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 15: "A Box Of Memories"
By Angry Angel
Seifer Almasy had spent the following hour and a half sitting on the floor of his bedroom with all his clothes and accessories spread out in front of him. The blonde gunblader had never been the neatest person to walk the plains of Balamb, but he decided to go at least so far as to make vain attempts at folding his clothes and stuffing them into his dresser.
He was delighted to find his old and most favorite pair of boots, as well as a few necklaces, some ancient weapons magazines and a few gifts that he had received from Fujin and Raijin over the years. He gave a low chuckle at a horrible brown coat with yellowish fur lining that Fujin had presented him for Christmas one year, apparently in the firm belief that she had a good taste in men's clothes. He had actually put it on once, and even rigid Fu herself had laughed hysterically at the sight, though she had apologized later on.
'Just because puberty boy can waltz around in fur coats without looking ridiculous doesn't mean that I can.'
When his thoughts returned to Squall at last, he paused for a moment to decide whether it was wise to pull through with his plan or not. Granted, it wasn't like he had a whole lot else to do anyway, so there wasn't necessarily a good reason that spoke against it, except for his pride and the harm this plan could do to his reputation, perhaps. Then again, he didn't have much of a reputation to begin with anymore. People yelped and scrambled for shelter at his very sight, but that was just about it.
While he was still skimming through his last box absent-mindedly, his gaze suddenly connected with a thin, black hard-cover notebook. Very carefully as if not to break the memories that were safely entrapped inside the wilting pages of the book, Seifer reached inside the box and picked it up. He remembered strapping the two rubber bands around it to prevent things from falling out, and they were still snugly in place. Apparently, Squall wasn't exactly one to snoop through other people's private business, but Seifer had known that already.
The cover was worn and discolored in some places. With almost reverent gentleness, Seifer removed the cracking rubber bands and flipped the pages open. Immediately, a couple slips of thick paper escaped their year-long confinement and dropped into his lap.
He picked them up carefully and turned them over to look at them more closely. There weren't many, in fact there were no more than three, but he had held all of them sacred for as long as he could remember.
There was one that had been taken in Balamb by some odd photographer who had chatted up on Raijin and him, asking them to be her "strong helper boys." Needless to say, they had refused, but the rather pushy woman had insisted on taking a picture of the "gang" nonetheless. Thus, Fujin had been framed by her brawny male companions, all three of them posing against the background of Balamb's beautiful harbor scenery. Despite the weird circumstances, Seifer did like that photo a lot. They looked happy, careless somehow. Even Fujin was trying something that you could, with ample imagination, call a smile.
The following was a picture of his admittance ceremony into Garden. He was barely nine years old, with a rather headstrong and curious expression carved into his boyish features. Standing to his right was a much smaller boy with long, tousled brown hair and wide, fearful blue eyes. A soft smile curled Seifer's lips at the sight. It was seven year old Squall Leonhart, terribly whiny and already withdrawn, but sure as heck cute to boot.
They were younger in the third and last picture. It was Christmas Eve at the orphanage, and from what Seifer recalled he had been five years old back then. It had been a time during which everyone had fought over Ellone's attention – everyone except himself, for he had only truly cared for the attention of one short, scrawny brunette whose most favorite item of clothing had been a bright yellow sweatshirt that had been given to him by his "sis."
That evening, Seifer recalled, klutzy Zell had managed to burn himself on the candles of the Christmas tree, and of course he had ended up screaming and howling like the chicken wuss that he was. Little Quisty had scolded him sternly, her future career path as an instructor all too set, while a much younger Selphie had cried only because Zell had been doing the same. Auburn haired Irvine had mocked Zell for his clumsiness, but all of them had envied Zell for the attention his crying tantrum had gained him from Ellone and Matron.
Yeah, all of them – except for Seifer himself. He had watched the scene quietly until noticing Squall how he had been sitting on a table, glaring at Zell for taking up Ellone's attention. Of course, he had teased the brunette as usual, if only to make Squall's sadness turn into anger. He had done so frequently over the years, never having been able to cope with Squall being in any form of emotional distress. It had worked well that night, too, and without them noticing, Selphie had snuck up on them with Matron's camera and taken a blurry picture of Seifer poking his finger into a furiously blushing brunette's chest.
Seifer continued holding on to the pictures in his hands for a very long time, emerald eyes fixed sternly upon the two little boys that had grown to become rivals and enemies. That had grown to become the sorceress knight outcast and the much praised savior of the planet. Yet, while the outcast was still standing proud and unyielding against the insults that would so frequently wash over him, something had cracked Squall's spirit and left him stray and far out of reach of everyone that had cared for him at one point or another.
Finally, that thought struck Seifer, and it struck him hard at that. He was probably the only one who would be remotely able to turn Squall's life around and drag him out of this black-drenched pool of misery that was his current state of mind. Naturally, Seifer was perfectly aware of the fact that the brunette would rather drop dead on the spot than admit into needing anyone's help, but he considered this task worth tackling nonetheless. Seifer didn't have much of a purpose in life anymore ever since his romantic dream had been so cruelly twisted, but he realized that for once, he was the only person capable of helping another – the only one who could help Squall Leonhart. This time around there was no Matron, no Ellone, not even dear old friends.
This time there was only Seifer, and he'd be damned to hell and back before he'd pass that chance.
=To be continued!=
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