AN: I am SOOOOOOOOOO sorry this took so long to update. I wrote this chapter well over a month ago and then i just...well...i lost the file. It is never fun rewriting a file so i didnt get around to it for a while. Then after i rewrote it, and found the original. sigh
Anyways, here is the exciting conclusion. I hope you all enjoy it. For something longer and more drama based, check out Better Late Than Never. That has also almost reached completion. Thanks everyone. You have been absolutley great.
The light broke through the bar-like curtains of the room as Squall Leonart stretched so he could caress the figure laying next to him. He allowed his hand to trace her form as he eyed the subtle rhythm of her breathing, afraid to break the silence.
She was beautiful. Undeniably, indescribably, and completely beautiful. There could be no more perfect a form, no more elegant a person than her. It would be wrong for a man's man to think in terms of cute, but that didn't mean this one would care.
Squall didn't know what came over him. A few short months ago he would have never dreamed that he would have found a peacefully sleeping beauty resting comfortably within his arms after a night of unbridled passion.
This was almost too good. There had to have been a catch to all of this. The life him and Storm shared was anything but giving in its pleasures.
A soldier lived a difficult life. With the coming of each day there was not hope, but only the next mission. It was never a question of when he retired but which mission would be his last. For every task they set themselves upon, theses soldiers already decided upon their death.
It was no simpler a task to belong to the family of a fighter. Every time daddy left, one question hung in the air with a stale stench. Would this be the time he doesn't come home?
It wasn't fair to Storm. She had already lost one set of parents. Did she deserve to go through that experience yet again? Did anyone?
The choice was not hers alone. Miraculously she understood that at a young and tender age. Her father was bound to duty and obligation. He must fight so others would not have to. Similarly, she must spend many a night worrying about all the family she had left in the world just so another child could slumber in peace.
Sacrifices must be made. However sacrifices do no go unheard. Relief is sent to those who have labored and toiled more than their fair share. Relief in this case, named Rinoa.
Rinoa Heartily too fought the urge to allow sound escape her silken lips as she laid at his side, content to be with him yet fearful of destroying this comfortable silence they had managed to erect.
She blushed furiously at the word, causing her body to shift and turn around she could come face to face with his gaze. His face was streaked with shadows that were outlined by light, thus adding a new dimension of mystery to his already guarded persona.
She brought her hand to the side of his face to return the affections he provided her with as a soft smile graced both their lips. Feeling temptation tugging upon their humanity for too long, they closed in for one more kiss before either would gain the courage needed to speak of the evening past.
"You know, all I was going to ask for last night was a soda." Rinoa had to be the one to start out talking. This appeared to be the time for confessions.
His response was spoken with an unwavering voice but brittle resolve "You regret it?"
Rinoa pulled herself closer to him, allowing no amount of space to exist between the two.
He was her perfect stranger. One whom she had fallen so quickly in love with yet knew nothing about. His mystery did not shy her away in fear nor entice her. It was just another part of the life of the man she had come to feel so much for. In the time they had been friends, she could tell by his actions that he was a good man. A man with responsibilities and ethics. A man who was the prime example of steadfast integrity. A man who believed he could live a better life if he merely abided by his words. A man who knew that he could change the world he if he started by treating his family right.
Rinoa buried her head within his chest and spoke as she wrapped her arms around him in similar fashion. "Never. Don't you think it that way for even a moment."
"I'm not your typical guy. I don't say the right things at the right time. I don't know how to behave around girls. To me, romance is just a word in the dictionary." Why was he telling her this? Stop! He should be promoting herself, not selling her on an upgrade.
"I knew that from the start." She spoke as if it was common knowledge. In all truthfulness, it was.
"Then, why me?"
"Because I think I love you." A simple truth that could be said in no other terms.
"Why?" That was not the response Rinoa was for. Time for a fishing expedition.
"You don't love me?" In her heart she knew how the man really felt. But sometimes it just needed to be spoken. You should only say 'I love you' if you really mean it. If you do, then you must say it a lot because people forget.
Though only a few seconds passed, an eternity waved by within the mind of Rinoa as she awaited his answer. She would not beg for him to bring to words the emotions he certainly felt. She had her pride.
"I know I do." Confidence. It made him the man he was. Squall was confident in his abilities as a SeeD. He was confidant of his role as a single adoptive parent. And now more than ever he was confidant for the feelings he shared with this woman who lay at his side.
"How do you know Squall?" Rinoa would teach him the answer to his own question. He held the answer within himself all along.
The young warrior paused for a few moments to give thought to her query. How did he know? He just did. There was no magic behind it; no formula to solve and happen across an answer. He simply loved her.
