Chapter Six

By Scarlet Fever

"What?" Seifer echoed hollowly. He couldn't really comprehend the words that were coming out of Edea's mouth. "Lillith?"

Edea' golden brown eyes lifted to Seifer' eyes, which were wide with disbelief. "Yes, Lillith."

"But....?" Seifer looked from Edea to Squall. "I don't understand... I thought she was dead.... You told me she was dead."

"She is and she isn't," Edea answered cryptically.

"What the Hell does that mean?" Squall asked with raised eyebrows that were practically touching his hairline.

Edea sighed deeply, letting out a surprising amount of air. "I shouldn't be telling you this. It's better that you don't know."

"Is it?!" Seifer asked loudly. "You've known about my family the entire time, haven't you?" Seifer's voice took on an accusatory tone.

Edea held up her hands. "Seifer, please..." She sighed again. "Lillith thought it best that you didn't know, but now that things are starting to... surface in you... Maybe the time is right."

"I can leave..." Squall muttered, beginning to rise.

"No, it's okay," Seifer replied, using a hand to push Squall back down in his chair. "You'll just find out eventually."

"Lillith was taken by Ultimecia. Your dream was accurate. Now, I don't know all the particulars, especially things that happened before your father contacted me about taking you. Ultimecia was brought back into our time, as she had been during this recent onslaught. It was when you were four years old. Your mother was a Sorceress, as was Lillith. Ultimecia had been bargaining for Time Compression for some time, and your mother was the one that ended up helping her, along with Sorceress Adel."

"Adel?" Squall asked. "How did Adel know Seifer's mother?"

"Xerampelinae..." Seifer trailed off, his voice barely audible.

"Yes," Edea answered. "Xerampelinae was your mother. The same woman as in the painting in the future castle of Ultimecia. Adel knew Xerampelinae because Ultimecia had tried to use Adel as her conduit, just as she did with me, just as she did with Rinoa.. With you. Adel refused. She wasn't always the horrible monster she is, or was, now. Adel was the most powerful Sorceress at the time, but she shined away from her powers, wanting to keep them hidden and raise her family. It didn't take long for Ultimecia to poison Adel's mind, and her lust for power and dark magic caused her body to transform. She made herself look like that, to look more imposing. Even with Adel's powers, Ultimecia wanted more, and more. Her nature was greed. She wanted Lillith, she wanted Xerampelinae. Lillith was stronger, but she was young, and didn't have a proper grasp on her powers. Xerampelinae was much more greedy, and agreed to help Ultimecia."

"She let Ultimecia into our time?" Seifer asked weakly. "Like mother, like son..."

"You are nothing like your mother was," Edea answered calmly, but both Seifer and Squall heard the reservation in her voice. "She was a cruel mother, and I can't believe she could have such a wonderful child."

"What about Lillith?" Squall asked.

"When Xerampelinae summoned Ultimecia, she expected things to be more permanent with her Mistress, but Ultimecia didn't really desire Xerampelinae's powers. Sure, she wanted to use them, but Xera wasn't her ultimate design. She wanted Adel, wanted Lillith. Xerampelinae was taken into Time Compression, brought to Ultimecia's castle for later usage. Lillith was the next target. She hid you away because she knew, even at a young age, that both your mother and Ultimecia would come after you. They would want your powers."

"Powers that I didn't know existed," Seifer muttered dully.

Edea continued as if Seifer hadn't spoken. "Lillith was taken in the same manner as Xerampelinae was. She was brought to Ultimecia's time, to become a 'daughter' figure to Ultimecia. She wanted someone who would match her in power and design. She would need more power than she herself had, and if both Xerampelinae and Lillith were on her side, she could definitely accomplish Time Compression. Lillith was much like I was, a conduit, a body for Ultimecia in another time. Xerampelinae filled this role, but she became too greedy, and Ultimecia dispatched of her, absorbed her powers. So, in effect, your mother is still alive. Lillith refused to comply with Ultimecia's plans. She had a very strong mind. I thought that Ultimecia had killed your sister, but I was wrong..." She smiled sadly.

