A Mist Over Winhill Chapter 3

With This Night's Revels

By Kate Lorraine

It didn't take Rinoa long to figure out that Seifer passed the SeeD exam. Her spy was a close confidant of Cid's. Rinoa heard from her immediately as soon as she had arrived in Balamb that Seifer had passed - just barely. Now, as to what kind of idiot would allow Almasy into SeeD Rinoa could hardly imagine, but what was done was done. Yet she knew she couldn't afford to fail on her mission.

Walking into Garden disguised as a student, Rinoa quickly began to spread a rumor that Seifer failed miserably, it was a record in fact, no one had ever received a lower score. How anyone could receive a score in the negative range, especially when it was a percentage of a hundred, was beyond belief. The hot gossip had infested the whole Garden by mid evening.

Seifer did not believe it when he first heard it. It was in the cafeteria when he heard it from a group of students giggling away at his misfortune. He heard it again in the library. While he was scanning the shelves for a Weapons Monthly, across the barrier he heard a female student giggling about how a chimp would have scored higher. Grinding his teeth in anger he decided to dismiss the news again. Walking to the training center suddenly Nida came up to him.

"Seifer, did you hear about the SeeD tests?"

"Hear what?" Seifer asked in a voice dripping with irritation.

"A lot of students got into SeeD this year. They screwed up the grading system. Maybe even you got in." Nida said, unaware of his insulting slip.

"What do you mean they screwed up the grading system?" Seifer asked.

Nida shrugged. "You didn't hear? They had the squad leaders grade the SeeD candidates this year. Who was your squad leader? Seifer?" Nida yelled his name once more as Seifer disappeared down the hall. Scratching his head, Nida wasn't surprised that Seifer was so rude. He was Seifer after all.

* * * *

Rinoa was sitting her room in the Balamb hotel when someone began to bang on her door. She smiled inwardly as she walked over to the door and opened it, fully expecting to see Seifer behind it. He stormed into the room.

"Didn't you want two days?" She asked, pretending to be oblivious to the cause of his pains.

He glared at her.

"I've made up my mind."

Rinoa watched him in the mist of his anger and knew that her plan had worked to perfection. She walked into her room and glanced at herself in the mirror. Seifer just stood there watching her as she took in her reflection.

"Why are you all dressed up?" he asked curiously.

"I'm going to help you kidnap the headmaster tonight, Seifer." Rinoa answered.

He frowned. "It almost seems as though you knew I would come."

Rinoa fixed her canary dress and began to run a brush through her hair.

"I know you too well, Seifer," Rinoa replied. She tossed her hair back and walked over to him. "Come on, we need to meet your accomplices at the entrance of Balamb Garden. There is no time to waste."

* * *

At the entrance of Balamb Rinoa introduced Seifer to the accomplices Edea had promised her. Raijin and Fujin. Fujin she knew already, she was Edea's spy in Garden. Raijin was also a spy but she did not meet him until tonight. Reaching out with her hand, Rinoa shook both of their hands and Seifer did the same. Rinoa looked over at Seifer realizing how quiet he was. She remembered that summer a year ago when she had believed that she was in love with him. They used to wander about Deling, hand in hand. He used to be her pillar of strength, as long as she was with him there was no one to fear. Being a sorceress wasn't so bad when you had a knight to protect you. Now, things had changed. She was no longer his accessory, he was hers.

"Fujin, you've been briefed about the mission already. Make sure you pass that knowledge onto Seifer because there is no time to waste." Rinoa looked over at Seifer. " You came rather late," She explained sheepishly, "had we been able to do this a day ago you would be more adequately prepared."

Seifer shrugged. "I'll get it done." With that he turned away and began to walk in the direction of Garden. Rinoa looked at Raijin and Fujin.

"He's had a hard day," she explained. "Usually he's a very charismatic man."

Rinoa turned and ran after Seifer. She caught up with him midway to Garden. In the distance she could see the lights of the academy light up the heavens in a rainbow of colors. Night had crept upon them like a thief, stealing the security of the bright sun. The stars twinkled in the sky like a thousand diamonds. Why, she had never seen so many stars.

"Seifer," she whispered as she caught his arm.

"You've changed Rinoa," he answered keeping his faced turned away. "I don't even know who you are anymore."

