Disclaimer: I own nothing........except the story

Chapter 4



"The seed has been planted. Soon.... very soon, it shall grow and give forth a new puppet for me to kontrol. Oh, foolish, young sorceress. It all went just as I had planned. If you had known your fate, would you have let it happen? No. I think not. But what does it matter now? The seed has been activated. Now it shall grow."

"What do you mean?" Rinoa asked.

She felt as if she was calling out from the bottom of a well. She could see nothing, feel nothing, smell nothing. The only thing she could hear was this woman speaking to her. And it sounded as if it came from the top of the well.

"I meant what I said," the woman answered. Her voice was low and dark, but strong at the same time. "The seed shall grow. All I needed was for the two of you to be together. Just once would do. Now, it grows."

"Oh my God! Am I pregnant?!"

"Foolish child! Of course not. The seed was in you all along. All it needed was for him to give it what it needed to grow. To love you, just once, and then turn his back on you. Your knight is gone. He chose a different path this time."

"....My knight?"

"Think back, to your old life. You were a sorceress there as well. And he was your knight. He turned his back on everything else to save you. Now, you mean nothing to him."

"No! That isn't true!"

"But it is! Worry not. I shall grant you revenge. But first, the seed must grow. Once it has, I shall take kontrol of you. I shall transfer my soul from this old, worn body I currently possess, and into your young, healthy one. Once this is done, I shall you your revenge."

"I don't want revenge," Rinoa replied softly. "Even if I do mean nothing to him now... I.... I still love him."

"Foolish, young sorceress. You shall kome to see the error in your ways over time. And we shall see how much you love him when he has led an army of SeeDs to your kastle, all with the same mission. To kill you."

"Who are you?"

The woman suddenly burst into wild, evil laughter, "I am the one whom you and the others thought you had kondemed to hell! Now, it is you who shall be kondemed! I still have a chance. This time, I kannot fail."



"I'll be here..."

"Why?"

"The reason you couldn't find me was because we haven't promised yet."

"...Promised?"

"If you come here, you'll find me. I promise."

"Okay! I promise, too! Next time we'll meet for sure!"

(But we won't. You didn't keep your promise.)

Squall, think about this. Where were you when you died? Not in the flower field. It was you that broke the promise. Do you see?

Suddenly, an image of himself, trudging wearily onward through barren desert land, flashed through Squall's head.

Squall, why are you doing this to yourself? She is the most important thing in your life. It took forever to teach you that, yet you've already forgotten the lesson? I guess it's just like you to try and blame someone else for your own faults!

Squall immediately grew defensive. "Who are you? And where do you get off saying things like that about me?! You don't even know me!"

Is that so? I'm afraid I know you very well. But my identity must remain a secret for now. You'll learn soon enough. But it is not important now. For now, just call me Fate.

"How is it that you can speak to me like this? How do you get inside my head?"

That's not important, Squall. What I'm about to tell you is. So listen closely. The world around you isn't real. It is an alternative universe created by Ultimecia.

"How do I get out of it?"

I'm afraid there isn't a way out. Do you remember me talking to you before? While you were sleeping?

"Yeah. I'm sleeping now, right?"

Yes. Now, I said before that you would have to decide. That you would have to choose your path again. Well, now's the time.

"What do you mean, choose my path? What choices do I have?"

Squall. Don't try to act dumb. You know. You just don't want to accept it. Think hard. You know. It's obvious what choices you have. Think about it.

"You mean, I can either report Rinoa to SeeD or not? I've already decided that I wouldn't.

That's not what I meant. You've already made that choice. But there is another choice you can make that would make that one obsolete. Forget about ending up alone, and think about this. If you don't do something, Rinoa WILL die. She's already in danger. She needs you...

"There's nothing I can do. I don't know where she is."

You'll find out soon. But think about it. What will your life be without her?

"Nothing."

Exactly. You need her and she needs you. You love her and she loves you. Can you really just let her go? Even if it does mean being alone?

"No. I can't. I can't let her go."

Good. You know what you have to do then.

"Just one more question."

Yeah?

"When will I get to learn your true identity?"

When the time comes. Not far from now. You won't know me when you first meet me, and I won't know you. But we will meet. As I said before. For now, just think of me as Fate.

"I never thought Fate would have so much attitude."

Oh, now's a wonderful time to develop a sense of humor! Now wake up! You've got to save Rinoa!

