The Bleakest Silence

Part 4

By fyre byrd

While Squall was away Seifer took a few deep experimental breaths, still feeling the absence of his usual distance from things. He realized that it must be thanks to Squall that he was feeling this sudden reprieve from mental stress and reconsidered the plans Squall had outlined to him. This way, he would have Squall in his room whenever he needed someone. Perhaps then the strange bubble that he felt around himself would stay away and Seifer had always liked the way Squall's serious blue felt when they were rained on him. It was one reason for their constant fights and training sessions which ended with one or the other being seriously wounded. In the heat of battle, just like making love, it was usually best to look at your opponents, your partner's eyes. Sexual thoughts, as always however brought back echoes of Ultimecia's voice in his head. Seifer's breathing grew shallow again as he recalled the pain and the images she'd filled his mind with whenever he thought of sex and inevitably of Squall.

There had been times where she showed Seifer Squall's body, ripped open and bleeding, and his own hands covered in fresh blood and innards. Other times, she'd made Seifer watch while Squall made love to Rinoa and afterwards they laughed about Seifer's feelings for the handsome brunette, having somehow discovered them without Seifer's knowledge. Ultimecia could be both subtle and blatant in her assault's on Seifer's wounded mind. Every session had ended in the same way though, with Seifer's harsh weeping and uncontrollable shaking.

When Squall came back into the room, with a few boxes containing his belongings, Seifer was sitting on the bed, rocking back and forth and breathing hard. He almost dropped his things, at the sight of this sudden reversion from the Seifer he saw every day to the tortured creature he'd stumbled upon last night. They were both symptoms of Seifer's deep illness, Squall quickly reminded himself and he put his boxes down on the floor and sat beside Seifer on the bed. Carefully, Squall shook Seifer's arm. The green eyes focussed on his face, but looked as though they were only seeing part of reality. Squall decided that he much preferred Seifer's anger and disgust to this terrifying withdrawal from him. Grasping Seifer's other arm, Squall shook him again, slightly more roughly.

"What do you want with me?" Seifer asked harshly, his eyes squeezing tightly shut. "I've done what you wanted, I've come to hate myself and everything I once dreamed of, now get out of my head" the last words rose in intensity until Seifer was fairly shouting. Squall was at an utter loss and felt like screaming back or maybe . . . He decided to give in to his other desire instead and enclosed Seifer in his arms again the same way he had during the night so that the blonde man's head rested on his shoulder. Squall breathed a soft sigh of relief as he felt the initial stiffness go out of Seifer's body as he relaxed into the embrace.

In the midst of Seifer's remembered suffering he suddenly felt someone holding him gently. He'd never ever felt that while Ultimecia controlled his body. No one had held him when his body was wracked with shudders from the latest horror the sorceress had implanted in his head. Seifer kept his eyes shut tight to keep this unusually pleasant illusion a little bit longer at least and he felt hands gently stroking his back. The touch tingled to the tips of his toes and he wanted to cry because he knew that it couldn't last. This must be one of his own dreams left from what Ultimecia had stolen from him. Seifer hadn't known that there was a single untainted pleasure left in his mind, but now he felt a gentle grip on his chin, as his head was lifted up. Someone's breath brushed lightly against his cheek and his lips were captured in a gentle kiss. Seifer squeezed his eyes shut even tighter and returned the caress, expecting at any moment to discover that he was kissing Squall's horribly mutilated corpse, or for the gentleness of the kiss to transform into brutal rape.

"It's all right Seifer," Squall murmured against his cheek which was slightly gritty with stubble. "I'm here and I won't leave you for anything." The soft words, which Matron or Ellone had perhaps once whispered into Squall's ear, fell strangely from his lips. He was unused to comforting someone else in pain or sorrow, but the words had come naturally to him and now Seifer's eyes flew open. Seifer's eyes looked fearful, like he was some tiny trapped animal that Squall was cruelly tormenting. Squall pulled back a little and rubbed his thumb against Seifer's jaw. He hoped that he had not made things worse somehow by touching Seifer in that way, as though he were more than just his friend and oh how Squall wished that he could claim the rights of Seifer's lover to touch more of him without offending. "Are you okay now?" Squall asked, choking slightly on the words.

At last Seifer was unable to continue feeling the sweet sensations of simple human comfort without knowing what new torment was soon awaiting him. He opened his eyes and saw Squall. Seifer wanted to cry or scream or run away, but he knew that it would be no good. He would have to watch Squall grinding his teeth together as he was electrocuted until his muscles twitched uncontrollably and his heart threatened to give out from the strain. The beautiful brown eyes persisted in holding only concern in them however. Seifer came back to himself slowly, feeling Squall's arms around him.

"Don't! Just don't!" he said, fearing that once Squall knew just how weak he was, he'd exploit the weakness to hurt him. Squall couldn't possibly really care about Seifer, who was of less worth than the dirt that he trod on. Seifer pulled away from Squall and sat on the edge of his bed, head in his hands.

"You pity me, don't you Squall? You're thinking, god, what a messed up fuck is that Seifer Almasy." The green eyes were empty now, like panes of glass behind which no lights glimmered to signal warmth and comfort. "Just don't touch me out of pity, okay? I couldn't take that, not from you."

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