Legal Disclaimer: I don't own any Square-Enix characters... yadda yadda yadda.

Hello peoples.... first time back in a while. I was Cloudmaxwell before Fanfiction deleted my account (or changed my password... who knows?). I've progressed much as a writer (or so I'd like to think) and I hope you all will enjoy this first chapter of my new story.

Chapter 1

Night crept up slowly on Balamb Garden. It had been a long day, and students not relieved of their duties were anxious to get to their dormatories for some much needed rest. For the second time that evening, the Commander of Balamb Garden looked at his plain, disorganized desk that lay in front of him. Life was boring on the third floor of Balamb Garden. So boring that one might take to napping in one's office, provided they were not caught by Headmaster Cid.

The vid-phone rang. Finally thought the Commander...something to do besides talk to myself.

"This is Squall..." he answered the phone in a monotone voice that lacked basic emotion.

"Hey blue eyes... it's Rinoa.." came a light female voice from the reciever. Her face appeared on his screen a moment later.

"Hey Rin..." he answered, and smiled at his girlfriend of only four months.

"I just wanted to tell you that Cid accepted my application to Garden." she smiled.

"Took him long enough..." Squall answered, frowning.

"That's all you're going to say? Come on Squall... I'm gonna be a SeeD now!" she said excitedly.

"What am I supposed to say?" Squall asked jokingly.

"You're a meanie!! I still stand by that!" Rinoa huffed.

Squall chuckled and blew Rinoa a kiss. She giggled and returned the gesture. Hyne how he hated girls giggling.... Rinoa was different though....

"Oh! I meant to tell you Squall! Cid left a message on your phone last night while you were sleeping. I guess you didn't get it this morning before you left." she raised an eyebrow.

"What was it about?" Squall asked, unconcerned.

"Cid said that an applicant was going to come by your office for an interview later today... and well, I think it's later today." she answered.

Squall sighed, "I don't know why Cid has me interviewing every applicant coming to Garden. I don't think I'm fit for the job. It's boring work..."

"Oh don't be like that. You always have a chip on your shoulder." Rinoa scolded.

"I know, I know...." Squall said and smiled, something rarely seen by anyone except Rinoa.

"Well, I'll see you when you get back tonight... muah..." she kissed the screen.

"You're silly...." Squall said, "I'll see you too..."

"I love you Squall." Rinoa said pointedly.

"I know...." Squall said, and hung up.

A knock came at the door.

"Come in...." Squall grunted, and opened a drawer, pulling out a review sheet for the applicant. Could this job ever get any more tedious? Squall's inner voice said. He would mark down the pros and cons of the applicant's attitude and overal demeanor... and submit the form to Cid.

"Well... long time no see puberty boy." a familiar voice came from the doorway.

Squall looked up, alarmed. Shit... he thought...I left LionHeart in my dorm. Hopefully this encounter with the man that Squall considered to be his worst enemy wouldn't lead to violence.

"Seifer..." Squall spat.

"Nice to see you too, Squall." the tall blonde grinned from the doorway to Squall's office.

"What are you doing here?" Squall asked blatantly.

"I'm here for an interview Mr. Commander, SIR!!" Seifer snapped off a mock salute.

"Is this a sick joke Seifer? What are you playing at?" Squall narrowed his eyes.

"No... actually I'm quite serious. I decided to give up on my ROMANTIC DREAM for now and try to make SeeD." Seifer said flatly.

Squall cleared his throat with some discomfort. "Sit down."

Seifer took a seat across from Squall and put one foot on the opposite knee. He still wore his grey trenchcoat, laden with Fire Cross symbols on the shoulders. Inside his coat lay Hyperion, Seifer's own modified gunblade, on a catch. Squall noticed the blade and adjusted his posture in his seat. Seifer noticed Squall staring at his weapon.

"Don't worry Squall... I didn't come here to pick a fight... this time...." Seifer chuckled.

Squall nodded, "So... what makes you think you have what it takes to be a SeeD?

"I bet you say that same god damn thing to every kid who walks in here... don't you?" Seifer's grin widened.

"Yes... if you want to know... I do... I think it's a perfectly suitable question." Squall returned.

"Hyne Squall... I do believe that's a record for you of words used in one sentence." Seifer chortled.

Squall smiled inwardly. It felt good to be back in the old game of rivalry with Seifer, instead of brawling with him.

"That cut on your chest ever heal up?" Squall asked offhandedly.

"Sorta... You coulda just beat me pube boy... you didn't have to nearly kill me." Seifer looked hurt.

"You know damn well you would have fucked all of us over given the chance." Squall narrowed his eyebrows.

"Hey! I'm offended by that Mr. Puberty... I had no intentions of killing you. Much less Chicken-Wuss or your Sweetheart." Seifer said in a hurt tone.

"Right..." Squall said disdainfully.

"So are we going to get to the interview or just shoot the shit?" Seifer said.

"No... I think we need to talk first Seifer." Squall said, putting the review form down on his desk.

"Fine... whadya wanna know about my oh-so-interesting life since Ultimecia." Seifer asked, rolling his eyes.

"First of all... what have you done with yourself? I mean... you totally changed Seifer. I thought I knew you before Ultimecia..." Squall said with a sad look on his face.

"I don't know why you don't understand what I did better Squall... I mean... if it would have been Rinoa instead of Ultimecia, you would have been her Knight? You know I'm right." Seifer said.

