Hemoglobin

Chapter Two

By Scarlet Fever

The next morning, I practically stumbled into the library, where I knew Zell would be. He sure did spend a lot of time there for someone who barely cracked a book. It seemed that the library was becoming a popular hangout.

I had actually gotten a full nightís sleep, but at what cost? Physically, the sleep was probably good for me, but emotionally I was now a mess. I was hoping that Zell wouldnít be too busy. I really needed cheering up. I was also secretly hoping that Seifer would be around. Just seeing him would put the silly fears at the back of my mind at ease.

I saw Zell sitting at a small table, by himself. I sat across from him, slumping in my seat.

"Hey." He didnít look up. He was looking across the room.

"What are you looking at?" I swiveled around, seeing Seifer, alone at another table. He looked up. Those eyes passed along my face, then returned to the book in Seiferís lap. "Whatís going on?í

"Just being an asshole." He turned to me. "Why do you look like shit?"

"Oh, thank you. Glad to see that youíre in such a deft mood today."

"Deft isnít a mood."

"Shut up." I raised my eyebrows as Zell made a pouty face, puckering his lips in a sultry kiss. "What are you doing?"

"Being a prick."

I turned, just in time to see Seifer run his tongue across his lips seductively. He noticed me staring and went back to what he was reading.

"What are you guys doing?"

"Iím trying to distract him. I donít know what heís doing."

"Whereís Ashla?"

"I donít know."

"Then why are you here?" I asked, disbelief in my voice.

"What? You donít believe that I would be reading?"

I just raised my eyebrows.

"Well, youíre right. I came to bug Seifer."

"Sounds like a full day."

"Oh, it isÖ. As long as he doesnít murder me." He flapped his tongue at the man behind me. "So, why do you look like hell?"

"Do you even care?" I asked, turning again. Seifer licked his finger, then gestured slow circles around one of his nipples. I turned back to Zell, a slight flush coming to my cheeks. He fanned himself over dramatically.

"Of course I care."

"I had a strange dream."

"Oh? You arenít the type to let dreams bother youÖ" Zell trailed off, giving Seifer the finger.

"Well, this dream was strange."

"You said that already, Mysterio."

"That sounds like the name of a bad super hero."

"Iím sure Mysterio exists somewhere." He paused. "So, what was the dream about?"

"Iím not really sure. It was just a whole bunch of weird stuff. But Seifer was there."

Zell raised his eyebrows. "A dream about Seifer?"

"Get your mind out of the gutter." I didnít tell him that he had sort of hit the nail on the head. "He died in it, but came back to life. It was just weird."

"Anything that has to do with Seifer is strange."

"Why is that?"

Seiferís voice came from behind me. I sort of smirked as I wondered if I turned around, would I come face to face with his crotch?

"Because youíre a pervertÖ. Making faces at me."

Seifer laughed as he stopped at my side. I balled my fist, wanting to slide my arm around his waist. I wondered if he would have minded. "You were the one that provoked it." Despite the fact that he had laughed, there didnít really seem to be any humor on his features, just the same stony emotionless look.

"SquallÖ" Seifer trailed off. "Hereís that book." He put it on the table in front of me. He turned to leave.

"Aw, come on, man! Stay, flirt. Itíll be fun." Zell cried, grabbing a handful of Seiferís orange shirt.

Seifer just looked at him, surprise written on his face. "You want me to stay? Are you dying or high or something?"

Zell shrugged. "Iím having a good time bothering you. Come on."

"I have to study."

The small blonde snorted. "Thatís all you do. Fuck, youíre turning into such a nerd."

Seifer sat down beside me. He had to. Zell was practically pulling his shirt off. "I am not a nerd. Just because Iím actually dedicated to pass this timeÖ. And thank you so much for stretching out my shirt."

"Youíre welcome. Okay, well, maybe Iím just not used to seeing you do anything besides being a complete prick."

"Seeing my complete prick?"

Zell rolled his eyes. "Asshole. But admit itÖ You are becoming a nerd."

"Just because I actually do my work instead of mooch of the success of others?"

"Why does that sound like an insult?" Zell asked dryly.

