Hey guys; L again. This fiction is dedicated, once again, to the lovely K along with all my other reviewers from my last one shot. Thank-you so much, guys. I really feel like I'm back on FF for good. :3
It was hot.
And not just the typical dry heat he was use to. Oh no, life was never quite that easy. It was the kind of torturous hot that not only pricked at your skin but, due to the fact that Balamb happened to be right next to the freaking ocean, it was also humid.
And cowboys and humidity do not mix well especially for the best Garden sharpshooter, Irvine Kinneas.
Of course, his fellow team members-turned-best-friends attempted to explain that wearing a duster in Balamb during the summer wasn't sensable, but getting Irvine Kinneas to change his wardrobe was like telling Zell Dincht that the cafeteria no longer servied hot dogs and that he needed to plan out a new diet.
Point being, Irvine was a sturdy, unchanging rock.
Known as the womanizer with steady aim and southern charm that left girls speechless, Irvine Kinneas had little to no weaknesses. However, little did anyone know, there was one person who could command the Galbadian sharpshooter just by batting her emerald-colored eyes. She was the only one to ever get her way with the irresistible Irvine Kinneas, and her name was--
"Whatcha 'doin cowboy," a fake southern accent rang from above his resting place, which was located underneath one of Balamb's excessive foliage's. Lazily, he cracked open a crystalline blue eye to gaze at the aura of sunshine grinning upon him.
"Wake up, sleepy head," she taunted, gently nudging his side with the tip of her brown boot, "we're going shopping."
This was her--the girl who made him weak in the knees with one smile. She was Selphie Tilmitt, his best friend since childhood, and not to mention--
He stopped at these thoughts, realizing he must look ridiculous just laying there, staring up at her face, "Oh, erm, what?"
'Smooth, Irvine' he inwardly chided himself, 'real smooth.' While he mentally scowled himself, Selphie giggled and reached down for his arm, grasping it in her pale, tiny hands.
"Let's go, cowboy," this said, she proceeded to pull--or attempt--him up. Sighing, Irvine allowed himself to be removed from his comfortable position and onto his feet. Selphie eyed him for a moment, noting the flushed color on his cheeks.
"You must be dying in that thing," she pointed at his duster with an upturned nose, "C'mon! Squallie said I had to take you shopping 'cause he was tired of hearing you complain about how hot outside it is."
Irvine's expression dropped slightly, and he did his best to hide it. So, Selphie was only dragging him to the store because she had to? Oh, he felt so much better now.
"Selphie," he drawled, eyebrows furrowed, "I don't want a stupid new outfit." He paused, looking down at Selphie's eyes, which were starting to grow and water. Dammit, she was pulling the pouting thing on him.
'Man,' his inner Zell pipped in, 'you are so whipped.'
'Whatever you say, man.'
'Fantastic,' Irvine thought mentally, 'I'm going crazy.'
"Irvy," Selphie chripped, lacing her fingers through his. He sent a mental pray to the heavens that his face wasn't red. If it was, he'd blame it on the heat; go figure. "I want to go shopping. We hardly hang out anymore, you know."
That mere sentence had done it for him. Exhaling, he wrapped an arm around Selphie's shoulders, "Whatever you say, angel."
She made a face before grinning, "Oh, knock it off, you."
Hesitantly, Irvine released Selphie's shoulders with a light scowl hidden by the shadows created by the brim of his infamous hat, "Whatever you say, 'darlin."
Selphie rolled her eyes at his antic, a sly grin appearing on her face once her slim fingers wrapped around Irvine's wrist, and she pulled forward in the direction of Balamb's cars.
This was going to be a long day.
"Irvy, look," Selphie called out from a large rack, yellow polo shirt clenched in a pale fist. Oh boy, this was not going to pleasant at all. Especially when dealing with over-active Selphie. "Please," she whined, sticking her lower lip out slightly more than the top in a cute, puppy dog pout.
Zell was right; Irvine was totally whipped.
"Erm," he stuttered out before exhaling, "give me the shirt, hunny. Who knows what you'll do to me if I don't try this on."
"What makes you say that?"
"Sel, you're you; do you need anymore explanation." Irvine walked into one of the changing stalls swiftly, stripping off his shirt as he eyed the yellow one.
