Ok, first and foremost, none of these characters, except my originals,are mine. They belong to Square. So, please, with this stated, don't sue me. Also, this is my first fanfic, be a little easy. Please review. I hope you enjoy!



Everlasting Fantasy

It was a dark, silent, peaceful night. The large white moon reflected itself upon the seas, over which Balamb Garden was hovering. The stars shining brightly, yet gently. So very relaxing, so very quiet. Behind her, music and laughter was echoing in the ballroom. That room, where she first saw him. Rinoa Heartilly stood outside the ballroom, looking out towards the open sea, the wind blowing back her long dark brown hair. She rested her elbows on the railing, as those blue eyes looked dreamily into the heavens. Beside her was Squall, he was pretty silent right now, with his head hung low with brown locks of hair covering his face from her sight. She sighed gently to herself; She knew that they were both relieved, so happy Ultimecia was gone at long last. But he seemed so quiet, not troubled, just quiet.

"Hey, look! It's Rinoa! Irvine, get Rinoa on the cam!"Selphie squealed out, bouncing and pointing to the balcony.

"Hey, settle down, I'll get her Sefie."Irvine replied with that same tone he had. He flicked back a few strands of hair, and walked over to Rinoa with the cam corder. However, the batteries went dead."Darn it!We need new batteries...Sefie, go get some!"

"Ok Irvine."She replied, and walked off, looking for batteries."Hmm..batteries batteries batteries.."

"Thanks Sefie..huh?Hey ladies..!"Irvine was always Irvine, as he walked off to a group of female SeeDs, with the killer grin, and loner personality.

Rinoa looked up again, after hearing Selphie and Irvine's voice to Squall, to see if he had noticed. She lifted her head up, and was shocked to see him looking at her from the side of his eye. She smiled so sweetly, like an angel. Her eyes lit up, as he smiled for what seemed the first time. She then lifted up her arm, and held up a single finger, but Squall walked to her all the same. They were alone now, no one else was watching.

"Squall..you look so happy!"Rinoa breathed out. She was taken by such surprise by him. She put her arms around him, holding onto him never wanting to let go. This was the most happiest moment of her life she thought. She was by him, and for once he didn't move back, instead, he put his arms around her, holding her close.

"That's because I am happy Rinoa...is something wrong?"He told her, almost so low even she could barely hear it. He said it, however, with a tone she had never heard from him. The last part, of course, wasn't exactly a question either. More like a comment that everyone would laugh at, since before, there was always something wrong. But not now.

He didn't wait for a response. He pulled her close to him, with her arms wrapped around. She didn't bother answering, because there was a more important statement to be made right now, and not by means of words. As they embraced, their heads pulled closer, and then their lips found each others, as they hugged each other fondly.

Rinoa was in shock, speechless. But she enjoyed it all, even if she felt as though she wasn't in her right senses. Could this be Squall? She thought. I never imagined him to be this...loving. It was almost hard for her to think the word, as she blushed to a light pink shade. When this was done, she decided, I will tell him how I really feel!

___________________________________________________________________________ _______

Morning. The light shined in between the white shades of her dorms window. Rinoa rose up in her bed, rubbing her eyes gently. After they came back, Rinoa immediately, thanks to Cid, had gotten a dorm. Either from coincidence, or because Cid was such a nice man, she got it right by Squall's.

"Squall!"Rinoa gasped to herself outloud. She sat there, upright, in that single dorm's bed, white sheets pushed off the side, only enough still at the foot of the bed to cover her feet. Rinoa thought in an almost dreamlike state of last night. He kissed me, she thought. Then, with more force she spoke to herself in a whisper. "He kissed me...and afterwards I wanted to tell him how I felt, but all I could say was I love you. But he said 'That's all you need to say, Rinoa, because I feel the same way'..then, the rest of the night we both had fun with our friends.."The words echoed in her mind, as a smile burst out upon her pink lips.

She slowly got out of bed in her blue flannel pajamas. As she made it up, she hummed almost wanting to dance. But she only hummed happily, the song she learned from her mother, about being in love. Afterwards, she got dressed in her usual, and cleaned up her dorm. She didn't bother eating breakfast, as she wasn't even hungry. She walked over to the door, and turned around observing her dorm, then with a smile of satisfaction that she had it looking perfect, she opened the door, and exited, closing it back behind her. I guess, she thought, I'll go to the library and read some old magazines.

Quistis and Selphie sat in the back of the library, doing some research on GF's. Selphie was still nervous from the memory loss incident, and wanted Quistis' help with it, since she was an instructor at one time. Selphie had her mind set on finding a safe way to junction GF's, or maybe even another way to use them. Selphie, of course, thought anything was possible.

"Hi Selphie, hi Quistis!"Rinoa exclaimed as she saw the two in the back. "I didn't expcet to see you both here, what are you doing?"

"Oh Hi Rinoa! We're, me and Quistis, are doing some GF research. I hope we find a way to save our memories....wanna help?"

"I thought we had all unjunctioned our GFs though."Rinoa said, somewhat confused.

"We did."Quistis replied matter of factly. "But they still might be needed, and if so, then we will once again be at risk of losing more memories. I do believe, however, that will be a long time."