"And youíre the one who watches Star Trek." Seifer challenged.

Zell sighed. "GodÖ A few pasty faced Internet losers just have to ruin it for the rest of us."

"Well, what about the conventions?"

"Donít give me that. I know for a fact that you went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show convention last year. Dressed up to boot."

I raised my eyebrow. "Dressed as what?"

"How did you know about that? Besides, thatís completely different."

"Who were you dressed as?" I asked again.

Seifer sighed, tossing his stuff on the table. "Frank."

My jaw sort of dropped as I thought of Seifer in a garter belt and six-inch heels.

Zell laughed. "I wish I could have seen it."

"I was actually very proud of myself. I was walking quite well in those damn shoes."

"Now I donít feel so bad about dressing up as Spock."

"Can we change the subject?" Seifer asked.

"Just as long as we donít talk about studying." Zell shot Seifer a look.

"Well, what shall we talk about, then?" I asked. I shifted in my seat, causing my thigh to brush against Seiferís. I felt an electrical charge pass through my body. I wondered if he felt it too.

"We could always gossip about Zellís sex lifeÖ." Seifer trailed off. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye. He had the same emotionless look on his face, but a flicker of something passed through his hypnotic eyes. I couldnít figure out what sort of emotion it was because it went away too quickly. It looked like desire, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.

"No, we canít gossip about Zellís sex lifeÖ" Zell muttered, a slight embarrassed flush crossing across his fair face.

"Is that embarrassment I see?" I asked, smiling fiendishly.

"NoÖ" Zell trailed off. "Hey, Seiferís a cross-dressing nerd."

Seifer rolled his eyes. "My God. To think, I could be sitting alone in my room right nowÖ."

"Whatís the fun in that?" Zell asked.

I remained silent, more content in just listening to Seifer and Zell converse/argue. I rested my chin in my palms, just watching Seifer. Zell looked over at me, and I could see out of the corner of my eye that his eyebrows were raised. I looked over at him. He furrowed his brow in confusion, his pale eyes darting between Seifer and myself.

"What the fuck is going on?" Seifer asked, a slightly pissed look on his face, making his features harden, and something in me melt.

"What? Nothingís going onÖ" Zell trailed off, still giving me a strange look.

"God, I canít stand this. I can just feel my intelligence dropping."

"Well, then talk about something useful. Weíre not the ones dictating conversation here." I replied, not wanting him to leave.

"Um, Squall, we arenít having a conversationÖ" Seifer trailed off, looking at me. I loved the way he said my name. What was going on with me?

"SooooÖ." Zell trailed off. "Hey, thereís Selphie." He waved her over.

"Hi!" She looked as perky as usual. When her eyes stopped on Seifer, she cocked her head in confusion. "Hello, Seifer."

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

"What do you mean? Itís just unusual to see you socializing with people, thatís all."

"Oh, Iím glad to see Iím seen as a frigid social outcast."

"We donít see you as frigid." Selphie replied sweetly. "Do you guys want to do something tonight? You, too, Seifer." She patted his shoulder.

"Oh, wow, Iím actually included! Well, no watching Degrassi High for me."

Selphie plopped down beside him. "You watch Degrassi?"

Seifer nodded. "Unfortunately. Itís highly addictive, despite the ugly, ugly clothes."

"And all the people are ugly. They look so normal. Itís great!"

"I donít know, Sefie, Caitlin was a babe." Zell said.

"What? She was a nasty eighties skank!" Seifer answered, outraged.

"Not as skanky as that Stephanie slut from Junior High." I piped up.

"Ugh. She was horrible. For me, Wheels was the ugliest." Seifer looked at me again with that flickering emotion passing across the aqua ice fields of his eyes.

"Why are we talking about Degrassi?" Zell asked. "Okay, I donít get why it zooms in on the butt in the opening. Itís not even a nice ass. Itís just an ass! And she has a wedgie. Whatís that about?"

I paused. "I honestly donít know. I never gave it much thought. Maybe you just have ass on the brain."

"Maybe I doÖ" Zell rolled his eyes.

