"Oh hey! Wait up!" Zell said hurrying after Squall, "I was only joking around." He explained. "I thought you could use
a laugh man, I mean what with Rinoa having gone back home and all."
Squall regarded Zell with a minor look of annoyance from the corner of his eye and then gave in and chuckled. "Let me guess,
you and Selphie thought I needed cheering up." He said lifting his arms and shrugging his shoulders at the same time before
letting his arms fall back to his sides.
"Well, Selphie was really worried about you, and she really thought she could try to help cheer the kid up. She left it
to me to take you out on the town with Irvine for a guys night out." Zell explained and jammed his hands into his pants pockets,
slouching. "Though I guess you don't want to do that, do you?" Zell asked.
"Well I..." Squall started, to say when he got interrupted by the mousy brown haired Xu, wearing her SEED regulation uniform
grabbing his shoulder from behind.
"Squall! There you are!" She said out of breath. "Headmaster Cid asked me to find you. It's about the three new students
from Galbadia garden." She said walking next to Squall hugging a clipboard to her chest.
"I'll take that as a 'No'." Zell answered his own question and sighed. "Well I tried man, but hey keep the offer in mind
okay?" He said waving and turning to head back towards the dorms. "I'll tell Selphie to get your new ward something to eat
while you go talk to Headmaster Cid." He said over his shoulder.
"Oh no, did I interrupt something?" Xu asked as she looked at Squall who had stopped walking in order to hear Xu out.
"Well, I'm not sure. Zell was just asking if I wanted to go into town with him and Irvine. No big deal. Anyway, you said
Cid wanted to see me?"
Xu nodded her head and then started flipping through the papers on her clipboard. "Right, the transfer students. It seems
they're around Hayner's age." She said reading from her notes. "Headmaster Cid wants you to take Hayner with you to the meeting
point and pick the students up."
Squall sighed and leaned against the wall rubbing his temples. "And?" He pressed, not liking where this was going.
Xu continued, after a pause of reading her notes. "From what I gather, you're to take them back here to Balamb and get
them settled down with their new guardians." She said taking a list and handing it to him. "Here's a list of possible guardians
for the three new students." she added and then hurried off in search of someone else.
Squall was left looking blankly at the list of possible guardians and sighed. "I need a vacation." Shaking his head he
gripped the list in both hands and gave it another look over, and was surprised to see only three names. "Seifer, Selphie,
and Zell." Squall read aloud to himself. 'Oh man. This could only cause trouble.' Squall thought to himself as he pushed away
from the brick wall he was leaning against and walked past the cafeteria and continued to the front of the main lobby. He
had better talk to the Headmaster about this personally, though he was loath to do so.
Meanwhile Selphie zipped around the room unpacking not only Hayner's things but most of Squalls things. Only leaving his
Gun blade case leaning against the desk in his room, which had been moved in there previously by Irvine and Quistis when Squall
had been in the training center.
"I hope you don't feel intimidated by Squall. He's a very quiet kind of guy, likes to keep to himself a lot. Granted it
isn't as bad as when I first got to know him. Yet, I must say even back then he took the time out of his busy schedule to
show me around Balamb Garden. Half assed job as it was. All he did was show me the map of the place on the huge board at the
front of the lobby. Still it helped me get to know the place better." She rambled on as she hung up Squalls SEED uniform on
a hanger and hung it on a tack on the wall as she knew Squall preferred. "He's always been kind of an awkward kind of guy."
She continued as she breezed into Hayner's room and saw him quietly regarding her with the same dead pan expression.
"Oh, heh. I guess I'm talking too much aren't I?" She said as she took a black sweater out of his hands and hung that too
on a hanger and then placed it in the closet. "You probably think I talk too much." She added as an after thought.
