A Heart Split in Two
“What the HELL is going on?!” Rinoa shouts at the top of her lungs. Irvine kisses Squall’s hand and gets up from the bed.
“Not another word Irvine! When were you gonna tell the rest of us that Squall was still alive?!”
“It’s not like that. Rinoa, sit down. I’ll tell you everything....”
Rinoa’s eyes burn with anger toward Irvine Kinneas and is prepared to cut his throat, but Zell grabs her arm. “Come on girl.....” Zell whispers. “Let’s hear the guy out.”
“Fine,” Rinoa snaps.
“Thank you Zell,” Irvine responds. “Where should I begin.....?”
“How about when we’re at the Lunar Gate? That’s where my journal ends........” Everyone’s head turns as Squall strains to speak. He struggles to sit up in his bed. Irvine immediately aids Squall in sitting up. “I’m sorry about lying to you Rinoa..... I should’ve told you sooner about me and Irvine. I just wasn’t sure about it myself......”
“Oh, Squall....... Why did you lead me on to believe that you loved me?” Rinoa cries.
“I didn’t want to hurt you.... I know it’s a stupid reason......”
“I....... I don’t know what to say.”
“Rinoa.... You’re my best friend.... You brought out so much in me.... And I want to thank you....”
“And what about Irvine?”
“I showed my true self to him thanks to you. We’re in love....” “Oh, Irvine...... I’m so sorry.....”
Irvine smiles and nods. He clears his throat and says, “Come on Squall. Tell her about the Lunar Gate...”
Squall asks Rinoa and Zell to take a seat by his bed. “I already know what happened Squall. We got loaded up on the shuttle and got shot out into space.”
“That’s only part of it Zell,” Squall says softly. “You didn’t see what went on after you boarded the shuttle.”
“I didn’t? Well then what DID happen?”
“During Rinoa’s comatose state we had decided to take her to the satellite that orbited the moon. After they loaded her up, I wanted Zell to go with us....”
“Why me?” Zell asks. “You said you love Irvine, why didn’t you take him instead?”
“If anything should’ve happened, I didn’t want to lose the two people I truly loved the most. I know it was foolish because I put your life in danger Zell.”
“Oh.” “It’s over now Zell. You’re alive and safe... I’m glad.....”
“Please, Squall.... Go on.” Rinoa says.
“Well,” Squall continues, “after Zell boarded the ship I turned to the others and stared at them. I had this feeling lingering inside me..... A feeling that told me I was never going to see them again. I gave Quistis my journal for safekeeping. I told her if anything should happen to me to give it to Rinoa. Then I turned to Irvine....”
“It was hard on us all,” Irvine says with a somber tone. “Squall looked at me with those beautiful eyes and told me how much he loved me. I remember how he just wrapped his arms around me and kissed me full on the mouth with Selphie and Quistis watching.” “So...... Quistis knew about you guys too?!” Rinoa inquires. “Then why didn’t she tell me when she gave me the book? Why didn’t she give it to Irvine?”
“Rinoa....” Zell answers, “maybe this was Squall’s way of telling you the truth.”
“Exactly Zell......” Squall adds. “It was best that you heard it from me rather than Selphie or Quistis.” Rinoa sits there silently as Squall holds her hand.
“It’s okay. But how are you alive?”
“It’s a long story.”
Squall asks Irvine for a glass of water before he continues. He sips the liquid as he prepares to tell Rinoa the rest of the story. “We were placed in a cold sleep as we were launched into space. It was amazing. Zell and I were floating around while they took you to an observation cell. As we wandered around, we saw the monsters on the moon swarming into one spot. The Lunar Cry was about to repeat itself......”
“Oh, wow....” Rinoa leans closer so she can listen closely.
“Then there was Ellone.... I finally found her. She sat there quietly in her room when I asked her to help you. She said she couldn’t help me...... She needed to know the person before she sent them into the past. That’s how she transferred all of us, but not you. But she agreed to do what she could. But when we arrived at your cell......”
“The alarm went off and guards were bein’ tossed everywhere!” Zell interjects. “I protected Ellone while Squall here went after you.”
“Thank you Zell. You drifted into the control room and began to override Adel’s holding cell codes.......”
“I drifted....?” Rinoa asks. “Yes....,” Squall responds. “You looked like a puppet on strings. Every time I tried to get near you though, a powerful force knocked me into the walls. I believe you were possessed....”
