A/N: I honestly didn’t think anyone would care if I abandoned this fic of not. o.o Thanks guys, because of your support I managed to make time to finish the chapter (A three day weekend didn’t hurt either). It’s nothing grand but I hope it’s better than nothing. Please keep reviewing ^-^; and thank you again for past reviews.
Seifer stretched out under the blanket as the light from a nearby window finally woke him. Slowly he opened his eyes and recalling the events the previous night smiled, only to soon realize that there was no one in his arms. Heart skipping a beat he sat up with a start.
“Oh, you’re awake,” Squall looked over his shoulder from where he stood by the sink rinsing out a dish. Seifer noted that the brunette was already fully dressed.
“What time is it?” Seifer yawned, relaxing slightly and leaning back against the headboard.
Squall put the dish away and smiled, starting back towards the bed “Not sure. I got up a while ago, fed the kitten and had breakfast.”
Seifer smiled as Squall took a seat at the end of the bed “And you didn’t wait for me?” he teased, pulling Squall onto him.
With a sigh the smaller man closed his eyes and allowed his head to loll forward onto Seifer’s shoulder “There was nothing to wait for. You only bought cereal...and no milk...”
“Oh,” Seifer shrugged at his own mistake and put a hand to Squall’s hair “Well we can go shopping together today and you can make sure I get everything this time.”
Squall pulled back a bit, eyes moving away “I have to go back...today...”
“What!” Seifer sat up once more, looking slightly annoyed “You-”
“I know, don’t start,” Squall groaned and moved from Seifer’s lap to his side “It’s just...I don’t want anymore people to die...besides Cid called, the funeral’s the day after tomorrow,” at that last comment he fell deathly silent, eyes fixing upon the floor.
Seifer felt a slight pang of guilt for arguing in the first place “Squall,” he moaned softly, raising his hand once more and putting it to Squall’s face.
Almost immediately the other male shook his head “No, I’m fine. We just need to get going, Laguna should be getting here soon, if he hasn’t come already and-”
“Woah, one step at a time,” Seifer dropped to the mattress “Nothing will happen until tonight, I’m sure of that. You can take your time Squall,” after an awkward silence he added with somewhat of a disappointed tone “I guess you want to be around others then, huh?”
Squall shook his head. The question had been vague but he caught what Seifer meant and was near shocked that he would think something like that “No!” Squall lowered himself down beside Seifer and pressed up against the blonde with a smile “Last night was wonderful....I...” he suddenly blushed “-that is-ah-thank you.”
“Thank you?” Seifer quirked a brow and wrapped his still bare arms around Squall.
“Agh, that didn’t come out right,” Squall frantically began wracking his mind for the correct word choice. Luckily Seifer deemed the search unnecessary with a simple laugh, pulling Squall closer with a smirk.
Squall couldn’t help but smile as well, after a few moments he realized Seifer was going back to sleep “Seifer!”
“What?” Seifer asked, innocently pressing a kiss against the brunette's forehead “It’s still early, we have plenty of time to get going.”
“Oh be quiet, I’m getting to it,” Seifer sighed, moving his eyes to meet Squall’s then smiling once more.
Squall promptly blushed.
“Why are you still so embarrassed?” Hand went to settle upon the side of Squall’s red face “I thought you would have gotten over that by now.”
Squall kept his head upon the pillow “It’s nothing, I just-ah-I don’t know...I know I shouldn‘t after...last night but I-well-”
“It’s fine,” Seifer smiled once more “Last night was a bit short lived anyway.”
Squall narrowed his eyes “Huh?”
“I mean don’t get me wrong, it was great...just a little quick...”
Squall didn’t look any happier “Then why didn’t you take your time?” he grumbled, fuming over his words, slightly offended.
“You were a virgin, hell you tired out so quick I mean I hardly had time to-” Seifer’s sentence was cut short as Squall tackled him. Again Seifer only laughed, rolling the smaller man on top of him with ease. Clearly he had chosen his words specifically to annoy Squall “It’s fine though, we’ll just have to try again.”
Squall rolled his eyes, trying to hide a smile by looking away as Seifer kept hold of his wrists “Whatever.”
“Oh gawd,” Seifer melodramatically let Squall fall back to his side and put his hands to clutch his forehead “One word vocabulary back-agh-” facing Squall once more, head still upon the pillows he moaned “sex-drive waning.”
Squall pouted without noticing and frowned “I never had a ‘one word vocabulary.”
Taking the cue to roll his own eyes, Seifer made a ‘tch’ sound “Whatever.”
“Maybe you never heard me say anything else because you were such a me-centric jackass...still are...”
“Ouch,” Seifer wince, clapping a hand to his chest “Below the belt,” leaning forward and pressing his lips against Squall’s “Very sexy.”
“What makes you think I want to consent to this after what you said?” Squall asked, picking up Seifer’s smirk.
“You tell me,” Seifer pressed his lips to Squall’s once more, arms traveled back around him. His tongue moved into Squall’s mouth, and his body went further against the other man’s.
