The Zodiac War

By Blade

Chapter 21: Shopaholics Anonymous

"I don't need new clothes, and I don't want to go shopping!" Agrias whined.

"Oh, knock it off, Agrias, loosen up a little, and take your mind off of battle for once!" Aeris encouraged.

"Under all that armor is a beautiful woman and it's about time we showed the world, even in battles, don't you think men notice?"

"Well....I suppose they do notice..."

"You'd probably look even better in a dress!"

"I--don't really think it matters--but I--......guess I'll try it."

Aeris giggled in glee, "Good! At least try something on, get the feel for it!"

Garnet chimed in, "While you try something daring, Agrias, I, Reis, and Alma will be trying something to impress the men....something Tre' Gallant!"

Aeris and Agrias entered the dress shop, and a young trim-cut man awaited them. "And what is mademoiselles' desire?"

Aeris responded without missing a beat, "A makeover pronto! Merci."

"Uoi, Madam," the man replied.

Meanwhile, Delita and Ramza took a few coins of gil into the appraisal shop for examination:

"Hmmm," said an examiner with a large monocle, "The archaic dates are very ancient, I've only seen one coin like this, and it's markings were very heavily worn away. One of a kind piece actually, they only made these during the "Lion War" era, due to the shortage of metals, but you bring me a piece that is in near mint condition. What can I say?"

"We have a ton of these, in a sack we carry, approximately 10 billion."

The examiner looked at him wide-eyed and said, "T-ten billion gil from that era?!" He quickly composed himself and then pronounced, "I see absolutely no form of forgery or false duplication of this coin, the ones you've shown me are all real...." he whispered in marvel, "Ten Billion..."

"Well, sir, how much is one of these worth....?" Delita asked.

The man looked at him in disbelief, "If you sold only one of these coins you would have Fifty Thousand Gil on your hands....b-but Ten Billion," he said with an insane look in his eye, multiplied all the figures, "Th-that's about......50,000,000,000,000 g--g--gil! 50 Trillion Gil! WHERE IN GOD'S NAME DID YOU GET THESE COINS!!!!"

There was no answer, because both Delita and Ramza fainted. At this point, the examiner started to laugh hysterically, almost maniacally and ran out of the room screaming, "THEY'RE BUTT UGLY RICH, HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!"

Meanwhile, down the street, Cloud and Sephiroth were at a weapon shop looking at the latest weaponry, and laughing about it.

"Get a load of this, who the heck uses whips for weapons anymore, huh?" Cloud laughed.

"I don't know about you, but I get a kick out of these old shotguns, no one I knew used such a weapon with poor accuracy." Sephiroth said.

"Hey, what's this weird thing? It looks like both a pistol and a sword?"

The clerk stepped forward, "Can I help you gentlemen?"

Cloud replied, "Oh we're just browsing, what is this thing?"

"That, is one of the finest crafted Gunblades in Esthar, care to try it out? The trigger action is automatic as soon as the blade swings out at a target, tri-burst fire too!"

"A semi-automatic sword! Ha! I've never seen anything like this! Have you Sephiroth!?"

"I've been a lot of places," he said, "but I've never seen a weapon like that before."

"Y'know what, I think I'm gonna try it out, just for laughs..."

The clerk replied, "There's a target range in the back, come this way."

Cloud asked the clerk what kind of gunblade it was, "This ones called, 'Punishment.'"

" name, how do you use it?"

"You grasp the grip with your left hand, and the trigger grip with your right, it's one of the hardest weapons to truly master."

"If you know how to use a sword like I do," Cloud said, "it really isn't that hard."

"Target the robots and aim for their chests and swing."

Cloud lifted the gunblade up like he would raise his Ultima, and performed Omnislash on over 50 of the drone targets set before him demolishing all of them.

The clerk looked at the pile of robots, then at Cloud, "You sure you've never used a gunblade before....?"

"Yeah, but I'm used to a regular hilt, this gunblade feels too awkward to me."

Sephiroth laughed. The clerk told Cloud, "Be careful out there, I had a guy walk in here who is just as good with a gunblade as you claimed to be with that purple sword you have. He was dressed all in black except for a fur collar and a metal lion necklace, never said much, but if I were you, I wouldn't get on his bad side."

Sephiroth looked at Cloud and jokingly said, "A man dressed in black huh? Now that's our kind of swordsman....well, see you later."

"Yeah," the man sighed as they left wondering how in the world he was going to clean up the mess of robot parts they demolished.

Walking down the street Cloud asked Sephiroth, "Who do you suppose this guy dressed in black is, maybe a Brave?"

"Can't say for sure, but if we find him, I'll ask eh?" the two laughed, surprised at how carefree they seemed to have become. Further up the street Beowulf was purchasing a Silver and Gold chain necklace for Reis, but wasn't quite sure if it would suit her.

The female clerk said, "Even if she is active like you say, I think she'll like it very much, sir."

"I hope so....cause I'm not good at getting gifts for people, especially women." The clerk wrapped up the gift and gave it to him. As he walked down the street he saw something he didn't expect: Ramza and Delita in a dumbfounded state of shock, and Cloud and Sephiroth laughing.

He wasn't quite sure what to make of this so he asked one question, "What happened?"

Meanwhile the girls were looking in amazement at how such a rough and strong Holy Knight like Agrias, could cut such an attractive figure in a tight fitting v-neck dress.

"Agrias--you're actually making me jealous! You're--bigger-than me!" Aeris squealed.

"What can I say? I....just work out a lot."

Alma said, marveling, "Under all that heavy armor, she still looks like she could be a queen? I don't believe it!"

Garnet said, putting on an exotic dress, "Well, let's show the men when we meet them at the Presidential Residence. Zidane will be in utter shock." She laughed.

Reis walked in the room and all four girls were stunned, she had a light blue silk skirt, and a sky blue blouse to match.

"You....look wonderful," Aeris said.

"I....just wanted to impress Beowulf is all." Reis said shyly.

"Oh, you will--you definitely will!" Garnet said mouth open.

The five girls walked out to the hovercar, makeup and lipstick laden. Wedge looked at them once and said:


He didn't realize it but he had pressed the com button on the CB and Biggs was saying, "Wow what Wedge? What the hell are you talking about?"

"Uhhhhhhhm.....nooooothing....sir." He radioed out, and almost forgot to turn the ignition as they drove toward the residence.

" mind if we leave our armor in the car, Wedge?" Aeris said in as sweet and manipulative a voice as possible while stroking his hair.

