Disclaimer: The day I own Final Fantasy VIII is . . . a very happy day indeed. *sighs* Unfortunately, this is not a very happy day. ;_;

Warnings: Shounen-ai, language . . . . Confusion? ^^'

Open My Eyes

Part 1

By Balinese no Neko

He couldn't open his eyes. Movement, he could feel people moving all around him, and he couldn't open his eyes to see what was going on. Voices were calling to one another over his head, all tinged with an urgency that fanned the panic deep within him. Why couldn't he open his eyes?

Okay, he could handle this. He was a trained SeeD candidate, wasn't he? Yeah, that's right, the last thing he remembered was getting on the Ragnarok for his field exam. Why couldn't he remember anything else? Where was the rest of his squad? He was the squad leader, wasn't he? He had to make sure the rest of his team was all right. Couldn't go running off and doing anything against orders, right? Unfortunately, that just lead him back to right where he'd been. His orders were to clear a certain section of Esther of the monsters from the Lunar Cry, not to be half-conscious and half-delirious with people he wasn't sure he'd recognize if he could just see them.

Oh, Hyne, why couldn't he open his eyes?

They shot you up with something, dummy.

He'd been tranquillized? Why? How? When?

A mental snort that made his head ring like a bell. Yes, to put you to sleep, moron, with modified Sleep powder, very prescription-only stuff, and three hours ago, by my reckoning.

Huh? How did he know all this? He moaned, weakly moving his head. He was surprised. If he couldn't open his eyes, why could he move his head?

A loud sigh. Try them again, dumbass, you just woke up. And keep quiet, will you? Or they'll dope you up again. I don't feel like taking a nap with you.

But wasn't he the one talking to himself? How could someone be talking to him without using a voice?

Just shut up already, would you?! I'll answer your questions as soon as I can, okay? But it won't happen right here, right now. We have to get you out of here first.

Well, if he was going to be getting answers, maybe it wouldn't be too hard to play dead for a little while longer. Made sense, too. If he could just clear his mind . . . . Maybe he could find his weapon and shoot the living hell out of whoever put him in this situation. Good plan.

Better plan than mine was, the voice in his head admitted.

He just wished he could open his eyes . . . .

A groan. Not this agaaaaain. You want to open your eyes? Fine, open them. You're not going to see a hell of a lot that'll make sense and then you'll be seeing nothing whatsoever when they catch you and drug you again.

Okay, maybe opening his eyes wasn't such a big priority. Who are you? he dared to ask softly, keeping his question purely mental.

Someone who'd rather not be here, that's for damn sure, was the immediate reply. Look. Let's concentrate on getting you out of here, okay? Then we can concentrate on getting me out of you.

Are you a GF? He'd heard rumours that some GFs talked to the people they were junctioned to. Not that any of his had deigned to talk with him so far, but it was possible . . . . Wasn't it?

Another snort to set his head pounding. Nah, I'm not a GF. Can see why they don't talk to you, either. When was the last time you cleaned up in here?

Well, it wasn't like he'd been expecting company in there. Then who are you? he persisted.

Not important right now. It was a distinctly uneasy tone he'd "heard". Whoever the person was didn't want him to know. I'll tell you, I promise, just . . . not right now. Hell, if you don't believe me, all you have to do is look in any old mirror. From what I've overheard, I'll show up like a treat, standin' right behind you. A sensation of frustration echoed through the two of them.

"The subject is prepared," a voice said clearly. Belatedly, he noticed that all of the commotion around him had tapered off and stopped.

Brace yourself, the voice said. This is probably going to hurt a lot.

Brace myself? he wondered. For what? Before any sort of answer could be given, he felt it. Blinding pain ripped through him, arching him up against restraints he hadn't even noticed and forcing a scream out of his throat. It crawled through his body, erasing everything but itself. Abruptly, it was cut off and he slumped down, panting slightly.

That, the voice said, sounding as strained as he felt.

"I'm sorry, sir, the subject must have woken up without us noticing. As you can see, his brainwave patterns haven't changed."

You can thank me for that. He wondered just why he should thank the cocky little voice for the pain it had graciously allowed him to be conscious for. Trust me, if you hadn't been awake, the transfer would have been successful and you would be a helpless little prisoner in your own body. A wave of self-repugnance rolled through him and he barely stopped himself from gagging. Abruptly, it cut off, as if it hadn't originated from in him at all. Sorry about that. Guess I didn't realize just what this all meant. He gasped at the relief from emotions that weren't his and shook his head weakly.

A pinprick sensation in his arm shot his eyes open and he stared at the white-coated person who was just taking the needle away. An impersonal faceplate met his gaze and he struggled against the restraints, trying to get free.

Give it up, the voice advised, resigned. That's the modified Sleep powder I told you about. You'll be out like a light too soon for you to get away, even if they'd suffered a moment of insanity and freed you. I'll see you when you wake up. He kept on trying anyway, even as darkness overwhelmed him.

He groaned, bringing a hand up to his head, vaguely surprised that he was able to. Hadn't he been tied down or something . . . ?

"Ah, you're awake." He recognized the professionally concerned voice of Dr. Kadowaki. Must be in the Infirmary, then. "How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts," he said, throwing his arm over his eyes and sighing in the blessed relief from the light he could see even through his closed eyelids.

"No kidding. Now, say your name for me." A hand removed his arm from his face and peeled back an eyelid, spearing it with bright light. He yelped.

"Hey, go easy on a guy, will ya?" he protested. She ignored him and tortured his other eye.


"Irvine Kinneas." He sulked. His charm was usually more than sufficient to keep women of any type from hurting him. A feeling of wry amusement puzzled him. Why would he be laughing at himself? Okay, so maybe the charm didn't work every time, exactly, but it was worth a try. The doctor quit doing painful things to his eyes and he felt her sit back on the bed.

