justira ([personal profile] justira) wrote2010-09-30 10:35 pm

[Fic] FFVIII/KH - Disconnect (Squall, Maleficent) (PG13) (3,700 words)

@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [personal profile] justira: Disconnect (FFVIII/KH) (Squall, Maleficent) (PG13) (3,700 words)


Fandom | Cast: Final Fantasy VIII / Kingdom Hearts. Squall, Maleficent. Bits of Cid and Yuffie and the FF8 playable cast. Blink-and-you-miss it references to a bunch of other FFs and FF characters.
Rating | Warnings: PG13/Teen, mainly because Cid talks. Major spoilers for FFVIII, medium for KH
Words: 3,700
Feedback: Always welcome =)
Notes: Repost of a [community profile] newgameplus gift for [personal profile] crankyoldman. Prompt:
Leon, Malificent. Leon being rather affected by the Bad Sorceress Malificent, considering his history with them. Would love Cid and Yuffie being side characters. Bonus if you explain what happened to Rinoa. I guess this makes it a tad of a KH/FFVIII crossover, as the whole Hallow Bastion backstory being ignored is preferable?
Thanks to [personal profile] seventhe for the beta and helping me pull this thing together; and to [personal profile] renay and [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose for helping me sort out my initial ideas.

Please note that this version has minor technical edits (including TWO embarrassing typo fixes in the very first paragraph; HOW did I not catch those, cripes ._. ). The original untouched version version is and will remain on [community profile] newgameplus.

Summary: He has experience dealing with sorceresses.



He opens his eyes to the sight of water falling up. The spray coats his face, his clothes— he tries to sit up and make sure Lionheart is dry in its sheath and realizes that everything, everywhere hurts.


He makes it to his feet, checks on Lionheart. The gunblade survived the trip, maybe in better shape than Squall had. He flexes his hands, staring at them. They still feel numb. (Did it hurt you like this? Your magic?) His spells are gone, eaten up by the trip from Traverse Town. He hadn't counted on this exhaustion. (Yeah, and Cid had said it was impossible and called me an idiot. Whatever.)

It doesn't matter. He heaves himself away from the rocks he'd been leaning on, and starts climbing.


He had no words for it. It was as if Rinoa was a Lunar Cry: the shadows were pouring in around her, through her. Diablos and Eden still hadn't stopped screeching in his head and he couldn't concentrate— he blinked and the afterimage wasn't Rinoa but the woman with wild green hair again; he stumbled and tripped, nauseous, as he felt the woman's mind fighting against the pressure of all all of them, Shiva and Ifrit and Bahamut and all the rest, crashing into her at once and for a second all he could think of was Leviathan's tide sweeping her away: another sorceress snuffed out.


He heaved himself up, trying to reach Rinoa through the darkness, the shadow-things creeping in between. Time was sticking together and his Junctions were twisted slick-sideways, flinging random memories at him: his own, things he'd forgotten; or Alexander's; places, worlds, people the GFs had touched. Squall hadn't known, none of them had known. The new Time Compression should have worked. They hadn't known how many worlds the GFs remembered and now the power was burning Rinoa up from the inside, a sorceress coming into her own, wings erupting behind her — Alexander, Alexander: the dark-haired woman and the horned girl kneeling together with Alexander's wings too little protection again, the two of them dying together—


He had to reach her, protect her, stop her— (Whatever happens, I promised to be there with you.) Whatever happens.

He knew it, somewhere: he might have to kill her.

To stop the Compression, stop the shadows pouring in, stop the world slipping sideways. He hoped Laguna had gotten to Ellone, stopped her part of this, stopped the sending. He couldn't think straight — seeing Rinoa across the ballroom; Rinoa showing him the ring, laughing; running towards each other with the world against them and not caring; Rinoa, Rinoa — the GFs were howling in his head, Junctions sloshing around: sudden strength suddenly gone; ice coursing protection through his veins and then not, leaving him cold. He stepped closer, wading through shadows, ignoring the yellow glow of their eyes in the darkness, ignoring how their touch was cold, cold.

