A/N: I'll keep it short this time, because I'm rambling enough already, but at last, chapter seven is up. Just a fair warning: I think I suck at writing action packed scenes...unfortunately. -_-' Especially now that it isn't betaed yet. The match was inspired by a certain scene of the anime Death Note. Enjoy. :)
~ Perphaps if they hadn't been such good friends already, if he had only met her now, then he would have fallen for her… ~
Slowly, but gradually, winter arrived in Esthar as November ended and December came into the picture. By the end of December, though, the weather got even worse, making everything look rigid and freezing cold. Those soft, feathery snowflakes had changed into concussion-causing hailstones from hell. The roads would always be slippery thanks to the endless blizzards, up to the point that being outside was forming a danger. Not only to yourself, but to the people around you as well. Traffic was always delayed for at least half an hour, but at least they gave out free steaming cups of coffee and tea at the kiosks. Still, it was a considerable nuisance, despite the fact that the technology in Esthar was by far the most sophisticated one. This made people wonder what would happen in January, when it would get even colder.
January, derived from Janus, the god with two faces. It wasn't that hard to guess why they had come up with that name, since it was this month that both looked back to the previous year with all the month that had already passed, as well as it looked forward to the rest of this new year that had yet to pass. Perhaps that was the main reason why people said that during January, one had the most chances to succeed into something, because you were able to look at your mistakes and learn from them for the future. However, Squall thought that they only said that because in the first month of the year, most people still kept to their new year's resolutions. By the time February started, though, most people would give up on them and move on with their lives.
That was why Squall never participated into this whole resolutions nonsense. It was a waste of his time. Honestly, who said that only after New Year, one had to gain a better lifestyle? If you really wanted to change yourself, if you wanted to mean something to this world, then you should start today, preferably yesterday. One shouldn't wait until the year had finally ended, so they could make a useless list of what they could improve about themselves. In the end, nobody would get any better from that. And why miss out on all those opportunities that you could show yourself at your best? People were really weird, not to mention incredibly lazy. Whatever, it was the least of his worries now.
A short, yet firm tap on his shoulder made Squall stop walking and turn around. The brunet blinked, slightly surprised. He stood face to face with another male teen, who also had chocolate brown hair and striking blue eyes, just like him, albeit of a darker shade. The stranger was slightly taller than him and for some reason, he didn't like it at all. It felt as though he was looking down on him, both literally as well as figuratively.
"What?" Squall said, more curtly than impatiently.
Even if the male stranger was taken aback by his cool behavior, he didn't show it. Instead, he asked with a neutral voice and facial expression, "Are these yours?"
He then held the items in his arms up, so Squall could see what he was talking about.
The latter eyed the notebook and etui he was holding, rather suspiciously, recognizing them immediately. Eventually, he replied with, "…Yes, they're mine. Where did you find them?"
"...Well, let's just say that I just happened to see someone borrowing it from you earlier, without giving it back to you," was the mysterious reply. "Here, catch."
Without saying anything else, the taller male casually tossed Squall's belongings his way.
The other teen caught the items effortlessly in midair, before briefly checking if any of them were damaged or not (which thankfully, wasn't the case).
Squall sighed, returning his attention back to the stranger. "...Thanks, I guess."
The stranger waved it away, as if it was nothing, allowing a small smile to tug at his lips. "Don't mention it, really. Anyways, I've got to go now. Don't want to be late for class."
Squall nodded, indicating that he understood. With that, the other male turned around and continued walking the other way. Squall watched his retreating back, wondering who in the world that guy was. As far as he knew, he had never seen him here before...
Whatever. The fact that he'd returned Squall's belongings only proved that he probably had a good heart and that was all that mattered for now. It wasn't hard for the brunet to guess who could have 'borrowed his belongings without returning it again,' as this guy had put it. Either Seifer had become his useful annoying self again (which wouldn't surprise him at all), or Zell and Irvine thought it was funny to tease him some more.
As the brunet male was heading for his locker to finally go home, he happened to notice a familiar person. This made him stand still. Curious as to why she had laid her head on her arms, looking more broken than ever, he decided to approach her quietly. Now that he thought of it, he hadn't seen Rinoa all day. Did something happen? This had better not to do anything with Riku...
