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 8

By Zen

Squall walked upstairs and was amused to find Seifer checking out his closet.

"Find something you like in there?"

Seifer jumped and a guilty look flashed across his face, but he grinned anyway. "Nahh, just checking out how much space you have in there man, it's as big as my bedroom. Not to mention the fact that I have never seen a guy with so many clothes."

Squall flushed crimson and stared at the floor. "Blame that on my having an older sister who's idea of taking care of the family is taking me shopping," he mumbled.

Seifer chuckled and slid closed the closet door, amazed once again at how it seemed to magically disappear into the mural. "You are a fantastic artist Squall, I can't get over how real these paintings look."

Squall grinned widely, "That's the second time you have said that," still staring at the floor.

"What, I'm not allowed to repeat myself? I can't help it if I like fingering your art! YOUR words not mine I might add!"

Squall snickered and plopped down on the futon mattress, followed by Seifer, who sat at the foot of the bed, watching Squall as he laid back and rested his arms behind his head. He was staring up at the ceiling and a slight smile still played at the corners of his lips. Seifer couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking about.

Squall watched the sunlight as it played across the ceiling, wondering if now would be a good time to try and talk to Seifer.

Better now than never! Gees quit acting like he is gonna run screaming from the room! You don't know what his reaction is gonna be so why don't you just ask him and get it over with...

"Uh........ Seifer?"

"Yeah?" he said, trying to look like he hadn't been staring at the boy.

"Would you want to stay here with me for a few days?" Squall couldn't help the nervous butterflies in his stomach. He wanted to help Seifer, but what if he laughed at him?

Seifer's eyes widened in surprise, Wow, what was he supposed to say to that? He didn't want to impose him presence here but he watched as Squall nervously chewed on his bottom lip, obviously waiting for an answer. He had to say something, so he might as well at least give the appearance that he was thinking it over. He brought his hand to his chin in a mock thinking stance.

Oh well lets see, on one hand we have an abusive home life that will probably kill me before I turn eighteen, and then on the other hand we have a chance to actually stay here with my beautiful boy....... Hmmm....... Hard decision...... no really......it is......

He almost laughed out loud at his thoughts but stopped himself before doing so. He didn't want to give the impression that he was laughing at Squall's offer.

He smiled at Squall, "You really mean it?"

Squall silently breathed a sigh of relief, "Yeah, I mean it, of course I mean it. I already asked my dad, and he said it was cool, so you are free to stay if you want too."

Seifer smiled widely, "Wow, of course I will stay, but I don't have any clothes or anything, maybe I should pop back home an........

"NO!" Squall sat quickly up and grabbed Seifer's wrist.

The ferocity of Squall's interruption shocked Seifer silent for a moment. Not that he could really blame Squall, he wasn't used to the shit he was going through. He looked down at the hand on his wrist and felt an exhilarated thrill run through his wrist, up his arm and into his chest, settling somewhere near his heart.

"Okay....... I won't go, but what am I gonna do for clothes man? Not like I could wear yours......you're a little on the uhm........ short side?"

Squall erupted in sudden laughter, his worry momentarily forgotten, "I'm not THAT short....... Besides....... Ever think that maybe you are just a little too long in the legs for your own good? I suppose we could just saw you off at the ankles and then you could wear my clothes."

Seifer threw his head back and laughed out loud. "HAH, just try and come near me with a sharp instrument of any kind and see what you get!"

"OH, it's like that is it?" Squall was enjoying the light hearted banter immensely. It had been a really long time since he had enjoyed much of anything and it was good to be able to pretend that his life really wasn't going down the toilet.

Seifer watched the humor as it lit up Squall's eyes, Lord but he was beautiful. "Yeah it's like that, so what are you gonna do about it hmm?"

"You know I am almost tempted to find out just what I would get!" Squall smirked a bit suggestively.

Seifer's eyes widened a bit, Uh oh just where the hell is this conversation going? He smirked back equally as wicked, "Come on, I dare you to find out!" the words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Oh Lord, did I just say that?

It was Squall's turn to be a bit offset by Seifer's words, but he was enjoying himself too much to quit. Besides he was getting a really entertaining idea. He rolled over to the side and grabbed Seifer's ankle, the one he knew held his knife. After a few moments of struggle on Seifer's part he finally managed to free the blade from its sheath.

"Hah! I got it! Now lets do something about those ankles shall we?"

Seifer was laughing uncontrollably, as Squall flicked open the blade and brandished it menacingly at him. "Stop...... no...... please.....I can't stand it..... Put it away before you hurt yourself!"

