Authors Note - Just a reminder that if you haven't read the main section of part 3 that got rewritten on Aug 7, you may want to do that first.  There are about two - three new pages starting from the near end of that first scene (aka, if you don't remember a dream sequence, go back and read that part).  While other stuff got rewritten to adapt to the change, only that one section is relatively important.  Thankie.

 

Game Restart
August 2002

 

|Seifer|

Within the safety of the tent, I stare down from my kneeling position at the still form of Rinoa.  The temptation to wring the delicate neck is just barely held back by the logical thought that it wouldn't really hurt the sorceress inside.  It'd probably just set the bitch free to cause terror in this branch of time, just as she had in Squall's.

All day we had walked along the deserted track supposedly towards Esthar, both of us sharing the deadweight burden.  It took that long for Squall to tell me everything that had happened in a detailed, but not so flowery account.  He knew the numbers, oh so many numbers - the days of travel relying on potions instead of sleep, the people that died by his hand, the years of our childhood we had forgotten, the people that died from 'Lunar Cry', the cities destroyed by armies and monsters, and of course the people dead by my command.  It was too much for my feeble mind to handle, and yet it kept coming out of his mouth.

I'm such an arrogant asshole.  I tell the man to start over and rebuild his life without knowing myself that there's practically nothing left of him to even create the foundation.  He's wearing himself thin, dangerously close to the breaking point.  What else could be expected of a man who went through hell to save humanity and his reward is to do it all over again.  What was Cid thinking to send inexperienced SeeD on a mission like that?  I want to help Squall somehow, but I wonder if my presence is more like a boulder on thin ice, only aiding in bringing the final break.

Brushing away a stray lock of dark hair from her face, I sneer at Rinoa.  The slut.  From the beginning, I told her all about Squall and our rivalry.  How dare she taint him with her touch when I wasn't around.  I wonder if she felt it some kind of punishment aimed at me for being drawn to the wrong side.  I've got to feel for poor Squally-boy.  She is just too happy-go-lucky for that dour guy.

Suddenly I'm staring into golden eyes narrowed in irritation.  I fall back as if burned, trying to crawl backwards from her and create some kind of distance.  With unnatural grace, Rinoa rises from the ground and turns to sneer at me.

"How lovely to meet you again, my Knight."

Quickly regaining composure, I get up to one knee and return her glare.  "Fuck off.  I don't belong to anyone."

"Oh?  But akkording to that horrid boy, you were my most loyal follower."

"You heard?"

"Of kourse, child.  I am not deaf.  Kome, and take your place by my side as you should."

"No.  I want nothing to do with you."  I hide my fear at the sudden realization that I can't move from this worthless kneeling position.  The bitch, she must be somehow drawing out my strength.

"But I kan give you what you desire.  The boy, he kan be yours."  She strides towards me, her noxious voice echoing within me.

In reply I manage to cast Thundra despite the gradually increasing feel that my head is being squeezed in the mouth of a T-rexaur.  The possessed girl absorbs the strike without a flinch or mark to prove I had caused any kind of damage.  Well, isn't this just dandy.

"You only hurt yourself by resisting.  Kome.  Don't deny your love and your master."  She holds her hand out in front of me, bare inches from my face with the promise of ending the pain that she is causing me.

"Get the fuck away from me!"  Sweet Hyne, why can't I at least stand and escape?

There is the sound of a gunshot just before the girl clutches her neck.  She plucks something from there, looking at the object with wavering eyes.  With the mutter of "Kurses", she slumps to the ground in regained unconsciousness.

My energy exhausted, I fall forward onto my hands.  Shuttering and coughing, I'm mildly surprised when I end up puking onto the tent floor.  Heaving in the attempt of getting a cleansing breath, I notice the appearance of two dark boots to my side.  After a brief halt there, Squall goes to the fallen girl, lifts her into his arms, and exits the tent without a word to me.

I dig my nails into the fabric below, trying to ignore the hurt running through me.  He hates me.  I know I haven't come close to regaining that lost love he once had for me, that he is only using me as some kind of physical support, but I still held the hope we were on the right path.  And now I almost rejoin the sorceress yet again.  I'm so fucking weak!

Coldness at my neck startles me from self pity.  I look up at the brunette as he holds out a fresh canteen of water.  "To rinse out your mouth."

I stand up shakily, and take the small container from him.  "You've got to be tired of saving my ass by now."  I smile weakly.

