Disclaimer: Plain and simple. FFVIII belongs to Squaresoft, which I am not a part of.
Author's Notes: I'm not sure what to say. I really have nothing to ask, and nothing to say. . . . . . *lets out a loud sigh* . . . . all well. Just read! : )
By Drakon Sword
I am so thoroughly confused that I don't think I could tell you the difference between black and white if my life depended on it.
I mean, one minute I'm so happy that Seifer has returned and that everyone has accepted him back with a mutual understanding, but I'm so anger at him that it chills me. He avoided me, abandoned me, and now he decides to step, with his usual confidence and cockiness, back into my life.
Oh, what a life it is.
You know, I don't have much of a life without him. I wouldn't have had one before, and I wouldn't know. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here where I am now. In all accounts. I wouldn't be here, currently, if he wasn't in my room. I wouldn't be out here thinking about my current situation if he hadn't returned. I wouldn't be here if it was for the sorceress' wars that I somehow got tied into.
Sometimes life is a bitch.
If it wasn't for Seifer, I wouldn't be the garden's Commander. I wouldn't be a gunbladest, nor one of the best. I wouldn't be the damned 'world war hero'. I wouldn't be at the garden at all, actually. I wouldn't have probably left all this shit a long time ago.
One way or another.
However, here I am. Thinking about my life, and how messed up it is.
You know, it would be a lot easier if life came with some sort of booklet, or at least a warning. Something like 'Beware. Can screw up beyond belief without any logical reason', or maybe 'Caution. Susceptible to extreme change that may cause physical and mental damage. Continue at your own risk.' Something like that to warn me because I'm not sure if I'm all for this life thing. It begins to hurt after a while.
Now back to my main problem.
Seifer. Seifer Almasy. My rival. The ex-sorceress' knight.
I can honestly say that I don't fully understand my feelings for him. I hate him with a passion for things that he has done, and I don't doubt he feels the same. Yet, I feel this strong emotion that draws me to him. I need him, and it makes me vulnerable. Something that makes me weak. The one thing I can't stand, and Seifer never could either.
When he kissed me, it was like nothing else mattered. My life, such as it is, just seemed to fall away. No one, and nothing mattered. It was just all in a haze of mist that lingered at the back of my mind.
I know. It sounds like some sort of line from one of those romance novels. Cliche. I hate thinking it, if that makes you feel better, but it's true. It's like everything can go to hell, and burn. Just as long as I have Seifer in my arms.
Quistis was right. Nothing else mattered to me outside of Seifer. Seifer was - correction - is my life, and when he was gone, I started to kill myself slowly to follow him. Now that he is back, I'm confused and lost. Lost like a small boy that wants to be reassured. You know, the comforting embrace as the one holding you murmurs promises that 'everything will be fine' as the rock you, occasionally humming a tune that they create.
Edea used to do that. Ellone too.
There is one question that solves this entire problem. A question that must be answered truthfully, and that everything else can be overlooked or worked out later. One simple question that can solve almost everything.
Do I want Seifer back in my life?
The question is simple, and so is the answer.
It's a resounding yes. Dammit! I want him back in my life. We can work out the problems. I help him with his, and I'll get over mine. Just does he want me? I want him to want me, but don't think it's that easy. Though he has never lead me to believe he doesn't want me. He hasn't refused me . . . he kissed me . . . he has inadvertently said that I mean a lot to him . . .
Does he want me?
"I knew you would be here." His voice, I wasn't surprised to hear him. I thought I could smell him, but considered it my over-reactive senses. However, he is here with me. I don't turn around as he sits on the rock beside me.
Maybe this can work.
I gave him an hour to think. I needed the time too. I needed to figure out what I was to say. I did, do, have a lot to explain, but how can I explain it, when I don't fully understand it myself? It isn't logical. It's bizarre. Then again, has any of our lives ever been 'normal'?
Then again, what is 'normal'? Ya! I know the dictionary has some definition of what 'normal' is. Something about standard and usual, but is anyone's life standard, or fucking usual? Mine never has, and I don't think it's gonna start now.
If anyone tells you that they are normal, punch them for me, okay? For there is no such a thing. Normal is such a stupid word, because nothing has standards. Especially not life because I don't see the instruction booklet. But then it would be too easy! Just got to love watching someone stumble through life.
Sure. I'm having a ball!
Anyhow, I decided that enough was enough. Squall had more than his share of time, and I intended to finish what I started. I was going to tell him everything I knew, and he was going to sit and listen. Not necessarily like it, but hey! I didn't promise anything!
However, the hard part was finding the bastard.
Though I knew where he would be. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. I knew he would be sitting there like he had so many time during our lives. Sometimes withered in defeat, comforted in thoughtfulness, straight with pride and confidence.
He would be at our rock.
I smiled with I saw him. His back towards me, and the ocean breeze rustling his shirt. My own trench coat was bellowing out around me. I could smell the salt, but I could, faintly, smell him intertwined with the harsh sent. I tentatively walked up to him. I was quiet, but knew that he knew I was there.