"I thought you were going to show me what you were gonna do? I mean here I am, knife in hand, and calling your bluff!" he said as he stepped closer.

Seifer's eyes were leaking tears but he still managed to get to his feet. He pulled himself to his full height and tried to glare down at his smaller companion, unfortunately he failed miserably. Instead he busted out laughing at the picture Squall made. Which in turn made Squall lose it as well.

Both boys doubled over in gales of roaring laughter. When they had settled down to happy sighs, Squall handed Seifer the still open blade and watched as he quickly snapped it closed, but didn't bother replacing it in its sheath, just pitched it onto the comforter that had gotten tossed off the bed during his struggles.

Squall plopped onto the bed again and resumed his former position, soon joined by a still chuckling Seifer who laid down beside him on his stomach.

Squall glanced over and his eyes flew open wide, "Seifer, your bleeding again."

"Hmm?" he said softly, "Guess we shouldn't have been jumping around like that."

Squall rolled over onto his side propping himself up on his elbow, and began examining the rest of his back to see if any others had opened up.

Seifer couldn't help but smile lazily, as Squall's soft fingertips brushed his back. He wasn't used to someone being as gentle as Squall was being, and it sort of tickled.

Squall sighed suddenly and got to his feet, a slight blush tinting his cheeks, "Come on, I think a cool shower might help stop the bleeding," he said, turning away from Seifer so that he wouldn't see his blush, or other southern developments.

What the hell is wrong with me? When the hell did I become attracted to Seifer? Why now? All I was doing was checking his back for more open wounds, how come I now have a raging hard on?"

Seifer didn't have to look at Squall to know something had changed. The feel in the air was just different. He wondered what he had said wrong, but simply decided to comply with Squall's request.

When he stood he could see that Squall was facing away from him, but when he tried to put his hand onto his shoulder to turn him around, he stepped away and to the door opening it and quickly stepping through.

Seifer raised an eyebrow but followed him down the hall and into the bathroom.

Squall hastily grabbed a fluffy towel out of the cabinet and set it on the counter before brushing past Seifer and making his escape to his room, where he immediately plopped onto his bed, groaning out loud from the pressure in his groin. All around him was the scent of Seifer and it was driving him mad. He pressed a hand to the hardness in his jeans trying to will it to go away, but it only made things worse. He had to relieve himself of it before Seifer came back.

Nervously he unzipped his jeans and slipped his hand inside, freeing himself from the confines of his pants. Slowly he began to stroke his aching erection. The scent of Seifer made his imagination run wild with thoughts of what he wanted Seifer to do to him.

Seifer stared blankly at the closed bathroom door wondering what the hell had just happened. Squall was turning out to be much more of a puzzle than he had originally thought. Sighing he removed his clothes and stepped into the shower. He had to resist the urge to make it a hot shower so that he could satisfy his curiosity about how good their hot water heater was. Instead he was a good boy and made it a little less than luke warm. He didn't like the feel of the coolness on his skin, preferring instead the steady beat of stingingly hot water, but he also knew from experience that the hot water would only make him bleed more.

He leaned his forehead against the cool tiles and allowed the water to wash away the traces of blood. He watched the water as it swirled around his feet before going down the drain. That's just like my life, going nowhere but down the drain.

After a few more minutes he soaped up and washed his hair, using the unusually scented shampoo that he recognized as being the one Squall used. The scent was defiantly unique, something like the mixture of musk and seawater. It certainly appealed to him though.

After rinsing thoroughly he stepped out of the shower and gingerly toweled off his back, being careful not to reopen the rest of his wounds. Then he bent over to dry his legs and was just standing up when the bathroom door came flying open.

He was so surprised to see a girl standing there that it didn't even occur to him that he should cover himself.

Quistis had run all the way to the upstairs bathroom, knowing that Squall would be in school and Dad was at work. She desperately needed to use the facilities and had needed to ever since she had left the airport. But now the need suddenly vanished as she came face to face with a naked stranger. Her eyes roamed across his body noting that his chest looked as if he had gotten into a fight with a weed whacker and lost. Lower still her eyes strayed seeing the light dusting of fine golden hairs starting just below his navel, and just as she was about to lay eyes on what lay between his legs, the silence was shattered.

"Who are you?" he asked, suddenly whipping the towel around his waist obscuring her view.

Her normal calm and collected nature had been struck a severe blow and all she could manage to do was stand there like a fish out of water, opening and closing her mouth.

Seifer really didn't want to wait for an answer. He didn't know who the hell this girl was, but he sure as hell wasn't going to stand there in just a towel and be ogled. He quickly gathered up his clothes and beat a hasty retreat back to Squall's room.