Rinoa looks into Squall eyes as he is about to continue the story. Her eyes hold a painful secret, a secret that could destroy her in the end. But she retains her silence as Squall goes on. “Rinoa, you then entered the astronauts quarters and knocked them senseless. You stole a space suit and floated out to Adel’s satellite. I put on a space suit and tried to chase after you in space, but I was too late. You already unlocked her cell and she fell to the earth along with the Lunar Cry. According to Irvine, she fell directly into that Lunatic Pandora thing.”
“That’s true,” Rinoa confirms as tears build up within her.
“You were then helplessly floating through space. Time was running out. The Lunar Base was about to explode. The main director Piet, Zell, Ellone, and I strapped ourselves into an escape pod and prayed. Rinoa.....”
“I asked her again to take me to your past. She finally agreed and melded my mind with yours. I saw who possessed you. It was her..... Ultimecia.....”
“(Squall..... I know....)”
“I couldn’t stand the thought of you dying out there. I unfastened my straps myself and went after you. After nearly depleting my own air supply, I finally grabbed you from the brink of death. I saw that you were wearing my ring around your neck..... That’s when I knew you were gonna be safe.”
“I remember what happened after that. I know you led me to an abandoned spaceship and pushed me inside......”
“That’s the last thing I remember......” Squall sits back and has Irvine fetch some healing potion. Rinoa sits there as she recalls the rest. “Squall, let me tell you what happened after you pushed me into the ship.”
“You got hit by an energy spear from the ship and lost your grip. I tried to reach for you, but.....”
Squall holds her hand as he listens. “I crawled through the portal and stabilized myself. There was no time to mourn your loss, so I kissed your ring and proceeded to explore the ship called the Ragnarok. Thanks to you guys training me, I outwitted the monsters that had taken over the ship. Soon, Esthar contacted me via the radio and guided me to landing...... But you were gone... Or so I thought....”
“Yeah Squall!” Zell shouts. “Where’ve YOU been, hanging out here with your sweetheart while we searched for you ass?”
“Zell.....” Irvine sneers with an angry look on his face. “Squall was found about two days ago outside of Eshtar. I heard rumors in Balamb about a young man being transferred from Esthar to Deling City for recovery. When I asked around, I found out it was Squall. I lied to you guys and came here as soon as I could.”
“Why did you lie to us?”
“I wanted to make sure before I got your hopes up. My heart almost dropped when I saw Squall half-covered in bandages. I nearly cried my eyes out. So Zell, be careful about what you say next time....”
“So you’ve been by his side this whole time.... You do love him...” Zell puts his hands behind his head and smiles. “I’m sorry guys.... I really am....”
“It’s no problem Zell. As for Squall’s amazing survival,” Irvine continues “it turns out he managed to grab the cargo door in the Ragnarok after he was nailed by the energy beam. He crawled inside and rode back to the planet. Eshtar soldiers discovered him after they took Rinoa away....”
“Took her away?! Why?” Squall asks.
“I’m a sorceress, Squall.”
Squall stares at Rinoa in shock. “Oh, man.......” Rinoa moves closer and wipes away his tears. “I was taken in by Eshtar and they tried to remove my powers given to me by Edea. We’re all praying to see if the curse has been eliminated. I’m so scared......”
Squall tips up Rinoa’s face and smiles. “We’ll protect you no matter what.” Rinoa looks at Squall and smiles. “Zell?” Rinoa asks.
“Maybe we should go. Irvine missed Squall as much as we did. We should leave them alone.”
“Fine with me. See ya soon Squall. You too Irvine.” Before Zell can step out the door, Rinoa stops in her tracks. She turns around and hands Squall his lion ring. “I think this belongs to you....”
“I read in your journal that you wanted to give it to someone special. I think now’s the perfect time.” Squall blushes after Rinoa’s remark as she and Zell leave the room. Irvine turns to Squall and asks about the ring.
“What did she mean by that, exactly?” He asks.
“Um....... She meant..... (Oh, man this is so embarrassing!)”
“Oh, come on Squall.... You can tell me....”
“Okay, you’ve twisted my arm...... I love you Irvine....”
“I love you too......”
“And I want us to be together forever.....”
Irvine takes some time to recover from Squall’s intentions. Squall takes Irvine’s hand and slips the Griever ring on his finger. “This is what Rinoa was talking about.... It will be a symbol of our love.” Irvine is speechless as he admires Griever. The entwined gold and silver sparkle with the unspoken purity of Squall’s heart. Squall caresses Irvine’s face and brings him closer. Within seconds their eternal bond is sealed with a kiss. No matter what happens in the future, they will never be separated. The sun sets, and the two lovers drift off to sleep, hoping for the best for them and their friends. May the gods be watching over them........
END PART 8
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