"Ultimecia had begun to poison Adel's mind, before you were born, and eventually, she turned into what she is today... A monster, a hideous.. thing. She took over Esthar, abandoning her family, her small children. She did Ultimecia's dirty work before the ultimate goal of Time Compression could be reached. Ultimecia wanted a foothold in our time, and Adel was it. Esthar was the most powerful country in the world, so controlling it would be a good start. Luckily, your father," Edea looked at Squall. "Laguna put a stop to that, containing Adel's power, and a core piece of Ultimecia. Ultimecia's nature is to separate her powers in a sense, and give them to other Sorceresses, so she exists in more than one body, in more than one time. This is how she controlled us during your mission to defeat her. She gave me a piece of herself. A piece of Ultimecia also existed within Rinoa, and within yourself. She also gave more of her power to Adel, adding to the dormant power of Ultimecia that already existed within her."

"Adel was always part of Ultimecia?" Squall asked. "Did my father know?"

Edea shook her head, her long chestnut hair swinging around her shoulders. "No, he didn't. I didn't know. Nobody knew. I only found out when I was being controlled by Ultimecia. This is how I found out most of my information about Xerampelinae and Lillith." She frowned deeply. "I have no idea what happened during the time of Lillith's inhabitancy within Ultimecia's time, under her wing. Ultimecia turned that part of her mind off to me, off to herself. It was like a dark patch that Ultimecia purposely didn't want to think about."

"Well.... Can't I talk to Lillith?" Seifer asked, looking around. "Is she still here?"

"It's not that simple..."

"You said that Lillith was alive and wasn't," Squall pointed out. "What did you mean?"

"She is alive, but dead at the same time. Her body should have died a long time ago, and in a sense, she's merely a ghost, but you can touch her, and she had blood." Edea narrowed her eyes. "Right now, I'm merely giving you an educated guess, but I think that Lillith was placed under some sort of curse by Ultimecia for her deception and obeisance. Like a zombie."

"What, like the spell?" Squall asked. He then felt stupid. "Sorry."

"Actually, it is sort of like a zombie spell, but much more complex than that. Ultimecia is an exceedingly strong, cunning Sorceress, as you all know. Lillith did not discuss any of this with me in the limited contact I've had with her."

"Where can I find her?" Seifer asked.

"I don't know..." She trailed off, huffing. "Actually, if you wish to know more, I'm sure I know someone who can help you..."

"Who?!" Seifer exclaimed.

Edea frowned at him. "Seifer, are you sure you want to dig up the past? You're bound to find many things that you won't like. Your mother was a horrible woman. Are you sure you can live with reading things that a blood relative of yours did that would make you turn away?"

Seifer frowned sadly, his eyes mirroring the emotion. "Matron, I've done a million rotten things in my life, and not all under the control of you or Ultimecia. If I can live with what I've done, I'm sure I can live with what Xerampelinae did. And, I didn't know her as my mother."

"What about Zell?" She asked.

Seifer paused, almost forgetting about the condition of his lover in the sea of all this new information. His shoulders slumped slightly. "I still don't know exactly what happened there. How did the T-Rexaur die? How did Zell come back to life?"

"You saved his life..." Squall whispered. His stormy gaze turned to Edea. "Right, Matron?"

"Right..." She trailed off, giving Seifer and Squall a small smile, her deep purple lips turning up. "I assume that the T-Rexaur met its fate at the hands of Lillith. I felt the magical breach in space. Lillith has a very distinct magic pattern, very arcane, very unique to her. Your power of healing is what must have brought Zell back to life, released by the sheer emotions that you must have been feeling." Edea steepled her fingers. "You see, when siblings are both inclined to Sorcery, one is usually a white mage, and the other is a black mage, almost like sharing. Lillith received the dark powers of black magic, and you got the white magic, the healing spells. Now, that's not to say that you can't be a strong user of black magic, and that Lillith couldn't cure people, but it's more specialty."

