All Dogs Go To Heaven
By Serena Lee
Ultimecia roared with fury for the final time; a shrill screech which drowned everything else - even the multitude of horrendous explosions which wrecked her bloodied body and the endless clangs of metal claws against blades and bullets.
Seifer sighed disinterestedly. So the witch was finally defeated after mumbling several words in the effort to distract Squall from launching his last Renzokuken move. It was unfortunate that the man was unfazed, and continued his attack relentlessly. The Sorceress was mercilessly slain right in front of Seifer's gleaming eyes.
"And so, the last of the Leonharts.. or rather, the Loires, had been eradicated from the face of the planet," Seifer chuckled darkly to himself. But no one paid heed to that blonde's voice, nor even towards his presence. How ironic, he thought. Faceless as the Sorceress was, Seifer was the only one who knew what she looked like, for his eyes could see through the façade conjured by her magic. Beneath the masquerade of dazzling colours and mystical powers, she looked no different compared to Rinoa Leonhart. Or her granddaughter, for that matter.
Come now. It's time to leave.
"Wait, " he said after a pause, as the drama before him unfolded like an exciting storybook read before bedtime. The subtle sigh in the intruding voice was promptly ignored, as his visage lit up when the orphanage came into view.
Matron was gazing at her trembling arms, which had just received the powers of a Sorceress from the distant future. The older Squall, his face frowning and full of concern, raised his gunblade towards the direction of Ultimecia. But she was of no threat to anyone now. Her crumpled body, wrapped in tattered crimson cloth, glowed with a hellish aura, and simply faded off.
You too, disappeared into the midsummer air, just like that little boy.. so long ago.
For a moment, Seifer wondered if he would see Ultimecia again. After all, his past was so intimately entwined with hers. He knew her grandmother very well, and Seifer felt himself beaming with pride. Rinoa was such a lovely girl, and he considered himself lucky to have her love.. even if it lasted only for a summer.
A small boy, dressed in a yellow shirt and black trousers, came running towards Edea Kramer.
Seifer thought he heard a snicker from the back of his mind. Oh, he is somebody, he thought. He has been, and always will be somebody. Squall Leonhart was the one who initiated the chain of events which would someday affect so many others. Even Seifer Almasy was not spared from this brutal twist in the time continuum.
"Kurse you, Skuall, " Seifer muttered from above the three, and laughed. As usual, no one took notice of his presence. Nevertheless, the blonde was used to talking and laughing to himself for such a long time, and this was no different.
Young Squall scampered off to find his Sis, while the older one vanished into thin air.
That boy won't be alone anymore. And you won't either.
Come now. Let us leave this place.
So many bittersweet memories, he mused to himself. The orphanage, SeeD, Garden.. everything came back to him in a sudden rush. Although the passage of time had left him rather jaded and disinterested in the events around him, the unexpected recollection of his past caused him to choke on a torrent of long-forgotten emotions.
He turned to his side, and gazed thoughtfully at the source of that pesky voice. He knew this being for almost a hundred years now, and he still could not understand what made him tick.
"Why are you always so impatient?" he asked after a minute's silence.
The human-like figure stared at him, a confused expression on his lean, handsome visage. The golden glow on his skin intensified, and the wings on his back twitched slightly. The two halos above his silvery head rose a little higher, as were his shining emerald green eyes. He looked almost angelic in innocence, divinely in image.
Seifer sighed when he realised there was no response. "You've been dragging me around across time and space for almost an eternity, reminding me things I already knew, and telling me of those that I didn't." He rested his chin on one hand. "Now that I'm properly enlightened, why can't you let me stay just for a little longer?"
The glowing figure smiled in understanding, and Seifer thought he felt warmth radiating from those rosy cheeks, piercing the thickness of his white trenchcoat, and bathing over his form. Sometimes that unnerved him, but he was usually glad for that. After all, that warmth provided him with comfort and in some strange ways, a form of consolation over his cruel fate.
Others are waiting for your arrival. They're ready to welcome you with open arms.. are you not excited?
The smirk on Seifer's face grew into a wide, toothy grin. Of course he was excited! He had been anticipating this auspicious day for.. how long had it been? The months had become meaningless, the seasons were no more than slight changes in the weather.. his soul yearned and craved so strongly for this final release from the watery prison - so much so, that he'd forgotten to count the number of days he had to endure as a ghost from the past, forever drifting aimlessly between realities and muddled timeframes.
Squall trudged tiredly on a deserted, forsaken island, surrounded by swirling dark mists which stretched beyond the horizon into... nothingness. And so was Rinoa. Each step was heavier as the seconds passed, each breath was becoming laborious and ragged, but they could not escape their own time-warps.
Seifer gazed down with a look of sympathy on his ever-youthful face. As Squall crouched on one of the countless barren cliffs, unable to walk further, Seifer was clutching the edges of his trenchcoat anxiously. The minutes passed. But it seemed like hours.. or was it days? Seifer could never comprehend the effects of Time Compression, more so when it was trying to realign itself and leaving behind a trail of time-space chaos. He could feel the agony tearing at their hearts, and the drain in their aching, exhausted bodies.
