Author's Notes: This is my first FVIII fic. I beat this game long, long ago so cut me a bit of slack if the content isn't the most dead-on thing you've ever read. I hope you enjoy the fic and feel the need to review. Any flames will be used to line my snake's cage.

Enigmatic Hatred

Part 3

By Shade

"I really didn't need to see that," The door had long been closed then locked again. Squall was now rushing about gathering jacket and shirt off the ground. Seifer was still sitting on the desk, one leg dangling of as he glared at the intruder.

"Why are you in here anyway?" Squall asked in a slurred tone as he literally dove over to the opposite side of the desk in search of the white shirt. "Rinoa's the only one with the key." Squall paused as he spoke that last name.

Zell glanced up from where he sat in the pulled out chair that had only a moment ago been behind the desk. He looked as if he would feel much better crawling under the seating, curl up, and die. As he had said earlier 'he really hadn't needed to see that' and was regretting checking a second place after the dorm proved empty. "Well, Rinoa left the key with Selphie. A few minutes ago Rinoa called and Selphie gave it to me to come and tell you that she would be back the day after tomorrow." Zell lowered his eyes again as Seifer continued to glare. It seemed he wasn't thrilled with this intrusion…of course…neither was Zell.

Squall pushed Seifer's leg aside to crawl out from under the desk, now holding the white shirt. This had obviously cause him to loose his cool completely. He had good reason to loose his cool, he had a girl friend, he was a teacher (bringing into light the fact that Seifer was still a student), and he had never…at least until now…given thought to the fact that he might be homosexual. "Zell, you can't say anything."

Seifer paused in his glaring for a moment to look down at Squall who was now standing. Squall realized his own words before catching the glance from Seifer. Apologetically he looked to him "The Headmaster won't listen to me at all if he finds out about this. Any chance I have at convincing the Garden it wasn't you will be gone." - among other things.

The blonde didn't object but neither did he condone this idea. It was quite clear that he saw through Squall's worry and knew that there was more to it than that. Zell on the other hand simply nodded in response to the first question. He was too confused to add more questions atop even more questions.

Seifer watched Zell again and managed a half smile and a quirked eyebrow "The whole school will know by tomorrow."

"Mmm," Squall frowned and bit his lower lip. It wasn't Zell he was so worried about. The boy loved to talk and only occasionally leaked information. Of course a leak was prone to sprout if Selphie probed him and in his current state she most certainly would. Selphie would most defiantly announce the news and first to Rinoa. Squall swallowed hard "Zell, not even Selphie."

Zell's head shot up as if Squall had just asked him to teach a fruit bat the salsa - a task that might be relatively easier an just a little less absurd than keeping anything from Selphie for too long - "I-"

Seifer dropped a second leg of the side of the desk and sank down a bit with an annoyed sigh "Just offer the chicken wuss a hotdog at the end of every day."

A scowl came across Zell's face at the suggestion though a perk of his ears showed that he wouldn't mind a bit of bribery. "I'll try my best," he assured Squall-and only Squall-"But-" he shook his head, reminding himself that he still didn't want questions on questions "Well, I've really got to go now or Selphie will get suspicious. I was supposed to just come here and back. I promised I'd help her with the last preparations on the Garden Festival planning," still quite confused Zell stood and left, leaving the two alone once more.

Seifer watched the spiky haired young man go and then looked to Squall as the door swung shut. Squall was already dressed in his shirt and jacket once more. It was clear he didn't plan on shedding them once more, any time soon. Seifer watched hurry to straighten out his clothing and frowned "Where are you going?" he asked, still seated on top of the desk.

Squall's attention was called to Seifer as he tucked in his shirt. Honestly he wasn't sure. There were no classes to teach today and students weren't allowed out of their dorms. He didn't even have a mission as a SeeD yet because no one knew what the problem was. In this case it seemed he would be going to his room. It then occurred to Squall that Seifer didn't care so much about where he was going as compared to what he thought had just happened. Squall took a few steps towards the desk once more, still pulling at his clothing. "I don't know wh-" he paused, shaking his head "Seifer, there's Rinoa and-" he stopped completely now, looking down and remembering all the problems spawning from this.

Seifer dropped from the desk, sliding from the trench coat still spread out on the surface. Reaching forward he rested his thumb and index finger beneath Squall's chin and tilted it back up "You don't love her and you know it," he said, the signature smile a little softer than usual.

He was right and Squall knew it "But how do you know that I love you?"

