"Ultimecia's castle... We haven't been here in a while..." Squall commented under his breath

Irvine sighed. "Brings back so many memories..." He attempted to put his arm around Selphie but she quickly took a couple steps away from him. "Dang..."

"I don't like some of the memories I have of this place. Lets just finish our job and get out of here... I hate this place." Quistis hugged herself as she shivered.

"Right. We were sent here to gather any magical items and take them back to Cid and Matron to be studied and maybe used for good." Rinoa re- explained their mission.

"Well lets get the mission underway!", Zell said enthusiastically.

Selphie suggested, "We should go into groups of two so we can cover more ground. And just incase any creature still resides here we'll be with someone else."

Irvine grabbed Selphie's hand and held it up in the air. "I call Selphie!"

Rinoa giggled and grabbed Squall's hand doing the same, "I call Squall!"

Zell shrugged and look to Quistis. "I guess we are partners. Lets get a move on then!"

Everyone went their separate ways. Rinoa and Squall looked around Ultimecia's chamber. It was full of dust and smelled of strong perfumes. Squall began searching desks. "I bet there is something of importance in here somewhere..."

"Yeah. This is her personal chamber. I'll see if I can sense anything with a mystical energy." She closed her eyes and concentrated. She was a sorceress now. Maybe she could sense magical items around her. But of course that was just a guess. She kept her eyes closed and followed her senses. She opened her eyes. She stood infront of a mirror. The border was made of solid gold. She touched the border.

Squall took a book out of the desk. "I found some military plans..." He flipped through the pages. "This book also has a section about all of the beasts in the world. This could come in handy. What have you found, Rinoa?"

"Look at this mirror... Isn't it beautiful." She looked back at Squall as he approached her.

He stood beside her with the book still in his hands. "It is just a mirror..."

"But... I sensed some sort of mystic energy coming from this mirror... Maybe it is coming from something behind the mirror..." She crawled behind it. "There isn't anything back here... Hey... Do you have a lighter or anything?"

He handed her a lighter. "Just to let you know. I have that for emergencies. I don't smoke."

"Good to hear." She replied. "There is something written back here... When you look in this mirror you shall see, one of three worlds before thee... Look even closer and you'll find another self... Look again, another you. It isn't your reflection it belongs to two others. This mirror links the three worlds and maybe more... There is more here but I can't read it." She crawled out from behind it and handed the lighter to Squall who took it back quickly.

"So your a magic detector now... Great. That skill will come in handy... This mirror might come in handy too..." Squall touched his reflection.

Rinoa put a hand on the cool glass also. "I wonder what all of those words meant... Some rhymed some didn't. It must have been written by another sorceress who had no idea what she was doing..."

The two looked at eachother and then back at the mirror as they took their hands away. Rinoa jumped up. Squall stared in silence. Rinoa smiled. "Wow! Look!"

Two others stood in the mirror. They look like Squall and Rinoa a bit but it was easy to see that they were not. Squall's other reflection had extremely spiky light blonde hair and carried a giant sword. Rinoa's reflection had long black hair just like her. Their eyes were the same color. The girl was more casually dresses with black shorts and a simple white tanktop.

"Hmm... Maybe we should see if we could see the third reflection of ourselves..." Squall suggested putting his hand back on the glass.

They both did what they did the first time. They repeated their actions exactly. It worked like a charm. These new reflections looked like they were from the age of castles, dragons, and knights in shining armor. The man had dirty blonde less spiky hair. He had a furry brown tail. The girl looked like some sort of queen. She wore a beautiful white dress and wore a beautiful necklace that had a sparkling charm that looked almost in the shape of a falcon claw.

"She is quite pretty... Look at that dress... I want that dress!" Rinoa jumped up and down happily. She calmed herself after she got a brief chuckle from Squall. "So how do you think this thing works? Is it just for show?"

"Why would an evil sorceress have an item in your chamber just for show?" Squall asked.

Rinoa pondered that for a moment. "She wouldn't... So there must be more to this thing than looking at your different reflections. Hmmm. Maybe there is more on the back. Lets move it away from the wall so I don't have to climb behind it into all of the spider webs."

He nodded and pulled the mirror away from the wall. The both got on one knee and wiped away all of the dust. "There is nothing else here that is decipherable accept... I link all worlds three, just take a step inside of me."

