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I'm looking to get a little fanfiction archive so if you have any you want me to post please e-mail me at sodoshiin @ japoness.com. Please let me know what you think! :D Sodo

Illusion

Part Nine

By Sodoshiin

Seifer

I hate the sun.

I really truly do. I'm one of those guys who appreciates rainy days everlastingly. I cursed that stupid bright thing for not letting me have a few more moments of sleep.

And I bet it just pointed and laughed at me.

Stupid sun.....

I rolled over a little, pressing closer against Squall's sleeping form. I opened one eye and smirked. He was sprawled over more than half the bed, the blankets half on, half off his naked body. Not that I was complaining. I closed the eye again, my lips still curved upwards and threw an arm across his waist.

I was about to go to sleep again when it hit me.

I really had to go pee.

Sighing, I disentangled myself and made my way to the bathroom in the nude. After flushing, I examined myself in the mirror, running a hand along my chin. I hadn't shaved in about thirty hours and it was showing. My face felt like sandpaper.

I was about halfway done shaving when I turned to see Squall sitting up in bed, his hair tousled on the top of his head, the blankets draped over his waist. He blinked sleepily at me.

"So what's on our agenda today m'love?" I called, glancing at him, trying not to cut myself.

He just continued to blink at me for a moment before falling back onto the disheveled bed and pulling a pillow over his face. "Morning sucks..."

"How are you feeling?"

I heard him sigh. "Better." His voice was less muffled so I figured he'd pulled the pillow away. "You know, my plan last night when I attacked you was to ravage you so much that you would be totally incapacitated while I snuck out."

I smirked. "Yeah, but if you had sex with me THAT much YOU'D be out cold too."

"Give me a break, I hadn't gotten that far..."

I smiled at him. "Need a shower?"

"You read my mind."

"Squall?" Quistis called as she walked toward him, her dark boots clicking off the marble floor of the Garden's circular main hallway. "I have a job for you."

Squall turned to her and blinked as he stood, waiting for Seifer to come out of the Infirmary.

He'd banged his head on the showerhead.

Dr. Kadowaki hadn't even asked how it had happened, she just didn't need to know that much. "A job?"

"Yeah, I need someone to lead a group of first years through the training center."

"Don't you have staff for that?" he asked warily.

"We're shorthanded this semester and the help we DO have don't have the qualifications." She replied. "And I figured seeing as how you were here and pretty much just taking up space for the moment you wouldn't mind helping out. It'll keep your mind off things until we have something we can work with to get your dad back."

He raised an eyebrow at her. "What time?"

"14:00" she replied. "They'll be in front of the Training Center."

"First years?"

Quistis nodded.

Squall sighed. "Fifteen year olds.....do they even have any weapons yet?"

Quistis nodded. "To the first year standards. Not the best quality but good for training."

"How many students?"

"Eleven. Zell and Nida agreed to help you keep an eye on them."

"Any gunbladers?"

"Two." the young woman told him. "A boy and a girl."

Squall nodded. "For how long?"

"Two hours." She told him.

"Fine." Squall replied as Seifer came trudging out of the Infirmary with a band-aid on his forehead. "How did it go?"

"She laughed." Seifer muttered.

"What happened?" Quistis asked.

Squall couldn't help but chuckle. "He was a little over-zealous. Don't ask."

Quistis smiled sheepishly. "Too much information as it is."

Squall saw Nida and Zell waiting for him a little before two, just outside the hallway entrance to the training center. He'd dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Comfortable. He didn't need to get any of his better clothing ruined and he just didn't feel comfortable wearing the old ensemble around.

"Where are they?" Squall asked, resting his gunblade on his shoulder and blinking at them.

"They're all in the sanctuary." Zell eyed him.

As they walked into the sanctuary of the training center the group of students chattered amongst themselves.

"Attention please." Nida called, clearing his throat quite loudly.

The students paid no attention.

"Um, excuse me..."

There was a sharp whistle and the students came to attention, staring silently.

"Thank you." Squall eyed them all, putting up the most professional air he could. He hoped he'd be able to intimidate them into submission.

