Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own anything related to the Final Fantasy series. It's all property of Squaresoft, or Sqare Enix if you prefer. So please, be kind and don't sue me
Important Note: I am yet again working on reposting this story. I found several mistakes in the first chapters, and some things I simply wasn't too happy with. I hope you can forgive the mayhem that this story will be until I actually manage to repost all the chapters I found to be erroneous. Unfortunately, I'm sure that there will still be plenty of mistakes to be found -- Blame it on English not being my first language if you're feeling kind, or blame it on me being a lazy bum and horrible speller if not.
Reposted chapters will be marked by two quotation marks ("). I know that reposting will go slow, but hopefully I'll be finished before the revelation of the very last chapter of "Let Me Make It Alright".
Now, on with the story!
Let Me Make It Alright
Chapter 13: "The Lion's Den"
By Angry Angel
Ever so slowly, a dry lump grating his throat, Seifer Almasy opened the door to Squall's room a crack wide. He was glad that Doc Kadowaki had insisted on "old school" doors in her infirmary instead of the common electronic ones, if only for the sake of allowing him to enter the brunette commander's sickroom silently.
He squeezed inside as soundlessly as he could, hesitant to level his gaze with the person laying in a bed at the wall furthest away from him. He closed the door behind himself gently, finally taking a deep breath and snapping his sight to the object of his visit.
The room was plunged into warm, orange light as the evening sun was streaking through the blinds that obscured the windows. Calm shadows were dancing across the fragile figure laying in a heap of white covers, not moving a single muscle. The young man's eyes were closed behind strands of ice brown hair trailing into his face, and his head was moving softly in the pillows. His features were as flawless and fluid as the blonde had remembered them to be, though they seemed to stretch more tightly underneath the snow white skin. Pale arms and hands were resting on the covers of the bed, one of them pierced by a needle that trailed off into an IV.
Seifer Almasy hadn't seen Squall Leonhart in almost one year, and there was just one thought dominating his mind.
'Fucking Hyne, he's beautiful.'
He swallowed coarsely and took a couple of stiff steps towards the bed, all the while not taking his wide emerald eyes off Squall's sleeping frame. Thoughts and memories were rushing through his head, thoughts that he was ashamed to have but were now freshly torn to the surface. Through all those months, his obsession with the brunette SeeD hadn't faded the slightest bit.
His trench coat washed against his legs, ruffling the fabric in a soft noise as he slowly lowered his body into the chair next to Squall's bed. He had barely sat down and managed to unclench some of his muscles, when the young man laying in the covers suddenly opened his lids very slowly and stared blankly at the ceiling.
Frozen in awe, Seifer thought to himself that Squall's eyes were still the semblance of a perfect storm, flawless match to the commander's name and his temper in their swirls of sapphire and grey. As the blonde was still considering to raise his voice and say something of more or less intelligence, the brunette's head suddenly shot around.
As storm blue met jade green, both widened in surprise and shock. At first, Squall's face was devoid of any emotion or expression, but to Seifer's dismay, that changed all too quickly.
Hate curled Squall's features immediately. He slammed his body up as far as his forced paralysis allowed, eager to lash out at the man next to him.
"I-eh-I-" Seifer stumbled across the words before they could escape his mouth.
"How dare you!"
Thunderstruck by Squall's rather unexpected reaction, Seifer jumped to his feet, arms held up in front of his body in an attempt of a soothing gesture.
"Shut the fuck up!" Squall choked, hate oozing from every single intonation of the words. "How dare you show up here after what you did!"
"I don't care what you thought, Almasy!! Fuck you!"
His eyes stretched to the size of dinner plates, Seifer retreated from the bed clumsily, at loss for explanations or gestures. Squall had sat up in his covers, swiping out towards the blonde in fierce movements as he screamed his anger off his soul.
"You have no fucking right to be here, you hear me?" he yelled in heartfelt disdain, "You ruined my life! Get out of here!"
Before Seifer had a chance to ponder those words, the door to the room suddenly flung open with a deafening thud, admitting Zell and Irvine. In their haste, the young men were tumbling all over each other.
"What are you doing to him?!" they blared.
"Out!" Seifer retorted sharply, entirely overwhelmed by the turn of the situation, yet unwilling to simply give in.
"No, you get out!" spat Squall from his bed.
"I said out, you idiots, get out!! I have it under control!" Seifer insisted, ignoring Squall's comments.
The tall blonde pushed Irvine and Zell back out against their confused struggles and the racket they put up, quickly slamming the door shut behind them and sucking in an exasperate breath.
"What are you doing, you bastard, get the hell out of my room!"
