**Letter from the writer** Okay kids, this time around, all names will be in brackets. No thoughts from anybody other than the past characters. You'll see why later…::evil laughter::

-Angel

[Cia]

            KABOOM!

            Galbadia Garden crashed into the ground and threw Cia and Ultime into a wall.

            "Sis...you okay?" Ultime called out.

            "I'm fine...you?"           

            "Yeah I'm okay...this's another good reason to kill all of them...wait...is that them?" Ultime pointed at the group of three walking down the hallway. One woman had brown hair, was very short and carried nunchucks. The other woman had blonde hair, a pink outfit on, and carried a long whip (I wish I had one of those! When I kill her, I'm taking it! Ultime whispered.) and the man with the ponytail carried a big gun.

            "On the count of three...we sneak attack them...okay...three! FIRE!" They fired beams of dark light at the intruders. Ultime's beam hit the blonde and Cia hit the guy.

            "Irvine! Quistis! Are you two okay? I'll go find out where that came from!" The small one shouted.

            "Selphie, we're okay! Just stay here and we'll find the source." Irvine responded.

            "Yes, Selphie. That would be the smart thing to do." Quistis added.

            "HEY! Look over there!" Irvine shouted and pointed at Ultime and Cia. He pulled out Exeter and fired. The bullet grazed Ultime's shoulder and she cried in pain. Selphie smacked both of them with a double swing of Strange Vision. One side sliced the left side of Cia's face open while the other side smacked Ultime in the stomach. Ultime fired a dark ball of energy at Selphie and it flung her across the room. Irvine fired and Ultime fell slowly. Cia cried out as her sister fell. Ultime hit the ground with a thud. Cia went to her side and semi-cradled her sister into her arms.

            "I'm...dying...Cia...kill them for me. Kill them all...don't even spare Seifer...he let us die..."

            "No Ultime! Don't talk like that! You're going to be okay...he's going to save us!" Cia shouted as Ultime slipped away. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she died. Cia started to cry.

            "The only other loved one in my life...gone forever..." She said sadly.

            [I don't know what to do...I must...kill them for hurting my sister!]

            She fired a ray of light and shot Quistis' whip out of her hand. Irvine fired at her and Selphie whacked her with Strange Vision. The blow caused by the Strange Vision caused the bullets from Exeter to miss their original target and pierce her chest. She flew backwards and watched the three run off. She crawled up against the wall and waited to die. Then, she heard footsteps...two sets of them...both from opposite sides of the hallway...

                                                            [Seifer]

            KABOOM!

            The garden shook as it started to crash. Seifer ran towards Cia's room.

            "Of all the times to start crashing...I decide to do this...oh well..."

            He ran into Raijin and Fujin.

            "You two! Guard this stairway! They must not get up here!" He shouted at them as he ran off. He entered Cia's room and he found her rose bushes. He ran to the set of red ones and took one. He finally remembered that he had to guard Edea if the Garden was to crash. He smacked himself in the forehead.

            "Of all the times...Cia'll have to wait..." He put the rose in his jacket and ran up into Edea's chambers.

            He waited for about two minutes after he got there and Squall, Zell and Rinoa finally arrived. He grinned evilly at Squall.

            [Finally, we meet again, Leonhart...no cheap tricks for you to do...no water...just a sword...and your magic.]

            "So I see you've come to visit Matron?" Seifer called out.

            "Yes. We have to defeat her."

            "Well, I don't think you're getting past this Knight today, especially not a Chickenwuss."

            Squall laughed as Zell got pissed off.

            "You're gonna regret saying that!" Zell shouted as he charged at Seifer. Seifer counter-attacked by tripping Zell and charging Squall.

            "Rinoa! Back me up, okay?" Squall shouted.

            "Um...sure..." Rinoa stepped back and she looked straight into Seifer's eyes. It was if she was saying, "I really won't help him."

            [Is that...Rinoa? She's not a SeeD. Wait...she's...with Squall...figures...Squall always takes what I start off with...even my damn clothes. He's wearing my old shirt for Hyne's sake!] Seifer just stood there and zoned. Squall woke him up by slashing his arm.