He'd almost reached her when the darkness thickened between them and swatted him aside.

His head was ringing and he retched when he landed and tried to roll back up. Dizzy, disoriented. His eyes weren't lining up the images properly— there was Rinoa and he was already stumbling towards her again, but there was also Rinoa as she had been, human and simple, and Rinoa as a sorceress in full, terrible and cold— and the darkness that had stopped him. A woman. A sorceress. Squall wanted to laugh, irrelevantly. (Sorceress. Of course.) He coughed, choking on it and winded but still running, and the sorceress turned her head.

"Foolish boy." Her voice cut across the clamour in his head, clearing it cold. The silence was deafening. But he could think clearly for the first time in what felt like days. Squall slowed, Lionheart ready in front of him. She ignored him. (You. Did you do this to us?)

"Now you..." the sorceress said, unhurried, studying Rinoa. "You could be... useful." The distant echoes of the GFs crept into his thoughts again— Rinoa trapped in the Compression, dying with all the sorceresses of all the worlds. Squall could feel his heart beating away the half-seconds. He tightened his grip.

"Leave her alone," he ground out.

She looked at him again, head tipped back in arrogant amusement. "Do you think you can harm me, boy?"

No time. GFs going crazy and taking him with them, para-magic haywire and broken. No time. So he dove forward, as fast as his exhausted body would take him.

The magic crackled in the air around him, everything lurched sideways, and somehow Rinoa was shouting, "No!" before everything went black.


He hauls himself up to glance over the edge of the cliff and it makes him dizzy immediately; he almost slips, disoriented by the sight of the castle. His memories don't click together, disjointed. (Did I grow up here?) It doesn't matter, not now. Later. He drops back down, enemies and positions tallying automatically in his mind.

Heartless everywhere. Lionheart will be useless against them, he knows. He remembers Cid swearing at him — "Kid, what the hell are you thinking? You can't go in there without a keyblade, and you're sure as fuck not the one it's picked!" Aerith, fretting — "I know she's terrible. I know what she did to our world... But you can't go yourself. Please."

But no one else is coming.

No one remembers her.

There used to be flickers in their eyes sometimes. Doubt, confusion. But less and less, rarer and rarer. And now they don't remember her. But he does — fading, confusing and cascading but there, driving him, Rinoa Rinoa Rinoa — and not just her, everything, everyone, names and faces of people he's never met. Missing memories, he can understand. But this was different, like he had too many memories for one person. Two lives, and bits of others, crammed in and left over from that last, broken Junction. He remembers and he doesn't — meeting Aerith and thinking confusedly (But you're dead) as if he hadn't known her all his life. Annoyed at Cid calling him "kid" again before realizing he'd never met the man before.

His head hurts.

He looks at his hands again. (Too many Heartless.) He hasn't learned to tell yet when he can cast again. He remembers the void of trying to reach for his Junctions; all that had done was fling more not-memories at him and he hasn't tried it since. It's no use, anyway. They'd merged with him, somehow. Giving him magic of his own. A sorcerer after all.

He breathes, and fumbles for the casting.


He'd found Quistis at the edge of the chaos, throwing her blue magic at the shadows. She glanced back when she heard him, alert, and he must have looked like hell because she paused long enough to throw him a potion. He nodded quick thanks (what an ass I must have been before), but rasped out, "Report," before knocking the bottle's contents down his dry throat. The potion felt queasy in his stomach and he ignored it, and the dizziness, and the intruding vision of the green-haired woman in Quistis's place: the same strong stance, whip cracking with her casting.

"Laguna went on ahead just now! Everything got a lot worse a few minutes ago, right after he went!" Quistis yelled over the sound of her own casting, over the squeals and slithers of the shadows. "My GFs and para-magic are useless."

