The Orphan Chapter 21

Eye of the Storm

By Kate Lorraine

(a.k.a., a record of my conversation in the chat room Balamb Garden at 5:15 in the morning. Lol my buddy Seifer really helped me out with this one. Hehehe all that stuff about Squall and Seifer sleeping together was priceless and that anti Rinoa spray that Seifer peed in! Hahahaa, I'm still laughing. Well I guess you all know now where my inspiration comes from now (j/k).)


"Hot dogs!!!" Zell yelled as he ran into the dormitory holding a tray piled high with is favorite food. He ran into the room where all his friends were gathered. They were sitting around the table in the living room of one of the vacant joint rooms. They had met here secretly for the sake of privacy. Squall was sitting there, against the wall. His right hand was wrapped in a bandage, he had that hand pressed against his head as though he was suffering from a headache. Quistis sat beside him, she had looked up as Zell came running in. Selphie was across from Squall, her tight yellow dress as bright as the sun as she giggled at Zell's sudden burst of enthusiasm. Irvine meanwhile, was beside Selphie, his face locked in a look of friendly mockery. The last person was Fifi, who was sitting at the end of the table. She had gotten up, as Zell came in, to bring him an extra chair.

"Sit down here, Zell" she ordered with a smile, tossing a pigtail behind her back. Zell thought she was the most lovely girl he had ever seen, well maybe it was a tie between her and Rinoa. She so cute and tiny, with her shiny brown hair and pudgy nose. Now she patted the seat next to her in loving affection, waiting for him to sit down.

Zell brought the hot dogs over and placed them on the table.

"Take one, Squall, maybe it will make you less gloomy." Zell offered. He didn't ordinarily offer his hot dogs to anyone else but this was a special occasion.

Squall looked away and ignored him.

"That's everyone, right?" Irvine asked. "We are all here."

"Tch," Zell said as he began to devour his food. "So be that way, Squall. I see you haven't changed."

"We are all here," Quistis answered as she turned her attention from Zell back to Squall.

"Tell us what happened, Squall," Quistis said as gently as she could.

"Were you planning to start without me?" Someone asked from the doorway. The group turned around to see Seifer Almasy standing there. He walked in smiling as though this was the most natural thing in the world. He walked up to Squall and roughly patted him on the back.

"I want to be here when my buddy Squall tells everyone about the recent developments of his love life. I wouldn't miss it for the world, right Squall?"

". . .Whatever."

Seifer laughed. "Go on, don't mind me, Squall. Tell us all about Rinoa. How is she? Does she still talk about that summer we spent together? She used to kiss me you know, did she do that thing with the tongue with you too?"

"Shut up Seifer," Quistis said. "I thought you were taking a nap."

Seifer shrugged. "When my buddy Squall wants to talk I'm going to be here to listen. Right Squall? Don't tell me you never told them about the good old days when we used to sneak porno magazines around and sniff glue. Now that you're a big ol' commander you forgot your old buddy Seifer?"

"Shut up!" Fifi said. "You are not helping Seifer."

Irvine looked up suddenly. "Porno mags? Did someone say porno mags? Where?"

Squall got up. "I'm leaving."

"Squall!" Quistis yelled.

Squall paused and watched her with a deep frown on his face. He looked truly malignant.

Quistis stood up and gestured to Seifer. "Ignore his childish antics, he has something he wants to tell you about the sorceress."

Squall turned his glaze over to Seifer. "What is it?"

Seifer just stood there smirking.

Squall turned to leave when Seifer suddenly spoke up.

"Alexandra isn't who you think she is."

Squall paused.

"She wants to take over the world. Her powers will peak soon. If we don't stop her, she will finish up where her mother left off."

"How do you know that?" Squall asked.

"Did she ever mention the number eight to you Squall? Sorceresses are fond of that number. On the eighth day of the eighth month, she will obliterate the world. Did she show you her power Squall? It's rather fierce. The world of the dead and the world of living, they will cross when her season of passage comes."

`Squall turned around, "how do you suggest we get rid of her, Seifer?"

"Well, that is for you to figure out, Mr Leader." Seifer answered. "That is, if you are still interested in destroying her."

"What does that mean?" Squall asked in a malicious tone.

Seifer laughed. "Sorceresses have a way of manipulating their knights, Squall. How do we know we can trust you? How do we know you are not really her spy?"

"Shut up!" Quistis yelled. "Squall is not a spy, nor a knight. He is the leader of Garden, he will help us destroy the sorceress and rescue Rinoa, right Squall?"

Squall said nothing. Suddenly, Selphie spoke up.

"What about Maniac Athena? Do we still need that? As a last resort perhaps."