Seifer raised one eyebrow. "I saw an apparition that looked like me, but female. She was wearing a black cloak, her face partially hidden under a cowl. When Zell woke up in the infirmary, he said the same thing, that he saw Death, and that I saved him from Her."

Edea nodded, absorbing the information. "I assume that it's part of Ultimecia's curse. I know little, if anything about it, but Ultimecia had another design besides Time Compression. She wanted to control the power of the Dead. There is a whole other realm of Death, and no other Sorceress had tried to control it. She must have used Lillith to do this. I only heard a faint vein of this plot in my mind. Maybe part of Lillith's punishment is to exist on this other plane. She did mention that she had a different arena."

"How would I get there?"

"Edea, darling, here you are!"

The three of them looked up to see Cid enter the room. He was smiling brightly. "I've been looking for you everywhere. Oh, hello, Seifer, Squall!" The smile on the former Headmaster's face faltered as he saw the expression on the faces of his wife and his two former students. "What's wrong, darling?"

"Zell is in the infirmary. He was attacked by a T-Rexaur."

Cid's face totally fell. "What?! Oh, my God! Is he alright?"

"It was a close call..." Squall answered, noticing Seifer becoming distant. "But, he's okay now."

"Oh, good!" Cid exclaimed. "Is something else wrong? I feel like I walked in on something important..."

Edea waved her hand, standing. "No, it's nothing. I want to go see Zell, then we should go. We have to oversee the renovations in the morning, and it's a long trip back to Centra." Edea leaned in, kissing Seifer on the cheek. "I'm sorry I couldn't be more help." She leaned in further, whispering in Seifer's ear. "Dr. Odine can help you further." She gave him a sad look, her golden brown irises endless pools of time, then followed her husband out of the cafeteria.

Squall and Seifer sat in silence for a few moments, absorbing all they'd discovered.

"What now?" Squall asked finally.

Seifer looked over at his formal rival, confused eyes meeting confused eyes. "I don't know.... She said that Dr. Odine could help me...."

"Are you going to Esthar to see him?"

Seifer shrugged, his entire body slumping. "I don't know.... I need time... I mean, I found out that Edea knew my parents this entire time, and never told me, that Ultimecia possessed a sister I didn't know I had, that I'm a fucking Sorcerer. Zell's in the hospital, and he could have died...." He sighed deeply. "I just need time..."

Squall wrapped an arm around Seifer's broad shoulders, resting his temple against Seifer's shoulder. "Take all the time you want... Months, years... I'm sure that Lillith will still be around by then..." Squall sighed. "My life is pretty fucked up, too. Rinoa and I broke up, I could have been Headmaster, but Quistis has the job, and I fucking hit my ex-girlfriend." Squall took in his breath. "Holy fuck..." He pulled away from Seifer, rubbing his palms over his face. "What have I done...?" Squall stood. "I have to find Rinoa. Are you going to be okay?"

Seifer nodded absently. "I'm going to see Zell." Seifer looked at Squall. "Good luck."

Squall sighed heavily, leaving the cafeteria on silent feet.

Seifer just sat alone, all his thoughts running at light speed in his head. There were so many things to digest. Where would he begin? Would he search for Lillith? Or, was Edea right? Should he just leave well enough alone? Would it only end up being horrible for him if he learned about his past? Would it affect his relationship with Zell?

Zell. A tight pain constricted Seifer's heart, pulling it in a million directions, and collapsing it upon itself. He'd come so close to losing the only right thing in his life. How would he live without Zell? Zell was his world. And, if he searched for his past, would Zell take a backseat? Seifer stood, slowly walking towards the Infirmary. He would rather have a million questions than lose anything he had with Zell. Maybe they could find things together. Seifer suddenly felt guilty. Here he was, totally absorbed in himself, while Zell could have died. Zell had woken up, but he wasn't totally out of the woods yet.

