A few years back I drew a picture of a black mage standing in a rain puddle, it inspired me to write a poem (which I’ve posted in poems) which in turn inspired this fan fic. This is a FF9/FF8 story. It might be an AU but I’m really not sure. The story crosses many different FFs on the whole. This is actaully the fourth or fifth rewrite of this fic. There is more than one post becuase I seemed to have excessed the character limit.
Chapter 1: Hopes Arrival
It had been many years since Vivi had been to Dali. Vivi walked straight towards the Inn, after traveling on the road for several weeks he needed a real bed not a Tent to sleep in. There was a fire in the small fire place the ever present cat was perched on it mantel which could better be described as a cook top. Vivi walk towards the front desk never taking his eye off his own shoes. “One bed please,” he said without looking up.
“Sign here,” said a female voice.
‘Well that odd,’ thought Vivi the Dali Inn was known to be run by the mayor’s brother. “Are you the owner’s daughter?” he asked while signing, only looking up when he said daughter. The face was like something out of dream. The woman had bluish purple hair that was cut rather boyish, that is if page boys had near shoulder length hair and wore over sized yellow ribbons in it. That wasn’t the most striking thing though, no, Vivi’s breath caught in his throat as he locked eyes on her horn. The woman never noticed her emerald green eyes never left the desk and never changed from their bored expression.
Vivi’s mind raced with questions, ‘Eiko? Why is she here? Why now? The Reagent said she had gone back to Madain Sara after she had left Queen Garnet’s court.’ The more he looked at her the more he couldn’t be sure. The more he feared some other mages trick. She might just be a doll designed to look like Eiko. But then his thoughts turned to what might have been, ‘Do I still have feeling for her? Did I ever love her? Am I just wishing for what might have beens?’
It was at that moment that the woman sighed, “No, I’m not the owner’s daughter. And if you mind, Eye Up!”
Vivi looked up into her face at the moment and realized where is eye had been. His eyes in his natural timidness had wandered down to her peasant blouse that had a very low scoop neck, which up until that moment he hadn’t noticed. “Oh! I’m so sorry,” Vivi quickly babbled, “I was just trying not to stare at your horn. And you reminded me of someone and I got kind of lost in my thoughts.”
The woman could care less about what he had said after I’m sorry, she had hear all the excuses before, “From where you were staring I’d say the resemblance clearly was not in the face,” Her voice was lilting as ever, but there was a jagged edge to it that had once been a bubbling burst of optimism, that was if she really was Eiko.
“Ah… the beds they’re still through there?” Vivi pointed at the nearby door.
The woman was eyeing Vivi, the man had already signed the book she couldn’t throw him out, but she wanted some facts from this Black Mage. She glanced down at the ledger, ‘Stafferd… Vivi Stafferd.’ Her eyes took on a slight look of rage. It seems even this couldn’t drive the bored look from them, “Normally I won’t complain about what people sign their name as but it has been a long time since I have seen someone sign Vivi even as a joke so what’s your deal?”
It was the straight forward question the way she threw her hand on her hip as she asked the question, that finally nailed it for Vivi, she was most definitely Eiko, and she thought he was a pervert with a dead guys name, ‘Time to make the usual excuse,’ “I’m Sir Vivi Stafferd official Black Mage of the Court Lindblum.” Normally he wouldn’t have made the mistake of signing Vivi into any document but he was tired and truly needed to sleep in a bed.
Eiko nearly choked, “You have got some balls there Sir Staffered. And just so you know I’ll be asking the mayor if anything you’ve just told me is true.”
“I’m sure you will Miss…”
“Eiko” finished Eiko. She walked over to the door that Vivi had indicated a little before, “You’ll find the beds through here.” She looked like she wanted to say more but she was trying her best to remain civil and no bit his head off once more.
Vivi for his part was actually contemplating about how happy he was she at least wasn’t a doll or at least she didn’t think she was one. ‘Dam Garland for ever teaching Kuja how to make dolls’ was Vivi thoughts on the matter. ‘Still if she is the real deal it would be worth it… Worth what? I know she never loved me not that way. She’s always been smitten with Zidane. I always knew that. I’m second best with her. Hell I’ve had more emotional connections with a moggle or Quina for that matter. I even married Quina in Conde Petie and as much as the two of were dissatisfied with the idea I really felt something for her then.’ Vivi found himself longing for Quina really and truly the only member of the old gang he wasn’t able to find. Which only reminded him of the role he now had to play. He had to find the King and Queen of Alexandria.
