoid cautiousness, Squall gripped the edge of his desk and
slowly pulled himself up from the floor, exceedingly careful not to make a
creak in the non-existent floorboards so as not to disturb his restful
visitors. Now was a very delicate moment, one that may determine how he
lived the rest of his life. He couldn't afford anyone presently on the
floor to have any inkling that something odd was going on, not to mention
the risk of waking Quistis who'd inevitably go into another screaming fit
and precious seconds could be lost trying to calm her down.
Never had Squall been so glad that Cid forced him into agreeing to spend a
ton of gil on what he thought was completely 'unnecessary' soundproofing.
With single sex zones and the majority of the residents out on missions
more than 80% of the time, he wasn't able to see the point in bothering to
put so much money, time and effort into making the walls thicker. It
wasn't before long though that he began to notice that many of his fellow
'A' rank SeeDs had visitors of the opposite sex some nights DESPITE to
strict rule against such activity. Knowing that Cid had no concerns about
the extracurricular activities of the Garden students, Squall could only
thank Hyne that he couldn't hear a peep of what went on in his neighbors'
Once again, Cid had been right as usual. . .as always in fact. Never once
had any of the man's predictions (from enemy movements to the amount of hot
dogs to order) ever been off target.
The elite administration of course, did have a different set of rules. Once
you became part of the faculty and leaders of military planning you were no
longer considered students at Garden with an expendable reputation. Strict
regulations commanded the manners and actions of said administration, who
didn't dare break the rules or embarrass themselves and Garden. They were
public figure heads after all. Any shame to them would be everyone's pain.
Squall shook his head to clear it and continued moving softly through the
room, not daring to think about anything for fear of losing his nerve.
After what seemed like an eternity, he finally arrived beside Rinoa's body
and tried to be a methodical as possible when turning her over and
inspecting for signs of life. He had done this millions of times to wounded
soldiers out in the battlefield, determining their fate depending on the
amount of supplies available and the strength of their heartbeat, and yet
try as he might to remain cool and detached when dealing with the sorceress
he couldn't help the rush of fear and longing that gripped his heart when
he touched her.
Her skin, which only a few hours ago felt so hot it burned, was now
unnaturally cool, almost as if somehow her blood had been removed and
exchanged for liquid nitrogen. With a cautiousness that Squall tried to
convince himself was normal for these procedures, he slowly rolled her onto
her back and shakily forced her open, unblinking eyes shut against their
will. Not that having closed eyes was necessary, but he couldn't help
himself. Her gaze was too much for him to bear as she simply stared at him
with shock, pain, and disappointment written all over her face. It was more
than scaring him to see her like that and for a second or two he actually
thought of rushing to the bathroom for a bag to put over her head before he
continued on. But he had too much respect for her to realistically consider
such a degrading option. She was too beautiful to be hidden from view for
even a second.
Trying not to notice how badly his hands were shaking, Squall's feather-
light touch traveled down from her closed eyelids, to her soft cheeks and
onto her neck where her mother's wedding band and his griever were settled
comfortably in the groove between her collarbones. He smiled unconsciously
when his fingers found the delicate, dull silver and platinum rings.
He loved this part of her. Her neck, he decided last night, was his
favorite area of her entire body. Maybe if things were different, if they
had woken up together on a normal morning, in a normal atmosphere he could
have had time to voice this ridiculous discovery of his. She would giggle
as she usually does when he says something so stupid, and then kiss him
lightly and lovingly, eventually running her hands through his hair as she
had a habit of doing. Then they would make love, talk a little and make
love again until some other random, everyday appointment would force them
to part, their separation only building up their hunger for each other
until they met again at night.
A perfect, normal life.
Squall's smile disappeared as quickly as it appeared as he arduously
retracted his wandering fingers that were beginning to involuntarily trace
A normal life? That was too much to ask for the all mighty Squall Leonhart.
He didn't know why he even bothered dreaming about such fantastical things.
Saving the world he could do any day.
But wanting to share a simple modest home with the woman he loved?
Impossible. Outrageous! Downright crazy.
He sighed while his hand still hovered above her sleep-like form daring to
continue its timid explorations, for purely scientific reasons of course.
But he dare not touch her again, not if he wanted to get out of this whole
ordeal with his heart in one piece.
