I do not own FF8, but I can dream right?
"You're only twenty! You still have your whole life ahead of you. I'm just trying to make sure that you have thought this through. There are so many men out there… How does the old saying go? There are more fish in the sea?" The reinstated General Caraway fought, as he paced back and forth through the cobbled stone manor running his hand through his thoroughly greying hair. If this were not enough to make a man prematurely go grey, nothing else would be.
Rinoa's head popped out for a moment from behind an old wooden screen, "Really? I had no idea! So tell, me just how many of those fish you're talking about would go out with the strongest sorceress known to history?"
His eyes widen in sudden alarm, "Don't tell me that is the only reason why you're doing this? Rinoa, darling-"
Rinoa rolled her eyes at her father before disappearing once more behind a withered old wooden screen, "No! Of course not!"
The aging General looked down to his black leather shoes. They had been polished to perfection this morning as part of his daily ritual for getting ready for work instead he was standing in a ruined old orphanage on the edge of Centra for another purpose. One, he was not particularly thrilled to be participating in. He had known this moment would someday come, but no father can truly ever say they are fully prepared for it. He knew from the moment he had seen that unsuitable SeeD trailing his daughter through his house three years ago that he would live to regret not making a larger stand against his involvement with her.
"You're my only daughter Rinoa," Caraway started before Rinoa's voice floated up.
"Oh no… Don't say something like 'no one will ever be good enough for your little girl. ' Because really…. I might throw up."
Despite it being true, the General suspended his opinion recognizing a failing battle when he encountered once. One day –and certainly better not be soon- she would have a child of her own. Only then might she understand how hard it is to be a parent where nothing you do is right and every concern you have is swept away with dismissal.
"What do you think?" His daughter's question caused the general to turn to his daughter being aided out by one of her friends from the make shift changing area.
Her black hair was left down in cascades of waves that were carefully pinned off to one side that nearly reached the sweetheart neckline of her white wedding dress. The dress its self was fitting for the location. Having a silk bodice with a drop waist that suddenly disappeared into what appeared to be a full skirt of thousands upon thousands of silk flower petals. She straightened the dress out before anxiously moving fiddling with the clip in her hair that allowed small little pears to drape in her hair. She was stunning. It was nothing short of perfect for a seaside wedding, but instead of happiness at seeing his beautiful daughter he could feel his world slowly caving in.
He took in the sight of his little girl who looked back at him with eager eyes waiting for him to say something. He remembered when those eyes would look at him like that for candy or a even a chocobo. Now all those eyes wanted from him was his approval and for him to happily give her away.
No parent could ever be happy to do such a thing.
Another sad thought came through old memories he desperately tried to keep away on a day like to day, but it was like a rushing storm that forced him to press his lips together as he looked down in order to keep his composure, "You look like your mother."
Rinoa's eyes illuminated at the unexpected compliment, "Really?"
She was too young to have real clear memories of her mother, but seeing his free spirited daughter dressed so strikingly in a white wedding dress it was hard not to reflect back on to happier times when he had first seen Julia in a similar white gown.
He nodded his head quickly as he took a few quick breaths in and looked up to behold his daughter, all grown up, and ready for a life of her own. Of course she had been that way for a long time now, but now with another man in her life, even in the most desperate of time she wouldn't be leaning on him.
Walking up he took her left hand to admire the intricate platinum band that held a light pink teardrop diamond with light yellow ones flanking each side.
He sighed at the ghastly expensive thing on her hand, "If this is what you want…"
"It is," Rinoa replied without hesitation.
He kept his eyes on the ring as he nodded in agreement when abruptly a pair of arms went around his neck.
She tightened her hold on him as his arms awkwardly found their place around her waist, "I know I don't say this often, but I'm glad you are here for this."
He planted a small kiss on the side of her head as he looked back to his daughter's friend- the blonde one with a silly name he could never remember- who offered a sweet smile of appreciation at him. He already knew there was nothing he could do to stop his daughter running head first into storm. This was not the first time, and he would place his be on it not being the last either. He just hoped that this Squall wouldn't be the one to hurt his daughter.
