The Memory Remains

BY : Vovo
Category: Final Fantasy VIII > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 688
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VIII, Samurai Warriors, SoulCalibur and its characters are not my property, they belong to Square-Enix, Koei and Namco repectively. I don't receive any profit from writing this fanfiction.

 

Warning: Violence and disturbing imagery in this chapter.



The Memory Remains



Chapter 4

Seifer drove through the deserted road, cutting the morning with his car. The sun was already up in the sky, but it was still cold.

He felt tired. His eyes wanted to rest, but he forced himself to keep looking at the road. The blond stared beside him and saw an empty seat. It was a strange feeling, to be completely alone again. Of course having Squall by his side almost seemed as if he was alone, but he wasn't. He had spent some years spending lots of time to himself, so maybe he just missed having a presence nearby. Seifer felt a sudden chill that wasn't due to the cold wind. He felt a strange feeling; the feeling of leaving something behind.

The blond shook his head and shrugged the feeling away. He decided to turn on the radio, just for the sake of numbing his thoughts, just for the thin hope of getting distracted. Soon the car was filled with a slow song and Seifer recognized it as the one that had been playing in the restaurant on the first night of their mission. He remembered Squall mumbling the lyrics, without realizing he was doing so; distracted with the image of the cars on the road at night.

Seifer saw the sunrays spreading over the horizon. Soon the cold morning wouldn't be so cold. As soon as the song ended, another slow song followed. The blond chuckled amusedly as he heard the lyrics. It was one of those sad love songs, a man wanting someone and never having the object of his affection. In another situation, the blond would never picture himself listening to those kind of songs, but somehow, they didn't bother him at the moment. It soothed his spirit; made him forget his worries and keep sane to drive. It was better than the silence, that lonely silence would feel too cruel.

When he reached the hotel, the sun was shining brightly in the sky. He left the car and almost stumbled on his way to his room. The blond was just so tired. He opened the door and collapsed on the bed. He only had the strength to kick off his boots and roll his body on the mattress, grumbling some confused words before letting a thick darkness fill his vision.

xxx

"What we're going to do with him, sir?"

Seifer stared at the guards and saw a slumped young man being carried by them. He inspected the pale features of the unconscious brunet. "He didn't cooperate much, did he?" he mumbled to himself, in a voice too low for the guards to hear.

He's so stubborn, why he keeps denying it? It almost seemed he was telling the truth...

The blond shrugged. "Move him to the shower room." He saw the guards nodding in agreement and following him through the corridors.

They soon reached a large room covered in white tiles. The fluorescent lamps near the door were bright, but the ones over the most distant wall were flickering, creating a trembling shadow over the place.

Seifer heard his footsteps echo as he walked to the center of it. He turned to stare at the guards and then fixed his gaze on the unconscious brunet.

"Seifer..."

He stared in confusion as he heard a voice echo through the room.

"Seifer."

The blond opened his eyes, startled. There was a very familiar face in front of his. He blinked in confusion and glanced briefly around, recognizing the surroundings as being the inside of the hotel room. Squall was leaned over him, blocking the light from his view. He saw the brunet sigh in relief and then moving away, giving space for the blond to lift himself up from the mattress.

"Did you find out anything?" Seifer rubbed his eyes and brushed the sleep away.

"A few things," Squall adjusted his seated position on the bed, leaving some space for the blond to sit. "They are doing some research on magic. It seems they were trying to figure out how monsters can use it without being junctioned to GFs. They seemed to be in the beginning of their researches, but..."

"But...?"

"It would be dangerous if they succeeded."

"We don't want the bad guys to have this kind of knowledge, do we? So what we're gonna do now?"

"They will find out what happened soon, if they didn't find out already."

"So we're running out of time..." Seifer felt himself growing apprehensive and he stared at the window.

"Quistis is trying to figure out the location of their main base now. She will get in contact soon."

"Yeah, instructor Trepe is good with these things..." Seifer turned back to Squall, feeling a question making its way up his throat and pleading to leave his lips. "How is she? How are they?"

"They're... they're fine."

Seifer waited for more information about them, but when he saw Squall had closed his mouth, he knew it wouldn't come. "Good," he said. At least he knew they were alive and...maybe happy. "And Fujin and Raijin? Are they doing fine?"

"Yes, they're fine. They kept asking about you."

"Did they stop?" Seifer arched an eyebrow, feeling a sudden wave of uneasiness cross his body.

"They don't ask anymore. I guess they figured out you weren't there. Shortly after it, they left for a long time, but then came back."

"I miss them," Seifer confessed.

