Just One Kiss...

By Medina

Suffocation. It was not so much as there wasn't any air, but rather, nothing at all. Matter held no meaning in this limbo, a rift in time, and as that rift began to stabilize, that which remained inside was slowly being stifled, suppressed ... suffocated.

His lungs gasped for the life-sustenance, but it was simply his life force that was the failing party. His legs wobbled as he tried to go in another direction; he knew it was futile, but stopping would be acceptance, and he couldn't ... just couldn't...

* * * *

She called out his name again, but there was no sign. All the rest of her friends had found their ways, safely, back to that place in their lives that they loved. Rinoa was at her place, but her reason for being there was dreadfully late. Her heart beat faster and faster at each passing moment.

* * * *

"For Rinoa... I have to see her again..." he thought, forcing his weary body to move another inch along the endless, timeless plane he stood upon.

"... See her ... hear her ... hold her... We - we never even kissed. Just one kiss, Rinoa..." his mind grew foggier, throwing his balance off. His lungs pleaded for oxygen. His legs buckled.

He looked around the endless abyss of anti-time, but all he could think of was Rinoa. The moments were making his mind more muddled; he had to focus on her. A white down feather fell into his hand and dissapeared.

Hallucinations flashed before his eyes of each precious memory, but none held her face quite right Everything -- distorted, mixed-up, and he ached to, just out of one memory, see her face. He couldn't. It was to the point now where he could feel his body severely weakening, and his head verge unconsciousness.

"Rin... Rinoa..." he whispered as an image of her in space, dying, suddenly altered, and her helmet shattered. No air. Whiteness. Her pale lips faded away and his head fell heavily upon the ground, his eyes flickered shut.

* * * *

"Something's wrong..." Rinoa uttered aloud, dread filling her soul. She watched the green field ripple with the gentle sea breeze that blew through the Cape of Good Hope, and the sun lazily set along the Centra coast line. She shifted her weight back and forth, hoping that he would appear at any moment, but it was evident that he wouldn't be coming.

"I have to find him!" she cried suddenly, running swiftly towards the water. The new powers she held were unfamiliar to her, but desperation causes engineuity, and a light surrounded her. From her back sporuted white wings, and they began to flap gracefully, losing a few downy feathers. In an instant, she had dissapeared.

* * * *

Quitet. Nothing moved, nothing changed. He lay on the ground, motionless. The mist was disturbed and from it walked a heavenly form, donned in blue and black, her footsteps so light that she seemed to be floating. Her eyes caught his form and lit up with joy as she ran to his side and knelt down. Gently, she raised his head into her lap and stroked his hair. She loved how he looked when sleeping.

She realised that this wasn't sweet sleep. She deperately shook him, calling his name, her pretty mouth distorting in fear. She looked down in dismay, but suddenly smiling, she drew forth sorceress' powers.

* * * *

Balamb Garden floated silently across the sea. The stars twinkled in the clear night sky over the peacful Earth. Inside, the Garden Festival was in full swing, the Quad dressed in happy colors, thanks to Selphie Tilmitt. She roamed the festival with a video camera, partially to capture the memories, partly to keep an eye on her roving cowboy, Irvine.

Outside, on the balcony, Rinoa stood watching the stars, counting each distant light she could see. For a while she stood, alone, waiting. From behind appeared Squall. She turned around and beamed brightly. They embraced for a moment, and looked into each other's eyes.

"Can't we stay like this forever?" she thought, her hear aching at the thought of what she knew she couldn't help. Squall leaned over, and they kissed, kissed with all the passion and love that either had for the other, and ever would. It was long, but still only a moment. Rinoa's eyes watered and she held onto him tight, weeping.

"Why can't you stay? Why do thing have to be this way?" she asked to him, to the world, to herself. He smiled down at her, and was crying too.

"Even a Soreceress can't beat death... for herself or anyone else..." he told her, his voice growing wispy. Rinoa looked back up at him.

"... Only can she grant a final wish," she reached out for his face, but his outline was fading.

"... Just One Kiss... " he said, held her tight, and faded away completely. "I... love you..."

* * * *

Laguna walked through a green field outside of Winhill, carrying a bouquet of lavender flowers, going slowly, thoughtfully. He came to a stop at a certain spot, marked with a granite stone, where he placed half of the flowers down by. He smiled wistfully, and crouched down, kissed his hand and put it to the stone. Standing up, he looked to his left and saw a young woman, dressed in blue and black standing before another stone marker. He walked to her side, and handed her the rest of the flowers. Without looking up at him, she took them and placed them by the second stone marker. She went back and stood by Laguna and surveyed the markers.

Raine Loire
2328 - 2357

Squall Loire Leonheart
2357 - 2374

Rinoa began to weep again, and Laguna put her arm over her shoulder as they walked back. In the distance, a mother and son watched the people they loved head back into the world, lonesome, but knowing that they would be strong together. They too faded back to wait until they could all meet once more.


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