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Driving Lessons

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Driving was never a necessity when they were at Garden. They had the Ragnarok to take them to wherever they wanted when Garden was stationed, so there wasn’t a reason for them to go renting or buying cars. It’s not like they had any particular use for them either since they were always in Garden, aside from the occasional mission.

So it was a minor surprise for Squall when his girlfriend Rinoa walked happily into his office asking him to sign her registration form for a learner’s permit. She usually only asked him for dates or just dragged him out of the office when she felt he was working too hard. He was glad for that since he did overwork himself at times.

“Squall, can you please sign this form for me?” Rinoa asked while smiling at his raised eyebrow. Squall on the other hand, after getting over the surprise of the offer, nonchalantly signed the form and handed it back to her.

“Don’t you already know how to drive?” he asked her cheery form. Now that he thought about it, he was the one who drove the cars throughout all of the missions they were deployed on.

“Not at all. But I’ll learn as soon as I get my permit.”

“Hn. Alright.”

“Thanks!” she said and bounded out of the room after giving him a kiss on the cheek. Feeling the blush that arose he coughed out a barely audible response of “Anytime.”

After that minor event occurred he resigned to his fate of filling out forms for field exam preparations and missions for the next few days. After mentally accepting that having Rinoa around him would bring an unexplainable amount of surprises coming towards him he braced himself for the worst when she walked happily through his office doors again a few days later.

“Hey Rin.” He greeted the smiling young woman. Though, his grin did subside when he took note of the almost malicious glint in her eyes.

“Hi Squall.” She said, a little too sweetly in his opinion. She clasped her hands behind her back and rubbed the toe of her right shoe into the floor behind her, as she always did when she was nervous. “I need to ask a favor of you.”

He only looked at her, even though he did find her smile endearing, he was already mentally preparing himself to what she would ask for.

“Yes?” was the one word answer from him.

“Can you teach me how to drive?” she asked hopefully.

Squall let out a sigh of relief. That was it? “Sure.”

She clapped her hands together happily when she heard his approval and ran over to give him a hug. “Yay! Thanks so much, Squall!”

He would be able to handle it with no problem. Teaching Rinoa how to drive would be easy, right?

Wrong. But if only he knew that beforehand.


 

“Rinoa, you just missed a stop sign!”

“Rinoa, you’re going thirty-five miles over the speed limit!”

Squall was holding onto the seat belt for dear life while Rinoa was at the steering wheel. He would never, ever let her sit in the driver’s seat ever again. He would tell her that if he actually survived the car sickness that took root in his stomach. It was pitiful, really. He was a SeeD.

“Squall, it’s fine! I feel perfectly comfortable driving at this speed.” She said while making a sharp turn, just avoiding the stop sign that was perched on the corner. Another stop sign that she chose to ignore.

The brunette seated beside her in the front seat nearly threw up his spleen as she sped up yet another ten miles per hour and didn’t slow down.

“Don’t worry, Squall. I’ve got this under control!” Never in Squall’s life had he heard a lie like that.

He wondered how he was put into this situation. After he told Rinoa that he would teach her how to drive she made him go outside to rent a car in Balamb. Then he spent the next twenty minutes teaching her about the gears and mechanics, with her nodding alertly at every sentence he said.

Then he told her to drive slowly on the street of a neighborhood. It thankfully was empty and devoid of anyone walking at the unfortunate time that Rinoa was driving. And devoid of any police officers that would immediately stop her. Squall didn’t know if that was lucky for Rinoa or for the police officers.

“Rinoa! Brake!” Squall yelled out upon seeing a red light. Gladly she did just that, but not in a way he would have wanted to, as the sharp stop she made had him almost hitting his head on the dashboard.

“You alright there, Squall?” Her snicker almost fell out of her lips but before Squall could see it, she put on a face of surprise.

With a faint groan he replied, “Fine. Just…just take us back to the shop and we’ll return the car. I think that’s enough learning for today.”