Hayner said nothing, yet Selphie was undeterred and continued on speaking with her bubbly tone. "Oh by the way, I picked
up something for you at the gift shop." She said as she bounded out of the room and to the table in the small make shift dining
area. "I always get new students some type of welcoming gift." She explained as she picked up a brightly wrapped box and then
walked back towards Hayner. "It's probably a childish thing to do, but I'm of the firm belief that kids should have a special
friend to tell all their secrets to when they think no body will listen to them." Selphie continued as she put the box onto
the bed and opened it and took out a large soft fluffy bear with brown and white markings. "Ta-da!" She grinned at Hayner.
"Meet Edward. I paid to have him specially crafted just for you. There's no other like it!" She beamed at Hayner and then
thrust the bear into his hands.
Hayner blinked and looked down at the bear and then back at Selphie.
"He's soft. Go on give him a hug!" She encouraged.
Hayner looked back down at the bear and then turned around clutching him tightly and looked out the small rectangular window.
Hiding his face from Selphie.
"Oh." Selphie said misunderstanding. "You. Don't like him." The hurt heard in her voice as she awkwardly looked at her
feet. "I can always take him back." She whispered.
"No!" Hayner said turning around tears streaming down his face. "Don't!" He forced out of his mouth looking at her his
lower lip quivering. "Please don't. I... I've never had a bear before..."
Selphie blinked and regarded the small boy and smiled softly. "Okay then. I won't. Look I'll leave you two alone for a
bit. I need to go use the in garden com system in the kitchen." She said taking a few steps backwards. With that she turned
and walked slowly to the kitchen and picked up the black headset with a microphone and pressed a white button on a wall panel
connecting to the headmasters office.
"Headmasters office." Cid said into her ears. "Xu's not here to take any messages for me right now, so it's up to me."
"Ah okay" Selphie said in a slightly distressed tone. "It's Selphie." She added. "I'm currently in Squall and Hayner's
room. I sent Squall off to the cafeteria, but I think we have a situation." She said nearing hysterics. "He's crying, and
I don't know what to do, Sir. Could you page Squall?" She asked sheepishly.
"It's okay my dear. He's here in my office, I'll send him back promptly." Cid said with concern in his voice. "I've just
finished going over the transfer pick ups with him."
"Oh, oh good." Selphie said. "Could you tell him to hurry? He's starting to cry more loudly now." Selphie grimaced.
"Right, Squall says to open the door. He says you locked him out." Cid said after passing on the message. "He'll be there
"Oh, okay." Selphie said cutting the connection and ripping the headset off her head and running to the door and slamming
her hand on the open door switch. Which revealed a bewildered Zell with his arm raised, hand poised to knock.
"Whoa!" Zell said as he heard the screaming of the now highly agitated Hayner issuing from his room. "Selphie, what did
"I don't know! I just gave him a bear and he just started to cry and oh Hyne." She said turning on her heel and started
to pace back and forth her hands clutched in front of her in agitation. "I'm good with kids, but something must be bugging
"Is that all? Did he say anything to you?" Zell asked stepping inside and watching Selphie's antics.
"He said he never had a teddy bear before. Then he just started to cry more and more." She explained, and fretted more.
"Good grief." Squall said as he walked into the room. "Selphie...." He said looking at her and Zell.
"I didn't do it!" Zell said backing away from the two.
"I know, Zell. It isn't Selphie's fault either. Look, why don't you go get some pizza or something and bring it back here
for Hayner and I." He said crossing his arms over his chest. "You'll only agitate him further." He said looking down at the
"Right! Okay! One deluxe pizza coming up!" Zell said as he grabbed Selphies arm and dragged her out into the hallway.
"Selphie.." Squall said quietly holding out his hand. "My key card?"
Selphie blinked and then called over her shoulder. "On the table! Bye!" She said scampering out of the room following Zell.
With a sigh Squall looked at Hayner briefly and then at the outside connection phone. With a sigh of defeat he picked it
up and dialed Laguna's direct phone line at the Esthar Presidential Palace.