At that moment, Squall's eyes snapped open. He had fallen asleep while making his way to the cliff where the message transmitter stood. He got up, and continued his journey, but this time with a renewed purpose.

After he reached the satellite, he inspected it to learn how to work it. He flipped a few switches, pressed a few buttons and entered some information.

Suddenly, a stern face of a female appeared on the visual screen

"Squall? I mean, Commander Leonhart? Where are you?"

"It doesn't matter where I am," he told his former instructer. "I've made a decision that I need to inform you of."

"Really? Well, before you do that, you need to make a report to the headmaster. And also, I need to inform you of this. We have located the sorceress's hide out. We're heading there on the Ragnarok now."

"You what?! How did you find it?!"

"We recieved an aynonomous clue as to her where abouts. So, will you be making

your report to the headmaster now?"

He shook his head, "I'm not making a report."

"You have to. It's protocol."

He shook his head, "Not for me. Not anymore."

"Listen, if you think you're above the rules now just because Headmaster Cid appointed you commander-"

"Dammit, Quistis, SHUT UP! It doesn't apply to me anymore because I'm quitting SeeD!"

"WHAT?! You can't be serious!"

"I am. This'll probably be the last time any of you see me. So... Goodbye."

"But, Squall," Quistis's expression had gone from one of out rage to concern. "What do you mean this'll probably be the last time any of us see you? What's going to happen to you?"

"I really don't know. But I'm gonna take a chance."

"On what?"

He looked at her with a completly emotionless face. "If you want to get to the sorceress, you'll have to get through me, first."

"....You've.....you've become a traitor...." she said in a quiet voice, too shocked to speak any louder.

"No," he answered. "I've become the sorceress's knight."

"Please, Squall," Quistis pleaded. "Don't do this. You have such a bright future. You'll only end up dead this way."

"Maybe so. But I've got to take a chance."

"What did she do to make you like this? Is she... controlling you?"

"No. She didn't do anything to me. I'm just... in love with her."

Quistis's mouth fell open.

"Goodbye, Quistis. Have a nice life."

With that, he shut down the communication line and ran as fast as he could for Rinoa's castle.



Rinoa's eyes fluttered open and quickly shut again. Her head was swimming in darkness and vague pain. She forced her eyes open again, taking in the vivid colors for a moment before getting dizzy and shutting them again.

Her senses slowly returned to her. She realized she was laying down on a soft bed, and there was something, or someone hovering over, and slapping lightly at her face.

She opened her eyes again, slowly this time. They had adjusted better to the brightness of the surrounding room. Now she could she Shiva standing over her, patting her face with some kind of powder.

"Shiva! Thank God! I had the worst dream," she began.

Shiva glared down at her for a moment with black, soulless eyes before going back to her work. It was then that Rinoa realized that this wasn't the Shiva she knew. The Shiva was darker in complexion and dressed in fiery red instead of blue. Rinoa realized that she couldn't feel any coldness coming from her when she was near. Instead, there was a sort of warmth eminating from her.

"...Shiva?"

Shiva didn't look at her again, but continued using some sort of paint on her face.

"Shiva! Please! Stop!"

Suddenly, Shiva began to tremble and jerk slightly. Her lips twitched, as if she was trying to say something. At last she maneged to choke out, "Sorry.... Master.... no... control," in a thin, hoarse voice.

She seemed to spasm for a moment, then that emotionless expression came over her face again and she continued to paint Rinoa's face.

As Rinoa focused more on herself and her surroundings, she realized she was in her own room, laying on her own bed. She was wearing a very revealing black dress. Well, actually it was more of a rag. It had long slits up the sides that went all the way to her hips. A long, ragged piece of cloth was wrapped around her waist, tied and that back, and trailed down her back side to the floor. The top was a thin piece of cloth that was wrapped tightly over her breasts, much in the fashion of a tube top. A piece of cloth was drapped over her shoulders and tucked into her top so that its bottom trailed down her bare stomach in tatters.

All in all, Rinoa felt very exposed in the dress. She didn't like it. And when Shiva had wandered away for a moment to retrieve something, leaving Rinoa free to move her head for the moment, she twisted around and saw her face in the mirror. It was painted with intricate little designs in red and gold paint.

(What's happening to me? Who's doing this?) she thought.

At that moment the door of her room swung open and an oddly familiar woman stepped inside.

(Ultimecia....but how?)