He looked over them warily.

Fourteen and fifteen year olds.

"For many of you this will be your first time in the Training Center." Squall went on. "Believe me, it's a lot bigger than it looks, it's easy to get lost in, and there's lots of bad things to run into if you're not careful." He put a hand on Zell's shoulder. "Take this one for example. His first time in the Training Center ended with half the place destroyed and the automatic steel door dented by the T-rexaur's head. I should know, I was there."

"Gee thanks," Zell mumbled.

A few of the students laughed.

"Keep serious about this." Squall told them sharply. "This isn't a playground. The monsters are real. They DO attack, and they CAN kill if, again, you're not careful."

"Any questions?" Nida asked.

A few hands rose.

"Cyra?" Nida gestured to a girl in a purple vest and black pants.

"Can we chose our own teams?" she asked.

Another hand rose.

"Talen?"

"Can I go to the bathroom?"

Nida let out a sigh. "Hurry."

One more hand raised.

"Argas?"

"You're Squall Leonhart aren't you?" The boy's eyes watched the dark young man almost nervously. Some of the students began whispering. Many looked a little nervous.

"Is that a problem?"

The boy smiled sheepishly. "Not at all." The girl beside him was staring wide-eyed.

The gunbladers, Squall realized.

"We're splitting into three groups of three, one group of two." Nida announced. "Make your teams now. Each team will be supervised."

"Let's go." Squall told them, leading the way inside.

"Mr. Leonhart?"

Squall winced. "PLEASE don't call me that. I'm not that old..."

"Uhm....Mr. Squall....sir...." Argas tried again, looking sheepish. The boy was short with sandy brown hair, his dark eyes blinking nervously.

"What is it?"

Argas gestured behind the older man. "Shouldn't they be training?"

Squall turned and rolled his eyes. One of the groups that consisted of three girls was staring and giggling at him.

Don't they get it? I'm GAY! G-A-Y! What is it with girls...bet they're in that yaoi club....

He eyed them. "Train ladies?"

They continued to giggle but moved on.

Squall made a face as he realized one of them carried a toned down version of a pinwheel.

Looks like Rinoa made her mark on the world too.....gross.....

He looked back in time to see the dark haired girl, Ryvin, dash the final blow to a malboro, defeating it.

"Good form." Squall told her. "Your stance is better. See how much easier it is to flow now?"

She turned, blue eyes sparkling, and grinned, nodding.

"So what made you guys decide to chose gunblades?"

Argas shrugged timidly but Ryvin tossed him a smile. "You."

The brunet made a face. "You're kidding."

"Nope." she laughed. "You were the coolest thing. A lot of people wanted to use a gunblade after you defeated that sorceress chick. Most of them couldn't handle it. We're the only two gunbladers in first year." The girl pushed her wire frames back onto her face and gave a little stretch. "I always wondered what it would be like to meet you."

Squall put his hands up. "Nothing special." He eyed them. "You two related?"

"Nope." Argas shook his head. "Met this semester."

"That's cool."

"Squall!!!!"

Squall looked toward the steel door and saw Xu rushing through.

The two young gunbladers blinked, tensing slightly as the woman ran up to the brunet and began dragging him toward the doorway.

"What is it?"

Her chest heaved. "The second transmission just arrived."

Squall looked back at the two. "Find Zell, tell him I'll be in the headmaster's office."

The two stood at attention. "Yes, sir." Then they dashed off.

"Here's the deal." The man on the screen began. "The money, in two duffle bags, Seifer Almasy carrying one, Squall Leonhart the other. Centra Island by sixteen hundred hours tomorrow. Both are to be dejunctioned. No magic, no summons, no surprises. Once we have confirmation our territories have been returned to us, we'll make the trade. One transport is allowed to bring the president home. No more than two people aboard. We see anyone else, the old man dies." the man smirked coldly. "See you then."

The screen went blank.

"But that's in the middle of nowhere!" Zell shouted, throwing his arms in the air.