"But! But you never know! We might need them!"Selphie begged. She had a point, but so did Quistis.

"Well, I don't think we should even worry about that. Everything will be fine!"Rinoa said. She did believe that too, as Rinoa always lived for the moment, and anything too far ahead to see wasn't even worth considering.

"I hope you're right.."Selphie said lowly, but soon perked up again, as always."Hey, Rinoa, what were you and Squall doing last night? You came out from the balcony looking like you were in a daze!"

Rinoa blushed as soon as the words escaped Selphies mouth. She really didn't feel like talking about Squall out in public, and even worse, with Quistis right there. Quistis had calmly, and without trouble, given Squall up. But Rinoa didn't want to be mean and rub it in her face that she had Squall; Quistis may not have been a best friend to Rinoa, but she was still a friend.

"Well...uhh..we were just talking. That's all...."Rinoa wished to have sounded more calm, and certain, but she was lucky to have not stuttered.

"I don't buy that! We don't buy that, huh Quistis?"Selphie was getting over excited again.

"Selphie, please, calm down."Quistis said somewhat annoyed. Quistis always had a bit of a short temper.

"Well, I guess I will be off to check on Angelo. She's got the cutest little pen in the entrance of the training center, where there aren't any monsters. It was so nice of Cid to put her there, where there is grass and stuff. Maybe she will feel more at home that way."

"Ok, bye Rinoa!"Selphie said happily"Seeya later, ok!"

"Goodbye Rinoa."Quistis said, friendly, but it was obvious she was annoyed at them both.

___________________________________________________________________________ _______

It was sunset. Quistis Trepe looked over to the sea from the quad. The Garden Festival Members who were already practicing for the next Garden Festival had left, and as they were leaving, Quistis had decided to come and talk to Selphie a bit. The two were good friends now, though Quistis did occasionaly lose her cool. They had worked together though, and unlike Rinoa, Selphie was a SeeD, so she felt as though Selphie and her could talk more closely. However, when she arrived, Selphie had done left to the cafeteria to go eat. Quistis decided to not go hunting for her, and just stayed here, because there wasn't much more to do.

".....if only I was still an instructor. Then, there would be something for the Trepe to do."Quistis threw out to nowhere. She now realized to herself, that even after she was fired, there were still duties. She was never lost. "Never until now!"She nearly screamed out in anger. She took a deep breath, then sighed and continued to look into the sea,now red from the setting sun in it's horizon.And now,she thought, I am depressed. Frustrated and depressed. Then, she buried her head in her arms, and cried to herself softly, with a few fits of anger in between.

"Hey Selphie, Trepe wants you."Said one of Selphie's Garden Fest members."She's in the Quad."

"Oh,ok! I'll be there in a moment!"Selphie said, as she left her half full cup of cherry soda, and completely untouched handful of fries on the tables as she rushed out of the cafeteria.

"Tell her that,not me.."The member mumbled."I don't guess she wants those..."

Selphie ran into the Quad, then as she approached her, she slowed down to a slow walk. "Hiya Quisty! What's wrong?"

".............Nothing."Quistis replied bluntly. I only wish it was true, she told herself. Then, unable to handle the pain, she figured she would let Selphie know a little, but the details were not going to her. "I'm just a little depressed and upset. I wanted to talk to you earlier, to keep me busy I suppose, since Xu has been working pretty hard with Nida lately to assist Cid."

"Wasn't it SQUALL who was in charge now?"Selphie asked.

"When it came to fighting the sorceress. But Cid must've realized finally that Squall is just a teenager, he shouldn't be running a Garden. So he decided to go back to being in charge. Of course, I'm sure Squall will be the heir to Garden."

"Yeah, 'bout time Squall got a break!"Selphie exclaimed with a giggle.

"Yeah."Was Quistis' simple reply.

"So...what's got you down?"Selphie said, more calm now, making Quistis very happy.

".....I just don't know what to do anymore, that's all Selphie. If you don't mind, I think I'll be heading to my dorm now."Quistis then walked off to her dorm, without another word, glance, or feeling.

"Quisty?"Was Selphie's simple response.

Quistis walked down to the dorms, and along the way to hers, she passed Squall's. She pushed the thought of him out of her head, but when she realized that the next dorm she was looking at was Rinoa's, she couldn't handle it. She knew that Squall and Rinoa had gotten together, even if it was unsaid. But the pressure was unbearable to her. Would I ever talk to Squall again, or ever see Rinoa in the same way again?she thought. But, then again, I always thought of Rinoa as a bit of a brat...Quistis shook her head, and then, in the hallway, in front of Squall's door, the flattened out her golden hair, and brought a more cheerful look to herself. Only she knew that it was fake. Then, she reached the doorknob, and opened the door.

Squall looked up from his bed, which he had been sitting on before she had entered. He was surprised to see Quistis there, smiling down on him, but still hiding something. Just my imagination, he thought."Hey Quistis."He said with a nod. "What brings you here?"

"Oh, I just thought I would like to talk Squall."Already, she had let herself out. She figured that she should go ahead and start it. Find out what you want to know, she told herself. "Squall...the other night about you and Rinoa..."

