Author's Notes: : It’s a new chapter. I told you they would start coming sooner! I hope you enjoy. Let me also put in a plug for my new songfic ‘Creep’. I adore hearing your opinions. I would also like to thank my beta reader, whether she knows she’s one for this fic or not, Akai-chan. Thanks for reading this thing even when I’m aware that your not all that fond of the series.
Chapter Seventeen - Honesty's the Best Policy
“It’s getting dark,” Squall pointed out, looking over the trees the sun was slowly sinking into “We should be getting back soon. It looks like they’re getting ready for the funeral down there.”
They had avoided running into anyone aboard the airship as Seifer had simply gone in for some of Squall’s things. No one had paid any attention save of course for Zell who was surprised to see Seifer without his shorter, slightly younger companion and in consequence asked a few questions. Now they were above the small town, having walked a large hill that leveled out into something of a forest. They had said nothing between then and now. Once the silence had been broken Seifer started slightly “Hmm?” He crept forward slightly and looked down to the earth below. Indeed there was a canopy out now and what seemed to be Selphie rushing too and fro, aiding her other half with the duty of bring out chairs “Yeah-” he nodded “Wanna go back?”
Squall hesitated but shook his head “No, not now, soon though,” he moved back taking a seat against the base of an aspen. Seifer watched him sit but didn’t follow, merely looking back out and into the distance.
From the ledge Seifer turned at the sound of his own name “What?” his tone was even any sympathy or anger from before well hidden.
A pale hand patted the empty ground beside the tree “Sit over here?” Squall asked, there seemed to be something on his mind.
Seifer only shrugged but came to Squall’s side just the same, sitting at the young man’s side and stretching out his long legs “Well?”
“Well-” Squall sighed letting his torso go limp for a moment, allowing his head to fall against Seifer’s shoulder “I know I’ve asked before but, ah-” his words trailed off and he groaned at his own current, jumbled state of mind.
“Mm?” Seifer raised a hand lazily, placing it to Squall’s head and slowly running his fingers through his hair.
“You really are mad aren’t you?” Mentally cursing himself for this entire ordeal, Squall kissed his companion’s shoulder before beginning “When you were...well...attacked. Where were, that is what did-”
“I told you I didn’t know,” he snapped at first but immediately calmed his tone “It was just weird. If I had to compare it to something I would say time compression but that’s unlikely of course.”
“Was anyone else there?” Squall raised his head slightly though it was the question that caused Seifer to drop his hand away.
“I saw one person-” he shrugged “I had never seen them before. Something was holding on to him and well...I tried to help him but...” he shook his head “I woke up then. I had assumed it was a dream but then that student had died while I was unconscious and...hell...I don’t know Squall. How about an easier question?”
“There’s no need to act like that-” Squall grumbled, standing somewhat angrily now. Hands looped around his waist, however, forcing Squall to fall back onto Seifer’s lap “Oof-”
“I’m the only on allowed to be mad right now-” Seifer smirked, turning Squall around sideways to face him.
“Seifer-” Squall couldn’t help but smile, thankful to hear that familiar, sarcastic tone “I’ll remember that from now on,” Squall laughed, leaning forward and wrapping his arms around the other man’s neck.
With a sigh Seifer kissed Squall lightly upon the lips then leaned back a bit once more “You had better. But right now I’m tired of being angry-”
“Ah-” Squall rolled his eyes though he continued to smile “I see,” he moved one hand to Seifer’s cheek then allowed it to slip down his neck, to the black fabric above his chest “So am I allowed to do anything I want again?”
“Good,” he kissed Seifer then, a passionate kiss. It was passionate, causing Squall’s heart to race and his pulse to quicken. It was better than the last and expelled any nagging thought of Rinoa from his mind for the time being. Soon he slipped his tongue from his mouth, forcing the kiss to deepen. Seifer of course was only too happy to comply and within moments any problems at hand were long forgotten. Much better, Squall mused. He felt so safe in Seifer’s arms and he truly needed that right now. But- Better than what? He suddenly pulled away, much to Seifer’s disappointment.
“What?” Seifer looked Squall over quickly. He immediately assumed it must be the upcoming funeral. Of course. It was more than a little tacky to do this just before saying goodbye to a loved one “Hyne, sorry Squall. We can go now. They’re probably expecting you-” he began to stand but Squall quickly shook his head.
“No, that’s not it,” his look was a apologetic and he avoided looking at Seifer for as long as he could.
“Then what?” Seifer’s expression was both quizzical and confused now. He sat once more and soon fear added itself to that equation as he found himself dreading what Squall would say next.
“Rinoa,” he said slowly, wincing as he saw Seifer wince and begin to stand once more from the corner of his eye.
Seifer indeed was hurt by the mention of her name “Let’s go.”
“Wait!” Squall caught the man’s wrist as he turned to move away. He couldn’t just leave, not like this.
“What!” Seifer demanded, turning to Squall once more. His expression was hurt but also incredibly angry “I’m sick of this Squall! You know that. You could at least have the dignity not to mention her name when-” he grimaced pulling against the grip upon his wrist “I said let’s go.”
“Wait-” Squall repeated, rising to his knees. He kept a tight hold upon Seifer’s wrist then slid it to his hand, lowering his head immediately. As Seifer began to move away once more he immediately pulled him back again, looking up desperately “I’ll tell her!”
That certainly got his attention. Seifer’s eyes widened at Squall’s offer “You...what?...” his voice wasn’t angry anymore but soon it was skeptical “When?”
“After the funeral,” Squall said quickly, squeezing Seifer’s hand in both of his own “I promise...I want to be with you Seifer...And it’s wrong to lead either of you on- I- I’ll tell her..”
“Squall,” he smiled genuinely and pulled the other man up, hugging him with such force that Squall found himself off the ground for a moment.
