Obviously it's been a while, so this is a little rough.
Just would like you readers (Hi) that I'm not dead and that I'm developing this story. Hence, long chapter, several months work here. Enjoy... if you dare... MWAHAHAHA!
Disclaimers: Kingdom Hearts is not mine, neither is Final Fantasy, but the idea is mine. Booya. I own an idea.
Chapter 11: In Which Psychos Roam
The place was freakin' huge. It was the size of something like a Blitzball arena. One of those giant arenas that could hold several thousand people and several thousands of gallons of water without breaking a metaphorical sweat? Well, this school freakin' competes with it. It could probably beat it. Each one of the three marble buildings was enormous, easily taking up the entire area of my hometown and each had about three or four floors – just like Xion said! Man, I wish she wasn't right – and they all looked like they had like two hundred rooms on each floor. I lean against the fence, feeling a dizzy sort of confusion overtake my poor overtaxed brain.
I feel like I might pass out, actually.
Xion looks over at me and grins. "Oh, you don't have to run all over the campus, Sora. You're a second year like my brother. You get the Oathkeeper Building," She says, flicking a finger in the direction of one of the buildings. "It's where we hold all the electives. The second years get all their classes except gym in there." She tells me with an amused expression, obviously understanding what I was thinking. I shiver but nod at her, looking up at the buildings. From what little I could see on them, there were three separate emblems on the buildings, like a code. One had a five-petal flower thing, the other a black crown, and the final one had a silver crown. So... which was which?
Xion taps my shoulder and points to each of the buildings, quietly naming them all for me in a vaguely disappointed voice. It's almost like she thought I would have known them already... but was surprised that I didn't. She says them for me a couple times before I memorize that the black crown building was Oblivion – not the weirdest name for the third year building, right? – and that the flower one was my building, Oathkeeper. She looks at Kingdom Hall, the smallest building before turning to me.
"You know, I think I can take you all the way to the counselor's, if you want. It's not a problem." She says quietly, turning away from me slightly. As I stare at her, I notice a faint blush on her cheeks, something that immediately makes me want to turn and run.
She liked me.
She suddenly scowls at me, like she was reading my thoughts. "I'm only asking because you're going to get lost, Minami. Don't be full of yourself." She sneers irritably, shaking her head at me. I scowl right back her, making an ugly face that suddenly made her snicker and hide a smile. I scowl even more. That was supposed to make you run... like in, terror, you know?
Before I even notice it, my mouth starts moving on its own. "Well, if I'm going to get lost..." Since when was I this sarcastic? And why am I talking? "You might as well show me the way, oh master Xion." I smirk and she raises an eyebrow, looking at me thoughtfully, like she was trying to figure me out. She smiles and nods.
"Sure... Lord Sora." She says softly, bowing in an abnormally formal way and holding her hand out to me. It looked like a gesture she had practiced a thousand times before, something that she had learned when she was very little. Startled, I automatically take her hand, squeezing it gently like I used to do with my dad when I was little.
"I think we'll be... friends." She says softly, chuckling softly to herself. There's a strange expression on her face, almost like she wants to say something else but instead, she just turns to Kingdom Hall. She nods towards it, pulling me forward a few steps before I understand that she wants me to follow her.
She's a very weird girl, but there's just something... familiar... I shake my head and follow my new best friend.
Counselor's Office, Kingdom Hall
Xion peeks into the office, warily checking it for … I don't know what, but apparently she thinks it's safe. She drops my hand and walks in, slamming her palm on a bell that was on the desk. I look around while she calls out: "VII, VII are you here!"
Seven? The way she was saying it... makes me think of the Roman numeral instead of the number...
I pick up a picture that's on one of the smaller desks, a picture of a group of kids not much older than we are. One of them, a blond guy with a calm scowl, looks so familiar that it makes me laugh nervously. He looks so much like Uncle Cloud, it's kinda spooky. I look closer and notice the giant blade on his back, as well as the girl in black holding his hand beside him.
… It was Cloud.
I look at the rest of the picture, taking in how Uncle Zack was in it too; he was hugging Auntie Aerith around the waist, pulling her in close. From the blush on her face, she wasn't too upset from the position. Those were the limit of who I could recognize though; everyone else was a complete stranger. There's a little girl holding a giant shurikin that was easily bigger than she was, a guy with blood red hair and a baton, a big black guy with... I squint at the picture, realizing that there's a machine gun grafted to his arm. Wow. He must have been real hardcore.