"I'll take them," he said, clipped, wiping his mouth, unsurprised. Tired. She nodded, quickly. They'd traded like this so many times. They only needed a moment. Squall waited behind her, catching his breath until Quistis found the time and&mdash:

"Go," she said.

(Breathe.) He touched her temples and Hyne, it was the same, Junctions crazy-kilter and he took them all — a man with a tail yelling "Garnet, Eiko, NO!"; Quistis laughing with Laguna; Squall himself through some cadet's eyes, teaching them their first Junction—

He was on his knees, Quistis standing over him and casting, casting, casting, looking less tired with the welter of broken Junctions gone.

"I can't hold them much longer." She said it matter-of-factly, loud but calm, or pretending to be. Squall knew: she'd stand here and cast until they took her.

"I'll take it from here. Go back, help Selphie and Zell." The dark-haired woman, watching the man with the tail go on alone, into the darkness, without her. Squall shook it away, lurching back to his feet as Quistis rounded off a cast, breathing hard through her nose. She turned to him, reaching out and stopping; he was upright already. "Squall..." The soldierly calm cracked. "Be careful," and he remembered standing on the balcony of the Training Center with her. (Hyne, I was an ass.) The apology didn't make it farther than that— Rinoa Rinoa Rinoa, all the GFs crashing together in his head

"I'll find her," is all he said, and then he was running into the darkness.

Behind him, he heard the crackle of her magic again, clearing him a way, not stopping even after he'd long gone out of sight.


There are memories in the stone here. He snaps his hand back when he first touches the bastion walls (fuck), as if it burned— but it wasn't his hand, it was his nerves afire, memories deafening in his head, screaming flicker-fast images: a mechanical castle, a world where magic had died, ruined once before and now no more than a wisp on the wind, substance squashed and reshaped and—

Silence, silence (I dreamt I was awake)... He's on his knees, hands crushed uselessly against his ears. There's nothing to block out, nothing to hear but water falling endlessly up behind him and the Heartless whispering among themselves.

He stands up, because he has to, and keeps going, running for cover. Seeing Hollow Bastion from the falls had made him dizzy; running through the place is crazy, and he tries not to look at anything that isn't an enemy. It doesn't help much: that way to Ansem's lab — no, that's to Edgar's workshop — that hall leads to the courtyard — no, that's Baron's airship hangar — (No. Focus.)

Only one direction matters.

He keeps going, quiet as he can, towards the heart of the world.


He'd nearly collided with Laguna; Squall veered, boots skidding, and Laguna did some kind of stumbling maneuver that got him pointed the right way in the end — a flash of desperate contempt flaring in Squall's chest, drowned out by the thudding of his heart — and they were running down the corridor together. The sound of their footfalls all mixed up in the narrow space, echoed back and ringing all around them, the hard military clamour of Squall's boots with Laguna's civilian patter hushing underneath, but the man was keeping up at least (Maybe we were both soldiers once)

"Cloud! CLOUD!" A woman shouting, and his head's turning at the shout (that's not my name?) "It's Aerith, she—" (She's dead), he thinks, for no damn reason, knowing things he can't, but no, that can't be right because he can SEE her, why isn't that right

"SQUALL!" Shouting, shaking his shoulders, (five more minutes, I don't wanna go to school), before his eyes focused properly again. Laguna's face, above him, bits of hair falling forward and getting in Squall's eyes. (Typical.) "You fell—"

And suddenly Squall was curled up and retching at the slick nausea piercing his gut, Laguna's hands worried and unwelcome all over him. Hyne, he'd thought nothing could feel wronger than Time Compression. His head felt stupid (I dreamt I was a moron), buzzing with Junctioning gone wrong, Time Compression gone wrong, and Laguna was still there, and fuck but was Squall pissed about that.

"Squall, are you—"

"Find Ellone," he rasped. No time for this. They had to get to Ellone and Rinoa, find them, stop this, save them. Laguna made one more abortive gesture, reaching for Squall's shoulders, and Squall could see it in his eyes, guilt and every damn thing between them, and his throat wasn't working properly. Choke, swallow, and "NOT NOW," he roared. "Find Ellone!"

