Am i sorry for not updating this fic a whole lot sooner. What can i say guys? I have been being smacked around with a lot of inspiration for a lot of different series ( i currently have 3 squinoas on my harddrive that have yet to be posted. I dont want to wear myself out just yet, along with fictions from other series). I really like the idea for this story, but im getting kind of worn out. So i bring you the final chapter to Man's Inhumanity. However...i will be sequeling this soon once i get a more finite direction as to where i want to take this fiction.
Ah, and in case you were wondering where i was. For a few weeks i was out of the country on a family emergency. AFter that i had to spend a lot of time just catcghing up on my university work (its funny how professors dont care why you're out of the country.) so my mind was kinda off. Eventually i got back into the mode of writing.
I hope this last chapter isnt one massive disapointment. Please give me your opinions and reviews.
Also, if you guys just wanna make me happy for altruistic reasons...read my full metal panic stories! i model the main male character personalities as somewhat similar between the two.
Thanks for everythign guys
I dont own ff8 or the chars.
"You are scum. Worthless trash that society has long forgotten."
These words continued to haunt Squall's memory even to this day.
"It is the organization that has found you. We have saved you from your pitiful selves."
Certain talks that were given daily tended to leave some residue in your mind.
"You're only purpose is to become a bringer a death."
Squall had become quite good at serving his purpose in that life.
"You will hold no allegiances. You will have no loyalties. No one else matters to you. Only the organization."
It was always with that same voice to. Maybe it was the head of the organization. No, that was too risky. He would have been too easy to kill.
"Remember who feeds you. Who clothes you. Who provides for you. You are dogs and dogs must obey there masters!"
Dogs also can bite the hand that feeds them.
"Dogs of the military! When we say fight, you fight. When we say kill, you kill. You are soldiers."
For ten years that was the only identity he could allow himself. Squall was a soldier and nothing more.
"You have no place in civilized society. Your only place is to be scorned by them for being the rejects you are. Kill our enemies and earn what little honor we have allowed you."
But what was a soldier really? Wasn't he nothing more than a civilian with different kinds of training? Didn't that mean he too could find a place in society?
The fact that those questions even entered his mind during that same speech he heard daily left him to deal with 6 hours of shock therapy.
The scar that was left on his face while killing an opponent so he could eat had healed. The trauma of going through untold amounts of mental torture was something he could not trust himself to handle. Like this, he was a danger to her.
She was sleeping so peacefully in his arms too. Her hair was slightly scattered over the exposed portion of her face as her nose was trying to bury itself further into his chest. Rinoa held onto him with a deathlike grip as if she were afraid one day she would wake up and he wouldn't be there anymore.
There was no way he was going to let her think the past few months of running the store together could be just a dream. He wasn't going anywhere.
"And you would gladly die for us because your life no longer has any value. You are ours to do away with as we please."
Typically at that point, they would bring in the current dead-last from the roster and prove just how expendable they were. None of the things trained at the organization were even listed as people. You would however, find their names listed under equipment.
After the recently killed body landed with a thud on the ground, the video would cut off and the remaining trainees would return to their solitude once more. It was a grim life, if you could even call it that.
Squall loved the feel of holding Rinoa against him. He knew now that he couldn't treat his life as meaningless anymore. Too much was revealed to him. His…his Rin had taught him too much.
Oh yes. He had figured it out. The random flashbacks caused by this certain girl increased in frequency with the more time he spent around her. It didn't take long to put two and two together.
Not when both had that same pushy attitude, that domineering presence, the demand for complete and total attention..
Those soft cute lips….eyes he wanted to look into forever, a smile that made even his frozen heart warm up, and a kiss that was unmistakably and unforgettably hers. None of it had changed from his childhood.
She had taught him what it meant to eat for the sake of flavor, to laugh for the sake of humor, and to love for the sake of the person you most cherished in this world.
And for Squall, that person was sleeping soundly in his arms, just like she did every other night for the past few months since they took up their fake lives.
It was a relatively hard task at first. So much solitude makes it hard for someone to accept another person so close to them for so long. In a way Squall expected it to be a cruel joke. That he should learn the comfort and presence of another human being just so it could be taken away to play with his mind. HE was after all a member of the lowest caste of society. Why shouldn't it be scorned? Correction. Squall was a he now, not an it. And Rin, well she was very much a she.
His eyes shifted down to her face once again when he heard her giggle in her sleep. She was dreaming. She was happy. Nothing else mattered right now. Yet, all he could remember now was the first time they had made such an attempt.
For the first few weeks he had watched her sleep as he cuddled her up within his arms. The first time he nearly strangled her to death when he didn't realize just how strong and unused to tenderness he was. It left a bruise around her sides that he was not soon to forget as the guilt of being a monster overcame him once more.
