Soap Opera

Chapter Two

By J. Marie

Warning!!!!!!!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Seifer Almasy and Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII, and featuring supporting roles by, um, well, everybody. It is rated NC-17. If you guys don't know what yaoi is, or how old you need to be to read this story by now, you are truly a stupid person. And if you are said stupid person, allow me to give you one final piece of advice. Don't breed. Spare humanity the suffering of the continuity of your bloodline. With that said, I would like to say thanks to a lot of people before I write this story. Damn, I sound like I'm taking an Emmy home or something. Anyways, I would like to thank Dark Angel Genesis, who I don't really talk to anymore, but I would still like to thank her. A lot of these characterizations are inspired by her own. And Selphie's "little touch of sunshine" line came straight from Dark Angel Genesis' mouth (it comes later in the story). I would also like to thank Scarlet Fever, who wrote this awesome story called "Somewhat Damaged" on her site and I read it. Not only did I enjoy it, but I was bitten by the Seifer x Squall muse again. Gods, I love this pairing. I would also like to thank SorceressKnight, my new, and much harried, assistant. He works really hard, guys. This is a truly nice person. I don't deserve help like this. With all my thanks said, I would now like to prepare you for this story. Not only will this fic be filled with romance, angst, hot lemony sex, and my own sly sense of humor (I wonder if anyone else thinks I'm funny?), but I will be Rinoa bashing. I'm gonna rip her up one side and down the other. And I'm gonna enjoy doing it. I'll do a little Selphie bashing for good measure, but Rinoa is going to get crucified. *wicked grin* The story takes place six months after the end of Final Fantasy VIII and has nothing to do with my other FF8 stories. Oh, Dirk and Madison make a return in this story, but they're not father and son in this story, so don't worry. And this story will be long and in a few chapters..... So don't worry, the bashing may not be immediate, but I'll get meaner and meaner.....

Seifer was very angry.

He sat in the waiting room of the infirmary, and he was seeing red. Dirk sat next to him, as silent as stone.

He had been friends with Dirk and Madison for less than 24 hours. An hour ago, he and Dirk had found the redhead's crumpled body on the ground, bleeding and unconscious. Madison had been beaten within an inch of his life.

And Seifer knew who did it. He couldn't prove it, but he knew that Loki had been involved. There was a lot of hate in Loki's eyes. A lot.

Dr. Kadowaki came out of the treatment room and gave Seifer and Dirk stern looks. "Who beat him?" she asked, sounding imperious.

Seifer opened his mouth, but Dirk elbowed him. "We don't know, ma'am. Is he going to be okay?" Dirk asked, sounding pensive.

"He'll be alright. I treated his wounds. He just needs a couple days of rest," Dr. Kadowaki sighed, eying the boys suspiciously.

Seifer stood up. "I have to leave. Tell Madison I hope he feels better," Seifer said suddenly, feeling like he was going to choke.

Hate. Seifer reflected on hate as he escaped back to his dorm. How could anyone hate that much. As much as he and Squall fought and bickered, there had never been any true malice. The facial scarring had been an accident, a completely unintentional bloodshed by Seifer in the heat of battle. But never would he have been so cruel as to beat someone almost to death, just because they were gay.

I was brainwashed by Ultimecia when I committed my crimes..... What's their excuse? Seifer thought angrily, wanting to punch someone.

Seifer got to the door of his dorm room. They were there, all three of them. Loki, Heaven, and Hades. Loki was wearing a black silk shirt with a embroidered dragon on the side, and black cords. His long, jet black hair was tied back in a braid. The female twin, Heaven, had her thick purple hair loose, and wore a short black mini dress, with knee high stockings and platform combat boots. The male twin, Hades, was wearing a long black buttoned shirt, that fell to his knees, and loose black pants. Black seemed to be the theme.

"I'm surprised you had the balls to show your faces," Seifer hissed, narrowing his cat green eyes dangerously.

"The Sorceress' little pet thinks he can preach to us about cowardice?" Loki sneered, his lips twisting on his handsome face.

"Fuck you, asshole," Seifer growled. They were wearing weapons, and Seifer wasn't. Loki, much to Seifer's chagrin, was a gunblader, and his weapon hung off his belt. Heaven had a pair of twin katanas strapped to her back, and Hades had a clawed glove on his left hand. The twins were silent, watching Seifer with eerily intense stares.

"I'm sure you'd like that, faggot. But we didn't come here to insult you. We came here to give you an ultimatum," Loki smiled, his voice as sinuous as a snake's.

Seifer allowed himself to smirk. "Go right ahead. I'd like to see one of you homophobes enforce it," he growled.

"Oh, we can and we will, Sorceress' Knight. Either leave this Garden, or things could go very badly for you. Sleep on it," Loki smiled, and then walked past Seifer, brushing against him. Seifer realized that the lanky Oriental was even taller than himself. Heaven and Hades followed Loki, not making a sound, their step in synch with the other's.

