Chapter 5 - End to Innocence

By The Wandering Englishman

"Sit, please." Laguna asked the youth as he poured drinks for the both of them. The taller youth reluctantly sat at the table, arms wrapped tightly around him as his fingertips played with the somewhat familiar, but not unwanted feeling of leather.

He looked up as the short glass of orange juice was placed in front of him; his older companion taking a seat across from him, eyeing him cautiously.

"What’s the last thing you remember?" The greying man asked, taking a sip from the glass, looking intently into the grey eyes of the leather clad youth before him. Squall looked at him curiously before looking down at his glass, thinking hard, searching for the memories that weren’t there.

Noticing the look on his face, Laguna placed a comforting hand on the boys own.

"It’s okay. We’ve been expecting this for a little while." The older man smiled.

"You were in an accident three months ago. A car accident...while you were driving through the forest just outside Balamb…sudden T-Rexaur attack.  You were thrown from the car."

Squall nodded, accepting what the stranger was saying, not concentration on the words being said by the nervous man. His voice was somewhat hypnotic. Soothing to the point of relaxing him.

"…The Doctor said you had no real injuries, but the CAT scan showed something else…something we wouldn’t have noticed if you’d not been in the accident. You could have died Swe…" Laguna stopped himself, wincing at the almost slipped name.

"…Squall. They operated about a month ago, but there were…complications."

"What sort of complications?" The stoic youth replied dryly, now hanging on the elder mans words. The green-eyed man squeezed the hand before standing up; walking to the bench with his now empty glass.

Looking down into the stainless steel sink, the president let out a sigh and swallowed.

"You haemorrhaged. You were dead and I thought…" Laguna blinked away his tears, twisting the tap tightly in his hand, the glass overflowing with warm water before he realised that Squall was now standing behind him.

"You said I was dead…what happened?"

"When they brought you back…you were…you were different. You were like you were, only colder. And you didn’t remember much…"

"But I don’t remember anything."

"That’s the thing. Kadowaki said the bleeding in your brain could lead to it happening again. I…we hoped it wouldn’t happen again, but…" The greying man turned to look at the young man in front of him.

"But it did, and now I’m here."

The president nodded in reply, not wanting to look into the boys face.

"So, who am I, Laguna?"

The shorter man snapped his head up, looking into the now deep blue eyes.

"What did you say?"

"’Who am I?’" The youth repeated.

"No no, after that…that name…you remember me?"

"Name?" He asked, confused. He had used a name? His name? He didn’t even remember his own, but he knew this mans?

"I…I don’t know."

He looked down at the floor again, sighing loudly. The older man knew it was too good to be true. So soon after the incident, he couldn’t possibly…But then again, he had used his name…

Laguna closed his eyes, confused, simply wishing that it could be like it was before. Perfect. But one look at the brunette and he knew that it couldn’t be. The innocence in his face was enough to tell him that.

"Who am I?"

"You are Squall. You’re the leader here…or were until the accident. You’ve been on leave since then to try and recover your memory. There’s a journal under our…the bed that might help jog your memory. I’ll leave you alone."

Looking over at the bed, he spotted the well-worn book before glancing up at the door, catching the last glimpses of the retreating figure, leaving the brunette to his own devices.

From behind the glass, two figures watched on. Jotting down random notes on their clipboards as the door slid open, revealing a black haired man.

"Report." Commanded the newcomer, causing both scientists to turn around.

"Sir. Subject 8276 is responding to his treatment. The implants in his mind recorded what he thinks he’s seen and heard. It’s all on the disc ready for your viewing."

"Excellent. Prepare for his next treatment."

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