A/N: I feel really bad for letting you wait this long every time. :( Please don't kill me now. Instead, enjoy this extra long chapter. And I know that things seem to be going at a very slow pace now, but that will change soon. After all, this chapter will introduce you to a new (important) character. Hope I made you curious now. :)
Thanks: RatedSuperStar87, Lartovio, Wakaran a i xx, effect20, RukiaRemix, xxBlue-sapphirexx, Squall-is-Cool, -Insert Spazz Dance Here-, Jayliyah, and RoseOfADifferentColor, my brilliant beta reader.
~ "Don't give me that look. You brought this on yourself," he reminded her. ~
"You've got to be kidding me!" He said through gritted teeth, as he tried not to slam his fist on the laptop's monitor.
Talk about his luck; when the page finally had loaded after what felt like two hours, Squall saw, much to his chagrin, that the name 'Riku' gave him two results. The first one was spelled a bit differently, 'R-i-k-k-u,' the other one 'R-i-k-u.'
Squall blinked, surprised. So apparently, there were two Rikus who attended their school and he didn't know either of them. As if having one nuisance wasn't bad enough already. It seemed that Lady Fortuna wasn't quite on his side… this week.
Deciding that he'd waited long enough, he clicked on the first name, which revealed something completely unexpected.
Well, what do you know? This is actually quite interesting...
Things really were getting stranger and stranger with every passing second. Surely, Rinoa hadn't told Squall every aspect of her life, but far as he knew, she wasn't on that side of the spectrum. So this couldn't possibly be the 'Riku' that she was talking about all the time.
This Rikku had glossy blonde hair; secured atop of her head in a messy style with different bobby pins, save for some loose bangs too short to be pulled up. They were held there by an azure bandana, the bright colors worked together better than expected. Some parts of her hair were braided, falling loosely around her face. The only other thing he could see from her, aside from the cat-like green eyes, was the ombré scarf twisted around her neck, dark red slowly transitioning to bright yellow. The mischievous twinkle in her eyes reminded him of Yuffie and he found that quite unsettling. Something told him that these two were cut from the same cloth, so to speak.
Could she be one of Yuffie's so-called 'secret sources' that came up with all kinds of 'information' for the school paper? If that was the case, then Squall knew he had to watch out for her.
Fervently hoping that the second one would be a girl, although he knew he couldn't be that lucky, he clicked on the next name... Only to be - as expected – greatly disappointed.
A male teen roughly his age seemed to be looking him straight in the eyes, stormy blue against fearless aquamarine. His shiny silver hair framed his chiseled face, telling the brunet that this person was no slouch with his appearance. It had to be his looks, combined with his attitude that made girls go crazy for him. Also, there was absolutely no doubt from his expression that he belonged to the popular clique, with that cocky smirk dancing around his lips. That rather smug look on his face made Squall want to seriously damage his computer badly, to relieve some of his aggression. How in Hyne's name could Rinoa fall for...for that? He'd thought that she had better taste, but now, he wasn't sure anymore. He made a mental note to have a nice little chat with the raven-haired girl once she got back.
At that moment, his phone, currently charging on the nightstand, started beeping, alerting him to a text message. His heart began to pump a little faster. Could it be Rinoa? Maybe her date had flaked and now she was asking him to pick her up, or something. After grabbing the device, he flipped it open and saw that it was from Zell. Trying to hide the disappointment crossing his face, he started reading.
Hey Squall; I got Fatal Fantasy VIII. Wanna join Irvine and me? We're having a game night at my house.
Squall ran a hand through his chestnut locks. He'd almost forgotten about the new game, released a few days ago. Both Zell and Irvine were addicted to gaming; they had all the games in the Fatal Fantasy series. Squall was a little bit less enthusiastic about it, but whenever he felt like playing, he would just borrow something from one of them. Zell liked fighting games like Trekken, which was to be expected, seeing that he knew martial arts. Irvine, however, preferred RPG's. Both guys had been talking about FF VIII constantly for the past week, much to Selphie's annoyance. Zell even seemed to have forgotten about his hot dog addiction, something that nobody thought was possible.