His fingers slowly balled themselves into a fist and kept their distance.
Squall, meanwhile, noticed that no matter how he looked at her, the sight
of her limp body with almost no sign of life would constantly phase his
attention. He stood up briskly and turned his back to her, trying to
regulate his breathing to some sort of normal pace. It was impossible to
even glance at her let alone get past piles of security with her in his
arms. He needed something, ANYTHING for reassurance that what he was doing
was indeed, not a mistake.
Said reassurance presented itself in the form of an accident. Despite his
deranged attempts to keep completely silent while making his exit, in a
moment of anxiety Squall managed to hit a strategically placed end table
that began to wobble as he passed, threatening to spill it's fragile
contents. He only noticed it after the first trinket (a small glass
compass) shattered loudly on the floor.
"Shit. . !" he whispered, diving to catch the teetering furniture before it
caused any further damage. It was his vigilant paranoia that worked against
him, for in chancing a glance to make sure his drunken, unconscious
professor was indeed still worthy of that title, he missed the opportunity
to avoid a racket. His attention divided one time too many and not being
used to his dorm being in such disarray, Squall managed to trip over the
removed desk drawer that Rinoa had upended when searching for a spare key
card, the impact of which sent him flailing forward.
Not only did he fail in saving the table but, in an attempt to catch
himself he managed to grab onto an already unstable pile of duffle bags
filled with clanking metal equipment which further fell over, hit a tall
pile of small boxes the top one of which spilled it's fragile contents onto
the desk, shattering with impact and sending piles of papers and thousands
gil flying about the room.
The noise seemed endless. The metal would keep shifting, the glass still
tinkled and the vast number of paper money bills made slight 'swooshing'
sounds as they landed, carefully, wherever the breeze took them.
And in the middle of it all, his heart beating faster than he ever
remember, sat the Squall Leonhart: klutz extraordinaire, wincing every time
he heard something move, his eyes wide and frightened, fixed on Quistis.
She groaned once.
He held his breath.
She rolled over to face him.
He felt every muscle in his body tighten.
And that was it. Her face, with its eyes thankfully closed, still
maintained its expression of deep and peaceful slumber. This woman could
officially sleep through anything. He let out the breath he didn't realize
he had been holding.
And people wondered why he always kept his living areas so painfully neat.
Exhibit A: THIS is what happens to few times he let it get out of hand.
That was when he heard it. A soft 'clunk' as something relatively light and
non-metallic hit the floor to the right of him having fallen off the desk.
With no longer any fear of waking his practically comatose ex-instructor,
Squall peered curiously at the small black velvet box that lay lopsided by
He knew what it was immediately, not only by its shape but also by the deep
sense of relief he felt upon hearing it fall from the moneybag. His fingers
were, for once, steady as he picked it up and gently pried it open.
The ring. . .
He had forgotten about it in the ensuing chaos of last night. He would have
loved to see her face when he presented it to her, knowing perfectly well
that marriage was constantly on the mind of any woman in a long-term
relationship once arriving at the acceptable age. They were meant to be,
they both realized that long ago. Making it official was only a matter of
Gingerly removing the ring from its plush environment, Squall grasped it
tightly in his palm and dared to bring Rinoa into his field of vision. Of
course, she was in the exact position that he had left her in; on her back,
arms crossed daintily in her lap, eyes closed yet still with a pained
She looked dead to tell the truth. He almost expected a mortician to walk
in at any moment and immediately attempt mold her features into something
more peaceful-like. Not that he'd let anyone dare touch her.
No longer caring about the noise, or his deadline, or anything, Squall
hesitantly picked his way closer, crawling on his hands and knees while
roughly shoving obstacles in his path to the side. Once kneeling by Rinoa's
side, he no longer felt afraid or ashamed of her rigid and pale body. With
a gentleness he once thought impossible, he softly brushed a few stray
hairs away from her white cheek.
Her beauty could bring a grown man to tears and capture his attention for
days simply to gawk at. But he had other things to do today. Later there'd
be more than enough time for staring. Now he reached behind her neck,
searching clumsily for the clasp to her necklace. Against his palms he felt
her almost unnoticeable pulse, the beating of her heart so soft that even a
legitimate doctor would swear on his profession that she was dead. But
Squall knew better. In a few days she would wake, a little weak from her
entire system being paused for a while but, in all other instances, more
healthy than when she first went under the influence.