"What are you talking about, Seifer?" Rinoa walked in front of him so she could force him to look at her.

"I love you, remember? How could you forget that?"She asked sweetly, innocently, deceptively. In the end she needed him to remind her of her power. However, she could never love him as an equal. Her love for him was like a pretty dress she was proud of wearing. And now he was finally beginning to catch on to her tricks. Yet she would never let him go. He was a puppet attached to her strings. She wanted to see him dance.

"Stop it," he growled. "What happened to the old you?" he asked. "You used to be shy, kind, honest. Now you are a snake talking to me with a forked tongue."

Rinoa laughed. "The little girl you knew grew up." With that she leaned over and kissed him. Yet underneath her scaly skin she knew that his accusations were true. She would not address them though. He would never understand. He was a simple person, childish thoughts, completely empty inside. He saw people as black and white, and as long as she kept telling him that she was good he would never think otherwise. As she parted from his kiss she saw him smile at her. At that moment the realization hit her that she was utterly alone. How could he fall for that simple trick? It was an insult to her intelligence. She felt hollow inside as though she was filled with night instead of flesh. She wanted to lash out at him for being so dull, yet, she also hated herself for being so complex. A summer ago she would have given anything for his smile, but now suddenly she would give anything to see him in pain. What a tragic change of fate.

"Squall Leonhart," Rinoa whispered. Her breath brushing against his lips.

His smile immediately turned into a frown. "What did you say? I thought I heard you say -"

"Squall Leonhart," Rinoa spoke once more. This time more clearly. "I have to find a SeeD of that name. Edea's orders. Do you know him?"

Seifer pulled away from her in disgust. "Yeah I know him. He's my old friend."

"What does he look like?" Rinoa asked. "I need to keep him busy while you kidnap the headmaster."

Seifer shrugged. "He's a fat bastard. A few hundred pounds overweight, ugly as a lizard, with oily flaky dandruff infested hair. You won't miss him. He's the most repulsive man in Garden."

Rinoa nodded, feeling a sense of disgust overcome her. So, she had put on her best dress to court a monster. Suddenly she wasn't so eager to leave Seifer.

"Alright. I'll meet you back here 3000 hours past midnight."

* * * *

Seifer watched Rinoa run away from him. Her slender form moving through the night like a deer through the forest. Yet as he watched he began to feel as though he was watching someone else's woman. She was no longer by his side and he was no longer her knight. And when he heard her say Squall's name he felt such a surge of envy as he had never known before. Squall had taken everything from him in one day. SeeD and Rinoa, yesterday he had both, today neither. Seifer squeezed his gunblade in fury.

"Seifer, what are ya looking at? She's gone, ya know?" Raijin said beside him. Seifer turned to the dark skinned man next to him.

'Yeah', Seifer thought to himself. 'She's gone. Forever.'

"Let's get going. Fujin, you know how to get in, right?" Seifer asked the grey haired lady.

She nodded watching him from her single eye.

"FOLLOW," she said and pointed to the right.

Seifer looked at the darkness which had swallowed Rinoa's figure one last time before he turned his head and began to follow.

He had nothing left to lose.

* * * *

Rinoa wandered into the Garden easily. It was the night of the graduation dance, the security was down, the SeeDs drunk, and the Garden Masters asleep. She heard the heels of her white dancing shoes click on the tiled floor of the iridescent Garden. The place was ethereal tonight and even her sorceress's heart began to melt sightly with girlish dreams of starlit nights.

She heard the waltz music coming from behind closed doors. With a smile on her face she remembered that she had not danced in a year. She stood there outside of the gold gilded door listening to the music that leaked out from within. It was a door to her past. Maybe if she opened it she would see her mother inside sitting at the piano. Her father would be dressed up in a suit waiting for her to come dance. They would begin with the waltz, softly, gently, watching out for his heart. Then her mother would laugh and begin to play a different tune. Her father would swing her around in the tango, dipping her, swinging her out so that her skirt made a circle around her like the bloom of a flower.

Rinoa jumped, suddenly knocked out of her reverie as a voice came from behind her.

"What are you doing?" A young man asked.

Rinoa looked around seeing a Garden student standing beside her. He smiled warmly at her.

