Somewhat Damaged

Part Eleven

By Scarlet Fever

Seifer grumbled and checked his watch. "God, Selphie, how long does it fucking take you to get ready?!" He rubbed his eyes wearily.

"Almost done."

"Weíre just going to Raijinís for fuckís sake!" Zell muttered, leaning back into the couch. He looked over at Seifer, who was drumming his black fingernails on the coffee table. "Stop it."

"Itís my house."

Zell, Quistis and Selphie had arrived yesterday morning. Seifer didnít mind having them all there. He actually enjoyed it, for it kept his mind off of himself. It prevented him from brooding.

"Ready!" Selphie jumped out of the bathroom. "Letís go!"

"Weíre only going to RaijinísÖ" Quistis trailed off, scooping up her leopard print coat.

As the foursome headed out the door, Selphie let out a giggle.

Seifer turned. "What?"

Selphie pointed upwards. "Tee hee. Youíre under the mistletoe." She also pointed at Zell.

"MistletoeÖ?" Seifer trailed off, looking up. "When did this get here?"

"I put it up!"

"Forget it." Zell gave Seifer a look.

The taller blonde grinned. "What, not pretty enough for you?"

"NoÖ"

"What, too masculine?" Seifer was grinning widely, having fun with this.

"You have to!" Selphie exclaimed loudly from behind them.

"What for?" Zell crossed his large arms.

"Itís tradition." Quistis chirped. She wanted to see this.

"Do it!" Selphie almost shouted. "And it has to be a real kiss. None of that peck on the lips shit. It has to be at least a minute!"

"Where in the tradition does it say that?!" Seifer exclaimed.

"Nowhere. I just made it up."

"Come on!" Quistis grinned. "Itíll be such a turn on!"

That got Zellís attention.

"It can be my birthday present!" Seifer said, snaking his arm around Zellís waist.

"Itís your birthday?" Zell asked.

"Why didnít you say anything?" Selphie smacked his arm.

"I donít like my birthday. It makes me depressed." He raised his eyebrows at Zell, mockingly seductive. "Come on."

"ÖFine. But no tongue."

"Canít make that promise. Youíre just so darn cute!" Seifer pinched his tattooed cheek.

Zell placed his hands on Seiferís hips, using the taller body as a balance as he stood on his tiptoes. "Why do you have to be so tall?"

Seifer just shrugged, leaning in. He kissed Zell gently, lightly, not sure how the muscular blonde would react. Zell hesitated, his breath coming out ragged against Seiferís lips. He then parted his lips, responding. Zellís strong hands gripped Seiferís hips tighter as he made the kiss more passionate. It was also to keep his balance. Was heÖswooning? Zell couldnít believe how good it felt to kiss someone. He hadnít done it in a while, and Seifer was actually good. He was very, very good. His lips were surprisingly soft, gentle. They tasted like honey, warm and sweet. Zell eagerly thrust his tongue into Seiferís mouth, wanting to taste more, the sweet honey flavour driving him insane. The taller manís mouth went somewhat slack in shock, but he responded, needing this meaningful human contact as well. Their tongues gently pressed together, just the tips at first. Both were being cautious, exploratory. Seifer then probed deeper, caressing the upper palate of Zellís hot mouth. It had been so long, for either of them, since they had had any enjoyable caresses from another human body. Zell blushed as he felt a twinge in his groin.

"What are you thinking? This is Seifer.." Zell thought to himself. However, he was disappointed when Seifer pulled away. He planted one last gentle kiss on Zellís parted lips.

"Was that a minute?" He asked of Selphie blandly.

She just kind of stood there, her jaw hanging slack. "UhhhÖ."

Quistis grinned. "Nice show, boys."

Zell looked down at her hands. She was holding a camera.

"WhatÖ?"

Quistis just winked at him.

"Can we go now?" Seifer stood in the doorway, impatiently.

"Hang onÖ" Zell let out his breath, thinking of unsexy things in order to calm the slight fire in his pants.

Selphie groaned. "Was I in the background of the pictures? I had a really retarded look on my face."

Quistis shrugged. "These are definitely spanking material!"

Seifer laughed. "Youíre so refreshing, Quisty. Itís not every day that females openly talk about masturbation."