"And you're not going by yourself." Quistis told them. "I'll be on that transport."

"You heard him. If they see anyone else they'll kill my father." Squall sighed. "We don't have much choice."

"Well, at least we get to go together." Seifer said, his arms folded over his chest as he leaned against the headmaster's desk. "There'd be no way in hell I'd let you do this alone."

"Can we get the money here by morning?" Fujin asked, glancing at Squall.

"It'll be here..." Squall sighed. "Kiros didn't waste any time...." He suddenly looked sad, feeling horribly guilty about leaving Kiros behind. The black man wanted his father back just as much as Squall did, and he didn't even know half of what was going on....

"He wants to get your dad back just as much as you do." Seifer told him, picking up on his thoughts in an almost uncanny way. "The only reason he's not here with you is because Esthar needs him."

"I know."

"At least we know where they are now." Zell told them. "We can go in and get him if we really want to."

"Just because that's where they're making the transaction doesn't mean that's where they're camped out." Quistis said. "Insane, not stupid."

"Besides, I don't know if they'd be able to fend off so many Tonberrys." Fujin added.

"You're really gonna do this?" Quistis asked.

The brunet man sighed. "Not much else we CAN do...."

"Is everything okay Mr. Leonhart?" One of the students asked as Squall returned to the Training Center.

"Yeah, you're all dismissed." Squall replied, his hand to his forehead. He just wanted to forget for a moment what was going on. He wanted to pretend everything was alright. He wanted to bash something's head in REEEEEALLY hard.....

"Sir?" Argas called as the students began filing out, talking amongst themselves. "Are you going to be staying?"

Squall looked at them and nodded a little. "Yeah, I feel like killing something..."

"Can we stay sir?" Ryvin asked. "We won't be any trouble and we'll keep up."

Squall watched them for a moment before he warily nodded. "Alright."

Seifer wandered through the halls of the Garden looking for his boyfriend. He'd pulled the band-aid off hours ago, going crazy with all the people asking him what had happened to him. It was really none of their business but he blushed each and every time someone asked.

And that was as much of an answer as any.

He could just picture himself.. 'oh yeah, I was trying to have mad monkey sex with my boyfriend in the shower this morning when my head collided with the shower head. Like the band-aid? It has a Pikachu on it...'

He gestured to a few students passing by.

"Hey have you seen Squall Leonhart around?"

The girl looked at him and pointed down the hall. "Not since this afternoon. He was in the Training Center."

The Training Center.

"Thanks." Seifer jogged down the hallway and headed for the dorms.

The T-Rexaur roared and began to stomp off, leaving a small trail of dust.

"It's getting away!!" Argas shouted, starting to chase after it, a grin plastered on his face. "Hey! Get back here!!"

"Ah, leave him alone." Squall laughed lightly. "He'll come back when he feels like it."

"Man, we've already been here four hours." Ryvin looked at her watch.

"Hey, can we see a summon?" Argas' eyes bulged with excitement.

"Yeah!" Ryvin clapped her hands together and nodded rapidly.

Squall raised a finger and wagged it back and forth. "You shouldn't rely on your summons. If they don't like you they might not even bother showing up."

"Aw, come on, we just wanna see ONE." Ryvin pouted.

"Oh alright..." Squall rolled his eyes. "Let's go find a guinea pig."

"Mind if I tag along?"

Squall turned and smiled a little as Seifer walked up the path toward them, his gunblade leaning on his shoulder. He was wearing his jacket, which surprisingly didn't bother Squall as much as he thought it would. He wore it with a white t-shirt and a pair of black jeans, his necklace absent.

"Of course you can." Squall told him. "Seifer? This is Argas and Ryvin."

"This is sooooo cool!" Ryvin was grinning ear-to-ear. "Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy all to ourselves!"

"Hey." Seifer made a face. "He's mine, get your own."

"Oh, that's right you guys are gay." the girl nodded.

Argas blinked. "You are?"

"Don't you watch television dummy?" Ryvin threw him a look. "They're LOVERS."

"Hey what happened to your head?" Argas asked innocently.

