Selphie wakes up at sea, the bed pitching beneath her, plunging and diving with the yaw and roll of the waves. In the pit of her stomach, another ocean's tide is racing. "Super-duper-mega-bummer," she mutters, as she pulls herself upright.
As she does, the nausea comes up with her. "Super-duper-MEGA-bummmer!" louder this time, but muffled because one hand is clasped over her mouth, the other grabbing for support as the door psishes open in front of her. The smell from the cafeteria - hot dogs boiling - hits her in the face, meaty and overpowering, and she feels her stomach clench, her gorge rise, and suddenly she is being sick, heaving and retching and the shudder in her shoulders and the tears stinging her eyes.
"How much did I even drink?" she mutters, scowling at the mess on the floor, pushing back the hair that is curling into her face.
But it's not a hangover, and she knows it. She's known it for days, ever since she'd started to notice the tenderness in her breasts, how tired she was feeling, how often she needed to pee.
"But it was a dream, goddamnit!" she mutters again, angrily. "A stupid dream!" Such a nice dream, the first one, and Sir Laguna was sooo cool, and she'd kind of put it out of her mind, what Squall had said afterwards. And then he'd fallen from the cliff, and she'd been sooo worried, so worried that she'd gone to sleep every night worrying, worrying that he had drowned, or that he was lying tangled and broken on the wet rocks, dying a slow and agonising death, his hair floating in the water aroung him like weeds. None of them had noticed. She was a better actor than that.
But then the thing had happened, and she wasn't sure that somehow Squall didn't know. She had gone to sleep worrying, worrying that Laguna was still lying at the foot of the cliff, beautiful and dead, and when she woke up the sunlight was fingering in through the big windows that opened onto the balcony and the man in the bed was smiling at her, his shy kind smile that he only ever smiled when he thought no-one could see. He saw her looking and glanced away, pushing himself upright on his elbows and wincing with the effort of it. His dressings needed changing.
She had unwound the long bandage from around his chest, and was peeling away the pad when he had cried out, softly, and tightened his grip on her arm. Without thinking, she'd taken him in her arms, as though it was the most natural thing in the world, and there she was, holding him, making comforting noises into the cascade of his hair, pushing him gently back down into the pillows, kissing the startled protest off his lips, her fingers digging into his thigh as it spasmed.
Afterwards, they'd lain together dappled in the sunlight, listening to the quiet sounds of the little town outside the window. He'd opened his mouth once or twice, trying to speak, but each time the words had died on his lips and she'd watched him as he fell back to sleep, pale, still healing, tired by what they'd just done. She'd stayed by him, only meaning to watch him for a little while.
"Only a dream," Selphie groaned again, as another wave of nausea surged through her.