The fighting was the easy part - that was all automatic stuff that he could do without thinking. [Written for Ironman7's painfic week. Spoilers through Galbadia Garden.]
That stuff was easy. That was Ifrit pounding through his veins, that was ripping through soldiers and trying to get to the Quad in time. That was a bullet in his shoulder, and someone already down casting Fire in his face. That was someone casting Cure and him not having time to figure out who. That was fighting Seifer - not like the times back at Garden, where all that was wrong was Seifer's attitude and the word Chickenwuss; fighting because they meant it - and staggering on to fight the Sorceress.
It was... It was easy. He'd been trained to do stuff like that, and he'd not been doing much else since he made SeeD.
The hard part came afterwards.
They'd carried Rinoa out, slung between his shoulder and Squall's, and laid her down with the injured. There'd been so many; some SeeD, some students - hell, even a few friggin soldiers, sitting around with their own weapons being used to guard them. Kadowaki and Galbadia's doctor was out there, doing what they could. Zell still had a few spare Cures - he ended up on his knees besides a pretty girl who kept trying to smile for him as he cast spell after spell to get the hole in her stomach to close up. And then Kadowaki needed him to hold down someone who'd been Beserked - and then - and then -
And then everything just ended up jumbled together, and he couldn't have said who was injured, who he'd helped, whether that'd been Selphie with a smear of red on her forehead and blood up to her elbows or someone else. All he remembered after that was sitting down in the quad, trying to comfort someone while his mind was on Rinoa and Edea, lying in an enclosed part of the infirmary, and Seifer, and -
And he wondered, some girl he didn't even know sobbing into the front of his shirt, why the aftermath couldn't be as easy as the battle.