“Why do you think you love me?”
Squall frowned. He wasn’t getting any proper responses now and there was good reason. Sighing he glanced to the clock and then the window. It was still dark but the flickering clock told him nothing and offered instead the notion that there had been a recent power outage. Seifer was in a semi-conscious state under Squalls head and seemed to be falling back into slumber between the brunette's words. Sighing in defeat, Squall settled himself back into a more comfortable position. His eyes did not close though. Instead he simply stared into the darkness, a thoughtful expression playing upon his face.
Hadn’t they been in a fight only hours earlier? Well, Squall couldn’t exactly claim that it had been a fight. If anything he had over reacted to what might well be the truth. Squall gave a start at the hand of the shoulder he was resting on took hold of his own forearm. He looked to Seifer hopefully but it was all to obvious that the blonde was still fast asleep. With a sigh, Squall moved further against Seifer’s side and softly placed a kiss upon his cheekbone before closing his eyes and attempting to fall asleep.
Squall didn’t get long to rest. The moment he found himself drifting off he was called back by a squeaking of the door. What was that? It took a few seconds for Squall to recognize what he was hearing. “Oh God.” Raising to a sitting position in a hurry, the brunette gripped Seifer by the shoulders and making a point to cover his mouth, dropped the sleeping young man off the side of the bed. Squall came down on top of him, between wall and bed, so that one hand was still over Seifer’s mouth and he could see bedroom door.
Squall winced at that soft word from the doorway. It was a familiar voice and one he hadn’t expected to hear so soon. Squall looked down, easily distinguishable below him rested a quite confused Seifer who was now fully awake. The smaller man lowered himself so that his chest pressed to Seifer’s and his lips were just above his left ear “Rinoa,” he hissed, looking back to the door though at this height a cushion was in the way. Looking back down he saw clearly the annoyed expression on Seifer’s face. Squall didn’t exactly have time to say anything further, for at that moment the bedroom door gave a creak.
Squall rushed back onto the bed and under the covers. Closing his eyes as Rinoa entered quietly and dropped her bags at the foot of the bed. She bumped into the dresser on her trek to the pajama drawer, reassuring Squall that her eyes were not yet suited to the darkness. At least that meant she hadn’t seen Squall get back onto the mattress. He lie still as Rinoa discarded her clothes and slipped a white, silken, nightgown over her head. Within moments the raven-haired female was at his side and resting under the covers.
Squall waited a few minutes before faining a simple roll, as though still sleeping and dropping his hand over the edge of the bed. Slowly he reached about to find where Seifer was. His fingers touched nothing for several drawn out moments and then a hand clasped about his, giving him a start. Trying to recover from the jolt and hoping it hadn’t disturbed Rinoa, he rested his fingers at the hand’s wrist. A soft tug told Squall that the blonde had slid under the bed.. He was also none-too-happy about it either by proof of the tight grip around Squall’s hand. In fact, by the time the brunette pulled away, he could no longer feel his fingers.
Morning came quickly enough. Squall hadn’t slept so well for the remainder of the night. He kept drifting in and out of slumber, thinking he had felt something move under the bed and worried that Rinoa would wake and find Seifer. Of course no such thing happened and Squall at last opened his eyes a final time to see Rinoa sitting upon the end of the bed, pulling on thickly soled and brightly colored shoes. As though sensing Squall’s stare she looked over her shoulder and smiled in the usual sweet fashion “School’s canceled again, no teaching for you,” looking back to her work she pulled on the second shoe and proceeded to tie it “I have to go to Selphie’s. I have a surprise for you there that I think you’ll like,” smiling once more she stood and walked to Squall, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. Waving goodbye she hurried from the room and out the door.
As soon as the door clicked shut, Squall was on his feet, or more realistically, knees as he slid to the floor and ducked under the bed.
“Can I come out now?” came an heated voice from within the shadows of the bed.