"It's for SeeDs only, but you can go in, you know. They don't check for an ID or anything."

Rinoa smiled back at him. "Oh, I wasn't looking to go in ... . I" She realized suddenly that this was the graduation dance for SeeDs. Squall Leonhart was probably inside.

"Do you know a Squall Leonhart?" Rinoa asked.

"Hmm, yeah, everyone knows him. Are you trying to get a date with him? Because if you are, forget it. He's a jerk."

Rinoa shook her head. "No no, of course not." She realized suddenly that she was blushing. "I just have something important to tell him ...so can you point him out to me? Please?

The young man shrugged. "Just find the guy who doesn't answer back when you talk to him. Chances are if you are begin to suspect that he is deaf, it's probably Squall Leonhart."

"Oh okay. Thank you," Rinoa said as she bravely opened the door and stepped in. She was instantly amazed at the burst of activity inside. The pastel walls arched into a high ceiling that seemed to point to heaven. Men, women wandered about in a bright swirl of colors. The sound of the laughter of mortal voices was music to her ears. The music traveling from one ear to another followed her through the sea of bodies. She caught a glimpse of a pearl pin stuck in the brown waves of hair, a peek of a emerald at a pale throat, a glance at a the satin dress covering a soft body.

Her heart burned with joy as though she had never been apart from this royal splendor. She stopped at the center of the grand ballroom watching the couples twirl with each other underneath the midnight sky. It was so lovely it brought tears to her eyes. She felt as though the immortal fire in her chest would incinerate her into a pile of ash. It was then when she caught sight of Squall Leonhart. Fat, repulsive, Squall Leonhart eating hot dogs over in a corner of the room. He was as ugly as Seifer described him to be, with his hair plastered to his forehead with oil. The very sight of him disgusted her. She walked over but it was just her luck that he got up from his seat as she approached him.

"Mr. Leonhart!" she yelled, but he ignored her as he wove through the crowd. Did he know who she was? Is that why he was running from her? Oh, he was more cunning than she thought. She shoved the people out of her way, ready to use magic to stop him if need be.

"Mr. Leonhart, I must have a word with you!" She called out but he ignored her as though she never called out his name at all. It had to be him. As deaf as a doornail.

She raised her hand ready to cast a sleep spell when suddenly he disappeared behind a dark door. She ran up to it glad that she would have him alone when someone grabbed her.

"Miss you can't go in there." A gentleman implored her.

"Why?!" she snapped as she broke from his hand and reached for the door.

"Miss, that's the men's room."

Rinoa felt her cheeks turn red as an apple as she withdrew her hand.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said smiling in shame taking a few steps back. "I'll just wait here."

The man shook his head and left. Rinoa stood there and waited. She tried to keep her eyes on the door of the men's room but the music came and the dancing seduced her eyes, forcing them to wander back to the dance floor. She tapped her feet to the music, a gentle smile on her face as she vicariously twirled across the floor.

'What happened to the old you?'

Seifer's words ran through her head and bid her to follow. They leapt across the landscape of her mind. Just one dance. Come, follow us, no one has to know.

Rinoa stood up and walked to the center of the floor. She realized that she had no idea why she was there. She stood there awkwardly as the couples danced around her like a merry go round. Suddenly, she looked up at the tiny star that shot across the sky like a message from the angels. As she withdrew her eyes from the sky she saw a young man's eyes on her. He too had seen that shining star. She lifted her index finger and pointed up. He cocked his head at her, reminding her of a new born owl.

'Come dance with me across the landscape of my dreams.'

Rinoa walked over to him keeping Seifer's advice in her heart. Be young, innocent, sweet, ditzy. They love that. Yet as she came closer he took her breath away. He was a snow white dove in a mist of crows. His eyes were two precious stones glittering with the lonely flame of all the stars in the sky. Unfortunately, here in the mist of so many unnatural diamonds attached to human jewelry the miraculous ones set in his face were easy to miss. As she walked up to him she realized that never before in her life she had seen such true beauty. Her eyes had been two passengers through a world of darkness before they laid their sight upon this beacon in the rough.

"You're the best looking guy here. Dance with me?" She asked keeping her voice high, cheery, innocent.

He ignored her. She felt a wave of panic suddenly. What if he did not want to talk to her? She felt very young then, wishing that Seifer her knight was here again.

