Cry ~ By Fujin
Author's note: FF8 didn't belong to be and neither does the song. The song is Mandy Moore's 'Cry'. ^_^ (It's a very sweet song)
Edea Kramer never liked children playing with fireworks. The things were just so loud and so very dangerous for children to play with. Play with, yeah right! Why didn't her kids ever want toys instead of those horrible crackers? Even though a commonplace item such as a child's toy was hard to come by at the day in age, Edea would have gladly given up her tiny ratio of money to get a plastic toy than a firecracker. It would be so much safer!
Her heart always felt as if it had stopped beating every time her children asked if they might have some. Of course she would always think to say no, even if it was the New Years' celebration or Halloween. But with her children gazing up at her so innocently in awe of the pretty fireworks she didn't have the heart to deny them the pleasure of seeing those glowing embers of fire sparkling up in the night sky.
Frowning, she gave into the children's desire and bought a few for them every now and then. However whenever the fireworks were lightened, she always had her husband do it as she watched out for her children from the sidelines. She made sure that none of them would be burned or hurt and so did Cid. Edea had a perfectly all right reason to be so cautious with her children around the fireworks. It was a night she would never forget.
The young boy sulked away from the glower spot the firecracker burned in. All around him where the kids he lived with and the couple at raised them-Matron, all dressed in black, and her husband, Cid. He was a kind man from what the boy saw of him because he only came around now and again. The kids, Irvine, Selphie, Quistis, Zell, and Seifer were smiling and laughing with their childish whims as the bright fireworks continued to shoot up a fountain of multicolored embers.
Squall was hardly in the mood to smile. A week earlier his older sister had left him. He didn't understand why she left him. What did he do to make her leave? He must have been a bad boy. Now he was all alone with no one to love him.
Squall couldn't help the tears from coming into his clear blue eyes to blur his vision. He didn't care and he felt no shame even if Seifer might see the tears and ridicule him. He felt miserable. All he wanted was to run around from all the happiness that surrounded him and find a quiet place to sleep. Then, maybe, in his dreams he might have another chance to see his sister again. In his dreams, when he cried she would always be there to hold him and tell his stories about rain.
He didn't understand why his sister had always talked about rain and why she always made the water come out to be a girl and gave her the personality of a caring mother. He didn't question his sister about her stories of the rain. When his sister would 0talk about rain, she looked so happy, that Squall didn't want to interrupt her. His sister would, from time to time, also mention a silly lagoon. But Squall was always confused by the way she pronounced it. It must have been due to an accent that she always put an 'na' at the end of the word lagoon. His sister sure was strange at times.
Now he missed her all the more. He desperately wanted to see her again. With a little whimper, he turned away from Matron and the others and blindly ran back into the house. He didn't stop think about his sister until he threw himself onto his small bed and cried himself to sleep.
He vaguely remembered Matron leaning over him as he dozed somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. She had quietly removed his torn shoes from his feet and placed a warm blanket about his form. The night was chilly and he didn't realize that he was shivering. Squall felt Matron place a kiss on his cheek before standing and leaving the room. He yawned without thinking about it and quickly fell asleep again, drifted easily back to sleep with the easy breathing of the other children as they slept on their little cots beside him.
The second time he awoke that night was when a shadow started to make a rack outside the room. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes with his small fingers, Squall sat up on his bed and cocked his head to the side as he tried to listen to the sound. He couldn't make out what was making the noise until his eyes fell on the bed in the corner of the room. That was Seifer's bed. Even through the murky shadows, Squall saw that it stood empty.
Squall knew that it was against the rules of the orphanage to wander around at night, expect to go to the bathroom. But when five minutes led into ten, he knew that Seifer wasn't on his way to the toilet. That was when he heard the back door squeak open and shut as quietly as possible. Seifer was outside. Even though, Squall disliked Seifer and his hot-temper, he still didn't want him to get into trouble with Matron or get hurt in the darkness. So he throw off the blanket and climbed out of bed. He didn't mind to put his shoes on and hurried, bare-footed, to the door in the room that opened up to the backyard. He was sure not to wake the others as he opened in and slipped into the night.
