This is a sequel fic to my story 'forget who you are'. I've tried to make this a new story in its' own right, but based in the same world that the first story was told in. Hopefully you can read this without having to read the other.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything connected to final fantasy 8, but the story idea however is mine!

Summary: Rinoa, the journalist that became famous for her book published about President Loire and his family, soon after received a new job offer. The number one newspaper office in the world, Esthar Papers, offered her a job working for them. Without looking back Rinoa had accepted it, and moved straight away. She now works with a small team of highly ranking journalists from all over the world.

Meanwhile life is moving on around her, and her friends are beginning to get restless. Will destiny pull them all back together again? It seems only Rinoa has the power to control that. But with so much work, will she have time for anything else?

But amongst all the happiness, something is being planned that will change Esthar forever. Can Rinoa figure it out before it's too late?

"When you can do anything....You forget that you shouldn't" ~ Squall

Have you ever been given something that you couldn't give back? Something that was thrown at you that you couldn't control. Without the power to say no, you were thrust into everything and nothing at the same time.

Squall Leonhart could identify with this well. He couldn't escape his life, it was a part of him. From the moment he had been born, he had been thrown into the light of the media. Like being born into royalty, you didn't understand that you were different, until you were singled out. Squall resented his life. He had grown up in the wrong way, left to follow his own rules in the glaring headlights of the press.

At five, to set an example he was sent to Garden. An experience he was not likely to forget. At the age of seven he fired his first gun at the enemy, shot him dead and watched the blood spill from his wound in a crimson puddle. The horror of this abrupt meeting with death scarred him. His cheerfulness became subdued and eventually lost in horror, as he struggled to come to terms with his memories. Proving his abilities despite his young age, he was hired along with a bunch of other SeeD's on a mission that was about to shape his future life. Squall was the only one who ever returned from that fateful mission.

Finally, after years of seeing things so horrific that even horror films were not even allowed to show. His emotions became dead, and he lived his life through a mask and a cold heart.

His fate seemed set to ruin him until it changed in an unexpected way. Destiny threw in his path someone that had been able to get past his cold exterior, and awaken old forgotten feelings deep inside. But this person had left him to explore her own path, leaving Squall with a longing and an empty feeling in his soul.

At the beginning again

The newspaper hit the dining table with a thud, followed by the rattle of keys and the slamming of the front door. The newspaper rippled, as the forced air from the door crashed into it in a short powerful wave, flipping its pages until settling back down and remaining still. The headline stood out from the front page in bold unashamed letters. The words had mocked the owner of the paper in a way that and outsider looking in, wouldn't understand.

KILLER ESCAPES DELING MENTAL INSTITUTION

Rinoa took her phone out of her small brown bag and started tapping in the numbers while walking towards her car. The small silver machine gleamed at her in the morning light, as it stood lonely on the black tarmac road. Rinoa stared at it with her ear to the phone and an annoyed expression on her face. The sound of the ringing tone stopped abruptly, as someone on the other end picked up the phone. There was silence, and then a familiar voice with a greeting.

"Wreaths, what the hell is this on the front page?" Rinoa fumed as soon as the word 'hello' sounded in her ear.

"Rinoa, listen..."

"No, why wasn't I put on the case? You promised me that you would get me a good story soon." Rinoa said, forgetting that she was speaking to her superior. This had been frustrating her for a long time now, but until this day she hadn't complained.

"Rinoa I'm sorry, I'm still looking for something suitable for you."

"You think I can't do the job don't you!" Rinoa said almost speechless. An exasperated exhale of breath sounded on the other line.

"No I don't think that at all. Just get to the office and we will talk about it there." A lonely dial tone was heard after a click, showing that Rinoa was the only one left still listening to the receiver.

"Damn." Rinoa cursed as she jammed her keys into the car door and turned them to unlock it, what had she got herself into now?

The Esthar office was different from the Galbadia newspapers building in many ways. Her years at Galbadia had made her appreciate the grandness of the modern building. But the differences were all to Rinoa's advantage. For a start, everything worked. Faulty machines were not the normality here, when you needed to sort your files the photocopier actually worked.

The white marble floor that sparkled in the artificial light, made Rinoa's shoes click as she walked. Her feet sounded confident, but her legs shook slightly as she walked alone with her head held high. Every time she set foot in the tall building, she had a sudden remembrance of her first day arriving. The excitement and anticipation of the first day in the office, was awaken with every step inside the revolving doors.

"Hey Rin, you going to the office meal next week?" Asked a light voice from a figure beside her.

"I haven't thought about it." Rinoa answered with a tone of voice that stopped all enquiries.