He shrugs and turns to stride outside.  Following him, I take a gulp of the water and start cleaning out the acidic remains of lunch from my mouth.  Spitting out the foul liquid, I look up to see that Squall had already setup a new tent.  Smart.  No sense cleaning up that mess when we have tents to spare.  I stop several meters from the entrance, tempted to just spend the night outside to avoid being trapped in close quarters with the brunette.  Noticing my hesitation, Squall looks over his shoulder at me and then steps inside.  Amazing how that boy can order people around with a mere glance.

I slump into one of the corners far from Rinoa, feeling a bit peevish with the words 'why does all the shit have to happen to me?' running through my head.  I briefly notice his shadow drop over me before he sinks down to kneel between my bent legs.  A cool hand brushes against my cheek and moves to the back of my neck.  After a glance into darkened blue-gray orbs, I close my eyes as he leans forward to kiss the scar he gave me.

"You...belong...to me," he states with the intermittent feel of moist warmth on my forehead.

"Squall..."  He places two fingers on my lips.

"You fought her control."

"And nearly lost to her," I mumble against his fingers.  I know our last battle with the sorceress doesn't count.  She was too busy defending herself to be bothered with trying to take over my mind.

"But, you fought."

I dare a look into those stormy blues, my breath halting at the sight before me.  It's just a bare spark in the depths, but I can clearly see the hint of emotion escaping his barriers.  It could be love, pity, amusement - I don't care.  It's something.  Not the hatred or apathy directed my way in the attempt to wound or drive me away, but something real.  Something that more could be built on.  And all it took was possible mental damage at the hand of a sorceress.  I can handle that.

I wrap my arms around Squall and pull him close to me.  After a heartbeat of stiff resistance, he relaxes fully against my body while clutching onto my shirt front.  It's strange holding him like this.  Such a small frame, almost petite within my embrace and yet I know of his strength in body and will.  I wonder what he would have become if not a fighter.  No, I wouldn't have met him that were the case, despite the orphanage that I can only vaguely remember.  Better not to think of such things.

A long time we are like this, holding onto each other without words.  This is right.  I don't care what else it takes to get him since I know this is right between us.

He pushes away as far as I'll let him.  "Get sleep.  I'll take first watch."

I scowl at him.  "Let me guess.  First watch goes from now until we leave in the morning."

"I'm used to traveling without sleep."

"That doesn't mean it's okay.  Bodies weren't made to live on potions alone."

"I got too much sleep yesterday."

"You know, you could just say straight out that you don't trust me."

"I do, but I doubt sleep will come for me tonight."

Ah, of course.  So close and yet so far from ending this nightmare of his.  I'd be afraid of sleeping myself in such a situation, afraid of waking to find myself back at the beginning.  While I don't agree in the least about his methods, I do understand his unspoken fears.

"Fine, then you're my pillow."

His eyes scrunch in confusion.  "What?"

"This tent wards off monsters, so no need to worry about roaming the perimeter or anything.  It's only our possessed princess you have to keep an eye on, and you can do that sitting down.  Thus, your lap is mine tonight."

He looks at me incredulously, to which I reply with a wide grin.  We hold our stances like that for a few moments until he sighs in defeat.  While he backs up to get comfortable against a sturdy pole, I quickly remove my stiff trench coat and move padding around to better suit my new sleeping position.  I feel like a kid as I lie on my back with my head on his thighs, but it's the best way to make certain he wakes me immediately if there's trouble.  And I can't deny the need to be touching him at this moment as well.


"Yo, Squall.  What are you doing?"

"Can't you tell, Chicken?  It's a cliché mime act, except he's in a really large box."

The brunette in question doesn't even spare me a frown at the comment while he walks along the edge of the cliff with his hands feeling along empty space.  With a hop, I get Rinoa into a better position on my back though she'll just be sliding down in another minute.  While it makes me a little uncomfortable to be so close to her, Squall holds some kind of faith in the tranquilizer he gave the girl.  And supposedly we are close to this mythical city... where it could be in this expanse of wasteland, I haven't a clue.

As Squall had predicted, the kiddos joined up with us late this morning, all of them worried about our silent leader leaving without word.  Quisty of course couldn't resist a condemning glance my way when we first met up, but I'm rather used to it being the typical bad guy in situations.  Anyhow, I got some satisfaction when Fu returned the glare with added intensity from her red eye and that was the end of that.

