Stitch In Time

Chapter Two

By Scarlet Fever

Seifer sighed, staring up at his dark ceiling for the millionth time that evening. The Garden was quiet, practically deserted due to the SeeD ball. Everyone was celebrating, enjoying life, while Seifer wallowed in the inadequacy of his own existence. They all seemed miles, ages away, like he was from a different world, staring at happiness like it was an animal in a zoo. Or, was he the animal? Being watched by unknowing crowds? He softly sighed, almost a whimper. At least when he was alone, he didnít have to pretend to be things that he wasnít, didnít have to fake all the smugness. It became tiring, so lonely. But Seifer knew that he deserved what he got. If he was alone, it was his own problem. He had spent such a long time driving people away that they were too distant to reach out and grab at.

Seifer turned off his Discman, the repeating songs not even registering to him anymore, the strains of the mournful violins sounding far away. He sat up in the darkness, his bare arms being covered in goosebumps from the cold, and from the remembered feel of Zellís hand on his shoulder. Even now, reflecting upon it, his whole body became warm from a sheerÖ Touch? It made him want to wrap his entire body around the small blondeís trapping the heat in all his long limbs, feeling the beautiful spider touch on his flesh forever. Seifer pushed those thoughts out of his mind, swinging his impossibly long legs over the edge of the bed, wiggling his toes as the blood flow commenced. He wasnít doing any good just laying there, wallowing. He unzipped his vest, tossing it in the corner. If he was going to feel sorry for himself, he could at least get inebriated doing it. He rifled through his drawers, lazily choosing clothes, not caring if they matched or not. When he looked at his reflection, he was surprised that the outfit actually looked decent. He wore a long sleeve, black see-through shirt with a short sleeved, red button-up shirt over it. He messily tucked the hem of the mesh shirt into his baggy black pants. He looped a spiked belt through the waist of his pants, which was actually hanging around his hips. When he was satisfied that he looked at least presentable, he sauntered out of his room, keeping a wary eye out for the Garden faculty. He also didnít want to run into Raijin and Fujin. He knew that the pair was worried about him, and a part of him was genuinely touched that they cared, but another part was annoyed, for he didnít want to have to explain himself to his friends, didnít want to have to break down and tell them how weak he actually was, how he thought about Zell.

Seifer ducked into the quad, where he knew that there was more than one inconspicuous place to leave. Once outside, he wrapped the thick fabric of his coat around his body, the cool evening wind blowing off the ocean, almost bringing tears to his eyes. He shivered as his arms brushed against his cold-hardened nipples, and creating a dull, lonely ache in his chest as he did. He gave one look back to the Garden to make sure there wasnít anyone around to blow his veil of secrecy, then jogged up the road towards town.

Zell frowned, sweeping his eyes over the room again. The scene hadnít really changed at all since the last time he scanned the room. He also felt uncomfortable in his SeeD uniform, something he would be glad to get out of.

"God, this is soooo boringÖ" He muttered under his breath.

"No, itís not!"

Zell gasped, jumping. Selphie laughed.

"You nearly jumped out of your skin!"

Zell frowned. "You could at least give warning when youíre going to sneak up on peopleÖ."

"You were the one who was a million miles awayÖ.. So, this is where youíve been hiding."

"Yeah, hiding from you."

Selphie scoffed, pretending to be offended. "Well, if you werenít so hell-bent on washing your hands of the Garden Festival Committee, I wouldnít have to chase you around like a schoolgirl."

"You are a schoolgirl," Zell muttered, raising his eyebrow at her.

"Iím not a stupid schoolgirl. Thatís what I meant."

"Then you should have specified."

Selphie groaned. "God, now I know how you feel when Seifer picks on youÖ."

Zell frowned. "I donít want to talk about him." For a moment, Zell wondered what Seifer was doing that night. Wait, why do I care? Zell asked himself.

"Do you wanna dance?" Selphie asked, snapping Zell back to reality.

Zell groaned. "God, no more pity dances! Some guy over there is giving you the eye. Why donít you dance with him?"

Selphie looked over her shoulder. "Whoís giving me the eye?"

Zell groaned. "Youíre not supposed to look!"

"Now whoís the stupid schoolgirl?" Selphie asked, winking.

Zell groaned, scanning the dance floor. "Hey, whoís that chick that Squallís dancing with?"

Selphie cocked her head. "Why are you asking me? I donít know anybody here?"

"It was a general, rhetorical question," Zell muttered, studying her face. He had never seen the small, raven-haired girl around before. She seemed very interested in Squall, and he was probably drooling over her. Zell mentally admitted that she was pretty, beautiful, but she wasnít really his type. Her shoulder length raven hair swung around her in a dark halo as Squall spun her, her dark eyes filled with sparkling laughter, her heart-like mouth turned up brightly. Zell sighed, wishing someone would look at him like that, with flirty, devoted eyes. Zell massaged one of his temples. No wonder he was aloneÖ There was a perfectly beautiful woman in his sight, and he felt absolutely nothing. He also didnít feel anything when he was around Selphie, who seemed in constant flirt mode, but that was probably just her personality.

"Sheís pretty, whoever she isÖ" Selphie commented, turning back to Zell. "What is it? You look so sadÖÖ"

Zell looked back at his small friend. "Oh? NothingÖÖ"

"Hello, Zell, Selphie."

Both turned to see Quistis standing behind them. She had a sad expression on her lovely face, as well.

"Whatís wrong, Instructor?" Zell asked.

"God, everyone seems like theyíre in a shitty mood. Come on, itís a party!"

Quistis grinned, her white teeth flashing between her dark lips. "Iím glad youíre having such a good timeÖ." The light of Quistisís smile faded from her cobalt eyes, making her look worried.

"Are you sure youíre okay, Instructor?" Zell asked again, seeing his own sadness mirrored in her face.

"Yes, Zell, Iím fineÖ.." She looked over Zellís shoulder. "Who is that girl Squallís dancing with? Iíve never seen her around beforeÖ.."

"Sheís got cute hair," Selphie said, reaching for a glass of punch. "Whoever she isÖ."

"We were just commenting on that, InstructorÖ."

Quistis smiled. "Please, Zell, call me Quistis."

