Pictures On The Wall
[03.28.02] » by Asyria Nightshade
out of the Ragnarok on the ground, the salt air filled her nose. There was a
slightly cool breeze that teased her ebony hair. The brilliant sun was high in
the sky, indicating afternoon. Clouds were sparse in the blue of the sky. In
short, Rinoa surmised, it was a beautiful day on the Centra continent for a
As Rinoa stood
facing the stone orphanage, Zell rushed past her like a whirlwind. Edea Kramer
was walking down the steps of the house to meet them. Rinoa giggled as she
watched Edea's surprised face when Zell wrapped his arms around her in a tight
hug. Selphie had also rushed past her to greet their Matron. Edea kissed the
petite girl's forehead and smiled happily.
Zell!" Irvine called from behind her. She turned and saw Irvine hauling a
cooler and bag toward the orphanage. "Get over here and help us with this
Zell again ran
past her to help carry the evenings feast. Rinoa had been told that Cid can
cook a mean barbecue. So, before coming here, they had gone shopping and
purchased an array of food. Chocobo steaks, ribs, hamburger, and of course,
and Zell came Quistis trying to balance too many bags in her hands. Rinoa
dashed over to help her.
get a couple of those, Quisty." Rinoa told her, taking two of the bags
graciously. "Thanks, Rinny."
The two girls
walked toward the house, only stopping so Edea could give Quistis a kiss on her
cheek. Inside the house, Irvine and Zell were helping Cid get everything
unwrapped and prepared for cooking. The boys took the bags from Quistis and
herself, and Quistis gave Cid a big hug.
Ellone, Squall, and Seifer soon entered the house, all of them carrying bags
and coolers. Edea followed them, wearing a gloriously blissful expression. Her
children have returned., Rinoa thought, as she gazed at all her friends. It
wasn't as if they didn't come around the orphanage often. As a matter of fact,
the orphanage gang visited as often as they could. And it was always like a
reunion after years of not seeing each other. All obstacles and quarrels
forgotten for the day, and everyone just enjoying themselves with their family.
Everyone was in the best spirits. Her loving knight, Squall, could push aside
the stress of running the Garden and relax. Quistis could forget about all the
students papers she has to grade and have fun. Selphie could take a break from
her Garden Festival planning and run around in the sun. Irvine and Zell could
not have to worry about missions and just be lazy if they wanted to. Seifer
could also push aside his stress of help S! quall run the Garden as second in
didn't know how to feel here, at the orphanage. At the Garden, even though she
was a sorceress, she was still just Rinoa. But it wasn't what she'd wanted. She
wanted to be Rinoa Heartilly, just another SeeD. Instead she was Rinoa
Heartilly, Squall's girlfriend. Even here, that's what she felt like, Squall's
girlfriend. The others all had grown up here. Edea and Cid saw them as their children.
But she was Squall's girlfriend. Rinoa was embarrased by her selfish feelings.
She knew she should be thinking such things.
thoughts, she noticed some of her friends were gone. Rinoa walked outside to
the back, and down the stone path to the beach. There she found her missing
friends. Seifer, Zell, Irvine, and Selphie had all changed into swimsuits and
were heading to the ocean. The boys ran ahead of Selphie, racing to the water.
As soon as they were in, a water fight had commenced. Once again, Seifer and
Irvine teamed up on Zell and proceed to dunk him under water. Selphie stood on
the shore, laughing loudly at them.
around to Rinoa and shook her head.
soooo silly!" Selphie told her.
as Seifer, hearing Selphie's reprimand, walk toward her with a mischievous look
in his eyes. Rinoa wanted to warn her that she was about to get captured by
Seifer, but thought better when she saw how Irvine and Zell where cheering him
on. Selphie screeched as Seifer easily lifted her over his shoulder. He turned
to Rinoa and winked, then proceeded to walk back out towards the water, with
Selphie kicking and screaming. Zell and Irvine were laughing loudly as Seifer
tossed her into the water. When she resurfaced, the water fight resumed.
at the entire display, shaking her head. Seifer should know better than to
dunk his girlfriend., Rinoa thought to herself happily. Rinoa went back up
to the house, to change into her own swimsuit. Squall had just come out of the
bathroom donned in his own swimsuit. He smiled at her, planting a kiss on her
sitting down in a chair, also in her swimsuit and wearing Irvine's hat.
"Want us to wait for you?"
cheerfully. "You better! There's a water war going on down there!"
a better chance in numbers." Squall commented, faking seriousness.
Squall, and Quistis arrived at the beach, the war was still going on strong.
Selphie decided to team up with Zell, so the numbers would be even as well as
to alienate her boyfriend. Quistis stepped forward wearing a smirk on her face,
tipping the Irvine's hat back on her head a little.
cowboy!" She yelled, instantly stopping the water fight. "I need help
getting sun block on my back!"
it, Quisty!" Seifer yelled back.
Selphie yelled at him, splashing him again. "I'll get you for that!"
hear Seifer yelling some profanities as Selphie chased him. Zell was laughing
like a hyena, calling Seifer the 'Chicken-wuss' as he ran.
his head, surveying the scene. "It never fails."
After a few
hours of water fights, dunking Zell, and Seifer getting chased by Selphie, the
smell of cooking had brought them all back up to the house. Cid was outside
with a good flame going on the grill. Edea and Ellone were inside cooking up
some potatoes to go in Edea's famous potato salad.
Dusk had come
and the everyone had severed off by themselves to enjoy the sunset. From where
Rinoa was standing in the backyard with Squall, she could see everybody. Zell
and Ellone had joined Cid and Edea to help clean up. Irvine and Quistis were
enjoying a stroll down the beach in each others arms. She could see Seifer
sitting behind Selphie with his arms around her on a large boulder. Rinoa
leaned into Squall's embrace and watched the sun go down.
As was a
tradition among them, the entire family went down to the beach when night had
completely come and sat around a small fire. Irvine and Zell always brought
their guitars and play for them. Selphie would always sing with them, usually
some silly song they had made up. Seifer and Squall would make fun of each
other, and eventually get into a sword fight with the sticks they used for
cooking marshmallows. What would the cadets think of their commanding
officers behaving like children?, Rinoa thought to herself, fighting from
laughing out loud.
Edea and Cid
quietly sat together, watching as their children played. This time, Edea stood
and walked over to Rinoa. Rinoa looked up curiously at her.
me for a moment." Edea spoke to her.
Rinoa answered, following Edea along the beach and up the stone path. Edea lead
Rinoa into one of the smaller rooms of the orphanage. It was a cozy den, with
two easy-chairs and a fire place. Edea motioned her over to the mantle above
the fireplace. A framed picture sat on the mantle, seven children smiled
happily in the picture. Rinoa instantly recognized all of them as her friends.
Edea was gazing
at the picture with her. "They were all about five when I took that
picture. Ellone was seven, of course." Edea told her, then pointed up to
the wall off to the side. "But those I have acquired recently."
over to the wall Edea had pointed to. There were seven separate pictures of
each of them. "I've put them up in the order they came and blessed my
life." Edea told her. First there was Zell, then Irvine, Selphie, Seifer,
Quistis, Ellone, and Squall. All of these pictures had been taken last month at
the Garden festival. Rinoa hadn't noticed when Edea came beside her, holding
another framed picture in her hands. "And now I add yours." She said
hadn't noticed that there was a nail already in the wall next to Squall's
picture. Edea brought up the picture and hung in on the nail. It was Rinoa,
herself, smiling happily at the last Garden Festival. Edea turned to her,
smiling delighted at her. "No matter what happens…you will always be one
of my children."
with tears of joy in her eyes. "Thank you, Matron."