"And I totally want to see what it looks like on you!" Irvine frowned at the comment last thrown at him. Irvine wasn't the smartest, but he was sure it was safe to say that yellow was a color he should never, ever touch. Heaving a sigh, he hosited the shirt from over his head, and yanked on the new one, unbuttoning the top two buttons with annoyance. Why did the stores have to button the buttons if they knew people were going to try on the clothes? Breath still in his throat, he emerged from the stall only to be greeted by the look of surprise on Selphie's face. She scrunched her nose, a trait Irvine knew she did whenever she saw something she didn't particularly envision.
"Nah," she said lightly, bounce returning to her step as she darted for the door, "you stay right there, cowboy. I'm going to go bring you more clothes."
And Irvine knew this would be his downfall. So, reluctantly, he placed his normal shirt back on and trudged out of the changing stalls to plop down on a chair outside the changing rooms. Closing his eyes, Irvine allowed himself to doze off, his mind wandering aimlessly. Silently he pondered on how long it had been since he received a good night's sleep. Sleep was calling out to him, and Irvine gladly accepted it's call as he fell into a light doze.
Perhaps an hour or two later, Selphie came bouncing back to the changing rooms, a pile of clothing clutched to her chest protectively. She smiled upon seeing the sleeping Irvine before she kicked his foot with the tip of her boot, "Hey, no sleeping now! I'll be lonely without any company." She smiled down at him softly, " 'Sides, I have a bunch of clothes and no cowboy to put them on."
Irvine sleepily eyed the clothing pile held in Selphie's arms before he inwardly groaned; this was something on his list that he would have to reward himself for. Silently he took the clothes from Selphie's arms, and headed into the changing stall.
Selphie had seen about thirty outfits on Irvine, all of which she would give her critique. Too bright, too dark, too tight, too loose, etc. Irvine wanted to rip out his hair, but he kept silent, reminding himself constantly that this was making Selphie happy. And whenever Selphie was happy, which was just about everyday, it always put him in a better mood. Finally, just as he thought he was finished, Irvine attempted to unlock the door when--
"Oh, Irvine," Selphie's voice rang out as she pried open the door, throwing a shirt into his hands. Irvine raised an eyebrow quizzically and glanced down at the garment.
A nice button up shirt with long sleeves and nice material. It didn't seem that bad except for one large, obvious factor.
It was a nice shade of periwinkle.
Irvine just stared at it as if it had suddenly turned into Ultimetica.
"Irvy," Selphie questioned, eyes flickering to the shirt and then to his face, "are you okay? I mean, you don't have to buy that. I just thought--"
"No, it's alright," Irvine quickly interrupted, seeing the look of disappoint flash across Selphie's usual peppy face. He turned back into the stall and locked the door, just staring at the shirt.
It was almost as if it were challenging him to try it on.
"Fine," he mumbled, pulling off his own shirt for the umpteenth time as he punched his arms through the shirt and buttoned it up. He turned to the mirror and--
Periwinkle was such a girl's color. Sure, Irvine wore purple, but it was so dark that it could easily pass as a shade of blue . This, however, was so painfully pastel that--
"Irvine, are you alright? I wanna see what it looks like!"
'Women,'Irvine thought to himself as he unlocked the door and allowed Selphie to take in his appearance. Irvine, however, did not exactly expect such an enthusiastic reply from her as she gave:
"I love it," She exclaimed, running her fingers over the sleeve with admiration, "I mean, I saw it on the rack, and I just knew it'd look good on you." Her cheeks stained with the color of roses, "Um, I just mean that--"
Irvine laughed at her embarrassment; it was too cute. "It's alright, really. I, um--"
"Do you like it," Selphie interjected, grinning growing upon her face. Irvine mentally winced, knowing the answer was going to effect if the shirt was bought or not.
"Great, I'll buy it for you, then," Selphie confirmed, pushing Irvine back into the changing stall. Irvine smacked his head, literally, and changed back into his normal attire.
"Sel, I don't know if I--" But before he could finish his sentence, Selphie had already plucked the shirt from his hands and waltzed right over to the counter, allowing Irvine to drag all his other articles with him.
He just knew that Tuesday wasn't his day.
"Selphie, wait up," he called out, duster flying behind him as he jogged alongside the human equivalent of sunshine, "you don't really have to buy it for me."
