-1Disclaimer: I don't own FF8 sadly, and I only own my story.
Squall had been just passing through Centra on his way to Esthar. The clear weather had made flying, for they were aboard the Ragnarok, smooth and they had time for a small de tour. Irvine and Selphie had accompanied the Commander, and they were all sitting peacefully in the cock pit. Selphie as usual was driving and Irvine was keeping a close watch on the map as he occasionally recommended a right or left to Selphie, who in turn gladly agreed unless it was totally wrong. Then she would just hit him playfully. But Squall didn't notice their playfully habits, and focused his cold blue eyes on the nature around him. For the last few months, he had been melancholy and his actions almost mechanical. Rinoa had left him about 3 months ago and it killed him. Worse than that. He felt numb to the core of his soul. The Ragnarok was hovering above the Orphanage and Squall was oblivious to his surroundings.
"Umm.." Selphie said uneasily and he snapped out of his depressed trance.
It was then the abandoned, stone orphanage caught his eye. It was exactly the same since the last time he saw it. The light house loomed over it with it's large shadow. The light no longer worked and vines overgrew his childhood home. Many animals had made it's home within the broken walls. And the garden within the orphanage was almost mystical in the eyes of Squall. The beach where they had once set off the infamous fireworks (where they got the fireworks was unknown to Squall), was now littered with broken shells and garbage washed up from shore from another neighboring cities (well, not exactly neighboring). It looked quite abandoned and almost sorrowful.
The garden was lingering in Squall's mind. The garden.. Squall thought. He needed to be there. Maybe, just maybe he could win back the only thing that was worthwhile in his life. To win back Rinoa. If only she could see he went to the one place destined to bring them together. "The reason why you couldn't find me was because we haven't promised yet." He had said all those years ago (3 exactly.) Now that he thought about it, this was the eve of their promising. "Promised?" She had replied with innocent confusion. And he loved that about her, her lovely smile that radiated her face and it was contagious. That smile. "I'll be waiting for you. If you come here, you'll find me. I promise." And he had. Squall was here. Waiting, just like he said. "How about this... I'll be here…" He had said after Rinoa told him her dream. Here, why here? It doesn't matter, he concluded.
The garden. Maybe she would be there. Though reasonable doubt lingered in Squall's heart. Rinoa had left for a reason. Though, that reason was unknown. But why would she want to return here. Sleepless nights and through all those horrifying times, the Commander often wondered what he had done to make Rinoa leave him. The thought of the raven haired beauty falling into his arms one last time had made his heart thump. One last time, he begged mentally.
The Ragnarok was still hovering awkwardly above the orphanage and Irvine said his name softly. Squall turned to look at him with his big sad eyes. Selphie was also very depressed about Rinoa's departure but they understood his pain.
"I think y'all better land, darlin'." Irvine said softly to Selphie as she nodded sadly. Squall was oblivious to the dragon landing and he hardly felt the soft thump of the ground. "Squall, you better go." Suggested Irvine. Squall lifted from his seat, mechanically and walked down the mouth of the dragon. He found himself on the Centra terrain.
The Lionheart was clenched in his hand. And his free hand was grazing the gate. His heart fluttered with anticipation. The gate opened easily with the a small push. The hinges shrieked loudly and Squall found himself on the familiar paved road that he spent most of his childhood running along, well until sis' left. Then he was sad, deeply scarred and history was repeating. Maybe I can stop it…Squall thought happily. But that mood was quickly replaced with sorrow when he set his eyes on the turn towards the garden. The garden…He thought again. Squall found himself attracted to the garden and he walked towards it quickly and a few short minutes he was in the center of the garden.
The flowers were swaying with the wind and the fresh aroma filled his nose and Squall realized how much he missed the orphanage. His eyes darted around quickly, and his heart dropped. His sorceress wasn't here. Idiot, he scolded himself mentally. Why would she come here? She left me, she doesn't miss me. She hates me. Squall dropped to the ground and leaned against a near by tree. The grass was cold against his palms, the gun blade was resting across his knees. He fingered the blade, unconsciously. This reminds me of a dream I had.. A small tear formed in the corner of his eye. Squall wiped it away quickly as if someone was watching him. God damn it, why did I come out here? A small voice echoed throughout his head, Because you love her. He found himself nodding quite unconsciously to the voice's suggestion.
Squall's eyelids seemed to grow heavier and heavier until they closed all together. His hand was tight around the gun blade handle and he dosed off. Dreams of Rinoa flooded his mind. Her smile, her eyes, her everything. Just before he awoke, floods of feathers fell from the sky (in his dream). Footsteps awoke him with a jolt, they were soft and light and very womanly. He jumped to his feet, and whirled around, gun blade in hand and held it up in attacking stance. But the sight of what stood before him took his breath away. A cloaked figure, obviously a woman was standing there. Her eyes were shadowed and the Commander stood there silent. A few strands of ebony hair leaked from her cloak.