At the very bottom of the picture, there's these two kids who look completely off from the others. Maybe it was because they didn't have weapons, or maybe because they were much younger than the others... or maybe because they didn't belong to the group at all. Even the little girl with the ninja star looked more at ease with the group than they did. The younger one, a guy with red hair and green eyes, glares up at the camera violently, as if he was threatening the photographer with a very painful death or something. He looked like he didn't want to be in the picture at all. I look closer, and notice his hand is in a gesture that would have earned me a week's grounding back on Destiny Island.
I chuckle and look at the other boy curiously. He was completely different from the first boy in that where the redhead was all emotions, this guy was calm. Serene even. He had this weird blue hair that looked spiked, but as if he just woke up like that, too. In the picture, he looks like he was bored, but his blue eyes look... hungry. Like he was starving for something... I shiver violently, gripping the wooden frame slightly. I can tell that whatever he wanted, it wasn't food.
A hand suddenly grips my shoulder, squeezing very hard. I jump, looking up at the coldest pair of golden eyes I have ever seen. The man snatches the picture from my hand, throwing it back carefully on the desk. I blink and suddenly recognize the blue boy from the picture. My jaw drops in shock as he moves away from me, walking over to the desk and beginning to pick up papers.
Xion growls softly beside me, glaring at him angrily.
He notices the look and smirks coldly, glancing at me warily. "Next time, ask before you touch my things... Sora." He says softly, his voice almost pleasantly warning me. I shiver. He... sounded familiar... and it kinda scares me. Like I should know him, but I don't. And trust me, I would have remembered a guy like this. He picks one more piece of paper before tucking them under his arm neatly. He looks to Xion with the most blatant look of disgust I have ever seen any human being give another. And I've been there when Selphie fights with Tidus and Wakka. "Your job is done, XIV. Leave." He says softly, waving his hand at her dismissively as he sits down at the desk. He kicks the other chair, obviously offering it to me.
Xion stiffens, looking like she was struggling not to go over and slap the guy in the face. Her hand curls up into a fist and she looks at me pleadingly but angrily, bowing her head at him for a moment before she marched out, slamming the glass door behind her. The man's gaze turns back to me, and I automatically take my seat in the chair he had offered to me.
He smiles slightly, as if he was pleased or something, and he turns back to his paperwork. He pulls out a sheet of paper, tapping the top of it as he shows it to me. He lays the others on the desk and I quickly see my name on the paper. My transcript glares at me threateningly, and I look up at him in confusion. "You are very lucky to get into this school, Sora, and we... are very lucky to have you. My name is Saïx, and I will gladly help you around, if you wish it." He says formally, making me wince. I think he just called me stupid, but I'm not sure. Was I stupid? Saïx brushes a strand of blue hair out of his face before picking up the transcript again and shoving it into the paper-pile. "Now... your schedule was a little difficult for us to determine. Many of the teachers wanted to have you in their classes." I blink in confusion.
Wait, what? Did I just hear that right? Teachers wanted me in class?!
He smiles at me again, trying to put me at ease. It doesn't work. "But we narrowed it down to a few teachers and made you a nice, easy to follow schedule. I am sure you'll have a few familiar faces to make things a little more comfortable for you. That... girl, Xion, is in some of those classes and so is her brother. They're both... friends of mine." Saïx tells me, rubbing at his eyebrow slightly.
For the first time, I notice the huge X-shaped scar on his face. The jagged end – and I'm not sure how I know this – was caused by a very sharp blade. Immediately, I understand his gesture.
'Don't fuck with me, follow along and everything will go okay for you, boy.'
I straighten up, looking him in the eyes defiantly. I smile brightly at him, trying to hide how my hands were shaking. This guy was nuts. I could see it now, and I have no idea how I missed his nut-ness. His whole body is tense, but somehow relaxed, as if he was completely calm. His eyes flicker all over the place, as if sizing up invisible opponents to fight... or to kill. This was the kind of guy who made a very good serial killer. He also was the kind of guy who never got caught.
"Sora?" Saïx asks curiously, looking at me as he laid his hand on mine in a caring gesture.