Selphie stopped in front of the cashier, and place the shirt in the hands of the person behind the counter. Turning her head to the side, she merely flashed Irvine a bright smile before pulling out a credit card. "But I want to, Irvine," she explained, swiping the card through the machine, "because you liked it and it looked nice on you. Don't friends buy stuff for friends?" The tone of her voice was so innocent that it made Irvine melt, but just a little.
...Okay, maybe more than a little.
"Selphie," Irvine tried again, but it was too late. The lady had already place the neatly folded shirt into a bag, and then handed it to Selphie. Irvine sighed, buying the rest of the warerobe before he and Selphie walked from out the store.
Selphie beamed and handed the bag to Irvine, "This was fun, wasn't it? We need to spend more time together, Irvy."
"Yeah," Irvine agreed, a sinking feeling growing in the pit of his stomach as his fingers wrapped around the loops of the bag, "we do."
Oh boy. Irvine just knew that this shirt was going to cause nothing but problems. Of course he didn't actually plan on wearing it. Knowing Selphie, she would forget about the shirt and he'd never have to wear it again. Maybe for Selphie's birthday he could somehow slip an extra amount of gil into her purse without her noticing. After all, he did feel bad that she wasted her money on something he was never going to wear.
'This can only end in a disaster.'
It had been exactly three weeks since the entire periwinkle shirt incident. Thankfully, Selphie had never once mentioned how Irvine seemed to wear all of the other purchased clothing except for the one article that she bought him.
But honestly, how could he tell her that he didn't even like it? Irvine always lost when it came to things that made Selphie happy.
So, the shirt was stuffed in the back of Irvine's closet, and also in the back of his mind. He planned on bringing the shirt back whenever he had time, so he didn't even bother with taking the tags off of the shirt. Basically, it was a fool proof plan. And, if for some odd reason beyond his knowledge, Selphie inquired about the shirt, he would blame it on Zell.
Zell always took the rap for a lot of things, even as kids.
However, Irvine Kinneas did not plan for that afternoon to occur...
"Zelly," Selphie said, poking the blonde martial artist rapidly in the cheek, "have you seen my special markers? Y'know, the ones I use to write on for banners?"
The blonde chewed a bite of hot dog in his mouth before he shrugged, "Beats me, Selphie. Did 'ya lose them?"
Selphie pouted, "I don't know! I can't find--"
"Hey, Selphie," Rinoa pipped up, emerging from a conversation from an equally-as-whipped-as-Irvine-Squall, "doesn't Irvine have them? Remember how he was helping you that one time with that banner? I'm sure he still has them."
"Oh, you're right Ro-Ro," Selphie exclaimed, jumping from out of her seat, "thanks a bunch!" With that, the girl ran off in the direction of said cowboy's dorm.
"...She does know the party that she thinks she is planning is her own party, right?" Squall questioned to the entire table, receiving nothing but a laugh or too.
"Don't worry, Squall," Quistis said calmly, not even bothering to look up from her graded papers. After the entire we-saved-the-world-deal, Quistis had been offered her position as instructor back. "I had Irvine hid those markers weeks ago."
"Selphie is so clueless sometimes," Zell commented, finishing off his fifth hot dog of the day. He made a face, "My stomach hurts."
"You probably shouldn't eat as much, then," Quistis retorted coolly.
'Men,'Rinoa thought inwardly.
Selphie skidded to a stop in front of Irvine's room, doubled over as she tried to catch her breath from darting down four long, extensive hallways. She knocked once, and waited for a reply. After a moment or so, the young SEED grew tired of waiting, and knocked once more.
"Irvine," she called out, expecting the cowboy to open the door wearing his usual smug smile. However, when none of these factors answered her call, Selphie frowned, placing her hand on the knob, twisting it slight. The door opened, leaving Selphie shocked for a moment.
How typical of Irvine to forget to lock his door.
"Irvy," Selphie attempted once more, noting that she was the only one in his room. Oh well; she hoped Irvine didn't mind that she was in his room. She instantly walked to the closet, knowing if Irvine had the markers that they would probably be in there somewhere. At the very top of the closet, the brightly colored package caught her eye.
