Are You Afraid?
by Lesley

"Won't it hurt?"

"Magitek infusion," I shrugged. "I doubt it, Cid says its perfectly safe," I grinned down at the young Celes whose blue eyes were wide with wonder. "Besides, you're going to have to go through it one day as well, you know." I waggled my finger at her playfully as if she had forgotten something very important.

The blonde child shook her head. "Uh-uh! I don't wanna end up like Terra." The young girl leaned into close to me, like she had a great secret she wasn't supposed to tell. "She's creepy!"

At once my grin was turned into a disappointed frown. "Celes, that's not very nice."

"Well it's true! She never talks to anyone but you or Cid." The twelve year old girl gave me one of her looks that said "and-that's-that."

I gave the girl another disappointed look, then glanced at the time. "You'd best be off, Celes, don't want to be late for another training session."

She groaned, but stood from her cross-legged sitting position on the ground beside me on the ground and took off for one of the surrounding buildings calling out over her shoulder, "'Bye Kefka!"

"Goodbye, Celes," I mumbled, knowing full well she wouldn't be able to hear me. I lost myself in thoughts of the upcoming infusion. Would it hurt? I hadn't really thought of that until young Celes had asked me. Would it hurt…would it? Cid hadn't mentioned anything of pain to me…of course I would be the first to undergo the procedure. Magitek infusion. Amazing.

I sudden noise brought me from thoughts. A hiccup. Although the hiccup-er was nowhere in sight, I knew perfectly well who it was.

"You can come out, Terra. Celes is gone," I suddenly found myself smiling again.

For a moment I didn't think she would allow herself to be seen, but then came a soft rustle, followed by the dry snapping of a twig and out-stepped little Terra. The Emperor's favorite toy and Cid's ongoing experiment. She didn't say anything as she shuffled along, her eyes trained to the ground, and took a seat a few feet away. She never was one to get close to a person. She hiccuped again as she picked at tip of her red shoe, still keeping quiet.

"Something wrong, Terra?" It didn't surprise me that I would be the one to initiate the conversation, it always happened that way.

She just shrugged, brushing a few locks of green hair that had escaped her ponytail out of her face. A bit of dirt smeared across her porcelain cheek as she did so. Hiccup.

"She didn't mean it," I told her, "she" being Celes. "She's just…"

"Shy?" The young girl glanced up at, eyes telling truths far beyond her twelve years, filling me with a sudden unease. She could always do that to me, though I don't believe she meant to. Hiccup.

I smiled wider, though I'm certain she knew it was false. "Yeah, shy."

She turned her gaze back to the ground, continuing to pick at her shoe. "You don't have to stick up for me you know, I can do it myself."

"Yes," I replied, chuckling. "But then half of the Empire would burned to the ground."

She smiled too, though if it was at my joke, I'm not sure. "Burn. Burn everything!" She always loved imitating Emperor Gestahl, especially when he was giving orders.

My grin faded rapidly as she said this, even though I knew precisely what she was doing. It struck fear in me for reasons I can't understand. The unease I felt quickly turned to fear for the young girl. Fear of her future.

What would be done with Terra? The Emperor had already expressed his will to push her powers as far as they could. What would happen to her if they pushed her too far? Would she be hurt? Would she snap? She was already so withdrawn…

"Are you afraid?" She asked suddenly, as if she had read my thoughts. Hiccup.

"That depends, afraid of what?"

"The infusion." She was looking at me again, although I wouldn't match her glance.

"No, not really. Cid seems to think it will be easy." As the wind picked up slightly, I brushed some my own, blonde hair out of my eyes as the young girl next to me contemplating what she was going to say next. I took advantage of moment of silence and stole a quick glance at her. She seemed so much older than her twelve years. Her rosy lips pressed in a tight line across her mouth, her deep green eyes slanted in thought.

"Cid isn't always right," she said finally, surprising me greatly. That had been the last thing I'd expected her to say.


"Something's going to go wrong, I can feel it." Hiccup.

The hiccups seemed so…out of character for her now. Hiccups weren't meant for darling little children with curl blonde hair and bright, shining blue eyes with rosy red cheeks and freckles all over, not for…a twelve-year-old weapon of destruction.

I had never really thought of Terra like until that moment. I had always defended her from others, and always found time each day to seek her out and try and have a conversation. Often times I'd bring along a deck of cards to try and get some fun to her, but she never seemed to be able to grasp the concept. I remember sneaking a stray kitten that had been running around the courtyard of the Imperial Palace and sneaking it into her chambers. She took one look at it and said, "Animals aren't allowed inside, Kefka. You know that." I tried to get her to play with it, but she just wouldn't have it. So I ended up taking it to Celes instead, who was overjoyed. As far as I know, she's still got it hidden in her room, bringing it outside for fun after her bedtime.

"Nothing will go wrong," I told her, though I think I was trying to assure myself of that more than her. "Cid knows what he's doing."

If the hiccups, were out of character, what she did next was completely alien. Turning her head to face me, she smiled sweetly and cocked her little of green hair to one side and asked cheerfully, "Does he?" Hiccup.

I faltered a moment before nodding, not able to find my voice. How one little girl could scare me so, I'll never know.

She seemed not to see me as she turned her head back to the ground repeating every bit as cheerfully, "Does he?" She started to pick at her shoe once more. "Does he?"

"…yes," I said, barely audible.

"Does he?" She now stood, still grinning. She leaned over and patted my cheek, still smiling. "Burn. Burn everything!" Hiccup.

As she left, one thought crossed my mind. Am I afraid? I'm completely terrified.

Authors Notes: Weak ending, I know, but I couldn't think of any other way to end it. Not much to say, except that I was inspired to write this after reading Dead Man's Logic. GO READ THAT NOW!