Thanks so much for all those people who are reading my story and for those who are giving me the motivation to write more ^^

Special thanks goes out to:

Tears of Griever -It was thanks to you that the abuse scene in Chapter 6 was made, which sadly enough was actually kind of fun to write, even if I don't like someone doing those kinds of things to Squall.

Gothic Demon Suli -Dylan will be coming back, but not for a little while yet ^^

Both of you, thank you so much for the constant reviews, I really appreciate your support ^_^

And of course, leannan. For just being there for me. I miss talking to you, and I hope you email me soon.

I hope everyone likes this chapter. It's a step in the SxS direction ^_^ Which I'm sure you all want ^_*

Degrading The Lion

Chapter 9 - Silver and Black Wolf

By Redrum


It's been four weeks now, and Squall has made quite a bit of progress. He's still angry at himself for not being able to fully put up that icy facade, but he's getting there. I don't really care what he does either way, just so long as he still opens up to me. Although I don't like seeing him push other people away, it is a nice feeling to know that Squall trusts me enough to let himself be free like that.

We haven't talked about Dylan this entire time, it's kind of a taboo subject now. If he doesn't mention it, then I'm not going to bring it up. Although sometimes I really feel like punching something every time I see Squall flinch at something that reminds him of Dylan. He still doesn't accept casual touch, but I don't think he ever will. He's not the kind of person that's touchy feely. I'm the same way. Well, basically. I do like the occasional touch, but I still don't appreciate the way Selphie or Zell grab onto me sometimes. It can get to be really annoying.

All of Squall's bruises and cuts have healed. He still has a few nasty looking scars, but there's nothing we can do about them since he wasn't allowed to heal them in time, before they started to leave an impression on his skin. It's an ugly reminder of his past, but maybe it'll help him to see that lovers aren't supposed to hurt you like that. And if they do, then you have to get the hell out of there, before it gets worse. Too bad we all couldn't learn that lesson long before it happens. Who ever thinks that their boyfriend is going to beat them? And if someone like Squall loves someone so unconditionally, then their blind to the fact that something's going on that shouldn't be.

I think I'm helping Squall to see that. I think he knows now that Dylan did love him, but his love for Squall wasn't a healthy one. It was one of obsession, and dominance. Not true love at all. And Squall only loved him because he was being brain washed into thinking that only Dylan could provide him with the things that he needed. He never knew that he could be hugged without being punished for it later with a beating.

I've hugged him a couple of times. He sometimes wakes up with nightmares, and I'm always there for him. While I'm cradling him he tells me what happened in his dream. After he lets it all out, he's able to fall back to sleep. I've also been used as a human pillow plenty of times. I know Squall's the type of person that likes physical contact, even though he would never admit to it. So I help him out with that anytime he wants or needs it. I usually wait a little while until he's fully asleep, then I get into a more comfortable position. I've learned not to stay like that while sleeping, creates a hell of a neck ache. Too bad Squall's not good at massaging. Heh..

I also think I'm starting to understand the looks Irvine kept giving me whenever I used to talk about Dylan not deserving Squall, and Squall deserving better then that. I never thought I would actually like Squall in more then a platonic way. I guess because I never got aroused at the sight of him before. Though, that might have been because of the stress going on around us. I didn't really have the time or energy to question my sexuality and whether or not I like Squall. But how can I not? He's the most beautiful creature I've ever seen. I didn't even know he had a tattoo until he showed me one day when we were talking about piercings (which I have on my navel) and tattoos, he ended up showing me his. I think that was the first time I actually felt attracted to Squall.

*Flashback Two weeks earlier*

"What do you think about piercings?" Raising my eyebrow at the odd question, I decide to humor the brunette.

"I like them."

"Do you have any?" Smirking slightly, I nod. Pulling my forest green tee by the hem, I lift it slightly to show my washboard abs and pierced navel. A small golden hoop with a sparkling moonstone in the centre resting comfortably just above my navel. I always thought it looked nice. Reminded me of something, but I can't seem to remember what..

"That's really nice looking." Smiling at the compliment, I nod in agreement.

"Do you like tattoos too?"

"Yeah. I've always wanted to get one, but I don't really know what I want. Do you have one?" I ask, thinking the whole time that the 'perfect solider' wouldn't have any tattoo. My eyes widen considerably, when Squall turns away from me and begins to unbuckle his belt (only one this time).

"Umm.. what are you doing?" He looks back at me, chestnut strands obscuring his slightly rosy cheeks.

