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

Chapter Twelve

By Purple Penguin

I was dying to get out of that hospital I always did hate them places, people died there and it was always so full of sick looking people. Zell was the exception he didnít look or sound sick but then I guess Iím a little biased as I love the little idiot. Iíd go back later for him, saw Irvine and Quistis going in so I hid in the supply cabinet till they left unfortunately they were headed into Zellís room. I had planned to pop in and say goodbye before I went but no way was I sitting through a boring Trepe lecture about how I fucked up.

I sympathised with the chickie but I had to get out of that place and have a shower. After getting discharged I headed straight for the high street as I had no clothes except my mutilated jeans that I planned to burn after my shower cause they smelt so bad. I got some really strange looks as I walked into clothes shops half naked wearing my strange shaped jeans I only didnít get thrown out because I was there to spend money. Thankfully my credit card had still been in my trench coat when we found it at the camp site, Iíd left the coat at the hospital with Zell because he was the last one wearing it and the nurses had hung it from a bed post. The hospital had probably burnt Zellís clothes too so he had nothing to wear. I knew what he liked and purposely went against it. All those baggy clothes he wore when he had a great six-pack and never showed it off, so I brought a couple of tight vests and a blue dress shirt in case the refused to wear the things I brought for him. I had to get more baggy shorts and trousers to fit over his cast so Iíd have to work on that. I got myself a couple pairs of jeans, a white tee and a navy turtleneck top, both of us had lost our shoes so I took a guess on the size of Zellís feet.

I left the shop and headed straight for the hotel to shower and get a room until Zell was able to leave Timber and go home.

The chickie was asleep when I walked back into the hospital feeling all clean and dressed in my new clothes. I had brought him a present, which I placed in his lap and bent down in kiss him. He jumped in his sleep, his eyes snapped open and he shuffled away from me till his sleepy brain recognized me.

"Seifer?"

I frowned. "You okay? Youíre really jumpy."

He rubbed his eyes, looking like a child. "Bad dream." He looked down at the bag in his lap. "Whatís this?"

"Lunch." I told him with a grin.

He opened the paper bag and grinned. "Hotdogs!"

I dropped into the visitors chair beside the bed as he tucked in his favourite food.

"What was this dream about then?"

He swallowed his mouth full. "Uh- It was nothing really."

"Tell me."

"Donít laugh cause it was scary at the time but now- you know- it seems a bit- silly." He paused for a bite of his hotdog. "I dreamt that we were still in the forest and you were killedÖ by a lumberjack."

I frowned in confusion. "A lumberjack?"

He hit me in the arm. "I told you not to laugh!"

"Iím not!"

"I started off as an orge, which was more scary but then it was the lumberjack and then headmaster Cid was there instead of you."

"You dreamt of yourself being alone with headmaster Cid?"

"What? No! Well not like that! He bit into his lunch again.

I chuckled till he gave me a look.

"Iím not laughing!" I looked round at the door, hearing something shuffling in the doorway. "Squall? What are you doing here?"

He shrugged and walked round the bed to sit opposite me on the other side of the bed. "You okay Zell?"

The blonde nodded. "Yeah weíre both okay."

The brunette put a pot of soil with a couple of sticks and brown dead leaves in it on the bedside table.

"Thanks Squall, those are some great- sticks."

He glared at me. "Itís a plant."

"Where is it a plant?"

Zell bit his lip and gave me a look. "Whereíd you get it from?"

"My dorm room."

"So you really did bring us a dead plant!"

He glared. "Itís not dead itís just- resting."

Both Zell and me laughed at the put-out look on Squallís face.

"Well if you donít want it-" He went to take the "plant" back again but Zell stopped him.

"Weíre sorry Squall itís a great plant thank you."

The brunette nodded, looking happy with that apology. "So-err-why are you here? Not that I want to get rid of you but you never seem very-"

"-Alive." I put in.

Squall scowled at me. "I came to see Zell." He said, not taking his eyes of me.

I stared straight back at him. "Thatís nice."

The brunette stood with a sigh. "Iím going to go get a drink."

I watched him leave, Zell tugged on my arm. "What the hell was that all about?"

"I think he likes you."

"Well of course he likes me, weíre friends."

"No I mean I think he likes you like I like you."

Zellís eyes widened. "Oh." He wrinkled his nose slightly, which pleased me. There was no way in hell Iíd let Squall anywhere near my chickie after I had only just got him. Years of wanting the little blonde and finally getting him to notice me for anything other than an asshole was amazing and Squall was not going to ruin that.

"Not that Squallís not attractive." Zell added, causing me to frown.

He noticed my change in expression and smiled. "But not as attractive as you are of course."

I grinned. "Of course."

