Deep End

Chapter 10

By Purple Penguin

Nida looked up sharply as the blonde girl that Irvine had been entertaining walked off in a huff.

Trouble in paradise? Was Irvine losing his touch? Or maybe he realized he should be at home with his boyfriend rather than out chatting up girls in random bars. He scoffed. Fat chance. Zell could do far better than that slut. Irvine didn't deserve Zell but he knew the little blonde would never listen to him so he'd just have to be there for when Irvine fucked things up as he knew he would.

He was with Zell for years he liked to think he knew him quite well, he knew the blonde would be loyal to his lover even when he had asked Zell to take him back. He knew missed him terribly when he left so he thought he'd have a good chance of getting him back, he hadn't banked on the cowboy getting there first though.

He didn't think Zell was the type to fall for the shit that Irvine normally pulled he wasn't stupid maybe a little dim at times but not enough to fall into bed with the cowboy. He wondered how Irvine had managed to seduce the little blonde? How long he would string him along for? Probably until he got bored of him. He had a suspicion that Zell loved the cowboy, he wondered if Irvine knew that.

As another girl, dark haired this time started to chat to Irvine Nida slid off his stool drink in hand and walked up to the other man. He tapped him on the shoulder.

"Wondered when you'd decide to come over." Irvine said.

He looked a little rough around the edges not really drunk but well on the way.

The girl looked between the two of them. "Your friend?"

"No so much." Nida answered coldly. "Why don't you run along?"

She frowned and but still walked off.

It was Irvine's turn to frown. "You don't have to be so mean."

The other man sat down. "You don't change do you?"

"I like to think I have."

"How? Here you are still sitting in bars picking up women except now your not content on hurting the feelings of the girls you have to string Zell along too, my Zell."

The cowboy bristled. "He's not yours, you sorted that out when you left didn't you?"

"That doesn't mean I'm going to sit here and watch you hurt him."

Irvine shifted so that his back was facing the other man. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't I? Then why are you here all alone?"

"To get drunk."

"Trouble in paradise?"

"None of your business."

"Zell is my business."

"Not anymore."

"He didn't seem that sure of that the last time I saw him."

"The last time you saw him? And when the hell was that?" Irvine took another swig of his drink.

"Last night." Nida stated smugly.

The cowboy stiffened and turned to stare at him. "What?"

The shorter man grinned in amusement. "Oh yes I've been seeing him a few tmes in the last two weeks, didn't he tell you?"

The cowboy shook his head. "Liar."

"Why would I lie to you?"

"To split us up."

"I tried that when I spoke to him but he wasn't having any of it even when I asked him why he'd stay with a slut like you."

The cowboy started to shake to his head. "No I don't do that anymore not since Zell."

"Then what are you doing here?"

"I told you-"

"Yeah, yeah to get drunk I remember." He looked so fucking smug that Irvine tightened his grip on the glass he was holding, clenching his fists. "You stay away fro him!" He snapped suddenly. "You'll confuse him and ruin things for both of us."

To his surprise the brunette leant back on the bar in defeat. "He doesn't want me anyway, he loves you. God knows why, don't know how you managed it, he's not stupid enough to fall for your shit."

The cowboy was staring at him in shock. "He told you that?"

"Told me what?"

"That he loved me."

Nida raised an eyebrow. "You didn't know.?" He asked "He didn't really say it in some many words but I know him, he didn't have to say it. He defended you, no matter what bad things I said about you,, he wouldn't have it." He glanced sideways at Irvine. "You don't deserve him."

The cowboy met his gaze. "I know."

Zell got home after talking to Squall, he had a class in an hour but he didn't really feel like going, he wanted to wait until Irvine got home, he was worried about him. He kept reminding himself that he was supposed to be angry with his lover for staying out all night and making him worry.

When he opened the front door the first thing he saw was a figure sprawled out on the sofa. He shut the door quickly and hurried inside. Irvine lay across the couch.

"Hi." He managed to say, eyes only half open.

Zell knelt beside him. "Where the hell have you been?"


"All night?"

"I had thinking to do."

"Where did you sleep?"

"I didn't." He said, eyes shutting again. "I don't feel so good."

The little blonde pressed a hand into his lover's forehead.

"Mmmm, you have cool hands." He nuzzled into them.

"You idiot, it's your own fault if you get a fever for walking in the cold all night. Don't expect me to look after you." He moved his lover into a sitting position. "You should go to bed." He pushed Irvine's cost off his shoulders.

"Will you come with me?"

"Are you drunk?" Zell squinted at him.

"No, I was earlier." He looked at the clock. "Yesterday." He chuckled. "I was yesterday." He started to lay down again but Zell caught him.

