Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII.

Chapter One

Rinoa parked beside the black Eclipse and switched off the engine. After gathering her things from the car, she got out of her red Beetle and rummaged in her bag for her house key.

She was sharing this house with Irvine. They both reside originally in Deling City where their families live. Irvine's and Rinoa's mothers are sisters. When they told their respective parents that they want to live independently in Balamb and rent apartments, their parents agreed and pitched in to buy a house for them. Although Rinoa and Irvine pick on each other, they both treat each other as the brother and sister they never had. And both being only children, they are given allowances sufficient enough for their needs and wants. Both of them were brought up well and were taught the value of money.

The house was simple. Two stories high, a bedroom each for Rinoa and Irvine with their own bathrooms, two guest rooms, well-furnished, a spic and span kitchen, cozy dining room, classic living room, two-car garage. Rinoa and Irvine split up the chores. A cleaning lady comes once a week to clean the house.

She was just fishing for her keys when she heard the phone ring.

"I'll get it!" a male voice shouted.

She got inside the apartment and deposited her bag and books on the table just beside the door. She glanced at her cousin who was sitting on the comfortable sofa and speaking on the phone. She sat down beside him and stretched her tired legs.

"Rin? She just arrived. Just a minute." Irvine handed her the phone. "It's Seifer."

Rinoa blushed a deep red and gratefully took the receiver from Irvine. "Hey, what's up? How was your vacation in Esthar?"

"Rin! We've got to talk! I've got to tell you something important. Let's go to the café. I'll come over your place," Seifer said excitedly.

"Why? Can't you just tell me over the phone?" she asked.

"No, no… I want to tell you in person. I'll be there in fifteen minutes, okay?"

"Okay, see you."

"Bye!" CLICK!

Rinoa frowned at the receiver. "What the hell is the matter with him?"

Irvine lazily turned on the TV with the remote and switched channels. "Why did he call?"

Rinoa stood up and checked her face in the mirror. "He said he has something important to tell me." Rinoa moved to the table and got her powder and lip gloss from her bag and began to retouch her make-up. She checked her reflection in the mirror and was glad that she was wearing her peach baby t-shirt and denim skirt that reached above below her knees. It's a good thing I'm wearing something that's feminine.

"You look fine. Maybe he's going to pop the magic question."

"Magic question? What are you talking about?" Rinoa blushed deeper at her cousin's question.

"You know… 'Rinoa, I realized what a fool I've been the last five years. I've realized that I'm in love with my best friend. Rinoa, I love you. Would you be my girl?'" Irvine teased.

She stuck out her tongue at Irvine. "Silly! That won't happen! How many times do I have to tell you that we're just friends?"

"And how many times have I caught you staring at him with a star-struck look on your face? How many times have I seen you blush when I mention his name?"

"I do not!" she retorted.


Rinoa turned a deeper shade of red.

"Hah! See?" Irvine triumphantly pointed out.


Saved by the bell, Rinoa thought to herself. She got her handbag and cellphone. "Bye, Irv, Gotta go!" Rinoa dashed outside and got into the dark blue Corvette.

"Hey," she greeted Seifer.

"Hey yourself," Seifer said as he flashed a smile.

"So, spill it!" Rinoa said.

"Later at the café. And by the way, it's on me," he said as he drove through the busy street.

Rinoa smiled. He rarely treats me to something… Maybe he is popping the magic question, she thought excitedly. Maybe he bonked his head and did realize that I'm the one for him. I've been waiting for this night ever since I fell in love with him. She closed her eyes and began to imagine Seifer's lips brushing hers and shivered at the thought.

"Hey, you alright?"

Rinoa's eyes popped open and she noticed that they were already at the parking lot beside the café. She was immediately brought back to reality. "Yup," she nodded.

They got off the car and got into the café. She sat down by the window overlooking the ocean. This is so romantic! Seifer walked to the counter and ordered a frapuccino for him and a chocolate latte and cheesecake for her.

"So, Rin, " Seifer began excitedly as he sat down across her and put their order on the table. "I really don't know how to tell you this…"

Rinoa smiled sweetly at him. "As if I'm a stranger to you. We've known each other since high school. You can tell me anything," she encouraged him.

Seifer sighed and said, "I'm finally in love, Rin."

She felt her heart beat faster and her breathing quickened. "R-really?" she asked softly.

He grabbed her hand and held it tenderly. "I never knew I'd feel this way. When I first saw you my stomach feels as if it's in knots. My knees weaken. Just the sound of your voice makes me alive…"

Rinoa stared at him and was speechless.

"I love you," he delicately declared.


Suddenly, Seifer let go of her hand and took a drink from his cup. "Is that good?"

"Huh?" Rinoa said, puzzled.

"Is that a nice proposal?"

Rinoa just nodded, too dumbfounded to speak.

"Remember my vacation in Esthar last weekend? I met this beautiful girl at the mall when I was looking for a souvenir for you. By the way, it's in the car. I forgot all about it," he apologized. "Anyway, we kind of bumped into each other and we kind of hit it off. She was really beautiful."

She felt her heart shattering into a million pieces. She fought back the tears that were threatening to slide on her heart-shaped face.

Seifer did not notice that he was breaking her heart. He was blushing and smiling as he thought of the girl. "She even picked out what I should buy for you! Afterwards, we went to a pizza place, ordered a pizza and started talking. She told me that she was also spending her vacation there and she might come here to Balamb. We exchanged numbers in case she comes here. When I got home from school this afternoon, I checked my phone for messages and she left me one. Turns out she's staying at the Balamb Hotel. She asked me out for dinner tonight!"

"Seifer, I'm really glad for you. B-but are you sure it's for… real?" Rinoa slowly asked. "You've only known her for a day." And you've known me for five years!

"Rin, I know it's the real thing. I can't stop thinking about her…" Seifer said as he gazed dreamily into the ocean.


A/N: Hi, everybody! This is my first fic. R&R please! Thanks!