"What is it?" Squall asked quietly.

"A weapon for absorbing the power of the sorceress," Irvine answered. "It's very effective I heard except . . ."

"Except it will kill Rinoa if she has all of that power passing through her," Zell added. Squall frowned even more deeply. "That's not a last resort. That's not even a possibility. I won't have it. There is another way." Squall left the room in disgust.

Quistis got up and went after him. She found him at the end of the hallway, leaning against a wall, staring out the small circular window. "Squall, tell us, what do you know about the sorceress?"

Squall looked away and refused to meet her eye. "Not enough to help us in any way. She's young, immature and easy to anger. Rinoa . . Rinoa might not hold out much longer against her. I'm afraid of her, of the affect she has on me. Seifer is right. I might just be her knight."

"No," Quistis said. "I have faith in you Squall, you are strong. You won't give in to mind games. You are no one's puppet. I know that Rinoa will be okay in the end. We will save the world again."

Squall looked at her sadly. "Are you sure Quistis? Because I'm not." He turned away and sighed with such a profound sense of sadness that Quistis realized that he was being serious. He was not going to be of mush help to them in this battle, this time. She would have to deal with the sorceress alone, and maybe with Seifer. Quistis realized all this in a matter of seconds and so she changed the tone of her pleading with Squall.

Quistis nodded in understanding. "Squall. Let us take care of the sorceress. You need your rest. You can't fight her. Remember when Cid stepped down because he couldn't fight Edea? I think that is what you should do now. Leave this to us."

Squall contemplated her words for a moment. Finally he nodded. " It's true I'm too close to the problem to be of much help. I can't . .I can't meet with her, Alexandra. She has a way with messing around with my mind."

Quistis looked at him with sincere sympathy. "I'll bring Rinoa back to you Squall. Don't worry about this. We have a plan. It is better if we don't tell you, until it is over and Rinoa is safe."

Squall looked at her, his frown dissolving. "Alright then, I'll leave you in control Quistis." With that he turned around walked away.

But he looked back only once and said to her "please, remember she is evil. All those who defend her must be destroyed. No matter what else happens don't forget what I say to you now."

Quistis nodded, watching him leave. He looked sad, almost beaten, as though he had the weight of the world bearing down on him. She was wrong, she realized. He was only one man. He was no omnipotent god. He was just a boy who could not longer hold up against the torrent of misery that plagued his life. As she watched him disappear around the corner someone walked up to her from behind.

"Where's he going?" .

Quistis turned around to find Seifer standing there.

"We are going to have to go against Alexandra alone, Seifer. Squall's not coming. He shouldn't. It can't be good for him to have to deal with fighting Rinoa."

Seifer nodded. "I see. I have something to show you Quistis. Don't tell the others. This is just between me and you."

Quistis gasped at what he showed her.

"No it can't be . . . it was you all along!"

* *

Zell and Fifi were walking down the main hall of the Garden when they caught sight of Fujin and Raijin standing beside Seifer and Quistis.

Zell watched frowned as he saw Quistis actively engaging in a conversation with the three. What was with her, he wondered. Why was she eager to trust Seifer suddenly? Zell decided to ignore it. He turned to Fifi,

"I ... um . . .don't . .. . want . . .come .. .with. . us, Fifi, .. there .. dangerous."

Fifi shook her head. "I . .I . .can't . .you . .leave."

Zell scratched his head. It was always so hard to form coherent sentences in front of her.

From behind, Raijin cam walking up to them.

"Seifer says that we are leaving in 300 hours. Hurry up and get your things."

"What?!" Zell asked angrily. "When did Seifer start giving orders around here?"

Raijin shrugged. "Ever since Squall decided he wasn't up to the job of being leader anymore." Raijin chuckled deeply from his broad chest. "That chicken wuss."

"No you idiot," Fifi said, "Zell is the chicken wuss, Squall is puberty boy or something. I guess they call Squall that because he's experimenting with his sexuality with Rinoa."

Raijin shrugged. "Oh well, I was close."

Seifer walked up to them with Quistis following quietly behind him.

"Hey, I didn't send you over to socialize. Let's get going."

Zell looked over at Quistis. "Since when did you two become buddies?"

"Hey, any friend of my buddy Squall is a friend of mine right instructor? Anyway I'm her favorite student. I used to ace all her tests."

Zell was even more irritated when Quistis did not object to Seifer's idiotic comments.

"I can't believe you Quistis!" Zell exclaimed.

"Hurry." Fujin said as she pointed to the car which had stopped in front of Balamb garden.

"Hey wait for us!" Irvine called from behind them. He and Selphie came running. They were fully prepared, their junctions ready and their weapons out.

