Chapter One---Scenes and Sirens

"Now, if you'll turn in your text books to page…" Instructor Trepe drabbled on and on (and on) about politics and ethics in SeeD missions and negotiations. Never before had one Instructor single-handedly turned a topic that might have had the potential to be interesting and killed it like Instructor Trepe. It wasn't that she was a bad instructor; it was that her presentation lacked fire and energy. Arien Almasy had a thing for flare. His mother blamed his father.

"Now who can tell me what you do when you get caught?" Arien snickered. Trepe narrowed crystal blue orbs at him and singled him out.

"Almasy, what is Garden procedure for SeeDs' who get caught? What do you do?" Arien gave her a wicked grin and Quistis knew she was in trouble. His dad used to give her the same look and it always meant trouble.

"First, I wouldn't get caught. Second, for those stupid enough to get caught, you put your head between your legs and kiss you're a- -" Arien was cut off by a deep, familiar voice.

"It is so important to your future that you not finish that sentence." Arien smiled at his father and stood to leave.

"Instructor, as riveting as your lecture has been, I fear I must take my leave. My escort has arrived." Seifer Almasy raised a brow and folded his arms over his chest, glaring at his (step) son.

"Escort my –"

"Seifer! Not in my class. You know the rules." Seifer grinned devilishly and leaned in close the smaller blonde.

"I'm above the rules, Instructor." Quistis had quite a nasty glare. Arien followed the muscular man from the room, tossing a wink in Trepe's direction as he left, noting with a great amount of satisfaction that she was quite flustered.

"You've got some balls kid."

"I learned from the best." Seifer smirked and headed towards Headmaster Leonheart's office. Arien stopped in his tracks.

"I didn't do jack s- -"Seifer glared at the boy. He really had to ease up on his language.

"I have to pick up some paperwork for mom. Then we're going to the Training Center." Arien let out a small "Oh" and waited quietly for his adopted father to get done talking to his real father. Not that Arien really considered the Ice Queen as a father figure. He was more of a comrade who had a really bad case of Stickuptheass-a-titis.

"Alright, let's see what you've got." Arien gave the blonde the infamous Almasy smirk. It never failed to be devilishly charming nor did it fail to infuriate.

"You sure old man? Should I call Dr. Kadowaki and have her get a wheel chair ready?" Jade eyes darkened.

"We'll see who laughs last." Seifer held his blade at the ready and waited. Arien strayed slightly from the gunblade legacy both his fathers had set for him but instead had opted for a more traditional version called a Buster sword.

At first, no one was sure Arien would be able to handle it. The giant hunk of metal weighed more than he did. But after 4 years of training by two of the best swordsmen the world had ever seen, both gunbladers were forced to admit Arien was quiet skilled for someone so young. But then Garden prided itself in producing skilled fighters.

"I'm waiting…" Seifer circled him like a ravenous wolf, eyes dark, muscles tensed and waiting for the inevitable attack. Arien knew he had no chance of getting Seifer to strike first but he calculated his first move carefully. Suddenly he lunged forward, sweeping his sword up, hoping to cut across Seifer's chest. No such luck. The clash of metal against metal sounded in Arien's ears and his heart sped up. He lived for the fight.

Seifer drove Arien further and further back, unleashing a series of forceful blows that left Arien's arms feeling weak. Seifer was still one of the best and the fact that Arien was still standing was testimony to his skill but he had a long way to go. He finally managed to lock blades with the older man and he strained to force Seifer back. It was like trying to move a brick wall but little by little he finally forced his blade free and was quick to strike. Unfortunately Seifer managed to get behind him. Arien felt the cold bite of steel as Seifer held Hyperion's sharp edge to his throat.

"Not bad." Seifer nodded approvingly and Arien grinned breathlessly, wiping the sweat from his forehead.

"Woo!! Go dad!!! You rock!!" Seifer smiled at the younger girl and ruffled her hair affectionately. She glared at him with ruby eyes.

"Gawd, I hate it when you do that!" The blonde frowned a bit and poked her shoulder, causing her to stumble backwards.

"You've been spending too much time with Selphie." Kale stuck her tongue out at him.

"Have not. Anyways, I'm meeting Instructor Valentine here for my Competency Test. I'm so stoked! If I pass, I can take the SeeD test a year early!!!" Kale danced in place and Arien raised a brow, wondering how he came to be related to such a spaz.

"Dudes!!" A brunet came running in, breathless and bright eyed.

"I've been dying for extra practice time, so I ditched Xu's class and totally- oh, hi Mr. A…um…see what I meant was, uh, that is I'm totally excused from her class." Makai rubbed the back of his head and chuckled nervously under Seifer's withering gaze.

"Right…just don't tell Xu you were with me. I'd rather be left out of your truancy hearing, thanks." Seifer said good bye to Arien, wished good luck to Kale and exited the Center to meet up with Headmaster.

"Dude, do you really have your test with Instructor Creepy?" Kale rolled her eyes at her brother's friend.

"Yea and he's not creepy. He's just quiet and he's a better gunmen than you could ever hope to be. I think you're just jealous." Makai scoffed at this remark.

"Am not. I'm naturally amazing and Lord of the Dead has nothing on my mad ninja skills." Instructor Valentine just happened to be walking up behind Makai at that moment and cleared his throat. Makai jumped a foot in the air and shrieked in a very unmanly pitch.

"I prefer King of the Dead, thank you very much. Now, if you'll excuse us, I believe Kale has a test to pass." Valentine seemed to be vaguely amused while Kale danced along the instructor excitedly, punching the air and whooping, causing silver spikes to dance to and fro.

"Dude, he's so creepy!" Makai Tilmitt was the kind of person that emphasized everything so everything was incredibly interesting when he was around.

"So this is where the cool kids hang out." A tall blonde grinned at them from the entrance of the Training Center.

"Where you been man?" Makai asked, slapping the taller teen on the back. Rion grinned and locked the brunet in a headlock and turned his attention to Arien while Makai struggled and choked.

"I was on assignment, some recon mission in Delling. No big." Arien nodded thoughtfully. His mom was on a mission. She'd been gone for two weeks and Arien was starting to worry about her.

"Air, I need air!" Makai rasped out before Rion finally realized he'd been holding on just a bit too tightly.

"Sorry man. What happened to those mad ninja skills?" Makai was the resident ninja, for those of you who haven't caught on. However, his imagination exceeded his actual skill, seeing as he was a sniper. It was almost the same thing…

"Even ninja's need air. Rion, have I ever told you that you're like a building with feet?" Rion frowned and shook his head. He had weird friends.


"Well you are. And I'd appreciate it if you got your gargantuan feet off of my poor toes!!"

"…You're such a spaz."

"Dude…Selphie's my mom, of course I'm a space case. Holy crap! It's lunch time!!!" Makai took off towards the lunch room at warp speed.

"Do you have any idea what that was about?" Rion turned towards his silver-haired friend as they meandered towards the lunchroom at a leisurely pace. Arien smiled a moment before responding with a chuckle.

"They're serving hotdogs."

A.n: woooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!1 The long awaited sequeal to On My Own!!!! If you HAVEN'T read On M y Own (OMO) then go read it now otherwise you'll be lost. Well, that's not entirely true but I would very much LOVE it if you read that first and left me some kick butt reviews!! Anyways, tell me what you think of this so far and I'm sorry for the long wait. Everyone must now get on their knees and bow to my Muse, Sorceress Fujin!!! ALL HAIL THE MUSE!!!!

Ulti! (REVIEW!!!!)