Quick note: The closer to the end I get.. .the faster I write. ~_^* More serious than the other fics. I'm sorry about that but.. *shrug* There is a time to laugh, and a time to cry. ~_^* Feedback is more than welcome!


Chapter Nine

By Sniffles







Ward is standing by the door, glowering at me. I ignore him and continue my pacing.




I stop abruptly and bury my hands in my hair. I tug, hard. The uncomfortable sensation helps clear my head. Where is Kiros? And Kid? What is Kiros thinking? Why did he look so... upset? Could he really have feelings for me? Could he... does he think Kid and I are.. together?

"Ah Kiros." I moan, slumping against the wall.

Ward watches me silently. "Shit Ward, I bet you know too eh? Everybody seems to."

Ward nods. "So, I've been wandering around drooling over Kiros, thinking it was my little secret, while all the time you guys knew?"

Another nod. "Shit." Am I so transparent?

The door opens. I straighten, biting my lip. Kiros enters the room. He gestures at Ward, and Ward leaves the room immediately, closing the door behind him.

"So uh... look Kiros what you saw-"

Kiros cuts me off with a gesture. "It doesn't matter." He says coldly.

"Doesn't... matter?" Yeah... why should it? He's just... just a friend... isn't he?

He walks across the room and stares out the window, "You don't remember anything?" He asks softly.

"N-no. Nothing be-before I k.. kissed you."

He turns, his eyes cutting into my soul. He looks so hard. So cold. Almost angry. "You never kissed me." He snaps viciously.

"I.. but I.. did..." I feel my cheeks flushing as a sick feeling grips my stomach. I bite my lower lip as hard as I can and lean back against the wall.

"No! Laguna kissed me, you did not."

"Wh-what?!" And I thought I was the crazy one.

"I don't know how you ended up with that particular... memory. It wasn't programmed into you." Kiros turns back to the window.

"Programmed... into me?" My head is buzzing. I can hardly hear him. My vision is filling with little black dots.

"You really can't remember?" He glances over his shoulder.

I shake my head. My mouth is full of cotton and I can't speak. The hair on my arms is standing on end. It does that when something big is about to happen. Kiros used to tease me about being psychic, because I always know when something life changing is on it's way.

He whirls and walks across the room until he's right in front of me. I raise my eyes reluctantly, and meet his gaze. "Laguna is dead."


"But... but how can he be dead? I'm Laguna." I whisper. Funny how I referred to myself in the third person. Doesn't make much sense... doesn't make much sense at all..

"After that incident, when he kissed me, UP showed themselves for the first time. They attacked Esthar. We were completely unprepared. Laguna died in that battle."

"No... no, no." I gasp, wrapping my arms around my waist. This can't be real. It can't be right. He's.. he's playing some sick game with me. He has to be.

"You.. you are.." He hesitates, his eyes darting away. He paces across the room. He stops on the other side of the room and buries his head in his hands, "I couldn't... they.."

"Tell me. Explain to me how ... how Laguna can be dead when I'm Laguna." I beg him. Please. Explain to me what you're saying. Explain to me why you're acting so crazy... and why it feels like everything you're saying.. is true.

He takes a deep breath. "The people never knew you died. They.. the council decided..." he rested a hand against the wall. He suddenly looked so frail, so lost. "We were experimenting with cloning then.. they decided it would be best to clone Laguna."

Clone?... I'm a.. clone?

"They programmed you with all of Laguna's memories. They gave you his personality. They .. they made you into him. Even down to his obsession with me."

Clone? Strange. Now that the word is out in the open, I feel numb. Not sick anymore. Not dizzy. Just numb. Like my entire body has just become ice. I remember a song I heard once that seems to suit this situation. 'I think I'm a clone now, there's always two of me, just a hanging around.' I find I can't contain my laughter.

Kiros whirls around, his eyes wide with shock. "You find this funny!"

I shake my head slowly, trying to stem my laughter. I think, maybe, I'm just a little close to hysteria. "The only difference between now and when you were created.. is before you knew you were a clone. After you hit your head... you forgot." He's staring at me with this really hateful look.

Does he hate me?

Or just what I stand for?

"You've gotta' be kidding." But I know he's not. A clone? Who woulda' thought? I guess there are worse things. He could have told me I was .. was originally a woman or something equally strange. I find myself laughing again.

I can't help it. It's just... it just really strikes me as funny. "So.. uh..." I try to contain my laughter. He's looking really pissed and the last thing I want to do is make him angry with me. "So.. what made you decide to tell me?"

"Don't mess with Seifer." He growls softly, "The boy has enough problems. Falling in love with you... would be a mistake. For him, and for you."

"I don't think that's why you told me... not entirely." I stare at his face. He looks.. flushed? "You're jealous.. aren't you?"

His lip curls up in a snarl, "Jealous?! Hardly."

He doesn't sound very convincing, and I think he knows it. "You said they made me into Laguna. Down to my obsession with you and my personality. I know I look like him... when you saw Seifer and I kissing.. you were jealous." Oh wow. My greatest dream finally comes true, but in such shitty circumstances. The gods hate me!

"No." He denies quickly, but a little too quickly.

"You were jeal-"

"For a moment I forgot!" He snaps angrily. His eyes focus on me, their chocolate brown depths shimmering with repressed tears. "For a moment I forgot that you.. that you aren't him. For ... for just one, stupid moment, I forgot that... he's dead and I'll never see him again. Oh... gawd.." He buried his head in his hands again. "Oh gawd... I never got a chance... to tell him how I feel... to explain why I pushed him away..."

His voice trails off. His emotion fills me. I can feel his pain so clearly... it's freaky. He whispers, so softly I almost don't hear, "I should have never pushed him away."

"Why did you push him away?" I ask softly, my knees give way and suddenly I find myself sitting on the floor. Yep. Hysteria sounds good about now. Laugh. Cry. Scream. Go numb with shock. I'm pretty much experiencing the need to do all those things, at once.

"I was frightened." Why is he telling me this? If he really does t.. believe that I'm not his Laguna... why is he telling me? Maybe he just needs to get it off his chest. I get the impression, somehow, that he hasn't told anyone how he felt.. how he feels. He falls to his knees. We stare at each other across the room.

"Frightened of what?" I say softly, raising my voice just enough so that he'll hear.

"Of how much I needed him. How much I loved him."


He tilts his head. Those tears are so close to the surface that his eyes are pools of black.

Seifer told me to tell him how it feels.... even now, knowing I'm a clone I... he needs to know.. after all, my feelings... my feelings are real.. aren't they?

"I love you."

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