            "Going brain-dead, Seifer?" Squall said tauntingly.

            "Hell no! I was just thinking of the ways I could kill you!" He retorted. He slashed Squall in the face, slightly making him bleed. Zell, however, recovered from the trip and got back up. He grabbed Seifer from behind and put him into a bear hug. Rinoa still hadn't made one attempt to fight. She just watched the men attack Seifer. She knew if she told them to stop or attacked Squall or Zell, they'd turn on her. But if she attacked Seifer, she'd hate herself. She backed off more and didn't move. Squall and Zell finally overpowered Seifer and they dropped him to the floor. Edea stood up.

            "Worthless child. You mean nothing now. Don't bother trying to defend me again." She called out to Seifer. As bloodied as he was, Rinoa still bared to confront him after Zell and Squall ran off.

            "What're you waiting for?" Squall shouted out.

            "I'm seeing if he's got anything useful on him!" She lied.

            "Just...go...I've lost...go back to Squall..." He told her as she stared into his eyes.

            She put her hand up above his body.

            "Curaga." His body glowed blue and he could feel the pain slowly ease away. He picked himself up off the ground.

            "Go."

            "I'm sorry. I couldn't...fight...I don't want to..."

            He put his hand on her shoulder.

            "It's okay. Now go."

            She ran off and as she did, Seifer realized that Cia was still downstairs on guard. He ran out and searched for Cia.

            When he found her, his heart dropped to his stomach. She was lying against a wall. Her cheek was bleeding and she was holding her chest. He ran over to her and knelt in front of her.

            "Oh my...what...happened to you?" He started to turn pale.

            "I'm...not gonna...be here much longer...Seifer...I'm sorry...they got away...and they killed Ultime too..."

            "That's okay! I'm worried about you! You're alive right now...I'm gonna make sure that you're going to be okay!" He could feel the tears starting to swell in his throat.

            [I told them to go...and now both of them are going to be dead...Cia...it's my fault...]

            "Seifer...I want only...two...things from you...before I die..."

            "Anything."

            "I...want you to live the life I once did...to be happy and free and...good...Seifer. I know that somewhere deep inside your soul...there's a good person...let him out after all this..."

            "I promise...what is the other thing?"

            "Smile...just once...you have a wonderful smile."

            "But I-"

            "Please…"

            He smiled as well as he could while fighting back tears.

            "Mmm...so sweet…" He started breathing heavily and he broke the smile.

            "Thank you...I'll miss you dearly..."

            "Cia, don't! I-" Her eyes closed and she breathed her very last breath.

            "...love...you..." The tears streamed down his face. He pulled out the rose he had planned to give her. Its petals hadn't been crushed luckily and he took her hands and placed them in her lap and placed the rose in her lifeless hands. He stayed there, reflecting on everything. Everything he had planned in his head, every woman in his life, was gone. His mother whom he had never met, Rinoa, and now Cia.

            "I promise Cia...somebody will pay for your demise...even if Rinoa has to be the one..."

            He heard a set of shoes clamber and he caught a glimpse of a yellow dress in motion. He picked himself up with Hyperion as a crutch and walked down the other hallway. He wiped away his tears and walked off towards the auditorium.

                                                            [Selphie]

            Selphie had gone out to get Quistis' whip, but she had gotten more than she had bargained for. She had realized what Cia meant by "The only other loved one in my life" because it was Seifer...and she now realized that Seifer loved her...he had released a side Selphie had never seen before...the vulnerable side. She knew why Rinoa refused to fight him...there was a human side to him after all. She hid her tears back, because if Squall saw them, he'd think she was soft and she wanted to fight. But in her mind, the fear of having to hurt Seifer anymore than he was almost unbearable. She had never seen this side of Seifer before...to her, he was always so tough...always defending himself...always with his sarcastic attitude...hatred for Squall...that sadistic grin...it seemed to be absent for those few minutes. She ran back and handed Quistis her whip.

            "Here...I'm getting tired...I don't think I can fight another fight." She faked being sick, thinking that Squall wouldn't force her to fight. Squall walked up to her.