There's a loud gasp of 'sweet' that makes me return my attention to Squall.  Before him is some kind of doorway with a ladder leading nowhere.  Well damn, I have to remember that trick.  Before Squall places a hand on the first wrung, he's pulled aside by whip wielding blonde.

"How do you know of this, Squall?"

He scowls at her.  "I just do.  We don't have time to waste."

"You completely change a mission on us the morning before and Rinoa ends up unconscious.  Then we discover you walking an unused track towards this desert of the continent, and you just happen to know of where this... this doorway would be.  What is the meaning of this?  It's like we don't know you anymore."

I can't help a bark of laughter.  "Quisty, you never knew Squally-boy here."

"Still--"

"I don't know about you kiddos, but I'd rather save this for once we get out of this monster infested area."

"He has a point, Quistis."  I look over to Selphie who was currently riding on the cowboy's back, apparently deciding Rinoa shouldn't be the only one to get such treatment.  Strange girl.

Blondie frowns but nods her okay to wait.

A short time later, all of us except the two brunettes are reeling from the intense rollercoaster ride.  Selphie cheers that we should do it again while Squall takes the deadweight from me since it is doubtful I could walk steadily on my own, forget with Rinoa sliding limply everywhere.  Following our leader, he guides us through this amazing city of Esthar.  Now why would a futuristic city like this be afraid of showing itself.  Damn, it could probably just take over the whole world if they felt like it.

We reach a large building, Squall approaching the guard.  "We require a meeting with the president.  It's urgent."

The man looks warily at us, our non-Estharian clothing and weapons certainly giving the guard enough reason to deny us passage.  At least he doesn't reach for his own weapon.

"Tell him we are friends of Ellone."

After a stare down between the two, our Ice Prince easily wins and the guard motions to another person to give the president his message.  I notice the rest of our group resisting the urge to question Squall about 'Ellone', myself the only one knowing the truth of his statement.  Curious that their dreams haven't gotten that far into the past yet, but then again with Squall speeding up this epic story, maybe Sis hasn't been able to keep pace with us.

From the doorway, a robed figure glides towards us, or more specifically to our mighty leader.  Despite that ridiculous hood of his, I can feel piercing eyes examining all of us and then focusing on Squall who still has the unconscious girl on his back.  I can't decide if the guy is being condescending or careful with the look over.  Without a word, he nods and then turns back to the entrance after the supposed invitation inside.

We are led directly to a waiting room, the kiddies practically speaking out at the same time once the door closes on us.  Whether because of her presence or instructor status, Quisty manages to silence everyone.

She frowns at the sitting brunette.  "We're all confused and worried here, Squall.  Talk to us."

He looks at the floor.  "It doesn't matter now.  My role will end here."

Before Blondie can start into some kind of rant, I place booted feet onto the coffee table with a satisfying thump.  "Quisty, Quisty, Quisty.  You should know better than to try and get water out of that stone.  He's got his ways.  Just go with the flow."

"And you!  How can you simply follow his vague lead when you've never been able to obey a clear cut order?"

"He has a nicer ass to follow than my previous commanders."

Well, that got the girl to shut her mouth, redness adding a charming quality to her tight instructor appearance.  In the background Selphie giggles fiercely to Zell's louder laughter.  Squall didn't even twitch while lost in that inner realm of his.  A shame that one - I'd like to get that boy to blush at least once in his lifetime.

Before I could have more fun with Quisty, we are once again visited by our robed guide who directs us to another room on a higher floor.  Damn these elevators.  It's too tempting to push Chicken from the platform that appears to have no walls.

Once we walk into the bare room, half of our group stops in shock at the sight of the Estharian president while the brunette sets down his burdensome load into a chair.  For the first time I have a real good taste of what Squall has been feeling since waking up in the infirmary that day.  While he probably finds it irritating, I like the hint of power that comes along with knowing the future, as well as the capacity to really piss off people.

"Sir Laguna!" Selphie squeals from the background.

Looking at the long haired man stand up from behind the desk, I decide Squall was right in his description.  This guy has pathetic written all over him.  How in the world does a guy like him get the position of president to a supposedly intellectual society like this?  He doesn't even dress like a man of his high ranking position.

He smiles nervously at us, a hand scratching the back of his head.  "Hello all of you.  It was mentioned you had to meet with me about something urgent."

"A sorceress resides in this girl.  She needs to be sealed."

