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Final Fantasy VIII

Hate of the Future
By Zeifam [ 05-03-01 ]


Epilogue: The Superior Being

Three people were alone in the crumpled, old walls of the orphanage. One was a man with medium length brown hair, wearing a leather jacket. The other two were both women. One was standing, peering at the other, slumped over on her feet, shoulders sagging.

And yet, there was one more presence among the people, but none of them could detect him. He looked around, seeing only the woman on her weary feet and the man who had defeated her. He looked down at his own disguise. He had long, black hair and was wearing a black dress.

The woman with her shoulders drooped was speaking, but he didn't care. He knew what was about to occur. The man to his left continued to watch. He looked again at the dying woman. She had stopped talking now and was in a state of concentration.

Suddenly, the man felt it. The surge of power engulfing his body. It continued, him growing stronger as she grew weaker. The woman giving him the energy was unaware of her actions, and she faded into a cloudy vortex as her last energy was drained.

He smiled to himself. This is what he had come here for. He came here because he knew he was going to get this power. Just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped. It didn't matter, he had what he came for.

Leaving the disguise of the woman whose body he had entered, he left, back to his own elsewhere. The fools he had just left knew nothing of his presence. Of course, he knew they wouldn't have, he was superior to them. They were nothing. And soon, he would show them all just how superior he was.

Chapter 1:Dating Season

One week later...

Squall Leonhart was sitting in the headmaster's office at Balamb Garden. He was waiting for the ambassador from Galbadia to arrive. Squall shifted impatiently. Why couldn't Cid return to take his position as headmaster again? Edea no longer posed any threat. She was normal again. He could easily return and let Squall have some comfort. That way, Squall would no longer have to command SeeD. SeeD. The word put a questioning though into Squall's head. Are we needed anymore?

His thoughts were cut short when Rinoa skipped into the room, smiling widely.

"Squall, you look so adorable when you are sitting behind that big, important desk," she giggled. Squall chose not to form a reply. Instead he just crossed his arms and looked at her. What does she want right now? I'm busy.

Rinoa continued to push the joke. "So, how has the big man in charge been today?" she giggled again.

"I'm busy," Was the only reply that came out of Squall's lips.

"Oh yeah, sure looks like it," she smiled.

Squall considered taking up the game she was playing, "Well, I'm going to be busy soon," he said.

"Right. Sure you are."

"Okay, what are you doin' here? I have to talk to the ambassador of Galbadia soon," Squall asked.

"I came to propose a date," she said. "Would you like to go out on one?"

"Rinoa. You know I will. Whenever and wherever. But, why a date now?"

"Ah, that is so sweet Squall," she chuckled. "Well, if we don't see each other for the rest of the day because you have such important talks and all. Meet me at the Garden's Quad at 9 o'clock. Okay??" She ignored his last question.

Squall forced a smile, "Sure."

"Thanks. I just know you're going to love it, " Rinoa said as she skipped back out the door she had come in from.

Squall watched her go. At least I'll have something to do tonight.

The doors opened again, this time it was a Balamb Garden student.

"Um… Mr. Leonhart. The ambassador from Galbadia is here to see you," the young student said kind of nervously.

"Send him in," Squall ordered.

"Y-yes sir," The student rushed back out.

Squall sighed as he leaned back in his chair. This was going to be another boring day of apologies toward Garden and proposals of peace. How exciting.

***

"Here you go," the waiter said as he handed Zell his hotdogs.

"Thanks," Zell returned. He was sitting in the Garden's cafeteria. Since it was lunchtime, the place was packed to the brim. Service would have been slow, but he was served quickly; afterall, he was a hero here now. The waiter pivoted on one foot and headed back toward the counter. Zell looked down at those six, supreme hotdogs. This was the first time he had hotdogs since their encounter with Ultimecia. The celebrations afterward had lasted for 5 days. Small wonder, they had only saved the world. Their names were now known throughout the world. But right now he didn't care. The only thing he could think about was those hotdogs in front of him.

He had just reached one up to his mouth and had taken a bite when a body came crashing down on the table he was sitting at. Zell's plate of hotdogs went flying into the air.

"The hell-??" Zell managed to get out as he himself went tumbling from his seat. Zell got up angrily and was about to confront the bastard who had cost him his meal when he saw who had done it. He found himself helping a girl to her feet who was indeed the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She had deep blue eyes that you could almost swim in. Her hair was long and brown. She had a medium body and a perfect nose.

