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FF8: Edeas Garden

Chapter 12: Xu and Zell.

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Chapter 12:

Xu and Zell.

A crowd had grown outside the Brig as the prone and sleeping bodies of Squall, Seifer, Raijin, Fujin, and Ellone, followed by Hayner who was carried in the arms of a Jr Classmen were transported to the Dr's Office.

Xu was weary, and exhausted, and didn’t feel like answering any questions the Dr Asked.

"Look, just get the junctioned Summons, and monitor them or something." She said rubbing her temples. "All I know is that Hayner came rushing out of the cell area, and dragged me to where everybody was. Ellone was awake then, but then she fell asleep. I don’t know any thing else."

"What were they planning on doing?" The Dr asked, non pulsed.

"Look. Ellone has this power. She can send people into the past while they sleep. It’s like your spirit goes into the bodies of people in the past. You can’t interfere, just observe. Now really. That’s all I know!" Xu snapped. "Just.. Help them!"

"I’m Sorry Xu. There’s not much I can do." Dr. Kadawoki said sadly as she closed another file.

"Hyne." Xu said as she swiped her hands through her short hair messing the pristine style. "You have to do something!"

"I can’t. I don’t know much about how this is possible." Dr. Kadawoki said sadly standing up and walking around the side of her desk and placing a hand on Xu’s shoulder. "I’ve never come across anything like this."

Xu slammed her hands on the table, her irritation rising. "Damn it, Dr. Kadawoki! You have to at least try!" She snapped, hanging her head down blinking tears from her eyes. "We have people in there who are in a situation, and we have to fix it!"

Dr. Kadawoki was at a loss for words, with a sigh she turned from Xu and went to the bed that Ellone was now lying on checking her vital signs. "Perhaps," she said out loud, "madam Edea would know something."

Xu turned to look at her scrubbing at her eyes with her hands. "Fine okay. I’ll go talk to her."

At that moment a light knock issued from the closed door, and Quistis peeked her head into the office.

"Xu?" She asked stepping in followed by the other SEED’s Selphie, Irvine, and Zell. "We came as soon as we heard. How.. are they?"

Xu sighed and sat down as the others all took seats or leaned against a wall. "We don’t know." she said, and then explained to the best of her abilities what had happened in the brig.

"Oh my gosh! Is Ellone okay?" Selphie said hanging her head down her lower lip quivering.

"Her vital signs are normal, except there are unusual brain waves." The Dr said carefully as she moved to sit back down at her desk. "As for the others, they’re fine too, but their brain waves are weak."

Xu nodded numbly and took up the explanation. "Squall, Seifer, Fujin and Raijin all have their junctions as well. I’d suggest removing them, but the Dr advises against it. We don’t know what effects it might have on them."

"Oh, no." Selphie said turning her face into Irvine’s chest who held her in a comforting embrace.

"They won’t wake up?" Quistis asked, tapping her chin in thought.

"That’s correct." Dr. Kadawoki said with a nod as she clasped her hands in front of her on the desk. "Ellone managed to stay awake for a while but slipped into unconsciousness after Xu and Hayner arrived on the scene. Shortly after that, Hayner himself fell unconscious."

"Man." Zell said punching the wall. "This is bad, real bad."

Xu nodded her head silently and moved to the door. "I need to be alone for a bit." She said numbly. "I have work to do." She then slipped out the door and walked down the hallway arms crossed over her chest.

****

"Zell!" Selphie said glaring. "Go talk to her!"

"What, why me?" Zell said looking at the others.

"Isn’t it obvious?!" Selphie said with a low menacing growl. "You’ve lived next door to her in Balamb most of your life! You’re the only one she’ll probably listen to right now."

"But, but!" Zell stammered jumping back from the look Selphie was giving him. "Shouldn’t Quisty do that?!"

"I’m not her best friend." Quistis pointed out. "You are."

"But you’re a girl! You’d be more understanding of the problem." Zell babbled shaking his hands in front of his face back and forth.

"Just what is that supposed to mean!" Selphie barked sneaking up on him and tweaking his ear hard, and opening the office door and shoving him outside. "Just go talk to her! She needs a friend!" With that Selphie slammed the door in his face.

"Ah, man!" Zell grumbled as he hung his head and shoved his hands into his pockets. "Xu and I haven’t really spoken since she became Cids personal assistant." He grumbled and jogged to catch up to her.

***

Xu heard the hurried footsteps behind her and sighed, and stopped walking.

"Xu.." Zell said awkwardly when he caught up to her. "Do you need to talk or something?"

Xu smiled softly, though her eyes were red from crying in the Dr’s Office.

"I’m fine Zell." She said looking at him.

Zell rubbed the back of his head. "Ah come on Xu." He said scratching his scalp nervously. "We’ve known each other since we were kids. I know that when you say you’re ‘fine’ something is really bugging you."

Xu looked down at her feet. "Okay, yeah. I’m upset." She said wearily.

"Come on Xu." Zell said as he put an arm around her, "Lets go to the balcony in the training center. We can train for a bit and then talk."

"I.. I haven’t done that for a long time Zell." She said as she walked with Zell who led her towards the Dorms.

"So? A good training session with the Grats will help get any frustration out of you." He said lightly. "Go get your throwing stars and meet me at the gate?" He asked, making a goofy puppy dog face at her. "We haven’t trained together for a long time. I miss just hanging out with you."