He nodded, looking at her face. He could see why Quistis was so admired among the students. She was very lovely, mature and elegant for her young age. Her cobalt blue eyes held so much knowledge, showing intelligence that so many women seemed to lack, that men as well didnít possess. Only a few people had that internal wisdom. Quistis, Zellís mother, andÖÖ. Seifer. Despite all the things that Seifer was, he wasnít stupid. Zell felt a blush creep across his face.

"Zell, why are you blushing?" Quistis asked. She then felt stupid for blurting it out, drawing more attention to something Zell probably felt embarrassed about. He looked over at her, blushing further. Quistis knew that look, and felt badly for bringing attention to it. It was the same look that Quistis would curse herself for when she thought too much about Squall.

"Oh, QuistisÖ.. Uh, itís nothingÖ." Zell stammered, trying with all his emotional strength to squash the welling heat that was radiating throughout his whole body, originating deep within.

She raised an eyebrow. "Okay. Listen, Iíll see you guys later, okay?" She made a small wave, wandering off to the balcony, her mind preoccupied with her failure as a teacher. She wanted someone to talk to, a certain someone.

Zell sighed, turning back to Selphie. "Hey, Iím gonna take off. Iím tired."

Selphieís face fell. "Oh. Are you sure?"

Zell nodded, feigning a yawn. "Yeah, I just want to hit the sack." Zell felt bad about lying to the small brunette, but he had to get out of there. Besides, he wanted to sneak out and relax in Balamb. He was pretty sure he wouldnít need his fake ID while wearing his new uniform.

"Okay, Iíll see you in the morning."

Zell nodded, waving as he left the ballroom. As he was walking to his room, he ran into Squall, who was slowly sauntering to the dorms.

"Hey, did you know that they gave us our own rooms because we passed?" Zell asked, trying to be friendly. He wanted to ask about the girl the almost pretty Squall had been dancing with, but decided against it, knowing Squall probably wouldnít tell him anything, anyway.

Squall didnít really seem to care, and walked past Zell almost as if he wasnít there.

Zell made a rude noise in the back of his throat, too low for Squall to hear. He went to his new room quickly, frowning at the faculty that were combing the halls. He would have taken one of the exits in the quad, but would have to make due climbing out his window. He quickly went into his room, locking the door behind him. Zell stood on his bed, wobbling on the unsteady mattress.

"Fuck!" He cursed under his breath as he crawled out the window, the edge of the screen cutting his arm. As he tumbled out of the window onto the grass below, he held his arm, which stung. He squinted his pale eyes in the dim moonlight, trying to inspect the wound. He shrugged. It wasnít that bad, and it wasnít even really bleeding. Zell checked around, making sure that nobody had seen him fall out of his window, for the fact he didnít want to get caught, and he probably looked like an idiot. He hurriedly jogged to Balamb, feeling sort of rebellious for sneaking out, even though he did it all the time.

"NowÖ. What to doÖ..?" He asked himself quietly. He hadnít really thought this little excursion out, so Zell was now stumped for ideas. He slowly wandered the streets, which were deserted, probably because it was a weekday. Zellís lazy gaze stopped on the Black Cauldron, a bar that catered to a younger demographic of boozers. Zell grinned, knowing that even if Balamb was deader than the dead, this bar would at least have a few people around he could converse with, and if it was empty, he could drink in peace. As Zell walked through the door, he felt a warm tingle pass across his body. The few drinks of champagne he had consumed at the ball were starting to catch up with him. He would have a nice buzz going in no time at all.

He was surprised that they didnít even ask for his ID, or fake ID as it were. He had never looked very mature, but it must have been the uniform. He smiled, liking the perks of his rank already. He sauntered into the dark room, making a beeline for the bar. There were quite a few people there, including some students from the Garden. He just nodded at them, knowing he wouldnít get ratted out because they were doing the same thing he was. There was some hard, gloomy music playing, which would have the effect of making already drunk people more depressed, but it had a techno beat which livened it up. Zell had never heard the song before, but liked it immediately. Zell weaved his small body between vagrant couples on the small dance floor, swaying zombie-like to the music. He noticed that there were same sex couples as well as opposite sex couples. The Black Cauldron had a very open reputation, which Zell found refreshing. He blushed deeply in the dim light as two handsome men looked over at him, smiling with meaning. He was glad that it was so dark, so nobody would see the scarlet tinge to his cheeks.

Zell stopped at the bar, his injured arm brushing against the shoulder of a man who was hunched at the bar beside him. Zell looked over casually, gasping when his eyes met the endless sky of Seiferís eyes.

"Seifer? UhÖÖ WellÖÖHi."

Seifer raised his eyebrows in surprise, then smiled broadly. "Snuck out, too?"

Zell furrowed his brow when Seifer smiled. It was so strange to see Seiferís teeth bared in anything other than a sneer, and it looked like he was actually genuinely smiling.

"UhÖÖ YeahÖ. SoÖ.." Zell blushed furiously. "You wonít rat me out, will you?"

Seifer laughed, almost giggling. "How would I explain that I saw youÖ.. At a bisexual bar of all places." He raised an elegant eyebrow, turning his attention back to his straight vodka.

Zell raised his eyebrows sharply. Did Seifer just giggle?

"Whatíll you have?" The bartender asked of Zell.

"What are you having?" Zell asked his classmate.

"Vodka."

"Iíll have that, too."

Seifer half smiled as he took a long sip. "I figured you as more of a Shirley Temple kind of guy." Seifer laughed his strange, lighthearted laugh again.

Zellís eyebrows raised further. He figured they must have been touching his hairline by now. "Youíre drunk."

Seifer paused, looking at Zell. "UhÖ.. Yeah, I think I amÖ.."

Zell nodded as the bartender placed his drink in front of him. "So, how many drinks do I have to have before Iím caught up?" He took a long swig.

"Uh, letís seeÖ.." Seifer mockingly counted on his fingers. "I canít count that high."

Zell scoffed, downing the rest, and motioning for another. "You can so."

"I can, but currently, my mathematical abilities are failing meÖ."

Zell quickly downed the second drink. "Well, the way Iím knocking these back, compounded with the champagne I drank at the ball, I should be there very quickly."

