Crimson Lies Chapter 5
I do not own final fantasy or any of the characters; they belong to Square.
The commander and the instructor stared at one another, not as husband and wife, not as friends, not even as casual acquaintances, but as adversaries thrown upon the battlefield of life. Neither Squall nor Quistis was willing to acknowledge the company of another intruding on a far too personal of moment, even if the intruder was Seifer.
Seifer, for his part, was a little more then uncomfortable in his role as third-wheel in the marital problems of the two. Though his former rival, Squall still had gained enough respect to have his personal life remain personal; on the other hand, curiosity always seemed to kill the cat, and Seifer was purring internally. The idea of exiting the shack was fleeting; the show would be far too entertaining.
Quistis entered the room by a few steps, "Squall can you hear me or have you mysteriously lost your comprehension for the English language? Do you love me; seems like a simple enough question, doesnt it? Or would you like to go consult your 'new cold-blooded friend', slithering there in the corner, on what the correct answer may be?"
Quistis started involuntarily twisting her long hair around her fingers, a habit she had picked up when nervous. Nervous, was that really the correct word? No, she wasnt really nervous about the answer, she subconsciously knew that, she was more nervous that he wouldnt admit the truth. Lying had become second nature to him.
"Quistis dont do this here, now; its not the time," Squall calmly replied to his wife.
"Oh yeah, sorry," she spat back. "I see how busy you are right now. Lets see can I pencil you in for next week, lets say Tuesday is that good for you? I wouldnt want to interrupt your little reunion here. Hyne Squall, you do realize that is Seifer dont you? Remember the guy who tried to kill us, destroy Garden, and end all known life with time-compression; asshole of the world, that Seifer?"
"Youre looking, and sounding, as well as ever Mrs. Instructor. Glad to see you too," Seifer stood and nodded his head toward Quistis.
"Go to hell Seifer, this is between my husband and me."
Seifer took the moment to study Quistis for the first time in almost five years. Older, yes, but somehow she carried the age well. No longer with any awkward teenage mannerisms, she seemed more beautiful then he remembered. Her golden blonde hair grown in length, no longer pulled up, wispy strands would cover her face in the light breeze. She looked more the angel than human, the sun behind her giving her a heavenly light. Seifer shook himself from whatever thoughts he was currently having; noticing the instructor was something he hadnt expected, and just as quickly tried to put it out of his mind. Unsure of his sudden realizations, he felt the need to quickly get away from the situation.
"Im leaving," Seifer stood up and walked passed the commander, handing him a small yellow piece of paper.
Squall eyed the man as he left the building, and then returned his gaze to the person standing in front of him. "Quistis, I I dont know what you want to hear right now."
"How about the truth Squall, you do remember that?"
"Youre asking if I love you. Sure, I love you," he looked at her hoping that would satisfy.
"Damn you Squall; this is just some big game to you, isnt it!" Quistis could no longer hold back the tears she was trying desperately to restrain; they slowly trailed down her pale ivory skin. "Tell me the fucking truth for once in your pathetic life."
Squall turned his back; somehow, it would be less personal if he didnt have to look her in the eyes. He knew this conversation would be coming, honestly from the day he gave her the ring. Quite frankly, he was surprised it had lasted this long, maybe it was easier living the lie that was his life. Now too much might be said, not only to Quistis but also to himself. The parts of his memories and feelings he tried greatly to repress and forget for so long would resurface causing deeper wounds. He walked over to a small window and peered out. Hoping for some clarity on the situation, but like the window, the current state of affairs was just as hazy.
"Quistis, I do love you." Squall paused trying his best not to make the moment worse. "No, Im not in love with you now, nor have I ever been. Im sorry."
"OK, well since youre sorry everything is alright then. The almighty, god-like Squall Leonhart is sorry and that makes everything right. Quistis, I dont love you sorry to marry you and everything. It was just a few big misunderstandings - that love, honor, and cherish thing just slipped right over my big head. I guess I was to busy saving the world and playing god to realize what I was saying. Hope you didnt take your vows seriously or anything, I sure as hell didnt." Quistis could no longer stand, falling to her knees she watched shed tears mix with the years of dust on the floor.
Squall still stood looking out the window. Human nature was telling him to go to his wife; learned instinct was telling him to give her this time to digest the information. He finally turned and saw her kneeling on the ground, he had to try to explain to her; Quistis deserved that at the very least.
