Final Fantasy VIII _When Angels Deserve To Die
by LadyBlackMage

The setting is just after the six fight Ultemecia. They are in Balamb and decide to stay the night before they headed back Balamb Garden.

"Zell, are you sure you mother will be fine with us staying at your house tonight?" Rinoa asked, hanging on Squall's arm.

"Yeah, of coarse!" Zell exclaimed. He thrust his arm in the air, still full of adrenaline from the fight with Ultemecia.

"As long as it's ok..." Squall trailed. The whole group was tired, and filthy dirty.

"We're here! Mom, I'm home! And I brought my friends!" Zell yelled into the house as the six entered.

They heard a woman from the area of the kitchen yell: "Zell! Is that you?" Mrs. Dincht appeared in the doorway. She ran foreword to give Zell a hug but stopped in her tracks.

"Zell, you stink!" she exclaimed.

"Hehe... You'll never believe what we've been through!" Zell laughed.

"Mrs. Dincht, could we trouble you for a shower and a place to sleep?" Quistis asked politely.

"Of course! You girls can room up in Zell's room, and you guys can have the living room." she stated. She headed for the kitchen, and called behind her. "I'll start dinner, you kids can take showers."

"Alright, Rinoa. Why don't you go ahead?" Squall urged. Rinoa looked at him surprised.

"Go ahead." Quistis agreed.

"Do I smell that bad?" she laughed, heading for the stairs to the bathroom. The others laughed as she headed into the bathroom. She saw that there were clean towels in one cupboard. She sighed, turning on the water in the shower, very hot. Steam began to pour out as she climbed in. She washed her hair, adding some conditioner, and then scrubbed her skin clean. She felt very refreshed as she climbed out and wrapped a large pale green towel around her body.

"Mrs. Dincht is too kind to let all of us stay here." Rinoa sighed as she brushed out her hair. It took her awhile, because the wind from the battle had tangled it badly. "Maybe I should have tied it up..." she trailed, finally managing to untangle it all. She smiled, pulling it all into a ponytail. She brushed her teeth and found some clothes that Mrs. Dincht had set out for her. They must have been some old clothes of Zell's because they were way too big for Rinoa, but she rolled up the waist of the dark gray jogging shorts and they managed to stay up. She pulled on the baggy black T-shirt and sighed.

"I feel much better." she said to herself as she opened the bathroom door. She was surprised that no one was standing in front of the door, waiting for their turn. She made her way downstairs and saw the others had moved into the kitchen.

When she entered, she smelt a pan full of pork chops simmering on the stove, a large pot of potatoes boiling, and two apple pies baking in the oven.

"Feel better?" Squall asked, seemingly happy to see her as he stood up.

"Much! Thanks." Rinoa responded, smiling and feeling her cheeks turn a pale pink. She took the seat next to him.

"See ya!" Selphie called as she ran towards the bathroom.

"Hey! It's my house!" Zell whined, running to the doorway.

"Zell..." Mrs. Dincht warned, thrusting the tongs she had been flipping pork chops with towards her uncooperative son.

Zell mumbled something about the unfairness of it all, and flopped into the chair next to Irvine.

"Tough breaks, eh Zell?" Irvine laughed. He had to dodge the glass that Zell threw at him.

It was later that night, and everyone was asleep, except Squall. He couldn't shake the foreboding feeling that had overcome him.

"Mmm... pork chops..." he heard Zell mutter in his sleep. Squall had to smile, agreeing with Zell. His mother's dinner had been delicious.

Squall decided to get up, and made his way to the bathroom upstairs. On his way back down, he heard whimpering from the girls' room. He cracked open the door and saw the three were sound asleep. But it was Rinoa who was making sounds.

"No, please... Squall, help me. Where are you? Squall!" she cried, turning over in her sleep. He snuck in, and sat on the bed beside her. He gently shook her, and she woke up.

"Are you ok?" he asked, whispering softly.

"Squall? What happened?" she gasped, sitting up. He wrapped his arms around her, shielding her from her nightmare. She melted into his strong arms and began to cry softly.

"Shh. It's ok, I'm here for you. It was just a dream." he comforted. She calmed down after a few moments and laid back down.

"Don't leave, Squall, please?" she pleaded, sounding like a frightened child.