"Ah-hah," she cheered, reaching for the package of markers, "found you! Booyaka!" However, since Selphie was on the mere height of five-foot one and a half, her mere task of getting her markers became more and more difficult. Eventually, she nabbed them but, much to her dismay, found the contents on top of the markers crashing to the floor. She let out a semblance of a scream, and fell backwards, markers in hand. Selphie landed on her back, and tried not to let out a muffled sound of surprise as a paper bag fell on her face. Taking in the events that just happened, the young SEED slowly sat up, placing the bag to her left side. The brand of the bag, however, caught her eye as she smiled. It was the bag that the shirt she had bought Irvine came in. Curiously, she peeked inside with a smile growing on her face. The smile, however, died prematurely at the sight inside the bag.
In the bag was the shirt, the one she bought with her own money, neatly tucked away. Slowly, she reached in for it and brought it out, watching as the price tag swung down from the sleeve.
"Irvine...," Selphie muttered, a sadden feeling swelling up in her chest. If Irvine hadn't of liked the shirt, he could have just said so. But no, he allowed her to buy the shirt just so he could never wear it.
"Selphie..." Irvine voice rang out to her, shocked to see half of the contents of his top shelf on his floor. His eyes traveled over to the shirt, and he nervously gulped.
"Sel, I can--"
"Save it, Irvine," Selphie said, throwing the shirt to the ground with the corners of her lips turned downwards, "if you didn't like the shirt, why didn't you say so? I wasted my money on that thing, and you're probably never going to wear it."
"Selphie," Irvine tried once more, but was cut off by the sad laughter of his best friend.
"Honestly, you could have told me, Irvine. I wouldn't have been mad." Selphie attempted a smile, trying to hide her feelings, "It's okay, though. I don't blame you for not wearing it. Sure, I really liked it on you, but periwinkle is kind of a girl's color. Though, I thought you'd wear it because--" She stopped, looking down at the carpet of Irvine's room.
'Because it was from me,' she finished mentally.
Irvine felt his heart dropped at his looked at Selphie's mask of happiness. He knew the look wasn't genuine, and that she was probably a lot more hurt than she was letting off to be.
"Selphie," he tried once more. This time, his attempt was met with a small smile.
"It's okay, Irvy--really," Selphie tried to reassure, waving the markers happily in his face, despite that happy was the last thing she was feeling right now. She knew it was ridiculous to get worked up over a shirt, but it hurt. A lot. "I'll just be going now." She exited his room, leaving Irvine to piece together his thoughts.
He knew that shopping always led to bad things.
It had been one week after the shirt incident, and Irvine could tell that Selphie was still upset about the shirt ordeal. Honestly, he felt horrible about it, but he didn't know exactly what to do now. If he chose to wear it now, Selphie would know that he was only wearing it because she had found out about his little plan. He did, however, remove the tags from the shirt that it couldn't be returned.
"Irvine," a voice snapped him from his thoughts; the voice was clearly annoyed. "Were you listening to me?"
"Um, of course," he glanced down at the face of an annoyed Quistis, "now...what were you saying?"
Quistis rolled her icy blue eyes, "Honestly, Irvine. Selphie's birthday is tonight. Do you even know what you're getting her? Did you get her anything?"
"Yeah," Irvine replied, remembering the newly bought boots he and Rinoa had picked out for their said friend, "I did. Why?"
"Just making sure."
There was a silence as Irvine and Quistis kept pace with each other, their footsteps echoing in the hallway. Finally, Quistis turned around, hands on her hips.
"Quistis," Irvine mocked, placing his hands on his hips in a Quistis' fashion.
"Irvine," Quistis retorted, annoyance slipping back into her voice. "You know Selphie is hurt about what happened over that stupid shirt you refused to wear, right?"
Irvine's arms fell to his sides as his eyes darted in another direction, away from the glowering look Quistis was giving him.
"I know," Irvine managed, head hung, "And I'm really sorry about it. And you'll see, Quistis;I'll make it up to her."
Quistis sighed, "You better, Irvine. I'll hold you to that promise."
Irvine knew this was going to be a long day.
It was exactly one hour away from Selphie's surprise eighteenth birthday party. Exactly one hour away from Irvine having to face the entire Garden wearing the shirt.
His eyes traveled over to the garment, frown affixed upon his face. It was almost as though the shirt was mocking him, now.
...If shirts could mock.