"N---no, don't w-worry about it?!" was his response.

"" she said in a sexy voice.

He nearly floored the gas pedal when he heard that.

It didn't take long before the group made it to the Residence, both cars had arrived.

Chapter 22: An Audience with the President

When the men stepped out they looked in surprise to find the women had done themselves over.

Zidane was all over Garnet, and trying to woo her any chance he got, not that she minded. Cloud simply gazed in wonderment at Aeris whose white dress reflected an almost angelic appearance to him, drawing him to her, then a brief embrace, then looking at himself, seeing the contrast between his now dirty armor and soldier suit said, "I should've got a tux!"

She laughed.

Delita, the most elegant looking of the guys asked Alma, "May I escort you in madam?"

"Why yes..." she said, rather surprised Delita actually took interest in her.

At first Ramza seemed jealous, but then he laughed to himself and walked in. Sephiroth quietly followed, but not without glancing at Agrias. Beowulf waited until everyone left so he could be alone with Reis.

"Reis, a gift to's not much, I hope you like it."

She took the gold and silver necklace and put it on, it shimmered in the sunlight. She then wrapped her arms around his neck and they kissed in what seemed like forever.

"Thank you, Beowulf, you are so kind."

"I think their waiting for us, Reis." He said.

"Let's go in then..." she said with a smile.

"....." Sephiroth glanced at Agrias, not quite smiling, but not quite frowning either.

Agrias flushed, or at least, it appeared to be a flush, and quickly walked inside, Sephiroth following her slowly.

The lobby seemed very small in comparison to the house as a whole, but it was then the party realized the entrance was from a simple lift that took them to the main hall of the Residence.

After a lengthy corridor of beautiful tapestry and design, they came to a large double door which swung open to the President's office. The back of a chair faced them, and Ellone was standing in a business suit next to the chair.

"Glad you people could make it." She said, "this is my father."

The chair spun around and a man with raven-black long hair and deep green eyes stood up.

"My name is Laguna Loire, President of the City of Esthar, it's a pleasure to meet you. If you would, I would like it if you may perhaps dine with me tonight in the main dining hall down the main hall?"

"Why...we'd be honored..." Ramza replied.

As they followed the man, they noticed, he dressed rather casually for a President, simple pants, draped shirt left open. But it was rather unfitting for him to wear anything else considering his personality.

He said as they walked down the hall, "Tonight we dine on Fastiticocalon Filets."

"What is that?" Aeris asked.

"It is a breed of fish not found in Esthar, they import it all the way from Balamb fishing ports. Quite a delicacy." He licked his lips.

As they all sat down and dinner was served, they were surprised their host was not sitting at the head of the table, instead, he was sitting right among them. "It is a tradition, where I come from, to sit with my guests, not at the head of them."

"What an honorable tradition..." Agrias said.

"What an honorable looking woman." Laguna said as he looked at her, then changed the subject as the meal when he noticed Sephiroth was glaring at him.

He changed into a more business-like tone, "So where are you people from anyway? Don't be shy, be honest, I won't be shocked no matter where you're from, I've been travelling around and--"

"Daddy," Ellone interrupted him, "you're babbling..."

"Oh! Sorry."

"Well, if you must know, we are Zodiac Braves from various times and eras that are going to fight in the Great Zodiac War." Delita replied in as honest a voice as possible.

"No kidding, you see, I've already encountered people from other times, since the time my son had to face this great sorceress who was attempting time compression, y'know when all time gets squished together, anyway he defeated her and she passed on her powers to his girlfriend and now she's the most powerful sorceress in the world."

"Huh??????" was everyone's response.

"Dad! You talk too much, too fast!" Ellone scolded.

"Sorry....I couldn't help myself."

"Well....," Ramza said a little surprised Laguna wasn't shocked that he was from another time, let alone swindling his city out of 50 trillion gil, which of course he didn't mention, "We each came to this time for one purpose: to find the next Zodiac Brave from this era, and we hope to find the stone that goes with him or her, it's either Gemini, Capricorn, or Serpentaurius, we're not even sure where to look for the stone."

Zidane said between bites of his fish, "You said your son defeated a sorceress, from what I know, they're pretty powerful. Maybe he's a Brave?"

Laguna looked at them with thoughts in mind and said, "Well, his name is Squall, but he goes under his mother's name of Leonhart, so if you want to ask him yourself, he's visiting up north at Shumi Village with his girlfriend Rinoa. I'll even give you a ride up there. I just have to warn you he's a little apprehensive about people, even me, and may not want to talk to you, albeit, Rinoa will be more than willing to help you out."

"Thank you, Mr. President, we really appreciate this." Delita said.

"Before you leave, at least take a rest at the Esthar hotel, get freshened up, and we'll take you aboard our now legendary Ragnarok Fleet, you'll be there in no time!" Ellone said.

"Hmmph...never met a President this sloppy before, no wonder Squall doesn't want to talk to him much." Cloud thought.

"......Thanks." Sephiroth said, somewhat weary of Laguna's talking. He wanted to go to bed.

After leaving the President's Residential Hall, Alma talked with Ellone about the grave situation involving the Lunar Cries, Delita listening with her.

Ellone said, "Well, I did explain before that we have no idea what causes the monsters on the moon to do what they do, or even how to prevent it, so far the closest thing we can set up is a sorceress barrier, but only Rinoa can do that. But right now, she barely knows how to use her powers, at least that's what they tell me. Squall is currently training her to become a member of the elite military team, SeeD, and as far as I know she's also training him to become a Sorceress' Knight, and he plans to serve as her bodyguard. But that's as far as my information goes."

"We're recognized as Zodiac Braves," said Alma, "perhaps we can help you solve your problem with the Lunar Cry if you can help us find the Zodiac Braves in this era."

"I'm not sure that's even possible, Alma, as even we aren't even sure a Sorceress Barrier will even work."

Chapter 23: The Lunar Crisis

The rest of the party went to the hotel for some sleep, while Beowulf, realizing his chance to seriously talk with Reis, took advantage of the cool night air to discuss the goings on in the hotel balcony.

"Reis, we have a lot of looking to do, just because a President from one city shows us hospitality doesn't mean we'll be able to find our stones..."

"Shhhhhh.........see the stars." Reis calmly put a finger to his lips, "The number of those stars shouldn't be the number of your worries, Beowulf, let time worry about itself. Look at how well the future turned out after every bad thing in this world we've seen so far."

"They still have to deal with the monsters on the moon. I fail to see that as quite a happy ending, do you?" he said rather ominously.

