Author's Notes: This is what comes out of depression and a guest speaker that is annoying you to no end.

Tears of an Angel

By Lady of the Phoenix

I never really thought that I would see this day, you know? Sure, I had been through it many times before, once myself, but this was different. This was my baby girl's wedding. Well, she is not really my baby girl anymore, she is twenty years old, but she will always be my little Renee.

They say that weddings are emotional things, and even I cannot escape that, though I still preserve my stoicism rather well I believe. I did not cry when I got married, despite thetears of others, and the eventual pain it brought me. In fact, I was tearless at all the weddings I went to, save those of my children.

"Daddy!" came a cheerful shout at the reception, and strong, young arms wrapped around my neck. I wrapped my own stronger arms around her waist in a hug, tears threatening my vision, but only staying at bay in hopes that my girl would not receive them upon the silk of her fine dress.

"My little Renee is all grown up now," I whispered in her ear, causing her to pull away and glare at me. She has that icy glare of mine down perfectly, better than even my son Leon, and he is the spitting image of a young me.

"I am hardly little anymore daddy!" she insisted. How right she is. She is over five foot now, with longblack hair and almond shaped eyes of stormy blue in her heart-shaped face. Her skin is pale like mine, but there are underlying signs of strength from the few sports she had played while away at college.

"You'll always be my little girl, Renee," I pointed out coolly.

"Well, at this rate I'm not going to dance with you!" she declared loudly. At times she seems to be more like her mother in temperament.

A slight smile came to my face and I stood, taking one pale hand in my own. We had always shared the traditional dance, so this dance was, for her, merely fun and for me it was a final moment with my little girl. The young female dragged me and my fifty yearold body to the dance floor amid family and well-wishers, and smiled. At times like these I am glad that I refused Rinoa's desires to get the girl an overly extravagant dress with a large train. This one was merely a white dress, well embroidered, that fit well but was not showy. It was nice beside the traditional cut of the groom's tux.

Renee and I began to dance once a new song was struck up. Our movements were fluid, something that rarely happened with my ex-wife, her mother. Yes as we glided across the floor I tripped slightly (I have never danced well) and bumped into another couple. Flustered by this turn of events, I turn around to apologize, and my eyes met aset of emerald greens out of the past. Something like amusement was written in the eyes of his dance partner, my dear friend Quistus.

"We really must stop meeting like this on the dance floor Squall," he says cheerfully, but I detect an edge of sorrow in his voice.

"Nida?" I asked in shock."Nida Nomura?"

Now, please understand the shock I am experiencing now. No one had seen Nida since my own wedding thirty years ago. To my knowledge he was the only one involved in the Sorceress War that never stayed in the same general area in the end. I had been Headmaster a bit before going to Esthar to work for Laguna. Zell became the Balamb GardenSeeD Commander and Quistus, his wife, the Headmistress. Selphie and Irvine had gone to Trabia to help out, and Seifer moved to Winhill with Elle. Even Fujin and Raijin went to Galbadia while Nida dropped off the face of the planet.

"I am amazed that you remember me. I spent nearly a year with Quistus and Xu on the bridge and still the lovely Mrs. Dincht did not know me when she saw me at the bar," he chuckled.

Before I could ask why he was here, at my daughter's wedding, Renee jumped into his arms and gave him a fierce hug. This confused me even more than anything else today, even Nida'spresence.

"It's great to see you, Nida! Remus said you might not make it," Renee said happily.

So, he was a friend of Remus,the groom. But how a twenty-one year old Remus knew a forty-nine year old Nidais beyond me. I might think he was Remus's father if Nida wore a wedding band, or if they shared a last name, or if they looked alike. Nida was a tall man of Asian appearance with those stunning green eyes and black hair, while Remus was a brunette with blue eyes.

"Miss the day you joined the family?! Never!" Nida said as he hugged Renee harder.

The shock must have been written on my face, because Nida quickly released Renee and gave hisexplanations. "Squall, I adopted Remus when he was five... I never chose to give him my last name."

Whoa, that was something I didn't expect.

"But, may I cut in not that I am here? I would love to dance with my new daughter-in-law."

I allowed him to cut in and watched the two dance off. Soon I returned to the bar with Quistus, who was chattering happily about the wedding. The whole time my eyes lingered on the sorrowful Asian. Something about him seemed out of place... He hadn't seemed to have aged very much. And when he span with Renee on the dance floor, I could feel his eyes meet mine. Worse, it set my heart pounding.

"You look like you've seen a ghost," Quistus said as the bartender gave us our drinks.

"Well, the last time I saw him was my own wedding Quistus... Thirty years and suddenly he's an in-law?"

"Only you would put it such a way," she remarked with a sigh.

"What other way is there to put it?" I questioned.

"He has isolated himself Squall since you married Rinoa. You left her last year, FINALLY might I add, and he shows up."

As interesting as that is...

"Look at him Squall," she said softly, "You can see it can't you? He's overjoyed for Remus and Renee, just as you are, but he also hides something, some pain. Just like you do."

I have to agree there. Sure, I was glad when my eldest daughter, Raine was wed to the blond, blue-eyed Dincht boy Tiran, but I was in pain for Renee was not there for her sister, Renee only ten at the time and out of the country to visit her grandfather General Caraway at her mother's command. Then at Leon's wedding two years ago, when he finally tied the knot with Couri Tilmitt-Kinneas, I was just recovering from a major injury that almost stole me from my children. Last year I'd entirely missed the wedding of Xera, the daughter of Seifer and my sister Ellone, when she wed the son of Fujin and Raijin. I know pain well, and he bears it.