When at last Seifer pulled away Squall exhaled softly. His eyes opened once more to settle upon Seifer who was still holding him in his arms. Why was he staying wth him? Seifer knew the answer immediately. It was because Seifer loved him...or said he did...It wasn’t as though he hadn’t heard that line before. Rinoa quoted it often...but when Seifer repeated it...he believed it. Swallowing hard Squall pushed his lips back against Seifer’s, taking the blonde a bit off guard as he did so.
Seifer relaxed easily enough and moved a hand to brush against the side of his face. The other arm stayed wrapped around Squall’s back. It looked as though their interaction was to go one step further when a knock sounded on the door.
Squall sat up with a start, smoothing out his now disheveled hair. With a glance to the still nude Seifer, he made sure the other man had gathered his clothing off the ground and was well on his way to the bathroom before Squall went to answer the door. Removing the ring from his hand and dropping in into his pant pocket he pulled upon the handle “L-laguna?”
“Mmm hmm,” Squall’s father smiled broadly and took advantage of his son’s surprised state by giving him a hug “So,” he pulled away, hands still on Squall’s shoulders “How are you?”
“Ah,” Squall still looked quite puzzled “I was about to head back to the Garden but-” his voice trailed off and his eyes trailed behind Laguna to make sure no one else had showed up as well.
“The Ragnarok’s just outside town,” Laguna said with the same smile and then in a slight undertone- “You didn’t think the funeral would be at the Garden did you?”
Squall lowered his eyes and shrugged “No, I guess not.”
Seeing a need to change subject, Laguna sighed “Sooooo, is Seifer here as well? Cid told me...he was staying with you...” the latter of the comment was said accompanied with a few blinks. It was clear that Laguna thought this a bit odd...He supposed it was only normal...He and Seifer had never been the closest of friends before. Before he could respond however, Seifer came from the bathroom, now fully dressed. Apparently he had recognized the voice with ease for he didn’t seem the least surprised.
“I guess you are,” Laguna shrugged and offered Seifer a nod in greeting “So, do you plan on coming with us?”
Seifer opened his mouth to reply hurriedly that of course he would...then on a though that it might be wiser to answer a bit more calmly he simply collected his composure and shrugged...
“All right, everybody in,” Laguna climbed the short walkway to the Ragnarok and ushering the two inside “We need to hurry things along.”
Squall watched the door clang shut then entered further into the ship. He recognized the interior well, though he hadn’t been onboard in quite a while. The Garden usually provided transportation for missions. He hadn’t had any need as of late for the Ragnarok. Now that he was back on board he realized how much he had missed it. Of course he doubted that the feeling of an ensuing battle that usually came accompanied with it was defiantly going to be missing. Proof to back this came all to soon, passing the control room he not only noted his friends from the garden but also...Rinoa...
“Squall?” Rinoa looked over his shoulder as if sensing his presence. A worried look spreading across her face, she stood from where she sat in a seat against the wall and ran towards Squall.
The young man winced, closing his eyes against the inevitable before- “I want to see Squall!...He needs me...”
Opening his eyes, Squall was relived to find that Seifer had stepped in front of him and was currently warding Rinoa away “The guy’s standing right there, he can decide whether he “needs” to talk with you right now or not.”
“Look if he wanted you to-”
“He needs someone to-”
“Like you’d do anything but hang all over him.”
Rinoa glared at the tall male blocking the way to “her” Squall and sighed. Shaking her head she retreated back to her seat.
Seifer looked first to puzzled Laguna then back to Squall.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Squall said in an almost scolding tone. Of course he couldn’t hide the fact that he was quite relived. He didn’t want to speak to Rinoa just yet and Seifer seemed quite aware of this. Shaking his head, Squall cast a final glance to the usual group, Quistis, her boyfriend, Selphie, Irvine, Petunia, Zell, Kiros, and Ward, all were gathered in the hallways talking amongst themselves.
Laguna suddenly appeared at his son’s side “The funeral’s in the morning,” he said in a hushed tone. We’re picking a few more parties up, after that I’m guessing the night will be spent here. That all right?”
Squall shrugged “It’s fine,” he truly just wanted to get this over with but that wasn’t about to happen.
“We’ve added some beds since last you were here, down the stairs,” Laguna pointed in the direction of another room, then seeing Squall had nothing more to add, stepped away.
As soon as his father was out of earshot, Squall looked to Seifer “Coming?” he asked hopefully. The blond nodded, following Squall as he went through the door and down the hallway, entering the new room behind him.
“Zell, go get Squall, ask him if he wants to come get some dinner with us.”
“But-” Zell whined ‘’ why was he always the one who had to run errands “No.” he said firmly, looking at Selphie with a determined expression upon his face.
Selphie sighed, leaning forward to press a kiss to her boyfriend’s cheek “Please? C’mon, pretty, pretty please?”
“Fine,” Zell groaned and hurried down the staircase. He was afraid he might walk in on something again. He already knew there was no way to knock at these doors. Once you got close enough to do so they opened automatically whether you wanted them to or not. Putting a hand next to his face to shield his eyes if need be, Zell stepped in front of the doorway and allowed it to slide open. He sighed in relief as the two looked up from the gunblade magazine they’d been discussing “Oh, Hyne, thank you.” Zell entered, the doors closing behind him “I’ve walked in on enough to last me a lifetime, this is a relief.”
