I apologize for the long delay and the length of this chapter. I have good excuses, though. My grandfather was in the hospital for a couple weeks before passing away. I also had midterms to study for in between my familial duties. But many, many thanks to all those who have been reviewing this and my other stories.
The little squiggly lines (~~~~~) represent a flashback. Hope it isn’t too confusing.
Again, I don’t own the characters or the world or the game storyline. I do, however, own this particular storyline, and the others I’ve written, but that doesn’t amount to very much. Maybe a few rusty bottlecaps or clamshells, depending on the local currency. And believe you me, the people at 7-Eleven get pretty mad and start yelling insults in Hindi at me if I try to barter twisty-ties for a Slurpee. ~ Kaerith
Relieved, I pulled Seifer closer to me. His arm tightened around my shoulders and we walked side-by-side back towards our small home. Crawling back into the double bed, he pulled my head onto his left shoulder. Rolling towards him, I threw an arm across his broad chest and snuggled my nose into his neck. He slowly stroked my hair as I listened to his steady heartbeat and even breathing. Finally calm, I slipped off into sleep.
I felt him snuggle into me even more as he slept. I concentrated on his body heat and the warm tickling of his breath on my neck. My eyes half-closed in a feeling that was the closest to contentment since… I don’t know when. His promise "We’ll get through this" echoed softly in my mind. With my eyes half-closed, I relaxed.
I scanned the cheering crowd as the float toured Deling City. The spies had reported that General Caraway was planning an assassination attempt during the parade. Rinoa’s father. I wonder if Squall, Quistis, and Zell will be carrying out the mission? Anxiously, I adjusted my grip on Hyperion. Rinoa was just a distraction. I can kill her easily if I must. Quistis, Chicken, and that messenger girl too. But Squall…I wasn’t sure if I could kill him.
I hid my uneasiness from the gullible spectators, raising a hand to comb my fingers through my hair. I couldn’t shield the Sorceress from my thoughts, however. Maybe she’s paying attention to the crowd. I hoped so.
:And miss your petty thoughts, pet?: I heard her dark laughter in my mind. :Don’t fret, my Knight. When the time comes you will kill all nuisances in our way. Not even your childish fantasies of unrequited love can stand in my path.:
I strained to see her expression from the corner of my eye. Her face showed no hint of anything other than disdain and mild amusement. A flash of rage at her ridicule rose, instantly extinguished by the despairing reality of my impotence to act against her will. But her barb had struck squarely where it had been aimed.
Is this really just a childish fantasy?
I was jolted out of my thoughts as immense iron gates fell, trapping the float inside the gateway. I turned to see the Sorceress rise, saw her narrow her eyes and lips in alarm and displeasure. She raised a blue-green shield as something – a bullet? – flew straight at her. Automatically I crouched to a low guard position, my heart unexpectedly sinking as I dropped down. I guess it isn’t Squall after all. Balamb doesn’t have any sharpshooters. Shaking off the disappointment, a strange emotion to be feeling when I would have had to fight him, I looked to Sorceress Edea for instructions.
Her face was raised as if she could hear something over the exploding fireworks and ringing metal as the parade guards laid waste to the startled spectators around them in confusion. Her orders were not given as words; if they were I would not have been able to hear them. Instead, she seized my mind, inciting the blood lust that caused me to become a berserker in battle. The thrilling expectation of confrontation caused me to instinctively smirk. I felt my blood heat and pulse quicken in anticipation as the torches of the float flared. God, I love the exhilaration of a berserk spell!
The screeching of metal briefly eclipsed the sounds of the fighting mob. I grinned as I heard the footsteps of the fool who dared confront a Sorceress and her Knight and waited to see who it would be.
No! the sane part of my mind cried as I recognized the fool facing me.
I felt the Sorceress’ amusement as I tried to fight the berserk spell. My mind has never won over my instincts, so why should it now?
"Well, this is how it turned out," I heard myself say.
Leonhart stared at me with obvious contempt. "So you've become the sorceress’ lap dog?"
I rose to the bait, propelled by blood lust. "I prefer to be called her knight. This has always been my dream."
I study him. He’s prepared for battle. Prepared to kill me, kill the Sorceress, save the world and live happily ever after with Rinoa, whom I notice is running towards us. Towards Squall, at least.
"When the time comes you will kill all nuisances in our way. Not even your childish fantasies of unrequited love can stand in my path."
I looked at Squall. I looked at Rinoa. They are the ideal couple, I realize. Giving up on hope, I settle for second best, narrowing my eyes in anger and hurt. Fine. But they will not stand in the way of Sorceress Edea! I let go of my childish fantasies and let the battle frenzy conquer my feelings.
"Squall, you're mine!" Brandishing Hyperion, I threw myself into battle.
Note: Seifer may be impotent against the Sorceress, but don’t worry… he won’t be impotent against Squally! *evil grin*
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