Disclaimer: I, Elanor Tinuviel, do no own Square-Enix or any of its enterprises. Go on, I dare you to investigate, I DARE YOU! Anyhoo…enjoy ^.^
Prologue: Odd Ends Meet
"You're gone away
I'm left alone
A part of me is gone
And I'm not moving on
So wait for me
I know the day will come."
~ Meet You There – Simple Plan
There are some smells that stay with you forever. So distinct, so characterising that you can tell who or what had been in the same room as you or sat in the same chair. Most smells trigger off happy memories…
…others trigger off horrible memories - things that shouldn't have happened but did. One time in particular…
It was my sixth birthday, not the biggest celebration of one's life, but it's meant to be a special day, right? Yeah so anyway, I had all my whole family there and all my friends – yes even he was there. Nearly every celebration I was at, he was at and this one proved to be no different. It was also the last one he was at for a while, much to my delight.
So anyway, it was my birthday and everything was pretty much going the way it had been planned by my father – the tail had been pinned on the donkey, the lunch served, the lolly bags handed out. Only one thing remained: the blowing out of the candles.
Please remember that I, at that point in time, was a girl on her sixth birthday. Blowing out candles was a pretty big thing! I still believed in making wishes and having them granted if I kept my mouth shut about it. So there I was, all smiles and about to blow out the candles and then it happens.
I get a whiff of it and I am not happy!
Looking down at the cake, there was no mistake about it. Some dickhead had smeared dog shit all over the top of my chocolate mud cake and boy did it reek! Naturally I was furious. Who the hell would mess with me on my birthday of all days! I looked up and around, and it didn't take too long at all to spot the culprits.
He and his idiot of a friend, Seifer, were laughing their heads off. It took me a millisecond to run after them and hit them both in the stomach. Of course the element of surprise was working very well to my advantage. They hadn't anticipated an attack from me, nor did they see me run at them.
So, with them rolling around on the grass clutching their tummies, I marched right up to my father and demanded him to get me a new cake. He went straight away to get my birthday cake, no hesitation evident as he made for his car and drove off.
He never came back.
My father died on the day of my sixth birthday.
It's all Squall's fault. If he hadn't pulled that stupid prank, my father wouldn't have gone out to get me another cake and he'd still be here. But he's not. And it's Squall's fault.
I hate him - I'll hate him forever.
A few weeks after that day, his dad got a job offer in Esthar. I was so happy – I'd never have to see him again, never have to see the reminder of why my father was dead.
That was ten years ago. Ten years of having no such reminder. But so much can change in one day…
I should've known I wouldn't be that lucky for long…
- - -
With a sigh, she put her pen down, momentarily closing her eyes. What could she possibly want now?! "Yeah, Mom?"
"Will you come down here?"
Pushing her chair back, she made for the door and clunked down the stairs to stick her head into the kitchen. "What's up? I'm doing my homework."
Julia Caraway wiped her hands, paying no attention to what her daughter had just said. "Could you set the table, please?"
"Set the table?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. "Mom, we never set the table for anything. There's only ever been the two of us."
"Well," she started, finally looking up to acknowledge Rinoa's presence. "We're having guests tonight. A friend of mine is moving back into town and I thought we'd give them a welcoming dinner."
Rinoa nodded her head slowly. "That's nice. Um, exactly when were you planning on telling me this?"
"Well I only just invited them this morning, so I've had as little warning as you."
"You didn't have to invite them," she replied as she folded her arms over her chest.
Her mother gaped at her. "What kind of friend would I be if I didn't?"
"The normal type of friend who reacts excitedly then says 'I'll see you around then, we'll have to get together soon', then suggest a get together in two weeks time which gives you plenty of time to prepare or to back out, which ever option tickles your fancy."
"Rinoa that is bad manners and you know it," Julia scolded as she continued chopping some vegetables.
"Do I?" she answered with a cock of her head.
Her mother merely stared back, not in the mood to tolerate Rinoa's attitude. "Could just set the table? It'll take you less that two minutes and I've never known you to complain about not doing homework."
"Fine, fine," she relented with a roll of her eyes, "I'll do it. How many places do you need?"
"Okay," Rinoa sighed as she opened the crockery cupboard. After she arranged the last set of cutlery in its place, she bit her lip as she inspected each set place. Sure I wasn't prepared for this, but that doesn't mean the table can't be perfect, right? Smiling to herself, she sighed and turned to go back upstairs. "I'll be in my room."
"Alright, I'll be up to get you when dinner's ready."
- - -
"Rinoa! Can you get that?" Julia shouted from the kitchen as the doorbell rang.
Rinoa, who was still busy in her room, had purposely shut the door of her room in hopes to bar out any more requests from her rather demanding mother.
"Oh, that girl," she muttered before precariously leaving the kitchen to open the door. Outside three people stood nervously smiling.
