Chapter Seventeen

By Scarlet Fever

Quistis cast another Shockwave Pulsar, finding that she could barely even stand. Casting so much Blue Magic was really taking its toll on her body. She looked over at Raijin, who was still beating the grotesquely large snake with his club. He was also tired, panting between each move he made. But, they knew that they were close to defeating the creature. Both of them were covered in sores and cuts from where the large snake had snapped at them with its razor like fangs. Raijin kept casting Curagas on them, and it helped a little, but it couldn't help with the total fatigue they were feeling under the hot sun.

"Dammit!" Quistis swore. "I can't hold up much longer...."

"Just a little longer, ya know!?" Raijin pleaded. "Its almost dead. We have to protect Edea from Seifer and Zell...."

"You've really outdone yourself this time, Ultimecia...." Quistis trailed off, casting Ray Bomb on the snake. It made a horrible squealing noise, and shuddered, forgetting about the two small humans that had been fighting it for the past two hours.

"Do you think we killed it, ya know?!"

Quistis looked up at the swaying cobra. "I don't know...." Her whole body shuddered when she heard screams from behind them. She turned, seeing Irvine coming out of the Sorceress Memorial. During the fight, Quistis and Raijin had been pushed almost back to the building.

"Shit!" Raijin cursed as he heard Irvine shooting his gun. He also noticed that the cowboy was covered in blood. He tried to call to Irvine, but the air was filled with the wail of the snake, who suddenly exploded. Green, rancid blood flowed down on Quistis and Raijin, like a thick, hot waterfall. They both jumped out of the way, but the blood still washed over them. The body of the snake swayed, and fell. The head had completely blown apart When the long body hit the ground, it shook like there was a horrible earthquake.

Irvine fell, the ground shaking too much underneath of him. He wiped some of the blood off his face, rushing to Quistis and Raijin, still shaky on his legs. "Are you okay?"

Quistis grimaced. "Yeah, we're fine.... Just a little tired...." Her blue eyes widened when she looked at Irvine, covered in blood with torn clothing. "What happened?!"

To Irvine, Quistis's eyes looked so blue, because she was covered in the dark green blood of that giant monster they'd been fighting.

"I tried to stop it....." Irvine trailed off.

"Is Edea okay?!" Raijin screeched, already getting to his feet. He was running on pure adrenaline now.

"Yeah, she's fine. When we got into the Sorceress Memorial, Odine and the technicians began the process of sealing Matron up, and then..... They creatures came in.... There were so many, and they just were appearing out of nowhere. Odine hadn't gotten his anti-magic barrier up yet, so we had to fight them....." He looked down sadly. "Odine tried to seal Edea up as fast as he could. Even though the guy's a creep, I still have to admire him for his quick thinking...."

"What happened?" Quistis asked, her voice even and commanding.

"General Caraway and Ward were defending Edea, trying to prevent the creatures from getting in, and...."

"Is Ward dead?" Raijin asked.

Irvine nodded sadly. "Both Ward and General Caraway died...." Irvine shook his head, his grip on his shotgun shaking. "I tried to protect them.... Then, Odine got the barrier up, and the creatures just... Disintegrated."

"That must have been what happened to the snake...." Quistis trailed off. "So, Edea's fine."

Irvine nodded. "Have you contacted Esthar yet?" Irvine frowned. "We have to tell them about Ward and General Caraway...."

"The radio is gone.... The snake kind of trashed the car, ya know?!" Raijin muttered. "You stay here with the technicians. I know that Odine put up that barrier, but monsters could still come..."

Irvine nodded. "Are you guys going to walk back to Esthar?"

Quistis nodded. "We have to find out if they're okay.... And, I bet Xu hit the same sort of problem going to Galbadia."

"No doubt...." Irvine nodded, jogging back to the Sorceress Memorial.

"Damn..... This is going to crush Laguna and Kiros...." Raijin muttered, wiping some of the green blood off his arms. He offered a hand to Quistis. "Come on, ya know?!"

Squall paced around in his father's bedroom, his hip brushing against the footboard of Laguna's bed as he walked. He kept looking at Dr. Sunde, giving him hard looks.

"I'm not going to go any faster if you keep glaring at me," Sunde muttered. "Why don't you take a break, and take Kiros with you... You're both being bothersome."

Squall snorted, but left. Kiros slowly followed, looking tired at distressed to Squall. Hell, Squall knew he too looked tired and distressed.

"What are we going to do?" Squall asked. "Why did Seifer and Zell do this to Dad?"