He didn't look up to meet Laguna's eyes again, rolling over with every joint aching to try and find his feet again. But he heard it: one stumbling step, then two, and then a steady run down the hall before Squall's world twisted sideways again.


The huge hall disorients him, he can feel the memories swarming in his head the second he sees it, rearranging themselves in flurries, trying to fit together: he thinks of being a cadet, Quistis's fingers cool on his temples as she rearranges his Junctions; he thinks of Rinoa pointing up into the sky where a flock of birds wheeled around, compressing and expanding and changing direction all together, her arm white and slim against the sky.

He blinks at the hall. He danced here, once. No, he grew up here... He presses the heels of his hands into his closed eyes. He remembers... kids, running around the great hall, Yuffie the clumsiest toddler in the universe trying to keep up with everyone else, and how much he hated that broody Strife kid...


(We danced here. Her dress was white.)

He edges around the open room, trying not to touch the walls, hiding from the Heartless he can't defeat.


Irvine was down. Squall could see Zell heaving him up into a fireman's carry, Selphie at his back, as he ran up to them. The headache was getting worse, his scrambled Junctions throwing nonsense at him; he ignored it and sprinted harder.

"Squall!" Zell roared. "Dammit, what the hell are these things?"

"Don't know," he called. "Are your GFs out? Para-magic?"

"Both useless," Selphie panted. She was hurt, Squall saw, at the edge of her abilities. Gambling.

Eden threw up a sudden roaring in his head, and his Junctioned spells heaved, his protections sloshing into each other, all the speed he'd tried to build up suddenly gone— Squall flinched, dizzy and tasting bile. Zell was puffing, weaving on his feet, Selphie not much better— this was the last thing they needed—

"Give them to me." Decision. "You can't use them and they're just getting in the way."

Zell balked. "But what about y— "

"Do it. That's an order."

Zell scowled at him, ready to argue more and Hyne none of them had time for this—

"Zell, no, don't. Let's go." Selphie. Thank Hyne for Selphie.

Zell squeezed his eyes shut, grimacing; opened them quickly again to see where he was going, Irvine jouncing along across his shoulders. "Dammit, Squall," he whispered, and jerked to a stop. Squall said nothing, going quickly: he touched Zell's forehead, and Irvine's, and Selphie's.

The first one made him dizzy. The second transfer brought waves of nausea and random images. And the last nearly had him down on the floor, Selphie hauling on his arm to keep him upright. "Go, go," he managed. "Find a safe place, take care of him." Selphie nodded. Zell jogged slowly backwards for a step or two before turning to follow.

Squall weaved on his feet for a moment. (Rinoa. Ellone.) Something had gone wrong. They'd managed to use the GFs to throw Rinoa all the way to the time of Hyne, to Compress, to trap the strange shadows, but the GFs had gone crazy and the shadows were still pouring in out of nowhere. He had to find them, bring all the GFs, use their power, do something.

(Rinoa. Ellone.)


At the bottom of the staircase, he stops. (She's close. I can feel her.) He bites the cuff of his glove and slips it off, juggles Lionheart over and does his other hand. Bare skin, bare fingertips. Good. He doesn't usually need it, but it helps and he's taking no chances.

He stuffs the gloves in his back pocket. Tips his head back, blows out his breath. Closes his eyes.


When he slips out of the stairwell, Maleficent isn't surprised.

"I didn't think you'd make it through the space between worlds. I admit I'm impressed."

(I have you, sorceress. I have you.) He carries Lionheart at his side, down and relaxed. He talks, to distract her. "You destroyed my world."

"Too many heroes, there, my dear. Yours and all the worlds like it. I couldn't risk the keyblade choosing there. Though I see my caution was unnecessary." She eyes his Lionheart with cool contempt.

"I've known better sorceresses than you, Maleficent."

"That girl? Do you really think she was strong enough? She'd dead. You can't save her."