"What about Rinoa?"Squall said. It came out more sharply than intended. He could have sworn he saw Quistis flinch. "...Sorry, I didn't mean it like that."Then with a more reasonable tone, he added."Now...what was it you wanted to know.?"

"Well,not to get the wrong idea Squall,"A slight giggle, to try and throw him off. "But...we all know how you and Rinoa like each other...but I just keep wondering, how much do you love her? Don't take it the wrong way..."Quistis felt like hitting herself. She might as well just said Squall I love you, leave Rinoa for me please.

"Love her..."Squall said it with consideration at first, then with a much more uneased tone, he stated. "Quistis...I like her. No, I do love her, but..."Squall had truly begun to love Rinoa, but he tended to take sudden mood swings if anything was said about her the wrong way. It was now he would wish he didn't. "Quistis! Can't we find a more...suitable subject?!"

Quistis was shocked. She should have expected this. Her and Squall could never get close."Well,I was just thinking of trying to have a conversation about something you like! I'm sorry if I offended you."Then, with a look of pure anger, Quistis left. He loves her...and I'm nothing. And Squall just stayed in his dorm, shocked at his own words.

Once Quistis reached her dorm, she spoke outloud, to herself. A voice as cold as ice. "I, Quistis Trepe, will no longer worry about Squall and such things as love for all I am concerned!"Quistis knew she would care for Squall, but love was out of the question. He was now only a friend. But even so, there would always be something. And she would always remember her first crush.

___________________________________________________________________________ _______

Squall went through the next day with low spirits. He hadn't intentionaly meant to snap at Quistis, but he didn't like the tone in her voice. Like she despised Rinoa. No one will think that of Rinoa! was all he could think at the time. In his eyes, he was her sorceress' knight, but also a protector. Now he thought he was crazy. I sound like Seifer, he told himself. He decided the best thing to do was get out of his dorm and go fight of some monsters.

"7 already."Squall mused. He had just entered the training center, and in a matter of 3 minutes, killed 7 grats. "I'm lucky I haven't found a T- Rexaur."He mumbled to himself. Then, speak of the devil. A T-Rexaur came prowling, and it's eyes landed on Squall. He prepared himself, and drew out his gunblade, and watched the gigantic dinosaur approach him. He charged at it soon enough, bringing down his gunblade through it's thick hide. It growled in pain, and counterattacked with a hard hitting swing of it's tail. One blow, and Squall was already weakened. He was in a desperate state, when suddenly, his adrenaline increased, and he charged once again, but with impulse. He performed Renzokuken, slicing several times into the beast, and finished with Lion Heart. However, it just wouldn't die.

By fate, Rinoa had appeared. She had been searching for Squall, and since he wasn't in his dorm, must have been killing grats again. Something, she guessed, must have eased his nerves. But what she saw wasn't at all pleasing. Squall was being beaten by a T-Rexaur. She rushed to his side immediately, shouting. "Squall!I'm here now."

He looked up, and by him was Rinoa, her Blaster Edge weapon out and ready to use. She must be a guardian angel, he thought. He was still in a weakened state, and there was nothing he could do to heal himself. GF's were unjunctioned, and even items couldnt be carried into battle without them. So he continued to live off of those limits breaks he had used many times before to save himself or others from a K.O.

Soon enough, the both of them had killed it off. Rinoa instantly used a potion on Squall. "Are you okay, Squall?Let's take you to Dr.Kadowaki. She'll help you. "Squall didn't even argue with that. He ached now, and was sore and beaten. He had been in much worse states, but even so, in Garden, it was recommended that you go to the Infirmary for even the tiniest infected cut.

Squall and Rinoa entered, one behind the other. Dr Kadowaki came up observing the two. "What do you need, Squall, Rinoa?"

"Squall got hurt a little from a T-Rexaur." Rinoa replied for Squall.

"Yeah."Squall said."Dr.Kadowaki, an X-potion should be fine, shouldn't it?"He asked, impatiently. He always thought Garden was a little too sure when it came to the Infirmary. But he could see why all the same. It was better to be safe than sorry, a lesson he had learned from childhood.

"Well, you got hurt pretty bad, but should be nothing more than a few cuts and bruises."She went to her desk, and got an X-potion out of a drawer. She walked over and handed it to him. "Just get about 30 mins rest in your dorm after taking this. I know you Squall. Always thinking things are overdone. But it's the rule to be safe. And Rinoa, why not stay with him and keep him some company?"

"Ok!"Was Rinoa's instant reply. Whenever she had the chance to be with Squall, she would take it happily.

"Alright. Thank you Dr.Kadowaki."Squall nodded, as him and Rinoa went to his dorm.

They both entered in the same fashion as they entered the infirmary. Squall half sat and half fell on his bed, then layed out on his back. Rinoa took out his desk's chair, and turned it so she was facing Squall, and sat down.

"Well, are you feeling any better Squall? I know this isn't anything, but I'm still concerned for you."Rinoa said warmly towards him. This, she thought, could be a rare chance where the two can actually talk. Squall was almost always going about the Garden.

