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 4: "The Aftermath"
By Angry Angel
"Holy Hyne, what the heck was that?"
Quistis, Zell, Selphie and Irvine were still standing quite dumbfounded in the hallway, looking as if a hurricane had just washed over them. Selphie's tiny body was even shaking slightly. Her boyfriend Irvine moved closer to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders protectively. Then his light blue eyes found Quistis' gaze.
"Man, I didn't think he'd be that bad."
"He scared me," Selphie whimpered softly.
"He has been this way for a while now. Though, I’ll have to say, I have not seen him lose his head quite like this before."
Quistis was still staring into the direction in which Squall Leonhart had vanished. Zell walked up next to her, rubbing his chest with a muffled groan.
"Are you okay, Zell?" she inquired, concern lacing her voice.
"Yeah, I’m okay, sweetie," he replied, his face contorted wryly. "He just caught me by surprise, I guess. He lost some weight, but geez, his body still is deceiving in its strength. Good thing he didn't have his gunblade or nothing."
"So, tell me," Irvine started, "what exactly happened that triggered this?"
"See, that's the problem. We don't really know. I guess it all started a few months after you guys left for Trabia."
Quistis rested her back against a wall, sighing as she started to rub her forehead to ease the headache that was raging beneath it.
"I thought that him and Rinoa were doing really well, but I guess that they weren't. Not that either of them ever talked to me about their relationship or anything, but I just figured that they were in love, you know."
"One day," Zell continued, "Rinoa went to visit her father in Deling City. Squall was supposed to catch up with her a few days later, but he never did. Instead, Rinoa called him and told him she was dumping him."
"But why?" Selphie asked incredulously. "They seemed sooo happy when we left. She had a seeeeeerious crush on him, so why would she dump him?"
"We don't know why. Squall never told us, and Rinoa never showed up here ever again. We tried to get a hold of her at her father's house, but she wasn't there. That was, like, four months ago. Ever since then Squall's been changing for the worse. He refuses to talk to Laguna, and if he doesn't train like a madman he locks himself up in his room or his office. He doesn't eat or sleep much anymore, either. He’s been spotted in the training halls at the most ungodly hours, and well, you saw how thin he was."
The blonde instructor shook her head in exasperation, fighting down the tears that threatened to break out of her. She definitely didn't want to start crying, not in front of her friends. She had to be strong.
"Why didn't you call us earlier?"
Selphie started to rub her friend's arms, drawing the taller woman into a hug that Quistis gladly accepted. When they pulled apart, she seemed to have regained some of her old strength and resolve. After all, she was the oldest of the gang, and she had always been the voice of reason, no matter how ill things had gone.
"He pretty much ordered us not to. You saw him. He doesn't want anyone to know or to care. Director Cid doesn't even know. Squall says it's nobody's business but his own."
"Well, he's wrong!" Selphie exclaimed in protest. "He’s our friend, we love him! We can't let this happen!"
"I knew you’d say that, Selph," Quistis replied with a gentle smile. "That's why Zell and I decided to ask you and Irvine for help after all."
"So, I mean, what are we gonna do now?"
Everyone looked at Irvine, feeling more at a loss than ever. Of course, they all were Squall's friends, but it was hard forcing help upon somebody who had spent all of his life refusing it.
"We just need to do loooots of stuff with him, take him out to have fun so he can forget about the bi... I mean, Rinoa," Selphie suggested with a lopsided smirk.
"I tried that, Selph, I wanted to take him to Balamb and Esthar, but he wouldn't hear it. Man, Squall has never been Mister Social or anything, but this is nuts," Zell sighed.
"There has to be something we can do. We can't just watch him shovel his own tomb. Maybe if we all went on a mission together, ya know, like in the good old times?"
Quistis nodded approvingly at the cowboy's suggestion.
"That sounds like a pretty interesting idea, Irvine."
"Yah, and if that doesn't work, I'll just take him out to find him a new woman!" Irvine declared with a hand that he jabbed into the air enthusiastically.
Selphie and Quistis both couldn't resist rolling her eyes at his smug comment.
"Hey," the cowboy shrugged, "at least you're smiling, ladies."
The wide smirk that spread across Irvine Kinneas' handsome features surely was nothing short of irresistible.
"Irvine, Selphie, I am glad you two came," Quistis interrupted the charming brunette, "I know you still have lots of work to do rebuilding Trabia Garden to it's former state."
Quistis Trepe smiled, thanking her friends with a sincere look out of her shining, cobalt blue eyes.
"It's Squall we are talking about here. I mean, he saved us all. We owe him big time, no matter how gnarly he acts," Irvine said, rubbing the instructor's shoulder in a friendly gesture.
"Great, we got a plan then!" Zell cried joyfully. "We'll take him on a mission, that will pull him out of his stupor in no time!"
Selphie sighed insecurely, having lost her usual carefree nature.
"I hope you’re right, Zelly."
"Come on, we’ll show you your room. Then we can go and look for Squall."
Zell smirked widely, giving his friends a thumbs-up before he bounced away ahead of them. Quistis, Selphie and Irvine threw each other uncertain looks, not quite convinced of the ease of their mission yet, but they decided that it would be best to hold on to the only plan they had for the time being.
Of course, things never work out the way you plan...
=To be continued!=
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