notes: This is a continuation of the storyline started in The Bloodcross
Key: Shattered Knight, and the second in a planned story-arc of three.
As you can see the simple premise has grown into a far larger saga. I have
made a sincere effort to explore the ramifications of the events of Shattered
Knight and their effect on the characters involved. Reversals deals with
the latter, while the third Arc will focus on the external effects.
That said, Reversals
is far, far darker than Shattered Knight and contains scenes some may find
very disturbing, beyond even those of the First Arc.
Also, I still take
a very serious outlook on characterization, and Reversals has been a real
challenge in keeping the characters in-character while transforming them
to the effects of the events in Shattered Knight. All changes to their
character have been made with how I think they would react in mind. I hope
I have been successful and believeable.
Square owns FF8 and it's characters. I do not and am only using them for
my entertainment and the only profit I gain from it is hopefully having
and disturbing content (Please take this warning seriously, to reveal it's
exact nature will spoiler the story.), extreme angst, foul language, graphic
violence, implied non-consensual sexual situations, shounen ai (male/male)
with some sexual themes.
Comments and criticism
Bloodcross Key ~ Arc 2 : Reversals
By Lady Tempest
***** Part 1:
The glow from the computer screen tinted Squall's already pale face to
a ghastly shade of blue-green. His eyes narrowed at the scrolling text,
his trembling lips a blue-pink line of tension. Suddenly, he slammed his
hand on his computer's keyboard, and leaned forward, his expression darkening
as his skinned paled even more.
"Oh, Seifer," he muttered, his eyes swelling with glints of reflected light
from the monitor. He blinked and a sparkle of blue-silver trailed down
How had the blond endured so much? Over three hundred, mostly men. One
press of a key and he scrolled to the top of the account list. Over three
hundred men for almost the full three weeks he had been missing.
Squall jabbed the power switch, dousing the room into only faint silver
light, the moon shining through the large window of Cid's office. Snatching
the disk Fujin had recovered during Seifer's rescue from the diskdrive,
with a shaking hand, he stuffed it in an inner pocket of his black leather
jacket. He couldn't take pouring over the data any more, not tonight. It
was all to much, too overwhelming, to discover what Seifer had been through.
Some of the accounts detailed requests the `clients' had and reading
only several of those had been enough to rush him to the bathroom earlier
and empty his sparse lunch into the toilet. He had lost track of how much
time passed before he had been able to even think about looking at more
of the files. Part of him wished he hadn't managed to return to the leather
chair and the horrible truth of Seifer's imprisonment. But he owed it to
Seifer to find everyone who had harmed him and to make them pay for further
shattering an already guilt-shattered young man.
He stalked from his, Cid's, office to the elevator. If only he had found
Seifer sooner. If only he hadn't been so paralyzed with fear of losing
someone he hadn't realized he could no longer bear to lose, maybe he could
have saved Seifer some of the agony and humiliation. Maybe he could have
saved Seifer from any of it. Instead, his former rival lay in the infirmary,
still unconscious under Sleep, with wounds it made him sick just thinking
Doctor Kadowaki had repeatedly informed him there was nothing he could
do for Seifer until he was recovered enough to be wakened, and it wasn't
necessary for Squall to visit until then. Yet he had to be at Seifer's
side, to be a familiar presence. To let Seifer know he was finally safe.
No matter what Kadowaki said, Seifer needed him. If nothing else, to calm
his nightmares, so the blond could actually rest. And, Squall realized,
he needed it too.
Squall awoke with a start. His head jolted from it's nest of his arms and
the edge of Seifer's infirmary bed, jerking from under the strong hand
lightly touching his shoulder. He collapsed into his chair, sleep-tousled
auburn hair dangling in his eyes. Heart pounding so fast it almost hurt,
he gulped several breaths and lifted wide blue eyes to the bulky shadow
looming over him.
Raijin. He should have known. What, did the guy have something against
letting Squall get any sleep?
"Uh, sorry, man," Raijin said meekly. "I didn't mean to scare ya."
Squall sighed, mostly to gather a little more air to calm himself, but
no one needed to know that. "...whatever."
Raijin chuckled, a deep, but faintly forced sound. As their eyes met, Squall
also noticed the humor didn't reach there either. Both their gazes wandered
to the bed and the sleeping blond. A wrinkle spread across Seifer's brow
as he moaned, his arms twitching.
Squall grasped his hand. "Seifer, it's okay now. You're home. With your...
Seifer calmed, his features relaxing. Slender fingers brushed aside sweat
damp golden hair from Seifer's pale face, the face of a handsome prince
from the stories Seifer liked so much. Squall looked up to the other side
of Seifer`s bed, catching a tear-bright scarlet eye before Fujin had time
to not only pull her hand away but shutter her emotions behind silver lashes.
"Okay?" she asked with her same stilted speech pattern but at the level
of a whisper.
