*standard I don't own FFVIII, Squaresoft, characters, etc. applies from now until whenever I decide I'm done*
By Yuri Nigasa
"I am Her Oracle. Heed the words spoken from the Time of Great Calamity. To seal away the Gate the Guardians of mankind sacrificed Themselves. In preparation for the Time yet to come She left behind a gift. Into the hands of Her children, a legacy. I am Her voice. Thus begins the Book of the Sundering."
It was later that night, and we were all sitting in various places around my and Squall's room. Elijah was propped up in a chair underneath the lamp, the glow from the bulb casting his face into dramatic shadow. In his lap was a remote terminal, and he was scrolling through the scans of the Centran text we'd taken that day. Only about a portion of the pages had been scanned. Due to the fragility of the manuscript, we were taking our time.
A secondary terminal screen had been set up on a small table so we could see what he was looking at, even if we couldn't make heads or tails of it.
"In the Time of Prosperity, all things flourished. The Guardians walked among us, taught us, guided us."
"Unknown to us in our contentment, Dark Forces began to amass themselves under the leadership of one called Immamiel, the Dark Shadow. He drew to him the Guardians who did not value humanity. He prodded those who resented the bond between Guardian and those they saw as inferior and week. He drew to him these Guardians, who would become known as the Four Harbingers: Thanateros, bringer of death, Myr, bringer of war, Necheta, bringer of hatred, and Shaeos, bringer of destruction. They ravaged the land from ocean to ocean. Immamiel drew to him the twisted and contorted, warping them to further his own desires. Striking out at all who would oppose him, a rein of terror gripped the world."
"Actually," Elijah interrupted his reading, "that doesn't really mean world as we think of it. It's more like the amount of land encompassed by their borders."
"Immamiel drew into himself the power of the Harbingers, cloaking himself in invincibility. None of humanity could stand against him, a brutal tyrant with the powers of a god. The Guardians tried to aid, but there was not one among their numbers who stood against the full onslaught of terror. Again and again they were forced to retreat, to give ground, and with ground precious blood, and with blood, life."
"Lost to us were Merhanna, Guardian of the Oceans, Zacheu, Guardian of the Wilds, Enania, Guardian of the Forest, Haiea, Guardian of the Night, Taethen, Guardian of the Mountain, and Vach, Guardian of the Wing. The greatest loss, however, was the loss of Heroth, Guardian of Knowledge. Since the beginning, Heroth had lived, watched, and observed. In the mind of Heroth were all things known to man and Guardian. The mysteries of the world known and forgotten. When Heroth fell, a great sadness descended across the shoulders of those already weary from battle."
"The Guardians needed an ally, one they could lend power to until the power would rival Immamiel's. They found one who would stand in defense of her people and in defense of the Guardians."
"A child of mankind, She had been blessed with powers that rivaled those of the Guardians. Born with powers that had never before been known, She was the first to harness the elements for use in sorcery. It was Hyne who learned to call forth the powers from the very earth at Her feet. It was in this one that all the world placed their hopes."
Elijah looked up. "That's all we've got right now. We'll try to get as much tomorrow as we can."
I was a little disappointed. There had been no mention of Chronos, although since Elijah had only talked about the 'Harbingers' and what seemed to be a dead Guardian roll call that was good.
"Can you imagine?" Selphie asked from her perch in Irvine's lap.
"Yeah, all those Guardians, dead? Hell, all those Guardians walking around with... with people? Can you imagine what it would be like if Quez suddenly decided she wanted to pop out for a chat? Baby... I tell ya. That would be intense," Zell stretched out the last word to give it emphasis.
"We don't know that they were exactly in the forms they are today," Quistis said. "Maybe they were different, somehow. Maybe we'll find out."
"Ohh this is pure torment. I want to know what happens next. Remember when Matron used to read us a chapter a night and no matter how much we'd beg and plead she'd never do more than that? This is so way worse. And let me tell you, I used to think that royally sucked."
"Yes, but this isn't some bedtime story," Squall's voice was dead calm, the voice of leadership. "If we don't find what we need in this manuscript, then we've lost a huge lead."
