Uprising: The Beast Wars

BY : Resting-Madness
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 865
Disclaimer: I don't make any money from this story. I do not own the fandom or rights of creation of anything involving Final Fantasy VIII and its world. I did make up original characters but eh.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything within the Final Fantasy VIII relm the characters, location, general creation etc. And I don't make money from this- that's just a dream in the sparkles of my eye.

...

She's been running from snakes since yesterday afternoon to early this morning because it dawned on her... she doesn't want to die. Sand would shift on its own beneath her feet whenever she'd found time to rest- just catch her breath- but the drifting sand would have her on the run again. It's funny, all her life she's felt that she'd been running from snakes. People who spoke with forked tongues had lied to her parents, telling them that she would be prayed to and worshipped at the temple shrine. Treated like a Goddess, royalty. And her parents? Oh they would know riches the likes their poor eyes have never seen.

The eighteen year old could see the very strong hesitation in her parents' eyes over giving her up, but she insisted that they take the temples offer. It was the chance of a lifetime! And all she would have had to do is sit around and have people pray to her- too easy!

Too easy indeed. With one shake of the hand from her father with the temple priest she was whisked away. Gone. And where the cash did flow for her parents; that, once tender age, five year old suffered grueling hours of work. Undergoing training to harness and outwardly project her well kept secret abilities of using paramagics. How the temple'd found out she never did figure out. Only she and her parents knew of her secret, but why would they tell?! It didn't make sense! They were the ones to keep it a secret in the first place. Look how long it took her father to even accept the offer at all! They wouldn't suddenly decide to trade her in for money, and it was she who'd made the decision of 'yes' when the offer was presented. They are not to blame. That didn't mean it didn't hurt how things had turned out though.

For years this harsh treatment went on: she'd train, eat a little, and then train some more. The only times that she wasn't being trained was on Sunday, when the people of their small village would come to temple in order to worship her as a great Goddess of Healing. Hn. Goddess indeed. The town's people had no idea of what was going on within those sacred walls; and no matter how pleading her eyes appeared to them, no one saw her suffering. No one- not even her parents who had come to worship her- paid it any mind.

She endured it, though, because the pain and worship had become all she knew after so many years of it. It was when she'd hit eighteen years old that everything changed. One of the ministers tried to have his way with her! She can still, to this day, feel the slither of his snake hands climbing up her legs when he'd climbed into her bed during the night. Abuse of her powers was one thing but her body? How was that justifiable? How was it fair? Pushing him away, she fled. She could go home! She had to see her parents, had to have all this stopped so that she could return to her normal life. And they're strong. Her parents can do it!

She's been away from home for 8 years, but she's still their daughter, and they must still love her. She hasn't seen them in 2 years, when they'd stopped going to temple. But they might have just been busy. They must miss her. They were all so close! There could be a chance that they have seen the plead in her eyes and the guilt has them hiding from her. They have no need to feel guilty though, and she'll assure them of that. Just as soon as she's firmly planted in her mother and father's embrace.

And they'll go away. They'll leave the village and start new lives someplace else. Surely they have enough money by now to no longer need another cent of that dirty temple money. Dirty as it is, it'll come of good use. They can take what they have and get out of this poor town, move to a new place across the ocean. Some exotic island, she's always wanted to see Balamb- the whole world really! Its a wonderful opportunity for all of them

Shoving the door open she was immidiately met with silence. Calling out to them again, she's again met with silence. Where are they? She called again and again and ran throughout the tiny home looking for them. There was no way they couldn't hear her. It was when she'd entered their bedroom that she discovered why they hadn't replied. Her breath left her like a tornado had sucked it out of her body. It couldn't be? Not them... they're the strongest people in the world... her Mother. Her Father. Dead.

The gravity of the scene, the absolute truth of it, smacked her in the face leaving a mark in her soul as dark as the aged blood stain on their mattress. Her skin bristled with red hot anger. Then pain, a great pain that shook her, and took her to their decrepit corpses where she embraced them and cried.

When the tears were through, she felt only one thing needed to be done. Revenge. She wanted revenge! To taste it. To take it. And to make the ones responsible pay! And when she'd returned to that temple she unleashed her full fury on them. She very proudly showed them the power that they so desperately craved to use her for. Their nervous systems weakened, their skin rotted and burned off, their teeth fell out, they released their bowels and bladders. Oh they were not well when she was done with them, and more importantly they were not alive. She saved the worst punishement for the man who had attacked her. She grabbed him by the throat and poisoned him from the neck down leaving him rotted and festered, and sick beyond any repair. And he will live with and feel the incurable pain until- like the others- his skull dissolves and sinks the skin of his awful and ugly face into his chest cavity.

Harsh, swift deaths for all but Aziz Pagoni; he never would have learned his lesson. So while he lives in this unbearable pain he has time to think about it... at least until the poison gets at him.

But that wasn't the end of her problem; 18 years old and sheltered to a life of being walled up in a temple to be used as a magic slave, she had nowhere to go with her parents dead. She didn't know how to take care of herself. She saught out friends and neighbors but they all turned her away- rejected her- and the word FREAK was forever stamped on her soul.

The village knew about her, and whispered. They fed the lies full and made them worse. To them, with no temple walls to bind her powers- which they didn't- she's dangerous and a killer, which had her cast off and sent away to live on her own... to die on her own.

