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One of our own
by Lady Aliena

This is in answer to the "Seifer Goes Mad" challenge on CBB. Told from a different perspective...


"Rinoa and Adel! The sorceresses as one! Watch closely, Squall!" Seifer taunted as he thrust a frightened Rinoa towards Adel. He stepped back and watched, satisfied, as the others rushed towards Adel, intent on saving their friend.

Their friend...

'They'd never do the same for me, would they?' Seifer thought, his smug look fading. He stared at the battle as the SeeDs risked their own lives to rescue poor Rinoa, who was apparently very special to them. Who had once been very special to him too. Backing away, his horror growing as the realization of all he had done hit him, he glimpsed into the eyes of the monster. She seemed to pause in battle and stared him down, grinning evilly. What he saw in those eyes horrified him even more than the scene before him. He saw the blackness of his own soul. As Squall delivered the final blow to the monster, Seifer stumbled away into the shadows clutching his head...


I didn't witness any of it. I wasn't there. I never saw Seifer begin his descent into madness. I only witnessed the aftermath of it. It all started a few days after the Ultimecia incident had come to a close. That was when I got the phone call...


Cid had left for a few weeks to accompany his wife back to the site of the little orphanage she had managed. He said they were thinking of renovating it and reopening it's doors.

"Xu," he had said, "Squall's in charge of the Garden, but since you know much more about the administrative side of things than he does, I want you by his side, keeping everything in order. Got that?" I nodded. So that's how I found myself in his office, sorting some files and basically organizing everything. Quistis and Squall were in the room arguing, as usual, when the phone rang.

I answered, "Balamb Garden. Xu speaking..."

A shaky low voice replied, " Cid Kramer there?"

"I'm sorry. He's away for a few weeks. May I help you?"


"Hello?" I asked.

"Umm...we have one of your own."

"What do you mean - 'one of our own?'" I frowned, perplexed.

The voice on the other end suddenly changed into a woman's voice, a little more forceful. "FH. COME. URGENT!" and the line went dead.

"Hello? HELLO??" I hit the receiver in my hand a few times, more from frustration than from trying to get the phone to work. Sighing, I slammed down the receiver.

"What was that about?" Quistis asked, crossing her arms. I began to relay the strange conversation to her and Squall.

"It sounded important. I feel I need to go."

"You can't go by yourself!" Quistis exclaimed.

I narrowed my eyes at her, "Quistis Trepe, I am just as much a SeeD as you, and what's more...I am your superior and can do as I please. I've trained and feel pretty confident that I can handle a little trip to FH by myself if necessary."

"Squall!" Quistis pleaded.

Squall laughed at how I put Quistis in her place, and then he straightened up, "While I tend to side with Xu on this one..."

"Figures..." Quistis mumbled, sullenly.

"...I guess Quistis is kind of right too. It couldn't hurt you to have someone go with you. In fact, why not take Quistis?"

I smiled, "Fair enough. We'll get Nida to take us over in the Ragnarok. We should go right away, Quis. If you could have heard the fear in the voices..."

"You don't know it's not a trap," Quistis interjected.

"True, but you don't know that it is." I opened the door to Cid's office and stepped out.

Conceding, Quistis followed me, whispering to Squall on the way out, "You just want to get me out of your hair for a while, don't you?" Squall shrugged innocently.


We told Nida to drop us off and return in five hours' time. There wasn't really any place to land the Ragnarok, so we felt it was best this way. After all, it wasn't too long ago that we crashed into the place with the Garden, so we were a little reluctant to cause anymore trouble. Stepping out into the little town, we looked around.

"Where do we start?" I asked Quistis. We had no idea what we were looking for.

"Well, we should start with what "one of your own" means."

"I've been thinking about that and I think it must mean someone from Balamb Garden."

"But everyone came back," Quistis argued. Suddenly it dawned on me.

"Not everyone. There were three who never came back. Fujin, Raijin, and..."


"That has to be what they meant. Now that I think of it, the first voice had to be Raijin and the second, Fujin. That would make "one of your own" Seifer."