Kiros frowned. "Seifer and Zell didn't do anything. It was Ultimecia and Adel."

Squall crossed his arms over his chest. "You know what I meant...." He sighed. "So, what does this mean?"

Kiros turned his face away from Squall, which made Squall's shoulders slump. Kiros must have been going through Hell. Squall sometimes forgot that Kiros and Laguna had been together for a long time. This must have been killing Kiros.

"I'm sorry...." Squall whispered.

Kiros waved his hand. "You can't do anything...."

"Any news on Sir Laguna?" Selphie asked, jogging up the hallway. She looked scared, her jade eyes large.

Squall shook his head. "The doctor's still in there...." He looked around. "Where's Fujin?"

"Bathroom...." Selphie frowned in confusion. "She seems really out of it, and for more reasons than Seifer and Zell showing up...." Selphie crossed her arms over her small breasts. "It just doesn't make any sense.... Why didn't Seifer and Zell just kill us?"

Kiros sighed. "They said something about Odine. Maybe the fool actually invented something that has use."

Selphie cracked a tired smile. "No word from Quistis...."

"Could Seifer and Zell have set a trap?" Kiros asked.

"I'm also worried about Xu and Nida...." Squall trailed off. "Did you contact Deling City?"

Selphie nodded. "I couldn't get a hold of anyone at the moment, though..." She dug into the pocket of her coat. "But, I have my phone with me, so they said they would get back to me. Everyone was in meetings about our situation...." She cocked her head. "Nida should have been back by now..."

"I know..." Squall muttered.

Selphie grinned. "Worried about him?" She winked.

"Of course I'm worried about him!" Squall snapped. "It's me and my father that Seifer and Zell want... I can't just feel nothing when people who have no ties to this are getting involved!"

"Nida's a big boy," Kiros mused. "He chose to go.... He's prepared for anything..." He sent a sad look into the room where Laguna lay as still as a corpse. "Even to die."

"Damn her!" Squall muttered. "Why couldn't Ultimecia have just died?!"

"It's not your fault, Squall...." Selphie trailed off. "It's nobody's fault." She looked at the toes of her black boots sadly. "What Seifer and Zell must be going through...."

Kiros looked back into Laguna's room sadly. "I'm sure they aren't really themselves anymore. It's been long enough that they've probably been taken over entirely...."

"NO!" Squall yelled. "No...." He repeated, whispering. "We'll get them back..... I know we will....." He turned to Selphie. "What are we going to do about Quistis?"

Selphie shrugged her slight shoulders. "I don't know... I mean, Quistis can more than take care of herself.... I'm actually more worried about Nida and Xu right now... I mean, Seifer and Zell did mention him. And, Zell didn't seem to know where Quistis was..."

Kiros snorted. "Yeah, right. He just mentioned her out of the blue, and so casually, too...."

"It was Adel's own little way of digging that knife. They must have known that Quistis was going to take Matron to the Sorceress Memorial. I hope she's okay...."

They all looked up when Dr. Sunde came out of the room. "Well, I'm done... Shall we step in here?" He ushered for them to enter.

"How's Sir Laguna?" Selphie asked nervously, wringing her hands in front of her.

"Well," Dr. Sunde began. "He's physically fine. His body hasn't received any damage. But, his mind... Well, it's gone."

"Gone? What do you mean, gone?" Squall asked, looking down at his sleeping father.

"He's in a coma, Mr. Leonhart. Now, he could wake up any second, or he could never wake up at all...."

"Is there any way to know?" Selphie asked, her voice shaking.

Sunde looked down at the President of Esthar. "Well, seeing as how it was done by... Adel, as you say, I'm sure it's not a temporary thing. I'd like to talk with Odine when he returns to the city about it. He would know more about something that magical based. Where is that bugger, anyway?"

"The Sorceress Memorial," Squall answered, looking over at Kiros. He noticed the other man was very silent.

"Well, I'll leave you for now. I'll get a nurse to come and help look after him...." Sunde shook his head and left.

"What now?" Selphie asked. She looked at Squall and Kiros. "I mean, this is going to sound really unsensitive, but... Well, what about Esthar?"

Squall looked over at Selphie. "What do you mean?"

"She means that now that the President of Esthar is in a coma, and obviously unable to govern the country, what's going to happen? We're in the beginnings of a War, here. Someone will have to lead Esthar," Kiros said, his voice deadpan and strained.

"And, that someone is me?" Squall asked blandly, not really making it a question. "Why? I mean, why can't you become acting President?"