"I'll stay until you fall asleep." he promised, climbing under the blankets with her. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered to her. He held her close until she was sound asleep, peaceful.

He gently climbed out of the bed and snuck downstairs. He laid back on the couch and was soon asleep himself.

When Squall woke up the next morning, he saw that Zell and Irvine had already gotten up. The scent of pancakes and sausage wafted from the kitchen and he had a good idea where he would find the two 'men'. He climbed to his feet in Zell's old black jogging pants and white T-shirt and stretched. He was about to head into the kitchen when he remembered what had happened last night.

He peeked into the kitchen and saw that Rinoa was missing from the group. He was worried as he climbed the stairs to her room.

"Rinoa?" he called softly. He didn't hear her respond. "She must still be asleep." he thought.

He decided to go in. He sat on the edge of her bed, and smiled. "She's so beautiful when she sleeps." he sighed, leaning in to kiss her. He gently kissed her on her forehead, then climbed to his feet to go downstairs.

"Squall?" he heard as he opened the door.

He glanced back and saw that she had woken up. "What?"

"I love you..." she trailed, climbing out of bed. She came foreword and hugged him.

"I love you, too, Rinoa." he chimed. "Let's go downstairs before Zell polishes off all of the pancakes." Squall joked.

"Alright." she agreed, taking his hand and following him down.

Squall had a thought. "Rinoa? What was that nightmare you had about?"

Rinoa held his hand tighter. "Seifier came back, but you... weren't there. I couldn't ... find you anywhere I ran. I even went to... our meeting place. Quistis and the others tried to protect me but,... he killed them." she said softly. Squall regretted asking her now. He hated to upset her.

"Don't worry, it's a dream. I'll never disappear. I'm here for you." Squall promised.

Rinoa hugged his arm as they entered the kitchen.

It was afternoon by the time the group made their way back to Balamb Garden. Headmaster Cid and a large group of the students and SeeDs waited for them.

"Hooray!" the crowd yelled. "The conquering heroes!"

"Welcome back, Squall." Headmaster Cid greeted, nodding to his companions as well.

Three weeks passed: Rinoa began her classes to become a SeeD, Selphie and Irvine grew closer, Zell got to have his hot dogs again, Quistis tutored Rinoa for her classes, and Squall tried to do his best to run Balamb Garden without making everyone hate him.

The six were gathered around a lunch table in the cafeteria, eating hot dogs when Xu found them.

"Squall! Headmaster Cid wanted me to ask you something." she stated, helping herself to the last hot dog.

"Xu, that was mine!" Zell whined, but Selphie kicked him under the table. "What was that-" he began, but the glare he got from Quistis and Selphie shut him up.

"What did he want?" Squall asked Xu, ignoring the mayhem from the other end of the table.

"Some one you all know applied for the school today..." she began, looking carefully at Squall, then around the table at the others.

"Who?" Quistis asked, confused.

"Seifer Almsay."

"Seifer! But, he died!" Zell exclaimed, standing up and knocking over his chair.

"Seriously. We all saw him die... I think." Irvine chimed.

"Are you sure it was Seifer?" Rinoa asked, taking Squall's hand.

"I saw him myself. He came and talked to Headmaster Cid asking for forgiveness. He said it was fine if he never became a SeeD either. He just wanted to be back at the garden." Xu explained. Everyone seemed shocked.

"What does this have to do with Squall?" Rinoa asked.

"Headmaster Cid wants his decision... But he told me that Seifer really does seem like he's changed." Xu stated.

"I guess... it's ok then." Squall stated as his answer. Everyone looked at him shocked.

"I'll tell the headmaster then." Xu said, standing up and leaving.

"Are you sure about this, buddy?" Zell asked.

"Shut up, chicken-wuss!" Selphie imitated.

"Seifer wasn't that bad before..." Quistis trailed.

"Plus, he was one of us at the orphanage! He was just confused." Selphie said, full of confidence.

"I hope I made the right choice." Squall thought, glancing at Rinoa. She was ashen gray.

The next day Seifer came back. Everyone tried to be supportive...

"This will be your room now, Seifer." Squall stated, motioning him into an unoccupied dorm room. Seifer didn't say anything in response... In fact, he hadn't said anything to Squall yet. He looked tired, his face drawn and pale.

