AN: This is it people! This is the very last chapter. *Sniff* I can't believe its been a whole year since this thing started, and now its ending… But then again the fun doesn't stop here. This baby is just the beginning to my other FF8 fic 'Childhood Dreams', (a rather long prelude but hey…) which I'm going to either possibly re-write (again I know…) or write an epilogue…or even both!
Anyway, I want to thank all my reviewers! I love you people! :D and Happy New Year to everyone.
Chapter 24: Dreams of Death
I woke up right where I'd fallen asleep. I was leaning against something warm and was trapped in an embrace I wasn't expecting. I could hear nothing except the sound of my own voice breathing deeply in the silence. I was wide-awake despite just awakening from sleep, and I realised my own arms were hugging whatever I was leaning against. But something liquid was slowly seeping through to my clothes on my left side. I didn't know what it was, nor could I comprehend what had just happened.
Then it hit me.
My hands frantically felt around the surface they were holding tightly against and I recognised the soft material of Seifer's clothes. I let out the breath I'd held in relief, and quickly pulled away to confirm what I thought couldn't be true.
There he was, right in front of me. The person I had thought I'd lost in my sleep was sitting right next to me. He was really here.
"Seifer…" I whispered, a smile creeping to my lips.
His eyes were closed, and I then realised that he wasn't moving. My eye travelled down to his side and I saw the deep gashes in his side where that monster had pierced him. Panic rose up in me in the blink of an eye, my smile gone. My heart leaped to my throat and my hands began to shake.
"Ra…RAJIN!" I shouted in rising alarm. I couldn't do anything to save him. My magic was gone.
"Fujin?" I heard Rajin's voice answer me in almost the same level of distress. I heard him come rushing out of his room, but I didn't see anything. My eye was blurred with tears. I saw his figure kneel beside me on the floor. "Fujin…step…step away ya know?" his voice shook in fright as he saw the bleeding unconscious man in front of me.
Seifer fell forward as I scrambled onto the floor, praying to the goddess's that Seifer would make it through. Rajin extended his hands over Seifer's lifeless body and he shouted "Curaga!" at the top of his voice.
I turned away not wanting to look, and I let the tears fall freely. He had been there right by my side a minute ago…and now he was balancing on the rope between life and death.
I heard Rajin shift from his place and his hand came down on my shoulder firmly. I held my breath, preparing myself for the worst.
"He's gonna be ok ya know?"
I snapped my head round, condolence filling my heart. 'He was going to be ok…'. But aside from those comforting thoughts, a fresh new wave of tears sprung from my eye and Rajin held me while I cried. But I didn't feel sad. I couldn't feel any more relieved…
I stayed by his side all day until he woke up. His soft breathing had been a sweet companion as I squeezed his hand while he slept. Every now and again when Rajin had left the room, I would hold his hand to my face, feeling the warmth of his lingering touch.
When he finally did awake, his eyes sprang open and he jumped from his position all in one quick movement. He cried out my name as he sat up, frightening myself as well. His eyes darted around the room quickly, seemingly confused at his current location. When he saw me, his gaze relaxed.
"Fujin…" he said softly. Fighting back the tears I nodded my head.
"I'm so glad you're all right." He said getting off the sofa, pulling me into his warm embrace.
"I thought I lost you." We both whispered together. I smiled, his head resting against mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck, glad to finally be close to him again.
"Are you ok?" I asked him.
"Yeah, I'm fine." He said, his gloved hand stroking the back of my head. "What was that thing anyway?"
"I don't know…But it doesn't matter now…" I said. "All that matters now is…is that you're here." I said, my voice shaking with uncertainty at the last few words. He pulled me back from his warmth, keeping the distance between us minimal. He rested his forehead against mine, our breaths brushing each other's skin. His hand moved from the back of my head to the side as he cupped my face. I could feel my pale skin flush under his soft gaze, and I cast my eye downwards, a little frightened by my situation.
Seifer tilted my face up to face him, and he removed the boundaries between us as he kissed me gently. I felt overwhelmed by his lips against mine, but just as quickly as it had started, Seifer pulled away slightly.
"Don't be afraid Fuu." And he kissed me again as I hesitantly paced my hands on his shoulders. I kissed him back, feeling dizzy with love. My hands slipped from his shoulders to the back of his neck as confidence filled me.
