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 9: "Guess What"
By Angry Angel
The night of that very same day, a ship arrived at Balamb Garden, bearing the facility's headmaster Cid Kramer and his wife, Edea, formerly the sorceress that had been possessed by the evil witch Adel. On top of that, Edea had been the matron of the orphanage that Squall and all of his friends had spent a greater part of their childhood at. The Kramer couple had heeded Quistis Trepe's call immediately, when they had heard about Squall Leonhart's accident and his deteriorating physical condition.
Zell Dincht and Irvine Kinneas had already been awaiting their arrival anxiously at the deck.
A smile spread across Edea's porcelain features as she hugged both of her former protegees tightly. She stepped about an arm's length away from them, screening their figures carefully out of attentive amber oculates.
"You two have grown since we last met," she chuckled.
Zell and Irvine rubbed their heads in slight embarassment as well as subtle pride. When Cid walked up to them with a wide smile stretching the corners of his mouth, they offered him a crisp salute.
"Director Cid, Sir!"
"No need for the formalities, boys."
Even though he was glad to see his students and his Garden again, Cid’s smile faded quickly, and he looked older than the two friends had ever seen him before. Concern was visibly carved into his old, benignant features.
"Where is he?"
There was of course no doubt about the object of Cid's question. Zell nodded towards the direction of the elevator.
"He’s in the infirmary. Do you want to see him now, or do you want to rest first?"
"We want to see him now. Quistis' call worried us terribly, that is why we came here so quickly," Edea explained.
"Okay," Zell nodded, "We'll take you to him, then."
While they were they were being led through the familiar, yet slightly changed environment of Balamb Garden, the Kramers couldn't help but pierce the two young men with curious questions.
"Quistis said that Selphie was here here, too," Edea started.
"Yes, she is, she came with Irvine. I think she’s in Squall's office right now taking calls or something."
Once again, Cid's face seemed to turn to stone, and a distinct shadow of guilt struck his features.
"I should have known better. It was all way too much for Squall, all this responsibilty. This is my fault, I shouldn't have left him alone here."
"I think this doesn't just have to do with his job," Zell tried to reassure their director, "he’s been having lots of problems with his love life and stuff..."
"Oh, him and Rinoa are having problems?"
"Well, erh... actually..."
The blonde martial artist gulped and shifted uncomfortably under the apprehensive stares of the couple.
"They like, broke up. Months ago."
Edea's tawny eyes lit up in surprise and concern over Zell's words.
"Are you serious? Why haven't we heard anything about that?"
"Squall chose to have it remain a secret. So... we kinda had to obey."
"That silly, silly boy." Edea sighed compassionately.
"Does Laguna Loire know about all this?"
For the first time, that thought really occured to the young blonde and his auburn haired friend. It probably would have been a wise move to notify Squall's father and tell him what had happened. Accordingly embarrassed, Zell shook his spiky head and slumped his shoulders.
"No, we really kinda forgot about that."
"Quistis told us that Squall hasn't talked to his old man in months, though," Irvine added in the vain attempt to help his friend.
"Well, that’s no reason to keep him out of this. I will contact Laguna later. Where is Quistis now?"
"She’s sleeping in my room," Zell blushed. "She was really tired. Selphie cast a sleep spell on her so she could get some rest."
"Ah yes, that is understandable," the old man nodded.
They remained quiet the rest of their way, until they eventually found themselves in the small waiting room of doctor Kadowaki's infirmary. The Garden physician greeted her old friend Cid amicably, hugging him as well as his wife.
"I hope the air at the shore is doing you good, Cid," she said, carefully screening his face.
"Yes, yes, it is. I’m just worried right now, I suppose. Tell me, how is Squall's condition?"
"Well, he’s exhausted, to put it simply. His mind and body are totally devoid of any energy, which is causing him all sorts of problems. I think he has given up on himself and everything around him. He refuses to eat and drink, and he doesn't talk unless he practically has no other choice. To make matters worse, he broke a few bones in the fight with the T-rex, and unless he is willing to let his body heal, no curega of this world can help him."
"That sounds more serious than I had feared," Cid sighed gravely.
"Can we see him?" Edea asked.
"Yes. I had to strip him from all of his GF's and used a special paralysis potion of mine on him to keep him from scrambling out of bed. He might be exhausted beyond anything he has ever experienced, but that doesn't seem to stop him from thinking that he’s invincible and stubbornly refusing all help."
"What about the eating problem?"
"He’s hooked onto the IV and hating it, of course. But this is no long-term solution. He needs to re-gain his will to live. I wish there was a way to figure out what happened that triggered this self-destructive side of his."
"I’m going to talk to his father Laguna later," Cid mused, "Maybe he knows more."
"I do hope so."
"Let's go in and see him."
Doc Kadowaki opened the door to Squall's sick room. The evening sun was pushing through the window in gentle rays, casting ful shadows over the motionless body resting calmly in the white hospital bed. Steel blue eyes opened immediately at the sound of careful footsteps, and they quickly snapped their focus to the five people that had entered the room.
Squall's pair of perfect eyebrows arched in confusion and mild irritation at the sight of his new and unexpected visitors.
"Cid and... Edea?"
His former matron sank down on a chair next to his bed and grasped his cold, pale hands without paying any attention to his body flinching or his eyes narrowing defensively.
That was all she said, holding him with her warm amber gaze while everyone else would simply watch. Squall shifted uncomfortably, or as much as his forced paralysis and the tube inserted into the crease of his arm would allow him, anyway.
"What are you doing here?" he finally forced out between dry lips.
"We are here to help you, Squall," the woman at his side answered, causing him to groan involuntarily.
"I don't need help. I just need to get out of this bed."
"You need to give your body time to heal, sweetheart. You have been working it way too hard. And you need to eat."
He rolled his head aside, focusing intently on the stark white walls. He didn't want Edea and Cid around. It was hard enough to deal with his friends.
Hard enough to be cold and rigid to them.
Zell, Irvine, Cid and Doc Kadowaki were still watching the scene quietly, but their hearts ached at the sight of their friend refusing his matron's help. If the kind woman Edea, the person that was probably the closest thing to a mother that Squall had ever known, wasn't able to cast down the brunette’s ice cold barriers, who possibly could?
"I want to be alone," Squall’s croaky voice finally came pressed from in between the covers.
Edea looked at him intently, with the warmth of a mother's love shining from her eyes. She ran her hand through his mussed up dark brown tresses and breathed a kiss on his temple, before she stood up.
"Let him sleep," she whispered calmly to the others.
Nobody objected. They left the room as quietly as they had entered it, closing the door behind themselves without a sound. For a while, they simply stood in the waiting room, lacking any words. Zell studied Edea's features with curiosity, but she was almost as mysterious and hard to read as Squall.
Just as they were about to decide to call it a night and go to bed to be rested for the coming day, somebody bolted through the infirmary door with a loud thud, almost losing balance and soaring to kiss the tiled floor below her.
Before them stood an utterly out of breath Selphie Tilmitt, hair unusually out of place and cheeks flushed in a pale shade of crimson. She was so excited and distracted that she didn't even think of greeting Cid and Edea, which surely was strange for a person as amicable and social as her.
"Gueeeeess what!!" she groaned, doubling over and holding her stomach that was aching from the run.
"Erh, what, Selphie darling?" her boyfriend asked, tilting his form down to her’s to see if she was alright.
Suddenly, they noticed that Selphie had been clutching a piece of paper, which she was now waving in front of their faces with a certain triumphant edge to the gesture. Her eyes were now glowing suspiciously bright, and a complacent grin was plastered across her pretty features.
"You will never guess what I just found out!"
=To be continued!=
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