Seifer stormed into his room. Now I know why Dirk called them the freakazoid twins. Don't they talk? he thought angrily. He stripped and flopped down in his bed, knowing that they could, indeed, make things go very badly for him. But he wasn't going to let them win.

No one would ever control Seifer Almasy's actions ever again.

Dirk sat alone in his seat, looking lonely. Seifer grinned at him and nodded, ignoring the venomous stares of Loki and his pets. Dirk gave him a wobbly smile and nodded back, obviously distracted. Seifer knew that Dirk and Madison's relationship was more than just sex. And Madison being hurt bothered Dirk immensely. The small brunette kept glaring hatefully at Loki.

Seifer settled in, half-listening to Quistis' lecture about drawing magic. He knew all this stuff. He wanted to relax, and take his mind off the hate. Seifer pulled out a piece of drawing paper and began to sketch Squall. He began with Squall's elfin face, drawing emphasis on his pretty blue eyes. He moved downward, drawing the rest of the body, leaving Squall nude, and in a compromising position. Seifer used the cherished memories of Squall naked in the boy's locker room as inspiration. Seifer smiled to himself, and then drew himself in the picture as well, holding Squall. He was so wrapped up in his sketch that he didn't notice a shadow looming over his shoulder.

A delicate, tapered hand closed on his pencil, stilling his hand. Seifer looked up, swallowing when he realized Quistis was glaring at him. "Two demerits for drawing in class, Mr. Almasy. You will stay after class to clean up as punishment," she said coldly, and snatched his paper away. Seifer felt himself turn red. Quistis would know. She would show it to Squall and Squall would laugh himself to death.

Seifer practically curled up and died right there. But he straightened himself out and forced himself not to hide underneath his desk. Even Loki's sneers were nothing to this embarrassment. If Squall found out.....

The bell rang and Seifer sucked in his breath, watching Quistis with trepidation as the class filed out. Dirk gave him an odd look, but headed out, no doubt to visit Madison in the infirmary. Quistis seemed to be busy writing something and hadn't looked up. They were soon alone in the classroom, and Seifer wished he could make himself invisible.

"Seifer. Please come up to my desk," Quistis said, sounding every inch the teacher.

Seifer got up and headed towards the desk, forcing himself not to shake. A million and one excuses flew through his head, but they all sounded stupid.

"Seifer. You have degree of artistic talent, I see. Very impressive and accurate. I like your style," Quistis said calmly, not looking up from her paperwork.

Seifer swallowed. "Thanks, Instructor. Look, Quistis, it's not what you think it is....." he started before Quistis looked up and raised a golden eyebrow at him.

"Isn't it? Do you think, I'm stupid, Seifer? And please remember to refer to me as Instructor Trepe, or you'll receive another demerit," Quistis said, standing up and tilting her head back slightly to meet Seifer's eyes.

"I'm sorry, Instructor. And no, I don't think you're stupid," Seifer sighed. But he dearly wished she was.

"Then don't lie to me. We've known each other since we were small children. We're very nearly the same age. I've seen the way you fought with Squall. The way you look at him. The not-so-subtle hints you constantly drop around him," Quistis said imperiously, shoving her glasses up her nose.

Seifer groaned inwardly. Squall never noticed, but this damn woman had to. "You're.... not going to tell him, are you?" he asked slowly, looking away.

"Of course not. That would be defeatist. In fact, I'm going to help you. Mind if I keep the picture?" Quistis asked with a small smile.

Seifer's head snapped up and he stared at Quistis like she grew a second head. "You...... help me....? And why do you want to keep my picture?" Seifer demanded, shocked.

"Yes, I'm going to help you. I'm keeping the picture because I like it. Now, how much do you like him?" Quistis said simply.

Seifer opened his mouth, and then closed it. "You're doing this because you hate Rinoa, aren't you?" Seifer grinned.

Quistis narrowed her eyes. "I couldn't really say I hate her... But I could say I intensely dislike her, loathe her very existence, but I really couldn't say I hate her," Quistis said.

Seifer laughed. "You women are worse towards each other than men any day. I could say I hate her though. Didn't use to. I actually use to kind of like her in a brotherly way. But now that she has her claws dug into Squall, I want to puke when I see the smug little bitch," Seifer spat.

Quistis sniggered. "I think you and Squall would make an adorable couple. And maybe it will make him feel better. He's been getting depressed again," Quistis grinned.

"What makes you think he'd want another man? Much less his old rival?" Seifer asked with a shrug.

"You're remarkably dull-witted. I know for a fact that Squall never really seem overly interested in girls... Not that he seemed interested in guys, but I know he's still a virgin....." Quistis smirked.