Finally he found the clasp and discreetly added the diamond ring to her
collection, pushing it down the chain until it rested with the others.
Now for step 2.
Squall cleared away as much glass as he could from the surrounding area,
not wanting her to wake up in the same groggy and pained state as Quistis
would obviously be experiencing in few hours. He placed one arm underneath
the bend of Rinoa's knees and the other under her back then lifted her
easily into his arms. She was very limp and her head kept falling back
despite his efforts to make her look as natural as possible.
She was simply a passed out party-goer being carried home by her protective
boyfriend. . .
Yeah Right. The only people who would believe that would have to be blind.
So, his only hope of getting out would be to not be seen.
That was easy enough. . .
If you were invisible.
But, still, not impossible considering that it was 5:45 AM. The few faculty
members awake at this hour simply stood at the entranceway to the
recreational areas, and every student knows that they're pretty much asleep
on their feet. The students themselves definitely wouldn't be near the
parking lot. Even if they were sneaking out, they'd use their windows or
walk out the front entrance. And the older SeeDs? They were the most
difficult to figure out since they haven't ANY limitation unlike the
cadets. He'd simply have to coast on the hope that they'd all be either
sleeping, away on missions, or in their offices. With enough stealth, it
was probably manageable.
Then came a knock on the door.
Squall almost dropped Rinoa in shock.
Who would come to his door at this hour?
Selphie and Irvine? No they'd make more noise than that.
Zell? No, he went "to find a REAL party" which was his code phrase for
visiting his mother.
Cid checking up on them? That made the most sense. It was a polite knock,
one that only a respectful or scared man would make.
Cid was outside his door. What could he do? Hide Rinoa? No, that wouldn't
work. Be silent, still and not answer? But what if he had heard the noise
and thus came to check? But aren't the walls soundproof? Wasn't there this
whole inner debate about that very same subject a few minutes ago?
Squall shook his head to clear it of its rotating disputes and quickly
voted on opening the door. He had to act natural after all.
Carefully he laid Rinoa on the bed, next to a drooling, snoring Quistis,
and then prudently approached the door.
The knock came again. Louder this time.
Squall took a deep breath and made sure to wipe the sweat off his palms
before he unlocked the door and opened it a crack in what he hoped was a
"Yes?" he interrogated his harasser, staring at his polished shoes and
trying to mask the creaking in his voice.
"I'm sorry sir but I. . .' The man paused for a second and Squall could
practically feel his eyes scanning him from head to toe. A security cadet
(of course), shocked possibly by running into THE Squall Leonhart? His
voice was definitely not that Cid Kramer at least. From what he could tell
by staring at his feet, this man was young. . .and very tall.
*Cadet. . .Not Cid. WOOHOO!* (To borrow a line from Selphie). Squall was so
relieved that he was almost smiling when he finally brought his attention
to the man's face. Only then did nausea hit.
*As if my day could get any worse. . .*
Seifer. . .THE Seifer Almasy stood before him now. Grinning form ear to
ear, arms crossed smugly across his chest.
"Well well well commander. Fancy running into you of all people here."
It was a touching reunion. 5 seconds in and Squall already felt like
"There's nothing 'fancy' about it. I live here." *And what kinda prick uses
the word 'fancy'?*
"You live here!?" Seifer feigned shock and stepped back a few paces "I'm
sorry sir but I do not recognize you as a member of the elite SeeD. Seeing
as such, I have every right to arrest you for trespassing."
Squall rolled his eyes and tapped his fingers impatiently on the doorframe,
still being careful that the door didn't open any more than necessary.
"You? Arrest me? For being in MY dorm during night hours? Aren't you
supposed to be rotting in jail?"
"And aren't you suppose to be pledging for endangered species, helping old
women cross the street, and going door to door selling those delicious SeeD
cookies?" He laughed as Squall simultaneously sighed in annoyance. " Not
all of us are meant to do what we're told."
He remembered now. A meeting, about 4 months ago. Cid had warned him about
the results of Seifer's trial, and to be on the guard about his escaping
for revenge. For the first week or so, Squall and the headmaster kept on
their toes, not bothering to alarm the others yet still remaining cautious.
