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Disclaimer: Square owns all its Final Fantasy characters. The rest is mine! Mwahahaha... (All flames shall be met with a mocking scornful laugh, because my armor has Flameproof on it. :P)
Notes: Yes, I realize that it's been...um... well, a year and a half or so since I wrote chapter 27. But if you're here reading this, then...good! Have fun! Please let me know if you like this chapter, so that I might be influenced to finish the darn story... ^^

When You're Evil and Dead
By: Sforzie

Chapter 28: The Girl in Cell 42

Two sorceresses were sitting at the bar in the 'Final Fantasy Villains' room.

"So, didja hear?"

"Hear?"

"That purple haired girl finally snapped."

"Did she? That must've been the noise I heard the other day."

"Yep. Freaked out while in the bathroom and blew it up. They're still fixing it."

"Ooh, that explains why the line's so long today." The sorceresses looked at the bathroom hall door. "Not that I'm surprised that she snapped, or anything. I mean, anyone would go crazy after hanging around that blonde menace."

"I'm surprised she lasted that long."

A pause. "Yeah, 27 chapters, wow!"

 

The blonde menace was slouched, chin smooshed into the tabletop. He was pouting, and giving his best wounded chicobo look to the silver haired man seated across the table. Sephiroth didn't look any happier, and was hugging his sword. There were an array of empty shot glasses on the table in front of him.

"Sephirooooth..."

"Oh, sweet mother of hairballs, please don't start whining again," Meow x17 sighed from where he was trying to nap underneath the remains of a newspaper.

"I miss Kujaaaa!"

"Yeah, me too." Sephiroth waved down the waitress after determining that there was nothing drinkable in front of him.

"You still drinkin', Sephiroth?" the waitress sighed as she neared the table.

"Yeah, Elena. Another double bloody Moogle, please."

Kefka mused, as best he could, while watching the waitress clear a few of the shot glasses off the table. He and Kuja had gone to the bathroom. Well, he'd gone first, and been evicted from the waiting hall due to the rather nasty mood of the line that day. He'd been waiting for Kuja to return, when there had been a long shrill scream followed by an explosion. He had recognized the voice immediately, of course, but was unable to see what was going on due to the sudden mass exodus of the waiting hall. Demons from Hell's Bells had arrived a few minutes later.

The last Kefka had seen of Kuja was the demons toting away her unconcious red-feathered form.

That had been a month ago, and Kefka still didn't know what had really happened. Kuja had seemed perfectly fine before..

"How long until we can visit her?" Kefka asked, for the hundredth time in the last week.

"They said there were no visits for the first thousand years," Sephiroth said. Kefka arched a brow, surprised that the bishounen had been able to remember that.

"Probably shouldn't go anytime soon anyways," he mumbled, recalling the last time he'd visited Hell's Bells.

Sephiroth frowned. "I don't really want to ever have to go back there again, myself."

Kefka resumed his pouting. "You'll go."

 

In Hell's Bells, it was always a bit dark in the cell wings. And someone was always laughing.

For the last month, that someone had been Kuja.

She'd sat on the padded floor of cell 42, dropping out of Trance after a few hours. Then she'd started laughing. It was a low, weird, pained sound that would've bothered the orderlies if they hadn't heard it before. Kuja had spent the next month hunched over on the floor, with her hands pressed to her collarbone, laughing the same strange laugh.

By now her throat had gone dry and the laugh had become hoarse, but she showed no signs of stopping.

 

"Oooh, uncomfortable silence." The Gimme Cat was peering out from under his newspaper. Kefka was leaning back in his chair, looking embarassed. Sephiroth was tapping his sword on the table, looking equally flushed.

"I really shouldn't have brought that memory up, eh?" Sephiroth said, voice wobbling nervously.

Kefka snorted lightly, looking away. "I'm surprised you could even remember, what with all that drinking you do."

"You wallow your way, I'll wallow mine."

"Hmph." He shook his head, ponytail swishing behind him. "I don't want to talk about that."

"Your loss."

"Indeeeed."

"That was years ago, Kefka, I can't believe you're still bitter about it!" Sephiroth smacked his sword on the table. Kefka jumped a bit, snapping his head back toward the other man.

"I still hate you, you know! So of course I'm still bitter about it!" He stuck his tongue out with a loud "Pfft!"

"I think you two get less mature with time," the Cat sighed.

 

The aforementioned 'time' passed. In hell, it wasn't as important as it was to the living. Unless you were missing someone. A long time passed, and Kuja did not return from Hell's Bells. Kefka refused to accept that she might not come back at all, and refused to give up her empty chair to anyone, be they demon or man. Sephiroth remained at the table too, though his motives were unclear. With Kuja gone, he shouldn't have needed to stay. But he did...

"I think my butt's stuck to the chair," Kefka mumbled.

"I really needed to know that."

"How long has it been?"

"Not as long as you want it to be," Sephiroth said. "Quit asking."

"Sephiroth, what if she doesn't get better? What if she doesn't come back?" Kefka worried aloud, repeating the same thing he had been saying for the last long while.

"She'll get better, Kefka," Sephiroth sighed, shaking his head. "Everyone goes nuts eventually, and everyone gets better eventually."

"Yeah, but why'd she go crazy now?"

"Um...well... didn't she die differently?"

"She didn't die fighting, if that's what you mean. She died afterwards."

"Right... maybe she didn't go nuts upon arrival because of the way she died."

"But why now? What triggered it?!" Kefka thumped a gloved fist on the table.