Seifer paused a moment and then simply shrugged "I don't but it's worth finding out isn't it." tipping his chin back further Squall leaned down in a kiss.

Squall was lost in the moment for a few seconds, raising his arms to hands to rest at Seifer's shoulders. Realizing what he was doing, Squall pulled away and shook his head "Curfew-classes canceled. You've got to get back to your dorm."

Seifer almost laughed but nodded instead, taking his trench coat from the desk and slipping it on. Squall then led the way to the door and into the hallway.

It seemed as though Cid had noticed Seifer's absence but was not worried. He had of course asked the SeeD to watch him and…well…no one could say he wasn't doing what was asked. Squall glanced about. The halls were empty at the moment and had he not just woken up an hour or two go he would have thought it to be night. Not even someone from the administration could be found which led Squall to believe that a meeting was being held somewhere in light of the recent events. They never allowed SeeDs in such meetings. The SeeDs were always the last to know, called out for most of the manual and little of the intellectual work.

Thoughts such as these ran through Squall's mind as the two made their way down the outer circle path and down the dorm hall. Once to their destinations Seifer paused in surprise.

"Hm?" Squall had already taken out his own key and was about to wish Seifer a goodnight when he caught sight of Seifer and followed his gaze to find the still fallen in doorway. For some reason he had assumed that would have been fixed by now.

Seifer took a few steps towards the door (apparently going to see if he couldn't simply prop it up) when Squall stopped him "Why don't you just stay in my dorm? Rinoa is out."

Seifer's eyes widened a bit as Squall spoke. He couldn't help but smirk as Squall opened the door completely and entered, leaving it open for Seifer to follow. Closing the door behind him the blond looked around with an amused "humph. Shedding his coat and folding over in his arms he looked to Squall who was gathering Rinoa's clothing from the packing off the ground. "My suspicions are confirmed, SeeDs get perks."

Squall looked back with one of his rare smiles "Only a decent room." With an armful of feminine clothing, Squall approached the bedroom, nudging the door open with his side and sliding a drawer open to stuff the lot of it into. Pushing the drawer back into place Squall stood and returned to the bedroom doorway only to find Seifer standing in its frame.

"A decent television as well-though I doubt that was one of SeeD's perks."

"What's that supposed to-" Squall didn't get an answer nor felt a need to finish the question as the shirtless Seifer made his way across the room, sat upon the end of the bed, and switched on the television.

Squall sighed and followed, taking a seat beside him and scanning the box in front of their eyes. Garden television abided by universal programming laws. After work hours was loaded with plenty of Primetime, specials, and late night comics while daytime television was proverbial crap. As Seifer changed channels it became increasingly obvious that only Soap Operas, court shows, and low budget talk shows were the only programs on. At last Seifer gave up completely and switched the entire thing off, tossing the remote control in Squall's direction.

Squall caught the device in both hands, setting it down on the mattress. With a sigh he glanced to Seifer. My this was awkward.

Seifer noted the sigh and returned the glance, his a tad more amused. It was overly clear how uncomfortable Squall was around him. Seifer felt a bit tense as well but had always been skilled with repressing any unwanted emotions. Smiling, Seifer stood and took a few backward steps to the bedroom door "Well I'm starving."

Students at the Garden were treated as college students might be treated. They were expected to take care of themselves (save the younger students who lived with at least one adult). All dorms had a fridge, which was expected to remain stocked with provided cafeteria food should the cafeteria be closed on a day such as today.

"The hell?" Seifer asked from where he stood, bent over, head vanished behind the open fridge door.

Squall who had just followed him into the kitchen-again proving the fact that SeeD and teacher's rooms were much larger-had a good idea of what he was curious about. "Not much in the ways of pre-made foods."

Seifer straightened, swinging the fridge door shut "Rinoa cooks?" he asked, choosing his words carefully. He didn't want to think about that name and neither did Squall.

A slight blush crossed Squall's face "No-I do."

The blonde supressed a laugh, it wasn't that he thought any less of Squall for it and while he'd never admit it out load he found this hidden talent 'cute'. "Cook then," he made an over dramatic gesture to the fridge.

Pink cheeks went to crimson as Squall detected a laugh. Ignoring this he approached the fridge. He did cook though not that often. Only when the cafeteria was out or he simply felt like it. Now he retrieved several items from the refrigerator and a box of pasta from the pantry above.

"You really do know what you're doing don't you?" Seifer judged, watching the brunette work around the kitchen, taking a pot recently filled with water and setting it on to boil. "Need any help?" he asked with a smirk.