She smiled, linking arms with Zell. "Come on."

Selphie giggled. "Hee hee, comeÖ"

Seifer just rolled his eyes, then looked over at Zell, who was eyeing him oddly. He leaned over so he could whisper in Zellís ear. "I thought you said no tongueÖ"

Zell shrugged, his embarrassment at becoming aroused starting to ebb. "Well, you were good."

Seifer half smiled, but it was wistful. "So were you."

The tattooed blonde then knew that for Seifer, it had been bittersweet. He had been thinking of Squall.

"Iím sorry Iím not him."

Seifer stiffened. "That obvious, huh?" He tried to smile it off, but he felt like he had been slapped.

Zell sighed, feeling like a retard for speaking so carelessly. He wrapped his free arm around Seiferís slender waist, giving him a friendly squeeze. "Iím retarded. I shouldnít have said that."

The taller blonde waved his hand. "Itís okay, really." He pulled a black knitted toque out of his pocket, putting it on. "Iím used to it." He pressed the button for the elevator. "Do you want to stop at the liquor store first?"

"Yah!" Selphie cheered, going into the elevator first.

"I donít know if itís such a good idea for you to be drunk, my dear." Quistis said, patting Selphieís small back.

Selphie just snorted, jabbing the button for the parking garage.

Zell sighed as he noticed Seifer slip into a morose trance. He decided to leave well enough alone for now. He looked over at Quistis, who still had her arm linked with his. She looked down as well, blushing slightly. "OhÖIím sorry."

"Itís alright. I donít mind." He linked his fingers with hers.

Quistis smiled, welcoming Zellís affections. She seemed to have a hard time expressing her emotions towards her friend. Quistis figured it was because of the fact that she was still in teacher mode, and was afraid to show love towards one of her former students, even though it didnít stop her before from wanting Squall and Seifer in secret. However, her desires had changed. Quistis had begun to fall for Zellís youthful charms. He was always so full of life, and he enjoyed it, not bringing himself down with serious issues like she had always done, like Seifer did now.

She was always the serious one, and Zellís carefree attitude complimented her greatly. But she was always afraid that she would wreck their fantastic friendship with declarations of love. Now, Quistisís dark blue eyes danced as her fantasies began to appear to manifest themselves. She made a mental note to talk to Zell when they were alone.

"Shotgun!" Selphie cried as they stepped into the cold concrete parking lot. She shivered. These garages gave her the creeps.

"Assault rifle!" Seifer called, taking out his keys.

"What does that mean?"

Seifer just shrugged. "I donít know. Iím just being a moron."

"YeahÖwell, MagnumÖ" Zell trailed off, his attempt at trying to show up Seifer coming out strangely.

"Why wouldnít you have said gunblade?" Selphie asked, climbing into the passenger side of the black Jeep.

The scarred blonde groaned. "Now look what Iíve startedÖ"

"Machete." Quistis offered.

"Thatís not a gun, though."

"Well, technically, neither is a gunblade. Itís a gun and a sword."

Seifer revved the engine. "Fine. Crossbow."

"Flame-thrower!" Selphie cheered.

"This is the stupidest game ever!" Zell groaned, slumping in his seat.

"No, no, no. The stupidest game ever was when you, me and Rinoa played that stone hitting game." Quistis grumbled. "That was way more irritating. You kept changing the rules."

"Yeah, how do you think I felt being ref. You kept changing the point value of ricochet rocks, and gave yourself a ten thousand point bonus when that bug was run over by that car." Selphie moaned.

Seifer took his attention away from the road for a second to stare at the trio. "What the fuck?"

"Itís a very long and retarded story." Quistis rolled her eyes. "Zell was trying to invent a substitute for baseball."

"That doesnít sound anything like baseball." Seifer turned back to the road, raising the carís speed.

"Donít you think youíre driving too fast?"

"YeahÖ" Seifer just trailed off, not slowing down.

"What if you hit someone?" Selphie asked, not sounding concerned in the least.

"Oh well."

"Thatís the spirit!" Zell grinned, giving a sidelong look to Quistis.

"Hey, Seifer, is there a photo place around the liquor store?"

"Yes. Just donít post them all over the city, okay?"