Squall laughed slightly at Seifer’s reaction though he was too nervous to be that happy. He put his hands to Seifer’s shoulders, receiving a kiss as he did so.
He was about to pull Squall into yet another kiss but then something struck him “After the funeral?” Seifer checked again, watching thoughtfully Squall nodded “I’m definitely not complaining but isn’t that bad timing?”
The small brunette shook his head though a bit slowly “Ellone would have wanted me to be happy. She didn’t like what I was doing any more than you did and well...she wouldn’t want me to continue that any longer than was necessary...”
Seifer kissed Squall’s forehead, brushing some hair from the young man’s eyes “And I’ll make sure you’re happy-” he laughed “You know I love you-” He only revived another slow nod and quickly Seifer clarified “As long as you’re willing to tell Rinoa I don’t mind whether you love me or not right now,” that could come later “Now, let’s hurry. We’re probably late,” Seifer released Squall then, hurrying down the hill only to find his hand caught yet again. He glanced back to find that Squall was merely following this time, a satisfied smile upon his lips as he allowed his lover to lead him along.
The funeral was coming to an end now. It had been a mostly silent affair, with several people speaking. For obvious purposes it had been close-casket. The coffin was now ready to be placed in a grave dug beside Ellone’s mother. Squall sat next to his father during the proceedings, keeping his composure throughout the service. Rinoa, Zell, Selphie, and the others were a row behind them and then some others Seifer didn’t recognize. He currently stood in the back with Fujin and Rajin.
Seifer scanned the small crowd as things drew to an end. He was glad Rinoa hadn’t forced her way to the front though he found a faint smile upon her face more than a bit curious “Let’s get out of here,” Seifer whispered the long-time friends beside him.
Fujin nodded and Rajin merely followed as their ‘leader’ strode off. They hadn’t gotten very far when the sounds of people conversing as the made their leave sounded behind them.
“When I die I don’t think I’d want everyone to be so depressed, ya know?” Rajin broke the silence at last, seemingly simply out of boredom.
Fujin quickly gave him a sharp quick for his rudeness “DON’T WORRY,” she glared at him before walking on.
The muscular young man limped ahead with a hurt expression “Hey Fuj, that was harsh, ya know?” he faced Seifer as the man chuckled and entered the hotel they were staying at “Seifer, I was meaning to ask ya-” he followed at Fujin unlocked their room, allowing the three to file inside.
“Yeah?” Seifer stopped in the middle of the room, placing his hands in the pockets of his jacket.
“Well, it was just this morning. I didn’t know you were gay ya know?” he winced as Seifer smacked him upside the head this time “Use a little more tact huh?” he smirked “But yeah, I guess I am.”
“So you’re with Squall?”
Seifer shrugged “I guess so. Soon to be anyway. We have something anyway...Is that a problem?...”
Rajin paused thinking the matter over then quickly shook his head “No, I guess not. Just didn’t see it comin’, ya know?”
“LOVE?” Fujin smiled at her own assumption. The notion made a feminine sort of expression wash over her being and usually rigid mannerisms. It was a lovely, romantic thought.
Seifer smiled but nodded “I don’t know about him but...I certainly am...” he took a seat on the end of the small twin bed mattress.
“You seem happy about this Fuj,” Rajin was looking to the silver-haired female beside him with a look of confusion and amusement “I figured you’d be crushed. Thought you had a crush on Seifer, ya know?”
That certainly provoked a kick and Seifer to laugh aloud. He stood, heading for the door “I’m going to go pick up some dinner, all right?” he began to leave but paused “But Rajin, you’re way off. I mean, from what I saw she always seemed to have a thing for you-” he pulled the door to a bit as a vase shattered against it “Just calling em’ like I see them-” he closed the door completely now, still clearly finding all this terribly amusing.
“He right Fuj?”
Fujin looked over wide-eyed, her arm still in a ‘launching’ position. She opened her mouth to yell at him now but was interrupted before she could even begin.
“Well you wanna go out?”
She stood there like a dumfounded junior high student. The nerve of those two! How dare Seifer! How dare he! This was all so stupid. As if she had time for this. Did she look like the sort of person who was into flowers and beachside-strolls? Finally she dropped her arm and nodded.
“You wanted to talk to me about something?”
Squall looked to Rinoa as she approached. He was currently standing at the outskirts of town. They weren’t far given the town’s size but they were definitely private enough. It was dusk now and getting somewhat colder. He nodded as she came to a stop before her “Yeah-” he said at last, clearly nervous.
Rinoa caught on to this and smiled “I have something I want to tell you too,” she giggled, moving closer.
“Do you mind if I go first?” he had to get this off his chest of he would scream. It was truly driving him insane. Rinoa shook her head that same knowing smile upon her lips. It made him feel guilty, he wished she would loose it. Squall paused and thought things over. It was a full minute before he managed to piece his words together and that had been the longest minute of his life, not to mention the coldest “Hyne, I wish I had my jacket-” he said, more to himself than anyone else. He was about to begin when Rinoa squealed in delight.
“Oh, Squall, yes!”
“W-what?” Squall stood there wide-eyed and shocked. What had he said?
“I found it this morning, after you left-” she raised her hand so that Squall could see “It was in your jacket pocket.
Squall felt his heart skip a beat. Was that Seifer’s ring? It...it was an engagement ring, obviously so...Was that...was that what she thought this was about!...
“Oh I love you Squall!” she flung herself against him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
What was he supposed to say? He couldn’t tell her now. There was only one thing to do at a time like this “I love you too.”
A/N: Okay, I’m mean. But hey, look on the bright side. I’m almost finished. Only two or three more chapters to go and those should me coming out soon. Please review. I write for fun but I also write for feedback. I love hearing your opinions so keep them coming please.
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