Seifer huffed. "Faulty showerhead."

Squall was blushing furiously. "Alright, alright, let's just find a turtapod or something...."

Seifer woke up in the middle of the night, his mouth dry and walked to the bathroom to get a drink. He sat in the doorway of the bathroom, leaning against the frame long after he'd finished his drink and just watched. He was glad he'd forgotten to shut the blinds before they'd curled up on the bed to sleep. He realized that a good amount of time he spent watching Squall was watching him sleep. With the moon shining through the window it gave him a perfect opportunity.

After tomorrow things would be good again. They could buy a house somewhere, maybe out of the city. Get away from the crowds of people.

Maybe someday Squall would become president. He couldn't really see Squall in that kind of a field though, he was too independent, too unruly.

Too damn wanton.

Seifer smirked and slid back into bed and smiled as Squall moved to use him as a pillow almost instantly.

"You awake?"

"Nope." Squall replied softly, as if on the verge of sleep. Seifer could feel his long lashes blinking slowly against the flesh of his chest.

Seifer put his arms around him and yawned. "You should sleep, we have to get up early tomorrow and head out to get your dad."

"He's okay right?"

"Of course he is. How could they trade him if he wasn't."

"Tomorrow I'll be back with my dad. Everything'll be okay again."

"There you go. That's the way to think..."

"Seifer, will you marry me?"

Seifer blinked. "What?"

"I just.....I guess I don't want what happened to Kiros and my dad to happened to you and me....I mean, if my dad had said yes that first time....If they'd been married...."

"Things still would have happened the way they did." Seifer finished, kissing Squall's forehead. "Nothing would have changed."

"I think they would have been happier...."

"Do you think we'd be happier?"

"I don't think I could get any happier with you than this." Squall replied, snuggling closer, resting his head on the blonde's chest. "I mean, you and me, not you me and all this other stuff."

Seifer nodded. "I understand."

"But you don't want to."

"I didn't say that."

"I mean, I don't have any kind of a real ring for it or anything...." Squall sighed a little sadly. A small pout was starting to form on his thin rose lips.

Seifer kissed him. "Of course I will."

Squall sat up. "Really?"

Seifer smiled at him in the dark. "How could I say no?"

Instantly the brunet had pulled him into a tight hug, half on him, half off him.

They sat in silence for a few moments.

Seifer's chest was floating, or something that felt similar too it. He didn't even bother fighting the smile that made it's way onto his face.

Until Squall replied.

"Just letting you know, I'M not the bride."

"Hold on now, WAIT a minute..." Seifer growled, tackling the brunet in the dark.

Seifer opened one eye to find Squall already up.

"Come on, lover, up and at 'em." Squall looked up from dressing for a moment to plant a kiss on the sleepy blonde's lips. "We have to get going."

Seifer mad a pouty face but nodded and threw the blankets off, stretching lightly.

"I'm going to head to the transport. See what's up. I'll be back in a few minutes." Squall made his way through the door with one of them.

Seifer was left alone.

He trudged out of the bed and scratched his stomach lightly, yawning like a cat. Making his way into the bathroom he looked at himself in the mirror.

He needed to shave again.

And his mouth tasted foul.

He sleepily groped for his toothbrush on the counter and grabbed the toothpaste.

He went to spit when he looked at his hand.

Perched on his ring finger, almost a perfect fit, sat Griever.

He sat there, blinking at it, his toothbrush hovering in the air in his other hand, his mouth still full of foamy toothpaste.

Squall had put it on him sometimes during the morning...

It took him a moment to figure out why...

His fiancÚ.

When Squall came back Seifer practically threw himself at the smaller man, kissing him until they were both dazed.

"Twelve hours from now we're going to be back here and I'm going to be ravaging you wildly." Seifer promised, his voice low and quiet.

Squall blinked. "I thought we'd be with my father."

The blonde considered this for a moment. "Okay, AFTER that I'll be ravaging you wildly." He kissed the brunet again, lightly this time. "You nervous?"

"Scared as hell." Squall sighed. "What if something goes wrong?"

