Dedicated to: Reia.
Disclaimers: I don't own FF8, FF7 or any of the characters portrayed in this fic.
Don't Make Him Cry
Chapter Six - We don't want him!
"I feel.... like I've just been run over by a wild herd of chocobo's." Rufus groaned as he cracked his eyes open.
"Do chocobo's travel in herds?" Elena asked Reno, the bleached blonde in her coming to a forefront.
Reno just shrugged, a little smirk curving his lips. "Looks like you made yourself a friend." He commented.
"Huh?" Rufus rubbed the back of his head and sat up. He glanced down at Seifer's prone body. "He's just a new recruit.."
"No. Not him." Reno shook his head, pointing to the creature behind Rufus, "HIM."
Rufus turned, looking straight into that disformed human head. He caught his breath as the creature smiled at him and reached up with one of it's twiggy hands to touch his face. "Uh... yeah." Rufus stuttered, trying hard not to jerk away from that touch. He dimly remembered that this creature had saved Seifer by casting a bolt spell. /Not all bad./ He found himself thinking.
Reno was snickering as Rufus got to his feet. "Got some strange taste in friends there Shinra."
"Don't call me that." Rufus hissed, glowering at Reno. He brushed the dust off his pants. He ran a hand through his hair and looked down at Seifer.
He had walked across the clearing after seeing the creature save Seifer. He'd asked Seifer if he was okay and then... and then.. he couldn't remember. There was a big gaping hole where a memory should be. /What happened between then and now?/
"What happened here?" Tseng asked.
"Bees?" Elena's eyes grew wide, "God! I knew I hated insects but I had no IDEA!"
"Buzzy bees Elena!" Reno snapped, lightly hitting her arm. "Have you been sniffing Rude's underwear again?"
Elena turned a bright shade of red. "NO WAY!"
"That's enough you two." Tseng said sharply.
The two were immediately quiet. Even now, with the Turks not existing anymore they saw him as their undisputed leader. Rufus prodded Seifer's side with his boot. In truth he wanted to lean down and check the man's pulse but he resisted the urge. /No weakness... don't let them see any weakness./
Seifer moaned softly.
And then something very strange happened... he began to glow. Much like one did when summoning. Rufus stepped back, as did Reno and Elena. The creature let out a little squeak, it tried to move away, but it had been injured during the fight. It lay there, struggling, as the glow from Seifer's body increased. The strange light touched the creautre, running up it's limbs.
Covering it's body.
There was a high pitched scream, and then.. with a snap, the creature disappeared.
Zell was a heavy sleeper. He could sleep through pretty much anything. But, when a high-pitched scream filled his room, he woke up. He sat up, eyes huge, and then he was the one doing the screaming.
Resting in the center of the room was the strangest, ugliest thing he'd ever seen in his entire life. It was huge. It filled half his room. It looked like a spider and he really hated spiders.
Screaming he rolled off his bed and made a bee-line for the door. The creature's screams mingled with his own as he burst into the hall. "SQUALL YOU'RE TAKING THAT FUCKING GUNBLADE OUT OF MY ROOM NOW!!!" Zell howled at the top of his lungs as he ran as fast as he could towards Squall's room.
He was so warm. Warm... safe... content... He didn't want to wake up. He resisted the pull of awareness. He could hear the voices calling him. He ignored them. His eyes fluttered and opened without his permission. He gazed at the room with a little confusion. It looked like... Zell's room?
He blinked, and the illusion was gone. He found himself lying on the cold ground, his face was wet. From blood, he remembered. The warmth slowly ebbed away. He moaned softly, protesting. He didn't want it to leave. He'd never felt so good. But as all good things must do, the warmth died completely and he was left shivering on the cold, hard ground.
With a little sigh he sat up. "What was that?" Elena gasped.
Seifer stared at the newcomers. They weren't in Avalanche army uniform so he could only assume they were civilians. His eyes strayed to Rufus who was gazing at him with a strange expression on his face. /What happened? Why do they look at me like that?/ He wondered.