A fierce shiver runs down my spine, making the air in the room seem about thirty degrees colder than it actually was. I smile broadly, baring my teeth in a very happy way, despite how I really just wanted to run. Something inside of me, my instincts maybe, was telling me to run and not look back at this guy.
Saïx looks at me knowingly and nods, patting my hand awkwardly. "I see... you must be very nervous about starting a new school, correct?" I nod, willing to do anything to get away from this guy. He smiles sympathetically, chuckling softly under his breath. Somehow, the smile doesn't sit right on his face, like it was fake or something. "Well, I will be here to help you if you need the aid, Sora. Any one of my associates will help you, Sora." I really don't like that emphasis at all. He straightens up a bit, glancing at the top page in his stack. "… Now... the first class of yours is in the Oathkeeper building. Do you know where that is?" I nod again and he looks disappointed for a moment, as if he wanted to help me get there. "I see. Then go right up to the third floor and find Miss Heartilly. She's your instructor for your first class. Off you go."
He gets up, looking like he was about to pull one of those old gentleman things that they help the lady from their chair. There was no way this 'lady' was going to let him touch me again! I spring up, smiling brightly as I snatch the paper from his desk.
Saïx gives me a little wave good bye, as if he was saying good bye to a favorite nephew or maybe even his son. Calmly, I walk out of the office and close the door, resisting the urge to scream that I needed an adult and to call the police.
Instead, I scratch at my cheek, looking at the paper I had taken in confusion. Like Xion had said, most of my classes were in Oathkeeper and... I squint at it, sure that I was reading it wrong. My first class was Advanced Spelling with someone named Heartilly. I sucked at English, so how I got it I have no idea. The next was AP physical education with someone named Leonhart. I had no idea you could get advanced placement gym classes. Was that even possible? To be so physically fit that you needed a harder course? Just how buff did you have to be to get this class? … And why was I in it? The next was a Healing class with a Gainsborough- I pause, eyes widening at Aunt Aerith's name. Wait, what? She was a teacher? Since when?
A low cough comes from behind me and I look at Xion, who was furiously scowling at me. She snatches the paper from my hand and scans it quickly, suddenly looking pleased as she does so. I wave at her, happy to see a familiar face. Anyone would be more welcome after dealing with Stabby McBluehair back there. She smirks and rummages around in her jacket pocket, finally pulling out a crumpled sheet of paper and handing it to me with a thumbs-up.
I take it and slowly begin to grin as I notice she has almost all of the same classes I do, especially the ones for Spelling and PE. I look at her, wondering how she got into all of them and whether or not this was some sort of cool joke. Maybe someone up there liked me?
"First year but very smart," Xion explains with a cheerful grin. "But I think they did that on purpose... Either way... it'll be really cool to have you in my classes, Sora. I think you'll like them." She says softly, chuckling in amusement as we swap papers again. She shoves hers back in her pocket while I look at the room number on mine. It says that Heartilly's room was in the... 308th room. Xion notices my confusion before laughing. "Third floor, eighth room. The numbering's weird here." She clarifies for me, making me slam my hand into my forehead. I could have figured that out. Sheez, what's wrong with you Sora?
'It's not your fault, Sora. You don't know any better.'
I jump at the sudden voice, looking around the hall in shock for the girl. Even a quick looks reveals that there's no one here in the building but me and Xion. Vaguely, I touch my head, wondering if I had just hallucinated. Xion chuckles before squeezing my shoulder comfortingly. From the look in her eyes, she had heard it too.
At first, I can barely hear her voice as she speaks, she was being so quiet. "They say this place is haunted. By a ghost in white. Don't be surprised if you hear voices." She tells me, smiling slightly. I shiver, not liking the idea of being haunted by a girl. Not that a guy ghost would be better, but still. It's doubly creepy to be haunted by a girl, like a supernatural fangirl or something. I pull the blazer a little closer as Xion takes my hand again. Carefully, she begins to lead me out of Kingdom Hall.
She looks over her should as she walks, her blue eyes turning black with a strange emotion I couldn't understand. Despite only knowing me for one day, she walks faster, as if she was trying to protect me from whatever lay in the Hall.
