Disclaimer: All places, characters are not mine, nothing here is mine, everything belongs to Squaresoft.
By Purple Penguin
Zell stepped off the ship followed by his lover, their friends gathered around to meet them but something seemed wrong. Quistis hugs him and kissed Squall on the cheek but her smile was tight, they all looked nervous.
Zell glanced back at Squall.
“What’s going on?” Their commander folded his arms, staring at them for an explanation.
“Nothing.” Selphie grinned, but Squall stared harder at her causing her smile to falter.
Quistis stepped forward. “Okay, something did happen, we had a visitor, he’s not from around here, Dr Odine said there were lots of worlds where we all made different choices, went down another path and we ended up ended up different.” She gestured for Seifer who stood at the back to move forward. A leather-clad figure stepped out from behind him.
Zell’s jaw dropped open in shock, even the emotionless, frozen Squall stared in shock.
“This has to be a joke!” Zell said.
“It’s no joke, we thought that at firat.”
The other Squall smiled and offered them both a little wave.
The commander ran his eyes down to where his double’s fingers entwined with Seifer’s. He glared at the tall blonde. Seifer dropped his eyes to the floor. The Squall by his side looked up in concern at his lover’s discomfort. He turned to Squall, his eyes narrowing.
Zell glanced between his Squall glaring at Seifer and the other Squall mirroring the look back at his double.
“How did this happen?
“He came through a portal, his world is at war, his loved ones are dead, he has no one there. Surely you know what it’s like to be alone.”
Squall glared at Quistis for that comment and she stood up to him, looking him like he was a disobedient student.
Selphie spoke up. “Does it matter how he got here? All that matters is that you accept him and we all live happily ever after.”
Squall snorted. “He is NOT staying here!”
“But Squall!” Everyone protested.
The brunette held up a hand. “He doesn’t belong here, we’ll figure a way to send him back.”
Seifer looked up. “Over my dead body!”
Squall glared at him. “That can be arranged.”
“I don’t want to go back” I have no one to go back for, I’m happy here.” He shot a glance at Seifer as he said ‘happy’.
The cold brunette didn’t even flinch at the other man’s pain and misery. “That’s the life you were given.”
“How can you be so heartless, man?” Irvine asked. “Zell agrees with us don’t you?”
Everyone looked expectantly at the little blonde. He opened his mouth to speak but a glare from his lover made him shut it again and stare at the ground to avoid everyone’s stares.
“Quistis I want you to contact Dr. Odine on a way to send him back.”
“That’s an order instructor!”
She sighed. “Yes Sir.”
He stalked away feeling everyone’s eyes burning into his back.
His little blonde lover stopped feeling confusing as the new Squall buried his face into Seifer’s chest, tears falling from his eyes. Zell had never seen Squall cry before.
“Zell?” Squall had stopped, waiting for him. “Are you going?”
The blonde looked back at his friend’s anger, hurt faces and turned to Squall. “No, I’m going to stay with them for a while.
The brunette’s expression hardened. “Fine.” He hissed.
He slammed the door to his office and leant back on it. Shock, confusion and anger sinking in. everyone was so much happier with this new version of him than they ever were with him. Maybe they’d like it if he was the one to go away and the new squall stayed there in his place. It hurt more than he thought it would, the feeling of being unwanted, being replaced. He saw how he was with Seifer, his ex-lover had always had a thing for him. What about Zell? Would he like this new Squall more than him as well? He knew he was cold but he always thought he treated his lover pretty well. Was this guy a better version? He saw how emotional he looked, what had happened to make him turn out like that?
He sat behind his desk and the videophone beeped. He sighed, reverting to his cold mask before answering the videophone.
Laguna’s face appeared on the screen, he grinned and waved. “You’re back! Hi!”
Squall’s expression softened ever so slightly so that no one but Zell would notice.
“You’re met him then?”
The brunette stiffened knowing whom his father meant. “I thought you had, I just wanted to tell you, he’s a good kid Squall. Give him a chance okay?”
The brunette’s eyes narrowed. There was a strange lump in his throat. Even his own father wanted to replace him with this new Squall. It never bothered him before, feeling unwanted in fact him welcomed it at one point. Why did he care now if his friends, lover, father preferred this new version of him?
“You’re comments have been noted.” He hissed and switched off the videophone.
He leaned back in his chair, sighing when someone pounded on the door. What now?
“What?!” He yelled.
Seifer marched in and up to the desk.
“What do you want?”
“You know damn well what I want, Leonhart! How can you be so heartless towards him?”
“He can’t stay here, he’s me! It’s not normal for both of us to be here!”
Seifer shook his head. “No, you’re wrong. He’s not you! He’s better than that! He’s open, happy and adorable he’s all the things people wish you would be. He has so much shit in his life but he’s brave so he deals, he doesn’t hide away from people that can help. He’s not a coward! So no, he’s not like you at all.”
“Maybe if you gave him a chance, you’d see that for yourself. Maybe you could learn things from each other.” He turned and stalked out.
Squall locked the door to his dorm and lay on his bed in the dark. He didn’t want to see anyone.
He recognized the voice. Zell.
“Baby? It’s me. Can I come in? Squall? Are you there?”
The brunette pulled the pillow down on the top of his head so he didn’t have to hear anymore.
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