"I'm her knight."

"Sorceresses and knights? The knight loses. You cannot kill me, fool. You do not have the key."

"I'm not here to kill you," he says.

And as her head twitches in surprise, he jumps, gunblade out and forward, and it's the same, it's all the same: he's running to Rinoa, arms open; he's running to something that once was Rinoa, thinking he might kill her; he's leaping at Maleficent, and he is thrusting Lionheart all the way through her.

It won't kill her. It was never supposed to. Hyne but why does everyone think he's that big an idiot? All he needed was that moment, the moment where she's pinned and stunned.

He slams his bare hands against the side of her head, and dives.

It's a moment, and it feels like forever.

It's a moment, but it's all it takes; he could find her anywhere.

(Come on Rinoa, I know you can do this. You learned it yourself when I was too much of a self-absorbed idiot to teach you, you know this!)

Half a frantic breath, clinging to the sick swirl of Maleficent's mind—

He can find her anywhere, and she'll be waiting for him.


It comes all in a frantic burst, and
yes, she's there, Sorceress all the way through, she'd Junctioned herself, he knew it— (It took me forever to see you)

There's no time, not for anything, and all the knowledge and memories flicker by so fast. Rinoa and Ellone, trying to make the trap. Rinoa reaching for the memories of the GFs, memories that reached all the way back to the beginning. The Heartless pouring in, the GFs forming a bridge between worlds, memories from everywhere at once—

"Squall, I tried, I tried! I couldn't reach all the worlds, they were too far away— I tried! The other sorceresses, the ones who summoned the GFs in their worlds— they tried to help me but it burned them up, too many GFs at once, but I tried, where the GFs were spread out I tried, I sent you here, I tried to get everyone, I'm sorry— they're out there, somewhere, please—"

"I know," he says. "I know." She taught him to trust and
now is the moment.

"I'll find you," he says. And, "yes," she says.

And he unJunctions her from where she'd hidden herself, where Maleficent didn't know how to reach her and use her again, Sorceress using Sorceress again and again.

It's done, and Maleficent's flinging him away, enraged and confused and Squall wants to laugh: his head is clear and he's runnng and stumbling down the stairs, falling and rolling and running again. (I'll find you. I'll find you.)

He crashes through a window (easier down than up) and slides down a roof and he's trying to fumble together enough magic to make it back to Traverse Town. Even if he doesn't make it— Rinoa is free, and safe, somewhere out there. (I'll find you.) He laughs, stupidly, and doesn't really care, sliding to a stop at the roof's edge and running alongside it, leaping across and sprinting. There's hordes of Heartless below him, and a dangerous rumbling behind him, and some high-pitched whine in the air—

He screeches to a stop, scattering shingles. Looks up.

(They came. They don't remember her but they came. They came after me.)

A ladder, and Yuffie scurrying down it almost faster than it can unfurl until she's just above him, Cid nudging the ship delicately between between the bastion's spires. "Come on you idiot!" she shouts, a hand out for him.

He sheathes Lionheart, and jumps, the slap of his bare hand on her forearm; she grimaces and heaves until he's got a hold on the ladder and they're both scrambling up as Cid pulls up and away. They tumble aboard, him onto the floor and Yuffie rolling onto her feet and taking up the ladder, keeping watch. "She's going dragon!" she warns, and he turns in time to see it, the huge beast rounding one of the Bastions towers.

"Hold yer horses," Cid grumbles, weaving up through the spires and pulleys. "There was kind of a sudden deadline on finishing this bucket of a boat." He throws a glare over his shoulder. "Made the lady a bit delicate."

Yuffie's got the ladder and she slides the door shut, slumping against it. He tips his head back, looks at Cid. "Thank you."

"Fuck, kid, you think we were gonna let you run off and get yourself killed?"

He laughs, he can't help it and he doesn't want to. "I know you guys better than that." He smiles, because it's true: the jumble in his head gone. He's known them forever.

