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"Not now Zell." The door sped quickly on its way shut, stopping a few inches from the frame. Squall looked down. "Move your foot Zell."

"Awww, C'mon man, theres nothing to do." The blonde jumped up and down in place, until his foot slipped free and Squall brought it next to the frame before speaking more.

"Sorry Zell. Quistis and I have to go over the SeeD reports for Cid. Go bug Selphie and Irvine. With that, the door slammed shut, and a click denoted the lock turning.

Zell moped as he slumped out of the hall and nearly slammed right into Cid, who was coming around the corner. Plastering a broad grin on his face, Zell quickly apologized to his superior and slipped past, tightening his gloves as he wondered if the smile had looked as fake as it felt. Normally he would have taken Squall's advice and gone to hang with Irvine and Selphie, but he had actually stopped there first before Squall and Quistis, and had slipped off right before he knocked as he heard masculine groans, and Selphies voice singing a song about saving the horses, by riding the cowboys. It wasn't with any suprise that he found himself absently smashing monsters in the Training Center, as his thoughts flew a million miles away. At least, until a voice behind him brought him hurtling back to the Garden.

"Aww, is poor Chicken-Wuss just here playing with himself? How sad..." Seifer. Not in any mood to wonder why Seifer was back in the Garden, in the Training Center, taunting him, Zell just spun about and flung the first spell to come to hand. The razor sharp, foot long icicle shattered into a cloud of little shards as the targets gunblade came into position at the last moment. Zell could see the suprise on Seifer's face.

"Chicken-Wuss, actually standing up for himself? Whatever is this world coming to." The sarcastic, insult dripping words were enough for Zell to use what leverage he had and launch himself at the other blonde, who defended himself automatically, the flat of his blade slapping down gloved hands, as Zell watched his foe's face process that Zell had gone farther than he ever had before in his previous altercations with the fiery tempered, ex-Sorceress's Knight, and actually tried to hit him.

"Don't know whats got you all worked up, but who cares, I'm just itching for a good fight, and this might be a passable warm-up for a Grat attack." With a grin on its wielder's face, the gunblade began to take the offensive, lacking the speed of the martial artist, but having more power to every blow. "So. block Wheres. slash The rest. riposte of Squall's block, block, slash lackeys."

Keeping a steady breathing despite the flurry of gloved fists mere inches from face, Zell's reply came steady. "The others are too busy. So I'm training. Got a problem Seifer?" Seifer muttered something suspiciously like 'chicken wuss' just before one of Zell's hands slipped through his guard and hit Seifer open-palmed on the chest, and the taller blond went stumbling backwards.

"So, you can at least manage to hold a bit of a warm-up fight then Chicken-Wuss. Warm-ups over then!" Bringing the heavy gunblade into an arcing upward slash, opening a several inch gash in Zell's shirt. "So they are all too busy for you, huh?"

Keeping up the steady bouncing around on the balls of his feet, the martial artist's gloves traded blows with gunblade in time with the chatter between the two

"Not thats its any of your business, but yes, they are busy. And just what is the likes of you doing in Balamb anyway?"

"Cid wants me back. I passed his SeeD test last week. Let me guess, Cowboy and Cheerleader are 'playing', Puberty-boy and Spoiled Princess are angsting, and the Instructor is practicing her whip work on her groupies. Am I close?"

"Yes. No, No. Rinoa's gone, been gone for weeks. Squall and Quistis are evalutating reports. Wheres the rest of the D Committee?"

"On Assignment. Breather?"


Both combatants turned around simultaneously, and sat down and leaned back, back to back, catching breath.

"So Princess ran off, huh. Who with?"

"Zone. Full pardon and probationary SeeD rank?"

"Full Rank and pardon"

"Nice. Done?"

"Oh yeah"

The two climbed back up, using each other as support, and took a step back and raised guards. Zell broke first and brought a fury of blows against Seifer, who, to his credit, managed to deflect a handful, taking several large bruising hits from the studded gauntlets. Probably a few broken ribs. Turning the tables, Seifer took the offensive with a large arcing horizontal to force Zell to step back, and a lunge forward, blade turning to block Zell's blow from the side when he dodged... It took Seifer a few seconds to realize that the younger man hadn't dodged, and was impaled, ever so slightly on the gunblade.

"Oh. Shit" Seifer pulled the blade back and sheathed in one motion and stepped forward to catch Zell as he stumbled forward, a dumbfounded look on his face, glazed eyes, and a chest wound bleeding more than a little. "Oh shit."

Yes, yes. Cliff hanger type right off the bat. Don't blame me, blame society.