Warning: This story contains yaoi/shounen-ai material. If you do not know what the terms 'yaoi' or 'shounen-ai' mean, then you probably have no business being here. If you are uncomfortable with boyxboy love, then you probably shouldn't be here. You have been warned. This story takes place after the game's end, so if you haven't finished it, you probably shouldn't read it as it does contain spoilers.
From the Beginning
Chapter Eight - What He Wants
"So, when's that ceremony, again?" Seifer asked, using the lighter Squall had provided him to light the cigarette dangling from his lip.
They'd ended up sitting on opposite ends of Seifer's shabby green couch. Squall sat, leaning against one arm, his legs bent in front of him, his bare feet resting in front of the ashtray Seifer had placed between them. Seifer sat on the other arm of the couch, his heavy boots resting on the worn cushion. It had been a shock to learn that Squall also smoked and even more so to learn that they'd both taken up the habit at relatively the same time if for completely different reasons.
"You live here, shouldn't you know that?" Squall replied, narrowing his eyes as he leaned forward to flick ashes into the small silver ashtray.
"Ain't like I didn't know about it, I just don't know when the hell it is."
"... Day after tomorrow," Squall answered softly.
"You're leavin' after that?"
"As soon as it's over." Squall frowned, realizing that somewhere during the events of the last two days he'd forgotten that he would be leaving at all. Xu was a formidable force, but she didn't have the authorization to do more then handle basic operations in his absence. All major operations and decisions had to be put on hold until he returned. He'd only been gone four days, but he was certain that by the time he returned he would no longer be able to see his desk through all the paperwork that would be stacked upon it awaiting his approval.
Seifer nodded and if Squall wasn't mistaken, the man looked relieved to know that he'd be leaving so soon. Probably can't wait to get rid of me, Squall reflected , surprised at the bitterness, which gave sharp edge to his thoughts.
"So what the fuck is the matter with you anyway?" Seifer inquired casually, taking a drag off his cigarette and meeting Squall's startled gaze with a grin. There were so many questions to ask, but Seifer couldn't put them into words any better then that. Couldn't find a way to ask why Squall was still here when he knew the truth. Why he had held him against that wall in silence for the hours following his friends' departure and why Squall had that almost sad look in his eyes when he talked about leaving. Why Squall held him at all or let him hold him last night. So many questions, but there was no easy way to ask any of them.
"What?" Squall replied, his gaze narrowing. "What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Sittin' here on my damn couch, smoking like a chimney in winter, like it's the most natural thing in the whole damn world."
"You're the one who wanted me to let you go," Squall grumbled, using his dying cigarette to light a new one before snuffing the old one out in the ashtray.
"Why the fuck were ya holding me like that in the first place?"
"You needed it," Squall answered coldly, his shuttered gaze meeting Seifer's.
"And want the hell do you need, Squall? Want the hell do you want from me?"
Squall didn't answer, just closed his eyes and took another drag off the cigarette clutched in his hand, leaning his head back against the arm of the couch. He looked vulnerable like that and Seifer couldn't take his gaze from the white expense of Squall's long neck. He wondered vaguely what Squall would do if he pressed his lips against that white throat.
Fuck it, Seifer thought irritably, snuffing his cigarette in the ashtray and pushing himself off the arm of the couch. He crossed the short distance that separated them, putting an arm on either side of Squall's head, leaning over the younger man for a long moment. Squall's breath hitched, but he didn't open his eyes, didn't move as Seifer lowered his lips to press gently against Squall's neck. He could hear the quick pant of Squall's breath somewhere near his ear as he opened his mouth against that tempting skin, sucking hard enough to bruise.
He was startled when a soft moan escaped Squall's mouth and his free hand slipped into Seifer's hair. "Seifer..." He murmured softly, fingers tangling and yanking gently. It felt good, those tiny pains pulling at something deep in Seifer's damaged soul. This was what he wanted, to feel Squall's fingers in his hair, to taste Squall's skin, to press closer until Squall wanted it too. This was what he wanted. What he'd always wanted, he just hadn't realized it until now.
They'd moved to the couch, by mutual unspoken decision and lay there now. Seifer pressed back against Squall's chest, their legs hopelessly tangled together and one of Squall's arms draped across the blonde's chest. They hadn't spoken in a while, not since Squall had sent his friends packing with a few well-chosen words. Hours had passed and Seifer watched the room grow darker as the sun fell lower in the sky until the room was completely dark, lit only by the faint green light of the digital clock just within Seifer's line of vision which listed the time as fifteen after six.
Of course, he didn't really care what time it was or that the room was almost completely dark. All he really cared about was the man at his back and the warmth he provided. It was nice, far too nice to have to end. And it would end. Squall had a girlfriend and a job to return to. He had only stayed here to sort out his own problems and when he was done he'd be going back to his own life. Still, it was nice to pretend, even for a little while, that Squall belonged to him. That Squall would never leave and that the tangled embrace he was caught in had a different meaning then mere comfort.