"Looks like your eyes are focussing properly. You should be fine if you take it easy for a while. You may have a slight headache until what they used to knock you out finishes running its way through your system."

A slight headache. That was likely saying Quistis had a small amount of expertise with her whip, that Zell liked hot dogs, or that Selphie was only a little excitable. They just did not begin to compare with the truth. "What happened?"

"I'll just call your instructor; she'll answer your questions when she gets here."

He groaned and sank his head even further into the thin pillow typical of an Infirmary bed. If he was in here because he'd gotten drunk off his ass, Quistis would be merciless. Not what he was in the mood for. "Just kill me," he moaned dramatically. Maybe an appeal for sympathy would work where the charm hadn't.

"She's on her way down," the doctor replied unfeelingly. "So maybe you should start getting yourself ready to follow her, Mr, Kinneas." His mood soured. So much for sympathy.

He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and pulled himself into a sitting position, holding his head until the wave of dizziness that hit him passed. He stared grouchily at the floor for a few minutes before heaving himself onto his feet, just as Quistis entered the Infirmary.

"Irvine," she said, nodding coolly, although he thought he detected a note of concern in her eyes. Pity he wasn't feeling up to teasing her about it at the moment; it would have been good for a few glares, maybe a slight smile.

"Instructor. Come to tell me just what happened to knock me flat on my ass?" He saw her wince, presumably at his language, before she turned and left the room.

"I'll tell you once we reach your quarters," she said as he caught up to her in the hall outside. He sighed. Another wait until he could find out why he'd ended up in the Infirmary with absolutely no idea how he'd gotten there.

Once they reached his dorm—a single, even though singles were supposed to be reserved for SeeDs—she let him input the code that unlocked the door. He gestured her to precede him inside, reflexive gallantry triumphing over such pitiful concerns as an aching head.

"So, what's the deal, Quisty?" he asked, sinking down into the nearest chair and closing his eyes in an attempt to reduce the pain. "What happened to me?"

She hesitated a moment before answering. "What's the last thing you remember?"

His brow furrowed. What was the last thing he remembered? Abruptly, he shuddered. "Pain," he said flatly. He let his head drop to one side. "I was doin' my field exam, wasn't I?" He cracked an eye open to see Quistis nod. "Well, what happened?"

"You were leading your squad to the area designated as 01-B4 to begin the second half of your mission," she began. He let her continue, using her words to reconstruct the fuzzy memories of what had happened.

His squad had just entered the area when a pair of Torama had attacked them. Not exactly the easiest creatures to beat, they'd just been plain lucky that someone had junctioned Zombie to their attack and that he'd still had Leviathan's Recover ability junctioned. Damn things wouldn't take a Life or a Phoenix Down. The cat-like creatures dealt with, they'd spread out a bit, methodically searching for more monsters to drive out of their sector, one way or another. He'd had only the faintest warning to call out in an attempt to alert the other two members of his team before something had been jabbed into his arm and the world had went black. After that, whatever they had injected him with had blurred his memories even more. He remembered the pain, mostly, but there was also . . . a voice? A voice that spoke to him in a way no one else could hear.

He refocused on the present, seeing Quistis looking at him calmly. "Where was I found?"

"Inside a well-fortified laboratory complex," she replied. "We had to abandon the mission to find you." Well, shit, there went a passing grade right out the window.

"Why was I there?"

Here, the blonde frowned. "They're still decoding the notes we found," she admitted. "From what we could gather from the people we captured, they were using you as some kind of guinea pig to forcibly junction one human to another." He stared at her.

"They can do that?" he asked, gaping.

She shrugged. "Apparently not. Their first test run had the person they were going to junction literally disappear when they tried."

"And the second?"

She frowned at him, a bit puzzled. He shrugged. "Quisty, you mentioned the first one. Usually, that means there was more than one."

She sat back a bit and nodded. "The second one failed as well," she told him. "Apparently because the mechanism won't work if either person is awake." She cocked an eyebrow at him and he forced a rusty-sounding laugh.

"Yeah, I was awake. Wouldn't recommend it, mind you, but I was definitely awake." He stretched his arms out in front of him, relieving tensed muscles. "Anythin' else I should know about?"

"Your debriefing is scheduled for 0800 hours tomorrow."

"Gotcha." He watched as she stood up to leave. "Say, Quisty, you still got Siren junctioned?"

"Of course. Why do you ask?"

"Could you maybe do something about my headache? Hate to be a pain and all, but it's poundin' the thoughts right outta my head."

A smile on her face as she held her hand out to him. "Of course. I'm sorry I didn't think about it before."

He sighed in relief as the majority of the pain disappeared with the blue sparkles Treatment left in its wake. A fainter wave of relief followed. "S'okay," he said, waving a lazy hand. "See you at my debriefing?" She nodded before leaving the room.

He sat still a moment longer before lunging out of the chair to his feet and crossing to the full-length mirror in his bedroom. Sure had a number done on me, he thought, noting the small scrapes on his face and decidedly untidy ponytail. At least he hadn't been wearing his hat. Guess these candidate uniforms are good for somethin' after all.

"All right," he said aloud. "I'm here, I'm awake, and I'm lookin' in a mirror. You can come out now." There was a moment of stillness and he thought maybe he'd been wrong after all. Then a blond head raised itself above his own and Seifer Almasy stepped slowly stepped to the side, coming out from behind him.




Author's Note:

Yes, I am indeed a bad, bad girl for starting up another fic before I've finished any of my others. *squirms nervously and runs to hide*

Return to Archive | next