"Have you guys seen Irvine anywhere? He was supposed to be studying for the SeeD test, but I canít find him." Selphie threw up her hands in exasperation.

"Did you check the womenís locker room?" Seifer asked lowly.

I noticed that an odd look came into Seiferís eyes. I couldnít even begin to explain what it was.

Zell laughed. "I can just picture him hanging from the ceiling with a video camera."

Selphie snorted. "I would say not to be badmouthing my boyfriend, but I bet that that assessment isnít that far from the truth." She sighed. "I would say that my life is an episode of Degrassi High, but with better clothes and nicer looking men."

"Why thank you.." Zell grinned widely.

"What makes you think I was talking about youÖ?" She draped an arm over Seiferís broad shoulders.

"My God! I donít know why Iím friends with you people." Zell made a mocked face of anguish.

"Well, technically, I donít think that I fit into that category." Seifer shrugged, which caused Selphie to have to stretch her arm.

"You donít consider us friends?"

"Do you?" Seifer seemed surprised by his own question.

"I donít know what I consider youÖ" Zell trailed off.

I looked up, finding that I had to tear my vision away from Seiferís face. Irvine came strolling in, his usual saunter out in full force. Quistis was following him, a tired, annoyed look on her elegant face.

"Where have you been?" Selphie asked crossly.

Irvine just looked down, noting that his child-like girlfriendís arm was still around Seiferís shoulder. Seifer looked up, meeting Irvineís eyes. Something passed between them. I didnít know what it was, but it made my skin crawl. Selphie took her arm away slowly, seeming to also sense the strange feeling I felt passing through my body. Irvineís blue eyes looked confused, repelled. Seifer looked thoughtful, trying to process what was going on.

"Selphie, want to go to town?"

"Sure," she answered, seeming relieved to get out of the now tension filled room. She gave one last confused look before tailing after Irvine.

Quistis plopped down where Selphie had been sitting. "What the fuck was that about?"

"I, I donít knowÖ" Seifer blinked a few times, as surprised by what had happened as all of us.

"That was just fucking strangeÖ" Zell trailed off. "I didnít know that you hated Irvine so much."

"Thatís the thing.. I donít. I donít even hardly know him."

I looked at Quistis. "Whatís with you?"

She sighed, banging the heel of her hand against her forehead. "Man! I donít know why everything has to happen to me!"

"What are you talking about?" Zell asked. He settled back in his chair.

"Well, first of all, there is a leak in my room, and the damn janitors wonít fix it until Monday. Second of all, people still come up to me for help, even though Iím not a teacher anymore.."

"Would those people be Irvine?" I asked, smirking slightly.

She groaned, her face becoming as red as her tank dress. "God, that boy is infuriating! He is assuming that Iíll give him the answers for the tests, despite the fact that they change them every year and Iím no longer a teacherÖ."

"Fuck, if they were the same, Iíd have passed a long time ago!" Seifer exclaimed.

Zell laughed. "You never had a problem with the written tests, just the fact that you canít follow orders. You want to constantly be in control."

"I realize this."

"God, I just want to punch him in the face!" Quistis balled her fists in anger. "I mean, heís our friend an all, but Iím not helping him pass while he flirts behind Selphieís back."

I raised an eyebrow. "Um, Quisty, he does it blatantly in her face."

She sighed, her anger leaving her. "Thatís another thingÖ."

Zell was practically out of his chair in anticipation. "What, what? Oh, come on, you canít trail off now!"

"Whoa, settle down, cowboy," Seifer muttered. "If she doesnít want to break confidence, we have no right to ask."

"Wow, thatís very diplomatic of you." I said, my foot brushing against his under the table, and not all by accident on my part.

He looked over at me with a sidelong glance. He didnít move his foot away, but his expression was unreadable, so I couldnít tell if I had made him angry or not. I decided not to move my foot away, to test his reaction. He turned away from me, but didnít move his foot.

"No, no. I donít know if I should tell you, but it isnít about confidenceÖ. Okay, but this doesnít leave usÖ" She looked around at all of us, her eyes stopping on Seifer.

"Hey, who the fuck am I going to tell? Youíre the only people Iíve really talked to."

