A Mist Over Winhill Prologue
By Kate Lorraine
Disclaimer - all characters in this story belong to SquareSoft. No infringement is intended.
Dedication - to my beloved editors Christina and DarkMousy. For nights of
fun, for words of encouragement, for standing by me when I was unsure, for
pulling this story back from hell, for all these reasons this story would
have been impossible without you.
Note to the Reader: In many cases I have placed '---' where the italics are just in case in the version you are reading the italics didn't show up. However, they don't really work that well so I would strongly suggest that if the version you are reading has no italics that you go to a different website to find a version with italics. This story is all over the internet you should have no problem finding it. (The word "strongly" was italicized in this paragraph, if you couldn't see it, time to move to a different site).
The twisted storyline was used with permission of Tamerine, author of FF7 Twisted, whose idea originated from Kaitlin K, writer of FF6-another reality. Tamerine, you will always and forever be, my favorite fanfiction writer.
Raine turned her face to the sky where the large pale moon peaked out from behind the morning clouds. Rays of sun crept along the bluffs, clothing each blade of grass with a dress of gold. It was hard to believe that it had already been two years since Laguna had left her. She remembered the last time she had seen him alive - his brow arched, eyes glittering, as he grabbed her by the waist and sealed his fate with one last kiss. Now, ironically, two years later, this was to be the last time she would see him dead.
It was too dangerous here, for her to remain anymore. In her arms her son had just woken up from his uneasy rest. He twisted his head around and glanced over the bluff, as his small clenched fist rubbed his sleep veiled eyes. His fuzzy strands of brown hair waved gently in the liquid wind of the morning air.
"Mama, are we going to visit daddy again?" He asked her speaking in a awkward voice but in raw honesty.
Raine hugged him to her and inhaled the natural delicate perfume that only children had. It was like a cross between the freshly bloomed lilac and the bumble bee's gold treasure. He was like a bundle of things hard and soft in her embrace. And although she might not ever return here to see the granite marker of where Laguna laid in eternal rest, she would always have her child to remind her of the brave misunderstood man that had been her husband.
"Squall," Raine whispered as she stroked his hair back. "We're going to say goodbye to daddy today alright?"
He nodded and said nothing more as she began walking down the worn path into the heart of the Winhill bluffs. He was too quiet, too understanding for a child only halfway through his second year in existence. Perhaps she had done something wrong. Living in constant fear of Adel's wrath couldn't be good for him. It was all the more reason why she had decided to leave.
"Mama," Squall interrupted suddenly. "Who's that?"
Raine turned her eyes to where he was pointing and she was taken back in shock. There was someone already standing at Laguna's grave. It was impossible. No one came to this forsaken place except her. Was it too late? Had Adel sent her cronies to finish the job they started? Raine hugged Squall tighter in her arms hoping that she wasn't hurting him in her sudden need for comfort. Yet as she walked closer she began to realize that her fear had been exaggerated. It was just a woman standing there with a man beside her.
The woman turned around suddenly, hearing the light footsteps behind her. For a moment she looked startled as though she had just caught a mysterious intruder in her bedroom. The man beside her had a rough arrogant look as though he refused to tolerate this rude visitor that had come disturbing their quiet reverie. The little dark haired girl he was holding was sucking her thumb in complete nonchalance.
"I'm . . .sorry," the woman said as she eyed Raine and her child. "I know we don't belong here but . . .I needed to see for myself that he was really . . . gone."
Raine felt her persona spreading over her exterior like a layer of ice under her skin. A moment of serene sorrow had just inverted into a awkward confrontation. She was in no mood for this.
The woman reached over with a gloved hand.
"Hi, I'm Julia Heartilly." She gestured to the man, "my husband and my daughter."
Raine unwillingly reached over and shook her hand. Julia Heartilly, the singer. So Laguna hadn't been bluffing when he boasted of having met her.
"Who's the little gentleman?" Julia asked smiling fondly.
Raine shifted her grip on her son.
"This is my son, Squall. Squall, say hello."
"Hello," he said under his breath, his tiny hand thoughtlessly playing with the fabric of her white sweater as he curiously watched the little girl who was trying to hid her face in the nook of her father's arm.
Julia reached over and pulled the tiny pale faced girl from her husband.
"Rinoa, say something." Julia ordered playfully.
"Mommy, his eyes are on me." She said fearfully.
Julia laughed heartily. She shook her head absently in her mirth. Handing the little doll back to her husband she apologized gingerly.
"She listens to my songs too much. It must be bad for her." Julia turned her attention back to her husband. "Take her for a walk. Let me be for a while." Her husband nodded obediently, eagerly taking his little angel back into his embrace. Julia watched the duo walk away before she began to speak. "Is it true what they say? That he was killed by Estharian soldiers?" Julia asked sadly after a moment's contemplation.
Raine felt Squall falling back to sleep over her shoulder. She rubbed his back tenderly as she glanced at the stone on which Laguna's name was carved. "Yes," Raine said. "He wouldn't let them take my daughter, Ellone."
Julia nodded pressing her hand against her mouth in a gesture that was a cross between horror and sadness. "He was a hero. I haven't met too many men like him. He was so full of dreams, of energy. He's the type of man that gets immortalized in works of art. I'm just glad . . .that I met him." Julia said.
There was absolute silence for a moment.
"He's my child's father. I loved him." Raine said, bluntly.
Julia looked up, smiled and nodded. "I see him in Squall. I-" Julia stopped in mid sentence as she heard a scream explode behind her. Julia turned around, her mouth agape as she realized her husband and daughter had disappeared from view. Almost tripping in her haste, Julia began to run in the direction of that scream.
Raine stared where she stood, not sure if she should help or if she would be putting Squall in danger should she follow. The good Samaritan in her suddenly overcame her motherly instinct as she began to move her feet after Julia.
A figure grabbed her from behind.
Raine turned around, frozen in shock.
In her arms, Squall began to cry.
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