For 4 years she's hid and she's ran. Four years out in the Kashkabald desert in the heat, in the cold of the night. Thirsty, dehydrated, delirious, and encrusted with sand and the elements, she had to add the worst of the problem into the scenario. The hatred. For those 4 years she hated herself, hated her village, hated the temple, and even her mother and father! Running scared for so long, running blind... she'd just given up. Let the sandworms have her. Its what she deserves. And she waited...

But something happened that changed those thoughts,They found her. They picked her up, they brought her into their hidden world, they fed her, they bathed her, they cared for her and nurtured her mental health as well as her gift. But it was different from the temple life because these quiet toned, respectful men in black robes with bleach white heads truly made her feel like a Goddess, but there she learned that she is a Sorceress.

And with her new understanding and her years of pain, she wanted to feed it- rule it. She wanted the world to feel her pain and revenge, as well as her love and affection as a Goddess among her freaks when she turns this world into the monsters they fear and abuse. A world of Guardian Forces, of people born with powers like herself... a world with no humans. And any who oppose... will DIE.

...

You could just feel it in the hot summer air; the way shops in the small town of Balamb seemed to all be on the same wave length as outdoor speakers blast tunes and conversation from a popular radio station, WMZB.106.

Zell and Kait can hear one beachy/pop song after the other, playing from all directions as they cut through the tiny park to sooner reach the diner where they plan on having a good lunch after the day's workout in the field; a blast of north east winds blew the scent of the sea into their faces and up their nostrils, leaving the salty taste on their tongues, but it did little to staunch the two's appetites as their walk turned to a sprint. Exiting the lush green grass they stride across the pavement at top speed.

"I'll bet I can eat ten burgers faster than you!" Kait jabbed over his shoulder to the blond who's a couple steps behind him. Taking in a deep whiff of the blowing summer wind, sea wasn't the only thing he tasted.

There's a mix of grilled fish, crab, a gentle sweetness of fruit from a market on the way past, and grass.

Snickering, Zell hopped over a waist high wall made of river stones and concrete in his path then hurried his pace to meet the younger male's. Not to be outdone by the youth, just because he's gotten up there in the number count doesn't mean it goes for phsyically- or mentally if you ask the others.

"Recharging isn't a race, squirt," And man it felt good to call someone that when you're 5'6"! "We need fuel, not cramps."

"Right, right."

Kait and Zell have been sparring in the field just outside of town. The two pretty much beat on each other until they dropped, and it was now time for some chow. Zell tugged on the bar of glass door allowing the teen in ahead of him he, after six other patrons taking his gesture of kindness for their own, then followed in after him.

"Shit! Look at how packed this place is!" He cranes his neck to see over the sea of hungry people. His blue gaze shifts from hair hue to racial color in disbelief

People of every make, shape, size, color, and gender are all squeezed into the tiny place hoping either for a table, stool, booth, or service in general. Some of the people even seemed to be standing as they eat! Hasn't anyone ever heard of getting a meal to-go?

"Look at the prices." Kait added to Zell's earlier comment. "Seven S-gil for a four Silver snapped meal? It is definitely tourist season again."

"That or the island has cloned everyone who lives on it about eight hundred times." Zell raised his arms over his head to show the unimaginable massiveness of it. "I wonder what red-haired me looks like?"

Grinning, Kait joined in on the mental weed. "I'm gonna find brown hair red streak me and tell him to become a model so I'll have even more money coming in than my cadet salary."

Zell laughed while giving the teen a sympathetic clap on the back.

Making eye contact with the skinny blond male behind the counter, Kait leans past a stool seated child and her Mom calling out their order over the loud murmur of the crowd. "Two salmon burgers and a sweet potato fry, and a garlic fry." After a thought he adds. "To go, please."

"Hey! Apologize, asshole!" Zell snapped at a guy who accidently gut-checked him with his elbow on his way out. Holding his side, he gave the teen a wild glare waiting for his apology.

"Sorry, ooooldman!" Tongue out in defiance, the red haired teen skirted through the crowd and out the door.

"Grandpa? Be lucky I don't hang you from a nail on a train post, you little punk!" He called after the punk, shaking his fist. Snorting bitterly, he says. "Kids these days."

"Hey, I'm a kid-these-days, and your fist shake could use some work." Reminded the sixteen year old, who then turned around when feeling a tap on his shoulder.

Spotting the mother of the little girl he'd leaned over- who's now whining over her boredom while she eats- he smiled at her thinking she wanted to be friendly until he spots the bag with his and Zell's food being handed over.

"Thanks." He says to both the waiter and the mother. Going through the bag, he snaps up some unboxed fries that fell into the bottom of the bag for a quick eat.

"You're one of the good ones." Says Zell when finding room to turn around.

The martial artist- who feels a lot like a sardine right now- grabbed a hold of the hood on Kait's black RUDE windbreaker to tug him along out of the diner. May as well use the tested and approved choo-choo method of escape. Although, with the way he's tugging him, he looks more like a bouncer shoving a kid from a club.

"You were raised by some pretty good dudes- one being myself."

"Uh-huh."

"It's true." He took in a deep breath of air once they got out of the diner and into some fresh air. "Though you could probably do without Seifer's attributes."

"Seifer's really cool," He plunks down on the single bench placed beside the park.

Normally they'd sit on the bench at the docks- being native Balambers and all they like to look at the sea; the bench is usually there for the seamen, but the town's people find it a nice place to have a seat and watch the boats come in, and apparently so do the tourist.

"Why wouldn't I wanna be like him?" He adds as an after thought.

