Painful Memories

BY : xanvega
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 480
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VIII, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Just the Final Fantasy-Only Until Tomorrow - ff8

"Every one is going to be there, why won't you just tag along?" Selphie pleaded with the tattooed boy. It was a losing battle and everyone could see it. Ever since the mission ended a few months ago, Zell went into a depressing funk. Every one he Ghe Garden knew about the girl Zell was crushing on had no interest in him and the way it was affecting him. He shook his head, seeing all the couples made it worse on him. Irvine and Selphie, Squall and Rinoa, and just added to the ranks of couples was Quistis and Seifer. He blinked and pushed past the group, he felt the deep sorrow filling him. As soon as he left the quad, he broke out in a dead sprint. Seifer looked at his younger brother as he pushed past. "Seifer, has he told you what is wrong? I mean now that you two are getting along I thought he might open up to you," Selphie asked the taller blond.

"He still doesn't talk to me. Actually he hasn't been talking to anyone. He has been neglecting his training and just moping around. He reminds me a lot of Squall in his behavior." Squall gave him the bird and Seifer smiled a little but wondered about Zell. He knew that Zell had been having nightmares every night about killing Ultimaceia but didn't understand why. "Ever since you guys forgave me and the others, he has been stand offish, more reminding me of myself. It's like.... we traded personas."

"Do you think it is because we accepted you and he is angry about it?" Irvine pondered, taking his hat from Selphie and put it back on his head. He looked around the small group. He noted Rajin and Fujin were missing from this meeting. He shook his head, ever since he found out the two were a couple and not related, it made since as to why they were inseparable.

"That's not it Irv, he was the first one to ask me to come back. He said he never hated me, just wanted me to approve of him and I was always too harsh on him. It happened when he saw Marie, the pig-tailed librarian kissing Josh... some local fisher-boy. Zell lost it and more less gave up. He doesn't go to class or anywhere. He just writes long letters to a girl he met long ago..... except he doesn't have her address." Seifer slumped down and Quistis kissed his cheek. "We need to find some thing to make him happier. Without him, this place is dead." Everyone agreed and started planning what they would do.

He ran blindly down the hall, it wasn't allowed but he swore if anyone stopped him he would break their face. The smell of hot dogs was in the air but it sickened him. All he wanted to do is get away from everyone and everything. Unlocking his door to his dorm room, he threw himself on to his bed. On the table beside the bed was a photo frame, Zell looked over at the stunning red head in the photograph, he felt so happy as he stared at her. He slapped at the tear that threatened to fall. Those days he knew her were long ago and it was only for a few days but he missed her. Back then he never spiked up his hair or he didn't even have the tattoo. He picked up the photo and held it to his chest as if it was her. His breathing was choked as he fought the pain and tears. All he ever seemed to love was always taken from him without warning. He fingered the chain around his neck, remembering her clasping it around his neck before the giant man took her away. He stared at the picture, her golden eyes and careless smile looked so alive and real. He closed his eyes and remembered how she screamed in the darkness as she awoke from a nightmare. He remembered the scent of her desert wind hair and her mountain spring bathed skin when he held her to his chest. The feeling of her silken hair in his fingers returned to his mind. "Alexandra.... I need you back in my arms tonight." His eyes closed slowly as his sadness led to tiredness.

year ago in the summer.....

"Yeah Ma, I am doing great.... no really I just wanted to hear your voice. I am so homesick..... heh.... I know......I haven't seen anyone I know yet...... yeah..... just a few more weeks.... okay... tell Pop I miss him. Okay.. see you both then... love you too Ma ... Bye." He hung up the phone and groaned, why had he lied? Summer camp sucked every year... there was no girls... no friends..... nothing great. There was just Seifer and the other students that pick on him for being so short or dorky. He took a breath and figured he could tough it out a little longer. He looked at where Seifer was and heard loud voices and wandered over to closer. He caught a glimpse of two girls sparring. "Wha? Girls at our camp?" He watched them carefully, one had short silvery hair and very fair skin, almost white and a patch over her left eye. The other girl had long dark red hair pulled back in multiple braids and golden tanned skin. They matched each other blow for blow, punch for punch, kick for kick. It was like it was perfectly choreographed with each dodge and block in place. Zell turned to one guy, "What is going on here? We never had girls here before."