"What about Fujin and Raijin?"

"I havenít talked to them in a couple of weeks."

I nodded, remembering that they were now in Deling City, engaged and living Ďnormalí lives.

"I didnít mean to make you think that I thought that you were. My vision just stopped on you. Iím actually more worried about Zell and his big mouth."

Zell scoffed. "I donít have a big mouth!"

Seifer groaned. "Oh, you so do! Donít try to deny it."

"Why donít you shut the fuck up, faggot!"

Seifer simply smiled. "Glad to see youíre getting over that defensive thingÖ"

"Well, Iíve gotten over saying before I think. I never told anyone about Rinoaís pregnancy scare."

"What pregnancy scare?" Quistis asked, her head spinning to face me. Her hair whipped my face as she did.

"Squall, you dog." Seifer folded his arms across his chest. "You and RinoaÖ" He nodded knowingly.

"Zell, I fucking hate you!" I muttered lowly.

"Oh shit!"

Quistis shrugged. "What can you expect? So, when was this?"

"A few months ago. Just donít tell anyone anymore, okay?"

Seifer and Quistis just sort of shrugged. Zell looked down.

"Iím sorry, Squall."

"You should be." I eyed him angrily.

"Look, okay, letís forget it!" Quistis exclaimed. "Thatís in the past. This, Iím afraid, isnít." She looked at us again. "I donít knowÖ."

"Fuck. You know itís driving you retarded!" I said. "Just tell us, or stop with making us want to hear it!"

"Yes, letís not all be driven Ďretardedí," Seifer echoed, a wry smile playing on his lips. "Tell us. Iím actually very curious. Itís not every day that I get to gossip."

"Okay. Well, itís not something that was told to me, so I donít know what I should doÖ. I might have misinterpreted what I saw."

"Well, Iím guessing itís about Irvine," Zell muttered, looking at me sheepishly.

"Thank you, Mister Wizard." Seifer said, shooting Zell a look.

"Can I continue, please? Thank you." Quistis cleared the air with her hands. "Okay, I think that thereís something going on between Irvine and Rinoa."

"Huh?" Zell asked.

Quistis nodded, looking at me.

"Why are you giving me that look? Do you think that Iím going to freak out because Rinoa has some new conquest?"

"Well, you two were going outÖ"Zell pointed out.

"I know that!" I snapped. "But Iím not her keeper. She can do as she pleases." I turned to Quistis. "What makes you think that?"

"Well, he flirts constantly, and at first I thought nothing of it, but it seemed so much more than thatÖ Should I warn Selphie?"

"Not without concrete proof." Seifer stated. "It would be foolish to jump the gun if it was just a figment of your imagination."

Quistis nodded. "Thatís what I thought at first, but theyÖ kissed."

"What?"

Seifer sighed. "How do you think Selphie will react? Or has he done this more than once. Iíve barely spoken a word to the guy, so I donít know how he operatesÖ"

I shrugged. "I know that heís a flirt, but Iíve never heard of him kissing another girl. But even so, what the fuck was Rinoa thinking?!"

"So, what should I do?" Quistis asked wearily, massaging her temples. "Should I confront Irvine and Rinoa, and risk being lied to, or should I tell Selphie, and catch them off guard so we could actually get the truthÖ I donít knowÖ."

We all mused in silence. Seifer was the first to speak. "Okay. Today, Selphie asked if we all wanted to do something, so I assume that Irvine and Rinoa would both be there. Just watch them. Then you can figure out what you can do."

Zell groaned. "Fuck. If this is trueÖ What the fuck were they thinking?"

"Hey," I said. "You shouldnít jump to conclusions. We could totally be wrong. I am actually kind of hoping that we all have egg on our faces."

"Just give it a night. Then youíll be able to have more time to think about it." Seifer replied, standing. "And now I must go. I do still have to train today."

"Want a sparring partner?" I asked.

He shrugged, turning his back to me. "If you wish."

Zell gave me a strange look as I gathered my jacket. Quistis just stared off into space. I patted her shoulder in reassurance before I left.