"I feel better around you. I feel more like myself. I like knowing that I get to see you in the day. I have something new to look forward to. You're everything that I want and everything that I need. I know that when the time is right, that you are the only person I can see marrying and having a future with. I'm not sure how I know these things. I just do." The explanation took a painful toll upon him as he was forced to bring forth emotions he thought he would have to do without.
Was being in love as simple as that? It certainly could be. It took people to make things complicated.
"That's how I know Squall. That's how I know too." She slowly began to run her hands through his strands of brown hair as she fixated herself within his telling eyes that bore no secrets from her.
"Do you think Storm will be ok with this? I mean, I guess I just hope she doesn't feel like I'm trying to take you away from her. I don't think she is used to sharing her daddy."
Squall rolled over onto his back and allowed himself to stare upwards at the ceiling as his mind was deep in thought. Rinoa moved her head and allowed it to rest upon his chest as it was now her turn to study the rise and fall of his chest.
The silence was broken only by their shallow breathes until Squall found the answer to her concerns.
"Two weeks ago Storm asked me a funny question. She wanted to know what mommies were like. I don't think she remembers her real one very well." His voice was wounded as the scars from the little girls past dug deeper than the one bisecting his face.
"I told her mommies are people who care about you no matter what. They make the hurt go away. They always do their best to make you feel like you are the most special person in the word, because to them you are. They take care of you when no one else can. The best part is they ask for nothing in return. Mommies don't even need their children to love them back. I told Storm that Hyne couldn't be everyone at once, and so that's why he created moms." Squall now spoke like a man's whose wounds were ripped upon as salt was poured over them. The sadness in his voice overcame all the defenses he had created through the years.
With Rinoa, everything felt right. Feeling emotions felt right. Expressing himself felt right. Caring about someone felt right.
The raven-haired beauty could tell Squall dealt with his own personal demons as she removed the tears away from his eyes and focused herself upon him more. Now was not the time to ask. She, like him, had to have patience.
"I remember that day, Storm looked happier than ever. Her face brightened up like that time I bought her that first stuffed animal. She exclaimed in this cute little voice 'oh! Then Rinoa is my mommy!'"
The young girl had taken to calling her after school caretaker Rinoa instead of Ms. Heartily after hours. Now she hoped to add the name mom to her as well.
"I just looked at her and smiled then. I knew it was true. Sometimes I think you love her more than even I could." Jealousy. It was a difficult emotion to feel and a harder one to control.
"I love her just as much as you. I don't think it's possible for a mom to love a child more than her dad." Storm always held a special place in her heart. Rinoa recognized from the first day she met Storm that she would be special to the world, but never expected she would become more special to herself.
"I think she will be just fine with this crazy family we are putting together. I guess you can call it my first one." Rinoa did not follow up on and his comment and Squall knew as much. He respected her all the more for it. He loved her for it.
Rinoa stretched herself over and plucked his lips into a growing impassioned kiss as the two intertwined their bodies once more. The time for talk could be put off until later. The call for love had rang once more.
In the morning, another pair who was also in love with each other but in a far different matter had their own discussion of sorts. A little girl ran and jumped onto the bed of her favorite aunt and thus forced her to waken.
Aunt Ellone yawned and stretched before she grabbed her favorite and only niece in a tight hug. "Storm, you mischievous girl! You should let your auntie sleep in the morning."
However Storm would have none of that. Someone neglected to tell her that even the most adorable little girls also needed to be patient with people. "But Aunt Ellone! I have to know! Is it done?"
With a suspicious glance, the tall brunette eyed Storm up and down before providing her response. "Is what done my dear child?"
Ellone was now just toying with Storm and they both knew it. Storm furrowed her brow and looked angrily upon her auntie while she crossed her arms against her chest. "Auntie Ellone! Do I have a mommy yet? Did daddy finally tell Ms. Heartily that he loves her?"
And thus their evil plot now unfolds. It all started many months ago when Squall picked up his daughter from daycare. Children could see and hear everything that was hidden from the eyes and deaf to the ears. Her father couldn't help but stare at her caretaker. He was immediately enraptured by her obvious beauty and carefree attitude. Squall was a man who often detested his living. It was no wonder he should be attracted to one who found their calling in life.
Of course after that chance encounter Squall never entered that classroom again. He always picked up Storm outside while he waited in his car. The man didn't want to get attached to a woman he knew he could never have and one he certainly did not deserve.
From the ignorance of men, the meddling of woman, and the good intentions of children did two people come together. Storm never understood the strange powers her Aunt seemed to have. Frankly the child didn't care. Her daddy did so much for her. Now Storm just wanted her daddy to have everything he wanted too. Of course it certainly didn't hurt the fact that if her daddy got what he wanted; she would get what she wanted. A mommy.
