The Maelstrom

[02.21.00] » by Mess


The wind is a rather peculiar thing.

It chooses to make itself invisible but often carries off the leaves and dust in a pretense of form. In the end, however, even those are left behind.


The breeze was soft that day, gently scouring the smooth metallic alcoves of  Balamb GARDEN.  There was a storm gathering on the horizon, dark clouds the plainest omen possible.  Yet as the herald of impending strife the threatening breeze was almost comforting - a little like the sound of raindrops falling on the windowpane just before slumber.  Soothing.  Comforting.  The whispered promise of things to come.

This was Fujin Asher's favorite kind of day.

Not because the wind was synonymous with her name, of course.  That would just be moronic. No, she supposed that this feeling didn't have anything to do with the weather at all.  The warmth of an old blanket and her latest trashy paperback were all that really made this afternoon more special than any other.  On a day like this there would be no training, no iron-grip on posture and voice.  Fujin could simply collapse into the world of her fantasies.

The cover was gaudy, and made a harsh contrast with the soft grey flannel of her sheets.  It was her one guilty little pleasure, really. If Seifer and Raijin found out - but then Raijin already had, hadn't he?  Fuujin smiled; so very considerate of her friend to politely ignore a bad habit.  Of course, that probably had more to do with her steel-toed boots than anything else.

Seifer should have noticed by now too -  should have, but hadn't.  Fujin wasn't sure if she liked it that way; her dignity preserved but her emotions in the gutter. But then she had chosen her path long ago.  Staying near him - the albino had decided - was far more important than letting him know.  Besides, she was much to strong and sensible for any of that nonsense.  She liked being the silent enforcer at his side; didn't want things to change.

Cuddling back into the pillows, she began once more to plod through the familiar narrative of a novel she had never read.

~"Pupurin, I want you to stay with me.  Please, Pupurin.... I love you!"~

If the reader had been anyone other than Fuujin, a giggle might have been heard at this point.  It was so obvious what would happen next.

~ " Oh, Urtha!  I love you too!  I've loved you for so long, my darling"  And Pupurin took her in his arms and... "~

Ivory skin was stained with a faint blush.  Why did she read this rubbish?  It wasn't like she'd ever do anything like that -  hell, nobody would even suspect her of it.  That was the point, the logical and usually dominant part of her mind proclaimed.  Read as much of it as you like, because what lies between those pages is anything but reality, and you're no helpless maiden. Because you'll never feel his arms around you...

No.  There was no use thinking about that. Pretty words, pretty stories - she didn't  need them. Why would she, with her freinds beside her and all pretty much right with the world?  Fujin Asher was tougher than that romantic nonsense.

They were just a nice place to spend a potentially rainy afternoon.


The wind is a rather peculiar thing.

Even the raging gale camoflages itself in the treetops, it's voice masked as the crash of breaking branches.  For who would stop and listen to a breeze meander gently through the stormclouds?


The man currently dashing through the stark metallic corridors of the Balamb Dormitories was not looking foreward to reaching his destination.

Those whom he passed sidestepped the bronzed giant quickly, knowing that, despite his dull wits and cheerful disposition, Raijin would stand for no insolence from them.  Or, more precisely, that he would take them to someone who would not be so forgiving of on who obstructed a member of the Disciplinary Committee.  Had Raijin been of a more observant bent he probably would have noted their caution. The soldier also might have observed the contrast between the lushly organic Garden and it's spartan living quarters.  Alas, Raijin was never the brightest of Garden's students, and in any case his mind was currently occupied with far more pressing matters.

Problem Number One: Seifer was gone.

Problem Number Two: he had to tell Fujin that Seifer was gone.

It was now time to panic.

Raijin wasn't sure which one was scarier.  Seifer would know what to do about Fujin, but Seifer wasn't there. A disturbing thought in itself.  Seifer was always there.  First, though, to the matter at hand.  He needed some sort of crafty plan to keep his best friend from seriously injuring him.

Planning was not Raijin's strong suit.

"Fujin?  Yo, Fujin!  You in there?  It's, y'know, really important!" he ventured, knocking insistently on the steel entrance to Fujin's room.  That really hurt the knuckles... stupid door.


Her voice was harsh and flat, the only emotion expressed within annoyance mixed perhaps with a bit of anger.  Things were not looking up - but then Fujin always talked like that.  Besides, this whole 'no Seifer' thing was really freaking him out.  The Posse was not all together. The Posse was supposed to be together.  He really needed to talk to Fujin.

"C'mon, Fujin!  It's about Seifer," a note of worry and desperation crept in to the muscular youth's voice with the second plea.

Suddenly, the door burst open - a leaning Raijin forced to stumble foreward into his friend.

"IDIOT" she growled, pushing him off of her.

"SEIFER?" she interrogated her hapless companion, clothing somewhat disheveled from her brief siesta.

Despite his much greater stature, Raijin seemed almost tiny as he shrank back from his longtime friend. Keep smiling, just keep smiling... he had to stay positive here.  If there was anything that Raijin valued in himself - and he was sure that his friends did too - it was a cheery outlook.  He could get this done if he put his mind to it.  He could do anything if he put his mind to it - Headmaster Cid said so!

"He... ummm... he toldmetotellyouthathelefttogotoTimberand...ummm...saveRinoafromPresidentDeling!" the soldier blurted, beaming afterwards in sheer relief at having spat it out.

"WHAT!?!"  Fujin barked, grabbing Raijin by the shoulders and shaking him.

