Happy New Year everyone!

            I hope your vacation has been as relaxing as mine so far! Although I wrote and wrote all day ^_^ Either way, it gives me great pleasure doing this, so I didn't mind at all! If any of you had been reading my story 'Love Conquers All' a while ago, you'll already know that I kept my promise and posted this story right on time!

            For those of you who have read my previous worked and liked it, I hope that you'll enjoy my new stuff even more, as I've put a lot of effort into it! I studied your reviews again and again to see all your 'complaints' and suggestions and I sincerely hope I've improved! To any of you who are new to my work, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

            Of course, your reviews are more than welcome and I'll even accept bad reviews as long as you're not flaming me. If you think you could help me become better in any way, please feel free to do so! I'll appreciate it very much!

            Well, I guess you've all figured out this story is going to be a Seiftis… I just love writing them… ^_^ Even if you're not fans of this pairing, I hope you'll like reading my story. Lots of thanks to my beta, Chris, who dedicated some of his precious time to read through the drafts of the first chapters and gave me his opinion and advice. Thanks Chris! I owe you big time!

            Oh and on a last note I'd like to introduce my muse… Sal. She's cranky, she's a weirdo and pretty much messes with my head all the time… She can either be helpful, or completely useless… But I guess you'll figure that out when you start reading this story (RANDOM READER: We'll what?) and come across completely incoherent stuff… Just kiddin' ^_^

            Once again, I hope you enjoy this story!

DISCLAIMER FOR THE WHOLE STORY: I do NOT own the game Final Fantasy 8, or its characters. If I did, I'd be lying on the veranda of my beach house over in Honolulu, k? What I do own, is the crappy characters I've named and possibly invented for this story.

                                                                                                                        Peace out… ;-p


A/N: Just a little Prologue to entice you… The 1st chapter will be up very soon. Regular updates will be about every 4 days. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                  ~*A second chance*~

                                                                                                                  By: Sickness in Salvation


            Quistis was carrying a heavy bag onto her right shoulder. It was no longer than five minutes than she had returned from a mission in Esthar. Ever since the defeat of Ultimecia, Balamb Garden had received innumerable calls from potential clients. The success of the 'Legendary Six' had made Balamb Garden known all over the globe. The money was better than ever, especially for a Rank-A SeeD like Quistis, but she didn't seem to be the least interested in that. All she ever wanted was to be an Instructor, but Cid and the Garden Committee had been firm on their primary decision 'Lacking leadership qualities…' Quistis thought, remembering their words. Hyne knew they were right, but doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? 'Second chance…' Quistis thought, scoffing. Oh, she'd be needing a handful of 'Second chances' alright 'No other way to get my life back on track…' Quite frankly, Quistis Trepe had nothing interesting going on in her life right now. But then again, when did she? Sure, she had her friends, who where much more than the real family she never had. Sure, she had her choice of admirers around the Garden, although she wasn't quite sure if that was actually good… But that just wasn't enough. Not even the missions were exciting enough for her anymore… She sighed and continued walking past the corridors of the main Hall and towards her dorm room.

            She was quite surprised to find Selphie waiting outside. When she saw her coming, she turned around and gave her a weak smile. Now that was something rare for Selphie Tilmitt, who was always seen walking around with a broad, happy grin on her face. And as Quistis approached her, she noticed that her eyes were red and puffy. Could she have been crying? Quistis raised an eyebrow and quickened her pace towards her friend.

- "Quisty… Welcome back…" Selphie said and walked over to hug the blond haired ex-Instructor.

- "Selphie…" said Quistis putting her bag down "Have you been crying?" she asked worriedly.

            Selphie didn't answer, just hugged her tightly. Quistis gently pushed her back and looked at her, no longer bright, green eyes.

- "What's wrong?" asked Quistis holding her arms.

- "Go leave your bag and come with me…" said Selphie quietly.

- "Come where?" asked Quistis.

- "Up to Cid's office… You'll understand when we get there…" she said, almost in a whisper.

- "Is everyone alright?" asked Quistis.

- "Just go… I'll wait for you here…" said Selphie, avoiding answering her question.

            Quistis took out her keycard and slid it through the receptor. She hurried inside her room and threw her bag on the floor. She got back out, locked her room and followed Selphie, who had already begun to walk forward, down the corridor. Quistis was dying from anxiety, but decided to be patient until they got to the Headmaster's office. They silently made their way to the elevator, where Selphie pushed the button to the 3rd floor. The two of them, hurried inside the office, once there.


            Inside Cid's office, many people were gathered. Edea was sitting on Cid's chair behind the desk, wiping the tears from her honey eyes with her slender fingers. Cid was looking outside the window, not saying a word. Rinoa and Xu were sitting next to each other, staring blankly at nowhere in particular. Zell was sitting across them, having fallen heavy into an armchair, with his arms resting on his lap, looking emotionless. Irvine was leaning against a wall, with arms crossed, while a frown was clearly visible on his face. Squall was sitting on a chair, rubbing his right temple with two fingers.

