Chapter One---Where We Started

Edea Kramer sat beside the window, reading to two small boys. A familiar black car pulled up and her heart sank once more. A petite blonde got out and opened the door and one small girl and one boy crawled out, angry scowls on their faces.

"Hello Edea." Edea gave Quistis a sad smile.

"Hello dear. I wish I wasn't seeing you on such circumstances...but as it is...its good to see you again. " Edea held her hands out to the two children and gave them a comforting smile.

"It's alright dears. You're safe with me." The little girl began to cry and the boy took the hand that wasn't occupied with a small stuffed tiger.

"She wants her daddy." He told her with fiery jade orbs. Edea's heart broke, remembering just where he'd gotten those eyes.

"I can't blame her. Your parents were good people. I'm sorry that your here." The boy looked past her to the others who crowded about Edea's skirts, eyes wide with curiosity.

"Matron...Matron...who they? Are they nice? I don like meanies!" The smaller boy pouted and Matron lifted him into her capable arms.

"Of course they are Shaine. Go on...go ask them to play." The brown haired boy scrambled out of her arms to the green eyed boy and smiled.

"I'm Shaine!...Uh...um...y-you...wanna come play with us?" His eyes darted from the boys quiet form to the girls.

"...O-ok...I'm Eden..." Shaine giggled and pulled her along, leaving the boy to his sulking.

"Let's go make sand castles!" Eden's delighted squeals slowly fadesd the farther she got from the group. Matron smiled.

"What about you Dante? You want to go play with the others?" Dante scowled.

"No." Matron sighed.

"I'll show you your room alright? Thank you Quistis...I'll call you later, alright?" Quistis wiped a tear from her eye as she nodded, climed into the car and drove away.

---

"Why are you here Eden?" Shaine asked as they built little castles only to crush them beneath their feet.

"My daddy...they says he's dead. Said he not coming back ever again." Shaine pouted.

"But...didn't your mommy want you?" Eden bit her thumb nail.

"She's dead too. So they sents me here. With Dante." Shaine hugged her.

"Matron nice, you'll see. But why doesn't Dante come play?"

"He...he doesnt' play a lot." Shaine gave her a smile oh and the two went back to their joyous destruction of helpless sand castles.


"Matron says dinners ready." A boy into Dante's room. Dante scowled at the silver eyed boy but he came in anyways and shut the door.

"Go away." The boy did not go away. He climbed onto the bed and tilted his head at Dante.

"What do you want?" Dante's curiosity got the better of him.

"My parents died too." Jade eyes narrowed at the older boy.

"Your not the only one whose alone. We all are." As Dante thought about this, tears fell from his eyes.

"It's ok to cry Dante, I won't tell anyone. I promise." Sobs tore their way from Dante's chest and tears streamed down his face as the older boy held him by the shoulders. Little did they know they'd just made a friend for life.

---

"Eden, go get Stone and Dante." Eden went off with a small smile and opened the boys door.

"Matron says its time for dinner." Stone looked at the blue eyed girl and then to Dante.

"Go tell her we don't feel good." Eden nodded and left. Dante looked after her remembering his father had told him about this place. About how he'd met Eden's father and they'd been best friends. About how they'd gone on to eventually be the heroes they'd wanted to be. Maybe...maybe he'd be like his father after all.


The weeks turned to months and the months to years. Dante and Stone grew to be the best of friends and were more then usually mischievious for their ages. They were determined to be brave and gallant warriors one day and rescue a beautiful princess.

Dante had decided long ago that Stone would marry the princess because the older boy was more then adament in the fact that he wanted nothing to do with a girl. No matter how beautiful she was. The two had also decided to split the treasures they found and then travel the world and come back legends. Dante would slay dragons and be a hero, Stone would marry the princess and everyone around the world would know their names, their faces and they would be great.

However, Shaine and Eden found great joy and smashing their lofty dreams, partially because Eden was always the princess and forcibly married to Stone when all she wanted was time to herself and a good book. Princessess were, in fact, a pointless thing to be. All they got to do was sit and be helpless.

Shaine protested this game mainly because his pride was throughly thrashed before, during and after the game. Dante would insist on his being the dragon and when he refused, Stone delighted in making him be the dragon. And the treasure that Dante and Stone thieved from him? More often then not it was the cookies Matron had given him for lunch. Not to mention that Shaine's pride was thrashed yet again by Dante while being slain.

-

"Dragons aren't even real!" Shaine wailed as Stone hauled him off to the cave where they were out of sight from Matron's watchful eye.

"Aren't you too old for this game?" Eden asked, hands on hips. Stone simply smirked at her, the same infuriating smirk that Dante had taught him, and tied her to a rock.

"You know you want Stone to rescue you so you can kiss him so shut up and act helpless!" Dante instructed, handing a sword to Dante. Eden rolled her eyes while Shaine failed at a fear-inspiring roar.

"Help. Oh, dear. A dragon has captured me. Oh, who will save me?" Eden smiled at Dante's nasty glare for her monotonous rendition of a terrified princess.

"Fear not, lady!" Stone lept onto Shaine's back, smashing him into the sand. From there it was a bloody battle between Shaine and Dante while Stone made off with the cookies.

"Oh, my heroes. You've slain the dragon and stolen his cookies. What heroic feats will you attempt next?" Eden's bored voice carried through the cave and Dante sighed.

"Since you refuse to be any fun, I suppose Stone and I will have to battle each other!" This seemed to excite the too boys into "forgetting" to untie Eden from her rock while they rushed headlong into a gruesome and bloody war, promptly suffering terribly and dieing honorably on the sandy battle field as Shaine stole back his cookies.

A.n: Ok I swear I'm attempting to go somewhere with this! Just review and tell me what you think! I love you all my faithful reviewers! -dies-

i Ultimate!