Quistis snapped her fingers. "Damn. Thereís my plans out the window."

They pulled into the parking lot for the shopping complex where the store was located. Quistis wandered off towards the camera shop while the others went into the large, spacious liquor store. Seifer went straight for a bottle of rum, while Selphie picked up an armful of bottles of berry wine.

Zell raised his eyebrows, brushing lint off his hooded gray jacket. "Are you sure you have enough?"

"This is all I can carry. Can you get some peach ones for me?"

"Listen, little miss lush, Iím not going to be a party to you getting drunk off your ass. The last thing I want is to hold your ankles while you almost fall off a balcony, puking on me in the process."

"That wonít happen this time."

Seifer approached them, handing Zell a couple of bottles of vodka. "There you go." He eyed Selphieís armful of booze. "Are you going to drink all of that?"

Selphie shrugged. "Itís for all of us. Besides, Irvine hates it when I get drunk."

"Ahhh, jilted love. Is there any more irrational thing?" Zell asked, pulling out his wallet.

"All you need now is a red garden hat, and plenty of stories about the yacht with Biff and Muffy."

"And a martini glass." Selphie stuck her tongue out, heading to the register.

"Five bucks that guy asks for id." Zell whispered.

"Iím not taking that bet. Howís to five bucks saying he asks for her phone number."

"Youíre on. Sheís too young for him."

Seifer just shrugged, getting in line behind the smaller girl. After they had left the store, Selphie sighed.

"That guy asked for my number."

Seifer laughed, smacking Zell on the back of the head. "You lose, pussy."

"How did you know?"

"What, that that guyís a pervert? Itís a local legend."

Zell grumbled and handed him a bill.

"He was sooo skanky." Selphie shuddered, getting into the car.

"Do you think you have enough?" Quistis asked, directing her question at Selphie in particular.

"Shut up!!!" Selphie sighed loudly. "God, now I know how Zell feels."

Zell raised his hands in recognition.

Seifer laughed. "Nah, your intelligence level still has to drop a few pegs."

"Dammit!"

Quistis laughed.

By the time they pulled into the parking lot of Raijin and Fujinís apartment, the conversation had veered to a heated debate about clothespins.

"Iím telling you, bitch," Zell spat, directing his argument at Seifer, "That my mom had a basement full. I think I know a little bit about them."

"I think I know a little about your mom." Seifer began to laugh in a mock skank laugh.

"Dude, that was uncalled for."

"So was saying I was a clothespin nazi."

"I donít think you guys need anything to drink. Youíre totally fucked as it is." Quistis muttered as Seifer pressed the intercom.

"WHAT?"

"Let us in, Fujin." Zell said.

"No. We donít want your germs."

"What germs?" Zell asked as the door was opened.

"Crabs."

Zell glared at Seifer. "I do not have crabs." A college age girl just stared at the tattooed blonde as he walked by.

"Well, I donít!" He called after her as he stepped in the elevator.

When they reached the second floor apartment, Zell, Quistis and Selphie gaped. The building had been a warehouse at one point, and was converted into apartments. There was one per floor.

"This place is huge!" Zell gaped, giving Raijin a high five.

"Yeah, itís great, ya know?! Itís all college students, too. Total party building."

Fujin looked at the bags in Selphieís hands. "Did you get enough?"

She just rolled her eyes. "Itís only berry wine."

"Strawberry?"

Selphie nodded, setting it down.

"Thatís my favorite!"

Selphie grinned. "And you guys said I bought too much. Shows what you know!"

"Speaking of parties," Raijin said, sitting beside Seifer on the large couch. "Thereís a small in the next building."

"Small as in.." Seifer trailed off.

"About a hundred. Itís a rave, ya know?! We could go if you want, but it doesnít start for a few hours."

"Whatíll we do until then?" Quistis asked, settling down on another couch beside Fujin and Zell.

Selphie opened a bottle. "I can think of a few things."

For the next hour, they caught up and drank, drank and drank.

"Well, what are we going to do now?" Zell pressed his palm to his temple.

"Letís play strip poker!" Selphie cried, pouring herself and Fujin more wine.

"For the tenth time, no!" Raijin laughed. "Whatís with you wanting to see all of us naked?"

