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Story [Final Fantasy] Inexplicable (Olympic Dare Challenge)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Tarsier, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    This is my entry for the Fanfic Olympics Dare Challenge.

    Fandom: Final Fantasy (VIII, VII, X)

    Characters: Squall, Rinoa, Zell, Cloud, Tifa, Tidus, Yuna

    Notes: The primary dare for this story is number two:

    Dare #2:
    Someone is late for something important!
    You must include:
    ·Condiments of some sort
    ·"Is it supposed to do that?"
    ·Dialogue from at least 3 people
    ·A stuffed animal
    ·Someone wearing really amazing shoes

    This story also includes the following elements from the other dares:
    ·The phrase “I cannot unsee that!”
    ·The words agelast, callipygous, and kerfuffle
    ·Dangerous fauna
    ·The phrase "Not in there!"
    ·A sunset
    ·Three of the Greek Muses
    ·The color heliotrope
    · Alternate Universe where the characters are in the equivalent of high school




    Inexplicable

    School ended two hours ago and the parking lot was empty except for two vehicles. Cloud sat astride his motorcycle and Squall leaned against his car. Fencing practice had gone exceptionally well—Squall had beaten Seifer in four out of five spars. His body was exhausted, though his mind was still basking in glory of victory as he sipped a bottle of water.

    As an added bonus, with his dad out of town and Ellone spending the evening with friends, Squall was looking forward to having the house to himself for several hours once he got home.

    Although they appreciated each other’s company, Cloud and Squall exchanged very few words. They were just about to head their separate ways when a wild motion to his right caught Squall’s attention.

    A girl dressed in light blue ran up. “Squall! Cloud! I’m so glad you’re here. You have to take us to the match!”

    Squall finished off his water bottle and stood up, ignoring the girl. “See ya tomorrow,” he said to Cloud.

    The girl—he recognized her from some classes, but he couldn’t remember her name—stood in front of his driver’s side door, blocking his access to his car. “We missed the bus. We’ll be late if you guys don’t drive us.”

    Squall looked to Cloud.

    “No room for passengers on my bike. Sorry.” Cloud’s smiled in amusement and Squall knew he wasn’t sorry at all. Too bad Ellone had taken the two-seater this morning, sticking him with his dad’s oversized SUV. If she hadn’t, he’d have the same excuse as Cloud.

    Squall looked up to see another girl had appeared. She had on a tight black top, long shorts, and fingerless gloves. Unlike the girl in blue, she looked like she could be on her way to a competitive match, perhaps martial arts.

    “Not my problem.” Squall tried to reach around to his door handle.

    The girl in blue shifted her body to block Squall. “Hey, why aren’t you helping us?”

    “It’s okay, Rinoa. I’ll call my mom, or… maybe Barrett can come get us.” The other girl adjusted her gloves, avoiding eye contact with Squall.

    “No, Tifa.” Rinoa stamped her foot. “Squall is right here. He’s going to take us. It’s just at Calliope. What else do you have to do?”

    Calliope High School was on the other side of town, at least a forty-five minute drive. Squall crossed his arms, wondering how inappropriate it would be for him to lift Rinoa by the hips and move her out of his way.

    Rinoa waved her hand in front of Squall’s face, twitching her fingers as she chanted, “You’re-going-to-take-us. You’re-going-to-take-us.”

    Squall dropped his arms in exasperation, fighting the urge to slap her hand out of his face.

    Rinoa leaned forward and looked up into Squall’s eyes. “Did it work?”

    Cloud walked his bike around behind them, and Squall could hear him snickering.

    Rinoa leaned back against the car, her backside against the door handle. “I’m not leaving until you agree to take us.”

    Squall glanced toward Cloud, doing his best not to acknowledge Rinoa.

    “C’mon, it’ll be fun!” Rinoa stood up and started playfully punching Squall in the arm. She danced around Squall, making sound effects. Then she kicked out at Cloud. Most likely, she didn’t intend to make contact with Cloud. At any rate, it appeared to be a grazing hit that normally wouldn’t warrant Cloud grabbing his arm and muttering a curse.

    “Hyne, what are you wearing?!” Cloud rubbed his arm and glared at Rinoa’s feet.

