Squall learns that Selphie and Irvine are about to have a baby. With two weeks before the wedding, how will the 'children of fate' cope with their personal convictions that threaten to break their ...
Rinoa and Squall opened the door and eagerly rushed in. They had spent an all-nighter on the train back from Galbadia.
"Oh, it's good to be home," she said as she stretched her arms and plopped her backpack on the ground.
"You didn't sleep well on the train?" Squall asked.
"Mm-mm," Rinoa belied as she reached her arms to the sky. "Not really." She walked into the bedroom and glided onto the bed like a flying squirrel. In one smooth motion, she put her arms under her head and feigned sleep while resting perpendicular to the bed.
Squall took his suitcase and followed her into the room.
"Oh, no more wedding," she sighed with relief. "No more plans, no more shoe-shopping, no more nails getting done, no more calling people."
Yeah, for us, Squall thought, for them, life is just starting. And for me...
Squall sat on the bed, next to her prone form. "No more Selphie and Irvine," he continued for her.
"Yeah," she said as she turned on her back. "I'm going to miss them too."
"They only get two weeks of marital bliss before he ships off." Squall put his hands behind him and looked up at the ceiling. "We have it pretty good, don't we?"
"Yeah, we do," she said dreamily. "Wait, what do you mean?"
"Our relationship. We've struggled, but that's just made our bond stronger. Like steel that's been reinforced by melting it down and building it back up."
"Yeah, I guess so," Rinoa said, a little confused.
God, there really is no way to do this. How do I lead into it? There's no link, it's just not flowing. I can't just blurt it out.
"What are you thinking?" she said.
"You know the difference between Selphie and Irvine's relationship and our's? Besides the obvious, I mean."
"We have time on our side. We don't let things get out of control. It feels like we're already so important to each other because of our bond. We know we'll always be in each other's lives, so there's no need to rush anything. I think we were pretty lucky that way."
"Yeah. We take everything as it comes and work it out. At least, we don't have many surprises because we're not impulsive."
"Are you saying I'm too predictable?"
"No, I'm saying you're just the right amount of predictable."
"Uh... this might throw off your scale."
Squall pulled out the nightstand drawer and reached into it, pulling out a purple velvet box. He presented it to her. She immediately sat up.
He opened it immediately before she got the wrong idea. It was a white gold ring with a band of diamonds in the middle on the top. Clearly it was not an engagement ring.
"Oh, Squall, it's beautiful. Should I wear it on my finger or necklace?"
"Finger. Do you know what a promise ring is?"
"What?" she said deadpanned.
"It's sort of 'engaged-to-be-engaged'. Promised to each other. Zell told me about it."
"Oh my God, Squall..." she said as she put it on and held it up to the light to look at it sparkle. She looked like she was on the verge of tears.
Squall continued, "I thought the wedding might kinda overshadow it, but..."
"I love you, Squall," she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
Squall returned the hug. "I love you too, Rin."
She loosened her hold and gripped onto the two rings around her neck. "Heh, at this rate I'm going to be flooded with rings."
Squall snickered back. "I didn't think it was time for an engagement ring yet, but I wanted to get you something that shows we belong to each other before I ship off."
Squall nodded. "I'm taking Irvine's place on the mission, after eight months, about halfway through, so he can come back and see his baby get born."
"Oh my God, Squall... are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. No father should be away from his child in its crucial months. The commander of Garden should be able to do something about that. So I did."
"But what about the special skills they need Irvine for?"
"Sniping? There'll be two experienced SeeDs with the same skill on the mission, they'll back me up. I arranged it so the contract money's still the same so they agreed to it. Now the monsters will just have to deal with the commander of Garden close up."
Rinoa leaned in and held Squall. "Be careful," she whispered.
"I haven't left yet, heh." Squall bit his lip. "Are you okay with this?"
Rinoa looked up at him. "I'm proud of you."
That was all the validation he needed.
"Well, Squall, your report looks all in order. I'll make the call to Galbadia this week, and I'll let Irvine and Selphie know... after the honeymoon, of course."
"Of course," Squall said to Cid.
The old man adjusted his glasses and rubbed his hands together. Squall was about to leave, but it looked like the headmaster had something else on his mind to say before he would let him go.
"I must say, I was quite surprised when you put in this request. I was initially opposed to granting it, seeing as how we'd be without our commander for a few months. What motivated you to do this?"
"I thought Irvine's mission span was needlessly long, especially given the circumstances. I was really the only other viable candidate, so I volunteered myself."
"Mm, quite noble. Did something change your mind?"
"Nothing changed my mind." That was true, he still held true to his original convictions. He was just a little softer about them. Perhaps everything wasn't so bad. It was all right to have opinions, just not to shove them down people's throats. "This is the best thing for everyone. Irvine gets to be back for his kid, the mission still has a capable offensive force, and I get less paperwork to do."
"Hm," Cid chuckled. He leaned back and sighed. "It's been quite a tumultuous two weeks, hasn't it? I'm just curious. How do you think everything will turn out?"
"Mm?" Cid asked.
"I don't understand the question."
"I just want your personal opinion on this one, now that everything's all over and done with."
He was referring to the matter of Selphie and Irvine and their future.
Cid said, "I mean, how you reacted."
Squall thought of what to say.
Cid said, "You said their lives are over."
Squall contemplated this weird test Cid was putting before him. He was being set up for something, some answer. He was never sure what answer to give though. Cid wanted to know whether he held true to his beliefs, if he was just putting on a mask of happiness for the sake of the couple, or whether he stood by his previous statements. The problem was, he wasn't sure what his opinion was anymore. However, he believed, whenever you were presented with a loaded question, it was best to give an honest answer.
"I did say that. The lives they wanted are over. But they've been replaced by new lives. Different lives they didn't want, but they're not so horrible. I thought they were, so I resisted, I got too involved. It was never my place to interfere, it wasn't my business. But due to my role and responsibility, I felt like I had to. I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't said anything."
"So you didn't want the kid to turn out like you."
Squall thought, and realized how true this was. "I suppose. I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through growing up."
"Yet, look how you are now. You're successful, you're opening up more. You're improving."
"But I had to fight through all the obstacles to get there. I was lucky. Not everyone can do that. And no one should have to go through that."
"You can't save everyone, Mr. Leonhart."
"I can't? Then what am I doing in Garden?" he said with his raised eyebrow.
Cid smiled broadly and laughed. It was rare for Squall to make a joke. He nodded. "So, do you think they will have a happy ending? Is this the final chapter of their fantasy?"
"That's the thing, sir... it never will be final. Some might call it an end just because there's a conclusion, but that doesn't mean there is an end. They don't realize that there's no such thing as an end to it. In fact, it's the opposite. One end starts a new beginning, and on and on. Though something might seem final, it clearly isn't the end." There was a pause. "And I for one hope it stays that way."
Cid had his hands clasped, elbows on the desk, the ceiling light reflecting into his glasses so his eyes were obscured. He must have been thinking about Squall's words, from what he could tell. Grading his test, so to speak.
"Thank you, Commander Leonhart. I just wanted to know your opinion. Dismissed."
Thanks to ashbear, altol, mintbaby, Chendzeea Li, Ms. Starlight, Nique/Lina, Dark Raion, Refugee, and SeiferFetish for writing great stories and special thanks to those who chose to be beta readers/editors for me