A/N: I'm back! Long time no see. Sorry! Biggie chapter once more though. R&R please, or I will cry...well, no I won't really. But please...too many people are just reading and not commenting. I need your thoughts! Yes, YOU! Ahem. Enjoy!
Chapter 5-Waltz To The Moon
"It's finally over!" Rinoa said longingly, as she and Squall walked back into her house. Irvine followed, holding a copy of the newly written CD proudly.
"That was the easy part...I'm really busy tomorrow, I have to go to promotions, record a video, phew. I'm exhausted as it is..."
"And you know, all the dancing lessons...I'm really unfit, Selphies gonna kill me when she finds out I haven't been practising since...well...never." Rinoa coughed uncomfortably. "But never mind. Then we have to go to..."
"You're not listening!" Rinoa said unhappily. She opened the door and strode in, jumping onto her comfy sofa immediately. Squall followed pathetically; upset his thoughts had been disturbed. He felt it was better to let her go on and think he was listening than think he was rude. Cid might not like it if he found out Squall wasn't concentrating on the job. Not that part of it is me actually having to listen to her every word, he told himself.
"Never mind. I have ballroom dancing tonight. Selphies birthday party." She said excitedly, winking at Irvine as he walked by her. "She's 19." She informed Squall, who didn't even attempt to look interested.
"It's gonna be great." Irvine said casually, throwing the CD onto the table. "Maybe we should bring that for accompaniment?"
Rinoa shook her head. "I'm not promoting my new music at my friends party, how selfish is that?" she said, and Irvine chuckled.
"Fine, fine." Rinoa yawned and lay back. "Tired? You shouldn't even be working right now, Rin. You're still kinda beat up from...you know."
"I do know. But I'm fine, honestly. It only hurts if I turn like th-OWW!" Rinoa yelled in pain as she edged forwards. She doubled back and sighed in exasperation. "Remind me not to do that for a while." She attempted to smile.
Squall felt confused as he thought about this. "How can you dance if you can't even move forwards?"
Rinoa frowned. "It's not about the dancing; it's being there for Selphie. No ones gonna be looking at me, anyway. It's gonna be all about Selphie, I'm gonna make sure of it." She nodded to herself. She looked around to see the uncertain faces. "Oh, for Gods sake, all of Selphies friends know me, it's not like their diehard fans, they just...you know, know who I am." She finished lamely.
"Uh huh." Irvine said, unconvinced. Rinoa glared at him.
"Oh, go and be that way. I'm gonna get changed..." she got up swiftly, slowly followed by a gloomy Squall.
Irvine smiled to himself at the expression on Squalls face. "Poor guy..."
Zell watched Rinoa storm up to her bedroom and walk into her bedroom. He couldn't see any further thanks to her refusal of a camera in her room. He sighed exhaustedly and drank more of his coffee, fighting hard to keep his eyes open. He watched in slight interest as Squall made his way up the staircase and standing outside lazily.
"Don't you wonder...what goes on in that bedroom?" Zell said to his fellow Seeds, who laughed a little. Quistis turned around and smiled.
"Or even what it looks like...man, this is boring..." he said, struggling to concentrate on the screens in front of him. The rest of the Seeds looked as fed up as he felt, each drooped over their desk and staring into the screens impassively, as if the people on the display held in their hands some life long secret that they had to know.
The stranger was ready. He had put on the best he could, and he felt confident. Nothing dangerous tonight, he thought. The master will be pleased...He found his bag and hauled it across his broad shoulders with a grunt, quickly looking around for any missed objects, of which he knew there would be none. It didn't hurt to check. He nodded to himself as he left his accommodation, absent-mindedly locking the door, his mind full of the night ahead. His heavy shoes trod on the stained carpet with haste, quickly pressing on. The night air hit him with a cold force, the crisp sky darkening with every second. Lights ahead directed him to his destination. Frantically he ignored the butterflies in his stomach, and with his fingers calculated the stages that must be taken. He rushed his hand through his hair with anxiety, his pace gaining speed as thoughts rushed through his brain quicker than the air in his lungs. Why are you doing this? A voice in his head asked.
"Because I have to..." he replied.
Why are you doing this? The voice repeated. Turn around. Go back. It's not too late.
"No." he said, his voice edged with anger. "I have to. I've got nothing else to live for..."
Don't you? It could save Rinoas life. Surely that's something to live for. Forget all about the Master. They don't own you. Killing her won't do you any favours. And you know deep in your heart the Master is a deceiver...
"NO!" the man yelled, trying desperately to run from the voice. "The Master...my master...they chose me to do this! They know how much hurt that bitch caused me...they want to help..."