Eventually, the brunet male texted back, Think I'll pass this time. Thanks for asking, though.
Zell was an okay guy, but Squall knew that he might kill the martial artist if he got on his nerves. He hadn't been this angry for quite a while, the last time he'd been this pissed off, it had had to do something with his dad. Laguna was the only one in the house who could make his blood boil by doing absolutely nothing. Besides, he wanted to be sure that Rinoa would come home safely, so he wouldn't go anywhere before he confirmed that with his own eyes. After all, that was what best friends were for, right?
Squall had been holding a rather heated staring contest with Riku's picture, but in reality, his thoughts were elsewhere when his bedroom door opened. He looked down and saw that it was Angelo, Rinoa's dog. The pet already knew from experience that if she behaved, she was welcome to stay. Every time she needed something when her master wasn't at home, she would go to Squall instead. The brunet patted her carefully, noticing the dog was restless. He could only think of one reason why that might be.
"Guess you're worried about her, too, huh? Or maybe you miss her… Can't really blame you for that, 'cause you're not the only one."
Angelo tilted her head to the side, but her eyes said enough. Sometimes, he wondered if she really could understand the things that he said... Well, even if she didn't, she was good at pretending.
Squall sighed when he realized what he was doing. "Look at me. I'm talking to a dog and expecting that she'll respond. I must be losing it."
Something made him think that right at this moment, Angelo was probably wondering how in the world Squall became the dominant species. Still, her presence was rather soothing. It made his thoughts drift back to the day that Angelo had been brought here as a puppy. It had been an early birthday present from Laguna and Julia, for Rinoa's fifteenth birthday. It was the same puppy that she had visited at the Pet Shop a few times, dragging Squall with her every time. Not that he had minded. She would always point out how cute the animal was. He would never be able to forget that blissful look on her face when she'd found out that the puppy was all hers. Picking the right name for her had been quite amusing, too.
"Hey, Squall. How should we call her?" she had asked him.
"Zorro," Squall replied, sarcastically, while looking through his favorite magazine, Weapons Monthly.
He honestly couldn't have cared less about what the dog's name would be at that moment, but the ebony-haired girl had insisted that he'd come up with something.
"But this isn't a boy, you goof!"
"...Pippi then," he opted, acting more serious now.
"Nah, that sounds kinda weird."
"Oh, does it, now?" Squall sighed, running a hand through his hair. "You know, you're really hard to please sometimes." To be honest, he was running out of fitting names. His thoughts never evolved around coming up with names for a pet, so she shouldn't blame him. "Why do you want me to come up with a name? It's your dog, remember?"
"Because your opinion is important to me, too," she replied honestly.
"Okay..." That sounded fair enough. "What about Lucky? No wait, I wouldn't call her that if she ended up with you."
That comment had earned him a rather hard punch in the arm as well as a loud 'yap' from the puppy.
"Hah, good girl! Someone needs to tell Squallie the truth, right?"
"Don't call me that…"
"Hey, I wasn't talking to you, Mister! Don't listen in on our conversation, that's rude!" The soon to be birthday girl stuck out her tongue.
The brunet male had rolled his stormy blue eyes. "Whatever."
The sound of the front door closing, made him return to reality again. That had to be Rinoa. She was back. Just in time, too, because by the looks of it, it had started raining, and hard. At least that took half of his worries away. Now that other part...
Squall was still worried that she would be mad at him, but he already had a plan in case she wouldn't come to his room; he would wait for five minutes, ten at most, before he would go to her room and apologize. Not that he would actually mean any of it, because he knew he was right. Rinoa just was too stubborn to see it.
Truth was, Squall didn't trust Riku at all (especially now that he'd seen what he looked like). But if that could make her happy, then he wouldn't mind, for now.
However, to Squall's great surprise, he didn't have to do all of that, for his bedroom door opened right at that moment, only to reveal a blissful looking Rinoa.