    Squall followed Cloud’s gaze to see Rinoa was wearing some odd metal shoes, constructed of shiny plates that came to a sharp point at the toes.

    “Those shoes are…really amazing,” Squall said flatly.

    “Oh!” Rinoa looked at her shoes. “I guess I forgot to change! I’m in the play you know. I’m the Sorceress Knight!”

    “Isn’t the Knight supposed to be a guy?” Cloud asked. Squall was more curious how she had managed to change the rest of her wardrobe but not her ridiculous shoes.

    “Hey! That’s sexist—“

    “I’m here! Thanks for waiting!” Rinoa was interrupted when a third girl, this one with a long purple skirt, ran up to the group.

    “Yuna! You made it!” Rinoa embraced the new girl briefly before returning her attention to Squall. “Okay, we’re ready! Let’s go!”

    She opened the door to the backseat and climbed in. Yuna followed eagerly. Tifa threw an uncertain glance toward Squall, then followed her friends.

    Cloud raised an eyebrow toward Squall. “Callipygous,” he muttered under his breath as Tifa leaned over and climbed into the car.

    Squall rolled his eyes at Cloud’s remark. He was debating how difficult it would be to remove three teenage girls from his car. At this point, it would probably take a lot less effort to just go along.

    He turned to Cloud. “If I’m going, then you are too.”

    “Sorry, I can’t just leave my bike.” Cloud started the engine and pushed off. Or rather, he tried to. The bike made a loud grating sound, then the engine started spewing black smoke.

    Squall raised an eyebrow. “Is it supposed to do that?”

    Cloud grimaced as he cut the engine. “Zack was supposed to come take a look at the engine last weekend….”

    Squall cracked half a smile. “Looks like you need a ride home.”

    Cloud sighed. “I could walk home faster than it will take to drive to Calliope and back…” He trudged over to the front passenger side door.

    The rear passenger door popped back open, just as a blond-haired guy ran up to the car. “Yes! Made it!”

    “Tidus! We got plenty of room.” Rinoa hopped out of the car to greet the new guy.

    Just how many people did she invite? I guess we should get going before anyone else shows up.

    “Not in there,” Squall said, as Tidus started to follow Rinoa into the backseat of his car. There most certainly was not room for four in the backseat. Not to mention the guy was dripping wet. He appeared to have just stepped out of the pool, without even toweling off. Water dripped from his hair and shorts, forming small puddles in the parking lot. Squall did not need pool water all over the upholstered seats.

    “In the back,” Squall hooked a thumb toward the cargo compartment.

    * * *

    Squall was certain this was the most noise there had ever been in his car. Rinoa and Tifa were playing conflicting music on their phones, and all four in back were talking loudly. He hesitated to call it a conversation, because most of the time there were at least two people talking at once. Cloud sat silently beside Squall, staring out the passenger window.

    Although Tidus had moved to the cargo compartment willingly, Squall could see in the rear-view mirror that he was now sitting on his knees, looking over the back of the backseat to talk to the girls. He should have been facing out the back window, with his seatbelt on. Squall wanted to say something, but he doubted he would be heard. He sighed and focused on the road.

    The kerfuffling in the backseat quieted momentarily, and Squall glanced back to see that Rinoa was out of her seat, pressing against the back of his seat, with her head just over his right shoulder.

    “How’s it going? Do you like the music? I’m playing Erato. Aren’t they better than Melpomene?”

    “You should get back in your seat.”

    “In a second. Anyway…remember that we’re late?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Well, so could you like, hurry? You know, drive faster?”

    “I’m driving the speed limit.”

    “I know but, it’s an important match, and Tifa can’t be late…”

    Squall was not going to let some random girl talk him into doing something stupid and getting into trouble. Cloud scoffed beside him. He’d often made fun of Squall's strict adherence to the rules of the road.

    Inexplicably, Squall felt his foot press on the gas pedal.

    Even more inexplicably, as the car accelerated, Rinoa leaned over his seat and kissed Squall’s cheek. “Thanks!” She grinned, and Squall felt his entire face grow warm as she sat back in her seat.

    Cloud suppressed a laugh.

    * * *

    About five minutes from their destination. Rinoa returned to her perch over Squall’s shoulder. “You should be more excited. You know, your friend is going to be there. I bet he’ll be excited to see you.”