"It was Laguna's wishes that you would take over this city."

Squall snorted. "Yeah, but.... Why not you? I mean, you know more about Esthar that I ever could.... I couldn't be a leader...."

"You are a leader, Squall," Selphie interjected. "You just don't seem to realize that. You're a natural leader. And, I know, along with Kiros, that Laguna is right to have faith in you.... Mr. President..." She laughed sadly.

Kiros nodded. "You'll get the hang of it. If Laguna could, I think you'll do it in a breeze...." He smirked. "Well, I think the first thing we should do is try to find out what happened to Quistis, then we'll have to get in contact with the armies, as well as Esthar, to tell them about you taking over Laguna's position, at least temporarily...."

"What if it's not temporary?" Squall butted in. "I mean, what if Dad never wakes up?"

"I think he will...." Kiros murmured. "Once we've finally defeated Adel, once and for all, I know that Laguna will wake up. Once she's dead...."

"Her power will die, too... Right?" Selphie interrupted. "Does that mean that Seifer and Zell will die, too?"

Squall sighed sadly. "I don't know.... I hope we can save them. No, I will save them."

Selphie nodded with reserve, looking at her boots. She pursed her lips sadly. "But...."

"What?" Squall asked, looking as Kiros lowered his body into a chair beside Laguna's bed. He took Laguna's still hand in both his own.

"No...." Selphie looked up, finding it hard to meet Squall's eyes. But, she did it. "It's nothing."

"No, it isn't nothing.... Tell me......" Squall trailed off. His voice got caught somewhere in his throat when he looked in the doorway. "Nida?!"

Selphie whipped around, gaping. "Oh, my god! Are you okay?"

Nida looked up, a grim, yet determined look on his face. "What happened?" He looked at the bed, seeing Laguna lying motionless. "What happened to President Loire?"

"Never mind that right now...." Kiros said. "What happened to you...." He looked down at the rug around Nida's feet. There was a small pool of blood forming. "I'll go get Dr. Sunde back here." He quickly left to find the Doctor.

"Jesus, Nida!" Selphie exclaimed. "You're bleeding all over the place...." She looked at the spot on Nida's left side, above his hip, where he was holding his hands. The gloves Nida wore were coated with blood.

"I'm fine...." Nida muttered. "Now, what happened?"

"Seifer and Zell showed up...." Squall muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. He gave Nida a hard look, trying to hide the guilt and concern he was feeling. What if Nida was seriously hurt? It would be all his fault. "Is Xu okay?"

"...Yeah," Nida murmured, feeling light-headed for a moment. He waved it off. "She's in Deling City now. Seifer and Zell decided to give us a little welcome to Galbadia present...." Nida stepped into the room, but stumbled, his bloody hands reaching out for the wall to steady himself. He left some nasty, dripping smudges on the wall, so red compared to the white paint.

"Shit, Nida...." Squall muttered, reaching out to catch the Asian man. "What did they send?"

Nida inhaled his breath sharply as discomfort ran up his side, and behind his eyes. He looked up at Squall, his nose bumping the other man's as he was jostled in Squall's arms. "Something I've never seen before....." He continued to stare in Squall's eyes, finding it hard to be so close to the man he'd had a crush on for so long. His eyes were so beautiful.....

Squall noticed the discomfort in Nida's eyes. He remembered that Seifer and Zell had said that Nida would have suffered because he was empathic. "How did you get back here?"

"I flew the Rag....." Nida trailed off when the pain shot up his side again. He gently pushed Squall away. "I flew the Ragnarok. It's in worse shape than I am..... The monster exploded....."

"Are you sure you're okay?" Selphie asked, concerned, noticing that Nida had left bloodstains on Squall's clothing.

"I said I'm fine!" Nida spat. "Please, just tell me what Seifer and Zell did...." Nida muttered, holding his hands to his side again.

"They put Laguna in a coma," Squall answered. "So, now I'm the acting President of Esthar...."

"Fuck...." Nida winced. "A coma?" He looked over at Laguna. Something tightened behind his eyes, and it caused his knees to weaken.

Squall noticed, and he caught Nida again. "You are not fine...."

"It's magical!" Nida gasped, trying to remove himself from Squall's arms again. He didn't want to be weak willed. He didn't want to need protection. Squall's arms were strong around him, and Nida's empathy finally won out, and he slumped, defeated. "The coma must be magical... I can feel it."

"Yeah, Sunde said as much. He said that he wanted to get Odine's opinion..." Squall smiled wryly. "I guess we don't need it."