'The little girl you knew grew up.'

And she had grown up. No she would not give up. On this mystical night surely she can coax one dance out of him.

"Let me guess . . you will only dance with someone you like." She bent down a bit so that she could look into his eyes. She was being too bold now. If he refused her she would have to go jump off a bridge because she would never live this down.

"Look into my eyes," she said, trying to keep her happy voice in tact. "You're going to like me. You're going to like me." She drew back, feeling herself tremble in fear.

"Did it work?" She asked.

He looked up at last.

"I can't dance."

That made her laugh in glee. His voice was more beautiful than the quiet song of the moonlight sonata. One dance, one night. He was an angel sent down with that shooting star for one last flash of joy. Perhaps even those doomed to a lifetime in hell were allowed one moment of true ecstacy.

"Come on," she assured him. "You'll be fine."

She grabbed his arm and took him to the center of the dance floor. She gently placed his right hand on her hip and took his left into her right.

"Just follow me, I'll lead," she whispered gently to him. She began to move her feet to the beat of the waltz. Right, lift, left, lift. Her feet knew the dance and immediately went into their passionate sensual movement. He collapsed into her as she began to lose herself in the dance. Oh what a inconsiderate fool she was! He had told her that he could not dance and she was already lost wandering through the landscape of her fantasy.

"I'm sorry, it's my fault," she apologized as she caught his hand when he tried to leave her.

He frowned at her. She smiled at him taking him through the steps again slowly.

'I've been such a assertive klutz. I hope he doesn't hate me.'

"You're getting it, that's perfect," She whispered as he did not respond.

Then suddenly her attention was drawn elsewhere as they collapsed into another couple. The man glared at her. Rinoa felt her partner cringe slightly with embarrassment. She stuck her tongue out at the rude intruder.

"I'm sorry," She apologized again as she caught his eye once more. "I'm terrible at leading."

They melted back into basic, sticking to the simple steps first.

"My father used to lead, before he got sick," She told him quietly. "He's probably a far better teacher than me."

He was silent but he caught her off guard as he suddenly swung her around in a perfect turn. She was smiling with glee as they finished the step. She hung on to his strong shoulder as he surprised her once more with a full turn.

"Ready?" he asked her under his breath as he turned her palm. She smiled, he was leading.


He spun her out and let go of her hand. She raised her arms and slide in back of him, appearing on his other side to take his hand again and went into an angle. The world disappeared from her eyes. They were one spirit moving across the floor. And she knew that from this moment on she would never be completely alone again. Even if she left this hall never to see him again, he would visit her nightly in each beautiful sorrow gilded dream.

"You're lucky to have a father," he whispered as he held her close. The ballroom had grown dark to frame the slow dance. "Most of the people here are orphans."

Rinoa looked at him fondly. Was he an orphan? Oh what kind of mother would leave such a son. She would cross the boundaries of life and death, take the pen from the very hand of god to rewrite the cursed words in the stars for such a man.

"I know I'm lucky" She told him.

'To have met you'

He stared into her eyes then, his lips on the verge of a smile.

"What's your name?" he asked.

Rinoa was jarred suddenly from her reverie as she saw the restroom open and Squall Leonhart walked out. Damn you Squall Leonhart, she thought to herself but realized that she had to go after him before he disappeared. She turned her eyes to the young man in front of her one last time, taking in his beauty, etching him in her memory. She gently broke from his embrace. He stared at her with the most startled expression on his face.

It ripped her heart to pieces to leave him but she knew she had to.

'I'm sorry.'

She looked at him one last time before she ran away, across the dance floor after Squall Leonhart. She held that last expression on his face in her mind. She wouldn't forget that terrible downcast look for all the rest of time.

He was sad to see her go.

Deep in her heart, she vowed to kill that irritating imp for leaving his place in the men's room at this instant. She walked up to the fat bastard, smiled and began to flirt with him. It was going to be a long night.

* * * * *

The elevator stopped at the third floor. Seifer stepped away from it and realized that there was no turning back now. Well, if he was to be expelled why not go out with a bang and get the headmaster back for his pain? Oh yes, and there was Squall Leonhart whom he must destroy. One by one he would kill. It started tonight.

