Notes: Sorry for the long wait in updating this story. For awhile I couldn't write anything at all... MAJOR writer's block. But things are slowly turning back to normal, so you should see this story finished sooner than later.

Two people speaking to Squall now. When the woman is speaking it'll be between // here //. And when the guy is speaking it'll look //~like this~//. Hope things don't get too confusing.

Warnings: Just your general weirdness

Slipping Away

Chapter Five

By Sniffles

//Wake up beautiful boy... wake up.//

It hurt. Squall groaned, turning his head to the side and wincing in pain. //Yes, that's right. Open your eyes.// He didn't want to, but as the voice ordered him to he found his eyes slowly opening. The light burned at his eyes. He couldn't see anything but shadows. He let out a terrified whimper, pressing himself back into the surface he was lying on. What had happened? The last thing he remembered was... was..


//That's right. Irvine was with you.. Or.. at least his body was.// The voice purred.

He licked his lips, trying hard to gain control of his rampant emotions. "Wh.. who are.. you?" It was hard to speak. Harder still to stop from crying out at the persistant ache in his head.

"Who am I?" He was so used to hear the voice in his head, he didn't realize it was speaking outside of his mind. It wasn't until she spoke again that he realized she was standing right over him. "Look at me."

He tilted his head back, trying to see her. "I.. I can't.."

"Oh.. dammit Kage. Where did you hit him?" The voice went from soothing, to angry and irritated.

"I didn't hit him very hard." Irvine's drawling voice responded.

/Irvine...? He hit me. Why?/ Squall turned his head, trying to see Irvine. But all he could see was the outline of a body shape that could have been Irvine's, but could also be anyone else.

"You idiot!" The woman's voice yelled, "I told you to bring him to me unharmed!"

"He was not willing to come of his ow-"

Squall heard the sound of a slap. A harsh gasp. He narrowed his eyes, trying desperately to see. /Why can't I move?/ He moved his hands experimentally, but even though his fingers would wiggle, he could not lift his arm from the surface he lay on.

"Enough. Get out of my sight. Go! Deal with Loire and the Knight."

//~If I lose him.. after all this time.~// Squall frowned. The voice.. Back? It wasn't the woman's voice. It was the voice from before. A man's voice.. a strangely familiar voice... /What's going on?/

//What? Dammit.. time is running out.// Squall felt cold fingers cupping his cheeks, "Don't be afraid. Please, child. Just relax and trust me."

"What... are you?" Not 'who' are you? Because as she touched him he realized she wasn't human, or at least, if she was she wasn't a 'normal' human.

//~Squall.. where are you?~//

//Get out of his HEAD.. He's mine!// The woman's voice yelled sharply in his head.

He winced in pain, trying to turn his head away from her touch. Trying to get away from the confusing myraid of thoughts and noises in his head.

//~I have to find him. I have to tell him I love him.~//

"And then I woke up here." Selphie sat cross legged on the bed, smiling at Laguna and Kiros. She had been a little confused when she first woke up, but the confusion was forgotten when she got a good look at Laguna. /Gosh.. he's so cute!/ When he asked her to tell him what was going on, she told him everything from her last memory.

"I see." Kiros said quietly, /Sounds like another nutcase./ He glanced at Laguna, /Ah dammit Laguna.. don't look at her like that./ From the look on Laguna's face, Laguna believed the story the girl had just told them.

"So.. maybe you were kidnapped? That guy who came out of the shadows. He knocked you out and probably used drugs to keep you quiet until now-"

"Laguna. We're here to find Squall." Kiros interrupted the ex-soldier's excited speech.

Laguna blinked, forgetting the mystery behind Selphie's story. "Right.. so, you don't know where Irvine is?"

"No. I don't. I'm sorry." Selphie shook her head, still smiling.

"You should head to the Infirmary." Laguna said, "But, we gotta' run. Thanks for.." For what? She hadn't exactly helped them.

"Oh! Can I come with you!? I don't know Irvine, but I'd love to help you look for him." Selphie said quickly, hopefully.

"No. I'm sorr-"

"What the hell are you doing here?" Seifer snapped. Laguna, and Kiros whirled around. Selphie stared at Seifer with wide eyes.

"Seifer?" She shifted on the bed, her smile fading finally.

Seifer stared at her, "You're not Kage.." /Not anymore. Kage must have moved to a new body. Oh SHIT.. Just what I need./ He let loose a stream of curses, then he fixed an angry gaze on Laguna, "Where's Squall?"

"That's what we're trying to determine." Kiros responded, eyes narrowing on Seifer.

"Shit." Seifer slammed his arm into the wall in a fit of frustration. "Can't feel him anymore either.. SHIT.. why didn't you stop her you idiot?!" He snapped at Laguna.