Seifer laughed slightly at Zell’s constant misfortune. It took Squall a moment longer to realize what Zell was implying and when it hit him he blushed “Oh.”
“Anyway,” Zell nodded to the two males watching him from the bed “They wanna know if you want to go get a bite to eat with them. I doubted ya wouldn’t but-” he shrugged.
Squall gave a firm nod “I don’t, I’m sure there are some groceries left over from the hotel,” he looked Seifer after speaking, though he was sure he knew what the other male would say.
“I’m staying,” Seifer said simply still watching Zell.
Zell nodded, though he didn’t leave just this. Glancing over his shoulder he took a few steps forward, then lowered his voice “You’re okay now, right man?” the question was clearly directed towards Squall.
“Uh, yeah,” Squall managed a weak smile “Sorry for running out on you like that,”
He was clearly embarrassed about the whole ordeal and Zell, nodding a second time, decided to leave it at that. He was about to leave when something caught his attention “What the hell is that?”
“Huh?” Squall looked down towards the kitten in his lap “Oh,“ he laughed slightly at Zell’s expression and handed him the sleeping feline. “I found her.”
“And kept...so it’s a her now?...” Seifer rolled his eyes, not bothering to look at the cat and instead going to another page of the gunblade magazine upon the mattress.
Zell jumped slightly as the kitten let out a shrill meow. Quickly he gave the cat back to Squall “It’s-ah-cute.”
“No it isn’t,” Seifer muttered, causing Squall to give him an annoyed look, one quickly cured by a kiss on the cheek.
Zell began to feel increasingly uneasy and Squall, noticing this felt a bit embarrassed himself “Seifer,” he hissed.
“What?” the other male had already gone back to reading the magazine. Zell already knew right? What was the big deal.
“It’s fine,” Zell assured “I’ve got to be going anyway...so do...whatever-”
Seifer looked up from what he was reading and quirked an eyebrow “Whatever?”
Squall tensed a bit angrily “Seifer!”
Zell swallowed, the uneasy feeling not quite gone “You know what I mean-ah-That is, I’m sure you want me gone so-”
“Hell, I don’t know. I mean it’s not as if you‘ve-...ah...”
“We’ve...oh...we’ve done that,”
“Zell! Did you get lost or something!” Selphie’s voice came from upstairs, just in time to save Zell but not Seifer...Squall had already landed a firm punch to his arm...
“See ya guys,” Zell said hurridly, rushing from the room and leaving Squall, sitting humiliated on the bed.
“...Ow...” Seifer rubbed his arm, looking to Squall with a “what-the-hell-did-you-do-that-for” expression upon his face.
“This place is cute,” Selphie sighed, stretching in her chair. Most everyone else had opted for a more sophisticated restaurant but Rinoa, insisting she needed to speak with Selphie had opted for the cozy diner..which meant of course...
“Why’d I have to come too?” Zell frowned at the country interior “No one else had to come.”
Selphie looked to Zell with a smile “Because you care about Rinoa too, right?” In all honesty, she’d wanted to go with the rest of the group as well...but she couldn’t very well just say no now could she...
“Thanks,” Rinoa spoke both to Selphie and Zell as well as to the waiter who had just handed them their drinks.
“So what’s up,” Selphie asked casually sliding the paper from her straw.
The dark haired young woman made a “hmm” sound before speaking, sipping at her drink and seemingly thinking over her words “Do you think Squall’s been acting a little odd lately?”
Zell tensed. He should have seen this coming. Selphie merely shrugged, feeling slightly uncomfortable herself “Well, I mean, his sister just died. It’s to be expected.”
“I don’t mean that,” Rinoa picked a point in the wall to watch then continued “It started before that. It’s like he doesn’t want to be around me as much as he used to.”
Did he ever make a point to hand around her? Zell said nothing but waited for Selphie to respond “I didn’t notice.” she said casually looking to Zell to see if he had.
Zell of course was trying not to laugh. He loved Rinoa like a sister but even he could tell that she and Squall just weren’t compatible.
Rinoa sighed “I don’t know,” her eyes went back to Selphie “I mean, he’s just changed...He spends time with Seifer now...I thought he hated Seifer.”
Zell tensed once more and Selphie shrugged again “They grew up together, I doubt they ever hated each other.”
“But why does Squall have to go to him when he has a problem. I’m the one who should comfort him!”
Selphie was beginning to feel uncomfortable herself. She was sure that if Rinoa got any louder she’d begin to attract the entire restaurant's attention, not that the tables around them weren’t staring already. Perhaps she should have gone with the group after all.
After a slight groan Rinoa looked up once more. This time her eyes fixed on Zell “Do you know anything?” she asked hopefully.
Zell suddenly felt terrified. Why him? He should have expected this “No,” he lied..quite badly in fact...
Luckily Rinoa didn’t seem to notice. Instead she stood from the table, frightening their tray-baring waitress in the process, and stormed from the restaurant. Zell wasn’t any less terrified than he had been only moments earlier.
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