"You don't think something happened to him, do you?" Quistis asked fearfully. Before I could answer, we heard someone clear his throat behind us. Whirling around, we found we were face to face with none other than Raijin.

"You called?" I asked him.

He glanced down at his feet and nodded his head. "We didn't know what else to do, you know?" He beckoned for us to follow him, and we complied. Walking past the harbor into the darker, more rundown portions of the little town, Raijin led us to a ramshackle hovel. He pointed towards the darkened room and said, "He's in there."

Quistis gasped as we walked inside and a rank odor pervaded the room. But I don't think she was gasping at the smell, so much as at the shivering man huddled in the corner.

Seifer Almasy.

Ordinarily, I would have felt disgust for this man who had always been arrogant, proud, and rude. He was one of those people that I just really could not tolerate, and I'm a pretty laid-back person. However, I felt no disgust - only pity. He was clutching his legs to his chest and rocking, staring out at nothing.

Raijin said, "He won't let anyone get near him."

Ignoring him, I approached Seifer. Though he didn't seem to be looking at me, he started screaming as soon as I closed the proximity between us.

"Told you," Raijin said, softly.

"Let me try," Quistis offered, stepping forward. Seifer tensed up, but he did not scream. She knelt down beside him and began to stroke his dirty, matted hair as he whimpered. "'s ok..." she whispered softly, as if to a child.

"He doesn't look like he's eaten or had anything to drink in days!" Quistis said.

"WON'T," a new voice said. Fujin walked into the hovel, carrying a bag of supplies.

"Yeah, he just sits there and stares, and if we try to give him food or anything, he starts screaming," Raijin agreed.

"We have to get him back to Balamb somehow. Quistis, you stay here. I'm going to radio Nida and have him come back now. I think there's an emergency medical kit in the Ragnarok that might have some tranquilizers in it."

"NO!" Raijin shouted angrily, making poor Seifer wince, "You're not going to drug him like he's some animal!"

"If we don't, Raijin, he'll die from malnourishment," Quistis exclaimed.

"Fujin!" Raijin pleaded for her help, but Fujin shook her head.

"MUST." Then she added more softly in an almost normal tone of voice, "We must..."

So I ran out and using my comm device, I called Nida to come back. When he finally hovered over the pier and opened the hatch, I ran inside to retrieve the medical kit.

"What's this all about?" Nida asked and then spotting the medical kit in my hand, he gasped, "Quistis isn't hurt, is she? I knew I should have been there to protect her!"

"No, silly, Quistis is fine. I don't have time to explain everything right now, though. Stay here and we'll be back shortly and I'll explain everything then." With that being said, I ran out, but not before I heard Nida mumble, "No one ever tells me anything!"

Running back into the hovel, I fumbled with the medical kit and found the tranquilizer. I handed it to Quistis, "You're the only one who can get close to him." Quistis kneeled down beside Seifer again, ignoring the groans of Raijin, and whispering soothingly the whole time, injected him with the tranquilizer. He tensed as he felt the needle penetrate his arm, but then he began to blink his unseeing eyes. Once. Twice. The third time, his eyelids fluttered to a close.

"Help us get him to the Ragnarok!"

Raijin and Fujin picked the now sleeping Seifer up and carried him out to where the great ship was hovering. When we finally got him safely inside, I turned to the two posse members.

"Come back to Balamb. Seifer needs you. He needs anyone he can get."

Raijin shifted uncomfortably, and looked at Fujin with a hopeful expression on his face. Fujin looked torn, but the minute she glanced at her sleeping friend, her expression softened and she nodded, "WILL RETURN." Raijin's face broke out into a huge grin and he leapt up with joy. So, I returned upstairs to Nida, and filling him in on everything, as promised, we made our way back home.


"Let me take care of him," Quistis insisted when she saw Squall's surprised face. She quickly ran to him and quietly explained the situation. I watched her arms waving around, pointing at Seifer, mimicking an injection...

"Guys, let's get him to the infirmary," I said. Fujin and Raijin followed me, carrying Seifer in.