Instantly, the president straightens at Squall's demand.  "Simply because she is a sorceress--"

"She will bring the Third Sorceress War if you do not act."

He pauses in thought.  "May I ask your name?"

For whatever reason, he smirks.  "Squall Leonhart."

Green eyes widen and then quickly narrow in thought.  "And how do you know what this sorceress is planning?"

"I do."

Laguna sighs as he sits on the edge of the desk.  "I can't seal a girl just because someone yells out 'Witch'.  It could cause panic.  I need some kind of proof beyond your word."

"Whatever.  Let her destroy this city with the 'Lunar Cry' if you wish."  He turns to the exit, giving me a good look at his false strength hiding the true emotion beneath as he strides away from the president.

"Wait."  Squall stops but doesn't turn.  "You must be tired from your journey here.  Perhaps a night of rest and we can further discuss this."

I can almost hear the battle just beyond stormy eyes.  He wants to run from here, never again to do something considered 'heroic' in his remaining lifetime.  But the fool just isn't programmed to leave things unfinished.  Still not facing the president, Squall nods his assent.

"Great.  Kiros, could you get someone to show these kids to some rooms for the night?"

Removing his hood, the dark skinned man bows to Laguna.  "I will do so personally."

Raising a hand to the door, Kiros leads us out.  I almost follow but notice our might leader wasn't joining the rest of us as if trapped into place.  The dark man looks at me with a questioning glance, but I shake my head and nod towards Squall.  I don't feel like leaving the man behind.  The door closes behind him with four men and one unconscious sorceress left in the room.

"Um, is there something else?  We'll watch over the girl tonight if that has you worried."

"I've been tranquillizing her.  Ultimecia has already waken once."

"Ultimecia?  Is that the sorceress?"

"... ..."

"Ah, well, we can get to that tomorrow.  Thank you for the word of warning."

Squall's mouth opens as if to speak, but he closes it without sound and shakes his head.  He doesn't meet my confused look as he strides from the room, myself hurrying after him.  Without difficulty he makes it to the sleeping quarters of the building, Kiros just about to leave the wing of rooms.  He points out the two rooms left for us, and I nod while resisting the comment that only one should be needed.

I join Squall in his room without bothering to wait or ask for an invitation inside.

"Get out, Seifer."

"Request noted and denied."  I smirk at his back while locking the door behind me.

"Never could follow a damn order," he mutters quietly.

A few long strides and I'm at his back with arms around his chest and my chin resting on his shoulder.  I don't dare ask what's wrong, knowing full well that the question would only make him clam up instead.  And so I wait silently while savoring my hold on him that he has yet to declare as unwanted.

"I can't do this again."

"No one said you had to."

"What if he decides to try the Time Compression again?"

"There's no reason for him to."

"I can't do it."

"You're repeating yourself, Squally-boy."

"You... could still be there."

"What do you mean?"

He hesitates, then takes a shaky breath.  "There was this place I was trapped in after the Time Compression.  I found your body... there was so much blood, dripping into space.  I killed you.  I'm sorry.  You apologized to me then, but I should have been the one--"

I hug him close to stop his rambling and the feel of quivering beneath my arms.  For a split second I'm angry at him for not telling me everything as he had promised, but his reaction while speaking of it cancels out the slight feeling of betrayal.  Though I have to wonder how much of what he is saying is truth and hallucination, since how could I apologize after dying.  But that could wait until never from my point of view if it hurts him this much inside.

"I'm here, Squall.  Focus on me, alive and close to you."

"But--"

"No.  Forget the past and future for moment, would you?  You'll only drive yourself crazy that way."

He slumps back against me, relying on my embrace to keep him standing.  "I think I already am."

"That would explain how you could love a guy like me."

He stiffens in my grasp and I mentally kick myself in the head.  'Had loved a guy like me' is what I should've said.  Had.  I really need to take a clue from Squall and maybe actually think about what I want to say rather than letting it spew out of my mouth like that.  I almost release my hold on him, but his hand hanging on my arm stops me.

"Guess so."

I blink a bit before forming a reply.  "Call me a pessimist, but could you clarify that a bit for a desperate man?"

He turns in my loosened hold to face me while his arms encircle my neck.  "Care to show me just how alive you are?"

Why must temptation be so sweet?  "You do realize the kiddies will hear us and probably break down the door to stop the fight they'd be expecting."