She shrugged her slight shoulders. "Iíve always wanted to play it, but nobody ever will."

Quistis giggled, feeling more than a bit tipsy. "We could always play when Squall comes."

Everyone smiled stupidly and shifted to stare at Seifer. He looked up from the joints he was rolling. "What?"

Fujin dissolved into noisy laughter. "Nothing."

"Oh my god, you guys are stupid." Seifer went back to what he was doing.

"Iím still bored." Raijin complained. He held a large hand up. "Donít even suggest it, Selphie."

She pouted. "Nobody ever wants to have fun."

"I kind of want to do it." Fujin offered.

This peaked Raijinís interest. "Really?"

Selphie cheered. "Yes!"

"Iím not doing it!" Zell cried, looking at his watch. "What about that rave?"

"Ah, youíre trying to change the subject, ya know?! Do you have some sort of abnormality?"

Fujin groaned. "You were watching that ĎFreaks of Natureí thing again, werenít you?"

"That was the worst porno I have ever seen!" Seifer exclaimed, exhaling smoke. He passed the joint to Raijin.

"Itís not like any porno is going to win an Oscar." Selphie countered.

"But it was terrible!" Seifer moaned. "The huge dick was so fake. It never showed where it was attached to the body because they would be afraid you could see the glue. And it came like it was a squirt bottle of mayo!"

"It canít be as bad as that one that those guys wanted you to be in."

Zell coughed as he inhaled. "You were in a porno?"

"No!" Seifer cried with mock outrage. "There was these guys I know who wanted to make one. They were totally fucked up on acid at the time, and they asked me to be in it. I was kind of gone too, so I considered it, but said no."

"It was so bad." Fujin laughed. "They filmed it when they were drunk, and showed it to us a week later. They were sooo embarrassed."

Selphieís eyes lit up. "We should make a porno!"

Quistis groaned. "Holy fuck!"

"Well, now playing strip poker doesnít sound so terrible, does it?" She folded her arms across her slender chest.

"Ah, I see your ploy! A plot quite fiendish my dear." Quistis inhaled deeply, then repeated.

"Hey, piggy!" Fujin protested.

"We may as well go."

Seifer removed his jacket, revealing a tight black tank top. "Iím leaving my coat here. I donít want this one stolen."

"But itís fucking freezing out!" Zell said.

"Itís only across the street. Iím not a pussyÖlike some people."

Zell just grumbled, but decided it was a good idea to leave his coat and wallet behind. All except Quistis did the same. She kept her coat.

"Part of the outfit." She explained, taking Zellís hand in her own.

Fujin noticed. "When did this start?" She made a gesturing motion at their joined hands.

Quistis just sort of shrugged as they left, not answering. They walked across in silence, except for Seifer, who was quietly cursing because of the cold.

"You should have brought your jacket!" Zell teased.

"Shut up!" Seifer grumbled. "Last time, my jacket got stolen. Iíll be damned if Iím going to let some snot nosed punk get that jacket." He stabbed a long finger at Raijinís building. He then turned to his hulking friend. "What time are you guys leaving tomorrow?"

Fujin shrugged, using her boyfriendís body as a shield from the biting wind. "Before lunch. Weíll just sleep on the train."

When the group entered the warehouse apartment, the beat of the music and a wall of warmth emanating from the gyrating bodies within bombarded them. The thundering beat of the hard sounding gothic sounding industrial techno hit them like a truck. There was a thick haze of cigarette and pot smoke hanging in the air, like the entire space had been hotboxed. A few of the people smiled at Raijin, Fujin and Seifer, particularly eyeing Seiferís body.

Selphie grinned widely as a short guy asked her to dance. He wasnít much taller than her, with friendly brown eyes and hair to match. Zell and Quistis made their way onto the floor as well. The alcohol and drugs in their systems adding a mania to their motions.

"Zell?"

He murmured as his reply, pressing his chest to her back, resting his head on the nape of her neck.

"What do you think of us?" She had to say it kind of loudly over the music, but nobody else was paying attention to them.

"What do you mean?" He moved his hands to her hips.

"I meanÖ.do you think it would be a good idea.."

"You mean, being a couple or something?"

