Chapter 28 - Father's Day
By The Wandering Englishman
They'd been walking for hours, and for Laguna that was several hours too long. His blonde companion, always at least four steps ahead of him, was constantly clearing the way through the scrub effortlessly, with Hyperion in hand.
They had to be getting close to somewhere by now. It was almost dawn; the first rays of the morning sun causing the sky to appear a deep green colour. The greying man stopped a moment, watching as the stars faded from the former night sky.
"Hey, Seifer, wait up!" The president shouted, realising that the SeeD hadn't stopped moving. To his surprise, the green-eyed man stopped, clutching at his ear and wincing painfully.
"Not so loud!" the startled cry replied as Laguna jogged to catch the taller man.
"Quisty, slow down..."
Laguna looked up, laughing at himself before quieting himself.
"Yes, we've got him." The blonde nodded, glancing briefly over at the humming president.
"You're where?" Laguna looked up, confusion plastered on his face. "Right, Quistis, we'll meet you on the beach near Winhill in two hours."
Turning, Seifer grinned at the shorter man.
"Let's go, 'Guna. We're expected."
The woman patted her growing stomach, smiling to herself from her ornate throne. There was only hours left until his birth, now, she had to be careful.
Looking around the large hall, the sorceress sighed. She'd sacrificed the last of her lives to come back here, and the castle was all she had conquered on this tired little planet. It had taken her a shorter time to take over Esthar.
The woman jumped as the child within her kicked. Even at such a young age, the boy was strong. She could feel the power within him building, and she realised it wasn't going to take long until his power far outweighed her own.
She was glad that her knights had honour; they wouldn't dare put the life of the babe in danger just to betray her. They would be her tools into finally getting back what was rightfully hers.
Purple eyes snapped open, greeted by Squall's deep blue ones, a comforting hand resting on his scarred shoulder.
"Who are you?" The elder man asked, helping Kaien to sit up. Smirking to himself, the boy swung his legs so his bare feet were touching the floor.
"You wouldn't believe me, even if I did tell you."
"What's your name, SeeD?" Squall ordered, causing the younger man to stiffen.
"I've had many, sir." The quick reply came, Kaien's voice as cold as his companions'.
"Just one will do."
Lowering his head, the purple-eyed man sighed. The question had been inevitable from the first moment he'd come back to this time; he had hope, though, that he could explain after he'd eliminated the one threat of his future.
Taking a deep breath, the youth looked into the paling eyes, rubbing at his thigh absently.
"I am Lieutenant Kaien Carson, head of the Esthar SeeD Special Forces."
"There are no SeeD in Esthar." The matter-of-fact reply, beginning to tap his arm impatiently.
"I did say you wouldn't believe me." He sighed, reaching down to pick up his shirt from the floor. "Did she tell you the news?"
Squall cocked his head, remembering the reason he had woken up the boy.
"How did you know?"
"I... felt it." Kaien muttered, though he was only half lying. "Kyle will be born in four hours."
"Kyle?" The leather-clad SeeD frowned at the sudden change of subject.
"It's a word in the ancient tongue. It means handsome. She thinks because the child is half hers it that it will make up the fact that she hates the sight of all men." He smirked, slipping the shirt on. "Go figure."
Standing, Kaien walked to his weapon, reaching for it before stumbling forward. Grasping aimlessly at the air around him, as the world drifted from his vision into a sea of black.
Squall saw the uneasiness in the boy's eyes and jumped instantly to his feet like a cat barely managing to catch the SeeD before he hit the floor.
The dark circles underneath the sorcerer's eyes lightened slightly before the hate-filled grey opened up into the darkness. As he looked around, light from the doorway burned into his retinas, causing the dark-haired man to blink.
He glanced down at his hands, the deep crimson colour covering them and his shirt; soaking so deep the soft cotton clung tightly to his leaned body.