It got old after a while since Trabia had yet to report any odd behavior
and the expected bodies had yet to turn up. Gradually, it faded from both
"You're on parole. Congratulations. But if you're looking for some big,
'romantic' fight to the death, can it wait a few more months? I'm kinda
Seifer laughed at this, a huge hearty laugh that Squall didn't remember
hearing since they were kids and were having one of their infamous one-
sided fight which comprised of Squall taking brave yet unsubstantial swings
while Seifer beat the hell outta him. "I would take you up on that offer,
if I wasn't for the fact that I came to your room by pure accident, you
just happen to be the only one either present or alive on this entire
"How do you know I'm the only one here?'
"Ah, you see it takes much genius to figure out as much." He leaned in
closer, pretending his next words were a big secret. "Me walking. Me hear
loud crashing noise. Me brilliantly conclude that room with noise contains
*Damn cheap Balamb construction. Soundproof my ass!*
"You're being awful secretive commander." Seifer said slyly, having no
shame in trying to peer over Squall's head and into the room "With all that
noise, it makes a guy wonder what you're hiding in there". Instinctively,
Squall stepped into the hallway and closed the door behind him with
lightening speed. He wouldn't even try bringing Rinoa out if he knew they
still had the patrol going around.
Seifer had a witty remark on the tip of his tongue, Squall could tell by
the way his face grinned, if possible, even more widely. But seeing as time
was an issue, he decided that pulling rank and a few small threats couldn't
hurt in this situation. Screw morality.
"Isn't your parole conditional Seifer?"
The grin dissolved instantly and his arms once again crossed in front of
his chest; typical Seifer defensive mode. "So what?"
"Which means that if you do anything to piss off a superior, he or she can
send you back kicking and screaming into that vile dank hell hole named the
Desert Prison." His adversary's gaze dropped to the ground and his feet
began shuffling uncomfortably. "Do you want to go back there Seifer? Then
please, continue harassing me and I'll go make that phone call."
"Try me." It was Squall's turn to grin arrogantly for once in his life.
"Just leave this floor quickly and quietly, go back to Trabia immediately
and maybe I wont have you arrested."
"Hey, I'm just doing my job! You can't threaten a harmless Trabian security
officer. Why it would be unjust and authoritarian! I'm on the road to
"And if you want to continue living and recovering then I suggest you
"Whoa! Hostile are we? Someone had a bad night. Wanna tell me about it?"
*URRGGG!!!* Squall was beginning to think that maybe just getting his
gunblade out would be a faster way to end this conversation. Why was Seifer
stalling so long anyway? Surely whatever access card he acquired for this
job would expire within the next 5 minutes, or he'd be trapped in the elite
floor until someone let him out.
"Why are you looking for a SeeD anyway?"
"Why did you resign as Commander?"
Squall paused, temporarily put off track by such direct and random
interrogation. But the shock at such assertive intervention in his personal
business quickly turned to anger. "What the hell does that have to do with
Seifer merely shrugged in his increasingly annoying manner "An eye for an
eye. A question for a question. It makes sense when you think about it.
Besides, you may as well practice your answer since as soon as you step
outside there's about 50 million reporters wanting to know the same thing."
Reporters. . .right. He forgot about them. During big events they were
usually camped out around the whole Garden, watching with extreme vigilance
to catch departing celebrities. How was he supposed to get out now?
*Get rid of Seifer first, then worry about the other obstacles.* "If you
must know. . . I made a mistake."
Seifer obviously wasn't buying it. "A mistake? You bitch at your superior
officer in front of the world and it was all a mistake?"
"I. . ." Time was running out. He couldn't stand here all day making
excuses especially when they're as stupid as this. "Whatever." He mumbled,
fishing his keycard out of his pocket and turning back towards the door.
"Whatever?. . .I disappear for an entire year and you STILL have yet to
improve your vocabulary skills."
"Seifer do me a favor, shut up and go away, you shouldn't be on this floor
anyway. You're shift ends in 2 minutes." In his haste to get back in his
room he was swiping the keycard too fast and the code refused to register.
*I hate technology*
"Trust me 'commander'" he chuckled a little at the title as Squall finally
got the door open and tried to discreetly slip inside through the minimal
gap "I do know my schedule. But first I have to find Quistis. She's not in
her room for some reason."
He only got his first leg over the threshold when he froze. Quistis?
