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Story [Final Fantasy VIII / X] Heartbeats (shorts from Love Don't Die)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Tarsier, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Title: Heartbeats

    Author: Tarsier

    Fandom: Final Fantasy – crossover of Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X

    Timeframe: Throughout Love Don't Die, sometimes slightly AU to the main story.

    Characters: mostly Squall/Rinoa, Tidus/Yuna

    Summary: Missing scenes from and one-shots related to Love Don't Die.

    Notes: While writing the main story, I ended up with quite a few scenes that just didn’t quite fit the pace or the focus of the story, or scenes that I thought would be interesting but I just couldn’t manage to get the right characters together at the right time. Some of those scenes are gathered here.

    Chocobo - Take 1: Scarred (below) Chapter 21 - Yuna, Squall
    Chocobo - Take 2: Memories (below) Chapter 21 - Yuna, Squall
    Chocobo - Take 3: Quiet Chapter 21 - Squall, Yuna
    Calico Chapter 16 - Seifer, Ellone
    Timber Princess Chapter 18 - Zell, Quistis, Rinoa
    The Spring FFX in-game rewrite - Yuna, Tidus
    Postscript: Best Man post-story - Tidus, Zell, Squall
    Postscript: The Kiss post-story - Squall, Zell, Tidus, Rikku

    Author Note: This first post fits in between Chapter 20 and Chapter 21. The two parts below are essentially the same scene, but taken in rather different directions.

    Chocobo - Take 1: Scarred
    Chapter 21
    Yuna, Squall
    Yuna stood on the ground feeling a bit lost as the other three mounted chocobos. There were only three chocobos available, and the smaller rider always mounted second, behind the bigger rider, so Yuna had hung back while the others chose their mounts. She now felt a flash of concern that they would take off without her. Or that she'd find herself riding with Seifer.

    Just then Squall rode up with his hand extended toward her. She took it gratefully and pulled herself up. She was still settling onto the back of the large bird when Squall turned toward her.

    "Whistle," he instructed.

    Yuna brought her fingers to her mouth and whistled. Squall cringed at the sound--apparently whistle hadn't meant whistle as loud as possible.

    Before she could apologize, Angelo appeared in front of her, having jumped easily from the ground to the bird's back, and nestled herself between Yuna and Squall.

    "Can you keep a hold of her?" Squall asked.

    Yuna nodded, finding the dog's collar beneath her fluffy fur and securing a good grip.

    Squall turned so he was facing forward and gathered the chocobo's reins. "Hold onto me."

    Feeling a little awkward, Yuna complied, wrapping her free arm around Squall's waist.

    The chocobo took off at a brisk pace, soon catching up to the others. The three chocobos fell into a triangle formation and then accelerated even faster.

    Finding it awkward to look up while holding onto Angelo and Squall, Yuna dropped her head, resting her cheek against Squall's back. She felt Squall tense and move slightly away from her touch.

    Sorry, she thought but did not vocalize. She almost pushed away from Squall to give him his space, but her back was already starting to ache from the awkward position and he seemed to relax a little after the initial contact.

    She checked her grip on Angelo--the dog seemed blissfully unconcerned, like she was actually enjoying the ride--and then released the tension she'd been holding in her muscles, resulting in her leaning a little more into Squall.

    Staring sideways at the landscape that raced by was starting to make Yuna a little dizzy, so she closed her eyes. Squall's shirt was rough beneath her cheek, the fabric thin enough that she could feel his tense muscles. For the first time it occurred to her that he was supposed to be wearing a leather jacket. All his friends had mentioned it, it seemed to be a part of his identity, almost as much as the scar on his face. When she'd thought about meeting him, she'd assumed that would be how she would know it was him--the short, well-worn black leather jacket with a white fur collar. When she had met him, as soon as she saw his face she'd known it was him and she hadn't even thought about the jacket. But now she wondered where it was.

    A leather jacket probably would have hidden from her the fact that his back was not smooth, but the thin shirt revealed a ragged texture to the surface Yuna found herself pressed against. She might have thought it was just taut muscles forming an uneven pattern, but something told her that was not it, at least not entirely. It was scar tissue, from vicious war wounds. She should not have been surprised that a solider such as Squall would be marked by battle, but somehow she felt that she stumbled into his private space, that she had discovered his vulnerability. That knowing his body was not impenetrable to an enemy assault, that knowing his skin had been permanently damaged, changed by his years of fighting, led her to the inevitable conclusion that his mind, his heart, and his soul must bear equal scars.

    "I'm sorry," she whispered.

    Her voice was too soft for him to hear, and he rode on just the same.

    Chocobo - Take 2: Memories
    Chapter 21
    Yuna, Squall
    "Hold onto me."

    Feeling awkward, Yuna complied, wrapping her free arm around Squall's waist.