"Uh… I'm really sorry," the girl said, still looking at her feet. Then she looked up at him. "Oh!!!! You're Zell Dincht!!!! Oh jeez!! I'm really, really, REALLY sorry," she stammered.

Zell couldn't say anything. He just stared at her.

"Ar-are you okay?" she asked.

Zell finally recovered himself, "Uh, yeah. Um, think nothin' of it." He had never seen anyone so beautiful in his life. How come he had never seen her here before? "So, uh, what's your name?" he managed to get out.

"Siya. Siya Linnea," she said. She examined the damage she had done. Zell's plate had gone flying through the air and landed a few feet away, now lying upturned on the floor.

"Oh, hello Siya," Zell returned. "Say, I don't think I have ever seen you around here before."

"Oh yeah, I just transferred here from Trabia Garden. They have started to rebuild. I was gonna stay and help but they said they didn't want to hold up the SeeD's in training," Siya replied.

"Oh, you're a SeeD in training? How close are you to taking the test?" Zell questioned.

"Actually, in three hours. I just ate a hasty lunch and was going to report to my instructor when somebody shoved me into you. It really is crowded around here at lunch time."

"Wow, that's great that you're that close. Heh, I know what you mean about being crowded," Zell searched for something else to say. "So, what weapon do you use in combat?" he asked.

"You might not believe me, but I use my fists, just like you," she answered.

"No kidding?! That's great!!" Zell exclaimed, unsure of how anyone so beautiful would also have the ability to fight hand to hand.

Suddenly, an announcement came over the intercom, "All students preparing to take the field exam for SeeD are to report to the main lobby at once."

"Well, that's me," Siya grinned nervously, looking up at the wall where the announcement had some from.

"Yep. Hey, would you like to get together again sometime?" Zell asked, determined not to let this be the last time he spoke to her. He was still groping with her stunning beauty, at least to him anyway.

Siya stood there and looked at him, a puzzled look on her face. Zell decided that the decision was taking too long and the chance of a date was gone. He didn't realize that she was thinking about how Zell Dincht had asked her to meet her again and was totally taken back for a second. Finally, she spoke, "Sure, I'd love to."

"Okay!! That's awesome!! Meet me here same time tomorrow?"

"Okay!" Siya answered and with that she ran off.

Zell was in pretty high spirits when he went back to order more hotdogs.

***

Squall walked out of the headmaster's office and approached the elevator. He had signed the peace treaty with Galbadia and the ambassador had left. He could tell the man was nervous around him. He had always gotten jittery when Squall just looked at him with his usual scowl on his face. Not very cool for an ambassador. But that document he had signed officially marked the end of the war between Garden and Galbadia, if there ever really was an official one in the first place. There was no longer any tension between the two. But Squall really didn't care. It no longer mattered. Everybody had seen the peace coming for quite some time now.

He pushed the button on the elevator to go down. Squall couldn't help but realize that he was tired. It figured. When was the last time he had had any sleep?

He could not have had much in the past week. It was full of celebrations and ceremonies. Selphie, Irvine, Quistis, Zell, Rinoa, and himself had all been given medals of bravery and courage. The commander of SeeD had handed them out. Squall felt so stupid as he put a medal over each one of his friend's necks. Every single student in Garden watching. He had had to put one over his own head too. That was the most pitiful part. Why couldn't Cid have come back to do that at least? So he wouldn't have to award himself. All of his friends had seemed to get a kick out of it though, smiling behind their hands as he eyed them closely out of the corner of his eye.

Squall stepped out of the elevator and headed toward the dormitory. Cid. When was the last time I have seen him? Him or Matron? He had seen Matron after Ultimecia had died, but she didn't recognize him then. That was in the past.

Squall looked down at his bed. He had better get some rest. If he didn't, Rinoa was sure to point it out to him later tonight. She loved to do stuff like that.

Squall laid down. Sleep came easily, but his dream was not a pleasant one.

***

Quistis looked around the inside of the mayor's house in Dollet. She shifted uncomfortably. How much longer were they going to make her wait? Is this how they treated all the important people who arrived in Dollet? Her chair was made of wood, and she had been sitting there for what seemed forever.

She turned her head as the door swung open and the mayor of Dollet walked in. He was a middle-aged man, with a flabby gut and hair that looked ruffled. Giving it the appearance that he had just woke up. It's 11 o' clock in the morning for God's sakes.

"Sorry for making you wait like this Miss Trepe," the mayor said.

"Think nothing of it Mr. Reede," Quistis replied.

"Well, shall we get down to business?" he walked over behind his desk near the one window in the room.

