A/N: I have just discovered I am at my most creative when I am at my most destructive. This is a fic written about five thousands times before me. And about five thousand times better. It is as far from original as you can get. It does hint at Seifer x Squall. The title is there because I liked it, it is relevant but I can't be arsed to explain why. PG-13 for bad language... and a very disturbing image of Cid.... ^^ There may be more to come on the Seifer x Squall front.

Dedicated: Quisty for being so nice. ^^

Plot: A little look into the parade from Seifer's POV and his feelings on becoming Edea's Knight.

Triad: The Man Who Sold The World

By Rie and Atsuko

I searched for form and land,
Years and years I roamed,
I gazed a gaze-less stare,
We walked a million hills

I must have died alone,
A long, long time ago.
Who knows, not me,
I never lost control,
You're face, to face,
With the man who sold the world

-- Nirvana, "The Man Who Sold the World"

 

Seifer Almasy had waited for what seemed like an eternity for this day. The day when they would cheer for him, not for some stupid SeeD candidates who had managed to pass an exam. He was above them now, he didn't need a uniform as proof to the world he was a 'somebody'. Finally the day had come when he would take his place at the side of his Sorceress just like in the legends.

The day when he would become the Knight.

"This is your new reality!" his mistress had told him. She had seemed so sure of herself. Now she sat bathed in otherworldly flame and the neon lights of the parade. But it wasn't a new reality for him. Not even close.

This wasn't the more honourable existence that he had mapped out in perfect detail within his mind. All his life he'd been waiting for it to be realised. For him to find his Sorceress. It was his destiny, after all. The warrior had known since he was a little child that he was the only one noble enough to be worthy of someone like her. Seifer the White Knight. It had a certain ring to it. Protector of his Sorceress, feared and respected by all.

She was so beautiful as she stood there - her hair flowing, inky black and shiny under the glare of the lights. Her face pale and composed, looking so regal. So like the pictures in his mind and storybooks from a long time ago. The vision of mystic perfection that was any true Sorceress. They would be together forever, wouldn't they? She'd said as much, given him as much on what was perhaps the most perfect night of his life. Nothing could possibly match this fated debut, and for the first time in his existence Seifer Almasy had managed to convinced himself that he felt.... whole.

The Sorceress was on her throne, the Knight stood at attention, and all was right with the world.

It had to be.

And then the new reality was shattered with the sound of grating metal. In front and behind him, heavy portcullises dropped into place, trapping him and his mistress. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Within the split second it took for this thought to pass through Seifer's mind there was a sound of the air being torn by a bullet. He felt the hot lead whistle past his ear and moved in time to avoid being hit.

In the few hazy moments that followed Seifer was never sure what had happened. His mind was jumbled with two thoughts. The first questioning whether the bullet was meant for him and the second, more a vague feeling, he should be throwing himself in front of his new mistress. By the time both had cleared the bullet was flattened on the ground, faint wisps of smoke curling from the red hot metal. The next coherent question that came was, who had shot it?

The answer came in the shape of a chocolate haired SeeD.

Looking down at Squall, from his vantage point of the float, Seifer felt a curious blank, as though there was an emotion he usually connected with Squall that just wasn't there. He frowned slightly trying to remember what it could have been. Far in the back of his mind he could feel it trying to break loose but it was neatly held in his Mistress's web of magic.

His Mistress. That was all that was important now.

As he looked up at her, she stared hard at him and another thought flickered into his brain.

Jealousy.

He hoped they were all jealous. Jealous because although he hadn't passed their fucking exams, he'd made it in the world. And all of them combined wouldn't stop him. They'd be the first to suffer when his Sorceress took over. Her Knight would see to that, especially that Headmaster. He'd been so full of himself, so falsely sympathetic on the countless times Seifer was sent to him without the required pass marks. Always trying to do what he thought to be fair and pretending to care about what happened. He could just go and fuck himself. Seifer Almasy was better then all of them.

Squall looked up at Seifer, who stood proudly on the float. The neon lights behind him cast an eerie glow around him, giving him the appearance of an angel who'd just stepped from heaven. But his face gave away his character, his green eyes were narrowed as he watched Squall, his trademark smirk in place. Below him Squall swallowed nervously, Seifer's eyes held no warmth in them as he surveyed the scene, only cruelty and the lust for battle.

"Well, this is how it turned out," Seifer murmured finally.

"So, you've become the Sorceress's lapdog?" Squall returned, standing below the much taller blonde.

"I prefer to be called her Knight," Seifer said coldly as he leapt with cat-like grace from the edge of the float to face Squall.

"This has always been my… dream…." Seifer trailed off at the last word, as if trying to convince himself more than Squall. He stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment before raising his Gunblade.

Squall, anticipating the move, slowly raised Lionheart's blade. The pair stood staring at each other for a few seconds. The jade eyes filled with cold rage on the surface, but the man behind them was nothing but Edea's puppet. The stormy eyes were shimmering with a blue layer of tears for a man who didn't recognise him.

Just as the silence became unbearable Seifer swung his blade in a clean arc. Squall brought Leonhart up to counter it with trained perfection.

Around them the world fell silent. They could sense an electric charge in the air and it fuelled them further. The sky hung low and brooding above. The air was warm, but Squall's blood ran cold. In the distance a film of rain clouded the horizon as the storm approached.

The only sounds were the cold clatter of steel upon steel and boots against the rough tarmac and a faint echo of thunder. The distant lightning sent sheen's of light down the steel blades. The archway threw back echoes making the battle seem larger.

Their eyes never left each other, faces like scars, set in identical grimaces as they fought. They were well matched, going through familiar motions like dancers. Seifer's actions were taken with a deliberate slowness. He could smell the victory, he was going to win. There was no other option. Arrogance was clear on his face.

Because Seifer Almasy never failed, and he bloody well wasn't about to start now.

Squall's movements were portraying his fear, which added to Seifer's confidence that the battle would be his. His movements, normally fluid, were jerky and guarded, trying desperately not to inflict too much damage. Against the steady metallic sounds there was the steady thump of his heart. Every time Seifer spoke, or swung or received a blow he felt his heart jolt and speed up. It was so impossibly loud he was sure his opponent must be able to hear it.

The battle continued. They caught each others blows, neither attacking but neither defending, like a deadly dance as they waited for the other to slip.

"Squall, you're mine…" Seifer stated, almost like a command. The voice was his but it sounded harsh, like a cruel impersonation.

Squall responded with a hiss of anger. Arrogance had always been Seifer's downfall and Squall was glad to see something familiar at last in him. In the split second Seifer was off guard Squall brought his blade up at the same moment he triggered it, bringing the Knight to his knees.

"I…I lost…?" Seifer asked weakly, casting his gaze to his Mistress as he clutched his stomach.

She stood looking down at him. The words echoed in the archway, making his voice seem smaller and lost. The sound of his voice tugged Squall's heart as he desperately tried to push all thoughts from his head. He was a trained soldier, they didn't cry. They didn't show emotion. They did their job. But the look of dejection, shame and fear on Seifer's face was almost unbearable.

Perhaps somewhere in another reality Seifer could have won the battle. A place where Mistress and Knight could have stayed together forever, or for as long as it took for Seifer to go mad within the fašade. But as Seifer fell unconscious at his Mistress's feet the new reality was torn forever.

 

Ta-da! Another one finished for no one but my friends to read! At least it makes me feel happy so I don't care if people don't like it, I had so much fun writing it. Till the next time....

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