I had to jog slightly to make up for the long strides that Seifer had taken. When I caught up to him, he looked down at me. "You donít have to train with me if you donít want to, you know."

"I wouldnít have suggested it if I didnít want to," I said.

"SoÖ Rinoa had a pregnancy scare, eh?"

I felt myself blushing. "Yeah. I was actually very glad that it was a false alarm."

"Donít want to be a father, huh?" He smirked. "I could never see myself as a parent. My children would be fucked beyond imagination."

"Did you and Rinoa ever sleep together?" I didnít know why I asked this, but I really wanted to know. During our relationship, I hadnít asked Rinoa. She probably would have said something stupid, like I didnít trust her or something.

"Yes. Why do you ask?"

"Just curious, I guess." His answer was what I expected, but something inside me curled painfully. Was it jealousy?

"Can I ask you something else?"

"Whatís with all the questions?" Seifer tilted his head as we entered the training hall.

"Why do you take Lithium?"

Seifer remained silent as we entered through the thick metal doors to the fighting area. He tossed his jacket aside, which had cocooned the Hyperion. I hadnít even noticed that he was carrying it. I unholstered the Lionheart, but leaned on it, waiting for him to reply.

"Because I have to."

"Why? Do you have Bipolar?"

"Yes. I have Bipolar Disorder, Complex II." He said this as if he had heard it a million times from doctors.

"Complex II? What is that?"

"That I donít reach the manic state. My emotions go from normal to depressed. I have a Ďslightí case, as you would call it."

"Slight? What does that mean?"

"That Iím not as bad as I could be." He watched my face, studying my reaction. He must have seen something he didnít like, because his eyes darkened, became a stormy sea of blue and green.

"What?" I cocked my head, confused.

"Youíre pitying me."

"I am? I didnít mean toÖ"

"Squall, I donít want you to feel sorry for me. Iíve had this thing for my entire life. Iím used to it, I donít feel sorry for myselfÖ Well, not all the time, but that canít really be helped, now can it?" He removed his orange shirt, revealing a tight white undershirt. My eyes looked him over appreciatively, but I did it quickly, because I didnít want him to see me checking him out. I noticed that the thin fabric of his tank bumped out unusually from his nipples. I could see a couple of hoops and balls pressing against it.

"But I donít want you to feel sorry for me."

I snapped back, realizing that Seifer had said something else.

"Oh, sure. I guess Iím just realizing that I donít know as much about you as I thought I did." I stretched my arms as I mentally thought that I was beginning to find out new things about myself as well.

He just looked at me, seeing something that I wasnít really aware of. There was an odd look in his eyes. I wished that I could read the emotions that passed so quickly across his face. It was like he was killing his emotions before I could ever get to see them. He was very guarded, and that made me sad. I shook all thoughts out of my head as I saw that Seifer was ready to duel. I had learned not to daydream while I was fighting Seifer. Last time, my secretive, erotic thoughts had earned me a scar across the face.

We trained in silence. I wasnít really into it. I guess pining in secret isnít the best mind frame to have while fighting. I was only really here so I could be around him. I wanted to further mull over the feelings that I was having, wanted to figure them out. I knew that they werenít new, because I had had them before, but I guess I had forgotten when I was with Rinoa, or maybe purposely put them out of my mind. Now that I was around Seifer, I knew that they were more than residue of dreams. But how would I express them? Would I express them at all? The biggest stumbling block was the fact that Seiferís heart seemed so cold, so untouchable. Would he kill pleasant emotions, my emotions, the same way he killed all the other emotions that passed across his perfect face?

Seifer must have noticed my daydreaming and lamentations, for I quickly found being attacked at a furious pace. I didnít think that Seifer would actually hurt me, but I wasnít too sure. I dodged his blade desperately, my moves coming out sloppily. I lost my footing and landed on my hands and knees, wincing as the delicate flesh was skinned. I turned my palms upwards, inspecting the damage. It wasnít that bad, just a superficial wound, but it stung furiously. I jerked my head up as I heard Seifer move. He was now standing before me, looking down with his cold eyes. I breathed in quickly as my hands throbbed painfully. Something in the ice fields of Seiferís eyes began to melt ever so slightly, but this time I saw it. For a moment we just stared at each other, neither of us moving in the least. I was afraid that if I moved suddenly, the wonderful look of warmth that filled Seiferís eyes would vanish, just like any other feeling that he seemed to have felt. I smiled, just letting the corners of my lips rise. Seifer seemed confused as to why I was smiling, and thatís when I pounced.