When we got to the room, there was only one person in there, a girl who was writing on the chalkboard. Xion quickly pulls me to a seat in the front, plopping herself down at the desk closest to the teacher's. She grins as I grimace; I never liked sitting in the front. Too many chances for the teacher to figure out you weren't doing what you were supposed to. But either way, I sit down, not wanting to be alone.
It was bad enough I was new, after all.
The girl up front finishes scribbling and steps back a few steps to look at her work. Unable to help it, me and Xion look too, and my jaw nearly drops from how convoluted and complicated the art work was. It looks more like a series of mathematical graphs, but somehow it wasn't. The girl smiles slightly before turning to Xion, chuckling. "You think the new students are going to understand this, Xion?" She asks curiously, suddenly making me jump.
She wasn't a student at all. She was the teacher!
Xion shrugs, but pulls out a piece of paper from somewhere inside of her pocket. She smooths its crumpled surface a little, before she dubs it ready to write on. She starts scribbling down the graphs in surprisingly neat handwriting. I blink at her before pulling my backpack off of my back, opening it up and ripping out a notebook from the cluttered mess inside. I begin to copy the graphs too, not sure what I was doing.
Maybe I was just copying Xion.
The names at the tops of the graphs say 'Base, a-ending, Aga ending, and a-gun ending,' all with different colors: red, blue, and yellow. There's also a green one, but that one is expanded to also say 'Life' at the very bottom. Besides each graph there's a symbol, like there's a group of red flames by the red graph, blue squiggles (… water?) by the blue one and a yellow zigzag by the yellow graph.
Somehow... even as I start copying it all down, it looks familiar. Like I knew this.
But that was impossible. I've never studied anything like this in my life!
Xion taps my arm with her pencil, making me look over at her in confusion. She smiles and chuckles. "You'll do fine. You'll be a natural at this." She informs me in a soft whisper, grinning conspiratorially at me. I nod nervously, not sharing her enthusiasm. I scratch my head in confusion as I finish up the last graph, scribbling down the final doodles from the board and underlining it carefully.
As I do so though, it almost looks like the paper begins to... glow. I jump, staring at it in shock. The flame I had just finished drawing gleams cheerfully at me, as if there really was a tiny little campfire there in my notebook. Staring at it for a moment longer, I look at Xion who was finishing up her own graphs. She notices my helpless stare before looking at my paper. When she sees the glowing drawing, she smiles, flashing me a thumbs-up.
'Good job,' she mouths to me, chuckling quietly to herself before turning back to her notes. There is no amount of words for how confused I am. … I was... supposed to make my paper glow? With fire?
I go back to staring at my glowing little fire, putting my finger against it cautiously. Of course, being paper, it doesn't hurt at all. In fact, it didn't even feel that much warmer than the rest of the paper. You know, the part that wasn't glowing. … Just how did I do that?
A hand claps onto my shoulder and I look up to see the girl... teacher... lady... grinning at me. "Oh, nice job, Sora! I knew you'd be able to handle this class! If glyphs aren't a problem for you, it should be easy to get you caught up." She says happily, looking at my little paper fire in emphasis. I smile at her, too confused to understand what the hell was going on or why she knew my name.
Wait, why did she know my name?
I turn up to look at her but she was already gone, and was back at the chalkboard sketching out some more doodles. I stare at the back of her blue sweater, where a pair of white angel wings were printed on the back.
Who the hell was this lady?
She finishes another set of doodles, this time a series of very complicated designs that almost... I squint, sure that I was seeing a jar with water flowing out of it. How weird. Xion shakes her head. "I really doubt we're going to be learning those," She tells the teacher, flicking her hair out of her face irritably. In fact, she looks a little scared of the drawings. "They're too dangerous for some of these idiots."
The teacher shakes her head. "Xion... While you may be correct, that's no reason to call your classmates that." She scolds, giving me a smile. It's like she's telling me to tell Xion off, or at least to agree with her about not calling the other kids idiots. I laugh nervously, looking away from both of them. I was not going to get involved. Miss Heartilly tucks a strand of black hair behind her ear and looks at the drawings she was making on the board. "Sora, Xion is right about these. They are highly dangerous, and only on here to serve as an example of what we're going to start learning. You are under no condition allowed to replicate these glyphs." She tells me very seriously, giving me a glare as I look at them.