Of course he wondered why Seifer bothered taking the longer why to get about side. This way was much more easier. Unless…he was looking for something.
Squall shuddered a little with the chill in the air. The moon was not out this night so he didn't know which way Seifer had gone. It was either to their regular play place or down by the lighthouse. Squall waited for the tip of the lighthouse to swing over the land before he moved. With the quick flash of white light, Squall saw Seifer's small figure walk quickly down a rocky hill toward the lighthouse. Squall sighed and ran after him.
Seifer was lightening the large firecracker, a Roman Candle, when Squall came upon him in the shadows. The older blond boy didn't seem to notice him. Squall watched him for a moment, too afraid to disturb him and get him angry. Finally Seifer managed to light the wick and proceeded to hold the long firework in his hand, raising it up high in the air. That was when Squall showed himself.
"Hey…" He spoke to quickly to be heard the first time. The second time he all but yelled it. "Hey, Seifer! We can't be playing with fireworks!"
Seifer visibly jumped at the sound of Squall's voice. He quickly lowered the firework and spun around, his face twisted into an ugly grimace.
"How did you get here!" Seifer shouted in anger.
Squall withered back into the shadows again. "I…I…I heard you go," he mumbled. "You'll get…into trouble…if you stay here…"
Seifer snickered, his face deformed in the darkness. "Oh, so you are playing the role of the hero, ain't you? You just want to tell on me."
"No, I don't!"
"Big fat lair," Seifer shot back.
"I am not!"
"Matron will be mad if she sees us down here, Seifer," Squall continued after a moment. "She doesn't want us to be alone with fireworks. She said that. She thinks they are too dangerous."
"To dangerous for kids," Seifer replied. "I'm seven years old. I ain't no kid no more like you and that stupid cry-baby."
"Zell's not a cry baby, Seifer," Squall courageously told him. The words were out of his mouth before he knew it. He trembled with dread. He usually didn't defend the others against Seifer's cruelty now he knew he had to pay for his rebuke.
Seifer advanced toward him like a tiger would advance upon a sheep. When he was close enough Squall could see the anger that blazed in his blue eyes.
"You little punk!" Seifer sneered in his face. "Now you take cry-baby's side? You really want to be some sort of knight, don't you? Defending the weak and all and telling me to behave!" Soon Seifer was yelling at Squall and waving the firecracker around like it was a magic wand. "Well I'm not going to listen to you anymore! I didn't need you to be in my business and telling me what to do. I'll be fine on my own!"
"Seifer," Squall pleaded, his eyes locked onto the firework. "Be careful. The firework…."
"What about it?" Seifer asked. Purposely, he placed the firework directly before Squall's chest. "Are you scared of it or something?"
Immediately Squall broke out into a cold sweat. He bit his lower lip as he stared at the firework as if it was a snake ready to strike if he moved. After a moment he answered Seifer's question, "Yes."
"You are just like a girl," Seifer told him. "Matron and Quisty hate fireworks too. Selphie likes them so I guess that makes her more of a boy than you ever will be."
"But I won't worry, girlie," Seifer continued with a sigh as he slowly withdrew the firework. "It a dud anyway."
At that moment a great flame of pick-tinted fire popped about of the slender barrel. Seifer didn't have time to react. He couldn't do anything but be stunned by the surprise and watch as Squall scream in pain as the tiny ball of fire struck his shoulder, burning his skin and nightshirt.
A second ball came as usual before Seifer had enough sense to toss the firecracker into the ocean. This time it struck his face. Seifer watched in horror as Squall fell backwards, crying out in pain as he lay there on the sand. Finally Seifer shook his head and ran to the house, screaming, "Matron!!!" over and over again until the night was filled with his cry.