"Being under the control of the sorceress must have taken it's toll on him." Squall thought with a tinge of pity. "Dinner's in about ten minutes, but you probably know that..." Squall trailed, trying to get a response out of the troubled man before he left.

Seifer knodded and set his duffel out on the bed.

" I'm going down now..." Squall trailed off, turning to leave.

He made his way to the cafeteria, with worries of Seifer on his mind. As he entered he saw Zell wave to him from across the room.

"Squall! Over here!" he yelled. He saw that Selphie, Irvine, and Zell had already gathered there.

"Hi guys. Where's Rinoa and Quistis?" he asked taking an empty seat.

"Beats me..." Irvine responded.

"I think Quistis was called up to Headmaster Cid's office." Selphie chimed.

"How's Seifer?" Irvine asked.

"He's not good. He wouldn't talk at all." Squall stated soberly. Everyone was quiet for a moment.

"Squall! You've got a mission!" Quistis called from across the room. She approached them and sat down.

"A mission? Where to?" he asked.

"Uh... Winhill. I'm not sure where it is, but our employers asked for you personally." Quistis explained.

"Me?" Squall thought aloud. "How many are going with me?"

"Just you." she explained, looking at him. He shrugged, silently wondering how he was going to tell Rinoa. She had been having more of the nightmares.

It was pouring down rain and Squall was getting ready to leave. The others had said their good-byes, and Rinoa was seeing him off. "Be careful, ok?" she started. "No heroics." she added.

"I promise, Rinoa. I'll be back in five days." he said taking her hands in his. He leaned in and kissed her gently.

She hugged him, and could barely bring herself to let go. "I love you!" she stated.

"I love you, too." he insisted, smiling. He turned to leave, walking towards Balamb. She stood in the rain, until she couldn't see him anymore.

Rinoa was soaked as she headed to the dorms to change. She peeled herself out of her sweaters and into a pair of blue jeans with a black tank top and a orange off the soldiers sweatshirt. She was towel drying her hair when there was a knock at her door. She opened it and was surprised to see Seifer there.

"Hello, Rinoa." Seifer said, his voice soft.

"Seifer... come in." she stammered.

"I just wanted to apologize for everything..." he trailed, looking at his hands.

"It's alright, you were under her control. I know how you feel." she said, putting as much confidence in her voice as she could muster.

"Thanks... Being forgiven is one more step to being normal again." he stated, a distant tone to his voice.

Rinoa just smiled in response. She was still nervous around him, but maybe she was just over reacting...

It was three days later when the terror began.

Quistis was typing in the 2nd floor classroom, trying to keep up the paperwork that kept the school running. She soon found out that someone had hacked into the school's computer system.

"Who?" she began, trying to break the restrictions someone had placed on the program. Suddenly all of the lights went out. She jumped up and knocked over the chair she had been sitting in. "Great! This is usually the beginning of an attack! And Squall's not-" she started, then realized that was it. Whoever was responsible had planned this.

"I've gotta find the others!" she thought, running from the room and down the halls. She reached the elevator and had just pushed the third floor button and had started up when it stopped.

"What?" she gasped, realizing she was stuck, regardless.

Zell was in the cafeteria when the lights went out. He was confused at first, but then realized that this could be trouble. He made his way towards the dorms but couldn't get the cafeteria door opened.

"Huh? Great!" he yelled, punching the door. He was frustrated, but stuck.

Selphie and Irvine were in the quad area, watching the stars when the lights shut off.

"What..." Irvine trailed. He stood up. Selphie stood beside him, confused.

"Did the power go out?" she asked.

"Beats me. Let's go see." he answered. The two headed to the main halls, but couldn't get the doors open.

"What's goin' on?" Selphie asked.

Rinoa was lying in her room, trying to go to sleep, when her desk lamp went out.

She ignored it at first, then realized that the lights would never go out here. They had everlasting generators.

She climbed out of her bed, taking her weapon with her, and went to her door. She opened it and headed down the hall. Suddenly the lights in the hall came on. A figure stood at the end of the hall. It was a tall male figure, wearing a long trenchcoat and carrying a gunblade.

At first Rinoa thought it might be Squall, but when the person spoke, she knew...

"You've forsaken me..."* Seifer said, his voice sounding dangerous. She took a step backwards and turned to run, but Seifer was immeasurably fast.