"How am I to know but aren't they hot! Girls duking it out for our pleasure. We are so lucky to...." Be the the guy could finish, the silver haired one punched at the red head and missed, bashing the guy in the mouth very hard. Zell caught the wink the girls gave each other and he saw the missed hit was intentional. The red head motioned she was done but the silver haired girl didn't see the motion. A swift kick to the shorter girl's ribs took her down and she looked up at her bewildered friend.
"Fuu.... I said stop!....uhhh....." the red head winced and Zell walked to her and offered her a hand up. She slapped his hand away, ashamed of falling in front of all the boys. Zell looked at the other girl as she grabbed her stuff and pushed through the crowd, dragging a tall muscular guy along with her and Seifer walking with them. The red head got to her feet and took off her sparring gloves and packed them away and put the bag on her shoulder. She squeezed through the crowd and Zell lost sight of her in the tangle of campers. She leaned on a tree and gasped, her ribs were hurting her badly. She walked up to the cabin she was assigned. She and Fujin had practiced that fight a million times and the fact she got distracted was why she was in such pain. And that boy.... what nerve after what his friend said about her and Fuu. She sat for a moment to warm in the sun. Soon a shadow fell over her and she looked up to a pair of gentle blue eyes.

"Hey... you okay? I bet that kick took a lot out of you... you motioned to stop but you were both distracted. Can I carry your stuff to your cabin or wherever?" Zell asked softly, he knew what defeat was like and that look in her eyes was the humiliation of a stupid loss. She nodded a little to him and he took the heavy pack from beside her. "Whoa.... what do you have in here? Books and weights?" He peeked in and he was right, there was some clothes but it was packed to the brim with books and weights for her ankles and wrists. She pointed up to the cabin and stood up.

"Take it up there.... that is where I am staying... What's your name, kid?" She was about the same height as him, maybe an inch shorter. She started up the stairs, having trouble as she held her ribs. "The reason I am asking ya that is because I need a chaperone... a guy that will help me around here and keep the idiots from getting too close. If you are up to the job, I can pay you for your services. Call me Alex." She looked at him and smiled a little as she took out the key to the door. Unlocking it, she went in and held the door for him to come in.

"Um.... I am Zell.... nice meeting you Alex. Wow... you have this place to yourself?" He looked at the nearly empty cabin and shivered a little. Matresses rolled up on the bed frames had as much dust on them as did the floor. Footprints led to one bed that was unrolled and had a pillow and blanket on it. He set the bag down beside that bed and looked at the girl as she sat down and was examining the growing bruise on her ribs. He knelt and looked at the bruise as well. "I think you need to have the nurse examine that, it looks bad. I will be your friend... or chaparone as you called it." He gave her one of his best smiled and was rewarded with her giggling. He stood up and pulled her up on his back. "Let's get you to the nurse, she will fix you right up." He walked outside with Alex on his back, he felt weird about having his hands locked under her bottom to keep the stress of her weight pulling on her ribs. He walked to the nurses station with a faint blush on his cheeks, out of the corner of his eyes he noticed the other guys watching him and he felt proud. He had a cute girl with him and even if she didn't like him the way he wanted, she was with him for the summer. He wondered how he would tell his mom about her and what she might have to say about her. He set Alex on the examination table and told them that he would be back in about an hour for the girl. He walked back to the cabin and got to work.

"Excuse me... has it been an hour yet? I am... so bored," she asked the nurse for the sixth time, she swung her feet to the ticking of her watch. Zell ran in out of breath and smiled sheepishly for being late. She got up and smiled to the nurse, "Thanks Doc, I will remember to take it easy from now on... and if Fuu or Raja come looking for me... tell them I went up to my cabin and I am fine." She then turned to Zell, "So... are you going to carry my heavy load again or want me to walk." She giggled, Zell was at a loss of words. He didn't think she was heavy in the least and didn't mind packing her around, it kinda made him feel needed and like she was his girlfriend.

"Well... I mean.... you aren't heavy but... if... I really mean.... " he stammered as she laughed, the more he struggled with the right words, the more he blushed. She put her hands on his shoulders from behind and hopped onto his back. He nodded understanding that she wanted to be carried. The nurse was fighting the laughter from the lost look on Zell's face. "Well thanks for fixing her up, I was worried when I saw the bruises.... Ahhh.... we best go." Waving bye he walked out of the building and locked his hands together so Alex could sit on his hands like a chair. "So.... should we go to the cabin... or are you hungry.... we can go wherever you want." She thrust her wrist in front of his eyes as she looked at the watch.