Yet Rin was able to make it all go away by insisting they try again that following evening. "You'd never hurt me on purpose Squall." Those were the only words he needed to hear to adapt to a gentle touch.
"YOU ARE MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN! YOU ARE A SOLDIER!"
In the past Squall often heard Rin talking in her sleep to herself as some kind of nightmare washed over her. Her whimpering confused him at first, but it didn't take long to acknowledge her distress. She was afraid of him leaving…of him dying. More than anything else in the world, she was afraid that they wouldn't be together again for whatever reason.
Squall wasn't going to let that happen.
He was going to be a soldier no more.
It was yet another one of those perfect days in the city with the sun shining high up in the sky and the wind providing a gentle yet cooling breeze. It was one of those days that made you think of being at park having a picnic with your lover as you sat together with your arms intertwined with one another.
So that's precisely what Cloud and Tifa did. The busty brunette had closed up shop for the day and taken hours to prepare a wonderfully romantic spread of food for the picnic only to find out Cloud was far hungrier for something else.
His mind always burned with passion whenever Tifa was near him now. He loved her. Undeniably and truly. He had spoken such words to her as much as possible because in their line of work, there probably wasn't a tomorrow. The fact either was living at this moment was a statistical anomaly that neither dared to question.
Resting against a tree just behind him was the sword that Cloud never failed to bring with him. No matter what happened, he had to remember one thing. He was a soldier. He was trained to kill and defeat his enemies. But also, he was a man. He had a life he wanted to build. He had a girl who would weep over his loss and avenge his death should he fail one day.
Cloud would never let that day come. Not so long as he could help it.
He playfully plucked up a strawberry and teased it around her mouth, outlining her lips slowly and sensuously as he toyed with the idea of taking this just a little further.
Then he was reminded of something. The reason he was out here wasn't just to make up for some quality time they had been lacking in for the past few months. There was an issue at hand.
While Rinoa was off helping Squall rehabilitate and become a functioning member of society, Cloud and Tifa had to pick up the slack in their rebellion. Various branches needed to be dealt with and intel defined. All it really meant in the end was they would be exposed to more harm and less time with each other. That must come to an end soon.
His momentary trance allowed Tifa time enough to sneak that strawberry away from his fingers and into her mouth. Finding the dazed look on Cloud's face, she leaned back and tilted her head to share with him a kiss. No matter what modern medicine had to say about it, that always made things feel better.
As he released her lips from his, Cloud found himself enjoyed a strawberry, the same one he had been 'playing' with earlier. A smirk came to his lips as further realization dawned upon him. She knew he was worried. Tifa could always read him like a book.
"We have a problem." Despite all of Tifa's efforts and attempts, Cloud still hadn't learned any subtlety when dealing with normal civilians. The organization taught you to be brief and to the point. It was a hard habit to discard.
With an exasperated sigh Tifa leaned back into the warmth of Cloud's embrace as she closed her eyes to listen to his worries. Cloud always had to be the one looking after anyone. He just couldn't let other people take care of themselves. Helping him release some of that burden was something Tifa had sworn she do. Anything…anything to bring back that fun loving boy she knew so many years ago.
"At this rate Squall is going to abandon his life as a soldier. He has had it too good. He doesn't see the value in that kind of work anymore." His statement was true enough. Despite his quirks, Rinoa's significant other was quite well received by the community and readily fit in. There little shop had even generated quite a tidy profit from lonely women who suddenly realized this was a nice place to shop. For similar reasons, Squall ensured he worked the same nights Rinoa did.
Funny, right around that time the various hospitals in the area had started reporting an increase in bruised and battered male patients age 18+. The police really should get on that, shouldn't they?
Tifa let a mummer pass to let Cloud know she hadn't fallen asleep as he was bearing his worries to her. That much alone was signs of progress. At least Cloud wasn't keeping his emotions bottled in like that organization had taught him. Sometimes she felt Squall had it easy with a chemical to relieve him of that burden.
"He has had too much of the good life. There is still a need for us. There is work to be done." Cloud felt Tifa shift around in his arms so she could look him face to face and planted another kiss upon his lips. She would always reward him for opening up. Always.
"Talk to him Cloud. You were able to see past all of this on your own because you never let yourself depend on anyone back then. Squall…Squall's different. He and Rinoa need us to watch over them." All the strife and worries Squall and Rin were going through were currently the distant memories of Tifa and Cloud. The latter loved the former too much to let them experience the same pains without their expertise to ease the battle within.
