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AUTHORESS NOTES: Hahahahahaha, I'm back!!! I SOOOOOO hate high school. Gar.

Oh, I've been getting a lot of reviews saying why the hell isn't the FF8 gang getting that EVERYBODY that I made up are their descendants. Well, it's...it's because I've used by authoress power to blind them! Yeah, that's it!

Squall: Oh, Hyne, we've got kids?!?!?!?!?!? *girly scream, then faints*

Rinoa: Tee hee.

Seifer: *jabs thumb at Lily* Why the hell does SHE have to be my kid??

Lily: Cuz you were the one who knocked up my mom, stupid.

*chaos and mayhem ensue....*

*sweatdrop* As you can see...I've just released that power. But seriously, thank you for those pointing that matter out. I kinda forgot... ^_^ Enjoy!!!

Just to let you know, bold words mean that you are in a flashback sequence....or a flashback is coming back to the others as they're there. This is mostly just for people talking. Italic bold words represent another voice is talking in everyone's minds. And to keep your brains intact, Luna had just died. Now, what will her siblings and closest friends react to all of this? There are things to move on to...

To Fly Free

It was too late. She knew because she and the other only saw two figures huddled together in the distance. Only two...

"Hey, Phoenix, Kenji," Lily spoke out. "W-what the hell just happened?"

They had all followed a trail of blood to here. Only two people when there were supposed to be three. Only two...

"Aren't you guys listening to me?!?" Lily asked again, this time more frantically.

Kenji, arm still wrapped around Phoenix, glanced at Phoenix. Her tears had subsided, at least for the moment, but a blank expression had conquered her face.

Do you want me to tell them or me? he asked.

Phoenix slowly blinked, still staring into space. You...

He sighed, leaving his Sorceress, and drudged slowly to the others to explain. He had kept his eyes closed to prevent anybody to see the pained expression in his eyes.

He stopped by Lily's side and began explaining, "Luna...she just..."

Nobody around them had heard what he said, except for Lily. But Alex...he hadn't said a word since they were all together. He had kept his head low and walked stiffly in military-like fashion, fists clenched tightly by his sides. Alex was cold and silent like the weather, not even bothering to look up to know where to go. It was as if he knew already.

Rinoa looked at him and now realized that his shoulders were shaking in...anger? Sadness? She couldn't tell, but she knew that Alex was listening into the entire explaination that human ears couldn't hear.

We were too late...weren't we, Phoenix? she asked.

Phoenix just blinked in response with that blank expression still on her face.

"No...way..." everyone heard Lily say. Her eyes widened in shock. "That's...that's impossible. Not Luna..."

"It all just happened," Kenji said.

"That's impossible!!" Lily shouted, taking a step forward. "How the hell could she just DIE like that?!?!?"

She shoved Kenji aside and walked briskly towards Phoenix. It can't be true, it just can't be... Lily didn't want to believe that her best friend, the person who understood her the most besides her father, had just died. She knelt down in front of Phoenix, grabbing her shoulders.

"C'mon, Phoe, it ain't true, right?" Lily asked. Getting no response from her friend, she began shaking Phoenix, desperate for answers. "Hey, c'mon! It ain't true, right?? Kenji's just bullshitting us, right??...Right?" Still no response, Liliy began to shake Phoenix even harder. "Hey!! Why aren't you answering me?!?!?"

As Lily continued, Phoenix struggled to keep her composure. She tried to block out her friend's cries but couldn't. The hurt, the guilt, the anger...they were all coming back again. She tightly grabbed the bracelets that her twin once wore as the tears filled her covered eyes.

Lily looked down at the bracelets which shined brightly in the sun. That was when she finally accepted the hurtful truth of reality.

"Those bracelets..." she murmured. From the bracelets, her eyes trailed down to the soaked pool of blood in the snow next to Phoenix. "That blood..." She looked back at Phoenix who was struggling to not fall back into her abyss of hell.

"She...she really is gone, isn't she?" she asked, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her fists were clenched tightly by her sides. "Dammit, why?? Why did this have to happen to Luna of all people?!?!? She had freakin' sorceress's blood for Hyne's sake!!!"