Aunt Ellone always knew more than she ever could. She had never met Rinoa before this plan had been developed and yet knew that woman had somehow carved out a little portion of Squall's heart and reserved it jus for her. She also knew that on one particular mission Squall would find a child that would change everyone's life long before Storm ever actually came into the picture.
With that great power, much good could be done. These two hatched a plot to bring those fated children together.
Ellone brought her hands to each of her temples and rubbed them gently while she entered deep thought. Storm merely watched with a look of boredom now upon her. After a few moments, Ellone looked upon Storm with a wide smile and a face that shown radiantly.
"Mm hmm. Your dad told her. See, I told you it was a good idea for you to sleep over tonight." It was doubtful anything would have happened with Storm in the house.
"So Ms. Heartily is my mommy now?" Storm almost squealed while she spoke.
"Well, she will be, but not yet." Tears immediately began forming on the young angel's face as her happiness shattered and left only hurt emotions.
"But…but when will she be my mommy?"
Ellone pulled in her niece for a warm hug and moved the rogue strands of hair away from her face. "Don't cry Storm. She still loves you like a mother and Rinoa will always treat you like her child. In fact, if you promise to cheer up, I'll tell you some things about the future, ok?"
Storm immediately perked up at that act of kindness and immediately wiped away all the tears from her face. "OK!"
"Hmm, where to start. Well first of all, you might find that Rinoa will spend more time at your house for the next few months. Pretty soon she will move in and then the three of you will always be together." That little living arrangement would be hard to explain to a child.
"You mean my parents would finally be married?" She already referred to them as parents though nothing was official. Squall better get his but in gear or he will have a little terror on his hands.
"Not quite, but about a month or so after Ms. Heartily moves in she will."
"But how ca-" Ellone certainly didn't want to face that question.
"And you will be the prettiest flower girl anyone ever saw!" Suddenly Storm's eyes grew impossibly wide at that thought as she forgot the question she was just about to ask.
"Yes! They finally get married!"
"Mmm hmm. After they get married, there will be another little addition to the family. How do you feel about being a big sister to a little brother?"
"Oh just wonderful! I will finally have someone to boss around and-"
"And take care of? I'm sure that's what you meant to say because Storm is such a good little girl, right?" This trick might not work. Storm wasn't as easy to manipulate as other children.
Storm responded with shifty eyes that darted in every direction except towards Ellone. "Uh sure…"
With a giggle, Ellone continued describing her visions for the future. "Well I know you will love your little brother more than any other boy for a while. Well, that is until you fall in love with another boy who would be nothing more than a friend at first." That much quickly regained Storm's attention.
"Mm hmm. Let's just say it's the son of an old…acquaintance of your father. In fact you will love this boy so much that you almost break your father's heart by leaving." It would be the only rough patch Squall encounters now. That could have been the end of him if Rinoa hadn't been there with him.
"I would never do that to my daddy!" If only parents could get such proclamations in writing.
"Well at the last minute he concedes and you and this boy end up getting married." That particular boy will eventually grow on Squall despite who his father was. It would not be easy for those two to bury their pasts, but for the sake of their children they would do anything.
"Ellone! Who is it? Who's the friend of my father? When will I meet the little boy? Will I like him right away? Is he hot?" Storm wasn't even sure what the last part meant. All she knew was that many other girls had said that about her dad. Especially Ms. Heartily. She kept saying that softly during daycare. Maybe she should ask her about that.
"Anyways, come on Storm. Why don't you go and get changed. We will go to the park today and then you can go home to your daddy and future mommy. Remember, you can't tell anyone what you know. Promise?" Squall hated feeling like a pawn caught within the grander scheme of things. Even though he and Rinoa were destined for one another, he fell in love with of his own free will.
In a hearty voice she responded, "I promise!"
Little Storm ran off back towards her room to prepare for the park. She loved it when Aunt Ellone took her out to play. She always met the most interesting children.
"Don't take too long Storm!" yelled Ellone
Then in a soft sly tone Ellone added "Or you will miss your first 'date' with him."
And its done! Like it? Hate it? Comments? Questions. Send me a review. I would like to hear everything you have to say. Now before people attack it for its oocness or anything that is just following with the actual storyline, this is a fluff fiction. Anyways, thanks again guys. I hope some of you decide to check out Better Late Than Never.
If anyone enjoys FF7 fluff (CloTi), check out workings by Ashley125. I particularly enjoy them and i am a big fan. Until next time guys, take care. :-)