Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own anything related to the Final Fantasy series. It's all property of Squaresoft, or Sqare Enix if you prefer. So please, be kind and don't sue me
Important Note: I am yet again working on reposting this story. I found several mistakes in the first chapters, and some things I simply wasn't too happy with. I hope you can forgive the mayhem that this story will be until I actually manage to repost all the chapters I found to be erroneous. Unfortunately, I'm sure that there will still be plenty of mistakes to be found -- Blame it on English not being my first language if you're feeling kind, or blame it on me being a lazy bum and horrible speller if not.
Reposted chapters will be marked by two quotation marks ("). I know that reposting will go slow, but hopefully I'll be finished before the revelation of the very last chapter of "Let Me Make It Alright".
Now, on with the story!
Let Me Make It Alright
Chapter 17: "Promise Me"
By Angry Angel
Seifer's steps and heart were light as he was found trudging calmly towards the infirmary. He was overcome by an unusual, giddy feeling when he was looking at the softly shimmering aquamarine blade and the prospect of Squall's dumbfounded face when he'd hand him his precious LionHeart. Sure, all in all he was actually somewhat nervous, considering that he hadn't done anything nice for Squall in quite a few years.
'Well, as long as he doesn't try to chase me out of the room again, I suppose it's all good.'
Smiling silly like a moogle at the thought, he hardly noticed the wide pair of eyes that had connected with his large frame curiously. When the awareness of being watched finally did strike him, his gaze slowly traveled around the large main hall and came to a halt about three feet below Seifer's eye level.
Blinking in confusion, he glanced down upon a little girl that had positioned herself behind him, her sky blue eyes practically glued to his back. She looked absolutely adorable in pastel pink shorts and a white t-shirt that had a blue teddy bear printed on the front. Her light brown hair curled into little pig tails around her face, which immediately lightened up with a broad smile as she noticed the tall man turning around to her.
A little unsure of whether the girl was seriously talking to him, Seifer turned around and screened the hall, but he was all alone. Slightly irritated, he faced her again, just to discover that she and her smile were still firmly in place.
He didn't really want to believe that he was talking to a girl that he estimated to be about five years old. Seifer had seen plenty of kids rush away from him, taken by incredible fear of the sorceress knight, but this one was merely staring up at him with the most unafraid of eyes.
It kind of amazed him.
"Who are you?" the girl inquired, tilting her head to the side as she started to rub the tip of her nose.
"Uh, who are you?" he retaliated, almost proud of his smooth comeback.
"Rinny!" she declared.
She nodded her little head fiercely, pig tails fluttering through the air and everything. Seifer scratched his head in bewilderment. He wasn't entirely sure how much he liked holding conversations with kindergarten kids.
Somehow, it made him feel less of a man, or a sane person to begin with.
"And who are you?" Rinny asked again.
"Hmm... I like your name."
"Thanks... I guess."
"Why are you so dirty, Seifer?"
Slightly baffled, he let his gaze travel down the length of his body. She surely was a good observer; he was indeed practically drenched in a lovely blend of mud and dirt.
"I was in the training halls," he explained reluctantly.
"Oh, you played there?"
His emerald eyes went large at the unexpected question. Mentally, he cursed himself for even devoting any effort into talking to this brat. Contrary to his friend Raijin, Seifer had never been any good with kids.
He snorted at the notion.
'Yah, well, he's a damn kid himself.'
"I don't play," he snapped sourly. "I practice."
"What do you practice?"
"Ohhh..." she said softly, almost as if she was pitying him. "I like to play. I'm not allowed to play in the training hall, though. But soon I will be!"
Praying that she was somehow done interrogating him, he shifted uneasily and made a start to turn around and walk away from her, but her azure blue eyes suddenly connected with LionHeart, and she cooed at the sight.
"That's so pretty."
"You're pretty too, Seifer."
His breath hitched in his lungs, and he broke into a violent fit of coughs. Pretty? Him??
Much to Seifer's dismay, Rinny was all too willing to run to his aid as she saw him choking. Eagerly, she went to slap his back like she had seen adults do it, but due to her short growth she couldn't reach much but Seifer's butt – which didn't quench her efforts the least bit.
The tall blonde blushed furiously, and he leaped out of her range as quickly as he could. Luckily, he was also able to adjust his breathing to a more calm rhythm.
"Better?" Rinny asked, beaming up at him.
Her chubby little cheeks reddened immediately at the concept of being thanked by such a big, old person. Gulping, Seifer started to chew on his lower lip and watched the girl very closely; naturally, he was afraid of her jumping to violate his bottom again.
'Hyne what did I do to deserve this...? Whatever I did, I swear I'm sorry already.'
"That's Squall's sword, isn't it?"
He was actually surprised by her inquiry. How would a girl like her know Squall? Had she perhaps spanked his butt, too?
'Interesting image', he quickly decided with an evil smirk.
"Yeah, it is," he answered, nodding. "You know Squall?"
"Yes! He saved us from the Galbadian soldiers during the Garden battle last year. He's very strong!"
"I suppose..." Seifer grunted contritely.
Somehow, he couldn't suppress a wave of guilt surging through his body at the memory of his assault on Garden. How many had died, he wondered?
'Don't even think about it. It's no use.'
"Do you know Squall, too?" Rinny interrupted his dark reflections.
"Uh... yeah, I do."
"He's really pretty, too, isn't he?"
He had thought that this situation couldn't possibly become any worse, but obviously he had been cruelly mistaken. Immediately, his flush deepened as he was roaming his mind for the right thing to say, since this little incarnation of a devil seemingly wasn't going to let him part without an answer of some sorts.
