A/N Oh, my word…I did it! Finally!!! I'm sooooo sorry for the long wait!!! But here it is!! Chapter EIGHT!!! :D
Chapter Eight: A New Job
Rinoa could not keep her eyes off of the commander's back as he was escorted down the hall. What were they going to do to him? What did he do wrong? Was it her fault? All these questions and more came flooding into her mind at once. She was beginning to sort through them and figure out which one's she could answer, when she realized that the previously gloomy mood radiating from her new companions was now overwhelmingly dark.
She could not stand the suspense anymore; she had to know what was going on. "Guys, what exactly just happened?" It seemed like they didn't hear her, so she was getting ready to ask again when Irvine said something.
"How about Selphie explains it to you in your room, I'm going to bed." With that, the cowboy walked down a separate hall.
"Me too," Zell said as he followed after Irvine. Quistis didn't say anything, she instead just left quietly.
Rinoa turned to Selphie, confusion plastered all over her face. Selphie grabbed Rinoa's arm and started gently pulling her down the hall and said, "Come on, I'll explain when we get back to the room." Rinoa was about to say something, but shut her mouth before she did, deciding it was best to just wait until they got to the room to ask all of her questions.
When they arrived back at the room, Selphie went to the mini fridge they had in their living room and grabbed a couple of sodas, handed one to Rinoa, and beckoned Rinoa to follow her into her room. Rinoa obeyed and plopped herself down on Selphie's overstuffed bed.
Rinoa was just opening her mouth to say something when Selphie stopped her. "I know you have a lot of questions, but let me start by explaining just how things work around here, 'kay?" Rinoa nodded and Selphie took a deep breath and a quick drink of soda before continuing. "Well, not only is Squall the heir to the throne, but he is also the commander which puts a lot of pressure on him from everyone, even Irvine, Zell, Quistis, Ellone, and I sometimes put a little too much pressure on him. The worst offender though is the king, a.k.a. Squall's father. So, Squall being all stressed out and by-the-book is the result of all of this pressure.
"Now, the king is a very…uh…intense person to put it mildly. If Squall doesn't follow the king's instructions to a 't,' then Squall gets in some serious trouble. Not only does Squall have to follow his orders perfectly, but he also has to basically predict what the king wants based on his mood, which is a very difficult thing to do seeing as the king has many 'moods.' If Squall doesn't predict the king's exact thoughts, then he's in even more serious trouble."
"That's terrible! How is anyone supposed to predict what someone wants them to do? That's not fair! And what kind of serious trouble does Squall get into? What were those soldiers going to do to him? You know, the ones that dragged him away right after he stepped out of the car?" Rinoa cut in.
Selphie put up her hand, waving it back and forth signaling for Rinoa to slow down, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, way too many questions, way too fast! I'll get to all of that in a minute." Selphie took another swig of her soda before continuing, "As for how it isn't fair, yes, I know it isn't, but that's the whole point. Squall doesn't exactly have a life of luxury here, contrary to what most people think. To put it simply, Squall's life sucks, and that's putting it very mildly. I'm not talking about the sucks when your parents won't let you go to see a movie with your friends, I'm talking about the sucks that refers to getting punished by brutal beating if you have even an ounce of fun. Okay, maybe not that extreme, Squall does get away with having fun every once in a while, but most of the time, he just prefers not to even risk it."
"So, wait, you're saying that his father beats him? I mean, the guy's probably pretty old, couldn't Squall take him? And what kind of father is that? Couldn't you guys like call the police or something?" Rinoa interrupted.
Selphie let out a huge sigh, "No, Laguna never actually beats Squall himself, but he could if he really wanted to. He usually has the captain of the military police do it with his little posse. Ugh, I hate that kid! Anyway, to answer another question no, Squall wouldn't be able to take the king even though he is getting older; the guy's a lot more powerful than you think, besides, most people would think that Squall was trying to usurp the throne or something. And no, it's not so simple as to call the police. You forget, Squalls father is the king, he rules the police."