She nodded, tilting her head back against his. "If you arenít interested, itís fine with me, you knowÖ"

He thrust his hips forward with the music. "Iím interested."

"Are you?" Her hands moved to his thighs.

"Yeah." Zell sighed, breathing in the scent of her hair. Pineapple.

"Wow. I should have said something a long time ago."

"You should have."

She scoffed. "You didnít say anything, either!"

"I know. But Iím stupid. People expect that sort of thing from me. Youíre supposed to be the take charge one."

"I guess itís your influence on me." She swiveled in his arms so just her face was towards him.

He planted a gentle kiss on her lips. "Maybe youíre influencing me, too."

She sighed. They continued to dance, unaware of anybody else.

Zell broke the wonderful silence. "Were you jealous?"

"When?"

"When I kissed Seifer?"

She laughed. Zell could feel the vibration through her back. "Actually, it turned me on."

"Me, too."

She laughed again, turning completely to face him. "Why canít all relationships start this easily?"

"Youíre talking about Squall and Seifer, arenít you?"

She wrapped her leopard clad arms around his hips. "Yeah. You know what, Iím going to make it my mission to get them together."

"What about Rinoa?"

Quistis paused. "Oh yeah." She was then silent. They forgot that subject and continued to dance with each other, basking in the fact that they were now together.

A few fantastic hours later, Fujin tapped Quistis on the shoulder. Her reddish eyes were dark with concern.

The smile on the former teacherís face faded. "Whatís wrong?"

"Have you seen Seifer?"

Zell shook his head, patting Fujinís shoulder. "Donít worry. Heís a big boy."

She sighed. "Iím afraid he might fall back into Ďold habitsí."

Quistis furrowed her brow. "Meaning?"

Fujin used her head, motioning them off the dance floor to a deserted balcony. Raijin was waiting for them.

"Whatís going on? What did you mean by old habits?"

Raijin now sighed, his whole body slackening. "Phaelanís here."

"Whoís Phaelan?"

"A fucking asshole, Zell." Fujinís eyes clouded with rage. "He used to fuck Seifer. I wouldnít call it a relationship, because it wasnít one. This was when Seifer could barely be left alone or heíd try to off himselfÖ"

Raijin interjected. "It was a destructive point in his life, and Phaelan was as destructive as he could get. That prick justified all of Seiferís illusions about himself, vocally expressing all the terrible things that Seifer only thought in his head. When they finally broke up, Phaelan didnít take the news that wellÖ"

Fujin then continued, wringing her hands. "Phaelan loves Seifer. Loves to dominate him, control him, possess him. Everyone wants Seifer, and Phaelan loves the fact that he got him, and got him to be submissive. So, PhaelanÖhurt Seifer."

"Beat the shit out of him is what he did, ya know?!"

Quistis found this part hard to believe. "Seifer got the shit kicked out of him? He was always such a skilled fighter."

"Phaelan is bigger and meaner, and this was at a point where Seifer was in no condition to fight backÖ"

"So, you guys are afraid that if Seifer runs into Phaelan, it could do damageÖ?"

Fujin nodded. "Whenever it seems that Seifer is getting better, Phaelan seems to show up and send him right back to where he wasÖand there are a lot of drugs circulating around here. When Seiferís fucked upÖ"

"You guys are afraid heíll do something stupidÖ" Quistis finished, worry clouding her sapphire eyes.

"Weíre sorry we ruined your moodÖ" Fujinís eyes lit up slightly as she gave them a look of knowing. "But can you help us find him?"

Zell nodded. Sure, but where?"

"If we knew, we wouldnít have burdened you, Zell." Raijin retorted, making Zell feel stupid.

"Alright, fine." Quistis held up her hands. "Letís split up."

"Should we synchronize our watches?" Raijin asked sarcastically, his handsome face dark with humour.

Fujin slapped his massive chest. "Shut up."

Seifer stood in front of a sink in the bathroom, a small trickle of blood coming out of his left nostril. He let it drip into the white porcelain, sniffing up the last of the cocaine residue. That had been his fifth line already, and compounded with the alcohol and myriad of other drugs singing in his veins, he had to grip the edge of the sink to keep his balance.