Eiko opened the door to the sleeping quarters, there where for beds in the room arranged so that the door opened between two of them and that a night stand was across from the door. A fountain of sorts stood in the middle of the room and the walls were made of dirt until you hit the window with the remainder of the wall and ceiling being made of stone and wood. There was general nature feel to the room. Two more cats sat on one of the beds the other appeared to have body in it. Vivi’s face had taken on a bemused look as his eye where cast downward, Eiko had no way of knowing what Vivi was thinking only where his eyes were looking. She slapped him.
Vivi mind raced as he felt his face heat up as a palm went right across it.
“What did I tell you before? Eye Up.” She was giving Vivi one of her inspection glares, hands on both her hips leaning forward from the waist her horn nearly touching Viv’s face, “You have three options; you can either keep your eyes where they belong, find somewhere else in town to sleep tonight or you can take the mountain pass and go sleep in the woods. Which will it be Stafferd?”
“I’ll…” his voice cracked, he sounded almost ten again, “…I’ll keep my eyes up from now on.” Vivi pulled off his hat. If he was going to be self conscious of his face or himself even he had already blow it besides he wasn’t going to wear his hat in doors all the time and in fact would have taken it off already if it wasn’t for the fact that he was so thrown off by the appearance of Eiko here. “I’m sorry if I offended the M’lady. And if you like you may call me Vivi.”
“That’s good.” She began to walk away. “Flattery will get you nowhere Stafferd,” she couldn’t bear to look at this Vivi’s face there where definite similarities between the two but Dolls don’t age and it was that fact that made her stop and turn and face him once more. “And one more thing, I change my mind on what you can call me, it’s Miss Carol.” She just couldn’t stand the fact that someone with his name and his face no less was calling her Eiko. Walking away once more she thought out loud and loud for that matter, “Who names their kid after a dead hero in this day and age? Forget this day and age who names their kid after a dead hero that’s isn’t been dead and buried for less than 100 years never mind less than 50?”
Vivi new that he shouldn’t correct her but he just had to it was his name after all and it wasn’t the first time he had had to defend his name ever in his life, “I’m not name after a dead man Miss Carol. That is my name.”
“You’re some kind of creep aren’t you? I moved here to get away from those memories of him.” She was rounding on him as she said this. Vivi was afraid that she was going to pummel him but she just seemed to go off on a rant as if you was somewhat still think aloud, “I loved two men, they were both great friends. I played for second best I could never have the one I wanted fate had other plains.” She seemed to realize that she was ranting, “But why should I tell you this? No matter what you say you’re just some creep taking the name of Vivi Orunitia, as if you own it Staffered. He died and you brandy around with his name making yourself out to be a Black Mage,” Eiko was clearly fluster with this man she had no idea why she herself wouldn’t just drop the subject already. ‘Perhaps somewhere deep down,’ she thought, ‘I really want him to be My Vivi.’
Vivi was begging to realize that no matter whom or what this woman was she had been jaded by love and what must have been well over 10 years of utter loneliness had taken its toll. She was 11 when Vivi had finally bit the dust as it were he just stopped one day while they were playing together. By then Garnet had her hands full as Queen running her country and trying to keep Zidane out of trouble. Quina was off exploring the world, tasting food and such. She truly didn’t get along with the other kids she was just to grown up for them. And then there was the matter of all those Vivi clones/sons whatever you’d want to call them. They all had their own lives each having grown into their own person and finally taking names. Eiko never really cared much for them they were kind of like a dress up doll they could be anything she could have want but they couldn’t be the real Vivi. And thus Eiko for one of the only other times in her lives couldn’t have what she wanted no matter how much she was going to scheme. ‘I’d have better luck with Mikoto or Quina.’ Vivi thought bluntly. Quina though, was basically lost to the world. ‘I’ll try asking the mail moggles one more time.’ Mikoto was another story altogather. She wasn’t the most easy going person to begin with having been totally jaded by Garland and emotional crapped on by Kuja. After she had grown use to the world she had joined Zidane in the theater or rather she took over Ruby’s place in Tantalus and Zidane became one of the patrons for Tantalus. Stardom had done many things to her, ‘She’s a train wreck there is no other way to describe it. And one overzealous den mother when it come right down to it. The guys can’t get away with anything.’ Vivi thought with a laugh, ‘She’d mother me and I can’t have that.’ Vivi’s thoughts finally returning to Eiko, ‘Even she said it I’m second fiddle to Zidane,’ Sighing he had to admite, “You where the second person I ever loved Eiko Carol truly last of the Summoners of Maiden Sara.”