"Well, how is my new body? I trust you like your new atire?" she said. "Well, it doesn't matter if you do. Soon you'll not have an oppinion of your own, anyway. Soon, the change shall come. You shall be ready to harbor my spirit. And even better, those akursed SeeDs shall be here to watch."

"You mean... Squall did lead them here?"

Ultimecia smiled cruelly. "Of course he did," she lied. "How else do you think they came to know of your hiding here? But worry not. I'll not allow them to hurt you. No, I am glad they shall be here. I kan eliminate them all at once, that way and rid myself of those pests."

Ultimecia nodded to Shiva and Siren and the two GFs grabbed Rinoa by each arm and began pulling her outside, toward the garden.

The sky out side was dark gray, and storm clouds seemed to swirl around a center point that was located right above the garden.

In the middle of the garden, a large black stone had risen from the ground. It was flat on top and had formed steped in the back so it could be easily ascended. The two GFs dragged Rinoa to the very top and stood her at the edge, forcing her hands to her sides and her head to look straight forward. Then the GFs backed away and headed back down to the ground.

Rinoa tried to back away from the edge but found that she couldn't. She couldn't move at all. Then, her head was forced to look to the nearby roof where Ultimecia was standing. She realized then that she was not in her own control.

Ultimecia then forced her hands to her stomach and made her press down. If Rinoa's face had been under her own control she would've cringed. There was a hard, rather large lump in the pit of her stomach.

Rinoa was forced to look up at Ultimecia, but control over her face was loossened, allowing her to make facial expressions. Ultemecia laughed at the expression of concern on Rinoa's face.

"You don't remember how it happened, do you? Certainly you remember becoming a sorceress in this lifetime. Even those few years ago, I was plotting this. It was because of me that you got your powers in the first place. Do you remember? You were young, and your parents were dead. Kind Edea took you in and cared for you like a daughter. Then one day, Seifer came and killed her, right in front of you, so her powers transfered to you. It did not happen because Seifer was insane. I told him to do it, and he listened because he was my knight. When you were unconcious, after recieving her powers, I had Seifer place the seed inside you."

Rinoa felt herself take control of her vocal cords again. "What did he do to me?" she asked in a weak, trembling voice.

"Oh, do not look so worried. The seed I speak of is really a stone. It is kalled the Karanokutok stone. Given the right time, place, and activation, it transforms a person. Your former knight activated it. And this is the right place. Soon, it shall be the right time."

There was a deep rumble overhead, and Rinoa was forced to look up. The sky overhead was pulsing a sickening green behind the clouds. She was then forced to look down at her stomach again. The lump was glowing the same color green. It began to pulsate in rythm with the sky, sending the bright green color through the veins of her stomach, which pulsated with the same rythm. With each pulse, the color seemed to spread through her veins more and more. The glowing sould be seen easily through her skin, and gave her a greenish complexion.

Ultimecia grinned, "The time has kome. And so have the SeeDs."

The back door of the front half of the castle burst open and SeeDs began pouring into the garden. They all stopped and stared up at the glowing young woman standing atop the cliff.

Rinoa wanted to cry to them for help, but Ultimecia had reasserted control over her face and vocal cords. She just stood there, motionless. She had never felt more helpless than she did now. Her only comfort was that Squall did not appear to be among the other SeeDs. Perhaps Ultimecia had lied to her.

Suddely, the SeeDs snapped out of their awe and charged forward, meaning to attack Rinoa. None of them seemed to see Ultimecia, as she was still standing on the roof behind them.

Ultimecia's control lessened as she began to concentrate. Gigantic creatures of stone ripped up from the ground and towered over the onrushing SeeDs. They stood on two legs, like a human, but with hunched backs, and large clubs that seemed to be an extension of their arm. They stepped forward heavily, crushing people beneath their oversized feet. They swung their clubs hard, knocking the heads off some and disembowling others.

Rinoa took that split second of freedom to throw back her head and scream, "HELP!!!!!" as loud as she could.

Off somewhere in the mountains, Squall heard the peircing cry and saw the Ragnarok parked in front of the distant castle. He was already running full out for the castle, but he pushed himself he even harder now, if that was even possible.

Then, the ground beneath his feet shook violently, and he stumbled and fell to the ground.

"Defeat me in battle, and I shall join you," came a booming voice from behind him.

He turned to find Griever towering over him, poised for battle. As useful as he knew having Griever on his side would be, there was no time to fight him. He had to get to Rinoa.

