A/N: Well, this is my first ever Final Fantasy VIII story, I meant to work on it during the school week but unfortunately the computers were always taken in the library. Two labs are always locked— my computer class lab I couldn't go to since my teacher would want me to work on my poster, and the other lab was locked and even if it wasn't there's a huge window that my teacher could see me through. So... I had to wait until the weekend. So here it is, the first chapter. Hope you like it, review, let me know what you think. Balamb is also a high school— I've read two stories like that so far and I like it. Plus I find it hard to write description for like a fighting school or magic school. Actually, check those two stories out, their the only Final Fantasy VIII favourite stories I have on my list. Can't remember what they're called... wait, ones called Take Me Out. The other I can't remember... but its good as well, so look at my favourite stories list and check it out because they're really, REALLY good.

Full Summary: Ever since Rinoa's beautiful mother died, she blamed her father. She even went as far as changing her last name from Caraway, her father's name, to Heartilly, her mother's maiden name. On a last attempt to make things right again, General Caraway (Rinoa's father, whose politics she's against) sent her to Balamb to live with an old friend of her mother's. There, sweet, kind-hearted Rinoa meets the cold, sometimes almost cruel, loner Squall Leonhart. Two completely different people forced to live under the same roof most unfortunately— at least that's what Rinoa thought after she first attempted speaking to Squall. What happens when one slowly finds themselves falling for the other? Read and find out.

Song Credits: This is yet another story I have with a song title as its title— it's because I have difficulties finding a title name, and as music is my life (next to writing, of course) its easy for me to choose a song that suits the story as a title. This song is called "Addicted" and it's by Simple Plan. Basically, its about someone who loves a person, but that person doesn't care about them, and left them. They don't really care that this person loves them and they left anyway. "I'm trying, to forget that, I'm addicted to you, but I want it and I need it, I'm addicted to you," and etc etc. Look up the lyrics— this song will be based around the song a BIT, but don't worry, I can't stand sad endings... so it won't really end up that the other person doesn't love back the one who falls in love with them.

Disclaimer: I would love, love, LOVE to take credit for the creation of Final Fantasy VIII, but it just wouldn't be right— its not mine, but I wish it was because its amazing.



Chapter One: Death Of A Beloved Mother

Rinoa, a five year old girl at the time, tried not to scream as the car she was in got smashed up against another car. However, when she saw her mother's head fall limp after it was all over, the blood trickling down the side of her head, Rinoa began to cry uncontrollably and tried to get out of her seat, but her seat belt wouldn't allow it. She sat there, watching her mother die before her, as she cried into the night.

Julia Caraway died that day, March 26th. She had been rushed to the hospital, with a very faint pulse still remaining, but on the way there she slowly passed away into the night. Nobody would know what had been going through her mind, if she had been in any pain. All they knew was now, there was no more pain, or thoughts. There was nothing.

Over the years, as Rinoa grew up, she had nightmares— she had been the only one in the car at the time, but she liked sitting in the backseat. She found it more fun, as if her mother was her chauffeur and was driving her around. The nightmares, as she grew older, grew more intense and frightening. Things Rinoa had tried to forget came flooding back, all traumatic memories.

But what was more noticeable than the memories, was how more and more each passing day Rinoa blamed her father, the General of the Galbadian Army, for her mother's death. She knew, deep down, that it wasn't his fault— but he had tried to do something horrible: replace her mother. About a year after her mother had died, the General had began seeing a new woman. Two years later, they were married. Rinoa was eight years old, and had never forgiven her father. She told him nobody would ever replace her mother, ever. He said that he needed someone to help him take care of her, and that her stepmother Gabriella was perfect for that. Rinoa hated her stepmother. Hate, she knew, was a strong word... but it suited how she felt towards Gabriella well. Gabriella already had one child and Rinoa hated her. She was two-faced, and the exact replica of her mother, only in the body of a seventeen year old. Recently, after Rinoa had tried to run away, her father and stepmother realized they couldn't have children and adopted a little boy. Sammy was the only reason that Rinoa didn't run away every time her stepmother slapped her, every time her new stepsister spread some cruel, untrue rumor about her. He was only five years old, still young. He was the only person Rinoa considered family, and oddly enough, he had been addopted when she was thirteen. He had only been a year old. Unknown to her father, she had changed her name from Rinoa Caraway to Rinoa Heartilly. That had been her mother's maiden name, and it would now be her's as well. Once the General found out, he was furious, to Rinoa's face. Alone, he was sad, and devastated. Where had he gone wrong? Rinoa had always been such a wonderful child, and had always seemed to look up to him. After the death of her mother, she had changed. He knew deep down that he did as well, but he just wanted things right again. He hated that his daughter hated him. He never forced Rinoa to change her name back— he had gotten angry at her when he learned it, but he had accepted it after that. His daughter... hated him.