Squall was quick to click Riku's photo away. Rinoa didn't need to see that. She would only get suspicious for no reason.
The first thing Rinoa did when she finally returned from her successful date, was go to Squall's room to see him before she fell asleep. When the ebony-haired girl stepped inside, she noticed how deliciously warm his room was. As she closed the door behind her, it was almost as if the cold around her melted and left a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Squall, who was still doing Hyne knew what on his laptop, looked up as soon as he heard his bedroom door open. He relaxed visibly when he saw the familiar figure, making the raven-haired girl wonder briefly what made him so cautious all of a sudden. Perhaps she'd startled him with her sudden entrance. However, the thought left her mind when she saw the calm expression on his face.
She rethought her idea, chalking up Squall's odd behavior to her runaway imagination. "Hey, hey," Rinoa greeted him with a warm smile, which he answered with a small smile of his own.
"Hey, back already?"
Rinoa was more than relieved to find out that he wasn't mad at her anymore, even if those extreme sudden mood swings were getting quite scary.
She nodded, before walking over to the brunet male and choosing to sit on the edge of his bed, next to him. "Yeah. It was pretty fun! We went ice-skating. It's a shame that my gloves weren't thick enough, though. Here, just feel how cold my hands are."
Before he had any time to react, she put both her hands against his face, which was pleasingly warm. Not necessarily, after she was done. Any other person would've jumped right out of his skin by now, but this was Squall. The only thing he did was push her hands away, rubbing at his cheeks in an attempt to re-heat his face, a rather annoyed look crossing his features.
Rinoa watched him with a rather mischievous glint in her eyes. This made her best friend narrow his eyes suspiciously. She hesitated (but only for a moment), before swiftly putting her hands against his throat, which was much warmer than his face.
This time, he did jump from the contact. "Rinoa!" he growled, in a highly peeved voice.
"Sorry. Couldn't resist. You look so cute when you're annoyed."
"For the last time, Rinoa, I am not cute!"
"Aww, see? That's exactly what I mean!" she said, jokingly.
"…Oh yeah? We'll see about that."
Squall, in return, grabbed his pillow and whacked her over the head with it repeatedly. Rinoa shrieked.
This surprise attack was quite effective, for she let go of him instantly to protect her head with her hands. "Squall! Stop it!"
He smirked, throwing the used pillow back on his bed. "Don't give me that look. You brought this on yourself," he reminded her, using a quasi-stern voice.
She laughed. "Meanie. Say, did you finish your homework yet?"
"Oh, just wondering. Can I see it?"
The brunet male nodded. "Sure."
Squall picked up his laptop again to show her the project (thank heavens he had clicked Riku's picture away, otherwise he would have some explaining to do). His bangs fell in front of his eyes when he bent his head, as usual. Rinoa took it upon herself to fix that. Careful as ever she finger combed his soft hair, trying to part it so it wouldn't obscure his vision. She had almost succeeded, when he decided to ruin her work and run a gloved hand through his dark hair.
Rinoa let out a rather exasperated sigh. "Squall! Why'd you do that?"
"One, keep your hands off my hair. It'll get all greasy because of you. And two, it's my hair, so I'll decide how it looks."
"Meanie. You run your hands through your hair all the time," she replied with a cute pout, referring to his second comment.
"I'm wearing gloves. That doesn't matter."
Deciding to start an argument, she quirked a thin eyebrow at him in a challenging manner. "Wait... why are you wearing your leather gloves inside the house?"
"...Because I can."
Rinoa rolled her dark eyes. "So what you're trying to say is that if I wear gloves too, then I can run my hands through your hair as much as I want?"
Squall looked as if he had to think about it for a moment. Then he replied, a smirk forming on his lips, "No,"
This made Rinoa grab his pillow from the bed and proceed to whack him over the head with it as many times as she could, before he stopped her, pulling the pillow away from her.
"And that's my pillow. Get your own."
"…Materialist. Never heard of sharing?" she muttered jokingly.
