Hi again! This is the last chapter. Hope you have enjoyed the story.
Chapter 10: An Angel Have Landed
(Sunday August 15th)
The next morning, Jane walked into the dorm that the twins shared and saw cupcakes everywhere. She looked at Julia who just picked out another badge from the oven.
"Have you baked the whole night?" She said as she picked one up. "These are Luna's favorite aren't they?"
"Yeah, Selphie asked me to do that some weeks ago for the Garden festival...But to be honest, with one sister missing and the other in the surgery I don't feel to much to party right now" Julia said with red eyes from crying. "I just had to do something other than just stare into the wall."
"I understand that." Jane said concerned as she walked to Julia and took her hands in hers. "Wrench operation went well at least and she should soon wake up. I think you should be there then. You and Wrench need each other right now."
"I...I guess you are right."
Raine woke up and looked around but all she succeeded to see was a lot of medical equipment and felt a light throbbing pain in her shoulder.
"Where...where are my sisters?" She asked still half asleep. ("I understand if not Julia is here by the way I have treated her lately, but I thought that Luna would be here at least.")
"I bet Julia will show up as soon she knows that you are awake." A nurse said.
"Yeah, but what about lil' sis?" Raine asked as she started to feel a little bit worried.
"I don't know how to tell you this but...she is MIA."
"WHAT?" Raine said now clearly awake. "You mean she is missing? Why the hell aren't you out looking?"
Julia walked out into the main hall together with Jane, but as fast they came trough the entrance they heard a lot of cursing and screams. ("Oh Hyne, she is already awake.")
"Where is she? Let the hell go of me."
"You have to calm down." A nurse could be heard.
"Where is my little sister?"
"You are not strong enough yet to walk on your own. You should go back to bed." Another nurse said
"I have to find her."
"Bring some sedative. She is out of control." A third nurse said
"No please, no needles. I can't find my sister f I am drugged" Finally Julia heard the panicked voice yell out and began to run towards the entrance to the infirmary. "NOOOooo"
When she arrived she saw her twin sister sinking down on the floor still just in her hospital robe and her arm in a sling sobbing quietly surrounded by exhausted nurses who called for a bed. She had also knocked one nurse down with her crutch "Please...let me go."
"Raine." Julia yelled as she ran to her twin and embraced her there on the floor .
"She is gone, she is gone. Our little sister is gone and no one is doing damn thing to find her " Raine cried against Julia's shoulder. "Why?...Why her? Of all people, why her?"
"Luna is tougher than she looks. She will come back." Julia said calm as tears streaming from her own eyes. Suddenly she noticed the crowd that had gathered around them. "What the fuck are you looking at?...Are you all enjoying the view?...Are all of you happy now that the little witch is gone huh?..CAN SOMEONE ANSER ME GODDAMMIT?...Or have everyone just lost their ability to speak all of sudden?"
"What the hell did Luna ever do to you to deserve to get treated like shit? " Julia said as she shed tears of anger while she cradled her crying twin.
"For Hyne's sake she were just a little girl and always sweet and kind towards everyone...But you just saw her as a sorceress. She...she didn't do anything wrong. All she wanted was to save her sister from dying." Julia continued.
"She is right." Suddenly Amanda said as she stepped forward and looked around the crowd. "We have all been fools, and what we have done is unforgivable. She always cared about us, but we still treated her like crap. And still she found it in her heart to forgive us. We who were her closest friends, but were the first ones to betray and abandon her."
"Where were we when she needed support and comforting like when her best friend died ?" Tiffany said as she to stepped forward. " We didn't even try to stop it when her kitten got thrown over the railing and all she could do was to watch as she got killed against the hovering ring. We scared her body and taunted her even more, almost crushing her to the verge of suicide...But that wouldn't have been suicide...Each one of us would have been smeared with her blood on our hands. I...I feel so ashamed for myself and the way I have acted."
"But you saw what powers she had." A boy said. "She is so powerful compared to the rest of us."
"Yes she is, but how have she used that power? She used it to protect us and have never used them against us willingly. She could simply just have walked away and let us fight ourselves...but she didn't." Now finally Kim walked forward. "She fought to protect us, even if she didn't owe us a shit. And thanks to her none of us did die."
