In secret

by diddly day

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. It doesn't belong to me.

A/N: I usually write Resident Evil fics. And those are still my number one priority. I know those of you who've read them are like "what the heck? Final Fantasy?" But I just got an idea and had to write it down before I forgot. I promise, no more posting until the last chapter of Sometimes they Come Back is up.

This is Quall. (Dodges tomatoes and rotten fruit) I understand that most of you do not like this, but at least give it a chance. If you don't like it, I'll never write a Final Fantasy fic again. There are a lot of memories in this chapter. That's what the italics are for. The narritve is in the normal format.

And I also know that if I try and change the format, some of the words get jumbled together. No biggy, I will go through and correct it. But if you see one or two words that look "likethis" don't freak out. I'm correcting those right now.

Chapter One:

He stared at the wine in his hand as the party raged on behind him. It was hard to believe that two years ago, he had danced with her. That dance, it had changed his life. It made him believe that he could do anything. She made him feel like he could fly. Their journey together had been nothing he had ever experienced before. Love. He had always heard that word. But he never really knew what it meant. Rinoa had shown him what it was like to loved and be loved.

Now, as he watched her dance, he realized that it had simply not been enough. For her or for him. She danced with him, the man he had learned to forgive for stealing his love's heart. Seifer moved with Rinoa with elegant grace. Surprisingly enough, Squall Leonheart felt nothing. It was as if he was watching shadows. She had left him, and he was now happy.

Taking a small sip of his red wine, Squall turned back to the bar. He hadn't always been happy. No, there was a time when he was a wreck. He simply didn't think life would go on. That he would never love again. For months on end, he would lie in his room and stare at the ceiling, wondering how she could have done this, how could she have left him? He knew he would never feel that same again. A small laugh erupted in his chest. How wrong he was.

Reaching up, he grasped the chain around his neck. Pulling up the silver ring that lay hidden underneath his shirt. He gazed at the small ring on the chain, a small smile flickered across his features. He was going to see her tonight. For the first time in three weeks, he'd get to see her face. Three weeks, that is a long time to be separated from your wife.

Wife. Squall's smile broadened. She had just gotten back from a mission. He had been afraid he would never see her again. They had made plans to see each other tonight. However, they were limited to show their affection, after all, no one knew they were married. No one with the exception of Irvine and another witness they had been able to get. To be wed in secret was not an easy thing to do.

He stroked the ring with love. Excitement washed over him. Closing his eyes, he placed the glass to his lips again. Imagining he was kissing her full lips. Running his fingers through her golden hair. A chill ran down his spine. Had it been the wine or the memories? Thrusting his hand into his pocket, he pulled the note that she had slid under his dorm room earlier today.

"Meet me at the bar tonight." It read.

Her usually neat handwriting was scribbled across in an untidy scrawl. He could tell she had written it in haste. People would've gotten very suspicious if they had seen Quistis Trepe, ex- Instructor, standing outside his dorm, sliding a note underneath his door. Looking back over his should to insure no one was watching him, he folded the note and slid it back into his jacket.

It was surprising how so much could change in just two years. All that short time ago, he had been alone. No more than a year ago, he had been with Rinoa, and this year he was married to the last person he would've ever thought he could fall in love with. Quistis was . . . she was an incredible woman. He was surprised he had never seen it before. He admitted he had no feelings toward her whatsoever before or after he had been involved with Rinoa. Nevertheless, it had been funny how she crept her way into his heart, an inch at a time. The most humorous thing was, he knew she hadn't meant to do it.

Although it wasn't until Rinoa had left him, that he started to get paired with Quistis during almost every mission. As everyone could've guessed, he didn't care. He didn't give the slightest damn who was his partner. He just wanted to do his job. Quistis, of course, knew that, and out of respect, kept her distance as much as she could from him. Squall had been grateful for that. Perhaps that was when those feelings had been planted.