"Fine, fine." Xu said with a chuckle no longer able to feel sorry for herself. "I’ll go."

"Great!" Zell said with a huge grin, as he trotted off towards the training center. "It’s a date."

Xu smiled lightly at Zells retreating back. "You were always such a goof." She said out loud to herself. "Where would I be, if I didn’t have you to cheer me up?"

****

The GF’s wings on her head spread open as the magical waves from her musical harp sent a silencing spell at the monster, while Xu circled around the last remaining Grat, several throwing stars held lightly in her hand between each finger. When the GF smiled at her and faded from view, Zell grinned at her.

"This feels great!" He called as he ran forward and punched his hands into the gut of the large green plant like creature with tentacles. "It’s just like old times!"

Xu laughed and flung her hand out sending the stars at the tentacles which promptly fell off, while Zell channeled a Fira spell to finish it off. "You’re right." She called to him, as she prepared a Cura spell for his minor wounds from the attack it had previously done on him.

"Yeah, well." Zell said as the flames of the spell engulfed the Grat burning it and killing it off. "I figured you could use some time off from all the work you do."

"You don’t say." She said as the Cura spell’s white shimmering light shone on Zell healing his minor cuts from being bitten.

"Yeah." Zell said nodding and bending down to hand her, the throwing stars which were now on the ground. "Thanks for the Cura spell by the way."

"No problem." Xu said with a laugh as the two turned towards the door leading to the balcony and opening it. "Oh my, it’s pretty." She breathed as she looked at the now evening sky.

"It’s always pretty here." Zell said with a nod as he turned to lean against the wall. "That’s why I decided to bring you here. To ease your mind." Zell finished as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"I appreciate the thought." Xu said as she leaned over the edge of the rail letting the wind play with her hair.

"Thought you might." Zell said with a chuckle. "Look, everybody’s worried about you. They haven’t seen you so down in a long time."

"I.." Xu said as she looked down at her hands. "You’re right, I am feeling down."

"Why Xu? You’re normally happy, and you’re such an intelligent girl." Zell asked looking at the side of her face, which was soft, and beautiful, a blush raced across his cheeks. "I mean you’ve always been a hard worker. I thought you were happy with your job?"

"Oh I am." She said turning her face to look at him. "I’m just worried about Ellone and the others...." She said trailing off as Zell quickly looked upwards at the clouds in the sky.

"Is that really it?" He asked.

"Well, I should have been with them in the brig. I could have stopped Squall with that crazy plan of his." She explained, as she too looked away from Zell watching the landscape below.

"Hey, now Xu." Zell said softly, moving to touch her shoulder. "You didn’t know, this would have happened."

"I know, but.." Xu stammered as new tears fell down her face and drifting away in the wind. "I failed them." She whispered.

"Xu.." Zell whispered as he pulled her into a hug. "Things will work out in the end. Just you wait!"

"I know, but.. Hyne Zell, I don’t think I can handle the work load anymore." She mumbled into his shirt which was quickly getting wet with her salt water tears. "There’s so much to do. Filing the student files, taking care of the payments, leading security detail, assigning the new assignment lists that Squall would take care of. Communications..."

Zell patted her back lightly, and looked down at the top of her head. "Why don’t you break up each job into small jobs for other SEEDS to temporarily do? Hyne Xu, I’ll help too!"

Xu chuckled bitterly and looked up at him, "Thank’s for the offer, but I don’t think you’re qualified for any of the jobs."

"Now that isn’t very fair." Zell said pushing her back holding her at arms length. "I can do lots of things!"

"Like what?" Xu asked wiping at her eyes.

"Well I can assign the new assignments from Cid...?"

"I don’t think so, Tiger. You’d probably make a mess of everything. You don’t exactly have a good handle on your sense of judgment." Xu said with a small sad smile.

"Oh, well uh. I know! I can take over the Security!"

"You get to riled up, and like fighting as much as the next bad apple." Xu said sadly.

"Communications?" Zell asked hopefully.

"You have a big mouth, you’d be prone to upset people..."

"Ah, come on Xu!" Zell said bending down slightly and mimicking fighting a monster. "You gotta let me do something! I hate seeing you cry! It doesn’t suit you!"

"Well.." Xu said laughing at the look of hopefulness on Zells face. "You do have good leadership qualities. You did a good job in the Quad when the Galbadians attacked through there. Hyne, you even tried your hardest to help Rinoa when she fell..." Xu mused.

Zell grinned and puffed up like a peacock and pounded his chest, suddenly feeling important. "Yeah, I did do a good job, and I did try my hardest to save Rinoa. Even though it was Squall who did it in the end."

"Okay. I have an idea." Xu said turning from Zell and once again leaning out over the rail. "I’ll break the jobs down, and you can brief the temp workers, with their new assignments. You can be my assistant, and take notes during meetings, and help me file the student records. How’s that sound?"

"Sure, I can do that. Anything to help." Zell said standing next to her, his elbow touching hers thinking. ‘Damn, she’s really pretty.’

****

From a distance, on top of the ruins, by Edea Kramer’s old orphanage, a young girl watched as the garden flew past to land in the ocean in route to Deling City. She saw Zell and Xu standing on the balcony.

With a shriek like a banshee, she jumped from the old tower black, large molting wings magically appearing.

Revenge would be hers.

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This is a fanfic.