Seifer turned his body slightly so he could look Zell directly in the eyes. Everything had the soft edges of alcohol around it, including Zell. The effect was that he looked like he was a vision, a mirage, his hair was his halo, and his tattoo a vine growing up the side of his face. The booze was making Seifer lose his inhibitions, and he had to force himself not to reach out and grab the smaller man. "So, you snuck away from the fabulous SeeD ballÖ.. Why did you come here?" Seifer looked around. A glimmer of hope shot through his fuddled brain. Was Zell into men?

"Huh? Oh, because it has the best ambiance. Why did you come here?"

Seifer looked down at the bar, hiding the blush. He wasnít drunk enough to admit that he was gay, yet. "To get drunk."

"Youíre depressed about failing, arenít you?" Zell asked, serious as he downed his third drink.

"NoÖÖ." Seifer glared at Zell.

The small blonde smirked. "I think you are. Youíre just too proud to admit that you actually have feelings."

Seifer sighed. "So what if Iím disappointed? Itís not like Iím not used to itÖ. Iíve failed before, and Iíll fail again."

"Well, your negative attitude isnít going to help."

Seifer gave him the finger, slowly drinking another vodka. "Why didnít you stay at the ball?"

"It was boring.."

Seifer gasped mockingly. "You mean that our classmates werenít exciting?? Dear GOD, what a newsflash!"

"It wasnít that badÖ"

Seifer snorted. "Then why are you here with me?"

Zell said nothing. "Okay, so it blew. Selphie was enjoying herselfÖ."

"No offense to Selphie, but sheíd enjoy a leg wax."

Zell chuckled softly. "Yeah, I guess she would. I wish I could be happy about everything, like her, thoughÖ."

"What are you talking about? You are happy all the time."

Zell titled his head, looking away. "Not all the time."

"Well, happiness is overrated, anyway."

Zell turned back, staring at the other blonde. "I guess you arenít very happyÖÖ."

Seifer sighed, saying nothing. After a few moments, he popped a couple of beer nuts in his mouth. "Wow, we sure did get depressed fast."

"Alcohol can do that. Thatís why itís called a depressant." Zell made a face at Seifer.

"Shut upÖ"

Zell sighed, pressing his fingertips to his temples. The drinks were starting to get to him, and he had to close his eyes to prevent the room from spinning. "Okay, I think I caught up to youÖ.."

Seifer laughed again, sounding soÖ Human. Zell couldnít help but laugh, too. The whole situation seemed amusing. Here Zell was, in a bar that had the reputation for being a bisexual bar, drunk off his ass, and laughing with Seifer, who was actually smilingÖ and looking rather good while doing it. Zell shook his head, trying to clear any false, alcohol soaked lust out of his brain. The motion of moving his head around left Zell feeling like he was swimming. Everything around him was moving, and it was going straight to his stomach.

"Hey, Chicken, are you okay?" Seifer asked, watching as the small SeeD flushed, closing his eyes.

Zell waved his hand as his surroundings became more stationary. "Iím fine."

"Youíre drunk."

"IdiotÖ. So are you!" Zell stuck his tongue out.

"Donít be such a baby."

Zell groaned, gesturing for another drink.

"Donít you think youíve had enough?"

Zell glared at Seifer. "Donít you?"

"Touché."

After a few seconds, Zell made a noise of disbelief in the back of his throat. "Hey! Why do you care if I drink myself to an early grave?!"

"What?" Seifer looked at Zell with confusion, his brow furrowed.

Zellís face lit up with a big smile. "You look so much like a kid when youíre confusedÖ."

"Iím not confusedÖ. Well, not really. MoreÖ" Seifer waved one of his gloved hands, searching for the word he wanted. "Perplexed. Thatís it. Iím perplexed by you, Zell."

Zell smiled softly. Twice in one day where Seifer had actually called him Zell, instead of some stupid taunt. Seifer must have noticed that Zell was looking at him, for he blushed slightly, the gentle pink crawling across his alabaster cheeks. Zell closed his eyes slowly, turning his head away as he felt a painful tug in his chest.

Donít think like thatÖ Zell scolded of himself.

"Are you sure youíre alright?" Seifer asked. He reached out, resting his hand on Zellís lean shoulder. He hoped that the small man hadnít gotten ill. Seifer, however, would never actually vocalize his concern, become that vulnerable, open himself up to rejection and heartbreak. He wouldnítÖ

Zell looked over at Seifer. His touch was actually very gentle, warm. Zell felt a hot flush come across his face, which he couldnít hide from Seifer, who raised his eyebrows in surprise.

Is Zell actually blushing? Seifer smirked, knowing that he was making Zell get hot under the collar. However, he decided to appease Zell of his embarrassment, and took a small sip of his drink. "So, was everyone at the ball falling over each other to suck Prince Squallís dick?" He pulled his hand away, regretfully. He liked touching the small blonde.

Zell sighed, his body feeling suddenly cold. He was relieved that Seifer hadnít made fun of him for blushing, mainly because Zell didnít think heíd be able to come back with a response, due to the fact that he himself didnít even know what was going on. He didnít want to accept that Seifer had made him blush. But, it had happenedÖ And Zell actually missed the feeling of Seiferís hand on his body.

"I donít know. There was one chick that Iíve never seen before that was interestedÖ"

"Is interested just a euphemism as to she was rubbing her cunt on him, or was she just Ďinterestedí?"

Zell cocked his head, surprised at the scorn he heard in Seiferís voice when he said the word Ďcuntí, like it was the most horrid, dirty word in his vocabulary.

"Oh, they were just dancing, but I wasnít standing right next to them, so I couldnít tell if she wasÖ.. CuntingÖ himÖ?"

Seifer laughed softly. "Cunting? Thatís not a real word!"

Zell scoffed. "So what? Iím making it a word, as of today!"

"They can put your picture beside it in the dictionary."

Zell sighed. "Iím not a cunt!"

"I know thatÖ" Seifer said softly, almost a whisper. He turned to the bartender. "Can I have another."

"I think youíve had enoughÖ" He looked over to Zell. "Both of youÖ"

Zell scoffed. "Iím fine!" He jumped off the barstool to show that he wasnít that drunk, but wobbled on his feet. "Oh, no Iím notÖ" He had to grab the arm of Seiferís coat to prevent himself from falling on his ass. Seifer slid partly off his perch, glaring at Zell. "What do you think youíre doing?"

"Passing out."