When she did talk, she talked about the mission. He has always known she was a gifted worrier, but he had no idea how determined she could be. Observing her efforts out on the battle field, he grew to admire how hard she worked to get her job done, and to protect everyone else who was fighting with them. Including him. Those tiny planted feelings of gratefulness soon sprouted into ones of respect.

She had shielded him outside of work as well. When their party would set out the tent for the night, she would make sure everyone was safe and comfortable. She was a natural mother at heart. On one particular cold night, Squall had been foolish not to pack an extra quilt. Waking up in the dead of the darkness, his body racked with shivers. He felt so frozen, that even his soul felt the chill Leaning over, he whispered in the dark.

"Quistis," he poked her awake with his index finger.

"Mmm?" It was so dark, and he was happy he awoke the right person.

"Do you have any extra blankets?" Trying to keep his voice steady, not too show how icy he felt. She was silent for a few seconds, and then heard her whisper back.

"Yes, I brought one. You're quite lucky, you know."

He felt warmth envelop him, and after muttering a quick 'thanks' fell into a deep slumber.

That warmth and ease of the night was soon tainted the next morning. As he awoke, the early rays of the sunlight gleamed through the tent. Looking over at Quistis, his heart stopped as he saw that she lay next to him. Her body shivered as she hugged herself, trying to keep warm. There was no sight of a quilt wrapped around her body. The realization hit him. She had not brought an extra quilt. She had sacrificed hers to let him be a little bit more snug while she suffered the rest of the night. After she had risen, as they made breakfast, he approached her.

"Why did you lie to me last night?" he demanded. Quistis raised her eyebrows at him.

"Excuse me?"

"You said you had an extra blanket, but you didn't. Instead you gave me yours. You must've been freezing," he softened his voice a bit. He could already tell she wasn't pleased.

"I don't know what you're talking about. You probably dreamt it."

With that, she flashed him a quick smile and turned away.

But he hadn't dreamt it. He was sure she was trying to make her random act of kindness a sort of cloak-and-dagger deed. Wanting to feel irritated, he tried, but his efforts were in vain. For as hard as he tried to be annoyed, he found he couldn't. If anything, his respect for her grew. Never did he think that she cared that much for him. He'd known she was attracted to him, but to sacrifice for him?

She was loyal. Quistis was known to stay firm and never waver in her integrity. No matter what the situation, no matter what the punishment, she would not let go of what she thought to be right. He always noticed how virtues she stayed, how she would never reduce to anything less than what she wanted to be. Fine qualities needed in a worthy partner.

Squall found himself liking her company after a while. To the point that he hoped he would get paired with her when they left on their missions. He found things out about her that he had never known before. She liked to laugh. Her sense of humor wasn't of outgoing insanity, (Zell) or spunky goofiness (Selphie). With wit as sharp as her looks, she defiantly had a more refined humor. When she laughed at his sarcasm, he often felt quite. . .flattered. His respect grew into a deeper friendship.

Everyday he would watch Rinoa and Seifer in the cafeteria as they talked sweetly, feasting on their food. At first it had been unbearable. But slowly he got to the point to where the pain would still be there, but his heart didn't break every time he saw Rinoa and Seifer's eyes flicker at each other. From time to time, he found that his eyes would sometimes wander to the woman sitting behind them. Her blond head gazing at her book, turning the pages carefully with one gloved hand. Of course, that was only sometimes.

When did he start feeling those sparks between them? Squall wasn't quite sure. He hadn't woken up one morning bursting with the realization that he loved her, or that he was even attracted to her. She was beautiful, yes, but he couldn't feel any attraction there. So when was it that he started to feel it? Was it that night in the tent? He didn't think so. Maybe it was during one of their late night discussions. One of the many times she saved his life, perhaps?

Possibly. However, Squall did remember a particular memory when he undoubtedly was aware of those rapt feelings of infatuation.

He had horribly cut his hand on a blade, causing the thick blood to run freely down his arm and soak his clothes a deep red.

"Here let me see," Quistis said as she sat him down on a nearby log.

"I can't believe I was that careless!" Squall lectured himself.

