I Miss You

Disclaimer: I do not own 'Final Fantasy 8' or its characters – they belong to Squaresoft. Neither do I own 'I Miss You' – that is the property of Blink 182.

AN: Seifer angst!

Dawn heralded the end of another night without dreams for Seifer.

(I miss you, miss you)

Hyne alone knew how much he missed the dreams. When they started, they had seemed so much more solid than his waking life, and, as time went on, he became more and more reluctant to leave them, to confront reality. Even now, the memory of them was something he could not bear to give up. Awake, he could still revisit their sparkling, magical moments; asleep, he was bereft, doomed to emptiness.

At the height of the Sorceress' power over him, he had been able to live out his own fantasies, to be the unquestioned star of the show, night after night. She had shown him his future. She had lied.

Hello there, the angel from my nightmare,

The shadow in the background of the morgue,

The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley

We can live like Jack and Sally if you want

Where you can always find me

And we'll have Halloween on Christmas

And in the night we'll wish this never ends

We'll wish this never ends

Whenever he closed his eyes in slumber, huge wings, covered with glossy black feathers, encircled him, protecting him from hurt, whether physical or emotional. Within, all was safe, all was magical. Without, reality bit, cold and hard, and his gunblade bit into her enemies just as viciously.

As she held him, her face hovered above, as tender and doting as a mother with her newborn, and he was as helpless and dependent as if he was only hours old. She drugged him with dreams, until he was so hopelessly addicted to his own fantasies that he would willingly have slept forever.

But sleep was only allowed after his work was completed, and there was much for him to do. Her enemies were many, and he was her Knight, sworn to protect her at all costs. Enslaved as much by his own desire for heroism as by her whispered promises, the web of deceits wrapped him in clinging strands of desperation and misery.

(I miss you, miss you)

(I miss you, miss you)

Working so closely with her, privy to all her inner thoughts, he could not help but begin to see the truth. Yet, he was reluctant to admit it to himself, unwilling to face up to what it would mean. Giving up his duty as a Knight was unthinkable; he must protect her against all things, even his own deepening doubts. But even more, he needed the dreams.

Where are you and I'm so sorry

I cannot sleep, I cannot dream tonight

I need somebody and always

This sick strange darkness

Comes creeping on so haunting every time

And as I stared I counted

The webs from all the spiders

Catching things and eating their insides

Like indecision to call you

And hear your voice of treason

Will you come home and stop this pain tonight

Stop this pain tonight

Even when he knew for certain that the dreams were lies, that she did not want the Future to happen at all, let alone to create the one he fantasised about, he was honour-bound to remain at her side. He tried to resist, for a while. He told her that he could no longer help her, hoping to blackmail her into giving up her mad schemes.

The dreams continued, but now they showed his nightmares – Squall triumphant, himself humiliated. He began to avoid sleep, but forcing himself to stay awake brought on terrifying hallucinations. When he did eventually sink into an exhausted doze, Griever slashed at him with poisoned claws.

Trapped like a fly, cocooned in the tangled silk of sick fantasy, he struggled uselessly. Caught between horrors whether he was awake or asleep, he felt his grip on his own sanity beginning to fail. In the end, it was a relief to give in, accept her version of reality, and the task she had for him.

'She', his temptress, his mistress, giver of all good things, bringer of all terrors. The Sorceress. He did not recognise her at first, and, by the time he did, he was too enmeshed to escape. The truth was hidden, masked first by familiarity and then by strangeness. Forever elusive, she was a mystery wrapped in an enigma, allowing him only brief glimpses.

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Edea was the first mask that she hid behind, taking advantage of the double legacy of powers that she carried within her. Sweet, loving Matron, enslaved just as much as he was. Her submerged consciousness called out to him, begging him to save her, to be a true hero. The Other was stronger, though, punishing her with visions of her 'children' dying hideous deaths.

Having never become a SeeD, he had made little use of the GFs, and so recognised the comforter of his childhood, understood that this woman would never willingly hurt him, or those he loved. Under the control of the Other, her sweetness was cloying, her whispered promises the poisonous hissing of a snake, and at first he was repulsed. It was in this form, however, that she first captured him, body and soul.

For she knew, more than anyone else, the best way to reach his heart, the desires that occupied his mind when he was alone. Using her memories of him, the Other concocted a heady fantasy in which he was a noble Knight, defeating the corrupted SeeD, and ruling the world on her behalf with his true-love by his side.

His dreams were filled with Rinoa's laughing brown eyes, and silky raven locks; a delicate angel ready and willing to fulfil every command. He ached for her in a way he never had when he first knew her. Now, however, nothing mattered more than possessing her as completely as the Sorceress possessed him.

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Edea was finally able to break her torturer's stranglehold, but the cost was heavy. The only way to free herself was to pass her additional powers on to someone else. Thus it was that Rinoa was also cursed, a new puppet for the Sorceress to play with at her will. Her first task was to revive Seifer, before sinking into a coma. In this state, she was transported to the Moon, to wreak havoc on the whole world.

The seal on the Sorceress' Tomb, kept intact for seventeen years and regularly inspected by Esthar's President, was broken and Adel was released. The younger woman was scheduled for a similar imprisonment, to protect the world from further evil, but somehow Squall found that there was a hero inside him, that there was someone other than himself that he was willing to protect.

Adel, strengthened by the borrowed powers of the Other, was spectacularly frightening, and the world cowered before her. She demanded a sacrifice, the very person that the possessed Edea had held out as his prize for compliance. He gave her up without a thought, wishing only to be allowed to return to the safety of his dreams.

Then the SeeDs appeared again, destroying his mistress and rescuing his erstwhile lover. True despair gripped him, and he could see only one path before him – to follow the Sorceress, whatever the cost.

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Don't waste your time on me you're already

The voice inside my head (I miss you, miss you)

Finally, he came face to face with his real mistress, his puppeteer. Heartbreakingly beautiful, yet consumed with hatred, she curled her lip into a mockery of a smile. When she beckoned to him, he had no choice but to stumble forward and worship at her feet.

He now realised that she had been the power behind Edea and Adel, that they were merely pawns in her game. She had used them to further her own ends, with no regard to how they might feel about it. Hers was true strength, and he was humbled that she wanted him to help her in achieving her ends.

His dreams showed him a future more exquisite than ever, now that he was in direct contact with their source. He drifted in their silky caress when he slept, relived favourite moments when he was awake. The details were at his command, and he could adjust them at will.

But there came a time when her true scheme became clear to him. She wanted to create a world where there was no future at all, in which only she could survive. He felt betrayed, but his duty as a Knight came first. If there was a chance that he could save the world and still serve her, he had to take it.

Compromise was something she had no way of understanding, and she soon showed him the error of resistance. There was only one choice – live in absolute slavery, or die in absolute disgrace.

He chose to live.

(I miss you, miss you)

(I miss you, miss you)

(I miss you, miss you)

(I miss you, miss you)

Now, the Sorceress Ultimecia was finally gone, utterly defeated, by those he had declared to be his enemies. At midday, with the sun gazing down out of a crystal-blue sky, he could admit that they were, in fact, his saviours. But when he prepared to sleep, or awoke from every unrefreshing slumber, he cursed them all.