"Yeah, get arrested when being around the 'cool guy' and see if you feel the same way about him." He gave an exagerant shudder.

Seifer had gotten drunk in Deling a year back, and sort of had a pee party on a fire hydrant while saying 'we fuck like dogs, why not pee like them!' Zell had tried to silence and stop anyone from seeing his lover's less-than-savory activity when a cop rolled up. Needless-to-say it was one shitty night. And Seifer's red-rimmed mug shot for indecent exposer will live on in the stars of his personal humiliations.

"Hyne, even the park is full of people." Zell says removing the contents of the bag.

As if on cue a child hurries over to the pair, swaying back and forth timidly- though he's bold enough to come up to them to ask. "Can I have a fry?"

Disbelief clear on his face, Zell scoffs and visually looks around for the kid's mother who should not only be feeding him, but seeing to that he doesn't take candy, or in this case, french fries from strangers.

"Here kid, go nuts." The blond leans the box to the child who greedily snatched away a pinch rather than a single.

Snickering, Kait embelished on his satiated joy by 'mmm'ing' joyously and stomping his feet on the ground. "Is there anything better than sweet potato fries?" He practically rolled his eyes up in his head when the sweet meat of the potato stick went into his mouth, complimented by the crispy salty skin.

The diner always makes them just right.

Answering the rhetorical question as it was his sworn duty to defend his truest love even to this day, Zell says firmly. "Yes, hot dogs! Dummy." He smirks around a bite of perfectly seasoned salmon burger.

His Ma really had it right when she'd picked the chefs to work at the diner. His Dad used his retirement money and bought the place from some young hot shot, who completely fucked it up when he'd owned it. Zell can remember the place. Pizza-Roma. The food was bad, the bathrooms were gross, and for the name of the place, he had yet to see a single pizza! Yes. The fail of that place was for the better. Look at how well it flurished. And his parents are happy and financially set, so he doesn't have to work hard to pay two sets of bills. Life is sweet.

"That's your time, graaandpa." He teased with a nudge. "My gen'" And to emphasize the matter he chomps into several at once. "likes the fries."

"Oh, lame! I'm gonna remember that statement when we spar this weekend." He tugs a fat juicy yellow tomato free, licking off the zesty dressing before eating the slab.

"Mm-mm." Protest the younger male through intone, since he's currently swallowing a mouthful of his own fish burger. "Can't this weekend, Mara's got me."

Kait never calls his mother by her title when they aren't around each other, it's either Mara or Ms. Trejo. Since the kidnapping 7 years ago, the 3 of them have had some serious static, kind of like divorced parents battling to share custody even after the court ruling. Kait kept her safe from his fathers' want for blood because he calmed them down and saw that they understand things from her point of view. But that didn't make the court hearing any less frightening.

The whole situation was pretty intense. The lawyer on her side brought up progress reports from her time in the clinic, her sponsor, the other sponsees. Her psychiatrist. All with nothing but positive things to say. But for every good thing that came from Mara's corner, his fathers' lawyer shot it down with the accuracy of the sharpshooter himself. She's been absent from the boy's life for much too long, there was a chance that she never would have progressed so quickly had she still been with her son, or with help from the fact that she had forgotten that he ever existed; and they got the opinion of a psychiatrist of their own, who with a social worker, showed that Kait would have been removed from care reguardless treatments because they came too late. Damage had already been done, she killed Martin Redfield. And to ensure no harm would come to the child, Miles Redfield would have been put in foster-care.

But, for eight years old the boy was very wise and also very kind; and as earlier stated, he understood the situation from both ends. Mara lost hands down, but privately between the four of them, he very simply and very maturely asked that they share custody; Irvine, having just come into being a father when Kait was 4, though he had been the one to rescue him from that tree and named him, was the easiest to convince. Squall wasn't going to budge, but after having a talk with Laguna and Irvine he changed his angered 'Hell, no!' to a disgruntled 'Fine.'.

And so every six months he would switch homes, and its been going well since. Kait's goal is for her to know him, as Kait, not the dead son she'd lost so many years ago. He isn't that boy, and he never could be. Its probably part of the reason that he's never going to be comfortable with calling her mother, same as she will never be comfortable or even try to call him Kait. But when with her, he does make an effort to try- if only to get the same in return.

"Yeah?" Replied Zell.

"Mm-hmm." Snaking a few of Zell's garlic fries, he looked around the area at the tourent of tourist as they push and shove each other around the park or in lines for the souvenier shop, and all to buy tacky things like glass dolphin keychains, or little tanks filled with baby oil and blue food coloring making it appear as though you've got the rocking ocean in a bottle- there's even a little plastic fish and sea horse inside.

Fishing gear shops are loaded to the brim with people buying things they could get at Fisherman's Horizon for much cheaper than Balamb is selling it at the moment. Although, they all admit that if they weren't locals and used to submarine rides due to missions, the submarine ride with the glass bottom would be really fun- you even get a picnic! Its worth the money... even if its just circling the island.

"Oh... well, its good that you're spending time with her." He honestly thought that the custody shift had stopped when Kait hit his teens, that the boy's leaving was for school purposes. He leaves Balamb for Galbadia at the semester shift.

"Yeah." He balls up the paper bag his fries came in. "Just wish she'd stop calling me Miles." Stuffing the little ball into the larger bag, he then starts back in on his burger.

"Have fun at Galbadia then." Zell gave him a palsy pat on the back.

Smiling wolfishly, Kait kicked his legs out into the air like a child. "You know I will."