Rinoa quickly got up and stood in front of the mirror. Squall slowly got up and saw her taking a few steps back until her back was against the wall. "You aren't going to try to run into it are you? That's just stupid."

"No it isn't... And, yes, I am going to try to run into the mirror. I betcha I'll be sent to one of the three worlds--whatever they are..." Rinoa started running to the mirror.

Squall jumped in front of her thinking she would just hurt herself. Rinoa crashed into him and he fell back. They both hit the ground with a thud. "Rinoa... Don't you dare try that again..."

They both got up. They were facing the wall so they turned around quickly, thinking they would see the mirror. Instead they were standing face to face with the queen-like woman and the man with the tail. Rinoa and Squall stared at them. They were a bit shorter than they were so they guessed that these people were a bit younger than they were.

"Maybe the mirror is just toying with us..." Squall muttered, not taking his eyes off the monkey person.

Rinoa reached out slowly and touched the girl's cheek. Once she felt the cool flesh she yanked her hand back. "You guys are real!"

The monkey boy crossed his arms about his chest with a grin, "Of course we are real. We aren't any stuffed animals."

The girl bowed, "Greetings. My name is Queen Garnet Til Alexandrios."

Garnet looked to her friend quickly wanting him to do the same. The boy bowed with a sigh. "Hallo... My name would be Zidane Tribal."

Squall shrugged and did the same. "My name is Squall Leonhart..."

Rinoa giggled and did as they had. "Hi. My name is Rinoa Heartily. It is a pleasure to meet you both... A very pleasurful surprise indeed..."

They all cast another glance at eachother. Zidane spoke up, "Are you aware that you came through a wall?"

Squall turned around. He touched the wall. His hand went through. He made sure nobody noticed this. He turned his attention back to the two. "We can't really explain that, for, we really don't know much of it ourselves... Would you be so kind as to forget that minor detail..."

Garnet nodded, "Okay. Hmm... You must be mages from another continent. I guess it was some kind of secret experiment. We promise not to tell a soul."

"Yep. Not a soul." Zidane added.

"Thanks. Umm... Not to be too entirely rude, but could we talk somewhere else... But also, somewhere private. That going through the wall thing kind of made me dizzy and I need to sit down before I fall flat on my face." Rinoa tried her best to talk like royalty, using big important words. She was the daughter of high authority and wondered if that is the way she should be speaking to others.

The queen smiled, "Of course. Using magic is tiring isn't it? Being a summoner myself, I completely understand. But before we go anywhere, you need to change your clothes. That is, if you don't want to make a scene."

She whispered to Squall, "I am going to get to wear a pretty dress! Say yes! Say that we don't want to make a scene! I wanna wear a pretty dress!"

He replied, "And what am I going to wear... What if they fix me up with something stupid...?" Rinoa gave him a puppy dog expression. "Fine..."

Squall said allowed to them, "We certainly do not intend on making a scene... It would be wonderful if you could give us a disguise for our time here... Of course, If it isn't any trouble for you... We also do not intend on starting any trouble with your highness."

Rinoa wondered how he was so good at giving compliments and talking so nicely. It was especially odd because... Well... He's Squall for crying out loud! Zidane motioned. "Just follow me Squall... We'll go and get ya some decent clothes."

"I'm certain that I have a dress that is perfect for you, Miss Rinoa." Garnet giggled at the joyous expression that appeared on Rinoa's face after she had said that. "Haven't you ever worn a dress such as this?" She gesticulated to the dress she was wearing.

"No... I am usually wearing casual clothes. There aren't many occasions when I have to dress up. But... It is like a dream for me to wear a beautiful dress like the one you are wearing your highness." Her eyes sparkled in anticipation.

"You are going to love staying with us then! It'll be fun fitting you with the perfect dress. We'll pick out some nice jewelry too. And please, don't call me your highness. My friends call me Dagger. That is what you can call me." Dagger said all of it as if it were a sleep over and they were going to play dress up or something. Rinoa thought that it was most likely because she didn't get to have much girl time like that.

"Thanks a lot. Dagger. Shall we get started?" She smiled.

Meanwhile Zidane was tearing apart closets trying to find a certain article of clothing for Squall who was just standing there in the corner almost ready to go to sleep. "I swear I put it in this closet! Where did it go?!" He finally found it, it seemed. "Aha. here."