"Do you think it's easy to not go to Ultimecia right now and tear her to pieces?!?!?" Phoenix burst out. Lily was so stunned that she couldn't respond as Phoenix continued. "Hyne...we aren't freakin' immortal! Sure, our mother was a sorceress, but that doesn't mean that we can't die like normal people do!! Even Mom..."

Me and Daddy are going to someplace else, okay? No matter what happens, we'll always watch over you.

"Even Mom...even she was killed," Phoenix finished. "Sometimes we just forget that...that we're only human..."

Alex looked up and stared at his sister. Nobody had noticed the slight flicker of amber in their eyes.

Phoenix closed her eyes to keep the tears out as the crimson streaks in her hair began to bleed when terrifying memories flooded back into her head. "Luna...she knew what she was doing. Even I don't want to believe it...but...what she did was the right thing."

"What do you mean?" Rinoa asked quietly.

Phoenix took out a necklace that was hidden underneath her clothing. Dangling onto it were a pair of silver rings. They were engraved in similar patterns, shining brightly in the sun.

Squall's eyes widened. "Those are..."

"Griever's rings," Phoenix answered, looking at Squall and Rinoa straight in the eye. "You gave these to us when we were very young. There's four in total. These are mine and Luna's."

"Why...why didn't you tell us before? Why didn't you tell us the reason why..." Lily trailed off.

Phoenix smiled faintly. "Because Ultimecia's not after you, Lily. She's after not only those involved in Time Compression, but she's also after our family because of these rings."

"Wait a second," Seifer interrupted. "Doesn't Ultimecia appear many thousands of years AFTER you guys?"

"That's probably the one you heard of," Gene answered. "But there's no such thing as one time zone. This future is ours and the one that you know of, but there are many other futures. To come to think of it, there's many other us's, too."

"And that means that there's many other Ultimecia's," Zell concluded.

"You have such an optimistic view of life, Chickenwuss," Seifer said.

Zell seethed in anger." I'm only saying the frickin' truth, Seifer."

"Hey, don't get all touchy about it..."

Alex walked over to his sister, laying a hand on her shoulder. "C'mon, Sis...let's go."

Phoenix nodded in agreement and looked at the steel gate in front of them.

We'll all be fine, Phoe, her twin's voice rang in her mind. So, don't worry.

"I hope you're right about this," Phoenix whispered softly.

 

"This...this place is freakin' huge!" Zell exclaimed as they walked through the rather wide, but empty halls of Mt. Leika's cavern.

"You can say that again, Zell," Rinoa said as she clung onto Squall's arm. She glanced nervously at the walls that surrounded them. They seemed to glow light blue with every step they took. But this place is also really creepy...

"But why would Shiva's former imprisonment be so big?" Quistis wondered aloud. "I mean, were those people back then so afraid of her power?"

"That's probably it," Lily answered, arms behind her head.

She stopped abruptly after hearing a fairly large creaking sound. She paled.

"Uh-oh..."

"Whaddya mean by 'uh'-aaaaahhhhh!!!" Gene was about to ask before the floor began to disappear underneath them.

"WHOA-----!!!" Everyone shouted as they fell into the void below them.

 

Alex...

Ugh...

Alex!

Who...who's there?

Wake up, Alex!

Alex opened his eye to find himself in a dark void. Kneeling before him was a young woman. Her chocolate brown eyes looked concerned underneath the mop of dark brown hair that she had. A white tank and khaki shorts underneath a long denim jacket. Dark brown hair, which was almost black, the curled just to mid-cheek. A very familiar appearance...

Alex immediately sat up, blinking in surprise.

"Sa-Sakura?!?"

The young woman called Sakura arched an eyebrow as she sat up straight.

"What? It's like you've seen a ghost or something," Sakura said.

"But aren't you dead?" Alex asked incredulously.

"Of course not, you idiot," his sister answered. "Don't be go digging into my grave just yet."

"Then...how? Phoenix...Sis saw you die."

Sakura's eyes looked away from her brother's. "Ultimecia...she--she revived me."

"W-what?"

"Ultimecia revived me. I'm not sure why, but she's kept me in a deep sleep. That's why this is the only way I can talk to you guys: through your dreams and flashbacks. My physical body can't budge an inch no matter how hard I force myself."

"So that's why your aura's so faint," Alex murmured.

"Oh, NOW you get it," Sakura teased.