"But she was a sorceress, a damn witch. Why are you protecting her?" Ewan said. "She almost fried me and she even broke your noose."
"Your brother has a point. He told us that he almost got killed by her." Her father said.
"So he did? Did you also told you what you tried to do when you got blasted?." Kim snapped now with tears to in her eyes as she looked at her parents and then at her brother. "Did you tell them that you tried to rape her when it happened? Did you tell them that you beat the very crap out of her last week? You if anyone should be happy that she where there...She saved my life despite the way we treated her...the way I treated her. She could easily have just watched me die of my injuries and burns...but she didn't. She even healed that broken noose that I so much deserve and shared my pain...and during that short time we merged I felt her pain...not physical pain but far worse...the scars in her soul we all have caused. She didn't hit either me or Tiffany to get revenge. She simply tried to survive. So sure she is a sorceress...but at the same time she was far more human than any of us all."
A deafening silence fell over the crowd as the shame came over the people.
"So instead of just standing here and doing nothing, each one of us who isn't injured or working with either repairs or tending to the injured would be out looking for her." Tiffany said in the end breaking the silence.
Squall walked into the conference room where Xu, Quistis, Seifer, Selphie, Irvine, Nida, Amie and Zell already had seated around the table.
"What are you doing here?" Quistis said concerned. "Why aren't you with Raine and Julia?"
"It is my duty to..."
"Cut that crap out." Seifer said angry."I thought that Rinoa taught you that some things are more valuable than work."
"Don't you think that I rather would be with them?" Squall said irritated. "For Hyne's sake, my youngest daughter is missing and my oldest is in the infirmary after surgery, but who will do my work if I don't?"
"We will do it." Quistis said calm as she walked to her friend. "Go to your daughters now. Take care of them and we will take care of the Garden."
"Yeah, tell them that we are going to do whatever it takes to find her." Selphie said. "The whole Trabia Garden is already out looking for her. To bad no one is of our own is out looking yet except for one. Kieth have barely slept or eaten anything between the rounds."
"Thank you guys." Squall said as he walked out, but when he came out from the elevator he saw something that surprised him.
"Your team will search around the Trabia west coast. Tessa and Chris will fly you there." Amanda said to some cadets before turning to towards Squall and saluted. "Commander, I know this may count as both mutiny and disobedience, but neither me Tiffany or Kim could wait for the formal orders to try to find her. And everybody else seems to have gotten swept into it to."
"Have I missed something? I thought you didn't care about her." Squall said confused.
"We didn't, and it was foolish of us. So the very least we can do to try to make up to her is to try to find her." Kim said as she walked by. "After all she did save us all, and me twice. By the way the team for the Shumi village is ready, but we have to hurry. A blizzard is coming."
Luna woke up in the cave where she had slept to regain some strength as she had hided away from the other sorceress. ("Where is she?")
She ate a SeeD-ration protein bar she had with her to breakfast before leaving the cave.
Just as she walked out up an energy blast came almost hitting her. Luna threw herself out of the way just in time.
"Why don't you just give up? You must be exhausted by that spell." Kiltea said as she sent another blast. "Why are you even fighting to protect them? Humans don't care about us sorceresses."
"I can't let more people die. And there are people caring about me." Luna said as she deflected the blow with her powers while she tried to get close to the other sorceress as she drew the gundaggers.
"You know nothing about humans nature, do you? You don't know how it feels to see the one you love getting killed right before your eyes while no one did anything to prevent it." Kiltea said with venomous voice as she again charged with her spear against Luna. "You will never understand the pain I felt when I watched him die."
Then another memory flashed by inside her mind of how she tried to save her friend in Dollet just a few days ago just as she heard Kiltea's words and felt it sting in her heart.
"I...I know the pain. My best friend died in Dollet after stepping on an explosive...and I couldn't do anything despite how hard I tried. It completely broke my heart to not being able to save her despite my powers." Luna said as she blocked while tears started to emerge in her icy blue eyes. "I felt so guilty for not being able to help her."