He twisted his gaze to the ceiling in silent plea to their God that was most likely enjoying this peculiar show, before he finally turned around to face a raging Squall with all the courage he could muster.
"For fuck's sake, Leonhart, calm down! I'm just here to help you."
"I don't need your damn help, Almasy!" the brunette rewarded his earnest efforts. "Get the hell away from me!"
"Will you relax? Damn, Leonhart, what the hell did I do? If you're that pissed over what I did, why didn't you kill me when you had the chance?"
For a brief moment, Squall seemed at a loss for words, thoughts charging at light speed through his already aching head. Seifer was only too aware of that, and he used the rupture in the brunette's angry fit to step closer.
"Is she here, too?" Squall finally ground out, avoiding Seifer's eyes.
"Eh... who are you talking about?"
"Don't play dumb with me, Almasy! You know who I'm talking about!" Squall hissed, menace returning to his voice.
"Uh. You mean Edea? Yeah, she's here."
"No, I'm talking about Rinoa, you idiot!"
'Rinoa? What would Rinoa of all people be doing here after what had happened?'
"Why would Rinoa be here?" he vocalized those thoughts.
"With you," Squall spat.
"Uh, look, Leonhart, I don't have the slightest clue of what you're talking about. I haven't seen Rinoa in about two months. Last time I met her was..."
And then, it struck him.
"Oh, shit. You heard that her and I hooked up after you had dumped her, right? Look, if it makes you feel better, it was nothing, alright, we-"
"After I dumped her...?"
Squall's anger slowly seemed to seep away, and he relaxed, if only slightly. His ethereal features had crumpled with bewilderment, a sudden turn of moods that Seifer couldn't quite ensue.
"Yeah," the blonde replied carefully, not entirely sure where this was leading. "I thought you dumped her like half a year ago?"
Seifer Almasy had always had trouble reading Squall's facial expressions, but the one he was opposed to right then was enough to give him a headache. He could make out confusion and hurt at the best, but he wasn't even sure about that.
Eventually, Squall's gaze went blank and his body stiffened.
Seifer stepped closer, waving one hand in front of the brunette's face.
"Hey, earth to Leonhart! Wake up!"
'God, I hate it when he does that.'
It wasn't until he shook Squall's shoulder that the young SeeD snapped out of his trance and adjusted his focus to the blonde at his side. Knowing that Squall hated to be touched, Seifer removed his hand immediately.
"Who told you that?" Squall suddenly pressed.
"Told me what?"
"That I dumped her..."
"Why, she told me, of course," Seifer answered, scratching his head in bewilderment.
'What's this all about now?'
Very slowly, Squall returned his head into the pillows. He stared at the ceiling above him, totally oblivious to the man that was eagerly waiting for an explanation of this new development. Seifer rolled his eyes, hating to be ignored.
"Don't go fucking spacing out on me again, Leonhart!"
Sighing, he let his long body flop down into the chair again.
'At least he isn't yelling anymore. Slight improvement, I guess.'
He waited somewhat patiently for a few minutes, silently watching how Squall's features petrified and his eyes stared at plain nothingness. He noted that the scar slanted across the bridge of Squall's nose, the scar that mirrored his own, stood out even darker against the brunette's abnormally pale skin. Squall had gotten thinner, too, looking fragile like a girl, or so it seemed to the blonde.
'Guess they weren't exaggerating, he looks like a ghost. I really don't think there is a point in me being here, though. Shit, I'm just wasting my time. He does look bad, though...
'Realizing that he was conducting inner monologues just like a certain someone, Seifer growled at himself and Squall at the same time.
"Okay, that's enough chit-chat with yourself, Leonhart! Talk to me," he ordered sternly.
Reluctantly, the brunette veered his head to face him, and Seifer couldn't help but feel moved by the hurt spilling from Squall's eyes. He had always had troubles seeing the guy sad. Angry, alright, but sad? It affected his heart more than he liked to admit.
"Talk to me," he repeated again, more gently now and surprised by his own patience.
"I didn't dump her," Squall finally replied, his voice all typical frigidness.
"No. She dumped me. She called me from Timber on her way to Deling City, saying she just couldn't take my moods anymore and that she needed to move on. I tried to get a hold of her, but no luck. Eventually, I found out that someone had seen her with you the day she called me. Then I understood what she meant by 'moving on'."
"Ah, man, that fucking bitch," the blonde snarled harshly, startling the man next to him.
"I met her in Timber," he elaborated, "She told me that you had dumped her because she wouldn't do what you said. We kinda hooked up, but it didn't work out - at all. She ditched me and I haven't seen her at all since then, no clue where she is."