"Hey..."

"I was just kidding, geez. You're starting to act like Dad."

"Ha ha ha, very funny."

Although he had replied sarcastically, Alex smiled faintly. He and his older sister Sakura were closer than with the twins.

"So....wait a minute, you said that you can only contact me and the others through our dreams and flashbacks? You mean that I'm unconcious right now?"

Sakura nodded. "Yep."

"But how come you never did that before/"

"I only have local calling distance," his sister replied. "You guys can find me in the central area of this place."

There was something in her eyes that bothered him.

"...What did they do to you, Sis?"

Sakura hesitated for a moment. Then, "I-I don't know...too many things. So many horrible things that I can't tell you. Not just yet. Just find me, okay? I just want to fly free again."

She began to fade away. Alex tried to grab her.

"Wait a minute, Sis! Where're you going?"

"Your physical body is starting to awaken. Besides, I gotta make Phoenix a visit sometime since all of you are here. Remember: I'm in the central area of this place, got it? Get me the hell outta this place. Only Mom and Dad can wake me up."

 

"Alex, Alex, wake up!"

Once again, his sleep was disturbed. He was being shaken. Not roughly, but enough to force himself awake. Alex opened his eye to find his sister looking down at him in concern.

"Sis?" he mumbled.

Phoenix's expression softened as she helped her brother stand. "Are you okay?"

"I have a really bad headache, but that's it," Alex replied.

He looked around to find only Squall, his sister, and himself.

"Hey...where's everybody?"

"We don't know," Squall answered, pushing himself off the wall he was leaning on. "That fall separated all of us."

"And you found me lying on the floor unconsious," Alex finished, frowing in through. So...I DID talk to her...

"You talked to who?" Phoenix asked after reading her little brother's thoughts.

Squall stared at the two oddly. What are they talking about?

"Um...Sakura..." Alex trailed off.

Squall's eyes narrowed at the name again. The way Alex had said the name was as if it was a ghost come back to life.

Phoenix cocked her head to the side. "Sakura? You mean she knows how to talke to you in dreams?"

Alex shook his head. "No, not that Sakura. Our sister, Sakura."

Squall's attention shifted to Alex, silently listening to the conversation.

"She...she's alive?" Phoenix asked quietly.

Alex nodded. "That's what she told me. Ultimecia revived her after you buried her body and put her in a deep sleep. She says she doesn't know why, though."

"...Did they do anything to her?"

"I don't know. She didn't want to say anything to me about it. Said that she wanted to talk to you."

"What does...Sakura do as part of a sorceress?" Squall interrupted.

His children looked at him, cautiously deciding upon an answer.

"Sakura's kinda like the Sakura that you know. She can summon up any kind of creature, GF, or magic by using cards. But she's more powerful than the Sakura that you know," Phoenix finally answered.

"What do you mean by 'more powerful'?"

"Sakura's not your typical sorceress. Actually, she's the most powerful out of all four of us. There are different types of sorceresses. Rinoa and all the others that you've encountered are your regular sorceresses no matter how evil or good a person they are. Sakura's different. She's a summoner and can summon up Guardian Forces without having to junction them. It takes more than once to just kill her." Phoenix paused for a moment as if realizing something. "That's why Ultimecia took her out first... at least that was what I saw."

"But didn't Alex say that she's been revived?"

"More or less," Phoenix frowned. She's not with you, Luna?

No, Mom and Dad haven't seen her ever since we were still little, her twin answered.

"We have to get her back before Ultimecia does anything else to her," Phoenix said.

 

Kenji and Rinoa walked through the eerie halls of Mt. Leika's cavern. The floor vibrated softly with every step they took, but the temblors nearly knocked the both of them off their feet. So in order to stop the "small" earthquakes, Rinoa casted a Float spell on the two of them.

"I wonder where the others are..." Rinoa murmured for the third time as they walked through the hallways.

Kenji didn't seem to mind, though. He had maintained a calm exterior, carefully examining their surroundings. The walls reflected images--horrible images--of a past life or a person or thing.

"I wonder what do these images mean?" Kenji asked. They all looked familiar to him in description, no experience. He glanced over at Rinoa who stopped all of a sudden. Her facial expression seemed...scared?