    The chocobo took off at a brisk pace, soon catching up to the others. The three chocobos fell into a triangle formation and then accelerated even faster.

    It was funny, how very different the three worlds Yuna had visited were. Yet they all had aeons and chocobos. Aeons, with their powerful magic and battlefield intelligence, and chocobos, with their flightless stride and simple minds, were close to opposites. She laughed at the thought and Squall partially turned his head toward her.

    "Aeons and chocobos," she spoke quietly into his ear. "What all worlds have in common."

    He nodded slightly and continued to look ahead.

    Yuna clung tighter to Squall. She simultaneously loved and hated riding chocobos. Growing up, she had only rarely had the privilege. Renting chocobos was expensive, so doubling-up was the norm. The smaller rider was always relegated to the back, charged with keeping herself on the bird and leaving steering duties to the front rider. The only time Yuna had ridden in front had been on her ninth birthday, when a visiting Crusader had offered to let her ride down the beach. Rikku had ridden behind Yuna, squealing with delight. Yuna, entirely unsure how to steer a chocobo but absolutely determined to prove she could, had ended up with the bird running full tilt into the ocean. The bird had hopped and flapped as the waves crashed into it, unseating both Yuna and Rikku. They were then laughing too hard to demand a second chance as the Crusader led his mount away.

    More recently, during the pilgrimage, Yuna had found herself riding with Tidus. Tidus was a natural rider and preferred to ride young, half-trained chocobos that zig-zagged unpredictably as they ran and only occasionally responded to commands. They would charge forward with reckless abandon, and take any possible opportunity to leave the beaten path, leaping up hillsides and hopping back-and-forth across ravines. It was exhilarating, but also a bit terrifying. Often she would close her eyes and squeeze Tidus so tightly she wondered if he could breathe. But it seemed the tighter she clung to him, the faster and more wildly the chocobo ran. She trusted Tidus to keep her safe, but sometimes she thought she might have preferred an easy stroll to his daredevil acrobatics.

    When they reached the end of their first ride, Lulu had frowned at Tidus with disapproval. "As a Guardian, you should be trying to keep your Summoner safe, not ending her pilgrimage at the bottom of a cliff."

    Tidus had grinned at Lulu, not the least bit chastened by her tone.

    "We'll just have to ride together sometime, Lulu. Then you'll see."

    "Me first!" Rikku interjected. "I want to ride with you too!"

    Tidus nodded at Rikku. "Next time."

    Next time, as Tidus sat astride his chosen chocobo, a young thing that bounced from foot to foot, refusing to hold still, he had reached his hand to Yuna. Yuna glanced over, to see that Rikku had noticed but not objected. By that time it had been established--Yuna would always ride with Tidus. His wild rides belonged to her. It was only fair, since her heart belonged to him.

    The chocobo tripped, yanking Yuna from her reverie and causing her to press closer into Squall. She couldn't help but tell Squall's muscles were taut as she leaned against him. She feared he had tensed at her contact and tried to shift away from him. As she did, she noticed his arms were flexed, his hands gripping the reins tightly, yet he did not seem to be making any moves to steer. They were traveling in a straight line and the chocobo was simply following the others. It then occurred to her that perhaps Squall was tense because he was nervous--not from her presence behind him, but because he was riding the chocobo. She smiled at that thought, relieved that perhaps she was not the only one who found the birds unsettling.

    She laughed again--who would have thought she would have anything at all in common with Squall? This time when Squall tilted his head toward her, she did not provide an explanation. "Thank you," she said instead, and rested her head against his back.
    Nyota's Heart and divapilot like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent idea and there is nothing better! than missing scenes and extra scenes. Lovely title too. :)
    Tarsier likes this.
  3. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oooh, I do love ficlet collections! I was so happy to see these up. :D

    The first one was a lovely moment between Yuna and Squall. I liked the bit about chocobo riding, but the end, where she realized the extent of his scars was lovely and hard to read. Her soft sympathy and understanding was beautiful.

    For the second one, I loved her flashback to riding with Tidus. [face_love] And then this:

    She feared he had tensed at her contact and tried to shift away from him. As she did, she noticed his arms were flexed, his hands gripping the reins tightly, yet he did not seem to be making any moves to steer. They were traveling in a straight line and the chocobo was simply following the others. It then occurred to her that perhaps Squall was tense because he was nervous--not from her presence behind him, but because he was riding the chocobo. She smiled at that thought, relieved that perhaps she was not the only one who found the birds unsettling.

    Was just perfect. [face_laugh][face_love] I loved that moment. =D=
    Tarsier likes this.
  4. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart I'm glad you like the title! At first I thought Heartbeats sounded a bit silly, but it's grown on me. :) Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoy!

    Mira_Jade I do enjoy writing Squall and Yuna together, I'm glad you enjoy reading. :D Thanks so much for your lovely comments!
  5. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Author Note: One more take on the same scene, this time from Squall's POV.