"Rinoa?" Squall asked hopefully. Was it her?
The woman's lip quivered slightly and she muffled a small cry. She bent down and pulled a flower free from the soil. She brought it to her nose and inhaled the scent. Squall found it oddly familiar. He couldn't help but wonder if this woman was her. Really her. The commanders heart was pounding inside his chest. The cloaked woman advanced towards him, and he stood there stiffly. With her gloved right hand, she pushed the mahogany strands of hair from the Commander's icy blue eyes. The woman's hand lingered at his face and he quickly removed the glove. That hand, it was so elegantly slim. Her fingers were long and expertly chiseled. The long nails were bare.
"Rinoa, I know it's you. Don't hide from me.." Squall said in a weak voice. In reply, the woman removed the hood and her face was instantly visible. Rinoa's face.
"I'm not hiding.." The sorceress said softly. Big tears slid down her flushed cheeks and the Commander had an urge to kiss them away. To kiss away her tears and her sorrows. And he did just that. He laid gentle, soft kisses on her cheeks and her chin.
"I missed you…I missed you so much. Why, why did you leave me?" He said to his love. Rinoa was leaning into his chest and his arms were wrapped around her shivering body. "You're cold.." He said dumbly. He removed the leather, fur jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders.
"Oh, Squall. I had to go. I couldn't stay no longer. As a SeeD, I needed to do what's best…"
"It's best if you stay with me!" Squall said forcefully.
"NO!" She shouted and tore away from his embrace. "I'm transforming! Look, look at my hideous body!" She said between sobs. She then handed the jacket back to Squall and lowered the cloak slowly. Her bare shoulders were more thin then he remembered. Her bones showed through her chest.
A small white wing, hardly a foot long and a foot wide had sprouted on her shoulder blade. The wing was feathery and flapping slowly in the wind. Her skin was blotchy and pink. Squall hadn't noticed it, but her eyes were bloodshot and no longer caramel colored but black. Her teeth were long, pointed and jagged. The endless tears were flowing down her cheeks. Squall was speechless, as usual. But this time, it wasn't because he didn't want to be bothered to say it but he didn't know what to say.
"I noticed small changes in myself. First, I had the utmost urge to research spells. But…not any spells. Apocalypse, Shock Pulsar, Hell's Judgment. Then, I started going into these trances. I would start shaking and then my eyes would turn white and it seemed like I was watching myself from afar. I would start doing magic. Ultima, Flare, Meltdown, and then…the night before I left. Draw Apocalypse." Rinoa said, her head hanging down sadly.
"Angel Wing?" Squall asked. He was frightened. What if, Ulticemia's powers were inherited by Rinoa and she would have the same as her. The thought was frightening.
"No…Not exactly. I wasn't myself. In Angel Wing, I am but I can't control it. I call this Devil's Cry, because that's what it is. A cry." Squall didn't seem to understand. "I shriek while this is happening. I'm…I'm so scared Squall." Rinoa cried, and collapsed into his strong arms.
"Don't ever be scared, I'm your knight and always be. Always." The Commander reassured Rinoa. It doesn't matter what happens in the future, I'll be there to protect you. He thought. The sorceress smiled uneasily but nodded slowly.
"Why did you come here? Why didn't you come to me?"
"Don't be mad. I didn't come to you, because I was scared. What if you were scared to love me? What if you couldn't love something as hideous as I. And I came here, because it reminds me of you." She answered, her shoulders shaking with sobs. Squall shook his head forcefully and bit his lip.
"Never. I'll never be scared to love someone as beautiful as you. And I do."
"Oh…Squall. You'll always be there to protect me.." She said as if she needed to reassure herself.
"Always and forever."
The Commander was lost in her unfamiliar large black eyes. They were so different. But still, he loved them. He reached for her hand and brought it up to his lips. He kissed it softly. He let it linger there for a few seconds. Yes, Commander Leonhart could be a romantic. And yes, Commander Leonhart was head over heels in love but he couldn't help loving her. It was like an invisible bond that tied the 2 together.
"I had a dream, Rinoa. We're in that castle and we're in the gallery. The painting Viator et Intervigilium et Vividarium was the only painting there and we were just there staring at it. Then, the scene changes to…here. The garden. Expect we aren't ourselves. We are faceless people. The man, he is the Sorceress' knight and he wants to tell her this great message. So he looks for her. Galbadia, Esthar, Balamb, Trabia. Though, he still hasn't found her. The man returns to the garden and fall's asleep against a tree with the message still on his lips. As he awakens, the face of the woman is staring at him and he finally tells her this great message." Squall said, his eyes twinkling in the sunlight.
"What was this great message, dear knight?" Rinoa said, giggling.
"I'll promise I'll love you forever."
"I promise, Squall." With that, Squall leaned in and kissed her gently.