“What did you say Stafferd? How do you know that about me?”
Vivi realized he had spoken aloud too late, “I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to say that aloud,” he tried his best to look her in the eyes. They no longer look bored just anger very, angry and very confused. His eyes darted all around the room in an attempt to avoid them finally his eyes feel in the one place they shouldn’t have, her blouse. The bed that contained a body moved slightly and muttered some things.
“You creep,” her voice raised enough to wake the sleeper in the room.
The figure sat up in bed grabbed the pillow from behind him and hurled it in their general direction. “Would you shut up woman?” before dropping back down to the now pillow less bed before sitting bolt upright. “Vivi, my mage man, what are you doing here? I thought you were working for Cid not Garnet.
Vivi was thankful for the sleeper, the pillow he had thrown had taken much of the wind out of Eiko, but it also gave him an excuse to no longer talk to Eiko. Since she was the one that had pushed the conversation when all she had to do was walk away.
Turning to the sleeper, “Hello Puck. And it good to see you too. The Regent sent me on some business here. I’ve had a hard travel and all I really want to do is sleep but this woman her seems to want to argue over my name instead.” Vivi had given up on the pleasantries with Eiko and he knew that they where pointless to say the lest with Puck, Crown Prince of Burmecia, he told it like it was and except much the same from everyone else. Vivi said a silent pray to whatever Summon took care of this kind of stuff, argument breaking and comic relief. As for Puck it was a silent, ‘Thank you.’
Eiko had no idea what had just happened, one minute she holding an argument with a guest and the next thing she has a pillow in her face from another of the guests and now they were talking as if she wasn’t even still standing there holding Mr. Ratsafarian pillow. She promptly dropped the on one of the nearby beds and walk away she was going to have to find out all she could on this Stafferd fellow. He most certainly had some kind of an angle and she was going to expose it.
Flash Scene: How to get home?
A small boat yacht south of Esto Gaza, two people, a blonde haird male in a blue sweater vest over white long sleeved shirt and a pair of well fitting pants, and a raven haired female in a tight fitting satin yellow jumper over a white cotton blouse and a long white and pink cloak like sweater, sat inside it a picnic basket between them. A gentil breeze ruffled the loosely drawn sails. The woman’s raven hair blew in the breeze, she went out pull it out of her face. The blond male had other idea though he leaned in closer and nuzzled her hair. Their boat rocket gently in the waves.
The lovers laugh and nuzzled each other. The woman ran her hands through the males hair, he playfully bats her with his tail.
“My playful thief,” she says and she begins to tug at his vest. Her hair spilling into her face as she does so.
“My jeweled summoner,” he whispers opening the picnic basket.
A second gust of wind blows hard on the boat rocking the boat up against the nearby icebergs. The waves begin to crash hard against the boat. A few more good gust and the boat begins to tip as a wave come crashing over the railing.
The blonde man opens his eyes. He‘s laying on an unmade bed in a small cabin like room, with and double wide window, grayish walls and a blue carpet. A door way is open to an adjoining common room. He sits up in bed, a long sleeved dress shirt gaps open revealing a dark color undershirt, “It was a dream. It felt so real.” The man stands up and begins to button his shirt as walks towards the door. His tail twitch left and right as he walks. His feet are bare, a pair of boots lay in a corner. He leans against the door frame surveying the common room. A yellowy blonde haired man with a facial tattoo sits on a couch with an onyx haired woman in a blue outfit. The room is the same grayish colored walls as the bedroom. The carpet is a beige color. A multicolored transporter is tucked into the far corner casting a wheel of colors on the far wall. The tattooed man stretches his legs and arms and then stands up pacing the room to a desk littered with paperwork and notebooks, the only clear space on it was where the built in computer terminal was. The woman lips a moving as she thumbs a ring on attached to chain she has around her neck. A pile of papers rest on her lap. The tailed man stretches his arms and sighs.
The blonde looks up from the desk, “Zidane how long have you been standing there?”
“Not long. What’s up Zell?” He nods towards the woman in blue.
“Rinoa,” Zell calls as he turns to face the woman in blue, “He’s up.”
The woman opens her eyes and looks and Zidane a slightly distant look in her eyes. Rinoa gathers the papers on her lap and stands up, dropping them on to the couch as she did. She walks over to Zidane link her arms behind her back and leaning into him, “I think I have an idea about how get you guys home.”