"Hush!" He noticed that she started to pull off her gloves.

"You want to get blood one your hands?" He questioned. She turned her mouth town quickly in an odd wince.

"I've got poison on my gloves, would you like me to infect you?" He chuckled as she carefully made sure that she did not touch any contaminated area of her leather gloves. His laugh won her a giggle of her own.

"Where'd you get the poison? Was it that plant you touched?" he asked, referring to a plant she had anciently brushed against a few hours before. She nodded.

"Give me your hand," she demanded quietly.

He obeyed. Extending his arm toward her. He was suddenly aware that she had never touched him with her bare hands before. He was even more aware of her delicate fingers softly grasping his wrist. Her touch was like lighting flashing through his skin. He drew in a sharp breath of pleasure.

"Does that hurt?" she questioned, her eyes darting to meet his eyes. Those blue eyes, he felt like he was drowning in them.

"No," he responded, his voice sounded so far off. He wasn't sure if he had said it out loud, or in his mind. He must've said it out loud, for her eyes wandered back to his hand again.

Quistis continued to keep his hand steady. Bringing the wet cloth and wiping the blood off his fingers. Her soft hands gliding up and down his arm, cleaning his wound. He was quite surprised with how gentle she was. Her smooth palms intently bandaging his cut. Each touch of her skin against his was like electric bolts. The bolts flew to his heart, causing it to beat faster and faster. He began wondering what it would be like to hold those sweet hands. What it would be like to kiss them.

"Are you cold? You're shaking." Her voice cut through his mind. Springing his neck up to look at her. He shook his head. Quistis bit her bottom lip in anxiety. She netted her eyebrows together.

"I think you've gone into shock," she continued. Standing up, she walked around him and casually placed a blanket on his shoulders. Professionally, she proceeded to pull the ends of the quilt around him. He felt her sweet breath on his neck. He leapt to his feet, springing away from her.

"I'm going to bed."

his voice came out more rough than he had meant it to. When he did dare turn to look back at her, he saw her sitting on the log, staring at the ground. Her expression was a mixture of confusion and sadness. Her mouth turned down in a slight frown. The cold stab of guilt pierced his heart.

Never, in his life. Not even when he was with Rinoa, had a simple touch affected him in such a way. Every beat of his heart reminded him of what is was so rapidly pulsing for. For her. She had made him feel that way. Closing his eyes, he fell into a light sleep. Dreaming of a place where he felt like that all the time. And for once, that place wasn't in Rinoa's arms.

Still, he would watch at the cafeteria. He watched until the pain slowly started to drift away. He watched until his eyes permanently found their way past Seifer and Rinoa. To Quistis, reading her books. Sipping her drinks with those cherry lips. The pain was gone but instead, had been replaced with desire for his old Instructor. He gazed at her as she stared at her books. The way her lips moved when she took a sip of her drink. A smile would light up her face as she read something that humored her. Even the way she shifted in her seat from time to time was enough to keep in hypnotized. He couldn't help it, he was enchanted.

"Awe man! You're not watching those two again are you?" Zell said as he sat down next to Squall. Zell nodded over at Rinoa and Seifer. The pair that Squall had completely forgot was there.

"Oh! Uh, yeah," Squall lied. He looked down at his uneaten food. He didn't want to tell him he had been goggling at Quistis.

"Look, you've got to get over it! I know you loved her. But if you love her, then you would want her to be happy. Look at them, doesn't she look happy?" Squall lifted his eyes but not at Rinoa, where Zell was looking. His gaze was fixed on Quistis.

"Uh huh." Just then, Quistis chuckled at her book. "She looks very happy. She looks gorgeous."

"There ya go!" Zell exclaimed as he reached over and grabbed some of Squall's food. "Congratulations, buddy. You're on your way to a twelve step program of getting over Rinoa. I promise, by the end of the year, you'll be Rinoa free or your money back."


Squall looked back at his food again. He wasn't hungry. It was hard to eat. It was hard to sleep. He had an odd feeling that he wanted something, but he didn't know what. There was a hole deep in him. He wasn't complete.