            "Just one more fight, okay?" He smiled at her as her eyes welled up with fear. Squall and Rinoa walked off. Selphie shyly followed as she saw Seifer one floor above her running around.

            [He'll be there. I'll have to get out of that fight...I'll think of it eventually.]

            Seifer looked at her and she looked at him.

            [Don't worry; this's one SeeD you WON'T have to fight.]

            She finally saw Squall giving her the evil eye and she scampered behind him. She could hear Seifer running behind them as they entered the Auditorium. He ran and stopped them from attacking Sorceress Edea. His face was tear-streaked and his eyes were red. He showed signs of sadness and fatigue all over his face and body. Squall charged him and drove his sword through the top of Seifer's arm. Seifer cried out in pain as the sound of crushing bone pierced the air. Selphie knew what she had to do.

            [I have to stop this madness...but how?]

            She looked at Edea.

            [That's it!]

            She readied Strange Vision and attacked Squall from behind.

            "WHAT THE HELL?! SELPHIE! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?" She shouted as she mercifully attacked him. Seifer dropped to the ground and watched Selphie.

            Selphie readied her wave of magic attacks.

            "Firaga!"

            She hit herself.

            "Holy!" She hit Squall.

            "Curaga!"

            She hit Rinoa.

            "Cura!"

            She hit Seifer.

            She swung Strange Vision around and hit herself in the head. She fell to the floor then got back up and jump kicked Rinoa. Squall couldn't understand what was going on with Selphie, so he decided to end it.

            "Death!"

            A long robed figure with goat horns atop his head carrying a scythe appeared. Selphie became scared.

            "Reflect!"

            A shield repelled the shady figure and he went back to Squall. It swiped his scythe across Squall's chest and he fell to the ground.

            "Oh Hyne! You killed Squall! You bastard!" Rinoa shouted.

            "Hey! He was trying to kill me..." She sighed. "Petrify me as I charge you."

            "Why?"

            "Make it look like I was confused, I tried to attack you and you petrified me in self-defense."

            "But Selphie..."

            "Don't 'But Selphie' me! Just do it! I refuse to fight anybody other than the Sorceress!"

            Rinoa knew what she meant.

            "Fine. Okay...on my count..."

            "Wait, I have to drop my Reflect. Dispel!"

            Her shield broke.

            "Okay...one..."

            She raised her hand and Selphie prepared herself for a charging attack.

            "Two..."

            Rinoa's hand glowed blue and Selphie tensed her legs and arms up.

            "Three!"

            Selphie charged her.

            "Break!"

            Selphie turned to stone.

            "Life!"

            A pinkish light surrounded Squall and Seifer backed away from him. Squall looked at Selphie.

            "What happened?"

            "Self-defense. I had to stop her."

            "Okay...get Zell in here...and get Selphie out with Irvine and Quistis."

            Zell ran in.

            "Did I hear my name?"

            "Yeah, get Selphie out there and then come help fight."

            "Esuna!"

            Zell un-petrified Selphie and she ran off.

            Selphie ran back to the hallway. She noticed that the black-clad woman was missing and that the white-clad one was glowing. The rose had changed colors from red to gray. She walked over to the remaining body. Selphie jumped when she opened her eyes.

            "Oh...are you...one of the SeeDs?" The fallen angel's calming voice asked. She looked down and saw the rose. "Where'd this come from?"

            "Seifer...he left it..."

            "My sweet angel...is he okay?"

            "Yeah...but he may not be for long..."

            "Oh my! Why did you leave him alone?"

            "No...Rinoa's there...she won't harm him..."

            "Oh my...I must leave...I don't want him to...see me and be afraid. Please...take this rose. It's got an aura surrounding it...it will protect you from my sister. I know you'll get in her way...I'm all-seeing...you may want to keep it until we see the last of her."

            Selphie took the rose and Cia opened a portal. Selphie grabbed her wrist.

            "I just want to say that I'm gonna watch over Seifer for you...

            "Well that's very noble of you...please do that."

            She smiled and walked off into the portal. Selphie put the rose in the empty part of Strange Vision and walked back.

            [I'm going to make sure that Seifer's always doing fine...even if it kills one of us.]