"Seifer! This isn't funny! Let me go!" she cried. His grip on her arm was as strong as steel.

"Rinoa..." he whispered in her ear. She pulled away from him and ran as fast as she could out of the dorms.

She ran around the circle, but stopped when she saw Seifer standing in front of her. She turned and headed into the training center.

She stopped and hid behind a tree when her lungs burned her badly. She sat behind the tree, trying to catch her breath.

"When angels deserve to die*..." came a voice from right beside her ear. She gasped and started to run. Seifer quickly caught up with her.

He gripped both of her arms and shoved her against a stone support, hard.

Tears formed in her eyes. "Squall, where are you? Squall! Help me!" she cried, not daring to look at him. She struggled.

"I cry... when angels deserve to die...*" he whispered savagely. His grip tightened.

Rinoa tried to think of a spell, or how to summon a GF, or wished she could move her arms to use her blade twister. Anything! Her mind was blank.

"Anyone! Quistis! Zell! Irvine! Selphie! Help!" she yelled, wishing for any form of help.

Seifer's grip was so tight now that blood trickled down her arms. Tears streamed down her face.

"You're alone, angel." he said. She looked up at him and was terrified at what she saw. His eyes were blood red.

"Squall... I'm sorry. I couldn't protect her." Quistis trailed, sitting in the elevator. She fought tears of helplessness, knowing that Rinoa was in trouble.

"What do you think you're doing, Seifer?" came a familiar voice from behind him.

Rinoa tried to see behind him, but couldn't move. "Squall? Is that you?" she called. Seifer turned, not letting go of Rinoa.

"I'm here, Rinoa! Don't worry!" was Squall's response. She smiled and laughed happily.

"Shut up, angel." Seifer growled, tossing her effortlessly aside. She would have hit a tree, if Squall hadn't moved fast. He caught her.

"Squall, what-" she began.

"Later! What's important is your ok." he said, putting her down.

"I am. Let's take him down..." she trailed, he nodded. The two stood and got ready to fight.

"Seifer, you're going down!" Rinoa promised. Squall stood beside her.

"You've forsaken me... Take pride in my self-righteous suicide." Seifer quoted.

Squall ran forward and sliced at Seifer with his gunblade but it didn't even phase him.

He returned to Rinoa's side and saw that she was summoning a GF. He quickly began to summon Shiva.

Rinoa beat him to the point and managed to summon Siren. Squall quickly followed with Shiva, but Seifer didn't respond.

Seifer, without warning, cast a powerful Aurora magic that hit Squall hard. He was on his knees for a minute, but quickly regained his balance.

"Squall! You ok?" Rinoa called.

"Yeah!" he assured.

Seifer got this blank look on his face, then looked straight at Rinoa.

"When angels deserve to die." he said with finality.

"You're nuts, Seifer!" Rinoa insisted. She saw him summon a powerful magic, and hurtle it at Squall, but her love didn't see it in time. Rinoa saw it hit him and he hit the ground hard. He didn't move.

"Squall!!!" she cried, running to his side. Seifer stopped her though. He was stronger than before.

"Now you die, angel." he said calmly. She couldn't move.

He summoned a Thundaga blast in his left hand, preparing to kill her.

"Stop!" Squall yelled, managing to stand up.

"Don't you ever die?" he asked, tightening his grip on her arm.

"No. But you do!" Squall responded, rushing foreword. He slashed Seifer numerous times. His grip on Rinoa's arm slackened and fell away. She looked at Seifer once, and regretted it. He was looking at her.

"I cry... When angels deserve to die, in my self-righteous suicide." he croaked, falling over dead.

Squall fell to his knees beside her. "It's finally over..."

It was two days later when they buried Seifer. No preacher spoke, but six companions stood next to his grave.

"Seifer... good luck." Squall whispered. He put his arm around Rinoa and a single tear fell down his features.

"We'd better go..." Selphie sighed, taking Irvine's hand. The two walked away, followed by Quistis and Zell. Squall turned to go, with Rinoa, when she stopped him.

She walked, alone, back to Seifer's grave. She laid down a crimson rose on the grave, and spoke a few words that Squall couldn't hear, then joined him again.

Her words seemed to dance on the wind as she left.

'I cry, because you were an angel and you didn't deserve to die.'