Across the Worlds

Summary: One-shot – As a mercenary that travels through the worlds, Squall is determined to find and capture the thief that has stolen his heart.

Author's Notes: This an AU that really has nothing to do with the plot of Dissidia.

Pairings: Squall/Zidane, Warrior of Light/Garland (hinted), Firion/Tidus (hinted), Onion Knight/Terra (hinted).

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters featured in this story. They all belong to the inventive Square Enix.

Across the Worlds

The worlds were linked through crystal paths.

Only those with a crystal could travel those paths.

World 12695X was called Spira by its inhabitants. It was occupied by five different races and terrorized by a giant whale like creature called Sin. It was ruled over by a restricting and hypocritical religion called Yevon that the people followed blindly.

Squall watched a group of fighters take on a mountain of fiends. There were seven of them in all and they seemed to be fairing well against the enemy. His gray eyes were glued on one fighter in particular that had caught his attention.

Blond hair and bronzed skin glowed in the setting sun as a young man jumped and danced around his opponent. His lithe body moved fluidly with all the ease of a natural warrior. As he charged the fiend, he lifted his liquid blade and brought it down into the monster with a great war cry.

The young man was a vision of sunlight, energy and grace. A soul that lived life to the fullest with no regrets.

A beautiful blond but not his blond. A kindred spirit that shared the same energy and spirit but not quite the same.

It wasn't Him.

He moved on.

He felt the barest touch of a hand grace his jacket pocket. On instinct he reached out and grabbed the hand that had the gall to try and steal from Squall Leonhart. At the same time he turned around to face the thief.

A flash of twinkling blue and a playful smile was all he caught though before the boy managed to twist out of his iron grip, and spun away from him.

"Not bad, pretty boy," the boy jeered, waving his wallet at him between two slender fingers. "But no one can outdo the Great Zidane! Better luck next time!"

Another flash—this time of feathery blond hair—and the boy was bounding off with both his wallet and his heart.


The next word he visited was called Gaia. He called it by its official title: World 1134VII.

It was a dead world with dying people and he couldn't see how it could ever be saved now.

While there, he met a fellow mercenary. His name was Cloud and he had an innocent face just like Him. He also nearly had the same coloring as well. But his blond hair was just a few shades too light and his eyes a bit too dark and jaded to match Him.

Cloud was older than him and tolerable in that he didn't ask too many questions of Squall. All he did was ask him if he had found it yet, and when Squall said "No," all he did was nod in understanding.

"Keep going. You will," was what he said, and then turned back to look out at his decaying city before them. They didn't talk much after that though Squall wanted to. He wanted to ask if Cloud had found what he was looking for. He wanted to know if he still had it now. But he was afraid of what answer he might get so he stayed silent.

Around his neck his crystal burned against his heart; silently telling him that He wasn't there. It was the sign that it was time to move on to the next world.

So he went on.

He had never been good dealing with love before.

And maybe that's why it was so easy for him to fall in love.

World 000012I had no title gifted to it by its inhabitants. It was a simple world with simple morals and simple people.

At least, that's what Squall thought at first.

He should've known by now nothing was ever simple.

While wandering through the unnamed world, he came across two warriors engaged in battle. One seemed to be born from the light itself; he was just too noble and pure a man to have been born from a mortal. By contrast, the man's opponent seemed to have crawled out of the darkness. His shadowy appearance and menacing aura could not be mistaken as anything else but pure evil.

As he watched them fight though he realized that it wasn't really a battle. Instead, it was more of a friendly dance between two old friends who knew each other better than they knew themselves.

Light and darkness. No matter how much they fought, they needed each other in order to exist. They were one another's reason for living.

Just like He was his reason for living.

So Squall left that world behind too and went on.

The crystals selected their carriers. The carriers were called mercenaries, and in turn used them to search through the different worlds.

What they searched for was often debated, but it was known that once they found it the crystals left them behind permanently.

No one knew though why the crystals went to their carriers in the first place, or when it was time to move onto a new carrier.

No one, that is, except the carriers themselves.

When Squall entered the World 76689IV, he found himself tangled up in a battle between two brothers.

The younger and friendlier one was named Cecil. When Squall first met him he found himself comparing the young man to the moon. From his liquid silver hair to his violet-blue eyes, he was as stunning as the full moon on a clear, cloudless night.

His brother, Golbez, was also a lot like the moon but in a different way. He was like the dark side of moon; cold, unknown and undecipherable, but at the same time just as stunning.

What the two brothers were fighting over he never did find out, but he did know that it had been going on for years. Cecil was finally getting sick of it and wanted to make peace with his brother, but Golbez refused.

"I think he's afraid that if we stop fighting, then he'll lose the bond we share," Cecil explained to him one night as they sat at a table eating together. "Fighting each other is all we've ever known. Without it, we may lose the bond we share now."

Squall thought that was stupid and told his newest companion so. When Cecil asked him why he thought that, he pointed out that they already shared a deeper bond than battles. They shared blood.