Ever since her move from the paper offices at Galbadia, nothing had become any easier. The glittering city still held its charm, but now it was real and a part of her life. The dazzling things she had seen here before, had all been viewed with the belief that she would never see them again. At least not any time soon, and because of that, she had been eager to approve of everything.

Living here made her feel as though the dizziness had been lifted from her eyes. Everything suddenly became real and she saw things for what they really were, rather that what she wanted them to be. The beauty still called her attention, but so did the new awareness of the amount of traffic and mechanical noise. The one thing that Rinoa began to notice was that there were no birds. Something that she just took for granted and had never thought about before, was suddenly lost. This lack of nature made Rinoa feel as though she wasn't really alive.

Pressing the elevator call button, Rinoa considered her thoughts while she waited for the doors to open and take her up. After a few more seconds it arrived, and poured out it's passengers before allowing Rinoa on.

The elevator was being particularly slow today; at least it seemed so in Rinoa's opinion. It stopped finally with the familiar feeling of weightlessness in the pit of the stomach and shuddered as the doors opened. Rinoa stepped out with a false air of confidence, and headed towards floor 8's head office. Raising her hand, she clenched her fingers into a fist and knocked smartly on the door.

"Come in." Replied a male voice from behind the wooden door. Rinoa looked at the gold nameplate on the door before making any move to open it. "Come in." Repeated the voice from inside. Rinoa swallowed her growing anxiety by reminding herself that she had caused the reason to be summoned here.

Rinoa opened the door cautiously, and looked in before moving inside.

"Mr Wreaths?"

"Please sit down." He replied holding his hand out to show her which chair she should sit in.

"Sir, I owe you an apology for how I spoke to you on the phone. But Sir, you promised me a story. I've been here a year now, and all I've done is small errands. I want a story that will take up more than ten words on page 30!" Rinoa said feeling annoyed. It was that first time she had spoken her true feelings about her assigned cases so freely.

"Rinoa, there are other journalists here, not just you." Wreaths replied in voice that didn't show any annoyance, but Rinoa knew that it was only a charade; she knew that all to well.

"But you have used loads of my ideas! You haven't let me interview anyone, or follow up any of my columns." Rinoa exclaimed. Wreaths sighed and rubbed his temples.

"Fine, fine Rinoa, I'll give you a story. Hyne! You're the only one in here that ever manages to cause any trouble." He added under his breath as he looked through the papers on his desk. "In three weeks time President Loire is giving a ball of some kind. It's raising money for the new children's hospital. We will need someone to attend and report for the news channel."

"Sir..."

"No listen, I'll send you Rinoa, if you promise to get the job done properly."

"Sir. Thankyou Sir."

"No don't thank me, just do the job. At least it will get you off my back for a while."

"Yes Sir."

"Oh and one more thing Rinoa..." He said changing his tone for one less formal. Rinoa turned back to face him, while standing half in the office and half in the corridor.

"Yes, Sir?" Rinoa asked, acknowledging that she would answer his question.

"Why do you continue to work? You could retire at any time. Your book made enough for you to travel the world a few times." He said, voicing what he had been wondering about for a while.

"But if I do that Sir, then what will I do next? I want to make a difference, and I just ask that you treat me like any other person in this building." Rinoa replied. Wreaths nodded and smiled in understanding.

"Yes, I shall treat you like everyone else. If you don't get lost now Rinoa I will fire you. Get some background on the story, or whatever it is that you do and get lost."

"Yes Sir!" Rinoa said smiling and walking out. Her boss watched her leave before returning to his work on the glaring computer screen.

Rinoa left the office with more problems than she had entered with. Going back to the palace would be hard, but it was a story, and she needed it. Besides, sitting around and writing small-articles, was doing nothing to improve the fact that she was really bored of doing stupid tasks.

******

Meanwhile, miles away on a beach on the edge of an Island called Balamb, Squall sat gazing out at the sea with the bright sun hitting his sunglasses.

"Squall when are you going to stop this game and come home?" Asked a voice from the shade of a palm tree.

"I'm not going home." Squall answered after taking a sip of his fruit mixture cocktail.

"Look I know this is a novelty, walking around without the press or bodyguards and I can't pretend it isn't fun! But Squall, you are the president's son, you have responsibilities."

"Ellone leave me alone." Squall replied folding his arms. Ellone sighed and walked over to his sun bed. After standing next to it for a while, she sighed when she didn't get any response. Sitting down, she pocked him in the leg. Obviously she had hit a good spot, and increased the pressure to a point that made his leg twitch and move instinctively away from her in a jolt.

"Come on Squall."

"No."

Ellone watched him steadily until it made Squall nervous, this usually meant she was thinking of something to do that would hurt him.

"What?" He asked annoyed.

"So that's it is it? You're just going to leave the running of Esthar to Me and Quistis then."

"Stop it Ellone."