Moving away from the mattress, Squall gave Seifer enough room to slider out and bit his tongue as the blonde did so. He looked angrier than ever and with good reason to feel so. A night under the bed had obviously proved a sleepless night and the dust had not helped lighten the redness of his eyes. He looked miserable, like a man with an allergy to cat hair stuck in an old lady’s house.
“Sorry,” Squall offered apologetically but Seifer wasn’t going to let him off so easily.
Scowling the taller of the men stood, dusted himself off, and stalked out of the room sneezing sneezes suppressed during the night.
Nothing to do. Squall sighed and flipped onto his back, head off the end of the bed and upside down watching the television. He had been watching talk and court shows all day and the boredom was getting to him. No one was allowed to stay in the hallways and he was quite sure that Seifer was catching up on his sleep. Hell, Squall would be happy to even see Rinoa about now but she had yet to return from Selphies and Squall didn’t dare go near when those two were alone together. He pitied Zell at the very thought.
Squall yawned. He was about to consider taking a nap until someone came over but at that moment the door creaked open. Squall assumed it was Rinoa and was about to speak in greeting when a different voice sounded.
Squall straightened, ears perking a bit. He knew that voice. Swinging his legs of the bed her hurried to the doorway “Ellone!”
The woman in the doorway grinned and crossed the room quickly to hug him.
Squall smiled. He hadn’t seen Ellone in ages now “Where have you been?” he asked, pulling away from the embrace as Ellone held him out at arms length.
Ellone seemed to think the answer over a bit “I was in Timber up until yesterday. I stumbled across Rinoa and she invited me over for a visit.” Ellone released Squall and followed him to sit on the sofa “She wanted me to surprise you at the part tonight but I wanted to see you right away. Of course I didn’t visit you last night, it was much too late. I slept at Selphie and Zell’s there’s a pull-out bed there,” she wrinkled her nose at the memory. Squall knew by experience that the “pull-out bed” was more of an accident waiting to happen. The middle drooped in and springs were the only support you had.
“You can sleep here tomorrow.” Squall offered “You and Rinoa can have the bed, I’ll take the sofa.”
“I couldn’t-” she seemed to think over her words for a moment but shook her head “I think I’ll have to accept.” she smiled sweetly and tugged her blue shawl absently.
“Wait-” the brunette had just recalled her earlier words “What party?”
“Oh,” Ellone faced her little brother once more “Rinoa is planning a party. That’s the reason she’s at Selphies'’. You see, after learning of all these deaths Rinoa thought it might lift spirits a bit if she threw a party.”
“Is that really appropriate?” Squall was slightly alarmed.
Ellone smiled once more “It doesn’t seem to be does it?” she paused a moment and looked around “Lovely dorm,” she chimed genuinely “You share it with Rinoa, right?”
Squall tensed a bit “Yeah,” he said giving the words a dead-pan tone.
“Well,” Ellone smiled a bit hesitantly “I’m glad you found someone. And everyone else? How are they?”
Squall welcomed the change of topic with open arms “Well Selphie is fine, she and Zell share a dorm now but I’m sure you knew that.”
Ellone covered her mouth to stifle a small laugh “Yes, the two are quite the interesting couple.”
Squall nodded “Irvine and Petunia, you might not know her, she works in the library; well they share a dorm as well as do Quistis and James.”
Another smile, this one uncovered, spread across Ellone’s pink lips “How’s Seifer and those two - Fuujin and Raijin - yes, how are they?”
Squall should have known she would ask about them. Ellone wasn’t one to hold much of a grudge “Well,” he began in a slightly shaky tone “Fujin and Rajin were transferred after they returned to school and-...Seifer...I guess Seifer’s fine.”
There was another nod and Ellone stood to glance through the bedroom doorway “Six all ready? I thought we had half an hour at least,” frowning she looked to Squall “Shall we get going? Rinoa wouldn’t want us to be late.”
Delivery boy duty? Zell scowled at the pink and decorative paper in hand. At least he had gotten away from those two...of course....handing out invitations wasn’t what he had had in mind.
Zell! The pigs in a blanket are for the party! You’re not helping at all! Just go hand out these, love ya’, buh-bye.
