Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 8 remains the sole property of Square-Enix.
A/N: This is, in a manner of speaking, an AU fic. Here's what you need to know: Seifer never went to Timber. Thus, he never became the sorceress's knight. So while he still may be a pain in the ass, he was never the enemy and eventually made SeeD. Also, this is a revised edition complete with correct grammar, increased steaminess, and a more developed plot. Enjoy!
Isle of the Crescent Moon
"Last day of the rest of my life -- I wish I would have known because I would have kissed my momma goodbye." - POD
Prologue: Blood in the Water
Scenery flashed by in a horrific green blur. Brown mud and tree bark made the hazy image of brush and leaves appear dirty enough to be real. Yet, had that same foliage not had the startling capacity to grasp and tear at flesh, it would have been easy enough to discount as some sort of illusion. But the physical was strong, and the pain was enough to force Sascha Maurden toward the realization that he was not, in fact, dreaming.
Sascha's lungs heaved, burning and stinging deep down, and his legs pumped.
Fear consumed him. Fear of what he had done. Fear of where this frantic journey might end. As it was, he was running toward the water. It was a desperate hope for salvation. But even as he ran, his pace beginning to lag from exhaustion, he was aware that he might never make it to the shore.
Something moved to his right, rustling in the low-lying trees and bushes. Forest floor crunched under unnatural weight. The laden sound made Sascha's stomach drop violently to his knees.
He leapt over an old, fallen tree, urging himself to go faster. He needed to be better than he'd ever been, to run on instinct and terror. The fibers of his overworked heart strained and pulled hard to pump more blood to his extremities.
Unable to accept the incredible, he continued to struggle with his grasp upon reality. Things like this just didn't happen -- not to people like him.
Branches and thorns bit at him. But he ignored the scratches and the welts because now he was being followed...hunted.
Keep going, he urged himself. It won't go into the water.
He could hear it behind him. It was close, brushing through the trees. With each stride it blew out a hot breath which marked the time of its steady but sluggish pace. It was teasing him, Sascha realized, prolonging the hunt for the pure pleasure.
The ocean came into view between the trees. Bile was stinging the back of Sascha's throat, but the site of the water, sparkling and blue, forced it back down into the empty pit of his turbulent stomach. He was close. So close. Just a few more steps...a few more seconds...and the safety of the water would envelop him. Then he could leave this wretched place and forget that it ever existed.
He took a deep breath, ready to hold it for the plunge.
But it rasped back out with a bubbling, sickening sound as something caught him from behind. For what seemed a long moment, he hanged there, his feet now suspended off the ground and a dark slick forming underneath him.
Sascha struggled feebly. He clawed and writhed, digging his fingers deep into his own flesh as he tried to get free. The beast that had him bellowed and tossed him violently every which way until the pain ripping through him blended with all of his other senses. His screams, the smell of blood and the beast, the blue ocean — all was pain.
He gave one last shove and the teeth and claws that had invaded his body finally released with a sad sucking sound. The ground gave way beneath him and he flew through the air, fell through space, finally landing with a crash in the water.
Plunging beneath the cool surface, his consciousness wobbled.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be. But he was in the water now. He was safe.
It was over.
His eyes cracked open, peering out into the watery blue that was growing cloudy with blood. His blood. He shuddered once, his consciousness finally fleeing into its own private domain, leaving only his broken body to rise up into the crimson veil riding the surface of the waves.