Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own anything related to the Final Fantasy series. It's all property of Squaresoft, or Sqare Enix if you prefer. So please, be kind and don't sue me
Important Note: I am yet again working on reposting this story. I found several mistakes in the first chapters, and some things I simply wasn't too happy with. I hope you can forgive the mayhem that this story will be until I actually manage to repost all the chapters I found to be erroneous. Unfortunately, I'm sure that there will still be plenty of mistakes to be found -- Blame it on English not being my first language if you're feeling kind, or blame it on me being a lazy bum and horrible speller if not.
Reposted chapters will be marked by two quotation marks ("). I know that reposting will go slow, but hopefully I'll be finished before the revelation of the very last chapter of "Let Me Make It Alright".
Now, on with the story!
Let Me Make It Alright
Chapter 12: "Old Debts To Pay"
By Angry Angel
Their flight on the Ragnarok airship had been a quiet one. Quistis had navigated, while Zell and Seifer had spent their time persistently ignoring each other. Mutely, the blonde instructor had thanked Hyne for Ragnarok's speed, because she had no desire whatsoever to watch the two men competitively death-glare each other any longer.
Finally landing at Balamb Garden, Quistis noticed how Seifer Almasy grew slightly more uneasy. He shifted around a lot, and when they left the ship, his eyes came alight with a distinct alert glow. The two SeeDs led him to the infirmary quick-paced, as they had arranged with the others. On their way, more than one student paused in shock and awe over the realization of whom Quistis and Zell were dragging along.
"Why are we going to the infirmary?" Seifer growled unnerved.
"You'll see," Quistis answered, without even acknowledging him with a single glance.
The brawny blonde narrowed his eyes at her dangerously, but Quistis was not the least bit impressed. She had her boyfriend Zell by her side, and even if she didn't, she knew that a quick Laser Eye would certainly slap Almasy back in his place.
As soon as they had ushered Seifer into Doctor Kadowaki's waiting room, the young man froze in untypical astonishment. He stood face-to-face with people he had figured (and hoped) he would never see again; Irvine Kinneas, the cowboy he had never really met ever since their childhood days, Selphie Tilmitt, the little messenger girl, Cid Kramer, his former school director, Edea Kramer, the woman whose body had controlled him for so long, and of course, Doctor Kadowaki, whose stern gaze snapped to his frame immediately after his entrance.
There was just one person missing...
"Seifer. We're glad to see you here."
With his hands locked behind his back, Cid stepped up to his former student, smiling in an almost fatherly manner. Seifer nodded semi-consciously, still taken aback by the large welcome committee.
"Right, right," the blonde grimaced. "But what am I doing here?"
Instead of answering, Cid pointed to one of the empty chairs in the room.
"Have a seat."
Scratching his head, Seifer didn't even think of objecting and let himself flop into the chair that Cid had pointed out to him. Slowly, the entire group gathered around him, finding seats on either chairs or tables.
"Alright, what the hell is going on?" Seifer now inquired more urgently.
"Seifer, we brought you here because we need your help."
Seifer's golden eyebrows slammed heavenwards at Cid Kramer's words. The oh-so-great SeeDs of Balamb Garden needed his help? The help of an outcast?
A smirk of satisfaction curled Seifer's lips.
'Now this oughta be good.'
He screened the faces of the people around him. Irvine and Zell looked rather vengeful, which was of course to be expected, whereas Quistis' expression was fairly neutral in nature. Selphie's face was radiating surprising warmth, as was Edea's. Cid still looked like a father figure, and Kadowaki could very well have been the mother-- okay, strict stocking wearing aunt more like it, he grinned to himself.
"My help, huh?" he finally said blithely. "What for?"
"Well, as you might have noticed, we're missing somebody important here," the director started.
Frowning, the blonde crossed his arms behind his neck, a motion he employed to appear nonchalant rather than to stretch his sore muscles. He dearly hoped that nobody would see through his act.
"Yeah. You're talking about Leonhart, I'm guessing," he shrugged. "What's up with the sourpuss, where is he?"
"Squall is sick. Very sick."
Seifer couldn't help but feel something twitch inside his chest at that grave comment, almost as if someone was trying to pinch his heart violently, making sure that it hurt.
"What do you mean, 'sick'?" he gulped dryly, now having distinctly more trouble to retain his mask of bored indifference.
"He's been suicidal for months. He's letting his body deteriorate. He doesn't eat, he doesn't drink. Two days ago, he almost got killed by a T-rex."
Suicidal, huh? Leonhart was a lot of things, but he sure as Hyne wasn't suicidal, or at least that was what Seifer tried to tell himself.
"Leonhart killed by a T-rex?" he snorted with deliberate and all too false glee. "He's a brat alright, but he's better than that."
"Well, that should tell you how bad his condition really is, Seifer. We've tried to break through to him, but there is just no way. He resents all of us and our attempts to help him."
"Uh, and what exactly do ya expect me to do? You are his friends or whatever, and he doesn't even like me."
"He respects you," Quistis suddenly cut in, "he always has."
"And?" he snapped back.
"Seifer, you're our last hope, okay?" she bristled, and he could see how her body was quivering just slightly under the burden of controlling her emotions. "We wouldn't have called you if we could have thought of a better way, rest assured of that!"
Slowly, Seifer's eyes narrowed to jade green slits.
"And just what makes you think that I would help him?"
She sat up very straight in her chair, the cobalt of her eyes having kindled with something that Seifer couldn't place his finger on. It was anger, perhaps, or something that was strangely close to finality. He couldn't quite decide.
"You owe him your life."
Her statement was simple, and it burnt deep inside Seifer's heart, causing every muscle in his body to clam up. He hated the mere concept of owing anything to anybody, let alone his life of all things. And still there she was, all strictness and uptightness, claiming that he owed his life to a boy he had defeated in combat so many times.
Worst of all, he knew she was right.
=To be continued!=
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