"I see...So that is why you fight against me." Kiltea said with a cruel smile while she made another move towards Luna. "You are trying to get revenge. Oh I can feel your hate towards me. We are quite the same you and I, seeking revenge for a dead loved one."
"No, I don't hate you. Despite that fact you attacked my home and threatened my family. Despite the fact you are the reason that my best friend is dead. Despite thanks to you I am going to have a scar in my face..I don't hate you." Luna said as a tear trailed down her cheek. "I feel sorry for you. That you have become so full of bitterness and hate that you have forgotten how to love. That all you are capable to feel is hate."
"I don't fight with hate towards anyone but with love for my friends. Revenge only leads to more pain and suffering. " Luna continued. "I fight because I don't want anymore innocents to die...So please let us end this fight before anyone get killed. Let us show the world that sorceresses are not to be feared, that we are humans to."
Luna deflected another blow from Kiltea as she looked up and the fury in her eyes told her that the words didn't reach her, that the hate was to strong in her. "Humans will never accept us."
"NOW YOU DIE TRAITOR." Kiltea screamed as she threw herself towards Luna in full speed.
("This isn't good.")
Back in the Garden's infirmary, Raine had just gotten back to bed and Julia sat by her side.
"Julia, I... "
"You don't need to say anything." Julia said with a soft voice.
"Yes I do. I have been such a jerk towards you and Jane and I am so sorry for that." Raine said with shame. "You see. We have always been different in everything except the look, but some have expected us to share the same abilities just because we are twins. Like you have always had easy to take contact with people and the only contact I usually make is when they make me mad and I hit them...But when we had our night chats about boys I felt connected with you, like we at least had something more than just our blood in common...Now I wonder if it meant anything to you or if you just pretended to make me happy?"
"Our night chats are just as important for me as they are to you for the exact same reason." Julia said. "We are sisters and always will be. And even if it is not about boys, I hope we will continue with them. So of course I will forgive you."
"Thanks sis." Raine with a faint smile but then turned serious. "Do you think lil' sis will come back?"
"Of course she will." They heard a voice and saw their father stood at the door. "She is strong so she will make it back somehow. I just know it."
Jane walked to Luna's dorm where she found Kieth tending to the memorial shrine Luna had for her late kitten.
"I thought I would find you here." She said as she walked up to him.
"Yeah, tending to this is the least I can do for her after failing her when she needs me." He said. "I wanted to go out with the next search party, but they turned me down and told me to rest...but how am I going to rest when she is out there?...Just what a great knight I am."
"What do you mean?" She frowned confused.
"It was my duty as a knight to protect her. " Kieth said with a trembling voice. " Every time I walk in here I am hoping to find her singing or smiling, dammit even crying is better...than to find her room empty. Just because I failed her...she is gone."
"You didn't fail her. You where there for her when she needed it and gave her your support. And believe me, I have known her almost since she was born and I know that if she can she will come back." Jane said as she laid a hand on his shoulder. "Come, I bet your family is worried about you."
Luna dodged get another attack and counterattacked and now the storm started to reach full power..
Suddenly without a warning Kiltea sent an energy burst towards her wish threw her to the ground where she lie trying to get up as Kiltea now stood over her with the spear. She felt dizzy as she tried to rise up. Her uniform was tattered and blood came from some open wounds.
"Time for you to meet your maker and then I will rule the world and taking revenge on it." Kiltea said as she held the spear, ready to impale the girl. "Here you have the reward for helping others."
("I...I can't get up.") Luna thought as she tried to crouch away. ("Is this the end? Will I die now?")
("I...I don't want to die. I have to much to live for now, to many people that cares about me and will be sad if I disappear. Dad, Raine, Julia...Kieth. I...I will die if I don't do anything fast.") Luna thought as she fought herself up on her knees and just as Kiltea stroke down her spear Luna deflected it with one of her gundaggers and then with all her strength plunged the other straight towards Kiltea's abdomen as she closed her eyes. ("I don't want to kill you but others will die if I don't stop you.")
She felt the blade hit something as she fired a round and and when she opened her eyes she saw one of the Silverwings deeply embedded into Kiltea's stomach.
"You...you killed me." Kiltea said furious with her last breaths.