"I really donít think Squall would be interested in me, I think he has someone already Iíve caught him sneaking around before I thought it might be Nida they have things in common theyíre both-"

"Boring?"

He frowned. "I wasnít going to say that. Quiet, theyíre both quiet."

I snorted and sniggered a little till he hit my arm. "Donít."

"What? Teasing Squall is what I live for? Are you depriving me of my best hobby?"

"I thought you lived for teasing me? Have I been replaced?"

"Well-" I smirked and leant closer to him. ""Now I live for teasing Squall and fucking you."

He made face and a nice shade of pink slowly moved up his neck into his face causing me to grin slowly in response. He turned his head from me feeling embarrassed but I placed two fingers under his chin and turned his head back in my direction and captured his lips in mine. His eyes closed and a hand moved to the back of my neck and slowly up into my short hair. He sighed gently.

Someone cleared their throat forcing us to break the kiss too soon for my liking. Squall sauntered back into the room even though Zell and I were still sitting really close together. He sat in the chair and waited for us to part.

"You guys finished?" He asked bluntly.

I shot Zell an annoyed look and he looked a little disappointed but we both pulled away from each other and looked over at Squall. The brunette glared at me and I glared right back at him, Zell glanced nervously between us.

"Well-um- this is-nice." He said trying to break the silence that had fallen over the three of us.

Squall turned to Zell. "I want to speak with you." He turned to glare at me. "Alone."

"No way!" I shouted.

"Itís important." He added, gaze flickering to Zell.

I watched my new boyfriend bite his bottom lip. "Um-"

"Five minutes." Squall added.

"Okay."

"WHAT?!" I shouted.

"Itís only five minutes."

"Thatís long enough."

"You can wait right outside the door. "Zell argued.

I turned to glare at the brunette who looked pleased, maybe even smug.

"Five minutes." I agreed, walking backwards to the exit until the door prevented me from seeing into the room.

Squall faced the exit until Seifer had left and the door had stilled then he looked at me. "When did that happen?"

"When did what happen?"

"That, you and Seifer doing- that, thought you hated him."

"So did I." I shrugged. "Things change."

"But you were the president of the ĎI hate Seiferí club remember?"

"I know but that was before we were both in a life threatening situation."

Squall sighed. "You donít want to trust those life threatening situation relationships trust me."

"Well heís different now."

"He didnít look different to me."

"Thatís because he thinks you want me for yourself."

Squall blinked. "Oh."

"I mean you are more chatty than usual and you want to know stuff about us."

"Selphie wanted details."

"Since when do you take messages for Selphie."

"Since she got nosey."

"She blackmailed you."

"Maybe and when I saw you with Seifer just now I thought maybe- you know-"

"No I donít know."

"Well with you being injured and everything."

My eyes widened. "You thought Seifer took advantage of me? And you really think I would be kissing him if heíd done that?"

Squall shifted in his chair. "Well I didnít know did I?"

I looked over at the door, seeing Seifer peer through the glass circle. Squall followed my gaze and smirked slightly. I raised an eyebrow as the brunette moved closer to me, kissing me on the cheek. We both watched Seifer visibly stiffen and stare at us unblinkingly.

"Guess my five minutes are up." Squall nodded at me and headed for the door. "See you at garden."

"Yeah bye."

Seifer and Squall glared at each other and I chuckled as my boyfriend came back into the room, continuing to glance at Squallís back.

"So what did Squall want?"

"Nothing much." I shuffled across the small bed and folded back the covers to let him into it again.

"I canít." He said. "I have shoes on now."

"Oh, well are they glued to your feet?"

He frowned. "No."

"Well take them off then." I smiled.

He did as he was told and slipped under the covers. I pressed up to his side like before, one hand creeping under his turtleneck top to lie on his stomach.

"Whereíd you get the clothes?"

"Shop, I brought them."

"Didnít know you had any money."

"Credit card, got some for you too."

I smiled. "Really? Wait what sort of clothes."

He chuckled. "Are you being picky when I went out of my way to get you clothes?"

"Well I-"

He held a finger to my lips. "Itís okay Iím teasing you. I got some baggy pants like you wear a lot and a couple of tees is that okay?"

I nodded.

"So no declarations of love from Squall then?"

I chuckled. "No."

"But he kissed you."

"We saw you watching, he was just teasing you thatís all."

"So he doesnít want you?"

"No, you have nothing to worry about, itís sweet that you were worried though."

He let out a breath and wrapped his arms around me tighter. "Sorry but I donít like Squall taking things of mine."

"Yours? Am I yours?"

"Well yeah, youíre my chickie." His fingers fiddled with my hair gently. "And I love you."

I glanced up. "Really?"

"Really." He kissed me slowly and I smiled around it.

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