When the male teen had reached the table, he saw to his great surprise that his friend was sleeping soundly, her arms used as her pillow. Squall shook his head, a ghost of a smile gracing his face. This was certainly not what he had expected to see. At least she wasn't sad, like he had thought at first. He scratched the back of his head, wondering what he should do next. When the silent teen had made his decision, he took off his black leather jacket and draped it carefully over Rinoa's sleeping form, as not to wake her up. Just as gently, he ran a hand through her midnight-colored hair and brushed some loose strands of hair out of her face, still marveled by its soft and silky feeling.
Right at that moment, the female teen stirred slightly, making Squall quickly retract his hand and wonder what in the world he was doing. Fortunately for him, she didn't wake up; all she did was mutter something that sounded a lot like, "Terr…"
Squall frowned. He couldn't really say that he had heard of this 'Terr' before. It was probably one of Rinoa's new girl friends. How strange that she even thought of her friends when she was asleep. It was either that, or she was simply dreaming of water. That made even less sense. But then again, this was Rinoa he was talking about.
Well, whatever the case was, he couldn't leave her here alone, Squall concluded, as he sat down at the same table opposite of her. After opening his backpack, he grabbed a few study books, along with a pen and some other things that he needed to do his homework. He didn't mind going home later if it was with her. It was probably better to let her sleep now, because she needed it. Well, even if she hadn't needed it, he probably wouldn't have the heart to wake her up when she was looking this serene.
As of lately, she was so incredibly tired. It had to be because of the stress for the upcoming tests. This was their last year, so naturally, teachers asked much more of them than they had in the past years. They didn't spare their students anymore, so sometimes, it became a little too much for some teenagers. At home, he made sure she'd eat enough fruit and drink properly, even if it meant he had to force it down her throat. Even then she would squirm, trying to escape from him. It was funny, really, because in the past, he'd been the one who would neglect himself during such stressful times, but now, the roles seemed to be reversed.
As he was thinking all of this, he took his time to really look at her peaceful form. He couldn't deny the fact that Rinoa really was pretty. But she was also still cute, despite the fact that she was turning into a beautiful woman in front of his very eyes. She had a rather cute, tip-tilted nose, long dark eyelashes that almost touched her cheeks, glossy black hair, a fair skin, and not to forget a very kind heart. Maybe a little too kind for her own-good. Perphaps if they hadn't been such good friends already, if he had only met her now, then he would have fallen for her…
When he realized what he'd just thought, he shook his head furiously. Stop it.
Seriously, what was it with him and these weird thoughts that plagued his mind constantly these days? Every time he saw her with another guy, his thoughts ended at the same subject, over and over again. While trying to clear his head (and ban these weird thoughts), he opened his books. There was a lot of work to do. He had no idea how long it would take the raven-haired teen to wake up, so he had to use the little time that he still had. But if she hadn't woken up before five O'clock, then he would wake her up himself, before the janitors would lock them up here. That was the last thing he needed.
At a quarter to five, Rinoa's eyes slowly fluttered open. She'd rather let them stay closed, though, since that felt more pleasant, but she knew it wasn't a possibility...unfortunately. She had the kind of headache that made her feel extremely dizzy and disorientated. Her eyes were practically burning from fatigue. It felt as though she had sand in her eyes. This was nothing new to her, though, because as of lately, she had these kind of aches a lot. The female teen fervently hoped this wasn't the first sign of a fever, or something even worse.
When her eyes had adjusted to the bright light, she saw that she wasn't alone anymore. Squall was sitting at her table now, doing his homework. By the looks of it, he still hadn't noticed that she was awake now. His head was bowed slightly and he was frowning lightly, as he scribbled something down in his notebook. However, at that moment, he changed his mind again and crossed it all out. A deep sigh escaped his lips. That troubled look on his chiseled face made her smile. It almost looked like the fate of the whole world was in his hands and if he didn't solve his homework right now, everyone was lost.
It was only then that she noticed something peculiar; for a change, Squall was only wearing his white shirt. He'd draped his leather jacket over her and even though he seemed to feel cold, he didn't take it back. Really, he was so sweet that it surprised her he still didn't have a girlfriend. But then again, she was probably the only one wo knew how much of a softie he really was. The others only saw his outside; somewhat cold and aloof. He scared everyone away with that kind of behavior and he was very well aware of that. Sometimes, she wondered if Squall would even look at her if they hadn't grown up together. If they hadn't lived in the same house for years on end, would he even know of her existence? She was sure that he wouldn't want to be friends with her. Perhaps whe wouldn't have liked him, either. However, it could also be that he would have dated her then, not regarding her just a good friend... It was funny how one simple action could decide your whole future.