Think about it. You don't even know the masters real name. What's to stop the master from exploiting you? You are just a pawn in this...you can either get yourself out or get Rinoa out. Go back, it's not too late. The voice continued, getting clearer and clearer as the stranger ran and ran down the alleyways and streets, losing himself in the voice. Suddenly he didn't know what he should do.
"I...Master...I shall obey you..." he whispered weakly, before taking a deep breath as if to clear his head. Master...I will grant your wish...
"Rinoa...you look really good!" Irvine exclaimed, donning a simple black suit with a matching tie. He had kept his normal hat on though, and seemed reluctant to take it off.
Rinoa smiled and squeezed his arm gratefully. She was wearing a short white dress with her long hair down, and straightforward white heels. "Thanks, Irvy. You look great too."
Squall entered, a grimace upon his young face. Irvine burst out laughing at the sight of him, and Rinoa hit him playfully across the chest. "What are you laughing at? He looks fine!"
Irvines laughter subsided quickly as Rinoa continued to try and strike him. "Yeah...uh, you look...well..."
Rinoa turned away from him and smiled at Squall encouragingly. "Ignore him. He's just jealous." Squalls frown deepened as he looked down. Rinoa had insisted he dress up for Selphies party too, and had made him wear his official Seeds uniform, which, he had to admit, looked pretty silly.
"Aha...jealous isn't quite what I was thinking..."
Rinoa ignored him. "Right, we've only got a couple of minutes...got everything?" she asked them both. Squall turned his head away brusquely as Irvine nodded. "Okay...shall we?"
"Wait...what about the others?" Irvine asked, pointing to the surveillance teams shed.
"Oh yeah. We're gonna meet them outside."
"Wait...they're all coming with us?" Squall asked, suddenly anxious. He had secretly quite enjoyed being away from Zell, and especially, Quistis.
Rinoa nodded. "I invited them...that way you'll have more company. And they are nice people, I thought it was only polite." She scowled at Squalls nervous expression. "What's wrong? I thought they were your friends-"
"They are not my friends." He replied shortly.
"Oh, I though-"
"They, are not, my friends." He snapped angrily. Rinoa was taken aback by his tone, but quickly managed a small smile.
"Sorry. Let's go then."
She ushered a puzzled Irvine to the car, while Squall lay for a moment against the wall, sighing. I don't need friends. Being alone is easier.
"Hurry up, Squall!" Rinoa called out after a few seconds. He made no motion to go.
He felt someone watching him from the corner of the room, right next to the door, and he looked around wildly.
"Hey Squall." Quistis said happily, waving. She was wearing a long red dress that was held around her tightly with a matching belt. Her hair was in a high ponytail and strands lay down across her face.
Squall felt a pang of regret in his stomach. He could have just gone to the car, he would be away from this situation now, if he had just moved...
"Hi." He said forlornly. Quistis smiled wider this time, laughing a little to herself.
"You never sound happy to see anyone at all. It's what I like about you actually, you're like a lone wolf." She said somewhat dejectedly, although the smile stayed on her lips.
"Whatever!" Quistis finished for him, bursting into fits of laughter. "Oh, don't look so annoyed, I'm sorry..." she said, suppressing her giggles.
Squall shook his head and began to walk out. Quistis gasped and caught his arm.
"Wait! Shall we go in together?"
"You know, to the party." She said desperately, a hint of impatience in her voice.
"I have to go in with Rinoa. I'm supposed to be with her everywhere, right?" he said, quite glad he had an excuse to be away from her this time.
"Oh. I suppose." She said curtly, not looking him in the eye and storming off, not bothering to look back. Squall sighed confusedly.
He walked out into the front porch, where Rinoa was waving to him from the car. It was a stretch limo. A short haired girl who was wearing a yellow dress and had an ecstatic look, jumped out from the window and yelled at the top of her voice.
"HEYA MAN! PARTAYY!"
Squall held his hands over his ears hurriedly, making his way over to the car, where an excited Rinoa pulled him in.
"That's Selphie," she said, pointing to the girl currently jumping around as the remaining Seeds got into the limo. "Kinda hyper all the time." She grinned.
"I see that." Squall replied, carefully avoiding the rest of the Seeds gazes. Zell, in particular, who kept trying to kick him from underneath the table. Rinoa smiled at each of them, who either looked away in embarrassment or beamed back eagerly, clenching their hands together in nervousness.
Selphie rushed into the car as the rest of the SEEDS got ready and they set off sharply, Squall determined to avoid Quistis's eye.
As the limo sped on, Rinoa and Selphie hugging as they talked, Rinoa wearily discussing her time in hospital, all Seeds but Squall listening intently to her every word. They reached the large hall, and Rinoa turned to Squall with a devious smile upon her face.
