Disclaimer: I own myself, that's about it. So don't go suing me, I own only the storyline and a few characters. Proceed…
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Chapter 1-Job Offer
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Rinoa Heartilly opened the door to her apartment with a sigh. Glancing at the pile of mail on her floor she picked them up, aimlessly flicking through them, pulling out an A4 sized envelope. Noticing her name printed upon it, she went to the sitting area where her friends were. "You know Quistis, you could've gotten the mail from the door, since you were here when it came."
"Yeah, I told Selphie to get it," she nodded at the girl sleeping on the couch opposite her, her eyes not leaving the book before her.
"Well its mostly for you anyway," Rinoa shrugged as she tossed the numerous letters onto Quistis lap, interrupting her reading. Rinoa opened her envelope as Quistis sorted through hers.
"What you got there, Rin?"
"Another accompaniment job," she stated as she pulled out the sheet music and letter from the envelope.
"Dunno, the letter says that I'm to meet them tomorrow. I guess its for that music competition in a couple of weeks."
"Cool, looks like we gotta buy you another dress," Quistis smiled.
"Trust you to jump at an opportunity to go shopping."
"Well could you blame me?"
Rinoa smiled as she shook her head, rolling her eyes. "How long she been asleep?" she motioned to Selphie.
"A couple of hours, I'd say."
"What she do today?"
"You know, the usual, went out with Irvine."
"That explains it," Rinoa giggled. "Well, I'm gonna go try out this music, alright? I'll be in my room."
"Okay," the blonde girl replied, still sorting through the mail, opening each letter.
Upon closing her door, Rinoa sat down at her piano leaning against the wall. Picking up a folder, she began inserting the seventeen pages of sheet music into the plastic sleeves. Placing the folder onto the piano's music holder, she began slowly playing, getting used to the music arrangement. After an hour of sight-reading she had finished the piece once. Giving her hands a little shake she started again, playing with more confidence and speed. She smiled to herself.
It's always satisfying to learn something new.
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He watched her intently, her head bent concentrating on the instrument in front of her, the movement of each finger as they gracefully pressed each note. Squall slowly stepped from the doorway where he was leaning. Standing behind her he quietly bowed his head, kissing her neck gently. He felt her smile and lean in towards his touch, still playing as if she hadn't been disturbed.
"Hey, Babe," he whispered against her skin.
"Hey," she murmured back before turning to kiss his lips, momentarily stopping her rehearsal.
"Didn't mean to disturb your practise," he apologised as he glanced at the music stand before her.
She shrugged slightly. "I've been practising all day anyway, how are you?" she asked as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Not bad I guess, you?"
"Tired. Hey listen, could you drive me to the conservatorium tomorrow?"
"Sure, what for?"
"Well," she began, setting her violin and bow on the music stand, "I've got an appointment with my accompanist."
"Do you know who it is?"
"Nope," she shook her head. Still in his arms, she turned to face him "I'm so nervous, Squall. This is my first competition."
"Louise, you'll be fine. I've watched you play, you can't go wrong." He watched her smile at his response. "Come on, I'll take you out to dinner, what do you say?"
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"RIN!" a chirpy voice called from the kitchen. "Dinner's ready!" The ecstatic blonde burst into Rinoa's room.
"What's the menu tonight, Selph?" Rinoa asked as she rose from her seat in front of the piano, having already perfected the song more than once.
"Pizza," she laughed. "That sounds really hard, Rin, it's so fast!" she gawked, referring to the music piece on the piano.
"Not my choice. It's really interesting and fun, though."
"What's it for?"
"I'm accompanying a violinist. They must be good, this piece is quite difficult. My hands hurt," she frowned as she sat down at the table
"I don't know why you don't enter these competitions yourself, Rin, "Quistis stated as she bit into a piece of pizza. "I mean, you're good enough and you have a Bachelor of Music degree. You'd get in quicker than I could say 'yay'."
"Dunno…never really liked the idea of competing, and besides, I play the piano, which usually means I either play alone or with an orchestra. I hate playing alone in front of a crowd and I'd screw up heaps if I had an orchestra."
"So you'd rather help somebody else win?" Quistis raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, besides, I'm happy teaching my piano students full time and accompanying on the side, you meet all sorts of interesting people."