"I can't," he replied. "I have a job to do. I have someone to save."

"You shall either fight me, or die!" Griever roared.

"Looks like you could use my help," came a voice from behind Squall.

He turned to see Eden floating up behind him.

"I managed to escape before Ultimecia could control me. Now let's hurry up and do this already! Rinoa needs help!"

Squall nodded then junctioned Eden before heading into battle with Griever.

Griever took the initiative by casting triple on himself and casting three ultima spells on Squall. This left him to weak to stand. He was losing the battle before it even began! He cast triple on himself then cast three curagas, bringing him close to full health. He followed up by summoning Eden, who arrived as quickly as she could. She damaged Griever a lot, but not enough. Squall started to cast aura on himself, when Griever began his Shock Wave Pulsar attack, which left Squall reeling.

Griever started to use his Gravija attack to finish him off when he was suddenly incased in ice. Shiva floated up from behind him with a grim smile on her face.

"Ultimecia's so busy concentrating on Rinoa, now that I was able to escape her control. And it looks like you could use some help. I'm unjunctioned now, so I can fight of my own accord."

Squall took the oppurtunity to cast several curagas on himself, along with an aura.

The ice shattered and Griever aimed his Gravija attck at Shiva instead of Squall. This gave Squall time to prepare for his limit brake.

He ran at Griever with his gunblade drawn and ready. He hit him with several devestating blows, pulling the trigger each time, then performed his deadly Lion Heart attack, finishing him off.

"I shall join you now," Griever said, bowing his head in submission.

Squall injunctioned Eden and junctioned Griever.

"You two go and see if you can't clear out all the SeeDs. I don't need them getting in the way," Squall said to Shiva and Eden. They moved faster than him, so they would get there first.

After giving this order, Squall began running again. His very being seemed to depend on him getting there. He had to save Rinoa, no matter what.

Back at the castle, the remaining SeeDs were attempting to retreat. They stumbled back, overcome by terror and weariness.

On top of the cliff, Rinoa still stood motionless. The glowing green color had spread through her veins completely and seemed to be pulsating faster, then stopped, causing the green color to stay.

Suddenly, Ultimecia's control over her broke as Rinoa was hit by a horrible spasm of pain that began in her head and spread through the rest of her body.

She pitched forward, holding her head in her hands, then threw her head back and let loose a blood curdeling scream. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"

Oddly shaped bones became visible through the skin on her back. They pressed harder and harder angainst the skin until they broke through, revealing themselves as thin, leathery wings. They stretched to their full width behind her. Her blood dripped from them and oozed down her back from the openings they had torn in her skin.

Her eyes began to burn as the pupils expanded, flooding over her warm brown irises. Black horns slowly began to rise from her head and her teeth grew long and sharp, like fangs.

Meanwhile, Shiva and Eden came upon the castle and simultaneously attacked, knocking out the remaining SeeDs and completely destroying Ultimecia's creatures.

Ultimecia managed to tear her intent gaze from the transforming Rinoa long enough to knock out Shiva and Eden before they caused any more damage.

She then turned her attention back to Rinoa to see that the transformation was complete. She was no longer glowing green, but had taken on a dark complexion that went well with her black lips and long, black finger nails.

Ultimecia flew from her spot on the roof and came to stand in front of Rinoa.

"It's time," she said in a low whisper as she smiled cruelly at the trembling Rinoa.

She placed her index and middle fingers on Rinoa's temples and closed her eyes in concentration. A sort of red dust began to rise from Ultimecia's skin and float slowly to Rinoa. Ultimecia opened her mouth and thick liquid-like black smoke slowly began to pour from her mouth.

At that moment, Squall burst through the door, and yelled, "STOP!"

Ultimecia stopped what she was doing and turned to face him. "You again! I'll do with you now as I should have done before!"

She floated down from the cliff where Rinoa stood, terrified, and came to rest a few feet in front of Squall. "Do you think having that pathetic guardian force junctioned is going to save you? Its attack is nothing to me."

While that may have been so, Squall didn't intend to use Griever like a GF. He and Griever were so much alike, that when Squall junctioned him, it was if their souls melded into one, creating a different form of attack entirely.

Squall closed his eyes in concentration and yelled, "Lion's Spirit!"

He fell on his knees then and through his head back. Tiny golden flames began to rise from his skin and grow, until they formed a large, powerful lion. The lion reared back, seperating itself from Squall's body, then leaped at Ultimecia. It absorbed into her body and gave her a sickly yellow glow.

