Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy 8, SquareEnix does.
((Ugh, you guys are slow lol! Okay so maybe I'm just impatient, but I can't wait, I have to post this! Here's the final chapter guys, enjoy!!))
If this was death it fucking sucked. He wasn't Griever anymore, he was Squall again, and he felt both relief and loss. He staggered forward, his boots echoing on the dry, cracked wasteland beneath his feet.
He had been walking like this for hours, or maybe minutes, he didn't know; his patience wasn't what it used to be. The sky loomed black and ominous above him, occasionally a rumble would thunder across the plains, promising rain to the parched land and traveler, but never delivering any.
He was thirsty, his throat raw and dry and he glared at the sky as it once again rumbled, promising release. Maybe he could use magic; didn't he have a water spell?
But of course, even if he had any he couldn't remember how to use it. He was sick of that. Sick of forgetting, sick of not knowing, sick of all the fucking mind games.
Squall paused as he staggered forward onto an upraised slope that dropped off suddenly into a swirling, black, gray abyss. Suddenly he felt relieved, and he teetered precariously at the edge.
Sweet Abyss. He sighed, and started to pitch forward into-. He didn't fall back; he more threw himself backwards, landing a few feet from the edge before scrambling back franticly.
What the fuck was he doing?! It took him several moments to finally regain his composure, for his breathing to return to normal before he trusted himself to stand and glance back behind him.
The abyss was there too, a hauntingly seductive option to end his thirst, it beckoned him from all sides and he was left with just enough room to sit back down in defeat.
That was it; he was going to die here. No where else left to go, only death to look forward to.
Something shifted at the edge of his vision, and as he turned to glance at it everything began shifting and shaking. He staggered to his feet only to be swallowed by it.
It was like watching his memories in fast forward, so fast they blended into each other, only she remained constant. If only he could remember who she was.
It was the graduation dance, the girl in white dress smiled and started towards him, but her face was distorted. She had raven hair, then silver, then raven, then silver, and the dancers in the background spun and twirled in a maddeningly fast rhythm matching her changing features. They were alive then dead, black, then white. He was dancing, and she was beautiful, and her face kept changing. Brown and amber, sharp and kind, cruelty and laughter, they were swirling together with the dance, so fast that Squall felt nauseated.
He was in Deling City, he watched the parade, watched the assassin's bullet strike that invisible barrier and fail again, and again, and the carousal spun, playing it's maddening tune while holographic figures danced their maddening dance, and the bullet failed again, and again, and again. A Galbadia solider offered him a cigarette, pulling one from his mouth that was crammed so tightly with them they swelled in his throat, then his lower jaw unhinged, falling away in a rain of cigarettes and blood.
He was in jail for the first and second time, for failing to kill and killing. There was blood in both, so much, so much that he… Killing again, the guards in jail; gods it was horrifying to see how many lives he had actually taken, how much blood had made his grip on the gunblade slippery.
He was at the ball again, and two girls wanted to dance with him. A raven-haired girl and a silver-haired girl. He still couldn't see their faces, he still couldn't choose.
Then he saw the raven-haired one's face, Rinoa; that was her name. She was in space, drifting aimlessly; he reached for her and the glass on her faceplate shattered.
Then he saw Ultimecia, but they weren't at the dance, and she wasn't how he remembered her. She was a monster, with long limbs and claws, and the taint exuded from her like an infectious disease. Rinoa was killing her, hammering away at her with spells as she screamed. "What the fuck did you do to him?! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!"
Her face was beautiful again, and in that last moment of her life as she peered up, almost as if she could see him within Time Compression, and she smiled, blood oozing from her mouth as she turned her attention back to Rinoa. "Even if you get him back, he'll never be yours. He'll never love you like he loves me; he'll never see you as anything other than the whore who killed me." The words weren't saturated with malice and hate, but merely just words voiced confidently, arrogantly. Rinoa's face twisted with hatred and she casted another spell, and Ultimecia died.
Moisture pored from his eyes in a torrent he could not halt, and he was grateful when he finally felt darkness tugging at the edge of his vision; no time to think only to join her.
He gave into that darkness and it washed over him, pulled him down, and drowned him. Caught in the mercy of it's thoughtfulness he fought when it suddenly receded, dragging him back into consciousness.
Then he felt it, the taint, her power, she was-. This was her, he knew her power, and he soared towards his consciousness. There were flowers, everywhere petals filled the air blown around violently with white….white feathers? That was wrong it was-.
Not her. Rinoa was leaning over him smiling, surrounding by flowers and white feathers and it was, not her. He cringed back and she smiled soothingly.