"You can help by leaving the kitchen," Squall said causing Seifer to straighten nervously before Squall flashed a soft smile over his shoulder to show he was only kidding.

Seifer rolled his eyes and cross to an out-of-the-way area in the corner anyway. He leaned against the counter, arms crossed over his chest "Cid isn't the only reason you don't want anyone to know about what happened in the office, is it?"

There was an awkward pause as Squall stopped what he was doing to think over the question. He knew the answer but he was afraid of how to answer. "I-"

Seifer shook his head to silence him. He knew the answer by that alone and it didn't truly bother him. Squall was only human and Seifer would have probably felt the same had he a reputation to harm. He then noticed Squall's expression and knew that the question was still bothering him. "It's fine Squall. Besides, I'm sure Zell can keep this away from Selphie."

The bothered expression metamorphosed into a confused one. Seifer had only minutes ago thought that the news would e everywhere by morning.

Seifer gave Squall a smirk "We both forgot about the Garden festival, it's coming up. Selphie will be too busy to care and will have Zell so busy he wouldn't have a chance to tell if he wanted to."

Squall couldn't help but smile but it faded as he remembered what that meant, "I'd forgotten the Garden Festival was so soon."

"She still forces you to go?" Seifer snickered.

"It's not funny," Squall frowned, focusing his attention on cooking "She's a wolf in sheep's clothing and the wolf doesn't show unless it's around festival time. Then she forces duties and invites upon all her friends."

The smirk didn't fade "Is it really all that bad?" he asked in a sarcastic tone. Seifer had never attended a Garden Festival. Until Selphie had transferred not a school function had come through and once she had he had never truly felt that he would be wanted to drop by.

"A large clutter of students socializing to a "band" that you know personally performing on stage."

Seifer rolled back his shoulders, resting both hands at the edge of the counter now "-And socializing isn't the "Ice Princes'" specialty-"

Squall glared at the blonde which only caused him to laugh harder. "You enjoy making me angry don't you?" Squall raised a brow.

"You haven't noticed this by now?" Seifer stepped forward with an almost playful tilt of his head.

"No-yes, I mean-I just thought thing's would be different now tha-" he paused again as the crimson returned to his cheeks.

Seifer stopped laughing though the smirk remained "Now that what?" he teased, crossing the rest of the distance between them to wrap his cross his arms around the brunette who was now emptying pasta into a pot of boiling water.

Squall was about to protest but instead let out a moan as Seifer's left hand trailed up his shirt and the second down to his hips. The right hand prodded against the waistline and his palm slipped downwards. Squall's own hands went up to the fingers under his shirt, squeezing him close just before-"Ouch!" Squall opened one eye as a flying droplet of boiling water stuck his cheek-bone "Hey, hey," Squall pushed Seifer back (who was now feeling the hot spray of the boiling over water as well.) Quickly Squall switched the heat down and stepped away as the splashing subsided. Sighing as he waited, Squall glanced back to Seifer with a not-so-stern look "You've lost kitchen privileges, go," Squall pointed away from the stove, indicating he couldn't cook and become sexual aroused without burning down the entire dorm. A smile tugged at Seifer's lips and reluctantly he did his bidding.

Squall finished cooking soon enough and retrieved Seifer from the bedroom, where the blonde was deeply engrossed in a daytime movie on television. Together the two ate, speaking of people they knew, training sessions, and happenings outside the Garden. Squall was surprised to find that he was beginning to enjoy Seifer being in his company, someone he had once thought of as simply his rival. Of course now it was getting late and the two were running out of topics. Seifer shut off the television once more as he caught a yawn from Squall.

"Ready to go to bed?" Seifer asked, standing without an answer.

Squall stifled the yawn and swallowed. Nervously he looked to the bed and then back to Seifer.

Catching the motion Seifer felt his lip twitch but shook his head assuringly "I planned on spending the night at the sofa."

Squall released a breath of relief as Seifer simply kissed him on the cheek before exited the room and heading towards the couch. As soon as Seifer left, Squall shed his jacket and shirt and folding them over, lowered himself into bed.

Squall opened his eyes to darkness. A hand touched at the soft comforter on his chest and pushing it back he hoisted his slender torso from the mattress. An internal clock told him it was still the middle of the night and his body urged him to drop back and down and get some sleep. He knew there was some reason he had woken but-oh well, it was best just to obey the urge to lie back down. He was just leaning back when a voice sounded from outside. It was a scream.