"Oh my! What happened here?" Dr. Kadowaki asked in surprise when she saw the four of us. I let Raijin explain everything as I helped Fujin prop him on a bed.

"...and so they, well, you know, they injected him and now he's asleep..." Raijin was saying.

"Mmm-hmm," Dr. Kadowaki listened as she hooked up an IV. The first priority was to replenish all the nutrients he had lost. "Listen guys, thanks for bringing him here, but for now, visitors are off-limits. At least until I've had a chance to examine him, ok?"

We nodded and headed towards the door.

"Xu? Can you hold on a minute?" I stopped and smiled at Fujin and Raijin as they kept on walking down the hall.


"Are you ok?" Dr. Kadowaki asked me.

I sighed, "I don't know. I've never liked Seifer, but seeing him like this just..." I couldn't even finish my thought. I sat on one of the beds. "Do you think this is permanent?"

Dr. Kadowaki shrugged, "I've only seen something like this once before." She acknowledged my surprised look by continuing, "I used to work at Mission of Mercy Institution in Deling City before I came here. No one really knows that. Anyway, I saw a young lady in this condition, and soon after I left, so I never found out what happened to her."

"Do you think he'll pull out of it?" I insisted.

"It's hard to say. I need to examine him first, and do a little research. I'll let you know what I find."

I nodded resignedly. There wasn't anything else I could do, so I walked towards the door. I stopped when I heard Dr. Kadowaki's voice again.

"Xu, go get something to eat and then take the rest of the evening off and relax. Doctor's orders!"

I smiled and replied, "Sure..." and set off towards the cafeteria, feeling hunger pangs in my stomach. Walking down the hall, I picked up snippets of conversation, all concerning Seifer! My, how word traveled in this place!

I passed by a group of guys and heard...

"...Well, I for one, am glad this happened. Seifer's always been a jerk and he betrayed everyone. It looks like he got what he deserved."

"I agree. He always thought he was better than everyone. They say he screams if anyone tries to come near him. What a baby!"

I kept walking, willing myself to keep silent, though that little conversation angered me. I walked past a group of girls next...

"You know why he's like that? It's because his true love, Rinoa, left him for Squall, breaking his heart, and thus breaking his soul..."

The other shuddered with excitement, "How romantic! Oh, poor Seifer..."

For some reason, this conversation angered me just as much as the other. No one deserved Seifer's illness and he was NOT some romantic hero. He was a pitiful person who made the wrong decisions and was now suffering from a horrible fate. By the time I reached the conversation, my mood was black. I found my friends and joined them at their table. They were all sitting there, their moods as dark as mine.

"Is he ok?" Quistis asked. I shook my head.

"No change..."

"I think we should do something. You know, make him feel at home in there. He's never going to get better with his room being that drab!" Selphie said.

"Why don't you take care of that, Selph?" asked Zell.

"Maybe I will."

"I hate it that we fought him. With everything that happened, surely there was another way out. I feel kind of responsible..." Irvine sulked.

"Me too..." Zell agreed.

"Me too..." piped in Nida.

I rolled my eyes at Nida, "Hon, I really don't think you need to feel responsible."

Squall agreed, "No one should feel responsible. It's awful what happened to Seifer, but no one here's to blame. And as your 'commander,' I command you to stop feeling guilty because there's no reason for it!"

Rinoa grinned, "Listen to him, you guys. He may never speak like that again!"

Squall's face reddened and he mumbled, "Whatever..." About that time, a group of girls walked past the table, glaring at Rinoa, one of them kicking her chair.

"Hey! What was that for??" Rinoa cried.

"I think I can explain," I answered. "It seems that one of the popular notions is that you broke Seifer's soul when you broke up with him."

"But that's ridiculous! Besides, it was mutual!" Rinoa exclaimed.

"I know, I know...that's just what people are saying. I shouldn't have said anything..." We just sat there in silence. One by one, each person picked up his or her tray and left the cafeteria. I was left there alone with Nida.