Now Nida has bowed to Renee and moves off of the dance floor towards the balcony.

"He is about to walk out ofour lives again," came another voice behind me. "Well, out of Squally-boy'slife really."

"Seifer," I growled at him. Though I trust him, I hate him sneaking up on me.

The old blond warrior sipped at a powerful drink, not even looking at me, but after Nida. No one, even Ellone, knows me like he does. He can see it in my eyes. Something draws me toNida, something always has. Seifer knows that I looked for Nida after my own wedding, the Asian had run off, but I never found Nida. With a minor shove from Seifer, I rose from my seat and followed Nida into the sweet evening air.

We are alone against the black backdrop of the night. Slowly he turns to face me, and tears streak down hisgentle features. Most amazing to me is the halo of stars above his head and thethree sets of radiant white wings adorning his back.

"Nida?" I question in shock.

"I'm so sorry, Squall," he whispered before turning away.

"What is this Nida?" I question as I move to him.

"You have to understand, Squall, I didn't mean for it to end like this. I swear I didn't. You were just so in love with me, more than any others in solong," he practically wept.

"Slow down Nida. You are confusing me," I said, not understanding how he could claim thatI was in love with him.

Quickly Nida turned on me, and looked me deep in the eyes. Eternal pain was reflected in the vibrant green, such beautiful orbs contrasting with the sudden appearance of robes upon hisbody.

"Look at me Squall. Look very hard. See what other mortals see in me..." he pleaded. "Stop loving me and make it easier for me to do my duty."

He had an edge to his voice that I could not deny. So I did what he asked of me. For a long time I stared at the Asian beauty, marveling in the shape of his body, orwhat it must be under those robes, and the seeming delicacy of his form. Really, he was such a beautiful being.

"STOP IT!" Nida shouted angrily. "Stop glorifying me Squall. You've been doing it since you were a teen. It is what put me in this damn situation!"

His anger seemed to change his appearance to me. The glorious white robes became jet black. His hands were suddenly skeletal, one holding a scroll, the other holding a large scythe. His wings seemed to disappear. Nida was the image of the Grim Reaper. The male must have known I saw him for 'what he was' now, and let out a sigh.

"You are..."

"The angel of death," he supplied. The 'a' word allowed me to quickly see him as the radiant and divine being once more. "Please Squall, stop that."

"Explain," I prompted, sounding like Fujin but not caring.

New tears ran down his face, and I pulled him into my arms to comfort him. He did not resist this simpleaction.

"It is my job to take the dead from this world until they are to be reborn. I was supposed to take you Squall,long ago, but I couldn't. You were supposed to die, and you wanted it! You were in love with death, with me. I... I loved you too Squall, so I decided to postpone your death."


"My tears,I mourned you constantly, and by doing so lengthened your life. But... I'm so happy you left Rinoa, and about this wedding. I can't cry anymore Squall, and you'll die because of it."

I was moved to deeply by this revelation. He loved me enough, obviously for years, to mourn me daily. And Ihated myself for 'making' him love me. Yet... I love him, more than I loved death.

"How long have you been crying for me?" I questioned.

His soft fingers brushed against the scar that cut between my eyes and I shivered. I could understand that gesture easily. He had done this for me since the day I earned this scar. He'd mourned my death for almost all of my life.

"What... What would have happened otherwise?" I asked. "What would have happened if I had died then?"

"Rinoa would have been sealed away by Seifer, Edea too. But it would have caused Ultimecia to reoccur forever."

Nida smiled sadly as I tried to kiss away his tears. "Please... Don't."

"Let me die Nida, and be with you in death."

"I can't," he whispered.

"Don't shed your tears for me Nida. I'm not worth it."

"You're more than worthy," he whispered in response.

"Then show me. Let me make you happy Nida. Death is lonely, but not always without love."

The angel gasped as I pressed my lips against his. His lips weren't cold as myths would suggest, but warm and sweet to the taste. After a few moments he gave in and his lips pressed lovingly against mine. Soon we were making out on the balcony. I never expected this. He is heaven.

"You've got a month," he whispered softly in my ear. "I'll try to see you before then my love."

Hyne have mercy, I've become too addicted to the taste of death. Well... he isn't really the Angel of Deathhere, as I am not the lesser Angel of Grief here. Here we are Squall and Nida, and nothing stops up from being in love.

"Squall," his voice called out as I hear the flutter of his six wings.

"I am here," I respond, waiting happily in our garden.

The seraphim came out to me, tears streaking his face. Fear gripped my heart now. Did he love another now? His pure white wings shuddered before they wrapped around us upon reaching me. My own silvery wings mingled with his as I watched him.

"Renee..." he whispered and my heart suddenly ached. Not often was there pain in heaven, but now...

"No," I whispered sadly and buried my head in his silky hair.

Our tears mingled as we mourned the untimely death of my daughter.

"Daddy?" the younger of the twin boys, Squall, asked.

"Yes, Squall?" Remus answered as the elder twin, Nida, leaned against him.

"Do you think it is raining because angels are crying for mommy?"

What could the man say? The boys were only six, and theirmother had been murdered only a week before this funeral.

"Yes Squall, I do."

Squall caught a drop of the water in his hand and watched in shock as it turned into a crystal.

Such was what happened when humans came in contact with the tears of an angel...

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