This is it! It's finally over! The last part to Illusion!! :D
Please let me know what you think and check out my website. www.angelfire.com/darkside/sodoshiin. Thanks to all of you who kept in touch through e-mails and by posting!!
"Where are they..." Kiros whispered, looking towards the sky for the familiar red dot to return.
"They'll be in sight in a few minutes, Kiros, relax." Nida assured him.
"There they are!!!!" Selphie shouted from high on the balcony of the Garden.
All eyes turned to the sky.
Kiros' face noticeably relaxed but remained stern. "I swear if they hurt one hair on his head..."
The Ragnarok hovered in the air for a second before lowering onto its platform, kicking dust in a large ring around it.
Kiros and Nida ran forward.
They stood, as close as they could get as the cargo doors opened.
He was there, dirty and disheveled, but alright. He looked slightly thinner, tired, hungry...
And Kiros was running toward him.
Laguna was pushed back a few feet as the tall man embraced him tightly.
"God, I thought I lost you..." Kiros whispered, fighting tears that stung his eyes.
"I love you, Kiros..."
"I love you too..."
Laguna didn't let go. "They have my son..."
The black man pulled back. "What?!"
"They got them both." Quistis spat as she stormed out of the ship. "I want a full SeeD assault team here and ready to go after them in five minutes."
"No!" Laguna shouted. "If they see an attack coming, Kay will kill them. We need to plan. Kay won't do anything right away."
"We'll get them back." Kiros nodded. "And then that bastard will pay."
Seifer sat hunched against the cell wall, his eyes aimed at the floor. The small room was dark, quiet. He couldn't see or hear anyone else, but he knew there was another, close by. They'd been sitting there for hours after being dragged around the large compound, thrown roughly into the cell...
Squall hadn't said a word. Seifer hadn't bothered to start a conversation.
It just seemed too painful for both of them.
But Seifer didn't know how much time they had left before Kay decided to separate them...
"Tell me he was lying... please... please just tell me it's not true..." Squall's voice was just above a whisper. Seifer had to strain to hear him. The pain in his voice was evident, almost painful to hear.
"He wasn't lying... They planted me in Esthar knowing somehow you'd find me..."
There was another moment of silence.
"Then none of it was real... you never really cared about me..."
After a few more seconds there was a quiet, ragged intake of breath.
"You can't just implant emotions into people!" Squall's voice shook, a clear indication that there were tears.
"Squall, please..." Seifer closed his own eyes, fighting off the sudden stinging sensation that brought on water that blinded him. "The stone was used as a triggering device, to make me remember. It's like...you hear a song and you can remember the first time you heard it, even if it's been years since you thought about it. All he said was true. He brainwashed me..."
"He's LYING!!" Squall sobbed. "I love you, I know you love me!" He got quiet. "You're the greatest thing that's ever happened to me...It wasn't a lie..."
Seifer bit his lip violently to keep it from trembling so much. "Squall...whether these feelings were implanted or not, it doesn't matter." He heard no response so he ventured out into the darkness of the cell, crawling until he felt the warmth of a body.
He felt relief that he knew could never be fake and moved closer to Squall, wrapping his arms around him. "I still love you and nothing's going to change that. It's all real to me. We're going to get married. We'll move someplace, away from people. Just you and me. That's all I want."
"I love you." Squall whispered softly, burying his face into Seifer's chest
"I love you too...God I love you so much..." Seifer let the tears fall freely as he squeezed Squall tightly to him.
"Alright loverboys, up and at em." A harsh voice called through darkness.
Seifer and Squall were instantly alert as two large men strided into the small room.
Seifer stood protectively in front of the brunet. "You can't have him. Tell Kay he's mine."
The man in the doorway smirked coldly. "Oh, it's not him we were told to collect."
"Seifer!!" Squall cried as one of the men grabbed the blond and threw him into the open doorway. The other pulled the brunet back against the wall and pinned him there while the other two held sturdily onto the other.
"Don't worry, we're going to take good care of your boyfriend." the man told Squall, his rancid breath almost causing the smaller man to gag.
"Get AWAY from him!" Seifer struggled in his binds, glaring murderously into the cell.
The man laughed and pulled from the brunet.
Squall ran to the bars of the cell just as the door closed. "SEIFER!!"