"Well I am not hungry yet... but I am a little sleepy from the painkillers.... can you drop me off at the cabin and you can go and eat something," She whispered, her breath against his ear nearly made him shiver. She had such a pretty voice that reminded him of the wind on the desert. He carried her up the stairs to the cabin and opened the door. "Oh wow.... how did it get clean in here?" She hopped off his back, the floors was swept and dust on the other beds was gone. Her books were unpacked and everything was put away and in order. On the desk by her bed was a hand picked bouquet of wild flowers. She looked back at Zell who smiled and ran back down the stairs. She blushed to herself and smelled the flowers. 'hehehe he is so adorable..... and sweet.' She lied back on the bed and crossed her ankles as she stared at the ceiling. She closed her eyes and started to breathe deeper, resting a little.

Zell was headed toward the mess hall when he saw Seifer and the pair from earlier. Seifer walked toward Zell, "So little bro, I guess you got shot down, we saw how Alex didn't want your help up. I should have stuck around a little longer and approached her myself but Fujin and Rajin needed me to help them around." The taller boy smirked down at Zell. It was hard to believe they were from the same gene pool. Where Zell was sweet and thoughtful, Seifer was rude and brash. "So where are you going, crybaby?" He pushed Zell in the shoulder but the boy didn't budge.

"Alex told me to go and get something to eat then I was going to go see her again. The kick Fujin made hurt her a little so she is resting. Now if you will excuse me, Seifer... I am going to get some supper. Nice meeting you Fujin... Rajin." He walked past them, smiling inwardly about how he held his temper. He heard Rajin telling Fujin that they should go and see if Alex was really okay. He figured that she would be fine and he would be right back to hang out with her. He watched as Seifer ran up to the cottage and then walked to the mess hall to buy himself a hot dog. to take back up to the cabin.

"Come on Alex..... you can't be serious. You aren't going to let my brother of all people replace me, are you?" Seifer sat on the bed beside her. She turned away wincing as she laid on her bruised ribs. "Awww.... Alex, I didn't know you were hurt or I would have made sure to take care of you. I never would lie to you or hurt you and you know that." When she didn't answer, he punched the bed and grabbed the wild flower bouquet. "Did he give you these? Are you breaking up with me for my stupid brother?" Alex sat up and grabbed at the flowers but Seifer threw them on the floor and crushed them under his boot. Alex stood and smacked Seifer hard across the face, her hand print glowing on his smooth cheek as she glared at him. Fujin pulled Alex away from Seifer and Rajin pushed Seifer away from the angry girl.
"Seif.... Leave her alone. You abandoned her, ya know? You are way harsh on her, you knew she was hurt bad and you walked off, ya know." Rajin tried to reason with him but the stormy blue eyes showed no interest in what was said. "She is never gonna forgive you for this one, ya know."

Seifer started toward Alex but Fujin shook her head and narrowed her good eye. "Leave Xan alone, you hurt her feelings." She hugged her crying friend close and looked at the door, Zell was standing there. He had heard the whole argument and seen the slap. Fujin smiled barely to Alex and got up. "SEIFER, RAJIN, LET'S GO." She pushed the two toward the door, Seifer lunged at Zell but Rajin restrained him and pulled him out. Zell shook his head and walked to where Alex sat crying into her arms. He wrapped an arm around her and she hugged to him as she cried. He just rocked her gently, murmuring it will be okay.
"He is so stupid.... he thinks he can just...... make me fall in love with him again.... after he never wrote... he never called me.... he is so stupid I hate him.... I hate him, Zelly.... I never want to see Seifer again,"she whimpered and started to hiccup badly. Zell laughed a little as he hugged her closer. He letted her cry and beat on his chest.

"Shhh... it's okay, I will get you more flowers if that is what is bothering you," he whispered half seriously. The statement made her stop crying and start to laugh. she leaned back away from him and dried her eyes with the back of her hands. He was rewarded with a sweet smile that lit all the way to her pretty golden eyes. "Did you get any sleep or did they bother you?" He laughed a little more as she fought her hiccups.