I nod slowly, having no freakin' idea what the heck she was talking about. Looking at the board a little closer, I notice that in the "dangerous" section of the... glyphs... there was a picture of a little pot with a bunch of different designs around it. How the heck was that dangerous?
Either way, it looks like my answer made her happy because she turns right back around and starts her next drawing. I barely even notice her talking until she raises her voice. "These are dangerous, Xion, Sora. You will not use these. I'm purposely modifying some of these designs to make them wrong." The teacher says as she smears a line crookedly on the one she was making. She turns around and flashes me a big grin, her dark eyes crinkling with cheerfulness. "But if you want to get by in this class, you better listen to what I say. Okay?" She says to me, looking at me with a strange emotion on her face.
I nod slowly, unsure of what else to say. I mean, she was... weird. The teacher smiles again, a soft little kind of smile before turning to the door. "Well, here we go." She says as the door slams open and a bunch of kids all run in, everyone shoving each other and laughing and yelling at the top of their lungs.
"Miss Rinoa, you should have seen our study project this summer!"
"How is that fair, Miss Heartilly, look at what he-!"
"You know how much homework you gave us?!"
"Two whole rolls of parchment!"
The noise is just incredible, it seems like there's a thousand and a half students rushing into the classroom – some of them are even banging some large sticks against the walls as they run in – and all of them look like they want to greet Miss Heartilly. She just smiles and waves everyone into a seat, allowing them to go wherever they wanted. When I look over at Xion, she's in the middle of dumping her backpack into a seat.
A little boy dressed in this long blue robe over his uniform – he looked like he should be in elementary school, actually, what was he doing here? – starts to walk up to the seat next to her but she growls. He recoils, notices the backpack in the seat, and promptly runs off to find somewhere else to sit. She blinks before noticing my confused look and then smiles briefly before her face goes back to its blank default. "My brother's in this class, too. He usually sits by me." Xion explains as she leans back and closes her eyes. All of a sudden, she looks very tired and more than a little pissed off.
I just nod and turn my attention back to the teacher, who was in the middle of greeting everyone. While she talks to a girl who was way too hyper and happy to see her, her eyes flicker towards mine and she smiles in a secretive way. I blush, not understanding the look. It looks... familiar somehow. She winks at me and grins as she taps the board with a piece of chalk to emphasize some point to the girl, who claps her hands and eagerly runs to a seat in the second row.
Everyone looks just so damn happy to be in class... it's almost unnatural.
I watch as everyone keeps looking at me, confused expressions on their faces. It's obvious they want to come over and just plain stare at me or talk, but something was making them keep their distance. I glance at Xion, who is still copying the notes from the board on her paper. Her expression is completely blank, so different from the girl I had been walking with, that it's almost spooky. It's like someone just drained the emotions right out of her, like they took out something that was important and didn't give it back. Despite only knowing her for like an hour, I feel worried about her. Was she okay? Did she not feel well?
I start to reach out to her but someone suddenly comes in, running into a chair and sitting down on it even as he struggles not to flip it over from how fast he had been going. "Disciplinary Committee! Watch out, the thugs are coming!" He wheezes out in a weak voice as he looks up at the door in what almost looked like a defiant glare. I stare at Hayner as he slams his head into the desk. He peeks out at me from beneath his arms, no doubt curious on why I was in his class. Either way, Hayner gives me a smile, despite the way he was messing with me on the train. I guess somewhere along the way, he decided he likes me.
The teacher rolls her eyes. "And so it begins." She mutters darkly to herself, though she was loud enough for almost everyone to hear her. As everyone else gazes nervously at the door, I can hear Xion make a loud 'Chhh' sound besides me. Even without looking, I can tell she's pissed off. Call it a friendly instinct. I keep my eyes on the notebook, reading my own notes in wary confusion. It's weird, but I can tell that this is a good tactic for avoiding whoever was going to come into that door in a few seconds. Everyone is either afraid of them... or angry.
I keep redrawing my notes, trying to get that little flame to snuff itself out, but no matter what I do, it keeps glowing like a freakin' traffic light. Heck, when I try it with another pencil, it turns green. There is a heavy atmosphere in the air, like a storm was coming and everyone didn't know whether it was the kind of storm you could ride out in your room... or the kind you had to evacuate.
It was all kind of really stupid.