    Squall didn’t have friends, except for maybe Cloud. He’d never especially wanted any. He had no idea what Rinoa was talking about. “Who?”

    “Zell, of course.”

    “Zell? We’re not… just because we went to nursery school together, doesn’t mean we’re friends.”

    “How can you say that? He talks about you all the time! Saying he’s not your friend—that’s so mean. Meany!” Rinoa reached forward and flicked Squall’s ear. Then she slumped back into her seat, arms crossed, before Squall could respond.

    This time Cloud laughed out loud.

    * * *

    An hour later, Squall was staring at a clock in the hallway outside the high school gym, wondering if there was any chance he would beat Ellone home and have at least a few minutes to himself that night.

    Rinoa approached Squall purposefully. “He likes hot dogs. With relish and extra ketchup and mustard.”

    “What?” Squall turned toward Rinoa, once again having no idea what she was talking about.

    “It’s the least you can do after being so mean. After a loss like that, Zell could use a friend.”

    Is she kidding?

    “The mall is right across the street. They have a food court.”

    She’s actually serious.

    “I’ll hold your hand when we cross the street, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

    Is she for real? This must be a joke. Maybe Seifer’s behind this….

    “Just kidding. It would be silly for me to escort you across the street. I’ll hold your hand the whole time, so people won’t know.”

    This can’t be real. I must be dreaming.

    “What, that’s not manly enough for you? Fine. I’ll let you carry me. I bet you give great piggy-back rides. Look at those muscles.”

    She pinched his arm beneath his jacket and he moved away from her.

    Hyne, she was annoying. Maybe she’d stop touching him if he just did what she wanted.

    * * *

    The sun was setting, painting the sky in shades of pink and orange, as Squall carried the small paper box back across the street to Calliope High School.

    To his great relief, Rinoa had stayed behind at the mall after she’d escorted Squall to purchase a hot dog and supervised his application of condiments.

    Squall felt absurd, and considered dumping the box in a trash bin and hiding out in his car until Tifa’s final match was over. Or maybe just finding Cloud and leaving, letting the others figure out their own way home. But Squall knew even if she wasn’t hovering behind him right now, Rinoa would find out if he didn’t follow through and probably give him hell for it.

    So now he was taking orders from her when she wasn’t even there? Who was this girl? He considered pinching himself to make sure he was really awake, but didn’t want to look even more ridiculous.

    Where had this day gone so wrong? He went from being on top of the world after defeating Seifer, to playing courier for some strange girl.

    Squall found Zell in the locker room beside the gym. He sat on a bench with his head hanging, the picture of defeat. Squall wasn’t surprised, it had been a rough loss. Zell was seconds away from an easy win, when he’d started to showboat a little and had tripped over his own feet, leading to his downfall.

    “Um, here.” Squall set the box beside Zell and turned to leave.

    “Squall? Is that you?”

    Squall turned back slowly. “Yeah.”

    “Oh, man! I can’t believe you’re here! You didn’t see the match did you? Oh, you must have!” Zell leapt to his feet and quickly closed the distance between himself and Squall, enveloping the other in a bear hug.

    Squall pushed away from Zell . “Uh, yeah. So I got that for you.” Squall gestured to the paper box containing the hot dog. “Really it was Rinoa.” He started to back toward the door, this time moving faster.

    “Oh, wow! Thanks man!” Zell tore open the box and chowed down the contents in three bites.

    “Thank Rinoa,” Squall said as he reached the exit. He was just about to make a break for it, when Zell appeared beside him. The kid was quick, he’d give him that.

    “You do remember me, right? You know, from the Lighthouse School?”

    “Sure.” Squall remembered Zell being loud, that was about it.

    “Good.” Zell gave a toothy smile. “ ‘Cause sometimes it seems like you don’t.”

    “Well, I gotta go watch Tifa’s last match.” Squall broke into a jog down the hallway.

    Zell ran to catch up. “Great, I’ll come with you!”

    * * *

    During a break in the final match, Squall had left Zell, claiming he needed to use the bathroom. He was wandering down an empty hallway, in no hurry to find the bathroom, when Rinoa trotted up to him.

    “That was sooo sweet!”