"I'm fine. Don't worry about me. How about you?"Squall said cooly. He knew just as well as Rinoa did that she was fine, but it seemed like a nice thing to ask her at the time.

"Oh, Squall, I only barely got there before you killed that thing off."Rinoa stated, with a tone that could have just as well said 'Duh!'.

"Yeah, I know. Thanks. You did help, and it gave me confidence that I would pull through. Sometimes, it gives you a bad feeling to be alone."Squall knew that feeling all too well.

"Yeah, but Squall, I'll always do my best to be there for you."Rinoa paused for a moment. Then a smile lightened her face up, and Squall could already guess that she had gotten another idea."Squall! Why don't we see if we can stop by Deling City? I want to go there...not because of my dad, just to see where I grew up again. You know...like a reminder. Last time we went I was too nervous because of the sorceress."

"Well, I'm sure we can make a stop by. We're just drifting along anyway, so I'm sure a course could be set."Squall promised. "I'll go tell Nida as soon as these useless 30 minutes are up."

"Thanks, Squall.....and, while were there, can it be....you and me, alone? You know what I mean...."Rinoa said these words with her head down, in her shy voice. Her hands were fidgeting with each other nervously. Squall was a bit clueless like always.

"If you want my company. Wouldn't you rather do that type of thing on your own though?"Squall reasoned. He wasn't a part of her childhood, why would she want him to go along?

"Squall!"She looked up with her hands on her hips. She then burst out giggling, "Squall....like a...date."

"A date?"

"Yes, Squall, a date! You're my boyfriend, after all. We have to go and do stuff like this, or it won't seem right. Please Squall?"Rinoa said it with a tone Squall just couldn't shake off. He knew he had to, but he knew not the first thing about what to do. And above that, she called him her boyfriend! They had never stated before they were going steady, and though Squall knew they loved each other, this was the first time he thought of commitment.

"Boyfriend? Rinoa, do you mean were going steady?"

"Squall, of course we're going out. Don't tell me you.....kissed me....just because you felt like it."Rinoa felt a little hurt. Could this show that he didn't quite feel for her the way she had imagined?

"...Well...I just never thought about it."At that second, Rinoa felt like melting into nothingness. But before it could even hit her, he continued."But, so we don't get confused over this again...were going out as of now, right?"

"Okay, yes.....but would it be ok if we said we were since....the kiss?"

He nodded."Since the kiss."Then, a smile formed across those lips again. He was tempted to pull her to him, but his side still hurt. Instead, Rinoa came and sat by him, smiling that heavenly smile. Squall then took her, and brought her closer to him, and the two hugged each other, and placed a kiss on the others lips. Squall held her to him, she was his angel. He would always protect her, no matter what. Then, after their lips parted, Squall moved his lips to her ear, and softly placed the words in a whisper.

"I love you."

"Squall, I love you too."And Rinoa collapsed into his arms, and unknown to him, she cried a few tears of shear happiness.

___________________________________________________________________________ _______

A few days later that week, an announcement was made they were going to make a stop a Deling City. However, it was only for a moment, to drop of a few SeeDs by request. Cid promised the two he wouldn't bring attention to them, and he was, by Squall's request, which tended to be more of an order, for only them two. Neither Squall nor Rinoa said date, but Cid could tell, from the way he was smiling about it. Later this night, the two would be off on thier little date. And aside from Cid, there was only one other person who knew about this.

"How lucky Rinoa and Squall are! I only WISH I could leave Balamb whenever I requested, but then again, my boyfriend wasn't the leader of the sorceress attack..."Selphie said to herself in the dorm. Her and Rinoa were becoming close friends, they had more in common with each other as time went on. They even began to confide things between themselves. Selphie, of course, promised she wouldn't tell a soul about thier little romantic outing as Selphie called it. Well, she decided, Rinoa was off probably getting everything perfect, so she decided to spend some time with Irvine. She got up, and walked to his dorm.

Irvine was laying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. In an hour, he was going to classes. He decided that he was going to become a SeeD, to help fit in. Of course, he also figured it would attract a few more girls. He heard a swift rapping on the door, and said with his 'cool' voice. "Come in, the doors open."He looked up to see his cute little girlfriend, standing in the doorway waving. "Hey Selphie, make yourself at home!"

"Teehee...ok Irvy!"She walked over and sat at the foot of his bed, facing him, with her legs crossed Indian style. "Whatcha doing,Irvine?"

"Nothing much....where's Rinoa? You're normally hanging with her nowadays."

"Oh...she's got some plans and all. Besides, I wanted to be with YOU today!"

"Sounds just fine to me!"He said, tilting down that cowboy hat cooly. "What do you want to do Selphie?"

"Talk!"Selphie shouted out. She then giggled some, and added. "Hey, Irvine...why don't we do something tonight? Since Rinoa is busy?"

"I'd love too, but what about curfew? We could go to the training center, but that's too public."Irvine rested his chin on his hand, propped up on his knee. He was by now sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Well, SeeDs real mission is over, even though we still exist to do stuff, like try to keep world peace! But Cid has broken down on rules, to make this place more like a home, since to most of us, it is."Selphie explained.