    Chocobo - Take 3: Quiet
    Chapter 21
    Squall, Yuna

    Squall didn't know what to do about Angelo. Leave her at the base? But what if she got out and tried to follow them? Or got lost wandering around town? Bring her with them? She was a trained warrior dog, and she'd always accompanied Rinoa in battle, so it made sense. Except that Rinoa had trained the dog and Squall didn't have a clue how to control her. A lot of the time it seemed like Angelo operated on her own, without commands from Rinoa. And sometimes Rinoa would whistle and then Angelo would do something. Did Rinoa have different whistles for different commands? Squall wasn't sure, as far as he could remember all the whistles sounded the same to him. He knew she gave her treats after her attacks. Squall didn't have any dog treats.

    As his mind wandered, Squall noticed Yuna standing alone on the ground. There were only three chocobos and four passengers.

    He would have preferred to have ridden alone, but he wasn't going to make Yuna ride with Seifer. He'd hoped that Celes might offer Yuna a ride, but she was too focused on her own friends and had already ridden off. Squall rode up to Yuna and offered her his hand.

    Angelo remained on the ground, looking expectantly up at Squall. Could a dog even ride a chocobo? He supposed the only way to find out was to try it. He wasn't sure how to instruct Angelo, all he knew was to try whistling. Unfortunately, whistling was not a strength of his, and he feared he would look foolish if he tried. But perhaps Yuna was better at it than he was.

    He twisted around, so he was as close to facing Yuna as he could get. "Whistle."

    She complied, though with far more volume than he was expecting. He couldn't help cringing a little. It wasn't the loudness of the whistle per se, but more the incongruity of it coming from Yuna.

    One of the first things he noticed upon meeting Yuna was her quietness. Her every movement, her every word, was deliberate and considered. Not slow or awkward, but full of subtlety and finesse. So different from everyone else he knew. Different from everyone else, and, perhaps, a little bit more like himself.

    Seifer was loud and crass. Tidus was loud and reckless. Zell was very loud and excitable. Even Rinoa was loud when she was excited or angry, and impulsive most of the time. But Yuna was quiet and calm. So he couldn't help flinching at her extremely loud and unrefined whistle.

    Perhaps it shouldn't have been such a surprise, since she'd probably learned to whistle from Tidus, who's motto in life seemed to be if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.

    She must have noticed his reaction - he saw an apology in her eyes, but was glad she didn't get the chance to verbalize it. If Seifer saw him flinching from a loud noise, he would surely laugh at Squall for being overly sensitive.

    Angelo leapt onto the bird's back, nestling herself between Squall and Yuna. Squall lessened his pressure against the chocobo's reins, encouraging it to catch up to the others.

    As Yuna settled in behind him, Squall wondered if this plan was a good idea. It hadn't occurred to him at the time to object to Yuna's help--it wasn't his place to tell others what they could or could not do. But still, using Yuna as a target to draw fire didn't sit well with him. She was healer--basic battle strategy dictated that you protect healers, not thrust them to the front lines.

    Yet he didn't see many alternatives. He could take her place, try to draw Terra's fire to himself, but he doubted the Shell Ring would fit him and he wouldn't last long without it. And even if he could survive the onslaught, where did that leave Yuna? Would she then be forced to attempt an attack on Terra? He didn't know Yuna well, but every detail he'd learned about her suggested that he could never expect her to do that.

    He didn't relish the idea of attacking a brain-washed ally himself, but he would do what needed to be done. He always did. He never did what he wanted to do, never what he thought was right; his whole life, everything he'd done had been what he had to do.

    Whatever happened, he would make sure Yuna did not have to attack Terra. Yuna wasn't like him.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Like the scene from Squall's POV. @};- Angelo is great - sticking close to Yuna. :)
    Tarsier likes this.
  7. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart Thank you! I do love Angelo, I'm always happy when I can work her into the story. :)

    Author Note: This short takes place around Chapter 16 (when Yuna and Rinoa are both at Balamb Garden). As with the rest of the story, I hope this short stands for itself without requiring much background. However, I think a little background may make reading a little smoother and help differentiate the game canon from my headcanon. As always, please ask questions or let me know if anything is unclear or hard to follow.

    Ellone, Seifer, Squall, Quistis, Zell, Selphie, and Irvine (i.e., the main FF8 characters except for Rinoa) grew up in an orphanage together. Ellone is a bit older than the others, and acted as a big sister to all of them. The orphanage was run by Edea and Cid Kramer. Cid became the Headmaster of Balamb Garden. Edea is a Sorceress—at first she was a good, peaceful Sorceress, but then she was possessed by the evil Sorceress Ultimecia and became the first main villain in the game.