His eyes found their way back to Quistis. The hole filled up, only little bit. Before he had time to look away, she looked over in his direction. Their eyes linked. Quickly, he turned away. Ashamed he had been caught.

"I'm full Zell. Dig in." Squall stood up and before Zell could ask where he was going, he was out the door.

He placed his forehead on the wall. Blood pumping though his body. Just a look. She could get his blood pumping by just a natural look? No, there was something in that look. Something in her eyes that passed between them. The realization hit him like a million tons. He wanted her. He needed her. Ignoring it as best as he knew how, it broke. He was filled with a hunger to hold the rustic curves of her body against his. To kiss her full lips and sweep the hair away form her face. He wanted to make her skin flush with his lips and his touch. He wanted to make her feel the way she made him feel.

Of course it wasn't love. It was just a crush. That's all it was. A small crush that made him a little flustered. If he didn't give into it, these feelings would go away. He'd be back to normal. Soon he would be back missing Rinoa and he'd have his life back. But is that what he really wanted? Yes. Yes, that's what he wanted. All he had to do was keep his distance from Quistis.

And on their next mission, it was the first time that he found himself not wanting to be paired with her. He did not want to be distracted, and he knew that if Quistis came, that's what exactly what would happen. Naturally, she was sent to go with him. Just his luck.

"You okay? You seem more distant than usual," she whispered to him. He averted his eyes, focusing them on the horizon. They walked in perfect rhythm.

"I'm just tired."

"Oh," she didn't press it any further. She kept it a personal mission of hers to stay out of his way.

The mission had gone as expected. Very few wounds. Quistis had gotten a slight gash on her leg. Nothing too serious. Squall tried to brush his worried feelings aside. He failed, of course. They sat later that night, after the party had gone to bed, in front of the bonfire. Squall snuck a sideways glance at her. He observed the flickering glow of the flames shimmering on her soft skin. His eyes fell to her bandaged leg.

"You . . . you should get that checked when we get back," one of the few words he said at her at all that week. She turned her gaze toward him. The blaze danced in her eyes.

"I've had worse," she raised her eyebrows at him. "Why do you care all of a sudden?" He looked away.

"It just . . . looks like it hurts," he glared at the fire again.

"You should get that checked." he saw her point at the small scrape that lined up parallel to his hairline.

"It's nothing." he sighed.

"Looks like it hurts," He shot her a stare and saw the corners of her mouth twitch. The faintest shadow of a smile flew across her features.

"Out on the battlefield all day, not a scratch. Then I act like a fool and brush my head against a tree." He brought his fingers up and traced his scrape.

"Don't touch it," she reached up to pull his hand away.

Only for an instant did he feel the soft leather of her glove graze his hand. Acting before his brain had time to register what he was doing, his fingers wrapped around her wrist. He felt her flinch in surprise. His heart began to hammer in his chest, as she always made him do. Their eyes found their way to each other. Her long lashes drooped.

"I. . .I'd better go to bed." He felt her start to pull away from him. His grip tightened ever so slightly on her.

"Don't," she froze. Her eyes found the fire, looking anywhere. Anyplace that he was not. "Don't go." Her head shot in his direction.

"Squall . . . " she began, but no more words left her mouth. His eyes traveled to her hand.

"Why do you always wear these gloves?"

"They keep my hands clean," she answered softly. "They keep them warm."

He gently grabbed her index finger and pulled the glove off slowly. She inhaled and he sat the glove down next to him.

"There are other ways to keep your hands warm." He felt hypnotized. He usually never acted like this. What was she doing to him?

His fingers entwined with hers. He felt their pulses run together. She let him turn her hand anyway he wanted. He traced the lines on her palms. Her long nails that she hid under that mask that he called a glove. The white, clean tips he smoothed his fingers over. Placing their palms flat, he raised them to the firelight. The sight of her creamy skin against his tan made him shiver. To touch them wasn't enough, his lips needed to feel them.