I surreptitiously put my arm around him and hooked my thumb in the back pocket of his pants. I saw him glance over from the corner of his eye but I let my face remain impassive, as if focused entirely on the task at hand. "Even if we don't discover anything about Chronos, we've got more to work with now than I ever thought we'd have. We have a record of a civilization nobody knows of, of who knows what else that may have been lost to time. We know now that we're being lead in the right direction."
"You're still placing an awful lot of trust in this. Casting down your lot with things you don't even know are telling the truth. I see a lot of stuff I can't explain and some stuff that hasn't scared me this bad since we set foot inside that twisted castle," Irvine said quietly.
"So we take our time. We go slowly, work with what we have." Squall looked a bit hesitant when he spoke, almost like he was hiding something. It worried me. Had he remembered something that he wasn't telling the rest of us?
Moonlight bathed the room in a soft gray light. A breeze lifted the curtains and I gazed at the figure that stood by the window, solitary. The glow reflected off his pale skin, giving him the appearance of a spirit struggling to take solid form. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and I closed my eyes, feeling the cool night air across my skin. The bed springs creaked softly as I sat down, one foot on the floor, one on the bed, my knee hugged to my chest. A tight sense of foreboding nestled deep in my chest, a heavy weight I didn't want to carry but couldn't put down.
"We're in so far over our heads," he spoke softly.
I glanced up to where he stood, still gazing out on to the street below, as if he could read the solution to everything in pavement and pebbles. He hugged his arms across his chest and rested his forehead against the windowpane. I sat quietly, biding my time. I knew we were in deep, all of us. What made it all the worse is not knowing what we were in deep about, or how to get out of it. A handful of people in the backwoods of Galbadia are going to save the world... again. Wasn't once in a lifetime enough?
"It's all my fault. If only I knew, if only I could remember," he began banging his head gently against the glass as if to jar the obliterated memories back into his head.
"Hey, quit it," I chided gently. "The next scar may not look nearly as handsome." That earned me a smirk, but at least he quit hitting his head.
"Do you ever wonder, what it's like, being normal? Having a life where you wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, wake up, go to work, on and on, day after day?" He was being so unusually talkative, more unsure than usual. It had me worried.
"Do I? Yeah, I suppose sometimes. But then I think I might go crazy if I did. I mean can you imagine me working in some store in Balamb? Behind the ticket counter or maybe at the gas station?" The thought alone made me cringe. I wasn't natured for that kind of thing. How much of that was training and how much was inborn was irrelevant at this stage.
"I wonder if it hadn't been us who had stood against her, who would have? And now, if not us, who? Why us? We're just six kids that nobody ever thought twice about."
"Hey, that's not true. Matron loved us, all of us. Cid wasn't there quite like she was, but you can't fault him for that."
"Do you think she ever looked at us and knew?"
"I don't know." Whatever was on his mind, I wish he'd get to it. He was stalling, dancing around subjects that had nothing to do with anything.
He picked up Griever's emblem and began toying with the thick chain around his neck nervously. He had turned the point inward and was tracing it up and down his chest in haphazard patterns.
"What is it, Squall?" I asked softly.
He turned his back to the window and looked over at me, his gaze distracted. His eyes looked silver, pale rings hazed by thick black lashes. The scar between his eyes stood out in stark relief to the porcelain skin, making him seem like some twisted doll. "I don't know what it is. A feeling more than anything else. I keep dreaming, but when I wake up it disappears. You know what cognitive dissonance is, right?"
"When fact or opinion disagrees with something you believe to be true, so you rationalize or otherwise dismiss the contrary information, right?"
He nodded. "Close enough. That's what I feel like when I wake up, only I can't remember any information, so it's like my subconscious is making the decision for me, what I can and can't remember. I can understand not remembering what happened after Deling City, but why would the block in my mind be so strong that I can't remember my own dreams?"
I sat, pensive. After several quiet moments I shrugged lightly. "Have you ever thought about asking Elle for help?"
"No, I hadn't thought of that. It bears consideration, though. The only thing I don't like about that is bringing her into this might bring Loire in as a matter of consequence. The last thing I need right now would be him in the middle of this."
I couldn't stop the low growl at the mention of his name. Even if he did do everything Squall had asked of him, I didn't think I'd ever be able to stand in the same room with him.
"Seifer, I know, I know." He walked over to me and pushed my knee down, sitting on my lap.