Seifer walked up to the Infirmary doors, but found they were locked. Dr. Kadawaki must have gone home. The tall blonde used a cardkey that Squall had given him to open the door. The light was out, and the room was only illuminated by the pale moon, wafting in through a window. The same moonbeams bounced off the metallic surfaces, creating strange, smudged shadows on the wall. Seifer quietly, soundlessly walked to the side of Zell's bed. He pulled up a chair, instinctively wrapping his fingers around Zell's still hand. The small, tattooed blonde was sleeping, but the pained look that had plagued his face was gone. He looked peaceful and content.

"What am I going to do, Zell?" Seifer whispered, nuzzling his face in Zell's palm. "I don't even know where to begin. What should I digest first?" He closed his eyes, sensing something within himself. It was almost like an electrical charge, deep within his abdomen, running in his blood. It wasn't painful, or pleasant. It was just there. Like an extension of himself. It resembled the feeling after casting a strong, high end magical spell, or after using a Guardian Force. Was this the feeling of Sorcery? Would it remain with him for all eternity.

Seifer slowly opened his eyes, looking at a table beside Zell's bed. There was an unlit candle sitting on it. He concentrated on the wick, watching it with still eyes. A test of himself. He looked at it, just thinking of the wick, of the wax. The electrical feeling, like static in his body, became stronger, humming with his cells, in tune with his body, with his metabolism. It became a concentrated point in his body, and through concentration, he sent that prick of energy to the candle, much like casting a regular spell, and the candle lit in a pop, the flame appearing from nowhere. Just like a low Fire spell. But, he'd had nothing junctioned. It was his own doing.

"I'm a Sorcerer..." He muttered.


Seifer looked down at the bed. Zell was using his free hand to rub sleep out of his eye. He looked over at the candle with his sleepy eyes, which looked slightly glassed over. "I saw what you did..." Zell slowly sat up, having to accept Seifer's help. His body was very weak, and the Curaga spells that had coursed through his body were still doing their job. "You don't have a GF junctioned..." He didn't make it a question.


"You saved my life..." Zell squeezed Seifer's hand. "You saved my life because you're a Sorcerer."

Seifer looked down at the mattress. "Yeah... I guess I am..." He sighed deeply. "What does that mean?"

"How?" was Zell's simple question.

Seifer sighed deeply. "I have so much to tell you.... So much I don't understand... I don't even know where to begin."

Zell cocked his head. He looked at Seifer, and pulled gently on his lover's arm. With a beckoning gaze, he urged Seifer to crawl up on the bed beside him. Zell didn't mind if the bed was a little too small for both of them. He just wanted to feel Seifer beside him. He sighed in happiness as he felt the warmth of Seifer's body pressed against him. Seifer wrapped his arms around Zell, resting his head on Zell's chest, his temple over Zell's heart.

"I love you..." Seifer whispered. "I won't live without you."

"You won't have to..." Zell trailed off, pressing his face into Seifer's short blonde hair. "I'm not dead.... Thanks to you."

"I'm a Sorcerer," Seifer repeated. "Edea told me about my past, about Xerampelinae... Or, bits and pieces of it, anyway..."

"Xerampelinae..." Zell trailed off.

"My mother." Seifer sighed deeply, relaying Edea's story to his lover. He described everything. "She said that Lillith could exist on a realm of the undead. Maybe that's why you and me both saw her when we were dying."

"So, what are you going to do?" Zell whispered, as shocked and bombarded with information as Seifer himself.

"I have no idea..." Seifer buried his face in Zell's chest, running his hands down Zell's back, his fingers dipping underneath Zell's hospital gown, running further down Zell's muscular back, until his palm was resting on Zell's ass.

The martial artist purred low in his throat, his tension melting away as Seifer's hands massaged him. He held Seifer tighter, running his hands through Seifer's short hair, running his fingernails over Seifer's cheekbones. Zell cupped Seifer's cheeks, pulling his face up to meet Zell's own.

"I love you..." Zell murmured, planting a gentle kiss on Seifer's parted lips. "And, I'll do anything to help you. If you want me to go to Esthar with you to see Odine, I'll gladly do it. Right now, if you want."