"Yeah honey," He replied, closing his eyes and gently patted her back, "Me too."
"You've got to be nervous! Wait- Of course you're nervous. I'm nervous just standing here with you so you have to be dying."
Squall waited on the small beach as the sun was falling into the ocean casting brilliant hues of red, orange, and sky blue pink. He leaned against one of the boulders that lined the small inlet beach waiting for the tide to rise so they begin their preparation.
He raised an eyebrow as he looked up through his bangs at the irritatingly vocal president who seemed lost in his own world, "Why would I be nervous? Nothing will change because we signed a paper."
Laguna turned around to look at his own flesh and blood with an entertained appearance. He already was donning his black and white tuxedo for the event, but instead of wearing his shoes, he rolled up his pant legs to let his feet be buried in the sand.
His father took in the sunset once more before replying in a soft voice that was nearly eaten up by the roaring sea, "You have no idea what you're getting into."
Squall frowned unsure of what to make of the comment.
Lorie shook his head, allowing his hair to fall partially from the ponytail that held it loosely back, "You really think that this night won't change you?"
Perplexed Squall squinted at the man who was laughing into the sea.
"Oh boy, you'll just have to find out the hard way," he smiled into the dying day.
Squall looked down drawing his brows together, "I just don't get why one would be nervous, that's all"
The swelling sea that brought in the fresh salt air that seemed to intertwine between the two men who waited seaside for night to unfold,
"Maybe you're just a more courageous man than I," Laguna remarked, keeping his focus down. "I was more nervous marrying you're mom then jumping off that cliff."
"Just talking to a woman makes you nervous…," Squall muttered under his breath as Loire turned back around.
"What was that?" Laguna asked, allowing Squall to shrug and place his hands in his pocket.
"When I slipped that ring on her finger I realized that I was the sole person in this world that could take care of her," the president's eyes withdrew sadly, "I would have done anything to make her happy. You'll see what I mean for yourself soon. You're giving a piece of yourself that you will never get back. Not even in death."
Laguna's eyes fell the sand on his feet, "I never expected our time together to be so short. Had I known how much of myself would leave with Raine's passing, I would've never strayed from home as long as I did. You can always rebuild a city, but you can't rebuild your family when it's gone."
Squall looked up to the old man who was lost in a sea of his own thoughts. A few breaths went by before he had turned back to his lost son with sadness in his eyes, "I know you and I still have a long road ahead of us. I'm not foolish enough to think there is a way to make up for the time we have lost, but thank you for giving me the chance to be a small part of your life. Its more than I deserve."
When the infamous SeeD looked up, it instantly caused the president to smile. It was his late wife's eyes looking back at him, perplexed. He had received that look from her many times and he thought he would never see that again when she left him. How did he get so lucky to have a piece of her still here?
"Fate had a bigger picture for all of us," a new voice entered from the walking path causing both of them to turn around.
Cid hazarded the walking path gripping onto the natural retaining wall the rocks made, as he made his way to the small gathering, "None of us wanted this path, and yet it is what has brought all of us here today."
"I never thought I'd see the day." Cid joked, as he got closer. "Selphie sent me down here. The tide is as high as it will go on this beach. We can start setting up now."
Squall nodded hesitantly as he regarded both men for a moment before jumping off his rock to go find his companions.
Cid watched as the brunette disappeared beyond the walking path before turning back to Laguna, "Never mind him, he's always been a difficult one to get through to. He learns quickly through trial and error though. I'm sure he will find a way to survive this too," Cid gave Laguna an all-knowing look that the SeeD was in over his head this time.
Running a hand through his hair while blowing air out from his lungs, Laguna turned to the headmaster extending his free hand, "Thank you for everything you have done for my son in my absence."
Returning a pleasant smile, Cid took the president's hand in both of his before firmly shaking, "Trust me, the pleasure was all mine."