"We are chosen to save the world through time....that means this era, Beowulf," she said, calming him, "If we can do all that we've done so far, why not this?"

"I...suppose you're right Reis....I love you for that..."

"And I love you, Beowulf, for you honest feelings."

The two then left the balcony and went to sleep. But they weren't the only ones who weren't able to sleep. Cloud sat on the roof, staring at the moon silently, without a sound, Sephiroth climbed up with him.

"I've--been meaning to ask, Cloud, what is it that I was going to do in the future that would make you hate me so much?"

"You--no--he would have realized who he really was, and would have only cared about becoming more powerful than anyone else. Willing to spill the blood of innocence just to get that power."

"Oh...I see..."

After a moment of silence had passed, Sephiroth voiced his feelings.

"I've been thinking....the time I spent with these people, has given me a reason for existing, no more wondering who I am, or where I came from, and now, with friends. And as far as power is concerned, the only power I'm worried about is the power these evil Lucavi Delita keeps talking about might possess."

"As long as we find all the Zodiac stones before they revive Ajora, we can seal all of them up for eternity, at least, that's what Alma told me." Cloud looked at Sephiroth for a long moment, then looked back up at the moon. Sephiroth took it to mean he accepted him as a member of the group finally, no longer an enemy, but a close ally.

"When all of this is over, Cloud, we all have to go back to our own eras don't we?"

"Yes--but...why are you asking me that?"

"Our destinies are made up of choices, if I make the right choices, or if you do, or if we all do, we can have better lives because of them." Suddenly Sephiroth stood up, trying to voice what burden he had kept in thought for some time, "I promise you Cloud....I will never become the man who killed Aeris."

"Do you also promise," Cloud carefully matched his intensity, "Not to become him, or the man who destroyed Nibelheim, or almost destroyed the earth with a Meteor, or nearly destroyed my life as little as it was then, no matter what the truth gives you?"

"" Sephiroth said finally.

Aeris saw the two would-be adversaries and quietly climbed up on the roof and leaned her head on Cloud's shoulder, Cloud said quietly, "We all have our choices we value and share, don't we?"

Sephiroth began to doubt his integrity just then.

"Sometimes....I wish I could make good choices like you, Cloud. There are times when I wish I was somewhere some other time." Sephiroth quietly leapt off the roof and was gone.

Aeris asked Cloud, "What were you just talking about?"

"We talked about your future....and his."

"What about my future?" she asked.

"I'm.......not at liberty to" he fumbled for words that he didn't want to say.

"Do.......I die?" she looked down trying to assess what had transpired in their conversation and at the same time keep from crying.

"'s not like that.....he...makes a choice....which takes you from me."

"I hope.....he makes the right choice." Aeris replied with a semi-choked voice.

They gazed up at the moon, which now appeared a very dangerous object in the sky. It reminded Cloud of Meteor, and this worried him.

The next morning Ramza found Delita and Alma asleep together on the hotel suite couch having watched, "Television" Cloud had called it, the night before. They seemed very content.

"Hmmm....they'll wake up eventually, I won't bother them." He smiled.

"Delita, you'd better take good care of my sister, she's the only family I have left...." he whispered to no one in particular.

As Ramza went to bathe in what the local people called a 'shower,' he thought about his newfound friends, now become braves.

"It's a long road ahead, I know, but if you can stay with me as long as possible, we can endure this war. Now if only we could find the next stone...."

After drying off, Ramza headed to the next room finding Beowulf, Sephiroth, Cloud, and Aeris already up and having breakfast. He bit his lip for oversleeping while the party was out on their own.

But then again, who ever said he had to be leader? It was a hard enough job winning in a sword fight, why'd he have to be a leader. Instead of going to the hotel restaurant, he walked down to the promenade, where he ran into Zidane and Garnet.

"You guys are inseparable!" he exclaimed.

"More like he's attached to me!" Garnet spoke slyly, "Ever since last night, he's been treating me less like a girlfriend and more like royalty."

"But you are royalty." Zidane cooed.

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I like being treated like it!" she snapped, "I just happen to like being independent!"

"Yes, your Majesty!" Zidane kissed her on the cheek.

"Oh, your terrible!" she bopped him on the head.

"Oh brother!" Ramza sighed.

Ramza walked downstairs to the main street to hear someone call him.

It was Delita, "Wait up!" he ran up as quickly as he could. "I'll go for a walk with you."

"How'd you know I was going for a walk?" Ramza asked suspiciously.

"You don't think I know you enough that you would do that? Besides Alma told me you do this every morning."

"Groan, so what else has she told you about me?"

"More like what she's told me to do!" Delita said.

"What do you mean by that?"

"She's asked that I stop acting like a king and more like a knight, doing chivalrous things of sorts, I guess I could do that, but it doesn't feel like it's the real me."

"You do know why she wants you to do that don't you?"

"Why's that?"

"She likes you, Delita, she only tells that to men she likes, so if you like her, you'd better do it then huh?"

"I suppose.."

Chapter 24: A Problem and a Solution

As the two walked down the metallic street, they couldn't help but feel out of place in a world such as this one.

"I really can't wait to get back home," Delita pined.

"You sure about that? Archaic demons would probably hunt you down in the process, in fact, because these things are immortal, they may still be after us."

"I guess you're right, Ramza, but all the same, I still wish we could go home."

The winding roadways seemed odd and foreign to them, like they were aliens on some alternate planet. Another strange thing they noted, it seemed they were the only pedestrians out on the street. Everyone else was either riding the lifts, teleporting, or riding in a hovercraft of some sort.

"Now, I'm glad my home is in the past, because I wouldn't like the future anyway." Ramza spoke decidedly.

The two came across a strange building structure that seemed to be built straight out from the ground.

"Odd building, let's check it out." Delita urged.

When they entered, the place looked clean, almost as clean as some of the Chemist's labs they had been to back home. Then, the silence was broken when a bunch of lab technicians rushed into the door from another room.

Touching a series of panels, they opened up to reveal what appeared to be a massive laboratory. Ramza and Delita were in shock.

A tech boomed, "Code Luna, code Luna! We have an emergency!!!"

"Emergency? What emergency!?" Ramza asked.

The tech looked at him, not even regarding the fact he was trespassing, "The biggest lunar cry in history is preparing to fire on the main city of Esthar, get to cover now!!"

Delita and Ramza ran from the lab and down the street, uncertain what to do. Regardless they knew, somehow, that the Zodiac stones might be able to help.

