Locked In Time

Chapter 1

By Alexis Logain

"So...uh...where are we supposed to be going?" Squall asked quietly while he wandered the desert. It was well after noon and he was roasting - his typical outfit of black leather pants, white shirt, and heavy bomber jacket keeping him well insulated. Seifer seemed to be in worse condition, having traded in his grey trenchcoat for a heavy black leather one. However, he had enough sense to take the damned thing off to at least try to stay cool.

"I'm not sure where we're supposed to be going, but I sure as hell hope we get there fuckin' soon because I am fuckin' roasting out here," Seifer grumbled. "Damned desert. Damned jacket. Damned lack of water. I wanna be back home and in bed."

"Yeah, I'd like to be sleeping too," Garnet commented. Seifer grinned.

"Sleep...yes...want to be home, in bed. Sleeping. " Garnet blinked, not understanding the inuendo that Seifer was portraying. Squall just rolled his eyes.

"You know, all that energy you waste thinking about sex could really be put to a good use right now," he commented.

"How? By orchestrating an orgy? You know, that'd be a good ice breaker."

"I knew a man once named Rufus. You remind me of him a great deal," Cloud commented, changing the subject. "He's just as insane and just as much a pain in the ass. If you had a gray jacket, I'd say the two of you would be twins. Of course, since you're an ally, you'd be the Good Twin."

"Oh dear Hyne. If Seifer's the good twin, I'd hate to see the evil one," Squall muttered, leaving out the fact that Seifer used to wear a gray jacket. Religiously.

"Bitch bitch bitch - that's all you ever do," Seifer grumbled. He then continued with a high-pitched imitation of Squall's voice, "Seifer, stop trying to kill me. Seifer, stop trying to take over the world. Seifer, stop acting like a dumb-shit - it wasn't your fault you got brainfucked by a psycho bitch. Seifer, stop leaving your socks in the bathroom. Seifer, stop putting your red boxers in with my whites. Seifer, stop this, don't do that, don't put it there, wah wah wah." Squall rolled his eyes, shoving at Seifer playfully.

"...Whatever," he grinned.

"Wait...so...are you two..." Garnet paused, thinking. "Like...uh, well, like...gay?" Squal and Seifer stopped walking, blinking at her.

"You're just getting that now?" Seifer commented. He raised an eyebrow and sent Zidane a sympathetic look. He shrugged and grinned, wagging his eyebrows while his tail danced behind him.

"And...like...well...okay, you two are gay," Garnet repeated.

"Well, technically I'm bi-sexual, but that's only if you wanna get real, uh, well, technical," Seifer grinned.

"Riiiight. And you two are...gay...together?" she asked. Tifa moved from her spot next to Cloud and pulled Garnet aside.

"Okay, there are three basic patterns that have us all together. One, we've all saved our collective worlds somehow or another. Two, our worlds are all somewhat similar with similar things and magic and so on and so forth. Three, we're all couples. We stated this an hour ago, Garnet. Cloud and I are together, Seifer and Squall are together, and you and Zidane are together. Which, you'll have to tell me about that tail later."


"Ugh, never mind," Tifa grumbled and returned to Cloud's side. "Man, is she dense or what?" Cloud just snickered.

"Check it out - Chocobo tracks..." he commented, stopping the potential arguement over his girlfriend's comment. "At least...I think those are chocobo. Or maybe I'm just-"

"Dense?" Squall deadpanned. The two looked at each other and grinned identical grins.

"Stop that you two - it's creepy," Seifer shuddered. They both turned and looked at him, slender eyebrows raising over cynical eyes and pale mouths turning up in amusement.

"Sorry," they replied.

"Okay, enough Garnet-bashing," Zidane grumbled. "Yes, those are 'Bo tracks. Anyone here know how to catch a 'Bo?"



"Uh...those random grass things..." Zidane ignored his girlfriend's comment and Seifer's lecherous grin when he mentioned Choco-Boy, turning his gaze to Tifa, who held out a brilliant fushia stone.

"Shibby - what's that?" Squall asked.

"Materia. This is how we get our magic," Tifa explained. Squall nodded then closed his eyes, his lips moving soundlessly to words only he knew. Ice-cold power moved within his veins then exploded into a beautiful woman enclosed in a tomb of ice. Her eyes opened while the group faded slightly from veiw and then she moved, the ice breaking and the exhausted and over-heated group was showered in ice and water. Shiva, knowing her job was done, melted back into Squall's body, which was now several degrees cooler. As soon as the reigning Queen of Ice dissipated back into Squall's mind and body, a large dragon covered in thick red and green scales circled down, blaring fire out of it's nostrols. It had been distracted from its earlier flight when it had seen Shiva dancing in the desert and had taken all of a second to decide to have a nice supper.

The chosen six stood in a circle, surrounding their prey with eagerness while being careful to stay next to the one they came with. The large dragon lunged forward, causing Squall to stumble back in pain. Seifer, seeing this, quickly summoned his favorite GF - Bahamut - and felt the power coursing through his veins. Tifa tossed a Cure2 onto Squall while Cloud and Zidane both hacked at the monstrous beast with their weapons. Garnet watched, in awe as her body tingled, while her allies faded from view and Seifer's summon dove through the clouds. The large GF, similar to her Bahamut in many ways, was big and powerful - much more so than her summons. It spat flames at the dragon then dissipated back into Seifer's skin, bringing them all forth once again. Cloud reached his limit at nearly the same moment and attacked the beast with an exuberant Omnislash. When the beastly dragon had fallen, Garnet sidled over to Seifer.

"What was that?" she questioned.

"A GF - Guardian Force. Bahamut. One of the hardests bastards to get of all the GF's. Squall gave him to me." Seifer frowned, his scar crinkling in question. "Why?"

"I have a Bahamut as well. He's very different." Seifer shrugged at this, his mind screaming that his GF was better while his demeanor remained indifferent. "Yours was much more powerful...but too beastly. And hideously ugly."

"Ugly?" Squall spluttered. He and the others had gathered around the pair and were listening to the debate. Seifer merely raised an eyebrow and grinned wolfishly at the petite princess.

"How did you get your GF's?" he asked.

"I don't have GF's. I have Eideolons. They're old, powerful creatures. Most of mine were given to me...why?"

"How do you summon them?"

"With my stones, of course," she replied, her voice asking how else one would summon a creature like that.

"Well, every GF I have either Squall or myself defeated. We fought them, beat them. And then theyjoined us. They're always there, in our minds, in our veins, coursing through and giving us power. They give us different abilities and protect us. They respect us. And if, at any time, they feel abused, they leave. You claim your summons to be higher beings...can they do that?"

"You defeated that...that...thing?!" Cloud exclaimed. "It's huge."

"Yeah, and a real pain in the ass to defeat too."

"A GF is how we get our magic," Squall grinned. "But in order to use said magic - we have to work for it. A lot."

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