Scared of what? he thought as he called her name, "Rinoa?"

"Daddy, Daddy!"

Those voices...Kenji thought as he tried to communicate with Rinoa who still didn't respond.

That was when he saw them. Luna and Phoenix. They were just only kids who looked at least six or seven years old, but their auras weren't any different as they ran to a scar faced man with sapphire eyes only known as Squall Leonhart.

"What's...going on?" Rinoa finally said.

 

"ACHOO!! Dammit, not again..." Lily muttered.

She had been sneezing the entire way as she, Seifer, and Quistis strolled through an endless plaza. "Strolled" wasn't the word, though. It was more like walking around in circles like a crazed maniac and finding no way out. There wasn't anything around, just open space, so there didn't seem to be any reason why Lily was having an allergy attack.

"Lily, are you sure you're okay?" Quistis asked worriedly.

"Yes, I'm FINE," she replied irratibly. It wasn't because she thought that Quistis was asking too many questions; Lily just wasn't used to getting so much attention just because of an allergy attack. "ACHOO!!"

"You're going to drive me crazy if you keep on sneezing like that, Pyro," Seifer commented.

Lily gave him an icy glare. "Is it my frickin' fault that I'm sneezing like this? And don't you DARE call me that again or else."

Seifer smirked. "Or else what, Pyro?"

"Alright, that's it!!!" Lily lunged towards him, but was held back by Quistis. "Dammit, Quistis, lemme go!"

Seifer chuckled in amusement as Lily struggled to free herself from Quistis' strong hold. "Oh, c'mon, Instructor, just let her go."

"I am not going to," Quistis replied firmly. "And Lily, just calm down! Don't let his taunting get to you!"

"Get to me my ass," Lily growled, still glaring at the man in front of her. "I----"

She covered her mouth and began to feel dizzy. What the---

Soon after, she fell limp in Quistis' arms.

"Lily???" Quistis asked.

"Hey, what the hell's wrong----" Seifer started to say but began to feel faint.

Slowly, one by one, the trio fell into a deep sleep in the middle of an empty room...

 

Zell once again rammed his fist into the steel door trying in vaing to bust it open.

"Damn," he muttered to himself. How the hell did Luna do it??

"USELESS," Fujin commented.

"I think we kinda know that already, Fujin," Gene said.

Sakura slept peacefully beside him, hugging Kereberos like a stuffed animal in her arms. Raijin was still unconscious from the fall. The lot of them were stuck in a cramped room that was locked. It wasn't really a cramped room. As the group was walking through the area that they had fallen through, Zell had accidentally tripped the alarm system, therefore, locking them in between the door to the next room and the hall way that they were in. Zell had futilely tried to break the door open, but it stubbornly remained intact despite a couple of dents.

"I give up," Zell sighed, slumping down against the door. "Stupid door won't budge a bit."

Kereberos slowly pried herself free from Sakura's unconscious death grip.

"Ah, I'm free!" she cried out, stretching her limbs.

"Oh, but you two looked so cute like that, K-chan," Selphie commented.

"Try being a creature that looks like a stuffed teddy bear and be suffocated by a girl of nine," Kereberos argued.

"Um, K-chan, that's not really important right now," Irvine said.

"I know that, but I was trying to get out to help you," Kereberos explained as she floated in the air towards the dented door. "Everybody, why don't you get back just a bit?"

Fujin dragged Raijin out of the way while the others scooted out. The little creature concentrated her beady black eyes at the door, a white aura emitting from her body. She was mumbling her words as if casting a spell.

"OM!!"

In a mixture of fire and lightning, the door cracked open. Zell, Irvine, and Gene's jaws dropped at the sight.

"H-h-how..."

Kereberos grinned manicacally as she headed towards to open room. "Okay, let's go!"

"I didn't know she could do that," Gene mumbled to himself.

"Wow..." Selphie murmured in awe.

They all followed suit: Irvine carrying Sakura and Gene and Zell dragging Raijin in tow.

 

"These things are REALLY starting to creep me out," Alex commented about the walls surrounding them.

They looked like your ordinary walls, except that they would jump out at you if you got too close. Jumping out mean that the evil hands would come and grab their innocent prey. Low moans of helpless souls echoed in the hallway, and they got even louder as the trio went deeper into the cavern.