"Quistis I know youre not going to understand, hell if I even do, but I have to try. Please let me try." Squall walked over to the distressed figure, setting the folder Seifer had giving him earlier on the floor. He went down to his knees trying to look is wife direct in the eyes.
"Why Squall? Why if you didnt love me did you marry me, why didnt you ever love me?" Quistis was pleading with him for hopes of any understanding.
Squall attentively placed one hand on her delicate shoulder, in aspirations of calming her down. "If there is only one thing you get from this conversation, let it be that I never wanted to hurt you. Things were out of control after Ellone died, I didnt even know what or where I was half the time. I needed to get married and " The next words would seem so cruel, yet they were the truth and that is exactly what Quistis had asked for. "I needed a wife quickly, I knew you were in love with me; I used those feelings against you. Im sorry you were just the easiest person to "
He never had the opportunity to finish the sentence before he felt the sting of her hand across his face.
Quistis stood up and looked down at him, as he still held his hand to inflamed face. "Go find the bitch, you two deserve each other. Just dont ever get near me again, you bastard!" She turned to get as far away from him as possible.
Selphie entered the Garden cafeteria searching for Quistis. Getting frustrated
on a quest that so far turned up nothing, she decided to rest, taking a lemonade
break. At the cash register paying for her drink, she noticed Zell sitting
in a lone corner of sparsely populated cafeteria; amazingly, without any
food at the table a very un-Zell like move. As she quietly approached his
table she glanced to notice, several library books scattered about its surface.
Extraordinary she mused; she had never actually seen Zell with a book,
much less reading a book. Combat King Magazines were the closet he
came to the actual art of understanding the written word.
She grabbed the metal frame of a chair occupying the same table. As the metal scuffed the linoleum tile, Zell realized he was no longer alone. He rationalized that she may have the ability to help, where the research books could not. Selphie actually might be capable of giving him new insight on his dilemma.
"Zell um you look so stressed. Are you all right? Ive just never seen you actually studying books, yet alone so intensely. Something about Ellone bothering you from earlier today?"
"Well, kind of . Hey is Laguna here yet?" He shut the book and laid it face down on his lap.
"No, he got held up in Esthar. Squall didnt want to see him anyhow, dont think hell be hurrying to arrive, but a helicopter should be dropping him off sometime tonight. Hes going to stay until we arrive in Deling. For the World Council meeting tomorrow."
"Ah yeah, Can I talk to you for a few minutes. Please dont say anything to anybody else, alright?"
"Sure Zell anything, is there something wrong? Are you sick?"
"No, no nothing like that. Remember before when I talked about the strange dream," he lowered his voice to a whisper saying the words like breaking a sacred law, "About Rinoa." Selphie nodded her head, acknowledging her comrade. "Ive had this dream more then once; Im trying to interpret the meaning." He held up his reference book on understanding dreams.
Selphie took a sip of her pink lemonade, "Do you want to tell me about it, maybe there is something that book wouldnt relate to our particular situation. I know everything, maybe I can help."
"Alright Selphie, but it's upsetting to talk about." Zell lowered his head not looking at Selphie as he began describing the indescribable. "It started with a picturesque view of Balamb Plains, only there is a translucent blue lake in the middle. I found myself walking up to the lake and noticed what looked like bones of human fingers sticking out. I wanted to run from it, yet some unknown force kept pulling me closer. My eyes still on the slender fingers; transparent water gave an outline of bones, a human form. Before I could make out anything more, I felt small raindrops on my skin. My focus turned from the tranquil water to my arm. I saw the raindrops as they hit my arm, except there was a slight tint of red to them. I continued watching as the red went from a faint hue to a darker crimson red; all of a sudden it started pouring down blood from the sky."
Selphie sat mesmerized by Zells ability to reiterate the nightmare, including the emotion he was undoubtedly reenacting. He continued slowly, "Suddenly the elegant cerulean blue sky turned to a deep scarlet, giving the plains a kind of surreal feel. I redirected my eyes to the lake. The figure slowly started rising, out of the now bloody water; first, it was only the hand. When it materialized, I noticed the ring finger. On it was a smaller, more delicate version of the Griever ring, this one of pure gold. Slowly the rest of her body emerged from the thick blood. Layers of muscles started forming over the bones, followed by layers of skin. It was Rinoa, older by a couple years. She wore a pure white robe that had not one drop of blood on it. She had shorter, darker hair, apparent grief and misery shown clearly on her face. She looked to my eyes and said 'Help.' Not as a demand, but as a desperate plea. I took a step closer to her and suddenly a bright flash blinded me temporarily. I regained my focus and she was holding what appeared to be a newborn baby. Again I dared to venture closer and then another light flashed, but this one not nearly as bright." Zell closed his eyes trying to fight back the tears.
