Roomies



Rinoa looked at her longtime boyfriend lovingly. He was seated at his desk as usual, looking at important documents and signing contracts. Never even knowing she was watching him until she cleared her throat.

He looked up sharply, startled by the sudden noise.

"Oh, hey Rin. What are you doing here?"

"Don't I have a right to come see the one I love?"

He came over and buried her in a warm kiss, which caused her knees to go weak. He could always do that to her.

"Have you made the arrangements?" Rinoa asked as their lips parted.

Rinoa had just enrolled in Balamb Garden, and was in need of a dorm room and roommate. They had both requested to be in a room together, but Squall's eyes weren't smiling with joy as she asked the question.

"They said that we weren't allowed to share rooms with the opposite sex."

"But you're the Commander of SeeD! You can bend the rules!"

Squall chuckled lightly, "I'm afraid it doesn't work like that."

She looked away; angry at the way the Headmaster ran the place.

"That's stupid. Maybe I should threaten him by saying I won't join Garden if we can't be in a room together. You think that that would work?"

"I don't think so."

"Dang. So who am I going to be roomies with then?"

"I'm not sure yet. It will be randomly selected I think."

"So I could end up with some weirdo who drives me nuts and won't leave me alone?"

"If that happens, we'll get you a replacement."

"Psh, whatever." She replied, using Squall's favorite catch phrase.

He hugged her close to his masculine chest.

"It'll be okay. Maybe next year, I can ask the Headmaster again."

"All right," Rinoa sighed.

"Why don't you go find Irvine or Selphie? Maybe you two can go out to the Pub in Dollet or something," Squall suggested.

"Not without you."

"Go on, I'll catch up later."

"Okay," Rinoa groaned as she left, leaving Squall to his work.




"Hey Irv, hey Selph."

"Hey Rinoa! What's up!?" Selphie called in her usual blissful voice.

"Not much. Say, do you guys want to go down to the Dollet Pub and hang out for a while?"

"Sure, that sounds like a great idea! What time?"

"Um, probably about 15 minutes to a half hour. I just need to freshen up a bit."

"Okay, we'll meet in the Parking Lot in about a half hour okay?"

"Okay."



Rinoa took one last glance at herself in the mirror. She wished Squall could see her. She was wearing a baby blue colored spring dress that covered to about her knees. She'd snapped on a silver bracelet and applied a light red shade of lipstick. After coating a small amount of lip-gloss over it, she looked very appealing.


She did her hair in the regular fashion, only this time she braided a strand of hair on the side to hang by her cheek.

Rinoa slipped on a pair of her best sandals, and walked out of Squall's dorm room. She had been sharing it with him until they could find another room for her to stay in. Although she had to sleep on the floor, she didn't mind.




"Whoa," Irvine said in awe as Rinoa walked up.

"What?"

"You look... nice. Very nice," he replied. Selphie noticed that he was checking her out, so she slugged him hard.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"C'mon Irvy," she prompted as sweetly as she could through gritted teeth, "Let's go to the Pub!"

"Okay, okay. You ready Rin?"

"Yeah, let's go."




As they walked into the Pub, Rinoa wrinkled her nose at the pungent smell of cigarette smoke and beer that filled her nostrils. The waitress glided over to them, and ushered the party to a table. She then asked for some drink orders.

Irvine ordered a beer, and Rinoa and Selphie ordered soft drinks.

"Okay," the waitress said as she scribbled the orders down on her notepad. " I'll have those out to you in a few minutes."

"Thank you kindly miss," Irvine said, tipping his hat and using his best flirty cowboy accent. She grinned, and he winked. Once again, Selphie slugged him for flirting.


"So Rinoa, like, has Squall found a roommate for you yet?" Irvine asked after he recovered from the blow to his ribs delivered by his girlfriend.

"No, and I can't room with Squall because Headmaster Cid said," she made a face and imitated the Headmaster. "'No co-ed rooms are to be shared," this caused all of them to go into a fit of laughter.

"So I hear things have been kind of tense between you and Quisty lately?" Irvine asked.

Rinoa winced at the mention of the name. She and Quistis had been fighting for the last 3 weeks. And all because Quistis just couldn't bear to give up Squall. Almost four years after Ultimecia, and the girl still couldn't get over him.