"Then you better find creative ways to keep me silent."  He blanches a little once he realizes what could be implied from the sentence.  I resist a smile at the insight that he doesn't always think before speaking after all.

"Nah, I think it'd be more fun watching you try to hold back."  I kiss the corner of his mouth while running a hand up the back of his shirt.  "The second you say stop, I will."

He sighs as he presses back into my hand.  "I know."

Taking advantage of the parted mouth, I start a most enjoyable duel with the gunblade master.  The contrast of the heat on my tongue and the cool skin at my fingertips makes me want to drive all of the coldness from the delectable brunette.  He moves against me sharply when I accidentally tickle him in the side, the effect worth a couple more prods at the sensitive spot despite the chance of his irritation.  As expected, he pulls back with a glare telling me to be good and removes his jacket.

Practically ripping off my trench coat, I throw it to the side of the bed and rid myself of the vest before tackling Squall to the mattress, preventing him from touching those tight pants of his.  I smile down the couple of inches at his face, annoyance clear in his blue-gray eyes.

"Remember.  Shhh..."

My lips puckered from the shush, I start with a kiss just under his earlobe, gradually trailing forward to gently bite his small Adam's apple.  He groans quietly, his cool hands placed onto my bare back.  I go straight down from there, then angle to a darkened nipple just asking for attention.  Tonguing the tight sensitive skin, I run my hands along his side at a slow pace, letting my thumbs follow along his ribs. Once reaching the bothersome belt guarded pants, I have to lean up for the challenge of unlocking him from the barriers.

Three belts later and I'm pulling the soft leather pants down his legs with cruel slowness, smirking as Squall covers his flushed face with an arm.  Moving between his legs, I raise one over my shoulder as I lower for a sample kiss of his stiff length.

"Seifer...!"

Not hearing a keyword to actually stop, I take the head of his cock into my mouth and roll my tongue around the soft skin.  I try to avoid it, but my eyes are appallingly attracted to my initials scarred there.  How can I be both proud and horrified at that claim on him.  At the sound of muffled moans, I look up at Squall's vain attempt to cover his mouth with his arm.  Knowing he'd probably end up wounding himself if I take the blow job all the way, I pleasure his manhood until a slight salty flavor runs across my tongue.  The whine that escapes him concerning my withdraw is pure bliss.

"What now, lovely?  More of this,"  I lick the throbbing vein on the underside of his penis.  "A hand job, a cold shower, or perhaps a request from the audience."

He pants a little before swallowing.  "I'm ready."

I frown at him.  "If you say so, but I don't think I am."

He lowers his arm, stormy eyes swirling with uncertainty.  "Sorry, should I--"

"Idiot.  Do you think I want to hurt you again?"

"So don't, but I still want you in me."

"You are a bad influence.  Here I am trying my hardest to--"

"Seifer, just fuck me already."

"Now, I think that's one order I can follow."  I lean over the side of the bed to pull a tube out of a hidden pocket of my trench coat.  Squall arches an eyebrow at the sight of the lube.  "Like any other SeeD cadet, I'm always prepared."

After prepping him and myself to give Squall plenty of time to voice second thoughts, I bend his legs forward.  My nervousness flies from me when I meet his passion darkened blue-gray eyes, a coy smile on his lips to urge me to continue.  With a sharp but small thrust forward, I break through his tiny entrance.  He winces in pain, but again he doesn't tell me anything as I slip deeper into sweet tightness.  As far as I dare go for the moment, I lean over him and kiss along his collarbone while he gets accustomed to the feel... hell, so I could get used to finally finding a way inside of this man.

"Hyne, do something," he pants at me.

I chuckle at the plead.  "Yes, sir."

In a testing move, I shift my hips back slowly and then return to the all encompassing heat of Squall faster than I had intended.  A whimpering breath from the brunette makes me freeze in conflict with treating him right and really not wanting to break the solid connection between us.  I jump a bit when his arms encircle my neck and he pulls himself up from the mattress.

"Why do I have to be so fucking noisy with you," he mutters against my shoulder.

Taking it as a sign to finish this off, I rock in and out of the hidden warmth of Squall at a steady pace.  He presses his mouth against my skin, the feel of muffled cries making me smile in both amusement and desire.  Of course, the temptation to make him yell out clearly into the small room was just barely outweighed by the fact that he'd kill me for it later.