Squall stared at the blond's expression. He seemed to be lost in thought. Somehow, he kept himself staring fixedly at him, the feeling of his presence stronger than ever. He felt the world beneath him shake a little and he found it difficult to breathe. Squall felt suddenly dizzy and pressed his eyes shut. He felt a warm breath on his neck and then it lowering over his shoulder; he felt a cold touch against his skin and his body was overwhelmed by a confusing sensation.

"Squall, are you okay?"

The brunet opened his eyes and snapped out of his reverie. He stared at Seifer's concerned eyes and felt the blond's hand on his arm, trying to call his attention. Squall moved his gaze to the hand and kept looking at it for a long time.

"Squall?" Seifer called the brunet's attention again. It was then he was surprised in feeling Squall's hand cover his and grab it, guiding it. Seifer was astonished as he followed the hand's movement and saw the brunet's fingers together with his lift Squall's white t-shirt. Seifer gulped and felt a chill down his spine when Squall made him touch the warm skin. The blond could feel the abdominal muscles trembling slightly under his fingers, before his hand was led up Squall's torso.

"It's still cold," the brunet whispered in a dream-like state.

Seifer took his hand away from the warm skin abruptly, as if he had been burned. He took a deep breath and stared at Squall in shock. "What are you doing?"

The brunet opened his mouth to answer, but no word came from his mouth. He watched as Seifer expression contorted in anger and felt suddenly frozen in place, unable to move.

"Do you have any idea of what you're doing?" Seifer hissed dangerously. "No, tell me you don't know." He stared deeply into Squall's blue eyes and took a deep breath, willing himself to calm down. "Squall," he called the brunet's attention, even though he knew he had been staring at him for the entire time. "Do you have any idea of what happened? Do you remember D-District Prison?" he asked in a low tone.

Squall stared at him in silence for a long time, before he answered in a whispered voice, "Yes."

Seifer blinked in confusion. "Do you remember the torture chamber? Do you remember everything I did?" he tried to ask cautiously.

"Yes," Squall said softly, not for a moment averting his gaze from Seifer's eyes.

"You do?" Seifer asked more to himself and seemed to ponder upon what he had heard. "You do remember everything?" he said in almost a whisper. Seifer saw the brunet nod in agreement and he was at a loss for words for a moment. He felt he had to avert his gaze from the haunting blue eyes or he would drown himself with guilt. "You know I was wrong," he started once again, still not daring to look at Squall. "I did very wrong things. I was so young and stupid. I let power take control of me. I regret what I did. I despise what I did. I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression, but despite everything I did, I'm not gay. I just thought I could do anything," he laughed darkly. "I was on the top of the world. I thought I could get away with anything," he smiled sadly for a brief moment, before he stared back at Squall. No shadow of a smile on his face anymore.

They stared at each other in silence. The room around them seemed smaller, colder and darker. No sound dared to break that thick silence for a long time, before Quistis voice resounded over the room.

"I found them," the woman's voice clear in the silent room.

It took a moment for Squall to answer, but he eventually broke eye contact with Seifer and replied to Quistis. "I'm listening."

xxx

The main base was located in the building of a deactivated slaughterhouse. The surrounding area seemed to have seen better days, some houses and buildings had been abandoned, eaten by time; turned into lifeless ruins. The soil seemed to be hard and poor, only some wild vegetation seemed to be able to live there.

It was relatively easy to sneak inside the old slaughterhouse; they had taken some guards along the way and proceeded apparently unnoticed. They realized that the map that Quistis had provided indicated the local with accuracy and they decided to split up. They advanced through the place with ease, finding no real threat while they investigated the location.

"Squall?" Seifer got in contact with the brunet.

"What did you find out?" the SeeD commander asked, without losing time.

"I think I found the control room."

The blond closed the door again and walked through the place. There were several files piled up in tables, computers and large monitors at one side of the room. He watched the images displayed on the screens and realized it showed what was being captured by the security cameras. Seifer could see what was happening in several rooms and corridors; he could even see where Squall was. The blond looked around some more in suspicion. If that was the control room, why wasn't anyone there?

"Seifer?" Squall called the blond's attention.

"Going to check on the place, hang on."

Seifer inspected the room carefully, but found no one there. He decided to search the files and see if he found anything important. There seemed to be a lot of data about the research, but he wouldn't be able to carry it. He checked what seemed to be the main computer and tried to see if he could find something. His green eyes widened in amazement as he transferred all the data he could find, saving it to a flash drive. He ended the task and went back to get in contact with Squall.

"Data gathered."

"Good."

"I can see you through the security system."

"Can you find the civilians' location?"

"Going to check it."

Seifer tried to find the place where the kidnapped people might have been and he raised an eyebrow when he found something suspicious.

"There's a lab 3 rooms from where you are. Take the corridor to your right. There are two guards. Keep following the right corridors. Three more guards along the way. Two scientists in the room."