"Oh, I see." Rinoa said with her eyes down-cast. She never would have guessed that Squall had to go through so much. Who would have thought that the prince of Dissinile had one of the most miserable lives on earth? Rinoa took a look back onto her life realizing how good she had it. Sure, she had her problems, but nothing this bad. How stupid she had been! She lived in this huge house, got all of the best clothes, went to the best school, could do basically whatever she wanted, she had it great! Well, compared to this she had it great.
Selphie continued her explanation after downing the rest of her soda, "Anyway, that's why Squall's not all gun-ho all the time about going out, 'cause things like what happened tonight could happen any night. So, that explains part of his anti-socialness."
"What's the other part?" Rinoa didn't mean to be rude and interrupt Selphie all the time, but she couldn't help it. Questions just popped into her head and then flowed out of her mouth.
Selphie let out an exasperated sigh, "You're just full of questions, aren't you?" Rinoa looked down and her cheeks flushed pink, but Selphie just laughed. "Don't worry about it! I don't mind! Actually, it's kind of fun. We never tell anyone anything, the group and I, I mean. We're a pretty tight group, but for some reason, we've all taken a liking to you, even Squall." Rinoa's head shot up in confusion and Selphie laughed again. "Yes, even Squall! There is no way he would ever let anyone go out with us unless he liked them. Anyhow, to answer your question about the other part of Squall's anti-socialness, that's for him to tell you when he sees fit. It's a rather…personal happening that few people know the details about. I honestly don't really know what happened, but anyway.
"In closing, I will leave you with a few words of warning, if you ever encounter the king for whatever reason, don't do anything to tick him off, and I mean anything!" Selphie stared straight into Rinoa's eyes, held her gaze for a few seconds, then flopped back to being crazy little Selphie. "Well, it's late, and we have to report to work bright and early tomorrow! Night, Rinoa!" With that, Selphie shuffled Rinoa out of her room and shut the door.
Rinoa just kind of wobbled to her room in a daze, how was she supposed to sleep after all of that? There was no way, but nonetheless, the instant she hit her bed, she was out like a light.
Rinoa woke to some crazy person, clad in yellow, bouncing on her bed. She let out an involuntary groan before a feeble attempt to cover up her head with her pillow. Selphie let out, what would seem to innocent bystanders, a cute little giggle, but to Rinoa it sounded like the maniacal laugh of an evil demon spawn coming to take her soul forever and eternity. How in the world could someone be so hyper so early in the morning?
"Come on sleepy head! It's time to get up and get ready for a new and exciting second day at Dissinile's fabulous palace!" Selphie exclaimed, obviously over-excited about the day. Rinoa just responded with another inhuman grunt and tried once again to cover her face with her pillow. Her efforts were thwarted however by the evil demon spawn snatching the feather pillow and hitting the poor girl repeatedly over the head with it while singing, no, screeching like the demon spawn that Rinoa had so quickly come to know her as, "Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!!" Selphie jumped off of the bed, and ripped the covers from Rinoa's petite body. "Seriously, Rinny—you don't mind if I call you Rinny, right, good—you have to get up! We got to see Ulga, and you really don't want to see what she's like when the maids are late!" Rinoa grunted again, not moving. Selphie let out a huge, over-exaggerated, and highly exasperated sigh before tightly grabbing Rinoa's ankles with what was truly a death grip, and yanking her onto the floor.
"Ow, what the-! Selphie, what is your problem?" Rinoa said while rubbing her head, trying to relieve some of the pain that resulted from this unprovoked attack.
"You wouldn't get up, so I had to resort to drastic measures!" Selphie said, pouting and folding her arms defiantly over her chest.
"Fine, fine, you win! I'm up." Rinoa stood up from the floor and shooed Selphie away, "I need to get dressed, get out."
"Wait!" Selphie ran to the couch in their living room and grabbed a green uniform and shoved it into Rinoa's hands.
Rinoa stopped, puzzled, "But yours is yellow."
"I know, that's because I'm a cooking maid, like I told you last night! The uniform is a different color for each department." Selphie said, happy that she knew something so incredibly important.
"So, what does the green one mean?" Rinoa asked, waiting to hear what she'd be doing for three months.