"True true....ok, then. A date it is!"Irvine was grinning from ear to ear. All right, he thought, time for my move. Maybe now Selphie will be all mine!

"A date, a date, a date!"Selphie sang, then jumped up, and waved her hands in the air excitedly. Now Rinoa AND me will have fun! Seeya at 9 Irvine! Meet me at my dorm."Selphie checked the time carefully. Rinoa and Squall were leaving at 8, so she wanted to start later, that way Irvine won't have the chance to see them leave, and possibly attempt to go too. As she started out, she turned around and gave Irvine a cutsie smile, and innocent wink, as she closed the door behind her.

She sat at her desk, fluffing up her hair absent mindedly. She had hardly any make up. Maybe I can go ask Rinoa for some! Rinoa was always making sure she looked nice, so she would be perfect! Selphie, on the other hand, was always too bouncy and girlish to pay much mind to even caring about makeup. She almost ran to Rinoa's dorm, and burst inside without realizing what she had done. "Rinoa, can I have some makeup and some other stuffs?"

"Of course Selphie! Uhhh, what other 'stuffs' do you need?"Rinoa questioned.

"Umm...got any dresses and shoes that look....dressy?"Selphie asked it sort of nervously. She could only imagine how silly this must sound, to come bursting in unexpected, then ask to borrow one of someones best dresses.

"Well, I could look. I might have one in your size, but I don't know if you'll like it or not."Rinoa said. What is Selphie up to? she wondered. "Well, the makeup is in the top drawer on the right..."Selphie was already at it.

Selphie looked at the makeup, and was about to attempt to put some on, when Rinoa came over holding up an emerald green dress. It looked very similar to Selphie's yellow dress, only made of thinner material like satin. Selphie's mouth dropped open, as she exclaimed."Oh my gosh, I love it Rinoa! Thanks!"Selphie hugged Rinoa.

"Of course! ...Do you have any plans?"

"Well...I figured since you and Squall were having fun, maybe me and Irvine could have some fun around Garden later tonight!"

"Ohh, sounds fun. We'll talk more later I suppose, I'm still planning on where me and Squall are going to!"

"Ok! Seeya!"Selphie was so happy, she could barely wait. So what if we're only in Garden? It will be fun, and maybe I can get Irvine's FULL attention! she said to herself.

___________________________________________________________________________ _______

It was 7:00. Selphie had arrived exactly. Rinoa was getting excited, but Selphie was moreso. They both looked casual still, but now it was time to work some magic, as Selphie put it. Rinoa had the dresses and makeup out, all ready to be used. Rinoa felt as though her and Selphie were having a makeover party, and hoped no one would want to enter her dorm, because it indeed looked childish.

"How do I look in your dress Rinoa?"Selphie asked as soon as she had it on.

"You look wonderful Selphie! It matches your eyes nicely."Rinoa commented, smiling.Everyone just couldn't help but smile when Selphie was happy.

"You look nice too!"Selphie said in return. Rinoa was wearing a light purple dress, with spaghetti straps, and cut to halfway above her knee. She even wore matching purple high heel sandals. Rinoa looked just as beautiful as she did that night at the ball, what seemed like so long ago...

"Well, here I am about to go, Selphie.Wish me luck!"Rinoa exclaimed. I can't believe I'm about to do this, she thought, but I know I can!

An hour went by amazingly fast .Rinoa had butterflies in her stomach, as she knocked on Squall's dorm. She would have waited, but Selphie was staying in her room until she went to Irvine. Don't want the word out that I look all made up, Selphie had said, almost ready to go bouncing around the walls. Squall opened the door, and it wasn't really amazing that Squall looked like he always did. Guys are like that, Rinoa guessed.

"Hi Rinoa. Ready?"Squall said with a slight gleam in his eye, could he be excited? Rinoa thought. He walked out, and locked his dorm door. Walking down the halls, as several SeeDs, students,and junior classmen as well as staff looked at them, they made it to the exit, and entered Deling City. They watched the Garden go on, only to await it's return at 11. Squall knew that this would be a once in a lifetime chance to show Rinoa a side he couldn't quite have shown in Garden. He took a breath, and grabbed her hand into his, smiling. Rinoa looked into his eyes both amused and speechless. Then, with a smile, the two walked off to stop number one.

"This is it."Rinoa said as they approached the hotel. "Inside is a little restuarant and bar. My mom used to play songs here..before she became a singer."She led Squall in, and down the stairs to a beautifully decorated room ,with lace curtains drapped everywhere, and red carpet and walls. A piano was at the front, but was no longer played. Instead, the room had light music playing in the background.

"It's lovely here, isn't it Squall?"Rinoa asked dreamily, as they sat down at a table. "I used to come here, and mom would tell me about her past...but after she died, I thought I could never even look at this place again. If mom was here still, maybe me and daddy would still get along..."Rinoa had a small frown on her face, but Squall wasn't about to let her past destroy this moment.

"Rinoa, this isn't about your past, or mine. This is about now."He took her hand in his, and looked into her eyes."Rinoa...we must live for now. And that's what we'll do. I learned that from you...at first I thought it was crazy, but now...I realize I was wrong."

