Anything & Everything
By Elise Maxwell
“Seifer,” Squall growled.
The blonde blinked, coming out of his mind and into the real world. “Sorry.” He grinned sheepishly. “He ready now?”
Squall nodded and grabbed his hand, pulling the blonde into Laguna’s room.
“’Bout time!” The man on the bed grinned at his son and the tall man behind him. “This is Seifer I presume?”
Seifer looked up from the ground at the incapacitated man. He knew this man—Laguna. Why did he look so damn familiar? Squall seemed to have the same impression, a thoughtful look inhabiting his face. It was then Seifer recognized their similarities—both men had the same nose and quite literally perfect face structure. He would have expected Squall to inherit that from his mother but Seifer found it amusing that his father had passed it on.
“You seem so familiar to me Seifer.” Laguna smiled and held a hand out. Seifer rounded the bed and shook it. There was something about this man… “I hear you’ve been staying here for a while.”
The blonde blinked and smiled. “Yes, I have.”
“Well, the unanimous hope is that you stay,” Laguna whispered and winked.
Seifer smiled and glanced at the man’s son who had promptly turned red and looked away.
“I hope to see more of you Seifer, maybe even have a chat.” Laguna grinned. “But Quistis has informed me that I must rest and sleep as long as the doctor ordered so…” He rolled his eyes.
“I know what you mean sir.”
The bedridden man chuckled. “Well if there’s anything you need just give me a holler and I can arrange it.”
“I think you should be calling on us Laguna,” Seifer replied amused to hear that the man wanted to do things for him.
“So I’ve noticed,” Squall’s father grinned at his encased leg. “I hope to see you again soon Seifer.”
Seifer again shook the Laguna’s hand. “I look forward to it.” He waited as Squall followed him out of the room and closed the door. He was then enveloped in a warm hug, and gratitude was all he could feel.
“Thank you,” Squall said and looked up. “Most people I know think he’s an idiot.”
“He’s a nice person. I like your father very much Squall.” Seifer kissed the brunette’s forehead. “I can tell that he cares about you very much.”
“I’m his only connection to Raine anymore,” Squall murmured and hugged Seifer tighter.
“Rain?” the blonde asked confused.
“My mother. Her name was Raine.”
Seifer blinked confused as he held the young man. Why did that name sound so… Dear god, that was the name of… And there was that portrait—Raine! Seifer’s mind whirled in the recognition that the sister of the King, High Priestess Raine was Squall’s mother. He couldn’t believe it. No wonder he’d been so attracted to the boy—he was part merfolk! And Squall could also perceive people doing things before they were done. Foresight wasn’t a human trait; it was one of merfolk.
Seifer tried to contain himself. He didn’t know what to say or do. Raine really was dead, unlike his mother who was alive. He wondered if Squall knew about his mother’s heritage.
“Yeah?” the brunette answered, not wanting to let go of the embrace.
“Was your mother from this town?” He felt Squall’s grip loosen as gray eyes looked up into his.
“Why do you ask?” Squall was obviously bewildered by the question.
“Just curious.” Seifer shrugged, indifference his shield.
“She lived in the town. Why else would the whole town love her if she didn’t?” The brunette cocked his head to the side. “If you want to know more about the town’s history I can take you to the library,” he offered.
“No, no.” Seifer shook his head and smiled as the clock chimed. “Oh, looks like it’s about time for me to go meet Rinoa.”
“I’ll be waiting in my room, alright?” Squall leaned up and kissed him. “Try not to be late for dinner this time?”
“I won’t,” Seifer replied and waved as he walked away. He had to tell Rinoa. She would have some answers!
Squall walked inside the walls the city knowing he shouldn’t be doing this. It was wrong and he had no reason not to trust Seifer. He just wanted to know, he was just curious—that’s all. What did they talk about when he went to visit her? The young man paced fretfully just inside the city gate before finally deciding. He padded along the outside of the city wall on the rocks that eventually led to the beach. Squall tried not to look nervous as he traipsed along the wall knowing he was the only one there. He slowed as he came upon the corner and stopped. Spying was wrong, and if Seifer found out, he’d get so mad. Squall closed his eyes tight. Just what in the world made Seifer want to meet that mermaid everyday? As he peeked around the corner he got a bit of their conversation.