"I didn't sleep but.....hic... I am okay. Let's.... hic....... get something to eat... hic. Stupid hic... hiccups." She looked under her bed and pulled out her sandals and fastened them. She leaned over and kissed Zell's cheek and ran to the door. He stared at her as the sunlight silhouetted her in the doorway. Her jean shorts were held up by suspenders and her camouflage top shown off her trim tummy. She turned to him and motioned to come with her. He stood up and walked to her after tossing the ruined flowers in the trash. "Let's get something to ...hic.... eat." She covered her mouth when she hiccuped embarrassed. He smiled and wished he was going out with her, she was unlike any of the other girls he ever knew. He took her key and locked up the cabin for her and she smiled as she took the key back, sliding it on to her necklace.

"So.... shall we go to the Mess Hall? That is where we eat.... probably won't like any of the food there but it's edible," he joked with her as they walked down the stairs. She laughed a little as they walked. "This camp is really nice; fresh air, cool lake..... lots of trees and plants." He noticed her looking at him and he hung his head a little in shyness. "I love the woods, it lets me think but my luck Seifer will follow me and torment me. He is always so mean to me and I don't get it. Sometimes I think it is because of the fact I was adopted into a loving family and he wasn't. I feel bad about it at times."

"You had no control over that. So... Seifer is you older brother? That's hard for me to believe. You are so different than him, he never picked me flowers, not even when we were dating. He didn't even acknowledged the fact I was his girlfriend until just now. It was very awkward for me when people asked about him. Now I can tell people he was a creep. I guess it was better I learned now than when he was kissing some other girl. So... Zell.... tell me about your girlfriend. I bet she is super pretty and extremely lucky," she paused seeing Zell blush darkly. "What... what is it? I mean look at you, you are the cuter of the two and a million times sweeter."

" I never had a girlfriend before. Most of the girls think I am a nerd because I rather study than go out and party or do sports. I like to hover board, read and..... play my saxophone." he studied Alex's expression and saw she was genuinely interested in what he had to say. "I have had a few crushes but no girls like me. I have tried everything, I doubt even when I become a SeeD women will want me. I will always be dorky Zell Michael Dincht." He slumped against a tree and stared at the ground. "I have never even been kissed." She walked to him and brushed his bangs out of his face. He looked into her eyes that sparkled. She smiled a little and moved closer, her eyes closing a little. He closed his eyes as well, their lips touching gently. He touched her cheek lightly before she pulled back.

"There... you been kissed," she giggled as she shoved her hands into her back pockets and walked toward the Mess Hall, leaving Zell stunned and the other boys staring at him in amazement. He chased after her as the guys whispered about what they saw. Seifer frowned seeing his ex-girlfriend kissing his younger brother. Alex was ordering her supper when Zell caught up with her. "Two chili dogs, smothered in onions and cheese please," she blushed and smiled to Zell. "and.. two hotdogs the works.." She handed the wrapped hotdogs to Zell and took hers. "I smelled what you had and figured you may be still a little hungry. Plus.... I figured I owe you." She went out to under a tree and sat down and unwrapped her supper. Zell sat in front of her as he unwrapped the hot dogs. He took a bite and smiled at her as she ate her messy chili dogs.

"Thank you so much.... I love hot dogs. Uhmmmm... about that kiss..." He set down the hot dog he was eating and looked at Alex who was blushing, her cheeks as red as her hair. She really looked so beautiful in a natural way. He scooted closer to her as she hunted for her napkin. He handed her one and their hands touched, she yanked the napkin away and wiped her mouth. He kept thinking of the way her lips felt on his and the way her eyes looked right before the kiss. She stared at the napkin in her hands.

"We are friends and I couldn't let you go unkissed. It would be unfair to you. I forgot to discuss the fact you get payed for protecting me. You will get.." Her words stopped when his lips touched her's again in the softest manner. She closed her eyes slowly and kept them closed after the kiss ended. She felt odd, she was used to kissing guys as part of a dare. She had to admit she loved kissing Zell the first time but this last kiss opened something in her. She feared opening her eyes too soon and his hand rested on her cheek, his thumb caressing her silken skin.