Throwing one more glance backward at the bathroom door, he plunged into the safety of Squall's room only to be greeted by an even more embarrassing situation.

Squall lay on the bed, eyes wide, hand stuck in mid stroke, unable to move. Jade met stormy gray and in an instant things went bizarre. Squall felt that jolt of electricity that he had felt before, but now he knew it for what it was, desire, plain and simple, and in a situation that should have made his erection shrivel to nothingness, if anything it grew harder.

Seifer was rooted to the spot where he stood, unable to take his eyes from the scene that lay before him. His breathing became shallow and his lips dry. His groin felt tight and heat spread through his limbs. His tongue darted out and unconsciously licked his lips. He could feel his own erection lifting the towel he wore, but he still could not leave those eyes.

Squall's hand began to move again, and would have completed the act, staring into those jade depths, had not a sudden pounding on the door break the silent spell that had been woven, sending both boys into a flurry of activity.

Squall jumped up and zipped his pants while Seifer was trying to literally hop into his own. After they were both decent, Squall went to the door to confront a very confused Quistis.

"Squall? What the hell are you doing home? And who the hell is he?" she said pointing a perfectly manicured nail in Seifer's direction.

Squall's irritation at being interrupted not once but twice, boiled over in a fit of frustrated rage, "Who the hell he is, is none of your fucking business Quisty! Dad knows I'm home so don't bother calling him, and the next time you pound on my fucking door like some freak of a lunatic, I promise I will make you regret it! NOW LEAVE!" he slammed the door with a finality that spoke of much practice.

He glared at the door, daring her to knock again sometime this century but when it became obvious that she had gone, he let out a deep breath. He leaned his forehead against the door, he didn't want to have to face Seifer after what had just happened, but there was little choice. He had been caught red handed literally and there was no way he was going to be able to give him a plausible explanation. He might as well accept the fact that Seifer would now want to leave, and there was no way that he could blame him either.

Seifer watched Squall's back as he leaned against the door. Something had definitely happened a few seconds ago, and it had been unlike anything that he had experienced before. Those eyes had held him immobile. There had been nothing that he could do but watch and want.

Want what? What did I want? Do I even know? Is he gay? Hell for that matter am I gay and just never noticed? Does it even matter if he is? No, I don't think it does. Does it matter if I am gay? Not so sure about that one. Am I freaked out by what happened? Well that is the question of the hour isn't it. No I don't think I am, I was more turned on than freaked by it. I wonder if he noticed, hell I wonder if he would do a repeat performance.

Seifer was jolted from his thoughts when Squall suddenly sighed and turned toward him. He could see the embarassment and just the hint of something else he couldn't quite put his finger on. He wanted to let Squall know that he was okay with what happened, but he just didn't know how to breach the subject. Guys just didn't talk about those sort of things. Now face to face with Squall it made things feel a bit awkward.

His gaze never left Squall's, and neither was Squall's leaving his. All thoughts that were running rampant through Seifer's head suddenly vanished, it was like he was drowning in those stormy gray eyes. His breathing became shallow once more and he could feel the almost magnetic pull of Squall's presence.

Squall had meant to say something but for the life of him he couldn't remember what it was. The room felt as if it were a million miles away and all that existed were the jade green pools in which he was currently swimming. He wasn't sure how it had happened or even if it were really happening but he could feel Seifer's arms around him, feel him bury his head into his hair. Feel his hands as they roamed over his back and gripped his shoulders. Nothing was real except those sensations, nothing mattered but what those sensations were causing.

Seifer couldn't understand what was happening. One minute Squall was across the room the next he found Squall's arms around his waist, could feel him snuggle into his chest. Those wonderfully soft hands of his whispered over his back sending shivers cascading through his body, then slipped down to find purchase on his ass, gently squeezing what he found there. He never wanted these sensations to end, never before had he ever experienced such softness such gentle caresses.

From far away Squall could hear the ringing of the phone in his room, but he didn't want to leave these sensations he was feeling, but the damned annoying ringing was yanking him away and back into the room. When he finally came back to himself he was shocked to discover that not only had Seifer not moved, he seemed to be a little confused himself. He went and answered the phone, still unable to shake the feeling that something very strange had just happened. He was reminded of the feeling he had just before he had drawn that picture of Seifer. The words he had written ghosted into his mind..... save me from myself.... Just what the hell did that mean?



(End Chapter Eight)




A/N: Well here is chapter 8.... Hope you like it so far...... Things will progress I promise but not yet. There are still so many things that have to happen first!

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