"Showing you." Nodding, I wave to let him continue. With the belt and zipper loose, Squall pulls down his navy blue jeans to affirm my assumption of him not wearing any underwear, and to reveal a small black and silver wolf on his left firm cheek. The sleek wolf is standing, head tilted back and jaws parted in a silent howl. The wolf is completely black with silver interlaced in the 'fur', making it stand out and look very realistic. And this close up, I also notice small dark green eyes. All in all, it was truly "..beautiful.." I almost sigh in disappointment when Squall pulls his jeans back up, zipping and buckling them. Turning around, I try to hold back the smirk when I catch sight of his flushed cheeks. A darker rose then before I made that comment. And I wasn't only talking about the wolf...

*End flashback*

Unfortunately I have yet to see that beautiful round ass again. A real pity too. Oh well, Squall's still not ready for the kind of relationship. At least.. I don't think so. I did think it was kind of strange the way he was blushing like that, and how ready he was to drop (well.. almost drop) his pants for me. Maybe there's hope for us yet. I'm sure Squall isn't totally against the idea.

Squall lives with me now. He quickly moved out of his dorm as soon as Dylan left. He told me that the room holds unpleasant memories for him, and I can believe that. I don't have much room, but it was enough to fit two beds and a few of his things. He doesn't have much to begin with.

It's kind of nice to wake up and see him sleeping so close to me (though not close enough..). And when I get dressed, there's a pleasant warmth inside of me when I see my closet filled with his clothes and mine. He isn't as neat as I thought he was, so our clothes are mixed together. It's cute to see him accidentally dressing in one of my favourite clothes (when he's done with it I don't wash it right away. I love his smell that clings to them). There a little big on him, of course, but it's makes him look vulnerable, and I just want to hug and protect him from the world, of course I can't do the former without him thinking something is meant by the innocent (okay.. maybe not so innocent) hold.

The only relief I have is knowing that Squall is gay. I used to think I was bi, but ever since that tattoo incident (if you can call it that), I know for a fact I'm strictly gay, and I only have eyes for Squall. Sure, there are others who are pretty and cute, but none can compare to the beauty that is the 'Ice Prince.'

"What are you doing?" I jump at the sudden voice that breaks the silence.

"Just thinking."

"Mmm.." Squall mutters, sitting down on the couch beside me. Looking out my window, I watch the landscape pass slowly, Garden still on the move to Esther. As soon as we land, I was planning on getting out of here with Squall to do something. There's only so much training I can take before getting bored. At first Squall was pretty rusty (what with Dylan stopping him from training as much as he used to), but he quickly improved after several training sessions, with me of course.

I tense slightly when Squall shifts on the couch and lays his head on my jean clad lap. He shifts around until he deems himself comfortable, and sighs in content. I let a small smile pass my lips at his relaxed and happy face. It's nice to see him so care free now. Of course he'll never be anything like Selphie or Zell, but he's open in his own way. I even get to see him smile sometimes, usually when I embarrass myself and he can't help but smile. Even if it is a small lift of his full lips. It still counts in my opinion.

"You do realize you spend more time in your head then I do, right?" Laughing, I run my hand threw his soft chestnut strands. He nuzzles against my lap, and I clench my teeth to try to control the upcoming hardness that I can feel building when he purrs in content. It's even worse when he doesn't know what he's doing until I point it out.

"No one could spend more time in their head then you Squall." My eyes almost tear up at the small smile that is aimed up at me.

"That's true. But your definitely getting there." Smiling brightly, I nod. It's funny how much we pick up on each others personality traits like that. I noticed he started to smirk more too. It suits him though. I've always noticed a spark of mischief in his storm blue eyes, that he's always tried to hide, until now that is. I think if he put his mind behind it, he could come up with some pretty good practical jokes. Heh.. maybe I could teach him a few things.

"Attention all SeeDs and Cadets, the Garden has now landed and we will be staying here in Esther until further notice." Quistis' voice states over the PA system. She's made a good headmaster since Cid left. He wanted Squall to do it, but Squall refused to do it and he said Quistis would be better for the job anyway. I thought it was really sweet of him.

"Finally!" Squall bursts, standing up quickly, he looks down at me from my seated position on the comfortable couch. "Well, where were going?" Frowning slightly, I try to think of something that would be fun. Heck, anything would be fun after so many weeks spent confined in here with only the Grats and T-rexes for company.

"How about we get the gang together and go shopping? And then maybe we'll go out later tonight and do something else." Squall nods, happy to be out of the Garden and in the fresh air for awhile. I know he doesn't seem like the person that would enjoy shopping, but he actually loves to buy clothes. And I think he'll always have a soft spot for tight jeans and sleek leather, you don't see me complaining though. At least he doesn't wear as many belts now. They would have been a bitch to get off. If the time ever comes to get them off quickly of course...

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