"Why is he here?" He asked his pale reflection. He couldnít see what was really there, staring back at him. His view of himself was becoming distorted.

He stood there for a few minutes, regaining his composure, not paying attention to anything around him except for the hollow tightness in his chest, the empty feeling of self-loathing. He didnít notice when the door opened, and gasped when he felt a pair of hands roaming his torso. Seifer looked in the mirror to see Phaelan nuzzling his neck.

"Why are you all alone in here? Oh, a nosebleed?" He bit into the muscle running along Seiferís shoulder.

Seifer shuddered. "Leave me the hell alone." He gripped the sink again, feeling dizzy.

Phaelan smirked. It was the smirk that Seifer himself had used in the past. "But I donít want to. And I donít think you want me to, either."

Seifer snorted. "You donít know anything about me."

Phaelan slowly turned Seifer around so that they were face to face. "Oh, I think I do. I know the truth about you. How horrible you really are. Murdered, traitorÖ" Phaelan worked his cold hands up under the black fabric of Seiferís tank top. "And you still wonít believe me when I say I love you."

"You donít give a shit about meÖ." Seifer trailed off, wincing as those long, cold fingers tugged roughly at his pierced nipples.

"Thatís not true. Iím the only person who wants to have anything to do with youÖ which is actually somewhat unfortunate. Youíre so tight. The best fuck Iíve ever had."

Seifer shoved Phaelan away with such force that the taller man sprawled on the floor, landing on his ass. "Shut the fuck up!" He began to leave.

"Seifer, baby.." Phaelan called mockingly, not getting up. "Do you really think that this mystery man that youíre pining over will offer you what I can? He doesnít want you. No self respecting human doesÖ.except me. And I want you badly." He smiled seductively, now getting up. "And if you deny me enough, I wonít want you either. Do you really want to throw away the one person who cares youíre alive?"

Seifer opened his mouth to respond, but couldnít think of anything to say. Phaelan then leaned in, kissing the saddened blonde roughly, bruising his lips. "Think about what I said, lover."

Seifer quickly made an exit. He went out to an empty balcony, letting the chilling air cool him down. He tried to forget about what Phaelan said, but it rang true in his heart. Squall didnít want him, and he didnít want anyone but Squall. He closed his eyes, breathing in deeply. He didnít want to break down here. He wanted to keep a thread of his veneer of dignity. Who was he kidding? Phaelan spoke the truth. Nobody gave a shit about him.

"Seifer!"

He turned slowly, seeing Raijin and Fujin approaching him, Zell and Quistis at their heels.

"What do you want?" He wiped his nose, a small trickle of blood still slowly oozing out.

"Youíre coked out, arenít you?"

"So what if I am?" Seifer felt anger rise in him. Why wouldnít they leave him to wallow?

Raijinís darkly handsome face flushed with anger. "Donít you remember last time?! Do you want to overdose again?"

"Just leave me alone."

Zell took in his breath. He had never seen Raijin angry, let alone in a fit of wrath. It was as frightening as when Seifer lost his temper, which was rapidly happening.

"No, Iím not going to! Youíre being a fucking asshole. Letting that fuck mess with you? You almost deserve it!"

"Thatís right, I do deserve it!" Seifer screamed. "You donít give a fuck about me! Nobody does!"

"Thatís not trueÖ" Fujinís voice was low, sad.

"Yeah, it is, you lying bitch!"

Raijin growled deep in his throat. "Take that back. You are too drugged out to think straight."

"Iím as lucid as I need to be! Maybe Iím just seeing things as they really are! I donít give a shit about myself, so why should you?"

Raijin hauled off and slapped Seifer square across the face, sending him flying. His back hit the railing of the balcony.

"Seifer, you need help." The anger was seeping away, leaving only regret. "You need to snap back into reality."

"Why?" Seifer asked lowly, his voice quivering. "Reality is worse than any world Iím in now." There was already a reddening streak across his cheek. "Iím leaving." He pushed past Zell and Quistis, not even noticing them.

After a few moments of stunned silence, Fujin spoke up. Her normally commanding, clear voice was soft and shaky. "Shouldnít we go after him? He mightÖ"

Raijin snorted. "Let him. If he doesnít want help, we canít give it to him, no matter how hard we try."

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