"Why do you want to see Instructor Trepe?"
"Because?! In case you didn't know, that excuse expires once you pass
"Yeah." Seifer shifted his eyes nervously, suddenly fascinated with the
"So. . .?" he gestured for him to continue, becoming and more and more
irritated by the minute. The ex-knight just continued to the transfer his
weight from one foot to another, muttering to himself from behind his hand.
"What?. . ."
"I can't hear you."
"*more incoherent mumbling*"
"Screw this." Squall somehow managed to twist the rest of his body back
through the small gap (as far as he dared open his door) and was about to
close it in his face when Seifer's strong arm flew out and caught it before
"Alright! Geez you have no patience."
"And you find that surprising?"
"If you absolutely MUST know I. . ." he scratched the back of his neck
nervously and did a quick scan of the surrounding floor before continuing
"I temporarily misplaced my key card."
Missing key card? High Security gets special short term access don't they?
Suddenly Squall became interested is his ex-rival's problem since it may
have been the cause of one of his.
"Was it all-access?"
Seifer dropped his head like a little kid shamed for getting caught with
his hand in the cookie jar. "Yes. . ."
"Leave it to you to loose one of those."
"Yes yes. I know I'm an idiot. But this is a fucking big deal! Not only am
I screwed if I don't return it by the end of the night to my team leader,
but I'm also positive that by now its time has run out and I couldn't even
get out of here to report to him even if I had the damn piece of plastic! I
*Well, we have one thing in common: Hate*
Squall, trying not to laugh at Seifer's ridiculous predicament, nor ponder
what the hell Quistis had to do to get that key off of him, decided to
screw secrecy for the time being. According to his watch it was three
minutes past six and seeing as he never expected to see the Trabian cadet
again, who cared what he saw.
"Wait here." He ordered, right before flinging the door open as wide as it
could go, exposing his "terrible" secret to the man he trusted least in the
world. Seifer, of course, his mind too focused on gawking, had yet to make
some crude comment about the situation he now found himself in.
Two women, both who he himself had lusted after at some point in his life
were now rested comfortably on the bed of a man he once swore would be a
virgin till he died. Of course, he didn't expect him to live very long once
going up against Edea, himself AND Ultimecia. But seeing THIS!. . .
He never knew he had it in him.
He was still staring at the women even as Squall confidently strode up to
Quistis, pried something rectangular and plastic from her hand and returned
to the threshold, offering him his missing keycard.
But Seifer didn't take it. He didn't even move. . . just kept staring into
the room: The source of all things odd and unnatural.
"There you go" Squall had to shove the card in his face to get him to
notice it. "Take it. . ."
Seifer didn't move.
". . .Anytime now."
After a minute or so he gave up on getting his attention and simply put the
card in the breast pocket of Seifer's uniform jacket, though that did
nothing to divert his attention. Something about two beautiful women,
flushed and exhausted, lying on a bed that takes a guy a while to look
away. "Thank you and please DO NOT come again."
He was about to close the door but this time he made the mistake of letting
it open a little TOO wide, thus allowing Seifer to easily step in and
stopper its path with his foot. "Wait a minute! I'm sure there's a riveting
story here. You can't just leave me hanging?"
"That was the plan."
"But seriously. You know if I caught ANY other male in this exact situation
I'd give him a pat on the back. . .but you. . ." he stopped for a few
seconds, once again scanning the area to make sure that it all wasn't some
sick hallucination. "You understand why I'm freaked out right?"
Squall didn't bother to answer his question, he was too angry that this man
had so little respect for people that he thought it right to just barge
into their homes and comment on their lifestyle. Even if it was what his
deluded little mind supposed, the Commander's doings were still none of his
business. "You have your card Mr. Almasy." He roughly kicked the kneecap of
the leg which held the door open, remembering what Zell had taught him
about hand to hand combat and which areas do the most damage.
"AHH!!" Seifer screamed, clutching his knee in pain. "YOU SON OF A. . .!"
He staggered out the doorway, and finally Squall was able to slam the door
on his face, like he had been trying to do for the past 10 minutes.
"Finally. . ." he whispered to no one in particular, leaning back against
the wall and taking a well deserved gulp of air. For a moment he forgot
about everything to be done that day and simply enjoyed the pleasures of
breathing. Then Quistis sneezed, interrupting the blissful silence and
reality was forced upon him once again.