A golden eyebrow arched. "Can't we do anything?"
His companion shook his head sadly, allowing the long silver tresses to swing almost lifelessly against his shoulders. Feathery wings continued to flap in what seemed to be an obvious display of agitation of frustration.
We cannot interfere. They must find their own way.
But the boy won't be alone.. I assure you of that.
Seifer continued his quiet observation from high above. The hate he bore against the SeeDs and Caraway's daughter had long dissipated, replaced by the urge to redeem his sins and to right what had been wronged, if possible. That urge grew and reached deep into his core when he heard Rinoa weeping against the cloth of her blue dress. Despair would fill his heart at that instant, if he still had one.
Glancing sideways, he regarded sourly at the angelic figure which had guided him for almost a century. Stoic emerald green eyes remained fixed at the despondent scene beneath them. The black cape around the figure's shoulders flapped as though an invisible breeze was blowing gently against him. Still, the figure's visage was as emotionless as before. So cold, Seifer thought.
Returning to Squall and Rinoa, the blonde could not help but to wonder. I am always beside you... whether you know it or not, he thought. He had been with them, their children, and just moments ago, with their ill-fated granddaughter. He had seen the rise and fall of cities, he had witnessed the births and deaths of the descendants of those he once knew. Seifer Almasy was always there since time beginning.
And now, before he would go on a permanent trip to the other side, he knew he had to do something. Squall Leonhart was somebody. So was he. And everyone else who loved or hated him during his lifetime. That 'somebody' would live on, despite the torment he or she had to undergo. Life was never easy for anyone, and Seifer learnt it the hard way. If there was one thing he truly desired, it was to alleviate the misery of that 'somebody' without disturbing Destiny itself.
If only someone had helped him along the way, he wouldn't have to go through so much pain and trouble to where he was now...
"For God's sake, they're both almost on the verge of falling into unconsciousness!" his frantic mind screamed.
... and that someone, he concluded, would have to be Seifer Almasy.
"Hyne forgive me," he murmured and quickly bolted forward towards the angelic being beside him. Nimble gloved fingers snatched at his wings, but not before the glowing figure pulled away first. A fistful of empty air remained clenched in front of the figure's eyes, which had narrowed dangerously in alertness and anger.
Insolent boy! You cannot possibly alter their fate, and you know that.
The figure rose effortlessly to his leather-clad feet, and glowered in fury. His black cape trailed behind him like rivers of darkness, which was framed by his silvery mane flowing down to his waist.
I've had enough of you. We will return... NOW!
And with that, Seifer was roughly pulled up and dragged away by his right arm. But there was not a look of despair or disappointment in his eyes. In fact, that haughty, mischievous grin that was so typical of Seifer, beamed from his rather contented face.
A single feather from those flapping wings, which had escaped the attention of its owner during that brief struggle, slowly made its way to Squall's open palm.
"Squall won't be alone anymore," a soft voice whispered in Seifer's mind.
"You're.. not angry?"
How could I? After all, you're still a little boy.
"Why do you have to call me that?"
Technically, I'm older than you. Now stop complaining, and be prepared.
"... alright, Sephiroth."
A sphere of light was born from the darkness. Its ethereal golden luminescence grew in intensity, its size increasing in each passing second.
No need to be afraid, Seifer. We have many friends on the other side. Besides, Kefka's the head of the welcoming committee, and a damn good one too. You'll love it there.
"Heh.. I never thought an underling lapdog like me could end up in paradise."
All dogs go to heaven, my boy. Even I was a slave without a will of my own once. But that's another story...
"Really? I'd like to hear that!"
(sigh) Yes, yes.. In another time. I'll even make them as your bedtime stories, I promise. Now, hold still and let me concentrate.
The distinct borders between whiteness and blackness began to blur, and distort like clouds of morning mists. Raw energy crackled and sparked everywhere.
Oh.. by the way, I've received news that Ultimecia's waiting for you too. She seems very.. eager.
Suddenly, the focus of light shot forward, leaving behind a golden streak of pure brilliance and unparalleled brightness. And then, there was nothing more.
Rinoa Heartilly thought she had just witnessed a meteor falling out from the heavens above Balamb City. Remembering that one, single unforgettable moment that occurred not so long ago, under the same nightsky, and with the same person, she turned to her side, and gave an adorable, loving smile.
There was one more dance for the night.
Author's Note : Thanks for reading! Feel free to distribute this fanfic, or host in your website if you have one. All I ask in return, is that you give credits to where they are due.
Comments and brickbats are welcomed, just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit my COLOURLESS DREAMS homepage at http://surf.to/Serena_Lee Warning, the FF-related pages MAY contain YAOI stuff. Viewer discretion is HIGHLY recommended.
This is my final FF8 fanfiction, and I'm glad it's the 'epilogue' of "Fondly Remembered" which I wrote just a couple of weeks ago (though, I'm kinda disappointed by the way it turned out..). I'll be very busy with my final year of studies after this, and I just can't seem to churn out anymore ideas from FF8. But hey, stay tuned.. I might just stare at the PC screen long enough, and a motherload of inspiration might just come tumbling down onto my head ^_^ See you soon!
Serena Lee's Fanfiction