Deciding to let him know she was awake now, she said, "A penny for your thoughts?"
The sound of her voice made him finally look up from his book for a short moment, but soon after that, his attention was back to his work again.
He sighed, wearily. "I… never think."
"Yeah… that's definitely the Squall I know." She paused there, waiting for any reaction from his side... Unfortunately for her, none was given this time. While trying to hide her disappointment, she continued, "By the way, I think this jacket is yours, right?"
The raven-haired girl took the rather heavy, leather jacket off of her and handed it over to the teen opposite from her. Squall didn't take it from her, though.
"No, it isn't mine. In fact, I've never seen it before in my whole life," he replied, without looking up this time.
"Huh?" Rinoa gave him an utterly perplexed look, wondering what he meant by that, until she saw how the corners of his mouth slowly curled up. That was when she realized that this had to be one of his sarcastic remarks. "You, Sir, have a weird sense of humor." Squall opened his mouth to reply, but Rinoa beat him to the punch by saying, "Yeah, yeah, I know, whatever."
The brunet male blinked, taken aback, before admitting slowly, "…I was going to say 'Thank You,' actually."
"Don't think you can fool me that easily, Mister."
He rolled his stormy blue eyes as a response. "What were you doing here, anyway?"
This question seemed to make her remember something, for her mouth dropped open slightly, forming an O-shape. "Me? Oh, just having a nervous breakdown… but then I guess I fell asleep and forgot about it. And you?"
"…I was about to go home when I spotted you being lazy, as always."
"Hey! I'm not lazy!" she protested, indignantly. She gave him a quasi pointed glare. "Take that back!"
Of course you aren't. You just proved that by dozing off. If you would get any lazier than this, you might slip into a coma, he thought, sarcastically.
"Yeah, well, we'd better get going, or we might miss the bus," the male said, instead, as his eyes fell on the clock on the nearby wall.
They had exactly three minutes to make it to the busstop and there was no chance they would make it in such a short amount of time, unless they left school right now.
Rinoa followed Squall's stare and gasped softly, realizing what time it was. "Oh my gosh! You're right. Let's go."
They didn't lose much time gathering their stuff and quickly went outside afterwards. The teens were lucky, for they were able to catch the bus right in time. The driver was nice enough to wait a couple of seconds more, so they could catch up.
At least one thing went well that day, Rinoa thought quietly, as she looked out of the window. It had just started drizzling and by the looks of it, they wouldn't be dry anymore by the time they arrived at home. It was a good thing she'd decided to wear her warm coat today, instead of her favorite black one. With that in mind, she briefly turned away, only to catch Squall staring at her with a weird expression on his face, almost as if he was looking right through her.
She gave him a questioning look, tilting her head slightly to the side and trying to ignore the sudden nervousness she was feeling under his sharp stare. "What is it, Squall?"
That made him return to reality and he blinked. "What? ...Nothing, I was just... nevermind."
Rinoa frowned lightly. "...Okay?"
Not knowing what she should think of this umpteenth vague reply, the ebony-haired teen averted her gaze and started watching the cars and buildings she passed again. They all seemed to be in a hurry today. She tried her hardest not to look a him again via the window. Seriously, though, was it just her imagination or was Squall really acting different, no, strange, as of lately? He was even more quiet than usually and she would often catch him watching her, as he was obviously breaking his head over something. It had to be something big. The way his stormy blue eyes would watch her, made her feel slightly nervous. There just was something about his eyes that gave her a funny feeling near the pit of her stomach. She couldn't really put her finger on what it was, nor if she found it so annoying or not.
He would always be so deep in thought that it made her wonder if something was bothering him. Not that he would ever actually tell her if that was the case. In fact, she had the nagging feeling that he told her less about himself by every passing day. It was almost as if he didn't trust her that much anymore. Sometimes she really wished she could look into his head in order to get him. Someone really had to write a book about the complicated case that was called Squall Leonhart. But maybe it was just because it had been such a long day for her. For the both of them, for that matter. Squall was probably just as tired as she was, even if he still kept playing the role of a tough boy quite brilliantly. What a surprise.
