Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Final Fantasy VIII, however I do intend on using them for my own selfish amusement!

Author’s Notes: Some people have said that they noticed a bit of OOCness in some of the characters… especially Squall… but I do have to point out that this IS an AU!!!

A World Apart

Chapter 4

By Zen

Squall suddenly felt the need to vomit rather violently, he ran blindly through the halls on pure memory, praying he would reach the bathroom before spewing what little contents were in his stomach all over the floor.

His feet carried him unerringly to the boy's bathroom and he just made it, bending over to reacquaint himself with his meager breakfast. Painful spasms wracked his body making his head swim and his knees weak; when they finally passed he sank to the floor shaking uncontrollably. Taking slow and deep breaths he at last managed to get himself under control, just as the first bell rang signaling the end of the lunch period.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he let his mind wander to thoughts of his beautiful mother with her laughing gray eyes, and wished that she were here to hold him and rock him as she had done when he was little and had been sick. He missed her so damn much that it hurt physically inside, she had always been the one he could talk to about his problems, and no matter what they were she always found a way to make them better, but that was before his problems were this traumatic. She had passed onto a better life only a measly three months before "IT" happened.

God, how he wanted to just kill himself and get it over with, he didn't want to live this life anymore. It was torturing him to the very core of his being but he knew why he stayed. The threat had been very clear, he had been made to understand that if he told anyone or disappeared, Zell would be the next to suffer. There was no way he was going to let something like this happen to the only friend he had ever had, and so he stayed.

He slowly got to his knees and flushed the toilet, not wanting to think about it anymore, there was nothing that he could do about it, so he might as well just give up wishing and hoping that someone would save him from it. One way or another, Shane would find a way to get to him whether or not he was in his classes. There were plenty of opportunities outside of class that he could take advantage of.

Slowly he made his way to the sink to wash his mouth out, grimacing at the chlorinated taste from the tap, but anything was better than vomit, so he dealt with it.

He was just making his way out of the bathroom when the warning bell sounded. Great, he was going to be late. Oh well, so the fuck what! He didn't care anymore, he just wanted to get this day over with so that he could go home and lose himself in a painting.

Firmly planting one foot in front of the other, he finally arrived at the locker room door. Pushing it open, he walked inside, greeted by silence and row after row of gunmetal gray lockers with benches running in between the banks. The benches... he shuddered... his feet on automatic pilot brought him to the middle bank of lockers. The bench...it happened right there, right there was where my world was so violently ripped apart. The memory surfaced and he wanted to die.


The Shock, someone had him by the hair and was yanking him backwards towards the lockers.

The Hands, that were everywhere it seemed roaming, ripping, tearing his clothes.

The Shove, knocking him forward onto the bench.

The Rope, that secured his legs and then hands so that he kneeled on the bench, bent forward.

The Gag, that prevented his screams from being heard.

The Whispers, in his ears telling him exactly what was going to happen.

The Panic at those words filling him with a dread worse than death.

The Struggle he put up in vain.

The Agony of being split open unprepared.

The Shame of knowing that he was attracted to men and having his attacker tell him that he knew it too.

The Terror of the whispered threat to Zell.

The Bitterness that flowed from him as he cried in the showers watching the blood and semen wash down the drain taking a part of him with it, that he would never get back.

(End FlashBack)

Darkness slowly enveloped him in its warm embrace, the memory being too strong here. He sank down the wall and onto the floor knowing nothing but sweet silent darkness.

Seifer pushed open the locker room door, still smoking a cigarette hoping he would get caught. He rounded the lockers and stopped dead in his tracks. "What the Fuck?" his words echoing harshly through the room.

Throwing his cigarette into the shower room he approached the figure on the floor, already knowing who it was before he turned him over. "Squall? Hey wake up." Getting no response he sat on the floor and pulled Squall's limp form into his lap, suddenly very afraid for the beautiful boy. Panic threatened to consume him as again he tried in vain to wake him. Had he hit his head? Was he doing more harm by holding him? He didn't know and it was frustrating him beyond belief that he didn't. Hauling him higher he wrapped his arms around him carefully watching his face for any signs of his returning consciousness, when he found none, he began slowly rocking him. Wanting desperately to wake him from his slumber, he was scared shitless for him, and didn't know what else to do.

Squall began to rise out of the misty darkness, but he struggled unwilling to let it go, the outside world hurt too much and he wanted to stay here where nothing could hurt him anymore, but the darkness refused him and pushed him higher into conscious thought. Sensations of arms and rocking came to him, confusing as they were. He thought of his mother but there was something off about the arms that held him so tightly. His mother had never done that, and then there was that annoying smell of tobacco, which he hated, his mother didn't smoke. Spiraling higher, he heard his name in a distinctly male voice, little more than a husky whisper but deep enough to identify. His father didn't smoke either, so who was this? The Hands! The Whispers! NO! NO! NO! STOP, STOP PLEASE NO!