A door clicked and squeaked as it was pushed open. Our kiss broke off suddenly as the sudden intrusion became apparent. Rajin stepped through, not even glancing toward Seifer or me as he strolled oblivious into the kitchen. We both followed his movements and as he left us in peace again, the door closing, Seifer looked back to me.
But I couldn't face him. I sat frozen, my head spinning from being light-headed. My hands were shaking, unsure of what I was feeling at that moment, and my head buzzed with excitement.
I was breathing hard, my face unbearably hot, and I was beginning to feel that my head wasn't spinning for what I thought it should have been…
"Fujin…" Seifer snapped me out of my reverie. "Are you all right?" he said sounding a little worried. "I'm…I'm sorry if I…scared you…"
I didn't reply. I couldn't. A sharp pain exploded in my forehead, and I couldn't concentrate or see anything surrounding me. My hands shot up to my head and held it tightly.
"Fujin?" Seifer said more anxiously. "Fujin…What's the matter? Fujin!" he shouted as I collapsed to the floor, consciousness fading from my mind.
I was wandering through the woods near my home, my leg hurting from where my mother had beaten me. I limped across the tree roots and over the snapping twigs of the forest, walking to no particular destination.
I came to a clearing bordering on the mountainside, right on the edge of the forest. I had never walked this far before, but I didn't want to go back. Not to her. There was a cave amongst the large grey boulders of stone and a rushing river of clean water cascaded down from the rocky mound.
My boots splashed through the crystalline waters, soaking the material. I clambered over the rocks, pulling my small body over the round faces, wincing slightly when my leg fell against the hard, cold surface of the slabs of stone. I walked into the cave, following the winding passage of the tunnel, hearing the echoes of my footsteps bounce back at me.
The tunnel ended in a large chamber, an underground lake lying still in the caves. Stalagmites and stalactites covered the cavern ceiling and floor, giving the area a beautiful appearance. But as I looked closer, a small ripple on the water's surface spread out towards the edges, and as I stood there longer, I felt the tremors underneath my feet.
Out of nowhere, the waters sprung up into the air, spraying the droplets of water into my red eye. I blinked in surprise and terror as I wondered what was happening. But as I looked up when the showers of water had passed, I almost ran away in fear.
Before stood a glowing purple beast, floating in the air above the calming waters. Its shape was unrecognisable and somewhat frightening, but as I looked closer, I saw the kindness in the creature and felt the welcoming essence radiating from its spirit. It moved slightly, coming down to rest on the floor. I walked out to touch its strange body, somehow unafraid of this terrifying creature; the beast unflinching as my icy fingers came into contact. I looked up at it and smiled.
A bright light enveloped the creature and myself, and I was scared that it would leave me. I stepped back, looking for it through the light. But it was nowhere to be seen. As the light faded away I stood alone again. But this time I felt different. I felt newborn powers awaken inside me, and I could feel it running through my veins and engulf my mind.
Inside my mind I saw the beast reappear again, and it talked to me. It told me of the power and strength I now possessed and its name, which I'll never forget: Pandemona.
I emerged from the forest, knowing exactly what I had to do. I marched confidently towards my house in the village. I slammed the door open, shaking the house. I could hear my mother scream and yell from within its walls, cursing and swearing blindly. I stood firm in the doorway, awaiting her presence.
She turned from around the corner and stood directly in front of me.
"You…You brat! How dare you slam the door like that in this god-forsaken house! You albino filth!" she came down to strike me with her strong hand, but I never moved, and she never touched me.
My Guardian Force, Pandemona, stood behind me, my mother frozen in her tracks. For the first time I saw true fear on her face. I stared at her, pulling back the silver hair that had shielded my hideous scar.
"This is what you did to me. You murdered Dad. Now its your turn."
Her eyes widened in fear and she hesitantly looked up to the beast behind me. I closed my eye as I heard her scream in pain. I felt her tall, huge body fly past me in the air as I became immune to the attack, slipping into the GFs world, watching the brutal attack, my face remaining unchanged.
As I returned to the plane of my world, I saw my mothers shrivelled body lie across the floor, blood splattered in the doorway. I stepped over her and walked away, Pandemona disappearing inside of me.
"Not so tough now are you?"
I awoke with a start, screaming as I returned to consciousness. I opened my eye, frightened of what I'd just seen.
There directly in front of me was Seifer's face. I breathed hard as I looked into his serious but concerned eyes, wondering why I had dreamt of the day that I murdered my mother…