It wasn’t even a large party. Why couldn’t they just call their friends? Zell sighed and approached the first dorm, Quistis’s. Sighing, Zell knocked. There was no class to day, he doubted the two were still in their dorm. Sighing Zell knelt down to slip the note under the threshold when - BAM - The door swung open, nailing the blonde in the top of the head and sending him sprawling over the cold tile.
“Oh Zell!” Quistis slip between door and frame and hurried to Zell’s aide “I’m so sorry!”
Soap filled almost all of Zell’s senses and the young man opened his eyes to find a terrycloth robe two inches before his nose “Uh,” Zell felt around, hand settling on one of the papers he had dropped “Eh,” he struggled to straighten giving Quistis the cue to let him sit up “This is for you.”
The older female took the paper from his outstretched hand. She was kneeling beside him, dripping and clutching her robe closed with one hand. James appeared in the doorway behind her, rubbing his red eyes and clutching an open book.
“It’s a party. Tonight at six,” Zell said simply. He could tell Quistis was struggling to read without her glasses.
“Oh?” she quirked a brow as though this was unusual “Ah...wonderful...we’ll be there.”
Zell wasn’t in the mood to stay and chat. Rubbing his head he gathered his papers and stood. Hurrying off to the next room Zell could barely make out shouted apologies as he disappeared down the hallway.
Irvine’s dorm. Zell knocked tentively at the door. When no answer came he tried again only louder. Still no answer. Well Zell wasn’t about to slip another notice under the door. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a key chain. SeeDs stationed at the Garden were eventually given a sort of master key. This came in quite handy on occasion and Zell was planning to slip in and place the notice on the coffee table nearest the door.
Hoping no one noticed Zell slipped in quickly and crossed part of the room before-
Zell froze “Oh God not again.”
“The hell,” the knocking hadn’t gotten Irvine’s attention but this had. The nude cowboy looked up from where he and Petunia lye on the floor “Do you mind Zell!” he nearly screamed as the girl under him scrambled to cover herself up.
“No-I mean-sorry-I mean-here!” Zell threw the slip down and sped from the room, slamming the door behind him. Why did he always seem to walk in on these sort of things?
Zell groaned. The next dorm was Seifer’s and he wasn’t too keen on the idea of visiting him though it had been his fault the blonde had been invited. Rinoa and Selphie had forgotten that he even existed until Zell asked why his name wasn’t on one of the invitations. He and his big mouth.
Frown deepening Zell knocked on the door. He was wondering what he would do this time if no one answered when the door swung open slightly.
Seifer stood sleepily in the frame. He was shirtless and his hair was ruffled giving Zell the impression that he had been asleep up until now.
“Here,” Zell held out the notice “Taking advantage of the day off for sleep?” he asked innocently as Seifer took the notice a bit grogily.
“Huh, oh, what time is it?” Seifer put his weight against one side of the frame and rubbed his eyes with his free hand.
Zell shrugged “About three.” He was surprised Seifer hadn’t said anything about a chicken wuss needing to mind his own business, yet. In a bit of an undertone he decided to add a bit more “Squall isn’t in there is he?”
Seifer seemed to wake up a bit more at that last comment “Agh, no.” the taller man shifted uncomfortable and pretended to look over the pink paper in hand.
“What? Did you get in a fight?” Zell decided to be a bit bold.
Seifer obviously didn’t appreciate this “Why would I tell you chickenwuss?”
Well there you have it. Zell sighed. Normally he would take that personally but today he just wasn’t in the mood to fight...which said a lot...”Tch, fine, whatever you say,” he shuffled the papers absently and faced away to leave “I’m in a hurry anyway.”
“No, we didn’t have a fight,” Seifer groaned. He wasn’t quite sure why he had responded. Perhaps it was because he was just that desperate for conversation. Besides Squall not many people even acknowledged his existence positively anymore.
Zell faced Seifer a bit surprised...more so with the presence of an answer than the words themselves “Then what-” he paused in realization “Oh-Rinoa came home last night didn’t she?”
