Chapter 13 - Second Comings

By The Wandering Englishman

"Once upon a time there were three SeeD: one tall, one short and one leader. In a sudden decision, one SeeD became evil, one got captured and one got lost."

The stranger dragged a finger along Laguna's cheek, making sure the President was listening.

"Is there a point to this story?" The dry throated complaint came as the footsteps moved further away from the chair.

"Yes, Laguna..." Came the sharp reply, "There is. If you'd let me finish..."

Running hands down the President's tunic, his captor continued.

" The one who got lost followed his crumbs back to Balamb. He reported the other two missing, and got a medal for it. He finally released both the other two SeeD and they all lived happily ever after."

Laguna scoffed, testing the strength of his bonds.

"Why do I get the feeling that someone isn't telling the whole story?"

"Hmm..." The stranger laughed. "That would be because the story isn't over yet." Walking fingers up the greying mans shirt, his captor licked his face, causing the president to jump in disgust.

"You'll find out about it soon enough, though."

The last thing Laguna heard that night was the heavy door closing and the locks snapping shut.

He never realised how cold Dollet could be at midday. Maybe it was the sea breeze? The only thought that took his mind off Laguna was the wish that he'd brought his jacket.

"Mr Leonhart?" A soft voice asked from above him. "Mr Squall Leonhart?"

Squall looked up at the stout balding man and nodded, taking in how ridiculous the man actually looked. He had to be a politician.

"Ahh good. We were expecting you earlier, sorry to keep you waiting. Please...this way..." The tubby man moved off, not waiting to see if the SeeD would follow. Picking up his gunblade case and his backpack, Squall followed the man, looking at how empty the streets of Dollet had become.

There had, at one time, been a reason for the mass exodus from Dollet; but thinking on it, the brunette couldn't for the life of him remember what it was. He shrugged, catching up to the portly man before he changed direction suddenly into open gates and up the stairs leading to the ancient stone building.

In it's day, it could have been a castle. The gargoyles and griffin statues sitting on stone pillars seemed to glare at the SeeD as he clambered his way towards the building carved into the granite cliff itself.

Before he could ask who actually lived here, the balding man turned, the doors behind him opening inward.

"Mr Leonhart, the master of the house will be down shortly. Lawson will show you to your room. If you'll excuse me?" The rotund man bowed and scurried out of view, probably to let his master know that he was here.

He dropped his bags as he entered the large foyer, looking around and inspecting every little detail. There were doors to either side of him, offices most likely. And a set of stairs that dominated the middle of the room, splitting half way to make two identical sets of stairs for the second floor landing.

If he didn't know any better, Squall would have sworn that it was Ultimecia's castle, only with better lighting.

"Mr Leonhart?" A kindly woman's voice asked from behind him. He turned and smiled at the woman, genuinely pleased to see such an honest face. Her green eyes sparkled in the light coming in from the window as the faint blush crept onto her face.

"Can I take your bags, sir?" She asked, looking at the two at the door.

"The blue one. The black one...she...stays with me."

Bowing, the auburn haired woman smiled, walking to Squall's bag and taking the backpack.

"Of course, Sir. If you'll follow me, I'll take you to your room."

"We checked Dollet!"

"I know zat! Mr Prezident, please to be calming down now." Odine shifted his collar as he looked at his greying leader.

"Ze information ve seek is not yet on ze disc. Ve vill notify as soon as possible."

Slamming his fist down on the desk, the president stood up, glaring at Odine.

"See that you do." Laguna growled as he left the room, slamming the door behind him.

The short scientist laughed, looking out the observation window at his little experiment below. Picking up a syringe from the table, he inserted it into a small vial, pulling out the blue liquid from within it and tapping it.

"Time for your medicine..."

For a place this old, the beds certainly weren't. Leaning back on the pillow, Squall closed his eyes for a moment, taking in the feel of the sheets.

So warm.

A knock at the door shocked the brunette from his rest. Sitting up, he watched as Lawson came in, a packing box in her hands.

"Tiboli requests that you wear this tonight. The Master awaits you for dinner. If you please, sir?"

Squall stood, taking the box from the shorter woman's arms before setting it on the bed.

"Thanks...Lawson? You got a first name I can call you by?"

Lawson shook her head.

"Master does not like first names. Only last ones."

"Oh." Squall replied, removing the lid from the box. In it, a leather trench coat lay folded neatly, a silver key with the head of griever on top. Before picking up the coat, the brunette pocketed the key; he'd find the lock for it later.

"Your emblem is on the back, as requested." Lawson piped up, making Squall turn the jacket around to examine the griever, identical to the last scratch of his pendant, in middle of the back on the black coat.

"...Who did you say requested this?" The SeeD asked, slipping the jacket on, surprised that it fit him perfectly.

"This way sir."

Both blondes panted heavily, looking back up the darkened street to make sure the coast was clear.

"Bloody 'ell..."

"Can say that again...who the hell were they? Their eyes were glowing, Seif...did you see that?"

The scarred blonde nodded, trying to regain his breath. Several men ran past the alleyway.

They hadn't seen them.

Zell let out the breath he hadn't know he was holding before he pushed himself from the wall.

"That was close..."

"Too close." Seifer agreed, still holding on to Hyperion tightly.

"We need to report back to Quissy...come on. "

Both men walked towards the other end of the small alley, still wary of the men that could come barrelling down behind them at any moment.

Laughing started in front of them causing both men to stop. Jumping to his toes instantly, Zell sneered at the all too familiar figure before him.

"You're meant to be dead!" The tattooed youth cried out, turning back to look at the street where they'd come only to see it filled with the mysterious soldiers that had been following them before.

"Little Zell...I am dead." The newcomer laughed again as Zell's face moved from confusion to pain and surprise. He looked down, then over at Seifer before he fell to his knees, sliding off the metal blade that protruded from his chest.

As his eyes glazed over, he looked up at the two who had betrayed him.


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