I'll always remember
It was late afternoon
It lasted forever
And ended too soon
Rinoa was blinded by the whiteness of the hospital halls. They were so clean and so startling white that they seemed brighter than the fading afternoon sun. She didn't want to look at him because they hurt her eyes but looking at the floor wasn't much of an improvement either. It was as white as the walls but much more glassy. If the floor had been checkered it would have remembered her of the floor in the hallway of her home. But it wasn't so she sat there with her eyes closed. Her daddy had gone into the room before her and had told her not to follow him and be a good girl to wait out here in the hallway with strangers all around.
She was at the hospital. She had been at a friend's house, playing tea party in her new pink dress, when her father showed up. Without much talking he quickly grabbed her and before she new it, they were on the room, zooming down the highway at a scary speed. It seemed like hours ago since the tea party but she knew if must have been twenty minutes or so. Waiting there in the hallway made time stretch to ungodly lengths. All she knew was that something at happened to her mommy. She knew it must be bad or else her father wouldn't have cried on the way there.
Rinoa was lonely as she sat there in the hallway, her feet dangling above the floor from underneath her prissy pink dress. Her hair was done in two ponytails with pink ribbon too. She liked the color pink as much as her mommy liked the color blue and mommy adored the color blue.
Her small hands were clasped together in her lap and she sighed. It really was boring. Why didn't daddy come out? Rinoa stirred a bit when a doctor walked into the room but immediately began to sulk when he quickly shut the door behind him. She didn't even have the chance to see her mommy. She frowned and slouched back in her seat. She didn't care if her posture was unladylike; the chair really was uncomfortable.
But after a moment she stood up. Since her daddy wasn't around she might as well as buy something for her mommy. Rinoa had noticed a little gift shop down at the end of the hallway and she did have a dollar with her. It was perfectly folded into her little pink purse, making her feel as important as a businesswoman. Shooting a small glance at the door, Rinoa walked down the hall. It must have been a strange sight to see a six-year-old girl walk down the hall of the hospital because several people stopped what they were doing to watch her.
Rinoa was somewhat discouraged that she didn't have enough money to buy her mommy the perfect gift. It was a small statue of two angels-one with long brown hair and warm blue eyes and one with black hair and dark eyes the shape of almonds. They were smiling as they faced each other, holding hands. Below them were two children. A boy with clear cerulean eyes and hair the color of chocolate and a little girl with black hair and large brown eyes. The two children were smiling at each other too, oblivious to the two angels that hovered over them. On the ground below the children, too, was a kaleidoscopic puzzle of white feathers and pink rose petals.
Rinoa sighed. Mommy would have loved that present. After a moment, Rinoa pulled herself away from the statue and pouted all the way to the other side of the gift shop. When she left all she had was a long stem rose to give to her mommy. But she vowed that she would return one day and claim that beautiful statue once and for all. That one angel looked so much like her mommy that it had to be fate.
You were all by yourself
Staring up at the dark gray sky
And I was changed
She was walking back to the chair she was destined to wait when a voice stopped her. It flowed like the gentlest of waters. It was so kind, so soft. Without thinking she turned and peered pass the open doorway into a clean white room. She saw the woman that was talking. She was very pretty with long black hair and white skin. She reminded Rinoa of a doll she once had. The woman was talking to a young boy that was lying down on the hospital bed. He was lying so still that Rinoa was deceived into thinking that he was sleeping.
"My poor child, how are you feeling?"
"Seifer never should have played with those fireworks. They are dangerous. He said it was an accident, that he didn't mean to hurt you. Squall, that doctor says you will be just fine. You will be home in a day or so. Then we will all have a party that you are home. All the children are planning it. There will be cake and streamers. Just for you. We all will be there, just like a family!"
After a moment, the boy remained silent. The woman seemed discouraged and looked away. That was when her beautiful yellow eyes fell on Rinoa. Immediately Rinoa blushed and curtsied like the young lady she was trained to be. Then turned and left. She didn't go really, she just darted out of view and stood next to the wall by the door. She didn't want to leave. Something was drawling her closer and closer to the boy in the other room.