"Oh will you." He cocks a fine brow. "Why?"

Not that Zell doesn't like Galbadia; his best friend is from there- Hell- that time they'd gone there to hire Irvine for his services, he found the place to be athletically pleasing. He's always dreamt of Balamb having a better fitness system. Then maybe when the Garden Games are held they'd stand a better than a 40% shot at a victory. Even Trabia has them licked at ice hockey! Well, they are a winter school, so he guessed that made sense. But then Galbadia's got those humaniods- seriously- where'd those guys even come from?

"Leo."

Zell laughed hearing that. The kid could barely get the name out, he's that much in love. He remembered those times- wait, no he doesn't. Seifer was a jerk from day one, and as if life wasn't cruel enough, he had to go and fall for him! How had that happened anyway? A party? Yeah. The second generations graduation party. Seifer finally got back into Garden, had finally made SeeD, and he wanted to celebrate with a show of raw power; and in order to spare some poor little thing from that natural disaster, he offered himself to the beast.

It was strange too, because he'd never thought of himself or Seifer that way. But the 2 stuffed themselves in the empty library and fucked like rabid dogs until the party was over. It was hot, it was a rush, it was done without either party being drunk. And it carried more fireworks than the school produced that night. From there, it was history.

"Well, I'm done." Kait announced. "I need to go home and pack." Dropping the burger wrapper back into the main bag, he stands. "Thanks for the spar, Zell."

"Anytime, kiddo." Leaning his weight on the back of the bench, he slowly eats his lunch and takes in the scenery.

Kait got half way to the tiny market, where he planned to get a can of juice before going home, when he was swiped by best friend Raul. The 2 chat away rapidly before parting with a wave. A dog snapped and barked at a kid who kept pulling its tail. A mother picked up her son, holding him at her hip and soothing his tears over not being allowed a toy he spotted in the window of a store. And to a 3 year old, who speaks toy, he heard it calling 'take me, take me!'

A nice breeze rose up from the sea; a ship's horn goes off in the harbor. It seemed there is a lot of commotion going on over that way. And if you follow the small crowd you'd see that there is an attractive little fish fry going on over there.

"You say you'd like yours wit dat hot spices?"

"Yes, please." Replied the customer to the attractive chef, before breaking into a fit of giggles, unable to believe the gorgeous brunet is speaking to her and grinning like a movie star. Not to mention the handsome blond fisherman beside him is eyeing her through his sunglasses.

Flipping the yellow tail onto the warm grilled tortilla wrap, the chef gives a lemon a squeeze over the simple, but tasty dish. "There you are cutie, enjoy."

She was sure to brush his hand with hers when taking the little paper plate. When the crowd began to thin, the blond leaned back in his fold-out to say. "The hell is with the accent, Kinneas?"

"The crowd expects a heavy island." Irvine says merrily. "I ain't even from around here." He smiled sweetly at the next female customer. They've been getting a lot of ladies to come over since the first teen made her way over.

Seifer scoffed at the reply. "What Balamber do you know who talks like that?"

"How much?" Asks a middle-aged man, balding, and wearing a flower shirt with kahkis. Basic vacation attire. "I need enough for my family." And he looked every bit a father too.

"Three for five S-gil." Replied Irvine in his strange take on a Balamb accent.

"I'll take six." Reaching into his pocket for his wallet; he eyed the fishing ex-knight curiously, but Irvine seemed friendly enough so it must be legit.

It has been going like this for the better part of the day. Irvine saw Seifer down by the peer fishing so he rolled a tiny grill over, a cooler with a couple beers, sodas, and cans of juice over to hang out with him, offering to cook whatever was caught. Couldn't pass that up. And after Irvine hurried home for spices, he also brought with him some fold-out chairs and they had theirselves a nice little snack.

This seemed appealing to a few people who were lined up to eat in a restaurant, and they turned traitor on the place for a bite to eat that would be considerably quicker. And, believing it was a small little independant business, the orders just came flying in. And thank Hyne the fish were starving because the two were milking the masses for things they could have gotten at the same price normally- had it not been for tourist season. They even made lunch for the fishermen.

Grinning, Irvine says in a chipper tone "Heey sexy thing!" to his commited partner who'd just walked up behind the family man; who'd turned rather pale when the comment came bursting from the chef. "Come for some eats?"

"I beg your pardon?" Asks the customer pale and pink at the same time from embarrassment.

Confused by the comment, Irvine removed his sunglasses by resting them atop his head, and the man coul see then that he isn't looking at him but past him, when he gave the man his change.

"What are you two doing?" He leans over the grill to give the phony islander a peck on the lips.

Dropping the accent, he says with his own drawl. "Cleanin' up. Can you believe how hungry everyone on the island is because of the pile up?" Showing off the row of bars, he says with a sharks gleam in his eyes. "We've made five hundred gil, that's two fifty each- can you believe it?! Who knew doing a kindess could be so rewarding." Standing, he gestures for Squall to take his seat, while he crouched down beside him.

"You're stealing." He drops into the chair, fixing himself a taco with salsa and sour cream.

"No we're not. We're feeding hungry people- didn't you hear anything I'd just said?" Defends the sharpshooter, not about to feel like his gain is ill-gotten. "You make it sound like we're picking their pockets as they pass by."

"You may as well be."

"How so? They get something out of it."

"This isn't a real food-stand. So it doesn't make it right." As if he'd just noticed his committed's partner in crime, he nods while offering a very dry. "Seifer."