"I suppose you have a point... but why turn your back on your friends? You could have helped us from the inside. I know you wanted to protect Matron, but Seifer... you got brainwashed for Hyne's sake." Squall seethed.

Seifer looked down at the floor. "I never meant to take it that far..." he whispered.

"Look... Seifer... I'm sorry. Okay? There, I'm not the ice cold asshole I used to be. I just... I want things to go back to what they were before the Sorceress War." Squall struggled.

"Squall...." Seifer was confused, "What the fuck are you apologizing for?"

"For not helping you... and for not thanking you for making me a better fighter. As much as I hate to admit it... you really have helped me become the best. I mean, come on Seifer... I could have done so much more to prevent what happened. All I could think about was our rivalry, and I couldn't see past it." Squall offered.

"......." Seifer looked up, "You've gone soft on me Squall. Rinoa's a bad influence on you."

Squall chuckled. "Tell you what Seifer... I'm going to give you the chance you had before. Even though you ruined it... I'm going to give it back to you... I guess in return for everything I didn't do..." Squall offered Seifer a hand.

"So does this mean I'm in?" Seifer asked, shaking Squall's hand.

"No... not yet... that's up to Headmaster Cid. I'm just going to offer him a recommendation that you be accepted into Garden again. I'm sure Matron will persuade him to reinstate you." Squall answered.

"Um... Squall? Ya know... if the rest of our little Orphanage Gang sees me walking the halls tomorrow... they're gonna fucking freak... you know that..." Seifer scratched the back of his head.

"Well then... would you like to join me and the others for a drink in Balamb then?" Squall offered.

Seifer chuckled. "Instructor Trepe is gonna shit herself..."

Squall chuckled at the thought of Quistis seeing Seifer again. "She's not an instructor anymore Seifer. As a matter-of-fact... her office is right across from mine. She's already clocked out though."

Seifer looked out the office door window. "Good thing she wasn't there when I walked down the hall. I might have some serious bruises around my neck from that fucking whip of hers..."

Their business concluded, Squall turned on the intercom. "Rinoa, Zell, Irvine, Quistis, Selphie, meet me at the Front Gate"

Satisfied, Squall locked up his office and boarded the elevator with Seifer.

At the front gate....5 minutes later:

Squall made his appearance at the Front Gate as promised. Everyone was waiting there when he arrived.

"What did you call us here for Squall?" Rinoa asked.

Hyne... she looks beautiful... Squall thought, seeing that she was wearing her yellow dress she had worn the first night he met her.

"Okay guys...I have a bit of a surprise for you..." Squall began.

"OOOOh!! Is it a fun surprise?" Selphie spoke up.

"Er... no Selphie... I don't think it'll be that fun..." Squall put his head in his palm, a familiar gesture.

"Is it more hot dogs!?" Zell started phantom boxing.

Squall chuckled, "No Zell, but we should have our new shipment in soon."

"Booya!!" Zell said and jumped up and down.

"So what is this surprise you're keeping from us?" Quistis inquired.

As if on cue, Seifer stepped out from behind the wall of the front gate.

"SEIFER!!" Everyone except for Zell reached for their weapons that weren't there.

"Easy people, you act like I shat in your cereal." Seifer grinned.

"...the hell are you doing here Seifer!?" Zell roared, striking a fighting pose.

"He's come to Garden to try his hand at being a SeeD again..." Quistis said whistfully.

Squall blanched. "How did you know that?"

"Squall... you and Seifer were both my best students, and... my favorites... despite Seifer's utter lack of respect for me and and authority." Quistis smiled.

"Ms. Trepe.... I am offended that you would think me such a heathen." Seifer joked.

"So you've finally given up the whole 'Instructor' shtick huh?" Quistis said curtly.

"Yeah... Why... Commander Puberty here just informed me today that you got canned." Seifer said nastilly.

Qusitis glared daggers at him.

"If looks could kill....... Quisty." Seifer said calmly.

Quistis lost her composure at her nickname being used again by Seifer. It had been many years since the orphanage, and she didn't think that Seifer even remembered her. Seifer noticed this and smirked.

"Well... enough smalltalk people. I'm taking Seifer out for a drink to welcome him back. I think you should all welcome him as well." Squall said.

"Yeah," Irvine began, "I know from experience it takes a lot to suck up your pride and ask for another chance."

"Exactly," Squall nodded.

"Allright everyone! Let's mosey." Zell piped up.

"Mosey? Chicken-Wuss, have you been taking stupid pills again?" Seifer was disgusted.

Squall put his head in his palm again, Rinoa doubled over in laugter. Quistis chuckled softly, while Irvine took off his hat and pressed it to his stomach in an attempt to surpress his laughter. Selphie just looked at everyone wide eyed.

"What's wrong with mosey?" Selphie asked.

End of Chapter 1

Okay people, you know the drill... R&R. I hope you like it. If you're wondering.. there will be no Yaoi... no Yuri... and certainly no odd pairings. It's going to be a typical Squinoa, Selvine, Seiftis, and Zellone... yes Zellone, and maybe a little Cidea into the mix. And some of you might complain that Squall has gone too soft or he's OOC. I'm trying to mold him into a somewhat new character, after Rinoa's influence on him. Seifer's not going soft either, all you Seify fans. I'm one myself, so Seifer, despite being ashamed of what he did, is going to be tough assed as ever!! And don't worry Posse fans... Rage and Fuj will make their appearances. As said before... R&R next chapter will be up soon.