Seifer let out a surprised yelp, but it still sounded guarded. I was amazed that a yelp could sound sexy. Our bodies landed heavily against the ground, limbs tangled together. I could hear Seiferís back skidding across the rough ground. He moaned softly and sucked his breath in quickly. The blondeís moan sent a shiver throughout my entire body, creating a luscious breeze against the curl of my ear. He must have felt my shivers, because he gave me a strange look. My palms ran across his stomach, leaving brownish red trails against the snow-white fabric. I winced again, the rough shirt sending small pangs of pain through my palms.

I looked up quickly as I heard the metal of the Hyperion clash against the ground as Seifer tried to get a good grip on its handle. I moved quickly, grasping his wrists in my hands. The soft flesh of his inner wrists was the total opposite from the harsh fabric of his tank. Seiferís skin was extremely warm and smooth, lily-white and delicate. He tried to struggle, but I gripped him tightly, determined to hold him. I used my legs to hold down his, to calm the motions. His gunblade fell out of his hand, and he was now defenseless against me.

"You shouldnít let your guard down against an opponent." I stated lightly as I shifted my weight on him.

He looked up at me. "Well, technically, youíre not an opponent. The point of this isnít to cause each other injury." He blinked, his eyes looking up and down my body, which was holding his down. Another slight emotion passed across his eyes. It looked like desire, but it again left too quickly for me to really be sure. Maybe Seifer wasnít so defenseless after all.

I looked down as well, realizing that we were actually in a very provocative position. He was laying under me, splayed across the floor, utterly helpless looking as I held him there. My fingers were almost linked with his as I held his pale wrists. I was sitting on him, my legs straddling his hips as tightly as a vice, our groins pressed together. I was glad that I was looking down, for a slight blush was beginning to pass across my cheeks. I shifted my weight on him, my hips rocking as I did. That wasnít really helping, for now I felt a rush of sexual desire. Feeling his body under me was making me dizzy with pleasure. I looked up, thankful that a veil of my hair was covering my face. Through the light brown strands, I could see him looking at me. A small smile graced his features, which caused me to feel a rather large fluttering in my chest. I could smell the sexual desire in the air, and I was certain that Seifer noticed it, too. Less than a moment had passed, but it felt like time had stopped. Just being around Seifer was heavenly to me. I didnít know how he felt, but at this point, I didnít want to burst my wonderful bubble. These feelings that passed through my bodyís systems were ones that I had wondered about, dreamed about for so long, and actually feeling them was exquisite to me.

Seifer again struggled against my body, moving his legs, trying to get them free. When that failed, he thrust his hips up, rocking into my groin. I felt his cock press against mine. He wasnít hard, and neither was I, but I knew that I was close. I surprised even myself as I let out a small whimper, which wouldnít have been mistaken for anything except a sex moan. My grip loosened on Seiferís silken wrists as I felt a wave of electricity pass through my entire body. Seiferís hands then grabbed my waist roughly. He rolled us over, spinning my body around so that my back was pressed closely against his broad chest. One of his long arms was around my collarbone, just below my throat. The other was wound around my waist and pinning my arm at an uncomfortable angle. His legs were twisted with my own, completely immobilizing me. All I could do was let out a defeated sigh, which came out ragged due to the fact that Seifer was holding my arm at that angle. My hair fell in my face as I slumped against him.

He reached the arm up that was around my collarbone, his fingers gently tucking some of my hair behind one ear. He leaned in, whispering, "You shouldnít let your guard down against an opponent."