"Piss-ant." Reeling in the fishing line, Seifer then packs up his tackle box; more than ready to call it a day. Time with Irvine is fine, but all those padestrians? And now sour-puss Leonhart. Yeesh.

"Meanwhile," Irvine says returning to the dropped matter. "Every other business is doin' it. I'm only mad that we haven't thought of it years ago."

"I don't know, spending summers here..." He replied thoughtfully, then thought to himself. "I kind of prefer hanging out in our summer get away home in Winhill.'

Watching his lover's thoughtful expression, Irvine perks up. "We can still go." He loved the prospect of spending another summer fucking and fishing with his husband.

Imari's home became sort of a get away loveshack for the two; it was sorta like a cleansing of Imari's living there. Take away the bad and fill it with some good. They also take their time out there to work on their culinary skills to bring back home with them. Any failures... just have sex for dinner. Its better than continuing on with going through queasy delights as they had when first starting out as cooks. And they had to learn how not just for themselves but because they had a kid to think about, whom they'd of liked to feed more than fish sticks, chicken nuggets, and corn dogs to. And they genuinely wanted some skill under their belts. They successfully can pull of twelve meals between them now.

But fucking, cooking and eating, or fishing isn't the only thing they do out there. The two take chocobo rides out into the lush and dirt trailed fields of Humphrey Archipelago or the moutainous hills of Winhill Bluffs. Its very nice, and very peaceful, and- what the hell are they still doing in Balamb?

"I can be packed within ten minutes." And he cast Squall that sexy cocky smirk of his, being further egged on by the usually stoic male's laughter. "We'll take the next train out," Chomping into a bite of white fish offered to him; in Squall's will that he stop being fresh around company, but Irvine adds with a wink. "I'll carry you if I have to."

"I'll pass on that one. Besides, the girl's are coming out for a beach party so we can't leave until tomorrow." Looking out at the vast blue ocean, he then turns his gaze on his rival. "Have you seen Zell yet?"

"Not since he left the house this morning." Standing at his 6' 3" height he looks down at the seated males. "I was just about to ask you."

"No." He shakes his head. "I was at the gym."

"All the same, I'm going home." He pats Irvine on the shoulder.

"See ya around." He steals the abandoned seat, allowing his long legs to stretch out. Plate of fish tacos on his lap, he takes two bites then paused.

"What?" Squall asks when noticing the sour look on the sharpshooter's face. Taking Irvine's trembling hand, he cocks his head. "You look like hell's hit you."

"I feel like it too... like maybe I ate some bad fish." But he's rubbing his chest.

Cocking a brow, he gives his own plate a scrutenizing look before setting it down beside him on the ground. Let the ants have it. Noticing Irvine's hand is up at his chest, his thoughts swayed to the option of another problem. Could be dehydrated? It is not hot out today; the temperature hasn't gone higher than 74 degrees, but Squall glanced at the sky.

Standing, he reaches into the cooler. "Damn." He thought when seeing nothing but carbonated drinks. "Do you want a bottle of water?" Squall's at Irvine's side touching his clammy forehead briefly, he then rubs his back. 'He could just be overheated, but he's Galbadian, for Hyne's sake. That school is stationed in the hottest places on the planet half the time. They wear sweaters in 98 degree weather!' Maybe that was exagerating a bit, but Squall was sure it had nothing to do with the heat.

"No, I-..." His lurched forward with a pained growl, then as quick as a whip he threw himself back against the chair, and with his face aimed at the sky he let out a scream as loud and as powerful as the rolling waves.

Squall looked perturbed by what he's seeing and hearing, moreso when Irvine's eyes white-over and his open mouth and eyes glowed. It was like he'd been possessed and is now having the demon exorcised from him. The small crowd of people looked on frightened and confused as well, some even took out their phones to call for help on Squall's word.

One even came over. "Can I help?" He asked then yelped when Irvine stopped screaming and let his weight drop.

Squall caught his lover before his limp body before it could fall back out of the seat. "Fuck!" Lifting Irvine from the chair, Squall looks at the man. "Help me get him on my back." He kneels down with his arms lowered behind his back.

Almost afraid to touch the unconscious cook, the short black man helped Squall get Irvine onto his back. "Like this?" He asked unsure; as if there were some other way to get a man onto someone's back.

Not answering the ridiculous question, Squall adjusted the taller male on his back then started away. "Come on, Irvine." He says to the unconscious male.

...

Dr. Hubert wrote a little something on a sheet of paper in a file after checking Irvine's pupil dilation. "It isn't dehydration, or any sort of heat related condition." Turning off the flash light, he stuffs it into his coat's breast pocket. "A bit under weight, but otherwise he's in perfect health."

'Hard to believe that if you'd seen what I did.' Thinks the male, arms crossed. 'I'd better explain it to him again.' Sighing in agitation, he says evenly. "It looked as if he'd had trouble breathing; his eyes went white, they were glowing... even from his mouth." He looked at Irvine, still knocked out on the bed. "He blacked out after, and I brought him here."

"There was something, the slightest blip when I gave him an x-ray. That could have just been from the machine having technical difficulties." But he waved him over to take a look.

Squall nods to show that he understood, and followed the doctor who's getting the x-ray sheet.

"But what had caused it... I can't say." He shrugged. "I'm at a loss."

A groan called their attention to Irvine. He shifts on the bed, putting an arm up over his eyes and raising his knees in order to help him sit up. Moving back to his lover's bed, Squall touches his shoulder.

"Irvine, do you feel all right?" Squall asks in concern.