They decided to run for the Palace and discuss the urgent matter with the President himself.

"You think you can destroy all the monsters on the moon?" he said, "It takes approximately one whole week for a lunar cry to launch and fire, we aren't even sure we could set up a barrier in time! But the biggest one you say? It's going to take a miracle!" President Loire said both on his telephone and to Ramza and Delita.

"I have an idea," Ramza said, "Delita and I will round up the Braves while you set up your barrier."

"We're going to have to get Rinoa and Squall here lightning fast then, only she knows how to cast a barrier that powerful."

"If I know what I'm talking about, this won't just be a barrier, this will be an anti-lunar cry!" Ramza speculated.

"I'm trusting you and your friends, Ramza," Laguna ran off in a rush, it wouldn't take long to pick up Squall and Rinoa, but as to setting up the barrier, he wasn't sure.

Ramza wasn't all that sure either, but he'd seen what these stones were capable of and was willing to help the city. Running up the stairs to the promenade of the hotel, they found Zidane and Garnet.

"Get the other Braves, hurry, we have an emergency!" Delita barked.

The other two ran off in separate directions, and by the time they assembled in the President's quarters, it felt as though too much time had already been lost.

"We have a big problem on our hands, and we need the Zodiac stones and one sorceress to solve them." Delita announced.

Alma asked, "What is it, are the archaic demons attacking?"

Ramza answered, "No, perhaps worse. The biggest lunar cry in the eras history is preparing to fire in a week and we need to protect the town and destroy those moon monsters."

"I see what you're getting at, Ramza, they said this sorceress is capable of casting a powerful barrier? But how are we going to turn that barrier into a weapon?" Alma questioned.

"We'll just have to hope this works, either way, we need to protect this city, so if all else fails, we exterminate every monster that falls to this planet." After Delita said this, they all agreed, hoping it wouldn't come to that.

It was then that Laguna ran up to them, with short breath, "We've sent a Ragnarok fleet to pick up Squall and Rinoa, they should be here within the hour..."

"That quick!? I'd think they'd be a while?" Delita was surprised at this modern technology.

"Our Ragnarok ships are capable of travel at fifty times the speed of sound, we're close to travelling at light speed too." Laguna replied.

"Now I know, I don't want to live in the future," Ramza muttered, "people move way too fast around here."

Alma asked Laguna, "What will we do till the moon prepares to fire?"

"Once we're certain the barrier is a go, we sit, wait, and watch. I have a spacestation that keeps tabs on the moon, this way we can view when the lunar cry will launch and how much time before it comes here. I just hope that perhaps you and your Braves are capable of supposedly destroying all the monsters on the moon."

Alma explained the situation, "All I know about the Zodiac stones, is that they function very similar to electrical charges, this is why we have to let the lunar cry hit the barrier Rinoa makes, so that we will be able to create a feedback loop aimed straight at the moon."

Laguna, thinking out loud said, "But how would you create a current without coming into contact with the barrier?"

"We're going to set up a boundary for each location that isn't covered by the barrier, that way we can stand on the border and use the stones." Ramza said.

"Very well then," Laguna said, "while you guys are fighting this thing, I will be monitoring how the moon fares inside the lunar lab. Good luck."

It was approximately 45 minutes later (even earlier than Laguna had said) when the Ragnarok ship flew in it's docking bay. The braves met the two newcomers and briefed them in on the situation.

"Another lunar cry!" Rinoa exclaimed, "but I thought we
destroyed the monsters at the core source."

".........." Squall thought for a moment, "Maybe something else triggered this lunar cry....we need to assemble at the lunar lab for some observation, we may just find our answers there."

The newly assembled party went to the observation deck in the lab. There, a large screen being transmitted from the lunar base orbiting the moon depicted what was causing a rushing tidal force on the surface.

"We only received these images recently," a lab tech explained, "the black spots are creating focal points where multiple cries will be fired, we used the satellite's magnification and this is what we found. We're not sure what to make of it, but whatever these creatures are....there replicating monsters at an incredible rate."

Chapter 25: The Problem Accelerates

"I know what they are.......," Ramza said, "They're Ultima Lucavi...worst form of demon known in existence....and you say their replicating monsters?"

"All we know is that the monsters annually create a massive blast known as the lunar cry, but it usually has only one focal point which we can usually use the lunar base's laser technology to eliminate, but these new creatures are replicating monsters at a terrifying rate, and constantly moving as they do so, so that we cannot target the focal points.

Plus there are multiple focal points, never have we seen events like this, if all these points fire all at once, there is no way we could just defend Esthar, other cities like Dollet, Balamb, even Galbadia would be hit massively. Each of these points registers at a good 40 kilometers in diameter."

Rinoa spoke up, "I can only cast a barrier approximately to the outskirts of Esthar, but that's only 60 miles in diameter. But you said there's more than one? How many points are there?"

The lab tech replied, "at last count, we saw at least 20 points preparing to fire a salvo on us."

Delita spoke up, "That's where we come in, Rinoa, Squall, once you create the barrier, we will perimeter the barrier and touch it with our Zodiac Stones and the result would be turning the barrier into a massive counter-focal point."

"But that's only a 60 miles in diameter. It's only capable of destroying one of them, we need something bigger." Rinoa pleaded.

Alma replied, "Rinoa, you may be a sorceress, but you're not the only one with magical powers, I am a Priestess, Garnet is a Master Summoner, and Agrias is a Holy Knight. If we pool our powers together, we can beat these things. All you have to do is set up the barrier, we'll do the rest."

"Okay, but I can only hold it for a total of ten minutes, then I'll have to rest and recharge the barrier, but what if we can only hit one target in that amount of time?"

"We've already taken care of that Rinoa," Squall said glancing at Laguna who then explained: "While the braves trigger the anti-focal point, Squall and an ally of his have volunteered for the mission of exterminating these Ultima focal points, and any extra focal points we miss."

A hearty laugh was heard that made Ramza stiffen and turn around to face the door. A cocky redheaded man swung a gunblade pistol over his shoulder, never bothering to glance at everyone in the room, just at Squall.

"You didn't forget I was coming along to kill those bugs did you?"

Cloud and Sephiroth remembered what the man at the shop had said about watching out for a man in black with a gunblade, but this guy hardly seemed to fit the bill, he was dressed in a drab gray trenchcoat and wore a black tee shirt, totally contrast to Squall's look of all black with  white tee and silver Lion pendant.

If Squall was one of their allies, should they trust him? And what about this red-haired guy, he seemed reckless and wild, no consideration for anybody else, and yet he also looked just as cold and calculating as Squall.