"I guess you didn't think you'd be here so soon, huh?" she asked, her eyes bright and glimmering in the dark of the limo.
Squall, unsure of what she was talking about, turned to her. "What are you..?"
"Look out the window."
Squall obeyed, and was surprised to see he was staring up at Balamb Garden, his home.
"I figured that Balamb is big enough to hold all these people that are gonna be here tonight, plus it means you can see your home! I think you look a little homesick." Rinoa smiled. Squall actually felt grateful to her, he knew not many people would take him into consideration.
The hall was large, although Squall knew this. It had been lit with chandeliers and many candles, and it all looked elegant. Already people were dancing to the music and chatting excitedly, and when Selphie entered everyone applauded, cheering wildly.
"Happy birthday girl!"
Rinoa had sauntered off to meet other friends, though Squall felt embarrassed to follow her so he casually leant up against one of the massive pillars of the building, keeping a laid-back eye on Rinoa and where she was. He sighed. This is gonna be a long night.
A few hours and an enormous amount of dancing later, Rinoa stumbled over to a bored looking Squall.
"Dance with me?" she asked with a grin, her hands behind her back. Squall shook his head silently.
"...I can't dance."
"Aw, come on, everyone can dance. Please...I promise I won't laugh." she said happily, but Squall didn't look too pleased.
"I told you, I can't."
"Come on Squall!" she exclaimed, apparent she had not listened to him. She pulled his hand and led him onto the dance floor, as the music turned from slow to fast. Other couples joined in too, many seemed to recognize the tune.
Rinoa looked at the shy Squall and with a faint smirk placed his hand on her waist and the other in her own hand. She moved to the music, stepping right and left to the beat. Squall, obviously new at this, tried to follow and ended up standing on her foot. She winced but tried again, taking his hands and placing them once again. She showed him effortlessly how to move and she twirled underneath his arm.
The other couples around them tried not to pay any attention, until Squall shouldered one of them accidentally. Rinoa looked from each of them back to Squall, and shrugged. She picked up Squalls hands and they began again as if nothing had happened.
Squall began to pick up which way Rinoa moved and where he should go, but he was still nervous. He didn't like being put under pressure like that, and normally he wouldn't have.
He spun Rinoa around and they finished the dance, both were close together. Fireworks went off in the background and everyone began to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Selphie. Her screams of delight could be heard from all around. Squall stared blankly at the lights above him, the fireworks of every colour lighting the room and making the crowd cheer. Rinoa watched them too, still holding Squalls hand. She turned to look at the rest of the dancers to see if Selphie had appeared back inside the hall, when she felt someone staring at her.
A young blonde haired man was leaning against a pillar, and was looking at her with deep affection. Rinoa blinked in disbelief and tried to get a better glimpse of him. Squall seemed to notice her attention was elsewhere, so he took the opportunity to remove himself from Rinoas grip.
"Seifer..." Rinoa whispered, and Squall turned to see who she was staring at. The blonde man began to approach a look of surprise on his face, yet he looked pleased.
"Rinoa? It's...it's you! Wow..." the man named Seifer said in amazement, unable to take his eyes from Rinoas.
Rinoa nodded, and looked to Squall. "Um, Squall...this is my...this is Seifer." she gulped, her hands began to shake.
Seifer smiled politely at Squall but did not make anymore attempt to greet him. "How do you do? Rinoa...a dance?" he gestured to the band who had begun to play another song.
Rinoa felt wary. She knew this man had changed...but some things never changed in people. "Uh...y-yeah, sure. Excuse me, Squall." her voice was filled with concern.
Squall watched the pair as he retreated back to his pillar, where he stayed for the remainder of the night.
Why does this guy give me a bad feeling? I feel like I recognize him...Squall thought to himself, as he watched the man hold Rinoa as they moved o a slower song. He noticed Rinoa seemed hesitant around him, he wondered how they knew each other. As he watched, the man called Seifer looked straight at him with fierce eyes, and Squall looked away, embarrassed. This feeling...he couldn't place what it was about this guy, but he knew he should keep it quiet.
The rest of the night passed slowly, more fireworks were let off into the dark night sky, more applause cheering and singing, but Squall remained impassive.
Rinoa felt like leaving the party, she had suddenly lost her excitement for this night, but she knew she should stay for Selphies sake, it was her best friends birthday after all. Just like Squall, she felt the night was as slow as ever, secretly wishing for a release.
A/N: SO! Can you believe I actually updated? Rare occurrence...anyhoo, sorry. But I kinda forgot how I wanted this to go lol, but never mind I got to it in the end. Please comment people, tonnes of you don't. That being said, thank you to the people that do! R&R, tell me what you think of Seifer being in it! I am sneaky sneaky, no? Lol, review this PLEASE, or I will...go eat some cake.