"Got it."

Seifer watched as Squall swiftly made his way to the lab, neutralizing everyone that stood in his way.

In contrast to all the other locations, the laboratory was almost blindingly bright. The walls and floor were impeccably clean and the furniture was all white. As Squall walked through the lab, he noticed that everything seemed to be very orderly too. It wouldn't be the worst place the SeeD had been, but it wasn't the most pleasant either. There were several organs, as well as some fetuses, exposed in lined glass containers. As he advanced through the laboratory, he found several naked bodies lined in litters. One of them caught his attention. It was a girl; her expression very serene. He recognized her features. She seemed to be very pretty without the heavy makeup he had seen in her photos.

"I found her," Squall got in contact with Seifer.

"The guy's daughter?"

"Yes," He paused for a moment, "She's dead."

There was no pulse, no sign of life and her skin was pale as a ghost. Squall saw her open belly and noticed something might have been missing; maybe her womb. He inspected the other people in the room and concluded that all of them were dead. Moving forward he could see more bodies and those ones were more lacerated. Some had their upper body totally opened; ribcages spread wide and organs gone. Some of them had their skulls split in two; parts of their brains cut and others removed. Even though he noticed that all the procedures had been calculated, there were still stains of blood over the sheets, the reddish color creating a great contrast against the pristine white. Squall noted that some of the blood stains still had a vivid color, as if some of the procedures had happened not so long ago. None of the bodies exposed seemed to be in decomposition, which reinforced his thesis. Maybe if he had arrived earlier, they could be able to save the girl and other lives. Maybe...

Squall advanced through the room and saw something wrapped in black plastic bags and he guessed by the shape that it should be other bodies. He entered an adjacent room in hopes that he could find someone alive, but he only found more bodies. Some of them seemed completely normal; others, however, had strange features, like bluish or purplish skin. A few of them seemed to have been covered in scales, fur or even horns. There were some monsters' bodies as well in that room. They were displayed in large structures of glass, others had their bodies opened in a similar way to the humans. There was also an interesting thing Squall found. It seemed to be the fetus of a monster, but it seemed to have a Siamese-like body fused together, that resembled a deformed fetus of a human.

Deciding he should move on, Squall walked to the direction of a double metallic door. He opened it and a narrow corridor was revealed.

It was dark once more.

Seifer watched as Squall made his way, focused on the brunet's movements. He made the cameras follow him and it seemed he had lost track of the brunet, until he found him again in another room. It was darker than the previous ones, so he adjusted the brightness of the image, until he could discern well Squall's form. He saw that the brunet wasn't alone. There were three huge creatures in that same room, one opposite from Squall and two at each side of the room. They didn't look like any monster he had seen and they weren't human, even though there was some resemblance. The structure of the body, legs and arms, made them seem human, but they were huge, with big muscles covered by purplish skin and the head of beasts-excessively large mouths that could barely hide the lines of pointy teeth and big eyes, black as the darkest night. Seifer saw that even though they weren't moving, Squall had changed his stance, getting ready for a possible attack. It was then that something caught the blond's attention, a click behind him.

Seifer turned and saw a man pointing a gun at him. He was fairly tall and he had straight brown hair, some inches longer than Seifer's.

"Wondering where did I come from?" the man in lab coat smirked at the blond. "There are more secrets here than you imagine."

Seifer stared at the man in annoyance. "So you are Calypso."

The man only grinned.

"It's over," the blond continued. "This location is no secret anymore. Reinforcements are coming."

"Oh, it isn't over. It's just started. It is over for you and for your friend. I've created something magnificent and you'll have the privilege to witness before you're gone. Time is running out." With those last words, the man put the gun in his mouth and shot himself.

Seifer saw the man's lifeless body falling, leaving a blood stain on the wall and over the computers.

"Shit." The blond walked to the man's direction and saw the head opened, some pieces of the brain scattered around. "What a lovely sight," he sighed. "I thought you were going to try the big escape cliché, not the killing yourself thing..." He inspected the image before him in disgust and then turned. He looked around and something caught his vision. There was something different. Seifer stared at the screen of the main computer and saw a timer. By the time Seifer looked at it, there were 56 seconds left for the implosion of the building.

He cursed out loud and tried to calm himself to find a way to stop the timer. Seifer saw the time running out and rushed to find a solution, but realized there was no way to stop the building's auto-destruction. The best he could do was changing the timer, giving them 10 minutes to leave the laboratory.

"Squall," Seifer got in contact with the brunet. "Get out of here, this place is gonna blow up."

The brunet blinked in surprise with the sudden information.

"I have the data with me, hurry," Seifer urged.

