Dedicated to: Kitty's fic
Notes: *whistling innocently*Okay okay... Thanks to everyone for your kind responses! Sorry if I missed some of you. >.< I try to respond to everyone's nice comments but sometimes I forget who I responded to and who I didn't. I'm an airhead. Just call me Puff. Kitty... this fic started out strong... I don't know what happened. *whimper* But I hope you like the ending. Someone at least is happy. *big eyes* Does that count? ACK! *ducks under her desk and waits for the nasty flames to shower her* Anyone think I should change the title? *scratches head and looks indecisive*
Disclaimer: I don't own FF8, FF7 or any of the characters in this fic... except Mr. Spider. ^-^
Don't Make Him Cry
Chapter Eighteen - Alone; Dealing with Broken Dreams
"Why are you still here?" Rufus asked shortly as he stepped out of his tent.
Valentine shrugged, studying Rufus' red eyes with a narrowed gaze. "I'm bored of coffins." He responded quietly.
"Hm." Rufus tugged on a pair of pure white gloves. Valentine raised an eyebrow at the white outfit Rufus was wearing.
It was completely inappropriate for a soldier, but it did look good. Especially on someone who had a figure like Rufus. Rufus stilled, feeling Valentine's eyes on him. He looked up slowly, meeting that blood-red, unflinching stare. "I'm not going back to Avalanche, Valentine." Rufus waved his hand carelessly, "Go with the Turks."
"We're not going back either." Tseng said quietly, stepping up to the tent. Reno, Elena and Rude flanking him.
Rufus glanced at them, his eyes narrowing. "What?" He growled.
"We were getting bored." Reno smirked. He slouched forward, a cigarette hanging from his lips. He wore, instead of the uniform he'd been wearing before, a dark, navy blue suit. With a fancy white shirt underneath that was hopelessly disarranged. Part of it hanging out, other parts tucked in. He was the picture of ... *cough* grace.
The others, Tseng, Rude and Elena were wearing similar outfits, only their's were tidier in appearance. "That's right." Elena smiled, standing with her hands clasped behind her back and her feet slightly spread, "Far be it for us to let you have all the fun."
"Hm... too much fun might kill him." Reno chuckled.
Rufus sucked in his breath, a strange pain gripping his heart. He tried to hide the pain from his face, but one pair of astute red eyes took note. "All right..." Rufus said gruffly, "Let's go."
"Seifer?" Squall's voice was gruff, though he didn't intend it to be.
Seifer stiffened, but he didn't turn. "What do you want Squall?" he snarled.
Squall flinched, and stepped closer. "Why didn't you tell me?" He wanted to say; How are you? but the thing that bothered him the most came out first.
"You didn't care. You still don't care." Seifer's shoulders arched.
"I do care!" Squall growled, grabbing Seifer by the arm and turning him so he could look into Seifer's eyes. Hard, cold eyes. Eyes that.. eyes that didn't hold love for anything anymore.
"Good, because I don't anymore." Seifer slapped Squall's hand away from his arm and walked away.
Squall could only stare at Seifer's retreating back. He didn't know what to think and most importantly, he didn't know how to feel.
Irvine had just enough time to whirl around before a blond whirlwind slammed into his chest. He let his breath out with a soft gasp and suddenly found himself lying flat on his back on the ground with a pair of hot lips pressed against his own.
He couldn't breathe.
He couldn't think.
He couldn't react.
Zell lifted his head, panting softly. "I like Seifer, as a friend. I love him as a friend to. But I like you, and I love you as a hot sex toy." He grinned impishly.
Irvine could only gape. The pressure in his pants let him know that Zell's words turned him on more than anything ever had, but he couldn't speak. He could brealy draw breath into his tortured lungs. "L-love?" he finally managed to stutter.
"Love. With all my heart, soul and..." Zell arched his hips, pressing a strangely bulging member of his body against Irvine's leg. His smile grew even wider at Irvine's soft groan.
"But how? You... you never..."
"said anything? Neither did you, you idiot." Zell growled, "How was I supposed to know this entire friggin garden is gay?"
Irvine's eyes widened, he opened his mouth to speak but Zell was kissing him again, and he didn't feel the need to speak again for several hours.
/So this is how it ends./ Rufus placed the butt of his rifle against his hip, so the barrel pointed towards the sky. He stared out over the valley, so close to the edge of the cliff that the toes of his boots hung in the air.
He felt a quiet, dark presence step up to his other side. He glanced at Valentine, a question in his eyes. /Why are you here?/
Almost as if he heard Rufus' thought, Valentine began to speak. "Jenova won't stop here." He commented quietly, "She'll continue to fight for Sephiroth's freedom into our realm."
Valentine's eyes flashed with agony so deep Rufus almost felt it within himself. "This was never his will. She controls him Shinra. Just as.. power controlled you."