Quistis. Right. . .he couldn't just leave her here. After all was said and
done she could get into a lot of trouble if and when she was found in his
dorm. He needed to get her back to her room. . .but how?
"I think you broke my leg ASSHOLE!!"
Almasy. . .still outside waiting.
And his walls were very much not sound proof.
Figures. Hyne was not smiling upon him today.
Suppressing a groan, Squall pulled the door open once more and yanked him
(who was still rubbing his leg) inside the small dorm. Seifer, for whatever
reason, didn't seem surprised but gingerly sat down on one of the few
remaining chairs, pulled up his pant leg and began to examine his kneecap,
which seemed perfectly fine in Squall's eyes. He hadn't hit him THAT hard.
. .at least he hadn't meant to. Right?
"Seriously! It's gotta be dislocated or something. You got any ice?"
"You are such a baby."
"Hey! Give me a shot at you and THEN you can bitch to me bout being a
"I need a favor"
"Well I kinda figured. But I must warn you, I know I'm attractive but I'm
sorry to say I'm not into any of that girl on girl and guy on guy stuff.
It's just unnatural you know?" He paused for a moment to consider his what
he just said. "Actually, girl on girl sounds sorta interes. . ."
"Please do not finish that sentence and I will pretend that you have said
nothing this entire time. Clear?"
Seifer nodded exasperatedly then slowly began to pull his pant leg back
down, wincing every time he touched his knee. Squall couldn't help but roll
his eyes at the pathetic-ness of this grown man. You'd think jail would
toughen a guy up?
"I need you to take Quistis back to her dorm." Seifer seemed to consider
this, wasting precious seconds obviously trying to figure out a way to work
this deal to his advantage.
"And in return, what do I get?
"Your card expired remember? Unless you want to wander around the hallways
for the next three hours waiting for your team leader to kick your ass,
you're gonna need an A-rank SeeD access card. Am I right?"
"Right. . ." Seifer scowled, drowning the hope of a reward that was little
more gratifying than the opening of a door.
"Quistis should have her keycard in her room." Squall continued, ignoring
his expression of disappointment "bring her back to her dorm, drop her on
the couch, get her card and head out IMMEDIATELY."
"Ohh. . .So it's like a bad video game? Your mission is to get the damsel
in distress home safely and then you can move on the area 2?"
"It can be whatever the hell you're sick mind wants it to be."
"Sweet! I get to be the designated driver? This totally makes up for you
breaking my knee." His tone was dripping with sarcasm, which the commander
failed to appreciate.
"For Hyne's sake I didn't break your knee! Get over it!"
"Says the man with both kneecaps intact."
"You! . .You're so. . .URG!"
"And you're very articulate. I could sue ya know!"
"Just get her out of here. No questions. And we'll never have to talk to
each other again after today."
"That's fine by me commander puberty/abusive."
He walked towards the bed with an exaggerated limp glaring at Squall over
his shoulder as he made his was towards Quistis and tried to decide whether
to wake her up or carry her. The beautiful blonde was now sweaty and red-
faced, obviously beyond drunk. You'd think that she would have given it up
after her horrible embarrassing sickness a few hours prior, but apparently
she replenished her bodily supply.
*Squall must throw one hell of a dorm party* he thought while slipping his
arm underneath Quistis' knees, trying to judge whether his "wounded" leg
could handle her weight. This is the second time in one night he ended up
with her in his arms *Hey Deja Vu*.
As he tried to organize his ex-instructor into some kind of useful
position, Seifer couldn't help but chance a glance at Rinoa. Hyne dammit
she was still one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen, and he had
seen many. In that form fitting blood red dress and her dark, wet hair
cascading all over the pillow, he felt that familiar longing rise up in his
heart once more. The first girl he had ever loved, and she was beyond
perfect . . .Squall was a lucky man indeed.
He stared at her for a while longer. Luckily Leonhart was too busy fussing
about the room gathering things to notice his rival's examination. Unlike
Quistis, Rinoa was neither sweaty nor red. Just pale, white as snow in
fact. . .in deep contrast to her raven hair and red lips. Being of the male
species Seifers gaze 'unintentionally' *cough* lowered to her torso,
lingering on the swell of her breasts above her dress. . .which didn't
He was confused for a second, thinking that maybe his vision paused. Was it
just a trick of the mind or was Rinoa not. . .breathing?
