Squall only wished things would get easier.
Rinoa's grin widened at the curve in his lips that she had been trying to pry out of him for so long. She faced him and he pulled her close. She melted in his arms as he leaned in towards her. Her mind screamed as she felt the warmth of his breath. Her eyes fluttered close as she felt the light brush of his lips against her own. Her heart stopped when nothing else happened. Why wasn't he kissing her? She slowly opened her eyes to see Squall pulled away staring past her with an icy gaze and distant look he had always kept when they first met. She turned around and her mouth dropped open in astonishment.
The teen standing a little ways behind her averted his glare from the one now standing next to her and flashed her one of his flirtatious grins. The look that had charmed her not so long ago now made her uncomfortable as she stood next to unmoving form inches from her body. She looked at Squall and saw his icy features as he looked at the ground in front of him.
Squall wanted to kill Seifer for just looking at Rinoa. Even if the headmaster had forgiven Seifer for his actions, that didn't mean he had too. What was worse, was that Seifer knew that he hadn't forgiven him and used it to his advantage just to piss him off. Squall tried to shrug the feelings away as he looked at the ground in front of him. He knew he was being naÃ¯ve, but he couldn't bear to think of what Seifer had helped do to Rinoa. He may not have realized it, but because of him, the Sorceress was able to manipulate Rinoa. His hands tightened and moved towards the Lion Heart, but steadied when Rinoa touched his arm. Instead, he shifted his gaze back to Seifer who was looking over Rinoa.
"I thought you were on a mission."
Seifer looked back at Squall. "I was."
Seifer frowned. "What's the matter, Squall? Think I can't complete a simple mission without screwing up?"
Squall felt his adrenaline rush. "It's happened before."
Seifer's playful look hardened and his eyes formed narrow slits. His hand moved towards his own gunblade and he breathed heavily. His mouth formed a slight grin and he smirked. "Then I guess you'll just have to play hero and rescue everyone. Again." His grin widened as he saw Squall tense up knowing he had really pissed him off. "Won't you, Commander?"
Feeling the tension rise between the two, Rinoa placed a hand Squall's arm and was relieved to feel him relax at her touch. She surveyed the ball room and was grateful to see Quistis walking towards them.
"Quistis! Hey! Look whose back!"
Quistis came out onto the balcony and joined them. She too felt the tension building between Seifer and Squall and stood next to Seifer hoping he would back off.
Seifer shrugged as Squall's reinforcement came over to them. "Relax, Rinoa. You won't have to see Squall get his ass kicked this time. Again. Besides, I think I see Fujin and Rajin anyways."
Rinoa let out a breath and tried to thank Quistis without Squall knowing. She knew his pride had already been injured once tonight. Quistis caught Rinoa's eye and told them she was looking for someone and made her exit.
Rinoa turned back to Squall now that they were alone and tried to turn his attention back to her. "Squall?" She knew that the moment was long lost as soon as Seifer had shown up, but she wanted more than anything for him to look into her eyes with his own gleaming blue ones.
Squall averted his gaze and turned away from him. "I have to go."
"What? Squall wait...what do you mean go? Where?"
Squall painfully looked back at her. "Anywhere..." he hesitated before continuing his sentence, knowing it would hurt her, but he couldn't take it anymore. "Anywhere, but here."
"Do you want to talk about it?" She put a hand in his cheek and he pushed it away.
"No, Rinoa, I'm sorry."
Squall had been right. His words stung Rinoa and he left her standing speechless and alone. Alone. God, how she hated that word. She crossed her arms as a night breeze set in. She was contemplating whether or not to go find Squall when she heard a familiar voice.
"Where'd your night in shining armor go?"
Rinoa rolled her eyes. Great, he's back, she thought. "What do you want, Seifer?"
He advanced towards. "What's with you, Rinoa? You seemed happy when you first saw me earlier. What happened?" He smirked at his statement already knowing the answer. "Have a fight with Squall?"
Seifer continued towards her until she was backed up against the railing. She looked for an exit and seeing that there wasn't one, she cowered in front of him.
Seifer grinned in amusement. "Why do you put up with him? You should know that he won't ever give in to you. He won't tell anyone what he's feeling. It's because he's cold-hearted and-"
"That's a lie and you know it!" Her icy glare cut into him and for once he didn't have a smart-alecky retort. Despite her boldness, Rinoa felt completely terrified, standing in front of Seifer. She wanted Squall next to her more than anything. She was always braver with him next to her. She thought about the day he had rescued her in space and his promise that he would never let anything bad happen to her. What if Seifer wanted to do something bad to her? Where was Squall now? Seifer's voice brought her back to reality.
"What are you smiling about?"
Subconsciously, a smile had formed at the thought of Squall. She turned back to Seifer. "I'm smiling because you're standing here in front of me and we're all alone." She grinned flirtatiously and started pushing Seifer towards the wall. She was pleased when he didn't resist and continued in her flirtatious voice. "I'm smiling because you're sanding here in front of me and we're all alone, and I see you for what you are to me." His hand came up to her cheek and her smile became a fuming glare. "Nothing." She turned and walked off smiling to herself. Squall would have been proud of her if he was there. Maybe she would tell him after they made up and he became the Squall that had traveled the universe to find and rescue her.