"Squall....thank you. This means so much."Was all Rinoa could say, the rest was emotion. She wished she could send it all to him, so he could know exactly, but she couldn't. However, from the look in his eyes, it was unnessecary. He understood all the same.

"What would you like?"Squall asked Rinoa casually, as his hands left hers. Not in public Squall, he scolded himself.

"Hmm...a virgin strawberry drink will be nice, since I love strawberries. And..."She thought as to what she should order for dinner. She figured on it after a moments consideration. "Seafood would be nice."

"Ok,and...I'll have the basics."Squall said, he didn't care what he ate, as long as he was filled up. Besides, he could care less about food when Rinoa was his date for the night. This is so strange, he said. I feel wierd...I don't think I've ever quite felt like this over somebody before. Maybe this is what it's like to be in love.

After a pleasant dinner and some usual conversation, they left hand in hand. They walked about the city, but Rinoa remembered a certain somewhere she went when she was a little girl. In front of her house, Carraway's Mansion, is a little path, a mini park. She went there with mom, and played, but at night, lovers met up there. It was a bit upsetting to have to settle so close to home, but it was the best place Rinoa could think of ."Squall...let's go to Deling's little park...near my house."

"Sure. Anything you want to do, just tell me."Squall nodded, as the headed for the park.Well, he thought, when we get there, I guess that's when we have the heart to heart talk. I must tell her how I feel. Not just that I love her.

"Here we are, Squall!"Rinoa said, as the two sat down on the grass. Rinoa looked into the stars above, then smiling, looked to Squall. "I love it here."

"It really is a nice place, Rinoa."He hesitated. Why was he in such a hurry? To get it out the way was all he could answer. "Listen...Rinoa..I have been...really..wanting to tell you..that..."And he was at a loss of words.

".....Yes? Squall?"Rinoa drew closer, her eyes going wide. She was dying to hear what he had to say, and after months of saying 'tell me what you think', it came out that he has to have a loss of words. "...Squall, tell me! Just say it, anything! I want...need to hear."

"I can say I love you, but I want to say something else too. I can't though. I think you know what I mean, however."Was Squall's simple reply. He looked forward, agitated he was so horrible at doing this. "I wish I could just tell you, just how I felt when I thought I lost you. You never realize what you have til it's gone...and now that you're back, I want to do everything. Tell you everything...everything I could have lost. But now...I'm clueless."No, he thought. NO! I won't let tonight end like this. "Rinoa....."

"Squall, I'm still listening."

"Rinoa, all I can say is, I love you, and I never want to lose you again. I would do anything to keep you safe. Especially since your a sorceress. Anything can happen. I want to be there, to....be your knight."Every word was hard, but this was the first time since forever when he had been so open.

"Squall...I'm speechless! But...even if the sorceress is gone, could anything still happen to me?"Rinoa was still at fear of her fate. No one knows what will happen, absolutly no one.

"Rinoa, you're safe for now. But, anything could happen. Don't get your hopes up that life will be easy."

"Squall..."Squall just had to be so pessimistic.

"But Rinoa, I promise that I'll be there for you. To be your sorceress knight. To make sure you aren't harmed."

"....Thank you, Squall, this means a lot. So, you'll always be there for me?"

"Yes, Rinoa. Whenever you need me I'll be there."

"Thanks, Squall!"Rinoa was almost to the point of tears again. She had such mixed emotions right now, fear, love. Then, on impulse, she leaned closer to Squall and hugged him as if he was her life. Not only because she loved him this time though, but because she was scared. Squall just put his arms around her, comforting her, hoping everything would be better. He leaned down, and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. Rinoa just held on.

They remained like that for several minutes. Soon enough, things began to lighten up though. Talk was much easier, and though 15 minutes had passed, they were still under the stars, both of them looking up, smiling. Squall had placed his arm around Rinoa, and she sat clung around his waist. It was a moment of silence, but every expression had many words to say, even so. The fear had passed, and Squall had promised Rinoa he would be there. Squall was all she really needed. And Rinoa was all Squall needed.

"Squall...what are you thinking about?"Rinoa said, still looking up to the stars with deep blue eyes.

"...That as long as we have each other, that's all we need."Squall, for once in his life, said something so warm, it was almost as if it WASN'T Squall. However, Rinoa thought, this is the side I've always wanted to see, so it isn't really that wierd at all. Squall caressed Rinoa's hair fondly, as she closed her eyes, and placed her head upon him.

"Squall...sometimes I wish words could say so much more."Rinoa stated, however, her voice was so relaxed, Squall thought she might have fallen asleep at any minute.

Squall and Rinoa had gotten so close that night in Deling, they didn't want to leave. However,while two were sitting there, sharing ideas, thoughts,and even an occasional kiss or hug, they knew that it was almost time to go. They looked up to the clock, and realized it was 10:55.

"Squall! We have only 5 minutes!"Rinoa leaped up, looking down to Squall as if saying that they better hurry, and now!

"...Better get going. I'm sure they won't care if we're a minute late or two."Squall reasoned. He took her hand, once again, as the two walked to the entrance.