    Junctioning Guardian Forces—a requirement for SeeD cadets at Balamb Garden—causes memory loss. Thus, at the start of the game, the characters do not remember their childhoods or growing up together. During the game, they all remember at least bits and pieces of their time at the orphanage. Ellone has never junctioned GFs, so she has never forgotten.
    Seifer is Edea and Cid’s biological child. (I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with this theory and I’m pretty sure nothing in the game contradicts it, but I’m not sure how widespread or accepted the theory is.) Seifer remembered everything about his childhood, including his parentage, when he became Ultimecia’s (initially through Edea) Sorceress Knight.

    Chapter 16
    Seifer, Ellone

    He found her in the corner of the library. He slipped in while the library girls were distracted.

    “Hey, ‘Noa.”

    Rinoa turned toward him with a smile. “What are you doing here?”

    “He was just leaving.” It was a kid in one of those stupid fancy uniforms; the uniforms that made people think they could order everyone else around.

    Seifer sighed. Obviously he could have taken the kid. There was no reason he had to take orders from some little punk with a gaudy shirt. But if he didn’t comply, it would cause a scene and he’d end up looking like the bad guy. And he needed to prove to Rinoa that he was the good guy.

    “Looks like my time is up.” Seifer flashed his most charming smile. “We’ll have to catch up later.”

    Rinoa nodded. “Later.”

    The little punk followed on Seifer’s heels as he exited the library. Once they made it to the main lobby, Seifer turned on his heel with a fist raised, intent on convincing the kid he better back off. But when he turned around, the kid was a good three paces back, resting against the low wall outside the library. His arms were crossed and he stared sternly at Seifer, apparently intending to watch Seifer leave Garden, but smart enough to keep his distance.

    Not as dumb as he looks after all.

    Seifer turned back and continued toward Garden's main entrance. There was nothing here for him except Rinoa.

    "Sie!" a friendly voice called to him from the other side of the circular lobby.

    He looked up to see Ellone approaching, along with the Summoner girl.

    "Sie, it's been so long!" As soon as she reached him, Ellone embraced him, which was startling.

    "Ellone." He didn't know what else to say. He couldn't remember the last time someone acted so welcoming towards him. It was awkward.

    "Have you two met yet?" Ellone opened her arms toward Yuna and Seifer, as though inviting them to shake hands.

    "Yes, we met in Spira." Yuna looked at the ground with her arms crossed behind her back, avoiding eye contact with Seifer.

    He stared hard at her, daring her to look at him. He wanted to see her eyes, to look at them straight on. To see if they were really as deep and bright as they seemed to be.

    "Seifer?" Ellone broke his concentration. He glanced away from Yuna.

    "Yeah, I met Calico in that infernal sauna she calls a homeworld."

    Ellone smiled in amusement. "I asked if you had plans for dinner."

    "Oh." Seifer had been so distracted he hadn't even heard the question the first time. "No, I don't have plans."

    "Perfect. We can grab a bite to eat in Balamb. Catch up a bit. My treat."

    "I just remembered--I need to speak with Quistis about something." Yuna bowed her head to Ellone, glanced at Seifer and scurried away. Seifer smirked at her retreating form.

    "I'll see you tomorrow." Ellone watched Yuna leave with a look of confusion for a few seconds, then shook her head slightly and took Seifer's arm. "What are you in the mood for? Do you still like cheeseburgers?"

    * * *

    Seated at a table on the breezy balcony of Balamb's most popular cafe, Seifer looked out over the ocean. He wondered if the others had put Ellone up to this. Told her to be nice to him so she could see what he was up to. He'd almost backed out, told Ellone he had plans after all, but then he decided it didn't much matter. She wouldn't figure out anything from one meal. Besides, he was probably at a point in his life where burning bridges wasn't in his best interest.

    "Calico, huh? You must like her."

    "What?" Seifer turned toward Ellone. Had he used that name out loud? He hadn't really intended to, but apparently he had.

    Anyway, the Summoner girl was pretty enough, he'd give her that. But far too soft for his taste.

    "You never were able to call anyone by their true name. But Calico's a lot more flattering than most of your nicknames."

    Seifer furrowed his brow. "It's just 'cause of her eyes. They're different colors. Like a cat. Easier to remember."

    "Like a calico cat." Ellone added. She looked at him meaningfully. Seifer shifted uncomfortably.

    "Or do you not remember?" Her voice was full of sadness. Her next sentenced was murmured more to herself than to Seifer. "Why must they make you collect so many monsters, that you can't remember anything at all?"

    They don't make us junction that many GFs. Some of us choose to.

    Sometimes we want to forget.

    But he didn't forget. Actually, he had forgotten, but then he'd remembered. He wanted to forget again, but sometimes it was as hard to forget as it was to remember.

    "It had one brown eye, and one blue eye, as I recall." Seifer had betrayed himself, something in his expression had told Ellone that he did remember, at least vaguely. "A pretty calico cat that lived in the house before we arrived. But by the time the house was filled with orphans, the cat ran away. Didn't like all the commotion, I suppose."

