Congratulations must go to Lady Illyna and her latest fic - I must
admit that it kick-started my writing muse, and thus I applaud her
by generally stealing her scene. It's your fault. You inspired
me too much Keep writing or I'll get out my patented Writing
Whip. Everyone go read 'Watching', okay?


Seifer Almasy stared morosely into the night at the top of the roof of
the ballroom. Life was fucked, everything was fucked, hell, he
was fucked - what kind of pathetic loser got rejected from SeeD and
someone like Zell Dincht got in place in their stead?

He didn't hate Squall for getting in. He knew Squall. Like the back
of his gunblade.

Maybe he would have preferred it otherwise.

Seifer took care to stay away from the dip in the ceiling so he
didn't step in the skylight. Not that anyone would entirely care
if he stepped through and went crashing to the ground below.


Well, mostly everyone.

Seifer turned around, looking directly at his silver-haired Posse
member. "What do you want, Fujin?" he asked, only slightly regretting
the harshness of his voice.

She approached, unfazed. "ALONE," she stated. "COMPANY?"

"Don't need company," he muttered, but he was either too pathetic
or too sad to really enforce it and slumped onto his knees. Fujin
sat beside him, looking carefully down at the dancers and bright lights
below in the ballroom.

They sat in companionable silence for a while.

"Guess I failed again," he mentioned after a while, trying to keep
his voice light but hating the bitterness that edged in. "Guess
SeeD's got a phobia about fuckers who get things done, huh?"

"AFFIRMATIVE," Fujin said solemnly.

"Shit, Fuu, just talk to me for a change." Don't let me
keep on talkin' on my own. I'm scarin' myself.

She looked at him, and then looked away again. Something in his voice,
a note of pleading, must have struck her, because she after a while
she lowered her voice. "You deserved to get in a long time ago.
Better than all of them."

Ah, the voice of reason, crushed velvet and the echo of the wind.
"Flatterer. Where's Raijin?"

"Bed. He tired himself out." Oddly, she gave a little, humourless
chuckle. "He's been talking... nineteen to the dozen today."

Seifer nodded, and glanced down through the glass, eyes quick and

"Looking for someone?"

"Rinoa," he said absently. "I told her to come here for Cid tonight.
She's probably looking for me."

Fujin nodded crisply, looking down at the pattern of dancers again.
"Probably wanted a dance, too. She's that kind of girl. Not like you,
Fuu, huh?" The comment was meant for a joke, but he didn't notice it
falling flatter than a pancake. He stood up, brushing himself off.
"Damn it all if I've forgotten how to dance, though."

She looked at him with pity in her eyes, and he knew that he was
rambling pathetically.

"Remember how we all learnt?" he continued, rushing headlong into his
private hell, helpless. "Twelve, weren't we?"

"Now this is the first thing needed in a social situation,"
Instructor Gabriel said crisply. "Everyone, pick a partner - "

The area cleared in all of three seconds and Seifer ended up staring
at the last person in the room...

"Can't remember who the hell I first danced with. Do you?"

Fujin stood, then shook her head mutely.

The music ended, then struck up a different song.

An almost manic look came into his eyes, and Seifer felt almost giddy.
Nothing left to lose now, was there? Welcome to the land of 'Nobody
Gives a Damn'.

He grabbed Fujin's hands almost absently and pulled her towards him.
She gave out a surprise cry and stumbled as he placed her hands in
all the right places, her hands awkwardly being guided by his as a
hot blush spread over her face. Seifer ignored her embarrassment;
I know Fuu hates stuff like this, but she can humour me for one
damn moment.

The muted strains of the orchestra filled the area, and almost
tenderly for him, Seifer Almasy began to twirl Fujin around the small
area before the skylight. She fell into step subtly, following
his lead, and the steps were so ingrained inside his head that he
barely missed one -

And then a flash of white caught his eye as he stopped by the
skylight and he stared.

A pair of dancers caught his eye in the crowd and his jaw clenched
involuntarily; angel Rinoa, beautiful, white-clad, shallow, dancing
Rinoa was clasped in a bemused Squall Leonhart's arms as they
finished up the dance. She was so beautiful that he could have
felt his heart break, had it not broken a few seconds earlier.

"Always the tallest man around, eh, Rinoa?" he whispered softly,
somehow unsurprised.

Fujin craned her head around and he was suddenly startled a little by the
closeness of her, how docilely she'd submitted to him. Sometimes
he forgot she was a woman, but the girl who was all hard angles
seemed to be awfully soft in his arms, his chin brushing her hair -

The room cleared in all of three seconds and Seifer ended up staring
at the last person in the room; a small, delicate, pale thing, eyes
staring crimson out of a silver mop of hair, arms folded in
desperate defense - and he gladly partnered her.

He pushed her away but the feeling was mutual, as both stumbled back
out of the void of somewhere they hadn't gone before. Somewhere Seifer
couldn't go, for fear of falling further into darkness and bringing
everyone with him -

Fujin stared at him, her look unreadable, before making a silent
exit down the ladder from the roof. His heart was in too much turmoil
to take much notice.

He turned back to the dancefloor and watched Squall and Rinoa
come close together. For a moment he thought they saw him, but they
were only admiring the fireworks being shot behind the building;
then Rinoa broke away, leaving a dejected Squall behind her on the
dance floor.

Know how it feels now, Squall?

Seifer turned away and shook his head to clear it, before tracing
Fujin's steps and slowly making his way back to the Disciplinary
Room. If Quistis had more the sense than he suspected, she might
notice that he was gone.