"I've made a decision," Squall murmured, his breath stirring Seifer's hair as he spoke. It was a delicious sensation, but the words spoiled it completely. Squall had made a decision. That meant Squall would be leaving. No big surprise there, but Seifer couldn't stifle the small disappoint that stabbed at him.
"I want you to come back to Garden with us."
That was about the last thing he'd expected Squall to say and he didn't like the way his stomach flipped at the suggestion. "Fuck that. No way." Seifer grumbled, stiffening as Squall's embrace tightened. Apparently Squall was getting pretty good at reading him and knowing been he wanted to run. "I ain't doin' it."
Squall shrugged, holding Seifer tighter against him. "I'm not gonna drag you back there kicking and screaming, Almasy. Do whatever you want."
"Then why the hell'd ya even say it then?"
Squall fell silent at that. Why had he said it? It wasn't that he didn't know that Seifer wouldn't want to. It was just... he wanted Seifer with him. He couldn't look that deeply into it the decision. All he knew was that he didn't want to leave Seifer behind when he had to return to Garden. He didn't want to take the chance of Seifer disappearing again. "I don't know," he answered finally, closing his eyes against the darkness. "It's what I want."
"Why?" Seifer murmured, turning in Squall's embrace so that he could look into the younger man's face.
"Because I..." Squall whispered, unable to open his eyes and look into Seifer's aqua gaze. It was bad enough that he could now feel ever contour of Seifer's body against his own and feel the warmth of Seifer's breath upon his face. "I don't want you to stay here alone."
"I'm better off alone, Leonhart." Seifer whispered in return, slipping his arms around Squall's slim form. "The world's better off believing that Seifer Almasy is dead."
"Fuck the world," Squall spat, closing the distance between and pressing his lips against Seifer's awkwardly. "The rest of the world can rot for all I care."
Seifer made a soft noise as Squall's lips pressed against his own. The kiss was all uncertainty, an awkward pressing of lips meant to convey the things they could never say aloud, but as Seifer's tongue darted out to trace the tight line of Squall's lips it became something more. Something infinitely deeper as Squall's lips parted for the warm invasion, his own tongue slipping out to meet Seifer's. Sparring in a battle as old as time, each fighting for dominance over the other as they had been their entire lives. When they parted, the need for air over-powering them both, Seifer laughed softly. "You kiss like you fight, Leonhart." He murmured, shifting his body to press more fully against Squall's.
"So do you," Squall grumbled, fingers tangling in the blonde's short hair. "I didn't mean to do that."
"What were ya tryin' to do then? Punch me with your lips?" Seifer laughed, his own lips crushing down against Squall's once more. There was no awkwardness this time, no mixed messages or confusion. Just desire and that was enough for them both.
"Maybe I was," Squall panted when their lips parted once more and Seifer ducked his head to press a kiss to Squall's throat.
Seifer laughed, biting gently at the skin beneath his lips, "Trying to pick a fight with me for once?"
"Maybe," Squall managed through the moan that Seifer's attentions caused to slip past his lips. He tightened his grip on Seifer, rolling them over so that he rested on top of the blond. He released his grip slowly, pushing himself up into a sitting position, one leather clad leg folded between Seifer and the back of the couch, the other resting firmly on the floor. He looked down at the smiling, tousled man beneath him. How long had it been since he'd seen Seifer smile like that? Had he ever seen Seifer smile like that? It made him look... beautiful in a way. He might have smiled himself as he lifted a finger to trace Seifer's scar, the make-up had rubbed off at some point and Seifer's expression sobered as Squall's fingers traced lightly over the only similarity between them. "Does it really matter?"
"No," Seifer whispered, sliding his hands up Squall's back, drawing Squall back down against him. "It doesn't matter at all."
Squall knew he smiled at that, burying his face against Seifer's throat. This was what he wanted. What he'd always wanted, he just hadn't realized it until now.
"Squall? What the fuck?! Don't tell me ya fell asleep standing up?! You could at least let me go before ya go doin' something like that! Damn!" Seifer's voice called, summoning Squall back from the strangely realistic fantasy in which he'd been enthralled.
Squall narrowed his eyes irritably. He hadn't been sleeping just... thinking. "Who was sleeping? You were the one drooling on my shoulder." Squall accused coldly, releasing Seifer and allowing the blond to take a few steps back so they could glare at each other properly.
"I wasn't drooling on your damn shoulder, Leonhart." Seifer grumbled irritably, stomping off in the direction of the kitchen to clean up the glass and water still scattered across the floor. He flipped on the kitchen light as he went, flooding the darkened room with light.
"Hell you weren't." Squall grumbled in return, throwing himself down on the couch and pulling a crumpled pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He fumbled one out and stuck it between his lips, patting his pockets in search of a lighter. "Do you have a lighter?"