"I...I am sorry...I didn't...want to kill anyone...But you gave me no other choice." Luna said with a weak trembling voice as tears streamed from her eyes, blending with the blood from coming from the reopened gash in her forehead. A pillar of energy shot out from Kiltea and hit her and she got lying there in the cold snow out of exhaustion.
Luna forced herself up and felt cold in her whole body as she started to collect firewood, even if she felt her head spin and knelled down. ("Oh, great. Not enough that I have ruined yet another uniform. I am also injured again. Why...why won't the world stop spinning?")
She succeeded to gather some sticks and lighted it with some matches and there she sat as she tried to get some heat in her body as she lie down on a bed of pine that she had made.. ("I wonder if someone is out looking for me? My family might be out along with their friends. Maybe not Raine because she looked pretty beaten up, even if they have to restrain her in her bed. Kieth might be out to.")
("Dad is going to kill me for messing up yet another uniform if not this cold get me first.") She thought playfully, just to try to ease her mood up as she closed her fist around the rings that once had belonged to her mother.
An hour went by without a trace of help.
("How will the others react after seeing what my powers are capable of? Will they despise me even more? Maybe even fear me? ") She thought as she saw the fire starting to die out, but she didn't have the strength to gather more firewood due to her injuries. ("I...I will probably never know, because even if dad, Julia and Kieth is out looking, they will never find me in time. So cold...So sleepy.")
With that last thought everything went black.
In the dream Luna once again walked in the flower field surrounded by fog. She heard a familiar squeaking sound as a black cat with a familiar white spot formed like a crescent moon on the chest came running from the shadows and stroke its body against her leg.
"Moonbeam, What are you doing here?" Luna exclaimed as she knelled down and picked her up.
"She is just happy to see you." A figure said as it approached from the fog.
"M-May, is that you?" Luna asked with trembling voice still holding her kitten.. ("Can it really be her?")
"Yes it is me." Her friend said as she walked out from the shadows smiling. "Thank you for forgiving me."
"No please forgive me." Luna said almost hysterical. "I...I couldn't keep my promise to you. I couldn't save you. I really tried, but I failed."
"Luna, you did your best and that what counts so you have nothing to feel sorry about." May said with a smile. "Thanks to you I could die in peace."
"You two were quite good friends." Another figure said approaching from the shadows to.
"Mom? What is happening?" Luna asked confused.
"You are between the world of the living and the realm of the dead where we return to the life stream and get reborn." Rinoa said
"Am I...dead?" Luna asked. " Is that why I can talk with you and May? Is that why I am standing here, holding Moonbeam?"
"Not yet, but you have to hurry. Try to call out to your knight trough your emotional bond. Your father used that when I drifted in space twenty years ago." Rinoa said as she stroke Luna's hair. "You don't belong here in this realm."
"I...I don't deserve that. I...I killed her. I didn't mean to, but I killed my enemy. I never wanted to kill anyone...But I did it" Luna said with teary eyes. "...I did it."
"You had to." Rinoa said gentle as she stroke Luna over the cheek. "She was so consumed by hate that the real person inside her died long ago, leaving only a shadow of hate behind inside her. You gave her peace."
"Just like you gave me. I would never have been that happy as I was when I died if it hadn't been for you." May said.
"Sis, are you coming?" Another familiar voice was heard.
"Wasn't that...Meyrin?" Luna asked astonished.
"Yeah. She calls for me so it would be a shame to let her wait." May answered with a big smile. "Farewell my friend. Hope that next time we see each other you will be gray and old."
May disappeared into the fog and Luna stood there with her mother.
"Now. Call for your knight. "
Luna concentrated and tried to send a thought to Keith.
Back at the Garden, all search teams had returned unsuccessful in their search and the mood were quite low inside the main hall. Everyone had gathered, including the Leonhart family with one short and Raine who was leaning against a crutch.
"We have searched everywhere without finding her." Tiffany said. "Not even a trace have we found."
"Yeah. If she is somewhere here around I thought that we should have found her by now." Amanda said. "Dammit, what was she trying to prove by engaging that sorceress on her own?"
"She didn't try to prove anything at all. That is just what she does. Protecting others." Kim said. "If I just had been nicer to her. But now it is to late."