After a while, Rinoa figured that it was time to sleep, unless she wanted to doze through math tomorrow. She definitely couldn't have that. Besides, she knew that Squall got up very early every morning to workout. He needed his sleep.
Getting up from his bed, she walked towards the door, pulling it open. Looking over her shoulder, she said. "Well, I've got to go now. G'night."
Squall was about to say something, when suddenly with a loud hum; the lights in the room flickered, and then went out. At once, it was pitch black in the bedroom, so dark the feeling of terror couldn't help but set in.
"W-what happened?" Squall heard Rinoa say, startled.
He knew she was afraid of the dark. It had been like that ever since she was little, and had accidentally been locked in the basement.
"Probably a power failure. Okay, what did you do this time?"
"Me? I just got here!" the ebony-haired girl defended herself, indignantly.
Even though she couldn't see him right now, she was sure that he was giving her a skeptical look. After all, he never believed her, even if the proof was right in front of him.
That brought her to the next question. "Why are you always blaming me for everything that happens?"
"Because you always do something to get us into trouble… if Laguna doesn't beat you to it, that is."
"Squall, that's mean! And it's not even true, either."
"Well, toughen up."
Right at that moment, she heard a hard thud and Squall cursed. It didn't take Rinoa too long to figure out what had happened; he probably bumped his knee against his bed, or possibly even the nightstand in his attempt to find her. And it sounded like he really was in pain.
Naturally, she couldn't resist making a comment about that, while trying to hold in her laughter, so he wouldn't get mad at her again. "I see that you're acquainted with Murphy's fourteenth law?"
"Which is?" he asked, through gritted teeth.
"The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in the dark. What a talent."
"Very funny. Stay there, Rinoa. I'll find you."
"Well, let me at least help you a little by meeting you halfway, okay?"
Squall didn't reply this time, so she guessed that this was a silent approval. Right at that moment, the lights went on again, exactly at the same time that they collided into each other. The force with which Squall bumped into her made her tumble backwards. In a failed attempt to keep her balance, the ebony-haired girl grabbed his arm, pulling him with her. The brunet male landed on top of her in a rather unceremonious heap.
Moments of silence passed as the two looked at each other in the eyes. After an awkward silence, Squall spoke. "Well... I guess I... found you."
Despite the current situation, she started to laugh. "Yeah, I guess so."
Rinoa got up then and dusted herself off. "Okay, now I really should get going, before something else happens and you blame me for it. G'night. Don't stay up too late."
"...I won't. Good night." Squall muttered, getting up as well. Before she had closed the door behind her, he called out to her. "Rinoa?"
She turned around again, giving him a curious look. "Yeah?"
He hesitated slightly, before saying, "Sweet dreams."
This made her smile. "You too, Squall."
Squall sighed and closed his laptop. Running his hands through his chestnut-colored hair, he leaned back, only to jerk forward again. He'd saved that document... right? He groaned and swiftly turned his laptop on to double check. If he hadn't... then he would be too late, anyway. That would mean that he'd just wasted almost two whole days, not to mention that he would fail the class. Needless to say, he was more than glad to find out that he'd saved the document. He let out a relieved breath. Thanks to Rinoa, he might die from a heart attack sometime.
The sound of two pairs of hurried footsteps echoed through the paved streets, interrupting the peaceful silence of the once quiet streets. It was a good thing that there weren't many people around, otherwise the two running figures would have to worry about accidental collisions. They had enough stress as it was.
"Hurry up, Squall! We're gonna be super late this way!"
The brunet teen sighed deeply. "Oh yeah? And whose fault is it again?" he muttered, irritably, all the while increasing his pace.
Seriously, if she hadn't fallen asleep all the time, then they wouldn't have been this late for school now. Squall had shaken her awake three times this morning and every time, she would doze off again once he had left the room. Well, this happened when you came home this late from a date... with someone who wasn't worth it, too. In Balamb Garden, he'd never been late, not for a single class. But then again, there was nobody there who demanded him to wait for her until she was finally done, so they could go to school together.