One day after school, Rinoa came home as sad as she usually did. She had no friends, at least not anymore. Before, she had been quite popular. That was before her step sister, Katie, had spread around the rumor that Rinoa had actually did things with her best friend's boyfriend. Of course, it had been Katie who had actually done those things with Rinoa's friends' boyfriend, but he had been drunk and believed her when she said she was Rinoa. Therefore, he backed up her story. None of the adults ever heard this rumor, but Rinoa lost every single one of her friends because of it. One day, they had learned that it hadn't been Rinoa, that it was actually Katie, because the boyfriend remembered Katie and not Rinoa, but after they came apologizing to Rinoa, she told them it was too late. They hadn't trusted her, and she couldn't forgive them for that. Even if it meant she had no friends, she didn't want friends who didn't trust her either. So Rinoa began to head up the stairs into her room as she had often done when her father called her down.

"Rinoa, may I have a word with you for a minute? I promise you, it won't take much more than that. It's not a lecture either," he added when she opened her mouth to comment. She shut it and came down the stairs, sitting on the very last one.

"I'm listening," she replied, in her soft voice. Her father came over to her and leaned against the wall.

"I know you don't like it here," he told her. "I'm sorry that you think I tried to replace your mother, I'm sorry that you think I don't care about you or her. I do, and I miss her just as much. But life goes on, Rinoa. Unfortunately, I can see that... that you are too mad at me to accept that. That's why I've decided to send you to Balamb." Rinoa looked up, shocked. Balamb? That's where her mother's old friend lived, the one that she used to always tell stories about. She had even wrote a song about him, called Eyes On Me. She had barely known him, and it had been love at first sight. Rinoa believed now that love at first sight was the type of love that never lasted. That was why they had never worked out.

"Balamb?" she asked. Her father nodded.

"Yes. I'm sending you to live with Laguna Loire. He has a new wife, after Raine died, he... well, he has a new wife, and she's nothing at all like your stepmother. That, I'm sure, will satisfy you. He also has found his son again. There's a story behind that, because his son had been in an orphanage. He hadn't known Raine was pregnant, and she had died and his son had been sent to Edea's orphanage. Years later, when Laguna moved to Balamb, he had found out that this boy was in fact his son. Through a girl whom he had been close to, Ellone. She's two years older than yourself, but his son Squall is your age. I... you're train leaves in two hours, so... you best pack. You may stay there, as long as you wish. I hope you'll be happier there than you have been here." For the first time since her mother had died, Rinoa ran over to her father and hugged him. She had seen Balamb when she was little, and had always loved the town. It was so beautiful, things were so peaceful even though there was always something going on. And it was right near the water... Rinoa's father was stunned, but patted Rinoa on the back.

"Thank you," she whispered. This was like a second chance for her. She knew now that her father was aware she was horribly unhappy. And surely he had guessed she no longer had friends, because she no longer invited them over or went to hang out with them on weekends. She ran up the stairs and began packing. It was only when she saw Sammy crying on her bed that she stopped.

"Oh Sammy..." she whispered. She had forgotten all about him. Of course her father wouldn't allow him to go with her; that was probably why Sammy was crying. She rushed over to him and hugged him tightly.

"I don't want... you to go..." he replied between sniffles. She hugged him close to her.

"I promise I'll come visit you. The only reason I stay here is because of you Sammy, but... I have to go. Please understand," she added. Sammy nodded.

"I know... you're not happy..." he replied slowly.

"It's not your fault though, you know that too, right?" she asked. Sammy nodded. He got up and left, before coming back with a picture he had drawn. Rinoa took it and saw he had drawn her.

"You want me to have this?" she asked. Sammy nodded. She looked at the picture again and had to admit that it wasn't too bad for a five year old. It was the basic picture, but he had coloured in the lines and gave a little detail to her eyes. She hugged him again. "I'll keep it forever," she promised him. After he had left, sadness hit Rinoa. She had no idea when she would see him again, and she had no idea if things would be better at Balamb. Maybe people just didn't like her... maybe that was the real reason she had no friends.

A/N: Well that's it for this chapter, the next one she'll be getting on the train and going to Balamb. So, what did you think? Was it okay to say it was my first time writing a Final Fantasy VIII story? The only flames welcome are those with constructive criticism, so please feel free to tell me what's wrong with the story, but offer some words of advice if you are. If its something I don't think needs to be changed, I won't, but if I think you're right, I will. So, review, let me know what you think. Not all chapters will have the long stuff at the start with the song credits and full summary, that was just a first chapter thing. R & R.