Author's Note: Squaresoft got characters. I got plot! Finally this thing is going somewhere! Yeah!! I didn’t know it’ll take me *this* long to set up background. No wonder novels spent like, 300 pages on the setting before it actually get to conflicts.


Chapter Nine

By Jamaica

The music blared steadily inside the gloomy room. Bodies swayed and head thrashed, albeit not violently, because the beat was more moody than metal. The dim candlelight flickered on one of the tables by the corner.

The table was initially occupied by six people, only two were left at this moment. A silver-haired girl in a glittery green top sat sipping Scotch Whiskey across from a dark-haired boy playing with his chained necklace.

“Where is everyone?” Squall suddenly asked.

Fujin shrugged. “Dancing probably. Why aren’t you?”

“Why aren’t *you?*”

“I don’t dance.” She shrugged again. “I can’t dance. You, however, proved otherwise earlier on. It’s not fair to rob all the ladies here the view of that perfect ass of yours now that they’d had a taste of it.”

Squall chuckled. “Music’s too mellow.”

“Yeah.” The girl emptied her glass. “You don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you don’t do drugs. And yet . . . “

“ . . . I dress goth, I have piercings, and I’m an artist. The irony.”

Fujin smiled. “Quite fascinating.”

Squall turned his attention back to the dance floor. This party wasn’t bad. At least at first. Music’s decent, and for the first time he had people to talk with and not converse about the weather. Now it somewhat simmered down since it’s well past midnight. Phi Xi Epsilon or not, Candelabra was not a place for undergraduates, and other stray people wander into the club in massive amounts after the stroke of twelve.

Zell and Selphie were on the opposite end of the room, dancing and chatting away with some of the cheerleader friends Selphie had. Quistis was sitting at Ellone’s table, talking to his sister. Seifer was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Seifer?” Fujin noticed it also.

“I don’t know . . . oh, wait, here he comes.” Squall replied as he perceived the looming figure walking toward them from the direction of the restrooms. His steps were odd, though, as if he was floating.

“Oh no.” Fujin mumbled.

“What?” Squall raised an eyebrow.

“He’s at it again.” She groaned this time.

Before Squall could inquire further, Seifer had approached them and plopped next to him. “You still sitting here, goth boy? Go move.”

Squall was about to protest about the music, but right then it changed. Seifer jumped up and grabbed Squall’s wrist. “Come on!”

“Seifer! Quit!” He disliked being forced on. He disliked the pain even more. Seifer didn’t seem to be using any strength, but his hands were surprisingly strong. In a quick flash of light from the mirrorball, Squall saw a glazed film settled on top of Seifer’s green eyes.

He’s high.

Squall scoffed and managed to shake the hand free. “No thank you. I’m . . . slightly tired. I’m gonna go. Fu?”

“I’m good. It’s okay, you go, I can hitch a ride with Rinoa.” She replied.

“Running away?” Seifer smirked. “Aw, don’t worry, I’m not gonna bite. Hard.”

“Right,” Squall rolled his eyes. “I’ll see you in class.” He said to Fujin as he picked up the overcoat draped on the back of his chair. Even as he put the coat on and turned his back Seifer’s eyes never left him. He shook off the uneasy suspicious feeling. Just go, he thought. This club is getting to you now. Leave.

He stuck his hand in the pocket with the gun. Squeezing it tightly to feel the counterfeit security, Squall walked out into the street, heading to the motorcycle parked on the side.

When he walked in the house naturally everything was quiet. He flipped on the light switch in the hallway, temporarily blinded by the fluorescent bulb. He trotted up the stairs, into his room. Squall then proceeded on to remove all of his clothes, changing into only a loose cerulean shirt and sweatpants.

He was in the bathroom washing his face when he heard the door opened downstairs. Judging from the heavy footsteps coming up, it was Seifer. Why was he home already? Squall wiped his face clean with a towel. You’d think he’d stay there until morning.

“What’re you doing back here?” Squall asked when he stepped into the hallway and saw Seifer standing in front of him.

“I can’t decide to come back? I live here too.”

“No, it’s just that I thought you’d –“

“Stay a bit longer than you, yeah, you’re right. I’m going back there. I just need to take care of something first.”

“Okay.” Squall dismissed it with a shrug. He went back into his room and was ready to climb into bed when he realized Seifer followed him in. “Yes?” He frowned, growing a little impatient.

“Does Keith still bother you?”

The question was so unconnected that Squall stammered. “Uh, no. I haven’t seen him since the first day. It’s kind of odd, though.”

“Good,” Seifer breathed. The warm air hit Squall’s temples, sending slight chills down his spine. Just then Squall noticed how close Seifer was to him.

“What’re you doing?” He eyed the taller blond. Seifer’s eyes still carried that glassy look, obviously not down from his fix. Squall backed up instinctively. He really didn’t like this. The room suddenly seemed cold.

In a motion that was as quick as a thunderstorm, Seifer grabbed Squall by the arms and rammed him into the wall.

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