Seifer narrowed his eyes. "Fucking Hell you will. You're staying in this hospital bed until you're better."

Zell frowned. "I feel fine."

"No you don't, you stupid bastard." Seifer frowned at his blonde lover. "I'm not going to let you risk your health for me, for anything."

"But, you want to know..." Zell trailed off, kissing Seifer's lips again, pushing his tongue between them. He tasted Seifer's mouth, burning the flavour of his saliva into his taste buds. He knew off by heart what Seifer Almasy tasted like, but Zell still explored his lover's mouth thoroughly. When he pulled away, Zell let himself be dragged into the sea blue depths of Seifer's eyes. "And, I want to help you find out."

Seifer shook his head, but Zell interrupted him again. He placed a finger to Seifer's lips. "Okay, I want to help you find out what happened to you, and what happened to your mother and sister. But, I promise to rest and make myself all better..." He teasingly smiled, using a tone that one would use with a small child.

Seifer narrowed his eyes. "Don't talk down to me, Chicken Wuss."

Zell groaned. "You're never going to let that die, are you?"

"Okay, I'll wait and go to Esthar when you're better. I'll go with you. We'll find out about Lillith and Xerampelinae together."

Zell smiled, satisfied. "Do you think that Odine will be able to tell you anything about your own powers?"

Seifer shrugged. "I think I can use the time between now and when we do go to see him to discover it for myself. At least I'm sort of used to it. I mean, I did have Ultimecia and Edea living inside me at one point...." He smiled sadly at Zell. "Maybe all that gang rape and mental torture was worth something after all...." He tried to laugh, but a sad tear came to his eyes. "Zell, what if I lost you...?"

Zell gave the scarred blonde his trademark grin, his canines in full view. "You didn't, you idiot. I'm still here..." And, as he said that, he pinched one of Seifer's nipples.

"Ow!" Seifer exclaimed quietly, covering Zell's mouth with his own, hungrily devouring the other man's lips. Seifer settled his body over Zell's, kissing him deeply, his hands moving under the stiff, ugly fabric of Zell's hospital gown.

The small blonde moaned in pleasure. "You know, I have to say that your bedside manner is a lot better than Dr. Kadawaki's."

Seifer chuckled into his lover's mouth, smiling as Zell's hands did a little wandering of their own, running over Seifer's back, his ass, gripping his buttocks, and pushing Seifer's hips forward. Seifer just wanted to spin Zell around and ride him all night, but restrained himself, his hands ever so gentle over Zell's skin.

Zell murmured incoherently into Seifer's eager mouth, his head feeling light with desire. "Hmm, maybe I should get injured more often..."

Seifer reared away, glaring down at his small lover. "Don't even fucking joke about stuff like that..."

Zell laughed, rolling his hips slowly against Seifer's. "Oh, relax. I mean, it's not like I became a Sorcerer or anything..."

Seifer made a noise in the back of his throat, a challenging eyebrow raised at Zell. "You better shut your mouth, Dincht, or I'll shut it for you."

Zell smirked, his hands moving into the front of Seifer's pants. "Why don't you just try it, Almasy?"

Squall exhaled slowly, gaining his bearings within himself. He mustered all his strength to knock on Rinoa's door. He felt nervous, and all his nerves were shaking in his body. What would he say when Rinoa opened the door. When she did, Squall was at a loss for words.

Rinoa looked up, slight surprise registering on her face when she saw it was Squall. The red mark from Squall's open palm still stood out on her pale cheek, but not as red as it had been. Squall couldn't help but stare at it, the regret over his loss of composure screaming at him, as bright as the scarlet mark on Rinoa's drawn face. Her eyes looked at him dully, but he could tell that she had been crying. Her deep coffee irises were shining with unshed tears, and the whites of her eyes were lined with red. Her mouth was puckered into a sad, frowning mark on her face.

"Squall..." She trailed off, her voice barely audible, falling uncomfortably between them.