Groggy, he rubs his eyes. "I feel just fine, but" He touched a hand to his chest. "Siren flew the coop."

"What do you mean?" He snatches the x-ray from the doctor. Looking it over, he notices dark patches, but he knows what they mean.

"I mean our contract has been severed, almost like it was deleted." He rubs his hand up his chest. "Clean ripped away."

"She didn't say anything about leaving?"

"Nothing." Turning his legs outward, he gets out of the bed.

The doctor felt extremely left out of the conversation due to confusion of the subject they're on. Contracts? Sirens? Doesn't make sense to him.

"Don't." He shoved him back toward the bed.

"What? I told you I feel fine."

"You've been unconscious for an hour."

That seemed to hault the male's hasty retreat. It felt like he'd been asleep only 10 minutes, at the most. He shakes his head. "Regardless, I feel fine."

Squall looked to Dr. Hubert who shrugged. How professional.

"I told you that he's in prestine health." Replied the man to Squall's lingering protesting glare. "I'm afraid I don't deal in magics, so you'll have to consult with a specialist concerning that matter."

"Fine. I'll call Dr. Kadowaki to come over and look at you." Finger up under Irvine's nose, he says authoritively. "But you're coming home to rest."

"Yes, dear." Replied the patient, before throwing the doctor a wild glance asking if he's ever seen a bigger worried wart?

The man smiled sympathetically, then went back to his desk to have a seat beside the window-fan with his feet propped up.

Out on the streets, Squall took the opportunity to call the doctor at Balamb Garden so she can give Irvine the once over. If it's magic related she'll know what to do. All the students in Garden get thorough examinations from her when they start using magic and G.F.s. With her Odine x-ray large and portable, she can see any problem effecting the cadets and instructors.

"No," He says to the doctor. "I'm sending him home now. How soon can you get out here?"

"Take your time, doc" Irvine called into the phone. "I'm sure its just a little G.F. master tiff." He shrugs. "Probably shouldn't have had her junctioned anyway; she probably just felt over-worked."

"Why are you junctioned?" He asked as the notion came to him.

It's not unusual to have spells on, but not G.F.s Its a cadet myth that wearing them around will bond you and your Guardian Force together faster, but Irvine isn't a cadet and he knows that it'll only happen through battle experience. So why?

"Incase Seif' and I caught anything that wasn't exactly edible." He kicks a rock with the side of his booted foot.

Glaring, Squall sighs. "You don't have sleep spells?"

"Not a one."

Rolling his eyes, he postured him. "Irvine that's abusive." He stopped walking to cross his arms and give him a disdainful look; but it only got him a apologetic kiss. "You may be right about the over-worked theory." Continuing the walk home, he adds. "I still want Kadowaki to look you over."

"Okay."

Holding his chin in contemplation, he thinks outloud. " shouldn't just rip themselves away from you like that, it could lead to some sort of side effects."

The statement was loaded with malice from the situation of Imari Karver that, to this day, Squall still holds venom towards. Irvine quickly dissolved the charge in the air by joking.

"Hey, if I start acting like a woman you can just lock me up and never look back."

"I'll keep that in mind." Pushing open the front door, he steps inside and looks around for signs of life other than their own. He can hear music playing faintly from the hall, but that could be reverb from the music playing from the speakers in town.

"Kaaait!" Leave it to Irvine to have a direct approach.

Wincing away from the boom, Squall had to look at the man in wonder over how he ever became a sharpshooter, all that waiting around and hiding in quiet stealth- the loner silence- doesn't really fit the longer running upclose and personal Irvine he's come to know. Not to say he's all goofy either, there was that loner side of the marksman that he was made privy of a few missions back, and frankly, thinking about it made him hot. It stirred that preditor in Squall that made him wanna fuck the skin off his lover. Eyes sharpened with need, he wets his lips looking at the male.

"What?!" Kait shouted. "I'm here!"

Buzz kill. Kait's home.

"Alright!" Irvine calls up the stairs while heading for the kitchen.

Squall shook the sexual spell away that came over him. Following after Irvine, he wondered how he'd allowed their son to become a shouter like the sharpshooter. Grabbing him by the strap of his purple tank, he asks. "What are you getting? Will you go lie down?"

"I want some juice." Groans the defeated male making a bee-line towards the stairs. "I'm thirsty and you left everything at the harbor." He complained all the way to their bedroom.

At least Squall thought that he was going into their bedroom, until he heard Irvine talking to Kait.

"When are you heading out?"

"In fifteen." He replied. "Are you sick? You look pale."

"No."

"Yes." He smirked seeing that he'd startled the adolescent adult in the room.

Glancing from Squall to Irvine, the teen asks with concern in his eyes. "You looked fine earlier, what happened?"

"Nothing and I'm fine." He takes the bottle of orange juice from Squall when he was close enough to reach him. "Thank you."

Squall comments to their son. "Siren broke her contract with him."

The teen winced in thought of his own magic struggles. He's not sure what the issue is, he can use G.F.s no problem, but when it comes to casting and drawing... he has a few slip-ups. But he works on it daily- he's wearing Protect right now!

Glancing in his son's duffle, he rolls his eyes. "Kait, put your weapons in your bag. You know I don't like it when you carry them out in the open."

Inwardly groaning, he all but stamped his foot in protest. "They're not 'out in public', I have 'em shealthed. And" To drive his point home. "you guys carry yours in public all the time." Frowning, he unlatched the holster around his waist then dropping the matching Katara-guns into his bag, its zipping it up. "There."