I wrapped my arms around his naked torso and ran a hand gently against the flesh of his stomach, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck. I felt him wriggle his ass against me temptingly.
I heard the soft hiss of Seifer's breath against my ear, felt his warm tongue run against the flesh, his teeth nipping at the lobe. I pushed down farther and ground against him, feeling him grow beneath me. I wanted him to fuck me so hard I either remembered what I had forgotten or I forgot I was trying to remember anything.
I was tired of everything. Tired of the confusion, the deception, the unknown. I wanted to lose myself in pure sensation, to hear him gasp and moan as we urged each other on. I wanted to feel his strong hands cover every inch of my body. I wanted someone else in control, someone who wasn't me. I wanted to feel powerless and protected... I wanted... to be dominated.
I let my body go slack against his and felt him shift under the dead weight. I rolled my head back against the crook of his neck, licking the tender flesh. I felt him shiver and he bucked his hips up against my backside, the solid mass of his erection digging into it. His hand was stroking my chest, dipping lower each time until he pushed aside the elastic barrier of my boxers, his fingers trailing through the hair of my groin and reaching further to take my flaccid cock into his calloused palm. The friction sparked an unconscious reaction in me and I dug my fingers into his thighs, a needy whimper escaping from my lips.
I felt his teeth dig into my shoulder, making me jump. I put my arms above my head and wrapped them around his neck, sliding my mouth across his cheek to his lips, snaking my tongue out to brush against them, urging him to attack me and force his tongue into my mouth, to push me back as I struggled. When I felt a growl rumble through his chest I knew my taunt had been successful. His tongue was hot, strong, and wet against mine, a sweet flavor that was all his. He pushed his tongue between my lips, following my retreating tongue between my parted teeth to plunder the depths of my mouth. I moaned as he took the very breath from my lungs, leaving me gasping helplessly.
He reached his hands up to my wrists, making me whimper when he left my erection hanging over the waistband of my boxers. Pulling my hands from around his neck he rolled me over on my stomach, my cock pressing painfully into the cool sheets below as he lowered his weight down on top of me, grinding his shaft between the cheeks of my ass. Unconsciously I raised my hips to press him further against me. I heard him utter a low, guttural moan. The buckle of his belt was digging painfully into my lower back and I felt him fumble with it, sliding it off. I had a sudden urge to feel the leather wrapped around my wrists, to be bound and helpless against his onslaught.
"Seifer..." I purred.
I felt his hot chest against my back, his weight shoving me further into the mattress as he put his lips to my ear. "What?" he growled.
I suddenly felt self conscious, voicing this desire to him. To admit that I wanted to be at his mercy. I felt a fingertip run across my ear.
"Tell me, Squall," he demanded.
"Yes?" he sounded impatient.
In a heartbeat he was straddling me, turning me over so that my cock rubbed against the fabric of his jeans when he leaned forward to pull my wrists together. He threaded the leather between my wrists, creating impromptu shackles, then pulled the remaining length of the belt through a hole in the headboard before securing it with the buckle. I pulled at the bonds, testing their limits. They were tight, and for tonight's intents and purposes, unbreakable. I closed my eyes and felt him move down, pulling off my shorts and exposing my naked body to the cool air. I heard the sounds as he undid his pants and slid them down his hips, kicking them to the floor.
I felt him straddle my body again, up against my chest. I felt a hand in my hair and I opened my eyes to see the length of Seifer's erection presented before me. He pulled my head up, pressing the head of his shaft against my lips. I licked it, feeling him shiver before moving his hips forward and his cock into my mouth. I tried to move my head back but he didn't let me get far before I felt him tugging at my hair, drawing my head back up. I ran my tongue over the hardness in my mouth, swallowing against my gag reflex. I could feel the blood pounding through his length against my lips, feel every twitch of the sensitive organ as we played our game - me pulling away and him pulling me back. I sucked at him greedily, feeling wanton and depraved to be enjoying this so much.