He watched her for a full minute, expecting any second for her to take a
huge heaving inhale of air and her chest would once again swell up and down
Not after one minute, nor the next.
Seifer took a deep breath and glanced quickly at Squall, making sure he was
still preoccupied before turning his attention back to his ex-girlfriend
and reaching a shaking hand to her neck, pressing two fingers gently to her
throat. She didn't have a pulse.
*Oh my Hyne.*
He quickly snatched his hand back as if worried she would awake undead and
bite him. Squall saw him then, the quick movement of his retracting hand
caught the SeeD's attention and he instantly leapt into action.
"Don't touch her!" he screamed forcefully, pulling Seifer away by the back
of his collar, choking him in the process. With one swift jerky movement
Seifer wrenched himself from the knights grasp, no longer trusting him with
his back turned.
"What the fuck did you do to her Squall?!" He gestured towards Rinoa with
"She's none of you're concern Almasy." He spoke lowly, dangerously and
Seifer for the first time, was genuinely afraid. This was not the little
kid he used to pick on. This was THE Squall Leonhart. . .the one he read
about in newspaper articles. The strongest, most cunning and fearsome man
in the world.
"We may not be friends anymore but for Hyne's sake look at her! She's not
breathing. Why don't you call for some fucking help!!"
"I told you before I let you in: no questions remember?"
"That was before I found my ex-girlfriend dead on your furniture."
Seifer shook his head and backed away further, stumbling over several
random articles as he moved but not daring to turn his back on Squall.
"Trust you? You expect me to trust you?"
"Yes. . .Trust me. Please."
There was something in the "heartless" commander's tone that made Seifer
pause. He sounded sincere, weakened and exasperated . . .desperate even.
His reputation was all he had and now, to reveal such vulnerability to his
childhood bully of all people, that proved some sort fragile hopelessness
lingered which depended solely on his actions.
Seifer sighed and admitted defeat. Believe it or not, he did have a lot of
respect for Squall and trusted him more than he did some of his closest
friends. He sure as hell would't leave his cash alone with Rajin, or bother
to tell Fujin a secret. If there was one thing he knew about Squall
Leonhart it's that he was honest.
Hoping against hope that he wouldn't regret his actions later, Seifer
risked stepping a bit closer to Squall, and pressed himself on the edge of
the bed. He then easily lifted sleeping Quistis into his arms, trying hard
not to let his gaze wander to the sorceress and then confidently strode out
of the room and disappeared down in the hallway.
No questions asked.
Two obstacles now out of his way. Several hundred more to go. Squall turned
towards Rinoa and sighed, bending down to capture her in his arms and
gently lifted her from her resting position. He stared the open door as if
it were the gateway to hell. It may as well have been.
"For you Rinoa," he whispered as he apprehensively stepped over the
threshold and into the deserted hallway "I'll do anything."
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Believe it or not I actually had this chapter written over
2 months ago. . .all clean and edited and ready for postage. But then there
was the end of year exams, graduation, prom, parties, a 3 week trip to
Spain (my new favorite country), returning after a 26 hour flight (damn
weather delays) only to start my new summer job at Starbucks the next day
(I officially hate coffee) and finally, just when I figured that I was
settled in enough to get back into my regular routine of Final Fantasy AMV
making and fanfiction writing.I get the news that one of my best friends,
Sabrina (who has been rarely well enough to come to school these past three
months) passed away after a half-year struggle with brain cancer. . .
She was one day from turning 17. After all the excitement of Prom and
graduation, the last thing my classmates and I thought we'd be doing at the
end of high school was burying a friend. Needless to say fanfiction seemed
to be of minor importance these past weeks. Especially since, during the
years when she was well enough to read, Sabrina not only put up with my
video game rambling, but sometimes helped edit my chapters which were in
dire need of help.
Anyway, I've since come to realize that sitting in my room moping was
doing nothing to improve my life. And my writing and other hobbies now seem
more important than ever. I hope to finish this entire story before the
year is out, since this was just a tester fic I now know what to base my
next one on which will be ten times better and I'm eager to start it.
Next chapter 'The Promise' will be out soon. Thank You.