Closing his eyes, he ran the point of her fingers across his lips. He slid them down to her palm and let himself taste some of her warm skin. His mouth wandered to her wrist. The sensation of her small veins under his mouth dove him crazy. She was now holding his head in her hand. His cheek pressed against her palm.

Squall lifted his head stared into her eyes. She looked shocked. Shock with a slightest hint of yearning. He knew she wasn't allowing herself to give into her hunger. He on the other hand, had opened a gate. All of his lust, thirst, desire was now flooding out.

Grabbing her other hand, he pulled the glove off. Now he held both. Two matching beautiful hands. One pressed against his cheek, the other held tightly in his fist. He snaked his hands up her forearms. Holding her elbows. The sleeves of her shirt under his fingers. Both of her hands now cradling his head.

"Squall," she murmured.

Eyes locked on the delicate hollows of her neck. He brushed his lips against her collarbone. She took a deep inhale. Running his mouth across her throat, she groaned. The vibration under his lips made him smile. He brought his face up and kissed her jaw. Breaking away, he stared down at her. She had her eyes closed. She was drinking him in. The sensation of her chest heaving against his.

Then he did something he had always wanted to do. Gently, his fingers swept away a few loose strands of golden locks and caressed her cheek. She opened her eyes slightly. Running his thumb down her lips, they parted ever so slightly.

All of the moments now coming down to this. He could feel her hands pulling his head toward her. Like a magnetic force, he couldn't stay away. In that instant, his rough lips met her soft mouth. Fireworks combusted and he saw stars. Never did he know that a kiss could be like this. Something erupted in his chest. He felt pure joy. The hole in his heart close up completely as Quistis wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer.

The fire cracked and the logs popped as they kissed under the dark sky. Lips twisting, tongues dancing. They absorbed one another. Her soft lips tugging at his. Hands dancing through his hair. Creeping down his back. He had what he wanted. His lungs grew tired. and soon he was forced to pull away. Eyes closed, she pressed her face against his.

"Why?" Her breath tickled his ear.

"I don't know," he admitted. He didn't know why he felt this way. "I just know what I want."

He felt her pull away. Her arms still around him, she met his eyes.

"What you want," she repeated. He nodded. "So this means?"

He didn't know. Did he have her? Did he love her? Maybe they could just see what happens. After all, it was just a crush right?

No, that's not what happened at all. She kissed him goodnight and went to bed. They didn't speak for the rest of the mission. But when they got back to the Garden, he found her late in the library and kissed her like he never kissed Rinoa. She became his medicine. When he wasn't with her, he felt sick. But when she was with him, everything was okay.

"If the Headmaster finds out that two members of SeeD are together . . . " she warned.

"I know, one of us will have to leave the Garden." That is what they were ultimately afraid of. Things like this got complicated and caused problems.

Squall shivered. When he had finally passed his exams, he had signed a contract. It was mandatory for everyone who joined SeeD to conform to a pledge. Quistis had singed it long before him. The contract simply stated the essentials for being a member. He had agreed not to disclose information to any other Garden about his daily activities. Not to act in riotous manners in which to embarrass the Garden in any way. Also not to elude, fabricate, or abuse any responsibilities that a soldier, such as he,were to undertake.

And, of course,any memberof SeeD were now strictly forbidden to pursue any form of romantic relationship with another soldier of the same establishment. Attachments of the sort could lead to lack of focus, judgment, and safety of a cadet..

That was the problem. Once you joined a Garden, they owned you. At least until you were done with your duty. And anyone who was caught violating the contract, were not only stripped of their rank, but one, or both members were dishonorably discharged and sent away from the Garden. For good.

Now, for love, it seems like small price to pay. However, the stigma of being a dishonored ex-SeeD was quite humiliating, and even worse, prejudice. Unlucky men and women who were in that situation often found it hard to get work. Their families, ashamed of their disloyal behavior, exiled them in hopes to keep honor to their family name.