    Is she talking about my conversation with Zell? How did she even know? We were in the boys’ locker room…

    Squall felt his cheeks reddening and he turned his face away from Rinoa. “Tidus told me what you said to Zell.”

    Now she has Tidus stalking me?

    “I knew you could do it! Look, I even have a prize for being such a good friend.” She presented him with a plush animal. He might have guessed it was supposed to be a lion, if not for the fact that it was an inexplicable pinkish-purple color, with tiny flowers making up its mane.

    “Can you guess his name?”

    Squall just stared at the soft toy he found himself holding.

    “It’s Heliotrope! You know, like the flower. Which knights used to give to their princesses to symbolize eternal love…”

    Squall said nothing.

    “It’s a joke, Squall, don’t be such an agelast!”

    Rinoa stood on her toes and planted a big kiss on Squall’s cheek before she skipped away, giggling.

    “Wow, I cannot unsee that. Your face is brighter than your new friend,” Cloud commented as he walked up to Squall, gesturing to the stuffed lion.

    Please tell me this is a dream. I’m ready to wake up now.

    When he didn’t wake up, Squall sighed and turned to Cloud. “Can we go home?”

    “Sure, Princess.” Cloud grinned. “But I should warn you, I overheard Yuna telling Zell that you had plenty of room to give him a ride home too.”
     
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Tarsier [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Superbly fun and inventive blend of dare elements! [face_dancing] Shocking how well these characters fit into high school. 8-} @};-
     
    Tarsier likes this.
  3. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Awesome response to the dare!! I love that you did one but also incorporated others :D And poor Squall :p Dude cannot catch a break!
     
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  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    [face_laugh][face_laugh] This was brilliantly done - and the dare elements were so wonderfully incorporated, I wouldn't have guessed that they were required aspects of the fic.


    Cloud raised an eyebrow toward Squall. “Callipygous,” he muttered under his breath as Tifa leaned over and climbed into the car.


    I've been enjoying the use of that word in these dares a ridiculous amount. :p


    Squall was not going to let some random girl talk him into doing something stupid and getting into trouble. Cloud scoffed beside him. He’d often made fun of Squall's strict adherence to the rules of the road.


    Inexplicably, Squall felt his foot press on the gas pedal.

    Even more inexplicably, as the car accelerated, Rinoa leaned over his seat and kissed Squall’s cheek.

    That was a perfect example of the 'show', not 'tell' rule in writing if ever there was one. I love the way Rinoa latched onto him - literally - and then grew quite content there. :p


    “Wow, I cannot unsee that. Your face is brighter than your new friend,” Cloud commented as he walked up to Squall, gesturing to the stuffed lion.

    [face_laugh] You gotta love friends. :p


    And then the last line just made this. What a fun piece! =D=
     
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  5. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to read this!

    Thanks! :D I have a soft spot for high school AUs, they work especially well for crossing over the various Final Fantasy games.


    Thank you! :D I would have liked to have gotten all the elements in, but some seemed pretty close to mutually exclusive (I'm sure it could have been done, but not by me in one week!). Squall is fun to torture with friendship. :)


    Thanks so much! :D I was surprised at how easily some of the elements fit in. A few of them appeared without me even trying.

    I wish I could have come up with something a bit more clever for callipygous. That said, all the vocabulary words were fun to work with!

    I was trying to loosely follow the interactions of Squall and Rinoa in the first third or so of the game in this. She does just sort of force herself into his life. What's surprising is how well it works!

    :) Squall and Cloud are so fun to write together!

    And Squall thought the ride to the match was loud... :p
     
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  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Final Fantasy is a fandom I know absolutely nothing about (I really need to get more involved on the NSW side of life) but I enjoyed every word of this story nevertheless, which is a pretty good indicator of how wonderfully written it is :) The whole narrative of how Rinoa wraps Squall around her little finger was positively hilarious [face_laugh] and the mash-up of prompts from the various dares was an unexpected bonus!
     
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  7. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Chyntuck Thank you so much for the review, I really appreciate it! I know Final Fantasy is a bit obscure, thanks for giving it a shot. :) The dynamic between Rinoa and Squall is lots of fun to play with, especially in a somewhat silly high school setting, I'm glad you liked it.
     
    Chyntuck likes this.