Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VIII, Squall, Selphie, Zell, Quistis, Irvine, Seifer, Edea, Cid, Ultimecia, or the character this story is about, who is not listed here. Although I really wouldn't mind if he was mine, because he deserves a lot more attention than he gets.

- Hero -

I do have a name, though the history books don't remember it. That name is mine and mine alone, and I'm glad not to have it sullied by the tabloids like everyone else's. It's my name, not theirs, so I'm perfectly at ease with the fact that no one knows it but me. In spite of the fact that the rest of the world couldn't tell me from any other teenager—brown hair, brown eyes, nice smile—I am important. Very important.

If it weren't for me, everyone and everything would be dead. No, worse than dead. Everyone would never have existed in the first place if it weren't for me.

I have seen a war beyond my ability to imagine, seen battle that never should have happened and seen people killed that never should have died. Children, women, men, none of them deserved to die. They were just trying to do what they thought was right, fighting for their own definition of good. Unfortunately those definitions conflicted with each other, and so there was a war. My home, the only place I've ever been able to call home—since my house burned down and took my family with it—has been tarnished and blown up, sabotaged and crashed. But it, like me, still lives.

I'm not a man who spilled a significant amount of enemy blood in that war. I'm not the man who struck the final blow to that great and terrible enemy from another time. I'm not the man who fired the shot on that poor woman that enemy had possessed. Rather, I am the backup, the support needed to do all those things. Without me, my home and the homes of so many other survived that terrible war.

I am not a hero, not in the public's eyes. I am not a man who rose to the challenge and proved to the world that silence is as much a strength as it is a weakness; that was Squall's job, not mine. I didn't bring laughter in the face of pain, like Zell and Selphie; I didn't bring hope in the face of despair, like Quistis and Irvine; I didn't show love in the face of hate, like Rinoa; and I didn't show pride in the face of impossibility, like Seifer. Rather, I showed diligence in the face of doubt, and I showed determination in the face of weakness. I stood tall and took hold of my own fate, and the fates of all those who lived in my home, and I learned to fly them to safety.

And I learned to do it in silence.

I have a name, though the history books will never remember it because I am not a hero. It is mine and mine alone, because I am the support and no one cares about the support. I am the last line of defense, while they were the first. They did their job, and I do mine, and I keep my name a secret to the world.

But, just once, I'd like to hear someone else say it. Just once, I'd like to be told that I have been helping. That all my diligence in the ways of this world have not been for nothing. That, though I'm not a hero, I am important. Someone, remember my name, please? When I'm gone and even the memory of the heroes has faded to legend, someone remember my name. Someone, anyone, tell the story of a boy who did his own part in saving the world.

But for now, keep it secret, okay? Don't let anyone know that you know my name. Don't let it be sullied or tarnished or twisted. Keep it secret, just for now, until some dark day in the far future when all you can see is rain and shadow, then say it and let the light of an untarnished name shine through your words.

Tell the story of a boy called Nida, who helped save the world...