"Don't tell me that you are giving up, are you?" Julia almost yelled.
"But we don't know where to look. She can be anywhere." Kim said. "Some of those who have been searching have given up the hope to find her and started to leave memorial gift by her room."
"Luna is not dead. I won't accept it." Raine burst out in anger. "She didn't give up on me when I was sick, so I wont give up on her."
The mood sank even more and some sobs could be heard over the silence.
Suddenly Kieth heard something inside his mind. ["Kieth, do you hear me? I am near the Trabia crater. Please hurry. It's so cold...so cold."]
"Luna?" Kieth whispered before looking at the others. "Everybody, I know where Luna is."
"Where? How?" Squall said as he looked at the boy in disbelief.
Julia and Raine were to chocked to say anything at all.
"She is near the Trabia Crater and alive, but we got to hurry because she said she is freezing bad." Kieth said. "I don't know how, but I could hear her inside my head."
"Okay, we need volunteers to the search team and some people to gather blankets and other medical supplies." Quistis said taking the charge. "Selphie, could you and Irvine take the Ragnarok and transport everything?"
"Of course. Let us handle that." Selphie said cheery. "Don't worry Squall. We will get Luna back."
An half an hour later they reached the crater and the search teams divided and started looking through the forest.
Kieth and Squall, who where in the same team looked through the northern parts of the forest. Suddenly Kieth got a strange feeling, drawing him in a direction. Then he saw her lying there. It still came some smoke from the died out bonfire. He rant towards her and knelled down.
"I have found her." He yelled to Squall as he stroke her cheek. "Luna, please say something."
But Luna just lie there silent with a shallow breathing. Her lips were blue against her pale skin.
Back at the Garden, Julia who where on hospital duty and Raine who still weren't strong enough to participate in the search stood by the radio listening for news. Then the radio cracked and Squall's voice could be heard. "We have found her. I repeat, we have found her."
"She is alive." Julia yelled happy as she first hugged Jane and then her twin as tears of pure happiness streamed down her cheeks. "Did you hear? She really is alive."
"And she is coming home" Raine said as tears emerged in her eyes to. "...She is coming home."
But the new found joy sank as the message continued. "She is unconscious and she is suffering from serious hypothermia. She also has open wounds We need a snow vessel and blankets and a stretcher fast."
A few minutes later they rolled a stretcher into the infirmary with a figure that almost reminded of a mummy, wrapped up in blankets over her whole body except the face.
Raine and Julia met their father's tired figure.
"Daddy, will...will she make it?" Julia asked with a shaky voice.
"Please, tell us she will be okay." Raine pledged.
"I...I don't know. She is in pretty bad condition according to Dr Kadowaki." Squall said. "They do all they can. All we can do is pray and hope."
"Daddy." Both Raine and Julia said with tears in their eyes as they got embraced by their father in a similar way as he had done fourteen years ago.
Kieth stood there talking with his family. "I know that you haven't seen me as much as you had hoped for due to the battle and everything that followed...But...well you see..."
"That girl really means a lot to you. Doesn't she?" His father said with a smile. "Go to her. She needs you more than we do right now. After all are we staying for a whole week, so we have the time to meet later."
Keith looked at his father and then his mother who nodded approving. "Thanks mom, thanks dad."
He walked into the infirmary. Luna lie there in the bed with IV-tubes and wires allover her body and bandages were wrapped around her wounds. She got oxygen by a nasal cannula. Raine could be seen fighting against the tears beside their father and Julia got supported by Jane.
He grabbed her hand gently, whispering. "Please, wake up Angeleye. Everything around here is so quiet and dull without you. We need you."
Inside the dreamworld Luna could hear a voice talking to her.
("Kieth? That is Kieth's voice.")
"It is time for you to wake up now." Her mother said smiling.
"Will...will I ever see you again?" Luna asked with an unsteady voice.
"In time, but I will always watch over you and your sisters, so good bye but not farewell."
Luna opened her eyes and with a weak voice she croaked. "Where...where am I?"
"You are in the infirmary. You are safe now." Kieth said in a gentle voice.
"Kieth...y-you came for me."
"Yeah, I heard your call." Kieth said."You are safe now."