"......." Squall grimaced, "Guys this is Seifer, he's going with me on the expedition to the moon while you handle the big points."

Aeris looked at them in disbelief and said, "But how can you handle billions of monsters when there are only two of you?"

Seifer gave her the look over and said, "No problem, babe, the Presidante' is gonna give us a huge arsenal."

Aeris blushed and looked down, Cloud was ready to Omnislash him there and then. Sephiroth just turned his back and mumbled something about what a fool that man was.

"You're going on a suicide mission, and you didn't even tell me?! How dare you not tell me, Squall!" Rinoa yelled at him.

".....You know you're not rational when you're like this, Rinoa." He said nonchalantly.

"You're right I'm not rational! But so are you for thinking you can just leave and get killed without telling me!" Rinoa stomped her foot on his.

He winced, but then saw the pain in her eyes realizing how she loved him and didn't want him up there with such odds, let alone with a turncoat like Seifer. See there was nothing she could do to convince him otherwise she simply stood there, crying. Brushing the tears away, he kissed her on the forehead, and turned to face Seifer.

"Well, isn't that just romantic!" Seifer said sarcastically, "We gotta go launch in those know, the war mechs!"

"The lunar strike mobile suits," Squall slapped his forehead and groaned realizing the only thing Seifer was interested in was blowing stuff up.

Squall continued his explanation, "I wouldn't be any use to you down here, anyway, Rinoa, I need to fight these things, it's my duty as a Sorceress Knight."

Laguna interjected, "We're relying on you to eliminate the extra focal points, I and Esthar are counting on you....son.." he said quietly.

Squall had a look of consternation in his eyes about Laguna that said, I'm not doing this for you or for Esthar, I'm doing it for Rinoa's sake.

"Are you sure that's a wise idea, considering the fact that you'll be the only two fighting up there?" Ramza slightly switched the gears of conversation.

"From what we've gathered on the breeds of monsters up there combined with our weaponry, we'll be okay." Squall responded matter-of-factly, the perfect SeeD. Rinoa nudged her disapproval, and he squeezed her hand in acknowledgment.

"The thing that worries me," Aeris said, "is that you're outnumbered by a good billion fiends, and you have to avoid getting blasted by the fiends cries on the surface as well. Not to mention these new Ultima Demons."

"That's been pretty much taken care of, Aeris," Laguna smiled, confidently, "The mobile suits are designed with gunblade swordsmen in mind, this will greatly increase Squall's and Seifer's battle ability. They'll be able to eliminate most of the extra points while we deflect the largest point."

The party had mixed emotions at that point, the men in the party felt a little jealous of Squall and Seifer, and Seifer made it a point at how much he was going to enjoy fighting the beasts by rubbing it in. The mages were focusing on how and where they were supposed to set up positions. Squall however, was apathetic and merely thought of this as another SeeD Mission.

Chapter 26: A Mission to the Moon

"Alright everyone," Alma had hushed the discussions and set up a plan of action, "it's come to my attention by one of Laguna's attendants that there are surprisingly 11- I repeat-11 gates surrounding the Estharian borders, if each of us can get to our respective gates we just might be able to pull this off if Rinoa aims the barrier around the edges of the gates."

Aeris ran toward Alma and whispered in her ear, "What? You mean we don't have enough braves?" Alma said in shock.

"You forget--," Delita drew his Zodiac carved sword, "I don't have a stone even though we are 11 braves."

"Hmmmm," Alma scrunched her nose in thought, "that still means we have another brave to find....but we don't even have a stone to work with to find out who he is. And how are we supposed to set up a barrier if we don't even have all the braves needed, I don't know if we'll make it in time."

"I don't know of any Zodiac stones here on earth--," Laguna commented, "but there's an old Centra story about a Moon Stone. It goes like this: there's a legend of a great knight who must seek out a great treasure for his sorceress, but must give up his heart completely to her, and her his. The next part of the story didn't quite make sense: two hearts become one, Gemini is revealed and the guardian of earth shall appear with the heart of a lion and the soul of a griever."

"Gemini....hmm...." Alma thought, "So in order for us to find the Gemini warrior we need to go looking for a moon stone on the moon."

"But you'll be too busy for that...." Squall interjected, "Rinoa and the Braves are going to have to set up the barrier in time for the large cry. I guess while I'm up there with Seifer, we can look for this stone too."

"I'm not sure but, I doubt it's going to be an easy task to find that stone." Ramza thought out loud.

"You're talking about a 20 billion kilometer rock. How are you supposed to find something like that among other moonrocks?" said Zidane with his arms flailing in exasperation.

"The story never said he would find the moonstone," Alma speculated, "just that he was supposed to look for it, in my honest opinion it'll show by itself, but as far as who the guardian of earth is 'heart of a lion and the soul of a griever' how does that work in with us braves?"

"I think I have a slight explanation," Rinoa answered holding up Squall's gloved hand. Squall was a bit embarrassed by all this public attention, and he voiced it with a glare at Rinoa.

She swallowed her nervousness and continued, "Recently we had to face time compression where all times had become one time, we fought a sorceress named Ultimecia who summoned history's greatest Guardian Force, Griever, this GF we defeated, but realized later the GF itself was summoned from within Squall's ring which he also said was named Griever. As far as we know Griever hasn't existed, not even within his ring, as I've scanned it with my powers...."

"But--" Squall continued for her, "that doesn't mean Griever won't show up anytime soon, and if he's the guardian of earth, we may come across him. As to whether he'll help us or not is a mystery."

"You mentioned Squall had a ring named Griever." Alma questioned, "is there a connection between you and Griever?"

"I.......'m not sure." Squall said finally.

"The ring has been in the Leonhart family for generations, even though Laguna is Squall's father, it belongs to Squall." Rinoa explained.

"Ahem" Squall glared at Rinoa again, rather agitated. He didn't like acknowledging a klutz like Laguna was his father.

"Hmph..." Rinoa gave him a friendly elbow just to say, I'm right, and you know I had to say it.

Ramza wondered in marvel, “The Leonhart family? I thought that lineage was a myth, that the rumored world's greatest warriors came from that line. I never believed the family even existed, but now, right under my nose I find one of their the future at that--so the lineage did survive, even during the Lion War, and Sephiroth's War, even after all that! Now I really want to know if he's a Zodiac Brave!”

" order for us to even make a repelling force against the lunar cry...." Ramza reasoned, "We're going to have to get the Gemini Zodiac brave..."