"Of course. Let me start out by saying that I am here in place of Squall Leonhart. He sends his apologizes that he could not make it, but he had other business to attend to," Quistis began.

"Tell him to think nothing of it," the mayor leaned back in his chair, pulling a cigarette from his pocket.

"Thank you. Well, it has come to our understanding that Dollet has been on somewhat of a bad relationship with Galbadia ever since the invasion," Quistis continued.

"Well… I suppose you could say that. Yes," the mayor replied, igniting his cigarette with a lighter he pulled from his pocket as well.

"I am here because Galbadia would like to make peace with you just as they have done to our Garden. They claim that since the old president was under the Sorceress's control, the actions that were wrongly committed were executed. Galbadia and the new president would like to make it up to you. Therefore, with your permission, they have offered to send engineers to help rebuild this city," explained Quistis.

"Ah, I am glad that we can finally come to an agreement and I can see both cities thriving from this decision, but, tell me, why has the president of Galbadia not shown himself to me in person?" the mayor questioned. He blew out a puff of smoke, surrounding himself in a white haze.

"He was under the impression that you still carried hatred toward Galbadia and thought that Garden could arrange the peace easier. With less tension that is."

"Ah yes. Well Miss Trepe, thank you for your coming here and informing me of these peaceful events. I must now go and get in contact with the new president of Galbadia. Oh, and by the way, what is his name?" The smoke surrounding the mayor continued to thicken, and Quistis could only make out the outline of his figure.

"President Meero," she answered.

"Yes, thank you very much again. I will be off now," with that he got up and walked out the door he had come in, a smoke trail following behind him.

Quistis also climbed to her feet. That was it? I came all the way here for a two minute talk? Great. Squall had asked her to come here in his place. She had agreed of course. She would do anything that the man asked her to. He was their new commander and everyone in Garden respected him for it.

Quistis still didn't think she wanted the job though. She had figured it would be a waste of time just to come to Dollet for a few minutes. She never felt more right in her life.

She sighed to herself as she walked out the door, following after the mayor. Some of the smoke he left behind caught her nose and Quistis coughed lightly, shooing the smoke away with her hand. She would have to go down to the docks and catch a boat back to Balamb. The thought occurred to her that she should've taken the Ragnarok. Squall had even offered it to her to take but she refused. She still didn't know how to drive the thing too well and was half scared she would plunge it into the ocean.

Quistis turned on her heel and walked down to the port.

***

Irvine shifted his weight on the hard wooden bench in the Garden's lobby. He was waiting for Selphie to come and join him. He had finally asked her out on a date after all the flirting he had done with her. She said yes of course. He knew she would. He considered himself to be quite the ladies man. Irvine was basing his judgement on experience.

He glanced at the clock. Selphie was running ten minutes late. He was shocked. He couldn't believe she wouldn't have been here early just waiting on him. Irvine stared at the floor tiles beneath his feet, becoming irritated.

Then from out of nowhere came that familiar, "Yoo-Hoo!

He looked up to see Selphie standing there, smiling down at him.

"Geez darling, you had me worried that you weren't gonna come," he began.

"Awww, shucks. Do you really think I would've stood you up Irvy?" she asked in that cheerful tone of hers.

"Well, I guess not little lady," he said standing up.

"So, where are we off to?" she asked.

"Well, I was thinking that maybe you would like to catch a movie with me down in Balamb. Sound okay?"

"Sure!! Sounds great!! I haven't seen a good movie in awhile. But now that I'm with yooo~uuu, it has to be good. Right?" she smiled.

"Why, it couldn't be better if I'm there," Irvine chuckled. "Well, I suppose we had better get goin'. Don't want to miss it now do we?" he answered.

"Nope!!" she squealed. "But I get to drive!!" and with that she ran off toward the parking lot.

Irvine couldn't help but smile to himself. Movies were the number one place to make his move at. This was going to be good. He started jogging off after her.

***

Squall stood there, watching as Ultimecia lay on the ground in front of Matron. It was then that he saw somebody else there too. Not in their own figure, but instead, they were inside Matron's body. He hadn't remembered seeing that before. Matron turned toward him and he could see the face of somebody else inside her eyes. The face was blurred but he could make out the figure of a man's face, beyond that, he could tell nothing of who he was. Squall tried to warn Matron but he couldn't move. All he could do was watch. Matron and the person inside of her turned back to Ultimecia.

