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FF8: Edeas Garden

Chapter 7: The briefing.

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Chapter Seven:

 The briefing.

The briefing room was a new room built on the second floor, next to the classroom. It was a small affair loosely based off of what Squall, Selphie, and Zell saw when they had infiltrated Galbadia Garden, when they had steeled themselves to fight their old Orphanage Director Matron, who was at the time possessed by Ultimicia.

Yet instead of seats going downwards and forming a half circle around the large podium, like Galbadia Garden. Balambs briefing room had a long curving table that could seat up to thirty SEEDS, and at the front of the room was a brown wooden podium with a large screen behind it used to outline missions and other such details.

At the front Squall stood talking quickly into a headset. "Yes, Irvine and a few other Students will be fine. They can pick up the things from the students. Irvine is the best one to send since he originally came from there."

While Hayner sat at the end of the curving table the farthest away from the three new students, who sat in chairs facing the curving table.. While Squall made the needed arrangements over the headset, Zell, walked into the briefing room and sat down, followed by Seifer who also sat down. Next came Mark, who opted to stand behind Seifer.

A few moments later Xu, Selphie and another security guard entered, and one stood behind Selphie who cast a sour expression towards Seifer, who oddly enough did nothing.

Squall turned off the headset and cleared his throat.

"Seifer, Selphie, Zell, Xu." Squall started and all of them stood and saluted. "At ease." Squall said and then continued when they sat back down. " These three students are Pence, Olette and Jay. They've just transferred here today from Galbadia Garden."

"I'm so out of here." Seifer said standing up, only to have Zell and Mark push him back down into his seat.

"Anyway." Squall said, as he fumbled with the prepared paper work, "These students need role models."

"Baby sitters you mean." Seifer scoffed.

"Shut it." Xu scolded.

"Okay I'll get to the point. Zell, you'll be living with Pence. Selphie, you'll be living with Olette. Seifer..."

"I'm living with the fashion reject. Wonderful." Seifer cut him off.

"Your fashion statement ain't any better then mine Seifer." Jay said with a smirk his eyes flashing dangerously. "I'll be sure to stay out of your way, provided you stay out of mine."

"What the heck did I do to get baby sitting duties?" Seifer asked the ceiling above.

"Oh, I don't know." Selphie muttered darkly. "How about, nearly killing the Galbadian President, fighting on the side of Sorceress Ultimicia, torturing Squall till he almost died, blowing up Trabia, instigating an all out garden war, and practically serving Ellone and Rinoa to Sorceress Adel and Ultimicia on a golden platter?" Selphie snapped standing up and glaring.

"You wound me." Seifer replied shrugging, "Yet, I don't give a shit."

"Why you!!" Selphie sputtered jumping across Xu's lap and biting the security guards arm in her wrath. "You heartless creep!"

"Squall, do something!" Xu shouted as her arms flapped around harmlessly as Selphie clawed her face trying to get to Seifer.

"What the hell am I supposed to do?!" Squall said tossing the papers he had been shuffling through over his head.

"Sir. If I may?" Olette spoke up looking at Squall her eyes twinkling with mischief.

"Huh?" Squall said turning to look at the young girl who stood not far from him.

"I can stop this." She said grinning a bit.

"Uh, how!?" Squall asked throwing his arm to indicate Zell, Mark, Xu, and the other security guard trying to hold both Selphie and Seifer from killing each other.

"Like this sir." Olette said grinning as she stepped forward and tossed her arms out to the sides, palm upwards. Out of nowhere a ball of water seemed to appear above each hand. Olette smiled softly and then bowed low to the ground, and then jumped onto the podium and twirled. One ball of water landing on Seifer, the other landing on Selphie's red face with a splash.

Both SEED, and failed graduate sputtered and coughed and turned to look at Squall who looked back, eyebrow twitching, and his jaw clenching. Olette smiled serenely and hopped off the podium and went back to her seat without a word.

"What..." Selphie started.

"The.." Seifer sputtered spitting water out of his mouth.

"HECK.." Xu said the corners of her mouth twitching slightly.

"WAS..." Zell coughed out as he tried hard not to laugh.

"THAT?" Hayner laughed out loud as he fell out of his chair, his voice a deep rich laughter echoing off the walls.

Squall couldn't help it any longer. Bending over he laughed right along with Hayner. Selphie sat back down in her seat looking confused. While Seifer only smirked.

"Guess the jokes on us." He said with a chuckle. "It's like literally getting slapped with water from a bucket." With that he sat back down and watched as Squall looked up rubbing the laughter filled tears from his eyes.

"Well. That was unexpected." Squall said as he stood up and looked at everyone in the room. "Olette, please explain what you just did."