I sighed silently, still swimming from the gentle feel of Seiferís fingers in my hair, his breath in my ear. I leaned back against him, knowing that I was immobilized, glad that I couldnít move. This motion on my behalf must have caught Seifer off guard, because I felt a tension pass through his muscles. I closed my eyes and used my free arm to gently touch the back of the hand that he had used to tuck my hair behind my ear. I had never felt more relaxed in my life, just being in Seiferís arms. Everything else was forgotten. I did, however, notice that he released his grip on my arm. I caught his now free arm immediately, not wanting him to get away from me. He sighed as I pulled him closer. He pressed his cheek to the nape of my neck, his skin warm and silky against mine. I had never expected this to happen. I had hoped it, but would have never actually entertained the possibilities of anything actually happening. Well, technically, nothing was actually happening. We were just holding each other, being lulled into a calm silence by the sound of each otherís breathing. I would have killed to see Seiferís face right now, to see if he was actually letting his emotions show, but I didnít want to move from this spot, didnít want to lose the feeling of Seiferís body around me.

His cheek began to move against my neck, nuzzling against me. It was such a gentle, loving gesture, and so surprising coming from Seifer. Itís not that I saw him as always being hard and heartless, but him being so gentle was surprising me, but pleasantly.

"SeiferÖ" I whispered, whimpered as I felt his lips gently press against my skin. It wasnít really a kiss. He was just pressing his mouth to my neck, but nonetheless, it felt fantastic. A moan of pleasure escaped my lips as his breath stirred the hairs on the back of my neck.

"Squall?"

I just slightly moaned, feeling dizzy.

"Squall?" I felt a shaking of my shoulder.

I opened my eyes. We were still in the training hall, Seiferís hand still gripping my arm uncomfortably. Seiferís mouth wasnít anywhere near my neck.

"Are you okay? You seemed to have wandered offÖ" Seifer released his grip on me.

So, I had been dreaming the whole thing. I then wondered if I had actually moaned aloud and whispered Seiferís name.

"Did I hurt you?" Seifer stood as he said this, making my back feel very cold. "You moaned. I didnít mean toÖ"

"No, no. Itís fine." I turned to face him, still on my knees. I didnít say that it felt wonderful, but I wanted to. I took his hand when he offered it to me to help me up. Our fingers mingled together as I gripped his hand. He pulled me up with a quick motion, causing my body to fall forward into his. My chest pressed against his as I breathed heavily. I just stood there, my body against his, not really wanting to move. His heart was beating against my breastbone, which made my own beat faster. I looked up into Seiferís eyes, our chests still molded together, our hands still intertwined. He looked at me, a look of surprise and something else that I couldnít place my finger on. We just looked at each other, becoming oblivious to our surroundings. Seifer then cleared his throat, disentangling himself from my grip, breaking the link of our hands.

"I should really goÖ." Seifer turned to pick up his stuff.

"Oh, sure. Do you still want to take Selphie up on her offer?"

Seifer thought for a moment. "Oh? Oh, yeah. Whatever. Just come and get me or something."

I nodded, feeling badly that he was leaving. I watched him as he put on his shirt again, which seemed to be a huge shame, covering up his body. He headed towards the exit, looking over his shoulder one last time at me. I just stood there, letting his laser-like gaze sweep across me, feeling myself blushing.

After he had gone, I leaned my weight on my gunblade, exhaling slowly. I could still feel the warmth of Seiferís chest pressed against mine, his fingers intertwined with my own. I even felt the gentle touch of his lips on the back of my neck, even though I had imagined the whole thing. What was wrong with me? I had never let my emotions overload my senses in this manner before, never let myself feel so deeply for mere dreams and images, fragmented together in my own hazy mind. Even with Rinoa, things hadnít been like this. They had been more real, less fantastical, lessÖ painful. How could I pluck such joy from the hollow feeling that caused me internal agony? I sighed and slowly meandered out of the training hall, thankful that I didnít run into any monsters. If I had, I sure as hell wouldnít have been prepared.