"I knew you would be here." I said, my voice hushed, but ironic. He didn't move, or say a word. I took this as an invitation, and sat down beside him on the rock like I had so many times. Silence stretched between us as we pondered our own thoughts. It wasn't completely uncomfortable, but wasn't relaxing either.
"Seifer. I want you to tell me why you didn't come at first. I want you tell me it all." Squall said, sounding confident, yet subdued. I smiled wryly, and looked to the sea. Watching the waves wrestle, and beat each other, causing water to spray into the wind.
"Why?" I asked, echoing the word he had shot at me continuously when I first arrived.
"Because I want to understand." Was the simple reply. I gave a little snort at his words because that was what I wanted too. I wanted him to understand. To see what I saw. I wanted to bring him out of the world we had created together, and show him the real one. Or at least the one that I came to realize was more real then our own.
I let the silence between us linger for a few moments. Flittering the words together to create sentences to tell him what I knew. I ran a hand over my hair before beginning.
"What we learned Squall, wasn't real. It was only half of the world. Half of life. The dark half, and I knew that when I saw something that no other human being gets to see. I'm not sure yet if I was blessed to see it, or cursed." I said, not looking at Squall, but I could feel his eyes watching me.
"What do you mean, Seifer?" He asked, sounding young. Almost childish. It made me feel old to know more than him, but so young to know I was a bare year older than him. We never really did grow up, did we?
"That weakness is not emotion. Anything can be a weakness when properly manipulated. Arrogance, pride, passion, love, it is all weaknesses. What we learned was not the truth, but half." I explained, taking my black leather gloves off, and shoving them into my pocket. Squall watched me patiently. "I considered love and other emotion like it weaknesses because they made a person vulnerable. However, emotions that make you feel strong can make you just as vulnerable to anyone as any other emotion. There is no black or white, Squall. Everything is somewhere in between. Grey." I continued, smiling wryly.
"That was how Ultimecia controlled you. She manipulated you with your arrogance, confidence, and pride. She used them to use you." Squall replied. He was always a quick one. I heard the undertone of menace that was not directed at me, but directed at the great sorceress bitch, Ultimecia.
"Yes. That started me thinking, but there's more." I paused, trying to decided what to say next. I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. No. Not yet. "Love gives a person reason to live, rather then make then wishy-washy and dooey eyed like we feared of being. You have to be a dumb dork to begin with." I muttered, thinking of Rinoa. I care for her and all, but she has a habit of taking love too carelessly, and mistaking it with romance. You can have romance with someone you care for, but not necessarily love.
"Rinoa." Squall said, simply, echoing my thoughts. I'm not sure who read whose mind, but it didn't matter. We both knew it was true. Rinoa was just too optimistic at times.
"Ya." I chuckled, rubbing my nose. I watched Squall shook his head, smiling wryly. "Love isn't weak because love can make a person stronger, and often does. It's what makes a person get up in the morning. Love gives a person strength to face anything to know that the one you love will be there beside you. It creates such a strength if used properly, but can be switched into a weakness like everything else if used in a cruel, manipulative way." I sighed, as Squall's hand came over mine where it lay on the boulder.
"So you're saying that the true weakness is what we don't know. Life is a weakness because we don't know what will happen next, and if our decisions today will be our downfall the tomorrow." Squall mused, sounding thoughtful.
"Pretty much. Don't know about you, but don't plan to become a paranoid idiot because I don't know what will happen next. I plan to take my chances, and go with the flow." I scoffed, sounding confident. It was true. I would take my chances. If things worked out. Cool. If not I would deal, but I think I'm in for some good fortune. It's time to cash in, I believe. I've had enough bullshit to last me a fucking lifetime.
Squall chuckled as silence flittered between us again. We sat and listened to the waves crash along the shore, letting the wind rustle our hair and clothes, and simply enjoying each other's presence.
"You've changed, Seifer. You've changed a lot." Squall murmured, his voice barely over the strong wind.
"Why? Is it bad? Should I go back?" I asked, tossing Squall a patent Seifer Almasy smirk, to which Squall gave me his small death glare. Much like the ones Squall gave to me on an hourly basis during our younger years.
"No. You just seem . . . maturer . . . more thoughtful. It's not bad, but I just wondering how? And why?" Squall replied, cocking his head at me. The gesture was quite endearing. I couldn't help, but reach out and stroke his cheek with the back of my nails. The smoothness trailed down his cheeks as he reached up to take my hand, and then nuzzled it like a cat with his eyes closed.
I couldn't help, but smile and the irony of his actions.
"Is why your new favourite word? Good old 'whatever' been replaced?" I asked, teasing as I caressed his cheekbone with my thumb. Squall proceeded to growl deep in his throat in warning. I just smirked.
"Whatever." Squall muttered, teasing back. We had changed. He was still Squall, but . . . not. I couldn't really explain his changes. He was maturer, but that was something that everyone had gained through age and experiences. We all had more than enough experiences to mature.