The quiet question drew a strange look from Seifer, who paused in his cleaning efforts to reach into his pocket and draw out a small lighter, tossing it in Squall's direction. "I didn't know you smoked," he commented quietly, seeming disturbed as he turned his attention back to the mess at his feet.
"Well, now you do. Rinoa hates it." Squall muttered, catching the lighter and using it to light the cigarette hanging from his
lips."Get an ashtray out of the cabinet, I don't want your damn ashes all over my couch," Seifer grumbled, crouching down to begin picking up the glass pieces at his feet.
"Whatever," Squall commented, pushing himself up off the couch and crossing the room to begin searching the cabinets for an ashtray. He paused as he took a silver ashtray from a pile, which sat on the shelf and glanced towards Seifer's bent form. "Why do you have ashtrays just lying around?"
"I smoke too, ya damn idiot. Fuck!" Seifer dropped the pile of glass he'd already picked up as a small sliver dug into his hand. "Hyne on pyre, I fucking hate glass."
Squall laughed softly, abandoning his search to crouch down beside Seifer, taking hold of Seifer's injured hand before the blond could protest and pulling the sliver out with one quick yank. "I don't believe you complain about such a small thing after all the damage we've done to each other over the years, this is nothing."
"Maybe not to you; Commander Coldheart, but not all of us can just use Cure to patch ourselves up these days." Seifer grumbled, plucking the cigarette from Squall's lips with his uninjured hand and taking a long drag.
"You don't use magic anymore?" Squall inquired, lifting his gaze from Seifer's hand to his face.
"Nah. Sold my magic and my gunblade in Fisherman's Horizon. We needed the money," Seifer murmured, glancing away. The loss of the gunblade was obviously still a sore point for him, something that Squall could understand completely. He didn't even like the thought of giving up Lionheart. The weapon was like a part of him.
"I'm sorry," Squall murmured, smoothing his hand across Seifer's injured hand gently.
"It's been a long time. I try not to think about it," Seifer responded, shrugging his shoulders vaguely. "Thinkin' about it won't change anything."
Squall nodded, turning his gaze back to Seifer's hand, "Cure."
The skin knitted itself back together almost instantly and Seifer let out a small sigh as the pain faded. "I forgot what that felt like," he murmured, taking another drag off Squall's cigarette before handing it back to the younger man. Squall took the cigarette back gratefully, slipping the small brown cylinder between his lips once more. He released Seifer's hand almost reluctantly and began picking up the glass pieces Seifer had dropped. Seifer made no protest, snatching a towel from the counter and wiping up the puddled water as Squall moved away with the broken glass in hand and dropped the mess into the garbage can.
Seifer stood and deposited the soaked towel in the sink before leaning back against the counter and folding his arms across his broad chest. "So you smoke because it pisses your girlfriend off?"
"No." Squall responded, pulling himself up onto the counter beside the ashtray and flicking ashes into the silver dish.
"I don't know. I confiscated a pack from some kids about a year ago and when I was walking back to the office Rinoa saw me with them. After listening to her lecture me on the evils of cigarettes for about twenty minutes, I decided there were worse things then dying of cancer."
Seifer chuckled, shaking his head in disbelief. "Bet she didn't even ask if they were yours."
"No, she didn't." Squall replied, sighing and crushing the cigarette out in the tray. "Why did you start?"
"I was on death row in Galbadia. It wasn't the cigarettes I was worried would kill me."
"What?" Squall asked, his voice dangerously low. "What did you say?"
"I was on death row in Galbadia." Seifer shrugged as if he were talking about the weather.
"They denied ever having you."
"Of course they denied it. Raijin and Fujin broke me out before they could execute me. I'm sure those bastards weren't real thrilled with admitting they'd had me and then lost me."
"I think I'm going to accept one of those assassination requests I've been getting from Timber after all." Squall growled, the glint in his eyes promising blood and pain.
"They could have killed you," Squall growled fiercely, glancing up at Seifer with some strange emotion in his eyes that Seifer didn't even want to begin trying to figure out. It reminded him of Squall's embrace and fierce anger in Squall's voice just before his friends had shown up. That strange mixture of anger and fierce protectiveness. "You could have died."
Seifer chuckled softly, deciding that it was probably better not to analyze Squall's motives too deeply. Because it didn't really matter. Whatever motivated Squall, it was good enough. Good enough to allow him to pretend that Squall really cared. Seifer had made his decision. Whatever Squall felt, whyever Squall had held him, he'd take it. He'd take whatever Squall would give him, because Squall was all he'd ever really wanted. It didn't matter that in a few days Squall would be leaving him behind. It was better that way.
He'd just have to make the most of the little time he had.
Seifer offered Squall a crooked smile, "Damn. No wonder they made you the commander of Garden, Leonhart. You're fucking scary when you're pissed off."
"They made me the commander of Garden because I don't let my personal feelings interfere with my job." Squall lit another cigarette before tossing the lighter back to it's owner. "However, there are exceptions."
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