Foreword: I wanted to let everyone know this is going to be a darker look into the future…fate, lies, betrayal, but most of all love. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on my writing; I'm always trying to improve and learn as I go. The story takes place over a one-week period and shows how seven days can make a difference in our lives, shaping one's destiny. Also, Final Fantasy VIII and all the characters belong to Square-Enix.

Fate will bring together those a thousand miles apart;
without fate they will miss each other,
though they come face to face.

-Chinese Proverb


Crimson Lies


Chapter One: Conflict

Politics…if there ever was a second coming of Hyne, I'm sure the only creatures to survive would be cockroaches and politicians. Unfortunately, that means I'd live. I do not want to.

Squall, Squall Leonhart, Commander Leonhart, I cannot even stand the sound of my own name. Before I became a SeeD, I never even felt this bitter toward life; things change over time. It's been five years since we defeated that bitch Ultimecia. That was truly the beginning of my downfall. Sometimes I wish I had died quickly. I don't think it would hurt as much as living.

He stood on the balcony, alone. It was always easier alone. The crimson sunset seemed to reflect the anger in his heart, if not the hatred in his soul. Throwing the butt of his cigarette into the wind, he watched the hot embers as they made contact with the metallic side of Garden. "There goes another day off my worthless life," he mused to himself. That alone kept him smoking…it was a gradual, hopefully painful, death. He deserved it.

The sliding glass door slowly creaked open. Squall knew who it was, who it always was.

"What?" he asked, not turning around. Not with spite his voice, just emotionless.

The figure slowly walked up to him, with hesitation she spoke softly, "There was a supposed sighting of the sorceress in Deling. A couple of SeeD..."

He interrupted coldly, "I don't need details. I'm sure the fucking council has already ordered the change of course on Garden. As usual, I'll be the last to officially know. Glad I'm the Commander, if in title only. What a wonderful democratic society I run."

Squall lit another cigarette without turning toward her, as he put his free hand on the balcony rail. The sky now had turned charcoal gray, almost mimicking his mood. She could not stand to see him like this. She tried to put her hand on his; he just moved it away quickly.

"Squall, please. I know it's hard, but we made a commitment to each other, don't let it be in vain. The day we exchanged vows..."

He only shook his head and interrupted her again, "I remember the day. There are things that no GF would ever make me forget."

A few moments of silence stood between them before he spoke again. "It's getting cold, go inside before you get sick. I need to go to my office and make some calls. We don't know if the information is to mislead us, it's not out of her power."

"Are you coming back tonight?"


"Fine," she answered irritably. Again, moments of awkward silence passed. "It will be two years tomorrow."

"I know," he continued inhaling the cigarette and staring into the vast horizon.

"Squall, do you miss her?"

"Who?" he spat back, almost bitterly.

"Ellone, who else would...?" She didn't even finish the statement, she knew.

"Of course I do."

"Zell, Irvine, Selphie and I are planning a small service in the chapel tomorrow. Please find the time to come. I know it still hurts. It hurts all of us."

She tried to take a step closer.

"I'll try." Squall threw the second cigarette over the side. He turned and brushed by his spouse, like a stranger. Without saying another word, he picked up his uniform jacket and walked out the door.

She was his wife, for almost a year now, and yet he avoided her. The anguish inside was growing; the guilt was starting to eat away at her soul. Every day she found herself crying, alone. He sure as hell wasn't there. Incredible how little time Squall actually spent with her; it was an art he had mastered. If this was what she always wanted, why was she so goddamned miserable?

Quistis could no longer hold back as tears fell from her eyes.