"Will Sis be there?" The voice was so soft that Rinoa had a hard time hearing it.
"No," it was the woman replying.
"Oh…" A sad pause. "Please leave me alone, Matron."
"Leave!" Rinoa was all but stunned at the harsh command. Was that the same voice that sounded like the tiny whisper she had heard only moments before? There was a sound of rustling and Rinoa imaged the boy rolling away from the woman. The woman, Matron, sighed out loud and walked out of the room without saying anything. She didn't even notice Rinoa as she moved down the hall. Her black dress seemed to glow against the whiteness of the hall.
Rinoa was mesmerized at the sight of her. She moved as if she her floating instead of walking and all about her was the air of motherly care. Rinoa was suddenly reminded of fresh cookies setting on the kitchen table after a long day or a loving kiss placed tenderly on a cut. But Rinoa couldn't dwell long on those thoughts. Soft whimpering from inside the room caught her attention. Before she could stop herself she moved to stand in the doorway again. Time stood still for her as she saw the boy crying on the bed.
In places no one would find
All your feelings so deep inside
It was then that I realized
That forever was in your eyes
The moment I saw you cry
He was sitting up on the bed, his bare feet dangling over the side of the bed. His shoulders shuddered each time a sob escaped his lips as if he were trying to chock back the sobs. Tears poured down his twisted face. Rinoa watched him without talking and soon noticed that bandages that were wrapped about his head. The woman had mentioned firecrackers. Did one hurt him? For a moment Rinoa looked at the boy curiously. A firecracker had hit her once but it was nothing to cry about.
"Sis…" the boy quietly whimpered. "Why did you leave me? Don't you like me anymore? Was I a bad boy?"
He continued to cry and didn't even notice that Rinoa had slipped into the room. He didn't even seem to know that she was there until she laid her hand on one of his and peered up at him, smiling kindly all the while. The bed was so high up that she really had to crane her neck to look to him. His blue eyes reminded her of the ocean. So beautiful and clear.
"Don't cry," she told him gently. "Here you can have this." She held out the single red rose for him to take. "I was for my mommy but I think you need it more. It's pretty, isn't it?"
It was late in September
And I'd seen you before
You were always the cold one
But I was never that sure
After a moment the boy didn't move to take it. "I don't want it," he said and pulled his hand away from her touch.
"Why not?" Rinoa asked. She was dumbfounded by his curtness.
"Because it's ugly!"
He glared at her, his blue eyes so cold, while Rinoa tried to hide her embarrassment and hurt. No one had ever talked to her like that, not even her dad. She quickly lowered the rose and pulled her hand back to her. She couldn't help but feel rejected.
"You're a meanie!" she told him, tears blurring her vision, as she spun around in a fury of pink skirts. She wanted to bolt about of the room and never see the horrid boy ever again. She almost made it to the door when his voice stopped her, "Wait!"
"What is it now, you highness?" she grumbled as she wiped about her tears with her small hands.
"What is your name?" the boy asked in a much gentler tone as she looked at her. His eyes were even gentle too. Rinoa couldn't stop herself from look back at him, even though she had just wanted never to see him again.
"Rinoa Heartilly," she replied. "What's yours?"
Rinoa edged back over to him. "I'm hear because of my mommy. I haven't seen her yet."
"I hope she is all right, Rinny," Squall told her.
Rinoa smiled, blushing a little. "I hope she is too. Why are you here?"
"I was attacked by fireworks. One hit my shoulder and the other hit my ear."
"Is that my you are wrapped by like a mummy?"
Squall nodded, sheepishly smiling down at her.
"Did it hurt?"
"Only for a little bit."
"Then why were you crying?" By this time, Rinoa had made it all the way to the other side of the room to stand by his side once more. She wanted to hold his hand too but she didn't dare. He might refuse her aid again. She didn't know what she would do if he did.
When a look of sadness passed through Squall's face it was enough to give Rinoa to courage to clasp his hand tightly in both of hers. He looked as if he were going to cry again. She didn't want him to suffer alone.
