A/N: Yes, I'm back, but it's not an Inu fic this time. Sorry. I know some people liked my older stories, but I'm a bit ashamed of them. They were the typical fall in love, kill evil, small twist, everything's happy again. I don't want to do that for this story.

This one has been inspired by The Fountainhead, boredom, Unsolved Mysteries, American Justice, boredom, the story Uptown Boys (I don't know why) and Cold Case Files. Some of the situations here are things that have happened to me personally and some names are taken from my life.

Anyway, the title for this one came from (oddly enough) FF8. And the chapter title came from Star Trek (the original series). I'm sure they got that title from some poet or other.

Fanfic has changed so drastically, so I have no idea how to classify this story!

Only a Plank Between One and Perdition

Chapter One — . . . for the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky

He was engrossed in his observations.

The young man saw the wispy tendrils of cold, artificial air swim through the expensive material of his suit jacket. As he watched the air he thought about his suit and could not fathom why he was wearing the bothersome thing. He knew the people he was supposed to be examining didn't care jack-squat about his appearance. His life and family had been so widely publicize that everyone felt they knew him already anyway.

He reflected on his last thought and realized for the first time the deep trouble he was in. These people already had a preconceived notion of him, and it probably was not good. His aloofness was not helping his defense either.

He looked up with eyes that shimmered an eerie blue under the florescent light despite the lack of emotion behind them. Unfortunately for him, a potential juror decided to glare at him in that instant and glared even harder when the young man in question did not react.

Oh well, the young man thought. It matters not. This is just a formality. A highly costly one, but a formality all the same.

"Hey, what do you think about this one?"

He almost jumped out of his skin when his lawyer spoke to him. The shock of not feeling the hot breath on his ear was almost too much of a surprise for him.

"I don't care; they're all the same to me."

Dr. Yaeger, the young man's attorney, sighed inaudibly.

Through hard work and perseverance Nikita Yaegar survived a traumatic immigration from Bikanel, an education in Spiran laws, his first marriage and subsequent divorce, law school, his second marriage and an angry ex-wife, two daughters, a burned down house via his jealous ex-wife, and post graduate work in anthropology. He realized that all the surveys he had taken or essays he'd written in graduate school would never prepare him for the enigma sitting next to him—that is, his young client.

He almost lost it when he saw his client look away and flick an imaginary piece of lint off his padded shoulders. His attitude wasn't helping them at all, and it was pissing off his assistants.

The clients he normally took on had done something for him that proved their innocence, but this guy was blatantly guilty. So why was he representing the scum?

He hated unsolved puzzles, and he knew he would get paid this time.

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

Tidus Arcangelo Corelli sighed as he walked down the courthouse steps. He wished he could take the expensive suit jacked off.

The jury selection process left him numb and literally unfeeling. He jumped every time his lawyer got close and almost screamed when the scalding sun scorched his face. Other than that, the open glares he received from the potential jurors, his attorney's assistants, and the reporters and cameras, he was fine.

As Tidus got used to the shackles around his legs and the sight of the overly armed vehicle, he reflected on the courthouse interior. The seats could be pews, the jury box — maybe a choirs' resting place. . .

Separation of church and State, huh?

Tidus took a deep breath of Bevelle air. If anything, everything in Bevelle felt spiritual. Tidus was not against anyone with a little faith. But sometimes he felt it was a little overdone. It felt like someone had sprayed an excess amount of air freshener to cover up a bad stench.

It was so bad that even a simple hot stand felt like a friggin' temple. Thinking of a Blitzball fan bowing over a Yevon icon while he paid for his hotdog, he felt the bubble rise and tried to keep it down. When the pressure became too much, he let go and gave the loudest laugh he had ever had in his young life.

The passers-by and onlookers stared at him, awestruck and fascinated. This was the first and likely the last display of emotion they had seen from the slightly effeminate young man.

The setting sun had a holy effect on the young man's profile. The way the light glinted off his blonde hair made him seem almost angelic in a way.

So much so that the reporters and viewers at home could not imagine that beautiful young boy killing his father. He was not their image of a cold-blooded murderer.

Months had passed since the boy was arrested and yet they still did not believe it. But then again, the first Maester didn't appear to be a serial killer, yet his misdeeds are recorded in the scrolls of every Temple in Spira.

Oh well, a cameraman thought as he got a good view of a female reporter's ass, we'll see how his trial goes.

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

The young woman waited impatiently for the stupid blue stripe to show up.

The box said three minutes, not hours.

Her sanguine eyes crumpled in urgency as she heard the front door slam shut. It was either her roommate, or one of their friends who owned a key. Either way, whomever it was is back earlier than expected. She silently locked the door and turned the bathroom lights off. Her hands were shaking so badly that she turned the exhaust fan on instead. The girl held her mouth and listened carefully to the person's footsteps and humming that came along with it. It was Yuna, and she was going to the kitchen, thank Kamui.