"I-I knew that you would c-come looking for me." Luna said as she with teary eyes fought herself up and threw her arms around Kieth's neck and he returned her embrace. "I never doubted that you would come looking for me."
Raine hugged her father happily and Julia embraced Jane hard.
"I promised you that I would never leave you, didn't I?" Kieth said he to with tears in his eyes.
"Maybe it is not the time to talk about it right now, but maybe you could fill us in about what happened to Kiltea later. We found her body not far from where we found you." Squall said concerned.
"I...I killed her." Luna said as she still clenched her arms around Kieth's neck for dear life while shaking from the sobs. "She didn't want to stop fighting so she gave me no other choice. More people...more innocents would had died if I hadn't done anything because she was so full of hate that nothing else inside her existed...No love or joy...Nothing else than anger and sadness."
"It must have been though for you." Squall said as he laid his hand on her shoulder in a supportive gesture. "I had hoped that none of you ever would need to shed blood."
"It...it's okay. Now she has found peace and I am glad that I did it out of love and the wish to protect instead of vengeance." Luna said. "I am just glad that I have you all."
A little while later they had left the infirmary to let Luna rest and Raine, Julia and Jane had walked to the cafeteria and met up with Chris and Tessa.
"How is Luna doing?" Tessa asked concerned.
"She is doing pretty well." Julia said. "It is just that..."
"What?" Chris asked.
"During these last few days she seem to have grown older." Raine said. "It feels like she has matured a bit to fast for her age. She is after all just fourteen."
"She is the only one her age who have spilled blood to. Amanda succeeded in blowing up the cannons without killing someone." Julia said. "She is actually the cadet with most experience from death."
Back inside the infirmary, Luna and Kieth still talked after Keith had returned from dinner.
"How did the hospital-food taste?" Kieth asked.
"It tasted like it always does. I have had better. But at least it is food." Luna said playfully with a small laughter.
"Yeah, I can imagine." Kieth answered. "When are they going to let you out from here?"
"They at least want to keep me over the night." She said, but then turned serious. "You know out there...I actually thought for a while that it was the end. That you wouldn't find me before it was to late."
"I have to admit that it looked dark for a while, but when I heard your call we knew where to search."
"How does the others react? After seeing what kind of powers that reside inside me I mean?" Luna asked afraid of the answer. "Are...they afraid of me?"
"To be feared is even worse than hated. I...I don't think I can take it being feared, because then they will think I am capable of hurting them...But I will never hurt them...Despite everything they done to me, I will never hurt them." She sobbed quietly. "Why...why had things to turn out this way?"
"Try not think about things like that right now. It is better that you try to regain your strength." Kieth said as he gently cradled her against his shoulder. "Everything will be fine...I promise, everything will be just fine."
Inside the conference room Squall and the rest sat by the table.
"How are the repairs of the Garden going?" Squall asked.
"They are going just fine Trabia Garden had a spare hovering generator because they want to remain stationary." Zell said. "We are installing it right now."
"Sounds good. Then we are soon up and running on full capacity." Squall said before turning to Selphie. "How is the festival plans going?"
"They are going smoothly, even if we had to change the theme." Selphie said happy. "Everybody helped, even those who aren't in the festival committee."
"My Sefie-babe have really put her soul into this whole new theme." Irvine said.
"It will be a pleasure to see what you have succeeded with. Especially what new theme you might have come up with." Squall said as he turned towards Dr Kadowaki. "How is the status with the wounded?"
"Nearly everyone have been able to leave the infirmary. Right now it is just one bed that is still occupied, and I want her to remain over the night at least. But I think she can leave tomorrow." Dr Kadowaki said. "But I want to have a word with you later. Not as the Commander but as a father."
"That is okay." Squall said before turning towards Quistis and Xu. "What do you think about that issue we have discussed regarding the rewards for outstanding accomplishments?"
"We still think it is a great idea." Quistis said.
"Those kids have really deserved it." Xu followed. "Especially one of them."
"Then how about the disciplinary measures then?" Squall said as he turned towards the last member in the board.