Squall took a long, satisfying chug from the bottle filled with cool water, but not necessarily because he was so thirsty. He put the bottle back inside his bag again and sighed lightly. The brunet didn't know why, but for some reason, he was getting slightly nervous by now. Perhaps it was because he would be swordplaying here again after a long time. He truly loved the sport. It was his passion, but since he hadn't done it for such a long time, he feared being a little rusty. Back at Balamb Garden, he'd learned many different and useful new tactics and he was eager to try them all out. In fact, he was half hoping that his opponent would be none other than Seifer Almasy. That would teach him to steal his materials earlier this week. He knew that the blond wouldn't hold back on him at all and to be honest, that was exactly what he was hoping for. Now, if only Lady Luck was on his side today, then everything would be alright...
Right at that moment, someone slapped his shoulder amicably, interrupting his current train of thoughts. It startled him at the same time, even though all he did was letting out a grunt.
"Hey, it's good to have you back again, Squall!"
Almost irritably, the brunet raised his head to shoot a glare at that person and saw to his great surprise that Zack Fair, and old student and good friend was standing next to him. He had a goofy smile on his face that lit up his electric blue eyes. At once, Squall's glare disappeared and was replaced with a small, genuine smile. To be honest, he hadn't expected to see him here.
"It's good to be back," Squall agreed with a nod, before he noticed that his friend was dressed in sportswear, instead of his usual casual clothes. That was when curiosity got the better of him. "...So what are you doing here? Didn't you graduate last year?"
He observed the extremely cheerful, spiky haired male that was one year his senior. His unusually clear blue eyes looked right back at him, fearless and mischievous at the same time.
Zack ran a hand through his wild mane, making his midnight-colored hair even messier. "Well, of course I did, what do you think? I'm not as much of a failure as you think, Squall. But I kinda missed it here and now I'm working here as a parttime PE teacher. It's an okay job, even though the meetings are dead boring. But it's also good for my CV and this way, I can get rid of all that extra energy."
"That's great," was Squall's truthful reaction.
To be honest, he was both pleasantly surprised, as well as thrilled at this fact. The role of PE teacher fitted Zack just perfectly; he was very energetic, enthusiast and he always really tried to get the best out of people by assisting them when necessary. No wonder everyone admired him so much and saw him as the hero that he truly was. The same went for the fact that his nickname was 'Puppy.' It wasn't that hard to guess where that had come from. Besides, having him as a teacher was a welcome change. Admittedly, their previous teacher Mr. Angeal was a talented man, but he wasn't as enthusiast as Zack. He would undoubtedly be his favorite teacher.
"Yeah, I know, right? And instead of good ol' Angeal, I'll be teaching you guys today."
Squall was sure that if Angeal had heard Zack calling him old, he wouldn't exactly thank the young man for it. He probably would have demanded a battle to life or death. That would have been some sight to see.
"I see... There's just one thing," the brunet noted, looking around him.
"What is it, Squall?"
"Why is it that I don't see the bats and other stuff that we use? Did you forget to set them out?"
"Oh, no. Actually, there's a reason for it and you're about to find out what that is." In a much louder tone, so all the other students could hear him, too, he continued, "Okay, everyone. Gather round quickly. We only have two hours." Zack paused, waiting until every student had reached the place where he stood, standing in a big circle around him, while still being able to see him. Most of them looked just as happy (and thoroughly surprised) to see him back and they greeted them with a big smile on their face. He greeted them back just as cheerfully, before he continued in a more serious way, "It's good to see you all back again. Guess what; for today, I want to try something different."
As soon as he'd said that, the students started whispering, clearly baffled. One couldn't blame them, for this was the first time they would deviate from their normal routine. Mr. Angeal was a strict teacher, who liked to keep to the schedule he'd made for his pupils.
"Don't worry, though, it's only a different way of practising. There's no need for the long faces, 'cause it will still have something to do with our usual stuff," he promised. "In fact, this way you'll be able to test yourself on your abilities. It shows how skilled you already are and which points you still have to work on. Now, if you could all follow me outside..."
With that, the raven-haired male turned around and headed towards the entrance. After hesitating slightly at first, his students exchanged a look with each other and followed him. Squall had no idea what Zack had planned. Why on earth would he want to go outside, instead of staying here at the gym? Was it because they would need even more space? Well, whatever the case was, he would find out soon enough.