Olette stood up with a smile and looked at everyone. "As far as I know, I am able to control water. Just the mere thought and water will come to my aid. Except, it only happens in times of great stress, or when I'm badly hurt." Olette explained and then sat down.

"Huh." Xu said thinking of Quistis' latent Blue Magic abilities. "So that was a demonstration of your limit attack." She added tapping her chin.

"I guess so, yeah." Olette nodded.

"Look, this is all very educational," Seifer said clapping his hands, "but I'm informing you all that if this meeting isn't over soon, I'll leave anyway. So let's get this over with so I can go back to having the entire populace of Balamb Garden disliking my person being here."

"Right. Fine." Squall said quickly darting a look at Selphie that said clearly don't start. "Xu, I'll need you to take the kids, Hayner as well to the library. They'll need to choose courses best suited to their fighting abilities. Quistis should be there to help."

"No problem Squall." Xu said standing up and walking to the door. The tall dark skinned security SEED taking her seat next to Selphie. "Come on kids. Let's leave the adults to finish the meeting. I'm sure they have a lot to talk about." She said holding the door open.

Pence, Olette and Jay shrugged and walked down the center aisle and turned to look at Hayner who was still sitting on the floor after falling out of his chair from laughing so hard. Quietly the young male stood up, ran his right hand through his hair and jogged up the aisle his eyes briefly meeting Jay's as he caught up to Xu. Anyone in the room would swear that day after, that there was an automatic dislike between the two boys.

Xu shivered inwardly at the tension between the two boys, and shook her head. With a smile she led the four new students of Balamb Garden down the hallway to the elevator.

Squall rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand and sighed. Looking up he regarded the two security guards, and thought briefly of sending them away, but thought better of it.

"Everyone." He started looking from Zell, to Seifer, and Selphie. "I really need you to help me out here. No more fights." He said quietly. "The last thing Balamb Garden needs is two more students like myself and Seifer."

"Permission to speak?" Zell asked standing up.

"Yes. Go ahead." Squall said waving his hand and rubbing his temples.

"What else should we know about these students?" Zell asked driving the point of the briefing home.

"Here." Squall said picking up a stack of folders with the name of each one of the three new students marked on them. "Headmaster Martine made copies of the student registry files on Galbadias network system in the headmasters office. I've got digital copies." Squall said picking up a small CD disk and holding it between two fingers. "You guys go over the hard copies tonight. Be sure to give them back to Edea first thing tomorrow." Squall added as he handed out the folders. "Selphie, I'm trusting you to leave your hate out of this assignment." Squall mumbled loud enough for only her to hear, which awarded him with a scathing look of indignity. Squall shrugged and moved on to Zell.

"Zell, you're a great guy. I'm trusting you to do this job right."

"Will do, boss man." Zell said nodding and taking Pence's folder.

"Seifer," Squall started. "I'm just going to trust you. Think of this as part of your redemption." Squall muttered as he placed the third and final file into Seifer's hands.

Seifer looked up at Squall their eyes locked briefly and Seifer turned from Squall, standing up. "I'm not making any promises. Redemption's hard enough without a kid following you around."

"Whatever." Squall said going back to the podium and looking at the three. "You're all dismissed, on the pretence of moving your things into whichever rooms suits both you and the student. Seifer, Zell. Leave first. Selphie, stay behind I need to talk to you for a moment." Squall said waving his hand at the others. "Oh and the security detail can leave too."

Squall sighed heavily and pulled out a chair and sat down.

It was a matter of a few slowly dragging minutes until Selphie was standing not far from Squall. Her hands behind her back, head tilted and looking at the ground.

"What would you like?" Selphie asked, scuffing her shoes on the floor.

Squall's head shot up his eyes small vertical slits of anger.

"What the hell was that?" He asked Selphie. "That, that display of total ..." Squall trailed off at a loss for words to describe Selphies previous temper tantrum.

"It was just my opinion.." Selphie started to explain.

"Selphie, I know you’re hurt by what Seifer did. Everybody’s been hurt." Squall said quietly, his voice thick, the tone indicating just how angry he was. "Yet, your actions towards him today, embarrassed me. Do you have any idea why Xu was included in the briefing?" Squall asked looking at Selphie his eyes opening a bit, shining with a slight fire. "It was a test. A test to see how I’d handle a simple assignment briefing." Squall sighed and rubbed his temples. "Xu’s going to report this fiasco to Cid as soon as she’s able."

"I..." Selphie mumbled quietly, starting to apologize. "I'm..."

"Not another word. I won't have this kind of behavior from you anymore!" Squall snapped harshly. "Get over whatever melodrama that's bugging you, and grow up."

"Fine." Selphie said stiffly and saluting. "Permission to leave?"

Squall nodded, he was about to speak again when the flaming hand of pain and bright white lights connected with his face, and Selphie stormed off slamming the door.

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This is a fanfic.