"The only news I got is that I am going to release Tiffany from her latrine duty due to the request from your daughter, because she thought that she had learned her lesson." Seifer said. "I personally would liked her to continue with it because never have the toilets looked better, but try to say no to that little lady."
"I know what you mean when it comes to her ability to care about others well being, it is hard to say no." Squall said. "Then this meeting is over for now. Next meeting is tomorrow after the opening ceremony."
Up in the ballroom, Julia nailed up a banner while Raine was holding the ladder for her because of the sling she still carried her arm in.
"This will be so great. Selphie's and Tessa's idea of this years theme will be just great, even if it got changed in the last minute. But everybody that can is helping with the preparations." Julia exclaimed in delight.
"Here comes the last box of cupcakes." Jane said as she put down the box on a table.
"I can barely wait for tomorrow." Raine said smiling. "This will be the best Garden Festival ever."
(Monday August 16th)
Next day Kieth walked into the infirmary and found Luna dressed in her black jeans and a black t-shirt and her cap and fingerless leather gloves and of course the belts for the gundaggers. Her hair was yet again in a ponytail. He could see a bandage around her left arm and the wound on her forehead
"Hi Angeleye. Slept well?" He said as she noticed him and gave him a thin smile.
"Well, not really. I have been worrying about what might happen on today's opening ceremony the whole night. Will they fear me or will they pull pranks on me? The only reason that I look fresh as I do is because I just had a shower. And on top of that is the uniforms in my size out of stock right now wish makes me excused from wearing it like the rest." Luna said with an insecure frown. "For a while I even considered not going...but commander's orders are still orders."
"Believe me. Nothing bad will happen. Actually they where quite worried when you were missing and they were even out looking for you when you was missing." Kieth said reassuring as he looked her deep in the eyes as he tenderly stroke her cheek.
"They did?" Luna said in disbelief. ("They really helped search for me?")
"Yeah, so come now." Kieth said with a warm smile. "It will be fun. I promise."
"Okay. Hope you are right." Luna said a bit uncertain.
They walked out in the main hall wish looked deserted with only the decorations up.
"Where is everybody?" Luna wondered a bit uneasy.
"They are up in the ballroom." Kieth said. "We should get going."
A few minutes later they stood outside the ballroom.
"Are you ready?" Kieth said with a calm voice.
"Yeah...I guess." Luna said unsure of what to expect.
They walked into the room wish was pitch black.
(""What is going on?) Luna thought as she followed Kieth by holding his hand.
"SURPRISE!" Everyone yelled as the light turned on.
"Wh-what...is going on?" Luna asked both chocked and confused as she looked around the ballroom while her covering her mouth with one hand.
On the banners it stood phrases like. "Glad to have you back Luna." And similar things.
"Well thanks to us you have missed out two Garden Festivals because you had to hide from us, so we decided along with the Festival Committee to dedicate this one to you with the message of understanding and love." Tiffany said as she along with Kim and Amanda walked forward.
"We know that this won't make up for all we have done to you, and some things will we never be able to make up to you for. " Amanda continued. "But at least it is a little payback for everything you have done for us."
"As we said before. We have been fools treating you the way we did." Kim said. "And even so, you still helped us all."
"I...I don't know what to say." Luna said as some tears of happiness trailed down her cheek.( "Is this really happening?...Have they...started to accept me? They don't fear or hate me? It all feels like a dream.")
"You don't have to say anything." Tiffany said. "It is we who shall ask for forgiveness."
Just then Selphie entered the stage along with Squall and Quistis and Xu who whore their uniforms to.
"Before we start the opening ceremony for the annual Garden Festival, there are some things our Commander want to say." Selphie said cheery as always. "Let us all give a big applaud four our Commander Squall Leonheart."
Squall walked to the microphone and started to speak. "Recently we had a pretty hard battle and some of us got some smaller wounds, but fortunately no one died and we ended up victorious..For that we have a few cadets especially to thank for. So when I speak up your name, I want you to come up and receive your medal."
"Tiffany Lily Anderson, may you come up here." Squall called out and when the surprised girl had reached him he continued. "For your organizing skills and skills in bringing the others with you during the search, you hereby receive The Cross Of Tactics."
"Thank you sir." Tiffany said as she saluted and walked and took a place in the back of the stage as the applause was heard.