“Sharp,” Seifer said a bit mockingly “Yeah, she came home late last night “
He knew he probably shouldn’t be but Zell was quite curious now “Did she-” it was pretty clear that she hadn’t seen anything but Zell either wasn’t too quick on the uptake or simply thought it worth asking regardless.
“No,” Seifer sounded almost disappointed “I hid and I think it’s been ages since that bed’s been cleaned out.”
“Ew,” Zell wrinkled his nose at the thought of spending a night under Squall’s bed but shook his head “That doesn’t sound good at all dude.”
Seifer rolled his eyes “Of course it wasn’t....hey is lunch still going...?”
“Uh-school was cancelled again, I don’t think so. I wish it was,” Zell glanced angrily towards the direction of his dorm “They won’t let me touch a thing in the fridge down there.”
Seifer was about to ask who “they” were but changed his mind, the fact that the pink paper he had been handed had read party was finally sinking in. “Agh, if you want to explain a little more about this-” he held the notice out slightly “You can have lunch here.”
Normally Zell would have hesitated...or even walked away...but he was too hungry to care that an old enemy was inviting him in for lunch “More than happy,” Zell beamed and tossed the remainder of the pink notices over his shoulder before hurrying past Seifer and inside.
“I know we invited more people then this,” Selphie said sulkily to Squall who had just entered with his sister.
“Huh?” Squall looked around. Indeed the party was fairly empty. Irvine, Rinoa, Petunia, Quistis, James, and a couple he had never met. This didn’t bother him though. Squall wouldn’t have gone to the party at all had it not been for Ellone insisting.
“Zell,” Selphie seethed and clenching her fists stalked over to the punch bowl where Irvine and Petunia were talking wearily.
Squall glanced at his sister who seemed to be about to say something before Rinoa interjected “Squall! I see Ellone found you!” Rinoa threw her arms around Squall’s neck and smiled to Ellone who frowned slightly and excused herself with a nod.
Squall watched his sister head toward the unknown couple with a bit of loathing. She could have stuck around just a little longer instead of leaving him with the person he least wanted to see at the moment.
“We stumbled across each other while I was away, sorry for not telling you this morning,” grinning she stood on tip toe and pressed her lips against his...a motion that was interrupted by a well placed cough that caused Squall to look away...The brunette blushed furiously as he saw Zell a little past the doorway and an annoyed Seifer not far behind.
“Goooood!” Selphie chimed before rushing over to Zell and taking his arm to usher him into a far corner.
Squall looked to Rinoa and then to Seifer making a shrugging motion before rushing away himself, hoping to at least appear to be in conversation.
The party was perhaps half through when Zell finally found his way from Selphie who had just managed to forgive him “Oh,” Zell sank into a chair near the refreshment table and dropped his head onto the surface with a thud.
“This is a horrible party,” Seifer said in looking about at the lightly chattering mass.
“Don’t say that too loud man,” Zell hissed, glancing apprehensively to where Selphie was talking with friends. Looking away he lazily took a plastic cup and filled it with the red punch from the bowl before him.
“Well it-” Seifer cut himself off as he noticed Squall set his cup at the opposite end of the table before continuing to listen in on an extravagant story from Irvine. Seifer smirked “Can you hand me that?”
Zell quirked an eyebrow as he followed the other blonde’s eyes to where Squall’s cup sat. Shrugging the male reached forward and quietly drug the cup backwards, handing it to Seifer.
“Mmm hmm,” Seifer took the cup in one hand and with the other searched his coat pockets, quickly coming out with a silver flask.
“Hey,” Zell inspected the flask as Seifer pulled off the top “That’s not, like, the date-rape drug or anything is it?”
Seifer looked up after pouring a bit of the liquid in “No, you have any?”
Zell went back to lazily resting his head on the table “No, ask Irvine.”
“Put this back,” Seifer handed the cup to Zell who slipped it back and just in time. Squall took the cup into his hands only seconds later.
“What was in that!” Zell demanded under his breath, watching Squall in awe as the young man began to laugh hysterically at Irvine’s stories.