"How do you know that?" Seifer asked, incredulously. He knew Rinoa, and Rinoa was the type of girl to spread her legs for the first cute guy she saw. She had slept with Seifer on the first date.

"Because I overheard Rinoa whining about it to Selphie. After he proposed, they went back to his room, but he didn't, um, perform, so she left...." Quistis said seriously.

Seifer looked shocked. Even though he was gay, he had tried to be straight, and dated a string of girls. He even slept with them, as boring as he found the act. Rinoa had been a particularly dull lay. "But they're engaged, Quistis. He thinks she's the love of his life. How am I suppose to compete with that?" Seifer sighed.

"You don't know Squall very well. He talks to me sometimes, especially now. He's the kind of man who does what he thinks he's suppose to, regardless of how feels about it. And that's Instructor Trepe to you," Quistis said.

"Alright, Instructor Trepe. I've wanted Squall since my hormones kicked in. I've gave him enough hints to fill up a book on pick-up lines. He doesn't get it. What makes you think he'd be interested in me?" Seifer asked.

"The fact that you were the only one who could ever make him react. Ever make him angry. You pissed him off, and he'd do something about it. You got his attention. That's a lot for somebody as repressed as Squall," Quistis said.

Seifer sighed. It was too much to hope for. "So your psychologist boyfriend has rubbed off on you, I see," Seifer grinned.

"He's not my boyfriend! He's my friend!" Quistis said, turning red.

"Sure. I'd bet you'd like him to be your boyfriend, though. He's pretty hot for an older guy," Seifer smirked.

"He's old enough to be my father!" Quistis blushed, swallowing involuntarily.

"He the one who figured it out?" Seifer continued to smirk, noting that Quistis seemed to like Kiros a lot.

"He figured out Squall. I figured out you. Now, I want you to start being nice to Squall. No rude comments, no more arguments. Just be nice and see how he reacts. We'll go from there," Quistis sighed, her blush fading.

"I'm not sure how to feel about you and your boyfriend meddling in my affairs, but I'll try...... Now, I'm suppose to clean up your classroom or something?" Seifer sighed, looking around the already clean classroom.

"Oh, right. Here. Throw this away," Quistis grinned, handing him a crumpled paper off her desk and dismissing him.

Seifer whistled on his way out.


Seifer looked behind him, and saw Rinoa saunter up to him. He cringed inwardly. "Hey, Rinoa. How's it going?" he asked, forcing himself to smile.

"It's going great... Squall asked me to marry him!" Rinoa grinned, smugly showing her huge diamond ring to Seifer. He wanted to slap her.

"That's great. I'm happy for you....." Seifer lied, involuntarily gritting his teeth. She didn't deserve Squall.

"Thank you! I have a question, though...."' Rinoa smiled at him.

"Go ahead," Seifer said, praying she wouldn't ask him if he still liked her.

"Are you really gay? You were joking, right?" she asked slowly.

"Yes, I'm gay. And no, I wasn't joking," Seifer said simply, noticing Squall walk up. The sultry brunette was glancing between Seifer and Rinoa, his expression unreadable.

"Hello, Headmaster. How are you today?" Seifer asked pleasantly, following Quistis' advice. It pained him to be polite.

Squall blinked. "Hello, Seifer. I'm fine," Squall said in a disbelieving tone. Seifer had never spoken to him so politely before.

"Did you hear about the beating? Aren't you going to do something?" Seifer asked, ignoring Rinoa now.

Squall sighed. "Yes, I heard. And I plan on expelling the student or students involved as soon as I find out who did it..... What was the victim's name again?" Squall asked.

"Madison Myers," Seifer answered.

"Right. I've already questioned him, but he refused to name his attacker," Squall sighed.

"Of course, he did. He's scared," Seifer sighed.

"Um, excuse me, but Squall honey? We're going to be late for lunch...." Rinoa said in a syrupy sweet voice. Both Seifer and Squall had seemed completely absorbed in each other for a few minutes, watching each other intently. They didn't even notice her.

"Huh? Oh, right. Let's go then....." Squall said carefully, as Rinoa grabbed his arm and practically dragged him away.

Squall kept glancing back, looking at Seifer.

Seifer smiled. He could always get a reaction out of Squall. Maybe Quistis was right.

Maybe he did have a chance.

Madison was back in class the next day, looking a lot better. He seemed almost the same, only he completely avoided Loki. he seemed afraid of the Oriental.

Seifer did his best to ignore Loki and friends, praying they would just leave everyone alone. But he knew they wouldn't. They still had too much hate in their eyes.

Quistis was holding a training practice tourney later that day. All students were to practice fighting against each other in the training center. Seifer left the class and went to his dorm to prepare. He polished Hyperion, pressed his coat, and came to the training center with a grin. He loved fighting.