"Stop it? Stop it? How am I going to cope? Laguna's useless, Quistis can't do anything; it's all up to me." Ellone said almost with tears in her eyes.

"Ellone I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to return yet."

"But you will?"

"....Yes, but...not yet. Every time I'm there I, I just think of her Ell."

Ellone smiled slightly at the thought of how lucky Rinoa was to have someone who was so clearly devoted to her. Squall hadn't been the best person at relationships, but Ellone had always believed that that was because he just needed to find the right girl. Ellone knew that Rinoa was a nice person and would never intentionally hurt Squall, but she couldn't understand why she hadn't left with him on the day he had asked her. This puzzled Ellone greatly, and it seemed that Squall didn't really understand it either. Her devotion to her work was heightened to a point of obsession, where as Squall's commitment to his responsibilities had been dropped completely. She had changed something in him, Ellone could see it. He was almost like what he was before he had left for Garden so many years ago.

"You think being here, hiding from her, from yourself, will make everything alright?" Ellone asked. Squall sat up and adjusted his sunglasses; his fidgeting movements showed that he wasn't comfortable with the topic of the conversation. Finally he stood up and walked away taking his drink with him. Ellone rolled her eyes and followed him.

"Just leave Ellone." Squall said without looking at her.

"Squall...there is a ball in 3 weeks. Please be there." Ellone pleaded.

"What is it with Laguna and parties; he spends his entire life in the ballroom." Squall said trying to keep the sarcasm to himself.

"Squall you know he can't do anything practical." Ellone answered. "But in any case I have to leave. I have a train to catch."

Squall nodded but made no reply, and Ellone was aware that nothing had been promised between them. Ellone looked at him for one last time before walking back towards the town.

Squall sighed and watched her walk away. Finally he could relax and pretend that he was someone else again. Downing the last of the drink without tasting the flavour, Squall walked back to his hotel room, dropping the glass off at a café on his way back to the town. Maybe he would do some more exploring of this tiny port today.

******

"Oh Irvine!" Selphie screamed as Irvine dropped the shopping all over the floor. His sheepish smile crept over his face and made Selphie laugh breaking her anger.

"Sorry, the bag handles snapped." Irvine said, dropping to his knees and scrabbling around after the loose vegetables that were rolling along the floor. "Ahh stop the cabbage!" He shouted running down the hill after a runaway speeding cabbage.

"It's only a cabbage." Selphie muttered. Collecting as much as she could into her own bags. Selphie followed Irvine down the road with a mound of shopping. He ran back towards her with the rebel vegetable covered in mud. "Urgh! I'm not eating that." Selphie exclaimed as she spied the mud-covered vegetable.

"Aww poor cabbage...." Irvine said stroking the cabbage like he would a pet cat. Selphie raised an eyebrow.

"Get rid of it and help me." Selphie ordered. Irvine looked around quickly and threw the cabbage into a nearby hedge and took some shopping off of Selphie.

"I can't believe you threw it into someone's garden!" Selphie exclaimed shocked, but trying to keep from smiling. Irvine shrugged and walked ahead of her quickly. "Hey Irvine wait up!" Selphie called hurrying after him.

Selphie sighed as they reached their apartment; things had taken a rapid drop into what Selphie called "crap-ness." Ever since Rinoa had left a year ago, things had become mundane and boring. The office wasn't a laugh anymore; there wasn't anyone to go shopping with, and no one to eat pizza with. Well, except Irvine. Her hand rested on her belly as she stood in the small comfortable apartment. A little bulge showed under her fitted shirt, and Selphie smiled at it with a misty look in her eyes. It had been a day like this one, when she had heard the news. Feeling slightly ill, Selphie had gone to see her doctor and had been told that she was pregnant.

She had left the doctors that day with mixed emotions, but now three months down the line she was preparing her life slowly for the new arrival. Irvine had at first been shocked when Selphie had told him the news, but with some thought, he had decided that it was a "cool" idea. With a little more encouragement he was set to become a dad. Although the thought kind of scared him slightly, it was more a worry of whether he would be a good enough father.

Baby bottles, and plastic plates with teddy bears on them began to fill cupboards; Selphie was buying everything she could think of to avoid panicking at the last moment. The only person left to know about this happy news was Rinoa, but Selphie wasn't sure how to approach it yet. Maybe she should just turn up in Esthar, or maybe she should phone. But however she told her, it would have to be done soon.

"Irvy are you hungry? I'm gonna make a pizza." Selphie called from the living room. Irvine looked out from the kitchen, his arms still laden with cereals and bread.

"Sure, Pizza yum." He replied before dropping everything to the floor again. Selphie guessed that his answer had been a 'yes', and as soon as he was out of the way she would start preparing the meal.