"My Lady." A timid voice whispered behind him; the usual power in the young man's speech completely drained in obvious fear.
Leather pants squeaked in the empty hall as the SeeD turned to look down at the purple-eyed youth kneeling before him. In his arms, the wide-eyed and silent child, watching everything with genuine interest.
Had he seen him kill her? Or was he only now turning to look?
"Kaien, stand up." Squall ordered, the taller youth following the order, careful not to rock the baby. As the youth looked up into his mistress's eyes, and took an involuntary step back. The eyes were dead. They were so cold; and it seemed to spread over the pale features, changing his whole demeanour. So it had finally happened. This was the start of it all. Rinoa made him forget the power and what it did to him. Her power: Adel's power; that was the final straw. Enough evil in it's purest form...it's enough to make anyone snap.
It made him snap.
His look always had a sort of warmth to it. But not now, it was like he remembered. The pictures, the stories...
In a flash, the scene changed, though the blood remained. Across the hall from the doorway, the splattered remains could be seen plastered all over the floor and wall; the bloodied head of the SeeD Commander rolling plainly on the floor.
In the middle of the room, the purple-eyed SeeD crouched over the baby, looking up at the grinning sorceress as she floated above the ichor below her.
"Give him to me, Knight. Or suffer the same punishment." She screamed, above the noise of the frightened child.
Looking around, Kaien swallowed.
"You can't have him!" He cried, fear causing his voice to crack as he tried to get his heavy legs to move. The wailings of the baby in his arms growing tenfold as the woman hovered over the two of them.
"You're going to try and stop me too, Knight?" She shook her head, yellow eyes glaring at him as a white mist rose from the crimson lining on the floor.
Kaien stared wide-eyed at the sorceress, as the wind seemed to pick up around them both. The light filled in the room, surrounding them all then exploding outward in brilliance as bright as the sun.
He had to scream. The needle was thrust into his arm so fast and carelessly that it was hard not to. He was still so young... he couldn't handle this.
"Doctor?" A second man asked, looking down at the prone figure on the table.
"Hiz power iz off ze charts. Ze injection will make sure he iz under our control."
"How long will the medication last, Doctor Odine?"
"Until ze process is complete."
"I know what I have to do." The breathy voice murmured as soft lashes parted, greeted by the dark blue of the man holding him in his lap. Lifting himself up, he lifted a hand to his head as the world spun.
"And what's that?" The emotionless question came as the elder SeeD placed a hand on the younger man's back, supporting him.
"She has to die, Squall."
"I know. I have a spell with her name on-" Kaien shot the older man a glare; his purple eyes seemingly burning into Squall's soul.
"You can't be the one to kill her." He closed his eyes, the images of the twisted malevolence invading his mind. Rubbing his calloused fingers over the thick scar on his stomach, the two faces overlapped.
It started there: that moment. A time so long ago, he shouldn't even remember it. And it was about to happen again. It could be changed, though. The scar proved it.
Laguna had told him...once, long ago about the story of his father. How he died...he died protecting him while he was just a baby. When he'd come home to Laguna, there was something different about him.
He didn't care, though, Laguna. He was just glad to have Squall back in his arms, and in a time of peace. Squall had started building Esthar's Garden once he'd gone back to Balamb, in case another sorceress decided to show their face. Working hand in hand with the Esthari government, it was inevitable that Squall and Laguna would patch things up. They even married after a year, the protests from the people far less than either of them had expected.
There was always something off about Squall, though, according to the president.
Six months later, the war began.
After a year, Squall vanished. Dead.
And because of one decision made in a hurry.
Kaien had to make sure that this time: the decision was his, and his alone. So many lives counted on it.
"Why not?" Squall asked, after what seemed like centuries.
"You're needed for something else. I was sent here to kill the sorceress. You need to make sure the kid grows up the right way." Smirking, the youth stood, taking his sword from the sheath on the ground.
"It started here. It's time to make sure it finishes here too."
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