"IDIOT!  STOP?" she glared, seemingly poised to strike Raijin's permenantly bruised shins.

"I tried, really really I did!  But he said that , y'know, that chick he met on manouvers last year needed to be protected from that President guy and stuff.  I just couldn't stop him..." he trailed off, tone hopeful.


First the windup, then the kick, and after it all that most familiar pain.  Hopping about on one foot, Raijin was actually oddly comforted by the normality of it all. Fujin was not confused.  Fujin was not scared.  Fujin was angry.  Fujin was always angry.  This was good!  After all this time his balance was actually improving, and perhaps they'd get by without Seifer after all!

Good old Fujin.  She always knew what to do, even if what to do was accompanied by lancing pain.

"OWWW!  Geez, Fujin.  That hurt, y'know!  And you know how Seifer is, ya just can't stop the guy when there's something he wants to do."

Turning way, the tiny woman expressed her regret with one tiny word.


 Pushing aside his own confusion, he knew what she needed to hear.  What he needed to hear.  He just had to stay positive, look to the bright side of things.  That was sure to cheer her up!

"He-he's gone, Fujin.  But he'll be back.  We're a Posse!  We stick together."

And he was so very, very sure of it.  Things always turned out all right.  They just had to turn out alright.

"POSSE" Fujin nodded, sheer determination perhaps what was holding her expression blank this time.


Ah.  He understood.  Everything would be fine now.  Seifer would come back - they were a Posse - and Fuujin just needed to blow off a little steam.  His quality of life would certainly improve if she did that more often.  Satisfied, Raijin limped off to find some candy.  They would, after all, be going off to find Seifer once she was finished.  He just knew it.


The wind is a rather peculiar thing.

It hides in plain sight, yet dislikes the fact that none can see it.  And so, in frustration, it screams it's rage to the heavens.


There was only one student in the Training Sector who was actually working out.

Normally it would be full of motion; preteens under supervision attempting  their first spells and older candidates desperate to remain in GARDEN trying to perfect the same.  Others would be on their way to the infamous 'secret spot' which the Disciplinary Committee would just love to discover, or simply testing out a new weapon.   At this particular moment, however, most were simply staring in horrified fascination.

Torn limbs and a pulp which might once have been bone, tendon, and orange scale were testament enough to the reason why.

Damn Seifer Almasey.  Damn him, damn him, damn him!  How could he do this to her - to the posse?  How could he abandon them? Surely he of all people knew what it was like to be left alone.... abandoned by the ones you care for the most.  Didn't he know, didn't he see what they would have done to stay with him?


A thundaga was called down from the artificial heavens, iridescent blue lightning falling through the newest T-Rexaur in a deadly cascade.  Several of the gawking students were taking notes.  Others fled to relieve themselves of their stomach contents; most likely due to the stench of charred flesh which now contradicted the engineered green pleasantry of the enclosure.  Jumping out of the way of her thrashing opponent, either not heeding or simply not caring about her audience,  Fujin readied her shruiken.

She should be angry, she would be angry... she would prove that her heart wasn't torn and bleeding in the gutter.  The only thing bleeding was this pathetic sac of flesh.  Why... why hadn't he looked?  Why didn't he know as much about the romance novels as she did about his dream?  Why didn't he know that he needed her?

A blur - silver tinged blood red - flew from hands of almost the same hue.  Reaching it's target as always, the shruiken tore through charred flesh and bone.

That was it, feel the anger.  She would show them - show them all. Show them that she didn't care. Show them that nothing was wrong.  Show them that she wasn't hurt; discarded and alone.  Show them that she hadn't been rejected for some far-off princess and the omnipresent dream that she had tried so hard to be a part of.

Shruiken caught, Fujin readied another spell.  The fourth-form projectile-weapons class was very impressed and random students from GF-Usage 122 were still scribbling down an analysis of advanced thundaga technique.  Someone was ushering a particularily delicate protege of Xu to Doctor Kadowaki.  None among the assembled mob, however, could be bothered to look into one sorrow-filled eye.

She was angry, wasn't she? She had to be angry.  Fujin Asher refused to be one of them; those weepy females with their pretty words.   Why did she feel like sobbing?  It had been her choice all along to hide herself from him behind a mask of an eyepatch and oddity's general camoflage.  It was her fault for not really wanting to play some fairytale role in his fantasy.

The aero spell was sure to finish the poor bedraggled creature.  It's maelstron carried the monster up and then, suddenly, ceased it's anguished howl and released him.  The T-Rexaur perished almost instantly, with a howl and the sickening crunch of breaking bones.  Eerie silence then; the student body not knowing what Fujin would do next and none daring to ask as monster blood further marred the floor's metallic purity.

Fujin, motionless, was shocked to find.... that she really didn't need him.  The surrounding carnage was hers and hers alone.  Seifer Almasey was gone, and the world wasn't ending.  She... she was stronger than that.  She was stronger than strange romantic dreams.  And she would be strong enough to find him.

To the surprise of the gathered mob, the blood-encrusted albino suddenly stopped, took a deep breath, and began to walk away.


For the second time that day, the navy-clad student body was somewhat surprised by the pale enforcer.  That Fujin was one scary bitch - they said that when she lost her eye she didn't even cry.

The fresh, crisp air hit her as the choking humuidity of a false jungle was left behind. He needed her, and one day he would see that wether he liked it or not.


The wind is a rather peculiar thing.

But it is patient, content to wait for just the right weather.

For the wind needs no delicate angel's wings to fly.


Blame it on Mess -
Her homepage being rather Crimson -

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