Author notes:
I don't own any of these characters. You can still send me money. Please? (j/k)
Send me an email if you liked/hated it. Just keep in mind that I am a person with feelings and pepper spray.

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Chapter 12 - Tiffany's Drill and Fill

By Kaerith


My wallet chain slapped against my leg as I walked down an alley. *Where should I go first?*

I didn't plan on going to a club when I agreed to go with Zell. When I went into my bedroom to get my wallet I just suddenly craved some attention. *And I certainly get it dressed like this.* I grinned inwardly as, right on cue, two girls turned to stare at me. *Hmm. Fourteen, fifteen, maybe.* Too young. I smiled at them and they gaped back before giggling hysterically. I kept walking, stopping in front a body piercing shop. Tiffany's Drill & Fill. I had gotten my ear piercings here. I opened the door and stepped inside, announced by the usual battered brass bell. I was instantly hit with a burst of the incense Tiff kept burning in here. She did piercings and tattooing, along with a side business of selling some less-than-legal substances. Hence the heavy incense and dim lighting. I waited for my eyes to adjust.

"Squall!" I recognized Tiff's voice as well as her stiletto-heeled boots clicking on the floor as she walked over to me. "Haven't seen you in a long time. How're you doing, hon?" She gave me a hug. I hugged her back.

"I broke up with Rian a few weeks ago." I said.

She twisted an earring thoughtfully. "Rian, Rian…" she muttered. "Was he the tall, blond guy you came in with maybe… hmm… five months ago?" I nodded. Rian and I had come in so he could get a tattoo. "I didn't like him too much. He seemed rather aggressive. But he was hot."

She hit the proverbial nail on the head. I wasn't surprised; Tiffany has a knack for seeing what people are really like. She could give you a vague description of someone's personality after ten minutes. I had never seen her proven wrong. *Yup. Rian was aggressive, alright.* Outwardly I just nodded, more water starting to creep into my eyes.

"Oh, Squall." Tiff immediately saw the tears threatening and hugged me again. Despite her appearance, she was a very caring woman. *Too bad most people get scared away by her black leather, dyed hair, and piercings.*

I controlled myself and pulled away. "It's okay," I gave her a small smile. "I'll get over it."

"Wanna come to the back and have some coffee?"

"Sure, Tiff. Thanks." I followed her to the back room. It was considerably brighter than the shop. She needed good lighting when working on her customers. I sat in a black leather chair, watching Tiff as she poured two cups of black coffee. She handed one to me, then hopped onto the counter. She smoothed her short leather skirt, and picked up her own mug.

I sipped the coffee. Much better than Quistis' instant. I thought about what to tell her. "Seifer Almasy is back."

Tiff raised her plucked eyebrows, each adorned with a small gold ring. "Really? Wasn't he the Sorceress' Knight?" I had told her my life story the night after my first breakup. *Well, as much of my life story I actually remember.*

"Yeah. And my rival." She waited, silently. I sighed. "It turns out he's gay."

She grinned. "Ah." She brought her steaming mug back to her mouth. "Have you told him yet?"

*Does everyone know that I like Seifer?! First Quis and now Tiff. Tiff hasn't even met him!* I blushed, trying to hide it behind my coffee cup. She saw it anyway.

"No? C'mon. Squall, hon, you've had over three years to prepare for this. Why not?"

I looked into my mug. I didn't answer, but she sensed my insecurities and slid off the counter. She walked the two steps between us and knelt in front of me. Tiff raised my head and waited until I looked at her eyes. "Why not?"

I didn't know where to begin.

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