Releasing, they both stood for a moment with their head down in silence. Laguna was naturally was the first to break it asking, "Can never have enough family right?"
Cid's smile grew in response, "It's amazing how an orphaned boy can go from having nothing, to having more family then he knows how to handle."
"Oh Hyne, I don't know about this anymore! I think we rushed into this too fast! What do you guys think? Hyne, what was I thinking? Maybe we should call all of this off! This was a total mistake from the beginning..."
Rinoa looked back to Quistis who was just as equally as concerned. Quistis approached the hyperventilating brunette that paced back and fourth in her pale blue strapless bridesmaids dress.
"Selphie, dear," Quistis attempted to speak to her like a spooked chocobo. "Everything is going to be just fine, really!"
Tear filled eyes targeted them as Selphie's lips started to quiver as she cried. "Everything is not fine! It's been an hour! And nothing has happened!"
"I hear all weddings run late," Rinoa tried in vain to comfort her friend off the edge of a nervous break down. "I think its even considered fashionable."
Selphie's face crumpled under the stress as she leaned against the old wooden bed in the master bedroom of the orphanage, "I've been planning this day for years now. I had everything planned down to the minute. How is it that nothing can go right?! Can't I just ask for one day?! Just one?!"
Rinoa raised an eyebrow at the statement, "Selphie, I've only been engaged for two months."
"I've been planning this since he jumped into space for you!" Selphie countered in a high squeaky voice before breaking down into tears once more. Placing her head in her hands, it gave Quistis and Rinoa a free moment to exchange mystified glances at each other not knowing how to proceed in this delicate situation.
"Selphie, I already fixed your makeup twice already," Quistis complained as a quiet knock came to the door.
Ellone stuck her head in, "The guys are getting antsy down there. I think we better just start."
Heavier sobs came from Selphie drawing Ellone deeper in the room.
"What happened?" Ellone turned to the rest of them pointing at the unusual state the brunette was left in.
"The big show doesn't seem to be happening," Rinoa supplied as she played with petals on her dress.
"They were wrong! Nothing is going to happen tonight! Everything was planned around this big moment and now it's too late!" Selphie sobbed.
"And here I thought today was all about you," Quistis whispered, getting a half smile and a gentle elbow jab from Rinoa.
Ellone kneeled down in front of Selphie forcing the brunette to look at her, "They always say one thing has to go wrong at the wedding, for everything else to go right."
Selphie sniffled, "Really?"
Ellone nodded as she moved in closer to whisper, "I think Rinoa is showing signs of cold feet. Maybe we should get her to the alter before we have a run away bride situation."
"Seriously Rinoa? NOW?" Selphie yelped alarmed, as she straightened up with raccoon eyes from her bleeding mascara; "This is the man who jumped out into space for you! Do I need to spell this out for you? He is the one. Now get you're ass down there before I kick it there myself."
Both Quistis and Rinoa looked down to suppress their smiles.
"Rodger boss! No more stalling from me." Rinoa made out, without losing control of the laughter that threatened to spill out. Quistis helped her up and into her white silk shoes as Selphie spun sniffling a bit on her way out of the door unaware of the mascara marks running down her face.
"I'm going to go alert that boys we're ready," Selphie remarked halfway out the door.
"Uh…. Selphie-?" Ellone began.
"No!" both Rinoa and Quistis shouted at once.
Confused, Selphie turned around, "What?"
"Just wanted to say you look great," Quistis covered with a tense smile.
"Yup. Radiant," Rinoa agreed hastily.
Selphie gave her friends a weird look before turning to walk away.
Quistis turned back to the blushing bride with exhaustion in her eyes, "Remind me never to get married."
Ellone smiled at the crack as Rinoa followed the path of the over zealous SeeD had taken.
"I really hope nothing else goes wrong tonight. I don't want another visit from the Selphzilla." Rinoa quipped knowing that the likely hood of that happening was slim to none.