"If you must pay me.... pay me in kisses. Alex... Please open your eyes and look at me..." he tilted her face toward his as her eyes opened. "If you want, you can use me as payback on my brother.... I don't care if you really like me..... I just would want to pretend to be your boyfriend if that is all you want." He stared into her eyes, he didn't know what he wanted her to do or say. She pulled away and stood up, leaving her supper on the ground as she looked down at him. He stood up too and took hold of her hands. "I just want to be around you and I swear Alex... I swear no one will ever hurt you. I will let no one ever hurt you on my life." He saw in her eyes the look of a scared woman and it frightened him a little to see that look. He didn't care who heard him or who would challenge him to a fight.

"I.. I .... I want to get out of here.... Let's just walk somewhere, my stomach hurts," she muttered softly and led him toward the woods. She glanced at him, he looked so vulnerable and delicate. She wrapped an arm around him and rested her head against his shoulder. "Zelly... I don't want anything to happen to you. We really are friends and you are the only person that I know other than Fuu and Raja. Do you ever have nightmares?" She looked into his blue eyes.

"Yeah.. sometimes of a dark place and a woman screaming for me. I run and I see her on the ground dead. I wake up when I see a GF standing over her and he turns to me," he whispered. He never told anyone about the dream, not even his best friend Squall. "I wake up freaking out badly because.... I feel like she is important to me." He caressed her hair, they were out of anyone's vision and he felt free to hold her close to him. "Why did you ask me? I never expected to tell anyone about it. You are all shaky.... here." He let go of her and took off his shirt and helped her into it. He hugged her close and found himself eye to eye with her.

"Thank you... I just... I have been having weird dreams of a GF and a man. The man is screaming for me to make the GF stop but I am powerless to stop anything." She snuggled into the shirt and rested her forehead on his. "The man was handsome and very brave. What I remember the most is his tattoo.... When I heard your voice, I thought it was you." Zell was taken aback by her words, he stared into her golden eyes in surprise. She moved her head to his shoulder, "Tonight.... I am scared to sleep in the cabin alone... I wish you could be there with me." She rose her eyes to the sky and saw it darkening. She moved away from him and shyly looked at the ground. "I have to get back to my cabin now." Zell nodded and walked her back to the cabin.

"Alex.... will you be fine? I mean... until tomorrow? I am worried some one.... or something is going to happen and come tomorrow, you will be gone." He leaned in to kiss her but was stopped by her hand on his chest. She shared his worried look and shook her head. Wishing him goodnight, she locked the door. He rested his head on the door and bit his lip. "Hyne.... protect her tonight. I fear I love her." He ran to the cabin he was bunked in and lied down. He closed his eyes and slipped into a beautiful dream.

dream

"Zelly!" He turned as the flame haired girl flew into his arms, he stared down into the molten gold eyes accented by a tattoo. He traced his fingers over the tattoo and it glowed like faerie dust. He smiled softly and kissed her soft lips gently. A harsh voice interrupted their kiss and Zell hid the girl behind him.

"Don't worry my Sorceress... I will not let anyone hurt you. Seifer, you can't touch Alexandra. She chose me to be her knight." He balled his hands into fists and the metal knuckled shimmered. Seifer stood there looking weak and puny, more like a ugly child with a feather as a weapon. Zell laughed and punched the kid in the mouth, the blow vaporizing the boy and Zell turned to Alex. She now stood in Sorceress clothes that was pretty revealing. Her hair now was pitch black. In her hands, she held beautifully shaped katals and she was performing a mesmerizing kata that is normally done with fans. He watched her as her ebony hair floated around her. He walked to her and pressed his lips to hers, making her drop the weapons. He scooped her up into his arms and walked toward a run-down castle and entered. A loud sound filled his ears.

world

"Whoa! Did you hear that?"

"What was that noise?"

Zell heard the other boys talking about the thunderous noise that woke them all. Zell looked outside, a thunderstorm was raging in the early morning light. He pulled his shoes on and ran out toward Alex's cabin. The rain pelted down and got worse the closer he got to the cabin, his eyes caught a silhouette of Alex on the roof as the lightening flashed. "Alex!" She didn't seem to hear him as she scrambled across the roof. The lightening revealed a second form that was approaching her. The man looked at Zell and took off. Alex jumped off the roof and ran to Zell, crying into his skin.