"I dunno, really. But...everyone goes crazy eventually, Kefka. Everyone ends up in Hell's Bells."

"I didn't," Kefka sniffed in annoyance.

"Kefka..."

"I didn't!"

"We both did," Sephiroth said flatly.

"I don't want to remember that either!" Kefka's pale cheeks flushed angrily. "Quit bringing these things up! I don't know how you're even remembering these things!"

Sephiroth picked up his glass and took a sip. He shrugged lightly. "By not thinking about them, I suppose."

"You're too stupid to think about them!!"

His green eyes glinted with anger for a moment, but it faded. "And you're still an angry little man."

Kefka nearly jumped out of his seat. "I'll show you little, you sword toting moron!"

Sephiroth's jaw tightened. "Temper, temper, Kefka. The last time you got mad like that, you ended up on--"

"Shut up!!" Kefka lurched forward, but ended up falling out of his seat. Sephiroth blinked in surprise, leaning down to look under the table.

"You alright?"

Kefka glared balefully. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!"

A faint grumble came from the Cat's chair. "I really need to find a new place to sleep."

 

Kuja sat in the cafeteria at Hell's Bells, glowering down at an empty plate and glass of orange juice. Several guards hovered a few feet away. She still had the bright red "unstable, approach with caution" tag on her wrist. Kuja sighed, looking at her nails.

"Good god, I need a manicure."

The man seated across the table from her shifted from his reverent gazing at his glass of orange juice. He looked down at his hands. "You're not the only one." Kuja blinked curiously and looked at the man, watching as he brushed a lock of strange blue hair out of his eyes.

"Ur, hello there."

"Hello," he smiled thinly. "What's a pretty thing like you doing with a red tag on her wrist?"

Kuja hesitated. "Oh, the usual."

"I see." He raised a hand to his chest and bowed his head with strange formality. "It is a pleasure to meet you, miss..."

"Um, Kuja."

"...Miss Kuja. My name is Seymour Guado."

"Pleased to meet you."

"Ah, no, the pleasure is all mine, I assure you," Seymour said. Kuja's tail twitched, and she tried not to cringe. This guy was seriously creeping her out.

Seymour apparently caught her vibe. "Don't worry," he said in the same low smooth, slightly whiny voice, "I can't hurt you."

"You...can't?"

"No..." He gave her a dazed smile. "I'm quite heavily drugged, according to the orderlies. Can't even feel my feet at the moment."

"That's horrible...I think."

"Mmm, yes, I suppose so. But my throat hurts anyway." He reached down and picked up his orange juice, giving it a sip.

Kuja squinted thoughtfully. "You're the screamer down in 55, aren't you?"

He nodded slowly. "And you were the laugher in 42, correct? Glad to hear you stopped. I couldn't hear myself scream."

A small blush crept across her cheeks. "Uh, why'd you stop screaming?"

"For the same reason you stopped laughing, I suppose."

"Meaning you don't really remember."

He nodded again. "Yes, that is correct." Seymour glanced over at the guards. "This place doesn't seem too bad, except that I'm famished. Haven't been fed in years."

"There's no food here," Kuja said, taking a gulp of her orange juice. Seymour frowned.

"You must be joking."

"I wish I was. But I'm not. No food for us."

Seymour's dark blue eyes flashed in annoyance, and his brow wrinkled. Kuja watched the lines on his forehead wrinkle, and was vaguely reminded of someone, but she wasn't quite sure who.

"This place is horrible, to not give us food."

"No..." Kuja sighed. "This place is Hell."

 

It took Kefka awhile to realize that Sephiroth had (quite sneakily) managed to distract him from the heavier question of his worries.

"Sneaky bastard," Kefka muttered, narrowing his eyes at Sephiroth. The other man shifted uneasily--Kefka had developed the habit of trying to pummel him every time his brain floated back to the subject of Kuja.

Kefka thought. What if Kuja didn't come back?

True, she would return eventually, since this was the room she'd been assigned to, but...

"What if she doesn't want to sit with us anymore? What if they convince her that it's a bad idea? What if they do something to her that makes her not want to sit with us? What if they tell her that she can't sit with us?!"

His eyes got big and shimmery, and for a moment Sephiroth was worried that the little psycho was going to cry. But then Kefka balled up a little hand into a fist and shook it in defiance at some unseen adversary.

"We can't let that happen, Sephiroth!"

Sephiroth sweatdropped. "When did this become a 'we' issue?"

Kefka tapped a red painted lip with an equally red nail. "Doesn't matter. It just is."

The bishounen sighed. "So what do you plan on doing, to prevent this...whatever...from happening?"

"I don't know, exactly, but... first, we're gonna go to Hell's Bells and see if Kuja's okay."

"But it hasn't been a thousand years yet, Kefka, we can't see her yet!"

"Well..." Kefka looked thoughtful for a minute, little blonde eyebrows drawing together. "Maybe if we walk reeeeally slow, then it'll be a thousand years by the time we get there!"

Sephiroth tapped his sword on the table again. "Wouldn't we have to walk really really slow for that to work?"

"Hm. What if we walked really slow backwards?"

"....that might work."

"Uwee!" Kefka hopped up from his seat, but then sat back down again quickly. "What do you say we have a few drinks first though, eh?"

"And if we drink them really slow, that'll take up even more time, won't it?"

"Ha! You're right, Sephiroth!" Kefka waved down the waitress. "First we drink, then we go save Kuja!"

"Save her?" Sephiroth blinked. "I thought we were just going to see her."

"....same thing!"

-----

end chapter 28