Disclaimer for entire story: I do not own Final fantasy 8 or any of the old guard characters. Story and new characters are my own creations. Please do not steal them.

This is my first fanfic so I don't know how good it is. I hope I'm not beating on a dead horse by making a story about Squall and Rinoa's separation, but I write what I'm inspired to write. My friends give it good reviews, so I might have something here. Speaking of which.... Many, many thanks to my beta readers. You all know who you are and you deserve kudos for suffering through the various chapters and catching the stupid mistakes I make.

As of the posting of the prolog and chapter 1, I have up to and including chapter 9 written. As my betas go through and knock me on the head, I will post additional chapters. My readers have all commented that this fanfic has a tendency to put you in the dumps, so a warning on that. I was debating whether to put angst in the story type, but if wishes were horses id be a millionaire. And id own FF8 (and all the other ones...)

I guess this story covers drama, romance, angst, some action, though it is sparse. I already have 2 sequels planned for this story. Ill be updating with info on those too as I go along

A special thanks to Ashbear, I have read your works and definitely they are the best on the site. They have provided lots of inspiration.

I guess that's it... with out further ado...

A lone man walked through the halls of Balamb Garden Dormitory. Seeming to wander aimlessly, he stopped in front of a few doors before finally walking purposefully towards one in particular. When he arrived at his destination, he took off his trademark cowboy hat and ran his hand across the top of his head, debating whether or not to knock. Finally, he tapped his knuckles lightly against the door.

He waited about 2 minutes before more forcefully knocking on the door again. He sighed and put his hat back on, ready to leave, when the door opened, revealing a darkened room. The person standing before him looked in even worse shape than he thought. 4 inches shorter than the man in the cowboy hat, he seemed not a powerful warrior, but a broken shell of a man, completely without any will whatsoever left to live.

The shorter man looked at the man in the cowboy hat for a few seconds before sighing. "What do you want Irvine?"

"I wanted to see if you wanna come with Zell and me and head over to the pub for a good night out."

The shorter man stared at Irvine for a moment. "No thank you, ill be fine by myself"

Irvine smiled and grabbed the other person by the shoulder "Come on man, go out and have some fun, we can do a little drinking, have a few laughs, hell, we might meet some girls."

"I can do my drinking here by myself very well thank you."

Irvine's smile fell off his face "Man what is it with you? It's been 2 years now, you can move on! Come on man!"

"...Whatever" the other man turned around "and for your information, its 3 years now, to the day"

Irvine stopped and gawked for a moment. How could he forget that today was March 3rd? "Look man, we just want you to go out a bit, its not good for you to keep everything bottled up like this. Come on. Were going."

Irvine turned the man around and started to shove him towards the door. In his desire to get his friend out the door, he missed the fist flying at his face until it is too late. Irvine fell against the opposite wall and blinked for a moment. It was only then he realized that an open bottle of liquor was sitting on the table, half-empty, and that his friend reeked of alcohol already.

"Irvine, I'm going to say this one more time. I am not going out tonight, certainly not on THIS night. You and Zell can go out if you want. Now get the hell out."

Irvine stared at the other man for a moment then got up and straightened his hat. "Your loss man. Look we are just trying to help you. Can you even see you are destroying yourself? For Hyne's sake, it's been two... no THREE years now. When are you going to start to live your life again?"

The other man said nothing and just sat down at the table, taking a long drink of the beverage in the bottle. Irvine stared at him for a moment and then walked out the door. The lone occupant of the room took another long drink, then got up and walked next to his night-stand. He picked up a picture of him with a woman. Of course he was not smiling in the picture. He never did, and its only now he realized his huge mistake. It was NOW that he had absolutely nothing to smile about. He stared at the woman again, the face that haunts his every waking – and sleeping – moment. The black hair, with brown highlights, the face so pleasant and happy, the lively chocolate colored eyes. So perfect. He could hear her voice laughing and teasing him clearly now.

He put down the picture and emptied the contents of the bottle down his throat. He groaned as the alcohol hit his system and he felt dizzy suddenly. He put his hands on the night-stand to steady himself. Now the woman in the picture looked like she was enjoying his misery. He wanted to pick up the picture and throw it across the room, but he could not bring himself to do it. The world was spinning faster now, and he collapsed on the floor, hitting his head against the night-stand. He just sat there for a moment, thinking back to a time that he was happy, a time with her. It was always her. She always invaded his thoughts. Suddenly, he realized he was crying, as he did the last two times this cursed day came around.

As he sunk onto the floor passing out from all the alcohol in his system, the man uttered a single word in-between sobs and gasps of breath "Rinoa...." With that Squall Leonhart passed into the world of slumber, and if he could remember his sleep that night, he would have been happy, because for the first time since she left, he was completely dreamless.