"Alright, cadets! I will call your names, and you will pair off with who I say, and begin fighting! No magic casting or bloodletting!! Understand?" Quistis said loudly to her assembled class. Seifer noticed that Squall was standing off to the side, an observer of their performance.

"Hai!" the class affirmed, as Quistis called out two students and they began to fight, sword against gun.

Seifer watched Squall the whole time, fascinated by the way the cold brunette just stood there. He noted to himself that it was pretty pathetic the way he found everything Squall did a turn on, but he didn't really care. His attention revisited the fighting bouts when Madison's name was called.

The redhead pulled out a staff and spinned it, attacking the winner of the last two bouts, a swordswoman. Madison was quick and nimble, despite his previous injuries and blocked the swordswoman's blows, then swung low, knocking the bigger girl on her ass and pointing the staff at her throat. He was declared the winner and jumped up and down in glee.

Then Dirk's name was called. Madison's glee disappeared when the boy pulled out his twin pistols. Dirk had been given stun rounds to use for the training bout, and set about shooting at the weaving Madison. Madison managed to get in close, but when he tried to hit Dirk, the small brunette jumped high and kicked out a leg, slamming Madison into the ground. Dirk pointed his guns at Madison's head with a smug smile, and was declared the winner. Madison pouted, but grinned at Dirk as he went back to the sidelines.

Hades was called to fight Dirk, and Dirk was sorely pressed against the vicious attacks of the other's claw swipes. Neither was gaining ground, until Hades made the mistake of swiping at Dirk's face. Dirk was enraged, and began shooting repeatedly at Hades. Despite the purple-haired youth's best attempts to dodge, Dirk managed to hit him twice. Dirk was declared the winner again. Hades bowed low to Dirk, much to his surprise, and walked off the battlefield.

Heaven's name was called next and the purple-haired girl stepped out, whipping out her twin katanas. Seifer could already tell by the way the girl carried herself that she was far more impressive in battle than her twin brother.

Dirk swallowed. Heaven spun her swords and came at the small brunette, as quick as a ninja. The girl was Dirk's exact size. Dirk ducked, rolled, and fired, but Heaven was faster than even he, and dodged every bullet. She jumped high on her legs and then spun around the flat of both her blades, striking Dirk on either side of his head, downing him. Dirk stood up, looking insulted and strode away from the beautiful girl. Seifer shook his head and chuckled. Dirk was more upset about being beaten by a girl than he was about being beaten.

Seifer heard his name called and he proudly strode out in front of the waiting Heaven. She was full foot shorter than he was, but she looked at him blandly. Seifer held out his gunblade sideways, as always, and motioned her to come at him.

No one ever expected Seifer to be good at blocking, but he was the best. Every blow she made, he blocked with Hyperion. When Heaven was completely on the offensive, trying desperately to get past Seifer's defense, he swiped back at her, knocking past her whirling blades, and slapping her hard with the flat of his gunblade. He hit her with the flat across the stomach, knocking her to the ground. Seifer was smirking when he pressed the tip of his blade to her white throat. He was declared the winner and stepped back.

Heaven bowed deeply to him, and stood up proudly, joining her brother across the field. Seifer realized by the respectful way that Heaven and Hades treated those who defeated them that they had honor. Honor that Loki lacked. And if they truly had honor then they wouldn't have been involved in Madison's beating. Loki had done it alone. And they wouldn't have approved. This could be used against Loki, Seifer thought.

Seifer's smirk broadened when Loki's name was called. The tall Oriental strode out onto the battlefield, gunblade in hand. Seifer noticed out of the corner of his eye that Squall was watching him intently. And then the attack began.

Loki was fast, and he fought dirty. Seifer barely managed to block the attacks, especially when Loki cut low. His defensive trick wasn't working and Loki was pressing him. They said nothing to each other, circling and exchanging parries and cuts. Seifer was breathing hard, feeling Loki's hateful gaze on him. And then Seifer thought of a way to defeat the lithe Oriental. He cut high, leaving a huge opening for an attack. Loki lunged for it, hacking at Seifer's side. Seifer felt the cold steel slice through his side, but he didn't care. Loki had left himself open. And Loki realized this too late. Seifer brought up the flat of his gunblade, and knocked Loki across his head with it, hard enough to cause Loki's eyes to roll back in his head.

The Oriental gunblader fell to the ground, unconscious. Seifer cast Curaga on himself and stood up proudly. Not only had he defeated Loki, but Loki had drawn blood.

Seifer was declared the winner and given points to be attached to his SeeD test as extra credit. Loki was dragged off the battlefield and given demerits for drawing blood. But the Oriental's eyes were burning with hatred even more now. There was no hope for it. Seifer sighed and left the training center, wanting to shower and be rid of Loki's hatefulness.

"Seifer! Wait up!"

