Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own anything related to the Final Fantasy series. It's all property of Squaresoft, or Sqare Enix if you prefer. So please, be kind and don't sue me
Important Note: I am yet again working on reposting this story. I found several mistakes in the first chapters, and some things I simply wasn't too happy with. I hope you can forgive the mayhem that this story will be until I actually manage to repost all the chapters I found to be erroneous. Unfortunately, I'm sure that there will still be plenty of mistakes to be found -- Blame it on English not being my first language if you're feeling kind, or blame it on me being a lazy bum and horrible speller if not.
Reposted chapters will be marked by two quotation marks ("). I know that reposting will go slow, but hopefully I'll be finished before the revelation of the very last chapter of "Let Me Make It Alright".
Now, on with the story!
Let Me Make It Alright
Chapter 3: "Long Time No See"
By Angry Angel
"Commander Leonhart, please come to the deck. Commander Leonhart, come to the deck, please!"
Squall stopped in his pace and rolled his eyes towards the loudspeakers embedded into the ceiling of Balamb Garden’s entrance hall. As it was common these days, a significant frown was slanting his brows.
'Great. So much for my peace and quiet.'
The eighteen year-old brought his right hand to his forehead and sighed. Why couldn't they wake him up when he was in the middle of a nasty nightmare, instead of buzzing him right afterwards when he needed to be alone? Sometimes, he really hated his job.
Then again, he always hated his job.
If there was just one thing that Squall despised, it was depending upon others and, in return, having others depend on him. Now that Cid had moved to live with Edea and had passed most of his duties on to Squall, just about everyone depended upon the irritated teenager. He was a hero, the saviour of the world, but quite frankly, he had never asked for any of it. He wasn't even sure why he had accepted the position of Balamb Garden’s Commander in the first place.
Of course, things had looked different with Rinoa by his side...
'Yeah, but Rinoa is gone now. And she took everything with her.'
Squall's nose curled at the thought, and his hand lashed back down from his forehead to his right side. He straightened up mechanically and turned on the heel to return to the elevator he had just left mere seconds ago.
Obviously, if he was being called to the outside deck, a ship must have arrived.
The young Commander took the lift upstairs and walked to the exit leading to the deck. His pace was even and showed just as little emotion as the rest of his body language did. When he turned around the corner past his old room, he realized quickly on whose account he had been called.
Squall's usually sharp vision couldn't make out much more than a blurry yellow piece of clothing before it was being obscured by somebody literally jumping into his arms, which almost sent him crashing to the floor with a thud. Gasping for air, he could only perceive the faint smell of flowery perfume and hair spray, before he thought his eardrums were about to be crushed by a violently loud scream of delight.
"Awwwwwwww it's so good to seeeee you, Squally!"
Slowly regaining his composure, the brunette managed to pry loose the arms that were clamped vice-like onto his shoulders. Lowering his gaze slightly, his storm cloud eyes met with a pair of bright, sparkly green orbs that beamed up at him in utter bliss.
Squall's ethereal features couldn't manage to hide the disbelief. When he looked past Selphie's glowing face, his eyes fell on a tall, auburn haired young man sporting a cowboy hat, a matching coat and a smug grin. At his sides stood Zell and Quistis, who were both watching Squall's every reaction very closely.
"What are you doing here?"
His trademark frown returned to Squall's features as he fastened his hand around his right hip and shifted his weight onto his left foot. Selphie was still bouncing up and down in front of him, not bothered at all by the death glares he was shooting her.
"It's been sooooo long," she sighed, hands clasped and wiggling in front of her body as she jumped like a silly rubber ball.
Irvine Kinneas finally decided to step up to their old friend as well and slapped Squall's shoulder amicably.
"Long time no see, man!"
"Yeah," Squall huffed vaguely as he backed down from Irvine's touch. "So what are you doing here?"
The brunette’s steely gaze slid to Quistis and Zell, who were shifting uncomfortably under his crushing stare.
"Awww Squally, don't be so grumpy! Aren't you glad to see us? We missed youuu!"
"That doesn't answer my question. Aren't you supposed to be at Trabia?"
The cowboy named Irvine waved his hand dismissively.
"Nah, nothing going on right now, so we figured we'd drop by and see what Balamb was up to. It's been a while. I kinda missed this place, and your grumpy ass, of course."
The cowboy smirked, but he was rubbing the back of his head in distress over Squall's murderous facial expression. Apparently, Quistis and Zell hadn't been exaggerating. Their brunette friend was looking terrible; he had lost weight, he was pale like a bed sheet, and his eyes and body language were radiating aggression and lethargy at the same time.
"Sooooo, what are we gonna do now? I want to take a walk through Garden!"
Squall ignored Selphie’s zealous voice with the natural chill of frozen ice. Roughly, he pushed past her and Irvine towards the apprehensive figures of Quistis and Zell.
"This was your grand idea, wasn't it?" he bit sharply.
"Well..." Quistis cringed under Squall's death glare.
"Look, mate," Zell tried carefully, "Quistis and I have been worried about you, you know that. We just figured that, well..."
"You figured what, Zell?" Squall hissed dangerously.
"Irvine and Selphie are your friends, too. We all worry about you! We really just wanted to make you feel better after everything that happened with Rinoa, and-"
Even the vigilant martial artist Zell didn't see Squall's hands snap forward in the blurry flash of a motion, only to wrench harshly into the spiky haired blonde’s shirt. Instead, Zell found himself slammed against the wall and his eyes meeting a pair of storm blue orbs that were aflame with darkest anger.
"Don't fucking dare to mention her name, you hear me? Don't ever mention her name again!"
Squall almost spat the words into Zell's shocked face, and he caused the blonde to wince fearfully. Zell had seen Squall pissed off a few times before, but he had never seen the SeeD Commander lose his temper quite like that. The brunette's face was a mask of fury, carefully suppressed pain, and pure, concentrated hatred.
If there was one thing none of the friends had ever seen before, it was a hating Squall Leonhart.
"Squall!" Quistis gasped.
"Squally, what-" Selphie pressed through the hand that she held clutched in front of her mouth.
"Hey, man, chill please!" Irvine muttered with uncharacteristical insecurity.
"Shut the fuck up!"
With a hoarse growl, Squall thrust Zell away from himself and into the hallway.
Everybody was staring at the Commander in unconcealed shock and disbelief. Squall's chest was rising erratically, matching the fast, uneven pace of his breathing. His face was stark white, but his eyes were almost black with anger.
"I don't need your help, any of you! I've never needed it!"
He whirled around to brush past Irvine and Selphie, both of whom had been rendered unable to move.
"Out of my fucking way!"
Squall’s arm pushed Irvine aside with a predatory growl, before he disappeared around the corner that he had come from and out of everybody’s sight.
The cowboy merely gaped. There were tears pooling in Selphie's eyes. Zell still had fear written all across his features, and Quistis was petrified by what she had just seen.
Deep within, they all wanted to stop Squall, but none of them could.
=To be continued!=
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