"Hyne, you're so slow today! Come on!" She cried impatiently, grabbing him by his arm and dragging him along with her, much like a rag doll.
Squall almost lost his balance at that moment, but luckily, he managed to stand upright. "So now, I'm the slow one," He muttered darkly, but that went unheard by the ebony-haired teen.
He would be more than glad if they made it to school with his arm still attached to his body. It would be the miracle of the day.
When the school bell rang, indicating the end of the day, the hallways quickly filled up with chattering students, all excited to go home again after such an exhaustingly long day. Most of them thought that it was a shame they had to work this hard at such a young age and one honestly couldn't blame them.
"Whoa, I'm so glad school's finally over," Rinoa admitted, as she let out a deep sigh, followed by a yawn that she didn't manage to suppress.
She was currently looking through the books in her locker to see which ones she should take home with her. Fortunately for her, she didn't get much homework for tomorrow. However, something told her that that would change soon, with the upcoming tests and all.
"Yeah, tell me about it! I thought today was never going to end. The days really are getting longer and longer," Selphie replied in a rather exhausted tone. She, too, was busy with her own books, standing next to her best friend. "Okay, I'm done now. Are you ready to go, Rin?"
The raven-haired girl nodded, after straightening again, closing her locker and grabbing her backpack. "Yeah, I-" She halted when she spotted a familiar brunet male in the distance, who was probably on his way to the cafeteria. He didn't seem to notice her, though, but that was no surprise. A guy like him had so much to think about that it was a small miracle that he didn't run into walls all the times that he was in deep thought.
That made her change her mind. "No, actually. I'm gonna go see Squall, so... I'll see you tomorrow?" She gave her friend a questioning look.
Selphie nodded. "Okay. See ya!"
After saying good-bye to the hyper girl, she started following Squall. He sure was in a hurry. Rinoa had to run to keep up with him, almost losing track of him once or twice. It didn't take the teen too long to find out where he was, though, because right then, she noticed that he was sitting on one of the comfortable grey couches with his back turned towards her. Well, this opportunity was almost too good to be true. The ebony-haired girl quietly crept up to him. Once in proximity, she placed her hands over his eyes. This unexpected move made him jump slightly.
However, she didn't give him any time to react, as she whispered in his ear, "Why hello there, handsome. Guess who I am?"
Rinoa could almost feel how this made him smile and she knew he had already recognized her, despite keeping her voice low.
"I don't know. You should give a few hints first, otherwise it's not fair, don't you think?" he whispered back just as softly, apparently deciding to play along.
She smiled. "Well, alright then. If you insist... Long, shiny black hair with caramel streaks on the side, eyes that closely match dark chocolate, a sweet and caring personality. Obsessed with nail polish and lion plushies... The younger, extremely adorable sister you never had? Got it yet?"
"Uh... what?" was the guy's utterly confused reply.
This time he hadn't whispered.
Wait a minute...
That was when Rinoa realized that this wasn't Squall at all. She'd mistaken someone him for someone else. His slightly deeper voice betrayed him. She gasped and her eyes widened considerably. Now that she was aware of her stupid mistake, she could see that this guy's hairstyle was different, too; his hair was much spikier than Squall's. That, and he wore different clothes. Why in the world hadn't she noticed that before? Almost as if she got an electric shock, she moved her hands away from his face and stepped back.
Please don't turn around; please don't turn around, please don't- Drat. Too late now. What should I do? He probably thinks I'm an idiot.
After putting a rather muscular arm over the couch's back, the male turned around and curiously looked at her. Chocolate brown bangs framed his rather handsome face. His cobalt blue eyes seemed to be piercing right through her, but his stare wasn't as sharp as Squall's. Also, this tall stranger was slightly more tanned and there seemed to be a certain aura full of confidence around him.
"Uh, I uhm..." Rinoa started, but she couldn't find the right words to explain the misunderstanding.
No, scratch that; there really were no words to explain her stupidity.