"Rinoa...I....." Squall trailed off, looking down at the ground. "Can we talk?"

She crossed her arms over her slight chest. "What could you possibly have to say to me?" She touched her marred cheek. "Didn't you say it all earlier?"

"I'm sorry," he muttered. Those words felt heavy on his lips, and fell artlessly from his mouth. "I was wrong. It was wrong to hit you. I was angry about seeing you kiss Seifer. But, that wasn't an excuse."

Rinoa sighed deeply. "Maybe you should come in. The hallway isn't the place to discuss this..." She moved out of the doorway, lazily ushering Squall into her room. He'd been in her chambers a million times, but this time, it felt so alien, so strange, so wrong. Once the door closed, Squall found it impossible to look in Rinoa's eyes.

"You apologize?" Rinoa asked, her tone clipped and terse.

"Yes," Squall said, raising his eyes to hers. "I'm sorry I hit you. It was wrong."

"But, you're not sorry we're broken up..." Rinoa muttered. She suddenly laughed. "I almost hoped that you would come here to breach the gap between us, to beg me to come back to you."

"I think you and I both know that that would never happen." Squall looked at her gravely. "You knew that would never happen when you kissed Seifer."

Rinoa was now the one who looked at the ground, a shamed blush colouring her cheeks, blending Squall's slap mark into her face. "I know..." Her breathy voice shook slightly. "We both made a million mistakes in this relationship."

"I know..." Squall trailed off.

"I thought that I could change you. You know," Rinoa muttered laughingly. "When I first met you, I thought you were so brave and handsome. Of course, I compared you to Seifer, because he'd been my first real boyfriend, but I think I fell in love with you when you saved me from those monsters that Edea sent after me in Deling." She smiled wistfully. "I thought that I could make you the sensitive guy that I saw deep down within you, but I tried to take away everything else that you were. That was wrong of me." She looked at him with sad eyes. "And, you were looking for something in me that wasn't there."

Squall sighed. "So, we were doomed from the beginning?"

"I guess so..." Rinoa looked around her room. Squall did the same. He noticed that there were half packed boxes around. "I'm leaving Balamb Garden, you know..."

Squall nodded. "I'm not surprised." He paused. "Are you going back to Timber?"

She shook her head with hesitation. "No. I'm going to Deling City. I'm going to stay with my father."

Squall's scarred brow furrowed. "What?"

Rinoa nodded, frowning. "This experience has made me evaluate a few things. I think I should try to breach the gap with my father. He did have a hand in creating me, you know? If it doesn't work out, I know I'll always have a home with the Forest Owls." She smiled sadly, then a glimmer of worry came into her eyes. "How's Zell?"

Squall sighed. "Fine. He'll be as good as new in a few days, just as long as he rests." Squall's face fell. "Him and Seifer will be going through a lot of stuff...."

Rinoa nodded distantly. "I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon."

"So soon?"

She nodded. "I think it's for the best. Don't you?"

Squall nodded. "Probably. Look, I don't want you to feel you have to lose contact with people here just because we're broken up."

She smiled. "I won't. Look, even if we've done horrible things to each other..." She trailed off, laughing. "All in the course of one night, I would like to try and remain friends."

Squall raised an eyebrow. "Nice to see you can laugh."

"What else am I going to do?" Rinoa shrugged her shoulders. "I don't want to dwell. That just leads to heartache."

Squall shuffled his feet. "Well, I guess this is goodbye."

Rinoa sighed. "How about a hug? You know, for old times?"

Squall nodded absently, loosely hugging his former girlfriend. She sighed into the embrace, pinching Squall's ass with mischief.

"Hey, hey!" Squall exclaimed, clambering out of her hug. "We are broken up, right?"

She smiled at him, teasingly, but sadly. "Yeah. You're not my Knight anymore, Squall Leonhart."

Zell yawned, stretching his body. He was pleasantly worn out as he straightened his hospital gown, wrapping his arms around Seifer's body. Seifer was looking at him, a smile softly playing on his lips as his fingers stroked Zell's stomach, pulling at the fabric of his medical attire.