Squall pressed forward with a start, moving from the blankets and lying down on the opposite end of the bed so that he could see out the bedroom door. The doorway only revealed a second, this open doorway the front and outside this doorway-Seifer? Indeed it was Seifer who stood there, shirtless and hair disheveled as though he had just woken as well. His back was to Squall but from his stance alone he could tell that he was nervous. Around him were gathering students, keeping a good distance. Most were whispering, others matching the scream that had first drawn his attention. Their eyes, however, were all the same focused at a point on the ground.

Squall squinted his eyes, hopeful to catch a glimpse of whatever it was as well. As he made out the shadowed point he was sorry had. A young female student lie sprawled on the ground before Seifer. A bloodstain had pulled around her head and she didn't seem to be stirring. Squall opened his mouth call out Seifer's name but was silenced as running footsteps sounded. The administration? Again Squall wanted to warn Seifer but a gunshot sounded, silencing both the brunette and Seifer as a bullet tore through the blonde's chest. Squall felt his breath stop-a sick feeling rising in his throat. Suddenly a hand slammed the door shut as Seifer fell and Squall rose to his knees.

It was pitch black in the room now but Squall jumped from the bed anyway, throwing the covers aside "Seifer!" he screamed running forward and out of the bedroom. "Seifer!" he reached for the door but fell short as something looped around his middle and held him back from behind. Squall groaned in effort, fingers straining for the doorknob just inches away.

"Squall!" whatever was behind him shouted, squeezing him tighter and taking a step back.

Squall fell limp, mouth going open as he stopped struggling enough so that the arms would release around him. Looking back his suspicions were confirmed as Seifer met his stare with one of worry.

"What's wrong?" Seifer demanded though there was no angry tone in his voice.

Squall looked him over Was it really him. Both of Squall's hands pressed against the taller man's chest but found no wound "Out the door-I just saw-you-"

Seifer was catching on now, sighing in relief himself he put a hand upon Squall's shoulder "You had a nightmare."

A nightmare? Squall closed his eyes in an attempt to sort through fact and fiction, something difficult after just waking. In realization he sank into Seifer's arms.

Seifer was taken aback for a moment but noting Squall's current state attempted to comfort him as he had before, wrapping his arms around the brunette and holding him close.qw2

Squall didn't move for a long while and Seifer was becoming tired. Carefully he removed one hand from around Squall's back and bent down to place it at his knees, scooping the 'Ice Prince' into his arms. Squall simply kept his head against Seifer's chest and didn't move until he was carried into the bedroom and placed upon the bed. Now upon his back he opened those soft blue eyes just in time to see Seifer walking calmly out of the room. "Wait," Squall sat up and spoke without thinking.

Seifer paused and looked back at Squall "I told you. It as only a dream," he assured once more.

"I know but-" now Squall was embarrassed. Looking down towards his hand clenching the covers he squeezed his eyes shut tight.

"Happy?" came a teasing voice. Squall opened his eyes and looked to his left to find that Seifer had understood him well without further words.

Squall nodded and went back down on the mattress. However, even with Seifer here now he couldn't sleep "Seifer?"

With a sigh the blonde lying beside him tilted his head in Squall's direction "Yes?"

Squall kept his eyes to the ceiling "What was your dream about-you said it was important but-"

Seifer sighed once more. It seemed as though this last dream had made Squall curious "It was a nightmare I guess," he answered simply.

"What sort of nightmare-" Squall urged.

Seifer frowned. He really wanted to just sleep but it didn't seem as though he would be allowed to right now "The normal sort I guess," he lied

This quieted Squall for a moment but not much longer than this "Why are you doing this?"

Again Seifer opened his eyes and tilted his head in Squall's direction "Doing what?" he asked, going completely to his side and resting a hand on Squall's arm in the process.

"That," Squall answered.

Seifer shook his head "You're kidding right?" slightly annoyed but determined to make him understand he kissed Squall softly on the lips and then pulled back "Because I love you, that's why.

Squall watched Seifer draw back to the pillow and after the words sank in frowned "Just like that?" they had only been together this morning. There had been some pleasure, yes but that didn't always come paired with love.

"Not just like that," he said calmly, ending the conversation by going to his other side, no longer facing Squall and leaving the brunette to wonder what he had meant by that.



That's it for chapter three of the fic. I hope it wasn't as bad as I think it was. I promise the story is about to pick up. In fact it should start picking up in the next chapter. Please continue reviewing and thank you to those who have.

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