"I am scared... please don't leave me tonight," she begged as he led her back into the cabin. The room was a disaster, graffiti ruined the walls and some of the mattresses were torn apart. Zell led her back to her bed and had her lie down. He knelt and brushed her hair away from her eyes as he coaxed her back to sleep. As soon as her breathing slowed, he started to clean up the mess. The words on the wall upset him, clearly someone didn't want her at this camp. He scrubbed the wall until the writing came off.
'Damn Seifer... if he is the one that did this, I swear I will kill him. She didn't do a thing to him.' He remembered the dream and smiled happily. He pulled a bed against hers and laced his fingers with hers. "I can't believe I found a girl like you... you are so amazing." He continued to whisper all night to her, watching her smile. He laughed softly as he remembered in part of his dream her having black hair and another part where she had the coolest tattoo. "I think I want a tattoo like that." He traced the lines where the tattoo would have been on Alex's sleeping face. He slowly closed his eyes, drifting back to sleep. The morning he woke to the slight shuffling of her feet on the wooden floor. He looked at her as she shadow boxed in slow motion, the early morning sun trapping her in it's warm gold rays. He watched her without making a sound, her eyes closed as she looked to be dancing across the empty room. The sunlight filtered in and gave the room a magical quality before she turned and looked at him. The spell was broken as she walked to him and sat at his side.

"Good morning, Zell. Umm.. thank you for staying with me. I was kinda scared the guy would be back for me." As she talked to him, he took her hand in his and smiled softly to her. She giggled and blushed softly, looking at their hands and their fingers laced together. She stared at the hands, caught in a daydream when his other hand lifted her face to his. Their lips barely touched before she pulled away and stood up. "I... It's time to get breakfast. Let's go..." Alex stammered, pulling her jacket on. Zell sighed, he didn't want to mess things up with her, he really liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend. He got up and walked with her to the Mess Hall in silence. He couldn't take his eyes off of her, the dark circles under her eyes shown her tiredness. He had her hop on to his back. It was as good of an excuse to hold her as any. She nuzzled her head into his shoulder and yawned. He trudged on to the Mess Hall and let her down gently. She ordered a bowl of cereal and an orange, Zell got the same thing and then went to sit beside her.

"Why is it you shut me out? Please... Alex, can't you trust me yet?" He looked at her as she poured the milk into her cereal and she shook her head. "What is it? I am not going to judge you, I get judged so much I wouldn't do that to you." She still wouldn't answer and he punched the table, his knuckles cracking from the blow. Alex looked at him as her eyes were full of pain. "Please, just tell me why you don't love me." He watched her get up and her mutter to follow him. He followed her as she walked into a bunch of trees and turned. "Now can you tell me?"

She walked to him, her eyes locked on his as she drew near. He opened his arms as she hugged him, her face buried into his neck. He wrapped his arms around her, feeling her sobs softly into him. "Zell, I am scared to let you close to me... after all that I been through I don't want you to be hurt by me. Just let me pretend to love you and then forget me... Forget about me when this is all over. If you come looking for me, you will never find me." She kept whispering on and on about not to look for her and not to really love her. They more she cried though... the more he wanted to heal her pain. He could only think that he has to protect her and love her. He lifts her tear streaked face and kissed her. No matter how she tried to pull away he wouldn't let her, he was going to prove he loved her. His hands held the back of her head and his body pressed her hard against the trunk of a tree. The primal burning in him grew when she finally gave into the kiss, instead of her biting and clawing, her tongue met his and her arms wrapped around his waist. He slowly broke the kiss and stared into her eyes.

"I don't give a shit if you want me or not. I am in love with you. I need you. I will not live with out you. I know you can't love me but I am not going to just throw you off. I would rather die than that," he growled as his eyes searched hers. "Now, are you going to allow me to love you or am I going to turn into a crazy stalker?" She giggled a little when he said that. "There is that pretty little smile..." He traced his fingers over her soft cheek, watching as a pale blush formed beneath her tan skin. "You are my Torama... my wild beast that I know I can never tame. All I can hope is that you will never attack me, I love you and trust you with me heart." He drew closer and their mouths met again. His eyes closed as he deeply kissed her, he felt her heart racing in her chest. The smell of her perfume, her hair, everything about her.... he was in tune with. He ran his fingers through her silken hair, pulling it away from her face and neck. He broke the kiss and moved his lips around the back of her neck. He kissed and licked the tender skin before starting to lightly suck on her neck. She watched to make sure no one would catch them, the rest of the people milled around the campground like cattle, boys fighting over stupid crap. She moaned a little as Zell's teeth raked her skin, the feeling of him sucking and licking doing so much to her. She turned her head close to him.