Squall was almost ready to leave the place, when he heard something. He stared back at the creatures and realized they had moved. Squall took one step back and saw that all their eyes were focused on him. One more step and they were moving in his direction slowly. They started to grunt and groan in a curious way, as if they were trying to communicate with him. He stared at their faces again and saw that they didn't have a menacing stare; in fact, they seemed to be pleading for his help with their eyes.

They kept walking in his direction, groaning and whining. Squall didn't know what to do with them; he only knew he had to get out. He backed up a little more and pointed his gunblade at them, as if to tell them to stay away. Even so, they kept moving towards him, but even faster; faster than Squall thought they could move. It was then that one of the beasts caught him in a grip, but it wasn't pressing him, the beast seemed to be just securing him in place.

Squall struggled, yet the humanoid creature held him tightly. It was then he felt a bite on his shoulder. He winced in pain as sharp teeth sunk into his skin deeply. Squall didn't think twice then, he managed to loosen the grip on him with the beast distracted in biting him and slashed his blade at the monster's body, cutting one of the arms that held him in the process.

He was able to set himself free and saw the monster contorting and grunting in pain as blood spluttered from his severed arm. That made the other creatures groan loudly in rage and run to his direction.

Squall was expecting a physical attack, but he was surprised to feel his defenses weakening, surprisingly, the monsters had cast Meltdown on him. Squall screamed in agony and his body contorted in excruciating pain when he was knocked to the floor. The attack had been so strong it blinded him for a while.

When he could finally see again, he acknowledged the beast was too near and he still couldn't move. He could only watch as one of the abominations looked concerned at his wounded friend and cast Curaga on him. Squall felt one of them securing him in place, firmly, so he wasn't able to escape. Squall kept seeing the other beast casting Curaga after Curaga on the other, but that wouldn't be enough to recover a lost arm.

"Let me go..." Squall whispered weakly at the monster holding him, but the grip hadn't loosened. It seemed the monster wasn't going to attack him, but he couldn't be certain, he had seen what the other beast tried to do with him. So Squall focused in casting a spell and he hoped it would be strong enough.

Squall cast Blizzaga on the beast and felt the hard body freezing to the core. The SeeD commander knew it would be deadly cold by then, but he had a defense for that element. He saw the strong arms around him completely frozen and he hoped his plan would work.

Then he cast Fire.

Firaga would be too strong and affect him too with that proximity, but he could handle fire. The beast, however, couldn't, and Squall saw his body melting in the heat. It dissolved to the floor, turning to a red mass of liquid flesh, creating a dark pool with the remains of the body on the floor.

"Squall! Hurry up! There are just 5 minutes left!" Seifer urged for the brunet to leave the place as he saw there was no way to stop the timer. So he rushed to the exit, hoping the brunet would make it in time.

The beasts stared at the scene of their friend's body melting and yelled in pure anger. Instinctively, Squall cast Blizzaga, but he was surprised to see the magic had missed. It seemed the other two creatures had protection against that element. Squall couldn't prevent the attack and was knocked against the wall by the unharmed beast. He managed to escape just in time before sharp claws would sink into his flesh. Squall saw the two monsters coming his way and decided to take the weaker one. So he rushed to its direction and slashed his gunblade into the monster's body. The attack was strong enough to cut other bodies in two, but due to the beasts thick muscles it only made a gash into his torso. However it was deep enough to inflict severe harm, so the beast fell to the floor convulsing with his open chest.

Seifer couldn't help but stare at the scene. He was still in the control room. The blond had tried to leave the place, but realized he had been locked. There was a heavy metal door blocking his way. He tried to use force, but it remained closed tightly. Then he looked for a way to open it in the system, but he couldn't find any. He saw the time running out.

It was so ironic. He had fought in war and went through all that madness of sorceresses and he still lived. He even lived through Lunatic Pandora, but he was going to die in a regular mission. He couldn't find a way out, so all that was left for him was watch Squall as he fought.

Seifer saw the brunet's movements and made the image be shown in the larger monitor screen. He had always admired the way Squall fought. He was impressed at how he got better over the time. Much better than in the times they spared. Even better than when they fought in war. The movements were executed in perfection. As he watched Squall, he remembered his teenage years, when he watched a silent brunet pass by. He always wanted the brunet to notice him. Why did he try to ignore him? What Seifer could do to make him react?

"Squall, hurry." He pleaded silently to himself.

There was nothing he could do anymore. The thought of dying alone was one that he had accepted long ago, but watch the brunet die was something he didn't want. Not at that time, not in a place like that.

x

x

A/N: More in the next chapter :) I want to thank Flora Winters for the review, the ones reading and my awesome beta, Nightlore.

Ciao



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