"Can't you ever think on the bright side?" Seifer smirked. "Do I have to be the optimist?"

"You being an optimist is scary." Squall told him. "You're supposed to be intimidating-guy."

"I thought YOU were intimidating-guy." Seifer countered with a smirk. "I'm sarcastically frustrating disobedient-guy."

"Let's just go you 'tard."

"I HATE shots!" Seifer complained as he turned his head away from the needle that Nida was poking in his skin.

"This is just to temporarily dejunction your magic and GFs." The other man replied.

"Needles make me want to throw up."

Nida laughed. "Squall wasn't this bad."

"Squall didn't almost get his arm ripped off when he was getting his tetnis shot." Seifer momentarily glared across the room at Dr. Kadowaki who was looking over some files at her desk.

She eyed him. "You kept struggling."

Seifer continued to glare.

"All done." Nida said, pulling the needle out. "This should last about sixteen hours."

"After that they'll be back the way they were?" Seifer asked.

"Yep. You'll be alive and toasting monsters in no time."

"Sweet." Seifer replied, folding his sleeve back down. "Well, I suppose I should get to the Ragnarok. Everyone's probably there by now..."

"Hey." Nida touched his arm lightly. "Good luck. Come back safely."

Seifer nodded. "All of us will come back. Have a little faith."

"Don't get yourself killed." Dr. Kadowaki told him.

Seifer smirked. "Only for you doc. That and I don't want to end up here ever again. I don't trust you. Even with my dead body."

"Eh, don't worry Seifer. You're not THAT cute."

Squall looked back at the Ragnarok doors began shutting. Fujin, Kiros, Nida, Zell and the others were all standing there, wishing them off.

Fujin and the SeeD driver were up in pilot's dock and Seifer was standing beside him.

"Two hours..." the brunet muttered. "We'll be back here with my dad within two hours..."

"And then we'll be working on retaliating against that freak Kay." Seifer told him as the doors shut. "We're gonna get him for what he did. Make no mistake about it."

Squall gave a light nod and turned, heading for the passenger dock.

Seifer let him go, figuring he might need a few minutes alone to compose himself and sat down where he stood, leaning against the steel wall as the giant red machine beast took off.

Everything about this screamed "trap" at him. Squall had been right though, there wasn't much else they could do.

Squall was completely devoted to his father, you could tell if you could just get below the surface. Seifer felt rather proud of himself, being one of a very select few that had the pleasure of seeing the brunet out of his shell.

He asked me to marry him....Never in my life did I even consider thinking....

There was something wrong with this thought, but he couldn't put a finger on it. He'd have to think about it more when all this was over with, when he didn't have so much on his mind. When it was just him and Squall alone like it should be. Away from everything and everyone.

Just the two of them.

I'm gonna repay that bastard Kay for what he did to my Squall, and then I'm going to kill him...

For Kay's sake nothing better have happened to the president.

For Squall's sake he hoped Laguna was alright.

Squall could see them, already waiting in a clearing below in the center of the island. A small group of men, circled around a transport, their clothes blowing about as the Ragnarok began to lower itself to the ground.

Kay was nowhere to be seen but the brunet figured he couldn't be too far away.

He strided back to the cargo hold and stood at the large steel door, waiting for it to open. Bending down to pick up the duffle on the ground, he noticed Seifer getting up from his resting spot along the wall.

"You feeling okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine." the blonde replied. "You?"

"Peachy..." Squall answered.

Seifer moved beside him, picking up his duffle and watching as the hold began to open.

Seifer glanced at his lover for a moment, impressed with his professional, stoic expression. Maybe all that SeeD training HAD payed off for the brunet. Maybe that was the reason Seifer hadn't passed, he just didn't have the composure.

The brunet's expression broke however when he the holding dock door finished opening.

His father was being pulled from the transport.

He was alive.

He was alright.

Laguna's eyes locked with his and even the president seemed relieved.

One of the men pushed him forward and the longhaired president began the walk to the transport.