"Whoa, whoaÖ." Seifer grabbed Zellís arm, hoisting him up. "Okay, maybe weíre a little too drunk right nowÖ."

"FuckÖ." Zell muttered, finding the strength to stand up under his own power. "And I probably have a mission tomorrow!"

Seifer slowly got off his stool, not wanting to fall over as Zell had. "We should probably goÖ Not that I have any pressing missions coming my way. Probably detention or somethingÖ"

"Donít get so down on yourself," Zell said cheerily, his words coming out slightly slurred as he and Seifer left the bar.

"We are going to get in so much shit," Seifer muttered as they walked slowly, carefully, watching their steps closely.

"Weíll sneak back in just fine. Have faith in me."

Seifer snorted. "That isnít very comforting."

"Cunt."

Seifer glared at him. "Donít call me that!"

Zell raised his hands. "Fine, fine. Christ, what is it with you and that word?"

"What do you mean?"

"You just seem to hate it. Like itís the worst insult in the world."

"To me, it isÖ."

"Why?" Zell asked, stopping to lean against a wall as a wave of nausea hit him. "Shit. Okay, sneaking in will be harder than I thought if I canít even walk to the Garden."

Seifer stopped, turning around. "Why am I not surprised that you canít handle your liquor?"

"I can so handle my liquor!" Zell looked up. "Youíre not exactly a picture of sobriety, either, my dear."

Seifer blushed deeply at being called something affectionate like Ďmy dearí. "Well, if they catch us, weíll just hope that they donít suspend us for being drunk."

"Iím a SeeD. They canít suspend me."

"They can so. They just wonít let you go on any missions, because it will be a black mark for the Garden. A lush soldier doesnít instill confidence in the average Joe."

"For being in the bag, you sure do make a lot of senseÖ"

"I always make sense."

Zell laughed. "Do you?" He crossed his arms in front of his chest. "What sense is there in always picking on me?!"

Seifer laughed, his chuckles sounding throaty and rich in Zellís ears. "I do that because itís funny."

Zell scoffed, stopping in the middle of the street. "How is it funny?!" He looked around. "I think Iím really drunk."

"Thatís been obvious for some time nowÖ"

"We should crash at my place for a while, at least until weíre sober enough not to draw attention to ourselves."

"We?" Seifer asked, raising his eyebrow.

"Yeah. Iím feeling hospital."

"Thatís Ďhospitableí, stupid."

"Dah!" Zell smacked his forehead. "Why do you find it so amusing to belittle me?" He shook his head.

"Because you get so riled up. If you didnít care, like Squall, I probably wouldnít do it so much." Seifer stopped, looking at Zell. "What?"

"I think I hit myself too hardÖ"

Seifer laughed, pulling Zellís hand away from his forehead. "Well, thereís no bruiseÖ"

Zell felt his heart rate increase as he looked at Seifer. They were standing rather closely, and Zell could feel Seiferís warm breath on his face. When Zell inhaled, his chest brushed against Seifer's, which sent chills down the smaller manís spine. He looked into Seiferís eyes, feeling himself being sucked in to their blue depths.

Seifer looked down at Zellís upturned face, hypnotized by him. Zellís wrist felt warm, even through his gloved hand, and the gentle friction of their chests brushing together was making his nerves sing. He wanted so badly to lean in, to capture Zellís mouth with his own, wanting to discover what he tasted like, if his lips were as soft as they looked. He stopped himself, knowing that even if Zell was drunk, it would beyond freak him out.

"UhÖ.. Come on, we can cut through the soccer fieldÖ.." Zell gently pulled away, breaking the tantalizing connection that they had shared. He gently pulled his wrist from Seiferís gentle, yet firm grip. That had just been too strange. He had actually wanted to kiss Seifer, to crush his body against the taller man, feel the inner heat of his mouth, feel wanted, desiredÖ He looked shyly over at Seifer, who seemed intent on studying the ground. "Letís go."

Seifer nodded. "Are you sure? I doubt your mother would appreciate two drunk men in her house."

"I doubt she would, too, but what she doesnít know wonít hurt herÖ. Sheís in Dollet visiting her sister."

Seifer smirked. "Oh. Youíre so badÖ."

Zell blushed in the darkness, glad that Seifer couldnít see it. "You know, I like you a whole lot more when youíre drunk. You should be drunk all the time."

Seifer scoffed as they slowly walked across the large soccer field. "But then Iíd be a raging alcoholic."

"Whatís wrong with that?"

"I donít think I could handle having to do a jig every time I wanted a bottle of wine."

"Oh, and it would have to have those three little Xís on it."

Seifer laughed. "Iíd have to missing a lot of my teeth, too, which could prove to be a good business decision."

Zell furrowed his brow. "Huh?"

"JesusÖ.. Youíre so dense."

Zell thought for a moment. "OhÖOH!!" He cracked into a smile. "I guess my intelligence has slowed a bitÖ"

"Iím wagering that itís at the pace of a snail now."

"Thatís so mean!"

"It was meant to be." Seifer looked over at Zell, whose flesh looked so pale in the moonlight. "I would be a pretty sorry bully if I started slinging compliments around."

"Youíd be more popular."

"Being popular isnít one of my goals in life. I never wanted to be in a Gap commercial."

"Why, because you canít dance?"

"Hey! I can dance!"

Zell laughed.

"Why are you laughing?"

"I just never pictured you being a Broadway style dancer."

"Thereís lots of things you donít know about me." Seifer made a face, mockingly doing a Ďjazz handsí move.

Zell laughed. "If thatís your only moved, youíll be hard pressed to impress the ladies."

"All you need to impress women is some stupid car and the ability to care that you give a crap about which guy on Dawsonís Creek is better looking."

"You mean you donít think that those guys are hot, too?!" Zell mocked.

"Theyíre all ugly. Besides, anyone who caters to the teenybopper way of life has no dignity. Or an IQ level bigger than their shoe size."

"You sound very cynicalÖ"

Seifer shrugged. "Maybe being drunk also brings out my desire for social upheaval, as well as my fuzzier sideÖ..?" Seifer made the last part sound like a question.

"I donít think itís a fuzzier side. Just lessÖ prickish."

"Well, thank youÖ I think. Iím just proud of myself because Iím actually sort of making sense. Usually when Iím drunk, I just start babbling about shit."