"Alex, just try to ignore them," Phoenix told her brother. "They're not going to harm you or anything."

"That's easier said than done," he mumbled.

Squall remained silent, observing and trying to get to know his surroundings. Although, that task alone was impossible to do without going crazy. The cries of lost souls were starting to get to him. If one was to stay here forever, even the most close-minded person would go insane.

"Daddy! Daddy!"

Those words snapped him out of his reverie, and he looked back up. Just what was that?

"No..." Phoenix whispered. Her eyes were wide with shock; her hands covered her mouth as she slid down to the floor.

"Sis?" Alex asked and then looked at what she was looking at.

Before them was a flower field and a small home in the middle of it. Two girls around six years old were running towards a man in his early thirties. That man was Squall.

"What's going on?" Squall asked.

Phoenix wouldn't reply, her head low, fists clenched tightly. The crimson streaks in her hair were glowing slightly as if they were going to break apart. Alex looked totally clueless as he watched the scene unfold.

Getting no reply, Squall looked back at the scene, or rather a flashback, and wondered. Memories began flooding back into Phoenix's mind again before her own hell took over.

 

They were running. Running away from the fire behind them. Running away from the shadows that were stalking them. Running away from death itself.

Rinoa and Kenji watched on in horror as more and more flashbacks came before them. Rinoa wanted to stop everything, but no matter how hard she tried to grab something, she would pass through air. They were memories of the past, a past that wouldn't and couldn't be changed. This wasn't like how Ellone would make you go into a person's body of the past and live it through their own perspective. No, it wasn't like that at all. Rinoa and Kenji were looking at these memories as outsiders and nothing more.

"Mommy, where're we going?" a young Luna asked.

"How come Daddy's not wit us?" a little girl asked.

Rinoa stifled a sob coming toward her throat. She didn't want to watch, but her eyes wouldn't look away.

Why, why are these images coming? What is this trying to prove?? she thought.

It's to show why Sorceress Ultimecia showed up so soon, a voice answered her. Peace always bursts into violence, that's history. That's what Ultimecia wanted. She wanted history to repeat itself all over again and make Griever stronger than what it currently was. That is the nature of our family's Guardian Force.

"Who are you?" Rinoa asked aloud to the voice.

The images around them began to fade into the darkness that was their environment.

You'll know who I am if you search deep within your heart, Rinoa, the voice answered.

The melody of the voice, its faint aura dancing around the room struck a note in Kenji's mind. It sounded familiar, so familiar that it was a loud note. Then he realized...

"Sakura?" he murmured out loud.

 

Ugh...I feel like shit...

Seifer managed to regain consciousness although he had a massive pounding in his head. After one quick glance at his surroundings, he immediately sat up.

"Where the hell are we?" he asked.

Seifer found himself in the mountains. Or at least he thought he was in the mountains. In a distance ahead of him was Lily, head low and fists clenched tightly by her sides. Her shoulders seemed to be shaking, but he wasn't sure. There was something about the way she standed that seemed to be so familiar to him...

"Hey, Lily?"

"Mommy, Daddy, hurry up! Auntie Fujin 'n' Uncle Raijin're waiting for us!!"

"What the hell?" he muttered and realized that Quistis was beginning to awaken.

As soon as the young Instructor was fully conscious, a little girl ran right through them, blond pigtails flying.

"Mommy, Daddy, c'mon! Hurry up!!"

An older Seifer in his late twenties walked out of the home, carrying what seemed to be a large sackful of food.

"Alright, alright, Pyro. Don't be so damn excited...

"Seifer, what your language."

A woman was right behind him, but her face was blurred. The only noticeable feature of the womans' face was honey blonde hair. Seifer saw himself smile back at the unknown woman, his attitude totally different around her.

"Hey, she's gonna learn someday, honey."

"Seifer, I'm warning you..."

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding..."

"Mommy! Daddy!"

The blond, pigtailed little girl had returned, frowning. "Hurry up!!! Or else Uncle Raijin's gonna eat all of Auntie Fujin's food!!"

"Alright, alright, we're comin' ya Pyro. Just hold yer horses..."

"Where is this coming from?" Quistis asked. "Why are you in this, Seifer?"

"I'm not sure..." Seifer said.