Some time after infinity, Squall bites deeply into me as the feel of warmth spreads over my stomach.  The combination of mild pain and the tightness of his two holds on me brings white shattering light to my vision as I come within him.  With just enough energy left to carefully rest him back onto the mattress, I lie on top of Squall counting on the fact he is stronger than he looks.

Once our breaths begin to steady, I feel his hand move along my back towards the wounded shoulder.

"Don't you dare cure it."

"But it's bleeding."

I get up onto my forearms to look down at him.  "And you'd deny me a lovely memento of our first time... my first time with you."

"Hopeless."  He tries to hide from my view, but I catch the hint of redness on his cheeks despite the attempt.  Such simple loveliness.


Inside the Sorceress Memorial Hall, I stand a couple steps to the side of Squall on the large platform as we watch the sealing process of Rinoa and the witch Ultimecia within her.  Against the brunette's fears, the idiot with the presidential title agreed after a general overview that Time Compression seemed too unreliable to use once again, especially with only Squall currently experienced enough to battle the fearsome power of the sorceress.  More so, the lives that would potentially be lost in the process were simply too staggering to even consider, particularly with the high percentage of civilian casualties.

The rest of the kiddies are rather uncomfortable with the sacrifice of the young woman and Squall's apparent apathy over the event to even seen Rinoa on her way to eternal slumber.  They obviously don't know the stoic lion well enough.  He watches the strange bubble fill with a mysterious gas, the wish that it was him in there clear on his face.  I want to hug him close to me, not only for him but for my own need as well.  Like Squall, I can tell myself this is necessary but it hurts to see her in there, trapped for a lifetime without knowing the reason why.

Surprisingly Rinoa pulls herself up with aid of the transparent wall.  She looks at me, dark doe eyes filled with fear and confusion.  Soft lips mouth 'Seifer' before I turn away from the sight of her and back to Squall.  His stormy eyes narrow firmness, unafraid to stare directly into the face of the dark-haired girl that was his support when I wasn't around.  Depending on that strength, I look back at her to witness this final event.

For several painful moments we watch her, the increasing gas slowly wrapping around her.  Our final vision is of narrowed golden eyes glowing through the light mist.

His quiet whisper just barely registers in my hearing despite the machinery.  "I hope your dreams are full of fairy tales."

I bow my head in agreement.  Such would be the best for the lovely princess, especially since I doubt the knight she desires and needs exists anywhere beyond those fantasies she loved.

With nothing more to do, we leave the solitary building and get into the car Laguna loaned us to drive out here, the man seeming oddly overeager to help us out this morning.  The scenery is a dull one as I drive back to Esthar, the moment of silence too tense for me to consider turning on the radio.  Only the lack of a road causing a bumpy ride keeps me from dozing too badly at the wheel.  Not like there are other cars to ram into.

"Nn... Seifer..."

I look to the passenger side at Squall, not realizing that he had fallen asleep.  He has a small, lopsided grin on his face as he shifts a bit to get more comfortable in the seat.  The temptation to stop the car, pull out a tent, and curl up with the brunette is overridden by the issue that the others would be looking for us if we don't return by sunset.  Grumbling at the inconvenience, I wonder briefly about how things will play out from here, if Squall will desire to remain a SeeD or decide to leave the mercenary life.  And of course there's the little matter of our relationship, about whether to make it public, or if it'll even continue now that he technically doesn't really need me for support anymore...

With a sigh, I decide to not think about it.  I can leave the worrying to the master and then follow his lead.  Of course, every now and again I'll have to drag Squall out of that internal world of his, which certainly could be a pleasurable experience for us both.  Possibilities flying though my head, I add a little more pressure to the gas pedal in hopes our night together will start a bit early today.

 

{Game Over... until I think of a better ending.  Mwahahaha!... *sigh*}

{To try one at an epilogue}

 

Note - Well, didn't expect to actually finish this story after doing the first chapter. *shrug*  At least it was a fun break from my more typical AU stories.  If only I could have only thought of a decent ending.  Eh, life goes on. Thank you tons to everyone who reviewed.  You all are too good to me.  Now I have to figure out what to write next.  Kinda thinking of a sequel to 'Two Knights', but I don't really want to do another non-AU fic at the moment.  I have one plot bunny I'm tossing around (elven Squall!  Whee...) but who knows if I can actually form something decent with it, aka an actual plot beyond the beginning I have planned.  To Morrigan - yes, I realize I have two other stories left in limbo, but lighting hasn't struck me in how to continue them. ^_-  If only there was 'rent a muse'...