Sharing Fate by Silver Haze (Disclaimer: I don't own characters or locations and all that legal stuff just the writing it mine )
I had a dream that we flew on golden wings and we were the same, just the same, you and I
Bryan Adams, (Brothers) Under the Sun
This was crazy. What did she think she would accomplish with this, besides possibly destroying her marriage. She'd pushed the envelope before, but this time maybe it was too far.
I can't be held responsible for this! I am completely hormonal and can't be held accountable for my actions! She thought too herself knowing full well that no one would believe this, with the exception of her husband. She knew that he wouldn't really be angry with her. He never was.
He called her his angel, the love of his life. She could do anything and he'd never think any less of her. She sighed. That didn't make this any easier. He'd taken care of her, consoled her, given her everything she could ever ask for and loved her more than she thought possible. And here she was two months pregnant with his child, running off at just a hint of him. It was selfish. She hadn't even stopped to tell him she was going, let alone where.
It was too much to think about all this, while simultaneously trying to suppress her joy and hope. Even if he was alive, even if she found him, it was too late. She was married with a child on the way, so why couldn't she just leave the past to the past. But she had to know, at least to know he was alive.
She tried to concentrate on her driving instead of all the desperate emotions swirling around in her mind, but the driving didn't take much attention, seeing as how there was no traffic and the straight dirt road was flat and smooth. If only life were this easy.
The dull landscape surprised her. It was one large flat grassy plain. Far off in the distance she could see the vague outlines of the small back country town. Winhill. She thought this was a strange place for him to be. What happened to his dream? To travel and write about all of his adventures? Could he really have settled down in this drab and remote place?
She didn't want to think about what could make him settle down in a place like this.
The last leg of the trip seemed to fly by quicker than she thought possible. She wondered if she was ready to face what she might find. Should have thought of that eight hours ago. Too late now.
She parked her car at the hotel. It didn't seem like anyone drove in town. She didn't take the time to check in, for all she knew she might be leaving in disappointment in less than an hour. However she did go to the counter to ask about him.
The elderly woman at the counter, smiled dryly at the woman waiting for her to speak. She opened her mouth but no words came out. She couldn't bring herself to say his name. I'll just have to work around it.
"Excuse me," she asked timidly, "D-do.. do you know if a man from Galbadia lives here. H- he has black hair and when he's nervous he walks with a limp." Why did I say that? She wouldn't know that. She held her breath waiting for the old woman to answer.
"Oh him. Yes I know who you are talking about. He hasn't brought anything but heartache to this town."
The woman was a little taken aback by the use of the pronoun him. It was as if fate itself didn't want her to hear his name. She hadn't really taken in anything from what the woman had said except that he was here. "Could you tell me where I could find him?"
"You here to take him back?" she asked looking the woman up and down. The woman didn't respond she seemed very distracted. After she a moment of silence the woman continued, "Go up town to the pub and ask for Raine. She can tell you where to find him."
"Thank you, so much,"
The old woman only stared at her and shook her head, but she had no time to waste interpreting the response. She hurried out the door and headed up town.
It only took her fifteen minutes to locate the pub. She stood outside the door staring at the handle. No going back, not now that I've come this far. She lifted her hand toward the handle, but dropped it with a sigh. Then with a sudden resolve grabbed the handle and swung open the door revealing a surprised woman on the other side.
"Wow," the woman gasped.
"I'm sorry… Oh?! Are, are you Raine?"
"That would be me," Raine answered with a smile. "Can I help you with something?"
"I'm Julia. Julia Heartly." Julia said extending her hand to Raine attempting a smile.
"Oh," Raine's face fell. Julia looked at Raine for the first time, noticing her somewhat protruding stomach. "You're looking for him." It was a statement not a question.
Julia's fears had been confirmed. She knew it was foolish to be jealous or to be upset; after all she was in no place to reclaim his love. She was married to another man and pregnant too, but still some small part of her had wished he hadn't moved on like she had that he at least had held on to what they had.
Raine broke the silence, sensing that Julia couldn't bring herself to. "Laguna isn't here."