Fujin pointed at the door. Raijin held the tranquilizer under his arm. They were both waiting for his signal. Seifer scratched his head. How do you make a decision like this? For as long as he could remember he worked toward being a SeeD. It was never really his dream rather than it was just something he had expected to happen. Now he was standing here ready to kidnap the headmaster. He was walking in a dream.

Finally in a moment of impulse, Seifer pointed at the door.

"Let's get it over with."

Seifer walked over to the door and kicked it open.

Fujin and Raijin ran in and surrounded Cid. Seifer walked in and pointed his gunblade at Cid's throat.

"Say one word and I'll kill you." Seifer hissed as he watched the old man calmly lift his head.

"You've come from Edea haven't you?" Cid asked quietly as though their sudden intrusion didn't surprise him at all.

"Shut up," Seifer yelled as he choked on his words.

"Why you Seifer? Why today?" Cid asked, sorrow sounding in his voice. "Today was your day Seifer. The SeeD exa-"

"Shut up!" Seifer roared as he poked Cid in the neck. "Raijin, you idiot, what are you waiting for?" Seifer snapped.

Raijin, who hadn't been paying attention. broken out of his trance and shot Cid with the tranquilizer. The headmaster slumped over. Fujin bound his hands with her rope. Raijin picked the headmaster up and threw Cid over his broad shoulder. Seifer really had nothing to do but watch.

When the procedure was done Seifer was the first one out of the room. Cid's words echoed in his head. He was afraid that he would see something in that room, something that would make him regret this decision for a lifetime.

"Hurry, Rinoa's not about to wait all night," he yelled at the two.

* * * *

Squall stood at the balcony of Balamb Garden after the mysterious girl left him. She came so suddenly out of nowhere and disappeared as fast as she had come. He had stood here for the rest of the dance quietly contemplating what had happened. In a way, he was also waiting, in case she came back.

"Squall," someone called from behind him.

He stood still without turning. He would recognize that voice anywhere. Ellone.

She walked closer, her gentle slippers scratching the stone floor in a irritating fashion.

"Squall, you'll dance with a girl you don't even know but still you can't stand being here with me?" She asked.

Squall tightened his grip on the balcony railing.

"You are my sister. It's strange being with you, especially since you were gone for so long."

Ellone walked closer to him.

"No that's not it. I want to talk to you, Squall. Will you meet me at the training center later tonight?"

Squall looked over at her. Her face was round and playful. Her eyes large and innocent. Short shaggy hair, the same color as his, waved in the gentle wind of the Balamb island. Yet today as he watched her his vision blurred. He turned his eyes away from her and back to the moon.

"No Ellone, if you have anything to say, say it here."

Ellone looked down and closed her eyes.

"What have I done Squall to make you hate me so?" She asked sadly.

Squall forced his eyes back onto her. Somehow it was hard to look at her. He kept seeing someone else. She was Ellone, his adopted sister, the one his mother made him promise to protect as she laid dying, the one who had abandoned him one day and left for a decade. Ellone, his beautiful cold hearted Ellone who had the one thing he could never have, the love of his father.

"Nothing," Squall said, "you did nothing,"

"Because I did nothing that's why the things between us can never be right," Ellone said, finishing the sentence for him.

Something about her, at that moment, standing beside him was making him see double. A flash came across his mind. A girl, a blond one with royal eyes. The flash went as suddenly as it came. No matter how he prodded his mind he could not get the vision to return. Those eyes, so blue they were the color of the midday April sky. They stared at him across distance and time.

Why Squall?

"Squall, why are you squinting at me?" Ellone asked.

Squall turned his eyes away trying to clear his head. A name suddenly came to the edge of his tongue.


He wanted to say that name to her on a wild impulse but he caught himself and swallowed the name. He was growing dizzy. He could not stay here a moment longer. Reaching up, Squall placed his hand against his forehead. For a moment he saw in the distance not Balamb meadow but the one behind Edea's orphanage. Something happened there, a long long time ago. Something which he couldn't remember now for the life of him. It was just one fluttering whisper, one faded badge of courage, one forgotten sacrifice, one name, Quistis.

"Squall are you okay?" Ellone asked with concern in her voice.

Squall opened his eyes, vision clearing. Suddenly as he cast his eyes onto the Balamb meadow a realization hit him.

