I started playing Final Fantasy VIII again, and it occurred to me that I should at least make an attempt to complete this fic. I still like it, despite that fact that it was written something like four years ago. My writing style has changed a bit. The characterization will likely be a bit off, as well. I would appreciate any criticism you have to offer regarding newer chapters. However, please ignore the glaring plotholes. I don't know why I didn't notice them while I was writing it, but now there isn't a whole lot I can do about them without making changes to older chapters. I will likely never do that.
Anyway, please enjoy, and please review!
"OH GOD! THE CACTAURS!" SELPHIE screamed, her chest heaving. She was hyperventilating again, for the third time in the past five hours. Seifer had been by her side the whole time, faithfully trying to calm her down while interpreting last minute orders for the mechanics from Fisherman's Horizon.
"What about the cactaurs, Selphie? Just calm down, calm down," he said, grabbing her squarely by the shoulders.
"What if they don't explode!" she asked morosely. She looked for all the world that this was the most awful thing that could happen.
Seifer couldn't help but drop his chin to his chest and chuckle. As soon as people began filling into the ornately decorated Quad, Selphie's paranoia skyrocketed, as though she expected another Sorceress War to erupt right in the middle of her Garden Festival.
"Everything. Is. Perfect," he told her firmly. Then, "Say it with me. Everything is perfect."
She calmed down visibly and, chewing thoughtfully on her bottom lip, aceded quietly, "Everything is..."
"Perrrrrfect," Seifer encouraged.
Selphie echoed reluctantly, "...Perfect."
With an emphatic nod, Seifer let go of her shoulders and rose to his full height. "Now are you going to freak out back here or do you want to go enjoy the damn Festival?"
She started to nod when the door to the storage room flew open. Behind it was the lead singer of Ruby Dragon, Prado Wraverly. He pointed an accusatory finger at Seifer, who just stared with a quirked eyebrow.
"Look man, you didn't say nothin' about my ex bein' here!" he exclaimed. He took menacing steps toward Seifer, his jaw clenched tightly and his fist curled into a tight ball at his side. Behind him, Seifer heard Selphie gasp and squeak- the forerunner to another hyperventilating episode.
Stuck between the two, Seifer explained to Prado, "I didn't know she was coming. Some jerk booked them at the same time I booked you."
"Ohmigod!" Selphie exclaimed.
Seifer placed a hand over his eyes and groaned, "Here it comes..."
Prado just blinked as Selphie went on at a speed too quick for him to process. She wrung her hands nervously in front of her and gazed at him with enormous, pleading eyes. Seifer glanced at Prado, and shrugged.
"Whoa, whoa, calm down, little bit," Prado said, holding up a hand. "We're gonna perform and all!"
Hearing this, Selphie stopped talking abruptly. Her eyes widened further, and then she took another deep breath before exclaiming, "Ohhhh thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!" She made a move to glomp the lead singer, but he narrowly dodged her. Shooting Seifer a look of horror, Prado darted out the door and into the backstage area. Selphie made an oblivious attempt to follow, but Seifer grabbed her arm and pulled her back to him.
She stared up and smiled. "Everything is perfect?"
He nodded at her and repeated, "Everything is perfect."
In Seifer's arms, the sound of Persephone's hit song floating in from the Quad, Selphie had to think that maybe everything really was.
SELPHIE STARED AT THE STAGE in quiet disbelief. Confetti from the exploding cactaurs was still floating the ground, and huge lights were swarming all over the tightly packed Quad. Coming from the stage, the combined sounds of Persephone and Ruby Dragon reverberated through the area and seemingly shook the walls.
"Are Janie Pacer and Prado Wraverly making out on stage?" she asked thoughtfully, head tilted slightly to the side.
Beside her, Seifer just chuckled in response. Then he leaned over slightly and, with a crooked grin, asked quietly, "Is it giving you any ideas?"
She turned to him with a sheepish smile and studied her hands. Brokenly, she started, "I... Thank you, for... for keeping from, ya know, freaking out back there. You were right. Everything's perfect. Tee-hee."
He urged her chin upward and smiled down at her.
"You owe me," he declared cockily.
She just bit her lip and stared up at him as he moved closer to her.
"You owe me..." he repeated softly. His eyes were sliding shut, and his hands were on her hips, and she was growing red all over the place, and her heart was pounding like it always did, and--
Pilot Shaden coughed into his hand and merely blinked dumbly at the couple.
"Fuckin' hell..." Seifer groaned, stepping away from Selphie and turning his back to Pilot. Selphie blushed a little and nervously ran a hand through her hair.
"What is it, Pilot?" she asked, fidgeting a bit with the pockets of her jumper.
"Nothing... Nothing, Selphie, I just..." his voice trailed off as he watched Seifer pace a few steps away. Then he returned his gaze to Selphie and continued, "I just wanted to congratulate you. You did a great job."
"Gee, thanks, Pilot!" she replied. Then, she added, "You know I couldn't have done it without you. I appreciate-"
Surprisingly, Pilot interrupted her, "Yeah, yeah... anytime." And, his eyes lingering on Seifer's back, he turned to walk away, waving a hand dismissively.
She stared after him, wondering aloud, "What's eating him-?" The question faded into a yawn, and Selphie abruptly realized that she'd been awake for a long, long time. The stress from the past couple of weeks had finally worn her out.
"We are," came Seifer's reply. He had moved behind her and slid his hands around her waist, hugging her from behind. Seductively, he whispered into her ear, "Let's get out of here."
"But we still have to-"
"It's done, Selphie. You did it. Now, you rest," he said insistently, pulling her backwards with him. "Let me walk you to your dorm."
