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FF8: Edeas Garden

Chapter 4: Talking with Father.

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Chapter 4:

Talking with Father.

Far off across the vast wasteland of the Salt Flats, in a beautiful city that was impressive to those who were first time visitors, a phone rang in the presidential office.

It rang three times and on the fourth ring a leathery hand, from years of work picked up the phone.

"Hello. Laguna Loire speaking."

"Uh. Hi." Squall's voice issued from the earpiece. "It's Squall."

"Squall!" Laguna beamed as he sat down in the over stuffed chair and waved away the secretary and motioned for Kiros and Ward to come listen in. "What can I do..... " He started and then changed his train of thought when he noticed the high pitched wailing of a child over the phone. "What's with the screaming?"

"That, would be Hayner." Squall said as he looked over his shoulder and promptly stuck his finger in his free ear to hear Laguna better.

"Hayner huh?" Laguna beamed even wider his eyes shining with merriment. "How old is he?"

"Around eight years old." Squall answered. "Look I need Ellones help." He said going straight to the point of the call.

"Oh!" Laguna nodded obliviously and grinned. "She's not here at the moment, tell you what. We'll all come down to Balamb Garden for a family visit! You can ask Ellone all the questions you want to know about raising kids then. How's that sound?"

"Sure, fine, whatever." Squall agreed quickly, not wanting to deal with his father any more then necessary.

"Great!" Laguna said smiling and hung up the phone, turning to Kiros. "Kiros, make arrangements to go to Balamb Garden as soon as possible. We're going on a small visit to see my newly adopted grandson!"

"Right away Laguna." Kiros said raising an eyebrow and looking at Ward whose eyes spoke magnitudes of impending catastrophe.

***

"Pizza delivery!" Zell yelled, a half hour later, as he peeked into the doorway to Squalls room and saw that Hayner had stopped crying and was sitting down at the table still holding the bear. "They didn't have deluxe, in fact all they had was cheese. Hope that's okay." He said sauntering in with Selphie awkwardly following behind carrying napkins and soft drinks on a tray. "Squall?" Zell called.

Hayner looked at the two older SEED's and mildly pointed to the kitchen where Squall leaned against a wall talking quietly into the headset with Cid.

"Yeah, that's correct. I did call Laguna. Yeah, okay. He'll be here tomorrow morning? That's fine. I'll meet them and show them to their rooms and then pick up the transfer students. Yes, I'll let them know. Okay, yes Sir." Squall said answering questions and then cut the connection and taking the headset off. With a sigh he looked towards Zell and walked out of the kitchen into the small dining area.

"What was that about?" Selphie asked as she sat down in a chair and placed the napkins on top of the pizza box.

"Oh. Laguna's coming for a visit. Ellone's coming to, as are Ward and Kiros." Squall answered as he bent down and rummaged in a box Selphie hadn't unpacked yet and took out four large plates.

"Hey! That's great!" Zell said grinning. "It'll be good to see them again!" Zell said cheerfully.

"I guess." Squall muttered as he set the plates on the table and sat down. "By the way Zell, Selphie. I talked to Hayner about why he was crying."

"Oh." Selphie said looking down at her hands. "I'm really sorry! I didn't think he'd get so upset..." She explained.

"It's not that he was upset about you or the bear..." Squall said quietly as he looked at Hayner. "Hayner, was.. confused as to why someone would go out of their way to be nice. Not very many people were nice to his family as he grew up. In fact, his family was very poor." Squall explained. "He's lived a rough life, and in all honesty Selphie, he says you're a dead ringer in personality for his older sister who died in the fire that killed his whole family."

"Oh!" Selphie gasped as she looked at the quiet boy who was looking at the wall, his face an empty statue of emotions. All signs of the previous crying fit gone. "I, I had no idea." She said quietly as she noticed the boy hugging the bear in a death grip. "I just wanted to make him feel welcome."

"Don't worry about it." Squall said waving his hand dismissing the thought. "He's not prone to talking very much."

"So I've noticed." Selphie said nodding to herself as she grabbed a drink from the tray. "Kind of like you." She added after taking a sip.

"..."

"Come on, lets just eat." Zell said opening the box after removing the napkins and setting them aside. "I'm hungry!"

"You're always hungry." Squall chuckled as he helped Zell divide the pizza up onto the plates. "By the way. I suggest you move your things into rooms like this one." Squall said. "Headmaster Cid thinks you two would make good guardians for two of the transfer students." He said awkwardly and slid a piece of paper across the table to Zell. Zell looked it over then choked on his pizza.

"Seifer! Seifer is to be one too?!?" He choked, and then banged his right fist onto his chest coughing.

"What!?" Selphie screamed as she dropped her pizza and ripped the paper out of Zell's hand. "That's asking for trouble! He can't be a good influence!" She seethed. "He blew up Trabia Garden and my friends, and the teddy bear I gave the kids there!" She fumed, her face twisting into a sour frown. "Headmaster Cid can't be serious!"

"He is." Squall said not even touching his pizza and looking at Selphie, noticing the hurt in her eyes. He knew she'd react that way to that bit of news, the hurt of losing so many of her friends was still fresh in her mind. In fact, Seifer though still around Garden with Fujin and Raijin, was held responsible for many wrong doings and most of the students had been giving the three a hard time. Selphie more then anybody else. With a sigh, Squall slumped his shoulders, while Hayner did something rather unexpected. Getting out of his chair, he walked over to Selphie and struggled to say something.

"Want.." He struggled. "To hug ..?" He said thrusting the bear into her hands. Selphie's face crumpled at the simplicity of the gesture and not only took the bear but scooped Hayner into the embrace and sobbed.

"When I left Trabia, I gave the kids a teddy bear I had since I was at the orphanage. I knew the kids would take care of him." She sniffed babbling quietly. "But then Seifer... He told the Galbadian army.. to.. to.." She hiccuped and squeezed her eyes shut. "My friends.." She murmured.

By then even Zell had lost his appetite and pushed the half eaten pizza on his plate away from him as he listened to Selphie's grief.

"When we got back to Balamb garden, when it was at F.H there were so many letters from my friends in Trabia in Cids office for me.. All of them, letters from those who died in the explosion. Even one little girl, named Susan. I remember reading them and just crying. They were doing so well! Carla had just graduated! She was so excited to be SEED!" Selphie whispered her voice thick with emotion. "So many died..."

Hayner looked at Squall who stood up and picked up the half eaten Pizza, that was in the box and clumsily closed it. The two looked at each other, and then Hayner awkwardly hugged Selphie, not knowing what to really do.

"Seifer can't be a guardian. He'll be bad influence!" Selphie said bitterly. "Why was he even allowed back? Why were Fujin and Raijin? They betrayed Balamb Garden!"

"Squall dropped the box on the table and looked at Selphie. "That's enough!" He said curtly. "Fujin and Raijin were here when you were at the missile base. They helped Zell, Irvine, and I warn all of Balamb Garden about the possibility of the Missiles! Don't you dare hold them accountable for that!"

Selphie yelped and then nodded her head. "I'm sorry, Squall. But they did take over Balamb." She pointed out.

"So what?" Zell countered. As he watched Hayner struggle to get out of Selphie's grip. "They were Seifers friends. Hell, he was their only friend. Even if he was a jerk."

"But!" Selphie said

"That's it!" Squall barked at everyone. "I've had enough." He said leaning his head onto his left hand with a sigh. "I'm going to bed." He muttered as he turned on his heel and walked into his room. Pausing briefly he turned. "Oh, and Selphie. For the love of Hyne, let the kid go. He's turning blue!"

With that Squall slammed his door and locked it.

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This is a fanfic.