I felt him reach behind to grasp my length and it made me moan in shock, my whimpering muffled into the velvet hardness of his cock. I heard him gasp and felt a warm trickle of fluid spurt from the head of his shaft and down the back of my throat. I swallowed it, licking at the sensitive slit to be rewarded with another spurt of warmth. I felt him release my hair as he began to pull out of my mouth. I latched on, sucking as hard as I could when he tried to withdraw, eliciting a deep cry of either pain or pleasure, maybe both, from him. I raked my teeth gently across the head as he removed himself, feeling him shudder.
He moved backward until my erection was pressing against his ass and leaned forward to bite at my nipples, making me arch my back. I tried to move but my legs found no purchase and my arms were securely tied. I growled in mock frustration, knowing this had been exactly what I wanted. He scooted back again, raising his hips. I tried to buck my hips, thrusting blindly but his arms held me down securely. I felt him kneel between my knees, parting them until my legs were spread across the width of the bed. I could feel his hot breath on my skin; feel his hair tickling the insides of my thighs.
I looked down but all I could see was the pale golden down on his head. His hands held my thighs firmly, both down and apart. Then I felt the tip of his tongue against my balls. I wriggled against his tongue, the sensation causing me to quiver. Then he took the right one in his mouth and moved his left hand down to caress the other. His face was pressed against the burning flesh of my groin, his tongue and teeth running gently to the left side before he began to work his way up from the base of my erection. I whimpered his name and he stopped, lifting his head to gaze at me in silence before he bent his head, never breaking eye contact as he ran his tongue from the base to the tip. The look in his eyes was enough to make me beg.
Without words I began to plead with him, struggling against the belt that held my arms securely above my head. He moved up, his cock brushing against mine as he leaned over to the bedside stand. I thrust my hips against his and he growled, ordering me to stay still. I whimpered but complied. Finding what he wanted he knelt between my knees once again. I felt him run a finger down my length and across my balls, between my buttocks until he was pressing an insistent finger into the resistant opening, twisting and turning it until he hit the sensitive spot inside me. I was shaken with a spasm as he pressed it then withdrew his finger a little.
I felt him bend over and take my cock in his mouth as his finger probed deeper, setting off another shockwave. I cried out, thrusting my hardness into the wet cavity of his mouth. On and on the torment continued until I felt tears slip from my eyes, my breath coming in heaving gasps, my body taut with unfulfilled desire. I felt him lift his head and he bent over to kiss the tears from my eyes. I wrapped my legs around his waist, holding him the only way I was able. I begged him to fuck me, to give me every inch of his cock, to make me scream as he rammed in and out of me. Every phrase ever uttered by a desperate slut poured from my lips so needy was I for him.
"Tell me what I want to hear," he coaxed.
"Are you mine?"
I nodded wordlessly. I was laid bare before him, physically and emotionally.
"I'm... yours," I gasped.
He pulled back a little and I could feel him guide the head of his shaft against the opening, teasing me as he pushed his head in and out. I wrapped my legs tight around him, driving him into me and I heard him scream as he fell forward with the force of my pull. His balls pressed tight against my ass and I ground my hips down, exerting pressure until I heard him groan and felt his cock throb within me. He pulled back until only the tip of his shaft was in me then slammed himself into me hard and fast. My legs lost their hold from around his waist and I felt his arms wrap under them, lifting them up until I felt the backs of my thighs pressing against his chest. One of his hands reached out to grasp my erection as I felt him withdraw again. I braced myself for the impact and cried out when he began to pound into me furiously. I looked up to see his face contorted in ecstasy, his hand squeezing my cock, sliding up and down as his body rocked into mine again and again.
I felt his balls slapping against my ass, felt my senses grow disoriented as I began to shudder and shake with pleasure. I was panting and gasping until suddenly I felt the energy dissipate and I trembled as I released jets of sticky white cum over Seifer's hand, feeling it run down against my belly. I whimpered as I was ripped with the aftershocks as Seifer began to drive into me, faster and faster. I struggled against my bonds and looked up at him as he gazed down at me and his body tensed and he thrust into me. I watched his face as I felt him flood me with his seed, his eyes never leaving mine as he climaxed inside me. I looked up at him, my eyes half-lidded with pleasure. I felt him lean down to capture my lips with his as I felt his hands move up to undo my restraints.
Wrapping my arms around his shoulders and drawing him to my chest as my mouth brushed his I murmured, "Tell me..."
His response came back breathless and choked with emotion.
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