Author's Notes: Slight AU, set before the seed exam but Selphie and Irvine are there and Quistis is still an instructor.
Chained to you
By Purple Penguin
I groaned, opening my eyes slowly. I must have fallen asleep. I looked at my surroundings. Seifer must have moved me because now I was inside the tent and the breeze got in by my feet causing me to wiggle them closer to the cool air. My head ached and I felt so tired even though I had only just woken up. My lids slid shut and I groaned. Something rustled, the blonde appeared. “Are you okay?”
I opened my eyes and looked at him sitting beside me.
“Has it stopped?”
“Huh? Oh, yes it has.”
I remembered hearing heavy raindrops on the ground at some stage, I thought maybe I’d dreamt it but now I know I hadn’t.
“I have good news.” He told me. A cool hand landed on my forehead and I tried to nuzzle into it’s coolness.
“You have a fever.” He put some sort of wet cloth on my head and I wondered where he had got it.
“Have you just put a sock on my head?
He smirked, not a mean smirk he looked mostly amused. “Yeah well it’s all I have, hoped you wouldn’t notice.”
“It smells like feet.”
He chuckled. “Yeah that’s where you wear them…. Unless you’re Irvine.”
My eyes slid shut again. “Huh?”
“Well he shoves at least two pairs down his pants.”
I made a disgusted sound and opened my eyes a little. “What was the good news?”
“I got us a Chocobo.”
I groaned. “I don’t think I can ride a Chocobo, I can barely keep my eyes open.”
He shook his head. “I’ll be riding the bird, you’ll be sitting in front of me so you don’t fall off.”
“Okay.” I mumbled.
“We should take this stuff with us.”
I nodded and let my head fall to the ground, hearing him take the tent down around me and load up the Chocobo. The yellow bird that I had yet to see chirped to itself from somewhere. I opened my eyes again and the tent had disappeared and this big yellow blob got closer and closer till-
Seifer chuckled. “I think he likes you chickie, maybe he thinks you’re another Chocobo.”
The big bird pushed into my hand until I petted him. “This thing doesn’t act like a wild bird, maybe escaped from someone.”
“And just who would be stupid enough to lose their Chocobo?”
“Well once I-”
Seifer smirked knowingly at me.
“Never mind.” I pushed the sock off my head.
“Hey I give you my last sock and you put it in the dirt.”
“Yeah I got back to the river where I found the bird and my shoes and socks went swimming.”
I glanced at his bare feet. “How?”
I gave him a suspicious look till it started to hurt my head.
He finished packing up the bird. “You’re next chickie.” The blonde lifted me up and put me on the bird. “Now hold on and don’t fall off.”
I nodded and held onto the bird’s neck trying to stay awake long enough until I felt Seifer get on behind me and wrapped one arm around me to stop me falling off and placed the other hand on the bird’s neck. I slumped back on his strong chest.
“Right you can go back to sleep now, we’ll be in Timber in no time.”
“KEWL!” The Chocobo ran through the campsite.
The instructor in charge frowned. “Who’s bird is that?”
“Sorry, ya know. I’ll go catch it, ya know.” The dark man ran across the site after it. An albino girl placed her hands on her hips. “IDIOT!” She followed them.
The bird stopped at a stream to drink from the cool water. Raijin hid in the bushes with a net. When the animal looked relaxed and vulnerable he launched himself out of the bushes and threw his net completely missing the bird. It kicked out at him, he barely avoided it only to have someone kick him into the water anyway. The Chocobo took off at a high speed too fast to follow. He turned to stare up at the angry albino who had her hands on her hips, that single red eye burning into him.
“I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.” He coward behind his hands.
He rolled her eye and walked away in irritation.
“She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes, she’ll be-” Seifer sang as the Chocobo moved through the trees.
I groaned. “Seifer!”
“-Coming round the mountain when she comes, she’ll be coming round the mountain, coming-”
“What? I’m just trying to your spirits up.”
“They are up, my spirits are so up.” I leaned my head on his chest and my eyes closed again then blinked open to glanced blankly at what was going on in front of us
A hand ran through my hair. “How do you feel?”