"Yeah, they shouldn't."Rinoa eased down, as she walked with Squall happily, enjoying every second to it's fullest. It would be a long time before the two would have such intimate time again. However, every step took her closer to the end. She sort of wished that her and Squall could stop, and just have a few more moments. But that would sound too greedy, she concluded, and it might make me look like a fool or something of the sorts.

They entered the Garden reluctantly. They decided they would just go to the dorms, since they didn't want to bring any attention to themselves. They reached Squall's dorm first, he placed in a key, unlocking it. He opened the door, and invited Rinoa in.

"I guess a few more minutes to talk and say bye won't hurt, will it?"Squall reasoned.

"Nah, I guess not."Rinoa agreed in a lighthearted tone. "So..what shall we do, in these last few minutes?"She added on, tilting her head and looking him into the eyes like she used to do when she expected something. "Just..sit down and talk?"

"Sure, make yourself at home."Squall nodded, as he then pulled out his desk chair, and sat down, looking down at a Weapons Monthly Issue. One he's read time after time, and it wasn't even neccesary to read, once you have the best gunblade anyway. Behind him, Rinoa sat at the edge of his bed, her legs dangling over it. She focused her attention to what was outside the window. Nothing but a few lights from Garden could be seen through the shades, but she figured she might as well place her eyes somewhere besides Squall's back.

"I had a nice time tonight Squall, I just want to tell you that. Thanks for going with me."Rinoa sounded like she was in such a pleasant mood, and indeed she was. She knew soon she had better leave, they were both pretty exhausted, and yet she wanted to stay. She figured on 5 more minutes.

"It was nice. I guess it also helped me get a few things off my mind to worry about too."Squall replied. It was a relief too, because he felt him and Rinoa finally were able to say what they had been wanting to for a very long time. Squall could tell it was getting late, and knew Rinoa had to leave soon, but he didn't want her to leave quite yet.

Rinoa stood up, after a few moments of uneasy silence, one trying to think of something to say to the other. She knew she had best be leaving, staying much more longer would seem wierd. But before she did, she wanted just to say a few more things.

"Squall, I know it isn't everyday we can just go to wherever we want, and I'm not saying we do this on a regular basis, but one day, can we do this again?"Rinoa asked modestly. She hoped she didn't sound too greedy or anything to him, just wanting another night as good as this one.

"Of course, another time. It would be best if we waited awhile though..."Squall reasoned. He had a good point, surely Nida didn't need to be constantly asking Cid to stop to severeal cities just for a request. Truthfully, Squall felt lucky they had this night. Then, after realizing this, Squall decided him and Rinoa should still do something like this again, even if it means remaining in Garden. He made a suggestion.

"Rinoa, how about a week from now we go to the Training Center, to the back, where the Secret Area is?"

"You mean where lovers meet up after curfew?"Rinoa hadn't been in Garden long,but she caught on quickly, compared to those who lived their lives in Garden.

"Yeah..."

"Of course, it will be something to look forward to!"Rinoa was beaming. Another 'date' to look forward to.Well, somewhat of a date. Better than nothing, she figured. Now she felt that she could go to her dorm in peace, not feeling quite as empty. "Well,Squall...I guess I better be going to bed now. It's been one heck of a night for us both."

"Alright..."Once again, silence.

"...Take me to my dorm?"Rinoa asked. It sounded just like it did when she asked him to take her on the little tour of Garden, when the others were at the missile base. 'Take me on a tour?'

"Sure."He sounded rather hesitant, but not to bad. He was tired, just like Rinoa. He opened his door, and led Rinoa to her dorm, next to his. It was so funny, he thought. He had to walk her across only a matter of 5 feet. Guess that's just Rinoa, though.

"Well...this is it Squall. It was truly fun. Thanks again.."Rinoa stood at the door, entering it, then turned around. "Goodnight Squall."

"'Night Rinoa...."Another awkward moment. Those just follow him around. He decided that he might as well get over what was expected. He took her, and kissed her lips as a goodnight kiss. "See you tomorrow."And he walked to his dorm.

"...Sweet dreams."Rinoa whispered under her breath, as she stepped inside, and got ready for bed.

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Selphie waited in her dorm at 9:00 for Irvine. She looked rather nice, but still had that childish face to her. She sat on her bed, staring at her clock for the longest, maybe even forever, or so it seemed. Then, the knocks were heard on the door, as she found Irvine...dressed usually. She sighed.

"Irvine...this's supposed to be a date!" Selphie said, but smiled.

"Oh well...as long as I'm with my Sefie."Irvine winked, as he glanced at her in that green dress, down, up, and down again. "You look niiice."

"Really!? Aww..thanks Irvine!"Selphie walked up to him and nodded for them to leave out."Training center!"

"Okay,Selphie! ...Wait up!"Selphie was already dragging Irvine behind her. Despite her more dressed appearance, this finally proved she'd always be Selphie underneath.

Soon, they reached the training center. Selphie didn't bring her nunchakus, so she was really hoping that they'd make it easily. She walked around a bit gingerly, trying not to make them very noticable.

"Selphie..what're you doing??"