Zidane saw a mischievous look in Rinoa’s eyes, he liked it better than the mile long stare that she was known to get on occasion. He was pretty sure that she had just come out of one of those moods too. Right now she seemed to want him to play along with her idea; they went through this every so often. Rinoa would get it into her head a grandiose idea about how she could help Zidane and Garnet get home. But neither she nor they knew where that was in the scheme of things. Today Zidane felt like biting, he’d had the dammed dream again. “What does the great and powerful Sorceress Rinoa have planed this time?”
Rinoa straight herself and big smile on her face, “I figure that if it was a powerful magical location that sent you here we could use one of the powerful magical location we have here to get you home. I figure Edea’s house might have enough magical energy to send you home. Although I haven’t figured out how to trigger the gate to open.”
“And if,” Zell picked up next thread of the plan before Zidane could protest, “that fails there are a few more magical locations that we can use. One is the Centra Ruins and then there is the Shumi Village, both have a lot of potential.”
Zidane who could see that there indeed was a major flaw in their plan, namely the one that Rinoa had pointed out and then there was the matter of, “Have you told anyone else about this idea yet?”
Rinoa pouted at Zidane as if he had just explained that the Easter bunny wasn’t real, “I told Garnet this morning when the idea came to me.”
“What about Squall?” Zidane asked leaning against the door frame was again, “He is the leader of the get us home squad or whatever it was that you called it.” A portion of himself was kicking another portion of himself for sound all serious over the matter. He want to be the laid guy he always was, but he was worried because as he found out later after one really bad idea about trying to use a Guardian Force to send them home, that a large number of Rinoa’s ideas came from her sitting in a corner with a group of like minded friends and quickly brain storming something no matter how crazy it sounded. Add to that her Mystical powers and well she was one very chaotic person to trust with these sorts of things. “What does he think of this idea or were you looking for support before telling about it? I mean I’ll try anything once and so will Garnet if it means we might be able to go home.”
“Um, I haven’t told him not because I wanted your support or anything,” Rinoa conceded, “It has more to do with the fact that the Centra Ruins are near Ester. And you know how he gets about his father. It’s sometimes worse than me and my father. Things have been better in recent months between the two them; I think you and Garnet have had a hand in that. Laguna is completely taken with the two of you. It gives them something amicable to talk about.” Rinoa was going to say things with her father hadn’t change not since she ran away from home after the attempt to assassinate Edea had failed. Caraway only thought of his daughter new found powers as a setback in his plans which hadn’t help much in their relationship. Cid had been much more of a father to her since then. He even helped her deal with her new role as a Sorceress and tried to help to keep her sane, which work much better given that Adel was well and truly dead. It was the splintering effect that had really made things worse. Edea, Ellone and Rinoa all had powers. There wasn’t just one major power to deal with. All three could take on the other and it kept them all in check. But it wasn’t just that Rinoa had Squall to lean on when things got to tough and Squall had her to lean on when the world seemed to be pinning everything on him. It was only a few years ago that the Timber anti-Galbadian factions had called on the support of Balamb Garden to help keep order while they tried to set up a provisional government after they had finally retched themselves free from Deling City’s control. Everyone wanted the B-Garden’s help because it could go anywhere to enforce the peace. Thankfully Ester had stepped in on the Timber matter and had promptly told Caraway to remove his tropes if he didn’t wish to wage the next world war. In a funny way Laguna and Squall were two of the world’s most unlikely leaders and yet the guy that just wanted to listen to Julia (her own mother) in a lounge than fight a war and for the most part couldn’t even follow a map if he had one, and the son of said man who just wants well really to have people stop relying on him for everything and is more than likely the worst guy to lead the charge into battle. Rinoa began to laugh at this last thought because that was exactly what to lost souls where doing relying on him to help send them back home and to lead the charge.
Zidane and Zell just looked at her like they couldn’t see what was so funny about Squalls relationship with his father.
“Well,” Zell announced, “I should get going need to teach those new SeeD’s about Guardian Forces and Junctions,” he ran out of the common room faster than if someone had said free hot dogs.
Still laughing and with no intention of stopping, “I’ll tell him tonight. Squall might have a better idea about where we might be able to try.” With that she picked her papers off the couch and walked out the room.
Zidane just shook his head before leaving the room as well only turning around to grab his boots.
Re-entry: Hopes Arrival
Vivi paced back and forth across the room. Puck sat cross leg on his bed just watching as Vivi nervously pulled of his cloak. Coming to a full stop inches from Puck, “There is big trouble in the Kingdom my ratserfarian friend.”