Seifer turned in the hallway, seeing Squall walking quickly to catch up. Seifer swallowed his surprise, welcoming his good luck.

"I wanted to tell you how good you did out there. You've really grown up. Last year, you gave me a facial scar, and this year you went the entire fight without drawing a drop of blood. You performed flawlessly," Squall said.

Seifer tried not to let his eyes bug out of his head. "Thanks, Squall. I told you I could do it. You just have to let me try.... I'll go all the way. You'll see," Seifer smiled at him. Not a smirk. A smile. He had dimples.

Squall blinked. Seifer rarely gave a real smile to anyone. It made him seem beautiful. Like some golden-haired Adonis. He shook the thoughts from his head. He wasn't suppose to think of Seifer like that. "You're welcome. I just wanted to congratulate you.... I'm sure you'll make it this time, Seifer," Squall said quietly, wondering why he was able to talk so much around Seifer, when everyone else made him want to shrink in a corner.

Seifer took a step closer to Squall, making him only a few inches away from touching the lithe brunette. He looked down at Squall. "I will...." he promised, looking deeply into Squall's blue-gray eyes.

Squall felt a blush creeping on his face, as he gazed into Seifer's cat green eyes. It wasn't like he never felt heat around anyone. He felt it in the boys' locker room, admiring the taut forms of the other men. He felt it when he was alone, touching himself. And he felt it around Seifer. Why did Seifer do this to him? How could Seifer do this to him?

"You're blushing......" Seifer whispered, reaching up and stroking Squall's cheek, admiring the feel of his incredibly soft skin. How could a man's skin be so soft?

"I....... have to go see Rinoa," Squall shuddered, and then ran away.

Seifer sighed and watched the brunette flee. As always, Squall got away from him. But he had gotten close.

Damn close.

The very sight of Rinoa caused the hard-on Seifer had given him to go limp.

Squall sighed inwardly, and smiled at his fiancee`. Rinoa never made him feel like Seifer did. Once, she had fascinated Squall. He wondered what it was about her that drew him to her. And then he realized why.

She had been Seifer's girlfriend. A connection to Seifer.

Rinoa was eating her ice cream, babbling about plans for the wedding. Squall nodded where was appropriate. But he paid little attention. The date was set for three months away, because Rinoa said she couldn't wait any longer.

Squall cursed to himself. Why did Seifer have to do this to him? Why couldn't Seifer just go away and leave him alone? Life had been so much easier without him. He remembered how he felt when he thought Seifer had been executed. Squall thought he was going to curl up and die as well. It had been horrible. It made him cling to Rinoa even more, wanting something, someone to be with.

But Squall had responsibilities. He was going to get married. Seifer would never want him. Seifer would probably fuck him and then leave. Squall couldn't stand to be left again. At least with Rinoa, he knew that she loved him, and that she would never leave him. She worshipped him. And as such he had a responsibility to her. A responsibility to stop thinking about Seifer.

"So what do you think?" Rinoa asked him.

Squall blinked, desperately pushing his thoughts away. "About what?" he asked.

"About what I said! Should I have my bridesmaids in pink or blue?" she demanded.

"Oh, uh...... Quistis looks horrible in pink. And it will only encourage Selphie. Blue, definitely blue," Squall said.

"I don't care what Quistis looks good in. I think pink would be better. Besides, she's not the bride, I am. Why should I pick a color based on her? I'm picking pink," Rinoa said crossly at the mention of Quistis' name.

Squall wanted to ask why she asked his opinion in the first damn place, but bit his tongue. "If you don't like her, why ask her to be your bridesmaid?" Squall sighed. Rinoa had been getting more and more venomous towards Quistis the more confident the stately blonde grew.

"Because she's one of your friends," Rinoa said, glaring at Squall for his choice of friends. Squall shrugged. Quistis was the only one he could even bear talking to anymore. If Quistis was a man, he'd have asked her to be his best man.

"Whatever," Squall sighed.

"What do you think of inviting Seifer to the wedding?" Rinoa asked slyly, hoping Squall's interest in her might grow if she made him a little jealous.

To her annoyance, Squall seemed to perk up. "Seifer? Alright," he agreed.

Rinoa sighed and narrowed her eyes. Squall was being very difficult. He was suppose to be jealous.

Squall managed to get through the rest of dinner without scarring, and walked Rinoa back to her house. He kissed her brotherly on the cheek and headed back to the Garden.

Seifer never left his thoughts.

The hate letters had started the day after Seifer won the battle with Loki.

They didn't bother him that much at first, but they were getting crueler and crueler. Seifer had come to terms with what he had done as the Sorceress' Knight. But being reminded of his sins did nothing to improve his temper.