Once they had all gotten outside, they realized that their destination was at the playing fields, or to be more precise, the tennis courts. The fields were ready to be used, because a huge glass dome was around it ever since it had become winter. That way, it didn't matter if it was snowing or not; the fields wouldn't be ruined this season. It was a new project that their school was willing to puy a large sum of money for.
"Tadaah!" Zack cried, proudly, as he gestured towards the (almost invitingly) empty fields.
Only silence followed, as many people blinked dumbfoundedly. Some of them looked around, as if searching for a good explanation of what they really were doing here. They couldn't find anything that could satisfy them, though, which left them even more clueless.
"What, we're going to play tennis now?" Zell asked, incredulously, not sure if this was some sort of joke or if Zack really had lost his mind this time.
It seemed that he, too, had expected something more spectacular, especially from someone adventurous like Zack Fair.
"Oh, c'mon. A little bit more enthusiasm is more than welcome, guys. I really thought you would like this."
"What I'm wondering is what the hell's got tennis anything to do with swordfighting?" Seifer scoffed.
"Yeah! Seifer's right, y'know?" Raijin cried, nodding at the same time.
"Well, maybe if you would actually start doing something, instead of nagging all the time like a grumpy old lady, you'd find out the answer yourself," Zack quipped.
This earned him a heated glare from the blond, followed by a soft snickering from the rest of the group. As expected, that shut him up effectively. Squall smirked. That served him right. It was about time that someone put Seifer in his place.
With more confidence now, Zack declared, "Now, let's see how you manage with a tennisracket as your only weapon on this battlefield. This will be a great chance for you to get to know your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. Okay, I'm going to pair you up and a match will be held. Let's see..." After that, the young teacher started pairing up students, his decision being based on their skills. "Zell and Seifer, and last, but certainly not least... Squall and Terra."
Wait, just who the heck's this Terra that people keep talking about these days? Squall wondered, frowning lightly.
He couldn't say he'd heard of that name before. At that moment, someone tapped his shoulder for the second time that day. Squall turned around, only to stand face to face with the familiar brunet from earlier. He recognized him immediately. It was the guy that had returned his belongings to him.
Him again? Don't tell me this guy is actually Terra? Well, that makes things a lot more interesting...
"Hi. You're Squall, right?" the stranger asked, giving Squall a questioning look.
"...Yeah, that's me."
"Cool, then I guess we're partners."
I guess so... Don't expect me to go easy on you, though, just because I owe you for returning my stuff.
He followed Terra to a more secluded area of the tennis court and walked to the other side of the net. "You serve," was all Squall said.
"Very well, then."
"Get ready. We'll practise first for a little while, so you'll get all warmed up and used to your uh... weapon," Zack announced, looking at his watch to set the time.
He didn't have to say that twice. The students hurried to get ready and even Seifer did as he was told, even though he still looked a little peeved. As soon as their teacher gave them the signal to start, which was a sharp whistle, they all began their match.
"May the best man win," Terra said.
Squall nodded, albeit slighly impatient. Just get started already. You talk more than you actually do something.
"So, are you fine with the winner being whoever wins the first set of six games, I assume?" Terra then asked.
The silent teen shrugged. "That's fine with me."
Terra let the ball bounce a couple of times, before he threw it in the air, raised his tennis racket at the same time.
Squall mentally prepared himself for it. Here it comes...
Then, Terra hit the ball at full force Squall's way. The latter had never thought it was possible to hit a tennis ball with such great amount of strength. Before he could react, the ball had flown right past him, hitting the fence behind him. If anyone had been standing there, they might have been into a coma now, judging by the speed of the tennis ball. It looked more like a bullet.
Squall straightened, looking over his shoulder. Whoa... he's really serious about this? Not bad, I have to admit that.
"He who takes the initiative wins," Terra muttered with a small smirk.
This didn't go unheard by his rival. Cocky much? Let's see how much of that stays when I'm done with you, Terra.
"We'll see about that," Squall replied, getting ready again.
Whereas the other matches were mostly repetitive, the 'battle' between Terra and Squall was much fiercer, due to their competitive nature. Neither of them liked to lose and that was easy to see now. Both males were only focused on the game, shutting out everything else that was around them. Their movements were almost in sync and for outsiders, it was as though they could easily read each other's minds, one always acting a tiny bit faster than the other to prevent him from winning. The way they behaved attracted a lot attention, meaning that soon enough, a big, cheering croud had gathered around the tennis court.