“Okay.” I lied.
The hand moved down to my forehead. “You’re still warm.”
“Hmm, well I’m not that okay.”
“But on the bright side think of all the time off you’ll have both in Timber and when we get back to garden.”
“Yeah in the infirmary.”
He chuckled. “Well you can’t have everything.”
I saw him smile out of the corner of my eye. “Well what do you want?”
“I want- to be at home right now and sleep in a nice bed and- Hotdogs! Something edible for a change.”
He chuckled. “Well we will get home soon and then you can eat all the hotdogs you can manage and sleep forever.”
He chuckled. “I promise, we’ll be home by the end of the week.”
I groaned. “A week?”
“But think of the time off.”
“While I’m lying in hospital you’ll be off exploring Timber.”
“Nah I’ve seen most of Timber anyway, my ex lives there.”
“Nah, lasted for 2 weeks.”
“Who was he?”
I saw him smirk. “She.”
My eyes widened. “Oh. OH! I-I didn’t mean- I mean- I did mean but err- it’s not that you look gay I just-thought-”
“It’s okay I was only 15 and confused.”
“So you are gay?”
He paused with smile. “Why am I telling you this?”
“Because it’d just the two of us and you have to be nice to me because I’m ill.”
“Yes I do, if you never get out of the woods and wander round in circles forever till we die- though I’ll die first cos I’m ill and-”
“I’d never let you die.”
I frowned. “What? I was rambling again, you don’t have to make sense of my rambling. So you’re ex… tell me.”
He sighed. “Okay I was young and her name was Rinoa she asked me out, she picked the places to go, I wasn’t really interested in her but you know I was 15 and everyone else was doing it.”
“You said doing it.”
He smiled. “You’re so childish.” He chuckled.
“So you were confused about-?”
“I liked someone else but it was complicated.”
“Yeah, a guy in garden.”
“What happened to him?”
“When did you get this nosey?”
“I’m always this nosey but you don’t talk to me that much without-you know- being- you.”
He hesitated. “So I’m not me now?”
“No, I don’t know who you are now.” I smiled, meaning it as a joke.
“You- prefer this me do you?” He asked me.
I turned around and looked at him, he stared back at me. He looked- I don’t know what to call it I guess amused isn’t the right word neither is happy because what would he have you have to be happy about now? You’re in the middle of nowhere.
“Hmm, let me think-” I teased him. “Ass-hole? Or human?”
He smirked. “Thanks chickie.”
“I think you should try being human more often.” I grinned at him.
I expected him to grin back but his smile faded, he bit his lip and his eyes dropped from mine.
“What is it?” I asked.
The hand on my shoulder moved up slightly and a finger and a thumb stroked the skin at the base of my neck. “Maybe you should get some more sleep, might be a while before we stop.”
I think I pouted, I thought we were bonding here and I was actually having - fun with- Seifer. The hand moved a little higher to cup the back of my neck, I grew more confused and he just sort of- looked at me. It was a little unnerving. I dropped my eyes from his and turned round to settle against him again. His left him wrapped around me like before only this time the right arm wrapped around me too with his hand resting next to where my hand rested. I thought he was going to hold my hand for a second back then but he didn’t.
Thank god he’s so dense, I’m able to be mind numbingly obvious and he still has no idea. I told him I wouldn’t let him die and he didn’t notice, for a second then I was going to panic but he’s Zell that’s what he does, ignore the blindingly obvious. It’s all this being nice to him, I’ve never been this nice to him before. I’m so pathetic, think I’m turning into a girl or something. He told me to try and be human a bit more often and he smiled at me and god I wanted to kiss him. I almost did, probably would have done if I hadn’t looked away in time. Then I feel guilty because he pouts at me. I sighed and looked down at the sleeping blonde in my arms and I pressed a kiss into his forehead while he was asleep and couldn’t question me or reject me. I leant my head against his shoulder and sighed in annoyance at my situation. We’re alone in the middle of nowhere and I’m actually happy for the first time in-ever, because I’m with you.
Notes: YAY, I liked that bit. I’m going sappy in my old age.
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