    The cat wasn't the only one.

    "I'm sorry." Ellone placed her hand over Seifer's. "That we scared away your pet."

    Seifer pulled his hand away. "Doesn't matter. I wanted a dog anyway but moth--Edea and Cid would only let me have the cat."

    "I know it must have been hard, to have so many other kids in your home."

    Seifer shrugged. "Didn't last that long anyway."

    "No," Ellone agreed. "We were split up again soon enough. I suppose Garden is your home now."

    Seifer scoffed. "I'm not even supposed to step foot in Garden."

    "And yet you keep coming back. That tells me something."

    ‘Home is where you can always come back to, no matter what stupid thing you've done.’ That was in a book. Or maybe a movie. He couldn't remember exactly where he'd heard it, he just thought it sounded nice. But if it was true, then Garden wasn't his home.

    If it was true, he didn't have a home.
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb missing scene here. Shows more of the personalities of Eloone and Seifer.
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  9. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart Thank you!

    Author Note: This is a quick, silly little short taking place immediately after the liberation of Timber.

    Timber Princess
    Chapter 18
    Zell, Quistis, Rinoa
    Zell stood at the edge of the town of Timber and breathed deeply of the woodland air. It felt good to have finally closed his first SeeD assignment.

    He wasn’t sure what had happened to Rinoa, but Zone and Watts, Rinoa’s friends and fellow members of the Forest Owls resistance group, were still celebrating in the pub. When he left them, they were positively giddy with excitement and self-congratulations. Although he knew, as a mercenary SeeD, Zell shouldn’t expect accolades for just doing his job, Zone and Watts’s pride at the completion of a mission that they’d contributed almost zero to had worn at Zell’s patience. He was pleased to see the town liberated, but now he was ready to go home.

    Zell heard footsteps behind him and turned to see Quistis approaching. “Zell, I need to talk to you.”

    Uh-oh. Quistis was no longer his instructor, but Zell was pretty sure she could still get him in trouble. He racked his brain trying to think of what he’d done wrong.

    “There’s something you haven’t told me.” Quistis was holding her whip, the handle in one hand, the lash coiled in the other.

    Oh no. Zell couldn’t think of anything he was hiding. He rarely had any secrets of his own and most people knew better than to give him theirs.

    Quistis’s stern expression cracked a little as she said, “You never told me Zone and Watts call Rinoa ‘princess.’ ”

    Zell sighed with relief that he hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Then he smiled. “Yeah, Selphie and I had a bet going on what Rinoa would do if one of us called her that.”

    Quistis laughed. “Did you ever try it?”

    “No way.”


    “We thought about asking Squall to do it, but we’d figured he’d just give us his best deathglare and not do it. And even if he did do it, it wouldn’t really give us an answer. Even then, she treated him a little differently.”

    Zell straightened and crossed his arms as he regarded Quistis. “And we’re not cowards. It’s not professional to taunt your employer.”

    “Well, she’s not your employer any more. There’s nothing stopping you now.” Quistis tightened the coil of her whip.

    Zell lowered his arms and took half a step back. “Why don’t you try it?”

    “Not a chance. She already hates me.”

    “She doesn’t hate you…”

    Quistis released the coiled end of her whip and shook out the loops. “If you do it, I’ll do your laundry for a month.” Zell shook his head. Quistis was going to have to do a lot better than that. “…And get in the cafeteria line early every Thursday to save some hot dogs for you.”

    Zell wanted to say no. He knew he should say no. But Quistis knew his weakness and he was helpless to fight it. She smiled coyly as she recoiled her whip and attached it to her belt.

    * * *

    Half an hour later, Zell, Quistis, and Rinoa were heading back to the Ragnarok with Rinoa in the lead. Quistis nudged Zell and gestured to Rinoa.

    Zell took a deep breath, suddenly remembering how Irvine had complained for weeks after Rinoa scratched him. He shook his head to clear it. The prize in mind, he pressed on, trotting to catch up to Rinoa.

    “Hey, Prin—” He stopped short as she turned sharply toward him. She’d been spending too much time with Squall. Squall’s deathglare had nothing on hers.

    Zell choked, coughed. “Rince—”

    Sputtered, stammered. “—Cess. Prin. Rin. Rinoa.”

    Her glare faded to a friendly smile when he said her name correctly. “Yes, Zell?”

    “—Coward—” Quistis coughed behind them.

    Zell could feel his whole face flushing. “I, um…I was, uh… How are you, Rinoa?”

    “I’m very well, Zell. How are you?”