            The moment Quistis and Selphie walked inside, hardly anyone turned around to look at them. Selphie walked over to Irvine, nuzzling her face into his chest, as he put his arms around her.

- "Will someone tell me what's going on?!" asked Quistis exasperated "Why are you all like this? What happened?"

            Edea turned and looked at her, but as soon as she did, she burst into tears again. Cid walked over to her and put his hands on her shoulders. Some of them bit their lips, not saying a word. Squall was the only one to approach her. He got up and walking over to Quistis, handed her a piece of paper. Quistis swiftly grabbed it from his hands. Her blue eyes widened once she laid them upon the writing of the paper…

            Government of Galbadia

            Department of Justice

            Official Order of Execution

            The President of Galbadia, Zenton Deling, has ordered the execution of Seifer Almasy, under the crimes of betrayal and murder. The execution will take place on the 19th of November in Deling City grounds.

            Virgil Swanson,

            Head-Secretary of Department of Justice.


            Quistis froze when she finished reading the order. She looked up at the others with difficulty and met everywhere the same look her own eyes had now. Astonishment, sorrow, pity…

- "Is this… settled?" asked Quistis in hardly a whisper "I mean… Can't we do anything about it?" she asked. Squall shook his head in response "When did you…"

- "It came this afternoon." he replied.

- "But… why…? I thought… I thought he was going to be…" she mumbled.

- "It was the only logical thing to happen Quistis…" said Squall sadly "We can't all pretend these charges aren't true or just…"

- "How can you-?" began Quistis angrily.

- "I'm not saying I don't feel sorry for him." he said sharply "And I won't say that he deserves what he's getting. No-one deserves a death penalty… But we have to face it; he is guilty."


- "…he is guilty…"

            Quistis was lying down on her bed staring up at the ceiling for hours. She had left Cid's office without saying a word earlier before. She feared that if she'd opened her mouth, only sobs would come out. Squall was right… Seifer was guilty. He had murdered innumerable innocent people, he had betrayed everyone and everything he once stood for, all for a dream. A dream that never truly came true… A dream that would eventually prove to be fatal… But no, that wasn't him… That wasn't the boy Quistis once knew. No-one could deny his cocky and selfish personality, but those certainly weren't the qualities that described an assassin… 'Why…? Why Seifer?' thought Quistis 'Why did you go and throw away everything you had worked hard for, for a stupid dream?' Stupid? Maybe to her, but to Seifer it seemed to have finally given meaning to his whole life. But is that what he was destined to be? A murderer? No… he wasn't that kind of man… Quistis knew better than to believe this was what he always dreamed of. All he ever wanted was glory and recognition from everyone, but it seemed to have brought his downfall… 'Recognition…' Quistis' thoughts lingered to that certain word 'Recognition… Surely something he never had in his life… Always coming second best to Squall… At least that's what he thought he was.' Quistis thought. She knew the truth though; Seifer was never second best to anyone. Not even to Squall. Those two were always on equal terms. Maybe Seifer was even better on certain aspects, but didn't let himself prove it. It was as if he longed for it so bad, but was afraid to outdo the man he considered his archenemy… Quistis knew… 'But…' she thought 'If I really knew… why did I never…?' she asked herself.

            Realization struck her just then. What if she had paid more attention to Seifer, instead of always watching out for Squall, due to her childish feelings towards him? What if she hadn't withheld some of her praises to Seifer and given him some confidence on himself? She scoffed 'More confidence? He had more than all the people on the globe combined… And THAT is called arrogance… Or did he?' Quistis thought. Was he really so confident on himself, or what is just a shield of protection to hide how he truly felt? 'Could it be… my fault? For not praising him as much as I did praise Squall?' she thought.

            She stopped thinking for a few seconds as it hit her; it was partially her fault. She was one of the people to blame for what happened to Seifer. She was one of the reasons of the wrong path Seifer chose in life. She should have guided him better, but instead she walked around in blinkers, having eyes only for her brown-haired student. She bent down to the floor, still on her bed, and grabbed the already half-empty bottle of Vodka standing there. In one huge gulp, she drank the rest, discarding the now empty bottle on the floor. The room soon began to spin around and Quistis felt her body falling roughly onto the hard mattress of her bed, her lips whispering a single phrase before she closed her eyes:

- "I'm sorry Seifer…"


                                                            Do you really think this is your fault?

- "Yes… He ended up here because of me… I'm the one responsible…"

                                                                                    Do you regret on many decisions you've made in life Quistis?

            -  "Yes… But most of all for the one that is now costing Seifer his life…"

                                What would you do to change that?

                                                            -   "Anything…"


       Are you sure?

                                                                                                -  "Certain…"


Quistis wakes up in a place seemingly familiar at first… But things aren't always the way they look…