"Ramza," Alma pointed out to her brother, "we won't even know who the brave is unless we have the stone, much less be able to deflect the lunar cry, so I think it's imperative Squall get ahold of that moon stone, though I'm still not even sure we can get the stone to the bearer, whoever he or she is..."

Laguna assured her, "The lunar strike suits are capable of travel to and from the moon within two hours at their top speed, so it shouldn't be a problem transporting the stone once we find it."

"IF it's up there..." said Seifer impatiently, "C'mon, I wanna kick some demon ass!"

The party sighed in exasperation with Seifer's comment, but he had been right, they were wasting time discussing things when there should be a plan of action taking place.

It took about three days preparation, but Squall and Seifer had been suited up for atmospheric launch. Rinoa left a final kiss with Squall as he placed the space helmet on.

"Don't worry...I'll be on a constant Radio and Video feed so you'll know I'm okay...besides, it's my job as a knight to do this..."

Rinoa's eyes glistened with tears as she said, "Come back to me....."

"Yeeach! All this mushy stuff is making me nauseous!" Seifer said over a comm, "C'mon Squall let's rock!"

Squall huffed at Seifer's impatience, but gave a tender look at Rinoa again, then stepped inside his mobile suit for transport. The port slid shut behind him. Rinoa then walked back to the launch station where the rest of the party was waiting.

Most of the party was in awe over the technology of the city, except for Cloud, Sephiroth, Aeris, and a few others who expected as much, anticipating the launch.

A commander announced over the comm, "Pilots secured, fuel supply and oxygen secured?"

Squall and Seifer said in their own respective comm links, "Check."

"Prepare for launch
10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...Ignition....we have liftoff....."

The launch was successful, albeit loud as the mobile suits rocketed out of the atmosphere. There were a few violent sessions during the video feed, but Squall and Seifer seemed okay after entering space.

Chapter 27: In the Demon's Lair

"Launch control, this is Leonhart, ETA with Luna in 90 minutes. We are go."

"That's an affirmative launch control, this is Almasy following Leonhart's ETA by 2 minutes, let the games begin!"

Laguna spoke over the comm with a commanding voice, surprising the party, "Don't get too cocky boys, you've got two missions up there."

"Roger that launch control, obtain Moon Stone and eliminate all Ultima Demon Cry Points."

"Good, Esthar and the World are counting on you!"

"Great, I really wanted more pressure!" Seifer said on a closed channel to Squall.

Squall toneless as usual replied, "Your primary mission is to eliminate the demon points, consider all monsters as side targets, I'll back you up, but my main mission is obtaining the moon stone."

"Oooh goody, I get to blow stuff up." Seifer quipped.

"Keep moon surface damage to a minimum, focus only on the target points and the Ultima Demons."

"Yeah, yeah, I copy..." muttered Seifer.

The party waited with baited breath for the confirmation, but as soon as they heard Squall say, "Touchdown, we are on the surface.." They breathed a sigh of relief, Rinoa most of all.

Laguna turned from the comm and spoke, "Now you people have a mission: we need to secure all points surrounding Esthar, even though we won't have all 11 gates secured until Squall locates the stone, we should still be ready." He handed each brave and Delita a communicator, "Use this to confirm your location, contact the others only when you've reached your designated area."

Delita nodded, but had a few questions, "I'm not presently an official brave, but my sword is something of a trigger to the powers of the stones, is there a center point where I can utilize it?"

"As a matter of fact both you and Rinoa will be going to the center of Esthar, the main square. She to prepare her barrier, you to initiate the stones. We need all the help we can get." Laguna said.

Rinoa piped up, "Laguna, I would prefer it if I could retain a comm link with Squall if I may..."

Laguna with a smirk realizing what she wanted said, "Don't worry we'll establish a satellite hook-up right there."

"Good." She said.

The mobile strike suits worked better than Squall had hoped, and he was eager to test their combat capabilities. Sure enough, over the horizon of the dark moon, a huge pink-purplish wave rose and came their way.

"It's coming--brace yourself!" Squall tensed.

A sea of monsters washed over the mechs like they were simply stones getting washed ashore. Squall was the first the draw a beam saber and cut a swath through the wave. Seifer followed suit.

"How the heck are you gonna get the stone in a sea of monsters?" Seifer mocked.

Squall countered with, "How are you going to get to the points?"

"Hurrrgh!" Seifer grunted as he plowed through another wave of the creatures. At first it seemed difficult battling the little beasts, but it was only a matter of time before the waves thinned and they'd just be walking on the moon again.

"Up ahead!" Squall barked. One of the black-winged demons seemed spawning in a vat of monster pustule, and grinned a toothy grin maliciously at the pair. A hiss and a lunge at Seifer was all Squall needed to launch a large salvo on the creature.

Unfazed by the ammo pounding, the demon pounced on Seifer's mech and began scratching at the frame. Seeing it impossible to break into it tried pounding it into the ground. Surprisingly quick in space, Seifer found it difficult to block the creature's hits. But one quick slice with the gunblade-like beam saber was all it took and the beast and its focal point were a floating mass of fluid orbiting the moon.

"These freaks aren't all that hard to fight!" Seifer grinned devilishly, "I'm gonna have me demon for dinner!" And he boosted for the next focal point on his hologram-map of the moon.

Squall lifted his sensor array, "Computer. Scan for Adamantite/Lunar fragment." [SCANNING]

Before Squall arrived on the moon, the lab technitians analyzed the components of the Zodiac stones, and realized they were composed of one compound. Adamantite. Since previous trips to the moon had proven there was no source of that metal found anywhere on the surface, it could only be assumed that it came from earth in ancient times. How, he had no idea, but he was going to make damn sure he found that Moon Stone. The braves counted on him, especially considering the fact that the largest cry he knew was aimed straight at the heart of Esthar, and he knew Rinoa would be there, of course she could cast barrier on the city and protect herself, but how long could she hold it up?

The bigger that main cry got the more Squall was worried.

Meanwhile back on earth, the parties had split up to their individual sectors of the city. Each eventually radioing their position in to Rinoa, Delita, and Laguna.

"I rrreeeally hope this works." Laguna ran his hand through his raven hair nervously. Rinoa hadn't really heard him, she was busy reading Squall's vital statistics, pulse, and watching his face from inside the suit and from a cam which told her where he was looking. Basically she was fussing over him.

Laguna, seeing his comment meant nothing, sighed and turned to Delita, "So how exactly did you activate those time gates, anyway?"