"I think I'm starting to get the part with the eyes that match dark chocolate and the adorableness, but I'm afraid you have to explain the "sister I never had" thing," he said jokingly, looking up at the stuttering, perplexed girl.
This made her blush even more and she nervously started playing with the hem of her shirt.
"I'm sorry. I actually thought... you were someone else," she admitted shyly.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! How did this ever happen? She thought.
He chuckled knowingly, seeming to be quite amused at her confession. "Oh, that's okay. Strangely enough, I get that a lot, even though I'm new here. I'm Terra, by the way," he declared, extending his hand towards her, which she took after a moment of contemplation.
"Well, that's a nice name. Nice to meet you," he said, kindly.
That was good. At least he didn't laugh at her for being such a derp. That was a good sign, right?
"Nice to meet you, too..." She paused for a moment, before her curiosity got the better of her. Before she knew what she was saying, she added, "So you're new here?"
That would explain why she had never seen him before. Obviously, she didn't know everyone who attended her school, which was understandable judging by the size of the school, but she knew most of the students by face or through-via.
This would also explain why this was the first time that she'd mistaken him for Squall.
"Yeah, I just moved a few days ago and today was my first day here," he replied, nodding. In a less serious voice he continued, "Needless to say, I've already gotten lost… twice."
"Really? Didn't anyone show you around yet?" Rinoa asked, surprised.
Usually, such things were already arranged before a new student arrived at their new school, to prevent them from getting lost or disoriented. Did they really forget about that this time?
"Unfortunately not. They only gave me a map that's impossible to read..."
Terra seemed to hesitate for a moment, before asking, "Say, you don't happen to give free tours to newbies, do you?"
Rinoa blinked a couple of times, before she started to laugh, replying instantaneously. "This is your lucky day, because I'm your student volunteer."
"Seriously? Gosh, Rin. I can't believe you mistook someone else for Squall! I bet you gave him a great first impression, then," Selphie cried from over the phone, before once breaking into a fresh wave of giggles.
"...Yeah, thanks a lot. I was tired, okay! It can happen to any of us," Rinoa said, in her defense. "Besides, there are still enough people on our school who confuse me with Tifa, so it isn't that strange, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I'm sure you were," her friend muttered, sarcastically. "But I guess you're right with that one. Actually, I find it a small miracle that Cloud hasn't accidentally kissed you, thinking that you're Tifa, or something."
"Well, it's not like we're complete twins, remember?" Rinoa had called Selphie as soon as she'd gotten home from school, asking her if she had seen Terra before, but her friend's reaction had only made her feel worse about her stupid mistake.
"I swear I really thought he was his long lost twin brother, or something, when I saw him. It was almost scary," she admitted.
Despite the fact that they were look-a-likes, their personalities were quite different. She had noticed that during the time that she showed him around. For example, Squall would never just ask a stranger to show him around. He'd rather find his way around by himself. He also wouldn't joke around with a girl he didn't know at all if she mistook him for someone else. No, she was pretty sure that he would demand her to leave him alone angrily. Terra was so much more laid back, whereas Squall was constantly serious. One really had to know him to notice when he was throwing in some humor, mixed into the usual biting sarcasm. It wasn't a bad thing, it was just...different. With Terra, however, it wasn't that hard to figure out when he was joking. Now that she thought of it, she had yet to see the latter act the least bit solemn.
Yes, the only things that they probably had in common, personality-wise that is, was that they were both fine gentlemen with a good sense of humor. But she was sure that that was pretty much it.
"By the way, did you speak to Riku today?" This sudden change of subject surprised the female teen, she'd almost forgotten about her date the night before.
She grimaced. "Yeah, I saw him on my way back home. He said he wants another date, but I don't know..." the ebony-haired girl admitted, as she twirled a midnight strand of hair around her fingers.
"What? Why not?"
Rinoa sighed. "I... can't really explain it. I mean... Sure, Riku's nice and smart and handsome, but it feels like we're missing a connection. And Squall doesn't seem to like him that much..."