He failed to mention that there had been only one reason for him to start dating Rinoa again. Attraction surely hadn't been the root of it, but that was nothing that Squall Leonhart really needed to know.
"Sorry, kiddo. Guess she played us both. I didn't know you two were still dating when I met her."
Squall's face was a mask of blankness, which worried Seifer more than the previous anger.
"Hey, cheer up, you're still in your puberty, there'll be lots of others."
His trademark smirk was smacked down onto his face as he tried to cheer Squall up, but it didn't seem to be working.
"Hey, I know how you're feeling and all, okay," he tried with a sigh, "but she isn't worth it that you fuck yourself up over her. You look like you have about a hundred pounds to your name, you really need to get something between your teeth, ice prince."
Again, he didn't receive a response. Seifer however wasn't willing to let Squall disappear into his shell and to his self-conversations again, so he stood up abruptly and started to fidget with the front of Squall's bed. The brunette turned to face him, when his head suddenly shot up and forward in sync with the mattress below him, just to come to an abrupt halt in an upright position.
"Hey, what the fuck!" he hissed, impatiently flicking away the tresses of brown hair that had been washing against his eyes.
Seifer merely grinned.
"Oh, look, it talks. Words fail me."
Squall turned away angrily, which only caused Seifer's smirk to widen. Apparently, the gnarly rival he had once known wasn't entirely gone yet.
"Since you're already sitting up and all, ya might as well grab something to eat."
"I'm not hungry," the brunette growled.
Seifer's gaze found the plate with rice and chicken resting on Squall's bed table. Smoothly, he rotated it around so it was hovering over Squall's lap.
"Dig in, Leonhart."
"I'm not eating this."
"Well either you eat it or I'll spend the rest of the evening here with you singing you some chants I learned in the bars of Deling City. Some of 'em praise your wiggly little ass, by the way."
The look out of Squall's dust blue eyes held enough threat to make a lesser man cry, but Seifer didn't even do as much as blink under it.
"I see you want a sample. Okay."
He cleared his throat in mock preparation for a startling falsetto, and he wasn't the least bit impressed by the dangerous glint that had dawned in Squall's eyes.
"Leonhart was his name, SeeD his traaaade. Had eyes like a lion, ears like a fox, hair like a bear, ass like a..."
"Shut up!!" Squall groaned in open disgust and annoyance, voice rough and low. "Fine. I'll eat it, just... shut up."
"Aw damn, that's too bad, I was just getting started. You sure? I know enough songs to keep you entertained all night."
Seifer couldn't help but smirk in satisfaction over his success. Sure, Squall's every move was radiating murder, but what really mattered was that he grabbed his fork, jabbed some food onto it harshly and pushed it into his mouth, where he finally started to chew mechanically.
They sat in silence until Squall had finished most of his plate and chugged down a glass of water, before Seifer looked at him more seriously.
"Hey, I know we never really got along very well and all, but you're a good guy, Leonhart. You're a great leader, everyone looks up to you and shit... you don't need that skanky ho."
"Turn off the psychiatrist, Seifer. It doesn't suit you."
"Well hey, at least I can still beat the hell out of a T-rex."
Squall's eyes narrowed at the comment, but he said nothing. For a brief second, Seifer's smirk turned into a true smile full of care and gentleness. He had to admit to himself, if not to anyone else, that he was glad to see Squall Leonhart again. All through the months, there hadn't been a single day his mind hadn't wandered to the "Lion of Balamb" at least once.
'Yah, but hell if I ever tell him that.'
He stood up quickly, recognizing that his emotions were probably headed into an unhealthy direction. Squall's gaze followed his movements, wondering why his archrival had come to help him in the first place. For once, he saw no sense in the man's actions.
"Aight, puberty boy, I'll let you get some sleep there. I'll see your ass tomorrow. Dream of me."
Without awaiting any reaction to his cocky remark, Seifer turned with a swirl of his coat and left the room, memories following him like the scent of Squall Leonhart that he had been missing for so long.
=To be continued!=
Awwwwww, poor little Seify! He sure is cocky though, geez. But you got to wub him anyway.
I hope you guys are happy with their first meeting and some questions have been answered. Of course, Squally can't just pop open like a ripe melon (ok that sounded SO wrong)... Seifer will have to keep working on him (that sounded wrong too o.O)!
Oh... about Selphie's good vibes towards Seifer, I see her as someone who can't hold a grudge against anyone, especially not against Seifer cause he is, erh, hot (cough) and he was mind controlled after all. And Seifer's cockyness, well, he is just Seifer, such a foul mouth even in the face of danger o.0 He is too adorable lol.
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