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Final Fantasy VIII

Resolution
By Serra [ 07-18-01 ]


The night was a cool one as a gentle breeze ruffled the trees around the Winhill Bluffs, however Ellone Loire barely felt it because she was concentrating more on her memories. Thoughts of Squall floated into her mind as she sat down on the soft grass, looking up at the stars and crescent moon. The night was gorgeous, her mother had always used to love these clear, mid-summer nights. But Raine had long since past away, it had been in her early childhood. The light scent of roses, the feeling of a soft, Casmir sweater, and the image of a pair of twinkling, mischievous blue eyes, was all she had left. And now her only father had left her as well, leaving her with barely anything to recall him by except the profile of an enthusiastic, fierce, and noble soldier who believed that the pen was truly mightier then the sword. How long would it be until she lost Squall? How much time did she have left on this vast, gorgeous planet? Everything seemed like an uncertainty at the moment, she didnít want to fight the numbness that came on these nights lying outside, by herself, and trying to get past grieving, only to find that she wasnít sure how to overcome death. Is there a place, deep within the heart, body, mind, and soul that just canít be recovered when youíve been hurt too much? Perhaps Squall was intelligent by not getting close to anyone, but even he had overcome that fear, but still leaving her estranged from him. Would sleep come soon or would it be a restless evening?

"I want to go home, back to when we were a family again, back to where things made sense and there wasnít any pain." She whispered aloud, to the stars, as though expecting some kind of response. They only continued to illuminate the night as they looked down upon her, "Please let me into that sweet, emotionless abyss with you. I donít want to be alone anymore."

She knew exactly what they would tell her. ĎBe strong, Elle, donít give up so easily.í

Will you miss me when Iím gone? Will you remember all the good times we had? The hardest thing about leaving is saying goodbye. Iíll miss you more then I can say. And when I leave, Iíll just dream about you, Iíll be only a memory away. Youíre something special to me, friendship is something that money canít buy and if you need me you know that Iíll be there for you. Iíll be only a memory awayÖ

It used to be her favorite childhood lullaby that Raine had sung to her, clearing the fears of the monsters out of her mind. She missed her so much, she missed them both too deeply for words to describe as she leaned back against a large tree trunk, glancing around and taking in the serenity of the place. "I wonder, Squall, will you ever forgive me for leaving you?" She verbalized her thoughts and sighed, sinking even lower into depression.

"I donít know." A reply came from behind her and she spun around in surprise to face her younger brother. He stood there, unarmed and perplexed as he watched her, narrowing his eyebrows when he saw that she her eyes were puffy, seemingly red-rimmed.

"I guess you heard the news." She blinked her eyes rapidly and rubbed them in an effort to hide the tears that threatened to spill down her face, "Uncle Laguna died in the early hours of the morning after trying to get to Balamb Garden to warn you about an attack. He was taken hostage by Galbadian soldiers and then theyÖ theyÖ" She trailed off, unable to go on.

"I know. Iím sorry." He said, crouching down to sit near her side and resting his back against the tree as well.

"Youíre sorry? Squall, he was your father. Is that it? Is that all you feel?"

"Iím not sure what to think anymore." He looked as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he, too, began looked up at the sky.

"Howís everyone else?" she asked, concern evident in her voice through the sorrow.

"Theyíre dealing. Irvineís comforting Selphie while the rest of them have just been down in spirits. It seems the whole Galbadian attack has made the morale droop to an all-time low."

"Things will clear, eventually. Youíll see."

"I donít want to think about the future anymore." He confessed, glancing at her.

"Whereís Rinoa?" She held his gaze.

"Back at Garden, she tried to help, butÖ"

"But itís just not the same. I know you hated him for leaving us while going off to become a legend in Esthar. Although Iím beginning to think that maybe it was best. Perhaps, if heíd come back for us, we would never know the others from Matronís orphanage."

"I never hated him. He annoyed the hell out of me but hate is far from what I felt."

"Indifference?"

He shrugged and looked away.

"I miss him," she admitted, breaking the brief silence that had set in as they left each other to their own thoughts.

"What was Raine like?" he asked, ignoring her comment. The question surprised the girl and she wondered what was on his mind.

"She wasÖ beautifulÖ sweet, tender, caring, understanding. She always used to scold Uncle Laguna for talking in slang to me." She smiled, through the agony she was feeling, at the fond memory.

"What did she look like?" He became slightly curious, taking interest in her responses.

"Long, ebony hair and sparkling blue eyes. She always used to wear her favorite beige sweater and a matching headbandÖ" She opened up her hand, that had been in somewhat of a fist, to reveal a soft, small piece of fabric that Squall stared at.

"She loved you so much. When you were born, before she got sick, she always used to carry you around in her arms and walk with you out here, in these bluffs, waiting for Uncle Laguna to come back with meÖ thatís what the people here told me."

They shared a quiet moment, reflecting on their pasts, as the siblings huddled close together under the tree.

"Why didnít you tell me before? Why did you make me wait so long?" he questioned her, beginning to feel the pain as well.

"I never wanted to hurt you, I didnít want you to go through what I had to endure. I was just trying to look out for you all this time."

"Is that an excuse?"

"Think what you want of it, I have no clue where to go from here. If I should even bother going on at allÖ"

"Youíll live, Elle. Come back to Garden with me."

She shook her head and rubbed her eyes once again.

"I canít do that, thereís too much of a danger with me here. Iím gonna go up to space again as soon as the space station gets rebuilt."

"Esthar needs a leader."

"We both know that I canít do that. Iím going to hand it over to Kiros and Ward. Theyíre really upset too, but I think theyíd be honored to do it."

"So youíre going away."

"I guess so. This is pointless, Squall. Itís impossible for me to stay, and yet, I find it so hard to leave again."

"Why not? Rinoaís staying in Garden even though sheís a Sorceress. We can protect youÖ"

"Things are just better this way. Trust me, Iíll be alright. I just need some time to think. Who knows, maybe one day I will rule over Esthar. But right now, this is best for all of us."

"Best for you, you mean."

"Donít get like that. You know, just as well as I do, that as long as Iím on earth Iíll forever pose a threat. Thereís always someone out there, some sick, angry foe that will want to use my abilities for the wrong purposes. It may not be fair, but thatís the way life is. One day, far away, eventually there will be peace and happiness, in the distant future and nobody will want to fight. But until that day comes, Iíll be looking out for all of you, from the sky."

"SisÖ"

"Never forget about these times together, with your friends and family, one day you might need them." She stood up slowly and gazed at him, through those teary eyes.

"You need love and friendship for this. And the courage to believe it. Itís all about love, friendship, and courage. Iím counting on you."

Those words, thatís what he told Squall in the Ragnarok before the time compression. Live by those words Squall, donít let the walls youíve created get the best of you.

She knew how badly he yearned to go after her as she began walking away from him, not looking back out of fear that she might let her emotions get the best of her. She felt his pain as she got farther and farther away, because she carried the same aching in her heart, mind, body, and soul. Things wouldnít be like that forever, she knew; one day the sun would come out and clear the storm clouds then everyone would be together at last, with no more suffering.

Fin


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