"Like actual shit, as in feces, or just stuff that doesnít make any sense?"

"A little from column A, and a little from column B. Just ask Fujin or RaijinÖ. My notoriety for the equivalent to verbal bowel movements is quite knownÖ"

"Thatís a mental image I didnít need."

"Oh, Iím sure youíve had worseÖ. Like when you were old enough to realize that your parents have sex."

"Ack!" Zell covered his ears. "I am not listening, la, la, la, la, la!"

"You did realize that they do thatÖ. Right?"

"Yes!" Zell scoffed. "I just donít have to think about it. Thank you ever so much, Seifer Almasy. Now Iím going to have nightmares."

"Thatís what Iím here for. To give children nightmares. Wait until I start talking about clowns."

"Iím not a child!" Zell protested, stamping his foot, which was a very childish move.

"You were saying?"

Zell groaned. "So, what about clowns?"

"They molest children."

Zell laughed. "What?"

"Itís true. When have you ever seen a clown that didnít have that leering ĎI want inside your childís underwearí look on their face?"

Zell thought for a moment. "Actually, thinking backÖ They all kind of were kind of skanky."

"You used too many Ďkind ofsí in that sentence."

"Sorrrrrryyyyy!" Zell raised his hands mockingly. "I was never a big fan of clowns anywayÖ." Zell laughed. "Canít sleepÖ clowns will eat meÖ"

"Theyíre also the main ingredient in Cotton Candy."

Zell laughed. "So, thatís what happens to them when they canít leer at preschoolers anymore. I thought that they just turned into greasy CarniesÖ. Or John Wayne Gacy."

"Well, Pogo was a child molester, so what does that tell you?"

"Whoís Pogo?"

"John Wayne Gacy. Donít you research your serial killers?"

"Obviously not. Great, now I wonít be able to eat Cotton Candy. It will be like eating someone whoís eaten a childÖ. Out."

Seifer laughed loudly. "Fuck! That was funny!"

"I aim to please."

"That should be my slogan when I loose all my teeth, but it will sound slightly garbled.. Because I wonít have any teeth."

"Youíll have to give me royalties."

Seifer scoffed. "What for? Itís not like you made up that statement. Youíre just taking credit for someone elseís hard work."

"Hard work my ass!"

Seifer laughed.

"Whatís so funny about that?" Zell paused. "You pervert!"

"You donít want me to hard work your ass?" Seifer laughed, making a mockingly perverted noise in the back of his throat, lazily reaching out to grab Zell.

"Stop it!" Zell cried, although he didnít know if he would mind that much if Seifer molested him on the street. AnywayÖ What was I talking about?"

"Hard working your assÖ"

"Thatís not what I was talking about! Oh, yeah. Itís not like the person who first said "I aim to please" really had to rack their brain. Just sitting behind a desk, trying to think of stupid things to say to impress the boss."

"Probably. Theyíre also the kind of guys who plan out pick up lines to use in bards."

"Bards?"

"What? I meant bars."

"Sure you didÖ."

"Whatever, ChickenÖ"

"Shut up!" Zell cried through his laughter, interrupting, and lightly shoving Seiferís shoulder.

"Donít push me." Seifer smirked, pushing Zell back.

Zell laughed again, finding the whole situation extremely funny all of a sudden. He flattened his palms on Seiferís broad chest, and shoved as hard as he could. Seifer gasped, losing his balance, falling on his ass in the soft grass.

"Ow!" Seifer glared up at Zell. "You are so dead. I oughtta bitch-slap you."

Zell laughed again, practically in hysterics. "Youíll have to catch me first!"

Seifer rose to his knees, quickly reaching out to grab the smaller man, but Zell moved quickly, which was surprising in his state. The tall blonde got up, slowly stalking towards Zell.

"Youíre too slowÖ.ChickenÖ." Zell muttered, sticking his tongue out at Seifer.

"What?!" Seifer cried, pretending to be offended. He quickly broke into a run, chasing after Zell. "Donít think youíll get away from me, Zell."

"Oh, I donít plan on getting awayÖ" Zell gasped, turning to push Seifer again.

"I didnít expect you to be so flirty, Dincht."

Zell stopped completely. "Flirty?"

Seifer smirked, tackling Zell, sending them sprawling in a messy pile of limbs among the lush grass.

"Christ! You got my uniform all dirty!" Zell cried, trying to struggle out of Seiferís grip.

"Thatís what you get," the tall blonde replied lowly, almost purring.

Zell squirmed, trying to get away, but all it did was create further contact between their bodies. He slowly closed his eyes, softly breathing in as their groins brushed together. He looked up at Seifer. "Youíre enjoying this, arenít you?"

Seifer laughed. "Immensely."

Zell smirked, freeing one of his hands to get a good grip on one of Seiferís nipples, twisting.

"Fuck!" Seifer cried. "That hurts!"

Zell twisted harder. "Oh, Iím sorry."

"Youíre going to pull out my ringÖ"

"What?"

"My nipple ringÖ." Seifer pried Zellís hand away, looping his fingers through Zellís, pinning their hands to the ground. "If you had pulled it out, I would have been a little angry."

"Then let me up!"

Seifer relented, releasing his grip on Zell, sitting up. "As you wishÖ"

Zell brushed some grass blades off his back, then threw all his weight against Seifer, sending them toppling again, but with Zell on top this time.

"Never let your guard down against an opponent."

"Youíre not really a worthy opponent, though."

"Iím hurt!" Zell murmured.

"Let me up, Chicken-Wuss. Or Iíll yell Ďrapeí."

Zell snickered. "You do thatÖ"

Seifer opened his mouth to yell, but Zell clamped one of his hands over Seiferís soft lips. Seifer frowned at him, his brow knitting together.

"Come onÖ. Yell it. I dare you."

Zell noticed a mischievous glint in Seiferís eyes, and was about to say something, but he felt Seiferís tongue lap at his palm, the tip lazily curling around one of his fingers.

"Ack!" Zell cried, pulling his hand away. "You slobbered all over me!"

Seifer smirked, laughing softly at the offended noise Zell made. He tried to squirm away, but Zell held him in a grip that was surprisingly tight. Zell was using his knees to hold Seiferís legs down, and his grip was very powerful. There wasnít really anything physically sexual about the hold, but Seifer felt his heartbeat increase steadily. He wanted Zell to make his grip tighter, move his hands over Seiferís body, molest him, possess him, need himÖ..