"Better." Patting the boy proudly on the bicep, he takes a seat on the bouncy bed.

Squall hates the 'goodbye' part, never has liked it and never will. So he chose to instead stare around the bedroom while Kait and Irvine laughed away and said their goodbye. They since changed homes from living in the apartment, and instead had a house built for them just outside of town. Its a strange sort of shape from overhead, its shaped like an L. for the main part, but there was a dojo built in the bend of the shape; you can see down into it from the hall window. Right down through the bamboo slatted roof is a room with sand beneath the removeable wooden floor-boards. The walls have special mats against them made by Odine products, they're also used in Garden, and they absorb magic when it's thrown at them. There's a closet inside that houses their weapons, and other wonderful little features that the sharpshooter and gunblade specialist just had to have. Its their marriage house, the place they plan to grow old in together, so it has to be special.

Kait couldn't wait to have a new canvas for a wall, so some artist could leave their mark from his design on it. Watching the boy grow up was also like watching a huge change in character portrayed from these walls and the former walls- restored white now that they've moved. A room that once held birds changed to a jungle, then to surfers that had his face and his favorite surf buddy Zell's face on them with waves crashing all around from that one wall that held the two. Then he got one of a pride of lions- that being Squall's favorite, to the current wall in their new home.

Not your typical teenaged boy's room that would have idols or vixens on the wall, body builders maybe, but more grown-up for sure. And with the way things are going it seemed he'd be sticking with it so long as he lives in the home. Kait joined the academy at fourteen years old and the walls he asked be left white with the exception of the accent wall directly infront of his bed, like a mural of trophy and admiration because it has different styles of intricately painted guns and gunblades there, one half for each weapon, and in the center is a shelf that once held his prized clown and stuffed moomba, Jojo and Samba. Now it holds proudly his beloved weapons: the katara-gunblades.

The model was made when Blaster-Tonfas became popular amongst female students, but much like the gunblade proper cadets found them hard to use and only a select few students have been able to master them. The reason is due to the double-edged nature of them and the use of the kataras when not using the handguns. But with Irvine as his trainer, and his grandfather's best friend Kiros the boy was a master his first year using them. He's currently working on his hand to hand martial arts skills, to co-exist with his official style of Mardani and Salimbam- of which he's superb.

You wanna talk about pride, Squall and Irvine celebrated with their son and the others clean through 2 in the morning; the boy is practically a conjoined triplet with the weapons.

"Bye Little Bird," He squeezed him tightly. "don't get frustrated with the small stuff, alright? Just cast what you feel comfortable with."

"I won't. Bye, Pop." He squeezed him tightly with a smile. No matter the age, the boy is a hugger. "I'll tell the fossils you say 'hey'."

Releasing the teen, he chuckled. "Thanks." Casting Squall a glance, he jiggles his empty bottle of orange juice. "I'm gonna rest now, let me know when the doc gets here."

Squall watched his lover's departure then stood up. "Try not to get into too much trouble with your friends- and non-friends."

"Okay." Gripped into a hug with one arm, he feels some gil slipping into his pocket with the other. "I swear the only trouble I'll be getting into is filtching food." With a wink he adds. "And being so awesome the other cadets wanna beat me up."

Smirking, Squall replied. "It runs in the family. Why do you think I'm stuck with Seifer."

"Yikes. Well, hopefully I won't end up BFFs with that pain in the ass Hyland Strand."

"Yeah."

"I'm going to the station to wait, I'll see you guys in December." Hoisting his duffle over his shoulder, he salutes the male then walks out.

Following him into the hall, he walks towards his bedroom until he hears Kait shouting. "Doctor Kadowaki's heeeeere!" The front door closed directly after.

"So where's the patient?" Asks the brunet woman with skunk lines of grey through her aged hair. Wandering through the living room, she looks around.

"I'm in here!" Irvine called while walking out of the bedroom door. "It's because Siren's gone." He says rather casually considering he'd missed an hour of his day, he's following behind Squall down the stairs.

"Left on her own?" The doctor pulled a device from her bag; a small handheld x-ray with a screen and a medium-sized handle coming from the center. Able to see the G.F.s encryption codes with this device, Kadowaki runs the thing up and down Irvine's chest looking at the little screen to spot the problem. "I see nothing out of the ordinary considering how she left." Her brow rose when spotting a dark smudge almost carved into Irvine's ribs from the sign of Palidor.

Its unusual to see a carving since normal G.F.s just leave the glowing imprint; but since Palidor is an Esper there is still so much about the creature and its found bretheren that the group and researchers know nothing about.

"He passed out from the pain." Squall chimed in. "Said it felt like she was torn out, not that she'd left."

"Has this ever happened before?" Asks the doctor while pressing a button to zoom the camera.

'We wouldn't have called you if this were a normal occurance.' Thinks Squall crossing his arms.

"Don't get cute, Squall." Says the woman with a shaking of her fist. "Marriage has made you more mouthy."

"I didn't say anything." Replied the accussed.

"No. But you were thinking it." Her smile is motherly while at the same time repremanding. To Irvine she asks. "Do you currently have any spells on you?" She removed the machine and placed it back into her bag.

"Some left over Regen."

"Mm." She intoned thoughtfully. "I'm going to need you to cast it, please."

"On myself?"

"Yes."

Raising his hand he chants the words to conjure the spell then cast Regen. The 2 spectators watch the glow shimmer around the male, lighting the room like a christmas decoration would.