Puck just nodded and waited and Vivi explained everything. Alexandria was without its King and Queen. They had just disappeared. They weren’t any where to be found, Vivi had search for them. The moggles had helped him, they had assured him that if the King and Queen were anywhere on Gaia that they could find them. This made Vivi very uneasy. Puck would have said that Vivi look unnerved but it was hard to tell with the way he self consciously adjust his cloths or hair every few minutes or so. Vivi watched Puck’s reactions as much as Puck was watching Vivi’s. Puck was patient, something he wasn’t the last time they had met and calmly listened. It was weird to the once hyper active rat boy who’s famous red overalls and feathered cap told almost anyone who he was and to give him a wide breath become this rumpled bohemian rat teenager who just drank everything in. Or perhaps it was the fact that Vivi was a close friend of his. He didn’t have to act like he was wired on some sort of monster toxin.
After a small silence, “I’m not sure mage man what you expect me to do. I mean I’m the prince of a revival nation and I can’t just come in a say I’ll lead you nation. Actually I wouldn’t even do that if my father was missing. I’m a trickster, a lover, and a coward, I’m not afraid to admit that. As long as the planet is burning in a huge ball of fire or a Meteor crashing into the planet, I’ll keep by self to my self.”
“I know,” Vivi said sitting down on the next bed.
Puck rolled over onto his stomach and turned to face Vivi.
“But I wanted you to know the truth. I wanted you to know that when I told you why I had come here you wouldn’t feel like it was completely out of the blue. Your father has asked me to find you and to ask you to take the temperature of things in Alexandria. Not alone of course Gilgamesh is supposed to help you. That is if I can ever find him. I’m headed to Daguerreo next before I make one last stop. “
“Why should I do something like that? I mean I’ve told you the kind of man I am and you’ve known me longer than most people.”
“Because the public doesn’t know that their monarchies have been missing for almost three years now, that may be a long time to keep this a secret but what was the stewards going to tell them,” Vivi had just about broken into a nervous mess again, “Most of the time the Stewards would make the public appearance anyway. The King and Queen loved to run off and explore the world. As I said before all of those of us involved had hope that this was it. That was until two years ago. They had never run off for that long. Not without sending word. The last anyone heard of them was that they we’re sailing of the coast of the Lost Continent. After that no one’s heard anything from them.” Vivi began to wring his hands together, “Puck you’re my last hope here.”
“Mage Man Vivi,” Puck patted Vivi’s knee, “I don’t know what to tell you but I really and truly have not seen them in all my wanderings across the Mist Continent.” Looking Vivi in the eyes, “I mean are you saying I’m in danger, or do you fear something else all together? I mean in all seriousness is the world at stake here, is living at stake are we facing another uber wizard god trying to take over the world? I’m a free bird,” Puck said with a laugh, “I like to stay a free bird. I don’t want my wings clipped.”
“I don’t know,” Vivi sighed The Bohemian Prince was one of his last hopes. Gilgamesh truly was his last hope, but that conversation would have to wait. He only hoped that Pucks wild assumptions were just that and nothing as serious as Garland. “Puck my ratatafarian friend, promise me you will go home or to Alexandria or even Lindblum, and stay there. You don’t have to let it be known that you’re a prince; it can be like when we met all those years ago. You just another nameless face among the mass, just the way you like it. I don’t want you to have your wings clipped but I want you safe. Two missing monarchs are all I can take at the moment and I’d rather not add you to my list.”
“Mage man, my mage man, you don’t want to clip my wings or have them clipped, so I will fly to the theater. I hear they need a new ticket seller.”
“Thank you my friend.”
Pucks face took on a mischievous glow, “Tell me, does the blue unicorn not put two and two together?” Puck said pointing at Vivi and then the door to the room.
“She thinks me some creep with a dead man’s name. If she has her suspicions she is keeping them to herself.”
“Well you were dead, as dead as the Evil Forest is these days. The girl just needs a little push; tell her something only you and her would know… something that no creepy pretend Black Mage would have been able to dig up. Like that thing you told me to gain my trust. Only me, you, and a moggle even knew what had transpired that day. So tell the Unicorn something that no one in the whole world would know outside your adventuring group.”
Vivi had to admit the puck had a point, “Thanks,” Vivi said with a yawn.
Puck just nodded.
Vivi began to pull of boots, “My bohiemian friend, I need to sleep. You mind if I crash for a bit. I’m not ready for round two with M’lady Unicorn.”
“Crash , crash. I got a date with a hot weapons dealer,” Puck rolled over and bounced off his bed and in one motion bent over to grab his boots and strolled out the door. Vivi graciously passed out.