"Yes, she just won't give up."

"Well, she has known Squall for a long time, but you're right, she should be over it by now."

"I just wish that she'd give in to this jealousy thing and stop giving me the cold shoulder."

"Yeah, but give her a chance to warm up okay?"

"I'll try."

Irvine laughed before commenting, "Wouldn't it be funny if Quistis turned out to be your new roommate?"

"No, that would just be a nightmare."

They all joined in merry laughter that filled the Pub.





As Rinoa, Selphie, and Irvine started toward the car to drive home, Irvine looked at Rinoa's outfit again and said quietly, "If only Squall could see you now. You'd blow his socks off."

She blushed, but said nothing.

The moonlight shone a bright white, making her silver necklace sparkle. She looked up at the shimmering stars, and saw one shoot across the inky black sky. Rinoa gasped, clasped her hand over the necklace, closed her eyes, and made a silent wish.


Squall slammed the receiver down on the phone. He hated to argue with Cid. The man was so stubborn. Even when Squall tried to explain his reasons, Cid just wouldn't listen. Rinoa wasn't going to be happy to hear this news.

"Squall?"

He looked up to see Rinoa standing in the doorway, and had to struggle to keep his jaw from dropping wide open. She looked fantastic. He'd never see her this dressed up before.

"Rinoa, you look… wonderful," he spoke quietly.

"Thank you," now Squall really hated to tell her the bad news.

He cleared his throat and said, "All right. I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?"

"Oh man, I hate this. Okay, good news."

"Well, the good news is you'll be rooming with someone you know."

"Great! Wait… there's a catch here right? Does this person have something to do with the bad news?"

"Afraid so."

"I knew it," she sighed. "So what's the bad news?"

"Your new roommate is… is Quistis."

"What!?"

"I didn't want it either. I know how much you guys have been at each other's throats lately. I just got off the phone from a 2 hour argument with Cid." By this time Rinoa was fuming. How could Cid do this to her!?

"I can't believe this!"

"I'm sorry. I wish I could change it Rin, but I can't."

"Squall, I don't think you realize the seriousness of this. Quistis hates me! She always has!"

"She doesn't hate you Rin…"

"Yes she does!" Rinoa interrupted. "She's always been jealous of you and me. When we first met, at the Inauguration? I never told you this, but I saw Quistis watching us. I was wondering why some random girl was glaring at us. Now I know why."

Squall stood, afraid that Rinoa might breakdown with her voice quivering the way it was.

"How do I know she isn't going to hurt me Squall? Or you?" she added very softly. The anger in her eyes was now replaced by a look of fear.

"I know Quistis Rinoa."

"No you…"

"Yes I do! Listen to me. I grew up with Quistis. I came to Garden with Quistis. She was my instructor. She's also one of my best friends, and she knows how much you mean to me. She won't hurt you. I promise."

(Wow,) he thought afterward, (I don't think I've ever talked that much in my entire life. Why is it Rinoa does that to me?)

Rinoa was silent, trying to calm her emotions.

"I hope you're right."

"Honestly Rinoa, don't you know by now that I'm always right?" Squall teased.

They hugged, and he tilted her chin to meet his lips in a tender kiss.

"I better get my stuff packed up," under her breath she added. "And I'll be sure to bring my mace."

"What was that?"

"Nothing, nothing," Rinoa giggled as she walked out of Squall's office.

Squall had to try his best to keep a small smile from taking over his lips.




"You're a liar Squall Leonheart!" Quistis spat.

"Why are you yelling at me!? I didn't have any control over it!"

"How can you expect me to room with that slut!?"

"*Quistis!*"

Quistis blushed, ashamed that she'd said that in front of Squall.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean that."

A moment of awkward silence passed between them. Squall was the one to break it.

He instructed quietly, "Please go pack your things. There's nothing else we can do about this."

Quistis sighed, but complied. As she turned to walk out, Squall called after her. She turned back to face him.

"Promise me something?"

"Yeah?"

"Don't do anything stupid. You or Rinoa. I…"( I love you both too much to let that happen,) he thought, but he wouldn't ever say that aloud. When it was clear that he was finished talking, Quistis spoke.


"All right. I promise."




Rinoa was eating solemnly in the Cafeteria when Zell strolled up with about 3 hot dogs on his plate.