Seifer was suppressing a laugh “Just a little alcohol. I knew it, the guy’s a lightweight.”
“Man,” Zell continued staring but held up his own cup towards Seifer.
“That went better than planned,” Seifer poured a bit of the flask contents into Zell’s cup and returned to watching Squall who was now sitting on the floor giggling and getting quite a few confused looks.
“Where’d he get boes!” Irvine demanded with a jealous tone, fingers tapping at the edge of his hat.
“Surely he didn’t get it from here-I mean-” Rinoa looked about confused.
“Whadya’ mean?” Squall laughed from the floor “I didn’t drink anything. Nofink’...I don’t remem-...oof,” the intoxicated brunnete slid completely to the ground, head know resting upon the carpeting.
“So this is what he looks like wasted,” Zell peeked over the table top for a better view as Seifer made his way to join the crowd surrounding the young man on the floor.
“I-” Squall raised his hands to cover his face but only managed to smack himself upside the head “-I don’t feel so goo-” as if on cue he switched to his side and vomited...just on Rinoa’s shoes...
“Oh-ew!” Rinoa backed away stomping her feet and the crowd moved back a bit as well.
“Hoo-kay!” Selphie looked to the people in the semi-circle around Squall “Party’s over!”
Seifer covered his mouth in a grin and Ellone looked to her brother on the ground “Oh my, I’m not sure-” he more than likely needed a bed to sleep in and there wasn’t a free one unless she gave up that sleeping arrangement offer earlier. She loved her brother with all her heart but didn’t want to spend another night on the pull-out of torture.
“He can sleep it off at my house,” Seifer moved sideways through the crowd and came to a stop behind Squall.
“Are you sure-I mean-” Ellone was feeling slightly guilty.
“No problem,” the blonde tried to hide the smirk on his face as he prodded Squall onto his back and then scooped him up in his arms. The crowd parted like the Red Sea as Seifer moved across the room and towards the door.
“Thank you,” Rinoa said half-heartedly, trying to mop her shoes clean with a two-ply paper towel.
“Where-eryou t-” Squall stopped talking as though he had forgotten what he was saying.
“You really are a lightweight,” Seifer pushed the door closed behind him and started down the hallway. Squall didn’t say much until Seifer had unlocked the door where the brunette promptly vomited again in the doorway “Aw,” Seifer cursed under his breath and looked remorsefully towards his carpet “How much can you-” the blonde paused, not wanting to allow Squall to repeat what he had just done and quickly hurried the male across his room and into the bathroom...and just in time...
“Whew,” Seifer pulled up the toliet seat and ushered Squall next to it for further regurgitation.
“Owwww,” Squall opened his eyes slowly, holding his head with one hand. It felt as though someone had stuck his head into a vice. Squall looked around. Where was he? This wasn’t his dorm and he didn’t remember much about last night. He did remember a bathroom though. Sure enough Squall spied an open door across from the bed. Bed? Squall looked down. Who’s bed was this? It was considerably smaller than his own and the mattress a bit tougher. Squall would have gone more into thought if not for a second hard pang at his temple “Owwww,” he repeated and closed his eyes tight.
His eyes opened immediately and he tilted his head tot he side to find Seifer pulling his torso off the side of the bed and sitting up. He had obviously fallen asleep in the kitchen chair at the bedside and fallen over the mattress sometime during the night. So this was Seifer’s apartment “Yeah, uh-” he slowed his words so that it didn’t hurt his head as much when he spoke “what happened last night?”
“You drank,” Seifer said a bit amused “you don’t drink much do you?”
Squall looked confused “No.”
“Figures, that must have been too strong,”
“But I don’t remember-”
“You wouldn’t” Seifer looked to the ceiling in mock innocence,
“Gee, thanks,” Squall threw an arm over his face and attempted to go back to sleep. His head was killing him.
A/N - That one went out to Alexiel. Happy? Anyway, I’m continuing it from here in the next chapter. Hope this chapter wasn’t that bad -.-. Sure felt like it.
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