Zell looked into Seiferís eyes again, seeing a longing, mourning look there. He also looked soÖ.. desirable. The tattooed blonde couldnít ignore the way that Seifer seemed to be looking at him: with utter desire. Or was it his own mental projection that he was seeing? Did he want Seifer to be looking at him in that way? Zell felt that he was crossing an emotional line that he had sworn he would try to cover up. Flashes of what it would feel like to kiss Seifer, move his tongue across his long body, be inside him, what it would be like to have Seifer inside him, filled Zellís brain. Zell had tried not to think about what it would be like to give into those feelings, but now that he had, it was uplifting. There was a sudden happy, light feeling running through his blood.

"So, tell me," Zell began quietly, pinning Seiferís wrists further into the tended grass. "Why were you actually at that bar? Are you bisexual?"

"No," Seifer answered simply, and Zell believed him. The small blonde got off Seifer, finding it hard to hide his disappointment. He had finally tapped into feelings that he had tried to ignore because of whatever reasons, and they were crushed before they could be discovered.

Seifer sat up, resting his weight on his arms, which were slightly behind him. He couldnít help but smile at how ridiculous this all seemed; all this tension and coyness. He shifted his weight so he was kneeling, his hands splayed in front of him, his fingertips almost touching Zellís. "What is it?"

Zell shook his head, looking away from Seifer, at the lights of Balamb, most of which were out. "NothingÖ.."

"Donít lie to me."

"Iím not lying."

Seifer sighed. "I think the depression stage just kicked in."

Zell sighed, echoing Seifer, and tried to get up. He stumbled and fell over again, practically falling in Seiferís lap. "My head is swimmingÖ."

Seifer put his hands on Zellís hips, steadying him, but failing as they both fell back onto the grass. Zell started giggling for no reason, throwing his head back, wrapping his arms around Seiferís shoulders for balanceÖ And to be close to him. The fact that Zell was laughing so heartily, and that his giggles sounded like sweet Angel bells, made Seifer start to laugh as well. They laughed together, for the first time that either of them could remember. Seifer began gasping for air, pressing his temple to Zellís shoulder. Their laughter began to die at the same time as they realized how close they were.

Seifer lifted his head off Zellís shoulder. "Why were you laughing?"

"You were laughing, too!" Zell protested.

"Because you were. I canít help it if you have infectious laughter!"

"Sorrry for laughing!" Zell scoffed.

"You donít have to get so offendedÖ." Seifer trailed off, slowly, shakily taking in his breath as he felt Zellís warm breath on his face. Seifer sighed, titling his face up to Zellís. If he had been sober, he wouldnít have dared make this kind of move, but all the alcohol in his body had sent his inhibitions into dormancy, and it seemed like the right thing to do. Seiferís heart leapt into his throat as Zell eagerly pressed his lips to the scarred blondeís.

Seifer sighed shakily as Zellís tongue licked across his lips, gently pushing into his mouth. He pulled the smaller body against him, using his body to touch every inch of Zell. Through the tangy taste of alcohol, he could taste the sweet, natural taste of Zell himself. He willingly, eagerly opened his mouth to Zell, inviting the smaller blondeís tongue fully into his mouth.

Zell groaned, the surface of his tongue running along Seiferís. He couldnít believe he was actually doing this, giving in to urges he had tried to repress. At this moment, he didnít know why he waited so long. This felt so right, made Zell feel so whole, complete, wanted. He sighed as he felt Seiferís hand move to the back of his neck, gently massaging the flesh, tangling in the soft honey hair at the nape of his neck. Zell worked his hands under Seiferís coat, running his palms up the tall manís sides, moving to Seiferís chest, his fingertips resting on Seiferís nipples. Seiferís kisses were very gentle, not at all what Zell expected. He figured Seifer would be more harsh, forceful, but it was slow and soft. His hands were also very gentle as they explored Zellís upper body. His touch was almost hesitant, like Zell would break from it, or that Seifer was afraid Zell would leaveÖ. Zell moaned loudly, his mouth sliding off Seiferís as he felt Seiferís arousal poking at his hip. Seifer nipped at his lips as Zell slightly pulled away.

"I though you werenít bisexualÖ"

"Iím notÖ." Seifer trailed off, wrapping his legs around Zellís body, pulling the martial artist in for another kiss.

Zell groaned, his own erection brushing against Seiferís thigh, where it met his body. He sat up, realizing that they were still in a fairly public place. "Come on," Zell whispered, reaching for Seiferís hand.

"Huh?" Seifer raised his eyebrows, taking Zellís hand. His hair was tousled, and his lips were kiss bruised, which made Zell melt. He actually looked cute, a word Zell never thought heíd use to describe Seifer of all people.

"My houseÖ" Zell trailed off as Seifer stood. Zell stood on his tiptoes, giving Seifer another quick kiss. "Now."

Seifer smiled, licking the curl of Zellís ear before letting himself be dragged to Zellís house. They practically ran to his house, stealing quick kisses and gentle caresses in the dark. By the time they got to his front door, both were out of breath and fully aroused. Zell quickly opened the door, pulling Seifer in with him. As soon as Zell closed the door, Seifer grabbed him in a tight embrace, eager to kiss the small blonde again. He pressed his mouth hungrily to Zellís, reveling in the feeling of kissing him, what he tasted like, how warm his mouth was. Seifer held Zell tighter, crushing the smaller body against his own, lifting Zell off the ground so that they were face to face.

Zell voiced his pleasure by moaning into Seiferís hot mouth. He wound his legs around Seiferís hips, groaning impatiently as his erection brushed against Seiferís. He made the taller man put him down. When Seifer gave him a disappointed look, Zell smiled eagerly, taking Seiferís gloved hands. He led Seifer up the stairs to his bedroom, practically attacking him once they stepped into the room. He nipped at Seiferís lips, biting at his lower lip desperately. Zell moaned deeply as Seifer pressed his leather-clad gloves on Zellís cheeks, using his tongue to explore Zellís open mouth.

"GodÖ" Zell whispered, his eyes rolling back into his head as Seiferís mouth moved to his throat.