"Zell, stop it... some one is coming... " she hissed as pulled away, his arm remained around her waist as Seifer shown up. He looked to the couple accusingly as Alex gave him her pissed off look. "Oh is Seifie Weifie looking for a Catachipillar to suck on?" He dove at her and she narrowed her eyes as Rajin caught his arms. "Don't even fuck with me Seifer... I stopped loving you long ago so don't you even THINK of coming back to me now." Zell held her arms back as she tried to go and slap Seifer. The tall blonde looked hurt and betrayed as she glared at him. "I know how you used me and cheated on me."

Seifer blinked back the tears and he pulled away. "A... Alexandra.... why... why did you do this to me.... Rin mean't nothing to me.... it was you.... " he slapped the tears away and ran off. Rajin looked at Fuujin as she pulled his hand and followed their friend out of the woods. Alex turned and pushed her face into Zell's chest. He rested his hands on her waist and wrapped his arms around her back. He lead her back to the camp, trying to avoid everyone's eyes. All eyes were turned to the couple, silent hatred spewed at them. All of those watching heard Seifer screaming at his friends knew what happened in the woods. Zell drew his arms more protectively around the girl and kissed her shoulder as he lead her to her cabin.

"Don't worry, they don't matter... he just uses girls and he was wrong to hurt you...." he opened her door she she walked into the room. He closed the door and sat on a bed as she slumped against a wall. "Alex, it's going to be fine. I am here for you." He got up and walked to her, pulling her up to him. He pulled her to the bed and sat her on his lap. "Please.... we will stick this out. I love you and I will not let him hurt you again." He whispered against her lips, his fingers tracing the contours of her face. Their lips met again as they drew closer, she giving into him once again. He lied back and kissed up, meeting her passionate lin ten tender kisses. She pulled away and rested her head on his chest, sobbing softly. He ran his fingers through her hair as she fell asleep.

Weeks passed, people still were being cruel to them. Alex hardly ever came out of her cabin and Zell went to get her meals. People hurled insults when they could but Zell was entranced by the sweet young woman in the cabin he shared. He never got any further than kissing her on the mouth and neck. Any more, she would shun him and just curl up against him. He watched her work out, dancing as she fought her shadow. Watching her move, the faint glimmer of sweat on her skin, the scent of her hair... it was too exciting. He often at night would sneak out to relieve the stress. He walked to the bathroom and slowly started to imagine her body, having caught glimpses of it while making out. The feeling of her flesh made him moan under breath. He stroked and imagined it was her body on him, starting to speed up. He thought of her chest heaving, her voice sighing as he soon hit his limit. Fireworks filled his head as his flow ebbed away, he opened his eyes and started to breath again. He went and washed his hands when the smell of smoke reached him. He ran out of the bathroom and saw his cabin burning. "NO ALEX!" he screamed as he ran to the blaze. The windows cracked and broke in the heat, the fire roaring as he heard the voice from his dreams.

"Take my hand or you will die.... don't be foolish young girl." The deep voice rumbled, Zell ran up the stairs and looked inside as a giant beast stood over Alex's trembling form. A man lied headless on the floor, his blood pooling. "Child, you stay you will die!" She just shook in terror and he grabbed her, flying through the roof with her in his hands. Zell stared up through the hole in shock. He scrambled out of the burning cabin and chased the shadowy form deep into the woods.

"ALEX! Please answer! Where are you? He called and called, the woods remained deadly silent as he ran. The rocks and sticks barely making any noise under his sneakers. He stopped and was breathing hard as he looked around. Off to his left he heard a soft crying. He went into the cave where he heard the crying and faintly could see Alex. Blood had matted her hair and she had black smudges on her skin. She was huddled in the back of the cave, not seeing Zell. He went and pulled her close to him, checking to see if she was okay. His tears fell down his cheeks as he took care of her. "I was so scared I lost you, what happened?" She couldn't make a sound other than crying. He just held her close as the storm grew out side, the wind roared like a tortured soul. He rocked with her and sighed, she drifted into an uneasy sleep. He watched the rain drops fall outside their shelter as Alex whimpered in her restless sleep. He closed his eyes as he drifted to sleep also.

Dream

"Zell!" A girl's voice screamed. He looked around, panicking. Running into the the darkness, he couldn't find anyone. "Zell, the fire burns!" He spun around and saw a small flickering. He ran for it and the flicker turned to the eyes of the great beast that flew off with Alex.