Squall was less . . . selfish maybe? He was always lost in his thoughts, single-minded, and hated working with others. He didn't like others, and preferred to keep to himself, but it seemed that his self inflected loneliness had changed for the better. I know he still doesn't care for people, but he has a few that he is more inclined to talk to, and hang out with.
He isn't so frigid. Not that he ever was. I knew he had passion somewhere under the ice.
"Why I've changed? Will I guess that has to do what happened over a year ago. We have all changed, and matured. Even chicken-wuss." I said, and Squall groaned at Zell's nickname. Muttering something about Zell hating it as I dropped my hand from his cheek, and gripped his hand that was over my other, tighter. "How? Will that's an interesting story." I continued, lifting my face to the wind. I know that Squall was watching me. I could feel his warm eyes watching me with curiosity.
"I've always liked stories." Squall said, and I couldn't help, but give a small smile. That was true. As a child he was in complete rapture as Edea read us a bedtime story. I could remember those times as he sat there, wide eyed with a child's innocence. Even in his mid-teens when I told him stories of weakness, explaining what I thought as truth, he hung on every word. Taking it all in, and believing.
Squall wasn't gullible. He questioned me, but I always had the answers, and Squall soon fell into my warped twists of life. We both had been hurt in life by many events and people, and I think it was easy for us to believe it all to take away to hurt. To blame our pains on something. To curse something. To work against being hurt again.
"In the Time Compression, I saw my past and many other things." I said, sounding very sullen. I did see a few things that I would have liked to remain forgotten, but overall, I needed to know it all.
One was my parents', and younger sister, Selena's death. It was during the first war. We were running from troops. Our town had been attacked and was currently on fire. The soldiers were at our heals. My father was shot in the back, and he screamed at us to keep going.
Hesitating, my mother gave my father one last kiss, whispering her love, before picking Selena up and grabbing my hand. We ran and ran, but they caught us. We watched as the raped, and murdered my mom. It wasn't pretty, and tainted my mind from there on. I guess that's why happiness and other positive emotions seemed so evil. My mom was a good person, but it made her weak and killed her. I guess that's what I saw, but other influences throughout lifetimes also created this ill mind-frame.
They left my sister, and I alone. I was able to drag my sister away while the soldiers were busy, and didn't notice. We ran in the woods for many days. Selena and I ate berries, drank water from clean streams, and for the most part, were never disturbed. Unfortunately she became ill, but I carried her till we came to another town. They were unable to save my sister, and she died.
I remember that at the age of 4, she understood many things. I loved her dearly, and she told me that she also felt as so before she died. She thanked me for me for my effort, and apologised for her failings. We those last words, Selena closed her eyes, and drifted off to where I knew she would be treated with care and love.
I was then placed in Edea's care, where I created ideas of weakness and vulnerability, to which I carried promises to myself to never have. At the young age, I already decided what was wrong and right with a child's innocense. Seeing only black and white, not how it was nothing but shades of grey.
I will tell Squall these tales one day, like he may have many for me, but this isn't the time for these tales. I need to tell him about what I saw that has nothing to do with this lifetime. He needs to know. I know his body knows, as does his subconscious, but he doesn't know it as Squall Leonhart. I am the one to tell him.
"We all did. We saw our childhood at the orphanage that we had forgotten." Squall said, nodding in agreement. So Squall did have memories. I was curious to hear, but I still had my story to tell.
"Yes, I did see that." I nodded, and I slowly turned to him. He looked at me as I brought his hand to my lips. "I saw a past life, Squall. I saw us in a life before this one." I murmured, and kissed his knuckles. Squall blinked at my words, and gripped my hand tighter, not wanting me to let go.
No, Squall. I will never let go. Not till you tell me to.
" . . . what do you mean, Seifer? That's . . . isn't that impossible?" Squall asked, sounding confused and disbelieving. I knew he wanted to believe me, but he had to question because it wasn't logical. Squall sometimes was very logical, and he was very persistent to flitter everything down to logic.
Not everything makes sense. Not everything follows logic.
Sometimes things just are.
"I thought it was, but I did Squall. I saw us as the same people, but in a different place, different roles, different names." I explained, looking him straight in the eyes. I watched as his eyes go murky grey in confusion, but never wavered his sight from mine.
"I could have been a dream, Seifer." Squall whispered, frowning. I couldn't help, but give a smile and a chuckle at his last attempt to bring logic to the situation.
He never did give up easily.
"No Squall. It wasn't a dream." I answered, shaking my head.
"How do you know?" Squall asked, sounding doubtful. I looked back up, and straight in the eye.
"I just know Squall, and I have proof that the life did exist. It changed me in many ways, and awaked many things. What I saw was truth, Squall. It may not be logical, but what I saw was real. It was a past life that we did live." I told Squall sternly, meaning every word. Squall blinked, and sighed, looking away. His eyes then came back, and I know he saw the truth, but still wary of it. I think he was afraid of it.
"What was your name?" Squall finally asked, sounding like he was challenging me. I know he wanted to believe because of the truth he saw in my eyes. He didn't want me to be crazy, or off my rocker. I'm not, but I had to make him see.
"Theron . . ."
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