Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII/Kingdom Hearts

Pairing: SeiferZell, some others (LeonCloud, primarily)

Notes: Sequel to "First Snow", story 2 of 3

Standard Disclaimers Apply.

For What It's Worth

Epilogue: Getting Over It

Hayner wheezed, trying to get the air back into his lungs. He fought with Seifer a lot, but Seifer was both larger and older than he was and normally took it easy on him. Seifer also always let him know that he'd taken it easy on him. He'd say things like "you've still got a long way to go, pipsqueak" and "I was just testing you", in that arrogant tone he got when he stuck his chin in the air and looked down at you from beyond the rim of his black beanie.

Today Seifer had wailed on him without mercy.

On the one hand, Hayner was somewhat relieved that Seifer had stopped falling asleep in the middle of the sandlot. On the other if this was the alternative he maybe kind of preferred the large blonde man unconscious. Hayner laid back and pinched his bloody nose saying in a pinched tone "you're such an asshole."

"You've got a long way to go, runt," Seifer retorted. "Hurry up and get stronger so I have someone around worth beating up."

Hayner grit his teeth a bit and his shoulders shook with anger as Seifer turned away from him. He was just a kid damnit! What the hell did he expect? "Afraid of getting soft?" he quipped—the best he could do for his already tattered pride.

"Been soft for a while now," Seifer answered, rolling his shoulder. "Now it's about time to remedy the situation. Later Loser." He gave Hayner a two-fingered wave, actively not thinking of how much Hayner reminded him of Zell sometimes. It was time to get his revenge and get over it. The person he was now…Zell would be ashamed of him if he were still alive. He was ashamed of himself.

Hayner watched his retreating figure with a deep frown. Sure, he was pissed that the guy had beat the tar out of him just because he was wallowing in self-pity, and he was frustrated that he was so weak by comparison to Seifer in his 'soft' state…but somehow…he couldn't hate the bastard for it. 'What's with that?!' Hayner wondered irritably.

Whatever the case, he decided, he was determined: it wasn't going to end this way.

The End…sort of…


A/N: I feel a little guilty that this story sort of…fell apart at the end. Everything is up in the air because it's going to be cleaned up and closed up in the third and final story. I've sort of hinted a little at where I'm going in the last few chapters here, but am working without a safety net as usual, so anything can happen!

The final story will be named "In So Many Words" and will be uploaded under Kingdom Hearts. I intend to start it about a week from now, so look for it in early March.