Sensing his discomfort at her driving, she decided to comply with his wishes of returning to Garden to get some rest.

I’m never going to set foot in a car that she’s driving ever again. Maybe I can get Selphie to teach her how to drive. Or Zell. Or anyone else who’s willing. He thought to himself as he walked down the hallway of the dorm rooms with Rinoa.

“So Squall, you think I’ll be able to pass the driving exam?” she asked disturbing his train of thought.

He almost yelled out a negative no, but held himself as he was about to respond, “Rinoa, I don’t think—“

“You do, right? Great! I’ll take it tomorrow!” she said and with that she gave him a hug with a light peck on his lips. Before Squall could respond Rinoa ran into her room after saying a good night.

Squall stared at the door wondering if it was a death wish letting Rinoa get her driving license. He then remembered that with the (lack of) driving skills she displayed, she wouldn’t be able to get her license and therefore, he was safe from letting her drive recklessly in the streets.

With that thought in mind, he went to go get some medicine from Dr. Kadowaki to cure the car sickness given to him by Rinoa.

Rinoa who was back at her dorm, laughed at the fact that Squall was so appalled at her driving skills. “Oh, it’s so much fun to mess around with him.” She mumbled. “Well, I should go and call to prepare an appointment to take that driver’s exam.” She said in her usual happy tone.


 

.

Squall was in his office as usual filling out forms all morning while wondering if Rinoa had actually passed her driver’s exam. 

“Impossible.” He mumbled under his breath. “There’s no chance she could have passed it.”  

Though by the time it reached 1700 hours he wondered where she could be. She hadn’t dropped by at her lunch time to pay him a quick visit as she usually does and by now he was getting worried.

What if she failed and was sad at the thought of not passing? Damn, I knew I should have stopped her from taking the exam! After thinking that, he made up his mind to look for her. Though after he got up and crossed the office halfway Rinoa opened the door and ran up into his arms, taking him by surprise. The running woman was momentarily put into the air as Squall’s arms tried to steady her so she wouldn’t fall, a scene reminiscent of the first time they met on the train.

Squall was immediately worried as she started trembling in his arms, her face buried in his shoulder. Immediately he thought she was crying and he frowned. “Rin? What’s wrong?”

With that Rinoa looked up and her face broke out into a huge smile. “I passed! Squall, I passed!” And she held up her newly acquired driver’s license.

What?” Squall couldn’t believe it. He grabbed the card from her hand and stared at it unbelievably. “How…what? Why?” Immediately he wanted to take back the harsh words, not wanting to hurt Rinoa’s feelings by displaying his lack of faith in her driving, but he couldn’t help it.

The laughter he heard from Rinoa seconds later made him look at her confusedly, even more so as she started laughing so hard she had to keep her wrap her arms around her stomach.

“Oh Squall.” She said while wiping tears of laughter from her eyes. “I was just messing with you yesterday. I already know how to drive.” She smiled up at him.

“But, how? You were so…” He struggled to find the words to describe her driving.

Rinoa laughed. “My driving was horrendous yesterday, right?” He nodded. “Well, that was just a ruse. Caraway hired a professional driver to teach me once I turned sixteen. I just didn’t get my license yet.”

Squall didn’t know what to say. “So you nearly killed me while you were driving yesterday for fun?”

“No. I knew exactly what I was doing though.” She smiled up at him again.

He raised a hand to his forehead massaging the headache that was about to form at her trickery.

“You’re never driving again.” He said. “Not while I’m in the car.”

“What? Oh come on, Squall! Your face was too priceless!” Rinoa pouted. “I won’t do it ever again.”

“No.”

And he wanted to stay true to that statement, but he took it back as soon as he saw Rinoa drive perfectly around Balamb.

He wanted to put that experience behind him, but then Rinoa burst through the doors of his office again.

 

“Squall, can I borrow the Ragnarok so Selphie can teach me how to drive it?”