Ultimecia then gave up her powers and Matron absorbed them. Squall wanted to scream at Matron to watch out but he couldn't. Not a single muscle in his body would respond to anything he did. Ultimecia fell over and withered away. Matron turned back toward him and again Squall could see the look of that blurred man in her eyes. He then saw the man smile. A smile that sent shivers down Squall's spine…

Squall shot bolt upright in his bed. Sweat beads had broken out on his skin and he was breathing heavily. What the hell was that all about? A nightmare?

Squall put a hand to his head. He still remembered that smile. It looked evil, with nothing good about it at all. It almost reminded him of Ultimecia. But, why?

He looked over at the clock. It read 9:05. Damn it.

He hastily jumped out of the bed and was about to grab a shirt to put on when he realized he had fallen asleep fully clothed. Had he been that tired? He couldn't remember.

He rushed out of the room and toward the Quad, the nightmare still lingering in his mind. What did it mean? Why did he dream it? Squall tried to convince himself that it was just a dream, and meant nothing, but there was something about it that seemed different from an ordinary dream.

He rounded the bend and plowed into a Garden student, knocking her clean off her feet. The papers and books she had been carrying went flying into the air and showered down all across the hallway. God, why now? Of all the times.

Seeing that he had no other option, he bent over and started to help the girl gather up her things. She looked to be about 15 and was obviously thinking it was her fault for the collision because of the wave of apologizes that were sweeping out of her. Squall tried to calm her down and convince her that it was his fault and that he should watch where he was going.

After what seemed like an eternity later, Squall was back on his way toward the Quad. However, his mind was no longer on the girl anymore. It wasn't even on what Rinoa's reaction was going to be when he showed up late. It was back on his dream. He just couldn't get in out of his mind. Who was that man?

***

Rinoa sat back on the bench and started to wonder where Squall was. This wasn't like him. Being this late. It was 9:15, what could be taking him so long? She had invited him here just so they could be alone together. It was going to be past curfew soon and everybody was supposed to bed down for the night. And she hardly doubted they would run into somebody who would tell the commander of the Garden and his girlfriend to go to bed.

Rinoa chuckled at the thought of what Squall's reaction would be. He would probably cross his arms and scowl at the person who gave the command. Ah, Squall, what would she do without him? She couldn't see herself loving another person. She did wish he would open up with his feelings more though. That was still a problem they had to work on. But she thought she could change him. He loved her too, after all.

She was almost beginning to worry when Squall came dashing around the corner and nearly missed seeing her. Even though he saw her sitting there on the edge of the marble railing, he still overshot her due to his speed. He had to stop and come back up to where she was sitting. She couldn't help but giggle at him. His jacket was thrown loosely over his shoulders and his hair was all out of whack. He was breathing kind of heavily. She was flattered at the fact that he ran all the way here for her. He stopped and just looked at her.

"You're late," she said, trying to keep from smiling.

"Yeah, yeah."

"Well, do you have a good excuse?" she asked.

"Not really, other then running into a student just trying to get here to you faster," he replied.

"Awww, You shouldn't have. But I'm glad that you care so much," Rinoa giggled slightly.

"Whatever..."

"Well, don't you want to know what you are here for?" she continued.

"I don't know. Are you going to tell me?" he shrugged.

"That depends on whether or not you really want to know."

Does she think I came here to play word games? I feel confused right now.

"Okay, fine, I really want to know what we are going to do tonight," he replied.

"Doesn't sound like you really, really, want to know," she continued.

"Look, do you want to do whatever it is you want to do or not?" That was it, he had enough on his mind right now to not be doing this. He still couldn't get that dream out of his mind.

Rinoa opened her eyes in surprise.

Squall knew he reacted too harshly, lowering his eyes to the ground. "Sorry, I'm just a little tired, haven't gotten much sleep lately."

"That's okay, I understand how hard you've been working to get everything back in order. Anyway, I was thinking, maybe we could just sit and watch the stars tonight?" she looked up at him, questioning him on the inside with her eyes.

Squall put his hand on his head. He wanted to do this but he didn't really feel like it right now. He had to figure out what that dream meant. It had seemed so real, so life-like. He looked back down at Rinoa, he didn't know if he should tell her about it just yet. He looked into those brown eyes, and suddenly felt that he had to sit down, just to be with her.

"Okay," he managed to mumble. "Sounds like a good idea right now."

"Thanks!" Rinoa squealed. "I appreciate it."

Squall sat down beside her, and upon doing so found Rinoa sitting in his arms. Instead of saying anything, he just sat there, enjoying the moment and trying not to think. Thankfully, she did the same, until almost an hour later, she looked up at him and whispered, "Thank you, Squall."

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