"Ugh," He mumbled, punching his arms through the shirt as he proceeded to button the buttons. He turned the collar down, slipped into his jeans, and faced the mirror.
If looks could kill...
"Stupid shirt. You make Selphie happy, though." Great, now Irvine was starting to talk to the shirt as if it had ears.
Cid was going to send him off to a mental institution.
Well, it was time to get this party over with.
"Where are we going, Rinny?" Selphie questioned, glancing down at her flowy yellow dress that Rinoa had placed her in not only an hour ago. "Is something going on?"
"Um," Rinoa fiddled with Sephie's hair for a moment, "no. I just thought we'd go out. Y'know, for a girl's night out?"
"Is Quistis coming, too?"
"She's meeting us there," Rinoa half-lied, finishing Selphie's attire off. "Perfectly! 'Kay, Sel, let's go."
"Now." Rinoa wrapped her hand around Selphie's tiny wrist and dragged her down the hallway, smile planted on her face. They walked in silence until reaching the grand ballroom of Garden. Rinoa pushed open the doors, maneuvering Selphie inside as she closed the door.
"Rinoa? I don't think--"
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SELPHIE!" A mob of people rang out, their forms being revealed as soon as the lights were flicked on. Selphie's jaw dropped in shock at the sight of a party standing in front of her. One she didn't plan.
...Did they say birthday?
"Um," She started, only to be stopped by Zell slapping her on the back. "Happy birthday, Selphie!"
"...It's my birthday?"
"...You forgot, didn't you?" Zell asked, a sweat drop forming on the back of his head. His question was confirmed as Selphie feebly nodded her head.
However, Selphie smiled widely, "I can't believe you guys went through all this trouble for me!"
"Actually," Quistis started, nudging Irvine in the ribs, "it was mostly Irvine's idea. He's been planning this party for months now."
Selphie stood there flabbergasted. She wasn't even sure if Quistis' words were even clicking inside of her head because standing right in front of her, looking as handsome as ever, was Irvine Kinneas.
Wearing the shirt.
"Really Irvine?" Selphie asked softly, although the question wasn't about the party. She was just thrilled to see him wearing the shirt that she knew he hated...
In front of the entire Balamb Garden.
"Well, missy birthday girl," Irvine said in his southern accent, giving a slight bow, "if I may be so bold, I do believe I get first dance."
Selphie beamed, nodding her head fervently, "Okay, cowboy."
The beat of the music started, and the crowd surrounding the birthday girl slowly dissipated as they started to dance, and eat. Irvine walked closer to Selphie, genuine smile across his face, "Can I talk to you outside for a sec?"
Numbly, Selphie nodded her head, and walked outside to the balcony with Irvine in tow. The outside wind caught her off guard for a moment, but Irvine closed the doors behind them, allowing them to be outside without anyone interrupting them.
"You didn't have to wear the shirt, y'know," Selphie commented, turning to Irvine with a bright smile on her face. Irvine merely rolled his eyes, brushing back a stray piece of hair from Selphie's face.
"But you wanted me to."
"...So maybe I did."
"Ah-hah, so the truth is admitted," Irvine replied, watching as Selphie's face turned a nice rosy color. At this particular moment, Irvine was feeling rather brave. Maybe it was the fact that he had practiced this speech a million times in the mirror, or maybe it was the fact that Selphie seemed to truly forgive him.
Said girl turned her head to glance at the man who had just called her name. Instead of a face to greet her, a pair of lips did, gently capturing her own in a soft kiss.
Her eyes widened and, before she understood what was happening, kissed back, eyes fluttering close as Irvine drew her in closer.
After a few moments, Irvine broke away, a grin lighting up his face, "I love you, Sel."
Selphie's breath hitched in her throat as Irvine's confession rushed to her ears. As an answer, Selphie stood on her tip-toes, bringing Irvine's lips back down on her's.
As much as he had disliked periwinkle before, Irvine Kinneas could offically call it his favorite color. After all, it was the color that had brought him to Selphie.
Maybe it was a nice shirt after all.
Ohmygosh, this is FINISHED! Bah, I worked so hard on this. Is Irvine OOC? I tried my hardest! Selvine is a couple that I hold very dear to my heart. Considering FF8 is my favorite FF, you can understand. Thanks so much for reading, and don't forget to review!