"Are you the Knight?" the voice thundered, it felt as if Zell's organs were being shaken from the voice. He saw his reflection, an older man with a tattoo on the left side of his face and spiked up hair.
"Yes, I am the Knight to Ultimaceia, where is my Sorceress?" He spoke out loud, the strength in his voice shocking. The beast turned away and he ran past, he looked for the girl when he saw the black haired beauty again. He saw her face and ran for her, it was his Alex and he was stopped by a wall of flames. No matter how he fought as the flames turned to people, he could never reach the girl.
"ZE...."

world

"..ELL!!!!" The sound of Alex screaming woke him, her hands beating against him. He held her wrists and spoke gently to her, trying to wake her from her nightmare. He clung to her as she trembled and cried, he kissed her forehead gently as her struggling got weaker. She was slowly waking and she looked into his eyes. "...Zelly... you are still alive.... you are still alive...." She started kissing him as the tears fell. He returned her kisses and held her tightly. She pulled away and looked around. "Did I kill that man? The one that came in?"

Zell sighed and nodded. "Yes.... he was dead on the ground when you were in the fire. What was that creature that took you away? He listened to her crying, the sound of it breaking his heart in two. He held her closer and whispered. "Shhh.... it's okay, please don't cry baby..... " His own tears fell as he smoothed her hair back from her face. He looked outside, the dim sunlight warmed and began to light the world.

"He is called Griever.... for he makes the world grieve.... he chases me, Zell... you aren't safe." She wept into his chest. She felt his arms tighten around her as he whispered. She lifted her face to him and stared into his cerulean eyes, she saw her reflection in his eyes. She could see his pain and lightly she rested her fingertips on his lips. "Zelly? are you okay? you look haunted." He leaned in close to her and kissed her gently. He didn't want to rush her, make her feel uncomfortable as he drew her closer. Her arms went around him and pulled him down as she lied back on the cool ground. He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes. He lowered his lips to her neck and kissed her soft skin again. He ran his hands over her curves gently, not hurrying as he explored her body with his fingertips. He knew the fires of passion were growing but he had to control it. There was no way either of them would be ready for the consequences that their act could make.

"Alex... I love you... I swear to you I will guard you forever. I will never let anyone hurt you again." He whispered against her lips before she pulled him down to kiss him again. He nuzzled his body into hers sensually, moaning into the kiss. His fingertips ran over her body, feeling the silken skin under his hands. She moaned into his mouth, her hands working up over his back and snaking under his shirt. Her hands were slightly chilly on his feverish skin. He broke the kiss and started to take her shirt off when he heard voices. He sat up and saw the camp counselors with two important men. They were calling for Alex and Zell.

The teens straightened themselves up and slipped out of the cave. Alex ran to the largest man and hugged him. He silently held her as the dark skinned man cooed to her. "Alex... it's okay... we will go home now..." Alex pulled away and shook her head. She kept backing away until she was at Zell's side. Instinctively, he wrapped his arm around her.

"No... I am staying with Zell... He protected me when you all didn't care." She looked at everyone as the huge man walked to her. Alex's hand went into Zell's, he felt her slip something into his hand. The man grabbed Alex and threw her over his shoulder. They walked off, Xan kicking and screaming as they left. Zell put the thing into his pocket and went back to camp. He walked into the burnt remains of the cabin. He saw the photo album and opened it. Pictures of them at camp and goofing off. He felt himself start to choke on the tears that were threatening him. He packed them away and reached into his pocket, staring at her ball chain necklace. He stroked the stray red hairs that got caught in it and put it on his neck. It still felt warm of skin, the tears fell as he ran his fingers over the balls.

Today

The warmth of her skin had been long gone but the memories were still so fresh. He had killed her, not the her he knew and longed for but what she was to become. He felt the knots forming in his throat and stomach as he thought. There was a knocking on his door again. He got up and answered it, Irvine and Selphie grabbed his arms and pulled him out.

"Hey! We gotta run to town and we want you to come with us," Selphie chattered as they dragged him to the Parking Garage. She shoved him into the the waiting car and they drove off. Zell stared out the window and looked at a huge man getting out of a car in front of the school. He helped out a girl with fiery hair and Zell's heart stopped.
"Alex."


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