"No it's okay! I absorbed her powers, she's dead Squall! Gone!" Squall stared up at her and that moisture began flowing from his eyes again as he wept, and she bent down to comfort him. Stupid. Stupid bitch. She didn't know, she killed-.
He wept for his sorceress in the arms of her killer.
He smiled because he was expected to; he smiled because he didn't want to argue again, he smiled because he couldn't stand her. But when she reached for him, when she tried to kiss him, no, he couldn't fake that; couldn't stand her touch.
She frowned when he flinched away. "Squall? What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry…she just…used your face…I don't think I'm ready for…" He drifted off, unable to continue the lie.
Rinoa's face darkened. "I see. She's dead now Squall. You have to move on, she can't hurt you-"
"I know!" He snapped, his face turning savage. "You don't have to fucking tell me every time!" She didn't have to fucking remind him, remind that, that…
She seemed hurt. Bitch didn't even know what hurt was, what agony was, what loss was. He stormed out, unable to stand the victory party any longer, and he fled to his room.
They pardoned him after Ultimecia's death, saying he was no more accountable than Edea for his actions. They should have fucking killed him, he hated being there in the Garden with that…that…
He slammed open the door to the bathroom and leaned over the sink, glaring at his reflection in the mirror. Dark circles had appeared under his eyes when he first returned, along with the permanent clench in his jaw, always restraining his anger, his fury. Especially around…There it was, that clench again, so tight he felt his teeth grinding.
His hand rose and tightened around the lip of the mirror, giving him someway of relieving the pressure on his jaw. Then he exhaled, forcing himself to relax, but only some of the tension left his body.
He hadn't come to terms with it yet, hadn't been able to fully control himself whenever he saw Rinoa, he couldn't even speak with her the first three days. Now, every time he did, the urge to wrap his hands around throat became stronger with every bitter, hesitant conversation.
Because he felt the need, the need to release the power she carried and called her own. The power she stole from…He heard her voice, calling his name hesitantly as she entered his room, but he didn't fill with tension again instead he relaxed as he realized why he hated her so much.
Squall loved Rinoa, he really did; but Griever didn't, and who was he now? After all that had happened, who could he claim to be?
He exhaled steadily, staring at himself in the mirror. Yeah he was fucking Griever, he couldn't argue, couldn't try to claim humanity, he was a monster. And he loved Ultimecia, and he wanted her back, and he knew how.
Rinoa called him again and he smirked, a horrible smirk that would have terrified a man who still had doubts. Yes, he had to release that power lurking in Rinoa, he had to rip it from that whore's body, and then they would…The cost of just one life seemed so easy now, he despised her anyway; after all the lives he had taken, what was one more?
His grip on the mirror tightened, and cracks shot across its surface, distorting the image he saw of himself. This was Griever, not Squall; distorted. He watched his eyes bleed to amber, watched that brilliant splash of crimson return, and he smiled insidiously. He knew for the first time in his life who he really was, and he knew for the first time in his life what his purpose was; and damned if he wasn't ready to fulfill it.
"Rinoa," He called from the bathroom, still staring into his distorted reflection, and the words were sickeningly sardonic. "Could you come here for a second, honey?"
((There you go, there's your resolution, hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you enjoyed it please drop me a review, tell me what you thought about my story, whether you liked or disliked the ending, details I missed, etc. I'm really open to any kind of opinion. Don't fucking spam my story with childish flames, however; because if you do, I'll fucking kill you. :)
Quick thanks to Carbon Ocelot at /index.php?actionff8 , I haven't played the game in like five years and her walkthrough was an awesome reference and it was funny as hell.
eLLe – Thank you! Yes I know, I can't write action. / I'm glad I got you hooked and I'm really glad you enjoyed the way I portrayed the characters. Hopefully this helps your Rinoa issue lol! (I totally typed this before I even got your review!)
Pink Moogle – Now that I think about it, it's more peach colored than anything lol. Oh well, just a little mistake. Here's your chapter!
LaLaLa – Thank you! You know, you've been my most frequent reviewer and I would like to thank you for the time you've spent reading my stories. I really appreciate your opinion and even the tiny little mistakes that you point out that make me go, "Damn fans always freaking right." I hope you like or at least enjoy this last chapter! :)
Also, people who haven't had the chance to review but have still been with me since the beginning!
Renegade Seraph – You've always reviewed from chapter one! Thank you so much for all the time you've spent reading and reviewing.
Lionheart-92 – Thank you too for sticking with me for so long. :)
Maverick Point – I've always loved your insight and how much you actually seem to analyze my writing. With your reviews I always see that you're really going deep into the details and the hidden meanings behind everything. It's like you see and interpret the symbolism the way I meant it to be interpreted. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this final chapter. ))