"There's something.... In the air...." Nida looked at Squall. "You can let go now.... I'm used to it."

Squall let Nida go, keeping a steadying hand on his shoulder. "What do you mean?"

"Like.... Some sort of barrier...." Nida mused. "It's very fine and faint."

"Odine's barrier?" Selphie asked. "So, is Xu going to contact us?"

Nida nodded. "She said she would get in contact after meeting with the Galbadian Army. She's meeting with a commander there.... Kind of like a child Protege from Galbadia Garden. Not as good as Quistis, though...."

"Okay, what's going one?" Sunde asked, coming into the room. "Holy shit. Okay, come on...."

Nida sighed. "I'm fine, Doctor."

"Usually when people are fine, they don't bleed all over the rug, kiddo...."

Nida began to follow the doctor, but the pain made it difficult.

"I'll come, too...." Squall offered, wanting to make sure Nida was okay. He felt very guilty about what happened to him, and he also wanted to find out more from Nida about what he could feel about Laguna's coma. "Selphie, contact me as soon as you hear from Quistis or Xu."

Selphie nodded. "Will do, President Leonhart."

"Shut up," Squall muttered, following Nida and Sunde. He watched as Nida walked ahead of him. He tried to offer assistance to the pretty Asian man, but Nida refused time and time again. He was leaving a small trail of blood as he walked, and Squall was wondering exactly where Sunde was leading them.

"Okay, in here, Mr....?" Sunde cocked his head. "I don't know who you are...."

"Nida Nomura.... But, that doesn't matter." He sat on a table that Sunde ushered him to. "You think that Odine will be able to help you with President Loire's coma?"

Sunde looked at Nida. "Yeah..... Why, you sound like you know something.... Take your shirt off."

Nida did as he was told. "I'm empathic, so I can feel the magical energy surrounding Laguna. It isn't a natural coma."

"Well, with Adel, nothing is 'natural', Mr. Nomura. Raise your left arm...."

Nida did as the doctor commanded, wincing.

"Holy Hyne!" Sunde exclaimed. "I can see your bottom rib!" Sunde's face paled. "How the Hell are you still conscious?"

"My empathy helps me also in physical stamina... Can you fix it?" Nida closed his eyes in pain as Sunde probed the wound with a sterile instrument.

"Nida...." Squall trailed off. "This is all my fault.... I shouldn't have let you go alone."

Nida narrowed his almost shaped, doe brown eyes. "Squall.... I can make my own decisions. I don't blame you." Nida winced. "Ow...."

"Damn right Ow...." Sunde muttered. "I'm going to have to do some surgery to patch this up. Mr. Leonhart.... I mean, President Leonhart... Could you excuse us?"

Squall nodded dully. "Fine." He hated the way President Leonhart sounded, but he didn't bother arguing. "I'll wait outside, okay?" Squall looked at Nida, finding that he was greatly respecting the pretty man for taking his injury in stride. He also respected him for holding his own against a monster. "You fought well."

"Well, I'm a SeeD, too, Squall."

"I know...." Squall trailed off, finding that until now, he didn't really know it at all. He stepped out into the hallway, feeling like there was a heavy burden on his shoulders. He rubbed his palms together, looking at Nida's blood on them. "Fuck... FUCK!" Squall cursed loudly. "Oh.... Zell, Seifer... Why did this have to happen?" Squall closed his eyes. All he could see was the angry look in Zell and Seifer's familiar eyes, and it tore him apart from the inside out. How was he going to lead an entire world into war against Seifer and Zell, his best friends in the whole world? It tore at his heart. Squall slumped against the wall, until he was sitting outside the door where Sunde was performing surgery on Nida. He looked at the surroundings of the Palace through tear blurred vision, realizing they were in the medical section of the Palace.

"Seifer....." Squall trailed off. He tried to choke out Zell's name, but the memory of that ugly hatred in the small blonde's eyes caused a small whimper to escape his throat. He thought of the way it had felt to be caught between their bodies in Rinoa's house. The way the hard chests of Seifer and Zell had been moulded to him. And, even though he'd known that Seifer and Zell weren't really themselves, he wanted to feel it again. "Oh, God...." He trailed off. He felt the tears moving down his cheeks. Seifer and Zell were becoming horrible beings, and yet, he still wanted them to fuck him senseless. Nida was seriously injured because of him, and Laguna was in a coma, so he was now the President of Esthar, which meant that Adel would want to kill him even more now. "Oh, Seifer.... Zell...." Squall whispered, burying his face in his arms. "Help me....."

