Fire Petals Chapter 11


By Edenne

There were sparkles infront of Ellone's tired eyes as soon as she opened them. At first she had thought it was just because she had just woken up, but as she came to, she groggily sat up and found that it was really the sun reflecting on the waves around her tiny, lonely fishing boat.

*I'm in the middle of the ocean.* she realized, having temporarily forgotten about her predicament. The vessel slowly rocked her back and forth, waves occasionally slapping quietly against the sides. She had spent the night on the hard wood floor, and was surprised that she had managed to fall asleep. Her eyes were swollen with the previous night's horrified tears as she was thrown, blindfolded, onto hard wood and felt the boat drift from the shore.

Her wrists were swollen and red as well, from the ropes that had been tied around them. Last night, she had managed to wiggle out of them and pull off her blindfold, but still all she had seen was darkness.

Now all she could see was water and cloudless sky. She sighed, and for a few minutes struggled not not cry again. She lay back on the floor, and tried to relax.

*I have to talk to Squall,* she told herself, concentrating, like she always had when she needed help. She began to strain her mind, unable to make contact with him as usual. *They've taken my powers. They said they would and they did and now I'm completely helpless.* But she wouldn't feel sorry for herself. She *refused* to. *I'm gong to try . . . that's all I can do . . .*


When Seifer finally made it to his room (a small, windowless room on one of the lower floors), he threw his overcoat onto the bed and sat down beside it, resting his elbows on his knees. He spent a few minutes mulling over the sorceress' list of orders, and threw it to the floor in frustration. *How can she expect this of me??* He angrily reached over to the bedside table and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from the top drawer.

"If anyone has a fuckin' problem with this, they can eat the rest of these." he mumbled as he pulled one out and lit it, striking a match on the side of the table. He whipped the pack back into the drawer and took a long, satisfying drag. It wasn't the actual cigarette that was satisfying -- actually he thought it tasted like shit -- it was the feeling of rebellion that it gave him. If he had been caught doing this at Balamb, he was sure he would have been kicked out. And now, after hearing endless 'It'll kill you blah blah blah's, doing something he generally wasn't supposed to offered him a small amount of comfort.

Upon finishing it and butting it out right in the table, he lay back on the bed and again took hold of his magical turquoise pendant. *Okay, Squall, you're gonna get it now.*


Selphie, Zell, and Irvine had been just as happy as anyone when they found out that Squall was all right. Rinoa had hurried past them without much explanation, seeming a little worried, her only words, "Have you seen Squall?" They hadn't, but she left them before anyone could reply, and didn't hear Selphie ask with disblief if he was awake. The trio watched her run through the doors to the Quad and shrugged at each other.

Rinoa hurried down the shallow stairs to the Quad, not sure where Squall could be but refusing to quit looking until she found him. She knew she would either be yelled at or ignored when she did find him, niether of which she looked froward to, but she feared the possible concequences of letting him be alone too much to turn away.

She was surprised when she found him, sitting by the crumbled edge of where the rail had been destroyed in their battle with Galbadia Garden. His legs dangled over the ledge as he watched the ocean or the sky or *something,* one really couldn't tell what. Seeing him sitting where a sudden gust of wind could blow him off and send him a hundred feet down into the ocean freaked Rinoa out a little, making her hurry a little more as she made her way over. "Squall?" her voice was tiny, fearful, as though she feared that even her breath could send him over the edge. He didn't reply -- didn't move either. "Look," she continued meekly, "I didn't mean to --"

"Why do you keep bugging me?" his voice had the same ash-soft quality as usual, but with a hard edge. He didn't turn around.

At this, Rinoa forgot about trying to keep her voice low. "*Bugging* you? Is that how you interpret the fact that I'm trying to show you that I actually *care*--"

"That's not what I mean," Squall replied, frustrated, "I'm talking about how you won't stop interrogating me about whatever it was that happened. You just won't stop--you don't listen to a word I say."

"I *do* listen to what you say. It's just that you barely *say anything.*"

"You must be stupid then, because if you *understood* what I was saying you'd leave me alone about it!"

"Never mind, Squall, I was wrong. You certainly said a lot just there." Rinoa's voice began to shake. *Did he just call me stupid??*

"I'm glad you finally listened."

Rinoa began to walk away. *That went well.* Squall thought. *Good job; you just ruined everything.*

He heard a sort of choked squeak far behind him, and finally turned around to see Rinoa sitting on the steps about thirty feet away. Her face was buried in her hands and her shoulders quivered a couple times. *Oh, OH, WONDERFUL job, Squall, you made her cry. What a great guy you are.* He couldn't find the guts to go apologize. He didn't know what to say, or what she'd say *. . . Oh SHIT . . . the headache . . . burning, burning headache . . . .*

It was less painful this time -- he didn't become dizzy or disoriented. But Seifer was still there, he words echoing angrily in his mind.

~I'm gonna do this RIGHT this time.~

*Leave me alone! I have enough problems! Don't you have anything better to do??*

Seifer didn't reply. Squall began to feel a strange sort of sensation in his fingertips. He lifted his arms and looked at his hands. He watched them make fists, completely out of his control.

*What the hell . . . .* His arms lowered. His eyes blinked and he found he could not keep them closed. His soon found himself in a standing position, his legs beginning to take confident steps toward Rinoa. He found he could not control the rhythm of his breathing, nor his mouth to utter a single word. He was completely under Seifer's control.

~This is fun.~ Squall could almost hear Seifers cocky chuckle in his head.

*Leave Rinoa alone!!*

~Don't worry, Squall, She'll be well taken care of. Don't worry bout a thing.~


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