Heal Ah, the last installment. I hope it's been an enjoyable ride; this
is just the experiment that will give birth to many later fanfics
featuring our favourite one-eyed albino and the arrogant golden boy.
I hope this hasn't sucked too badly, though. Thanks to all you nice
folks who read and review this - Guardian



He was dying.

Seifer was quite calm about it all, really. He just lay in bed and
made soft anguished noises of pain whenever a fly buzzed, or when
a morning bird sang cheerfully, or when a ray of sunlight flitted
across the room. Pain sharpened his consciousness and Seifer dreamily
catalogued his possessions.

Hyperion. They can bury me with Hyperion. Raijin can have my fishing
pole, and Fuchan can have my coat, it'll look pretty good on her...

Seifer smiled slightly, but stopped when the action hurt him. Chocobos
were stomping throughout his head, lots of the damn things.

Raijin stalked into the room, took one look at the prone body of his
hungover leader and groaned. This was the one time when he was not
filled with sympathy for the errant Seifer Almasy.

"Boss! Ya awake!"

"Don' speak so loud," Seifer mumbled.

"It's only a hangover, ya know," Raijin said firmly. "An... an', you
know what I think?"

"Do I look like someone who gives a shit right now?" He raised one
hand to his forehead and dramatically put it over his eyes. "My brains
are melting."


Immediately the hot, sticky sweat on his forehead gave way to a cold
sweat. Fujin. He'd... he'd said something to Fuchan last night,
something he shouldn't have said -

"Ya know, boss," the darkskinned man started up confidentially, "what
I think is that Fujin feels like shit now, ya know? You were pretty
mean to her last night, ya know?"

"You think I don't know, 'ya know'?!" Seifer snapped and rolled out of
bed and onto the floor. God, but he felt like crap. There was some goo
all over his tongue. His hands snapped out for his gloves, and then
decided against it. In this heat, he might sweat them away.

"Why did ya get drunk, anyway?" Raijin asked puzzledly, flopping
on the second bed, scratching his neck.

"Because you two make me suicidal." Seifer was feeling snappish and
angry and ashamed, and that combination was terrible. He stood - with
difficulty - and began looking for his coat.

"What abou' Fusama?" his posse member cut in slyly - or at least the
Raijin equivalent of sly.

Seifer whirled around and looked at the Raijin, sitting with a big
stupid smirk on his face. "What the hell's that supposed to mean?"

"Jus'... mebbe... ya could be nice to her today?"

"She doesn't give a shit as t'what I do anyway," he said moodily. For
some reason, he felt like drinking again.

"She does too, ya know," Raijin protested.

The blonde moved into the bathroom and stuck his head under the tap,
letting a generous amount slosh around in his mouth. Yeah, that was
better. Now he didn't feel like his tongue was made of modelling clay.

"She doesn't give a rat's rear, dumbass! Understand!" he called back.
Geez, this was making him depressed again. Couldn't Raijin leave him
alone? "In fact, she probably hates me - YOU go talk to her!"

"She'd want you." Raijin's voice was so calm, so insufferably smug in
what he clearly viewed as the gospel truth.

Seifer stuck his head out the bathroom, hair dripping all over his
vest. "Why? I'm a shit to her. Look what I did last night."

"Then go say sorry, ya know!"

A towel was grabbed and hair began getting rubbed furiously. "Where
is she, anyway? What's the time?"

"Early mornin' still, down near the pier, ya know. Nobody's down there
yet." The bastard pulled out his last trump card. "Bin down there since
you came back las' night. She was cryin' still, ya know."

Seifer's heart shrivelled in ultimate, dying shame. He leant slowly
against the doorway, eyes suddenly distant, before darting across to
the window. There she was, down on the steps, wearing a thin white
vest and her leather pants. Fujin was cuddling herself tightly, knees
drawn to her chest in a movement that could've reminded him of Rinoa
had it not been for the tight anguish of the clenched muscles and the
chin laid down at one knee. It was gently light out, a soft sparkling
morning, with only the seabirds to keep her company. Seifer could hear
them squawking.

"Yer sweet on her, aren't ya?" came the eventual knowing voice from
the bed.

Immediately a pink flush stained his cheeks as Seifer silently cursed
the male of his posse for being a little bit more intuitive than he'd
given him credit for. "Shut up," he said, but his voice was tinged
with the sin of uncertainty.

"The crowds'll come out soon, ya know."

Seifer threw Raijin a withering look that had struck fear into SeeD
cadets young and old, and threw on his coat. "I'm not doing this
because you asked me to."

"Yes, Seif," Raijin said tranquilly.

"I'm doin' it because she looks damn silly sitting out there."

"Yes, Seif."

"And she's embarrassing me."

"Yes, Seif."

"And - don't 'yes, Seif' me," Seifer said irritably. "Go get breakfast
or something, I'll be back soon."

The golden-haired leader of their posse stomped his way out of the
hotel room.

Raijin began to snicker uncontrollably.

It was really quite a beautiful morning, as mornings went.

The sea sparkled deep and fathomless, the sky pale to it overhead,
as the wind and waves pushed together in conjunction. The wind was
gentle, one of Balamb Town's famous sea breezes, refreshing and more
like a caress than anything else. It wasn't cold, not at all; just
balmy and fragrant.

Playfully, it ruffled her hair and nuzzled her dead eye as it crept
beneath her eyepatch, then slid across her skin to toy with the
soft cotton of her vest. Fujin didn't mind. The wind was her soldier,
her compatriot, and she indulgently allowed it to play.

Of course, she knew the moment he approached. The wind blew
differently on his form, like it always did. Seifer always stood
against the wind.