Fujin stared off into space. She was sitting in the car rental section of Esthar, because she knew that Raijin and Quistis would have to come through there to get back into the city. She didn't know how she would react when she saw her husband. Would Raijin be happy? She wondered. Fujin herself didn't really feel happy. She was more confused, and ill. She was on the birth control pill, so she was greatly surprised about being pregnant. What was she going to do? She could get an abortion, but didn't know if she wanted one. And, that would be something that she would have to discuss with Raijin. She'd never thought about children before. Did she want to be a mother? Could she see herself as a mother? Could she see Raijin as a father? She looked up when she heard someone coming. It was Quistis and Raijin.

"Fujin!" Raijin exclaimed.

She looked at him, her eye wide. "What the Hell happened to you?!"

"Long story....." Quistis said.

Fujin just shook her head. Quistis and Raijin were covered in something yucky and green. She wasn't sure that she wanted to know what it was. It was already causing her stomach to churn. Damn this baby. It was making her very ill. Fujin found it hard to meet Raijin's eyes.

"We have to talk to Laguna...." Quistis trailed off.

Fujin decided to concentrate looking into Quistis's eyes. "You can't. Laguna's in a coma. While you were gone, Seifer and Zell showed up."

"WHAT?!" They both exclaimed.

Fujin nodded sadly. "Squall's the acting President."

Quistis shook her head slowly. "Well, we should talk to Squall, and find out what the Hell is happening here."

Fujin nodded, following Quistis and Raijin. Raijin noticed, and turned. "Fujin...?"

"Yeah?" She looked at Raijin, finding that she was blushing, and averted her gaze.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah....." Fujin muttered.

"We'll talk later...." Raijin said, taking Fujin's hand in his own. "We should find Squall."

"Okay...." Fujin kept her eyes glued to the ground. In their current situation, would it ever be the right time to talk about a family?

"Fucking stupid Odine..." Zell trailed off, laying on his back, staring up at the ceiling of Odin's chamber. "I'm so weak right now." Zell closed his eyes. "Why do we have to remain dormant for periods of time? Seifer and Zell could kill themselves, and then we'd be fucked."

"Kalm down...." Seifer mused. He was curled up on the floor next to his small lover. "They kan't kill themselves, or whatever you're worried about. They're our prisoners.... And, I agree.... We wouldn't have to be dormant if Odine didn't have this damned barrier up."

"He's blocking Edea from us in the Sorceress Memorial...." Zell turned his head to look at Seifer. "I felt that our little... Welcome wagons, were destroyed."

"The snake was weak... That was more of a diversion. I'm pretty damn disappointed that we didn't get Nida, though. I foresee him bekoming a problem."

"He wants to bang that slut, Leonhart," Zell muttered, his voice shaking with rage. "Why does everyone want him?!" Zell balled his hands into fists. "He wants to fuck you."

"And?" Seifer asked. "I think it best if we rest for a while. We need to konserve our strength."

"Fine..." Zell closed his eyes, and then they snapped open. He screamed, clambering to a seated position. He found that he couldn't stop screaming.

"Zell! ZELL!!" Seifer exclaimed. He put his hands on Zell's shoulders. "Zell, it's me...."

Zell frightfully looked in Seifer's eyes, seeing that they were familiar, and they were Seifer. "Seifer....?"

Seifer nodded. Zell could see that Seifer was just as scared as he was. "Yeah, sweetie.... It's me..."

"Oh, God...." Zell choked out, pressing his fists against his eyes. "What happened?"

Seifer looked around, hearing Zell's choked voice echoing around them. "Where are we?"

Zell looked around, his breathing shaky. "Huh....? We're in Odin's Chamber. How did we get here?!"

"What's happened?" Seifer whispered.

Zell looked at the familiar face of his lover, and burst into horrible sobs that totally racked his entire body. "Oh, God....." He wailed. He sobbed harder when he felt Seifer's arms come around him, and the tears got stronger, his wails stronger when he felt Seifer's tears splattering on the side of his face, and when he felt Seifer's body shake with his own sobs, which were silent. Zell could also feel Seifer's power lightly playing on his skin. It felt like a pure, white light compared to the dark murkiness that they'd been submerged under, like a sea, drowning in the power of Ultimecia and Adel. Adel and Ultimecia may have been two separate entities in Zell and Seifer's bodies, but their power merged together, along with Rinoa and Lillith, like a giant ocean, dark and dangerous. Rinoa and Lillith.... Rinoa....