“Don’t lie to me! We grew up together!” Rinoa spouted and smacked Seifer, who tried to avoid the upraised hand.
“Soon! I promise!” Seifer grinned and the mermaid seemed content
Squall smiled to himself. So they’d known each other all their lives. One does form attachments with people after a while. He and Quistis could attest to that. He loved Quistis more than anything; well except…
“Your mother wants to see you.” Rinoa smiled. “She’s so busy now that she’s back but she wishes she had time to see you.”
“Mother…” Seifer murmured and toyed with a rock. One could say his eyes looked pained. Squall knew how that felt. Raine…
“Everyone misses you. Zell and Selphie mope around a lot,” Rinoa commented, and then grinned. “Mostly because they want to annoy you but they cant.”
Seifer stared out to the ocean that matched his eyes so hauntingly. “The sea is so intoxicating.” He closed his eyes and sighed. “The air is so clear, crisp. I wish I could go back.”
Squall’s stomach dropped. Did he really want to go back? Is that why he met her every week, because he wanted to go back? What if he asked her to turn him back? What if he left? Squall leaned against the wall, his mind whirling. No. Seifer wouldn’t leave him… would he? He’d been in the sea all his life. Maybe the call was too much for the blonde to turn away from. Squall could almost feel his heart fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces. Seifer… he’d said… love wasn’t a word to be used lightly.
“He said he loved me,” Squall whispered to himself, his head down wondering if it were really true. The brunette turned to walk away and tripped on a rock before quickly scrambling away, hoping the two hadn’t seen him.
Rinoa looked around “Did you hear something?”
Seifer frowned. “No. Why, did you?”
“I thought I did… Oh well.” She shrugged. “So, you have a few days left. You better get him to say it or you’re…”
“Dead.” Seifer nodded. “I know. My existence replies upon him. I can’t let him down and inversely he can’t let me down.”
“Go get him boy!” Rinoa clapped him of the back before he chuckled and stood.
“I will surely see you soon princess.” He saluted her and trotted off toward the walls of the city. He walked quickly wanting to get back to the house. Though he’d confided to Rinoa what he’d been thinking on lately, Seifer still felt as if there was something wrong. There was something tugging at the back of his mind as if to say that everything wasn’t fine and that he should be on his guard.
Seifer glanced back to the beach to see Rinoa had gone and bumped into someone. “Oh, geez. I’m sorry,” he replied to see Vinzer smiling at him.
“No need boy. It happens.” The elder man then narrowed his eyes. “They let you out without an escort? Aren’t you new in town?”
Seifer stared at him. “Uh, well I was just running an errand. I like being by myself when I go out anyway,” he said hurriedly, wanting to be away from this man. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back.”
“Of course.” Vinzer nodded and Seifer was on his way.
Seifer shivered after he turned the corner. That man gave him the heebie jeebies! He sighed as he walked up to the gates of the Loire estate and jogged up to the door. Once inside, he leaned back against the doors and stopped. He could still feel it—that ominous something that was coming. What was it?
Seifer shook his head trying to shake off the feeling and went in search of Squall. If anyone, Squall was the person he needed right now.
“Heh, as expected.” Seifer murmured to himself as he peeked into the brunette’s bedroom. Squall was sitting on his bed looking down at a picture he was holding. Seifer hadn’t seen it before, but he could see that it held a picture of Raine, Squall’s mother. It was far smaller than the portrait on the wall. That’s right! He still had to tell Squall about his mother being a great priestess of the merfolk!
“Squall!” he called and walked in.
The brunette jumped nervously and almost dropped the frame he was holding. “Oh, Seifer,” he said quietly.
The blonde frowned. “Is there something wrong?” When the brunette didn’t look up his stomach dropped and he wondered if this had been the ominous feeling he’d had.
Squall stared at the floor, his hair blocking any view of what might be residing on his face. “I heard you.”
