Please Stay Here as I Whisper...

By Tarlia

All characters from the game Final Fantasy VIII are © Square. This work of fan fiction is © the author. Please do not distribute or use without permission.


Whenever sang my songs

Flash of light.

On this stage, on my own

Screams of horror.

Whenever said my words

Breaks screeching as they desperately try to stop the inevitable.

Wishing they would be heard

Blood –

I saw you smiling at me

pain –

Was it real or just my fantasy?


You’d always be there in the corner

… silence.

Of this tiny little bar


I know now that your song was never meant for me, sweetheart. I think I always knew. Your voice was so calming and wonderful, and I was taken by surprise the first time I heard it. I hadn’t known you could sing – in fact, I had never really noticed you before, back when you were only playing the piano. That song; it stirred something inside of me, the way the words formed on your lips and flowed so naturally, the innocence of your tone, the vulnerability. But it was not the song that drew me to you in the first place, at least, not the only thing. Perhaps it was just that innocence and vulnerability expressed through your songs of love and longing that made me feel something for you, feel that you needed to be protected, shielded from the ugly world. Your beauty had to remain untouched, your sensitive soul had to remain unscarred.

Yet I think I came too late for that, darling. You were so sad when I first met you, despite your recent success as a singer, despite that what you claimed was your greatest dream had come true. You appreciated my friendship at first, or that’s what you said, anyway. You enjoyed it when I took the time to sit there with you, talk with you as a person and treat you like an equal instead of letting your popularity affect me. Oh, the shock in your eyes when I told you what my own position was, and I saw the mixed awe and uncertainty build up behind your dark brown eyes, as if you were impressed and yet feared me at the same time.

The fact is, love, we were never equal. I was overcome with your beauty, but not the beauty you wanted me to see, and I think you knew that. I think you always knew that, and I was too blind to see it, was too blind to see the mind behind the doll-like face framed by the silky black hair, just as I was too blind to see that the song wasn’t meant for me. When I was with you on our fifth meeting, or dare I say; date, you told me about him. You told me how much you had adored him, and that he had went away and broken your heart. I didn’t take you seriously then, I thought it all was some teenage crush that you somehow had developed in your maturity, even as I comforted you and said he was a fool for leaving you behind. Told you he wasn’t what you needed. And inwardly, I told myself you needed the protection of a strong, wealthy and well-respected man who could take care of you, give you a family, children to raise, everything else a woman would ever want.

You accepted my comfort, angel, and let me take you under my wing. To shield you and protect you just as I wanted to, to possess your wonder and lock it inside my mansion. When we stood there at the altar, it never occurred to me that you didn’t want to be confined in our lovely home, that you didn’t want to be the obedient, little wife I had wanted you to be. You still wanted to sing. And I fought your stubbornness, to no avail. You wanted to sing, and you sung, while I continued to lead the Galbadian army as President Deling had trusted me to do, angry because my lady didn’t want to bring up my children, as women were meant to do. Even so, you did become pregnant sooner than any of us had expected, and you were more secluded from me and upset than ever.

I understand now that you didn’t say ‘I do’ out of love, but out of hopelessness.

But when our daughter was born, my beauty, she lit up your world again. You literally beamed with joy whenever your eyes fell upon her, and I found myself unable to stop smiling when I watched you two together, mother and child as it was meant to be. Rinoa, ah… she looks so much like you, even as young as she is. So innocent, so beautiful, just like you. I could never be as close to her as I wanted to be, nor to you, as being a General takes a lot of one’s time and one always has to work, with little time for family. Still, my respect for you grew then, and I saw something beyond the pretty face. Intelligence, kindness, the way you managed to both teach, love and play with our daughter and still find time to sing. I often claimed your singing was irresponsible now when we had a child, that you ought to be with her all day and night and never leave her side. You snapped right back that I shouldn’t be the one to speak, because I was never there at all. You were right. And I wouldn’t admit it. You took your time to both raise Rinoa and sing, but in the end, I forced you to sacrifice yourself for her and me, when I fired our nanny and refused to hire a new one. I believe I crushed something inside you then, because you didn’t hire a new nanny yourself, but simply left behind your dream and didn’t speak a word to me for weeks. There were so many things I didn’t admit, so many things I wanted to say, so many things I forgot, so many things I should have done differently and so many things I never did that I should have done.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, dear Julia, I didn’t know what I was doing. That’s a lie. I think I always knew, I just refused to see the wrong in it.


My last night here for you

Tears -

Same old songs, just once more

Sirens in the distance.

My last night here with you?

fear -

Maybe yes, maybe no

Colour fading from your skin.

I kind of liked it your way

death -

How you shyly placed your eyes on me

Car wreck against car wreck, broken glass, driver in front seat limp.

Oh, did you ever know?

… fading life.

That I had mine on you


So let me come to you

I’m holding you in my arms now, pressing you against my chest to keep you warm. It hurts somewhere in my leg, and my shoulder feels like someone has tried to rip it off. But you’re hurting more. Blood, so much blood I don’t know where it’s coming from anymore. Yours, mine, the driver’s…

Close as I wanted to be

Your dark blue dress is stained with red, your eyes are filled with desperation, your body is shaking against mine, and I can feel your heart beat, getting weaker and weaker, hear your breaths becoming short gasps. I realize they aren’t going to get here in time, and even if they did, they probably couldn’t do anything. Anything at all.

Close enough for me

Even war didn’t ever seem this unfair and meaningless. Galbadia always fought for a purpose, or so I keep trying to convince myself we do, over and over, never quite succeeding. I never got to tell you how sorry I am, how much I regret. You’ll never get to hold our little girl again, and I’ll never again get to watch you and her play. Your innocence was stripped from you a long while ago, before I even met you, but tonight, Rinoa will lose her innocence as well. Tonight, a child of barely five years old will lose her mother, and she will ask her father why it happened, she will demand an answer that she will never get.

To feel your heart beating fast

I take in a breath; your eyes, they are changing. They focus on me. My lips part to whisper the words, but no sound comes out. I have to tell you. I never told you before, not with truth in my voice, I have to tell you now.

And stay there as I whisper

Please don’t leave me yet. I have to tell you. Please stay here… please stay, because I have to tell you that I…

How I loved your peaceful eyes on me

You blink. Once, twice. Your voice is choked when you speak to me, and your eyes, they are trying so hard to see my face clearly, but you are too tired and exhausted to think. You only act on emotion. You only see what you want to see.

Did you ever know?

“… La… … I… Is t-that you… Laguna?”

That I had mine on you

You’re looking at me still, awaiting my answer, your expression hopeful, fearful, pleading. Pleading for only one reply, and I’ll give it to you. Pulling you even closer, I lean in to let my lips brush against your ear as I whisper.

“Yes, it’s me.”

You smile, then, “Laguna… I knew… I knew you’d come back… for me…”

“Of course,” I continue, but the words aren’t mine. I’m merely a puppet in a play and I speak my lines with emotion that isn’t real, I’m playing someone else’s part, and yet it is my own, “I’m here for you, Julia. Just rest now.” I run my hand through your hair as you close your eyes, relaxing. I don’t think you can feel the pain anymore. Your body is so cold, so cold… “… Just rest, darling…”

When your breath falters, and your heart finally comes to a halt after beating for only two and a half decades - it’s only then I allow the mask to fall. The sirens are close now, but it doesn’t matter anymore.

I know now that your love was never meant for me.

I think I always knew.

Tarlia's Fanfiction