~ Song lyrics from Kate winslitís What if.~
By Purple Penguin
"Squall? What is it?" Quistis stood in front of the commanderís desk wondering why she had been called to his office.
He looked terrible. His eyes were large, red, and puffy and he looked like he hadnít had a decent night's sleep in weeks.
"Squall, are you okay?"
"I wish people would stop asking me that." He ground out. "I want you to mind Garden for an hour or two. Iíve got to go into Balamb."
"Why?" She was glad Squall was having a break even if it was for an hour or so.
"To convince myself of something."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
He shook his head like she knew he would.
"Okay, but you know Iíll always help in anyway I can."
She backed out again. He had called her ĎQuistyí. He hadnít done that in years, she got the feeling it wasnít a good sign. She hoped Squall wasnít about to do something stupid. She had thought that no matter how depressed Squall got he would never take his own life; now she wasnít so sure.
Squall glanced at his watch, he was late. Quickly he closed his laptop and shoved it into his bottom drawer. He grabbed his keys and left. What was the rush?
No one Ďs going to be there anyway, he knew that really. But it felt good to get out of the office for a while and it was a nice drive to Balamb. He had to return a rented car anyway.
This was his chance to finally let go. Seifer was dead; it was time to move on. Either that or there were plenty of nice cliffs on the walk back to Garden, he could always throw himself off one of those. He chuckled at the thought. He wasnít that brave.
He walked quickly to the parking lot, trying not to break into a run. His brain was telling him to slow down, reminding him of the truth but his heart was desperate to get to Balamb, desperate to see Seifer, desperate to believe something that was nearly impossible.
In all the battles between his brain and his heart his heart always won.
He nearly doubled the speed limit on the way to Balamb. He slowed right down as he entered the town, desperate eyes scanning the streets for his ex-lover.
The place was empty like he knew it would be. His sunk that little bit lower.
Squall drove the car to the garage. He quickly paid the man, keeping his eyes focused on the floor, not wanting to cry in public, not wanting to show people that the hero of the second sorceress' war was a pathetic coward.
He hurried from the garage sinking onto a nearby bench. He felt the familiar tight feeing in his throat and chest, and his eyes burned.
The commander looked up at the clouds; his eyes filled with fresh tears that fell when he leaned forwards.
Seifer walked back to Fujinís place. He had waited for half an hour. Why hadnít Squall turned up? He must still care, from their conversation on the phone Seifer had thought Squall was still his.
He was worried about Squall. Tomorrow he would go to Garden even though heíd probably get beaten or killed before he got to see his brunette. He had to try.
Maybe he could call Squall again. Did Squall carry a mobile? He hadnít before but he wasnít the commander then, he was barely even a SeeD.
"Where is he? Did it go badly?"
He shook his thoughts away as he saw Fujin standing at her front gate with Zell by her side.
"He didnít turn up."
"What?" Zell sighed. "He has to make things difficult doesnít he?" He muttered under his breath.
"Are you sure? Did you search the whole entrance?"
Seifer nodded sadly.
"Iím sorry," Fujin said sympathetically before she turned angry on Zell.
"YOU said Squall still wanted Seifer!"
"He does, I swear!"
Seifer shook his head at the arguing pair. "Iím going for a walk." He left them to it.
Seifer wondered around Balamb for a while. Maybe he should go to Garden.
With a sigh, he stopped and leant on the wall of Balambís garage.
A man was sitting in a rental car, looking through the glove compartment.
"Found anything interesting?" Another guy walking out of the shop.
"Just some bullets.... gunblade ones from the look of them."
"I thought that kid dropped the car off."
Seifer cocked his head listening to the conversation. Kid with a gunblade eh?
The guy in the car chuckled. "That Ďkidí is the commander of Balamb Garden."
Seifer pushed himself off the wall, walking over to the two men, to question them.
"Excuse me. Do you know when this car was dropped off?"
"About ten minutes ago."
"Did the guy leave town after that?"
The man shrugged. "He ran off that way." He pointed to a street opposite them.
"Thank you." Seifer smiled, his casual walk turning into a sprint.
Squall sat with his eyes closed, trying to stop the tears.
He wished the phone call was real, he longed for Seifer, longed to be held by him just once. His idea to move on was useless. It would never happen. How could he forget the one guy he loved, the one guy that ever made him feel wanted?
The bench shifted as someone sat down beside him.
Great, now heíd have to put up with someone sitting beside him. He hoped it wasnít a female. A woman would be able to see he was upset and would ask him what was wrong, coddle him and generally be annoying like Rinoa.
Maybe if he kept his eyes shut the person wouldnít notice he was there at all.
He would ignore whoever it was no matter what they said.
He heard the figure sigh. Then someone took his hand; he tensed about to pull it back as he realized something was being placed in his palm.
Being curious he opened his eyes. The griever pendant glinted in the sunlight. His heart nearly stopped in shock.
One finger traced each line on the pendant checking it was real, while his other hand went to his throat to stroke the silver collar.
"Iím glad you still wear that."
The breath caught in Squallís throat as the familiar voice filled his ears. He slowly turned to see the blonde sitting side-ways on facing him. Squall blinked rapidly not believing his eyes. He opened and closed his mouth several times, not knowing what to say.
"Arenít you glad to see me?"
"Of course, I thought I told you that on the phone."
"That was real?"
The blonde frowned. He could see the tiredness in Squallís face. He was a wreck.
"Squall are you okay?"
He moved closer to stroke the brunetteís cheek lovingly.
Squall closed his eyes and moved into the hand, more tears fell from his eyes and he cringed for being so pathetic, for showing his weakness in front of Seifer.
The blonde wiped the tears from the eyes of his ex-lover and moved closer, kissing Squall gently on the forehead and stroking his hair comfortingly.
"Shh. Iím sorry."
"For leaving you."
"That wasnít your fault." Suddenly Squall threw himself at the blonde. "Iím so glad youíre alive, please donít leave me again. I need you."
Seifer held Squall rocking him gently. "Iíll never leave you. I love you."
Squall pulled back from the embrace.
Seifer smiled at him. "You believe me this time, right?"
Squall smiled and nodded. "I love you, too, Seif."
Seifer pulled the brunette in for a kiss; it was gentle and sweet. Squall didnít seem to want more and Seifer wasnít going to push him.
Squall curled up on the bench, resting his head in Seifer thigh. He smiled. All the nice feelings were back, he felt warm, safe, and wanted. Happily he fell asleep resting on the guy he loved.
Seifer smiled down at the sleeping brunette. Seifer gently picked him up, not wanting to wake him. He looked like he needed to rest.
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