Ultimecia screamed and writhed in agony. It felt as if she was burning from the inside out.

Red dust rose from her body and lifted into the air, causing the wind to whip ferociously around the garden, tearing the fowers apart and sending the petals flying and swirling in the air.

The black, liquid-like smoke poured from Ultimecia's mouth, draining her of life as it left her body and dissolved into the air.

The lion leaped out of her body and bak into Squall's, dissapearing completely. Ultimecia's body fell, limp and lifeless, to the ground and melted into thick, black liquid that sank into the ground.

Squall stood slowly, feeling dizzy. This new attack of his was a rush.

From above him, he heard a faint, trembeling voice call his name.

"Squall?"

He looked up to find Rinoa floating slowly down to him.

"You came to rescue me," she said softly as she landed on the ground and fell into his arms.

He nodded and didn't hesitate to wrap his arms tightly around her and bury his face in her hair, despite her nightmarish appearence.

"Of course I did. I couldn't let Ultimecia do that to you. I finally realized what was important to me," he said quietly.

She hugged him tightly as the petals fell down around them. "I love you, Squall."

"I love you, too. And I wish I had told you when I first wanted to."

"Oh my God! SQUALL!!!! SQUALL!!!! Please wake up!"

Squall lifted his head and looked up toward the sky. "What was that?"

Rinoa gave him a funny look, "What do you mean? I didn't hear anything."

Squall shook his head, thinking it must have been his imagination. He pulled Rinoa closer to him and closed his eyes.

The over powering scent of wild flowers filled Squall's senses. Where did it come from? Rinoa's shampoo?

"Squall! Please! You have to wake up! Please don't leave me!"

Squall opened his eyes just a crack. The only things he could see were bright blurs of color. He closed his eyes again, feeling a flower petal brush against his cheek.

"SQUALL!!! PLEASE! Please don't leave me! I love you! I need you! Please, Squall! Please!"

Suddenly Rinoa released her hold on him and began to back away.

"Rinoa? What's wrong?"

She looked at him, her face strangely emotionless, and pointed up at the sky. He looked up and saw that the sky had gone from dark gray to bright blue. The horizon was ringed with wild flowers, from which the petals rained down.

"Squall! You can't leave me! I need you! You have to wake up! I can't go on without you!"

Squall looked down and saw it was Rinoa screaming now. Only, her face didn't seem to express the desperation that could be heard in her voice. Her face was still emotionless, and her lips mouthed the words slowly, so that the movement lips and the words she spoke didn't match.

"Rinoa, are you okay?" Squall started to ask, but was interrupted as his body gave a sudden jerk. It felt as if an electric jolt had gone through his body, causing him to inhale deeply as he squeezed his eyes shut.

He opened them slightly, still seeing the dark, gray world him. But Rinoa was gone now. He closed his eyes. There was another jolt, another deep breath. Then a blinding white light.

Squall opened his eyes slowly, allowing them to adjust to the bright light. When they were capable of focusing again, he saw Rinoa's face above him. Her eyes were red and blood shot, and her cheeks were glistening from tears.

"Squall. Thank God. I thought I'd lost you for good," she said in a soft voice.

He looked around him and realized he was in the flower field, where they had promised they would meet.

But didn't he die in the desert? How could he be here now? What had happened to the world he was just in.

He realized it didn't matter. He was here now, where he was meant to be. With Rinoa. Even though he was the one that had broken the promise, she was still here with him. She forgave him. Right?

"Rinoa," he began, still laying in the grass. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For breaking the promise. I wasn't where I was supposed to be."

She smiled, tears of joy slowly falling from her eyes. "Squall, it's all right. You just got a little lost is all."

He smiled back at her. "There's something I want to tell. There's no guarantee I'll get the chance to tell you later."

"What?"

"I love you."

More joyous tears spilled out. "I love you, too."

Squall sat up slowly as a thought occured to him. "How did you find me?"

She brushed the hair from his eyes. "You didn't think I was gonna leave you alone did you?"

He wiped the remaining tears from her eyes, "No. Deep down, I always knew that you'd find me. And if you didn't, I'd find you. Because I'm your knight. It's my duty."













A/N: Well, that's the end of that fic....And the beginning of another. Look for it soon. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. Now that this is over, I wanted to ask....... Was it terribly obvious that this was my first fic?