Squall had been avoiding him the past week. That really made Seifer grumpy. He had passed his written test, and gone through the Fire Caverns. The SeeD field exam was this afternoon, and he had a feeling of dread that, somehow, Loki was going to mess things up.

Seifer reported to the front of Balamb Garden, standing at attention as the groups were assigned. He was pleased that both Madison and Dirk were on his team, but a little nervous to find out that Loki was teamed up with Heaven and Hades. That could definitely spell trouble.

Squall stood in front of his team, giving them the same tired lecture Cid had given Seifer every time he tried out for the SeeD field exam. Seifer just listened to the sound of Squall's sultry voice. Seifer wondered if Squall knew how sexy his voice was.

"Dismissed, and good luck," Squall said when he wound up. He had that irritated look on his face that he always had when he was forced to give a speech. Seifer saluted and headed out, Madison and Dirk in tow. Quistis was in charge of their group and led them to the parking garage, loading them up into a van.

"Wow...... I never got that close up to the Headmaster before, but he was sooooo sexy....... He actually drips sexuality..." Madison whispered to Seifer and Dirk.

Dirk looked annoyed. "He's alright....." he grumped, obviously jealous.

"Better leave off, Madison.... Dirk's eyes are turning green..." Seifer chuckled.

Madison giggled and hugged Dirk, kissing the small brunette quickly on the cheek before Quistis noticed.

The trio loaded up into the van, and Quistis sat down next to Seifer. She was very quiet, watching the three young men thoughtfully. Dirk and Madison's relationship had not escaped her attention. She hoped the boys would remain together, even after graduating. Long distance relationships could be tough. That thought caused her to think of a certain tall, dark, and handsome man who had invited her to stay with him the weekend at a resort near Esthar.

The van stopped and let the group out to board the boats from Balamb's port. Seifer saw Fujin and Raijin near the docks and waved to them on his way to board. The pair ran over, waving and cheering.

"GOOD LUCK, SEIFER!!!" Fujin cried, in her unmistakable voice.

"You can do it this time, ya know!!!!" Raijin cheered.

Seifer gave them the thumbs up sign and headed inside, reaching the cabin reserved for his group. Madison and Dirk sat down, whispering to each other about the odd couple who had been waving at Seifer.

Xu walked in, looking as imperious as always. Her presence broke Quistis' train of thought and she hoped no one would notice her blush.

"Hello, Seifer. How many times does this make?" Xu asked snidely, a coy smile on her dark face.

"Are you dissin' me again, Xu?" Seifer grinned, flashing her a smile. They loved playing this game.

"Listen up, meatheads. We're heading off to the Sorceress Memorial. Your task is to fight off the Estharian native monsters, and find out why the site has been abandoned. President Loire of Esthar has received no messages from the site. If it is indeed, what we suspect, and a Sorceress has taken over, we want her put out of commission. Are we clear?" Xu told them.

"Yes, ma'am!" the group intoned.

Seifer swallowed. A Sorceress? The only living one he knew of was Rinoa. And Rinoa was harmless.

Seifer spent the boat ride cleaning Hyperion. Madison polished his staff, and Dirk cleaned his pistols. They were all silent. A SeeDs true duty was to destroy evil Sorceresses. And faced with what could be a very difficult battle, all were preparing themselves.

"Seifer, you're the leader.... Take care of your group," Quistis said quietly when they landed. Seifer blushed when he thought of how he had abandoned Squall, Zell, and Selphie in Dollet. He had been so immature back then.

Seifer nodded and headed off the boat, Madison and Dirk in tow. Quistis decided a few minutes later that she better follow.

She had a bad feeling about this.

The Sorceress' Memorial was empty.

Squall looked around. He had come ahead of the cadets, wishing to see if there was indeed a Sorceress here. He was doing it as a favor to his father, Laguna. Laguna had panicked when he hadn't received any messages from the memorial, and no one answered his calls. He had called SeeDs in immediately.

Irvine and Selphie had broken off to explore the outer regions. Zell was off to the side, looking around warily. Squall remembered when he had come here to save Rinoa. The memory provoked no emotion.

Squall wandered the halls silently, wondering what the hell was going on, and where everyone was.

He never saw what hit him.

Seifer had finally reached the Sorceress' Memorial, and stared at the silent building. He allowed himself to catch his breath, and he and Madison and Dirk checked each other's wounds. The monsters in Esthar were always tough. His group hadn't spotted the other teams, and they appeared to be alone.

The trio walked cautiously towards the imposing building, wondering why it was so quiet. Seifer had a bad feeling, growing in the pit of his stomach. When they entered the building, only the sounds of their footsteps greeted them. They walked around, weapons ready, but nothing was there.

Seifer, Madison, and Dirk walked down the stairs, to where Adel had been first imprisoned. They heard voices. Seifer recognized them both.

