Disclaimer: Squaresoft owns all the characters. I don’t own anything.

Knowing Innocence

Chapter 9

By Purple Penguin

I stood in front of a full-length mirror; it was the night of the ball. I wore a black tux with a white dress shirt, my hair was slicked back Zell had yet emerge from his bedroom yet, I was ready, in fact I’d been ready for ages I just had to wait for him.

“Zell are you ready yet? We better get going.”



“I’m not going.”

I frowned. Where had that come from? I knew he wasn’t too keen but we talked about it and he seemed okay, so why the change of heart?

“Why not? Come out here.”

“No way. I look stupid. I’m not tux kind of guy.”

“Neither am I but I’m still going.”

“Go without me then.”

I rolled my eyes. It was hard for me to image Zell looking bad, I mean he was Zell.

“I have to have a partner; you can’t just ditch me now! You come out here right now or I’ll fix it so that you get no more hotdogs!”

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would. Come on, I can help make you look better.”


Finally I heard the lock click and the door opened a little.

“Don’t laugh.” He opened the door fully and stepped out.

He wore a pure white tux and his shirt was blue like his eyes. His fluffy blonde hair was spiked as usual. I swear I forgot to breathe for a minute.

“Well?” He asked.

He was perfect, words failed me. What was I supposed to say to him? How could he think he looked stupid? He was beautiful.


He stared at his shoes, fiddling with his fingers. “I told you.” He tugged on his jacket. “Stupid. I should have worn a black tux.”

I put a hand on his arm. “You don’t look stupid, honest.”

“I’m going to get changed.” He turned to go back into his room.

I reached out and grabbed his shoulders. “Do you trust me?”


I pulled him a little closer. “Then trust me, you’re beautiful.”

His eyes went wide but he quickly looked down and blushed. Zell glanced back up at me almost shyly, he meet my smile.

“Ready to go then?”

He took a deep breath and straightened his jacket.

“Let’s go.”

I looked down at myself in the mirror. This was ridiculous. My tux was white and with my blonde hair it looked silly, I practically glowed. I couldn’t go out like this everyone would notice me. What a disaster. I’m going with Seifer and I wanted to look good for him. Seifer always looks stunning.

I jumped when he called my name through the door.

“I’m not going.” I called back.

I knew I’d be leaving him with no partner at the last minute but it was better than going out there and seeing him laugh at me. I felt the fear when he threatened the hotdogs. He couldn’t do that, could he?

Eventually I opened the door to him. “Don’t laugh.”

I was right, Seifer looked amazing. He wore a black tux and a white dress shirt. Bet everyone will want to dance with him, I’ll probably be standing alone all night anyway.


He wasn’t saying anything so that had to be a bad thing right? When he did try to speak he stuttered over the words. I knew he thought I looked crap but he trying to be nice.

“See? I told you.” I gestured to the suit. “It’s stupid.”

I turned to go back into my room but he stopped me. “Do you trust me?”

What did that have to do with anything?


“Than trust me, you’re beautiful.”

What? I swear my eyes nearly fell out of their sockets. I tore my eyes from his and stared at the floor. Was he serious? I glanced back up at him nervously. He looked pretty serious. He smiled too.

“Ready to go then?”

I really doubted anyone would share his opinion but as I had wanted to look good for Seifer, I guess only his opinion counted.

We walked down the hallway side-by-side. As we neared the hall Zell glanced nervously around. People were looking at us, girls were drooling over us, guys were jealous. My date was much prettier than their. Zell seemed to take the attention the wrong way, he flinched if their gaze lingered too long and once he even moved behind me as if to hide. It made me want to put my arm around him to comfort him and to warn off all those that obviously wanted him for themselves.

The ballroom was flooded with people, many were like me. They had been to loads of these things and they stood of to the side, bored.

Xu nodded to me as I entered, I nodded back.

Zell looked out over the sea of dancing figures. “I’m not so sure this was such a good idea.”

“But they have hotdogs.” I pointed out the table full of Zell’s favourite food and watched his eyes light up. He glanced at me to see if I minded. “Go ahead.”

I smirked as I spotted a familiar brunette leaning on a pillar looking bored. I walked over to him but he barely glanced at me.

“Squall, lover boy not with you?”

He shot me the famous Squall glare. Nida stepped up to us and handed Squall a glass of champagne. He nodded briefly in greeting.

“Where’s your partner?”

I looked over to where I knew Zell would be. I frowned there was a girl with him, she was practically drooling on his shoes. He seemed oblivious to her affections, probably couldn’t see what she saw in him. Sometimes he was too innocent for his own good.

“Excuse me.” I said to Squall and Nida but I didn’t glance at them, my eyes were fixed on Zell.

I almost ran to the hotdog table, I needed some normality. This was so different from anything I’d been to before. Everyone thought I looked stupid, I saw them looking at me as I entered with Seifer. The girls were drooling over him and the guys were laughing at me. I so wanted to run and hide, I did duck behind Seifer once, he probably thought I was crazy. I grabbed a plate and filled it with hotdogs, I pulled out a chair from another table and tucked into my food. My eyes stayed on the plate and it’s contents, I wished I could vanish into a puff of smoke.

“Hi, can I sit here?”