It was hard on all of them. Perhaps for Fujin the most, seeing the young
man she admired so much for his strength and confidence, for just the presence
that radiated from him like the sun, laying, unconscious, battered and
broken in more ways then they probably would ever know. Or would ever want
to know. Sometimes the truth is best kept hidden. How would Seifer feel
knowing what they had uncovered, little though it was? He was proud and
strong. It had to devastate him to be used as he had been. Would he even
be the same hurting young man from before? Or, as Squall had seen in Seifer's
prison, would the blond be broken beyond repair? So shattered nothing would
return the light to his eyes or the smirk to his beautiful lips?
He blinked, something soft and wet spattering his hand.
you okay?" Fujin said quietly.
Of course he was okay. He wasn't unconscious in an infirmary bed healing
from injuries so numerous and horrible it made one sick. He hadn't been
raped and abused and brutalized for a few thousand gil an hour, by three-hundred
and forty-two people, and a monster or ten, just for kicks and an
extra fee, over eighteen days, for nineteen hours a day, give or take,
mostly give, five hours. He hadn't been whipped, and kicked, and chained,
and burned, and...
Squall choked, and buried his face in his hand, his other tightening on
Seifer's, as if to reassure him the blond was still there. How could any
of what those bastards had done to Seifer be remotely justified by what
Seifer had done during the war? Even if Seifer had been of his own mind,
it was a punishment no one deserved, except those bastards that did it!
A strong, warm hand rested on his shoulder and another on his and Seifer's.
Nothing needed to be said. It was so nice not being forced to say what
he felt, to just be. No demands. No words. Just be...
"I'm okay," he finally said, raising his head to meet a concerned scarlet
eye. Fujin nodded.
He took a deep breath. "Doctor Kadowaki said he'll be fine. He needs time
to heal. I guess his body is so worn out Cures will only work so far. He
needs to rest so they have energy to draw from to heal." He shrugged. "At
least that's more or less how she explained it." He paused, squeezing Seifer's
hand. They had to be prepared for the Seifer he had seen in that terrible
room. But he couldn't tell them. If he were an optimist like Zell or Selphie,
he could hope it wouldn't be necessary, that Seifer would be Seifer when
he woke up. However, optimism was as much a part of his nature as being
the life of the party. No matter how much you wish something were one way,
it always was the worst way instead. Easier to ignore it altogether, and
block the pain of disappointment before it can occur. But then, ignoring
had only made the problem worse.
"I didn't tell her what happened to him. Though she has an idea from his
injuries. She said physically he'll be okay in a few days, but emotionally,
mentally, there was no way to know." He glanced between Seifer's two friends,
his 'posse', then darted his glimmering blue eyes to his and Seifer's hands.
" With the nightmares he's having even under such a deep sleep..."
He couldn't continue. Seifer's dead blue eyes haunted him, and the once
proud face broken to defeat, a whimpering voice begging to be left in the
very place destroying him because he believed he deserved it, had some
debt to pay to people who probably only knew there had been a war because
their servants whispered about it in the halls of their huge homes or overheard
their chauffeur griping about the rising cost of fuel for their limo.
"He'll be okay," Fujin whispered. "He's Seifer Alamsy. And no one defeats
Seifer. No one."
It was a good thing Fujin hadn't seen those files. Well, he figured she
hadn't. He doubted she could remain is such control if she had. Probably
would be out taking on armies if necessary to get to those on the list
and exact some revenge. But there would be time for that. Now, Seifer needed
them, needed him. Squall sighed.
"Hey, Squall. Go get some sleep. You look like you need it, ya know," Raijin
said as he gently squeezed Squall's shoulder.
Sleep? First the big guy constantly interrupts his sleep, then he wants
him to get some? Can't he make up his mind? But Squall was tired. He started
to pull his chair closer to Seifer's bed.
"No. Not here. You need real rest, ya know, without some bum like me wandering
in an waking you up."
But, he couldn't leave Seifer. He already had been away too long today
drowning under his duties as acting headmaster and examining the files
Fujin had given him. He opened his mouth to protest.
But Raijin interrupted, "We'll stay with him. Just get some damn sleep.
You won't be any use to anyone, ya know." He crossed his muscular arms
defiantly, as if `no' would never be accepted as an answer. Stubborn bastard.
Squall finally nodded. "Let me know if anything happens," he said as he
rose from the chair. His entire body ached, like he had slept in an uncomfortable
chair for several hours. He hated it when other people were right.
"Sure thing," Raijin replied, patting him on the shoulder.
Grunting, Squall shuffled out of the infirmary, taking a final backward
glance at Seifer. The moonlight through the high, paneled windows and the
soft, artificial glow of the infirmary lights mingled on the sleeping young
man, casting unnaturally onto his pale skin and pale hair. He was beautiful,
even with the fading bruises on his face. A storybook prince, or knight,
or an angel, waiting to be wakened by true-love`s kiss...
Squall clenched his teeth, his storm blue eyes narrowing. He had to stop
such ridiculous ideas. He wanted to be Seifer's friend, nothing more. And
Seifer probably wanted the same. Thinking about another guy, about Seifer,
like he would Rinoa was absurd. Yet, it wasn't at all like he thought about
her. He never felt for her what he felt for Seifer. Nor had he felt anything
so deeply for her, friendship or otherwise. He rubbed his temples, trying
to ease away the tight ache behind his eyes and with a scowl, he turned
on his heel and left.
End Part 1