"Green is for assistance maids! You'll be assisting someone 'cause that's what assisting maids do!" Selphie looked over-pleased with herself for knowing this useful tidbit of information.
Rinoa couldn't help herself, "No, Selphie, I don't believe you! I thought assisting maids would cook!" The sarcasm was overly evident in the tired girl's voice….
But it didn't seem to penetrate the spastic brunette's head, "No, silly! Why would assisting maids do that? They are called 'assisting' maids for a reason you know! Gee, you're not all that with it in the morning are you?" With that Selphie spun on her heel leaving behind a very dumfounded Rinoa. Could someone really be such a flake? Rinoa just silently shook her head and shut her door to get changed.
She put on the uniform and then took some time to examine it. Unlike Selphie's skirted uniform, Rinoa's was a pair of tan dress slacks and a green polo shirt. There was really nothing special about it, which was strange because Selphie's looked like a French maid's dress only yellow.
Once she was done and had successfully put her hair into a satisfactory pony-tail, she walked into the living room to meet Selphie. "Gosh, you're slow! Come on, we're not even going to have time to eat!" Selphie latched onto Rinoa's wrist and dragged her out of their rooms and into the hall.
While they were walking down the hall, Rinoa couldn't help but ask about the difference in uniforms. Selphie smiled in reply and said, "That's 'cause the designing of uniforms was divided between Squall, Ellone, and Zeme. Ellone designed the cooking and cleaning uniforms, Zeme designed the chef's and the supervisor's uniforms, and Squall got stuck with the assisting uniforms. I'm pretty sure he just looked in a catalogue and got the cheapest, most practical thing he could find."
Rinoa giggled, "Well, that explains everything!"
After a little while, they arrived at the main kitchen where they were meeting Ulga. Rinoa glanced at the intimidating and very large woman standing before her, not willing to make eye contact. The woman appeared to be around Alfred's age, but was about three times larger around the middle than him. She had long gray hair swept up into a neat bun, and she wore a long, plain black dress.
"Tilmitt! You're late!" The lady's booming voice echoed in the large kitchen.
"Sorry, ma'am! I assure you it won't happen again!" Selphie said quickly. Rinoa was actually quite surprised with how…polite Selphie was being. Not that she was rude, just that she usually has a more laid-back personality.
Ulga seemed satisfied with Selphie's apology and, to the poor girl's dismay, turned her attention to Rinoa. "You must be the princess from Galbadia, hm?" Rinoa only nodded in response, not wanting to upset the woman. "Well, then come with me." Ulga began walking away and Rinoa hesitated. She looked to Selphie for help, but the peppy girl just mouthed the words 'good luck' and walked away.
Rinoa then sprinted to catch up with Ulga who was now almost out the door. Once Rinoa caught up, Ulga was unhappily tapping her foot while standing next to Alfred. "Alright, princess, I don't know how things are done where you come from, but here at Dissinile, we are prompt and when someone asks us to do something, it's done immediately. So, I don't want to have to wait for you again, understand?" Ulga's voice boomed throughout the fantastic halls of the palace. Rinoa's only response was a meek little nod. Then Alfred came to her rescue.
"Oh, Ulga, don't you think that you're being a little rough on the poor girl? This is only her second day here. You don't want to scare her away do you? Then you'd be a maid short, and I would have no one to assist me!" Rinoa's smile lit up her whole face as she realized that she'd be working with Alfred. At the sight of Rinoa's happiness, Alfred slipped a little wink her way.
Ulga grumbled in response then moved on, basically ignoring Alfred's comment. "You, princess, will be working for Alfred. You will be helping him assist in his duties working for the commander." Ulga then went on ranting about not messing up and how things are done in Dissinile…blah, blah, blah. Rinoa didn't hear a word. She'd have to work around the commander? Maybe these three months were going to be worse than she thought.
"Hey, princess! Are you listening to me?"
"Uh, yes, ma'am, I understand."
A/N Alright, I hope you guys liked it...I'm really sorry about the long wait...let me know what you think by clicking the magic review button!! :D
Thanks to my wonderful beta-er, Renegade Seraph!!! She's AMAZING!!! :D