Squall took it and looked at it. It was just a white tank top, black shorts that touched his knees, and a black vest. Zidane threw him a pair of shoes. He ducked just as they were going to hit him in the head. Just black sneakers. "Uh."

"You want something fancy? Look, I am no king or prince. I am a proud member of the theater troupe Tantalus that is also the best band of thieves out there. What you're holding is the perfect thief's outfit. If you don't like it, I'll get you something else." He explained.

Squall showed Zidane his gunblade and forced a smile. "I was just wondering where to put this. And also, where I am supposed to change."

"Oh. Nice sword. Tie it to one of the belt loops or something man. Or I can keep it for you. I suggest you keep it. It makes you look even cooler. All the chicks will pay attention to ya." Zidane grinned. "Me on the other hand, don't need girls because I have my Dagger."

"You treat your weapon like your girl friend? Weird."Squall almost laughed.

"No. That is Garnet's nickname. She used it once as an alias so the people in the town wouldn't realize it was her. But, we all have grown fond of that name. So has she." Zidane explained.

"She is your girlfriend. Well I don't need my gunblade because I have my Rinoa." He felt like sticking out his tongue. "Now where can I change?" He decided to give up the royal talk and act as laid back as the guy before him.

Zidane pointed to the closet. "Sorry. This is all I got."

"Its fine. I am not one for richy stuff anyway." He headed into the closet and quickly changed. He walked out of the closet. "How do I look?"

"Perfect. Just imagine your gal will look when Dagger gives her a dress." He said.



"Beautiful." Squall stood before Rinoa now. It had taken her a while to get ready but now that she was she looked ravishing. She wore a beautiful crystal blue dress. That dragged on the floor. A dark blue bow tied around her waist. Her shoulders were bare. The dress was made of such beautiful material that was no longer found in their world. She wore diamond and silver earring. She wore her usual necklace with his and her ring on it. She had a light blue on and light blue eye shadow.

She ran up to Squall and hugged him. "Squall! This is so great! I feel like a princess. And you are my handsome night!"

He hugged her tightly feeling her bare back. They let go of eachother. Zidane scratched his head. "You two must be from a very far off continent."

"I guess you could say that." Squall replied deciding not to spoil the fun by telling them what really happened and where they were really from. But he promised himself that he would tell these kind people the truth before they left.

A strange creature entered the room. Its large pink tongue flapping around out of its mouth. It was hard to tell if it was a man or a woman. "Time to eat goody goodies! We have guests? Good! They eat my goody good cooking too!" She left as quickly as she came.

Zidane sighed. "That was Quina Quen. You have certainly seen a Qu' before right? You seemed a little scared."

"We don't get out much. We are always working on that spell that got us here. We have never seen one." Squall replied. Rinoa had grabbed his hand when Quina had entered. She had a death grip.

Rinoa just nodded. She wondered if she looked as terrified as she had been. But of course she wasn't as terrified as she had been in the past. Definitely not. So she probably didn't look scared at all. Dagger took Zidane's arm as he held it out to her. "Shall we?"

Rinoa locked arms with Squall and they followed Dagger and Zidane to the dining room. It was a quaint and beautiful place. Not too big, not too small. Perfect. They took their places at the table. Squall told Rinoa that if she got scared she could hold his hand as tightly as possible. He would leave that hand free for her.

They sat for a couple minutes talking. Then Quina entered with a handful of little helper chefs who set the table. The food smelled delicious. A knight in rusted armor sat at the table with a woman at his side. Dagger said, "Steiner, Beatrix, we have some guests today. Isn't it wonderful?"

"Hello. My name is Captain Steiner of the Knights of Pluto," he said.

"And my name is General Beatrix. What be our lovely guests names?" She asked.

"My name is Squall Leonhart. And this is Rinoa Heartily." He decided to introduce them both to save some time.

"It is nice to meet you." Rinoa added.

A little boy sat down at the table. His steepled hat hid his face. "Pardon me, but you look like a married couple. Are you? By the way, I'm Vivi. I'm a black mage."

Rinoa blushed. They were older than some of the others in the room accept Steiner and Beatrix. "No. We aren't." She sighed.

Squall added, "But we are a very close couple. Not ready for marriage though. There is still too much work to be done in Balamb Garden. SeeDs don't have time to get married." He paused. He had said way too much. He had done it on purpose though.

To be continued....