Rufus looked away, gazing out at the valley again. "We'll stop her."
"We will... but where will that leave you? You'll hunt her for years... maybe when you're old and gray you'll finally find her. And kill her. But you'll be alone. And there will be no one to go home to."
"Why do you care?" Rufus snarled.
"Because I hunted my own demons. I still do." Valentine said softly.
"I am who you will be, if you choose this life."
"What else is there?" Rufus snapped.
Valentine was quiet for a long while. He turned away, his back straight and proud, "Look for the one who you love Rufus. Look for that one. That is a way to live our lives. Love is what we were made for..."
"I can't look for him.." Rufus said shortly, closing his eyes.
"Then look for..." Valentine's voice trailed off.
Rufus looked at him sharply. Valentine turned his eyes and their gazes met.
There was a wealth of feeling in Valentine's eyes that Rufus couldn't even begin to understand. He looked away quickly, unable and unwilling to deal with that right now. "I will go the path that is before me. Jenova must be destroyed. For good. Who better to hunt her, then the one with no soul." Rufus lowered his rifle, clutching it so hard his knuckles turned white.
/I remember a time when I thought the same thing of Hojo./ Valentine thought sadly eyeing the young man, /He doesn't realize how hard it is to be alone./
"If I end up alone... it doesn't matter. I will end up alone anyway."
"Quistis?" Selphie whispered as she felt Quistis' hand grab her own.
/Fee-fee?/ Selphie blinked at Quistis, unable to comprehend her new nickname. She shook her head, /I'll talk to her about that later./ "Do you think they'll be happy?"
"Irvine and Zell?"
"Yes." Quistis smiled, tugging on Selphie's hand to pull the smaller girl close. "Zell has loved Irvine for as long as I can remember. He's just always been too afraid to say it. And Irvine... well... Irvine has never been in love, because when he does love, it'll be fiercely. Intently. A love that never wavers and never dies."
"Do you think Irvine loves Zell?" Selphie asked softly.
"Yes. With every fiber of his being." Quistis responded without a moment's hesitation.
"Squall, Rinoa... it's such a twisted mess. No matter what happens there, someone is going to get hurt." Quistis sighed a little.
"Do you think Squall loves Seifer?"
"I don't think Squall knows what love is Phiphi... He's always felt Rinoa was superficial. As if her feelings ran only skin deep. But.. with Seifer.. he doesn't know what to do, because there can be no doubt that what Seifer feels is real."
"Have you ever thought about how odd our friends are?" Selphie asked with a giggle.
"No..." Quistis wrapped an arm around Selphie, she laughed lightly, "No. How could I? I'm certain there are others more messed up then we."
v "Not me! I'm normal as normal can get!"
The two laughed together and then walked away. "Let's just walk for awhile Quisty. I love the smell of fresh rain."
Quistis merely nodded, her arm still locked around Selphie's waist.
She smiled at him when he finally gathered the courage to see her. She smiled and held out her hand. He wanted to hate her. But he didn't. Instead he reached out and took her hand. She squeezed, a gentle smile tilting her lips.
"Did you speak to him?"
"What do you want?" He growled.
She continued to smile, unfazed by his dark mood. "Did you speak to him?"
He was quiet for a long time. But she waited patiently and the silence wrung an answer out of him faster then interrogation would have. "No."
She sighed, "You have to speak to him... you can't put it off forever."
"It doesn't matter anymore."
"What do you mean?" She frowned at the desolate tone in his voice.
"It's over Rinoa." He pulled his hand away from her and walked across the room to the window. "It's over." He repeated in a whisper.
His back was turned to her, so she didn't see the lone tear that found it's way down his cheek.
A single white rose. It felt like silk in his fingers. He stood at the railing, staring down at the ocean. Beautiful, and yet simple. A powerful force of nature that could kill so easily... like love. He held the rose bud over the railing, cradled it in his palm and stared at it.
He turned his hand and watched as the bud flew through the air, straight down to the water. It landed with a tiny splash, floated for a moment, then began to sink. He watched, until he could see it no more.
He gripped the railing with both hands and bent over at the stomach as pain clenched his insides. In the space of a few hours he'd lost the one thing he'd always wanted; someone to love him, and the one thing he'd always loved; Squall. The emotional pain was tearing him apart. He didn't know what to do with it. He could only let it eat at him as he remembered the sound of Rufus' voice. 'I love you'.
He squeezed his eyes shut.
"I could have loved you too... so easily." He trembled as the tears burned at the back of his eyes. He wouldn't cry though. He refused to finalize things with tears.
There was still hope.
He had to believe there was hope.
He slid to his knees and wrapped his arms around his waist.
"Will I ever see you again?" he whispered to the air.
There was no answer.
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