I continued to ponder my feelings as I went to my dorm room. With Rinoa, I had thought that it was the real, true thing. I mean, I did want to save her so desperately, that much wasnít in question. But a deep friendship was all that it had seemed to be now. And even when I had thought that I was truly in love with her, I never had felt such a deep rooted lust underneath the other feelings, not like I did now. The desire that ran through my veins seemed to be killing me. Before, I had never even entertained the possibility of coming clean about my feelings with Seifer, never admitting out loud that I was gay, but after what I had felt today, just by touching his hand, just having our chests brush together, I was ready to throw my entire self image out the window. Could I choose a lifestyle based simply on a stirring in my crotch?

I sighed, feeling so confused. I had so many questions of my own, but I didnít even know what Seifer thought, didnít even know if he felt anything towards me at all. It was hard enough trying to gauge how he felt about ordinary things, let alone love. I was in such a daze that when I felt a hand tap me on the shoulder, I jumped noticeably.

"Holy shit!" Zell gasped, taking a step back from me. "Whatís gotten into you?"

"Huh?" I turned to face him, my heart slowing to a normal rate. "Oh, Zell. You scared the shit out of me."

"Obviously." He stared at me. "Whatís with you? You look soÖ."

"So what?"

"Happy. And confused."

I shrugged. I didnít want to discuss my current problems with Zell, mainly because I couldnít figure them out for myself. "Just thinking, as usual."

"About what?"

"Stuff."

Zell raised a finger. "Ah, stuff means that you donít want to discuss it. Fine by me."

I changed the subject. "So, what are we doing tonight?"

"Well," Zell began, falling into stride beside me. "Selphie wasnít really into details, but just something. I think she mentioned something about a gameÖ I wasnít really listening. But I know that Quistis will be doing some detective workÖ"

I sighed, knowing that that situation was going to end badly, no matter how it turned out.

"Yeah, I know. I just hope itís a mistake or somethingÖ." Zell trailed off. "Hey, thereís Rinoa over there.."

"Hey, Rinoa!" I called, waving my hands. Her back was to us, her raven hair swinging loosely around her shoulders.

She turned. I furrowed my brow. She had a strange look on her face, like I had caught her doing something bad, like shoplifting. She shoved a piece of paper into her pocket hastily and headed towards us. "Hi, guys."

"Whatís going on? Itís like we caught you with your hand down your pants or somethingÖ" Zell trailed off, giving me a look.

"Huh?" She brushed her hands down the front of her black shirt. "Oh, just reading a note. Thatís all."

"OÖ.kayyÖ" I just shrugged and veered towards my room. "Iíll see you guys tonight, okay?"

"Whatís with him?" I heard Rinoa ask as I walked away. "He seems so happy, and confused."

I couldnít hear Zellís reply. Turning the corner, I prayed that Rinoa and Irvine werenít doing something they shouldnít be. I sensed that there was some untapped anger in Selphie that only needed a spark like this to explode. My mind began to wander again, back to its current favorite topic: Seifer.

By the time I reached my room, my mind was totally jumbled with thoughts that all began to roll into one. There were just too many variables at hand to make a clear-cut path evident to me. I leaned my gunblade against the wall as I began to shed away my clothes. Despite the fact that they smelled like my own sweat, I could pick up the faint smell of Seifer on them. It would be a shame when I washed away that delicious peach smell.

I went into the shower, quickly washing myself. I yawned, a thin veil of sleep beginning to fall on me. I guess this would be the downside of taking sleeping pills. I quickly got out of the shower, afraid that I would fall asleep and crack my head open on the bathtub or something. When the soft terrycloth of the towel touched my bare flesh, I shivered slightly, the same sort of shiver I got when Seifer touched me in the training hall, both in reality and in my fantasies. I squeezed the moisture out from my hair, crawling into bed, not caring that I was nude. When my head hit the pillow, I didnít fall asleep right away, as I thought I would. Instead, I stared at the ceiling, thinking about Seifer. Thinking about the way his eyes seemed to move, the colours melting together, then separating, how strong his profile was, the way his skin felt under my fingertipsÖ.

Why are you torturing yourself? I sighed, not being able to answer my own mental question. But I did know that it was starting to feel ridiculous. I leaned over and set my alarm so I would be able to get up in a few hours. As I fell asleep, my last conscious thoughts were of Seifer, his mouth on my neck and hands on my flesh.

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