"Oh no you don't, you have to go to bed." He helped him up and they walked together.

"Will you stay with me?"

Zell nodded. "I'll stay." He said. "But you have to sleep." He put Irvine on the bed and pulled back the covers as his lover striped down to his boxers.

"What were you thinking about?"


"You said you had things think about, what were they?"



"Yeah, oh I had a nice chat with Nida though."

Zell froze. "You did?"

"Hmm." The cowboy looked like he was going to sleep so Zell started to back out of the room.

"Do you love me?"

"Huh?" The blonde asked, thinking he misheard that.

"Do you love me?" He repeated.

Zell went back to kneel on the bed. "Of course I do."

His lover still had his eyes closed as he spoke. "You never told me before I didn't know, why didn't you tell me?"

"I-err- I don't know, I knew you wouldn't feel the same so I didn't think it was worth it."

His lover opened his eyes for the first time. "I love you too." He whispered, shutting his eyes again. He felt Zell curl up next to him, resting his head on Irvine's chest.

"So what did you and Nida talk about?"

"You mostly, he told me that you loved me, you didn't want him and that I didn't deserve you."

"That's not true."

"No he was right." Arms wrapped around Zell. "I don't deserve you."

"Well I'm not going anywhere."

"I know."

"Here." A shirt hit Seifer in the chest as he entered the changing room at work. He looked up startled at Alison a co-worker who had thrown it. He didn't like her very much she was forever trying to get into his pants and always failing especially now that he had Squall.

"What?" He asked.

"I was giving you back your shirt."

Seifer frowned and looked down at it for the first time. His blood ran cold it was the shirt that Squall had left here in his haste to get out last night.

He kept his expression blank. "It's not mine."

She smiled. "Well okay then your boyfriend's shirt."

"What?" He asked. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"You know last night when you were supposed to lock up and instead let in your little lover to play with." She smiled at Seifer's look of horror.

"You were there?!"

"No silly." She laughed. "But the security cameras show enough to fill in the blanks." She grinned. "Never pegged you for gay Seifer, no wonder you never wanted me."

"I'm not gay." He corrected.

"Really? Oh goody."

"Have you shown this tape to anyone yet?"

"Nope." She replied happily. "Actually I was just off up there now to see the managers." She brushed past him and predictably he caught her arm. "Wait."

She stepped back looking innocent. "Yes?"

"Don't show it to anyone... please."

She stepped close and ran a single finger down the centre of his chest teasingly. "That depends on whether you're going to make it worth my while or not."

He glared at her. "At the moment I'm thinking not."

She moved closer to nuzzle into his throat so he could feel her warm breath on his skin. She did nothing for him.

"You'll lose your job of that I'm certain, you did break in or- well almost. I know you love that job." She leaned into whisper. "I can help you keep it."

"But then I'd lose Squall."

She scoffed. "What's one little queer boy? I'm sure you'll find another."

"I don't want another." He opened his eyes that he didn't remember closing to glare at her. "And don't ever call him that."

She pushed off him. "Fine have it your own way." She headed for the door. "It was nice working with you."

Squall got home from his one and only lesson of the day to find Seifer sitting slouched on the sofa with a bottle held between his knees, a half empty bottle too.

Squall frowned and slowly walked up to his lover. "Seifer what are you doing here?" He looked at the clock. "It's only 1 o'clock." He perched on the couch beside the other man, eyeing the bottle. "Did something happen?"

"I-err- lost my job." He muttered quietly, taking a swig from the bottle.

"What?! Why?"

The older man scowled. "Why the hell do you think?"

Squall frowned. "What?"

"The other night, the CCTV caught me letting you in after hours." He sipped the bottle. "They didn't believe me when I said nothing happened." He raised the bottle to his lips again.

"I think you've had enough of that." Squall tried to take the bottle and found some resistance at first, then his lover let him take the bottle, folding his arms to sulk.

"Well screw them anyway, you can get a better job than that."

Seifer pouted. "But I liked that job I was good at it and I got to pick up cute gir- people who swam there."

Squall smiled. "Well you don't have to worry about that anymore, you have me." He leant against the blonde's side. "I'll help you get a job and so will the others." He paused. "Hey I could job hunt with you."

"I thought you were rich."

"No!" He scoffed. "My mother left me money when she died but it can only go so far."

"Zell said you were rich."

"Zell exaggerates."

Seifer sighed. "Oh great I get together with you for the money and then it turns out you're not even rich."

Squall hit him playfully in the arm. "Hey." He protested. "Tomorrow we'll gather the troops and get you a job."

"Okay." The blonde leant his head against Squall's. "Tomorrow then."

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