    “I….I’m, uh…”

    Quistis stepped up and placed a hand on Zell’s shoulder. “I think he’s just eager to get back to Garden and get started on his laundry.”
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Even the appeal of hot dogs (with extra mustard and grilled onions) [face_mischief] was nothing next to the "death glare." =D= You don't see Quistis calling her that though. :p [face_thinking]
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  11. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    These shorts have been awesome! But I especially liked this last one. I was already smiling the whole way through, and then:

    Quistis stepped up and placed a hand on Zell’s shoulder. “I think he’s just eager to get back to Garden and get started on his laundry.”

    Had me laughing outright. Oh, boys. :p

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  12. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart Mira_Jade Thanks so much for the reviews! I'm really happy that you enjoyed. :D

    Author Note: Something about this in-game scene (especially starting about 6:30) has always bugged me, so I tried rewriting a little bit of it.

    The Spring
    Rewrite of in-game scene (FFX)
    Yuna, Tidus
    A teardrop splashed into the crystal-clear water, spreading circular ripples across the spring. Yuna closed her eyes trying to contain her tears. It had just hit her. How little time she had. How much she would miss. How much she wouldn’t experience. Tidus moved toward her and brushed away the tears that had escaped down her cheek. He stepped close, his hands resting softly on her shoulders. For a long time she continued to stare down, her tears splashing into the water. If she looked up at him, it would just remind her of what she was losing.


    Finally, Yuna looked up, and he was looking into her eyes. He lowered his head. She could feel his breath warm on her face and she was sure he was going to kiss her. But he didn’t.

    For such a long time, he just waited. Her chest was so full of butterflies it was hard to breathe and finally she just had to ask, “Are you going to kiss me, star player?”

    He shook his head and his bangs tickled her forehead. “No.” He’d turned his head just slightly and as he spoke and she felt the brush of his lips against her cheekbone with each word. “When I first met you, Wakka told me not to get any ideas. Of course, I can’t control that kind of thing, but I assured him I wouldn’t make the first move. But he never said if you made the first move I couldn’t go along.”

    Yuna laughed.

    Tidus smiled uncertainly. “Are you laughing at me?”

    “No,” Yuna replied. “I mean, maybe a little. It’s just funny, you know. Between the two of us, that you think I should make the first move.”

    “It’s not that funny.”

    “How many girls have you kissed?” Yuna asked. “Besides me.”

    “I haven’t kissed you yet. So this number includes you: zero.”

    She smiled. It was cute that he was suddenly shy. She was sure that what he said couldn’t be true. And she didn’t really care what the number was. “I know you were popular in Zanarkand. It’s okay.”

    “I was popular. I had lots of fans. But I didn’t have many friends, much less girlfriends. My life was literally blitzball. No time for anything else.”

    “So this is your first kiss?”

    Tidus nodded.

    “Mine too.”

    Yuna pushed her lips against his. He kissed her back. He would have waited for her as long as he had to. But once the wait was over, once their lips were together, he didn’t hold back. They sank into the water, continuing to kiss beneath the surface.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Tarsier - do you know how yum! SQUEE! Thank you! Worth the wait and very welcome on several counts. [face_love]
    Tarsier likes this.
  14. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    I adore your writing normally, but this piece was one of my favourites yet! Reading this scene was a wonderful rush of warm and happy feelings. I loved the softness of it; it was a perfectly sweet moment worthy of a first kiss. [face_love][face_love]
    Tarsier and Nyota's Heart like this.
  15. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart and Mira_Jade [face_blush] Thank you so much for the kind comments! It really makes me happy to know you enjoyed it.​

    Author Note: I consider this silly little scene an "optional" postscript to Love Don't Die. I feel like the story is complete ending it where I did, but there's a lot of little bunnies nipping for small additions to the story. Also, I think I'm a little too amused by the jealousy between Zell and Tidus over who is Squall's best friend. :)

    Postscript: Best Man

    The morning after the celebration ball, Tidus, Yuna, Rinoa, Zell, and Quistis were gathered at a table eating breakfast in the cafeteria.

    Tidus turned to Rinoa. “So, is it official? Is Squall your boyfriend?”

    Rinoa stared at her tray. “No, he’s not my boyfriend.”

    “Oh. Ehrm…” Tidus looked around uncomfortably. He had definitely not expected that answer.

    Rinoa looked up, then broke into a wide grin. “He’s my fiancé.”

    “What?!” Zell jumped to his feet and leaned forward, his hands pressing down on the table. Quistis nearly choked on the juice she was sipping.

    “Wow. Congratulations!” Tidus replied. Yuna nodded enthusiastically beside him.

    Just then, Squall approached the table. Zell turned toward him. “Is it true, Squall? Are you engaged?”

    Squall nodded.

    “To be married? To Rinoa?”

    “Who else?” Squall countered.

    “No one, I guess.” Zell scratched his head. “It’s just, we’re so young. I mean, married?” He looked up at Squall, his eyes intense, as a thought suddenly stuck him. “Who’s gonna be your Best Man? It’s me, right? You don’t even like Irvine. And this guy’s gonna be gone before then, right?” Zell gestured to Tidus.