"Oh, wonderfulÖ. Iíve already got you calling out some other manís nameÖ" Seifer murmured between kisses, his breath washing over the now wet flesh of Zellís neck.

Zell laughed, pulling Seifer to the bed. He lost his footing and groaned when Seiferís weight fell on him, their hipbones clashing together. Zell began tugging at the tie of his uniform, impatiently trying to struggle out of it. Seiferís long fingers moved across the front of the uniform, slowly helping Zell remove the tie. Once it was off, Zell chucked it across the room, not wanting to have to deal with it again. The buttons on the front of the shirt were the next thing to be attacked, by both men. Zell shivered as Seiferís hands slid in underneath his shirt, sweeping across his chest. He gasped noisily as Seiferís fingers moved over his hardened nipples, massaging them to further firmness. Zell pulled Seiferís face to his, kissing him again, his lust making his blood boil, his nerves sing, his lungs burn.

"SeiferÖ." Zell murmured as the other manís talented mouth moved down his body, slowly licking around the hardened peaks of Zellís nipples. Zell raised his muscled arms over his head, tightly gripping the posts in his headboard. He whimpered as Seifer began sucking with force on the already sensitive nubs. He felt the leather of the otherís gloves move over his flesh, and frowned. He sat up, pulling Seifer away from his chest.

"What?" Seifer asked, kissing the small blondeís chin.

"Itís not really fair that youíre still fully dressed," Zell commented, whipping Seiferís coat off in one motion. "God, you wear a lot of clothesÖ." Zell muttered, working off one of Seiferís gloves. It just occurred to him that this was probably the first time in a long time that he had seen Seiferís hands. The tall, scarred blonde always seemed to be wearing a pair of gloves. Zell linked his fingers with Seiferís long, now bare ones, and gently planted a series of butterfly kisses on his palm, only leaving his lips on the skin long enough to register the sensation.

Seifer sighed, burying his face in Zellís hair, breathing in the scent of his shampoo as Zell continued with his gentle attentions. Seifer used his teeth to remove the other glove, moving his free hand to the small of Zellís back, nimbly tickling him. Zell laughed against Seiferís palm, almost shrieking.

"What?!" Seifer asked, taken aback. "I barely touched youÖ. Oh, are you ticklish?"

Zell shook his head, stifling his laughter by bringing one of Seiferís fingers into his mouth, sucking on it suggestively. Seifer sighed, kissing Zellís temple affectionately before returning his hands to the ticklish spot on Zellís back. As he tickled the shrieking Zell, Seifer kicked off his boots, smiling as Zell laughed and squirmed under him.

"Stop it!" Zell cried breathlessly, biting Seiferís palm.

"Ow!" Seifer pulled his hand away.

Zell smirked, rolling them over so that he was on top. "Donít tickle me!" He cried, pulling off his shoes and socks. "How would you like it?"

"Iím not ticklish."

Zell sighed, straddling Seiferís hips, rocking his own, pressing their groins together, which caused Seifer to gasp and moan softly. Zell leaned in, kissing Seiferís lips gently, his fingers undoing the buttons of Seiferís blood red shirt. Zell never thought that a drunken romp in the sack could feel so right, soÖ. Pure. Like Seifer was his one and only. As they continued to give each other small chains of kisses, Seifer stroked Zellís thighs, which caused Zell to rock his hips, pressing his erection to Seiferís. The taller blonde arched his back so Zell could remove his button up shirt. The movement caused their groins to further rub against each other, ripping a moan from both men. Zell flattened his palms on Seiferís stomach, running his hands up the translucent fabric, happy with Seiferís choice of wardrobe. He stopped at Seiferís nipples, tracing the twin hoops that hung from each peak. At Zellís touch, Seifer took his breath in sharply, arching up to meet the ghostly touch.

Zell smiled, nuzzling at Seiferís throat as he moved his fingertips up under the hem of the shirt, slowly skimming it up. The tattooed man slid his body down Seiferís long legs, pressing his lips against the flesh below Seiferís bellybutton. As Zell pushed the shirt slowly up, he moved his mouth as well, stopping to slowly press his tongue into the well of Seiferís navel, which ripped a moan from the reclining man. When Zell reached Seiferís nipples, he covered one completely with his mouth, sucking hard on it, using his tongue to wiggle the metal hoop, which felt cold in his mouth.

"Zell," Seifer cried softly, arching his body further, stretching it upwards like a cat. He threw his head back, pressing it hard into the pillows. Zell was doing things to him that he had dreamed about for so long, wanted for as long as he could remember, and it seemed like a terrible shame that he was so drunk for it, like it wasnít really happeningÖ

Zell looked up, the shirt now bunched up under Seiferís armpits. "Say it again."

Seifer looked down. "Huh?"

"Say my name again."

"Why?" Seifer asked.

"Because I like the way you say it, and you say it so rarely." Zellís words were muffled as he continued to kiss Seiferís broad chest.

"OhÖ" Seifer trailed off as Zell traced slow patterns with his tongue around Seiferís nipples. "OhÖ ChickenÖ" Seifer was cut off as Zell bit on the hard nub. "FuckÖ.." He whispered as Zell made the vice of his teeth tighter. "ÖChicken-Wuss."

"Bastard." Zell removed the shirt at last, chucking it behind him. He moved his hand down Seiferís now bare, developed chest, moving towards his groin. He cupped the hard bulge in Seiferís pants, slightly flexing his fingers in a lazy rhythm.

"Zell!" Seifer breathed, moaning desperately. "ZellÖ.."

"Thatís better." He pulled his hand away, causing Seifer to whimper in disappointment. He moved his hands to the belt that looped through his own pants, taking it off quickly. He didnít want to wait anymore. He wanted to fuck Seifer, right then, wanted to feel the sultry blonde all around him. He clambered out of his pants without the grace he would have had if he were sober. Seifer tried to sit up, but Zell pushed him back down against the mattress, pulling off Seiferís socks. "Oh, no you donít."

Seifer obliged, remaining on his back, aroused by the way Zell was taking charge, the way he was so eager. He watched as Zell continued to remove their clothing, his eyes roaming over Zellís small, yet muscular body. He had a very slender, almost girlish waist, and slight shoulders, but the powerful overlay of muscles was enviable and impressive. He wished his body was as wonderful as Zellís. Soon, they were both naked, and Seiferís eyes continued to explore, study Zellís body. Zellís cock wasnít too big or too small, justÖ Perfect. Like the rest of his body. Seifer felt a warm wave of affection pass across his body.