"Those Curagas have nothing to that..." Zell trailed off, grinning stupidly. "At least nobody walked in on us or anything...."

"I wouldn't care if everyone in this Garden saw me with your dick in my mouth..." Seifer trailed off, kissing Zell. The smaller blonde could taste his semen on Seifer's lips. After the kiss, Zell hugged Seifer tightly to his body. "I hope Dr. Kadawaki lets me go home soon."

Seifer began to reply, but the lights flicked on. Both men groaned, squinting against the lights.

"Am I going to walk in on anything, ya know?!"

Seifer groaned. "Go away, Raijin."

The burly man stopped at the foot of Zell's bed. "Well, I guess I should be glad you're both dressed, ya know?!" His dark features crumpled to an expression of concern. "Are you okay, Zell?"

"We ran into Squall in the hallway," Fujin muttered, stopping beside her boyfriend, looping her pale arm through his meaty, muscular one.

"I'm sorry..." Squall muttered, rubbing his forehead with his fingers. "They accosted me when I was leaving Rinoa's room."

"Rinoa's room?" Seifer asked, sitting up. "Did you straighten things out?"

"Yeah..." Squall trailed off. "We're still broken up, but at least I apologized for slapping her."

Raijin's eyebrows shot up. "You slapped your girlfriend?"

Squall muttered something under his breath, but that was the only response to Raijin's question he gave.

"What happened?" Fujin asked, looking at Zell.

"I got attacked by a T-Rexaur. I would have died if it weren't for Seifer..." He squeezed his lover's hand.

Seifer sighed. "Guys, I think I should tell you something...."

Fujin blinked her solitary crimson eye. "It sounds serious."

"It is," the blonde answered. He took a deep breath. "I'm a Sorcerer. I have been since birth. My powers were dormant until now..."

Raijin and Fujin both looked at him, confused looks on their faces.

"WHAT?!" Fujin crossed her arms over her chest.

"It's a long story..." Seifer trailed off. "Basically, my mother and sister were Sorceresses, and my mother, Xerampelinae, along with Adel, helped Ultimecia back when we were small children to try and exact Time Compression. They wanted the powers of my sister, Lillith, who may or may not still be alive. Edea thinks that she's cursed to live in a realm of the Dead because she wouldn't comply with Ultimecia."

Fujin furrowed her brow. "How did Edea know this, and why didn't she tell you as soon as she found out?!"

"Because my mother was a horrible person. I guess she thought that she was protecting me."

Raijin frowned. "What are you going to do, ya know?!"

Seifer shrugged. "Edea said that she didn't know that much, only what she heard in Ultimecia's mind, and what she heard from Lillith. She said I should go talk to Odine, since he knows a lot about Sorceresses. Maybe if I find out more about Adel, I can find out where I grew up, and exactly what happened."

"You're planning on going to Esthar?" Fujin asked. "When?"

"As soon as possible..." Zell trailed off. "And, I'm coming, too."

"You're going to get better first."

Zell frowned. "When are you two going back to Esthar?"

"In a few days."

Zell nodded, giving his boyfriend a stubborn glance. "We'll go with you."

"And so will I," Squall interjected.

"What?!" Seifer exclaimed. "You're going to Esthar? Why?"

"I don't have anything to keep me here right now, and I just broke up with Rinoa. I need to get away. Besides, my father is the President of the country, Seifer."

"Road trip!" Zell exclaimed.

Seifer just groaned. "Alright, fine. Since you all fucking are ganging up on me, we'll all go to Esthar..." He looked at Zell, a deathly serious look in his eyes. "But, not until you're better."

"You better do what he says," Fujin muttered, her single eye boring into Zell.

Zell gave Seifer a triumphant look. "You're outnumbered."

"Why do I put up with you all?"

Squall frowned. "What, so now that you're a Sorcerer, you're too good for us?"

Seifer sneered at the brunette SeeD. "Not funny."

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