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 8: "Hitting Rock Bottom"
By Angry Angel
Soft shadows were dancing across his still, marble features and his closed eyelids. A mild breeze brushed his ivory skin and his chocolate brown hair, as his nose sucked in the faint smell of dewy grass and summer rain. Ever so slowly, his senses started to stir and bristle within him.
"I think he's waking up..."
A whispered voice cut through his daze, calling his conscience to fully wake at last. His eyelids moved lazily, hesitantly peeling open to reveal misty orbs of steel grey. He blinked languidly as he wasn't yet able to see more than mere shadows. Finally, said shadows seemed to materialize, though, and he recognized his friends Irvine and Quistis as they were looking down upon him anxiously.
Sighing, he closed his eyes again and tried to focus on getting a better feeling for his body, but that proved to be rather difficult. His muscles felt heavy and numb on his bones, as if he had just awoken from a thousand year long slumber.
Eventually, he pushed himself to take another averse look at his friends and his surrounding. He didn't really have to glance around to know that he was in the infirmary. Stringily, the memory of what had happened in the training grounds came seeping back to him as he stared blankly at one of the chalk white walls that were surrounding his bed.
Reluctantly, he let his gaze slide over to Quistis and her amazingly deep blue eyes, which she had fixed upon him attentively.
"How are you feeling?" she asked softly.
Even if he didn't particularly felt inclined to answer that question, or any questions for that matter, Squall made an earnest attempt at listening to his body. Quite frankly, he couldn't find a part that didn't hurt or felt like a dead piece of rock. Drawing his breath seemed difficult, and a shallow pain was still jabbing in the crevices of his head. His skin was burning like fire in several places, obviously cut open and grazed to the flesh.
"Fine," he growled.
Quistis and Irvine exchanged glances that Squall wasn't quite able to put his finger on. They were worried, obviously, but there was something else, too.
"What happened?" he finally asked flatly, his voice almost cracking from the strain.
"We found you in the training grounds," Quistis started carefully, "you were wounded and unconscious. A student alarmed us, him and his friend were the first to find you. One of them sought our help, while the other tried to keep the T-rex at bay that had injured you... it was a close call."
Squall turned his head in the fluffly depths of his pillow in shame. Saved by a student, probably not even a SeeD cadet... could he possibly stoop any lower?
"Your body was totally worn out, Squall. It still is," the blonde girl continued, "you could have died."
"I'm fine," Squall hissed again, sick and tired of repeating himself.
To Irvine's and Quistis' shock, their brunette friend suddenly made an attempt at raising up in his bed. The cowboy's hand immediately snapped forward, pushing Squall back into the covers gently but decisively.
"What do you think you're doing?" he asked in mildly taunting disbelief. "You can’t get up."
"Take your hands off me, Kinneas!"
Rocking back at the unexpectedly fierce order, the long haired man quickly obeyed. The raw edge in Squall's voice cut like a knife.
"Where's my gunblade?"
Again, Quistis and Irvine exchanged very uncomfortable looks.
"Squall... you lost it in the training grounds. Zell and Selphie went back to look for it after we had you safe under Doc Kadowaki's care, but..."
"But what?" Squall choked in bitter anticipation.
Quistis' head lowered in despair, avoiding her friend's gaze.
"They couldn't find it. They were looking for hours, but... they had no luck."
"Tell me you're joking."
"I’m so sorry, Squall. Please, don't worry, I know we’ll find it! We'll take care of it, Squall. You just stay here and rest."
Groaning, the brunette folded his right, hospital-shirt clad arm across his face. Things just couldn't be happening, it had to have been a nightmare. First he needed to get his ass saved by a student, then he lost the most precious thing that he had ever owned.
Great. Just great.
The arm was lifted anew from his face in a harsh movement, revealing eyes burning with anger and humiliation.
"I said get out, both of you!" he spat venomously.
Her hand clutched in front of her mouth, Quistis started for another attempt to calm Squall's wild heart down, but Irvine touched her shoulder, motioning her to get up.
"Come on," he whispered stonily. "Leave him alone for a while."
Still hesitant to comply, Quistis had to be pulled up by her friend and ushered outside, leaving behind a brunette young man with the coldest and hardest look plastered across his flawless pale features.
As soon as the door to Squall’s room fell shut behind them, Quistis drew a deep breath, clasping her chest with one hand. With wisps of her long blond hair dancing aimlessly around her face, she shook her head slowly.
"Quistis, did he wake up?"
The instructor looked up into the apprehensive, gentle features of Balamb Garden's physician. Quistis had always admired the older woman for her strength and resolution, and she was glad to have a rock to crash on.
"He's not doing well, Doc. He’s very shook up over what happened."
"Yah, he kicked us out," Irvine added, scratching his head with a rather dumbfounded expression.
"That silly boy," Kadowaki frowned, "he is lucky to have friends like you. He could have died there last night, if you and the kids wouldn't have come to his aid."
"He’s very proud," Quistis mused, "he doesn't like to accept help at all."
"Well, he needs to now, whether he likes it or not," Kadowaki said sternly, placing her hands on her hips.
Suddenly, she sighed.
"It's not the wounds he suffered from the T-rexaur that worry me. Squall's body has been pushed beyond its limits. He's worn out over and above exhaustion. Judging by his blood test results and his weight loss, he hasn't been eating much, if anything. Apparently, that doesn’t stop him from slave-driving his poor body, though. He's been draining all his powers down to the very last, life saving reserves. He can't keep going like this, or it won't take a T-rex to kill him."
Irvine and Quistis were thunderstruck. Deep down, they had known only too well how bad things were looking for Squall, but actually hearing the words spoken out loud was far worse than they had imagined. Quistis felt at the verge of breaking down in tears.
"We should call Director Cid," she whispered with a voice that was choked by barely suppressed sobs.
"Yes, definitely. This is my fault, too. I should have been suspicious when I didn't see him at all the last two months. I figured he was just busy, and I had enough to do with the new students that were admitted."
Even a woman as strong as Doctor Kadowaki felt at a loss over Squall's condition.
"By the way," Irvine suddenly interrupted the silence, "he tried to get up from his bed. Is he allowed to do that?"
"No," the doc shook her head decisively, "he most certainly is not. I will see to prevent that from happening. You two go and call Cid, I'll take a look at our problem child. And Quistis..."
The young blonde glanced up.
"Get some rest, you have been sitting by his bed ever since he got here. You need sleep just as much as everyone else does, sweetheart."
Quistis sighed. She wasn't tired; her head was filled with worries over Squall. She couldn't quite shut out the thought that she should have acted much sooner.
"Yes, I will."
Forcing herself to smile, she inclined her head towards the doctor in a respectful gesture. She only took a brief side-glance at the door to Squall's room, before she nodded at Irvine and both of them left the infirmary with their hearts weighing heavier than stones.
=To be continued!=
Return to Archive | next | previous