"Alright," she finally said, feeling defeated.
"Guess what Irvy did for me today!" Selphie squealed, changing the subject. Not pausing to receive a response she continued. "He took me to the park and he had a whole picnic organised for lunch. He's so sweet!"
"Well I'm glad one of us has a love life," Quistis scoffed.
"Aww Quisty, don't worry, you'll find someone. How bout you, Rin? Anyone special in your life?"
"Umm…" There only was ever one... "Nah. I'm kinda really happy being independent."
Quistis and Selphie had always known when Rinoa was lying. They had been best friends since they were six, not going to school together but spending ever weekend in each other's company, their parents having known each other for some time before they were born. When they had all finally finished their schooling, they decided to get an apartment together, but to their surprise, their parents had all chipped in and bought them a house in Deling City.
"Rin, you aren't a very good liar, you know," Selphie pointed out as she chewed at her pizza.
"I'm not lying."
"Rin, whatever happened to that guy you were going out with at highschool?" Quistis queried innocently, not really knowing that she was treading on delicate ground.
"I really don't want to talk about it," Rinoa responded, closing her eyes to banish some thought in her head.
"What was his name again? Seth or something?" Selphie asked.
"Wasn't it Shaun? Or Steve?"
Swallowing the pizza in her mouth she put the piece down on the plate and stood up. "It was Squall, okay?" she snapped. "That was five years ago, it meant nothing then and it means nothing now. So I'd really appreciate it if we all just forgot about him, alright?" Her voice trembled slightly as if she were fighting tears.
"Okay, Rin," Selphie replied slowly, biting her lip.
"Yeah, sorry, I didn't know it was such a delicate subject with you…"
Rinoa wiped the oil from her hands with a napkin. "It isn't a delicate subject, its just a time in my life I'd rather not reminisce about," she said in a softer tone. "Sorry about snapping at you guys. I guess I'm a little on edge tonight. Its just that…ugh, never mind. Let's not dwell on the past," she forced a smile onto her face. "So, Selph, it'll be six months for you and Irvine next Thursday, won't it?"
"Yeah," Selphie welcomed the change of subject and slight shift in mood. "He's taking me out, again."
"Where ya goin'?" Quistis joined in.
"Dunno, don't care. As long I'm with him," she sighed dreamily.
Ahh to be in love,Rinoa reflected. I remember what that was like...
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Squall had sat at the base of a big cherry blossom tree. Rinoa lay on the ground beside him, her head in his lap. It was the summer before their final year of highschool, they had spent practically everyday together, talking or just simply being with each other.
"Squall?" she asked as she stared up at his face. "What's gonna happen after this year?"
"Well, college I guess."
"No, I mean...us." She continued to look up at him warily, nervous about what his answer could be.
"What about 'us'?" Squall queried in response, glancing down at her.
"Will there still be an 'us'?"
"Of course there will be, why?"
Rinoa let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. "I dunno, just got curious I guess. I mean, its so common for couples to break up when they finish highschool...I just figured since we're going our separate ways after this year that we would as well."
"Do you want to break up, Rin?" he frowned at her.
"No, no," she replied quickly as she sat up, shuffling closer to Squall, facing him. "Please don't think I meant that. Its just that..." She cast her gaze downwards. "I don't want to lose you," Rinoa's voice was little more than a whisper.
Squall stared at her for a while before lifting her chin with his fingers, focusing on her eyes.
"Rinoa, you won't ever lose me; I'll always be with you." He watched her smile. Slowly inching forward, his lips brushed hers before closing the gap with a kiss. As he pulled away, Squall gazed at Rinoa as she tilted her head to the touch of his hand on her cheek. Smiling at her, he nervously swallowed before murmuring, "I love you, Rin."
And she had believed him.
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A/N- well, I'm back from the dead. That's right, this is my new story, what did you all think?? Please review, I'd really appreciate the feedback. Oh, and if anyone would like to explain how the North American school system works (I assume it's the same for Canada and USA), I'd be most grateful, otherwise I'll be forced to use the Australian school system and that might confuse a lot of you. So yeah, if you could either write the info (like basic stuff) in a review or email me. Thanks a bunch! Don't forget to review ^.^ luv ya guys!!!