A/N: Working towards lemon. Something I so far can't bring myself to write. During the 'what Zell saw' bit it got dangerously close. I kept trying to jump that one step closer and write it which I will eventually just to prove I can do it and then when I have I can include it everything. And then will just stop writing normal things and write lemon the whole time. Which may not be a bad thing. Inspired strangely by 'Heavier Than Heaven'.
This is the first of three parts and this is from Zell's point of view. the second will be Seifer's when he is fighting Squall and the third is Squall's after the fight. Basically scenes from the game with unoriginal twists to them but I was practicing my descriptive style and use of metaphors and shit. Which is why this sounds overly pretentious and boring. Sorry for everyone who reviewed the first draft but I put the one up which I had scribbled all over! ^^
Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
Like an uncharted territory
But you, you're not allowed
An unfortunate slight
-- Alanis Morissette, "Uninvited"
1. Sniper Team to wait outside Presidential Residence before the parade.
2. Gateway Team to wait inside Arch of Triumph.
3. Parade commences, Sorceress leaves; Sniper Team to sneak into Presidential Residence, and lie in ambush from atop.
4. Sorceress's float passes underneath Arch; Gateway Team to activate gates, cutting parade movement off.
5. Commence assassination. Hand-to-hand combat if assassination fails.
He crumpled the paper in his hand. It made a satisfying crackle. He'd read it a million times before and after tonight he would never need it again. He took a breath letting the cold air cleanse his senses as he prepared for the forthcoming battle. His body was tensed ready to fight, the adrenaline was already running in anticipation through his veins. With the rush it brought, it made the world seem brighter, sharper, an exaggerated parody of everyday life.
Through the small window in the tower he could see the float moving closer and closer surrounded by the graceful dancers. They wheeled and twirled and beat out rhythms in the perfectly synchronised show.
He had to give the signal. The timing was crucial; they had to be directly under the arch or the gates on either side would slice through the float or give them warning. They were so close now. Why did he always get the jobs like this? He was a born klutz. They would all blame him when it went wrong. They inevitably did. A few seconds and they would be in just the right place. Oh Hyne. He raised his arm.
One...... Two....... Three!
"Now Instructor Trepe!!" he yelled bringing his arm down.
The next few seconds were pure noise. From his position although he couldn't see what was going on, he could guess. Below him he could hear the harsh sound of grating metal as Quistis pulled the heavy lever down followed seconds later by the resounding clang of the metal as it hit the tarmac. The whistle, as a gunshot tore through the air and then cries from a battle. Looking out of the small window he could see the crowds rippling in panic as they realised too late what was about to happen. The enchantment was wearing off and the people were left dazed and confused.
He loved the familiar battles, and the smell of sweat and blood that accompanied them. The one thing he could be sure of in his life was the battles. Whatever else may change they were always there. Following a routine. You went in and fought and you didn't lose. There were no second chances. No moments to regret the decisions you took in the few split seconds that decided whether they were the right ones.
But before the battles had been faked. An easy monster and an instructor with a cure.
There had never been spilt blood and tears over friends who never returned. With this knowledge he felt a stronger rush of adrenaline than ever before. Knowing his goal had been reached. A piece of paper with his name and last weeks date. He had passed and when he fought he could win. People would respect him and look up to him. This time it was real. This time he could actually smell the fear and...
And the exotic tang of hothouse flowers. He was momentarily checked, his smooth movements, as he stretched ready for the fight, jerked abruptly as a memory from months ago fought it's way to the surface.
In his minds eye he could see Squall with all the clarity as if he'd been standing right before him. He could see his shock of chocolate hair and silver eyes in the artificial light of the training centre. The image drove all thought of battle from his mind; he was so totally unprepared for this mental onslaught. It threw him completely, the way waking up from a vivid dream leaves you questioning your reality.
Needing to check that the images in his mind were of real people he pushed the window open and leant out. By positioning his neck just so he could see the brunette fighting below. He was metres away from the small window, Seifer raised above the crowd on the neon float and Squall at his feet looking up. Squall was surrounded by a blur of light and colour, but even at a distance Zell knew him so well that his movements betrayed his normally carefully concealed feelings.The eyes were filled with terror. The normally so graceful cat like movements were hesitant and checked. His mouth set in a firm line of determination. He looked like a man about to face his worst fear.
And he was. As the smell of the flowers, crushed under the feet of the crowd crept into the small tower Zell remembered more and more.
He'd been training. Taking out his frustration out on the wildlife in the small centre. It was humid in the artificial environment and sweat was running in his eyes, blurring his vision. He was so wrapped up in himself, that when he found them he didn't know if they were fighting or not.
All he knew was he'd walked into somewhere he wasn't wanted.
Squall and the taller blonde struggled for purchase just away from the paved walkway. Legs entwined and shirts forming crumpled pools of cotton under their owners as they flattened the grass around them. Mouths busy against each other, kissing with the same passion and violence they used in their combat.
Seifer's gloved hands gripped Squall, the fingers leaving pink marks against the pale skin of his upper arms. Squall was clutching Seifer's waist, one hand grasping his hip, his eyes closed in pain as he bit into Seifer's lip.
Zell's surprise at walking into such a private moment of another life formed a gasp that echoed those of the lovers. Taking a step backwards, his foot touched something metal. With a wild glance behind him he realised he had stepped onto the two's Gunblades carefully place on top of each other as if mimicking their owners. And as Lionheart lost it's purchase and slipped beside Hyperion so did it's owner.
Zell turned back in time to catch the surprise which formed an unspoken question. Squall's eyes looked wider and bluer than he'd ever seen them, as if someone had taken a dawn and replaced the iris with it. Seifer, was still on his back, his eyes closed, looking smug like a lion after a kill.
With the startled look Squall shot him Zell could pinpoint the exact moment his heart broke and his dreams fell from the air around him. For so long he'd pined over the brown haired boy. Wasting spare moments daydreaming about him. Longing for him in the lonely nights. With one piercing look the normally emotionless SeeD had shattered the small blondes illusions.
Zell smiled, sadly at him and left.
Zell could see his pain mirrored in the others actions now. His panic at hurting the other clear to a trained eye. He fought clumsily and wasn't even triggering his Gunblade. He was torn between his loyalties and his love. Which was not reflected from the other who fought hard, desperately trying to gain the upper hand. Zell watched long enough to see the veil fall over Squall's face as he blanked his emotions once more and fought hard. They fought perfectly like a scene rehearsed night after night. Perhaps it had been.
They caught each others blows, neither attacking but neither defending, like a deadly dance as they waited for the other to slip. Seifer showed nothing in his movements, and it didn't look as if he even recognised the other.
Quistis placed a hand on Zell's shoulder, and he jumped. She turned him from the window, her wide blue eyes showed concern.
"We have to go."
Selphie was standing behind her, her hands white knuckled as she clutched her Crescent Wish. Her face was grey and the usual spark momentarily gone. Zell suddenly felt like all his energy had gone and he was very cold. Like he wanted to curl up and sleep. He felt disappointment as well, he'd wanted his first fight to be full of glory and triumph.
He wanted Squall to tell him he'd fought well. He wanted Squall to be proud of him. He wanted Squall to smile at him. He wanted Squall...
He followed silently as Selphie and Quistis made their way down the stone steps towards the battle.
And far below him a knight fell to his knees.
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