"I can't believe this. Are they meant to be amateurs?" Irvine wondered, clearly awestruck. "I expected this of Squall, but I never thought this new guy was just as skilled. Who is he, anyway?"
"That's Terra, a new student. It seems that we've finally found a rival for Squall. His competition seems pretty strong," Zack noted with a small smile. "This should get interesting."
Soon enough, it was obvious that Terra mostly relied on his strength, with his weak point being his speed. With Squall, it was exactly the other way around. He could react much faster, which he used to his benefit. He did his best to make Terra run from one side to the other as much as he could, hoping that this would make him tired soon enough.
Once again, Squall saw an opening and he put his every being into this one backhanded move. Terra saw too late what he wanted to achieve. He reached out for the tennis ball, but was still too far away, causing the ball to bounce right under his arm. This gave Squall another match point, making the crowd cheer once again.
"Game, set; won by Squall! Six games to four, if I'm not mistaken," Zack announced, now functionating as the referee. "Good job, guys. You can be proud of yourselves."
Both brunet teens bent forward slightly, their hands on their knees, as they tried to catch their breath. As soon as Terra had stopped panting, he made his way towards Squall. The latter looked up, curiously.
"That was some interesting match. Congrats," Terra said, extending his hand with a small smile. "Watch out, though. Next time, I'll be winning from you."
Squall looked at it for a moment, before shaking it. "Thanks. You were a skilled opponent." It was silent between them for a moment, until, "Are you a new student?"
The taller male nodded. "Yeah. More or less."
Sweat was beading on their forehead. They both wiped it away, at the same time. Now that they were standing next to each other, they had the time to investigate each other. Squall noticed that the new student was rather athletic; he had a rather lean, but muscled built. He had to be quite popular with the girls, but he didn't seem to be that air-headed, like Riku for example. In fact, he wouldn't mind being friends with someone like Terra...
"Oh, before I forget, did you hear it already?" Selphie asked.
"Hear what?" Rinoa asked, curiously, as she took place opposite from Selphie at the table.
They currently had a lunch break and they were waiting in the cafetaria for the rest of their group to join them, keeping their places free for them.
"Duh! About the tennis match between Terra and Squall earlier this day, of course. You should've seen it. I swear, Terra was so amazing! He made things very hard for Squall. Even though Squall won in the end, I still think Terra was the better one out of those two. The way he kept up with him, he moved like a warrior on the battlefield, or something. Oh, there he is!"
Rinoa followed Selphie's stare, hearing how her friend let out a dreamy sigh. "He's so perfect, isn't he?"
"Be careful. Irvine might hear you say that and he probably won't take that well," Rinoa spoke with a small laugh.
"Psh. He talks about girls often enough. I think I'm allowed to do that, too when he isn't around," Selphie noted, defending herself. "I bet that soon enough, he'll beat even Riku in popularity. Riku's not gonna like that at all."
The raven-haired girl didn't say anything else about the matter and returned her attention back to the tall brunet. He didn't seem to notice her, making it easier for her to keep watching him, without looking like a creepy, stalker-ish fangirl. Selphie was right, though. If he could actually keep up with Squall, then he had to be really skilled. It was too bad that she didn't know much about him. She wondered where he'd learned to play tennis...
Selphie's fake cough, made the ebony-haired teen look back at her friend. "What?"
"I saw that, Rinnie," she replied, teasingly.
A hint of amusement was heard in her voice, as her cat-like green eyes twinkled mischievously.
Rinoa, however, feigned innocence. "What do you mean?"
"How you kept staring at him like a love-sick puppy, that's what I mean. It's kinda cute."
"I- what?" At once, she felt how she started to blush. The way Selphie was looking at her, didn't help one bit, either. "...I don't know what you're talking about."
"No, no. Of course you don't..." When Selphie saw the slightly alarmed look on Rinoa's face, she continued with a huge grin, "I'm just messing with ya, Rin. Relax."
The still blushing teen sighed. "Not funny, Selphie."
A/N: Next chapter: Perhaps Terra isn't quite the person he makes other people believe he is. Squall is about to find that out...