"S'up Rinoa!?"

"Not much. I was told who my new roommate is."

"Really? Who?"

"Quistis."

"Oh Hyne. That sucks. I'm sorry."

"Ah, I'll get used to it. I hope."

"Man, couldn't Squall get a better roommate for you? I mean, you are his girlfriend and all."

"It wasn't Squall's fault, it was Cid."

"Well, that explains it then."

"Yeah."

Zell began to shove his face with hot dogs, and fearing that her lunch was going to come back up her stomach, she decided to leave.

"Later Zell!"

"Lashr," he replied, his mouth stuffed with hot dogs.



Quistis shoved a peach colored outfit into her suitcase. Living with Rinoa was going to be just great. Yeah right. (Maybe if I just stay away from her every second I can I won't have that much trouble.) She thought. (Yeah, maybe I'll try that.)

She didn't even want to be jealous of Rinoa anymore. Squall didn't love her, and she figured no one else ever would. But once she was into it with Rinoa, she found it hard to turn it around. Truly, she'd never hated Rinoa, just envied her. The girl had everything. Good looks, skinny as a twig and something Quistis had always wanted… Squall's heart. Quistis had tried numerous times to win him over, but to no avail. She'd given up trying long ago, and then decided that she hated Rinoa for interfering. Now, all she wished for was a way out, and for them to be friends.

(I guess I could try to make amends while I have the chance. I'll have plenty of time. Might as well make a friend. You never know, maybe she could set me up with someone.) She laughed aloud at the thought. (Oh well, here I come.)




Rinoa set down her pillow as she entered the room. Good, Quistis wasn't there yet. At least now she could unpack her stuff in peace. She set her alarm clock down on her bedside table, and began to set up her bed. There was a knock at the door while she was putting her pillow on the bed, and she went to answer it.

"Who is it?" she called.

"It's me… Squall."

"Squall!" she answered back happily and quickly opened the door, leading him in.

"So what's up?" she asked as they sat on her bed.

"Not much. I just wanted to see how you were doing with this whole thing."

"I'm all right. I figure if I'm going to deal with this for the rest of the time I'm here, I might as well make the best of it."

Squall smiled inwardly. He was proud of her. Looking around the room a thought came to him.

"Quistis isn't here yet?"

"No, and I'm pretty happy about it. It's not that I really don't want her here, I'm just afraid of what might happen you know?"

"Yeah."

A moment of quiet passed between the two, and Squall cleared his throat before talking again.

"Hey, would you like to go out to dinner tonight or something?"

"Um, sure. Where were you planning on going?"

"Well, I… it's a surprise. How about we go at 7:00?"

"Great! I'll see ya then okay?"

His features seemed to light up with joy when she said she would, and he kissed her before leaving, letting her wind down in her room before their time to go out for dinner.





Quistis set her stuff down. Should she knock? (Oh come on Quistis,) she mentally scolded herself. (It's your room too. Why should you knock?)

She walked in, and saw that Rinoa had already been there. The soft blue creme color on the walls, and Rinoa's designer sheets, Quistis had to admit, did make the room homelike and welcoming.

She saw a note on the table, and picked it up. It read:


Quistis-

Welcome to home, I guess. I went to dinner with Squall and we'll probably be out until about 9:30 or 10.

Later!
Rinoa



She put the note back on the table, and began to unpack her stuff.



Quistis awoke to the faint sound of giggling and soft talking. Muffled voices followed by excited giggles could be heard outside the door. She rolled her eyes, and shoved her head under her pillow.

"I gotta go," Quistis heard one of the voices say. "See ya tomorrow!"

The door opened, and a girl calmly walked in. A soft clicking of heels could be heard, and Quistis snapped the light on.

Rinoa squealed and jumped; caught off guard by the motion.

"H- hi Quistis," she stuttered.

"Hi yourself. Okay Rinoa, we need to get something straight. Neither of us obviously wants to be here, so let's make an agreement. We come here, eat together once in a while, sleep here, and sometimes just hang out. You can bring Squall here too whenever you want. Mainly we won't talk to each other unless we have to, and hopefully not even have to look at each other. How about that?" Quistis said sharply.