It was all very unfair. But that was the way life was. And two members of SeeD could never be. Squall and Quistis, had both breached their agreement. Quistis, at one time, and dated Seifer, but he had not been a member of SeeD in over a year. He had talked Cid into setting him free of his calling. And merely took his place as a student-teacher to aid others in their study to become famous warriors.

Like he once was.

But, unlike Seifer, Squall needed this job. As did Quistis. They couldn't afford to stop their employment. So much of the Garden depended on those two. There was only one position in which a person could keep their power and paycheck, without having to stay as a SeeD officer.

And that was the position of an Inspector. A rank so high, Balamb had not admitted any of their own cadets as Inspectors in years. It was an Inspectors job to enforce the law on any officer who might be abusing their power. Whomever was excepted, had to be extremely trustworthy and loyal. As Balamb's internal affairs relied so much on those qualities.

The only one who even came close to qualifying for that job was Quistis. And it was going to be a long time before she got promoted and became Inspector Trepe.

"So what are we going to do?" he thought about her question.

"Well, I suppose that we'll just have to make sure no one finds out." she looked perplexed.

"I suppose." This was just a fling, after a while they would get bored and then either he or she would break it off.

Again, he was wrong. Instead of things getting boring, they became more thrilling. No one knew of the deep conversations they held during their alone time together. Or the slick glances they shot during their missions, or at lunch. Not a single person was aware of the hot kissed they shared in the dark of the hallway, before saying goodnight and separating for bed.

Squall thought about pushing her away when he found that he wasn't getting bored with her. He was afraid. Feeling things he had no name for, it scared him to think of what kind if effect she had one him. She was wrapping him around her finger, Squall wasn't sure if he hated or loved that idea. But yet every time he thought of breaking things off, he would get a terrified aching. Just the thought of letting her go was enough to keep him awake at night.

A more terrorizing thought penetrated him mind, even more so in his heart. He couldn't turn back. Now they had reached to point of no return. They had come to far and Squall knew he couldn't let her go.

What if she didn't want him?

The most horrible thought of all.

That was when he started watching for signs that perhaps she was getting bored with him. Squall never thought of himself as a paranoid man, but he found himself jumping at the slightest things. For instance, it bothered him when she wasn't always in a cheery mood. The slightest hint of a frown mad him nervous. It was about that time that he got an idea to show her that he still wanted her, or, in the worst case scenario, make her want him again.

That night he brought her to their old classroom. Everyone had gone to bed, except the two.

"It seems like forever ago that I was up here teaching." Quistis's gaze sailed around the room.

"Yeah, it seems like forever ago I was sitting in the back, sleeping," he flashed her a charming grin.

"Haha," she rolled her eyes. Her face grew serious. "Did you really hate my class that much?"

Squall looked down and sighed.

"No, my mind was just somewhere else." Quistis nodded and pressed her lips together.

"So, uh, why did you bring me here?" she smiled at him and raised one eyebrow. Folding her arms, she gazed at him over her glasses, keeping that sly grin on her face. "I have a feeling it isn't to reminisce."

He found himself returning her smile. He nodded over to the desk. "Look over there."

She followed his gaze until hers rested on a small bottle of wine that was placed on the desk. Two clear glasses sat beside it. Looking back at him, her eyes sparkled like the deep ocean. Her lips spread, and she grinned so wide that her white teeth shined.

"What's all this?" She waved her hand at the desk. The smile sill plastered to her face. The image of awe and surprise reflected in her eyes. Squall shrugged his shoulders.

"Well, I just thought we could be alone for a bit." He took her hand and led her over to the wine. "Just us. No sneaking around. You know, a nice evening." She eyed him up and down with fake suspicion.

"Okay, where's Squall and what have you done with him?"

"Come on," he laughed and placed a soft kiss on her hand.

"I'm sorry, it's just . . . this is so unlike you." Her eyes trailed to the hand he had just placed his lips upon. "But I like it."

"I like it too," he smiled.