Fujin stared down at the lapping waves a few steps from her feet.


"Well, of course you do," Seifer said sardonically, flopping down
beside her on the slightly damp concrete of the sea-steps. "You have
a built-in Fujin radar."

They sat in silence for a little while, a little way apart.


"Yeah." He pinched his nose slightly, then rubbed at his temples.
"Just shoot me the next time I pick up a drink."

Fujin stared at her feet again, hands twisting in her lap. Why was he
here? He'd already hurt her enough. Usually at these times he gave her
space... he knew what she was like... didn't he?

"Speak to me," he eventually ordered, irritably, knowing that with
Fujin that command was usually impossible to follow.

She turned her good eye towards him and raised an eyebrow, reminding
him of Leonhart, which was not a good thing. "... what do you want me
to say?"

I want you to say, 'I need you, Seifer, like I've never needed
anyone else, and I want to give you meaning like when you were a

"I.. don't know. I just..." He cradled his head in his hands, golden
bangs peeping through his fingers. "I'm sorry. For.. for being a
bastard to you."

"Drunk. Didn't mean it." Why was her voice wobbling slightly like this?
It had to be because she'd spent the last couple of weeks with
sleepless nights and biting the insides of her cheeks as tension grew
around them.

The teary edge to her voice did it. Damn it. It was now or never.
Seifer was tired of being screwed around with himself.
"Fujin, I gotta tell you something."

She looked at him, eye fathomless and faintly inquiring.

"An' I'm gonna close my eyes okay? And if you don't like what I say,
get up and go, I'll never mention it again..." Or look you in the eye
"...but if you do like it, stay."

She nodded wordlessly.

The last thing he saw before he closed his eyes was her face. Seifer
imprinted it inside his eyelids, taking one deep breath as the words
tumbled over themselves. "I... Fujin, you know I don't give a damn'
crap for anyone, but it's different with you and I think - no, know
I love you and... I'm a fuckwit, aren't I? You can leave now."
He sagged, cradling his head in his hands.

Seifer listened for the footsteps that would signify Fujin leaving
his dreams.

The tides rolled onto the steps, splashing droplets onto his face
so that he tasted salt on his tongue. Far away, a train came into
the station, the wheels creaking. Voices chattered along the street
through Balamb.

And then, ruthlessly gentle like her voice had never been, "You can
open your eyes now."

Raijin watched the scene with satisfaction.

It was both weird and sweet at the same time to see the boss pull
Fusama down and hold her close - kissing her, Raijin could see quite
clearly - one hand tangling in the girl's hair as the other hand
snaked around her waist. He was dreadfully proud of Seif. He'd handled
Fuu better than he'd feared.

He watched for a little while until the kiss grew a little deeper and
more breathless and he felt like he was intruding on something private
and not for his eyes, so he went back inside the hotel room grinning
happily to himself. Aah... there. Now he wouldn't have to hear Fujin
restlessly tossing in her bed, or Seifer's anguished mumbles in the
still of the night, or the sad, mistreated look both of them got in
their eyes whenever they looked at eachother. Now Seif would have his
old bombast back and maybe Fu'd stop kicking his shins.... nah, that
was too much to hope for. But he was happy now. They were happy.

After all, in a way, they were his family. And even though he'd
have to prudently get out of their way some nights - Rajin hoped they'd
be heading off to go to Deling soon as Seif had promised so that that
situation was easier - and life would run smoothly from now on.

And who knew? Maybe he'd get some babies to play with. He could teach
them to fish.

His lips were intoxicated and felt puffy, like some cells had bubbled
up in a rush and had forgotten to go home. They eventually had to part
from hers so that they could both take a couple of breaths of sweet,
fresh air, but Fujin just rested her head on his shoulder as they got
their quota of oxygen. Seifer just happily waited, dots in front of his
eyes from not breathing enough as he had paid attention to her all too
willing lips.

Fujin's fingers shyly darted up and stroked the line of his cheekbone, her
one eye soft for once, beautiful crimson heat. Seifer took the chance to
gently pull her eyepatch over her head, freeing her face from it's
shadow, firmly introducing her to the morning sunlight. Fujin cringed
slightly, but when his warm lips began tracing the scar, she felt like
she could easily fade away to nothing in his arms.

Questing motions stopped and instead, he held her head in one hand, looking
at her and scanning her with his eyes more deeply than any magic could.
"So beautiful," he murmured eventually. "Why couldn't I see that before,
before.... everything? I'm more blind than you, Fujin."

She laid a finger gently on each eyelid, one after the other. "Two eyes."

"And I wasted them looking at other people... the 'knight' I was," he said
morosely. "Knew I'd gone too far and couldn't pull back, and I didn't
listen to even you, and now I sound like some wussy pansy-boy or
Trepe or somethin'..."

"All over now." Her fingertips gently traced patterns on his neck.

Seifer clasped her hand to his and looked at her desperately. "Don't
leave me again," he ordered, the Almasy equivalent of a beg. "I don't
think I'd go on again, Fuchan..."

This was the promise she would not break, the bandage she could place
on their wounds to heal. "Never."

He let out a warm, strong sigh and absently tucked her eyepatch into
his pocket. "I'd piss myself if you did."

She actually chuckled - a husky, gentle sound, like the wind rustling
leaves - and rubbed his cheek. His skin was soft beneath her touch..
touch, she was touching him, he was hers. "Seifer?"


"Be quiet and kiss me."

Nobody lives happily ever after.

There would still be hurting, and false hopes, and the eventual healing
of wounds, but those are different stories. What is the important thing
is that they endured.

And they were content. And that is the achievement.