Legacy of Reiginsei
FFVIII/Vampire Hunter D crossover
Chapter One: Restless Heart
Present day, the town of Balamb
The psychiatrist’s office could not contain him.
Back and forth he paced like a caged beast in search of release, white trench coat brushing various articles of furniture as he stalked past them restlessly. He allowed his gloved hands to touch every breakable thing in sight, applying just enough pressure to make the doctor seated behind his mahogany desk catch his breath in anxiety. Seifer wished the doctor would yell at him, tell him to quit pacing, to quit touching things, or better yet…tell him to haul his unstable, mentally shattered ass out of there, which the young “knight” would have done gladly. He sure as hell didn’t want to be here.
So, back and forth, he paced. Back and forth. Back and forth. From the patient’s leather brown chair that he had sat in for what seemed like hours, staring at the immaculate ceiling as he answered the doctor’s aggravatingly mundane questions. From that loathed chair to the dark window he paced. From the dark window with the living night beyond it to the doctor’s aquarium full of goofy, cheerful fish he paced. He said nothing all this time, refusing to conform to the expected or give the shrink what he wanted, which was a confession of past insanity.
Seifer would rather die than do such a thing.
Passing by an oak table covered with ancient artifacts that had been excavated from the Centra ruins, Seifer paused to rudely pick up a random object, hoping to get the doctor so peeved that he would get his old, wrinkled ass out of that big stupid chair and tell him to leave. He lifted the object, which looked like a totem pole carved out of some black rock, handling it roughly with his gloved hands, spinning it around and around in his fingers.
Come on, doc, say something. I’m about to break your ugly little toy here. Come on, I know you can do it. Bitch me out! I dare you!
“That artifact was discovered in the Centra ruins,” the doctor suddenly said with a nervous smile, trying not to show how apprehensive he was of Seifer handling such a precious piece of history with his delinquent fingers.
Seifer glanced at the doctor and sneered. “I know where it was found. What do you think I am, stupid? We had to watch something on that excavation in history class.”
“Do you enjoy history, Mr. Almasy?” the doctor asked amiably, using that way-too-cheerful doctor’s approach of trying to be friends with their patients.
“No, I don’t enjoy history,” Seifer snapped, examining the totem pole thingy, for some reason reluctant to release it. It was carved out of what appeared to be obsidian, its ebony surface glinting in the soft lights embedded in the ceiling. The artifact was less than a foot long and was composed of several faces, all melded together and stuck on top of each other, so that the thing looked to be just one huge shapeless mass of ancient facades. Seifer’s graceful blond eyebrows drew together as he scrutinized the totem pole with his shrewd blue eyes, suddenly thinking that there was something about this thing that he was missing…something hidden and horrible. He suddenly had the feeling that there must be some obscure and unknown significance behind this artifact, a diabolical theme just beneath the surface, unseen to human eyes.
He barely resisted the urge to shudder. “Nope,” he murmured. “I don’t like history one bit, but Instructor Trepe threatened to send me down to the Headmaster’s Office if I fell asleep during the film so I kind of had to listen, ya know?”
Goddamn it! I’m starting to talk like Raijin!
“Ah yes,” the doctor said, adjusting his round spectacles as if he were actually interested in what Seifer was saying. “Quistis Trepe, right? Brilliant young lady. I heard she was reinstated as an instructor just recently.”
“Hey, doc,” Seifer interrupted, purposely ignoring the old man’s insipid small talk. He held up the totem pole so that its front was facing the doctor, the overhead lights dancing on its glossy surface. “What the hell is this weird-ass thing? Is it a totem pole?”
The doctor shook his head, looking alarmed for some reason. “Oh, heavens no! Nothing like that. It’s a very special artifact said to date back to the time period in which the Great Hyne ruled over her kingdom of the earth.”
Seifer snorted and looked the thing over with his icy blue eyes. Then he noticed a disturbing fact about some of the faces. “These guys have fangs,” he commented sharply as his gaze fell on one of the creature’s open mouths and the two unnaturally sharp incisors – or maybe they were canines? He’d never been good in anatomy.
The doctor sat back in his chair, a strange look flickering across his wrinkled face. “Of course they do,” he said calmly. “They’re vampires.”
Seifer looked up in surprise.
“That artifact is all that possibly remains of a great vampire family back when Hyne ruled,” the doctor continued conversationally, his youthfully shrewd black eyes watching Seifer’s reaction carefully. “It’s said to be a surviving relic of a branch of the vampire House of Lee, a line of vampires directly descended from Count Dracula himself.” The psychiatrist’s dark eyes took on a contemplative, dreamy look as he gazed out of the window. “Of the course the Lee family itself is an enigma in its own. As far as researchers can tell, none of its members are still alive today. This particular branch apparently resided in the Centra ruins during the reign of Hyne.”
The Seifer raised an incredulous eyebrow. “Vampires used to exist back when Hyne ruled?” he asked. “That’s the biggest crock of crap I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”
The doctor was unfazed by Seifer’s colorful phrase. “Do you believe in vampires, Mr. Almasy?” he asked softly.
Seifer rolled his blue eyes. “Hell, no,” he responded without hesitation. “I mean, come on, doc. If these things really existed in some great numbers like wacky historians say they did, then wouldn’t there still be some around today? Could they all really have died out so quickly? I sure as hell haven’t seen any recently…or in my entire life, for that matter.”