"I know. I know what I have to do, but you may not like it. You were never fond of the way I got Squall to see reason. I'm afraid though this time I may have to go at it unrestrained." This indeed could be dangerous. Squall would have to have his talk with Cloud in an area devoid of life. Neither had the strength to live with the memory of having caused collateral damage constantly on their minds.
Tifa again rewarded Cloud with a kiss for bringing her concerns into play. She knew that if she told Cloud to not use such a destructive method for speaking, he would have abandoned his plan. But if she did just that, she wouldn't be the woman Cloud loved.
It was the only way for Squall to see the truth. No matter what he currently thought, Squall was needed. He had to fight.
"No matter what happens, remember I'm here for you Cloud. It will be alright. If we just do our best...in the end things would be alright."
Tifa felt her body glow as she felt Cloud's hold upon her tighten as he pulled his lips to her ear to whisper softly into it. "Did I tell you I love you today?"
A blush rushed up to her cheeks as she suddenly found herself fighting a frog caught up in her throat. It would not be a problem. She could do this. "17 times today already."
She felt her neck being suddenly and quickly nuzzled before she once again felt his breath against her ear. "Let's make it an even twenty."
"I love you, I love you, and I love you."
Squall approached the empty field with his gunblade in hand as he surveyed the landscape. Before him he could see the target awaiting him. The cocky bastard stood with his sword ready to fight as the wind swirled around his spiky blond hair.
The note that Squall received from Cloud left no doubt in his mind as to just what Cloud wanted to do here. They were supposed to fight, to test their limits and see just how far they could take a battle without killing one another, hopefully.
However Squall refused to play along anymore. He just wanted to go back…go back to where it was safe…go back to where he was welcome…go back to Rin.
The brown haired warrior was about to toss down his gunblade and admit defeat but moments before he was allowed to forfeit out of the match, Cloud had closed the distance between him with his sword coming down in a slashing movement. His eyes had an angry greenish blue glow to them. Cloud wasn't here to play games.
With similar speed, Squall's eyes changed as the pupils melted away into a see of grayish white. He had just enough time to regain his firm hold upon his sword and bring it up to stop the downward slash.
"I don't want to fight you!" To be in a released state such as this and wish not to fight was the ultimate irony for a warrior. In the organization, he would have already been put to death.
"You will fight. You will kill. You will protect! You are a soldier. This is what you do." Cloud jumped back with his sword still drawn in an attack stance, ready to lunge forward for another attack.
Amazingly enough the day they had picked to meet had ended up being the outlier in their series of perfect sunny days. A storm was just on the horizon as the wind began picking up and drops of rain started decorating their armor. It was almost like a fated meeting between two who were fighting destiny, but ultimately each other.
"Soldier's….protect?" None of that had imprinted into his mind while he was on their emotion numbing drug. None of that was said during those repetitive speeches he was forced to listen to on a daily basis. As much as he loved the new life he lived, Squall still considered much of what was instilled into his mind there as the truth.. "No! Soldier's kill. Soldier's get killed!"
Cloud summoned a haste spell onto himself and then lunged for an attack at near godlike speed. Squall sensed his new improved mobility and did the same, but the difference in timing allowed him to only block the sword and not what followed.
Cloud had inched his face closer this time to repeat the words that sounded disgusting in his own mind. It had to be said. "Then I will kill you, and make Rin mine." The fact he had already divulged every detail of his plan to Tifa earlier gave him little solace.
With a kick, Cloud sent Squall tumbling backwards but he could still feel the building inferno of emotions that was growing in Squall. Just a little more and maybe he would be able to break that tough exterior of his.
"You're not a soldier. Soldier's protect. Rinoa has no one to protect her then. She's…vulnerable." Cloud hated himself. It was like making dirty advances on your sister. Desperate times called for desperate bluffs.
"You won't hurt her!" Squall regained a vertical base and this time started the assault against cloud. Slash after slash proved only what Cloud knew beforehand. In combat, though their styles differed, they were equally matched.
Both warriors backed off yet again only to run forward to do an upward slash upon each other. The mirror image attack foiled itself and left either only the ability to slash back down leaving the blades to connect and clang against each other. The only way to determine a victor in this match would be to see which of the two could endure longer.
"If I don't. Others will. The organization, will. She is a target. That was the only reason I agreed to have you freed. No one else had the ability or the desire to keep her safe." Cloud could feel the pressure increase against him as his momentary foe began to take the battle more seriously. "Better me than some horny jailor."
Cloud matched the increasing pressure as both were soon sent flying back at the shear power of the situation. The waterfall of rain increased around them as the beads of water that mocked them earlier had turned into a torrential downfall mixed with the unforgiving hail that struck down mercilessly upon them.