"I love you!" The shout echoed through the hall even as the group disappeared.
Tears streamed down Squall's face again as he tore at the door, trying to pull it from its hinges. He prayed that he might suddenly get the strength to do so, but it never came.
They were gone.
"Please God no..." He sobbed, sliding down the cell door into a small crumpled heap on the floor.
He was alone.
Quistis paced back and forth in her office with Laguna, Kiros, Selphie, Irvine, Zell and Fujin standing nearby. It had taken a few hours for the Garden to get off high alert. I had taken another few hours to get them all collected here. Selphie and Irvine had to be updated. Laguna had visited the Infirmary, much against his will. Quistis had been working on suitable plans of attack.
So far they didn't have much of anything.
Laguna sat hunched in a leather chair, his hands on his lap, looking down at his knees. Kiros had a hand perched on one of his legs and was leaning close, making sure his presence was known, and comforting to the other man.
"We can't let him have my son..." Laguna whispered. "There has to be something we can do..."
"Until we know what we're dealing with there's not point on attacking." Quistis sighed.
"We don't even know where to look." Zell added.
"Well, we know where their territories are." Fujin said. "They'd have to be holed up somewhere within those."
"They could take days to search." Quistis shook her head.
"And Kay would have thought of that." Kiros sighed. "Besides, we'd have to be more discreet. If Kay knew we were looking for him, or if we were close they might kill Squall and Seifer."
"They might kill them anyway if we don't hurry." Zell growled. "We have to get them out of there."
"And with Squall's past record with Kay we should do it quickly..." Quistis sighed. "There's not telling what that lunatic might try."
"Past record." Laguna sat straight up. "What are you talking about?"
The woman looked at her hands. "When Squall was five Kay...raped him..."
The room was quiet.
Zell blinked repeatedly. "Y-you're kidding..."
Quistis shook her head. "Seifer saw it all. Squall has scars on his back from it. If Kay recognizes him..."
"I'll kill him!" Laguna stood, his fists clenched tightly, his face red in fiery anger, his eyes blazing. "That bastard is going to die no matter what it takes! NO ONE HURTS MY SON!!!"
The door opened and Nida strided in, heading right for Quistis' desk.
"Nida? What are you doing?" Quistis asked as the black haired man hopped into her chair and began typing at her computer.
"Well," he started. "remember when I gave Squall and Seifer their dejunction rounds?"
"Uh huh." Quistis nodded, her eyes blinking.
"I also added something else." He grinned broadly as he moved to let her see the screen. A green dot blinked on the world map.
Zell made a face. "Hawhaa?"
Quistis was laughing. "I forget it's chemical name but it's a hormone in most organisms bodies. It's what allows us to use scan on them."
"It's harmless, but if you pump enough in you can find them anywhere." Nida added.
"You mean, it's like a tracking device." Fujin gaped.
"Exactly." Nida replied. He pointed to the screen. "They're still together in the same area. Still Centra Island."
"The Tonberrys also could keep unwanted guests out..." Fujin reasoned.
"Done, then." Quistis told them. "Set up a team. We're getting our boys out of there." She turned to Laguna. "With your permission sir."
Laguna's face turned to stone. "Get my son out of there and shut that bastard down."
Quistis nodded." YES sir."
Squall didn't know how long he lay there. Hours upon hours upon hours...alone. Guards wandered in and out, checking to make sure he was still there, still alive. He lay in the same position he had for all those hours, curled up along the wall, his back to the door.
As much time as a day might have passed before the cell door opened again.
Squall looked briefly over his shoulder at the guard that stood there before facing back toward the wall again without a word. Seconds later he was being dragged onto his feet.
He knew he was out of the cell when a blinding, painful flash of light hit him. It might had been as dim as a candle for all he knew, but his eyes burned.
Torture time probably.
For what, he didn't know. They had all they wanted.
Maybe they didn't need a reason.
His head was spinning.
He wanted to go back to the cell. He wanted to be swallowed back into the dark. He wanted them to forget about him so he could die. He wanted to be with Seifer again, who was probably hours long since dead...
He was dragged for a long time. Or maybe it wasn't a long time. He couldn't tell. He just knew when it ended.
He was dropped heavily, his chin connecting with the cold, hard floor.
A door closed behind him.