    “Are you trying to get rid of me, Zell?” Tidus asked.

    Squall shrugged. “I haven’t really thought about it.”

    “Oh, man, you have to choose me! I swear, if you choose Seifer over me I’m never speaking to you again!” Zell latched onto Squall’s sleeve as he spoke.

    “I don’t want to tell you how to make your threats, Zell,” Tidus said, “But this is Squall we’re talking about. You’re better off threatening not to stop talking. Or not to stop singing. He really hates that.”

    Squall looked at Tidus. “I thought you were doing that just to annoy me.”

    “Not exactly,” Tidus replied. “I knew it annoyed you, but that wasn’t the only reason.”

    Squall rolled his eyes.

    “Squall! C’mon! Is it me?” Zell tugged on Squall’s sleeve as he bounced around in front of him.

    “Seriously, Squall,” Quistis said. “Say something before Zell explodes.”

    Squall looked at Zell. “Fine. Whatever.”

    “OH, YEEEEAH!!!!!” Zell ran around the cafeteria doing flips.

    “What?!” Tidus stood up, keeping his palms flat against the table. “What about me?!”

    Squall regarded Tidus, then glanced to Yuna and Rinoa. He couldn’t tell if Tidus was serious.

    Rinoa and Yuna laughed. Tidus continued to stare at Squall.

    “Um…” Just as Squall was about throw up his hands and declare that he wouldn’t have a Best Man at all, Tidus broke into a wide grin.

    “Just kidding. You’ve known Zell a lot longer, he should be your Best Man.” Tidus nodded emphatically and Squall was relieved that the crisis seemed to be over. Except…

    Squall noticed Tidus was staring at the table and fiddling with the silverware. Tidus only ever got that quiet when he was about to say something really crazy.

    “But…” Tidus began, and Squall braced himself. What was it now? How in the worlds had he ended up with too many friends? So many that he couldn’t please one without hurting another?

    “Just because I’m not your Best Man doesn’t mean…” Tidus trailed off and Squall had no idea how that sentence was supposed to end.

    ‘…doesn’t mean…we can’t be friends?’ Does he seriously expect a declaration of friendship here in the middle of the cafeteria?

    “It’s just…I don’t know that many people back in Spira. There’s Wakka, of course. And Kimhari. But they aren’t…you know…”

    No, Tidus, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Rinoa giggled causing Tidus to flush slightly and look up at her.

    “Is that how they do it Zanarkand?” she asked. “Around here people usually ask the bride if she wants to be in the wedding, before asking their Best Man.”

    Rinoa paused, her eyes glancing between Yuna and Tidus. “You are going to ask her, right?” Rinoa’s eyes flicked back to Yuna. “He hasn’t yet, has he? You would have told me, if he had.”

    Squall still wasn’t quite sure what they were talking about, but he was glad that he no longer seemed to be in the middle.

    “I haven’t proposed—don’t worry, it will be good when I do—but it seems like someday…you know. In the future. And it would be cool if you guys could be there.”

    “Of course we’ll be there, right, Squall?”

    Squall was still standing by the table, but his gaze had drifted toward the cafeteria exit. “‘What? Um…yeah, I guess.”

    “So you’ll do it?” Tidus stood up next to Squall. “You’ll be my Best Man? I’m going to hold you to that.”

    Squall wasn’t sure how the logistics would work, he wasn’t sure they’d even be able to communicate once Tidus and Yuna returned to Spira. But Squall could imagine Rinoa groaning, saying something like “That’s not the point, Squall!” if he tried to point out the realities of the situation. Instead, he took a deep breath and heard himself say, “I’d be honored.”

    Yes, it was what Rinoa would have wanted him to say. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t sincere. Tidus could be annoying, sure. But they’d been through a lot together. And Squall knew he wasn’t always the easiest person to get along with. So the fact that Tidus really wanted him to be involved in such a major event, especially after Squall had just denied him the same privilege—well, Squall had to admit, it meant something.

    Managing friendships could be a pain, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth it.
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fun postscript. =D= Squall makes me laugh - managing friendships can be a pain huh? I bet he never thought he'd have to choose/juggle amongst a handful of BFFs [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
    Tarsier likes this.
  17. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Nyota's Heart I love Squall and his friendship angst. :) Thanks for reading!

    Author Note: This will probably be the last entry for the time being. It is very silly and even somewhat contradicts my ideas for a sequel - it is not intended to be taken seriously in the least. But I had fun writing it and thought people might enjoy reading it. :)

    Postscript: The Kiss

    “It’s just that you’re so stoic and serious all the time, Squall. But you blush really easily. It humanizes you.”

    “Thanks, Zell, but I really don’t need your psychoanalysis.”