"Well," Delita seemed not quite able to answer the question, but he tried, "I...just drove my sword Legend here," he showed the blade to Laguna, "into some sort of groove or slit in an anvil. It just did it."

Laguna looked at him wide-eyed in confusion, and asked, "Umm, how exactly do you plan to activate the stones without a groove."

Delita was nervous now, "Erhm, I guess I could just as well point the sword at the sky and see what happens."

Now it was Laguna's turn to be nervous, "I.....hope you're right."

Chapter 28: The Search for Adamantite

"Come back here, meat!" Seifer screamed as he boosted after a pack of black Ultima Demons who seemed quite scared of his beam saber...that is until they reached the main focal point.

Up until now his tactics had worked. Hunt down demons, slice them and their points to bits. Good right? Now some sort of energy barrier was deflecting his beam saber and keeping the suit a good five feet away from the targets. Seifer swore and cursed kicking the field, while the demons hissed something that sounded like a laugh.

Meanwhile Squall had found no signs of Adamantite anywhere, and he was getting dangerously close to the main focal point on the surface. He did notice something different though, there were no other smaller focal points at all, and he'd boosted a good distance around the moon. Instead what he saw was something that uncurled a tendril of worry in his stomach.

The demons and their focal points were retreating inside the main focal point, making it bigger.

If he and Seifer were going to make it out of here alive, they'd better find the stone.

It took a few minutes, but Seifer had boosted around the main focal point and found Squall, scanning away. He would have laughed at the stupidity of it all had Squall not pointed up at the top of the point getting bigger.

"Okay, the other points are clear," Seifer confirmed.

"Not okay," Squall said monotoned, "they're merging with the main point, accelerating it's preparation. We need to find that stone now!"

Seifer without hesitation, flicked on his scanner, and quickly spun the mech about checking the surface for Adamantite anomalies.

Squall commed him, "I'm modifying the array to five feet below the surface."

"Copy," Seifer said, "Modifying array....God this is boring as hell!" he whined.

"Confirmed! I've got a lock on our Moon Stone! 30 meters due east." Squall shouted and transmitted the coordinates back to earth.

Back on earth, Laguna received the transmission and relayed the information to the braves. Rinoa was overjoyed that Squall was all right, so far, both surface objectives had been met; now it was just a matter of getting the stone and getting home. But the concerned look on Laguna's face told Rinoa that time was short and that they needed to get that stone home and it's brave in position quick!

Squall and Seifer had quickly boosted over to the coordinates and were readily prepared to dig up the stone. During the search, Squall commented, "Seifer, keep watch, if the demons see we have this stone, they'll be on us in a heartbeat!"

"I'll kick ass and take names!" Seifer grunted eyes glancing around. Then asking Squall, "Hey puberty boy, what's your sign?"

Squall sighed, not even bothering to look in Seifer's direction,

"Mmmm....Leo, or so Rinoa tells me."

"Ha--and they thought you were one of the missing braves, I could see it plain as day on their faces, what a bunch of dumb--"

"Attention--" boomed Laguna's voice over both comm links, "Launch control to Strike team, do you read? Over."

"Yeah....we read, over." Seifer grunted.

"Is the Moon Stone secured yet? Over."

Squall interrupted the link; "Stone secured. Over. Confirmed. It's Gemini alright..."

Squall held the stone in his hands tracing the hourglass shape carved on Adamantite with a metallic hand.

Suddenly it seemed as though a whole swarm of demons sensed the unearthing of the stone and left from behind the barrier to obtain it.

Seifer quickly activated his beam saber, stepping in front of Squall as he secured the stone inside a container attached to the mobile suit. Then Squall quickly activated his saber as well. And the battle began.

The fight wasn't actually that difficult at first, the demons struck one at a time, kamikaze fashion,

trying to knock the mechs into orbit. But both Squall and Seifer saw these coming and sliced them in half before they were even close. It was when the demons attacked in groups of five or six that Squall had trouble, as they knew he had the stone, and were clawing at where he had placed the container.

Rinoa watched in horror as she saw the contortions of combat scrawl across Squall's face, she didn't want to see the horrible creatures he was fighting, but something in her gut told her the tides had turned against them.

Seifer was beginning to realize the attacks weren't aimed at him, but at Squall, and it was all he could do to keep the strikes to a minimum, he even had to fire a missile or two to thin the numbers. So many. It was very hard to maintain a speed to keep up with them and hit solidly with his beam saber.

Squall leapt for high ground and use what reserves of boost he could spare to maintain his distance. It wasn't their strength that was difficult to deal with, it was their speed and sheer numbers that kept him moving, dealing with them. The numbers began to thin, and the demons began to retreat. And Squall knew it wasn't because he or Seifer posed a major threat.

That's when he saw it...

Globs of grayish brown matter floating out of the mobile suit.

Seifer landed next to him and stared in utter shock.

They'd cut his fuel reserves to get home.

Chapter 29: Desperation in the Heart of a Lion

Over the comm, Laguna was barking orders to central control to find a way to remedy the problem and seal up the fuel tube.

Squall opened a comm channel to Rinoa.

"Rinoa...." he looked longingly into the comm screen at her face, "Get the barrier up, Seifer will deliver the stone and bring it home...."

" can' wouldn't..." Rinoa pleaded over the comm.

He looked at her knowingly, "I'll be okay, but we have to destroy the"

Rinoa did a double take, "What! Seifer--a Zodiac Brave?!"

Seifer just looked at Squall in disbelief..., “How did you know my Birthday??”

"No....don't....," Rinoa pleaded.

"The people of Esthar are counting on us...."

Squall looked at Seifer intensely, "Seifer.....take the stone..."

Seifer was given the container, it silently glowed deep in space, a dark purple color. He was a brave. He looked up a Squall...whose eyes seemed much more ancient and wiser than his.

"Take it....go back to earth."


Seifer turned his back on Squall and boosted out of orbit, heading to earth. If anyone saw the look on his face, it was the first time Seifer respected and was...proud...of Squall.

"I will........Sorceress' Knight..."

Squall stared silently into the comm.

Rinoa could feel the tears flow freely.

"I...must protect the you...Rinoa...."

"Squall.......don't........go...NO!" She grasped at the video screen in desperation.

It was then that Delita saw in amazement the full effect of Rinoa's sorceress powers. Her wings appeared as gold as they spread, but then they turned a silvery gray. And power filled her eyes and hands.

"I.....will protect the all mankind." She had said between ghasps.