"Fifteen years ago," Lily finally began, but she wouldnt' look back at the two. "Fifteen years ago, me and my parents went out for a picnic with my aunt and uncle. That proved to be the last time I would ever have a happy, normal childhood."

"Lily, what do you mean by that?" Quistis asked softly.

"That damn bitch Allundia attacked us that day," Lily continued, ignoring Quistis' question. "She said ti was the beginning of Ultimecia's revenge and bring death to all those who oppossed her 22 years ago. We...they were totally unprepared...."

Coincidentally, the scene faded to one of the little girl tugging on her mother's sleeve. Seifer and Quistis saw the bodies of Fujin and Raijin laying together, dead. The unknown woman looked still as a statue while Seifer's other self was desperately fighting against Allundia's familiar form.

"Mommy, Mommy! Ya gotta help Daddy! He's in trouble!!"

"Mom never really responded to my calls," Lily explained. Her shoulders were visibilly shaking. "It was like she was under some sort of freakin' spell. I wanted to help out, but...I was too little back then."

A Firaga and an Ultima speel were swirling together in the sky. They were heading straight towards the little girl as Seifer's other self cried out. The little girl was frightened, too scared to move. There there was a bright flash, and a woman's cry echoed in the distance. The scene faded back to the darkness.

"I don't remember what happened after that," Lily continued. "Hyne, I didn't even know who I was when I woke up the next day. Auntie Elle said I had amnesia. I still do, really. I remembered what happened before, but not during it. I don't even remember what my own mother looked like, not even if you gave me a picture of her with Dad and said that was her....I wouldn't believe it. That's why...that's why my memories aren't back. I don't think they wever will be."

You wouldn't know until you try, Lily, a voice called out.

Quistis and Seifer looked around in confusion, but Lily lifted her head at the sound of the voice. Her eyes were wide with shock.

 

Blood. There was too much blood. So much that it was engulfing her body as torture for what she did five years ago.

Sis, Sis!!

Sa...Sakura? Phoenix asked. Her younger sister's form appeared before her. You're still alive??

"Sis, you gotta get me outta here!" Sakura said.

"But...but why are you showing them this? They're not SUPPOSSED to know!" Phoenix shouted.

"They'll find out sooner or later, Sis, if Time Compression still resumes!" Sakura pointed out.

"True, but to find out how they will DIE, Sakura?!?"

Her sister's head turned in distraction. "You made it after all."

"Sakura, what do you mean by that?"

"Just get me out of here! I don't want my wings chained anymore..."

Her sister's image began to fade. Phoenix tried to pull her back. "Wait, Sakura!!"

 

Her eyes fluttered open to find herself staring into her brother's face.

"Alex? What happened?" Phoenix asked as she sat up.

"You passed out," her brother bluntly said. Did that really happen?

That question was regarding about their parent's deaths. She only nodded in response.

"So, we're all awake, then," Squall said.

"Huh?" Phoenix asked incredulously and looked around. Everyone was in the room. "Guys?? How did you get here?"

"A feather guided us," Kenji answered. "There were so many flashbacks that they all led us to here."

"Feathers?"

"Uh-huh, and they were really pretty," Sakura added.

"We're guessing that this is the main control room," Squall informed her. "But we don't know how to work the controls. There's too many of them."

"Were you talking to your sister, Sakura, Phoenix?" Rinoa asked quietly.

Phoenix was surprised. "How did you---"

"She led us here. All of us," Lily flatly replied.

"So, she IS still alive," Phoenix murmured.

"Yeah," Gene said, leaning against the arm of a gargoyle statue that was in the room, "but we don't know wh----ah!!"

The gargoyle's arm fell from the weight that Gene put on. A hidden door revealed itself. Inside the hidden room was a chamber filled with liquid, and in that liquid was the missing link to the Leonhart family. Pheonix's eyes widened in shock.

"Sakura!"


AUTHORESS NOTES: Uh, hehehehehehe....I told you I'd make this chapter better!! ::hears murmurs:: Okay, so it was a LITTLE bit better. This chapter was really to set up for the next one, and I'll put that up whenever I have the time to do so. R&R!!

NEXT CHAPTER TITLE: Rain of Blood (Oh, you're SO going to not like what I'm planning to do....)