Written by Doggiegal

I honestly can't believe I let her talk me into dressing up for this stupid holiday—even if it is as one of my ancestors. I still think his spiky hair—which took the two of us over an hour to perfect—looks ridiculous, but if it makes her happy…

Yeah, you get the drill. You remember my sappy tirade from earlier, I assume? I really don't want to repeat myself, especially when it is something embarrassing like that. But anyways, I was telling you about my costume. There's a long story behind it, but I'll give you the abridged version. My biological ancestor is Denzel Lockhart, who chose to take his adoptive mother's last name. So technically, through adoption, I am the descendant of Cloud Strife, fellow savior of the world. The name Leonhart came from Lockhart; apparently there was some confusion along the family line and the name was changed. Granted, I'm not legally a Leonhart, but I'm not used to being called 'Commander Loire' or anything like that yet.

Rinoa, as you might have guessed, was the one who insisted that we dress up like this famous couple. Not only was I (and she too would be soon) related to them, but this way her ring would fit with the costume—the others won't suspect anything until we actually tell them. Honestly, I suppose I shouldn't complain. At least we didn't go as Tarzan and Jane—unlike that couple we passed in the hall earlier. I pity the male who has to wear that loincloth…especially because it's rather cold today.

As Rinoa and I agreed on, the Owls, General Caraway (I must admit, I'm a little afraid of how he'll react), and Laguna and company (I'm also scared of his reaction, but for a much different reason) are all coming to visit today. We're going to tell them our happy news and pray that the Halloween cheer (or maybe just the costume he wears) will prevent Caraway from strangling me to death. We're also going to notify the rest of our friends—and by that I mean Selphie, Quistis, Irvine, Zell, and his girlfriend—along with them, just to make it simpler and easier for the two of us.

"Squall! Stop zoning out!" Rinoa lightly punches my arm, obviously irritated by my behavior. In an effort to soothe her, I press my lips to her forehead lovingly.

"Don't worry, Rin; I'm just thinking about what will happen later on today," I murmur against her skin. She smiles slightly, eyes closed, and snuggles closer to me.

"I think, for the most part, the response will be positive. It's a wedding we're planning, not a funeral." She taps my nose lightly, and I grin at her. "My father might act out a little, but I honestly think he wants to make amends with us. Please…have a little faith in my father, in humanity's goodness." Rinoa looks at me pleadingly with those beautiful brown eyes of hers, and I yield fully and completely. I know she still clings on to the hope that her father will come around and realize that she is her own person and not his political pawn…but I fear that she may be disappointed, considering what I've seen of Caraway.

"I'm sure it'll all work out, Rin," I whisper, grabbing her hand and squeezing it reassuringly.

Hand in hand, we walk to the ballroom. We've agreed to meet the others there half an hour before the Halloween Party Palooza starts. Yeah, I'm not sure why a bunch of mercenaries celebrate such a commonplace holiday as if it were such a big deal. Go as Selphie; she'd know, being chairman (or chairwoman, I suppose) of the Garden Festival Committee and all. Granted, of course, we're not all mercenaries here at Garden (Rinoa and Angelo being the main exceptions here, but I also include the cadets), but that's not the point.

"Rinny!" Speak of the devil, here comes Selphie Tilmitt right now. Her brown hair has been shaped into a bob, and she's wearing a headband to go along with her hairstyle. She is also modeling a pair of fairy wings and a fuzzy jacket. A magical scepter is carried in her right hand, and she is waving to us with her free left. "Irvy and the others'll be here soon; they wanted to prep a little more." She smiles toothily, and her happiness is contagious; both Rin and I have difficulty suppressing a grin. "Now, whom did you two dress up as?"

Rinoa speaks, which is just as well. "We're going as Cloud Strife and his lover, Tifa Lockheart." I wrap an arm around her, tugging her close again.

"Hey!" Irvine, leading a rag-tag group also known as out friends, walks up to us. His outfit makes me do a double take, causing the 6' man to chuckle. He has spiked his hair slightly as well, only he used blue gel instead of yellow. He is wearing clothes an outdoorsman would wear, a simple white shirt and bluish-purple pants, tied together with a red sash. There is an interesting-looking necklace that he is wearing; it is a green rock somewhat shaped like a crescent moon. He is also carrying a fake weapon, only his is a katana.

Quistis is another story. Her pretty blonde hair is down for once and is decorated with numerous gold ornaments. A tiara rests on her forehead, and her ears have been molded to look like an elf's would. Three connecting triangles that form a triangle themselves hang from her ears, giving her a regal look. Combined with her fancy dress and elbow-high white gloves, it was obvious that she was dressed as some sort of princess.

Zell and Library Girl, as we affectionately call her, have decided to have matching costumes. Library Girl is wearing a traditional Japanese schoolgirl outfit, while Zell has opted for something more unique. He dyed his hair orange, and is wearing a black T-shirt and grey cargo pants. He also sports a bead bracelet on his left hand, for some strange reason.

We spend a minute exchanging who our costumes are of and things like that before Ellone, Laguna, Kiros, Ward, Zone, Watts, and General Caraway arrive. During this time, we (as in Rinny and I) learn that Selphie and Irvine had corresponding costumes, and Quistis, Xu, and Nida together are all using one theme as well.