Carbuncle wasn't in his hole however. He appeared to have taken a liking to sitting on Selphie's shoulder. The little animal was perching happily there where he muttered his name now and then.

"Carbuncle," he said and giggled happily. Well it was no mystery then, who Carbuncle was to be junctioned to.

Seifer turned to Quistis. "Do you still have Eden?" He asked her. She nodded.

"Give it to me," he said to her, quietly. To everyone's surprise she handed it over without another word. "Use some luvluvs, Seifer," she told him. "Eden only has a high affinity for Squall."

Seifer nodded "Instructor, I know everything about Gfs. Hmm what did I get on my GF test again?" he asked. "Oh yes I believe it was a perfect score, just like your second favorite student, Squall."

"Let's get going," Quistis said.

Irvine, Selphie, Zell all stared at her in surprise, unable to believe the sudden change in her disposition. Seifer and Quistis started to walk toward the entrance with Fujin and Raijin following closely.

Zell shook his head. "I think something has possessed Quistis," he said sadly.

Irvine shrugged. "Hey he is her age, come on, maybe she just has the hots for him. You know Squall and Rinoa are pretty close now. Maybe Quistis thinks she has a better chance with Seifer."

Selphie stuck her tongue out. "Ewwww. No Quisty won't go wonky on Seifer. Seifer is the bad guy remember."

"Hey," Irvine said, "she just handed Eden over to him. I would say that's some pretty wonky stuff."

Selphie turned around and started walking after Seifer's group. On her shoulder Carbuncle turned around and stuck his tongue out at Irvine.

"Hey do you really think Squall is hiding porno mags from us?" Irvine asked Zell and Fifi.

Fifi kicked him. "You pervert."

Zell nodded. "Yo if Squall was into that and sniffing glue it that would explain why he's such jerk all the time."

"Yeah yeah," Fifi said. "And I'm sure that Seifer's website really has nude pictures of Squall like he claims. Shut up you two and get going."

* *

Selphie held the bread crumbs in her hand for Carbuncle to sort through. She giggled happily. "Hey I think he likes bread. Ooh! His tongue tickles! You guys should try it."

"Yeah," Seifer said from where he was sitting. "Hey Zell, try it with Bahamut."

Zell growled at him and proceeded to get up and punch the air. The SeeD suite in the train system was large enough so that he could do so without punching anyone in the snot.

"Seifer," Quistis said, "Why do you think the sorceress hasn't closed down the transportation?"

Seifer shrugged. "Stupidity, I guess. Sorceresses are usually pretty dumb, why do you think they need knights to protect them?"

Quistis sighed.

"Do you guys have any sort of plan?" Irvine asked.

Seifer laughed. "I don't need a plan. Plans are for dimwits. I just improvise as I go alone."

"Yeah," Irvine said, "I'm sure that's why you got your ass kicked three times by Squall."

Seifer leaned back. "Hey I was outnumbered. You can't expect me to fight a whole army of people. Anyway Squall was cheating. Did you see him drawing aura from me? That little twerp."

"Carbuncle!" Carbuncle said eagerly as he hopped down from Selphie's shoulder and began to walk around the room.

"Hey is that thing housebroken?" Raijin asked. "I don't want to sit here for a few hours sniffing GF poo, ya know"

Selphie reached over and reclaimed Carbuncle protectively. "Shut up, meanie!"

"Yo, you guys, will we really have to fight, Rinoa?" Zell asked after a while.

Quistis looked at Seifer. He frowned.

"No we'll be fighting the sorceress. If Rinoa shows up instead we'll take her home and give her over to puberty boy so they can act out some scenes from Squally's porno mags."

Zell growled. "No I mean will we be fighting the sorceress in Rinoa's body."

Seifer shrugged. "Well well that depends. We can call an exorcist in that case. Hey Raijin, I think you know a little about exorcism don't you?"

Raijin shrugged. "I know about exotic sex. But I don't think I ever heard of exorcisms."

"Oh well," Seifer said. "Now leave me alone, I'm going to take a nap. I worked pretty hard when I was Ultimecia's knight. She worked me all night for a week. You guys should show more sympathy toward your new leader. So be respectful and leave me alone."

So Seifer leaned back and closed his eyes. Irvine, Zell and Selphie were watching him in disgust. Only Quistis spoke up.

"Let him be."


Author's Note: please, really, this is a interlude before the storm. The stuff that Seifer says about Squall sniffing glue has nothing to do with the outcome of the story. Please people, he's just joking, everywhere. Don't believe it. This was my little period of insanity and yes I know, everyone in this chapter appears to be on crack.


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