All Squall could see now within the visions in his head were flashing images of Rinoa. Everything he had known about her from the day they met in the orphanage to the previous evening when he got to hold her once again in his arms as they slept. Rinoa…his Rin. He would protect her. He had to. It was his job….as a soldier.
The emptiness of Squall's eyes darkened ever so slightly as Cloud's senses picked up on the sudden increase of power. 'He's done it!' Unfortunately only Cloud was there to deal with the aftermath. He too had to let go of his restraints.
The two lunged at each other with equal and opposing forces as their knuckles whitened from gripping onto their weapon. The logic of their minds were further buried by the desire to win as they unwillingly became less like people and more like machines. In order to accept who they had now become in society, they had to revert back to the selves they had now abandoned.
Cloud's weapon lacked the additional gun feature on his blade, but the shear mass and length of it counteracted for the explosions when his exceptional speed was added to it as well. The outcome would be close.
And never determined.
When the two soldiers were only moments away form beginning their onslaught onto each other, each were tackled by the side by two raven-haired women with tears streaming from their eyes. Their focus was so keen that they never noticed Rinoa and Tifa 'sneak' up on them.
She couldn't hold it in much longer. Tifa had to tell Rinoa what was going on. Things were going to get out of hand if men alone were left to deal with the situation.
After Tifa had tackled him, Cloud let the sword fly away from his hands as his arms wrapped around her body while the couple were still rolling through the field from the impact. Finally, his eyes had calmed down once more. They slowed down and were covered in mud while little droplets of water trickled down Tifa's hair and face only to splotch against Cloud. He didn't need advanced senses to see that most of those droplets were her tears.
"Are you aright?" Her voice shivered with each word.
"Did…did you do it?" A simple nod came from Cloud which was all Tifa needed to let her muscles go loose and collapse upon his body sobbing. She had seen him get to that stage before. It had almost killed him. There was no doubt what potential the combined powers of Squall and Cloud had.
Eventually the two rose to their feet and looked towards the other couple that seemed to be mirroring every moment in their live. Rinoa lay on top of Squall with her legs straddling his sides. She too continued to cry freely. Squall lay immobile beneath her with his eyes open but now lacking that unholy glow. The shock of his situation was still being absorbed.
"You are scum. Worthless trash that society has long forgotten. It is the organization that has found you. We have saved you from your pitiful selves. You're only purpose is to become a bringer a death. You will hold no allegiances. You will have no loyalties. No one else matters to you. Only the organization. Remember who feeds you. Who clothes you. Who provides for you. You are dogs and dogs must obey there masters! Dogs of the military! When we say fight, you fight. When we say kill, you kill. You are soldiers. You have no place in civilized society. You're only place is to be scorned by them for being the rejects you are. Kill our enemies and earn what little honor we have allowed you. And you would gladly die for us because your life no longer has any value. You are ours to do away with as we please. YOU ARE MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN! YOU ARE A SOLDIER!" All eyes, including Squall's, darted to Cloud as he gave that little memory. He had suffered through the same lecture through his imprisonment too and had been able to overcome. Squall would not show he was any less of a man than Cloud.
Still trapped beneath Rinoa, his eyes focused upon her as the wind continued to thrash her hair about wildly in the storm. He knew his answers. "I am not trash. I am not pitiful. Rinoa is the one who provides for me, who cares for me. I am not just a dog. I don't kill just to kill. Rinoa is the only one who holds my allegiance, my loyalty…my…love." He continued to speak, despite seeing Rinoa lean lower down upon him.
"I have honor. I have value. My purpose is to be a soldier. My purpose is to protect. My name is Squall. I am a soldier."
Rinoa's lips crashed against Squall's for a passionate yet sloppy kiss. The storm didn't let up and rays of sunshine didn't break through the clouds. There were dark times ahead of the rebellion, but a storm always passes, eventually. As long as there were soldiers in the world to fight for freedom and people there to support them, we will never have to suffer Man's Inhumanity to Man.
It Has Always Been the Soldier
It is the Soldier, not the President,
Who gives us democracy.
It is the Soldier, not Congress
Who takes care of us.
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who preserves the freedom of the press.
And it is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who protects our freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who puts his life on the line
To give others the freedom to demonstrate
And it is the Soldier
Who salutes the Flag,
Who serves beneath the Flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the Flag,
Who protects the protestors right to burn the Flag.
Father Denis O'Brian.
United States Marine Corp.
I hope you guys enjoyed that poem at the end. It had a lot of meaning for me so i certainly hope you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for reading and reviewing guys and i hope to have a sequel available for your enjoyment soon. I will try my best.
Remember to check out my other works and series!
Until next time, take care:-)