She turned the lights back on and walked to the sink once more and almost screamed when she noticed the little screen for the pregnancy test was still blank. She yanked the cardboard box from the almost empty wastebasket and scanned the directions. It said nothing about a blank screen. She knew more than three minutes had passed.

How do I get this stupid thing outside without Yuna seeing?

She cursed her job for requiring a uniform. The black pants she wore had pseudo-pockets. After she bought them about three months ago, she put them on and tried to stick the tags into the pockets only to find out that they were false. If she hadn't taken the tags off, she would have returned them. She hated not having any pockets.

Looking around the messy bathroom she spotted the wastebasket. She balled up some tissue and dropped them, the box, and the crap tester inside and pulled the tiny bag out.

The things I do for you.

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

Yuna turned around at the noise she heard. It sounded like someone was stinking up the bathroom. She tripped over a tall pair of boots and almost cursed when she realized whose they were. The twenty-year old glared at the bathroom door when she found a wooden paddle near the boots.

The whole point of the paddle was to stick it on the hook so that someone knew who was in the house.

A few weeks ago a pair of twin girls had been kidnapped off campus. Instead of packing up and going back home, the two roommates did as their RA told them and devised an ingenious security system. They made paddles for themselves and their friends. If someone were in the house they would hang their paddle on one of the hooks by the door and take it with them when the left.

It turned out that the girls weren't kidnapped after all, they just took a little "vacation." Yuna scoffed at the memory of the twins. Blondes.

The girl giggled as she thought of her cousin who'd just enrolled into a local cosmetology school. She would have loved that comment.

Yuna sighed as she hung to the two pieces of wood on the wall. She needed to take a nap, a very long one at that.

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

"Oh hey, Paine. Are you dumping the trash? Here, take this with you."

The girl, now known as Paine, winced when she heard Yuna's voice. It wasn't that it was high pitched or anything, she just didn't want to see her at the moment.

Yuna, her roommate, walked up to her and tried to open the small trash bag. She gasped when her friend wasn't letting go.

"Hey, what are you doing? This bag isn't even half full yet." Yuna yanked on the bag again, and was surprised, again, when her friend did not relinquish her kung-fu grip.

"Um . . . are you gonna let go anytime soon?"

Paine, deciding that her silence wasn't a good tactic, told the truth.

"No."

Paine did a double take at Yuna's shocked look. "Um, I know, but I spilled a smoothie. So . . . I-um have to--"

Yuna looked at her friend incredulously. Paine. Never. Stutters.

She peered into the bag more closely and saw what she wasn't supposed to see.

"Hey, is that---"

"Don't ask, just come with me to the Health Center and I'll fill you in on the way there."

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

The two girls basked in the late summer sun. Even though Yuna liked the social events that clubs and Greek life offered, she still wished the campus could stay as it was during the summer months --- calm and peaceful with hardly any frat boys gallivanting around, trying to con poor freshman girls into going to their parties. She'd been the victim to some silver tongues in her day. Fortunately, she had never seen the separate kegs for guys and girls at one of their parties.

Yuna sighed contentedly as a warm breeze lifted her shoulder length brown hair and cooled her neck. She reached behind to play with her hair, but remembered she cut it just a few days ago. She instantly regretted her decision after the first snip, so she asked the hair stylist to leave a long braid in the back. It looked weird at first, but she and her friends got used to it after some time.

Yuna studied her friend while absentmindedly playing with her braid. Paine looked a little flustered and fatigued. Her gray hair wasn't as perky today. She realized the cause of the deflation was the fact that the normally well-groomed girl had no gel in her hair. Yuna also noticed the lack of pale plum lipstick and the nearly invisible foundation she usually wore. In fact, Paine looked exactly how Yuna was feeling after this morning. Crap.

"I haven't told Baralai yet."

Yuna knew she had to stay silent. Whenever Paine was in the mood to talk, she did not appreciate being interrupted.

"My period still hasn't started yet. The tester wasn't working so I guess I'll have better luck at the Health Center. It's free anyway."

"Correction," Yuna started with a small smirk on her face, "there is no such thing as a free lunch. The fees are in our tuition."

"He said he was sterile, Yuna. I know, I know," Paine relented when she saw her friend's expression. "I should have used protection, but I was on the pill and we took our STD tests together, so, I kind of figured . . ."

Her voice died out quickly, however, when she felt a familiar and highly anticipated twist in her stomach.

"Oh, thank you Kamui!"

Yuna sighed at the name. She really needs to stop watching that stupid movie.

Once Paine felt that familiar pain coming on, she grabbed Yuna's hand and ran to the Health Center. Inside, she knew the receptionist thought she was crazy, but she didn't care.

"Can I get a box of tampons?!"

»°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°•°«

A/N: To my lovely reader:

I remembered when you said the real world references were throwing you off. So I went back and changed some things. Apparently I didn't change everything because I saw Gacy in there, Germany and some other stuff that hurt my eyes. I also took the liberty, because it is my story, to make a few transitions a little bit smoother. There were missing parts between some thoughts and I figured what the heck.