"Oh, come on, Rin! Riku's the most wanted guy. Every girl wants to date him and every guy wants to be just like him. And now that he's shown interest in you, you just push him away like that? You're crazy! If I hadn't been with Irvine already, I definitely would've wanted Riku to be my boyfriend... You're a lucky girl and you don't even realize it. Besides, why does it look like Squall always ruins things for you? And I'm not only talking about Riku here. It's been like this with all your previous boyfriends. If I didn't know any better, I would think Squall's jealous."
"Hey, he's not my boyfriend. We're just dating. And of course that's not the case. Squall's just being protective," she reasoned.
After all, Squall wasn't a type to become jealous, of anything. He just wasn't like that.
"Ah, the big brother thing. I see... Even today, when I saw him at the bus station, he asked me where you were, with that super serious look on his face."
A thin eyebrow shot up. "Really? And what did you say?"
"I told him that you were still inside, probably looking for him."
When Rinoa went outside, Squall had been at the bus station. Had he really waited that long for her in the biting cold? It wasn't like she couldn't find her way back home without him… Unless he was currently watching her. But why would he? This just didn't make sense. Could it be because of Riku? In that case, he had already seen her with him, because she had literally bumped into him near the bus station.
Still, Squall hadn't mentioned anything about it. When she had finally reached him, all he had said was, "You're late."
She hadn't told him anything about Terra, though. She didn't know why, but she had a feeling that it was better this way, so she had made up some excuse to explain why she was so late. By the looks of it, he had believed her. Or maybe he hadn't. Squall's poker face was so good that she never knew what to think of him.
Selphie's next comment made her return to the present again, "You know, I'm really surprised that your mom and Squall's dad aren't a couple after all these years of living together."
"I already told you, they just happen to be very good friends. Kinda like Squall and me. I don't think they'll ever fall in love, despite the fact that Laguna used to be Mom's date for Prom Night back in high school. The fact that they became friends afterwards is the only reason why Laguna asked Mom to live with them. That, and the fact that this house is big enough for the four of us."
"Yeah, I guess being such a famous journalist has its benefits. Anyways, I should go. As always, Mr. Sephiroth gave us enough homework to be busy with it for the rest of our lives. Blegh, as if the man's classes aren't bad enough. Take care."
"You, too. And good luck."
Selphie was right, Rinoa mused. Sephiroth was by far the scariest teacher they knew. Especially when he became pissed because of students.
It was far too silent in the classroom to be comfortable. Beside the annoyingly ticking clock, it was only the teacher who broke this silence. Perhaps that was why time seemed to go extra slow today.
"-So that makes it impossible for..."
This is so boring, Rinoa thought, as she tuned the teacher's voice out.
She was sure that she wasn't the only one who thought that, even though the teacher, Mr. Vexen, seemed to do his best. Well, he definitely should try harder, if it was up to Rinoa. If Selphie had been here with her or if anyone else had been there,anyone at all, she would've been able to entertain herself by swapping notes. Unfortunately, Selphie's schedule was slightly different, which meant that they couldn't always be together, unfortunately.
At that moment, she happened to look at the doorway, only to see... Terra? She thought, confused. What is he doing?
The brunet was just standing there. He didn't seem to notice her just yet, but by the looks of it, the young man was a little too late for class. Luckily for him, the teacher stood with his back towards him, making notes on the whiteboard, so the students would understand what he was talking about (that man was too good at speaking in riddles). Terra's next action, however, caught the raven-haired girl completely off guard. He turned his back towards the class's entrance and silently entered the room, as though he was running backwards, in slow motion. That was when the teacher turned around. Terra, who had already taken notice, stood still and adjusted himself, as if he wanted to get out of the classroom again without trying to catch Mr. Vexen's attention.
"And where do you think you're going?" the teacher asked, coolly.
At once, he stopped moving, acting like he'd been caught red-handed. "I uh..." he started, scratching the back of his head, embarrassed.
"Sit down," the man continued through gritted teeth.