Grabbing the bottle, he pulled the cork out, filling up her glass. The red liquid flowed from the bottle to the glass like a crimson waterfall. She grasped it and put it gently to her lips. Leaning forward, he poured himself some wine. Before it even had a chance to reach his mouth, he threw a look over at Quistis.

It struck him just how beautiful she was. Taking soft sips. The way the light hit her soft skin. How she closed her eyes as if she were kissing her wine. He watched the lines in her throat flex with every sip. She held herself so well, even when she let her guard down.

He had spent most of his life with her. And the feelings he had for her now, he knew he couldn't go back to being her friend. Certainly, he wouldn't bare being on bad terms with her. She was apart of his life now, she was his life. As sappy as that sounded, it was true. He was hers now. She had him completely to lose her to anything would be unbearable.

The words flew out of his mouth before he could stop them.

"I love you."

Even though they came out of nowhere, it struck him that he meant it. Any such words had never been so honest in his entire life.

She immediately stopped sipping and shot him a sideways glance. The glass still at her mouth, just not drinking. She stared at him for a few seconds, wanting to see if he decided to change his mind. Squall thought for a second if he did, but no, his answer was still, most defiantly the same. He loved her. He loved her more than he had ever loved anyone. Quistis's face grew very serious and she sat the glass down on the table.

"Do you?" she didn't dare meet his eyes as she spoke. He understood. After all, he had never been one to tell that to someone.

"I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it," he made sure he wasn't to sound angry. Of course, he wasn't angry at all, but he had a tendency to give off that impression, even when he didn't mean to.

"You're sure?" their eyes suddenly locked. "I don't mean to sound rude, but you're sure this isn't some way of getting over Rinoa?"

He was somewhat taken aback. She always had been very careful not to mention his ex. To see that she was talking about her so freely now was a little shocking.

"I can see why you'd think that," he sat his wine down next to hers. She bit her bottom lip.

"You do?" He nodded.

"Yes, I do," he stated calmly. "I didn't think I could ever love again after she broke it off. I swore I would never let myself become attached anyone else. It hurt too much. It hurts when they break your heart."

"I know," she sighed.

She broke her gaze from his and looked back at her wine. A sudden memory rushed through his mind. He heard his own voice, talking to Quistis. He was telling her to go talk to a wall. A sudden jolt of guilt flew through his body.

"But I was wrong," he whispered. Walking closer to her, he was sure he was so close she could feel his breath on her cheek. She still avoided his eyes. "I did fall in love again. But this time I fell hard. I fell so hard that it made my me realize that what I felt for Rinoa was just puppy love. She's happier with someone else, and so am I."

Her eyes finally met his. His lips drawing closer to hers, they came together in a slow, tender, yet deep kiss.

"I guess the real question is," he continued, "do you love me?"

He felt her hands grasp his shoulder and pull him closer.

"Yes," she soughed. "Of course I love you." With that she pulled him in again for a deeper kiss. And he accepted without objection.

Their feelings admitted. Squall suddenly felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He didn't have to hold anything back from her anymore. He didn't worry about things going down the drain. Now, he wouldn't have to pretend that he didn't care if she broke things off. She knew he loved her, of course he cared. And best of all, she loved him. He knew that she hadn't changed her mind about wanting to be with him. He could breathe again.

Still, no one knew. He was starting to get the suspicion that Zell knew. Sometimes, during lunch, Zell would start to walk up to him during lunch and ask him questions about Quistis. Squall was a bad actor, and either would start to fluster, or blush.

But that was simply the way she made him feel. She could get him to fluster and blush. And it wasn't until long that idea's and concepts of marriage started to take over both his desire and mind.

The music of the ball brought him back to the present. He found himself daydreaming about Quistis. And he still couldn't believe that the dream of making her his wife had become a reality. Who said dreams can't come true?

To be continued . . .

A/N Edit: Alright, first and formost. Since I have gone all the way to chapter nine, I think it's very clear that I am planning on finishing. Secondly, tell me what you think! I'll be happy to see what you like!