"Next up is Amanda Dahlia Brown." Squall announced as the next surprised girl walked up and stood beside him. "For excellent marksman skills you hereby receive The Sniper's Cross."
Amanda to thanked and gave the SeeD-salute and took place next to Tiffany.
"Next one up is Kim Lisa McGee." Squall announced next. "For your ability to relay important information and helping to organize the offensive front line you hereby receive The Bird Of Messenger."
She repeated the same as the others before standing next to her friends.
"Kieth Olaf Cornwall. May you come up here?" Squall said as the boy made his way there and took the same place the others had done once before him.
He could see how Luna's eyes looked at him proudly as she smiled at him as he returned her smile.
"For having comforted a fellow cadet and backed the same one up in the times of need, you hereby receive The Heart Of Companionship."
"Thank you sir." Kieth said as he repeated the same procedure and took place next by the others.
"Now last but not least. For having backed up and cared for her comrades despite her delicate situation, to have done far more than her duty demanded and risked her life for to save and protect others and at the same time shown good judgment." Squall now announced proudly. "Luna Rinoa Leonhart is hereby rewarded with Balamb Garden's highest nomination The Star Of Honor."
Luna stood there petrified and didn't know what to do. Suddenly she felts something she hadn't felt for two whole years, encouraging pats on her back and words as she slowly made her way towards the podium where her father stood waiting still with a proud smile. ("Is...is this really happening? No insults or other harassment? It is far to good to be true.")
She stepped up at the podium and looked at her teammates who nodded smiling at her, especially Kieth.
"I am proud of you and always have been." Her father said as he hung the medal around her neck.
"Thank you sir." Luna said with a happy smile and tears in her eyes as the room nearly exploded of the applause from the other cadets and SeeD,
From the crowd, she could hear them almost chanting. "Speech, speech, speech."
("What...what should I say?") Luna thought almost desperately, but calmed herself when she saw Kieth's and the others encouraging smiles. She looked out over the crowd and saw her sisters giving the same smiles. She took her place at the podium and drew some deep breaths and then the words slowly emerged in her head.
"I...I am glad and thankful for the nomination and there are some people I want to thank for supporting me along the way. First my father Squall Aaron Leonhart along with my sisters Raine Sarah and Julia Anne Leonhart. I also want to thank Keith who have been there for me trough a really tough period and supporting me along the way. And both in my mind and heart I am very thankful to my old friend May Nikita Lindsay and my mother Rinoa Allison Heartily Leonhart who both sadly have left this world."
The applauders thundered once again as she rose her hand to show that she had more to say.
"I am also thankful for finally gotten accepted for the one I am...to walk around without being afraid for what will come...But it is also a fact that two years of bullying have left wounds, some of them really deep that will take time to heal and it will take some time and effort for me to learn to trust you all again...as it will take for you to earn that trust."
"But I hope that this will be a start for a new better future where we can lie everything that has happened behind us."
Now the roof almost lifted due to the applauders and whistles from the crowd. Again they started to chant that they wanted her to sing.
"Okay okay, but I need a band." Luna said almost overwhelmed.
"Don't worry. Let us play like old times." Tiffany said as her regained friends took the instruments. "I know that we are one short, but maybe Kieth can fill her place on the stage."
"I would love that." Luna answered before turning to the audience. "For the first time in two years, we are going to play so listen closely."
The four friends started to play as a silence drew over the crowd that was listening as she began to sing.
"For a long time"
"It feels like I wandered in darkness"
"With just a candle to light my pat"
"The candle's flame, almost perished by wind of despair"
"Burns stronger now, than ever have before"
"Lighting up the road to the future"
"Never will I have to be afraid."
"Now that the darkness will vanish"
"Banned by the light from the candles flame"
"And that candle is called hope"
The whole day went on with a lot of fun and not once did anyone try to play tricks on her and Luna knew that the coming future would be quite interesting.
This were the last chapter in this story and I hope you have enjoyed it. I am going to write two stories more about the three Leonhart sisters. One about what happened after and one about what really took place two years ago that placed Luna in that situation. I would be very very grateful is you could leave a review about the story.