“You’re only eighteen years old,” the doctor reminded him, folding his liver-spotted hands over his ample belly as he studied the young man before him.
Seifer bristled at the word “only.” Didn’t Ultimecia say something like that to him: “You’re only a little boy…” Well, he’d show this doctor what he “only” was. Goddamn it, one day he’d show the world what he only was!
He stalked up the doctor’s mahogany desk and stood glaring down at the old man with the vampire totem pole (he didn’t care if that wasn’t what it was called; he’d call it whatever he damn well wanted!) still clutched in his gloved hand like a weapon. His incredible blue eyes simmered with angry fire, and the horrendous scar of failure that sloped between them only made their light seem all the more harsh.
“‘Only eighteen years old’?” Seifer snarled as the doctor gazed up at his patient with a mixture of amusement and discomfort. “So I’m the inferior here, huh? I’m the inexperienced one, right? I’m the fool. Well, let me tell you something, doc, about being ‘only eighteen.’ I’ll bet I’ve seen more things in eighteen years than you have in your entire miserable lifetime. How has it been, doc, sitting here in this cold office your entire life telling your poor deranged patients that they have things going wrong upside their heads? How does it feel, Mr. High-and-Mighty, doctor…whatever your name was…”
“Fering,” the doctor suddenly supplied, his black eyes never leaving Seifer’s face.
The young knight waved his hand dismissively. “Fering, yeah, whatever. The point is that I know more about life than you do. You think you can get inside my head and learn what makes me tick? I don’t think so, buddy.”
“But, Seifer,” the doctor said calmly. “I already know what makes you tick. I just need to make sure that you know.”
Seifer suddenly jumped back from the doctor’s desk as if the old man had struck him. His upper lip lifted in a snarl. “You’re a liar,” he accused. “I’m out of here.”
The doctor sighed sadly as Seifer started walking towards the door. “Mr. Almasy, I sincerely apologize if I have upset you. I assure you that that was not my intention.” He unfolded his short frame from his leather chair and gestured to the chair in front of his desk with his right hand. “Please, Mr. Almasy,” he pleaded, bushy gray eyebrows creased in distress. “Sit down so we can continue this examination.”
“I don’t think so,” Seifer snapped angrily, standing in front of the office door like a deadly sentinel guarding its only route of liberation. “I’m through talking to you.”
“But Mr. Almasy,” Doctor Fering continued, striving to sound logical. “If you leave, then I’m afraid that the purpose of this examination will not have been accomplished. I still need you to answer some more questions before I can give your application for readmission back into Balamb Garden my seal of approval.”
Seifer suddenly laughed bitterly. “‘Application for readmission’?” he echoed. “Is that what my good friend Squall called it? How kind of him! That bastard knows that me, Fujiin, and Raijin are practically groveling on our knees and begging for him to let us come back to Garden! And you wanna know why, doc?” Before Fering could answer, Seifer rushed on, “Because we have nowhere else to go! No family, no friends, no home, no past, no future! Do you know how that feels, doc?”
Fering made a placating gesture with his hands, as if those simple motions would put a damper on Seifer’s boiling rage. “Oh dear,” he lamented with such deep sympathy in his voice that Seifer almost tossed his cookies right then and there. “Mr. Almasy, I apologize profoundly for having offended you.”
“Offended me?” Seifer laughed harshly, a sneer on his face. “No one’s offended me! I’m just sick and tired of what society and rules have had to offer me! Sick unto the death, I tell you! I’m leaving!”
Seifer spun around and put his hand on the brass doorknob, squeezing it so tightly that he nearly broke it in his anger. “Would you like me to reschedule your appointment?” Dr. Fering asked hurriedly.
“Yeah, whatever,” Seifer grumbled from between his clenched teeth. He flung the door open and started to walk into the sickeningly cheery hallway beyond.
“And Mr. Almasy?” the doctor’s voice suddenly floated like a bullet with butterfly wings to impact Seifer’s retreating back.
Something in the doctor’s tone made the belligerent young man stop dead in his tracks, every muscle in his body from his calves to his neck going rigid with some strange breed of apprehension. Silence hung heavily in the air, gloating at what it knew was going to unfold. Seifer half-turned his head so that the doctor was only granted a view of his chiseled profile with its strong features, permeated with a pride that could never die.
“Yeah?” Seifer asked flatly, even though he felt that no words were necessary. He was standing at full attention.
“Are you sure you don’t believe in vampires?” the doctor asked softly.
Of all the godforsaken stupid questions…
“No,” Seifer snapped. “I don’t believe in vampires.”
“Then you are a fool,” Dr. Fering said sadly to the silent room. Seifer didn’t hear him; he had already slammed the door behind him and strode defiantly out into the hallway.
But it wasn’t until he had left the medical complex and was once again cockily prowling the streets of nighttime Balamb that he realized he still had the vampire totem pole clutched tightly in his right hand.
Author’s Note: Okay, here’s chapter one, a follow-up to the prologue I posted recently. I don’t know what got into me when I suddenly decided that a Final Fantasy VIII/Vampire Hunter D crossover would be a good idea. I watched the Vampire Hunter D anime and I loved it to death. I know that there’s novels out in Japanese and new movie that may or may not be released here in the US of A, but everything in this fic will be based on the 1985 movie, for any further references. Thanks to anyone who is reading. Comments welcome. (e-mail flamika27 @ hotmail.com)
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