Then I feel the really, really, really heavy hand on my shoulder. "Rai, do you think he's in my seat? I think he's in my seat." A voice says in amusement as I feel the hand slowly begin to tightens around my shoulder. Oh. Now I get it. I look up cautiously to see three kids, with the youngest looking to be about twelve and the oldest looking like he should be up there with Miss Heartilly teaching. The middle one was the one who had talked and he grins at me when I notice him. "Oh yeah, he's definitely in my seat, Rai." The kid says as he adjusts his beanie over his blond hair.
The big guy holding onto me bends down and looks me right in the eye, and even though he's intimidating as hell, he's smiling at me. "Uh, you're in Seifer's chair, y'know? You might want to get out of it, y'know. Please." Rai informs me politely, or at least as politely as a two hundred pound gorilla of sheer muscle could talk to someone. I look at his giant arms, which could easily benchpress a truck. Yup, I totally get it now. Chuckling nervously, I grin at the big guy and for whatever reason, I shake my head no.
Rai stares at me for a few minutes, obviously confused that I hadn't just leaped out of the way to do his bidding. And really, I'm wondering the same thing. In bigger words, of course I had to be a smartass. Dammit me! Can't you keep your head down? The blond kid immediately glares at me before a slick little smile appeared on his face. He turns to the kid besides him and this is when I realize it's a girl.
The girl blinks once before nodding in agreement. "New guy." She says in a calm voice, pointing at me with the same kind of gesture a normal person would use to show someone a diseased fungus in a rotting corpse. Ouch. Am I that goofy looking? She smiles at me and her one visible red eye glitters in the light. She flicks her bangs out of her face. "Baptism." The girl says after a pause. The two boys let out an amused hoot and the blond kid grins in dark amusement. I stare at her. And I thought I wasn't talkative. Wait... what does that mean? Why do I not like the feeling of this?
Xion jumps out of her seat, marching right up to the blond kid and grabbing his shirt collar. "You touch Sora, Seifer, I'll kill you!" She growls, and for once, a tiny petite fiteen year old is actually the most intimidating creature I had ever seen. And yes, from the savage grin on her face, she is dead serious. I shiver in the big kid's grip and I shake my head as if to say I really had no control over what was going on. The girl nods, obviously understanding my little dilemma.
After all, it's not like I came to school like... 'Oh boy! I'm going to get into major trouble and get screwed over by the town bullies! This'll be fun!' Yeah, not my style.
The blond gets dragged closer to Xion's face as she glares at him, and I swear on everything that is good, she was trying not to punch him. Her hand trembles with the effort even as the kid smiles at her. He puts his hand on her head and ruffles her hair in a mockingly playful way. "Last time I checked, we totally owned you lamers!" He tells her with that stupid grin on his face, and this time I'm the one trying not to deck him. 'Course, it helps that Rai was holding onto me with a hand the size of a trashcan lid. Seifer runs his thumb down Xion's face and tilts her head up to meet his gaze. "You Organization dweebs shouldn't even be talking to me." He informs her in a quiet voice before placing his other hand on her stomach.
I see it in his hand before he actually says the word.
For a moment, I can tell that Xion had no idea what was going on and then her eyes widen in horror. She suddenly gets it, and she knows exactly what was going to happen next. A ball of flames the size of a grapefruit flickers into existence between his fingers, the orange sparks shooting out into the air as he grips my friend's stomach. The shape of his fingers burn into her clothing, setting the green blazer on fire even as Seifer throws her forward. She skids across the floor with the force of both the shove and whatever the hell he just did, and she smacks into a wall, her head letting out a very sickening crack! when she smacks into it. Her clothes are on fire, and she is burning and no one is doing anything. I look at Miss Heartilly but she doesn't move and remains leaning on the chalkboard with a calm expression on her face. Why the hell wasn't she moving?! The flames grow higher, dancing around Xion's body in some sick little dance. I watch as the kid twirls his finger around in the air, as if directing it. And sure enough, it does move with his gestures and it grows hotter, hot enough to make Xion begin to sob in her state of unconsciousness. Then with the same gesture he had been using to conduct it, Seifer's flames suddenly go out and her clothes are left smoking and charred with whatever the hell he did to her.
I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding and I look at the limp body of the girl I had befriended with a numb heart.
Fire. That son of a bitch could summon fire. What the hell kind of school did I just get myself into?