"Stop who?" Laguna responded, looking bemused at Seifer's odd behavior.

"HER! You created her goddamn you! Why the -hell- do I have to be the one to stop her!" Seifer whirled, storming from the room. Cursing a blue streak as he hurried down the hallway.

"Wait!" Kiros shouted, running after Seifer.

Laguna glanced at Selphie on the bed, "Uh.. ye-yeah.." Then he ran after Kiros and Seifer.

He made it to the entrance, and then stopped abruptly. 'She' was near. He could feel her. He stepped back, reaching for the Hyperion. It was strapped to his back. He didn't draw it just yet. "What do you know about Squall's disap-?" Kiros yelled as he finally caught up with the boy.

Seifer held up his hand, "Sh. quiet.." He said, voice low and sharp.

Kiros stopped beside Seifer. He wasn't familiar with 'her' aura, but he did feel the evil in the air. The sense that something wasn't quite right. Laguna skidded to a halt right behind Kiros, looking from Seifer to Kiros. Kiros clenched his hands and three short daggers snapped into place between his fingers.

"Come out Kage..." Seifer drew the Hyperion, standing so he and Kiros were back to back. Kiros moved into the position easily, as if they'd been fighting together for years. Laguna stepped away from the two, unsure what was going on. He too could feel that something wasn't right, but he wasn't quite as 'in tune' to such things as Kiros and Seifer were.

Near the car parking area, the shadows shifted. Seifer's eyes snapped to the area immediately. Kiros turned his head so he could watch as a figure slowly emerged from the shadows. His eyes widened with surprise when it was Irvine who stepped into the light.

"Kinneas?" Laguna gasped, "Kinneas! Hey! Wher-" He started to move towards Irvine, but Kiros reached out. Grabbing the back of Laguna's shirt he roughly pulled his friend back.

"Something's not right Mr. President.." He said quietly, "Stay back. For now."

"But.." Laguna sighed and slowly nodded, "All right."

Kiros moved, smoothly positioning himself beside Seifer and in front of Laguna. Irvine smirked, moving forward with an inhuman grace. He almost appeared to 'glide' rather than walk. "Well, well.. the Knight and Loire.. both in the same place. This has made my job exceptionally easy Knight. Remind me to thank you."

Seifer tilted his head to the side. His body was so tense he began to tremble. In this form Kage was stronger. Stronger than she had been in Selphie's body. /Can I defeat her?/ Seifer doubted it. He glanced at Kiros, "Get Laguna out of here."

"I'm not going anywhere." Kiros responded, "Where is Squall?" He demanded.

Irvine stopped moving, still several feet from them. "With milady." He murmured. It was then Kiros noticed the shotgun held loosely by Irvine's side. "You needn't worry. He'll be quite all right. As soon as Loire is dead."

"Don't worry about him, Seagill." Seifer said, tone holding a twinge of amusement that made Irvine's eyes narrow and flash with hatred, "We'll beat the information out of him."

She watched as his body stiffened. Then suddenly he went still. His eyes were open, but she knew he couldn't hear or see anything anymore. She sighed, sliding into a nearby chair. The 'seizure' was upon him. He'd sleep for awhile now. So she'd have to use her magic now. There was no better opportunity.

She brought her hands together and began to softly chant.

He'd never join her willingly. SeeD had forced too much of a sense of 'morality' and 'right' upon him. So if he was to join her, he'd need a little persuading. The only thing that could stop her now, was Loire. Just the thought of him interrupted her spell.

She cursed under her breath, running a hand through her hair. /I'll have to start again./ She brought her hands together, rubbing them and beginning to chant once more.

"Mother?" Rinoa knocked softly on her mother's door. She'd heard a noise. A noise that sounded a lot like screaming.

There was no response to her call, but she knew her mother was in the room. She tried the door knob, but it was locked. She knocked again, louder this time, "Mother? Are you okay?"

"I.. I'm fine darling.." Julia called, her voice very weak.

The door cracked open, revealing Julia's pale face. "Mother? You look.. horrible. Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'm.. just very exhausted darling.." Julia whispered, leaning her head against the cool door.

"What happened?"

Julia smiled wanly, "I .. was just trying to .. sleep. I had a bad dream."

"Oh." Somehow it didn't ring true, but Rinoa was not used to questioning her mother, so she smiled and reached out to grab her mother's hand. "Do you want me to join you?"


Rinoa flinched, stepping back. Her mother had never spoken to her so sharply before in her entire life. "I'.. I'm sorry darling.. but.. but I think I'd like to be alone." Julia said quietly. She smiled again, then closed the door firmly.

Rinoa stood there, her mouth gaping open. /Mama..? What's going on?/

Return to Archive | next | previous