Rinoa could feel a lump rise in her throat. She was hoping to make friends with Quistis. Now she realized that Quistis only wanted Rinoa to leave her alone. The near tears turned into feelings of anger. Without thinking, Rinoa decided to tell how she felt.

"You know Quistis, it's funny. I came here really thinking that we might put this all behind us and put it to rest. God forbid become friends. Really, I came here with a positive attitude. But boy, did I never think you'd be this cold. I thought that maybe I'd misjudged you. But I was very wrong." She finished, her voice cracking at the end.

Quistis stared in shock. Rinoa shook her head and started again.

"You know, I never did understand why you hate me so. Did I tell Squall to love me? Did I purposely tell him to fall in love with me just so you would be miserable? No. I love Squall with all my heart. But I never knew that someone whom I dearly admire would come to hate me for it." Tears were filling Rinoa's eyes now.

Quistis still couldn't speak, soaking Rinoa's words in.

"Okay, I guess you aren't going to say anything, so I guess I'll go to bed now. Just to let you know, you just trashed my perfect evening with Squall."

Rinoa went to her bed and Quistis could hear her cry herself to sleep.



Quistis tossed and turned all night. Rinoa's words just kept repeating over and over in her head. 'Did I tell Squall to love me?' 'But I never knew that someone whom I dearly admire would hate me for it.'

These two phrases stuck out in her mind the most. Rinoa really did want to make friends with her. Should she let her? It was risky, but Rinoa did sound very serious about it. So, early the next morning, Quistis decided she would tell Rinoa how she really felt.




Quistis woke to the rustling of clothes. She'd only slept for about two hours off and on, her eyes felt like they had sandpaper underneath them. She rubbed her eyes with a balled fist, and looked over at Rinoa.

Rinoa smiled warmly, opened her mouth to say something, remembered their agreement and closed it. Now Quistis wished she could take back what she'd said.

She lifted the covers off of her body, and went into the bathroom to wash her face. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes drooped, and there were bags just starting to form under them. She splashed some cool water on her face, and wiped it with a towel. Hearing Rinoa start to leave, and still wanting to tell her how she felt, she scrambled out of the bathroom to catch her.

"Rinoa wait!" she called. Rinoa looked back at her and shot a look of utter amazement.

"Y- yeah Quistis?"

"You got some spare time?"

"Sure… why?"

"I need to talk to you."

By this time Rinoa was totally confused. But, if Quistis had something to say, she might as well listen.

"All right."

"Come sit down."

Rinoa sat on her bed, and Quistis sat on her own, facing one another.

"Now, let's get something straight before we go any further into this conversation. I don't hate you." She emphasized.

"Well you sure do give off that aura Quistis Trepe," Rinoa countered.

"But I don't mean to. I- it's not that I hate you as a person, really, I… I love you as a sister. I just hate that you have everything. You're beautiful, skinny, kind and caring, and most of all… you have Squall's heart. Which I can tell you is about as easy to win as a fight with a Malboro. You've got that spark that lit his soul and opened his heart to the world. And all of us are in debt to you because of it. I've always wanted to be able to do that to him, to be the one he needed. Its called jealousy. And I had it bad. But now I don't. And I want to be your friend. I'm sorry I was so mean to you. Forgive me?"

Rinoa's eyes filled with tears, and she got up from where she was sitting. Going over to Quistis, she put her arms around her and embraced her tightly.

"Of course I forgive you! How could I not?"

Quistis sighed in relief, and returned the embrace. This was the start of a beautiful friendship between the two of them.


3 Weeks Later…


Rinoa burst into her room screaming happily. Quistis came bolting into the room to see what was wrong, and all Rinoa did was come up to her and hug her, giddy with delight.

"Rinoa, what the heck is wrong with you?" Quistis asked, completely baffled by Rinoa's behavior.

Still giggling, Rinoa stuck out her finger, revealing a sparkling jade green diamond ring on her finger.

"Squall asked me to marry him!!!"

Now it was Quistis's turn to scream, and they hugged each other tightly.

"That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you!"

"Thank you! And you know what? You're going to be my Maid of Honor!"

Quistis smiled, tears running down her soft cheeks, her azure blue eyes shining with excitement and joy. It was true; Rinoa and she had truly become best friends. And Quistis couldn't have been happier.

Tears ran down Rinoa's cheeks as well. Her wish had come true.