Author's Notes: I'm back! I know that i have been terrible with updating, and i am truly sorry about the wait. I did have this chapter written earlier, but i lost the USB stick i had it on, and didn't have the heart to re-write it all out again. Now i just have to go back and re-write the chapters i had done for my other stories :grumbles: Why must i be so forgetful...
"Squall," Quistis walked over and stood by his desk, tapping her fingers in annoyance as Squall took his time to finish the document in his hand.
"Yes Quistis?" Squall finally asked, placing the document into his outbox after he had elegantly signed his name at the bottom.
"Do you think that it is wise to involve Seifer in all this? I know you think he deserves a second chance, but can we really trust him? It was easy for her to control him before, what could stop her from doing it again?"
Squall sighed as he lent back in his chair, massaging his temple with his fingertips.
"Frankly, we don't know what could happen. So far he seems resistant to her this time, and now he knows what to expect; I doubt that he'd want to return to being her knight any time soon."
"And if he does become her knight again?"
Squall frowned. "Then we will have to eliminate him along side her."
"Ah, but could you land the finishing blow? Could you really kill Seifer?"
Quistis smirked inwardly at Squall's expression as he gazed at the table in deep thought.
"I don't want to believe that he would turn on us again," Quistis continued, "But it's happened once before, and that possibility is still there, no matter how much you try to believe otherwise. Maybe you might want to keep him away from her and save yourself from making a decision that you will regret later." Quistis leaned in and gave Squall a soft peck on the cheek, "And I know you will regret losing him Squall, even if you haven't figured out why just yet." Squall blushed slightly as she pulled away, giving him a quick wink as she turned away.
"Oh," Quistis paused by the door, turning to the befuddled commander, "Was it a good decision to let Seifer go to Trabia with Selphie? I know Selphie isn't the type to hold grudges, but she lost many friends and comrades when Trabia Garden was destroyed, and it was his finger that pressed the button…"
"Yes." Squall replied firmly, sitting forward and leaning on his desk. "They will both have to live with the after effects of the war – I'd rather they dealt with it now, rather than later. I think it will do him good to confront his past," Squall said thoughtfully as he picked up a fresh document from the (never-ending) pile. Quistis nodded in agreement.
"Very well. Selphie is the forgiving type after all. Maybe she could show Seifer how to forgive himself as well."
Squall smirked at the blonde.
"That's the idea."
"Balamb Garden, This is SeeD Tilmit on the Ragnarok requesting permission to launch."
"Permission granted. Have a safe trip."
Selphie flicked her hair back behind her ear as she waited for the hanger door to open, giving her a clear view of the outside world as it rushed on by. She loved taking of in the Ragnarok while Balamb was on the move – nothing could compete with the adrenaline rush that came from the knowledge that one wrong move would send her crashing into the rotating blades as she leapt out in the unknown scenery, the complete scense of being that she felt the moment she sat in the cockpit and brought Ragnarok to life. The outside world melted away as she put her entire focus onto making sure that she got every detail right in order to successfully complete the takeoff. From that moment on, nothing else mattered except her beloved ship. It didn't matter that she was about to head to the tattered remains of her former home, nor did it matter that the one responsible for the current state of Trabia Garden was currently residing behind the door that separated the passengers from the cockpit.
Selphie flicked the power switch, relaxing as the familiar hum of the engines filled the room, growing louder as they powered up the full strength, the ship straining at controls beneath her hands as though it was as eager to leave as she was. Feeling the slight shudder in the controls, she dropped the throttle down to full speed, jetting Ragnarok out of the hanger and into the open sky, freefalling towards the spinning blades as she laughed at the muted shouts of the helpless men in the passenger room. Really, Irvine should know her tactics by now. Smirking, she pulled hard up on the joystick, angling the Ragnarok outwards as she missed the blades by seconds. Letting out a whoop that was echoed by Ragnarok, she spun around in a large loop as she circled Balamb Garden and made her way Northward to Trabia.
It was hard to say what she truly felt towards Seifer. Despite all her good efforts, her smiles, her forgiveness, there was still a part of her that couldn't – wouldn't – forget the part that he played in the destruction of her home. Friends, classmates, mentors died because he was too caught up in his ambition to be the best without ever realising the consequences that came with the title. She was still yet to ask him if it was mind control that had forced him to commit such atrocious acts like Edea and Squall suggested, but the thought of his answer terrified her away from asking the question; in this case she felt that ignorance was truly bless. It was much easier to pretend that it wasn't his finger that had pressed the button, that it wasn't his will to go against his friends and family (because that is what they were, regardless of blood and forgotten memories), that he never wished to become the murderous dog that the world believed him to be. It made it easier to smile at the man as she joked about, making silly plans and laughing as though she didn't feeling the slight pain and anger that arose each time he entered the room. She could never honestly hate him, but forgiveness was not quite ready to be granted, no matter how hard she tried to give it to him, this broken man who had once been a brother to her, and would always be, despite the past. She so desperately want to go back to the ways things were before they knew the pain of betrayal of one of their own, back to when they could still be called innocent, that she pushed the niggly voice deep into the recesses of her heart, and give him the chance to redeem himself in her eyes, and turn back the hands of time.
"Selphie, hey Sellpphhieeee?"
Selphie jumped as the intercom crackled into life, Irvine's disembowelled voice filling the silence of the cockpit.