"OK, so WHY shouldn't I feel guilty? I mean I..." As he launched into this long, passionate speech on why he was to blame, I thought about the day's events and sighed. How could something like this happen to one of our own?


I buried myself into my work. Cid was scheduled to return later on that day. I dreaded telling him about Seifer. But, then I thought, 'Maybe he's doing better.' Setting down my pencil, I got up and made my way down to the infirmary. Opening the door, I was assaulted by the aroma of hundreds of yellow daisies. Dr. Kadowaki's nose looked red and she was sneezing a bunch while she rifled through a medicine cabinet. Walking past dozens of flowerpots, I said, "Let me guess...Selphie?" Dr. Kadowaki nodded.

"I didn't have the heart to tell her I'm allergic to some varieties of flowers. She wanted to make the room more cheery for Seifer, so I allowed it. I have medicine I can take, if I could just find it!"

Walking to the end of the room, I saw Seifer sitting in a chair staring out at nothing. He was still hooked up to the IV. He had such a haunted expression on his face, I wondered again what he could have seen.

"No change, huh?" I asked.

"Sorry," Dr. Kadowaki said. "And the research I've found has shown that when a person reaches this stage, he usually never returns. He just sits there, never letting anyone near him. The closest I can get is his IV." She gestured to the metal stand, holding the nourishing liquid.

I gulped. Poor Seifer. Poor broken man. I wonder if you'll ever come back?


The days turned into weeks, and consequently, into months. Cid didn't know what to do. He wanted to turn Seifer over to Mission of Mercy where he could receive long-term care, but I think he felt responsible for him, in a way. Selphie kept Seifer's room stocked with yellow daisies; Dr. Kadowaki simply took an allergy shot every day. I saw Quistis sitting with him in the evenings, reading to him, and Fujin and Raijin would be chatting in his presence during the day. I wish I could say his story had a happy ending, but sadly it has not.

I walked down the hall, picking up snippets of conversation...

"So, how'd you do on the exam in Fry's class?"

"I don't know, but I thought it was hard..."

I kept walking...

"Japheth Palmer asked you out? What're you gonna wear?"

"I haven't decided yet. You HAVE to help me!"

Hmm...Seifer was no longer the topic of choice. In the months that had passed, he had simply become known as the 'crazy blond guy in the infirmary.' I turned into the infirmary and smiled as I realized that I was all alone with Seifer today. According to the note posted on the door, Dr. Kadowaki had gone off to run an errand of some sort. Seifer was sitting in front of the window, staring blankly forward. I knelt down by him. He no longer cowered when people came near him. He had fallen into a catatonic state, shutting the entire world out.

"Hey Seifer," I said conversationally. I couldn't believe it - one year ago, I wouldn't have had a thing to do with this young man, but here I was, fervently hoping that he'd get better. Most people had given up on him. But I refused to. After all, he was one of our own.

"Quistis won't be coming in tonight. She was sent on a mission with Squall and Irvine. She was a little exasperated about the whole thing. They have to go to the Shumi village. She said between Squall's stubbornness and Irvine's flirtiness, she'd probably go crazy halfway there!" Oops, I immediately thought. I said the "C" word. Nice going, Xu. Way to make him get better!

"Selphie's sick with the flu, so Zell offered to water your flowers for her. The only problem is, he pretty much flooded each pot. The boy knows nothing about gardening! Rinoa keeps teasing him about it. She won't let him live it down. Don't worry though. We'll get you new flowers in here soon enough."

I examined Seifer's face. Still no response, but I continued.

"Nida appealed to Cid about a promotion. Cid acted like he agreed, but as soon as Nida left his office, Cid said, 'OK, Xu. Who was that again??' Poor Nida, he never gets any respect!" I laughed. Still, Seifer continued to stare into the distance.

"Well, I guess I better go. I just wanted to make sure you had some company today since I know it's probably been lonely since Fujin and Raijin had to deliver some goods to Trabia. Um...well, take care alright?" I patted his shoulder and turned to leave the infirmary.

But not before I heard the soft whisper issued from his lips.

"Thanks, Xu."

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