"NO!" Zell screamed, pulling away from Seifer. He stood, his legs feeling weak, like he hadn't used them before. The 'no' continued to echo around them, bouncing off the stone walls. "Rinoa....." He looked at Seifer, who was still crouched on the ground, clutching his coat around him, which looked very frightfully like a Nazi uniform. "Seifer.... Did I kill Rinoa?"

Seifer looked up, his tears staining his cheeks. The look in his aquatic eyes said it all, and Zell screamed angrily.

"NO! I killed her?!"


"I killed Rinoa! Oh, God......" Zell raked his hands through his hair, and moaned in defeat when they came back slightly red. The blood of Rinoa was dying his hair. "No....." He looked at Seifer. "We killed Rinoa! We killed Lillith!"

"Lillith...." Seifer trailed off. "My only family....." He silently wept, then stopped. "Lillith....."

"What?" Zell asked, hugging himself, his body shaking. All he could see was the memory of Rinoa's neck being snapped. Again and again, her screams, the sound of her bones snapping. Her head turning around on her shoulders. Again and again. He screamed, pounding his fists against his temples. He whimpered in pain when his fist hit his right cheek. He ran his palm over it, feeling jagged cuts.

"What happened to my face.....?" Zell asked.

Seifer looked up, feeling Lillith's power within his own. "You're cut..... Squall cut you.... When we...." Seifer began sobbing. "We hurt Laguna....."

Zell bit his lip. "I can still feel their hatred...." He looked around. "What are they going to make us do next....??!"

"Lillith...." Seifer trailed off. "Zell.... They.... They can't hurt anyone if they can't use our bodies anymore...." He looked up at Zell, then stood. He went over to the wall, where swords and daggers were hanging. "If we die......"

"We could save everyone....?" Zell asked. He looked at Seifer with wide eyes. "You think we should.....?"

Seifer began crying again as he took a small knife down from the wall. He slumped to the floor. "Oh, God... Rinoa....." He looked at Zell. "What have we done?"

"We tried to kill Nida.... Why?! He never did anything!" Zell almost fell to the ground beside Seifer. He paused. "Because...."

"Nida's empathic....." Seifer looked down at the knife sadly. "He would be able to sense when Ultimecia and Adel were doing something....."

"There's more than that....." Zell trailed off. "But, I don't know what it is. Is Nida a Sorcerer?"

Seifer shook his head. "I don't know..... I don't think so. Maybe he's like Ellone...."

"Are we going to have to kill her, too?!" Zell exclaimed. He buried a wail into his palms.

"Not if we kill ourselves...." Seifer raised the knife, looking at it through blurred vision. "If they can't use our bodies, they can't hurt anyone else...." He looked at Zell.

Zell nodded sadly. "Why couldn't we have just been happy?" Zell whispered.

"We were......" Seifer mused sadly, pressing the knife's edge to his wrist. "For a little while, my love." He winced as the knife dug into his flesh. Then, he slashed, cutting his wrist open wide. He quickly did the same to the other wrist, and his own blood was pouring all over his clothes from his open wrists. Zell did the same, and they sadly looked at each other.

"I love you, Seifer Almasy...." Zell whispered, pulling his tall lover close, bathing in his own blood, as well as Seifer's. "This is for the best."

Seifer nodded, already feeling light-headed. He let blackness slowly encroach on him. Zell let it happen, too, feeling happy to have Seifer's arms around him for the last time, knowing that he was still himself in his last moments. A few minutes passed, and Zell furrowed his brow, wondering why he was still conscious. He slowly opened his eyes, looking down at the pouring wounds on his wrists. Well, where the wounds should have been. He watched as they closed up, the flesh miraculously knitting itself together again. Zell just watched, saw his flesh become perfect, not even a trace of a scar.

"NO!" Zell growled angrily. "No, no, no, no!" He pulled away from Seifer. "Damn you, Adel!" He stood "Why?!"

Seifer slowly opened his eyes, looking down at himself. He was covered in his own blood, but it was drying, and he was no longer bleeding. "They won't let us....." Seifer whispered, standing as well. He wrapped his arms around Zell. "We're trapped."

Zell held Seifer to him tightly, weeping into Seifer's chest, which was shaking with sobs, too. "Why won't they just leave us alone?" Zell asked, looking up at Seifer, sniffling. "When is it going to end?"

Seifer kissed Zell gently, and it tasted like a sliver of Heaven in a Hellish world. His lower lip shook against Zell's. "I don't think it will....."

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