"Looked normal." Having seen it all. "How do you feel? Was there any strain?"

Shaking his head, Irvine replied. "'bout the same." Though he kept it to himself that he felt weird casting a replenishing spell on his uninjured body. Its like taking steoroids, or going to gym when you can't fit one more muscle in your body.

"Why do you think Siren would leave?" She asks while packing what little she'd removed for the examination.

"Dunno. I had her junctioned but didn't really use her."

"Mm. I see." She felt Irvine's chest and ribcage for good measure, but he didn't even wince at the sudden intrusion. "Did you try calling her back?"

"Since leaving the hospital, and she's not picking up." He grabs the band of his ponytail thoughtfully. "It's almost like she's vanished from any relm. I even took a life potion for G.F.s, but she didn't come back." With a shrug he adds. "At least she's not dead."

"Really?" She was impressed he'd thought it that far through. Not that she thinks the sharpshooter is simple-minded, but its just not something people bother with when it comes to beings from another world. "That's very strange indeed. Squall, is Shiva giving you any issue?" Kadowaki asked knowing that the icy female is similar to Palidor when it comes to Squall, she may not be junctioned but she's always at his ready.

"Its normal." He replied quickly, not wanting self examination himself.

"Not like a summon to just run off... where could she be?" She wonders.

Irvine sighed, hopeless with the subject he decides to dismiss it. No use worrying and wondering when every question brick walls. "I'll keep trying to contact her. Where could she go after all?"

8 8 8

The Zealots all scramble away from the large machine as it trembles and flashes in its use. The Sorceress, on her throne, watches with held breath. Her men have been working on this machine for years and it seemed that the work was finally going to pay off. The large beam of light began to form into a woman's shape.

Her black painted lips tug up in smirk, practically a spiral when the Summon began to really take form. The long curve of Siren's lithe body, from her toes to that delightful patch of blonde hair at her center, and all the way up to that tri-colored hair of hers.

Siren took a moment to drink it all in, the view she's now seeing compared to the one that only moments ago she's seen are complete opposite. Where she'd once seen miles of blue ocean, beautiful sky, and a drift of people has turned into a walled up, dank, thick darkness or a cave. The patrons and Seifer Almasy, whom she'd once had the pleasure to contract with, instead is a sea of white heads and black or brown robes. And in the center of it all sits a woman. Her eyes and even her posture just as cold and unwelcoming as death in battle. The thing that stuck out to the Guardian Force the most is that she looks like the enemy... A Sorceress.

Her siren's cry rang out in a high tone and a tidal wave of sound washed over all the ears in the room, dropping them almost in a coma to the floor. Everyone but the mad woman at the end of the cave, she only raised her hand to stop the wave as if it were never there. She gasped in shock when the Sorceress stood and approached the machine, her sprite voice screamed and called out for help while she thrashed and spun, trapped inside the machine like a genie in a bottle. Trapped.

"Relax yourself, Siren. You'll soon find that this is Heaven," She spread her arms as if the horrible dark cave had suddenly grown bright and sunny, filled with big puffy clouds and cherubs. "You'll be fighting for a real purpose. You'll never have to serve a human again- in a sense- you'll be free. Free to live in their world; no longer pushed into an astrol relm, no longer hidden away as a back-up plan in battles you don't truly wish to fight."

Snapping her fingers all the fallen men awaken.

"I just need to borrow that voice of yours for a moment." Azena touches the glass. "And if you co-opperate you won't feel a thing. ...Though, no promises." With a careless shrug of the hand, she paces before the tank. "Such is trial and error I'm afraid." Addressing the first man to rush to her side, she says hungrily. "Start the machine."

The Zealot bowed and full-filled his mistress's wishes. Turning on the machine, he instructs her to set her hands down onto a needle poking up from the podium stuck inside a handle bar long enough for room for both hands.

Siren shrieked and screamed sleep and silence spells over the room but her frantic panic soon subsides when the machine begins to work and all her fight and struggle just calmed. Her eyes, once closed in pain, open revealing her whited over pupils. A pod. Ready for command.

"Lovely." Azena's honey voice dripped like acid from her a snakes fang. "Siren? Siren can you hear me?"

The Guardian Force hummed in her lilting voice; her sing-song tone held no life in it. No passion.

"Men," She grunted when her hands remove from the machine.

The pain was instant and powerful, good thing she only used some of her power. It could have killed her otherwise. But the pain is worth the pleasure in the end. Helping his mistress, two Zealots help her back to her seat.

"Prepare the soldiers for Viyanagara. They will be the first to taste the end." Seated, she let her pains rest. "There isn't anyone in this world who will stop my rule."

A man stepped forward, head bowed and he kneels. In a low whisper he tells Azena what he knows.

"SeeD? What on earth is a SeeD that it would pose threat to me?"

Still very softly the man speaks; the Sorceress's curious expression became amused to the point that she'd actually laughed.

"A special force, you say?" She taps her fingers rapidly on the arm of her throne. Cackling madly after a played with thought of such a threat, she shakes her hand to dismiss the idea. "I fear no weapon of man, and no magic can truly hurt me. What is there to fear of a cute, little, insignificant SeeD?" Assured, she sends the Zealot away from her immidiate sight with a brush of her hand. "With Siren's hypnotism and my paramagics- no- not even SeeD can stop me." Standing, no longer feeling the effects she calls out. "Viyanagara is or goal, then we work our way around. If we come across SeeD they will be crushed with the rest of the planet."



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