He lay there, silent and still for a few moments before pushing himself up onto his hands.
A new cell?
No, it was much too large.
It was more like the size of the Quad, colored similarly too. It seemed to be a ballroom in a great castle.
He looked down and could see his own tired, worn reflection in the marble floor. The floor was in perfect condition, it was the person whom owned the reflection who looked weary.
He heard doors on the opposite end of the hall open and looked up.
A tall figure was striding toward him, a long black jacket swaying behind him. Boots clicked off the floor in a steady rhythm as long, black pant clad legs strided toward him over the long expanse of the room.
Squall's eyes widened with relief and confusion.
Squall started to get up, swaying lightly on his tired legs.
A slight, grateful smile crossed his features, which most lightly resembled a grimace as he straightened himself.
Seifer was alive, Seifer was alright. Squall wanted to rush into the blonde's arms and hang there for days, forever, but the pain in his body kept him in place.
"Seifer, I thought they-"
A fist slammed across his face sending his body reeling across the floor.
Squall landed on his side, the wind knocked out of him.
But that didn't stop his attacker.
The boots moved forward again, toward him.
The brunet cried out in pain as one connected just under his ribs. Again and again the foot flew, doing its damage. Squall lay there, silent in shock as the beatings continued.
"That's enough Seifer." A voice called out.
The form above him grunted and continued to kick.
The assault stopped for a brief second before Squall was dragged to his feet by his hair.
Seifer was moving away, toward a small group of others who had just entered the room.
Squall sagged slightly in the grip of the guards that held him as Kay approached.
The man traced a finger alongside Squall's bleeding face and let out a sigh. "I told you not to scar him."
"Those won't scar." Seifer replied, cold and even.
Squall watched him, still shocked, confused and hurt by this sudden betrayal. Was this part of some plan that Seifer had? No, the look in those cold eyes was real.
Hatred. Pure and true.
"You look a little lost." Kay told the brunet, patting his cheek lightly.
"Seifer?" Squall watched the blond as he began wiping the blood off one boot. Malicious green eyes glared at him.
"As you can see, we've returned the true Seifer Almasy to us." Kay explained. "It was only a matter of erasing the false emotions...and all the memories that went along with them." He turned back to Seifer. "Not that you would miss them."
Seifer tossed the bloody rag he'd used to clean his boot at one of the guards. "Don't imagine I would. Now when am I getting paid?"
"As soon as we have our territories safely back in our possession. I have men on their way as we speak." Kay replied. "Don't worry, your services proved both useful and entertaining. Expect a bonus."
Seifer grinned coldly.
Squall's eyes were aimed at the floor, wide open and unseeing.
Seifer saw a single tear escape to the floor and scoffed. "Leonhart's cryin'?"
"Long story." Kay sighed, shaking his head shamefully at the brunet. "Wouldn't want to bore you with it."
"Why..." Squall whispered.
"To whom are you referring?" Kay asked. He looked to Seifer. "I believe that was meant for you, my dear boy." He patted Seifer on the shoulder. "Well, I'll leave you to it." He motioned to the guards. "Alright. We have work to do."
Squall glanced up once to see the group leaving. A few seconds later he was alone with Seifer, standing on his own wobbly legs, body bleeding.
Seifer eyed him. "Look at you. You're pathetic."
Squall closed his eyes. "Why...why did you do this..."
"Why?" Seifer glared at the brunet's bent head. "What did I have to lose? I would have given ANYthing to pay you back for what you did! You ruined my life! And to top it off you came out looking like a prince! You were the big hero! Because of you and your little Scooby gang I was stuck shoveling shit jobs and getting kicked in the ass by every nobody whoever heard the name Seifer Almasy! I was on the bottom and you had EVERYTHING! A father, friends, a girlfriend! You had a home and people patting you on the back all the time treating you like you were the greatest thing with a dick!"
Squall closed his eyes, swallowing even though it was horribly painful.
Seifer folded his arms over his chest. "So it looks like you're finally on the losing side. I'm gonna win this time Leonhart. I'm not too sure if you'll be around to see it though."
Squall closed his eyes. "Don't let them hurt my father..."
"If I were you'd I'd be more worried about what they're gonna do to YOU."
"Don't you get it?" Squall replied quietly. "You've done your job, they'll probably kill you now..."