"Uh... eh... yeah... I guess..." he muttered.
"You like him, don't you?" she giggled.
A croaky, painful sound escaped the captivity of Seifer's throat, and he shuddered in disgust. This kid just had to have been possessed, he decided with a snarl. Nobody in their right fucking mind would be asking questions like that!
Finally, he recalled why he had stayed away from children for so long.
'Scary little devils.'
"Y-you don't like Squall?" she asked with childish, unmasked disbelief. "I like Squall! I like Squall a lot!"
"R-right... I suppose he's okay..." he started lazily, but he quickly waved his hands in defense when he caught a glimpse of her puffed up face. "I-I mean... he's great, fabulous, absolutely. He's the shi-, uh, I mean... yeah, he's great... and I do like him."
"So you're his friend, right?"
Seriously, he did have to ponder that question for a moment, before he finally nodded his head hesitantly.
"Well... something like that, I think."
"I have a friend I like, too," she explained eagerly. "His name is Danny! He's five. I'm going to be his... his... his..."
She stopped and threw her forehead into wrinkles, obviously thinking hard for a word that was yet beyond her age. Seifer grinned and sighed in relief as he mentally prepared for another attempt at a swift retreat.
Unfortunately, he wasn't quite off the hook just yet.
"I am going to be his BRIDE!" Rinny suddenly declared proudly, eyes shining with determination.
"Eh... yeah... right... Grats, I guess."
"Are you going to be Squall's bride, too?"
Prepared to fall over and beat his brain to pulp on the marble ground, Seifer slapped his forehead in despair.
'I most definitely did NOT deserve this!' As he looked upon her again, his left eyebrow started to twitch dangerously in matching rhythm to his upper lip.
"That's not very likely," he hissed coldly.
"Oh. I'm sorry, Seifer! I'm sure you can be someone else's bride!"
"That's okay," the blonde gunblader gasped in exasperation.
She brought her index finger to her mouth, apparently entangled in difficult thoughts, and Seifer had no inclination whatsoever to find out what her "devilish" brain was concocting this time.
Better to escape while he still could, he decided.
"Yeah, well, gotta go, have fun," he mumbled, but just as he tried to push past her, she rose her soft voice again.
"Why is Squall sick?"
At last, he slumped his head and shoulders in final defeat, before turning around reluctantly.
'This just isn't my day.'
"I don't know why," he answered with a curt shrug. "He just is."
"Will he be better soon...?"
At the sight of shadows of tears darkening her innocent eyes, something within Seifer melted immediately. Suddenly, he felt like an utter fool. He had been way too rash with this girl. After all, she was just a kid, and she could hardly know what she was talking about. He started to hate himself for having become so withdrawn and aggressive.
Apparently, being hunted and insulted for almost one year does pay its toll on a person after all.
"I'm sure that he will be," he replied quietly.
"He... he's not going to die, is he?"
Now the tears that had threateningly pooled against the sky blue surface of her eyes erupted at last, and they washed down her soft, round cheeks as she sniffled gingerly through her nose.
Slowly, he lowered himself onto one knee before her and put a large hand on her tiny shoulder, feeling her body shudder with helpless sobs.
"It's okay. He's not going to die, Rinny. He'll be just fine."
"Do... do you promise?"
He looked at her silently for a moment, insecure jade meeting pleading azure blue. As his lips stretched into a kind smile, he closed his eyes and nodded firmly.
"Yeah, I promise."
Seifer hadn't quite been prepared for the girl to suddenly lunge into his arms and muffle a weak "thank you" against his broad chest, but after his initial surprise he hugged her back carefully with one free arm, almost afraid of breaking her little body.
"It's okay, hun," he whispered.
She nodded into their embrace, and suddenly she retreated to look up at him with a gaze that was sparkling with sincerity and admiration.
"Yes, because you promised."
He smiled widely, revealing rows of perfect white teeth.
"That's right, you got it."
He patted her hair tentatively before rising back to full height, his left hand still wrapped about the hilt of LionHeart.
"Well, I have to take this to Squall now."
Seifer grinned at the nickname. He hadn't been called "Seifie" ever since he had hit ten years. Somehow, it was incredibly touching to hear it again. Memories of a childhood that hadn't been weighed with woes and nocturnal dreams streamed into his conscience, and they made him feel strangely melancholic.
"I'm sure I'll see you around, Rinny," he eventually murmured.
Chestnut brown pig tails were flailing through the air as she nodded her head at him and turned around, waving a zealous good-bye.
Smiling again, Seifer raised one hand and waved it gently through the air. He was fully aware of the fact that anyone seeing him that very moment wouldn't have possibly believed to be laying eyes on the real Seifer – the guy that never lost his masculine cool – but for just a while, he allowed himself to not give a damn at all.
=To be continued!=
Har Har Har! This was the punishment for Seifie molesting the Squall plushie! Yeah, don't you look at me like that! =sticks her tongue out at Seifie=
Sorry if this seemed somewhat pointless, but I had written one of the later, angsty chapters earlier, and I felt the need for some fluff :) Plus, Seifer isn't an utter meanie, that's why he didn't walk away on the chibi to begin with, sooo... time to show more of your soft side there, buddy!
And yes, there will be more Squall from now on! I'm kinda surprised with myself, usually Squall is my favourite character, but Seifer is a lot of fun to write about, his character is so complex. I hope the Seifer-fans enjoyed this a little bit ;)
And before I forget... I got my 100th review!! I almost molested Seifie, I never thought I'd get so many reviews!! Hehe. Thank you guys soooooooooooooooo much, it's all your wonderful feedback that makes me want to make this story a good one. I really hope you will like this in the future, too, I promise to do my best.
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