When they arrive, Ellone is the first one to catch my eye. She is lovely in an orange and white ensemble, and her hair is tied back into a loose ponytail. She is wearing brown boots with a bit of heel, and has a large pendant around her neck. She too is carrying a staff, which she is leaning against her shoulder the way a soldier would rest his gun.

Laguna, Kiros, and Ward also have costumes following a theme. They are the Three Stooges, which fits them well, believe me. They don't even need to pretend to make silly mistakes that lead to mayhem; my father is doing that all the time. Really, it's kinda sad when you think about all the trouble the President of Esthar has caused.

Zone and Watts are dressed as two teenagers from one of their favorite TV shows, according to my fiancée. Watts has used hair gel to put all his hair in one big spike, and dyed a patch purple. He is also wearing an all-purple outfit, which looks somewhat ridiculous on him. Zone, on the other hand, is decked out in green. He is wearing a light green tank top under a forest green shirt, which he left unbuttoned. In addition, he is wearing green cargo pants and is slouching much more than he should be.

General Caraway's outfit is perhaps the most surprising of all—nobody expected him to even dress up. He is wearing an army suit, complete with a (hopefully) fake gun and a green bandana tied around his forehead. Having been coerced into playing a few of Zell's video games, I recognize him as Snake from the game entitles Metal Gear Solid. Apparently Caraway and Zell have similar interests in games.

"Why did you two ask us to come here? Well?" He doesn't seem to have much patience tonight, so I decide to start my explanation now.

"As you may know, Rinoa and I have been dating for over two years now, ever since Ultimecia was defeated. We have been through the good times and the bad times together, and have managed to make it through. I lo—" I am cut off by a loud barking, followed by the sound of paws hitting the ballroom floor. Surprised, we turn to see a decorated Angelo running towards us at full speed, and all but Rin move out of the way as quickly as we can.

Angelo's fur has been dyed yellow somehow, save for two patches of black on the sides of her mouth. Rin told me that Seifer and his cronies were using her as part of their costume, but I can't imagine what purpose the pup would serve looking so strangely. She licks Rinoa's hand happily, obviously pleased to see her master, and I can't blame her; I'd be glad too if I managed to escape from cosmetics gone wrong. Seifer, Fujin, and Raijin run in after a couple of seconds, trying to catch Angelo.

Seifer is wearing a red and white cap with some sort of green logo. He has on a black T-shirt underneath a blue vest. Jeans and green fingerless gloves complete the outfit, making him look like the idiot I always knew he was. Fujin has put her hair in a side ponytail, and has dyed it red. She has on a yellow tube top, jean shorts, and suspenders. Rajin's hair has been spiked with hair gel, and he has donned an orange T-shirt, a green camping vest, and brown slacks.

"Don't mind us, Puberty Boy; what was it you were saying?" My rival has an evil glint in his eye, as if he knows what I'm about to say. Doesn't matter, really. Soon, the whole Garden will know.

"As I was saying, I love Rinoa dearly, and I know she loves me. That's why—" I am cut off again…this time by the entrance of Matron and Headmaster Cid. Cid, for some strange, inexplicable reason, has decided to go as Darth Vader this year, and as such Matron chose to be Queen Amidala. They look like such a strange couple in those outfits…but that's completely irrelevant right now.

"I told you we were early, dear," Matron chastises Cid. "Now look: we've interrupted a meeting. Go on, dear; we won't bother you."

Well, that makes five unexpected visitors now—and two interruptions. I take a deep breath before beginning again. "That's why we have decided to become engaged. We are planning on being wed around Christmastime, but it depends if everything will be ready by then."

Cheering and applause breaks out from our friends, and we each get an enthusiastic hug from Laguna. I know what he's thinking, but we just got engaged; we haven't actually discussed the topic of children yet. But that'll come later, I'm sure. Amazingly enough, General Caraway shakes my hand politely instead of shooting me with that gun of his. When Rinoa timidly asks him if he'll walk her down the aisle, he actually smiles and tells her he'd love nothing more. Huh. Fancy that.

I guess, in a way, we're all just one big dysfunctional family. A hall of weenies on Halloween Day.

A.N.: Hee. It's out on time! Yay! I've decided to celebrate the holidays with Squall and Rinoa, so I should probably start working on a Thanksgiving one. Here's the list of characters and their costumes:

Squall: Cloud (Final Fantasy VII)

Rinoa: Tifa (Final Fantasy VII)

Random Female SeeD: Jane (Tarzan)

Random Male SeeD: Tarzan (Tarzan)

Selphie: Nina (Breath of Fire IV)

Irvine: Ryu (Breath of Fire IV)

Quistis: Zelda (Legend of Zelda)

Xu: Malon (Legend of Zelda)

Nida: Link (Legend of Zelda)

Library Girl: Tohru (Fruits Basket)

Zell: Kyo (Fruits Basket)

Ellone: Garnet/Dagger (Final Fantasy IX)

Laguna: Moe (Three Stooges)

Kiros: Curly (Three Stooges)

Ward: Larry (Three Stooges)

Watts: Odd (Code Lyoko)

Zone: Ulrich (Code Lyoko)

General Caraway: Snake (Metal Gear Solid)

Angelo: Pikachu (Pokémon)

Seifer: Ash (Pokémon)

Fujin: Misty (Pokémon)

Raijin: Brock (Pokémon)

Cid: Darth Vader (Star Wars)

Edea: Queen Amidala (Star Wars)

Hope you enjoyed it!