"The headmaster," Squall whispered under his breath. Without another word he ran from the balcony, leaving Ellone standing alone, completely perplexed and yet at the same time, in complete understanding.

* * * *

"Where is Raijin and Fujin?" Rinoa asked as Seifer appeared with Cid's limp body over his shoulder.

Seifer dumped Cid onto the ground near the helicopter and flexed his shoulder.

"They were delayed by a couple of Garden students. They'll be here momentarily." Seifer glanced at Rinoa as she rubbed her bare arms in the cold night. "You must be freezing," he remarked at her tiny dress. He pulled off his trench coat and helped her into it.

Rinoa nodded absently at his act of chivalry For a second Seifer was about to ask her how her night with Squall had gone yet at the same time he feared the answer. By the distant look in her eye he had the awful feeling that she hardly even saw him standing in front of her.

"Is that better?" He asked her.

"If they don't show up soon we'll have to leave without them," Rinoa remarked.

"I don't leave people behind Rinoa, that's just a thing I don't do,"

Rinoa frowned at him. "This is not SeeD, Seifer. Your SeeD codes of honor mean nothing here."

Seifer looked dazed for a moment as though he had been slapped by her harsh words. He turned away feeling the night on his bare arms. Perhaps he had made a mistake in putting his coat around her. It was not the night that gave birth to the winter air but her icicle heart that emitted this terrible cold. He snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a sound over the hill.

He took a few steps forward and listened carefully.

"Wait here," he said to Rinoa, "if there is trouble take the headmaster and leave, don't worry about me."

Rinoa said nothing, her face betraying no emotion. As Seifer turned and walked over the hill he realized how worthless those words were. Of course she would not worry about him. She would not blink an eye even if she were to see his corpse dragged around like a bone by the wild dogs on the outskirts of Balamb.

'Squall Leonhart.'

Seifer smiled suddenly. He recognized the figure that was approaching him. Without hesitation, Seifer began to walk forward.

Things had just taken a turn for the better.

* * * *

"What are you doing out here at this time of the night?" Squall asked as he stopped a few feet away from Seifer Almasy. However, as he watched the psychotic blue eyes of his foe he knew that this was no ordinary moonlit stroll. At his side Squall pulled his gunblade closer to himself.

"Squall, Squall." Seifer said shaking his head. "You know Squall, I should have kicked you off that communication tower today. I don't know what came over me."

"You owe me a duel, Squall," Seifer said absently. "Give me a chance to take the life I accidently saved this afternoon. Everyone should get a chance to correct their mistakes don't you think?"

Squall was silent for a moment, as he usually was before he spoke. "Seifer, it's not too late for you to turn back."

Seifer shook his head and scratched the back of his neck. "No, Squall," he said turning to meet his eyes, "it is fourteen years too late."

Squall jumped back as Seifer suddenly attacked him.

* * * *

Rinoa shoved Cid into the helicopter, fully intending to leave. She heard the clash of the blades across the hill. He had missed his chance to leave. She had Cid, the headmaster of Garden. They would be helpless without him, the mission had been a success.

But that was when something caught her eye.

Seifer's opponent, he looked oddly familiar.

Rinoa took a few steps closer and drew her hand to her mouth in shock, it was the boy she had danced with that night.

No, Seifer.

The words ran through her head screaming like a wraith. She watched as the boy narrowly blocked a blow from Seifer's gunblade. He too had a gunblade, the mystical weapon of ancient heroes. She gasped under her breath as he was forced to stumble back by the ferocity of Seifer's blows. The sound of the blades clashing was like thunder in the night. Rinoa watched her the dark haired boy drew back and ran into Seifer with his blade held at his side. Seifer raised his hand and cast a Firaga spell on him, throwing him off his feet. It was the strongest way Rinoa had ever seen that spell cast and it left her boy on his back.

Get up! Damn you, get up! Rinoa thought desperately. Her hand raised involuntarily, ready to cast Ultima on Seifer. She suddenly realized shamefully what she was about to do.

She didn't even know his name.

Yet, she could not stop the words for escaping her lips as Seifer raised his glittering gunblade into the sky and brought it down across his victim's face.