"Is it okay to remove our seatbelts yet honey?"
Selphie grinned as she placed Ragnarok onto manual drive.
"Sure thing honey."
A spin announced that both men had removed their belts at just the right moment, earning a sadistic chuckle from the ship's Captain. Forgiveness may take a little bit longer than expected, but a bit of Selphie-styled punishment did quieten that little voice down for a few precious moments, and as Seifer shouted obscenities down the intercom when she put the Ragnarok through a series of loops and twirls, forgiveness didn't seem that far off either.
The jagged ruin laid before him in a hazy mist, a lonely testament to just one of the many crimes he had committed during the Second Sorceress War. Heaving his battered backpack (that Squall had packed away when he had…moved out) onto his shoulder, Seifer walked down the loading bay of the Ragnarok. A quick once around the surrounding area revealed that the sorceress was nowhere nearby at the time, and so Selphie had deemed it safe to land just outside of Trabia Garden. Racing down the gangplank, said brunette waved and called out greetings to those she recognised, as well as to those she didn't. Irvine smiled at the women's antics as he pulled up the rear, strolling casually as he kept Seifer within his sights. Ignoring the niggling feeling between his shoulder blades, Seifer snorted at the gunman's antics as he gave a more dedicated survey of the sight in front of him. Though ragged and broken, signs of new life appeared amongst the wreckage, the new work contrasting sharply against the old remains, but there was still much work to do before Trabia began to resemble it's past self. The labourers paused in their work as the 3 SeeDs walked past, curious stares turning into hate-filled glares as their accusing eyes fell onto Seifer's form. The slight roll of his shoulders was the only indication that Seifer felt the heavy silence that was brought about by his arrival as he stared ahead stonily, refusing to acknowledge the growing tension in the air.
"One might mess you made here Almasy." Irvine's voice cut across the silence harshly, causing the blonde to turn and sneer wordlessly at the cowboy. Irvine smirked and tilted his hat slightly in retaliation, jumping in surprise as the blonde bared his teeth and hissed. Smirking at the gunslinger's reaction, Seifer turned back around, placing an invisible mark beside his name on the imaginary tally. A shout from their perky leader brought Seifer out of his reminisce as he focused on the cause of the brunette's excitement. Waiting in the broken doorway of the original Trabia Garden stood a large, slender woman in her lately 50's, stern in both posture and looks as she watched to approaching party. Her grey hair pulled back in a tight bun, she gave the impression of a stern headmistress, and Seifer sent to whatever gods that were listening for sending him tp Balamb instead of Trabia.
"Headmistress Caviezel! I've come for a visit!" Selphie's greeting confirmed Seifer's suspicions that the stern lady was indeed the headmistress of Trabia Garden and he suddenly wished that he was anywhere else but there. Caviezel soften slightly at the sight of the perky SeeD, giving the woman a quick welcome hug before turning her attention to the rest of the SeeD party, eyes hardening as they fell onto Seifer.
"What is he doing here?"
Selphie stepped back in surprise at the hissed words from her mentor's mouth before adopting the official stance and saluting to her superior officer.
"Seifer Almasy is here upon request by Commander Lionheart ma'm."
Caviezel turned to face her former pupil.
"You mean Commander Lionheart knew of his location and failed to report this information to the rest of the governing bodies, while also letting this, thing walk about freely?"
"Um, Seifer's whereabouts were not discovered until recently, and Commander Lionheart has decided that Seifer will be placed under his protection in exchange for his help regarding the recent sorceress attack on Balamb Garden."
"Another attack by a sorceress?" Caviezel questioned, Seifer's presence pushed aside for the moment.
"Yes, A few days ago Ultemica tried to assassinate Commander Squall Lionheart while he was in the training facilities of Balamb Garden. It was only through Seifer's actions that he survived the attack. She has also kidnapped sorceress Rinoa, most likely to drain her of her powers. It is believed that she is hiding somewhere in Trabia, which is the reason for our visit."
"I see." Caviezel stared sightlessly towards the ground, pondering on the new events that had come into light. "Very well SeeD Tilmit, I thank you for the warning, and will increase security around the facility. And as for Alamsy," a sneer forming on her face, "I will accept Commander Lionheart's decision for the time being, but let it be noted that I feel as though he has made a foolish choice and will speak with the rest of the governing bodies concerning this issue. I will also request that Seifer Alamsy refrains from subjecting us to his presence and keep to staying aboard your transport for the duration of your visit."
Seifer bit back a retort as Selphie saluted once more.
"Very well, I shall relay your message back to Commander Lionheart. I must beg your pardon as we must continue our scouting mission. Good bye Headmistress Caviezel." Selphie turned on her heels and stormed away, leaving the headmistress of Trabia to contemplate on the new information of the sorceress, and on the sorceress knight.
AN I know that this is only a filler chapter, but I wanted to get into Selphie's head and get her feelings across, which I hopefully managed to do. The feel of my writing has changed a bit in this chapter I think, but wherever it's better or not is yet to be decided. I think you can tell by the writing style where the old copy i found on my computer finishes, and my latest writting starts. There are some parts which i am still dissastisfied with, but overall i enjoyed writing this chapter and feeling quite happy with it (or it might just be the bottles of Vodka Crusiers that i downed while typing this out affecting me :sweatdrop: ) Please read and review :)