Author's Notes: Slight AU, set before the seed exam but Selphie and Irvine are there and Quistis is still an instructor.

Chained to you

Chapter Ten

By Purple Penguin

The chicken was sleeping leaning against me as usual when Timber came into view. I dropped a kiss onto his forehead, feeling his warm, moist skin against mine from the fever. I thought about waking him but why bother, let him wake knowing weíre safe.

The ground beneath the birdís feet changed from grass to cobble stones as we entered the small city, we past shops on the main high street, people that looked at us strangely that wasnít that surprising as I was wearing rags, Zell had a make-shift bandage on his leg and we were both dirty and in need of a shower. We were probably the only person on chocobo back walking down the middle of the street as well. I tied the bird to a fence and wandered into the Timber hospital with Chickie in my arms, making such a fuss until they did something about us and took the chicken from me, placing him on a stretcher. I followed along behind them.

The girl at the desk stopped me. "Are you two the cadets from Balamb?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, how the hell did you know that?"

"A blonde girl and long haired guy came in here before they left asking us to contact them if you turned up."

I smirked and nodded. I imagined Irvine kicking up a fuss to the Instructor to get her to do something.

One of the doctor stepped in front of me as I was going to follow Zell. "I think you should come with me." I poked me in the chest with a pen.

"Me? Thereís nothing wrong with me."

He gave me the look that Instructor Trepe gives me sometimes when she displeased with me. "Yeah Ďcause living in the wilderness for a week with no food or drink can be great for a person."

I sighed but didnít argue as he gestured me into a room.

When I woke up things were different, for a start it was warm and comfortable. I was in a bed and the ceiling was white. A window on my left showed an orange sun set. I tried to move my leg but it would budge, I lifted the covers and my face fell at the plaster case that covered it. I had hoped it wasnít broken thatíll put me off training for weeks, Iíll fall behind. I struggled to sit up pausing as my vision went fuzzy around the edges and I felt dizzy so I settled for slumping against the pillows, half sitting up.

I smiled a little, we had finally made it unless it was a really good dream but where was Seifer? As if reading my mind I got my answer.

"Should you be sitting up?"

I jumped, looking up at the door on my left to see the grinning blonde still wearing what was left of his jeans, no coat and he pulled a drip stand along behind him as he walked towards the bed.

I frowned in concern. "Are you okay?"

He shrugged. "Yeah but you know doctors, he said something about being a little dehydrated thatís all." He moved to the edge of the bed. "Wanted me to change but Iíd rather be dead than wear a hospital gown."

I chuckled. "Youíre in hospital but you still have time to be vain, you got to stay in this place too?"

Seifer nodded. "Yeah just for tonight."

"Whereís your room?"

He shrugged. "I donít know, I lost it when I came to find you."

I shuffled across the bed to invite him into it. "You can share mine."

He smiled. "Thanks Chickie." He slid under the covers; I moved closer and lay my head on his chest, curling my body to his side.

He looked a little surprised and I smiled at his reaction. "What? Iíve been leaning against you for a week while we were travelling."

"But you didnít have a choice then so I kind of thought- you know- when we got here-"

I looked up at his face, one hand flat on his chest so I could look at him better. "That what? Iíve run for cover?"

He smiled slightly. "Maybe."

I chuckled. "Youíre an idiot." I leaned up and gently pressed my lips to his in a brief kiss, I leant back to judge his reaction. Again he looked a little surprised.

"If its one thing Iíve learnt is that you make a great pillow."

He chuckled. "Thanks Chickie so glad I have some use."

I laughed and he leant in for a real kiss this time, his hand moving into my hair and stroking my scalp. My fingers curled against his bare skin and I felt him smile around the kiss. We broke apart as someone cleared their throat; we both turned to the door where a nurse leant on the doorframe.

"There you are." She said to Seifer. "Iíve been looking everywhere for you." She walked to the edge of the bed. "Your friend needs his rest so I hope you havenít been wearing him out."

Seifer smirked and saluted her. "Yes maíam."

"And I expect you to go back to your room by the time it gets dark."

The blonde pouted. "But canít I stay here?"

She smiled. "I donít know what some of the doctors would think of that."

Seifer sighed. "Okay fine Iíll go back by dark like a good little boy, happy?"

She smiled. "Very." She left the room again.

"Do you think Irvine and Selphie will come visit us?" I asked.

"Probably, bet Irvine feels guilty like he should."

I smiled. "It wasnít his fault, besides it was an adventure."

"Adventure? And youíre leg is, what? A souvenir?" He frowned.

I sat up beside him causing him to look disappointed that we werenít curled up together anymore. "Well thanks to the cowboy I donít think youíre a such a ass-hole now."

He rolled his eyes. "Thanks Chickie, that means so much." He said sarcastically.

"And you did save my life." I added.

He smiled at me before I leaned up and kissed him passionately. "Thanks." I whispered when the kiss broke.

"No problem." He smirked, looking a little too pleased with himself, so I hit him in the chest.

"Stop grinning!"

He just laughed.

Cid smiled at the Instructor and cadet that stood in his office.

"They found them?" The cowboy asked.

The headmaster nodded. "Seifer walked into Timber hospital yesterday carrying Zell." He held up a hand when he saw Irvine open his mouth to speak. "Heís fine, the hospital said Zell broke his leg and both men suffered from dehydration but thatís all, they were lucky."

The cowboy sighed in relief.

"The two of you will go up to Timber tomorrow."

"Both of us?" Quistis asked. "But Sir heís just a cadet."

The taller man shot her a glare. "How about you try doing something right for once?"

She frowned back at him.

"Yes, both of you are to go, I know youíre worried about them Irvine and both of you will stay in Timber till the two are ready to come home."

"Yes sir" They both said at once.

I watched the lights flick out in the corridor for the night. I lay on my back feeling uncomfortable with my cast getting in the way of me getting comfy anytime soon. I shut my eyes even though I was tired I knew I wasnít going get to sleep for a while yet. Seifer had left for his room hours ago and as stupid as it sounded I missed him. Must be because we spend all that time together unable to get away from each other and now we were apart it was weird. He made a better pillow then these horrible hospital things though. I heard a noise from the corridor but there was no one there.

I frowned. "Hello?" I asked.

No one replied and I shrugged it off till I heard a noise again this time a shadow moved along the edges of the corridor I watched it carefully until it came nearer and the blonde hair and half naked-ness was noticeable.

"What are you doing here?" I hissed.

"Aww, did I scare your little chicken ass?" He asked.

I frowned. "Shut up Seifer, you know you could get into trouble if anyone catches you in here."

"Thatís why I was careful Chickie." He stood beside the bed. "What, you not going to invite me in?"

I sighed and shuffled across to let him into my bed. He smiled and slid under the covers.

"Youíre cold." I hissed as his chilly legs touched mine.

"Youíd better warm me up then." He smirked.

I pointed a finger at him. "Hey, Iím injured remember so I hope you havenít come here to take advantage of me."

"Would I ever do such a thing?" I faked a look of hurt with a hand over his heart.

I gave him an ĎIím not stupidí look.

He smiled. "I was cold, thought you might want to help me with that, was it wrong?" He sighed. "Okay then guess Iíll just be going back to my room then." He made to get out of the bed but I stopped him.

He smirked at me. "Yes Chickie was there something you wanted?"

"You can stay."

He gave me an innocent look. "Why?"

I frowned. Heís such a bastard. "Cos I want you too."

He smiled. "Good enough I guess."

And so I got my pillow back, an comfortable if noisy, annoying, teasing pillow but all the same I was pretty happy.

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