"No!" Rinoa yelled suddenly and began to run over when someone caught her.


Rinoa turned around in shock to see Raijin and Fujin beside her. She had not seen them creep up on her.

"What's going on?" Raijin asked. But then the large man turned his eyes to the duel and smiled. "Looks like Seifer has done well, ya know?"

"What do you mean you blubbering idiot?" Rinoa asked breathlessly.

Raijin lifted his finger and pointed.

"That's Squall Leonhart."

* * * *

Seifer's fury flowed through his palm into his sword like a river of hate. He seemed to grow stronger with each mighty blow he hurled at his victim. Although Squall was the warrior with more experience, Seifer had the formidable strength of unbound anger on his side. Blow by blow he struck for SeeD, for Rinoa, for the ruins of his great future.

Seifer spun around and drove his gunblade into Squall's knocking him back from the impact. Squall charged at him with a series of well timed blows but Seifer blocked them easily. While Squall went directly for the kill, Seifer had more artistic flair. When he fought it was almost like a dance. Under the light of the full moon he twirled to a song of death no one else could hear. Squall however charged at Seifer trying his best to keep up with his opponent's virtuoso ability.

Squall unleashed a storm of blows at Seifer but was thrown back by Seifer's swipe. Squall spun his blade around, altering his gripe on it. Seifer saw him coming with his blade at his side. Seifer's rage had reached a climax. He could no longer contain it within him. He wanted blood. Raising his palm he felt the energy of his body collect on his palm. All his anger, hatred, despair collected in one fire spell that shot from his hand in a blast of white light. It threw Squall back against the grassy plain. Seifer smiled then, as he raised his gunblade.

Watch Rinoa, while I cut his face in two.

Seifer felt such pleasure right then as he brought his blade down in a swoop. He could hear the whistle of air as his blade came to meet with destiny. Squall Leonhart had a look of complete shock on his face as the blade dug deep into his forehead drawing a wound so profound it could never heal. Blood painted his cheeks in red, flooded his sapphire eyes drowning them in a sea of burning scarlet.

'Will she love you now Squall?'

Seifer smiled in contentment.

'I have divided your face in two so that she could see you for who you really are -a hypocrite, a liar, a demon. Oh let her watch you now, and see if she will still love you at first sight.'

Seifer was taken back suddenly in surprise as Squall jumped to his feet. Drawing back in effort to defend himself, in a flash Seifer felt a burning sensation across his own forehead. Blood poured down in a waterfall over his nose into his mouth. Seifer stood there in shock, unable to believe that it had happened.

'What have you done?'

Seifer drew his hand to his head and came away with his fingers drenched in blood. They both had that scar, in the same place, they matched, were identical.

"Seifer!" Someone yelled in back of him.

Squall had stumbled back, his forehead bleeding profusely. It trickled down his chin into the intricate designs of his SeeD uniform, dripping into the grass in a rainstorm of red. Seifer felt someone tug him from behind. In the distance he could see support from Garden coming. He broke out of his shock long enough to jump into the hoovering helicopter behind him.

The helicopter flew away from Balamb as Seifer took a seat inside next to Rinoa. Fujin, who had been the one to break him from his trance was sitting across from him next to Raijin. She handed him something to press against the wound which he took absently. He looked over at Rinoa who was looking out the window refusing to meet his eye.

He reached over and took her hand, gently tenderly the way he used to. He held her long slender fingers in his as the helicopter crossed the ocean on its way to Deling City.

I love you more Rinoa.

He did not see her softly begin to cry.


Author's Note: Darn I was hoping to do away with these notes but now I see that they are needed. Okay, the guy whom Rinoa calls "Squall" during the dance is NOT Squall. Seifer unintentionally misled her to believe that Squall was really "a few hundred pounds overweight." So pretty much with a series of mistakes, Rinoa dances with Squall during the dance not knowing that she actually danced with Squall. And for those of you who would like to know what went on in Rinoa's head right after she found out that she fell in love with her worst enemy, well I can't write well enough to capture it so I left it to your imagination by cutting it off at a critical place. So if you really want to know I guess I'll let my friend Mr Shakespeare tell you.

My only love sprung from my only hate
Too early seen unknown and known too late
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.
-Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)


Go To Chapter 4

Return To FF8 Fanfic