    Zell, miraculously, was quiet for a while. Squall looked sideways at Zell as they walked through the entrance to Garden. There was something odd going on. Zell had been rambling since they’d returned. That wasn’t unusual, Zell always talked a lot. But usually his words held intensity—maybe too much intensity—like he was passionately focused on whatever inane detail he was chattering on about. But since they’d left Spira, Zell had seemed distracted, his mind clearly somewhere different from his words.

    “Do I really need to be humanized?” Squall asked.

    “What? Oh, no, I guess not. Tidus was trying to make it easier for everyone, is what I’m trying to say. Like when you said you wouldn’t miss him. It kept him from getting too emotional, I think.”

    Squall shook his head. “You’re all crazy.”

    “Why was Squall blushing?” Squall turned to see Rinoa walking behind them. How long had she been following?

    “I didn’t—” Squall could feel his cheeks warming again.

    “ ‘Cause Tidus kissed him,” Zell replied.

    “What?” Rinoa grinned. Why was everyone so amused by this?

    Zell nodded. “Yeah, right on the cheek.”

    “Did Yuna see this?”

    “Everyone saw,” Squall cut in before Zell could respond. “And everyone laughed. Tidus was making a scene.”


    After having welcomed Yuna and Tidus back, now everyone was gathered to watch Squall and Zell leave. For the moment, most everyone was grouped around Squall, leaving Zell and Rikku a small bit of space to say goodbye.

    Rikku stared at her shoes. “I wish you didn’t have to go so soon.”

    “Yeah, me too.”

    “So, um, I guess this is goodbye.” She looked up and stepped closer to Zell.

    “Hey, Rikku, come on. We gotta let these boys go, ya?” Wakka beckoned to her.

    “Right! One second,” she yelled back. It didn’t feel like enough, just saying goodbye to Zell. She wanted him to know that she really liked him. And she very much hoped she would see him again.

    “I have to admit, Squall,” Tidus’s voice carried easily on the breeze and both Rikku and Zell turned toward it, “I’ve gotten kinda attached to you. I’m gonna miss you a lot.” Tidus gave Squall a big hug, which he tolerated. Then, as Tidus was releasing Squall, he turned and kissed him on the cheek.

    “What the—!?!” Squall pushed Tidus roughly away.

    “Oh, relax. You take everything too seriously, Squall.” Tidus grinned and Squall swiped at his reddening cheek. Those gathered burst into laughter. In the commotion Rikku caught Tidus’s eye for a brief moment and she thought she saw him wink.

    “You’re crazy! I’m not gonna miss you at all.” Rikku faintly heard Squall’s lament. She had turned back toward Zell. Zell still had his face turned toward Squall. His cheek, the one with the tattoo, was facing Rikku. Emboldened by Tidus’s display—and the fact that no one was looking in her direction—Rikku pushed up onto her toes and planted a kiss on Zell’s cheek.

    He turned toward her, startled. Startled, but, she hoped, not displeased.

    “Come back as soon as you can, okay?”

    “I will.” He found her hand and gave it a squeeze.

    “Zell, hurry up!” Squall was walking away from the group.

    “I guess I gotta go.” Zell raised his hand in a salute and ran over to Squall.

    She watched him go, her heart fluttering.


    “We should try to make a distraction,” Yuna said softly as she walked beside Tidus to the beach where Squall was going to summon Griever.

    “What for?”

    “So Rikku and Zell can say goodbye without feeling like they’re on the spot.”

    “Good idea.” Tidus smiled. “Just leave it to me. I’ll think of something.”
  18. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    [face_laugh][face_laugh] I'm glad that you decided to share it - that was a fun, refreshingly sweet little scene and I got a kick out of reading it. I look forward to when your muse has more to share from this world again. =D=[:D]
    Tarsier likes this.
  19. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Read Chocobo - Take One and Take Two.

    I found the first one splendid, especially once Yuna was onboard, secured, and airborne. Great descriptives of the apparent flight, and the feel of the fabric under her cheek, and Squall's back.

    I could feel what it was like to be flying on the back of a bird. Excellent effort.

    The second one was great, the first two paragraphs, then, the explanation of the difference between Aeros and Chocobos showed that I had jumped to conclusions with the first one, them riding birds, "took off at a brisk pace, soon catching up to the others", I didn't realise they were still on the ground.

    The second chapter was as evocative and descriptive as the first, and I especially liked the reminiscing of what happened on the beach, the two kids getting unseated when the bird ran full tilt into the water. What a nice Crusader! :)
    Tarsier likes this.
  20. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    Mira_Jade Thank you! I hope I'll have more to share before too long. :)

    Sith-I-5 Thank you very much for the review! I really do appreciate it. And thanks for noting that you didn't realize the birds stayed on the ground - it's always good to know what I could have made clearer. :)
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