His head... ached. He reached up with shaking fingers and rubbed his temples. /What's wrong with me? Why am I so.. so weak?/
"No time for idle chit chat." Tseng waved a hand at Elena, she recognized it as a sign to shut her mouth, so she did. "Rufus, this area is extremely dangerous."
"Oh really? I hadn't noticed." Rufus replied sarcastically.
"We're heading south east. If you'd like... you may join us."
"Oh we may, may we?"
Tseng shook his head, "Your sarcasm will get you in trouble one day Rufus Shinra."
"Don't call me that." Rufus hissed, glancing quickly at Seifer.
Seifer carefully got to his feet, pretending not to hear. /Rufus Shinra?/ He wondered, /So Ruf Ra is just an alias./ He brushed at his pants with a little sigh. /I feel ... strange... almost like../ He shook his head sharply, dispelling the thought. /No.. that's stupid. Couldn't happen./
"Will you come?"
Rufus glanced at Seifer, "What do you think?"
"Who are they?" Seifer asked quietly, feeling strangely subdued. He rubbed his aching temples again. /What... is wrong with me?/
"Part of Avalanche." Rufus responded shortly. "Reno, Elena, Rude and Tseng."
Seifer shrugged, "What are you doing?" He looked at Tseng, meeting those black eyes with more than a little foreboding.
"Like I said previously, searching for new forms of Tsui's creations. We're to study them, find their weakness' and their strengths." Tseng said.
"He makes it sound so easy." Reno sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Doesn't he though?" Elena perked up, a smile spreading across her face, "Oh we just find their weaknesses and strengths. It's sooo simple really. I don't know why they burden us with such simple tasks." She said in a sarcastic tone.
Tseng looked at her scathingly and she shut her mouth with a snap. "We'll go with you." Rufus said shortly, not bothering to give Seifer a chance to speak.
Seifer glanced at him, but didn't protest. In all honesty he was interested in learning more about these people and these creatures. Something brushed his skin and he shivered. Looking up he rubbed his arms and frowned.
/What is this... I'm feeling?/
"So, you're saying this... thing, just appeared in your room?" Quistis glanced past Zell to the door to his room, which was open and revealed the strange spider creature. The creature had stopped screaming upon her arrival. It kept staring at her with wide, glowing eyes.
It was unnerving.
"That's right!" Zell cried, he paced behind Squall, glancing into his room every few minutes and shuddering.
"Well, it can't have just appeared!" Selphie argued, placing her hands on her hips, "Something, or someone must have brought it here."
"IT CAME FROM THAT GODDAMN GUNBLADE!" Zell suddenly screamed. He stormed up to Squall and stood on his tiptoes so he could glower into Squall's impassive blue eyes, "YOU GET THAT THING OUT OF MY ROOM!"
"The creature came from the gunblade?" Quistis asked, her voice a bit sharper than she'd intended it to be.
Zell glowered at Squall for a few more seconds, then with a sigh he rocked back on his heels and turned to Quistis. He shrugged, "I think so... It kind of... Well it seemed to."
Quistis closed her eyes, her mind whirling. Irvine gently placed his hand on her elbow, "What is it Quis?"
"What if..." Quistis opened her eyes and looked at Irvine with troubled eyes, "Somehow the gunblade and the GF are related to his disappearance."
"That doesn't make sense. Squall uses GF and a gunblade and he's never just gone POOF!" Selphie shook her head vehemently.
"Then Seifer must have done something different...and we have to figure out what if we want to get him back." Quistis' jaw hardened just a bit as she raised her chin.
Zell snorted rudely and crossed his arms, "We don't want him back."
"ZELL!" Selphie cried, "That's cruel!"
"He's right." Squall said, his tone completely neutral, "Some of us don't want him back... but Rinoa does." He met Quistis' gaze, "So I'll help you however I can."
Quistis closed her eyes again, /And just how did I end up being the brains of this operation?/ she wondered with a little sigh.
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