"What a delicious little prize..... When his father finds out I have him, the cheerful little bastard will do whatever I want.... I will have my kingdom back, and you will be well-rewarded, my Knight."

"Thank you, Mistress. But what I desire is the head of Ultimecia's former Knight...."

"Ask and you shall receive, my Knight."

Seifer blinked at the spectacle before him.

Adel, as ugly as ever, was standing in front of the stasis chamber, looking remarkably healthy for a dead woman. Loki stood next to her, a hand on his gunblade. Heaven and Hades stood off to the side, watching everything blandly. Seifer looked around, and noticed various SeeD cadets held in ice prisons. He even saw Zell, Irvine, and Selphie in the ice prisons. The blocks of ice held each person frozen, and floated in the air. Seifer swallowed. Madison cried out. Dirk gripped his pistols tighter.

But what caught Seifer's attention, what caused him to cry out, was the sight of Squall in the Sorceress' stasis chamber. The sultry brunette was naked, and frozen in stasis, a look of surprise on his face. Seifer's blood boiled.

"You bitch!!! You're suppose to be dead!!" Seifer screamed.

"Suppose to be, and am, are two different things, little one...... I survived Laguna's son's attack, and Ellone's time compression, same as you did. You should thank me for putting away your rival," the masculine Sorceress sneered.

Loki held out his gunblade in the ready position, grinning evilly at Seifer. "Thanks to Lady Adel, I now have the power to defeat you, Seifer....." he hissed.

Seifer began to laugh. This was utterly ridiculous to him. "You don't even see what you've become, do you, Loki? You hate me for serving Ultimecia, and destroying your precious Galbadia Garden..... And now you've become what I was, what you hate, to destroy me. At least I was brainwashed into the job... What's your excuse, asshole?" Seifer laughed.

"Silence! I will destroy you for your crimes, Seifer!" Loki screamed, rushing the tall blonde.

"Take care of the freakazoid twins!" Seifer ordered to Madison and Dirk as he blocked Loki's heavy blow.

Seifer couldn't decide to laugh at the irony of the situation, or cry over it. But he focused on Loki's attack, knowing that only strategy would get him through. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Dirk pair off against Hades, and Madison against Heaven. The twins had an eerie glow to their purple eyes, and Seifer knew instantly that Adel had brainwashed them at the least.

As for the evil Sorceress herself, she stood by Squall's stasis chamber, grinning at the spectacle. What could a bunch of SeeD cadets do against her? Let them tire themselves on her servants.... Then she would dispatch them.

Seifer grunted when one of Loki's cuts broke through and he fired his gunblade for extra damage. Seifer was bleeding, but instead of casting a Curaga, he cast Triple on himself. Loki cut at him again, this time slicing up Seifer's thigh. Seifer had yet to cut him, reluctant to give the Oriental gunblader a chance to use his limit break.

Seifer cast three Meteors on Loki, ignoring his own wounds. Despite Seifer's hopes, Loki was still up and he grinned. Both men reached their limit breaks at the same time. Seifer slammed the dark-haired man with his Fire Cross at the same time he was slammed with Loki's Punishment.

Seifer fell back on the ground, paralyzed by the effects of Punishment. He was almost dead. He knew it. Loki lay on the ground, not moving. But Seifer's eyes widened when Phoenix appeared and raised Loki, causing the Oriental to stir. The bastard had been junctioned to Phoenix.

Seifer watched helplessly as Loki picked up his gunblade and walked over to Seifer with a smug grin. He watched Loki raise his gunblade, meaning to decapitate the blonde.

And then a whip wrapped around Loki's hand, snatching the gunblade out of it.

It took him a few seconds to realize that Quistis had come to his rescue. The elegant blonde snapped Save the Queen again and put Loki down for good. She cast Esuna on Seifer, freeing him from the paralyzation. She threw an elixir at him.

Seifer downed the elixir quickly, standing up shakily until he regained his strength. He looked around, and saw that Madison was unconscious. Heaven stood over the redhead, blinking slowly. Dirk had managed to defeat Hades again, but was placed in an ice prison by Adel for his effort. Hades lie on the ground, unconscious as well.

Adel laughed and clapped. "Wonderful, wonderful...... I'm quite impressed with your lovely friend's skill, Knight of Ultimecia.... She is very pretty... How I adore blondes.... I think she will make a sweet new pet.... I wouldn't want Heaven to grow lonely..." Adel sneered, licking her lips and grinning at Quistis lecherously.

Quistis blanched visibly. Seifer couldn't blame her. Adel was perhaps the nastiest lesbian that had ever existed. Heaven looked up at Seifer and Quistis with a confused expression, her eyes beginning to clear of Adel's mind control. Adel's mind control was not as effective as Ultimecia's.

"Listen up, bitch. The two of us are going to straight out kick your ass if you don't let Squall and everyone go!" Seifer shouted angrily, holding his gunblade.