Seifer was caught off guard as the still boy suddenly came alive in his grasp and began to struggle violently against him. His fists connecting solidly in more places than one, but he didn't mind, compared to his father this kid was a lightweight. He looked down at Squall's eyes and saw nothing but complete and utter terror registering there. A look he was also very intimate with and by the way he was reacting Seifer knew that he wasn't seeing the present anyway, just reliving a very horrible nightmare. Like the ones he suffered from almost every single night. He began to rock him again, holding the struggling youth tighter to his chest. "Shhhh it's okay Squall, it's me... Seifer... you're okay... you are gonna be fine... just trust me... Shhhh." God, how many times had we wished he had someone there to hold him in the middle of the night after one of his beatings. It felt strange and foreign to be giving the very comfort he craved to someone else, but at the moment Squall needed it more than he did, so he continued.

Seifer's soft words and gentle rocking slowly began to register with Squall. He wasn't being hurt this wasn't Shane or one of his cronies, he wasn't tied up and there wasn't a gag in his mouth. Gradually the room began to come back into focus, he blinked trying to still his rage and was totally amazed to find Seifer's jade green eyes bare inches from his own. There was no electricity this time, but just as interesting was the knowing look of pain that those eyes held. He was so entranced by this fact, he totally forgot that someone he barely knew was touching him.

Seifer stilled his motion when his eyes made contact with Squall's, the room faded from sight, all he knew were those eyes and the immense pain that they held. He felt as if he was drowning in a stormy sea of despair while the wind howled and screamed in agony, only the wind was a silent voice and the sea, a raging hurt so deep that in was fathomless.

He groaned and pulled Squall into a tight embrace, while squeezing his eyes shut to the horrible knowledge of what lay behind the boy with the smile. He resumed rocking him but now it was more for his own benefit, he was terrified because he had seen and recognized where his own pain was leading him.

Squall was too dazed to resist being pulled into that embrace of strength, too emotionally drained to feel anything other than the comfort he found there. He closed his eyes and allowed it to wash over him.

They stayed that way until the distant sound of a whistle being blown brought them both crashing back into reality. Squall stiffened knowing that soon the locker room was going to be filled with people that he didn't want to see. Seifer released his hold allowing Squall to scramble to his feet. He got up as well and shot a glance at the doors leading into the gym and then seeing the horror that played on Squall's face, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his trench coat and growled, "Come on!"

Squall jumped at the sound but wordlessly followed Seifer out of the locker room, and through the hall that took them outside to the football field. Squall kept his eyes on the ground not really understanding why he followed so willingly, everything was a mixed up jumble in his head and try as he may he still wasn't able to produce coherent thoughts, just snippets of reasoning's that hardly made any sense at all.

His eyes strayed to the long shadow that walked so confidently beside his own, and he suddenly began having to blink back tears as he saw both shadows merge together for a moment. He tried to follow the train of thought that brought that on, but it was gone as quickly as it came, just leaving the threat of tears in its wake.

Seifer ducked underneath the bleachers and walked to the middle where he knew no one would be able to see them, God knows that he had come here often enough to hide himself, and right now that was exactly what they both needed to do, whether Squall knew it or not. He wasn't going to leave him there to face what had scared him so badly, not yet, the boy wasn't ready for that yet.

He flopped onto the ground and leaned his back comfortably against one of the support beams and silently opened his arms for Squall.

Squall stared at the open arms, feeling for the entire world like a lost little boy, the tears began streaming down his face as he slipped into the comfort that those arms promised and delivered so effectively. Sobs wracked his body as he lay upon that wide chest, feeling Seifer's hands rubbing his back and hearing the soft soothing sounds he made without actually hearing any words. The dam had been broken and the emotions that had been held for far too long flooded out, soaking Seifer's shirt with their salty evidence.

When he had finally quieted Seifer turned him around so that he lay with his back against his chest, his head resting comfortably beneath his chin. Seifer's arms were wrapped securely across the boy's chest protectively. Neither talked, they both just stared out at the empty field, lost in their own thoughts.


(End Chapter Four)




A/N: I want to tell you guys that some of what happens in this story are true to life experiences by yours truly...Seifer's encounter in the classroom with the giggeling girls for example... I want to say to those of you who are still in High School that passing judgment on people based solely on thier looks IS WRONG! They might be a wonderful person and you may not know thier circumstances... So before you decide that you don't like someone PLEASE take the time to find out a bit more about them...you just might be surprised...I am sorry if I sound like a Public Service Announcement or an Afterschool Special... but this is a subject that is very close to my heart! I almost didn't post this story because I was afraid of what people might say...but in the end I decided to use it to my advantage...PLEASE IF ANYONE WHO IS READING THIS FIC HAS HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES AND ARE AFRAID TO TALK TO SOMEONE, I URGE YOU TO CALL A COUNCILLING HOTLINE! NOT ONLY ARE THEY EXPERIENCED IN THIS SORT OF THING, THEY CAN GET YOU HELP! As usual Praise will be given a Gold Star! Flames will be given a Mr. Yuck sticker!

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