“What?” Seifer asked confused.
“I heard you tell her… that… you wanted to go back,” Squall told him. “I heard you say you wished you could go back. You want to be there more than you want to be with me.” Squall’s dead voice told the blonde that he’d either practiced this speech in his mind for a while or that he’d buried his feelings so as not to hurt himself. He had to convince Squall otherwise.
“No.” Seifer shook his head and put a hand to Squall’s shoulder.
The brunette threw his hand off violently and pushed him away. “I don’t want you here if you’re just going to lead me on. I don’t need any more people hurting me. I don’t want to hear that you just wanted to try out being a human. I—just go. I… don’t want you here!”
Seifer stood staring at Squall in disbelief. How could he ever think that? He’d been so supportive and loving. Seifer closed his eyes thinking that they’d shared something that they could never share with anyone else. What happened?
“Didn’t I tell you to leave?!” Squall looked up, his eyes menacing. “Get out!” he yelled and pushed the blonde out of his room. As the blonde stumbled backward into the hallway, Squall grabbed the door and looked at him one last time. He looked as if he were about to cry but held it back by invoking anger instead. “Leave. Now.” He slammed the door loudly leaving Seifer to stare at the dark wood in shock.
“How…” the blonde whispered and a tear streaked down his cheek. He took a breath and wiped it away quickly. He had to go and think—the beach. He would go to the beach and work this out. He would come back later and try to reason with the boy, because if that didn’t happen, he would die.
Seifer made his way through the streets with a dead like gaze, not really looking at anything and almost bumping into things. Once he arrived at the beach he fell to his knees and let the water wash in around him. Why would Squall think those things? And why wouldn’t he listen. Squall was always so rational, so why did he do that? Was he jealous? Maybe Squall was jealous of the friendship he had with Rinoa.
“He heard us…” the blonde mused aloud. Squall had heard him say he wanted to go back. Damn. The blonde punched the sand. If only Squall had heard him say he wanted to stay a human, then he wouldn’t have jumped to all those conclusions! Seifer shook his head. Sure he missed the sea, but Squall was his life now, his love. If he wouldn’t accept Seifer…
“I’m going to die…” Seifer gritted his teeth. He had to stay alive for Squall.
Seifer jumped. He knew that voice.
“Like to go out alone eh?”
“Yes sir,” Seifer replied to the man not turning, knowing whom it was.
“Going to die of loneliness?” Footsteps came closer.
“Never.” The blonde stayed as still as possible, controlling his urge to bolt.
“Oh I think so.”
Oooooouch! Seifer scraped his way toward consciousness with a pain in his skull that he never knew could exist. He opened his eyes to darkness and horrid blurs that made him sick to his stomach. When his hand encountered his stomach he was shocked to feel scales. No—This couldn’t be happening! Squall…
“I see you’re awake.” Ultemicia’s voice floated over to him.
“Why am I here? Why am I like this?” he demanded. “I still have a few more days!”
“Poor naïve Seifer.” He could just feel her smirk. “A month mean by the phases of the moon. I granted you 28 days, not 31.”
The statement made Seifer feel sicker. She couldn’t do this to him! Not when he was so close!
“Is it time?” Someone else entered the grotto in which Ultemicia resided and Seifer knew that voice!
“Later tonight when the moon is full,” the sorceress answered.
“Vinzer?” the blonde swallowed his pain, opened his blurry eyes and struggled to sit up in his original state.
“Be patient,” the mermaid replied to the man pointedly. “You stay there,” she told the blonde.
“No, I demand to know why you changed the deal.”
“I never changed the deal!” she snarled at him.
“You said a month!”
“I went by the moon arrogant boy!”
“It should have been 30 days!” he spat back.
“Enough!” She threw her arm out from where she was sitting near the older man and power lashed out from it throwing Seifer against the opposite wall into the corner.
As the blonde struggled to keep consciousness he heard footsteps getting nearer.
“Make sure he doesn’t move.”
A sharp pain collided with Seifer’s skull just before everything went black.
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