"My sister left me," he whispered to her after a moment. His tears were rolling down his face and falling onto her hands. But she didn't dare move. "One day I got up and she was gone. Just like that. She didn't even say good-bye to me. It hurts, knowing that I never got to say good-bye. I don't even know where she is. I miss her so much."
In places no one would find
All your feelings so deep inside
It was then that I realized
That forever was in your eyes
The moment I saw you cry
"I'm scared," Squall continued, "that I made her leave me because I had been bad. I'm scared to be alone. I don't want to be alone anymore."
"You aren't alone anymore, Squall," Rinoa whispered to him.
"No, you're not. I'm right here. We may not know each other very good but I will always be your friend. And if you let me, I can be in your heart too, helping you whenever you are alone so that, with me, you will never be by yourself. Please take this rose, Squall .I want you to have it as a sign that I will always be with you."
Her hands trembled as she held up the rose. He stared at it as if it were the first time she had offered it to him.
"It's September, Rinny," he muttered to her after a moment. "How did you get the rose?"
"An angel gave it too me," she replied. "I want you to have it."
"Thank you," Squall said as he took that flower from her so gently as though it might have been made out of glass. He stroked the soft red petals before saying, "I'll treasure it for always. Here…I have something for you too. It will be a sign that I will always be with you." With that, he pulled a small white feather from his pocket and held it up for her to see it. It was as white as snow.
Rinoa gently took it and placed it in the palm of her hand. "It's beautiful, like snow," she murmured, her brown eyes glowing with tears. "Thank you. I'll cherish it too. I promise."
Squall smiled at her. "I hope we meet again, Rinny."
"So do I." she replied with a sweet smile.
I wanted to hold you
I wanted to make it go away
I wanted to know you
I wanted to make your everything,
"Rinoa?" The sound of her daddy's voice startled her. She immediately turned around. Surprise caught her off guard. Her daddy looked as if he had aged twenty years. He looked so sad, so defeated. His eyes had a sorrowful glow to him and his stance was no longer that of a proud man.
"Daddy?" she had to ask just to make sure that his man was her father.
"Come one, Rinoa."
"Daddy, what about mommy?"
"Come on, Rinoa," he repeated again.
Rinoa didn't want to disobey her father. Before she went to him, she looked back at Squall and mouthed the words 'I promise'. Then she hurried to her father, clasp his large hand in hers and let him led her out of the doorway.
Squall watched her go. He didn't know how long he had sat there, staring at the place the sweet little girl had been. The rose was all the he had to remind himself of Rinny. With a little sigh, he lowered his eyes to the flower. It was more beautiful than ever.
"Watch'a got?" Seifer's voice caught him off guard. Before he could hide the rose behind his back, the blond boy stuttered over to him and tore the flower away from Squall's hold. Squall choked on a sob as he noticed that a couple of petal fluttered to the white floor.
"A flower for a pansy, huh?" Seifer questioned. He examined the rose for a moment before sighing and ripping the remaining petals from the stem. One by one they fell to the floor like drops of blood. Squall couldn't help but cry out in pain.
"What is that thing, Rinoa?"
"A feather Squall have me," she replied with a dreamy smile even though she heard a hint of antipathy in his voice. "It reminds me of snow; it's so white. Isn't it pretty, daddy?"
They stopped long enough in the hospital for her daddy to turn around and take the feather into his own hands. Rinoa was delighted that he wanted to see it. But before she could react, her daddy straightened up and tossed the white feather into the near-by trash can. She watch it float in the air for a moment as tears grow in her eyes and threatened to spill.
"Your mother is dead, Rinoa."
His words stunned her. For a moment she couldn't react and then, the tears spilled. And somewhere, she heard the rain pour from the cold gray sky, now knowing how much it hurt to not say good-bye to someone you love.
Fujin: So did you like it? I enjoyed writing it. It was real fun! ^_^ Kinda angst though. Sorry if it makes you want to jump out a window or something. ^^; (Still I hope you liked it)