Seeing this, Delita knew now was the time to pull up the barrier, pointing his sword Legend to the sky, he said to Laguna.

"Contact the other braves, we need the barrier up now!"

It was only a matter of time to see if this would work.

The news was related to the other 10 braves, each now preparing to deflect the beam.

"I pray this works....." Ramza thought.

Silently in space the mass of monster fluids coagulated into one massive orb, like a giant eye, preparing to fire the largest lunar cry in their known history. Squall's eyes were resolute and defiant of all the chaos surrounding him. Nothing more he could do but watch, he stood eyes fixed upon earth and the monitor that kept a link with his precious Rinoa. He saw her eyes just as fixed upon the monitor, but now glowing with power as she produced a massive barrier.

A large glowing barrier could be seen from space, and Squall knew Rinoa had fulfilled her part.

"Now the Braves must do their duty......" his thoughts more of a plead now than ever.

The golden aura that was the barrier just barely contained all the sectors, but Delita saw that it was going to work. Even Seifer had made it to the 11th sector, surprisingly he turned out to be the brave and not Squall.

"I wonder why...?" he pondered the mystery as he prepared to channel the energies of the Zodiac stones into the barrier for an anti-lunar cry.

As the stones charged their energies thoughts haunted the braves.

Pisces "Please let this work."

Gemini "So this is my romantic dream...."

Aries "We fight for all futures, so I must fight."

Cancer "No matter what, I won't lose my heart again."

Libra "With this stone I pledge justice...we will defeat the darkness."

Taurus "This world and all others are counting on us."

Sagittarius "No matter what may have been, I fight for this day. No regrets."

Virgo "We can do it, all of us together."

Leo "Let's do this."

The stones finished casting their lights when....

The cry fired.

A massive beam flashed downward in a massive spiral aimed specifically and directly at the barrier, it only took a matter of moments for the cry to hit the barrier. The actual weight and pressure of the beam pressed deeply on Rinoa. She strained to hold the barrier, looking into Squall's eyes for strength. Her powers reached out to him, his face, his form, his soul.

It seemed to ignite something in him, a bond so great they were able to transfer their thoughts to one another.

"No matter what happens.....I'll always be with you Rinoa."

"Together with you my knight....for eternity, we must be together ALWAYS....."

Chapter 30: Love in the Soul of a Griever

This long moment lasted only a few seconds, only Laguna had noticed, but both Rinoa and Squall were glowing an iridescent hue. On the screen, he saw Squall lift his head, as if being bathed in an incredible light, the burden of life seemingly lifted from his shoulders. Laguna looked back....

Rinoa was gone.

The barrier still stood, but it was no longer a golden color, now it was a deep silver color, seemingly held in place by the stones and Delita's sword.

That's when he saw it.

On the spacecam feed, floating deep in space, a massive creature with a long silver mane and leonine head, large silver wings with noble features about it, appearance denoting it's strength was incredible. His thoughts made the connection.

"The heart of a lion....and the soul of a griever.....Griever...."

The lion Guardian Force launched itself massively upon the attack on the barrier, taking the full brunt of the cry, channeling it with it's massive clawed hands.

The beam stopped.

Griever crossed it's razor edged arms and roared with a voice that appeared to travel through time and space.


The dark orb that was the moon was now filled with a vast iridescent light orbiting the surface, the light flashed and filled the sky wtih a massive explosion. When the light dissipated, the moon still remained.

"Griever....he...killed all the demons and monsters....!" Laguna gasped in breaths.

Delita noticing the change in events and that Rinoa and Squall were missing, the cry gone and a large lion being-floating in space, lowered his sword, opening the barrier.

"What....just happened...???"

Laguna looked at Delita, eyes in disbelief of the events, and shook his head, if questions were to be answered, they would all have to be together.

After long moments of waiting, the braves arrived at the lab, multiple questions ready to burst from their mouths.

Laguna raised his hands silencing the crowd mumbles, and spoke.

"I'm really not quite sure I believe what I saw, but I seem to be the only person to actually see it."

His voice trembled as he continued, "I read of this in ancient text about a warrior joining with a sorceress to become a powerful being. This may have been a fulfilled prophecy, but it also seems to be the only explanation to what happened to Squall and Rinoa. What I'm not so sure of is what has actually become of them, and what the implications are concerning the new lion creature in the sky....."

"I....believe.....we can answer that question." A familiar voice said, half echo, half real.

The party whirled to find Squall and Rinoa with hands joined, but different now. Eyes wide, they anticipated the explanation.

"Griever....the Guardian both of us." Squall said, only just beginning to understand this himself.

"His courage in the face of death...and my love for him......." Rinoa continued, "made Griever."

"A sorceress's bond with her knight can't be broken...." Squall said in a wisdom beyond his years, "once we merged, we....can't be separated....we...are"

The braves looked on in concern, and Rinoa answered their looks with, "It was our desire to be this way..."

Seifer looked at Squall in surprise, he had fulfilled what Seifer thought was his dream. But as he looked at the two iridescent beings standing before him, he realized that this wasn't his dream at all.

Reading his mind, Rinoa spoke to Seifer, "You know your follow your heart. We will guide you."

A smirk appeared on Seifer's face, "Eh, Squall guiding me? What a load of bull!"

Squall frowned his usual frown at Seifer, "Not that kind of guide," He had read Seifer's mind, yet ignored it, "We will be your guardian force."

Seifer's face set as he mockingly appealed to their logic, "If you junction to me, I might as well have amnesia, cause you're gonna erase my memories."

Which was truth in itself, but Squall noted that it wasn't the reason why he didn't want to be junctioned. Seifer and Squall were still rivals, and Seifer felt the score was left unsettled.

Squall intoned a dead serious tinge in his voice. "Outside, you and me, no magic, just gunblades." With that, he waved his hand, Rinoa dematerialized inside of him, and instead of the light aura around his body, his casual clothes returned, with the Lionheart Gunblade at his side. A grim posture seemed to form on him as he walked out.

Seifer had the biggest grin on his face with a dark look in his eyes to match. Pulling on his trenchcoat he grabbed his Hyperion and strolled out the door.

Most of the group stood in utter shock, but Cloud, Sephiroth, Ramza, and Delita knew exactly what was going to happen. They quickly followed out the door to spectate the fight.

Inside Squall's mind, Rinoa quietly protested, "You know I don't like the idea of you fighting him like this!"

Squall pulsed back a thought of confidence telling her he knew what he was doing, considering whom they would be junctioned to, he wanted to test Seifer.

Blade's Fanfiction