I looked up at the female voice that intruded on my thoughts. The girl wore a white dress that was so short I could almost see her underwear. Her hair was black with blonde highlights. She pointed to the seat beside me.

“Yeah, sure.”

I turned my chair so that I was facing the table and not her.

“Hi, I’m Rinoa.” She held out her hand to me.

I frowned. What did she want? Why wasn’t she with her partner?

“Zell.” I shook her hand then went back to my food.

“So who are you with?”

“Seifer Almasy.”

Her eyes went wide. “What? You know him?”

“Yeah, he’s my roommate.”

“You want to stay away from him. He’s a bully and everyone’s afraid of him.”

“Afraid? How could anyone be frightened of Seifer? He wouldn’t hurt me, would he?”


“He likes to play the tough guy; he bullies all the younger students.”

That didn’t sound much like Seifer to me, I’d seen him shout at a few people but that was normal wasn’t it?

The girl shuffled her chair closer to mine, I moved slightly away. I didn’t believe all the stuff she said about Seifer, I didn’t want to believe it. He wasn’t like that with me.

“Seifer’s not like that.

She shrugged. “Well, believe what you want, but I’ve been here for three years I know h-” She trailed off.

I looked up and stared straight into the eyes of my roommate. He looked pissed, Rinoa looked afraid of him but I knew he would never hurt her.

“Rinoa, don’t you have somewhere else to be?” Seifer asked her in a fake sweet tone.

She didn’t have to be asked twice, she got up and disappeared into the crowd. Seifer sat down in the seat beside me.

“So, what has Rinoa been telling you?”

I looked him in the eye. He didn’t look angry anymore; I tried to image that what she said was true.

“What is it? You’re looking at me funny?” The tall blonde asked me.

“It’s nothing.”

If it was true, I knew Seifer would never hurt me, I trusted me.

I sat down next to Zell after I’d scared off Rinoa. I didn’t want that greasy bitch getting hands on my Zell.

“Did you want her to stay?”

“No, it’s fine.” He looked up as Xu approached us.

She looked at me. “Can I borrow you for a minute?”

As I stood to follow her, Quistis slipped into my seat beside Zell.

“Well?” She looked past me at Zell. “He looks pretty cute.”

“Yeah, he’s beautiful.”

“Are you going to ask him to dance?”

“Give a guy a chance.”

“Go on then.” She pointed back to Zell. “I command you, go dance with Zell.”

As Seifer walked off, Quistis stole his chair to sit beside me.

“So, details details.”

“What details?”

“Are you going to dance with him?”

“What?! No way, he wouldn’t want to dance with me!”

She rolled her eyes. “Of course he would. You’re blonde, cute and annoyingly innocent. Now stop being so silly.”

She got up to leave. “Now if he asks you, you have to say yes, okay?”

I nodded.

She smiled as the same song that Seifer and I were practising to came on. “Oh look, how convenient.”

I rolled my eyes. I knew she had something to do with it.

I walked back to Zell and we watched Xu and Quistis walk off to dance together. “They make a good couple, don’t they?” Zell said.

“Yeah, they do.”

I looked down at him; his eyes stayed on the girls until he finally glanced up at me.

“Dance with me?”

He hesitated. “Okay.” He took the hand I offered.

Just like in practise, I arranged his arms to how I wanted them. I had my hands on his waist and he had his arms around my neck. He was a little uncomfortable at first, I felt him tense up in my arms and his eyes went back to watch his feet. I gently lifted his chin to get him to look me in the eye. I ran my fingers through his fluffy blonde hair, silently telling him that he didn’t have to be uncomfortable around me. He seemed to get the message he moved a little closer and rested his head on my chest. He stayed there for the whole dance and I moved my arms around him so I could hold him.

I don’t understand why that girl would lie like that. We’ve been dancing with my head on his chest and the more I thought about it the more I didn’t believe it. Seifer didn’t frightened me, quite the opposite I felt safe with him, even though I was probably stronger than he was. I feel comfortable around him, even when we met he never did anything to make me feel afraid. I snapped out of my thought as the noise in the room started again and everyone started to leave the dance. The song had ended and I hadn’t noticed, I looked up at Seifer, I could tell he was equally confused. I pulled away from him sharply, glancing around to see if anyone else had noticed.

“Where are you going?”

I hadn’t noticed I was walking away, I was in a daze. “I need some air.”

The little blonde wandered out to the balcony. Was he okay? He was acting pretty strangely.

I followed him outside. Zell stood facing the railing, looking up at the stars. It was a nice night; I gently wrapped my arms around his waist from behind. He gasped in shock.

“Calm down, it’s only me.”

He sighed and leaned back against me and closed his eyes.

“Are you okay?”

I felt him nod.

Zell seemed to glow even more in the moonlight. He was beautiful, like an angel, a pure innocent angel.

I tipped his head up gently but he didn’t open his eyes. Carefully I lowered my head and kissed him lightly.

His eyes flew open in alarm.

“What was that for?”

“I wanted to.”


He was too dense, sometimes. “Cause you’re beautiful and I want to be with you.”

His eyes got wide but they quickly closed as I kissed him again. For once he was silent.




Hope that end was okay, I wasn’t sure how to end it.

Return to Archive | next | previous