"Three," Heaven said forcefully. Seifer had never heard her speak before. She took the position to his left, while Quistis stood at his left. They readied their weapons and Adel spread her arms wide.

"Then let us do battle, little ones. I shall enjoy the sound of your agonizing screams as I slowly kill you," Adel sneered.

"Let's kill this crossdressing psycho bitch!" Seifer roared and hacked at her ineffectually with his gunblade. He cursed, watching Heaven's blades take no effect on the ugly woman either. Quistis cast Triple on herself. Adel slammed them with a Meteor. Seifer summoned his GF, Bahamut, and watched the King of Dragons breath his Mega Flare on her. Heaven drew a GF out of Adel, and Quistis cast Aura on all three of them. Adel sneered and cast Maelstrom on them. Seifer grinned when his limit break came up, and slammed her with a Fire Cross, tagging on his add-on, Demon Slice. Heaven's limit break came up as well, and Seifer admired the purple-haired beauty's Dark Angel. Quistis used her Blue Magic ability, Shockwave Pulsar. Adel wasn't sneering anymore.

The evil Sorceress cast Ultima on the trio. Seifer used a Phoenix Down on the fallen Heaven, and Quistis used another Megaelixer. It was a good thing too, because Adel had summoned up her own GF, Tiamat. Seifer, Quistis, and Heaven suffered under the attack. Seifer had his limit break again and used it without impunity. Heaven summoned her GF, Alexander, and watched Adel wince under the Holy attack. Quistis summoned up Shiva, her signature GF. Adel screamed and cast Curaga on herself. Seifer took the oppourtunity to motion to Quistis to do the same, since she had Triple on her still. He cast Meteor on the Sorceress, and Heaven drew more magic. Quistis cast Curaga on all three, right before Adel used another Maelstrom. Seifer summoned Bahamut again, but the GF was KOed by Adel's vicious claw attack before the summoning took place. Heaven used Dark Angel again, and Quistis used her Blue Magic Might Guard. Adel summoned Tiamat again, and Quistis collapsed under the damage. Heaven cast Life on the blonde as Seifer used another Fire Cross, praying this was it.

His prayers were finally heard, and Adel screamed long and loud, as her body broke up. Seifer sat down on the ground for a moment, catching his breath and using another Curaga himself. Heaven cured herself and Quistis, who stood up. Seifer followed Quistis' eyes and noticed a soft glowing light that was where Adel had stood.

"What is that?" Heaven asked.

"Adel's Sorceress' powers..... She can't completely die until they're given to another woman......" Seifer breathed, standing up.

"I refuse. I am a SeeD. Not a Sorceress. I never want anything to do with one again, unless it is at the end of my katanas," Heaven said darkly, walking to her brother, prepared to heal him.

Quistis however, looked fascinated. Seifer wanted to grab her hand, to tell her no, but the blonde reached out for the light before he could say anything.

It infused with Quistis, and she cried out.

Quistis Trepe was a Sorceress now.

Seifer shook his head, noticing that the ice prisons were breaking, and the imprisoned SeeDs were falling to the ground. Luckily, it was a short fall, and none took more than a bruise or two. But Seifer didn't care. He was fiddling with the controls to unlock Squall from the stasis chamber.

Quistis began directing the small crowd from the room, leaving only Irvine, Selphie, Zell, and herself in the room. Seifer was still trying to override Adel's commands, but the clever woman had locked him out of the system.

"Want to let me try?" Qusitis asked, as Selphie tried the main computer, trying to see if they could free Squall.

"It's no use!!" Seifer growled, and pulled out his gunblade, firing impulsively at the controls. Squall had to be free. He had to be. Seifer couldn't take it if he couldn't free him.

Suddenly, the hiss of machinery started, and lights and fixtures came to life. The broken console that Seifer had shot made strange sounds and blinked at him. The entire SeeD group riveted their attention to the stasis chamber as it began to shake and crack.

Squall was being freed.

Seifer cried out, and ran up the steps to the chamber. Squall stumbled out, and into the waiting arms of Seifer, collapsing against the tall blonde's solid frame.

"Squall... Are you alright....?" Seifer whispered, holding the shaking brunette against him.

"I.... I'm cold.... I saw Adel... and Loki... they.... froze me.... She took off my clothes and put me in stasis......" Squall shivered, his mind a little foggy. Seifer took off his trenchcoat and wrapped the naked man in it, picking Squall up gently in his arms. Squall sighed and sagged against him, passing out.

Seifer decided he rather liked Squall in the damsel in distress role. It turned him on.

He walked past Quistis, who was pale. All the SeeDs were watching her like a hawk. Even her own friends. Seifer put a hand on her shoulder and smiled.

There was obviously going to be a lot of explaining to do.


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