"What, Zell, what happened?" Selphie couldnt help but be drawn into the horrifying events.
"The infant, the infant was dead. It had a knife through its tiny heart, blood dripping into the lake."
"Rinoa, Rinoa killed the baby?" Selphie demanded.
"No, I never saw who put the dagger through the baby. But I can tell you it wasnt her; the look of horror on her face as she looked towards me, her brown eyes pleaded with me to help, without a word. I stepped into the bloody lake; soon as I progressed closer, she dropped the infant into the dark water. At first, I couldnt figure out why, and then I saw the silver sword exit through her stomach. She looked down to the blade, then back to my eyes. We both realized, at that moment, it was a gunblade that pierced her frame. For the first time, with all the blood flying around, her white robes became stained with blood, her blood. Rinoa fell forward into the lake; I raced to grab her body, but only managed to capture a hand. I couldnt hold on for some unknown reason, the wind was picking up; the thick bloody-rain was stinging my eyes. Finally, I lost my grasp on her boney white fingers; they fell through my hand. Yet, I still felt something in my palm; I looked down and saw the small golden Griever ring. With all my might, I made a fist around it; refusing to lose the one piece, I had left. I waded to the shoreline and sat on the wet grass. Again, another brilliant light appeared and I looked back to the lake, still blood red but with no rain. This time there was another figure standing in the water it was Ellone."
Selphie snapped her mind back to her environs when she became aware Zell had stopped relaying the gruesome nightmare. "Sis what happened to her?" She demanded in a tone heard by many around.
Zell inhaled for a moment, then again hesitantly continued, "Actually she was covered in blood, and at first I didnt even recognize her, until she smiled."
"Smiled?" queried the anxious young lady.
"Yeah, that is almost the most disturbing part of the dream, she smiled. I couldnt hear what she said, nor do I believe she actually had the ability to speak. But I could read her lips as she mouthed one word. She spoke the word goodbye. Then a final blinding ashen light and everything was normal, peaceful. The green fields and crystal blue lake returned, and not one cloud in the spectacular sapphire blue sky. I still held on to the small metal ring."
"Zell, how many times have you had this dream, nightmare?"
"Well over the last two months it has been numerous times, it only gets more vivid with every encounter. I wake up feeling scared and anxious right after the dream ends, amazingly the clock always reads the same time: 4:27am."
"Zell I think you already might know this, but nothing you discover in those books is going to help you. What about talking to Edea concerning the visions?"
"Visions? No, it is a dream, a nightmare at most. Anything but a vision," Zell stated defensively.
Selphie moved closer to him, putting her arm around his shoulder, "Zell we both know this is something more. Maybe, just maybe, it can benefit us if we can fully understand."
Zell nodded in agreement, as he moved away from Selphies caring touch. He gathered the books and notes, giving her a wry smile, "You win Selph, and I will talk to Edea when we reach Deling."
Vivid dreams are a lesser-known curse for any sorceress, yet one that could
have explained the fall of those who came before; dreams so real it is hard
to distinguish fantasy from reality. Emotions, feelings, and sensations so
definite it could drive one to the brink of sanity, which in fact, it almost
Times like these one could understand the dissolutions of Ultimecia or Adel, dream worlds where perfection could only survive and seem to be the perfect Eden. Sometime the lines of day or night, asleep or awake, and real or imaginary are completely blurred. Forgetting ones self, ones beliefs, reality is easily twisted and shaped by those around; the dreams that always showed perfection. More than ever, she could understand the need for a knight. Not only to protect her spirit, but also soul and mind.
When she dreamed, she could still feel his touch, his skin upon hers, his lips softly caressing all parts of her body; the love that they had shared in so many ways. The dreams felt real, if only in her head. The way that he was holding her now, the closeness she felt when she could hear his heart beat; the way he was looking at her now, the unbridled passion in his eyes. His beautiful blues wait, no his brown eyes looking at her? The way he was holding her no, hitting her now? She grabbed her ribs as the pain started to register, waking her out of the magnificent daydream.
"Where is she you damn bitch, where is my daughter?" The annoyance rose in his voice.
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