Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII it is copyrighted by Square Enix and all other associates.

This story will follow the plot of the game and be canon. I have added extra scenes, dialog and inner thoughts of characters to add a personal touch to this beautiful game. I will include side quests that I personally find make sense, and benefit Squall and his team; not the person playing the game. I wanna do each character justice and have tried to nail their personalities to a T, Squall is probably the best I'm at because we are so similar.

AN: This Chapter is a bit of a prologue, featuring a first person account of the trials and tribulations Squall has undergone in his time of being a SeeD, meeting Rinoa, becoming Garden's Commander and finally becoming the Legendary SeeD that saves the world. After this, it will switch to third person and take place right before the first scene of the game with Squall in the infirmary and continue to follow exactly with the plot.

I hope you enjoy my story and keep reading, it gets much better than this boring first chapter; trust me.

Chapter I – The Beginning

Change; I did not think such a thing was possible for me. I always thought I'd remain my same old distant self, never relying on people for the fear I'd be let down, just like in the past. Why risk counting on another person when you yourself should be more than capable of taking care of your own problems, problems that only should be dealt with on your own accord? I did not ever want to be a burden, not to myself, not to anyone. Why risk the chance that you put hope and faith into another and had to face the disappointment of being let down. To have to face that kind of situation once was enough for me, so I put up walls to protect myself. If I was seen as being a cold and unfriendly guy then people would leave me alone and I wouldn't become their burden. At that time nobody paid me so much a thought I was able to keep surviving with myself as my sole supporter. I didn't need others when I was so capable by myself, I could solve my own problems. I didn't care that people didn't understand me or how they saw me, that didn't matter to me. People didn't matter to me.

I was so oblivious to what was happening to me that I didn't even realize I was changing, slowly but surely I was changing. This allowed me to come to the realization that I could rely on people and that maybe confiding in others and opening up wasn't so terrible. I wasn't a burden to them by doing this, and that my feelings did matter and I wasn't alone anymore; that I no longer had to be. I didn't have to be afraid to ask for help because I knew I would get it, I had reliable peoplefriends backing me up. As I finally realized that I had indeed changed and became the person that I am today it made me think of what and who brought on this change. I looked back at my old self and I began to remember all the events that led up to this moment, all the important things I went through and experienced.

I never realized any of this until Zell, Selphie, Quistis, Irvine and one very special girl entered my life and caused all the darkness to vanish. I'm not afraid of being hurt anymore or of having people taken from me; because I'll fight for them. I'm not that sad little kid anymore, crying in the rain for his lost sister. I was an adult capable of doing whatever I had to, to protect my friends and those deeply important in my heart. I always associated myself with lions, creatures known for their pride, strength and courage.

I now let the memories, the memories of my journey this far, all the fights and trials I had to undertake to enter my mind. I had finally become the leader I was destined to be, and managed to strike corruption deep in its heart and protect the world I was meant to protect. I had them to thank, my friends and the love of my life for bringing me here, for saving me. I can't do everything on my own, nobody should have to. You really can't take on the world by yourself, but with my friends I was invincible; nothing was going to stop me. After everything I accomplished and all the memories that formed in my mind, I only now have one last simple thought that causes a smile to grace my face.

Maybe I am a lion after all…

It was a start to an average morning for the Balamb Garden's Doctor, Doctor Kadowaki. To most people an average morning would consist of them waking up, going to work at some boring office job or doing daily tasks, you know normal things, but not for Kadowaki. She was a doctor for a very special type of school, which was filled with aspiring mercenary cadets. There were only three of these schools located in the world one in Galbadia, one in Trabia and finally here in Balamb, these Gardens were to help raise SeeD's, elite mercenaries. Cadet training normally began at a young age to allow time for skills to develop and become mastered, eventually these cadets would take a final exam and become SeeD's which they would be able to be hired for missions and travel all across the globe. Even though it was still too early for classes the school was bustling with activity; students were conversing and preparing for first period classes even before the first bell rang. There were whispers of when the final exam would happen, rumours that it would be very soon.

The doctor was slowly heading towards the schools infirmary trying to avoid colliding with any of the large groups of students standing idly; she finally saw the corridor leading down to the infirmary. The school's layout was a very simple one, the main floor resembled a clock with eight pathways leading to different areas and each area was colour coded to help avoid confusion. In the center of the school was the main elevator that could take you to the second or third floor, the second floor was where the classrooms were located and the third was the headmasters office; only students with special permission were allowed to go to the third floor.

The Doctor didn't get very far down the hallway or even close to the infirmary before she heard a commotion behind her; she quickly turned around to see a group of students running towards her.

"Doctor! Doctor Kadowaki!" one of the students yelled.

Kadowaki raised her hands in mock surrender and answered in a calm voice. "Calm down. What's the matter?"

"Come quickly there's…there's been an accident."

An accident?

The doctor followed the frantic group of teenagers towards the training centre; this is normally where accidents occurred in the school. The training centre was home to live monsters that students could practice their skills on.

I hope it wasn't because of a monster…

"What kind of accident?" she asked and slowly she prayed that whatever had happened that the accident wasn't as serious and foreboding as it seemed.

"I'm not sure. I just saw a lot of blood…" one of the girl students answered.

"There were two students involved I heard." another student answered.

"Yeah I think they were fighting or something…"

Just the start of an average day for me… Doctor Kadowaki thought sadly.