Zell felt Seiferís gaze moving over his nude body, and looked up. He blushed when he met Seiferís gaze, not used to being looked at in this way. "What?"

"Nothing. Just admiring you." Seifer smiled softly. "Youíre perfect."

Zell scoffed, gently using his knee to part Seiferís long, long legs. "Well, youíre not so bad yourself, sweetie," Zell whispered, sliding his body between Seiferís open legs. Zell smiled at the understatement he had made. Seifer was better than okay. His body was long and lean, and he was build like a swimmer, with muscles developed all over his body, not just in the usual working out areas. His shoulders were broad and powerful, and he looked like what the ideal male form should look like. A tattoo snaked around Seiferís upper arm, black and ornate. It looked like it traveled to his back, but at that point, Zell didnít care. Seiferís body was heavenly, and was blessed greatly as far as penis size went.

Seifer gripped a handful of Zellís honey hair as their erections pressed together, all barriers gone. Seifer blissfully closed his eyes, finding Zellís mouth with his own, tangling his tongue with the otherís. Seifer rocked his hips up against Zellís smiling as Zell moaned loudly, his mouth sliding off Seiferís, leaving a wet trail across the tall blondeís pale cheek. Seifer closed his eyes again, his lids feeling heavy. He parted his legs further, whispering, "Take me."

Zell groaned, Seiferís words passing through him, his heart lightening by Seifer offering his body to him. Zell gave Seifer a small kiss on the chin as he thrust one of his thighs under Seiferís hip, raising Seiferís body off the mattress. Zell moved his hand down, hovering before Seiferís opening. "Okay, Iíve never done this before, so just say something if I do something you donít likeÖ."

Seifer raised his arms over his head gripping the headboard as Zell inserted one finger. He slowly, sharply took in his breath, relaxing all his muscles. He whimpered in pleasure as Zell inserted another finger, slowly scissoring. Seifer moaned loudly when Zellís fingers brushed against his A spot. His muscles contracted around Zellís fingers, which caused Zell to sigh loudly.

Zell removed his fingers, positioning himself at Seiferís stretched entry. "Ready?"

Seifer arched his body as far as his spine would let him. "Dammit, yes!" Seifer cried, rocking his hips up to Zell, whimpering as he felt the head of Zellís shaft press against him. Zell smiled at how impatient Seifer was. It wasnít like Zell had much restraint, either. His whole body was shivering in anticipation. He was a little nervous, seeing as how this was his first time, and it seemed odd that he would lose his virginity to Seifer of all people. Zell shook his head, not wanting to rationalize, think at all. He slowly pushed his body into Seiferís, moaning lowly as he did. Seiferís body was even tighter than Zell had thought it would be, and the heat deliciously burned him. When he had buried himself to the hilt, he stopped movement for a few moments, taken over by sheer emotion.

Seifer let out a thick sob, thrusting his body up to Zellís. "ZellÖ." He whimpered hoarsely.

Zell nipped at his loverís jaw, slowly beginning to thrust in and out of his hot, impossibly tight channel. He moaned lowly as Seifer used his muscled to clamp down on Zellís shaft. Zell completely pulled out, which wrenched loud moans from both of them. Zell paused before entering Seifer again, wanting to tease him.

"Please, ZellÖÖ Please!" Seifer cried, sobbing in frustration.

Zell clamped his mouth over Seiferís, silencing his lover. He thrust into Seifer again, burying himself all the way in with one move, which caused both men to cry out, and the bed to creak noisily with the force. Zell was immediately glad that his mother was a continent away, because they were making a lot of noise. Seifer moved his legs so that Zell could push deeper into him, his knees up near Zellís shoulders. Zell pressed his now hot cheek to Seiferís shoulder, which was lightly sheeted with sweat, as he steadily increased the pace of his hips. Seifer threw his head back, his neck muscles pulling so taut that it felt like they would snap, moaning as Zell pulled out again. He couldnít even voice his protest, so he just whimpered incoherently. Zell groaned, his teasing driving him insane as well, so he shoved himself back in, feeling that he wasnít going to last much longer. He pushed into Seiferís body with a furious pace, wanting to bring himself over the edge. He was so closeÖ

Seifer whimpered softly with each of Zellís downward thrusts, throwing his body into them. He could feel every nerve in his body on edge, like he would come apart at the seams at any moment. Seifer cried out silently as Zell began to stroke his throbbing length in unison with the pace of his hips. Seiferís head thrashed between his upstretched arms as the burning, delicious tension almost became unbearable. He was so close to release, but it felt like he had been bordering on it for a while. When he began to moan in frustration, Zell clamped his mouth over the scarred blondeís, silencing them both.

Zell sighed into Seiferís mouth as he gave one last thrust before exploding deep within Seiferís body. The man beneath Zell bit on the tattooed blondeís lower lip, feeling the wet heat fill his body. The warm feeling was what sent Seifer over the edge, and all his tension was released, his muscles relaxing, his fluid coating Zellís slowing hand. Zell sighed, lapping up some of the semen dripping down his fingers. He reached over to his nightstand, wiping up the rest. Afterwards, he bowed his body over Seiferís, planting a trail of small kissed on his collarbone.

"Do you think we should go back to the Garden?" Zell asked between kisses.

"Can we wait for a little while? I donít think I can walkÖ" He trailed off, giving Zell a lopsided grin.

Zell laughed quietly, pulling out reluctantly. "Okay. Actually, I feel sort of lightheadedÖ" Zell rested his head on Seiferís chest, his ear against Seiferís steady heartbeat. The lack of blood in his head, the afterglow, and the fact that he was still piss drunk were taking their toll. He lay silent for a few moments. "Seifer?"

No response.

Zell looked up. Seiferís eyes were closed, and he was breathing gently, a contented look on his face. He had fallen asleep. Zell studied Seiferís face, gently running the surface of his fingertips over the sleeping manís cheekbone. He looked so peaceful, his features relaxed. He almost looked delicate when he didnít have a scowl on his face. Zell smiled, putting his head back on the hard surface of Seiferís chest.

"Goodnight, SeiferÖ" He whispered before falling into blackness.

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