"He- he's not?" Julia looked up to see Raine looking downcast.
"No. He went to save my daughter from Esthar." Raine replied staring off into the distance.
That was just like him, Julia thought to herself, so selfless and brave and always up for an adventure. Julia couldn't think of what to ask next; she wasn't sure she wanted to know everything just yet. To break the silence she asked, "Your daughter?"
"Yeah…," Raine answered breaking free of her silent revere, "Oh forgive me, you should come in. You probably have a lot of questions to ask."
Julia didn't answer but followed Raine into the pub. The large dim room was slightly shabby but quite cozy. Each of the tables had a vase of large white flowers on it.
Raine walked to one of the far tables and nervously rearranged the flowers. Finally she sighed and turned to face Julia once more. "I wondered if this day would ever come," she almost looked hurt, "He, he never talked about you much. I knew it hurt him, but it was hard for me too, so we just didn't talk about it."
Julia crossed the room to Raine. She looked at Raine, "I didn't come here to… I just… I wanted to know if he was alive and if he was happy, that's all." Raine looked into Julia's eyes and nodded. They both sat down.
"You should know I'm his wife." Raine said looking down at the table. Julia took a sharp intake of breath. Raine looked up. Julia was staring back at her, her eyes watery. Raine moved her eyes down to her own stomach, expecting Julia to follow with her own. She did and looking at Raine's swollen stomach the tear spilled over. "And this is his child." Raine finished.
"I- I understand," Julia replied. She looked down at her own stomach that hadn't yet expanded and let out a little laugh. It wasn't really funny just a coincidence. "Me, me too."
"A baby, I'm having one too."
"Oh." Raine answered smiling slightly.
When Julia had opened the door to reveal Raine standing in the doorway she had expected to hate her. Not because she looked like a horrible, wicked person, but because she was his. Because she had known, somehow, when she first laid her eyes on her that she was now Laguna's. But sitting here at this little table in this dim little pub, she realized she couldn't hate Raine, quite the contrary she felt a strange kind of fondness for her. Looking up she smiled at Raine, and Raine, relieved, smiled back.
Raine and Julia spent the rest of the day and much of the night talking. They discussed Laguna for hours, and then when that particular topic was spent they talked about their future children and Ellone, Raine's adopted daughter, followed with a variety of other topics including General Caraway and Julia's singing career.
Despite the emotional difficulty of sharing the same love, Raine and Julia built a deep and irreplaceable friendship. When Julia had to return to Deling's City she promised to come back to visit, and she did, many times.
Julia expected someday she would have to face Laguna when he returned, but she now felt strong enough to face her past, and even though Raine was part of the reason she had to face that past she was also the person who had given her the power to face it. However, the months went on and on without any mention of Laguna or Ellone. That particular topic was often disregarded for happier topics.
Julia came to stay with Raine as for weeks at a time. As their friendship grew so to did their stomachs and the babies inside. When they found out that Raine would have a boy and Julia a girl, they amused themselves with dreams of how they would fall in love and in a way both Julia and Raine could have a part of Laguna. Anyone else would have thought Julia and Raine's friendship was a very odd and awkward relationship, but to Julia and Raine it was not only natural but essential.
Of course the time came when it was no longer practical for Julia to drive back and forth between Winhill being so far along in her pregnancy. The last night that Julia was staying with Raine they didn't breech the tender topic of Laguna. They did however speak of their children.
"I've finally picked her name!" Julia excitedly proclaimed to Raine, "Rinoa. Isn't it beautiful?"
"It's wonderful, Julia."
"Hmmm Rinoa and Squall… Do you think they'll get along?" Julia asked.
"They'd have too. Look at their parents!"
"True. They'll grow up together."
"It'll be perfect."
The next morning Julia and Raine parted for the last time, although they were unaware of it. After they're last hug goodbye, Julia remembered looking back at Raine, her stomach huge and a beautiful smile lit up her face. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather share my fate with. Julia thought with a smile, unaware of the irony of her own statement.