Cecil stared at him in amazement before rushing out to find his brother.

He never did find out what happened between the two brothers. He left that world the next day.

He wasn't in that world, so what reason did Squall have to stay?

He left his world, his life, his girl all behind for a stranger. A stranger he met for ten seconds before He disappeared from his life.

It was insane. It was stupid. It was completely against his character.

But it was his destiny, so how could he avoid it?

In World 46990II Squall met a man named Firion.

Firion was like him. Not in appearance or personality wise, but in that he had the same mission. He was searching for a young man he had fallen in love with.

"I don't know his name or what world he's from. All I know is his smile," he explained, playing with one of the beads on his bandanna. "It was like the sun. He was like the sun. I fell in love with him the moment he smiled at me."

For some reason, hearing those words reminded him of the boy he saw months before. A boy who reminded him of Him. A boy who glowed and thrived just like the sun.

"I met a boy like that once," he told his new companion. When Firion looked at him with hopeful violet eye, he found himself continuing, "I don't know his name but he reminded me of the sun too. The world he was in was World 12695X."

Firion crossed his arms over his chest as he considered his words. "Really? Then perhaps I will pay a visit to it. Thanks for the info, Squall."

Shortly after that, Firion left that world behind.

Squall knew in his gut that was the last time they would ever meet.

Terra was a lovely young woman who reminded Squall of a butterfly. She was innocent and so delicate that it seemed like a strong wind could simply blow her over. Her companion, Onion Knight, was her exact opposite. He was bold and strong and impressive and was going to be one hell of a man when he grew up.

The world they were in was called the Floating Continent. Squall preferred to call it World 43327III. He found it easier to remember it that way because it always put a distance between him and the world he was in. That way it was easier to leave it behind when he had to eventually move on.

It was a nice world, he reflected later. The people were pleasant and the world was peaceful. It was the kind of place that you could spend the rest of your days in; relaxed and lazy and content with life.

Terra and Onion Knight certainly enjoyed it. They went on walks, visited distant towns, and spent the days training and the nights in libraries. They were so perfect together and they liked having Squall around.

It was a nice world, he thought one evening. The kind of world he wouldn't mind settling down in. But it wasn't His world. He wasn't there.

So eventually, he left that world behind too.

World 73891V had no name. Squall didn't care because he was too busy trying to stay alive. The world was in the middle of a war and Squall couldn't leave it until he searched it completely.

A few months went by and then one day he met a young man was named Bartz. He was nothing special or particularly interesting. He had a free spirit and happy personality. He was cute and charming and a lot like Him, but he wasn't Him and in the end that was all that mattered.

But then one day, one particular day that was just like any other day, Bartz said something that changed everything.

"Zidane? I know him. He's in World 34612IX. It's his home world," he said to Squall so casually like it was nothing.

Squall wondered how he could sound so calm and simple over something so big and meaningful. He had finally found Him. Something so important was not meant to be so simple.

"If ya want to see him, then you should get out of here as soon as possible," Bartz advised, actually looking serious for once. "The war is getting so out of hand that they're talking about closing the world up. You should leave before they do or else you'll be stuck here with the rest of us."

Squall took his advice.

He was gone that night.

World 34612IX. Zidane's world.

Squall spent the first few days there getting used to the strange world before he finally began his search. The months dragged by in a cycle of searching and resting until finally… he found Him.

He spotted Him first. He was standing with a group of people he didn't bother looking at, and simply made his way over to Him. He didn't stop to think about what he was going to say to Him, or how he was going to explain what he was even doing there.

All he could think about was getting to Him. Getting to Zidane.

Around his neck, his crystal gave off a warm throb of joy.

"Zidane," he called when he was close enough, and when He stopped talking to look at him he nearly froze right then and there.

Wispy blond hair that fell into sparkling blue eyes and a cocky smile. Zidane's image was a perfect reflection to the one in his memory.

"Yeah? Can I help ya?" He asked Squall, his blue, blue eyes darting up and down the brunet's body. Then he frowned and titled his head in consideration. "Hey, don't I know you from some… where. Oh."

Zidane recognized him. He remembered him.

Squall felt a thrill run down his spine.

"I believe you have something of mine," he said monotonously.

"Ahh, yeah, right. Your, um, wall—"

"No," he interrupted Him. "Not my wallet. My heart."

Zidane stared at him uncomprehendingly. "Huh?"

He leaned forward slightly so that their faces were now only inches apart. At that distance, he could count the freckles scattered across Zidane's nose and cheeks.

"You stole my heart with one simple smile. I think it's only fair that you repay me with something of equal value," he explained softly.

Zidane's eyes grew wider and his face redder, and Squall couldn't stop himself from bridging the gap between their lips. Zidane remained frozen for ten seconds before he finally gave in and melted into the kiss.

Around his neck, his crystal gave a content thrum of heat before disappearing for good.

Squall didn't care. He had already found what he was looking for.

The carriers knew why the crystals existed. They were there to help the carriers find their soul mates.

Because not even the universe could stop the power of love.