Seifer huffed. "What the hell would YOU know?"
Gray eyes closed again and Squall sagged to the floor.
"Hey! Did I say you could rest?! Get up!" A hand flew again, knocking the brunet head to the side. Squall made no move comply. "I said get up!"
The hand flew again and again. Squall just lay there for a moment before grabbing it and glaring menacingly.
"Don't touch me...you don't have any right anymore..."
The blonde laughed coldly. "Aw, what are you going to do about it?"
Squall turned his head away, biting his lip. "You're not him..."
"Get the hell out of here." Seifer spat, turning heel and walking away.
"How long do we have until his programming starts to fail?" Kay asked, leaning over the desk in the dimly lit room as the doctor looked over his readings.
"I'd say at least six months." the other man replied. "More than enough time for us to get our lands back."
"Good." Kay nodded. "One last thing I have to worry about." He straightened and walked to the metal bed in the center of the large room, his hand tracing over the large machine next to it.
It looked like a torture device, needles splayed along one side, a series of command screens and configured buttons.
In a way it was.
"You really have a way with your work doctor." Kay smiled coldly. "But tell me, could you do the same to the young Leonhart that you did to the sorceress knight?"
"Make him your slave?" The doctor thought. "Of course."
"No, more than a slave." Kay closed his eyes, licking his lips. "I want him to be whatever I want him to be. Make him mine..."
The doctor blinked. "As you wish, sir."
"Good." Kay replied, his robed shifting as he exited. "I'll have him to you by nightfall. I want him in my chambers by morning, willing and completely submissive to me."
"As you wish, sir."
Kay left, the door swinging behind him.
"That man is a lunatic..." the doctor sighed. "A pervert and a lunatic."
Seifer knocked on the door again, huffing impatiently. After three minutes of standing behind the heavy wooden doors he opened them and entered into Kay's quarters. The room was a mess, like it always was.
The chancellor was nowhere to be seen.
Seifer folded his arms over his chest and made a face.
"How the hell am I supposed to get paid if the guy's never around when you need him?" Seifer asked aloud.
While he wasn't ready to leave just yet, Squall had made a little bit of sense. They didn't need him anymore, it was best to take and split soon.
"Well, maybe he has a safe around here somewhere..." Seifer looked over his shoulder, closing the door behind him and began to hunt around.
The desk drawers held nothing but papers.
He looked through the nooks of the vid system, scanning around. He searched for hidden compartments, knocking lightly on the wood.
When he bumped into the desk.
Everything on the piece of furniture wavered dangerously.
He caught the desk lamp just before it hit the ground, his elbow smacking into the vid system.
The main screen on the wall instantly turned on.
Green eyes went wide, skin paling.
The lamp fell out of his hands and crashed to the floor.
It was him and Squall on a large bed, in a nice looking room.
Seifer felt a flush creep into his cheeks and hunted around for a way to turn it off. Kay had said he and Squall had gotten close during the time he's been brainwashed, but he never said HOW close.
Well, at least I'm on top...
He blushed even redder as the sounds escalated. The Seifer on screen was moving faster, Squall's arms gripping onto him.
It was disgusting.
Seifer made a noise, pushing things aside. He had to get the remote and turn the screen off before-
Both the young men on the screen cried out loudly.
Seifer looked back just in time to see the two finish, panting loudly.
He rolled his eyes and folded his arms over his chest as the couple on screen moved to lay beside one another. He began hunting back around on the desk, muttering to himself.
"Ah hah!" Seifer let out a victorious sound and swirled around, the remote in hand, his finger ready to press the power button.
"I love you..."
He pressed a button and the vid moved back a few frames.
"I love you..."
"I love you..."
Each and every time it said the same thing. Squall's mouth never faltered with the words.
"I love you..."
"I love you..."
"I love you..."
"Huh..." Seifer huffed. "I get it now."
"I love you too..." Came the reply, from a voice that was his, but wasn't, from a mouth that belonged to him, but he couldn't remember controlling.
He watched them for a moment as they feel asleep in each other's arms.
Seifer laughed coldly. "Man, you were a fool Squallyboy."
He turned the screen off and looked back to the vid system, opening the drive and taking the disc out. There was a case and three other discs nearby. He grabbed them all and headed out of the room, leaving the mess behind. He tossed the discs into the first garbage can he could find and headed down the hallway.