Apparently, that was more of a rhetoric question. Terra seemed to realize that too, now.
He saluted. "Oh, uh...yes, Sir."
The other students snickered at the trick he pulled, but the teacher didn't pay any attention to them, figuring that it was normal for teens to giggle about every stupid thing that happened in class. Meanwhile, the brunet teen simply turned around and noticed Rinoa, who had raised both eyebrows. It was quite an understatement that she was immensely impressed.
Wow, he really is a good actor. Vexen usually never falls for such things. And now, he won't be listed absent, either...
He took a seat next to her with a victorious smirk dropping his bag under the desk, whispering, "Hey there."
"Hey," she greeted back, just as softly. "Nice move."
"Thanks. One learns a thing or two from movies."
She watched him unpack his stuff and put them on the table quietly. Both his pen and notebook were yellow. Rinoa figured that that might be his favorite color, or something. Something told her that this would be a rather interesting, not to mention highly spectacular year, especially with someone like Terra as a classmate. This was probably only the beginning. At once, she found herself wishing that she would have more classes with this intriguing new student.
Maybe she was that lucky.
But first things first, she thought to herself, as she tore a page of her notebook, as inconspicuously as she could. She thought for a moment, before writing down the question she'd wanted to ask.
Why were you so late? Missed the bus?
After being sure that the teacher wasn't looking at her, she pushed the piece of paper towards Terra's table, catching his attention instead. For some reason, the male teen started to smirk, before scribbling down his answer and handing it over to her. Rinoa started reading right away and her dark brows floated up again.
No, I don't use the bus, since I have Glider. I just overslept.
She had to admit that for a guy, he had neat handwriting. Another thing he had in common with Squall. Or was he trying to impress her?
But why in the world would he do that? It's not like I'm going to judge him on his handwriting... unless he really thinks I'm that air headed. But Squall wouldn't mention such details so perhaps Terra won't, either. And maybe I should stop comparing him to Squall. He'll probably find it super annoying if continue. After all, I think it's annoying when people compare me to Tifa.
It was then that she noticed how he was looking at her, a questioning look on his face. She blinked, quickly shaking her head, before turning her attention back to the paper that sat in front of her. She picked up her pen to write down her next question.
Who's Glider? A friend?
At this, Terra started to laugh, but he was quick enough to mask it as a series of coughs when he saw Mr. Vexen's pointed stare, which was shot in his general direction. When he turned his back again, the brunet looked at Rinoa and rolled his striking blue eyes, making her smile. When the coast was clear, he started writing again;
That was a close one. That guy is flat out creepy withthat look... No, that's my motorcycle. I just named it Glider.
The ebony-haired teen pursed her lips. So he had named his motorcycle Glider? What exactly should she think of that? She knew that Terra wasn't the only one who named his property; Cloud had named his motorcycle Fenrir, according to Tifa. Was it normal for guys to do this? Besides, guys loved cars and motorcycles. Perhaps this was some sign of passion towards their hobbies? Whatever. She gave him the piece of paper again and waited until he had read what she wrote.
Yeah, but Sephiroth is scarier ... Oh, I see. That's pretty cool!
She didn't have to wait that long to get a reply herself.
Well, if you really mean that, I wouldn't mind giving you a ride back home if the bus is late or doesn't show up, or something. After all, I still owe you for showing me around.
Rinoa paused, biting her lower lip. Was this an honest invitation to spend some time with him? Or was she jumping to conclusions again?
That's very nice of you. I might consider it sometime...
Okay, that was definitely a lie. He'd probably realized that, too, even though he stayed quiet about it. The truth was that she'd rather wait another half hour extra for the late bus, than risk her life on a motorcycle. Still, it was nice of him to offer. But for now it was probably better to pay attention. If she didn't, then Squall would have to help her with this subject, too. She felt bad enough for him already, since she sucked at math. If it hadn't been for him helping her every time, she wouldn't have come this far. And so, she set down her pen and refocused her attention on Mr. Vexen's lesson, even though it still was boring as heck.