You Ruined my Image

It was a warm day in the Quad. The war was over, the battle was done and there was nothing left to do. Nothing left to do except, determine where their social lives were going, and where they would take them.

Squall sat alone in the quad, as he usually did, Garden wasn't doing anything spectacular, and though Commander, there weren't many orders to issue. He swears they left him in that position so he would be forever stuck with the paperwork. It was a cruel fate for one so isolated who just found a reason to be something other than isolated. He had been locked away in his own world, until one special girl ripped him out of his world, and into the much larger, wider one. He was never sure, though. He could never be sure of what the future would hold, like he could be when he was alone. When he was alone, if Garden were to blow up, it wouldn't matter. It wouldn't matter if everyone he knew died. He was closed off, and safe from the emotional pain. His image of not caring was still maintained, though, he made it look like he didn't care any more than he did before. The problem is that without the lack of caring behind it, such walls were easily proved false, but he couldn't argue.

And look, there where his reason for caring comes. Smiling sweetly away. Innocently, or perhaps not, he couldn't tell. But there she came. Rinoa. He would never be able to really figure her out. Why she wanted him...he was no prize. So, this angel came down from heaven, told him to shut up and dance, and that was the end of it. She said he was going to like her, and he did. But now, she said, "Is this seat taken?" Squall was alone on an empty bench. So, there was only one logical answer to give her. "No." She has a whole empty bench to sit on, and yet, she plops herself down right on his lap. And makes herself comfortable.

Squall had learned from the Ragnarok what she wanted when she did this sort of thing to him, it's just...she never did it where everyone could SEE it before, this was rather...embarrassing, to say the least. He wasn't about to complain, though, well, not in a way that could be misinterpreted. So he put his arms around her, to hold her in place. "You're ruining my image." Rinoa would've gotten angry, except it was clear he wanted her there, and didn't actually want her to go. So she wiggled, more sensuously then she intended, giggles, and says, "Aww, poor Squall. Now you'll never get to be cold and uncaring." "Not with you around." She wiggled again. It was starting to have an effect on him.

She noticed. Good, now she had an extra advantage on him. Also, it's nice to know you're wanted. She giggled at him again, "I guess I can't move now. I'd ruin your image even more." "I'm a hostage." She nodded happily. "Yup." A hostage to his own desires, as it were. "How long are you going to keep me hostage." "As long as I can get away with it." Oh great, she apparently planned to keep him pleasurably tortured for as long as she could get away with it.

By this time, of course, they'd attracted some attention from the nearby Cadets and SeeD walking by. They tried to wolf whistle, until the Commander gave them the stare of doom. They stopped. Still, they could tell the most obvious fact. Rinoa was sitting on Squall, and he was letting her do it, and even encouraging her to stay right where she was. Apparently, he'd learned another lesson from space. When she does this, don't make her move. He'd get her back for this. Somehow. But he'll have to think on a brilliant enough idea. In the meantime, though, Rinoa had shifted on him. And now she could be subtler to get the same effect. He was more thoroughly trapped before he knew she trapped him. Rinoa decided to make use of this advantage by trying to get a conversation out of him, no easy task.

"Squall?" "What?" "What's going to happen? To me?" Rinoa was wondering if she would be allowed to stay here. Would she be allowed to stay with him? The contract was technically over.

"You're staying here." A succinct reply, but his voice changed. A softer voice than usual, signifying, perhaps, the truth. Staying here wasn't a request, it was his need.

"With you?" That's a question, and a significant relationship jump, but Squall missed it. He didn't understand what she was implying. Yet, if he noticed, he would later reflect he probably wouldn't have refused her anyway. Especially with all the attention she's still subtlety giving him.

"Of course." Her reaction was a little bit happier than he expected it to be, as she quickly turned to face him and kissed him. In front of all those onlookers. Squall got a deer in the headlights look, before relaxing into her kiss. Eventually, he forgot other people were watching, and started to kiss her back with passion. Rinoa quite happily returned everything he gave her, she'd already 'inspired' his passion, when she was on his lap, and now, he was giving her the fruits of her work.

The kiss ended, and she hadn't left his lap, though she was now facing him instead of facing away from him. "When can I move in?" Squall still didn't get it, he thought she just meant move into a guestroom or something.

"Whenever you want." Rinoa nodded. "Is there anything special I have to do? I mean, you're a guy and all." It started to dawn on Squall, what she was planning. "Wait, you want to move in? With me? Directly?" Rinoa blinked, she thought he KNEW that already. "Well, yeah."

"My dorm isn't designed for two people. There are dorms that are designed for this sort of thing." "So you'd have to move too?" "Yes." Rinoa giggled at him. "Well, it wouldn't take too long, at least for you." Squall wasn't quite sure he wanted to just give into her like that, but then he considered. If he turned her down at this point, she'd be really hurt and sad and stuff. And there's absolutely no reason to do that to Rinoa. Not when she's been so good to him. So, he'll just have to suck it in, and accept it. The part of him that was a teenage male rejoiced, of course, it knew what moving in meant. The part of him that's been afraid of needing people for years, however, was petrified. It's fortunate for Rinoa that she worked him up first, the teenage male had a louder voice at the moment.

"So when can I move in?" "Tommorrow." "But where will I stay tonight?" "Your stuff is in storage." She's gonna get what she wants, isn't she? When is he going to get what he wants? Immediately, it seems. "Well, I'll just stay with you then. For tonight." Squall looked down at her. "...Whatever." Not the word she wanted to hear, because she looked up at him looking hurt.

"What?" "You're supposed to be more enthusiastic! Meanie!" Squall pulled her in close. But he made no reply. My, her attitudes seem to change suddenly, as she happily snuggles up to him. "Is your image dead yet?"

Squall looked around at the Cadets pointing and snickering in his general direction. He noticed the girls making their 'Aww, how cute' noises. "Deader than a doornail." She smiled.

"That means you can say it now." Squall got it this time. He knew what she wanted him to say. "You wouldn't be sitting on my lap snuggling me if it wasn't true." "I wanna hear it anyway."

"Rinoa, look at me." She lifted her face up from his chest, where she was nuzzled up, and found a pair of storm gray eyes looking at her. It took Squall a while...it wasn't an easy thing for him to say. Affectionate things never are an easy thing for him to say, perhaps they never will be. Or perhaps it'll get easier as time goes on.

Rinoa decided she was going to have to make the first move. So, she said it first. "I love you, Squall." That did it. Now he could say it...he just couldn't quite get himself to say it first. Sure, he had undeniable proof in so many ways, but this did it. "I love you, Rinoa." And he didn't have to say anything more, she was already kissing him. And they were happy, and they were content.