"What were you doing, anyway?" Yuffie tilts her head at him.

"Taking something from Maleficent. So she couldn't use it to get stronger." True. Not the whole story. But true.

Yuffie eyes the cabin windows; they were clearing atmosphere quickly but they could still hear Maleficent's enraged howling. "I dunno, she still sounds pretty strong to me."

He closes his eyes. (Rinoa.) Looks up again. "It made a difference. Trust me."

Cid glances back, serious. "I trust you. But, kid," Cid jabs a finger at him, "you ever pull a stunt like that again and I will personally throw you out the airlock."

"Yeah! That's right, Squall!"

He tips his head back against the bulwark. Rinoa. Ellone, Laguna, maybe everyone else. Somewhere. Lionheart at his back, needing cleaning. Worlds winking out, and the keyblade, somewhere out there, looking for its master.

Rinoa. Ellone. Laguna. Lionheart.


Old memories, new memories. Ellone, Leone, Leon. Laguna, Leon.

Rinoa. Leon.

(I'll find you.)

"Call me Leon," he tells them.

(I'll find you.)



A/N: I was severely lacking confidence in this story! I had a lot — a lot — of ideas, enough to make a really long, huge fic out of. I think I might still like to do that, someday when I have time. I did pick and choose my KH canon a bit, but KH is kind of a canon that seems ripe for it — and it was fun. For now, I hope this is still enjoyable =)

x-post: Hosted on my DW [personal profile] justira . Original, untouched version on [community profile] newgameplus [here].Pointers on my LJ [livejournal.com profile] justira [here], [livejournal.com profile] 0kingdom_hearts [here]
vi: (ffviii: smiling softly)

[personal profile] vi 2010-10-01 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
I wish I had something more coherent to say! Just that- this was awesome. I loved this, the tumble and slide of it, even though I don't know KH that well.

[personal profile] cydling 2010-10-02 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
i normally don't read crossovers. Even less so when it's got KH involved which is me just being pissy at Disney (which my own thing to deal with!) but I figured I'd give it a shot.

It was well worth the read and i didn't see it in the goofy Disney manner that they do so well. I seen it with the characters from their own games and a very sinister Maleficent (which is my brain giving her a realistic video game render).

It's amazing. Good job! and sadly, the only icon I have is Sorceress and Knight.
cydling: pirate on a laptop (online pirate)

[personal profile] cydling 2010-10-03 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
I think what drew me in was Squall and Maleficent. It's a character pair you don't see often and I think you wrote both awesome. I love how you brought out the whole GF junctions and Sorceress powers with Maleficent. It's something i would have thought about in hindsight and kicked myself for not writing, if I wrote KH type fic at all.

I have this intense love of Sorceresses and the whole power exchange thing that FFVIII set up. It's also why I would love Squeenix to revisit the FFVIII world. So many plot holes and missing information! Lots of stuff that fandom fills in but it'd be nice to see something come from them.

You're welcome! I do try to leave something positive when commenting, even if I have constructive crit, which I have none here because it's filled with win! keep up the good work!

[personal profile] cydling 2010-10-03 07:28 am (UTC)(link)
also, i mem'ed it so I could read it later! :D
albijuli: (Center of the Universe)

[personal profile] albijuli 2010-10-02 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
That, my dear, was beyond awesome.
stealth_noodle: Sora, Donald, and Goofy sharing a big Kingdom Hearts hug. (kingdom hugs)

[personal profile] stealth_noodle 2010-10-02 12:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Ha, I did not even notice the typos on the newgameplus posting. Apparently I was distracted by all the awesome.
stealth_noodle: Terra and esper!Terra are hugging! Somehow. (esper hugs)

[personal profile] stealth_noodle 2010-10-03 11:49 am (UTC)(link)
*HAPPY NOSTALGIA BASK* :'D I had to track that post and then leave the notifications unread so that I'd remember to thank everyone. Unnecessarily complicated, yes! Effective, also yes!