"You nothing. Come on," he said, kissing her neck in such a way that she really couldn't refuse.
They exited the Quad walking side by side, but the process was a long one. Nearly every person who happened to see the two of them felt it necessary to stop and congratulate Selphie.
"This is the best Garden Festival we've ever had!"
"Selphie – this is amazing!"
"How did you do it?"
"I would've sold my left ovary to see both these bands! I love you!"
When they finally made it out into the hallway, Selphie felt overwhelmed and more exhausted than before. She leaned on him for support.
"I never want to shake another hand again!" she exclaimed dramatically.
Lazily throwing an arm around her, Seifer snickered, "This, coming from the girl who glomps people for gummybears."
The crowd still at the Festival cheered so loudly that they heard it even when they reached her dorm. Glancing thoughtfully in the direction of the Quad, Selphie entered her passcode into the keypad beside her door, which slid open immediately. She started to turn to tell Seifer goodnight, but instead he encouraged her gently into the darkness of her single room. The door slid shut, and Selphie found herself in total darkness, a pair of lips gently brushing her brow.
"Selphie," he murmured quietly, kissing the spot just beneath her ear.
His hands covered her body, touched her in places that sent blood rushing to her cheeks and other areas. The backs of her knees collided with her bed, almost as a warning of what was about to happen. Seifer's lips were pressed to the side of her neck, a place she found particularly sensitive, and his hands were fiddling with the straps of her jumper. Even if Selphie wanted to think, the work his mouth was performing on her neck made it all but impossible.She reached into his coat and fisted her hands in his shirt, pulling him closer to her.
Abruptly, Seifer stopped and held her at arms length. She couldn't see him, but the tone in his voice as he asked, "Are you sure you want this?" suggested that he was barely holding back.
Her heart stopped. Did he really ask if I...? And she said, "Yes," automatically and breathlessly, finally certain that this, that Seifer and the feel of his hands as they explored her body, was the only thing she was sure she wanted at all.
THE NEXT MORNING, SELPHIE WOKE to the harsh sounds of rapid, impatient knocking on her door. The room was still dark, for her curtains had been pulled, but she felt around her bed before sliding off. Seifer stirred as she left him. After a few moments of groping blindly, Selphie found a shirt – probably Seifer's – and threw it over her slender figure.
"Who is it?" she asked in a sing-song voice.
"Ay, it's Zell! C'monnnn, answer the door, will ya!"
She heard Seifer groan. Quietly, she padded over to the door and moved to slide it open manually, half way so that she was partially concealed from her visitor.
Zell stood there.
Zell stood there, in front of a crowd of at least fourteen or fifteen anxious looking students she recognized from around Garden. Blushing furiously and shrinking more fully behind her door, Selphie stammered, "Wh-what's going on?"
"Look, Selphie, last night was the best--" Zell began eagerly.
"What the hell does Chickenwuss want now?" Seifer called crankily from the bed.
Selphie's blush deepened, as everyone standing outside her door seemed to lean in more closely, trying to get a look inside.
"Was that Seifer?" Zell exclaimed loudly. Whispers rose up from the crowd all around him. A couple of girls in the back giggled, but Selphie managed to maintain an ear-to-ear smile.
"Uhm, Zell, what're all you doing here?" she asked in a surprisngly even voice.
"Oh, uhm, right," Zell muttered. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, smiling sheepishly as he explained, "We, erm... we want to join the Garden Festival Committee. For next year."
She blinked. "All of you?"
"Yeah!" Zell exclaimed, pumping his fist into the air. The rest of the crowd nodded enthusiastically.
Hearing this, Selphie completely forgot that Seifer was naked in her bed and that she was wearing his oversized shirt. The door slid open as she let it go and jumped up, squeaking excitedly and punching her fists alternately into the air. "This Garden Festival is gonna be the best everrrr!"
The crowd seemed to agree, as they all rose up in a cheer... and a second later, they all fell completely silent. Selphie stopped hopping up and down long enough to ask, "What's the matter?" They were all staring just over her head.
Seifer had rolled out of bed, and now stood behind her, wrapped only in a sheet.
Her eyes widened painfully. She spun on her heel and slid the door shut quickly, telling the people on the other side, "Next meeting is Monday at 6pm, in the Quad! Be there or be square!"
A lot of laughter came from outside of her dorm, but after a few moments, the sounds subsided and Selphie fell to the grounded, her back to her door. Seifer merely stared at her with a sexy, crooked grin.
"What are you grinning like that for!" she exclaimed.
"Nothing, nothing," he said. "You should've seen your face, is all."
"Seifer! Everyone's going to be talking about us!"
At this, he sniggered, dropping to his knees and crawling to sit beside her.
"And everyone will know! Hyne," she giggled.
He gently grabbed her by the chin. "What's wrong with that?"
She shook her head shortly and smiled warmly at him.
"Nothing... just..." And she started to giggle again.
"What is it?" he asked.
"The look on Zell's face!" she answered between laughs. "No one would have guessed!"
Seifer grinned at her and kissed her on the forehead, whispering, "That's half the fun..."
THE RUMORS FLOATING AROUND BALAMB Garden infuriated Pilot, made him seethe with an anger he could taste in his mouth even after he'd emptied a bottle of liquor. The sight of Seifer, his hands all over Selphie, his lips pressed to hers, burned in the back of his mind. Everytime he thought of it, he felts his fists tighten violently.
This wasn't happening. He wouldn't let it.
She didn't belong with Seifer.
He had to do something.
Yay, review, please. And I really have no idea if I'll be updating this ever again or not.