"Julia!" the woman outside exclaimed.
"Raine!" And with that, the two women embraced. "Laguna," she smiled before hugging the man next to Raine. "Oh God it's been a while. Come in, come in. Come into the kitchen, dinner's taking a while to finish since Rinoa is 'busy doing homework.'"
"Oh, it's quite alright," Raine replied as she and the two men followed Julia into the kitchen. Julia promptly returned to the stove. While she sauteed some vegetables, she decided to address the third person quietly leaning against the fridge.
"So Squall, it must be weird to be back in the old neighbourhood, right?"
"Yeah, I guess it is," he smiled faintly as he shifted his weight from his left leg to his right. "I don't really know if I'll remember anyone."
"Oh don't worry, I'm sure Rinoa will be happy to introduce you to some people."
I hope she isn't as violent as she used to be."That'll be good."
"Which reminds me, could you go up for me and call her down? I think she's closed her door which makes it close to impossible to hear anything going on outside!"
Squall stood up straight, hesitantly. "Umm…sure. Which room is it?"
"It's the room to your left when you get to the top of the stairs, you can't miss it. Thanks Squall, maybe you two could catch up as well!"
He nervously smiled as he turned to exit the kitchen, making his way to the staircase he'd seen upon entering the household. Okay…let's do a re-cap: last time I saw Rinoa she kicked the crap out of me and Seifer…for some reason I don't feel too good about this.
- - -
"Quisty, I don't get any of this!" Rinoa shouted into the mouthpiece of the telephone as she violently scribbled out some working out.
"And I do? Hello! I'm the one that's always getting into trouble from that cow of a teacher because she thinks that every single sound made in that classroom comes from me!"
"Yeah, but you didn't fail the test last Thursday," she countered with a frown as she re-wrote the question on her page.
"But…fine, you win. So what exactly don't you get, I'm probably not the best person to be explaining, but I'll do my best."
"You know what? I hate trig, I don't care if I fail mid-terms."
"Yeah, you say that now. Which question you doing?"
"I honestly don't get anything to do with the damn unit circle. I mean, what is it used for exactly?"
"Well, it's used to find other possible angles. You know for non-right angled triangles how the angle could be acute or obtuse…"Quistis began as Rinoa lifted an eyebrow. "Erm…I mean, nothing. Oh hey, I just remembered. Selphie wanted me to tell you that Irvine's inviting you and Jem to his party this Saturday. You coming?"
"I guess. I hafta ask mom first, though. It should be fine - not like I have anything planned."
"And she also wanted me to tell you that Seifer's gonna be there too."
"Why!? I hate that guy! You know that!"
"Why is that again?"
"Don't make me repeat the story. Besides, he's the biggest prick ever! Even you have to admit that."
"Well he really isn't that bad a guy. I mean, we talk and he's pretty normal with me. He probably just likes annoying you 'cause it's so damn easy."She laughed. "He's a nice guy, really he is."
"What's that supposed to mean?!"Quistis shouted as Rinoa strategically pulled the phone away from her ear.
"Just messing with ya. But does he really have to come? He's gonna make a pass at me again, like he always does at every single party without fail, and Jem gets pretty upset when stuff like that happens."
"Why? It's not like you two are married or anything. He should get used to the fact that his girlfriend is beautiful, funny, occasionally stubborn and just really nice that guys practically melt at the sight of her."
"Who's that you're talking about? Jem's seeing someone else?" she gasped, sarcasm dripping over every syllable.
"I'm not going to feed your ego, Rin. So anyway, I just wanted to give you fair warning about Seifer. And it's not my party, therefore I don't write the guest list. So don't shoot the messenger."
A knock resonated from her door. Rinoa, thinking it was her mother, expected it to burst open as soon as the knocking stopped. Frowning when it didn't, she got up and crossed the room to open it. "Wait a sec, someone just knocked on my door, and it wasn't mom."
"How'd you figure that?"
"She would've come in straight away. It's probably one of the guests she invited over tonight."
"Dunno," she said before opening the door. Rinoa almost dropped the phone when she saw who it was. Standing there silently, her eyes wide, she nervously swallowed. There was no doubt about it. Sure he'd matured over the years he'd been away, but he was still the same person.
The one, the only…
- - -
A/N-Hello my pretties! Yes indeed, this is my new fic! You all thought I'd dies didn't you? DIDN'T YOU?! Hahaha, just kiddin (just like xianghua in soul calibur) but anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed this prologue/chapter. Please review! Feedback means the world to me and I take every suggestion you give into account! I'll start with responses next chapter I hope and I'll honestly try to update fortnightly, but we'll see how it goes with school and all.
This chap is dedicated to my friend Buttered Angie – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Thanks all! Please don't forget to review! And thanks for taking the time to read my fic! 3 e.t.