Squall turned to Quistis who stood behind them. "You get my father inside as quickly as you can."

The blonde woman nodded and the two men began walking out.

Squall kept his eyes on his father the whole time he walked to the men. Laguna returned the look and as they passed one another Squall offered a small, relieved smile.

Seifer could hear Quistis calling to the president and pulling him inside as they came up to the men.

"Open them." The leader ordered.

The two unzipped the bag and showed them the piles or money within.

The man motioned for a few others to take the bags from the two. "Pleasure doing business with you."

A loud explosion rang out in the air behind them.

Squall and Seifer turned and gaped.

The Ragnarok was being fired upon.

Shouts from the enemies and shots from their weaponry showered on the great red demon ship as it jumped into the air.

Seifer grabbed Squall's hand and ran, ran as fast as he could, anywhere.

Trying to get to safety.

The Ragnarok was speeding away, trying to avoid the explosions that filled the air all around them.

Seifer and Squall looked around for cover, a place to hide, to escape...

But it was too late, they were already surrounded.

Squall woke up, his head groggy, his vision blurred. He was suspended from a wall, his arms stretched high above him.

"Good morning." A sickeningly familiar voice called.

Squall's vision began to clear, forming into a figure that stood before him, a long red robe pulled around him, his eyes dark lined and coldly staring.

Kay.

"It's been a long time, little one." the man smirked coldly.

There was a groan beside him and Squall turned his head to see Seifer suspended only a few feet away.

"Thank you for complying so well with our demands." Kay told him. "I'm glad we got this chance to see each other once again."

"They'll be coming to get us." Squall spat.

"Not before we're gone." Kay laughed lightly. "Besides, why would they think we'd still be here?"

"Because Laguna is with them and he knows." Seifer added.

"Laguna had no idea where we were." Kay smirked. "We kept him thoroughly subdued. He wouldn't know how far we traveled. Hell, we could have been dead in the center of Esthar and he wouldn't know it." He walked to where Squall was suspended and ran a hand down the brunet's side. "My you've grown. I knew Squall Leonhart was the president's son, but I didn't realize Squall Leonhart was you. I'll have to discuss old times with you again sometime in the near future."

"You keep your hands off him...."

"And my DEAR Seifer." Kay turned to the blonde, grinning from ear to ear. "Congratulations, your mission is complete."

Seifer glared. "What the hell are you talking about."

Kay mocked astonishment. "You mean you don't remember?"

The blonde scoffed. "There's nothing to remember. I don't deal with cretin scum like you."

"Tell me, honestly." Kay smirked. "Between the times you were in Deling and Esthar, what were you doing?"

"I was.." Seifer faltered. He'd never really thought about it. And now that he had his mind was blank.

"You really DON'T remember? You mean, you forgot an entire three week period of time?" Kay looked more than slightly amused.

"I drank a lot." Seifer put in weakly.

"REALLY? Then I guess THIS isn't familiar to you?" The older man held something in his hand, a small blue stone.

Squall looked to Seifer.

The blond was staring at the stone with a thoughtful expression.

"Think Seifer, think." Kay told him. "This is the...."

"The Hycimone stone...."

A grin folded over Kay's face. "Correct."

Squall looked at the stone with a puzzles and almost fearful expression. "What IS that? Seifer?"

Seifer's expression turned almost dead. "I work for you...."

"Ah, so you DO remember."

"You wanted me to keep Squall busy..."

"Yes, but we couldn't have you two fighting all the time. We had to make him think he could trust you, so he would keep his guard down." Kay looked to Squall. "I knew of course that you were Squall Leonhart...but I had no idea it was YOU until I saw you during the council."

"You implanted me with false emotions...."

"We had to make you convincing, and if you were convinced how could he not be? We also had to make sure that you didn't remember any of our meeting in case any of it would "slip out" accidentally."

"You're lying..." Squall growled.

"No he's not..." Seifer whispered. "I remember everything."

Squall looked at him, his eyes wide. "What are you talking about?!"

Seifer looked like he'd been shot in the heart.

"I don't really love you..."

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