"Huh Irvy?"Selphie asked. She didn't realize they hadn't entered the actual area. They were just outside the metal doors, which had the habitat,but no monsters. In the middle sat Angelo in her large pen. She barked a welcome to them and wagged her tail. "Oh!..that's right..there aren't any monsters out here!Otherwise..."She walked to Angelo and petted her fondly. "Angelo wouldn't be out here.."

"Yeah Selphie .C'mon, let's go!"

"Okay!"She scratched behind Angelo's ears once more, then petted her on her head and walked off with Irvine through the doors into the 'monster's lair'. "Irvine..you got your gun right?"

"Of course..I never go anywhere without Exeter."He smiled to Selphie, then pointed to the back. "Before the monsters come around, let's go."So he led the way, as they walked through the grass and bushes and over the planks. Selphie looked into the artificial rivers and gazed at their reflection. She looked up then, and saw Irvine still walking a few feet up as she caight up, stumbling a tad bit. Of course, and with the meeting place only a few feet away, it was their luck to meet a grat. It came up and as Selphie turned around, she made a small yelp.

"Irvine..monster!"She pointed, half yelling, half excited. She was a bit fiesty, even without her nunchakus.

"Okay..I've got it covered."Irvine said as he ran up to a good distance from it and shot it with Exeter. It made a bit of a scream, in a wierd way, as it and Irvine went into a small battle, but it only succeeded in hitting him once with one of it's long insect like legs. He shot it only twice more and it fell down dead. Selphie was watching, bouncing all happy like.

"Way to go.Irvy!"She congratulated him and then hugged him as they walked on. Irvine, of course, just grinned. As they reached the room, and saw two other couples whispering to each other or exchaging a few mild touches, they made way to the center. "It's really pretty isn't it?"

"Yeah, but not as much as you Selphie."Irvine said, his charm being put to good use on his girlfriend. Selphie was flattered, as she blushed a light red. They talked for a bit, Irvine occasionaly..or actually more than half the time, flirting with her. It all in all wasn't the most romantic thing, but it would easily do. After all, they weren't actually making contact any way in the physical sense. Irvine though, nontheless, tried to do a few moves. Nothing drastic however. But Selphie was a bit shy as she tended to change the subject abruptly. 'Rinoa and Squall are going to be out til 11 tonight...there's no way me and Irvine can keep a date that long..we're just talking anyway' Selphie thought. So she tried to make things a lil more date-ish if you will, but she just wasn't quite the one to be big on those things and followed Irvine mostly.

An hour passed, it was 10 already. A few more couples had arrived, all doing basically the same thing of saying loving words or kissing. Selphie felt a lil wierd about it all. They weren't really doing any of this, and Selphie wondered if it was because she just wasn't ready for that, or if Irvine would just take things a lil too far. She could barely swallow the compliments without blushing furiously! "Irvine...want to go to my dorm?"

"Sure Selphie..whatever makes you happy."They left quietly, as not to disturb anyone else. They once again walked carefully in the training area, with more luck this time around. They then made it through the quiet halls to her dorm, where she unlocked her door.

"We're here!"Selphie said happily. She plopped onto her bed staring at the ceiling.

"Hey Selphie? Couldn't we have just talked in here? I thought we were going to have a date."Irvine said, a small pout on his face, though it was all just exaggeration.

"It was more romantic that way!"She said, laughing.

"Yeah but..Selphiiie...."Irvine pleaded. He wanted just a bit more than words from his girlfriend."We haven't even kissed!"

"K-kissed...Irviiiine..I dunno about that..."She said, as Irvine stayed a lil quiet. He loved her and all her cuteness, but found it how she could be so fiesty and outgoing about battles, and completly shy around him the next. So he decided he'd try something.

"Selphie...you know I really love you."

"I..I love you too,Irvine!"She said, blushing and giggling. But then Irvine sat down beside her and kissed her on her lips fondly and gently. Selphie couldn't help it and went with him in the innocent kiss. The parted their lips, and Selphie smiled, laughing a bit under her breathe."Irvy.."

"Hmm?"Irvine said as he placed another small kiss on her lips, his arm embracing her slightly, nothing seriously. Finally, he'd waited for a time when he could be with Selphie. He knew to take it slow with her though, she wasn't really accustomed to this so to speak. His gloved hand held onto her back gently as they kissed on, her hands finally meeting his shoulders. But soon enough, it was getting late. 10:30 actually. She thought maybe it better to go ahead and say goodbye for the night. As soon as they parted lips again, she said.

"Irvine...it's a lil late...I hate to say it's over though!"

"Aww..that's okay Sefie..we have next time."Irvine said as he stood up slowly. Selphie stood up with him as they went to her dorm door.

"I'm sorry, Irvy, if it wasn't really a DATE..."

"It's okay Selphie, the end was perfect!"Irvine replied, smirking, as he walked out her door about to leave. "Seeya tomorrow,Selphers."

"Goodnight, Irvy!.....I love you!"Selphie said, enthusiastically.

"G'night,sweety."Irvine said as he closed to door softly, leaving. It seemed to end a lil too quick, they both thought, afterwards. But they left each oher happily, and Selphie knew what it was to really love someone, and to kiss them.

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