"Seifer!" Came a loud whisper.
Zell and Quistis were running towards him down the hallway.
"Well well well..." he muttered, a slow grin starting to spread on his face. "How nice to see you."
My eyebrows furrowed and I rolled over, away from the door, half-asleep.
"Come on Leonhart, get up..." the voice whispered again. "We don't have much time."
I opened my eyes and looked over my shoulder.
A man stood outside the door of my cell, fumbling with the lock.
The cowboy grinned at me.
The door swung open.
"What the hell are you doing here?" I whispered weakly.
"No time, come on get up." He told me, bending over me.
I gasped in pain as he tried pulling me up into a sitting position.
"Man, what the hell happened to you?"
"Yeah, we have our people lookin' for him too." he told me, pulling my arm over his shoulders as he braced me up.
"No...Seifer did it..."
Irvine stopped for a moment. "HE did this to you?"
"None of it was real." I muttered, my voice sounding small to even my own ears. "He was working for Kay all along..."
"We're getting out of here." Irvine told me, his voice sounding angry, but still quiet. "We have to get you into a transport." He moved out into the hallway carefully, looking around for the enemy, his hand bracing his shotgun.
"How did you find us?"
"Nida. I'll explain later OH SHIT!!" He threw us around a corner as gunfire showered upon us.
"Don't let them out!!" a voice shouted. "Close all the exits!!"
He began shooting around the corner and I pulled the small hand revolver from the back of his pants, cocking it.
I almost died when I felt someone come up behind me.
"How did they know we were here?!" Selphie shrieked.
"Zell and Fujin must have run into some trouble." Irvine shouted as he reloaded. "Seifer switched sides."
Selphie's face gaped. "No..." She looked to me. "Are you sure?"
I couldn't answer. I didn't want to..
I didn't want to believe that the thing I loved most in the world had betrayed me..
"He's not the person he was..." was all I could manage. "Kay did something to him..."
"Irvine we're getting out now!!!" I could hear Quistis shouting, suddenly she appeared in the hallway across from us with Zell and Fujin.
"Look out!!!!" Fujin yelled.
Irvine grabbed me and began running. I realized at the last moment that Seifer had been walking down the hallway towards us.
It was a nightmare from my past. Us against him.
There was an explosion and the wall before us seemed to open from the outside.
A large dust cloud covered us all.
I heard shouts.
Orders being screamed.
SeeDs poured in.
Somewhere in the confusion I was pulled away from Irvine and lost in the smoke and debris.
I saw Seifer fighting off a group of SeeDs without a weapon. His face was a mask of anger.
I didn't even recognize him anymore.
"Like what I did to your boyfriend?" A loud whisper called into my ear.
I tried to scream for help, but there was too much smoke in my mouth, my throat was so dry. His arm went over my neck from behind, pulling me against him and backwards.
I was being pulled away from the cloud my friends were caught in. The SeeDs were running down the hallway towards us, armed and ready.
I heard shots and realized Kay had a gun and was firing.
He was using me to shield his escape.
"It wasn't hard." he told me as he shot. "All I had to do was overlap previous programming with a new one. And now he's my slave."
He shot again. The SeeDs were shouting at him but not firing.
I was in the way.
"In the end, one way or another, I always win." He hissed with glee. We turned another hallway and the SeeDs disappeared. It was dark here, the light from the other hallway bleeding away. "I should have let him kill you. I bet you would have let him. Even if you figure out how to reverse the programming he won't be yours. And even if you had kept him under his previous programming it would have faded soon anyway. Either way you LOSE!"
"No, YOU lose." A voice called. I could feel Kay's head turn.
I could feel his face fly back.
Someone had hit him.
His arms went limp around me and he fell to the floor reeling in pain.
I braced myself against the wall, watching in the dim light as my father aimed his small handgun down at the man. His eyes had turned to slits.
"You alright?" he asked me without looking at me.
"I'm...alive..." I replied. That wasn't completely true.
I was numb, with fear, with hurt, with loneliness, with sadness.
My dad amazed me sometimes. Just when I thought I knew him, here he was, looking at this man on the floor with such pure hatred...
"No one hurts my son..." he whispered.
I closed my eyes as he fired.
And then it was over.
I watched from a distance as they loaded Seifer into the Ragnarok, unconscious. It had taken a while but he'd finally fallen.
They'd almost killed him, but luckily we'd gotten there in time. My father and I...
I was glad he was alive. And he was going to be okay.
My father knew what to do, he'd heard everything.
Remove the programming.
All of it.
Which left me alone again.
Only this time it was worse.
Fujin stood beside me as we watched more people being loaded into transports. The followers of the Magi.
"You're leaving aren't you..."
It was more of a statement than a question.
"What makes you say that?" I asked, looking briefly at her.
"I can tell when people plan on going away for a while. They get this look on their face. Seifer had the same one when he left us." She told me. "So you ARE going?"
I merely nodded.
I didn't look at her. I didn't want her to see the pain, the hopeless sorrow in my eyes. I was dying. "I'd rather not say. The point of going away so no one can find you is so no one can find you."
"Does your father know?"
"What if we need you?" She was looking down at her feet.
I closed my eyes.
"Do you want me to tell him anything?"
I sighed. "Tell him and Sis that I love them..."
"I meant Seifer..." her voice cracked a little.
I looked at her for a moment, then at the Ragnarok.
"So...he's completely void of all the emotion implants? All of them?" Quistis asked, her arms folded over her chest. The hospital in Esthar was bright, everything the same horrible off blue color. It was too lighted to be a place where people died every day, where lives here destroyed.
And lives could be destroyed in so many ways.
"Every single last one." The doctor told her, looking at his clipboard. "The memories, if there ARE any, will be hazy. He'll probably think he dreamed them. He'll forget in time."
"He'll be different...He'll probably be the old Seifer again..." Zell muttered. "He calls me chickenwuss and we'll know..."
"No, the Seifer he was before Kay nabbed him..." Fujin sighed. "I wonder what he'll be like...I mean, the Seifer after the Time Compression wasn't so bad..."
"But at least it will be him." Kiros added. "If you love him that much you'll have to accept him as the REAL Seifer."
It was a few seconds before Fujin nodded.
"The implants were made to wear off sooner or later anyway.." Laguna added. "Can we see him?"
The doctor nodded leading the way into the room.
They headed into the room and watched as the unconscious Seifer drifted on in sleep, oblivious to all around him.
"Kiros?" Laguna called, sliding his hand into his lover's.
"Do you think Squall will ever come back?"
Kiros sighed, looking at the dark haired man. He wanted to say yes, he wanted to believe Squall would. But deep down he knew that it was futile to wish. Futile to hope. "I don't know...The person he loved is gone forever now. He needs some time... When he's ready, maybe he'll come back."
"I hope you're right..." Quistis sighed and looked out the window, her eyes starting to sting.
It had begun to rain.
Squall looked up at the hospital, small droplets of water bouncing off him, beginning to soak into his clothes and hair. He fought the urge to cry. There'd be time for that later. Right now he was glad. His father was safe. Seifer was safe, even if it wasn't HIS Seifer. His friends would take care of him, help him get better no matter how much he fussed. But it was wrong for Squall to stay. Seifer would need time and space and after all that had happened he owed the blonde that much.
He sighed looking farther up, closing his eyes, letting the water his face.
At least he'd have his memories.
"Sir?" The man from the cab called as he pulled an umbrella over him. "Are you ready?"
Squall nodded and turned, what belongings he found most necessary and dear stuffed into two duffle bags in the trunk of the vehicle.
He opened the door to the back of the cab, casting one last glance at the hospital.
Then he slid in and shut the door, leaving those most precious to him behind.
Don't hate me yet. Look for the next story "Reflections" which should be out soon. I've already started writing it. Actually, even before this one was finished ^-^'. It will be much shorter and hopefully after reading it you won't hate me as much. It'll be the Epilogue/Sequel to Illusion. Thanks to all of you who stuck around this long. Happy yaoi obsessing! Check out my site from time to time for updates on what I'm working on or what I'm up to. It's at www.angelfire.com/darkside/sodoshiin It's going to be moving to my friend's site soon, but for now it will stay there. I'll keep you posted when it moves. I really like to hear from readers and would enjoy it if you either e-mailed me or posted on my livejournal (url on my site). Let me know what you think. :D
Return to Archive | previous | sequel